2023-2024 Administrative Policy Manual Published August 22, 2023 
    
    Feb 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Administrative Policy Manual Published August 22, 2023

Section 12 - Miscellaneous


 

12.0 Miscellaneous

Reviewed May 26, 2016

See Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 12.0.

 

Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

Policy Number: 12.1
Effective Date: April 21, 2023
Revision History: February 2022; February 1, 2018
Policy Contact: Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

The Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment (“NDAH”) Policy provides information and guidance regarding discrimination and harassment, the investigation of allegations related to discrimination and/or harassment (based on a protected class), and the consequences for discrimination and/or harassment.

Georgia Gwinnett College (“GGC” or “College”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect and is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment. GGC does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. 

GGC adheres to Board of Regents (“BOR”) Policy Manual 6.7 Sexual Misconduct Policy and BOR Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual Policy on Prohibit Discrimination & Harassment. Applicable sections of these BOR policies are incorporated by reference. All allegations of discrimination and harassment based on the protected categories, except for Title IX Sexual Misconduct (which includes Sexual Harassment (Title IX), Sexual Assault (Title IX), Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (Title IX), Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (Title IX), Dating Violence (Title IX), Domestic Violence (Title IX), Sexual Exploitation (Title IX), Stalking (Title IX), and Gender Harassment (Title IX)), alleged against a student Respondent(s) (as defined by APM 4.1.7) will be covered by this policy and applicable BOR policies. Allegations of Title IX Sexual Misconduct are governed by APM 4.1.7 Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Bias based on the protected categories of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment, marital, parental, and pregnancy status), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, creed, or veteran status will not hinder employment, study or institutional services, programs, or activities. Bias factors will not be permitted to have an adverse influence upon decisions regarding students, employees, applicants for admission, applicants for employment, contractors, volunteers, or participants in or users of institutional programs, services, and activities. GGC will continue in its efforts to maintain an institutional environment free of such bias and restates its policy prohibiting the interference of such bias.

Every member of the GGC Community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. Every College employee has an obligation to observe College policies as a term of employment.

II. Scope

All members of the College community (as defined below) are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

III. Definitions

APM 4.1.7 Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy  contains definitions related to Sexual Misconduct.

The following are additional definitions: 

Amorous Relationships: The College follows APM 8.2.23 Policy on Amorous Relationships, which prohibits some forms of amorous relationships. However, amorous relationships that are not prohibited under GGC policy may still result in Sexual Harassment allegations.  See the Policy on Amorous Relationships for additional information.

College Community: Any persons employed by or affiliated with the College in any way and persons participating in any College program or activity, including, but not limited to: College faculty, staff, administrators, employees, job applicants, independent contractors, and vendors; college students; volunteers and participants in any college program or activity; and guests and visitors to campus, to any property owned or leased by the College, or to any property where a college program or activity is being conducted.

Complainant: A student, employee, or third-party who is reported to have experienced Discrimination or Harassment as defined by this policy.

Confidential Employees: Institution employees who have been designated by College’s Title IX Coordinator to talk with an alleged Complainant in confidence. The Title IX Coordinator has designated clinical staff at the College Counseling & Psychological Services (“CAPS”) and medical professionals and staff at Health Services as Confidential Employees. Clinical staff at CAPS and medical professionals and staff at Health Services are Confidential Employees only when acting in the capacity of their role as a counselor or health care provider.

Minimal reporting by Confidential Employees must be submitted in compliance with Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”).

Discrimination: Decision-making based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment, marital, parental, and pregnancy status), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, creed, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

Other examples that may constitute discrimination as defined above include, without limitation:

  1. Hiring, termination, promotion, salary actions, and other employment decisions based on protected categories, i.e. race, sex, disability, etc.;
  2. Assigning grades, or making academic decisions based on protected categories, such as race, sex, disability, age, etc.; and/or
  3. Refusing acceptance or admission to a person based on protected categories, such as race, sex, disability, age, etc., or to a person with a disability without consideration of accommodations.

Discriminatory harassment: Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based race, color, sex (including sexual harassment, marital, parental, and pregnancy status), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, creed, or veteran status when it is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:

  1. Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance;
  2. Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment; or
  3. Unreasonably interfere with or limit one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an instructional program or activity.

Qualified individual: An individual who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements for the particular position they hold or desire and who is capable of performing the essential functions of that position, with or without reasonable accommodation for any disability.

Reasonable accommodations (employees): In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a qualified disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of “reasonable accommodations”:

  1. Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or
  2. Modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or
  3. Modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodations (students): Please refer to the Disability Services Policy and Procedure Manual.

Reasonable Person: An individual who is objectively reasonable under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person being evaluated by the institution.

Reporter: An individual who reports an allegation of conduct that may violate this Policy but who is not a party to the complaint.

Responsible Employees: All College employees (faculty, staff, student employees, and administrators), with the exception of Confidential Employees, must immediately report actual or suspected sexual harassment or misconduct defined by this policy to the Title IX Coordinator. Student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are considered Responsible Employees for purposes of this Policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders, etc.). Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this Policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not directly reported to them. Failure of a Responsible Employee to report an incident, defined by this Policy, of which they become aware, is a violation of College policy and that Responsible Employee can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.

Respondent: An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Discrimination or Harassment under this policy.

Substantially limiting: A disability is substantially limiting if it substantially impairs the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population. An impairment need not prevent or significantly or severely restrict the individual from performing a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer, Title VI Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator: The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator (“Title IX Coordinator”) serves as the Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer, and the College’s Title VI Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is the individual designated by the President with responsibility for providing education and training about prohibited discrimination and harassment to the College community and for receiving and overseeing the investigation of reports and complaints of discrimination and harassment in accordance with this policy. The Title IX Coordinator or their designee may make recommendations to the President or the President’s designee, or other offices (such as Human Resources or Legal Affairs) as appropriate, if remedial, preventative, or disciplinary measures should be taken.

  2. Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance Investigator/Disability (504) Coordinator: The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance Investigator (“the Investigator”) shall be appointed to investigate individual complaints by the Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Officer or his/her designee to conduct investigations pursuant to alleged violations of the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. The Investigator also shall be appointed to individual complaints by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee to conduct investigations pursuant to alleged violations of the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance Investigator also has compliance oversight for the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  3. The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office does not serve as an advocate or representative for any party.
  4. Chief Human Resources Officer or designee
  5. Dean of Students or designee
V. Rights and Responsibilities
  1. Reporting      
    1. Obligation to Report: Any Responsible Employees, including student employees, who is not a Confidential Employee who knows of, or receives a complaint of, potential discrimination or harassment or potential violation of the NDAH Policy must fully report the information or complaint to the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office promptly.
      1. A complaint or report of discrimination or harassment made to any Responsible Employee generally obligates the College to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation. The responsibility to investigate rests with the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office and not with the Responsible Employee who receives the complaint or report.
      2. Failure to promptly report may constitute a separate violation of the NDAH Policy and may provide a basis for discipline under this policy. This provision does not apply to disclosures of Sexual Misconduct to Confidential Employees as identified by the USG Sexual Misconduct Policy, GGC’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy, or this policy.
    2. GGC encourages any person who feels they have been discriminated against or harassed to promptly report the incident to the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office. Any member of the GGC Community who observes discrimination or harassment of another person on campus, in connection with a College program or activity, or in a manner that creates a hostile environment for members of the GGC Community should report the conduct to Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office. No member of the GGC Community should assume that an official of the College already knows about a particular discriminatory or harassing situation. 
    3. Complaints and reports of discrimination and harassment should be reported as soon as possible after the incident(s) in order to be most effectively investigated. Complaints may be made in person, in writing, via submission of a complaint form (available here), email (titleix@ggc.edu), or via the telephone (678-407-5085). Under some circumstances, including for complaints made under Title IX, Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office may require a Complainant to submit a complaint in writing. Complaints can also be made anonymously through the online complaint form linked above, but this may limit the extent to which the complaint can be investigated.
    4. Where the discrimination or harassment alleged is potentially of a criminal nature, GGC Community members are encouraged to also contact the GGC Public Safety (for conduct that occurred on campus) or local law enforcement in the relevant jurisdiction (for conduct that occurred off campus). Except as required by the Clery Act for purposes of crime statistics reporting, police will not be notified of a sexual assault without the Complainant’s consent unless there is an imminent threat of harm or the incident involves someone under the age of 16. GGC Community members have the right to simultaneously make a complaint under this policy and to law enforcement. 
  2. Confidentiality
    1. GGC strongly supports an individual’s interest in confidentiality. When a Complainant requests that their identity be withheld or the allegation(s) not be investigated, GGC officials will attempt to protect the confidentiality of the individual to the extent reasonably possible. The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office EEO and the Title IX Coordinator will consider whether the request can be honored while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the College community. 
    2. All participants in the process (including the Complainant and Respondent, witnesses, advisors, mediators, and members of hearing panels) are expected to respect the confidentiality of the proceedings and circumstances.
    3. If a Complainant reports discrimination or harassment to a Responsible Employee but wants to maintain confidentiality, the Responsible Employee will communicate this request to Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office as well.
    4. Until resolution has been achieved, participants are expected to discuss the matter only with those persons who have a genuine need to know.
    5. Examples of situations in which confidentiality cannot be maintained include:
      1. When GGC is required by law to disclose information (such as in response to legal process, in connection with the Georgia Open Records Act, or in compliance with the Clery Act;
      2. When disclosure of information is determined by the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office to be necessary for conducting an effective investigation of the allegation; or
      3. When confidentiality concerns are outweighed by GGC’s interest in protecting the safety or rights of others or the campus.
    6. The Complainant will be informed of any decision to act contrary to the request for confidentiality or no investigation before any disclosures are made and before an investigation begins. 
  3. Conflict of Interest
    1. If the Complainant, Respondent, or Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office representative asserts that a complaint presents an actual or apparent conflict of interest for Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance Office, the complaint should be submitted or referred to the VP of Human Resources & Chief of Staff to resolve the conflict of interest. An actual or apparent conflict of interest is a financial interest, relationship, or other circumstance that would lead a reasonable person to doubt the objectivity of the equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office representative. If the VP of Human Resources & Chief of Staff determines there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest, the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office staff shall conduct the inquiry into the complaint.
    2. However, if the VP of Human Resources & Chief of Staff determines that an actual or apparent conflict of interest exists for the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office, then the Chief of Staff, in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs staff, shall appoint an independent individual with appropriate experience and training to conduct the inquiry into the complaint.
  4. False Allegations and Evidence. Conclusively and deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination. Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence after being directed to preserve such evidence, or deliberately misleading an official who is investigating, can be subject to discipline. This includes informing witnesses of allegations and attempting to coerce, instruct, conceal or intervene in with witnesses’ statements and/or recollections, or persuading witnesses to recall or alter specific details or recollection.
  5. Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression. The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, including the right to free speech, free expression, free exercise of religion, and the right to assemble peaceably are of the utmost importance, and the College is committed to protecting those rights. However, to the extent that a member of the College community’s approach to exercising these rights creates a discriminatory or harassing environment on the basis of a protected class, the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office will investigate all allegations pursuant this policy. Academic freedom and freedom of expression will not excuse behavior that constitutes a violation of the law or College or USG policy. 
  6. Prohibition Against Retaliation
    1. Any adverse action or threatened action, taken or made, personally or through a third party, in response to an individual who has filed a report or complaint in good faith, an individual who is the Respondent in any report or complaint, who refused to participate in or cooperate with an investigation, or any other individual who has assisted, engaged or participated in any manner in connection with a report, complaint or inquiry in this policy is prohibited. Retaliation includes intimidation, coercion, threats, harassment, discrimination or any type of adverse action taken against any individual. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under this policy.
    2. In addition, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action against any College student or employee who intervenes, interferes or intrudes on the College process. This includes directly or indirectly contacting parties or witnesses and attempting to coerce, correct, change, deter, sway, or alter the memories, statements or testimony of any individual.
    3. Retaliation can take many forms including, without limitation:
      1. Departing from any customary employment or academic practice regarding the individual;
      2. Impeding the individual’s academic or professional advancement in any College activity or program;
      3. Refusing to hire, transfer, or promote, or firing the individual;
      4. Transferring or assigning the individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, hours, work responsibilities, job classification, job security, employment, or academic status;
      5. Unwarranted, excessive, or disparate discipline, or negative evaluation of the individual;
      6. Denying the individual access to training or other benefits of employment;
      7. Excluding the individual from academic or work-related meetings, events, or activities;
      8. Refusing to grant reasonable leave or accommodation requests; or
      9. Threats or other acts of intimidation. 
    4. Retaliation is not tolerated.  Any College community member found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.  
  7. Records
    1. Records generated under this policy are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. §50-18-70, et seq.) but are maintained in accordance with, and subject to, privacy requirements under state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”).  Additionally, the College will take reasonable steps to maintain privacy in relation to any accommodations or supportive measures afforded to the parties, except to the extent necessary to provide the accommodations or protective measures.
    2. Information pursuant to this policy shared internally between College administrators is provided on a need-to-know basis. Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) will be provided a copy of any directly related information in the investigative file at the same time they are provided a draft copy of the investigative report. Privileged material that has not been voluntarily released in writing will not be included or otherwise considered in the investigative report and will be excluded from the released material.
    3. Any public release of information to comply with the open crime logs or timely warning provisions of the Clery Act will not release the names of parties or information that could easily lead to a Complainant’s identification. 
  8. Right to be Accompanied by an Advisor or Support Person
    1. Both the alleged Complainant and Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an Advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing at the party’s own expense for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel, pursuant to the provisions of BOR Policy Manual 4.6.5 Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings and APM 4.1.7 Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Advisor may accompany the party to all meetings and may provide advice and counsel to their respective party throughout the Sexual misconduct process, including providing questions, suggestions and guidance to the party, but may not actively participate in the process except as outlined in BOR Policy Manual 6.7.4. All communication during the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment process will be between the institution and the party and not the Advisor. The College is not obligated to communicate with or through Advisors, and will only communicate with the parties throughout the process.
  9. Amnesty for Students
    1. Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report prohibited discriminatory or harassing conduct notwithstanding their consumption of alcohol or drugs. Information reported by a student during an investigation concerning their own consumption of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular student in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, students may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate. Nevertheless, these students may be required to meet with staff members in regards to the incident and may be required to participate in appropriate educational program(s).
    2. Nothing in this amnesty provision shall be interpreted to prevent an individual who is otherwise obligated by law (including under the Clery Act) to report information or statistical data as required.    
VI. Investigation Process, Procedures, and Resolution
  1. The College’s complaint process, outlined herein, is the procedure used to investigate complaints or reports of discrimination and harassment covered by this policy, to end any discrimination and harassment found, to remedy the effects of discrimination and harassment, and to prevent any recurrence. If appropriate and permitted under applicable law, the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator may recommend that the Complainant and Respondent attempt to resolve their differences through an informal resolution.
  2. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with or following civil or criminal proceedings. Decisions about the timing of specific actions will be made by Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office based on the status of the evidence and other relevant case factors. These procedures do not replace the right of the Complainant or Respondent to file complaints or seek remedies available under state or federal law. 
  3. Any member of the College Community who willfully delays, or thwarts an investigation or makes false statements during an investigation may be found in violation of this policy and subject to disciplinary action under this policy; provided, however, that this provision does not require persons accused under this policy to make a statement or respond to the allegations against her/him during the investigation.  If the accused chooses not to provide a statement or response to the allegations, that silence will be considered a general denial of the allegations. However, the investigation may ultimately proceed and result in a policy violation if the evidence collected proves a violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
  4. The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator or their designees will explain to all parties that they are not an advocate or representative for either the Complainant or the Respondent. Advocacy, counseling, and support resources are available on campus and in the greater community.
  5. Information obtained during the course of the complaint process will be shared with other participants or witnesses in the investigation only to the extent necessary to conduct a thorough, fair and impartial investigation.
  6. Standard of Review. Investigative findings under this Policy will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard (i.e, “more likely than not”). This standard requires that the information supporting an alleged violation be more convincing than the information in opposition to it. 
  7. Interim Protective or Supportive Measures
    1. The Title IX Coordinator or their designee may impose interim protective measures or supportive measures before the final resolution of an investigation to ensure equal access to the College’s education programs and activities or if failure to take the interim measures would constitute an immediate threat to the safety and well-being of the Complainant or other members of the College Community. Before any such measures are instituted, however, the Title IX Coordinator should, where practicable, provide the Respondent with the initial opportunity to respond to the allegations and to the imposition of any interim protective measures.
    2. The parties will be provided written information about support services. Support services are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without charge that are made available to the Complainant and Respondent.
    3. Imposing interim measures does not indicate that a violation of this policy has occurred.  Such measures are designed to protect the Complainant and the College Community, and are not designed to harm the Respondent. 
    4. These interim measures may include but are not limited to:
      1. Change of College housing assignment;
      2. Issuance of a no contact directive;
      3. Restrictions or bars to entering certain College property;
      4. Administrative Leave (employees);
      5. Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision;
      6. Interim suspension; and/or
      7. Other measures designed to promote the safety and well-being of the parties and the College Community.
    5. An interim suspension should only occur where necessary to maintain safety and should be limited to those situations where the Respondent poses a serious and immediate danger or threat to persons or property. In making such an assessment, the College should consider the existence of a significant risk to the health or safety of the Complainant (where applicable) or the campus community; the nature, duration, and severity of the risk; the probability of potential injury; and whether less restrictive means can be used to significantly mitigate the risk.
      1. Before an interim suspension is issued, the College must make all reasonable efforts to give the Respondent the opportunity to be heard on whether the Respondent’s presence on campus poses a danger. If an interim suspension is issued, the terms of the suspension take effect immediately. The Respondent shall receive notice of the interim suspension and the opportunity to respond to the interim suspension.
      2. Within three business days of receiving a challenge the College will determine whether the interim suspension should continue.
  8. Initiating an Investigation
    1. Initial evaluation of reports: Upon notice of the alleged misconduct, the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator and the VP of Human Resources or the Dean of Students will assess whether a formal investigation, informal resolution, or dismissal would be appropriate. In making this determination, the institution will assess whether the allegation(s), if true, would rise to the level of prohibited conduct, whether an investigation is appropriate in light of the circumstances, whether the parties prefer an informal resolution, and whether any safety concerns exist for the campus community. The need to issue a broader warning to the community in compliance with the Clery Act shall be assessed in compliance with federal law.
    2. Investigations may be initiated by the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator. In connection with the investigation and resolution of complaints brought under this policy, all parties shall receive written notice of the allegations and shall be provided an opportunity to respond. Any party (Complainant and Respondent) shall be allowed to remain silent during the investigation and resolution process without an adverse inference resulting, provided that if a party chooses to remain silent in an investigation, the investigation may still proceed and policy charges may still result and be resolved.
    3. In some instances, the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance office may conduct a preliminary due diligence inquiry to determine if a formal investigation is warranted. 
  9. Informal Process
    1. An informal resolution may be appropriate if the Complainant, Respondent, and Title IX Coordinator or their designee all agree that an informal process is appropriate.
    2. During an informal process, fact-finding occurs to the extent necessary to resolve the conflict and protect the interest of the parties and the College community. The terms of the informal resolution must be designed to stop any prohibited behavior, restore or preserve an environment free from prohibited discrimination or harassment, and prevent the reoccurrence of prohibited harassment or discrimination. The Complainant or Respondent always has the option to end the informal process and request a formal process, if the request to end the informal process comes before the agreement of the terms of an informal resolution. A failed informal process will not be a factor in the formal resolution process. 
    3. An informal resolution represents the final disposition of the complaint and is not appealable.
  10. Formal Process
    1. All complaints that are not resolved through the informal process or to which the informal process does not apply are resolved through a formal process involving a full investigation conducted by the Title IX Coordinator’s designee.
    2. As part of the formal process, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will:
      1. Inform the parties of their right to be interviewed and provide evidence;
      2. Inform the parties of their right to an advisor;
      3. Inform the parties of their right to determine their level of participation including the right to remain silent;
      4. Obtain information and evidence, including the identity of any witnesses, from the parties;
      5. Attempt to obtain information from the identified witnesses;
      6. Ask relevant questions, submitted by the parties, to any witness or party;
      7. Ask additional questions deemed relevant by the investigator;
      8. Collect and maintain appropriate documentation of the investigation and any evidence obtained;
      9. Disclose appropriate information to others only on a need-to-know basis consistent with state and federal law;   
      10. Keep the appropriate supervisors/administrators/faculty informed of the status of the complaint and investigation, and seek input from them as appropriate when implementing any resolution or discipline; and
      11. Provide the Complainant and the Respondent the opportunity to review the evidence collected and respond to that evidence.
    3. If the Respondent chooses to remain silent without providing a verbal or written response to the allegations, the investigator will consider the absence of a response as a general denial of the alleged misconduct. The investigation will proceed and a policy violation may be found against the Respondent if supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
    4. The interviews and exchange of information through the investigator(s), including the opportunity to respond to evidence and to provide the investigator(s) with relevant questions that a party wishes to pose to the other party or witnesses, and provide names of any relevant witnesses will be given to both parties during the investigation process for all complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment other than Title IX Sexual Misconduct.
    5. At the completion of the investigation process, the investigator will prepare a draft report of findings which will be shared with the parties. The parties will have the opportunity to review the draft report. The parties will have ten (10) business days to submit a written response containing relevant information to the report. The investigator will respond to any additional information provided in the responses by either continuing the investigation, adding the relevant information to the report, or finalizing the report of findings without further action.
    6. The investigator may consolidate multiple allegations arising out of the same set of facts and circumstances, or similar allegations against a common party if the allegations become known during the pendency of an investigation.
    7. The investigator may consider a pattern of behavior in determining whether this policy has been violated, if evidence of that pattern is known during the pendency of an investigation or if a prior investigation of similar conduct is available.
  11. Right to Discontinue. If at any time during the complaint review, investigation, or informal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator or their designee determine a complaint is invalid, untrue, or filed for reasons not covered under GGC policy, the Title IX Coordinator or their designee may dismiss the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator or their designee may make recommendations to the President or the President’s designee, or other offices (such as the Dean of Students, Human Resources or Legal Affairs) as appropriate, if remedial or preventative measures should be taken.
  12. Resolution 
    1. The amount of time needed to investigate will depend in part on the nature of the allegation(s) and the evidence to be investigated (e.g., the scope of the allegations, the time period and number of events implicated by or relevant to the complaint, the number or availability of witnesses involved and the volume of documents). The formal investigation process, including the exhaustion of appeal rights, typically can take 60-120 business days to resolve. Exceptions and extenuating circumstances can cause the process and resolution to take longer, but the College will avoid all undue delays within its control. If the general timeframes will be delayed, the College will provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of a delay, and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed as a result of the delay. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or their designee will notify the Complainant and Respondent, in writing, of the results of the investigation. The written decision will be disclosed only to the parties and College officials as appropriate to determine and enforce any remedial actions, discipline, or sanctions, and to prepare for any appeals. Complainants are encouraged to report any reoccurrence of conduct that were found to violate this policy, as well as to report any retaliation for the complaint or related investigation.
    2. Remedial and preventative measures may be imposed by the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Compliance 0ffice even in the absence of a violation of this Policy if conduct is found to occur that may, if not addressed, rise to the level of a violation. Any unprofessional conduct or inappropriate behavior found during the course of the investigation that is not covered by this policy will be referred to the respective department (Student Integrity, Housing, etc.) or Human Resources for review
  13. Remedies
    1. Where discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy is determined to have occurred, the College will take timely action to remedy the effects. Potential remedies for the parties include, but are not limited to:
      1. Extensions of time to re-do or complete academic work without academic or financial penalty;
      2. Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision that minimize the burden on the Complainant;
      3. Provision of, or referral to, medical, counseling, and academic support services;
      4. Change of College housing assignment;
      5. Training/retraining on this policy and other relevant topics for individuals or groups implicated in discrimination or harassment;
      6. “No contact” directives; and
      7. Other measures designed to redress negative impact of discrimination and harassment.
  14. Sanctions
    1. If a violation of this policy is found, the level of discipline and type or scope of sanctions will depend on the severity and nature of the discrimination or harassment, the weight of the evidence, and the need to maintain a safe and respectful environment.  
    2. If a finding of responsibility is reached, additional factors may be considered when determining a sanction/responsive action may include, but are not limited to:
      1. The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation(s),
      2. History of the Respondent’s prior conduct,
      3. Retaliatory conduct,
      4. Respondent’s willingness to accept responsibility,
      5. The College’s prior response to similar conduct,
      6. The College’s need to bring an end to the sexual harassment, prevent the future recurrence of sexual harassment, and remedy the effects of the sexual harassment on the Complainant and the community,
      7. The impact on the parties,
      8. Any other information deemed relevant by the Hearing Panel
  15. Student Sanctions
    1. The broad range of sanctions for students includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. Warning: A formal statement that the conduct was unacceptable and a warning that further violation of any College policy, procedure, or directive will result in more severe sanctions/responsive actions.
      2. Required Training or Participation: A mandate to meet with and engage in either College- sponsored or external counseling to better comprehend the misconduct and its effects or required participation in sensitivity training, sexual misconduct training, volunteering, community service, etc.
      3. Probation: A written reprimand for violation of institutional policy. Terms of the probation will be articulated and may include denial of specified social privileges, exclusion from co-curricular activities, exclusion from designated areas of campus, no-contact orders, and/or other measures deemed appropriate.
      4. Suspension: Termination of student status for a definite period of time and/or until specific criteria are met, or both.
      5. Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status and revocation of rights to be on campus for any reason or to attend College-sponsored events.
      6. Withholding Diploma: The College may withhold a student’s diploma for a specified period of time and/or deny a student participation in commencement activities.
      7. Revocation of Degree: The College reserves the right to revoke a degree previously awarded from the College for violations of College policies, procedures, or directives in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
      8. Revocation of alumni privileges.
      9. Organizational Sanctions: Deactivation, loss of recognition, loss of some or all privileges for a specified period of time.
    2. Other Actions include but are not limited to:
      1. Removal from student housing;
      2. Restriction from College premises;
      3. Temporary or permanent separation of the parties (by way of example only: change in classes, reassignment of residence, no contact orders, limiting geography where parties may go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders;
      4. Counseling or mentoring;
      5. Removal from leadership/supervisory positions within the GGC community;
      6. Revocation of honors or awards;
      7. Loss of GGC privileges (i.e., using GGC athletic facilities, parking on campus, using the campus library, utilizing the dining hall);
      8. Community service;
      9. Any other discretionary sanctions that are directly related to the violation or conduct and that are aimed at eliminating Discriminatory Misconduct, preventing its recurrence, and addressing its effects on the Complainant and, if applicable, the GGC community.
  16. Employee Sanctions
    1. The broad range of sanctions for employees includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. Warning or Reprimand: Verbal or Written
      2. Performance Improvement/Management Process
      3. Required Counseling
      4. Required Training or Education
      5. Probation
      6. Workplace Restrictions
      7. Reassignment
      8. Suspension
      9. Termination
    2. Other Actions include but are not limited to:
      1. Restriction from College premises;
      2. Temporary or permanent separation of the parties (limiting geography where parties may go on campus) with additional sanctions for violating orders;
      3. Removal from leadership/supervisory positions within the College community; or
      4. Any other discretionary sanctions that are directly related to the violation or conduct and that are aimed at eliminating discriminatory misconduct, preventing its recurrence, and addressing its effects on the Complainant and, if applicable, the GGC community.
VII. Right to Appeal
  1. All parties shall have the right to appeal the outcome of the formal process to the College President or the President’s designee pursuant to this policy. The President must receive a written appeal within five (5) business days after the receipt of the written notification of the decision that is being appealed. The appeal must be based on one of the following reasons:
    1. To consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing (or appeal), because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the hearing (or appeal);
    2. To allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing (or appeal), including but not limited to whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded or whether the decision was tainted by a conflict of interest or bias by the Title IX Coordinator, conduct officer, investigator(s), decision makers(s); or,
    3. To allege that the finding was inconsistent with the weight of the information.
  2. The appeal must be made in writing, must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) business days of the date of the final written decision. The appeal should be made to the College’s President or their designee. The Office of President will notify the non-appealing party of the appeal and provide that party an opportunity to respond in writing. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Respondent or any Complainant is required. The President or their designee may receive additional information if they believe such information would aid in the appeal.
  3. The President or their designee may:
    1. Affirm the original finding and sanction;
    2. Affirm the original finding, but issue a new sanction of greater or lesser severity;
    3. Remand the case back to correct a procedural or factual defect; or
    4. Reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand.
  4. A decision by the President or their designee will be made within a reasonable time and will be simultaneously issued in writing to the Title IX Coordinator and both parties.  The President or their designee’s decision shall be the final decision of the institution. During the time of the appeal and review, disciplinary action(s) or remedial/preventative measure(s), if any, taken because of the original complaint may be implemented and enforced. Upon request of the appealing party, the President may, at their discretion, suspend the imposition of the disciplinary action(s), sanction(s), or remedial/preventative measure(s) while the appeal is pending.
  5. If an appeal is not filed within the appeal period, the findings become final and are not subject to any review.
  6. Should the Respondent or Complainant (where applicable) wish to appeal the final institutional decision, they may request review by the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Policy on Discretionary Review.
VIII. Retention of Records

The College will create and maintain for a period of seven (7) years records of any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of Discrimination.

IX. Revision of this Policy and Procedures
  1. This Policy supersedes any previous Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. This Policy will be reviewed and updated as needed. The College reserves the right to make changes to this Policy as necessary, in accordance with APM .11 Policy on Policies .
  2. If government laws, regulations change, or court decisions alter the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations or holdings.
X. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)  
Executive Order 11246 issued in 1965 (as amended by 11375)
The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 501)
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA)
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Title I of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

University System of Georgia Policies
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity
Board of Regents Policy Manual 6.6 Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.16 Sexual Harassment
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct
APM 4.1.7 Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy  

 

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Policy Number: 12.2
Effective Date: October 11, 2023
Revision History: April 18, 2023; February 1, 2018; June 30, 2016
Policy Contact: Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator; Chief Human Resource Officer

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

This policy provides information regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action. Georgia Gwinnett College complies with Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.1.2 Equal Employment Opportunity and federal law, which prohibit discrimination or harassment of employees or applicants on the basis of sex (including pregnancy, child birth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), race, color, creed, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, marital status, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law with regard to any employment practices, provided the individual is qualified, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform the essential functions of the job. This policy applies to all jobs at the College.

The College will continue to ensure that individuals are employed, and that employees are treated without regard to their sex (including pregnancy, child birth or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth), race, color, creed, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, marital status, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law during employment, in all employment practices as follows:

  1. Employment decisions at the College are based on legitimate job-related criteria. All personnel actions or programs that affect qualified individuals, such as employment, upgrading, demotion, transfer, recruitment, advertising, termination, rate of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, are made without discrimination.
  2. Employees may choose to voluntarily disclose their sex, race, national origin, disability, and protected veteran status at any time by contacting Human Resources. Such information will be maintained in a confidential manner and will not be used against an individual when making any employment decisions.
  3. Employees with disabilities and disabled veterans are encouraged to inform the Office of Payroll and Benefits if they need reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee to promote the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans, unless such accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the College’s business operations.
  4. Applicants seeking employment with the College should contact the Office of Human Resources to request reasonable accommodations.

As part of GGC’s equal employment opportunity policy, the College will also take affirmative action, consistent with Executive Order 11246, as amended, Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRAA”) of 1974, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and any other federal, state, or local law or regulation regarding Equal Employment Opportunity with respect to individuals based on race, sex, protected veteran status, and status as an individual with a disability.

II. Scope

All members of the College community (as defined below) are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

III. Definitions

Members of the College community: Any persons employed by or affiliated with the College in any way and persons participating in any College program or activity, including, but not limited to:

  1. College faculty, staff, administrators, employees, independent contractors, vendors;
  2. College students;
  3. Volunteers and participants in any College program or activity; and,
  4. Guests and visitors to campus, to any property owned or leased by the College, or to any property
IV. Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator: The Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator is the individual designated by the President with responsibility for providing education and training about prohibited discrimination and harassment to the College community and for receiving and overseeing the investigation of reports and complaints of discrimination and harassment in accordance with this policy.
  2. Office of Human Resources: Is the designated office that has oversight for compliance related to employment practices and the College’s affirmative action plan.
V. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

Federal Laws
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)  
Executive Order 11246 issued in 1965 (as amended by 11375)
The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX)
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 501)
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA)
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Title I of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

University System of Georgia Policies
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.2 Non-Discrimination
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.16 Sexual Harassment
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.7 Sexual Misconduct

 

Americans with Disabilities Act and Requests for Reasonable Accommodations

Policy Number: 12.3
Effective Date: February 20, 2023
Revision History: February 1, 2018; June 30, 2016
Policy Contact: Director of Payroll and Benefits; Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

This policy provides information and guidance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and discusses how individuals seeking a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the ADA may request an accommodation. Georgia Gwinnett College complies with University System of Georgia Board of Regents Policy and federal law, which provides that the College provides reasonable accommodations to employees who are disabled, as defined by the ADA. Accordingly, Georgia Gwinnett College has made and will continue to make reasonable accommodations, which do not impose undue hardships on its business, to the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and job applicants.

The College reserves the right to require documentation for accommodation requests from:

  1. Current and prospective students;
  2. Student participants in co-curricular activities;
  3. Patrons and visitors to College-sponsored events;
  4. Registered participants in College-sponsored training sessions, programs, conferences, and workshops;
  5. Persons using the services of the Testing Center;
  6. Classified, faculty, or other job applicants and employees;
  7. Authorized users of campus facilities; and
  8. Other persons requesting accommodations under the ADA.

If an individual has a disability, the College encourages the individual to disclose (i) any special methods, skills, and procedures which qualify him or her for positions which he or she might not otherwise be able to do, so that he or she can be considered for any position of the kind, and (ii) the reasonable accommodations which would enable the individual to perform the job properly and safely. Such accommodations may include special equipment, changes in the physical layout of the job, elimination of certain nonessential duties related to the job, or other reasonable accommodations.

II. Scope

All members of the College community (as defined below) are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

III. Definitions

Disability: Disability means, generally, (i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities, (ii) a record of such impairment, or (iii) being regarded as having such impairment.
Members of the College community: any persons employed by or affiliated with the College in any way and persons participating in any College program or activity, including, but not limited to:

  1. College faculty, staff, administrators, employees, independent contractors, vendors;
  2. College students;
  3. Volunteers and participants in any College program or activity; and
  4. Guests and visitors to campus, to any property owned or leased by the College, or to any property

Qualified individual: An individual who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements for the particular position he/she holds or desires and who is capable of performing the essential functions of that position, with or without reasonable accommodation for any disability.
Reasonable accommodations: A reasonable accommodation is an accommodation that enables the employee to perform the essential functions of their position, is medically necessary, and does not create an undue hardship to the institution.

There are three categories of “reasonable accommodations”:

  1. Modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires;
  2. Modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or,
  3. Modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

Substantially limiting: A disability is substantially limiting if it substantially impairs the ability of an individual to perform a major life activity as compared to most people in the general population. An impairment need not prevent, or significantly or severely restrict the individual from performing, a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting.

IV. Compliance
  1. Individuals interested in submitting a request for an accommodation should contact the appropriate Georgia Gwinnett College administrative offices below for guidance. Individuals seeking accommodations may be required to provide supporting documentation. 
    1. Employment Applicant Accommodations: Persons applying for positions as employees at Georgia Gwinnett College should contact the Office of Human Resources for reasonable accommodations in completing the application and/or interview process.
    2. Current Employee Accommodations: Employees seeking accommodations should contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits. Employees may request that any decision to deny a request for reasonable accommodation be informally reviewed. To request reconsideration, employees should submit a written request to the Office of Payroll and Benefits within 10 business days of the initial decision. The request should explain the reasons the employee believes the request should be granted.  To appeal the decision of the Office of Payroll and Benefits, the employee may submit a written request to the Office of Equity and Compliance.
    3. Student Accommodations: Students requiring accommodation due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance.
    4. Testing Accommodations: Persons wishing to take GGC academic examinations administered by the Georgia Gwinnett College Testing Center should request specific accommodation through Disability Services or the Testing Center.
    5. Visitor Accommodations: Visitors to College-sponsored events or registered participants in College-sponsored, fee-related events (e.g., training sessions, programs, conferences, and workshops) should contact the sponsor of the event for assistance in arranging accommodations.
  2. Individuals who believe they were denied a reasonable accommodation on the basis of their protected class status should contact the Office of Equity and Compliance to file a complaint. The EO and Title IX Coordinator may be reached at 678-407-5085. Any appeal from an accommodation decision must be made within 10 business days from the date of receipt of the decision and must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
    1. There was a procedural error (such as the requesting party was not given an opportunity to participate in an “interactive process”) made during the accommodation review process that substantially impacted the outcome of the decision;
    2. There was a substantive error (such as a misunderstanding of the requesting party’s accommodation request) made during the accommodation review process that substantially impacted the outcome of the decision; or
    3. There is evidence of bias on the part of the person(s) who made the accommodation decision that rendered them unable to consider the accommodation request objectively and completely.
V. Related Regulations, Statutes, Policies, and Procedures

Federal Laws
Executive Order 11246 Equal Employment Opportunity issued in 1965 (as amended by 11375)
Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA)
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

University System of Georgia Policies
Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity
Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.1.2 Non-Discrimination

   

Protection of Non-Student Minors

Policy Number: 12.9
Effective Date: May 1, 2017
Revision History: January 20, 2017
Policy Contact: Director of Operations 

Purpose and Policy Statement

Georgia Gwinnett College is committed to the safety and well-being of all members of our community, including minor children.  This policy establishes requirements for College faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who work or interact with individuals under 18 years of age in College-affiliated or approved programs or activities on campus.  This policy also establishes requirements for non-College organizations and entities that operate programs or activities involving minors on campus. Non-GGC programs are required to be solely responsible for enforcing GGC rules. Failure to do so will result in stiff penalties, including forfeiture of funds and removal of the program from campus at the sole discretion of GGC.

Scope

This policy applies broadly to interactions with minors in all College-run or -approved programs or activities, either on the GGC campus or at GGC-sponsored programs at other locations. All non-College groups and all GGC students, faculty, staff, and volunteers who approve or participate in programs or activities involving minors are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy. The effective date of this policy is May 1, 2017.

This policy does not replace or supplement the following policies that pertain to minors visiting campus in different capacities or GGC faculty, staff, students, or volunteers who work with minors off-campus: 

Administrative Policy Manual 3.15 Classroom Visitors   

Administrative Policy Manual 8.2.15.51 Georgia Gwinnett College Structured Volunteer Policy  

Administrative Policy Manual 8.2.96 Visitors While at Work  

Administrative Policy Manual 9.51 Georgia Gwinnett College Library Facility Use  

Definitions

Minor: A person under the age of 18 who is not enrolled at the College, or who is not considered to be “dually enrolled” in College programs while also enrolled in elementary, middle and/or high school; also referred to as a “participant” in this policy.

College Housing: Facilities providing student living quarters that are owned by, or under the control of, the College.

Authorized Program: A program, activity, or service operated or sponsored by academic or administrative units of the College, or by non-College groups using College facilities (subject to Board of Regents Policy Manual Sections 9.10.6.2 Use of Facilities/Property by Affiliated Organizations and 9.10.6.3 Use of Facilities/Property by Unaffiliated Outside Parties), during which agents, employees or volunteers are responsible for the care, custody, or control of participating minors, rather than their parents or guardians.  For purposes of this policy, Programs do not include:

  • Events that are open to the general public and that minors may attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians
  • Field trips or events in which minors come to campus under the supervision of their school staff
  • Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) supervised research activities
  • Move On When Ready (“MOWR”) students or enrolled GGC students under the age of 18

Sponsoring Unit: The academic or administrative unit of the College that offers a program or gives approval for housing or use of facilities pursuant to Board of Regents Policy Manual Sections 9.10.6.2 Use of Facilities/Property by Affiliated Organizations and 9.10.6.3 Use of Facilities/Property by Unaffiliated Outside Parties.

 Non-College Group: A non-College group not associated with GGC that seeks approval for use of College facilities pursuant to 9.10.6.3 Use of Facilities/Property by Unaffiliated Outside Parties for the purpose of providing a program or activity that involves minor participants. 

Authorized Adult: Individual who is at least 18 years of age, paid or unpaid, who interacts with, supervises, chaperones, or otherwise oversees minors in program activities, or recreational, and/or residential facilities. This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, volunteers, GGC students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants. The Authorized Adults’ roles may include but are not limited to positions as counselors, chaperones, coaches, instructors, etc.  Authorized Adults are considered to be mandatory reporters under Georgia law.

Child Abuse: Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker thereof; sexual abuse of a child; or sexual exploitation of a child. 

College Facilities: Buildings, structures and improvements of all types, outdoor areas, campus grounds, and athletic venues owned or leased by Georgia Gwinnett College. 

Mandatory Reporter: A person who is required by Georgia law to report suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities. Mandatory Reporters include but are not limited to faculty/teachers, administrators, counselors, social workers, psychologists, law enforcement personnel, and other persons who participate in providing care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs or shelter to minors. Mandatory Reporters whose communications would otherwise be legally privileged are generally required under Georgia law to report suspected child abuse.  

Program Administrator: The person(s) who has primary and direct operational responsibility for managing an Authorized Program.

Direct Contact: Positions with the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of minors and/or routine interaction with minors.

One-On-One Contact: Personal, unsupervised interaction between any Authorized Adult and a participant without at least one other Authorized Adult, parent or legal guardian being present.

Registration of Programs

Any individual or group who plans to create a program in which minors will participate must register the event by contacting the Director of Operations at least 45 days before the date(s) of the program.  The Director of Operations (678.407.5414, spacemanagement@ggc.edu) will maintain a listing of all programs involving minors, educate program administrators about GGC requirements, including all relevant GGC and state policies, manage any contracts associated with programs, and hold approval authority for all proposed programs.

Parental Notification

Non-College groups will establish a procedure for the notification of the minor’s parent/legal guardian in case of an emergency, including medical or behavioral problem, natural disasters, or other significant program disruptions. Sponsoring units will follow established GGC procedures on parental notification for events and activities involving minors.  Authorized Adults with the program, as well as participants and their parents/legal guardians, must be advised of this procedure in writing prior to the participation of the minors in the program.  

Campus Emergency Notification

In the event of a campus emergency, such as severe weather or security concern, the Director of Operations or a designee will make a good faith effort to notify the program administrator of the concern.  Program staff are responsible for listening for and complying with campus security sirens and warnings.  Program staff are also responsible for monitoring for the possibility of severe weather and making decisions about program operations accordingly. 

Program Participant List

Providing units or non-College groups will provide a list of all program participants and a directory of program staff to the Director of Operations. This list will include at least participants’ names, local room assignments (if applicable), gender, age, addresses, and phone number(s) of parents or legal guardians, as well as emergency contact information.

Participant Contact

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will provide information to parents or legal guardians detailing the manner in which the participant can be contacted during the program. Information must also be collected about who may pick up or obtain information about the participant, including any safety concerns or restraining orders. Any individual authorized to pick up a participant must show identification before the participant will be released to her/him.

Medical Treatment Authorization Form

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will provide a copy of a Medical Treatment Authorization form for each participant. All Medical Treatment Forms must include the following:

  1. A statement informing the parent/legal guardian that the College does not provide medical care through GGC Health Services or medical insurance to cover medical care for the minor.
  2. Authorization for emergency medical treatment and emergency medical transportation.
  3. An opportunity for a participant or parent to list any physical, mental or medical conditions the minor may have, including any allergies that could impact his/her participation in the program or medications that the minor may be taking.
  4. At least two emergency contacts with information including name, address and phone number. 

Participant Medication

Participants’ medicines may be distributed by program staff, under the following conditions:

  1. The participant’s family provides the medicine in its original pharmacy container labeled with the participant’s name, medicine name, dosage and timing of consumption. Over-the-counter medications must be provided in their manufacturers’ container.
  2. The program staff member will allow the participant to self-administer the appropriate dose as shown on the container under supervision of the staff member.
  3. Any non-emergency medicine must be stored and administered by a licensed healthcare professional.  Sponsoring units or non-College groups must make arrangements with a health care professional in advance of the participant’s arrival. Georgia Gwinnett College Health Services does not provide medication storage or administration to program participants.
  4. Personal Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EpiPen™) and inhalers may be carried by the participant during activities.

Emergency Medical Services

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will plan for access emergency medical services at all locations. Medical care appropriate for the nature of the events, expected attendance and other variables should be considered.

Laboratory and Research Safety

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will follow appropriate safety measures approved by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for laboratory and research work, which can be found here.

Assessing Age Appropriateness

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will assess the age-appropriateness of all facilities that will be used during activity(ies).  When participants are minors under eight (8) years of age, special consideration should be given to facility size (e.g., whether young children can reach handrails on stairs or use toilet facilities that are designed for adults) and to child safety recommendations (e.g., eliminating access to cords on window blinds, which are a strangulation hazard). 

Accommodating Transgender Participants

Georgia Gwinnett College staff are available to advise providing units and non-College groups on accommodating transgender/gender non-conforming program participants or Authorized Adults. Requests for assistance should be directed to the Director of Residence Life.

Adequate Supervision

Providing units or non-College groups will ensure adequate supervision of minors while they are on College property. All activities involving minors must be supervised by at least two or more Authorized Adults or by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) at all times. No one-on-one supervision is allowed. No group will ever be supervised by a single Authorized Adult.  Some of the factors to consider in determining “adequate supervision” are the number and age of participants, the activity(ies) involved, type of housing if applicable, and age and experience of the counselors. See also, item 12.9.17 below.

  1. When there are high school students, including prospective athletes, participating in pre-enrollment visitation, the requirement for two Authorized Adults will be waived.
  2. All supervised participants in a College program or a program taking place on College property are permitted in the general use facilities (e.g. athletic fields, public spaces, academic buildings) but may be restricted from certain areas of the facilities (e.g. storage rooms, equipment rooms, athletic training rooms, staff/ faculty offices) or from utilizing certain equipment.

Rules and Discipline Measures

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will develop and make available to participants the rules and discipline measures applicable to the program. Program participants and staff must abide by all College regulations, including the GGC’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment policy, which can be found in the Administrative Policy Manual 4.1.2.  Program participants and staff may be removed from the program for non-compliance with regulations and rules. The following must be included in program rules and will be enforced by the unit/program:

  1. The possession or use of alcohol and other drugs, fireworks, guns, and other weapons is prohibited.
  2. The parking of staff and participant vehicles must be in accordance with College parking regulations.
  3. Rules and procedures governing when and under what circumstances participants may leave College property during the program.
  4. No violence, including sexual abuse or harassment, will be tolerated.
  5. Hazing of any kind is prohibited. Bullying, including verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited.
  6. No use of tobacco products will be tolerated.  All tobacco and e-cigarette use is prohibited on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
  7. Misuse or damage of College property is prohibited. Charges will be assessed against those participants who are responsible for damage or misusing College property.
  8. The inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, and digital devices is prohibited including use of such devices in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants.

Media Releases

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will obtain all media and liability releases as part of the program registration process. All data gathered is subject to records retention guidelines, and will not be disclosed, except as provided by law.

Age of Camp Staff

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will assign at least one staff member who is at least 21 years of age to be accessible to participants. The staff member(s) must reside in the housing unit, if applicable. Additional Authorized Adults will be assigned to ensure one-on-one contact with minors does not occur and that appropriate levels of supervision are implemented. See also 12.9.19 below.

  1. When there are high school students, including prospective athletes, participating in pre-enrollment visitation, the hosting GGC student(s) will not be required to be at least 21 years of age and the requirement for two Authorized Adults will also be waived.

Background Checks

All non-College groups must perform background checks on all Authorized Adults who will have direct contact with minors.  All GGC-run camps must have background checks completed in accordance with Administrative Policy Manual 8.2.99 Background Investigations Policy.

  1. When there are high school students, including prospective athletes, participating in pre-enrollment visitation, the hosting GGC student(s) will not be required to undergo a background check.
  2. New GGC hires will be required to complete the College background check process at the time of hire.
  3. All other GGC faculty/staff, students and volunteers, paid or unpaid, must complete the College background check process 
  4. Program staff must notify the Director of Operations within 24 hours if any Authorized Adult is arrested during the duration of the camp.
  5. The costs associated with background checks are to be borne by the non-College group. 
  6. Each Authorized Adult must undergo a background investigation at least once every three years. 

Supervision of Minors in College Housing

If applicable, sponsoring units or non-College groups will adopt and implement rules and regulations for proper supervision of minors in College housing. The following must be included:

  1. Written permission signed by the parent/guardian for the minor to reside in College housing.
  2. A curfew time which is age-appropriate for the participants.
  3. Guests of participants (other than a parent/legal guardian and other program participants) are restricted to visitation in the residence hall lobby and/or floor meeting areas, and only during approved hours specified by the program.
  4. The program must comply with all security measures and procedures specified by GGC’s Departments of Residential Life and Public Safety.
  5. Pre-enrollment visit programs for high school students housed overnight in residence halls must be registered with the Office of Residential Life.
  6. Parents/guardians are not required to have separate accommodations from their participating child.  Separate accommodations for all other adults and minors are required.

Counselor Ratios, Training, and Tasks

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will require the program to provide and supervise trained counselors (also considered to be Authorized Adults) who must be at least 18 years of age, in accordance with the following:

  1. The ratio of counselors to program participants must meet the minimum state ratio requirements, reflect the gender distribution of the participants, and should meet the recommendations of the American Camp Association for staff member-to-camper ratio. 
  2. Training for the counselors must include, at a minimum, information about responsibilities and expectations; policies, procedures, and enforcement; appropriate crisis/emergency responses; safety and security precautions, including any specialty equipment or circumstances; confidentiality issues involving minors; and College responsibility/liability. Counselors must know how to request local emergency services and how to report suspected child abuse.
  3. Tasks of the counselors must include, at a minimum, informing program participants about safety and security procedures, College rules, rules established by the program, and behavioral expectations. Counselors are responsible for following and enforcing all rules.  They must be able to provide information to program participants and to respond to emergencies.

Mandatory Training

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will attend annual mandatory training, provided either by GGC or a third party provider, training on the conduct requirements of this policy, on protecting participants from abusive emotional and physical treatment, and on appropriate or required reporting of incidents of improper conduct to the proper authorities including, but not limited to, appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Reporting Disclosed or Suspected Abuse

Sponsoring units or non-College groups will report any disclosed or suspected assault or abuse experienced by a program participant, at any time previously or during the program.  The Authorized Adult, as a mandatory reporter under Georgia Law, must inform the Program Administrator, the GGC Public Safety (678.407.5333), and the Office of Diversity, Institutional Equity, and Title IX Program Administration (678.407.5921).

Authorized Adult Behavior

Authorized Adults participating in programs and activities covered by this Policy will not:

  1. Have one-on-one contact with minors; there must be two or more Authorized Adults present during activities where minors are present. Authorized Adults also will not have any direct electronic contact with minors without another Authorized Adult being included in the communication.
  2. Enter a minor’s room, bathroom facility, or similar area without another Authorized Adult in attendance, consistent with the policy of not having one-on-one contact with minors.  Staffing should be sufficient to allow two Authorized Adults to address any issues in these facilities without leaving other participants unattended.
  3. Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor.
  4. Strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner any minor.
  5. Pick up minors from or drop off minors at their homes, other than the driver’s child(ren), except as specifically authorized in writing by the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  6. Provide alcohol or illegal drugs to any minor. Authorized Adults will not provide prescription drugs or any medication to any minor unless specifically authorized in writing by the parent or legal guardian as being required for the minor’s care or the minor’s emergency treatment. Participants’ medicines may be distributed by program staff, following the conditions outlined in this document.
  7. Make sexual materials in any form available to minors participating in programs or activities covered by this policy or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.

Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct

If an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against an Authorized Adult participating in a program, she/he will discontinue any further participation in programs and activities covered by this policy until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved.

Compliance

Sponsoring programs and non-College groups must provide evidence of compliance with all of the requirements of this policy at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled use of College facilities.  Any college or non-College group required under Georgia law to be licensed to operate must provide a copy of the license or exemption as part of their registration.  A University System of Georgia approved agreement for use of College Facilities, if applicable, must be signed at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled use of College facilities. Failure to comply with any provision of this policy may result in Georgia Gwinnett College officials terminating the program. Additional needs of Authorized Programs may need to be addressed in the program approval process to ensure the safety of minor participants and program staff.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Safety and security planning;
  • Arrangements for required transportation needs;
  • Housing needs;
  • Response protocols for injuries or illnesses;
  • Insurance requirements;

Related Regulations, Statutes, and Policies

GGC Environmental Health and Safety regulations

GGC Parking Regulations

American Camp Association staff member-to-counselor recommended ratios

Institutional Review Board procedures

Georgia Mandated Reporter Law

Board of Regents Policy Manual Sections 9.10.6.2 Use of Facilities/Property by Affiliated Organizations

Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 9.10.6.3 Use of Facilities/Property by Unaffiliated Outside Parties

   

Elected/Appointed Officials on Campus

Policy Number: 12.91
Effective Date: March 14, 2023
Revision History: November 1, 2019; May 26, 2016
Policy Contact: Director, Government Affairs

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

The policy establishes the Georgia Gwinnett College Office of Government Relations as the College’s primary point of contact for communications and interactions with elected and appointed officials. The Office of Government Relations, in cooperation with the Office of the President, is solely responsible for coordinating and scheduling visits of elected officials and/or members of their staff. 

II. Scope

This policy is applicable to all members of the campus community. 

III. Definitions

Elected/appointed officials: Individuals currently or previously holding elected office or appointed roles in the federal, state, or local government, including but not limited to: the president or vice president of the United States, U.S. senators, members of Congress, governors, lieutenant governors, state secretary of state, state senators, state representatives, state school superintendent, state attorney general, state agriculture commissioner, state insurance commissioner, state labor commissioner, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, members of the Board of Regents, mayors, county commission chairs, members of city councils and members of county commissions.

Campus community: Includes, but is not limited to, all faculty, administrators, staff (including student workers), students, alumni, interns, members of the Board of Trustees, and members of College-sponsored advisory committees and volunteers.

IV. Requirements for Contacting Elected or Appointed Officials
  1. Because the Office of Government Relations is responsible for building and sustaining relationships with defined external constituents, any member of the campus community who wishes to contact and/or invite an elected/appointed official to campus will contact the Office of Government Relations prior to action. Consultation with the Office of Government Relations will enable the institution to coordinate interactions and balance internal needs with the larger political environment.
  2. Elected or appointed officials who contact Georgia Gwinnett College faculty or staff about a visit will be referred to the Office of Government Relations for initial review. Upon notification, the Office of Government Relations will provide guidance regarding appropriate action.
  3. Student organizations interested in inviting elected/appointed officials to campus must consult the Office of Government Relations so the institution is coordinated in its approach and interactions. At a minimum, student organizations must notify the Office of Government Relations two weeks prior to an elected/appointed official’s visit to campus.