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    Palo Alto College
   
 
  Oct 19, 2017
 
 
    
Palo Alto College Schedule/Catalog 2017-2018

My Wellness and Safety


Health

Communicable Diseases Policy

Communicable diseases include, but are not limited to, measles, influenza, viral hepatitis-A (infectious hepatitis), viral hepatitis-B (serum hepatitis), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV infection), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), leprosy, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and tuberculosis.

Students with communicable diseases, whether acute or chronic, are subject to provisions outlined in policy F.3.1.1.

Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination 

Per Texas State Law (SB 1107), students who meet the criteria below must  provide proper documentation that they have received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last five years and at least 10 calendar days before the beginning of the semester.   

  • All new, transfer or transient students under age 22.
  • All returning students under the age of 22, who have experienced a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring term.
  • Students enrolled in online or dual credit courses who physically attend classes at any of the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District.
  • New or returning continuing education students enrolled in a course or program that is at least 360 contact hours.

Equal Education Opportunity

Americans with Disabilities Act / ADA Coordinator 

Disability support services at the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District assist students with acquiring the tools they need to be successful in college. Students who are eligible for disability-related services must have a temporary or permanent disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under the ADA and Section 504, a person is disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, standing, seeing, speaking, hearing, or breathing. For specific information regarding disability services, contact the Disability Services office, which can be found in the navigation bar to the left under “Contact Information and Hours.” For more information on your civil rights, see the Alamo Colleges District’s ADA and Section 504 Policy and Procedures and the Rehabilitation Act and Title IX below.

Personal Attendant Care (PCA)

The colleges in the Alamo Colleges District are committed to providing all students equal access to its programs, facilities, and services and recognizes that a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may be necessary to address the personal needs of a student with a disability in order for that student to fully participate in the college’s offerings.

Students who require personal care attendant services are encouraged to enlist the services of a PCA to assist with personal needs as well as to facilitate as full integration into the college experience as reasonably possible. It is not the responsibility of the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District to provide personal care attendant services to meet the personal needs of students. It is the sole responsibility of the student to provide a PCA to assist the student should an attendant need to be hired. For additional information see policy F.1.1.1.

 Rehabilitation Act and Title IX (Equal Educational Opportunity)

The Alamo Colleges District does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation with respect to access, employment programs, or services. Inquiries or complaints concerning these matters should be brought to the attention of: Linda Boyer-Owens, Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Title IX Coordinator, 210/485-0200. Address: Human Resources Department, 201 W. Sheridan, Bldg. A, San Antonio, Texas 78204. EEO Statement.

Alamo Colleges District Civil Rights Policy and Procedures:  

H.1.1 Equal Education and Employment Opportunities (Policy)   

H.1.1 Attachment-A Title IX/VII/ADA/504 Coordinator Organization  

H.1.2 Civil Rights Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (Policy)  

H.1.2.1 Civil Rights Complaint and Resolution (Procedure)

H.1.2.1 Civil Rights Complaint (Diagram) 

H.1.2.2 Civil Rights Complaint Appeal (Procedure)

H.1.2.2 Civil Rights Appeal (Diagram) 

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

Sex offenses are crimes of a sexual nature that may be misdemeanors or felonies. The Texas Department of Safety (DPS) has established the Sex Offender Registry, a computerized central database drawn on registration information submitted by criminal justice agencies.

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act

The Campus SaVE Act seeks to address the violence women face on campus: the highest rates of stalking, the highest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence, and 20-25% of female students experiencing rape or attempted rape. The federal legislation updates the Jeanne Clery Act to create transparency, education, and collaboration for preventing and responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If you are the victim of sexual misconduct or sexual assault, you are encourage to file a complaint with the Title  IX Coordinator and or Campus Police.

Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.  The Alamo Colleges District’s Annual Clery Act Report is available online through the Alamo Colleges Police Department.  

Sexual Harassment

The Alamo Colleges District prohibits sexual and other harassment on the basis of protected criteria toward another student or an Alamo Colleges District employee as set out by Board policy (F.4.3 and F.4.4). The complaint process is outlined in Board policy F.4.3.1. (Procedure) and F.4.4.1 (Procedure). When a charge of sexual or other harassment against a student is substantiated, the college will take disciplinary action as set out by Board policy (F.4.2 and F.4.2.1).

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, such as inappropriate touching.
  • Overt or implied threats against an individual to induce him/her to perform sexual favors or to engage in an unwelcome sexual relationship.
  • Verbal innuendos or jokes of a sexual nature, including graphic or degrading verbal comments about an individual or his/her appearance.
  • Use of sexually suggestive terms or gestures to describe a person’s body, clothing, or sexual activities.
  • Displays or posts of offensive sexually suggestive pictures or materials on College District property.

The chief student affairs officer or designee promptly investigates and addresses all complaints of sexual harassment and other harassment filed against a student whether the complaint is brought forward by another student or an Alamo Colleges District employee as set out by Board policy (F.4.3.1). Neither the Alamo Colleges District nor any college employee, agent, or student may retaliate against a student who in good faith reports perceived sexual or other harassment.

Strategies of Behavioral Intervention (SOBI)

The colleges in the Alamo Colleges District are committed to a safe and supportive learning and working environment for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. The unfortunate reality is that a small number of individuals may exhibit disruptive or threatening behavior in classrooms, lab areas, offices, field sites, and other educational settings, or via electronic means such as email, discussion boards, online meeting spaces, and audio video conferencing.  Students may report such behaviors through a Behavioral Incident Report or through the Ethics hotline toll-free (866-294-3696). Reports may be submitted anonymously.  A SOBI Guide is available to assist students in determining appropriate action when another student’s behavior is of concern. An Incident Reporting form is available online.

Student Complaints

Student Complaints & Grievance Procedures

Students who believe that they have been discriminated against or who believe that the Alamo Colleges District has not adequately fulfilled its obligations under the provisions of Title IX, Section 504, or the ADA may address their concerns to the coordinator or file a complaint as set forth in the Alamo Colleges District’s student grievance procedures (see Rehabilitation Act and Title IX). Contact information is available in the Alamo Colleges District’s Equal Educational Opportunity statement.

Americans with Disabilities Act Student Grievance Procedure

Students who feel that they have been discriminated against or who feel that Alamo Colleges District has not adequately fulfilled its obligations under the provisions of Title IX, Section 504, or the ADA may address their concerns to the coordinator or file a complaint as outlined in the student grievance procedures (F.4.3 and F.4.4). Contact information is available in the Alamo Colleges District Equal Educational Opportunity statement.

Alamo Colleges District Police Department

The Alamo Colleges District Police Department provides law enforcement and security services to all components of the Alamo Colleges District including academic campuses and a variety of satellite facilities in its service region, including Bexar and Guadalupe Counties. The primary objective of patrol officers is to provide a safe environment for employees, students, and the community. All Alamo Colleges District Police Officers are certified Texas Peace Officers. Police protection is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Alamo Colleges District Police Department is responsible for:

  • Emergency services
  • Criminal investigations
  • Traffic enforcements/investigations
  • Providing escorts
  • Crime prevention
  • Responding to call(s) for service
  • Non-emergency request (s)
  • Parking management
  • Lost and Found
  • Compliance with the Campus Security Act of 1990

Complaint Against a Police Officer

The Government Code of the State of Texas requires that in order for a complaint against a law enforcement officer to be considered by a Chief or the head of a Police Department, the complaint must be placed in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. A copy of the signed complaint must be presented to the affected officer or employee within a reasonable amount of time after the complaint is filled and before any disciplinary action may be taken against the affected employee (Sec. 614.022-023).

For additional information regarding the complaint process, consult the Alamo Colleges District Police Department webpage

Contacting Students in Case of an Emergency

The Alamo Colleges District maintains a mass emergency communication system. In the event of a college or emergency closure, students will be notified through email, voicemail, and text message. Participation is on an “opt-in basis,” but students are encouraged to participate by logging in to their ACES accounts and clicking on “My Page” link. In order to ensure successful delivery of emergency notifications, all students are encouraged to review the accuracy of their contact information on file.

A family member who is trying to reach an Alamo Colleges District student can contact the Alamo Colleges District Police Department at (210) 485-0099.

Take time to become familiar with your college Emergency Plan and the Alamo Colleges District Police Department Quick Reference Guide

To access your college Emergency Plan, see “Contact Information and Hours” on the left hand navigation bar.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the Alamo Colleges District has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by a student on its property or as part of any of its activities. The Alamo Colleges District recognizes the importance of awareness about alcohol and other drug abuse. The standards of conduct and legal and disciplinary sanctions for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse are outlined in the academic catalog.

Hazing

All hazing is forbidden at the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District. Hazing is any reckless act, occurring on or off the college campus, by one person or a group of persons, directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include students at the college. Detailed prohibitions against hazing are outlined in the academic catalog.

Interrogations and Searches

The Alamo Colleges District respects the right of students to privacy and security and against arbitrary invasion of their person or property. However, school officials have a limited right to search students or their property when in the interest of the overall welfare of other students or when necessary to preserve good order and discipline. If no search warrant is obtained, any prohibited item within “plain view” is subject to seizure.

Areas such as lockers and desks, which are owned and controlled by the Alamo Colleges District, may be searched by school officials when they have reason to believe that stolen items or items prohibited by law or by Board policy are contained in the area to be searched. Indiscriminate searches in the nature of “fishing expeditions” are prohibited.

Stolen items and items which are forbidden by Alamo Colleges District’s policy or law may be confiscated and may be used as evidence in internal school disciplinary proceedings against the student. The preceding policies will not apply in the event that law enforcement authorities are involved in the search. School searches conducted with assistance from law enforcement authorities are governed by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Prohibited Weapons

In accordance with Texas Penal Code Chapter 46, it is a felony or a class A misdemeanor to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly possess a firearm, illegal knife or prohibited weapon (with or without a license to carry a handgun) and to openly carry on any property owned, controlled, or leased by the College District, including vehicles operated by the Alamo Colleges District.

The Student Code of Conduct prohibits the possession of a prohibited weapon on District premises or any off‐campus premises at a District‐sponsored activity, function or event.  Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Explosive weapons and components thereof
  • Firearms carried openly other than by licensed peace officers
  • Switchblades or other illegal knives
  • Martial arts and knuckle weapons
  • Chemical-dispensing devices
  • Tire-deflation devices
  • Clubs and other weapons as more specifically defined in the Texas Penal Code and the City of San Antonio, Texas.

Lockers and cars parked on college campus or on premises leased or used for official District or college functions may be inspected by college personnel if there is reasonable cause to believe they contain prohibited weapons.

Firearms: Licensed Concealed Campus Carry

Licensed concealed campus carry of handguns at the Alamo Colleges District is permitted effective August 1, 2017. Locked-vehicle storage of firearms not prohibited by Texas Penal Code §46.05 is permitted.       

Concealed carry of a handgun by persons licensed to carry may not be restricted except in locations signed as prohibited areas. License holders carrying on campus intending to access prohibited areas must leave their weapons locked in their vehicles. College lockers are not authorized for storage of handguns by license holders.

Texas law does not allow employees or students to tell license holders to refrain from exercising their legal right to carry concealed in class, to ask whether carrying, to demand to pat down, etc. By law, only police are permitted to ask whether a person is a license holder or carrying.

If you see a person openly carrying or deliberately displaying a firearm:

  • Call the Alamo Colleges District Police (210) 485-0911
  • Do not confront the person or ask if the person has a permit

Open Carry of Firearms

No open carry of firearms is allowed on all property owned, controlled, or leased by the College District, including vehicles operated by the Alamo Colleges District or at any off‐campus premises at a District‐or College sponsored activity, function or event. 

Disciplinary Sanctions

Open carry, intentional display, unlicensed carry, and carry in spite of signed prohibition are subject to employee and student discipline, as well as possible prosecution. Unintentional display of a weapon by a license holder must be avoided.  Police will exercise their enforcement discretion. 

Additional Alamo Colleges District information is available in the eCatalog and Student Code of Conduct and on the Licensed Concealed Campus Carry of Handguns website.

Protecting Your Property

Anticipate potential risks to your personal property and take steps to remove or reduce it. Ninety percent of prevention is awareness.

  • Mark all books, backpacks, cell phones, etc. with name and driver’s license number
  • Program emergency numbers in cell phone
  • Report all stolen books to local bookstore and campus police
  • Guard your personal belongings at all times (computers, electronic devices, jewelry, purses, wallets, etc.)

A vehicle in a parking lot is an inviting target for theft, vandalism or burglary. To minimize risk:

  • Remove ignition key 
  • Lock all doors 
  • Secure all windows 
  • Avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle, but if you must, lock them in the trunk before departing
  • Use anti-theft locks 
  • Consider installing an alarm system 
  • Record serial numbers of all radio, stereo or the other equipment 
  • Report suspicious activity in parking lots