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Student Code of Conduct

Lake Michigan College (LMC) seeks to foster a secure learning environment. The Student Code of Conduct sets forth expectations for individuals who choose to become part of the College community. Students attending LMC are responsible for adhering to LMC’s Student Code of Conduct, Rules, Regulations, College Policies, and all local, State and Federal laws.

  • Accused Student– Any student accused of violating this Student Code of Conduct or the general College rules.
  • Appeal-- A request to review a previous College decision. All students are required to state their appeal in writing at the time they begin the appeal process.
  • Campus Designee-- A College appointee who is responsible for initiating the judicial process at the local level.
  • Campus Student Discipline Committee-- Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee; the Public Safety Director/Evening Adminstrators; and an Instruction representative appointed by the Vice President, Instruction. Director, Student Resource Center serves as an alternate as needed.
  • College-- Lake Michigan College
  • College Officials– Administrative and executive Officers and their designees.
  • Complainant– Any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct or the general College rules.
  • Criminal Activity– Any alleged violation of local, State, or Federal laws.
  • Off-campus– Off-campus classes, including online, utilize LMC resources including faculty, internet, or intranet services, whether or not directly operated by LMC.
  • On-campus– All property owned, operated, maintained, controlled, or leased by LMC.
  • Property Belonging to LMC-- All land, buildings, facilities, or other grounds or structures, including adjacent streets and sidewalks, or any item in possession of or owned, used, loaned, leased, maintained, or controlled by LMC or funded by LMC budgets, including computers and network systems, library materials, classrooms, and laboratories used for LMC purposes.
  • Reinstatement Committee- this committee will review and make decisions related to suspended students requests for reinstatement to the College. Requests will only be considered after the original suspension has lapsed.
  • Student– an individual, who is currently enrolled, has been enrolled, or who has applied to be enrolled in the College.
  • Student Appeals Committee– A group of persons authorized by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee to consider whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct.

This Code applies to:

  • The on-campus conduct of all students and registered student organizations.

  • The off-campus conduct of students and registered student organizations in direct connection with the use of College resources, including the campus network; academic course requirements, such as internships, field trips, international study, or experiential learning activities; any activity supporting the pursuit of a certificate or degree, such as research at another institution; and any activity sponsored, conducted, or authorized by LMC or by registered student organizations.

  • Off-campus conduct that negatively impacts LMC such as threats of violence or physical harm, unlawful harassment, or other conduct which may have a negative impact or may place its community (inclusive of students, employees or faculty) at risk.

This Code also applies to:

  • Any activity that causes substantial risk of destruction of property belonging to LMC or causes serious risk of harm or endangers the health or safety of members of the LMC community, including students, staff, and members of the public when participating in LMC events or activities.

  • Or any activity in which a police report has been filed, a summons or indictment has been issued, or an arrest has occurred for criminal activity.

Students of LMC are guaranteed all rights, privileges, and freedoms granted to a citizen of the United States. In addition, they are entitled to an environment that is conducive to learning and individual growth. To this end, students enrolling at LMC assume a responsibility for the College’s student conduct regulations, just as they assume a citizen’s responsibility to abide by Federal, State, and local laws. Violation of statutory laws or the College student conduct regulations or specific departmental rules may lead to disciplinary action(s) by LMC.

Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible individuals in accordance with institutional policies, rules, and regulations. In developing responsible student conduct, the institution prefers advisory, guidance, admonition, and example. However, when these means fail to resolve problems of student conduct and responsibility, appropriate disciplinary procedures will be followed.

Misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary action falls into the general areas of academic dishonesty, threatening physical and verbal behavior, and violations of civil or criminal statutes and/or institutional policies, rules and regulations. A student found to have committed or attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to disciplinary sanctions:

  • Academic Honesty: This means that all academic work will be done by the student to whom it is assigned without giving or receiving unauthorized aid of any kind. Instructors will exercise care in the planning and supervision of academic work so that honest effort will be positively encouraged. Cheating and plagiarism are the two most obvious violations of academic honesty. No student shall engage in behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor of the class, constitutes cheating, fabrication, lying, plagiarism, or theft of academic property. In brief, plagiarism is borrowing ideas, words, organization, etc., from another source or person and claiming them as original. Any dishonest activity may result in failure of specific assignments or an entire course. Falsifying, forging, or altering of student records, College documents, and records or instruments of identification or providing false information to any official, College employee, or office also constitutes academic dishonesty and is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from Lake Michigan College
  • Alcohol and Drugs: The unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession and/or sale of drugs, and unauthorized use and/or sale of alcohol on any LMC property or off campus sites such as hospitals or clinics is illegal and counter to the mission of the College.
  • Assault and Battery: Any conduct, including but not limited to, physical harm or abuse, bullying, verbal abuse, use of profanity, threats, intimidation, harassment, or coercion, or any behavior that threatens or endangers the health, safety, or well-being of any person is prohibited at any location providing College services.
  • Assembly: No student or students shall assemble in a manner that obstructs the free movement of persons about the campus or that interferes with the normal operation of College programs and services.
  • Athletic Conduct: Student-athletes represent LMC in special ways by bringing public and private recognition of the community to LMC. Therefore, the Athletic Department imposes a higher standard of conduct on its student-athletes. The Code set forth below indicates what criteria may be used to suspend or dismiss a student-athlete from an intercollegiate team.
    • Athletes are required to abide by all local, State, and Federal laws, as well as LMC rules and regulations.
    • Team practice and game match rules and regulations are to be adhered to at all times.
    • Athletes are to comply with reporting at a designated time for home athletic contests or departure to or from off-campus competitions unless they have received prior permission of the respective coach to alter their reporting time.
    • Athletes are to adhere to rules regarding tardiness or absenteeism. More than two occasions of tardiness or absenteeism without prior approval of the coach for practice, team departure or any away contest/event, or sports medical treatment will subject the athlete to team suspension.
    • Student-athletes must demonstrate high standards of sportsmanship and fair play while participating in an intercollegiate athletic LMC program.
    • Student-athletes must interact appropriately with teammates, coaches, sports medicine, and support staff. Insubordination in dealing with the coaches, athletic administrative staff, or sports medicine staff will be grounds for suspension or dismissal.
    • Student-athletes must conduct themselves in a manner which brings credit to themselves, their teammates and LMC. Conduct or being involved in activities which could bring negative public opinion to the team or athletic department of LMC is considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.
    • Student-athletes are required to attend classes and study tables to maintain academic standards established by LMC. Athletes who are put on academic, social or disciplinary probation, or suspension from LMC are subject to suspension or dismissal from the intercollegiate team.
  • Classroom Misconduct: Classroom misconduct is any substantial behavior which disrupts or interferes with the learning experience. Students are required and expected to conduct themselves as mature, considerate adults. Students should conduct and express themselves in a way that is respectful to all persons. This includes respecting the rights of others to comment and participate fully in class.
  • Compliance with Applicable Law: No student shall violate any College policy, rule or regulation or other local, State or Federal law, ordinance or regulation on College-owned or operated property or in connection with any College-sponsored program, course of study or activity.
  • Complicity in Violating the Student Code of Conduct: Includes attempting, aiding, abetting, conspiring, hiring or being an accessory to any act prohibited by this Code. If a student has knowledge of another student, individual, or group committing or attempting to commit a violation of the Code, he or she is required to remove him- or herself from the situation and report it to the College.
  • Contracts: No student shall enter into any contract in the name of the institution except with prior written authorization from appropriate College officials.
  • Dishonesty: No student shall furnish false and/or misleading information to the College regarding their admission or attendance. The omission of information shall be considered furnishing false and/or misleading information.
  • Disruptive Behavior: A student shall not behave in a manner that disrupts the academic atmosphere of the institution or that endangers the rights and/or safety of the student or other persons.
  • Failure to Comply: A student shall comply with the direction of institutional officials, faculty, staff, or security officers in performance of their duties and identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. All students will wear or carry an LMC-issued photo identification.
  • Gambling: A student shall not engage in any form of gambling on College-owned or operated property that is not a college-sponsored activity.
  • Harassment: A student shall not engage in harassment or bullying of another person in violation of federal and/or state law.
  • Indecent or Obscene Behavior: A student shall not engage in any indecent or obscene behavior.
  • Keys: A student shall not engage in the unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any institutional facility nor engage in unauthorized entry to or use of institutional premises or property.
  • Obstruction/Abuse of Grievance Procedure: Includes but is not limited to:
    • Failure to comply with a summons of the Student Appeals Committee.
    • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of the information to the Student Appeals Committee.
    • Disruption or interference with the orderly process of a discipline hearing.
    • Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the Student Discipline Grievance Procedure.
    • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Student Appeals Committee prior to and/or after a Student Discipline Grievance Procedure.
    • Verbal or physical harassment and/or intimidation of a member of Student Appeals Committee prior to, during, and/or after a Student Discipline Grievance Procedure.
    • Failure to comply with decisions, recommendations or sanctions imposed by the Student Appeals Committee.
    • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Discipline Grievance Procedure.
  • Registered Sex Offender: A student who is convicted of a felony or a crime requiring listing on the sex offender registry shall notify the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee of such status.
  • Safety: A student shall not engage in behavior that violates any safety rules of any classroom, laboratory, or other institutional facility. This shall include, without limitation, the wearing of any required personal safety equipment and following prescribed methods and procedures for handling and disposing of materials, which may be hazardous, unstable, contagious, etc.
  • Signs: A student shall not erect or display signs or posters on College-owned or operated property unless authorized by the institution. A student shall not deface, alter, tamper with, destroy or remove any sign or inscription on College-owned or operated property.
  • Soliciting: A student or organization may not use institutional facilities, solicit funds or goods on or off-campus, or schedule activities unless such action has been approved by appropriate institutional officials. Students may post information on identified, public boards on each campus.
  • Smoking and Use of Tobacco: In accordance with the Michigan Clean Indoor Act, P.A. 198 of 1986, LMC maintains a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not allowed inside the Napier Avenue Campus academic building, the Mendel Center, the Bertrand Crossing Campus, M-TEC facility, or South Haven Campus. Smoking and use of tobacco products is not allowed anywhere inside the premises, including restrooms and private offices, or other space owned, operated, or leased by LMC, or in any College vehicles. Employees and students who are found smoking or using tobacco products outside of the designated smoking areas will be considered in violation of College policy and will be subject to discipline in the same manner as violations of other College policies. (Also see Smoking Section of the Student Handbook.)
  • Theft or Other Abuse of Computer Time: This is addressed in detail in the College Handbook. (See Computer Lab Procedures section of the Student Handbook.)
  • Theft and Vandalism: A student shall not engage in attempted theft of and/or damage to property of the institution or a member of the College community or other personal or public property.
  • Use of Institutional Facilities: Unlawful or unauthorized use of the institutional facilities is prohibited.
  • Weapons: A student shall not possess, use, or threaten to use weapons or explosives on any College-owned or operated property or at a College-sponsored activity except as specifically authorized in writing by appropriate College officials. (Also see the Weapons-Free Campus Policy.)
  • Other Prohibited Misconduct: The College reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse admission and/or continued enrollment if the College determines that the applicant/student is a threat or a potential danger to the College community or if such refusal is considered in the best interest of the College. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee may specify other behaviors that shall constitute student misconduct, subject to the approval of the President.

When reports of alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct surface, they are addressed by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. The steps followed to resolve formal disciplinary matters are called the judicial process. The judicial process exists to ensure that basic due process is granted to all LMC students who find themselves in conflict with the College standards. Students, faculty, and staff may report possible infractions.

Due Process is the guarantee of student civil rights under the Constitution of the United States and the laws and regulations of Michigan and Lake Michigan College. Due Process is that process which prevents rights from being taken away from an individual without notice and an opportunity to respond to allegations.

Due process requires that the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall meet with the student as soon as possible after the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct and at such meeting the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall provide the student with (1) notice of the alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct, (2) the facts upon which the alleged violation is made, and (3) an opportunity to discuss the alleged violations and to be heard. Within five (5) school days of the meeting, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will provide the student with notice of the decision and information regarding the appeal process, if applicable.

Anyone wishing to report student misconduct shall document all relevant information via a LMC Complaint Resolution Form, which shall be provided to a member of the campus administration. When a written incident report is filed, it shall be forwarded to the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. Following review of the incident report (which may include, without limitation, any and all research deemed appropriate regarding the underlying incident), a determination will be made by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee (in possible consultation with other campus and/or College leadership) whether charges of misconduct should be filed in response to the incident.

When a report of possible infraction of the Student Code of Conduct is received by the Office of the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee, the following process is implemented:

  1. The report of alleged misconduct is reviewed by any of the following: The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee or his/her designee, the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, or the Director of Student Life. This review will determine suitable address of the matter, including whether judicial action should be initiated and may include contacting the student reportedly involved in the incident and/or other witness(es) to seek additional, clarifying information. Review of a reported incident does not, in itself, constitute judicial action.
  2. If it is determined that judicial action should be initiated to resolve a more serious infraction, written notice of judicial charges and sanctions is sent to the student’s local address listed in College records and a meeting with the accused student is conducted by either the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee or his/her designee, the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, or the Director of Student Life.
  3. Failure or refusal to pick up or accept a letter does not remove the student’s obligation to adhere to any instructions, sanctions, or deadlines issued in the letter.
  4. A student may not avoid adjudication of an alleged policy infraction by withdrawing from the College. Should a student withdraw or depart from the College before investigation and/or adjudication of an alleged infraction is completed, the judicial process may proceed, and appropriate sanctions for confirmed charges may be issued. Pending resolution of a disciplinary matter, a hold will be placed on the absent student’s transcript.

The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee handles matters that require disciplinary action at Lake Michigan College. All students at the College are guaranteed due process (see Due Process section of this document) in disciplinary matters. When a student has been charged with misconduct or an infraction of the College rules, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will confer with the student charged. The student will be informed of his/her right to have an advisor present during this conference. Pending action by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee on the charges, the status of the student will not be altered, nor will his/her right to be present on the Campus and to attend classes be suspended, except for reasons related to the safety and/or well being of other LMC students, employees, or property. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall be the person to make the decision to suspend with regard to safety or property.

Disciplinary actions taken by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designees toward a student found responsible for misconduct or a violation of College rules may include, but are not limited to, an oral warning up to expulsion from the College. See sanctions below.

Any combination of the following sanctions or other sanctions may be imposed through the judicial process. Multiple and/or repeated violations typically result in increased sanctions. The sanctions listed are not inclusive, but merely serve as guidelines:

  1. Formal warning: a written reprimand that expresses disapproval of the student’s actions and warns against any potential violations of College policy in the future.
  2. Probation: a period of observation and review. The length of this period of probation will be determined by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. If found responsible for violating any College policies or failure to comply with other requirements stipulated during this period, the student may be immediately suspended from the College and/or its events pending further disciplinary review.
  3. Suspension: immediate dismissal from classes and activities at the College for at least the remainder of the session/semester in progress and/or a specified period of time thereafter. Any additional violations or failure to comply with other requirements stipulated during this period of suspension may result in expulsion. During suspension, the student is not permitted to visit the College premises or attend any College functions without prior written permission from the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. Any student who is suspended due to misconduct will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or other fees after financial aid is adjusted.
  4. Expulsion: the most severe sanction for violation of College policy is expulsion, which results in immediate dismissal and permanent separation from the College. Any student who is expelled due to misconduct will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or other fees and may incur additional charges and fees after financial aid is adjusted.
  5. College property restrictions: restriction from certain College facilities or property, either physical or virtual, for a definite period of time.
  6. Fine: a monetary penalty for property damage, theft, or other violations that result in inconvenience or cost to others.
  7. Parental notification: as permitted by law, the College reserves the right to disclose to parents or legal guardians information about a student’s violation of College regulations and policies and Federal, State and/or local laws governing the use of alcohol or a controlled substance. The College may notify parents/legal guardians of alcohol or a controlled substance violation if the student is under the age of 21. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee determines the circumstances under which parental notification takes place.
  8. Restitution: compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  9. Educational sanctions: a student is required to write a paper, plan and present a program, attend a class or seminar, or complete other educational requirements.
  10. Loss of privileges: denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
  11. Disqualification from receipt of institutional financial aid while the sanction is imposed or possibly thereafter.
  12. Interim suspension: temporarily restrict student(s) from campus/College activities pending a hearing.
  1. Expulsion or suspension  
    1. All recommendations for expulsion or suspension shall be directed to the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee or designee, who may also initiate such action on his/her own authority. Where such recommendation is received, where the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee or designee on his/her own authority determines such recommendation appropriate, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall meet with the student within five (5) school days and shall provide the student with (1) notice of the recommendation, (2) the facts or allegations upon which the recommendation is made, (3) an opportunity to discuss the allegations and to provide such information as the student deems appropriate or relevant, and (4) the right to appeal. 
    2. Upon receiving a recommendation for expulsion or suspension, or upon determining on his/her own authority that such discipline is appropriate, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee may temporarily prohibit the student from attending any classes or participating in any other college activities until the meeting with the student is held.  
    3. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee may either (a) impose such lesser discipline as he/she deems appropriate under the circumstances, or (b) recommend to the president that such student be expelled or suspended. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall notify the student of his/ her recommendation and shall also notify the student of his/her appeal rights.  
    4. See Student Appeal Process. 
  2. Exclusion from a Class or Course, Probation, or Reprimand  
    All recommendations for exclusion or removal from a course or class for reprimand or censure, or for probation must be initiated by a faculty member or adjunct. Or it may be initiated by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee upon his/ her own authority. Where such a recommendation is received, or where the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee, deems such discipline appropriate, he/she shall meet with the student within five (5) school days and both will follow the Academic Complaint Procedure. 

Step 1: Violation – Student Code of Conduct  

Alleged event or alleged code of conduct violation occurs and the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee is notified. Investigation and adjudication of alleged violation occurs. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee send student(s) a letter describing the allegation(s), or violation(s) and sanction(s) if applicable. Student is informed of rights regarding appeal.  

Step 2: Student Response  

  1. Student agrees with the findings and the case is closed.  
  2. If student disagrees with findings and/or sanction(s) the student can appeal the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee’s decision through the Student Appeal Process with the Student Appeal Committee. The student must submit their appeal request in writing to the College ombudsperson within five (5) business days after receiving the final decision from the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee.  

Step 3: Student Appeal Committee  

(If student disagrees with findings and/or sanction(s)) Within seven (7) business days of receiving the written appeal request the Student Appeal Committee will set a hearing date. The Student Appeal Committee will hear the case and make a final determination as to whether the student violated the Code of Conduct. Within seven (7) business days after the hearing the Student Appeal Committee will render a decision and the decision is final.  

The college reserves the right for the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee to suspend the normal judicial process under the following circumstances: cases where a student may present a threat of harm to self, or others, to property, or are disruptive to the campus living and learning community.  

General Provisions  

  1. All documents, communications, and all records dealing with an appeal shall be filed by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. All records of actions under this procedure shall be held in strict confidence and will be available to the student initiating the appeal or his/her representative.  
  2. Hearings and conferences held under this procedure shall be conducted at a time and place that will afford a fair and reasonable opportunity for all appropriate persons to be present. When such hearings and conferences are held during college hours, employees who are required to attend shall be excused to do so with no reduction in pay. Students who are required to attend will be excused from classes with no penalty.  
  1.  Jurisdiction  
    The Student Appeals Committee shall hear and determine appeals in the following situations: Student-, faculty-, or staff-generated complaints concerning student conduct excluding grades. The decision of the Student Appeals Committee is final.  
  2. Composition  
    The Student Appeals Committee shall consist of two (2) students from Student Senate, two (2) faculty from outside the division*, two (2) administrators outside the division and one (1) classified staff. The director of intercollegiate athletics will chair and facilitate the Student Appeals Committee and is a non-voting member. The Student Senate, Division and Departments will annually create a pool of participants from which to draw committee members. *Division refers to that of the faculty referenced in the complaint.  

  3. Ombudsperson  
    Any full-time staff and/or faculty member can serve as the Lake Michigan College ombudsperson and is appointed by the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. The ombudsperson’s primary duty is to assist students in resolving complaints or disputes within the college. The ombudsperson also helps staff members, instructors, and administrators sort through college rules and regulations that might apply to specific issues and concerns. The ombudsperson carries out these duties in a neutral, confidential, informal and independent manner. The current Benton Harbor Campus ombudsperson is the director, advising and retention, room A-204, (269) 927-6280.  
     
    The South Haven campus ombudsperson is the Director of the Campus and can be reached at (269) 637-7500.  
     
    Current Niles Campus ombudsperson is the director of student services, room BC-101b, (269) 695-2988.  
     
    Following a request for assistance, the ombudsperson will take one or more of the following actions: (1) listen carefully to the concern, (2) explain relevant student rights and responsibilities, (3) review relevant college policies or regulations, (4) suggest fair and equitable options, 5) refer the individual to an appropriate college or community resource, or (6) investigate, when necessary. The ombudsperson is available to all parties involved in Student Appeals Committee hearings, the final step in an effort to resolve a dispute. 
     
    NOTE: The ombudsperson is not an advocate for any group on campus; instead the ombudsperson is an advocate for fairness. The ombudsperson also does not provide legal service, represent students or instructors at academic grievance or disciplinary hearings or mediate disputes between or among faculty or between faculty and administrators. The office of the ombudsperson does not accept formal complaints or notice for the college. Members of the LMC community may contact the ombudsperson in person or by e-mail. At any point in the process, the student, faculty, adjunct or staff may enlist the assistance of the LMC ombudsperson for procedural assistance. Any informal records that are generated will be kept on file by the ombudsperson. The above procedure excludes issues related to sexual harassment, civil rights, Title IX, and disability concerns. Complaint procedures for these areas can be found in the college Policies section of the college catalog or directed to the executive director of human resources and diversity in room A305, (269) 927-8102. Any questions regarding your rights under Section 504 should be directed to the Student Outreach and Support Services office at (269) 927-8866.  

The purpose of a hearing is to provide the opportunity for the campus designee or complainant and the respondent to present all relevant information and evidence with regard to the alleged misconduct. It is the responsibility of the Student Appeals Committee, as applicable, to consider impartially all relevant information and evidence, determine the facts, apply college policy, and impose appropriate sanctions if the respondent is found responsible for the alleged violation. College judicial hearings are administrative hearings that allow flexibility and are not courts of law. Students may have an advisor from the college community during the hearings, but not an attorney. The advisor cannot speak or ask questions during the hearings or interrupt the procedures in any way. The judicial process is separate and independent from any civil or criminal action and may proceed even if a related matter is anticipated or pending in other forums. Rules of evidence and the criminal standard of proof do not apply. Student Appeals Committee members, as applicable, are expected to find a student or student organization responsible for violations of college policies only if the information shows that it is more likely than not that misconduct occurred.  

Whenever a hearing in front of the Student Appeals Committee is to be held regarding an allegation of misconduct, the campus designee or respondent and the complainant shall be given at least three (3) business days’ notice of the charges and the date, time, and place of the hearing. Failure of the respondent to attend the hearing will result in the case being heard in his or her absence. The order of presentation of the hearing will normally be as follows:  

  1. Introductions and reading of the charge(s) by the Student Appeals Committee Chair.  

  1. The campus designee or complainant presents an opening statement.  

  1. The accused presents an opening statement. 

  1. The campus designee or complainant presents relevant evidence and witnesses.  

  1. The accused may question the campus designee or complainant’s witnesses.  

  1. The Student Appeals Committee may question the campus designee or complainant’s witnesses.  

  1. The accused presents relevant evidence and witnesses.  

  1. The campus designee or complainant may question the witnesses of the accused.  

  1. The Student Appeals Committee may question the accused’s witnesses.  

  1. The Student Appeals Committee presents any witnesses called by the Student Appeals Committee itself.  

  1. First the campus designee or complainant and then the accused may question the Student Appeals Committee’s witnesses.  

  1. Any witness may be recalled for further questioning by any participant.  

  1. The campus designee or complainant presents a final statement.  

  1. The accused presents a final statement.  

  1. The Student Appeals Committee deliberates privately and renders a decision.  

  1. The Student Appeals Committee Chair sends to accused student the decision in writing within seven (7) business days.  

The Student Appeals Committee may ask questions of witnesses at any time and also facilitate the presentation of the case. The Student Appeals Committee may call additional witnesses or seek further evidence relating to a case if the Student Appeals Committee member desires clarification or further information. All hearings shall be closed to everyone except the Student Appeals Committee appropriate college staff, the respondent, the campus designee or complainant, the observer/recorder selected by the college, and witnesses during the actual time of their testimony. The proceedings of the Student Appeals Committee hearings are presumptively confidential. Unauthorized disclosure of information by any party or witness involved during the hearing process may lead to disciplinary action.  

The respondent is entitled to be present at the hearing, to hear and respond to evidence regarding the charges, to present witnesses, and to question witnesses and other evidence. Witnesses must be members of the college faculty, staff or student body; unless the Student Appeals Committee rules that others may appear in the interest of the case. The respondent and complainant must give the names of all relevant witnesses to the ombudsperson at least two (2) business days before the hearing. The respondent and complainant will have access to the names of all witnesses. It is the responsibility of the respondent and complainant to notify all witnesses of the date, time, and location of a hearing. If a witness fails to appear, the hearing shall be held in his or her absence. 

All relevant information will be admissible. It is the responsibility of the respondent and complainant to submit all relevant information to the ombudsperson at least two (2) business days before the hearing. The chair, in consultation with the Student Appeals Committee members, will determine relevance. All evidence and information presented to the Student Appeals Committee is expected to be truthful, accurate, and complete. Failure to give truthful and complete information at a hearing may result in disciplinary action for a witness. Following the proceedings, the Student Appeals Committee will meet in a private session to deliberate whether the respondent is responsible or not for the charges based on the Committee’s judgment of whether it is more likely than not that misconduct has occurred. The Student Appeals Committee will not provide input on sanction(s) to the respondent. The Student Appeals Committee’s decision shall be based only on evidence presented at the hearing. The chair will remain in the session as a resource person, but will not participate in the deliberations. The Student Appeals Committee must reach a majority decision, with all members of the Student Appeals Committee voting. The decision of the Student Appeals Committee is final.  

If a student is dismissed or suspended from one LMC location, that individual is dismissed or suspended from all LMC locations. After the suspension/dismissal period has been met the individual under dismissal or suspension may apply for reinstatement. The suspension/dismissal starts at the time/date of official notification to the student from the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. Prior to returning to campus, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee may, if deemed appropriate, require the student to be assessed by an appropriate psychological provider (e.g., licensed clinical mental health counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed social worker). The purpose of the evaluation is to assure:  

  1. The student is safe to return to campus and does not pose an immediate harm to him/herself or others and is able to adequately care for him or herself.  

  1. The student is able to function both socially and academically and will not cause any disruption to the community and normal functioning of the college.  

 The individual must begin the reinstatement appeal process by informing, in writing, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. The letter should include a description of specific goals and supportive steps that the student will implement to help reduce the risk of another episode (or conduct issue) that caused the initial suspension or dismissal from the college. The appeal will be reviewed by the Admission Review  Panel and/or the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee, who will act on the appeal within thirty (30) days of its receipt. The recommendation of the Admission Review Panel and/or Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee, will be final. If the reinstatement request is denied, the student may appeal for reinstatement again after an additional five (5) years.  

Lake Michigan College strives to resolve all student complaints in a fair and expedient manner. This policy and procedure pertain to non-civil rights* related complaints that involve issues that are general in nature and are not related to instruction or academic matters, such as complaints about non-teaching college staff, the parking lot, snow removal, bathroom maintenance, facility issues, etc.  Student who have complaints that involve instruction or academic matters, such as evaluations of academic work (e.g., examinations, quizzes, papers, final course grades, etc.), and/ or failure of a faculty member to follow college policies and/or procedures as they relate to instruction or academic matters, should refer to the Student Complaint: Academic policy and procedure. 

Students who want to file a complaint regarding general, non-academic college operations should report their concerns to the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. The following steps outline the requirements of the students as well as the timeline for the General Complaint Process: 

  • Verbal or written student complaint(s) should be submitted to The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will consider the merits of the complaint and will take any and all action they consider appropriate or necessary to resolve the concerns raised in the complaint. At this level, the student may request to remain anonymous. Students having a complaint may submit the complaint either verbally or in writing at any time. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will respond to the complaint within 7 business days. 
  • If the student’s verbal or written complaint is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction and the student chooses to continue to pursue the complaint further, the student must submit a request in writing (making the complaint a formal complaint) to the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee requesting further resolution. The written request must be submitted within10 business days of notification of the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee's resolution to the informal complaint. The written request must include the specific nature of the complaint, reasons for filing the complaint, all documentation supporting the complaint,  and the specific remedy requested. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will seek a resolution by using the following means:  
    • Contact the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that a complaint has been lodged against and arrange a meeting between the parties involved to discuss a possible resolution. The written complaint will be forwarded to all appropriate parties involved in the conflict prior to the meeting.  
    • If a satisfactory resolution is concluded, then the appropriate college employee who received the complaint shall notify the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee that the complaint has been resolved, and an appropriate entry shall be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log. 
    • Should a resolution not be reached, the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will review the complaint and all supporting material and render a written decision regarding the complaint which shall include the basis of the decision. A decision to the formal complaint will be rendered within five  (5) business days and will be communicated in writing. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing with a copy to the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that the complaint has been lodged against. An entry regarding the complaint and resolution will be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log. 
    • Appeal Process: In the event the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee is unable to resolve the complaint; the complaint will be forwarded to the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee for review and action. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will review the complaint and all supporting material and render a written decision regarding the complaint which shall include the basis of the decision. A decision to the formal complaint will be rendered within  five  (5) business days and will be communicated in writing. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing with a copy to the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that the complaint has been lodged against.   The decision from the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall be final. No further appeal will be considered.  An entry regarding the complaint and resolution will be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log. 

Formal complaints will result in an anonymous entry into the LMC Student Complaint Log. The log is available for review by college staff, representatives of accrediting agencies, and by other, appropriate outside agencies. The names of any individuals involved in a complaint (including the names of any student(s) or LMC staff directly involved) are not part of the log. The LMC Student Complaint Log will include the following information: 

  1. A description of the complaint 

  1. The date the complaint was received 

  1. The category of the complaint (grounds, facilities, etc.) 

  1. Steps taken to address the complaint 

  1. The disposition of the complaint, including referral to an outside agency 

  1. Any external actions initiated by a student and related to a given complaint 

LMC will maintain records of complaints for a minimum of ten years. The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee will maintain the LMC Student Complaint Log. Accrediting agencies and other appropriate outside agencies will be able to review the LMC Student Complaint Log in conjunction with accrediting visits and self-studies. 

Complaint resolution procedures are published on the LMC website and Student Handbook. Students can get hard copies at any LMC Student Information Center location. 

This policy and procedure does not apply to issues related to sexual harassment, civil rights, Title IX, and disability concerns. Complaints or concerns related to civil rights issues should be discussed with the Executive Director of Human Resources.

LMC distance education students wishing to file a formal complaint must first seek resolution through LMC’s Student Complaint Policies and Procedures. LMC participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the state of Michigan. If a student’s complaint cannot be resolved internally at LMC, the student may file a complaint with the State of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department.

Lake Michigan College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds several program accreditations. Learn more about LMC’s accreditations.

All complaints submitted in writing, signed by a student, and addressed to or submitted to an academic officer may be shared with agencies that accredit the College or its programs unless the student expressly prohibits the College from doing so.

In accordance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, prospective students, enrolled students, and employees may access student consumer information on LMC's website.

The welfare and success of Lake Michigan College (LMC) depends on the physical and psychological health of all its students and employees. The abuse of drugs and alcohol poses a serious threat to the College, its students, and its employees. Commonly abused or improperly used drugs and substances include, among others, alcohol, pain killers, sedatives, stimulants, tranquilizers, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs.

Lake Michigan College does not encourage or discourage alcohol consumption for those individuals who are of legal age in the State of Michigan. However, Lake Michigan College requires that when alcohol is consumed on the premises, that it be utilized in a socially responsible manner and only in those public situations with prior approval by the College.

It is the joint responsibility of the College, its students, and its employees to follow the policies and procedures developed to support a safe, drug-free environment.

Be it known, therefore, that Lake Michigan College will make a good faith effort to continue to maintain a drug-free work place through the implementation of the following policies:

A. Employees

  1. The manufacture, distribution, possession, unauthorized use or sale of any federally controlled substance and/or alcohol on College premises or while acting as an agent of the College is prohibited and will constitute grounds for termination.
  2. Each Employee engaged in the performance of a federal contract or grant must have a copy of the “Code of Conduct Policy to Support Drug Free Workplace” and must agree, as a condition of employment, to abide by its terms and to notify the College of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after the conviction.
  3. The College will notify federal contracting or granting agencies of any convictions (as described in paragraph 2) immediately within ten (10) days after receiving notice of the conviction.
  4. The college requires employees convicted of violations of criminal drug statutes in the workplace to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, or face sanctions up to and including termination.

The College will establish such procedures as it finds necessary to effectively enforce this policy. The College maintains an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). It strongly urges employees to use the program for confidential help with alcohol or drug problems. It is each employee’s responsibility to seek assistance from the EAP before the problem affects judgment, performance and behavior.

B. Students

The manufacture, distribution, possession, unauthorized use or sale of any federally controlled substance and/or alcohol on College premises or while engaged in College activities is punishable by law and is prohibited and will be subject to discipline, including expulsion.

The College will establish such procedures as it finds necessary to effectively enforce this policy.

The Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (34 CFR Part 86) of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) requires an institution of higher education (IHE) such as Lake Michigan College, to certify that it has implemented programs to prevent the abuse of alcohol and use and/or distribution of illicit drugs both by LMC students and employees both on its premises and as a part of any of its activities.

At minimum, an IHE must annually distribute the following in writing to all students and employees:

  1. Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees;
  2. A description of the legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
  3. A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol abuses;
  4. A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation reentry programs that are available to employees or students; and
  5. A clear statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees and description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution for violations of the standards of conduct.
  1. Federal
    Federal law provides criminal and civil penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of a controlled substance. Under the Controlled Substance Act as well as other related federal laws, the penalties for controlled substance violations includes, but is not limited to, incarceration, fines, potential for the forfeiture of property used in possession or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance (which may include homes, vehicles, boats, aircrafts and any other personal or real property), ineligibility to possess a firearm, and potential ineligibility to receive federal benefits (such as student loans and grants).
     
  2. State
    Under current Michigan state law, “a person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance.” If an individual is found guilty of a violation of the state law, they may be subject to large fines and/or imprisonment.

    A minor may not “purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor, consume or attempt to consume alcoholic liquor, possess or attempt to possess alcoholic liquor, or have any bodily alcohol content.” Violation of the law may subject a minor to fines, participation in a substance abuse program or treatment center, imprisonment, community service hours, and/or out of pocket expenses related to required substance abuse screenings.
     

  3. Local
    Berrien County follows State of Michigan laws.

A. Drug Abuse

The following subcategories are the most frequently used drugs, listed with their associated risks associated category (ies), per the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (www.drugfree.org).

  1. Prescription Drugs- covers both legally and/or illegally obtained.
    1. Prescription pain relievers (Codeine, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin) – a large single dose can cause severe respiratory depression that can lead to death.
    2. Prescription Stimulants (Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin) – taking high doses may result in dangerously high body temperatures and an irregular heartbeat. Potential for heart attack or lethal seizures.
    3. Prescription Sedatives and/or Tranquilizers (Merbaral, Quaaludes, Xanax, Valium) – slows down the brain’s activity and when a user stops taking them, there can be a rebound effect, possibly leading to seizures and other harmful consequences.
  2. Marijuana (Blunt, Dope, Grass, Hash, Herb, Mary Jane, Pot, Reefer, Skunk, Weed) – can cause memory and learning problems, hallucinations, delusions and depersonalization.
  3. Ecstasy/MDMA (Adam, Bean, E, Roll, X, XTC) - can cause severe dehydration, liver and heart failure and even death.
  4. Heroin (Big H, Black Tar, Dope, Junk, Skunk, Smack) – chronic heroin users risk death by overdose.
  5. Inhalants (Whippets, Bagging, Huffing, Poppers, Snappers, Dusting) – Chronic exposure can produce significant damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.
  6. Cocaine/Crack (Big C, Blow, Bump, Coke, Nose Candy, Rick, Snow) – can cause heart attacks, strokes and seizures. In rare cases, sudden death on the first use.

B. Dangers In The Workplace

On a worksite, the use of alcohol and other drugs may result in:

  1. mistakes, accidents and injuries
  2. damage to workplace equipment, causing subsequent injuries
  3. a deterioration in workplace relationships
  4. increased sickness-related absenteeism
  5. lateness and lost time
  6. a decrease in productivity
  7. a decrease in staff morale

A. Employees

The following programs are available for employees at LMC:

  1. The college’s Employee Assistance Program, available to all full- and part-time employees, is administered through HelpNet. Information can be found in the Human Resources offices or on SharePoint under the staff and faculty benefit links.
  2. Substance abuse treatment including counseling, in-patient and out-patient care, is available through the LMC group health plans. For more information employees may contact the Human Resource Manager/Benefits Specialist at (269) 927-8146.

B. Currently Enrolled Students

The following programs are available to currently enrolled students:

  1. Substance Treatment Resources in Berrien County:
    • Comfort in Counseling Robyn’s Nest (269)983-6686
    • Harbortown Treatment Center (269)926-0015
    • Riverwood Center (800)336-0341
    • Southwestern Michigan Clinic Christian Counseling (269)429-7727
  2. Students who would like information regarding additional alcohol and drug abuse referral services may contact the Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee at (269) 927-8150.
  3. Educational programs covering drug or alcohol abuse are covered in the Healthful Living, Health and Fitness, and Personal Health classes to acquaint students with the concept of wellness and the relationship between physical activity and optimal Health and fitness.
  4. Brochures on underage drinking, drunk driving consequences, and drug use/abuse are available to students in multiple campus locations
  5. Informational booths and tables on substance and alcohol abuse are available to students.

A. Employees

“As required by the drug free workplace act, any employee found to be in violation of the above prohibition shall be subject to (1) mandatory participation in drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation programs as condition of continued employment; and/or (2) disciplinary action up to and including discharge or dismissal”

Furthermore, as a condition of continued employment, any employee who is convicted for a violation of any state or federal criminal statute involving manufacture, distribution, dispensation or use of any controlled substance in the workplace shall notify the Executive Director of Human Resources of the conviction no later than 5 days after such conviction. The Executive Director shall report the conviction as required by the Drug Free Act. Failure to timely report such conviction shall subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Any employee who is convicted as described above may be subject to (1) participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as condition of continued employment; and/or (2) disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

B. Currently Enrolled Students

Violations of the student code of conducts are taken very seriously. When a currently enrolled student violates the student code of conduct, the following sanctions will apply.

Any combination of the following sanctions or other sanctions may be imposed through the judicial process. Multiple and/or repeated violations typically result in increased sanctions. The sanctions listed are not inclusive, but merely serve as guidelines.

  1. College property restricted: restrictions from certain college facility or property, either physical or virtual, for a definite period of time.
  2. Disqualification from receipt of institutional financial aid while the section is imposed or possible thereafter.
  3. Educational Sanctions: a student is required to write a paper, plan and present a program, attend a class or seminar, or complete other educational requirements.
  4. Expulsion: the most severe sanction of violation of college policy is expulsion which results in immediate dismissal and permanent separation from the college. Any student who is expelled due to misconduct will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or other fees and may incur additional charges and fees after financial aid is adjusted.
  5. Fine: a monetary penalty for property damage, theft, or other violations that result in inconvenience cost to others.
  6. Formal warning: a written reprimand that expresses disapproval of the student’s actions and warns against any potential violations of college policy in the future.
  7. Interim Suspension: temporarily restrict student(s) from campus /college activities pending hearings.
  8. Loss of Privileges: denial of specific privileges for a designated period of time.
  9. Parental Notification: as permitted by law, the college reserves the right to disclose to parents or legal guardians information about a student’s violation of college regulations, polices and federal, state and/or local laws governing the use of alcohol and other controlled substances. The college may notify parents /legal guardians of alcohol or a controlled substance violation if the student is under 21. The Vice President of Students Engagement and Support or designee determines the circumstances under which parental notification takes place.
  10. Probation: a period of observation and review. The length of this period of probation will be determined by the Vice President of Student Engagement and Support or designee. If found responsible for violating any college policies or failure to comply with other requirements stipulated during this period, the student may be immediately suspended from college and/or events pending disciplinary review.
  11. Restitution: compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate services and/or monetary replacements.
  12. Suspension: immediate dismissal from classes and activities at the college for at least the remainder of the term/semester in progress and/or a specific period of time thereafter. Any additional violations or failure to comply with other requirements stipulated during this time of suspension may result in expulsion. During suspension, the student is not permitted to visit the college premises or attend any college functions without prior written permission from the Vice President of Student Engagement and Support of designee. Any student who is suspended due to misconduct will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or other fees and may incur additional charges and fees after finical aid is adjusted.

The College will provide currently enrolled students and employees with a copy of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program notice annually. This notice will be emailed to the student via their Lake Michigan College student email as well as their personal email. All employees will receive the notice through the College email system.

The Vice President Student Engagement and Support or designee shall have oversight responsibility of the DAAPP including but not limited to; updates, coordination of information required in the DAAPP, and coordination of the annual notification to employees and students.

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Lake Michigan College is committed to providing a safe and healthy work and learning environment for all students and visitors.  

Smoking is defined, but not limited to, the act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe of any kind, and/or “vaping” with e-cigarettes, mechanical personal vaporizers (MPVs), or atomizers. It also includes the use of any product intended to mimic tobacco products, contains tobacco flavoring, or delivers nicotine other than for purposes of cessation.  

Smokeless Tobacco  

Lake Michigan College prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco products on any of its campuses. This includes chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco (dip), snuff, nasal tobacco (snus) and/or any other variation of smokeless tobacco product.  

Electronic and Mechanical Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vaping  

Lake Michigan College strictly prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and/or any other type of electronic or mechanical nicotine delivery system. This includes electronic cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and atomizers or mechanical devices such as mechanical personal vaporizers (MPVs) which use mechanical magnetic switches for activation. While the college recognizes that these products do not contain tobacco, their use looks similar to regular tobacco products and therefore gives the appearance of smoking.  

The Tobacco-Free Campus policy applies to any property owned or maintained by the college including inside all buildings (including residential living), exterior open spaces except where designated, indoor facilities, on-campus sidewalks, recreational spaces, vehicles owned or leased by the college, and parking lots except in personal vehicles. This policy applies to all employees, temporary employees, students, clients, visitors (customers and vendors), consultants, independent contractors and/or their employees on college property, and any college-sponsored off-site conferences and meetings.  

Refer to the campus maps for designated exterior smoking areas.  

The Mendel Center

Smoking is only permitted within the building when it is part of a stage production. 

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