Jun 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Code of Conduct

(Full policy update August 2023)

The general principles governing community life at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design are shaped by the Mission Statement  of the College and the College’s core values . The Code of Conduct and subsequent conduct process are designed to create a responsible intellectual community; to promote the respect of the College and individual property; to treat all members of the community with respect and dignity; and to sustain an environment that facilitates personal, intellectual, artistic and creative growth and development. 

The RMCAD community, including faculty, staff, students, and authorized FERPA  contacts, are included in this Code of Conduct, whether they are on college property, at a college-authorized event, or are communicating with the college by other means (phone call, web conference, etc.). 

When a student enrolls at the College, they assume the responsibility of observing the policies outlined in the Code of Conduct. A “student” includes all individuals taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time, both on-campus and online, and includes those individuals who are not seeking a degree. Students who withdraw from the College after allegedly violating the Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission, are considered students.

The Conduct Administrator is charged with upholding the tenets detailed in the Code of Conduct, and state and federal laws.

General Principles of The Code of Conduct

Personal Integrity

RMCAD is committed to creating a learning community in which all members participate in the free pursuit of truth and honesty. The College has established an atmosphere of mutual trust in which members of the community abide by ethical standards in conduct and the exercise of responsibilities.

Respect for the Rights + Concerns of Others

All members of the College community are entitled to and responsible for maintaining an environment of civility that is free from disparagement, intimidation, harassment, and violence of any kind. Students, faculty, and staff are expected to treat each other with mutual respect, sensitivity to differences, and fair and just interactions with one another at all times.

Respect for Property

College community members are expected to respect College property, the property of other members of the College community, and the property of the global community in which we live.

Respect for the Law + College Policies

RMCAD operates within the boundaries of federal and state laws, in addition to governing itself. Members of the College community are expected to demonstrate respect for the laws of the State of Colorado, federal laws and regulations, as well as respect for College policies, regulations, procedures, and their administration.

Code of Conduct – Standards of Conduct

The Conduct Administrator is responsible for administering the Code of Conduct and will represent the College in conduct-related matters. Violations of the Standards of Conduct may result in disciplinary action. Likewise, assisting or encouraging another person to engage in violating the Standards of Conduct is grounds for disciplinary action. Failure to report a violation when one has direct or indirect knowledge of circumstances may be considered an endorsement of misconduct and may also be subject to disciplinary action. The following definitions are not designed to be an exhaustive list and must not be interpreted to include all potential violations. 

College Policies

The violation of published College policies, rules, or regulations is prohibited. 

Abuse of the Student Conduct Process

Abuse of the student conduct process includes, but is not limited to, failure to obey the notice to appear for a meeting or a hearing; falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information; disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a hearing; failure to comply with any requirements or sanctions agreed to in disciplinary action; harassment or intimidation of any person involved in a conduct proceeding; the unauthorized release or disclosure of information related to a student conduct proceeding.

Interference, Obstruction, or Disruption

Interference, obstruction, and disruption include behavior that interferes with, obstructs, or disrupts any normal College activity such as teaching, recreation, meetings, public events, disciplinary proceedings, the freedom of expression, and movement of students or other members of the College community and their guests.

Participation in activities that threaten the safety of the College community and/or infringes on the rights of its members is prohibited.

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply or cooperate with RMCAD officials or law enforcement officers acting in their official capacity within established guidelines (provided that no students shall be required to furnish information that would be self-incriminating), including to provide identification when asked or to surrender, upon request, one’s RMCAD identification card  until an incident is resolved.


All forms of physical, emotional, and mental abuse are prohibited. 

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is defined as any act or summary of actions that are disruptive, lewd, indecent, or otherwise breaches the peace; regardless of intent. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to yelling, shouting, or cursing when such conduct is disruptive to others. In addition, such conduct shall include, obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, hearing procedures, or RMCAD activities or other authorized activities, including studying, learning, and emergency services.

Harassment + Discrimination

Harassment is behavior or conduct that objectifies a personal attribute, including race or ethnic origin; gender; physical or mental disability; age; religion; economic class; and sexual orientation, singling it out for ridicule, attack, or disparagement. Conduct indicative of harassment includes, but is not limited to, conduct that would place a reasonable person in fear of their personal safety through words or actions, physical contact, written or verbal comments, or suggestions expressed through email, posting, or other mediums, hostile or threatening gestures or other forms of degradation.


Hazing is any action taken or situated created, whether on or off RMCAD property, to produce physical or mental discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule for initiation into, affiliation with, or admission to, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group, team, club, or other organization.

Physical Aggression

Members of the community must not inflict, or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person. 

Threatening Behavior

RMCAD forbids and will not tolerate or condone any threatening, intimidating, coercive, or reckless conduct by members of the RMCAD community.

Willful Harm to the Psychological Well-being of Another

Willful or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish; any willful or threatened act that results in the physical, mental, or emotional injury of another; including but not limited to bullying, harassment, threats, intimidation, belittling, and/or disparagement.

Violation of the Law

Violation of any federal, state, or local law is prohibited.

Failure to Report Arrests

In addition to accurately reporting prior offenses on their admissions application, students are required to report any arrests that occur while enrolled at RMCAD to the Conduct Administrator via conduct@rmcad.edu.

Firearms, Explosives, Weapons, Dangerous Substances + Devices

Possession and/or use of firearms, explosives, illegal weapons, as defined under state law, air or pellet guns, paintball guns, slingshots, firecrackers, fireworks, or any other object, chemical, or weapon designed or intended to inflict a wound or cause injury (or imitations or replicas of any such item), is prohibited on RMCAD property, including parking lots. This includes concealed weapons for which a permit has been obtained.

Sexual Misconduct

For Sexual Misconduct policies and procedures please see the Title IX: Sexual Misconduct and Non-Discrimination Policy .


Theft, attempted theft of, or unauthorized use or possession of property, services, or software owned or controlled by the College or an individual is prohibited. Theft or attempted theft from the college supply store is subject to disciplinary sanctions detailed herein. Law enforcement may also be called, in which case the college reserves the right to pursue prosecution to the fullest extent applicable.

Damage includes but is not limited to vandalism and graffiti to property of the College; property that belongs to a member of the College community; or other personal or public property.

Digital + Virtual Communication

College Computer, Network, + Telecommunications

The unauthorized use of facilities, services, equipment, account numbers, or files is prohibited. Additionally, it shall be a violation of this Code for any student to read, copy, change, delete, tamper with, or destroy any other user’s files, software, programs, and accounts without the permission of the owner.

Discussion Boards

Students should only post messages to the class discussion forums that are germane to the topic of the class. Students are prohibited from posting criticism of RMCAD faculty, staff, policies, procedures, or other subjects not related to the class in the discussion forums. 

Faculty have the right to censor students’ posts to the discussion forum if they feel the post violates the policies in this handbook or is otherwise inappropriate for class. Properly cited, outside sources such as current articles and stories about the topic are welcome but may be censored by the faculty member at their discretion. Students can contest a censored or deleted post with the faculty member in private communication realizing that the instructor makes the final decision.

Online Conduct + Written Communication

All written communication between members of the community must be professional, respectful, and urbane. Individuals should avoid using sarcasm and jokes as interpretation may vary based on the recipient/viewer. Emails to faculty and staff must adhere to basic grammatical tenets and be free of spelling errors. Students may not use crass language and abbreviated spelling in a collegiate email. Words and sentences written in all caps (e.g. LIKE THIS) will be considered aggressive and as such are inappropriate in written communication.

Students should neither post nor reply to written communication designed to incite angry responses. This type of intentional provocation will be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct. 

Social Media

Social media include but are not limited to, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, BeReal, and Discord. Students must follow the same behavioral standards on social media as they would in other forms of communication abiding by laws, ethical rules, and professional expectations.


Recognize and respect others’ intellectual property rights, including copyrights. Never use more than short excerpts from others’ work, and always attribute content to its original source.


Do not use RMCAD’s logos or any other university images on personal social media sites. Do not use RMCAD’s name to promote a product, cause, political party, or candidate.

RMCAD Affiliation

If you identify yourself as a member of the RMCAD community on any site, either directly or by implication, do not state or imply that you speak for the College unless you have been given express permission to do so. In any communications in which your affiliation with the College is apparent, you must state explicitly that any views you express are your own and do not represent the views of the College.

RMCAD Property

College computers are considered a college resource; any posts you create, including posts on personal or pages unrelated to the College and/or accounts, using college property or while on College grounds must adhere to the College Code of Conduct.

Objectionable or Inflammatory Posts

Do not post anything profane, obscene, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another person or entity. Such conduct is subject to RMCAD’s Code of Conduct and anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.


Do not make false, misleading, or defamatory statements about RMCAD, its faculty, staff, students, or competitors.

Disclosure of Private Matters

Do not disclose private facts about RMCAD or its faculty, staff, or students. This includes conversations or statements the parties intended as private, and disclosure of internal management, operational, and personnel discussions communicated to limited audiences in the course of operating the College.

Substance Abuse

In compliance with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Campuses regulations, RMCAD prohibits the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance (illicit drugs and alcohol) of any kind and any amount by students and employees. These prohibitions cover any individual’s actions that are part of any RMCAD activities, including those occurring while on RMCAD property or in the conduct of RMCAD business away from the campus. More specifically, the following is prohibited:

  • The unlawful possession, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, or use (or misuse) of alcohol by those under the age of 21.
  • The unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, or purchase of alcohol by those over the age of 21.
  • The possession, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, or use (or misuse) of marijuana of any kind, in any amount.
  • The unlawful possession, unauthorized manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, or use (or misuse) of a controlled substance.
  • Verbal threats or disruptive, disorderly, or threatening behavior while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Being in an intoxicated condition.

And under local law, the following are prohibited:

  • Carrying or consuming alcoholic beverages in open containers while operating a motor vehicle, regardless of age.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or legal drugs if they impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle is illegal.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty occurs when a student “deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source” (Council of Writing Program Administrators, 2019, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/legalcode). 

Academic integrity also extends to self-plagiarism, which is the use of one’s own previous work in another context without citing that it was previously used. This can be work created in other classes, including previous attempts at the same class, or for outside college activities. Any deviation from this policy must be preapproved by the faculty member in writing. 

Other forms of inappropriate academically dishonest behavior include falsifying records or data, forgery, lying, unauthorized copying, tampering, abusing, or otherwise unethically using a computer or other stored information.


Failure to Clean Up + Remove Belongings

Any belongings abandoned in campus buildings or grounds for over 7 days will become the property of the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and may be discarded.

Guests + Visitors

Community members are responsible for the behavior of their guests. Any violation of the Code of Conduct or College policies by a guest may result in a complaint and sanction against the hosting student or employee. See the Visitors  section of the catalog for more information.

Models in the Classroom

RMCAD hires models to pose for studio classes, and in many instances, the models work nude. As per the course syllabus, instructor direction, and the Code of Conduct, students are required to treat models professionally and respectfully. Students under the age of 18 will be required to submit written permission from their parent or guardian through the Parental Request Form, allowing them to attend classes in which nude models are utilized. For the complete policy click here  .

Unauthorized Use of or Entry to RMCAD Facilities

Accessing, entering, or using RMCAD facilities, property, systems, or services without authorization is prohibited.

Conduct Process

Progressive Sanctions

RMCAD is concerned with the individual and will consider all of the circumstances in a particular case when assigning sanctions. The college’s primary focus in addressing violations of the code of conduct is to stop the behavior, prevent future violations, and remedy the situation. This includes past disciplinary records, the nature of the violation, and the severity of the damage, injury, or harm. Sanctions are intended to be progressive and educational in nature, to prevent future violations from occurring. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed for violating the Student Code of Conduct policy.

No Action

It may be found that the accusations against the student are unsubstantiated and no action will be taken. 


A notification and/or warning is written or oral communication that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action. 

Grading Penalty

When a student is found responsible for engaging in academic dishonesty, the faculty member may impose a grading penalty, which could include failure for the assignment in question, a reduction in grade, or failure in the class. If in the process of a plagiarism investigation, plagiarism in prior classes is identified, grades for prior classes may have a reduction in grade applied, including failure.

Discretionary Sanctions

Discretionary sanctions include but are not limited to, alcohol or drug education, a recommendation for counseling, required mental health assessment, or a special educational project designed to assist the student in better understanding the overall impact of their conduct. Students may also be referred to the Counselor for evaluation or restricted from certain College buildings. 

Restitution or Fines

Fines or restitution may be imposed as a sanction to offset the damage caused or potentially caused by misconduct. The student is required to make payment, either in money or services, to the College or to other persons, groups, or organizations that may be affected by the misconduct.

Loss of Privileges

The student may be denied specific privileges for a specific period. Privileges may include but are not limited to, guests, computer use, or participation in activities.

Disciplinary Probation

Disciplinary probation is a specific period allotted for a student in which to show changes in behavior. Violations of the terms of probation or subsequent misconduct are grounds for further disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion.


Suspension is the separation of the student from the College for a defined period, after which the student is eligible to re-enroll or re-apply for admission. Re-admission or re-enrollment is not guaranteed. Specific criteria may be imposed during the conduct process as conditions for re-enrollment or re-admission. During a period of suspension, the student may lose access to student resources including College-sponsored email, applications, and software, and be barred from visiting campus or participating in College-sponsored events and programs off-campus.


In the case of expulsion, the student is required to permanently leave the College and will be denied future access to the College campus. All expulsions recommended by the Conduct Administrator, Dean of Students, or the Hearing Board must be approved by the College President. 

Refund Policy

In the event of suspension, expulsion, or removal from enrollment at the College for cause, tuition is forfeited.

The Student Conduct Hearing Process

The College views the conduct process as an experience that can result in growth and a personal understanding of one’s responsibilities and privileges within the College community. It is not intended to be a substitute for civil or criminal legal proceedings, so therefore outside legal representation of a student by counsel is not permitted. 

This process is designed to provide a fair evaluation of whether or not a student has violated College policies. Formal rules of evidence do not apply in the College’s conduct process. The College uses the preponderance of evidence when determining responsibility for alleged violations of the Code of Conduct. A preponderance of evidence means that what is alleged to have happened is, more likely than not, what happened. This shall be the standard of proof used in all conduct proceedings under this code.

In an emergency, the College reserves the right to take administrative action, apart from the student conduct process. Such action may be taken when conduct poses an unreasonable threat to the student(s) engaged in the conduct, other individuals, or the College. The Dean of Students or Conduct Administrator must approve all such administrative actions.

In every case, the judgments made by the Conduct Administrator, Dean of Students, or the Hearing Board are made based upon a preponderance of the evidence. 

Notice of Charges

Students accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation resulting in expulsion will be given written notice of charges. The notice will describe the alleged conduct violations and will inform the student of the expulsion decision. 

Administrative Conference with a Hearing Officer

The next recommended step in the process is an administrative conference between the Conduct Administrator and the accused. The following may occur during an administrative conference:

  • An explanation of the discipline process
  • A review of the allegations with the student 
  • The student will be allowed to respond to the charges, either during the meeting or within a specified time frame 
  • The student must submit the information requested by the Conduct Administrator within five business days; failure to respond within the aforementioned time frame will result in the College deciding on the alleged code of conduct violation.

Appeal Process

A student may appeal, in writing to the Dean of Students, a decision reached by the Conduct Administrator within five business days of the date of the decision letter or the administrative conference. 

The basis for appeal is limited to a significant procedural error to the rights of the student; compelling new evidence not available at the time of the decision, which when considered, may alter the decision; or the imposition of a sanction that was arbitrary and capricious.

The possible outcomes of an appeal are:

  • Denial of the appeal
  • Remand the case back to the Dean of Students to reconsider the new information and/or sanction
  • Hear the case and uphold, modify, or reverse the original sanction

Record of Discipline

Student disciplinary records will be maintained in keeping with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974   (FERPA) and subsequent amendments and the guidelines for implementation. The record of disciplinary actions will be kept on file in the Office of the Dean of Students. Disciplinary records are maintained for seven years from the date of the last decision. Information regarding a student’s disciplinary record is available to persons or offices internal to the College, who have a demonstrated need to know.