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Will I Get Kicked Out Of College For Stealing?

Will I Get Kicked Out Of College For Stealing?

The answer to the question, "Will I get kicked out of college for stealing?" would normally be found in the honor code of your college or institution. While it is not very likely that you might get kicked out of college for stealing, it is highly probable that disciplinary action can be taken against you for stealing.

Please do check in the student handbook for what penalties are levied for stealing in your college. The honor code is an integral component of every college and it consists of a statement proclaiming the college's stand on moral issues such as misrepresentation, cheating, stealing, etc.

Honor codes are wonderfully designed to be self-regulating as students are bound by the honor code to report instances of any violation; even those that don't directly involve them. The following issues are normally discussed and the related penalty norms stipulated in the honor codes:

  • Plagiarism

  • Cheating

  • Stealing

  • Misrepresentation of facts

  • Unfair advantages

  • Fabrication and lying

  • Use of drugs, alcohol, etc

Definition of some of the above terms

Stealing is an act of intentionally taking someone else's property without approval, permission, or right.

Cheating includes all forms of practices that involve any degree of deceit, dishonesty or fraud. These cheating practices include all those expressly forbidden in the honor code of the college and also those that are not mentioned.

Plagiarism is defined as the act of stealing and passing off someone else's ideas and/or words as your own; plagiarism is the act of using another's production without giving due credit; plagiarism is literary theft; plagiarism is the act of presenting an idea or product derived from an existing source as an original and new idea.

Misrepresentation of the facts is defined as an offense or act of giving a misleading or false account of facts.

Unfair advantage is defined as taking leverage of something in an unethical and/or unjust manner. An example of an unfair advantage act would be to cheat in an exam.

Fabrication or lying is defined as an act of giving a misleading or wrong statement with a deliberate intent to cheat or deceive.

Reasons for taking disciplinary action against erring students

Disciplinary action can include suspension, probation or dismissal from the college. Most times, disciplinary action is imposed only after conducting fair process through case hearings in front of authorized committees in accordance with laid-down procedures. However, in appropriate cases, students could be suspended or dismissed even before a hearing.

Disciplinary action could be imposed for the following reasons:

  • Forgery, or intentionally providing false information, or altering college documents

  • Academic dishonesty including cheating in exams, cheating while doing homework or assignments, plagiarism, etc

  • Using abusive threats or physical abuse against college staff, their families, or against other students

  • Disrupting administrative and educational functioning or processes with through expression or through action

  • Stealing college property; stealing property belonging to college staff; stealing other students' or visitors' property

  • Intimidation or verbal abuse of students, college staff including use of profanity or other hostile acts

  • Sale of banned narcotics and drugs; even knowledge of existence of these substances and not reporting could lead to serious repercussions to students

  • Destroying college property or other such acts of vandalism

  • Indecent, obscene, or explicit sexual behavior including through the Internet

  • Threat of use or possession of deadly weapons such as guns, knives, bombs, explosives etc

  • Use of alcohol on campus

  • Sexual assault and/or harassment

  • Assisting or soliciting the help of another person in an act that has college sanctions

  • Trespassing in unauthorized areas of the college campus

  • Failure to immediately leave a restricted area when ordered to do so by an authorized college employee

  • Using college equipment and/or networks to do wrongful or illegal acts

  • Violating the college regulations with regards to the use of computers

  • Violating visitor policy

  • Violation animal policy

The course of action taken when students violate rules of the college

An incident report is filed with the college authorities giving details of the time, date, and circumstances related to the violation.

This report includes a lot of details including a detailed description of the actions committed by all the involved parties, names of any witnesses, and any documentary evidence supporting the charge. When the authorized committee receives the incident report, they decide whether an act of violation of college policies and procedures has been committed.

If the committee does not find ample evidence to support the claim of violation, then they notify the individual who filed the report. If there is sufficient information to determine a violation, then the erring student(s) are contacted and an investigation is conducted.

If the investigation reveals a violation of any honor code, then the student gets a notice in writing giving details of the date, the time, and the place where the incident took place. The student is liable for a penalty if found guilty of breaking the honor code. However, the judicial committee of the college is also responsible for a free and fair hearing where the student can present his or her case.

The college honor code could include circumstances wherein a student can request for a waiver of a hearing in return for a lower penalty.

When the violations are categorized as minor, then the student may be left with just a simple warning message given in writing (normally sent to the latest updated email ID). This message will also contain a warning to the student telling him or her of any severe consequences if he or she is found guilty of violating the honor code again.

This kind of written warning does not get notified and/or documented in the student's conduct record. Disciplinary probation is invoked if the violation is of higher degree than that that warrants only a written warning and a lower degree than that that calls for a suspension.

Serious misconduct cases are served with suspension notices. Normally, a suspension follows only when the student has failed to meet the requirements of a lesser sanction such as a disciplinary probation. During the suspension period, the student will not be allowed to be on campus except to attend hearings. If suspension rules are violated, then a dismissal call can be invoked.

Dismissal or expulsion from college is the most stringent action that is taken against a student. After expulsion, the student is barred from entering the college campus and if seen, he or she can be prosecuted for unlawful entry.

Disciplinary probation, suspensions, and expulsions are noted on the student's transcript. While the disciplinary probation and suspension have a start and end dates, expulsions are permanent.

Final Notes

I hope you realize that your life in college is more than the question you started with, "Will I get kicked out of college for stealing?" College life is for learning, for growing and for developing your body, your mind, and your personality. When you graduate from college, you will be a much better person than when you entered.

When you finish college successfully and without a blot against your name, the opportunities for success will be really broad-based. However, you must remember that the outside world is far trickier than the comforting environs of your college. You must arm yourself with sufficient skills to meet and overcome the challenges of the outside world.

College time is for this express purpose. I would suggest that you do not waste this golden opportunity (which, by the way, many are not lucky enough to get) by focusing on elements that are not good for you. Focus on studying and finding meaningful, lifelong friends.

At Prescott Papers, we have helped many students during their times of crises enabling them to reduce stresses of college and manage their time better. Do not hesitate to call for all your academic writing needs.

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