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Article IV – Proscribed Conduct

A. Jurisdiction of the College

The Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at College-sponsored events and may also apply off-campus when the Chief Student Affairs Officer  or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial College interest. A substantial College interest is defined to include:

  • Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others;
  • Any situation that is detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of the College; and/or
  • Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder.

Students subject to conduct jurisdiction include all persons taking courses within the physical or virtual Keystone campus environment, both full-time and part-time. All those who reside in College housing are subject to this Student Code of Conduct. All students are responsible for the behavior of their visitors, guests, or family members and can be personally sanctioned, including removal from the College or housing, for violation of the Student Code of Conduct by those individuals.

Student organizations and their officers are also expected to conform to Keystone College policies, rules, and regulations. Organizations and their officers can be sanctioned as a group or as individuals for failure of the organization to abide by these policies.

The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats, and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The College does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of College officials. However, most online speech by students not involving College networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to this Code, with two notable exceptions:

  • A true threat, defined as “a threat a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals”;
  • Speech posted online about the College or its community members that causes a significant on-campus disruption.

The Student Code of Conduct applies to guests of community members whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. The Code may also be applied to resident non-students, campers and high school bridge/extension/partner/dual-credit and continuing education programs by contractual agreements. Visitors to and guests of College may seek resolution of violations of the Code of Student Conduct committed against them by members of College community.

There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Student Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the more difficult it becomes for College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the Office of Student Conduct and/or to Campus Safety.

NOTE: Students continue to be subject to local, state, and federal laws. Violations of those laws may also constitute violations of the Code. In such instances, the College may proceed with College conduct action and may impose sanctions independent of any criminal proceeding involving the same conduct, even if such criminal proceeding is not yet resolved or is resolved in the student’s favor.

B. Administrative Search and Seizure

Keystone College reserves the right for a Keystone College Official to enter residence hall rooms and search all belongings within the residence hall room when reasonable cause exists to believe that violations of College policy, State or Federal laws, have occurred. Student consent is requested but not necessary to conduct an administrative search since Keystone College is a private institution and all College premises are College property. Reasonable cause exists when a College Official has a good faith belief or credible evidence that an offense has occurred or is occurring in a residence hall room. After completing an administrative search of a residence hall room, all contraband, illegal items or evidence of a College policy violation will be seized by the College Official conducting the search and be removed from the room.

If there is evidence to suspect more severe violations of College policy, State or Federal laws (drug dealing, weapons, etc.) upon searching a residence hall room, another administrative search may be conducted involving other student property on Keystone College premises such as automobiles, athletic lockers, safes, etc. After completing an administrative search of the additional student properties on Keystone College premises, all contraband, illegal items or evidence of a College policy violation will be seized by College Officials.

During a search if there is reasonable cause to do so, a student may be asked to unlock or open locked personal items such as a safe or automobile. Failure to comply with this request will result in the student having to remove the item from College property and may also result in a charge of failure to comply under this Code.

C. Prohibited Conduct—Rules and Policies

Any student found to have engaged in, attempted, assisted, or incited prohibited conduct while within the College’s jurisdiction will be subject to disciplinary action through the College’s student conduct process. Any student found to be in violation for the following misconduct is subject to the conduct sanctions as outlined in Article VI., Section 14.

Responsibility is not diminished for acts in violation of this Code that are committed in ignorance of the Code, or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or improper use of controlled substances.

Students are strongly encouraged to act in a situation where the student has a duty to act.

Violations include:

1. Abuse of Student Conduct procedures

Abuse of the College student conduct procedures includes but is not limited to:

a. Failure to obey the summons of a conduct body or College official.
b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a conduct body.
c. Disruption or interference with the orderly demeanor of a student conduct proceeding.
d. Knowingly instituting a conduct proceeding in bad faith.
e. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the College student conduct procedure.
f. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a conduct body prior to, and/or during the course of, the conduct proceeding.
g. Harassment and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct body prior to, during, and/or after a conduct proceeding.
h. Failure to comply with one or more of the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
i. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the College student conduct procedure.
j. Retaliation or harassment of complainant or other person alleging misconduct, including but not limited to, intimidation and threats.

2. Alcohol (See Article VII for more information)

a. Possession, use, or consumption of alcohol or PALCOHOL (powered alcohol) on College premises.
b. Underage drinking/possession.
c. Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages off-campus by individuals under the age of 21 years.
d. Dispensing, selling, or supplying alcoholic beverages to an individual who is under the legal drinking age as outlined by Pennsylvania law.
e. Use or possession of any alcohol related paraphernalia such as beer kegs, shot glasses, bongs, funnels, etc. that are designed for the consumption of alcohol.
f. Public intoxication.
g. Excessive use of alcohol resulting in a state of intoxication that endangers oneself or other members of the community.
h. Driving while under the influence of alcohol.
i. Misrepresenting one’s age or using altered identification in order to obtain alcohol.
j. A student’s presence where any aspect of the alcohol policy is knowingly being violated, even if he/she is not directly involved in the specific act. A student who actively, or passively, supports another’s violation of College policy is in violation of their duty to uphold community standards, including the Student Code of Conduct.
k. Violating any other College policy while under the influence of alcohol. Members of the Keystone community who choose to drink will be held fully responsible for their behavior while under the influence of alcohol. Loss of control due to intoxication does not excuse or justify violation of the state law, Keystone College regulations, or the rights of others.
l. Administration of an intoxicant, without the consent or permission of another, with the intent to impair the other’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct or make informed decisions.
m. Violation of any provision of the 21 and Over Policy.

3. Arson

Setting or attempting to set fire to or creating/causing a fire on College premises.

4. Assault (See Article X for more information)

Any physical intimidation, act of violence, or conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety, or well-being of any person or group. Assault includes, but is not limited to, hitting, kicking, slapping, punching, pushing, biting, and or spitting on another person or persons.

5. Automotive

a. Violation of the College parking regulations governing the use of automobiles, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles parked or driven on College premises and designated parking areas.
b. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on College premises or at College sponsored or supervised functions.
c. Reckless driving on College premises.
d. Failure to obey posted speed limit and other traffic-related signs on College premises.
e. Failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

6. Complicity

Complicity includes, but is not limited to:

a. Making a conscious decision to conceal a violation or obstruct enforcement of a provision of the Student Code of Conduct or other policy.
b. Knowingly assisting another to violate a provision of the Student Code of Conduct or other policy.
c. Failure to remove oneself from a situation when a violation is known to be taking place or about to occur, or failing to report it thereafter. Students who anticipate or observe a violation of College policy are expected to remove themselves from the situation and to report the violation.

7. Contractual Obligations

Failure to honor all contracts with and debts to the College.

8. Demonstrations/Riotous Conduct

a. Participation in a campus demonstration which substantially disrupts the normal operations of the College or infringes on the rights of other members of the College community (including, but not limited to, occupation of College buildings or facilities).
b. Leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.
c. Participation in a disturbance with the purpose to commit or incite any action that presents a clear and present danger to others, causes physical harm to others, or damages property.
d. Intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
e. Failure to comply with an order to disburse by College officials, campus safety officers, law enforcement, or emergency personnel in the performance of their lawful duties.
f. Intimidating, impeding, hindering, or obstructing College officials, campus safety officers, law enforcement, or emergency personnel in the performance of their lawful duties.

9. Discrimination

Any act or failure to act that is based upon an individual or group’s actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, or sexual orientation, or other protected status) that is sufficiently severe that it limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program or activities.

10. Disruptive Conduct

Disruptive conduct means behavior with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, by:

a. Making unreasonable noise.
b. Using obscene language or gestures.
c. Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by an act that serves no legitimate purpose.
d. Acting in a way that impairs, interferes with, or obstructs the orderly conduct, processes or functions of the College and/or members or guests of the College.
e. Impeding or interference with the rights of others to enter, use, or leave any College facility, in-service, or scheduled activity, or carry out their normal functions or duties.
f. Interference with academic freedom and freedom of speech of any member or guest at the College.
g. Actions that impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes, and functions within the classroom or laboratory. This includes interfering with the academic mission of the College or individual classroom, or interfering with a faculty member’s or instructor’s role to carry out the normal academic or educational functions of his/her class or laboratory.
h. Acts that disrupt the College conduct process, including attempting to coerce or influence any person(s) in order to discourage their participation in any disciplinary proceeding.
i. Actions at College-sponsored events that disrupt, cause harm to others or negatively affect the campus community. Students are expected to govern their behavior and conduct themselves within the Student Code of Conduct at College-sponsored events.
j. Actions that violate set “quiet hours” in the residence halls, disrupting other residents in the building or on the floor.
k. Disrespecting a College Official (i.e. faculty, staff, administrators, etc.)

11. Drugs and Controlled Substances (See Article VIIfor more information)

a. Possession, use, sale, manufacture, or attempt to obtain any illegal drug and/or controlled substance, except as expressly permitted by law. The term “drugs” includes any other substance treated as such and defined by law.
b. Possession or use of illegal drugs or prescription drugs without a prescription and misuse of over-the-counter medications and/or prescriptions which endangers oneself and/or others.
c. Distribution, manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of drugs or controlled substances, except as expressly permitted by law.
d. Distribution, delivery, or sale of any substance believed to be a drug or controlled substance by either the “buyer” or “seller,” which is not a drug or controlled substance.
e. Possession or use of drug paraphernalia – any equipment, product, or material of any kind (which may contain evidence of any illegal drug and/or controlled substance) that is primarily intended or designed for use in planting, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, selling, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, smoking, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.
f. Administration of an intoxicant without the consent or permission of another with the intent to impair the others’ power to appraise or control his or her conduct or make informed decisions.
g. Public intoxication.
h. Distribution, possession or use of any kind of synthetic drug or material which results in mind altering or mood altering effects associated with the use of an illegal drug (i.e. getting high, etc.). These kinds of synthetic drugs include, but are not limited to, items such as: “Spice,” “K2,” “Salvia,” “Bath salts.”

12. Failure to Comply/Noncompliance

Noncompliance is established when one or more of the following occurs:

a. Failure to comply with a reasonable directive of a College official (i.e., Campus Safety Officers, faculty, staff, administrators, residence hall staff, student employees, etc.) or non-College law enforcement official in the performance of their duties.
b. Failure to provide valid identification when requested to do so by a College official, faculty, or staff member.
c. Failure to comply with the final decision/sanctions rendered by a student conduct hearing and/or review body and/or the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
d. Failure to comply with the request of a College student conduct hearing or review body to be a witness at a College conduct proceeding.
e. Failure to meet with an authorized College official or staff member when directed to do so.

13. Failure to Respond to Notice

a. Failure to respond to any official request from a member of the faculty, administration, or staff within 3 business days.

  • i) The College requires that each student maintain a current address on file. Official College correspondence mailed to that address will be deemed sufficient notice to the student. It is a student’s responsibility to notify the College immediately of any change of address.
  • ii) The College provides each student with an e-mail address. This e-mail address will be used for official College notification. Students are expected to check their e-mail routinely. Official College correspondence e-mail to that address is deemed sufficient notice to the student.

14. Falsification/Fraud/False Testimony

a. Knowingly making a false oral or written statement to any College board, committee, office, or member of the College faculty, administration, staff, or student body.
b. Withholding information or providing misleading information to a College official or student conduct hearing or Conduct Board.
c. Impersonation or misrepresentation such as acting on behalf of another person, group, or the College without authorization or prior consent.
d. Any other acts of falsification, fraud, or testimony.

15. Fire Safety

a. Inappropriate activation of any emergency warning equipment or the false reporting of any emergency.
b. Removing, damaging, interfering, or tampering with fire safety or other emergency warning equipment including smoke/heat detectors, sprinklers, extinguishers, fire alarms, fire hoses, and exit signs, etc. Items may not be hung from or block sprinklers or smoke detectors.
c. Failure to evacuate a College building, facility, or residence hall in a timely manner when a fire alarm is sounded.
d. Failure to evacuate a residence hall as directed by appropriate College Officials in the event of a power outage.
e. Resident students are limited to four guests to a room at a time in addition to the students living there. This includes resident and non-resident guests. There should be no more than six people occupying any room at any time for any reason to ensure proper fire safety codes.
f. Burning of any items within the residence halls (candles, incense, etc.) is forbidden.
g. Smoking of any kind of items (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs or other smoking equipment) within a building(s) on College premises is not permitted.
h. Blocking an exit or preventing safe passage out of a building during an emergency (piling up furniture near fire exit doors, locking someone in their room, etc.).

16. Gambling

Conducting or organizing any form of gambling with the intent to make a profit or personal gain or which harms or exploits any member of the College community, except as permitted by law.

17. Harassment (See Sexual Harassment for more information)

a. Conduct (not of a sexual nature) that threatens, harms, or intimidates another person or group or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive campus, educational, or work environment for another person or group.
b. Using technology to threaten, intimidate, or slander another person or group. This includes cell phone usage such multiple calls, voicemails and/or text messages; and electronic media including but not limited to emails, IM’s, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube, or any other form of electronic social media.
c. Unwelcome or unauthorized following another person in or about a public place or places.
d. Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that serve no legitimate purpose.
e. Communicating to or about another person any lewd, lascivious, threatening, or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures.
f. Communicating repeatedly in any anonymous manner without authorization.
g. Communicating repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours.

18. Hate Crimes

Inflicting mental, emotional, or physical distress upon a person through a course of conduct involving abuse or disparagement specifically based upon a person’s sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, or sexual orientation, or other protected status.

19. Hazing (See Article X for more information)

a. Hazing means any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into an affiliation with an organization. Such actions will include, but not be limited to, any brutality of physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual; extreme mental stress, such as food or sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, performing personal chores or errands, assigning or endorsing pranks (i.e. stealing, harassing other organizations, defacing property, etc.), any action or threatened action that would subject the individual to embarrassment, humiliation or mental distress, including the use of demeaning names, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual.

b. 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(s). Although hazing is related to a person’s initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, a 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 violation of hazing to be upheld. The actions of either active or associate members (pledges) of an organization may be considered hazing.

20. Littering

Dispersing litter in any form on College premises or facilities. This includes, but is not limited to cigarette butts, tickets issued by Campus Safety, flyers, cans, bottles, etc.

21. Mass Threats: Firearms/Weapons/Explosives

a. Possession, use, and/or storage of any weapon, which is any object that can be used to inflict a wound or cause injury. This includes, but is not limited to, possession and/or use of firearms, ammunition, knives, swords, nun chucks, stun guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball/air guns, look- alike weapons, or explosives, such as fireworks, unsecured compressed air cylinders, or dangerous chemicals, except as authorized for use in class, in connection with College-sponsored research, or in another approved activity.
i) Approval must be granted by the faculty member or other College official requiring the use of any of the aforementioned items in a written format, and must be with the items and/or keeper of the items at all times. The Director of Campus Safety should be informed by the faculty member or other College official if any kind of weapon is approved to be on campus. If the student is a resident student, the Director of Residence Life should also be informed.

b. Knowingly manufacturing, selling, purchasing, transporting, or causing another to transport, possessing or using a facsimile or replica bomb or weapon with the intent to do any of the following:

  • i) Terrifying, intimidating, threatening, or harassing an individual or group;
  • ii) Causing alarm or reaction on the part of any of the following:
    (a) Public or volunteer organization that deals with emergencies involving danger to life or property.
    (b) Law enforcement organization.
    (c) Placing or setting a bomb or causing the placement or setting of a bomb.

c. Possession, distribution or intent to distribute rape drugs.

  • i) Rape drugs are defined as any substance put into the food or drink or otherwise administered with the intent to diminish, or which are likely to diminish another person’s mental or physical capacity, alertness, and/or level of consciousness.

22. Misuse of Materials

Unauthorized reading, removing, duplicating, photographing, and/or forging, counterfeiting, altering, or misusing College material, files, documents, or records, computer records, software, data files, and similar entities owned or maintained by any member of the faculty, administration, staff, or student body.

23. Misuse of Identification

The use of falsified identification documents or of another’s identification card/document, including the misuse of another’s computer account/password or telephone PIN number.

24. Misuse of Keys

1. Unauthorized possession, transfer, or use of any key or key type device such as swipe cards to gain access to any College facility or property.
2. Unauthorized duplication of any key or key type device such as swipe cards.

25. Obscene/Lewd Conduct

Any conduct that would be considered lewd or indecent by a reasonable person in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances whom the person knows this conduct is likely to offend, affront, or alarm. Examples include, but are not limited to, public urination/defecation, public exposure of private body parts, public indecency, public sexual intercourse, and public masturbation.

26. Privacy

Failure to respect the right to privacy of any member of the College community, including but not limited to, accessing another’s computer files and/or e-mail, prying observation, or voyeurism.

27. Promotions/Posting

Solicitation (i.e., passing or handing out flyers/promotional material, etc.), use of chalk or powder like substance on the sidewalks, use/posting of signs on campus, including the residence halls, any College facility, or any public area without prior approval from the Office of Student Activities.

28. Residence Hall Visitation

a. Failure to sign-in or sign-out a visitor(s) to the residence halls and not adhere to the Residence Life visitation policy.
b. Failure to adhere to the Residence Life visitation policy by allowing a guest to stay beyond the amount of time allotted for visitation.

29. Rollerblades/Skates/Bicycles/Hover boards

a. The use or operation of rollerblades, skates, skateboards, bicycles, mopeds, etc. inside of College facilities (i.e., libraries, classrooms, hallways, campus center, etc.) including the hallways, balconies, courtyards, lounges, and lobbies of residence halls.
b. Keystone College has banned Hoverboards and like devices on campus. Hoverboards, also known as self-balancing motorized scooters and hands-free Segways are not allowed on campus including any property owned or used by Keystpme College or at College-sponsored events. This includes College housing, residential facilities, classrooms, or any Keystone College property or locations used by the College. Charging Hover boards outside of any Keystone College facility is prohibited.
c. Skateboarding, in-line skating, and/or bicycling on College premises in a manner that cuts, grinds, or that may deface the edges of steps or other property.
d. Unsafe operation of bicycles or non-compliance with state or local regulations governing the use of bicycles.
e. Use or operation of skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, etc. in a manner that impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

30. Sexual Misconduct (See Article XII for more information)

Includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, gender-based misconduct, and/or sexual exploitation.

31. Terroristic Threats

Terroristic threats mean the communication, either directly or indirectly, of a threat to commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another, cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, facility, or College transportation; otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.

a. Threat to use weapons of mass destruction:

  • i) Reporting false presence of an explosive or incendiary device.
  • ii) Threatening by any means the placement or setting of a weapon of mass destruction or the placement or setting thereof.
  • iii) A separate violation will occur for each report or threat to place or set a weapon of mass destruction.

32. Theft/Attempted Theft/Unauthorized Use of Property

a. The unauthorized taking, misappropriation or possession of any real, personal, or intellectual property owned or maintained by the College or any person on or off campus. This includes use of College network services for the unauthorized download and/or distribution of copyrighted material.
b. Removal and use of College property from it designated place. (e.g. removal of lounge furniture to a student’s room; items such as cups, napkin holders and silverware being used outside of dining service facilities).

33. Threats of Violence

An intentional verbal or written threat or act to do violence to another person, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear that such violence is imminent.

34. Tobacco Use/Smoking (See Article IX for more information)

Tobacco, whether smoked or smokeless/chew, can only be used in designated areas located around the campus. This includes the burning of any type of cigar, cigarette, pipe, chewing tobacco or other products.

a. Any items used for smoking tobacco: pipes, hookahs, and other smoking equipment, whether filled with tobacco or any other material are not permitted on campus property.
b. The use of electronic cigarettes in any campus building or residence hall is not permitted.

35. Trespassing

a. Presence on campus or in the residence halls during a period of separation (e.g., suspension).
b. Presence on campus after being ordered to leave by an authorized College official.
c. Staying in the residence halls when the residence halls are closed and/or the College is closed without permission from the Office of Residence Life.
d. Presence in the residence halls when not signed in according to the College’s visitation policy.

36. Unauthorized Entry/Unauthorized Use

a. Attempted or completed entry into or use of College facilities or property without authorization.
b. Attempted or completed entry into the property of another, to include a room, house, building, business, or privately owned residence or vehicle without authorization.
c. Unauthorized use of College property or equipment.
d. Unauthorized entry or remaining in residence hall(s) or buildings during an emergency or when the building(s) have been evacuated due to a power outage or fire emergency.

37. Vandalism

a. The intentional, unauthorized damage, destruction, or defacing of property of the College or a member of the College community;
b. “Trashing” of public areas.

38. Any act which, if proven, would constitute a violation of local, state or federal law.