THE BOBCAT CODE

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Table of Contents

INTRO: Introduction to The Bobcat Code

The Student Code of Conduct, also known as “The Bobcat Code,” is a holistic overview of the entire student conduct system including the values that reinforce how students are expected to behave.  The use of the term “The Bobcat Code” will be inclusive of this entire document, including all Regulations contained in the Academic Honor Code, Student Honor Code, Student Group Rules, Residence Life Rules, and Interim Restrictions.

Core Values of the Bobcat Code –THe 3r’s

  • Reason: Georgia College students exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.
  • Respect: Georgia College students are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community and act to discourage and/or intervene to prevent unjust and inequitable behaviors. Georgia College students show positive regard for each other, for ideas, for the law, for property, and for the community.
  • Responsibility: Georgia College students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others, and to the community. Georgia College students, as good citizens, build and enhance their community.

Georgia College students are responsible for knowing the information, policies, and procedures outlined in this document. Georgia College reserves the right to make changes to The Bobcat Code as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check online for the latest version of all policies and procedures.

INFO: General Information

INFO 1. DECLARATION STATEMENTS

The Bobcat Code is prepared for the convenience of students and does not constitute an official publication of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In case of any divergence from or conflict with the bylaws or policies of the Board of Regents, the official Bylaws and Policies of the Board of Regents shall prevail.

The statements set forth in The Bobcat Code are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and this institution. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the material stated herein, Georgia College reserves the right to change, without actual notice to individual students, any provision listed in The Bobcat Code including but not limited to academic requirements for graduation related to student conduct. Every effort will be made to keep students advised of such changes. Ultimately, the responsibility for knowing the information presented in The Code rests with the student.

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INFO 2. Philosophical Declaration

The University community is committed to fostering a campus environment that is conducive to academic inquiry, a productive campus life, and thoughtful study and discourse. The student conduct program within the Division of Student Life is committed to an educational and developmental process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the University community.

A community exists on the basis of shared values and principles. At Georgia College, student members of the community are expected to uphold and abide by certain standards of conduct that form the basis of the Honor Code. These standards are embodied in the Academic Honor Code Rules, Student Honor Code Rules, Student Group Rules, Residence Life Rules, and Interim Restrictions.

Each member of the University community bears responsibility for their conduct and to assume reasonable responsibility for the behavior of others. When members of the community fail to exemplify the 3R’s by engaging in violations of the regulations below, campus conduct proceedings are used to assert and uphold The Bobcat Code.

The Student Conduct Process at the University is not intended to punish students; rather, it exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with University policies. Sanctions are intended to challenge students’ moral and ethical decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with community expectations. When a student is unable to conform to community expectations, the Student Conduct Process may determine that the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in the community.

Students should be aware that the Student Conduct Process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct processes are conducted with fairness to all but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and a hearing before an objective decision-maker. No student will be found in violation of University policy without information showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, and any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.

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INFO 3. THE HONOR CODE

All students are expected to abide by the requirements of the Georgia College Honor Code as it applies to both academic and student life at the University. Failure to abide by the Honor Code will result in serious penalties.

Honor Code:  Georgia College students are expected to achieve and maintain high ideals founded on the sound principles of utilizing reason before acting or reacting; employing respect for others, for ideas, for the law, and for property; and recognizing their responsibility as citizens and members of the campus community.

Matriculation Pledge: It is presumed that any student who matriculates at Georgia College is willing to conform to a pattern of mutual trust and honor and shall deal honorably with all members of the University community. It must be understood that it is the responsibility of each student, faculty, and staff member to preserve, nurture, and strengthen this spirit of honor. When a violation of the Honor Code is detected, a student should take steps to bring the matter to the attention of a University Official.

Student Pledge: In enrolling at Georgia College, I solemnly pledge that I will conduct myself in such a manner as to reflect credit on the Georgia College community, and I will uphold the Honor Code of the University. If I violate this Honor Code, I will accept the imposed penalty, which may include expulsion from the University.

Preamble: Since 1942, there has been an Honor Code at Georgia College. This code is a dynamic aspect of the University which helps to define its character as an institution of higher learning in the best liberal arts tradition. Through the years, this code has given rise to an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust on the Georgia College campus.

As a result of periodic examination and review, the Honor Code continues to grow stronger. After undergoing thoughtful study and meticulous revision during the 1998-99 academic year, today's Honor Code reflects a renewed desire of the present student generation for an honorable community and guarantees significant consequences for dishonorable actions.

The commitment to honor has its own rewards, but the Honor Code also brings responsibilities - a respect for the ideas, values, and property of others; a readiness to subordinate one's own interests to the interests and well-being of the whole University community; and a dedication to abide by The Bobcat Code of the University.

In order to maintain an honorable campus, student commitment is vital. This commitment begins with personal integrity, extends to the refusal to condone the violation of The Bobcat Code, and ends with the support of an appropriate penalty for those who violate the spirit and provisions of the Honor Code. Anything short of full commitment undermines the very essence of Georgia College honor. Those who engage in dishonorable behavior may be banned from the University for one or two semesters, or permanently.

Students who are unfamiliar with the concept of honor or who have a history of dishonorable behavior are urged to consider alternatives to Georgia College. However, those wishing to renew themselves in the spirit of honor will be invited to join the community of Georgia College by formally embracing the Honor Code at a ceremony at the beginning of their academic careers at Georgia College (the Honor Code, however, is applicable to all students who matriculate at Georgia College).

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INFO 4. Scope of the disciplinary process

The Bobcat Code may also be applied to conduct online, via email, or other electronic media. Students and student groups should be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats, and social networking sites are in the public sphere and may not be private. These postings may subject a student and/or student group to allegations of misconduct.

A. The University disciplinary process is educational and designed to address Student behavior; therefore, the University will address any alleged violations of The Bobcat Code independently of any criminal or civil court process.

B. Unless otherwise noted, use of the term “Student” in this document applies both to the Student as an individual and to a Student Group as a single entity, as applicable. The officers or the leaders of a particular Student Group will be expected to represent the group during the Conduct Process. A Student may be held responsible for their actions as an individual and as a member of a Student Group.

C. Each Student and every Student Group are required to abide by The Bobcat Code. The University may apply The Code to Students and Student Groups whose conduct may have an adverse impact on the health, safety, or welfare of people, property, the University Community, or the pursuit of its objectives, regardless of where such conduct occurs (i.e., on University controlled property, at University-sponsored events, or off-campus).

Any question about how to interpret or apply The Bobcat Code should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students.

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INFO 5. major violations of the STUDENT code of CONDUCT

Cases of behavior or allegations of behavior that could result in expulsion, suspension, suspension deferred, housing removal, and/or housing removal deferred will be handled primarily by the Office of the Dean of Students in conjunction with the Office of Legal Affairs when appropriate. These behaviors or allegations include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, domestic violence, bias-related incidents, campus disturbances, threatening behavior, fire safety violations, use and/or possession of unapproved weapons and firearms, record falsification, physical assault, operating under the influence, felony drug and/or alcohol possession or distribution, city, state or federal violations of laws, and matters resulting in a student’s arrest, citations or incident report by any law enforcement entity including Public Safety.

Additionally, matters that impact the health and safety of the community or its members, matters in which interim measures are imposed, a student’s repeated or egregious violations of The Bobcat Code or other University rules will be handled primarily by the Office of the Dean of Students.

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INFO 6. ADMINISTRATIVE AFFILIATES' ROLES IN STUDENT CONDUCT

A.  The Student Government Association first emerged in 1936 on Georgia College’s Milledgeville campus. The organization was founded to serve as a vehicle through which students can have their concerns addressed by elected student representatives. Since its inception, the SGA has had an industrious and successful tenure. The organization has offered a legitimate voice to the University administration, championing students’ interests, and partially funding various speaking events, campus structures, student organizations, and students attending academic conferences.  The Judicial Branch is headed by the Attorney General with the assistance of the Assistant Attorney General. The Attorney General oversees Student Hearing Panels.  Members of Student Hearing Panels, appointed by the SGA President, are charged with interpreting and enforcing all policies of the Student Government Association and having original jurisdiction in any cases concerning Student Government Association policies, laws, and activities, including elections.  In addition, the Student Hearing Panels hear cases involving violations of The Bobcat Code when called upon.  

B. Non-compliance with other University regulations including, but not limited to, Residence Life, Wellness and Recreation, Legal Affairs, Inclusive Excellence, Academic Affairs, Auxiliary Services, Information Technology, Public Safety, Student Activities and Organizations, The GIVE Center, and Fraternity and Sorority Life, may be addressed primarily by those respective offices using processes and procedures set out by those administrative units.  However, all administrative units should refer matters violating The Bobcat Code to the Office of the Dean of Students, unless authorized by the Dean of Students to adjudicate such violations of The Bobcat Code.

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INFO 7. Notice to Parents/Guardians or Third Parties

A. Students are adults, capable of making their own decisions, as well as accepting the consequences for those decisions. Except in limited circumstances, it is the Student who notifies their parents/guardians or self-selected third parties about being involved in a conduct process.

B. Conversations are between the University and its students. If a Student decides to include a concerned third party, like parents, in the conduct process, the University’s staff will be responsive to the inquiry, to the extent permitted by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Except as noted here, the Student must submit a release to share information form in order for the University to engage with the third party. Students must ultimately and forthrightly participate in the process, and the third party cannot serve as a proxy for the Student in the process.

C. If a Student is found responsible for an alcohol and/or drug violation, parents/legal guardians of dependent students under 21 will be notified. The University may waive parental notification in exceptional circumstances if a Student makes a bona fide showing that such notification will create significant hardship, such as potential violence or financial abandonment that may result in withdrawal from the University. All requests for parental notification waivers must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students.  The parents or legal guardians of Students under the age of 21 who are financially independent of their parents as defined by the Office of Financial Aid will not be notified.  Under extraordinary circumstances, the parents or legal guardians of Students under 21 years of age may not be notified. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of Students.

D. The University reserves the right to notify a family member or designated third party without a student’s prior consent in health or safety emergencies. Additionally, the Dean of Students or designee may involve a family member or designated third party of a student who is in jeopardy of being separated from the University when, in their judgment, such involvement will aid the Student in the pursuit of their educational goals.

E. In cases involving reported acts of violence against a person(s), the reporting party(ies) will be notified of the initiation of a conduct process, any restrictions imposed, outcomes, and the opportunity of appeal (if applicable), subject to applicable Student Code of Conduct provisions and governing law.

F. The Dean of Students or designee reserves the right to issue an appropriate notification to Reporting Parties and/or persons impacted by the incident(s) when there is theft or damage to property, when a no-contact directive has been issued, and/or when restitution has been imposed.

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INFO 8. Higher Standard of Conduct

A. The functions of the University depend on reason, respect, and responsibility among its community members. Accordingly, Georgia College expects a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid disciplinary action.

B. While many of the University’s standards of conduct parallel the laws of society in general, University standards may be set higher and more stringently than those found elsewhere in society. For these reasons, the University focuses primarily on educating students about their behavior, but may impose sanctions up to, and including suspension and expulsion in order to preserve a safe and healthy environment for the University community.

C. The rules of evidence used in federal and/or state criminal and/or civil proceedings do not apply to proceedings within The Bobcat Code.

D. The standard of proof for deciding responsibility for an alleged violation of The Bobcat Code is the preponderance of evidence standard.

E. Any form of recording and/or streaming of conduct proceedings is strictly prohibited, except as described in The Bobcat Code. University Hearing Officers are allowed to record fact-finding interviews and hearing proceedings.  The release of any recordings must be approved and received from the Office of Legal Affairs.

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INFO 9. Relationships to Other Proceedings

A. The conduct process may occur prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal/civil proceedings. Students may be accountable to both civil and/or law enforcement authorities and to the University for behavior that constitutes a violation of both the law and The Bobcat Code. The Student Conduct Process at the University may proceed without regard to the pendency of civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Determinations and sanctions imposed under The Bobcat Code will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same core of facts were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.

B. Students may request to delay an Informational Meeting or a Panel Hearing to secure an advisor. In cases where criminal charges related to the alleged violation(s) of The Bobcat Code are pending, a reasonable delay may be granted. Delays may be granted to any party at the discretion of the Dean of Students.

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INFO 10. Student Status During Conduct Process

During the Student Conduct Process, the status of a Student will not be altered. Non-status outcomes may still apply (see PROCESS 15) until the matter has been resolved. Disciplinary sanctions become effective at the completion of the conduct process.

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INFO 11. Behavioral Influences

Any behavior that may have been influenced by a Student’s mental state or voluntary use of drugs and/or alcohol will not in any way limit the responsibility of the Student for the consequences of the Student’s actions.

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INFO 12. Conduct Process IMPROVEMENT

The Office of the Dean of Students may expand or enhance resolution processes (structured and educational) to complement the formal conduct process (e.g., restorative justice, mediation, or conflict resolution). The purpose of such programs is to maximize opportunities for student learning and development in such areas as behavioral management, conflict resolution, self-awareness, ethics, and integrity.

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INFO 13. distribution of the Bobcat code

Students are provided a copy of The Bobcat Code annually in the form of a link on the University website.  Students are responsible for reviewing and abiding by the provisions of the Code.

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INFO 14. limitations

A. Time Limits on Alleged Violations - No Student may be accused of a violation of The Bobcat Code more than one (1) year after the alleged violation occurred, absent extenuating circumstances.  In extenuating circumstances, the Dean of Students or designee has the sole discretion to extend this time period.  Cases involving Sexual Misconduct will often extend beyond 1 year after the alleged violation and will automatically be allowed.

B. Faculty reporting a violation of the Academic Honor Code to the Dean of Students should report a final grade for the course as deemed appropriate by the faculty member.  The Student Conduct Process only provides sanctions for violations of the Academic Honor Code.  The Student Conduct Process is not involved in decisions regarding grades for a course. 

C. The University will neither assume responsibility for, nor act in the collection of, privately incurred debts involving a Student.

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INFO 15. Student Conduct Authorities

A. AUTHORITY OF THE UNIVERSITY

Generally, conduct regulations contained in this Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct which occurs on University premises and to conduct which occurs while a student is attending or participating in any University-related activity wherever that activity may take place. Additionally, as standards for University Students and Student Groups are higher than those not a part of the University community or the pursuit of its objectives, any behavior, on or off University premises, is subject to action under this Student Code of Conduct. Students and Student Groups are expected to abide by the regulations in this Student Code of Conduct both on and off-campus and acknowledge the University’s authority to take action to address behavior incongruent with these regulations, wherever that behavior may occur.

Proceedings under The Bobcat Code may be instituted against students accused of a violation of a municipal, state, or federal law when the alleged conduct is also a violation of The Bobcat Code. Proceedings under The Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Decisions about the timing of specific actions will be made by the Dean of Students, Legal Counsel, Title IX Coordinator, or a designee based on the status of the evidence and other relevant case factors.

B. AUTHORITY OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS

The Dean of Students, as the Chief Conduct Officer for the University, shall develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for conducting hearings that are not inconsistent with provisions of The Bobcat Code.  The Dean of Students is responsible for handling all allegations of conduct violations of The Bobcat Code and for implementing interim, restrictive, or emergency measures.  Any Student or Student Group found to have committed a violation of these conduct regulations is subject to the sanctions outlined in The Code or as directed by the Dean of Students.

C. AUTHORITY OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

The Office of the Provost through Deans, Graduate Coordinators, Department Chairs, and Faculty, determines if a student is responsible or not responsible in all cases involving alleged violations of the Academic Honor Code. Faculty members must report all violations of the Academic Honor Code to the Dean of Students for tracking purposes.  Once a decision has been made through the academic process, including appeals, the Faculty member must report the violation through the Academic Honor Code Violation Form and then determines whether a student should go before a Hearing Body to determine if additional sanctions are warranted. When this occurs, the Respondent will be charged with a violation of a specific rule within the Academic Honor Code.  The case will be assigned to the appropriate Hearing Body to determine sanctions or if additional sanctions are warranted.  As noted earlier, Hearing Bodies do not make decisions regarding responsibility for violations of the Academic Honor Code or assign or modify grades, but rather determines the Sanctions for violating the Academic Honor Code, which is part of the Student Code of Conduct (The Bobcat Code). 

D. AUTHORITY OF TITLE IX ADMINISTRATION

The Title IX Coordinator shall process and investigate any alleged violations of RULE 125 and POLICY 14 pursuant to the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Student Code of Conduct.

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INFO 16. Additions and amendments

Georgia College reserves the right to revise or correct the Student Code of Conduct as needed. The most updated edition can be found on the Dean of Students’ website. Those revisions and corrections shall supersede all earlier versions.

A. These University expectations are set forth in writing to give students general notice and examples of prohibited conduct. The descriptions should be read broadly and are not intended to define expectations or misconduct in exhaustive terms.

B. The Dean of Students, or designee, will develop procedures for administration and/or conduct proceedings that are not inconsistent with provisions of The Bobcat Code. Material deviation from these procedures will generally only be made as necessary and will include reasonable advance notice to the parties involved, either by online posting and/or other written communication.

C. The University reserves the right to amend any Code provision at any time. The University will publish such amendments in relevant campus publications and websites.

D. The Dean of Students or designee may vary procedures with notice upon determining that a law or regulation requires policy or procedural alterations not reflected in The Bobcat Code.

E. The Dean of Students or designee may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially affect the integrity of the process.

F. Any question of interpretation of The Bobcat Code will be referred to the Dean of Students or their designee.  Determinations can be appealed to the Vice President of Student Life whose interpretation is final.

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INFO 17. Definitions

The following definitions are used solely for the purpose of providing additional clarity to terms used in the Student Code of Conduct, or The Bobcat Code as it is commonly known.

Abetting is encouraging, inciting, or inducing another to commit a violation of The Bobcat Code. 

Accessory - An accessory is someone who aids or abets another student in support of their violation of The Bobcat Code. 

Accomplice - Another who helps someone commit a violation of The Bobcat Code.

Accused Student - a Student or Student Group that has allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct.  Also referred to as the Respondent.

Advisor – Any person chosen by a Respondent (Accused Student) or a Complainant (Reporting Person or Victim) to assist them throughout the Student Conduct Process. The Advisor may be present to advise the Respondent or the Complainant but cannot speak for the Student, present the Student’s case, serve as a Witness, or otherwise participate directly in any meeting or Hearing.  One exception includes a Title IX Case where advisors can speak on behalf of the Student.

Aiding is assisting, supporting, or helping another to commit a violation of The Bobcat Code.

Alcohol and Other Drug Definitions

  1. Alcohol and Other Drug Policies refers to all policies set forth by the University related to alcohol and other drugs, including but not limited to those addressed in The Bobcat Code, University programs/units (e.g., Study Abroad) and other policies regarding social events.
  2. Alcohol Consumption or Use of Alcohol refers to the act of drinking, ingesting, and/or any other method of introducing any amount of an alcoholic beverage into one’s body.
  3. Distribution of Alcohol or Drugs refers to the sharing of alcohol or illegal drugs/controlled substances with or giving them to others.
  4. Facilitating the Possession/Use of Alcohol or Drugs refers to the act of allowing others to possess, consume, or use alcohol or illegal drugs/controlled substances in one’s residence or automobile.  Resident students who provide alcohol to Student under 21 years of age are considered Social Hosts.
  5. Possession of Alcohol or Drugs refers, but is not limited, to holding, no matter the duration, alcohol or illegal drugs/controlled substances in hand or, having them in one’s clothing, purse/bookbag (or similar apparatus), automobile, residence, or other personal belongings.
  6. Sale of Drugs refers to the exchange of illegal drugs/controlled substances for money or other forms of compensation.
  7. Use of Drugs refers to the act of ingesting, inhaling, drinking, eating, and/or any other method of introducing an illegal drug/controlled substance into one’s body.

Allegation(s) – An alleged violation(s) of The Bobcat Code.

Alternative Resolution – An informal, structured educational process for resolving harm caused to the University or local community whereby the student accepts responsibility for their behavior, agrees to participate in an accountability process, and actively assists in the development of educational means to resolve the harm caused (e.g., restorative justice, transformational justice, amnesty).  Alternative resolutions do not result in the student having a disciplinary record.

Appeal Authority – Any person or persons authorized in The Bobcat Code to determine the outcome of an appeal. No person may hear or decide an appeal if they conducted or participated in the disciplinary proceeding being reviewed on appeal.

Appellate Officer - Any person authorized to consider an appeal submitted by a Student or Student Group in regard to a Hearing Body’s decision.  The Appellate Officer can use an Appeals Committee to gain additional input and guidance, but the final decision remains with the Appellate Officer.

Business Days – Any weekday Monday through Friday during which Georgia College is in operation. Business Days do not include University holidays and closures.

Case Resolution – In an Informational Meeting, the Respondent will indicate that they have read and understood how their case will be resolved.

Coercion – Measured by a reasonable person standard, it is an attempt to cause another person to act or to think in a certain way by use of force, threats, or intimidation. Examples of Coercion include but are not limited to:

  • Causing the deliberate Incapacitation of another person;
  • Requiring a person to submit to sexual acts to receive an academic benefit or an employment advantage;
  • Threatening to harm oneself if  another person does not engage in an act; and
  • Threatening to disclose a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or other sensitive, personal information if the person does not engage in an act.

Complainant - Any person who has reported another person’s alleged violation of The Bobcat Code. The Complainant is the person who files a report or on whose behalf a report is filed.

Complicity - Attempting, aiding, abetting, conspiring, hiring, or being an accessory to any act prohibited by The Bobcat Code shall be considered to the same extent as completed violations.

Concealed Handgun - Defined as a handgun carried in such a fashion that does not actively solicit the attention of others and is not prominently, openly, and intentionally displayed except for purposes of defense of self or others. A license-holder may carry a handgun while it is substantially (but not necessarily completely) covered by an article of clothing being worn or contained within a bag (of a nondescript nature) being carried, or in another similar manner that generally keeps it out of the view of others.

Conduct Officer – A person trained in the Conduct Process whose duties include the administration of Informational Meetings.  Conduct Officers include the Dean of Students and other University Officials designated and approved by the Dean of Students (e.g., Community Directors, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life). Conduct Officers do not conduct formal hearings unless they have been approved by the Dean of Students.

Conduct Process – The means outlined in The Bobcat Code to resolve alleged violations.

Conflict Resolution – Conflict Resolution services and education are available to Students both to aid them in resolving conflict productively and to develop their abilities to handle conflict effectively.

Consent – Consent is an act or statement that is knowing, freely given, and mutually understood to communicate a willingness to engage in an activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in any sexual act to ensure that they have the Consent of the other(s).

  1. The existence of a dating or sexual relationship between the people involved, or the existence of a past sexual encounter, is not by itself an indication of Consent for any current or future sexual encounter.
  2. Consent cannot be obtained by force, threat, Coercion, or by causing a reasonable fear of imminent injury.
  3. For sexual activity to be consensual, Consent must be ongoing throughout the sexual encounter. A person can withdraw Consent at any time. Consent to one sexual act does not automatically constitute Consent to another sexual act.
  4. A person withdraws Consent by clearly communicating withdrawal through words or actions.
  5. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not automatically constitute Consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.
  6. Lack of protest or resistance, alone, is not Consent.
  7. A person who is Incapacitated cannot give Consent.

Constructive Possession - Occurs where a person has knowledge of an object, plus the ability to control the object, even if the person has no physical contact with it (United States v. Delrose, 74 F.3d 1177 [11th Cir. 1996]).

Correspondence – Written or electronic communication from the University sent to a Student.  Correspondence includes but is not limited to written or electronic communication to the Student through the Student’s bobcats email address.  Email is an official means of communication used by the University. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to Respondents, Complainants, and Witnesses via email and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. At the Conduct Officer’s discretion, the notice may also be hand-delivered or sent via standard U.S. mail to the mailing or permanent address appearing in the University’s student information system or Police report. Notice to Respondents and Complainants will be considered furnished on the date of hand delivery, on the date emailed, or three business days after the date the notice is placed in the U.S. mail.  The University also uses a software program called Maxient to manage cases so Students will receive messages via their email and/or text messages from this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Educational Conversation - An Educational Conversation is a required meeting related to reported information, which is not investigatory in nature and does not result in Allegations. This meeting is intended to address reported information that does not support initiating the Conduct Process but does require an educational discussion about the intent of The Bobcat Code and the expectations of the University community. 

Fact-Finding – The gathering of information related to a reported incident or complaint. Fact-Finding may be conducted by the Dean of Students or designee(s), or by other on-campus fact-finding units.  Relevant information gathered during fact-finding is compiled in a Fact-Finding Report.

Fact-Finding Meeting – A meeting that includes the opportunity for the Dean of Students or designee to interview individuals who may have information relevant to a potential violation of The Bobcat Code, to review the nature of the allegation, to determine if allegations of misconduct are warranted, and to share the next step in the Conduct Process (e.g., if warranted, sending a Notice of Alleged Violation and scheduling an Informational Meeting).  Fact-finding meetings may occur anytime before a hearing takes place.

Faculty – Any person hired or appointed by the University to conduct classroom, teaching, or research activities.

FERPA - Per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g, students have the right to privacy of their educational records. These records include but are not limited to, records maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students. Only with a properly signed release are these records available to those other than the student, or as allowed by amendments to FERPA.

Formal Resolution - A disciplinary process that involves a student going before a Hearing Body to determine if a student is “responsible” or “not responsible” for a violation of The Bobcat Code. A student found responsible will receive Sanctions.  Formal resolutions do result in the student having a disciplinary record if found responsible.

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

Hearing – A proceeding through which a Hearing Body determines whether a Student is responsible or not responsible for allegations of misconduct and imposes Sanctions if appropriate.  A Hearing is conducted by a Hearing Officer or a Hearing Panel.

Hearing Body – A Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel authorized by the Dean of Students to hear student conduct cases, decide if a violation of The Bobcat Code occurred, and impose Sanctions if appropriate.

Hearing Officer – Hearing Officers can play one of two roles in the hearing of a case:

  1. The Dean of Students or a designee may serve as a Hearing Officer and can hear a case, determine responsibility, and impose Sanctions, if appropriate.
  2. With the Dean of Students’ permission, a Hearing Officer can convene a Hearing Panel and advise them throughout the Conduct Process on procedures, questioning, relevant information, policy, and Regulations. The Hearing Officer reviews all information, Witnesses, and questions to advise the Hearing Panel on relevancy determinations. The Hearing Officer makes relevancy determinations, prior to the Hearing, on documents, exhibits, and allowable Witnesses. The Hearing Officer is present during Hearing Panel deliberations but does not render a decision on the case (Title IX cases are handled differently).

Hearing Panel - Refers to a body of Students and/or University Officials trained to presides over Hearings conducted as part of the Conduct Process. A Hearing Panel may make relevancy determinations during Hearings, determines outcomes after Hearings about whether a Student has violated The Bobcat Code, and recommends or issues Sanctions if appropriate. Hearing Panels normally have 3 members. 

Impaired – Impaired means a person’s normal faculties are diminished in some material respect. Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and, in general, able to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of daily life.

Incapacitation/ Incapacitated – Incapacitation is a temporary or permanent state in which a person is physically or mentally unable to communicate a willful, voluntary, and knowing decision. A person can be incapacitated because of age, alcohol or drug consumption, being unconscious or asleep, a disability, or any other circumstance that prevents a Student from having the capacity to give Consent. For a person to be rendered Incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, the person must be so Impaired that they are unable to give Consent. This level of impairment must be obvious to a Reasonable person; it is not enough for a person to be merely under the influence of, or to have impaired judgment because of alcohol or drugs.

Informal - Alternative Resolution – A disciplinary process that involves a student accepting responsibility for their actions and agreeing to participate in an alternative resolution process (e.g., mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice).  Informal resolutions do not result in the student having a disciplinary record.

Informal - Standard Resolution – A disciplinary process that involves a student accepting responsibility for their actions and agreeing to a predetermined set of disciplinary and/or educational sanctions.  Informal resolutions do result in the student having a disciplinary record.

Informational Meeting - All Respondents (and Complainants when appropriate) are afforded the opportunity to attend a scheduled Informational Meeting with the Conduct Officer responsible for determining how a case will be resolved. An Informational Meeting is an opportunity to meet with a Conduct Officer who will explain the Respondent’s and Complainant's rights, the alleged violation(s), discuss resolution options (informal or formal), review the Respondent’s responsibilities, and provide an opportunity to review, after any required redaction, the information that was provided as the basis for the alleged policy violation(s). The Conduct Officer will also answer questions about the process and available options. The Informational Meeting provides an opportunity for the Respondent and Complainant to become more informed about the Conduct Process. The Conduct Officer will provide a range of possible outcomes for the alleged violation, but that individual cannot ensure that a specific outcome will occur beyond Standard Sanctions, which are set by the Dean of Students. 

Interim Suspension - An interim suspension occurs where necessary to maintain safety and are limited to those situations where the Respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property.

Institution –Georgia College, GC, or University are used interchangeably to represent the official name of Georgia College & State University.

Joint Hearing:  Two or more students or student groups will be scheduled to participate in a joint hearing if they are alleged to have taken part in the same incident, act, event, or series of related acts. The conduct regulation(s) alleged to have been violated and/or the alleged factual circumstances of the violation need not be identical for participation in a joint hearing.

Laws – Any rules, Regulations, codes, and ordinances, whether they originate from a Georgia municipality or county, the State of Georgia, the United States, or when in another state or country.

May - The term is used in the permissive sense.

Notice of Alleged Violation (NAV) – Upon initiation of a Conduct Process, the Respondent(s) will receive a NAV letter with a set date and time for an Informational Meeting with a Conduct Officer.  The Notice of Alleged Violations outlines the rules that the Student or Student Group is alleged to have violated, provides a summary of the facts of the case, makes the Student aware of their Student Rights, and allows for the selection of case resolution type.

Notice of Fact-Finding (NFF) – Prior to hearing a case, Respondent(s), Complainant(s), and other involved parties may receive an NFF letter concerning a complaint or report and indicates a Conduct Officer is requesting a meeting to gather and/or clarify information about the complaint or report.

Notice of Hearing (NOH) - Contains information regarding the Hearing date, time, and location, the alleged violations of The Bobcat Code, the basis of the alleged misconduct, a proposed range of sanctions, a notice that a more severe sanction could be set, and a notice to waive the Hearing and enter an Informal - Standard Resolution Process, or if offered, the Informal - Alternative Resolution Process.

Notice of Outcome (NOO) - The Conduct Officer will communicate the Hearing Body’s decision to the Respondent and the Complainant (if appropriate). The Notice of Outcome will be in writing and will include notification of appeal options if Sanctions were applied. The Respondent will be informed of any Sanctions, the date by which the requirements must be satisfied (if applicable), and the consequences of failure to satisfy the requirements.

Preponderance of the Evidence – The University’s burden of proof for any disciplinary proceeding is the preponderance of the evidence,  “Preponderance of the Evidence” means that the information presented to the University, as a whole, supports the finding that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation occurred or did not occur. This standard shall be used in resolving all conduct cases.

Reasonable – A term used as an objective standard for evaluating appropriateness. Having sound judgment; rational and sensible; not extreme or excessive.  This definition does not apply to reasonable accommodations.

Recording – Any recording in any medium using any technology. This includes but is not limited to visual recordings, such as photographs, videos, and audio recordings.

Relationship Violence (interpersonal) – Relationship Violence encompasses both dating and domestic violence.

  1. Dating violence is violence or a threat of harm between people who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, not living together in the same household.
  2. Domestic violence is violence or a threat of harm between family members or individuals living in the same household.

Respondent – A Student who has been accused of an alleged violation of The Bobcat Code. 

Reporting Person – Any person who has reported another person’s alleged violation of The Bobcat Code. The Reporting Person is the person who files a report or on whose behalf a report is filed. The Reporting Person can also be the Complainant but not always.

Restorative Justice Process - An opportunity for the Respondent to accept and acknowledge responsibility for their actions and for all parties to come to an understanding on how to best repair the harm caused by the Respondent’s misconduct.

Rule(s) – A set of explicit or understood regulations, principles, policies, directives, or restrictions made and maintained by the University or the University System of Georgia in the governance of the conduct system at Georgia College. Individual rules will be referred to by code numbers. For example, the alleged violation of RULE 126: Smoking / Tobacco Use is in the correct format for referring to a rule.

Sanction – A mandatory requirement established by the University, given to a Student (or Student Group) who has accepted responsibility for, or whom a Hearing Body found responsible for a violation of The Bobcat Code.

Sanction Review – A meeting between a Respondent and a Hearing Officer to review imposed conduct sanctions.

Separation/Disaffiliation – A type of Sanction for a Student or a Student Group that includes suspension, expulsion, or disaffiliation.

Shall - The term is used in the imperative sense.

Social Host Violation - When a resident(s) of a room or apartment hosts a gathering with individuals under 21 years old who are consuming alcoholic beverages.  In this case, the resident(s) of the room or apartment is considered a social host(s) and is responsible for those drinking alcohol in their room or apartment.  See the PROCESS section for Standard Sanctions for this violation.

Standard Sanctions – A prescribed set of sanctions for common violations of The Bobcat Code. 

Statement of Expectations – a written document that indicates the expectations of a Respondent as a result of an Informal - Alternative Resolution.

Student – Any person admitted, enrolled, or registered for any University Program, regardless of the medium of the program, or degree-seeking status, or when not enrolled or registered for a particular term, who is eligible to enroll in future terms. For the purpose of The Bobcat Code, the term “Student” is interchangeable with “Student Group” when the term “Student Group” is not directly specified.

Student Conduct Record – When a Student or Student Group is found responsible for a violation of The Bobcat Code, it will be recorded.  The record of these violations constitutes the Student Conduct Record.  Informal - Alternative Resolution processes, including but not limited to amnesty, conflict mediation, personal coaching, and restorative justice processes, are not part of the Student Conduct Record because these cases are not adjudicated through the Informal-Standard or Formal resolution process with a finding of responsible.

Student Group – Any association of Students who are readily identifiable as having a group association (e.g., intramural sports teams, all recognized student organizations, Student Ambassadors, club sports teams, and Athletic teams). For the purpose of The Bobcat Code, the term “Student” is interchangeable with “Student Group” when the term “Student Group” is not directly specified.

Student Organization – An association or group of persons that have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition or are in the formal process of obtaining recognition. For the purpose of The Bobcat Code, the term “Student” is interchangeable with “Student Organization” when the term “Student Organization” is not directly specified.  All Student Organizations are included in the term Student Group.

The Bobcat Code – Encompasses the entirety of this document, including but not limited to, the Academic Honor Code, Student Honor Code, Residence Life Rules, Student Group Rules, and Interim Restrictions.

University Activity or University Program – Any event, program, or activity that is hosted, sponsored, or organized by any University group, office, or Student Group.

University Appeals Committee (UAC) – The Vice President of Student Life may, in his or her discretion, hear an appeal, deny an appeal, or refer an appeal to the designated chair of the University Appeals Committee, which is composed of the following University Officials or designee from each Official’s organizational unit: the chief academic officer (or designee); the chief business officer (or designee), and any other person or persons deemed appropriate by the Vice President of Student Life.  The University Appeals Committee is made up of 3 University Officials.  The Vice President of Student Life will appoint a Chair of the UAC who will serve as the Vice President of Student Life’s designee and will notify him/her of the recommendation from the UAC.  The Vice President of Student Life maintains the final decision and does not have to accept the decision of the UAC.

University Campus/Premises/Property – All land, buildings, facilities, and other property the University possesses, owns, leases, operates, supervises, or controls, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

University Community – University Officials, Students, and other people or entities that participate in any University Activity or University Program.

University Official – Any person the University employs, contracts, or appoints to perform assigned teaching, research, administrative, professional, or other responsibilities.

Witness – A relevant Witness is a person with direct knowledge about or involvement in a reported incident or allegation. Relevant Witnesses may participate in person during the Conduct Process. Other Witnesses, including character Witnesses, may not participate in person during the Conduct Process but may submit statements pursuant to the submission guidelines outlined below in the Student Rights and Privacy section of The Bobcat Code.

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RIGHTS: Student Rights and Privacy

RIGHT 1. RESPONDENT RIGHTS

Any Respondent or Student Group (accused students) will be afforded the following rights throughout the Student Conduct Process. Any Student may also be given the opportunity to waive specific rights, in writing, to expedite the resolution process if appropriate as determined by the Dean of Students or designee. Respondents have the right to:

A. Participate individually in an Informational Meeting with a Conduct Officer to review the allegations, the Rule(s) allegedly violated, possible Sanctions, Respondent’s rights, to explain the Student Conduct Process, and available forms of resolution. Reasonable efforts will be made to hold this Informational Meeting at least five (5) Business Days before any scheduled Hearing.

B. An opportunity to ask a staff member(s) in the Office of the Dean of Students questions regarding the Student Conduct Process, and have those questions answered to the extent that staff is permitted and able.

C. Have an Advisor present during any meeting with the Dean of Students or designee.

D. A Hearing to determine the responsibility for any alleged violations of The Bobcat Code.

E. Written notification in Correspondence of any outcomes resulting from an alleged violation of The Bobcat Code. 

F. Decline to answer any questions or provide self-incriminating information to the Hearing Body at any point during the resolution process. Respondents (Accused Students) may also elect not to participate in a Hearing with the understanding that a decision, including any appropriate Sanctions, will be made in their absence using the information available at the time of the Hearing.

G. Provide and review appropriate information, including any potential Witnesses that could be used in the decision-making process, to the Dean of Students.

H. All information must be provided to the Dean of Students by 5:00 p.m. at least five (5) Business Days before the scheduled Hearing. No new information, including potential Witnesses, will be accepted for consideration after this date, absent the express written permission of the Dean of Students or designee.

I. A Respondent and their Advisor, if any, have the right to inspect the case file at least five (5) Business Days before the scheduled Hearing.

J. Have all information, including any potential Witnesses, that could be used in the decision-making process reviewed preliminarily for relevance by the Dean of Students prior to the Hearing. The determination of relevance will rest with the Dean of Students or designee. Relevance decisions that indicate a Witness is not relevant will be communicated directly with the Respondent, with rationale, in writing prior to the Hearing. Relevancy determinations regarding information directly related to the Complainant’s character or prior conduct will also be communicated directly with the Complainant in the same manner. Relevancy determinations may be reversed or modified through an appeal to the Dean of Students or designee.

K. Participate in a Hearing, including providing information, listening to Witnesses, and asking questions (through the Hearing Body) of Witnesses providing information during a Hearing.

L. Have a decision made based on the Preponderance of the Evidence standard.

M. Request reasonable accommodations if disabled, and in accordance with applicable Laws. Students in need of reasonable accommodations at any point during the Student Conduct Process due to a disability should contact the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) who will advise the Dean of Students or designee.

N. Request permission to participate via live video from another location, and/or participate in a manner that avoids direct contact with Complainant and/or Witnesses as long as such participation does not infringe on the Respondent’s right to question the Complainant or Witnesses during the Hearing or infringe on the University’s implementation of the Student Conduct Process (if not pre-determined).

O. Have any University status remain unchanged pending a final outcome through the Student Conduct Process; except in cases involving a threat or serious potential threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the University Community or University property, as outlined in PROCESS 6 – Supportive Measures.

P. To select a Hearing Body (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel) as outlined in PROCESS 5.  In cases involving Sexual Misconduct violations, the Hearing Body will be a University System of Georgia-trained Administrative Hearing Panel.

Q. Provide a written impact statement to the Hearing Officer before the start of a Hearing to be considered if Sanctions are to be issued.

R. Be notified of the final outcome(s) of the case.

S. Appeal a decision of a Hearing Body, in writing and in accordance with the appeals process (PROCESS 20).

T. Privacy of the student conduct record, except to the extent permitted or required by Law.

U. Access and review all relevant Georgia College policies and procedures related to The Bobcat Code.

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RIGHT 2. Complainant Rights

Any Complainant will be afforded the following rights throughout the Conduct Process. Complainants have the right to:

A. Privacy of their student education records, except to the extent permitted or required by Law.

B. Access and review all relevant Georgia College policies and procedures related to The Bobcat Code.

C. Ask staff member(s) in the Office of the Dean of Students questions regarding the Conduct Process and have those questions answered to the extent that staff is permitted and able.

D. Request reasonable accommodations if disabled, and in accordance with applicable Laws. Students in need of reasonable accommodations at any point during the Conduct Process due to a disability should contact the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) who will advise the Dean of Students or designee.

E. Participate individually in an Informational Meeting with a Conduct Officer to review the allegations, the Rule(s) allegedly violated, possible Sanctions, Complainant’s rights, and to explain the Conduct Process, and any available forms of resolution. Reasonable efforts will be made to hold this Informational Meeting at least five (5) Business Days before any scheduled Hearing.

F. To participate in a Hearing and have an Advisor present during any Hearing or meeting. Participation may include providing information, providing Witnesses to present relevant information, and/or submitting questions to be asked of the Respondent and Witnesses, by the Hearing Body. A Student who chooses to have an Advisor present during any meeting must provide the identity of the person(s) to the Dean of Students or designee.

G. Complainant and their Advisor have the right to review the Complainant’s own written statement, and their own submitted information at least five (5) Business Days prior to the scheduled Hearing.  Note: Cases involving Sexual Misconduct will be handled in accordance with POLICY 14, POLICY 15 and POLICY 16.

H. Provide appropriate information, including any potential Witnesses that could be used in the decision-making process to the Dean of Students.  All information must be provided to the Dean of Students by 5:00 p.m. at least five (5) Business Days prior to the scheduled Hearing. No new information, including potential Witnesses, will be accepted for consideration after this date, absent the express written permission of the Dean of Students or designee.

I. Have all information directly related to the Complainant’s character or prior conduct, including any potential Witnesses, that could be used in the decision-making process reviewed preliminarily for relevance by the Dean of Students before the Hearing. Relevance decisions that indicate a Witness is not relevant will be communicated directly with the Respondent, with rationale, in writing prior to the Hearing.  Relevancy determinations may be reversed or modified through an appeal to the Dean of Students or designee.

J. To review the Hearing Body selection of the Respondent as outlined in PROCESS 5. In cases involving Sexual Misconduct violations, the Hearing Body will be a University System of Georgia-trained Administrative Hearing Panel.

K. To request permission to participate via live video from another location, and/or participate in a manner that avoids direct contact with the Respondent and/or Witnesses as long as such participation does not infringe on the Respondent’s right to question the Complainant or Witnesses during the Hearing or infringe on the University’s implementation of the Conduct Process.

L. Decline to answer any questions or provide self-incriminating information to the Hearing Body at any point during the resolution process.

M. To provide a written impact statement to the Hearing Officer before the start of a Hearing. In the event that the Respondent accepts responsibility, or found responsible, the impact statement would then be provided to the Hearing Body to be considered in recommending or issuing Sanctions.

N. To be notified of any recommendations of a Hearing Body, and the final outcome of the case.

O. To appeal on the same grounds as the Respondent, as outlined in POLICY 14.

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RIGHT 3. Student privacy rights

A. PERSON AND PROPERTY

A student shall be free from searches and seizures of his person and possessions while on university property unless said search and seizure is conducted in accordance with state and federal laws. In cases of a clear and present danger, where there is probable cause, or it is believed to be necessary to conduct a search immediately in order to protect life or property, searches may be conducted by the Georgia College Department of Public Safety normally in the presence of the Dean of Students or his authorized representative.

B. DISCIPLINARY RECORDS

A student's disciplinary record shall be kept in the Office of the Dean of Students separate from academic records. It will remain confidential unless the student consents in writing to have it revealed. However, the Dean of Students may disclose the student's disciplinary record without the student's consent if legal compulsion or the safety of people or property is involved, or if the information is required by authorized university personnel for official use at the university. In these circumstances, only the information pertinent to the inquiry may be revealed. The Dean of Students may also act without the student's consent to have a "hold" entered on the student's academic record file for the time that suspension or dismissal would prohibit the student from registering.

C. ACADEMIC RECORDS

A student's test data and academic record in the Registrar’s Office shall be kept in a secure file, separate and confidential unless the student consents in writing to have it revealed to a designated person and for a designated purpose. However, by attending Georgia College the student is giving permission for the distribution and use of his test data and all other academic records as the Provost (Chief Academic Officer) deems necessary to accomplish the duties of his office as contained in the university policies. Without such release, no information will be revealed except to an appropriate authority and then only when there is a clear and imminent danger to an individual or to society, and such information will be limited to that which is directly pertinent to the reduction of that danger.

D. STUDENT HEALTH RECORD

Students’ medical, surgical and mental health records and information are strictly confidential and are not to be released to anyone without the student's knowledge and signed authorization. Student mental health records are maintained separately in a confidential file. If it becomes apparent in the course of treatment that the student is likely to cause injury to himself or others, pertinent information to this extent may be revealed for the protection of the student or others.

E. DEAN OF STUDENTS' RECORDS

Official records and information maintained by the Dean of Students are treated in a confidential manner. A student has the right to view his disciplinary records. Discipline and conduct records and the information contained therein will not be released except with the written consent of the student or as required by law. General information, such as the student's address, phone number, university classification, etc. is released upon receipt of a specific request unless the student has requested that this "directory information" remain private. Requests for personal information such as date of birth, parents' names and addresses, social security numbers, etc. will be released on a show-cause basis only. The Dean of Students is responsible for seeing that proper justification has been made.

F. EVALUATION OF STUDENT CHARACTER AND ABILITY

A student's character and ability shall be evaluated only by those with personal knowledge of the student. Records containing such evaluations shall indicate when the information was acquired, by whom, and the position of the individual. Upon a student's request to an individual faculty member or administrator, that student should be informed of all inquiries about that student directed to the faculty member or administrator and that judgments have been or will be given.

G. SUBPOENAED INFORMATION

If presented with a subpoena to produce information about specific students and/or student groups, the recipient shall immediately notify the Dean of Students and forward to that office a copy of the subpoena. The Dean of Students shall immediately notify the student or student group involved or use their best efforts to do so, and forward to them a copy of the subpoena by certified mail addressed to their last known address.

H. NON-ACADEMIC INFORMATION

Information about a student or a student group's political or social views or beliefs which faculty, staff, or administrators acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, counselors, or supervisors is to be kept confidential unless the student applies for a position that federal law requires the surrender of the right to withhold information from their representatives. Students may waive this protection by granting express permission to the relevant faculty, staff or administrator.

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RIGHT 4. Family Educational Rights AND Privacy Act

Per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g, students have the right to privacy of their educational records. These records include but are not limited to, records maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students. Only with a properly signed release are these records available to those other than the student, or as allowed by amendments to FERPA.

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RIGHT 5. Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

A. Any person with a disability who is involved in the Conduct Process has the right to request reasonable accommodation(s) in order to ensure their full and equal participation.

B. Individuals registered with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) wishing to request reasonable accommodation(s) may request documentation from the SDRC and provide it or have the SDRC provide it to the Conduct Officer, if needed.

C. Individuals do not have to disclose information about the conduct matter to the Student Disability Resource Center to request reasonable accommodation(s), except to the extent that it may assist in the determination of reasonable accommodation(s).

D. Individuals not affiliated with the University should submit requests for reasonable accommodation(s) in writing to the Conduct Officer and may need to provide supporting documentation regarding their request.

E. Accommodations are determined and implemented on an individual basis by the Conduct Officer.

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RIGHT 6. Advisors

The Respondent and Complainant, as parties to these proceedings, shall have the right to have an advisor (who may or may not be 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 posed to the advisee, but shall not participate directly during the investigation or hearing process.

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RIGHT 7. RECUSAL/CHALLENGE FOR BIAS

Any party may challenge the participation of any University Official or Hearing Body member in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement along with evidence of why such a challenge is being made, to the Office of the Dean of Students setting forth the basis for the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual knew or reasonably should have known the existence of the bias. Office of the Dean of Students will determine whether to grant or deny the challenge and if granted, the replacement to be appointed.

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THE RULES

This section provides statements, explanations, and rules that target behaviors considered inappropriate for the Georgia College community and in opposition to the core values set forth in The Bobcat Code. These expectations and rules apply to all students, whether undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral. Georgia College encourages community members to report to University Officials all violations of rules and policies. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined in Student Conduct Process.

When violations of The Bobcat Code occur, the Dean of Students or their designee will review the results of the investigation (if any) to determine the severity of the violations. A case will then be designated with a particular Level or a range of Levels as outlined in PROCESS 18 which is based upon the severity of the violations and/or conduct history.

    Georgia College may discipline a student in nonacademic matters. This normally involves matters which occur on the Georgia College campus or at Georgia College-sponsored activities or events but may be extended to off-campus matters which could reasonably be expected to impact the Georgia College community. Off-campus arrests may result in Georgia College Student Code of Conduct violations.

    All Residence Hall Students are expected to adhere to the Housing contract terms and stipulations listed by the Department of University Housing and the Department of Residence Life.

    Students and Student Groups are subject to disciplinary action for violating The Bobcat Code.

          -->RULES 1-10: Academic Honor Code

    NOTE: All Academic Honor Code violations are Level 4 offenses and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

    Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in the PROCESS section.  To help stop academic dishonesty, Faculty must report all violations of the Academic Honor Code to the Office of the Dean of Students, even when the faculty member chooses not to pursue further disciplinary actions.  Acts of academic dishonesty or disruption, include but are not limited to the following:

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    RULE 1. ABUSE OF ACADEMIC MATERIALS

    Destroying, defacing, stealing, or making inaccessible Library or other academic resource materials.

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    RULE 2. CHEATING

    Copying or attempting to copy from an academic test or examination of another student; using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, or other devices for an academic test, examination, or exercise; engaging or attempting to engage the assistance of another individual in misrepresenting the academic performance of a student; or communicating information in an unauthorized manner to another person for an academic test, examination or exercise. 

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    RULE 3. CLASSROOM DISRUPTION

    Any classroom behavior that interferes with the Faculty’s ability to conduct class, failure to conform to the Faculty member’s announced expectations for the classroom, or the ability of other Students to learn.

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    RULE 4. COMPLICITY IN ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

    Helping or attempting to help another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

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    RULE 5. FABRICATION OR FALSIFICATION

    Falsifying or fabricating any information or citation in any academic exercise, work, speech, research, test, or examination.  Falsification is the alteration of information, while fabrication is the invention or counterfeiting of information.

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    RULE 6. FALSIFYING GRADE REPORTS

    Changing or destroying grades, scores, or markings on an examination or in a faculty member’s records.

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    RULE 7. IMPERMISSIBLE COLLABORATION

    Collaborating on any academic exercise, work, speech, test, or examination unless expressly authorized by the faculty member.  It is the obligation of the student to know whether collaboration is permitted.

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    RULE 8. MISREPRESENTATION TO AVOID ACADEMIC WORK

    Misrepresentation by fabrication an otherwise justifiable excuse such as illness, injury, accident, etc., in order to avoid or delay timely submission of academic work or to avoid or delay the taking of a test or examination.

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    RULE 9. PLAGIARISM

    Presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source) and submitting examinations, theses, reports, speeches, drawings, laboratory notes, or other academic work in whole or in part as one’s own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person.  Materials covered by this prohibition include, but are not limited to, text, video, audio, images, photographs, websites, electronic and online materials, and other intellectual property.

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    RULE 10. MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS

    It is a violation of the Academic Honor Code to present substantial portions of previous work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty member(s) to whom the material is submitted for additional credit.

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    RULE 11. Unauthorized posting and distribution

    The presenting, distributing, selling, sharing, or publishing of course lecture notes, videos, audio recordings, or any other faculty-produced materials from any course for any commercial purpose is strictly prohibited unless explicit written permission is granted in advance by the faculty member teaching the course.

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    RULE 12. Violation of Additional Course Standards

    Academic units and members of the faculty may prescribe and give students prior notice of additional standards of conduct for academic honesty in a particular course, and violation of any such standard of conduct shall constitute misconduct under The Bobcat Code.

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          -->RULES 100-139: Student Honor Code

    Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in the PROCESS section. 

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    RULE 100. Adverse Impact

    Conduct that has a substantial adverse impact on the University community, its members, and/or the pursuit of its objectives, regardless of where such conduct occurs.

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    RULE 101. ALCOHOL POSSESSION AND USE

    A. Possession, use, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21;

    B. Possession of alcohol containers by persons under the age of 21;

    C. The sale, distribution, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages, or otherwise facilitating consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21;

    D.  Public intoxication;

    E. Providing alcoholic beverages to a person who is intoxicated;

    F. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by the consumption of alcohol;

    G. Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages in public locations on campus, including Residence Hall common spaces; common spaces in Residence Halls refer to any public space that exists outside the bedroom of a specific residential unit. Examples include, but are not limited to public kitchens, public living rooms, public bathrooms, group study/lounge spaces, laundry rooms, lobbies, computer rooms, etc. Common spaces also include the public spaces located on the outside grounds of a Residence Hall. If alcohol is found in the common area, all Students may be accused of violating the policy and/or found responsible;

    H. Any game or activity (especially those competitive in nature) contributing to the overindulgence of alcohol is prohibited regardless of the age of the participants (e.g., beer pong, water pong, flip cup, etc.);

    I. Possession or use of common source containers (e.g., kegs, pony kegs, party balls, beer bongs, trash cans, funnels, beer hats, etc.).  Beverages must be used in individual containers; and

    J. Any activity or conduct involving the use of alcohol that is in violation of the law.

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    RULE 102. ANIMALS

    A. Pets are permitted on University grounds if they are under the control of and accompanied by their owner or designee.  The caretaker must promptly clean up and properly dispose of any pet waste.  If animals are disruptive, left unattended, or are not under the control of the owner, both the owner and the animal may be asked to leave.  All dogs on University grounds must be leashed or under voice command of, and in close proximity to, the caretaker.

    B. Any abuse, inappropriate handling, or causing death to wildlife and/or animals.

    C. Provisions of this policy do not apply to service animals or to police dogs, or K9 dogs, while such animals are performing their duties under supervision.   Service animals and service animals in training are permitted on campus and in campus facilities.

    D. Bringing any unauthorized animal into any building owned, leased, or controlled by Georgia College.

    E. Excessive noise, or destruction of property from service or assistance animals.

    F. Emotional Support Animals are considered for Residence Halls, as noted by the Federal Housing Act if specified by documentation from a licensed professional.  All applications for bringing an Emotional Support Animal will be submitted to the University for review and approval by the Student Disability Resources Center and University Housing.

    G. Violations of the Animals on Campus Policy will be dealt with in accordance with University rules governing the conduct of faculty, staff, and students.  In addition, violations within Residence Halls will have action taken in accordance with policies for Residence Life.

    H. This policy does not apply to animals that are used in research.

    I. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors of Georgia College are expected to comply with this policy.

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    RULE 103. ASSAULT

    A. Any physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature.

    B. Any physical abuse or physical harm of another person.

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    RULE 104. BIAS INCIDENT

    A bias-related incident is characterized as behavior or act, verbal, written, or physical, personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, physical handicap/disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, or age. Bias incidents occur when someone is subject to discrimination, harassment, abuse, bullying, stereotyping, hostility, marginalization, or another form of mistreatment simply because they identify with or are part of a particular group.

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    RULE 105. IMPEDING THE CONDUCT PROCESS

    Abuse or interference with, or failure to comply in, University Conduct Processes including, but not limited to:

    A. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;

    B. Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during fact-finding of an alleged violation of The Bobcat Code;

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

    D. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Hearing Body prior to, during, and/or following a Hearing;

    E. Failing to appear and cooperate as a Witness in a disciplinary case when properly notified;

    F. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the Conduct Process;

    G. Influencing or attempting to influence, another person, including any member of the Hearing Body, to commit an abuse of the Conduct Process.

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    RULE 106. DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

    A. Any damage or destruction of property belonging to a member of the University community, University property, or to a visitor of the campus.

    B. Any damage or destruction of property that is caused by a Georgia College Student (including property not owned or leased by Georgia College).

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    RULE 107. DECEPTION

    A. Any misuse of any University records, forms, or documents through forgery, unauthorized alteration, reproduction, or other means.

    B. Providing false information to law enforcement and/or University Officials.

    C. Possession of any fake or altered identification that belongs to the individual or another person.

    D. Lending, selling, or otherwise transferring an identification card.

    E. Any attempt to perpetrate a fraud against the University or a member of the University community.

    F. Any unauthorized claim to speak and/or act in the name of Georgia College or any organization, Student, University officials, or Faculty members.

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    RULE 108. Discrimination

    Differential treatment of an individual based on that individual’s membership in a protected class that unreasonably interferes with or limits the individual’s work, educational performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program, activity, or student group.

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    RULE 109. DISORDERLY CONDUCT

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

    B. Any lewd, obscene, and indecent behavior including deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts.

    C. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person, including but not limited to physical violence, abuse, intimidation, and/or coercion; or violation of a legal protective order.

    D. Failure to comply with directions of any University official, office, or other law enforcement officer acting in the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.

    E. Participation in a campus demonstration that violates the University’s Freedom of Expression Policy (POLICY 4), intentionally or recklessly disrupts the normal operations of the University, or infringes on the rights of other members of the University community.

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

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

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

    I. Harassment and discrimination against any person as prohibited by the University’s Statement on Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment (POLICY 11).

    J. Any abuse or unauthorized use of sound amplification equipment.

    K. Any conduct which materially interferes with the normal operation of the University, or with the requirements of appropriate discipline.

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

    M. Violation of published University policies, rules, or regulations.

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    RULE 110. DISORDERLY / IMPROPER ASSEMBLY

    A. Any assembly for the purpose of causing a riot, destruction of property, or disorderly diversion, which interferes with the normal operation of the University.

    B. Any obstruction to the free movement of other persons about campus or the interference with the use of University facilities. This is not to deny any Student the right to peaceful, non-disruptive assembly or expression.

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    RULE 111. DRUGS and Drug Paraphernalia

    A. The possession, consumption, or use of an illegal substance (substance controlled by Federal or Georgia law) or synthetic cannabinoid (e.g., Spice or K2).  Possession of cannabis includes but is not limited to constructive possession as defined in the glossary of this document.

    B. The manufacture, cultivation, distribution, purchase, or taking delivery of any illegal substance (substance controlled by Federal or Georgia law) or synthetic cannabinoid.

    C. Abuse, misuse, sale, or distribution, or improper possession of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

    D. The possession and/or use of any drug paraphernalia, i.e., bowls, hookah pipes, bongs, “homemade” smoking devices, any other smoking device or smoking paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia includes but is not limited to all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.

    E. Individuals suspected of drug use may be found responsible for suspicion of drug use if University Officials have reason to believe Students have engaged in drug use.

    F. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence or while impaired by the consumption of substances controlled by federal law, Georgia law, or synthetic marijuana.

    G. Any activity or conduct involving drugs that are in violation of local, state, or federal law.

    H. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (§20-1-23), “Any student of a public educational institution who is convicted, under the laws of this state, the United States, or any other state, of any felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug shall as of the date of conviction be suspended from the public educational institution in which such person is enrolled. [The] suspension shall be effective as of the date of conviction…. and shall continue through the end of the term, quarter, semester, or another similar period for which the student was enrolled as of the date of conviction. The student shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for such term, quarter, semester, or another similar period; and the educational institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit which is granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension.”

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    RULE 112. ENDANGERMENT

    Students have the responsibility to refrain from conduct that causes bodily harm to others.

    A. The University prohibits purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another;

    B. Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly placing another in fear of serious bodily harm; and

    C. Intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any Student, faculty, staff member, or guest of the University.

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    RULE 113. FAILURE TO Respond

    A. Failing to respond to a lawful request by properly identified University Officials or law enforcement officials in the performance of their duties.

    B. Failing to report for an Educational Conversation, meeting, or appointment with any University Official or Faculty Member when properly notified.

    C. Evading or fleeing from law enforcement or University Officials.

    D. Failing to follow established University policies, guidelines, and interim restrictions.

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    RULE 114. FELONY CONVICTION

    A. Being convicted of a felony while a Student.

    B. Pleading guilty to a felony while a Student.

    C. Pleading nolo contendere to a felony while a Student.

    D. Receiving First Offender Treatment or similar pretrial diversionary treatment for a felony grade offense while a Student.

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    RULE 115. FIRE SAFETY and MAINTENANCE

    A. Any failure to evacuate or immediately respond to a fire alarm.

    B. Participation in creating or causing a false fire alarm.

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

    D. Improper discharge of a fire extinguisher.

    E. Intentionally or recklessly obstructing a fire exit in any University building.

    F. Failure to follow the instructions of University Officials and emergency personnel during fire alarms.

    G. The possession, use, manufacture, and/or sale of any incendiary device, (e.g., fireworks).

    H. Setting, causing to be set, or participation in setting any unauthorized fire in or on University property.

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

    J. Failure to maintain a group's facilities and/or surrounding property in compliance with local or State statutes or ordinances.

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    RULE 116. GAMBLING

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

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    RULE 117. Guests

    Students have the responsibility to ensure that their guests on campus will behave in a manner consistent with the policies of the University. Students may be held responsible for the behavior of their guest(s) on campus if the guest(s) violates The Bobcat Code, or any other applicable University policy.

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    RULE 118. HARASSMENT

    Speech or other expressions (words, pictures, symbols) that constitutes fighting words and is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent, and/or objectively offensive so as to interfere, limit, or deny one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program. Fighting words may include but are not limited to, words, pictures, or symbols that:

    A. Are directed to an individual or individuals based on that person’s race, color, sex, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, veteran status, or national origin.

    B. Threaten violence, that tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace or provoke a violent response.

    C. Are fighting words, which are those which are commonly understood to convey direct and visceral hatred or contempt for human beings. When determining whether speech is such as would provoke a violent response or incite an immediate breach of the peace, it is not necessary to show that the person(s) addressed by the speech was or were actually incited to violence or hostile action. Conduct will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering all circumstances involved.

    D. Following, placing under surveillance, or contacting (in person, by phone, electronically, or by any other means) another person without his or her permission for the purpose of harassing or intimidating that person. Harassing or intimidating means a knowing and willful course of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and causes emotional distress by placing another person in reasonable fear for the safety of themselves or others.

    E. Any act of intimidation or bullying directed against any person or group of persons.

    NOTE: This policy shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest, or assembly.

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    RULE 119. HAZING

    Hazing is a violation of State of Georgia law and is strictly prohibited by Georgia College & State University both on and off-campus.  Violations of the Georgia College hazing policy and State of Georgia laws can result in both disciplinary and/or criminal charges. Ga. Code § 16-5-61 (c) states that "any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.”

    A. DEFINITION

     'Haze' or 'hazing' means to subject a student to an activity which endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of a student or coerces the student through the use of social or physical pressure to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to a likely risk of vomiting, intoxication, or unconsciousness regardless of a student's willingness to participate in such activity. (O.C.G.A.§16-5-61 (a)(1)); or causes an individual pain, embarrassment, ridicule or harassment as a condition or precondition of gaining acceptance, membership, office, or other status in a student group, team, or organization regardless of whether such group, team or organization is formally recognized by Georgia College & State University.

         1. Hazing occurs in power differential between individuals in a group, team, or organization and individuals who want to join a group, team, or organization.

              a. An individual’s willingness to participate in the action of hazing does not absolve them of responsibility for participation.

              b. Nor does willingness to participate or administer the action of hazing absolve the individual, group, team, or organization of responsibility for participation.

         2. The determination of whether an activity constitutes hazing will be dependent on the circumstances and context in which that activity is occurring.

    B.  In accordance with State of Georgia law, violations of this hazing policy will be made public. The term hazing shall include, but not be limited to:

         1. Any violation of federal, state, or local law or rule or University policy, as it directly or indirectly relates to the initiation or admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a student group, team, or organization. 

              a. Ga. Code § 16-5-61 (b) states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to haze any student in connection with or as a condition or precondition of gaining acceptance, membership, office, or other status in a school organization.”

         2. Activities that willfully destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in any student group, team, or organization.

         3. Any brutality of a physical nature, which may include but is not limited to: whipping, beating, branding, paddling, kicking, pushing, shoving, tackling, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, as well as brutalities that are sexual in nature.

         4. Any forced physical activity which could adversely affect the mental, physical, and/or emotional health of an individual, and any activity which is or has the potential to be physically or mentally harmful, painful, or injurious, such as harassment or misconduct that is sexual in nature, or the forced or required consumption of any food, drink, liquor, drug, or other substance.

         5. Any forced, requiring, encouraging nudity at any time.

         6. Any forced, requiring, encouraging the removal of clothing.

         7. Any activity which involves blindfolding and parading individuals in public areas, blindfolding and transporting in a motor vehicle, or privately conducting blindfolding activities that serve no constructive purpose.

         8. Any activity that could subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, and/or forced conduct that could result in embarrassment or degradation.

              a. This includes but is not limited to: promoting servitude, berating or verbally harassing individuals, throwing items at or on individuals, forcing individuals to carry items or wear apparel that is undignified, requiring public stunts, requiring individuals to run personal errands, requiring an individual to use personal vehicles for trips and/or to incur the associated costs or any other forced activity that which could adversely affect the mental or emotional health, the financial well-being of the individual, or the dignity of the individual.

              b. Any activity that has the potential to cause harm to the academic performance of the individual, such as not allowing for adequate time for, or interfering with academic commitments; activities conducted between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m., and forced exclusion from social and/or verbal contact with any other individual.

    C. Additional stipulation includes the following:

         1. No student, University employee, volunteer, Student Group, athletic team, alumni groups, or other University-recognized associations should participate in, solicit, direct, aid, conduct, or participate as a witness to hazing.

              a. A student is responsible for behavior when he or she solicits, aids, or attempts to aid another person in planning or committing the behavior.

              b. Student Groups, teams, organizations, or individuals from the student groups, teams, or organizations that engage in hazing can expect to be held accountable as a Student Group for that activity as well as the failure or refusal to identify individual members involved in hazing and/or retaliates against anyone who acts to stop or report hazing activity.

              c. Both Student Groups and individual Conduct Processes may be pursued.

         2. Any activity that would cause a reasonable person to suspect hazing should contact the Office of the Dean of Students or Public Safety.

         3. Allegations of hazing, including anonymous allegations, may be reported 24 hours a day via GC Public Safety at 478-445-4400, or by our incident reporting form: http://incident.gcsu.edu.

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    RULE 120. Interfering with active bystander

    Intentionally interfering with, intimidating, threatening, harassing, or retaliating against others for engaging in bystander intervention to prevent or report potential harm, violence, or sexual misconduct is a violation of The Bobcat Code.

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    RULE 121. Shared RESPONSIBILITY

    A. Attempting, aiding, abetting, assisting, conspiring, hiring, permitting, supporting (includes remaining physically presence), or being an accessory to any act prohibited by The Bobcat Code shall be considered to the same extent as completed violations and could subject the student or student group to disciplinary action.

         1. Students who knowingly act or plan to act in concert to violate University regulations (accomplices) have individual and shared responsibility for their behavior.

    B. Knowingly condoning, encouraging, or requiring behavior that violates The Bobcat Code.

    C. Allowing, condoning, permitting, or providing an opportunity for a guest to violate The Bobcat Code. 

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    RULE 122. LYING

    Defined as an attempt to deceive, falsify, or misrepresent the truth in any matter involving University business. University business includes but is not limited to, financial aid information and responses to the queries of Public Safety officers.

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    RULE 123. RECREATIONAL WHEELED DEVICES

    Skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, roller skates, bicycles, and similar wheeled devices may not be used inside University buildings, residence halls, or on tennis courts. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities and individuals may be liable for damage to University property caused by these activities.

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    RULE 124. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT and Interpersonal Violence

    The policy on Sexual Misconduct from the University System of Georgia (USG) takes precedence over Georgia College policies if there is a conflict: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section6/C2655.  The University System of Georgia’s Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found in this document within POLICY 15.  Procedural processes can be located in POLICY 14.

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    RULE 125. Retaliation

    Any act of retaliation is prohibited when, in good faith, someone reports what they believe to be a violation of any University policy, including The Bobcat Code, participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any fact-finding process. Anyone who believes they have been the target of retaliation should report the actions to the Dean of Students or designee as soon as possible.

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    RULE 126. TOBACCO use AND Smoking

    A. The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, or belonging to Georgia College, or in any way used by the University or its affiliates is expressly prohibited.

    B. “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 simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes or vaporizers.

    C. Violations of POLICY 2. USG 6.10 TOBACCO AND SMOKE-FREE CAMPUSES & GA CODE § 16-12-171 are prohibited.

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    RULE 127. SOLICITATION

    This policy outlines sponsorships, donations, and gifts-in-kind for both events and organizations by outside individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations and the advertising rights associated with such financial and non-financial contributions for a specific Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group. Violations of this policy include:

    A. Conducting an unauthorized sales campaign in a Residence Hall, classroom, or administrative building, or any other campus location.

    B. Placing door hangers or signs on cars on campus or in on-campus residential facilities; or other campus property.

    C. Any violation of the Solicitation Policy found in its entirety in POLICY 18. 

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    RULE 128. STUDENT IDENTIFICATION CARD VIOLATIONS

    The use of the student identification card is for the sole use of the Student whose information appears on the card.  The proper use of the student ID is determined by the Bobcat Card Office.  The following are violations of the use of the student identification card:

    A. Altering, lending, or selling a Student identification card.

    B. Using a Student identification card by anyone other than its original holder.

    C. Using a Student identification card in any unauthorized manner.

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    RULE 129. THEFT

    A. Taking possession, or attempting to sell or distribute any property that belongs to another person, Student Group, or entity (University included).

    B. Taking or attempting to sell any service that belongs to the University without proper permission.

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    RULE 130. THREATS

    Any expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence with the purpose (or in reckless disregard of the risk) of:

    A. Placing an individual or group of individuals in fear of bodily harm or death; or

    B. Causing the evacuation of a University facility, service, or event; or

    C. Otherwise causing serious disruption to the orderly operation of the University.

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    RULE 131. UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY

    A. Unauthorized entry on or into any University building, office, Residence Hall, off-campus residence, parking lot, motor vehicle, or other facilities.

    B. Remaining in any building after normal closing hours without proper authorization;

    C. Remaining overnight in public areas of the Residence Hall or surrounding areas without approval from Residence Life staff.

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    RULE 132. UNAUTHORIZED USE

    A. Unauthorized use of University equipment.

    B. Unauthorized use of bathrooms, exits, or windows.

    C. Unauthorized use or duplication of keys.

    D. Unauthorized use or possession of any unauthorized parking permit.

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    RULE 133. Unpiloted Aerial Systems

    Engaging in the unauthorized use of any unpiloted aerial system on University premises or at University-related activities except as expressly permitted by law and University policy. Authorization for use of an unpiloted aerial system must be obtained from the Department of Public Safety.

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    RULE 134. UNAUTHORIZED USE OF COMPUTING RESOURCES

    A. Unauthorized entry into any network, computer, or file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.

    B. Unauthorized transfer of a file.

    C. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.

    D. Use of computing facilities that interfere with the normal operation of the University computing system.

    E. Use of computing facilities that violate copyright laws.

    F. Use of any unregistered devices on the University network.

    G. Use of tools for port-scanning, “sniffing,” or monitoring or reading transmissions from other users on the network is prohibited.

    H. Any violation of the University's computer-use policies.

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    RULE 135. VANDALISM

    Defined as intentional, malicious damage to University property or property belonging to others, inclusive of property within the local community and property used in conjunction with University Activities or University Programs.

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    RULE 136. VIOLATION OF CONFIDENTIALITY

    A. Disclosing confidential Student Conduct information as a member of a Hearing Body;

    B. Disclosing confidential work-related information as a Student employee; and/or

    C. Student organizations or officers disclosing confidential information beyond what was approved by the Student or the University.

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    RULE 137. VIOLATION OF LAW

    Any act that violates a provision of the laws of the United States, the laws of any State in which such act occurs, the ordinances of any county, city, municipality, or other political subdivision, or the laws of another nation or political subdivision thereof in which such act occurs, is deemed to be a violation of The Bobcat Code. When such behavior(s) occurs on University property, or at University-sponsored activities or events, or when such conduct distinctly and directly affects the University community and/or the pursuit of its objectives regardless of where it occurs, it is a violation of The Bobcat Code.

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    RULE 138. Violation of Other Applicable University Policies

    Students have the responsibility to comply with all other generally applicable University policies. Students may be found responsible and sanctioned appropriately for violating other stated University policies.

    Violation of any Georgia College policy, rule, regulation, or presidential order, including without limitation: 

    A. Violation of policies, rules, and regulations set forth in the Georgia College Undergraduate Catalog and the Georgia College Graduate Catalog

    B. Violations of policies and regulations set forth in the Georgia College Policy Manual;

    C. Violations of policies, rules, and regulations set forth by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents; and

    D. Violation of University policies and procedures pertaining to student organizations set forth in the Student Organizations Handbook.

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    RULE 139. WEAPONS AND FIREARMS

    Any violations of these regulations should be immediately reported to Georgia College’s Department of Public Safety at (478) 445-4054.

    A. No Student shall keep, use, possess, display, or carry any rifle, shotgun, or other lethal or dangerous devices capable of launching a projectile by air, gas, explosion, or mechanical means (including BB guns, air-soft guns, stun guns, and paintball guns) on any property owned, controlled, or leased by Georgia College unless specifically authorized by the administration or as part of a University-sanctioned event or where allowed by law (see Concealed Carry of Handguns section below).

    B. No Student shall use, possess, display or carry any toy or fake weapon which resembles a real weapon.

    C. No Student shall use, possess, display or carry any swords, any illegal knives, any explosives (including ammunition, gunpowder, fireworks, and sparklers), any martial arts weapons, or any devices unless specifically authorized by the administration or as part of a University sanctioned event.

    D. Anything that can be used to injure, attempt to injure, or harass another person is considered a weapon.

    E. In unclear cases of definition, the context in which a particular object was used or attempted to be used will determine whether it is a weapon.

    F. Illegal or unauthorized possession of weapons that include, but are not limited to firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals.

    G. Any violation of federal or state law against carrying a weapon and/or firearm.

    H. CONCEALED CARRY OF HANDGUNS / CAMPUS CARRY

        1. Georgia House Bill 280 allows anyone who is properly licensed in the State of Georgia to carry a handgun in a concealed manner on property owned or leased by public colleges and universities, with some exceptions as explained below. It does not allow any other type of gun to be carried around campus; nor does it allow handguns to be carried openly.

        2. House Bill 280 does not apply to institution-sponsored events or excursions away from campus on property not owned or leased by a University System institution.

        3. License-holders may not carry a handgun into the following locations on college / university-owned or leased property:

              a. Buildings and property used for athletic sporting events. This exception includes stadiums, gymnasiums, and similar facilities in which intercollegiate games are staged (but does not extend to so-called “tailgating” areas where fans may congregate outside the entrance of the sports facility). It does not extend to student recreation centers and similar facilities that are not used for intercollegiate games.

              b. Student housing facilities including residence halls and similar buildings where students live. (Note that any housing that is not on property owned or leased by a University System institution is not covered by House Bill 280.)

              c. Spaces – including any room, continuous collection of rooms, or outdoor facility – that are used for preschool or childcare.

              d. Rooms and other spaces during the times when they are being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled, whether through dual enrollment and programs such as Move On When Ready or through college and career academies or other specialized programs such as Early College. License-holders who want to carry handguns to class will need to visit the institution’s registrar or other designated employee, who after verifying their enrollment status, will tell them which of their classes, if any, have high school students enrolled. Institutions shall not, however, keep any listing of those who inquire. (Note also that the names of enrolled high school students may not be revealed in accordance with applicable privacy laws.) It is the responsibility of license-holders to seek out this information and make themselves aware of which classrooms fall within this exception.

              e. Faculty, staff, and administrative offices. This exception includes offices and office suites occupied by faculty, staff, and administrators but does not include more general public common spaces outside of those areas.

              f. Rooms during the times when they are being used for disciplinary proceedings of any kind, including those regarding students, faculty, or staff.  These would include any meetings or hearings that are part of the University System’s or the institution’s sexual misconduct, student conduct, dispute resolution, grievance, appeals, or similar processes.

         4. Under this law, it is a misdemeanor crime for a license-holder to carry a handgun in a manner or in a building, property, room, or space in violation of these provisions. Doing so is a violation of The Bobcat Code at Georgia College. It will be the responsibility of the license-holders who choose to carry handguns on campus to know the law and to understand where they can go while carrying.

        5. Georgia College will not provide gun storage facilities or erect signs outside restricted areas.

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          -->RULES 200-214: Residence Life Rules

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    As a resident student at Georgia College, you assume an obligation to conduct yourself in a manner compatible with the University's mission as an educational institution. Residence Life Rules defines the institution's expectations of all residents. Any violations of these Rules will be reported to the Department of Residence Life or the Office of the Dean of Students for review and/or adjudication. Jurisdiction of these violations shall be held by the Dean of Students or designated representative and handled in the manner stipulated in the PROCESS section – Student Conduct Process. The Residence Life Rules are a subset of The Bobcat Code and apply to all students as well as guests. All Georgia College students, including those who reside in on-campus housing, shall abide by The Bobcat Code and the following Residence Life Rules.

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    ENFORCEMENT AND GRIEVANCES

    Any complaints or grievances should be directed to the respective residence hall staff member. Residents have the right to report other residents or students with a violation of The Bobcat Code through a Residence Life staff member. If the staff member cannot rectify the situation, then the matter shall be referred through the appropriate channels, and ultimately submitted for action or consultations with the Office of the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students or designee shall handle all matters arising from the Residence Life Rules. Grievances against Residence Life staff members shall be submitted in writing to the Director of Residence Life.

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    RULE 200. Alcohol

    Georgia College abides by Georgia State Law concerning alcohol.  The Residence Life Rules includes all regulations in the Student Honor Code RULE 101 and the following regulations:

    A. Students who are of legal drinking age (21) may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in designated communities, but only as a private activity in private living areas (i.e., room and/or apartment).

    B. Alcohol is not permitted in building common areas (lobbies, lounges, study rooms, and hallways).

    C. Students are responsible for their behaviors regardless of mental and physical dispositions, including those induced by alcoholic beverages.

    D. The transport and/or consumption of alcohol in open containers in any public area including property that is considered housing property is prohibited;

    E. Guests and/or visitors consuming or possessing alcohol in a room or an apartment under the age of 21 is prohibited; hosts will be held accountable for their guests’ violations;

    F. Regardless if a student is 21-years of age or older and allowed to consume alcohol in the privacy of their room, students under 21-years of age including roommate(s) are prohibited from consuming alcohol;

    G. Residents who remain in the environment where an alcohol violation is occurring, regardless of whether the resident/guest is using or possessing alcohol, is prohibited;

    H. Residents who host gatherings in their residence (room or apartment) and provide alcohol to those under 21 years of age, is prohibited;  residents who serve as social hosts (see definitions in INFO section) will incur a fine based on each non-occupant under 21 years of age in the room or apartment.  The fine will be split between the residents of the room or apartment unless individual residents take responsibility for the gathering.

    I. For health and safety reasons empty alcohol containers are not permitted to be used for decorative purposes within residential facilities.

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    RULE 201. Animals / Pets

    The University does not permit students to have pets/animals in or around the residential communities. If a resident is found to have an unauthorized animal in their residence (room, apartment, hallway, common space, etc.) for any reason at any time, they may be subject to disciplinary action. This includes animals belonging to outside guests; animals may not “visit” at any time. The exceptions are:

    A. Fish in a properly maintained aquarium not to exceed 10 gallons;

    B. Students approved through the Student Disability Resource Center to have an emotional support animal and with approval from the Department of University Housing; and

    C. Service animals in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act after notifying the Department of University Housing.

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    RULE 202. Collective Liability

    Residents are responsible for the condition of their rooms and any shared spaces. While Residence Life and University Housing will strive to attribute damage and vandalism charges to the individuals responsible, when it cannot do so, all members of an apartment, floor, or building may be charged equally for any damages. Collective liability damages are defined as damages caused to lounges, study rooms, recreation rooms, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, or any space not accepted or identified as belonging to a specific individual. Affected residents should provide information to Residence Life and University Housing staff to assign these charges to the individual(s) responsible.

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    RULE 203. Cooperation and Compliance

    Residents and guests are expected to cooperate with all rational requests made by members of the community. Likewise, residents must comply with all requests of any person acting in an official capacity as a representative of the University, including, but not limited to, Residence Life staff (including Community Advisors and Peer Mentors), Public Safety, and faculty/staff. Cooperation includes, but is not limited to, participating in a required meeting called by a Residence Life administrator. Cooperation also includes compliance with all rules and regulations established by Residence Life and/or University Housing.

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    RULE 204. DAMAGE or MISUSE OF UNIVERSITY PROPERTY

    This policy addresses damages, misuse, and potential damage to University property.

    A. Damage, vandalism, theft, inappropriate use of facilities, and/or use of facilities/furnishings in a manner other than that for which they were intended, are prohibited.

    B. Use of spray paint inside the buildings, in stairwells, hallways, or on sidewalks bordering the residence halls is prohibited.

    C. Items that are known to create damage to University property are prohibited, such as dartboards, water beds, etc.

    D. Screens are to remain permanently affixed to windows.  Tampering with screens is not permitted.   

    E. Ledges are not to be used for storage, nor are students allowed to walk or sit upon ledges. 

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    RULE 205. Drugs

    Georgia College abides by Georgia State Law concerning drugs.  The Residence Hall Rules includes all regulations in Student Honor Code RULE  111 and the following prohibited regulations:

    A. Being present where a drug-related violation is occurring, regardless of whether the resident/guest is using or possessing drugs;

    B. Having guests who possess or who use illegal drugs in your residence (bedroom or apartment);

    C. Disrupting or disturbing others in the residential communities related to drug use on or off-campus including the odor of marijuana.

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    RULE 206. Fire Safety

    Tampering with, vandalizing, covering, obstructing, or misusing fire safety equipment is prohibited and constitutes reasons for eviction from a room or apartment and possible suspension or expulsion from the University. Fire safety equipment includes, but is not limited to, alarms, extinguishers, smoke detectors, door closures, alarmed doors, emergency buttons, and sprinklers. Nothing may be hung from sprinkler heads.  Georgia state law requires all people to evacuate during a safety drill. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. Flammable items may not be stored in a resident's room or apartment.  This includes:

    • Flammable gases to encompass fuel and propane
    • Hot plates
    • Space heaters
    • Appliances with open flames
    • Appliances with open heating coils/element
    • Electric blankets
    • Any appliance that poses an electrical overload hazard
    • Candle warmers
    • Air fryers
    • Outdoor grills or charcoal / lighter fluid
    • Candle warmers or burned candles
    • Items that require an open flame to operate or which produce heat (i.e., Bunsen burners, lit candles, alcohol burners, grills, fireworks) are not allowed in resident's rooms.

    NOTE:  There are some exceptions on open heating elements for students living in The Village on West Campus.  Please consult with The Village staff for items that are allowed.

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    RULE 207. General Safety and Well-Being

    A. Residents are expected to take responsibility for the overall general safety and wellbeing of themselves individually and the residential community as a collective. Engaging in any behavior that impedes the general safety and/or well-being of self and/or others is prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to, causing physical or psychological harm to oneself and/or others; failing to notify the appropriate authorities when knowledge exists of a situation that may impede individuals' general safety and/or well-being and/or the community.

    B. General safety also includes creating a safe environment by leaving doors secured, particularly common use doors; and maintaining your living environment and your own person in accordance with acceptable health, cleanliness, and safety expectations, which is determined by the Office of Environmental Health and Occupational Safety.

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    RULE 208. Noise

    All students are expected to respect the rights of others by refraining from making excessive noise or causing other disturbances that interfere with study or sleep.

    A. All residents are expected to respect 24-hour courtesy hours. If a student makes a reasonable request of another student to be less noisy, that student should comply. No noise should be heard outside of a student room;

    B. Quiet Hours will apply to noise regulation in the public areas of the residential communities. Quiet Hour adjustments may be voted on by the Community Representative and Resident Student Association. Until this occurs, residence-wide quiet hours will be in effect. Quiet Hours are 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday;

    C. Playing amplified sounds or instruments is not permitted in apartments or bedrooms and is only allowed in multipurpose or community rooms.  Courtesy hours always apply.

    D. During exam periods, quiet hours will be extended to 24 hours. This regulation also applies to areas surrounding the residential communities, and public areas; and

    E. If a group of people makes a disturbance (e.g., game playing, watching TV, or yelling loudly), staff may request violators who are guests to leave immediately.

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    RULE 209. Solicitation and Posting

    A. For the residents’ protection against fraudulent sales and annoyance, solicitation is prohibited on university property.

    B. Residents are prohibited from engaging in business activities in University Housing.

    C. All activities, research, and postings within the residential areas must be approved in advance by the Department of Residence Life, even if the activities/postings are sponsored by recognized University departments or organizations.

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    RULE 210. Unauthorized Use or Access

    A. Unauthorized entry, attempted entry, or remaining in restricted areas, including but not limited to roofs and mechanical rooms, of any University Housing facilities is prohibited.

    B. Students may not use or occupy a vacant space in their room/apartment.  Using an empty space is a violation that could result in being charged for said space, as well as additional fees for cleaning and/or repairing damages.

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    RULE 211. Visitation and Guests

    Residents may allow guests (those of the same or opposite sex) to visit their room/apartments with agreement from the other residents in their room/ apartment. Guests are defined as any person not assigned to live in that specific space (even if the person is a resident of another on-campus space). The Resident Student Association, residential communities, and roommates may develop rules that are supplementary to but not in conflict with the established guidelines. To facilitate safety and privacy, the regulations below must be understood and followed:

    A. Use of the bed or bathroom of another resident without their prior consent is prohibited;

    B. Use of shared bathrooms is prohibited without the consent of all residents;

    C. Guests (including other GC students) staying in a resident's room more than two nights within any 14-day period, staying in a resident’s room frequently, or cohabitating in any room/apartment is prohibited;

    D. Overnight guests are defined as anyone who is in the room after 3 AM.

    E. Residents must escort their guests at all times within the residential community and accept responsibility for their behavior;

    F. At no time should any resident provide entrance to their room to someone who is not their guest or provide access to a guest who is unaccompanied by the resident (e.g., lending/copying a key or access card).

    G. While hosts are held responsible for the actions of their guests, legal action may also be taken against a guest for violating campus policies, including but not limited to, criminal trespass, or prosecution. Guest must park in designated visitor spaces only, and hosts may lose parking privileges if guests park illegally.

    H. Minors who are not enrolled GC students must be escorted by a parent/guardian in addition to the host resident at all times.

    I. Guests (regardless of gender) must use the common area bathroom unless consent is given by all roommates and suitemates.

    J. Residents are expected to comply with occupancy guidelines, per the University Housing Contract. Visitation privileges may be revoked for individuals or groups who violate the visitation policies.

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    RULE 212. Weapons and Firearms

    Per RULE 139, weapons and firearms are prohibited in Student housing facilities including residence halls and similar buildings where students live.

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    RULE 213.  DISPOSAL OF TRASH

    Students are to dispose of their personal trash in the manner prescribed in each hall. All trash should be bagged before disposal. Personal trash is not to be placed in public area receptacles inside or at the entryways of the buildings. It is not the custodial staff's responsibility to remove personal trash. Any object that cannot fit in a large trash bag must be taken to the city dump. Students who put their personal trash in these receptacles may be charged or face disciplinary action. There are blue bins in each trash collection area designated for recycling paper, plastic, and cans.

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    RULE 214. MISUse of Residential Space

    A. Items are not permitted to be posted on the exterior of the buildings, fire doors, windows, siding, stairwells, hallways, lounge areas, and any other area not permitted by the Department of Residence Life.

    B. Pictures and other materials that may be considered objectionable should not be displayed in areas that may be visible from the hallway and/or building.  Alcohol beverage signs or containers are not allowed as window displays. 

    C. You may not hang anything in your windows other than blinds or white curtains. 

    D. Flags, signs, pictures, and advertisements are not permitted. 

    E. Writing on windows is not permitted.

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    RULE 298. Additional Rules

    There can be residential areas that have additional rules and regulations as defined as necessary by the Department of Residence Life or University Housing.  These rules and regulations are considered part of The Bobcat Code and will be enforced under the Student Conduct Process.

    Failure to comply with policies established in various residence halls for the protection of the privacy, rights, privileges, health, or safety of the community.

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    RULE 299. Modifications and Revisions

    Any modifications or revisions to the Residence Life Rules shall be submitted to the Director of Residence Life. Upon approval, the Director of Residence Life shall forward the approved recommendations to the Dean of Students for final approval. Approved rules will be in effect when posted on the Dean of Students’ webpage.

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          -->RULES 300-308: Student Group Rules

    Student Groups at Georgia College are subject to all rules found in The Bobcat Code and all national, state, local laws and University policies, including the Student Group Rules. The University may hold a Student Group responsible for the actions of its members when the behavior or activity is related to the group. Misconduct need not be officially approved by the Student Group’s membership to be grounds for violations of The Bobcat Code. In addition, the individual members of student groups will be held accountable for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

    To determine whether a Student Group is responsible for a violation of The Bobcat Code, all circumstances will be considered, including, but not limited to:

    1. Whether the misconduct was committed by one or more members of the Student Group;
    2. Whether officers of the group had prior knowledge of the misconduct;
    3. Whether group funds were used;
    4. Whether the misconduct occurred as a result of a group-sponsored function; and
    5. Whether members of the group lied about the incident.

    Behavior by student groups that is not consistent with The Bobcat Code is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, impose appropriate consequences.  The following are student group accountability factors and violations:

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    RULE 300. Accountability of Group Officers (Leaders)

    Although all members are personally responsible for their own behavior, a specific group officer (leader) may be held personally accountable for the misconduct of group members during organized group activities. Circumstances that might warrant this personal accountability include but are not limited to:

    A. Inappropriate and/or unacceptable activities which are sanctioned by the group by means of discussion and/or planning at a group meeting, officers’ meeting, or committee meeting.

    B. An officer’s participation in such an activity.

    C. An officer’s failure to act appropriately upon witnessing such an activity.

    D. An officer’s failure to act appropriately in preventing such activity when the officer had prior knowledge.

    E. An officer’s failure to act appropriately in taking corrective action after learning of such an activity.

    F. An officer’s negligence in informing the group members of established laws, regulations, policies, directives, and procedures.

    G. An officer’s failure to cooperate fully with law enforcement personnel or with University Officials, including failure to identify group members known by the officer to be involved in an incident.

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    RULE 301. Adherence to Individual Student Groups' Local and National Policies

    Student groups are responsible for knowing and abiding by the bylaws of their respective constitutions. Additionally, student groups may also be responsible for adhering to local, regional, and national policies that may impact their group(s).

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    RULE 302. Animals

    A. Pets are permitted on University grounds if they are under the control of and accompanied by their owner or designee.  The caretaker must promptly clean up and properly dispose of any pet waste.  If animals are disruptive, left unattended, or are not under the control of the owner, both the owner and the animal may be asked to leave.  All dogs on University grounds must be leashed or under voice command of, and in close proximity to, the caretaker.

    B. Provisions of this policy do not apply to service animals or to Police or K9 dogs, while such animals are performing their duties under supervision.   Service animals and service animals in training are permitted on campus and in campus facilities.

    C. Animals are not permitted in academic or administrative spaces, except as noted in B above.

    D. Emotional Support Animals are considered for Residence Halls, as noted by the Federal Housing Act if specified by documentation from a licensed professional.  All applications for bringing an Emotional Support Animal will be submitted to the University for review and approval by the Student Disability Resources Center and University Housing.

    E. Violations of the University Animals on Campus Policy will be dealt with in accordance with University rules governing the conduct of faculty, staff, and students.  In addition, violations in the Residence Halls will have action taken in accordance with policies for Residence Life.

    F. This policy does not apply to animals that are used in research.

    G. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors of Georgia College are expected to comply with this policy.

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    RULE 303. Debts

    Failure of a student group to pay when debts are owed to the University or a University auxiliary organization.

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    RULE 304. Event Registration Requirement

    Sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or conducting an event, other than a regular organization business meeting, without the approval of the Department of Student Activities and Organizations.

    A. Failure to comply with event approval conditions imposed by the Department of Student Activities and Organizations or other University offices (e.g., Parking and Transportation, Public Safety, Public Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life).

    B. Failure to comply with the policies or conditions governing student group events or those funded by the University or a University auxiliary organization.

    C. Failure by a fraternity or sorority under the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to comply with the social policies adopted by its respective governing council and/or as approved and implemented by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

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    RULE 305. Noise ORDINANCE

    A. Violation of municipal noise ordinances.

    B. Excessive noise that disrupts the campus or surrounding community, including but not limited to the use of amplified sound.

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    RULE 306. USE of the Georgia College Name and Logo

    Unauthorized use of Georgia College & State University or Georgia College name, logo, or symbols or use not in compliance with University policies.

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    RULE 307. Violation of the Student Group Disciplinary Procedures

    A. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentations of information related to a student group discipline matter.

    B. Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student group disciplinary matter.

    C. Attempting to discourage a person from participating in a student group disciplinary matter.

    D. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student group disciplinary matter.

    E. Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student group disciplinary matter.

    F. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student group disciplinary proceeding.

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    RULE 308. Withdrawal of Recognition of Student Organizations for Drug Abuse

    A. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia 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. 

    B. 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 Student 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 documents between the Board of Regents or the institution and the Student Organization which relate 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). 

    C. 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).

    D. This Policy amendment is intended to implement The Student Organization Responsibility for Drug Abuse Act of 1990 (Ga. Laws, 1990, p. 2033).

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    PROCESS: Student Conduct Process

    The following procedures will be followed for the Student Conduct Process:

    PROCESS 1. Filing a Complaint or Report

    A Conduct Officer may initiate a Conduct Process on the basis of a complaint or report received from any person or entity in the following ways:

    A. Filing a police report with Public Safety or by requesting another law enforcement agency police report be sent to Georgia College Public Safety and forwarded to the Dean of Students.

    B. Providing a written narrative to the Office of the Dean of Students or providing a written statement through a secure University reporting system.

    Incident Report: http://incident.gcsu.edu

    C. Reporting information directly to the Title IX Coordinator and selecting to have a final report from the Title IX Coordinator sent to the Dean of Students for review and adjudication.

    D. 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 individual(s) accused of misconduct; (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.

    E. Information from complaints may be shared as necessary for fact-finding and to resolve the alleged misconduct. Complaints shall be investigated and resolved as outlined below. The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) shall be assessed in compliance with federal law.

    F. Where appropriate, Complainants may file a law enforcement report as well as an institutional report but are not required to file both.

    G. Confidentiality: Where a Complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated or subject to fact-finding, the institution should consider whether or not such request(s) can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution and conducting an effective review of the allegations. The institution should inform the requesting party that the institution cannot guarantee confidentiality.

    H. Retaliation: Anyone who, in good faith, reports what she or he believes to be student misconduct participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation or fact-finding, 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 or fact-finding should immediately contact the Dean of Students. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of The Bobcat Code shall be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with The Bobcat Code.

    I. False Complaints/Statements: Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to a University 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 appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) and adjudicated under The Bobcat Code.

    J. Amnesty: Students should be encouraged to come forward and report violations of the law and/or The Bobcat Code notwithstanding their own improper use of alcohol or drugs. Any student(s) who voluntarily and in good faith reports information to University faculty or staff prior to any investigation or fact-finding concerning the use of drugs or alcohol will not be voluntarily reported to law enforcement; nor will information that the individual provides be used against the individual for purposes of conduct violations. Nevertheless, these students may be required to attend an Educational Conversation with staff members in regard to the incident and may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program(s). The required participation in an educational program under this amnesty procedure will not be considered a sanction. Nothing in this amnesty procedure shall prevent a University staff member who is otherwise obligated by law (the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.

    K. Sexual Misconduct:  All allegations of Sexual Misconduct will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator to determine if the case should be adjudicated under Title IX policies.  Whether the case is adjudicated under Title IX or not, the Title IX Coordinator will facilitate an investigation based on the needs of the case.  Any Formal Hearing(s) will be heard and adjudicated by an Administrative Hearing Panel trained specifically to hear sexual misconduct cases.  If the sexual misconduct case does not meet the criteria for a Title IX case, the Student Conduct Process will be used to review and adjudicate the case.

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    PROCESS 2. Review of A Complaint or Report

    Upon receipt of a complaint or report, the Conduct Officer reviews the information to decide whether the allegations fall within the jurisdiction of The Bobcat Code and whether the Student Conduct Process should be pursued.

    The Conduct Officer may:

    A. Send a Notice of Fact-Finding letter to the Complainant(s),  Respondent(s), and other involved parties requiring a meeting to discuss a submitted report (see PROCESS 3); Throughout any fact-finding and resolution proceedings, a party shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent or otherwise not participate in or during the fact-finding and the resolution process without an adverse inference resulting. If a party chooses to remain silent or otherwise not participate in the Fact-Finding Meeting, the process may still continue, and violations of The Bobcat Code may still result and be resolved.

    B. Initiate the Conduct Process by sending the Respondent or Student Group a Notice of Alleged Violation letter (see PROCESS 5);

         1. Correspondence to Student Groups is sent to the email address on file with the Department of Student Activities and Organizations.

         2. Correspondence with Student Groups will be directed to the president, principal officer, Student Group advisor/supervisor/coach, or other students designated by the group to act as an agent on behalf of the group.

    C. Determine that the facts of the complaint or report, even if true, would not constitute a violation of The Bobcat Code or applicable policy, and take no further disciplinary action.

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    PROCESS 3. Fact-Finding Process

    NOTE: If the Respondent admits responsibility, the Fact-finding process may not be necessary.  The Conduct Officer may determine the alleged violations of The Bobcat Code and begin the Conduct Resolution Process if they believe additional information is not needed.

    Prior to sending a Notice of Hearing, Complainant(s), Respondent(s) and other involved parties may receive a Notice of Fact-Finding letter concerning a complaint or report received and that a Conduct Officer is requesting a meeting to gather and/or clarify information about the complaint or report. Fact-Finding may be conducted as needed and within the following guidelines:

    A. The Dean of Students or designee may conduct Fact-Finding.  A Notice of Fact-Finding will be sent to a Student(s) and/or Student Group(s) requesting participation in a Fact-Finding Meeting(s).  Fact-Finding may be conducted with others when related to the incident or report.

    B. Approved Residence Life staff and other Dean of Students designees may conduct Fact-Finding for incidents that occur within University Housing or other units.  Other units may conduct Fact-Finding at the designation of the Dean of Students.

    C. If at any point the Factfinder determines there is insufficient evidence to support a violation or to warrant further consideration of discipline, then the complaint should be dismissed.

    D.  A Factfinder shall conduct a thorough inquiry and should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The Factfinder shall also keep a record of any party’s proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation of why the witnesses were not interviewed.

    E The initial Fact-Finding Report shall be provided to the Respondent and the Complainant (where applicable). This report should clearly indicate any resulting violations (or alternatively, a determination of no violations), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof, witness statements, and possible sanctions. For purposes of this Policy, an alleged violation (allegation) is not a finding of responsibility but indicates that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration and adjudication.

    F. The final Fact-Finding Report should be provided to the Hearing Panel or Hearing Officer for consideration in adjudicating the alleged violations brought against the Respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the Respondent and Complainant (where applicable) before any hearing. The Factfinder may testify as a witness regarding the Fact-Finding process and the actual 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.

    G. If any alleged violation, or the entire complaint, is dismissed by the Factfinder due to insufficient evidence, the case is closed with no option for appeal.  Appeals may only be made in cases where Sanctions are issued.  Sexual Misconduct cases may be handled differently.

    H. The fact-finding information shall be summarized in writing in a Fact-Finding Report and provided to the Student or Student Group, as well as the Complainant (where applicable), in person, or via email.

    I. This summary should clearly indicate any resulting alleged violations (or alternatively, a determination of no violations), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof, witness statements, and possible sanctions. An alleged violation is not a finding of responsibility but indicates that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration and adjudication.

    J. To the extent the Student or Student Group is ultimately accused of any violation(s), they shall also have the opportunity to respond in writing.  The Student’s or Student Group’s written response to the alleged violation(s) shall be due three (3) business days following the date of the initial Fact-Finding Report and should outline any additional information the Student or Student Group feel should be included in the report. A non-response to the alleged violation(s) by the Student or Student Group will be interpreted as a denial of the alleged violation(s).

    K. The Factfinder(s) shall conduct further investigations consistent with the procedures outlined above and update the Fact-Finding Report as warranted by the Student’s or Student Group’s response.

    L. Once the Fact-Finding process is complete, the final Fact-Finding Report should be provided to the Hearing Body for consideration in adjudicating the alleged violations brought against the Student or Student Group. A copy shall also be provided to the Student or Student Group, as well as the Complainant (where applicable).

    M. In any case involving alleged sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence, discrimination, and/or harassment, an investigation will be conducted by the Equity Compliance Investigator at the direction of the TIX Coordinator and in accordance with the University System of Georgia policies and Georgia College’s Student Code of Conduct.

    N. The Dean of Students may request that Georgia College Public Safety do an Investigation into the behavior of a Student or Student Group where appropriate.

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    PROCESS 4. Determining Violations of the Bobcat Code

    A. After reviewing a complaint or report, the Dean of Students or designee will determine if sufficient information exists for a Hearing Body to determine that a violation of The Bobcat Code was committed by the Respondent(s). If this standard is met, then a Notice of Alleged Violation(s) should be issued.

    B. With reference to Student Groups, the Dean of Students or designee may convene, at their discretion, an Incident Review Panel, for evaluation of the information before making a decision to accuse the Student Group(s) with alleged violations of misconduct.

    C. Nothing in these Regulations prevents the disposition of an allegation through an educational meeting, conflict resolution/mediation, or a written Statement of Expectations with mutual consent of the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s) involved. Such disposition, if utilized, must be consistent with The Bobcat Code's rules, policies, and regulations. Such disposition is at the discretion of the Dean of Students and is final.

    D. If an allegation is not handled through other appropriate channels, is not dismissed, or is not resolved informally, the Dean of Students or designee may issue a Notice of Alleged Violations to the Respondent(s) through Correspondence.

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    PROCESS 5. Notice of Alleged Violation & INFORMATIONAL MEETING

    When the Conduct Officer initiates the Conduct Process, a Notice of Alleged Violation will be sent to the Respondent who is the subject of the report or complaint.

    The Notice of Alleged Violation shall include:

    A. A summary of the known factual information supporting the alleged prohibited conduct, including the date and location of any incident, to the extent known and available;

    B. The Bobcat Code provisions that are alleged to have been violated;

    C. A letter specifying a specific date, time, and location for an Informational Meeting. The Informational Meeting is a meeting between a Respondent and a Conduct Officer after receipt of a Notice of Alleged Violation. The meeting consists of:

        1. Reviewing a Student’s rights in the Conduct Process;

        2. Reviewing documentation of the alleged violations of The Bobcat Code, including information gathered in the Fact-Finding process (if applicable);

        3. Discussing potential outcomes of the case; and

        4. Affording the Student an opportunity to choose “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” to the alleged violations of The Bobcat Code, which determines the next course of action in the Conduct Process.

        5. If the Respondent chooses “Responsible” and accepts the Sanctions provided by the Conduct Officer or is allowed to enter the Informal - Alternative Resolution Process, the case can be handled as an informal resolution (unless otherwise stated as not an option); otherwise, a Formal Resolution process will be used to resolve the case.

         6. If the Respondent chooses "Not Responsible," OR the Respondent accepts responsibility but does not accept the Sanctions provided by the Conduct Officer, the Respondent will select between a Hearing Officer (one person) or a three-person Hearing Panel to resolve the case. 

    D. If a “no contact” directive is detailed in the Notice of Alleged Violation, it is the responsibility of the Respondent not to have any contact with the individual(s) named, directly, through third parties, or via electronic means (see Supportive Measures below).

    E. If an “exclusion” directive is detailed in the Notice of Alleged Violation, it is the responsibility of the Respondent to abide by the directives as outlined in the notice (see Supportive Measures below).

    F. Special Note:  A Student reported by a faculty member for a violation of the Academic Honor Code will be issued a Notice of Alleged Violation (including an Informational Meeting) and a Notice of Hearing for a sanctions-only hearing.  The student will not be permitted to drop or withdraw from courses and a flag will be placed on the student’s record until the final resolution of the case. The Student Conduct Process has no bearing on the grade assigned by a faculty member.  No student conduct action will be taken until the Academic Appeals Process has concluded if pursued by the student.

    G. Expedited Large Group Events - In cases where a Respondent has been contacted by Public Safety or Conduct Officer (or designee) for a violation of The Bobcat Code at a University event, a Notice of Alleged Violation may be issued at the time of the incident by an approved Conduct Officer. Such notice may include a preset Informational Meeting time with the Dean of Students or designee.

    H. Expedited Conduct Process - When the Conduct Officer determines that a prompt student conduct meeting is essential (including but not limited to new student orientation, end of the semester, the Respondent is graduating, or there is a substantial concern for the health, safety, or welfare of any person), the Conduct Officer may require that the Respondent meets with them within 24 hours. In addition, in these cases, notice may be given via email, telephone, or hand delivery.

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    PROCESS 6. Supportive Measures

    Supportive measures may be provided by the institution at any point during the conduct process and should be designed to protect the alleged Complainant (victim) and the community. To the extent supportive measures are imposed, they should minimize the burden on both the alleged Complainant (victim) and the Respondent, where feasible. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:

    A. Change of housing assignment;

    B. Issuance of a “no contact” directive;

    C. “Exclusion” directive - restricts or bars entering specific University property;

    D. Changes to academic or student employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision;

    E. Interim suspension; and

         1. 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 will consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the Complainant (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.

         2. Before an interim suspension is issued, Georgia College will 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. Upon request, the Respondent will have an opportunity to be heard by the Dean of Students (or designee), Title IX Coordinator, or System Director at the University System of Georgia, as appropriate, within three (3) business days in order to determine whether the interim suspension should continue.

    F. Other measures designed to promote the safety and well-being of the parties and the institution’s community.

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    PROCESS 7. Notice of Hearing

    A. Following the submission of the final Fact-Finding Report, if conducted and submitted, to the applicable party(ies) as outlined above, a written Notice of Hearing shall be delivered to the Respondent and Complainant (where applicable). The notice shall include:

        1. The specific conduct regulation(s) the Student or Student Group has been accused of violating following the investigation;

        2. The alleged factual circumstances supporting the alleged violation(s);

        3. The date, time, and place of the hearing;

        4. A list of potential witnesses and any information that may be presented at the hearing against the Respondent or Complainant (where applicable); and

        5. Notice that the University (only in cases not involving allegations of sexual misconduct) has the right to gather and present additional evidence and witnesses for use in the formal hearing; accordingly, the University will notify the Student or Student Group of such evidence and witnesses by the deadline stated in the Notice of Hearing, unless it is new information not available prior to the deadline.

    B. The Notice of Hearing must be received by the Student or Student Group at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing date. The Student or Student Group, with the consent of the Dean of Students or a designee, may waive the minimum notice requirements as long as the waiver is in writing.

    C. The Student is deemed to have received a notice when he/she receives Correspondence from the University or, in the case of a Student Group, when any officer of the Student Group receives Correspondence.  After five (5) days, the notice shall be considered delivered.

    D. JOINT HEARING 

        1.  Any Student or Student Group required to participate in a Joint Hearing may file a request for a separate hearing, citing specific reasons that a joint hearing would unfairly prejudice the case. A request for a separate hearing must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students or designee within three (3) business days after receipt of the Notice of Hearing. The Dean of Students or a designee will make the decision regarding the request and notify the Student or Student Group.

        2.  Any Student or Student Group subject to two or more unrelated reported incidents of alleged misconduct is entitled to a separate investigation and hearing for each incident. While a Student or Student Group may be accused with multiple violations for a single incident, unrelated incidents will be investigated and heard separately through the formal resolution process, unless the Student or Student Group consents to have them aggregated (joined).

     E. HEARING PANELS AND HEARING OFFICERS

        1. A Hearing Panel refers to a body of Students and/or University Officials trained to preside over Hearings conducted as part of the Conduct Process. A Hearing Panel makes relevancy determinations during Hearings, to make findings after Hearings about whether a Student has violated The Bobcat Code, and to recommend or to issue Sanctions if appropriate.

        2. Any specific procedures used by Hearing Panels will comply with the requirements of The Bobcat Code. Hearing panelists are selected annually, with the approval of the Vice President for Student Life, and receive training from the Office of the Dean of Students.

        3. The Dean of Students and designee(s) may conduct Hearings. Conduct Officers designated by the Dean of Students may transition to a Hearing Officer only when determining sanctions in an informal resolution.

        4. The Dean of Students may appoint a Hearing Officer who is not an employee of the University, with the approval of the Vice President for Student Life. This is an administrative decision of the University and not a specific choice a Student may select during an Informational Meeting.

        5. There are 3 types of Hearing Panels:

              a. The University Hearing Panel is made up of a mix of Students and University Officials.  Student(s) are appointed by the President of the Student Government Association, and University Officials are appointed by the Dean of Students; consists of 2-3 University Officials, 1-2 Students, and one non-voting University Official serving as the Hearing Officer.  University Hearing Panels may conduct Formal Hearings.

              b. The Administrative Hearing Panel is made up of only University Officials appointed by the Dean of Students; consists of 3 University Officials and one non-voting University Official serving as the Hearing Officer. An Administrative Hearing Panel may conduct Alternative, Informal, and Formal Hearings. 

              c. The Student Hearing Panel is made up of only Students appointed by the President of the Student Government Association; consists of 3 students and a non-voting University Official serving as the Hearing Officer.  A Student Hearing Panel may conduct an Informal Hearing, and with the approval of the Dean of Students, a Formal Hearing. 

    F. As designees of the Dean of Students, Residence Life professional staff members may serve as members of Administrative Hearing Panels, University Hearing Panels, and as Conduct and Hearing Officers. The Director of Residence Life will recommend Residence Life Conduct Officers.  After appropriate training, the Dean of Students will authorize these Conduct Officers to hear student conduct cases under the informal resolution process, assign sanctions, and access the student conduct management system (Maxient).  Additional training is required for a University Official to serve as a Hearing Officer in the formal resolution process.

    G. HEARING GUIDELINES

        1. All Hearings will be decided by a majority vote, using the Preponderance of the Evidence standard.

        2. The University, not the Respondent, has the burden of proof in a disciplinary proceeding. The burden of proof is the Preponderance of the Evidence. The Hearing Body will evaluate the weight given to information and the credibility of Witnesses.

        3. The formal rules of evidence governing criminal and civil court are not applied in Student Code of Conduct proceedings.

        4. The facts of the case will be determined during the deliberation of the Hearing Body after the Hearing ends. The decision of responsible or not responsible for each violation will be based solely on the information presented at a Hearing.

        5. Pertinent records, reports, exhibits, and/or written statements may be accepted as information for consideration in the disciplinary proceeding. Any records, reports, exhibits, and/or written statements will be reviewed for relevance by the Hearing Officer as outlined in RIGHTS - Student Rights and Privacy. Any of the above information that was preliminarily excluded as not relevant by the Hearing Officer may be resubmitted for consideration through an appeal as outlined in RIGHTS: Student Rights and Privacy. The Hearing Panel will consider all relevant information during the Hearing.

       6. Hearings will be recorded. This is the only Recording allowed and is the sole property of the University. Recording failures will not require a delay or affect the validity of a Hearing.

        7. Only relevant past behavior of a Student will be allowed at the Hearing.

        8. In instances of alleged sexual misconduct, the past sexual histories of the Complainant and Respondent are not allowed unless deemed relevant by the Hearing Officer or through an appeal as outlined in RIGHTS: Student Rights and Privacy.

        9. A Respondent and Complainant will have the opportunity to present relevant information.

    H. HEARING PROCEEDINGS

    The following is a guide to the proceedings of a Hearing. The Hearing Body may question the Complainant, Respondent, and Witnesses directly. This format may be altered at the discretion of the Hearing Body or the Hearing Officer.

        1. Review Hearing procedures (recording starts)

        2. Review of the Alleged Violations

        3. Introductory statement(s) of Respondent and Complainant as applicable

        4. Presentation of information by the Complainant and questioning of the Complainant (as applicable)

        5. Presentation of information by the Respondent and questioning of the Respondent

        6. Questioning of Witnesses

        7. Closing statements (recording ends following statements)

        8. Deliberation (not recorded)

        9. The Hearing Body may immediately share verbally with the Student(s) its recommendations or outcomes as applicable; however, the Hearing Body may take up to three (3) Business Days to render final outcomes and will do so in writing.

        10. Prior records of Student conduct action and impact statements are considered by the Hearing Body only in the Sanctioning phase of deliberations and will not be used in determining responsibility.

        11. In cases involving multiple Students accused, the information provided at one Hearing may be used in the related case(s), so long as all other procedural requirements contained within this Regulation are satisfied.

        12. The University reserves the right to have legal counsel present during any conduct proceeding. When counsel will be present, the University will notify all parties involved in advance.

    I. WITNESSES

        1. In addition to Witnesses invited by the University, if any, Complainants and Respondents participating in the Hearing may arrange for Witnesses to voluntarily present relevant information during the Hearing. The Hearing Officer will facilitate the questioning of Witnesses. Witnesses at Hearings will not be sworn in. Each Witness will be told that they are required to tell the truth. A Student giving untrue testimony at a Hearing may be subject to violations as outlined in The Bobcat Code.

        2. Questions will be reviewed and may be disallowed by the Hearing Officer preliminarily if deemed not relevant.

        3. Failure of a Witness to participate in a Hearing, does not invalidate the Hearing. The inability of the Respondent or Complainant to question a Witness who has provided only a written statement is not a violation of rights under this Regulation when, during the hearing, both the Respondent and the Complainant have the opportunity to hear and respond to written statements read aloud and may offer information to rebut Witness statements and other information presented at the Hearing. During the Hearing, all Witness statements considered by the Hearing Body will be read into the record and the Complainant and Respondent will have an opportunity to respond.

        4. A Student or Witness may choose not to answer any and all questions posed by a Hearing Body.

        5. A Respondent or Complainant may submit a challenge to the impartiality of a Hearing Panelist, in writing with the basis of the challenge, to the Dean of Students or designee within three (3) Business Days of notification. If a challenge is not received within the allotted three (3) Business Days, the assigned Hearing Panelist will remain as scheduled. Decisions on challenges by the Dean of Students or designee are final and not subject to appeal.

        6. All Hearings will be conducted in private. Hearing Bodies in training, or other University employees may be permitted to observe a Hearing or provide a hearing-related service (e.g., technologists, security) at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee.

    J. HEARING DECISIONS

         1. Hearing Bodies (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel) make decisions on responsibility for each alleged violation as well as determine Sanctions as applicable. The outcome of the Hearing will be communicated in writing, through Correspondence, to the Respondent and Complainant (when appropriate) within a reasonable period of time and will include applicable appeal information.

         2. Each type of Hearing Panel makes a recommendation of “responsible” or “not responsible” for each separate alleged violation and recommends Sanctions to the Dean of Students or designee.

         3. The Dean of Students or designee will review the recommendations of the applicable Hearing Body, and will then make a decision as to the alleged violation(s) in question which may consist of adopting the recommendation of “responsible” or “not responsible,” remanding the matter for rehearing, or reconvening of the same Hearing Body for additional clarification.

         4. The Dean of Students or designee will review the recommended Sanctions, as applicable, and will then make a decision which may consist of adopting or modifying the recommended Sanctions of the Hearing Body.

         5. Any differences between the recommendation arising out of the Hearing Body and the Dean of Students or designee’s decision will be communicated in the outcome with rationale.

         6. The outcome of a Hearing will be communicated in writing, through Correspondence, to the Respondent and the Complainant (if appropriate) within a reasonable period of time and will include information on the appeal process.

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    PROCESS 8. Resolution Options

    Reported cases of alleged misconduct are resolved through either an informal or formal resolution process. Conduct Officers have the authority and sole discretion to determine whether to initiate either the informal or formal resolution process.

    A. This decision whether to utilize an informal or formal resolution process is primarily based on, but not limited to, the following factors:

         1. If the Respondent admits or otherwise takes responsibility for the alleged prohibited conduct;

         2. If the Respondent agrees to pre-determined Sanctions;

         3. The Respondent’s prior conduct record;

         4. The nature and severity of the alleged prohibited conduct;

         5. The alleged impact and/or harm caused to another person or the community;

         6. Whether the alleged conduct would violate The Bobcat Code; and/or

         7. Any other factors that the Conduct Officer finds relevant to the specific allegations.

    B. When a student does not show for an Information Meeting, the Conduct Officer or Hearing Officer may resolve the case in the student's absence.

    C. When a student has selected a Hearing Body as their method of resolution and they do not show, the hearing will continue in their absence and the Hearing Body will render a decision and sanctions, if appropriate.  Not showing for a hearing will not be considered in any decision-making processes.

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    PROCESS 9. informal - Standard resolution Process

    The Standard Resolution Process refers to when a Student is accused of a violation of The Bobcat Code and the case is resolved by the Respondent accepting responsibility for the Allegation(s) and agreeing to the Informal - Standard Resolution Process.

    The following steps will be taken in the Informal - Standard Resolution Process:

    Step 1: The Conduct Officer reviews the complaint or incident report and works to resolve the case.

    Step 2: The Conduct Officer conducts a Fact-Finding process if appropriate.

    Step 3: The Conduct Officer determines the Allegation(s) of misconduct.

    Step 4: The Conduct Officer sends a Notice of Alleged Violation letter to the Respondent including a request for an Informational Meeting; a Notice of Alleged Violation may include Supportive Measures if deemed appropriate for the circumstances. Note: Some Supportive Measures have to be pre-approved through the Dean of Students.

    Step 5: During the Informational Meeting, the Conduct Officer will reiterate the Respondent’s Rights, including:

               a. Respondent’s Rights in the Conduct Process

               b. Range of Possible Sanctions

               c. Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

               d. Advisors

               e. Recusal / Challenge for Bias

               f. Appeal Process

    Step 6: The Respondent will have the opportunity to review all available information pertaining to the Allegation(s) during the Informational Meeting.

    Step 7: The Respondent will have an opportunity to discuss with the Conduct Officer the validity of the complaint and respond to the allegations of misconduct. 

    Step 8: The Conduct Officer will adjust the alleged violation(s), if warranted, based on the aggregate information and the discussion with the Respondent.  Once the Allegation(s) are determined, the Respondent will be provided with an option or multiple options to resolve the case.

    Step 9: The Respondent may be given up to three (3) options from which to choose: 

        Option 1:   If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the Allegation(s), the Respondent may choose an Informal Resolution, if offered by the Conduct Officer;

        Option 2:  If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the Allegation(s) but does not agree with the Sanctions, the Respondent may choose a Formal Hearing and have the case be heard by a Hearing Body (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel).  If the Conduct Officer also serves as a Hearing Officer, the Respondent may elect to have them hear the case and determine the sanctions during or after the Informational Meeting.

        Option 3:  If the Respondent does not accept responsibility for the Allegation(s), the Respondent may choose a Formal Hearing and have the case be heard by a Hearing Body (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel).

    Step 10: If Option 1 is selected, the Respondent will sign a Case Resolution Form indicating that they accept responsibility for the Allegation(s) and agree to the Sanctions provided.  At this point, the adjudication is complete, but the case will not be considered resolved until all Sanctions have been completed.

    Step 11: The Hearing Officer will communicate the decision of the Hearing Body to the Respondent and the Complainant (if applicable). A Notice of Outcome letter will be sent and will include notification of appeal options if allowed. The outcome of the adjudication will be final and communicated to the party(ies) within three (3) business days from the date the adjudication is concluded. The Respondent will be informed of any Sanctions, the date by which the requirements must be satisfied (if applicable), and the consequences of failure to satisfy the requirements. The Complainant will only be informed of the sanction and any appropriate outcomes that directly relate to the Complainant (if applicable).

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    PROCESS 10. Informal - alternative resolution process

    A. An Alternative Resolution Process is a structured educational process for resolving harm caused to an individual, the University community, or the local community whereby the Respondent(s) accepts responsibility for their behavior, agrees to participate in an accountability process, and actively assists in the development of educational means to resolve the harm caused (e.g., restorative justice, mediation).  The process may generally include, but is not limited to, completion of agreed-upon expectations and/or participation in restorative actions. Alternative resolutions do not result in the student having a disciplinary record. The Alternative Resolution Process is intended as a form of alternative dispute resolution, is voluntary, primarily educational in nature, not an adjudication of the allegations, not considered a disciplinary process, and instead will result in a Statement of Expectations between the Conduct Officer and the Respondent. The following steps will be taken in the Alternative Resolution Process:

    Step 1: The Conduct Officer reviews the complaint or incident report and resolves the case.

    Step 2: The Conduct Officer conducts a Fact-Finding process if appropriate.

    Step 3: The Conduct Officer determines the alleged violation(s) of misconduct.

    Step 4: The Conduct Officer sends a Notice of Alleged Violation to the Respondent which includes a request for an Informational Meeting; a Notice of Alleged Violation may include Support Measures if deemed appropriate for the circumstance

    Step 5: During the Informational Meeting, if the Conduct Officer determines that the Informal Resolution - Alternative  Process is appropriate, the Conduct Officer will offer it to the Respondent and address any questions the Respondent may have about the process.

    Step 6: The Respondent must accept responsibility for the alleged misconduct to pursue the Alternative Resolution Process.

    Step 7: The Respondent must agree to the alternative resolution by signing a Statement of Expectations with the understanding there is no appeal.

    Step 8: Upon completion of the agreed-upon alternative resolution in the Statement of Expectations, the Office of the Dean of Students will consider the matter to be resolved.

        Sub-Step 8A: To identify appropriate and meaningful requirements, Respondents are encouraged to engage in interactive communications with the Conduct Officer.

        Sub-Step 8B: The agreed-upon restorative actions may include, but are not limited to, the following required actions:

               a. Attending alcohol or substance use class;

               b. Participating in restorative justice or transformational justice process;

               c. Participating in a life coaching program;

               d. Participating in a conflict resolution and/or mediation process;

               e. Meeting with appropriate campus or local resources; and/or

               f. Fulfilling other educational programs and/or activities approved by the Dean of Students.

    B. If the Informal - Alternative Resolution Process (if offered) is no longer being offered or allowed, the informal standard or formal resolution process will be used.  Both the informal standard and formal resolution processes result in a student conduct record.

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    PROCESS 11. formal resolution process

    The Formal Resolution Process refers to when a Student is accused of a violation of The Bobcat Code and the case is resolved by a Hearing Body, either a Hearing Officer or a Hearing Panel. As part of this resolution, the Student maintains a right of appeal.  The Formal Resolution is an adjudication of the alleged prohibited conduct, considered an educational but disciplinary process, and may result in disciplinary sanctions and a conduct record.  Formal Resolutions will be used in cases where suspension or expulsion may be considered. The following steps will be taken in the Formal Resolution Process:

    Step 1: The Conduct Officer reviews the complaint or incident report and works to resolve the case.

    Step 2: The Conduct Officer (or designee(s)) conducts a Fact-Finding process and produces a Fact-finding Report, which is a document indicating that alleged violations of The Bobcat Code may have occurred.

    Step 3: The Conduct Officer determines the Allegation(s) of misconduct based on the Fact-finding Review.

    Step 4: The Conduct Officer sends a Notice of Alleged Violation letter to the Respondent including a request for an Informational Meeting; a Notice of Alleged Violation may include Supportive Measures if deemed appropriate for the circumstances.

    Step 5: During the Informational Meeting, the Respondent may be given up to four (4) options from which to choose: 

        Option 1:   If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the Allegation(s), the Respondent may choose an Alternative Resolution, if offered by the Conduct Officer;

        Option 2:   If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the Allegation(s), the Respondent may choose the Informal Resolution, if offered by the Conduct Officer;

        Option 3:   If the Respondent accepts responsibility for the Allegation(s) but does not agree with the Sanctions, the Respondent may choose a Formal Hearing and have the case be heard by a Hearing Body (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel).  If the Conduct Officer is a qualified Hearing Officer, the Respondent may elect to have them hear the case and determine the sanctions.

        Option 4:   If the Respondent does not accept responsibility for the Allegation(s), the Respondent may choose a Formal Hearing and have the case be heard by a Hearing Body (Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel).

    Step 6: If Option 3 or 4 is selected, the Respondent will sign a Case Resolution Form indicating that they do not accept responsibility for the Allegation(s) and/or do not agree to the Sanctions provided and requests a Formal Resolution.

    Step 7: A Notice of Hearing letter is sent to the party(ies) providing the hearing date, time, place, Allegations, and other relevant information.

    Step 8: The Hearing will take place as indicated in the Notice of Hearing letter.  All elements of the Hearing Process will be followed in accordance with PROCESS 7.  At the end of the Hearing, the Hearing Panel or Hearing Officer will deliberate and render a decision on the case.

    Step 9: By way of a Notice of Outcome letter, the Hearing Officer will communicate to the Respondent and the Complainant (if applicable) the outcome(s) of the deliberation of the Hearing Body. The Notice of Outcome letter includes an option to appeal the findings. The outcome of the adjudication will be communicated to the party(ies) within five (5) business days from the date the adjudication is concluded. The Respondent will be informed of any Sanctions, the date by which the requirements must be satisfied (if applicable), and the consequences of failure to satisfy the requirements. The Complainant will be informed of the outcomes of the case that directly relates to the Complainant (if applicable).

    At this point, the adjudication is complete, but the case will not be considered resolved until all Appeals are exhausted and/or the Sanctions have been completed, if applicable.

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    PROCESS 12. Determining SANCTIONS

    A. 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; a Respondent’s willingness to accept responsibility; previous institutional response to similar conduct; strength of the evidence; and the wellbeing of the University community.

    B. Sanctions and restorative outcomes preserve individual and institutional integrity and, whenever possible and appropriate, help students to learn from their mistakes, repair harms, and regain their standing in the community. In determining Sanction(s), the student’s present demeanor; past conduct record; the nature of the offense; the severity of any damage, disruption, injury, or harm resulting therefrom; character statement; and other factors may be considered.

    C. The Hearing Body that concluded that a policy violation occurred will determine Sanctions and issue a Notice of Outcome, as outlined above.

    D. The process for determining the Level (or range of Levels) of the violation is discussed in detail in PROCESS 18.  The Level of the violation aligns with the sanctioning process.

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    PROCESS 13. STATUS SANCTIONS

    A. Academic Sanction: A sanction imposed as a result of an Academic Honor Code violation.

    B. Class Removal or Reassignment: A sanction that removes a student from a class or requires a student to move into a different class or section.

    C. Reprimand: A notice advising the student that a violation of The Bobcat Code has been committed and that further violations may result in more severe sanction(s).

    D. Probation: Removal of the student from good disciplinary standing. Probation will last for a specified period of time and until specific conditions, if imposed, have been met. Any further violation of The Bobcat Code during or after the sanction period may subject the student to further sanction(s), including suspension or expulsion.

    E. Suspension Deferred: Suspension Deferred is a designated period of time during which the student is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the community’s expectations of behavior as articulated in The Bobcat Code. If the student is found responsible for any subsequent violation of The Bobcat Code or fails to complete imposed sanctions by the deadline, the student may be suspended. Suspension Deferred will be imposed for violations serious enough to warrant suspension, but where the specific circumstances of the case mitigate the violation.

    F. Suspension: Suspension is a separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time.

        1. During the period of suspension, the student may not register or attend classes (either in person or online) at Georgia College.

        2. The Student is restricted from University premises and restricted from participating in or attending University-sponsored activities/events, whether occurring on or off-campus unless the student submits a request in writing at least five (5) business days in advance and receives approval from the Dean of Students.

        3. When a suspension is imposed during the semester, the student is withdrawn from all courses and is responsible for tuition and fees accrued in accordance with the University’s tuition and fee schedules.

        4. An administrative hold will be placed to prohibit the student from performing any registration transactions during the period of suspension. The hold will not be removed, and the student will not be allowed to perform University transactions, including re-enrolling, until the conclusion of the suspension and all sanctions are completed satisfactorily.

        5. At the conclusion of the suspension and completion of all sanctions, the student may apply for readmission to the University. In order to re-enroll, the student must file an Application for Readmission, including the associated readmission fee, with the Admission Office by the appropriate readmission deadline.

        6. Application for Readmission may be supported, with further probationary status or requirement to complete educational assignments, at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee.

    G. Expulsion: Expulsion is a permanent separation of the student from the University. The expelled student cannot participate in any University-sponsored activities/events and will be permanently restricted from University property.

    • When the Sanction of expulsion is imposed during the semester, the student is withdrawn from all courses and is responsible for tuition and fees accrued in accordance with the University’s tuition and fee schedules.

    H. Degree Revocation: The University may revoke a degree, certificate, or other academic recognition previously awarded to a student. Notice of any degree revocation will be noted on the student’s transcript.

    I. Admission Revocation: The University reserves the right to revoke admission or enrollment at any time when a student submits falsified/forged information during the admission/enrollment process.

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    PROCESS 14. HOUSING STATUS SANCTIONS

    A. Housing Reprimand: A notice advising the student that a violation of The Bobcat Code has been committed and that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.

    B. Housing Probation: A specified time period during which any further violations of The Bobcat Code may subject the student to Housing Removal.

    C. Housing Removal Deferred: Housing Removal Deferred is a designated period of time during which the student is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the community’s expectations of behavior. If the student is found responsible for any subsequent violation of The Bobcat Code during the Housing Removal Deferred period or fails to complete imposed sanctions by the deadline, the student may be removed from Housing. Housing Removal Deferred is imposed for violations serious enough to warrant a housing removal, but where the specific circumstances of the case mitigate the violation.

    D. Housing Removal: The student is removed from all University-owned Housing permanently or for a specified period of time. When a student is removed, they are also restricted from entering any University-owned Housing during that time period unless otherwise approved by the Dean of Students or designee.

    E. Housing Relocation: The student is required to relocate permanently or for a specified period of time to a different residence hall or area.

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    PROCESS 15. NON-STATUS OUTCOMES

    In conjunction with any status sanction(s), a student found to have been in violation of The Bobcat Code or conduct incongruent with University values may be assigned non-status sanction(s). These include, but are not limited to:

    A. Behavioral Notice: A written notice to inform a student the reported behavior does not align with University behavioral expectations. Any future incident(s) may result in the initiation of a conduct process.

    B. No-Contact Order: A student is directed to not have contact with a specified person(s) or Student Group(s). This includes, but is not limited to, comments, words, or gestures in person, through postal mail, email, social networking sites, phone, or by having others (e.g. friends, acquaintances, family members) act on their behalf.

    C. Loss of Privilege: A student is prohibited from accessing privileges generally afforded to Students, including but not limited to, attending or participating in University-sponsored activities/events, purchasing parking permits, accessing library resources, using University technology, and/or the ability to have guests in any University housing facility.

    D. Restriction(s): A student may be restricted from entering one or more University buildings/facilities including, but not limited to, dining facilities and academic buildings. Other areas on campus may be restricted if deemed appropriate.

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    PROCESS 16. Discretionary Sanctions

    A sanction that requires work assignments, written assignments, service to Georgia College, or other related discretionary assignments as noted below:

    A. Community Service: Volunteering in the community is a way to be helpful to others, show that one is socially responsible, and rebuild the trust that is lost through misbehavior. Community service should be meaningful and rewarding, potentially serving as a platform for personal development. Community service serves two important goals: making amends to the community and demonstrating good citizenship.  Community service efforts must be related to the harm caused to the community.

    B. Apology: If the Respondent is in agreement, the Hearing Officer may require the student to provide a written and/or verbal apology to impacted parties.

    C. Educational Program: Participation or completion of a project, class, or other activity to foster student development as well as awareness or knowledge relevant to the nature of the behavior, including research papers, personal reflections, workshops, organizing events, designing community education, or preparing an action plan. The Hearing Officer may require the student to attend, present, and/or participate in a program related to the misconduct. It may also be a requirement to sponsor or assist with a program for others on campus to aid them in learning about a specific topic or issue related to the misconduct. Examples of educational programs include, but are not limited to:

    • Attending Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS);
    • Attending a workshop with a focus on responsible decision-making, fire safety, and/or bystander intervention, among other items;
    • Completing an online module or workshop;
    • Completing an alcohol and/or drug assessment;
    • Writing a research paper, reflection paper, and/or doing a presentation on the impact of their behavior and/or strategies they may adopt that support behavioral modification; and
    • Conducting an interview and presenting on learning that took place related to the violation committed.

    D. Referrals: Attendance at, and completion of any interventions or assessments to which a student is referred.  Referrals are to offices, departments, programs, and/or agencies that are not part of the Office of the Dean of Students. 

    E. Mentorship: A Student may be required to meet with one or more members of the community for coaching, mentoring, or support for reassurance to the community that the Student is complying with sanctions and University policies.

    F. Restitution: If a violation involves damage, destruction, or loss of property, monetary restitution may be imposed. Restitution may encompass monetary compensation required of a Student who has taken, misused, damaged, or destroyed University, public, or private property or services. Amounts charged to a Student may include costs to repair, replace, recover, clean, or otherwise account for the property or services affected. Proof of payment will be required. Restitution agreements seek to meet the needs of those impacted but may also take into account the Student’s ability to pay.

    G. Restorative Justice: If the Respondent(s) and Complainant(s) are in agreement, a structured opportunity for a collaborative, decision-making process will take place, which includes all involved parties and/or community members to address the misconduct. It is an opportunity for the Student to accept and acknowledge responsibility for their actions and for all parties to come to an understanding on how to best repair the harm caused by the misconduct.

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    PROCESS 17. STUDENT GROUP SANCTIONS

    Student Group Sanctions include, but are not limited to:

    A. Group Educational or Restorative Sanctions: Student Groups may be required to complete educational processes or restorative actions including, but not limited to, participation in workshops or trainings, drafting of letters of apology, or drafting and implementing a plan of resolution and/or reintegration.

    B. Group Loss or Restriction of Privileges or Activities: The loss of the privilege to participate in an activity or event. Examples include, but are not limited to:

        1. Restriction from representing the University in any official capacity;

        2. Restriction from participation in University-affiliated programs, events, and/or activities;

        3. Restriction from the use of University resources (e.g., ability to receive University-affiliated funding or utilize or reside in University Housing);

        4. Restriction from entry or access to particular locations, premises, or events;

        5. Restriction from hosting programs or events; and

        6. Restriction from co-programming with other groups or organizations.

    C. Group Financial Restitution: Restitution is monetary compensation required of Student Groups who have taken, misused, damaged, or destroyed University, public, or private property or services. Amounts charged to Student Groups may include costs to repair, replace, recover, clean, or otherwise account for the property or services affected. Financial Restitution for Student Groups will be assessed to the Student Group as a whole.

    D. Group Reprimand: Notice that a Student Group’s actions violated a University policy, such actions are not acceptable in the community, and that further misconduct or any other violation of a University policy may result in more serious disciplinary action.

    E. Group Probation: A status imposed on a student group for a specified period of time due to the group’s behaviors being inconsistent with University policy and expectations. A Student Group on probation is deemed as not in good standing with the University and the status and sanctions may be published publicly.  Any policy violations while a student group is on probation may result in additional sanctions.

    F. Group Suspension: A separation of the Student Group from the University for a specified period of time. A Student Group on suspension is deemed as not in good standing with the University and the status and sanctions may be published publicly. The student group and its members are restricted from conducting any activity on or off campus that in any way promotes the goals, purposes, identity, programs, membership, or activities of the student group. Once the suspension period has ended, if the student group has met all other terms of the sanction(s), the student group will be permitted to request recognition.

    G. Group Dissolution: The termination of a student group’s recognition by the University. A Student Group on dissolution is deemed as not in good standing with the University and the status and rationale may be published publicly. The Student Group should cease all activities on or off-campus that in any way promote the goals, purposes, identity, programs, membership, or activities of the Student Group.

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    PROCESS 18. Levels of violations and sanctions

    The levels of violations and sanctions listed below are not designed to be all-inclusive.   Conduct and Hearing Officers will use the levels of violations and sanctions as guidelines only.

    A. Level 1 Violations and Sanctions

         1. Level 1 Violations are those which primarily affect an individual or, if others are involved, are unintentional and non-malicious. Such violations are most likely to be addressed in ways not formally connected with the student conduct process. Mediation, counseling referrals, restitution with no disciplinary action, and/or educational conversations with a Conduct Officer that do not affect a student’s disciplinary status are some of the actions most likely to be employed.  It is also possible that Level 1 Violations are those that would be considered relatively minor violations of The Bobcat Code, particularly if they are actions that have some impact on the community and the individual but have not caused serious harm or been detrimental to the community in significant ways. Under some circumstances, the more informal actions described above may be appropriate, but that decision is at the discretion of the Dean of Students. Likely sanctions are described as Level 1 Sanctions (see below).  Level 1 Violations may include, but are not limited to, the following sanctions:

    • Unintentional false fire alarm
    • Posting policy violation
    • Solicitation policy violation
    • Quiet hours violation
    • Damage to University property (relatively minor and unintentional)
    • Damage to another person’s personal property (relatively minor and unintentional)
    • Drinking underage

    2. Level 1 Sanctions resulting from Level 1 Violations tend to be relatively minor in nature, with the primary concern being for the individual. The goals of these sanctions are mostly to educate the student regarding the inappropriateness of their behavior, resolve issues that may have resulted in problematic behavior, and restore ties to other members of the community. Generally, Level 1 sanctions include:

    • Letters of warning/disciplinary reprimand
    • Educational sanction
    • Restitution
    • Parental Notification
    • Fines
    • Letters of apology
    • Mediation
    • Community service (relatively small number of hours able to be completed in a month)

    B. Level 2 Violations and Sanctions

         1. Level 2 Violations include repeated or more serious instances of Level 1 Violations. In addition, these violations tend to have a greater impact on the community as well as broader implications for the individual, resulting in a more significant violation of The Bobcat Code. Likely sanctions are described as Level 2 Sanctions (see below).  Level 2 Violations may include, but are not limited to, the following kinds of violations:

    • Repeated or more serious instances of Level 1 Violations
    • Refusing to comply with University Officials
    • Disorderly conduct
    • Insubordination to Faculty or Staff
    • Public intoxication/disruptive behavior
    • Theft of University property (relatively minor)
    • Marijuana possession (personal use)
    • Marijuana use
    • Possession of drug paraphernalia
    • Giving ID card to another student or to a non-student
    • Theft of University property or another person’s property – minor
    • Disrupting a University class, event, or activity
    • Illegal file sharing
    • Illegal entry
    • Preventing College personnel from doing their jobs
    • Off-campus disruption such as hosting large parties, noise ordinance, etc.

         2. Level 2 Sanctions include any of the sanctions described in Level 1 Sanctions. In addition to concerns for the student involved, these sanctions begin to weigh more heavily the impact of the student’s behavior on the University Community. The focus of the conduct system becomes one of concern for the continued membership of the student in the community. Sanctions imposed seek to correct the behavior and prevent further violations. While Level 1 Sanctions may be utilized at this level, additionally Level 2 Violations may include the following:

    • All Level 1 Sanctions may be considered
    • Disciplinary probation
    • Residential probation
    • Educational sanctions
    • Community service (a significant number of hours)
    • Restitution
    • Mediation
    • Fines
    • Parental Notification
    • Restrictions (residential, visitation, buildings, individuals, etc.)
    • Residential relocation
    • Counseling assessment
    • Letters of apology
    • Behavioral Agreement

    C. Level 3 Violations and Sanctions

         1. Level 3 Violations are more serious violations of The Bobcat Code of Student Conduct. They include repeated and/or more serious instances of actions described as Level 2 Violations. In addition, these violations are more intentional, malicious, and/or have a greater likelihood of causing harm. These cases will be referred to the Dean of Students or their designee. Likely sanctions are described as Level 3 Sanctions (see below).  Behavior that would be considered Level 3 Violations would include, but are not limited to:

    • Repeated or more serious instances of Level 1 and/or Level 2 Violations
    • Fighting
    • Verbally abusing another person
    • Harassing another person (calls, emails, in-person confrontations)
    • Lewd behavior
    • Tampering with fire equipment
    • Damage to University property
    • Damage to another person’s personal property
    • Providing alcohol to underage students
    • Hosting parties of any size with underage drinking
    • Drinking/using drugs requiring medical intervention
    • Possessing/displaying a weapon
    • Pulling a fire alarm falsely
    • Possession of narcotic/prescription drugs
    • Theft of University property – major
    • Theft of another person’s property – major
    • Belligerent/abusive behavior
    • Forging a University employee’s signature
    • Embezzling funds

         2. Level 3 Sanctions address violations that are of an elevated concern regarding the individual and may signify behaviors considered to pose a threat to the University Community and/or the individual. The focus of the conduct system is to attempt to balance the education of the student with the protection of the University Community. While many of the sanctions described in Level 2 may apply, Level 3 Sanctions may include the following:

    • All Level 1 and Level 2 Sanctions may be considered
    • Social probation
    • Residential relocation
    • Residential suspension
    • Educational sanctions
    • Community service (a significant number of hours)
    • Restitution
    • Counseling referral
    • Restrictions (residential, visitation, buildings, individuals, etc.)
    • Behavioral Agreements

    D. Level 4 Violations and Sanctions

         1. Level 4 Violations are actions that would be considered the most major violations of The Bobcat Code. These include repeated and/or more serious instances of actions described as Level 3 Violations, but also are individual actions that are particularly egregious and are of most concern for the University Community. Level 4 Violations will always be heard by the Dean of Students or their designee. Likely sanctions are described as Level 4 Sanctions (see below).  Behaviors that would be considered Level 4 Violations include, but are not limited to:

    • Repeated or more serious instances of Level 1, Level 2, and/or Level 3 Violations
    • Sexual Misconduct of any kind
    • Drugging another person’s drink
    • Hitting or causing injury to another person with no physical provocation
    • Hazing
    • Threatening others with a weapon
    • Using a weapon
    • Felony level possession of drugs
    • Selling marijuana/drugs
    • Selling of narcotic/prescription drugs
    • Setting/causing fire
    • Bias Incident
    • Hate Crime

         2. Level 4 Sanctions address violations whose primary focus becomes one of concern for the safety and quality of life of the University Community rather than the individual. It is likely that this means an individual is no longer able to continue as a member of the University Community. While some sanctions described in Level 2 and Level 3 may be imposed, the following Level 4 Sanctions are likely to result:

    • Suspension from Georgia College for a specified period of time with a likelihood of conditions upon return.  A Re-Entry Meeting is required.
    • A trespass notice from all Georgia College property
    • Expulsion from Georgia College and other University System of Georgia institutions

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    PROCESS 19. STANDARD SANCTIONS

    Standard Sanctions are a prescribed set of sanctions for common violations of The Bobcat Code.  A Hearing Panel or Hearing Officer can modify Standard Sanctions if appropriate for the situation.  Below are current Standard Sanctions.

    A. Alcohol Violations (under 21 years old)

    • Level 1: Alcohol and Other Drugs Program; $250 Fine, Parental Notification, and Disciplinary Probation for 6 months
    • Level 2: Intensive Alcohol Education with Health Educator, $500 fine, Parental Notification, and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 3 - Level 4: Suspension.

    B. Public Drunkenness (21 years old or older)

    • Level 1: Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, $250 fine, and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 2: Intensive Alcohol Education with Health Educator, $500 fine, and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 3 - Level 4: Suspension.

    C. Drug Violations

    • Level 2: Drug Education Program, $500 Fine, Parental Notification, and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 3 - Level 4: Suspension.

    C. Alcohol and Drug Combined Violations

    • Level 3: Intensive Alcohol/Drug Education with Health Educator, $500 Fine, Parental Notification (if under 21 years old), and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 4: Suspension.

    D. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs

    • Level 3: Intensive Alcohol Education with Health Educator, $500 Fine, Parental Notification (if under 21 years old), and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 4: Suspension.

    E. Deception: False Identification

    • Level 1: False ID Paper or Poster, $250 fine, and Disciplinary Probation for 6 months.
    • Level 2: $500 Fine and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.  
    • Level 3 - Level 4: Suspension.

    F. Social Host Alcohol Violations

    • Level 2:  $50 fine per person under 21 years of age consuming alcohol and Disciplinary Probation for 6 months. 
    • Level 3: $100 fine per person under 21 years of age consuming alcohol and Disciplinary Probation for 12 months.
    • Level 4: Suspension.

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    PROCESS 20. Withdrawing or Revoking a Degree

    A degree may be withdrawn when a Student has graduated, and an incident occurred before graduation in the following circumstances:

    A. The Student has a pending conduct Hearing that was scheduled before or as the Student graduated.

    B. At any time after the Student has graduated or received a degree, the University becomes aware of an incident involving an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct that took place before the Student graduated or received a degree from the University.

    C. The Student will receive the degree once the matter is resolved and any Sanctions (where appropriate) are completed unless the Sanction is expulsion, in which case the degree will be revoked.

    D. A former Student may have their degree revoked under the provisions above, which include but are not limited to a determination through the Student Code of Conduct Process that a significant violation took place, or upon a finding of academic misconduct, provided that the relevant College Dean and the Provost are consulted before making this decision and that the Vice President for Student Life concurs with the decision.

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    PROCESS 21. Appeals

    A. Where the sanction imposed includes a suspension or expulsion (even for one held in abeyance), the following appellate procedures must be provided. The Respondent (and in cases involving sexual misconduct or other forms of discrimination and/or harassment, the alleged victim, Complainant) 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.

    B. Appeals may be made on the grounds above in any case where sanctions are issued, even when such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as suspension or expulsion deferred. 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 written decision. The appeal should be made to the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee.

    C. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Respondent or Complainant is required. The Vice President of Student Life (or designee) or the Student Life Appeals Committee when invoked by the Vice President of Student Life for a recommendation, 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 Hearing Body 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. If invoked, the Student Life Appeals Committee will submit their recommendation to the Vice President of Student Life (or designee) who shall then issue a decision in writing to the Respondent within a reasonable time period. The Vice President of Student Life does not have to accept the recommendation of the Student Life Appeals Committee.

    D. The decision of the Vice President for Student Life (or designee) may be appealed in writing within five business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of Georgia College solely on the three grounds set forth above.

    E. 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 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. The President’s decision shall be simultaneously issued in writing to the Complainant, the Respondent (alleged victim, where applicable) within a reasonable time period. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of Georgia College.

    F. Should the Respondent or Complainant (where applicable) wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may request a review by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Policy on Discretionary Review.

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    PROCESS 22. Right To Petition For Readmission

    A. A student who has been expelled or suspended may petition for readmission. The petition must be in writing and directed to the President of Georgia College. Such petition may not be filed before the expiration of three years from the date of the final determination in expulsion cases, or before the expiration of one-half of the suspension. The President shall refer the petition for readmission to the Dean of Students as custodian of the disciplinary record. The Dean of Students shall submit all materials and/or records to the President. The President shall request that the Dean of Students convene a Readmission Review Panel as described below.

    B. The Dean of Students (non-voting) shall convene a Readmission Review Panel composed of one student appointed by the Student Government Association, one staff member from the Division of Student Life who will serve as chair, and a faculty member from the petitioner's major department.  All members must be present.

    C. The panel will review all aspects and records of the case considering such factors as the severity of the original offense, likelihood of repetition of the offense, and possibility of other serious misconduct. This panel will submit its findings and recommendations to the President within five days after they have been convened. The President's decision to grant or deny the petition will be final.

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    RECORDS : Student Conduct Records

    An accurate and complete record of each Student Code of Conduct case will be made and preserved as outlined below.

    The transcripts, degree certifications, diplomas, and future registration records of Students subject to student conduct action may have a flag placed on their account in accordance with the following guidelines:

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    RECORD 1. Holds on Student Records

    Pursuant to guidelines established by the University, the Dean of Students, or a designee, has the ability to place a hold on the record of a student. A registration hold prevents a student from registering for courses, adding/removing courses, dropping courses, and withdrawing. A document hold prevents a student from obtaining an official transcript from the University and also prohibits a student from receiving a transient letter or other letters of good standing from the University. A graduation hold prevents a student from graduating or otherwise receiving the conferral of a degree from the University.

    A. A registration hold may be placed on a student’s record at any time following the initiation of the Conduct Process and for any of the following reasons:

    • Issuance of an interim suspension;
    • Failure to attend a scheduled appointment with the Office of the Dean of Students;
    • Failure to respond to correspondences from the Office of the Dean of Students;
    • Failure to complete sanctions;
    • A sanction of suspension is issued following the completion of the Conduct Process;
    • A sanction of expulsion is issued following the completion of the Conduct Process; and/or
    • For other reasons determined by the Dean of Student or a designee, to be in the best interests of the University community.

    B. A document hold may be placed on a student’s record at any time following the initiation of the Conduct Process when a registration hold has been placed on a student’s record AND one of the following reasons exists:

    • Issuance of an interim suspension;
    • The alleged conduct violation(s) involve circumstances that call into question the veracity of a student’s academic standing at the University; and/or
    • For other reasons determined by the Dean of Students or designee, to be in the best interests of the University community.

    C. A graduation hold may be placed on a student’s record at any time following the initiation of the Conduct Process when a registration hold has been placed on a student’s record AND one of the following reasons exists:

    • Issuance of an interim suspension;
    • A sanction of suspension is issued following the completion of the Conduct Process;
    • A sanction of expulsion is issued following the completion of the Conduct Process;
    • The alleged conduct regulation violation(s) involve circumstances that call into question the veracity of a student’s academic standing at the University; and/or
    • The alleged conduct regulation violation(s) involve circumstances that may result in the expulsion of the student.

    D. Hold Removal:  Any hold placed upon a student’s record in accordance with these procedures will not be removed until the circumstances which necessitated the hold have been resolved as determined by the Dean of Students or designee.

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    RECORD 2. Transcript Requests

    When a Student requests issuance of their transcript to another educational institution, outside agency or person, such transcript will be issued subject to the following guidelines:

    If the Dean of Students or designee has placed a hold on the transcript of a Student, the Dean of Students or designee will review the record to determine and decide whether the transcript can be issued.

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    RECORD 3. Criminal Records

    Admitted students and matriculated students are required to report any convictions, wherever they occur, for crimes that would constitute felonies under Georgia law.

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    RECORD 4. Conduct Records

    Student conduct records will be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Students five years after the Student graduates from the University or five years after one stops matriculating. Records must be maintained for longer periods of time or permanently if the Student was separated or blocked from enrollment, was found responsible for a significant violation of the Honor Code, has a hold, or in situations that may result in future litigation.

    A. CONFIDENTIALITY

        1. Student conduct records are maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students in compliance with the FERPA, Clery Act, University System of Georgia, and University regulations. Student conduct records are maintained separate and apart from all other student records.

        2. Except as provided in The Bobcat Code, the University shall not communicate a student’s conduct record to any person or agency without the prior written consent of the student, except as required by law. Student conduct records may be made available to University employees with a legitimate educational interest.

        3. Upon receipt of a request for student conduct records with a signed release by the student, the Office of the Dean of Students may respond to the request and disclose a student’s conduct history to professional/graduate schools, employers, or others.  This request is also known as the Dean’s Certification. 

    B. ACCESSING STUDENT RECORDS

    Students may arrange to review their own disciplinary records by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students.

    C. EXPUNGEMENT

         1. Expungement occurs when a student’s disciplinary record is held by the Office of the Dean of Students but goes unreported to requesting agencies via the Dean's Certification Process.  A Dean’s Certification (or disciplinary clearance) is a verification of a student's conduct record. This verification is usually requested by medical schools, law schools, travel abroad programs, government agencies, state bar associations, University in-field experiences (e.g., student teaching, nursing), or independent agencies when applying for admissions or employment. When a student’s record is expunged, the record will not be shared with the requesting agency as part of the Dean's Certification Process. To process a Dean's Certification or a Request for Expungement, a signed authorization is needed from the student (or former student/alumnus).

         2. Some student conduct records may be expunged for good cause by the Dean of Students and/or Conduct Review Committee upon receipt of a written request by a Student.  Factors to be considered in the review of such requests shall include, but are not limited to:

              a. The student’s level of understanding of their behavior and its impact;

              b. The conduct history of the student prior to the violation; and

              c. The nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.

         3. Expungement requests apply to a student’s non-academic conduct record maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students.  Reports and/or other correspondence maintained by other University offices such as Legal Affairs are not subject to expungement under this policy. 

         4. Expunged records are only released as required by law.  It is important to note that a student with an expunged record may still need to disclose information regarding their past disciplinary history at Georgia College to a third party including a potential employer, another university through the admissions process, or a professional governing body, based on the questions being asked by the organization as part of their admissions process.  

         5. A student can only request expungement after achieving 90 hours of credit or any time thereafter (e.g., alumni).

         6. Expungement will only be considered for students who have one level-one offense (minor offense).  Each level-one offense is identified in the RULES section above.

         7.  An expungement request will be denied if the student has been sanctioned with expulsion (including in abeyance), suspension (including in abeyance), has an unresolved case, or any incomplete sanctions.

         8. To request an expungement of your records, Georgia College students and alumni must submit the following forms:

               a. Expungement Request Form (create form and link it).

               b. A reflection paper (minimum 1 page, 1” margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced) with the content described below.  The paper must include proper grammar, correct spelling, sentence structure, and cohesive organization of thought.

                   1) Introduction that includes the highlights of the incident that occurred and for which you are asking to be expunged from your record. 

                   2) Explain what steps were taken to address the behavior.

                   3) How did your behavior change since the incident occurred.

                   4) What did you learn from the totality of the incident? What changes did you make that will continue to be useful after college?

                   5)   How did this violation affect other people or the college/local community?

                   6) Why do you think an expungement of your record should occur for this incident? 

              c. Proof of 90 hours of completed credit and a signed letter from the student’s academic advisor (current students only).

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    RECORD 5. STUDENT NOTIFICATION

    Each Fall Semester, all students are provided access to The Bobcat Code and notified of their responsibilities under The Bobcat Code.

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    POLICY: Georgia College & University System of Georgia Policies

    This chapter contains important policies to which students should pay close attention.  These policies are either Georgia College policies or policies from the University System of Georgia.  This chapter is not an exhaustive list of policies from either entity but rather a list of policies to which students may need to reference.  If a student cannot locate a needed policy, please contact the Office of Dean of Students at (478)445-2090 for assistance.

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    POLICY 1. Alcohol and Drugs Policies

    USG 4.6.4 Alcohol and Drugs on Campus

    In accordance with Georgia laws governing the manufacture, sale, use, distribution, and possession of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs on college campuses and elsewhere, including the Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990, the Board of Regents encourages its institutions to adopt programs designed to increase awareness of the dangers involved in the use of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, or other illegal or dangerous drugs by University System of Georgia (USG) students and employees. Such programs shall stress individual responsibility related to the use of alcohol and drugs on and off the campus.

    To assist in the implementation of such awareness programs and to enhance the enforcement of state laws at USG institutions, each institution shall adopt and disseminate comprehensive rules and regulations consistent with local, state, and federal laws concerning the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs on campus and at institutionally-approved events off-campus.

    Disciplinary sanctions for the violation of such rules and regulations shall be included as a part of each institution’s disciplinary code of student conduct. Disciplinary sanctions for students convicted of a felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs shall include the forfeiture of academic credit and the temporary or permanent suspension or expulsion from the institution. All sanctions imposed by the institution shall be subject to review procedures authorized by the Board of Regents’ Policy on Application for Discretionary Review.

    The rules and regulations adopted by each institution shall also provide for relief from disciplinary sanctions previously imposed against one whose convictions are subsequently overturned on appeal or otherwise.

    GCSU Student Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Use of Controlled Substances

    Georgia College & State University recognizes the need to address the issues of alcohol and other drug abuse among university students. Drug use may pose physical and psychological risks, and long-term harm to self and others, in addition to the legal consequences of involvement with controlled substances.

    The purpose of this policy is to circumscribe and educate about the lawful and responsible use of alcohol by students, and to educate about illegal drugs in order to maintain an environment that is consistent with the educational mission of Georgia College & State University.

    Georgia College & State University will comply with all federal, state, and local laws and policies, including the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, on the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by its students. The legal drinking age in the State of Georgia is 21.

    Each member of the Georgia College & State University community should be involved in the implementation of and compliance with this Policy. Unless otherwise stated by law, each individual retains responsibility for his or her actions at all times regardless of his or her mental state, even if altered by alcoholic beverages or other drugs.

    Campus organizations may develop and enforce additional group/individual standards which are more restrictive than those established in this Policy.

    A. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND SANCTIONS

    In accordance with federal and state laws and because of the potential detriment to the health and well-being of its students, all students are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances (including marijuana), and other dangerous drugs.

        1. Alcohol

              a. The sale, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in or on all Georgia College & State University-owned or leased (by) property or on sidewalks/streets are specifically prohibited, with the exception of those designated annually by the Chief Student Affairs Officer. An official list of designated locations is available in the Chief Student Affairs Officer’s office and on the Student Life website. This does not prohibit the lawful use of alcohol in residences.

              b. Individual possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is acceptable, provided individuals do not:

                   1) Possess or consume alcoholic beverages if under 21 years of age.

                   2) Furnish or cause to be furnished, any alcoholic beverages to persons less than 21 years of age.

                   3) Conspicuously display open containers of alcoholic beverages in any public location, including, but not limited to, grounds, sidewalks, and streets within campus boundaries (with the exception of the grounds, but not the public sidewalks and streets, or privately owned or leased property).

                   4) Sell alcoholic beverages.

                   5) Misrepresent one's age or identity in any manner for the purpose of obtaining or possessing any alcoholic beverage.

                   6) Serve or make available alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons.

              c. Alcoholic beverages may be served and/or consumed by individuals age 21 or over at events and activities that are advertised, promoted, sponsored, or supervised by a recognized Georgia College & State University organization, providing the organization shall:

                   1) Be responsible for enforcing the entire Student Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Use of Controlled Substances.

                   2) Have an acknowledgment of the " Student Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Use of Controlled Substances " form on file in the Department of Campus Life in the Student Activities Center. Acknowledgment of the Student Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Use of Controlled Substances Forms are available in the Department of Campus Life. This must be signed with every changeover of officers.

                   3) Ensure that alcohol is not the focal point, the reason for, or the drawing card for an event.

                   4) Submit, and have approved, a completed Alcohol Event Planning Form to the Department of Campus Life before the event. Alcohol Event Planning Forms are available in the Department of Campus Life in the Student Activities Center.

                   5) Not advertise the service or availability of alcoholic beverages at functions.

                   6) Ensure that alcoholic beverages are not consumed by any individual under the legal drinking age of 21.

                   7) Provide non-alcoholic beverages and food in a reasonable quantity, in the same general area, and for the same time period, as the alcoholic beverages are accessible.

                   8) Control access to the alcoholic beverages through either a central point of distribution by a designated server or by another method such as wristbands and sober monitors. Control is for the purpose of restricting use by those under 21 and/or who are obviously intoxicated.

                   9) Not use organizational funds to purchase alcohol. Any money used to pay for alcoholic beverages must be taken from personal/private sources by a properly licensed third-party vendor. Alcoholic beverages may not be paid for by the student organization selling them at the activity or by charging an admission fee either in advance or at the door (as stated in the Georgia Code of Law, 1981 Section 3-3-21).

                   10) Not use kegs, champagne/punch fountains, or other common usage containers (such as punch bowls or frozen drink machines) for alcoholic beverages.

                   11) In the absence of a third-party vendor, designate or hire a TIPS (Training Intervention Procedures for Servers) trained server to monitor the service and consumption of alcohol. It is unlawful to serve or make available alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons (as stated in the Georgia Code of Law, Section 3-3-22).

                   12) Require a Student Life recognized advisor, who must not be a minor, to be aware of functions of student organizations where alcohol is served or made available. Advisors are encouraged to attend such functions.

              d. Tailgating with alcohol at major events

                   1) Tailgating is defined as a social event held on and/or around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating often involves consuming beverages and grilling food. Tailgate parties usually occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas before, and occasionally after or during, sporting events and concerts. Individuals may still “tailgate” even if their vehicles do not have tailgates or are not using a vehicle.

                  2) Tailgate parties are permitted in Georgia College & State University parking areas and gathering sites during major campus events which are designated annually by the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

                   3) Pre-determined areas of the Georgia College & State University parking areas and gathering sites during major campus events in use for tailgate parties will be identified as “family-friendly zones” and individual possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted in these areas.

                   4) It is acceptable for individual possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in areas not identified as “family-friendly zones” within the tailgating area designated by the Chief Student Affairs Officer provided individuals do not:

                        i. Possess or consume alcoholic beverages if under 21 years of age.

                        ii. Furnish, or cause to be furnished, any alcoholic beverages to persons less than 21 years of age.

                        iii. Sell alcoholic beverages.

                        iv. Misrepresent one's age or identity in any manner for the purpose of obtaining or possessing any alcoholic beverage.

                        v. Serve or make available alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons.

                        vi. Use kegs, champagne/punch fountains, or other common usage containers (such as punch bowls or frozen drink machines) for alcoholic beverages.

                        vii. Engage in any disorderly, profane, indecent conduct or misbehavior that would interfere or disrupt the peaceful activities of others.

                        viii. Begin more than three hours prior to the event, and do not continue more than three hours after the event unless prior authorization has been given when designated by the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

                        ix. Litter; all trash must be placed in the appropriate receptacles.

                        x. Public safety must be present at all tailgate parties involving alcohol on all Georgia College & State University-owned or leased (by) property or on sidewalks/streets.

              e. Promotional activities regarding alcohol are as follows:

                   1) The posted advertisement of alcoholic beverages on campus is not permitted. Campus publications are encouraged to minimize/eliminate all advertisements of alcoholic beverages.

                   2) No promotion or advertising on the campus of incentive drinking is allowed.

                   3) Student groups and organizations may not seek or accept sponsorships from companies/vendors whose main focus of business is the manufacture, distribution, or sale of alcohol products.

              f. Participants in Study Abroad programs are bound by the legal drinking age of the respective countries in which they are studying, as well as the guidelines established by their program's faculty leader(s), and in all other respects, this policy applies.

              g. Sanctions for Violation of Standards

                   1) Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action and penalties in accordance with the Honor Code and Code of Conduct as published in the Student Handbook of Georgia College & State University.

                   2) Attempts to circumvent the provisions in this Policy in any way are an infraction of this Policy.

         2. Possession and/or Use of Illegal Drugs

              a. Georgia College & State University does not permit or condone the illegal possession and/or use of controlled substances. Controlled substances mean any drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in the definition of a controlled substance in the Official Code of Georgia Section 16-13-21 (4) or Schedule I through V of Section 202 of the Federal Controlled Substance Act [21 United States Code 812]. “Dangerous drug” is used as defined in the Official Code of Georgia Section 16-13-71.

              b. Sanctions for Violation of Standards:

                        1) Any student who violates this Policy or any federal or state law or policy regarding the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of controlled substances or other dangerous drugs shall be subject to disciplinary actions and penalties in accordance with the Honor Code and Code of Conduct as published in the Student Handbook of Georgia College & State University.

                        2) In accordance with Georgia law, any student convicted of a felony that involves the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of controlled substances or other illegal drug, or student organizations involved in these activities will be subject to specific penalties required by State law.

              c. Further information regarding the effects of drug abuse and penalties for manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of controlled substances or other illegal drugs is available in the Counseling Center, Student Health Center, and the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

              d. Participants in Study Abroad programs are bound by the policies of the Georgia College & State University as well as the guidelines established by their program's faculty leader(s), regarding the possession and/or use of illegal drugs.

    B. DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNSELING, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION PROGRAMS

    Students with alcohol- or drug-related problems may be referred to or seek assistance from the Division of Student Life. The Division of Student Life provides trained professional and paraprofessional counselors in the Counseling Center for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, education, and counseling. In addition, Student Health Services provides a Health Promotions Coordinator who specializes in health education and abuse prevention related to alcohol and drug abuse.

    C. POLICY REVIEW

    This policy shall be reviewed annually by a Task Force which includes student representation and is appointed by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or their designee, to determine its effectiveness, to ensure that policies are enforced and the disciplinary sanctions are consistently applied, to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the educational component of the policy, and to recommend and implement changes as appropriate.

    D. POLICY DISTRIBUTION

    The Chief Student Affairs Officer, or their designee, shall oversee the annual distribution of this Policy to every Georgia College & State University student. Additional copies of the Student Policy on Alcohol and Illegal Use of Controlled Substances may be obtained from the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

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    POLICY 2. USG 6.10 Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campuses & GA CODE § 16-12-171

    The University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and amicable environment for all students, employees, and persons visiting USG campuses. This policy applies to all persons who enter USG Properties. Violation of this policy may result in corrective action under student conduct or human resource policies and visitors refusing to comply may be asked to leave campus. Signage to help inform the campus communities and visitors of these prohibitions should be placed throughout campus.

    6.10.1 DEFINITIONS

    “USG Properties” is defined as property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used by the USG or its affiliates, including all areas indoors and outdoors, buildings, and parking lots.

    >“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 simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes.

    6.10.2 PROHIBITION OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

    In accordance with the Georgia Smoke-Free Air Act of 2005, the use of all forms of Tobacco Products on USG Properties is expressly prohibited. Further, the advertising, sale, or free sampling of Tobacco Products on USG Properties is prohibited unless specifically stated for research purposes. All events hosted by a USG entity and by outside groups on behalf of the USG shall be tobacco-free.

    6.10.3 EXCEPTIONS

    The President of each institution may define any exceptions to this policy, but exceptions should be limited and reflect the intent for USG campuses to be tobacco and smoke-free unless needed for educational purposes or the advancement of research.

    6.10.4 RESOURCES FOR TOBACCO CESSATION

    Resources to assist individuals with tobacco cessation, educational materials, and other wellness information will be provided by the USG. Such effort does not limit the number of resources that a USG institution may provide for tobacco cessation and the positive enforcement of this policy.

    GA CODE § 16-12-171. PROHIBITED ACTS.
    (a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to:

    (A) Sell or barter, directly or indirectly, any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products to any individual under the age of 21 years;

    (B) Purchase any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products for any individual under the age of 21 years; or

    (C) Advise, counsel, or compel any individual under the age of 21 years to smoke, inhale, chew, or use cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products.

    (2) (A) The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply with respect to sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products by a person when such person has been furnished with proper identification showing that the individual to whom the cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products are sold is 21 years of age or older.

    (B) In any case when a reasonable or prudent person could reasonably be in doubt as to whether or not the individual to whom cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products are to be sold or otherwise furnished is actually 21 years of age or older, it shall be the duty of the person selling or otherwise furnishing such cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products to request to see and to be furnished with proper identification as provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section in order to verify the age of such individual. The failure to make such request and verification in any case when the individual to whom the cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products are sold or otherwise furnished is less than 21 years of age may be considered by the trier of fact in determining whether the person selling or otherwise furnishing such cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products did so knowingly.

    (3) Any person that violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (b) (1) It shall be unlawful for any individual under the age of 21 years to:

    (A) Purchase, attempt to purchase, or possess for personal use any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products; or

    (B) Misrepresent his or her identity or age or use any false identification for the purpose of purchasing or procuring any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products.

    (2) An individual under the age of 21 years who commits an offense provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection or paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this Code section shall be punished as follows:

    (A) By requiring the performance of community service not exceeding 20 hours that may be related to the awareness of the health hazards of smoking and vaping or tobacco and vapor product use;

    (B) By requiring attendance at a publicly or privately sponsored lecture or discussion on the health hazards of smoking and vaping or tobacco and vapor product use, provided that such lecture or discussion is offered without charge to the individual under the age of 21 years;

    (C) When an individual under the age of 21 years fails to comply with such imposed community service, or for a third or subsequent violation within the same calendar year as the first violation, by requiring the Department of Driver Services to withhold issuance of or to suspend the driver's license or driving privilege of such individual for a period of 45 consecutive days; or

    (D) By a combination of the punishments described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of this paragraph.

    (c)(1) It shall be unlawful for any individual to knowingly use a vapor product within a school safety zone. As used in this subsection the term "school safety zone" shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 16-11-127.1.

    (2) Any individual who is 21 years of age or older who commits the offense provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that for a conviction of a first offense, such individual shall be punished by a fine of $25.00 and for a conviction of a second offense, such individual shall be punished by a fine of $50.00. The provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 17 and any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the costs of any prosecution for such first or second offense shall not be taxed nor shall any additional penalty, fee, or surcharge to a fine for such offense be assessed against an individual for conviction thereof.

    (3) Any vapor product used in violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection is declared to be contraband, and no person shall have a property right in it. In addition to persons authorized to seize property pursuant to Code Section 9-16-6, property which is subject to forfeiture under this subsection may be seized by any special agent or enforcement officer of the state revenue commissioner. Any property which is subject to forfeiture under this subsection shall be forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9.

    § 16-12-170. Definitions

    As used in this article, the term:
    (1) "Alternative nicotine product" means any noncombustible product containing nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, absorbed, dissolved, or ingested by any other means. Such term shall not include any tobacco product, vapor product, or product regulated as a drug or device by the United States Food and Drug Administration under Chapter V of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

    (2) "Cigar wraps" means individual cigar wrappers, known as wraps, blunt wraps, or roll your own cigar wraps, that consist in whole or in part of reconstituted tobacco leaf or flavored tobacco leaf.

    (3) "Cigarette" means roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco when the cover of the roll is paper or any substance other than tobacco.

    (4) "Community service" means a public service which an individual under the age of 21 years might appropriately be required to perform, as determined by the court, as punishment for certain offenses provided for in this article.

    (5) "Person" means any natural person or any firm, partnership, company, corporation, or other entity.

    (6) "Proper identification" means any document issued by a governmental agency containing a description of the individual, such individual's photograph, or both, and giving such individual's date of birth and includes, without being limited to, a passport, military identification card, driver's license, or an identification card authorized under Code Sections 40-5-100 through 40-5-104. Proper identification shall not include a birth certificate.

    (7) "Tobacco product" means any cigars, little cigars, granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff or snuff powder; cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine-cut and other chewing tobaccos; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings, and sweepings of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco, prepared in such a manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or otherwise, or both for chewing and smoking. Such term shall not include any alternative nicotine product, vapor product, or product regulated as a drug or device by the United States Food and Drug Administration under Chapter V of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

    (8) "Tobacco-related objects" means any papers, wrappers, or other products, devices, or substances, including cigar wraps, which are used for the purpose of making cigarettes or tobacco products in any form whatsoever.

    (9) "Vapor product" means any noncombustible product containing nicotine that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, that can be used to produce vapor or aerosol from nicotine or other substances in a solution or other form. Such term shall include, but shall not be limited to, any electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device and any vapor or aerosol cartridge or other container of nicotine or other substance in a solution or other form, including, but not limited to, a device component, part, or accessory of the device, that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device. Such term shall not include any product regulated as a drug or device by the United States Food and Drug Administration under Chapter V of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

    § 16-11-127.1

    “School safety zone" means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to:

    (A) Any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or local board of education and used for elementary or secondary education; and

    (B) Any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education.

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    POLICY 3. AMNESTY POLICY (GOOD SAMARITAN POLICY)

    The purpose of the Georgia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Amnesty Policy is to prevent students from being reluctant to seek assistance for themselves or someone else for fear of facing disciplinary action. It is an attempt to remove barriers that prevent students from seeking the medical attention that is needed.

    The policy does not necessarily grant amnesty for criminal, civil, or legal consequences for violations of Federal, State, or Local laws.  Georgia College Public Safety Officers have sworn police officers with full arrest authority, and they have the autonomy to use that authority as circumstances dictate according to their professional experience.  In general, unlike police from many other settings, Georgia College Public Safety officers attempt to balance a concern for student educational outcomes with their powers of arrest.  In circumstances in which they choose to arrest students rather than refer them to the Office of the Dean of Students, their decision is typically a result of evidence of gross irresponsibility on the part of the student, the presence of an apparent safety risk, or complications due to the student's non-compliance or belligerence.

    A. PHILOSOPHY

    The health and safety of members of the Georgia College community are a primary concern. Students need to seek immediate medical attention for themselves or others when someone's health and/or safety is at risk (examples include alcohol poisoning, unconsciousness, sexual assault, or physical assault).  Students may be reluctant to seek assistance for themselves or someone else for fear of facing action from the Office of the Dean of Students.  Georgia College seeks to remove barriers that prevent students from seeking the medical attention they need.

    B. POLICY

    Note: This Policy only provides amnesty from violations of the Georgia College Student Code of Conduct. It does not grant amnesty for criminal, civil, or legal consequences for violations of Federal, State, or Local law.

        1. Students who seek emergency medical attention for themselves related to consumption of drugs or alcohol will not be accused with violations of the Georgia College Student Code of Conduct related to that consumption, provided that the student subsequently completes a screening from Student Health Services and any recommended treatment within a reasonable time frame to be determined by the Office of the Dean of Students.  Failure to complete this screening/treatment may result in violations being filed with the Office of Dean of Students.

        2. Students who seek emergency medical attention for someone else will not be accused of violations of the Georgia College Student Code of Conduct related to consumption of alcohol or drugs, or intoxication, provided that the student subsequently completes a screening from Student Health Services and any recommended treatment within a reasonable time frame to be determined by the Office of the Dean of Students. 

        3. Georgia College Public Safety officers will weigh heavily a student's cooperation and genuinely positive intent in determining whether a substance abuse situation allows them to provide the student amnesty from arrest.

        4. Student Groups are required to seek immediate medical assistance for their members or guests when any potential health risk is observed, including medical emergencies related to the use of alcohol and/or drugs. A Student Group that seeks immediate assistance from appropriate sources will not be accused of violations of the Georgia College Student Code of Conduct related to providing alcohol, providing that the organization completes any educational programming required by the Office of the Dean of Students. However, the organization can and will be held accountable for any other violations of the Student Code of Conduct related to the incident (e.g. endangering the health or safety of others, covered smoke detectors, etc.). Student Groups that fail to seek immediate medical assistance for members or guests in need of attention will likely be accused of violations of The Bobcat Code and face dissolution as the outcome of such behaviors. It is imperative that Student Groups seek medical assistance for their members or guests in an emergency situation.

        5. This Policy applies only to those students or organizations who seek emergency medical assistance in connection with an alcohol or drug-related medical emergency and does not apply to individuals experiencing an alcohol or drug-related medical emergency who are found by University employees (i.e. University Police, Faculty, administrative staff, residence hall staff).

    C. The Georgia College Amnesty Policy is not intended to shield or protect those students or organizations that repeatedly violate the Student Code of Conduct. In cases where repeated violations of the Georgia College Student Code of Conduct occur, the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported. Additionally, the University reserves the right to adjudicate any case in which the violations are egregious.

    D. Additionally, the Georgia College Amnesty Policy allows for assistance in cases of sexual misconduct. If you believe you have been involved in an incident of sexual misconduct, you have the right to pursue action through the Student Conduct Process and/or the appropriate law enforcement authorities, and/or the courts. Georgia College further encourages anyone who has been involved in such an incident to pursue action through appropriate law enforcement authorities and/or the courts. The University wishes to encourage victims to report incidents of sexual misconduct and therefore reserves the right to waive disciplinary violations against victims for circumstances surrounding the incident. For example, a victim who had been drinking underage would not typically face Allegations of violating alcohol policies.  See the Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information.

    E. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to contact any student to discuss an incident whether or not the Georgia College Amnesty Policy is in effect.

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    POLICY 4. Freedom of Expression policies

    USG 6.5 Freedom of Expression

    The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, including the right to free speech, free expression, free exercise of religion, and the right to assemble peaceably are of the utmost importance, and the University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to protecting those rights.

    As public institutions of higher education, USG institutions must promote open ideas and academic freedom on their campuses. While institutions may need to enact policies to promote campus safety, to ensure the proper functioning of the academic environment and institution activities, or to further other important institution objectives, those policies should not unduly burden the free expression rights of students, faculty, and staff. Any parameters placed on the time, place, and manner of expression must not be based on the content of the expression.

    To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, institutions may designate accessible, high-traffic locations on campus as public forum areas. The designation of public forum areas may not be used to prohibit individual students, faculty, or staff from engaging in communication elsewhere on campus. Reservation and use of designated public forum areas may only be required in the following limited circumstances: (1) speakers who are not enrolled at or employed by the institution; and (2) students, faculty, or staff who engage in large group demonstrations. Institutions may not consider the content or viewpoint of expression when requiring or assigning the use of public forum areas.

    GCSU Freedom of Expression Policy

    Georgia College & State University (“Georgia College”) celebrates Free Speech and is committed to respecting the First Amendment rights of all individuals, including freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably. Georgia College also recognizes its responsibility to provide a secure learning environment that allows individuals enrolled at or employed by Georgia College (“members of the Georgia College community”) to express their views in ways that do not disrupt the operation of the institution. This policy in no way prohibits members of the Georgia College community from engaging in conversations on campus and does not apply to College or University-sponsored activities, but rather only establishes a designated public forum on Georgia College’s campus and sets forth requirements for use and reservation of the forum in limited circumstances.

    A. DEFINITIONS

    The following definition(s) apply to the terms as used in this Policy:

    Large Groups - Members of the Georgia College community who plan to engage in expressive activity on campus in a group that is expected to consist of 30 or more persons.

    B. REASON FOR THE POLICY

    The purpose of this Policy is to promote and affirm the freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly while addressing content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions. Individuals have the right to peaceably assemble, speak, and hear the speech of others when they choose to listen, and to ignore the speech of others when they choose not to listen.

    C. PROPOSED OUTCOME

    The Policy seeks to establish a designated, limited public forum on the Georgia College campus.

    D. APPLICABILITY OF THE POLICY

    This Policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and their registered organizations, as well as all other persons and groups. Because of practical administrative realities, this policy does not apply to University agents and employees when they are acting in the course and scope of their agency or employment.

    E. PROCEDURES

        1. Designation of Public Forums on Georgia College’s Campus

              a. To better facilitate the free exchange of ideas, Georgia College has designated the Georgia College Flagpole Plaza at the east end of the Georgia College Front Lawn (the area on and immediately surrounding the circular concrete pad that holds the University flagpole and Olympic column) as a public forum on Georgia College’s campus (“Public Forum Area”). The Public Forum Area is generally available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, provided that the Public Forum Area has not previously been reserved. Reservations will only be processed on days that Georgia College’s Administrative Offices are open for business (“institution business days”). Though reservations to use the Public Forum Area are only required as set forth in Code 9.2.5.4, Georgia College recommends that all parties interested in using the Public Forum Area submit a completed Forum Reservation Request Form to Georgia College’s Department of Student Activities and Organizations prior to use so that Georgia College may minimize scheduling conflicts, accommodate all interested users, and provide for campus safety and security.

        2. Provisions for Members of the Georgia College Community

              a. All large groups must submit a completed Forum Reservation Request Form to Georgia College’s Department of Student Activities and Organizations two (2) institution business days prior to the scheduled activity and must receive approval in writing from the Director of Student Activities and Organizations prior to engaging in such activity. Prior notice is required to ensure that there is sufficient space for the large group event, that necessary institution resources are available for crowd control and security, and that the academic and other operations of the institution are not disrupted. The Director of Student Activities and Organizations may grant a reservation for the Public Forum Area or another available area of campus, as requested by the applicant, and may only deny a reservation for the limited reasons set forth in Code 9.2.5.4.2 below.  

              b. If an individual or small group of individuals within the Georgia College community, while engaging in spontaneous expression, attracts a group of 30 or more persons, then a representative from the group should provide Georgia College with as much notice as circumstances reasonably permit. Georgia College reserves the right to direct a group of 30 or more persons to the Public Forum Area or another available area of campus in order to ensure the safety of campus members, to provide for proper crowd control, and to limit disruption of the academic and other operations of the institution. When relocating expression, the Georgia College official must not consider or impose restrictions based on the content or viewpoint of the expression.

        3. Provisions for Non-Campus Members

              a. Individuals or groups of persons who are not enrolled at or employed by Georgia College may only engage in expressive activity on Georgia College’s campus in the Public Forum Area and only after submitting a completed Public Forum Reservation Request form to Georgia College’s Department of Student Activities and Organizations at least two institution business days prior to the scheduled speech and obtaining approval for such use in writing from the Director of Student Activities and Organizations pursuant to the procedures set forth in Code 9.2.5.4. Organizers are encouraged to submit their requests as early in the planning stages of the event as possible. This provision does not apply to any classroom instruction or institution-sponsored events. 

        4. Procedures for Forum Reservation Requests

              a. Completed the Public Forum Reservation Request Form should be submitted to Georgia College’s Department of Student Activities and Organizations in person or by email to campuslife@gcsu.edu, no later than two (2)  business days prior to the scheduled forum event. Reservation scheduling will be coordinated by the Director of Student Activities and Organizations, who will schedule forums for expression on a first-come, first-served basis. The Director of Student Activities and Organizations must respond to all requests in writing as soon as practical, but in no event should it be more than two (2) institution business days following receipt of the request, either authorizing the reservation and noting any special instructions, if applicable or setting forth the reason for denial of the reservation.

              b. The Director of Student Activities and Organizations may only deny a reservation request for one of the following reasons:

                   1) The Forum Reservation Request Form is not fully completed;

                   2) The Forum Reservation Request Form contains a material falsehood or misrepresentation;

                   3) The Public Forum Areas have been reserved by persons who previously submitted a completed Forum Reservation Request Form(s), in which case the institution must provide a reservation for the applicant at an alternate location, alternate date, or alternate time;

                   4) The use or activity intended by the applicant would conflict with or disturb previously planned programs organized and conducted by the institution;

                   5) The Public Forum Area is not large enough to accommodate the expected or actual number of persons engaging in large group expression, in which case the institution must provide a reservation for the applicant at an alternate location that can safely accommodate the applicant provided that the applicant is a member of the Georgia College community and that such a location exists on Georgia College’s campus;

                   6) The use or activity intended by the applicant would present a danger to the health or safety of the applicant, other members of the Georgia College community, or the public; or

                   7) The use or activity intended by the applicant is prohibited by law, Georgia College policy, or Board of Regents policy.

                   8) When assessing a reservation request, the Director of Student Activities and Organizations must not consider or impose restrictions based on the content or viewpoint of the expression.

        5. Appeals

              a. Appeals related to the decision of the Director of Student Activities and Organizations should be made in writing to Georgia College’s Vice President for Student Life. Georgia College’s Vice President for Student Life or his or her designee must decide all appeals within two (2) institution business day. The decision of Georgia College’s Vice President for Student Life or his or her designee is final.

              b. All campus reservations are subject to the general provisions in Code 9.2.6.

              c. Distribution of Written Material

                   1) Members of the Georgia College community may distribute non-commercial pamphlets, handbills, circulars, newspapers, magazines, and other written materials on a person-to-person basis in open outdoor areas of the campus, in line with the Georgia College Posting of Signs for Campus Organizations, Departments, Events Guidelines.

                    2) An individual who is not a member of the Georgia College community may only distribute written materials within the Public Forum Area and only during the time in which the individual has reserved Public Forum Area.

    F. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    In addition to the requirements set forth above, all individuals expressing themselves on Georgia College’s campus must comply with the following provisions:

        1. No interference with the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, including the ingress and egress to buildings on campus, is permitted.

        2. No interruption of the orderly conduct of classroom instruction or other institutional activities is permitted.

        3. Buildings, grounds, institution property, and property belonging to others may not be defaced, damaged, or destroyed and persons responsible for the destruction of property may be held financially, legally, or criminally liable.  

        4. Persons expressing themselves on Georgia College’s campus must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances; Georgia College policies, rules, and regulations; and Board of Regents policies.

        5. Authorization of a speech, event, or demonstration is contingent upon compliance with the criteria listed above. Speakers and/or organizations failing to comply with the above policy may be asked to leave, a trespass warning may be issued, and/or College disciplinary action or judicial action may be pursued.

    G. NON-COMPLIANCE

    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

    H. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION POLICY QUESTIONS

    Questions about this policy may be addressed to the Department of Student Activities and Organizations at 478.445.1473 or campuslife@gcsu.edu, or the Office of Legal Affairs at 478.445.2037 or legal@gcsu.edu.

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    POLICY 5. Bias Incidents Policy

    A. A bias-related incident is characterized as a behavior or act, verbal, written, or physical, personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, physical handicap/disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, or age. Bias incidents occur when someone is subject to discrimination, harassment, abuse, bullying, stereotyping, hostility, marginalization, or another form of mistreatment simply because they identify with or are part of a particular group.

    Examples may include defacement or vandalism (posters, signs, personal or University property), intimidating comments or gestures, posting on social media in an intimidating manner, insulting a person’s culture or belief, and hate messages.

    B. Because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias-related incident. The University values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas and, in particular, the expression of controversial ideas, and differing views as a vital part of the University discourse. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals or groups.

    C. If you experience or witness a bias incident, you can submit a complaint to the Division of Student Life through this online form, http://incident.gcsu.edu. It is important to report any incident that you believe may be criminal or motivated by bias or hate.

    D. After the reporting of a bias incident, the following steps occur:

         Step 1: The Dean of Students (or designee) receives an in-person or online report of an alleged bias incident.

         Step 2: The Dean of Students (or designee) contacts the Reporting Person(s) within three (3) business days to gather information about the incident and determines if the report is of a bias incident.  The Reporting Person(s) should be aware that on occasion not all incidents may be interpreted as bias incidents. 

         Step 3: If the Dean of Students (or designee) determines that the report is not a bias incident, the Reporting Person may appeal to the Vice President for Student Life, who will make the final decision.

         Step 4: If the Dean of Students (or designee) or in case of appeal the Vice President of Student Life determines that the report is of a bias incident and a Responsible Person(s) can be identified, violations of The Bobcat Code will be determined, and the Conduct Process will be implemented.

         Step 5: If it is determined that a bias incident occurred, the Dean of Students (or designee) notifies the Director of Inclusive Excellence and decides if other parties are to be involved based on the nature of the incident [e.g., Public Safety, Counseling Service, Cultural Center, Women’s Center].

         Step 6: The Director of Inclusive Excellence evaluates the incident and determines the appropriate administrative response. Responses will vary according to the nature of the incident and the individuals involved.

         Step 7: The Director of Inclusive Excellence develops a plan and notifies the Reporting Person(s). If the plan is not satisfactory, the Reporting Person(s) may ask for a second review by the Director of Inclusive Excellence, who will consider the objections and decide either to revise the plan or to proceed with its implementation.

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    POLICY 6. Designated Public Forum Policy

    The Flagpole Plaza at the east end of the Georgia College Front Lawn (the area on and immediately surrounding the circular concrete pad which holds the University flagpole and Olympic Column) is the Designated Public Forum Area at Georgia College. Free speech is celebrated on a public campus and speakers who wish to speak at the Designated Public Forum Area may do so as long as they are not disrupting University business, abusing the rights of individuals, or preventing pedestrians from getting to their destinations. Non-Georgia College students, faculty, or staff who wish to utilize the Designated Public Forum Area are asked to notify the Office of Student Activities and Organizations (478-445-4027) in advance to ask about conflicts and confirm the permitted location. The University does not limit speech based upon controversial content or the point of view of the speaker.

    A. The Public Forum Area is generally available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday on a non-exclusive first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for use of the Public Forum Area are encouraged but not required. The right to use Public Forum Area is non-exclusive, whether with or without a reservation. Reservations are processed on University business days only. To make reservations, please contact the Office of Student Activities and Organizations at 478-445-4027.

    B. Interference with the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic on campus, or with the ingress/egress of campus facilities is prohibited.

    C. Substantial disruption of the orderly conduct of the University’s instructional, research, operational, and other official University functions, including University ceremonies and events, is prohibited.

    D. Amplified sound (sounds where the volume is increased by any electric, electronic, mechanical, or motor-powered means) of forum activities is not permitted. Shouting and group chanting are not amplified sounds.

    E. Persons using the Public Forum Area must supply their own tables and chairs.

    F. Persons engaging in forum activities are responsible for clean-up and removal of all materials used in their activities and, if not completed, may be charged by the University for the cost of cleanup. 

    G. Individuals and groups engaging in forum activities on the University campuses must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws as well as University policies, rules, and regulations.

    H. Individuals and student groups may not, without the University’s prior permission, continue to occupy any University facility during hours when that facility is regularly closed.

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    POLICY 7. Information Security Policies and Procedures

    A. POLICY STATEMENT

    It is the policy of Georgia College & State University to adopt and adhere to the University System of Georgia Technology Policy Manual concerning Information Technology practices.  The University as directed through its Division of Information Technology will establish practices that will be in compliance with the University System of Georgia Policy Manual standards as specifically expressed in the Information Technology Handbook as provided by the University System of Georgia.  With the adoption of the University System of Georgia Information Technology policy, it will replace related Georgia College & State University Information Technology Policies.

    B. DEFINITIONS

    Board of Regents Information Policy Manual: Section 11.0: Information Technology of the Board of Regents Policy Manual as provided at http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section11.

    USG Information Technology Handbook: As provided by the University System of Georgia at  
    http://www.usg.edu/information_technology_handbook

    C. REASON FOR POLICY

    This policy is required to adhere to the adoption of the USG – Board of Regents Information Technology Policy.  The adoption of the USG – Board of Regents Information Technology policy allows for consistency in the application of technology policies across Georgia College & State University, provide a guide to administrators, outlines acceptable use of information technology for university technology users, protects equitable access for technology users, and allows for proper management of resources.

    D. PROCEDURES ENFORCEMENT

    The Chief Information Officer and the Information Technology Security and Compliance Officer will be responsible for the enforcement and compliance with this policy.

    E. VIOLATION OF POLICY

    A violation of this policy would be subject to disciplinary actions under the policies of the Student Code of Conduct, campus Human Resources, or any other applicable regulations and policies of Georgia College & State University as well as the USG Board of Regents.  Any visitor to Georgia College refusing to adhere to policy may be asked to leave campus.

    In addition, the Division of Information Technology reserves the right to limit or restrict access to technology users, inspect, copy, remove, or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resource that might undermine the authorized use of the technology resource.   The Division of Information Technology as well as Georgia College disclaim responsibility for loss of data or interference with files resulting from necessary efforts to maintain adherence to this policy.

    F. EXCEPTIONS FROM POLICY

    Any exceptions from this policy as set forth in the Board of Regents Information Policy Manual shall be at the discretion and approval of the University System of Georgia Chief Information Office and or the USG Chief Information Security Officer.  If an exception is to be granted, a completed Information Security Policy Exception Request Form will be submitted for approval from the Division of Information Technology of Georgia College.  Denials of request for exceptions may be appealed to the USG Chief Information Officer or the USG Chief Information Security Officer.

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    POLICY 8. Inspection, Search, and Seizure Policy

    Although Students are guaranteed the rights of any citizen and will not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures, the courts have recognized the right of universities to conduct reasonable inspections, searches, and seizures in order to enforce university regulations. Georgia College reserves the right to conduct such inspections, searches, and seizures within the limits of the law.

    A. INSPECTIONS 

         1. The University reserves the right to inspect rooms for cleanliness and possible damage.  Further, it reserves the right to enter rooms or other facilities at reasonable hours in order to effect any necessary inspection or repairs of equipment and/or facilities.

         2. The University reserves the right to enter rooms or other facilities at any time it has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of University regulations is occurring.

         3. The University reserves the right to enter rooms to ensure that the building is vacated during fire drills and/or emergencies and during vacation periods.

     B. SEARCH

         1. The University reserves the right to conduct searches of individual rooms and lockers in a residence hall or other facility on the campus if there is reason to believe that a university regulation has been violated.  Prior authorization for such a search must be secured from the Vice President for Student Life or the Dean of Students or his designee and must be conducted under the supervision of a professional Georgia College staff member.

         2. Law enforcement officials may search facilities with or without authorization from the University by means of a search warrant or consent from the owner or occupant of the property.

         3. Efforts will be made to have the student available when a room is searched.

         4. All evidence seized can be used in administrative hearings and/or disciplinary procedures concerning violations of University rules, regulations, or policy.

    C. SEIZURE

         1. Illegal property confiscated during a search will be disposed of according to state law.

         2. Students desiring more detailed information may contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

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    POLICY 9. USG 4.8.2 Immunization Requirements for Students

    Each USG institution shall implement immunization requirements for all new students (first-year, transfers, and others) as directed by policy consistent with recommendations provided by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, developed collaboratively by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the Division of Public Health of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Such policies shall be on file in each institution’s office of student affairs.

    Each institution shall make information regarding required and recommended immunizations available to every new student, using information developed by the Division of Public Health in concert with the Office of Student Services of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

    Specific institutions or departments, with the concurrence of the president and the Chancellor, may require some immunizations not required for all new students by this policy. Institutions are also authorized to impose additional immunization requirements for students when, in the opinion of the president of the institution and with the concurrence of the Chancellor and appropriate public health authorities, there is a substantial risk of exposure to other communicable diseases preventable by vaccination (BoR Minutes, 1990-91, p.114).

    Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2003, all students residing in campus housing are required to sign a document stating that they have received a vaccination against meningococcal disease or reviewed the information provided by the institution (BoR Minutes, October 2003).

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    POLICY 10. USG 4.1.5 Students with Disabilities

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires colleges or universities to make necessary modifications to ensure that the institution does not discriminate or have the effect of discrimination against a qualified student with a disability. The USG is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students and offers students with disabilities a variety of services and accommodations to ensure that both facilities and programs are accessible.

    The USG has established sets of common standards and procedures for evaluating and administering accommodations for students with disabilities, which can be found in the Academic Affairs Handbook.

    The policy is pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The USG is a “public entity” within the meaning of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104, and, therefore, subject to Title II of the ADA, and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35. It is also a “recipient” of “federal financial assistance” within the meaning of Section 504, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and 34 C.F.R. § 104 and is, therefore, subject to Section 504 and the relevant implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 104 (BoR Minutes, November 2008).

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    POLICY 11. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies

    USG 6.6 Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment

    The Board of Regents prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation within the University System of Georgia (USG) and all USG institutions based on any characteristic protected by law.

    GCSU Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

    A. POLICY STATEMENT

    Georgia College is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, work, and study. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, University System of Georgia policy, and University policy, the University prohibits harassment of or discrimination against any person because of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status by any member of the University Community (as defined below) on campus, in connection with a University program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for any member of the University Community. Incidents of harassment and discrimination will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or expulsion from the University.

    B. DEFINITIONS

        1. Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that:

              a. Is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; 

               b. Is a basis for employment or educational decisions; or 

               c. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to:

                   1) interfere with one’s work or educational performance;

                   2) create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or

                   3) interfere with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from an institutional program or activity.

        2. Sexual harassment of USG employees or students is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

              a. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or,

              b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual; or,

              c. Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

        3. Sexual harassment includes forced or coerced sex or relationships, including where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs or alcohol, or due to disability or being under the age of 16. Other examples that may constitute sexual harassment when sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive include, without limitation:

              a. Non-consensual touching of another’s body, including unwanted hugging or shoulder rubbing.

              b. Sexual remarks, jokes, anecdotes, inquiries, or physical gestures.

              c. Requests or propositions of a sexual nature.

              d. Gender or sex-based comments or comments of a sexual nature (either complimentary or insulting) about a person’s physique, clothing, or sexual/romantic activity or preferences.

              e. Inappropriate use or display, or non-consensual sharing, of sexual images, text, or objects.

        4. This Policy includes domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as forms of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can occur regardless of the relationship, position, or respective sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of the parties. Same-sex harassment violates this Policy, as does harassment by a student of a faculty member or a subordinate employee of his/her supervisor.

        5. Definitions of sexual harassment terms that the University applies when administering and enforcing this Policy, including the definition of “consent”, can be found online in the GC Policies, Procedures and Practices Manual at USG Harassment and Discrimination PolicyUSG Sexual Misconduct Policy, and GCSU Sexual Misconduct Policy

        6. Discriminatory Harassment and Discrimination

               a. The University will not tolerate harassment of any individual because of that person's sex, race, religion, color, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, and local laws. Such harassing behavior should be avoided because conduct appearing to be welcomed or tolerated by one employee or student may be offensive to another employee or student. Respect for the dignity and worth of others should be the guiding principle for our relations with each other.

               b. No Georgia College student or employee, on the ground of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, or handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by Georgia College.

               c. Harassment may include display or circulation of written materials or pictures degrading to either gender or to racial, ethnic, or religious groups, verbal abuse or insults directed at or made in the presence of members of a racial, ethnic, or minority group. Harassment may also include behavior that is personally offensive, creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, or interferes with the work performance of other employees or students.

               d. Discrimination is defined as decision-making based on race, color, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

               e. Discriminatory harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status when it is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:

                   1) Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance;

                   2) Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or

                   3) Unreasonably interferes with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an institutional program or activity.

                   4) Definitions of discrimination and harassment terms that GC applies when administering and enforcing this Policy can be found online in the GC Policies, Procedures and Practices Manual at USG Harassment and Discrimination PolicyUSG Sexual Misconduct Policy, and GCSU Sexual Misconduct Policy.

                   5) Complaints of harassment in any form should be reported promptly to the immediate supervisor. Should the complaint be about the supervisor, it should be reported to the next level supervisor or the Office of Human Resources. Complaints will be investigated, and corrective action taken as determined appropriate by the University. The University strives to provide a community in which students, faculty, administrators, staff, and other members of the community can work and live together in an environment free of all forms of harassment, exploitation, intimidation, and discrimination. Harassment is demeaning to all persons involved and undermines the mission of the University. It is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated.

    C. REASON FOR THE POLICY

        1. Bias based on the protected categories of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status will not hinder employment, study or institutional services, programs or activities. Bias factors will not be permitted to have an adverse influence upon decisions regarding students, employees, applicants for admission, applicants for employment, contractors, or volunteers, or participants in or users of institutional programs, services, and activities. The University will continue in its efforts to maintain an institutional environment free of such bias and restates its policy prohibiting the interference of such bias.

        2. Discriminatory decision-making and discriminatory harassment (collectively, “NDAH incidents”) should be reported to the Compliance/Policy Officer.

        3. Every member of the University Community is expected to uphold this Policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. Every student of this institution has a responsibility to conduct himself/herself in accordance with this Policy as a condition of enrollment, and every University employee has an obligation to observe the university policies as a term of employment.

        4. In addition, one aspect of the performance appraisal for the University personnel at all levels of supervision and administration will include the qualitative evaluation of their leadership in implementing this Policy. Merit and productivity, free from prohibited bias, will continue to guide decisions relating to employment and enrollment.

        5. Nothing in this Policy prevents a University Community member from filing a complaint with a state or federal agency or court.

    D. PROPOSED OUTCOME

    The goal of this Policy is to streamline the process by which members of the University community report incidents of misconduct, thereby allowing the University to respond to and investigate such complaints in a more effective, efficient, and proficient manner. This process will further ensure all complaints are resolved in a timely manner and comply with applicable federal and/or state laws, as well as Board of Regents and/or University policies.

    E. APPLICABILITY OF THE POLICY

    This Policy applies to all members of the Georgia College community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, vendors, and invited guests, as well as the general public.

    F. PROCEDURES

        1. Rights & Responsibilities

              a. Prohibition Against Retaliation

    Anyone who, in good faith, reports what he or she believes to be discrimination or harassment under this Policy, or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation may not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes she or he has been the target of retaliation for reporting discrimination or harassment, for participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with, an investigation should immediately contact the Equal Opportunity Officer. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action under this Policy.

              b. Protection against Retaliation - Whistleblower Protection

                   1) Protections Afforded: GC employees may not interfere with the right of another employee to report concerns or wrongdoing and may not retaliate against an employee who has reported concerns or wrongdoing, has cooperated with an authorized investigation, has participated in a grievance or appeal procedure, or otherwise objected to actions that are reasonably believed to be unlawful, unethical or a violation of GC policy. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, which may include the termination of employment.

                   2) Conduct Prohibited: Retaliation is any action or behavior that is designed to punish an individual for reporting concerns or wrongdoing, cooperating with an investigation, participating in a grievance or appeal procedure or otherwise objecting to conduct that is unlawful, unethical or violates GC policy. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, dismissal from employment, demotion, suspension, loss of salary or benefits, transfer or reassignment, denial of leave, loss of benefits, denial of promotion that otherwise would have been received, and non-renewal.

                   3) Written Procedures: Each institution shall maintain written procedures for receiving and investigating allegations of actions that violate the GC’s policy prohibiting retaliation. Violations of this policy should be reported through the administrative processes and procedures established by each institution. Alleged retaliation by an employee assigned to the University System Office should be reported to the Vice-Chancellor for Human Resources.

                   4) False Reports / False Information: This policy does not protect an employee who files a false report or who provides information without a reasonable belief in the truth or accuracy of the information. Any employee who knowingly files a false report or intentionally provides false information during an investigation may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include the termination of employment.

        2. Responsible Officials

              a. Equal Opportunity Officer

                   1) The Chief Human Resources Officer serves as the Equal Opportunity Officer. The Equal Opportunity Officer is the individual designated by the President with responsibility for providing education and training about prohibited discrimination and harassment to the University community and for receiving complaints of discrimination and harassment in accordance with this Policy.

                   2) The Equal Employment Officer is housed within the Office of Human Resources, located in Wooten-Garner, and can be reached by phone at (478) 445-5596, or via email at hr@gcsu.edu.

                   3) The Equal Opportunity Officer does not serve as an advocate or representative for any party. Advocacy, counseling, and support resources available on campus and in the greater community are identified at the end of this Policy.

              b. Title IX Coordinator

                   1) The Title IX Coordinator is the individual designated by the President with responsibility for providing education and training related to sexual misconduct, including harassment and discrimination based on gender, and receiving and investigating such complaints in accordance with this Policy and the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

                   2) The Title IX Coordinator is housed within the Office of Legal Affairs, located in room 208 of Parks Hall, and can be reached in person, by phone at (478) 445-2037, or via email at titleix@gcsu.edu.

                   3) The Title IX Coordinator does not serve as an advocate or representative for any party. Advocacy, counseling, and support resources available on campus and in the greater community are identified at the end of this Policy.

              c. Prohibited Consensual Relationships (Amorous Relationships)

                   1) When one party has a professional relationship with the other or stands in a position of authority over the other, even an apparently consensual sexual relationship may lead to sexual harassment or other breaches of professional obligations. The University prohibits all faculty and staff, including graduate assistants, from pursuing or engaging in amorous relationships with undergraduates whom they are currently supervising or teaching.

                   2) The University also prohibits amorous relationships between faculty or administrators and graduate/professional students and/or employees whose work they supervise. Anyone involved in an amorous relationship with someone over whom he or she has supervisory power must recuse himself or herself from decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instruction, and/or the academic status of the subordinate involved.

                   3) Any individual in authority who is or has been involved in an amorous relationship with a person whom they may be called upon to evaluate must promptly report this fact to his or her supervisor. The supervisor will then arrange to see that the individual in authority does not evaluate nor participate in discussions and decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instructions, and/or academic status of the subordinate involved. Any individual who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the offense. Such matters can be reported to the Chief Human Resources Officer, if necessary.

                   4) Georgia College has the authority to take appropriate action when disruptive conduct, job performance problems, or actions that reflect poorly on the institution result from amorous relationships.

              d. Confidentiality for Sexual Harassment/Discrimination

                  1) The University strongly supports an individual’s interest in confidentiality, particularly in instances involving sexual misconduct. When a complainant or alleged victim requests that his or her identity be withheld, or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the University will consider, through the Title IX Coordinator, whether this request can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for GC. Honoring the request may limit the University’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit GC’s ability to discipline the respondent. The complainant or alleged victim will be informed of any decision to act contrary to the request for confidentiality or no investigation before any disclosures are made and before an investigation begins.

                  2) In support of an individual’s request for confidentiality and GC’s interest in learning about incidents of discrimination and harassment, GC designates two levels of confidential resources:

                  3) Privileged Resource 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 the imminent threat of serious harm.

                  4) Confidential Employees – Institution employees who have been designated by the Institution’s Coordinator to talk with an alleged victim in confidence. Confidential Employees must only report that the incident occurred and provide the date, time, location, and name of the alleged respondent (if known) without revealing any information that would personally identify the alleged victim. This minimal reporting must be submitted in compliance with Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”). Confidential Employees may be required to fully disclose details of an incident in order to ensure campus safety.

                  5) Confidential options:

    • Counseling Services, 134 West Campus Drive, Wellness and Recreation Center Suite 201, (478) 445-5331
    • The Bright House, 478-250-8566

                  6) Non- confidential options:

    • Campus Police (Public Safety), 301 W. Montgomery Street (Hall House), (478) 445-4400
    • Women’s Center, 111 S. Clarke Street (Blackbridge Hall), (478) 445-8519
    • Office of Human Resources, 131 S. Clarke Street (Wooten-Garner), (478) 445-5596
    • Office of Student Life, 206 Parks Hall, (478) 445-2091
    • Office of Legal Affairs, 208 Parks Hall, (478) 445-2037
    • Title IX Coordinator, 208 Parks Hall, (478) 445-2037


         3. Reporting

              a. Reporting Responsibility

                   1) Any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, responsible employee, or other person in a position of authority who is not a confidential resource as defined above (a “Responsible Employee”) who knows of, or receives a complaint of, potential discrimination or harassment or potential violation of the Prohibited Consensual Relationship provision must fully report the information or complaint to the Title IX Coordinator promptly. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are Responsible Employees and in positions of authority for purposes of this Policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential community assistants, student managers, and orientation leaders). A complaint or report of discrimination or harassment made to any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other Responsible Employee or person in a position of authority generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation. The responsibility to investigate rests with the assigned investigator and does not rest with the Responsible Employee who receives the complaint or report. Failure to promptly report may constitute a separate violation of the Policy and may provide a basis for discipline under this Policy. This provision does not apply to student disclosures of sexual misconduct to privileged or confidential resources as identified by the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy or this Policy.

                   2) The University encourages any person who feels he or she has been discriminated against or harassed to promptly report the incident to the Equal Opportunity Officer or discuss the incident with the confidential resources identified above. Any member of the GC Community who observes discrimination or harassment of another person on campus, in connection with a University program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the University Community should report the conduct to the Equal Opportunity Officer. No member of the University Community should assume that an official of GC already knows about a particular discriminatory or harassing situation.

                   3) If a Complainant or alleged victim reports discrimination or harassment to a Responsible Employee or person in a position of authority who is not a confidential resource, but wants to maintain confidentiality, the Responsible Employee or person in a position of authority must relay the request for confidentiality when reporting the alleged discrimination or harassment to the Equal Employment Officer or Title IX Coordinator. The request for confidentiality will be considered but cannot be guaranteed, as referenced above.

                   4) All reports and complaints of discrimination or harassment that may fall under the jurisdiction of this Policy will be promptly evaluated and appropriate action will be taken as expeditiously as possible.

                   5) Complaints and reports of discrimination and harassment should be reported as soon as possible after the incident(s) in order to be most effectively investigated. Complaints may be made in person, in writing (via complaint form, email, or otherwise), or over the phone. Complaints can also be made anonymously, but this may limit the extent to which the complaint can be investigated. Information on filing complaints can be found at: http://www.gcsu.edu/titleix/filing-complaint.

                   6) Where the discrimination or harassment alleged is potentially of a criminal nature, University Community members are encouraged to also contact GC Public Safety (for conduct that occurred on campus) or local law enforcement in the relevant jurisdiction (for conduct that occurred off-campus). Except as required by the Clery Act for purposes of crime statistics reporting, police will not be notified of a sexual assault without the complainant/victim’s consent unless there is an imminent threat of harm or the incident involves someone under the age of 16. The University Community members have the right to simultaneously make a complaint under this Policy and to law enforcement.

              b. False Accusations

                   Per BOR policy, individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to a system or 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 appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) and adjudicated under the student code of conduct.

              c. Conflicts of Interest

                   If the complainant, respondent, or Investigator asserts that a complaint presents an actual or apparent conflict of interest for the Investigator, the complaint should be submitted or referred to the Office of Legal Affairs to resolve the conflict of interest. An actual or apparent conflict of interest is a financial interest, relationship, or other circumstance that would lead a reasonable person to doubt the objectivity of the Investigator. If the Office of Legal Affairs determines there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest, the Investigator shall conduct the inquiry into the complaint. If the Office of Legal Affairs determines that an actual or apparent conflict of interest exists for the Investigator, then the Office of Legal Affairs shall appoint an independent individual with appropriate experience and training to conduct the investigation.

              d. Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

                   1) The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, including the right to free speech, free expression, free exercise of religion, and the right to assemble peaceably are of the utmost importance, and the University is committed to protecting those rights.

                   2) As a public institution of higher education, GC promotes open ideas and academic freedom. While GC enacts policies to promote campus safety, to ensure the proper functioning of the academic environment and institution activities, or to further other important institution objectives, those policies should not unduly burden the free expression rights of students, faculty, and staff. Any parameters placed on the time, place, and manner of expression must not be based on the content of the expression.

                   3) To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, GC designates accessible, high-traffic locations on campus as public forum areas. The designation of public forum areas may not be used to prohibit individual students, faculty, or staff from engaging in communication elsewhere on campus. Reservation and use of designated public forum areas may only be required in the following limited circumstances: (1) speakers who are not enrolled at or employed by the institution; and (2) students, faculty, or staff who engage in large group demonstrations. Institutions may not consider the content or viewpoint of expression when requiring or assigning the use of public forum areas.

              e. Records

                   1) Records generated under this Policy are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act but are maintained in accordance with, and subject to, privacy requirements under state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and under University System of Georgia’s policy. Additionally, the University will take reasonable steps to maintain privacy in relation to any accommodations or protective measures afforded to an alleged victim or complainant, except to the extent necessary to provide the accommodations or protective measures.

                   2) Information pursuant to this Policy shared internally between GC administrators is provided on a need-to-know basis. Complainant(s) and respondent(s) may review the investigative file concerning the allegations by or against them as permitted by law.

                   3) Any public release of information to comply with the open crime logs or timely warning provisions of the Clery Act will not release the names of victims or information that could easily lead to a victim’s identification.

              f. Amnesty for Students

                   Per BOR policy, 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 the 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.

        4. Processing, Investigation, and Resolution of Discrimination and Harassment Reports and Complaints

              a. GC’s complaint process, outlined herein, is the procedure used to investigate complaints or reports of discrimination and harassment covered by this Policy, to end any discrimination and harassment found, to remedy the effects of discrimination and harassment, and to prevent any recurrence. If appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator may recommend that the complainant and respondent attempt to resolve their differences through mediation or through the grievance process.

              b. Proceedings under this Policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Decisions about the timing of specific actions will be made by the Title IX Coordinator based on the status of the evidence and other relevant case factors. These procedures do not replace the right of the complainant or respondent to file complaints or seek remedies available under state or federal law.

              c. Any member of the GC Community who feels he or she has experienced discrimination or harassment is encouraged, but not required, to clearly explain to the alleged offender that the behavior is objectionable and request that it cease. GC encourages any Community member to report any unresolved incidents of discrimination or harassment as outlined in this Policy.

              d. GC employees identified as witnesses are required to fully cooperate with an investigation. Any member of the GC Community who willfully disregards, delays or thwarts an investigation or makes false statements during an investigation may be found in violation of this Policy and subject to disciplinary action under this Policy; provided, however, that this provision does not require persons accused under this Policy to make a statement or respond to the allegations against her/him during the investigation. If the accused chooses not to provide a statement or response to the allegations, that silence will be considered a general denial of the allegations. However, the investigation may ultimately proceed and result in a policy violation if the evidence collected proves a violation by a preponderance of the evidence.

              e. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designees will explain to all parties that he/she is not an advocate or representative for either the complainant or the respondent. Advocacy, counseling, and support resources available on campus and in the greater community are identified at the end of this Policy.

              f. Information obtained during the course of the complaint process will be shared with other participants or witnesses in the investigation only to the extent necessary to conduct a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation.

              g. Standard of Review

                   Investigative findings under this Policy will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e., “more likely than not”). This standard requires that the information supporting an alleged violation be more convincing than the information in opposition to it. Any decision to suspend or to expel a student, or to suspend or terminate an employee, must also be supported by substantial evidence.

              h. Interim Protective Measures

                   Interim measures may be undertaken at any point after the institution becomes aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct and should be designed to protect the alleged victim and the community. For student respondents, before an interim suspension is issued, the institution must make all reasonable efforts to give the respondent the opportunity to be heard, consistent with the provisions as stated in the USG Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings Policy.

              i. Investigation Process

                   All sexual misconduct investigations involving a student respondent, whether overseen by the institution’s Coordinator or the System Director, shall follow the investigation process set forth in the USG Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings Policy.

              j. Resolution/Hearing

                   1) All sexual misconduct hearings, sanctions, and appeals involving a student respondent, whether overseen by the institution’s Coordinator or the System Director, shall follow the investigation process set forth in the USG Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings Policy.

                   2) All sexual misconduct adjudication involving an employee respondent shall be addressed utilizing the institution’s employment policies and procedures.

              k. Possible Sanctions

                   1) 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; strength of the evidence; and the wellbeing of the university community. The hearing panel, hearing officer, or administrator that found that a policy violation occurred will determine sanctions and issue a notice of the same, as outlined above.

                   2) The broad range of sanctions includes: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until the 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 no-contact orders; required participation in 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; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.

              l. Georgia College and Community Support Services

        Individual Support, Consultation, and Referral Services

    • GC Counseling Services – (478) 445-5331
    • GC Women’s Center – (478) 445-8519
    • Project BRAVE – (478) 445-8519
    • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - (888) 960-3305

        Health & Medical Services

    • GC Student Health Services – (478) 445-5288
    • The Woman’s Care Center – (478) 453-8100
    • Oconee Regional Medical Center – (478) 454-3505
    • Baldwin County Health Department – (478) 445-4274

        Law Enforcement 

    • GC Public Safety – 911 or (478) 445-4400 (emergency), (478) 445-4054 (non-emergency) http://www.gcsu.edu/publicsafety
    • Milledgeville Police Dept. – 911 or (478) 414-4000
    • Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office – 911 or
      (478) 445-4891

        Academic Support or Problem Solving

    • Office of Student Life – (478) 445-5169
    • Office of the Dean of Students – (478) 445-2091
    • Office of Academic Affairs – (478) 445-4715
    • Office of Human Resources – (478) 445-5596
    • Office of Legal Affairs – (478) 445-2037

        Housing Services

    • GC Housing Department – (478) 445-5160
    • The Village Apartments – (478) 445-1400

        Cultural Support

    • The Office of Inclusive Excellence, 108 Parks Hall – (478) 445-4233
    • Student Disability Resource Center, 109 Russell Library – (478) 445-5931
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, Blackbridge Hall “The Hub” –
      (478) 445-8519
    • International Education Center, 141 S. Clarke St. – (478) 445-4789

        Student Conduct Services

    • Office of the Dean of Students – (478) 445-2090
    • Title IX Coordinator – (478) 445-2037
       

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    POLICY 12. Photo and Video Release

    As a student at Georgia College, from time to time you will be on campus, in class, or at a university designated activity where our campus photographer and/or videographers are present and working to capture visual images. These videos and photos will be used across multiple platforms (i.e., social media, university websites, university print materials, etc.) to help tell the Georgia College story. If you do not want to be a part of these photos or videos, let the videographer or photographer know, and they will exclude you from the shots. If you do not say that you wish to be excluded, you consent to be a part of the photos or video to be used by Georgia College.

    If you have any questions about the photo and video procedure at Georgia College, please contact University Communications at 478-445-4477. 

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    POLICY 13. Posting Policy

    All postings must be approved and stamped by the Department of Student Activities and Organizations prior to its distribution on campus. Advertising which has not been approved will be removed and the individual(s) or organization(s) responsible for the posting may undergo disciplinary action.

    A. The steps in receiving approval for signs or posters are as follows:

         1. Construct a sign or poster to the proper specifications.

         2. Have the poster approved at the Department of Student Activities and Organizations in the Student Activities Center.

         3. Place the posters in approved areas only.

         4. Clear posting privileges with each academic dean and department chairperson. 

    B. Stipulations regarding the placement of posters and signs are as follows: 

         1. All signs or posters used by approved student organizations shall be approved by the Department of Student Activities and Organizations.

         2. All signs or posters may be placed on bulletin boards located in specific areas on campus.

         3. Signs or posters may be placed on the various bulletin boards on the first floor of Maxwell Student Union, the residence halls, and other buildings upon the specific approval of the building/area supervisor.

         4. The food service office approves all signs or posters for the dining hall after initial approval by the Department of Student Activities and Organizations.

         5. Bulletin boards in academic areas should not be used unless approved by the academic dean or department chairperson.

         6. No signs or posters are to be placed on glass doors or glass areas. No signs or posters are to be placed on walls. Specific permission is needed to put signs on any brick-walled building.

         7. Signs or posters shall be placed on bulletin boards by thumbtacks; staples, tape or adhesives are not allowed.

         8. Only approved student organizations can advertise on the Georgia College campus. Exceptions involving events of community interest (e.g., local businesses) shall be approved specifically by the Director of Auxiliary Services and the Director of Student Activities and Organizations.

    C. Limitations on the size, content, and length of time posters may be displayed are as follows:

         1. Signs or posters are not to exceed 22" by 28" (poster size) unless approved by the building manager.

         2. Refreshments shall be used in place of words denoting alcoholic beverages on all organization social function signs.

         3. No signs or posters encouraging the excessive use of alcohol will be approved. No obscene material will be allowed on signage.

         4. All signs or posters may be advertised a maximum of ten days prior to an event.

         5. Signs or posters must refer to a specific event.

         6. Outdated signs or posters shall be removed by the advertising organization within 48 hours after an event. Any organization not adhering to this guideline may face advertising restrictions.

         7. A maximum of 25 signs or posters will be approved for placement under this policy.

    D. Liability

    All Georgia College students are asked to sign a release and waiver of liability before participating in university-sponsored activities where there are potential risks. Copies are available in the Department of Student Activities and Organizations or the Office of Legal Affairs.

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    POLICY 14. USG Student CONDUCT PRocess

    This policy is taken directly from the University System of Georgia’s website and incorporated below as the official Student Conduct Process of Georgia College. The outline numbering system below begins with USG to connote that this is a USG Policy and can be found on their website.  The USG policy will take precedence over Georgia College policy should differences exist.

    USG 4.6.5 Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings

    This Policy establishes minimum procedural standards for investigations and resolutions of alleged student conduct violations, which each institution must incorporate into its respective student conduct policies. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure uniformity in the quality of investigations while providing for due process that affords fairness and equity in all student conduct investigations. This Policy is not intended to infringe or restrict rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution including free speech under the First Amendment, or the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

    These procedures apply to matters relating to student misconduct, except matters relating to academic dishonesty, which may be covered under separate institutional policies. Institutions shall inform students of their procedures governing student misconduct complaints and investigations. For the purposes of this Policy, the term Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be a victim of conduct that would violate any Board or other applicable institution policy. The term Respondent means an individual who is alleged to have engaged in behavior that would violate any Board or other applicable institution policy. Other individuals who report information to an institution regarding alleged policy violations are deemed as Reporters.

    Institutions may establish to what extent the procedures outlined in this Policy may apply to Reporters.

    USG 4.6.5.1 Reports of Student Misconduct

    Institutions must provide clear notice to students and other campus community members as to how to file complaints of misconduct.

    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 individual(s) accused of misconduct; (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 complaints may be shared as necessary to investigate and resolve the alleged misconduct. Complaints shall be investigated and resolved as outlined below. The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) shall be assessed in compliance with federal law.

    Where appropriate, Complainants may file a law enforcement report as well as an institutional report but are not required to file both.

    Confidentiality: Where a Complainant (where applicable) requests that their identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the institution should consider whether or not such request(s) can be honored while still promoting a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the institution and conducting an effective review of the allegations. The institution should inform the requesting party that the institution cannot guarantee confidentiality and that even granting requests for confidentiality shall not prevent the institution from reporting information or statistical data as required by law, including the Clery Act.

    Retaliation: Anyone who has made a report or complaint, provided information, assisted, participated, or refused to participate in any investigation or resolution under applicable Board or institution policy shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes they have been subjected to retaliation should immediately contact the appropriate department or individual(s) for that institution. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, pursuant to the institution’s policy.

    False Complaints/Statements: Individuals are prohibited from knowingly giving false statements to an institutional official. Any person found to have knowingly submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of applicable Board or institution policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) and adjudicated pursuant to the institution’s policy.

    Amnesty: Students should be encouraged to come forward and report violations of the law and/or student code of conduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or drugs. Information reported by a student during the conduct process concerning their consumption of drugs or alcohol will not be voluntarily reported to law enforcement; nor will information that the individual provides be used against the individual for purposes of conduct violations. Nevertheless, these students may be required to meet with staff members regarding the incident and may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program(s). The required participation in an educational program under this amnesty procedure will not be considered a sanction.

    Nothing in this amnesty procedure shall prevent a university staff member who is otherwise obligated by law (the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.

    USG 4.6.5.2 Process for Investigating and Resolving Disputed Reports

    Jurisdiction: Each institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, student conduct should be addressed when such acts occur on institution property, at institution-sponsored or affiliated events, or otherwise violate the institution’s student conduct policies, regardless of where such conduct occurs. If the student has admitted responsibility and has voluntarily decided to participate in the informal process, the procedures outlined in this section will not apply.

    Access to Advisors: The Respondent and Complainant (where applicable), as parties to these proceedings, shall have the right to have an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing, and at their 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 their advisee in any manner, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance on responses to any questions posed to the advisee, but shall not participate directly during the investigation or hearing process.

    Initial Evaluation of Student Conduct Reports: Regardless of how an institution becomes aware of alleged misconduct, the institution shall ensure a prompt, fair, and impartial review and resolution of complaints alleging student misconduct. Where a report of student misconduct has been made to the appropriate department and/or person, the institution shall review the complaint to determine whether the allegation(s) describes conduct in violation of the institution’s policies and/or code of conduct. If the reported conduct would not be a violation of the institution’s policies and/or code of conduct, even if true, 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 Respondent should be brought.

    Any report that involves allegation(s) of conduct that could lead to the suspension or expulsion of the Respondent(s) in an initial violation must be promptly reported to the System Director of Equity & Investigations (“System Director”) by the institution. The System Director will work with the institution to determine whether any interim measure(s) is necessary, to assign an investigator, and may collaboratively supervise the investigation with the appropriate institution professional (e.g., the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students). If an allegation is not initially identified as one that could lead to suspension or expulsion of the Respondent(s), but facts arise during the course of the investigation that would require notice to the System Director, then the institution shall report that case to the System Director or their designee prior to proceeding.

    Interim Measures:  Interim measures may be implemented by the institution at any point after the institution becomes aware of the alleged student misconduct and should be designed to protect any student or other individual in the USG community. To the extent interim measures are imposed, they should minimize the burden on both the Complainant (where applicable) 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 significant risk to the health or safety of the Complainant (where applicable) 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 the Respondent’s presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension take effect immediately. The Respondent shall receive notice of the interim suspension and the opportunity to respond to the interim suspension.

    Within three business days of receiving a challenge, the institution will determine whether the interim suspension should continue.

    Investigation:  Throughout any investigation and resolution proceedings, a party shall receive written notice of the alleged misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent or otherwise not participate in or during the investigation and resolution process without an adverse inference resulting. If a party chooses to remain silent or otherwise not participate in an investigation, the investigation may still proceed, and policy charges may still result and be resolved. Timely and equal access to information that will be used during the investigation will be provided to the Complainant (where applicable), Respondent.

    Where the potential sanctions for the alleged misconduct may involve a suspension or expulsion (even if such sanctions were to be held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion) the institution’s investigation and resolution procedures must provide the additional minimal safeguards outlined below.

    1. The Complainant (where applicable) and Respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint/allegations, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. The notice should also include the identity of any investigator(s) involved. Notice should be provided via institution email to the address on file.
    2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the Respondent shall have at least three business days to respond in writing. 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 supporting materials. A non-response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct. Any Complainant (where applicable) shall also be provided three business days to respond to or to supplement the notice.
    3. If the Respondent admits responsibility, the process may proceed to the sanctioning phase or maybe informally resolved, if appropriate.
    4. If at any point the investigator determines there is insufficient evidence to support a charge or to warrant further consideration of discipline, then the complaint should be dismissed.
    5. An investigator shall conduct a thorough investigation and should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any party’s proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation of why the witnesses were not interviewed.
    6. The initial investigation report shall be provided to the Respondent and the Complainant (where applicable). This report 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. For purposes of this Policy, a charge is not a finding of responsibility but indicates that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further consideration and adjudication.
    7. The final investigation report should be provided to the misconduct panel or hearing officer for consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the Respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the respondent and 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.

    Resolution/Hearing:  In no case shall a hearing to resolve charge(s) of student misconduct take place before the investigative report has been finalized.

    Where the Respondent indicates that they contest the charges, the matter shall be set for a hearing and once the investigative report has been finalized and copies provided to the Respondent and Complainant (where applicable); however, the Complainant (where applicable) and Respondent may have the option of selecting informal resolution as a possible resolution in certain student misconduct cases where they mutually agree, except where deemed inappropriate by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or their designee) or the System Director.

    Where a case is not resolved through informal resolution or informal resolution is not available due to the nature of the charges, the Respondent shall have the option of having the charges heard either by an administrator (Hearing Officer) or a Hearing Panel. If an administrative hearing is requested, the Respondent shall use their discretion to determine whether the case should be heard by a Hearing Panel. Notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing shall be provided to the Respondent and Complainant (where applicable) at least five business days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be provided via institution email where applicable. Hearings shall be conducted in person or via conferencing technology as reasonably available. Additionally, the following standards will apply to any such hearing:

    The Respondent and Complainant (where applicable) shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence to the hearing officer or panel. Witness testimony, if provided, shall pertain to knowledge and facts directly associated with the case being heard. The Respondent and Complainant (where applicable) shall have the right to confront any witnesses, including the other party, by submitting written questions to the Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel for consideration. Advisors may actively assist in drafting questions. The Hearing Officer or Hearing 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 Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.

    1. Where the Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel determines that a party or witness is unavailable and unable to be present due to extenuating circumstances, the Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel must determine whether 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 Hearing Panel will disregard or discount the testimony.
    2. Formal judicial rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
    3. The standard of review shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
    4. Institutions should maintain documentation of the proceedings, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, audio recordings, and/or video recordings.
    5. Following a hearing, both the Respondent and Complainant (where applicable) shall be simultaneously provided a written decision via institution email (where applicable) of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The decision should include details on how to appeal, as outlined below. Additionally, the written decision must summarize the evidence relied on in support of the outcome and the rationale for the resulting sanction. The same form will be completed, regardless of whether the student opts for a hearing panel or an administrative proceeding.

    USG 4.6.5.3 Reports of Sexual Misconduct

    Initial Evaluation of Sexual Misconduct Reports: Upon notice of the alleged Sexual Misconduct the institution’s Title IX Coordinator (“Coordinator”) will assess whether a formal investigation, informal resolution, or dismissal would be appropriate. In making this determination, the Coordinator will assess whether the allegation(s), if true, would rise to the level of prohibited conduct, whether a Formal Complaint must be filed, whether an investigation is appropriate in light of the circumstances, whether the parties prefer an informal resolution, and whether any safety concerns exist for the campus community. The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act shall be assessed in compliance with federal law.

    Confidentiality: Where a Complainant requests that their identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the Coordinator should consider whether or not such request(s) can be honored in a manner consistent with the institution’s obligations to promote a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. The institution should inform the Complainant that the institution cannot guarantee confidentiality. Honoring a Complainant’s request for confidentiality shall not prevent the institution from reporting information or statistical data as required by law, including the Clery Act.

    Retaliation: Anyone who has made a report or complaint, provided information, assisted, participated, or refused to participate in any manner in the Sexual Misconduct process, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes that they have been subjected to retaliation should immediately contact the Coordinator or their designee. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action.

    False Complaints/Statements: Individuals are prohibited from knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information to a system or institution official. Any person found to have knowingly submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) under the appropriate institutional process.

    Amnesty: Students should be encouraged to come forward and to report Sexual Misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs. Information reported by a student during the Sexual Misconduct process concerning the consumption of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular student in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, students may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate. Nevertheless, these students may be required to meet with staff members regarding the incident and may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program(s). The required participation in an educational program under this amnesty procedure will not be considered a sanction.

    Nothing in this amnesty provision shall prevent an institution staff member who is otherwise obligated by law (the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.

    Jurisdiction: Each institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to promote the safety and well-being of its community. Accordingly, Sexual Misconduct should be addressed when such acts occur on institutional property, at institution-sponsored or affiliated events, or otherwise violates the institution’s student conduct policies, regardless of where such conduct occurs.

    Access to Advisors:

    1. For Formal Title IX Complaints: Both the Complainant and the Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing. The advisor may accompany the party to all meetings and may provide advice and counsel to their respective party throughout the Sexual Misconduct process, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance to the party, but may not actively participate in the process except to conduct cross-examination at the hearing as outlined in the Resolution/Hearing section below. If a party chooses not to use an advisor during the investigation, the institution will provide an advisor for the purpose of conducting cross-examination on behalf of the relevant party.  All communication during the Sexual Misconduct process will be between the institution and the party and not the advisor. The institution will copy the party’s advisor prior to the finalization of the investigation report when the institution provides the parties the right to inspect and review directly related information gathered during the investigation. With the party’s permission, the advisor may be copied on all communications.
    2. For Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Complaints: Both the Complainant and the Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing at the party’s own expense. The advisor may accompany the party to all meetings and may provide advice and counsel to their respective party throughout the Sexual Misconduct process but may not actively participate in the process. All communication during the Sexual Misconduct process will be between the institution and the party and not the advisor. With the party’s permission, the advisor may be copied on all communications.

    Interim Measures: Interim measures may be implemented at any point after the institution becomes aware of an allegation of Sexual Misconduct and should be designed to protect any student or other individual in the USG community. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the recipient’s educational environment, or deter Sexual Misconduct and retaliation. Interim measures must be implemented consistent with the provisions in applicable Board and institutional policies and procedures.

    An interim suspension should only occur where necessary to promote 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 significant risk to the health or safety of the Complainant 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 reasonable efforts to give the Respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether the Respondent’s presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the interim suspension take effect immediately. The Respondent shall receive notice of the interim suspension and the opportunity to respond to the interim suspension.

    Within three business days of receiving a challenge, the institution will determine whether the interim suspension should continue.

    USG 4.6.5.4 Process for Investigating and Resolving Sexual Misconduct Reports

    Investigation:  Throughout any investigation and resolution proceeding, a party shall receive written notice of the alleged Sexual Misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed the right to remain silent or otherwise not participate in or during the investigation and resolution process without an adverse inference resulting. If a party chooses to remain silent or otherwise not participate in the investigation or resolution process, the investigation and resolution process may still proceed, and policy violations may result.

    Until a final determination of responsibility, the Respondent is presumed to have not violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Prior to the finalization of the investigation report, timely and equal access to information directly related to the allegations that has been gathered during the investigation and may be used at the hearing will be provided to the Complaint, the Respondent, and a party’s advisor (where applicable).

    Formal judicial rules of evidence do not apply to the investigation process, additionally, the standard of review throughout the Sexual Misconduct process is a preponderance of the evidence.

    1. The parties shall be provided with written notice of the: report/allegations with sufficient details, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, available support services, and interim measures, and other rights under applicable institutional policies. For the purposes of this provision sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting Sexual Misconduct, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known. This information will be supplemented as necessary with relevant evidence collected during the investigation. The notice should also include the identity of any investigator(s) involved. Notice should be provided via institution email to the party’s institution email.
    2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the parties shall have at least three business days to respond in writing. In that response, the Respondent shall have the right to admit or deny the allegations and to set forth a defense with facts, witnesses, and supporting materials. A Complainant shall have the right to respond to and supplement the notice. Throughout the Sexual Misconduct process, the Complainant and the Respondent shall have the right to present witnesses and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
    3. If the Respondent admits responsibility, the process may proceed to the sanctioning phase or may be informally resolved, if appropriate.
    4. An investigator shall conduct a thorough investigation and should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any party’s proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation of why the witnesses were not interviewed.
    5. An investigator shall not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional made in connection with the party’s treatment unless the party has provided voluntary written consent. This also applies to information protected by recognized legal privilege.
    6. The initial investigation report shall be provided to the Complainant, the Respondent, and a party’s advisor (if applicable). This report should fairly summarize the relevant evidence gathered during the investigation and clearly indicate any resulting charges or alternatively, a determination of no charges. For purposes of this Policy, a charge is not a finding of responsibility.
    7. The Complainant and the Respondent shall have at least 10 calendar days to review and respond in writing to the initial investigation report and directly related information gathered during the investigation. The investigator will review the Complainant’s and the Respondent’s written responses, if any, to determine whether further investigation or changes to the investigation report are necessary.
    8. The final investigation report should be provided to the Complainant, the Respondent, and a party’s advisor, if applicable, at least 10 calendar days prior to the Hearing. The final investigation report should also be provided to all Hearing Panel members for consideration during the adjudication process.

    Resolution/Hearing: The Respondent and the Complainant, as parties to the matter, may have the option of selecting informal resolution as a possible resolution in certain cases where the parties agree, and it is deemed appropriate by the institution. Where a matter is not resolved through informal resolution a hearing shall be set. All Sexual Misconduct cases shall be heard by a panel of faculty and/or staff. All institutional participants in the Sexual Misconduct resolution process shall receive appropriate annual training as directed by the System Director or Coordinator and required by the Clery Act and Title IX.

    In no case shall a hearing to resolve a Sexual Misconduct allegation take place before the investigation report has been finalized. 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. All directly related evidence shall be available at the hearing for the parties and their advisors to reference during the hearing.

    Relevant facts or evidence that were not known or knowable to the parties prior to the issuance of the final investigative report shall be admissible during the hearing. The institution will determine how the facts or evidence will be introduced. The admissibility of any facts or evidence known or knowable by the parties prior to the issuance of the final investigative report, and which were not submitted during the investigation, shall be determined by the institution in compliance with the obligation to provide both parties an equal opportunity to present and respond to witnesses and other evidence. Notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing as well as the selected hearing panel members shall be provided to the Complainant and the Respondent at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be provided via institution email to the parties’ institution email. Parties may attend the hearing with their advisor.

    Hearings shall be conducted in-person or via video conferencing technology. Where the institution determines that a party or witness is unable to be present in person due to extenuating circumstances, the institution may establish special procedures to permit that individual to provide testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the institution must determine whether there is a valid basis for the individual’s unavailability, require that the individual properly sequesters in a manner that ensures testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any party. Should it be reasonably believed that the individual presented tainted testimony, the hearing panel will disregard or discount the testimony. Parties may also request to provide testimony in a separate room from the opposing party, so long as no party is unfairly disadvantaged, and they have the opportunity to view the testimony remotely and submit follow-up questions.

    At all times participants in the hearing process, including parties, a party’s advisor, and institution officials, are expected to act in a manner that promotes dignity and decorum throughout the hearing. Participants are expected to be respectful to others and follow procedural formalities outlined by this Policy and the institution. The institution reserves the right to remove any participant from the hearing environment if the participant refuses to adhere to the institution’s established rules of decorum.

    Each institution shall maintain documentation of the investigation and resolution process, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, audio recordings, and/or video recordings. Any documentation shall be maintained for seven years.

    Additionally, the following standards will apply to Title IX and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct hearings respectively:

    A. Title IX Hearings

    1. Where a party or a witness is unavailable, unable, or otherwise unwilling to participate in the hearing, including being subject to cross-examination, the hearing panel shall not draw an adverse inference against the party or witness based solely on their absence from the hearing or refusal to subject to cross-examination.
    2. The parties shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence at the hearing.
    3. The parties shall have the right to confront any witness, including the other party, by having their advisor ask relevant questions directly to the witness. The Hearing Officer shall limit questions raised by the advisor when they are irrelevant to determining the veracity of the allegations against the Respondent(s). In any such event, the Hearing Officer shall err on the side of permitting all the raised questions and must document the reason for not permitting any particular questions to be raised.
    4. Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior shall be deemed irrelevant unless such questions and evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct or consent between the parties during the alleged incident.
    5. The hearing panel shall not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional made in connection with the party’s treatment unless the party has provided voluntary written consent. This also applies to information protected by recognized legal privilege.
    6. Formal judicial rules of evidence do not apply to the resolution process and the standard of evidence shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
    7. Following a hearing, the parties shall be simultaneously provided a written decision via institution email of the hearing outcome and any resulting sanctions or administrative actions. The decision must include the allegations, procedural steps taken through the investigation and resolution process, findings of facts supporting the determination(s), determination(s) regarding responsibility, and the evidence relied upon and rationale for any sanction or other administrative action. The institution shall also notify the parties of their right to appeal as outlined below.

    B. Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Hearings

    1. The parties shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence at the hearing. Witness testimony, if provided, shall pertain to knowledge and facts directly associated with the case being heard.
    2. The parties shall have the right to confront any witnesses, including the other party, by submitting written questions to the Hearing Officer for consideration. Advisors may actively assist in drafting questions. The Hearing Officer shall ask the questions as written and will limit questions only if they are irrelevant to determining the veracity of the allegations against the Respondent(s). In any such event, the Hearing Officer shall err on the side of asking all submitted questions and must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
    3. Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior shall be deemed irrelevant unless such questions and evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct or consent between the parties during the alleged incident.
    4. The hearing panel shall not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional made in connection with the party’s treatment unless the party has provided voluntary written consent. This also applies to information protected by recognized legal privilege.
    5. Formal judicial rules of evidence do not apply to the resolution process and the standard of evidence shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
    6. Following a hearing, the parties shall be simultaneously provided a written decision via institution email of the hearing outcome and any resulting sanctions or administrative actions. The decision must include the allegations, procedural steps taken through the investigation and resolution process, findings of facts supporting the determination(s), determination(s) regarding responsibility, and the evidence relied upon and rationale for any sanction or other administrative action. The institution shall also notify the parties of their right to appeal, as outlined below.

    USG 4.6.5.5 Possible Sanctions

    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; strength of the evidence; and the wellbeing of the university community. The institution will determine sanctions and issue a notice of the same, as outlined above.

    The broad range of sanctions includes: expulsion; suspension for an identified time frame or until the 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 no-contact orders; required participation in 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; financial restitution; or any other discretionary sanctions directly related to the violation or conduct.

    For suspension and expulsion, the institution must articulate, in its written decision, the substantial evidence relied upon in determining that suspension or expulsion was appropriate. For purposes of this Policy, substantial evidence means evidence that a reasonable person might accept to support the conclusion.

    USG 4.6.5.6 Appeals

    Appeals may be allowed in any cases where sanctions are issued, even when such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary or expulsion. Where the sanction imposed includes a suspension or expulsion (even for one held in abeyance), the following appellate procedures must be provided.

    The Respondent (and in cases involving sexual misconduct or other forms of discrimination and/or harassment, the Complainant) 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 (or appeal), because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing (or appeal); (2) to allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing (or appeal), including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by a conflict of interest or bias by the Title IX Coordinator, Conduct Officer, investigator(s), decision-makers(s); or (3) to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information. 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 institution’s President or their designee.

    The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Respondent or any Complainant is required. The President or their 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 any lower 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. The President or their designee’s decision shall be simultaneously issued in writing to the parties within a reasonable time period. The President or their designee’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution. 

    Should the Respondent or Complainant (where applicable) wish to appeal the President’s decision, they may request a review by the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Policy on Discretionary Review.

    Appeals received after the designated deadlines above will not be considered unless the institution or Board of Regents has granted an extension prior to the deadline. If an appeal is not received by the deadline the last decision on the matter will become final.

    USG 4.6.5.7 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 institution’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The designee shall not be the same individual responsible for investigating or adjudicating the conduct allegation. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the individual knows or 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.

    RETURN

    POLICY 15. USG 6.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy

    In accordance with federal and state law including, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the University System of Georgia (USG) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its education programs or activities or in employment. The USG is committed to ensuring the highest ethical conduct of the members of its community by promoting a safe learning and working environment. To that end, this Policy prohibits Sexual Misconduct, a form of sex discrimination, as defined herein.

    USG institutions are committed to reducing incidents of Sexual Misconduct, providing prevention tools, conducting ongoing awareness and prevention programming, and training the campus community in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) and the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”). Prevention programming and training will promote positive and healthy behaviors and educate the campus community on consent, sexual assault, sexual harassment, alcohol and drug use, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, bystander intervention, and reporting.

    When Sexual Misconduct does occur, all members of the USG community are strongly encouraged to report it promptly through the procedures outlined in this Policy. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure uniformity throughout the USG in reporting and addressing sexual misconduct. This Policy applies to all members of the USG community. This Policy is not intended to infringe or restrict rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution including free speech under the First Amendment, or the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

    REPORTING STRUCTURE

    Title IX Coordinators (“Coordinators”) at USG institutions shall have a direct reporting relationship to both the institution’s President or the President’s designee and the USG System Director for Equity and Investigations (“System Director”). The President of each institution shall determine the organizational and operating reporting relationships for the Coordinators at the institution and exercise oversight of institutional issues relating to Sexual Misconduct. However, the System Director shall have authority to direct the Coordinators’ work at each institution as needed to address system-wide issues or directives. The President of each institution shall consult with the System Director on significant personnel actions involving Coordinators, including but not be limited to, appointment, evaluation, discipline, change in reporting structure, and termination.

    USG 6.7.1 DEFINITIONS AND PROHIBITED CONDUCT

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

    Complainant: An individual who is alleged to have experienced conduct that violates this Policy.

    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. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

    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.

    Consent can be withdrawn at any time by a party by using clear words or actions.

    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. The existence of such relationship shall be determined based on the totality of the circumstances including, without limitation to (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.

    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, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim.

    Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. It can result from mental disability, sleep or any state of unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, status as a minor under the age of 16, or from the 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: Any physical contact with another person of a sexual nature without the person’s consent. It includes but is not limited to the touching of a person’s intimate parts (for example, genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks); touching a person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts. This provision also includes “Fondling” as defined by the Clery Act.

    Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration: Any penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth by a penis, object, tongue, finger, or other body part; or contact between the mouth of one person and the genitals or anus of another person. This provision also includes “Rape, Incest, and Statutory Rape” as defined by the Clery Act.

    Confidential Employees: Institution employees who have been designated by the institution to talk with a Complainant or Respondent in confidence. Confidential Employees must only report that the incident occurred and provide the date, time, location, and name of the Respondent (if known) without revealing any information that would personally identify the alleged victim. This minimal reporting must be submitted in compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act. Confidential Employees may be required to fully disclose details of an incident in order to ensure campus safety.

    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 the imminent threat of serious harm.

    Reasonable Person: An individual who is objectively reasonable under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person being evaluated by the institution.

    Reporter: An individual who reports an allegation of conduct that may violate this Policy but who is not a party to the complaint.

    Respondent: An individual who is alleged 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 Coordinator. Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Confidential Employee or 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).

    Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.

    Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Invasion of sexual privacy;
    • Prostituting another individual;
    • Non-consensual photos, video, or audio of sexual activity;
    • Non-consensual distribution of photo, video, or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity or capturing of the activity was consensual;
    • Intentional observation of nonconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;
    • Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual through sexual activity;
    • Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in non-consensual circumstances; and/or
    • Sexually-based bullying.

    Sexual Harassment (Student on Student): Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct based on sex (including gender stereotypes), determined by a Reasonable Person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to participate in or to benefit from an institutional education program or activity in violation of Title IX.

    Sexual Harassment (Other Than Student on Student): Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex (including gender stereotypes), that may be any of the following:

    • Implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity;
    • A basis for employment or educational decisions; or
    • Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from an institutional program or activity.

    The USG also prohibits unwelcome conduct determined by a Reasonable Person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a USG education program or activity in violation of Title IX.

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

    Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

    For the purposes of this definition:

    • The course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with person’s property.
    • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

    USG 6.7.2 REPORTING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

    USG encourages the reporting of all Sexual Misconduct as soon as possible. While there is no statute of limitations on an institution’s ability to respond to a report, the ability to respond diminishes with time as information and evidence may be more difficult to secure.

    USG 6.7.2 (A) INSTITUTIONAL REPORTS

    An institutional report occurs when the institution has notice of a complaint. That notice occurs in two instances:

    • When a Responsible Employee receives a complaint; or
    • When the Title IX Coordinator or their designee receives a complaint.

    Any individual may make a report, but the institution does not have notice of the report until the information is known to a Responsible Employee or the Coordinator. The report may be made directly to the Coordinator in multiple formats to include: writing, email, phone, letter, fax, interview, or other methods that provide the basis of the complaint of sexual misconduct. There is no specific information required to constitute a report; however, the report should contain as much information as can be provided. Reporting options should be included on the Title IX website.

    Complainants, or anyone with knowledge of Sexual Misconduct, may file a report with a Responsible Employee or the Coordinator. That Responsible Employee must provide a complete reporting of all information known to them to the Coordinator. Responsible Employees informed about Sexual Misconduct allegations should not attempt to resolve the situation, but must notify and report all relevant information to the Coordinator as soon as practicable.

    Upon receipt of an institutional report, the Coordinator will contact the Complainant. That contact will discuss the availability of supportive measures, the invitation to discuss their wishes with respect to the implementation of supportive measures, and explain the process of filing a complaint. An institutional report does not automatically prompt an investigation.

    The 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.

    The Coordinator shall notify the System Director of any allegation(s) of Sexual Misconduct that could stand alone as reported, lead to the suspension or expulsion of the Respondent(s). The System Director will work with the institution to determine whether any support services or interim measure(s) are necessary and to assign an investigator who will work under the direction of the System Director or designee if directed by the System Director. If an allegation is not initially identified as one that would lead to the suspension or expulsion of the Respondent(s), but facts arise during the course of the investigation that could lead to the Respondent’s suspension or expulsion, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the System Director or designee. The System Director shall have the discretion to oversee the handling of the complaint.

    USG 6.7.2 (B) CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS

    Confidential Employees or Privileged Employees may receive reports of Sexual -based Misconduct without the requirement to report that information to the Coordinator, except as dictated by law or professional standards. Upon request by the Complainant, Confidential Employees and Privilege Employees may make a report to the Coordinator within the degree of specificity dictated by the Complainant.

    Nothing in this provision shall prevent an institution staff member who is otherwise obligated by law (i.e, the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.

    USG 6.7.2 (C) LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTS

    Because Sexual Misconduct may constitute criminal activity, a Complainant also has the option, should the Complainant so choose, of filing a report with campus or local police, for the Complainant’s own protection and that of the surrounding community. The institution may assist the Complainant in reporting the situation to law enforcement officials. Filing a criminal report does not automatically constitute an institutional report.

    USG 6.7.2 (D) ANONYMOUS REPORTS

    Each institution shall provide a mechanism by which individuals can report incidents of alleged Sexual Misconduct anonymously. Individuals should understand, however, that it will be more difficult for the institution to respond and to take action upon anonymous reports.

    USG 6.7.2 (E) COMPLAINT CONSOLIDATION

    Each institution may consolidate complaints as to allegations of Sexual Misconduct against more than one Respondent, by more than one Complainant against one or more Respondents, or cross-complaints between parties, where the allegations of sexual misconduct arising out of the same facts or circumstances.

    Parties shall have the opportunity to request or object to the consolidation; however, the institution shall have the authority to make the final determination. For the purpose of this Policy, consolidation may occur during the investigation and/or the adjudication phases of the sexual misconduct process.

    USG 6.7.2 (F) COMPLAINT DISMISSAL

    Each institution is permitted, but not required, to dismiss complaints on the following grounds:

    • The alleged conduct, even if proved, would not constitute sexual misconduct;
    • The Complainant notifies the Coordinator in writing that they would like to withdraw the complaint;
    • The Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the institution; or
    • There are circumstances that prevent the institution from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding the complaint.

    The parties shall receive simultaneous written notice of the dismissal and the reason(s) for the dismissal. The parties shall have a right to appeal the institution’s decision to dismiss the complaint.

    USG 6.7.2 (G) RETALIATION

    Anyone who has made a report or complaint, provided information, assisted, participated or refused to participate in any manner in the Sexual Misconduct Process, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes that of they have subjected to retaliation should immediately contact the Coordinator or their designee. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.

    USG 6.7.2 (H) FALSE COMPLAINTS

    Individuals are prohibited from knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information to a system or institution official. Any person found to have knowingly submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this Policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (up to and including suspension or expulsion) and adjudicated under the appropriate institutional process.

    USG 6.7.2 (I) 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 a student during an investigation concerning the consumption of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular student in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, students may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate. Nevertheless, these students may be required to meet with staff members in regards to the incident and may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program(s). The required participation in an educational program under this amnesty procedure will not be considered a sanction.

    Nothing in this amnesty provision shall prevent an institution staff member who is otherwise obligated by law (the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.

    USG 6.7.3 RESPONDING TO REPORTS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

    USG 6.7.3 (A) Support Services

    Once the Title IX Coordinator has received information regarding an allegation of Sexual Misconduct the parties will be provided written information about support services. Support services are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without charge that are made available to the Complainant and Respondent before or after the filing of a complaint or where no complaint has been filed. Support services include counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, disability services, health and mental services, and other services, available at the student’s institution. Available support services should also be listed on the institution’s Title IX website.

    USG 6.7.3 (B) Interim Measures

    Interim measures may be implemented at any point after the institution becomes aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct and should be designed to protect any student or other individual in the USG community. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the campus community, or deter Sexual Misconduct and retaliation. Interim measures must be provided consistent with the provisions in applicable Board and institutional policies and procedures.

    USG 6.7.3 (C) Emergency Removal

    Emergency removal 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 significant risk to the health or safety of the Complainant 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.

    USG 6.7.3 (D) Jurisdiction

    Each USG institution shall take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its community. Sexual misconduct allegedly committed is addressed by this Policy when the misconduct occurs on institution property, or at institution-sponsored or affiliated events, or off-campus, as defined by other Board or institution student conduct policies.

    USG 6.7.3 (E) Advisors

    Both the Complainant and the Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing at the party’s own expense. The advisor may accompany the party to all meetings and may provide advice and counsel to their respective party throughout the Sexual Misconduct process, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance to the party, but may not actively participate in the process except as outlined in BOR 6.7.4 (D). All communication during the Sexual Misconduct process will be between the institution and the party and not the advisor. With the party’s permission, the advisor may be copied on all communications.

    1. USG 6.7.3 (F) Informal Resolutions

    Allegations of Sexual Misconduct may be resolved informally. The Complainant, the Respondent, and the institution must agree to engage in the informal resolution process and to the terms of the informal resolution. The Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s) have the option to end informal resolution discussions and request a formal process at any time before the terms of an informal resolution are reached. However, matters resolved informally shall not be appealable.

    USG 6.7.3 (G) Timeframe

    Efforts will be made to complete the investigation and resolution within 120 business days. Temporary delays and limited extensions may be granted by the institutions for good cause throughout the investigation and resolution process. The parties will be informed in writing of any extension or delay and the applicable reason. The institution shall keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation.

    USG 6.7.4 RESPONDING TO REPORTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT PURSUANT TO TITLE IX

    Implementing Title IX regulations require special handling of complaints of sexual harassment, as defined in the regulations and listed below. The following section outlines the required specialized handling of these matters that may differ from an institution’s handling of Sexual Misconduct, as defined in this Policy. Unless expressly mentioned in this section, other provisions of this Policy shall apply to all alleged Sexual Misconduct.

    Other Title IX sex-discrimination allegations are handled pursuant to other applicable Board and/or institutional policies.

    USG 6.7.4 (A) Definition of Sexual Harassment

    Under Title IX sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

    • An employee conditioning the provision of aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
    • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the institution’s education program or activity; or
    • “Sexual assault” as defined by the Clery Act and “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” and “stalking” as defined by the VAWA Amendments.

    USG 6.7.4. (B) Jurisdiction

    Alleged misconduct is addressed by Title IX when the misconduct occurs against a person in the United States on institutional property, or at institution-sponsored or affiliated events where the institution exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context, or in buildings owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution.

    USG 6.7.4 (C) Formal Complaints

    A Formal Complaint is a written document filed by the Complainant or signed by the Coordinator alleging sexual harassment, as defined by Title IX and its implementing regulations, against a Respondent and requesting that the institution open an investigation. In order to file a Formal Complaint, the Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the institution occurring within the United States at the time of the filing.

    USG 6.7.4 (D) Informal Resolution

    Formal Complaints may be resolved informally, except in the instance of an allegation by a student against an institution employee. The following must be met in order to proceed with the informal resolution process:

    • The parties have received written notice of the allegations;
    • The parties have received a written explanation of the informal process to include, but not limited to:
    1. Written agreement of the parties to initiate the informal resolution process;
    2. Written notice that the parties may withdraw from the process at any time prior to the agreement of the terms of the resolution; and
    3. Written notice that the final resolution precludes any further institutional actions on the allegations; and
    • The institution has agreed to engage in the informal resolution process.

    USG 6.7.4 (E) Advisors

    Both the Complainant and the Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing. The advisor may accompany the party to all meetings and may provide advice and counsel to their respective party throughout the Sexual Misconduct process but may not actively participate in the process except to conduct cross-examination at the hearing. If a party chooses not to use an advisor during the investigation, the institution will provide an advisor for the purpose of conducting cross-examination on behalf of the relevant party.

    All communication during the Sexual Misconduct process will be between the institution and the party and not the advisor. The institution will copy the party’s advisor prior to the finalization of the investigation report when the institution provides the parties the right to inspect and review directly related information gathered during the investigation. With the party’s permission, the advisor may be copied on all communications.

    USG 6.7.5 INVESTIGATIONS

    All Sexual Misconduct investigations involving a student Respondent shall follow the investigation process set forth in Section 4.6.5, Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings.

    All Sexual Misconduct investigations involving an employee Respondent shall be addressed utilizing Board and institutional employment policies and procedures.

    USG 6.7.6 HEARINGS, POSSIBLE SANCTIONS AND APPEALS

    All Sexual Misconduct hearings, sanctions, and appeals involving a student Respondent shall follow the hearing and resolution process set forth in this Policy and Section 4.6.5, Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings.

    All Sexual Misconduct adjudication involving an employee Respondent shall be addressed utilizing Board and institutional employment policies and procedures.

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    POLICY 16. SExual misconduct hearing Process

    In this online process, the Complainant and Respondent will both be receiving information on how to join a Microsoft Teams meeting.  These instructions are to be shared by the Complainant and Respondent with all persons involved in their side of the case (e.g., Advisor, Witnesses). 

    DECORUM OF THE HEARING

    1. The Microsoft Teams join feature will take all parties into a General Meeting Room first. Please make sure microphones are muted.  The Hearing Officer or support staff will be monitoring the status of microphones.  When the time comes, you will be asked to move to the Hearing Room.  Instructions will be provided.

    2. Who may be in the Hearing Room and can they speak? 

    • Advisors – yes, only to their party
    • Respondent – yes, but not when Complainant is speaking         
    • Complainant – yes, but not when the Respondent is speaking
    • Hearing Panel Members (3 university officials) – yes
    • Hearing Officer – yes
    • Hearing Officer’s Support Staff – yes, only to Hearing Officer and Hearing Panel
    • Witnesses – yes, when called into the Hearing Room to answer questions

    3. If a party wishes to express concerns related to relevancy, repetitiveness, or appropriateness of questions or to ask procedural questions, they may raise those concerns directly to the Hearing Officer and ask for clarification or a ruling on a matter of concern.  Only the Respondent or Complainant may raise these concerns, and the Hearing Officer will determine whether the questioning or evidence is relevant and should be permitted or deemed irrelevant and thus inadmissible.

    4. The Hearing Panel, Hearing Officer, and/or Hearing Facilitator will be located in the Hearing Room.

    5. In the Hearing Room, all video cameras must be placed in the “on” position with your person being visible online.  The Hearing Officer or support staff will instruct parties as to when to turn on their microphones.  Microphones will be monitored to ensure that they remain in the correct position.  Turning on your microphone and speaking when someone else is speaking (except for the advisor of the person speaking) may result in disciplinary action. 

    6. The party’s advisor may be in the Hearing Room and may turn their microphone on as needed to get their party’s attention, but conversations must be held by other means.  Most advisors sit next to their party in person and join the online environment sitting next to each other.  If this is not preferred or unattainable, the use of a cell phone with an earpiece is a normal setup. 

    7. A Hearing Officer has the authority to remove any person from the hearing room who they believe is exhibiting behavior not conducive to a prompt, fair, and impartial hearing.

    8. This hearing will be recorded.  The recording may be paused during breaks.  Under no circumstances should anyone record the hearing outside of University Officials.  The recording of this hearing is the sole property of the University.  Individual parties may request a recording of the hearing at any time through the Office of Legal Affairs.

    ORDER OF THE HEARING

    I. Introduction Phase

    1. Introduction of the Hearing Officer

    2. Introduction of members of the Hearing Panel

    3. The Hearing Officer explains the process for today’s hearing, including any modifications to the process.

    II. Procedural Confirmations Phase

    1. Respondent will do an introduction and Respondent and Advisor will answer the following questions:

         A. Did you receive a Notice of Alleged Violations and a Notice of Hearing?

         B. Do you understand your Student Rights as outlined in the Notice of Alleged Violations and Information Meeting as explained by the Conduct Officer?

         C. Do you have an advisor(s) present today? If yes, please have them introduce themselves/himself/herself.

            1) Advisor Question

                 i. As an advisor to the student, you may not actively participate in the hearing outside of providing advice, support, and counsel to your party.  Do you understand?

                 ii. In a Title IX case: As an advisor to the student, you may only actively participate in the hearing during the cross-examination portion of the hearing; otherwise, your participation is reserved for providing advice, support, and counsel to your party.  Do you understand?

    2. Complainant will do an introduction and the Complainant and Advisor will answer the following questions:

         A. Do you understand the Student Rights as outlined in the Notice of Alleged Violations and Information Meeting as explained by the Conduct Officer?

         B. Do you have an advisor(s) present today? If yes, please have them introduce themselves/himself/herself.

              1) Advisor Question

                   a). As an advisor to the student, you may not actively participate in the hearing outside of providing advice, support, and counsel to your party.  Do you understand?

                   b). In a Title IX case: As an advisor to the student, you may only actively participate in the hearing during the cross-examination portion of the hearing; otherwise, your participation is reserved for providing advice, support and counsel to your party.  Do you understand?

    3. Honor Code

        During the hearing, both the Complainant and Respondent are bound by the Georgia College’s Honor Code. Any false statements will result in a violation of the Honor Code.

    III. Alleged Violation and Plea of the Respondent Phase
    1. The Hearing Officer will read the alleged violation(s).

    2. Respondent will be asked “How do you plea?” to each alleged violation.  The correct response is either “Responsible” or “Not Responsible.

    IV. Opening Statements Phase

    1. Complainant’s opening statement

    2. Respondent’s opening statement
     

    V. Question and Answer Phase

    1. Complainant

         A. Respondent’s submitted questions will be asked first, and any additional questions will be submitted through the chat feature and read by the Hearing Officer to the Complainant if approved.

         B. Panel questions will be asked by the Hearing Officer.  Additional questions from the Panel will be submitted through the Panel’s chat feature

    2. Respondent

         A. Complainant’s submitted questions will be asked first, and any additional questions will be submitted through the chat feature and read by the Hearing Officer to the Respondent if approved.

         B. Panel questions will be asked by the Hearing Officer.  Additional questions from the Panel will be submitted through the Panel’s chat feature   

    VI. Witness Phase

    1. Witnesses (one at a time) will move from the General Meeting Room to the Hearing Room (instructions will be provided). Calling and questioning of witnesses will proceed in the following order:  Hearing Panel witnesses, Complainant’s witnesses, and then Respondent’s witnesses.

    2. Hearing Panel Witnesses

         A. The University Investigator (UI) will be called as the first witness by the Hearing Panel when requested by any party.

         B. Complainant’s advance questions for witnesses will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer after approval.

         C. Respondent’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         D. Panel’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         E. Any remaining questions by any party may be submitted via chat feature to Hearing Officer for approval.

         F. The Panel decides if they want the Witness to remain for possible further questioning.  If yes, the Witness returns to the General Meeting Room.

         G. The witness process is repeated until the witness list of the Hearing Panel is exhausted

         H. The witness process is repeated until the witness list of the Hearing Panel is exhausted (repeat 6.b.ii – 6.b.vii).

    3. Respondent’s Witnesses

         A. Respondent’s advance questions for witnesses will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         B. Complainant’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         C. Panel’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         D. Any remaining questions by any party may be submitted via chat feature to Hearing Officer for approval.

         E. The Panel decides if they want the Witness to remain for possible further questioning.  If yes, the Witness returns to the General Meeting Room.

         F. The witness process is repeated until the witness list of the Respondent is exhausted (repeat).

    4. Complainant’s Witnesses

         A. Complainant’s advance questions for witnesses will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         B. Respondent’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         C. Panel’s advance questions will be asked by Panel followed by questions submitted via chat feature to the Hearing Officer upon approval.

         D. Any remaining questions by any party may be submitted via chat feature to Hearing Officer for approval.

         E. The Panel decides if they want the Witness to remain for possible further questioning.  If yes, the Witness returns to the General Meeting Room.

         F. The witness process is repeated until the witness list of the Complainant is exhausted (repeat).

    5. Last call for any witnesses

    VII. Final Questions Phase

    1. Complainant will ask any final questions of the Respondent

    2. Respondent will ask any final questions of the Complainant

    3. Does the Panelist have any further questions of the Respondent?

    4. Does the Panelist have any further questions of the Complainant?

    VIII. Closing Statement Phase

    1. Complainant Closing Statement

    2.Final panel questions for the Complainant sent via chat feature for approval and asked by the Hearing Officer

    3. Respondent Closing Statement

    4. Final panel questions for the Respondent sent via chat feature for approval and asked by the Hearing Officer

    This concludes the information-gathering portion of the hearing.

    IX. Hearing Conclusion Phase

    1. Hearing Officer makes a closing statement about next steps.

    2. Once the Hearing Phase is completed, all parties may end the video call.

    X. Deliberation Phase

    Members of the Hearing Panel will deliberate and make a decision based on the preponderance of the information provided in the current case.  Deliberations usually take between 1 and 5 business days.

    XI. Conclusion Phase

    1. The members of the Hearing Panel will provide the Hearing Officer with their decision after deliberating.

    2. The Hearing Officer will send a Notice of Outcome letter which is a written notice of the decision.  The Notice of Outcome will be sent to the Complainant, Respondent, and Title IX Coordinator at the same time via email.
     

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    POLICY 17. Involuntary Medical Withdrawal Policy

    A. A student may be administratively withdrawn from the University, from University Housing, and/or from one or more classes when, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs and a professional member of the university's Health Services or Counseling Services staff, it is determined that the student's physical, mental, emotional or psychological health:

         1. Poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the person or property of others; or

         2. Causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the university or its personnel.

    B. Except in emergency situations, a student shall, upon request, be accorded a meeting with a University official or a hearing prior to a final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the university. If the student requests a hearing on such a matter, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall appoint a hearing body, consisting of students, faculty, and/or staff.

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    POLICY 18. Solicitation Policy

    A. This policy outlines sponsorships, donations, and gifts-in-kind for both events and organizations by outside individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations and the advertising rights associated with such financial and non-financial contributions for a specific Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group. Violations of this policy include:

         1. Conducting an unauthorized sales campaign in a Residence Hall, classroom, or administrative building, or any other campus location.

         2. Placing door hangers or signs on cars on campus or in on-campus residential facilities; or other campus property.

    B. Sponsorship Policy - This is a policy on sponsorship, donations, gifts-in-kind, and affiliated advertisements.

    C. DEFINITIONS

         1. Sponsor and Sponsorships are individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations that provide financing for all or part of an event or organization organized or associated with a Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group in exchange for limited advertising rights in exchange for the financial contribution.

         2. Donors and Donations are individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations that provide financing for all or part of an event or organization organized or associated with a Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group that are not permitted advertising rights in exchange for the financial contribution.

         3. Gifts and Gifts-in-kind Donations are individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations which provide materials, services, or supplies, free of charge, for all or part of an event or organization which is organized or associated with a Georgia College division, department, unit, or  Student Group that are permitted limited advertising rights in exchange for the contribution.

         4. Advertising rights are rights granted to an individual, company, institution, or organization that permits limited advertisements and recognition as explained in the policy detail.

         5. Georgia College Contracted Organizations are individuals, companies, institutions, or organizations that have a contractual agreement with Georgia College in some capacity.

    Exemptions - The Department of Athletics, the Colonnade, WGUR, and GCTV shall be exempt from this policy.

    D. POLICY DETAIL

    1. Prior to starting any solicitation of sponsorships, donations, or fundraising efforts, Student Groups must contact the Department of Student Activities and Organizations for initial approval.
    2. Sponsorships and donations in the amount of $1,000 or more must adhere to the guidelines published by Georgia College’s Office of University Advancement.
    3. Solicitation or acceptance of sponsorships from merchants or vendors in direct competition with services provided by Georgia College, its contracted vendors, or where addressed by contractual agreements, is prohibited.
    4. Solicitation or acceptance of donations from merchants or vendors in direct competition with services provided by Georgia College, its contracted vendors, or where addressed by contractual agreements, is permitted only upon authorization by Georgia College’s Office of University Advancement and Business and Finance.
    5. If a donation is accepted by a Georgia College division, department, units, or Student Group the donor is not permitted advertising rights.
    6. Any Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group may not seek or accept sponsorships from companies/vendors whose main focus of business is the manufacture, distribution, or sale of alcohol products.
    7. Preference should be given to Georgia College contracted organizations when soliciting sponsorship or donation opportunities.
    8. A list of Georgia College contracted organizations accessible through the Auxiliary Services will be maintained by Auxiliary Services and available on their website.
    9. Refusal of a sponsorship or donation solicitation by a Georgia College contracted organization does not permit the solicitation of merchants or vendors in direct competition with services provided by Georgia College, its contracted vendors, or where prohibited by contractual agreements 
    10. Adverting rights shall be limited to the following:
    11. If appropriate for an event, and no breach of the GC Catering guidelines or other contractual relationship will occur, the sponsor shall be allowed one booth or table for the sole purpose of promoting its business.
    12. If appropriate for an event, and no breach of the GC Catering guidelines or other contractual relationship will occur, the sponsor shall be allowed one booth or table for the sole purpose of promoting its business.  
    13. Sponsors may not solicit Georgia College students to sign any contracts or collect information that may be used for later solicitation.
    14. Promotional items from a sponsor must be available to all organization or event participants without requiring participation in any activities required by the sponsor.
    15. Advertisements, of any kind, of a sponsored event or organization that include sponsors' names or logos, must be approved by the office of Auxiliary Services prior to posting.
    16. GC Catering Guidelines must be referenced in order to ensure no breach in any contract.
    17. It is not permitted for any Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group to use an event for the sole purpose of advertising any sponsor.
    18. If any Georgia College division, department, unit, or Student Group deviates from this policy, disciplinary actions will be taken in accordance with the respective division. 

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    POLICY 19. USG 4.1.4 Fraternities and Sororities

    Each University System of Georgia institution may decide whether social fraternities and sororities shall be established at the institution and whether each social fraternity or sorority shall be local only or affiliated with national groups. Each institution may promulgate rules and regulations concerning the establishment, organization, governance, and discipline of social fraternities and sororities.

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    POLICY 20. Social functions policy

    A. Any registered student organization hosting a social event, whether on-campus or off-campus, will be expected to abide by all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. All social events on campus must be approved by the Director of Student Activities and Organizations and must be in compliance with Georgia College policies and procedures for student organizations. If the event is held on-campus facilities such as the East Campus (Lake Laurel), the main campus (Maxwell Student Union and Student Activities Center), and the J. Michael Peeler Athletic Complex (picnic grounds and athletic fields), appropriate facility usage request forms must be submitted to Public Services where approval of the appropriate building/area supervisor will be obtained. A damage deposit must accompany the application in order for the request to receive full consideration. Completed requests must be submitted to the Director of Student Activities and Organizations for their approval of the appropriateness of the event prior to submitting to Public Services. All applications must be approved in their entirety one week prior to the date of the requested event.

         1. Each organization sponsoring a social event on campus property must sign a statement of responsibility and a waiver of liability included on the Social Function Application releasing Georgia College from liability for personal injury or damages to property, littering or destruction, and cleanup of Georgia College property. All scheduled events shall terminate at designated times. If the organization plans to serve alcoholic beverages during the social event, they must adhere to the university's alcohol policy. Organization advisors must be present at all social events where alcohol may be present.

         2. The Board of Regents recognizes and supports the laws of Georgia with respect to the sale, use, distribution, and possession of alcoholic beverages on university campuses as well as within the state at large. To this end, the Board has endorsed a program designed to enhance awareness and curb abuse of alcohol by students and others in the University System. This program emphasizes that each institution shall stress individual responsibility related to the use of alcohol on and off the campus.

         3. To assist in the implementation of alcohol awareness programs and to enhance the enforcement of state laws on the campuses of the University System of Georgia, each institution shall adopt and disseminate comprehensive policies and procedures, consistent with state and local laws, concerning the use, distribution, and possession of alcoholic beverages on campus and institutionally approved events off-campus. Disciplinary sanctions for violation of the policies or other unauthorized use of alcoholic beverages shall be included in each institution's disciplinary code of conduct.

         4. A copy of the policies and procedures adopted by each institution shall be filed with and approved by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Services of the Board of Regents. This shall be reviewed and approved by this office annually thereafter.

         5. Copies of policies and procedures, forms, and information relative to the implementation of system policy on the Georgia College campus are available upon request from the Department of Student Activities and Organizations in the Student Activities Center.

         6. Please note the following rules:

              a. All registered student organization members, faculty, or staff using university facilities and serving alcoholic beverages must be in full compliance with the Board of Regents Alcohol On-Campus Policy as well as Georgia College Policies and Procedures for social functions. 

              b. Coordinators of events shall complete a Social Function Application one week prior to the proposed function. 

              c. Coordinators of events must sign a statement of responsibility and waiver of liability releasing Georgia College from liability for personal injury or damages. 

              d. Organization members or appropriate faculty or staff members will accept full responsibility for any personal injuries, damages to property, littering or destruction, and cleanup of Georgia College.

              e. Registered student organizations must submit an appropriate damage and cleanup deposit attached to the Social Function Application. 

              f. All registered student organization events shall terminate on or before 12:00 midnight with the exception of the Maxwell Student Union Lounge where events may be held until 1:00 a.m. 

              g. If registered student organizations plan to serve alcoholic beverages during the social event (no sale is permitted on state property) they must be served no later than 30 minutes prior to the termination time, and within the following guidelines: 

                   1) Alcoholic beverages may be served outside only at the J. Michael Peeler Athletic Complex picnic area and the Lake Laurel Lot on East Campus. 

                   2) Alcoholic beverages are served inside only within the Maxwell Student Union, Student Activities Center, and the Lake Laurel Lodge. 

                   3) Whenever alcoholic beverages are served, equally accessible, alternative, nonalcoholic beverages, snacks, or food must also be served. 

              h. Specific regulations for use of alcoholic beverages by registered student organizations must be followed. 

              i. Violations of the Social Functions Policy will result in the termination of further privileges and may include other possible disciplinary actions or sanctions. 

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    POLICY 21. Student Arrests Policy

    If a Student is arrested, whether on-campus or off-campus, the University may judge the Student's behavior as a violation of The Bobcat Code and in conflict with the recognized mission of the University. The University may initiate disciplinary procedures.

    When a Student is charged both with a criminal offense off-campus and charged with a violation of The Bobcat Code, the two processes are unrelated and conducted independently of each other.  A student found not responsible in one setting may be found responsible in the other.

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    POLICY 22. usg 6.11 Weapons pOLICY

    The University System of Georgia (USG) prohibits all weapons on property owned or leased by the USG and its institutions, except as specifically provided herein or as provided in federal or state law.

    6.11.1 EXCEPTIONS 

    Prohibited weapons do not include sporting equipment possessed for legitimate use in formal or informal athletic or exercise activities.

    Law enforcement officers, active military personnel, and other similar personnel may possess weapons as authorized by federal or state law to do so.

    Any person who is 18 years of age or older or currently enrolled in classes in a USG institution may possess an electroshock weapon on the campus(es) of that institution but may only make use of such electroshock weapon in defense of self or others.

    Weapons carry license holders may possess weapons while under the license holder’s physical control in a motor vehicle, in a locked compartment in a motor vehicle, in a locked container in a motor vehicle, or in a locked firearms rack in a motor vehicle.

    A weapons-carry license holder may carry a handgun in any building or on any real property owned or leased by the USG and its institutions; provided, however, that such exception shall:

    (i) Not apply to buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, including, but not limited to, fraternity and sorority houses;

    (ii) Not apply to any preschool or childcare space located within such buildings or real property;

    (iii) Not apply to any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school as provided for under Georgia Code Section 20-4-37;

    (iv) Not apply to any room or space being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act” as provided for under Georgia Code Section 20-2-161.3;

    (v) Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted;

    (vi) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which a licensee is licensed to carry pursuant to subsection (e) of Georgia Code Section 16-11-126 and pursuant to Georgia Code Section 16-11-129; and

    (vii) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which are concealed.

    6.11.2 DEFINITIONS

    The terms listed below are defined for purposes of this Policy as follows:

    “Weapon” means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any instrument designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any instrument of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Georgia Code Section 16-11- 106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the faculty member.

    “Handgun” means a firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged by an action of an explosive where the length of the barrel, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches; provided, however, that the term “handgun” shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter.

    “Electroshock weapon” means a stun gun or taser or similar commercially available device that is powered by electrical charging units and designed exclusively to be capable of incapacitating a person by an electrical charge.

    “Concealed” means carried in such a fashion that does not actively solicit the attention of others and is not prominently, openly, and intentionally displayed except for purposes of defense of self or others. Such term shall include, but not be limited to, carrying on one’s person while such handgun is substantially, but not necessarily completely, covered by an article of clothing which is worn by such person, carrying within a bag of a nondescript nature which is being carried about by such person, or carrying in any other fashion as to not be clearly discernible by the passive observation of others.

    “Preschool or childcare space” means any room or continuous collection of rooms or any enclosed outdoor facilities which are separated from other spaces by an electronic mechanism or human-staffed point of controlled access and designated for the provision of preschool or childcare services, including, but not limited to, preschool or childcare services licensed or regulated under Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 20 of the Georgia Code.

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    Policy 23. USG 4.6.2 Violations of State or Federal Law

    A student in any University System of Georgia (USG) institution who is charged with, or indicted for, a felony or crime involving moral turpitude may be suspended pending the disposition of the criminal charges against him or her. Upon request, the student shall be accorded a hearing, as provided in this Policy Manual and any related institution policy, where he or she shall have the burden of establishing that his or her continued presence as a member of the student body will not be detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, or property of other students or members of the campus community or to the orderly operation of the institution. Upon final conviction, the student shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

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    POLICY 24. Liability

    All Georgia College students are asked to sign a release and waiver of liability before participating in university-sponsored activities where there are potential risks. Copies are available in the Department of Student Activities and Organizations or the Office of Legal Affairs.

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    POLICY 25. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

    Students are responsible for meeting in a timely manner financial obligations to Georgia College. The following stipulations apply in the event that responsibility is not met.

       A. Financial obligations that are not met within ten days after the date due shall be reported in writing to the proper office. Obligations to any division or department of the university shall be reported to the office designed by the vice president for business and finance.
           
       B. The appropriate business office shall notify the student of the financial obligations. If the student does not settle the obligation by the designated date on the notice, he shall be subject to regulations promulgated by the vice president for business and finance.
           
       C. A student considered delinquent shall not be allowed to register, transfer credits, or be certified for graduation.
           
       D. If there is a dispute as to whether or not a student is legally liable for a financial obligation asserted by the university, and the student challenges such obligation through either timely administrative or legal means, then the sanctions with respect to registration shall not apply until final resolution of the dispute.

    RESTRICTIONS: Interim Restrictions

    Restrictions must be approved by the President or Vice President of Student Life.  These restrictions are put in place when it is a matter of health and safety of the student body and employees of the University.

    RESTRICTION 1. COVID Virus

    COVID face-covering and social distancing policies have been rescinded (May 2021).