The discipline system extends and applies the general principles of the Statement of Student Rights and Freedoms within the academic community to specific actions and responsibilities of students and student organizations at the University of South Carolina Aiken. It accepts the proposition that “academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society, and that free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals.
As such the University strives to maintain an educational community which fosters the development of students who are ethically sensitive and responsible persons.
The University of South Carolina Aiken strives to protect this educational community and to maintain social discipline among its students. Consistent with its purposes, reasonable efforts will be made to foster the personal and social development of those students who are held accountable for violations of university social regulations.
The purpose of this document is to set forth the specific authority and responsibility of the university in maintaining social discipline, the educational process of determining student and student organization accountability for violating the regulations, andthe proper procedural safeguards to be followed in this process to insure fundamental fairness and protect the students and student organizations from unfair imposition of serious penalties and sanctions.
Application of Laws and Regulations
Students should be aware that educational institutions are not sanctuaries beyond the reach of the criminal laws of the communities and states where such institutions exist. While the rules and regulations of the University of South Carolina Aiken are notmeant to duplicate general laws, there are some aspects in which the lawful interest of the institution as an academic community coincide withthe broader public interests treated in general laws. Students who commit offenses against the laws of municipalities, states, or the United States, are subject to prosecution by those authorities and may be subject to disciplinary action under university rules when their conduct violates institutional standards.
Students, no less than other citizens, are entitled to be secure in their persons, lodgings, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Searches and seizures by law enforcement personnel incident to investigations or arrests and conducted only under proper warrant. This does not prohibit normal inspections of facilities for maintenance, health, or safety purposes. Note: University Housing policies allow for the entrance and inspection of student housing units if there is reason to believe that a violation of law oruniversity policy exists, or for life safety and/or emergency circumstances.
Students enjoy the same freedoms of speech and peaceable assembly as all citizens, but they are under certain legal obligations in the exercise of these freedoms by virtue of their membership in the university community. Expression may be subjected to reasonable regulations of time, place, number of persons, and form under established regulations. Expression in the form of action that materially interferes with the normal activities of the institution or invades the rights of others is prohibited. The university is pledged to protect lawful exercise of the rights of free speech and assembly and will invoke appropriate legal and disciplinary sanctions when necessary in the pursuit of this goal.
Students who are apprehended and charged by law enforcement agencies with felony criminal conduct on or off campus are required to inform the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life within five days.
The standard of proof required in university judicial processes differs from that required in criminal judicial processes. In university judicial processes, the standard of proof required to find a person responsible for a violation is that of the preponderance of the evidence. That is, if the evidence provided indicates that “more likely than not” the violation occurred, the student will be held accountable for that violation.
This policy can be read in full in the Student Handbook, on pages 34-46.