The purpose of this statement is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities at Monterey Peninsula College. The policies and procedures as set forth in this statement are for institutional and student use, but cannot be separated from public laws and regulations; therefore, everything stated herein must be considered within the limits of the law.

In the Classroom

A. Protection of Freedom of Expression

Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled.

B. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation

Students shall not be evaluated in a prejudiced or capricious manner. At the same time, students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. Standards relating to matters of class attendance, punctuality, dress (e.g. safety goggles and uniforms), and other similar classroom requirements, where essential in evaluation, should be clearly communicated by the instructors to the students enrolled in the courses where they apply.

C. Protection Against Improper Disclosure

Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which employees acquire in the course of their work is considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character for such matters as letters of recommendation and security checks may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.

Student Records

A. Definition of Records

The following files, records, and documents are maintained by the College as “Education Records”: admissions and registration forms, academic transcripts and grade reports, transcripts sent by other institutions, general education certification, graduation petitions, high school advanced placement forms, instructor class roster, placement test scores, counseling records, financial aid applications, campus employment information, veterans folder relating to educational certification and benefits, discipline records, and athletic eligibility forms.

B. Right to Access

Any currently enrolled or former students shall have the right to access their own “Education Records” as defined above or those that meet the definition of a “student record” in Title 5 regulations of the California Administrative Code, if debts are cleared. Such access shall be provided during regular office hours, and the appropriate College official will require identification and a written request from the student, provided that access is granted where authorized by law no later than five working days following the date of the request.

C. Location of Records

Most of the above records are housed in the Student Services Building on campus. The Vice President of Instruction and Student Services has overall responsibility for such records. The Vice President’s designee shall provide specific directions to students, upon request, concerning which college officials to contact to make a request for access to any records.

D. Directory Information

The College may release directory information when, in the opinion of the Dean of Student Success, Enrollment Services, the release of such information is in the best interest of the students.

Directory information for students includes the following: name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, class schedule, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and certificates received, and the most recent previous public or private school attended.

E. Confidentiality of Records

Information from Education Records will be available only to legally authorized persons. The express consent of the student is required for access by any other persons. No records will be kept which reflect the political and religious activities or beliefs of students. All college employees are to respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work.

Access to student records may be permitted to the following:

  • Officials and employees of Monterey Peninsula College, provided that any such person has a legitimate educational reason for inspecting a record.
  • Federal and state officials so authorized access by Title 5.
  • Upon written permission from the student, officials of other public or private schools where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • Agencies or organizations in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid, provided that information permitting the personal identification of students may be disclosed only as necessary for purposes relating directly to that aid.
  • Accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
  • Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for purposes allowed in Title 5 and so long as that information that allows personal identification of a student is kept confidential and destroyed when no longer needed.
  • Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

F. Impoundment of Records

Whenever a student is delinquent through failure to comply with College rules or regulations, to pay College debts, or to return property owned by the College, the student’s records may be impounded. A student whose record is impounded shall not be allowed to: register for subsequent instruction, request transcripts of work completed, and/or receive other services at the College which relate to his/her records.

Student Affairs

A. Freedom of Association

  • Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests.
  • The policies and actions of a student organization will be deter-mined by vote of only those persons who hold bona fide membership in the organization and are enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College.
  • Affiliation with an extramural organization shall not of itself disqualify a student organization from institutional recognition.
  • Campus advisers are required; each organization is free to choose its own adviser. Institutional recognition will not be withheld or withdrawn solely because of the inability of a student organization to secure an adviser. Campus advisers may advise organizations in the exercise of responsibility, but they will not have the authority to control the internal policies of such organizations.
  • Student organizations are required to submit to ASMPC a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedures, and a current list of officers as a condition of institutional recognition. They will not be required to submit a membership list as a condition of institutional recognition.
  • Campus organizations, including those affiliated with an extra-mural organization, shall be open to all Monterey Peninsula College students without respect to race, creed, or national origin.

B. Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

  • Students and student organizations are free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them, to express opinions publicly and privately, and to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. At the same time, students shall make it clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations students or student organizations speak only for themselves.
  • Students are allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. Routine procedures are required by the College before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus to insure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. The institutional control of campus facilities is not used as a device of censor-ship. Those in charge of a program shall make it clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or the institution.

C. Student Participation in Institutional Governance

As constituents of the academic community, students are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The student body may participate in the formulation and applications of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs through student government. The Associated Students of Monterey Peninsula College (ASMPC) is the institutionally recognized system of student government which has express responsibility for a student activities program designed to benefit the College and contribute to the welfare of the students. The Student Council of ASMPC formulates and executes student government policies; administers a budget; plans and conducts social, club, recreational, and leisure-time programs in accordance with the ASMPC constitution and other laws and regulations; serves in a liaison capacity between the students and the administration on matters concerning the cafeteria and college center; makes student appointments to campus committees; assists in the coordination of club activities; and promotes opportunities in volunteer work.

Any matter of student governance that conflicts with College policy shall be resolved by the Administration after opportunities have been given to the Student Council to either correct the matter or to discuss the matter completely with the Administration.

D. Student Publications

Whenever possible, the student newspaper should be an independent corporation financially and legally separate from District sponsorship. Where financial and legal autonomy are not possible, Monterey Peninsula College, as the publisher of student publications, may bear legal responsibility for the contents of the publications under particular circumstances. In the delegation of editorial responsibility to students, Monterey Peninsula College provides sufficient editorial freedom and financial autonomy for the student publications to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in an academic community.

Institutional authorities, in consultation with students and faculty, have a responsibility to provide written clarification of the role of the student publications, the standards to be used in their evaluation, and the limitations on external control of their operation. At the same time, the editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the canons of journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo. As safeguards for the editorial freedom of student publications, the following provisions are necessary:

  • The student press is free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and its editors and managers are free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage.
  • Editors and managers of student publications are protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or con-tent. Only for proper and stated causes shall editors and managers be subject to removal and then by orderly and prescribed procedures. The agency responsible for the appointment of editors and managers should be the agency responsible for their removal. In the absence of an appointment agency, the regular hearing procedures of this statement should be utilized in the removal of an editor or manager. If such an agency does exist, the orderly and prescribed procedures for removal must be stated in writing and submitted to the Disciplinary Hearing Committee (as outlined in V, Item E) for approval.
  • All Monterey Peninsula College published, financed, or recognized student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions there expressed are not necessarily those of the College or the student body.

Off Campus

A. Exercise of Rights of Citizenship

Students enjoy the same freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition as do other citizens. As members of the academic community, they are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. Faculty members and administrative officials should ensure that institutional powers are not employed to inhibit intellectual and personal development of students.

B. Institutional Authority and Civil Penalties

Activities of students may, upon occasion, result in violation of law. In such cases, Monterey Peninsula College officials may apprise students of sources of legal counsel and may offer other assistance. Students who violate the law may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities. Only where the institution’s interests as an academic community are clearly involved will the special authority of Monterey Peninsula College be asserted.

The student who incidentally violates institutional regulations in the course of his/her off-campus activity, such as those relating to class attendance, is subject to no greater penalty than would normally be imposed. Institutional action is independent of community pressure.

Discipline

In developing responsible student conduct, disciplinary proceedings play a role substantially secondary to example, counseling, guidance, and admonition. At the same time, educational institutions have a duty and the corollary disciplinary powers to protect their educational purpose through the setting of standards of scholarship and conduct for the students who attend them and through the regulation of the use of institutional facilities.

The following standards and procedures are intended to promote responsible student conduct and fair play:

A. Standards of Conduct

Monterey Peninsula College considers the following principles essential to its educational mission and its community life:

  • Mutual respect between students and faculty
  • Pursuit of studies with honesty and integrity
  • Respect for rights of others
  • Courteous treatment of everyone
  • Respect for college and personal property
  • Compliance with all rules and regulations.

Students shall be subject to College discipline for any of the following kinds of misconduct which occurs at any time on campus or at any off-campus facility or College-approved or -sponsored function:

  • Dishonesty, such as plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the College;
  • Violation of examination rules, such as communicating or transferring information to another student, using any materials such as books, notes, etc. other than those expressly allowed for the exam, looking at another student’s exam, etc.;
  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, records, or identification;
  • Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other College activities, including its public service functions, or of other authorized activities;
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any person or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person;
  • Theft of, or damage to, property of the College or of a member of the College community or campus visitor;
  • Unauthorized entry to or use of College facilities;
  • Violation of College policies or of campus regulations including those of student organizations, use of College facilities, or the time, place, and manner of public expression;
  • Use, possession, or distribution of legally controlled drugs such as alcohol, narcotics, marijuana or cocaine, except as expressly permitted by law;
  • Use, possession, or sale of any firearm, knife, explosive, or other object that could be classified as a weapon (unless the student has specific authorization from a College official);
  • Failure to comply with directions of College officials acting in the performance of their duties;
  • Gambling on College property;
  • Hazing or any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces or tends to injure, degrade, or disgrace any fellow student or person;
  • Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior;
  • Willful or persistent smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited by law or by regulation of the Governing Board.

B. Investigation of Student Conduct

  • Except under extreme circumstances, such as bomb threats or medical emergencies, the personal possessions of students will not be searched. The student will be present, if possible, during the search.
  • No form of harassment will be used by institutional representatives to coerce admissions of guilt or information about conduct of other suspected persons.

C. Applicable Penalties

In all situations a student shall be informed of the nature of the charges against him or her and be given a fair opportunity to refute them. Arbitrary actions shall not be taken by the College and a decision may be appealed. Disciplinary action that may be taken because of student misconduct includes a variety of sanctions.

Such sanctions are listed below in degree of severity, and may be applied according to the severity of the offense:

  • Admonition: An oral statement to the student offender that the student has violated College rules.
  • Warning: Notice to the student, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of the conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
  • Censure: Written reprimand for violation of a specified regulation including the possibility of more severe disciplinary action in the event of conviction for the violation of any College regulation within a period of time stated in the letter of reprimand.
  • Disciplinary Probation: Exclusion from participation in privileges or extracurricular activities as set forth in the notice of disciplinary probation for a specified period of time.
  • Restitution: Financial liability for damage to or misappropriation of property. Restitution may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages.
  • Summary Suspension: Emergency exclusion from campus and/or classes for a period not to exceed 10 days. The Superintendent/President or designee may immediately suspend a student when the Superintendent/President or designee determines that such action is required in order to protect lives or property or to ensure the maintenance of order. The time of the suspension shall be limited to that period necessary for the purposes of the suspension and in any case, no more than ten days. The student may be summarily suspended without a conference or hearing, but oral or written notice to the student of the suspension and the reasons for the suspension must be provided to the student or the student’s address as soon as possible. A conference shall be scheduled as soon as possible, but not later than 72 hours from the time of the suspension, to review the action with the student and to determine whether further sanctions are to be applied.
  • Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice of suspension for a definite period of time.
  • Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any is permitted, shall be stated in the order of expulsion.

D. Administration of Discipline

Procedural fairness shall be the basis for all disciplinary actions. Practices in disciplinary cases will vary in formality with the gravity of the offense and the sanctions which may be applied. There shall be no obligation for the College to replicate a formal court system, nor is there a need to provide for “adversary” proceedings. However, fairness requires that the student be informed of the nature of the charges against the student, that the student be given a fair opportunity
to refute the charges, that the institution not be arbitrary in its actions, and that there be provision for appeal of a decision. With fairness as a basis for action, the responsibility for such action is the responsibility of the following individuals or groups:

  • The Classroom Instructor
    • May act when minor infractions disturb normal classroom procedure.
    • May suspend, for good cause (See V. A., Standards of Conduct), any student from the instructor’s class for the day of the suspension and the day following. The Vice President of Student Services shall be notified of such suspension, and the student shall be directed to report to the Vice President. The parents of a minor student shall also be notified of the suspension.
    • May drop students from class for failing to meet academic and attendance requirements.
  • The Campus Security Officer
    • Shall act directly on parking and traffic violations.
    • Shall act directly in matters of emergency and in harmony with local and state laws, but shall immediately notify the Vice President of Student Services of such action.
    • Shall refer matters of student misconduct to the Vice President of Student Services.
  • The Vice President of Student Services
    • Shall act directly in situations where a student has violated the local, state, or federal laws while on the College campus and shall consult with civil authorities where appropriate.
    • Shall review each case of misconduct with involved student and determine appropriate remedies and/or sanctions.
    • Shall carry out the recommendations of the Superintendent/President and Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
    • Shall inform students of institutional action and appropriate avenues of appeal.
  • The Superintendent/President
    • Shall review and take action on all recommendations of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
    • Shall recommend Governing Board action in cases of suspension and expulsion and shall make arrangements for a student appeal of such decisions.
    • Shall act to summarily suspend any student in order to protect lives or property or to insure maintenance of order.
  • The Governing Board
    • Shall take action on cases of suspension and expulsion and shall allow for an appeal of the decision.
    • Shall approve all rules and regulations where infractions of such could lead to suspension or expulsion.

While final action is pending a disciplinary hearing, a student shall have the right to be present on campus and attend classes.

E. Disciplinary Hearing Committee

A student shall be granted, upon request, a hearing before a regularly constituted committee when the recommended sanction is suspension or expulsion. Prior to the request for a hearing, the student must meet with the Vice President of Student Services to discuss the case on an informal basis. For further information regarding the disciplinary hearing process, contact the office of the Vice President of Student Services.


Student Complaint & Grievance Procedures


The student is encouraged to pursue academic studies and other College-sponsored activities that will promote intellectual growth and personal development. In pursuing these ends, the student should be free of unfair and improper action by any member of the academic community. Procedures for grievances and complaints are described below and provide a means for resolving any alleged unfair or improper action.

Complaints

Students with the specific kinds of complaints listed below shall direct these complaints to the appropriate College official:

Residence Determination

  • Contact the Registrar at the Admissions and Records Office; final appeal may be made to the Dean of Student Services.

Dismissal from College for Academic Reasons

  • Consult a counselor.
  • If there are extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal the dismissal to the Academic Council after consulting a counselor.

Discrimination Complaints

  • Students and staff at Monterey Peninsula College shall report any alleged act of discrimination within ten working days to the Supervisor or Administrator in charge of the area where it occurred. For further information, contact the Human Resources Office at (831) 646-4014.
  • Students wishing to file complaints based upon discrimination on the basis of sex, ethnic group, age, or marital status should contact the Associate Dean of Human Resources at (831) 646-4014. Students who wish to file a grievance under Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act should contact the Vice President of Student Services at (831) 646-4190. Students who wish to file a grievance based upon discrimination related to HIV Positive status/AIDS should contact Student Health Services, (831) 646-4017.

Grievance

Reasons for Grievance

  • A grade, when the student contends that the determination of the grade involved a mistake (such as calculation or entry error), fraud, bad faith, or incompetence. (According to the Education Code, an instructor’s grade is final in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence.);
  • Act or threat of intimidation or harassment;
  • Act or threat of physical aggression;
  • Arbitrary action or imposition of sanctions without proper regard to academic due process specified in College
    procedures;
  • Violation of student rights which are described in College rules and regulations.

Initiating a Grievance

A student shall initiate a grievance as follows:

  • Shall confer with the faculty member, administrator or classified person directly involved in the grievance, except in instances where the student contends that he/she has been subject to an act of intimidation, harassment, or physical aggression by the person directly involved in the grievance. In those cases, the student may proceed to step b (conferring with the direct supervisor of the person directly involved with the grievance).
  • Shall confer with the supervisor of that person if not satisfied at the first step.

Appeal to Committee

If the student believes still that the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily at these levels, the student shall submit a written statement specifying the time(s), place(s), and nature of the grievance to the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee, who shall arrange for a meeting of the Grievance Committee to consider the grievance (consult the Vice President of Student Services for the name of the Chair). The Chairperson shall refer all written grievances to the Grievance Committee which shall conduct a formal hearing within a reasonable period of time on the charge(s), in no case later than 30 days. For further information regarding the grievance procedure, contact the office of the Vice President of Student Services.


Unlawful Discrimination including Sexual Harassment

The Monterey Peninsula College District is committed to all provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other human rights and equal opportunity laws. It is the policy of the Monterey Peninsula College District to provide an educational, employment and business environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes.

If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment, promptly report the behavior to a supervisor, manager, administrator, or the Associate Dean of Human Resources (the “Responsible Officer” for sexual harassment complaints).

If you make your report to anyone other than the Responsible Officer, that person will immediately notify the Responsible Officer of your complaint.

Copies of the District’s Procedures for Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, including sexual harassment, are available in the library, in Division Offices, in other offices providing student and employee services, and on the website www.mpc.edu/employment.

For additional information regarding this policy, and the procedures for reporting incidents of sexual harassment, contact Susan Kitagawa, Associate Dean of Human Resources, at (831) 646-4014 or the Human Resources Office in
the Administration Building.