Student Ethics

STUDENT ETHICS

The Coordinator of Student Ethics is the University’s judicial affairs administrator. The Coordinator of Student Ethics has authority to receive complaints on student misconduct, direct such investigations as may seem appropriate, summon students who are directly involved or have knowledge of misconduct, and serve as a hearing officer. At the conclusion of an investigation, it is the responsibility of the Coordinator of Student Ethics to determine whether to take no action, refer the matter to an appropriate internal or external agency/department, or issue a charge to a student for violating the Code of Student Ethics. Depending on the nature of the misconduct, the Coordinator of Student Ethics will determine if the case can be adjudicated either administratively by mutual consent of all parties involved or formally.

For clarity of purpose, less severe cases of misconduct can be resolved and/or adjudicated administratively. In such cases, the Coordinator of Student Ethics can impose any sanction on the student. Certain less severe cases may be resolved by mutual consent of all parties involved, such as, but not limited to, mediation sessions or mandatory counseling from the Office of Counseling and Disability Services, Harris-McDew Student Health Center, or other unit. In the event there is no mutual consent to resolve the incident, the case will be referred to either the Board of Student Ethics or the Student Government Association Judicial Branch, depending on the nature of the offense.

Consistent with its mission, Savannah State University takes seriously its commitment to fostering and maintaining an environment conducive to student learning and growth through curricular and co-curricular programs. At the same time, the University has high expectations that students govern their behavior, actions, and practices responsibly and civilly. Students are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the objectives and standards of conduct established by Savannah State University. Finally, students are expected to know and abide by the Code of Student Ethics. A violation of any section of the code will lead to disciplinary action regardless of factors such as class level (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student), age, race/ethnicity, place of residence (e.g., University Village, University Commons or a traditional residence hall), or whether on or off campus.

Mr. Desmond Stowe , Director of Student Life  
King-Frazier Student Center, Room 246
(912) 358.3117
(912) 358-3159

Student Ethics Consent Form

CODE OF STUDENT ETHICS

The following misconduct, which is not all-inclusive, is subject to disciplinary action.

A. Level I: “Zero Tolerance” Misconduct
Level I offenses are very serious violations of the Code of Student Ethics. The University takes a zero tolerance approach to students who violate these standards. Violating the standards of conduct in this area, as a first offense, will result in a sanction of either suspension or permanent expulsion from the University:

1. Assault, Harassment, and Fighting:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for harassing, threatening -including any terrorist acts-, intimidating, coercing, or using physical force in a manner which causes another person of the University community or a guest of the University to be reasonably apprehensive or which endangers the health or safety of oneself or another person. Harassing, assaulting, stalking, intimidating, threatening, or abusing another person by written, electronic, pictorial or oral communication or suggestions is prohibited. Students are further prohibited from violating the provisions and intent of applicable University policies on Sexual Harassment (Sexual Assault & Misconduct), Affirmative Action, the Americans with Disabilities Act or on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or other ideologies.

2. Hazing:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for engaging in hazing as defined by State of Georgia law. According to the Georgia Law Enforcement Handbook, particularly 16-5-61 (Hazing students in connection with membership, etc. in a school organization):
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.
Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.”

For clarity, the following terms are provided:

a. ‘Haze’ means to subject a student to an activity which endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of a student, regardless of a student’s willingness to participate in such activity.

b. ‘School’ means any school, college, or University in this state.

c. ‘School organization’ means any club, society, fraternity, sorority, or a group living together, which has students as its principal members.

d. ‘Student’ means any person enrolled in a school, in this state”.

3. Theft:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for taking or attempting to take, sell or keep in one’s possession, including but not exclusively, items of University property, or items belonging to students, faculty, staff, student groups, visitors or to others within the larger community whether on or off campus.

4. Drugs:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for manufacturing, distributing, intending to distribute,
selling, offering for sale, delivering, attempting to deliver, or possessing any drug controlled by  Federal or state laws on University property or at events sponsored by the University unless as authorized by medical prescription. Further, students are subject to disciplinary action for possessing or using drug paraphernalia on University property or at events sponsored by the University.

5. Weapons and Firearms:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for possessing handguns or any lethal or potentially destructive weapons including, but not limited to, the following:
a. Guns, bow and arrows, Taser gun, BB guns, air guns, ammunition, hunting slingshots, martial arts weapons, chemical weapons, medieval weapons, darts, box-cutters, and knives.

b. Carrying a weapon onto or within 1,000 feet of property owned, controlled, or leased by the
University is strictly prohibited.

c. Mace and/or Pepper Spray: A chemical compound, prepared for use in aerosol containers that has the combined effect of a tear gas and nerve gas, temporary stunning its victims; in full.

  • Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry, possess or have under such persons’ control mace or pepper spray while on the premises of Savannah State University, or at University sponsored activities and events.
  • The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to:
    • Persons using mace as a defensive weapon only.
    • Professionals or Training Instructors who are using mace for instructional purposes.
    • A state certified peace officer employed with an agency authorized to carry mace/pepper spray in accordance with its policy.

6. Explosives: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Storing, possessing, furnishing, selling, or using or threatening to use explosives of any kind on University property or at University sponsored or recognized activities; and for

Possessing or using fireworks or any substance prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, or detonation on University property or at events sponsored or supervised by the University.

B. Level II: Serious Misconduct
Level II offenses are serious violations of the Code of Student Ethics. Violating these standards of conduct, as a first offense, shall result in sanctions ranging from a reprimand to permanent expulsion from the University:

1. Academic Misconduct:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for engaging in academic misconduct and academic dishonesty, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Cheating or academic dishonesty is defined as the deception of others about one’s own work or about the work of another. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting another’s work as one’s own or allowing another to submit one’s work as though it were his or hers.
  • Several people completing an assignment and turning in multiple copies, all represented either implicitly or explicitly as individual work.
  • Failure to properly acknowledge authorities quoted, cited or consulted in the preparation of written work (plagiarism). Specific examples of plagiarism are:
    • Copying and/or presenting the words of others as one’s own writing, including from Internet sources.
    • Copying words, even if you cite the sources, unless appropriate quotation is noted.
    • Copying words and then changing them a little, even if you give the source.
    • Expressing in your own words someone else’s ideas as your own.
  • The use of any materials, textbook, notes, cellular phones, MP3 players, or other electronic devices during an examination without the expressed permission of the instructor.
  • The receiving or giving of unauthorized help on assignments.
  • Stealing a problem solution from an instructor.
  • Tampering with experimental data to obtain ‘desired’ results or creating results for experiments not done (“dry labbing”).
  • Tampering with or destroying the work of others.
  • Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit of honors more than once without permission of the present instructor.
  • Lying about these or other academic matters.
  • Falsifying college records, forms or other documents
  • Unauthorized access of computer systems or files. With regard to plagiarism, themes, essays, term papers, tests, and other similar requirements must be the work of the student submitting them. When direct quotation of paraphrased material are used, they must be attributed to the source, and when the ideas of others are incorporated in the paper, they must be appropriately acknowledged.

2. Fire Safety:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Tampering with fire safety equipment and making or causing to be made a
  • false alarm;
  • Storing, possessing, selling, furnishing, or using any incendiary devices;
  • Causing any unauthorized fire on University property;
  • Refusing to vacate buildings, street walks, driveways, or other facilities of the University when
  • directed to do so by an official of the University or any other lawful authority having just cause
  • or failing to vacate a University building, including residence halls, when a fire alarm sounds;
  • Igniting or burning materials that cause fire; and
  • Violating University restrictions on smoking.

3. Criminal Conduct:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for violating local, state, or federal law, on-campus, at events sponsored by the University, or at other locations whereby the misconduct clearly contravenes the University’s interests and purposes. The University does not condone the violation or attempted violation of criminal laws. Alleged violations that constitute serious misdemeanor or felonies will be referred to appropriate authorities.

4. Falsification of Records:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for falsifying information to a University official or office, for misrepresenting information, or for lying, either through written or oral mediums.

5. Damage to Property:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for damaging, destructing, or defacing University property, including library materials, or property of any person as a result of deliberate action or as a result of reckless or imprudent behavior.

6. Alcoholic Beverages:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for possessing, manufacturing, dispensing, using, or selling alcoholic beverages on University property or at events sponsored by the University. Students are further prohibited from possessing any alcoholic paraphernalia (e.g., beer funnels), being demonstrably intoxicated from alcohol, and having empty alcoholic beverage containers on University property or at events sponsored by the University.

7. Organization/Club Offenses:
Organizations, societies, clubs, and similarly organized groups are responsible for compliance with University regulations. Upon satisfactory proof that a group encouraged or did not take satisfactory steps to prevent violations of University regulations, that group may be subject to permanent or temporary suspension, loss of recognition or charter, social probation or other action. In addition, individual members may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of imposed sanctions.

8. Traffic Regulations:

  • Violation of Campus and state traffic/driving regulations.
  • Flagrant and/or frequent parking ticket offenses.

C. Level III: Misconduct
Level III offenses are serious violations of the Code of Student Ethics. The misconduct could result in sanctions ranging from a reprimand to disciplinary probation. Second offenses, however, may lead to suspension or expulsion from the University.

1. Student Identification Cards: Students may be subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Possession, alteration, use, or attempted use of an identification card for the purpose of identification or to receive services by anyone other than the person whose name, identification card number, and photo appears on the card is considered unauthorized use and the offender will be subject to penalties and confiscation of the identification card by University officials.
  • Failing to present University identification upon request by an authorized University official who offered proper identification as to his or her status.

2. Disorderly Assembly: Students are subject to disciplinary action for the following acts of misconduct:

  • Assembling on-campus for the purpose of disrupting classes, seminars, meetings, research projects, or activities of the University;
  • Assembling on-campus for the purpose of creating a riot, attempting to create a riot, destroying property, or creating a disorderly diversion that interferes with the normal operation of the University (i.e. water balloon fights, water gun fights, egging incidents, etc.);
  • Obstructing the freedom of movement of other persons to and from University facilities or materially interfering with the normal operation of the University; and
  • Engaging in abuse of or unauthorized use of sound amplification equipment in-doors or outdoors during classroom hours (any use of sound amplification equipment must be cleared through the Office of Student Programs and Organizations);
  • Violating University policies concerning the registration, scheduling and recognition of student organizations and activities.

3. Disorderly Conduct:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for engaging in conduct that is disorderly, rowdy, lewd, or indecent. Furthermore, students may be subject to disciplinary action for engaging in breach of peace or aiding, abetting, or procuring another to do the same on University property or University sponsored events.

4. Residence Hall Visitation Rules and Regulations:

  • Students are subject to disciplinary action for violating University Housing rules and regulations related to visitation.
  • Students are subject to disciplinary action for violating University Housing rules and regulations related to:
    • Not locking your room/apartment door when you leave;
    • Not locking your room/apartment door when sleeping or lounging within your room/apartment;
  • Lending your room/apartment key or ID card to another person;
  • Failing to report your room/apartment key as being lost or stolen in a timely manner.

5. Joint Responsibility for Violations:

    • Students are subject to disciplinary action for knowingly acting in concert with others to violate University regulations.
    • Students are subject to disciplinary action for being aware of the existence of a violation of University regulations and failing to take reasonable action to report the violation in a timely manner.
    • Students are responsible for violations of University regulations that occur in on-campus residential facility rooms and are to report such violations in a timely manner.

6. Gambling:
Students are subject to disciplinary action for playing cards or any other game of skill or chance for money or other items of value.

7. University Judicial System: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

    • Attempting to intimidate, coerce, or influence a person by any means in an effort to discourage or prevent his or her use of or participation in any judicial process or proceedings;
    • Attempting to influence the impartiality of any member of a judicial body prior to or during the course of a judicial proceeding;
    • Failing to respond or comply with the summons of a judicial body or official;
    • Knowingly falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information before a judicial body or administrator;
    • Disrupting or interfering with a judicial proceeding; and
    • Knowingly initiating a judicial proceeding without cause.

8. Unauthorized Entry or Use of University Facilities and Vehicles: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Unauthorized entry into any University building, vehicle, residence hall, office, or other facilities. Students are further prohibited from remaining without authorization in any building after normal closing hours;
  • Unauthorized use of any University facility;
  • Unauthorized use of any University vehicle; and
  • Possess keys or duplicate keys without proper authorization.

9. Unauthorized Use of Computer Resources: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose;
  • unauthorized transfer of a file;
  • unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password;
  • use of computing facilities to send obscene, threatening or abusive messages;
  • use of computing facilities that violate copyright laws
  • use of computing facilities to interfere with the normal operation of Computer Services and
  • Information Technology.

10. Failure to Comply: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Failing to respond to a lawful request by properly identified University officials or law enforcement officials in the performance of their duties.
  • Failing to report for a conference, meeting, or appointment with any University official or faculty member;
  • Failing to appear as a witness in a disciplinary case when properly notified;
  • Failing to comply with any disciplinary condition imposed on a person by any judicial body or administrator.

11. Solicitation and Vending: The following examples of solicitation are prohibited:

  • Conducting a sales campaign in a residence hall, classroom, or administrative building, or any other campus location;
  • Placing door hangers or signs on cars on campus or in on-campus residential facilities;
  • Any violation of the “Soliciting/Canvassing Policy” which states: “Canvassing, placing signs and posters for solicitation purposes, chain letters, collections of any kind, and sales of tickets or merchandise not related to SSU entities are prohibited on Savannah State University premises. (University property, although recognized as state property is considered to be “specialized use” state property and therefore subject to reasonable restrictions and guidelines designed to foster the purposes to which the institution is dedicated).

12. Dress Code Violation: Students are subject to disciplinary action for:

  • Failure to adhere to University’s “Dress Code Policy” which states: “A student’s attire while on campus and in public should never be lewd, indecent, or distracting to the educational environment nor (Examples: Inappropriate dress may include, but is not limited to, halter tops, shorts or skirts revealing any portion of the buttocks or genitals, shirts with obscene language or “fighting” words (including gestures or slogans) undergarments and clothing which allows undergarments to be visually observed such as pants for men and women intended to reveal those undergarments including, sagging pants and extreme low riders”.
  • Failure to respond to request of faculty and/or properly identified University official to bring themselves in compliance of the Dress Code Policy.

JUDICIAL APPEALS PROCEDURES AND
BASIS FOR APPELLATE REVIEW

In each case involving imposition of a disciplinary sanction, the accused shall have the right to appeal the decision. All appeals must be in writing and submitted to the appropriate office within five business days of the original decision. The written request for review must state the grounds for appeal with precision and specify the reasons justifying the assertion of error. The Vice President for Student Affairs takes final action in every case decided by the Assistant Vice President, Coordinator of Student Ethics, Director of Student Life, Student Government Association Judicial Branch, Board of Student Ethics, or a Hearing Officer, if a student chooses to appeal the decision.

A. Appeals to the Assistant Vice President
A student may initiate an appeal to the assistant vice president concerning a decision made by the coordinator of student ethics, the Student Government Association Judicial Branch, the Board of Student Ethics, or a Hearing Officer. The Director of Student Life will hear all appeals not resulting in suspension or expulsion (Level III infractions). Students who are appealing a suspension, expulsion and/or Level I and Level II infractions and feel that further action is warranted following a Coordinator of Student Ethics decision may appeal to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

The assistant vice president need not rehear the evidence in the case; therefore, the student must submit a complete written statement based on Section C.

Guidelines For Appeals as described below. In ordinary cases, the student may not be required to appear before the assistant vice president. Such a request for appearance may be granted or denied in the sound discretion of the assistant vice president.

2. The assistant vice president shall review the case and make one of the following determinations:

i. Affirm the findings and sanctions.

ii. Affirm the factual findings, but raise or lower the recommended sanction.

iii. Reverse one or more findings of guilty, and eliminate or modify the sanction, as appropriate.

If procedural error prejudiced the ability of the accused to defend himself/ herself before any of the tribunals the case may be returned for a new hearing.
iv. Apply another action as appropriate.

Appeal Process Sheet

  • You have 5 (five) business days to appeal your sanctions
  • In order to appeal you must send a letter to the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs:

    Ms. Bonita Bradley, Assistant Vice President
    bradleyb@savannahstate.edu
    (912) 358-3118
  • If you DO NOT appeal within 5 (five) business days your suspension will stand as is.

The First Sentence of Your Appeal Letter Should Read
I (insert name) am appealing the charge(s) of (insert charges) on the grounds that:  (review page 55 of the Student Handbook Guideline for Appeal and choose an appeal justification that fits your case)

-After your first line you may provide an explanation as to your charges.