Alcohol & Illegal Drugs
The use, possession and sale of alcoholic beverages is forbidden. The use, possession, sale or being under the influence of drugs unless prescribed by a doctor is forbidden. Raritan Valley Community College adheres to all local, state and federal laws and statutes pertaining to the possession, use and distribution of alcohol and illegal drugs and expects its students to do the same. If the student is found to be in possession of or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the Department of Campus Safety will contact the local police. Persons violating these policies will be subject to all applicable civil and criminal penalties and the College disciplinary procedure.
New Jersey’s “Opioid Antidote and Overdose Protection Act” (P.L. 2013, c.46) is a law that encourages individuals to report drug overdose/seek medical assistance by granting immunity from arrest and prosecution for use or simple possession to both the caller and the person experiencing an overdose. It also grants immunity to those who administer the overdose antidote, Naloxone, to revive a person. Similarly, the “9-1-1 Lifeline Legislation” (N.J. P.L. 2009, c133) lets underage drinkers report alcohol poisoning without fear of prosecution. These laws are designed to save lives.
Through the office of Advising and Counseling Services, you can receive assistance dealing with substance abuse and referrals for community resources. All contacts are confidential.
A student is required to maintain a current address of residence in the Office of Enrollment Services. Students who move, should report the change in person to the Office of Enrollment Services within 5 business days.
Animals on Campus
Persons may not bring animals onto the College campus, or any other location where the College offers courses or sponsors events, with the exception of service animals used by individuals with documented disabilities that require their assistance. A service or guide dog trainer, while engaged in the actual training process, shall have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities with respect to access to public facilities as are applicable to a person with a certified disability. For more information, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities in College Center, C-124.
Appeals of College Policy: Academic Concerns and Complaints
Students with complaints and concerns about the classroom should first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor. Failing a satisfactory resolution, the student should consult with the appropriate department chairperson. Should the student not be satisfied with the results of that discussion, the student may request the appropriate Divisional Dean to review the matter. The decision of the Dean is the final appeal.
Appeals of College Policy: Non-Academic
The College establishes policies and procedures for all students. However, there may be times when a situation is unique or different from other students and an exception should be made. This may be particularly true for students with an extended illness or serious family event. If you have a situation you feel warrants an exception, submit an “Appeal for an Exception to College Policy” form which is available from the Office of Enrollment Services on the first floor of the College Center. This form should be submitted along with any supporting documentation to the Office of Enrollment Services. A College Appeals Committee meets monthly and will respond to you in writing once the decision is made.
If the appeal relates to a grade, please see the previous academic appeals section of this catalog. There is a separate procedure for grade appeals and academic complaints.
Bullying and Intimidation
Harassment, intimidation, or bullying in gesture; or any written, verbal or electronic communication that is motivated by actual or perceived characteristics such as race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and/or Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Students should report bullying to the Assistant Dean of Student Services in College Center room C-143 or Campus Safety on the Lower Level of Somerset Hall.
Children on Campus
Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) has an obligation to its students, faculty, staff, and visitors to conduct its operations and maintain its facilities in a manner consistent with its mission as an institution of higher education. For this reason, minor children (defined by RVCC as those under 16 years of age) should not be brought to the campus unless they are participating in special activities or courses sponsored by the College or one of its approved business partners. Minor children may not attend classes with their parent or guardian. There may be occasions when brief visits by children of students may be appropriate. Children may visit College offices and facilities when accompanied by their parent or guardian, other than classrooms, for limited periods of time when their parent or guardian is conducting routine business at the College.
Minor children should not be unattended in any College facility at any time. In no case are minor children permitted in labs, construction/repair sites, or other areas where potential hazards exist. Minor children brought on campus must be directly supervised at all times by their parent or guardian. College staff or Security are not expected to provide supervision of such children. The College cannot bear any responsibility for minor children left unattended or unsupervised by their parent or guardian. Should a College employee observe an unattended child, he/she should attempt to obtain the child’s name and report the situation to Security. Security will then attempt to locate the parent or guardian.
Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially its FAQs at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
Dissent and Demonstrations
Any member of the College community or the public is free to express or demonstrate support for, or opposition to, any principle, issue, or action through orderly means that do not violate any College policy or regulation. Such demonstrations must not interfere with or disrupt normal operations of the College or infringe upon the rights and/or freedoms of other members of the College community.
Raritan Valley Community College utilizes the Blackboard Connect-ED communication service in order to notify students, faculty and staff about actions to take in the event of inclement weather or an emergency.
The multi-modal emergency notification service enables campus leaders and security professionals to contact students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information and updates within minutes through phone calls, text messages or e-mail. The system enables RVCC students and personnel to be contacted on campus, en route to campus, at home or at work. In order to receive voice and e-mail messages, students must provide contact information when registering which is entered into the Connect-ED messaging system by the College. If students also wish to receive text messages, they need to register for this option via the Campus Closing tab on Lion’s Den.
The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of education records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and provides guidelines for contesting information in these records that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading.
Students have the right to inspect and review all of their education records maintained by the College. The College is not required to provide copies of records unless it is not reasonably convenient for students to inspect their records.
Students have the right to request that the College correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides, in response to such a request, not to amend a student’s record, the student has the right to a formal hearing before the Dean of Student Services or a designated official. After the hearing, if the College maintains its position that the student’s record should not be amended, the student has the right to enter a statement into his/her records commenting on the contested information.
The College will not release any confidential information from a student’s record without the written consent of the student, except for releasing information to:
- College officials with a legitimate educational interest
- Other institutions at which a student intends to enroll
- Certain government officials for the purpose of carrying out their lawful functions
- Appropriate parties involved with the awarding of financial aid to a student
- Organizations conducting appropriate research for the College
- Accrediting agencies
- Individuals who have obtained appropriate court orders or subpoenas
- Persons who have need for the information in cases of health and safety emergencies
The College may disclose Directory Information without the written consent of the student. Directory Information includes the following:
- Name, address, telephone number, and email address
- Date and place of birth
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status
- Previous institutions attended
- Major field of study
- Awards and honors
- Degrees and/or Certificates awarded, including date of conferral
- Past and present participation in officially recognized College activities
- Height and weight of student athletes
Students may request the withholding of Directory Information. To ensure that such a request is properly processed, it must be submitted on the official “Request to Withhold Directory Information” form, which is available in the Office of Enrollment Services The request to withhold information will remain in effect until the student submits a signed authorization for the release of Directory Information.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. For further information regarding the filing of complaints, students should contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202.
Firearms, Weapons, Explosives, Dangerous Knives, Hazardous Materials
Firearms, weapons, ammunition, explosives, destructive devices, fireworks, firecrackers or any item that imitates or is reasonably capable of being mistaken as a weapon, explosives or destructive devices are not permitted on College property. This includes antique firearms, air guns capable of launching a projectile either by propelling force or compressed air, components that can be assembled into a weapon or explosive devices, whether operable or inoperable.
Gravity knives, switchblade knives, butterfly knives, daggers, stilettos and other dangerous knives are not permitted on College property.
Dangerous weapons including stun guns, blackjacks, bludgeons, metal knuckles and weapons or other devices which project, release or emit tear gas are not permitted on College property.
Unless authorized, hazardous materials are not permitted on Campus property.
Violation of this policy can result in legal prosecution and College administrative action.
Possessing or Carrying Firearms on College Property
Off-duty law enforcement officers, who are required to carry a firearm while attending classes, shall properly secure and conceal the firearm at all times while on the College campus, or any other College property.
Retired law enforcement officers authorized by law to carry a firearm shall properly secure and conceal the firearm at all times while on the College campus, or any other College property.
In compliance with New Jersey State Laws, gambling is forbidden on campus. Any persons found gambling on campus property may be subject to legal action.
All students are required to have a valid RVCC identification (ID) card in their possession at all times. This includes times when on College property or at any other location where the College offers courses. Student ID cards must be obtained at the Office of Student Life or the Library. Students are expected to have their student ID card on them at all times while on campus. A student is required to present his/her identification card when requested to do so by College personnel and Security staff. Failure to provide a student ID card upon request will result in verification action by Student Services or the Security Department. If a person’s identity cannot be verified, the unidentified persons may be asked to leave campus property.
A student’s ID card is used for access to various College facilities and services, and the Office of Student Life. The student ID card includes a bar-code that is required for use of the College Library, the public libraries in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, fitness center and RVCC athletic facilities. The Theatre at RVCC offers discounted tickets to students with a valid ID card. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Life at (908) 526-1200, extension 8873.
All applicants for admission to the College who are seeking a degree or certificate from RVCC and are intending to enroll as full-time students (12 credit hours or more per semester) must provide the following documentation of immunization prior to initial enrollment:
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) (This requirement applies only to individuals born on or after January 1, 1957)
- Documentation of one vaccination dose administered after 1968 on or about the applicant’s first birthday, and documentation of a second vaccination dose administered no less than one month after the first dose or
- Documentation of laboratory blood tests confirming immunity to MMR
- Documentation of three vaccination doses, or
- Documentation of laboratory blood test confirming immunization for Hepatitis B
An applicant is exempt from these requirements if he/she provides:
- Signed documentation indicating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his/her religious beliefs
- Signed documentation from a physician indicating that the immunization is contraindicated for a valid medical reason
If an outbreak of these diseases occurs, any students not having provided proof of proper immunization, including part-time students and students who are exempt, may be barred from class attendance until the outbreak is over.
Parking and Traffic
Students may park in lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8. Students are not allowed to park in the visitor’s lot. Parking in spaces designated for disabled individuals is reserved for vehicles authorized under laws of the State of New Jersey, and is monitored by the Branchburg Police Department. Parking is prohibited on all roadways, lawns, medians, crosswalks, loading zones, marked emergency fire lanes, emergency phone access lanes or any other areas designated by the College unless authorized by the Campus Safety Department.
Overnight parking is prohibited anywhere. Drivers must adhere to all posted speed limits on campus and must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Persons in violation of these regulations are subject to towing, citations, and fines. The College is not responsible for any damage to the vehicle during towing. The College is not responsible for any injury, property damage, or loss sustained by a vehicle’s owner/driver while on College property.
Under New Jersey law, a disabled person may obtain either a special license plate or vehicle placard that provides special parking privileges. To park in a designated disabled area on campus, you must have handicap license plates or the placard, which is only provided by the Division of Motor Vehicles or your local police department. Temporary placards can be issued to a person who has temporarily lost mobility as certified by a physician or podiatrist. Placards must be displayed in full view. Any person without a placard properly displayed may receive a parking summons from the Branchburg Police Department.
Sales & Solicitation
The College bookstore and food service are the only agencies on campus authorized to sell or solicit on campus. Any others wishing to do so should contact the Director of Student Life.
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
It is the policy of RVCC to provide an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Students are encouraged to report any incidents of discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and bullying which cause physical or emotional harm; or create a hostile environment which interferes with your education or your rights as a student. This includes any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, which you perceive as motivated by race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and/or a mental, physical or sensory disability or any other category protected by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination NJSA 10:5-1 et seq. or Title 7 of the Civil rights act of 1964 which substantially disrupts or interferes with the operation of the College or the rights of a student. If you believe you are being harassed, report the situation immediately. If immediate attention is needed, contact Campus Safety by picking up a red phone in the halls or calling (908) 231-8800.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education, programs and activities. Discrimination under Title IX includes sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Confidentiality will always be maintained insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s legal obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct when brought to the College’s attention, and the ability of the College to take corrective action consistent with rights of due process.
It is also the policy of RVCC to prohibit any retaliation or reprisals against any person who reports discrimination or harassment. Any person who believes he or she have been subjected to retaliatory actions or reprisals because he or she reported harassment or discrimination should report those events as set forth below.
All inquiries and complaints should be addressed to Cheryl Wallace, Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations, (908) 526-1200, extension 8260. Personal counselors are available for assistance in the Advising and Counseling Office, College Center 163.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
To provide a healthy working environment for the College community, RVCC is a tobacco-free and smoke-free environment, with the exception of main campus parking lot areas that are at least 50 feet or more from any College building. Persons in violation of this policy are subject to citations, fines, and/or other disciplinary actions. Citations may be issued without prior warnings. This policy includes vaporizers and/or electronic cigarettes, as well as chewing tobacco products.
Student Code of Conduct
One of the core values of Raritan Valley Community College is fostering an environment of mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration. Upon admission to the College, a student incurs the responsibility for becoming familiar with and abiding by, the provisions of the Code. Violations of the Code may result in a student receiving an appropriate penalty. The Code of Conduct also affords all students appropriate due process.
The RVCC Student Code of Conduct (Code) establishes expectations of behavior for all RVCC students regardless of enrollment status or campus location. The provisions of the Code govern the actions of all students, whether at a College-owned or managed location or at a College-sponsored or supervised function or event. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action where off-campus offenses are involved and where the interests of the College as an educational community are clearly threatened. The Student Code of Conduct is included in the Student Handbook.
Weather Closings and Other Delayed Openings
If the College announces a delayed opening at any location due to inclement weather or other emergency situation, all offices will be closed and all College classes and/or other activities will be suspended at that location until the delayed opening time.
Classes scheduled to begin before the delayed opening time that have 60 minutes or more of instruction time remaining at the delayed opening time will begin at the delayed opening time and conclude at the regularly scheduled ending time. Classes scheduled to begin before the delayed opening time that have fewer than 60 minutes of instruction time remaining at the delayed opening time will be canceled. Classes scheduled to begin at or after the delayed opening time will meet as scheduled. Sign up for Campus Closing Notifications in the Lion’s Den, by going to the “Campus Closings” tab and clicking on “update campus closing contact information.”