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Student Handbook 2020-2021

This handbook is published annually and includes information on activities, policies and regulations, student rights and responsibilities, and problem-solving resources It is prepared and edited by the Division of Student Engagement and Success in cooperation with the offices of Academic Affairs and the President.

This handbook is prepared for the convenience of students and does not constitute an official publication of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In case of any divergence from or conflict with the Bylaws or Policies of the Board of Regents, the official Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Regents shall prevail.

The statements set forth in this handbook are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and this institution. While every effort has been made to insure accuracy of the material stated herein, the University reserves the right to change any provision listed in this handbook without actual notice to individual students. Every effort will be made to keep students advised of such changes.

Information regarding academic requirements for graduation will be available in the offices of the Registrar, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Deans of the Schools. It is the responsibility of each student to keep himself or herself apprised of current graduation requirements for a degree program in which he or she is enrolled.

Georgia Southwestern State University is in compliance with all applicable federal and State regulations.  The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, or status as a veteran.

This handbook is not a contract. It is for informational purposes only and provides no rights to the reader.

Student Handbook

Welcome From the President

Welcome from the President

Welcome! We are very pleased that you chose Georgia Southwestern State University to continue your education.

As you settle in this semester – online or on campus – you will discover that Georgia Southwestern is a place where the focus is on creating a student-centered teaching and learning environment. It is a place where students not only discover their future but define it through a process of intellectual growth, social development and determination.

For over a century, our campus community has been preparing students for the lives and careers they envision. When you graduate in a few years, our hope is that you will have developed meaningful relationships with students, faculty and staff; that you learn how to solve challenges both in the classroom and outside of it; and that you have fun in the process.

I chose GSW because of the way I felt when I visited the campus for the first time – because of the people I met and their excitement for the University. There is no better place to be than part of a college campus. The dedication and enthusiasm within students, faculty and staff makes for a strong community that leads to success academically, in competition and in life.

It is my honor to serve as president of Georgia Southwestern State University. Welcome and thank you for being Part of the Storm.

Sincerely,

Neal Weaver, Ph. D.
President

 

 

UNIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT

Georgia Southwestern State University cultivates excellence in learning and teaching that encourages intellectual, personal, and social growth for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Georgia Southwestern State University is a comprehensive state university within the University System of Georgia that offers a full range of bachelor degree programs, along with selected master’s and specialist degree programs.

UNIVERSITY DIVERSITY STATEMENT

Georgia Southwestern State University embraces diversity as an integral part of being a caring community of learners. We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse, accessible, civil and supportive campus. GSW provides 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.

The University will implement and adhere to policies and procedures which discourage harassment and other behaviors that infringe upon the freedom and respect that every individual deserves.

ALMA MATER

Hail to thee, our foster mother
Praise to thee we bring,
Of thy teachings altruistic,
Lovingly we sing,
For thy spirit through the ages
Ever shall prevail
Hail to thee, our own Southwestern
Alma Mater, hail

Fires are kindled at thy alter
Fires that never die
Bright they burn in hearts eternal
‘Neath the southern sky
Burning for divine approval
Ever shall prevail
Hail to thee, our own Southwestern
Alma Mater, hail

Academic Information

REGISTRATION AND ACADEMIC INFORMATION NETWORK (RAIN)

The Registration and Academic Information Network (RAIN) allows students to access their personal contact, academic, and financial records on-line. Students can view holds, midterm grades, final grades, unofficial academic transcripts, registration status, class schedules, curriculum sheets, as well as their financial aid status, account summaries and fee assessments. RAIN provides a convenient method for students and faculty to obtain information via the web. It is a secured site which is continually expanding to provide 24 hour access to all students. Information is routinely added to RAIN, including term-specific notices and deadlines. Students must access RAIN. to view grades for their courses each semester.

REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES

Registration for classes is the process of seeing the faculty advisor, selecting the
courses appropriate for the degree program, arranging these into a schedule to fit available time slots, signing up for these classes with the advisor or online through RAIN and paying fees. The Schedule of Classes available online through RAIN each term lists all courses being offered. Students may change their class schedule or register late during the first three days of class each semester.

STUDENT ACADEMIC LOAD

A student is considered to be carrying a full load if enrolled for twelve or more semester hours of academic credit. A student is considered to be registered for an overload if enrolled in more than eighteen course credit hours.

A student must average 15 credit hours per semester to graduate in four years (eight semesters).

The full-time load for a graduate student is nine semester hours credit in academic subjects. A graduate student is considered to be registered for an overload if enrolled in more than fifteen course credit hours.

A student must have the approval of his or her advisor, complete the appropriate form, and then send it to the dean's office for final approval in order to register for an overload. The following cases usually qualify:

  • Undergraduate students on the Dean’s List or President’s List for the preceding term may register for as much as twenty-one hours credit.
  • A student enrolled in certain curricula which require an overload for a given semester may register for the specified hours of credit.
PART-TIME STUDENTS

Students who are enrolled for less than a full load are classified as part-time students. These students may be working toward college degrees or they may be taking courses for self-improvement. Part-time students are required to satisfy the minimum academic standards.

AUDIT

A student who is auditing a course is expected to attend classes, but they are not required to take examinations or meet course requirements. No credit is given for audits. In the event of overloaded classes, students enrolled for credit will be given preference. Fees for attending class on an audit basis are calculated at the same rate as regular academic fees. A student must have permission from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to audit a course.

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Credit by examination is offered for a number of courses at the University, e.g. CLEP, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Prior Learning Assessment. Credit by examination is listed as such on the transcript along with the course number, title, and hours of credit; however, no grade is assigned and the credit is not included in computing the grade point average. Credit by examination is limited to ten hours in a discipline and thirty hours in the University. Credit by examination is usually earned at the time the student enters the University. See the Registrar for more information.

PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENT

Credit for prior learning, sometimes called experiential learning, is assessed and awarded in selected undergraduate degree programs. The decision to assess and award credit for prior learning rests with the academic unit that houses the program who must notify the Office of Academic Affairs and the Director of Prior Learning Assessment in writing if prior learning assessment is requested. No program will assess and award prior learning credit unless no CLEP test, departmental challenge exam, or other approved testing option is available. Students may not apply for prior learning assessment in a course in which they have been previously enrolled, taken a departmental examination for credit, or taken a CLEP test for credit.

Students wishing to explore credit for prior learning should contact the Director of Prior Learning Assessment, who will advise them of whether credit is possible in their student programs of study. Before students may apply for prior learning credit, they must register for PLA 2000 and receive a grade of S in the course. A fee will be charged for each assessment of evidence of prior learning. Appeals must be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs within 30 days of the student being notified of the results of their prior learning assessment. The total number of credit hours awarded for advanced placement (AP), CLEP, departmental examination, International Baccalaureate (IB), and prior learning assessment (PLA) cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours.

MILITARY CREDIT

Georgia Southwestern State University provides service members with an option to petition for credit for military education/training when deemed applicable to a degree program. Credit for prior military experience and training is determined on an individual basis, following the guidelines published by the American Council on Education for the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students should submit official documentation of military education/training (AARTS, SMART, or Community College of the Air Force transcript) to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation of degree-related training. Students should see the Office of the Registrar for additional information.

ADDING OR DROPPING COURSES

Following registration for the term, students may add during the published add period or drop courses during the published drop period.

  • Students should discuss adding or dropping courses with their advisors.
  • Students who enter courses after the first day of class are responsible for making up missed assignments.
  • Students may add or drop a Learning Support course only with the approval of the Coordinator of Learning Support Programs. Students enrolled in both Learning Support classes and degree credit courses cannot drop the Learning Support courses without dropping the degree credit courses as well.
  • Students receiving financial aid should discuss dropping courses with a financial aid counselor, since dropping courses can negatively impact financial aid eligibility.

After the published drop period, students may adjust their schedules only by “withdrawal.” (See below.)

Students registered for courses that have the first class meeting after the designated add period will be subject to the Withdrawal from Class policy or the Withdrawal from the University policy below. Any orientation session for online or off-campus courses is considered the first class meeting for the course.

WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE

After the drop period, a student must officially withdraw from a course by completing the “Withdrawal from Class” form available under “Student Forms” on RAIN and the GSW Homepage and in the Registrar’s Office. This form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office upon completion. The student is fully responsible for collecting the appropriate signatures and submitting the completed form to the Registrar’s office.

  • Withdrawal from class without penalty requires the student to complete the Withdrawal from Class form and return it to the Registrar’s Office by the published no-penalty date of approximately one week after midterm. A student following this procedure will receive a grade of W (Withdrawn).
  • Withdrawal from class without penalty will not be permitted after the published ‘no penalty’ date except for non-academic reasons. Documentation must be provided by the student to receive a W rather than a WF (Withdrawn Failing).
  • Students with co-requisite requirements may not withdraw from the required co-requisite courses with a “W” unless they also withdraw from the degree credit courses.
  • Students receiving financial aid should discuss withdrawing from courses with a financial aid counselor, because withdrawing from courses can negatively impact your financial aid eligibility.

All withdrawals from class must be approved and completely processed before the last day of classes. A student who does not officially withdraw from a class will receive a grade of F in that course for the term.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY

Students withdrawing from all classes and exiting the University after the first day of classes must complete the Withdrawal from the University form available online and in the Registrar’s Office. The completed form should be submitted to the Office of First-Year Experience or emailed to fye@gsw.edu to initiate the official "Withdrawal from the University" process.

  • Withdrawal from the University prior to the no-penalty date of one week after midterm will result in grades of W (withdrawn) for all courses.
  • Withdrawal from the University after the no-penalty date will result in grades of WF (withdrawn failing) except for documented non-academic reasons.

All withdrawals from the University must be initiated by the student and completely processed before the last day of classes. The student is fully responsible for supplying all pertinent documentation to the Office of First-Year Experience. Failure to withdraw from the University following the proper procedure will result in grades of F in all courses, and no refund will be given.

ACADEMIC RENEWAL

The Academic Renewal policy allows degree‐seeking students who have experienced academic difficulty at Georgia Southwestern State University to have one opportunity to make a fresh start after an absence of three calendar years. Students must first apply for readmission following the readmission application procedure. Once readmitted, a student will have one calendar year to apply for Academic Renewal. To apply for Academic Renewal, students should send a written request to the Registrar, who will then review the student’s academic record to determine if the student could benefit from academic renewal. If the student is granted Academic Renewal, a new grade point average is established according to the following guidelines:

  1. A Renewal GPA is begun when the student receives approval for Academic Renewal and includes all course work completed following the re‐enrollment.
  2. The Academic Renewal GPA will be used for determining academic standing and eligibility for graduation.
  3. All previously attempted course work continues to be recorded on the student's official transcript.
  4. Credit the student completed with a grade of C or higher prior to readmission, either at Georgia Southwestern or at another accredited institution can be counted toward degree requirements, but will not count toward the renewed GPA.
  5. To earn a degree, a student must meet the Georgia Southwestern State University residency requirements after acquiring Academic Renewal status.
  6. At least 50% of work toward a baccalaureate degree must be completed after the granting of Academic Renewal status for a student to be eligible for honors at graduation.
  7. Academic credit for previously completed course work including previous transfer course work will be retained only for courses in which an A, B, or C grade has been earned.
  8. Retained grades are not calculated in a Renewal GPA. Such credit is considered in the same context as transfer credit, credit by examination, and courses with grades of "S".
  9. Applicability of retained credit to degree requirements will be determined by the degree requirements currently in effect at the time Academic Renewal status is conferred on the student. Specific Georgia Southwestern State University program regulations must also be met.
  10. A student can be granted Academic Renewal status only one time.
  11. Any scholastic suspensions that occurred in the past shall remain recorded on the student's permanent record.
  12. The Renewal GPA begins with the semester following re-enrollment. If a student is denied Academic Renewal and subsequently does not re-enroll, he/she may resubmit an Academic Renewal application after no less than one year has passed since the initial petition.
  13. The granting of Academic Renewal does not supersede financial aid policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students should discuss how retaking courses affects financial aid with a financial aid counselor.
  14. The granting of Academic Renewal does not supersede the admissions requirements of certain programs, e.g., teacher education and nursing, which require a specific minimum grade point average based upon all course work.

Students should contact the Registrar’s office for more information about applying for Academic Renewal.

READMISSION

Former students who have not attended the University for one calendar year must complete a readmission form through the Registrar's Office and pay a $25 re-application fee. Students who were academically suspended at the end of their last term of enrollment must obtain the approval of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs to return. Students who have attended other colleges or universities must submit official transcripts from those institutions before the readmission can be processed. The Readmission form can be found in the Registrar’s office or online at Re-Admission Application

ATTENDANCE

 Students are expected to attend all classes. If an absence is necessary, the student is responsible for reporting the reason to the instructor. In such cases, each instructor will take whatever action he or she deems necessary. Faculty members will make their absence policies clear to the students enrolled in their classes in writing and within the first week of the semester. Failure to attend classes during the first week of the semester will result in administrative withdrawal from the course and loss of financial aid for that semester. Penalties for excessive absences in each course are set at the beginning of each semester by the faculty member teaching that course. Students with excessive absences in a class may receive a grade of F for the course and may imperil their financial aid.

Student Absence Policy for University Sanctioned Events

A student who is absent from a class as a result of representing this institution at a University-sanctioned event will not be penalized for the absence, provided the student is otherwise in compliance with the requirements of the course. In these cases, the student will be given an opportunity to complete any work that may have been missed as a result of the absence. It is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor in advance of an anticipated absence.  For an event to be sanctioned by the University, approval by the Office of Academic Affairs must be obtained in advance of the event.  Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Student Absence Policy for Ordered Military Duty

For the purpose of this policy, ordered military duty shall mean any military duty performed in the service of the State or the United States, including, but not limited to, service schools conducted by the armed forces of the United States.  Students who must miss class for ordered military duty will not be penalized and will be given an opportunity to complete any work missed as a result of the absence. The student should provide documentation of the ordered military duty in advance of the absence and make arrangements with the instructor to make up missed work. For service or training requiring excessive absences or the inability to complete a semester’s work, the student may be eligible for Military Withdrawal from the course.

  ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS

Students who attend none of the class meetings of a course during the first week of classes and do not inform the instructor of their intentions to remain in the course or do not drop the course within the published period will be administratively withdrawn from the course and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. Students who do not login/participate in the online class by the instructor deadline will be withdrawn from the course and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. It is the responsibility for the faculty member to document such absences.

Instructors must take roll during the first week of classes, until final rolls are available on RAIN. The faculty member will submit the verification of enrollment information. Students will be contacted by the Registrar through RADAR email and given a deadline to respond before they are administratively withdrawn from the class. No refunds will be issued for nonparticipation withdrawals unless it results in a complete withdrawal from the University.

GRADING SYSTEM AND QUALITY POINTS
Grade Achievement Quality Points
A Superior 4
B Above Average 3
C Average 2
D Poor 1
F Failing 0
P Pass 0
S Satisfactory Performance 0
U Unsatisfactory Performance 0
K Credit by Examination 0
V Audit 0
I Incomplete 0
W Withdrawn 0
WF Withdrawn Failing 0
WM Withdrawn for Military Purposes 0
NR No grade reported by instructor 0
Incompletes

A grade of "I" indicates that the student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his/her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course during the term scheduled. The individual faculty member assigning the "I" has the responsibility for documenting the work to be completed. This documentation is to be filed with the academic dean or department chair at the time grades are submitted.
An incomplete grade must be removed before the end of the following term (including summer term); otherwise, the grade will be recorded as F. Requests for an extension of an additional term must be made by the instructor and approved by the Dean/Chair and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Students who for non-academic reasons stop attending class prior to midterm should withdraw from the course. A grade of "I" cannot be assigned in this situation.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE

The grade point average is the ratio of quality points earned to the number of credit hours for which the student is accountable. The grade point average will be calculated for each student at the end of each term and will be printed on the transcript as follows:

  1. The Semester Grade Point Average is the ratio of quality points earned to credit hours attempted that semester in courses numbered 1000 or above. Grades earned in courses taken at other institutions, including transient and transfer courses, are not included in the Semester Grade Point Average.
  2. The Cumulative/Institution Grade Point Average for undergraduate students is the ratio of quality points earned to credit hours attempted in courses numbered 1000 or above for which a final grade has been earned. Normally, a course is counted only once for credit hours. For this type of course, the latest grade earned replaces all previous grades and determines the quality points assigned. A grade of WF is treated as an F in calculating grade point averages.
  3. The Cumulative Grade Point Average for graduate students is the ratio of quality points earned in all courses to credit hours of all courses attempted.
POLICY ON REPEATING COURSES

 Normally, a course is counted only one time for degree program requirements. If a student wants to repeat a course that fulfills a degree program requirement, he/she may do so with the understanding that the latest grade earned replaces all previous grades in calculating the GSW Institutional GPA. All grades earned remain on a student’s transcript and may be used for other GPA calculations. A student should discuss how repeating courses affects financial aid with a financial aid counselor.

CLASS RANK

Undergraduate students are classified once each year. Class rank is based on semester hours of credit earned. Minimum semester hours of academic credit for the different class ranks are as follows:


Freshmen - Less than 30 hours
Sophomore - 30 hours
Junior - 60 hours
Senior - 90 hours or more

ACADEMIC HONORS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

President’s List

During any semester, a student who completes a load of at least 12 semester hours of credit and earns an average grade of 4.00 will be named to the President’s List.

Dean’s List

During any semester, a student who completes a load of at least 12 semester hours of credit and earns an average grade of 3.50 through 3.99 will be named to the Dean’s List.

Academic Achievement List

During any semester, a student is on the Academic Achievement List if he/she is in Academic Good Standing, has previously earned at least 12 hours of credit at Georgia Southwestern, is enrolled in 3 to 11 hours of credit, and earns a semester GPA of 3.5 or better.

ACADEMIC STATUS: GOOD STANDING, WARNING, PROBATION, SUSPENSION

A grade point average of 2.00 (C average) is required for graduation from Georgia Southwestern State University. (Some curricula may require a higher average.) Students whose performance is below this level exhibit academic deficiencies. To remain in Good Academic Standing students must maintain a 2.0 total institutional grade point average.
The grade point average and academic status are determined each term and appear on the academic transcript. The categories used by the University are Good Academic Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, Restricted Enrollment, and Learning Support.

Good Academic Standing

Students will be placed in Good Academic Standing if their total institutional GPAs are 2.0 or higher.

Academic Warning

Students whose GPAs fall below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Warning and will have advising holds placed on their accounts, requiring them to meet with their academic advisers to register for classes or make changes to their schedules. They will have one semester to raise their GPAs to 2.0 and return to Good Academic Standing. They are also encouraged to take advantage of supplemental instruction, academic assistance, and other resources offered through the Academic Resource Center. Students who do not return to Good Academic Standing by the end of the term are placed on Academic Probation.

Freshmen who are placed on Academic Warning at the end of their first semester of enrollment must successfully complete UNIV 1001-Pathways to College Success during the following spring or fall semester, whichever comes first.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on Academic Probation if they fail to return to Good Academic Standing after one semester of Academic Warning. Students on Academic Probation will have one term to return to Good Academic Standing and will have advising holds placed on their accounts, requiring them to meet with their academic advisors to register for classes or to make changes to their schedules. They are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of supplemental instruction, academic assistance, and other resources offered by the Academic Resource Center. Students who do not return to Good Academic Standing by the end of the term are placed on Academic Suspension.

Academic Suspension

Students are placed on Academic Suspension if they fail to return to Good Academic Standing after two semesters with GPAs below 2.0. Students on Academic Suspension have two options, stay out of school for one semester or choose to remain in school with Restricted Enrollment status, if eligible (see below).
Students who choose suspension will be suspended for one semester and may not register for courses at GSW. Courses taken at other institutions while a student is on Academic Suspension from Georgia Southwestern will not be accepted in transfer. Students suspended for academic reasons may appeal to return after one semester (see policy below).
The maximum number of suspensions allowed is two. At the third suspension, the student will be suspended from GSW for a minimum of one calendar year. Normally, students will not be reinstated after the third suspension. However, students may appeal their dismissal in writing to
the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Appeals relative to dismissal after the third suspension will be considered on a case by case basis with no guarantee of readmission.
Students who do not return to school after sitting out for one academic year must apply for readmission with the Registrar’s Office and must write a letter of appeal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Restricted Enrollment

Restricted Enrollment is the only alternative available to students on Academic Suspension. Suspended students may appeal to remain in school by writing to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. If granted Restricted Enrollment status, students will enroll primarily in repeat courses and ACSK 1100, Academic Skills. Not returning to Good Academic Standing by the end of the Restricted Enrollment term will result in an additional suspension for the student, and the student will remain out of school for a minimum of one semester.
Students accepted for Restricted Enrollment will sign an agreement indicating the conditions of their eligibility to return. The Associate Vice President will set the terms of the student’s return and the contract will be signed by the student, the student’s advisor and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students on Restricted Enrollment may not make changes to their schedules without the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs and the student’s advisor.
The Restricted Enrollment status is not available to Learning Support students or transient students.

Readmission after Suspension

Students on Academic Suspension who wish to return to school must write a letter of appeal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs requesting readmission. Each request for readmission will be considered individually, and nothing in this section should be interpreted to mean that readmission is automatic.

Readmitted students will have advising holds placed on their accounts and must see their advisors to register for classes or to make changes to their schedules until they return to Good Academic Standing. Students returning from the first suspension must take ACSK 1100, Academic Skills, during their first term of enrollment unless credit has been earned for this course already. Students who have been out of school more than a year must also complete a readmission application for the Registrar’s Office.

Learning Support Policies

A student who is taking one or two Learning Support courses will be given this status until the student exits all required Learning Support courses. The policies of the Board of Regents will have precedence over the policies of GSW concerning Academic Suspension. Learning Support Students are not eligible for Restricted Enrollment status.

Readmission of Students on Suspension

A student on Academic Suspension who wishes to be readmitted to the University must write a letter to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs requesting to be readmitted. The letter must include all factors which the student wishes to be considered. Each request for readmission will be considered individually and nothing in this section should be interpreted to mean that readmission is automatic. Students returning from the first suspension must take ACSK 1100, Academic Skills, during their first term of re-enrollment.

Readmission may be denied if, in the professional judgment of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student cannot perform satisfactory college level work.

Any student requesting readmission who has been out for one calendar year or longer must complete a readmission form available online through the Student Forms link found on the GSW Homepage.

GRADUATE ACADEMIC STATUS

Graduate students who fail to maintain academic standards will be placed under academic review at the end of the semester in which their status falls below the required standards. See the current GSW Graduate Bulletin for additional information.

GRADUATION WITH HONORS FOR UNDERGRADUATES

In order to be eligible to graduate with honors from Georgia Southwestern State University, the following two requirements must be met:

  • A student must earn at least 30 semester hours of academic credit at Georgia Southwestern State University.
  • The grade point for honors must be an average of the final grades earned on work completed at all accredited colleges and universities attended and must fall into one of the following categories:

Graduation cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.50
Graduation magna cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.70.
Graduation summa cum laude requires a minimum grade point average of 3.90.

Only candidates for baccalaureate degrees are considered for academic honors at graduation.

FINAL EXAMINATIONS

A student who has three final examinations scheduled for the same day may request a change of date for one final through the Office of Academic Affairs. Times and dates for final examinations may not be changed to accommodate students' travel plans. The final examination schedule is available in the published schedule of classes available through RAIN.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Graduation is held twice a year, at the end of the Fall and Spring Terms. Participation in graduation exercises is limited to students who have met all graduation requirements. No student may be declared a graduate of the University until all requirements for entrance and for graduation have been met, the degree is conferred and the diploma has been awarded. Students who complete all requirements in summer may participate in fall graduation exercises.

Catalog for Graduation

Under the guidance of the academic advisor, a student may select to be evaluated for graduation from any catalog in effect during the time of enrollment provided the enrollment has been continuous.

Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

Students changing majors will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of the change or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

Each student is responsible for determining the appropriate catalog to be used for academic advisement and for evaluation of graduation requirements. Catalog selection applies only to the course requirements of that catalog. All other academic procedures and graduation requirements must be satisfied according to regulations in effect at the time of graduation. Students desiring further information on the selection of an appropriate catalog may contact their major department chair/academic dean or the registrar.

Application for Graduation- Undergraduate Students

The Application for Graduation for fall semester must be completed on or before December 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. The Application for Graduation for spring semester must be completed on or before May 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. Students who plan to graduate at completion of summer term must apply on or before September 1 prior to the year in which the degree is expected. Applications for graduation are available at the Registrar's Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.

 

Graduation Term Apply no later than one year prior to graduation
Fall December 1
Spring May 1
Summer September 1

 

CATALOG FOR GRADUATION EVALUATION

Under the guidance of the academic advisor, a student may select to be evaluated for
graduation from any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during the time of enrollment provided the enrollment has been continuous. Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment. Students changing majors will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect at the time of the change or any catalog (curriculum sheet) in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment. Each student is responsible for determining the appropriate catalog (curriculum sheet) to be used for academic advisement and for evaluation of graduation requirements. Catalog selection applies only to the course requirements of that catalog. All other academic procedures and graduation requirements must be satisfied according to regulations in effect at the time of graduation.

Students desiring further information on the selection of an appropriate catalog (curriculum sheet) may contact their major department head/academic dean or the Registrar.

APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION

Undergraduates

The application for graduation for Fall Semester must be completed on or before December 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. The application for graduation for Spring Semester must be completed on or before May 1 prior to the academic year in which the degree is expected. Students who plan to graduate at completion of Summer Term must apply on or before September 1 prior to the year in which the degree is expected. Application forms for graduation are available in the Registrar's Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.

Graduation Term
Apply no later than the date below of the prior year:

Fall December 1
Spring May 1
Summer September 1

Graduates

Each student admitted to a graduate program must file an application for graduation one semester prior to completing degree requirements. Application deadlines are as follows and application forms are available in the Registrar’s Office and under Student Forms on RAIN and on the GSW homepage.

Graduation Term
Apply no later than the date below of the prior semester:

Fall May 1
Spring August 1
Summer January 1
TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS

Click here for more information on how to request your GSW transcript.

 

 

TRANSIENT STUDENTS

 

Students wishing to attend another institution as a transient student should complete the paperwork at least one month before the desired admission date. Transient permission forms are available online through the Student Forms available on the GSW Homepage and RAIN Students should complete the transient permission form with their advisor to be sure the classes will transfer into their curriculum program at GSW. A GSW student attending another institution as a transient student is responsible for requesting a final transcript to be sent directly to the Registrar's Office at the end of the semester. After receipt of an official transcript indicating a passing grade for the approved transient course(s), the information will be added to the record. Degree candidates may earn credit through correspondence or through transient credit, but not more than ten hours in the major discipline and not more than 30 total hours of credit earned in this manner will count toward degree requirements.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Academic Integrity is a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action. International Center for Academic Integrity1

GSW’s Policy on Academic Integrity sets forth principles of behavior intended to enable its community members to act according to these fundamental values, thereby fostering a community of excellence in teaching and learning. This policy defines academic integrity, assigns responsibility of community members for upholding these principles, defines academic dishonesty, and delineates the procedure for handling violations of the community standard.

Principles of Academic Integrity

  • Accurate Attribution of Ideas: While the free exchange of ideas does not demand that every idea a person expresses be her or his own original thought, it does demand that a person accurately represent the origin of the thoughts she or he expresses. The forms of attribution vary depending upon the formality of the setting in which ideas are exchanged. In conversation, attribution might be as simple as referring to where you heard an idea while in a class presentation or a written assignment, a specific style of attribution or documentation will be required. The specific format for such is usually defined by the academic discipline.

  • Collaboration on Assignments: Collaboration is a fundamental component of community building and a valued ability in the work force, as well as one of the most important practices of a democratic society, but it depends on community members exercising the values of fairness, respect, and responsibility. Respectfully listening to the perspectives of others and shouldering the responsibility for contributing equitably to the success of the group demonstrate academic integrity. In the academic setting, collaboration has been shown to improve students’ learning, but it must be balanced with the need to assess a student’s individual mastery of a topic. Thus, faculty may actively discourage collaboration for some types of assignments, such as homework or papers, while encouraging it in others circumstances, like group projects or presentations.

  • Collection of Data: The academic community is a culture of evidence in which decisions are made and opinions evaluated largely on the basis of the factual or logical support. Therefore, whenever a community member presents data he or she has collected firsthand through observing, interviewing, surveying, or experimenting, he or she must be careful to describe clearly how the data were collected to verify that the results are presented accurately and to maintain all confidentiality agreements with participants.

  • Quizzes, Tests, and Examinations: The academic community often calls upon its members to demonstrate what they know, or what they can do individually, often under the pressure of time constraints, which can put a student’s honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility to the test. Academic integrity requires that a student abide by the rules established by the faculty member for assessing individual learning.

Responsibility of Community Partners for Upholding the Values of Academic Integrity

Responsibility of the Faculty Member:

Students do not always come to the GSW community knowing the principles of academic integrity and therefore teaching students to exercise these principles is the duty of the faculty. Given that the parameters of academic integrity are defined by the goal of an assignment or activity, the type of assessment being used, and the standards of the particular discipline, faculty members should be explicit about their expectations of students. To that end, faculty members should state in their syllabi the expectations for 1) attribution of ideas, 2) collaboration on assignments, 3) collection of data, and 4) quizzes, tests and examinations.

Responsibility of the Student

As partners in their own learning, students are responsible for making themselves aware of how the principles of academic integrity apply in each academic setting they enter. While the faculty member is responsible for setting expectations, it is the student’s responsibility to seek guidance from the faculty member, especially when unsure of how to apply the principles in a particular situation. When in doubt, seek guidance from the instructor.

Academic Dishonesty

Violations of academic integrity will be subject to sanction by the academic community. The examples given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic dishonesty may be judged.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, asking someone to write part or all of an assignment, copying someone else's work (published or unpublished), inadequately documenting research, downloading material from electronic sources without appropriate documentation, or representing others' works or ideas as one’s own.

Cheating on Examinations

Cheating on an exam includes, but is not limited to, giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an in-class or out-of-class exam. Examples of unauthorized help include using unauthorized notes in either hard copy or electronic form, viewing another student's exam, taking pictures of exams with cell phones or other electronic devices, allowing another student to view one's exam, and discussing an exam or sharing information on an exam’s content with other students after the exam has occurred in one section but not in another.

Unauthorized Collaboration

Unauthorized collaboration includes giving or receiving unauthorized help for work that is required to be the effort of a single student, such as the receiving or giving of unauthorized assistance in the preparation of a laboratory or writing assignment, on-line exams, etc.

Falsification

Falsification includes, but is not limited to the fabrication of citations or sources, of experimental or survey results, and of computer or other data.

Multiple Submissions

A student may not submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty to whom the work is submitted for additional credit. If a work product is to be substantially revised or updated, the student must contact the faculty member in advance to discuss necessary revisions. In cases where multiple submissions are approved, faculty members will require copies of the original documents for comparison.

Process for Resolving Academic Dishonesty Issues

Instances of academic dishonesty are a serious violation of community standards for academic integrity and may result in suspension or expulsion from GSW. While faculty members have the primary responsibility for establishing the parameters of academic integrity in the academic situations they supervise, it is the responsibility of all members of the GSW academic community to report suspected instances of academic dishonesty. Therefore, any member of the GSW academic community can lodge an academic dishonesty complaint with GSW’s Student Conduct Officer.

Any member of the academic community who has evidence of academic dishonesty should report his or her suspicion and evidence to the faculty member of the student(s) believed to be in violation of the policy. The faculty member is then responsible for responding, and if she or he has adequate evidence, may file an Academic Dishonesty Violation Report with the Student Conduct Officer.

Faculty Reporting

If an instructor discovers a case of academic dishonesty, he or she may impose whatever penalty is deemed appropriate by the faculty member, given the standards and expectations shared with students in that course (including but not limited to rewriting assignments, failure on the assignment, or failure in the course). The faculty member’s syllabus policies will establish how the violation will be handled in his or her own classroom if the student does not contest that a violation has occurred. In addition, the faculty member’s syllabus policies will establish how the violation will be handled in his or her own classroom if the Academic Integrity Board confirms that a violation has occurred..

All incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Student Conduct Officer using the Academic

Integrity Violation Report Form which asks for a description of the incident, a copy of the faculty member’s written policy on academic dishonesty, evidence that a violation has occurred, the penalty imposed by the faculty member, and the student’s signature indicating the faculty member met with the student about the incident and explained the consequences.

The Student Conduct Officer will keep on file all Academic Integrity Violation Report forms. When a new report is received, the Student Conduct Officer will review the record to determine if the student has any other academic integrity violations on file. A first violation will be filed, but no action will be taken by the University unless the student chooses to dispute that a violation has occurred. If a student disputes that a first violation of this policy has occurred or the student has more than one violation on file, the Student Conduct Officer will call for a hearing of the Academic Integrity Board, and the faculty member may be asked to submit further documentation of the violation. All hearings of the Academic Integrity Board will be held in accordance with the due process procedures as specified in GSW’s Conduct Code.

The Academic Integrity Board’s first responsibility in a hearing is to determine if a violation of the academic integrity policy has occurred. In cases where a student is exonerated of accusations of academic dishonesty by the Academic Integrity Board, the student may appeal the faculty member’s penalty through the regular grade appeal process. If the Academic Integrity Board determines the student to be in violation of the academic integrity policy and it is the student’s first violation, no further action will be taken by the Student Conduct Officer. If the Academic Integrity Board determines the student to be in violation of the academic integrity policy and the Student Conduct Officer informs the Board that the student has previously violated the academic integrity policy, then the Board may consider recommending further sanctions. Recommended sanctions may be educational, such as assignments which require the student to research the topic of academic integrity or speaking to the UNIV 1000 classes about academic integrity, or may include probation, suspension, or expulsion. The Academic Integrity Board will provide in writing its recommendations on the case and sanction recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five business days of the hearing.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the faculty member, who referred the case, of the Academic Integrity Board’s recommendations, including any University sanctions imposed, within five business days, excepting any days when the Vice President of Academic Affairs is travelling on university business. After this communication with the faculty, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will issue the final outcome letter to the student, with a copy to the faculty, as well as any other appropriate academic records file, within five (5) days following the communication with the faculty. If sanctions include suspension or expulsion, the student’s Department Chair or Dean will also be notified. A student may not withdraw from the course in which an accusation has been made during the student conduct process. Students accused of academic dishonesty are entitled to the due process rights outlined in the Conduct Policy. A student has the right to appeal the Vice President of Academic Affairs’ decision to the President of the University.

ADMINSTRATIVE MEDICAL WITHDRAWALS

 For the provision of an academic learning environment and the protection of students and the total University community, the University has adopted a policy for the Administrative Medical Withdrawals of students by the Vice President of Student Engagement and Success. In making this decision, the Vice President may consult with the Counseling Services staff, the University physician, the Health Services staff, the Director of the University's Public Safety Office, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Director of Human Resources, other appropriate university officials [such as Residence Life staff, faculty, etc.], as well as with the student's parents/legal guardians [if under age 18-FERPA based], and the student's physician and appropriate health professionals [in the form of medical records documentation].

The Vice President for Student Engagement and Success may administratively withdraw the student when it is determined that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional or psychological health condition which: (l) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others or (2) causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel or (3) causes the student to be unable to meet institutional requirements for admission and continued enrollment, as defined in the Student Conduct Code and other publications of the University.

Except in emergency situations, a student shall, upon request, be accorded an appropriate hearing prior to the final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the University. The request for this hearing should be made, in writing, to the Vice President of Student Engagement and Success. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will arrange a hearing with the Behavioral Intervention Team within 5 class days of receiving the request for a hearing. The student will be notified of the decision within five class days following the hearing.

If the student wishes to appeal the decision received, he/she must submit the appeal, in writing, to the President’s Office within five [5] days of receiving the notification. The President may reject or accept the appeal. If the appeal is accepted, the President may independently handle the review or appoint a committee to conduct the review. If the President independently handles the review, the review should be completed within five class days following receipt of the student's written appeal, and a final decision must be rendered in writing within five class days after the conclusion of the review. If the President appoints a committee to conduct the review, it shall occur within ten [10] class days upon receipt of the appeal. The committee should be composed of three members of the faculty of the institution, or the President may utilize the services of an appropriate existing committee. This committee shall review all facts and circumstances connected with the case and shall within five class days make its findings and report thereon to the President. After consideration of the committee's report, the President shall, within five days of receiving the committee’s recommendation, make a decision, and notify the student, in writing. The only exceptions to the noted time frames are when the President is travelling and/or away from campus at the time the appeal arrives in the President’s office. This decision from the appeal to the President’s office shall be final so far as the institution is concerned.

Student Bill of Rights

  1. The right of students to be treated with dignity, courtesy, and fairness.
  2. The right to miss, without penalty, class meetings held at hours other than their regularly scheduled times.
  3. The right to consult with an assigned advisor for a reasonable time to complete the advisement necessary for the student's present semester as well as for future planning.
  4. The right to transfer core curriculum within the University system.
  5. The right to consult with faculty outside of classroom time during regularly scheduled office hours or by appointment.
  6. The right to have access to campus facilities of which use is required to complete course assignments and objectives, i.e., computer lab, any academic building.
  7. The right to receive at the beginning of each semester, for each course, a syllabus which outlines course objectives and requirements. If changes to the syllabi are made during the semester, students should be informed of these changes in writing.
  8. The right to receive access to any and all of their own personal records.
  9. The right to have access to standards of grading and evaluation.
  10. The right to be informed of the grade appeals process.

In order for the goals and objectives of the University to be realized, students are guaranteed certain freedoms and rights.  At the same time, students must accept commensurate responsibilities. The principles and procedures contained herein have been adopted by Georgia Southwestern State University in order to create and perpetuate an optimal environment within which students may exercise fully their freedom and rights as citizens of the University community, and be protected against infringements on such freedoms and rights by other members of the University community, or by members of the society at large.

Georgia Southwestern State University students and members of the academic community enjoy the same freedom of speech, right to peaceful assembly, right of petition and other rights accorded by the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Georgia. As members of the academic community, they also are subject to the obligations that accrue to them by virtue of this membership.

Georgia Southwestern State University is a community of persons from diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, educational and social backgrounds. The University community is unique in that its members strive to learn from one another in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect. Georgia Southwestern State University holds each member of this community to explicit expectations concerning respect for and behavior toward each other.

The members of the University community are individually and collectively responsible for their behavior and are fully accountable for their actions. They must take individual responsibility for their own learning and awareness about racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice. Bigotry is unacceptable within this university community. No one has the right to denigrate another human being on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap, national origin, or any other factor. By their conduct and expressions, all members of the University community are expected to comply with the University policy of non-discrimination. Verbal, gestural, or written abuse, threats, harassment, intimidation or other forms of violence against any member or groups of members of this community will not be tolerated.

In this context, abuse of alcohol or illegal substances will not be accepted as an excuse, reason or rationale for such abuse, harassment, intimidation or violence. Ignorance or "it was just a joke" also is not an excuse for such behavior. Such behavior will be subject to serious disciplinary measures. All who study, teach, live and work in the Georgia Southwestern State University community are here by choice and are committed to these principles that are an integral part of the mission and goals of Georgia Southwestern State University.

Georgia Southwestern State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, educational institution and as such does not discriminate in any matter concerning students, employees, or services to its community on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, age or national origin. The University is in compliance with all known federal, state and local regulations regarding discrimination. By their conduct or expressions, students are expected to comply with the University policy statement regarding non-discrimination.

In the event that a student has been convicted of a civil or criminal offense, the nature of which may present a clear and present danger of serious physical or mental harm to the student or to any other member of the University community or to university property, such student may be subjected to disciplinary action of a severe nature. Appeals to disciplinary action are outlined in other appropriate sections of this document. Disciplinary action may be taken against students if they behave in a manner that directly and adversely affects the interests of the University community. In such a case the student is liable to disciplinary action within the college community that is independent of formal charges which could lead to trial by legally constituted authorities outside the college community.

The right of the student to be secure against unreasonable searches by university officials shall not be denied. However, in the reasonable exercise of its supervisory duty and in carrying out the basic responsibility of the institution regarding discipline and the maintenance of an educational atmosphere, the University may, under the direction of those institutional employees authorized by the President, conduct inspection and reasonable searches in residence halls or other facilities operated by the University. Those university employees responsible shall authorize such inspections and searches only when they have reasonable cause to believe that criminal law or university policies are being violated. Nothing in this section shall be held to prohibit entry into residence hall rooms for necessary janitorial maintenance, fire prevention and safety activities.

Civility Statement

Georgia Southwestern State University views civility primarily as the demonstration of respect for others, basic courtesy, reciprocity (treating others as we wish to be treated), and behaviors that create a positive environment in which to learn, work and co-exist. While no civility statement can guarantee considerate and principled conduct, the values set forth below represent institutional ideals and should serve as guideposts:

  1. Respect for the work of all persons.
  2. Courteous discourse (oral, verbal, non-verbal and electronic).
  3. Honest interactions and utterances.
  4. Fair and just treatment.
  5. Integrity and keeping promises.
  6. Commitment to our campus community philosophy: Access, academic development and degree completion, career preparation, workforce development, partnering and community outreach, and good citizenship development.
  7. Open professional communications.
  8. Diversity, professionalism and collegiality.
  9. Free expression of views without a spirit of meanness or a desire to do harm.
  10. Tolerance of differing points of view.
  11. Avoidance of participation in cyber misconduct [stalking, bullying, or sexual harassment].

These ideals are consistently modeled by those in leadership positions - in the administration, staff, faculty, and student body - and should provide direction for all members of our GSW community.

Dress Standard

Dress and personal appearance should be in good taste, consonant with an adult, professional atmosphere and should reflect the student's respect for her/himself and for our university.

Academic Rights

Students have the right to learn and to inquire. They have a right to examine and discuss questions of interest, to take stands on issues of interest to them, and to support causes, by orderly means, which do not impede the collegial process of learning.

Recognized student organizations shall be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing for the purpose of hearing that person's ideas and opinions. However, the university president has final responsibility for campus events and activities and may affirm or cancel a speaker's registration.  In cases of cancellation the president shall provide the organization with a written explanation for the decision.

Students shall have the right of protection against prejudiced academic evaluation. At the same time, students are responsible for maintaining the standards of academic performance established by the faculty for each course in which they are enrolled. Any student who believes that individual academic rights have been violated may seek redress by contacting the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for direction in filing a formal grievance.

Individual students and recognized campus organizations have the right to publish and distribute written materials provided the material is identified by the name of the student or organization, in accordance with university regulations, and follows the guidelines established by the publications committee. Student publications shall be guaranteed the rights inherent in the concept of "freedom of the press."

In all academic matters, students at Georgia Southwestern State University have a right to be governed by justified regulations. They shall be free to take reasoned exception to data and views offered in the classroom and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, without fear of penalty. Students have a right to grades that represent the instructor's professional judgment of their performance in courses, a right to professional relationships with each instructor, and a right to protection against improper disclosure of personal information. Students also have a right to clearly stated information that would enable them to determine:

  1. The general requirements for establishing and maintaining an acceptable academic standing;
  2. Their own academic relationship with the University and any special conditions which apply;
  3. The graduation requirements for any particular curriculum and major.

Students are responsible for classroom behavior that is conducive to the teaching-learning process for all concerned, and for meeting the requirements of a course of study according to standards of performance established by the faculty. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. Longer suspensions from a class, or dismissal or disciplinary grounds, shall be administered through the campus student conduct proceedings. The Vice President for Student Affairs, or his or her appointee, has the right to impose temporary sanctions pending hearings.

Students are expected to attend all classes. If an absence is necessary, the student is responsible for reporting this fact to the instructor. Each instructor will take whatever action he or she deems necessary. Faculty members are to have made their expectations concerning absences clear to the students enrolled in their classes, preferably in writing and within the first week of class.

STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES from the American Council on Education

The university and the Board of Regents have also adopted the following Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities from the American Council on Education:

Intellectual pluralism and academic freedom are central principles of American higher education. Recently, these issues have captured the attention of the media, political leaders and those in the academy. This is not the first time in the nation's history that these issues have become public controversies, but the current interest in intellectual discourse on campus suggests that the meaning of these terms, and the rights and responsibilities of individual members of the campus community, should be reiterated.

Without question, academic freedom and intellectual pluralism are complex topics with multiple dimensions that affect both students and faculty. Moreover, America's colleges and universities vary enormously, making it impossible to create a single definition or set of standards that will work equally well for all fields of academic study and all institutions in all circumstances. Individual campuses must give meaning and definition to these concepts within the context of disciplinary standards and institutional mission.

Despite the difficulty of prescribing a universal definition, we believe that there are some central, overarching principles that are widely shared within the academic community and deserve to be stated affirmatively as a basis for discussion of these issues on campuses and elsewhere.

-- American higher education is characterized by a great diversity of institutions, each with its own mission and purpose. This diversity is a central feature and strength of our colleges and universities and must be valued and protected. The particular purpose of each school, as defined by the institution itself, should set the tone for the academic activities undertaken on campus.

-- Colleges and universities should welcome intellectual pluralism and the free exchange of ideas. Such a commitment will inevitably encourage debate over complex and difficult issues about which individuals will disagree. Such discussions should be held in an environment characterized by openness, tolerance and civility.

-- Academic decisions including grades should be based solely on considerations that are intellectually relevant to the subject matter under consideration. Neither students nor faculty should be disadvantaged or evaluated on the basis of their political opinions. Any member of the campus community who believes he or she has been treated unfairly on academic matters must have access to a clear institutional process by which his or her grievance can be addressed.

-- The validity of academic ideas, theories, arguments and views should be measured against the intellectual standards of relevant academic and professional disciplines. Application of these intellectual standards does not mean that all ideas have equal merit. The responsibility to judge the merits of competing academic ideas rests with colleges and universities and is determined by reference to the standards of the academic profession as established by the community of scholars at each institution.

-- Government’s recognition and respect for the independence of colleges and universities is essential for academic and intellectual excellence. Because colleges and universities have great discretion and autonomy over academic affairs, they have a particular obligation to ensure that academic freedom is protected for all members of the campus community and that academic decisions are based on intellectual standards consistent with the mission of each institution.

Other university policies regarding academic rights can be found in this excerpt from the Faculty Handbook:

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY

Purpose:

A)To define the rights of creators of intellectual property and of the university in relation to such property. 

B) By clearly defining and protecting the rights of creators of such property, to encourage its creation.

C) To define clearly the relative value of shared rights to such property, if such rights exist.

1. Definitions:

  • A) Intellectual Property (IP) is any creative work that is potentially protected by national and/or international patent or copyright law, whether such protection is sought or not.  Ownership of the IP carries the implied sole right of deciding whether or not a patent or copyright shall be sought.  Intellectual property should be understood to include, but no be limited to:
    • a. Written works of any sort, whether existing on paper or in digital form.
    • b. Computer programs or portions of programs, or other software, whether created for classroom, service, or scholarly purposes.  Ownership of software and programs carries with it ownership of any instructional materials and/or manuals or documentation, logos, artwork, and so on, developed to accompany it.
    • c. Artistic creations, whether visual, dramatic, or musical, as well as audio and/or video recordings (or digital equivalents) of existing works in the public domain, or for which rights to record have been acquired.
    • d. Recorded lectures or performances, whether recorded in audio, video, or both formats, and whether created for classroom, service, or scholarly purposes.
    • e. Filmstrips, overheads, charts, and any other visual aid, whether in tangible or digital form.
    • f. Mask work for the creation of electronic circuitry.
    • g. Novel organism varieties (such as plant varieties) that qualify for patent protection.
    • h. Inventions and other creations that qualify for patent protection.  Any trademarks and trade secrets that go along with such materials are part of the IP.
    • i. Archival and other material created or collected in the process of creating the IP.  These may include databases and other tabulations, specimens of fossil or living organisms, photographs, films, notebooks, rough sketches and drafts, voice recordings, and so on.  Digital versions of any of these things are to be regarded the same as hard copies.  In the case of materials that are required to be archived in a public institution (such as organism type specimens) the owner of the IP holds sole right to determine where they shall be archived.
  • b) A creator is an individual who conceives, develops, perfects, or makes some other substantial contribution to the existence of a piece of intellectual property.  Co-creators are individuals who all work on a single piece of IP.  Co-creators have the choice to retain individual rights to the IP, or to pool their rights and be considered an institutional creator collectively.  It is incumbent upon co-creators to have an agreed upon policy in place to outline the individual rights among themselves, or within their institution, before beginning work on the IP.  Such agreements can be modified as the work progresses if necessary and mutually agreeable.  The university as a whole, or any sub-unit of the university (such as a school or department) can be a plenary creator if and only if that institution conceives, funds, and hires labor specifically to bring the IP into existence ab initio.

2. Determining ownership of IP.

There exists a contractual agreement between the university and each of its employees and students that places certain responsibilities and rights on both.  The following is written specifically about the relationship between the university and a faculty member, but the same or similar arguments hold true for any staff member or for any student who creates a piece of IP while at the university.

The university is expected to provide a certain level of tangible support to a faculty member.  This level of customary or normal support includes, but is not necessarily limited to, office (and in appropriate cases) laboratory or studio space, office supplies, access to telecommunications and computer equipment, software, internet services, e-mail, disk memory for websites, laboratory supplies, photocopy machines and supplies, library (including e-library) access, interlibrary loan, computers, student assistants, access to secretarial services, and other such items that the faculty member is expected to use for normal teaching, service, and scholarly pursuits as part of her/his normal or customary duties.  In exchange, the university profits from the students the faculty member teaches, the alumni he/she has previously taught, the prestige (at least) of his/her scholarly achievements, and the administrative value of her/his committee work, service work, and so on.  Provision of these items does not entitle the university, or any part of the university, to any share in the ownership of IP created by the faculty member.  It should be noted that the notion of “customary” will evolve over time.  Today it is customary to provide a desktop computer for faculty.  In five years a tablet might be the norm.  The rule of thumb is that whatever is generally provided to most or all members of the faculty at the time a piece of IP is created is “normal and customary”.

  • A ) Sole ownership by an individual creator:
    Any creative work accomplished by an individual faculty member, or any IP that results from that work, is owned solely by the individual, even if that faculty member has used the customary support of the university in creating the IP.  In the event that the creative work is carried out under a grant from an outside agency (which ordinarily would be granted to the institution and not the individual), the creator is still the sole owner of the IP.  The university can claim no rights to it.  This is true whether the grant carries indirect costs (“overhead”) or not.  Acceptance of a grant on behalf of a faculty member implicitly agrees to these terms.  The university may not make acceptance of a grant contingent upon being granted ownership or co-ownership, but may insist that all required labor for the creation of the IP, beyond the customary and normal, be covered in the grant funds, either as overhead or as direct costs.
     
  • B) Co-ownership by co-creators:
    If the work leading to a piece of IP is collaborative among several individuals, those co-creators must have a clear, written agreement a priori about proportional sharing in the ownership, or agreement to function as an institutional owner.  Disagreements at this stage are to be arbitrated by the IP committee.  Of course any individual may enter into a priori agreement with the university to share her or his ownership with the university, but is under no obligation to do so.
    The university may be considered a co-creator, but only if it has actively and purposely agreed to provide (and does, in fact, actually provide) an unusual level of support, either by providing additional funds, support staff, student assistants, release time, specially purchased equipment or supplies, rare holdings of its library or museum which become a part of the IP (as in digital reproduction) or otherwise provides an unusual level of support specifically for the project.  The request for such support must be made by the individual creator or co-creators, and may not be offered or required by the university without such a request.  In this case the university cannot be the primary creator, nor can it hold a majority share in the ownership of the IP.
  • C) Sole or primary ownership by the university as plenary creator:
    There exists only one instance in which the university can be the plenary or the primary creator/owner of a piece of IP.  In this case, the university must conceive the idea of creating the IP, must instigate work on the IP, must supply all funding during development of the IP, and must hire labor ab initio whose entire function is to create the IP.  Furthermore, if any single new hire can be identified as the primary contributor of creative intellect to the work, that individual must be considered a co-creator and co-owner.  The proportional ownership in this case is to be agreed a priori by mutual consent or by decision of the IP committee.  Existing faculty, students, or staff may not be recruited unless they are offered creator and owner status commensurate with their contributions, and it would be expected that at least one of them would become the primary creator and owner.  If the university fully meets the definition of plenary creator it may be sole owner of the resulting IP.  At its discretion, the university (as plenary creator) may offer individuals hired to do the labor a share in the ownership of the IP, but is under no obligation to do so.  Any sharing of ownership in this case must have clear a priori written agreement about the proportional ownership of the IP.
3. Administration of the IP policy.

The university president shall appoint a committee (the IP committee) to oversee administration of this policy.  The chair of this committee shall be a faculty member whose primary responsibility is teaching.  Each college and division on campus shall be represented by a faculty member, again with a primarily teaching appointment.   One member shall come from the Business and Finance office.  Additional members may be appointed as applicable to individual cases from other areas – staff, students, the Library, additional specialists from certain departments or offices, etc. 
This committee should ordinarily meet only to review an agreement about proportional ownership of IP, to settle disputes about proper allocation in such an agreement, to settle other disputes over the use of the IP, or to assure that the university has sought and has received a proper co-ownership in any case where the university’s interest is a consideration.   All decisions made by the committee shall be made after formal consultation with the creators of the IP, and are binding.
The Faculty Handbook includes a section on Grants and Contracts that includes certain responsibilities of individuals that might be considered creators of IP.  Anyone intending to initiate a funded project that might lead to creation of IP should review this document and follow its requirements.

4. Guidelines for distributing the university’s income or share of income from a piece of IP.

In the event that IP is created by an individual or a set of individuals without the university holding any vested interest in the IP, the university also has no responsibility for the legal and/or administrative aspects of the project, beyond those that a granting agency (if one is involved) ordinarily requires.
If the university does hold any vested interest, then 20% of the annual gross income generated by that IP Is to be held by the university to cover any and all legal and administrative costs, which the university thus assumes.  If the university can demonstrate that its actual costs exceed this amount, the IP committee can allocate additional monies from the income to cover the additional costs.  The remaining income (ordinarily 80% of the gross) is referred to hereafter as the net income.

As a guideline, it is recommended that the university’s share of the interest in income from IP be 15% of the net, if there is an individual primary creator or set of individual co-creators.  If the university is the plenary creator, it is entitled to the entire net income unless it has agreed to share with co-creators recognized a priori, and has formally agreed upon the proportional ownership.

Because the university’s share in the income from a piece of IP results from the creative work of its employees, a substantial amount of the income should be employed stimulating additional creative work.  As a guideline, any university income up to $500,000 per year should be used to support research, innovation, or new teaching materials and initiatives instigated by faculty members.  Existing Faculty Development Grants or Faculty Instructional Grants, for example, might be enhanced, or new ways of supporting the creative work of faculty, students, and staff might be created.  Of the funds thus dedicated, 15% should be allotted to the creator’s department (or departments, if there is more than one creator, in proportion to their ownership of the IP.  An additional 15% should be allotted to the school(s) or division(s) of the creator(s) in the same way.  The remaining 70% should be administered at the university level.  Annual income above $500,000 reverts to the general budget of the university.

Variations from these guidelines are permissible upon review by the IP committee, which also mediates any disputes over the allocations from any piece of IP.

STUDENT EXPRESSION OF OPINION

 

1.0 Policy Purpose

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all individuals, including freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the rights to petition and to peaceably assemble. Students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators at GSW ("members of the GSW community") are free to engage in conversations with each other, to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly and privately. Those availing themselves of their right to free expression shall be limited, however, by the general principle that they may not invade the rights of other citizens; nor may they by word or deed disrupt the normal functioning of the institution, including but not limited to any teachings, research, administrative, disciplinary, or public service activity or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held on GSW’s campus or property or at approved campus functions.

In furtherance of those principles, GSW maintains this Freedom of Expression Policy, which in no way prohibits members of the GSW community from engaging in conversations on campus and does not apply to University-sponsored activities, academic or otherwise, but rather only establishes a designated public forum on GSW’s campus and sets forth requirements for reservations of the forum in the following limited circumstances: (1) members of the GSW community who engage in expression in groups of 30 or more; and (2) individuals who are not members of the GSW community who wish to speak on GSW’s campus. By placing reasonable limitations on time, place, and manner of speech, GSW does not regulate the content or viewpoint of any speech, but rather allows for a diversity of viewpoints to be expressed in an academic setting.

2.0 Policy Definitions

     2.1 Expressive Activity

The free exchange of ideas manifested in the form of free speech, freedom of expression, the right to petition, and the right to      peaceably assembly which do not invade the rights of other citizens, nor disrupt the normal functioning of the university including but not limited to any teachings, research, administration, disciplinary, or public service activity or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held on GSW’s campus or property or at approved campus functions.

     2.2 Public Forum Area

Designated space on the GSW campus located on the patio area outside the Marshall Student Center for immediate and spontaneous demonstration dedicated to the facilitation of the free exchange of ideas.

     2.3 Large Group Expression

Demonstrations or gatherings of students, faculty, and/or staff consisting of 30 or more persons that are required to acquire prior approval and reservation of the Public Forum Area to engage in expressive activity(ies).

 

3.0 Policy Statements

     3.1 Designation of Public Forums on GSW’s Campus

To accommodate the need for immediate and spontaneous demonstration and to better facilitate the free exchange of ideas, GSW has designated the patio area outside of the Marshall Student Center as a public forum on GSW’s campus ("Public Forum Area"). The Public Forum Area is generally available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, provided that the Area has not been previously reserved. Though reservations are only required as set forth in Section 3.2 and Section 3.3 below, GSW recommends that all parties interested in using the Public Forum Area submit a completed Forum Reservation Request Form to GSW’s Office of Student Affairs through GSW’s online reservations process prior to use so that GSW may minimize scheduling conflicts, accommodate all interested users, and provide adequate security for the speaker and the audience.

     3.2  Provisions for Campus Members Who Organize in Large Groups

          3.2.1 Planned Large Group Expression

– Members of the GSW community who plan to engage in expressive activity in a group that is expected to consist of 30 or more persons must submit a completed Forum Reservation Request Form to GSW’s Division of Student Engagement and Success two business days prior to the scheduled activity and must receive approval in writing from a SES official prior to engaging in such activity. The Student Affairs official may grant a reservation for the Public Forum Area or another available area of campus, as requested by the applicant; must process the reservation request within one day; and may only deny a reservation for the limited reasons set forth in Section E. below. Any denial may be appealed to GSW’s President, who must respond within one business day. Prior notice is required to ensure that there is sufficient space for the large group event, that necessary University resources are available for crowd control and security, and that the academic and other operations of the University are not disrupted.

          3.2.2  Spontaneous Large Group Expression

– If an individual or small group of individuals within the GSW community, while engaging in spontaneous expression, attracts a group of 30 or more persons, then a representative from the group should provide the University with as much notice as circumstances reasonably permit. GSW reserves the right to direct a group of 30 or more persons to the Public Forum Area or another available area of campus in order to ensure the safety of campus members, to provide for proper crowd control, and to limit disruption of the academic and other operations of the University. The GSW official must not consider or impose restrictions based on the content or viewpoint of the expression when relocating the expression.

 

     3.3 Provisions for Non-Campus Members

Individuals or groups of people who are not members of the GSW community may only engage in expressive activity on GSW’s campus in the Public Forum Area and only after submitting a completed Forum Reservation Request Form to GSW’s Office of Student Affairs at least two business days prior to the scheduled speech and obtaining approval for such use in writing from a Student Affairs official pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 4.0 below. The reservation request must be processed within one business day after its submission. Any denial may be appealed to the GSW’s President who must respond within one business day.

     3.4  General Provisions

In addition to the requirements set forth above, all individuals expressing themselves on GSW’s campus must comply with the following provisions:

          3.4.1

Members of the GSW community should make clear to the academic and larger community that they speak only for themselves, not for the University as an institution, in their public expressions or demonstrations.

          3.4.2

Georgia Southwestern State University does not allow disruptive behavior at university sanctioned community events or on campus. Disruptions may include purposeful blocking the view of others at the event; banners or items that block the audience's view; or noise or action that disrupts the ability of the audience to hear (e.g., shouting out or use of a bull horn). When behavior at an event is being disruptive, GSW officials will attempt to gain cooperation by asking that the disruptive behavior stop prior to requesting that the person or persons leave the event, unless the disruption necessitates other action to prevent greater confrontation.

          3.4.3

If an event is disrupted by a group or individual, a representative of the University may request the action to stop or ask the person or group to leave the event and move to an approved location for protesting. Individuals or groups who disrupt an event or fail to leave when asked are in violation of the University's policy of respect for persons and may also be in violation of the policy regarding disrespect for University officials. These violations of University policy may result in University discipline. Disruption may also result in arrest and criminal charges such as disorderly conduct or trespass.

          3.4.4

Any individual or group who disrupts an event and is unwilling to respect University policy or to comply with the requests of University officials will be asked to leave GSW property. Failure to comply may result in arrest for unlawful trespass or other criminal violations. GSW reserves the right to remove, or ban, any individuals who are not members of the GSW community from campus, or approved events, if they are disruptive.

          3.4.5

The use of streets of Americus for demonstrations is subject to town ordinance and requires a town permit.

          3.4.6

Demonstrations may not interfere with the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, exclude other members of the GSW community or guests of the University from free movement on campus or in buildings, and may not block access to any campus buildings or the venue in which another event is being held.

          3.4.7

Sound amplification (including microphones or bullhorns) is not permitted due to the disruption of classes and other academic and administrative functions of the institution. Demonstrations with a noise level that disrupts other authorized activities on the University campus violate University policies and are prohibited. (See Student Code of Conduct, Section D. Disorderly Conduct, Policies 4 and 9.)

          3.4.8

Connection to the University’s utilities (power, etc.) must be approved in advance.

          3.4.9

Distribution of materials such as leaflets may not be confrontational and must allow people to decline to receive the materials.

          3.4.10

Organizers must remove all items and materials at the end of the demonstration.

          3.4.11

Demonstrators are not allowed to use intimidating tactics or unwelcome physical contact between demonstrators, counter demonstrators, the audience, the speaker or performers, or University officials.

          3.4.12

The use of chalk on buildings or other structures, or within 10 feet of any door, is strictly prohibited to prevent damage to the structure and injury to anyone stopping at entrances or exits.

          3.4.13

Damage or destruction of property owned or operated by GSW, members of the GSW community, or guests of the GSW community is prohibited.

         3.4.14

Public use of speech which, by current community standards, is considered to be obscene or is so patently offensive that it would fall into the category of "fighting words" is prohibited.

         3.4.15

Individuals and groups of individuals expressing themselves on GSW’s campus must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and GSW policies, rules, and regulations.


4.0 Procedures

     4.1

Completed Forum Reservation Request Forms should be submitted to GSW’s Office of Student Affairs. Reservation scheduling will be coordinated by a Student Affairs official who will schedule forums for expression on a first-come, first-served basis. The Student Affairs official must respond to all requests as soon as practical, but in no event more than one business day following receipt of the request, either authorizing the reservation and noting any special instructions, if applicable, or setting forth the reason for denial of the reservation. The Student Affairs official may only deny a reservation request for one of the following reasons: 4.1.1 The Forum Reservation Request Form is not fully completed;

          4.1.2 The Forum Reservation Request Form contains a material falsehood or misrepresentation;

          4.1.3 The Public Forum Area has already been reserved by persons who previously submitted a completed Forum Reservation Request Form(s), in which case the University must provide an alternate date, or alternate time;

          4.1.4 The use or activity intended by the applicant would conflict with or disturb previously planned programs organized by the University;

          4.1.5 The Public Forum Area is not large enough to accommodate the expected or actual number of persons engaging in large group expression, in which case the University must provide a reservation for the applicant at an alternate location that can safely accommodate the expression, provided that the applicant is a member of the GSW community and that such a location exists on GSW’s campus;

         4.1.6 The use or activity intended by the applicant would present a danger to the health or safety of the applicant, other members of the GSW community, or the public; or

          4.1.7 The use or activity intended by the applicant is prohibited by law or GSW policy.

     4.2 When assessing a reservation request, the Student Affairs official must not consider or impose restrictions based on the content or viewpoint of the expression.

     4.3 Appeals related to the decision of the Student Affairs official should be made in writing to GSW’s President, who must respond to the appeal within one business day. The decision of GSW’s President is final.

     4.4 All forum reservations are subject to the general provisions in Section 3.4 above.

 

 

CHILDREN ON CAMPUS

Students should not bring children to campus on a regular or prolonged basis. While the University encourages students and their families to take advantage of opportunities on campus, the University cannot insure the safety of children. Children must not be in classrooms, laboratories, instructional support areas or student life areas except in the context of programs conducted specifically for children. The University campus is not
an appropriate environment for children, especially when there is no supervision.

POSTING OF INFORMATION

No signs or flyers are to be posted on building exteriors, glass or painted surfaces, wood or plaster walls, fixtures, or in any place or manner that defaces the surface used or makes the removal of the material difficult.

Notices may not be posted on stair rails or doors which block or obstruct one's view. Notices must carry the name of the organization or individual responsible for the removal of the notices. The University will allow no decorations within the circular drive in front of the Wheatley Administration Building or in front of the Education Center.

Signs must be properly placed and should not impair the safety of traffic or pedestrians.

Organizations and/or individuals should be careful not to harm any campus property (including trees, flower beds, sprinkler systems, etc.) when placing signs. Should rain, wind, or other forces render a sign unreadable, or cause disrepair, the sign should be removed by the
organization/individual that placed it within 24 hours following the damage.

Signs/Letters should be placed no more than seven days in advance of the advertised event and removed by the first weekday after the event has taken place.  Signs/Letters not removed by the designated time may be subject to removal by physical plant or another member of the University staff.  Offending individuals or organizations may be assessed a $25.00 fine per incident.

The University’s input regarding the relocation and timing of posting advertisements may be required in certain circumstances.

The University reserves the right to remove, or to request the removal of, any signs/ posters/advertisements.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENTS

As members of the University community, students are expected to act responsibly with regard to their financial obligations. Students that are delinquent in their financial obligations to the University, or to any other facet of the University community, shall not be allowed to register for the next semester, to reside in the university residence halls, to transfer their credits to another school, or to graduate from the university. Fulfillment of financial obligations shall restore students to their prior status as members of the university community, except that they shall suffer whatever academic losses that naturally result from their prior financial irresponsibility.

STUDENT MEDIA

Student media and the student press are valuable aids in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and of intellectual exploration on the campus. They are a means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the faculty and the institutional authorities, and of formulating student opinion on various issues on the campus and in the world at large.

The editorial freedom of student editors, managers, and directors entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the canons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity and the techniques of harassment and innuendo.

All university-published, broadcast and financed student media should explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the university or the student body.

STUDENT NEWSPAPER AND GSW-TV16

The Sou'Wester and GSW-TV16 (Hurricane Watch) are the official Georgia Southwestern State University student newspaper and television station, respectively. The tone and content of the media are essentially determined by the student editorial and/or production staff, with the cooperation of the faculty advisors. Hurricane Watch does operate all on-air programming in compliance with its “Code of Conduct for Programming”. Faculty, students, and administrators may provide advice and criticism but shall not exercise powers of veto or censorship over news or editorial content, except as indicated below.  Should a member of the University community be aggrieved by material appearing in The Sou'Wester or on GSW-TV16, such person may file with the Vice President for Student Affairs a formal complaint indicating that the publication contains material which is obscene, immoral, indecent, lacking in good taste, or seriously detrimental to the University or to a member of the University community. The Vice President for Student Affairs may use his or her discretion in judging the merits of the complaint. Upon finding cause to believe that the complaint should be investigated further, he or she shall refer the matter to the Faculty Subcommittee on Student Publications. The subcommittee shall hold a hearing and recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs (1) that the aggrieved member does not have a complaint of a serious enough nature that disciplinary action is warranted, or (2) that the aggrieved member does have a complaint of a serious enough nature and one or more of the following actions should be taken:

  1. Suspension of publication or broadcast
  2. Removal of the offending staff member(s)
  3. Prohibition of further contributions by the offender(s)
  4. An admonishment or reprimand
  5. Printed or broadcast retractions or apologies.

If the aggrieved member of the University community is a faculty member and is dissatisfied with the Vice President for Student Affairs’ decision, the Vice President for Student Affairs may appoint an ad hoc committee to act in an advisory capacity.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Students shall have maximum freedom to express opinions and communicate ideas by writing, publishing, and distributing materials. However, students involved with publications other than those authorized by the university shall be bound by the same rules of good taste cited for official university publications (and by other conditions as may be defined in disciplinary recommendations of the Faculty Subcommittee on Student Publications, or of some other appropriate college officials). The university shall not authorize such student publications, but the publications shall be properly registered with the Division of Student Affairs-Director of Campus Life. The responsibility for editorial or other content, finance, and distribution shall lie with the sponsoring individual, agency, group or organization. The name of the sponsoring individual, agency, group or organization shall be stated in each issue of the publication. Publications not in compliance with these specifications shall not be permitted to utilize any equipment or distribution facilities of the University.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENT EDITORS, DIRECTORS, AND CONTRIBUTORS TO STUDENT MEDIA

A. Editors/Directors shall strive to meet the standards of good journalism: sincerity, truthfulness, and accuracy are fundamental. News shall be printed/broadcast in a factual and unbiased manner.

B. Student media shall have the freedom to aim constructive criticism at organizations, procedures, and policies, but must refrain from criticizing individuals. The possible effect of any published/broadcast matter shall be carefully considered.

C. Student media shall refrain from using obscene language, pornographic pictures, or offensive slang.

D. Student media shall serve the interests of all students, not just isolated groups within the University community. Editors/Directors shall perform editorial duties with due concern for the ultimate welfare of all students and the institution.

Student Code of Conduct

Housing and Residential Living Policies and Procedures

All students are held to the terms and conditions of the housing contract that they agree to when submitting a housing application. Students are encouraged to read the entire housing contract and keep a copy for their records.

Abandoned Property

Items left by a resident at the end of their contract period or when they leave an assigned space will be considered abandoned by Residential Living staff. These items will be inventoried and stored for a period of 30 days, during which Residential Living staff will make attempts to contact the owner.  A charge for abandoned property will be added to the student’s account. If the property is not claimed and collected by the owner, Residential Living will disposed of the items or donate them to charity. Property left in hallways, stairwells, lounges, and other common areas will be considered abandoned.

Animals

Fish in a 10-gallon (or smaller) aquarium are the only animals that are permitted in the residence halls and apartments. If you decide to bring a fish tank, it is the resident’s responsibility to ensure they are cared for and their tank is clean and free from leaks. Unauthorized animals will result in student disciplinary action.

Behavioral Expectations

Due to the likelihood of property damage and the potential for personal injury, ball playing, Frisbees, Nerf guns, water fights (water balloons, water guns, and/or hoses), and “horseplay” are not permitted in the residence halls.

Bicycles, Scooters, Skateboards, Roller Skates/Blades, Hoverboards, etc.

Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, Segways, skates, and skateboards are not to be ridden or used inside of any residence hall. Residents are encouraged to store bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates/blades within their room/apartment, exterior bike rack, or area designated by the area supervisor. When secured outside, bicycles should only be secured to bike racks, and must not block stairs, hallways, or any other area which would prevent residents and/or guests from safely evacuating the building in the event of a fire or other emergency. The University can assume no responsibility for the security of bicycles. If kept in the room/apartment, any damage caused by storage of these items will be assessed to the resident.

Hoverboards, including self-balancing scooters, battery-operated scooters, and hands-free segways, are prohibited in the residence halls and on campus.

Items not listed here that are misused within the building may be confiscated at the discretion of Residential Living staff. Contact your Resident Assistant and/or area supervisor for more information.

Cable Television

Cable service is included in individual rooms and living rooms in the apartments. Residents are responsible for connecting the incoming cable to their electronic devices. To ensure all channels are received a channel scan should be completed on the television. To report problems with cable TV, put in a Maintenance Request on the Residential Living webpage.

Census Data Collection

The University reserves the right to share data concerning all campus residents with the U.S. Census Bureau whenever the university receives verified notification of requested information.

Check-In/Check-Out Procedures

Upon move in at the beginning of the contract term, residents will have their CanesCard programmed to their building and hallway and be issued a room key. Residents are required to complete a Room Condition Report and are strongly encouraged to comment on any major discrepancies between their perception of the condition of their rooms (and furnishings) and those noted on the form by a Residential Living staff member. Reporting any pre-existing damage is the only way to avoid being held financially accountable for damage found at the end of occupancy. Charges for residence hall room damages may not be appealed if residents do not submit Room Condition Reports at the beginning of occupancy.

Check out takes place each time you change rooms/apartments or when you move out of the hall. To check out, you must either schedule an appointment with your Resident Assistant or complete an Express Checkout Packet. Damages incurred between check in and check out may be assessed during check-out. Failure to follow established check-out procedures may result in an improper check-out charge.

Common Area Computers

The common area computers are for the use of the residents in the hall and have been set up to meet the general needs of the residents. To ensure continued access to the computers, students are to refrain from activities, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Do not save anything onto the computer hard drive. Residents should save their work on removable storage media.
  • Do not change the configuration of the computers. They have been set up for general computer activities: word processing, spreadsheets, email, etc.
  • Do not try to fix computer problems. If you are experiencing difficulty with a computer, contact Residential Living staff immediately; they will contact GSW IIT to begin the repair process.
  • Contact your roommate(s).
  • Contact the Resident Assistant on Duty by calling the posted Duty Phone number.
  • Contact the RA on their hall/floor.
  • Contact any available RA.
  • Contact the Residence Hall supervisor for that area.
  • Contact Residential Living Office (Mondays – Thursdays, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM; Fridays, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM) or Public Safety during all other   times and on holidays.
  • Have lived on campus four or more semesters (not including summer terms)
  • Will be at least 21 years old by August 31 of the fall term
  • Are married
  • Have a child or other legal dependent living with them
  • Will live with a parent or (former) legal guardian, if under the age of 21, at a physical address no more than 50 miles of the university
  • The unit and power cord must be U.L. approved.
  • Maximum size, 1500 watts.
  • The unit and power cord must be U.L. approved.
  • Maximum size, approximately 4.3 cubic feet.
  • Maximum of 2 running amps.
  • Air conditioners
  • Appliances with open flames
  • Ceiling fans not already installed
  • Electric blankets
  • Electric grills
  • Electric skillets
  • Extension cords without a surge protector
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Items with exposed heating elements
  • Lava lamps
  • Multiple extension cords plugged into each other
  • Space heaters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Toasters
  • Other appliances requiring 220 volts or more than 1500 watts, or appliances that pose an electrical-overload hazard
  • State Fire Code Regulations must be adhered to at all times
  • Use only small nails or tacks to hang pictures and other wall hangings (no glue, large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, duct tape, or double-sided tape)
  • Decals cannot be affixed to any university property
  • Wallpaper or adhesive-backed shelf paper may not be affixed to furnishings or walls
  • Carpet tape is not to be used
  • Furniture may not be removed from your room/apartment. Furniture cannot be left in hallways or common areas. You may be subject to a replacement cost and disciplinary action if you remove furniture. Storage is not available in the halls.
  • Painting rooms/apartments is strictly prohibited.
  • Large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, and double-sided tape on the walls, furniture or fixtures are prohibited. TVs may not be mounted to the wall. Use of small tacks is permitted.

Failure to follow these and other GSW Information and Instructional Technology policies will result in possible disciplinary action and/or removal of all common area computers within a residence hall. For more information on the GSW IIT Policies, see Policies & Procedures.

Computer and Network Usage

Wireless internet connectivity is available in residence halls.  Users connecting to ResNet will either be required to login or register their device. Video game systems, smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, Roku, Slingbox, and other internet capable entertainment devices should may be registered in ClearPass.

Residents are prohibited from connecting personal hubs, switches, routers, and/or wireless access points to the wired network connection in the residence halls. This is against the campus Computer and Network Usage Policy and may cause connectivity problems for you and your neighbors. Additionally, wireless printers and wireless digital media players (ChromeCast, Amazon Fire Stick, etc.) are not supported on the residence hall network. Other devices, such as game systems and smart TVs will not work over the wireless network and require a wired Ethernet connection.

E-mail Communication

E-mail is Georgia Southwestern State University’s official method of communication. Residential Living regularly communicates important information and updates to students via their GSW e-mail accounts. Residents should check their e-mail account regularly for important Residential Living information regarding room sign-ups, events and activities, check-out procedures, conduct notifications, and other announcements.

Gambling

Residents are required to follow local and state laws as they pertain to gambling. The playing of cards or any other game of skill or chance for money or other items is not permitted within the residence halls.

Guests

Guests are defined as persons who are not contractual occupants of the specific room/suite/apartment in question. Consideration for room/suitemates and other floor students dictates that guests do not infringe on the rights of contracted students. Guests must abide by all policies of the residence halls, and hosts are responsible for the conduct of their guests. The guest policy exists to protect the rights of the contracted student to privacy and the opportunity to sleep and study freely. Space for group studying and socializing is available in the hall common spaces.

Guests must enter and exit through residence hall lobby door(s). Guests are not permitted to move about nor occupy any area of a residence hall without the escort of a residential student. Guests are never permitted to remain in a resident’s (private) bedroom for any length of time during which the resident leaves the suite or apartment.

Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests until the guest(s) exits the residence hall.

A resident may host no more than two guests at any given time. The residents of a suite or an apartment may not host more than four guests at any given time.

Whenever a Desk Assistant is on duty, residents will be asked to sign in their guests and guests will be asked to present a photo ID to the Desk Assistant before leaving the residence hall lobby.

Guests are permitted to stay no more than two consecutive nights and/or or four nights within a calendar month.

Cohabitation is strictly prohibited and is defined as a visitor spending an excessive amount of time or storing an excessive amount of belongings in a room or apartment that they are not assigned to.

First-year residents may host guests between 10:00 AM -3:00 AM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and from 10:00 AM - 1:00 AM on all other days of the week. Upper-class residents do not have time restrictions on their guests.

Guest(s) under the age of 18 are not permitted to visit or remain in any area of a residence hall, including a resident’s room, between the hours of 11:00 PM - 10:00 AM without the express permission of the Residence Hall supervisor or the permission of the Assistant Director, Residential Living. Guests under the age of twelve are only permitted visit residents between 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Insurance

The University does not carry insurance to cover loss or damage to residents’ personal effects. Individuals desiring such protection must make arrangements for the necessary coverage through their parents' homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance. To ensure the safety of your belongings, remember to always lock your room/apartment door when you leave.

Keys, CanesCard, and LockOuts

CanesCards are programmed for entry to the exterior entrance doors to the designated building and hallway. The exterior building and hallway doors are locked 24 hours a day. Residents receive their room key from Residential Living staff. It is the residents’ responsibility to keep the key secure and return it to Residential Living staff upon vacating their room at the end of the contract period. Residents are responsible for carrying their CanesCard and room key at all times. For security reasons, residents are not to loan or duplicate their key or CanesCard. Residents are prohibited from their leaving keys in door locks or other areas where they may be accessible.

A resident who loses or damages his/her room key may be allowed to purchase a replacement key for $25. If a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member determines that a lock change is necessary, the resident shall be responsible required to pay the following to cover the cost of replacing the locks on all doors within the suite or apartment:

  • Double suites - $75
  • Private suites and two bedroom apartments - $125
  • Four bedroom apartments - $250

The Residential Living staff realizes that even with the best precautions, residents may still lock themselves out of their room. If this happens, the resident should follow the steps below in the order listed:

Requests for doors to be opened are restricted to the door of the room/apartment belonging to the resident who is making the request. Doors to other peoples' rooms/apartments will not be opened for any reason.

Lofted Bed Safety Rails

For safety reasons, residents who choose to utilize a loft bed provided by Georgia Southwestern State University are strongly encouraged to use the provided safety rail and keep beds away from exterior windows. Homemade bed lofts, purchased bed lofts or other bed modifications are not permitted.

Lost and Found

Residents should turn in all found items to their area office or Resident Assistant. Lost items will be held for 30 days. No claimed Items will be either turned over to Public Safety or donated. Items such as electronics or identification will be turned into Public Safety.

Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with reasonable directions and requests of a Residential Living or University staff member, or failure to heed an official summons of any university official acting in the performance of his or her duties could result in a disciplinary referral.

Occupancy

Residents may occupy their residential assignments only on the dates specified in the contract term. Students registered for an assignment prior to the beginning of a term will be responsible to pay the amount set for the entire term regardless of when they move in. A predetermined fee will be charged to a resident’s account should the student be approved to stay on campus for any length of time whose dates are not included in the contract term.

Occupancy of rooms is only allowed for the resident assigned to the room by the university. At no time is a resident permitted to sublet their assignments to others. Cohabitation is also expressly prohibited. In all residence halls, rooms shall be vacated by the date published by Residential Living.

The University reserves the right to: (1) authorize or deny room and roommate changes, (2) place additional students in a resident's assigned room,(3) consolidate vacancies, (4) re-designate building usage, or (5) relocate students for reasons including, but not limited to, renovation, maintenance, construction, roommate conflicts, and disciplinary sanctions. Rooms must be vacated no later than twenty-four (24) hours after the cancellation of a resident’s contract.

Occupying Empty Spaces

Residents may not use or occupy a vacant space in their room/apartment. Empty spaces should always be ready for an incoming student to occupy. Using an empty space could result in being charged for said space, as well as additional fees for cleaning and/or repairing damages.

Parking

Residents are required to register their vehicles, display a GSW parking permit on their vehicles, and follow all university parking regulations when on university property. To view a campus parking map, log in to your personal parking account, request a guest parking pass, and access university parking regulations, visit the Office of Public Safety

Photo Disclosure Policy

Residential Living has the right to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, broadcast, distribute and create derivative works of university related photographs or videotaped images taken in public spaces of on-campus housing for use in connection with the activities of the university for promoting, publicizing or explaining the university and Residential Living. This includes, without limitation, the right to publish such images in the university’s student newspaper, on Residential Living social media, alumni publications, on the university’s website, and public relations/promotional materials, such as marketing and admissions publications. These images may appear in any of the wide variety of formats and media available now and in the future to the university and Residential Living, including, but not limited to print, broadcast, videotape, and electronic/online media. All photos are taken without compensation to the resident or claims for payment or royalties. All electronic or non-electronic negatives, videos, slides, photographs and prints are the property of and owned by the university. Any questions regarding this photo disclosure policy should be emailed to housing@gsw.edu.

Quiet Hours/Courtesy Hours

Quiet hours are maintained to help provide an atmosphere that is conducive to good scholarship and to promote an environment where individuals can learn and study. The enforcement of quiet hours is the responsibility of each resident. Any action that interferes with a student's right to study is a violation of this standard and may be subject to disciplinary action. Stereos, video games, televisions, and voices should be kept at a level that cannot be heard outside the bedroom, suite, and/or apartment.

Quiet hours are in effect daily from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. while courtesy hours are in effect at all times. You should expect to be able to study anytime. Please observe requests from your neighbor or roommate if they ask you not to disrupt their study time, regardless of the time of day.

During final exam periods at the end of each semester, quiet hours are in effect 24 hours a day.

Residency Requirement

All full-time students who have earned less than 60 credit hours are required to live on campus and to purchase a meal plan unless they:

Students who fall into the latter three categories are required to submit an exemption request form to the housing office. The university reserves the right to deny exemption requests when students are unable to furnish appropriate documentation which demonstrates their eligibility to be exempt from the residency requirement.

Room/Apartment Changes

Room/apartment changes may take place as space is available and after occupancy has stabilized, usually two weeks after the start of the semester. Residents should discuss room/apartment changes with your roommate. The resident seeking the room/apartment change should complete a Room Change Request to initiate the room change process. Residents can get this form from their Resident Assistant or area supervisor.

Residents will receive notification if the change is approved. Residents are not move until they are notified that the change is approved. If they move without prior approval from their area supervisor, they may be assessed a charge, required to return to your original location, and/or face disciplinary action.

Residents who are having issues or a conflict with their roommate(s) should work with their RA or area supervisor prior to beginning the room change process.

Room Entry

While university staff members will make every effort to respect the privacy of residential students, the university reserves the right of entry for posted inspections, verification of occupancy and repairs, or anytime a staff member has a plausible reason to believe that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or a Residential Living policy is taking place. The University also reserves the right to enter any room, suite, or apartment within its residence halls whenever a credible threat to a student’s health or property is suspected, or as otherwise necessary to preserve campus order and discipline.

Illegal materials or other items in plain view will be documented or removed if they are noticed in the course of a maintenance repair, inspection, or in response to a violation of university or departmental policy. The resident will receive written notification of this action if confiscation/documentation of property is required when the student is absent.

A resident’s room/apartment will not be entered without knocking. A sufficient time lapse will be allowed to provide the students ample opportunity to open the door. If no response is received, the room/apartment may be entered under the conditions listed above. Before entering a room/apartment with the use of a key, staff members will identify themselves.

Roommate Agreements

Roommate agreements are provided for each roommate grouping to work through and collaborate on what living together will look like for the year. Roommates are expected to complete an agreement each year. Roommates will establish a roommate agreement each time there is a new roommate in the room. This roommate agreement will be kept on file with the Resident Assistant of the hall.

Smoking/Tobacco Use

The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used Georgia Southwestern State University is expressly prohibited. “Tobacco Products” is defined as cigarettes; cigars; pipes; all forms of smokeless tobacco; clove cigarettes; and any other smoking devices that use tobacco, such as hookahs; or devices that simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes and vapor devices. Any individual found violating this policy may face disciplinary action and be charged to remove the odor or other damages caused.

Social Media Community Standards

Residential Life uses various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The department welcomes student participation through comments and posts as long as the content adheres to the GSW Student Code of Conduct and Residential Living Policies and Procedures. While the moderators of these sites will not necessarily remove “negative” comments, Residential Living reserves the right delete posts that include offensive language, “trolling,” “flaming,” adult content, inflammatory political or religious content, unrelated posts (nonsensical and extremely off-topic), spam, illegal content (relating to drug, illegal activities with intent to commit, copyright infringement or the spreading of malicious software), real-life personal information about self or others, and posts attempting to impersonate an individual or organization.

Student Employment

Residential Living is one of the largest employers of students on campus, including Resident Assistants, Desk Assistants, Student Assistants, and Conference Assistants (summer only). For more information about employment opportunities available, please visit the Residential Living webpage.

Facilities
Appliances and Electrical Fixtures

Because of health, safety and sanitation considerations, only certain appliances are authorized for use in the residence halls: small electrical appliances that have a completely enclosed heating element and are U.L. approved (i.e. rice steamers etc.) and small refrigerators that meet the residence hall specifications.

One microwave is allowed in each room of all residence halls and must meet the following requirements:

Refrigerators are allowed in your room if they meet the following requirements: 

During breaks, Residential Living suggests unplugging and defrosting refrigerators.

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

Basic Care

Residents are responsible for the care and upkeep of their room/apartment and suite bathroom. Large nails, screws, bolts, wall anchors, and double sided tape are never allowed on the walls. See the section entitled "Decorations” for more information.

All floor tile needs to be mopped on a routine basis. To clean, use a clean mop, warm water, and a mild detergent or ammonia. Never use a bleach product or a tile cleaner with a bleaching agent. In the apartments the carpet must be vacuumed on a routine basis. Most spills can be removed if taken care of immediately. When spills occur, blot with a paper towel or cloth immediately. Do not rub the spot into the carpet. Warm water, a damp sponge, and mild soap will remove the majority of spots.

The shower units are fiberglass and therefore scratch and stain easily. Care should be taken in cleaning the shower. Do not use abrasive cleaners or sponges. Showers must be cleaned on a routine basis to prevent stains. Any major damages should be reported immediately to your Resident Assistant or area supervisor.

Decorations and Room/Apartment Modifications

You are encouraged to decorate your room/apartment. However, as you decorate, please remember the following guidelines; and to avoid charges check with your Resident Assistant and/or area supervisor if you are unsure of the correctness of your decorations:

Georgia law prohibits the removal of traffic and/or street signs. Therefore, traffic or street signs regardless of how it has been obtained are not permitted in the residence halls. Pictures and other materials that may be considered objectionable should not be displayed in areas that may be visible from the hallway and/ or building. Alcoholic beverage signs or containers are not allowed as window displays.

Solicitation

For reasons of resident privacy, safety and security, solicitation of any type is prohibited. Report any solicitors to the staff of Public Safety immediately. Residents are prohibited from providing any services in exchange for monetary payment or other rewards from any area within the residence halls. This includes but is not limited to: babysitting, tutoring, tattooing, cosmetology, online business, and private music lessons.

Student organizations that wish to promote events within the residence halls may provide Residential Living with a maximum of 40 posters or fliers at least 10 days in advance of the event. Residential Living staff will distribute and post all materials. Residential Living staff will not distribute any external materials to all students or to every door.

Materials posted that do not adhere to this policy will be immediately removed and destroyed. Designated posting areas are available in each hall. Postings are not allowed in stairwells, entrances, exits, exterior walls, corridors, main entrance doors or fire doors.

Health and Safety Inspections

Several health and safety inspections will be conducted each semester by the Residential Living staff for safety, health, maintenance, cleanliness, and inventory purposes. Residents are responsible for maintaining their living areas in a clean and orderly condition. There should be a clear pathway throughout living facilities. Dishes should be cleaned after usage and any food should be stored properly. During health and safety inspections, unwashed or abandoned dishes, cooking utensils, or food may be discarded to prevent pests.

If the condition of a student’s room, including its furnishings, are found to be in an unacceptable condition during these inspections, the student will be notified of the problem(s) and given an opportunity to correct them. Residents who do not correct health and safety concerns addressed by Residential Living staff will be referred to the University student conduct process.

Kitchens

For health, sanitation, and safety reasons, the preparation of most foods is prohibited in student rooms. Each residence hall provides a full kitchen for students to use at any time. Each kitchen is equipped with a stove, oven and microwave. Each apartment in Southwestern Pines provides a full kitchen equipped with a stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave.

It is the responsibility of the resident to clean up after using the kitchen. Do not pour cooking grease down your kitchen sink. It is up to the residents to maintain the appearance and cleanliness of the kitchen and all appliances in it.

Storage or use of outdoor grills or the storage of materials for grilling (charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.) is not permitted in resident rooms/apartments.

Laundry Facilities

Each residence hall is equipped with laundry facilities for use by the residents. Residents are responsible for their own laundry items and for following the proper procedure for washing and drying. For safety reasons, always check and clean the lint filter on the dryer prior to each use. Use of the laundry facilities is restricted to residents only.

Residents are able to purchase new/replacement or reload laundry cards from the card machine located in each area. These machines take cash bills only in denominations up to $20. All machines are maintained by our outside contractor, CSC ServiceWorks. If a machine is not working properly, please report the problem by utilizing the CSC ServiceWorks Service App and information located on each machine.

Camps/Groups and those paying the daily rate will not receive a complementary laundry card but are able to purchase them from the laundry card machine.

Lounges/Common Areas

Public area furniture is provided for the use of all resident and may not be taken to individual resident’s rooms/apartments. In the event of damage in the hallways or common areas, students who occupy the hallway and/or building may be charged for repairs or replacement of damaged property when not attributed to a specific individual. Determination of room and common area damage, loss, or cleaning assessments shall be made by the University at its sole discretion. This includes all community kitchens, computer labs, multipurpose rooms, and lobby areas.

Maintenance

The University employs a maintenance and custodial staff to keep the building in good physical condition. The maintenance and custodial staff provide safety equipment inspections, general maintenance (painting, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, heat, and air conditioning), and custodial services. Custodians clean hallways and the common areas of the building on a regular basis. Residents are responsible for cleaning your own room/apartment and suite bathrooms. Requests for maintenance should be made online through the Residential Living Maintenance Request. The maintenance staff will then make the necessary repairs.

Pest Control

All residence halls are treated regularly for pests. Residents are expected to assist in pest control efforts by keeping their apartment clean. Residents should submit a maintenance request to report pest control issues

Roofs, Windows, Ledges

Residents are not permitted on roof areas nor window ledges. The University is not responsible for injuries that result on a roof area or window ledge nor from falls which might occur from either.

Residents are not permitted to use a window to enter or exit any part of a residence hall nor to remove the screens from the exterior of residence hall windows. Removal of the screen may result in a re-installation charge to repair/replace damaged screens. Additional disciplinary action may also be taken.

Toilets

To prevent the possibility of overflow, feminine hygiene products, food and large quantities of toilet paper should not be flushed down the toilet. If there is a clog in the toilet, turn off the water at the stop valve and submit a work order.

Trash Disposal

Residents are to dispose of their personal trash in the dumpsters located in the parking lots outside of each residence halls. All trash should be bagged before disposal. Personal trash is not to be placed in public area receptacles inside of or at the entryways of the buildings. It is not the custodial staff's responsibility to remove personal trash. Residents who put their personal trash in these receptacles may be charged or face disciplinary action.

Safety and Security
Abuse, Harassment, and Physical Assault

Residential Living provides an educational environment where adults must learn to settle their concerns in a non-physical manner. Any resident involved in abuse or harassment, including physical assault, verbal abuse or threats against another person will be subject to disciplinary action by the department and/or be subject to criminal charges.

Alcohol

Residential Living’s alcohol policy is designed to ensure student safety and help maintain individual rights to privacy, sleep, and study within the residence halls. All residents and guests are required to comply with state and local statutes concerning the possession, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Residents who fail to comply with the Residential Living and/or university alcohol policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the department and/or the university.

In a resident room/apartment where all students are 21 or older, alcohol is permitted unless any guest under the age of 21 is present. When a person under the age of 21 is present, alcohol may not be consumed or visible.

In a resident room/apartment where any resident is 21 or older and the roommate, suitemate, or other apartment occupant is under the age of 21, alcohol can be possessed by the older resident in the room/apartment, but the older resident and/or their guests may not have any open alcoholic containers, nor consume alcohol when any person under the age of 21 (including the roommate) is present.

In a resident room/apartment where all residents are under the age of 21, no alcohol is permitted in the room/apartment under any circumstance.

Individuals under the age of 21 may never possess, consume, or be in the presence of alcohol while in the residence halls, regardless of the time, place, or occasion. Empty alcoholic beverage containers, even for decorative purposes, are prohibited in the rooms/apartments of residents under the age of 21. Empty containers of alcohol may be considered evidence of prior consumption. An empty container is defined as anything that originally contained alcohol in the past (ex. liquor bottle, beer can, etc.). If the item did not originally contain alcohol (i.e. collectible shot glass), it is permissible.

Residents who are 21 or older may possess or consume alcohol in their rooms/apartments, with the following restrictions:

  • Residents who are 21 or over may never consume alcohol in the presence of a person under the age of 21, regardless of the time, place or occasion. Residents may not provide alcohol to, or allow alcohol to be consumed by, individuals under the age of 21.
  • Resident’s room/apartment doors must remain closed while alcohol is visible or is being consumed in the room/apartment.
  • Residents may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages in hallways, lounges, courtyards, parking lots, stairways, or any other public areas within the residence halls. All alcohol that is transported through public areas must be unopened and packaged inconspicuously (e.g., carried in a bag or sack). 
  • Residents who are 21 or over and choose to consume alcohol must not exhibit loud, disruptive or indecent behavior, vandalize property, interfere with the cleanliness of the residence halls, or participate in drinking habits which are hazardous to the health or education of an individual or those around them.
  • Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times.
  • Resident may not possess excessive amounts of alcohol. What is considered excessive is at the discretion of Residential Living and/or University staff. Kegs, trash cans, or other large vessels containing alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the residence halls.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be sold or distributed in the residence halls.
  • Considering the needs and rights of all students, in balance with your own needs; your personal rights end where the rights of another student begin, and no student should infringe on the rights of another student
  • Open communication with all community members and housing staff
  • Getting involved in your community through planning of community activities, showing respect and care for facilities, and exhibiting care for the overall community
  • Promoting an environment where all individuals and community members feel safe and secure
  • Demonstrating dignity and respect for all individuals
  • Disregarding any of the above responsibilities, or failing to act when other individuals violate community responsibilities or policies is providing your implied consent for those activities
Compromising Security

Residents who choose to endanger other students by propping open exterior doors, giving their key and/or CanesCard to a nonresident, granting access to nonstudents or tampering and/or damaging exterior doors or locks may face disciplinary action and/or be subject to criminal charges.

Drugs

To promote a safe, healthy, and academically oriented community while upholding the law Residential Living staff work directly with Public Safety if there is the suspicion of any drug-related activities. Any violation of drug policy is not only a violation of Residential Living policy, but also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and state/federal law. Violations of the drug policy may result in suspension and/or expulsion. 

The possession and or use of illegal drugs is prohibited in the residence halls. The manufacture, sale, and distribution of illegal drugs is prohibited in the residence halls. Drug paraphernalia is prohibited in the residence halls. Drug paraphernalia includes but is not limited to all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the laws of the State of Georgia.

Exterior, Hall, and Emergency Doors

The propping of exterior and/or hall doors compromises the security of the building and safety of its residents, and is, therefore, prohibited without the express permission of a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member. Residents are prohibited from using Emergency doors to enter or exit a hall except in case of emergency. Using an emergency exit in a non-emergency situation may result in a $100 fine and disciplinary action.

Fire Safety

All residents and guests are to immediately vacate a residence hall building via designated emergency routes whenever a fire alarm sounds. Once outside, they should remain no less than 500 feet away and should avoid re-entry into the facility until given permission by a Public Safety or Residential Living staff member.

Tampering with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms when there is no emergency, is prohibited.

Because of the danger presented by open flames, candles and such items are not permitted in student rooms/apartments. The university reserves the right to confiscate candles or other questionable flammable materials. Continued use of candles may lead to disciplinary action. The burning of incense is not permitted. The odor may be disagreeable to other students and the live coal is a fire hazard. Any offensive odor that extends outside a room/apartment is prohibited.

Identification

All individuals inside or in close proximity to campus residence halls must remain prepared at all times to furnish proper identification if called upon to do so by a Residential Living or Public Safety staff member.

Individual Responsibility and Implied Consent

In the event of a policy violation occurring in a room/apartment, lounge, or other distinct physical space, all students in the space can be held responsible for the behavior or objects within that space. Students residing in, or choosing to place themselves in, the residence hall environment become part of a community and their actions have an impact on the surrounding community. Therefore, students may be held accountable for behavior or objects even if they are not participating in the situation.

Every residence hall student has responsibilities to the residence hall community. Your responsibilities include:

Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs

The misuse of prescription drugs poses significant health risks to individuals. All medication prescribed or purchased over the counter is designed for a specific purpose, and any misuse, illegal use, or sale of this type of medication is strictly prohibited.

The distribution of prescription drugs is defined as the sharing or sale of drugs that are specifically prescribed to one individual by a physician. Distribution of prescription drugs is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct as well as state/federal law.

Exchanging prescription drugs for goods, services or money is strictly prohibited in the residence halls. The sale of prescription drugs is also a violation of the University Code of Conduct and state/federal law.

Personal misuse is defined as the use of any prescription or OTC drug in any manner other than prescribed or the package directions indicate. This includes intentionally or unintentionally causing harm to self or others.

Severe Weather

In case of severe weather such as thunderstorms or tornadoes, you should immediately move to the interior of your building on lower floors. If evacuation is necessary, instructions will be issued through a university staff member and or ConnectEd. In all severe weather situations, be sure to stay in contact with and follow the instructions of housing staff members and Public Safety.

Vandalism

Willful destruction or defacing of university, private or public property is prohibited. Students found responsible for damage to property may receive judicial sanctions, as well as charges for replacement or repair of damaged property.

Video Surveillance

In a response to common area damages and vandalism issues, Residential Living and/or University officials may use camera and video surveillance in the public areas of the residence halls and apartment buildings to identify parties responsible.

Weapons

Weapons such as firearms, knives, bows and arrows, as well as any ammunition, are prohibited in the residence halls. Be aware that according to Georgia law it is a violation to possess a weapon while on campus, except for Public Safety Officers in compliance with Georgia House Bill 280.

Residence Hall Space

The residence halls are defined as all physical space within a residence hall, including public areas and student rooms/apartments, and reasonable exterior spaces designed for, or typically used by residence hall students. Students within the residence hall space are expected to abide by housing policies and standards of conduct. If a policy violation occurs within a residence hall space, students will be subject to disciplinary action.

Student Conduct Code

All students enrolled at Georgia Southwestern State University are held to the standards of conduct set forth in the Student Conduct Code. Residence hall students in violation of the Student Conduct Code, regardless of the location of violation, will be subject to disciplinary action through Residential Living or through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. A complete copy of the Student Conduct Code are available here. 

Violation of Outside Law

Students may be held independently accountable to both civic authorities and to the university for acts which constitute violations of law and/or violations of university policies, regulations, or procedures. Violation of local, state and federal law, on or off campus, is prohibited. Violations will be adjudicated through the university student conduct system at the discretion of the Vice President of Student Engagement and Success or his/her designee.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Georgia Southwestern State University accepts a responsibility to educate its students on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and to adopt policies and procedures designed to minimize the incidents involving the high-risk use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.  Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education programs are coordinated through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in conjunction with the Task Force on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD), Health and Counseling Services, and the iHelp Peer Educators. 

Any student violating any policy of the Student Code of Conduct that relates to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs or that the use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs contributed to or was related to that student’s violation will be assigned sanctions as outlined: 

First offense: The student will be required to sign up for and successfully complete the GSW Social Responsibility Education Program at the next available offering.   In addition, the student may be required to attend workshops presented by Health and Counseling Services or the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, complete online training sessions, write a response paper following the program, and complete a student conduct evaluation form. 

Second offense: The student will be required to repeat all sanctions described as part of the first offense, with some additional requirements. The additional requirements may include an appointment with Health and Counseling Services or Wellness Counseling with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and an extended curriculum version of the Social Responsibility Education Program.  A clinical assessment may be necessary to determine if addiction counseling or other treatments should be recommended.  If the student is under the age of 21, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities may choose to notify the student’s parents of this second violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 

Third offense: The student will be suspended for a minimum of one semester.  In addition, he or she will be referred to Alcohol/Drug addiction counselling, such as Middle Flint Behavioral Health Care Service, for proper evaluation and must complete his or her addiction education program. Only after providing verification of completion of the educational program, may the student return to school. 

This is the plan created by the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Task Force as a guideline for the minimum amount of student conduct sanctioning and educational support to be provided for a student for any violation of the Student Code of Conduct as it relates to alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.  It does not supersede a student’s judicial status when the student is on a probationary status for any previous violations. 

GSW Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Task Force 
Georgia Southwestern State University is committed to support and comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226, Section 22, subpart B) as an Institution of Higher Education. The law under this act now covers both drugs and alcohol, and relates to faculty, staff and students. Therefore, the entire campus community of Georgia Southwestern State University is under the mandate to comply.  This committee has been charged with ensuring compliance with the aforementioned federal mandates. 

The Task Force on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Committee is a standing committee of Georgia Southwestern State University. The Task Force shall focus on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education, prevention and intervention for the GSW campus community. The Task Force shall: 

  • Provide continual guidance and support to ensure that the 1989 amendments (Part 86) to the "Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act" regulations are being followed; 
  • Develop a strategic plan for GSW on ATOD issues. This will include the assignment of sub-committees to accomplish strategic plan tasks; 
  • Make recommendations or modifications to any current GSW drug, alcohol, or tobacco policies; 
  • Establish and assess programs to educate and provide interventions to students who violate current GSW alcohol, tobacco, and other drug policies as well as any federal, state or local laws; 
  • Oversee the general education of the campus community in relation to policies, laws, and risks associated with ATOD issues including programming, classes, seminars, and workshops; 
  • Collaborate with GSW's iHelp Peer Educators to provide quality educational programming in the areas of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for the campus community; 
  • Provide training for task force members and peer educators on ATOD issues; 
  • Provide financial support for GSW education and prevention programs; 
  • Assess the university environment surrounding perceptions and use of survey; and 
  • Collaborate with members of the community to ensure a community approach to ATOD education.

Contact: student.rights@gsw.edu 

Student Complaint Procedures - Academic Issues

Student Complaint Procedures for Academic Issues

An academic complaint is defined as a problem with a course that is related to a student's program of study. Grounds for Academic Complaints include:

  1. The grade for an assignment or for a course was recorded incorrectly.
  2. The faculty member did not provide clear criteria upon which a grade would be evaluated.
  3. The assignment of a final grade lower than that earned by another student enrolled in the same class whose recorded academic performance (all grades for course requirements and assignments) was the exactly the same as the student receiving the lower grade.
  4. The assignment of a final grade in a course by a faculty member based upon performance measure(s) other than the criteria provided by the faculty member on the course syllabus for calculating the final grade in that course.
  5. The number of absences recorded by the faculty member was incorrect, and based upon the number of recorded absences the student received a failing grade as stipulated in the course syllabus.
  6. A student believes that he or she received a prejudiced academic evaluation for expressing a reasoned opinion or idea different from that of the instructor.

A. INFORMAL PROCEDURE

A student who has a complaint is first expected to try resolving the complaint informally. The student should discuss his or her problem with the faculty member involved and try to reach a mutually agreeable solution within the first thirty (30) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods after the problem occurred. If the student is not comfortable talking with the faculty member involved, the student may skip to the Mediation Process or the Formal Procedure as described below. Complaints submitted more than forty (40) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods after the problem occurred will not be considered. Upon notification of a complaint by the student, the faculty member must meet with the student to discuss the complaint within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. Should the issue not be mutually resolved, the student will have the option to seek mediation (Step 2 below) or advance to the formal procedure (Step 3 below) within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. A complaint resolved through the Informal Procedure is not considered an official written complaint for the purpose of federal complaint tracking requirements.  Should the student elect to advance to the Formal Procedure, she or he will waive the option to seek Mediation at a later date.

B. MEDIATION (OPTIONAL )

If all reasonable informal efforts to resolve the complaint fail, the student is encouraged, but not required to choose the mediation process. Mediation is an informal process that involves a neutral third party who will assist in resolving the problem. The objective of this process is to come to an agreement that is fair and meets the needs of the parties involved. This process is confidential and private. Mediation does not waive the rights of any aggrieved party to seek resolution of his or her complaint through GSW complaint procedure.

Steps for Mediation:

  1. The student chooses one mediator from a list of certified mediators available from Director of Human Resources. Both parties must be agreeable to mediating the complaint.
  2. The mediator will set up a time for the student and faculty member to meet. This meeting will take place within ten (10) days after the mediator is chosen, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
  3. At the time of the meeting, the mediator will assist the two parties in finding a mutually agreeable and fair solution to the conflict. The mediator may offer suggestions, but cannot impose a solution.
  4. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of mediation, he or she can file a complaint through the Formal Procedure.
  5. Both parties involved in the complaint would sign the statement acknowledging their understanding of what processes occurred during Step 2.
  6. The mediator has the option to request written materials from all parties involved in the issue for the purpose of clarifying the issue(s).
  7. A complaint resolved through Mediation is not considered an official written complaint for the purpose of federal complaint tracking requirements.

FORMAL PROCEDURE

  1. A formal complaint must be filed within ten (10) days from the time of the conclusion of the Informal Procedure, if Mediation is not pursued, or the conclusion of Mediation, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. Waiver of time limits (or extension) may be approved by mutual consent of the student and faculty member involved.
  2. The student must submit a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the appropriate Department Chair.  Formal written complaints must be submitted in hard copy, and delivered by hand, by campus mail, or by US Mail. Students in online programs may submit formal written complaints in hard copy by US Mail, by fax, or as an attachment to an email. A waiver of time limits may be approved by mutual consent of the student and the faculty or staff member involved. For the purposes of this procedure, an e-mail message is not considered a formal letter of complaint. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the chair will direct her of his written decision. In academic units that do not have department chairs, a student begins the formal process by submitting a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the dean of the appropriate school.
  3. The Department Chair will investigate the complaint and may interview the student for clarification. After the investigation, he or she may either grant or deny the redress sought, or provide alternate remedies. The written decision of the Department Chair will be issued no later than ten (10) days following receipt of the formal letter of complaint, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
  4. If the Department Chair's decision is not satisfactory to the student, the student has ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods to appeal the decision by submitting a formal letter of complaint in hardcopy to the dean of the appropriate school. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the dean will direct her or his written decision. Upon receipt of the formal letter of complaint, the Dean will review the facts of the complaint and may conduct further inquiry. The Dean has ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods after receipt of the formal letter of complaint to notify the student of his or her decision in writing.
  5. If the Dean does not render a decision satisfactory to the student, the student may file a formal letter of complaint to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) within ten (10) days of the Dean's decision, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the VPAA will direct her of his written decision. The VPAA will review the facts of the complaint and may conduct a further inquiry. The VPAA has ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods after receipt of the formal letter of complaint to notify the student in writing of his or her decision.
  6. If the VPAA does not render a decision satisfactory to the student, the student may submit a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the President of the University within ten (10) days of the VPAA’s decision, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the President will direct her of his written decision.
  7. The President, upon receipt of the formal appeal, will submit the complaint to the Committee on Academic Complaints within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods for consideration.
  8. The following rules will apply:
    • The committee shall hear the case and forward its recommendations to the President.
    • The hearing will be conducted by the Committee on Academic Complaints in an informal and expeditious manner.
    • The Committee will be provided with all prior relevant documents from both sides and may request additional information or seek further witnesses.
    • Only committee members, parties to the action and their advisors (drawn from among the student, faculty, and staff of the University) and witnesses testifying before the Committee shall be permitted in the hearing.
    • At the hearing, the complainant, the faculty member, and witnesses for each party may testify, and may be questioned by committee members and the student’s advisor.
    • The Committee is empowered to rule on procedural matters and relevance of witnesses or evidence.
    • All hearings will begin within ten (10) days from the time the Committee receives the complaint from the President, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
    • A tape recording or other record of the hearing shall be preserved for reference and review until the case has been finally resolved.
  9. The Committee shall arrive at a decision after all evidence has been heard and the parties have been dismissed. Only committee members who have been present for the entire hearing may vote on the case.
  10. A majority vote of qualified members shall constitute a judgment.
  11. Upon receipt of the Committee's recommendations, the President of the University shall render a final decision within ten (10) class days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods, and may amend a recommendation according to his or her best judgment. As stipulated in Georgia Board of Regents Policy 4.7.1, the president’s decision on academic complaints involving grades is final.
  12. For other types of academic appeals, students may request review by the Georgia Board of Regents. Requests for reviews must be made in writing to Board’s Office of Legal Affairs within twenty calendar days of the president’s decision. See Board of Regents Policy Manual section 8.6 for further information on requesting discretionary reviews.

Student Complaint Procedures - Non-Academic Issues

A student may have a complaint about a problem that occurs outside of the classroom or is not related to a student's program of study. Examples of such complaints are:

  1. A student who receives a fine for mutilating Georgia Southwestern State University library material, by allegedly tearing out an article from periodical, states that she obtained the material from a hometown friend.
  2. The request for a replacement ID card by a student, who reports that his Georgia Southwestern State University ID card was destroyed by a residence hall washing machine, is denied.
  3. A request by a president of a Georgia Southwestern State University recognized student organization for the use of a university facility for a social event is denied.

 

Students may email or bring any complaints in person to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. They may also seek assistance or advocacy with any part of the informal or formal non-academic complaint process with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  (Located on the third floor of the Student Success Center, Office 3436, 229-931-2378, student.rights@gsw.edu.)

 

A. INFORMAL PROCEDURE

A student who has a complaint is first expected to try resolving the complaint informally. The student should discuss his or her problem with the faculty or staff member involved and try to reach a mutually agreeable solution within the thirty (30) days of when the problem occurred, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. Complaints submitted more than forty (40) days after the problem occurred, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods will not be considered. Upon notification of a complaint by the student, the faculty or staff member must meet with the student to discuss the complaint within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. Should the complaint not be mutually resolved, the student will have advance to the formal complaint procedure within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. A complaint resolved through the Informal Procedure is not considered an official written complaint for the purpose of federal complaint tracking requirements.

B. FORMAL PROCEDURE

  1. A formal written complaint in hard copy must be filed within ten (10) from the conclusion of the Informal Procedure, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods. Formal written complaints must be submitted in hard copy, and delivered by hand, by campus mail, or by US Mail. Students in online programs may submit formal written complaints in hard copy by US Mail, by fax, or as an attachment to an email. A waiver of time limits may be approved by mutual consent of the student and the faculty or staff member involved. For the purposes of this procedure, an e-mail message is not considered a formal letter of complaint.
  2. The student must submit a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the appropriate Unit Head. For the purposes of this procedure, an e-mail message is not considered a formal letter of complaint. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the head will direct her of his written decision.
  3. The Unit Head will investigate the complaint and may interview the student for clarification. After the investigation, he or she may either grant or deny the redress sought by the student, or provide alternate remedies. The written decision of the Unit Head must be issued within ten (10) days following receipt of the formal letter of complaint, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
  4. If the Unit Head's decision is not satisfactory to the student, the student has ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods to submit a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the Vice President to whom the Unit Head reports. The formal letter of complaint should include a return address to which the chair will direct her of his written decision. The Vice President will review the facts of the complaint and may conduct further inquiry. The Vice President has ten (10) days after receipt of the formal letter of complaint, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods to notify the student in writing of his or her decision.
  5. If the Vice President does not render a decision satisfactory to the student, the student may file a formal letter of complaint in hard copy to the President of the University within ten (10) days of the decision of the Vice President, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
  6. The President, upon receipt of a formal letter of complaint, will submit the complaint to the Committee on Non-Academic Grievances for consideration.
  7. The following rules will apply:
    • The committee shall hear the case and forward its recommendations to the President.
    • The hearing will be conducted by the Committee on Non-Academic Grievances in an informal and expeditious manner.
    • The Committee will be provided with all prior relevant documents from both sides and may request additional information or seek further witnesses.
    • Only committee members, parties to the action and their advisers (drawn from among the student, faculty, and staff of the University), and witnesses testifying before the Committee shall be permitted in the hearing.
    • At the hearing, the complainant, the defendant, and witnesses for each party may testify, and may be questioned by committee members. The student and faculty or staff involved, may ask questions only through the Committee, who will decide whether the questions are appropriate.
    • The Committee is empowered to rule on procedural matters and relevance of witnesses or evidence.
    • All hearings will begin within ten (10) days from the time the Committee receives the complaint from the President, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
    • A tape recording or other record of the hearing shall be preserved for reference and review until the complaint has been finally resolved.
    • The Committee shall arrive at a decision after all evidence has been heard and the parties have been dismissed. Only committee members who have been present for the entire hearing may vote on the case.
    • A majority vote of qualified members shall constitute a judgment.
    • Upon receipt of the Committee's recommendations, the President of the University shall render a final decision within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods, and may amend a recommendation according to his or her best judgment.

C. PROCEDURES FOR GRIEVANCE HEARINGS

  1. Members - The Committee on Non-Academic Grievances shall consist of two (2) faculty members, two (2) students, one (1) staff member and one member of the faculty or administration to serve as moderator for the committee. This moderator will have no vote in decisions made by the committee unless there is a tie in which case the moderator may cast the deciding vote. The faculty members will be selected by the President of the University and will also select an alternate faculty, staff, and student member. This selection will take place during the first two weeks of Fall Semester each academic year. Alternate members will serve only in the absence of the regular member, and will serve for the complete hearing of a complaint. The regular appointee will not hear any part of a complaint for which the alternate is serving.
  2. Conflict of Interest - In the event of any conflict of interest or possible conflict of interest among any of the committee members, or if any committee member is a faculty member, student, or administrator from the same department as the complainant or the person against whom the complaint is filed, the alternate member(s) shall serve in the place of the person(s) having conflict. In the event that there are no further members on the committee, the President of the University shall appoint the replacement(s) as needed. This replacement shall be appointed within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods.
  3. Related Grievances - In the event that identical or closely related complaints are separately submitted by two or more students, these complaints may be consolidated and considered as one by the same committee, provided these complaints are received within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods of the first complaint and provided that the person against whom the complaint is filed approves.
  4. Recommendations - The committee shall recommend action to the President of the University within (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods after they conclude their deliberations. The President shall respond to the student in writing within ten (10) days, excluding weekends, university holidays, and break periods of the President's receipt of the recommendation from the appropriate committee. Time lines may be adjusted by mutual consent of the student and faculty or staff member involved.

Financial Aid Procedures and Policies

A.  FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY

Determination of eligibility for financial aid is based on the student's financial need as well as satisfactory academic standing. As used in relation to financial aid eligibility, the term financial need means the monetary difference between the total costs of attending the college and the computed amount of financial resources which the student and the family can contribute toward the total costs. The total cost of attending the University includes tuition and all fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and allowable transportation costs. Financial need is computed by a standard need analysis system using confidential information submitted by the parents or the self-supporting student. The need analysis system used by Georgia Southwestern State University is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The analysis of a family's financial resources includes consideration of current family income, assets, family size, number of children and number in college, and any other factors which seriously alter a family's financial strength. Federal aid programs, state aid programs and many university programs do not permit aid awards that exceed the computed financial need. Thus, information on all sources of aid must be provided to the Financial Aid Office. The amount of a student's computed financial need is the total cost of attending Georgia Southwestern State University minus the computed family resources.

B. PROCEDURES FOR APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

Financial aid is not automatically renewed. Students must reapply for financial aid each year. Reapplying for financial aid at Georgia Southwestern State University includes submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education for processing. The FAFSA also serves as a prerequisite for the Federal Stafford Loans and the HOPE Scholarship. The information on the FAFSA will be used to calculate the expected family contribution (EFC) that is used to determine the student's need. Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as soon as the U.S. Department of Education makes it available for submission.  When reapplying for financial aid, the student and parents should allow time for the processing of the FAFSA, the primary determinant of the student's computed financial need, to be determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

C. FINANCIAL AID POLICIES

Georgia Southwestern administers its financial aid program in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. Specifically, the financial aid policies are listed below:

To receive any Federal financial aid, a student must maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree as determined by the standards of the University. The Federal Regulations defines "satisfactory progress toward graduation" as passing 67% of all academic work attempted during an academic year, as well as earning the minimum grade point average as specified in the University Bulletin. For example, a full-time student taking 30 total hours in two semesters should pass at least 20 hours for the academic year. A withdrawal does not constitute passage. At the end of the academic year, each student's progress will be reviewed. Students who fail to meet these standards will have their financial aid terminated. They will not be eligible to receive further aid until they have corrected the deficiency or have successfully appealed the termination. To receive Financial Aid, the student must not owe a refund of previous Federal grants or be in default on a Federal student loan.  When the student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, the financial aid package is built around this grant. Refunds are made in accordance with the
schedule in the current University Bulletin.

D. APPEAL OF FINANCIAL AID TERMINATION

A student has the right to appeal the termination of financial aid for any reason other than lack of funds from which the financial aid award is made. The first step is to submit a financial aid appeal to the Director of Financial Aid, c/o Office of Financial Aid, Georgia Southwestern State University. It is always beneficial to attach a personal statement and supporting documentation with any financial aid appeal form.  A final letter of appeal may be filed with the Vice President of Student Affairs. A complete copy of the Financial Aid Appeals Process, as stated in the Georgia Southwestern State University Financial Aid Policies and Procedures Manual, is available in the Georgia Southwestern State University Financial Aid Office (Sanford Hall, Room 207, 229-928-1378) and at gsw.edu. If a student loses eligibility for her/his HOPE scholarship, on a case by case basis, a student has the right to file a request for an administrative review with GSFC using the HOPE Scholarship Administrative Review process as set forth by GSFC:

Georgia Student Finance Commission
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 200
Tucker, GA 30084
Phone: 800-505 4732

More information on financial aid may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, Room 207, Sanford Hall. Office hours are from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM on Fridays.

E. BUSINESS OFFICE INFORMATION

Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the official business regulations of the
University and detailed financial information, which are stated in the current issue of the
University Bulletin.

F. CASHING CHECKS

You may cash personal checks up to $50 and money orders with identification at the cashier's
window in the Marshall Student Center. No two-party checks will be cashed. You also may cash checks up to $10 at the Campus Bookstore.

G. TUITION AND FEE REFUND POLICY

Students who formally withdraw from the University prior to passing the 60% point in time during the term are eligible for a partial refund of fees. Refunds are made only when a student completely withdraws from the University, and no refunds are made when a student of his or her own volition reduces the course load after the add/drop period. Students may receive a refund resulting from a reduction of their course load during the add/drop period. No refunds for withdrawals will be made after passing the 60% point in time during the semester. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially in accordance with University regulations. Forms for withdrawal from the University are available in the First Year Advocates Office located in the Academic Resource Center. A refund of tuition and fees, in accordance with federal, state, and institutional policies, will be issued within 30 days of receipt of completed withdrawal forms by the Business Office. Students who formally withdraw from the institution on or before the first day of class are entitled to a refund of 100% of the tuition and fees paid for that period of enrollment. (First day of class is defined as "classes begin" date published in the GSW Bulletin.) Students who formally withdraw from the institution after the first day of class but before the 60% point in time during the term are subject to guidelines established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. This policy states: The refund amount for students withdrawing from the institution shall be based on a pro rata percentage determined by dividing the number of calendar days in the semester that the student completed by the total calendar days in the semester. The total calendar days in a semester includes weekends, but excludes scheduled breaks of five or more days and days that a student was on an approved leave of absence. The unearned portion shall be refunded up to the point in time that the amount equals 60%. Students that withdraw from the institution when the calculated percentage of completion is greater than 60%, are not entitled to a refund of any
portion of institutional charges. A refund of all matriculation fees, and other mandatory fees shall be made in the event of the death of a student at any time during the academic session. (BR Minutes, 1979-80, p.61; 1986-87 pp. 24-25; 1995, p.246)

The University is required to determine how much student financial aid was earned by students who withdraw during the term. If students have “unearned aid” because they were disbursed more than they earned, it may be necessary for the unearned portion to be returned to the appropriate student financial aid fund. If the students have 'earned aid' that they have not received, they may be eligible to receive those funds.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Confidentiality of Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

1. Georgia Southwestern State University is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, which is designed to protect students' rights in regard to education records maintained by the institution. Under the Act, students have the following rights:

  • a. the right to inspect and review education records maintained by the institution that pertain to you;
  • b. the right to challenge the content of records (except grades that can only be challenged through the Grade Appeal Process) on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or a violation of your privacy or other rights; and
  • c. the right to control disclosures from your education records with certain exceptions.

2. Any student who is or has been in attendance at Georgia Southwestern State University has the right to inspect and review his or her educational records within a reasonable period of time (not to exceed 45 days) after making a written request. However, the student shall not have access to:

  • a. Financial records of parents.
  • b. Confidential letters of recommendation placed in record prior to January 1, 1975.
  • c. Letters of recommendation concerning admission, application for employment or honors for which the student has voluntarily signed a waiver.

3. Directory information will be treated as public information and be generally available on all students and former students, at the discretion of the university. Directory information includes the student's name; major field of study; participation in officially recognized sports; height, weight; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; level, and full or part time status. Participation in officially recognized sports; height, weight, age, home-town and general interest items of members of athletic teams is also included in Directory Information.

4. Requests for Education Records should be made in writing to the Registrar, Georgia Southwestern State University. "Education Records" means generally any record maintained by or for Georgia Southwestern State University and containing information directly related to the students' academic activities. Requests for any information or documents in the student’s conduct file must be made in writing with the student’s signature to the the Assistant Dean of Student’s Office.

5. Students who challenge the correctness of student educational records shall file a written request for amendment with the Registrar. The student shall also present to the Registrar copies of all available evidence relating to the data or material being challenged. The Registrar shall forward the information to the custodian of the record who will consider the request and shall notify the student in writing within 15 business days whether the request will be granted or denied. During that time, any challenge may be settled informally between the student, or the parents of a dependent student, and the custodian of the records, in consultation with other appropriate University officials. If an agreement is reached it shall be in writing and signed by all parties involved. A copy of such agreement will be maintained in the student's record. If an agreement is not reached informally or, if the request for amendment is denied, the student shall have the right to challenge through the Grievance Procedure outlined in the GSW Weathervane Student Handbook.

6. Release of protected information in the student's educational record without consent will be allowed to:

  • a. Institutional personnel who have a legitimate educational interest.
  • b. Officials of other schools where the student seeks to enroll. Efforts will be made to notify the student of the release of such information.
  • c. Representatives of Federal agencies authorized by law to have access to education records, and state education authorities.
  • d. Appropriate persons in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid.
  • e. State and local officials to whom information must be released pursuant to a state statue adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
  • f. Organizations conducting studies for the institution.
  • g. Accrediting organizations.
  • h. Parents of a dependent student, as determined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.
  • i. Persons necessary in emergency situations to protect health and safety.
  • j. Persons designated in subpoenas or court orders.
  • k. Parents of the students who are under 21 in cases involving alcohol or drug use.

7. If a request for Education Records is not covered by the Annual Disclosure Statement provided by the Registrar, the written request for release of information should be submitted to the Registrar and contain the following information:

  • a. Specific records to be released.
  • b. Reasons for such release.
  • c. To whom records are to be released.
  • d. Date.
  • e. Signature of the student.

8. Records will be released in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. However, reasonable efforts will be made to notify the student in advance of compliance.

9. Students have the right to obtain copies of official transcripts provided all financial obligations to the University have been met. Students will be charged at the prevailing rate for each certified transcript obtained. Copies of other information in the student's education record will be provided at a cost of $0.25 per page of copy.

10. Students who feel that their rights have been violated under the provisions of the Family Educational and Privacy Act should write to the following office: Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201.

11. Georgia has an Open Records Act. All records kept by Georgia Southwestern State University, except those protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, are subject to public open records requests. Requests for public open records should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources, Georgia Southwestern State University.

International Students

Georgia Southwestern State University welcomes international students and is pleased to have their presence on our campus, as they bring their international perspectives to our campus community! GSW’s Office of International Programs assists students on F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant student visas with all matters pertaining to  immigration, counseling, advising, and programming.

International students are expected to attend the international student orientation at the beginning of each semester. The international student orientation provides an opportunity for international students to get oriented to the GSW campus community, and includes a variety of sessions specifically to assist these students with adjusting and adapting successfully to GSW and the United States.

Computer Usage Policy

Service for Students

AMERICUS: YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Americus was named one of the top ten cities in the state by Georgia Trend Magazine, March 2000. Many cultural opportunities are available in Americus. The International Headquarters for Habitat for Humanity, Inc. are located here alog with the historic Windsor Hotel, the Rylander Theater, the home of a former US President and two national parks. The University urges you to treat Americus, your home-away-from-home, as you would your own home . . . with respect for its laws, its property, and its people.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND ACADEMIC BUILDING HOURS

All administrative and academic classroom buildings are opened at 7:30 AM unless specifically scheduled for a special event. They are closed after evening custodial duties which is approximately 10:30 PM. Offices within these buildings are operated from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon on Friday . All residence hall exterior doors will remain locked at all times.  The Student Success Center Building is opened at 7:30 AM daily and secured at 11:00 PM Monday through Friday.

BOOKSTORE

The GSW Bookstore has been established to provide the student body with goods and services at the least possible cost. The bookstore carries new and used textbooks, with an emphasis on trying to obtain as many used textbooks as possible through student buybacks and various wholesale distributors. In addition to course materials, the bookstore stocks computer software, mass-market paperback books, computer books, study aids, reference materials, and school/office supplies for academic use. The bookstore also has gifts, including tee shirts, hats, coffee mugs, seasonal gift items, balloon bouquets, greeting cards, a classic collection of crystal engraved with the school seal, and many other gift items. Other goods and services offered through the bookstore include fax services, phone cards, and special ordering for any academic materials at no cost. The bookstore accepts personal checks, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and also has an authorization system allowing students to purchase academic materials with their financial aid funds.

Location & Store Hours

The Campus Bookstore is located in the Marshall Student Center. During fall and spring semesters, the bookstore is open from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Friday. The bookstore closes during breaks to restock shelves for the following term and is closed on holidays. Extended hours of operation are offered during the beginning of each term to accommodate the large volume of students buying books and supplies for new classes. The bookstore also has a website for textbook and merchandise purchases at https://www.bkstr.com/gswstore/home

Textbooks

The textbook buyback is conducted at the end of every semester during final exams. Books that are not changing to new editions and will be used the following term will be purchased at 50% of the price paid for the book. Books that are not being used again by the bookstore will be purchased by the buyer at established wholesale prices. The textbooks carried by the bookstore are based strictly on faculty selection. Every attempt is made to have the books in stock before the beginning of the term, however there are occasional delays due to receiving the text information late, publishers being out of stock, late or misdirected shipments, or unexpected increases in a course’s enrollment.

Refund Policy

The bookstore encourages students to attend class before purchasing textbooks. A full refund will be given during the drop/add period of the current term, which is generally the first week of the semester. The store is simply unable to allow students to keep the materials for a longer period of time and still return them for full credit. New textbooks must be returned in new, saleable condition with no markings whatsoever to be eligible for a refund. A student ID and cash register receipt is required for a refund. Any markings result in the book being reduced to a used status and only a 75% refund given. General supply, gift, and clothing merchandise may be returned for any reason for a full refund within 7 days of purchase with a receipt. Defective merchandise may be returned any time throughout the semester for an exchange.  Shrink-wrapped books must be returned in the original wrapping for a full refund. Textbooks purchased after the drop/add period are non-returnable. Sale items, study guides, special-order items, mass market paperbacks, and computer software are non-returnable. (Phone 229-931-2366)

CAREER SERVICES

Programs and services of the Career Services Center help students gain information needed to make decisions about careers, life planning and acquiring job search skills. Specific programs and services include individual and group career counseling and assessment, computerized career information, resume preparation, interviewing, and job search workshops. A career planning class will be offered to assist students with developing appropriate career-related goals and in selecting a major corresponding with the student’s goals. Student participation in area and regional career fairs is coordinated by the Career Services staff, giving students the opportunity to meet and interview with representatives from business, industry, government, hospitals, health agencies and graduate school. Experiential learning opportunities are available either in internships or in Cooperative Education assignments. Career Services posts extensive job announcements for part and full time jobs. Students may email Career Services at: career@gsw.edu or reach us by phone at 229-931-2237.  The Career Services office is located in the Academic Center for Excellence.

COUNSELING

The Counseling Services Department at GSW is located in the Student Success Center, Rooms 3401-3403 (Phone 229-931-2708). The goal of this office is to work with students on an individual basis.

Students struggling with a wide variety of personal issues and academic concerns may seek counseling from the Counseling Services Department. Respect for the individual, his or her values, and unique circumstances underlie our work with students. Most concerns can be dealt with through short-term individual counseling. Referrals to community resources are made when necessary.

All counseling services are completely confidential to the limits provided by law. No information (except that protected by law) can be released within or outside the University without the individual’s written consent.

FINANCIAL AID

GSW provides a variety of financial aid programs to assist students who have financial need or have outstanding academic and leadership achievements. Grants, scholarships, loans and part-time work constitute the types of financial aid available at GSW. The University believes the primary responsibility for meeting the costs of college is with the student and his or her family. The University also recognizes that economic circumstances may require the student to seek additional assistance from other sources.

FOOD SERVICES

The campus food service is provided by Aladdin, an internationally recognized management corporation.

Located in the Marshall Student Center, a typical meal in the Dining Hall can be chosen from the Grill station, Pizza/Pasta station, Vegetarian station, Comfort Food station, Produce Market, and desserts. All items are cooked fresh daily, many upon order.

Chick-fil-A and Tryon Market are located in the Student Success Center. Pay cash, check, or credit card for the items purchased or use the declining balance portion of your meal plan.

The Canes Convenience Store is located in the Marshal Student Center. Students will find everything from shampoo and milk to candy bars and Kleenex. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted along with declining balance dollars from your meal plan.

The declining balance account may be used to purchase items in the Chick-fil-A/Tryon Market or additional meals in the Dining Hall. This type of account is also offered to commuting students who would like to take advantage of the convenience of eating on campus. Call the Dining Hall office for more information at (229) 931-2093.

GYMNASIUM AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

Classes and intercollegiate practices and competitions are given highest priority for campus athletic facilities; however, students may use these facilities by scheduling with the Athletic Department or the Intramural & Recreational Sports Office.  Student organizations that charge a fee for an event in a campus athletic facility will be charged rental, setup, security and auxiliary fees.

There are, however, several different recreational facilities for student use on the campus, and all students are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. These facilities include the Fitness Center, Group Exercise Room, Functional Fitness Room, the Climbing Wall, tennis courts, intramural gymnasium, playing fields, Disc Golf Course and walking/jogging track.

The Athletic Department schedules use of the Storm Dome, Tennis Courts, and Soccer Fields. The Intramural Office schedules use of the Intramural Gymnasium and the Intramural and Recreation Field located behind the Fine Arts building. This office along with the Athletic Department schedules the use of the new intramural and soccer fields.

Weightroom / Fitness Center -­ Located on the first floor of the Student Success Center. It is equipped with free weights and Cybex selectorized equipment that provides upper/lower body conditioning. The cardio area provides treadmills, arc trainers, cross trainers, a stair climber, recumbent and stationary bikes. Health magazines our provided for your health promotion and 2 flat screens for viewing favorite TV channels.  Personal training is also available through the Associate Director of Fitness and Wellness for a service charge.

The Aerobic Room is located just down the hall from the Fitness Center. The aerobic room provides over 2000 square feet of floating floor and mirrored walls.  Fitness Wellness programs provided are: Lunch Time Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Spinning, Step Aerobics, Kickboxing, and Boot camp just to name a few.

Students may access the weight room and Group Exercise room at designated times throughout the day. The hours are posted at the beginning of each semester. For more information on the weight room and Wellness programs, please contact the Director of Campus Recreation and Intramurals or Assistant Director for Fitness & Wellness.

Intramural Gym – Located on the 1st floor of the SSC, the gym is open daily during supervised scheduled hours. Students can participate in an array of open gym and organized sports such as: Basketball, Indoor Soccer, Volleyball, Badminton, Bubble Soccer or Dodgeball. 

Climbing Wall – The wall provides various climbing routes that offers varying degrees of difficulty.  The wall is staffed by certified climbing wall instructors who operate the wall during evening hours. 

Disc Golf Course – The course consists of 9 baskets and begins in the pine trees behind the Rosolyn Carter Institute, inside the walking trail. It then continues behind the School of Education.  Discs are available for check out through RA’s in the residence halls.

Walking Trail --The walking trail is located across from the Education Center. This trail is open year round to members of the campus and community.

GSW Storm Dome--Located inside the Student Success Center, this facility is utilized by the GSW Intercollegiate athletic teams only.

GSW Hurricane Baseball Field --The field is located off of Simmons Street next to the GSW tennis courts and is utilized by the GSW Intercollegiate athletic teams only.

GSW Lady ‘Cane Softball Field--Located off Felder Street, this facility is utilized by the GSW Intercollegiate athletic teams only.

GSW Soccer Field --Located off Felder Street and across from the GSW softball field, this facility is utilized by the GSW Intercollegiate athletic teams only.

GSW Tennis Courts -- There are lighted courts that are conveniently located on campus next to the Deriso Pool and Southwestern Pines. The GSW Tennis Teams have first priority when using the courts; otherwise the courts are open to students and community members year round.  For safety purposes, lights will not be available during GSW baseball night games.

University Lake and Lakehouse --Located on the south side of campus, the University Lake serves as a popular recreational area for members of the GSW community. Whether it be sunning at lakeside, a picnic under the trees, playing sand volleyball, horse shoes, fishing or meeting with friends; students can often be found at the lake. There is a Lakehouse equipped with kitchen facilities, which can be reserved by recognized student organizations for social functions. Reservations must be made through Office of Reservations (229-931-2368). 

HEALTH SERVICES

On-campus health services are provided at the Health Center, located in the Rosalynn Carter Health & Human Sciences Complex. The center provides services to students with minor illnesses or injuries and promotes positive physical and mental health. A health services professional staff member is available from 7:30am-5:00pm Monday-Thursday and 8:00am-3:00pm on Friday while classes are in session.  The Health Center is open to students by appointment or on a walk-in basis. If a student needs emergency medical assistance when the Health Center is closed, the student should contact emergency medical services by dialing 911 or Public Safety. Public Safety's emergency phone number is 229-931-2245.

Other services provided include consultation services with the Health Center staff, a comprehensive Men’s and Women's clinic each Wednesday. Hospitalization, prescribed medications, laboratory, X-ray services, and consultations with non-university medical specialist are not included in the semester health service fees. Cost associated with these services is the financial responsibility of the student.

A student who utilizes Health Center medical services is expected to visit the Health Center at times that do not conflict with academic responsibilities. After a student has been assessed in the Health Center, we will provide a written recommendation to excuse from class only if we feel there is justification. By Georgia Southwestern State University policy, an excuse from class can only be granted by the professor of that class.

The Health Center provides care for all currently registered students and currently employed faculty/staff (who must pay the co-pay health fee whenever using the health center). A mandatory health fee is assessed to students currently enrolled in three or more credits on GSW's campus. A student registered for less than three credit hours has the option to pay the semester health fee, or a co-pay for each visit. The semester health fee entitles the student to consultation services with the professional Health Center staff. There are free over the counter medications available as well as first aid supplies, without charge. Students are accessed fees for prescription medications, equipment, lab tests and special procedures.

Students seeking medical assistance from the Health Center must have a completed certificate of immunizations and a health history form on file at the Health center. Students must be currently enrolled in classes at the time of treatment.

A student accepted for admission will receive a certificate of immunization and a health history form which is to be completed and returned to the Director of the Health Center prior to enrollment in the University. Evidence of two MMR's are required of students born in 1957 or later. All students are required to have Varicella, and Tetanus-Diphtheria. Hepatitis B vaccination -required for all students who will be 18 years of age or less at
matriculation. Newly admitted freshmen or matriculated students planning to reside in university managed housing are required to have the meningococcal vaccine or sign a waiver (If the student is under the age of 18 a parent must sign the document). All new students (freshmen, transfers, and others) attending regularly scheduled classes or receiving resident credit will be required to submit a certificate of immunization prior to attending such classes. Students will not be permitted to attend classes or reside in campus housing until the required immunization record is on file with the Health Center.

International students must have documentation of two measles, mumps, and rubella immunizations or blood titers for immunity to measles, mumps and rubella. A PPD tuberculin skin test is required within 10 days of arrival to campus. If positive, the students must have a chest X-ray within 2 weeks of arrival to campus. No X-ray films will be accepted. A Severe Acute Respiratory (SARS) Questionnaire form must be completed upon arrival to campus and completion of the tuberculosis screening questionnaire. All reports and documentation must be in English. All immunization forms and reports must have signature of health care provider, address and contact phone number in English.

It is recommended that each student discuss with his/her health care provider the need for additional immunizations such as, pertussis and hepatitis A.

It is recommended that all students carry major medical insurance to provide supplemental coverage in the event of an acute injury or illness requiring hospitalization. A low cost Health Insurance Program is available to students attending GSW. Georgia Southwestern State University requires that all international students, athletes, and nursing students submit proof he/she is covered by an approved health insurance plan. These students must present proof of this coverage each semester prior to registering for classes. If there is no proof of insurance, enrollment in university insurance program is automatic. Please contact the Health Center for brochures and plan information.

Fall/Spring Semesters

Mondays: 9:00 AM – 6.30  PM

Tuesdays: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Wednesdays: 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Thursdays: 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Fridays: 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Summer Schedule

Mondays: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Tuesdays: 7:30 AM - 5.30 PM

Wednesdays: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Thursdays: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Fridays: 7:30 SM- 11:30 PM

HOUSING & RESIDENCE LIFE  

 Living on campus at GSW is an exciting, enriching experience. You will have the opportunity to participate in creating a community with other residents who have values, beliefs, and goals that may be different from yours. Through interaction with these students, you will be challenged to think and to grow as an individual.

Three living centers are available at GSW:

• Southwestern Oaks – Suite Style rooms for freshmen. Housing is available for Upperclassmen based on availability. Southwestern Oaks is Co-ed by community. • Magnolia – Suite-style rooms for upperclassmen, Co-ed by wing, • Southwestern Pines – 4-bedroom Suite Style rooms for upperclassmen, Co-ed by floors,
Each residence hall has a staff of peer helpers called Resident Assistants led by a professional staff member. This staff lives in the hall with the residents to ensure safety, security and an educational living environment. All halls are equipped with electronic access control and access is only granted to current residents and University staff.

IDENTIFICATION (ID) CARDS

Each student at GSW is required to obtain and carry an official University ID card. This card demonstrates an individual’s right to use University facilities and attend various University events. This card is non-transferable and should only be used by the individual to which it is issued.

The CanesCard is the official Identification Card for Georgia Southwestern State University. Students can use their CanesCard to receive financial aid refunds, access the Dining Hall, Higher Grounds coffee shop, POD Store, Chick-fil-A, and Boar's Head Deli. The CanesCard can also be used to make on campus and off campus purchases or access ATMs for cash. The CanesCard functions as a pre-paid DEBIT card, students can only make purchases if they have money applied to their CanesCard.

 Every student will need to have a CanesCard to access GSW facilities such as the fitness center, game room, library, swimming pool, bookstore, academic computer labs, and the Residence Halls.

For new students CanesCard will be made on STORM Day and Registration day in the Student Accounts Office located in the Marshall Student Center. The CanesCard office will be open Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm and Friday from 9am-2pm. Students can contact the CanesCard office at (229) 931-5091 or Student Accounts (229) 931-2013 with questions or concerns.

If a CanesCard is lost, stolen, or destroyed, cards can be replaced for a fee paid in the student accounts office.

Canes Card Surge Example May 2019

INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY

GSW offers students a variety of technology-based services on campus.

Each student is assigned a campus email address by the Office of Information and Instructional Technology (OIIT). Information on accessing your student email account can be found at: Click Here

Internet access is available to residence hall occupants. Those in Southwestern Oaks, Southwestern Pines, and Magnolias residence halls may use either a wired or a wireless internet connection.  Each residence hall also has a small computer lab with Internet access, GALILEO access, word
processing and printing capabilities.

The James Earl Carter Library provides GALILEO access in the Library to many
digital research databases and periodicals. A computer lab is also available in the Library to facilitate the student's work in preparing research papers. See the Library's website for additional information regarding access hours (James E. Carter Library)

Computer Labs are available in the Academic Resource Center and the James Earl
Carter Library. See the GSW website for current hours. The labs are generally available during the day, in the evenings, and on the weekends. (https://gsw.edu/resources/facultyandstaff/iit/computerlabs)

Each student receives $10 of CanesNet printing credits per semester to be used in the GSW computer labs to print up to 100 sheets. Additional CanesNet printing credits may be purchased from Student Accounts (in Marshall Student Center) or the front desk in the Library.  Each CanesNet printing card costs $5 and is good for printing up to fifty sheets.

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is providing Microsoft Office free to every student. Office 365 includes the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more. As long as you’re a student at GSW, you’ll be able to use this software for free. (https://gsw.edu/resources/facultyandstaff/iit/gettingstarted/gswct-for-students#o365)

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

The Office of International Programs (OIP) coordinates GSW’s Quality Enhancement Plan entitled “Windows to the World” (W2W), a campus-wide endeavor to integrate intercultural learning opportunities for students through co-curricular and curricular programs. W2W is designed to engage students in a variety of intercultural experiences throughout their program of study to gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes our students need to engage effectively as members of a global community. The OIP supports GSW’s global learning initiatives with campus departments and offices to:

  • Manage, develop, and promote intercultural learning and study abroad opportunities for GSW students, faculty and staff
  • Provide services, advocacy, support and programming for international students and scholars
  • Support and administer faculty and staff professional development opportunities for internationalizing the curriculum (curriculum integration), exchanges and research
  • Cultivate campus, community, and international partnerships and exchanges
  • Transform GSW’s campus culture into one that celebrates and models intercultural community

Contact the Office of International Programs:

ACE 101
800 GSW State University Drive Americus, GA 31709
Email: windows2world@gsw.edu
Tel: (229) 931-4627
OIP Website

LIBRARY

The James Earl Carter Library (named in honor of President Jimmy Carter’s father) has more than 190,000 volumes, over 30,000 electronic books, and 243 current journal subscriptions. As a selective federal depository, the Library also provides access to over 300,000 government documents in various formats.  The Library’s special collections include the Georgia Southwestern Historical Collection and the Dr. Harold Isaacs Third World Collection.
The Fine Arts Gallery and the POW Collection are located in the Library.

The Library is open during the following hours:
Monday ­- Thursday: 8:00 AM ­- 10:00 PM

Friday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Changes in the Library hours are regularly updated and posted on the Library website and at the Library.

Computer Lab: The Library’s Computer Lab is open during regularly-scheduled library hours, closing one half hour prior to the Library’s closing. It is open for general use except when used for instruction. A class schedule is posted near the entrance to the lab.

Students have free access to book stacks. Books in the general collections may be checked out for 3 weeks and are renewable unless someone else has requested them. The penalty for all overdue books, except reserve materials, is 25 cents per day.  Student IDs are required to check out materials.

GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online): GALILEO is located on all the Library computers. GALILEO provides access to over 100 databases. GALILEO may also be accessed from home through use of a password available at the Library’s Circulation Desk.

Other Library services include GIL Express, which enables borrowing from other University of Georgia institutions; InterLibrary Loan; a complete reference and instructional program including the Area B LIBR 1000 and online renewal, hold, and ILL request services.

For further information, please check the Library’s website at: http://gsw.edu/Library/index

POST OFFICE

The University Post Office, located in the Marshall Student Center, offers most of the services of a city post office. You’ll find your GSW mailbox located here. It’s a good idea to check your mailbox daily. Post Office hours are 9am - 4pm, Monday - Friday.

A GSW mailbox is assigned to each student living in the residence halls. Commuters may apply for a GSW mailbox during the first two weeks of the semester — they are issued based on availability. No mailbox assignments are made after the first two weeks of the semester.

Your GSW mailbox is for your use ONLY while you are actually enrolled in school. If you graduate or stay out of school for a semester (including summer semester), your mail will be returned to sender unless you fill out a “Forwarding Address” form at the campus post office.

Mail should be addressed to students as follows:

STUDENT NAME
GSW BOX ___
800 GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY DRIVE
AMERICUS, GA 31709-4376

Your GSW mailbox is for your use only–no one else is allowed to use your mailbox. For further information, contact the Postal Services Supervisor at 229-931-2364.

PUBLIC SAFETY

The Department of Public Safety is a state certified law enforcement agency. It is responsible for the on-campus enforcement of the Georgia criminal and motor vehicle code, the ordinances of the City of Americus, and the University’s Code of Conduct and parking code. The Department operates 24 hours a day including weekends and all holidays.  (Phone 229-931-2245).

The 24 hour emergency number is 229-931-2245. Public Safety should be called anytime to report criminal activity, fires, and medical emergencies. The Department investigates all crimes which occur on campus and prosecutes these cases in state and superior court when warranted. Public Safety also refers cases to Student Affairs for disciplinary action.

Public Safety offers educational programs dealing with various crime prevention and general safety topics. Current crime statistics and personal safety information are located within the office.

Parking – All students, faculty and staff who operate a motor vehicle on campus must register their vehicle with Public Safety. The campus has been divided into zones which are assigned to residential and commuter students and faculty/staff members. When a vehicle is registered, a zone will be assigned and a decal issued. The decal must be placed on the vehicle in order to complete the registration process. A copy of the Parking Code is available on the Public Safety Webpage (here) and it is the responsibility of the driver to read and comply with the parking code.

Appeal of Traffic Ticket Fines – A student has a right to appeal a traffic ticket fine by filing the appeal at the Public Safety Office, (Sanford Hall, 931-2245) within three business days of issuance of the traffic ticket. Appeals of traffic tickets are heard by the Student Conduct Board when classes are in session. If the Student Conduct Board is not in session, the appeal will be heard by the Assistant Dean of Students (Phone 229-931-2378).

RESERVING CAMPUS SPACE

Reservations for facilities are made on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to university affiliated groups. All reservations must be approved by the Director of Campus Life before reservations are confirmed. Reservations of space for non-academic campus events are made with the Reservations Office in the Division of Student Affairs. Reservation forms can be found on the GSW website located under Student Affairs.

The Office of Reservations is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Success Center in Room 3416.  Reservations forms are made available online or by visiting the Office.  The Office of Reservations is committed to providing you will the fullest attention for all of your facility needs that we are responsible for.  The Division of Student Affairs is responsible for the following areas:

Lakehouse
Student Success Center Conference Rooms 2410, 2413, 2417
Student Success Center Conference Room 3447 (SGA Conference Room)
Student Success Center Corridors
Marshall Student Center Crest Room Cafe Java (limited reservations)
Marshall Student Center Patio
Magnolia Courtyard
Student Success Center Intramural Gym
Student Success Center Aerobics Room
Lawn Areas (Sanford Lawn, Centennial Park etc.)

You can contact the Reservations office by dialing 229-931-2368 or email reserve@gsw.edu.

All reservations for the above listed facilities/areas must go through the DSA (Division of Student Affairs) Reservations Office.  Reservations can be made online

All reservations must be requested at least 5 business days before the facility is being reserved.  Exceptions can be made in emergency situations only with the approval of the Director of Campus Life. In the event that you need to make a change in your requested reservation, please email the Office of reservations at reserve@gsw.edu with your specific requests that need to be made.

Note: Your reservation will only be official when you receive an email confirmation back from the Office of Reservations.  You will need to bring this confirmation to your reservation spot in the event there is a question.

When a facility has been scheduled, the reservation’s staff will issue a confirmation of the reservation via email from reserve@gsw.edu within 2 business days of the transaction.  This confirmation will also be sent to the Service Solutions (Company in charge of setup) and Public Safety (Office in charge of making sure the facility is unlocked and secure) We will only send email confirmations in an effort to conserve trees and save paper.   Should you not receive an email confirmation within two days, please email or call the Office of Reservations at 229-931-2368.  Should you call the Office of Reservations and no one answers, please leave a message on the answering machine and someone will respond to you within one business day.

In the event that there is an emergency with the facility and you cannot locate the Office of Reservation’s staff, please contact: 1st Mr. Joshua Curtin 229-931-2377 or 2nd Dr. Darcy Bragg at 229-928-1387. If neither individual is available, please ask for Ms. Kina Davis at 229-928-1387.

If Organizations or Outside groups request to use meeting areas within the Division of Student Affairs, and do not show up for their meetings without cancelling their reservation, privileges can be revoked.

Organization or individuals making requests will be held responsible for making sure that the location is left clean after each use. If you do not request a setup and you change the setup from what was already in place you are responsible for setting it back up the way it was found. If these policies are not followed privileges will be taken from whatever organization or outside group the reservation is requested under. Please also be aware that no setup requests will be allowed for Saturday and Sunday events. GSW does not have the weekend staff to do setups on Saturday or Sunday.

Additional Reservations Information:

Reservations that are made for the sound system are the same as those forfacility/area reservations.  The sound system must be picked up from the Office of Reservations on the day of the event and returned by noon the following day.  If the following days happens to be a weekend, it must be turned in the following Monday by noon.

The DSA Conference Room 3426 will be handled through Mrs. Angie Christmas at Angie.Christmas@gsw.edu.

For more information on policies and how to reserve all facilities on campus, please click on the facility manual:
GSW Facility Manual

The facilities and areas which the Student Affairs Reservations Office processes reservations for include the:

Lakehouse
Student Success Center Conference Rooms 2410, 2413, 2417
Student Success Center Conference Room 3447 (SGA Conference Room)
Student Success Center Corridors
Marshall Student Center Crest Room (main lobby) (limited reservations)
MSC Patio
Lawn Areas (Sanford Lawn, Centennial Park etc.)

STUDENT ACCOUNTS

Located in the Marshall Student Center, Student Accounts Office maintains a cashier's window where students, upon presentation of their validated ID card, may cash personal checks up to $50. The cashier's window is open from 8:30am until 5:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:30-3:00 on Fridays.  For complete information about fees and charges, policies, refund regulation, cancellation deadlines, etc., see the University catalog or contact Student Accounts (Phone 229-931-2013).

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Georgia Southwestern State University and the Office of Disability Services are committed to assist each student with a disability in his or her pursuit of educational goals, equal access and educational opportunities. The Office of Disability Services is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations and services to any student with a documented disability. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at (229) 931-2661 or visit Room 302 of Sanford Hall to obtain more information about disability services.

STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE

Every semester each student is required to pay a Student Activity Fee. This fee allows students admission to student activities for free or a reduced admission. Activity money is also used to fund The Student Government, Intramural and Recreational Sports, the Sou’Wester, and the Campus Activities Board as well as many other student activities.

STUDENT SUCCESS CENTER FEE

Every semester each student is required to pay a Student Success Center Fee. This fee allows students access and use of the fitness center, climbing wall, aerobics room, racquetball courts, gym, game room and locker rooms available in the Student Success Center. The fees will cover costs associated with operating this center.

TESTING CENTER

The Testing Center provides secure testing, accurate scoring, clear reporting, and responsive service for the following tests:  GACE, Georgia Constitution, Georgia History Exam, Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), Millers Analogies Test, CLEP Testing Program, TOEFL, Compass Test, Proctor Service, and ECORE.  For more information about the testing center, visit their website or contact the office at (229)-931-2933 or visit the Office on the third floor of Sanford Hall.

WEATHER/EMERGENCY CLOSING

Because of the difficulty of making up lost time, classes are cancelled only in extreme circumstances. In the event of an emergency University closing, announcements will be made over local television and radio stations.

The University now has a mass notification program on campus called ConnectEd.  When you register, you should put in your land line phone number, your cell number, possibly your parents number, email address and etc.. The notification system will download the information into the Banner system.  In the event of severe weather and the possibility of the University closing, the system would send out information relative to the status of the University through the information that you have provided.  If you have trouble entering the information, then please contact Ms. Krista Smith in the Registrar’s office.

Occasionally, students commuting to the campus from distant points encounter weather which makes travel difficult; students are advised to use their best judgment in those situations and to consult with individual faculty members as to making up lost class time. The University reserves the right to schedule additional class sessions should some become cancelled. Official announcements about class cancellation can be obtained by
calling Public Safety at 229-931-2245.  Again make sure your correct information is entered so that Banner can pull the information and download it in the ConnectEd system  If you are traveling any distance, the system will alert you as to the status of the University and may save you some travel time and help you avoid certain situations.

UNIVERSITY WRITING CENTER

The University Writing Center, located online and in ACE 104, is a helpful resource for all students through all stages of the writing process, from generating ideas to drafting a final copy. At the writing center, graduate and undergraduate peer writing consultants use discussion-based strategies to help you improve your writing at any level and in any subject. Appointments are available for face-to-face and online consultations and can be made by following the "Appointments" link at www.gsw.edu/writingcenter. You can also contact a consultant at writing.center@gsw.edu or (229) 931-4305.

Student Organizations

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) consists of four elected officers (President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Secretary/Treasurer), 11 elected senators and two appointed senators. As stipulated in the Constitution of the Student Government, to be eligible to hold an executive office a student must: 1) have earned 30 hours of credit at GSW; 2) have earned an overall graduating grade point average of at least 2.75; 3) be enrolled in at least 12 academic hours; 4) not be placed on any type of disciplinary, social, or academic probation; 4) anticipate being enrolled for one full academic year for which elected or appointed.  To be eligible to hold a Senator position, a student must: 1) have earned twelve (12) hours of credit at GSW; 2) have earned an overall graduating grade point average of at least 2.50; 3) be enrolled in at least twelve (12) academic hours; 4) not be placed on any type of disciplinary, social, or academic probation; and 4) anticipate being enrolled for one full academic year for which elected or appointed.

The Student Government Association Office is located on the third floor of the Student Success Center in room 3467 (229-931-2363). The executive committee, senators, and advisors welcome everyone to join their weekly meetings on Thursdays at 4:45pm in the Student Government Conference Room 3447, which is located on the third floor of the Student Success Center.

Campus Activities Board

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) provides students with quality entertainment and activities throughout the regular academic year. CAB's executive board consist of one elected officer (President) and five selected officers (Public Relations Director and four Program Directors). CAB is always recruiting volunteers and sponsoring events that you, the student, want to bring to campus. From concerts to comedians, to movies and game nights, CAB is always entertaining! All weekly meeting times are posted at the CAB office or on the Semester Activities Calendar. For more information about upcoming student activities and campus events, please check our online activities calendar by Clicking Here.

Leadership Opportunities

iHELP Peer Educators - Students who encourage their peers to make healthy, positive lifestyle choices through educational programming and personal contact.

M.O.D.E.L.S - Mentors Offering Direction, Encouragement, and Leadership Skills (M.O.D.E.L.S.) is a mentoring program designed to assist freshmen students with the transition to college life.

Orientation Team – The O’Team serves the University by assisting new students and their families in their transition to GSW. Sessions are held each summer as well as before each semester. The O’Team leaders are selected by an intensive tryout process in early October.

Resident Assistants - This group of upperclassmen serve as peer mentors in the residence halls.  These students assist in student programming and activities, as well as many responsibilities related to the maintenance and administration of the residence halls.

Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Society- The Society is an organization that helps people discover and achieve their goals. The Society offers life-changing lectures from the nation’s leading presenters and a community where likeminded success oriented individuals come together and help one another succeed. The Society also serves as a powerful force of good in the greater community by encouraging and organizing action to better the world. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.9 and letter of recommendation to be invited into the organization.

Zephyr Recruitment Team – This group serves the Admissions Office by hosting potential students as they visit the campus for tours and Preview Days. The Zephyrs are selected through an interview process during Fall semester.

Service Organizations

SABU Alumni & Friends - This organization promotes minority participation in the GSW Alumni Association and promotes community and volunteer services. 

GSW Gospel Choir - This organization is a social and service organization for men and women who have an interest in singing gospel music and promotes harmony amongst the masses. 

Gamma Beta Mu Leadership Society - fosters leadership, character, and unity among a diverse group of student leaders

Millard Fuller Center – Associated with the old Habitat for Humanity International, this organization assists the national headquarters with builds, food drives, and hosts build trips for Spring Break.

Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) – This organization provides a forum for young men to interact socially and present and learn from educational programming.

SUAVE – This organization provides a forum for young ladies to interact socially and present and learn from educational programming.

Religious Groups

Various religious organizations assume responsibility for directing religious activities on campus, encouraging attendance at the house of worship of one’s choice, endeavoring to instill in students a deeper understanding of their faith and engaging in programs of
religious emphasis. Some groups at GSW are the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Holy Young People Evangelism, Cornerstone Campus Ministry, Presbyterian Student Center, Wesleyan Foundation, and Union Tabernacle Baptist Church Ministry and the Interdenominational Council

Student Media & Publications

Sirocco – This is a literary magazine published each spring semester. It contains poetry, prose, art, music, and photography. Material should be submitted to Dr. Mark Laughlin in the Music Department.

GSW-TV16/Hurricane Watch – Located in Morgan Hall. The station provides educational, informative, and entertaining programming. GSW-TV16 provides hands-on experience for students in television broadcasting and production. Students interested in Hurricane Watch should contact the Department of Theater, Communication and Media Art, Jeffrey.Green@gsw.eduHurricane Watch can be found on Facebook

The Sou’Wester – A student-edited and managed campus newspaper that is distributed free around campus and town. The publication deals with issues on campus, the community, the state and the nation.  Students are welcome to be student journalists - in photography, news, sports or layout for the newspaper.  The opinions expressed are of the staff, not necessarily those of the university or the student body.

Greek Letter Organizations

As in many other American colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities play a distinctive role at Georgia Southwestern State University. They offer opportunities for students to succeed academically, develop lasting friendships, contribute to the broader community through service and participate in social, cultural, and athletic activities. Ten Greek letter social organizations are represented at the University.

Three councils govern Greek letter organizations: National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Interfraternity Council (IFC), and Panhellenic Association.  Amongst other responsibilities, these councils coordinate membership selection and recruitment process standards and plan various activities throughout the year.

Panhellenic and Interfraternity Recruitment are held near the beginning of each Fall Semester. During the summer, Greek information is provided online for all undergraduate and graduate students. There is a minimal charge for participation in recruitment activities to cover costs associated with the week. The intake process for NPHC groups is held throughout the year. Information can be obtained from posted advertisements, individual sorority and fraternity members or in the Office of Campus Life. GSW Greek social organizations are listed below:

National Pan-hellenic Council (NPHC)
Office Location: Student Success Center Room 3469

Sororities                                             Fraternities
Alpha Kappa Alpha                            Alpha Phi Alpha
Delta Sigma Theta                              Omega Psi Phi                  
Sigma Gamma Rho                             Phi Beta Sigma                             
Zeta Phi Beta                                     

Panhellenic Association
Office Location: Student Success Center Room 3464

Kappa Delta
Zeta Tau Alpha

Interfraternity Council
Office Location: Student Success Center Room 3463

Chi Phi
Kappa Sigma
Sigma Chi

Departmental Organizations

This is a listing of departmental organizations related to particular academic areas. However, members do not necessarily have to major in the related subject in order to be a member of the organization. For more information, contact the respective departments:

Accounting Club
American Medical Students Association
Artists Association
Biology Club
Chemistry Club
Chunnel Club (English and Foreign Languages)
CMENC (Music Educators)
Geology Club
Georgia Association of Nursing Students
GSWANS (Georgia Southwestern Association of Nursing Students)
Health and Human Performance Club
History & Political Science Club 
Marketing Club
Math Club
Psychology/Sociology Club
Spanish Club
Students of Business
Student Council for Exceptional Children
Student Georgia Association of Educators
Students in Free Enterprise

Honor Societies & Campus Honors Awards

Alpha Chi - Recognizes academic achievement of the top 5% of the junior and senior class.

Alpha Lambda Delta - Encourages superior scholastic excellence among female and male students in their first year. This group is open to those who have competed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Alpha Psi Omega Drama Society - Recognizes outstanding work in the field of theatre.

Beta Gamma Sigma - International Honor Society for outstanding business students recognizing the top 10% of juniors and seniors and the top 20% of graduate business students

Blue Key  - Recognizes outstanding leadership contributions in a broad range of co-curricular activities and academic achievement among juniors and seniors.

Gamma Beta Phi - Recognizes academic achievement of top 20% of each class.

Kappa Delta Pi - An international honor society whose mission is the promote excellence in the field of education.

National Residence Hall Honorary - Honors the top 1% of Residence Hall leaders.

Order of Omega - Recognizes outstanding Greeks who have excelled in both academics, but also leadership.

Pi Sigma Alpha - Recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of Political Science.

PSI CHI - The International Honor Society in Psychology - Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose shall be to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

Sigma Beta Delta - Recognizes superior achievement in the field of business.

Sigma Tau Delta - Recognizes superior achievement in English and literature.

Sigma Theta Tau - Recognizes superior achievement in nursing education and practice.

Tau Beta Sigma - Recognizes outstanding achievement by a woman who is a member of a GSW band program.

Upsilon Pi Epsilon - Recognizes superior achievement in the field of computer and information sciences.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities - One of the highest honors a student at Georgia Southwestern can achieve is that of being named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. Selection on campus is based on academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in co-curricular activities and potential for future achievement.

Residence Hall Leadership Opportunities

Residence Hall Association – The governing body for residence hall students, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) remains active in all residence hall decisions.

Special Interest Groups

International Student Association - Offers all GSW students an opportunity to learn more about other countries and cultures. Activities include movie nights, presentations about foreign cities and countries, and an annual international food festival.

Dance Team - Tryouts are held every Fall semester. For more information contact the Division of Student Affairs at 229-928-1387.

University Republicans and Young Democrats – Students involved with these organizations serve the national platform on a local level.

STUDENT CONDUCT BOARD

The Assistant Dean of Students coordinates the student conduct process.  Students interested in serving on the Student Conduct Board which operates in conjunction with The Student Government should apply through the Student Government Association. (Phone 229-931-2363).

GEORGIA INTERN PROGRAM

Georgia Southwestern State University is a participant in the Georgia Intern Program. Students may receive a maximum of 15 hours toward their degree for work as interns in public and nonprofit agencies in the State of Georgia. Students from all academic areas are eligible for the program. Courses for which academic credit is to be awarded must be approved in advance by the Chairman of the Division or Department offering the
courses and the campus coordinator of the program. Course numbers 492-494 in each discipline are reserved for Georgia Intern Program credit. Interested students should contact the campus coordinator of the Georgia Intern Program for additional information (Phone 229-931-2079).

THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

Georgia Southwestern offers many cultural opportunities for students. Music concerts and recitals, and Forensics speech tournaments, theatre and video productions, as well as art exhibitions are scheduled throughout the year.

Theater, Communication, and Media Arts

Performance and production opportunities are available to all students through stage plays, performance events through the Rylander Theater Partnership and narrative video projects produced each semester. Course credit is available for participation in these activities.

Music

The Concert Choir is a non-auditioned group which performs several times a year on campus, and occasionally off-campus. The Concert Choir provides music for events on campus, including graduation.

The Chamber Singers is a small, auditioned choral group noted for exceptional performances. Each year the Chamber Singers perform often on and off campus. Every Fall, the group produces and performs a Madrigal Dinner at the Windsor Hotel in downtown Americus, complete with Renaissance costumes and music.

The Concert Band and Jazz Band, both auditioned groups, perform on and off campus in concert and for special events. All ensembles offer academic credit for participants.

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts program offers students the opportunity to express themselves creatively through painting and drawing, glassblowing, ceramics, sculpture, photography, print making, computer graphics and digital arts.

INTRAMURAL SPORTS AND RECREATION

The purpose of Intramural Sports and Recreation at Georgia Southwestern is to offer a wide variety of activities either organized or self-directed activities so that all members of the University community have an opportunity to participate. University Recreational Services provide the University community the outlet to physical well being through physical activity. Intramural team sports offerings include Flag Football, Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Kickball, Racquetball, and Volleyball. Numerous individual and dual sports such as Tennis, Golf, Disc Golf, Rock-Climbing wall and Billiards are also made available throughout the year. There are also employment opportunities available through our office.

Aerobics and outdoor trips are new and integral facets of recreational sports at GSW. Each semester group exercise classes and a variety of trips are offered to the students at minimal or no cost. Recreational facilities available include the Old Gym, athletic field, swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and fitness trail and Student Success Center.

All Intramural Sports, Aerobics and Outdoor Recreation information is available on the first day of classes in the Recreational Sports Office in the Student Success Center Room 3438 or call 931-2365.

INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

GSW is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Peach Belt Conference. Athletics play a very important role in the campus and community life at Georgia Southwestern State University. The athletic teams have been a catalyst in creating enthusiasm, school spirit, and student unity on the GSW campus and in the community.
The offices for athletics and physical education classes are located in the Student Success Center (STORM Dome).

For more information about the individual sports, please contact the following:

Women's Basketball
229-931-2231.

Men's Basketball
229-931-2230.

Baseball
229-931-2843.

Women’s Cross Country
229-931-4215.

Men’s Soccer
229-931-7006.

Women’s Soccer
229-931-2936.

Softball
229-931-2174

Men’s/Women’s Tennis
229-931-2284

Men’s Golf
229-931-2609

Campus Traditions

Campus Pride Day

Twice a year, faculty, staff, and students work together on a campus beautification project.

Hello Walk

The wide paved walkway from the library to the Student Success Center is called “hello walk”. It is tradition to say “hello” to those you pass on this walkway.

Move-In Day

A special day is set aside prior to the beginning to Fall semester when faculty and staff volunteers help the new freshmen class move into their residence hall rooms.

Welcome Week

The first full week of Fall semester is packed with fun and informative programs and events to help the new and returning students meet one other, get reacquainted, and start the academic year off right!

Significance of the Winds

GSW’s mascot is the Hurricane. Several references to the winds/weather can be found around campus such as: street names, R.A.I.N, Aeolian (alumni newsletter), The Sou’wester (student newspaper), Zephyrs (recruitment team), Sirocco (Student Literary Magazine) etc.

Student Appreciation Day

Held on the last day of class during Spring semester, the faculty and staff host an outdoor picnic with games, door prizes, and giveaways to show their appreciation to the student body.

Fall Fest

During the Fall semester, usually in October, the ATOD task force (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs) puts on a special week for all students, faculty, and staff to come and celebrate by providing activities that don’t involve drugs or alcohol and still allows students to have a good time.

Homecoming Week

Homecoming occurs during the month of February while Men’s & Women’s Basketball season is still in session. Many activities are scheduled for this spirit-filled week. The highlight of Homecoming is typically the recognition of the Homecoming Court and the crowning of the King and Queen.

Taste of the World

This is an annual international festival held at GSW every April. Students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to enjoy food, music, and the cultures of many countries.

Student Organizations Rights & Responsibilities

A. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY OF ORGANIZATIONS

Freedom of action granted to a registered organization implies the responsibility for developing the direction, scope and character of the organization in promoting the total educational program of the University. This freedom of action is limited only by the stated purpose of the organization, by the University and the society. The aim of the University is not to establish a complete set of rules or regulations to control student organizational activities, but to keep such regulations to the minimum found necessary by experience. Within the spirit of this philosophy, it is expected that a student organization should not assume that it rightfully may engage in any activity that is not restricted specifically by the regulations. In planning new activities, student organizations should consult first with their faculty advisor(s) and if there is doubt as to the appropriateness of the activity, the organization should consult the Assistant Director of Student Engagement well in advance so that equitable decisions may be reached through cooperative discussion.

B. UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Restrictions imposed by University regulations for student organizations are established by the Faculty Committee on Student Engagement, which has student and faculty representatives. Regulations established by this group are intended primarily to protect all parts of the University program from interference from each other and from duplication of effort. Organizations dissatisfied with these policies should address themselves to the Faculty Committee on Student Engagement and Success. Acceptance of established procedures of campus governance is part of the responsibility undertaken by a student group becoming chartered as a University organization.

C. CHARTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Georgia Southwestern State University encourages students to become participating members of chartered student organizations insofar as the aims and purposes of the organizations are consistent with the aims and purposes of the University and University community. Chartered student groups include the following types:

Social organizations
Honorary and leadership organizations and recognition societies
Departmental organizations and professional fraternities
Political organizations
Specialty groups (athletic, religious, etc.)

  1. Such organizations shall adhere to the following procedures for obtaining a charter:
    • a. Obtain from the Assistant Director of Student Engagement the petition for recognition packet located online through Canes Connect.
    • b. Submit the complete packet, a constitution, membership list 7 members as a recommended minimum), proposed source/method of funding, and name of a faculty or staff advisor to the Assistant Director of Student Engagement. (Note: The approval process for social fraternities and sororities shall be governed by the Georgia Southwestern State University Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity, and Panhellenic Councils where appropriate.)
    • c. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement will submit these documents to the Faculty Committee on Student Engagement for approval or rejection of the organization. At least thirty days following submission of the required documents, the committee will meet at a scheduled time with the members and anticipated Advisor of the proposed organization prior to rendering a decision.
    • d. The Faculty Committee on Student Engagement will notify the Faculty Senate of its action, approval or rejection, of the organization.
    • e. The Faculty Senate shall report to the faculty, as information, the approval or rejection of the organization.
    • f. Any deletions or amendments to an approved organizational constitution must be forwarded to the Faculty Committee on Student Engagement for final consideration before being adopted by the organization.
  2. The charters of student organizations may be revoked and individual members may be subjected to disciplinary actions, as stipulated in the Student Code of Conduct, if the group or organization is found guilty of the following:
    • a. Hazing
    • b. Disorderly conduct or social misconduct
    • c. Interference with orderly academic processes of the University, its activities, or the rights and freedoms of other members of the University community.
    • d. Violation of Georgia Southwestern State University rules, regulations and policies.
    • e. Violation of Federal, State, or local laws and of policies of the Board of Regents.
    • f. Participation in activities that disrupt or obstruct any teaching, research, administration, disciplinary public service, or other activities authorized to be held or conducted on the Georgia Southwestern State University campus.
    • g. Staff of the Office of Student Engagement or Division of Student Engagement and Success staff may suspend the rights of an organization pending an investigation or an official hearing.
D. ANNUAL REGISTRATION OF RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Each Fall semester all organizations who wish to remain active organizations on campus must register their desire by completing the registration process through Canes Connect.  This process can be located at CanesConnect and will require student organizations to submit a constitution and/or bylaws, logo of the student organization, and roster of the current organization. It is the President's responsibility to file the roster of elected officers with the Office of Campus Life by the 1st of September. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in the loss of recognition on campus. Changes in organization officers or membership during the year are to be reported to the Office of Student Engagement as they occur. New officers should check to see that the constitution on file is current. Student organizations shall furnish to the Office of Student Engagement, upon request any information that it considers necessary for administration, such as constitution, list of officers, faculty advisor, schedule of activities, etc.  In addition to registering your organization yearly through Canes Connect, organizations advisors and presidents (or their designee) are requested to attend a yearly organization training and/or leadership training in order to officially be recognized and receive all rights and privileges for the upcoming academic school year.

E. STUDENT ORGANIZATION PRIVILEGES

Registered student organizations are eligible to:

  1. Use university facilities, equipment, and services according to prescribed policies and procedures.
  2. Sponsor on-campus fund raising events (all events must be approved by the Director of Campus Life at least two weeks prior to the event.)
  3. Apply for student activity funds (those organizations that do not restrict membership or do not require adherence to any doctrine or belief are eligible to apply.)
  4. Invite guest speakers to campus in accordance with established guidelines.
  5. Use copying services on campus.
  6. Establish a University account and use the services of the University Business Office.
  7. Receive awards or honors presented to university organizations and members.
  8. Be listed in University/student publications.
  9. Sponsor program activities consistent with the purpose of the organization and the University.
  10. Distribute and post literature and organizational materials according to established policies and procedures.
  11. Request assistance from the Office of Public Relations and student media groups to promote organizational activities.
F. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Membership in a registered student organization must be open to any Georgia Southwestern State University student who shall comply with:

  1. The stated purpose(s) of the organization
  2. Reasonable conditions and obligations of membership, except that:
    • a. no student shall be excluded from membership on the basis of race, color, national origin, religious creed, age, political views, Vietnam-era veteran status, sexual orientation, or disability;
    • b. no student shall be excluded from membership on the basis of sex, unless:
      the organization is a social fraternity or sorority, or the primary purpose of the organization is to engage in sports, the main purpose or activity of which involves bodily contact, or the organization is otherwise exempt under Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972.
  3. Constitution of such registered student organization and, if affiliated with an off-campus organization, the constitution of the off-campus organization must not contain any provisions which discriminate against a student under the provisions or the rules of Georgia Southwestern State University.
  4. Leadership Position Requirements:
    • a. A minimum graduating grade point average of 2.0 and current enrollment, is required for a student to hold and maintain organization offices as follows: president; vice-president; secretary; treasurer; board member; or comparable positions under other titles, such as editor, captain, or chairperson. Organizations may require officers to have a grade point average higher than a 2.0 and should specify this requirement in the organization's constitution. It is the responsibility of the organization's faculty advisor to ensure compliance with the provision.
    • b. Students holding organization offices are expected to uphold the requirements of the Georgia Southwestern Student Conduct Code. Should a violation of the Student Conduct Code or local, state, or federal law occur, the Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, Student Conduct Officer, or designee and the organization's faculty advisor shall review the circumstances of the incident and advise the organization of recommended action. Recommended action may range from verbal admonition to removal of the student from office, and may include referral to the Georgia Southwestern State University Student Conduct system.
G. SCHEDULING SOCIAL EVENTS

Recognized Student Organizations and Student Activities

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Face-to-Face Meetings and Gatherings

The GSW Recognized Student Organization (RSO) and Student Activities COVID-19 Resource Guide is a supplement to the RSO Policies and Procedures. The following guidelines are in effect immediately until further notice. Updates will be published and communicated as needed throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

  • It is important that you stay up-to-date on COVID-19 news and guidance from the CDC and GSW.

  • The University will make updates to guidance as needed.

Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Operations

GSW student health and safety is a top priority. RSOs and individual members must follow GSW guidelines provided in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We know it is important to move forward with organization priorities in order to enhance the college experience, prepare for the future, and for the long-term organization health. 

Every RSO is to identify a Risk Management officer to work with other RSO officers and advisor to ensure organization programs and activities address and mitigate risk to the best extent possible. The RSO Risk Management officer may be assigned to a student with another officer position. The identified Risk Management officer’s name and contact information must be submitted through the RSO Canes Connect Annual Registration Form. The Risk Management Officer will be required to participate in monthly virtual meeting addressing current issues related of COVID-19 or other relevant topics.

Events and Gatherings

RSOs are encouraged to conduct business meetings and activities supporting the organization’s mission and purpose. 

RSOs are encouraged to conduct virtual group meetings.  Virtual meetings do not require university approval. Virtual meeting resources:

  • If you have a Gmail account, Google offers Hangouts where up to 10 can meet via video. You can meet on demand, or schedule through your Google calendar by “adding conferencing”;
  • Zoom also offers free video conferencing for up to 100 people. Calls are limited to 40 minutes with the free version;
  • Microsoft Teams is another video conferencing resource that allows for free calls, meetings, chats, and file sharing. 

All RSO face-to-face activities, beyond business meetings, are required to obtain approval through Residential and Campus Life. Event request forms are available on Canes Connect (Click Here). Event request forms should be submitted five business days prior to the event to ensure a timely review of event risk management plans. The purpose of the event request form is to ensure risk management precautions have been addressed.   

GSW requires the following plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while engaging in student activities.

  1. Face-to-face activities may occur as long as the following precautions are taken:
    • Social distance. There is enough space to social distance, also called “physical distancing,” to keep a safe distance between individuals who are not from the same household. Current recommended practice is at least 6’ (or two arm links) between people.
    • Face covering. Face coverings are required over mouth and nose in public settings when around people who don’t live in the same household and especially when it may be difficult to stay six feet apart. Face coverings are not required, but highly recommended, when outdoors and within close proximity to individuals who are not in the same household.
    • Healthy habits. Access to hand washing facilities or hand sanitizers must be provided at events. Disinfect surfaces if activity involves multiple users during a designated period of time. Examples: registration table, crafts program, etc. 
    • Health screening. At events inside a facility where space is limited, an entry point must be set up to screen attendees.  This includes, but may not be limited to, temperature checks and questions about COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • Visible safety notification. Signage must be posted at entry ways or in event area reminding participants of health and safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Template signs are available at (need link).
    • Designated event monitor(s). One event monitor for every 25 attendees must be designated to promote COVID-19 planned precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  1. Campus space reservations for RSO meetings, events, and student activities can be made on Canes Connect (Click Here). Reservations will be limited to the following locations:
    • Collum Hall – Rooms have maximum seating capacity.
    • IM Gym
    • MSC Hallway
    • SSC Classrooms, Corridors, and Conference Rooms – Rooms have maximum seating capacity.
    • Outdoor space reservations include:
      • Centennial Plaza
      • Hello Walk
      • Lake House grounds (Lake House not available for Fall 2020)
      • MSC Courtyard and Patio
      • North and South IM Fields
      • Oaks, Pines, or Magnolia Courtyards
      • Presidential Plaza
      • Sanford Lawn
    • Other campus space reservations are available, but they require additional approvals from other departments.
    • These include:
      • Administration Building – Academic Affairs will approve. Rooms have maximum seating capacity.
      • Faculty Dining Room – Aladdin will approve. Room has maximum seating capacity.
      • Fine Arts Theater – Fine Arts will approve. Room has maximum seating capacity.
      • Jackson Hall Auditorium – Fine Arts will approve. Room has maximum seating capacity.
      • Storm Dome – Athletics will approve.

Scheduling Social Events

  1. Definition - social events refer primarily to parties, dances, or concerts sponsored by student organizations. It is expected that such social events will be scheduled at times that do not interfere with the normal educational functioning of the University.
  2. Approval - no social event may be held on campus by a student organization without prior approval of the Director of Campus Life.
  3. The designated faculty advisor, or a designee selected by the faculty advisor, is required to attend all organization functions on campus, for the duration of the event, at which alcohol will be consumed and to assist the officers and the sponsoring organization to comply with university regulations, as well as local, state, and federal laws.
  4. Event requests - requests for social events on campus must be submitted for approval at least five (5) business days in advance.
  5. Request for facilities - reservations for facilities can be made in the Reservations Office upon approval of the event and the form should be filed at least five (5) business days prior to the event.
  6. Work orders - arrangements for work orders necessary for the use of a facility must be made in the Division of Student Engagement and Success at least five (5) business days prior to an event.
  7. Litter - Organization members and faculty advisors are responsible for seeing that facilities used are clean and properly put in order after use. The sponsoring organization is responsible for any and all damage incurred to the facility. The sponsoring organization will be held accountable for all litter left in the area where the activity was held, including outside of buildings and parking lots. Should it be necessary for the University to remove any ground litter, the sponsoring organization will be charged for such service.
  8. Security - Organizations that sponsor (1) a social event on campus where more than fifty people will be in attendance and alcohol is to be consumed by legally aged persons, or (2) a dance and/or concert is open to the public, or (3) where in excess of one hundred people are to be in attendance, are required to pay at least one additional certified security or police officer who will be present during the entire event. The number of officers assigned to each event will be determined jointly by a student representative from the sponsoring organization and the Division of Student Engagement and Success at least 48 hours in advance of approval of the event. The student organizations shall be responsible for paying the Security Officers a salary per hour equivalent to the current rate of pay. Such payment will be made to the Business Office and confirmation of the payment must be provided to the Director of Campus Life prior to the scheduling of a facility. Charges will vary depending on the length of the event and the number of officers required. The responsibilities of the student organization to uphold University regulations, local, State and Federal laws, are not negated by the requirement of the presence of Security officers. The responsibilities of the Security Officers are to support the sponsoring student organization in upholding University regulations, local, State and Federal laws. Included in these responsibilities are upholding policies with regard to alcohol, crowd behavior and environmental noise problems. Georgia Southwestern State University Department of Public Safety Personnel are not eligible for contracting out to such events. The student responsibilities are upholding policies with regard to alcohol, crowd/guest behavior and environmental noise problems. The student organization has primary responsibility for monitoring the event and the Security Officers is available only as a last supplemental resort. Failure to provide adequate security personnel or other security measures in order to insure the safety of those in attendance is prohibited.
  9. Crowd size that exceeds such limits so as to infringe upon the rights of others or endanger those in attendance is prohibited.
  10. Failure to provide adequate parking so that vehicles are impeding the normal flow of traffic, parked illegally or parked on private property without proper authorization is prohibited.
  11. Activities/Exams: No campus-wide social activities shall be held by any student organization during final examination periods. In addition, recognized student organizations may not schedule events or activities within 48 hours of the beginning of a final examination period unless approved by the Assistant Director of Student Engagement.
  12. Hours to Terminate - Activities on campus shall terminate on Sunday through Thursday nights by midnight; Friday and Saturday nights by 1:00 a.m.
H. STUDENT ORGANIZATION LIABILITY

Organization officers, members and advisors may be civilly liable for harm resulting from either dangerous organization activities or those that create an unreasonable risk of injury on and off campus. All persons involved in organizations are advised to plan activities carefully, comply with all laws (including those related to the consumption of alcohol and the use of vehicles and other equipment) and to neither endorse nor participate in activities that could result in injury to participants, bystanders, property or self. Organizations sponsoring recreational activities, off-campus trips of any kind or any activities where risk to participants may be involved are required to have participants sign a RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY FORM. These forms may be obtained from the Student Engagement and Success website.

I. STUDENT ORGANIZATION TRAVEL

The Board of Regents has stipulated that organization related travel of students be subject to the same guidelines as those of University employees. See the Office of Student Engagement for specific details.

J. STUDENT ORGANIZATION FUND RAISING

All registered student organizations are encouraged to make every possible effort to become financially self-supporting. Organizations may generate funds by charging dues to members, charging admission to events and sponsoring approved fund raising activities. Fund raising events must be approved at least two weeks in advance by the Assistant Director of Student Engagement, including approval of the method to be used in selling tickets and collecting money when admission is to be charged to an event. Fund raising is defined as anytime an organization collects money for any purpose on or off campus. Raffles and games of chance are prohibited. Student Organizations wishing to hold an on campus or off-campus fundraiser must fill out a fundraising approval form at least 5 business days in advance.

K. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
  1. Student organizations receiving student activity funds cannot maintain outside bank accounts.
  2. All monies collected, whether on or off campus, by funded student organizations, must be deposited in a University account.
  3. All invoices must be paid within 30 days, as stipulated by State of Georgia Policy.
  4. All student organizations must maintain all of their financial responsibilities within the GSW Business office unless your organization has its own FEI Tax ID Number.  Organizations must verify their Tax ID and show proof in order to have off-campus business accounts.
L. EXPENDITURE OF STUDENT ACTIVITY FUNDS

The following guidelines are to be followed by all campus organizations expending student activity funds:

  1. Cash Advance - For expenditures under $100, an organization may obtain monies from the petty cash fund in the Business Office with prior written approval (Request for Petty Cash) of the organization's treasurer and faculty advisor. The following procedures apply:
    • a. Present cashier with a Request for Petty Cash signed by the treasurer and faculty advisor.
    • b. Sign cashier's receipt for the amount withdrawn.
    • c. A paid invoice or cash register tape imprinted with the vendor's name must be obtained for all purchases.
    • d. Return paid invoices and/or register tape to the cashier within three (3) days after the cash advance. Any money not spent must be returned at the same time.
    • e. Initial cashier's receipt indicating the actual expenditure. In the event that a purchase costs more than the amount of money withdrawn from the petty cash fund, refunds will be made to individuals having to spend their own money. No refunds will be made for purchases made without prior written approval (Request for Petty Cash).
  2. Payments to Individuals/Requests for Cash in Excess of $50 Payments to individuals require a properly authorized Disbursement Authorization and will be paid in cash. The Disbursement Authorization form also may be used when more than $100 in cash is needed. Disbursement Authorization forms must be in the Business Office at least one week before a check is needed.
  3. Purchase Orders - Prior to all purchases (regardless of the amount) for which a cash advance or disbursement has not been obtained, a properly authorized purchase request form must be completed by the organization's treasurer and faculty advisor. Under no circumstances will a purchase be made without properly notifying the Business Office in advance.
  4. Internal Requisition Forms - The purchase of items from the University Bookstore requires the use of an Internal Requisition Form. In unusual circumstances, when the faculty advisor is away from campus for an extended period of time, the Director of Campus Life will co-sign all expenditure request forms. All of the required forms may be obtained in the Office of Campus Life.
M. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES POLICY
  1. Student organizations requesting to serve or sell alcohol at an event on campus must have their faculty/staff advisor or his/her designee present for the entire event.   If someone other than the faculty/staff advisor is going to be present, this designee must be approved by the Director of Campus Life.
  2. Student organizations wishing to host a function on campus serving or selling alcohol must adhere to the following procedures:
    • a. Submit a Request to Serve/Sell Alcohol on Campus form to the Director of Campus Life at least three weeks prior to the proposed date of the event.  The student organization representative signing this form and submitting it for approval must be at least 21 years of age.
    • b. After granting initial approval from the Campus Life Office, the Director will seek approval from ARAMARK for their contractual services. Note: ARAMARK is the only vendor that will be considered to serve or sell alcohol on campus.
    • c. If approved through ARAMARK, the Director of Campus Life will seek approval from the President’s Office.
    • d. After obtaining the university president’s approval, the Director of Campus Life will submit the form to the Office of Public Safety and notify the student organization to contact Public Safety to hire the appropriate number of university officers to work the event.
    • e. Assistant Director of Student Engagement will notify the student organization of final approval.
    • Each student organization and its officers are primarily responsible for the behavior of its members and other persons who attend its sponsored events at which alcohol is being consumed. Behavior that violates university policy will subject the student organization, as well as its officers and members, to disciplinary action by the University. All organizations shall be responsible for ensuring that all members and/or guests follow all applicable laws and regulations of the state, county, city, and university.  Guests are to include both students of Georgia Southwestern State University and non-students (i.e. alumni and/or visitors of any sort). An organization may be required by the Assistant Director of Student Engagement to attend an ATOD Alcohol Education session in order to be given approval for social events.
  3. An officer or member of a university-chartered or registered organization shall not expect or direct, explicitly or implicitly, a prospective member to consume alcoholic beverages as part of a membership selection process, including, but not limited to, formal ritual or informal social activities. Such behavior is considered hazing of the most serious nature and will subject the organization, as well as its officers, to disciplinary action by the University. No alcohol shall be present during any organization's rituals. This is to include formal recruitment and initiation periods held by Greek-letter organizations.
  4. Student activity fund allocations are student-activity-generated monies and may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  5. Each organization is required to designate a Specific Risk Manager for each social event. It is this individual's responsibility to assure that the organization complies with all rules and regulations, including event registration, security policy, ID checks for underage participants, and to appoint designated drivers when necessary.
  6. The consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons of the legal drinking age will be permissible only for functions at which alcohol is not the focal point, reason for, or the "drawing card" for the event. Advertising for events at which alcohol will be consumed will not make reference to alcoholic beverages. Reference can be made, however, to the serving of food and alternative beverages, and checking of identification cards.
  7. The possession, sale, use, or consumption of alcoholic beverages while on  campus, on an organization's premises, during an organization's event, or the occurrence of any situation sponsored or endorsed by an organization must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws and regulations of the state, county, city, and Georgia Southwestern State University. This is to include planned and unplanned gatherings.
  8. The responsibilities of the student organization to uphold University regulations, the Student Code of Conduct, local, state, and federal laws are not negated by the requirement of the presence of contracted security officers. The student organization has primary responsibilities for upholding policies and monitoring the event with regard to alcohol, crowd behavior, and environmental noise problems. Any violation of University regulations, the Student Conduct Code, local, state, and federal laws must be reported to the Director of Campus Life immediately after the violation occurs.
  9. The organization sponsoring an event at which alcohol will be consumed will post notices at the event indicating the legal drinking age requirement and will verify, via a university student identification card or other official identification, the ages of all persons.
  10. If alcohol is found or present at an event, the officers of the sponsoring organization will ensure that no one under the legal drinking age possesses or consumes alcoholic beverages. During all social events the organization responsible for the event shall provide a clear and definitive method of identifying those members and /or guests that are of legal drinking age.
  11. At all events where participants of legal drinking age consume alcoholic beverages, the sponsoring organization will provide sufficient nonalcoholic beverages and food for all participants in the same general area and for the duration of the event.
  12. Any activity, especially those competitive in nature (e.g., drinking games or contests), contributing to the over-indulgence of alcohol by underage or legally-aged persons is prohibited. No member shall permit, tolerate, encourage or participate in the consumption of alcoholic beverages against another person's will.
  13. The officers of the sponsoring organization must intentionally advise a noticeably intoxicated person to refrain from further consumption of alcoholic beverages, from driving, and from any activity which is potentially harmful to the person or other persons. In addition, the officers and members of the sponsoring organization may not provide alcoholic beverages to any person who is noticeably intoxicated.  The officers and members are required to report any noticeably intoxicated person to the officers on duty at this event.
  14. Failure to comply with the guidelines stipulated in the Student Conduct Code may subject the sponsoring organization, as well as its officers and other student participants in the event, to disciplinary action.
M. ADDITIONAL POLICIES FOR GREEK-LETTER ORGANIZATIONS

New Member Program Guidelines

These guidelines were established to ensure that new member education enhances the academic progress of each Fraternity and Sorority member and assist their interpersonal development while providing the history and information necessary for viable membership in the Fraternity/Sorority Community.

  1. Every new member will receive a copy of the GSW's New Member Bill of Rights that shall be reviewed with him/her at the onset of the chapter’s new member orientation program. The New Member Bill of Rights Confirmation Form must be signed and filed with the Office of Campus Life within the first week of the new member program.
  2. Each chapter will uphold the GSW's Anti-Hazing Contract, educating all members on this policy at the onset of every new member program. Every member of the GSW Greek community is responsible for upholding a zero tolerance for hazing. The Anti-Hazing Contract Confirmation Form must be signed and filed with the Office of Campus Life within the first week of the new member program.
  3. New member programs may last no longer than ten weeks. All new member programs must be completed by the deadline established and announced by the Office of Campus Life each semester.
  4. Each chapter’s new member program must be submitted in writing and approved by the Office of Campus Life prior to bids being issued. A copy of this written program must be provided to each new member by his/her chapter at the onset of the new member program. Written programs must include all dates, beginning and ending times, locations and descriptions of each activity. This includes initiation date, time, and location.
  5. Any changes to new member calendars must be discussed with and approved by the Office of Campus Life at least 72 business hours in advance.
  6. New member activities must end no later than 11:00 PM Sunday – Thursday and 1:30 AM Friday and Saturday and may not start again till 8:00 AM Monday –Friday, and 9:30 AM Saturday and Sunday.
  7. For organizations with required study halls or study hours, flexibility must be given to those individuals who need to study alone, in the library computer lab, with a study group or in a separate location. Only academic coursework may be completed during required study halls (no fraternity/sorority information).
  8. Organizations wishing to hold new member activities including off-campus initiation, retreats or road trips, must have prior approval from the Office of Campus Life. Chapters wishing to hold overnights (on or off campus) as part of their program must file an Overnight Request Form and an Overnight Participant List with the Office of Campus Life no later than Tuesday for that weekend. Overnight activities may only occur on Fridays or Saturdays.
  9. All chapters must follow their own inter/national new member programs. In cases where GSW's and inter/national policies differ, GSW's policy will always take precedence.
  10. New member educators are encouraged to meet regularly with the Director of Campus  Life as well as their chapter’s faculty and chapter advisors for feedback.
  11. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Office of Campus Life in the SSC room 3411 or 229-931-2377.
  12. Roster Changes for Greeks: Rosters when submitted must reflect the roster that is turned into each organization’s National Office.  This will avoid confusion and guarantee that each Greek organizations roster is exactly the same.  Changes to the roster can be done throughout the semester, as long as said organization can show the roster their National Office has on file and that is current.
  13. Greek President’s Meetings are considered mandatory.  Absence from this meeting will result in a loss of social privileges for the remainder of the month until the next Greek President’s meeting.  Each academic year, the chapter can receive one excuse from not attending the Greek President’s meeting.  If the current Greek President cannot attend this meeting, it is the assumption they will send a member of the Executive Council in its place.  These meetings typically take place on the last Friday of the month at 10am in Student Life Conference room.
  14. Chapters should be familiarizing themselves with the GSW's Weathervane, specifically sections regarding Hazing and Greek Life. Chapters should also familiarize themselves with Georgia State Law and their own inter/national policies related to new member activities.

New Member Bill of Rights

There are a number of activities that are constructive parts of new member/ associate/ aspirant education and will contribute to your becoming a more active and productive member of your Greek organization. However, there are other activities in which you might be asked to take part that are a violation of inter/national fraternity and sorority regulations, Panhellenic, Interfraternity, National Pan-Hellenic regulations, and/or GSW policies. These activities constitute “hazing.”

Listed below is a New Member Bill of Rights that specifically outlines activities that fraternity or sorority members cannot require of you. If they do so, the fraternity or sorority and the individual member(s) in question are subject to severe penalties up to and including permanent removal of GSW recognition, suspension from GSW and possibly removal of the chapter’s charter. New members/associates/aspirants participating in “hazing” activities may also be subject to student conduct sanctions. Please study your rights and make certain that they are not violated. No new member/associate/aspirant shall be required by any person or persons to perform any act which:

  1. Interferes with the academic process – causes the pledge/new member/associate/aspirant to miss or be ill prepared for classes, labs, study sessions, or test,
  2. Causes the new member/associate/aspirant to violate GSW policies,
  3. Requires or pressures the new member/associate/aspirant to consume alcohol,
  4. Prevents the new member/associate/aspirant from securing normal amounts of sleep (no activities between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.),
  5. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to perform personal services for collegiate or alumni members (including, but not limited to, driving around members and/or their guests (including members of other organizations), “shopping” for members, etc.),
  6. Is sadistic -- treats the pledge/new member/associate/aspirant in a “sub-human” manner,
  7. Is illegal – including the use of drugs and alcohol,
  8. Is immoral,
  9. Places the new member/associate/aspirant in physical danger or in jeopardy of losing his or her life,
  10. Places severe emotional stress upon the new member/associate/aspirant,
  11. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to be present at activities for unreasonable periods of time,
  12. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to participate in a “Kangaroo” Court or other individual questioning activities,
  13. Prescribes the wearing of anything to identify new member/associate/aspirant status (this includes new member/associate or bid day T-shirts, or wearing of required clothing),
  14. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to carry items that they would not normally bear (including paddles, signature books, etc.),
  15. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to answer the telephone in a manner unlike a member would answer it,
  16. Prevents the new member/associate/aspirant from speaking for a period of time,
  17. Involves the abandonment of new member/associate/aspirant or active members thereby requiring them to find their own way back to campus,
  18. Requires the blindfolding of the new member/associate/aspirant (exceptions: during low ropes course with trained facilitator, or as prescribed in writing for inter/national ritual),
  19. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to stand when a collegiate or alumna/us member enters a room,
  20. Requires the new member/associate/aspirant to intentionally deface the house/chapter room/suite/apt. etc.; or requires the new member/associate/aspirant to clean the house/chapter room/suite/apt., etc. of others,
  21. Requires calling other new member/associate/aspirant “names”,
  22. Requires new member/associate/aspirant to enter the house/suite/building only from a specific door,
  23. Requires new member/associate/aspirant to eat meals together, attend unscheduled “call-down” meetings or sleep in the house/suite/apt. together for any length of time without written permission from GSW and inter/national office,
  24. Requires a new member/associate/aspirant to address or refer to members in a manner different from how they are addressed (i.e. Mr./Ms. Smith for initiates, Pledge Jean for new members),
  25. Requires new member/associate/aspirant to participate in scavenger hunts or similar activities by any name that involves taking of items, time deadlines, etc.

Greek Life Grade Policy

Greek Organizations are expected to maintain higher educational standards of academic progress and will be expected to maintain a Cumulative and Semester GPA of 2.25.  Organizations that miss one or both of GPA’s will be effected as follows.

1st Semester Below 2.25 Cumulative or Semester  =  Warning.  No sanctions will be issued, however, the Greek organization should concentrate on getting grades up with incentives or initiatives.  Chapters will need to contact the Assistant Director for Student Engagement for academic action plan. If the Greek organization falls below a cumulative and semester GPA during for their first semester, the Greek organization will lose one privilege.  Examples of privilege losses might include: Sports probation, loss of social events, implementing or instructing educational programs etc.
Organizations that are on any form or probation will remain on warning the following semester, assuming they have not incurred additional sanctions.

2nd Semester Below 2.25 Cumulative or Semester = Probation. A minimal loss of one privilege will occur.  If both cumulative and semester are below 2.25 a loss of two privileges will occur. Privilege losses will be decided by the Assistant Director of Student Engagement. Examples of privilege losses might include: sports probation, loss of social events, implementing or instructing educational programs etc.  Organizations that are on any form or probation will remain on warning the following semester, assuming they have not incurred additional sanctions.

3rd Semester Below 2.25. Cumulative or Semester =  Suspension.  This will result in a loss of all privileges.  Suspension shall be defined as the temporary loss of all membership privileges in the respective Greek Council, but all obligations of membership (payment of dues, attendance at meetings, compliance with all policies, etc.) remain. Organizations that are on any form or probation will remain on warning the following semester, assuming they have not incurred additional sanctions.

4th Semester Below 2.25 Cumulative or Semester = Expulsion until Grades remain above 2.25. Expulsion will result in loss of all privileges and status.  The Expelled Greek Organization will no longer be recognized at Georgia Southwestern State University. After a Greek Organization comes off of expulsion, said organization will be placed on a one semester of probation.  If the Greek Organization maintains a 2.25 GPA both semester and cumulative, then the Greek organization will be reinstated with all rights and privileges.

N.  POLICY CONCERNING AUXILIARY GROUPS
  1. No student organization may sponsor or support an auxiliary group in any form. An auxiliary group is defined as a supplemental group to an organization in which, for whatever reason, the participants are ineligible to become full members of the organization. These include, but are not limited to, the following: little sisters, big brothers, favorites, friends of the chapter, rush hostesses, etc.
  2. Student Organizations may not give out jerseys, t-shirts, etc. to any non-members that would imply auxiliary membership to that group. The following exceptions apply:
    • a. T-shirts given that commemorate a specific event (i.e. social, philanthropy, etc.)
    • b. The individual was chosen as that organization's sole sweetheart or homecoming representative.
  3. Composites of an organization may only contain active members, advisors and a sole Sweetheart/Beau. Organizations may not have special composites made featuring non-members of the organization.
  4. Under no circumstances will a rush, or recruitment activity, be held to recruit individuals for auxiliary organizations. This includes recruiting non-members to do things for the organization in exchange for some type of honor or recognition.
  5. Individuals who affiliate with auxiliary groups are also in violation of this policy and may be referred to the campus student conduct system.
O. POLICY ON POSTING OF INFORMATION

No signs or flyers are to be posted on building exteriors, glass or painted surfaces, wood or plaster walls, fixtures, or in any place or manner that defaces the surface used or makes the removal of the material difficult.

Notices may not be posted on stair rails or doors which block or obstruct one's view. Notices must carry the name of the organization or individual responsible for the removal of the notices. The University will allow no decorations within the circular drive in front of the Wheatley Administration Building or in front of the Education Center.

Signs must be properly placed and should not impair the safety of traffic or pedestrians. Organizations and/or individuals should be careful not to harm any campus property (including trees, flower beds, sprinkler systems, etc.) when placing signs. Should rain, wind, or other forces render a sign unreadable, or cause disrepair, the sign should be removed by the organization/individual that placed it within 24 hours following the damage.

Signs/Letters should be placed no more than seven days in advance of the advertised event and removed by the first weekday after the event has taken place. Signs/Letters not removed by the designated time may be subject to removal by physical plant or another member of the University staff. Offending individuals or organizations may be assessed a $25.00 fine per incident.

The University’s input regarding the relocation and timing of posting advertisements may be required in certain circumstances.

The University reserves the right to remove, or to request the removal of, any signs/ posters/advertisements.