The browser you are using is out of date and may not support all of the features of this website. Please update your browser to a modern browser that supports HTML5.

 

  1. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES POLICY
  2. DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
  3. DISORDERLY ASSEMBLY
  4. DISORDERLY CONDUCT
  5. STUDENT HOUSING
  6. DRUGS
  7. FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS
  8. EXPLOSIVES
  9. FIRE SAFETY
    1. WEAPONS (Other Than Firearms)
    2. FIREARMS OR GUNS
  10. HAZING
  11. JOINT RESPONSIBILITY FOR INFRACTIONS
  12. STUDENT IDENTIFICATION CARDS
  13. THEFT
  14. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OR USE OF UNIVERSITY FACILITIES
  15. GAMBLING
  16. SMOKING
  17. STUDENT ELECTIONS
  18. REPEATED VIOLATIONS
  19. VIOLATION OF OUTSIDE LAW
  20. CONTEMPT
  21. FAILURE TO COMPLY
  22. STUDENT CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS
  23. CONDUCT BOARDS
  24. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
  25. APPEALS
  26. AA. RECUSAL/CHALLENGE FOR BIAS
    BB. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
    CC. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY
    DD. MEDIATION PROCESS

 

The Student Conduct Code is a listing of responsibilities for students at Georgia Southwestern State University. The violation of any item in this section represents an offense and could lead to disciplinary action by the University. The written expectation for student conduct in no way removes or reduces the responsibility of each student's observance of regulations and sanctions established by university officials in such areas as financial responsibility to the University, library, residence halls, parking, etc. All violations of the Student Conduct Code should be reported within 15 business days to appropriate personnel. This time limit does not apply to sexual misconduct violations.

The Georgia Southwestern State University Student Conduct Code shall apply to conduct that occurs on University premises and at University-sponsored activities. The Student Conduct Code shall also apply to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives, or pertains to a specific Student Conduct Code. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for 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. Any activity that occurs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YikYak or any other social-networking website also falls within the jurisdiction of the Student Conduct Code.

 

A. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES POLICY

  1. Alcoholic beverages may only be possessed or consumed on campus by students of the legal drinking age and only in the privacy of the individual’s residence hall room or at an event that has been approved through the Director of Campus Life’s office.
  2. Possession, use, or consumption of alcohol when under the legal drinking age is not permitted by state law or university policy.
  3. No student or student group shall furnish or cause to be furnished any alcoholic beverage to any person under the legal drinking age.
  4. No student or student group shall furnish or cause to be furnished any alcoholic beverage to any person in a state of noticeable intoxication.
  5. The transportation of all alcoholic beverages on campus shall be in unopened, wrapped or bagged containers. 
  6. Each student is completely liable for all of his or her own actions at all times  regardless of his or her mental or physical state, even if altered by alcoholic beverages.
  7. Driving while intoxicated is a violation of federal and state laws.
  8. Public drunkenness is prohibited.
  9. Students who have consumed alcoholic beverages and who are involved in disruptive activities at public functions or in public places must leave the area  upon request of a university official. Failure to comply may subject the student to disciplinary action or arrest.

B. DAMAGE TO PROPERTY

Malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction of property belonging to the University; items leased, rented or placed on campus at the request of the institution; or items belonging to students, faculty, staff, or guests is prohibited. Students are obligated to pay for all property damage caused by improper use or carelessness.

C. DISORDERLY ASSEMBLY

  1. No student or student group shall assemble on campus for the purpose of creating riot, destruction, or disorderly diversion that interferes with the operation of the University. This section should not be construed so as to deny any students the right of peaceful, non disruptive assembly.
  2. No student or group of students shall obstruct the free movement of other persons about the campus or interfere with the use of University facilities and the normal operation of the University.
  3. The abuse or unauthorized use of sound amplification equipment indoors or outdoors is prohibited.  Any use of sound amplification equipment must be approved by the Director of Campus Life.

D. DISORDERLY CONDUCT

  1. Disorderly or obscene conduct or breach of the peace on university property, or at any function sponsored or supervised by the University or any recognized university organization, is prohibited.
  2. Physical assault, sexual assault, and stalking are prohibited.
  3. Conduct or expressions which harass, demean, degrade, intimidate, or discriminate against an individual or a group of persons at the University are prohibited.
  4. Conduct on university property, or at functions sponsored or supervised by the University or any recognized university organization, that interferes with the normal operation of the University is prohibited.
  5. No student shall enter or attempt to enter any dance, social, athletic, or other events sponsored or supervised by the University or any recognized university organization without the credentials for admission (ticket, identification card, invitation, etc) or in violation of any reasonable qualifications established for attendance, by the sponsors.
  6. Conduct or expressions which are obscene or which are patently offensive to the prevailing standards of an academic community are prohibited.
  7. No student or student group shall interfere with or fail to cooperate with any properly- identified university faculty, administration, or staff personnel (including student staff members) while these persons are in the performance of their duties.
  8. No student shall recklessly drive or operate any vehicle on campus.
  9. Any behavior that disrupts the learning environment in classrooms, residence halls, or any other facility is prohibited.  This includes behavior on email, GeorgiaView, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, You Tube, Lifesize Video, Proctor U or any academic-related or social internet activity.
  10. No student shall act in a manner that can reasonably be expected to disturb the academic pursuits or infringe upon the privacy, rights, privileges, health, or safety of other persons.
  11. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian of vehicular traffic on University premises or at a University sponsored function is prohibited.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).

E. STUDENT HOUSING

Students shall abide by all policies and procedures published by the Residence Life Office and the Department of Auxiliary Services.

F. DRUGS

The possession, use (without valid medical or dental prescription), manufacturing, distribution, furnishing, or sale of any narcotic or dangerous drug controlled by federal or Georgia law is prohibited. Drug paraphernalia is also prohibited.

G. FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS

  1. No student shall alter, counterfeit, forge, or cause to be altered, counterfeited, or forged, any records, form or document used by or submitted to the University; nor shall any student knowingly use any such altered, counterfeited, or forged record, form, or document.
  2. Giving false or misleading information to any university official or to an official hearing body is prohibited. This includes both oral and written information, including all forms and documents.

H. EXPLOSIVES

No student shall possess, furnish, sell, or use explosives of any kind on university property or at functions sponsored or supervised by the University or any recognized university organization.

I. FIRE SAFETY

  1. No student or student group shall tamper with fire safety equipment.
  2. The unauthorized possession, sale, furnishing, or use of any incendiary device is prohibited.
  3. No student or student group shall set, attempt to set, or cause to be set, any unauthorized fire or explosion in or on university property.
  4. The possession or use of fireworks on university property or at events sponsored or supervised by the University or any recognized university organization is prohibited. Fireworks are defined as any substance prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, or detonation.
  5. No student or student group shall make or cause to be made a false fire alarm.
  6. All occupants of a building must leave the building whenever the fire alarm sounds.

J. a. WEAPONS (Other Than Firearms)

Students are prohibited from possession of weapons on university property, including those in vehicles, or at events sponsored or supervised by the University or by any recognized university organization. The possession or use of any other offensive weapons is prohibited.

The exception to this policy based on House Bill 792 is that electroshock weapons are allowed to be in possession on campus.  They are only allowed to be used as a means of defense.

J. b.  FIREARMS OR GUNS

It is against University policy for any person to carry or possess any firearm, handgun or long gun at any school function on or off campus, on University property, Georgia Southwestern State University Foundation property, or any property leased or operated by Georgia Southwestern State University. This includes persons who are licensed weapon holders, whether concealed or in open view.

The exception to this policy is for a person holding a valid license to keep a gun in a locked compartment or firearm rack in his vehicle  while parked on campus or when transiting through campus. 

K. HAZING

Georgia Southwestern State University does not condone hazing in any form. 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

L. JOINT RESPONSIBILITY FOR INFRACTIONS

  1. Students or student groups who knowingly act in concert to violate university regulations have individual and joint responsibility for such violation, and such concerted acts are prohibited.
  2. Students or student groups are responsible for the conduct of their guests on or in University property and at functions sponsored by the University or any registered University organization.

M. STUDENT IDENTIFICATION CARDS

  1. Lending, selling, or otherwise transferring a student identification card or any official University materials is prohibited.
  2. The use of a student identification card by anyone other than its original holder is prohibited.
  3. No student or student group shall obtain under false pretenses any official University materials or student identification cards.

N. THEFT

  1. No student shall sell a textbook that is not her/his own without written permission of the owner.
  2. Without proper authorization, no student or student group shall take, attempt to take, or keep in her/his possession items of university property; items or services rented, leased, or placed on campus at the request of the institution; or items belongings to faculty, students, staff, student groups, or visitors to the campus.

O. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY OR USE OF UNIVERSITY FACILITIES

  1. No student or student group shall make or attempt to make unauthorized entry into any university building, office, or other facility; nor shall any person remain without authorization in any building after normal closing hours.
  2. No student or student group shall make or attempt to make unauthorized use of any university facility.
  3. Being in the living quarters, hallways, or common area of a residence hall at a time not specified for visitation or without being escorted by a resident of that hall is prohibited.

P. GAMBLING

The playing of cards or any other game of skill or chance for money or other items of value is prohibited.

Q. SMOKING

In accordance with Board of Regents’ Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus Policy for all University System of Georgia institutions:

  1. 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.
  2. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in all vehicles—private or public—located on GSW properties.
  3. Advertising, sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on GSW properties, unless specifically stated for research purposes, is prohibited. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, all areas indoors and outdoors and buildings and parking lots owned, leased, rented, or otherwise used by GSW.
  4. All events hosted by a GSW shall be tobacco-free. All events hosted by outside groups on behalf of GSW shall also be tobacco-free.
  5. This policy applies to all persons who enter the areas described above, including but not limited to: students, faculty, staff, contractors and subcontractors, spectators, and visitors. 

R. STUDENT ELECTIONS

  1. No student shall cast or attempt to cast more than one ballot in any election or referendum conducted on campus.
  2. No student or student group shall interfere with any election held on campus. 

S. REPEATED VIOLATIONS

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, are prohibited.

T. VIOLATION OF OUTSIDE LAW

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 Affairs or his/her designee.

U. CONTEMPT

  1. All students shall fully comply with the instruction of the hearing officers and panels of the Georgia Southwestern State University student conduct system.
  2. No student shall commit perjury.
  3. No student shall engage in conduct that disrupts the proceedings of the Georgia Southwestern State University student conduct system or otherwise obstructs justice or abuses the student conduct system on this campus. Abuse of the  student conduct system, includes, but is not limited to:
    • a. Intentionally submitting a false complaint.
    • b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a  student conduct board or hearing officer.
    • c. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a student conduct proceeding.
    • d. Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct system.
    • e. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a student conduct board or Student Conduct Officer prior to, and/or during the course of, a conduct proceeding.
    • f. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a student conduct board of Student Conduct Officer prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct proceeding.
    • g. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct system.
    • h.  Retaliation for anyone who reports student misconduct, participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation.

V. FAILURE TO COMPLY

Failure to pay fines, make restitution, complete assigned sanctions, follow instructions given by university personnel while officially performing duties associated with their position, or observe restrictions imposed as a result of a disciplinary hearing shall subject the student to further, more severe, disciplinary action.

W. STUDENT CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS

Georgia Southwestern State University students whose activities may subject them to disciplinary action shall be afforded due process as outlined in the Standards of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regent’s Policy Manual, 4.6.5. Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings.

All student misconduct reports or complaints other than those of academic integrity (See Section BB.) and sexual misconduct (See section CC.) will follow the following procedures:

    1.  Regardless of how an institution becomes aware of misconduct, it shall ensure a prompt, fair, and impartial review and resolution of complaints alleging student misconduct. The Student Conduct Officer shall review the complaint to determine whether the allegation(s) describes conduct in violation of the code of conduct.  If the reported conduct would not be a violation, then the report should be dismissed. Otherwise, a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation and review shall be conducted into each complaint received to determine whether charges against the accused student should be brought.  Unrelated charge and case shall be investigated separately, unless the accused student consents to having them aggregated.
    2.  Complaints to the appropriate department and/or person(s) should include as much information as possible such as: (1) the type of misconduct alleged; (2) the name and contact information of the accused student; (3) the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the misconduct; (4) the name(s) and contact information of any individual(s) with knowledge of the incident; (5) whether any tangible evidence has been preserved; and (6) whether a criminal complaint has been made.  Information from complaint may be shared as necessary to investigate and to resolve he alleged misconduct.  The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act shall be assessed in compliance with federal law
    3. Requests for confidentiality for anyone reporting a possible student misconduct will be honored to the point that it does not impact the ability for the institution to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment.  Confidentiality cannot, however, be guaranteed.  An anonymous report of any misconduct may be made via this link: https://gsw.alertline.com/gcs/welcome
    4. Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report student misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported in good faith by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against that individual in a disciplinary proceeding and will not be voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.      https://gsw.edu/campus-life/campusliving/publicsafety/medical-amnesty-law
    5.  In some cases that involve disorderly conduct or conflicts between two or more students (except in cases where it is deemed inappropriate by the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee), all parties involved may have the option of selecting mediation as a possible resolution.   Both parties must agree in writing to forgo a formal hearing in favor of mediation.  (See Section DD. of the Student Conduct Code for more information regarding mediation.)
    6.  The accused student/respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint/allegations, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, option of mediation (where applicable and requested by the alleged victim/complainant), and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of any investigator(s) involved. Notice should be provided by the Student Conduct Officer to the student via the campus email system. Where applicable, a copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim/complainant via the same means.
    7.  Upon receipt of the written notice, the accused student/respondent shall be given at least three business days to respond in writing. In that response, the accused student/respondent shall have the right to accept responsibility for violations or to deny the allegations and request an investigation and hearing.  A student who admits to responsibility of alleged charges will be offered the opportunity to accept the proposed sanctions.  In doing so, this student will waive his/her rights to an administrative or formal hearing and will waive his/her rights to appeal the sanctions.   A student who denies allegations or does not accept the proposed sanctions will be offered an administrative hearing with a hearing officer or a formal hearing with a conduct board.  The accused student/respondent may set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support.  A non-response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct and will result in a hearing.
    8. In each case involving possible suspension or expulsion from the University, the hearing shall be conducted by the designated administrator serving as a hearing officer or by the Faculty-Student Conduct Board.  Infractions of the Student Conduct Code that do not involve possible suspension or expulsion shall be addressed by the appropriate Student Affairs staff member or hearing officer or the by the Student Conduct Board.  All cases involving academic integrity will be heard by the Academic Integrity Board.   In the case of minor violations of the Student Conduct Code occurring in the residence hall or a violation of the residence hall policies (i.e. visitation violation, noise violation, etc.), a Residence Life staff member may be the hearing officer for a case. 
    9. 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 when (a) the physical or emotional safety and well-being of any student(s) are endangered; (b) the general safety of students, faculty, or University property is endangered; (c) the orderly progression of the educational objectives of the institution may be disrupted.
    10. Before any interim suspension or ban is issued, the Student Conduct Officer will make reasonable efforts to give the accused student/respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether his or her presence on campus poses a danger or threat.  If an interim suspension is issued, the accused student/respondent may request a meeting at a later date to determine whether the interim suspension should continue.  This meeting will be held within three business days of the request
    11. The accused student/respondent and alleged victim/complainant (where applicable), as parties to these proceedings, shall have the right to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his or her choosing, and at his or her own expense, for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel. The advisor may be present during meetings and proceedings during the investigatory and/or resolution process at which his or her advisee is present. The advisor may advise his or her advisee in any manner, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance on responses to any questions of the advisee, but shall not participate directly. Each student is also allowed up to two family members to be present for any investigations or hearings
    12. Throughout any investigation and resolution proceedings, the accused student/respondent shall receive notice of the alleged misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an adverse inference resulting. If the accused student/respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may still proceed and policy violation charges may still result, and may be resolved against the accused student
    13. An investigation shall be coordinated by the Student Conduct Officer but may include interviews and reports from other designated officials of whom the accused student and alleged victim (where applicable) have been notified.  It shall consist of interviews of the accused student/respondent, the complainant, the alleged victim (where applicable), and witnesses; and the collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information.  The investigator/interviewer shall retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation
    14. The investigation shall be summarized in writing in an initial investigation report and provided to the accused student/respondent and the alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) in person or via email. This summary should clearly indicate any resulting charges (or alternatively, a determination of no charges), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof, witness statements, and possible sanctions
    15. To the extent the accused student/respondent is ultimately charged with any violation, he or she shall also have the opportunity to respond in writing. The accused student/respondent’s written response to the charge(s) shall be due three business days following the date of the initial investigation report.  The report should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. A nonresponse to the charge(s) by the accused student/respondent will be interpreted as a denial of the charge(s)
    16. The investigator shall conduct further investigation and update the investigative report as warranted by the accused student’s response
    17. The final investigative report should be provided to the conduct board or hearing officer for consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the accused student/respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the accused student/respondent and alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) before any hearing. The investigator may testify as a witness regarding the investigation and findings, but shall otherwise have no part in the hearing process and shall not attempt to otherwise influence the proceedings outside of providing testimony during the hearing.
    18. Notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing, shall be provided to the accused student/respondent and alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) at least five business days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be provided via institution email.
    19. The accused student/respondent shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence to the hearing officer or conduct board, as well as to ask questions to any witnesses. At the determination of the hearing officer or board, this questioning may take place through the submission of written questions to the board or hearing officer for consideration; however, the parties’ advisors may still actively advise and assist in drafting those questions. The hearing officer or board shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the veracity of the charge leveled against the accused student(s)
    20. Where the hearing officer or board determines that a party or witness is unavailable and unable to be present due to extenuating circumstances, the hearing officer or board may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the hearing officer or panel must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any party. Should it be reasonably believed that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony, the hearing officer or panel will disregard or discount the testimony
    21. Formal civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.  The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
    22. Following a hearing, both the accused student/respondent and alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) shall be provided a written decision via institution email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The decision will include details on how to appeal, and will summarize the evidence in support of the sanction.

X. CONDUCT BOARDS

 The conduct boards of the University are the Faculty-Student Conduct Board, the Student Conduct Board, the Title IX Hearing Panel, and the Academic Integrity Board.

    1. The Faculty-Student Conduct Board 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 Association and the Student Conduct 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. Members of the Faculty-Student Conduct Board shall select one of their own members to act as the Presiding Officer.  Decisions by the Faculty-Student Conduct Board shall be made by majority vote.

    2. The Student Conduct Board 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 Association and appointed by the President of Georgia Southwestern State University. The Student Conduct Board may be utilized at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer in hearing nonsuspendable matters. Decisions by the Student Conduct Board shall be made by majority vote.

    3. The Title IX Hearing Panel shall consist of the Title IX Coordinator and five (5) faculty and/or staff members.  The investigator(s) of the case shall not serve on the panel nor shall any students.  This hearing panel will be used in all cases that have any sexual misconduct as described in Section CC.

    4. The Academic Integrity Board will consist of five teaching faculty appointees, one appointed by the dean of each College or School, and three students and three alternates, appointed by the Student Government Association.  The Vice President of Academic Affairs will appoint one academic administrator from dean or lower rank to act as committee chair. Serving on the AIB is a serious commitment that may require significant time and training. Faculty members will serve a term of 3 years, and will agree to complete training in judging academic integrity violations and recommending additional sanctions annually. Student members will serve a term of one year, as long as they maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 and are not on any sanction (higher than Warning) resulting from any type of conduct code violation, and will agree to complete training in judging academic integrity violations and recommending additional sanctions annually. The Chair of the AIB will serve in that capacity for a one year period with the possibility of yearly renewal.

  1.  Any member of a conduct board 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.

  2. All board members shall receive training and advisement from an administrator other than the Student Conduct Officer who has investigated the case.

  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 Conduct Board when in session. If the Student Conduct Board is not in session, the appeal will be heard by the Student Conduct Officer. Decisions in traffic appeals shall be final.

Y. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

Upon finding that a student or student organization has violated a code of conduct, the appropriate University official or board may apply one or more disciplinary measures within the restrictions provided in stated rules and procedures. In determining the severity of sanctions or corrective actions the following should be considered:  the frequency, severity, and/or nature of the offense, history of past conduct, an offender’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests.

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 sanction is assigned a specified period of time.
  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. 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 code violation. Referral for professional assessment to the Counseling Center or off-campus professionals or organizations--which might include other mandated programs such as addiction counseling or anger management might be assigned.
  8. Social Responsibility Class—program curriculum including decision-making, responsible versus risky behaviors, alcohol, drug, tobacco, social media  responsibility, sexual responsibility, sexual harassment, etc.
  9. Fine--in addition to the preceding disciplinary measures, appropriate fines may be imposed by the proper authority based on the severity of the infraction.
  10. Mandatory withdrawal from the course and/or department within which the offense occurred.  Credit for the course may or may not be recorded.
  11. 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.
  12. Residence Hall Expulsion--permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
  13. Residence Hall Reassignment
  14. Loss of Institutional Privileges
  15. Delays in administrative services such as holds on transcripts or delaying registration
  16. No contact orders
  17. Change of classes

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
  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.
  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.
  5. Disciplinary Probation--notice to the student organization that further disciplinary violation(s) may result in suspension.  This sanction may be accompanied by restriction, restitution, and/or community service.
  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.
  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 infraction.

Z. APPEALS

Where the sanction imposed includes a suspension or expulsion (even for one held in abeyance), the following appellate procedures are provided to the accused student.  The accused student/respondent shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds:

  1. To consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing;
  2. To allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by bias;
  3. To allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information.

The appeal must following the following procedures:

  1. The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five business days of the date of the final written decision.The appeal      should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee.
  2. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the accused student/respondent or any alleged victim/complainant will be held.
  3. The Vice President, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of lesser severity; remand the case back to the decision-maker to correct a      procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand.
  4. The Vice President or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both the accused student/respondent and the alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) within a reasonable time period.
  5. The decision of the Vice President or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the institution solely on the same three      grounds set forth above.
  6. The President may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of lesser severity, remand the case back to the decision maker to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand.
  7. The President’s decision shall be issued in writing to both the accused student/respondent and alleged victim/complainant (where applicable) within a reasonable time period. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution.
  8. Should the accused student wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6. Application for Discretionary Review.

            Any student or employee in the University System aggrieved by a final decision of the president of an institution may apply to the Board’s Office of Legal Affairs (“Legal Affairs”) for a review of the decision.  Review of the decision is not a matter of right, but is within the sound discretion of Legal Affairs. If granted, the discretionary review shall be limited to the record from the institutional appeal process. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to extend to any party substantive or procedural rights not required by  employment, admission, or additional due process rights. This policy is not part of the due process rights afforded to students or employees of the University System; those rights have been fully afforded upon the decision of the president. The Board reserves the right to change this policy at any time, and to make such changes effective retroactively to any pending application.

            Each application for review shall be submitted in writing to Legal Affairs within a period    of twenty calendar days following the decision of the president. Legal Affairs shall  determine whether the application for review shall be granted. Legal Affairs may at its   discretion refer a matter for mediation, arbitration, reconsideration, or evaluation of  settlement options.

             If an application for discretionary review is granted, a Committee shall review the   decision of the president. Said Committee shall consist of the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs or his or her designee, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or his or her designee, the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources or his or her designee, and any  other person or persons deemed appropriate by the Committee. Legal Affairs may issue  guidelines governing the process for review. The decision of the Committee shall be final    and binding for all purposes. There shall be no recourse to the Chancellor or the Board  of Regents from such decision; provided, however that the Committee on Organization &  Law retains the authority to make an exception to this policy in its discretion.

AA. RECUSAL/CHALLENGE FOR BIAS

Any party may challenge the participation of any institution official, employee, or student panel member in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the Vice President of Student Affairs setting forth the basis for the challenge. The details of the basis for the challenge should be clearly stated and documentation should be provided to support the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual reasonably should have known of the existence of the bias. The Vice President of Student Affairs will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.

BB. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The following are violations of University’s academic integrity standards:

  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.

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.

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.

 

Process for Resolving Academic Dishonesty or Integrity 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.

Academic Integrity Board (AIB)

 

Responsibilities

This board hears all matters relating to academic integrity violations and oversees   the procedures and appeals associated with referred Academic Dishonesty cases.

The responsibilities of the Academic Integrity Board (AIB) would be:

  1. to determine whether violations of the Academic Integrity Policy have occurred;
  2. to investigate violations when the student disputes that a violation occurred;
  3. to make recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs for further sanctions when a student has been found to have committed two or more violations of the Academic Integrity Policy;
  4. to review periodically the functioning of the Committee, including Standards of Academic Integrity and   Procedures and Appeals to determine if changes are needed.

Membership

The AIB will consist of five teaching faculty appointees, one appointed by the dean of each College or School, and three students and three alternates, appointed by the Student Government Association.  The Vice President of Academic Affairs will appoint one academic administrator from dean or lower rank to act as committee chair. Serving on the AIB is a serious commitment that may require significant time and training. Faculty members will serve a term of 3 years, and will agree to complete training in judging academic integrity violations and recommending additional sanctions annually. Student members will serve a term of one year, as long as they maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 and are not on any sanction (higher than Warning) resulting from any type of conduct code violation, and will agree to complete training in judging academic integrity violations and recommending additional sanctions annually. The Chair of the AIB will serve in that capacity for a one year period with the possibility of yearly renewal.

Hearings

Hearings may be conducted by a quorum comprised of the AIB Chair, three faculty members, and two student members. A member of the AIB may be excused from a particular hearing when a conflict of interest is disclosed to the chair. In the event that an academic integrity violation is filed against a senior just prior to graduation and the student disputes that a violation has occurred, the chair of the AIB is empowered to convene an emergency hearing with all due speed.

Recommendation & Outcome Notification Process

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. 

Appeal Process

A student has the right to appeal the Vice President of Academic Affairs’ decision to the President of the University.

CC.  SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY AND PROCEDURES

Georgia Southwestern State University will abide the Standards of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regent’s Policy Manual, 4.1.7.  

4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University System of Georgia is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment that supports the dignity of all members of the University System of Georgia community. The

University System of Georgia does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities. To that end, this policy prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University

System of Georgia will not tolerate sexual misconduct, which is prohibited, and which includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and stalking. The University System further strongly encourages members of the University System community to report instances of sexual misconduct promptly. These policies and procedures are intended to ensure that all parties involved receive appropriate support and fair treatment, and that allegations of sexual misconduct are handled in a prompt, thorough and equitable manner.

Prevention is one of the primary mechanisms used to reduce incidents of sexual violence on campuses. USG institutions are required to provide prevention tools and to conduct ongoing awareness and prevention programming and training for the campus community including students, faculty, and staff. Such programs are designed to stop sexual violence through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors. Programming will educate the campus community on consent, sexual assault, alcohol use, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, bystander intervention, and reporting.

4.1.7.1 Definitions and Prohibited Conduct 

Community: Students, faculty and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

Complainant: An individual lodging a complaint. The complainant may not always be the alleged victim.

Consent: Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given. Past consent does not imply present or future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim.

Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim, by a person with whom the alleged victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments, and can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs. Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: An intentional sexual touching upon a person, without consent or where the person is incapacitated, and/or by force, by another person or with any object. Sexual contact includes but is not limited to, intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with these body parts, or making another touch the alleged victim or themselves with or on any of these body parts.

 Privileged Employees: Individuals employed by the institution to whom a complainant or alleged victim may talk in confidence, as provided by law. Disclosure to these employees will not automatically trigger an investigation against the complainant’s or alleged victim’s wishes. Privileged Employees include those providing counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, or sexual-assault related services (e.g., sexual assault resource centers, campus health centers, pastoral counselors, and campus mental health centers) or as otherwise provided by applicable law. Exceptions to confidentiality exist where the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor (in Georgia, under the age of 18) or otherwise provided by law, such as imminent threat of serious harm. Further, Privileged Employees must still submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes.

Respondent: Individual who is accused to have engaged in conduct that violates this

Policy.

Responsible Employees: Those employees who must promptly and fully report complaints of or information regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Privileged Employee. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are in a position of authority for purposes of this Policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders, etc.). Responsible Employees are not required to report information disclosed at public awareness events (e.g., “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak-outs” or other public forums in which students may disclose incidents of prohibited conduct).

Sexual Assault: An umbrella term referring to a range of nonconsensual sexual contact, which can occur in many forms including but not limited to rape and sexual battery.

Sexual Exploitation: “Sexual Exploitation” occurs when an individual takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to 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 video or audio of sexual activity;
  4. Non-consensual distribution of video or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity or video or audio taken of 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;
  7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or
  8. Sexually-based bullying.

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or 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/educational decisions; or has the purpose or effect of interfering 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 benefit from an institutional program or activity.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed toward another person based upon sex that would cause a reasonable person (i) to fear for his or her safety or the safety of immediate family members or close acquaintances, or (ii) to suffer substantial emotional distress.

4.1.7.2 Reporting Sexual Misconduct

A complainant of sexual misconduct can choose among several reporting options at their respective institutions: filing a criminal complaint with law enforcement officials; filing an administrative report with the institution; or filing an anonymous report at their institution. These processes are detailed below. An individual who believes he/she is a victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report allegations of sexual misconduct promptly.

Institutional Reports

Complainants of sexual misconduct who wish to file a report with the institution should notify a Responsible Employee or the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible Employees informed about sexual misconduct allegations involving any student must notify the Office of the Title IX Coordinator as soon as practicable. Responsible Employees should not attempt to resolve the situation, but must notify and report all relevant information to the Title IX Coordinator. Privileged Employees are not bound by this requirement but may, consistent with their ethical and legal obligations, be required to report limited information about incidents without revealing the identities of the individuals involved to the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. All members of the University System of Georgia institutions’ communities are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct promptly.

The Title IX Coordinator’s identity and contact information shall be published by each institution prominently on the institution’s website, as well as in any relevant publication.

Each institution may choose to have Deputy Title IX Coordinators to whom reports may be made, as well. Institutions should encourage complainants to report their complaints in writing, though oral complaints should also be accepted, taken seriously, and investigated, to the extent possible. Further, while complaints should be made as quickly as possible following an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, all reports should be accepted regardless of when reported.

Complaints should include as much information as possible – that is: (1) the type of sexual misconduct experienced; (2) the name of the respondent; (3) the date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the sexual misconduct; (4) the name(s) of any individual(s) with knowledge of the incident; (5) whether any tangible evidence has been preserved; and (6) whether a criminal complaint has been made.

Information from complaints will be shared only as necessary to investigate and to resolve the alleged sexual misconduct. Complaints will be investigated and resolved as outlined below. Institutions, through their Title IX Coordinators, will also assess the need for and institute interim measures as described below as appropriate and where reasonable, as well as work with the appropriate institutional department to determine the need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act or to report activity to the authorities. Institutional reports will be investigated and adjudicated separately from any criminal complaints.

  1. Confidentiality: Where a complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the institutions should consider, through the Title IX Coordinator, whether this request can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution. Honoring the request may limit the institution’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit the institution’s ability to discipline the respondent.
  2. Retaliation: Anyone who, in good faith, reports what she or he believes to be misconduct under this Policy , or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator for the institution. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  3. False Complaints: Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to an institution official. Any person found to have intentionally submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  4. Amnesty: Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report sexual misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular individual in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individuals may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.

Law Enforcement Reports

Because sexual misconduct may constitute criminal activity, a complainant also has the option, should he or she so choose, of filing a report with campus or local police, for his or her own protection and that of the surrounding community. Complainants considering filing a report of sexual misconduct with law enforcement should preserve any evidence of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Clothing worn during the incident including undergarments;
  2. Sheets, bedding, and condoms, if used;
  3. Lists of witnesses with contact information;
  4. Text messages, call history, social media posts;
  5. Pictures of injuries; and/or
  6. Videos.

Anonymous Reports

Anonymous reports of sexual misconduct issues may be reported to https://gsw.alertline.com/gcs/welcome.

4.1.7.3 Interim Protective Measures

The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee may impose interim protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation and until final resolution of the allegations if failure to take the interim measures would constitute an immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the alleged victim or other members of the institution, or to ensure equal access to the institution’s education programs and activities. Before any such measures are instituted, however, the Title IX Coordinator should, where practicable, provide the respondent with an initial opportunity to respond to the allegations and to the imposition of any interim protective measures specifically.

Imposing interim protective measures does not indicate that a violation of this Policy has occurred, and is designed to protect the alleged victim and community, and not to harm the respondent. To the extent interim measures are imposed, they should minimize the burden on both the alleged victim and the respondent, where feasible. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Change of housing assignment;
  2. Issuance of a “no contact” directive;
  3. Restrictions or bars to entering certain institution property;
  4. Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision;
  5. Interim suspension; and
  6. Other measures designed to promote the safety and well-being of the parties and the institution’s community.

An interim suspension should only occur where necessary to maintain safety, and should be limited to those situations where the respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the institution should consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the alleged victim or the campus community, the nature, duration, and severity of the risk, the probability of potential injury, and whether less restrictive means can be used to significantly mitigate the risk. Before an interim suspension is issued, the institution must make all reasonable efforts to give the respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether his or her presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension take effect immediately. When requested by the respondent, a hearing to determine whether the intermediate suspension should continue will be held within three (3) business days of the request. 

4.1.7.4 Support Services

Once an individual makes a complaint, or receives notice that a complaint has been made against him or her, that individual should receive information about support services, such as counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, disability services, health and mental services, and legal assistance, as is available at their respective institutions. Available support services should also be listed on the institution’s Title IX website. 

4.1.7.5 Process for Investigating and Resolving Institutional Reports 

Jurisdiction: The institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, sexual misconduct perpetrated against students by University System of Georgia students, faculty, or staff should be addressed whenever such acts occur on a campus, in connection with an institution’s program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the institution community. Further, the policy is applicable to all University System of Georgia students, faculty, and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, guests or other third parties.

Advisors: Both the alleged victim and respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his/her choosing for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel at his/her own expense. The selected advisor shall not otherwise be a party or witness involved in the investigation. The advisor may be present during any meetings and proceedings involved in the investigatory or resolution process in which the advisee is also eligible to be present. The advisor may advise the advisee, including providing questions, suggestions, advice on the proceedings, and guidance on responses to any questions of the participant, but shall not participate directly. The institution shall not prohibit family members of any party from attending if the party requests such attendance, but may limit the number to two family members.

Timeframe: Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation and resolution within 60 calendar days of the initial complaint, though a longer period of time may be needed in some cases. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the respondent and the alleged victim, in writing, of any extension of this timeframe.

Investigations

  1. The Office of the Title IX Coordinator is primarily responsible for directly overseeing the investigation and resolution of complaints, and coordinating possible remedial actions or other responses reasonably designed to minimize the recurrence of the alleged conduct as well as mitigate the effects of any misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions of complaints alleging violations of the sexual misconduct policy. The Title IX Coordinator shall be responsible for ensuring any individual participating in the investigation, resolution, or appeal of any sexual misconduct case has received regular training on issues pertaining to sexual misconduct.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator shall designate an investigator to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into each complaint received. The investigation shall consist of interviews of the complainant, alleged victim, respondent, and witnesses, and the collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
  3. Unrelated charges and cases shall be investigated separately, unless the respondent consents to having them aggregated.
  4. The respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of the Title IX Coordinator and any investigator(s) involved. Notice shall be provided via institution email. If confirmation of receipt is not received by the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator, the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator shall engage in other measures to ensure notice is received by the respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim via the same means.
  5. The investigator will timely begin the investigation and will schedule an initial interview with the complainant, alleged victim, respondent and any known relevant witnesses. The investigator should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation.
  6. Each party shall have three (3) business days to submit a written statement to supplement the notice of complaint and the verbal interview. In that response, the respondent shall have the right to admit or to deny the allegations, and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic –in support. If respondent has not otherwise responded, a non-written response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
  7. Based on this response and other relevant information, the investigator shall continue to interview witnesses for both sides, to re-interview parties where necessary, and to collect and review documents or other physical or electronic information, as well as other steps, as appropriate.
  8. Where the respondent is a student, the respondent has the right to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an automatic adverse inference resulting. If the respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may ultimately still proceed and policy violation charges may still result, which may be resolved against the respondent.
  9. The respondent and/or alleged victim may challenge the participation of the investigator on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the Title IX Coordinator setting forth the basis for the challenge no later than three (3) business days after the party reasonably should have known of the bias. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, to appoint a replacement.
  10. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will issue to the parties a written report setting forth charges and possible sanctions, as well as an explanation of the evidence against the respondent.
  11. The parties shall have at least three (3) business days to respond to the report in writing. The respondent’s written response should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support.
  12. The investigator shall, as necessary, conduct further investigation and update the report as warranted by the response(s), and will update the report as necessary.
  13. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will review the evidence with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure policies have been followed.
  14. The Title IX Coordinator will contact the alleged victim(s) and the respondent(s) and schedule an opportunity to meet with each party individually. During these meetings, the Title IX Coordinator shall review the report with the parties (individually). Should the report be acceptable to all parties, an informal resolution may be made, which would not require the parties to move to the hearing phase of these procedures. If, however, the parties agree on the conduct, but not on the sanctions, then the sanctions shall be addressed by the hearing panel.
  15. Allegations of sexual misconduct involving a student that are brought against an institution’s faculty or staff will be investigated as outlined above, but will be further addressed and/or resolved through the institution’s applicable employment policies, and in accordance with the procedures for dismissal outlined in the Board of Regents Policy including procedures for appealing such decisions.
  16. Where the respondent(s) is a student, a hearing, as well as corresponding procedures/rights to appeal, shall be set and administered as set forth below, and a final report shall be provided to all parties, which will also provide a date, time, and location for a hearing on the matter.
  17. The final report should also be provided to the panel for their consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the respondent. The investigator may testify as a witness before the panel regarding the investigation and findings, but shall otherwise have no part in the hearing process and shall not attempt to otherwise influence the panel outside of providing testimony during the hearing.

Hearings 

  1. The hearing will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designee(s). The Panel must be composed of at least three (3) members.
  2. The investigator shall not serve on the Panel.
  3. No student shall serve on the Panel.
  4. Both the alleged victim and respondent shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to the Panel. Both parties shall have the right to confront any witnesses, including the other party, by submitting written questions to the Title IX Coordinator and/or his or her designee for consideration. Witness testimony, if provided, shall pertain to knowledge and facts directly associated with the case being heard. Advisors may actively assist in drafting questions. The Panel shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the veracity of the charge leveled against the respondent(s). In any event, the Panel shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions, and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
  5. The Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to allow a party to testify in a separate room, when determined to be necessary. Where such a determination is made, special measures must be put in place to ensure no party is unfairly disadvantaged by this procedure. A party must still give testimony in the presence of the Panel, and the opposing party must have the opportunity to view the testimony remotely and to submit follow-up questions.
  6. Similarly, where the Title IX Coordinator determines that a witness or party necessary to the proceedings is unavailable and unable to be present due to exigent circumstances (e.g., on a study abroad program, medical restrictions on travel, etc.), he or she may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the Title IX Coordinator must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures the testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any parties. Should it be reasonably believed that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony to the Panel, the Panel will disregard the testimony of that witness.
  7. The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
  8. The civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
  9. Both the respondent and alleged victim shall be provided a written report via institution email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The written report must summarize the evidence in support of the sanction. The report should include details on how to appeal, as outlined below.

Possible Sanctions

The severity of sanctions or corrective actions may depend on the severity, frequency and/or nature of the offense, history of past discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, the respondent’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests. The Panel will determine the sanction after review of the investigatory findings. The broad range of sanctions includes but is not limited to: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until satisfaction of certain conditions, or both; temporary or permanent separation of the parties (e.g., change in classes, reassignment of residence, no contact orders, limiting geography of where parties can go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders; required participation in sexual or relationship sensitivity training/awareness education programs; required participation in alcohol and other drug awareness and abuse prevention programs; counseling or mentoring; volunteering/community service; loss of institutional privileges; delays in obtaining administrative services and benefits from the institution (e.g., holding transcripts, delaying registration, graduation, diplomas); additional academic requirements relating to scholarly work or research on sexual misconduct; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.

4.7.1.6 Appeals

Parties shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds: (1) to consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing; (2) to allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by bias; or (3) to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information. Appeals may be made by the alleged offender for the above reasons in any case where sanctions are issued – even those in which such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion.

The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) business days of the date of the final report.

Where the respondent or alleged victim appealing the outcome is a student, the appeal should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the respondent or alleged victim will be held. The non-appealing party shall be given the opportunity to respond to the appellant’s submission. The applicable Vice President, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The Vice

President or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim simultaneously within a reasonable time period.

The decision of the Vice President or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the institution solely on the three grounds set forth above.

The President may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity; remand the case back to the Title IX Coordinator to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. The President’s decision shall be issued in writing to both the respondent and alleged victim and shall be issued within a reasonable amount of time. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution.

Should the respondent or alleged victim wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6.

4.1.7.7 Recusal / Challenge for Bias

Any party may challenge the participation of any institution official or employee in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the institution’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual reasonably should have known of the existence of the bias.

The institution’s designee will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.

DD.  MEDIATION PROCESS

In some student misconduct cases where there is a conflict between two or more students or student groups, students may choose to go through the mediation process.  Mediation cases are not available for any cases involving sexual misconduct. 

 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

The procedures for mediation are:

  1. Students must meet with the Student Conduct Officer, for an in-take process. At that time, it will be determined if the case is appropriate for the mediation process.
  2. Once the Student Conduct Officer 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.
  3. Both students must agree in writing to participate in mediation.
  4.  The mediator and the students will sign a written contract outlining agreed upon behavior
  5. A violation of the contract may result in an investigation and further student conduct procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

applyrainclassScheduleemaildonateGeorgiaViewCanes ConnectBeaconyoutubeinstagramtwitterfacebook

© Georgia Southwestern State University, 800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive, Americus, Georgia 31709 | (877) 871-4594

Email Access

To login into email, please select if you are a student or Faculty/Staff

Student Email    Faculty/Staff Email

×

Apply to GSW

Thank you for your interest in Georgia Southwestern. What would you like to apply for?

Undergraduate Admissions    Graduate Admissions    Check Admission Status

×

Site Login

You can use this portal to login to the GSW website.  This will allow you to make instant edits to your pages. If you do not have an account and are a GSW Faculty/Staff member please click here.

Please be sure to logout when you are done!

×