VI.E. Student Responsibilities

VI.E.1. Student Code of Conduct

VI.E.1.01 - Policy

Each student shall have access to LSCS’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct. These rules and regulations are in effect when attending or participating in any class or activity sponsored by LSCS or one of its colleges, either on campus or at an off-campus location.

LSCS is dedicated to providing a quality comprehensive educational program designed to meet and balance the diverse and changing educational, social, economic, and cultural needs of the community while providing a safe and healthful environment. LSCS is committed not only to learning and to the advancement of knowledge but also to the education of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. LSCS seeks to achieve these goals through a sound educational program and through rules and regulations governing student life that encourage responsibility and respect for the rights and viewpoints of others.

LSCS believes that students are adults who are responsible for their own actions, and who should be free to pursue their educational objectives in an environment that promotes learning, protects the integrity of the academic process, and protects the learning community.

VI.E.1.02 - Policy Regarding Conduct

LSCS and each of its colleges shall provide a safe, responsive learning environment for all students and shall develop a student code of conduct to effectuate this goal.

VI.E.1.03 - Applicability of Code of Conduct

The academic and non-academic misconduct described in this section applies to all students enrolled in a credit or non-credit course at LSCS, whether offered on or off campus or online.

VI.E.1.04 - Academic Matters

Students assigned to health or other facilities, as part of clinical courses or serving in internships as part of a course, are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in the clinical/internship setting and to adhere to the standards of practice appropriate to the particular professional field. Professional conduct is a component of the academic performance evaluation of a student.

Action taken against a student for failure to meet academic performance standards will be considered an academic matter and not a disciplinary matter in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  Accordingly, any such actions may be appealed under applicable provisions of the academic regulations, not under the Student Code of Conduct.

VI.E.1.05 - Off-Campus Activities

When off-campus and not participating in matters related to LSCS or one of its colleges’ activities or business, students shall not be considered under the control of LSCS, and LSCS shall not be held responsible for the off-campus activities or personal conduct of its students. Students who violate a local ordinance or any law risk the penalties prescribed by civil or criminal law. Nonetheless, LSCS may take disciplinary action against those students whose behavior off-campus, or in matters unrelated to LSCS or one of its Colleges’ activities or business, indicates that they pose a serious and substantial danger to themselves or others.

VI.E.1.06 - “Sponsored Activities” Defined

“Sponsored activities” are events and activities initiated by a student, student organization, college department, faculty member, or other employee which meet one of the following:

  1. are expressly authorized, aided, conducted, or supervised by the System;
  2. are funded in whole or in part by the System;
  3. are initiated by an officially registered student organization and conducted or promoted in the name of that student organization and/or the System; or
  4. take place on System premises.

This definition also extends to System business that does not necessarily occur on System premises or at System sponsored activities.

VI.E.1.07 - Non-Academic Misconduct

Non-academic misconduct can occur in many different ways. Examples of non-academic misconduct, include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Disrupting, obstructing, or interfering with System or System sponsored activities or access to college facilities or college-sponsored activities, including, but not limited to, teaching, studying, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, cultural events, or fire, police, emergency, and other services. Student demonstrations and similar activities must follow LSCS’s Free Speech Policy and procedures.
  2. Causing physical and/or psychological abuse, threats of violence, terroristic threats, stalking, or harassment of any member of the LSCS community or visitor on LSCS property, or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person. This includes verbal threats and threats made via electronic communication. Using, possessing or storing without authorization any weapon, dangerous chemical, or explosive element, including without limitation ammunition, whether or not the user or possessor holds a federal, state, or other license.
  3. Violating a policy by use or possession of a weapon or instrument designed to look like a firearm, explosive, or weapon, which is used to assault or to cause reasonable apprehension of harm to another person.
  4. Initiating, or causing to be initiated, any false report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency.
  5. Violating fire regulations, including the misuse or damage of fire safety equipment; tampering, misusing, damaging, or playing with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit lights, emergency lights, or other similar equipment; tampering with or pulling under false pretenses a fire alarm; or propping stairwell fire doors open.
  6. Violating the terms of any disciplinary action imposed in accordance with this Code.
  7. Interfering with freedom of expression of others.
  8. Violating any LSCS policy, procedure, regulation or rule, including, but not limited to, those concerning sexual assault, moving violations, student organizations, use of LSCS facilities, smoking, alcohol, and the time, place, and manner of public expressions.
  9. Possessing, using, selling, administering, or distributing alcoholic beverages or any illegal or controlled substances, designer drug, or drug paraphernalia without authorization.
  10. Littering, damaging, defacing, or destroying LSCS property, or property under its jurisdiction, or removing, using, occupying, or entering such property improperly or without authorization.
  11. Gambling or holding a raffle or lottery at LSCS without proper approval from LSCS and/or other authorities.
  12. Violating any local, state, federal, or other applicable law.
  13. Engaging in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent conduct, expression, or sexual conduct in or on LSCS property, including computer access of obscene material.
  14. Furnishing false information or willfully misrepresenting any fact to LSCS or to members of the LSCS community who are acting in the exercise of their official duties.
  15. Forging, altering, falsifying, or misusing LSCS documents, records, forms, or identification cards.
  16. Willfully misrepresenting to anyone within or outside of the college community one's status with LSCS, or willfully misrepresenting that the LSCS supports, sponsors, or approves the services or activities of any person, group, or organization.
  17. Stealing or attempting theft of LSCS property or services or personal property, or knowingly possessing such stolen property.
  18. Infringing upon the right of other students to fair and equal access to any of LSCS’s library materials and other LSCS academic resources.
  19. Using, without authorization, the LSCS’s facilities and/or equipment, including but not limited to, the phone system, mail system, computer system, transportation system, and/or equipment, or use of any of the above for any illegal act. LSCS facilities may be used for the designated educational purposes only. LSCS facilities may not be used for personal use, personal business use, or commercial use (except as otherwise authorized by LSCS Board Policy). LSCS facilities may be used for recreational activities only in designated areas.
  20. Causing false information to be presented before any administrative proceeding of LSCS, or intentionally destroying evidence relevant to such a proceeding.
  21. Failing to comply with the direction of LSCS officials, including campus security officers acting in the performance of their duties.
  22. Hazing - (see subsection E.2.04).
  23. Abandoning a child in any place on LSCS’s premises without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child at that age and ability. A student commits an offense if having custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years of age and intentionally abandoning the child on LSCS’s premises, exposes the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.
  24. Using abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, phone conversation, or via electronic communication directed at another student, LSCS employee, or visitor.
  25. Attempting to commit acts prohibited in this Code of Conduct, or encouraging or assisting others to commit such acts are prohibited and may be punished to the same extent as if one had committed the prohibited act.

VI.E.1.08 - Classroom Misconduct

LSCS seeks to provide an environment where discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter of the class are recognized as essential to the teaching and learning process. However, students do not have the right to interfere with the freedom of the faculty to teach or the rights of other students to learn.

Faculty are to set the standards of conduct that are acceptable in the classroom at the beginning of the semester. If a student behaves disruptively in the classroom after the faculty member has explained the unacceptability of such conduct and the consequences that will result, the student may be asked to leave the room for the remainder of the class time. If the student refuses to leave the room when directed, the faculty member may request the assistance of LSCS’s Police Department. If such assistance is requested, the police officer will inform the student that he or she is not to return to class until he or she has met with the academic dean and received written permission to return to class.

When a student is asked to leave the class, the faculty member shall prepare and submit a written report of the incident to the Chief Academic Officer and the Chief Student Services Officer. The report shall include the date, time, place, and student conduct. The office of the Chief Student Services Officer shall maintain the written report of the incident.

VI.E.1.09 - Academic Integrity

LSCS upholds the academic core values of learning: honesty, respect, fairness, and accountability. It promotes the importance of personal and academic honesty. It embraces the belief that all learners – students, faculty, staff, and administrators – will abide by the aforementioned academic core values providing their own work and giving appropriate credit to the work of others. Fabrication of sources, cheating, or unauthorized collaboration is prohibited on any work submitted within LSCS.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and cheating.

Any occurrence of academic dishonesty is to be determined in accordance with Board Policy Section V.C. “Academic Achievement”.

VI.E.1.10 - Dress and Grooming

Students' dress or grooming may not materially and substantially interfere with normal school operations.

Students are expected to be dressed and groomed in an appropriate manner while on campus or while participating in activities sponsored by LSCS.

VI.E.2. Specific Violations of Student Code of Conduct

VI.E.2.01 - Alcohol and Drug Use

Anyone registered in, or in attendance at, one of LSCS’s Colleges is prohibited from the possession, use, or distribution of unauthorized drugs and alcohol. Descriptions of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law and of the health risks associated with the use of unauthorized drugs and the abuse of alcohol will be made available to students.

VI.E.2.02 - Disruptions

Conduct by students either in or out of class which, for any reason—whether because of time, place, or manner of behavior—materially disrupts class work, involves substantial disorder, or invades the rights of others is prohibited.

Students shall be subject to the provisions of the Board Policy prohibiting disruption of classes, and disruption of lawful assembly. (See Chapter II. Community and Governmental Relations, Board Policy).

VI.E.2.03 - Demonstrations

Student demonstrations and similar activities shall be prohibited when there is evidence that may reasonably lead LSCS authorities to expect substantial disruption of, or material interference with, normal System operations, or approved college activities.

No person or group of people acting in concert may willfully engage in disruptive activity or disrupt a lawful assembly on LSCS property.  Further, the LSCS administration is charged with the responsibility of keeping its property free of disruptive activities and may take whatever disciplinary action is deemed necessary in instances of disruption or threat of disruption.

Students who participate in any prohibited activities described above are subject to disciplinary action based on the severity of the violation and its overall effect on the welfare of other students.

VI.E.2.04 - Weapons and Weapons Possession

A student shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possess or go onto LSCS premises with any prohibited weapon, as defined below, except pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of LSCS.

A student shall not interfere with normal activities, occupancy or use of any building or portion of LSCS campuses, or of any vehicles engaged in the transportation of students to and from college-sponsored activities by exhibiting, using, or threatening to exhibit or use a firearm. Prohibited weapons are defined as follows:

  1. A firearm (any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use).
  2. An illegal knife (knife with blade over 5½ inches; hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; switchblade knife; dagger; bowie knife; sword; or spear).
  3. An explosive weapon (any explosive or incendiary device, bomb, grenade, rocket or mine that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror, and includes a device designed, made or adapted for delivery or shooting an explosive weapon).
  4. Knuckles (any instrument consisting of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles).
  5. Armor-piercing ammunition (handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used primarily in pistols and revolvers).
  6. A chemical dispensing device (device other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being).
  7. A zip gun (a device or combination of devices that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through a smooth-bore or rifle-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance).
  8. A club (instrument specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, including a blackjack, nightstick, mace, and tomahawk).

VI.E.2.05 - Hazing

LSCS prohibits hazing. "Hazing" means any intentional, or knowing or reckless act on or off LSCS property directed against a student, by one person alone or a person acting with others, that endangers the mental or physical health or the safety of a student for the purpose of being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students.

“Student" means any person who:

  1. is registered in or in attendance at LSCS;
  2. has been accepted for admission at LSCS where the hazing incident occurs: or
  3. intends to attend LSCS during any of its regular sessions after a period of scheduled vacation.
“Hazing” includes, but is not limited to:

  1. any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on or in the body, or similar activity;
  2. any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  3. any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  4. any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation, that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student, that discourages the student from remaining registered in LSCS, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or LSCS rather than submit to acts described above; and
  5. any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Texas Penal Code.

VI.E.2.06 - Consequences of Hazing

Any student who commits any hazing activity violates LSCS policy and is subject to criminal prosecution. A student commits an offense if the student:

  1. engages in hazing against a student;
  2. solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in hazing against a student;
  3. intentionally or knowingly permits hazing against a student to occur; or
  4. has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student or firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident involving a student has occurred and knowingly fails to report that incident to a System representative, sponsor, or official.

VI.E.2.07 – Risk Management Program for Student Organization Members and Advisors

At least once during each academic year, LSCS shall provide a risk management program for members and advisors of registered student organizations at LSCS.  For this policy, “Advisor” means a person who:

  1. serves in an advisory capacity to a student organization to provide guidance to the organization and its members;
  2. is older than 21 years of age; and
  3. is not a student of the postsecondary educational institution at which the student organization is registered. 
Each advisor is required to attend a risk management program. Each registered student organization at LSCS must have the representatives of the organization attend a program.  The designated student organization representatives are the following four officer positions, or similar officer positions: the president, pledge class or new member chairperson, membership chairperson, and risk management chairperson. Other members of a student organization are encouraged to attend the program.

The program shall address, at a minimum, the following topics:
  1. possession and use of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, including penalties that may be imposed for possession or use;
  2. hazing;
  3. sexual abuse and harassment;
  4. fire and other safety issues, including the possession and use of a firearm or other weapon or of an explosive device;
  5. travel to a destination outside the area in which the institution is located;
  6. behavior at parties and other events held by a student organization; and
  7. adoption by a student organization of a risk management policy.

Each advisor or one of the student representatives designated above shall report on the program’s contents at a meeting of the full membership of the student organization.

Attendance shall be taken and maintained by the college's Student Activities Manager, or equivalent. Records of attendance shall be maintained by the System for at least three years after the date of the program to which the record applies.

LSCS may impose reasonable sanctions on a person who is required to attend the program and fails to attend.

VI.E.3. Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Violence

VI.E.3.01  Policy

The College strives to maintain an educational environment compliant with all applicable anti-discrimination laws, including all laws outlawing discrimination arising from: sexual harassment, sexual violence, race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status. Unlawful academic discrimination by officers, managers, faculty, supervisors, employees, students, advisors, vendors, clients, or contractors will not be tolerated.

Retaliating against a student who complains about discrimination as defined in this policy is also unlawful. Moreover, retaliating against a student for cooperating in an investigation initiated to discover any of the prohibited conduct identified in the prior paragraph, whether internal or external, is also unlawful and contrary to the College’s policies.

VI.E.3.02 Definitions

(a)   Consent: Sexual activity requires consent. Consent is defined as a voluntary and positive agreement between the participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent to sexual activity may be communicated in a variety of ways, but one should presume that consent has not been given in the absence of a clear, positive agreement between the participants. While verbal consent is not an absolute requirement for consensual sexual activity, verbal communication prior to engaging in sexual activity helps to clarify consent and avoid any misunderstandings.

Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity. A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs, alcohol, or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may seriously interfere with the participants’ judgment about whether consent has been sought and given.

(b)   Dating Violence: Dating violence is committed by a person who is or was in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the relationship length, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.  Dating violence also includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Finally, dating violence does not include acts covered by the definition of domestic violence.

(c)    Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; a person similarly situated to a victim’s spouse under Texas domestic or family violence laws; or any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from the person’s acts under Texas domestic or family violence laws.

(d)   Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as stated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

(e)    Sexual Discrimination: Sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, is illegal under both federal and Texas state law and is strictly prohibited by the College. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual violence, constitute sexual discrimination when:

1.      Requests, conduct, or submission to unwelcome advances is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic advancement, participation in College programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual;

2.      Rejection of unwelcome advances, requests, or conduct affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic advancement, participation in College programs or activities, or is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or

3.       Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating hostile work or academic environment that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work, academic performance, education, or participation in College programs or activities.

(f)    Sexual harassment (a form of sex discrimination) includes two categories: (1) hostile work environment sexual harassment, and (2) quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Hostile work environment sexual harassment means verbal, physical, or visual forms of harassment that are sexual in nature, unwelcome, and severe, persistent, or pervasive. A hostile environment is often created by a series of incidents. However, a single severe incident, such as sexual assault, could create a hostile environment. 

Conversely, quid pro quo sexual harassment means “this for that.” An example of this form of sexual harassment occurs if a faculty member (or staff member) stipulates that a student’s grade or performance rating (or participation on a team, in a play, etc.) will be based on whether that student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct.

Sexual harassment also means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1.      Submission to such conduct is made either as an explicit or an implicit term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic evaluation or advancement, or status in a course, program, or activity of the College;

2.      Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting such individual; or

3.      Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment or unduly interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance.

(g)   Sexual Violence: Sexual violence means a physical sexual act perpetrated without the complainant’s consent. This includes situations where a person is incapable of giving consent because of drug or alcohol impairment or a mental or physical disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX and this policy.

(h)   Stalking: Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts), including, but not limited to, a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, or conduct, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.  Substantial emotional distress is significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(i)     Title IX Harassment: Title IX harassment includes sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and sexual violence. The following types of actions serve as non-exhaustive examples of Title IX harassment prohibited by this policy if sufficiently severe or pervasive:

1.      Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent because of drug or alcohol impairment or mental or physical disability.

2.      Direct or implied sexual statements or threats, demands for sexual favors, or sexual advances, accompanied by implied or actual promises of preferential treatment for submission to such demands; or implied or actual threats that failure to submit to such demands may result in adverse treatment concerning the person’s admission, enrollment, employment, work status, promotion, grades, or recommendation;

3.      Persistent and unwelcome flirtation, requests for dates, staring, advances, or propositions of a sexual nature;

4.      Gratuitous displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, including images displayed, transferred, forwarded, or shared via the Internet, text messaging, or other electronic means;

5.      A pattern of conduct unrelated to an academic course or the requirements of the workplace intended to cause discomfort or humiliation or including one or more of the following: (i) comments of a sexual nature; (ii) sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, anecdotes, or gestures; (iii) a pattern of conduct that would cause discomfort or humiliation, or both, to a reasonable person to whom the conduct is directed and that includes one or more of the following: (1) unnecessary touching, such as patting, pinching, hugging, or repeated brushing against a person’s body; (2) remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body; or (3) remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience;

6.      Treating individuals adversely because they do not conform to stereotypical  norms of feminine or masculine gender behavior;

7.       Acts of Title IX harassment may take many different forms. Examples include (i) direct threats and other verbal statements (ii) email or other electronic messages (iii) physical contact, (iv) jokes, (v) gestures, and (vi) pictures or other visuals. The conduct must be sufficiently severe or pervasive as to unlawfully limit an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s activities. Further, such conduct is evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the victim’s position, taking into account the totality of the circumstances involved in a particular matter.

VI.E.3.03 Title IX Harassment and Sexual Violence General Procedures

Title IX harassment and sexual violence investigations are governed by the policies outlined below. The Office of General Counsel will develop procedures and forms to comply with this policy subject to the approval of the Chancellor or a designee.

(a)   Reporting Sexual Violence

Any person who believes sexual violence occurred may promptly report the incident to one of the College’s responsible employees. A responsible employee includes any one or more of the following Campus Security Authorities: (i) the College’s Police Department, (ii) the Chief Student Services Officer, or (iii) the Title IX Coordinator.

All individuals listed in the prior paragraph shall promptly inform the Title IX Coordinator of any such report. The responsible employee must inform the reporting person that the responsible employee has a duty to relay the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator. The responsible employee must also inform the reporting student about his or her confidentiality options, available confidential advocacy, counseling, and other support services; the right to file a Title IX complaint with the College; and the right to report a crime to the campus or external law enforcement.

(b)   Reporting Title IX Harassment Exclusive of Sexual Violence

Any person who believes Title IX harassment (excluding sexual violence) occurred is encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator as quickly as possible. Reports can also be made to any supervisor, academic dean, Vice President of Instruction, Associate Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor, President, or the Chancellor. Nothing in this policy restricts a complainant from filing a charge with an applicable law enforcement agency.

(c)    Investigation and Interim Steps

The College may take interim steps to protect the complainant and the College’s community members pending the investigation or hearing of a Title IX harassment or sexual violence complaint depending on the nature of the complaint and the evidence.

A non-exhaustive list of such interim steps includes: issuing a no-contact order prohibiting the parties from having contact with each other; directing the lateral transfer of an employee or moving a student to another classroom setting; or making arrangements for alternative academic and employment environments. Interim steps can also depend on the respondent’s identity.

1.      Faculty Employee: The President or a designee may place, after consulting with the Chancellor, the faculty member on administrative leave from employment responsibilities if the President reasonably believes that: (a) the alleged harassment or sexual violence occurred and (b) the respondent would be in a position to harm the College’s community members if the respondent continues to teach a class during an investigation or hearing under this section. Such leave may be with pay and all benefits.

2.      Non-Faculty Employee: The applicable Vice Chancellor, President, or other Chief Area Officer reporting directly to the Chancellor responsible for the unit employing the respondent may place, after consulting with the Chancellor, the employee on administrative leave from employment responsibilities if he or she reasonably believes that: (a) the alleged harassment or sexual violence occurred; and (b) the respondent would be in a position to do harm to the College’s community members if the respondent continues to work in that unit or department during an investigation or hearing under this section. Such leave may be with pay and all benefits.

3.      Student: The Chief Student Services Officer or a designee may restrict, after consulting with the President and Chancellor, the student-respondent from attendance at one or more classes or otherwise prohibit the student-respondent’s presence College-wide if the Chief Student Services Officer or a designee reasonably believes that: (a) the alleged harassment or sexual violence occurred; and (b) the respondent would be in a position to do harm to the College’s community members if the student-respondent continues to attend class or visit a particular campus during an investigation or hearing under this section.

4.      Third Party: If the respondent is neither a student nor employee, the College, through the Office of the General Counsel, will nevertheless conduct an investigation and take steps to provide appropriate remedies for the complainant and, where appropriate, the College’s broader population.  Such steps might include recommending the cancellation of an agreement in the case of a vendor, or the recommendation to sever a professional relationship.

(d)   Confidentiality

The College strongly supports a student’s interest in confidentiality in Title IX harassment and sexual violence cases. The College will only disburse information regarding such cases to individuals with responsibility for preparing the College’s response. Disclosures required by local, state, or federal law will be the sole exception.

A complainant may request that his or her name not be disclosed to the respondent or that the College not investigate or seek action against the respondent. The College will determine whether it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant. A complainant’s desire for anonymity or inaction may hinder the College’s investigation of a Title IX harassment or sexual violence complaint, but the College has the responsibility of providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the College’s community members notwithstanding the complainant’s request for anonymity or inaction. The College will notify the complainant of its intention to disclose the complainant’s identity if the College decides that providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the College’s community members outweighs the complainant’s right to inaction or anonymity. The College will also notify the respondent that the complainant requested that the College not pursue disciplinary action against the respondent if the College elects to proceed.

The College does not require mental-health counselors, pastoral counselors, social workers, psychologists, health center employees, or any other person with a professional license requiring confidentiality, or who is supervised by such a person, to report, without the complainant’s consent, incidents of sexual violence to the College in a way that identifies the complainant.

(e)    Proceedings in Sexual Violence Cases

The College will hold a hearing when a complainant specifically alleges sexual violence within a reasonable period of receiving the complaint or at a time by mutual consent of the parties. Both the complainant and the respondent will have an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence at this hearing. Both the complainant and the respondent may appear through a representative, including legal counsel, and personal attendance is not required from either party.

Neither the complainant nor the respondent will have an opportunity to question the other party, whether personally or through a representative.  Each party will be limited to presenting his or her case, except that either party may submit desired cross-examination questions to the hearing officer on the date of the hearing. The hearing officer will determine whether to ask the questions submitted during his or her questioning of either party—that decision is not appealable.

The hearing officer will be an independent arbiter or mediator selected by the College at its sole discretion.  The College will also conduct its own investigation led internally by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources (in the case of an employee-respondent) or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services (in the case of a student-respondent) and shall submit a report to the hearing officer at the hearing.

The hearing result, along with any recommendation for corrective and disciplinary action from the hearing officer, shall be delivered simultaneously to the complainant, the respondent, and the Chancellor within a reasonable period after the hearing. The Chancellor’s decision will be final.

(f)    Proceedings in all Other Cases

The Title IX Coordinator will provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent within a reasonable period of receiving it from the complainant.  The respondent will then have a reasonable period to respond in writing to the Title IX Coordinator. The next step will depend on the respondent’s status at the time of the alleged Title IX violation:

1.      The Title IX Coordinator will then, in the case of an employee-respondent, forward the complaint, the response, and all attached evidence and documentation to the Chief Human Resources Officer who functions as a hearing officer under this section;

2.      The Title IX Coordinator will then, in the case of a student-respondent, forward the complaint, the response, and all attached evidence and documentation to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services who functions as a hearing officer under this section; or

3.      The Title IX Coordinator will then, in the case of a third-party-respondent, forward the complaint, the response, and all attached evidence and documentation to the Executive Vice Chancellor who functions as a hearing officer under this section.

The College will conduct its own investigation led internally by a designee of the Chief Human Resource Officer (in the case of an employee-respondent) or a designee of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services (in the case of a student-respondent) and shall submit that report to the applicable hearing officer.

The hearing officer’s investigative result, along with any recommendation for corrective and disciplinary action, shall be delivered simultaneously to the complainant, the respondent, and the Chancellor within a reasonable time of the hearing officer’s receipt of the file from the Title IX Coordinator. The Chancellor’s decision will be final.

(g)   Evidentiary Standard

A preponderance of evidence standard must be used in any investigation or hearing under this section.

(h)   Potential Disciplinary Actions

1.      Students: If the investigation or hearing reveals that family or domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, Title IX harassment, or stalking was committed by a student, further action will be taken, including, but not limited to, any and all disciplinary actions set forth in Board Policy VI.F.4.01.  Moreover, students who are victims of sexual assault will not be subjected to disciplinary actions if they consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of their sexual assault. The absence of such disciplinary action encourages students to report potential Title IX violations without fear of reprisal.      

2.      Employees: If the investigation or hearing reveals that family or domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, Title IX harassment, or stalking was committed by an employee, further action will be taken up to and including immediate employment termination under Section IV.F.13.03 of this policy. 

3.      Third Parties: If the investigation or hearing reveals that family or domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, Title IX harassment, or stalking was committed by a non-employee non-student, further action will be taken, including, but not limited to immediate severance and termination of any contractual or business relationships.

(i)     Prohibition of Title IX Retaliation

Retaliation is a violation of the College’s Title IX harassment policy. The College’s policy prohibits any College community member from retaliating because of a person’s Title IX complaint. It is against the College’s policy to retaliate against any person who exercised his or her right to file a formal or informal Title IX harassment complaint, used any of the related processes the College provides, cooperated with an investigation, or testified or otherwise offered evidence connected to a complaint. A complaint’s actual or perceived truth does not excuse retaliatory conduct. Any person who observes retaliation should promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator.

VI.E.3.04  Available Reporting Resources

Complainants may contact the following agencies for assistance:

(a)   Internal Resources:

Any College Office of Student Services

College Police Department: (281) 290-5911

College Office of Emergency Management: (281) 290-2891

College Employee Title IX Coordinator:

                                                Chief Human Resources Officer

                                                HR-Compliance@lonestar.edu

                                                832-813-6520

College Student Title IX Coordinator

                                                Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services

                                                Student-Compliance@lonestar.edu

                                                832-813-6841

 (b)   External Resources:

Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center (Humble): (281) 446-2615

Domestic Violence Hotline: (713) 528-2121 / (713) 528-3625 (TDD)

Sexual Assault Hotline: (713) 528-7273 / (713) 528-3691 (TDD)

Montgomery County Women’s Center: (713) 528-7273
24-Hour Hotline: (936) 441-7273

Northwest Assistance Ministries: (281) 885-4673

Ben Taub Hospital: (713) 873-2000

MHMR Authority of Harris County

7011 Southwest Freeway

Houston, Texas 77074

Crisis Telephone: (866) 970-7770

Main Telephone: (713) 970-7000

Website: http://www.mhmraharris.org/

 

Houston Police Department (HPD) Mental Health Unit

1502 Ben Taub Loop

Houston, Texas 77030

 

Tri-County MHMR Services

1506 Old Montgomery Rd.

Conroe, Texas 77304

Crisis Phone:   (800) 659-6994

Main Phone:    (936) 756-8331

Website: http://www.tcmhmrs.org/

www.NotAlone.gov

VI.E.3.05  Convicted Sex Offender Policy

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 62.153 mandates each person required to register as a sex offender, and who intends to be employed, work with a contractor, or attend classes at the College, to register with the College’s Police Department at least seven (7) days before reporting to any College location.

As part of this registration, the individual must submit information pertinent to his or her offenses, which will be forwarded to the College’s Review Committee for a determination of eligibility for employment, vendor services, or enrollment. A person seeking to be enrolled as a student must first be approved before completing the registration process.

Failure to register and receive necessary approval under this section may result in immediate suspension, dismissal, or termination of employment.

 LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 3, 2015

VI.E.4. Computer Safety and Rules

VI.E.4.01 - Computer Usage

LSCS public access terminals are provided to support the instructional and educational functions of the System.

It shall be a violation of LSCS policy to attempt deliberately to prevent other users' access to the System's computer system, to degrade system performance, or to copy or destroy files. This includes, without limitation, the following:

  1. intentionally disrupting access of other students, faculty, or staff to the System’s computer resources;
  2. knowingly obtaining access to a computer account, identification number, or password assigned to another student, faculty member, staff member, or College office;
  3. knowingly using an account, identification number, or password belonging to another student, faculty member, staff member, or College office for other than its intended purpose, or using an identification number or an inactive account, password, or identification number;
  4. misusing System computer equipment by such activities as falsifying or altering records or documents, damaging programs belonging to another, sending harassing or threatening material, or duplicating copyrighted software unlawfully;
  5. intentionally using System computer resources to store, download, upload, display, print, or e-mail computer images that constitute "obscene materials" as defined by Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code and that are not directly related to, or required for, a specific educational course or research project related to an educational program;
  6. displaying or transmitting messages, images, or cartoons that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender national origin, disability, or religion; or
  7. using System e-mail or other computer resources for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain.

Any student who violates this policy shall be subject to discipline by LSCS, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the System.

Members of the public who are not enrolled in academic, technical, college-level or continuing education courses will be permitted to use such facilities for research purposes only when the use does not deny a LSCS student or employee access. Any member of the public whose use is not in accord with this policy may be asked to cease use of the computer, leave the facility, and forfeit rights to future use of System computers.

Minors who are not enrolled in System academic, technical or college-level courses shall only be permitted to use a computer on which a filtering device has been installed. Parental or guardian permission is required for all minors who wish to enroll in academic, technical or college-level courses in a College at the System. Such permission acknowledges that college level course work might contain materials or subject matter considered to be adult in nature.

Exceptions to this policy may apply in the libraries at LSCS Colleges which have public library partnership agreements.

VI.E.4.02 - Prohibited Use of Computers

The following conduct by computer users shall be treated as a violation of this policy and may subject the user to discipline, including loss of computing and e-mail privileges, up to and including termination for a System employee, and dismissal for a student:

  1. anonymous or forged e-mail messages;
  2. unauthorized attempts to access another person's e-mail or similar electronic communications;
  3. use of another's name, e-mail, computer address, or workstation to send e-mail or similar electronic communications;
  4. use of System e-mail or other network resources for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain;
  5. access to a restricted computing resource without authorization or use for purposes beyond the authorization;
  6. transmission of copyrighted materials without the written permission of the author or creator through System e-mail or other network resources in violation of U.S. copyright law;
  7. use of computing resources, including e-mails, in a manner that disrupts the work or educational environment;
  8. intentional use of System computing resources to store, download, upload, display, print or e-mail computer images that constitute "obscene materials" as defined by Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code and that are not directly related to, or required for, a specific educational course or research project directly related to an educational program.
  9. the display or transmission of messages, images, cartoons, or other messages or images that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, or religion, which may constitute prohibited harassment under System policies;
  10. upload or download of unauthorized materials to any System server; and
  11. sharing of an account, password, or other authentication device that was provided to permit access to restricted computing resources.

VI.E.4.03 - E-Mail Privileges

Access to LSCS’s e-mail and similar electronic communication systems is a privilege that is extended to current employees, students, and affiliates in good standing. The privilege of access ends with the termination of employment, the failure to re-enroll in a System educational program, or disciplinary sanctions.

VI.E.4.04 - E-Mail Confidentiality

LSCS cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of electronic documents, and any messages that are confidential, as a matter of law, should not be communicated over e-mail.

LSCS reserves the right to access e-mail to engage in routine computer maintenance and housekeeping, to carry out internal investigations, to prepare responses to requests for public records, or to disclose messages, data, or files to law enforcement authorities.

VI.E.4.05 - E-Mail Records

Messages sent as e-mail should meet the same standards for distribution or display as tangible documents or instruments. As with all records maintained by the System, and to the extent required by law, files saved in the System's information system, including e-mail, may be subject to release with a public information act request.

VI.E.4.06 - Loss of Computing Privileges

Use of LSCS’s equipment and networks shall comply with the policies and procedures of the System, and access may be denied to any student, employee, affiliates, or member of the public who fails to comply with the System's policies and procedures regarding appropriate computer use.

VI.E.4.07 - Overloading of Computer Resources

Nothing in this policy shall prohibit LSCS or College System Operator from intercepting and stopping e-mail messages or other computer use which have the capacity to overload the computer resources. Discipline may be imposed for intentional overloading of the System’s computer resources.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 1, 2011