Student Guidelines, Expectations, and Rights
Gardner-Webb University is a community of volunteers—no one is required to work or enroll without his/her full consent. Faculty and staff are invited to work in, and students are invited to join, the academic community. For all who work, study and learn at the institution there are University rules and regulations that should be viewed as contributing to the common good of the community. As an institution of Christian higher education, it is hoped that the community will be a place where students, faculty and staff will become more humane and Christ-like. When this happens a concern for the common good and community will develop.
For the student, reasonable rules, regulations and expectations should be viewed as necessary for creating a positive and healthy environment conducive to a living and learning community. It is hoped that students who voluntarily join the community will develop a loyalty and a commitment to the environment. When this is done, students will neither be, as reluctant nor feel as threatened, to confront an offensive student who threatens the community standards.
Our Value System in “Bulldog Country”
The University seeks to provide learning of distinction in the liberal arts and in professional studies within a caring community based upon Christian principles and values.
- The Christian faith is the primary source for our values.
- We are committed to Christian values that create an academic community that is orderly, caring, and just.
- We believe every person is a person of worth.
- We appreciate and respect cultural backgrounds different from our own.
- We have an understanding of different attitudes and opinions.
- We do not tolerate any form of harassment, hazing, lewd or indecent behavior, or inappropriate sexual activity.
- We value personal responsibility and recognize the individual's need for physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional wholeness.
- We value the full development of every student in terms of a confident and constructive self-image, a commitment to self-discipline, and responsible self-expression.
- We value a campus community that encourages personal growth and academic development in an atmosphere of positive Christian influence.
- We value the rights and privileges of owning and using property, both personal and of the University, and the benefits of preservation and maintenance of property and of our natural resources.
- We value privileges and responsibilities as members of the University academic community and as citizens of the world community.
- As an institution based upon Christian principles and values, Gardner-Webb University respects the worth and dignity of all persons and does not condone behavior contrary to those principles and values.
The term “discipline” is a derivative of the word “disciple,” which means “a learner”. Discipline by its very nature is meant to be redemptive, corrective, and positive, not necessarily punitive. Student Development educators believe the disciplinary process should be viewed as a valuable teaching and learning process. It is not unusual for young adults to experience some difficulty in adjusting to university life away from home, to experiment with different aspects of life, and to test the values and expectations of their families and/or
the University. An important aspect of Christian higher education is “value education.” As a character-building school, the University strongly believes that it really does matter how one lives his or her life. Our mission is to “change the world one student at a time in Jesus' name.”
Gardner-Webb University students are pledged to uphold honesty, integrity, and truthfulness in all realms of University life. Students are not to lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.
As a community of scholars founded upon the ideals of Christianity, Gardner-Webb University expects its students to develop and display a strong sense of academic integrity. As in any community, this institution must be governed by regulations; and like the laws of any community, these rules function best when they are fully understood, accepted and cherished by each and every individual member of the community. Therefore, all students and faculty members are expected to be familiar with and to base their actions upon the following statements regarding academic honesty.
- Students should recognize that the regulations governing academic integrity exist for the protection of the honest and that dishonesty in an academic setting must not be tolerated, much less condoned.
- Students are responsible for their own work. Any assignment turned in by a student is assumed to be the work of the student whose name appears on the assignment.
- Students are ultimately responsible for understanding a faculty member’s instructions for any assignment. If instructions are not clear, students must seek clarification from the instructor.
- Students must understand the definitions of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
- Students should familiarize themselves with the proper use of citations and quotations in order to avoid accidentally passing someone else’s work off as their own.
- Students are expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to their professor.
- Any student who threatens or coerces another student or faculty member for reporting a Honor Code violation will face disciplinary action, with expulsion being the recommended punishment.
- Faculty must explain all assignments as thoroughly as is reasonable and should address any extraordinary limitations on outside assistance.
- Faculty members should take reasonable precautions in giving tests to ensure that violations do not occur. The fact that a faculty member did not take a specific precaution does not, however, constitute an excuse for any form of academic dishonesty.
- Faculty must be willing to investigate and, if circumstances warrant, press charges against students suspected of academic dishonesty.
- Faculty members must file an Academic Dishonesty Report any time they issue an Official Warning or charge a student with an infraction.
- Faculty members must seek to be fair in their dealings with students, particularly regarding cases of academic dishonesty, and must realize that no student can be convicted on suspicion alone.
- Faculty members may ask students to sign a statement of academic honesty prior to turning in an exam, term paper, or project to their professor stating: “I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment.”
Academic Dishonesty is the deliberate and knowing misrepresentation of one’s academic work. A student is dishonest when two circumstances occur: (1) The student could reasonably be expected to know that his/her professor would disapprove of some aspect or circumstance of the student’s academic work; and (2) the student submits work to the instructor for evaluation while hiding that particular aspect or circumstance from the instructor.
To do so is clearly dishonest because the instructor will evaluate the work as what he/she understands it to be. The student has deceived the instructor by misrepresenting the work, and the evaluation has not been rightly earned. From another perspective, academic dishonesty may be viewed as the use of unauthorized assistance in any work that is to be evaluated –“unauthorized” meaning that the professor would not approve of the form of assistance received and is unaware of its use. The student is being dishonest if he/she deliberately hides this assistance from the instructor while knowing the instructor would not approve of this assistance. If the instructor is unaware of the assistance that has been received he/she will evaluate the work as being entirely the student’s own. Thus, the evaluation has not been fairly earned by the student. Furthermore, any student who knowingly gives unauthorized assistance is also guilty of academic dishonesty.
On tests and examinations academic dishonesty occurs when a student receives any assistance that the professor has not expressly permitted. It may take the form of looking on another student’s test paper or bringing into the test site any information or materials not expressly permitted by the professor. Both of the above definitions of academic dishonesty apply: the student has misrepresented the test as being entirely his/her own work. Furthermore, the student has received unauthorized assistance.
On research papers, reports and other written assignments a form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which is the use of someone else’s information or exact words without properly “documenting” or identifying that source. Whenever someone else’s exact words are used those words must be properly punctuated as a quotation and the source fully identified. Also, any information or ideas that have been taken from a source other than the student’s own personal knowledge “book, article, interview, etc.,” must be properly documented, even though the student may be rephrasing the information in his/her own words. A student should not hesitate to consult the professor about any question or uncertainty regarding proper documentation or research information.
A professor may often allow and even encourage students to work together on assignments or receive assistance from other students, other faculty members, other university staff members, friends, family or others. However, if the professor has not expressly allowed such assistance and expects the assignment to be done entirely by the student, to do otherwise would be dishonest. The student should consult the professor if there is any doubt about outside assistance being permitted.
The examples above are not intended to be a full list of cases of academic dishonesty, but they illustrate the definition. Ultimately, academic dishonesty amounts to deliberately hiding something from the professor. So the best advice is this: whenever in any doubt, consult the professor.
(Policies may differ in graduate programs. Graduate students should consult the Graduate Catalog.)
The purpose of official warnings is to provide the Gardner-Webb community with a more flexible way of addressing instances of academic dishonesty. In essence, it creates a way of handling misdemeanor cases to complement the existing system for handling more serious instances (see Formal Charges section below). Faculty should issue a warning when they deem it appropriate, typically this will be when a student engages in academic dishonesty on a relatively minor assignment, or where the academic dishonesty affects only a small portion of a larger assignment. A warning would also be suitable in cases where the instructor judges that the student’s actions, while unacceptable, were more the result of ignorance than a deliberate effort to deceive. A warning is also acceptable in other cases where faculty members who, in their best professional judgment, believe that an act of academic dishonesty occurred, but for whatever reason, do not wish to file formal charges against the suspected perpetrator. Faculty members must indeed have evidence to issue warnings, they must be able to explain what specific violation has occurred and be able to document their charges. Students have, as always, the right to appeal any decision made by university officials.
The instructor must meet with the student(s) involved and thoroughly explain the specific type of violation, the reasons for suspecting an irregularity, and should also emphasize the importance of academic honesty to the student(s). In this conference, the instructor should also conscientiously listen to the student’s position as well. Upon completion of the conference, if the instructor deems a warning is merited, he or she should send an Academic Dishonesty Report indicating an Official Warning has been issued. The Report should also include details of the incident (including copies of any evidence available), the student's position and the faculty member's rationale for not filing formal charges of academic dishonesty. The Report must be signed by both faculty member and student and filed with the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education. The Academic Dishonesty Report must be filed within one week of the faculty member's conference with the student. Upon receipt of the Report, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education will send a copy of the Academic Dishonesty Report to the Registrar's Office. The Report will become part of the student's confidential disciplinary file in the Associate Provost's office and will serve as a record of the student having been warned about the nature and consequences of academic dishonesty. Thus, it may be used as evidence should any charges of academic dishonesty be filed against that student in the future. The warning, however, does not count as a student's first incident in determining sanctions should an actual charge be filed at some future date. The instructor's right to assign an appropriate grade on any assignment remains in effect.
In cases where a student has already received a warning or has been found responsible of Academic Dishonesty (first or second incident ) a warning is not appropriate. In these cases, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education will contact the instructor issuing the warning to inform him or her of the student’s prior responsible outcome. The instructor must then file formal charges against the student.
The student’s right of appeal and all appeals policies remain in effect concerning decisions made in this process. In the case of an official warning, a student may indicate, within one week, that he or she us not responsible and request a review of the decision commensurable with the process of review in the case of a formal charge outlined below.
When a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, he or she must investigate the incident as fully as is reasonably possible. If, based upon a thorough investigation of the incident, the faculty member concludes that the student has committed an act of academic dishonesty serious enough to warrant formal charges the faculty member must present the charges and the evidence to the student in a conference. A student may plead responsible to the charges and thereby waive his/her right to a hearing. The student who pleads responsible agrees to accept whatever penalty the faculty member deems fitting (ranging from a lowered grade on the assignment to assigning a "FX" for the course). An Academic Dishonesty Report indicating the offense and the penalty assessed for the infraction (or the student’s intention to contest) must be signed by both faculty member and student and filed with the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education. The Academic Dishonesty Report must be filed within one week of the faculty member’s conference with the student. Upon receipt of the report, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education will send a copy of the Academic Dishonesty Report to Registrar Services.
The case is closed at this point, unless one or both of the following occur:
- The student wishes to contest the faculty member’s charges on the grounds of inadequate or newly discovered evidence, or unfair treatment. Such an intention must be filed in writing, with the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education within one week of conference with the faculty member (i.e. the date listed on the Academic Dishonesty Report). This intention to contest should state as fully and plainly as possible the grounds for contesting the charge.
- The Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education determines that this is the student’s second offense.
In either case, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education will contact members of the DCP Academic Judicial Board to review the evidence in the case. The Academic Judicial Board shall include the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education for DCP student(s) or the appointed representative thereof, the Associate or Assistant Dean of DCP and a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda. Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) members are selected based on recommendations of the Associate and Assistant Deans, GPA and recommendations from the faculty. ASL members may serve on the DCP Academic Judicial Board for up to two years.
In the case of a contested charge, the Academic Judicial Board will convene for a hearing. At the hearing, both the student and the faculty member may present evidence regarding the charges. In accordance with University policies, students may ask anyone from within the University community to appear on their behalf at the hearing. Members of the DCP Academic Judicial Board are expected to hear the case objectively and decide the case based upon the presentation of evidence.
The Academic Judicial Board may either support or dismiss the faculty member’s charges. Should the Board find the student responsible of a second offense, the Board will levy sanctions (see below ) against the student in addition to those imposed by the faculty member, and may do so in the case of a contested first offense. The results of all proceedings will be filed with the Office of Adult and Distance Education and the Associate Dean for DCP.
A student found responsible for Academic Dishonesty may appeal the decision to the Provost of the University, but only on the basis of additional evidence unavailable at the Board hearing, improper procedure, or a sanction inconsistent with the incident . A faculty member may appeal a Board decision only on the grounds of improper procedure or a sanction inconsistent with the violation. Such an appeal must be filed, in writing, with the Provost, within 24 hours of the Board’s decision. The Provost may decide to hear the appeal or to uphold the Board’s decision. The Provost's decision is final.
The sanction for a first incident may range from penalizing the student’s grade on the specific assignment and submitting the Academic Dishonesty Report as a written record of the violation to assigning the student a failing grade for the course. When a failing grade for Academic Dishonesty has been assigned, an FX will be recorded as a permanent indication of the incident on the student's transcript.
The sanction for a second incident may range from academic probation for lesser offenses on minor assignments to suspension or expulsion for extensive dishonesty on tests, exams, or major papers. The DCP Academic Judicial Board should base, in part, its determination of the severity of the punishment upon the severity of the first infraction. Any student convicted of a second incident will receive a failing grade for the course and an FX will be recorded as a permanent indication of the incident on the student's transcript. Students responsible for any second incident will be ineligible for academic honors.
Third Incident :
Any student found responsible for a third incident of any kind will be expelled from the University with the action so noted on the student’s transcript.
Repeating Courses in which Academic Dishonesty Occurred:
University Policy regarding repeating courses is not applicable in a situation where a failing grade was assigned because of academic dishonesty (FX). An "FX" that is assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty will remain a part of the academic transcript. It cannot be removed by a course repeat and will be factored in the grade point average.
Academic Dishonesty Outcome Letters
In accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) addressing university officials considered in the category of “need to know”, it is University Policy to inform in writing the following people and/or offices of the outcome of an academic dishonesty hearing:
- the accused student
- the accused student’s appeal advisor
- the professor bringing the charges
- members of the DCP Academic Judicial Board
- the accused student’s academic advisor
- Registrar’s Office
- Provost & Executive Vice President of the University
- the accused student’s disciplinary file
The University reserves the right to adjudicate student academic dishonesty situations by means of an administrative process rather than the usual academic judicial procedure during such times as when the University is not operating under normal conditions, e.g. before classes begin in a new semester, during school vacations periods, during examination periods, and the time period between the last exam and graduation. This means there would be no student representation from the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. The accused student retains the same rights under the administrative process as under the standard academic judicial process. Any student who wishes to have their adjudication delayed until student representation is possible must make a written request to the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education prior to the scheduled hearing date specifically agreeing to the consequences delaying adjudication (such as delayed graduation, delayed registration, etc.).
The courts require fair and reasonable procedures regarding student discipline at private institutions of higher education. Thus, as a private institution, Gardner-Webb University adheres to fair procedures in terms of student judicial process. The relationship between students and private institutions is contractual and not constitutional. Due process is applicable to public institutions. Within the scope of fair procedures, the law requires the University to . . .
- Establish policies
- Have policies in writing
- Make policies accessible to students
- Adhere to those policies
The University reserves the right to react to information regarding policy or procedure violations regardless of the source of the information which may include but is not limited to official university reports, information from students/staff/faculty, police reports, internet sites (ie. Facebook, Myspace, Blogs, etc.), or other electronic communications.
The Code of Student Conduct addresses behavior that is unacceptable and prohibited within University community life. Some (not all) of these behaviors have been identified below. Students found responsible for prohibited behavior are held accountable through sanctions listed on the following pages.
Accessory/Accessory after the Fact - Being a party to, witness to, or having knowledge of, any policy violation that is occurring or has occurred without reporting such violations immediately to the proper authorities.
Aggravated Assault - An assault in which there is an intent to inflict or an attempt to inflict serious injury that may involve the use of a weapon.
Aiding/Abetting - Aiding, abetting or conspiring with another person to become involved in prohibited behavior.
(a) Possessing, consuming, being inebriated (drunk), creating a disturbance/concern due to alcohol consumption, driving while impaired, selling or distributing of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on campus; Students found in the presence of alcohol will be charged with accessory to an alcohol violation.
(b) Non-alcoholic beer is not permitted on campus.
Assault - An act or movement that conveys an intention to use force of violence or physical injury to another person.
Classroom Conduct Policy - Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner in which does not distract from or disrupt the educational pursuits of others. Should a professor determine that a student’s conduct is distractive or disruptive to the educational environment in the classroom, the professor may request the disruptive student to remove themselves immediately. The student may not return to the classroom until they have conference with the professor and assured him/her that they can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. The professor reserves the right to inform the Associate Provost for Distance Education of the incident.
In the event a student refuses to remove themselves upon request, the professor should contact University Police or local law enforcement for satellite campuses immediately. A University Police Officer or local law enforcement officer will escort the disruptive student from the class.
Contempt - Willful disregard or disobedience of directive issued out of judicial process (i.e. sanctions or University regulations).
Copyright Infringement - The unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted media (music, video, etc.). This includes sharing items on peer to peer networks like Ares, Bit Tonent, Gnutella, Lilmeare, and Morpheous.
Demonstrations - The gathering of a group of students for the purpose of a demonstration that is not orderly or peaceful and which interferes with the academic process or normal operation of the University.
Disorderly Conduct - Any disorderly behavior.
Failure to Comply - Failure to respond to a person in authority or failure to respond to a directive from an employee of the University.
Failure to respond to a call-in - Without missing an academic class, students are to respond to call-in’s by University officials in a timely manner. A call-in can be in the form of verbal and/or written communication.
Fire/Arson - Starting a fire or attempting to start a fire in a University building or on University property; arson; activities in which fire is used without prior approval.
Fire/Safety - (a) intentionally and without cause activating a university fire alarm system through a detection device or pull station. (b) Tampering or disabling a University fire detection/alarm system (c) Failure to evacuate a building or area after an alarm, signal or directive from university official (d) Safety Equipment - misusing fire prevention or safety equipment. (e) False Reporting - Intentional false reporting of a bomb, fire or any other emergency (N.C. Statute: N.C. Fire 503.2.2, Code Vol. 5).
Firearms and Weapons Policy - To possess or carry- whether openly or concealed- any firearm or weapon on property owned, used, or operated by the University is a violation of North Carolina State Law (general statute 14-269-2) and University Police. This prohibition also includes any University-sponsored curricular or extracurricular activities regardless of location.
The only exceptions to this policy are for law enforcement and military personnel carrying out their official duties and for weapons used in the conduct of ceremonial or educational activities authorized by the President or designee.
The definition of firearms and weapons includes, but is not limited to, the following: Paintball guns, air soft guns, BB guns, and forms of pellet guns, water guns, toy guns, and form of a replica of a gun, any item that can discharge projectiles, knives, clubs, or other instruments intended for use in personal combat.
If you are in doubt about any aspect of this policy, contact University Police for clarification. Lack of understanding does not justify violation of this policy.
Explosives and Fireworks Policy - Possession and/or discharge of any form of an explosive device and/or fireworks on property owned, used, or operated by the University is a violation of North Carolina State Law (General Statute 14-269.2) and University Policy. This prohibition also includes any University-sponsored curricular or extracurricular activities regardless of location.
Gambling - Any form of illegal gambling is prohibited. In addition to applicable state and federal laws, gambling is considered to be a violation of the campus Code of Conduct. Sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Students seeking assistance for possible addiction to gambling are urged to contact the Office of Counseling Services. Assessment, referral, and individual therapy are available. University counseling services are offered at no additional expense; however, services rendered by off campus health care providers are at the expense of the student.
Hazing - Playing abusive or ridiculous tricks on students, faculty or staff, to frighten, scold, beat or harass or subject one to personal indignity (N.C. Statute: 14:35).
ID Card Misuse - Each currently enrolled student is required to have a current student identification card and it must be in his/her possession at all times while on University property. A student must present his/her ID when requested to do so by an authorized University official or any authorized civil official. Lending an ID card or ID card number or using another student’s ID card number is strictly forbidden and is considered an act of falsification. The ID card is the property of the University and must be surrendered upon withdrawal from the University for any reason. Students should not leave IDs in a common or public area that is accessible for other students to use.
Illicit Relations – Relationships that are not congruent within the University Mission.
Inappropriate Behavior – Behaviors that are not congruent within the University Mission.
Littering - Any form of littering in a public area on campus.
Lying/Fraud - Furnishing false information with intention of deceiving.
Motor Vehicle Regulations - Offending motor vehicle rules and regulations.
North Carolina Statutes - Violation of state law(s).
Obscene, Lewd, Indecent Media Exhibition - The use, display, possession or exhibition of pornographic movies, video tapes, records, cassettes, posters, magazines, CD's, or other media. Includes use of computer access to pornographic sites.
Reckless Behavior - Reckless behavior that threatens safety and security.
Residence Hall/Campus Access - Students are prohibited from lending their room keys or GWU student ID card to other students and/or guests.
Residence Policy - Failure to file appropriate paperwork in advance and seek written approval from Student Development to live off-campus.
Sexual Assault - Any forced sexual activity that is against a person’s will. The force may come in the form of actual physical force or it may be mental and emotional pressure, coercion or manipulation.
Sexual Harassment - Any form of unwanted sexual behavior, such as physical contact, verbal comments or suggestions, requests for sexual favors and the like.
Skateboarding - Skateboarding is allowed on main campus for GWU students only. It is prohibited for the residents of Boiling Springs and the surrounding communities. They should be ridden on the sidewalks and out of the path of pedestrians. Tricks, stunts, and wall scaling are forbidden while on the skateboard and any student found responsible for violating this will face disciplinary action. They will also be held accountable for any damages that result in their defacing of property.
Stealing/Theft - Unauthorized taking of property or being in possession of stolen property (residential property, phone card access, etc.)
Tampering - Any tampering, misuse, unauthorized access, or illegal use of telephone, telephone cable, computer, cable TV, fire, security, radio, electrical, or other systems/technology is prohibited. Also, inappropriate use of e-mail/data processing and information systems technology is prohibited. Students are prohibited from entering equipment/custodial rooms or from accessing any electrical equipment panel for any reason.
Unauthorized Entry - Breaking and unauthorized entry into any campus facility or unauthorized area.
Vandalism - Damage to personal property and the damage to, destruction or defacement of property in general or destruction of University property.
Visitation - Being in or having someone of the opposite sex in the residence hall except during approved visitation hours.
Verbal Abuse or Harassment - Insulting, taunting or threatening communication; defaming of character; indecent language, verbal assaults; derogatory, sexist or racist remarks; or any behavior that puts another member of the college community or guest in a state of fear or anxiety.
The University reserves the right to adjudicate student judicial matters by means of an administrative process rather than the standard judicial procedure during such times as when the University is not operating under normal conditions, (i.e. before classes start at the beginning of semesters, during vacation periods, during examination periods, during any summer session, and the time period between the last exam and graduation). Although the administrative characteristics of the judicial process will be altered, the accused student retains the right to appeal any disciplinary action taken administratively one level beyond the hearing officer. All Code of Conduct policies apply equally to all DCP campuses apartment and residence hall spaces.
All students found in the presence of a violation will be charged with a corresponding code of student conduct violation.
Policies apply to the GWU community through the entire calendar year.
The Board of Trustees at Gardner-Webb has set minimum sanctions for involvement in some prohibited behaviors. Whenever a minimum sanction is not prescribed for a prohibited behavior, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education determines the sanction. The student should understand that minimum sanctions are not automatic and a hearing officer has the authority to adjust the sanction under extreme circumstances. A disciplinary warning may serve as a minimum sanction for all violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
(Failure to evacuate, pulling a fire alarm, false reporting)
- 1st offense – disciplinary probation or warning, $75 fine
- 2nd offense – restitution and suspension
(Disarming/tampering or covering up a university fire alarm system)
- 1st offense - removal from campus housing/disciplinary probation
- 2nd offense - suspension
Alcohol Consumption and/or Possession
- 1st offense - Sanction will include:
- Pay up to a $200 fine within 5 class days of notification*
- Parental/Guardian notification if under 21
- Letter sent to Academic Advisor
- Online Alcohol/Drug Education Course
- Sanction may include: Disciplinary Warning; 12 Hours of Community Service**
- 2nd offense - Sanction will include:
- Parental/Guardian Notification
- Pay up to a $300 fine within 5 class days of notification*
- Letter sent to Academic Advisor
- Alcohol Assessment through the Counseling Center and any follow up at the Counselor’s discretion
- Sanction may include: Disciplinary Probation for 1 year; 25 hours of Community Service**; Conference with the Dean of Adult and Continuing Education or his/her designee; Suspension from the University***
- 3rd offense - Suspension from the University***
Alcohol - Being in the presence of alcohol
- 1st offense - Sanction will include:
- Pay up to a $200 fine within 5 class days of notification*
- Parental/Guardian notification if under 21
- Letter sent to Academic Advisor
- Online Alcohol/Drug Education Course
- Sanction may include: Disciplinary Warning; 12 Hours of Community Service**
- 2nd offense - Sanction will include:
- Parental/Guardian Notification
- Pay up to a $300 fine within 5 class days of notification*\
- Letter sent to Academic Advisor
- Alcohol Assessment through the Counseling Center and any follow up at the Counselor’s discretion
- Sanction may include: Disciplinary Probation for 1 year; 25 hours of Community Service**; Conference with the Associate Provost for Adult Distance Education or his/her designee; Suspension from the University***
- 3rd offense - Suspension from the University***
Alcohol - Distribution of alcohol to a minor
- 1st offense - suspension from the University
Drug Possession and/or Use
- 1st offense - Sanction may include:
- $300 fine within 5 class days of notification*
- Parental/guardian notification
- Letter sent to Academic Advisor
- Online Drug Education Course
- Disciplinary Probation
- 2nd offense - Suspension from the University***
- 1st offense – Expulsion from the University
- 1st offense - $75 fine, restitution, disciplinary probation
- 2nd offense - suspension from the University
- Minimum sanction $75 fine, restitution and education
*The amount of the fine is at the discretion of the Associate Provost for Distance Education. On the 6th day, the fine doubles and the student’s account is placed on hold.
**The decision to give a student Community Service is at the discretion of the Associate Provost for Distance Education.
***Once a student is suspended, their disciplinary letter will state that if they desire to be readmitted into the University again and are found in violation of a Code, then they will be expelled.
A student who engages in prohibited behavior is subject to one, or a combination of more than one, of the following: (The Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education reserves the right to mark transcripts for suspension/expulsion/exclusion.)
Abeyance - Fines held in abeyance are not to be paid unless another violation of University Policy occurs.
Case Open - A case may remain open in the event that the hearing officer believes that additional evidence may develop or that such an outcome is in the best interest of the student(s).
Community Service - An appropriate and reasonable number of hours of specified service within the University or the community may be assigned at the discretion of the hearing officer.
Contract in Jeopardy - Official notice that continued violation of University policy will result in the termination of the University Housing Contract and immediate removal from campus housing.
Disciplinary Warning - Official written warning that continuation or repetition of inappropriate behavior may result in more severe sanctions.
Educational Sanction - A sanction that emphasizes the need to correct inappropriate behavior and encourage the student to learn from the experience may be in the form of writing a paper, required counseling, alcohol and/or drug evaluation, tasks or series of tasks that are educational in nature and/or serve to benefit a group or community at large, or some other form.
Exclusion - As a private institution, the University reserves the right at all times to exclude anyone from admission to the University whose behavior, associations, character, morals, lifestyle or academic standing is regarded as undesirable without specifying any further or specific reason for exclusion.
Expulsion - Dismissal from the University without the privilege of applying for re-admission.
Fine - Fines may be imposed at the discretion of the hearing officer. Failure to pay a fine by a deadline will subject oneself to additional sanctions. PLEASE NOTE: Payment for sanctions may not be made in coins. The Business Office reserves the right to refuse inappropriate forms of payment.
Interim Suspension - Whenever there is evidence to suspect that a student's behavior on or off campus is a clear and present threat to the health, safety and welfare of the faculty, staff, students or guests, the student may be suspended on an interim basis until a campus hearing can be arranged. A student on an interim suspension may be restricted from the campus in its entirety or from a particular program, activity, or building.
Loss of Privilege - Depending upon the nature of an offense, a student may forfeit the privilege of (1) parking on campus; (2) visitation in University housing; (3) cancellation of housing contract; (4) removal from a particular room, floor, or residence hall; (5) participation in certain co-curricular activities; (6) representing the University in an official capacity; (7) or as appropriate to the violation.
Loss of University Housing Privileges - Cancellation of the student's housing contract and the loss of the privilege of residing in University-owned housing. This includes the loss of the privilege of being in or around any University housing facility without written permission from an appropriate University official. A student who is removed from campus housing, continues to be accountable for the current semesters’ room charges.
Probation - Disciplinary Probation is an official written warning for a specified period of time that informs a student that his/her continued enrollment is in jeopardy. Violation of a prohibited behavior while on Disciplinary Probation will subject oneself to immediate suspension from the University.
Reprimand – A written statement of disapproval prepared by a University Official and delivered to the student. A copy is to be placed in the student’s disciplinary file.
Request for Withdrawal - As a private institution, the University reserves the right to withdraw any student whose behavior, associations, character, morals, or lifestyle are not consistent with the high expectations of the University and whose presence brings discredit to the good name of the University and is a detriment to campus life. The University also reserves the right to withdraw any student failing to meet minimum academic expectations regarding class attendance.
Restitution - This sanction requires a student to reimburse or otherwise compensate another for damage or loss of property resulting from a student's misconduct.
Suspension - Immediate dismissal from the University for a specified period of time during which the student's presence on the University campus is prohibited without written permission from an appropriate University official.
SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
It is the desire of the University to respect the student's right to privacy without arbitrary and capricious invasion; however, the University reserves the right to enter a student's residence hall room under the following conditions:
- to verify occupancy;
- for health and safety inspections;
- to check for cleanliness;
- to make necessary repairs and/or inventories;
- when there is reasonable cause to believe that activities are taking place which are detrimental to the University community or where the health, safety or welfare of a GWU student is in jeopardy;
- when there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of law or University guideline, policy, or rule is taking place.
It is not necessary that the student be present or contacted in advance when the room is entered for such reasons.
Searches of and seizures from a student's residence hall room, vehicle, or person must be approved by an appropriate University official, such as an Assistant Director of Residence Education, the Director of Housing & Residence Education, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education, or the Provost of the University.
Searches by civil authorities are governed by state and federal statutes which differ from Gardner-Webb University guidelines.
NOTICE TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS
The University reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of students whenever a student is found responsible for a prohibited behavior and/or whenever a serious health-related issue is involved.
A student who is charged or convicted of a crime off campus will not automatically be subject to university disciplinary proceedings unless the offense is of a nature that the student is considered to be a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the faculty, staff and students. Additionally, a student whose behavior off campus negatively impacts the University and/or student body, may be held accountable through normal disciplinary proceedings. (Students who reside off campus and host parties or similar functions will be held responsible for the actions of those attending such activities, in the event the behavior of those in attendance negatively impact the University). In such an incident, the student will be required to appear before the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education to offer an explanation as to why he/she is not a threat or explain his/her actions. If a reasonable explanation is not offered, the student will be given sanctions ranging from a reprimand to suspension.
PARENT/GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to address specific guidelines and parameters related to the realm of communication/involvement between parents/guardians of currently enrolled students and the University. The University understands and values the unique and special relationship that can exist between parents/guardians and their students. There is a sense in which the University desires to foster free and open communication; however, there are limitations.
Developmental and legal issues guide the University as it relates to dealing with parents/guardians and students in resolving potential conflicts and situations. The level of communication and involvement that parents/guardians may have been accustomed to in a high school setting will not be applicable in a university setting. Any student enrolled in the University, regardless of age, is no longer considered a minor from an educational standpoint. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) clarifies and limits the amount of information a university is allowed to share with anyone, including parents/guardians, regarding any student. More specific information regarding legal ramifications and limitations are available in the Office of the Registrar.
During the course of a student’s academic journey, there is always the possibility of an incident occurring that requires intervention and decision-making by an appropriate University official. Sometimes people have the perception that parent/guardian involvement and/or intervention will . . .
- get the student what they want;
- make things happen faster;
- make the school be more fair than they normally would be.
In reality, parent/guardian involvement only slows the process down and can make it more cumbersome and complicated for all parties concerned. Parent/guardian involvement also sends a message to the student that they are not capable nor responsible enough to handle the situation themselves. This adversely affects their maturation and hinders the developmental process. The University does not have the practice of treating students unfairly, indiscriminately, or in a capricious manner. The University is not in the business of taking advantage of students. Every situation needs to be approached from a learning standpoint.
- The temptation to jump in and “fix everything” will only lessen the learning process for the student.
- Consider the enrollment of your student as being similar to an employment situation. Whenever your student is serving in their career of choice, it would not be deemed appropriate for a parent/guardian to intercede with their employer to attempt to rectify an employee situation.
- As a private institution, University Policy prohibits parents, guardians, other relatives, and legal counsel from participating in disciplinary hearings.
[Please note: we live in a litigious society. Unfortunately, there are occasions whenever the University is threatened to be sued if a desired outcome is not achieved. Once a threat is made and/or legal counsel is involved, University Policy prohibits further communication from University officials. Official communication from the University is then expressed only through and by the University’s legal counsel.]
- Parents/guardians are not privy to a student’s educational records without the student’s permission.
- Faculty are not allowed to disclose student information, including grades, to parents/guardians without a student’s permission.
- Technically, neither parents nor guardians can withdraw students from school. Only the enrolled student may withdraw themselves. Parents/guardians may cease financial support by not making payments.
Each and every student needs to learn to . . .
- take responsibility for his/her own actions;
- take the initiative to follow the necessary steps to resolve a situation;
- accept the consequences for his/her actions.
An important aspect of Christian higher education is value education. As a character-building school, the University strongly believes that it really does matter how one lives his or her life. The University encourages every parent or guardian to enthusiastically support the University’s efforts to do what is deemed best for each student even when the results may not be the desired outcome by the student or their parent/guardian. Partner with the University as we seek to fulfill our mission. . . to change the world one student at a time. . . in Jesus’ name.
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
-- George MacDonald
A student charged with participating in a violation of the Code of Student Conduct is granted the following in order to ensure fundamental fairness in the judicial process.
A. Notice. The student has the right to be informed in writing of the charge(s) against him or her. The University must provide the charge(s) as well as the specific evidence which resulted in the charge(s) (report).
B. Procedures. The student has the right to be informed orally or in writing of the judicial procedures.
C. Right to an Appeal Advisor. An accused student has the right to be represented by an Appeal Advisor of his/her choice during a disciplinary hearing. An Appeal Advisor must be a current member of the faculty or staff or a currently-enrolled student.
NOTE: An Appeal Advisor may not be any person (faculty, staff or student) who is involved in any manner or form of the disciplinary situation in question, ie. another student who has been charged in the same incident.
Legal counsel and/or parents, guardians or other relatives are not permitted to attend these informal sessions.
D. Evidence. The student has the right to have dismissed from consideration evidence that resulted from confessions obtained by coercion or deceit and objects or documents obtained as a result of an illegal search.
E. Right to question accuser(s). The accused student has the right to question individuals bringing the specific charges.
Note: Students reporting academic dishonesty are expected to be willing to be questioned by the accused student. Having knowledge of academic dishonesty and being unwilling to address such is considered to be a violation of the Honor Code.
F. Hearing. The student has the right to respond to charges. If a student fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the hearing may be held in his/her absence. If a student is found responsible in absentia the verdict is non-appealable.
G. Written report. The student has a right to a letter reporting the result of the hearing.
H. Appeals. The student has the right to appeal a decision by the hearing officer for any of the following reasons:
- irregularity in proceedings;
- punishment inconsistent with the nature of offense;
- additional evidence not available at the hearing.
When a student pleads responsible and a minimum penalty is assessed, as stated in the Student Handbook, the student does not have the right to appeal the decision.
Please note: Appeals must be turned into the appropriate office within 24-hours of verbal and/or written notification of the sanction.
As a private institution, the University adheres to fundamental fairness or fair procedures in terms of judicial process.
A student charged with participation in prohibited behavior is notified of the specific charges, his/her rights, and the evidence that instigated the charges.
After notification the student will determine whether he/she is responsible for the charge(s) and respond accordingly.
The following persons are designated as hearing officers: Associate and Assistant Deans of the Degree Completion Program. The Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education reserve the right to appoint a Chief Hearing Officer for the DCP Academic Program.
The hearing officer has the right to add charges based on information presented during the hearing.
The student has a choice of either an administrative hearing with a Academic DCP program hearing officer or Judicial Board Hearing.
STUDENT JUDICIAL MISSION STATEMENT AND GOALS
Gardner-Webb University strives to create and maintain a judicial system to ensure the community standards as set forth in the Code of Student Conduct. Student responsibility and integrity are at the heart of this educational and growth based process. In addition, the University values student leadership and involvement. Therefore, a Judicial Board is utilized to include student in the decision making process while holding their peers accountable for the community standards. As a result, student behavior is addressed equitably promoting an educational environment where students can successfully achieve academic goals.
- to address student misconduct
- to enhance the learning and development of students through educational conversations
- to ensure student rights
- to prepare students for “real world” experiences
- to treat students in a fair and consistent manner
- to create an educational atmosphere
Judicial cases of alleged student misconduct can be heard by the Hearing Officer of the Degree Completion Program of the Judicial Board. The Judicial Board is an option for students who choose not to have the case heard by one person. Composition of the Judicial Board will include one student, one faculty member, and the Judicial Board Advisor, who is the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education or designee.
(Please note: the composition of the Board may be altered to accommodate Board member's schedules)
After a report is filed with the Office of the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education the student is notified and meets with the Judicial Board Advisor. The student is made aware of the specifics of the report, their student rights, and then he/she will provide a response of responsible or not responsible to the charge at hand.
Upon completion of the administrative intake, the student makes a choice as to the format of the hearing. The student may either choose to have the case adjudicated by the Judicial Board or Hearing Officer. If the student chooses a Judicial Board he/she will indicate in writing the choice and provide consent to share his or her judicial file with the board. A Hearing Officer will be assigned to each Judicial Board case to attend the hearing and ensure the student’s rights are protected. The Hearing Officer is appointed by the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education or designee.
When the hearing format is chosen, then a specific time and location for the hearing is provided in writing to the student. Upon completion of the hearing, the Judicial Board or Hearing Officer will formulate a decision. Afterward a letter will be sent from the Judicial Board and Chief Hearing Officer informing the student of the outcome. In addition, the letter will outline specific sanctions and the University appeals process, if necessary. If a student fails to appear for the hearing, the case will be heard in the student’s absence and decision /sanction rendered.
In the case that the Judicial Board makes the decision, the decision is forwarded to the Office of the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education for processing.
The Judicial Board is bound by ethics and appropriately apply policies and procedures. The Hearing Officer assigned to the case is responsible for maintaining the integrity and equitable application of these procedures. Adjustments in the judicial process may be made as necessary to ensure that all students rights are maintained. The University endeavors to create an environment where the “student voice” is a vital source of accountability and education!
Note: Cases involving alleged victims may be administered by a Hearing Officer to ensure privacy as well as cases heard near or around breaks or when it is deemed in the best interest of the student and the university.
A student may appeal a decision by the Hearing Officer. The only time a student may not appeal a decision is when the student pleads responsible and the minimum penalty is assessed or a responsible verdict in absentia is nonappealable. The student must decide within 24 hours of verbal notification of the sanction as to whether to make an appeal. An appeal can be made for any of the following reasons:
- irregularity in proceedings
- punishment inconsistent with the nature of the offense
- additional evidence not available at the hearing
Disciplinary action taken by the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education is appealable to the Provost. The reason for the appeal is distributed to the Provost. The Provost may choose not to hear an appeal and, thereby, uphold the original decision and sanction. In the event the Provost decides to hear the appeal, the Provost reserves the right to decrease or increase the sanction at his/her discretion. The decision of the Provost is final.
EXPUNGEMENT POLICY (THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLEANSE OR ERASE ONE’S STUDENT DISCIPLINARY RECORD)
The University’s student judicial process holds students accountable for their actions and encourages students to accept the consequences of their actions; however, it is not the intent nor desire of the University to negatively impact a student’s future in terms of employment or graduate school prospects. Therefore, the University provides an opportunity for expungement in some circumstances. The Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education handles the expungement process. All requests and inquires regarding expungement of student judicial records should be submitted to the office of the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education.The actions taken by the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education are final.
CRITERIA FOR EXPUNGEMENT:
- The campus disciplinary action must not be the result of a serious campus code violation (e.g. sexual assault, weapons, illegal drug distribution, etc.).
- Student requesting expungement must have passed at least 90 academic hours.
- One full academic semester must have elapsed since the initial charge and sanction against the student.
- There must be no other pending disciplinary action at the time of request.
- There must be no outstanding financial obligations to the University (e.g. Business office, Library, Financial Planning Office, University Police, Residence Life Office, or any other University Office).
EXPUNGEMENT MAY BE DENIED, BUT NOT RESTRICTED TO THE FOLLOWING:
- Initial campus disciplinary action was taken as a result of criminal related offense.
- No appreciable amount of time has elapsed to indicate change in initial behavior or attitude of student.
- Student(s) not enrolled for consecutive semesters, thereby limiting observance of campus behavior and attitude.
Any Student who believes he/she has been discriminated against by a member of the faculty, an employee of the University, or by a fellow student is encouraged to file a complaint. If a student believes he/she has been discriminated against in accordance with policies and practices listed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, or section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, he or she may make a claim that his or her rights have been denied.
Claims or grievances should be filed with the appropriate University official. Complaints and grievances related to academic matters should be made in accordance with policies and procedures stated in the current Catalog of Graduate Programs. Complaints and grievances related to non-academic employees of the University should be made to the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education.
Complaints and grievances related to student life, student activities, residence life, counseling, safety and security, or campus ministry should be made to the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education.
Complaints and grievances related to admissions practices, recruitment, and financial aid should be made to the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management. Complaints and grievances related to accounts payable and business office related functions should be made to the Vice President of Business Administration. Complaints and grievances related to athletics should be made to the Vice President for Athletics. Complaints and grievances related to public relations, publications, should be made to the Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing. Complaints related to donations should be made to the Vice President for Advancement.
Complaints and grievances specifically related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504 should be made to the Director of Human Resources, who serves as the ADA/504 coordinator. [Complaints and grievances specifically related to educational support services may be made to the Director of the Noel Program for the Disabled.] Complaints and grievances unresolved at this level may be addressed to the Human Relations Committee. The Director of Human Resources will assist with the forwarding of unresolved complaints and grievances to the Human Relations Committee.
Decisions by the Human Relations Committee are subject to review by the Provost. The Provost may take whatever action he deems necessary and appropriate. The Provost’s conclusions and actions are final.
If a student believes he/she has been harassed or otherwise discriminated against because of race, gender, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service, the student should report the matter immediately to the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education. In the case of sexual harassment, the complaint should be made in accordance with the University’s sexual harassment policy as stated in the current student handbook. If a student is not sure how to file a complaint, the Associate Provost for Adult and Distance Education will assist the student. Complaints should be presented orally to the appropriate University officials described above. If an informal discussion of the matter is not satisfactory, a written statement of the complaint will be requested. A written statement should contain the following:
- The exact nature and details of the grievance.
- The date, time, and place of the grievance.
- The names of witnesses or persons who have knowledge of the grievance.
- Any available written documentation or evidence that is relevant to the grievance.
The University official who receives the written complaint will investigate the complaint and take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate and will respond to the student in a timely manner. If a student has followed the grievance policy process and remains dissatisfied with the response to the complaint, the student may appeal to the Graduate Council or to the School of Divinity Appeals Committee, whichever is appropriate, for academic matters and to the University Appeal Board for non-academic matters. Decisions by the University Appeal Board are subject to review by the Provost. The Provost may take whatever action he deems necessary and appropriate. The Provost’s conclusions and actions regarding the complaint are final.