2019-20 Student Handbook and Wellness Guide

Student Rights

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Augusta Technical College exists to educate its students; to advance, preserve, and disseminate knowledge; and to advance the public interest and the welfare of society as a whole. Essential to such purposes is an orderly climate of academic integrity, of rational and critical inquiry, of intellectual freedom, and of freedom of individual thought and expression consistent with the rights of others. To the end that such a climate may be established and maintained, the College and each member of the College community have reciprocal rights and obligations. It is the obligation of the College to ensure orderly operation, to preserve academic freedom, to protect the rights of all members of the College community, to prohibit acts which materially and substantially interfere with legitimate educational objectives or interfere with the rights of others, and to take appropriate disciplinary action where conduct adversely affects the College's pursuit of its educational objectives.

Membership in the College community confers certain rights upon students and requires certain responsibilities of them, which are defined below. It is expected that students understand and exercise their rights, fulfill their responsibilities, and respect the rights of others. The College is expected to ensure these responsibilities and accord these rights to students. Knowledge of these rights can help students avoid the sanctions prescribed for a breach of responsibilities. More importantly, this knowledge can help students help the College and the College community preserve a climate in which their educational and career goals and identity can be developed without denying this same opportunity to others. Unfamiliarity with the following does not excuse students from carrying out their responsibilities as members of the College community.

Student Rights

Students shall be heard in matters which affect their rights and responsibilities.

Students shall have the right to take stands on issues, to examine and discuss questions of interest, and to support legal causes by orderly means that do not disrupt College operations or interfere with the rights of others.

Students shall have the right to freedom of expression by word or symbol as long as it does not materially or substantially interfere with the orderly operation of the College or with the rights of others. This right of expression does not protect lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct and/or expression.

The College authorized student publications and communications shall be guaranteed the rights inherent in the concept of "freedom of the press." All publications shall be subject to the canons of responsible journalism, including the avoidance of libel, avoidance of indecency or obscenity, undocumented allegations, and techniques of harassment and innuendo.

The Student Government Association and all student organizations approved by the College Administration may meet on College premises provided that they make reservations in accordance with the rules and regulations for room and space reservation. Students and/or student groups may not make reservations in their names for outside groups or organizations to use College space.

Only the Student Government Association and student organizations approved by the College Administration have the right to invite and hear any person of their own choosing for the purpose of hearing the person's ideas and opinions. The President of the College or the authorized representative may cancel a speaker's reservation where there is clear and present danger that the appearance would threaten the orderly operation of the College. Such cancellation shall be communicated to the sponsoring organization.

Students shall have the right to have their academic and disciplinary records kept confidential subject to existing law. No official records shall be kept which reflect any alleged political activity or belief of students. No official records of students shall be available to unauthorized persons within the institution or to any person outside the institution without the express written consent of the student involved except under legal compulsion.

Students shall have the right to due process when accused of any violations of College regulations or rules of conduct. This right shall include the following:

  1. Right to a notice in writing of any charges.
  2. Right to admit the alleged violation, waive the appeal procedure, and accept the College's action.
  3. Right to admit or deny the alleged violation but follow the appeal procedure.
  4. Right to a fair appeal before the individuals and boards listed in the appeal procedure, not including those who brought the charges.
  5. Right to appear in person at an appeal procedure or not to appear with assurance the failure to appear shall not be construed as indicative of guilt.
  6. Right to select an advisor of their choice to attend the appeal procedure with them.
  7. Right to call witnesses and present evidence in their behalf.
  8. Right upon request to a list of witnesses who will appear against them.
  9. Right to confront and cross‐examine witnesses and/or accusers.
  10. Right to request a copy of the record of the appeal procedure if the offenses involve possible suspension or expulsion.

General Complaints

Complaints or grievances should be forwarded in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs (Dr. Nichole Kennedy, Building 1300, (706) 771-4035) for appropriate referral. The standard procedure for reporting and settling these complaints and/or grievances are listed under “grievance appeal” in this document.