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Student Code of Conduct

Georgia Southwestern State University Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities aims to promote a campus environment that supports the overall educational mission of the University, to protect the University community from disruption and harm, to encourage appropriate standards of individual and group behavior, and to foster ethical standards and civic virtues.  In order to achieve the environment and educational goals of the University and to protect the rights and privileges of its students, the University has adopted a Student Code of Conduct for individuals and organizations and has established a Student Conduct Process. 

This Student Code of Conduct provides information to students and organizations about their rights and responsibilities as members of the University community. All procedures for responding to possible violations of policies, including specifics of the Student Conduct Process, a listing of possible sanctions, and the appeals procedures are included in the Student Code of Conduct. These procedures promote due process and fundamental fairness to all involved in the University’s Student Conduct Process.  The GSW Student Conduct Code ensures compliance with the procedural standards outlined the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regent’s Policy Manual 4.6.5 Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings and 6.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Resources

Student Code of Conduct Policies

Student Conduct Procedures

Academic Integrity Procedures

TItle IX - Sexual Misconduct and Procedure

Contact

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Travis Crafter
Coordinator of Student Rights and Responsibilities

229-931-2676
travis.crafter@gsw.edu

University Authority

Generally, policies contained in this Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct which occurs on University premises and to conduct which occurs while a student is attending or participating in any University-related activity, wherever that activity may take place.  Additionally, as standards for University students and organizations are higher than those not a part of the University community, any behavior, on or off University premises, is subject to action under this Student Code of Conduct. Students and organizations are expected to abide by the conduct regulations in this Student Code of Conduct, both on and off campus, and acknowledge the University’s authority to take action to address behavior incongruent with these policies, wherever that behavior may occur.

Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between semesters of actual enrollment. The Student Code shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.

Resolutions of the University’s Student Conduct Process neither establish nor are based upon precedent.  Matters of local, state or federal law are independent of the Student Conduct Process. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be instituted against students charged with a violation of a municipal, state, or federal law when the alleged conduct is also a violation of this Code. Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. 

The Vice President for Student Engagement and Success (VPSES) or his/her designee is responsible for the Student Conduct Code development and administration.  The VPSES’s primary designee shall be the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities may designate hearing officer(s) as outlined in procedures. The Title IX Coordinator works in conjunction with the VPSES and Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  

Decisions about the timing of specific actions will be made by the Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities or Title IX Coordinator based on the status of the evidence and other relevant case factors.

Definitions

  • Hearing Officer refers to any person or persons authorized to preside over hearings
  • Advisor refers to the individual who assists a student or organization during the Student Conduct Process. 
  • Business day refers to any day on which the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is open to the general public.
  • Charge indicates that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration into possible violation of student conduct code.
  • Complainant is the student or student organization that brings forth a complaint against another student or student organization regarding a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. There is often a Complainant in a cases involving sexual misconduct or others cases where alleged actions of the Respondent have violated the rights of another student or organization. Some cases will not have a Complainant.
  • Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities is that person designated by the University to be responsible for administration of the University’s Student Conduct Process.
  • Faculty member refers to any person hired by the University and any or all extended campuses to conduct classroom activities.
  • Hearing Officer refers to any person authorized by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or Title IX Coordinator to conduct a hearing. The hearing officer may serve as a single administrator who hears a case or, or as an administrator presiding over a Hearing Panel.
  • Hearing Panel refers to the group of faculty and staff members who hear cases of alleged student misconduct within the formal hearing process. There are two hearing panels at GSW: Student Misconduct Hearing Panel and the Academic Integrity Board.
  • Investigator refers to any person or persons authorized by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities or the Title IX Coordinator to conduct investigations of alleged violation(s) of conduct regulation(s) prior to a formal hearing.
  • Joint hearing refers to a hearing in which two or more students or organizations are charged with violating one or more conduct regulations pertaining to the same incident.
  • May is used in the permissive sense.
  • Member of the University Community includes any person who is a student, faculty member, University official or any other person employed by the University, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or as applicable, the Title IX Coordinator. 
  • Organization and Student Organization refer to any number of students who have complied with the requirements for University registration or any number of students who act as an organization as determined by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Student organizations that are referred to the Student Conduct Process will be represented by the president of that organization. The president may designate another active member to be the representative in their place.
  • Policy is defined as any written rule or regulation of the University.
  • Preponderance of the evidence means evidence that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it is more likely than not that the act in question did occur.
  • Prior record refers to all information related to any Student Code of Conduct violations(s) that occurred and were resolved prior to the incident in question.
  • Respondent refers to the student or student organization that has been charged with an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Shall and will are used in the imperative sense.
  • Student includes all persons registered at the University and all affiliated campuses pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, individuals admitted to the University and all affiliated campuses that have attended orientation or otherwise been cleared to register, and individuals who are not registered but are eligible to register without applying for readmission. An individual who registers for a semester and then withdraws, or is withdrawn, is considered a student for that semester.
  • Title IX Coordinator is that person designated by the University to be responsible for monitoring and overseeing Title IX compliance at the University, to include coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of grievance procedures for faculty, staff, students and other members of the University community.
  • University refers to the Georgia Southwestern and any or all extended campuses.
  • University official includes any person assigned administrative, professional or staff responsibilities for the University and any or all affiliated campuses.
  • University premises includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the University including adjacent streets and sidewalks.