Comprehensive Standard 3.9.1

The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to the campus community. (Student rights) 

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative: 

Students attending the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) have specific rights and responsibilities. USC Upstate publishes and disseminates this information in annual publications online and in print including undergraduate and graduate student handbooks, and the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog. The print publications are distributed to all students on the Spartanburg and Greenville campuses and to the USC Upstate education students in Sumter during the first week of classes.  The handbooks are also posted electronically on the website.  Student rights and responsibilities as required for disclosure by law are available in the Financial Aid, Student Affairs, and Academic Regulations sections of the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.

Policies that address student rights and responsibilities are reviewed by the University of South Carolina System General Counsel for changes and additions. The 2011-2012 Student Handbook includes policies that govern both academic and non-academic grievance rights of students including but not limited to disability-related issues, English fluency, parking, code of student behavior, mental health disturbances, and housing.

Registration at USC Upstate assumes the student’s acceptance of responsibility for compliance with all rules and regulations.  Similarly, USC Upstate accepts its obligation to provide for its students, faculty and staff an atmosphere that protects and promotes its educational mission and guarantees its effective operation. To meet these obligations and responsibilities, the University requires certain standards of conduct. All students, faculty and staff at the University share the responsibility to respect:

  • the fundamental rights of others as citizens
  • the rights of others based upon the nature of the educational process
  • the rights of the institution
  • the rights of everyone to fair and equitable procedures for determining when and upon whom sanctions for violations of University standards should be imposed

The Student Rights and Freedoms section of the undergraduate 2011-2012 Student Handbook describes procedures for addressing Violations of the Academic Code of Conduct and Violations of the Non-Academic Code of Conduct including violations by student organizations. Thestudent judicial systemisgoverned by the Code of Student Behavior as outlined in the undergraduate 2011-2012 Student Handbook.  If a student believes he or she has been treated unjustly or improperly by a faculty or staff member, a grievance can be filed in accordance with the Student Grievance Policy.

The Dean of Students is responsible for the oversight of the judicial system and processes as outlined in the 2011-2012 Student Handbook. The Director of Housing handles infractions associated with residential facilities. Athletics has its own disciplinary system that parallels other areas as outlined in the 2011-2012 Student-Athlete Handbook.

Disciplinary procedures are clearly defined, broadly available, and consistently adhered to. To illustrate adherence to the published policy and procedures, two examples of charges of violations of the Academic Code of Conduct are provided: one academic and one non-academic.

The 2011-2012 Student Handbook outlines a comprehensive formal process that addresses written grievances. These grievances include a spectrum of situations ranging from academic, non-academic, lingual (the inability of students to understand the spoken and/or written English of an instructor), and disability-related grievances. USC Upstate consistently and stringently adheres to its grievance policies in order to resolve and/or bring about the best possible outcome for all grievances.

The overall purpose of the USC Upstate student grievance process is to provide all enrolled students with a standardized, clear process for reporting unresolved grievances and for seeking resolution where conditions and/or treatment by a faculty and/or staff member could be deemed unjust, inequitable or create an unfavorable environment and /or situation. The University’s obligation and commitment is to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment in a timely manner when reporting grievances of any nature. Furthermore, any student may report a given grievance without fear of reprisal.

The process for handling student grievances is as follows:

  • Each respective student grievance is assigned a case file that contains complete documentation applicable to the reported grievance.
  • Each case and its relevant details are processed and entered in a specific database software program (Maxient) which is designed to catalog all forms of student grievance and code of conduct.
  • The Dean of Students conducts an investigation with all parties involved including immediate supervisors, deans, division chairs, etc., as applicable and necessary.
  • Follow up documentation is provided to the student with regard to outcome/sanctions.

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Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727
Phone: 864-503-5000
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