Code of Conduct

Students and student organizations are expected to know and abide by the Code of Conduct at all times, whether on campus, off campus, or at College sponsored programs, events and activities. This can include, but is not limited to: internships, field study, student teaching, community service, international study programs, recreational, intramural and club sports activities, and intercollegiate athletics.

The College will take disciplinary action against a student or student organization when it is required by law to do so, or when the nature of the conduct:

  1. Interferes with or is disruptive to the learning environment, College process or activities, and/or educational interests and mission of the College, or
  2. Endangers the health or personal safety of a member(s) of the College community, or
  3. Harms, intimidates, or threatens another member(s) of the College community.

Within the parameters stated above, the following conduct is subject to disciplinary action:

A. Academic Integrity

Statement on Academic Integrity
At SUNY Oswego, we are committed to maintaining rigorous intellectual standards and the highest level of academic integrity. As leaders and role models, faculty and professional staff must adhere to the highest standards of intellectual integrity in scholarship and professional practice. The College endeavors to foster an environment in which students adhere to these same standards that will extend beyond their time at SUNY Oswego.

Any act that is designed to obtain fraudulently, either for oneself or for someone else, academic credit, grades, or other recognition that is not properly earned or that adversely affects another's grade or misrepresents one's academic status. Intellectual Dishonesty, including but not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism - Plagiarism is the practice of deliberately or inadvertently taking someone else's work or ideas, in part or in full, and passing them off as one's own, in text or other mediums. Plagiarism of any kind, including taking from either published or unpublished material, is contrary to established ethical practices. All members of the College are expected to acknowledge the intellectual work of others. In some cases, plagiarism may also involve copyright violations (see Copyright Violation).
  2. Fabrication or Falsification - Fabrication or falsification is a form of academic dishonesty in which someone invents or distorts the origin or content of information cited.
  3. Cheating– Cheating is an attempt to use unfair means to gain an advantage during an examination or on an assignment which gives the appearance of having the knowledge or a skill that an individual has not actually obtained.
  4. Copyright Violation– Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including, but not limited to: texts, images, photographs, illustrations, sound recordings, dramatic works, music, and video. The copyright holder is guaranteed the exclusive rights to perform, display, reproduce, and distribute the work as well as to make derivative works. Currently, these rights are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. Copyright violations occur either when one uses media in websites, blog posts, videos, papers, etc. without securing permission (usually in the form of a license) for the specific use of when the use does not fall under the "fair use" clause of the copyright law. Many classroom uses of copyrighted materials fall under fair use, but not all (see Penfield Library's guide to fair use for specific details).
B. Misrepresentation

Including but not limited to:

  1. Knowingly or willfully providing false or misleading information or statements to the College, college official or law enforcement officer.
  2. Forgery, alteration or unauthorized use of institutional documents with intent to defraud.
  3. *Withholding information, including failing to disclose records of convictions or disciplinary actions, on applications after admission to the College.
  4. Manufacturing, distributing, delivering, selling, providing, purchasing, using, or possessing any form of fraudulent identification.
  5. Acts of dishonesty which harm an individual member(s) of the College, the integrity of the academic programs or the educational interests and mission of the College, or a College activity or procedure whether by act or omission.
  6. Abuse, interference, or failure to comply with College processes including conduct meetings, investigations, conferences or hearings.

*State University of New York (University or SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY Oswego from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history. After a student has been accepted for admission, if such student seeks campus housing, or seeks to participate in clinical or field experiences, internships or study abroad programs, campuses shall inquire if the student has a prior felony conviction. (See full Prior Felony Convictions Policy, Guidelines and Procedures)

C. Acts of Violence

Including but not limited to:

  1. Harassment, intimidation, bullying (including cyberbullying) or coercion toward an individual or group of individuals, that is severe, pervasive, or persistent to a degree that it interferes with a person's ability to work, learn, live, participate in or benefit from educational activities.
  2. Creating a hostile environment toward any individual or group of individuals.
  3. Inciting violence, targeted toward an individual or group of individuals.
  4. Physical abuse, assault and/or battery to any individual or group of individuals.
  5. Verbal or written threat toward any individual or group of individuals causing harm or reasonable apprehension of harm or invasion of privacy.
  6. Creation of or participating in a condition or situation that endangers the mental or physical wellbeing of self or others.
  7. Conduct which inhibits the peace or safety of members of the College community.
  8. Retaliation, harassment or coercion of parties, including witnesses, participating in student conduct actions or proceedings.
D. Disruptive or Disorderly Behavior

Including but not limited to:

  1. Disruption of administration, disciplinary processes, or other college activities.
  2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, learning or research.
  3. Disruption to the campus community including, but not limited to, excessive or unreasonable noise, excessively large parties, throwing of projectiles, or rude and abusive language or behavior.
  4. Lewd, indecent or obscene behavior including public urination or defecation.
E. Sexual Misconduct

All forms of unwanted actual or attempted sexual activity encompassing non-consensual sexual behavior, including sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, and sexual exploitation. Sexual Misconduct including Sexual and Interpersonal Violence in all forms, but not limited to:

  1. Imposition of sexual contact or physical exposure without affirmative consent.
  2. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse.
  3. All forms of intimidation or coercion to exact sexual favors.
  4. Use of alcohol or other drugs to exact sexual contact.
  5. Nonconsensual verbal, non-verbal, or cyber communication of a sexual nature as well as nonconsensual photography, video or audio taping or posting of sexual activity.
  6. Sexual contact upon another who is reasonably unable to consent for any reason, particularly due to their age, use of alcohol or other substances, incapacitation, involuntarily restraint, emotional distress or sleep.
  7. Stalking– Intentionally engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to causes a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, repeatedly following such person(s), repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy such other person(s) and that serve no legitimate purpose, and repeatedly communicating by any means, including electronic means, with such person(s) in a manner likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm him or her. 
  8. Domestic Violence– A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by any of the following individuals: current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; or a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; or a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; or a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  9. Dating Violence– Any violent act or acts committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. The existence of a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim is determined based on the reporting party's statement, the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  10. Sexual Harassment– Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone's ability to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

(See full Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Policies and Procedures)

F. Hazing

Hazing Statement
The College takes all reports of hazing seriously. Individuals and recognized organizations who are reported and found responsible for violating this policy, are subject to college disciplinary action, as well as legal action. (See full Hazing Policy
) Hazing is a violation of New York State law and is subject to criminal prosecution. New York Law classifies Hazing in the 1st Degree a Class A Misdemeanor (section 120.16) and Hazing in the 2nd Degree as a Violation (section 120.17) for persons found guilty.

Definition
Any act, creation of, or participating in a situation or activity that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers an individual or group of individuals mental or physical wellbeing, for purposes of initiation into or affiliation with any group or organization regardless of a person's willingness to participate.

  1. Activities that disrupts or interferes with an individual's pursuit of academic endeavors.
  2. Activities which harass or intimidate.
  3. Any activity for human degradation, or public embarrassment and by its nature, has the potential to cause severe anxiety, distress or panic.
  4. Activities that deprive individuals of sleep, edible meals, or personal hygiene.
  5. Activities that involve tests of endurance including leaving a person in a location without means of identification, communication or ability to return.
  6. Activities that expose members or prospective members to potentially dangerous or hazardous circumstances, including lockdowns, overcrowding rooms or locking exits.
  7. Activities that involved the forced or required consumption of food, beverages, alcohol, or other drugs.
  8. Activities which have a foreseeable potential for personal injury, impart pain or cause mutilation or alteration to the body.
  9. Activities which involve illegal acts.
G. Theft and Property Damage

Including but not limited to:

  1. Damage of College premises or property.
  2. Damage to property of another person.
  3. Theft of College property.
  4. Theft of property of another person.
  5. Physical or digital theft of intellectual property, including computer programs, software files or documents, or library books and materials.
  6. Possession or distribution of stolen property.
H. Failure to Comply

Including but not limited to:

  1. Failure to comply with the reasonable directives or request of a College official, law enforcement officer or student staff acting in the performance of their duties.
  2. Failure to complete assigned conduct sanctions and/or mandated assessments.
  3. Failure to comply with administrative or interim actions, including no-contact orders, no-trespass notices, building or campus ban/restriction, removal from campus housing facilities or interim suspension.
  4. Failure to comply with, abuse of, or interference in College processes including academic and non-academic disciplinary meetings, investigations, conferences, or hearings.
  5. Violation of disciplinary probation, housing probation or deferred suspension status.
  6. Ineligible pledging or association with a recognized student organization without having met eligibility requirements established by the College.
I. Violation of Policies Governing the Residence Halls.
J. Violation of Current College policies, Procedures and Rules

Including but not limited to:

  1. Weapons and Dangerous Materials Policy (found in the Student Handbook)
  2. Entry and use of College facilities.
  3. Solicitation and Posting.
  4. Computer and Network Acceptable Use Policy
  5. Student Organizations Policies and Procedures
  6. Guest Policy
  7. Student Athlete Code of Conduct
K. Fire and General Safety

Including but not limited to:

  1. Tampering with or improperly using portable fire extinguishers, elevators, fire sprinkler systems, EXIT lights or any other life safety equipment such as smoke detectors.
  2. Failure to evacuate buildings and follow emergency procedures issued by college officials or local authorities or emergency personnel during a fire drill or alarm.
  3. Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages College or personal property or which causes injury.
  4. Smoking of any kind, including by use of vaping devices, electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine delivery devices, is prohibited on college premises and in all facilities.
L. Violation of Federal, State or Local Laws
M. Alcohol Policy Violation

Including but not limited to:

  1. Possessing, consuming, or being under the influence of alcohol under the legal age.
  2. Being in the presence of alcohol under the legal drinking age.
  3. Purchasing, providing, or serving alcohol to or for an underage person.
  4. Manufacturing, distributing, or engaging in the sale of alcohol.
  5. Possessing or consuming alcohol in public, common areas of a residence hall or facility, or on College premises.
  6.  Creating or possession of drinking games or engaging in drinking games that induce, encourage, or result in rapid consumptions.
  7. Possession of empty alcohol containers and paraphernalia.
  8. Conduct under the influence of alcohol as demonstrated through one's actions, regardless of age including, but are not limited to, impaired motor-skill coordination, difficulty communicating, vomiting, verbal and/or physical aggressiveness, destructive or disruptive behavior, or public intoxication.
  9. Possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol during registered college events, activities, trips, or classes.
  10. Operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, including but not limited to a DUI/DWI.
N. Drug Policy

Including but not limited to:

  1. Possessing, consuming or being under the influence of drugs, controlled substances or non-prescribed medication. The odor of marijuana may suffice to constitute a violation of policy.
  2. Being in the presence of drugs, controlled substances or non-prescribed medication.
  3. Possessing and/or use of drug paraphernalia.
  4. Manufacturing, selling, or distribution of drugs, controlled substances or non-prescribed medication.
  5. Possessing, consuming or being under the influence of drugs, controlled substances or non-prescribed medication during College events, activities, trips, or classes.
  6. Conduct under the influence of drugs as demonstrated through one's actions including, but not limited to operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.
O. Bias-Related Incident

Bias Crimes and Prevention Statement
The College's values and goals advocate a broad degree of human understanding amongst its community members: students, faculty, staff, visitors and alumni. We seek to enroll and engage a diverse population of students across diverse cultural and national experiences. A vibrant, productive learning environment requires a richness in the variety of voices and life experiences that are represented among us. For this reason, prejudice, discrimination, and bias related actions by community members or visitors and guests, based on race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, are counterproductive and harmful to the purposes of our educational community.

The College does not limit freedom of expression, particularly speech, even if the ideals and values held by some of its members are challenged by that speech. Even bigoted or racist speech or other forms of intolerant speech or offensive expression are protected. In this way, the College values of an inclusive and diverse learning environment may occasionally be challenged by, or at least not by furthered by, freedom of speech. However, conduct that targets a specific individual or group of individuals and creates an unreasonable interference with that individual's or group's ability to pursue educational purposes or to benefit from college life is prohibited by the College through this policy, the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, and Maintaining Public Order on Campuses of the State University of New York. (See full Bias Crimes and Prevention Policy and Procedures)

Bias-related crimes (also called hate crimes) are defined, when a person commits a specified offense and either:

  • Intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding their protected characteristic, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct; or
  • Intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding their protected characteristic, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

Definition
Any act of bias or inciting violence targeted toward an individual, a group of individuals or property based on actual or perceived identities so as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the educational institution's programs or activities, including but not limited to:

  1. Bias-related harassment or inciting violence through verbal, written (including electronic mail and/or digital communication), graphic or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent.
  2. Threatening, intimidating or fear provoking.

Protected characteristics including race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction.