SACS Home at The University of West Georgia

Log On


3.9 Student Affairs and Services

Comprehensive Standard:

3.9.1 The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to the campus community. (Student rights)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The rights and responsibilities of the students of the University of West Georgia conform to sound educational practices and legal principles. Specifically, the University policies related to this area are in compliance with FERPA [1] and the official polices of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Two particular Board of Regents publications directly convey student rights and responsibilities.  The Board’s Policy Manual addresses these issues in Section 4.0 (Student Affairs), and the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook similarly addresses these issues in Section 3.0 (also Student Affairs). Fundamentally, the Board of Regents establishes authority for monitoring and responding to issues of students’ rights and responsibilities in Section 4.1 of the BOR Policy Manual: 

"Admission, discipline, promotion, graduation, and formulation of all rules and regulations pertaining to students of USG institutions are matters to be handled by the institutions within the framework of regulations of the Board of Regents. Students violating rules and regulations of an institution may be punished, suspended, excluded, or expelled as may be determined by the institution" [2].  

In this regard, and within the parameters established by the Board of Regents, the University of West Georgia has developed, disseminates, and applies its institutional policies associated with student rights and responsibilities.

The University of West Georgia student rights and responsibilities are defined and detailed in the Student Code of Conduct published by the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Division as Appendix A [3] of the "UWG Connection and Student Handbook" [4]. The handbook is prepared by the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Division and is distributed to new students during orientation (both first year and transfer students) and made available online.   The Student Code of Conduct articulates the following:

"Students are admitted to the University of West Georgia with the expectation that they will have developed acceptable personal standards of conduct and ethics. Students are expected to have a responsible attitude toward regulations and standards of the university and the laws of the community, state, and nation and to respect the standards of their fellow students.

University regulations go into effect at the time a student matriculates and continue until the time of graduation or withdrawal. In completing the application for admission to the University of West Georgia, the student agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the university. Students should realize that they may be held accountable through the university discipline system for their behavior, whether on or off campus, when an offense is directed at the university or a member of the university community and is a violation of the Student Conduct Code" [3].  

The "UWG Connection and Student Handbook" also conveys academic polices. Academic policies are described in detail in the report for Comprehensive Standard 3.4.5.    

The Student Code of Conduct governs both student academic conduct (e.g., cheating, plagiarism)and general conduct (e.g., disruptive behavior, assault) related to university property, events, and the university community.  In addition to policies related to academic and general conduct, the Student Code of Conduct contains a variety of administrative policies that pertain to individual students as well as to student organizations.

The Code of Conduct is further reinforced in a series of additional, specific policies related to student behavior.  Many of these policies are included as appendices in "Rights and Responsibilities" section of the "UWG Connection and Student Handbook"  [4]. The section includes the following rights and responsibilities:  

UWG Students and Alcohol

Honor Code

Appendix A - Code of Conduct

Appendix B - University Hazing Policy

Appendix C - Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Rights and Complaints, Grievances or Making a Complaint

Appendix D - Civil Right Grievance Procedures for Students (the report for Federal Requirement 4.5 provides specific examples of complaints and how they were handled by the institution)

Appendix E - Procedures for Appeals of Grade Determination and Academic Dishonesty

Appendix F - Procedures for Appeals of Undergraduate Admission

Appendix G - Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid: Learning Support, GPA Requirement, Course Completion, Undeclared Major, Maximum Hours, Appealing Academic Progress Suspension

Appendix H - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Confidentiality of Student Reports

Appendix I - Confidentiality of Library Patron Records

Appendix J - Hardship Withdrawal

Appendix K - Appeals to the Board of Regents

Appendix L - Policy Governing Outdoor Speeches, Demonstrations, Distribution of Written Material and Marches

Appendix M - Policy Concerning Auxiliary Groups

Appendix N - Students Complaints

Appendix O - Complains by Distance Learning Students (this policy provides evidence that UWG  is in compliance with the SACS Policy on "Distance and Corresponding Education [5]

Tailgating Polices and Procedures

Policies and procedures related to registered student organizations are described in the Registered Student Organizations Handbook [6]

Additional policies are not part of the code of Conduct, but are available on university web pages:

Smoking Policy [7]

Weapons [8]

Tailgating Policies and Procedures [9]

Residence Hall Policies [10]

In addition to defining student responsibilities, student rights are described in Appendix A of the Student Handbook [3].  Included are procedures and rights afforded students within the judicial system including:

Standards of Due Process

Parental Notification

Disciplinary Procedures

Resolution of Discipline Cases

Hearing Procedures

Discipline Sanctions

Appeals

Interim Suspension

Student Organizations

   
Individual departments/units have often established student rights and responsibilities that are relevant to the administration of specific programs or services. For example:        

The Admissions Office has a General Admissions Policy posted in the Undergraduate Catalog [11] and Graduate Catalog [12]

Career Services applies a number of polices including No Show, EEO, and privacy policies [13]

The Information Technology Services (ITS) department has created a number of polices regarding use of technology [14].

The Health Services Office has policies related to eligibility for services [15], confidentiality/privacy [16], and immunization [17]

The Registrar's Office has policies and procedures related to add/drop and withdrawal and refunds from courses [18]

The documentation requirements [19] for accommodations from Student Disability Services are documented on the Board of Regents website. The University West of Georgia information related to disability serives is available on the Counseling and Career Development website [20], [21].  

It should be noted that in Compliance with the SACS policy on "Distance and Correspondence Education" [5], all students have access to the resources mentioned above and to adequate procedures for resolving their complaints (as described in the narrative for Federal Requirement 4.5), regardless of the mode of delivery of the classes they are taking.

Supporting Documentation: