Student Code of Conduct

Vermont Technical College’s Student Handbook exists both to protect the rights of all students and to hold students responsible for actions that negatively impact the College and its community. All students are expected to be familiar with their rights and responsibilities as set forth below.

Vermont Technical College (VTC or College) is one of the member institutions of the Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS). Any reference to the policies and procedures of Vermont Technical College incorporates the policies and procedures of the Vermont State Colleges System as well.

A. Rights and Responsibilities

Vermont Technical College is an academic community in which all students, faculty, administrators, and staff have a shared responsibility for the community’s growth and well-being. Students may exercise their rights, as determined by state and federal law, without interference by the College. As members of the community, students can reasonably expect that the College and its associated offices, programs, employees, and organizations will respect their rights.

In return, the College reasonably expects students to be responsible for knowing and complying with all VTC policies, including any modifications to such policies. VTC may amend its policies at any time and for any reason without notice.  Reasonable efforts will be made to post amended policies promptly on the College website. Students are expected to be familiar with applicable policies and any modifications.

All members of the Vermont Technical College community are prohibited from violating VTC’s policies, including, but not limited to:

  • VTC’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy (see here)
  • VSC Policy 502: Computing and Telecommunications Technology Conditions of Use Policy (see here)
  • VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct and the Chancellor’s Implementing Procedures for Policy 311 (see here)
  • VSC Policy 311-A: Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking and the Chancellor’s Implementing Procedures for Policy 311-A (see here)
  • VTC Residence Hall Policies (see here)

Questions regarding policies should be referred to the office responsible for implementing and enforcing the policies.

Jason Enser
Dean of Student Affairs
Morey Hall, Randolph Center, VT 05061
jenser@vtc.edu
(802) 728-1434

Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz, Policy 311/Title IX Coordinator
Associate Dean of Outreach and Support
MJuskiew@vtc.vsc.edu
(802) 728-1673

Kellie Campbell
Chief Technology Officer
Morill Hall, Randolph Center, VT 05061
Kellie.Campbell@vtc.edu
(802) 728-1511

Emile Fredette
Director of Public Safety
Admin Building, Randolph Center, VT 05061
EFredette@vtc.vsc.edu
(802) 728-1292

A listing of all College policies may be found on the Portal by going to the VTC Administration section under the My Vermont Tech menu or here.

A listing of the Vermont State Colleges System’s Student Affairs policies may be viewed here

Additional information about Policy 311 and Policy 311-A, including resources, FAQs, copies of policies and procedures, and information on how to file a report may be found at RESOLVE.

1. Freedom of Expression

The College considers freedom of inquiry and discussion to be part of a student's educational development. The College recognizes the right of its students to engage in discussions, to exchange thoughts and opinions, and to speak, write, or publish on any subject, in accordance with the guarantees of the United States and Vermont Constitutions, as well as applicable state and federal law.

However, there are recognized constitutional limits on freedom of expression, including, but not limited to: defamation (libel and slander), fighting words, true threats, inciting an imminent lawless action, and certain forms of obscenity. Furthermore, material disruption to the College’s operations and educational mission is not acceptable. The College may place reasonable limits on the time, place and manner in which expressive conduct may occur. (Posting policy)

VSC Policy 311 (Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment) provides that:

The VSC recognizes that the protection of free and open speech and the open exchange of ideas are essential to any academic or artistic community, and crucial for the activity of scholars and artists. The VSC also recognizes its obligation under policy and collective bargaining agreements to respect the academic freedom of faculty members.  This Policy is meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussions, in or out of the classroom, of complex, controversial, or sensitive matters, including race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, genetic information, or HIV-positive status, when in the judgment of a reasonable person such discussions arise appropriately and with respect for the dignity of others.  The VSC is a community of learners and as such recognizes and affirms that free, honest intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to the academic mission of the VSC and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial.

The VSC also recognizes, however, that verbal conduct can be used specifically to intimidate or coerce and to inhibit genuine discourse, free inquiry, and learning. Such abuses are unacceptable. If someone believes that another's speech or writing is offensive, wrong, or hurtful, he or she is encouraged to express that judgment in the exercise of his or her own freedom of speech or to seek redress when appropriate.

Students are expected to be familiar with and comply with VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct (see here) and VSC Policy 502: Computing and Telecommunications Technology Conditions of Use Policy (see here).

2. Assembly and Protest

Students have the right to assemble in an orderly manner and engage in peaceful protest, demonstration, or picketing that does not disrupt the normal operations of the College, threaten the health or safety of any person, damage or destroy property, interfere with traffic on public streets, or otherwise violate VTC’s policies and procedures.

3. Religion and Association

Students have the right to observe their religious beliefs and to associate with religious, political, or other organizations of their choice in College facilities, provided they do so in a way that respects the rights of other members of the community and complies with the Student Code of Conduct, and VTC’s policies and procedures.  Students seeking religious accommodations should contact the Student Affairs Office.

4. Privacy, Search and Seizure

Students have a right to privacy and to be free from unreasonable searches or unlawful arrest on campus property, including in the residence halls on the Randolph Center and Williston campuses. Students also have a responsibility to respect the privacy of other members of the College community in their persons and in their places of residence.

However, College property is not a safe haven for unlawful activity. The College housing contract contains a provision whereby students provide consent to having their rooms searched. If College authorities have reason to suspect a violation of College policy or state or federal law, they have the right to investigate, including entry into rooms in the residence halls, without prior notice or specific consent, and to search for and confiscate evidence of any violation. This includes searching in closed spaces, such as wardrobes, closets, desks, drawers, refrigerators, bags, boxes, knapsacks, etc. Items that may be confiscated include, but are not limited to, alcoholic beverages and empty containers, controlled substances without a prescription, drug paraphernalia, weapons, stolen property, or other items the possession of which violates College policies, state or federal law.

Entry into a room may be prompted by suspicious odors or disruptive behavior. In addition, room entry may occur for the purposes of responding to housekeeping or maintenance requests or to concerns for the health, welfare, or safety of any occupant or College property. 
The College may also conduct periodic health and safety inspections of all residential rooms, for which advance notice will be given. The purpose of these inspections is to maintain a safe living environment for all residents. If violations of any College policies or state or federal laws are discovered during such inspections, those found responsible may be sanctioned.

5. Information Technology

Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy when using the College computer network. The network is the property of the Vermont State Colleges and any violation of VSC Policy 502: Computing and Telecommunications Technology Conditions of Use Policy (see here) is prohibited. College officials will not access student email accounts or other network locations without probable cause but, if it is brought to the College’s attention that the network is being used in violation of the acceptable use policy or in violation of other College policies, state or federal law, appropriate action will be taken. The College does not actively monitor social media postings but if it is brought to the College’s attention that inappropriate or illegal activity is taking place online, such activity may be investigated.

As part of our commitment to offer a safe educational environment, VTC prohibits cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that takes place using electronic technology. The term “electronic technology” includes devices and equipment such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets, as well as electronic communications, such as social media sites, text messages, chat rooms, and websites. Cyber-bullying is considered a form of harassment and will be treated as such under the Code of Conduct and related College policies.

B. Student Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct applies principally to conduct that occurs on College-owned, leased or controlled property, at College-related activities, programs or events, or on College-sponsored trips, as well as inappropriate or unsafe behavior in clinical settings related to College educational programs. Off-campus conduct may also subject a student to disciplinary or other appropriate administrative action where it is reasonably perceived to pose an imminent threat of harm or safety of the student or others or reflects on a student’s fitness to continue in the academic program in which she or he is enrolled, or is perceived to have an adverse effect on College/community relations. This includes violation of state, federal, or local law.

VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct and VSC Policy 311-A: Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking cover conduct that takes place on College property, as well as conduct that takes place off campus, or through the use of online, electronic or digital technologies, that may have a nexus to any College education program or activity, for example by creating a hostile environment on campus or representing a threat to the safety of members of the College community or the continuance of normal College operations.  See here.

The College may work with law enforcement agencies, to the extent permitted by law, and it reserves the right to discipline students charged or convicted of criminal activity.

Impairment due to the consumption of alcohol or other drugs or ignorance of the Code of Conduct or other College policies shall not be a defense to a finding of responsibility.

Although every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information contained in this Student Handbook, laws, rules and policies do change from time to time. This may be due to legislative action, judicial decisions, new and revised regulations at the state and federal level, as well as the adoption of new or revised policies by the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges System, the Office of the Chancellor, or by the President or President’s designees.  Such changes may alter the information contained in this publication. If there is a conflict between the information in this Handbook and a subsequently amended policy, law or rule, the subsequently amended policy, law or rule will control.

Students have the opportunity to participate in the formulation of policy directly affecting students through membership on appropriate committees as determined by the President or other recognized groups within the College.

1. Definitions in the Code of Conduct

All students are subject to the Code of Conduct, in addition to being responsible for complying with all other College policies. The term "student" refers to all persons taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time; pursuing undergraduate, certificate, or professional studies; persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Conduct Code; persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College; persons who have been notified of their acceptance for admission; or persons who are living in College residence halls or apartments, although not enrolled at VTC. 

The term “student” also includes Vermont Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) students. The College reserves the right to notify a VAST student’s home high school of any charges against and/or disciplinary action taken against a VAST student.

The term “behavior” encompasses words (written and spoken) and actions.

The term "member of the College community” includes Vermont State College system trustees, academic, nonacademic and administrative staff, students and other persons on College property or at a College function.

Students who are believed to have assisted others in violating any provision of the Code of Conduct may be charged with violating the Code to the same extent as those persons committing a violation. Attempts to violate this Code, including unsuccessful attempts, are prohibited and shall be treated the same as actual violations.

2. Grounds for Discipline

Disciplinary measures may be taken for the following enumerated reasons. However, the following list does not cover every possible circumstance in which disciplinary action may be taken. In general, any act that violates College policies, impermissibly infringes upon the rights of others, or significantly disrupts the normal operation of the College may result in discipline.

  1. Disorderly, lewd, indecent conduct or expression.
  2. Obstruction or disruption of any College activities (both in and outside of the classroom) or insult of any person authorized or assigned to address student groups.
  3. Aggressive physical contact and/or physical abuse of any person; or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of others.
  4. Presence on campus under the influence of alcohol (for those under 21) or other illegal drugs. For more information on the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, see T313: Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.
  5. Indecent exposure; elimination of bodily fluids or waste other than in designated receptacles.
  6. Expression that is not protected by the First Amendment, including but not limited to, defamation (libel and slander), obscenity, and fighting words.
  7. Illegal gambling. (Gambling may be permitted in limited circumstances and only with prior College approval as a fund-raising activity for charitable causes.)
  8. Harassment of any person, including harassing electronic communication (texts, emails, Facebook posts etc.) and other forms of cyber-bullying. 
  9. Harassment on the basis of a protected category, including, but not limited to, gender, sexual orientation, race, citizenship, religion. For more information, see here, VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct and the Chancellor's Implementing Procedures for Policy 311.
  10. Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking. For more information, see here, VSC Policy 311-A.
  11. Threats or actual nonphysical abuse.
  12. Psychological abuse or abusive behavior through verbal or written statements
  13. Hazing, including recklessly or intentionally endangering another person’s mental or physical health or forcing consumption of alcohol or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with a group. For more information see here, VSC Policy 313: Hazing.
  14. Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on-campus at other than approved events or under approved conditions. For more information, see VTC 313: Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.
  15. Sale, possession, exchange, or use of narcotics or illegal drugs in any form.
  16. Violation of VSC Policy 314:  Tobacco Use Reduction and Prevention. For more information, see here.
  17. Theft of, or damage to, College or personal property.
  18. Skateboarding, Rollerblading, Bicycling, or using Hoverboards in buildings or other undesignated areas.
  19. Possession of firearms or any other weapon on-campus and at College sponsored events. This includes but is not limited to: firearms, pellet guns, air pistols, air rifles, tasers, knives, black jacks, metal knuckles, fireworks, explosives, bows or arrows, crossbows, slingshots, throwing stars, swords, biological and chemical agents and chemicals such as Mace and/or tear gas. Replicas and facsimiles of weapons are also prohibited. Hunting weapons may be permitted during the appropriate hunting season but all weapons must be registered and stored with Public Safety. Weapons cannot be stored in vehicle, residence hall rooms or anywhere else on campus. Please see VTC Policy 610: Possession of Weapons for more information.
  20. Trespassing in any form (including but not limited to the fact that the College does not allow windows to be used as a point of entrance to or exit from a building, except in an emergency).
  21. Dishonesty, such as cheating or plagiarism. For more information, see VTC Policy 107: Cheating and Plagiarism.
  22. Falsifying information to the College, such as forgery, alterations or intentional misuse of College documents, records, or identification. For more information, see VTC Policy 107: Cheating and Plagiarism.
  23. Failure to comply with directions given by College employees, including resident assistants, acting in the performance of their duties.
  24. Breach of peace on college property or at College-sponsored events.
  25. Willfully inciting others to commit any of the acts herein prohibited.
  26. Reckless, inappropriate or negligent behavior during an off-campus, College-sponsored activity or course.
  27. The act or threat of retaliation, intimidation, or coercion toward another individual for participating in a College process or procedure.

3. Student Conduct Procedures

Students accused of violating the Code of Conduct or other College policies will be provided with written notice describing their alleged offense(s), as well as the date and time of a hearing at which they will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations and provide their side of the story. Students will be given a fair opportunity to present a response to the allegations at the hearing. Students will be notified of the hearing officer’s decision and will have the opportunity to appeal any decision finding responsibility and the sanctions imposed.
The hearing officer assigned to hear a case will have five (5) business days, after the incident is reported, to contact the individual charged. Business days do not include College breaks.
The College’s disciplinary process is not equivalent to a criminal prosecution. The College uses the “preponderance of evidence” standard and, accordingly, must determine whether it is “more likely than not” that the violation occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the student will be found responsible.

NOTE: The investigatory and adjudicatory process for alleged violations of VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct is set forth at Chancellor's Implementing Procedures for Policy 311.  Similarly, the adjudicatory process for alleged violations of VSC Policy 311-A; Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking are set forth at Chancellor's Implementing Procedures for Policy 311-A.  An overview of the investigatory procedures for Policy 311 and Policy 311-A can be found here. See generally RESOLVE website for the most recent information on Policy 311 and Policy 311-A.

Email Correspondence.  College email is considered the official avenue for all written correspondence relating to student conduct. Students are responsible for checking their College email accounts regularly and responding to messages in a timely manner.

Student's Rights and Responsibilities in Disciplinary Proceedings

Each student has the right to tell his or her side of an incident before a sanctioning decision is made, unless the student resists all reasonable and good-faith efforts of the College to obtain the student’s participation in the disciplinary process.
In those circumstances where a student presents an imminent threat to the health or safety of the student or others, a student may be placed on interim suspension from the residence halls or College pending a hearing. Such decision will normally be made by the Dean of Student Affairs, or his/her designee, in consultation with appropriate college officials.  In such cases, the hearing will be held as soon as reasonably possible.

When confronted about a potential policy violation, students are encouraged to respond politely, provide identification promptly upon request, and comply with the directions of the College officials involved. Failure to cooperate in an investigation into an alleged Code of Conduct or policy violation may be taken into consideration during sanctioning.

Students are expected to respond promptly to any request to meet with or provide information to a College official. Failure to comply with a direction from a college official, or providing false information in connection with an investigation, may result in a fine of $25 per occurrence. Failure to appear at any disciplinary hearing may result in a fine of $25.

Sanctions

Students found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct or other College policies may be subject to the imposition of sanctions. Nursing students should see the Nursing and Allied Health Student Policies & Procedures as additional sanctions may apply (see here). The College generally applies progressive discipline, whereby a student’s past disciplinary history and the severity of any violation is taken into consideration in determining the appropriate sanction(s).

Once a student has been found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct or other College policy, the hearing officer may consider both mitigating and aggravating circumstances in deciding on the appropriate sanction. The following factors may be considered. This is not an exhaustive list and consideration may be given to other factors appropriate to the particular circumstances.

  • Prior offenses.
  • The nature and severity of the offense and any resulting damage or injury.
  • The student‘s honesty, or lack of thereof, and level of cooperation with College officials during the investigation of the incident and the disciplinary process.
  • Potential threat posed to the campus community.

Disciplinary Sanctions in Order of Severity

Sanctions can be assigned individually or in combination, as appropriate. Disciplinary sanctions are cumulative and remain on a student’s records throughout their attendance at Vermont Tech.

  1. Verbal Warning: A formal warning of the consequences of continuing a behavior. No other specific action is taken unless further misconduct occurs.
  2. Written Warning: An official written notification that a student‘s behavior has violated College policies, including expectations for future behavior. Further misconduct may be treated with more serious sanctions.
  3. Educational Sanctions: Educational sanctions may include, but are not limited to: a formal apology, in writing and/or in person; mandatory counseling; a public presentation; reading books; watching videos; or a reflective essay or research paper on a designated topic.
  4. Fines: Financial compensation for damage caused or for violations of College policies, including the Code of Conduct.  Fines are payable to “Vermont Technical College.”  Damage fines pay to replace or repair the damage. Administrative fines are used to fund student-related programs and activities. See below for a list of fines.
  5. Monetary Restitution: When appropriate, a student may be required to pay restitution for damages or other expenses incurred as a result of the student‘s actions. Monetary restitution may be required to the College, a specific department, or an individual.
  6. Community Restitution: Sanctions may require performance of a specified number of community restitution hours. This sanction may be fulfilled either on or off campus. In some cases, the College may require the student to perform Community Restitution hours with a specific program or in a specific place, as a type of Educational Sanction.
  7. Mandated Assessment: Student may be required to participate in an assessment (typically with a counselor) to help determine the student’s ability to remain in school, and/or any special conditions that may be placed on his/her continued attendance
  8. Restriction: Denial of access to classrooms, residence halls, computer labs, campus activities, and/or the elimination of other privileges.
  9. Residence Hall Probation: An indication that a student is no longer in good standing in the residence hall community. Further violations may result in immediate loss of eligibility to live in or visit the residence halls. Probationary status is issued for a stated period of time and may include specific restrictions on the student (educational sanctions, fines, etc.) 
  10. Disciplinary Probation: If a student on disciplinary probation commits additional violations within the probationary period, the student may be subjected to more severe sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College. Probationary status is typically issued for a stated period of time and may include specific restrictions on the student (educational sanctions, fines, etc.) 
  11. Suspension from the Residence Halls: A student may be prohibited from residing in or visiting any College residence hall on either a temporary or a permanent basis. The student may reapply for housing to the Dean of Student Affairs after the stated period of suspension. Specific restrictions on access to residence halls during the period of suspension may be invoked. Suspension includes forfeiture of any fee rebate for the remainder of the housing contract.
  12. Disciplinary Suspension from the College: Suspension separates the student from the College for a specified period of time. While under disciplinary suspension, students are prohibited from entering the College grounds or buildings or attending any classes or College-sponsored events of any kind. The student may not register and/or enroll until the stated period of suspension is completed, and all other requirements are met. Suspended students will receive no refund of tuition, room, board or other fees as a result of their suspension.
  13. Disciplinary Dismissal: Dismissal separates the student from the College. Dismissed students will receive no refund of tuition, room, board, or other fees. Dismissal is also noted on a student‘s transcript. If dismissed, a student may not return for two years, and only then upon formal appeal, and after meeting with the Dean of Student Affairs.
  14. Expulsion: Student is permanently dismissed from the College and may not re-enroll.

The College official who assigns any sanction that requires specific action(s) to be taken by the student will follow up to ensure completion. Non-compliance will result in a hold being placed on the student's records, including those of graduating seniors, until the requirements are satisfied. In extreme cases, this may result in suspension/expulsion.

Fines: This is a list of standard fines for typical violations of the College Code of Conduct. In addition to the fines set forth below, students may also be charged for damages, repair costs or other costs, such as recharging of fire extinguishers.  Fines may also be combined with other sanctions as listed above.

Offense 1st Offense 2nd & subsequent offences
Failure to comply with a college official $25 (same)
Providing false information $25 (same)
Failure to appear at a disciplinary hearing $25 (same)
Failure to complete assigned community service $10/per missed  hour (same)
Assault, physical or nonphysical abuse $100 $150
Possession of fireworks $50 (same)
Possession or use of an incendiary, chemical, or explosive device $100 $200
Unauthorized possession of a weapon $100 $200
Disconnecting a smoke alarm $75 $150
Misuse of/tampering with fire safety equipment $250 $500
Failure to exit a building during a fire alarm $25 (same)
Possession/use of prohibited appliances $25 $50
Propping of fire/emergency exit doors $250 (same)
Guest policy violation $25 $50
Restroom violation $25 (same)
Possession/use of flammable items in residence hall $25 $50
Smoking violation $25 $50
Entering/exiting a building through a window $50 (same)
Prank telephone calls $25 (same)
Reckless skateboard/bicycle use $25 (same)
Pet policy violation $50/per day (same)
Hall sports $25 (same)
Noise policy violation $50/per day (same)
Alcohol policy violation see below see below
Supplying alcohol to a minor see below see below
Misrepresentation of age by a minor $100 (same)
Drug policy violation $75 $150 for 2nd; $300 for 3rd
Improper use of ID card $50 (same)

Confiscated Items

Any items, such as weapons or prohibited appliances, confiscated by Residence Life or Public Safety may be claimed by the student at the end of the semester, unless an exception is granted by the College official who confiscated it. It is the student’s responsibility to claim the item. Items that are illegal to possess in the State of Vermont will not be returned.

4. Fines and Penalties for Alcohol Offenses

The following are typical sanctions for alcohol policy violations. The College can, at its discretion, report offenders to the Liquor Control Board or State Police. The College may also increase or lessen these sanctions based on aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
During disciplinary proceedings, empty alcohol containers are counted the same as full or partially-empty containers. This includes cans and bottles collected for return to a redemption center.

Failure to comply with sanctions may result in a suspension/dismissal hearing. The nature of the offense and sanctions will be delivered in writing to the student and fines will noted on a student's bill as an alcohol violation. Students may be responsible for the costs of individual meetings with the substance abuse counselor. Community service must be completed within the specified time and, as noted above, additional penalties may be imposed for failing to do so.

First Offense: Fine of $75; five hours of community service; parental notification; mandatory alcohol awareness course. A first offense which requires medical transport and/or law enforcement response may be elevated to a second offense at the discretion of the hearing officer.

 

Second Offense: Fine of $150; ten to fifteen hours of community service; individual session with a licensed counselor, whose recommendations must be followed; parental notification; disciplinary probation.

 

Third Offense: Fine of $300; minimum of fifteen hours community service; individual session with substance abuse counselor, whose recommendations must be followed; parental notification; disciplinary probation, possible housing suspension or expulsion from the College.

Supplying Alcohol to Minors

Counts as a second offense, with the following additional disciplinary action: notification to the State Liquor Inspector; possible criminal prosecution; additional fines of $100 for the host and $50 per guest.

5. Appeals

Advisors

During the appeal process, students may have an advisor of their choosing present at any hearing or meeting. Advisors may advise the student privately during hearings and/or meetings and students may request a brief recess to consult with their advisor. However, advisors cannot participate as speaking advocates at any hearings or meetings and may not ask questions directly of anyone, attempt to present evidence, or speak on behalf of the student.  A presiding officer may ask any advisor who fails to comply with these instructions to leave the meeting or hearing.

Grounds for Appeal

A student may appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. Procedural error where the error prevented fundamental fairness.
  2. Discovery of previously unavailable evidence that could significantly impact the outcome of the case.
  3. The determination is arbitrary and capricious.
  4. The sanction is substantially disproportionate to the findings.

Appeal process

  • Appeals must be submitted, in writing, to the Dean of Student Affairs.
  • Appeals must be submitted within two business days of receiving the sanction.
  • Appeals not based on the above-listed grounds for appeal will be denied.

Appeals will typically be heard by the Dean of Student Affairs or his/her Designee, except for those matters involving appeals of suspensions or dismissals.

College Disciplinary Board

Appeals of a suspension or dismissal (whether academic or disciplinary in nature) will be heard by a College Disciplinary Board (Board).

  • The College Disciplinary Board is a five-member board, composed of two full-time faculty or staff members, two students, and one administrator. The Board will select one of its members to act as its spokesperson.
  • The Board has access to all student records and material related to the appeal.
  • Board members with a potential conflict of interest are expected to recuse themselves.
  • The Dean of Student Affairs, or the Dean’s designee, will preside over the hearing as a non-voting member of the Board.

The College Disciplinary Board process is as follows:

  1. The Chairperson of the Review Board shall preside at the hearing as a non-voting member.  The hearing does not follow trial court procedure.
  2. The student has the following rights:
    • to present his/her side of the story;
    • to present relevant witnesses and evidence on his/her behalf (character references are generally not considered relevant);
    • to examine witnesses and the evidence against the student; and
    • to exercise his/her right against self-incrimination.
  3. A transcript will be made of the proceedings, which will be retained in the Student Affairs Office.
  4. The student will have an opportunity to question witnesses who appear against him/her at the hearing.
  5. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the evidence against him/her, including written statements and oral testimony.
  6. The student shall have the right to invite witnesses to support his or her position.
  7. The student must appeal the suspension or dismissal to the Dean of Student Affairs, in writing, within forty-eight hours of receiving notice of the sanction. The student must include a current address at which they can be reached.
  8. The Dean of Student Affairs, or the Dean’s designee, then contacts members of the Board to schedule a hearing. Reasonable efforts will be made to schedule a hearing within forty-eight hours of receipt of the notice of appeal, however, this may not be possible if the College is not in normal academic session or when the circumstances indicate that special expertise is necessary to assure fairness.
  9. No student who has been suspended or dismissed will be allowed to attend classes, be on Vermont Technical College property, or attend a clinical affiliation while the appeal is in process.
  10. The student will be notified by email (at their College email account) of the date, time and location of the hearing. Note: Students are responsible for checking their College email account. Failure to appear at the hearing will result in denial of the appeal, absent extraordinary circumstances.
  11. The student may bring an advisor to the hearing. See above discussion on Advisors.
  12. The Board may request witnesses to appear and testify in order to provide background information.
  13. At the conclusion of the hearing, the student will be excused and the Board will deliberate the merits of the appeal. On occasion, the Board may conclude that additional information is needed and may schedule a follow-up hearing.
  14. Once the Board has reached a decision, its chosen spokesperson will notify the Dean of Student Affairs, in writing, of the Board‘s recommendation(s).
  15. The Dean of Student Affairs is the final arbiter and makes the final determination.  The Dean may accept the recommendations of the Board, accept the recommendations with modifications, or reject the recommendations. The Dean of Student Affairs will send the final determination to the student, with copies to members of the Board, the Registrar, the Director of Financial Aid, and the Academic Dean.
  16. Usually, the student will be notified of the decision by email within three business days of the hearing. A copy of the final determination may also be mailed to the student’s last known home address on file.

C. Drug-Free College

As mandated by the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Vermont Technical College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol by employees and students on College property, in any College owned or leased facility, or as part of any College employment or activity. See T313: Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Individuals convicted of drug law violations may lose all financial aid, and any loans can become due in full immediately upon conviction.

Improper possession, sale, distribution and use of controlled substances, including but not limited to prescription drugs, is prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia is also prohibited.

Alcohol Policies

Vermont Tech is committed to sustaining an academic environment that respects individual freedom; promotes the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the community; and is free from the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Misuse and abuse of alcohol, and the use of illicit drugs, constitutes a threat to that wellbeing and so compromises the educational mission of the College.

The College alcohol policy applies equally to all Vermont Tech students, employees, and guests during the time they are on campus or at campus events. Questions of interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Resident Director or the Office of Student Affairs, Morey Hall, extension 71212. For more information read the full VTC Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, T313.

Alcohol consumption is only permitted in appropriate residential spaces, see Permissible Alcohol Use below, or in the case of specifically approved events or functions where alcohol is available as part of the refreshments by a licensed seller. Consumption of alcohol in public areas of the College is prohibited.

Substance-Free Residence Hall Areas

No possession or use of alcohol is permitted in substance-free designated areas, regardless of the student's age. It is the student's responsibility to know whether he or she is on a substance-free designated floor. There are signs on the hall doors of all substance free floors.

Permissible Alcohol Use

Only students over 21 years of age may possess or consume alcohol. Such possession and consumption must be in private residence hall space (not a lounge, hallway, lobby, or other public area) with the door closed, and with no minors present.
Those of legal drinking age may not possess alcoholic beverages in the residence hall room of an underage student or be in the presence of underage students who are in possession of alcohol.

Responsible alcohol consumption requires that a person‘s actions are not disruptive, damaging, or threatening to themselves, others, or anyone‘s property. When alcohol use is permitted, it is always a privilege, never a right.

Allowable Quantities

Each resident, who is twenty-one or older, may possess one of the following:

  • a twelve pack of beer
  • 750ml or one fifth of spirits
  • one bottle of wine

Students are not permitted to possess or use common sources of alcohol or devices intended for the rapid consumption of alcohol including, but not limited to: funnels; kegs; and alcohol misting devices. Such items may be considered aggravating circumstances when considering appropriate sanctions.

Host Liability

When a guest, who has consumed alcohol on a host‘s premises, does harm to him or herself, to a third party, or College or individual property, the host can be held liable. If the host supplies alcohol to a guest, then the host will be held responsible for injuries or damage to the guest or to third parties resulting from the guest‘s alcohol-influenced actions. If the host supplies alcohol to a minor, the host will also be responsible and liable for supplying alcohol to a minor, which is in violation of Vermont State Law.

Consumption and/or Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Vermont State law, no one under 21 years of age is permitted to be in possession of any type of alcohol container. There are serious penalties for anyone under the age of twenty-one who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol by misrepresenting his or her age or by falsifying identification. Minors may not be present in a room where alcohol is being consumed, even if the minor is not drinking and others in the room are of legal drinking age.

Drinking, Substance Abuse and Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is against the law. Possession of open containers in motor vehicles on campus property is prohibited. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and will be referred to the Vermont State Police. Documented conviction of DUI charges may result in loss of campus vehicle privileges.

Substance Abuse

All community members are encouraged to become informed about substance abuse and its harmful effects. It is a serious problem that may require professional assistance and treatment. Students in need of assistance can seek information and confidential guidance at the Student Affairs office. Staff in this office can also make referrals to outside agencies within the community.

There are significant secondary effects for roommates and friends of those who drink excessively. Roommates and friends report that sometimes they cannot study or sleep because they are worried when a friend gets so drunk that he or she does not return home until the next morning. If a student is worried about a friend, and this concern affects living habits, he or she has the right and responsibility to seek help both personally and for that other person without concern for his or her privacy.

D. Disciplinary Procedures Specific to Cases of Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

In addition to those policies listed above, the following disciplinary procedures will apply in all cases where incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment or stalking are reported.  Reported incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking will be investigated and adjudicated in a prompt, fair, and transparent manner consistent with VSC policies.  Students who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability may file a complaint, pursuant to VSC Policy 311: Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct and the Chancellor’s Implementing Procedures for Policy 311 (see here), with:

Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz, Policy 311 Coordinator
Associate Dean of Outreach and Support
MJuskiew@vtc.vsc.edu
(802) 728-1673


E. Students with Disabilities

The College provides reasonable accommodations when such accommodations are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to students with disabilities, unless providing the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.  Students with disabilities may request: academic accommodations and non-academic accommodations.  Non-academic accommodations may include accommodations in residence and dining halls; modifications to College policies, rules, and regulations; environmental adjustments such as the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; and auxiliary aids and services.

The College conducts individualized assessments of each student to determine whether and what accommodations can be made to allow students with disabilities to participate in the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations at the College.

Requests for accommodations must be submitted to:

Robin Goodall, Learning Specialist
Conant 226, Randolph Center
(802) 728-1278
rgoodall@vtc.edu
 

Students who believe that they have not received the reasonable accommodations to which they are entitled submit an appeal, in writing, to the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator:

Jason Enser, Dean of Student Affairs
Morey Hall, Randolph Center
(802) 728-1434
jenser@vtc.edu