2023-2024 Student Guide & Residence Life Handbook 
    
    Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Guide & Residence Life Handbook

Student Conduct


 

The purpose of this section is to define the procedures, regulations and policies by which the social conduct of SPC students will be evaluated. When a student enrolls at South Plains College, it is assumed that the student accepts the rules and regulations prescribed by the College. It is the student’s obligation to be familiar with the standards of conduct. Rules and regulations are also contained in, but not limited to, the following SPC publications: General Catalog; Student Guide; Residence Life Handbook; SPC Parking and Traffic Regulations.

It is imperative that students learn to recognize, understand, and celebrate human differences. Colleges can, and must, help their students become open to the differences that surround them. These matters are learned best in collegiate settings that are rich with diversity, and they must be learned if the ideals of human worth and dignity are to be advanced. Conduct which reflects adversely upon the student or the College will result in disciplinary action.

Areas of Misconduct

Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Academic Integrity

It is the aim of the faculty of South Plains College to foster a spirit of complete honesty and a high standard of integrity. The attempt of a student to present as their own any work which they have not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a most serious offense and renders the offender liable to serious consequences, possibly academic or disciplinary suspension. Initial offenses of cheating and plagiarism are considered academic discipline and are managed on a case by case basis by the faculty and academic administration through SPC Policy FAC - Academic Appeals Procedure.  Repeat offenses will follow the student discpline procedures as outlined in this section.

Cheating

Dishonesty of any kind on examinations or on written assignments, illegal possession of examinations, the use of unauthorized notes during an examination, obtaining information during an examination from the textbook or from the examination paper of another student, assisting others to cheat, alteration of grade records, illegal entry or unauthorized presence in an office are examples of cheating. Complete honesty is required of the student in the presentation of any and all phases of course work. This applies to quizzes of whatever length, as well as to final examinations, to daily reports and to term papers.

Plagiarism

Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identifiable expression of material taken from books, Internet resources, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism.

Alcoholic Beverages

Students may not possess or use alcoholic beverages on the College campus or while representing the College on an off-campus trip or activity. Violation may also occur when a student’s conduct is adversely affected by the consumption of alcohol.

Animals on Campus

Animals are not allowed in any college building except when needed for instruction or where needed by an employee or student with a disability.  Service Animals are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.  Service Animals are permitted in every area on campus unless posted due to safety concerns.  Students with Service Animals are not required to register with the Disability Services office, but notification is recommended.   

Service Animals in Training are dogs undergoing training by an approved trainer, who is an agent of an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons who are disabled.  SPC recognizes an approved trainer as “an individual who has been certified by an organization whose primary mission is to train animals for people with disabilities.”  Students who are training a service animal will be required to provide the Disability Services Office with contact information for the organization who certified them, as well as a copy of their individual certification.

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are used in the treatment of a diagnosed condition.  An ESA can be a dog, cat, small bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil, other rodent, fish, turtle, or other small, domesticated animal that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure.  Reptiles (except turtles), barnyard animals, monkeys, kangaroos, and other non-domesticated animals are not considered common household pets.  No snakes!! (HUD, 2020). ESAs are not allowed in any campus buildings with the exception of residence halls. ESAs must be registered and approved through the Disability Services Office before being brought onto campus. Any student who wishes to request an ESA accommodation should consult the Residence Life Handbook for more information.

Approved animals on campus must be under the direct control of the handler at all times. This can occur using a harness, leash, or other tether.  The handler is responsible for the care and supervision of the animal.  If an animal behaves in an unacceptable manner and the handler does not control the animal, South Plains College may ask for the removal of the animal.  The Service Animal or ESA itself is an extension of the student and therefore under the same code of conduct as the student. South Plains College has the right to deny access to Service and/or ESAs that are disruptive.  The Service Animal and/or ESA’s handler is responsible for repairing or replacing any property that may accidentally be damaged by the Service Animal or ESA.  All Service Animals and ESAs must be vaccinated and licensed according to local or county ordinances.

For more detailed information on service animals and emotional support animals http://www.southplainscollege.edu/health/disabilityservices.php.

Bigotry

Any expression of hatred or prejudice is inconsistent with the purposes of higher education in a free society. If bigotry exists in any form in the larger society, it will be an issue on the College campus. Therefore, South Plains College is committed to creating conditions where bigotry is forthrightly confronted.

Bullying

Repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America).

Children in the Classroom

Students are not allowed to bring children to class and will be asked to leave in the interest of providing an environment conducive to learning for all students enrolled in the class.

Classroom Conduct

Failure to comply with lawful direction of a classroom teacher relative to maintaining good order is considered misconduct on the part of the student. Repeated or severe violations of disrupting a class may result in the student being dropped from that course.

Discrimination/Harassment

The College does not permit discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law. Further information regarding discrimination or harassment and procedures for students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or found in the Student Rights and Responsibility section of this Guide.

Any on-line postings or other electronic communication by students, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc. occurring completely outside of the College’s control (i.e. not on College networks, websites or between College email accounts) will only be subject to this policy when those on-line behaviors can be shown to cause a substantial on-campus disruption.  Otherwise, such communications are considered speech protected by the United States Constitution’s First Amendment.  Remedies for such conduct will be provided, but protected speech cannot be legally subjected to discipline.  

Disruptions

The use of force or violence or tactics or behavior which cause obstruction, or disruption of teaching, administration, disciplinary procedures or other college authorized activities on college premises or the use of language or behavior that provokes, disrupts, or annoys others.

Distribution of Literature, Advertising, Selling or Solicitation

Selling and soliciting are only permitted on the campus with official authorization. Solicitation of students, faculty, or staff members by personal contact or through the distribution of advertising leaflets or handbills to promote sales is not permitted on any South Plains College campus or in any college buildings without prior approval of Director of Student Life on the Levelland Campus or the appropriate dean or director on other campuses (Dean of Lubbock Downtown Center, the Director of the Plainview Center, Executive Director of Lubbock Career & Technology Center, Director of Reese Center).

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with reasonable directives and/or requests of a college official acting in the performance of his or her duties or failure to present student identification on request or identify oneself to any college official acting in the performance of his other duties.

Falsification of Records

Knowingly furnishing false information to the College or forging, altering, or making unauthorized use of a college document, record, or identification.

Financial Responsibilities

Students are expected and required to promptly address all financial responsibilities owed on and off the campus. Unpaid debts, returned checks and other cases of financial irresponsibility can result in action that may not be limited to holds placed on records and/ or criminal or civil actions.

Firearms, Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives

The unauthorized possession or use of firearms, weapons, fireworks, or explosives of any description on college grounds or property, including residence halls, is prohibited. Any item used with the intention of threatening, causing harm or damage to another individual or property will be considered a weapon. Replica fire arms or simulated fire arms are prohibited from campus, unless approved by the Dean of Students.

Gambling

Gambling in any form is prohibited by state law on college grounds or property, including college residence halls.

Hazing

Per Texas Education Code 51.936 Hazing is defined as any intentional, or reckless acts occurring on or off-campus by one or more persons directed against a student for the initiation, pledging, membership, or any other group-affiliation activity are prohibited and will result in strict disciplinary measures. 

Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to physical brutality, sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, violating the Penal Code, coercing a student to consume, food, liquid, drugs, or alcoholic beverages or similar activities that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student. 

A Person commits a hazing offense if the person engages, solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another in hazing, or has first-hand knowledge of the planning or occurrence of specific hazing and fails to report that knowledge to the Dean of Students. 

An organization commits a hazing offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing, or if an officer, members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.

Hoverboards, Bicycles, and Skateboards

The use of bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, motorized skateboards, scooters, and other mechanical means of transportation are not allowed for use or possession within South Plains College buildings. The following exceptions apply: 1) when required for a work or class assignment or 2) as necessary for a disability or medical condition.

Illegal Selling of Books

The selling of books belonging to another person, organization, firm or institution constitutes theft.

Illegal Substances

The use, possession, or transfer of any illegal substance on campus or at any college related function on or off campus is strictly prohibited. SPC maintains a zero-tolerance policy with respect to illegal substances and violations of this policy may result in up to a one-year suspension from the College.

Intimate Partner Violence or Dating Violence

Abuse or violence, or a threat of abuse or violence, against a person with whom the respondent has or has had a social relationship of romantic or intimate nature is prohibited and will result in strict disciplinary measures.

Lewd, Indecent, or Obscene Conduct

Lewd, vulgar, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on college property or functions off campus identified with South Plains College is strictly prohibited and will result in strict disciplinary measures.

Safety and Health Requirements

Students who violate safety and health requirements may be disciplined through academic and Student Code of Conduct sanctions. A student’s grade may be downgraded if the student fails to properly observe safety procedures within the laboratory or shop.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex/gender discrimination and, therefore, an unlawful discriminatory practice.  SPC has developed the following definition of sexual harassment, to address the special environment of an academic community.  Sexual harassment is unwelcome, sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based, verbal, written, on-line and/or physical conduct.  Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any SPC program is encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator or a deputy. 

Stalking

Stalking is a pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in a victim and/or threaten her or his safety, mental health or physical health; or the safety of any of the immediate family members of the College community.  Violations of this policy may result in strict disciplinary measures to include suspension and possible criminal charges.

Student Dress

Reasonable standards of decency apply to the College community. Students should not dress in a manner that distracts from the academic atmosphere such as revealing attire or clothing carrying obscene or offensive slogans. In all academic buildings, classrooms, offices, the Student Center, and dining facilities, students are required to wear shirts and shoes.

Terroristic Threats

The conduct or participation in activities such as threatening or obscene letters or electronic mail, disturbing telephone calls, bomb threats and false alarms by unknown persons are strictly prohibited. SPC maintains a zero-tolerance policy on terroristic threats. Violations of this policy may result in strict disciplinary measures to include suspension and possible criminal charges.

Theft

The removal of property belonging to the College or another person or the possession or transfer of such property constitutes an act of theft. SPC maintains a zero-tolerance policy on theft. Violations of this policy may result in strict disciplinary measures to include suspension and possible criminal charges.

Tobacco

The use of any tobacco product, electronic cigarette, or vapor device throughout all indoor areas and within a 25 foot perimeter around all facility entrances, exits and HVAC air intake vents under the control of SPC, including sporting facilities and in SPC vehicles, is prohibited.

Unauthorized Entry

The unauthorized entry to or use of college buildings, offices, or facilities is strictly prohibited.

Unauthorized Possession of Keys

The possession by students of keys or access cards/fobs to college buildings or facilities that have not been issued to the student by an authorized college official is strictly prohibited.

Unauthorized Surveillance

Making or causing to be made unauthorized video or photographic images of a person in a location in which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video or photographic images in shower/locker rooms, residence hall rooms and restrooms, and storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized images by any means.

Unauthorized Use or Possession

Attempted or actual unauthorized use or possession of a credit card, debit card, student identification card, cell phone, personal identification number, test number, MySPC account information and/or personal check, or other unauthorized use or possession of personal property or information of another is strictly prohibited.

Vandalism

The willful malicious destruction, damage or defacing of property whether it belongs to the college or another student constitutes an act of vandalism.

Violent Behavior

The use of physical violence against another person or the threat to do so is strictly prohibited. Acts of violence or threats of violence will result in strict disciplinary measures that may include suspension, expulsion, and possible criminal charges.

Violation of Local, State or Federal Law

Any action, event or group of events which provides grounds for a charge or violation of local, state, or federal laws or college regulations is strictly prohibited.

 

Special Process Provisions

Attempted Violations

In most circumstances, the College will treat attempts to commit any violation of Student Conduct as if those attempts had been completed.

College as Complainant

As necessary, the College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.

False Reports

The College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Immunity for Victims and Witnesses

The SPC community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by reporting parties and witnesses.  Sometimes, reporting parties or witnesses are hesitant to report to College officials or participate in resolution processes because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident.  It is in the best interests of this community that reporting parties choose to report to SPC officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know.  To encourage reporting, SPC pursues a policy of offering reporting parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations related to the incident.  

Bystander Engagements

Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to the Campus Police).  The College pursues a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need.  While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the college will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Parental Notification

The College reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The College may also notify parents/guardians of dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is not a dependent, the College will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk. The College also reserves the right to designate which college officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Notification of Outcomes

The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. However, SPC observes the legal exceptions as follows:

Complainants in non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome, essential findings, and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.

The College may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a college policy that is a “crime of violence,” including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction / damage / vandalism of property and kidnapping / abduction. The College will release this information to the complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome.

Notation of Disciplinary Sanctions

Any student who receives a sanction of disciplinary suspension or expulsion will have it documented on their academic transcript.  The notation will indicate that the student “May not enroll for disciplinary reasons.”  It will also indicate “Disciplinary Suspension” and date eligible for return or “Disciplinary Expulsion.”  Upon completion of the disciplinary suspension time frame and/or required conditions of the sanction the transcript notation will be removed.  Supplemental documentation regarding active sanctions may be released to other post-secondary institutions.

Penalties for Misconduct

Penalties for misconduct include, but are not limited to the following, as determined appropriate by the Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Dean of Lubbock Downtown Center, Executive Director of the Lubbock Career & Technical Center, Director of Reese Center, or the Director of the Plainview Center.  The following are the common sanctions that may be imposed upon an individual or a student organization singly or in combination:

Warning or Reprimand

All offenses that may be punishable by reprimand or warning shall be regarded as minor offenses. These actions are cumulative and are considered official college actions and are recorded in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Referral to Health & Wellness

Under certain situations, a student may be referred to Health and Wellness for counseling services. A set number of visits is established within a given amount of time.  Failure to complete prescribed sessions will result in a hold being placed on the student’s account for failure to comply.  The hold may be lifted once the requirements for all sanctions have been fulfilled.

Restriction

It may be determined that a student should be restricted from specified campus facilities, organizations or activities as a part of disciplinary action.

Community Service

A student may be assigned to do additional class work or other community service jobs on campus, as determined by the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Lubbock Downtown Center, the Executive Director of the Lubbock Career & Technical Center, the Director of Reese Center, or the Director of the Plainview Center.

Course Grade Reduction

Academic integrity violations may result in a course or assignment grade reduction.

Administrative Course Withdrawal

A student may be administratively withdrawn from one or more courses as a result of behavior within the classroom for Academic Integrity violations.  Any offense leading to administrative course withdrawal is regarded as a major offense.

Removal from College Housing

In certain instances, the Dean of Students or Associate Dean of Students may remove a student from college housing and allow him/her to continue attending classes.

Loss of Privileges

Restricted from accessing specific privileges for a specific amount of time.

Disciplinary Probation

Any offense leading to disciplinary probation is regarded as a major offense. Disciplinary probation is applied for a stated period with or without specified restrictive conditions. Restrictive conditions may include but are not limited to: removing the right of the student to receive any college award, scholarships, or financial aid; removing the right to occupy any position of leadership in any college or student organization or activity; removing the right to operate a motor vehicle on campus. The student is required to show appropriate changes in attitude and behavior during the probationary period.

Disciplinary Suspension

Any offense leading to disciplinary suspension is regarded as a major offense. Suspension is normally for a stated period, but never less than the remainder of the semester in which the offense is committed.

During suspension, the student shall not attend classes, participate in any college related activity, or be on campus for any reason except application for readmission. Readmission on probation may be granted at the end of the suspension period.

Involuntary Withdrawals

When a student poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, and the direct threat cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level through the provision of reasonable accommodations where required, a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from South Plains College.  See Interim Removal section for crisis protocol.

A “direct threat” means there is a high probability (not just a slightly increased, speculative, or remote risk) of substantial harm.  This is based on observation of a student’s conduct, actions, and statements.

The Dean of Students or designee will review the report of behavior and what has been done to eliminate the direct threat.

The Dean of Students will notify the student of the concern and request a meeting with the student to discuss an individualized risk assessment to determine whether the student poses a direct threat to self or others.  If the student does not respond to the request for a meeting or does not attend the meeting, written notice of the pending assessment will be sent to the student’s SPC email account and via text message notification.  Students not responding to a request for meetings or assessments may result in a failure to comply violation as outlined in the student conduct policy.

Threat Assessment

A threat assessment will be completed to determine if a direct threat exists, and if so, whether the student should be permitted to remain enrolled at South Plains College.  The assessment will use a National Association for Behavior Intervention and Threat Assessment (NABITA) recommended threat assessment tool.  Students with disabilities have the right to have their disability considered during the assessment.  A written report containing the findings and recommendations of the professionals performing the assessment will be created. 

Within five business days from the initial meeting with the student or five business days from the date of notice regarding the meeting, the student will be scheduled for a risk assessment.   If a student elects not to participate in this assessment, the process will continue with the information that is otherwise available. 

Involuntary Withdrawal Committee

The assessment report will be reviewed by the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee.  The committee is comprised of the following voting members:  The instructional dean for the student’s major, the Director of Health and Wellness, the South Plains College Chief of Police, the Dean of Students, and the Associate Dean of Students (if the student resides in residence halls).  A hearing will be scheduled by the Dean of Students within five business days of the receipt of the assessment report.  The Dean of Students will provide information from the assessment to the student prior to the hearing. The student may elect to attend the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee hearing and present information on their behalf.  The student may be accompanied by one or more advisors.  When deliberating the decision, the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee will meet in closed session with only voting members present.  The committee will recommend one of the following:

  • The student may remain enrolled at the College with no restrictions.
  • The student may remain enrolled at the College subject to specific conditions and/or restrictions as defined by the committee; or
  • The student should be involuntarily withdrawn from the College upon a specific date.

The Dean of Students will notify the student in writing of the decision within five business days.

Appeals Process

The student may appeal the decision of the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs within five business days.  The student will be notified in writing of the final decision within five business days of the receipt of the appeal.  The recommendations of the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee will be enforced until the appeal process is completed.

Final Decision

Upon completion of the appeal process or with no receipt of an appeal, the student who is involuntarily withdrawn is not allowed on college property without approval and escort by South Plains College Police.  The student is entitled to refunds of prorated room and board charges as provided to all students exiting housing prior to the end of a semester.  Refunds for tuition and fees will be based on the Refunds for Complete Withdrawal guidelines in the General Catalog.  A registration hold will be placed on the student’s record at the direction of the Dean of Students, limiting any subsequent registration until approval is given by the Dean of Students.

Eligibility for Readmission

Students are eligible for consideration of readmission following an involuntary withdrawal after one calendar year.  At that time, the student must present documentation to the Dean of Students for review.  Documentation may include, but is not limited to, current psychological evaluation, demonstration of ongoing medical care, and a plan for care upon re-enrollment.  The documentation will be presented to the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee for recommendation to the Dean of Students.  Readmission requests and documentation must be presented by March 1 for summer enrollment, May 1 for fall enrollment and October 1 for spring enrollment.  Readmission will be contingent upon the demonstration or documentation that the student is no longer a direct threat, and upon meeting admission deadlines and requirements.

Interim Removal  

During the Involuntary Withdrawal Process, if the Dean of Students determines a student may pose a credible threat of immediate and substantial harm to one or more members of the campus community, or an overt disruption of the campus is occurring, a short-term removal may occur.  In situations where an interim removal is necessary, the student will be given the opportunity to provide relevant information they believe shows they are not a threat to the campus community.  The Dean of Students will determine need for interim removal.  During the interim removal, the student may not attend classes, use College services and/or resources (unless expressly permitted by the Dean of Students), and may not be on campus until the proceedings have been resolved.  If the student needs to return to campus, the visit must be coordinated through the Dean of Students and the South Plains College Police Department.  The full involuntary withdrawal process is still available to the student and will be conducted.

Expulsion

Expulsion is the permanent removal from South Plains College with no opportunity for readmission. Expulsion shall be used only in cases of extreme misconduct.

Other Actions

In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, SPC may assign any other sanction as deemed appropriate.

 

Procedures for Disciplinary Action

All offenses of misconduct, both minor and major (including Title IX), shall be dealt with by the Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Dean of the Lubbock Downtown Center, the Executive Director of the Lubbock Career & Technical Center, the Director of Reese Center, or the Director of the Plainview Center except for those offenses that are regarded as academic issues.  Academic issues shall be dealt with by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of Technical Education, the Dean of Health Sciences, the Department Chair, or their designee.  These individuals shall henceforth be referred to as Case Official.  All offenses that may lead to a reduction in course grade, administrative withdrawal from a course, suspension or expulsion shall be regarded as major offenses and be dealt with by the following procedures.

Rules of Evidence and Burden of Proof

Disciplinary decisions will be based on the preponderance of evidence, in other words, it is more likely than not an alleged incident occurred. A totality of all available and relevant evidence will be used to establish this preponderance. The burden and responsibility for gathering and evaluating evidence rests with the College. Accused students may elect to not self-incriminate and should be active in presenting relevant evidence to support their position. The intent of the disciplinary process is to provide an educational remedy that is in the best interest of all students and the preservation of the academic process. In extreme cases this may involve utilizing punitive actions such as suspension or expulsion.

Investigative Hearing

The Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Dean of the Lubbock Downtown Center, Executive Director of the Lubbock Career & Technical Center, Director of Reese Center, Director of the Plainview Center, or a Title IX Investigator (as outlined in Policy FH) is responsible for investigating reported student misconduct and evaluating evidence as to its accuracy, credibility, and sufficiency. Upon concluding that a major offense has been committed and that there is sufficient evidence to prove this offense, a written statement is prepared that includes: the alleged violation and charges against the student; a statement of penalties to be imposed; and the explanation of student rights and due process.

Where the accused individual is found not responsible for the alleged violation(s), the investigation should be closed. Where the accused individual accepts the finding that s/he violated college policy, the Dean or Director will impose appropriate sanctions for the violation. In all Title IX cases that are not resolved through informal resolution, the case will go to a hearing body as indicated in Policy FH.

Hearing Body

In the event that the accused individual rejects the findings in part or entirely, the dean or director will convene a hearing body, made up of a minimum of two of the following: Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Dean of the Lubbock Downtown Center, Executive Director of the Lubbock Career & Technical Center, Director of Reese Center, Director of the Plainview Center, Residence Life Coordinator, Instructional Dean of student’s major, Department Chairperson of student’s major, faculty member of student’s choice and a Student Government representative. Only in situations involving criminal legal proceedings may the student request the representation of an attorney.  However, the attorney may not speak on behalf of the student and the attorney does not have an active, participatory role in the process.  If the student is allowed an attorney, an attorney representing South Plains College may also be in attendance. The hearing body will determine whether the accused individual is in violation of the contested aspects of the complaint. At the hearing, the findings of the investigation will be admitted, but are not binding on the decider(s) of fact. The hearing body will determine whether it is more likely than not that the accused individual violated the policies forming the basis of the charge. The goal of the hearing is to provide an equitable resolution via an equitable process, respecting the civil and legal rights of all participants.

Where an accused individual is found in violation the dean or director will impose appropriate sanctions for the violation, as recommended by the hearing body. The dean or director has final decision-making authority with regard to formal complaints, subject to appeal.