Non-Academic Misconduct

Last Revised: 
July 2016
Review Date: 
July 2017
Policy Owner: 
Student Life
Contact Name: 
John Stein
Contact Title: 
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Contact Email: 
john.stein@vpss.gatech.edu
Policy Statement: 

The most current Student Code of Conduct can be found on the Policy Library web site as listed in the References. In the event of any conflict, the Code found in the Policy Library will govern.

A. General
B. Prohibited Non-Academic Conduct
C. Student Code of Conduct Procedures
D. Sanctions
E. Interim Suspension
F. Appeal Procedures
G. Record Keeping and Release of Information
H. References

A. GENERAL

The Student Code of Conduct educates all members of the Georgia Tech Community about the Institute’s expectations and Students’ rights, and creates a standard by which Students are expected to conduct themselves for the purpose of establishing an environment conducive to academic excellence.

1. Authority
a. This Code is not written with the specificity of a criminal statute and should not be confused with criminal law. Institute conduct proceedings are not restricted by the rules of evidence governing criminal and civil proceedings.  Students may be charged under multiple codes (this Code, the Code of Academic Conduct, the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, housing policies and procedures) based upon the same conduct.  Students may be held accountable both to civil or criminal authorities and the Institute for acts that constitute violations of law and the Code. Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Students who reside in Institute housing are subject to housing policies and procedures in addition to this Code. Sexual misconduct is governed not by this policy, but by the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, including its procedures and sanctions. See http://www.policylibrary.gatech.edu/student-affairs/student-sexual-misconduct-policy-change

b. OSI, in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs, shall develop consistent operating procedures for the administration of the Student Code of Conduct process and for the conduct of Student Conduct Panel hearings.

c. Any question of the interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students for final determination.

d. In any instance in which reference is made to an official of the Institute, such reference shall mean the official or his/her designee.

2. Jurisdiction
a. The Institute reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the community. Academic misconduct relevant to any Institute activity will be addressed regardless of where it may have occurred. Non-academic misconduct will be addressed whenever such acts:

  1. occur on Institute Premises; or
  2. occur at Institute sponsored activities; or
  3. occur at Group or Organization Activities; or
  4. occur off Institute Premises when conduct adversely affects the Institute and/or the pursuit of its objectives.

b. Each Student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree. This includes conduct that may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. The Code shall apply to a Student’s conduct even if the Student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Code applies to Institute programs in remote and overseas locations.

c. The Institute shall retain jurisdiction over all Students irrespective of when the Student is subject to tenets of an agreement with other schools.

3. Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the instructor. Students who engage in any acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the instructor to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. Longer suspensions from a class can be administered only by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students in accordance with this Code.

4. Student Organizational Discipline
Student Organizations are subject to this Code.  Any Student Organization accused of committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following acts of misconduct is subject to conduct procedures in accordance with the Addendum “Student Organization Code of Conduct Procedures.”


B. PROHIBITED NON-ACADEMIC CONDUCT

Any Student accused of committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following acts of non-academic misconduct is subject to conduct procedures in accordance with Section C. Any Student Organization accused of committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following acts of non-academic misconduct is subject to conduct procedures in accordance with the Addendum “Student Organization Code of Conduct Procedures.”

1. Alcohol violations including, but not limited to:

  • Underage use or possession of alcohol.
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol in an unauthorized area. c. Use or possession of fake identification.
  • Distribution of alcohol to underage person(s).
  • Behavior, while under the influence of alcohol that endangers any person. f. Disorderly conduct associated with the use of alcoholic beverages.

2. Illegal drugs and other substance violations including, but not limited to:

  • Use or possession of illegal drugs (without valid medical or dental prescription). b. Behavior, while under the influence of illegal drugs, that endangers any person.
  • Manufacturing, furnishing, selling, or distributing of any narcotic or dangerous drug controlled by law.
  • Disorderly conduct associated with the use of illegal drugs.

3. Unjustifiably pushing, striking, or otherwise intentionally causing reasonable apprehension of such harm to any person.

4. Disorderly conduct including, but not limited to:

  • Boisterousness, rowdiness, obscene, or indecent conduct or appearance.
  • Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, or other Institute activities, including its public service functions or other authorized activities.
  • Breach of the peace.

5. Behavior that endangers any person(s), including self.

6. Unauthorized use of Institute facilities or premises including:

  • Unauthorized entry into any Institute Premises or remaining without permission in any building after normal closing hours.
  • Possessing, using, making, or causing to be made any key or other means of access to any Institute Premises without proper authorization.

7. Furnishing false information to any Institute Official.

8. Forgery, alteration, replication, or misuse of any document, record, or identification upon which the Institute relies, regardless of the medium.

9. Hazing.

10. Safety violations, including, but not limited to:

  • Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false reporting, warning or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency.
  • Tampering with safety devices or other emergency, safety, or firefighting equipment. c. Setting or attempting to set an unauthorized fire.
  • Unauthorized possession of fireworks, firearms, and/or ammunition.
  • Unauthorized possession of weapons and/or dangerous materials or chemicals. f. Unauthorized sale, possession, furnishing, or use of any bomb or explosive or incendiary device.

11. Theft and/or unauthorized possession or use of property or services belonging to the Institute, another person, or any other entity.

12. Malicious or unauthorized damage to or destruction of Institute property or property belonging to another.

13. Illegal gambling, including online gambling.

14. Failure to return or submit property or records of the Institute within the time prescribed by the Institute.

15. Acting with any other person to perform an unlawful act or to violate an Institute regulation or Policy.

16. Failure to comply with instructions or a directive of any properly identified Institute Official while that person is acting in the performance of his/her duties.

17. Abuse of the Student Code of Conduct Procedures including, but not limited to:

  • Failure to cooperate with the investigation, resolution, and procedures of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of Information before a Student Conduct Administrator or Student Conduct Panel.
  • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of an Administrative Conference and/or a Student Conduct Panel proceeding.
  • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a Student Conduct Administrator and/or a member of a Student Conduct Panel at any point in the Student Conduct process.
  • Failure to comply with the Sanction and/or Supplementary Requirements imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct process.

18. Harassing another person including, but not limited to:

  • Placing another person in reasonable fear of his/her personal safety through words or actions directed at that person, or substantially interfering with the working, learning, or living environment of the person.

19. Violation of any Georgia Institute of Technology policy, rule or regulation.

20. Violation of any Board of Regents’ policy and/or federal, state, or local law.

21. Discriminatory conduct including:

  • a. objectively offensive conduct directed at a particular person or persons based upon that person or persons’ race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any class protected by law that creates a hostile environment or that results in excluding participation in, or denies the benefits of any educational program or working opportunity for that person or persons.
  • b. verbal or written threats, coercion or any other conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any class protected by law, that by design, intent or recklessness incites reasonable fear of physical harm or otherwise unreasonably interferes with another’s ability or opportunity to participate in work, education, research, living, or other activities.

Allegations of sex and/or gender-based discrimination will be governed by the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

D. STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT PROCEDURES

1. Case Referrals

Any person may file a complaint against a Student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The procedures for filing a complaint are on the OSI web site.

The complaint shall be prepared in writing and directed to OSI. Complaints should include as much information as possible – such as: (1) the type of misconduct alleged; (2) the name and contact information of the Respondent; (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.

The complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place or when it is reasonably discovered, and no later than thirty (30) business days following the discovery of the incident. The Complainant should forward any supporting documentation to OSI within ten (10) business days of the original submission or OSI may process the case based solely on the original complaint. OSI may also initiate a complaint based upon information received.

Complainants may file a report with law enforcement as well as with OSI.

Confidentiality: Information from complaints may be shared as necessary to investigate and to resolve the alleged misconduct. Where a complainant or alleged complainant requests that his or her identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, the Institute shall consider whether or not such request(s) can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. The Institute generally cannot guarantee confidentiality and honoring the request may limit the Institute’s ability to respond fully to the incident and may limit the Institute’s ability to resolve the Complaint.

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, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating or cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.

False Complaints: Individuals who intentionally give false statements to an Institute official, or who submit false complaints or accusations through the complaint process, including but not limited to during a hearing, shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Institute policy.

Amnesty: Information reported in good faith by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against that individual in a disciplinary proceeding and will not voluntarily be reported to law enforcement by OSI.

2. Communication
All communication (requests for meetings, notifications, notice of hearings, etc.) will be provided via official Institute e-mail addresses, as defined by the Office of Information Technology. If the Respondent is not currently enrolled, the notification will be sent via U.S. Postal Service to the last known address on file with the Registrar.

3. Rights
Right to Access Advisors: The respondent and alleged victim (where applicable), as parties to these proceedings, shall have the right to use an advisor (including an attorney) of his or her choosing, and at his or her own expense, for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel. The advisor may be present during meetings and proceedings during the investigatory and/or resolution process at which his or her advisee is present. The advisor may advise his or her advisee in any manner, including providing questions, suggestions, and guidance on responses to any questions of the advisee, but shall not participate directly. The institution shall not prohibit family members of a party from attending if the party requests such attendance, but may limit each participant to two family members.

Additionally throughout the conduct process, the Respondent is granted the following rights:

  • a. to seek information from a Student Conduct Administrator about the Investigation and Resolution Process;
  • b. to be informed of the charge(s) and alleged misconduct upon which the charge is based;
  • c. to be informed of the Information upon which a charge is based and afforded an opportunity to offer a relevant response;
  • d. to have access to Advisors, as described in section 4 (c);
  • e. to remain silent with no inference of responsibility drawn;
  • f. to call and question relevant Witnesses;
  • g. to present Information in his/her behalf;
  • h .to be considered not responsible until proven responsible by a Preponderance of the Evidence;
  • i. to be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding in writing;
  • j. to appeal the decision;
  • k. to waive any of the above rights; and
  • l. to have resolution of the case within a reasonable time.

4. Investigation and Resolution Process
Initial Evaluation of Student Conduct Reports

  •  a. After OSI receives a complaint, the Student Conduct Administrator will review the complaint and any supporting Information to decide what, if any process to initiate. The Student Conduct Administrator will determine whether the facts as alleged in the complaint or report are sufficient to initiate a conduct process.
     
  • If the Student Conduct Administrator determines that the facts of the complaint or report, even if true, would not constitute a violation of policy, no further action will be taken. Otherwise, the Student Conduct Administrator may (1) attempt to resolve the situation through an informal resolution process including, but not limited to, mediation or a meeting between the Respondent and a Student Conduct Administrator or a third party; or (2) perform an initial investigation to determine what charges should be brought against the Respondent and whether those charges could potentially result in suspension or expulsion of the Respondent.
     
  • The Respondent shall receive notice of the alleged misconduct, shall be provided an opportunity to respond, and shall be allowed to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process, without an adverse inference. If the Respondent chooses to remain silent, the investigation may proceed and policy violation charges may still result, and may be resolved against the Respondent. 
     
  • b. If OSI receives multiple complaints involving the same Student, each complaint will be considered separately in determining whether a conduct process should be initiated.  Multiple charges against the same Respondent will generally be investigated and adjudicated separately; however, multiple charges may be investigated and adjudicated together under appropriate circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, consent of the parties, similar or related conduct, and the administrative burden of considering the charges separately. 
     
  • c. Process for Cases which will Not Result in Suspension or Expulsion. If the Student Conduct Administrator initiates a conduct process, the Respondent is notified and is requested to contact the Student Conduct Administrator within five (5) business days of the notification to schedule an Administrative Conference. During the conduct process, the Respondent should continue to attend class and required Institute functions unless otherwise instructed by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or OSI. Should the Respondent fail to contact the Student Conduct Administrator within five (5) business days, or fail to attend the Administrative Conference, the Student Conduct Administrator may resolve the case in the Student’s absence, or may refer the case to a Student Conduct Panel. 
     
  • At the Administrative Conference, the Respondent is presented with the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, supporting Information, and an explanation of his/her rights. The Respondent may bring an Advisor. However, if the Advisor disrupts the investigation and resolution process, he/she may be asked to leave. The Respondent will be provided the opportunity to present his/her version of the reported incident.

  • d. Process for Cases Which May Result in Expulsion or Suspension
     
    1. The Respondent shall be provided with written notice of the complaint/allegations, pending investigation, possible charges, possible sanctions, available support services, and the identity of the investigator(s). Where applicable, a copy shall also be provided to the alleged victim.
       
    2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the Respondent shall be given five (5) 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 documents – whether written or electronic – in support. Failure to respond by the deadline will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
       
    3. After review of the Respondent’s response, the investigation shall continue with interviews of the Respondent, the alleged victim (where applicable) and other relevant witnesses; collection and review of documents or other physical or electronic information; and any other steps deemed necessary by the investigator. The investigator should retain written notes and/or obtain written or recorded statements from each interview. The investigator shall also keep a record of any proffered witnesses not interviewed, along with a brief, written explanation.
       
    4. The investigation shall be summarized in writing in an initial investigation report and provided to the Respondent and the alleged victim (where applicable) in person or via email. This summary should clearly indicate any resulting charges (or alternatively, a determination of no charges), as well as the facts and evidence in support thereof and possible sanctions.
       
    5. To the extent the summary report indicates that the Respondent will be charged with any violation, he or she shall have the opportunity to respond in writing. The Respondent’s written response to the report shall be due no later than three (3) business days following the date of the report. The respondent’s written response should outline his or her plea in response to the charge(s), and where applicable, his or her defense(s), and the facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support. The Respondent’s failure to submit a written response to the charge(s) within three (3) business days will be interpreted as a denial of the charge(s).
    6. The investigator shall conduct further investigation and update the investigative report if warranted by the Respondent’s response. 
    7. The final investigative report shall be provided to the student conduct panel or Student Conduct Administrator for consideration in adjudicating the charges brought against the Respondent. A copy shall also be provided to the Respondent and alleged victim (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.
  • ​During the conduct process, the Respondent should continue to attend class and required Institute functions unless otherwise instructed by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or OSI.
     
  • e. The case will be adjudicated by the Student Conduct Administrator or a Student Conduct Panel. The Respondent shall have the option of having the charges heard by either the Student Conduct Administrator or by a Student Conduct Panel. The Respondent may also request that the case be adjudicated by a different Student Conduct Administrator than that initially authorized to hear the case in the event of perceived bias of the initially authorized official. The Student’s reasons for his/her preference must be conveyed to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, in writing, before the investigation begins.  Ordinarily, the Student’s preference will be honored; however, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students will make the final decision in his/her sole discretion. If the Student’s preference is not honored, the rationale for the decision will be provided to the Student in writing. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students reserves the right to determine the process to be used based on the relevant facts and circumstances, including, but not limited to: 
     
    • imminent graduation of the Student;
    • end of the semester; or
    • extraordinary circumstances.
  • f. If the case is to be adjudicated by the Student Conduct Panel, the case shall be referred to the Student Conduct Panel and follow the procedures outlined in Section D.5.b.

    Resolution of the case should be made within thirty (30) business days of the Administrative Conference. If resolution cannot be reached in thirty (30) business days, OSI will inform the Respondent and Complainant. OSI may waive this timeline for good cause.

5. Forms of Case Resolution

In no case shall a hearing to resolve charge(s) of student misconduct take place before the investigative report has been finalized or before the Respondent has had an opportunity to respond in writing, unless the Respondent has chosen to go through an informal process or otherwise provided a written waiver of rights to these procedures. Further, unrelated charges and/or cases shall be heard separately unless the Respondent consents to the charges/cases being heard jointly.

Where the Respondent indicates that he or she contests the charges, and after the investigative report has been finalized and copies provided to the Respondent (and the alleged victim, where applicable) the case shall be set for hearing; however, in cases with an alleged victim, the alleged victim and Respondent may agree to attempt an informal resolution, except where deemed inappropriate by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, or his/her designee.

Where a case is not resolved through informal means, the charges shall be heard either by an Administrator or a Student Conduct Panel. Notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing, shall be provided to the Respondent (and the alleged victim, where applicable) at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.

The following standards will apply to any such hearing, whether before an Administrator or a Student Conduct Panel:

  1. The Respondent shall have the right to present witnesses and evidence to the Student Conduct Administrator or panel, as well as to submit questions to be asked of any witnesses. This questioning may take place through the submission of written questions to the panel or Student Conduct Administrator for consideration; however, the parties’ Advisor may actively advise and assist in drafting those questions. The Student Conduct Administrator or panel shall ask the questions as written, and will limit questions only if they are unrelated to determining the validity of the charge leveled against the Respondent(s). In any event, the Student Conduct Administrator or panel must document the reason for not asking any particular questions.
  2. Where the Student Conduct Administrator or panel determines that a party or witness is unavailable and unable to be present due to extenuating circumstances, the Student Conduct Administrator or panel may establish special procedures for providing testimony from a separate location. In doing so, the Student Conduct Administrator or panel must determine there is a valid basis for the unavailability, ensure proper sequestration in a manner that ensures testimony has not been tainted, and make a determination that such an arrangement will not unfairly disadvantage any party. Should it be reasonably believed by the Student Conduct Administrator or panel that a party or witness who is not physically present has presented tainted testimony, the Student Conduct Administrator or panel will disregard or discount the testimony.
  3. Formal civil rules of evidence do not apply to the investigatory or resolution process.
  4. The standard of review shall be a Preponderance of the Evidence; however, any decision to suspend or to expel a student must also be supported by substantial evidence at the hearing.
  5. The Institute shall maintain documentation of the proceedings, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, audio recordings and/or video recordings.
  6. Following a hearing, both the Respondent (and alleged victim, where applicable) shall be provided a written decision of the outcome and any resulting sanctions. The decision shall include details on how to appeal, as outlined below. Additionally, the written decision shall summarize the evidence in support of the sanction. The same form will be completed, regardless of whether the student opts for a student panel or an administrative hearing.

a. Administrative Resolution

The Student Conduct Administrator renders a decision of 1) Not Responsible, which closes the

case, or 2) Responsible for one or more violations with an appropriate Sanction, and, as warranted, one or more from among the Supplementary Requirements. The Respondent, after being notified of the Student Conduct Administrator’s decision, may submit an appeal to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students according to the appeal procedures described in Section G.

b. Student Conduct Panel

  1. Decisions and Sanctions
    The Student Conduct Panel, after convening a hearing, recommends a disciplinary decision to the Director of Student Integrity. The Director of Student Integrity, after reviewing the case, renders a decision of 1) Not Responsible, which closes the case, or 2) Responsible for one or more violations of the Student Code of Conduct with an appropriate Sanction and, as warranted, one or more from among the Supplementary Requirements. The Respondent, after being notified of the decision and Sanction, may appeal to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, according to appeal procedures described in Section G.
     
  2. Scheduling of Student Conduct Panel Hearing
    After the case is forwarded to a Student Conduct Panel, the Complainant and the Respondent will be notified of available dates and times for a hearing. The Respondent may indicate preferences from among the available dates and times. These preferences will be considered by OSI if received within three (3) business days of the date the options were presented to the Respondent. 

    This official notice will be provided at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing and will include the time, date, and location of the hearing. In addition, the notice will specify the Complainant(s), Witnesses(s), and nature of the alleged misconduct. The Accused may waive the notification timeline in order to expedite the hearing process. Upon request, the Respondent may meet with a Student Conduct Administrator to review Information and hearing procedures.

6. Hearing Participants and Attendees

  • Student Conduct Panel hearings shall ordinarily be closed except for the Respondent(s), the Complainant(s), Advisor(s), and Witnesses. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Chairperson. Witnesses are allowed at the discretion of the Chairperson. The Chairperson may exclude any person, including the Respondent, who disrupts a hearing.
  • A Respondent who fails to appear after proper notice will be deemed to have responded "Not Responsible" to the charges against him/her and to have exercised the right to remain silent without prejudice. At the discretion of the Chairperson the hearing may be conducted in the absence of the Student(s) and all the Information regarding the alleged misconduct shall be presented and considered.
  • The Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) have the right to be accompanied by an Advisor and up to two (2) family members. The Complainant(s) and/or Respondent(s) should select an Advisor who can attend the hearing at the scheduled date and time. Delays are not usually granted due to scheduling conflicts of an Advisor.
  • Subject to the Chairperson’s control of the hearing, the Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and their Advisor(s), and up to two (2) family members shall be allowed to attend the Student Conduct Panel hearing, but not Panel deliberations.
  • In Student Conduct Panel hearings involving more than one Respondent, OSI may permit the Student Conduct Panel hearings concerning each Student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
  • A maximum of two (2) character Witnesses will be allowed in a hearing.

7. Hearing Procedures for Student Panel

  • The Chairperson shall exercise control over the proceedings to achieve orderly completion of the hearing.
  • Advisors are restricted to private communications with their advisee(s). If the Advisor disrupts the hearing process, he/she may be asked to leave.
     
  • All questions by the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) must be directed to the Chairperson, rather than to the Witness directly. Questions of whether potential Information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the Chairperson.
     
  • In addition to the Information provided by OSI, the Student Conduct Panel, at the discretion of the Chairperson, may accept additional pertinent Information and testimony (including impact statements). Any letters of recommendation submitted by the Respondent will be admitted for consideration at the discretion of the Chairperson and, if admitted, will be viewed only during Panel deliberations.
     
  • All procedural questions arising during the hearing are subject to the final decision of the Chairperson.
     
  • The Student Conduct Panel’s standard of proof shall be a Preponderance of the Evidence.  Where the potential sanctions for the alleged misconduct may involve a suspension or expulsion, the Panel’s finding must be supported by substantial evidence.
     
  • The Student Conduct Panel in consultation with OSI, may reasonably accommodate concerns for the personal safety and well-being of the Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and/or Witnesses during the hearing.
     
  • The Student Conduct Panel shall make a recording and/or summary transcription of the proceeding, which will serve as the official record of the hearing. No other recording will be permitted. The Respondent or the Complainant may request a copy of the Institute's recording upon payment of the cost to reproduce the recording, or may listen to the original recording in a location designated by OSI at no charge. The record shall be the property of the Institute, and is subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC §1232g.

E. SANCTIONS

Sanctions are imposed only when the Respondent is found responsible for one (1) or more violations of the Student Code of Conduct. All Sanctions are officially recorded. A Respondent who is found responsible must be given one of the four (4) Sanctions, listed in Section E1 in ascending order of severity. The Respondent may also be subject to one or more Supplementary Requirements. There is no requirement that a Student receive less severe sanctions before more severe sanctions; some conduct may warrant immediate expulsion.

In determining the severity of sanctions or corrective actions the following should be considered: the frequency, severity, and/or nature of the offense, history of past conduct, an offender’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous institutional response to similar conduct, and the institution’s interests. The student conduct panel may recommend, or the Student Conduct Administrator will determine, sanctions and issue notice of the same, as outlined above.

1. Sanction Descriptions

  • a. Disciplinary Warning
    A Disciplinary Warning means that the Student has been found responsible for violating the Institute’s Code of Conduct. Any further disciplinary violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including Expulsion.
  • b. Disciplinary Probation
    Disciplinary Probation means that the Student has been found responsible for violating the Institute’s Code of Conduct. Disciplinary Probation is for a specified period of time. Any further disciplinary violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including Expulsion.
  • c. Suspension
    Suspension means that the Student has been found responsible for violating the Institute’s Code of Conduct. Suspension is separation of the Student from the Institute for a specified period of time, after which the Student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified by OSI or the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. A suspended Student shall immediately leave campus and may not re-enter campus without prior approval from the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. Students on suspension are not permitted to enroll in classes at the Institute during their suspension. OSI will determine when the Respondent has met the requirements for readmission. Any further disciplinary violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including Expulsion.
  • d. Expulsion
    Expulsion means that the Student has been found responsible for violating the Institute’s Code
    of Conduct. Expulsion is permanent separation and termination of the Respondent’s status as a Georgia Tech Student, and exclusion from Institute Premises, privileges, and activities.

 

2. Supplementary Requirements

  • a. Restitution: Payment to the Institute or to an affected party for damages resulting from a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • b. Fine: A monetary penalty paid to the Institute.
  • c. Grade Change: Change of grade for the course and/or coursework in which the academic misconduct occurred.
  • d. Programmatic Requirements: Required completion of designated educational programs
  • (e.g., alcohol, community issues, anger management, assessments, etc.).
  • e. Restrictions: Exclusion from participation in specified services and activities.
  • f. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to, or a degree awarded from the Institute may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of Institute standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a Student prior to graduation.
  • g. Withholding Degree: The Institute may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all Sanctions and Supplementary Requirements, if any.
  • h. Other Requirements: Other Requirements may be imposed.

F. INTERIM SUSPENSION

In certain circumstances the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students may impose a suspension prior to the investigation and resolution process.

1. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students will determine if interim suspension is warranted. Interim suspensions – that is, suspensions while the investigation and adjudication process are proceeding – should occur only where necessary to maintain safety, and shall be limited to situations where the Respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students shall consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of 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 his or her presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension shall take effect immediately. When requested by the Respondent, a hearing to determine whether the intermediate suspension should continue will be held within three (3) business days of the request.

2. During the interim suspension the Student may be denied access to classes, campus facilities, and all other Institute activities or privileges.

3. The Student shall be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the Interim Suspension, in accordance with Section F.1. The notice should include the time, date, and place of a subsequent meeting with the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students in order for the student to show cause why he/she should not be interim suspended.

4. Cases of interim suspension shall be given priority and will be expedited through the conduct process.

G. APPEAL PROCEDURES

Where the sanction imposed includes a suspension or expulsion, there are appellate procedures provided to the Respondent and Complainant at every level.   

Any party may challenge the participation of any Institute official or employee in the process on the grounds of personal bias by submitting a written statement to the Institute’s designee setting forth the basis for the challenge. The written challenge should be submitted within a reasonable time after the party reasonably should have known of the existence of the bias. The Institute’s designee will determine whether to sustain or deny the challenge, and if sustained, the replacement to be appointed.

1. Reasons for Appeal

The appeal process is not intended to grant a new hearing at a higher level. An appeal shall be

limited to a review of the record of the initial hearing, supporting documents, and the Respondent’s written appeal. The Respondent must explicitly state why he or she believes an appeal is warranted. Appeals will be considered only for the following reasons:

  • a. 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;
  • b. 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
  • c. to allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information.

 

2. Process

      a. Effective date of sanctions

  • If a case is appealed, sanctions are not imposed while the appeal is pending unless the welfare of a person or the community is threatened.
     
  • Sanctions will be imposed if an appeal is not filed, the deadline for an appeal passes, or when an appeal decision has been finalized.

      b. Appeal to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

  • 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 shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Respondent or any alleged victim will be held. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or his/her designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of lesser severity; remand the case back to the decision-maker to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand.
     
  • The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to the Respondent within a reasonable time period, ordinarily ten (10) business days. This is the final decision of the Institute, unless the sanction imposed is suspension or expulsion.
     
  • In cases where the Respondent has been expelled or suspended, the decision of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or his/her designee may be appealed to the President of the Institute solely on the three grounds set forth above.

      c. Appeal to the President

  • The appeal to the President must be made in writing, 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 by the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
     
  • The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Respondent or any alleged victim will be held.
     
  • 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 issued in writing to the Respondent within a reasonable time period, ordinarily within ten (10) business days. The President’s decision shall be the final decision of the Institute.
  • Should the Respondent wish to appeal the President’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy 8.6.

3. Appeal Decisions
Decisions of the Appellate Officer go into effect immediately.
 

4. Board of Regents
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (the "Board") is the final appellate authority for all cases of suspension or expulsion that have been reviewed by the President. Should the Respondent be dissatisfied with the decision of the President, he/she may apply to the Board for a review of the decision. The application for review shall be submitted in writing to the executive secretary of the Board within the period specified by the Board of Regents.
 

H. RECORD KEEPING AND RELEASE OF INFORMATION

1. Maintenance of Disciplinary Files
A case referral results in the creation of a disciplinary file in the name of the Respondent. Disciplinary files of Students found responsible of any charges against them will be retained for five (5) years after graduation or date of last attendance. Disciplinary files containing records of Suspension and Expulsion will be permanently retained. This file shall be destroyed if the Student is found not responsible for the charges.

2. Release of Information
Student disciplinary files shall be governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

  • a. Academic or non-academic misconduct resulting in expulsion may be released to third parties indefinitely.
  • b. Academic misconduct that resulted in suspension may be released to third parties for five years after sanction completion.
  • c. Any non-academic misconduct that resulted in suspension where a potential threat to the campus community exists (including but not limited to illegal drug distribution, endangering or harming any person, or jeopardizing the safety of any person) may be released to third parties for five years after sanction completion. In instances of suspension where no threat to the community is identified, the suspension may be reported until the sanction is complete.
  • d. Any academic or non-academic misconduct that did not result in suspension or expulsion is not released to third parties.
  • e. The Institute requires a specific written request from the student to release the entire disciplinary record to third parties.

3. Parent/Legal Guardian Notification
Parents/Legal Guardians of Students under the age of 21 may be notified when a Student is found responsible for violating the Georgia Tech Student Policy on Alcohol and other Drugs when any of the following occur:

  • a. A Student endangers himself/herself or others while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Specific instances include driving under the influence, fighting, alcohol poisoning, and hospitalization.
  • b. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students determines that any future violation of Institute Policy will most likely result in suspension from the Institute.
  • c. A Student Conduct Administrator determines that any future violation of Institute Policy will likely result in removal from housing.

4. Transcript Encumbrances
In pending cases that could result in Suspension or Expulsion, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students will normally place a temporary encumbrance (hold) on a Respondent’s records. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students will also place a hold on a Respondent’s records if the Respondent fails to respond to an official request to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator or the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, or if the Respondent fails to complete assigned Sanctions.

 

I. REFERENCES

Academic Honor Code:  www.honor.gatech.edu
Board of Regents: www.usg.edu/policymanual/
Computer Use and Network Policy: www.security.gatech.edu
Department of Housing:  www.housing.gatech.edu
Faculty Senate: www.Facultysenate.gatech.edu

Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students:
www.studentlife.gatech.edu/
Office of Student Integrity:  www.osi.gatech.edu
Title IX Information: www.titleix.gatech.edu

The following policies can be found on the OSI Web site:
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Georgia Tech Policy on Student Sexual Misconduct

 

Policy History: 

 

Revision Date Author Description
July 1, 2016 Student Life/Legal Affairs Substantive changes for BOR compliance
April 2015 Office of Student Integrity Discriminatory Conduct Provision added to policy
March 2015 Office of Student Integrity Added designee language to appeals section
04-22-2014 Office of Student Integrity Code of Conduct posted
Map of Georgia Tech

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