The University of Georgia is comprised of 17 schools that have set the bar on educational standards in America. Since its inception in 1785, the Athens-based UGA has been renowned for offering a world-class education that has produced alumni who are industry leaders in politics, medicine, and media. And for the last 20 years, the university has also been one of the nation's top three producers of Rhodes Scholars.
Considering its reputation, it should be expected that the University of Georgia has a long-established Code of Conduct that clearly defines the ethical standards that continue to attract and produce top academic talent. A UGA student who intentionally or unknowingly violates the 21-page Code of Conduct may find their education at risk. If you are facing academic discipline, it is important to know your rights and have an experienced attorney-advisor on your side to assist you in understanding your legal options.
What Is Considered an Academic Offense at the University of Georgia?
In its Code of Conduct, UGA comprehensively declares its ethics requirements and addresses the consequences if they are violated. The school declares that its aim is to “foster respect within the University community” and prepare students for “full participation in the global society of the twenty-first century.” This steadfast student ethics guide has led to the university maintaining an impressive list of alumni that includes nine Pulitzer Prize winners.
For the safety of its students and to safeguard its reputation, UGA's Code of Conduct prohibits a number of actions that can land a student in scholastic and even legal trouble regardless of whether the violation was intentional or not. The guide covers every college scenario from fraternity hazing to cheating on an exam and also addresses protocol related to weapons, gambling, drug use, and theft. We have broken down for you some of the key offenses mentioned in UGA's Code of Conduct.
- Dishonesty: UGA's list of examples of academic and non-academic dishonesty is so comprehensive that it has its own manual, A Culture of Honesty. Actions that may result in a charge of dishonesty include furnishing false information and/or intentionally omitting facts to school officials such as by forgery or use of a fake I.D. Bribes and attempting to subvert a campus election may also result in strong discipline.
- Disorderly Conduct charges include obvious violations like sexual harassment and physical violence or intimidation. It also sets forth its behavioral expectations when participating in a campus demonstration or attending an on-campus event.
- Disruption or Interference: UGA defines a disruption to its protocol as something as mundane as a student misrepresenting himself or skipping a requested disciplinary meeting, to more serious charges of harassment or retaliation against an administrative officer.
Sanctions for Code of Conduct Violations
Violating a university's ethics guide has serious consequences, of course. Depending on various factors like the student's past school record and the nature of the charge, the sanctions may include anything from having campus liberties restricted to something as devastating as expulsion from the University of Georgia. If a student is in violation of the Code of Conduct, a hearing panel may impose one or more sanctions, which may include:
- Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion: If it is deemed that the student should be suspended or put on probation, a judicial body will decide how long it will be before the student is eligible for readmission. An expulsion will result in permanent removal from the University of Georgia, and it can happen even after a student graduates, with the degree being revoked.
- Restitution: A student may be required to rectify an ethics violation via financial reimbursement for a loss caused by them. Or the student may be assigned community service to work at a site approved by the Office of Student Conduct.
- Restrictions: A UGA student may have some of their student liberties suspended, restricted, or removed during a suspension or probation. For instance, they may be barred from campus and/or have their student I.D. card and parking privileges revoked. More serious offenses can result in the loss of the student's privilege to live in UGA-owned dorms.
The University of Georgia's sanctions are expansive and include additional sanctions and penalties for serious offenses relating to drugs and alcohol, and for multiple or repeat offenses. An attorney with experience in resolving university ethics violations can help you plan your best defense to keep your college education on track.
Code of Conduct Conflict Resolutions
When a student is suspected of violating an ethics code, UGA's Office of Student Conduct will investigate and then coordinate any potential disciplinary action. An administrative officer reviews the violation with the student and determines possible solutions that may include either an informal or a formal resolution, with the latter resulting in an investigation and hearing.
- Informal resolution: If the student accepts the charges, they have the option of resolving the case through an informal process instead of a hearing. However, the student must also accept any resulting penalties that derive from the violation.
- Formal hearing: There are options available to any student who disputes their charges and rejects the informal resolution. The student is responsible for presenting their own case and has the right to be assisted by an advisor of their choosing.
Best Options in Responding to Ethics Violation Charges
As a University of Georgia student, the years of hard work that you put in to be accepted to such a respected institution of higher education comes with certain rights as a member of the UGA community. If you find yourself facing disciplinary action over a violation of the school's Code of Conduct, there are various options available to any student who disputes their charges.
An experienced attorney can help you better understand all of your rights and your best options for resolving the violation charge and safeguarding your education. After all, a misconduct determination on your academic record may make it difficult to gain admission to another school, and it can adversely affect scholarship opportunities, potential internships, and post-graduate career prospects.
Using an Attorney-Adviser
The University of Georgia is world-renowned as an Ivy League-caliber school. As a UGA student, your future is very promising. And a school ethics violation should not derail such an enviable academic career.
If you are facing a misconduct allegation, it is important to seek advice from an experienced academic misconduct lawyer. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have nationwide experience in defending college students accused of academic misconduct, and they can do the same for you. The Lento Law Firm is committed to defending you vigorously against any academic misconduct charges that can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you have set. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for more information.