Student Code of Conduct
Consistent with the McHenry County College mission is an expectation that students will govern themselves in terms of appropriate behavior with emphasis on self-respect and respect for others. It is the practice of the College to respect the properly exercised rights of its students. The College recognizes a student's rights within the institution to freedom of speech, inquiry, and assembly, to the peaceful pursuit of education, and to the reasonable use of services and facilities of the College.
Student Code of Conduct has been established to maintain order on campus and to guarantee the broadest range of freedom for all who come to learn at the college.
Each student is responsible for knowledge of, and compliance with, this Student Code of Conduct. The College further recognizes each student's rights to fair procedures, including notice which specifies the alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, an opportunity to respond to the allegations, and an appeal process appropriate to the nature and potential consequences of the violation.
Student Conduct FAQs
- What is a "potential violation letter?"
A potential violation letter means the Student Conduct Office has received a report regarding an incident you may have been involved in. The primary purpose of the letter is to let students know they need to make an appointment with the Student Conduct Officer to discuss the situation. It is in the actual conduct hearing that decisions are made regarding whether or not students are responsible for violations. The potential violation letter shall include: (a) the alleged Code violation; (b) the opportunity for the student(s) to meet with the Student Conduct Officer for purposes of discussing the options for disposition of the complaint; and (c) the student's right to have an advisor accompany the student during the meeting.
- I received a communication from the Student Conduct Office requesting a meeting. Do I have to go?
Yes. Students are required to respond and follow through with all correspondence from the Student Conduct Office. When the Student Conduct Office receives information regarding a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct, a restriction is placed on the student's account until the investigation is complete. If student chooses not to meet with the Student Conduct Officer or to participate in the investigation process, the Student Conduct Officer will proceed with disposition of the case without input from the student.
- What does it mean to be on "restriction?"
Students on hold cannot drop/add classes, register for class or receive transcripts from McHenry County College.
- What do I do if I have a "student conduct restriction" on my account?
If you have a student conduct restriction, it is because you have an outstanding issue that needs to be resolved with the Student Conduct Office. It may be that you still need to complete disciplinary sanctions or that you have failed to respond to a communication from the Student Conduct Office. In order for the hold to be lifted, students must contact the Student Conduct Office to resolve the matter.
- Will my parents find out about my disciplinary history?
Federal laws protect your educational records (including disciplinary records) from being accessed by others without your permission. However, there are occasions in which the law allows the Student Conduct Office to notify parents of the outcome of a student's disciplinary case. For example, the Student Conduct Office may notify parents when a student is under the age of 21 and is found responsible for violating the drug or alcohol policy.
Parents will not automatically be notified when their student becomes involved in the conduct process. However, if parents would like information regarding their student's disciplinary history or status at MCC from the Student Conduct Office, they can request that their son/daughter sign a Release of Confidentiality waiver allowing the Student Conduct Office to release that information. These waivers are available in the Registration Office, A258. In most cases, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students' disciplinary records as confidential educational records.
- Who can learn about my student conduct history?
Only you, people you give permission to through the Release of Confidentiality waiver, and those with a legitimate educational need to know have access to your disciplinary file. Exceptions to FERPA do apply, such as in cases of health and safety emergencies.
- I scheduled my appointment, what happens next?
You will meet with the Student Conduct Officer for a preliminary investigation meeting. At this meeting, the potential violations will be reviewed and the student will have the opportunity to share relevant information. The Student Conduct Officer will decide if you are or are not responsible for the alleged violations. If you are found responsible, the Student Conduct Officer will assign sanctions.
If the complaint can be disposed of at the preliminary investigation stage, such disposition will be final and there will be no subsequent proceedings. If deemed necessary, the Student Conduct Officer may notify the accused student in writing that the charged misconduct will be referred for a formal disciplinary hearing with the Conduct Review Committee.
- Do I need a lawyer?
Our system is designed to be educational -- not a mini-courtroom -- therefore, lawyers are not needed. This is an administrative process, not a court of law. Students are expected to speak for themselves, but they are able to have an advisor present for support. Lawyers are not able to speak on behalf of the student.
- What is an advisor?
The term "advisor" is defined as a family member, staff/faculty member of College, or peer, and does not include legal counsel or attorney at law. The role of the advisor is to support to the student.
- What is the Conduct Review Committee (CRC)?
The CRC is a hearing board composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and students. They hear cases of alleged misconduct and decide responsibility and sanctioning.
- Where is the Student Conduct Office located?
Building A, Room 252
- How do I schedule an appointment?
You can schedule an appointment by calling (815) 455-8696 or in person at the Student Conduct Office, A252.
- What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
In matters which result in suspension or expulsion, the accused student may appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Officer to the Conduct Review Committee with five business days of the decision. Refer to the Student Code of Conduct for further details.