College Conduct

Santa Monica College has a code of Academic Conduct and a Student Conduct Code, and may discipline students in accordance with code provisions. The College also has the authority to remove students from a class or program if they are disruptive of the instructional process, they do not respect the rights of others, they cannot benefit from instruction, or they present health and/or safety hazards. To protect the interests of both the College and its students, SMC has an established “due process” through which its disciplinary and removal powers are exercised. As a further safeguard of student rights, an appeal procedure exists for these policies, as well as for appeals of grades, matriculation, and disqualification. The Student Conduct Appeals Committee will hear student appeals.

Honor Code/Honor Council

Santa Monica College is committed to the academic, social, and ethical development of our students. We strive to create a learning environment that is challenging and supportive of the community at large. We are committed to upholding fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, civility, and community.

The College has instituted an Honor Code that students are expected to uphold, and has established an Honor Council responsible for promoting, addressing, and resolving issues pertaining to academic integrity.

General principles that guide the Honor Code and Honor Council include the following:

   •   Honesty: means fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, and implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way;

   •   Integrity: implies that one is true to a trust and adheres to a code of moral values;

   •   Social Responsibility: demonstrated by adherence to policies of the institution, departments, labs, libraries, and individual classes; and

   •   Respect and Civility: implies that one will conduct oneself in a courteous and respectful manner in communications and actions toward members of the campus community.

All students are expected to uphold the Honor Code as testament to their commitment and readiness to join the Santa Monica College academic community. At the time students enroll, they are expected to certify the following statement:

In the pursuit of the high ideals and rigorous standards of academic life, I commit myself to respect and uphold the Santa Monica College Honor Code, Code of Academic Conduct, and Student Conduct Code. I will conduct myself honorably as a responsible member of the SMC community in all endeavors I pursue.

A complete copy of the text for the “Honor Code/Honor Council” (SMC AR 4412)—which spells out the details of the Honor Code and the structure and responsibilities of the Honor Council—is available online (see

Academic Conduct

Code of Academic Conduct

Santa Monica College is a community-oriented, open-door educational institution whose purpose is to educate and enlighten members of the community who seek knowledge. In order to uphold the academic integrity of the institution, all members of the academic community—students and faculty alike—must assume responsibility for providing an educational environment of the highest standards, characterized by a spirit of academic honesty.

Under no circumstances will academic dishonesty be tolerated at Santa Monica College.

Academic Dishonesty Defined

Santa Monica College defines academic dishonesty as the act of or assistance in deceiving, including fraud or deception in any academic exercise. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, certain actions not authorized by the instructor or testing officer, such as:

   1.   Using notes or testing aids such as calculators, tape recorders, or other electronic devices during any examination;

   2.   Allowing another individual to assume one’s identity for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade in any of the following: testing, field trips, or attendance;

   3.   Falsifying or attempting to falsify grade and/or attendance records;

   4.   Representing the words, ideas, or work of another (including materials from commercial term paper companies) as one’s own (plagiarism) in any academic exercise;

   5.   Changing answers on a previously scored test, assignment, or experiment, with the intent to defraud;

   6.   Copying or allowing another student to copy from one’s paper or answer sheet during an examination or for a graded assignment;

   7.   Inventing information for the purpose of completing a laboratory experiment, case study analysis, or field trip with the intent to defraud;

   8.   Giving and/or taking information during an examination by any means, including sign language, hand signals, secret codes, or electronic transmission; and

   9.   Accessing or reproducing exams in any form, without the prior authorization of the instructor, for the purpose of sharing, selling, or publishing them.

Consequences for Violating Academic Conduct

If a violation of academic honesty occurs, any or all of the following actions may be imposed:

   1.   The instructor may assign a failing grade to an examination or assignment in which cheating or plagiarism occurred;

   2.   In more serious instances, the instructor may refer the student to appear before the Honor Board;

   3.   The instructor may dismiss the student from the class or activity in progress for up to two class sessions; and/or

   4.   In more severe incidents of academic dishonesty—including, but not limited to, impersonation, stealing exams or research papers, or repeated violations of academic honesty—the College Disciplinarian may suspend the student or recommend expulsion of the student from the College.

Student Responsibilities

In order to maintain an environment of academic integrity, students at Santa Monica College are expected to:

   1.   Conduct themselves in a manner that encourages learning and upholds academic integrity; and

   2.   Act with fairness toward other students, which includes not seeking an unfair or undue advantage over other students in the classroom or when completing an assignment, taking an examination, or engaging in any other kind of academic activity; and

   3.   Make every attempt to prevent any unauthorized access to or use of their work by other students in the classroom, for an assignment, in an examination, or when engaging in any other kind of academic activity.

Faculty Responsibilities

In order to maintain an environment of academic integrity, members of the faculty at Santa Monica College are expected to:

   1.   Make every attempt to conduct their classes in a manner that encourages honorable behavior and learning, supports student success, and discourages academic dishonesty;

   2.   Inform students of course requirements, grading procedures, and expectations for acceptable academic conduct and behavior;

   3.   Inform students of the College’s Code of Academic Conduct and the consequences and disciplinary action(s) that will be implemented if any behavior counter to the Code of Academic Conduct occurs;

   4.   Inform students of their right to due process should they wish to contest an allegation of cheating or engaging in any other form of academic dishonesty; and

   5.   Ensure that the appropriate process for reporting a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct is followed.

Reporting a Violation

If an incident of academic dishonesty occurs, a faculty member should adhere to the following procedures:

   1.   Inform the student of the nature of the violation and the impending course of action; and

   2.   Complete and submit the Academic Dishonesty Report Form, along with any related evidence, the first copy of the form to the College Disciplinarian within ten (10) working days of the allegation. The College Disciplinarian will, in turn, notify the student, the College Ombudsperson, and the appropriate Department Chair, and place a copy in the student’s disciplinary records as defined in the Code of Academic Conduct Appeal Procedures. This information will remain a part of the student’s records for two years, provided there are no further acts of misconduct on the part of the student.

Appeal Procedure

If a violation of academic honesty is alleged to have occurred, a Santa Monica College student has the right to appeal the action taken by the faculty member through the appeal procedures established by the College. For details, please see the Student Complaints, Hearings, & Appeals section of this catalog.

Student Conduct

Student Conduct Code

All students at Santa Monica College have an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the College’s function as an educational institution. A complete copy of the “Rules for Student Conduct” (SMC AR 4410) is available online at (click on the “Section 4000—Student Services” link).

Some examples of offenses and misconduct that are considered “good cause” for imposing disciplinary sanctions on a student are:

   1.   Continued disruptive behavior, continued willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, the open and persistent defiance of the authority of College personnel, or persistent abuse of College personnel;

   2.   Assault, battery, or any threat of force or violence upon anyone on the College campus;

   3.   Sexual harassment, sexual assault (including, but not limited to, rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, rape by a foreign object, sexual battery), or threat of sexual assault;

   4.   Willful misconduct that results in the injury or death of a student or College personnel or visitors;

   5.   Theft or willful misconduct that results in cutting, defacing, or other injury or damage to property of the College or a member of the College community or a campus visitor;

   6.   Willful or blatant misuse of e-mail or other inappropriate forms of communication to faculty, staff, or students, including communication by written notes, phone, voicemail, or any form of electronic communication;

   7.   Possession, use, sale, or being under the influence of any controlled substance or any poison classified as such by Schedule D in section 4160 of the California Business and Professions Code;

   8.   Smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited by law or by regulation of the Board of Trustees;

   9.   Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct;

   10.   Dishonesty of any kind, including academic dishonesty;

   11.   Forgery, alteration, or misuse of College documents, records, or identification;

   12.   Obstruction or disruption of any teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other College activities, including, but not limited to, community events or other authorized activities on College premises;

   13.   Unauthorized entry to or use of College facilities, supplies, and/or equipment;

   14.   Violation of College policies or of campus regulations, including, but not limited to, campus regulations concerning student organizations; the use of College facilities; the time, place, and manner of public expression; library procedures; College bills and debts; or residence;

   15.   Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on property owned or controlled by the College or at activities or events sponsored or supervised by the College;

   16.   Failure to comply with directions from College officials performing their duties;

   17.   Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on campus property or at any College-sponsored event, or presence on campus or at any College-sponsored event while under the influence of alcohol;

   18.   Illegal possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other weapons on College property or at College-sponsored activities or events;

   19.   Stalking, hate crimes, or hate incidents; and

   20.   Any other offense set forth in the California Education Code that constitutes “good cause.”

No student shall be removed, suspended, or expelled from SMC unless the conduct for which the student is disciplined is related to College activity or attendance.

Smoke Free Campus

Santa Monica College is committed to providing its students, faculty, and staff with a healthy, comfortable, productive environment that is free from the effects of second-hand smoke. SMC became a smoke-free campus in Fall 2007, following the example of many colleges, universities, and other public institutions throughout the US. Smoking is not be permitted in any District building, vehicle, or facility, or on District grounds, with the exception of three areas on the fringes of the main campus. These are temporarily designated as smoking areas, as a way for the College to transition into becoming entirely smoke free.

Alcohol & Drugs

The abuse of alcohol or other drugs causes serious risks to a person’s health.

California State law prohibits the use, sale, or possession on campus of alcohol, or presence on campus of students who are under the influence of any controlled substance. (Cal. Ed. Code §§76032-76033)

Students enrolling in the College assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the College’s function as an educational institution. Santa Monica College will impose disciplinary sanctions for the use, sale, or possession of alcohol or presence of any prohibited controlled substance. Disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to, verbal or written reprimands, disciplinary probation, removal from classes, ineligibility to participate in extracurricular activities, suspension, expulsion, and possible referral to local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.

The Santa Monica College Health and Psychological Services Center provides short-term psychological counseling, referral, and substance abuse/alcohol abuse information.

Sexual Harassment

Santa Monica College is committed to providing an educational community with an environment free of sexual harassment and other threatening behaviors. Sexual harassment—a form of discrimination against an individual on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation—consists generally of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is intended to be or has the effect of being coercive, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Under no circumstances will the College tolerate any form of sexual harassment or retaliation against any individual for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or for participating in a sexual harassment investigation.

Sexual harassment and retaliation violate state and federal laws. In addition, sexual harassment is a violation of SMC’s Board Policies, Administrative Regulations, and Student Conduct Code, and can lead to suspension or dismissal from the College.

A description of activities that constitute sexual harassment, the procedures for filing or appealing a sexual harassment complaint, and a discussion of issues related to sexual harassment can be found in “Sexual Harassment Prevention” (SMC AR 3121), “Rules for Student Conduct” (SMC AR 4410), and the “Ethics Statement” (SMC AR 5220) adopted by the Academic Senate. See for the District’s Administrative Regulations.

Sexual Violence – Prevention and Education (AB 1088: Sexual Violence)

Section 67385 of the Education Code requires that community college districts adopt and implement procedures to ensure prompt response to victims of sexual violence which occur on campus as well as providing them with information regarding treatment options and services. No community can be totally risk-free in today’s society. However, by working together, students, faculty, staff, and visitors can all help to create an atmosphere which is as safe and crime free by reporting criminal behavior to:

   •   Santa Monica Police Department: 911

   •   Campus Police: (310) 434-4300

   •   Dean of Student Services: (310) 434-4655

   •   Psychological Services: (310) 434-4503

   •   Health Services Center: (310) 434-4262

Any sexual violence or physical abuse, as defined by California law—whether committed by an employee, student, or member of the public—occurring on College-owned or controlled property, at College-sponsored or supervised functions, or related to or arising from College attendance or activity is a violation of District policies and regulations, and is subject to all applicable punishment, including criminal and/or civil prosecution and employee or student discipline procedures. Please see the information available at for additional details.

Rape & Date Rape

Rape is forcible sexual activity without a person’s consent and against a person’s will. For the victim, rape is an emotionally and physically traumatic experience. Rape is a serious criminal offense, and accusations of rape can lead to possible referral to local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, rape is a violation of SMC’s Student Conduct Code and can result in the perpetrator’s suspension or expulsion from the College.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Disciplinary sanctions at Santa Monica College include, but are not limited to, verbal or written reprimands, probation, a disciplinary hold, removal from class, ineligibility to participate in extracurricular activities, suspension, and expulsion. These are listed in order of severity, and repeated instances of lesser infractions may lead to a more severe disciplinary action. The College Disciplinarian is responsible for enforcement of these sanctions. If a written report is placed in a student’s disciplinary file, the student has the right to inspect and appeal the information as specified in California Education Code §76232. Disciplinary sanctions are described in detail in the “Rules for Student Conduct” (SMC AR 4410), posted online at (click on the “Section 4000—Student Services” link).

Written Reprimand

A written reprimand issued by the College Disciplinarian serves to place a statement in a student’s disciplinary records (not the student’s academic records) that the student has not met the standards of conduct set forth above.

   1.   The student has an opportunity to write a response to the reprimand, and the response will be placed on record with the reprimand; and

   2.   With regard to written reprimands, there will be no hearing or appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals or Sexual Assault Committee.

Disciplinary Probation

A student who fails to meet the standards of conduct may be placed on disciplinary probation by the College Disciplinarian. The student will be notified in writing that continued conduct of the type described in a “notice of disciplinary probation” will result in a more severe disciplinary sanction. The notice of disciplinary probation must include:

   1.   The period of time the student is to be on probation (this period may not exceed one year), and

   2.   The disciplinary sanction to be imposed.

A student has the right to pursue the Hearing and Appeal Process before disciplinary probation is imposed.

Removal from Class

An instructor is authorized to remove a student from class for cause for the remainder of the class on the day of the removal and the next class meeting. The instructor will immediately report the removal to the College Disciplinarian. During the period of removal, a student will not be permitted to return to the class without the agreement of the instructor of the class. With regard to removal from class, there is no hearing or appeal to the Student Conduct Appeals Committee.

Removal from Extracurricular Activities

The College Disciplinarian may remove a student from extracurricular activities for “good cause.” The period of removal may not exceed one year. Sanctions may include:

   1.   Removal from office in all College organizations;

   2.   Ineligibility to participate in all College-sponsored activities, including public performances; and/or

   3.   Ineligibility to participate in College extracurricular activities.

Nothing in this policy, however, restricts the College Disciplinarian from imposing lesser sanctions.

A student has the right to pursue the Hearing and Appeal Process before removal from extracurricular activities is imposed.


The College Disciplinarian is authorized to suspend a student for “good cause.” The suspension may be:

   1.   From one or more classes for a period of up to ten days of instruction;

   2.   From one or more classes for the remainder of the school term; or

   3.   From all classes and College activities for one or more terms.

If a student who is suspended is a minor, the College Disciplinarian will notify the student’s parent or legal guardian of the suspension in writing.


A student may be expelled by the Board of Trustees for “good cause.” Expulsion is authorized when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.

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