MCNY students are expected to comport themselves as adults, and to behave in a manner that facilitates the College’s mission. The College recognizes that freedom of inquiry and the transmission of knowledge are the foundations of higher learning. However, any assertion of rights or freedoms must be balanced by a readiness to assume corresponding responsibilities. These include respecting the rights of others in the academic community and accepting responsibility for one’s own behavior. Jurisdiction over student conduct and behavior of a nonacademic nature resides with the dean of students.
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Assault, Hazing, Disruptive and/or Illegal Conduct
In the interest of protecting the rights of all individuals on campus, the College has established standards of conduct and policies and procedures prohibiting discrimination, harassment, sexual assault and other disruptive and or illegal conduct. Students must refrain from:
- Making any verbal or physical threats of violence, or behaving in a coercive, intimidating, hostile or threatening manner to students, faculty or staff.
- Bringing weapons on campus—firearms, box-cutters, knives, mace, or any instrument or device used for attack.
- Engaging in unprofessional and or illegal behavior or conduct, such as harassment, assault (see separate section on sexual harassment and sexual assault), falsifying official College documents, stealing, damaging personal or College property, using illegal substances, disrupting a class or activities in an area of the College’s premises, etc.
- Uploading or downloading copyrighted works—music, movies, software, video games and other copyrighted works—without authorization of the owners. This is a violation of federal copyright law.
- Viewing sexually explicit or other inappropriate websites on any of the College’s computers.
- Any behavior that interferes with the operation of the College or any situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers or threatens the mental or physical health of any individual, including but not limited to threats, coercion, harassment or acts of violence.
While these items address major standards of conduct, it is not realistic to list every potential infraction; the College reserves the right to extend these principles to similar acts.
Procedure for Nonacademic Conduct Violations
Any member of the faculty, administration, staff or student body may file a complaint against a student for any offense by following the procedure below. Complaints must be filed within 30 days of the initial incident. While this procedure will suffice for reporting most offenses, students should review the special sections for reporting instances of sexual harassment, discrimination, hazing and sexual assaults.
Filing a Complaint
A complaint must be filed, in writing, to the dean of students. It must be typed, or legibly written, dated, and signed (electronic signature is sufficient). The complaint must clearly describe the incident, including specific time and date of the occurrence and all persons involved. The College may suspend the subject(s) of the complaint immediately, pending an investigation and hearing, if there is a credible allegation of a threat of physical harm. Such suspension shall last no longer than 48 hours. If, after the investigation, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to indicate that allowing the subject(s) on campus presents a risk, the suspension will be extended pending a disciplinary hearing. In other cases, the dean of students may designate a representative to conduct an investigation into the allegation(s). The designated representative of the dean will notify the accused party and may schedule a fact-finding meeting to begin the investigation. As part of the fact-finding process, the accused may submit a written response to the allegations. During the fact-finding process, upon agreement of all parties, the dean of student’s designated representative may attempt mediation to informally resolve the issue. Sexual harassment claims shall not be subject to mediation directly between the parties but a mutually acceptable resolution may be facilitated by the representative of the dean of students. Sexual assault claims shall not be subject to mediation. If the issue is not resolved at this level, the designated representative of the dean of students will refer the complaint for a disciplinary hearing.
Disciplinary Hearing and Due Process
The dean of students will convene the conduct review board to hear the complaint. The board is comprised of two students, one faculty member, and one professional staff member, all of whom are impartial. The associate director of student services will chair the board but will not be a voting member. The accused and the complainant will be notified of the hearing, and will be requested to attend. If either or both parties choose not to attend, the College reserves the right to conduct the hearing in their absence. If it is determined that the accused poses a threat of physical harm, the board may request that the accused submit a written response to the allegations rather than attend the hearing in person. Hearings will be open only to individuals and witnesses who are invited by the board. The accused or complainant can request assistance for the hearing, subject to approval by the conduct review board. The board must be given at least 24 hours notice that the presence of such assistance is desired at the hearing. Individuals may not be accompanied by an attorney. The board will hear all testimony relevant to the complaint and will be allowed to ask questions of all parties and witnesses, if any. The accused and complainant will generally not be permitted to directly question each other during the hearing, and may be called before the board separately. The board may choose to record the hearing at its discretion. Upon completion of the hearing, the board will meet in private to deliberate and form a recommendation on its findings and applicable sanctions, if any. The recommendation and findings shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. This recommendation shall be submitted to the dean of students within two working days of the hearing. The board may recommend the dismissal of the allegations or the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, as noted below, which include suspension or dismissal from the College. Based on the board’s findings, the dean of students or her designee will make a decision on the complaint and determine the appropriate sanction(s) if any. The dean will notify the accused, in writing, of the decision and the right to appeal within 10 calendar days of the hearing. Notification will also be made to the victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence including forcible sex offenses, or a non-forcible sex offense (incest or statutory rape) concerning the final results of a disciplinary hearing (including any violation found to have been committed and sanctions imposed) with respect to the alleged crime, regardless of the outcome of the hearing. Notification may also be made to any third party regarding the final results of a disciplinary proceeding related to a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, if the student who is the alleged perpetrator is found to have violated the College’s rules or policies. The disclosure of the final results will only include: the name of the alleged perpetrator, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed against the alleged perpetrator. The disclosure will not include the name of any other student including a victim or witness, without the written consent of that other student. The complainant in sexual harassment cases will be notified of any sanctions that relate directly to the complainant if sexual harassment is found to have occurred, for instance sanctions that the harasser avoid contact with the complainant or leave the College. Regardless of whether harassment is found to have occurred, both sides shall be given notice of the outcome and the right to appeal. The College is required by the Cleary Act to give the campus community timely warning of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees. Such information is exempt from FERPA under the exception of health or safety emergencies. The complainant and any individual who cooperates with an investigation will be protected against retaliation. Any acts of retaliation should be reported to the dean of students or other College administrator immediately and will be thoroughly investigated.
Decisions made by the dean of students or her designee may be appealed, in writing, to the executive vice president for enrollment management within 14 calendar days of the date of the notification. Failure to submit an appeal within this period shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal. All appeals will be limited to a review of the original hearing, including any supporting documents. Appeals will be limited to:
- Determining whether the original hearing was conducted in a fair manner and in accordance with College policy.
- Determining whether the decision was based on a preponderance of the evidence.
- Determining whether the sanctions were appropriate for the violation of conduct.
- Consideration of new information that was not available at the time of the initial hearing.
The sanctions imposed will be determined by the severity of the violation, prior misconduct and the student’s understanding and willingness to accept responsibility for the behavior. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Verbal and or written warning.
- Community and or College service.
- Behavioral contract.
- Monetary fines and or restitution.
- Social probation (suspension from a student club, group or activity).
- Suspension from attending classes or being on College premises.
- Discretionary sanctions, which may include notation in the student’s permanent file.
The College reserves the right to combine sanctions, as appropriate. Any student who is suspended or dismissed will be responsible for tuition charges incurred, in accordance with the tuition liability policy.
General Grievance Procedure
Any student who has an issue or complaint against the College may request consideration under the general grievance procedure. This includes situations where the student feels the College policies and procedures do not comply with applicable laws, or where a College administrator, staff member, or faculty member is perceived as acting unfairly or improperly in carrying out assigned tasks or responsibilities. The general grievance procedure will apply to situations outside of the specific procedures outlined in this handbook for grade appeals, harassment complaints or disciplinary actions against students for misconduct. Students should also feel free to report incidents, whether or not they have decided to file a formal complaint. They may merely want to discuss an incident or matter, they may want to review ways to deal with the situation personally, or they may want information on how to file a formal complaint. Even if a student is undecided about whether or not to file a formal complaint, consultation may help in defining the problem and in exploring the options for solving it. The best avenue for such discussions is with an advisor in the office of student services.
I. Informal Resolution
Prior to initiating a formal complaint, it is generally recommended that the student first attempt to discuss the matter with the individual most directly responsible. This may be done verbally or in writing. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, or if there are circumstances that make direct contact inappropriate, the matter should be brought to the dean of students. The dean may also attempt to resolve the grievance informally. If there is no mutually acceptable informal resolution, if the resolution is inconclusive, or if either party is dissatisfied with the progress of the informal procedure, the dean of students will promptly to proceed to a formal review.
II. Formal Complaint
The student may file a formal complaint following the procedures below:
A. When to File a Complaint
Complaints must be filed in a timely manner, as soon as possible after the initial concern arose.
B. Filing a Complaint
All complaints must be submitted in writing and should include the following information:
- The grievant’s (student filing the complaint) name, current contact information (address, IQMail address and phone number).
- A full description of the problem, including:
- The name of the individual(s) about whom the complaint is being made.
- The names of any witnesses.
- Copies of any materials that may be relevant to the complaint.
- A summary of the efforts made (if any) to resolve the issue informally.
- A statement of the remedy requested by the grievant.
C. Where to File a Complaint
The complaint is to be filed with the dean of students at Metropolitan College of New York, 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006. The dean of students’ office is located on the 6th floor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
D. Review and Investigation
The dean of students will delegate the review of the student’s issue to the appropriate administrative office or official for prompt review and determination of required action. The review will generally be completed within 45 calendar days of receipt of the written statement. The investigating official will promptly initiate an impartial investigation. He or she may interview, consult with, and/or request a written response from any individual believed to have information relevant to the complaint. This includes all faculty, staff and students.
E. Findings and Notification
Once the formal review has been concluded, the investigating official will provide a determination based on the evidence provided. The investigating official shall provide a written response to the complaint to the complainant, with a copy to the dean of students within 45 calendar days of receipt of the grievance. The deadline may be extended by the dean of students for good cause, such as extended breaks in the academic calendar, (e.g., winter break) or unavailability of necessary parties. Complaints will be handled in a manner respectful to the confidentiality of the parties involved to the extent possible. Retaliation against any individual who brings a complaint or participates in the process is prohibited. Any concerns of retaliation should be reported to the dean of students immediately.
Violation and Misuse of MCNY Identity and Logo
The College’s name and logo are registered trademarks of Metropolitan College of New York and may not be used without the written permission from the College. Such permission will set forth the name of the group, the nature of the use, and restrictions regarding the standards and quality of the goods and services in connection with which the trademark(s) are used. Violation of this rule is regarded as sufficient cause for dismissal.