Code of Conduct for Student Organizations
Section 1: Organizational Discipline
Student organizations are responsible for the acceptance and adherence of policies and procedures outlined in the Student Organization Handbook, the university's Code of Conduct, the Honor Code, and in Section 1902 of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Furthermore, a student organization and its officers may be held accountable collectively or individually for violations of these policies and procedures, resulting in disciplinary action and/or sanctions delegated by the Director of Campus Life.
Disciplinary action or sanctions shall mean any action affecting the status of an individual as a student or a student organization which is taken by Georgia College & State University in response to student misconduct or violation of the policies and procedures contained in the Student Organization Handbook, the university's Code of Conduct, and in Section 1902 of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The term shall include reprimands, personal probation, revocation and/or limitation of privileges, restitution, probation, suspension or dissolution, denial of particular University privileges, and other less severe actions. The sanctions of this policy may or may not jeopardize the student's progress in his course of study or the organization's ability to function operationally.
Accusations or reports of suspected violations by a student organization are transmitted to the Department of Campus Life whereupon the Director of Campus Life will evaluate the report to indicate whether an offense has occurred. If there is evidence to suggest that a violation has occurred, then the Director of Campus Life will be responsible for facilitating an investigative hearing. A student organization in violation may be subject to disciplinary action if one or more of the following is true:
- An offense is alleged to have been committed by one or more members of an organization and is sanctioned by or participated in by an officer of the organization.
- An offense is alleged to have been committed by one or more members of an organization and organizational funds are used to finance the venture.
- An offense is alleged to have been committed by one or more members of an organization and is related to an organizational process or function. These include but are not limited to, recruitment, initiation, and new member programs.
- An offense is alleged to have occurred as a result of a function sponsored by a student organization.
- An offense is alleged to have been committed by one or more members of an organization and is supported by a substantial number of the organization's membership.
The investigation will be discretionary and dependent upon the severity of the offense brought forth by the accuser. An investigative hearing will be followed, where the Director of Campus Life will meet with the student organization advisor or another officer of the organization, to which may accompany the organization's president or chair to the meeting. At the discretion of the Director of Campus Life, other persons having information pertaining to the alleged offense may also be invited to participate in the hearing. If the situation involves two or more parties, representatives from each party will be permitted to attend and attempt to resolve the conflict. The purpose of the investigative hearing is to gather information and facts, inform the organization of current policies and procedures, explore the possibility of immediate solutions, and discuss potential sanctions in the case that the validity of the claim is proven true.
If the student organization does not accept the terms of the sanctions delegated by the Director of Campus Life, then a formal appeal can be submitted to the Dean of Students with the final appeal being reviewed by the Vice President of Student Affairs, who will have the final decision.
Section 2: Accountability of Organization Officers
An organization's members are all responsible for their own actions and behaviors, however, a specific organization officer may be held personally accountable for the misconduct of organization members during an organized event carried out by the organization. Circumstances which might necessitate an officer's personal accountability include but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate and/or unacceptable activities which are sanctioned by the organization by means of discussion and/or planning at an organization meeting, officers' meeting, or committee meeting.
- An officer's personal participation in such an activity.
- An officer's failure to act appropriately upon witnessing such an activity.
- An officer's failure to act appropriately in preventing such an activity when he/she had prior knowledge.
- An officer's failure to act appropriately in taking corrective action after learning of such an activity.
- An officer's negligence in his/her responsibility to educate the group of established laws, regulations, policies, directives, and procedures.
- An officer's failure to cooperate fully with law enforcement personnel or university officials, including failure to identify organization members known by the officer to be involved in the accident.
Section 3: Individual Discipline
An organization's members individually can be held accountable for actions deemed inappropriate and/or dangerous. Among the prohibited actions include the following:
- Misrepresentation of oneself or of an organization to be an agent of the university or one of its auxiliaries.
- Falsifying information to a university official or any attempt to deceive or misrepresent the truth in any matter involving university business. University business includes but is not limited to, financial aid information, excuses for absences, statements to professors in order to reschedule tests or assignments, and responses to the queries of Public Safety officers.
- Unauthorized entry into, presence in, or misuse of university property.
- Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the university, or infringes on the rights of members of the university community.
- Conduct that obstructs, seriously impairs, attempts to obstruct or seriously impair university-run or university-authorized activities on any university property, indoors or out.
- Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a university related activity, or directed toward a member of the university community.
- Conduct that constitutes a danger to the personal safety of other members of the university community. This may include assault, attempted assault, or the threat of assault.
- Intentional harassment of another person. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, threatening, intimidating, verbally abusing, impeding, telephoning, communicating electronically, following or persistently bothering or annoying. Harassment may represent but is not limited to acts based on sex, race, religion, national origin, handicap or sexual orientation.
- Hazing, or conspiracy to haze (refer to Non-Hazing section).
- Theft of property or services from the university community, or misappropriation of university resources.
- Unauthorized or intentional, malicious damage to university property or property belonging to others.
- Acts which violate university provisions concerning parking, traffic, ID cards, university keys, smoking in unauthorized places, carrying firearms, unauthorized peddling, unauthorized use of sound amplifying equipment, and other acts which violate local, state or federal laws, or which violate appropriate conduct.
- Violation of any published university policy, rule, regulation or presidential order.
- Failure to comply with directions of, or interference with, any university official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties.
- Interference with the student or student organization disciplinary process, including:
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student or student organization discipline matter
- Disruption or interference with the orderly process of a discipline proceeding
- Attempting to discourage another from cooperating with an investigation
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a discipline matter
- Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student discipline matter
- Failing to abide by disciplinary sanctions imposed by a GC judicial body.
- Conduct that violates local, state, or Federal laws or GC regulations regarding alcohol and other drugs.
Section 4: Board of Regents Policy 406.01: Withdrawal of Recognition of Student Organizations
The Board of Regents has determined that the use of marijuana, controlled substances or other illegal or dangerous drugs constitutes a serious threat to the public health, welfare, and academic achievement of students enrolled in the University System of Georgia. Therefore, all student Organizations, including but not limited to societies, fraternities, sororities, clubs, and similar groups of students which are affiliated with, recognized by, or which use the facilities under the jurisdiction of institutions of the University System, are hereby charged with the responsibility of enforcing compliance with local, state and federal laws by all persons attending or participating in their respective functions and affairs, social or otherwise.
As provided by the Student Organization Responsibility for Drug Abuse Act, any such student Organization which, through its officers, agents or responsible members, knowingly permits, authorizes or condones the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, serving, consumption or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs at any affair, function, or activity of such student Organization, social or otherwise, is hereby declared to be in violation of the laws of this state and shall have its recognition as a student Organization withdrawn and, after complying with the constitutional requirements of due process, shall be expelled from the campus for a minimum of one calendar year from the date of determination of guilt. Such Organization shall also be prohibited from using any property or facilities of the institution for a period of at least one year. Any lease, rental agreement or other document between the Board of Regents or the institution and the student Organization which relates to the use of the property leased, rented or occupied shall be terminated for knowingly having permitted or authorized the unlawful actions described above. All sanctions imposed by this policy shall be subject to review procedures authorized by the Board of Regents (Article VIII of the Bylaws).
An appeal to the Board of Regents shall not defer the effective date of the adverse action against the student Organization pending the Board's review unless the Board so directs. Any such stay or suspension by the Board shall expire as of the date of the Board's final decision on the matter. (BR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 384)
This Policy amendment is intended to implement The Student Organization Responsibility for Drug Abuse Act of 1990 (Ga. Laws, 1990, p. 2033).
Students who are alleged to have violated these policies are referred to the university's judicial officer in the Office of Student Affairs.