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Diversity and Inclusion

Georgia Southwestern State University is committed to providing a working and academic environment free from prohibited discrimination and harassment, and to fostering a community founded upon the fundamental dignity and value of each individual member. Georgia Southwestern prohibits harassment of its students and employees and works to eliminate such behavior from its academics and employment through corrective measures, education and outreach.

GSW Diversity Commitment

As an institution of higher learning, Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) has an inherent responsibility to create and maintain an environment that affirms diversity of individuals as well as diversity of views. Diversity is essential to Georgia Southwestern’s core value of Academic Excellence. A commitment to diversity means a commitment to the inclusion, safety, and support of individuals from all groups. Diversity encompasses various characteristics of persons in our community. These characteristics include race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, age, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability, military and veteran status. GSW’s core values of 'Inclusiveness, Engagement and Connection' establish guiding principles for students, faculty, and staff to seek different perspectives and opportunities to learn from each other. 

It is a shared responsibility among every GSW community member to make Georgia Southwestern a welcoming and safe place for all.

GSW Diversity Statement

Georgia Southwestern State University embraces diversity as an integral part of being a caring community of lifelong learners. We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse, accessible, civil and supportive campus. Georgia Southwestern is committed to providing an environment and curriculum which affirms pluralism of beliefs and opinions, including diversity of religion, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, age and socioeconomic class. (Reviewed June 2020)

Report an Incident

Individuals may report incidents to the University in person or online. Student-related situations should be reported in person or online through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities located in the Student Success Center (SSC) 3rd floor. Incidents involving GSW community members who are not students may report in person or online through the Department of Human Resources located in Sanford Hall 1st floor.

Reports will be reviewed to determine next steps which may include further investigation or disciplinary action, when appropriate.

A group of University representatives from the Council on Diversity and Behavioral Intervention Team will seek corrective measures that include outreach, dialog, education, and other related action to foster individual growth and community. Reported incidents may require following procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, or Faculty Handbook. The determination of direction is at the discretion of the University.

Reporting Resources

Report an Incident Concerning Students

Report an Incident Concerning Faculty, Staff, or Others

Non-Discrimination Statement

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, working and studying. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, Board of Regents policy, and University policy, the University prohibits harassment of or discrimination against any person because of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status by any member of the GSW community on campus, in connection with a University program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the GSW community. Incidents of harassment and discrimination will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, expulsion, or termination from GSW. Every member of the GSW community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. All members of the faculty, staff, and student body are expected to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices are followed at the University.

For additional information or to file a complaint under the provisions of this policy, students, employees, applicants for employment or admission or other third parties should contact:

Student-related and Admissions
Coordinator of Student Rights and Responsibilities
Student Success Center, 3rd floor
(229) 931-2329
Employees, Applicants, or other Third Parties
Director of Human Resources
Marshall Student Center
(229) 931-2000 

GSW’s Non-Discrimination policy is consistent with the requirements and objectives of Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, Executive Order 11246, as amended, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Georgia Fair Employment Act of 1978, as amended.

Retaliation is prohibited by Georgia Southwestern State University as well as by various federal and state laws. Retaliation means any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment against an individual because that individual:

  • In good faith, reports what she or he believed to be discrimination or harassment based on a protected category (race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status),
  • Participated or cooperated in a university investigation, or
  • Was otherwise associated with a university investigation.

University community members found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of the Non-Discrimination Statement will be subject to disciplinary action. (Adopted June 2020)