Dec 15, 2019  
2015-2016 Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Rights and Responsibilities



Florida SouthWestern State College students are both citizens and members of the academic community. Upon registration, all students are entitled to the following freedoms and/or rights provided that their exercise does not disrupt the orderly operation of the College:

Right to freedom of expression
Right to peaceful assembly
Right to a fair and impartial hearing
Right to appeal any administrative decision that adversely affects them
Right to participate in Student Government

It is expected that the exercise of any of the aforementioned rights must be in compliance with Florida law as well as the policies and procedures established by the College and its Board of Trustees.

It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with and to abide by the College policies and regulations published in its policy statements, current College Catalog and Student Handbook, official manuals, and other publications. Failure to comply with these rules may result in the initiation of disciplinary action. Florida SouthWestern State College reserves the right to sanction a student for activities that take place off campus when those activities adversely affect the college community. Disciplinary action by the College may proceed while criminal proceedings are pending and will not be subjected to challenge on the grounds that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.

Student Code of Conduct

  1. Statement of Philosophy
    Florida SouthWestern State College is committed to maintaining a civil environment that fosters learning and personal development. All members of the Florida SouthWestern State College community are responsible for their own behavior and are expected to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the College pertaining to academic affairs, social conduct, and student activities. Students are expected to uphold appropriate standards of behavior and to respect the rights of others.

    Each student, by registering, pledges to accept and obey the rules and regulations of the College. Students are responsible for the observance of all policies and procedures as published in the College Catalog, the Student Handbook, Board of Trustees Policies, and other College documents. Students who fail to observe College regulations or to maintain acceptable standards of personal conduct are subject to disciplinary action.

    The following Student Code of Conduct contains regulations considered necessary to preserve and maintain an environment conducive to learning, to foster and enhance the academic mission of the College, to ensure the safety and welfare of all members of the College Community, to encourage students in the development and practice of good citizenship and self-discipline, and to protect the property and equipment of the College.

    The sanctions outlined through the disciplinary process are imposed to educate students about the seriousness of their actions, to provide a civil atmosphere that allows for positive personal growth, and to maintain campus safety and security.
  2. Definitions - This section of the Student Code of Conduct outlines the definitions of words commonly used in the Code.
    1. Administrative Hearing: A Student Conduct Hearing conducted by a Hearing Officer.
    2. Advisor: Any person chosen by the student or the alleged victim at their own expense and initiative to assist him/her throughout the student conduct process. The advisor may be present, but may not speak for or present the case for the student, or otherwise participate directly in the proceeding. If the advisor does not adhere to his/her defined role, he/she may be removed from the hearing.
    3. Business Days: Defined as Monday through Friday and excludes dates for which the College is closed according to the Official Academic Calendar.
    4. Chair: One of the faculty/staff members that is selected from the Student Conduct Board panel to chair the Student Conduct Board Hearing.
    5. Charged Student: Any student who has been charged with an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct or Student Housing guidelines.
    6. Chief Student Affairs Officer: The Chief Student Affairs Officer on a campus or center and may include (but is not limited to) Student Housing Administrators, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, Dean of Student Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, Coordinator of Student Affairs, and Assistant Director of Student Services.
    7. College Community: Refers to the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff and all visitors, contractors and guests to the College or any of its campuses, facilities or events.
    8. College Official: Any person employed by the College to perform assigned teaching, administrative, professional or other responsibilities.
    9. Correspondence:
      1. Written or electronic communication from the College sent to the student's physical address on file with the Registrar or to the student's College email address, and
      2. Written or electronic communication sent from the student.
    10. Hearing: Refers to the Student Conduct Board Hearing, Student Housing Conduct Board Hearing or the Administrative Hearing, as applicable.
    11. Hearing Officer: A person authorized by the College to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. Such person may recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a violation has been committed.
    12. Information Session: The conference at which the Charged Student is afforded the opportunity to review all materials that will be used in his or her Hearing.
    13. Investigation Conference: A conference meeting which includes the opportunity for the Chief Student Affairs Officer to interview and gather information with the student and an explanation of the process, the student's rights and a review of the incident.
    14. On Campus: All land, building, facilities and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the College, including adjacent streets, sidewalks and parking lots.
    15. Student: Any person registered for a course at Florida SouthWestern State College on any of its campuses, sites or online or someone who is present on campus for the purpose of being enrolled at the College.
    16. Student Conduct Board: Any person or persons authorized by the College to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. Such person or persons may recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a violation has been committed.
    17. Student Conduct Board Hearing: A formal Student Conduct Hearing conducted by the Student Conduct Board or Student Housing Conduct Board.
    18. Student Conduct Conference: The individual meeting with the student and the Chief Student Affairs Officer after a Notice of Charges has been delivered. This meeting consists primarily of a discussion between the student and the Chief Student Affairs Officer and affords the student the opportunity to choose "Responsible" or "Not Responsible" to the charges listed on the Notice of Charges, and determines the next course of action in the student conduct process.
    19. Witness: An individual who was present at the time of the incident in question, has information about the incident in question, or who was called upon to voluntarily present testimony at a Hearing. No character witnesses are permitted.
  3. Jurisdiction- Jurisdiction describes where and when the Student Code of Conduct applies.

    Generally, Florida SouthWestern State College's jurisdiction over student conduct issues is limited to conduct that occurs on College premises or that adversely affects the College Community. However, when off-campus activities have a negative impact on the College Community, hinder the College in its pursuit of learning objectives, reflect poorly on the College, or are potentially harmful to other members of the College Community, Florida SouthWestern State College will exercise its right to sanction involved students. College related off-campus conduct issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Student Code of Conduct proceedings may be instituted based upon a student's alleged conduct that, if committed, would violate criminal law or the Student Code of Conduct without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation. Proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.

    Student Code of Conduct proceedings may also be instituted based upon a student's alleged conduct that, if committed, would violate other College policies, including, but not limited to Board of Trustees policies, Residence Hall contracts, and Computer Use policies.

    Please refer to Florida State Statutes Sections 1006.61 and 1006.6  for more information.
  4. Conduct Violations - The aiding, abetting, inciting of, attempting to commit or committing of any act or behavior by a student which tends to interfere with or otherwise disrupts the orderly conduct, process, function, and/or interests of the College is prohibited and subjects a student to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct. Such acts and behaviors include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
      1. Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on campus or at a College-approved function.
      2. Possession or use of illegal drugs on campus or at a College-approved function.
      3. Purchase, distribution, delivery or sale of illegal drugs.
      4. Possession or use of drug paraphernalia.
      5. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substances.
      6. The misuse of a prescription drug.
      7. Intoxicated behavior.
      8. The unprescribed use, inhalation or ingestion of a substance that will alter a student's mental state.

        * Please refer to the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, 41 U.S.C. 70-1 et.seq. and the Policies Regarding the Manufacture, Possession, Use and/or Sale of Illegal Drugs or Alcoholic Beverages and the Enforcement of State Underage Drinking Laws in the College Catalog for more information. Violation of this policy can result in referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities, disciplinary action up to and including immediate suspension, expulsion or termination, and/or a requirement of satisfactory participation in a College approved drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. A criminal conviction is not required for sanctions to be imposed upon a student or employee for violation of this policy.
    2. Campus Disturbances and Demonstrations, Parades, or Picketing
      1. Unlawful interference with academic freedom or the freedom of speech of any member of the College Community and intentional interference with the educational function of the College.
    3. Commercial Solicitation and Fundraising on Campus
      1. Solicitors and tradesmen, including students, faculty and other College personnel, are prohibited from entering the grounds or buildings of Florida SouthWestern State College for the purpose of transacting business with students, faculty, or other College personnel, unless they have been issued a permit for this purpose or the information has been signed by the appropriate College Official. All groups who want to reserve space, sell or solicit must submit the appropriate paperwork to the appropriate departments on the Charlotte, Collier, Lee Campuses and Hendry/Glades Center.
      2. The posting or distribution of advertising material shall be limited to a designated bulletin board on each campus of the College under the same permit system and must be approved by a member of the Student Services staff or a designated representative.
    4. Computers
      1. Unauthorized access or entry into a computer, computer system, network, software or data.
      2. Unauthorized alteration of computer equipment, software, network or data.
      3. Unauthorized downloading, copying or distribution of computer software or data.
      4. Any other act that violates the Responsibilities for Use of Campus Computer and Network Resources policy, which is hereby adopted by reference.
    5. Disruptive Conduct
      1. Obstructing or disrupting any College activity including teaching, research, administrative functions, social activities and public service functions.
      2. Engaging in any obscene, profane, reckless, destructive or unlawful course of conduct.
      3. Failure to obey a College Official who is performing his/her duties.
      4. Failure to comply with a lawful order of a College Official or any non-College law enforcement official.
      5. Providing false information to a College Official or to a non-College law enforcement official, including disciplinary hearing bodies. This also includes falsifying the Admission Application or other documents submitted to the College.
      6. Acts that impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct processes and functions of the College or the rights of other members of the College Community. This includes acts that occur both inside and outside of the classroom and may involve the use of electronic or cellular equipment.
      7. Any act which deliberately impedes or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
      8. Only currently enrolled students are authorized to be in classrooms, except for situations involving a properly documented disability. Children, spouses, or other relatives are not permitted, except with permission of a Dean, Campus President, or the Chief Student Affairs Officer. Complaints regarding classroom disruption should be reported to these offices.
      9. Acts that disrupt the College disciplinary process, including attempting to coerce or influence a person regarding their participation in any disciplinary proceeding.
    6. Endangerment
      1. Physical violence towards another person or group.
      2. Touching or striking a person against his/her will.
      3. An action that endangers the health, safety, or well-being of one's self or another person or group.
      4. Intentional threat by word or act to do violence to a person or persons.
      5. A false report of an explosive or incendiary device, which constitutes a threat or bomb scare.
      6. Retaliation against a complainant or other person alleging misconduct.
      7. Interference with the freedom of another person to move about in a lawful manner.
    7. Fire and Safety
      1. Inappropriate activation of any emergency warning equipment or the false reporting of any emergency.
      2. Illegal possession, removal of, damage to or tampering with fire safety or other emergency warning equipment.
      3. Failure to evacuate a College building or facility when a fire alarm is sounded.
      4. Arson: intentionally or recklessly causing a fire that may result in damage to College property or harm to an individual.
    8. Gambling
      1. Engages in or offers games of chance for money or other gain in violation of the laws of the State of Florida.
    9. Harassment
      1. Conduct, (not of a sexual nature), that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person.
      2. Action(s) or statement(s) that threaten harm or intimidate another.
      3. Acts that invade the privacy of another person.
      4. Stalking: to follow or otherwise contact another person repeatedly, so as to put that person in fear for his or her life or personal safety.
      5. Unwelcome verbal or physical abuse which causes the recipient discomfort or humiliation or which interferes with the recipient's academic performance or employment.
      6. Harassment related to an individual's race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, marital status, veteran's status, genetic information, or physical disability is a violation of this policy.

        * Florida SouthWestern State College maintains a separate set of procedures to address complaints that entail accusations of discrimination, stalking or harassment. These types of complaints are addressed through Florida SouthWestern State College Board Policy 6Hx6:2.03. Students should notify the Equity Officer for assistance in resolving any discrimination or harassment issue. Please see the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure (COP 05-0107)  for more information.
    10. Hazing - Any group or individual action or activity that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or mental harm or discomfort or which may demean, disgrace or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent or consent of participant. Although hazing is related to a person's initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any student group or organization, it is not necessary to have direct proof that a person's initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity for a charge of hazing to be upheld. The actions of either active, associate, new and/or prospective members of an organization may be considered hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Interference with a student's academic performance.
      2. Forced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.
      3. Forced physical activity, such as calisthenics.
      4. Deprivation of food or sleep.
      5. Kidnapping.
      6. Any activity that would subject the individual to embarrassment or humiliation.

        *Please refer to Florida State Statutes Section 1006.63  for more information.
    11. Identification
      1. Permits another person to use his or her identification.
      2. Inappropriate use of another person's identification.
      3. Impersonation or misrepresenting the authority to act on behalf of another or the College.
      4. Forgery, alteration or misuse of identification, documents, records, keys or access codes.
      5. Manufacture, distribution, delivery, sale, purchase, possession or use of false identification.
    12. Property
      1. Damage, misuse or destruction of public or private property.
      2. The unlawful taking, destroying, defacing, damaging, or misuse of College property or property belonging to others.
      3. Possession, sale, or purchase of property or services that are known or reasonably, under the circumstances, should have been known to have been stolen.
      4. Enters or uses the property or facilities of the College or of another person without the proper consent or authorization.
      5. Vandalism or misuse of library material.
      6. No swimming or recreational activities are allowed on campus lakes without the approval of the appropriate campus administrator.
      7. No pets or animals are allowed on campus unless that animal is assisting a person who has a disability.
    13. Sexual Misconduct
      1. Any sexual act that occurs without the consent of the victim or that occurs when the victim is unable to give consent.
      2. Obscene or indecent behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, exposure of one's sexual organs or the display of sexual behavior that would reasonably be offensive to others.
      3. Conduct of a sexual nature that creates intimidating, hostile, or offensive enviornment for another person. This includes unwanted, unwelcome, or inappropriate sexual or gender-based behaviors, actions or comments.

        *Florida SouthWestern State College maintains a separate set of procedures to address complaints that entail sexual misconduct. Students should notify the Title IX Coordinator for assistance in resolving any sexual misconduct or sexual harassment issue.                                                                                

            The College defines sexual misconduct as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including any conduct or act of a sexual nature perpetrated against an individual without consent. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. The College encourages reporting of all sexual misconduct.

           Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to:

      • Dating Violence      
      • Domestic Violence
      • Non-forcible sex acts, which are unlawful sexual acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent, as defined by State law, or between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law        
      • Sexual Assault
      • Sexual Exploitation
      • Sexual Harassment and
      • Stalking                                                                                                                         
    14. Tobacco / Electronic Cigarette
      1. Use of, or simulation to use, a tobacco product inside buildings or on property owned, operated or leased by the College or at a College approved function whether intended to be lit or not, which also includes the use of electronic cigarettes.
      2. Failure to immediately discard of product after being informed of the tobacco free policy and asked to comply by properly discarding of the tobacco product.
      3. Tobacco use, distribution or sale, including, but not limited to smoking, is prohibited on College-owned, operated or leased property.
      4. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events and cultural events, and all persons on Florida SouthWestern State College property are required to abide by this policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating this policy to attendees and its enforcement.

        * Tobacco is defined as any product made of tobacco including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, hookahs, pipes, and any smokeless tobacco product. The use of any tobacco product, whether intended to be lit or not, which includes smoking as well as the use of electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited on College-owned, operated or leased property. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events and cultural events, and all persons on Florida SouthWestern State College property are required to abide by this policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating this policy to attendees and its enforcement.
    15. Weapons
      1. On-campus possession or use of firearms (even with a permit), explosives, knives and other weapons or dangerous articles or substances, including but not limited to, non-lethal weapons such as pellet guns, look-alike weapons, or the use of any item as a weapon.
      2. Off-campus, illegal possession or use of firearms, explosives or other weapons or dangerous articles or substances.
      3. Possession of ammunition or other weapons and/or setting off any explosive device, fireworks or flammable liquid or objects.
      4. Organizers and attendees at public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events and cultural events, and all persons on Florida SouthWestern State College property are required to abide by this policy.

        *Florida State Statutes Section 790.115 makes it unlawful for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, or any other weapon of like kind as defined by the Statute at a school-sponsored event or on school property. This section does not apply to any law enforcement officer as defined in Florida State Statutes Section 943.10.
    16. Other Violations
      1. Violation of Federal or State law or local ordinance on or off campus.
      2. Violation of Board of Trustees policy.
      3. Aids or abets any other violation of Federal law, State law or local ordinance.
      4. Violation of any other College regulation or policy as described in the College Catalog, Student Handbook, College Housing Contract, the Guide to Residence Living, other College housing publications, Board of Trustees Policies, the official FSW website and Club Manual, all of which are hereby adopted by reference. This includes repeat violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  5. Sanctions

    Florida SouthWestern State College makes every attempt to provide an educational sanction that will help a student to make better choices in the future. The educational sanction applied will become progressively more demanding if the student repeats violations, demonstrating that learning has not taken place. An accumulation of a variety of violations may result in severe sanctions such as suspension, expulsion or negative notation on a transcript. Academic dishonesty and violations affecting the health, safety and wellbeing of the community are deemed the most severe and may result, upon the first violation, in a negative notation being placed on a transcript, suspension, or expulsion.

    Student Conduct Sanctioning is intended:
    • To make sure the student sanctioned has learned from the experience.
    • To educate the student so he or she does not commit the violation again.
    • To offer the student the opportunity to make good on a mistake.
    • To ensure that College expectations regarding appropriate behavior are clear.
    • To educate the student concerning how his or her behavior impacts others in the College Community.
    • To protect the College Community from people who may harm others in the College Community or who may substantially interfere with the educational mission of the College or other institutions.

       Sanctions include, but are not limited to:
      1. Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
      2. Probation: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation during the probationary period.
      3. Referral to an Outside Program: Referral to a tobacco intervention program, the Student Assistance Program, or mental health counseling.
      4. Service Hours: Completion of tasks under the supervision of a College department or outside agency.
      5. Educational Activities: Attendance at educational programs, interviews with appropriate officials, planning and implementing educational programs, or other educational activities.
      6. Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
      7. Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      8. Prohibited Contact: Prohibition of contact with a specified person within the College Community.
      9. Removal from Classroom/Course: Removal from the classroom and/or the course, including but not limited to, dismissal from the course or reassignment to another section.
      10. Counseling Assessment and Compliance: Referral for assessment (at the student's expense) to a licensed mental health professional or counseling center for general mental health or other counseling issues. Students found responsible for alcohol, drug or behavioral violations may be referred to an on campus licensed mental health counselor or to an outside agency or counselor based on the seriousness of the violation. Students must comply with all recommendations established as a result of any assessment resulting from the imposition of this sanction.
      11. Suspension: Separation of the student from Florida SouthWestern State for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
      12. Dismissal: Separation from the College for an indefinite period of time. Readmission may be possible, based on meeting all readmission criteria and obtaining clearance from the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee.
      13. Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from Florida SouthWestern State. All recommendations of expulsion must be reviewed and approved by the College President or designee.
      14. Transcript Notation: A written notation indicating that disciplinary action was taken. This sanction may be applied in cases in which the student has been permanently separated from the College.
      15. Failure to Complete Sanctions: A student who fails to adhere to or complete sanctions will have a disciplinary hold placed on his or her record. This hold will affect the student's ability to register for classes and the student may receive additional charges under the Student Code of Conduct. Disciplinary holds will not be removed until the sanctions are completed.
      16. Change in Housing Assignment: Removal or reassignment of the student to another location in College Housing.
      17. Exclusion or Removal from College Housing: Exclusion or removal may be permanent or for a specified period of time. If the student is excluded or removed from Housing, the Housing Agreement will be cancelled. The Terms and Conditions of the Housing Agreement regarding cancellation fees and proration of rental fees will apply.
      18. Other: An action for follow up to ensure compliance and success for the student, and the welfare of the community. Or another action determined by the student and the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
  6. Emergency Action

    The Chief Student Affairs Officer is authorized to determine if an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct warrants emergency action. Emergency actions may be implemented any time prior to the conclusion of the conduct process, including the appeal process.

    The criteria used in making this determination are: a) whether the student poses an ongoing threat of harm, disruption of, or interference with the normal operations of the College; and b) whether interim suspension is necessary to protect the health (physical and mental), safety or general welfare of the College Community or to preserve College property.

    Emergency action includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
    1. Interim Suspension. A student under interim suspension may not attend classes, may not be on or come onto College property, may not live in College housing, may not participate in any College activities or organizations, and may not use College facilities, equipment or resources.
    2. If the Chief Student Affairs Officer determines that other interim measures are appropriate to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the student or the College Community, the Chief Student Affairs Officer may:
      1. Restrict or bar attendance of any or all classes.
      2. Restrict or bar access or contact with individuals in the College Community.
      3. Restrict or bar access to College property, places, facilities, or equipment.
      4. Restrict or ban participation in College activities or organizations.
      5. Restrict or ban from College housing.
      6. Otherwise restrict conduct or ban access to College resources.
    3. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may immediately place a registration hold on all students who have emergency action taken against them, which prevents the student from accessing, changing or altering his or her course registration and/or admission status.
    4. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may also request that a student's access to the portal, email, online course rooms, and other online information access be suspended.
    5. Implementation of emergency action, such as interim suspension, requires the student be notified in writing within 48 hours upon the determination that an interim suspension is warranted. The notice shall state the basis for the interim suspension and that the student will have the opportunity to inspect all information that initiated the interim suspension. The written notice will be sent to the student's College email account and to the last physical address provided by the student to the Registrar's Office. The College may also communicate the determination verbally to the student but must also concurrently deliver the written notice as described above. The student has three (3) business days from the date of the notice to make a written request to appeal the interim suspension. The appeal of the interim suspension will be heard by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee within three (3) business days of receipt of the appeal. The hearing may be delayed due to a semester break or closing of the College. The notification of decision shall be in correspondence via email to the student within three (3) business days of hearing the appeal. The student's appeal of the interim suspension must be based on one of the following:
      1. An egregious error pertaining to the student's involvement.
      2. A contention that the violation, even if proven, does not pose a threat to the health, safety or general welfare of the College Community and thus does not warrant emergency action.
    6. If it is determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee that the emergency action was not appropriate, the student's status will be reinstated and the conduct process will commence in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
    7. If the student does not appeal the emergency action, or if the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee determines the emergency action was appropriate, the conduct process will commence in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
  7. Provisions for the Charged Student

    Procedural fairness is basic to the proper enforcement of all College regulations. Accordingly, no disciplinary action shall be initiated or sanction imposed against a student until the student has been notified in writing of the complaints against him or her, the student has been informed of his or her rights under this Code, and the student has been given the opportunity to be heard.

    The following provisions shall be explained to each Charged Student during the Conduct Review Conference or prior to the commencement of any conduct hearing:
    1. The Charged Student will receive a fair and impartial hearing in accordance with the requirements of the Code.
    2. The Charged Student will be notified in writing of the alleged violations against him or her and the alleged misconduct upon which the charge is based with reasonable access to the case file prior to and during the hearing.
    3. The Charged Student may inspect any available information presented in support of the charges and may take notes.
    4. The Charged Student may decline to make statements in response to the allegations. Declining to make a statement shall not be construed as an admission of responsibility.
    5. The Charged Student may be assisted by an advisor of his or her choice, at his or her own expense. The advisor may be present, but may not speak for or present the case for the student, or otherwise participate directly in the proceeding. It is the student's responsibility to make appropriate arrangements for the advisor to attend the scheduled hearing time.
    6. The Charged Student may hear and question adverse witnesses who testify at the hearing, except in cases of sexual misconduct or abuse.
    7. The Charged Student may present relevant information and witnesses. The College cannot compel any person to attend a student disciplinary hearing on behalf of the Charged Student. The Charged Student is responsible for arranging his or her own witnesses and presenting information during the proceeding. The Hearing Body shall have the authority to limit the number of witnesses in order to avoid unreasonable delays where the testimony of these witnesses is repetitious or irrelevant.
    8. The Charged Student will not to be forced to present testimony which would be self-incriminating. However, the College is not required to postpone student conduct proceedings pending the outcome of any outside criminal or civil case.
    9. The Charged Student will be considered not responsible for the alleged conduct until proven responsible by a preponderance of the information. If expulsion is a possibility, the standard of proof must be clear and convincing information. The finding of responsible or not responsible on the charges shall be based solely on the information presented at the hearing.
    10. The right to confidentiality, in accordance with the terms of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
    11. The Charged Student will be notified in writing of the decision of the Hearing Body within ten (10) business days from the date of the hearing, unless extenuating circumstances that resulted in a delay of the decision are communicated to the student in writing.
    12. The Charged Student may appeal the determination of responsibility in accordance with the requirements of the Code.
  8. Conduct Procedures-This section of the code describes the procedures for Student Conduct proceedings at Florida SouthWestern State College.
    1. Complaints. Any person or entity may file a complaint against a student for alleged violation of law or College regulations or policies. An investigation may take place of the circumstances of the complaint. The complaint regarding a student's conduct must be submitted as follows:
      1. Provide a written and signed statement to the Chief Student Affairs Officer. Written statements should include all information and evidence the person making the complaint can produce. The statement may be completed online through the appropriate webpage in the portal and may be signed electronically.
      2. Reports must be made within 6 months of the incident, or knowledge about the incident. The forgoing time limit shall not apply, however, when a College Official in his or her professional discretion determines that the circumstances warrant a waiver of the six (6) month time limit.
    2. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will determine if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the allegations of the complaint are true and, if true, would constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
      1. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may conduct an Investigation Conference with the student. This conference shall include the opportunity for the Chief Student Affairs Officer to interview and gather information from the student and an explanation of the process, the student's rights and a review of the incident with the student. No student shall be required to testify against him or herself.
      2. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may conduct an investigation with others as related to the incident or complaint.
      3. Nothing in this regulation shall prevent the mediation of a complaint when deemed appropriate by the College.
      4. Nothing in this regulation shall prevent the disposition of a complaint administratively by written agreement with mutual consent of the parties involved. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings.
      5. If an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct is not handled through other appropriate channels, is not dismissed, or is not settled informally, then the Chief Student Affairs Officer may present in correspondence formal charges to the student.
    3. Notice of Charges. The notification of charges shall be in correspondence via email and include: the specific Student Code of Conduct violations, a brief description of alleged offenses, the student's rights, and an invitation to attend a Student Conduct Conference; the date and time of this Student Conduct Conference are also included.
      1. If a hold on registration is not already in effect, as an emergency action, upon issuing the Notice of Charges the Chief Student Affairs Officer may place a hold on registration until final disposition of the complaint.
    4. Student Conduct Conference. After the Notice of Charges has been issued, a Student Conduct Conference may be scheduled.
      1. There are no witnesses called and it consists primarily of a discussion between the charged student and the Chief Student Affairs Officer in an effort to resolve the matter.
      2. The Student Conduct Conference is not audio taped or recorded.
      3. At the conclusion of the Student Conduct Conference, the Charged Student may accept or deny responsibility for the Student Code of Conduct violations listed on the Notice of Charges.
      4. If the Charged Student chooses to accept responsibility on forms provided by the College (which forms shall describe the effect of waiving a Hearing), or fails to attend the Student Conduct Conference, thereby accepting responsibility for the charges, the Chief Student Affairs Officer may assess such sanctions as are deemed appropriate. This acceptance of responsibility or failure to appear shall constitute the Charged Student's waiver of a formal Hearing and right of appeal. The student retains the right only to appeal the severity of the sanction imposed.
      5. Any sanctions imposed in cases where the Charged Student accepts responsibility or fails to attend the Student Conduct Conference will be communicated in correspondence via email to the Charged Student within seven (7) business days of the Student Conduct Conference.
    5. Formal Disposition by Hearing: When a Charged Student denies responsibility, a Hearing shall be scheduled no less than seven (7) business days after the date of the Student Conduct Conference, except in cases of emergency as specified below, or unless waived by the student.
      1. A formal disposition by Hearing is defined as any Hearing before the Student Conduct Board or a College Hearing Officer.
      2. The student may choose to have his or her Hearing before the Student Conduct Board or a College Hearing Officer. This choice shall be made at the Student Conduct Conference.
      3. If the student does not choose an option, the Hearing shall be heard by a Hearing Officer.
    6. Notice of Hearing. The notification of Hearing shall be sent officially via email at least five (5) business days from the incident date and include:
      1. The date, time and location of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer Hearing.
      2. Notification of his or her rights and the Hearing procedures.
      3. A reasonable date, time and location for an Information Session, during which the student and his or her advisor may review a potential witness list and all materials to be used by the College in his/her case, which shall be no less than three (3) business days prior to the Hearing.
      4. The College shall also have the right to review all of the student's materials and list of witnesses to be used in the case.
      5. In cases where the Hearing is heard by a Hearing Officer, the Charged Student shall have the opportunity to challenge the impartiality of the Hearing Officer within three (3) business days of notification. The student shall state in correspondence the basis for such challenge. A Hearing Officer so challenged may be replaced by the Chief Student Affairs Officer for good cause shown. In the event that a student has opted not to challenge the impartiality of a Hearing Officer prior to the allotted three (3) business days, the assigned Hearing Officer shall remain as scheduled.
    7. Postponement of Hearing. The student may request postponement of a Student Conduct Board Hearing or Hearing Officer Hearing in correspondence to the Chief Student Affairs Officer. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may grant a postponement when the circumstances presented demonstrate that a postponement is necessary to ensure fairness to the process or on any other reasonable grounds. The Chief Student Affairs Officer may postpone the Hearing on the College's behalf for administrative reasons. All requests for postponement must be requested at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled Student Conduct Board Hearing.
    8. Structure of the Student Conduct Board. The Student Conduct Board shall consist of the following persons: two students, one faculty member/administrator and an optional fourth member who may be a student or a faculty member/administrator. The chairperson of a Student Conduct Board Hearing shall be one of the faculty members/administrators that serve on the panel. Faculty members, administrators, and students shall be selected by the Chief Student Affairs Officer for a Hearing. The Student Conduct Board members are selected through an annual application and interview process. All Student Conduct Board members will receive training from the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
    9. Hearing Procedures. The Hearing is not a legal proceeding. Formal courtroom rules of process, procedure, and/or evidence do not apply.
    10. Objectives of the Hearing. Requisite levels of fairness and the satisfaction of certain minimum requirements will be provided to all participants during these proceedings. The Hearing shall have the following objectives:
      1. Inform the student of the charges.
      2. Give the accused student an opportunity to respond to the charges.
      3. Review the facts of the case.
      4. Determine if any violation of the Student Code of Conduct was committed and communicate its findings to the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
      5. Recommend any sanctions to be imposed based upon the facts, as determined at the Hearing, and communicate any recommendations to the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
    11. Witnesses. All parties to the Hearing may arrange for witnesses to voluntarily present relevant information during the Hearing. The questioning of witnesses shall be facilitated by the Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board Chair, as applicable. Such witnesses at Hearings will not be sworn in. Each witness will be admonished that he or she is required to tell the truth. A student giving untrue testimony at a Hearing is subject to student conduct charges.
    12. Review of Information.
      1. The Charged Student and his or her advisor, if any, have the right to inspect all of the information that will be presented against the student at least three (3) business days before the Hearing. The College also has the right to review any information that the student intends to use at least three (3) business days before the Hearing.
      2. The Charged student may present information on his or her own behalf. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the Hearing Officer or the Student Conduct Board at their discretion.
    13. Burdens of Proof. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer shall determine whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct by a preponderance of the information. This means that the information presented supports the finding that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. The burden of proof is not on the Charged Student.
    14. The Charged Student or the Impacted Student may choose one advisor to be present during the process at the Charged Student's or the Impacted Student's expense and initiative. It is the Charged Student's or Impacted Student's responsibility to make appropriate arrangements for the advisor to attend the Hearing, which shall not be delayed due to scheduling conflicts of the chosen advisor. The advisor may be present to advise the Charged Student or the Impacted Student but may not speak for or present the case for the Charged Student or the Impacted Student, present statements or arguments, question witnesses or otherwise participate in the process.
      1. Members of the Student Conduct Board may not serve as a student's advisor at the Hearing.
      2. If the Charged Student or Impacted Student chooses an attorney as his/her advisor at the Hearing, he or she must inform the Chief Student Affairs Officer at least three (3) business days before the Hearing. In such cases the College will be advised by a College attorney as well.
    15. Hearings.
      1. All Hearings before the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer will be audio recorded by the College. That recording will serve as the only official record of these proceedings and shall be the property of the College. No other recordings are permitted. Deliberations shall not be recorded.
      2. The following is a guide to the format of events for Hearings. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer may change the order if necessary. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer may question any party or witness directly.
        1. Review of Hearing procedures.
        2. Reading of Charges.
        3. Opening statement and presentation of information by the Charged Student.
        4. Questioning of voluntary College witnesses, followed by the questioning of Charged Student's voluntary witnesses.
        5. Questions directed to the Charged Student by the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer.
        6. Closing statement by the Charged Student.
        7. Deliberation by the Board or Hearing Officer (not recorded). Deliberations are closed and may only be attended by the members of the Student Conduct Board.
        8. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer may recommend a decision(s) and a sanction(s) to the Chief Student Affairs Officer. Such recommendation of decision(s) and sanction(s) may be presented to the student by the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer.
    16. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer will find the student "Responsible" or "Not Responsible" for each of the alleged violations listed on the Notice of Charges, based solely on the information presented at the Hearing. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer will inform the Chief Student Affairs Officer of its findings and any recommendation for sanctions based on its findings. If the Student Conduct Board cannot reach a finding of "Responsible" or "Not Responsible" to a charge within five (5) business days based on the complexity of the case, the chairperson shall call the Board as deadlocked and the Chief Student Affairs Officer may call a new Hearing date with new Board members to hear that charge. No person serving on the first Board shall serve on the second Board. If the second Board also deadlocks, then the charges against the charged student shall be dismissed.
    17. If the charged student fails to appear at the scheduled Hearing (after proper notice), the student may be found Responsible for each of the alleged violations listed on the Notice of Charges and may not appeal the finding of responsibility. The student retains the right only to appeal the severity of the sanction.
    18. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will review the findings and recommendations of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer, as applicable. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will then make a decision as to the violation(s) in question and sanctions imposed. This decision may consist of adopting, modifying, or rejecting the recommended decision and sanctions of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer, or remanding the matter for rehearing. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will send a correspondence (referred to as a "Notice of Decision and Sanction") informing the student of the Chief Student Affairs Officer's final decision and sanctions and explaining any differences between the recommendation of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Hearing Officer and the Chief Student Affairs Officer's final decision. Such correspondence will be sent to the student within five (5) business days after the conclusion of the Hearing.
  9. Appeals
    1. The College Appeals Board is the final appeals body at Florida SouthWestern State College. The Appeals Board is responsible for reviewing substantive or procedural appeals from the decisions of a Student Conduct Board.

      The appeal of the outcome of a conduct case must be based on one or more of the following causes:
      1. Due process errors including the College's failure to provide the student with notice or an opportunity to be heard.
      2. The sanction is extraordinarily severe in relation to the offense committed.
      3. New material or information that can be provided that was not available at the time of the original proceeding.
    2. All appeals must be postmarked or received in correspondence within five (5) business days of the date of the "Notice of Decision and Sanction" to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee for consideration. All appeals must specify the basis for the appeal. No person may hear or decide an appeal if he/she conducted or participated in the Hearing.
    3. The burden of proof at the appellate level rests with the Charged Student.
    4. The student's pre-decision status will remain unchanged pending the appeal determination by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee (that is, a student shall remain eligible to attend classes and College activities pending the College's final decision in the student conduct proceeding), except where the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee determines that the safety, health or general welfare of the student or the College Community is involved, in which case a student's privileges at the College, including the ability to attend classes or engage in College activities, may be suspended on an interim basis as described under the Emergency Actions provision.
    5. After considering the appeal, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee may reopen the Hearing, order a new Hearing with the same or new Conduct Board or Hearing Officer, uphold or reverse the prior decision of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or revise the sanction. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee shall provide the student written notice of his or her decision within ten (10) business days
      of receipt of the appeal request.
    6. The appeal determination of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee is final and binding on all parties. There are no further appeals within the College.
  10. Parental Notification Policy

    Florida SouthWestern State College is committed to the success of its students both inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore, it is our goal to maximize students' learning and development, and promote their health, safety and welfare. In this regard, Florida SouthWestern State has implemented a Parental Notification Policy in compliance with the request of the Florida Board of Governors. The Parental Notification Policy permits the College the right to inform parents or guardians when their dependent student (pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code), under the age of 21, has been found in violation of the College Alcoholic Beverages and Drug-Free Environment policy.
    1. In non-emergency situations, parents of dependent students, under the age of 21, will be notified in writing. However, in emergency situations, parents may be notified by an immediate phone call from the Chief Student Affairs Officer or his/her designee.
    2. These guidelines do not preclude Parental Notification for other policy violations that may endanger the health, safety and wellbeing of a student or other individuals in the College Community. In addition, Parental Notification may occur in health and safety emergencies regardless of the student's age or dependent status.
    3. Students, whose parents are to be notified under these guidelines, will be informed, when possible, before such notification occurs and given an opportunity to initiate contact with their parents.
  11. Provisions for Students Impacted by Acts of Violence

    To ensure fairness to students impacted by actions of violence throughout the Student Code of Conduct, the College will provide the following provisions:
    1. Some of the cases to which these provisions may apply include but are not limited to the following:
      1. Endangerment
      2. Harassment (not sexual in nature)
      3. Hazing
    2. An Impacted Student may have one person of his or her choice accompany them throughout the Student Conduct Review process. This person will act as a support person or advisor but will not represent the Impacted Student. Moreover, the person will not be allowed to address the Hearing Officer or Hearing Body on behalf of the Impacted Student.
    3. An Impacted Student will receive notice of the hearing no less than five (5) business days prior to the date of the hearing.
    4. An Impacted Student may submit a list of questions related to the alleged incident, prior to the hearing. However, the Hearing Officer or Hearing Body shall not be required to ask these questions of the Charged Student.
    5. An Impacted Student may not have his or her past conduct, including sexual history, considered when the Hearing Officer or Body is making a determination of the Charged Student as to responsible or not responsible.
    6. An Impacted Student may make a student impact statement and offer to the Hearing Officer or Hearing Body a suggestion of what the Impacted Student believes to be an appropriate sanction for the Charged Student. This information may be used only in the sanctioning phase of deliberations if the Charged Student is found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct.
    7. The Charged Student will not be permitted to directly question the Impacted Student where the alleged violations is endangerment. In such cases, the Charged Student and the Impacted Student shall submit questions to the Hearing Body or officer. However, the Hearing Body or officer shall not be required to ask those questions submitted by the Charged or Impacted student to the student who is being questioned. At the request of the Impacted Student in cases involving physical violence, or other charges deemed appropriate in the professional judgment of the Hearing Body or officer, the Impacted Student may request to testify in a separate room from the Charged Student so long as the process does not unduly compromise the Charged Student's right to question the witness.
    8. Where the Student Conduct Review process addresses an allegation of endangerment, the Clery Act provides that both the Impacted Student and the Charged Student or Organization must be informed of the final outcome of the Student Conduct Review process without a commitment to protect the confidentiality of the information. The final outcome means only the final determination with respect to the alleged sexual misconduct or abuse and any sanction(s) that is imposed against the Charged Student. If the Impacted Student is deceased, the next of kin shall be considered as the alleged Impacted Student for purposes of this paragraph.
    9. When the Charged Student is alleged to have committed endangerment, the Impacted Student may appeal the outcome of a conduct hearing in writing within three (3) business days from the date of the decision letter by filing a written appeal. If there is an appeal filed by either the Impacted Student or Charged Student, the other student will be notified of the filing of the appeal and the final outcome.
  12. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Student Code of Conduct
    1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA states conditions where prior consent is not required to disclose personally identifiable student information from educational records for postsecondary institutions.
    2. Results in connection with a Conduct Hearing cannot be disclosed unless one of the following conditions is met:
      1. Final results of a Conduct Hearing concerning a student who is a perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense if the student who is the alleged perpetrator is found to have violated the institution's rules or policies;
      2. Disclosure to a parent of a student under 21 years of age if the institution determines that the student has committed a violation of its drug or alcohol rules or policies;
      3. The disclosure of the final results includes only:
        1. Name of the alleged perpetrator;
        2. Violation committed and any sanction imposed against the alleged perpetrator.
    3. The disclosure must NOT include the name of any other student without the written consent of that student. This includes a victim or witness to the incident.

Academic programs with a specific Student Code of Conduct will supersede the Student Code of Conduct.

Academic Integrity Policy

Florida SouthWestern State College recognizes that adherence to high principles of academic integrity is vital to the academic function of the College. Therefore, the entire academic community shares the responsibility for establishing and maintaining standards of academic integrity. Those in charge of academic tasks have an obligation to make known the standards and expectations of acceptable academic conduct. Each student has an obligation to know and understand those standards and expectations. While the academic community recognizes that the responsibility for learning and personal conduct is an individual matter, all students and faculty members are expected to help maintain academic integrity at the College by refusing to participate in, or tolerate, any dishonesty.

Florida SouthWestern State College expects all students to be honest in their academic endeavors. All academic work should be performed in a manner which will provide an honest reflection of the knowledge and abilities of each student. All members of the community understand the rationale for, and the critical nature of, academic integrity.

Violations of student academic integrity include any actions which attempt to promote or enhance the academic standing of any student by dishonest means. The following are some examples of actions that are violations of academic integrity:

  1. Cheating on an academic exercise. Cheating includes giving or receiving unauthorized aid or information by copying, by using materials not authorized, by attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, or by otherwise failing to abide by academic rules. The person who aids an individual in cheating will be held equally responsible.
  2. Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty that involves a scholar committing one or more of the following actions: portraying any portion of another's work as the scholar's (including turning in work that an individual other than the scholar prepared, regardless of the willingness of the individual), portraying another author's idea(s) as the scholar's, misrepresenting a source's meaning or content, or inadequate citation or missing citation. Plagiarism can occur in three main categories: wording, content, and citation. Plagiarism due to wording occurs when a scholar uses the wording of the original without quotes. Plagiarism due to content occurs when a scholar rewords the original but does so too closely and often without giving the original author credit. It can also occur when a scholar misconstrues the meaning of the source, effectively claiming the original author stated content or opinions that he/she did not. Citation plagiarism occurs when parenthetical citations or works cited entries are missing or inaccurate. Using a source in a paper and failing to include a works cited entry is also considered plagiarism as it does not allow the readers to access the original source.
  3. The principles of academic integrity require that all work submitted or presented without citation of sources will be the student's own work, not only on tests, but in themes, papers, homework, and class presentations, unless it has been clearly specified that the work is a team effort.
  4. Fabricating information with intent to deceive. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsifying experimental data or results, inventing research or laboratory data or results for work not done, knowingly presenting falsified or invented results, citing information not taken from the source indicated, falsely claiming sources not used, known to be false, misleading, or not supported by evidence.
  5. Submitting any academic accomplishment in whole or in part for credit more than once whether in the same course or in different courses without the prior consent of the instructor.
  6. Obtaining or attempting to obtain an examination, or any part of it, before, during, or after the examination has been given.
  7. Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as changing answers after exam is scored and communicating verbally, non-verbally or electronically with another person during an exam, or leaving while an exam is still in progress.
  8. Copying, editing, deleting, or intentionally damaging Florida SouthWestern State College computer files without permission.
  9. Altering, changing, or forging College academic records or forging the signature of any academic officer.
  10. Offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting any materials, items or services of value to gain academic advantage for one's self or another.

Academic Integrity Policy Procedures

When a faculty member determines that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred, the faculty member will notify the student of the offense.

The following actions may be taken by faculty for students in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy:

  1. Referral to the appropriate support service
  2. Assignment of a reduced grade on the plagiarized academic exercise
  3. Assignment of a final letter grade/reduction for the course
  4. Assignment of an "F" for the course

The faculty member will then send an Academic Misconduct Report, for tracking purposes, to the Chief Student Affairs Officer on the appropriate campus within 10 business days after the date in which the faculty member identifies the violation. The Academic Misconduct Report will document the circumstances surrounding the accusation and any adjustment to a grade or other action recommended by the faculty member.

Students with multiple Academic Integrity Policy violation referrals will be subject to the Student Code of Conduct process. A printed notation may be included on the student's official academic transcript indicating that the student has been found to be in repeat violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see the Student Code of Conduct for more information regarding the conduct procedures and sanctions). Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will not be approved as an extenuating circumstance for purposes of late drop or withdrawal.

Academic Integrity Policy Violation Appeal Procedures

Students may appeal grade, and/or grade-related penalties assigned for an Academic Integrity Policy violation. To appeal a grade or other action recommended by a faculty member in regards to an Academic Integrity Policy violation, the student must submit a written appeal to the School Academic Dean within 10 business days from the date the faculty member notified the student of the offense. The student's appeal should describe why the student does not agree with the grade assigned by the faculty member or the faculty member's academic integrity findings and/or penalty. The Dean will provide a copy of the appeal to the faculty member.

The Academic Dean will respond to the student's request for an appeal and schedule a meeting with the student within 10 business days.

After the meeting, the Academic Dean will send a written response to the student with copies to the faculty member and the Chief Student Affairs Officer within 10 business days.

The appeal determination of the Academic Dean is final. There are no further appeals within the College.

Florida SouthWestern State College Plagiarism Definition

Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty that involves a scholar committing one or more of the following actions:

  1. Portraying any portion of another's work as the scholar's (including turning in work that an individual other than the scholar prepared, regardless of the willingness of the individual).
  2. Portraying another author's idea(s) as the scholar's.
  3. Misrepresenting a source's meaning or content.
  4. Inadequate citation or missing citation.

Plagiarism can occur in three main categories: Wording, Content, and Citation. Below are examples of plagiarism (and the solutions to avoiding it) in all three categories. Examples are based on the following excerpt from an original source.

"Biology, we are frequently told, is the science of the twenty-first century. Authority informs us that moving genes from one organism to another will provide new drugs, extend both the quantity and quality of life, and feed and fuel the world while reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Authority also informs that novel genes will escape from genetically modified crops, thereby leading to herbicide-resistant weeds; that genetically modified crops are an evil privatization of the gene pool that will with certainty lead to the economic ruin of small farmers around the world; and that economic growth derived from biological technologies will cause more harm than good. In other words, we are told that biological technologies will provide benefits and will come with costs--with tales of both costs and benefits occasionally inflated--like every other technology humans have developed and deployed over all of recorded history."

Carlson, Rob. "Staying Sober About Science." The Hastings Center Report July-Aug. 2011: 22-25. Gale Science in Context. Web. 29 July 2012.

Wording

Plagiarism due to wording occurs when a scholar uses the wording of the original without quotes. EXAMPLE: Word for Word Plagiarism

Science has helped us solve many problems throughout history. Biology, we are frequently told, is the science of the twenty-first century. Authority informs us that moving genes from one organism to another will provide new drugs, extend both the quantity and quality of life, and feed and fuel the world while reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, but we must be careful about using science without any regulation (Carlson 22).

Here the scholar has directly used the words of the original without quotes. The citation does not allow a scholar to use direct wording; only quotes allow a scholar to use the original wording.

TO CORRECT: Add quotes around word for word sections, or use an entirely reworded paraphrase to convey information.

EXAMPLE: Mosaic Plagiarism

Sources inform that new genes will escape from genetically modified crops, hence leading to herbicide- resistant weeds; that genetically modified crops are a terrible privatization of the pool of genes that will definitely cause the financial ruin of smaller farmers around the globe; and that economic growth derived from biological technology will lead to more bad than good (Carlson 22).

In this case, the scholar has directly used many of the original words in the same order and grammatical structure as the original and has only replaced a few areas with synonyms.

TO CORRECT: Add quotes around word for word sections that cannot be reworded or (preferably) use entirely reworded paraphrase to convey information.

Content

Plagiarism due to content occurs when a scholar rewords the original but does so too closely and often without giving the original author credit. It can also occur when a scholar misconstrues the meaning of the source, effectively claiming the original author stated content or opinions that he/she did not.

EXAMPLE: Misrepresented Meaning

Carlson claims that genetically modified foods offer little risk and will be the solution to many of the 21st century's problems (22).

This represents Carlson as making a claim he did not make.

TO CORRECT: Make sure any attributed opinions accurately match the original author's intent - this may require a few rereadings of original sources.

EXAMPLE: Failure to Represent the Entire Message (Misconstrued Meaning)

Carlson discusses many positive outcomes of genetically modified crops, including addressing poverty, economic issues and environmental concerns (22).

This does not represent the whole argument or thought process to readers. If this were the only information presented from Carlson in the work, the audience would have the mistaken impression that he completely supported genetically modified crops.

TO CORRECT: Make sure to convey the entire thought process from the original author. EXAMPLE: Poor Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Original Source: Biology, we are frequently told, is the science of the twenty-first century. Poor Paraphrase: Most believe that in the modern world Biology is an important science.

Original Source: Authority informs us that moving genes from one organism to another will provide new drugs, extend both the quantity and quality of life, and feed and fuel the world while reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Poor Paraphrase: Well respected individuals claim that genetic modification of materials will lead to new cures for illness, poverty, and environment issues.

Original Source: Authority also informs that novel genes will escape from genetically modified crops, thereby leading to herbicide-resistant weeds; that genetically modified crops are an evil privatization of the gene pool that will with certainty lead to the economic ruin of small farmers around the world; and that economic growth derived from biological technologies will cause more harm than good.

Poor Paraphrase: Additionally, they may claim that the same genetic modifications could lead to complications such as new strains of plants with unwanted side effects that could ultimately decimate rural, independent farmers, ultimately doing more damage than creating solutions.

Original Source: In other words, we are told that biological technologies will provide benefits and will come with costs--with tales of both costs and benefits occasionally inflated--like every other technology humans have developed and deployed over all of recorded history.

Poor Paraphrase: Genetic alteration may not be worth the risks involved just for the money it may generate. Both sides of the issue may be overstating the gains or losses, since all advancement in history has come with positives and negatives.

The issue here is not that the scholar has used the same wording but rather that he/she has not clearly portrayed the ideas or thought patterns as being another individual's. The scholar has also plagiarized the organization and grammatical structures from the original. Basically, he/she has sentence by sentence rewritten someone else's work with different words. Simply adding a citation would not correct the issue of too closely paraphrasing.

TO CORRECT: Mention the original author at the beginning of the paraphrase. Instead of looking at the original source while writing the paper, read the original and take notes while completely rewording the information. Read notes prior to writing the paraphrase and then the rewritten work will necessarily be condensed with original (non-plagiarized) organization and grammatical structures. Be sure to use proper parenthetical citation.

Citation

Citation plagiarism occurs when parenthetical citations or works cited entries are missing or inaccurate. EXAMPLE: Missing Citation

Genetically modified foods will likely have both positive effects for dealing with hunger, the economy and the environment, but there may also be negative consequences like unforeseen mutations in various plants.

There is no citation here and the idea is clearly from the source. TO CORRECT: Add proper parenthetical citation: (Carlson 22). EXAMPLE: Inadequate Citation

Genetically modified foods will likely have both positive effects for dealing with hunger, the economy and the environment, but there may also be negative consequences like unforeseen mutations in various plants (22).

While there is a citation here, the author is missing and does not allow readers to access the original source.

TO CORRECT: Add proper parenthetical citation: (Carlson 22).

**Using a source in a paper and failing to include a works cited entry is also considered plagiarism as it does not allow the readers to access the original source