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Office of Admissions

Yes, students sometimes find that their involvement in an incident is reviewed by two or more jurisdictions (e.g., the University discipline system and the civil and criminal justice systems). The fact that an incident is being examined from more than one perspective does not mean that the student has been placed in "double jeopardy". The purpose of Student Discipline is to determine if a person shall remain a member of this academic community and, if so, under what conditions.
Some violations may result in sanctions that separate a student from the University. The majority of cases, however, result in sanctions which allow the person to remain a student.
Students who are suspended from the University will have a disciplinary notation on their transcript. The transcripts of students who are assigned lesser sanctions do not reflect these disciplinary sanctions. However, some graduate programs, in particular law school, require that a student sign a waiver releasing their disciplinary information. Such information will only be released with a signed waiver by the student, during the period in which the University maintains their records (generally 7 years).
Yes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act makes a student's disciplinary record part of the educational record. This record may only be accessed by the student, the parent of a minor student, with the student's authorization, or in response to a court order. This educational record may also be shared with other members of the academic community with a legitimate need to know.
Generally, student disciplinary records are maintained for seven years.
Parents can be proactive with their student by discussing with him/her some of the various situations they will encounter on campus (e.g., those related to alcohol use and abuse, roommates/neighbors, members of the opposite sex, and personal safety). Also, they can speak with their student about the importance of academic integrity.
A student who is charged with violating the Academic or Non-Academic Code of Conduct and appears before the University Judicial Board (or Campus Judicial Officer) for a hearing may be accompanied by an advisor. The University assigns those students a Judicial Procedures Advisor, however, a student may also request to be assisted by an advisor or counsel of choice. Although this person may, with written permission, advise the student, accompany him/her to judicial proceedings and have access to evidence, etc., they may not speak on behalf of the student during the hearing.
That depends on the alleged violation being adjudicated. Administrative Hearings with the Campus Judicial Officer can be handled in 7-10 days if the student comes in promptly. University Judicial Board hearings can take 2-3 weeks or longer depending on the time in the semester and the complexity of the case.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student's education records. The law applies to all schools which receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

In 1998, changes in the law that governs the privacy of student records, FERPA permitted colleges and universities to inform the parents/guardians of students under the age of 21 when they determined the student violated University alcohol and drug policies. We at the University of South Carolina Aiken believe such notification can help us in educating our students. While we constantly strive to educate and empower students to make more responsible decisions about drug and alcohol usage, we know that the support of parents/guardians in this process is critical.

The University of South Carolina Aiken typically exercises its right to notify parents/guardians of students under 21 in the following situations:

  • Cases involving drug violations
  • Repeat or serious alcohol violations

The University also reserves the right to notify parents/guardians for first alcohol violations if deemed appropriate.

Confidentiality of Student Records

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, University of South Carolina Aiken students have the right to review, inspect, and challenge the accuracy of information kept in a cumulative file by the institution unless the student waives this right. It also insures that records cannot be released in other than emergency situations except*:

  1. To other school officials, including faculty, within the educational agency who have legitimate educational interests.
  2. To officials of other schools or school systems in which the student intends to enroll, upon condition that the student be notified of the transfer, receive a copy of the record desired, and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record.
  3. To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and administrative head of an education agency, or state educational authorities.
  4. In connection with a student’s application for, and receipt of, financial aid.
  5. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes. Upon receipt of the parents’ most recent federal income tax return listing the student as a dependent, the students’ records will be given. The student will be notified in writing and certified mail that this access has been given.
  6. Where the information is classified as “directory information.” The following categories of information have been designated by the University as directory information: name, address, email address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institution attended by the student and other similar information.

If you do not wish such information released without your consent, you should notify the Registrar’s Office prior to the first day of classes. Questions concerning this law and the University’s policy concerning release of academic information may be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

* In 1998, changes were made to the FERPA law. Higher education institutions are now permitted to inform parents about alcohol and drug violations.

The University Judicial Board (UJB) is a group of students and faculty who review cases in which there are alleged violations of the Academic or Non-Academic Code of Conduct in an effort to determine if a violation(s) took place and what appropriate sanction(s) should be assigned.

Membership of the University Judicial Board

The University Judicial Board is composed of the University Judicial Board chair, two faculty members, and one alternate selected from a pool of faculty chosen by the Campus Life Committee, and three students plus one alternate from a pool of students selected as described below :

  • Students interested in serving on the University Judicial Board should fill out an application available in the Student Life office. Out of all the applicants, an appropriate pool of students will be selected to serve by the Academic and Non-Academic Judicial officers and designees.
  • The University Judicial Board chair will be appointed to a two year term by the Campus Life Committee by April 30 each year from among the faculty members on the University Judicial Board. All board members will serve for one year, and they may be re-selected to serve consecutive terms.
  • A quorum will consist of the University Judicial Board chair, two faculty members, and two students.
  • Alternates should attend all proceedings until the UJB Chair feels that their service is no longer needed, but do not have voting status unless called upon to replace one of the members of the board during a hearing

A Judicial Procedures Advisor is a faculty member who serves as an advisor to an accused student or student organization. The Judicial Procedures Advisor is an ex-officio participant in any student disciplinary procedure. The Judicial Procedures Advisor will maintain an objective position in advising the student or student organization.

The Judicial Procedures Advisor is not an advocate who sides with either principal party involved in the disciplinary procedure but rather an advisor to guide the student in the procedures and in the unbiased collection of evidence to be used at a hearing, if such is necessary.

The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide each student enrolled at USC Aiken with a standardized, formal process for seeking a resolution when, in the student’s judgment, he/she has been treated unfairly or improperly. Students seeking redress of grievances may do so without fear of reprisal. Students enrolled in USC Aiken’s off-campus programs, once a Change of School form has been completed, shall be entitled to relief from any academic complaint or grievance through the student grievance procedure established in the applicable USC Regional Campus Student Handbook. After a judgment has been rendered on that campus, an appeal to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at USC Aiken and a subsequent appeal to the USC Aiken Chancellor may be made.

Unfair or improper treatment of a student by a faculty/staff member may be defined as:

  • An instructor’s or staff member’s failure to abide by stated university policies (including policies related to the adverse effects on a student’s academic standing due to problems in the instructor’s ability to write or speak English) or state law; or an instructor’s failure to abide by written or stated course requirements.
  • An instructor’s prejudiced or capricious evaluation practices which result in grades being assigned based on factors other than the student’s performance on coursework. The procedures herein shall not extend to matters of grading student work where the substance of a complaint is based on the student’s disagreement with the markor grade placed on the student’s work in partial or complete fulfillment of the course. Such matters shall be discussed by the student and the faculty member; however, the final decision regarding grade assignment rests solely with the faculty member. This responsibility for the assessment of student academic performance is integral to the nature of an academic institution and to the professional competency of its professoriate.
  • Discrimination against students by faculty or staff in academic or non-academic matters for reasons of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or veteran’s status.
  • Improper personal or professional behavior involving faculty, staff, or administrators, excluding charges of sexual misconduct which are addressed by the USC System Sexual Harassment Policy. In addition to sexual harassment, the following issuescannot be addressed using this grievance procedure: disciplinary decisions, housing appeals decisions, residency classification decisions, traffic appeals decisions or any other type of decision where a clearly defined appeal process exists

This policy can be read in full in the Student Handbook, on pages 54-57.

View Student Handbook

The Admissions staff at the University of South Carolina Aiken understands that the college selection process can be overwhelming. Our staff is dedicated and prepared to help you with information about the University and our admissions process.

Your enrollment counselor is your personal contact at USC Aiken. If you have a specific question, please feel free to contact him/her.

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