2020 - 2021 Student Handbook
The community of scholars at the University of South Carolina is dedicated to personal and academic excellence. We oppose intolerance by promoting integrity within our campus community. Our common values are formed upon the foundation of our creed, which emphasizes openness and civility. It is our hope that by joining this community, you will aspire to hold certain ideals and an agreement to strive for the level of achievement and virtue suggested by the following:
I will practice personal and academic integrity.
A commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with cheating in classes, in games, or in sports, it should eliminate the practice of plagiarism or borrowing another student’s homework, lying, deceit, excuse making, and infidelity or disloyalty in personal relationships.
I will respect the dignity of all persons.
A commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with behaviors which compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including hazing, most forms of intimidating, taunting, teasing, baiting, ridiculing, insulting, harassing, and discrimination.
I will respect the rights and property of others.
A commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with all forms of theft, vandalism, arson, misappropriation, malicious damage to, and desecration or destruction of property. Respect for another’s personal rights is inconsistent with any behavior which violates persons’ right to move about freely, express themselves appropriately, and to enjoy privacy.
I will discourage bigotry, striving to learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions.
A commitment to this ideal pledges affirmative support for equal rights and opportunities for all students regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, disability, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, political, social or other affiliation or disaffiliation, affectional preference.
I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings and their need for conditions which support their work and development.
A commitment to this ideal is a pledge to be compassionate and considerate, to avoid behaviors which are insensitive, inhospitable, or insightful, or which unjustly or arbitrarily inhibit another’s ability to feel safe or welcomed in their pursuit of appropriate academic goals.
Allegiance to these ideals obligates each student to refrain from and discourage behaviors which threaten the freedom and respect all individuals deserve.
This last clause reminds community members that they are not only obliged to avoid these behaviors, but that they also have an affirmative obligation to confront and challenge, and respond to, or report the behaviors whenever or wherever they’re encountered.
|Academic Advisement||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Auto Decals||Student Life||Student Union|
|Books & Supplies||Bookstore||Student Union|
|Change of Campus||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Change of Major||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Data Processing Needs||Computer Lab||Anderson Library|
|Fee Payment & Fines||Business Office||Administration|
|Financial Aid Applications||Financial Aid Office||Administration|
|Food Service||Fire Ant Café||Student Union|
|Football Tickets||Student Life||Student Union|
|General Information||Switchboard Receptionist||Administration|
|Grade Change Petition||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Grievances||Student Life||Student Union|
|Intramural Sports||Campus Recreation||Nettles Gym|
|Internet Access on Campus||Library & WiFi||Anderson Library|
|Keys Locked In Car||Switchboard Receptionist||Administration|
|Lost and Found||Switchboard Receptionist||Administration|
|Military Tuition Assistance||Financial Aid Office||Administration|
|Residency Forms||Admissions Office||Administration|
|Schedule of Classes||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Scholarship Applications||Financial Aid Office||Administration|
|Student Employment||Financial Aid Office||Administration|
|Palmetto College||Admissions Office||Administration|
|Student I.D.s||Student Life||Student Union|
|Student Organizations||Student Life||Student Union|
|Self Service Carolina||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Transcripts - Academic||Records & Advisement||Administration|
|Tuition Refunds||Business Office||Administration|
|Tutoring||OSP & Library||Business Admin/Library|
|USC Sumter Bulletins||Website|
|Veterans Assistance||Financial Aid Office||Administration|
|Visa/International Students||Admissions Office||Administration|
|Wellness Center||Campus Recreation||Nettles Gym|
The USC Sumter Bookstore is located in the Student Union Building. The store carries a full line of textbooks and academic supplements and materials, as well as supplies, clothing, and novelty items. Hours of operation are posted near the entrance. Ext. 3846, 3821 or 3753.
The computer facilities are located in the Anderson Library. The computer center is staffed at all times with an assistant that is available to assist with hardware problems (computers, printers, etc.). However, staff assistants are not provided to assist with projects and assignments. USC Sumter students, faculty and staff have priority use of this facility. Valid USC Sumter ID is required for use of computers. If you have questions or need assistance, please call the Information Technology Department at Ext. 3839, 3737, or 3848.
Should an emergency or accident occur, dial 3400 on campus or notify the switchboard operator Ext. 0, located in the lobby of the administration building. If the situation warrants, call EMS - Emergency Medical Service 911.
USC Sumter seeks to provide financial aid to every student in need of such assistance. Awards are based on demonstrated financial need and on academic promise. Scholarships, grants, loans, and on-campus job programs are available. Normally, early applicants receive assistance, but late applicants are awarded as funds are available. Interested students should contact the Office of Financial Aid Ext. 3840 or Veterans Affairs Ext. 3807 for further information. Ext. 3766.
The USC Sumter Fire Ant Café offers an assortment of hot meals, grilled foods, sandwiches, and salads. In addition, a variety of snack food items and beverages are available for purchase. For information contact Windy Brown in the Fire Ant Café at Ext. 3825. Snack and drink machines are also located in each building. If you should encounter mechanical problems with any of the vending machines on campus, please contact Dr. Hennie van Bulk in the Business Office at Ext. 3838.
To provide intellectual leadership and create a higher educational environment that will promote learning.
USC Sumter Mission Statement
Approved by the Board of Trustees - October 11, 2019
Next Board of Trustees Scheduled Review - January 2023
The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus is a branch campus of the University of
Carolina Columbia. Sumter has as its mission to provide higher education and intellectual leadership
for its service area. At the heart of this mission is a teaching faculty of high quality dedicated to
excellence in instruction, scholarship, public and professional service, and creative endeavor which
enrich the classroom experience. The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus offers a varied
curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and focused on preparing students to continue their education
in the University of South Carolina System and throughout life.
The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus recruits students prepared to succeed
in completing a
baccalaureate‐ level education. While the institution does not offer remedial instruction, it is
nonetheless able to admit most students who apply due to the close working relationship between
students and faculty. The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus was established to encourage
higher education in the counties of Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw, Sumter, and Williamsburg. The original
design of the institution incorporated a flexibility that has allowed changes in institutional capability
with increasing educational demands of constituents.
Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face
learning formats and modalities, the institution awards the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science
degrees and provides for the completion of selected bachelor’s degrees on campus through
cooperative agreements and delivery structures with other University of South Carolina System
institutions. The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus also provides general education and
upper division coursework applicable to baccalaureate degree programs offered through colleges and
universities nationwide. In addition to academic coursework, the mission of the campus includes noncredit
courses, seminars, and workshops made available to the community for cultural enrichment
and professional development.
The traditions of cultural diversity and freedom of thought are valued at the Sumter
College campus. In a learning environment that develops respect for racial, geographical, intellectual,
and economic diversity and an awareness of individual, societal, and global responsibilities, Sumter
promotes courses, activities, and attitudes which influence the life of the mind in men and women and
instill in them a thirst to continue learning throughout life.
The Sumter regional Palmetto College campus emphasizes the development of the whole
especially seeks to foster in students the disciplines essential to an educated citizenry. Core
competencies, including the ability to communicate through effective writing and articulate speech;
computational and quantitative mastery; creative and critical thinking; and the duties of citizenship are
strategically integrated within the curriculum. Classroom experiences, student activities, and physical
education programs also provide opportunities for cultural enrichment, leadership development,
intellectual growth and interpersonal relationships, all contributing to a sense of self‐reliance and a joy
The purpose of the following statement is to enumerate the essential provisions for student freedom tolearn.
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the overalldevelopment of its students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students shouldbe encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained andindependent search for truth. Institutional procedures for achieving these academic freedoms may varyfrom campus to campus, but the basic standards outlined below are essential to any community ofscholars.
The freedom to teach and the freedom to learn are inseparable facts of academic freedom. The freedomto learn especially depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should practice their freedom with enthusiasm and responsibility.
The responsibility to uphold and respect the general conditions conducive to these freedoms is shared byall members of the academic community. The University has developed policies and procedures whichprovide and safeguard these freedoms. These policies and procedures are within the framework ofgeneral standards with the broadest possible participation of members of the academic community.
II. IN THE CLASSROOM
The professor, in the classroom and in conference, should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performances should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions orconduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
A. Protection of Freedom of Expression
Students are free to take reasoned exception to the information or views offered in any course ofstudy and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion. They are, however, responsible for learningthe content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
B. Protection from Improper Disclosure
Students, through orderly procedures, have protection against prejudiced or capricious academicevaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academicperformance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
C. Confidentiality of Student Records
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which professors acquire duringthe course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors is considered confidential. Protectionagainst improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances,normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.
The University of South Carolina Sumter is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, which is designed to protect students’ rights with regard toeducational records maintained by the institution. Under this Act, students have the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review educational records maintained by the institution that pertain tothe requesting student,
- The right to challenge the content of records (except grades) on the grounds that they areinaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the requesting students’ privacy or other rights, and
- The right to control disclosures from a student’s education records with certain
The University of South Carolina Sumter’s policy is to comply with the provisions of the FamilyEducational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A copy of the FERPA may be obtained in the RecordsOffice. Students also have the right to file complaints with the FERPA office at the following address:Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington DC 20202-4605 regarding alleged violations of the Act. A copy of the FERPA policy is located in theRecords Office.
The above is the University policy indicating the information which should be a part of a student’spermanent educational record and the conditions of its disclosure. To minimize the risk of improperdisclosure, academic and disciplinary records are separate, and the conditions of access to each are setforth in this explicit policy statement. Final transcripts or academic records contain only information aboutacademic status. Information from disciplinary files is not available to any unauthorized persons oncampus, or to any person off campus without the express consent of the student involved except underlegal compulsion for security clearance.
No permanent records are kept which reflect the political activities or beliefs of students. Administrativestaff and faculty members respect as confidential such information which they acquire during the course of their work. Counseling files are not available to any person without the consent of thestudent except under legal compulsion. Authorized counselors do not, without the consent of thestudent, disclose any information obtained while counseling any student unless failure to disclose the information could result in emotional harm to the student or others.
D. Commitment to English Language Proficiency Instruction
The University has established procedures to certify that all classroom activities are conducted by individuals withspoken and written proficiency in the English language at a suitable level. Student complaints concerning the Englishproficiency of an individual with classroom responsibilities should follow the academic grievance procedures.
Academic Advisement has as its mission to provide support services in the area of academic advisement in order to enhance the achievement of USC Sumter’s greater mission of providing higher education and intellectual leadership for the Sumter area. Our intention is to assure the retention of the student in his/her program of study through its completion.
The purpose of academic advisement at USC Sumter is to assist students in the formation and clarification of their values, interests, abilities, and life/career goals, as well as in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. USC Sumter advisors, faculty and staff, in good faith, provide the most accurate advisement possible, in order to effectively guide students through their chosen degree programs.
Final authority on degree programs offered by any institution other than USC Sumter, resides with the other institution. As such, it is the student’s responsibility to check and verify policies, procedures, and regulations (academic and non-academic) for other institutions, including other USC campuses.
Upon admission, each degree seeking student is assigned an academic advisor. He/she will meet with the advisor at least once a semester. The student may call or e-mail their advisor as needed. Students are responsible for making advisement appointments. Advisors will send out advisement reminders via University e-mail. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with an advisor any time they have questions or concerns. Students do not have to wait until their next advisement appointment to talk with their advisor.
The following Sumter community services are available to all USC Sumter students:
Sumter Behavioral Health Services - 775-6815 Treatment Division - 775-5080
Adolescent Services - 775-6815 Detox Program - 775-9012 Preventive Services - 778-2835 Sumter Pregnancy Center - 773-4357
Santee Wateree Mental Health Center- 775-9364 Sumter County Health Department - 773-5511
Sumter County Department of Social Services - 773-5531
SUPPORT SERVICES / ACCOMMODATIONS FOR LEARNING DISABLED STUDENTS
Students who have been accepted to the university and require disability related accommodations must also submit an application with the Student Disability Resource Center for the coordination and approval of your accommodations.
Any student who desires disability-related accommodations must be registered with the Office of Student Disability Services. Disability status is not retroactive, meaning an individual is not recognized by the university as someone with a disability during a time period in which he/she was not registered with the Office of Student Disability Services. Because disability status is not retroactive, it is important that any student with a disability, who desires to register, do so for his/her first semester of attendance. It can take between 2-3 weeks to register with the Office Student Disability Services. The student may begin the registration process after being admitted to the university.
Student Disability Services will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities; however, registration as a student with a disability does not guarantee accommodations. With appropriate documentation accommodations may be approved on a case by case basis.
A. Registration with Student Disability Services can be a complex and lengthy process for many reasons. Registration takes approximately 2-3 weeks. Therefore, students should start the registration process once they are admitted to USC and know they will attend.
B. In order to register as a student with a disability and apply for accommodations, students must provide an “Application for Registration with Student Disability Services” and documentation of their disability to the Office of Student Disability Services. The documentation must be from an appropriate physician or person licensed to make such a diagnosis. The documentation should follow our “guidelines for documentation.” This documentation is used to determine whether the student can be registered as a student with a disability, and what appropriate accommodations can be made based on the disability and its impact on the student’s major life functions.
Visit the Student Disability Resource Center page on the UofSC website for the Online Application for Services and for information on Documentation Guidelines. To assist you in obtaining the documentation needed, the Office Student Disability Services (OSDS) recommends that you print the online guidelines and provide them to the qualified professional who is providing your documentation. Any student who has accessibility concerns with the How to Register links should contact the Office of Student Disability Services at 803-938-3800 or visit OSDS in 101 Administration Building for assistance.
C. When both the online Student Application for Services Form AND documentation of disability are received, the file is forwarded to the appropriate Coordinator for review.
D. After a file is reviewed, Student Disability Services will send a letter to the student via email to the address indicated on the Student Application for Registration Form. A second email will follow if no response is received after the initial email.
1. The letter will address one of the following:
a. The student is ready for a Student Disability Services Orientation and can call Student Disability Services to schedule an Orientation meeting.
b. Additional documentation is needed. Upon receipt of any additional documentation submitted by the student, the file will be reviewed.
c. If the student’s documentation does not meet eligibility criteria for the accommodations requested and no other documentation can be acquired, the student will be offered registration as a student with a disability without any accommodations.
The office for the Student Disability Resource Center is centrally located on campus in the Administration Building Room 101.
Students already enrolled at the University of South Carolina who suspect that they are learning disabled should seek assistance from the ADA Coordinator, where they can be referred to a licensed school or clinical psychologist. The results of the evaluation will be submitted to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for verification of learning disability status.
*While the University of South Carolina has voluntarily adopted the federal definition of learning disabilities as stated in Public Law 94-142, it is explicitly noted that this federal statute does not govern institutions of higher education nor accommodations made at this University.
ACCOMMODATIONS FOR VISUAL, MOBILITY, DEAF / HEARING IMPAIRMENTS
USC Sumter, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensures “that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because buildings are inaccessible”. Students with impairments and/or disabilities should contact the ADA Coordinator concerning their needs. Upon documentation and verification, USC Sumter is committed to helping impaired students help themselves succeed. Specific needs and services are handled on an individual basis.
As of March 2011, a new provision in federal disability law under Title II narrowed the definition of "direct threat" to include only threat to others. This means that it is now discriminatory to dismiss or discipline a student on the basis of their suicidal or self-harming behaviors.
It is the goal of the Student Life office to provide programming at a nominal cost to students. Students at USC Sumter do not pay an “activities” fee. As with all fee related policies, the current policy is subject to change without prior notification.
ATHLETIC TICKET INFORMATION
USC Sumter athletic events do not require ticket purchase for attendance. The USC Sumter Student Life Office offers a limited number of USC Columbia season football tickets at the Student discount rate for currently enrolled USC Sumter students. All other USC Columbia athletic event tickets may be purchased from the USC ticket office at (803) 777-4274.
Student Activities are programs and events such as noon hour concerts, drama/theater productions, comedians, magicians, movie nights, late nights, etc. that are designed to provide an opportunity for students to be exposed to a wide variety of experiences and performances. Getting involved with campus activities and student organizations will enhance your development as a student and add to your University experience. For more information, contact the Student Life Department in the Student Union or call extension 3763.
STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
The Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs works directly with students who currently receive or wish to apply for financial aid, scholarships, and Veterans benefits. Information is available on the Federal Pell Grant, LTAP, Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford and Perkins Loans, USC Sumter scholarships, and Veterans benefits. Students can receive financial aid counseling to determine what options will work best for their situations. Admin 109, Ext 3840
The Department of Student Life provides the non-academic, non-classroom support that promotes the development of the “whole” student. The development of purpose, competence, integrity, character, and leadership is the goal of the programs and activities sponsored by Student Life. In conjunction with the academic mission of the University, Student Life strongly believes that the greatest learning occurs during non-classroom activities which utilize skills gained in class. USC Sumter strives to be an environment which students find to be learning oriented, caring, culturally diverse, and student centered. Please feel free to contact the Student Life Office in the Student Union, Room 121B or Ext. 3763 if you have questions or concerns about campus life.
This organization engages in discussions about controversial issues which citizens confront daily. In these discussions, each person has a chance to present his or her point of view on the particular subject. The Apeiron Society attends scholarly events, historical conferences, and any other event that members find interesting and pertinent to the society’s objectives. Club members also hold public forums, debates, and interviews of public figures. This club is ideal for pre-law, political science, and other humanities majors. The Aperion Society welcomes all interested students.
The SAG promotes interest in art, provides art-related activities, and makes contributions to the University in art. AG welcomes all interested students.
This group was established to bring together students who play various musical instruments. Prior band members and talented aspiring musicians are encouraged to be members of the ensemble. Opportunities are presented to perform on and off campus.
Provides students with the opportunity to interact with other students, faculty, and the broader scientific community who share a passion for the study of science, biology, and environmental conservation. They encourage discussion from all fields of science with an emphasis on how they relate to biology.
Blazin’ Star Steppers
This group was formed to bring about social interactions in the form of dance and steps. Any USC Sumter students interested in demonstrating positive attitudes expressed through innovative steps are encouraged to join. Participates on the step team are challenged both mentally and physically. Opportunities are presented to perform on and off campus.
Campus Activities Board
The purpose of the Campus Activities Board is to promote friendship and interaction among students, faculty, and staff, through a wide variety of events such as comedians, magicians, hypnotists, special events, and cultural events. CAB’s responsibility is to select, plan, and implement campus-wide programs and activities that represent the social and entertainment wants and needs of the students. CAB membership welcomes those students who really want to be where the action is. The CAB welcomes all interested students.
Christian Collegiate Ministry
CCM is a fellowship of college students seeking to find and implement God’s purpose for them and their world. Individual and community growth is sought through such experiences as fellowships, study groups, worship programs and service projects. The BCM welcomes all interested students.
Cheerleading and Stunt Team
Students, both male and female, interested in performing acrobatic stunts and dance routines before athletic crowds and promoting the University at various functions are encouraged to join. Positive attitude and a contagious campus spirit are required.
This group enjoys movie entertainment along with community interaction. The club sponsors movies and film reviews on campus. The Cinema Club participates in regular movie viewings, movie discussions, and movie screenings for the campus.
Sponsored by the Sumter Kiwanis Club and Circle K International, Circle K provides needed service to the community and practical leadership opportunities as well as good fellowship. Circle K strives to help young people in the community make their best effort, achieve their best, and give their best back to the community. The Circle K welcomes all interested students.
This group provides a social connection to the students and the community through video games. The Game Club promotes friendly competition, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and self- expression. This club participates in frequent gaming, gaming discussions, and gaming tournaments.
This group was established to bring together the Student Body through song. The Gospel Choir promotes fellowship and spirited appreciation of Gospel music. Practices are held to prepare for on and off campus performances. The Gospel Choir welcomes all interested students.
Hunting and Fishing Club
This club is for Students, both male and female, interested in hunting and fishing. The H&F club promotes camaraderie, respect, and knowledge through hunting and fishing. The members of the H&F club will participate in scheduled meetings, hunting and fishing trips/events, and in- depth discussions relating to hunting and fishing.
Multicultural Diversity Organization (MDO)
This organization strives to promote individual student awareness and foster harmonious diverse relationships among all students within the University community. The organization is the leader in promoting student involvement among all ethnic groups while recognizing individual challenges students face on an everyday basis. The MDO welcomes all interested students.
Outdoor Adventure Club
This organization provides opportunities for students who are interested in outdoor recreation. The club participates in activities that are both mentally and physically challenging. The Outdoor Adventure Club welcomes all interested students.
Protect Animals with Shelter (PAWS)
This organization is designed to help save and find homes for stray and abandoned animals in the Sumter community. It is through efforts of P.A.W.S., many animals are spayed and neutered thus helping control the pet population. The group welcomes all interested students.
This club provides challenging and enjoyable recreation pursuits for students who wish to participate in regular physical activity. This organization participates in structured and unstructured recreation activities. The Recreation Club supports intramurals, health and wellness, and physical activity by organizing, planning, and participating in recreational events for the campus.
The Soccer Club provides recreational pursuits for students who wish to participate in soccer. This club participates in structured and unstructured soccer related activities. The Soccer Club supports intramurals, health and wellness, and physical activity by organizing and participating in soccer related events.
TEACh is a pre-professional organization for students in education who have not been active as career educators. The primary goal of the TEACh is to help education majors make a smooth transition from the campus to the classroom. TEACh helps students learn about the critical non- instructional aspects of the profession. The TEACh organization welcomes all interested students.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association is composed of the student body of the University of South Carolina Sumter. Participation by all students and each student organization is strongly encouraged in order to conduct student affairs effectively and serve as the liaison between the faculty, administration and the student body. Every USC Sumter student is eligible to vote in student government elections held each spring semester. Meetings are open to the public and all interested students are encouraged to attend.
The Stage (Drama Club)
The Stage is USC Sumter’s drama club. This organization seeks to promote students and campus development through creativity in all aspects of theatre and theatre production. The Stage welcomes all interested students.
University Ambassadors represent USC Sumter both on and off campus. The core duty of this organization is to assist with new student orientation (SOAR), but they also provide campus tours for prospective students and accompany the Admissions staff to various high school recruitment events. Students must have completed at least one semester at USC Sumter and be recommended by a faculty, staff or current University Ambassador before being considered.
University Veterans (UVets)
The purpose of the University Veterans group is to provide a network of veterans, to include students, faculty, and staff as a tool for veterans to communicate with other veterans. The UVets strive to build a core that allows for open discussion for all issues and problems that Veterans will face on a day to day basis in their collegial and personal lives. It will also serve as way to help form bonds and relationships without the fear of being judged, stereotyped or of repercussions. The group also provides activities to help with the control of stress, to include gatherings, trips, and dinners. The UVets also work to build relationships with local community, business and Military Professional Groups and Organizations.
STUDENT ORGANIZATION GUIDELINES
Students bring to the campus a variety of interests and they develop many new interests as members of the academic community. They are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests.
1. Affiliation with a non-university organization should not in itself disqualify recognition of a student organization. Each organization is free to choose its own campus advisor subject to student organization guidelines.
2. Members of the faculty and staff serve the campus community when they accept the responsibility to advise and consult with student organizations; they do not have the authority to control the policy of such organizations.
3. Student organizations are required to submit a copy of their constitution, a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedures, and a current list of members as a condition of institutional recognition other than an initial list of members on formation of an organization.
4. Campus organizations, including those affiliated with a non-university organization, should be open to all students without respect to race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or national origin.
5. The membership, policies, and actions of a student organization usually will be determined by vote of only those persons within the University community.
6. No fees can be required to become a member of a USC Sumter student organization except if the organization is affiliated with a larger organization that requires an additional fee. Members may choose to join, for a fee, a related state, regional, or national organization.
7. Student organizations that remain inactive for 2 or more consecutive semesters are subject to termination and their accounts may be dissolved.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
The students of the University of South Carolina Sumter, in order to conduct student affairs in an efficient, orderly, and systematic manner; to define clearly the powers and responsibilities of the students; to secure for students the training and experience in self-government; and to provide an organizational framework through which student efforts for a better university may be directed, established the Student Government Association of the University of South Carolina Sumter.
The SGA is composed of the student body of the University of South Carolina Sumter. Participation by all students and each student organization is strongly recommended in order to conduct student affairs effectively and serve as the liaison between the faculty, administration, and the student body. The Student Government Association is governed by the Student Government Executive Officers (President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer), who are elected each Spring semester from the student body. The Student Government Executive Officers make recommendations regarding student organization budgets and nominates students to serve on University committees. Meetings are open to all students.
FREEDOM OF INQUIRY AND EXPRESSION
1. Students and student organizations are free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express their opinions publicly and privately. They are free to support causes by lawful and orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution and which do not interfere with the rights of others. At the same time, students and student organizations must make it clear to the academic and local community that their expressions or demonstrations represent only themselves.
2. Students are allowed to invite and hear any person of their own choosing, but this right is subject to those routine procedures provided for off-campus speakers. These procedures are designed only to ensure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to the academic community, and that the safety of individuals, the University, and the community are not endangered. While the University is properly concerned with the prevention of unlawful conduct, the institutional control of campus facilities is not to be used as a device of censorship of ideas. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply the approval or endorsement of the views expressed by either the sponsoring group or the institution.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNANCE
As constituents of the academic community, students are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of general interest to the student body. The student body should have clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs. The role of the student government and both its general and specific responsibilities should be explicit and the student government within the areas of its jurisdiction should be reviewed only through orderly and prescribed procedures.
The University should provide autonomy for the Student Government to maintain their integrity or purpose as elected representatives of the student body.
STUDENT SERVICE ON INSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEES
Students selected, elected or appointed to institutional committees must have and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and remain in good standing with the university. Student Development Transcript Credit is available for this service.
Student organizations must be registered with the University of South Carolina Sumter. The University promotes the developmental activities of student organizations since it recognizes that co-curricular activities form an important part of the overall educational experience of students at the University of South Carolina Sumter. The institution provides the use of its name and physical facilities contributes faculty and staff time for advice and counsel and encourages development of student government and organization. The University views student organizations as private affiliations and does not endorse the mission, goals, or purpose
of the organization. USC Sumter does not allow its name to be used in the organization’s name in any form or allow the organization to represent the University on behalf of the University.
Registered organizations exist only on the USC Sumter campus. Registered student organizations shall be referred to as “_ , a registered organization at USC Sumter.”
Student organizations are defined as any registered group or organization which admits University of South Carolina Sumter students to its membership, whose program or activities affect student welfare, or which use campus facilities in the operation of its program. The activities of recognized organizations are confined to activities covered by the statement of purpose in the organization’s constitution.
Faculty and staff members are available to advise student organizations. Every student organization is required to have an advisor who is a member of the faculty or staff. The advisor’s purpose is to aid the organization, to provide an educational experience for its members, and to assist organizations in complying with USC Sumter regulations and policies.
Active membership in registered student organizations shall be limited to persons officially connected with the University as faculty, staff, or students. A 2.0 cumulative USC system GPA is required for editorial positions on USC Sumter publications, all elected and appointed executive positions of registered student organizations, and for all elected or appointed SGA positions.
This average is required at the time of nomination and must be maintained while the office is held. Officers of all organizations must be in good standing with the University.
In order to function as a part of the University, a student organization must be registered and approved. Only an approved organization is permitted to use the name and the facilities of the University of South Carolina Sumter. When an organization does this, it accepts regulation by the University. Recognition as a student organization may be withdrawn for violation of University regulations. Annually in the fall, each chartered organization wishing to continue its recognized status on campus must file with the Office of Student Life a license to continue as an active organization. Failure to submit this required form by October 1 will result in loss of recognition of the organization.
PROCESS FOR CHARTERING A NEW CAMPUS ORGANIZATION
Students wishing to form a new campus organization should observe the following procedures. Forms and other information are available in the Student Life Office.
- A. Request a sample constitution from the Student Life office.
- B. Secure the signature of a faculty or staff advisor.
- C. Secure the signature of ten (10) or more proposed members who are students at USC Sumter.
- D. Submit a proposed constitution to Student Life (use Microsoft Word). This document should state the purpose, organizational structure, functions and rules of the proposed organization. The new organization will be permitted to meet on campus, pending approval,
only to organize and set up the organization. This does not mean the organization may hold open meetings, bring in speakers, have public events or participate in fundraising efforts until formal registration and recognition has been granted.
- E. Submit the complete documentation to the SGA for approval.
- F. Once written approval has been acknowledged by the SGA, present the constitution to Student Life in printed and electronic form.
- G. The Student Life Office will recommend and seek tentative approval and modifications from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Regional Campus Dean after receiving the recommendation of the Student Government Association.
- H. Upon a favorable response and return of the constitution from the Dean and Associate Dean, the organization may begin to function on a limited basis. The Student Life office will make the necessary modifications and seek signature approval from the Organization President, Organization Advisor, SGA President, Student Life, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and Regional Campus Dean. Upon signature approval of these, the organization may begin to function as a fully recognized organization.
Any campus organization wishing to conduct a fundraising event, or in any other way solicit funds for any purpose from students other than its own members, must request permission from the Student Life Office. This request shall be submitted a minimum of ten (10) days in advance of the proposed date of commencement of collection of funds or sale of tickets.
GUIDELINES FOR MONEY DEPOSITS
The following guidelines apply for all monies collected by a Student Organization and forwarded to the Student Life Office for Deposit:
1. Checks must be made payable to USC Sumter, not to the individual student organization or the activity. Checks not payable to USC Sumter will be returned to the organization for correction.
2. Checks must have the name, address, and telephone number of the person writing the check with the current date (no postdating).
3. Write on the lower left of the check what account or activity for which the payment is made.
4. When advertising for student organization events, the advertisement should ask for DONATIONS (newspapers, posters, flyers, E-mail etc.). Admission taxes must be paid when there is a charge for an event. These taxes are charged to the student organization account.
5. All funds raised, on a given day, must be deposited with the Student Life Office by the end of the next school day. The funds will be credited to the organization’s account. Student organizations which are eligible for student activities monies are not allowed to have outside bank accounts.
REQUESTS FOR UNIVERSITY FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
All eligible student organizations whose membership is open to all USC Sumter students may apply for University fund allocations. Allocations are made at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Organizations wishing to request funds for the ensuing academic year should submit their requests and membership list to the Office of Student Life prior to October 1 and
January 30th. Requests are reviewed by the Student Government Committee and recommended to Student Life. Organizations in their first year of existence are ineligible for allocated funds.
A. Criteria for Budget Evaluation:
1. Activities - the sponsorship of campus wide activities. Must attend SGA meetings, organization meetings and functions.
2. Past Use of Funds - the responsible use of funds allocated to the organization for the previous three years.
3. Image - how the organization is perceived on campus.
4. Publicity - efforts made by the group to publicize the organization and its activities.
5. Size - the number of active members in the organization.
6. Cannot spend allocated funds for food and or personal gain item (example: hats, clothing), unless the activity is open and advertised to the entire student body.
B. Appeals for fund allocations shall be handled in the following manner:
1. The organization shall request in writing another hearing by the SGA.
2. If the appeal is rejected, the organization may then appeal to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
C. Source and Use of Organization Funds
University funds are not allocated to student organizations. The University may allocate funds to a particular program sponsored by the organization if the program is beneficial to the student body as a whole. Funds allocated may not be used for the personal benefit of individual members of the organization (example food for meetings, shirts, trips, etc.).
Funds can be used to purchase these items from non-allocated funds, such as those deposited from fund-raisers.
Organizations planning to raise money must be granted permission from the Student Life Office. All money generated by fund raising must be deposited within one (1) business day. If money is needed for expenses, a Request for Funds Form must be submitted, and funds issued by the University. All monies raised must be spent in accordance with University policies and have the appropriate approvals before any money is spent. Proper itemized receipts must be returned. Money may not be allocated to student organizations for travel. Organizations using food items to raise funds must notify the Student Life office and the Fire Ant Café in advance of the date of the fundraiser. Donations may be solicited only within the Student Union Building unless otherwise approved by the Director of Student Life. Office-to-office solicitation is strictly prohibited.
EXPENDITURE OF BUDGETED FUNDS
The purchases will be reflected on the monthly budget summary report. Items purchased must be non-inventory items. All purchases for student organizations should be pre-approved by the organization president and the advisor. Reimbursement will only be made to three (3) officers or members designated by the president of the organization. Reimbursements are made upon
presentation of a valid itemized receipt which contains; Name of vendor, date of transaction, items purchased, total amount tendered, and type of payment. If any of these sections are handwritten, the receipt must be signed by the cashier/representatives of the vendor. Under no circumstances should personal items appear on the receipt as authorized university student organization purchases.
OVER-EXPENDITURE OF BUDGET
Over-spending a university account is a violation of university policy. First offense violations are subject to a letter of reprimand and probation status for the remainder of the academic year.
An organization, which remains over-expended for two consecutive months or over-expends twice within the academic year will result in suspension from campus pending a hearing from the Discipline and Grievance Committee.
University funds cannot be used as direct contributions to charitable organizations. Contributions may be made as a result of fundraising events where net profits may be donated to said charity.
PARTISAN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
1. No allocated funds may be used for political purposes or the support of political candidates whether for federal, state, local, or the University level.
2. Funds raised by organizations in receipt of University allocations may not be used for partisan political purposes.
All equipment purchased is the property of the University and must be inventoried according to University inventory guidelines. Equipment shall be audited as part of the audit process. Each organization will keep an up-to-date inventory. The organizations will provide a list of equipment on hand at the time of the Student Government Association budget request hearings.
1. No dues may be charged to students as a requirement for membership in a USC Sumter student organization. An exception is made when fees are required from each student by the sponsoring national organization for national affiliation/recognition.
2. The funding of state, regional, or national dues shall be evaluated on the basis of the purpose and benefits given by the state, regional, or national organization to the local organization. Again, no individual student dues may be paid for state, regional or national memberships. This data must be attached to the budget request.
3. All dues and other monies collected by a funded organization shall be reported as income and deposited in the student organization account within one (1) business day.
RESERVATION OF UNIVERSITY FACILITIES
Subject to prior reservation, student organizations are eligible to use University facilities for meetings and other functions. Reservations are made via the Activity Information Sheet, which
may be obtained from the Student Life Office and should be submitted at least ten (10) days in advance. Reservations are incomplete and unofficial until entered on the computerized room reservation system.
USE OF NETTLES AUDITORIUM
The Nettles Auditorium is intended for the use by Students, Faculty and Staff of USC Sumter. For events requiring stage lighting and/or sound equipment, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department, organization, or individual to make the proper arrangements for a USC Sumter trained technician to operate the sound and lights. The sponsoring organization or individual is also responsible for the per hour fee associated with the operation of sound and lights. Please contact the Building/Grounds Supervisor for further information and arrangements.
Hazing by individuals or organizations is prohibited at USC Sumter. As defined in Section III of the Student Conduct Code, this behavior is subject to the disciplinary procedures outlined in Section IV of the Student Conduct Code.
Each organization must file a list of its officers with the Student Life Office by September 15 for the Fall semester, and by January 30 for the Spring semester. An up-to-date copy of the constitution and bylaws of each approved organization will be kept on file with the Office of Student Life. It is the responsibility of each organization to ensure that proposed changes are submitted for approval through the Student Life Office. All student organizations are required to review their constitutions annually. Written confirmation that the constitution has been reviewed is to be sent to Student Life Office by each appropriate club officer by the last class day in February.
The campus recreation program at USC Sumter is a viable collection of co-curricular activities designed to give interested students a chance to participate in a wide range of well-organized activities. Participation in these activities gives a person the opportunity to develop friendships not readily available in classroom situations and the chance to learn important lessons of sportsmanship, team spirit, and cooperation. It is the hope of the campus recreation office that through participation, each individual will learn the value of physical fitness and the life-long importance of the wise use of leisure time.
The campus recreation staff will make a determined effort to meet the needs and interests of the student body. Activities include intramural sports leagues, outdoor recreation, individual intramural sports, sports clubs, sport tournaments and special events. Information concerning intramural and recreation is posted on various bulletin boards around campus and through student email. Basketballs, racquetball rackets, footballs, soccer balls, tennis rackets, and much more are available for your use. There is no charge for the use of this equipment, but fees are levied for lost or damaged equipment.
Intramural activities are offered for the benefit and enjoyment of the students, and students are encouraged to take advantage of as many activities as possible.
The Office of Campus Recreation offers student, faculty and staff members of the University of South Carolina Sumter the opportunity to participate in intramural activities ranging from the traditional to the unique. By gearing the program toward “something for everyone”, the intramural program encourages individuals of all skill levels to be active participants.
Participation in campus recreation programs is a purely voluntary activity and individuals participate at their own risk. Participants should be aware of the possibilities of bodily injury and should under-stand that they are responsible for any and all costs arising out of injury or property damage sustained through participation.
Throughout the year many and varied activities are offered through the Women’s, Men’s and Co-educational Recreation programs.
Men’s, Women’s and Co-Recreational Programs
Activities are structured and organized for safe and daily participation. The use of generally accepted rules, proper supervision, and functional equipment coupled with the intramural participant’s compliance to “esprit de corps”, the rules ad regulations to help ensure a safe and satisfying experience. Participants of the intramural program imply their acceptance of the rules and regulations of the intramural program.
1. A major concept of the philosophy of Campus Recreation is that good sportsmanship is vital to intramural and recreational participation. In order to encourage proper conduct during the games, officials, supervisors, and administrative personnel will make decisions on whether or not to warn, penalize or eject persons or teams for poor sportsmanship. These decisions will be final. Team captains are responsible for the actions of any individual members of the team and for spectators associated with the team. The conduct of participants both before and after a contest is as important as during the contest.
2. The Office of Campus Recreation has the right and the responsibility to assess penalties or disqualify individuals or groups for poor sportsmanship.
Health, Injuries and Liabilities
Participation in any program offered by Campus Recreation is purely a voluntary activity. Each individual assumes the risk for any harm or injuries caused by negligence or any intentional acts. Participants should be aware of, and by agreeing to participate, accept that there exists the possibility of bodily injury and should understand that they are responsible for any and all costs arising out of injury and/or property damage sustained through participation. All injuries/accidents should be reported immediately to the supervisor in charge of competition, and a complete report made to Campus Recreation. Insurance is available for USC Sumter students through Pearce and Pearce. Contact the admissions office for an application.
Nettles Gym - All students are encouraged to make use of the gymnasium facilities in the Nettles Building. The main gym is reserved primarily for scheduled activities such as intramural and PE classes; however, open gym hours are also available. Gym clothes and proper shoes are required at all times and no eating, drinking, or tobacco use is allowed.
Racquetball Courts - USC Sumter has three racquetball courts available for use by students, faculty, and staff.
Wellness Center - An exercise room equipped with Nautilus exercise machines, exercise cycles, treadmill, Stairmaster climbers and limited free weights including dumbbell weights is located in the Nettles facility. All students, faculty, and staff must go through a Wellness Center clinic before using this facility.
- Badminton courts (3) - Locker rooms (men and women)
- Basketball courts (2) - Volleyball courts (2)
- Racquetball courts (3) - Wallyball court (1)
- Wellness Center (exercise) - Climbing wall
Intramural Recreational Playing Fields: Playing fields located behind the Nettles Building are for activities such as softball, football, soccer, volleyball, and Frisbee when not being used by Physical Education classes or Intramural Activities. No “shagging” of golf balls, please.
Lockers: A limited number of lockers will be available for use to full-time faculty/staff and students on a first come first served basis.
Locker or basket assignment must be completed by the Campus Recreation office prior to use. Failure to clean out or renew the locker or basket at the end of the use period will result in removal of all locker or basket contents. Disposal of contents will be at the discretion of the Office of Campus Recreation.
Available for Check Out:
Backpacks Sleeping Bags Tents
The University of South Carolina is deeply committed to the well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. To provide a safe, healthy environment in which our community can flourish, and in accordance with the university’s commitment to public health and sustainability, the University of South Carolina Sumter will be a completely tobacco-free campus. This policy
replaces the 2013 tobacco-free policy to cover all university property. The intent of this policy is to create an environment that is conducive to quitting tobacco, promoting the prevention of tobacco use and preventing the risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. This will be a cultural change within the university campus and will be supported by ongoing communications and cessation programs for those who desire to quit or abstain from tobacco. Enforcement for the policy is the responsibility of each member of the USC Sumter community. Faculty, staff and students are expected to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities.
The provisions of this policy apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty, staff, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors unless otherwise noted.
“Tobacco and smoking products” include all tobacco-derived or containing products, including but not limited to cigarettes (i.e. clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, pipes, water pipes (vapes), smokeless tobacco products or substitutions (spit and spit less, chew, pouches, snuff) or any other device intended to simulate smoked tobacco. This does not apply to nicotine replacement therapy, which is designed to assist tobacco users to quit tobacco.
“University property” includes all buildings, facilities, grounds and spaces leased, owned or controlled by the University of South Carolina Sumter Campus, whether or not signs are posted. This includes, but is not limited to, buildings on university-owned land, offices, classrooms, laboratories, elevators, stairwells, bridges and walkways, balconies, decks, restrooms, buses, city bus stops, sidewalks, parking lots, meeting rooms, hallways, outdoor passageways and entrances, lobbies, common areas and athletic practice or performance venues, including those outdoor.
Use of Tobacco Products
- The use of tobacco products is prohibited on university property. No ashtrays, receptacles or smoking shelters are permitted.
- The use of tobacco products is prohibited in university-owned, operated or leased vehicles.
- The use of tobacco products is prohibited in personal vehicles parked on university property.
- The university strongly discourages the use of tobacco products by all covered individuals on properties adjacent to the campus.
Support of Tobacco Products
- All tobacco industry promotions and marketing activities are prohibited on university property.
- The sale of tobacco products and tobacco-related merchandise (including logo items) is prohibited on all university property and at university-sponsored events, regardless of the operating vendor.
- The distribution or sampling of tobacco and associated products is prohibited on all university property and at university-sponsored events, regardless of the venue.
- Tobacco industry and related company sponsorship of student programs and athletic events is prohibited.
- The university discourages solicitation or acceptance of any grant or gift from a manufacturer, distributor or retailer whose principal business is tobacco products.
Communication of Policy
This policy will be communicated to the campus community as follows: News and information will be posted on the Tobacco–Free USC website.
References to this policy will be added to student handbook, orientation communications and other publications as appropriate.
Host and appropriate staff will assist in informing all visitors of the policy and asking that they comply while on any university property. All community members are encouraged to assist with the education of visitors and volunteers regarding our policy.
A provision will be inserted in all contracts, e.g. dining, construction and/or maintenance, to prohibit the employees of contractor/vendors from using tobacco products on USC property.
“Tobacco-Free Property” signs will be posted throughout the university. Each building will display a “Tobacco-Free Property” decal and additional signs as appropriate.
Tobacco Cessation Resources
The university will offer resources and support to assist those tobacco users who desire to quit or abstain from using tobacco. Tobacco cessation resources and programs will be promoted or offered for university students, faculty and staff. Many of these programs are offered at little or no cost. Referrals may be made to Student Affairs at 803-938-3760 (students), 803-777-6518 (faculty/staff) and/or Deer Oaks Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff) at 1-866-327- 2400. Additional resources are outlined on the Tobacco Cessation and Treatment webpage.
Enforcement and Compliance
Enforcement for the policy is the responsibility of each member of the Carolina community. Faculty, staff, students and volunteers are expected to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities. Each individual should in a consistent and civil way bring any infractions of this policy to the attention of the person or persons observed violating the policy. Faculty, staff and students are also expected to assume leadership roles by adhering to the policy provisions and by reminding others who aren’t in compliance of the policy provisions.
In the event a community member does not respond to a reminder, USC faculty, staff, students and volunteers will assist in the enforcement of this policy by reporting repeated violations to the appropriate body, as described in the provisions below.
Corrective actions will include an educational component and, for those who wish to quit using tobacco, referral to a tobacco cessation program. Referrals may be made to Student Affairs at 803-938-3760 (students), 803-777-6518 (faculty/staff) and/or Deer Oaks Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff) at 1-866-327-2400. For more information refer to Section F of this policy.
Students - Complaints regarding students will be directed to and handled by the Office of Student Life in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct (STAF 6.26). Further information on the conduct process and potential consequences is available in the student handbook.
Faculty - Complaints regarding faculty will be directed to the appropriate unit head.
Staff - Complaints regarding staff will be directed to and handled by the immediate supervisor or director. Specific HR recommendations for counseling employees who repeatedly violate the tobacco policy will be available at the Tobacco-Free Uof SC Website.
Volunteers, Visitors and Affiliates - Complaints about volunteers and visitors may be addressed by any university official. Repeated violations may be handled by the university administration. Complaints about affiliates will be directed to and addressed by their sponsoring departments, in accordance with appropriate policies and practices.
Contractors and Vendors - Complaints regarding contractors and vendors will be addressed by the Office of Business Affairs. Failure by contractors/vendors or their employees to comply with the provisions of this policy could result in the termination of the contract.
The university will provide Tobacco-Free Campus Policy information cards to facilitate education about and enforcement of the policy.
1. Tobacco, tobacco products or simulated tobacco products may be used for classroom instruction, educational and artistic purposes. However, smoking of tobacco products is not allowed for these purposes. A special exception may be made for cultural activities by American Indians that are in accordance with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 USC sections 1996 and 1996a, which allow for the use of ceremonial tobacco. All ceremonial use exceptions must be approved in advance by the Provost or designee and, in the case of smoking, by the University Fire Marshall.
2. Tobacco company participation in recruitment activities (i.e. job fairs, on-campus interviews, information sessions, etc.) must be approved by the Office of the Dean to ensure compliance with university policy to ensure signage, postings and use of company logo is appropriate
Tobacco, tobacco products or simulated tobacco products may be used for research purposes. Smoking of tobacco products for research purposes will be allowed only if smoke is controlled in a manner approved by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, as is necessary for all research that involves laboratory air contaminants.
The University of South Carolina Sumter is an academic community preserved through the mutual respect and trust of the individuals who learn, teach, and work within it. Students as well as all other parties at the University must be protected through fair and orderly processes. These are best safeguarded when each person within the University community acts in an orderly and responsible manner. All students and guests are equally entitled to the protection embodied in this document and are expected to meet the standards, which are set forth herein.
This document addresses and governs the conduct of all students and student organizations. Violators are subject to local, state, and federal laws, as well as to the provisions listed herein. Nothing herein is intended or shall be construed to limit or restrict the student’s freedom of speech or peaceful assembly. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the objectives of an institution of higher education; and to this end, peaceful, reasonable, orderly demonstrations in approved areas shall not be subject to interference by members of the University community. Those involved in demonstrations, however, may not engage in conduct that violates the rights of other members of the University community.
These rules are not to restrain controversy or dissent, or to prevent, discourage, nor limit communication among faculty, students, staff, and administrators. The purpose of these rules is to prevent the abuse of the rights of others and to maintain public order appropriate to the University. In this regard, it shall be the responsibility of every student to obey the Code of Student Conduct, which includes the Code of Student Academic Responsibility and the Student Discipline Code.
Students whose official campus of record is a University of South Carolina campus other than Sumter, but who attend class(es) at USC Sumter are subject to USC Sumter policies and procedures. If a violation occurs on the USC Sumter campus, the USC Sumter Student Handbook will serve as the official procedural guide. Additionally, the official campus of record may choose to review the matter and/or impose sanctions.
II. STUDENT ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITY
Under the Code of Student Academic Responsibility, students are on their honor not to cheat, lie, or steal. If they witness another student doing so, it is their responsibility to request that the student report him/herself to the instructor of the course, and if this is not done, to report the individual and the circumstances to the Instructor, Department Chair, or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Violations of this code include, but are not limited to, use of unauthorized notes during an examination, collusion with another student to obtain unfair advantage during a test or assignment, plagiarism, and other incidents, which reflect unethical or dishonest academic behavior. Students are required to properly acknowledge sources such as books, newspapers, magazines, journals, records, tapes, films, and interviews. Students may not present as their own the ideas, opinions, images, figures, language or concepts of another, including those of other students. Some specific uses of source material are:
Cheating: the use of unauthorized material or information from others to gain an unfair advantage during testing, assignments or evaluation.
Direct Quotation: word-for-word copying of a source. Direct quotation must be accurate, must not misrepresent the source in any way, and must be properly acknowledged.
Paraphrase: a recasting into one’s own words material from a source, generally condensing the source but not misrepresenting it. A source must be properly acknowledged as well. A direct quotation with only a word or two changed, added, or omitted should not be passed off as a paraphrase.
Use of ideas: The use of an idea from a source must be properly acknowledged, even when ones’ application of that idea varies from the source.
Use of figures, tables, charts, statistics, images, photographs, and other similar sources: These items must be fully acknowledged, and any changes must be clearly indicated.
If a student has received any kind of help, (except that permitted by an instructor), in the preparation of a project, that help must be fully acknowledged. Papers and other materials bought from “term paper writing services,” if submitted as the work of anyone except the writing service, constitute a violation of the principles of this document.
Instructors have the right to handle academic matters of integrity within their classroom. Instructors are expected to use the Code of Student Conduct when the integrity of the institution may be in question.
III. THE STUDENT DISCIPLINE CODE
It shall be the responsibility of all students and student organizations to abide by the Student Discipline Code on and off campus. All non-academic conduct that infringes upon the rights or welfare of others is thus embodied in the Student Discipline Code. Violations of the Student Discipline Code are handled in the same manner as violations of the Code of Student Academic Responsibility.
Failure to Pay for Returned Checks: Violations include the failure of the student to pay for any returned checks, fines and/or late fees associated with application fees, tuition, books and other miscellaneous charges.
Violations of University Policy: Breach of policy, rules, and regulations, as well as parking and traffic rules.
Violations of Written University Policy or Regulations: violations include breach of student handbook, University catalog, or University bulletin rules and regulations, as well as parking and traffic rules.
Violations of Local, State or Federal Laws: violations include all local, state, and federal laws. Violators may face prosecution off campus, as well as disciplinary action on campus. Students charged with violations of local, state, or federal law off campus must report the incident to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs within three class days.
Disruption of Operations of the University: violations include the restraint of another’s freedom of movement, speech, assembly or access to University facilities; the disruption of classroom activities during periods of instruction, or any other form of disruption of University function.
Falsification of Records/Information: violations include a) causing or contributing to the completion of any official University record, document, or form dishonestly so as to supply incorrect or misleading information; b) reporting or providing false information to any University official; c) originating and/or circulating a false warning of an impending bombing, fire, or other catastrophe.
Failure to Comply with Directions of Officials: violations include the failure of a student to pre-sent proper identification to a University official acting in the performance of his/her duty; failure to comply with a reasonable request of a University official acting in the performance of his/her duties; supplying a false identity; or contempt of the subpoena or other order of the Discipline and Grievance Committee.
Use of Illegal Software: It is the policy of USC Sumter, in keeping with federal copyright laws, to prohibit the use, possession or distribution of illegal computer software on campus. Only properly acquired and appropriately copyrighted software may be used at any USC Sumter computer facility. Breech of this policy shall be considered a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and thus subject to disciplinary sanctions.
Possession or Use of Firearms or Dangerous Weapons on University Property: violations include the unauthorized possession on University property of any weapon such as a firearm, knife, explosives, fireworks, or dangerous chemicals, without the written permission of the Regional Campus Dean.
Unauthorized Use or Possession of Alcoholic Beverages: USC Sumter clearly prohibits the unauthorized and/or unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcoholic beverages by students or employees on University property or at any University activity.
Use, Possession, or Distribution of Narcotics or Illegal Drugs: violations include unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs (for example, marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, barbiturates, opiates, hallucinogens, etc.) by students or employees on or off campus. Students charged with drug-related offenses off campus must report the incident to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs within three class days.
Theft, Unauthorized Possession, or Damage to Property: violations include larceny, property damage, theft, unauthorized borrowing, or cases involving acts of felonious larceny or theft on or off campus.
Hazing and Threats: Any action taken, or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus or on the Internet to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, or suffering. Such actions and situations include creation of excessive fatigue; physical and physiological shocks; wearing apparel in public that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other activities not consistent with the rules and regulations of USC Sumter.
Disorderly Conduct or Lewd, Indecent, or Obscene Conduct: violations concerning personal conduct -including fighting, threatening behavior, public disturbance, drunk and disorderly conduct, public indecency by act or word, or use of the internet/e-mail- in a manner unacceptable by University or community standards.
Abuse of Trust: violations include the knowing abuse of any elective or appointive position of trust or responsibility, including misuse of a student organization’s funds or properties, or is in a conflict of interest involving the activities of a student organization.
Aiding or Abetting: violations include activities which constitute any assistance or encouragement in the infraction of any of the above provisions of the Code.
Environmental Concerns: The University of South Carolina Sumter is committed to environmental protective measures for land, water, and air resources. It is the responsibility of each student to properly dispose of personal trash in the receptacles provided within the buildings and on the grounds. Leaving trash in classrooms, lobbies, recreation or office areas, discarding cigarettes on the grounds, and waste or damage to any natural resource on or off campus are examples of violations of the Code of Student Conduct related to environmental concerns.
IV. STUDENT DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
A. Ordinarily, proceedings for student conduct violations before the Disciplinary/Grievance Committee are initiated by an Associate Dean or a member of the Student Life Staff.
However, any member of the University community may initiate disciplinary proceedings. The allegation must be submitted in writing to an Associate Dean or designee. The Associate Dean or designee may call an individual conference with the accused student to discuss the scope and general nature of the alleged offense. Upon investigation, the Associate for Student Affairs or designee decide whether a formal charge will be brought against the student or student organization. A student charged with infractions is summoned for a pre-hearing interview with the Associate for Student Affairs or a designee to explain the disciplinary procedures and options for resolution of the disciplinary charges. A student charged with infractions that are to appear before the discipline/grievance committee will be sent a written notice by the chair of the committee to appear at the scheduled hearing.
This notice will include:
1. A written notice of the charge(s) brought forward.
2. The general nature of the charge
3. The time and place of the hearing
4. Notice of his/her rights to have representation if desired (however, only USC students or employees may participate in the proceedings)
5. Notice of his/her rights to call witnesses in his/her behalf, and to be confronted with and question witnesses against him/her.
B. The charged student will have the following options for resolution to the disciplinary charge(s):
1. Plead not guilty to the charge(s) and have a regular hearing before the Discipline/Grievance committee where a determination of responsibility is made, and recommendations are made to the Regional Campus Dean.
2. Plead not guilty to the charge(s) and request an administrative hearing before a designee of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs where a determination of responsibility will be made, and recommendations are made to the Regional Campus Dean. The designee may decline to hear the case.
3. Plead guilty to the charge(s) and elect for the Discipline/Grievance committee to recommend appropriate sanctions to the Regional Campus Dean.
4. Plead guilty to the charge(s) and elect for the designee of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to recommend appropriate sanctions to the Regional Campus Dean. The designee may decline to hear the case.
5. Failure to respond to charge(s) and/or fails to appear for a required pre-hearing interview will constitute forfeiture of the above options. At the hearing, a determination of responsibility will be made with or without the accused student being present. Recommendations will be made to the Regional Campus Dean and final disposition will be made to the student in writing.
C. If a student desires the presence of a witness, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the witness appears. Any written statement presented must be dated, signed by the person making it, and witnessed by a University employee. Written statements will be given less weight than spoken testimony because of the inability to question the individual for more information.
D. It should be clearly understood that there is a fundamental difference between the nature of student discipline and that of criminal law. Regardless of the above options exercised for resolution of charges, the discipline of students within the University community must be consistent with the educational mission of the institution.
The Discipline and Grievance committee may elect to place “holds” on diplomas and/or transcripts of students involved in disciplinary proceedings pending the final outcome of the disciplinary charges.
The Dean of the Campus receives all recommended sanctions from the discipline/grievance committee for disciplinary violations. The Regional Campus Dean has the authority to accept, reject, amend or impose different sanctions/penalties for violations of the code of student conduct in accordance with the penalties listed in the Student Handbook.
If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the Regional Campus Dean, a letter of appeal must be addressed to and received by the Chancellor of Palmetto College within ten (10) business days of the Regional Campus Dean’s decision. The next step in the appeals process involves an appeal to the President of the University.
Students should be aware of the range of penalties which may be assessed for infraction of rules and regulations governing conduct within the University community. The following is a summary of present penalties showing examples of the types of offenses for which each may be assessed. All penalties may be imposed either singly or in combination.
Major Penalties (suspension, up to and including expulsion)
Penalties are recommended by the Discipline/Grievance Committee, with the approval of the Regional Campus Dean or other body empowered by the Dean. Any person under one of these penalties is not in good standing with the University for any purpose, including transfer to another institution.
A period during which a student is under an official warning that his conduct is in violation of University rules, regulations or policies. While these violations are not serious enough to warrant a form of suspension, the student under probation is not considered in good standing (within the institution) and his continued enrollment is contingent upon good citizenship for the probationary period. While on disciplinary probation, a student may face specific limitations on his or her behavior and or university privileges (see conditions).
Subsequent violations of university rules, regulations, or policies are likely to result in more severe sanctions, up to and including suspension from the university.
Limitations upon a student’s behavior and/or university privileges for a specific period of time, or an active obligation to complete a specified activity. Failure to abide by or fulfill conditions is likely to result in more severe sanctions, up to and including suspension from the University.
Limitations upon a student’s privileges for a period of time. For example, this penalty may include denial of the right to represent the University in any way, denial of parking or certain library, recreational, activity or other privileges.
An official rebuke making misconduct a matter of record in University files for a period of time which may extend throughout a student’s enrollment for a degree.
Other Specific Penalties
(a) Work hours, assessed for certain offenses in which supervised work benefiting the University community is deemed appropriate; (b) orders to make restitution, issued when a student has engaged in conduct injurious to property of another for which monetary damages may be ascertained. For example, this penalty may be assessed in cases of property damage, theft, fraud or deception, or misappropriation; (c) remuneration, fines, and/or additional charges assessed as punitive measure for certain types of offenses representing injury to the University as a whole or to numbers of persons within the University community.
Persons found guilty of any of the following offenses may receive penalties up to and including suspension from the University: (a) serious acts of malicious vandalism; (b) possession or use in any way of any kinds of firearms or weapons (concealed or not concealed) without authority or under prohibition of law; (c) starting or being in any way responsible for starting a fire on University property; (d) theft, forgery, fraud or other dishonest acts of any kind including the possession or sale of books without permission of the owner(s); (e) possession of stimulant, depressant, narcotic, or hallucinatory drugs or other agents having potential for abuse, unless possession is legal; (f) selling, bartering, exchanging and giving away of stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs or other agents having potential for abuse to any person not intended to possess them or not legally entitled to their possession or use; (g) serious violations of laws pertaining to consumption of alcoholic beverages; (h) disruption of normal activities of the University, or any conviction in a court of law for offenses of the nature which deals with interruption of normal operation of the University of South Carolina Sumter or other educational institutions; or of a kind involving activity which would constitute a danger to the health, safety or property of individuals within the University community or constitute similar danger to the welfare of the institution generally; (i) willful possession, ignition or detonation of anything which could cause damage by fire or other means to persons or property at the University; and (j) unauthorized possession or duplication of master keys.
The following offenses normally subject a student to penalties up to and including probation upon an appropriate finding of guilt: a) making false fire alarms or causing them to be made, or misusing fire safety equipment, b) misuse of telephones or abuse of telephone equipment, c) failure to make satisfactory settlement to the University whether such indebtedness be in fees or loans owed or in fines or restitution charges unpaid, or in any other form, d) misconduct associated with consumption of alcoholic beverages, and e) general misconduct and behavior which disturbs the academic community or its members, especially when such conduct is repetitive. Repeated or particularly serious instances of any of the foregoing may result in suspension.
VI. RETENTION OF STUDENT DISCIPLINE RECORDS
A.) These procedures and guidelines are established to govern the release, screening, retention, and destruction of the educational discipline records of USC Sumter students.
B.) Records subject to this policy include but are not restricted to:
1. Written information and documentation filed with the Student Life Office by a USC Sumter student, faculty, staff or University official.
2. Student Discipline/Grievance Committee records of proceedings and recommendations.
3. Student Academic Grievance reports and decision statements.
4. The Regional Campus Dean’s sanctions and/or conclusion on cases referred from the Student Discipline and Grievance Committee.
C.) Disposition Instructions:
1. Student Academic Grievance reports, decision statements, discipline reports, and summaries are maintained by the Records Office (separate from academic files) permanently.
2. Access to these records will be allowed exclusively only by written permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or designated representative.
3. Screening of Records:
(a) Files will be screened annually by a designated representative for statistical purposes.
(b) Screened records will be separated into the categories, according to the guidelines established above.
1.) Ongoing records
2.) Records to be permanently maintained
3.) Records to be destroyed (if the case allows)
4.) Record statistics
(c) No personally identifiable records will be kept in the record statistics.
5. Destruction of Records (if deemed appropriate):
(a) All paper records will be destroyed by shredding, burning, or other similar certain means.
(b) Destruction of records will be accomplished by a designated representative.
(c) Statistical files may not reflect the identity of an individual.
(d) Non-paper artifacts will be disposed in a manner that will ensure the artifact cannot be traced to an individual or any discipline case.
The University’s attendance policy may seem ambiguous to some because in addition to the University’s policy, many of the individual divisions and most instructors have their own attendance guidelines. The official policy is:
Absence from more than 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions, whether excused or unexcused, is excessive and the instructor may choose to exact a grade penalty for such absences.
It is important to ask your instructors about their attendance policy if it is not supplied to you at the beginning of the semester. If you anticipate absences in excess of the 10 percent rule, you should inform your instructor in advance so that you are able to withdraw from the course if there is a conflict.
Student (General) – Shirts, shoes and bottoms are required of all persons on campus at all times.
Student Employee– As an employee of the University of South Carolina Sumter, students must understand that they are expected to adhere to generally accepted standards of decency and politeness in attire when on the job. USC Sumter’s standards include men not wearing hats inside of the building and neither men nor women wearing excessively revealing attire.
Additionally, attire that contains writing, pictures, or emblems that may be offensive to others is not acceptable. The final decision as to what constitutes “generally accepted standards” of decency and politeness in attire resides with the Regional Campus Dean.
DROPPING A COURSE
It is possible for you to drop a course for which you are already registered. Before dropping your course, it is recommended that you consult your advisor. If you receive financial aid, you will need to consult a financial aid counselor. Dropping a course can affect your progress toward a degree or your eligibility for financial aid. Consult the appropriate Master Schedule of Classes for registration, refund and grade deadlines. If you stop attending class and do not officially withdraw from the course, an “F” grade will be recorded on your permanent record. If medical reasons force you to stop attending class after the deadline for assignment of a “W”, you should contact the Office of Records and Registration.
Each semester, grades are posted. No grades are mailed unless the student is suspended or put on academic probation. The following are other indicators used on grade reports:
- “WF” (Withdrawal Failing) has the same impact as an “F” on your Grade Point Average (GPA).
- “W” (Withdrawal) assigned if you drop a course after the official drop/add period. It is not calculated into your GPA.
- “I” (Incomplete) assigned by the instructor. You may request an “I” if you are unable to complete the assigned work. If your instructor does not issue a replacement grade within a year, an “I” will change to an “F”.
- “AUD” (Audit) Auditing a course consists of attending class without responsibility for assignments and examinations. No credit may be earned in an audited course, yet tuition is the same as for credit courses and it will appear on your permanent record. Some courses may not be audited. Audited courses may not be taken later for credit.
- “NR” (No Report) indicates that a grade has not been reported to the Records and Registration Office for that course.
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY
Students who wish to fully withdraw from the University may drop all courses via SSC or may contact the Office of Records and Registration for assistance. Before dropping all classes, you should consult your academic advisor, and your financial aid advisor if you are receiving financial aid. You should also consult the Master Schedule of Classes for fee refund and academic deadline information.
STUDENTS PLANNING TO ATTEND OTHER COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Any USC Sumter student whose goal is to complete a degree at an institution other than the University of South Carolina Sumter will provide information to his/her advisor from the institution he/she plans to attend for advisement purposes. The student should also be in regular contact with the other institution for information concerning any changes/updates on his/her intended major. This information should be shared with his/her USC Sumter advisor, so responsible/informed advisement may be given. USC Sumter and the advisement staff cannot be responsible for loss of credit in transfer when the student does not provide appropriate curriculum material and information and maintain updates to his/her advisor.
POLICY FOR ACADEMIC GRIEVANCES
The University of South Carolina Sumter has developed its own policy for academic grievances. Academic grievances include, but are not limited to, grading, acceptance into programs, academic policies, and transfer credits. Any student having a grievance should start the process by first discussing the problem with the faculty member concerned. If the problem is not resolved, the student should speak with the Division Chairperson. An appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is the next step if the problem is still unresolved.
POLICY FOR NON-ACADEMIC GRIEVANCES
A non-academic grievance is defined as a dissatisfaction occurring when a student thinks that any condition affecting him/her is unjust, inequitable, or creates an unnecessary hardship. Such grievances include, but are not limited to, the following problems: mistreatment by any University employee, wrongful assessment and processing of fees, records and registration errors, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, handicapped discrimination as they relate to non-academic areas of the University. The grievance procedure shall not be used for appeals of disciplinary decisions, residency classification decisions, traffic appeals decisions, or any other type decision where a clearly defined appeals process has already been established. The procedure is as follows:
1. Both phases of Step 1 are optional and unofficial.
A. It is suggested that the student begin with an oral discussion with the person(s) alleged to have caused the grievance.
B. In lieu of, or after speaking with the person(s) alleged to have caused the grievance, the student may choose an oral discussion with the person(s)’ immediate supervisor.
2. If the student wishes to file an official grievance, a written grievance must be filed with the immediate supervisor of the person alleged to have caused the grievance. The written grievance must be filed within ten (10) working days of the incident which constituted the grievance.
3. The supervisor shall immediately investigate the incident. The investigation shall not exceed five (5) working days.
4. The supervisor shall render a decision within three (3) working days of the conclusion of the investigation.
If the student feels the grievance is resolved, the process is complete. If the grievance is unresolved, the student may bring the matter before the Discipline/Grievance Committee by presenting a written statement within five (5) working days of the supervisor’s decision. This statement shall be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or the Office of Student Life in a sealed envelope and shall (a) state the grievance, (b) state why the response is unacceptable, and (c) request a hearing before a grievance panel.
Any related materials, including a written response from the supervisor, must accompany the letter. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the chairperson of the Discipline/Grievance Committee shall immediately be notified of the appeal.
Upon receipt of the appeal, the chairperson of the Discipline/Grievance Committee shall send a copy of the appeal to the members of the Committee and the major parties involved. The major parties include: the person(s) against whom the grievance was initiated, the supervisor of that individual(s), and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The chairperson of the Committee shall ask the major parties to respond in writing to the appeal within five (5) working days.
At the end of the five (5) working days period, the chairperson shall meet with the Discipline/Grievance Committee to examine the request for an appellate hearing and replies. A hearing shall be granted if a majority of the quorum finds that ground for the appeal have been substantiated. A tie vote shall result in a hearing being granted. The chairperson shall notify all major parties of the decision of the Committee to either hear or not hear the grievance. The hearing procedure is outlined in Section IV of the Code of Student Conduct.
STUDENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURES AND FORM
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
South Carolina participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education serves as the state’s portal agency for SARA and is the final authority for SARA-related complaints. If an out-of-state student enrolled in an SC institution via distance education wishes to file a complaint, he or she may complete and submit the Commission’s complaint form below.
Guidelines for Filing a Student Complaint
In absence of mitigating circumstances, students must submit a complaint to the Commission within two calendar years of exhausting the appeals process at the institution.
Step 1: If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student’s complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: The student should file a complaint through the institution’s complaint process. Information about the process can usually be found in the institution’s academic catalog, student handbook, or website. Many institutions have an ombudsman to mediate on behalf of the student. If the student is still unable to resolve the complaint, the student should proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Investigate to where assistance may be available from other entities.
• Nursing: Students enrolled in nursing licensure programs should contact the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Board of Nursing.
• Barbering: Students enrolled in barbering programs should contact the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Board of Barber Examiners.
• Cosmetology: Students enrolled in cosmetology, nail tech, or esthetic programs should contact the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Board of Cosmetology.
• Distance Learning: Students enrolled in distance learning programs should contact the state authorization agency in the home state of the institution. Each institution includes state authorization information on its website.
• Discrimination: If a student believes that an institution has acted in a discriminatory manner, he or she may wish to contact the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
• Disabilities Accommodation: If a student believes that an institution has not complied with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
• SC Financial Aid: If a student has been denied South Carolina state-based financial aid, he or she may file an appeal with South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Division of Student Affairs.
• Federal Financial Aid: For student issues related to federal financial aid, contact the Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education for disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, and Perkins Loans.
• The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is charged with investigating and detecting fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, misconduct, or violations of state or federal law, and wrongdoing in the Executive Branch. OIG only has investigative authority over the Executive Branch of South Carolina State Government, which includes state supported colleges and universities.
Step 4: If the complaint cannot be resolved through the above channels, the student may file a complaint with the Commission. Complete and submit the Commission’s complaint form below.
Commission Procedures for Reviewing a Student Complaint
• After receiving a complaint, Commission staff will review the submitted materials, and contact the complainant for any required additional information or clarifications.
• The Commission staff will then send a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and request a response, due within 30 calendar days.
• After receiving the response, Commission staff will determine whether the institution’s complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up may be taken. The Commission may outsource the investigation to another government agency.
• If it is concluded that the allegations do not establish a violation of standards or any serious deviation of educational standards imposed by the Commission, a letter is sent to the complainant confirming this, along with a copy of the institution’s response.
• If it appears that a standard has been violated or that the institution has not complied with the institution’s established policies, staff will attempt a settlement through mediation.
• If there is evidence that the institution may no longer be maintaining minimum standards, an investigation may be made to determine other actions.
• Results of the investigation are sent to both the complainant and institution.
Mail the complaint form and required documentation to:
SC Commission on Higher Education Academic Affairs
Attn: Student Complaint 1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201 or
USC SUMTER ALCOHOL POLICY
Alcoholic beverages may be served at events sponsored by USC Sumter on or off campus. No one will be served or allowed to consume alcoholic beverages who is under the age of twenty- one (21) or who appears to be intoxicated.
The Student Government Association of the University of South Carolina Sumter will determine the alcohol policy for USC Sumter student sponsored events, subject to approval by the Regional Campus Dean. Current policy prohibits the distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages at student activities and programs.
Non-USC Sumter groups/organizations authorized by proper authority to use USC Sumter facilities may serve alcoholic beverages at specified events upon securing permission from the appropriate University official. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring individual or organization to ensure that the policies of the University of South Carolina and USC Sumter, and the laws of the State of South Carolina are enforced and complied with at events where alcoholic beverages are served and/or consumed.
Privately operated business enterprises may not be operated on campus except as permitted by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Regional Campus Dean. The distribution of non-University related material on student property (i.e. automobiles) while on campus is prohibited except when approved by the Office of Student Life and the Regional Campus Dean. The University of South Carolina Sumter has the right to refuse to post, promote, advertise, or distribute materials for programs and activities not sponsored by the University.
Government agencies wishing to solicit USC Sumter students must submit their requests in writing. Recruitment of students for employment will be allowed only during regularly scheduled career functions sponsored by USC Sumter.
Officially sanctioned USC Sumter student organizations may request permission from the Student Life Office to place flyers on automobiles. The student organization will accept responsibility for picking up discarded flyers from the parking lots within 24 hours of distribution. The student organization will also accept responsibility for all property damage claims filed by vehicle owners. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in loss of this privilege.
Student organizations are allowed to solicit on campus for specific functions and/or projects with prior approval from the Office of Student Life and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Solicitation must be done in the Student Union Building or various building lobbies on campus. Door-to-door solicitation on campus violates the spirit of gifts and donations.
Fund raising requests will not be granted for the personal benefit of an individual.
Raffles are prohibited on the USC Sumter campus.
Student organizations wishing to contact outside entities for donations must seek permission from the Student Life Office. Forms requesting permission to seek donations outside the University may be obtained in the Student Life Office.
Any USC Sumter Student, Faculty or Staff member or Student Organization may reserve a room on campus for an approved event. See the Student Life Office for details.
The University of South Carolina Sumter does not have a health care facility on campus. If the patient is conscious and ambulatory, assistance may be requested by contacting the Campus Security at 3400. If the patient is unconscious, first call the Emergency Medical Services 911.
The above paragraph should not be misconstrued as prohibiting or otherwise limiting any student or other individual from directly contacting Emergency Medical Service or other providers of choice if the student or individual determines health care services are necessary or desirable.
AIDS/HIV: The University of South Carolina Sumter recognizes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) as a national health concern that impacts all segments of society including students. Current information provided by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is not transmitted by casual contact; therefore, University rules and regulations pertaining to student life and admission to the University shall not discriminate against students that have or may have been exposed to the HIV.
A student seeking professional help shall be offered assistance in a manner consistent with the professional ethics of the discipline offering the assistance. If administrative or medical decisions need to be made with respect to an individual student with HIV infection or AIDS will be made on a case-by-case basis by appropriate University personnel. Strict confidentiality will be maintained in each case.
The American College Health Association has recommended that colleges provide their students with information concerning AIDS since AIDS education can help students understand how to prevent the spread of the HIV. The University of South Carolina Sumter encourages its divisions and administrative areas to provide students with information where it can be done in a manner consistent with the mission of the division or administrative area.
The publications of the American College Health Association, The Center for Disease Control, the United States Public Health Service, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall be considered official reference sources for use by University of South Carolina Sumter professional staff in providing students with general AIDS information and establishing University policies and procedures. These sources shall also be used as primary reference sources when responding to general inquiries or addressing situations on the campus of the University of South Carolina Sumter. This policy reflects current information concerning
AIDS and HIV infection. It will be revised and is subject to change as research provides more information on diagnosis, treatments, and transmission.
Immunization: The University of South Carolina requires all students born after December 31, 1956 to be immunized against or provide proof of immunity to MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella). Both degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students must submit an immunization form to the Records office prior to enrolling in courses.
The Nettles Building and the Student Union Building are intended for use by Students, Faculty and Staff of USC Sumter. Students must always possess and present upon request a valid ID card to receive any University privileges. A periodic I.D. check will be conducted to determine eligibility. Guests may use the Nettles Gym facility provided:
A) USC Sumter valid ID holder serves as host. Only one guest per ID card per day is required. The guest must present some form of current photo and signature ID (i.e. driver’s license). The host must register the guest with the equipment at the check-out desk. A person may be the guest of only one host per day. The check-out desk staff will retain the guest’s identification card for the duration of the visit.
B) The host must accompany the guest to the facility and stay with the guest during his/her visit. If the guest arrives before the host, the guest must register with the check-out desk staff, identify the host and wait in the lobby or “Commons” area for the host to arrive. Once the host has registered his/her guest, the guest is non-transferable. The host is responsible for the guest. Guests must adhere to USC Sumter rules, policies, and procedures. Host or guest privileges may be revoked at any time for due cause.
C) The University is not responsible for the security of any guests’ belongings.
D) Guests may use the Nettles Facility, Locker Rooms, Gymnasium Wellness Center and Racquetball Courts.
E) Academic and intramural programming has priority over facility usage.
SUB & NETTLES EQUIPMENT CHECKOUT
Ping-Pong, Foosball and a wide variety of board games are available for use by USC Sumter Students, Faculty and Staff from the SUB. To check out this equipment, one must present a valid USC Sumter I.D. card to the Student Life Office. Sports and recreation equipment can be checked out at the Recreation office in the Nettles Gym. A checkout card will be completed, and the staff will keep the I.D. card. Whoever checks out equipment is required to remain in the facility while the equipment is their responsibility. When the equipment is returned, in good condition, the I.D. card is returned to the user. Failure to adhere to posted rules or toreturn equipment upon completion of use by the student who checked the equipment out may result in loss of Nettles and Student Union Area privileges for 7-14 days for the first offense. Returned mistreated or damaged equipment may result in suspension of the Nettles and Student Union Area privileges, and repair/replacement charges may be levied. Board games must stay within the Student Union.
To preserve the quality of equipment, participants are asked not to attempt masse’ shots. If any billiard ball contacts the floor twice during the course of play, the participants should refrain from participation for the remainder of the day.
Proper care of furniture is a requirement. Misuse or damage to furniture is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
Proper conduct of USC Sumter Community members is expected at all times. Students are asked to wear proper attire (shirts, shoes, bottoms, etc.) in all areas and to refrain from the use of profanity and vulgarity. Food and beverages are allowed in all areas of the Student Union except the Bookstore. No food or drink is allowed in the Nettles Auditorium. Students are asked to always properly dispose of trash.
Faculty/staff currently employed by USC Sumter are eligible to use the facilities provided they present a valid USC Sumter ID card.
Faculty and staff spouses and/or dependents are eligible to apply for facility use by presenting a valid USC Sumter dependent ID card. Dependents 16 years of age and younger must be accompanied by the sponsoring member/spouse at all times while in the Nettles Recreational facility. (Dependents 18 years of age or older may accompany younger persons in their own family in lieu of member/spouse.) Policies and procedures for the use of the Nettles Recreational facility apply to all users.
In order to use the Nettles Recreational Facility, one must be appropriately dressed. This includes: appropriate footwear (shoes that leave marks may not be worn on the gym floor or racquetball courts) and proper athletic attire for use of the Wellness Center.
GYMNASIUM FREE PLAY:
The gym is available for free play activities when not being utilized for classes or intramural activities. Only non-marking shoes are permitted.
This center provides opportunities for the use of fixed stations in the development of strength training and body conditioning. It can be used regardless of strength or skill level. A shirt or top
and shorts must be worn at all times. An individual must be over 16 years old and have successfully completed a USC Sumter Wellness Center clinic or show proficiency with Nautilus equipment before using the facility.
Racquetball courts are open for use when not being utilized for classes or intramural activities. Dress requirements: non-marking shoes, shirts, sweats or shorts must be worn; no street shoes or colored sole shoes that mark.
USE OF NETTLES AUDITORIUM
The Nettles Auditorium is intended for the use by Students, Faculty and Staff of USC Sumter. For events requiring stage lighting and/or sound equipment, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department, organization, or individual to make the proper arrangements for a USC Sumter trained technician to operate the sound and lights. The sponsoring organization or individual is also responsible for the per hour fee associated with the operation of sound and lights. Please contact the Associate Dean for Administrative and Financial Services for further information and arrangements.
1. Off campus student activities are limited to USC Sumter students, faculty and staff. Only USC students may be included for official travel authorization, ticket purchases, and lodging requests. Students are required to travel in University vehicles or University designated vehicles. Students who travel to an event or activity in a University vehicle must also return in a University vehicle. Use of a University vehicle to attend a student activity by a student without a faculty/staff member is prohibited.
2. Whenever University vehicles are used for off campus activities, a faculty or staff member must accompany each trip and it is strongly recommended that a faculty/staff member be in each vehicle. All drivers of University vehicles and the accompanying faculty/staff member must have their driver’s licenses on file with the Business Office (this requires the completion of the driver’s record request form, recent copy of the driver and the accompanying faculty/staff member’s motor vehicle driving record from the DMV, and University approval). All drivers must complete an additional University training course on the USC Columbia campus in order to be certified to drive the 15-passenger van.
3. Besides University employees, federal work-study students can serve as drivers. Non- federal work-study students can drive, but it is not encouraged. The driving records of any student planning to drive a university vehicle must be checked and approved in advance. The driver’s record request form is available from the Student Life Office or Business Office.
4. A student may operate a University vehicle outside the general vicinity of the University campus when the vehicle is being used for Official University or Student Government Association (SGA) business. However, if the vehicle is being used for student activities, the advisor or faculty/staff representative must be present.
5. All students traveling to or from University sponsored or sanctioned activities are required to complete the travel consent and release of liability form prior to departure from campus. The University may pay mileage for travel to sponsored events in which the University does not provide transportation. All requests for mileage payments, and approvals, must be done in advance of the travel date.
6. The University does not accept responsibility or liability for travel in privately owned vehicles. University insurance will not cover students, their vehicles, or liability issues incurred by students traveling in private vehicles to or from an event or activity. There is no mileage compensation for any student choosing to drive a privately-owned vehicle if University transportation is available.
7. Student organizations are responsible for the per mileage fee associated with use of state vehicles. Student organizations must budget accordingly.
The University of South Carolina Sumter considers sexual assault/rape a most serious offense. USC Sumter has established campus sexual/assault prevention programs and procedural guidelines.
1. USC Sumter provides programs each semester that promote the awareness of rape and other sexual offenses. These programs are designed to educate students on prevention, acquaintance rape, and rape crisis.
2. The University considers any rape or other sexual offense (forcible or non-forcible) involving a USC Sumter student to be a serious offense. The University will respond to all reported violations in accordance to the disciplinary procedures published in the USC Sumter Student Handbook. Sanctions imposed may be influenced, impart, by mitigating or aggravating circumstances. The sanctions imposed by the University include, but are not limited to, suspensions held in abeyance with conditions, and permanent suspensions from the University. The continued enrollment of students not immediately suspended will be subject to conditions and restrictions recommended by the appropriate USC Sumter Disciplinary Committee.
3. The nature of rape and other sexual offenses requires immediate action by the victim. The emergency number for campus security is 3400 from an on-campus phone. In the event of a sexual assault on campus, contact the Associate Dean for Administrative and Financial Services, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, or the Advisement Counseling Center who will in turn document all pertinent information. The student will be given the opportunity to report the incident to local law enforcement officials. The student will be asked to preserve all evidence as proof of a criminal sexual assault. The student will be given the opportunity to seek immediate and appropriate medical attention and counseling.
4. Upon notification by the alleged victim that a sexual assault has occurred, the University will begin disciplinary proceedings for violation of the student discipline code for the offense of sexual misconduct. The disciplinary procedures outlined in the USC Sumter Student Handbook shall govern.
a. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during the campus disciplinary proceedings.
b. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of each step of any campus disciplinary proceedings brought forth alleging a sexual assault.
5. It is University procedure for students reporting sexual assault on campus to be given their option to notify proper law enforcement authorities. This may include on-campus authorities and/or local police. The student has the option to be assisted in this process by cam-pus officials if the student chooses to do so.
6. Students reporting sexual assault will be immediately made aware of the counseling services available at the advisement/counseling center on campus, or the Sumter Rape Crisis Center at 773-HELP. It is University procedure to assist a student in acquiring these services.
7. It is appropriate for University officials to notify students of options for, and available assistance in, changing academic situations after an alleged sexual assault incident if requested by the victim and if these changes are reasonably available. Every possible arrangement will be made to ensure the safety and functional capacity of the victim in such situations.
B. SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
It is the policy of the University of South Carolina, in order to maintain an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional community are respected, that sexual harassment of employees or students is prohibited. Such conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It is a form of behavior which seriously undermines the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic environment. This policy is in keeping with federal and state laws prohibiting sex discrimination. It is also the policy of the University that willful false accusation of sexual harassment shall not be condoned. Sexual harassment offenders shall be subject to disciplinary action which may include, but is not limited to, oral or written warnings, demotion, transfer, suspension or dismissal for cause.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which, for employees, is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for students. The South Carolina State Human Affairs Law also prohibits sex discrimination.
Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex when such behavior falls within the definition outlined below.
Sexual harassment of employees or students at the University of South Carolina Sumter is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or other expressive behaviors, or physical conduct commonly understood to be of a sexual nature, when:
a. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education.
b. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions or assessments affecting the individual’s welfare as an employee or student.
c. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with an individual’s welfare, academic or professional performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive, and demeaning work or educational environment.
Examples of Prohibited Behavior
Prohibited acts of sexual harassment may take a variety of forms ranging from subtle pressure for sexual activity to physical assault. Examples of the kinds of conduct included in the definition of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
a. threats or intimidation of sexual relations or sexual contact which is not freely or mutually agreeable to both parties.
b. continual or repeated verbal abuses of a sexual nature including graphic commentaries about a person’s body; sexually suggestive objects or pictures placed in the work or study area that may embarrass or offend the person; sexually degrading words to describe the person, or propositions of a sexual nature.
c. threats or insinuations that the person’s employment, grades, wages, promotional opportunities, classroom and work assignments, or other conditions of employment or academic life may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.
Consensual sexual relationships between faculty and student, or between supervisor and employee, while not expressly forbidden, are generally deemed unwise. Such relationships, though they may be appropriate in other settings, are inappropriate when they occur between members of the teaching staff and students or between a supervisor and an employee. A professional power differential exists in these situations in terms of the influence and authority which the one can exercise over the other. If a charge of sexual harassment is lodged regarding a once-consenting relationship, the burden may be on the alleged offender to prove that the sexual harassment policy was not violated.
Each Associate Dean, Department Chair, Director, and supervisor is responsible for providing a work and educational environment free from sexual harassment.
Policy of Non-reprisal:
No faculty or staff member, applicant for employment, or student may be subjugated to restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal for seeking information on sexual harassment, filing a sexual harassment complaint, or serving as a witness.
1. Any University faculty or staff member who feels that she or he has been sexually harassed under the above definition, and who wishes to file a complaint, should immediately contact one of the following: the USC Sumter Human Resources Officer, 938-3721, Administration Bldg. 206B or the USC Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (777-3854).
2. Any student who feels that she or he has been sexually harassed under the above definition and who wishes further information or who wishes to file a complaint, should immediately contact the Campus Human Resources Officer, 938-3721, Administration Bldg. 206B or the USC Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (777-3854).
Students wishing to change to another campus in the USC system should contact the USC Sumter Records Office for details. Colleges within the University vary in minimum requirements to process a Change of Campus /School form.
EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION AND HAZARDOUS WEATHER PROCEDURE
In the event of a life-threatening emergency or hazardous weather, you will be notified via the Emergency Notification System. You are required to register with the USC Sumter Emergency Notification System through your SSC account. This allows the University to quickly notify you should conditions warrant. Emergency notifications will only be sent when the University of South Carolina Emergency Management Team deems it necessary. This contact information will only be used to alert you to a life-threatening situation. It will not be used for marketing purposes.
By providing the following information you consent to being contacted by the following methods and at any time deemed necessary by the University of South Carolina Emergency Management Team. To verify correct operation of the system, it is necessary to send a test message to your e-mail address and text message capable cell phone once a semester.
There are numerous apartments within walking distance of the USC Sumter campus. The Student Life Office will be happy to assist you in obtaining information on apartments that are within walking distance of the campus.
The Director of Admissions at USC Sumter is the person who has the responsibility of working with students on visa or other concerns. USC Sumter is a culturally diverse campus and welcomes international students.
HOW TO CALCULATE A GRADE POINT AVERAGE (G.P.A)
G.P.A. - Grade points divided by grade hours
Grade Points - Points earned based on the letter grade received in a course. The total points earned for a course are calculated by multiplying the credit hour value of the course by the point value for the grade earned in the course.
G.P.A. Hours - The grade hours which are used in the calculation of a grade point average.
Course Credit Hour Value - For each course, multiply the value of the letter grade times the credit hour value of the course to obtain the grade points earned for that course.
|Your Grade||Point Value|
|F, I, WF||0.00|