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Sections I - IV

I. Welcome

Dear Panthers,

Welcome to our Florida Tech community! I am thrilled to congratulate you on choosing to further your education here. As the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, I want to extend a warm welcome to each and every one of you. We are committed to providing you with all the resources and support you need to succeed in your academic and personal pursuits.

This handbook is designed to help you oriented with university policies, procedures, and services available to you. I encourage you to read it carefully and familiarize yourself with the information. As you embark on this exciting journey, remember that your overall well-being is a top priority. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment where every student can thrive and reach their goals, and that includes supporting your mental and physical health. I urge you to engage with the many resources we offer, such as counseling services and the student health center. These resources are here to help you manage the stressors of university life and ensure that you are healthy and happy.

I also want to stress the importance of developing a support system while you're here. Whether you seek the guidance of a peer, a professor, or a professional, having someone to turn to when things get tough can make a world of difference. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you realize your full potential and become successful graduates, so don't be afraid to reach out to them.

As members of our university community, it is important to uphold the values of respect, diversity, and academic integrity. We want you to feel connected and supported throughout your time here, and we hope that this handbook will serve as a valuable resource for you.

Finally, I want to reiterate that we are here to support you throughout your academic journey. Our doors are always open, and we encourage you to seek assistance and guidance whenever you need it. We wish you a successful and fulfilling experience at Florida Tech, and we are excited to see all the amazing things you will accomplish.

Sincerely,

David M. McMahan, J.D.
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
floridatech.edu/vpsa 

How are you really? FloridaTech students download TalkCampus and get instant peer-to-peer support.

 

II. Foreward

This handbook is designed to provide students with guidance on the course of their curricular and co-curricular experiences by describing the privileges, rights, responsibilities, and procedures for observing these elements. Florida Tech looks to certain standards to define behavioral expectations, and the Florida Tech Student Handbook serves as a roadmap for the successful navigation of community life and the pursuit of a successful academic career.

Students agree to abide by the standards, regulations, and policies set forth in this Student Handbook, the University Catalog, on the university’s policies website, and other official university publications (e.g., the University Housing Living Guide and Housing Contract). Student organizations are also held accountable for observing these standards, regulations, and policies.

Sometimes, a mid-year review of standards, regulations, and policies will render a change in the university’s position. Such changes may include fee structures, academic offerings including majors and courses of study, disciplinary expectations, etc. These changes are communicated through the university’s official communications channels (e.g., student email), and students will be accountable for these updated policies and procedures upon publication.

 

III. University Mission and Core Values

The university’s mission guides the institution and shapes the student experience. To learn more, see Mission, Vision & Core Values.

 

IV. Student Code of Conduct

In support of promoting the university’s educational mission, Florida Tech reserves the right to establish standards of conduct herein described as the Student Code of Conduct and to prescribe disciplinary procedures to enforce such standards. 

Policy Purpose 

When students enter Florida Tech, it is assumed that they have a serious purpose and a sincere interest in their own social and intellectual development.  By becoming members of the university community, students are expected to be familiar with the regulations, procedures, and policies set for students and be accountable for their behavior during their time at the university.  Students are expected to learn to cope with problems with intelligence, reasonableness, and consideration for the rights of others; to obey laws and ordinances of the nation, state, and community of which they, as well as the university, are a part; and to conduct themselves peaceably in espousing changes.  As they prize rights and freedoms for themselves, they are expected to respect the rights and freedoms of others. 

Policy Scope 

The Student Handbook/ Code of Conduct shall apply to the conduct of admitted students, including non-students, campers, and high school bridge/ extension/ partner/ dual-enrolled and continuing education program participants affiliated by contractual agreements rather than enrollment. It also applies to all university-affiliated clubs and student organizations.   Any act that violates or attempts to violate local, city, county, state, and federal laws, or any of the student code or procedures contained herein may establish cause for disciplinary action by the university.  The Student Code of Conduct applies upon a student being admitted and continues throughout the student’s affiliation with the university. In cases where the student takes a leave of absence, withdraws, or has graduated, they shall be responsible for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation.  This policy applies to conduct both on-campus and off-campus, online, and through other electronic communication and media forms as determined at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Additionally, students who live in university housing are subject to the terms in the Housing Contract and requirements and guidelines in the Residential Living Guide. The university may consider but is not bound by any civil or criminal action taken regarding the same violation by any court. 

The university is more likely to exercise this jurisdiction off-campus if the conduct poses a threat to anyone’s health, safety, or security, could negatively affect the mission or reputation of the university, poses a threat of undermining the university’s educational process, involves an alleged violation of local, state, or federal law, or if the university is required by law to do so.

Policy Statement 

To maintain standards that promote, establish, and maintain an educational environment and ensure an inherent right to order and maintain stability and promote the welfare and safety of the university community, Florida Tech establishes the Student Code of Conduct.  The student conduct process is designed to be educational and developmental while also maintaining the integrity of the academic environment in support of the university’s mission. 

Grounds for disciplinary action may include a) active violation, b) attempt to violate, c) solicitation of or aiding another in committing a violation, or d) the failure to remove oneself from the area/event where a violation is taking place.

A. Demonstrative Regulations

Disciplinary action may be taken in any case in which an individual or group is found in violation of any of the prohibitions below (note – a student who is present in an area or incident where a policy violation is being committed or attempted will be considered responsible for a violation of said policy):

1. Acts of Dishonesty—All forms of dishonesty, including but not limited to:

  • Academic integrity - Unauthorized assistance, using or attempting to use unauthorized material, information (including artificial intelligence), or study aids, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, or plagiarism (further described in the Academic Integrity Policy).
  • Fraudulent behavior—Forgery, bribery, falsification, unauthorized alteration or misuse of university documents, records, or identification, including but not limited to computer and network misuse, electronic software, and records. 
  • False information or impersonation—Furnishing false information to the university (including its representatives), impersonating another person, using another person’s identity, or manufacturing or possessing false identification.  Additionally, falsifying university records or any act or statement (written or oral) containing false, incomplete, or misleading information intended to deceive or misrepresent the university, a person, or a business is prohibited. 
  • Improper Computer Use—Gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, whether through damage or destruction of data or programs or disruption of operational practices. 
  • Theft—Unauthorized possession of the property of another person, entity, or the university; misappropriation, unauthorized use, access, or reproduction of property, data, records, equipment, or services belonging to the university or belonging to another person or entity. Note – due to the rampant theft of traffic/construction signage and equipment (e.g. traffic cones, barricades, flashing lights, etc.), possession of such is prohibited. Incidents will be reported to Campus Security and/or the Melbourne Police Department, the property will be seized, and students will be required to provide evidence that the items were lawfully obtained to have them returned so that they may be taken off campus.
  • Knowingly hosting persons that are restricted from campus or under a trespass notice or Persona Non-Grata (Not Welcome) notice;
  • Election Tampering – Tampering with the election of any university-recognized student organization.

2. Alcohol

Florida Institute of Technology is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of all students and employees. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of students and employees and to the security of our equipment and facilities. This guideline includes any conduct in conflict with the university’s Drug and Alcohol Policy

Consistent with Florida statute 562.111 and Federal law, the minimum legal drinking age is 21. Underage possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages, public intoxication, driving or operating a motor vehicle or other mode of transportation while under the influence of alcohol or other substance, distribution or sale of alcohol, possession of a common source container, or excessive or rapid consumption of alcohol are violations of this regulation. 

  • Possession, consumption, distribution, or being under the influence of alcohol by any person who is under the age of 21 is prohibited.  
  • Possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol in any common space including but not limited to outdoor spaces and indoor hallways, stairwells, lounges, or bathrooms is prohibited.  
  • Public intoxication is the appearance on campus or at a university activity in a state of intoxication.  
  • Facilitating, arranging, or participating in any alcohol consumption activity that facilitates or encourages competitive, rapid, or excessive consumption of alcohol regardless of age is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to keg standing, alcohol luges, and drinking games.  
  • Containers of alcoholic beverages over 1.75 L including but not limited to wine, beer, liquor, mini-kegs, beer balls, trash cans, tubs, or punch bowls are prohibited. 

Amnesty Florida Tech students who seek immediate assistance for any student known to be experiencing a serious health crisis, including one resulting from high-risk drinking, the abuse of other drugs, or hazing may be eligible for exemption from disciplinary action. Additionally, the student who is the subject of the drug and/or alcohol and/or hazing-related crisis may not receive disciplinary action. In order for the amnesty process to apply, such students need to seek assistance immediately by contacting Campus Security, Residence Life staff, or by calling 911. Although students who qualify for amnesty may be exempt from the Student Conduct Process, they may be required to complete educational measures. For parental notification regarding medical transport, please refer to definitions for more details.

3. Computer and Network Misuse

In accordance with the university's Acceptable Use Policy, cryptocurrency mining and other computing activities that may consume an unusually large amount of electricity or bandwidth are prohibited in university Housing. 

It is also a violation to recklessly or maliciously interfere with or damage computer or network resources or computer data, files, or other information; engage in or attempt to engage in a denial of service; use University resources to illegally distribute copyrighted material; fail to comply with laws, license agreements and contracts governing network, software and hardware use; or to use University computing resources for unauthorized commercial purposes or personal gain, or violate any other Information Technology policies.

 4. Controlled Substances

Use, consumption, possession, sale, manufacture, trafficking, or transfer of any illegal drug, controlled substance as defined by state,  federal law, or the university’s Drug and Alcohol Policy or central nervous system stimulant, hallucinogenic, barbiturate, or other substance treated as such to alter the mind (including Delta 8 THC-O and Delta 9 THC-O). 

  • Possessing any type of drug-related paraphernalia, equipment, products, or materials of any kind which are known to be used, intended for use, or designed for using, selling, manipulating, or manufacturing drugs
  • Illegally or inappropriately using any substances with the intention to cause intoxication or hallucinations
  • Abusing or misusing one’s own prescribed drugs
    • Note that the State of Florida’s Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act does not change the university’s prohibition regarding the possession, use, provision of, or sale of cannabis or otherwise authorize individuals to use medical cannabis on campus. Federal law, including the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, continues to prohibit cannabis. Thus, cannabis possession or use, even if in compliance with the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, is prohibited on campus.
    • Students who violate university policy that bars the use or possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia on the university's campus or in university-owned or leased space (including housing) or at any university-sponsored events or activities are subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Such violations may also result in criminal liability. Visitors or guests who violate university policy may be removed from university property.

5. Damages

Intentional, reckless, and/ or unauthorized damage to or destruction of university property or property of a member of the university community is prohibited. Any damage by students to university property will be charged to the student's account after an assessment has been made. While the university will not pursue the collection of debts between students, upon a finding of responsibility for theft or damage, a hold may be placed on a responsible student’s account until proof of restitution can be made.

Prorated charges may be assigned to students for damage to public/common areas such as hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, lounges, etc. Every effort will be made to identify specific individuals and groups responsible for common area damage. When specific individuals are not identified in residential areas, the cost of repair or replacement may be divided equally among the floor or area of residents.

6. Dangerous Items

Except as required by law, unauthorized use, possession, or storage of any weapon, explosive or hazardous material by a student at university-sponsored activities or on university premises (including the storage of a dangerous item in a vehicle parked on university property) is prohibited.  A weapon includes any item designed to inflict a wound or cause injury to another person or property and may include items used to harass, threaten, intimidate, assault, or commit battery. The term “dangerous items” includes, but is not limited to items specified in the Campus Security Weapons policy and swords, fireworks, firearms, air guns, paint pellet guns, knives with a blade longer than 4 inches, ammunition, destructive devices, hazardous chemical, biological agent, martial arts weapons, bombs, or hazardous materials, any other item the university deems dangerous. 

The university reserves the right to confiscate any unlawful dangerous items and refer students to discipline or law enforcement as appropriate.

Any dangerous item will be confiscated and will be destroyed or discarded.

 7. Disruptive Behavior

Disorderly, disruptive, or obscene conduct or breach of peace that intentionally or recklessly interferes with normal university-sponsored activities or the rights of other community members on or off university property.  Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to: 

  • Any activity or behavior that interferes with the learning process or disrupts the learning environment, such as violations of classroom rules and expectations established by the course instructor and communicated to the students via the syllabus or classroom discussion at the outset of the course or once the course is underway if all students are reasonably notified of expectations. 
  • Interfering with the freedom of expression of others. 
  • Public Indecency—Engaging in lewd, indecent, obscene conduct, public intoxication, or indecent exposure. 
  • Climbing or scaling the exterior of any university building or otherwise gaining or providing unauthorized entry, access, or use of university premises, facilities, systems, or property, including trespassing (i.e. entering and/or assisting another individual to enter restricted campus property without proper authorization, e.g. climbing a fence, entering a locked gate, accessing a rooftop area, or entering or exiting through a windowing), unauthorized use of alarm doors for entry or exit from a university facility, and/ or not being approved during break periods to remain on campus). The Access Control Policy defines the responsibilities and outlines the procedures for regulating access to Florida Tech, including but not limited to, loaning, transferring, duplicating, altering, or disposing of hard keys or ID cards.
  • Intentionally or recklessly damaging or destroying university property or the property of others.
  • Loud, threatening, or aggressive behavior. 
  • Obstruction of the student conduct process or other protected activities - Attempting to influence the impartiality of any witness or individual participating in or submitting a statement to a university official. Attempting to harass (verbal or physical) and/ or intimidate a member of the residential life staff or a university conduct board member prior to, during, and/ or following a conduct proceeding. Engaging in retaliation including words or action(s) taken against an individual because of the individual’s participation in a protected activity that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in such. Retaliation may include intimidation, threats, coercion, physical harm, and/or other adverse actions. Protected activity includes an individual’s participation in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Additionally, protected activity includes an individual’s opposition to policies, practices, and/or actions that the individual reasonably believes are in violation of the Student Code of Code. Retaliation may be found even when an underlying report made in good faith was not substantiated. Retaliation may be committed by the charged student, the complainant, or any other individual or group of individuals.
  • Failure to immediately evacuate a university building on the sounding of the fire alarm.  Occupants must evacuate a building to rally points sufficient to ensure their safety and allow for accounting of all occupants.  Occupants and residents may not re-enter the building at any time or for any reason while the alarm is sounding unless instructed to do so by the university staff, security, or local officials. 
  • Unapproved solicitation or business operations - Soliciting for charity or business purposes in campus buildings or on the grounds by anyone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by university administration. The sale of items by campus organizations must be approved in advance by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. Sending any solicitation or bulk mailing through university campus mail will not be permitted. Business operations on campus are generally not permitted and may not be run through the campus postal center. Additional solicitation policies apply inside the residence halls, please see the University Housing Living Guidelines for more information.
  • Wheeled devices: skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles, scooters, and similar wheeled devices are prohibited to be on rails, curbs, benches, or any fixture that may be damaged by these activities.
  • Any lesser included offenses defined under Title IX but not covered due to jurisdictional issues under that law or non-gender-based misconduct such as stalking, harassment, or violence. Please refer to the definitions under the Title IX policy.

8. Failure to Comply

  • Failure to comply with the directives of university officials or agents (including faculty/ staff, campus security officer, or residential life paraprofessional staff-resident assistant, resident director, or graduate assistant).
  • Failing to accurately identify oneself or present appropriate identification when requested to do so by any paraprofessional, professional faculty/staff member, university official, or Campus Security officer (students must have a Florida Tech University Identification Card in their possession at all times and must surrender the ID upon request by any university staff, faculty, or administrator).
  • Failing to comply with the directions of any law enforcement officer or emergency response personnel acting within the performance of his/her duties, including failing to accurately identify oneself or present appropriate identification when requested to do so.
  • Failing to comply with Campus Security Motor Vehicle Operation or Parking rules
  • Failure to comply with disciplinary outcomes
  • Failure to comply with the Academic Catalog policies

9. Fire Safety

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) became law in August 2008. It requires all United States academic institutions to produce an Annual Fire Safety Report outlining fire safety practices, standards, and all fire-related on-campus statistics. For more information regarding fire safety and Section 806.10 of the Florida statutes, please visit http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes.

  • Fire Alarms/Emergency Evacuation
    • Fire alarms are installed in all buildings for protection. They should be used ONLY in emergencies. Individuals are responsible for learning proper escape routes and for cooperating in orderly evacuations when necessary. When a fire alarm goes off, quickly close windows, wear shoes, carry a towel or article of clothing to cover your mouth, and leave the room with the door CLOSED and UNLOCKED. Stay low to the floor in corridors, crawling if necessary, to avoid the danger of smoke inhalation
    • All occupants MUST immediately evacuate the impacted building. It is an offense to fail to immediately exit any impacted facility or building during an active alarm, disobey a command by any university or emergency response personnel l in connection with a safety or security matter, or hinder or impair the orderly evacuation during an alarm. Each person is expected to remain at a safe location until a university official provides further instruction.
  • Fire Extinguishers - Extinguishers are to be used only in case of a fire emergency. A water extinguisher should NEVER be used to extinguish a fire originating from an electrical outlet or an electrical breaker box. A staff member should be notified if it has been necessary to use an extinguisher, regardless of the cause. No person(s) should tamper with, misuse, damage, remove, interfere with, or unnecessarily activate fire and safety equipment, including but not limited to fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, exit signs, emergency lighting, heat sensors, and hoses.
  • Smoke Detectors - Current fire regulations require room smoke detectors. This is an important safety device for the benefit of the occupant. Any individual who willfully removes, damages, destroys, or disables a smoke detector or its contents will be charged current replacement costs and be subject to disciplinary action. If any alarm in the building is broken, please report to the Office of Security and contact the Office of Facilities Operations at 321-674-8038 or facilities@fit.edu or submit a Facilities Service Request.
  • Tampering with Emergency Equipment
    • Causing a false fire alarm by pulling an alarm box or through a telephone call or tampering with alarm equipment, tampering with building and/or room smoke detectors, pull stations (including pull station covers), fire extinguishers, fire placards, fire exit signs, or any other fire safety equipment is prohibited.
    • Misuse of a fire extinguisher, Emergency Evac-Stair Chair, or tampering with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) can be considered a violation of state and local laws as well as a disregard for the safety and rights of others. Misuse of emergency equipment is considered a serious violation and will result in disciplinary action including possible suspension from Florida Tech as well as a civil action.
    • Examples of tampering include, but are not limited to, covering smoke detectors, removing batteries from smoke detectors, removing fire placards or fire exit signs, and discharging fire extinguishers.
    • Preventing or obstructing the extinguishment of fire is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  • Policies on Smoking, Open Flames, and Portable Appliances - By Florida State Statute, Florida Clean Indoor Act, smoking is prohibited inside all buildings. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of any building. Electronic cigarettes are treated the same as regular cigarettes and may not be used in any building or within 25 feet of any building. See also, Florida Tech's Smoking Policy. Candles, incense, wax melt systems, kerosene lamps, space heaters, lighter fluid, charcoal, gasoline or other combustible fuels (e.g. propane, Sterno, etc.), halogen lamps, containers for storing combustible fluids (including any apparatus fueled by combustible fluids whether filled with fuel or not [e.g. gas-powered tools]), any device with an open coil (e.g. hotplates), toaster ovens, any device with a flame, decorations affixed to doors, walls, and ceilings that are not made of non-combustible material or properly treated with fire retardant material, extension cords without a surge protector, are prohibited in university facilities. The use of outdoor cooking equipment is restricted to designated areas only. Note the reference to prohibited items in this policy statement.

10. Guest Policy

Hosts and their guests are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations of the university. Hosts are responsible for informing guests of university policies. Hosts are responsible for the actions of their guests and may face disciplinary action for any policy violation of their guests. Guests that violate policies may be removed from the residence halls and/ or may lose their privileges to be a guest.

  • A host is defined as any currently enrolled student who entertains any individual in the host’s assigned campus housing unit/ building/ section, or who accompanies a non-student anywhere on campus.
  • A guest is defined as any person who is present in a residential housing unit other than the one to which they are assigned and is the responsibility of the host resident of the room.
    • Hosts must always accompany their guests in the residence halls/ building/ section. Hosts may not leave their guests in their rooms/apartments unattended.
    • A guest must possess picture identification and produce identification at the request of any university official. Guests without identification or who refuse to produce identification may be escorted from campus.

11. Harmful Behavior

Any conduct that imperils or jeopardizes the health, safety, or well-being of any person or the university community or that communicates a significant expression of intent to harm any person or the university community. The use of threatening words or actions that are likely to or do cause emotional distress; words alone are not a justification for engaging in violence.  These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Engaging in the use of physical force or violence to intimidate or inflict harm to others or the university property, such as but not limited to causing physical harm to any person or causing reasonable apprehension of such harm, fighting, or physical violence.
  • Attempting or threatening to subject another person to unwanted physical or verbal contact. Forms of harassment, intimidation, or exploitation as described in the university Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures (including the improper use of any imaging device - it is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct for a person to knowingly spy upon, observe, or otherwise view (using equipment such as webcam, video camera, digital camera, etc.), photograph or cause to be photographed any individual who is in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Following another person in or about a public place or private place. 
  • Directing obscene language or gestures at another person or group of people. 
  • Directing verbal abuse at another person. 
  • Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive social or educational environment based on any individual’s race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, ancestry, citizenship, familial status, homeless status, or any other legally protected characteristic.
  • Physical abuse or causing cruel treatment to an animal (unless collateral to an experiment approved for Academic purposes by the Provost).
  • Smoking the university’s smoking policy limits smoking or vaping on campus to designated locations. By Florida State Statute, Florida Clean Indoor Act (FCIAA) 386.201, smoking is prohibited inside all buildings. Refer to the university Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy for details about designated outdoor smoking areas and policies (see Campus Map).
  • Hazing - Any action, verbal or nonverbal, in conflict with the university’s policy on hazing as stated below. Hazing may include a single action or a series of actions. Florida state law defines hazing as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or perpetuation or furtherance of a tradition or ritual of any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution. Hazing includes, but is not limited to, pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, or forced consumption of any food, alcoholic beverage, drug or other substance. Any reference to force in this policy includes by definition the use of duress or coercion. 
    • Hazing includes any other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student, and any activity that would subject the student to significant mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment or any other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual. Among prohibited activities are forced or coerced activities that create excessive fatigue, cause physical and psychological shocks, involve kidnapping, morally questionable quests, treasure hunts or scavenger hunts or any other such activities, involve publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not generally in good taste, cause students to engage in public stunts, and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities or late-night activities that interfere with academic endeavors. Also prohibited are any activities that violate federal, state, or local laws, the Student Code of Conduct, or accepted good taste or propriety standards. For purposes of university policy, any activity described in this paragraph upon which the admission into or affiliation with an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be forced or coerced activity. It is not a defense to a charge of hazing that the victim’s consent had been obtained or that the conduct or activity was not part of an official organizational event, was not sanctioned/approved by the organization, or was not done as a condition of membership to the organization. 
    • New member orientation and development programs must be constructive and strive to make individuals a part of the larger group by mutually understanding objectives and participating in programs. 
    • According to Florida State Law:  A person commits hazing, a third-degree felony, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s.775.083, when they intentionally or recklessly commit, solicit a person to commit, or are actively involved in the planning of any act of hazing as defined by state law upon another person who is a member or former member of or an applicant to any student organization and the hazing results in permanent injury, serious bodily injury or death of such other person. A person commits hazing, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s.775.082 or s.775.083, when they intentionally or recklessly commit, solicit a person to commit, or are actively involved in the planning of any act of hazing as defined by state law upon another person who is a member or former member of or an applicant to any student organization and the hazing creates a substantial risk of physical injury or death to such other person.  For more information regarding hazing and Section 1006.63 of the Florida statutes, please visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/statutes.   

12. University Policies

Violation of published university regulations or policies or those established for any area or academic unit by those having jurisdiction over it, including, but not limited to, Security, Residence Life, Housing, Financial Aid, Health Services, Evans Library, Information Technology, and the University Registrar.

13. Violations of local, state, and federal laws. 

B. Definitions

The following definitions apply to the Code of Student Conduct: 

  1. Administrative Agreement - Students or organizations may choose to acknowledge their responsibility and plead “in violation” to pending allegations of violations of university policy and pursue an Administrative Agreement. An Administrative Agreement is a “contract” process between a student or organization and a designated Hearing Officer that seeks to establish mutually agreed-upon outcomes for improper behavior. At any point during the discussion, either the university official or the student/organization may choose to not complete the administrative agreement and move the case to the appropriate hearing body for resolution. Once approved, finalized agreements, that have been reviewed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee (VPSA), are not appealable as they are, by definition, voluntary and a means of final resolution of pending issues.  
  2. Administrative Hearing: Students or organizations may choose to have allegations they face heard by a Hearing Officer who will investigate the matter by hearing from the student and their witnesses and then examining any other information they deem relevant to determine whether responsibility exists. If responsibility is determined to exist, the Hearing Officer shall make a sanction recommendation to the VPSA.  
  3. Administrative Hearing Officer: Refers to any university official who has been authorized by the VPSA to determine whether a student has violated the student code of conduct, and to impose sanctions (upon the review of the VPSA). 
  4. Administrative Sanction Fee: Students shall bear the costs of educational sanctions requiring online modules (i.e. for 2024-2025 academic year, alcohol module - $25, controlled substances module - $75, and academic integrity module - $25), anger management assessments (student must arrange and pay all associated costs), etc.
  5. Business day refers to the days and operating hours that the university is open for official business; typically Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding official university holidays.
  6. Case, case file, or disciplinary or conduct record- refers to all file(s) associated with a specific reported incident. These files are confidential and considered part of a student’s educational record pursuant to FERPA.
  7. Community Standards Board (CSB)- functions as the upper-level disciplinary body of the university for resolving allegations of major violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
    • The Board is composed of three students and two faculty/staff. Their responsibilities will include determining whether the accused is in violation or not in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and recommending sanctions to the VPSA. A separate non-voting (except in ties) chair, appointed by the VPSA will coordinate the council and chair the meetings.
    • The student panel shall be constituted of those students selected by the Student Government Association to sit on the Peer Standards Board.
    • Two faculty are selected by the VPSA from recommendations of the university’s deans as to faculty who are familiar with the behavioral expectations and the curricular and co-curricular aspects of Florida Tech student life.
    • Vacancies resulting from a failure to perform duties (determined by a three-quarter vote of the CSB) or resignation will be filled through the approval of recommendations made to the VPSA by the Student Government Association for students and through the university deans for faculty members.
    • Members of the CSB who are charged with a violation of this Code, a criminal offense, or other improprieties may be suspended from their positions by the VPSA during the review of allegations of improper behavior. Members found responsible for any such violation or offense may be disqualified from any further participation in the administration of the university conduct system at the discretion of the VPSA.
    • Four members, with at least two students and a faculty member, will constitute a quorum. A quorum is necessary for the CSB to review allegations brought before it unless the accused waives this right upon direct inquiry after being informed of said right.
    • An ad hoc hearing board may be established by the VPSA whenever the regular hearing board is not constituted, is unable to obtain a quorum, or is otherwise unable to hear a case (e.g. opening, finals, or vacation periods).
  8. Complainant - any person or entity that has been impacted by another student’s misconduct and files a complaint, or on whose behalf a complaint is filed. 
  9. Conduct Advisor – refers to a current member of the Florida Tech faculty, staff, or student body who assists a student through the disciplinary process.  A conduct advisor cannot actively participate in disciplinary meetings or conferences (e.g., presenting the student’s information about the violation or questioning witnesses or the complainant).  Disciplinary meetings or conferences are not legal proceedings.  As such, attorneys are not permitted, except in violations under Title IX, where advisors can be any person chosen by the student.
  10. Confidentiality: All cases involving violations of university policy are considered generally confidential with a few exceptions: 
    • notification of parents/guardians in emergencies or cases of alcohol and drug violations;  
    • notification of those university authorities with an educational need to know (e.g. coaches, advisors, CARE team members, and hearing officers) as determined by the VPSA.
    • Information from disciplinary files is not available to persons on campus without an educational need to know nor to any person off campus without the express consent of the student involved, except under legal compulsion, in cases where the safety of persons or property is involved, or under the exception providing for informing alleged victims of violent crimes (assault, etc.).  
  11. Disciplinary Hearing or Disciplinary Conference - refers to the process a student conduct officer or board uses to review the report of an alleged violation to determine whether a violation of the student code of conduct has occurred and, if so, to impose sanctions. 
  12. Faculty member: means any member of the university that has the responsibility to teach, facilitate classroom activities, conduct research, or who is otherwise considered by the university to be a member of its faculty.
  13. Incident - refers to any act or an attempt alleged to violate the student code of conduct or university processes. 
  14. Intake Interview – the initial part of the conduct/disciplinary process in which the student is afforded the ability to learn about the policies/regulations and associated resolution processes and allegations before selecting a resolution option and responding to said allegations.
  15. Investigation – refers to the process and methods used to seek additional information in order to decide whether a student code of conduct response is appropriate.
  16. Medical Transport – refers to any student who is transported for medical reasons by Emergency Medical Services or other. Under FERPA, the university may contact a parent(s) and/ or guardian(s) for medical reasons.
  17. Organization – means any group of students that are recognized and/ or registered by Florida Tech as a student organization or club or a non-recognized group of students that participates in university-related activities as an affiliated organization.
  18. Peer Standards Board (PSB): This board functions as the lower level adjudicating body of the University for resolving allegations of minor violations of the Code of Student Conduct:
    • PSB consists of five students who are selected through the Student Government Association and approved by the VPSA or designee.
    • Vacancies due to a failure of the student body to select or due to the representatives’ failure to perform assigned duties (determined by a three-quarter vote of the board) or resignation will be filled through recommendations tendered by the Student Government Association upon soliciting recommendations from the appropriate living area representative bodies and approval of the VPSA or designee. Interim boards may be constituted by the VPSA to allow for timely hearing procedures.
    • Members of the PSB who are charged with a violation of this Code or with a criminal offense may be suspended from their positions by the VPSA or designee during the pendency of the charges against them. Members found responsible of any such violation or offense may be disqualified from any further participation in the administration of the University judicial system at the discretion of the VPSA or designee.
    • The PSB Chief Justice and an Associate Justice will be selected by the Assistant Justices of the Board and will preside over cases before the PSB.
    • The PSB is trained and advised by the VPSA or designee.
    • Three members, inclusive of the chair, will constitute a quorum. A quorum is necessary for the PSB to review allegations brought before it unless the accused waives this right upon direct inquiry after being informed of said right.
    • An ad hoc hearing board may be established by the Dean of Students or designee whenever the regular hearing board is not constituted, is unable to obtain a quorum, or is otherwise unable to hear a case (e.g. opening, finals, or vacation periods).
  19. Preponderance – means more likely than not.  The standard used for decision-making in the Student Code of Conduct is the preponderance of evidence standard. 
  20. Predetermined Outcome – refers to a decision provided by a conduct officer to resolve low-level allegations without a meeting (full hearing opportunities are available to a student provided such an outcome)
  21. Policy – refers to the written regulations of the university found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, University Housing Living Guide, Housing Contract, University Catalog, and the University Policy website.  
  22. Respondent: any student or student organization that has been accused of committing a violation of this Student Code of Conduct.
  23. Sanction - A sanction is any action affecting the status of a student which is taken by the University in response to misconduct. The purpose of such action will be to maintain behavioral expectations which uphold the educational mission of the community as well as to help students recognize acceptable boundaries to their actions/activities and the consequences of future behavior choices and allow them to mitigate any harm done the community. In recommending and determining a sanction, the hearing board, administrative hearing officer or the Dean of Students or designee may consider the student’s present demeanor and past disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, injury or resulting harm, and other relevant factors.
  24. Standards Boards – two boards are in place to hear minor and major allegations of violations of Policy – the Peer Standards Board and the Community Standards Board.
  25. Student - means any individual admitted, enrolled, or registered for study at Florida Tech. The term “student” also refers to any resident non-students, campers, and high school bridge/ extension/ partner/ dual enrolled and continuing education programs by contractual agreements as well as all recognized or registered University affiliated clubs or student organizations.
  26. University - means Florida Institute of Technology, also referred to as Florida Tech.
  27. Violation Types: Assignment of violation type is the responsibility and at the discretion of the VPSA based on the following benchmarks:  
    • Major Violations: Violations of the Code of Student Conduct considered to be major include:  
      • three or more violations or misbehavior;  
      • damage or vandalism greater than $500.00;  
      • theft, attempted theft, or conversion;  
      • failure to comply with a disciplinary sanction; 
      • failure to comply with University agents;  
      • aggravated intolerance, harassment, threat and/or assault of another;  
      • risk to the health and safety of other community members (damage to access system, etc.); 
      • fire safety policy violations, including, but not limited to, tampering with a fire apparatus, reckless misuse of fire safety equipment, and covering of a smoke detector; and 
      • Possession with intent to sell and the sale of illegal substances including, but not limited to, marijuana. 
    • Minor Violations: Violations of the policy considered minor are those not listed under the definition of major violations, and include, but are not limited to:
      • first non-disruptive Alcohol Policy violations;  
      • unauthorized entry to, or use of University property, equipment or resources, including but not limited to the telephone system, mail system, computer system, vehicle keys, buildings and furnishings, roofs of University-owned or operated buildings and service tunnels, or the duplication of keys; 
      • damage or destruction or misuse of any University property, or property of others on University premises 
      • rough play in University buildings or on University premises,  
      • Guest policy violations; and  
      • Quiet Hours policy violations.  
  28. Witness: a person who has relevant information to provide to a Student Conduct Officer in an effort to determine whether or not a violation has taken place.

C. Student Rights & Responsibilities During the Student Conduct Process

  • Pending action on conduct violations, the student’s status shall not be altered or their right to be present on campus or attend classes suspended.  However, because situations may arise and may not be fully covered by the Student Code of Conduct, the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students is granted the authority to exercise their good judgment in emergency situations and may institute interim action, up to and including suspension, pending the outcome of the conduct process.
  • All matters defined under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy will be addressed under that policy (those behaviors which fall under the definitions of the Title IX policy that are considered to be outside of the jurisdictional definitions of the policy will be addressed through the Code of Student Conduct procedures).
  • The student has the right to be assisted by an advisor who must be a current member of the Florida Tech faculty, staff, or student body.  An advisor, however, is not eligible to participate in the disciplinary conference (e.g., by presenting the student’s information about the alleged violation or questioning witnesses or the student allegedly in violation).  Disciplinary conferences are not legal proceedings.  As such, attorneys are not permitted.
  • The student has the right to present information and witnesses on their behalf and the right to examine witnesses presented by the university. 
  • A student who withdraws from the university after being charged with a violation will not be exempt from university disciplinary action and will be unable to re-register pending resolution of disciplinary charges, or the matter may be heard in absentia.
  • A student who is alleged to be in violation will be ineligible to graduate until disciplinary action on the violation has been completed and the Student Conduct Office confirms eligibility to graduate.  If the disciplinary action results in suspension, the student will be ineligible to graduate until the term of the suspension has been served.
  • A student with an alleged violation before the end of a semester, where there is not sufficient time to hold a disciplinary conference before the semester ends, will be given a disciplinary conference as soon as possible, but no later than the second week of the next semester or term in which the student is registered.
  • All disciplinary conferences are closed.  A student with an alleged violation may request, in writing, permission from the Student Conduct Office for the disciplinary conference to be open to a particular person or persons.  If, in the opinion of the Director of Student Conduct, the presence of said persons will cause substantial disruption to the disciplinary conference or if the number of persons exceeds the space limitations of the room for in-person conferences, the request may be denied.
  • In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the university may release information pertaining to an individual’s disciplinary conferences to appropriate college personnel, to the parents of dependent students, to parents of students under the age of 21 involved in alcohol or drug violations, and to victims of crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses.  With those exceptions, information from the student’s disciplinary file will not be made available to anyone other than the student without that student’s written consent. 
  • Individuals who have been suspended or dismissed for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be issued a Persona Non-Grata statement in which it will specify that they are barred from any public or private space in or on property in which Florida Tech has an ownership interest or which is otherwise operated by the institution (including, but not limited to, the academic, residential, athletic, social, and auxiliary spaces either directly contiguous to or detached from the main campus facilities), or at any event sponsored or co-sponsored by Florida Tech or one of its entities or organizations (including but not limited to recruitment, athletic, or community events).

D. Procedures/Guidelines for the Resolution of Violation Allegations

Any act that is a violation of or an attempt to violate the Student Code of Conduct or university processes may establish cause for disciplinary action by the university.  Acts committed before admission or enrollment may subject students to disciplinary action by the university. Notification to students will be either hand delivered, sent by certified mail, and/ or sent via Florida Tech university email. Students are responsible for reading all communications from university administration, faculty and staff sent to their @my.fit.edu email address. It is important that all students check their email at this address daily.   

  1. Any individual member of the university community may initiate a review of an incident for potential disciplinary proceedings for an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct or student violation of other University policies or guidelines.  The complaint should be submitted in writing to the Student Conduct Office within thirty days of the date the complainant became, or should have become, aware of the identity of the party alleged to be responsible for the incident, however, this timeline may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct. (The sexual harassment policy/Title IX policy should be consulted as to the appropriate timeline for such matters). Despite an individual waiting longer, it becomes harder for university officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations. Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond to the complaint. Those who are aware of the misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the Office of Student Conduct and/ or Campus Security.
  2. After a preliminary investigation, the Director of Student Conduct or designee determines if there is sufficient information to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
  3. If it is determined that there is sufficient information, the designated Conduct Officer initiates disciplinary proceedings by sending a predetermined outcome or disciplinary notice to the student or student group and may request an intake interview (opportunity to be briefed on policy and procedure before delving into allegation). Failure to respond within 5 business days will result in the matter being referred to the appropriate conduct hearing board.
  4. The responding student may select one of three options for resolution of the allegations: Administrative Agreement, Administrative Hearing, or Conduct Board Hearing.
  5. The administrative or conduct board hearing shall occur no earlier than 48 hours from the date of notification unless there is an agreement of all involved parties to an immediate hearing. 
  6. Cameras, camera phones, and audio/video recording devices other than those belonging to the university are not permitted at a hearing. 
  7. After the hearing, the Administrative Hearing Officer or conduct board may dismiss some or all disciplinary charges and/or make a judgment and assign a sanction on specific charges.  The standard by which decisions are made regarding whether a student is found responsible for a violation of university policy is based on a preponderance of information rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” 
  8. A letter confirming the decision will be sent to the student or group and a copy placed in the disciplinary file in the Student Conduct Office. 
  9. If there is a disagreement with the decision of the conduct officer or conduct board, the individual may request an appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students. 
  10. Appeals must be submitted in writing within five business days of the student receiving notification of the decision in the violation. 
  11. All written appeals must state specific reasons/rationale for requesting an appeal. 
  12. Students may request an appeal because  
  13. information not available at the time of the disciplinary conference/ hearing is now available and could reasonably be seen to potentially alter the outcome of the violation hearing;  
  14. the university disciplinary procedures were violated in a way that could have substantially affected the outcome of the violation, or  
  15. the sanction was disproportionately harsh and not justifiable compared to the nature of the violation and evidence presented. 
  16. The Student Conduct Office will inform the student of the decision regarding the appeal in writing. This decision by the Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students is the university’s final decision.

E. Deviation from Disciplinary Procedure & Finality Statements

Deviation from the above-listed procedures does not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless it causes significant prejudice against the student.  The student must immediately bring to the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students’ attention the belief that such prejudice occurred in accordance with the above-noted appeal guidelines. 

The Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students has the authority to resolve any student code of conduct violations, including the interpretation of policies and procedures.  The Vice President & Dean of Students has the authority to designate individuals to serve as Conduct Officers to resolve any alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  The Dean of Students’ decision is the university’s final decision unless there is an appeal of a hearing decision rendered by the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students or a credible allegation of bias on the part of the Vice President is made, in which case, the President may designate an official to render the university’s final decision. 

Sometimes, a mid-year review of standards, regulations, and policies will render a change in the university’s position. Such changes may include fee structures, academic offerings including majors and courses of study, disciplinary expectations, etc. These changes are communicated through the university’s official communications channels (e.g., student email), and students will be accountable for these updated policies and procedures upon publication.

F. Sanctions

Disciplinary actions that may be taken as a consequence of student misconduct, either by individuals or groups, include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Disciplinary Hold—A student status change that may preclude students from attending, registering, altering an academic schedule, receiving transcripts, or graduating. 
  2. Fines—A mandatory restitution or fines may be levied for any infraction. Funds collected from the assessment of such fines shall be maintained in a separate account and shall be used to mitigate damages or make campus improvements to directly benefit students at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students or designee.
  3. Disciplinary Warning—Issued to indicate that behavior violates University regulations and that continued misconduct or repetition of the behavior may bring more serious consequences. 
  4. Alternative Action—Alternative action may be required as part of a penalty and includes, but is not limited to, sanction in abeyance, educational programming, and training, counseling assessment, restriction or loss of privileges, restitution, apology, residential relocation, or community service.  Community service will be unpaid and benefit a charitable or nonprofit organization, including Florida Tech. 
  5. Removal from University Housing—A student’s housing contract is voided, and the individual is required to vacate university residential facilities permanently or for a specified period of time.  The student receives no refund of housing charges and forfeits the housing deposit. This is rarely utilized when the student is in the mandatory housing phase of their enrollment.
  6. Disciplinary Probation—A serious warning that defines a situation where further disciplinary action may result in either suspension or expulsion from the university.
  7. Restrictions-- Students may be denied specific campus privileges for a designated period of time, including participation in student organizations and other University sponsored events.  
  8. Restitution -- The student is required to make payment to the University or another for loss or damage to property.  
  9. Disciplinary Suspension—Separation from Florida Tech for a specified period of time, but no shorter than one semester, and requires the student to leave the university.  Return to campus may occur only with prior notification and approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students. Students returning to Florida Tech following a period of suspension will normally return on probation for a designated period of time.  
  10. Interim Action-- The Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students or designee has the authority to invoke an interim suspension or limit access to the University and its programs and properties until completion of the hearing if there appears to be a danger of the student causing harm to others or of self-harm, or if the student poses a threat to the well-being of the University community. In such cases, access to a hearing will be expedited (including, as necessary, through use of an ad hoc board constituted by the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students or designee for this purpose);  
  11. Expulsion—Permanent separation from the university without opportunity for readmission at any time and required to leave the university within the time determined and cannot be on university property without the prior notification and permission of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students. 
  12. Group/Organization Sanctions - In addition to the sanctions listed above, the following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations: Deactivation -- Loss of all privileges, including University recognition, for a specified period of time; and/or the loss of University housing for a group or organization.  

V. Student Rights and Responsibilities

A. Student Right to Freedom of Expression

All members of the university community should be able to express their views, including the opposition to other perspectives through words and actions that are civil and respectful of all.  Free inquiry and free expression, including the right to open dissent, are indispensable in achieving the goals of an academic community. 

To preserve these rights, all members of the university community have a responsibility to conduct themselves so that such rights may be exercised without interfering with the
rights of others and without fear of violence, injury, or interference. Freedom of protest is protected only if it does not unreasonably interfere with other protected
freedoms. Coercive activities employed by individuals or groups, either to repress legitimate dissent or to demonstrate dissent, are a threat to the openness of the academic community and will be dealt with as an extremely serious matter.

Orderly and peaceful demonstrations on campus are not forbidden unless they interfere with legitimate functions of the university. The following rules and regulations are adopted to maintain public order on the university campus and other university property.

  1. Any act that would violate federal, state, or local law if committed off campus is prohibited on campus or other university property.
  2. No unauthorized person shall interfere with reasonable and free access and normal use of any university building, classroom, or other university premises.
  3. No unauthorized person shall interfere with any individual or group’s freedom of movement or speech.
  4. When a speaker is the object of protest or controversy, no unauthorized person or persons shall take any sign or other demonstration impediments into the building where the speech is to occur.
  5. Every person who attends any lecture, speech, discussion, or public event shall behave in an orderly manner and treat others with courtesy. Acts of social and political protests should not violate standards of civility important to the achievement of educational purposes.
  6. No unauthorized person shall disrupt or interfere with classes, educational activities, or any events sponsored by any university officer or official, faculty group, or student group, nor shall any person or demonstration interfere with the right of a primary audience to hear and be heard.
  7. No unauthorized person shall use or threaten physical force, physical harassment, or physical obstruction.
  8. No person or persons shall use language or actions likely to provoke or encourage physical violence.
  9. No person or persons shall use, in public, language or gestures that are unreasonably abusive or obscene.
  10. No person or persons shall, without proper authority, occupy any university buildings or premises.

Procedures 

Any individual or group sponsoring a demonstration must meet with the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee before the event regarding the interpretation of the policy, approved location (Panther Plaza), times, and the complete procedures on demonstrations and dissentprocedures on demonstrations and dissent. When requested by the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee, persons engaged in any demonstration, meeting, or other occasions, on campus or on university property used for educational purposes, or on other university property, shall identify themselves in a manner satisfactory to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students or designee. Only peaceful demonstrations are appropriate in an academic community.

To safeguard the interests of all university community members, it is requested that those planning a demonstration inform the Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students as far in advance as is reasonably possible of any planned demonstration and the object of intended protest or other purposes. At any demonstration, meeting, or other occasion, judgment as to whether the regulations are being observed shall be made at the scene by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. Responsibility for exercising such judgment shall rest solely on the Vice President of Student Affairs or the designee. It must be emphasized that judgment as to whether the regulations are being observed shall not be exercised by demonstrators, those demonstrated against, or spectators, in contradiction to the expressed judgment of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, except at the risk of such individuals. Suppose the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee at the scene of any demonstration, meeting, or another gathering determines that one or more regulations are being breached. In that case, they will request the participants to modify their conduct to comply with the regulations, indicating briefly and informally the nature of the breach of regulations and their requested corrective action. All participants and spectators shall comply immediately, fully, and cooperatively with the requests of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee. Should any participant or spectator fail to comply with the requests of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, the individual shall be subject to removal from the campus or other university property and in the case of students, subject to disciplinary action by the university. After that, if, in the judgment of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, there appears to be a clear and present danger of injury to a person or property or a threat to disrupt university operations, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee shall seek the aid of security, the courts or other civil authority in maintaining or restoring order.

B.   Student Rights in the Classroom

Students have the right to be informed about the content and educational intent of a
course, and the procedures and standards by which they are to be evaluated. Accordingly, at the beginning of each course, students should be provided with:

  1. A syllabus of the course including content and objectives as appropriate.
  2. The policies that govern various factors used in the evaluation process and a description of the method by which the final grade will be determined. Factors to consider include homework, examinations, projects, papers, laboratory work, and attendance. Should changes in the content, procedures, or standards become necessary, the reasons for these changes should be explained to the class.
  3. A statement of the definition of academic dishonesty where such may be open to question. Particular attention should be paid to collaboration on out-of-class assignments. The official policy with regard to academic dishonesty is the Academic Integrity Policy.

C.   Student Rights to File a Formal Complaint

Students have the right to express concerns to the university informally or to file a formal complaint with the university. The university’s Student Complaint Policy and Resolution Process outlines those procedures.

D.   Student Right to Know

Florida Institute of Technology complies with both the Student Right to Know Act of 1990 and the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990.The Department of Security keeps statistics in compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, available on the Crime Awareness and Clery Act webpage.  These statistics are updated annually.  They are also available on request to other interested parties.

View Florida Tech’s

E.   Academic Expectations

Florida Tech expects all students to commit to achieving academic success and expects all faculty, course instructors, and academic and administrative staff to assist students in every way possible to sustain this commitment. 

All students are expected to: 

  1. Attend class and arrive/log in on time. For online courses that do not have set meeting times, log in regularly.
  2. Notify faculty members ahead of time when class absence is anticipated.  Students are responsible for material missed during absences, and it is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit assigned work.
  3. Recognize personal, primary responsibility for success or lack of success in each class.  Ask for help when needed.  Good communication with faculty, staff, and peers is vital to academic achievement.
  4. Develop a working knowledge of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  5. Purchase the textbooks and other required materials for each class at the beginning of the semester.
  6. Read the course syllabus carefully for each class and follow the outlined expectations.  Check and double-check due dates and procedures for completing assignments.
  7. Keep a calendar of assignments and examinations.  Understand that students are personally responsible for completing assignments on time, preparing for examinations, and knowing exam dates.
  8. Read assigned texts and other required materials carefully and comprehensively before class sessions or discussion board participation. Be prepared and ready to participate actively. 
  9. Participate in class through active listening, taking notes, asking questions, participating in discussions, engaging their mind in the topic matter, and respecting other viewpoints.
  10. Study outside of class by reviewing course notes regularly and studying in small groups with classmates.
  11. Participate in study sessions or extra class sections when offered.
  12. Use the “rule of thumb” of studying at least two to three hours per class or credit hour each week and recognize that some classes will require additional time.  This means a full-time student’s academic work can be equivalent to a full-time job, and part-time study requires a significant investment of time as well. This is important to keep in mind when considering other commitments.  
  13. Help themselves by using direct instructional assistance such as one-on-one tutoring, weekly study groups, and self-help materials as available.
  14. Know the name, office hours, and contact information for their academic advisor and faculty members.
  15. Check university email every day for essential messages and visit the university website for current information and general questions. For online classes, watch for in-course announcements.
  16. Learn how to use the library and other student resources.
  17. Develop a working knowledge of the Student Handbook and other important academic policies found in the University Catalog and on the policy website.

F. Student Organization Rights and Responsibilities

(Including Registered Student Organizations, Greek Life, Recreation, and Unrecognized Student Organizations)

The overall duty of Student Affairs is to enhance the well-being, personal development, and growth of our students. We engage students and registered student organizations through programs, services, and individualized opportunities that support the mission, vision, and goals of Florida Tech. It is the intent of this policy to promote the formation of diverse student organizations to enhance learning and a student’s educational experience at Florida Tech.

A Registered Student Organization (RSO) is a student group in support of a common purpose. RSOs recognized by the university are subject to the same regulations and procedures as individual students as stated in the Student Handbook and on Engage. In all situations, RSOs shall:

  1. Be comprised of eight or more active, matriculated student members
  2. Must have a stated purpose and a written constitution
  3. Attend all required training events and programs
  4. Have an advisor who is associated with the University
  5. Adhere to federal, state, and local laws
  6. Have a leadership team which includes a President, Vice President, and a Treasurer, at minimum.
  7. Utilize and keep their Florida Tech Engage portal up-to-date
  8. Annually complete the registration process

Florida Tech respects the right of students to associate in order to express commonly shared viewpoints but does not support or promote unregistered student groups. Students who knowingly affiliate with an unregistered student organization may be held individually and corporately responsible for actions stemming from membership in the organization.

Recognition and Rights of Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

There are three classifications of RSOs recognized by Florida Tech:

  1. Clubs and Organizations
  2. Club or Recreational Sports
  3. Fraternity and Sorority Life

Rights of RSOs: Clubs and Organizations

  • Reserving and using University spaces and facilities for events and meetings
  • Utilizing Florida TechEngage, including scheduling events on the University calendar
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities
  • Eligibility to apply for funding from the SAFC if all requirements have been met
  • Inclusion in various University publications
  • Use of the Florida Tech name
  • Eligibility to participate in the annual Student Involvement Fair
  • Access to all support services available within Student Involvement and Student Affairs
  • Additional resources may be found on Engage

Rights of RSOs: Club or Recreational Sports

Student athletic clubs comprised of non-scholarship student-athletes organized under Student Affairs. Sports clubs are not affiliated or regulated by the NCAA. Sports clubs that compete with clubs from other colleges and universities must do so under the direction of the Recreation Office.

  • All the rights permitted to RSOs: Clubs and Organizations (above)
  • Involvement in the Club Sports Council
  • Eligibility to apply for funding if all requirements have been met

(Note: NCAA Varsity Sports information can be found on the Florida Tech Athletics website.)

Rights of RSOs: Fraternity and Sorority Life

Fraternities and sororities are defined as private, voluntary associations with national and international affiliations with the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), National Interfraternity Conference (NIC) or those who follow the NIC Standards, National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) or National Association of Latino Fraternities (NALFO).

  • All the rights permitted to RSOs: Clubs and Organizations (above)
  • All social Greek-lettered organizations must be members of their respective council (IFC, CPH, or NPHC) and recognized by their (inter)national organization. The University will determine the appropriate council with input from the organization.
  • Eligibility to apply for funding through the Incentive Program, if all requirements have been met

 Responsibilities of Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

RSOs shall adhere to all policies set forth in the Student Handbook. Violation of the University Student Code of Conduct by these groups falls under the jurisdiction of the student disciplinary system. Consequently, all policies apply to Student Organizations collectively.

RSOs sanctioned or recognized by the university are subject to the same regulations and procedures as individual students. Additional information is as follows:

  • Violation of the University Student Code of Conduct by Clubs and Organizations or Club or Recreational Sports falls under the jurisdiction of the student disciplinary system, while Fraternity and Sorority Life falls under their respective Council (and may be addressed through the student disciplinary system at the end of the Council’s deliberations or concurrently at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students).
  • Any group charged with violating the University Student Code of Conduct should have the right to be represented by their president (or highest-ranking elected officer) at any university disciplinary conference.
  • An RSO’s misconduct need not be officially approved by the entire membership to be considered grounds for possible disciplinary action against the group.
  • There is no minimum number of members who must be involved in an incident before disciplinary action may be taken against the RSO.

An appropriate test to determine whether an RSO may be held accountable for the conduct of individuals is to ask whether it is likely that the individuals would have been involved in the incident if they were not members of the RSO or if, by action, the incident was encouraged, fostered or might have been prevented.

  • In cases where an RSO faces disciplinary action, each person participating in a violation may also be charged individually.
  • RSOs in violation of university policy are subject to a maximum sanction of termination of recognition by the university or any appropriate lesser sanction.
    • Lesser sanctions include, but are not limited to, probation, restriction or suspension of the privilege to sponsor programs or events, loss of university funding, removal of officers, restitution for damages, loss of facilities use, fines, or a written disciplinary warning.
    • Sanctions that suspend or limit the privileges of a group or organization shall have a set time duration, after which full privileges may be restored following a meeting with the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students or designee.
    • RSOs can appeal any disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Notwithstanding the above, RSOs may be subject to disciplinary action by their local or international governing bodies.

VI. Key Policies

A. Academic Policies

Academic Catalog
The academic catalog is the primary academic resource for all Florida Tech Students.  The catalog includes important information including academic policies, details on academic programs, and graduation requirements. 

B. Drug & Alcohol Policy

Students are subject to the university’s Drug and Alcohol Policy.  Additionally, students living in university housing are subject to the terms of the housing contract and the requirements and guidelines in the University Housing Living Guide.   

C. Information Technology Policies

The Florida Tech community has many IT resources available to it.  Access to these resources also come with responsibilities.

D. Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures

(Key Excerpts – see Full Policy and Resolution Procedures)

Florida Institute of Technology ("Florida Tech" or "University") prohibit students, employees, contractors, volunteers, and visitors (collectively, "community members") from engaging in discrimination and harassment based on any individual's race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, and any other legally protected characteristic. This prohibition applies to all of the University's educational programs and activities—including admissions—as well as all employment actions, including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, promotion, demotion, compensation, and benefits. Florida Tech will investigate all complaints made under this policy and, if necessary, take action to prevent the recurrence of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation and remedy its effects.

Background - This policy and complaint procedures are applicable to complaints that may arise under, and are intended to be consistent and compliant with, the procedural and substantive provisions of applicable state and federal law and regulations.

Applicability - All faculty, staff, and students of Florida Tech must comply with this policy to help foster an inclusive and safe academic and work environment. This policy applies to the perpetration of prohibited discrimination or harassment by one member of the University community (faculty, staff, student, or volunteer) against another. The policy may also apply where one of the involved or affected parties is a visitor or a contractor performing work on behalf of University.

Relationship to the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy - Complaints involving sexual harassment as defined by the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy shall be addressed exclusively through that policy and process. This policy addresses all other forms of sex-based discrimination, including sex-based harassment that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment as defined in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy.

Complaints of sexual violence and other forms of sexual misconduct that fall outside the scope of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy will be addressed through this policy as a form of sex discrimination. Sex in the previous sentences includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

Any person may file a complaint alleging discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy. Complaints may allege discrimination or harassment carried out by associates, students, or third parties. Complaints should be submitted in writing to the following University Designated Officials:

Disability Complaints

Rachel Densler
Accessibility Resource Specialist
321-674-8285
rdensler@fit.edu or accessibilityresources@fit.edu
Website: Accessibility

Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaints

Dennis Kwarteng
Title IX Coordinator
John E. Miller Building
321‑674‑8885
dkwarteng@fit.edu

Website: TIX

All Other Discrimination / Harassment Complaints

Jessica Vinson
Vice President Human Resources
321-674-8103
vinsonj@fit.edu

Website: HR

David McMahan
Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
321-674-8080
dmcmahan@fit.edu

Website: FIT-VPSA/DOS

A member of the administration, faculty, or staff that receives a complaint of discrimination or harassment shall immediately forward such complaint to the appropriate University Designated Official listed above.

Complaints of disability discrimination, including disability harassment, involving students, employees, or third parties will be processed pursuant to the College's Section 504 grievance procedures.

A complaint may also be filed with the above listed offices against institutional service providers, vendors, and other contractors. In such instances, Florida Tech shall determine, within its discretion, appropriate response and action.

Complaints involving prohibited discrimination, including harassment or retaliation, against a group or class of individuals, reflecting an apparent pattern and practice of discrimination, shall be investigated and addressed pursuant to these procedures by Florida Tech regardless of whether there is an identified Complainant.

E. Title IX Policy

Florida Tech is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and inclusive learning environment for students, faculty, and staff.  Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational institutions. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  Under Title IX, sexual misconduct is considered a form of sex discrimination, which is addressed by the Title IX Policy

Sexual Misconduct 

Florida Tech prohibits any form of sexual misconduct. When sexual misconduct is bright to the attention of the university, Florida Tech will take prompt and appropriate action to end the misconduct and prevent its recurrence. All students should be aware the university is prepared to take action to prevent and correct such behavior up to and including suspension, expulsion, or termination of employment. Individuals who engage in sexual misconduct ate subject to disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct Disciplinary Procedures, which may result in expulsion from the university.

Definition - Any sexual activity without consent given will be considered sexual misconduct.  Consent must be free of force, threat, intimidation, or coercion.  Consent is given by an affirmative verbal response or acts that are unmistakable in their meaning.  Consent cannot be given by a person who is asleep, intoxicated, incapacitated, or unable to communicate without impaired judgment.  Consent to one form of sexual activity does not mean consent is given to another type of activity or subsequent activities.  Consent is revocable at any time.  Sexual Misconduct includes sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Sexual Harassment

Attempting to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to subject a person to unwanted sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply; or create a sexually intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, social, or educational environment.  Sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviors, from the actual coercing of sexual relations to the intimidating or embarrassing emphasis of sexual identity.  This definition will be interpreted and applied consistently with generally accepted standards of mature behavior, academic freedom, and freedom of expression. 

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.  It occurs in various situations with a common element: the inappropriate introduction of sexual activities or comments into the work or learning situation.  Often sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power and contains elements of coercion, as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a criterion for granting work, study, or grading benefits. 

Sexual harassment can occur in any relationship involving faculty, staff, students, friends, or strangers.  Sexual harassment also involves relationships among equals.  Power relationships and social dependencies exist between students and may be exploited in ways that are damaging to either party.  Therefore, students should be aware of the offense that any unwelcome sexual advance may create.  Persistent requests for social encounters and favors, physical contact of a lewd type, indecent exposure, persistent requests for or realized sexual encounters, sexual crimes, and rape constitute sexual harassment when they are accompanied by one or more of the following terms or conditions: explicit or implicit promises or rewards for cooperation when there is a power imbalance, explicit or implicit threats of punishment for non-cooperation or intimidation that creates a hostile or offensive academic/work environment, interference with an individual’s scholastic/work performance, preventing an individual’s full enjoyment of educational/professional opportunities, or an action that induces conformance, stress, anxiety, fear or sickness on the part of the harassed person.  Implicit in the legal definition of sexual harassment is the assumption that sexual harassment prevents realizing the victim’s full potential as a student.  A person sexually harassing another who reports to them is thus depriving the victim of the freedom to do their job, whether as a student or employee.  Sexual harassment is unethical, unprofessional, and illegal behavior and will not be tolerated. 

Sexual Assault

Engaging in, or any attempt to engage in, any sexual or intimate act with another person without the other person’s consent or in circumstances in which the person is unable, due to age, alcohol/chemical or other impairment, mental deficiency, or incapacity to give consent.  It is the responsibility of the person initiating sexual or intimate activity to make sure the other person is capable of consenting to that activity. 

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Domestic Violence

Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Florida, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Florida. 

Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct (i.e. two or more incidents) directed at a specific person(s) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for one’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts (two or more) over time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose and used to pursue, harass, causes fear or emotional distress. Stalking in the State of Florida (FL Statue 784.048) is defined as:

  1. Willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows, harass, or cyberstalks another person;
  2. Aggravated stalking, which means willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another a person and makes a credible threat to that person;
  3. Willfully, maliciously, repeatedly follows or harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under age 16
  4. After injunction for protection or any court-imposed prohibition of conduct, knowingly, willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct 

The university encourages reporting of all sexual misconduct.  Florida Tech will take prompt and appropriate action to end the misconduct and prevent its recurrence.  All students have a right to report sexual misconduct by contacting one of the following: 

  • Title IX Coordinator, 321.674.8885 
  • Campus Security, 321-674-8111
  • Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, 321.674.8080 
  • Director of Residence Life, 321.674.7742 
  • Director of Student Involvement, 321.674.7371 
  • Director of Student Conduct, 321-309-3025
  • Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services/SWA, 321.674.8931 

More information on available resources, education, programming, and Title IX can be found at https://www.fit.edu/title-ix/

VII. Student Resources Quick Reference

A. Academic Resources

B.   Administrative Resources

C.   Campus Security Resources

  • Department of Security– Includes safety and security information 
    • Emergency phone: 321-674-8111 
    • Non-Emergency Phone: 321-674-8112 

E.   Emergency Procedure

For any life-threatening or medical/mental health emergency or if you are concerned about someone who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and/or has threatened bodily harm to self/others

Call 911 to contact local emergency services.

Then call Campus Securities emergency phone: 321-674-8111, so that they may provide triage and guide first responders to the campus incident location.

F. Information Technology Resources

G. Online and Off-Campus Student Resources

  • Florida Tech Online & Off-Campus (15-week semesters)
  • Florida Tech Online  (8-week terms) 

H. Student Wellness Resources

 

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