In order to provide the best opportunity for student success for all, students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with all civil and criminal laws, does not interfere with the educational environment, and does not endanger the safety, rights or health of any person. The College will take action to prevent and stop any negative behavior(s) that inhibits learning.
Scope of Code
The Student Code of Conduct (Code) applies to the conduct of individual students as well as all Western recognized student organizations or clubs. For the purpose of this policy, a student is defined as any person who attends and/or is enrolled in any classes or program at the college. The Code also applies to any misconduct that occurred prior to a student taking a leave of absence, withdrawing or graduating. A student with pending student conduct action is not permitted to withdraw from the College until all allegations are resolved. The student conduct process may continue without the student's voluntary participation, and sanctions or holds regarding a student's ability to enroll may be placed on the student's record until the matter is resolved or sanctions are satisfied.
The Code applies to guests of Western community members. In circumstances where the guest's behavior violates the Code, the Western host may be held accountable for the guest's behavior. Visitors and guests of Western may utilize the Code to report actions committed against them by any Western student.
There is no time limit on reporting of violations of the Code, however the longer someone waits to report an offense, it may impact the ability of Western officials to obtain information, interview persons involved, and make determinations regarding alleged violations. Prompt reporting is strongly encouraged.
Though anonymous reports are permitted, doing so may limit Western's ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of the misconduct are encouraged to report it as promptly as possible to the Dean of Students and/or Security.
All communication regarding the student conduct process including meeting requests and decision letters will be communicated via the student's student email account.
Violations of Law:
Alleged violations of federal, state and/or local laws occurring on Western controlled properties or by Western students or student organizations may be investigated under the Student Code of Conduct. Any criminal investigation or process is separate from, and does not take the place of, a Western investigation. The student conduct process can occur prior to, at the same time, or following any criminal process. The outcome of any criminal investigation does not influence the student conduct process or outcome.
In certain circumstances, Western reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon receiving a complaint, and prior to the completion of the student conduct process. An interim suspension may be imposed for the safety and well-being of members of the Western community and/or to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being. The Vice President of Student Service and Engagement or designee may interim suspend a student until a hearing can be held, typically within two weeks. This hearing may resolve the allegation, or may be held to determine if the interim suspension should be continued. The interim suspension may be continued if a danger to the community is posed and the College may be delayed or prevented from conducting its own investigation and resolving the allegation due to pending criminal process.
Standards of Conduct
Students are responsible for modeling behavior that represents the core values of Western, and are expected to conduct themselves as responsible members of the Western community. Any student or student organization found to have committed or have attempted to commit any of the following misconduct is subject to the student conduct process:
Abuse of Conduct Process - abuse, interference with, or failure to comply in, Western student conduct processes, including but not limited to:
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
- Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
- Preventing or attempting to prevent an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct process;
- Harassment (verbal or physical) or intimidation of a conduct officer or hearing panel member prior to, during, and/or following a student conduct proceeding;
- Failure to comply with the restorative actions or sanctions and deadlines imposed through student conduct process;
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct system
- Disrupting the orderly conduct of a student conduct meeting or hearing;
Academic Dishonesty - violations of the Academic Integrity Policy (see
Academic Integrity Policy);
Alcohol - use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or paraphernalia, or being under the influence of alcohol while on Western premises, conducting College business, or participating in College-sponsored events or activities except as expressly permitted by Western's alcohol policy (See
C0105 Alcohol and Drug Policy for Employees and Students);
Animals - unauthorized presence of any animal in Western controlled and managed facilities (See
E0710 Animals on Campus Policy);
Bullying and Cyberbullying - repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally, and are not protected by freedom of expression, whether in person or through technological means;
Collusion - any action or inaction with one or more individual(s) to intentionally violate the Student Code of Conduct or encouraging such violation;
Damage to Property - intentional, reckless, and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of Western property or the personal property of another person;
Dating Violence - sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the impacted party (See
Discrimination - any act or failure to act that results in negative or differential treatment or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from services, programs or activities of an individual or group based on actual or perceived status including: sex, gender identity, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy, religion, gender expression, sexual orientation, or other protected status;
Disruptive Behavior - any conduct that disrupts any teaching, service, administrative, disciplinary, or other Western activities or process which occurs on campus or within established Western jurisdiction;
Domestic Violence - misdemeanor and felony crimes of violence committed by an adult person against a spouse, former spouse, an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided in an intimate relationship, against an adult with whom the person has a child in common, or a minor or incapacitated person subject to the control of the offender, such as, but not limited to (per Wisconsin State Statute) (See
- Intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness;
- Intentional impairment of physical condition;
- First, second, or third degree sexual assault (WI Stat Sec. 940.225 (1), (2) or (3))
- Physical act that may cause the other person to reasonably fear imminent engagement in the conduct above;
Drugs - use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs and other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, or being under the influence of illegal drugs or other controlled substances while on Western premises, conducting College business, or participating in College-sponsored events or activities except as expressly permitted by Western's drug and alcohol policy (See
C0105 Alcohol and Drug Policy for Employees and Students);
Election Tampering - tampering with the election of any Western recognized student leadership or organization election (minor election code violations are addressed by Student Government);
Failure to Comply - deliberate noncompliance with the reasonable directives of Western officials during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself or provide identification when requested to do so by a Western official;
Falsification - knowingly furnishing or possessing false, falsified or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments;
Fire Safety - violation of local, state, federal, campus or residence hall fire policies including, but not limited to:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire, regardless of whether or not it damages Western or personal property, or causes injury to any person;
- Failure to evacuate Western controlled facilities during a fire alarm;
- Improper use or possession of fire safety equipment;
- Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment including smoke detectors;
- Falsely reporting a fire-related emergency;
Gambling - unlicensed raffles or lotteries, sports pools, personal or online betting activities, and/or any gambling activities prohibited by the laws of the State of Wisconsin;
Harassment - unwelcome conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it substantially interferes with, limits or denies the ability of a person or persons to work, learn, live, or participate in, or benefit from services, activities, or opportunities provided by Western (See
E0709 Student Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy);
Harm - physical abuse, verbal abusive or other conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes injury or a reasonable expectation of injury to the physical or mental health or safety of another person(s);
Hazing - any act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization, including failing to intervene, discourage, or report such behavior, regardless of participation or cooperation of person(s) being hazed;
Health and Safety - participation in or creation of health and/or safety hazards such as, but not limited to, dangerous pranks; hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs or walls; or reckless driving or using excessive speeds in College parking facilities;
Misuse of Intellectual Property - unapproved download, creation, sale, transfer, access, reproduction or distribution of trademarks or copyright materials, or use of Western Technical College name, images or logos without consent;
Misuse of Technology - unethical, inappropriate, or illegal use of computers, network or other technology systems (See
B0408 Computer and Telecommunications Usage Policy);
Other Policies - violating other published Western policies or rules, including, but not limited to, those specific to a particular program, department, or activity including all residence hall policies;
Public Exposure - deliberately exposing intimate parts of the body, urination, defecation, and or participating in sexual acts where the action may be readily observed by others;
Retaliation - any adverse action (whether physical, verbal or psychological) toward an individual or group who initiated or participated in the investigation of a complaint, civil rights grievance or other protected activity;
Rioting - causing, inciting or participating in any disturbance that presents a clear and present danger to self or others, causes physical harm to others, or damages and/or destroys property;
Sex Offender Registry - failure of any student to promptly self-report to the Dean of Students their status as a registrant on any sex offender registry;
Sexual Misconduct - sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse and/or sexual exploitation. Per Wisconsin law, consent is defined words or overt action by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact (See
Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence for more information and definitions);
Stalking - a course of unwelcome conduct, including harassment, intimidation, or surveillance, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear or substantial emotional distress, such as but not limited to (See
Wisconsin Statute Definition):
- Maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the victim;
- Approaching or confronting the victim;
- Repeated unwanted communication through any means including face-to-face, phone, texts, email, social media, unwanted gifts, etc.;
- Threatening or obscene gestures;
Stolen Property - knowingly taking or maintaining possession of stolen property;
Theft - taking or attempted taking of property, goods, services, funds or other valuables of Western Technical College or of personal property of any person;
Threatening Behavior -
Threat - written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person, or damage to any property;
Intimidation - implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm to any person;
Tobacco - use of tobacco products such as but not limited to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes or vaping devices in buildings or vehicles owned or leased by Western, and in public spaces controlled by Western (See
F0400 Tobacco Free Environment Policy);
Unauthorized Access/Use/Trespass - unauthorized access to any Western building or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or access cards to any Western facility or failing to timely report a lost Western access card or Western issued key; trespass on College property; or unauthorized use of Western property or facilities;
Unauthorized Entry - misuse of access privileges to Western premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings, including trespassing, propping or unauthorized use of alarmed doors for entry into or exit from a Western facility;
Violations of Law - any conduct or action that violates any local, state or federal laws, when substantiated through Western's conduct investigative process;
Weapons - use, concealment, manufacture, or possession of weapons, facsimile firearms, and/or potentially dangerous devices, whether functional or not, in Western owned or leased facilities or buildings; Western-owned vehicles; or at Western sponsored events held on public or private property off-campus (See
C0103 College Violence and Weapon Policy );
Wheeled Devices - skateboards, inline skates, roller skates, bicycles and similar wheeled devices are not permitted inside Western controlled buildings or residence hall, and may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches or any such fixtures on Western controlled properties;
Student Code of Conduct Process
Due to not all situations being of the same severity or complexity, the following student conduct procedures are flexible and may not be exactly the same in every situation.
Any person may file a complaint against a student for an allegation of violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Reports may be made verbally or in writing, and should be made in a timely manner following the incident. Reports may be made to the Student Life Office (Room 100 in the Kumm Center), Security, or online via the campus reporting system (Student Conduct Report). Western reserves the right to initiate a student conduct investigation based on available information even without a formal complaint.
Once an incident is reported, the involved parties will be contacted by a campus administrator to set up an initial meeting. Complaints made verbally will be documented and recorded in writing at that time.
Complaints should include:
Reporting party's name, address, and phone number;
Name of the person who is alleged to have violated the Code;
- Date and location of alleged incident(s);
- A statement describing, in detail, the alleged incident(s)
- Name and contact information of any witnesses;
In exceptional circumstances, provisions may be made to protect the identity of reporters and witnesses upon request. Initial Investigation and Informal Resolution:
Once a complaint has been received, the Dean of Students or designee will designate an administrator to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the incident or complaint, the information available, and the parties involved. The administrator may meet with and/or collect written statements from individuals involved including the report party, the respondent and any witnesses. The preliminary inquiry may result in a determination of:
- Closing the complaint without further action due to lack of or insufficient information to pursue the allegation, or the alleged behavior does not violate the Code.
- Proceeding with further investigation and/or referral for an informal or formal resolution process.
If the administrator finds the responding student is not responsible for violating the Code, the student will be found not in violation and the process will end.
If the administrator finds that the responding student is more likely than not in violation, and the responding student accepts this finding, the administrator will determine the sanction(s) for the misconduct. The responding student may accept or reject the sanctions. If accepted, the process ends. If the administrator finds that is it more likely than not the responding student is in violation, and the responding student rejects the finding and/or sanction(s) in whole or in part, the process moves to the Administrative Process.
The Dean of Students or designee will meet with the reporting party and the respondent separately to review the written complaint, collect or request all relevant information and documents, identify possible witnesses, and review any interim measures, if any. Based on the information collected, the Dean of Students will make the determination if there is sufficient cause found to suggest a conduct violation. If there is not sufficient cause, the Dean or designee will dismiss the allegation and the process will end. If the determination is sufficient cause is present, the Dean or designee will request the responding student participate in a mandatory administrative hearing or will refer the matter to the Student Conduct Hearing Panel.
The responding student will be informed in writing of the allegation(s) against them (including the specific Code alleged to have been violated), and the date, time and location of the required meeting with the Dean of Students or designee. The responding student shall have the right to review the allegation(s), to be given the opportunity to ask questions and present information on their behalf, to be provided the opportunity to admit the allegation(s) and accept responsibility or deny the allegation(s), and to be informed of the process and possible sanctions that may result. Based upon all the information provided regarding the allegation, the Dean or designee will determine whether it is more likely than not that the student's behavior violated college policies. If the finding is that the responding student is not responsible for violating the Code, the process will end and the finding of not in violation will be documented.
If the finding is the responding student is in violation of the Code, and Dean or designee will impose the appropriate sanction(s) for the misconduct. The responding student will be notified in writing of the decision, any imposed sanctions, and the appeal process with three (3) business days.
If the respondent does not agree with the outcome of the administrative hearing, the student has the right to appeal the decision within three (3) business days of receipt of the decision letter. Delivery is considered to be confirmed when it is sent to the designated student email address.
The appeal must be in writing to the Vice President for Student Service and Engagement or designee. The appeal must outline the reason(s) for the request for a review of the administrative process. Appeals can be made on the grounds of: sanction(s) that is substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation; failure to follow written student conduct procedures; significant error or omission that could impact the finding and/or sanction outcome; new information unavailable at the time of the administrative meeting that could impact the finding and/or sanction outcome; or evidence of bias by the administrative hearing officer.
If the appeal is not received by the deadline or does not satisfy the grounds for appeal, the original finding and sanction(s) will stand and the decision will be final. If the appeal has standing, the Vice President or designee will make the determination if the appeal is granted or denied, and why. The Vice President or designee will notify the appealing party of the decision within ten (10) business days to the student email address of record, and the decision will be final.
Student Code of Conduct Hearing Process:
For complaints in which the health and safety of any members of the Western community are in question, significant issues of high complexity exist, or in which the possible sanctions for the alleged offense could result in suspension or expulsion, the Dean of Students or designee may refer the complaint to the Student Code of Conduct Hearing panel.
The responding student shall be notified in writing of the place, time and date of the conduct hearing to review the allegations. The student shall receive said notification by mail, student email, or personal delivery.
The conduct hearing committee will be assembled by the Dean of Students or designee, and will be composed of an academic dean and two Western staff or faculty members who have no previous knowledge of the allegation(s). Hearing panel members will be chosen from a pool members trained annually by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students or designee will appoint a non-voting chair of the hearing panel to ensure procedures are followed through the hearing.
The hearing shall commence no less than 48 hours nor more than seven (7) calendar days from the date the responding student receives the above notice. Delivery is considered to be confirmed when it is sent to the designated student email address. Formal rules, such as applied in civil or criminal courts, are not utilized in conduct hearings. The hearing shall commence at the notified date and time whether or not the responding student is present, and a decision will be made by in absentia. Responding students failing to attend the hearing forfeit their right to present information on their behalf, to ask questions of persons presenting information, and to appeal the outcome.
At the hearing before the panel, the responding student shall have the right to present a statement on their behalf, call witnesses, and to ask questions of any person presenting information at the hearing. If the presenter is uncomfortable with direct questioning, all questions will proceed through the hearing chair. The responding student has the right to be represented in an advisory capacity by legal counsel, if the student chooses. Advisory capacity is defined as the ability to provide advice directly to the student only, and not advocate on behalf of the student to the conduct panel or any persons presenting information. Responding students who choose to be represented by legal counsel are responsible for retaining their own counsel, as well as informing the College in a timely manner about their intent to bring counsel to the hearing. Should a student fail to notify the College in a timely manner, defined as at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing, the College reserves the right to postpone the hearing for up to seven (7) calendar days so that arrangements can be made for legal representation of the College to be present. An advocate, other than legal counsel, (for responding student and/or reporting party) with nonspeaking participation shall be allowed for support. The hearing will be closed to all members of the campus and outside communities except for those directly involved with the complaint. All information presented at the hearing is considered private and subject to FERPA regulations. An audio recording of the hearing will be made to ensure accurate information should the outcome be appealed.
In hearings involving allegations of sexual assault, interpersonal violence or stalking, the reporting party is entitled to the same supports and rights as the responding student.
Based upon all the information provided regarding the allegation, the hearing panel will determine whether it is more likely than not that the student's behavior violated college policies. If it is determined that a violation did occur, the panel will decide as to what, if any, sanctions, suspensions and/or dismissals should be imposed. The panel will issue a written statement to the student informing them of the decision. In hearings regarding sexual assault, interpersonal violence or stalking, the decision will be delivered to both the reporting party and the responding student simultaneously. Student conduct outcomes shall not be changed if any pending related criminal charges are dismissed or altered.
A student shall not be suspended or dismissed prior to the written statement of the panel except by order of one of the Vice Presidents of the College or designee. Immediate suspension, pending the hearing, may be authorized for the safety of the student or for the protection of other students, faculty, staff or college property.
No appeal shall be permitted unless specific allegations are set forth in the appeal alleging a lack of due process or other specific error or omission that could significantly alter the outcome or findings. The appeal is limited to issues related to: sanction(s) that is substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation; failure to follow written student conduct procedures; significant error or omission that could impact the finding and/or sanction outcome; new information unavailable at the time of the hearing that could impact the finding and/or sanction outcome; or evidence of bias by the any member of the hearing panel. The appealing party may request access to review the recording prior to submitting the written appeal.
The appealing party shall file with the Office of the President a written appeal, setting forth with specificity the grounds on which the appeal is based. The written appeal shall bear the original signature of the appealing party and shall be filed with the Office of the President within ten (10) calendar days of the date the written decision was delivered. Delivery is considered to be confirmed when it is sent to the designated student email address. Appeals received after the appeal deadline will not be considered and the decision and any sanction will stand. In appeals regarding sexual assault, interpersonal violence or stalking, both the reporting party and the responding student shall be informed about the process and outcome of the appeal.
The President or designee shall decide the appeal no later than thirty (30) days after the appeal has been filed with the Office of the President. The President or designee will conduct an initial review to determine if the appeal meets the grounds for appeal.
If the appeal does not meet the grounds for appeal standard, the original finding and sanction will stand, and the decision will be final. If the appeal has standing, the President or designee determines whether to refer the appeal to an Appeals Panel or to remand it to the original hearing panel within five (5) business days. If the referral is made to the Appeals Panel, the President or designee will coordinate with the Dean of Students to select Panel members from the hearing panel pool. Appeal Panel members for consideration must not have served on the original hearing panel or been involved in any aspect of the incident investigation, and must be properly trained in appeals procedures.
The President or designee will provide clear instructions for consideration based solely on the granted appeal grounds, and will not be a full re-hearing of the incident. On reconsideration, the Appeals Panel or original decision-maker may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing according to the permissible grounds. All decisions by the Appeal Panel or original decision-makers shall be made within five (5) business days of submission to the appeal body, and are final.
The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student or student organization found responsible for any violation of the Student Code of Conduct. More than one sanction may be imposed for any single Code violation:
Warning – an official written notice stating the responding party has violated Western policies and/or rules, and that more severe conduct action will result should the person or organization be involved in other violations while enrolled at Western;
Non-academic Probation – a designated period of time in which the respondent is not considered in good standing with the College, and subsequent policy violations may result in more severe student conduct actions, up to an including suspension or expulsion from Western. Additional restrictions on membership in organizations or activities may apply for those on probationary status;
Restriction – revocation or restriction of privileges of participation in activities or use of some but not all Western facilities for a specified period of time. The parameters of the restriction will be outlined in the student conduct decision;
Restitution – compensation for the loss, damage, or injury caused by the respondent which may take the form of appropriate service, monetary compensation, or material replacement. This is not a fine but, rather, a repayment for labor costs and/or value of property destroyed, damaged, consumed or stolen;
Community Service – completion of a specified number of hours of service to a specific Western service or approved community partner;
Fines – reasonable fines may be imposed;
Behavioral Requirement – formal written agreement regarding behavior and/or interventions;
Administrative Referral – a mandatory referral to another campus office/department or off campus resource to address concerns regarding a particular behavior or need and /or assessments;
Confiscation of Prohibited Property – items whose possession or presence is a violation of College or residence hall policies may be confiscated. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the Dean of Students or Student Life Coordinator.
Educational Program – requirement to attend, present and/or participate in a program or activity related to the violation;
Residence Hall Probation – a designated period of time in which a student that is housed in the Western Residence Hall is considered not in good standing and subsequent policy violations may result in more severe sanctions, up to and including cancellation of housing contract;
Housing Reassignment – reassignment to another space within the residence hall;
Residence Hall Suspension – removal from Western Residence Hall for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified and may include restrictions;
Cancellation of Housing Contract – permanent removal from Western Residence Hall. This sanction may include a trespass action;
Suspension from College – separation from Western for a specified minimum period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Eligibility may be contingent upon satisfactory completion of specific conditions noted at the time of suspension. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass and/or no contact action;
Expulsion – permanent separation from Western Technical College. Respondent is banned from College property and is prohibited from attending any College sponsored activity or event. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass and/or no contact action;
Eligibility Restriction - student is deemed "not in good standing" with the College for a specified period of time. The Dean of Students may grant specific limitations or exceptions. Terms of this conduct sanction may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Ineligibility to hold any office in any student organization recognized by Western or hold an elected or appointed office at Western Technical College; or
- Ineligibility to represent Western to anyone outside the College community in any way including: participating in the study abroad program, attending conferences, or representing Western at an official function, event or intercollegiate competition as a player, manager or student coach, etc.
Other Sanctions - additional or alternate sanctions may be created and designed as deemed appropriate to the offense with the approval of the Dean of Students or designee.
Western reserves the right to notify parents or guardians of students when the students have committed serious or repeated violations of College polices, local, state and/or federal laws related to the drug and alcohol codes of conduct. Parental notification may be utilized discretionarily by administrators when permitted by FERPA or consent of the student.
Notification of Outcomes:
Outcomes of any student conduct action is part of the educational record of the responding party and is protected from release under FERPA, except under certain conditions. As allowed by FERPA, Western will inform the impacted party in writing of the results of any action involving allegations that constitute a "crime of violence" or sexual misconduct. Such notifications may include the name of the responding student, the violation committed, and the sanction(s) assigned (if applicable).
The Student Code of Conduct Policy and Procedure is adapted from the NCHERM Group Model Developmental Code of Student Conduct and is used here with permission.