Bill of Rights
The following enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by students in their capacity as members of the student body or as citizens of the community at large:
- Free inquiry, expression, and assembly are guaranteed to all students consistent with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Students are free to pursue their educational goals and appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus shall be provided by the institution.
- The right of students to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures consistent with the Fourth Amendment of the United State Constitution.
- No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any student without notice to the accused of the nature and cause of the charges and an opportunity for a fair hearing.
The College has the right to set and expect reasonable standards for behavior and conduct that safeguard the College, College property, and all additional components of the educational process.
When used in this Code:
- The term “institution” means Laurel Ridge Community College and, collectively, those responsible for its control and operation.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the institution both full-time and part-time.
- The term “instructor” means any person hired by the institution to conduct classroom activities. In certain situations a person may be both “student” and “instructor.” Decisions regarding his/her status in a particular situation shall be determined by the surrounding facts.
- The term “legal compulsion” means a judicial or legislative order which requires some action by the person to whom it is directed.
- The term “organization” means a number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements of institution recognition as provided in number 10.
- The term “group” means a number of persons who have not yet complied with the formal requirements for becoming an organization.
- The term “student press” means either an organization whose primary purpose is to publish and distribute any publication on campus or a regular publication of an organization.
- The term “administrator” shall refer to any designated employee who has the authority to act on the behalf of the College on the whole.
- The term “College official” shall refer to any designated employee who has the authority to enforce the parameters of the student code of conduct.
- The term “vice president” shall mean the vice president of student success unless otherwise indicated.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
- All other terms may have their natural meaning unless the context dictates otherwise.
Access to Higher Education
Within the limits of its facilities, the institution shall be open to all applicants who are qualified according to its admission requirements. Under no circumstances may an applicant be denied admission because of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, political affiliation, disability or any other irrelevant criterion as defined by case law.
Orderly discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter is permitted in the classroom subject to the responsibility of the instructor to maintain order.
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations acquired by professors in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors, is confidential and is not to be disclosed to others unless under legal compulsion. (Questions relating to intellectual or skills capacity are not subject to this section.)
Discussion and expression of all views is permitted within the institution subject only to requirements for the maintenance of safety, order, and respect for others’ right to privacy, freedom from harassment, and other applicable policies of the institution.
Students, groups, and campus organizations may invite and hear any persons of their own choosing subject only to the requirements for use of institutional facilities.
All constituents of the institutional community are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policies affecting academic and student affairs.
The role of student government and its responsibilities shall be made explicit.
On questions of educational policy, students are entitled to a participatory function.
The right of peaceful assembly is granted within the institutional community, so long as law and policy are observed and the educational process is not adversely affected.
Orderly assembly and other forms of peaceful gatherings are permitted on institution premises provided that the following stipulations are met:
- Interference with ingress to and egress from institution facilities, interruption of classes, or damage to property.
- No assembly or demonstration is held in the College building so as to disrupt educational activities.
- Demonstrations or assemblies held outside the building, but on College property, are registered with the Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services 48 hours prior to the assembly or demonstration.
- All students are restricted from an area within 100 feet of each fire hydrant on the College property during the time of the assembly or demonstration.
A student, group, or organization may distribute pre-approved written material on campus providing such distribution does not disrupt the operation of the institution. Student activities personnel reserve the right to deny posting of written material for any reason.
The College press is to be free of censorship. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content. Similar freedom is assured to oral statements of views on an institution controlled and student operated radio or television station. (This editorial freedom entails a corollary obligation under the canons of responsible journalism and applicable regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.)
All student communications shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the institution or its student body.
The institution may institute its own proceedings against a student who violates a law on campus, which is also a violation of a published institution regulation. Official notices conspicuously displayed on bulletin boards in public areas throughout the campus are considered to be published institutional regulations. It is the responsibility of every student to read all official notices conspicuously posted through the College facilities. In addition, students are held to obey all local, state, and federal laws and violation of say may subject them to punishment by relevant law enforcement authorities. Any violations not listed below are subject to the discretion of the vice president or other College official as designated by the vice president. Consequences for said actions will be determined by the vice president (or designee).
Alcohol and Drugs
Students shall not possess, use, distribute or manufacture illegal drugs and alcohol (defined as neither prescription nor OTC) on school property including buildings, facilities, grounds, property controlled by the College, as part of College activities on or off campus, while serving as a representative of the College at off-campus meetings, in any state-owned, controlled or leased property or at a site where state work is performed. Individuals in violation of this policy may also be subject to legal sanctions under local, state or federal law regarding the unlawful possession or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol. Illegal distribution of prescription drugs and medications is also prohibited in these venues. Students that are inebriated or otherwise under the influence of drugs or alcohol according to the subjective standards of a College official are not allowed in Laurel Ridge classrooms at any point.
Camping on College property is not permitted without a written permit signed by student activities personnel. Camping is defined as overnight visitation on campus grounds. Overnight parking may also be punished by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Students are expected not to misuse college computer equipment or privileges. Examples of this misuse may include, but are not limited to: computer fraud, falsely using another person’s account, tampering with files, plagiarizing, and accessing unlawful material on the internet. Additional information about computer misuse and the complete details of the policy can be found on the log-in screen of all College computers.
Illegal use of college equipment may also be punishable by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Use of fireworks or firecrackers on campus is prohibited. Candles and other forms of fire are also prohibited. (Cigarettes lighters or matches used to light tobacco products in a designated smoking area are the only exception). Disabling exit doors or blocking handicap access ramps is not permitted. Violations of any conduct prohibited herein may also be punishable by relevant law enforcement authorities.
No student shall cause or incite any disturbance (including excessive noise) in or near any campus building. This restriction extends to any activity which interrupts the standard safe and orderly operation of the College.
Generally, institutional discipline should be limited to conduct which adversely affects the institutional community’s pursuit of its educational objectives. Disruptive misconduct is subject to disciplinary action, in addition to possible relevant law enforcement action. Examples of this conduct include, but are not limited to:
Disruption of Educational Process
A. All forms of dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, and knowingly furnishing false information to the institution, and forgery, alteration or use of institutional documents or instruments, or identification with intent to defraud.
B. Intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities.
C. Damaging, defacing, stealing, or destroying College property or property of a member of the College community or campus visitor.
D. Violation of published institutional regulations including those relating to entry and use of institutional facilities, the rules in this Code of Conduct, and any other regulations which may be enacted.
E. Violation of law on institutional premises in a way that affects the institutional community’s pursuit of its proper educational purposes.
Failure to Comply with a College Official
No student shall fail to comply with a request or order from a College official. Violations of this policy include failure to properly follow through with any disciplinary measure imposed upon a student.
Falsification of Official Information
No student shall misrepresent his or her-self in any way while interacting with a College official, including holding him-or herself out as a college official.
All students are expected to maintain appropriate fire safety measures. Examples of non-compliance would include: failure to evacuate during a fire alarm, falsely pulling a fire alarm, and/or misusing fire safety equipment. Violations of these prohibitions may also be punished by relevant law enforcement authorities.
In Virginia, gambling events and activities are unauthorized by law, except with special permit. Laurel Ridge cannot authorize gambling without proper state waiver.
Hazing, defined as any action which leads to physical or mental discomfort for any member of the shared community, is prohibited on campus. Violations of this prohibition may also be punished by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Students are expected not to engage in any type of lewd or obscene conduct while in a College building, on campus (or at a center), or at a College-sponsored off-site activity. This violation extends to include possessing, producing, or distributing illegal or inappropriate sexual materials as well as any and all forms of inappropriate touching. Note: Certain types of information may be distributed due to the learning nature of our collegiate environment; perceived obscenities based on expected academic goals may be exempt from this policy.
No student shall cause any object to be projected (via throwing or any other method) through the air in any indoor campus environment. Projectiles are permitted in outdoor areas, as long as no formal College event is being conducted in that space. Violations of this prohibition may also be punishable by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Unauthorized Use of College Property or Documents
No official Laurel Ridge documentation or property should be used for any purpose by a student not authorized to do so.
- Examples of property include: College buildings, parking lots and vehicles, in addition to College computers, lab equipment and furniture.
- Examples of documents include: Logos, letterhead, forms and websites.
This prohibition may also be enforced by relevant legal action pursuant to state and federal law.
Violence to Persons
No students shall not engage or attempt to engage in any form of violence directed towards another person, group or self. No student shall threaten anyone else with physical harm, direct obscenities towards them, or engage in any activity that could be reasonably anticipated to provoke a violent reaction from that individual. Behaviors that present a threat or a potential danger to the College community are defined as, but not limited to:
Threatening Behavior (including but not limited to):
- Physical actions short of actual contact/injury (i.e., moving closer aggressively, waving arms or fists, raising tone of voice or yelling in an aggressive or threatening manner)
- Oral or written threats to harm people or their property (i.e., you better watch your back” or “Ill get you”), including the use of any electronic means of communication
- Implicit threats (i.e. “you’ll be sorry” or “this isn’t over yet.”)
Violent Behavior (including but not limited to):
- Intentionally acting in a manner that in any way endangers the safety of others
- Any physical assault, with or without weapons
- Behavior that a reasonable person would interpret as being physically aggressive (i.e. destruction of property, pounding on a desk or door or throwing objects in a threatening manner)
- Specific threats to inflict harm (e.g. a threat to shoot a named individual)
- Use of any object to attack or intimidate another person
- Interfering with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression
Intimidating Behavior (including but not limited to):
- Intimidation of any kind that results in an individual’s fear for his/her personal safety
- Engaging in stalking behavior
- Behavior that is reasonably perceived to be frightening, coercing, or inducing distress to any member of the College community
Disruptive Behavior (including but not limited to):
- Verbally intimidating, threatening, or abusing any person or persons in the College environment
- Physically intimidating, threatening, abusing or assaulting others
- Disorderly or abusive behavior that interferes with the rights of others or obstructs the teaching or learning environment or business of the
- Making inappropriate and incessant demands for time and attention from College employees or students
- Inappropriate use of College facilities or resources
- Theft or damage to College property
Violations of these prohibitions may also be punishable by relevant law enforcement authorities.
No student shall keep, use, possess, display or carry any rifle, shotgun, handgun, knife, other edged weapon, or other lethal or dangerous instrument capable of maiming and/or casting a projectile by air, gas, explosion, or mechanical means on any property owned or operated by the College. This violation extends to include any realistic facsimiles of a weapon. These conditions are met if the weapon is on one’s person or in their vehicle. Note: Possession of a weapon on campus based on expected academic experiences (enrollment in a gun safety class) may be exempt from this policy with prior written permission from Laurel Ridge’s security office.
Violations of these prohibitions may also be punishable by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Off Campus Student Code of Conduct
Students participating in any College, club, or organization sponsored off-campus trip have the responsibility to display conduct and behavior for the duration of the trip and at all times that reflects favorably on them, the College, and the community. Students are expected to recognize their responsibility for proper conduct and to respect the rights and welfare of others.
All students representing the College off-campus will be subject to the same disciplinary action as though they were on-campus.
College representatives and/or club advisors responsible for off-campus events will be in charge of their groups and responsible for reporting violations and infractions to the Coordinator of Student Life and Student Activities Coordinator immediately upon return to the campus, if not prior.