Student Infraction Form
The goal of Gainesville State College (GSC) is to provide students a healthy, safe, and educational learning environment. As members of the College and local communities, students are reminded that they are expected to be model citizens and that their actions and behavior reflect the institution.
The Student Code of Conduct was created by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators to protect the safety, rights, and privileges afforded to students and other members of the community. Included are regulations which the college and local communities can expect students to uphold upon admission at GSC, an explanation of the judicial process, rights of students and student organizations as they pertain to the judicial process, a list of possible sanctions, and the appeal process. Questions, concerns, and requests for prior authorization as stated in the regulations can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs:
Gainesville Campus 678-717-3877 (Room 143 Student Center)
Oconee Campus 706-310-6208 (Room 114 Administration Building)
Any reports regarding student or student organization misconduct should be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs at the corresponding campus. The filing of an official report is noting the disapproval of certain actions of GSC students or organizations and does not guarantee that a student or organization is responsible for the reported actions. Decisions about whether or not a student or organization is responsible for alleged violations are made through the Office of Student Affairs or its designee.
The judicial process at GSC, including regulations, complaints, decisions, and outcomes, is separate from any local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies and is dealt with in a manner that is defined in the Student Code of Conduct. This process is designed to guarantee students and organizations due process on the GSC campus. Students are not immune from local, state, or federal processes, and Gainesville State College reserves the right to respond to any behavior on-campus or at any College-related or sponsored events. As a GSC student and a member of the local community, all students are expected to know and follow all conduct regulations to ensure an educational, respectful, and safe environment.
The term “College” and “GSC” means Gainesville State College and all of its affiliated campuses.
The term “student” refers to a person who has been admitted to Gainesville State College. This includes persons attending orientation or visiting campus who have not yet enrolled. An individual who is not registered for the summer, but was registered for the previous spring semester and is, or plans to be, registered for the fall is considered a student during that summer and through the last day of registration. An individual who registers for a semester and then withdraws, or is withdrawn, is considered enrolled for that semester.
The term “faculty” means any person hired by the College and any affiliated campuses to conduct classroom activities.
The term “College official” includes any person employed to perform assigned administrative, professional, or staff responsibilities for the College and any affiliated campuses.
The term “member of the College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College official, any person employed by the College, or any person that is visiting campus. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Office of Student Affairs.
The term “organization” refers to any number of students who have identified themselves as a club or organization and have followed the proper procedures through the Office of Student Life for organizational registration. Organizations that are referred to the judicial process will be represented by the President of that organization. The President may designate another active student member to be the representative in his/her place, but must request this in writing.
The term “will” is used in the imperative sense.
The term “preponderance of the evidence” means evidence that leads a person to conclude that it is more likely than not that the act in question did occur.
Any definitions in question will be interpreted by the Office of Student Affairs.
The Office of Student Affairs responds to allegations of conduct violations and any student or organization found to have committed a violation of these conduct regulations is subject to sanctions outlined in this Student Code of Conduct.
To determine whether an organization is responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, all circumstances will be considered, including, but not limited to: 1) whether the misconduct was committed by one or more members of the organization; 2) whether any officers of the organization had prior knowledge of the misconduct; 3) whether organization funds were used; 4) whether the misconduct occurred as a result of an organization-sponsored function; and 5) whether members of the organization lied about the incident.
All academic-related infractions or disorderly behavior in an academic class may be resolved by the instructor, including removal from class for a day. It is recommended the students refer to their class syllabi for the expectations of each instructor. If the instructor files a formal complaint in writing with the Office of Student Affairs or if a class syllabus does not outline procedures for how the instructor will handle the alleged infraction, then the situation will be resolved by the Office of Student Affairs. Note that the judicial process relates to student discipline and in no way is related to the process of appealing a grade received in class. Such appeals are handled through the Office of Academic Affairs.
The following academic-related actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Gainesville State College Student Code of Conduct:
A. Academic Regulations
- Receiving or giving assistance in preparation of any graded assignment without prior authorization from the class instructor.
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain material or intellectual property pertaining to conducting a class.
- Fabricating, forging, or falsifying of laboratory results or reports.
- Use of another person’s ideas or expressions without acknowledging the source. All work of a student needs to be original or cited according to the instructor’s requirements or is otherwise considered plagiarism.
- Disruptive behavior in an academic setting that interferes with the learning environment.
The following non-academic actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the Gainesville State College Student Code of Conduct:
B. Non-Academic Regulations
1. Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs
- Use, possession, distribution, sale, or being under the influence of alcohol except as permitted by Georgia state law on campus or at any school sponsored event or trip.
- Use, possession, manufacturing, furnishing, sale, or being under the influence of a narcotic or other controlled substance except as permitted by law or valid medical prescription.
- Use of tobacco products on campus. All students are expected to follow the Tobacco-Free Policy. Smoking tobacco products are permitted if the smoker and all contents remain inside an automobile.
2. Disorderly Conduct
- Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, sexual harassment, discrimination, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person or oneself.
- Damage of property belonging to the College, a member of the College community, organization, or a visitor to campus.
- Participation in a demonstration or behavior that disrupts the normal operations of the College or infringes on the rights of other members of the College community.
- Failure to identify oneself to, or failure to comply with, directions of a College official or law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his/her job responsibilities.
3. Theft and Other Acts of Dishonesty
- Taking or attempting to take items of College property, stolen property, or items belonging to another person or organization.
- Unauthorized possession of College property, stolen property, or items belonging to another person or organization.
Selling or attempting to sell items of College property, stolen property, or items belonging to another person or organization.
Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any record, document, instrument of identification, or information provided to a College office or official.
Possession or misuse of firearms, explosives, chemicals, knives, or other objects used as a weapon without prior authorization by the Office of Student Affairs.
Hazing, including intentional, negligent, or reckless action, activity, or situation that causes pain, embarrassment, ridicule, or harassment regardless of any person’s willingness to participate in such treatment.
6. Fire and Emergency Safety
- Possession, furnishing, or misuse of fireworks or other explosives without prior authorization from the Office of Student Affairs and appropriate permits.
- Misuse, damaging, or tampering of fire safety equipment.
- Setting or causing to be set any unauthorized fire or fire alarm in or on College property.
- Failure to leave the building during a fire alarm, emergency evacuation, or other situations that may require emergency guidance for safety reasons.
The playing of cards, computer games, or any other game of skill or chance for money or other items of value.
8. Unauthorized Entry or Use of College Facilities
Unauthorized entry or use of any College building, office, or facility, or remaining in any building after normal business hours.
9. Solicitation and Selling
Solicitation or selling on-campus without prior approval of time, place, and manner.
Safety considerations and liability concerns make it necessary to prohibit dogs and other pets on campus. Service animals accompanying persons with disabilities are permitted.
11. Other Published Policies
Violation of published College policies, rules, or regulations, including, but not limited to, the Computer Use Policy, Parking Regulations, class syllabi, and all policies in the Student Handbook
Children on Campus Policy: Children are welcome on campus when accompanied by a parent/guardian or a supervising adult. If children are disruptive or left unattended, both the adult and child may be asked to leave. In consideration of other students and for safety reasons, children are not permitted in classrooms or science labs unless part of a College sanctioned and supervised activity.
Computer & Network Usage Policy
Filing a Report
Incidents of alleged violations of conduct regulations are reported to the Office of Student Affairs. Individuals filing a report should do so in writing, preferably on a Student Infraction Form located in the Faculty Handbook or in the Office of Student Affairs. Reports not submitted in writing will be verified prior to beginning a judicial investigation. Individuals filing a report or wishing to learn more about the judicial process can arrange to meet with a staff member in the Office of Student Affairs without any obligation to file a report.
After receiving a report, a staff member will be assigned to investigate the circumstances of the incident and determine what regulations, if any, are alleged to have been violated. Reports that indicate the alleged behavior does not violate any conduct regulation(s), lack of sufficient information, or if the College feels as if the behavior is not suitable for investigation may result in no action being taken.
Initiating the Judicial Process
If the staff member investigating the case feels there may have been a violation of a conduct regulation and there is sufficient reason to proceed with the judicial process, he/she will notify the student or organization of the charges in writing. That notification will specify when and where the alleged violation occurred, alleged violation(s), and the date and time of a scheduled appointment to discuss the situation.
The purpose of the meeting is to insure that the student or organization is familiar with the judicial process and Student Code of Conduct in order to accurately prepare and present a response to the charge(s). At any point throughout the judicial process a student or organization is allowed to have an advisor as a resource, but the advisor is not permitted to speak on the student’s behalf. Prior violations of the Student Code of Conduct can only be considered when discussing sanctions once it is determined there was a conduct violation.
At this meeting, the student or organization:
- Will be advised of the right to decline making any statements or answering questions and, that in doing so, no assumption to responsibility will be drawn.
- Will be advised of the pending charges and the report submitted.
- Will be informed of the Student Code of Conduct or referred to where he/she/it may obtain a copy.
- Will be informed of judicial procedures through which charges are resolved.
- Will be allowed to read any and all information regarding the original complaint.
- Will have the opportunity to share any pertinent information in regards to the alleged situation.
Resolution of the Judicial Process
While meeting with the student or organization, the staff member will determine which, if any, of the alleged charge(s) are to be resolved through the judicial process and inform the student or organization the process that he/she/it can choose to resolve the charge(s): 1) informal resolution, or 2) administrative resolution, or 3) formal resolution.
1. Informal Resolution
For a case to be resolved through an informal resolution process, the student or organization must:
- Accept responsibility for the alleged violation(s)
- Agree with the sanctions recommended by the person filing the report
- An informal resolution may take place during the initial meeting, if the student chooses to do so.
2. Administrative Resolution
For a judicial case to be resolved through the administrative resolution process, the student or organization must:
- Accept responsibility for the alleged violation(s)
- Agree with the sanctions recommended by the staff member responsible for the case
3. Formal Resolution
If a student or organization does not accept responsibility for the alleged violation, does not agree with sanctions recommended, or would prefer for the case to be resolved through a formal resolution process, then a disciplinary panel will be formed in order to hear the case. The staff member handling the case always reserves the right to have a case heard by a disciplinary panel if he/she believes it to be necessary, including if the student or organization fails to show up for a schedule meeting to discuss the situation.
A three-person hearing panel is selected from the Disciplinary Committee whose membership consists of faculty and students. Faculty members are appointed by Division Chairs and students are appointed by the Student Government Association. Members of the committee are trained by staff in Student Affairs and are familiar with the judicial process. The accused student or organization may choose how many panelists are students, faculty, or staff. If the alleged incident involves an academic-related regulation, then at least one panelist must be a tenured faculty member. In cases referred to a panel, the staff member will notify the student in writing of the date, time, and location at least 72 hours before the scheduled hearing.
All accused students or organizations participating in the Formal Resolution are guaranteed the following rights during a hearing:
- The right to an advisor. This person is simply to serve as a resource and/or support and can not verbally participate or speak on behalf of the student or organization in any way during a formal hearing.
- The right to question all witnesses.
- The right to present evidence and call witnesses.
- The right to decline making any statements or answering questions and in doing so, no assumption of responsibility will be drawn from such silence.
- The right to a summary transcription or copy of the hearing for the sole purpose of appealing a sanction of suspension or expulsion.
- The right to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Panel to the President of the College, or her/his designee.
- The right to attend classes and required College functions until a hearing is held and a decision is rendered. Exceptions to this would be made when the student's presence would create a clear and present danger of material interference with the normal operations of the College. In such cases, the Office of Student Affairs may impose temporary protective measures, including interim suspension, pending a hearing.
All formal hearings will be resolved through the following procedures:
- With only the panel members present, a Panel Chair will be elected if this has not already been established prior to the hearing.
- Panel members will be given a copy of all forms, letters, and reports pertaining to the alleged incident. Any clarifying questions can be addressed to the College representative.
- The person who filed the report and the accused student or organization, along with his/her advisor, are brought into the room by the College representative. The Panel Chair then reviews the hearing procedure and any questions about it. If the accused student or organization, or the person filing the report, are not present for the hearing, the panel will decide whether proper steps have been taken to notify those individuals and whether or not to proceed with the hearing.
- The Panel Chair then asks the accused student or organization to read the hearing form and indicate by signature whether he/she/it accepts responsibility for each charge. The student or organization is assumed not to be responsible unless he/she/it accepts responsibility or such a violation has been proven. The Panel Chair then reads whether or not the student or organization has accepted responsibility for each individual charge.
- The person who filed the report is asked to present his/her statement. After this statement, questions may be asked by the panel and the accused student or organization.
- Other witnesses may be called by the person who filed the report to answer questions. Following questioning from the person filing the report, then the accused student or organization and the panel may ask questions. All witnesses may be called at any point thereafter to answer additional questions until the hearing has concluded.
- The accused student or organization is asked to present his/her statement. After this statement, questions may be asked by the panel and the person filing the report.
- Other witnesses may be called by the accused student or organization to answer questions. Following questioning from the accused student or organization, then the person filing the report and the panel may ask questions. All witnesses can be called at any point thereafter to answer additional questions until the hearing has concluded.
- The person filing the report is given the opportunity to make a closing statement.
- The accused student or organization is given an opportunity to make a closing statement.
- The panel deliberates in private to make a decision on whether or not the student or organization is responsible for each alleged violation based on the preponderance of evidence. If the panel finds the accused student or organization responsible for any violation, it will then decide on a sanction that is fair and educational for the student or organization.
- The accused student or organization and the panel reconvene in the hearing room to hear the panel’s decision and the appeals process. The student or organization will receive the decision and, if appropriate, sanctions in writing within three business days. Included in the written decision, the student or organization will be given information on how to appeal the decision.
The following sanctions may be imposed for the violation of a conduct regulation. This list is not exhaustive and, if necessary, may be modified.
Expulsion, suspension, temporary suspension from a course, probation, reprimand, community service, restrictions, or any additional educational sanctions as decided.
In certain circumstances, the Office of Student Affairs, or a designee, may impose an interim suspension of a student or organization until a decision regarding the allegations is made, or until given further directions by the Office of Student Affairs. Every effort will be made to meet with the student or organization within three business days after the interim suspension notification is received. Interim suspension is utilized to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or property, or if the student or organization poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.
During an interim suspension, the student or organization shall be denied access to the campus and/or all activities or privileges for which the student or organization might otherwise be eligible. During the interim suspension, the student will be permitted on campus for scheduled meetings with, or meetings approved by, the Office of Student Affairs.
Upon receiving a report indicating that any of the conditions that warrant interim suspension exist, and upon an evaluation of the reliability of that report, the Office of Student Affairs will immediately notify the student or organization in writing of the interim suspension.
The accused student or organization has the right to appeal any decision made through the formal resolution process in writing to the President of the College, or her/his designee, within one calendar week of the conclusion of the hearing. The person hearing the appeal will notify the student or organization within one calendar week of receiving it whether or not the decision rendered will be changed in any fashion.
Appeals must be based on one of the following circumstances and should be addressed in the written appeal:
- Procedural errors - when the published procedures of the judicial process were not followed and the error(s) violated the student’s or organization’s rights.
- Substantive errors - when the evidence presented at the hearing was not sufficient to justify the decision reached or if the sanction(s) imposed is (are) unreasonably harsh based upon the circumstances of the case and the prior record of the student or organization.
- New evidence - when information, existing at the time of the hearing, was not available or known to exist at the time of the hearing.
Destruction of Records
Judicial records are kept in possession of the Office of Student Affairs for a period of five years after the student’s graduation or date of last attendance. All cases involving suspension or expulsion and all organizational cases will remain on file indefinitely.