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.
Established in 1958, Florida Tech has produced successful alumni who have gone on to define standards in their fields of practice. In just a short period of time, the current cadre of students will find themselves amongst this august group, but not before they have been prepared for this role by Florida Tech. The university seeks to serve students in helping them in the pursuit of their academic and co-curricular endeavors. Every student has the reflexive responsibility to abide by the standards of the institution. It is each student’s responsibility to pursue the development of their character and talents in the institution’s diverse and varied environment. However, the hope is that students embrace the spirit which imbues these standards, regulations, and policies and find themselves part of the true Panther tradition.
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 to accountability regarding these standards, regulations, and policies. Each student’s pursuit of these endeavors through student government, recreational sports, interest organizations, campus employment, and internships will define their university experience. Student development happens at Florida Tech as much through the spiritual, cultural, social, and recreational events and engagement as in the classroom, so students are encouraged to make the most of their Florida Tech experience and become engaged in all the university has to offer.
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.
All Florida Tech students have both rights and responsibilities as members of the university community. Student rights are focused on the classroom experience, conduct processes, and providing opportunities for students to express themselves and raise questions, complaints, and grievances to the university.
Additionally, all Florida Tech students have responsibilities as members of the university community and are expected to comply with the rules and regulations set forth in the Student Handbook, as well as with the requirements in other university policies and regulations. Compliance with the requirements of the Student Handbook includes adhering to the directives of university officials or agents acting in good faith performance of their duties. Student compliance also includes abiding by the conditions of occupancy for all residents in campus housing and contractual terms in room and board contracts. Each student’s responsibility is to be familiar with the contents of the Student Handbook and other university policies and regulations.
Student Right to Freedom of Expression
All members of the university community should be able to express their views by words and actions and to express by words and actions their opposition to the views and opinions of others. 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 as long as 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.
Note: Demonstrations may occur only in the Panther Plaza.
Any act that would violate federal, state, or local law if committed off campus is prohibited on campus or other university property.
No unauthorized person shall interfere with reasonable and free access and normal use of any university building, classroom, or other university premises.
No unauthorized person shall interfere with any individual or group’s freedom of movement or speech.
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.
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.
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.
No unauthorized person shall use or threaten physical force, physical harassment, or physical obstruction.
No person or persons shall use language or actions likely to provoke or encourage physical violence.
No person or persons shall use, in public, language or gestures that are unreasonably abusive or obscene.
No person or persons shall, without proper authority, occupy any university buildings or premises.
No person or persons shall examine, disturb, or destroy university records without the person’s permission authorized to deal with such records.
Any individual or group sponsoring a demonstration must meet with the 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 dissent.
When requested by the 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 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 Office of the Dean of Students as far in advance as is reasonably possible of any planned demonstration, its proposed locale, and the object of intended protest or other purposes. At any demonstration, meeting, or other occasions, judgment as to whether the regulations are being observed shall be made at the scene by the Dean of Students or designee. Responsibility for exercising such judgment shall rest solely on the Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students or designee, except at the risk of such individuals. Suppose the Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students or designee. Should any participant or spectator fail to comply with the requests of the Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students or designee shall seek the aid of security, the courts or other civil authority in maintaining or restoring order.
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:
A syllabus of the course including content and objectives as appropriate.
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.
Statement of 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.
Student Rights and Responsibilities During the Student Conduct Process
Pending action by the Student Conduct Office 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 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.
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. Requests to present/examine witnesses must be made in writing to the Student Conduct Office at least 48 hours before the scheduled disciplinary conference.
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 Dean of Students, 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. The disciplinary file is not part of a student’s academic record, and no disciplinary decision (other than expulsion or suspension) may be recorded on the academic transcript.
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).
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.
A single, permanent Panther ID card is issued to all Florida Tech students. This card, when properly validated, entitles the student to use of applicable university facilities, access to the campus dining services and admission to specifically announced activities/events.
A student’s ID card is for the sole use of the individual to whom it has been assigned and is not transferable. The student assumes all liabilities for any charges arising from the use of the card. It is a violation to have or use another person’s Panther identification card.
There is a replacement fee for damaged, lost, or stolen cards. The ID card remains the university’s property and must be returned to Campus Security if the student withdraws during the academic year, is dismissed, or transfers.
On campus, students are responsible for carrying their Panther identification card with them at all times and presenting it to university officials or agents upon request. Students are strongly encouraged to wear lanyards to display their ID so that it is easily seen by a university official. If the Panther identification card is stolen, misplaced, or lost, notify Campus Security immediately.
Email Communication: Official University Communication
The Florida Tech email account is an official university communication medium. Student email addresses are TRACKS login name plus @my.fit.edu. The password is the TRACKS password. Email can be accessed at http://mail.my.fit.edu/.
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.
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:
Attend class and arrive/log in on time.For online courses that do not have set meeting times, log in regularly.
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.
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.
Develop a working knowledge of the Academic Integrity Policy.
Purchase the textbooks and other required materials for each class at the beginning of the semester.
Read the course syllabus carefully for each class and follow the outlined expectations. Check and double-check due dates and procedures for completing assignments.
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.
Read assigned texts and other required materials carefully and comprehensively before class sessions or discussion board participation.Be prepared and ready to participate actively.
Participate in class through active listening, taking notes, asking questions, participating in discussions, engaging their mind in the topic matter, and respecting other viewpoints.
Study outside of class by reviewing course notes regularly and studying in small groups with classmates.
Participate in study sessions or extra class sections when offered.
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.
Help themselves by using direct instructional assistance such as one-on-one tutoring, weekly study groups, and self-help materials as available.
Know the name, office hours, and contact information for their academic advisor and faculty members.
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.
Learn how to use the library and other student resources.
The overall duty of Student Life 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. In all situations, RSOs shall:
Be comprised of eight or more active, matriculated student members
Must have a stated purpose and a written constitution
Attend all required training events and programs
Have an advisor who is associated with the University
Adhere to federal, state, and local laws
Have a leadership team which includes a President, Vice President, and a Treasurer, at minimum.
Utilize and keep their Florida Tech Engage portal up-to-date
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
There are three classifications of RSOs recognized by Florida Tech:
Clubs and Organizations
Club or Recreational Sports
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 Life
Rights of RSOs: Club or Recreational Sports
Student athletic clubs comprised of non-scholarship student-athletes organized under Student Life. 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
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 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 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 the local or international governing bodies.
General University Policies
All Florida Tech students are required to adhere to university policies. General university policies are located on the policy website. Students must also adhere to departmental policies and policies within their academic units. Additionally, students who live in university housing are subject to the terms in the Housing Contract and requirements and guidelines in the University Housing Living Guide.
Information on key and frequently used policies and resources is included below for easy reference. As a reminder, all students are required to adhere to all university policies.
Academic Policies and Resources
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.
Academic Calendars The academic calendars contain important dates for the term and academic year.
Class Schedules The class schedules include information on courses being offered each term.
Office of Graduate Programs The Office of Graduate Programs provides additional support to graduate students and includes policies and deadlines specific to graduate programs.
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.
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 Owner: Student Conduct Office, Dean of Students
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.
Students are subject to all federal, state, and local laws, as well as Florida Tech rules and regulations, and are accountable to the applicable courts for any violations of such laws. A student is not entitled to greater immunities or privileges before the law than those enjoyed generally by other people. Students are subject to such reasonable disciplinary action as deemed appropriate, including suspension and expulsion, for violations of university policy or breaches of federal, state, or local laws. In general, university disciplinary action will not be brought against students for off-campus violations of law unless the matter constitutes a substantial disruption of or material interference with the legitimate purpose and interests of the university. However, the Dean of Students shall have the authority to hear and decide any individual or group violations of the Student Code of Conduct, regardless of where those violations occur, and reserves the right to enforce this code whether or not civil authorities have acted and regardless of any outcome of said action. The university may consider, but is not bound by, any civil or criminal action taken regarding the same violation by any court.
Any individual enrolled in a course or academic program offered by Florida Institute of Technology, whether degree-seeking or not, must comply with this policy and the guidelines and procedures contained within, as well as all local, city, county, state, and federal laws. Any act that violates or attempts to violate any of the student code or procedures contained herein may establish cause for disciplinary action by the university. The Student Code of Conduct applies throughout the student’s affiliation with the university. It applies to conduct both on-campus and off-campus, online, and through other electronic communication and media forms. The university may consider but is not bound by any civil or criminal action taken regarding the same violation by any court.
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.
Student Code of Conduct/Grounds for Disciplinary Action
Grounds for disciplinary action may include a) active violation, b) attempt to violate, or c) solicitation of or aiding another in committing a violation. Disciplinary action may be taken in any case in which an individual or group is found in violation of any of the prohibitions below.
The following conduct is prohibited:
Acts of dishonesty—All forms of dishonesty, including but not limited to:
Cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty or plagiarism as 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, 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, person, or business is prohibited.
Hacking—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 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.
Controlled substances—Use, consumption, possession, sale, manufacture, trafficking, or transfer of any illegal drug or controlled substance, as defined by state or federal law. Use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Actions in conflict with university Drug and Alcohol Policy or policies on illegal drugs as outlined in the University Housing Living Guide.
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 as long as all students are reasonably notified of expectations.
Interfering with the freedom of expression of others.
Failure to comply with the directives of university officials or agents acting in good faith performance of their duties.
Public Indecency—Engaging in lewd, indecent, obscene conduct, public intoxication, or indecent exposure.
Climbing or scaling the exterior of any university building.
Intentionally or recklessly damaging or destroying university property or the property of others, Loud, threatening, or aggressive behavior.
Unauthorized entry or use of university premises, facilities, systems, or property.
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.
Behaving in a manner that disrupts the regular operations of the university.
Dangerous items—Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of any weapon or explosive material, including, but not limited to, fireworks, firearms, air guns, paint pellet guns, knives, ammunition, destructive devices, or other dangerous articles or substances, any dangerous chemical or biological agent, martial arts weapons or bombs on university premises or at university-sponsored activities. Weapons and firearms are prohibited on campus or at any university-sponsored activities. A weapon includes any item designed to inflict a wound or cause injury to another person, any item used to harass, threaten, intimidate, assault, or commit battery; or any item the university deems dangerous.
Endangering or threatening conduct—Any conduct that imperils or jeopardizes the health, safety, or wellbeing of any person or the university community or that communicates a severe expression of intent to harm any person or the university community. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
Harassment—Any action, verbal or nonverbal, in conflict with the university’s policies on harassment as described below or in other university policies. Harassment may include a single action or a series of actions. Florida Tech affirms the principle that the university community should be an environment of work and learning for staff, faculty, students, and guests and free of all forms of harassment, intimidation, or exploitation, as described in the university Non-Discrimination Policy. The university is prepared to take action to prevent and correct harassment and individuals who engage in it are subject to disciplinary action.
Definition Harassment—The use of threatening words or actions that are likely to or do cause emotional distress. These include, but are not limited to:
Attempting or threatening to subject another person to unwanted physical or verbal contact.
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, or any other legally protected characteristic.
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.
As a condition of any sentence imposed under a violation of the Florida State Hazing Law, the court shall order the defendant to attend and complete a four-hour hazing education course. It may also impose a condition of drug or alcohol probation.
Stalking—Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person or persons that causes fear for their safety or the safety of others or substantial emotional distress in such person(s). 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.
Bias-Related Incidents—An action or behavior that constitutes an expression of hostility toward or prejudice against an individual or a group of individuals and is motivated in whole or part by the perpetrator’s bias. Bias incidents include but are not limited to actions, gestures, or speech that manifest because of a person’s perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender expression or identity.
Florida Tech prohibits any form of sexual misconduct. When sexual misconduct is brought 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 are 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, 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 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.
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:
Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services/SWA, 321-674-8931
More information on available resources, education, programming, and Title IX can be found on the Title IX webpage.
Violent Behavior—Engaging in the use of physical force or violence to intimidate or inflict harm to others or the university’s property, such as but not limited to causing physical harm to any person or causing reasonable apprehension of such harm, fighting or physical violence.
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 University Registrar.
Violations of local, state, and federal laws.
Responsibility for Guests
Students are responsible for informing their guests, both students and non-students, about university policies and are held accountable for the behavior of their guests.
Housing and Residence Life Policies and Procedures
All students who sign a University Housing Contract have agreed to abide by the terms of the contract and the specific policies described within the University Housing Living Guide.
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. Students who attempt to conceal or fail to disclose information that may impact their admissibility during the admissions review process may be subject to disciplinary action by the university.
Procedures for Handling Alleged Violations of the Student Code of Conduct
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 Dean of Students. (The Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy should be consulted as to appropriate timeline for such matters)
After a preliminary investigation, the designated Conduct Officer determines if there is sufficient information to initiate disciplinary proceedings (under guidance of the Dean of Students).
If it is determined that there is sufficient information, the designated Conduct Officer initiates disciplinary proceedings by sending a 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 the allegation). Failure to respond within 72 hours, will result in the matter being referred to the appropriate conduct hearing board.
The responding student may select one of three options for resolution of the allegations: Administrative Agreement, Administrative Hearing, or Conduct Board Hearing.
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.
Cameras, camera phones, and audio/video recording devices other than those belonging to the university are not permitted at a hearing.
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.”
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.
If there is a disagreement with the decision of the conduct officer or conduct board, the individual may request an appeal to the Dean of Students (or to the Provost’s Office when the Dean of Students sat as the conduct officer in the matter or bias is alleged).
Appeals must be submitted in writing within five business days of the student receiving notification of the decision in the violation.
All written appeals must state specific reasons/rationale for requesting an appeal.
Students may request an appeal because
information not available at the time of the disciplinary conference is now available and could reasonably be seen to potentially alter the outcome of the violation hearing,
the university disciplinary procedures were violated in a way that could have substantially affected the outcome of the violation, or
the sanction was disproportionately harsh and not justifiable compared to the nature of the violation and evidence presented.
The Student Conduct Office will inform the student of the decision regarding the appeal in writing. This decision by the Dean of Students (or Provost or designee in a case where the Dean sat as the adjudicator) is the university’s final decision.
Deviation from Disciplinary Procedure
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 Dean of Students’ attention the belief that such prejudice occurred in accordance with the above noted appeal guidelines.
Release of Student Disciplinary Records to Third Parties
A student’s written disciplinary record will be maintained for five years from the date of last entry, except in matters of suspension or dismissal, in which case the record is maintained indefinitely.
Information in a student’s disciplinary record will only be released to third parties in the following circumstances:
The individual(s) requesting the information is a university official with a legitimate educational interest in such records.
The individual(s) requesting the information is the parent of a dependent student or a student under the age of 21 involved in campus alcohol or drug violation. This information may be released to parents whether or not a formal disciplinary hearing has been held if, in the opinion of the university, the behavior presents a danger to the health and safety of the student or other members of the community.
The individual(s) requesting the information has obtained a subpoena from a duly authorized law enforcement agency or a written waiver from the student whose records are being requested.
The individual is the victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and is requesting the final results of the disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of said crime or offense.
In all of the above cases, the only information released will be the name of the student involved in the disciplinary proceeding, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student.
The following definitions apply to the terms used within this document.
Administrative Agreement: Students or organizations may choose to acknowledge their responsibility and plead “in violation” to pending allegations of violations of University policy and complete an Administrative Agreement. An Administrative Agreement is a “contract” process between a student or organization and a designated Hearing Officer which seeks to establish mutually agreed upon outcomes for behavior in violation of University policy. At any point during the discussion, either the University official or the student/organization may choose to not complete the administrative agreement and pass the case on to the appropriate hearing body. Once approved, finalized agreements that have been reviewed by the Dean of Students or designee are not appealable as they are, by definition, voluntary and a means of final resolution of pending issues.
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 Dean of Students or designee.
Administrative Hearing Officer: Refers to any university official who has been authorized by the Dean of Students to determine whether a student has violated the student code of conduct, and to impose sanctions (upon the review of the Dean of Students or designee).
Case: Refers to any file(s) associated with a specific reported incident.
Community Standards Board (CSB): Functions as the upper level disciplinary body of the University for resolving allegations of major violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
The Board is composed of five students and two faculty/staff. Their responsibilities will include determining whether the accused is in violation or not in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and recommending sanctions to the Dean of Students. A separate non-voting (except in ties) chair, appointed by the Dean of Students or designee will coordinate the council and chair the meetings.
The student panel shall be those students selected by the Student Government Association to constitute the Peer Standards Board.
Two faculty are selected based on recommendations of the academic deans. Those faculty should be familiar with the behavioral expectations and the curricular and co-curricular aspects of Student Affairs.
Vacancies resulting from a failure to perform duties (determined by three-quarter vote of the CSB) or resignation will be filled through the approval of recommendations made by Student Government Association to the Dean of Students or designee for students and through the academic 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 Dean of Students or designee during the review of allegations of improper behavior. Members found responsible of 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 Dean of Students.
Four members, with at least three 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 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).
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.
Conduct Advisor: Refers to a current member of the Florida Tech faculty, staff, or student body who assist 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.
Conduct Officer: The individual or panel/board designated by the Dean of Students to resolve conduct cases.
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 and advisors as determined by the Dean of Students, hearing board members, etc.).
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.).
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.
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.
Incident: refers to any act or an attempt alleged to violate the Student Code of Conduct or university processes.
Intake Interview: the initial part of the 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.
Peer Standards Board (PSB): This board functions as the lower level adjudicating body of the University for resolving allegations of minor violations of the Student Code of Conduct:
PSB consists of five students who are selected through the Student Government Association and approved by the Dean of Students or designee.
Vacancies due to a failure of the student body to select or due to the representative’s 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 Dean of Students or designee. Interim boards may be constituted by the Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students 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 Dean of Students 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).
Preponderance: Means more likely than not. The standard used for decision-making in the Student Code of Conduct is the preponderance of evidence standard.
Respondent: Any student or student organization that has been accused of committing a violation of this Student Code of Conduct.
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.
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.
Student: Means any individual admitted, enrolled, or registered for study at Florida Tech. The term “student” also refers to any student group, club, or organization recognized or registered by Florida Tech as a student organization or club.
University: Florida Institute of Technology, also referred to as Florida Tech.
Violation Types: Assignment of violation type is the responsibility and at the discretion of the Dean of Students based on the following benchmarks:
Major Violations: Violations of the Code of Student Conduct considered to be major include:
three or more violations or instances of 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 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.
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.
The Dean of Students has the authority to resolve any student code of conduct violations, including the interpretation of policies and procedures. The Dean of Students or designee 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 Dean of Students or credible allegation of bias, in which case the decision of the Provost or designee shall be the university’s final decision.
Disciplinary actions that may be taken as a consequence of student misconduct, either by individuals or groups, include, but are not limited to:
Disciplinary Hold—A student status change that may preclude students from attending, registering, altering an academic schedule, receiving transcripts, or graduating.
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 Dean of Students or designee.
Disciplinary Warning—Issued to indicate that behavior violates University regulations and that continued misconduct or repetition of the behavior may bring more serious consequences.
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.
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.
Disciplinary Probation—A serious warning that defines a situation where further disciplinary action may result in either suspension or expulsion from the university.
Restrictions—Students may be denied specific campus privileges for a designated period of time, including participation in student organizations and other University sponsored events.
Restitution—The student is required to make payment to the University or another for loss or damage to property.
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 Dean of Students. Students returning to Florida Tech following a period of suspension will normally return on probation for a designated period of time.
Interim Action—The 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 Dean of Students or designee for this purpose).
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 Dean of Students.
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.
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