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Student Code of Conduct Policies

Academic Integrity 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to uphold standards of the highest level of integrity.  Students are also responsible for making themselves aware of how the principles of academic integrity apply in each academic setting they enter. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

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but is not limited to, asking someone to write part or all of an assignment, copying someone else's work (published or unpublished), inadequately documenting research, downloading material from electronic sources without appropriate documentation, or representing others' works or ideas as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

  2. 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, out-of-class, or online exam. Examples of unauthorized help include using unauthorized books or notes in either hard copy or electronic form, viewing another student's exam, taking pictures of exams with cell phones or other electronic devices, accessing unauthorized browsers or software programs during an exam, 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. 

  3. 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.
     
  4. 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. 

  5. 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. 

 

Acts of Dishonesty 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to be a part of a community that creates a campus climate that supports excellence in teaching and learning, personal growth and development, and an atmosphere that is safe for, and respectful to, all students, faculty, and staff. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Furnishing false information to any University official, office, or other law enforcement officer. 

  2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any document, record, or instrument of identification, or possession of any false identification or identification belonging to another person with dishonest intent. 

  3. Lending, selling, or otherwise transferring a student identification card or any official University materials. 

  4. The use of a student identification card by anyone other than its original holder is prohibited. 

  5. No student or student group shall obtain under false pretenses any official University materials or student identification cards. 

  6. Causing, condoning, or encouraging the completion of any University record, document, or form dishonestly, including but not limited to omitting facts which are material for the purpose of which the record, document, or form is submitted. 

  7. Offering or causing to be offered any bribe or favor to a University official, office, or other law enforcement officer in order to influence a decision. 

  8. Tampering with the election of any University-recognized organization. 

  9. Casting or attempting to cast more than one ballot in any election or referendum on campus. 

 

 

Alcohol & Other Drug Related Misconduct 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to make responsible decisions regarding alcohol and drugs and contribute to positive and healthy campus environment.  

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages except as permitted by law or university policy. 

  2. Providing, distributing, selling, or facilitating the use or possession of alcoholic beverages except as permitted by law and university policy. 

  3. Disruptive or disorderly conduct caused by the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.
     
  4. Use or possession of narcotic or other controlled substances except as permitted by law and university policy. 

  5. Providing, distributing, selling, or facilitating the use or possession of narcotic or other controlled substances except as permitted by law and policy. 

 

Hazing 

Hazing is defined as any intentional, negligent or reckless action, activity or situation which causes another pain embarrassment, ridicule or harassment, regardless of the individual's willingness to participate. Such actions and situations include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  1. Forcing or requiring the drinking of alcohol or any other substance. 

  2. Forcing or requiring the consumption of food or any other substance. 

  3. Calisthenics (push-ups, sit-ups, jogging, runs, etc.) 

  4. Treeing 

  5. Paddle swats 

  6. Line-ups 

  7. Theft of any property 

  8. Road trips 

  9. Scavenger hunts 

  10. Causing fewer than six (6) continuous hours of sleep per night 

  11. Conducting activities which do not allow adequate time for study
     
  12. Nudity at any time 

  13. Running personal errands for the members (driving them to class, cleaning their individual rooms, serving meals, etc.) 

  14. Forcing or requiring the violation of University, Federal, State, or local law. 

  15. Any Physical Contact 

Participating in, condoning, encouraging, requiring, or allowing any opportunity for hazing is prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 

Hazing Public Disclosures

 
Disorderly Conduct 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to show respect and civility for each other and to adhere to community standards. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Intentional or reckless disruption or obstruction of teaching; research; administration; or other University activities, including its public service functions on or off campus or other authorized non-University activities taking place on University property with the exception of constitutionally protected freedom of speech and expression. 

  2. Conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes or provokes a disturbance that disrupts the academic pursuits, or infringes upon the rights, privacy, or privileges of another person. 

  3. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person, including but not limited to physical violence, abuse, intimidation, and/or coercion; or violation of a legal protective order.
     
  4. Failure to comply with directions of any University official, including student staff members, acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. 

  5. Participation in a campus demonstration that violates the University’s Policy on Freedom of Expression, intentionally or recklessly disrupts the normal operations of the University or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community. 

  6. Intentional or reckless obstruction, which unreasonably interferes with the freedom of movement of an individual or group. 

  7. Entering an athletic contest, dance, social or other event without the proper credentials for admission (ticket, identification, or invitation). 

  8. Circulation of any advertising media that violates the University’s Policy on Freedom of Expression, intentionally or recklessly disrupts the normal operations of the University or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community. 

  9. Any unauthorized use of electronic devices to make an audio or video recording of any person while on University premises without his/her prior knowledge or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, restroom, residence hall room, or other locations. 

  10. The use, possession, or storage of the following or similar devices is prohibited on ALL Georgia Southwestern property and in ALL GSW facilities: Hover boards, Segways, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, and other similar personal mobility devices (PMD’s). 

  11. Conducting, organizing, or participating in any activity involving games of chance or gambling except as permitted by law. 

  12. 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. 

 

Personal Safety 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to respect each other and the personal safety of all members of their community. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Physical abuse - Any attempt to cause injury or inflict pain or causing injury or inflicting pain. Also causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. It is not a defense that the person, group, or organization against whom the physical abuse was directed consented to, or acquiesced to, the physical abuse. 

  2. Harassment—Behavior that is severe, pervasive or persistent to a degree that a reasonable person similarly situated would be prevented from accessing an educational opportunity or benefit. This behavior includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, and coercion. In addition, harassment may be conducted by a variety of mediums, including but not limited to, physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic. 

    Discriminatory harassment against any person. Discriminatory harassment is defined as any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Harassment  sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance; create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or unreasonably interfere with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity. 

  3. Stalking - Behavior in which an individual willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly engages in a knowing course of conduct directed at a specific person, reasonably and seriously alarms, torments, and/or terrorizes the person; or substantially interferes with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education. 

  4. Threatening Behavior 

    Threat - Extreme written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property. 

    Intimidation - Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another. 

  5. Bullying - Defined as the use of repeated or severe verbal and/or non-verbal means in order to coerce or force a person to do something or to degrade a person, including, but not limited to, the use of taunting, teasing, or coercive language, pushing, punching, or creating threatening notes/letters/signs. 

  6. Cyberbullying - Defined as an act of bullying that takes place using different kinds of technology and social media. Using various types of electronic devices to inflict emotional and/or mental pain, and to degrade another person. 

  7. The physical abuse rule is not intended to prohibit the following conduct: 

    Customary public athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the University or the organized and supervised practices associated with such events; or 

    Any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum, a legitimate extracurricular program or a legitimate military training program as defined and approved by the University. 

 

Sexual Misconduct 

Georgia Southwestern State University is committed to ensuring a safe learning and working environment for all members of the GSW community.   

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.  Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following: 
     
    1. Invasion of sexual privacy; 
    2. Prostituting another individual; 
    3. Non-consensual photos, video, or audio of sexual activity; 
    4. Non-consensual distribution of photo, video, or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity was consensual; 
    5. Intentional observation of nonconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts; 
    6. Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual through sexual activity; 
    7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or 
    8. Sexually-based bullying. 

  2. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment or educational decisions; or is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from an institutional program or activity. 

  3. Sexual Misconduct: Includes, but is not limited to, such unwanted behavior as dating violence, domestic violence, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking. 

  4. Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with person’s property. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. 

 

Theft, Damage & Disregard for Property 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to respect the property and belongings of the university and of all members of that community. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Taking, attempting to take, or keeping in one’s possession any property or item, including but not limited to any tangible possession, information, or account, without proper authorization. 

  2. Malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction, or attempted damage or destruction, of any property or item, including but not limited to any tangible possession, information, or account.
     
  3. Selling or attempting to sell a textbook unless the seller is the owner of the textbook or has the permission of the owner to do so.
     
  4. Taking, attempting to take, or keeping items belonging to the library or items placed in the library for display. 

 

Fire Safety & Sanitation 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to behave as informed members of a community working together to provide a safe environment for everyone. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Misusing, damaging or tampering with fire safety equipment. 

  2. Setting or causing to be set any unauthorized fire.
     
  3. Possessing or using fireworks, explosives or other incendiary devices without authorization.
     
  4. Making or causing to be made a false fire alarm. 

  5. Intentionally or recklessly obstructing a fire exit in any University building.
     
  6. Failure to exit a University building when the fire alarm sounds. 

  7. Failure to maintain an organization’s facilities and/or surrounding property creating a potential danger to the health or safety of the occupants or other individuals. 

 

Weapons 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to respect the safety of their campus community and follow all federal, state, and system policies regarding weapons. 

Possessing a weapon on property owned or leased by GSW, except as specially provided by federal or state laws, is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.   

All exceptions to this policy are included in the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents Policy Manual 6.11.1 and can be found at the following link:   https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section6/C2675/ 

 

Unauthorized Entry or Use 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to be appropriately use campus facilities, resources, and services. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Unauthorized entry or attempted entry into any property, including but not limited to any building, office, or other facility, automobile, backpack, or account. 

  2. Making or attempting to make unauthorized use of any building, office, or other facility, information, or accounts. 

  3.  Unauthorized possession, use, or duplication of keys or other methods of controlled access (card, codes, etc.) 

 

Residential Living 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to actively engage in a community that fosters success by promoting a campus culture of safety and well-being. 

GSW residency requirement is four (4) semesters (fall/spring) for first-time and transfer students under 30 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.  

Residential contracts and policies apply to the Student Conduct Code.   

Any violation of the Policies of Residential Living prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 

 

Computer Use 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to appropriately use all computer and networks owned or operated by Georgia Southwestern.  Appropriate use includes actions that are legal, ethical, reflect academic honesty, reflect community standards, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.  Defined Computer and Network Acceptable Use Policy is found in the Student Handbook. 

 

Interference with the Orderly Operation of the Student Conduct Process 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to adhere to community standards of acceptable behavior and civic virtues outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. 

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct: 

  1. Unreasonably delaying the Student Conduct Process by failing to schedule or appear for a meeting as requested any staff member serving any role in the Student Conduct Process. 

  2. Intentionally providing false, distorted, or misrepresented information to any staff member serving any role in the Student Conduct Process or knowingly initiating a false complaint. 

  3. Disrupting the orderly operation of a conduct proceeding. 

  4. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the Student Conduct Process. 

  5. Harassing, intimidating, and/or retaliating against any staff member serving any role in the Student Conduct Process., Hearing Panel Member, reporting party, or any other individual associated with any report, investigation, informal or formal resolution, or proceeding under the Code of Conduct. 

  6. Failure to comply with the sanctions imposed under the Student Code of Conduct. 

  7. Repeated violations of published rules or regulations of the University, cumulatively indicating an unwillingness or inability to conform to the institution's standards for student life. 

 

Complicity 

Georgia Southwestern State University student organizations are expected to behave collectively and individually in ways that uphold the mission of the University. 

  1. Acting in concert to violate University conduct regulations.
     
  2. Knowingly condoning, encouraging, or requiring behavior that violates University conduct regulations.
     
  3. Allowing, condoning, permitting or providing opportunity for a guest to violate University conduct regulations. 

 

 Violations of any University Rules or Procedures 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to follow all University policies, contracts and regulations.  Such rules include, but not limited to, residence hall contracts and policies, NCAA regulations, rules relating to entry and use of university facilities, university motor vehicle rules, and rules governing intramural sports, and dining hall contract. 

 

Retaliation 

Georgia Southwestern State University students are expected to respect the Student Conduct process and the rights of all others as a part of the process.   

Retaliation is prohibited and constitutes a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 

Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person who files a complaint and/or a person who supports, assists, a person who files a complaint, and/or provides relevant information to the complaint. Retaliatory actions include, but are not limited to, threats or actual violence against the person or their property, adverse educational or employment consequences, ridicule, intimidation, bullying or ostracism. 

 

Updated 8/11/2021