South University Student Affairs
The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for offering programs and services that augment academic programs by stimulating the personal and professional development of students at South University. The Office of Student Affairs also acts as an point of contact for military and veteran students as well as eligible family members.
As an extension of the philosophy and mission of South University, the student affairs program strives to inform, educate, and encourage students in their endeavors. In order to achieve its goals, the Office of Student Affairs provides the following in particular:
- A fair and sound entrance testing program.
- An orientation that will inform students of university policies, programs, and activities.
- Support and assistance to students in making realistic decisions about academic and nonacademic concerns.
- Career services and resources.
- Academic accommodations to students with disabilities in the classroom.
- Programs and activities that will encourage student involvement and participation in campus life.
The student development program is designed to enhance student life by offering programs and services that add to the classroom experience and encourage personal and professional development.
Specifically, the Student Affairs staff is responsible for the following: bookstore, testing, orientation, counseling services, disability support services, organizations and activities, graduation, career services, and student conduct.
These student services are described in more detail below. Also included in this section are services offered by the University that do not fall under the supervision of the office of student affairs but are considered to be in the category of student services.
Students are responsible for properly completing their academic programs, being familiar with all requirements of the University catalog under which they intend to graduate, maintaining the required grade point average, and meeting all program and course requirements. They are encouraged to seek counsel from faculty advisors or other staff members, but the final responsibility for fulfilling academic requirements remains that of the student.
Students have a right in an academic environment to reserve judgment about matters of opinion and to express their views in a responsible manner. Orderly procedures are provided to allow students the opportunity to question academic evaluations.
Short-term counseling services are available to assist students in resolving academic, career, and personal problems. University personnel can help students plan their educational programs, as well as adjust to the demands of university level studies. Personal advising is provided for any student who seeks aid in solving and understanding individual problems. Advising services are available at all campuses during the day and in the evening by appointment through the dean of student affairs. Students identified as needing additional counseling resources will be referred to external agencies.
Fully online students should contact their Academic Advisor to obtain advising services information.
Declaration of Major
A major is an area of focused study in a degree program approved by the board of trustees. A major curriculum leading to a baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 180 credit hours in specific courses or approved elective courses. A major curriculum leading to an associate’s degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours in specific courses or approved elective courses.
Students are requested to declare their academic majors before initial university enrollment. The appropriate form for this procedure is distributed during the admissions process and must be completed and returned to the registrar no later than registration. Students should then follow the requirements of their program of study found in the University catalog. The registrar must be informed of any anticipated changes in a student’s academic plans. A student changing a major must complete the Program Change form (available through the registrar’s office) at the beginning of the term. The decision to change majors should be made as early as possible to avoid taking unnecessary courses and lengthening the time required to complete a program.
Students using veteran benefits must consult with the campus veteran’s affairs officer for advisement before changing their majors.
Military and veteran students are encouraged to ask about academic support, financial aid advising, disability services, or career counseling that is made available on campus. Students should contact Student Affairs on campus for further guidance and information. Fully online students should request information from their Graduation Team.
All campuses are transitioning to electronic books in all classes. Digital textbooks, for courses using digital textbooks, will be charged in addition to tuition unless the student chooses to opt out. The opt-out option is not available for digital textbooks used in the Doctorate of Ministry program.
Not all courses include a Digital Textbook. Courses that include a Digital Textbook will be noted in the registration material. Students who do not opt out will not need to purchase print textbooks for courses using a Digital Textbook. The purchase of the Digital Textbook is not refundable. Students who do opt out will be responsible for purchasing the required textbook. If a course does not use a Digital Textbook, the student is responsible for purchasing the required textbook.
The price of books and supplies is not included in the tuition.
Digital Bookshelf and Digital Textbooks
South University is in the process of enhancing the learning experience by converting traditional textbooks to electronic media. Students are responsible for reading the Digital Bookshelf and eBook User’s Manual publication, which describes the media, access to the materials and the student’s rights and responsibilities related to Digital Bookshelf. In the event that a digital textbook is not available, students may need to purchase a traditional textbook.
Digital Bookshelf Preferred Requirements:
Preferred Software Specifications:
Mac OSX 10.5 or 10.6
- OR -
Windows 7 or Vista with Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1
Latest version of Safari Browser, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer
Preferred Hardware Specifications:
2.0 GHz INTEL processor
1 GB of RAM
Graphics card capable of 1024 x 768 resolution or larger
Soundcard & speakers
High speed internet access
Digital Bookshelf Minimum Requirements:
Minimum Software Specifications:
Apple Mac OSX 10.4
- OR -
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or higher
with Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1
Safari browser 3.0.4 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher, Internet Explorer 6 or higher
Minimum Hardware Specifications:
1.0 GHz processor
512 MB of RAM
Graphics card capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
Dial-up internet access is the minimum standard, however, a higher speed is recommended
Digital Bookshelf Recommended Plug-ins or Downloads:
The course instructor may employ technology in the eCollege classroom that requires one of these recommended plug‐ins or downloads in order to function properly. If the instructor uses the ClassLive technology, Java will be required. If your instructor provides PDF files, Adobe Reader may be required to open and view those files. You can download these items at the time that you need them.
Recommendation regarding “Netbooks”
Students often see “Netbooks” (small laptop computers primarily designed for web browsing and emailing) as an affordable option when looking to purchase a computer for classwork. However, it is strongly recommend that students do not purchase a Netbook.
Purchasing a low-price laptop or desktop computer that meets the system requirements outlined above is a much better solution for classwork. While newer Netbooks may meet resolution and screen size requirements for reading your eBooks, much like some older laptops, some older Netbooks may not be able to graphically handle these sites. This means that reading e‐texts and participating in the classroom could become difficult. It may be challenging to scroll through your readings and effectively and efficiently work through the material.
While the primary focus of the Career Services office is to assist students upon graduation, any enrolled student may seek employment information through this office. Although South University does not guarantee employment, it is vitally important to both the graduate and the University that each student obtains appropriate employment. Therefore, as students approach the final year of their programs, specific and personalized assistance is provided in the preparation of professional resumes and cover letters, as well as in job search strategies and interviewing skills. Career services are provided to South University graduates at no additional charge.
Please see the Director of Career Services or Dean of Student Affairs for assistance or information.
South University publishes an annual security report that contains information concerning policies and programs relating to campus security, crimes and emergencies, the prevention of crimes and sexual offenses, drug and alcohol use, campus law enforcement and access to campus facilities. The annual security report also includes statistics concerning the occurrence of specified types of crimes on campus, at certain off-campus locations, and on the public property surrounding the campus. The annual security report is published each year by October 1 and contains statistics for the three most recent calendar years. The annual security report is provided to all current students and employees. A copy of the most recent annual security report may be obtained from the Student Affairs office during regular business hours. Copies of the Crime Report are available on the University’s website in the Student Consumer Information section.
In addition to the annual security report, South University maintains a crime log recording all reported crimes. The crime log is available for public inspection during regular business hours at the Student Affairs office. South University will report to the campus community concerning the occurrence of any crime includable in the annual security report that is reported to campus security or local police and that is considered to be a threat to students or employees.
South University reminds all students that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions regarding their safety and welfare.
||Crime Report Link
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South University provides accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. The Disability Services office assists qualified students with disabilities in acquiring reasonable and appropriate accommodations and in supporting equal access to services, programs and activities at South University.
Students who seek reasonable accommodations should notify the Dean of Student Affairs who serves as the Disabilities Services Coordinator at their location, as listed in Appendix A of the catalog, of their specific limitations and, if known, their specific requested accommodations. Students will be asked to supply medical documentation of the need for accommodation. Classroom accommodations are not retroactive, but are effective only upon the student sharing approved accommodations with the instructor. Therefore, students are encouraged to request accommodations as early as feasible with the Disability Services Coordinator to allow for time to gather necessary documentation. If you have a concern or complaint in this regard, please contact the Disability Coordinator at your location as listed in Appendix A if the catalog. Complaints will be handled in accordance with the school’s Internal Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment. Please click here to see the Appendix for specific contact lists for each campus and online.
South University does not provide health services. Referrals will be made upon request.
There are currently no residence hall facilities available at South University campuses. Independent housing brochures are available through the offices of the Dean of Student Affairs or the Director of Admissions.
South University provides a library for its students at each of its campuses. The libraries are easily accessible and house general and reference books, pamphlets, periodicals, multimedia software, online services, and other non-print media to assist students in their studies. Through intercollegiate borrowing agreements, South University libraries are able to expand their patrons’ access to resources outside of their own facilities. In addition, Internet access affords students the opportunity to locate and/or retrieve information from libraries, colleges, database services, and various other institutions throughout the world.
A library manual of policies and procedures is available upon request at the circulation desk. This manual informs students how to use the library at their campus, how the books are arranged, the policy for overdue books, and how to check out materials. Library resources are reserved for use by South University students, faculty and administrative staff.
A library orientation is given each quarter to all students enrolled in UVC1000 Strategies for Success classes. Students are informed of the types of books, periodicals, and multimedia available, how to use the online catalog in locating information, and how to use library resources to the greatest advantage.
The individual campuses post specific library hours.
Each student organization must be registered with the office of student affairs, be approved by the dean, and have an approved faculty advisor. The Dean of Student Affairs will assist in obtaining an advisor if necessary. Students who are interested in forming a recognized student organization should see the Dean of Student Affairs for information on how to start a new student organization.
The University provides an orientation program each term. The program acquaints new students with academic life and university services. All new students are required to attend. The Student Handbook and information regarding alcohol and drug abuse and the campus security report are available electronically. Information sheets that contain the exact URL (electronic address on the web) are distributed to all students at orientation. Students may request a paper copy of these documents from the Dean of Student Affairs.
All new fully online students are required to complete an online orientation course before starting classes. This orientation covers the expectations, policies, and procedures associated with online learning at South University and provides students with an opportunity to practice working within the online classroom environment. It is absolutely necessary that students are prepared to begin working within the online classroom environment on the first day of class, as they will not have the time to orient themselves once classes are underway.
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) studies in Aerospace Science (US Air Force) and Military Science (US Army, Navy Marine Corps) are available to South University Tampa students.
Students are responsible for registering for the appropriate courses and maintaining compliance with ROTC regulations.
Veteran and Military Services
A Veterans Affairs (VA) school certifying official is available at each campus to assist students with benefit information. The financial aid office can direct students to the appropriate University personnel.
South University is required to obtain and evaluate all previous post-secondary and military transcripts for students using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) education benefits. For all students receiving VA and DoD education benefits, it is the student’s responsibility to provide official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions and military training and experience. For students attending schools located in the states of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, the VA State Approving Agency in these states require South University to hold certification of enrollment to the VA for students who have failed to provide official transcripts by the completion of the second term.
Inclement Weather Policy
In the event of severe weather conditions, students will be notified of the cancellation or delay of classes via the South University Emergency Alert System. Whenever possible, notification of cancelled or delayed courses will occur at least three (3) hours prior to the course start time. Cancelled courses may require make-up course meeting times, or additional assignments. Faculty will notify students at the next regularly scheduled class meeting how the missed class time will be made up, if warranted.
Students in online courses are expected to meet the weekly attendance requirements. Failure to meet weekly attendance in an online course may result in the student’s administrative withdrawal from the course and the University. In the event that a severe weather event prohibits a campus-based student from attending an online class, the student is expected to communicate with the appropriate faculty member(s) as quickly as is reasonable, and should contact the Registrar’s office. Students in online programs should contact their faculty member(s) as quickly as is reasonable, and their Academic Counselor. Please review the University Attendance Policy for more information.
If classes are not canceled despite inclement weather, students are responsible for any academic work they miss as a result of the weather.
Students may sign up for their campus Emergency Alert system via the student portal.
The South University shall recognize all state and federal vaccination and immunization requirements and are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable requirements. Information regarding immunization requirements is published on South University website, under the Student Consumer Information pages, and if applicable in the Student Handbook or during enrollment or orientation, where appropriate.
North Carolina Immunization Requirement
All students enrolling in a campus in North Carolina must provide proof of immunization as required by North Carolina law. Students must provide the required immunization records within 10 weeks of their start date. Failure to provide the appropriate documentation may result in student being unable to register for class.
Immunization Policy (AI Campuses)
The Art Institute Campuses shall recognize all state and federal vaccination and immunization requirements and are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable requirements. Information regarding immunization requirements is published on The Art Institute Campuses’ websites, under the Student Consumer Information pages, and if applicable in the Student Handbook or during enrollment or orientation, where appropriate.
Student Email Communication Policy
South University will provide all applicants and current students a southuniversity.edu email account. This will be considered the student’s primary email account while enrolled at South University. All email communication from the University will be sent to the primary email account. Students may add a secondary email account to their record, however, the University will not send official communications to a secondary account. Students have the option of having email forwarded from the primary account to their secondary account.
Code of Conduct
Each student who enters South University commits, by the act of enrolling, to full acceptance of the University Code of Conduct. For ease of reference, the Student Handbook contains the Code of Conduct, disciplinary procedures, and the appeals process.
Professors are not expected to jeopardize the progress of a class by permitting the continued presence of any student whose behavior in any way could adversely affect the class. Inappropriate behavior includes disruptive behavior, or other actions that are not considered proper conduct for a University student. The Code of Conduct also applies to inappropriate actions on campus outside of the actual classroom or while participating in University sponsored activities off campus. The Code of Conduct also applies to online activities that occur on South University websites.
Alleged violations of the conduct code will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs. See the Disciplinary Procedures section of the Student Handbook for specific details. Violations of the code of conduct may result in disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal. A full copy of the code of conduct is available in the South University Student Handbook.
General Complaint Procedures
If you have a complaint or problem you are encouraged to follow this procedure:
- You should discuss complaints with the individual(s) within the appropriate department. Initial discussion should be with the person most knowledgeable of the issues involved or with immediate decision-making responsibility.
- If you feel that the complaint has not been fully addressed, a written account should be submitted to the Dean of Student Affairs if related to non-academic issues or to the Dean of Academic Affairs for academic issues. The written account should indicate your name, phone number, and ID and discuss the steps you have taken to remedy the situation.
- The appropriate South University staff member or department will be notified of the complaint. A follow-up meeting with you and the Dean of Student Affairs and/or Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations will be held within ten school days of the date of the written complaint in an effort to resolve the issue.
- If you are not satisfied with the results, you may file an appeal with the President’s Office. The appeal should be in writing and contain your name and phone number. You should summarize the steps you have taken to remedy the situation and indicate why the results are not satisfactory. You will hear the results of the appeal within ten class days from the date the appeal is received.
- If you follow this complaint procedure and still feel dissatisfied with the results you may send a written copy of the complaint to:
Consumer Protection Section
Office of the Alabama Attorney General
P.O. Box 300152
Montgomery, AL 36130
Arizona State Board for Private Post-Secondary Education
1400 West Washington, Room 260
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
423 Main Street Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Florida Department of Education, Commission for Independent Education
325 West Gaines St, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084
Iowa College Student Aid Commission
430 E. Grand Ave., 3rd floor
Des Moines, IA 50309
Kansas Board of Regents
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 520
Topeka, KS 66612
If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s complaint procedures, the student may file a complaint with the:
Maryland Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-528-8662/888/743/0823 (toll free)
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Commercial Services Enforcement Division
PO Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools
30 East Broad St, Suite 2481
Columbus, OH 43215
Ohio Department of Higher Education
25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215
New Mexico Students
If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, 2048 Galisteo Street, Santa FE, NM 87505-2100, Phone:505-476-8400 Fax: 505-476-8433, www.hed.state.nm.us.
North Carolina Students
University of North Carolina General Administration
910 Raleigh Rd
PO Box 2688
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
South Carolina Students
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
Students should go the following site, to access South Carolina Complaint procedures and form.
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
1200 East Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78752
PO Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711-2788
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s rules governing student complaints (Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, Sections 1.110-1.120) can be reviewed at: http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=1&ch=1&rl=116.
A description of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s complaint procedure and online forms can be found at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=C9BD55D4-C5A3-4BC6-9A0DF17F467F4AE9.
Utah students may contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at any time to file a complaint. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection does not require Utah students to go through South University’s complaint procedure. Utah Division of Consumer Protection (160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, 801-530-6601; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://consumerprotection.utah.gov/complaints/index.html
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education
101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor - James Monroe Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Student Grievance Procedure For Internal Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment
Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment (other than sexual harassment) in violation of the Non-Discrimination Policy should follow the procedure outlined below. (Please note that students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment should follow the reporting process in the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy below.) This complaint procedure is intended to provide a fair, prompt and reliable determination about whether the campus Non-Discrimination Policy has been violated.
- Complainants are encouraged to file a complaint as soon as possible after an alleged incident of discrimination has occurred. Any student who chooses to file a discrimination complaint should do so either with the campus Dean of Student Affairs or with the campus Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations. Online students should file complaints with email@example.com. The complaint should be presented in writing and it should describe the alleged incident(s) and any corrective action sought. The complaint should be signed by the complainant.
- South University will investigate the allegations. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. Both will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding. For this purpose, the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding means only South University’s final determination with respect to the alleged offense and any sanction that is imposed against the accused. Both the complainant and the accused will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the allegations with the investigator and may offer any witnesses in support of their position to the investigator during the course of the investigation. A student may be accompanied during investigation meetings and discussions by one person (family member, friend, etc.) who can act as an observer, provide emotional support, and/or assist the student in understanding and cooperating in the investigation. The observer may not be an attorney, unless otherwise required by local law. The investigator may prohibit from attending or remove any person who disrupts the investigation in the investigator’s sole discretion.
- The student who made the complaint and the accused shall be informed promptly in writing when the investigation is completed, no later than 45 calendar days from the date the complaint was filed. The student who made the complaint shall be informed if there were findings made that the policy was or was not violated and of actions taken to resolve the complaint, if any, that are directly related to him/her, such as an order that the accused not contact the student who made the complaint. In accordance with school policies protecting individuals’ privacy, the student who made the complaint may generally be notified that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action, but shall not be informed of the details of the recommended disciplinary action without the consent of the accused.
- The decision of the Investigator may be appealed by petitioning the President’s Office of South University. The written appeal must be made within twenty calendar days of receipt of the determination letter. The President, or his or her designee, will render a written decision on the appeal within 30 calendar days from receipt of the appeal. The President’s decision shall be final.
- South University will not retaliate against persons bringing forward allegations of harassment or discrimination.
- Matters involving general student complaints will be addressed according to the Student Complaint Procedures, a copy of which can be found in the Student Handbook or Academic Catalog.
- For more information about your rights under the federal laws prohibiting discrimination, please contact the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education or visit the website at http://www.ed.gov/ocr.
Arizona Residents-If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The State Board address is 1400 W. Washington Street, Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007, phone 602-542-5709, website address: www.ppse.az.gov.
Arkansas Students-Right to Appeal: If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s complaint procedures, the student may file a complaint with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education 423 Main Street Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72201; Phone: 501-371-2000, website: www.adhe.edu.
Maryland Residents-If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s complaint procedures, the student may file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General or the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Complaints should be directed to: Maryland Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-528-8662/888/743/0823 (toll free). South University is subject to investigation of complaints by the Office of the Attorney General of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
New Mexico Residents-If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, 2048 Galisteo Street, Santa FE, NM 87505-2100, Phone: 505-476-8400 Fax: 505-476-8433, www.hed.state.nm.us.
Utah students may contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at any time to file a complaint. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection does not require Utah students to go through South University’s complaint procedure. Utah Division of Consumer Protection (160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, 801-530-6601; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://consumerprotection.utah.gov/complaints/index.html.
Virginia Residents-Complaints, which cannot be resolved by direct negotiation with the school in accordance to its written grievance policy, may be filed with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA 23219.
South University does not discriminate or harass on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, religion, veteran’s status, genetic marker, or any other characteristic protected by state, local or federal law, in our programs and activities. South University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. South University will not retaliate against persons bringing foreword allegations of harassment or discrimination. The campus Dean of Student Affairs has been designated to handle inquiries and coordinate the campus’ compliance efforts regarding the Non-Discrimination policy. Please see the Appendix at the end of the catalog for contact information for each South University location.
No Harassment Policy
South University is committed to providing workplaces and learning environments that are free from harassment on the basis of any protected classification including, but not limited to race, sex, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, genetic marker or on any other basis protected by law. Such conduct is unprofessional, unproductive, illegal, and generally considered bad for business.
Consequently, all conduct of this nature is expressly prohibited, regardless of whether it violates any law. (Please note that sexual harassment is more thoroughly addressed in the Sexual Misconduct & Relationships Violence Policy below.)
Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy; Procedures for Handling Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Complaints
Note: Please click here to see the appendix for specific contact lists for each campus and online
South University values civility, dignity, diversity, education, honesty, and safety and is firmly committed to maintaining a campus environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence, defined more specifically below, are inconsistent with these values, violate institutional policy, and will not be tolerated at South University and are expressly prohibited. Similarly, retaliation for having brought forward a concern or allegation or for participating in an investigation of a report of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence is also expressly prohibited and is grounds for disciplinary action.
This Policy provides information regarding how an individual - whether a student, faculty member, or staff member - can make a report of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence impacting a student and how South University will proceed once it is made aware of any such report.
For faculty and staff members who believe they are the victim of sexual misconduct, please follow our No Harassment policy in the Employee Handbook.
I. Preliminary Issues & Important Definitions
This Policy prohibits “Sexual Misconduct” and “Relationship Violence,” broad categories encompassing the conduct defined below. Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence can be committed by anyone, including third parties, and can occur between people of the same sex or different sexes and regardless of one’s biological sex or transgendered sex. This policy applies to Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence that is committed against a student when that Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence occurs: (i) on campus; (ii) off-campus if in connection with a University-sponsored program or activity or in student housing; or (iii) off-campus if allegedly perpetrated by a fellow student, faculty member, staff member, or third party when the victim/reporting student reasonably believes that the off-campus conduct has created a hostile educational environment.
A. What is “Sexual Misconduct”?
Sexual Misconduct includes:
- Sexual Assault: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, or fellatio without Consent (as defined below). Sexual intercourse is defined as anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching with any body part or object by any person upon any person without Consent.
- Sexual Exploitation: An act attempted or committed through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples include, but are not limited to, prostituting another student; inducing a student into sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other sexual activity by implicit or explicit threat of exposure of personal information or academic consequences; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or Consent of all involved parties; and knowingly transmitting or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection without the person’s knowledge.
- Indecent Exposure: the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises when the accused may be readily observed.
- Sexual Harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following: (a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s academic status; or (b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting such individual; or (c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus.
B. What is “Relationship Violence”?
Relationship Violence includes:
- Domestic Violence: Violence, including but not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner or any other person from whom the student is protected under federal or applicable state law.
- Dating Violence: Violence, including but not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim. The existence of such a relationship is generally determined based on a consideration of the length and type of relationship and the frequency of interaction.
- Stalking: A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct means two or more acts in which a person directly, indirectly or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.
The following also constitute violations of this Policy:
- Complicity: Assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of this Policy.
- Retaliation: Acts or attempted acts for the purpose of interfering with any report, investigation, or proceeding under this Policy, or as retribution or revenge against anyone who has reported Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation, or proceeding under this Policy. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination. To be clear, retaliation against a Complainant for reporting an incident or against any witness who participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited.
C. Who are “Complainants” and “Respondents”?
South University is not a court of law. We also do not engage in victim-blaming or rushes to judgment. Therefore, without judgment, we refer to anyone who reports that s/he has experienced Sexual Misconduct as a “Complainant” and to anyone who reportedly has engaged in Sexual Misconduct as a “Respondent.”
D. Defining Consent
In many cases of Sexual Misconduct, the central issue is consent or the ability to give consent. Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity. Past Consent does not imply future Consent, and Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply Consent to engage in a different form of sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent must be knowing and voluntary. To give Consent, a person must be awake, of legal age, and have the capacity to reasonably understand the nature of her/his actions. Individuals who are physically or mentally incapacitated cannot give Consent.
Silence, without actions evidencing permission, does not demonstrate Consent. Where force, threats, or coercion is alleged, the absence of resistance does not demonstrate Consent. Force, threats, or coercion invalidates Consent. The responsibility of obtaining Consent rests with the person initiating sexual activity. Use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent or negate one’s intent.
Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by either person at any time. Once withdrawal of Consent has been clearly expressed, the sexual activity must cease.
Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give Consent, because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, due to an intellectual or other disability that prevents the student from having the capacity to give Consent, or the individual is unconscious, asleep or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if he or she demonstrates that they are unaware of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Some indicators that an individual is incapacitated may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, unresponsiveness, inability to communicate coherently, inability to dress/undress without assistance, inability to walk without assistance, slurred speech, loss of coordination, lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, or inability to perform other physical or cognitive tasks without assistance.
E. Title IX Coordinator & Deputy Coordinators
The Title IX Coordinator for South University is: Alisa Krouse, Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for, among other things, coordinating the campus’s efforts to comply with and carry out the campus’s responsibilities under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, including compliance with this policy. The Title IX Coordinator will help to coordinate any investigations under this Policy.
In addition, the University has other individuals who serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators to help oversee investigations and determination proceedings under this Policy.
II. Reporting & Confidentiality
We encourage victims of Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence to talk to somebody about what happened - so they can get the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately.
Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality:
- CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING: Some individuals are required to maintain near complete confidentiality. These include professional counselors such as those provided by Talk One2One counselling services. These individuals can provide resources and generally talk to a victim without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to the University. A victim can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a University investigation.
- NON-CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING. Other than professional counsellors defined above, most other employees and contractors are required to report all the details of an incident to the Title IX coordinator. A report to these employees (called “responsible employees”) constitutes a report to the University and generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation. The following campus employees (or categories of employees) are examples of responsible employees: the Title IX Coordinator, all Deputy Title IX Coordinators, President, Dean of Student Affairs, other Student Affairs staff, Housing staff, Academic Advisors, the Security Team (including contract security personnel), all full-time and adjunct Faculty, Human Resources, and Employee Relations.
The University will seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved in any report of alleged Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to the extent possible and allowed by law. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate any request for confidentiality in the context of the University’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment to all members of its community.
The University will complete any publicly available record-keeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosure, without the inclusion of identifying information about the alleged victim. It will also maintain as confidential any interim measures or remedies provided to the alleged victim to the extent that maintaining confidentiality will not impair its ability to provide the interim measures or remedies.
In addition to internal reporting, the University strongly encourages anyone who believes they have experienced a sexual assault (or any other crime) to make a report to local law enforcement. Collection and preservation of evidence relating to the reported sexual assault is essential for law enforcement investigations, so prompt reporting of the incident to law enforcement is especially critical. Designated staff will, upon request, assist an individual in making a report to law enforcement as necessary and appropriate.
Although we strongly encourage complainants to report to local law enforcement, such a report is not a prerequisite to the University’s review and investigation of any complaint covered by this Policy. The University will honor a Complainant’s request not to report the matter to local law enforcement UNLESS we have a reasonable basis to believe that the safety and security of the campus community is at risk. In this event, the University will endeavor to notify a Complainant or Reporter of the institution’s intent to report the matter to law enforcement in advance of any such report.
The University does not limit the time frame for reporting under this Policy, although a delay in reporting may impact the University’s ability to take certain actions.
Other Code of Conduct Violations: The University encourages students who have been the victim of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to come forward. Students should not be discouraged from reporting such incidents because they fear discipline for their own violations of the Student Code of Conduct, such as use of alcohol in University housing. Therefore, the University has discretion not to pursue other violations of the Student Code of Conduct that occurred in the context of the reported incident of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence.
III. Response Procedure
Students are encouraged to report any incident of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Student Affairs, or the Campus President. If a report is made verbally, the University will request a written statement by the student.
Upon receipt of a report, the University will generally proceed as described below.
A. Investigation Commencement
The University will provide a timely and thorough investigation. Barring exigent circumstances, cases of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence will generally be resolved within a 60 day period once the incident has been reported. An extension of time may be necessary if witnesses are unavailable or uncooperative or due to other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the investigator.
B. Initial Response
Once the University is put on notice of possible Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence, the Complainant will be offered appropriate confidential support, accommodations, and other resources and will be notified of applicable policies and procedures. Accommodations include the ability to move to different housing, to change work schedules, to alter academic schedules, to withdraw from/retake a class without penalty, and to access academic support. The Respondent also will be offered appropriate resources and notified of applicable policies and procedures.
C. Interim Intervention
Pending a final determination, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Student Affairs staff will take appropriate interim measures. These measures may include, but are not limited to, the imposition of a no-contact order and/or employment, transportation, residence, and academic modifications. Student Affairs staff may limit a student or organization’s access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter. The University may impose an Interim Suspension on the Respondent pending the resolution of an alleged violation when the University determines, in its sole discretion, that it is necessary in order to protect the safety and well-being of members of the campus community.
D. Decision to Proceed to Investigation
If the Complainant is willing to participate in the review and investigation process, the University will proceed as described below in Section III (E).
If the Complainant requests a confidential investigation, the University will seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the Complainant to the extent possible and allowed by law. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate any request for confidentiality in the context of the University’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment to all members of its community.
If a confidential investigation is requested and agreed to, the University will investigate without revealing the name of the Complainant in any interview or email and will not ask questions that inadvertently or reasonably could reveal the identity of the Complainant.
If the Complainant asks that the report of sexual misconduct not be pursued, the University will consider the interests of the Complainant, the campus community, law enforcement, and/or other appropriate interests under the circumstances. The University, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will make a final decision on whether and to what extent it will conduct an investigation, and notify the Complainant promptly.
In the event that a campus-wide alert related to the incident is deemed necessary, the campus shall generally attempt to notify the Complainant of the alert and its content before it is circulated. If the campus is unable to contact the Complainant in a timely fashion, or otherwise deems it necessary, the message may be sent without his/her review.
E. Investigation Procedure
Investigators do not function as advocates for either Complainants or Respondents. Investigators can, however, identify advocacy and support resources for either Complainants or Respondents.
The Respondent will receive written notice of the report and the nature of the alleged misconduct. He/She will be advised in writing of the investigation process and opportunity to provide any relevant evidence.
The Investigation will generally be conducted by the Dean of Student Affairs for the campus (or any other individual appointed by the Title IX Coordinator) if the Respondent is a student. If the Respondent is a faculty or staff member, Employee Relations will also participate in the investigation.
The investigator will separately interview both Complainant and Respondent. Both parties will be able to provide evidence and suggest other witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator will interview other relevant witnesses and review any other available relevant evidence. Both the Complainant and Respondent can have another individual present during their own respective interviews. If the Complainant or Respondent elects, they may have an attorney present during their own interview, but said attorney may not advocate during the interview.
- For cases where the Respondent is a student.
The investigator will present all evidence to the Title IX Coordinator (or his/her designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator). In all cases, the Title IX Coordinator or the designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator will be appropriately trained regarding handling and considering sexual misconduct and relationship violence cases.
The Title IX Coordinator will weigh the evidence presented and decide whether additional evidence is necessary for consideration. Ultimately, the Title IX Coordinator will make a determination of whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy or any other policy has occurred.
The University reserves the right to convene a Determination Panel to review the evidence and make the determination in appropriate circumstances.
- For cases where the Respondent is a Faculty or Staff Member.
The investigator will present all evidence to the Ethics Committee of DCEH. The Ethics Committee will be appropriately trained regarding handling and adjudicating sexual misconduct and relationship violence cases. The Ethics Committee will weigh the evidence presented and make a determination whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy or any other policy has occurred.
G. Standard of Proof
In all cases under the Sexual Misconduct policy, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) or the Ethics Committee will determine if a violation of policy has occurred by the preponderance of evidence standard. Thus, they will determine whether it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred.
H. Potential Sanctions
If a violation of policy has been found, the Title IX Coordinator or the Ethics Committee will impose appropriate sanctions, including but not limited to coaching, training, probation, suspension, or expulsion in the case of students or coaching, training, written warning, demotion, or termination in the case of employees.
I. Outcome Notifications
Both the Complainant and Respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation and of the sanctions imposed, if any.
If the Complainant or Respondent is a student, he or she may appeal the outcome determination by written appeal to the Campus President within 15 days of notification of the outcome. An appeal may be made based only on one or more of the following reasons:
- New and significant evidence appeared that could not have been discovered by a properly diligent charged student or complainant before or during the original investigation and that could have changed the outcome.
- The Finding is Arbitrary and Capricious: Reading all evidence in the favor of the non-appealing party, the finding was not supported by reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances. In deciding appeals, the Campus President is allowed to make all logical inferences in benefit of the non-appealing party.
- Disproportionate Sanctions: The sanctions were disproportionate to the findings.
The appeal shall consist of a written statement requesting review of the conduct decision or sanction and explaining in detail the basis for the appeal. The Campus President, or designated representative, will notify the non-appealing party of the request for an appeal. Within five working days of receipt of the notice, the non-appealing party may submit a written statement to be included in the case file. The appeal may proceed without the non-appealing party’s written statement if it is not submitted within the designated time limit.
The Campus President will endeavor to make a determination of the appeal within 15 business days of receipt. The President’s decision is final.
Notice of South University’s Policies to Comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students and individuals to civil and criminal liabilities. Almost all of the music, movies, television shows, software, games and images found on the Internet are protected by federal copyright law. The owner of the copyright in these works has the right to control their distribution, modification, reproduction, public display and public performance. It is generally illegal therefore to use file sharing networks to download and share copyrighted works without the copyright owner’s permission unless “fair use” or another exemption under copyright law applies.
Fair use under the federal Copyright Act allows the use without permission of copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting or teaching under certain limited circumstances. There is no blanket exception from liability for students or employees of educational institutions, however, and whether the use of copyrighted material without permission falls within “fair use” or one of the other exceptions in the Act depends on a very detailed, case-by-case analysis of various factors. Students should be aware that sharing music, videos, software and other copyrighted materials is very likely not to be considered a ‘fair use” and therefore may be a violation of the law.
A violation of the institution’s policy for use of its information technology system can result in termination of network access for the student and/or other disciplinary action including removal of the student from the institution. Moreover, there are severe civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement under federal law. A copyright owner is entitled to recover actual damages and profits resulting from an infringement, but also may recover statutory damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work for a non-willful infringement and up to $150,000 for a willful infringement, even if there is no proof of actual damages, in addition to court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The government also can file criminal charges that can result in fines and imprisonment.
South University’s policies in regard to copyright infringement via the Internet prohibit the illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system. South University’s policies prohibit use of the South University computer network to engage in illegal copying or distribution of copyrighted works such as by unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing (i.e., the sharing of copyrighted works, typically in digital or electronic files, without permission.