Apr 23, 2024  
2024-2025 College Catalog 
    
2024-2025 College Catalog

College Policies



WITCC is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages scholarship, the robust exchange of ideas and interactions with others in a safe environment.

WITCC reserves the right to deny admission or place conditions on admission or the enrollment of any applicant, student, or former student if WITCC determines that such person presents an unreasonable risk to the safe and orderly campus environment.

WITCC also reserves the right to deny a student’s application for residence hall housing, or remove a student from a residence hall, if WITCC determines that the student presents an unreasonable risk of harm to others in the residence hall.

Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance

WITCC complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

The person charged with monitoring and coordinating Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action matters, as well as compliance with the aforementioned laws is the Equal Employment Opportunity Administrator/ADA Coordinator. She is located in Room A242 (employees) or may be contacted by phone at (712) 274-8733, ext. 1406. Or Room  A517 or may be contacted by phone (712) 274-8733, ext 2887.

Sexual and Gender Harassment

WITCC is pledged to maintain an environment conducive to work and study for staff and students. That environment must be free of sexual and gender harassment and all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation. Such behavior, including (1) suggestions that academic reprisals or rewards will follow refusal or granting of sexual favors or (2) behavior which creates an intimidating or hostile academic environment constitutes gross misconduct and will not be tolerated.

Complaints regarding sexual and gender harassment can be directed to the Sexual Harassment Conciliator. She is located in Room A242 or may be contacted by phone at (712) 274-8733, ext. 1406.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of Western Iowa Tech Community College not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, actual or potential parent, family or marital status, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by state and federal civil rights regulation.

If you have questions or complaints, please contact Dean of Human Resources (employees) 4647 Stone Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106; 712-274-6400 ext. 1406; equity@witcc.edu  or Dean of Opportunity and Engagement (students) 4647 Stone Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106; 712-274-6400 ext. 2887; equity@witcc.edu or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone number (312) 730-1560, fax (312) 730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339; email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

Individuals using assistive technology (such as a screen reader, Braille reader, etc.) who experience difficulty accessing information on this web site, should send an email to the Webmaster at webmaster@witcc.edu. The e-mail should include the nature of the accessibility problem and the individual’s e-mail address for a response. If the accessibility problem involves a particular Web page, the message should include the URL (Web address) of the page. We will contact individuals having accessibility problems within three business days to assist them and to provide them with the information being sought.

 

Discipline

Students are to maintain orderly conduct that is consistent with an educational environment. An instructor may remove a student from class for disciplinary/code of conduct related reasons. The violation is then reported to the Judicial Hearing Officer for review and action. The Judicial Hearing Officer is designated by the Dean of Students as the first point of contact, and has authority to act on any violation and take whatever action is deemed appropriate. The Judicial Hearing Officer will review all complaints and may dismiss the allegations, make an administrative disposition, or conduct a formal hearing.  Possible disciplinary actions, procedures for disciplinary due process, and a list of potential sanctions and/or fines can be found in the Student Handbook or in the Catalog under Student Rights and Responsibilities.  

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Western Iowa Tech Community College complies with the provisions of the Federal Family educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”). Under the Act, each student has the right to inspect and review their student records and request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading student records or request the amendment of student records to ensure they are not otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.

FERPA also covers other information about student records that the College maintains, including, but not limited to, who has access to them, and for what purposes access is granted. Generally, FERPA allows the College to release personally identifiable information contained in student records with the student’s consent and without the student’s consent in some circumstances. FERPA also permits the College to release “directory information” without the student’s consent. Directory information consists of: Student name, student address and telephone number, date and place of birth, major/field of study, level of education, dates of attendance, degrees and honors earned and dates, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended prior to enrollment at the College.

Students who wish to restrict access to their records may do so in the Admissions Office. This same office can provide WITCC policy statements and guidelines for access or restricting of access to student records.

If a student feels the College has failed to comply with any provision of FERPA or its regulations, the student may file a complaint with the:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

Drug-Free College Community

The College shall endeavor to provide a healthy, safe, and secure educational environment. It is the policy of the Board that within the powers of the college, reasonable measures shall be taken to establish and maintain a drug-free college community as required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act/Amendment of 1988 (PL101-226), and applicable Iowa statutes.

Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Campus

Smoking, the use of tobacco and the use of e-cigarettes are not allowed anywhere on campus. This includes buildings, parking lots, common areas, outdoor arenas, and any vehicle located on the school grounds, and including the perimeter area of fifty feet beyond such school grounds to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted. Anyone caught smoking on campus will be fined.

 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) Intellectual Property Rights


This message is delivered to all students that attend Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) to provide information about the lawful use of copyrighted materials on WITCC’s computing networks and in WITCC facilities, as well as to provide information about the consequences of illegally uploading, downloading, and sharing music and movies.

This message is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of the copyright laws; it is intended to provide you with basic information to help you understand the differences between legal and illegal file sharing. You are urged to read this message carefully and ask for assistance if needed to understand the contents.

Over the past few years, many students from institutions of higher learning have ignored the consequences of illegal file sharing and as a result, have been sued and have paid substantial amounts in financial settlements for infringing on the copyrights of music and movie companies.

Risks of Illegal File Sharing

U.S. Federal law treats the unauthorized uploading, downloading or sharing of copyrighted material as a serious offense that carries serious consequences. Any WITCC computer account holder who infringes copyright laws risks a lawsuit by the copyright holder, loss of access to the WITCC computer system and disciplinary action by WITCC.

In recent years, copyright holders and their trade associations - especially the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have aggressively pursued copyright holders’ rights and have been increasingly focused on college students. In some cases the cost of settlement has ranged from approximately $3,000 to $8,000 or more for the initial offense, which may have been no more than the download of a single song. Subsequent offenses have brought more severe amounts. You also risk a possible criminal record by participating in infringing behavior.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. The proposed regulations for implementing the act were issued by the Department of Education on August 21, 2009, and final regulations were issued on October 29, 2009. Enforcement of the HEOA provisions formally began July 1, 2010.

WITCC prohibits any infringement of intellectual property rights by any member of the WITCC community. It is against WITCC policy to participate in the violation of the intellectual property rights of others. WITCC’s policies regarding use of WITCC computing resources can be found on MyWIT under Students and Employees homepage listed and under Quick Links and in WITCC Board Policy 400.48 & 504.3

Understanding Copyright Infringement

WITCC is committed to the education of its students. Over the past few years, WITCC has increased its efforts to make students aware of the policies that govern the use of its computing facilities and systems and to encourage the responsible use of WITCC computing resources. These efforts include providing information about copyright laws, particularly with regard to file sharing.

In an effort to protect you and the college from legal actions, we want to help you better understand the acts that constitute violations of federal copyright law, especially with regard to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. If you use WITCC’s network to access, download, upload or otherwise share copyrighted materials without permission, without making a fair use, or without falling under another exception under copyright law, you are likely infringing copyright laws.

In general, copyright infringement occurs whenever someone makes a copy of any copyrighted work such as songs, videos, software, cartoons, photographs, stories or novels without permission (i.e., a license) from the copyright owner and without falling within the specific exceptions provided for under the copyright laws. These exceptions include, without limitation, “fair use,” which is briefly described below and provisions of the Audio Home Recording Act, which allow for noncommercial copying of lawfully, acquired music onto recordable compact discs or other electronic media storage.

P2P File Sharing and Copyright Infringement

Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing is a powerful technology that has many uses. P2P networks can be used to share and exchange music, movies, software and other electronic materials. The use of P2P networks to upload, download or share copyrighted material such as movies, music and software can violate the right of copyright owners.

In the P2P file-sharing context, infringement may occur, for example, when one person purchases an authorized copy and then uploads it to a P2P network. When one person purchases a CD, creates an MP3 or other digital copy and then uses a P2P network to share that digital copy with others, both the individual who makes the file available and those making copies may be found to have infringed the rights of the copyright owner(s) and may be violating Federal copyright law.

Although some artists and smaller labels release music under “generous” licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses, all of the major labels consider sharing MP3 files of their music over P2P networks as copyright infringement.
WITCC advises all computer account holders to use extreme caution when installing P2P software on personally owned computers and to read all user agreements carefully beforehand. Make sure that you read all available documentation from the P2P software provider and understand how the P2P software is configured and operates. You are forbidden by the WITCC Computer Conduct Agreement to install P2P software on any WITCC computer.
Some P2P programs have default settings that index the files on your computer and make music or film files that you have legitimately acquired available to other users of the P2P network without your being aware of the activity. In such cases, you may unwittingly participate in copyright infringement. In this context, not being aware that your computer is making files available to other users will not be a defense to copyright infringement.

You are responsible for all activity that transpires through your computing account and the devices that are registered to you.
Infringing conduct exposes the infringer to the risk of serious legal penalties, both civil and criminal. Civil penalties may include actual damages and profits or statutory damages (ranging in the thousands of dollars per work that is infringed). Moreover, the court can also award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs and increase the damages in the case of a willful infringement. Criminal penalties can include fines and imprisonment.

Organizations such as the RIAA and the MPAA monitor P2P networks, obtaining “snapshots” of users Internet protocol (TCPIP) addresses, the files that users are downloading or uploading from their P2P directories, the time that downloading or uploading occurs, and the Internet service provider (ISP) through which the files travel.

Copyright owners have been known to target both those who upload music over the P2P network and those who download from the network. In addition to monitoring networks and obtaining TCPIP address “snapshots,” copyright owners have been known to use P2P networks themselves, uploading copyrighted content while keeping a legal record of the downloading actions of other users.

Once a TCPIP address and other information have been obtained, the RIAA, MPAA and other copyright owners and their representatives can file a “John Doe” lawsuit and issue a subpoena to the ISP demanding the identity of the user connected to that IP address.

Copyright Infringement Notification

As an ISP for its students, faculty and staff, WITCC receives notices from the Iowa Communications Network and Long Lines, LLC., identifying the TCPIP address being sought by the RIAA and MPAA of WITCC account holders believed to be sharing copies of copyrighted music and videos without authorization. WITCC will revoke the identified individual’s access to the WITCC computer system. In serious situations, further disciplinary sanctions may also be appropriate.

The RIAA or MPAA has often presented an option for the alleged illegal file sharer to settle the lawsuit out of court for some amount of money. If the user is determined to have infringed copyrights, whether through P2P networks or other means and has not settled, he or she may also be subject to sanctions such as monetary damages and the required destruction of all unauthorized copies. In certain circumstances, federal authorities can criminally prosecute copyright infringement. By participating in illegal file sharing, you may be subject to a lawsuit even after you have destroyed any illegal copy or copies of copyrighted material that were in your possession.

Fair Use

Copyright law provides no blanket exception from liability for college students based solely upon their status as students. There are limited circumstances where use of copyrighted materials without permission is allowable. One of these circumstances is under the legal doctrine of “fair use,” such as for purposes of news reporting, criticism, commentary, or teaching. Whether use of copyrighted material without permission is “fair use” depends on a very detailed, case-by-case analysis of various factors. For a better understanding of these factors, please visit the U.S. Library of Congress website: www.copyright.gov.

There Is an Alternative: Legal Downloading

When you buy music or movies online or buy a CD or DVD, it is important to understand the answers to the following questions:

  1. What permissions come with the product? These range from very broad Creative Commons permissions that allow for redistribution under certain conditions to very restrictive requirements that allow play on only one machine or allow only streaming, etc. It is incumbent upon you to understand these permissions.
  2. What digital restrictions, if any, are used with the product? Many services use digital rights management (DRM) technology to control the use of the music or other digital works they sell. DRM usually reflects the permissions and can range from allowing unlimited burns to CD to preventing any copying at all. DRM models can also limit what kind of devices you can play the music on. DRM with a subscription-based model may render the music unplayable if the subscription is not maintained. Some services do not use DRM.

In conclusion, you need to be aware that sharing music, videos, software and other copyrighted material may be a violation of law and can expose you and those with whom you share materials to civil and criminal penalties. Please be responsible in your use of copyrighted materials.