“Membership in society implies minimal norms for civil behavior towards one another. It is our expectation that all members of our college community treat faculty, staff, and fellow students with respect.”
Respect is the center of this policy. Disrespectful, intimidating, or inappropriate behaviors are not acceptable at Granite State College (GSC) and should be reported as soon as possible. This policy applies to the entire GSC community including staff, faculty, students, visitors, and vendors.
The general purpose of the GSC code of conduct policy is to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. Specific to that purpose is the establishment of a clear conduct standard, an explanation of the reporting processes, and an explanation of the conduct investigation, actions, sanction, and appeals processes.
Statement of GSC Conduct Standard
Members of the GSC community, including students, faculty, staff, visitors, and vendors, are expected to treat the college and one another with respect. Respect is necessarily a subjective standard and some conduct may seem respectful to one party and not to the other. The GSC conduct standard allows for these differences by providing a private, fair and expeditious process for resolving these differences before they escalate. Members of the GSC community are expected to know and comply with the policies, rules and procedures of the College including this conduct policy.
Interactions between members of the GSC community are expected to be thoughtful, professional, respectful and civil. Accordingly, any behavior that threatens or endangers the welfare of members of the College community, or substantially disrupts or threatens to substantially disrupt the operation of the College, is prohibited and shall be grounds for disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the College. Such prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, disruptive conduct, harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual violence, quid pro quo harassment, intimidation, and threatening behaviors.
The College reserves the right, notwithstanding anything contained herein, to refer any conduct violation to the appropriate civil or criminal authority, as it may deem appropriate.
Issues concerning academic integrity are subject to the Academic Policies and Procedures explained in the Granite State College Catalog.
Early intervention in conduct issues is the best way to avoid escalation and to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. This goal requires all members of the GSC community to know how to report conduct issues and to feel comfortable participating in the process. It is important to understand that the majority of conduct cases at GSC are resolved informally, expeditiously, and with respect for the privacy of the parties involved.
Disrespectful conduct should be reported to the GSC Conduct Team. GSC community members are often guiding conduct towards the community standard and it can be a judgment call on when to report. If in doubt, please report the incident as your experience of the conduct may be connected to a larger issue.
Retaliation for reporting a conduct issue should be reported promptly to the GCS Conduct Team and may result in disciplinary action independent of the response to the original report of disrespectful conduct.
GSC community members should report conduct issues directly to the GSC Conduct Team.
The GSC Conduct Team consists of:
Interim Title IX Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director of Facilities, Safety, and Sustainability
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
GSC faculty and staff should also inform their supervisors of their reporting unless a conflict of interest prevents them from doing so.
For online and anonymous reporting please use the incident report form at: http://my.granite.edu/incident-report-form
It is important to know that all GSC staff and faculty are required to inform the Title IX Coordinator of any report or notice of sexual harassment, sexual violence or sexual misconduct, regardless of whether the individuals involved are GSC students or employees.
The Title IX Coordinator will work to coordinate resources and support, and inform the victim of their options for pursuing a complaint. If a victim reports an incident, but requests to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation or disciplinary action be taken, the college will weigh that request against the college’s obligation to provide a safe, non –discriminatory environment for all students, including the victim. There may be circumstances in which the college may not be able to honor the victim’s request.
Conduct Investigations, Actions, Sanctions, Appeals, and Grievance
The GSC Conduct Team is responsible for:
- investigating all reported conduct issues;
- determining appropriate actions, including sanctions;
- maintaining a written record of all actions regarding conduct cases.
When a conduct issue has been reported, the GSC Conduct Team will work with relevant GSC managers to develop an expeditious institutional response by the following process:
- The GSC Conduct Team assesses the conduct issue, identifies and interviews people relevant to the conduct issue, and then determines the need for further response. If there is no need for further response this finding will be shared with the reporting party. Typically the finding of no further response simply means that the issue can be resolved informally by the parties involved. Often the GSC Conduct team will assist by advising toward successful informal resolution.
- If further response is needed, the GSC Conduct Team will:
- Determine if the conduct report needs to be referred to the Title IX investigation process (see http://my.granite.edu/student-affairs-areas-responsiblity#titleix );
- Determine if the conduct report, in part or full, needs to be referred to GSC Human Resources for resolution;
- Determine any necessary interim measures, which may include reporting the incident to the police, issuing a timely warning regarding criminal conduct to the GSC community, issuing no contact orders, or other temporary measures to mitigate an active conduct issue;
- Assemble an Institutional Response Team (IRT) consisting of relevant GSC staff (e.g. an advisor, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies , financial aid director, etc., membership of the IRT is contingent on the specific issue being addressed);
- IRT will investigate the issue and will develop an institutional response, including the determination of any sanctions; and
- Inform parties of findings and impose sanctions, if any.
- All reported conduct issues that require an institutional response will become conduct cases and a case file will be maintained containing documentation relevant to the issue. All conduct case documentation will be treated confidentially within the parameters required by law.
Title IX Investigations
Granite State College will conduct a civil rights inquiry of all conduct cases alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/intimate partner violence, and stalking. The civil rights inquiry is an administrative inquiry that seeks to determine if an act of discrimination occurred against a person based on a protected status.
Please refer to the GSC Sexual Misconduct Policies located on MyGranite for policy and investigation procedures for sexual misconduct. (http://my.granite.edu/student-affairs-areas-responsiblity#titleix)
Actions and Sanctions
One or more of the following actions or sanctions may be applied through the conduct investigation or resolution process:
- Written Warning: A written reprimand for violation of a specific nature, including a warning that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action.
- Exclusion/Removal from College Activity/Event/Class: A person given this sanction may be barred from attending a College sponsored activity, event, or class, for a specified period of time, not to exceed 180 days. These restrictions may be extended to participation in online events sponsored by the College.
- No Contact Order: A “no contact” order can be applied to an individual barring them from further contact with a specified person, group, or location. For the latter, if necessary, a no trespass order may be filed with the police.
- Restitution: The College may require restitution for damage, destruction, or theft of College or other property. These charges may not be in excess of the damage or loss incurred and may be imposed together with other sanctions.
- Probationary Suspension: A student may be suspended from the College for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year. The student while suspended shall not participate in any College sponsored activity and will be barred from College premises. Revocation of suspension requires a meeting with the Director of Student Affairs. Students suspended from the College are not entitled to refunds for tuition or fees associated with their interrupted enrollment.
- Dismissal and Expulsion from the College: Permanent separation of the student from the College. A permanent transcript notation is mandatory. As the most severe action of the institution, dismissal and expulsion must be recommended to, confirmed by, and officially imposed under the authority of the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services. Students expelled from the College are not entitled to refunds for tuition or fees associated with their interrupted enrollment.
Appeals and Grievance
Students subject to discipline shall have the opportunity to appeal any decision involving disciplinary action. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services within 10 business days after receipt of the disciplinary action. The appeal must specify the grounds on which it is being made. Allowable grounds for appeals are limited to the following:
- Evidence of procedural irregularity;
- Evidence of significant mitigating circumstances or facts that could not have been presented to the institutional response team;
- Evidence of undue severity of sanction;
- Evidence of bias on the part of a member of the institutional response team or hearing officer;
- Evidence that the decision of the institutional response team or hearing officer is arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable and that the charges are not supported by the evidence.
The student will receive a copy of the appeal decision within 10 business days of the appeal. The appeal decision may require that the previously imposed sanctions be:
- Affirmed and implemented.
- Suspended, set-aside or reversed.
- Modified or amended.
Upon notification, administrative offices throughout the College will take all requisite actions to record and implement the final decision of the College. Appeal decisions made by the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services are final.
In cases where students are not satisfied with the process undertaken to resolve a conduct issue or the implementation of the GSC Conduct Policy, a written grievance may be submitted to the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services. The grievance must specify and explain the policy or procedural complaint or alleged violation. The Vice President of Student and Administrative Services may:
- Investigate the complaint;
- Convene a hearing panel to review the alleged complaint or violation and make recommendations to the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services for resolution; and/or
- Dismiss the grievance as unfounded.
Members of the hearing panel are appointed by the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services for a particular case. The complainant and respondent may be present at the hearing and may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may not disrupt the meeting/interview, either verbally or nonverbally, and may not participate in any capacity other than advisor and observer. The advisor does not represent the complainant or respondent at any point in the process. The hearing panel will review all relevant case documentation to determine the merits of the alleged complaint or violation, and the hearing panel will make a written recommendation to the Vice President of Student and Administrative Services. The Vice President of Student and Administrative Services will render a decision after reviewing the hearing panel’s recommendation, and this decision is final.