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.