Valencia College Code of Conduct Defense Lawyers

Valencia College Code of Conduct Defense LawyersNearly every university in the country has a code of conduct that applies to its student body, and Valencia College is no exception. Though the school code of conduct doesn’t carry the force of the law, students who violate its terms are subject to various sanctions like suspension, expulsion, and restitution. No matter how minor the complaint may seem, it’s important that you seek legal advice from an experienced defense attorney. Violating the Valencia Code of Conduct could threaten your academic standing and future opportunities.

Too often, college students don’t recognize the severity of a conduct violation and may think they can handle it by themselves. But getting the help of an attorney can be instrumental. A professional will not only provide you with advice and counsel but also help you navigate Valencia College’s specific policies, practices, rules, and regulations.

An attorney can help protect the years of hard work and tens of thousands of dollars you’ve invested in your education. Being extremely well-prepared for your hearing is the key to a successful defense.

What Is the Valencia College Student Code of Conduct?

The goal of Valencia College’s Student Code of Conduct, according to its website, is the following:

“The primary purpose for the maintenance of discipline in the College setting is to support a civil environment conducive to learning and inquiry… The College reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and wellbeing of the campus community. This Code is adopted for the appropriate discipline of any student (or student organization) who acts to impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes, and functions of the college.”

The document outlines and defines the grounds for discipline, the standards of classroom behavior, how a student or faculty member would report a violation, the steps in the student conduct resolution process, the consequences for violating terms, and how one would appeal the imposed sanctions.

Why Is It Important to Have a Student Code of Conduct?

A student code of conduct contains guidelines and rules to ensure proper order in school and serves to establish expectations for students, faculty, and staff. The guidelines generally parallel the school’s overall mission and are established to regulate student behavior. Likewise, the code ensures the safety and protection of students, teachers, and school authority and creates the atmosphere of the school to allow it to achieve its mission.

What Are the Grounds for Discipline at Valencia College?

The Code of Conduct specifies that the college can impose discipline for violating any school policies or campus regulations. This includes:

  • Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or facilitating academic dishonesty
  • Lying or providing false information to the college or its officials
  • Forging or altering any college document
  • Using Valencia technology to access materials disruptive to the learning environment including sexually explicit or violent content
  • Physical abuse including rape, sexual assault, threats of violence, or any other conduct that threatens the health and safety of another person
  • Sexual harassment of any kind
  • Stalking behavior
  • The use of “fighting words”—personally abusive epithets which are inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction—directed at any person on college property
  • Wearing clothing that disrupts the learning environment
  • Hazing
  • Manufacturing, distributing, or possessing controlled substances

In total, the Valencia College Student Code of Conduct lists 27 grounds for discipline, many of which have several subsections. You can read about the specifics of each violation on the school website.

How Does the Disciplinary Process Operate at Valencia College?

Once a student has been reported to Valencia authorities for disciplinary action, there will be an informal conference between the alleged offender and the Dean of Students. This meeting serves to outline the suspected violation and come to an agreement about the sanctions that will ensue. If a final determination is not reached at this point, the Dean of Students will refer the case to an Informal Resolution or for a Disciplinary Conference.

Informal Resolution

If the Dean of Students refers the complaint to an Informal Resolution, the defendant and the Dean will discuss the concerns and behaviors alleged in the complaint and work to resolve the matter through sanctions that are educational, intervening, developmental, restorative or sustaining in nature, rather than punitive. If the alleged offender refuses to engage in the Informal Resolution or fails to agree with the proposed penalties, the case will move forward with the Disciplinary Conference.

Disciplinary Conference

This process involves the defendant, the Dean of Students, and the Student Conduct Committee. After the hearing, the Committee will deliberate and come to a consensus. Ultimately, the authority for student discipline rests with the Dean of Students. Once the Dean receives the recommendation from the Committee, they will make a final decision on disciplinary action.

The defendant is allowed the following:

  • A written notice of the specific charges at least 24 hours before the scheduled conference
  • Reasonable access to the case before the conference
  • An opportunity to respond to the evidence
  • A right to be accompanied by an advisor, who can be another college student, faculty, staff member, or personal friend (this is limited to consultation and cannot include legal counsel)

While a professional attorney isn’t permitted to speak on your behalf at the disciplinary conference, they’ll be able to provide you with expert guidance and advice throughout the course of your case. Having someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of code of conduct defense will help you get the best possible result.

What Are the Consequences of Breaking the Valencia College Code of Conduct?

The Committee and Dean of Students will take into account the offender’s present demeanor and past disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm. Violating the Valencia College Student Code of Conduct can result in the following disciplinary actions:

  • Warning or censure: A written notice that a repeat offense could result in more severe penalties
  • Disciplinary probation: A period designated by the Dean of Students during which any other violation of the Code would result in a suspension or expulsion from the school
  • Restitution: Repayment for any damages that derived from the violation
  • Suspension: A period decided upon by the Dean of Students during which the offender is excluded from Valencia College property. This will appear on the student’s permanent academic record
  • Expulsion: Permanent termination

Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those listed above, which include fines, withholding of diplomas or transcripts, restriction on the use of campus facilities, community service, and research projects.

How Can You Appeal the Imposed Discipline?

If you wish to appeal any disciplinary action following the Disciplinary Conference, the alleged offender must provide a written letter to the Vice President for Student Affairs within seven college business days after the notice of suspension or dismissal is delivered. The appeal will be reviewed by the Vice President to determine the viability of the case based on any new information. The appeal can be denied outright, amended, or completely overturned. The Vice President could also recommend a rehearing.

Contact the Expert Code of Conduct Defense Lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm

If you’re a college student who’s facing a conduct or academic violation hearing, reach out to the experts at The Umansky Law Firm. Our highly trained defense lawyers are ready to help students facing disciplinary action. Without adequate representation, you could face irreparable damage to your academic and future professional career. It’s imperative to call an experienced attorney immediately upon receiving notice of the disciplinary action from the school. Our attorneys will work with you to help ensure that you receive all the rights afforded to you and present the best possible defenses to the allegations.

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team is here to fight for your rights. To speak with a code of conduct defense lawyer, give us a call at (407) 228-3838 or complete an online contact form today.