Chapter 132K-135 WAC – Student Conduct Code
WAC 132K-135-020 Authority
The Pierce College board of trustees, acting pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140 (14), delegates to the chancellor of the college the authority to administer disciplinary action. The chancellor is authorized to delegate or reassign any and all duties and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter as may be reasonably necessary. Administration of the disciplinary procedures is the responsibility of the vice president of learning and student success or their designee. The student conduct officer shall serve as the principal investigator and administrator for alleged violations of this code.
WAC 132K-135-030 Definitions
The following definitions shall apply for the purposes of this student conduct code:
- "Business day" means a weekday, excluding weekends, college holidays, and college closures unless otherwise specified.
- "College" means Pierce College district and any other community college centers or premises established within Washington State Community College District No. 11.
- "College community" means students, employees, trustees, and volunteers.
- "College official" includes any person employed by the college performing assigned duties.
- "College premises" shall include all campuses of the college, wherever located, and includes all land, buildings, facilities, vehicles, equipment, and other property owned, used, rented, leased, operated or controlled by the college. College premises extends to distance education classroom environments, and agencies or institutions that have educational agreements with the college.
- "Complainant" is a student or another member of the college community who is allegedly directly affected by a reported violation of this student conduct code. The complainant may be the reporting party, but not necessarily; witnesses or other third parties may report concerns. In any case involving a report of sexual misconduct as defined in this student conduct code, a complainant is afforded certain rights under this student conduct code including, but not limited to:
- The right to be informed of all orders issued in the disciplinary case in which this person is a complainant;
- The right to appeal a disciplinary decision; and
- The right to be accompanied by a process advisor.
- "Conduct review officer" is the dean of student success or other college administrator designated by the chancellor to be responsible for receiving and for reviewing or referring appeals of student disciplinary actions in accordance with the procedures of this code.
- "Disciplinary action" is the process by which the student conduct officer imposes discipline against a student for a violation of the student conduct code.
- "Disciplinary appeal" is the process by which an aggrieved student can appeal the discipline imposed by the student conduct officer. Disciplinary appeals from a suspension in excess of ten days or a dismissal are heard by the student conduct committee. Appeals of all other appealable disciplinary action shall be reviewed through brief adjudicative proceedings.
- "Faculty member" and "instructor" are any employee of Community College District No. 11 who is employed on a full-time or part-time basis as a teacher, instructor, counselor, faculty advisor, or librarian.
- "Filing" is the process by which a document is officially delivered to a college official responsible for facilitating a disciplinary review. Unless otherwise provided, filing shall be accomplished by:
- Hand delivery of the document to the specified college official or college official's assistant; or
- By sending the document by email and first class mail to the specified college email address and official's office address.
Paper required to be filed shall be deemed filed upon actual receipt during office hours at the office of the specified college official.
- "President" is the president of a college campus. The president is authorized to delegate any and all responsibilities as set forth in the chapter as may be reasonably necessary.
- "Respondent" is the student against whom disciplinary action is initiated.
- "Service" is the process by which a document is officially delivered to a party. Unless otherwise provided, service upon a party shall be accomplished by:
- Hand delivery of the document to the party; or
- By sending the document by both email, and by either certified mail or first class mail to the party's last known address.
Service is deemed complete upon hand delivery of the document or upon the date the document is emailed and deposited in the mail.
- "Sexual misconduct" has the meaning ascribed to this term in WAC 132K-135-070(15).
- "Student" includes all persons taking courses at or through the college, whether on a full-time or part-time basis, and whether such courses are credit courses, noncredit courses, online courses, or otherwise. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the college, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered "students."
- "Student conduct officer" is a college administrator designated by the president or vice president of learning and student success to be responsible for implementing and enforcing the student conduct code.
- "Student organization" means any number of students who have met the college's formal requirements of clubs or organizations.
- "Visitors" means guests, applicants, contractors, vendors, advisory board members, foundation board members, and members of the public on college premises.
WAC 132K-135-040 Statement of jurisdiction
- The student conduct code shall apply to student conduct that occurs :
- On college premises;
- At or in connection with college-sponsored activities; or
- Off-campus where indicated in the rule or that in the judgment of the college adversely affects the college community, visitors, or the pursuit of the college’s objectives.
- Jurisdiction extends to, but is not limited to, locations in which students are engaged in official college activities including, but not limited to, foreign or domestic travel, activities funded by the associated students, athletic events, training internships, cooperative and distance education, online education, practicums, supervised work experiences, or any other college-sanctioned social or club activities.
- Students are responsible for their conduct from the time of notification of acceptance at the college through the actual receipt of a degree or certificate, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment.
- These standards shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from college while a disciplinary matter is pending.
- The student conduct officer has sole discretion on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the student conduct code will be applied to conduct that occurs off-campus.
WAC 132K-135-050 Students abroad
Students who participate in any college-sponsored or sanctioned international program shall observe the following:
- The laws of the host country;
- The academic and disciplinary regulations of the educational institution or residential housing program where the student is placed;
- Any other agreements related to the student's program in another country; and
- Pierce College's student conduct code.
WAC 132K-135-060 Statement of student rights
As members of the academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in an independent search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the college community.
The following enumerated rights are guaranteed to each student within the limitations of statutory law and college policy which are deemed necessary to achieve the educational goals of the college:
- Academic freedom.
- Students are guaranteed the rights of free inquiry, expression, and assembly upon and within college premises that are generally open and available to the public.
- Students are free to pursue appropriate educational objectives from among the college's curricula, programs, and services, subject to the limitations of RCW 28B.50.090 (3)(b).
- Students shall be protected from academic evaluation that is arbitrary, prejudiced, or capricious, but are responsible for meeting the standards of academic performance established by each of their instructors.
- Students have the right to a learning environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, inappropriate and disrespectful conduct, and any and all harassment, including sexual harassment.
- Due process.
- The rights of students to be secure in their persons, quarters, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed.
- No disciplinary sanction may be imposed on any student without notice to the accused of the nature of the charges.
- A student accused of violating this student conduct code is entitled to procedural due process as set forth in this chapter.
PROHIBITED STUDENT CONDUCT
WAC 132K-135-070 Prohibited student conduct
The college may impose disciplinary sanctions against a student who commits, attempts to commit, aids, abets, incites, encourages, or assists another person to commit, an act(s) of misconduct which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Abuse of others. Assault, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threat(s), intimidation, or other conduct, which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person or another person's property unless other-wise protected by law.
- Academic dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication. The decision to bring a student conduct proceeding under this code for academic dishonesty is at the sole discretion of the student conduct officer. Nothing in this code prohibits instructors and/or academic divisions or departments from imposing academic consequences in response to academic dishonesty. Faculty may impose up to and including a failing grade in an academic class and academic divisions or departments may impose up to and including dismissal from an academic pro-gram. Policies and procedures governing the imposition of academic consequences for academic dishonesty can be found in the class syllabus and applicable program handbook.
- Cheating includes using or any attempt to use, give or obtain unauthorized assistance relating to the completion of an academic assignment, test, or exam.
- Plagiarism includes taking and using as one's own, without proper attribution, the ideas, writings, or work of another person in completing an academic assignment. Plagiarism may also include the unauthorized submission for credit of academic work that has been sub-mitted for credit in another course.
- Fabrication includes falsifying data, information, or citations in completing an academic assignment and also includes providing false or deceptive information to an instructor concerning the completion of an assignment.
- Multiple submissions includes submitting the same work in separate classes without the express permission of the instructor(s).
- Deliberate damage includes taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another's academic work or college property.
- No student shall be allowed to withdraw from a course or from the college to avoid the consequences of academic dishonesty.
- Acts of dishonesty. Acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to:
- Forgery, alteration, submission of falsified documents, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification;
- Tampering with an election conducted by or for college students; or
- Furnishing false information, or failing to furnish correct information, in response to the request or requirement of a college officer or employee.
- Alcohol. The use, possession, manufacture, distribution, sale, or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, except as permitted by law and applicable college policies.
- Cyber misconduct. Cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or online harassment. Use of electronic communications including, but not limited to, electronic mail (email), text messaging, social media sites, or applications (apps), to harass, abuse, bully, or engage in other conduct which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, unauthorized monitoring of another's electronic communications or computer activities directly or through spyware, sending threatening emails or texts, disrupting electronic communications with spam or by sending a computer virus, or sending false messages to third parties using another's identity (spoofing).
- Discriminatory harassment.
- Unwelcome and offensive conduct, not otherwise protected by law, including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, that is directed at a person because of such person's protected status and that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to:
- Limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational, social, or housing programs; or
- Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other college community members and/or visitors.
- Discriminatory harassment may include, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, written, social media, and electronic communications.
- Protected status includes a person's race; color; national origin; sensory, mental or physical disability; use of a service animal; gender, including pregnancy; marital status; age; religion; creed; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender identity; veteran's status; or any other legally protected classification.
- Unwelcome and offensive conduct, not otherwise protected by law, including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, that is directed at a person because of such person's protected status and that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to:
- Disorderly conduct. Conduct, or assisting or encouraging another person to engage in such conduct, which disrupts campus operations or the college's educational, social, or housing programs.
- Disruption or obstruction. Disruption or obstruction of instruction, research, administration, disciplinary proceeding, or other college activity, including the obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular movement on college premises or at a college activity, or any activity that is authorized to occur on college premises, whether or not actually conducted or sponsored by the college.
- Ethical violation. The breach of any generally recognized and published code of ethics or standards of professional practice that governs the conduct of a particular profession for which the student is taking a course or is pursuing as an educational goal or major.
- Failure to comply with directive. Failure to comply with the reasonable direction of a college officer or employee who is acting in the legitimate performance of their duties, including failure to properly identify oneself to such a person when requested to do so.
- Harassment or bullying. Conduct unrelated to a protected class that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's academic or work performance, or a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's programs, services, opportunities, or activities.
- Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct, including written, social media and electronic communications unless otherwise protected by law.
- For purposes of this code, "bullying" is defined as repeated or aggressive unwanted behavior not otherwise protected by law when a reasonable person would feel humiliated, harmed, or intimidated.
- For purposes of this code, "intimidation" is an implied threat. Intimidation exists when a reasonable person would feel threatened or coerced even though an explicit threat or display of physical force has not been made. Intimidation is evaluated based on the intensity, frequency, or duration of the comments or actions.
- Hazing. Hazing includes any act, on or off the college premises, committed as part of a person's recruitment, initiation, pledging, admission into, or affiliation with a student organization, athletic team, or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization, athletic team, or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious psychological or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending a public or private institution of higher education or other postsecondary educational institution in this state, including causing, directing, coercing, or forcing a person to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the person to risk of such harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.
- Lewd conduct. Conduct which is vulgar, obscene, or indecent, unless otherwise protected by law.
- Marijuana or other drugs.
- Marijuana or marijuana products. The use, possession, delivery, sale, or being observably under the influence of marijuana or the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana and intended for human consumption, regardless of form. While state law permits the recreational use of marijuana, federal law prohibits such use on college premises or in connection with college activities.
- Drugs. The use, possession, delivery, sale, or being observably under the influence of any legend or prescription drug, including anabolic steroids, androgens, or human growth hormones as defined in chapter 69.41 RCW, or any other controlled substance, including narcotic drugs or opiates, under chapter 69.50 RCW, except as prescribed for a student's use by a licensed practitioner.
- Misuse of computer time or electronic resources. Theft or other misuse of computer time or other electronic information resources of the college. Such misuse includes, but is not limited to:
- Unauthorized use of such resources or unauthorized opening of a file, message, or other item;
- Unauthorized duplication, transfer, or distribution of a computer program, file, message, or other item;
- Unauthorized use or distribution of someone else's password or other identification;
- Use of such time or resources to interfere with someone else's work;
- Use of such time or resources to send, display, or print an obscene, harassing, or abusive message, text, or image;
- Use of such time or resources to interfere with normal operation of the college's computing system or other electronic information resources;
- Use of such time or resources in violation of applicable copyright or other law;
- Adding to or otherwise altering the infrastructure of the college's electronic information resources without authorization; or
- Failure to comply with the computer information systems re-sources acceptable use or subsequent similar policy.
- Property violation. Damage to, theft of, misappropriation of, unauthorized use or possession of, vandalism of, or other nonaccidental damaging or destruction of, real or personal property or money of:
- The college or state;
- Any student or college officer, employee, or student organization;
- Any other member of the college community, or visitors.
- Retaliation. Any intentional, adverse action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, as reprisal against any individual for reporting, providing information, exercising one's rights or responsibilities, or otherwise being involved in the process of responding to, investigating, or addressing allegations or violations of federal, state or local law, or college policies including, but not limited to, student conduct code provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Retaliatory actions include, but are not limited to, threats or actual violence against the person or their property, adverse educational or employment consequences, ridicule, intimidation, bullying, or ostracism.
- Safety violations. Safety violations include committing any reckless or unsafe act that endangers others, failing to follow established safety procedures, or interfering with or otherwise compromising any college policy, equipment, or procedure relating to the safety and security of the college community or visitors including, but not limited to, tampering with fire safety equipment or triggering false alarms and other emergency response systems.
- Sexual misconduct. The term "sexual misconduct" includes sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, and sexual violence. Sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX defined in the supplemental procedures to this code. See WAC 132K-135-300, et seq.
- Sexual harassment. The term "sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual or gender-based conduct, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, quid pro quo harassment, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual or a gendered nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to:
- Deny or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program;
- Alter the terms or conditions of employment for a college employee(s); and/or
- Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other campus community members.
- Sexual intimidation. The term "sexual intimidation" means threatening or emotionally distressing conduct based on sex including, but not limited to, nonconsensual recording of sexual activity or the distribution of such recording.
- Sexual violence. "Sexual violence" is a type of sexual dis-crimination and sexual harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
- Nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Any actual or attempted sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
- Nonconsensual sexual contact. Any actual or attempted sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
- Incest. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person known to be related to them, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, brother, or sister of either wholly or half related. Descendant includes stepchildren, and adopted children under the age of eighteen.
- Statutory rape. Consensual intercourse between a person who is eighteen years of age or older, and a person who is under the age of sixteen.
- Domestic violence. Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Washington, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Washington, RCW 26.50.010.
- Dating violence, physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person:
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
- Where the existence of such a relationship shall be deter-mined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship;
- The type of relationship; and
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
- Fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
- Suffer substantial emotional distress.
- For the purposes of this code, "consent" means knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has en-gaged in nonconsensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.
- Sexual harassment. The term "sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual or gender-based conduct, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, quid pro quo harassment, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual or a gendered nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive as to:
- Tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and related products. The college community and visitors will abide by all Washington state laws and college policy as it relates to the use of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and related products, including chapter 70.160 RCW.
- Unauthorized access. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or other use of a key, keycard, or other restricted means of access to college property, or unauthorized entry onto or into college property. Providing keys to an unauthorized person or providing access to an un-authorized person is also prohibited.
- Violation of other laws or policies. Violation of any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, or other college rules or policies, including college traffic and parking rules.
- Weapons. Possession, holding, wearing, transporting, storage or presence of any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, explosive device, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm is prohibited on the college campus, subject to the following exceptions:
- Commissioned law enforcement personnel or legally authorized military personnel while in performance of their duties;
- A student with a valid concealed weapons permit may store a pistol in the student's vehicle parked on campus in accordance with RCW 9.41.050 (2) or (3), provided the vehicle is locked and the weapon is concealed from view; or
- The president or chancellor may grant permission to bring a weapon on campus upon a determination that the weapon is reasonably related to a legitimate pedagogical purpose. Such permission shall be in writing and shall be subject to such terms or conditions incorporated in the written permission.
- This policy does not apply to the possession and/or use of disabling chemical sprays when possessed and/or used for self-defense.
WAC 132K-135-090 Disciplinary sanctions—Conditions
The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon students found to have violated the student conduct code. Depending upon the misconduct, more than one sanction may be imposed. Other than college dismissal or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions are not made part of the student's academic record, but are part of the student's disciplinary record. Violation of any disciplinary sanction or condition constitutes a new violation and may subject the student to additional sanctions and/or conditions.
- Disciplinary warning. A verbal statement to a student that there is a violation and that continued violations may be cause for further disciplinary action.
- Written reprimand. Notice in writing that the student has violated one or more terms of this code of conduct and that continuation of the same or similar behavior may result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary probation. Formal action placing specific conditions and restrictions upon the student's continued attendance depending upon the seriousness of the violation and which may include a deferred disciplinary sanction. If the student subject to a deferred disciplinary sanction is found in violation of any college rule during the time of disciplinary probation, the deferred disciplinary sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, a suspension or a dismissal from the college, shall take effect immediately without further review. Any such sanction shall be in addition to any sanction or conditions arising from the new violation. Probation may be for a limited period of time or may be for the duration of the student's attendance at the college.
- Disciplinary suspension. Separation from the college and from the student status for a stated period of time. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken
- Dismissal. The revocation of all rights and privileges of membership in the college community and exclusion from all college campuses and college-owned or controlled premises without any possibility of return. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken.
Disciplinary terms and conditions that may be imposed in conjunction with the imposition of a disciplinary sanction include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Educational sanction. The college may require the student to complete an educational activity or experience directly related to the violation committed, at the student's expense.
- Professional evaluation. Referral for drug, alcohol, psychological, or medical evaluation by an appropriately certified or licensed professional may be required. The student may choose the professional within the scope of practice and with the professional credentials as defined by the college. The student will sign all necessary releases to allow the college access to any such evaluation. The student's return to college may be conditioned upon compliance with recommendations set forth in such a professional evaluation. If the evaluation indicates that the student is not capable of functioning within the college community, the student will remain suspended until future evaluation recommends that the student is capable of reentering the college and complying with the rules of conduct.
- Not in good standing. A student may be deemed "not in good standing" with the college. If so, the student shall be subject to the following restrictions:
- Ineligible to hold an office in any student organization recognized by the college or to hold any elected or appointed office of the college.
- Ineligible to represent the college to anyone outside the college community in any way, including representing the college at any official function, or any forms of intercollegiate competition or representation.
- Restitution or monetary fine. Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, or for injury to persons, or for reasonable costs incurred by the college in pursuing an investigation or disciplinary proceeding. This may take the form of monetary reimbursement, appropriate service, monetary fine, or other compensation.
- Hold on transcript or registration. This is a temporary measure restricting release of a student's transcript or access to registration. Upon satisfactory completion of the conditions of the sanction, the hold will be released.
- Revocation of admission or degree. Admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of standards of conduct for students in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding degree. The college may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this chapter, including the completion of all sanctions imposed.
- No trespass order. A student may be restricted from college property based on misconduct.
- No contact order. An order directing a student to have no contact with a specified member of the college community, visitor, or a particular college facility.
WAC 132K-135-100 Initiation of disciplinary action
- All disciplinary actions will be initiated by the student conduct officer. If that officer is the subject of a complaint initiated by the respondent, the president shall, upon request and when feasible, designate another person to fulfill any such disciplinary responsibilities relative to the complaint.
- The student conduct officer shall initiate disciplinary action by serving the respondent with written notice directing the student to attend a disciplinary meeting. The notice shall briefly describe the factual allegations, the provision(s) of the student conduct code the respondent is alleged to have violated, the range of possible sanctions for the alleged violation(s), and specify the time and location of the meeting. At the meeting, the student conduct officer will present the allegations to the respondent and the respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain what took place. If the respondent fails to attend the meeting, after proper service of notice, the student conduct officer may take disciplinary action based upon the available information.
- The student conduct officer, prior to taking disciplinary action in a case involving sexual misconduct, will make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to discuss the results of the investigation and possible disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions, if any, that may be imposed upon the respondent if the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to have merit.
- Within ten business days of the initial disciplinary meeting and after considering the evidence in the case, including any facts or argument presented by the respondent, the student conduct officer shall serve the respondent with a written decision setting forth the facts and conclusions supporting the decision, the specific student conduct code provisions found to have been violated, the discipline imposed, if any, and a notice of any appeal rights with an explanation of the consequences of failing to file a timely appeal.
- The student conduct officer may take any of the following disciplinary actions:
- Exonerate the respondent and terminate the proceedings.
- Impose a disciplinary sanction(s) and/or condition(s) as described in WAC 132K-135-090.
- Refer the matter directly to the student conduct committee for such disciplinary action as the committee deems appropriate. Such referral shall be in writing, to the attention of the chair of the student conduct committee, with a copy served on the respondent.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the student conduct officer, on the same date that a disciplinary decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including disciplinary suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights. If protective sanctions and/or conditions are imposed, the student conduct officer shall make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant and ensure prompt notice of the protective disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions.
WAC 132K-135-110 Appeal from disciplinary action
- The respondent may appeal a disciplinary action by filing a written notice of appeal with the conduct review officer within ten business days of service of the student conduct officer's decision. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and the student conduct officer's decision shall be deemed final.
- The notice of appeal must include a brief statement explaining why the respondent is seeking review.
- The parties to an appeal shall be the respondent and the conduct review officer.
- A respondent, who timely appeals a disciplinary action or whose case is referred to the student conduct committee, has a right to a prompt, fair, and impartial hearing as provided for in these procedures.
- On appeal, the college bears the burden of establishing the evidentiary facts underlying the imposition of a disciplinary sanction by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Imposition of disciplinary action for violation of the student conduct code shall be stayed pending appeal, unless respondent has been summarily suspended. Interim measures, including no contact orders, may remain in place pending appeal if the student conduct officer determines they are necessary.
- The student conduct committee shall hear appeals from:
- The imposition of disciplinary suspensions in excess of ten days;
- Dismissals; and
- Discipline cases referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the conduct review officer, or the president.
- Student conduct appeals from the imposition of the following disciplinary sanctions shall be reviewed through a brief adjudicative proceeding:
- Suspensions of ten days or less;
- Disciplinary probation;
- Written reprimands; and
- Any conditions or terms imposed in conjunction with one of the foregoing disciplinary actions.
- Except as provided elsewhere in these rules, disciplinary warnings and dismissals of disciplinary actions are final action and are not subject to appeal.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant has the right to appeal the following actions by the student conduct officer following the same procedures as set forth above for the respondent:
- The dismissal of a sexual misconduct complaint; or
- Any disciplinary sanction(s) and conditions imposed against a respondent for a sexual misconduct violation, including a disciplinary warning.
- If the respondent timely appeals a decision imposing discipline for a sexual misconduct violation, the college shall notify the complainant of the appeal and provide the complainant an opportunity to intervene as a party to the appeal.
- Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, a complainant who timely appeals a disciplinary decision or who intervenes as a party to a respondent's appeal of a disciplinary decision shall be afforded the same procedural rights as are afforded the respondent.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – INITIAL HEARING
WAC 132K-135-120 Brief adjudicative proceedings—Initial hearing
- Brief adjudicative proceedings shall be conducted by a conduct review officer. The conduct review officer shall not participate in any case in which involved as a complainant or witness, or in which there is direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which previous actions have been taken in an advisory capacity.
- The parties to a brief adjudicative proceeding are the respondent, the student conduct officer, and the complainant in cases involving sexual misconduct. Before taking action, the conduct review officer shall conduct an informal hearing and provide each party:
- An opportunity to be informed of the college's view of the matter; and
- An opportunity to explain the party's view of the matter.
- The conduct review officer shall serve an initial decision upon both the respondent and the student conduct officer within ten business days of the completion of the informal hearing. The initial decision shall contain a brief written statement of the reasons for the decision and information about how to seek administrative review of the initial decision. If no request for review is filed within ten business days of service of the initial decision, the initial decision shall be deemed the final decision.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the conduct review officer, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
- If the conduct review officer, upon review, determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten days or dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – REVIEW
WAC 132K-135-130 Brief adjudicative proceedings—Review of an initial decision
- An initial decision is subject to review by the president, provided a party files a written request for review with the conduct review officer within ten business days of service of the initial decision.
- The president shall not participate in any case in which involved as a complainant or witness, or in which there is direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which previous actions have been taken in an advisory capacity.
- During the review, the president shall give each party an opportunity to file written responses explaining their view of the matter and shall make any inquiries necessary to ascertain whether the sanctions should be modified or whether the proceedings should be referred to the student conduct committee for a formal adjudicative hearing.
- The decision on review must be in writing and must include a brief statement of the reason for the decision and must be served on the parties within twenty business days of the initial decision or of the request for review, whichever is later. The decision on review will contain a notice that judicial review may be available. A request for review may be deemed to have been denied if the president does not make a disposition of the matter within twenty business days after the request is submitted.
- If the president, upon review, determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten days or dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the president, on the same date as the final decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE
WAC 132K-135-140 Student conduct committee
- The student conduct committee shall consist of five members appointed by the chancellor:
- Two full-time classified staff members;
- Two faculty members;
- One administrator (other than an administrator serving as a student conduct officer or conduct review officer).
- The administrator shall serve as the chair of the committee and may take action on preliminary hearing matters prior to convening the committee. The chair shall receive annual training on protecting victims and promoting accountability in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Hearings may be heard by a hearing panel consisting of a quorum of three members of the committee, so long as one member is the chair. Committee action may be taken upon a majority vote of all committee members presiding over the hearing.
- Members of the student conduct committee shall not participate in any case in which they are a party, complainant, or witness, in which they have direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which they have acted previously in an advisory capacity. Any party may petition for disqualification of a committee member.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – APPEAL
WAC 132K-135-150 Appeal—Student conduct committee
- Proceedings of the student conduct committee shall be governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.
- The student conduct committee chair shall serve all parties with written notice of the hearing not less than seven business days in advance of the hearing date. The chair may shorten this notice period if both parties agree, and also may continue the hearing to a later time for good cause shown.
- The committee chair is authorized to conduct prehearing conferences and/or to make prehearing decisions concerning the extent and form of any discovery, issuance of protective decisions, and similar procedural matters.
- Upon request, filed at least five business days before the hearing by any party or at the direction of the committee chair, the parties shall exchange, no later than the third business day prior to the hearing, lists of potential witnesses and copies of potential exhibits that they reasonably expect to present to the committee. Failure to participate in good faith in such a requested exchange may be cause for exclusion from the hearing of any witness or exhibit not disclosed, absent a showing of good cause for such failure.
- The committee chair may provide to the committee members in advance of the hearing copies of (a) the conduct officer's notification of the imposition of discipline, or referral to the committee, and (b) the notice of appeal, or any response to referral, by the respondent. If doing so, however, the chair should remind the members that these "pleadings" are not evidence of any facts they may allege.
- The parties may agree before the hearing to designate specific exhibits as admissible without objection and, if they do so, whether the committee chair may provide copies of these admissible exhibits to the committee members before the hearing.
- The student conduct officer, upon request, shall provide reasonable assistance to the respondent in obtaining relevant and admissible evidence that is within the college's control.
- Communications between committee members and other hearing participants regarding any issue in the proceeding, other than procedural communications that are necessary to maintain an orderly process, are generally prohibited without notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, and any improper "ex parte" communication shall be placed on the record, as further provided in RCW 34.05.455.
- Each party may be accompanied at the hearing by a nonattorney assistant of the party's choice. A respondent, or complainant in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, may elect to be represented by an attorney at their own cost, but will be deemed to have waived that right unless, at least four business days before the hearing, written notice of the attorney's identity and participation is filed with the committee chair with a copy to the student conduct officer. The committee will ordinarily be advised by an assistant attorney general. If the respondent or the complainant is represented by an attorney, the student conduct officer may also be represented by a second, appropriately screened assistant attorney general.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE
WAC 132K-135-160 Student conduct committee hearings—Presentations of evidence
- Upon the failure of any party to attend or participate in a hearing, the student conduct committee may either:
- Proceed with the hearing and issuance of its decision; or
- Serve a decision of default in accordance with RCW 34.05.440.
- The hearing will ordinarily be closed to the public. However, if all parties agree on the record that some or all of the proceedings be open, the chair shall determine any extent to which the hearing will be open. If any person disrupts the proceedings, the chair may exclude that person from the hearing room.
- The chair shall cause the hearing to be recorded by a method the chair selects, in accordance with RCW 34.05.449. That recording, or a copy, shall be made available to any party upon request. The chair shall assure maintenance of the record of the proceeding that is required by RCW 34.05.476, which shall also be available upon request for inspection and copying by any party. Other recording shall also be permitted, in accordance with WAC 10-08-190.
- The chair shall preside at the hearing and decide procedural questions that arise during the hearing, except as overridden by majority vote of the committee.
- The student conduct officer, unless represented by an assistant attorney general, shall present the case for imposing disciplinary sanctions.
- All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. Evidence shall be admitted or excluded in accordance with RCW 34.05.452.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, neither party shall directly question or cross examine one another. Attorneys for the parties are also prohibited from questioning the opposing party absent express permission from the committee chair. Subject to this exception, all cross examination questions shall be directed to the committee chair, who in their discretion shall pose the questions on the party's behalf.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – INTIAL DECISION
WAC 132K-135-170 Student conduct committee—Initial decision
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct committee shall permit the parties to make closing arguments in whatever form it wishes to receive them. The committee also may permit each party to propose findings, conclusions, and/or a proposed decision for its consideration.
- Within thirty business days following the later of the conclusion of the hearing, or the committee's receipt of closing arguments, the committee shall issue an initial decision in accordance with RCW 34.05.461 and WAC 10-08-210. The initial decision shall include findings on all material issues of fact and conclusions on all material issues of law, including which, if any, provisions of the student conduct code were violated. Any findings based substantially on the credibility of evidence or the demeanor of witnesses shall be so identified.
- The committee's initial decision shall also include a determination on appropriate discipline, if any. If the matter was referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the committee shall identify and impose disciplinary sanction(s) or condition(s), if any, as authorized in the student conduct code. If the matter is an appeal by the respondent, the committee may affirm, reverse, or modify the disciplinary sanction(s) and/or condition(s) imposed by the student conduct officer and/or impose additional disciplinary sanction(s) or condition(s) as authorized herein.
- The committee's initial decision shall also include a statement of the available procedures and time frames for seeking reconsideration or appeal.
- The committee chair shall cause copies of the initial decision to be served on the parties and their legal counsel of record. The committee chair shall also promptly transmit a copy of the decision and the record of the committee's proceedings to the president.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the chair of the student conduct committee, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. Complainant may appeal the student conduct committee's initial decision to the president subject to the same procedures and deadlines applicable to other parties. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – APPEAL INITIAL DECISION
WAC 132K-135-180 Appeal from student conduct committee initial decision
- A respondent who is aggrieved by the findings or conclusions issued by the student conduct committee may appeal the committee's initial decision to the president by filing a written notice of appeal with the president's office within ten business days of service of the committee's initial decision. Failure to file a timely appeal constitutes a waiver of the right and the initial decision shall be deemed final.
- The written notice of appeal must identify the specific findings of fact and/or conclusions of law in the initial decision that are challenged and must contain argument why the appeal should be granted. The president's review shall be restricted to the hearing record made before the student conduct committee and will normally be limited to a review of those issues and arguments raised in the notice of appeal. If necessary to aid review, the president may ask for additional briefing from the parties on issues raised on appeal.
- The president shall provide a written decision to the respondent and the student conduct officer within thirty business days after receipt of the notice of appeal. The president's decision shall be final and shall include a notice of any rights to request reconsideration and/or judicial review.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the president, on the same date that the final decision is served upon the respondent, shall serve a written notice informing the complainant of the final decision. This notice shall inform the complainant whether the sexual misconduct allegation was found to have merit and describe any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent.
- The president has discretion to suspend any disciplinary action, summary suspension, or interim measures, pending review of the merits of the findings, conclusions, and disciplinary actions imposed.
- Per RCW 34.05.455 the president shall not engage in any improper "ex parte" communication with any of the parties regarding an appeal.
WAC 132K-135-190 Summary suspension
- Summary suspension is a temporary exclusion from specified college premises or denial of access to all activities or privileges for which a respondent might otherwise be eligible, a temporary no trespass order, while an investigation and/or formal disciplinary procedure is pending.
- The student conduct officer may impose a summary suspension if there is reasonable basis to believe that the respondent:
- Has violated any provision of the student conduct code; and
- Presents an immediate danger to the health, safety, or welfare of members of the college community or visitors; or
- Poses an ongoing threat of substantial disruption of, or interference with, the operations of the college.
- Notice. Any respondent who has been summarily suspended shall be served with oral or written notice of the summary suspension. If oral notice is given, a written notification shall be served on the respondent within two business days of the oral notice.
- The written notification shall be entitled "Notice of Summary Suspension" and shall include:
- The reasons for imposing the summary suspension, including a description of the conduct giving rise to the summary suspension and reference to the provisions of the student conduct code or the law allegedly violated;
- The date, time, and location when the respondent must appear before the conduct review officer for a hearing on the summary suspension; and
- The conditions, if any, under which the respondent may physically access the college premises or communicate with members of the college community and visitors. If the respondent has been temporarily trespassed from the college premises, a notice against trespass shall be included that warns the respondent that privilege to enter into or remain on college premises has been withdrawn and that the respondent shall be considered trespassing and subject to arrest for criminal trespass if the respondent enters the college premises other than for a scheduled meeting with the student conduct officer or conduct review officer, or to attend a disciplinary hearing.
- The conduct review officer shall conduct a hearing on the summary suspension as soon as practicable after imposition of the summary suspension.
- During the summary suspension hearing, the issue before the conduct review officer is whether there is probable cause to believe that summary suspension should be continued pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings and/or whether the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
- The respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain why summary suspension should not be continued while disciplinary proceedings are pending or why the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
- If the respondent fails to appear at the designated hearing time, the conduct review officer may order that the summary suspension remain in place pending the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings.
- As soon as practicable following the hearing, the conduct review officer shall issue a written decision which shall include a brief explanation for any decision continuing and/or modifying the summary suspension and notice of any right to appeal.
- To the extent permissible under applicable law, the conduct review officer shall provide a copy of the decision to all persons or offices who may be bound or protected by it.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant shall be notified that a summary suspension has been imposed on the same day that the summary suspension notice is served on the respondent. The college will also provide the complainant with timely notice of any subsequent changes to the summary suspension order.
WAC 132K-135-200 Classroom misconduct and authority to suspend for no more than one day
- Faculty members have the authority to take appropriate action to maintain order and proper conduct in their classroom and to maintain the effective cooperation of students in fulfilling the objectives of the course.
- Bringing any person, thing, or object to a teaching and learning environment that may disrupt the environment or cause a safety or health hazard, without the express approval of the faculty member is prohibited.
- Faculty members have the right to temporarily suspend any student(s) from a single class or related activity for the remainder of that day if the student's misconduct creates disruption to the point that it is difficult or impossible to maintain the decorum of the class, related activity, or the learning and teaching environment. The faculty member must report this temporary suspension to the student conduct officer or designee on the same day. The student conduct officer, in accordance with this code and following due process, may set conditions for the student upon return to the class or activity.
WAC 132K-135-220 Interim measures
- After receiving a report of sexual misconduct or other student misconduct, a student conduct officer or designee may implement interim measures which may include, but are not limited to:
- A no-contact order prohibiting direct or indirect contact, by any means, with a complainant, a respondent, a reporting party, or other specified persons;
- Reassignment of college associated housing;
- Changes to class schedules, assignments, test schedules, or other academic related activities;
- Modified on-campus employment schedule or location; or
- Restrictions on access to portions of college premises.
- If an interim measure is put in place pending or during a conduct proceeding, the student will be notified of the interim measure and be advised how to raise an objection about the interim measure or request that it be made less restrictive. The student conduct officer will consider any objections and requests regarding interim measures, make a determination whether to make any changes, and provide notice of the decision to the student. The student conduct officer may adjust or modify interim measures as students' situations and schedules change and evolve over time. Interim measures will remain in place until the student receives notice they have been lifted or modified from the student conduct officer.
- Implementation of any interim measure does not assume any determination of, or create any presumption regarding responsibility for, a violation under this student conduct code.
WAC 132K-135-230 Amnesty
- Pierce College values the health, safety and wellness of those in our college community. Students are encouraged to report crimes, share concerns, and seek medical attention for themselves or others in need.
- A student conduct officer may elect not to initiate disciplinary action against a student who, while in the course of helping an-other person seek medical or other emergency assistance, admits to a possible policy violation under this student conduct code, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk.
- A student conduct officer may elect not to initiate disciplinary action against a student who, while in the course of reporting violence, sexual misconduct, or a crime in progress, admits to personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such use did not place the health or safety of any other person at risk.
- While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the college may elect to offer educational options or referrals, rather than initiating disciplinary action against students who report crimes, serve as witnesses, or seek medical attention as described is this section.
- This amnesty policy may not apply to students who repeatedly violate college policies in regards to alcohol, drugs, or other prohibited conduct.
CONDUCT HOLDS ON STUDENT RECORDS
WAC 132K-135-240 Conduct holds on student records.
- A student conduct officer or other designated college official may place a conduct hold on the student's record if the student is the respondent in a pending complaint of prohibited conduct, a pending conduct proceeding under this code, or in conjunction with a disciplinary sanction or condition under this code.
- A conduct hold may restrict the student from registering for classes, requesting an official transcript, or receiving a degree from the college until the hold has been removed.
- If the conduct hold is placed pending or during a conduct proceeding, the student will be notified of the hold and be advised how to raise an objection about the hold or request that it be made less restrictive. The student conduct officer will consider any objections and requests regarding the conduct hold, make a determination whether to make any changes, and provide notice of the decision to the student. The hold will remain in place until lifted by the student conduct officer or other designated college official with authority to do so.
- Implementation of any conduct hold prior to disciplinary action does not assume any determination of, or create any expectation of, responsibility for prohibited conduct under this conduct code.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROCEEDINGS
WAC 132K-135-210 Sexual misconduct proceedings
Both the respondent and the complainant in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct shall be provided the same procedural rights to participate in student discipline matters, including the right to participate in the initial disciplinary decision-making process and to appeal any disciplinary decision.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – COLLEGE RECORD
WAC 132K-135-250 Brief adjudicative proceedings—College record
The college record for brief adjudicative proceedings shall consist of any documents regarding the matter that were considered or prepared by the presiding officer for the brief adjudicative proceeding or by the reviewing officer for any review consistent with RCW 34.05.476. These records shall be maintained as the official record of the proceedings.
SUPPLEMENTAL TITLE IX STUDENT CONDUCT PROCEDURES
WAC 132K-135-300 Order of Precedence.
This supplemental procedure applies to allegations of Sexual Harassment subject to Title IX jurisdiction pursuant to regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Education. See 34 C.F.R. § 106. To the extent these supplemental hearing procedures conflict with the College’s standard disciplinary procedures, WAC 132K-135-020 through 250, these supplemental procedures shall take precedence.
WAC 132K-135-310 Prohibited Conduct Under Title IX.
Pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140(13) and Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681, the College may impose disciplinary sanctions against a student who commits, attempts to commit, or aids, abets, incites, encourages, or assists another person to commit, an act(s) of “sexual harassment.”
For purposes of this supplemental procedure, “sexual harassment” encompasses the following conduct:
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment. A college employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
- Hostile Environment. Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s educational programs or activities, or employment.
- Sexual Assault. Sexual assault includes the following conduct:
- Incest. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person known to be related to them, either legitimately or illegitimately, as an ancestor, descendant, brother, or sister of either wholly or half related. Descendant includes stepchildren and adopted children under the age of eighteen (18).
- Statutory Rape. Consensual sexual intercourse between someone who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and someone who is under the age of sixteen (16).
- Domestic violence. Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of State of Washington, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Washington, RCW 26.50.010.
- Dating violence. Physical violence, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking committed by a person (i) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (ii) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship;
- The type of relationship; and
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.
WAC 132K-135-320 Title IX Jurisdiction
- The supplemental procedure applies only if the alleged misconduct:
- Occurred in the United States;
- Occurred during a College educational program or activity; and
- Meets the definition of Sexual Harassment as that term is defined in this supplemental procedure.
- For purposes of this supplemental procedure, an “educational program or activity” is defined as locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the alleged sexual harassment occurred. This definition includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.
- Proceedings under this supplemental procedure must be dismissed if the decision maker determines that one or all of the requirements of Section 1(a)-(c) have not been met. Dismissal under this supplemental procedure does not prohibit the College from pursuing other disciplinary action based on allegations that the Respondent violated other provisions of the College’s student conduct code, WAC 132K-135.
- If the Student Conduct Officer determines the facts in the investigation report are not sufficient to support Title IX jurisdiction and/or pursuit of a Title IX violation, the Student Conduct Officer will issue a notice of dismissal in whole or part to both parties explaining why some or all of the Title IX claims have been dismissed.
WAC 132K-135-330 Initiation of Discipline
- Upon receiving the Title IX investigation report from the Title IX Coordinator, the Student Conduct Officer will independently review the report to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to pursue a disciplinary action against the Respondent for engaging in prohibited conduct under Title IX.
- If the Student Conduct Officer determines that there are sufficient grounds to proceed under these supplement procedures, the Student Conduct Officer will initiate a Title IX disciplinary proceeding by filing a written disciplinary notice with the Chair of the Student Conduct Committee and serving the notice on the Respondent and the Complainant, and their respective advisors. The notice must:
- Set forth the basis for Title IX jurisdiction;
- Identify the alleged Title IX violations(s);
- Set forth the facts underlying the allegation(s);
- Identify the range of possible sanctions that may be imposed if the Respondent is found responsible for the alleged violation(s);
- Explain that the parties are entitled to be accompanied by their chosen advisors during the hearing and that:
- The advisors will be responsible for questioning all witnesses on the party’s behalf;
- An advisor may be an attorney; and
- The College will appoint the party an advisor of the College’s choosing at no cost to the party, if the party fails to do so; and
- Explain that if a party fails to appear at the hearing, a decision of responsibility may be made in their absence.
WAC 132K-135-340 Pre-Hearing Procedure
- Upon receiving the disciplinary notice, the Chair of the Student Conduct Committee will send a hearing notice to all parties, in compliance with WAC 132K-135-150. In no event will the hearing date be set less than ten (10) days after the Title IX Coordinator provided the Final Investigation Report to the parties.
- A party may choose to have an attorney serve as their advisor at the party’s own expense. This right will be waived unless, at least five (5) days before the hearing, the attorney files a notice of appearance with the committee chair with copies to all parties and the student conduct officer.
- In preparation for the hearing, the parties will have equal access to all evidence gathered by the investigator during the investigation, regardless of whether the College intends to offer the evidence at the hearing.
WAC 132K-135-350 Rights of Parties
- The College’s Student Conduct Procedures, WAC 132K-135, and this supplemental procedure shall apply equally to all parties.
- The College bears the burden of offering and presenting sufficient testimony and evidence to establish that the Respondent is responsible for a Title IX violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
- The Respondent will be presumed not responsible until such time as the disciplinary process has been finally resolved.
- During the hearing, each party shall be represented by an advisor. The parties are entitled to an advisor of their own choosing and the advisor may be an attorney. If a party does not choose an advisor, then the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an advisor of the College’s choosing on the party’s behalf at no expense to the party.
WAC 132K-135-360 Evidence
The introduction and consideration of evidence during the hearing is subject to the following procedures and restrictions:
- Relevance: The Committee Chair shall review all questions for relevance and shall explain on the record their reasons for excluding any question based on lack of relevance.
- Relevance means that information elicited by the question makes facts in dispute more or less likely to be true.
- Questions or evidence about a Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant and must be excluded, unless such question or evidence:
- Is asked or offered to prove someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged misconduct; or
- Concerns specific incidents of prior sexual behavior between the Complainant and the Respondent, which are asked or offered on the issue of consent.
- No negative inference: The Committee may not make an inference regarding responsibility solely on a witness’s or party’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer questions.
- Privileged evidence: The Committee shall not consider legally privileged information unless the holder has effectively waived the privilege. Privileged information includes, but is not limited to, information protected by the following:
- Spousal/domestic partner privilege;
- Attorney-Client and attorney work product privileges;
- Privileges applicable to members of the clergy and priests;
- Privileges applicable to medical providers, mental health therapists, and counsellors;
- Privileges applicable to sexual assault and domestic violence advocates; and
- Other legal privileges identified in RCW 5.60.060.
WAC 132K-135-370 Initial Order
In addition to complying with WAC 132K-135-170, the Student Conduct Committee will be responsible for conferring and drafting an Initial Order that:
- Identifies the allegations of sexual harassment;
- Describes the grievance and disciplinary procedures, starting with filing of the formal complaint through the determination of responsibility, including notices to parties, interviews with witnesses and parties, site visits, methods used to gather evidence, and hearings held;
- Makes findings of fact supporting the determination of responsibility;
- Reaches conclusions as to whether the facts establish whether the Respondent is responsible for engaging in Sexual Harassment in violation of Title IX;
- Contains a statement of, and rationale for, the Committee’s determination of responsibility for each allegation;
- Describes any disciplinary sanction or conditions imposed against the Respondent, if any;
- Describes to what extent, if any, Complainant is entitled to remedies designed to restore or preserve Complainant’s equal access to the College’s education programs or activities; and
- Describes the process for appealing the Initial Order to the College President.
- The Committee Chair will serve the Initial Order on the Parties simultaneously.
WAC 132K-135-380 Appeals
- All parties, including the student conduct officer in their capacity as a representative of the college, have the right to appeal from the determination of responsibility and/or from a dismissal, in whole or in part, of a formal complaint during the investigative or hearing process. Appeals must be in writing and filed with the president's office within 21 days of service of the initial order or notice of dismissal. Appeals must identify the specific findings of fact and/or conclusions of law in the initial order or dismissal that the appealing party is challenging and must contain argument as to why the appeal should be granted. Failure to file a timely appeal constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and the initial order or dismissal shall be deemed final.
- Upon receiving a timely appeal, the president's office will serve a copy of the appeal on all parties, who will have 10 days from the date of service to submit written responses to the president's office addressing issues raised in the appeal. Failure to file a timely response constitutes a waiver of the right to participate in the appeal. Upon receipt of written responses, the president's office shall serve copies of the responses to the other parties.
- Parties receiving a copy of the responses shall have five days in which to submit a written reply addressing issues raised in the responses to the president's office.
- The president or their delegate, based on their review of parties' submissions and the hearing or investigative record, will determine whether the grounds for appeal have merit, provide the ration-ale for this conclusion, and state whether a dismissal if affirmed or denied, or if the disciplinary sanctions and conditions imposed in the initial order are affirmed, vacated, or amended, and, if amended, set forth the new disciplinary sanctions and conditions.
- The president's office shall serve the final decision on the parties simultaneously.
- All administrative decisions reached through this process are and may be judicially appealed pursuant to applicable provisions of chapter 34.05 RCW including, but not limited to, the timelines set forth in RCW 34.05.542. No decisions or recommendations arising from this disciplinary procedure will be subject to grievance pursuant to any collective bargaining agreement.
Revised February 2023.