Will my Student Integrity case become part of my permanent record?
As required by Georgia law, the Office of Student Integrity keeps a record of all cases for 7 years after the student’s last date of attendance. Student Integrity records do not appear on a transcript and are subject to the same privacy protections as other educational records, as allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information in a conduct file can be discussed, however, if the student submits a written request to the Office of Student Integrity that outlines what information can be shared and with which specific individuals.
Will you tell my parent/guardian what happened?
In most cases, the Office of Student Integrity does not notify parents or guardians when their student has been involved in an incident. One exception to this is that parents or guardians are notified each time that a student is found responsible for a drug or alcohol violation while under the age of 21.
How will I know if I have a case with the Office of Student Integrity?
All communication is sent to a student’s GGC email address. It is very important that you check your email on a regular basis, as failure to schedule meetings can result in a decision being made without your input. Several buildings on campus have computers with internet access that you may use to check your GGC email.
Can my lawyer/parent/spouse/sibling come to my meeting with me?
Students are permitted to have an adviser of their choosing present at any meeting with the Office of Student Integrity. Students may confer with an adviser at any point during a meeting, but an adviser may not represent a student or speak on their behalf.
What if I go through the process and I do not agree with the outcome?
If you receive a decision or sanction with which you do not agree, the letter you receive will provide you with information on how to submit an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five business days of receiving the decision and must meet certain parameters. If you have questions about how to appeal, contact your hearing officer in the Office of Student Integrity.
Can I get kicked out of school for violating a policy?
If a student is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct, the hearing officer or hearing board will determine appropriate sanctions or consequences. It is possible that a student can be suspended or expelled from GGC as a result of an incident, but this does not happen with every case. In all cases, the hearing officer or hearing board takes many different factors into account when determining appropriate sanctions, such as the individual facts of an incident and any prior conduct history of the responsible student.
What if I do not come to my meeting or comply with my sanctions?
Students who do not participate in the Student Integrity process as directed can face additional charges for failing to comply. In addition, a student may receive an Integrity hold on their student account, which will prevent them from registering for future semesters or obtaining transcripts.
What if I see something that might be considered a violation of policy?
Any member of the GGC community may report an incident to the Office of Student Integrity via our website. Our office only has jurisdiction over students, but if you are experiencing an issue with someone else in the GGC community, our office can provide you with tools to help resolve the conflict in an appropriate manner.
What will happen at my meeting with the Office of Student Integrity?
At your meeting, you will have the opportunity to review the contents of your file, receive information about your rights and responsibilities in the Student Integrity process, respond to the charges against you, and select a resolution method for the case.
Can I get a copy of my records?
If you wish to obtain copies of information in your file, contact your assigned hearing officer in the Office of Student Integrity.
What is the difference between informal and formal resolution?
Informal resolution is an option when a student accepts responsibility for all of the charges against them and when the circumstances of the case do not warrant a consideration of higher level sanctions (removal from student housing, suspension or dismissal). The student and the hearing officer will discuss the incident, and the hearing officer will then determine appropriate sanctions for the case. The student is notified of these sanctions via a decision letter that is sent to their GGC email account.
Formal resolution is when a student presents information and witnesses on their own behalf in front of either their assigned hearing officer in the Office of Student Integrity or a meeting of the Student Integrity Board. The hearing officer or hearing board may ask questions of the student and any witnesses presented. The hearing officer or hearing board will then determine whether or not the student is responsible or not responsible for violating any sanctions and will determine appropriate sanctions (if the student is found responsible). A decision letter outlining the findings as well as any sanctions will be sent to the student’s GGC email address. If a student disagrees with the findings or sanctions resulting from a formal hearing, the student may submit an appeal. Appeal information is included as part of the decision letter.
Who has access to my file?
Student conduct records are considered educational records and are protected under FERPA. No information contained in a record can be released unless the student or students involved have given their written consent for the information to be released.
Why do I have a hold on my account from the Office of Student Integrity?
Student Integrity holds are placed on student records for several reasons, including failure to schedule or attend a meeting or hearing, or failure to comply or submit sanctions. If you have a Student Integrity hold and are not sure how to resolve it, contact the Office of Student Integrity and our staff will assist you in determining what actions need to happen for the hold to be removed.
To avoid having holds placed, it is important to check your GGC email regularly and respond to any meeting requests or other communications from the Office of Student Integrity.
Where can I review my discipline records?
If you need to review or verify your records, visit the Office of Student Integrity during normal business hours.
My student received a letter. How can I help them?
If your student receives a letter from the Office of Student Integrity, it is important that they contact our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Can I attend my student’s meeting?
Students are allowed to have an adviser present at any meeting or hearing. An adviser can be any individual of the student’s choosing, including a parent. Advisers are not able to speak during a hearing and may not represent a student or present information on their behalf.
Can I hire an attorney to represent my student?
An attorney can serve as an adviser and is subject to the same policies mentioned above.
Will I be notified of the results of my student’s case?
All correspondence from the Office of Student Integrity is sent to the student’s GGC email address. Parents are only notified if their student violates a policy regarding alcohol or drugs and he/she is under 21.
Is my student also being charged through the legal system?
It is possible that criminal charges may be pending against your student. However, the legal process and the Student Integrity process are separate. The Student Integrity process will proceed regardless of the status of any criminal proceeding.
My student is telling me someone else is responsible for the incident. Will that student be charged?
FERPA prevents the Office of Student Integrity from disclosing to a student whether or not another student may have been charged with a violation of policy. We encourage all students to provide as much information as possible about an incident, so anyone involved can be held accountable.
What sanctions can result from the Student Integrity process?
If a student is found responsible for violating any part of the Code of Conduct, the hearing officer or hearing board will determine appropriate consequences for the student. A variety of factors are considered during the sanctioning process, including but not limited to any threats to the health and safety of the GGC community, any prior incidents, and the student’s career or life goals. Sanctions are designed to be educational in nature and to help support the student’s future success. If a student disagrees with any sanctions that are assigned, an appeal process is provided to voice concerns.
How does the Student Integrity process affect my student’s financial aid or scholarship?
If a student is suspended or dismissed from GGC as a result of a Code of Conduct violation, they may be immediately withdrawn from any classes that they are currently attending, which may impact their financial aid for current and future semesters. If a student is suspended or dismissed, it is recommended that they contact the Office of Financial Aid
to make sure that they understand their financial aid standing and make appropriate arrangements. If a student is placed on probation, it means that the student is not in good conduct standing with the College, which could impact eligibility for certain scholarships.