Student Code of Conduct
Students enrolled at Sonoran Desert Institute are accountable for their actions and are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity in all situations, including academic exercises. Additionally, students are to demonstrate mutual respect and civility in all Institute-related activities and interactions. The Student Code of Conduct applies to all interactions whether conducted in person, telephonically, via text, chat, email, social media, or through any other electronic platform, including any learning management system. This policy describes the types of conduct that are deemed prohibited and unacceptable, the procedures for handling violations, and possible sanctions for violations.
Behavioral Conduct Violations
The following is a non-exhaustive list of actions that are considered student conduct violations and for which students may be subjected to disciplinary action:
- Falsification, forgery, alteration, or invention of information, including but not limited to any document used for admission or eligibility to the Institute or other official Institute documents.
- Aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to violate an Institute policy.
- Communicating or behaving in any form that disrupts or interferes with the educational process or any institutional function or creates a hostile or offensive educational environment for any student, faculty member, or staff member.
- Communicating or behaving in any manner that is considered threatening, vulgar, obscene, or lewd.
- Failing to comply promptly with any reasonable request or directive from a faculty member or Institute official.
- Failing to cooperate with officials in an Institutional investigation.
- Possessing, using, distributing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on Institute property or as part of any Institute activity (refer to Substance Abuse Prevention Policy).
- Attempted or actual theft of the Institute’s property or the property of an SDI employee or student.
- Permitting online classroom access to any person, enrolled or not, so that person may attend class in the stead of any legitimately enrolled student, whether oneself or another student.
- Sharing one’s password or using someone else’s password for any Institute system or network.
- Using the Institute’s computing and communication resources (including the learning management system) for any purpose other than approved education purposes, or otherwise inconsistent with Institute policies.
- Using any Institute system, network, or other IT resource to upload, download, or otherwise share and/or distribute any copyrighted music, video, software, written works, images, or other materials without the written consent of the copyrighted owner.
- Failing to disclose any pending legal actions which may result in the student becoming ineligible to continue with their respective training/academic program.
Academic Integrity Violations
Academic integrity is a vital part of Sonoran Desert Institute’s foundation, and every member of the SDI community is expected to adhere to this principle in all academic endeavors. Students consent to a review for academic integrity by a third party of any academic work submitted. The following is a non-exhaustive list of actions that are considered academic integrity violations:
- Cheating, attempting to cheat, or assisting others to cheat, including dishonest activity or unauthorized use of any resource or materials in any academic exercise.
- Plagiarizing, intentionally or unintentionally, the words, works, or ideas of others without proper citation or acknowledgement and representing them as one’s own in any academic exercise.
- Paraphrasing sources which do not represent the student’s original words or ideas without proper citation or acknowledgement.
- Creating fake or misleading citations for sources.
- Presenting work that has been prepared by someone other than the student, including the purchase and sharing of work.
- Allowing another person to complete work on one’s behalf, including any classroom post, assignment, lab project, quiz, test, exam, or similar evaluation, or completing such work on behalf of another student.
- Submitting work that has been prepared and used for a different course, wholly or in part, without prior approval of faculty.
- Completing an assignment using materials not authorized by faculty or the Institute, or materials provided by someone other than the student, including but not limited to providing/receiving exam answers, using faculty materials, answer keys, or solution manuals.
- Collaborating with another person on any academic exercise without prior faculty approval.
The Institute reserves the right to review any course for any purpose at any time. If unreported / undiscovered academic dishonesty is found, the Institute may engage in a thorough investigation of all coursework the student has completed in the past and apply appropriate sanctions up to and including dismissal.
Procedure for Processing Alleged Code of Conduct Violations
A student suspected of committing any violation of the Institute’s policies will be provided fair process before disciplinary action is imposed. An investigation will be conducted by administration. If it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred, the student will be notified in writing of the following:
- Warning. A warning letter is notice to the student that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred, and that continued or repeated violations of specified conduct may be cause for further disciplinary action. This letter is not appealable and no response from the student is requested.
- Charge. A charge letter is notice that the student has been involved in an incident in which the student’s alleged actions are in violation of the Institute’s Student Code of Conduct. These letters request a student response.
The student will be given 10 calendar days from the date of the charge letter to submit a written response to the Institute.
The response gives the student the opportunity to provide input regarding the charge, including any extenuating circumstances relevant to the issue. If the student does not provide a written response within 10 calendar days, the case will proceed without the student’s input.
Cases involving a charge letter will be decided by the Code of Conduct Committee, which will consist of senior members of SDI leadership. If a violation is found, sanctions appropriate to the violation will be applied and a decision letter will be sent to the student.
Disciplinary action for violation of any portion of the Code of Conduct may include:
- Failing grade for an assignment
- Failing grade for a course
- Rescission of credit awarded for course
- Rescission of degree awarded
- Dismissal (expulsion)
Appeals must be requested in writing to the Institute within 10 calendar days from the date on the decision letter. In the case of a student dismissed due to pending legal action the student may appeal upon completion of the legal action.
Appeals will only be accepted for review if the student can demonstrate at least one of the following:
- New evidence which was unavailable to the student at the time of the initial response.
- Institute procedures were not followed, which includes informing the student in writing of the charges and providing the student the opportunity to respond to the charges.
The preceding sections notwithstanding, the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, or their designee, individually or as a group, have the authority and sole discretion to carry out an immediate administrative action on behalf of the Institute, up to and including expulsion, when a student’s continued enrollment constitutes a significant risk to members of the SDI community or to the orderly functioning of the Institute.
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