Power of Words

RIC By-laws

Royal Institute of Colombo

BY LAWS ON CODE OF CONDUCT OF STUDENTS

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These By-laws made by the Board of Directors of the RIC may be cited as Code of Conduct of Students By-law No. … of 2015 and shall come into operation with effect from 2nd October 2015.

Without prejudice to the generality of the powers, duties and functions conferred upon or imposed on the Board of Directors or any other Instrument, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for the administration and implementation of these By-laws.

 

By-laws on Code and Conduct of Students

Royal Institute of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Introduction

The mission of the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC) is to provide formal education by teaching and conducting research.  Inherent in this mission is the responsibility of the Institute to educate its students to be responsible and civic minded citizens. The Code of Conduct of Students outlines student conduct and disciplinary policies that pertain to students and student organizations at RIC. It is designed to provide information to students, faculty and staff regarding the ideals that underlie our academic mission, and the expectations that the Institute has regarding the conduct of students. The purpose of the policies outlined in the Code of Conduct of Student is to protect the rights of all members of the RIC Community and to maintain an atmosphere appropriate for an institution of higher education. Interpretations of provisions within the Code of Conduct of Students may be requested by contacting the President or the Director/Assistant Director Academic Affairs of the RIC.

Scope of Code of Conduct of Student Discipline

Policy setting and enforcement (discipline) are ways of educating students to become conscientious members of the society, and students are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times, whether on or off campus. The student discipline system exists to handle infractions against Institute rules and regulations. This system is based on a philosophy of fairness for all parties affected by any situation involving a student’s non-compliance with RIC policy or regulation. The student discipline system is designed for an educational system and does not function as a court of law. Therefore, procedural issues, including the introduction and consideration of evidence, are handled in a manner consistent with that educational focus. Where the allegations are more serious, and therefore the consequences more serious, the rules are structured appropriately. The student discipline system is not a substitute for the criminal and civil courts but, an additional option for complainants when the alleged violator is an enrolled RIC student. If a student or a group of students are cited by staff, faculty, or other students for a possible violation of civil laws and/or institute policies on campus, they may be subject to either the disciplinary process of the institute and/or appropriate legal processes. If a student or a group of students are reported by community members for possible violations of the law off-campus, the Institute will cooperate with appropriate officials taking necessary legal action. Further, if a student or a group of students are reported to the Institute authorities for violations off-campus, the Institute may intervene on a formal or informal basis. The “informal” intervention will involve in the individual student or the group of students being referred to the Director/Assistant Director of Academic Affairs or a competent authority for discussions on the incident. Off campus behaviour which can have a significant impact on the mission of the institute may invite formal institute disciplinary actions.

Grounds of Disciplinary Proceedings

All students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that helps enhance the environment of learning, wherein the rights, dignity, worth and freedom of each member of the campus are respected.

3.1. A student found responsible for the violation of any clause outlined in this section is subject to disciplinary sanctions. Director/Assistant Director Academic Affairs or designee may initiate disciplinary proceedings against student(s) suspected of violating the Code of Conduct of the Institute outlined herein and/or elsewhere within the jurisdiction of the Rules and Regulations and By-laws of the Institute.

3.1.1. Any violation of any sort pertinent to the Penal Code of Sri Lanka.

3.1.2. Violation of any published RIC policies, rules, or regulations.

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with all RIC policies that refer to appropriate behaviour on campus.

3.1.3. Conducts that interfere with the operations of the Institute.

Such conducts include but are not limited to disruptions or obstructions of teaching, research, administration, or other RIC activities.

3.1.4. Ragging in any form is prohibited in the premises of RIC.

3.1.5. Failing to comply with orders or directives of RIC officials, Institute hearing bodies, Marshalls, Institute Security Personnel, or any other law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties.

3.1.6. Furnishing false or misleading information to a member of the faculty, staff, student, or law enforcement official acting in an official capacity.

3.1.7. Failure to appear and/or report to any RIC office in conjunction with any disciplinary matter, at the time specified or to request alternative appointment.

3.1.8. Violation of RIC policies causing threat to academic integrity.

3.1.9. Forgery, alteration, destruction, misuse, or possession of RIC documents, including but not limited to Institute identification cards or records without authorization. Violations include, but are not limited to, forgery of applications for financial aid, admission, course changes or course credit, copying, alteration or misuse of transcripts, and student identification cards etc.

3.1.10. Abuse of the Institute disciplinary system, including but not limited to a) Knowing falsification or misrepresentation of information presented to any judicial authority. b) Interference with a judicial process through coercion, intimidation, threats, or bribery. c) Failure to promptly obey any mandate of any RIC disciplinary authority. d) Failure to comply with written or oral communications from an authorized RIC official to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the Code of Conduct of Student System. e) Initiation of a complaint with prior knowledge that the information submitted is false. f) Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Code of Conduct of Student system.

3.1.11. Damage, defacement, or destruction of any private or Institute property.

3.1.12. Attempted or actual theft or possession of private or Institute property.

3.1.13. Unauthorized use of private or institute facilities including, but not limited to telephone, internet, computing equipment and accessories and any mode of communication.

3.1.14. Possession, duplication, or use of keys to any RIC premises without authorization; entry or use of Institute premises without permission.

3.1.15. Violation of the RIC Code of Computing Practices, including but not limited to, the misuse of RIC computers or computer network.

3.1.16. Violation and/or sabotage of safety systems, including but not limited to, the below listed behaviours as well as any other behaviour prohibited by the Institute authority. a) Unauthorized use, abuse, or interference with fire protection equipment or other safety equipment which could result in death, injury, or substantial property damage. b) Bomb threats or similar threats involving dangerous devices or substances. c) Unauthorized possession or use of any material or substance which constitutes a significant health hazard.

3.1.17. Conducts that endanger the health or safety of members of the RIC community or other persons.

3.1.18. Disorderly conducts including, but not limited to, verbal abuses or inappropriate behaviours or any other activities or behaviour prohibited by the Institute authority.

3.1.19. Instigation of a disturbance in violation of RIC policy.

3.1.20. Organization or participation in activities which are in violation of RIC policy related to demonstrations and/or assemblies.

3.1.21. Discriminations against any member of the RIC community, or a visitor, through biased or prejudicial behaviours related to the person’s race, colour, nationality, sex, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.

3.1.22. Failing to discourage/confront illegal activity and/or violation of the Code of Conduct of Student by active/passive participation/presence during the activity

3.1.23. Hazing, defined as, but not limited to, any act imposed on current or potential members of a group or organization that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, that defaces or destroys public or private property, that is likely to result in humiliation or ridicule, or that is likely to result in interference with academic efforts regardless of the consent of the participants, or any actions or activities prohibited by the RIC authority.

3.1.24. Physical abuse, including, but not limited to, inflicting or threatening bodily harm upon any person, or acting in a manner which creates a risk of bodily harm to any person.

3.1.25. Harassment, abuse, coercion, or threats by means other than the use or threatened use of physical force. These include, but are not limited to, any behaviour prohibited by the law.

3.1.26. Sexual Harassment/misconduct: Offensive or derogatory comments or conducts reflecting gender-bias which create intimidating work, or living environments and which represent substantial violations of the rights or opportunities of the victim(s). Such conducts include but are not limited to:

  1. a) Conducts that violate the institute’s policies prohibiting sexual harassment, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other unwelcome verbal or written communications of a sexual nature. b) The use of phone, email or any other method designed to transmit messages or materials of an explicit sexual nature that are unwanted by the recipient. c) Unbecoming behaviour causing physical harm or mental embarrassment to any person of the RIC community.

3.1.27. Harbouring or bringing a pet on RIC premises in violation of Institute policy.

3.1.28. Gambling for money or other items of value on RIC premises; including but not limited to, playing cards or other games of chance or skill for money or other items of value.

3.1.29. Visiting classrooms, library, laboratories, faculty rooms, academic Departments/Centres and administrative Sections, or any other place within the Institute’s premises, in unacceptably casual dresses.

3.1.30. Use or possession of a controlled substance, narcotic or drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to, any actions or activities deemed prohibited by the Institute authority /Government of Sri Lanka.

3.1.31. Sale, manufacture, or intent to manufacture a controlled substance, narcotic or drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to, any actions or activities prohibited by the Institute authority/ Government of Sri Lanka.

3.1.32. Possession or use of any dangerous or prohibited chemicals without express authorization by an authorized RIC official.

3.1.33. Possession or use of any explosive device or material, including but not limited to, firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, and dynamite without express authorization by an authorized RIC official.

3.1.34. Possession of firearms or any weapons.

Disciplinary Proceedings

Disciplinary proceedings could be conducted based on the nature of violation.

4.1 Composition of Disciplinary Committees

4.1.1 Students’ Disciplinary Committee (SDC) i. Director/Assistant Director of Academic Affairs – Chairperson ii. Two faculty members. The Chairperson of the committee may invite any other persons to be associated with the proceedings of a particular case, if their participation is considered necessary in disposing of the matter.

4.2 Violation categories:

4.2.1. Academic Level: Disciplinary issues related to general conduct of students in the class rooms and laboratories shall be dealt with by the Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC) and the respective actions, if any, shall be referred to the President RIC, for approval. Any other disciplinary issues related to academic matters will also be by the same SDC. The matters and respective disciplinary actions recommended by SDC will be reported to the President and the same will be reported to the Academic Syndicate for ratification. If the violations are of serious nature, SDC may refer the matters to the President of RIC and the President will in turn take decisions on the matters and report to the Academic Syndicate and the Board of Directors.

4.2.2. Institute Level: Violations at the Institute level include those issues pertaining to the Sri Lanka Penal Code (within or outside the campus), those that can affect the RIC community at large or those that can affect the property of the Institute itself. For all such major acts of indiscipline, which may have serious implications on the general body of students, and which may warrant a uniform and more formalized nature of investigation, SDC will investigate the allegations and recommend disciplinary actions. The committee may co-opt other members, if they deem fit, on a case by case basis.

4.3 Modalities of Investigation

When the Chairperson of the SDC receives information regarding alleged violation of any rule or regulation of the Code of Conduct of Student Discipline by the students, the Chairperson of the SDC shall investigate the same. a) The Chairperson may summon the student(s) either orally or in writing to appear at a specified date, time, and place in connection with an alleged violation. b) The Chairperson may dispose of a violation as being unfounded, may recommend to the President RIC administrative sanctions without a hearing, or may refer the violation to a formal disciplinary hearing in the respective Committee. c) Commensurate with the gravity of the offence appropriate punishment like fine, community work, suspension of studentship for a determined period, or expulsion from the Institute may be recommended. d) The students who fail without a good cause, to comply with such summons or letter of notice issued by the Chairperson of the SDC may be charged with a violation of Code of Conduct of Student and may be recommended to the higher management for placing on disciplinary probation, temporary suspension, or barring against readmission.

Disciplinary Sanctions

  1. a) Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed after investigation by the appropriate committees. The purpose of imposing sanctions is to promote educational and social development of the student and the RIC community, to provide appropriate penalties, and to deter other acts of misconduct which thwarts the aims, purposes, and policies of the institution.
  2. b) No refund or credit of tuition fees, or other costs associated with attendance of the institute will be made to students when disciplinary sanctions are imposed which result in the students being deprived of privileges and/or access to services.
  3. c) In the case of serious violations, a notation of the discipline matter will be placed on a student’s transcript until it is cleared. In case of dismissal from the institute, the record is permanent.
  4. d) Discipline records are confidential. The contents of the student discipline record may not be released to anyone not associated with the Institutional discipline except upon written approval of the student or a court-ordered subpoena.
  5. e) The initiating administrator may dispose of a violation by imposing any of the following sanctions without a hearing.

5.1. Reprimand: from the appropriate administrator to the student, on whom the penalty is imposed, placed in the student’s permanent discipline record.

5.2. Probation: written notification that further violations of any sub-section of this Code of Conduct of Student will result in more severe disciplinary action. Warning probation may be imposed for a period of not more than one calendar year.

5.3. Disciplinary probation: written notification of that further violations of any sub-section of this Code of Conduct of Student may result in suspension. The terms of disciplinary probation shall be determined by appropriate authority on case-by-case basis.

5.4. Suspension of privileges: prohibits participation in or attendance at certain events, activities, or class/lab; restricts specific student privileges.

5.4.1. Hostel Privileges

5.4.2. Use of Lab Facilities

5.4.3. Use of Sports Facilities

5.4.4. Membership in Clubs and Other Bodies

5.4.5. Holding Office

5.4.6. Placement Activity

5.5. Community Service: assigned a specific number of hours of service.

5.6. Restitution: repair or replacement of property damaged.

5.7. Compensation for damage: adequate compensation to fit the damage. If the compensation is not made, it remains on the student’s record as indebtedness to the institute, which then renders the student ineligible to register for subsequent semesters.

5.8. Cancellation of registration and/or denial of credit may be imposed in cases where the student is found guilty of withholding information relating to the student’s admission, transfer credits, academic status, records, etc.

5.9. Suspension: Course drop, semester drop, suspension for a specified period may be given as punishment, depending on the severity of the offences.

5.10. Expulsion: may be used for major offences.

Academic Malpractices subject to disciplinary action.

For purposes of filing formal charges, each of the following offenses will normally be considered as an act of examination malpractice:

6.1 Copying from another student or by any other means during the examination.

6.2 Assisting an examinee in copying during examination by any means.

6.3 Possessing / using unauthorized materials or documents.

6.4 Failing to thoroughly follow instructions related to the preparation and presentation of work submitted for credit, submitting others’ work as one’s own, or misleading faculty members about the condition under which the work was prepared.

6.5 Obtaining all or part of a question paper by unfair means and /or distributing to others.

6.6 Substituting for another student, or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself, for appearing in the examination.

6.7 Entering into Academic Section or a laboratory, faculty room, office of an academic Department/Centre, without permission and /or tampering/ changing records/documents in any form.

6.8 Plagiarism in any form is strictly prohibited.

Appeal Procedures

7. Appealing Procedure: A student can appeal to the Appellate Authority against any punishment imposed upon him/ her. He/she should appeal within two weeks’ time with proper justification of the appeal. The President of RIC shall appoint a committee comprising of staff members who were not involved in the particular disciplinary procedure to consider the appeal and make recommendation to the President of RIC for decision, who will then report to the Board of Directors for ratification.