AA. DUE PROCESS
Georgia Southwestern State University students whose activities may subject them to disciplinary action shall be afforded due process in accordance with Constitutional requirements and with the principles and procedures outlined below:
1.) The student shall be notified in writing that they are accused of a violation. Notice may be delivered in person, sent to the campus mailing address, sent to the home/permanent address [address on file with the Registrar’s Office], and/or sent to any class for which the student is enrolled. The notice shall detail the charges made and the rights of the accused student.
2.) The student has the right to attend classes and required University functions until the hearing is held and a decision is rendered. Exceptions will be made (1) when a student's physical or emotional safety and well-being are endangered; (2) when the general safety of students, faculty or University property is endangered; and (3) when the orderly progression of the educational objectives of the institution may be disrupted.
3.) In each case involving possible suspension or expulsion from the University, with the exception of cases involving academic dishonesty, the hearing shall be conducted by the designated Judicial Officer or by the Faculty-Student Judiciary. For cases involving academic integrity, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall administer the policy outlined in the University Bulletin. Infractions of the Student Conduct Code that do not involve possible suspension or expulsion shall be addressed by appropriate Student Affairs staff or the appropriate Judiciary. In such a case, the hearing officer or group shall, at least forty-eight hours in advance of the hearing, notify the student in writing concerning the following:
a. The date, time, and place of the hearing, and the person or group to conduct the hearing.
b. Specific charges for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
c. The names of the witnesses scheduled to testify.
4. The student is expected to notify parents or guardians as to the seriousness of the matter; those persons may request a conference with University officials.
5. The student has the right to waive a hearing and consent to sanctions.
6. The student shall be entitled to appear in person at the hearing and to present his or her information including relevant witnesses approved by the University official or judicial body hearing the case at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. The student also may elect not to appear before the University official or judicial body. Should one elect not to appear, the hearing shall be held in his or her absence.
7. The student shall be entitled to select an advisor (who must be a student, staff or faculty member of the University). The advisor, upon request of the student, may:
a. Advise the student/organization's representative in the preparation and presentation of a defense.
b. Accompany the student/organization's representative to all discipline hearings.
c. Advise the student/organization's representative in the preparation of appeals, if needed.
d. The advisor shall not assume responsibility for conducting the defense of the accused student/organization; the advisor may assist the student/organization's representative in addressing the hearing body, but may not cross-examine witnesses or answer questions directed to the student.
8. The student shall be entitled to ask relevant questions of the University official, of the judicial body, or of any witnesses.
9. The decision reached at the hearing shall be communicated in writing to the student or organization's representative within five business days after the conclusion of the hearing and summary of the evidence. The University reserves the right to communicate such information to the student's parents or guardian.
10. A tape recording or summary transcript of the proceedings shall be kept and made assessable to the student upon request should the case involve possible suspension or expulsion for the sole purpose of appealing a decision of suspension or expulsion.
11. The deliberations phase of judicial hearings are confidential and not tape recorded.
12. The student shall be notified in writing of the right to appeal a decision of suspension or expulsion. Should a student appeal to the President of the University, any action assessed by another university official or judicial body shall be withheld pending disposition of the appeal. Student Organizations, however, are not able to appeal any decision relative to outcomes from any level of campus judiciaries. While firmly committed to the concept of due process, the University recognizes the fact that the student may be accused of on-campus or off-campus offenses that, by their nature, would present a clear and present danger of serious physical or mental harm to the students or to another member of the University community or to University property. In such case, the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her appointee may impose the necessary
temporary sanctions, pending a hearing. Further, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or his or her appointee, shall have power to impose such temporary sanctions, pending the outcome of a hearing, when a student or student group engages in conduct that presents a clear and present danger to the freedoms and rights of other members of the University community in any manner whatsoever, or which may otherwise interfere with in the operation of the University.
BB. JUDICIAL PROCESSES
1. The two judicial bodies of the University are the Faculty-Student Judiciary and the Student Judiciary. Composition of the judicial bodies shall be as
a. The Faculty-Student Judiciary of Georgia Southwestern State University shall consist of seven members, of whom four shall be faculty members appointed by the President of the University and three shall be regularly enrolled students appointed by the President of the University upon recommendation of the President of The Student Government and the Judicial Officer of the University. All appointments shall be for one-year terms, but members shall be eligible for reappointment provided that no faculty member shall serve longer than five consecutive years. None of the committee members shall be officers or members of any institutional governing council. These committee members shall be selected as early as possible each Fall Semester and shall serve until the appointments for the succeeding year become effective. Members of the Faculty-Student judiciary shall select one of their own members to act as the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall set the time and place for hearings referred to the Faculty-Student Judiciary by the Judicial Officer and shall notify involved judicial board members. The Judicial Officer, with the assistance of appropriate Student Affairs personnel will notify accused individuals, witnesses, or organizations as outlined in AA. Decisions by the Faculty-Student Judiciary shall be made by majority vote.
b. The Student Judiciary of Georgia Southwestern State University shall consist of nine members, the Chief Justice, who is the Vice President of Academic Affairs of The Student Government Association, and eight students nominated by The Student Government and appointed by the President of Georgia Southwestern State University. The Student Judiciary may be utilized at the discretion of the Judicial Officer in hearing non-suspendable matters. Decisions by the Student Judiciary shall be made by majority vote.
c. Faculty Subcommittee on Student Discipline: This subcommittee should consist of 3 faculty members and 2 students. The members of this Committee should not be serving on either of the above Judiciaries [neither the Faculty/Student Judiciary nor the Student Judiciary. The President shall appoint the members of this Sub-Committee at the beginning of the Fall semester, with the assistance of the Judicial Officer, if desired. The purpose of this subcommittee is to review and handle appeal cases submitted to the President’s Office, if the President grants the appeal. The appeals process is outlined in section DD.
2. Each judicial body shall formulate its rules and policies of procedure within the guidelines specified within this document.
a. Preliminary investigations of charges against students shall be conducted by the University Judicial Officer or his/her designee who will
render a decision as to whether the alleged infraction is of a serious enough nature to warrant possible suspension or expulsion.
b. If suspension or expulsion is a possible penalty, the hearing shall be conducted by the Judicial Officer or by the Faculty/Student Judiciary.
c. Any member of a judicial body shall disqualify himself/herself if his/her personal involvement in the case is of such a nature as to prevent a fair and impartial hearing.
3. Appeals involving traffic fines must be entered at the Public Safety Office within three days (excluding weekends and holidays) of issuance of citation and shall be heard by the Student Judiciary when in session. If the Student Judiciary is not in session, the appeal will be heard by the Judicial Officer. Decisions in traffic appeals shall be final.
CC. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
Upon finding that a student or student organization has violated a code of conduct, the appropriate University official or judiciary body may apply one
or more disciplinary measures within the restrictions provided in stated rules and procedures. The severity of the sanction shall be consistent
with the nature of the offense. For students:
1. Expulsion: permanent disciplinary removal of the student from the University. During an expulsion period, a student may not visit the campus for reasons other than clarification of academic or behavior record.
2. Probated Expulsion: notice that further major violation(s) of University policy shall result in expulsion.
3. Suspension: mandatory disciplinary removal of the student from the University for a specified period of time. During a suspension period, a student may not visit the campus for reason other than clarification of academic or behavior record. No transfer credit from another institution which is earned during the suspension period will be accepted as credit toward a degree at Georgia Southwestern State University.
4. Probated Suspension: notice that further violation(s) of University policy shall result in suspension or expulsion. This sanction may be accompanied by the restrictions and restitutions as defined below.
5. Disciplinary Probation: notice to the student that further disciplinary violations(s) may result in suspension or expulsion; this disciplinary measure
also may include one or more of the following: Placing the student under social or behavioral restrictions; making restitution to the appropriate person, group, or office whose property rights have been violated by the offender; and performing community service in support of a university program or project. This sanction is assigned a specified period of time.
a. Restriction: exclusion from participation in social and recreational activities, relocation of privileges available to Georgia Southwestern
State University students, exclusion from representing the University in any official capacity, or from holding office in student organizations.
b. Restitution: reimbursement for damage or destruction of property, as determined and stipulated by the University.
c. Community Service: assignment to work a specific number of hours on a university program or project within a specific time frame; the assignment must be related to the nature of the violation.
d. Referral for professional assessment to the Counseling Center, Georgia Office of Highway Safety Programming Coordinator, other campus entities, or off campus professionals or organizations.
6. Disciplinary Warning: a written reprimand regarding behavior that violates the Student Conduct Code or University policy, which can include restriction, restitution or community service as defined above. This sanction is assigned a specified period of time.
7. Fine: In the case of traffic violations and library fines, the imposition of such fines as may be reasonable and necessary; the fine schedule is published in the Georgia Southwestern State University Weathervane and the Campus Safety Traffic Regulations booklet.
8. Mandatory withdrawal from the course and/or department within which the offense occurred; credit for the course may or may not be recorded.
9. Residence Hall Suspension: Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return.
Conditions for readmission may be specified.
10. Residence Hall Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
For Student Organizations
1. Revocation of Recognition: permanent severance of the student organization's relationship with the University.
2. Probated Revocation of Recognition: notice that further major violation(s) of University policy shall result in revocation of recognition. This sanction may be accompanied by restriction, restitution, and/or community service described in 5. below.
3. Suspension of Recognition: severance of the student organization's recognition by the University for a specific period of time. This sanction may be accompanied by restriction, restitution, and/or community service described in 5. below.
4. Probated Suspension: notice that further violation(s) of University policy shall result in suspension. This sanction may be accompanied by restriction, restitution, and/or community service described in 5. below.
5. Disciplinary Probation: notice to the student organization that further disciplinary violation(s) may result in suspension; this disciplinary measure
also may include one or more of the following:
placing the student organization under social or behavioral restrictions; making restitution to the student(s), student organization(s), or university body whose property rights have been violated; and performing community service in support of a University program or project.
a. Restriction: exclusion from participation in or sponsoring of social and recreational activities or privileges available to recognized student
organizations or to Georgia Southwestern State University students, or from holding office in recognized student organizations.
b. Restitution: reimbursement for damage or destruction of property, as determined and stipulated by the University.
c. Community Service: assignment to work a specific number of hours on a University program or project; the assignment must be related to the nature of the violation, as determined by the hearing official or body.
6. Disciplinary Warning: a written reprimand regarding behavior that violates the Student Conduct Code or University policy, which can include restriction, restitution or community service as defined in Article XIV.B.
7. Notification of regional or national officers of the action taken by the University and entry into the record of the student organization.
8. Fine: In addition to the preceding disciplinary measures, appropriate fines may be imposed by the proper authority based on the severity of the
There is no appeal for a sanction less than suspension or expulsion.
1. Each appeal from decisions in hearings before the Faculty-Student Judiciary or any university official (who assesses either suspension or expulsion sanctions only) shall be directed in writing to the President of the University within five class days after notification of the hearing out come. The President shall refer the facts and circumstances of the case to the Faculty Subcommittee on Student Discipline, who will hear the appeal and transmit an advisory opinion. The President shall schedule the review 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 by the Faculty Subcommittee on Student Discipline.
2. The student may appeal on grounds that the evidence was not sufficient to prove guilt, or on other specified relevant grounds that the sanction was too severe. In either case the student shall submit, in clearly written statements to the President, his or her reasons for appeal.
3. The President of the University shall be given all documents pertaining to the proceedings in the hearing by the Judicial Officer or appropriate university personnel.
4. When the President of the University has rendered in writing an adverse decision on any appeal, the student will be considered to have exhausted all recourse at the local level. Any expulsion or suspension shall become effective at this time even though an appeal may be taken to the Board of Regents; but if the Regents should uphold the student, he or she will be restored to enrollment without prejudice. Section 407.01 of the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia says Appeals: Whenever an applicant for admission to any institution shall be denied admission or shall feel that his application has not been given due consideration, or whenever a student shall be
expelled or suspended, such applicants or student shall have the right to appeal in accordance with the following procedure:
a. The person aggrieved shall appeal in writing to the head of the institution within five class days after the action of which he complains.
The head of the institution shall within five class days appoint a committee composed of three members of the faculty of the institution, or he shall utilize the services of an appropriate existing committee. This committee shall review all facts and circumstances connected with the case and shall within five days make its findings and report thereon to the President. After consideration of the committee's report, the President shall within five days make a decision which shall be final so far as the institution is concerned.
b. Should the aggrieved person be dissatisfied with said decision, he may apply to the Board of Regents, without prejudice to his position, for a review of the decision. The application for review shall be submitted in writing to the executive secretary of the Board within a period of twenty class days, following the decision of the President. This application for review by the Board is not a matter of right, but is within the sound discretion of the Board. If the application for review is granted, the Board, or a committee of the Board, shall investigate the matter thoroughly and render its decision thereon within sixty days from the filing date of the application for review or from the date of any hearing that may be held thereon. The decision of the Board shall be final and binding for all purposes.
5. The decision of the Judicial Officer or the judiciary body, as specified in its policies and procedures, shall be final in cases not involving expulsion
or suspension; there is no appeal for a sanction other than suspension or expulsion.
6. Findings and sanctions for student organizations are final; there is no process for appeals.
EE. Mediation Process
In cases where there is no clear violation of the Student Conduct Code, but there is a conflict between two or more students or student groups, students may choose to go through the mediation process. Mediation is defined as a structured and voluntary intervention in which an impartial and neutral third party helps facilitate a mutually agreeable settlement of a conflict between two students. It is the responsibility of the students involved in the conflict to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The role of the mediator is to assist students in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement, help identify the issues involved in the conflict and to facilitate a resolution of the conflict. It is important to note that mediation should not be viewed as a means to avoid being charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code and should not be used in place of the judicial process. It is simply an alternative strategy used to address student behaviors that may not require formal judicial intervention.
Not all conflicts are appropriate for mediation. Violations of the Georgia Southwestern State University Weathervane may not be subject to mediation. Mediation is not designed to resolve conflicts between students and professional staff or between students and faculty members. The following represents conditions in which mediation may be used. It is, however, not an all inclusive list.
a. If it were determined that it would be in the best interest of the students to mediate the conflict.
b. If it is clear that students cannot work together because of a conflict.
c. If academic performance is negatively impacted because of a conflict.
d. If one student complains about another student’s behavior, but does not want to pursue formal judicial action.
e. If a student’s learning experience or personal development is in jeopardy.
The procedures for mediation are:
a. Students must meet with the designated Student Affairs official, for an in take process. At that time, it will be determined if the case is
appropriate for the mediation process. In addition to mediation, any information provided that indicates a clear violation of the Student Conduct Code, will result in a judicial hearing.
b. Once the designated Student Affairs official determines that this case can be mediated, the student(s) choose a mediator from a list of university officials that have been trained in mediation or are assigned an off-campus mediator from the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
c. Both students must agree to participate in mediation.
d. The mediator and the students will sign a written contract outlining agreed upon behavior.
e. A violation of the contract may result in formal judicial procedures.