RTC General Student Code of Conduct
RTC seeks to promote a core set of values including integrity, dedication to excellence, individual responsibility, as well as respect for oneself, for others, even if they come from very different backgrounds, and for the college infrastructure and natural environment. Consistent with its emphasis on respect for all, the college is also determined to foster safety and security for all members of its community and for their property. The codes of conduct developed for students and for staff are intended to embody these and closely related values, as are college procedures and practices.
The codes of student conduct pertaining to core areas of student life and related rules and procedures appear next. They should be reviewed carefully, because students are fully responsible for knowing and observing them and disciplinary action may follow breach of these codes. (See section 23, page 25 and following.) Because these codes of conduct and procedures reflect the college’s core values and they are designed to further the attainment of the college’s goals, students may be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension and expulsion from the residence halls or from the college itself on short notice, for failure to observe them.
Because RTC as an institution constantly strives to improve its operation and to meet its goals ever more fully, it will review the materials appearing on the following pages as needed. Any changes made shall apply to all RTC students, who will be promptly and fully informed of them.
Although there are some specific codes of conduct pertaining to specific areas of life at RTC, there are also some general behavioral guidelines stemming from RTC core values that apply to students whatever they happen to be doing at the moment. As is apparent, the following code flows quite directly from concerns about core values, most especially respect for others and their property and for the safety and welfare of members of the RTC community.
20.1 Students shall behave with courtesy and show respect for everyone both inside and outside the campus, including all college staff and service workers as well as all other students. Thus they will not, for example, a) engage in any form of ragging, b) form groups intended or likely to promote disparagement or antagonism between those from different backgrounds or between members of different classes or other groups at RTC or c) harass others based on factors such as the other’s gender, their religious or regional backgrounds, or their year of enrollment at RTC.
20.2 Students shall carry valid identity cards issued to them by RTC at all times on campus and produce them when requested to do so by college staff, including security staff. Security guards at the gate will not allow students entry to the campus after 11pm without their ID cards and/or an Exit Information Slip.
20.3 Students’ may not bring visitors with or without vehicles on campus after 6.30pm and they are responsible for seeing that their visitors already on campus, as well as their visitors’ vehicles, leave by that time.
20.4 Students must accompany their visitors on campus at all times and will be liable for sanction in event of their guests’ misbehavior.
20.5 No unauthorized/unregistered vehicles are permitted on campus after 6.30pm.
20.6 Residential students are not permitted to drive vehicles around, into or out of the campus after 11pm. Violation of this rule may lead to loss of the privilege of bringing a car on campus. Day Scholars and CE students are expected to remove their vehicles from campus when they leave at or before the times applicable to them.
20.7 Students shall use RTC property in a manner intended to further their own and others’ academic excellence. For example, computer resources will not be diverted for purposes of entertainment when they are needed for academic pursuits and library rules will be followed to ensure that all members of the RTC community have access to the library resources they need.
20.8 Students are responsible for behaving in a way that promotes the preservation of their own and RTC property and that respects the rights of others to their own property.
20.9 Students are responsible for preserving RTC’s natural environment through behaviors such as avoiding littering. For this reason, the consumption of doma is strongly discouraged.
20.10 All Bhutanese students shall wear national dress when in the academic area of campus during class hours and at formal RTC events. In other areas, or at other times, they should dress modestly while in public and in the community areas of the residence halls.
20.11 Students are responsible for behaving in a way conducive to their own health and safety as well as in a manner that takes into consideration the health, safety and welfare of other members of the RTC community. Such considerations lead to the following rules and to the RTC Alcohol and Drug Policy below that apply to all students:
a. Gambling is not permitted on campus.
b. Firearms and weapons of any sort, including knives large enough to serve as weapons, are not allowed on campus.
c. Physical assault of any kind on anyone is a serious breach of the RTC code of student conduct, as is behavior intended to inflict harm to individuals’ emotional well-being or their reputation.
d. Students bringing vehicles to campus must operate them responsibly, with the safety of themselves and others always very much in mind.
e. Fireworks and firecrackers may not be used on campus
Consistent with Bhutanese law, smoking is not allowed anywhere on the RTC campus, including all college buildings (the canteens, the dining hall, student lounges and residence halls, including common rooms, individual rooms or corridors, etc.). Students may be sanctioned by RTC for violation of this policy. They are also subject to sanction by civil authorities for unlawful smoking behaviors, as for other unlawful behaviors. Students who smoke are encouraged to see the Student Counselor to gain assistance with quitting.
Alcohol and Drug Policy
WARNING: STUDENTS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT RTC TAKES VIOLATIONS OF ITS ALCOHOL AND DRUG POLICIES VERY SERIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THE DANGER SUCH VIOLATIONS POSE TO BOTH THE INDIVIDUAL AND OTHERS. THUS, SANCTIONS INCLUDING EXPLUSION FROM THE SCHOOL, IMMEDIATE EXPLUSION FROM THE RESIDENCE HALLS, AND LOSS OF ELIGIBILITY FOR RESIDENCE HALL ACCOMODATION IN THE FUTURE MAY WELL FOLLOW EVEN A FIRST OFFENSE OF THIS KIND.
22.1 Possession or consumption of alcohol by students anywhere on campus, including the residence halls, is strictly prohibited.
22.2 Possession or consumption of psychotropic substances and drugs (except for those prescribed by a physician for a medical condition) anywhere on campus, including the residence halls, is strictly prohibited.
22.3 Students are not permitted on the campus while intoxicated or under the influence of other psychotropic substances or drugs not prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition.
NOTE: Students are encouraged to seek assistance if they require support in dealing with an alcohol or drug problem or if they wish to stop smoking. Confidential help is available from the Student Counselor and other sources of assistance to which students can be referred if needed.
Disciplinary Procedures for Violation of RTC Codes of Student Conduct
Students are subject to disciplinary action on the basis of violation of the RTC codes of student conduct on campus, at RTC-sponsored events, or at any other location or time when the conduct (1) has an adverse impact on the reputation of the RTC, (2) negatively affects, or could affect in the future, the safety or welfare of RTC’s students, employees, property or overall society, or (3) interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of RTC and/or grossly violates RTC’s core values. Thus, offenses for which sanctions may be given are not limited to on-campus behaviors, but include breaches of the law and/or serious misbehavior off campus.
Sanctions for violations shall depend on the offense. A list of possible sanctions appears shortly, but it is not exhaustive as flexibility in suiting the sanction to the offense best serves the interests of the college and its students. For example, in some cases, required community service might be more appropriate than the sanctions listed below. In addition, sometimes a combination of sanctions may be applied. In deciding on such sanctions, college authorities may take a student’s prior inappropriate behavior into account, whether or not it resulted in official sanctions and whether or not the official duration of any prior official sanction is over.
To help ensure a safe and orderly environment, the RA’s and the Resident Mentors will carry out ad-hoc patrolling of the college campus at least twice a week. Students caught violating the RTC codes of conduct will be liable to be sanctioned without any warning and the college community may be notified about such sanctions. In addition, all members of the RTC community, including security personnel, other college staff, and students have the right to lodge a complaint regarding students’ behavior with the Registrar.
Financial Recompense: Students found guilty of any advertent damage to RTC property will be required to pay a reasonable indemnity in order to continue their enrollment at the college. Additional penalties such as suspension may also be imposed. Failure to pay such an indemnity could lead to RTC’s refusal to allow a student to continue his/her enrollment or to provide a certificate of attendance and/or graduation.
Reduction in Marks: Students found guilty of academic offenses shall be subject to a reduction in marks, including a zero for the assignment or even failure of the entire module in egregious cases. As with the other sanctions listed here, a reduction in marks will not preclude additional sanctions, including the requirement to redo the assignment or another more major one in its place, probation, suspension or even expulsion.
Limited Probation: A student can be placed on limited probation for disregard of a particular behavioral guideline or substantial violation of RTC’s core values. Being put on limited probation means that repetition of a similar offense will lead to more severe sanctions. For example, a student placed on limited probation for “disorderly conduct” could be placed on general probation, suspended, or even expelled if that offense is committed again.
General Probation: A student can be placed on general probation for marked disregard of college behavioral guidelines, gross violation of RTC’s core values, disregard of conditions set out as a result of prior disciplinary problems, repetition of offenses normally leading to limited probation, or the like. General probation may be given when the offense is quite serious or when a pattern of repeated disregard of a given rule or disregard of more than one rule, procedure or behavioral guideline exists, whether in a particular instance or over a period of time. Having been put on general probation means that the student may be suspended or expelled if their subsequent behavior does not comport with the standards expected of RTC students, even if the second breach of discipline is relatively minor.
Suspension: A student can be suspended, that is removed from RTC, for a defined period of time such as a week, a semester, or even an academic year, for inappropriate behavior. (Classes missed due to suspension will be counted as absences in computing eligibility to take semester–end exams). Specifically, students can be suspended when the offense is quite serious and/or the Director or Disciplinary Committee feels that the productive functioning of the RTC community or its safety is best served by the student’s absence. Prior disciplinary infractions may be considered in decisions about suspension for a given offence. Suspended students shall be permitted to apply for readmission after the determined period and may be required to fulfill specific conditions before readmission. Residence hall, dining hall, and tuition fees already paid by suspended students at the time of their suspension will be forfeit and no reimbursement of them will be made. Any fees owed to the college at the time of the suspension must be paid in order for readmission to be considered, but payment of such fees does not guarantee admission.
Expulsion from the College: Expulsion, permanent removal from RTC, will be reserved for offenses warranting the maximum punishment due to their severity or the danger the offense poses to the RTC or broader community In addition to disciplinary expulsion from the RTC, expulsion may occur for academic reasons if required academic standards are not met. Residence hall, dining hall, tuition and other fees already paid by expelled students at the time of their expulsion will be forfeit. Residence hall, dining hall, tuition and other fees owed by expelled students at the time of their expulsion must be paid. RTC will not issue any certificates of attendance, graduation or the like if bills remain unpaid. Students who have been expelled for any reason will not be considered for readmission to RTC.
Expulsion from College Housing and/or Loss of Opportunity for Future College Housing: Generally for minor offenses students may be given a warning by the Residence Mentor before more serious action is taken. However, students violating the Residence Hall Code of Conduct or engaging in other behaviors that seriously conflict with those expected from RTC students may be required to vacate their seats in the residence halls immediately and/or to forfeit the opportunity to be considered for a residence hall placement in the following semesters without a warning.
Parental Notification of Disciplinary Issues:The parents/guardians of students engaging in behavior that violates RTC values and codes of conduct seriously enough to lead to formal sanctions will be notified of the situation by the college. In addition, RTC may notify parents/guardians of behavioral issues if it feels it is in the student’s best interest to do so or if verbal warnings do not eliminate behavioral problems.
Broader Notification of Disciplinary Issues: RTC reserves the right to notify the college community, students’ parents, and the broader public of behavior that violates RTC values and codes of conduct seriously enough to lead to formal sanctions should the Director deem such notification to be in the best interests of the college.
Additional Requirements May Be Set for Students As a Result of Disciplinary Action: Students receiving sanctions may be required to fulfill various behavioural requirements beyond refraining from additional offenses, with the possibility of more severe sanctions if they do not. For example, a student on limited probation for smoking in his residence hall might be required to turn into the Registrar an essay on the negative health consequences of second-hand smoke, as well as to refrain from subsequent smoking on campus in order to have that limited probation expire at the end of the semester. A student not fulfilling any such requirements may receive a more severe sanction
Disciplinary Decision-Making Process: Faculty members have the power to decide on sanctions for first-time academic honesty violations of a relatively minor nature, although ALL academic honest offenses shall be reported to the Dean. In the case of repeated or more serious academic offenses, the Dean normally has responsibility for deciding on sanctions up to and including general probation, although he may choose to convene a Disciplinary Committee to decide on a sanction in relatively serious cases. The Registrar normally has responsibility for deciding on sanctions for non-academic behavioral offenses. However, when an offense is serious enough to require immediate attention in order to secure order and safety on campus and to uphold fundamental aspects of RTC’s Codes of Conduct, the Director may take immediate action up to and including expulsion of the offending student from the college. In cases that the Dean or the Registrar believes it should result in suspension or expulsion, a Disciplinary Committee will automatically be convened. If the committee agrees that suspension or expulsion is appropriate, it will forward this recommendation to the Director for a final decision. In all other cases they address, the Disciplinary Committee’s decision regarding the appropriate sanction or sanctions is final.
Should students wish to appeal a sanction imposed by the Dean or the Registrar, they may request a hearing from a Disciplinary Committee. This committee will then decide on the sanction to be applied, which may be more or less severe than the original one.
In line with RTC’s commitment to respect all members of the community, Disciplinary Committees shall include one or more student members, except in unusual cases where the Director determines that this would not be in the best interests of the RTC community or individuals within it. In addition, individuals charged with infractions shall be able to present their perspectives on the charge to the committee directly if they wish.