STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
The Code of Conduct is a basic list of procedures to be followed by students when enrolled at the Vocational College of Walvis Bay.
1. AIM OF THE STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
- Encourage and promote positive relationships and an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect among students as well as between students and members of staff.
- Ensure that negative behaviour does not influence the achievement of the aims of education.
- Inform students about unacceptable behaviour and to promote correct conduct.
- Provide a safe environment to study in.
- Establish structures for discipline, mediation and arbitration where the conduct of students is unacceptable.
- Avoid conflict on the Campus.
For the purpose of the Student Code of Conduct, the following terms are defined as indicated:
- Code refers to the Student Code of Conduct;
- College or VCWB refers to the Vocational College of Walvis Bay;
- College Community refers to all people associated to the College for example: Students, Employees of the College, Faculties of the College etc.; Student refers to an individual enrolled at the College;
- Council refers to the Disciplinary Council;
- Complainant refers to any member of the College Community who has submitted a Complaint pertaining to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct; and
- Respondent refers to the student against who a Complaint has been submitted.
3. SUMMARY OF STUDENT RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
- STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Students are responsible for compliance with all the applicable laws, rules, regulations and written policies and procedures of the VCWB and the Namibian government.
- VCWB holds the right to pursue disciplinary action even if the justice authorities choose not to prosecute a student.
- Upon signing and accepting the registration and admission forms VCWB will provide a student with the Code of Conduct and it will be expected of the student to live up to these rights and obligations.
- Failure to adhere fully to the Student Code of Conduct and all relevant activities may lead to further Sanctions.
- STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
- The VCWB seeks to promote and be supportive of the economic, social and personal development of each student enrolled at the College. Positive and transparent interaction based on mutual understanding, trust, respect, dignity and responsible accountability for actions taken.
4. MISCONDUCT (BAD BEHAVIOUR)
A Student shall be guilty of misconduct if he / she:
- Intentionally or negligently disregards or undermine, or attempts to disregard or undermine, or assists, encourages or persuades any other person to disregard or undermine a code, regulation, rule or instruction of the VCWB;
- Refuses or fails to comply with a lawful instruction or request of any official body or staff member of the VCWB, or acts contrary to such instruction or request;
- Steals, unlawfully appropriates, uses or misuses, destroys, damages or alienates property of the VCWB or of a staff member or of a fellow student or of any other person, or uses or handles such, property in a way that is or may be prejudicial to the VCWB or staff member, a fellow student or other person while such staff member, fellow student or other person is on or in VCWB premises;
- Exchange, consume, introduce, sell, trade, use or is under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or illegal dependence producing drugs(obtained without prescription) on / to VCWB premises ;
- While on VCWB premises is found to be in possession of intoxicating liquor or dependence producing drugs;
- Without official authorisation brings on / to or stores on VCWB premises a firearm or other dangerous weapon(s) or traditional weapon(s); or fuel that cannot reasonably be shown to be required for the operation of a motor vehicle; or explosive substances of any kind, or allows or arranges for this foregoing to be brought on / to or stores in such premises;
- Behaves in any other way that leads or may lead to the consequences described below, if such consequences were one could: reasonably have been foreseen at the time when such behaviour occurred:
Behaviour as a result of which:
- The VCWB’s good name is or may be prejudiced;
- The maintenance of order, discipline and security at the VCWB is or may be prejudiced or imperilled;
- The process of tuition, research and administration, and general VCWB activities are or may be prejudiced or imperilled.
- Aids, assists or incites in the following activities:
- Misuse of Identification – the use or creation of falsified identification documents / cards / letters including the use of another person’s user account or password;
- Misuse of Materials – reading, copying, removing, duplicating, forging and / or misusing of College material including but not limited to computer records, data files, software owned or maintained by the College and related members;
- False Information – knowingly make false statements whether written or oral, to any member of the College community;
- Misuse of Keys – any unauthorised use or being in possession of keys and similar devices to access the VCWB’s property and buildings;
- Violence, Stalking, Harassment or Sexual Misconduct – any sexual or non-sexual conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile, unsafe and offensive working and educational environment for a student regardless of gender.
5. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS AND PROCEDURES
- All students, irrespective of their position in the VCWB, will be held responsible for their behaviour.
- Jurisdiction of the VCWB:
- The jurisdiction of the College to impose disciplinary actions for any violation against the Student Code of Conduct extends to any conduct which occurs on the VCWB premises and alternatively to any conduct that occurs off the premises that negatively impacts the College Community as a whole;
- Upon enrolment, admission and registration all students are subject to the Student Code of Conduct and students will also be held liable for their guests and the guests’ conduct on the premises; and
- Students charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct will received a notice of the charges made against him / her will have the right respond by presenting information in his / her favour and lastly the right to a fair decision bases upon the record of the Disciplinary Council Hearing.
- Filing a Complaint:
- Any member of the College Community may file a Complaint against a student who has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- Complaints must be filed in writing within six (6) months of discovering the violation and handed to the Head of the Department / Curriculum Development Director.
- The Complaint should include the following information:
- Name and contact details of person who filed the Complaint;
- Name and contact details of the student who allegedly committed the violation;
- A statement of what part of the Student Code of Conduct was violated as well as a basic summary of the violation related to the Student Code of Conduct;
- The date on which the violation occurred; and
- Signature of the person filing the Complaint.
- Hearing Procedures:
- A Disciplinary Council must consist of an available pool of qualified College Community members to serve on the Disciplinary Council. This Council will be appointed per academic year;
- Hearings must be conducted by the Disciplinary Council not more than fifteen (15) calendar days after the Complaint was submitted to the board, however an Emergency Hearing can be arranged should the hearing involve the health and safety of any College Community member;
- If a member of the Disciplinary Council is directly involved in a Complaint proceeding, this member will not be able to serve when this matter is served;
- All hearings are closed and witnesses will only be called if need to testify;
- The Complainant and Respondent have the right to invite an Advisor or Counsel of their choice to attend the Hearing, but this Advisor and / or Counsel will only be there to assist the relevant person accompanied and may not address, make comments or cross examine the Disciplinary Council or any other College Community Member present at the Hearing;
- Hearings will be recorded and the Disciplinary Council’s deliberations during the hearing are private;
- The Hearing will continue should a Respondent not appear without justification;
- During the Hearing questions and answers from the Complainant / Respondent / Witness will be addressed to the Disciplinary Council and not directly. Respect, civility and maturity are expected from all parties;
- The burden of proof is on the Complainant who needs to provide sufficient evidence that the Student Code of Conduct was violated;
- The Disciplinary Council will determine by vote if the Respondent has violated the Student Code of Conduct. If found guilty, the Council will determine an appropriate sanction in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct by majority vote; and
- The findings of the Disciplinary Council will be put in writing within 24 hours and a copy will be placed on the Respondent / student’s file and the Respondent will also receive a copy.
6. SANCTIONS / DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
- Once the Disciplinary Council has reached a decision they can review the accused student’s file and take into consideration past relevant Sanctions.
- Sanctions imposed should correspond to the offence.
- Any of the following Sanctions / disciplinary actions or a combination of actions can be imposed on a student or group of students found guilty of a violation(s):
- Warning – An oral reprimand;
- Reprimand – A written reprimand placed on the student’s file;
- Fine – A repayment for theft, injury or destruction of property belonging to VCWB;
- Other Actions – Community Service Hours, Written Assignments, Counselling etc.;
- Probation – An official written warning placed on the student’s file that the student’s continued enrolment with the VCWB depends on his / her satisfactory behaviour toward the Student Code of Conduct during the probation period. The student should be informed of the consequences of the violation of the probation and should the probation be violated these consequences should be imposed with immediate effect;
- Suspension – Temporary termination of the privilege to attend the VCWB for a certain period of time; and
- Expulsion – Permanent termination of the privilege to attend the VCWB.
- A Respondent has the right to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Council.
- The Appeal should be in writing and handed in within five (5) days of the Disciplinary Council’s decision.
- The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VCWB will have one week to decide if the original decision of the Disciplinary Council was fair. Participants of the initial Hearing can be contacted for clarification purposes and to determine if proper proceedings were followed and if the decision reached was based on sufficient facts and evidence.
- The CEO will respond in writing and copies should be handed to the Respondent and placed on file.
- The CEO has the right to increase, dismiss or decrease any Sanctions and / or disciplinary actions imposed by the Disciplinary Council or alternatively a new Hearing may be arranged for and conducted.
8. RECORD KEEPING
- All written documentation including but not limited to the Complaints, Decisions, Appeals and related evidence regarding the student conduct proceedings shall be filed and regarded as confidential student records.
- These records shall be discarded ten (10) years after the student’s termination of enrolment at the College.