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    Pellissippi State Community College
   
 
  Aug 19, 2017
 
 
    
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2017-2018 College Catalog

Rights, Records & Responsibilities



Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities of Students

Pellissippi State embraces the following excerpts from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students:

Preamble. Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community. The purpose of this statement is to enumerate essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn.

In the classroom. The professor in the classroom and in conference should encourage free discussion, inquiry and expression. Student performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

Protection of freedom of expression. Students should be 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 for which they are enrolled.

Protection against improper academic evaluation. Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.

Protection against improper disclosure. Information about student views, beliefs and political associations which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors and counselors should be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.

Student responsibilities. Pellissippi State students have certain responsibilities to uphold as part of their membership in the academic community. These include the following:

  • Students are responsible for their own academic success. This includes maintaining academic integrity and taking advantage of academic support services provided by the College.
  • Students are responsible for conducting themselves in an appropriate manner while in the classroom, on campus and in their communication with other members of the college community. This includes being respectful of others and refraining from disciplinary offenses as outlined by Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:00 Student Code of Conduct and Due Process.
  • Students are responsible for following college policies relevant to them.
  • Students are responsible for meeting deadlines. This includes meeting deadlines in the classroom and meeting deadlines published by the College.
  • Students are responsible for reading all communications sent to them by the College. This includes all forms of electronic and written communication.

If students believe their rights have been violated, they may file a written complaint. See Pellissippi State Policy 00:03:00 Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination in Education and Employment for information regarding filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. Other complaints can be completed on the Student Affairs website.

Student Conduct

Pellissippi State students are citizens of the state, local and national governments, and of the academic community and are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times.

Admission to Pellissippi State carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by nonstudents. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between the College and the academic community that it seeks to serve, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) has authorized the president of Pellissippi State under its jurisdiction to take such action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the College and its educational environment.

In order to fulfill these duties and provide a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which individual and academic pursuits flourish, the College has developed behavioral expectations to govern student conduct on the campus. In addition, students are subject to all national, state and local laws and ordinances. If a student’s violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects Pellissippi State’s pursuit of its educational objectives, the College may enforce its own regulations regardless of any proceedings instituted by other civil or criminal authorities.

For the purpose of these policies, a “student” is defined as any person who is admitted and/or registered for study at Pellissippi State for any academic period. This includes any period of time following admission and/or registration, but preceding the start of classes for any academic period. It also includes any period that follows the end of an academic period through the last day for registration for the succeeding academic period, and any period during which the student is under suspension from the institution. Finally, “student” also includes any person subject to a period of suspension or removal from campus as a sanction that results from a finding of a violation of the regulations governing student conduct. Students are responsible for compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and Due Process and with similar institutional policies at all times.

Disciplinary action may be taken against a student for violation of the policies that occur on institutionally owned, leased or otherwise controlled property, while participating in international or distance learning programs at affiliated clinical sites, and off campus, when the conduct impairs, interferes with or obstructs any institutional activity or the mission, processes, and functions of the institution. Institutions may enforce their own regulations regardless of the status or outcome of any external proceedings instituted in any other forum, including any civil or criminal proceeding.

These behavioral expectations are applicable to student organizations as well as individual students. Student organizations are subject to discipline for the conduct and actions of individual members of the organization while acting in their capacity as members of, or while attending or participating in any activity of, the organization.

Confidentiality of discipline process. Subject to the exceptions provided pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g and/or the Tennessee Open Records Act, T.C.A. § 10-7-504(a)(4), a student’s disciplinary files are considered “educational records” and are confidential within the meaning of those acts.

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:00 Student Code of Conduct and Due Process for additional information.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Harassment Prevention

Pellissippi State strives to maintain a safe campus environment, free of harassment and discrimination. As such, the College will not tolerate sexual misconduct, which includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and sexual violence, including stalking, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence and dating violence. Sexual harassment, sexual violence and other gender-based harassment occurring in the college setting implicates a federal law called Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and which triggers certain responsibilities on the part of the College. See Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:03 Sexual Misconduct for additional information.

Parts of that policy are listed below.

This policy is adopted by Pellissippi State specifically to address the offenses defined herein. All other forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, also are strictly prohibited. Allegations that are not within the scope of this policy are subject to the procedures described in TBR Guideline P-080, as adopted and implemented by Pellissippi State Policy 00:03:00 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Education and Employment and Policy 06:23:01 Discrimination and Harassment Complaint and Investigation Procedure

I. Scope: These procedures shall be utilized by the following persons: 

A. Any employee or student who has been a victim of sexual misconduct, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression

B. Former employees or students if the conduct took place during the time of employment or enrollment at Pellissippi State and the conduct has a reasonable connection to the institution 

C. All third parties with whom Pellissippi State has an educational or business relationship if the conduct has a reasonable connection to the institution

II. Definitions 

A. Consent—an informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or who is under duress, threat, coercion or force. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. 

B. Dating Violence—violence against a person when the accuser and accused are dating, have dated, or have or had a sexual relationship. “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two individuals solely in a business or non-romantic social context. Violence includes but is not necessarily limited to the following actions:

  1. Inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means 
  2. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm
  3. Physical restraint
  4. Malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the accuser, or
  5. Placing a victim in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the accuser [TCA § 36-3-601(5)(c)]

C. Domestic Violence—violence against a person when the accuser and accused 

  1. Are current or former spouses
  2. Live together or have lived together
  3. Are related by blood or adoption
  4. Are related or were formally related by marriage, or
  5. Are adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above

   Domestic violence includes but is not necessarily limited to the following actions: 

  1. Inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means
  2. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm
  3. Physical restraint
  4. Malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the accuser, or
  5. Placing the accuser in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the accuser (TCA § 36-3-601) 

D. Sexual Assault—the nonconsensual sexual contact with the accuser by the accused, or the accused by the accuser when force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, the sexual contact is accomplished without consent of the accuser, and the accused knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the accuser did not or could not consent. Sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, the intentional touching of the accuser’s, the accused’s or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the accuser’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. 

E. Sexual Misconduct—for the purposes of this policy, “sexual misconduct” is defined as dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. 

F. Stalking—a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the accuser to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Harassment refers to conduct directed toward the accuser that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes the accuser to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. (TCA § 39-17-315)

III. Prohibition of Sexual Misconduct 

Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Pellissippi State is committed to eliminating any and all acts of sexual misconduct and discrimination on its campuses. As set forth in this policy, sexual misconduct includes dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Pellissippi State strictly prohibits these offenses. Any allegation of sexual misconduct as defined herein will be investigated and adjudicated according to this policy.

IV. Immediate Actions a Victim Should Take 

A. In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or similar event, the most important thing is for the victim to get to a safe place. 

B. When a feeling of safety has been achieved, the victim should seek medical attention, regardless of his or her decision to report the crime to the police. It is very important for the victim of sexual assault to seek medical attention immediately so that the victim can be screened for sexually transmitted diseases/pregnancy/date rape drugs, obtain emergency contraception, and receive treatment for any physical injuries. 

C. A victim has the right to accept or decline any or all parts of a medical exam. However, critical evidence may be lost or missed if not collected or analyzed. 

D. Valuable physical evidence can be obtained from the victim and the victim’s clothing. A victim should make every effort to save anything that might contain the offender’s DNA. Therefore, a victim should not

  1. Bathe or shower
  2. Wash his/her hands
  3. Brush his/her teeth
  4. Use the restroom
  5. Change clothes
  6. Comb his/her hair
  7. Clean up the crime scene, or
  8. Move anything the offender may have touched

E. Even if the victim has not yet decided to report the crime, receiving a forensic medical exam and keeping the evidence safe from damage will improve the chances that the police can access and test the stored evidence at a later date. 

F. Victims of sexual misconduct are encouraged to preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages or other communications and keeping pictures, logs or other copies of documents, if they have any, that would be useful to investigators. 

V. Reporting Sexual Misconduct 

The College encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened so they can get the support they need and so the College can respond appropriately. Though reports will be kept as confidential as possible, the College cannot guarantee the confidentiality of every report or complaint. The following provisions detail the confidentiality options available to individuals. 

A. Reporting Confidentially 

     If a victim chooses to report an incident of sexual misconduct in a confidential manner, the victim can report the
     incident to the following counselors: 

     Pellissippi State Counseling Services
     Hardin Valley Campus 

     Elizabeth Firestone, Ph.D., Director, (865) 694-6547, eefirestone@pstcc.edu
     Kathy Douthat, Ph.D., (865) 539-7293, kbdouthat@pstcc.edu
     Lisa Mathews, M.S., (865) 694-6591, lcorient@pstcc.edu

     Blount County Campus 

     Betsy Boyd, Ed.S., (865) 981-5303, bboyd@pstcc.edu

     Division Street Campus 

     Rhoda Stone, Ph.D., (865) 971-5218, rgstone@pstcc.edu

     Magnolia Avenue Campus 

     Drema Bowers, M.S.S.W., (865) 329-3121, dbowers2@pstcc.edu
     Garry Loftis, M.A., (865) 329-3113, gloftis@pstcc.edu

     Strawberry Plains Campus 

     Heather White, M.S., (865) 225-2312, hnwhite1@pstcc.edu

     If the victim chooses to report in a confidential manner, the College may be unable to conduct an investigation
     into the matter or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged offender.

B. Filing an Institutional Complaint 

     Reports of acts of sexual misconduct to any other employee of the College must be then reported to the Title IX coordinator, and the College will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. 

1. The College shall not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement. 

2. Before a complainant reveals any information to an employee, the employee must ensure that the complainant understands the employee’s reporting obligations. 

3. If the complainant wants to maintain confidentiality, the employee must direct the victim to confidential resources as detailed in Section V. A. of this policy. 

4. If the complainant wants to tell an employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee must advise the complainant that the College will consider the request but cannot guarantee that it will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX coordinator, the employee will also inform the coordinator of the complainant’s request for confidentiality. 

5. When sexual harassment or sexual violence has occurred and is brought to the attention of the Pellissippi State Title IX coordinator, he or she will take steps to end the harassment or violence, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects.

All incidents must be reported to the Title IX coordinator: 

Patrick Shipwash
Executive Director of Equity and Compliance
(865) 539-7401
jpshipwash@pstcc.edu
Lamar Alexander Arts & Sciences Building, Room 257

If the incident involves an allegation by a student against another student, the Title IX coordinator will refer the situation to the dean of students: 

Travis Loveday
Dean of Students
(865) 694-6415
tcloveday@pstcc.edu
Goins Administration Building, Room 111

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:02:03 Sexual Misconduct for additional information.

Student Records

Admission records. Admission files are maintained in Enrollment Services and on an imaging system. Each file contains the application for admission and, for a degree-seeking student, ACT scores if required, high school transcripts, official high school equivalency diploma score reports if required, transcripts from all colleges and universities that the student previously attended, immunization documentation and miscellaneous working papers and letters as required. The assistant vice president of Enrollment Services is responsible for the maintenance and security of files in the Enrollment Services office.

A student may obtain a copy of his or her transcript in these ways:

In person: Enrollment Services, Room 102, Goins Building, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN

By fax: (865) 539-7016

By mail: Enrollment Services, Pellissippi State Community College, P.O. Box 22990, Knoxville, TN 37933-0990

Electronically: records@pstcc.edu

Online: www.pstcc.edu/records

Include name, signature, contact telephone number, Pellissippi State identification number, the last four digits of Social Security number or date of birth and address to which the transcript should be mailed. Transcript Request forms are available online through Enrollment Services.

Disclosure of directory information. Pellissippi State may disclose directory information consistent with this policy to any person requesting such information without the consent of the student:

  • Name
  • Address
  • College email address
  • Telephone number
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended

Students who do not wish directory information released without consent should provide written notification to Enrollment Services prior to the first day of classes each semester.

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 04:03:00 Student Records Confidentiality for additional information.

Computer Usage Guidelines

Please see Pellissippi State Policy 08:13:05 Computer System Use for additional information.

Minors on Campus

Students, faculty and staff may not bring minors to campus, except for acceptable visitation purposes. Minors may not be cared for on the campus while their parent(s) or guardian(s) is in class or engaged in other college business. Minors must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times while on campus.

Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy

Smoking is prohibited in all College buildings and indoor facilities, on campus grounds and walkways and in all areas where non-smokers cannot avoid environmental smoke. Additionally, smoking will not be allowed in any College vehicle. All campus entrances are to be posted designating the campus as “smoke-free” and designating areas where smoking is permitted. Smoking is permitted in private vehicles.

Smoking is permitted in the following areas (Visit the campus directional and parking maps webpage):

  • Hardin Valley Campus—outer areas of the O1, O2, O3, O6, O8 and O9 parking lots
  • Blount County Campus—far ends of the O1 and O2 parking lots
  • Division Street Campus—lower Open parking lots
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus—far end of the main Open parking area
  • Strawberry Plains Campus—outer areas of the Open and GSA parking lots

Note: Cigarette urns identify designated smoking areas on all campuses.

The use of chewing tobacco (to include electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, vaping, dipping, chewing, etc.) is prohibited in all Pellissippi State buildings, facilities and vehicles.

The intent of the policy is to allow a smoke-free environment for all persons using our campuses. Tobacco use even in designated areas must be at least 25 feet from walkways, crosswalks and other intended pedestrian traffic areas.

This policy applies to the entire College community, including employees, students and visitors. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff and students to adhere to, to enforce and to inform visitors of the College’s smoking policy. If a student continues to disregard the tobacco use policy, he/she will be reported to the dean of students or designee. If a nonstudent continues to disregard the posting, he/she will be reported to the appropriate administrator. Please see Pellissippi State Policy 08:06:00 Smoking/Tobacco Use for additional information.

Traffic and Parking Regulations

See Pellissippi State Policy 05:11:00 Parking and Traffic Regulations for additional information.