Santa Fe College is a junior public college based in Gainesville, Florida. The college is commonly used as a bridge for students who wish to transfer to the University of Florida. It also offers certifications for skilled professions including Dental Assisting, Air Conditioning Repair, and Automotive Technology.  As of 2020, there were 18,487 students enrolled at Santa Fe Community College and more than 50 accredited programs to choose from.

Like any institution of higher learning, the students are expected to abide by the established Student Conduct Code set forth by Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). Violating these policies and procedures could result in a disciplinary action including a possible suspension, campus or building ban, and in some cases expulsion. That is why we highly encourage you to contact an experienced student defense attorney as soon as possible if you received notice you must attend a disciplinary action hearing.

Student Defense Gainesville Attorney | Santa Fe Community College, Alachua County

Have you been arrested for a criminal offense or were you notified you violated the policies and procedures of SFCC? If so, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer with Galigani Law Firm. Our attorneys have spent decades defending students from suspension and expulsion. We can examine the facts of the violation and research into your legal options.

Call Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 to save your academic career. Our skilled lawyers are located in Gainesville, but we accept clients at other universities including University of Florida (UF), Florida State University (FSU) and the University of South Florida (USF).

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Prohibited Conduct at Santa Fe College, FL

According to the Student Conduct Code, each student is responsible for their own conduct while they are admitted into the college. The Code applies to a student even if they’ve withdrawn from school during a pending conduct matter. The college has a time limit for charging a student or student organization with a violation, which is up to one calendar year after the complaint was filed. This deadline may be expanded if the identity of the Respondent is not determined within the one-year time limit.

Listed below are some violations under the Santa Fe College Conduct Code.

  • Disruption – The obstruction, or interference with teaching, classes, research, educational environment or experience, conduct proceeding, or any function/activity on the college premises.
  • Threats – Threatening another person with physical, verbal, and written abuse, threats, intimidation, coercion, or any conduct that puts someone in reasonable fear.
  • Discrimination & Harassment – Any form of harassment, discrimination, and/or sexual harassment is prohibited under College Rule 2.8.
  • Theft and/or Vandalism – Attempted or actual theft or vandalism and/or damage to College property or a property belonging to a member of the College community.
  • Hazing – Any action/situation recklessly or intentionally endangering the mental or physical health or safety of a student as part of an initiation or admission with a. group or organization operating under the sanction of the College.
  • Drug Possession and/or Distribution – Possession, use, distribution, or delivery of a controlled substance is prohibited under the Conduct Code. This does include misuse of a prescription drug that could alter a person’s state including Adderall.
  • Possession of Weapons – The college prohibits the possession of firearms, electric weapons or devices, destructive devices, explosives, and other weapons such as a razor blade or dangerous chemicals.
  • Gambling – As defined under the Florida Statues Chapter 849.
  • Sexual Misconduct – Sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating violence or relationship violence, sex discrimination, retaliation, stalking, and/or domestic violence is prohibited under the Conduct Code.

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Disciplinary Hearing Process for Santa Fe College

Most violations are reported to Santa Fe College via a complaint, usually online. All complaints are sent to the Student Conduct Officer who manage the complaint in accordance with the Student Code. The officer will then send written notice of the violation to any Respondents at least seven Instructional Days before the hearing. The notice should include the following:

  • The allegations that are being investigated and the Student Conduct Code citation that was violated
  • The process that will be used to determine whether a violation occurred
  • The date, time, location of the disciplinary hearing

After receiving the complaint, the Student Conduct Officer will determine what type of investigation will be used to resolve the issue. Listed below are some possible procedures a Student Conduct Officer may take in response to a disciplinary action at the Santa Fe College.

  • Mediation – In some cases, the Student Conduct Officer will coordinate a mediation process between the Respondent and the person who complained (Complainant). This is voluntary and requires all parties to meet and discuss the issue with a neutral third party. If the mediation is successful, both parties will sign an agreement.
  • Informal Resolution – The Student Conduct Officer may take an informal approach to resolve the matter. The Respondent can bring legal representation and must tell Santa Fe College 24 hours ahead of time if they choose to do so. At the informal hearing, the Respondent will review the charges and accept responsibility for the violation(s). From there, the Respondent and the Conduct Officer will discuss how to resolve the issue and possible sanctions if necessary.
  • Student Conduct Board Hearing – If all else fails, the Student Conduct Officer will have to schedule a formal hearing. The hearing will be before a panel of at least three appropriately trained and neutral third parties. The Student Conduct Board hearing must be schedules for no less than 7 nor more than 25 Instructional Days after the student has been notified of their violationThe hearing is normally conducted in private and the Complainant, Respondent and their advisors can attend the whole proceeding. Both the Respondent and Complainant have the right to counsel and must notify the Conduct Officer of that advisor 24 hours before the hearing commences. Each party will have the right to present information, answer questions from the Board, the other parties, and call upon witnesses.The Complainant or College will have the right to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that a violation occurred. Essentially, this means the Complainant or College must present evidence that proves more likely than not the violation was committed by the Respondent. Like any normal criminal proceeding, the Respondent does reserve the right to remain silent until upon instruction of their counsel.

Depending on the hearing, the Respondent may face a sanction imposed by the College. Listed below are some possible sanctions the Respondent may face if they violate the Conduct Code.

  • Interim Suspension
  • Deferred Suspension
  • Probation
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Restitution
  • Discretionary Sanctions
  • Conduct Flag
  • Suspension
  • Campus or Building Ban
  • Revocation of Admission or Degree
  • Withholding Degree
  • Placement of XF on transcript to show misconduct
  • Denial of academic credits
  • Expulsion

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Additional Resources

Santa Fe College Code of Conduct – Visit the official website of the Santa Fe College to read their Conduct Code handbook. Access the site to learn more about academic probation, academic dishonesty, the appeals process, and more information.

Report Misconduct – Visit the official website of the Santa Fe College to learn how you can file a complaint for any violation of the SF Conduct Code other than Academic Misconduct. Access the site to learn what the form entails, and links to forms for Academic Misconduct.

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Alachua County Defense Lawyer | Student Conduct Code Violation, SFC

If you or someone you know is under investigation for an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code at the Santa Fe College, it’s within your best interest to get legal representation. The Code allows Respondents to have an “advisor” AKA legal representation as long as they inform their Student Conduct Officer 24 hours prior. The experienced legal team at Galigani Law Firm have spent decades defending students from conduct code violations and by doing so preserved their academic careers.

Call Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation for free. Galigani Law Firm is located in Gainesville, but accepts cases throughout all parts of Alachua County, Florida.

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