College Policies Related to Student Conduct

Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol/Drug Intervention Policy

The College recognizes that education alone is not sufficient to address an individual’s actual or suspected use of alcohol or drugs. For that reason, in addition to participation in educational activities, the College may require as a condition of continued enrollment that a student participate in mandatory evaluation, counseling, complete testing, and/or appropriate medical treatment for alcohol or drug use if:

  • The student demonstrates inappropriate behavior linked to the use of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • A pattern of behavior indicates a student may be abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • The College receives from persons who have direct contact with the student credible information that creates concern about alcohol or drug use by an individual student.

Fulfillment of any mandatory requirements in these instances is at the student’s expense when a cost is involved, except with respect to drug tests. When a student is required to complete a drug test, financial responsibility will be determined by the outcome of the test. If the test is positive for drug use, the student is financially responsible; if the test is negative for drug use, the College is financially responsible for the drug test. If a drug test is performed to demonstrate compliance with a student conduct sanction, then the cost of the drug test is the student’s responsibility. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives will provide the individual student additional information about procedures at the time the student is notified of required counseling, testing, or medical treatment.

NCAA

Students who are members of varsity athletic teams are required to fulfill NCAA requirements for drug testing, education, counseling and other appropriate treatment when alcohol or drug use is suspected or confirmed. In keeping with NCAA regulations, student varsity athletes found responsible for College violations, including violations of the Policy on Alcohol and Drugs, are subject to sanctions assigned by the Athletic Department Discipline Committee. These sanctions are in addition to the actions and sanctions assigned to students found responsible for college policy violations through the College Student Conduct Process.

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College Posting Policy

Posting of signs, bulletins, flyers or any advertisement or notice on College property is permitted within the following guidelines. Postings are only permitted:

  • On designated campus bulletin boards
  • On the marble wall (located across from the Security Desk in Haffey Hall)
  • Within dining halls, upon approval of Lackmann Culinary Services, by contacting the Lackmann Culinary Services Business Office.

Due to fire code regulations, safety hazards, and cleaning issues, postings are not permitted on non-bulletin board areas including:

  • Walls
  • Glass doors and windows
  • Stairwells or fire doors

On special occasions and during special events, posting on walls and other approved areas, indoors and/or outdoors, will be granted with the approval of the Office of Campus Life and must be done with the use of appropriate materials. If damage is caused to an area, and a student or organization is identified as the responsible party, the student or organization will be held financially responsible for needed repairs. Areas to consider include (but are not limited to): LeChase Commons, Campus Center and sidewalks (with the use of sidewalk chalk only).

Postings are permitted up for only one (1) week. The date of when the posting is put up should be written in the lower right hand corner. It is the responsibility of the organization and/or the individual who received authorization to remove old signage. Failure to do so may result in loss of posting privileges.

  • Postings need to be removed immediately after the event has occurred.
  • Duplicate posters should not occur on the same bulletin board.
  • Postings should be hung directly on the bulletin board and not on top of another posting.
  • The name of the sponsoring club, organization, or department needs to be on the item posted.
  • All posting must comply with campus policy.
  • Alcohol/drug logos or references thereto cannot be included in any sign, bulletin, flyer, or advertisement.
  • Signs, bulletins, and/or flyers may not be distributed under office, classroom, or Residence Hall room doors, in lounges, or on College property without authorization from the appropriate College official(s).
  • All postings for non-College related activities, events, organizations, etc., must be approved by the Office of Campus Life. Such postings are only permitted on the designated “general posting” bulletin boards. Questions may be directed to the Office of Campus Life, located on the 2nd floor of the Campus Center or email campuslife@sjfc.edu.
  • All postings in the Residence Halls must be approved by and distributed through the Office of Residential Life. The Office of Residential Life is located on the 2nd floor of the Campus Center or at email reslife@sjfc.edu.

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College Search Policy

The College reserves the right to inspect the contents of student rooms, vehicles, packages, handbags, backpacks or the like, when violations of College policy, State or Federal laws are suspected. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for a search to which St. John Fisher College students may be subject. The primary consideration is balancing a student’s right to privacy with the College’s need to enforce College policy and ensure campus safety.

Any area or property located on College premises and under the control or custody of a student is subject to search including, but not limited to:

  • college-owned buildings and residences;
  • student-owned, operated and/or controlled motor vehicles located on College premises;
  • and any personal property located or contained in the aforementioned structures or vehicles, including student packages, handbags or backpacks.

A search may occur as part of an investigation when Safety and Security Officer has established a reasonable belief that a violation of College policy or federal, state, or local law is occurring, or has occurred, and there is evidence to be confiscated relating to that violation.

Additionally, a search may occur under the following circumstances:

  • In response to a fire, or fire alarm; to ensure the room is vacant during fire drills
  • When emergency conditions apply such as someone’s health or safety is in immediate danger
  • When contraband is observed in plain view
  • When consent to search is obtained from at least one student in the assigned area
  • When authorization to search is granted by the Assistant Dean of Student and Residential Life (or in her absence the Vice President for Student Affairs & Diversity Initiatives)

The above policy does not apply to facilities services personnel as maintenance requests are considered as permission to enter.

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Confiscation Policy

When prohibited items are encountered or discovered by college officials, are subject to confiscation. College personnel, including Safety and Security Officers and Residence Life professional staff members, have the authority to confiscate prohibited items.

Items confiscated for health, fire, or safety reasons may be returned to the owner at the end of the term (or earlier by arrangement with the Residence Director or Department of Safety and Security) provided that the item is removed from campus immediately and not returned to the premises. Illegal items (such as controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, and weapons) will not be returned. In addition, any alcohol or alcohol paraphernalia confiscated will be disposed of at the time of the incident.

Any confiscated item not claimed by the owner by the end of the academic year in which the item was seized will be disposed of without notification. When possible and appropriate, unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity.

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Disruptive Behavior Intervention and Response Policy

When, in the judgment of the College, an individual’s behavior is disruptive to the educational and living environment that the College seeks to maintain, that student may be required to undergo psychological and/or medical evaluation and/or a hearing for mandatory withdrawal from the College.

Mandatory psychological and/or medical evaluation and withdrawal will be considered in cases where a student’s behavior creates a threat of danger to self, others, or property, or disruption of the educational process and mission of the College. In such situations, the Assistant Dean of Student and Residential Life will meet with the student whose behavior is the cause for concern to discuss the concern and determine if additional assessment by qualified professionals is appropriate. The Assistant Dean will rely on available information and evidence in assessing an individual student’s situation, and will consult with appropriate professional staff at the College in making such determinations. The College will make every effort to work with the student involved, but reserves the right to contact the student’s parents/legal guardians, spouse, partner, and/or emergency contact person on record.

When, in the judgment of the Assistant Dean or the Assistant Dean’s designee, a direct or imminent threat of harm exists based on statements made or behaviors exhibited by the student, the Assistant Dean or the Assistant Dean’s designee may take an interim action prior to meeting with the student. The College may remove a student from the Residence Halls or from attending classes or from the campus on a temporary basis, pending the outcome of an evaluation and/or hearing for a mandatory withdrawal if the student presents a risk to self, others, or property. If there is an interim suspension, the student involved will receive notification in writing of the hearing procedures, within five calendar days of the suspension. This notification will include the timeframe within which the psychological and/or medical evaluation and/or hearing will occur.

If a student engages in suicidal behavior, the College will arrange emergency transportation for the student to an appropriate medical facility, and the Assistant Dean or the Assistant Dean’s designee will place the student on a leave of absence from the College, effective immediately, pending the outcome of an evaluation by a licensed mental health professional.

Violation(s) of the College’s Code of Conduct will be referred through the College’s Student Conduct System.

Procedures For Mandatory Evaluation

A student who is required to undergo evaluation by a licensed mental health counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician will be notified in writing by the Assistant Dean of Student and Residential Life either by personal delivery or certified letter. This letter may confirm a verbal directive previously given to the student by the Assistant Dean. A licensed, independent evaluator must conduct the evaluation. Within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter, the student must inform the Assistant Dean, in writing, of the name and address of the evaluator. The Assistant Dean will provide the evaluator with information regarding precipitating events and issues that need to be addressed through the evaluation. The student must undergo the evaluation as soon as possible, and no later than ten calendar days from the date of the letter informing the student of the mandatory evaluation. The evaluator must forward to the Coordinator of Mental Health Services a completed report, which the student may review with the Coordinator of Mental Health Services or the Director of the Health & Wellness Center, as appropriate.

The student must sign appropriate releases authorizing the evaluator and staff of the Health & Wellness Center to discuss and share appropriate information from the evaluation. In addition, the student must provide appropriate authorization for the staff of the Health & Wellness Center to share relevant information with those College staff involved in making decisions about the student’s status at the College.

If a student refuses to undergo a mandatory evaluation or fails to provide the appropriate authorizations for sharing of information needed to make decisions about the student’s status at the College, the Assistant Dean may automatically withdraw the student from the College without a hearing.

The Assistant Dean will notify a student, in writing, if he/she is required to undergo a mandatory withdrawal hearing after completing an evaluation. The hearing will take place within seven calendar days of the date of this letter of notification. This letter will describe the procedure that the College will follow in conducting the hearing. The hearing is informal and non-student conduct in nature.

If a student fails to attend the hearing for any reason, the hearing will take place in the student’s absence.

A student may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives any decisions made by the Assistant Dean with respect to disruptive behavior as described in this policy. The appeal must be submitted within five calendar days of the decision; the appeal may be submitted via SJFC email account. The student must state the basis for the appeal in the appeal letter. The student must file his/her appeal; other persons or organizations may not file appeals on behalf of the student.

If the Vice President judges the appeal to have merit, the Vice President may, at his discretion, meet with the student and/or the persons involved in the decision-making process, as part of the appeal process. The Vice President’s decision is final.

The information provided to the College under this policy will be treated as confidential by the medical and mental health staff of the College. Specific information will be shared by that staff with other members of the College staff when appropriate to assist in making decisions related to the student’s status at the College.

Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to a student results.

At any point in the process, the student may voluntarily withdraw from the College and/or the Residence Halls.

When a student voluntarily withdraws or is involuntarily withdrawn from the College through this policy, the College will follow published deadlines related to academic and financial withdrawal from the College. Students may file written appeals with the Academic Standing Committee and/or the special Refund Committee to request exceptions to the published deadlines for academic and financial withdrawal from the College.

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Discrimination & Discriminatory Harassment

Physical, psychological, or verbal harassment or discrimination and Hate Crimes are prohibited at St. John Fisher College.

Refer to the entire Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, and Hate Crimes policy for more information.

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Good Samaritan Policy

St. John Fisher College is committed to the safety, welfare and health of all students. Students are encouraged to make responsible choices for themselves and for other community members.

In cases of an emergency involving intoxication, alcohol poisoning, or drug-related medical issues, St. John Fisher College encourages students to seek medical assistance for themselves and/or others.

Contacting emergency personnel in these situations will fall under the SJFC Good Samaritan Policy.

This includes:

  • An individual student voluntarily contacts emergency medical assistance for themselves related to alcohol or drug use.
  • An individual student voluntarily contacts emergency medical assistance on behalf of another person related to alcohol or drug use.

In all cases in which the SJFC Good Samaritan Policy applies, all students involved in an incident, including the good samaritan(s) who made the contact and the student(s) experiencing the emergency, will meet with Student Conduct Coordinator. At the meeting, the incident will be reviewed and an appropriate response determined. This may include the following:

  • Mandated counseling session(s)
  • Substance abuse education and/or evaluation
  • Participation in an education group or class
  • Educational assignment(s)

The students involved will not receive formal student conduct action, regardless of conduct history, provided the student completes all meetings and conditions. If a student fails to attend their scheduled meeting or fails to complete the required outcomes of the meeting they will be referred to the Student Conduct Process for Failure to Comply.

The St. John Fisher College Good Samaritan Policy does not excuse or protect students who repeatedly violate the College’s Code of Conduct and its use will be limited in the number of times any one student can report endangering behavior before being subject to the Student Conduct Process. The Department of Safety and Security and the Residential Life Staff is expected to follow its processes and procedures for any situation whether or not the SJFC Good Samaritan policy may be applicable to the situation.

The Good Samaritan Policy does not apply to students experiencing alcohol or drug related emergencies that are found by a College Official.

When a student's role is that of an alleged respondent in any alleged violation(s) of the St. John Fisher College Code of Conduct concerning sexual misconduct, physical abuse or harassment, distribution of controlled substances, or property damage, the situation does not fall under the SJFC Good Samaritan Policy.

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Hazing

The College believes that any group or organization (composed of students, faculty, staff, and/or visitors) has the responsibility to create an environment within which all activities are pursued in a respectful and productive manner.

All St. John Fisher College students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests are expected to comply with federal, state, or local laws. New York State Penal Law defines hazing as follows: “A person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when, in the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he or she intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes such injury” (New York Penal Law, 120.16). A conviction of this offense carries a potential fine of up to $1,000, one year in jail, or both. Hazing in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor. Hazing in the second degree (a violation) incorporates the same definition as above with the exception that no actual injury to any person needs to be proven (New York Penal Law, 120.17).

The College defines hazing as any action or situation which, in the judgment of the College:

  • is an activity expected of someone as a method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or group;
  • coerces, explicitly or implicitly, behavior that demeans, embarrasses, threatens, invites ridicule, or draws inappropriate or negative attention to a member, affiliate and/or group; or
  • implies one member/affiliate is superior to another.

This definition includes actions which result in the impairment of academic performance, or which cause failure to properly fulfill obligations to college-sponsored groups or organizations.

In compliance with New York State’s anti-hazing legislation, Chapter 676 of the Laws of 1980, the following regulations are in effect:

  1. Students, faculty, and staff, as well as visitors and other licensees and invitees on St. John Fisher College property, are prohibited from any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health, or involves the forced consumption of any substance including, food, liquids, alcohol or drugs for the purpose of initiation into, or affiliation with, any organization.
  2. These regulations shall be deemed to be a part of the bylaws of all organizations operating on the campus, which shall review annually such bylaws with individuals affiliated with such organizations.
  3. Violation of these regulations will result in, sanctions as appropriate to the individual’s status on campus and, in the case of an organization that authorizes such conduct, rescission of permission for that organization to operate on campus property.
  4. Individuals or organizations in violation of these regulations may be subject to any applicable provision of the Penal Law, or any other chapter to which a violator or organization may be subject, in addition to any College student conduct proceedings. Any faculty or staff member of the College who becomes aware of hazing activity must report that information promptly to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives or the Department of Safety and Security. Failure to do so will result in appropriate student administrative action against the faculty or staff member by the College.

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Interim Action/Interim Suspension

Any time following the submission of an incident report, verbal or written, the Assistant Dean of Student and Residential Life or her designee may modify or suspend the ability of a student to be present on campus or on a specific part of campus, or to attend classes for an interim period prior to resolution of the student conduct proceeding, including any appeal. The decision will be based on whether the allegation of misconduct is apparently reliable and whether the continued presence of the student on the College campus reasonably poses a threat to the physical or emotional condition and well-being of any individual, including the student, for reasons relating to the safety and welfare of any person, College property, or any College function. The interim decision will be communicated in writing to the student, and will become effective immediately. Notification will either be hand-delivered or sent by certified mail. Failure or refusal to take receipt of notification will not negate or postpone said action.

A student who receives an interim action will be provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations of misconduct through the Student Conduct Process and a hearing will be scheduled as soon as is practical.

The interim action will remain in effect until a final decision has been made on the pending complaint or until the Assistant Dean or her designee determines that the reason for imposing the interim action no longer exists and the student receives written notice that the interim action is no longer applicable.

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Intimidation

Intimidation includes intentionally directing verbal, written or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior(s) toward another person or group that reasonably leads the targeted person(s) to fear for his/her physical well-being. Intimidation also includes fear inducing behavior(s) that deter or prevent the targeted person(s) from taking legitimate actions that he/she may otherwise take.

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Missing Persons

When students or other persons are believed to be missing, it should be reported without delay to the Department of Safety and Security.

Upon receiving a report of a missing person the Department of Safety and Security will conduct a thorough and timely investigation to determine the whereabouts of the person. A person will be considered missing if the person has not been seen by a roommate, classmate or faculty/staff member in a reasonable amount of time, as to suggest that the absence is cause for concern. If any community member is determined to be missing, the officer will contact and coordinate the investigation with local law enforcement.

Students are encouraged to register a confidential person who will be contacted in the event they are reported missing. Additionally, if the student is under 18 years of age, the parents/guardians of the student will be notified. Confidential contact persons can be registered on Fish 'R' Net under the student menu.

As part of the investigation into a missing person, parent(s), guardian(s), and other known persons may be contacted.

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Persona Non Grata

Persons whose behavior violates the policies or standards of the College may be declared persona non grata (PNG) and may be prohibited from accessing designated areas of the campus at the discretion of the appropriate College administrator or administrative body. A student can be declared PNG on an interim basis pending a student conduct, academic, or other administrative hearing or PNG status may be applied for a designated time period as a student conduct sanction as the result of a Student Conduct Hearing.

When a person is declared persona non grata, he/she will receive written notification from the College informing them of their PNG status. In addition, if the person is or has been a student, the Registrar’s Office may place a discipline-related “hold flag” on the records of students who have been declared PNG and prohibited from campus as appropriate.

Generally, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives, or his designee, will assign PNG status to students. The Director of Safety and Security can declare non-members of the campus community PNG, at his or her discretion. The Provost may assign PNG status to faculty or staff of the College at his or her discretion.

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Probationary Status Review

In the case where a student receives a sanction of disciplinary probation that is at least 2 consecutive years, he/she may petition to change his/her probationary status after 18 months, resulting in a shortened period of disciplinary probation.

Process

  1. The student must submit the following information to the Assistant Dean for Student and Residential Life along with a letter requesting a change his/her probationary status.
    • A personal statement outlining both positive contributions the student has made to the Fisher community and personal growth
    • Two (2) reference letters from on-campus constituents attesting to positive behavior and growth
    • A copy of an un-official transcript
    • A letter of support from the student’s current Residence Director (as applicable)
  2. At the Assistant Dean’s discretion, a committee made up of students and faculty/staff members will meet with the student regarding his/her probationary status. After discussing the information provided by the student, as well as asking questions of the student, the committee will make a determination to end or continue a student’s probationary status. The committee is specifically charged with evaluating a student’s personal growth and commitment to positive behavior over an extended period of time at St. John Fisher College.

Any change in probationary status does not erase the student’s conduct history; it modifies the student’s current conduct status at the College.

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Public Order on Campus

As members of the College community, Fisher students are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of College policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. Expression of personal beliefs and supporting causes may not disrupt or interfere with the regular and essential operation of the College. In the development of policies that will govern St. John Fisher College, the College will promote means that encourage the civil presentation and consideration of views by students, faculty, administration, alumni, parents of students, and interested friends in the Greater Rochester Area.

If members of the College community engage in behavior, individually or collectively, that disrupts the educational process and denies others the intellectual environment that the College seeks to provide, the responsible officers of the College are charged with taking action to restore order and calm.

Members of the College community and all persons present on College premises shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which does not disrupt the community, infringe upon the rights of others, or prejudice the maintenance of public order.

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Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct in any setting is prohibited at St. John Fisher College. For the purposes of this policy, sexual misconduct includes sex discrimination, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.

Refer to the entire Sexual Misconduct policy for more information.

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Weapons

In accordance with state law, firearms, ammunition, and weapons are prohibited on the St. John Fisher College campus. Firearms of any type (including B-B, paintball, and pellet guns), switchblades, gravity knives, bows, crossbows, swords and the like are not permitted on campus at any time. Any items that may be mistaken for actual weapons are prohibited. These weapons, if found on campus, may be confiscated and turned over to local law enforcement authorities.

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