Student Life

Overview

An important aspect of university life is the rich opportunity to participate in and contribute to the cocurricular life of the campus. UofSC Lancaster encourages and fosters the growth and development of student organizations, student activities, leadership opportunities, and learning beyond the classroom.  Our campus provides the opportunity for every student to make important and noticeable contributions. Your ideas, contributions, hard work, and participation in student activities on this campus will be visible and deeply appreciated.

The following is a brief description of current or recently active organizations, clubs, and publications.

Student Activities and Organizations

Black Awareness Group

The Black Awareness Group provides an opportunity for any UofSC Lancaster student to plan and to participate in functions and activities directed toward promoting and creating a better understanding of African-American culture and its great heritage.

Campus Crusade for Christ

Campus Crusade for Christ exists to provide regular opportunities to study and discuss the Bible, worship, and pray in a group setting. This gives members chances for fellowship, encouragement, and spiritual development. Campus Crusade has an open-door policy. Everyone in the UofSC Lancaster community is welcome, and there are no “members” in the sense of meeting certain requirements or being accepted into membership.

Campus News

Campus News is a weekly newsletter containing information about campus events. 

Campus News

Campus News is a weekly newsletter containing information about campus events.

Chemistry Club

The chemistry club is open to all students who are interested in science and have taken one or more chemistry classes at USCL.

College Democrats

A student organization with philosophies surrounding the DNC.

College Republicans

Providing a Republican presence on campus and a place for like-minded individuals to express his/her political ideology.

Delta Links

Open to all USCL female students, our group provides mentoring, academic support and higher educational opportunities.

Disability Support Group

To encourage and support all students with disabilities and special needs in order to ensure the success of their college career.

Food Pantry

If you are struggling to get by and have little money for food, please feel free to stop by the pantry and receive needed food items.

History Club

We inform faculty and students about the historically rich in communities in Lancaster and surrounding areas.

Intramurals/Informal Recreation

Provides both team and individual events. 

Kappa Pi Delta:  Criminal Justice Student Honor Society

We advance scholarship in criminal justice and allied professions.

Lancaster Players

UofSCL’s student theater group.

Omega Scholars

Open to all UofSCL male students, we provide mentoring, academic support and higher educational opportunities.

Outdoor Recreation Club

We meet up and enjoy nature.

Peer Advisor at Lancaster

Peer Advisor at Lancaster (PAL) is the organization involved with new student orientation. PALs acquaint new students with campus services and activities. They work with the orientation director, faculty members, staff, and administration during various projects and events. PALs receive a stipend each semester that pays a portion of their tuition.

Psychology Club and Psi Beta

We help you become familiar with careers in the psychology field and help you find work opportunities on and off campus.

Research Club

Designed to increase the overall student understanding and contribution to undergraduate research at UofSCL and the GLD program in the research pathway.

Rotaract

Rotaract clubs are part of a global effort to bring peace and understanding to the world on the community level. Rotaract clubs organize a variety of projects and activities, depending on the interests of club members.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is composed of all registered students of the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Membership upon payment of semester fees (full- or part-time) is automatic. Members of the SGA are elected by the student body in two separate elections held in the fall and spring. Officers and representatives of SGA work closely with the administration and faculty to represent student interests and viewpoints. The SGA provides various programs and functions throughout the year, as well as chartering clubs and organizations and preparing, submitting, and administering the budget for student clubs, organizations, and activities. SGA meetings are held on a regular basis and all students are welcome to attend.

Veterans Group

Open to all UofSCL Veterans and Military Students.

Student Conduct Statement

The University of South Carolina Lancaster strives to maintain an educational community that fosters the development of students who are ethical, civil, and responsible persons.  The purpose of the USCL Code of Student Conduct is to set forth the specific authority and responsibility of the university in maintaining behavioral standards.  The university may take disciplinary action for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct when the offense takes place on university premises or at university sponsored, endorsed, supported or related events which occur off campus. University action will also occur when an offense which occurs off campus may adversely affect the university community, its policies or procedures, or which affect the university's pursuit of its mission.  When there is an allegation that a student has committed an offense that is also a crime, a student can be charged both by the criminal justice system and the student conduct system. Disciplinary action at the university will normally proceed independently of pending criminal charges, including when charges involving the same incident have been dismissed by the criminal justice system.

Permanent Suspension: Dismissal from the University without leave to apply for readmittance.

Suspension for a Period of Time: Denial of enrollment, attendance, and other privileges at the University for a given period; leave to reapply for admission at termination of the period may be granted with or without qualifications.

Interim Suspension: Interim suspension is an action requiring that a student immediately leave the campus and University property. It may be imposed by the dean when there is reasonable cause to believe, based on available facts, that the student is an immediate threat to the safety of self, other members of the University community, or University property. Any student who is suspended on an interim basis and returns to the campus or University property during the suspension shall be subject to further University action and may be treated as a trespasser. When a student is suspended on an interim basis, the student is given notice containing the reasons for the suspension, the duration and any special conditions that apply, and a copy of the interim suspension policy.

Any student who is suspended on an interim basis and returns to the campus or University property during the suspension shall be subject to further University action and may be treated as a trespasser. When a student is suspended on an interim basis, the student is given notice containing the reasons for the suspension, the duration and any special conditions that apply, and a copy of the interim suspension policy.

Policy Statements

The Student Right To Know and Campuses Security Act Policies and Information for UofSC Lancaster may be found here.  We encourage you to view this document as it may contain additional information concerning UofSC Lancaster policies.

AIDS Policy

It is the policy of the University of South Carolina Lancaster to provide educational information regarding this disease as well as counseling and reassurance to students who are affected by it.

Alcohol Policy

The facilities, grounds, and parking lots at UofSC Lancaster are patrolled as public areas where open containers, sale, consumption, or underage possession of alcohol is illegal unless otherwise designated by permit. Persons not in compliance with the law are subject to arrest, prosecution, and loss of use of University facilities. Students are also subject to University sanctions for noncompliance. In order to comply with South Carolina alcohol legislation, the UofSC Lancaster Student Govern­ment Association will not sell or otherwise provide alcohol at student activities, including academic field trips.

Computer Use Policy

All computer use at the University of South Carolina Lancaster, hereafter referred to as UofSCL, must conform to the “Computer and Network Access and Use” statement issued by the Office of the Provost of the University of South Carolina. No policies set forth here may be interpreted as contradicting or superseding that statement of policy. This statement of use policies for UofSCL is provided in addition to those issued by the Office of the Provost.

Access to computers is a privilege based on the responsible use of computer and network resources. All policies included here are intended to insure a continued tradition of academic freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom to access information in a considerate and responsible manner. In keeping with the mission of the University of South Carolina and UofSCL, all policies are intended to provide the widest possible academic and scholarly access to computer resources and information technology.

The policies included here are applicable to student computer labs, library stations, John Morrison White Clinic stations, and individual faculty and staff workstations at UofSCL. These policies must be adhered to by faculty, staff, and students on the UofSCL campus. Failure to comply with these policies may lead to loss of computer privileges, campus disciplinary action or legal action.

Definitions

The UofSCL administration refers to the Dean of the Campus and Administrative Council appointed by the Dean.  The Computer Coordinator is the individual designated by the UofSCL administration as having primary responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the campus network and the maintenance of individual faculty and staff workstations.  The Laboratory Supervisor is the responsible party who has been designated by the UofSCL administration as having primary responsibility for the maintenance of hardware and software on individual workstations.

Policies

  1. Users are not permitted to alter the configuration of any campus network or individual computer software or hardware without prior approval from the laboratory supervisor for student computer lab stations, the library staff for library stations, or the clinic director for the John Morrison White Clinic stations. Faculty and staff are advised to consult with the computer coordinator concerning the alteration of the workstation configuration.
  2. No software may be loaded onto student laboratory computers without the knowledge and prior approval of the laboratory supervisors, at library stations without the knowledge and prior approval of the library staff, or at clinic stations without the knowledge and prior approval of the clinic director for the John Morrison White Clinic. Only with the permission of a laboratory supervisor, library staff, computer coordinator, or the clinic director for the John Morrison White Clinic, may programs downloaded from the Internet be run on student laboratory computers, library stations or clinic stations.
  3. No student files should be saved on campus lab computers. All students are expected to bring their own flash drives.
  4. Academic work takes precedence over all other uses of the computer. No computer use for recreation or other personal interest will be permitted in USCL student computer labs, library workstations, or John Morrison White Clinic workstations when students are waiting to work on course assignments or course related research. Recreational use includes but is not limited to, personal E-mail, chat lines, computer games, and web-surfing not related to academic or research activities.
  5. All computer users are reminded that their activities are subject to the civil and criminal laws of the state of South Carolina and of the federal government. Possible illegal activities include but are not limited to: sexual or other harassment, threats, obscenity, child pornography, libel, unauthorized access to or attempting to access computers, networks, or student records, and copyright violation. Copyright violations include the use of unlicensed software.
  6. Only currently enrolled students of UofSCL with proper ID (and on a space available basis) may use computer laboratory facilities on the UofSCL campus. Student computer laboratory use is limited to classes meetings in the laboratories or when designated faculty or staff monitors are present in the laboratories. Other use of the computer laboratories must be arranged by the permission of the UofSCL Administration.
  7. No conduct in student laboratories, at library stations, or at the John Morrison White Clinic stations will be permitted which in any way interferes with the ability of others to make use of the computer resources or which could cause damage to the facilities. All student computer lab users, library station users, and clinic station users are expected to show sensitivity to others when viewing or downloading material which others working there could find offensive. Conduct which is not permitted includes but is not limited to, shouting, loud conversation, playing recreational music over computer or other speaker systems without headphones, and consumption of food and drink.
  8. No computer use for commercial purposes is permitted. These activities include but are not limited to, typing services, bookkeeping, commercial Internet activity and commercial database production. Faculty research and document preparation for publication and university approved consulting agreements are not included in this category.

Examples of Policy Violations:

The following actions will be considered violations of UofSC Lancaster’s computer use policy. This list is not inclusive and users are urged to consult the full policy.

  1. Modifying the computer’s operating system files.
  2. Installing, copying, distributing or using software in violation of copyright and/or software agreements.
  3. Failing to surrender a terminal used for game playing when requested for academic use.
  4. Using computer resources for illegal activities. Examples: sexual or other harassment, threats, obscenity, child pornography, and libel.
  5. Accessing or attempting to access information that is private or protected without permission.
  6. Sending anonymous or repeated messages designed to annoy, abuse or torment.
  7. Copying a file from another computer user’s account or flash drive without permission.
  8. Using computing resources for commercial or profit-making purposes without written authorization from the University.
  9. Failing to present current UofSCL or UofSC system identification.
  10. Modifying existing passwords or setting additional passwords which prevent others from making use of the system.
  11. Unplugging and moving devices.
  12. Talking loudly and playing music without headphones.
  13. Eating or drinking.

Disciplinary Action

Use of UofSC Lancaster’s computing facilities constitutes your acceptance of the above policies. Violations of computing policies will be referred to the Office of Student and Academic Affairs or to the appropriate department head for disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action will be governed by the Student Conduct Code as stated in the UofSC Student Handbook or the University Policies and Procedures Manual. Normally a first violation of these policies will result in an appropriate warning; subsequent violations may result in a loss of computing privileges or other disciplinary action. All violators of local, state, and federal laws may be subject to arrest.

Drug Policy

Use, possession, sale, or purchase of drugs on or adjacent to University property may result in criminal prosecution and University sanctions including but not limited to permanent expulsion from the University. University and community services to assist individuals with alcohol and drug dependency problems are available: UofSCL Counseling Center, 127 Starr Hall, 313-7112 or Lancaster County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 114 Main Street, 285-6911.

Hazardous Weather Policy

A listing of radio and television stations, which will be provided with information on the cancellation of classes or the closing of facilities due to inclement weather, is shown below.

Television                       

  • WISTV 10 (NBC)         
  • WBTV 3 (CBS)              
  • WCBL 2                               
  • WSOC 9 (ABC)

Radio

  • 1110 AM
  • 107.9 FM
  • 99.3 FM
  • 103.7 FM                      

You may also access information regarding inclement weather closings at http//usclancaster.sc.edu/emergency.htm.

Sexual Assault Policies and Services 

The University of South Carolina is an educational community bound by common standards of conduct and a commitment to its educational mission.  Sexual assault is considered particularly abhorrent because it interferes with the educational mission by:

  • endangering the physical and emotional safety of community members;
  • damaging trust in the community;   
  • offending the dignity and violating the autonomy of community members; and
  • disrupting the academic progress of complainant s or survivors during their recovery.

As a result the University provides the following services:

  • resources aimed at reducing the risk of sexual assault, including   educational programs for men and women;
  •  a statement of expectations for behavior with regard to sexual conduct;
  • procedural interventions to offer support and information following a sexual assault; and
  • campus judicial procedures that provide for the needs of complainant s or survivors and protect the rights of alleged assailants.

Statistically, members of college communities are at great risk of being assaulted or exploited sexually and most probably by someone known to or trusted by the complainant .  Studies have shown that sexual assaults occur with disturbing frequency among college age men and women but are often unreported.  In order to provide for the needs and care of complainant s, as well as to enforce the behavior standards critical to the University’s mission, it is important that all violations of this policy are reported to appropriate authorities, including the law enforcement officials or agencies with jurisdiction in the location of the incident.  Portions of this policy may parallel published laws, but are in no way intended to substitute or supplant those laws.  As members of the University community, students are expected to comply with and abide by the University policies and guidelines issued below, as well as the laws of the State of South Carolina.

The use of alcohol and other drugs, in conjunction with an incident of sexual assault does not mitigate accountability for the commission of this crime or diminish the seriousness of the crime.  The use of substance with the possibility of harm to another individual will be considered by the associate Dean or Student Affairs Committee when determining responsibility and appropriate sanction.

This policy is subject to change to comply with changes in relevant laws or University operating procedures.

Complainant ’s Bill of Rights

Complainant s of sexual assault who report their experience to University officials can anticipate that:

  1. All sexual assaults will be treated seriously.
  2. Complainant s will be treated with dignity and respect and in a nonjudgmental manner.
  3. Campus organizations and services that can assist complainant s will be identified.
  4. When a crime is reported to University officials, those officials will offer assistance in notifying proper authorities.
  5. When complainant s report and choose to pursue action against alleged assailants, assaults will be investigated and adjudicated by appropriate criminal and/or University authorities.
  6. University personnel will not discourage complainant s from reporting, nor encourage them to underreport or report the incident as a lesser crime.
  7. Complainant s may invite an advisor they choose to accompany them through University disciplinary proceedings.
  8. A complainant  will be notified of the outcome of related University discipline proceedings.  The complainant  and the charged student must respect the privacy of all involved.
  9. University personnel will cooperate in obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence (including a medical examination), necessary in legal proceedings.
  10.  Complainant s will be made aware of any State or Federal laws regarding mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable disease and whether these professionals can notify a complainant  of the results of these tests.
  11. Complainant s will be notified of mental health services available.
  12. Complainant s will be afforded the opportunity to request immediate transfer of classes or other steps to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity to an alleged assailant when reasonably available.
  13. All students have the right to an environment free from sexual or physical intimidation, or any continuing disruptive behavior that would prevent a reasonable person from attaining their educational goals.  Disruptive behavior of this nature should be reported to appropriate University staff, so it can be addressed.
  14. The sexual history of the complainant  is not considered relevant to the truth of the allegation; therefore, information regarding sexual history external to the relationship between the complainant  and the alleged assailant will not be considered in discipline hearings.

Sex Discrimination prohibited by Title IX includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct.  Title IX also prohibits retaliation against an individual who, in good faith, asserts his or her rights under Title IX or other applicable federal laws and state laws prohibiting illegal discrimination. 

University Definition

For the purpose of this policy and related procedures, the term sexual assault is defined as “unwilling or unconsenting sexual intercourse or penetration of any bodily opening with any object; the touching of an unwilling person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, mouth, and/or clothing covering them); touching an unwilling person with one’s parts or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts.”

Behavior contemplated in this definition includes acts that are unwanted and/or may be committed either by force, threat, intimidation, or deceit, or through exploitation of another’s mental or physical condition of which the assailant was aware or should have been aware.

UofSC Lancaster conduct regulations incorporate this definition by obliging students to comply with all published policies and procedures of the University. (See University Policies and Procedures.)  Behaviors prohibited by this policy may also be prohibited by the general conduct regulations obliging students to comply with all published state, federal, and local laws, and the prohibition of  “disorderly conduct” defined to include behaviors that unnecessarily disturb others, including unwelcome physical contact and/or threatening behavior.  They may also be simultaneously prohibited by the general regulation prohibiting “disruptive activity,” defined to include any behavior that interferes with or disrupts normal activities or invades the rights of persons.

UofSC Lancaster conduct regulations and disciplinary procedures consider attempting, abetting, or being accessory to any act prohibited by the general conduct regulations the same as a completed violation.

Criminal Definition

As noted above, in publishing this policy the University is not intending to substitute or supersede related civil and criminal law.  It is the policy of the institution to strongly encourage complainant s to report all incidents and violations to the law enforcement officials or agencies with appropriate jurisdiction and avail themselves of all the services and rights to which they are entitled by law.

It should be clearly understood that there is a fundamental difference between the nature and purpose of student discipline and criminal law.  Regardless of the charge issued by procedures employed, sanctions issued by the University can be expected to be consistent with the educational mission of the institution.

According to UofSC Lancaster’s Arrest Policy, students who are apprehended and charged by law enforcement agencies with felony criminal charges off campus are required to inform University officials.  The University may bring disciplinary action against the student for the same incident if the alleged conduct is prohibited by the institution and/or if it is judged to be adverse to the recognized mission of the institution.  University disciplinary procedures should be considered distinct and independent of any and all criminal procedures.  Discipline procedures may precede, occur simultaneously, or follow and consider the results of court action.  When necessary, temporary action may be taken in the form of summarily suspending, summarily restricting, or officially requesting no contact between the complainant and assailant, as well as possible relocation or removal from the classes.  Any of these measures may result in a student’s restricted participation in University events outside attendance of classes and appointments related to the resolution of discipline matters.

At this printing, the South Carolina Sate Code (SC Code Ann. Sec. 16-3-651 to 16-3-654) defines criminal sexual conduct, which includes rape, as “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, and any intrusion, however slight, into anal or genital openings, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes.” (SC Code Ann. Sec. 16-3-651)  The law goes on to describe three degrees of criminal sexual conduct:

First degree sexual conduct involves a sexual contact (battery) using aggravated force, and/or in association with another crime such as kidnapping, robbery, extortion and burglary.  First degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years.  Second degree criminal sexual conduct involves batteries accomplished or attempted with aggravated coercion.  Batteries involving an assailant in a position of authority over the complainant  is also considered second degree criminal sexual conduct.  Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree may be punished by up to 20 years imprisonment.  Third degree criminal sexual conduct involves batteries where force or coercion is used and/or the assailant knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, even though aggravated coercion is not used.  Third degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Immediate Care and Treatment Procedures for Complainant

Any student who experiences sexual harassment (including sexual misconduct, sexual assault or sexual violence) harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex is encouraged to contact Tracey Mobley Chavous, the USC Lancaster Title IX Coordinator. Her office is located in Starr Hall Room 122 and she may be contacted via telephone at 803-313-7152 or tmobley@mailbox.sc.edu.  Students may also contact Dr. John Rutledge, Director of Law Enforcement and Security if they would like assistance reporting the incident to local law enforcement.  His office is located in the Maintenance Building and he may be contacted via telephone at 803-313-7156. 

If an assault takes place on campus:  contact Campus Security, Lancaster City Police at 283-3313, or dial 911.  The sooner a sexual assault is reported, the easier it is to collect valuable evidence. 

Campus security may transport the complainant to an area hospital for medical attention and a rape protocol exam.  If the complainant does not want to contact the police, a friend or relative may transport the student to the hospital.  When the complainant arrives at the emergency room, the hospital will call Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault to arrange for a volunteer advocate to accompany the complainant throughout the exam.  The hospital staff may also contact the City Police. 

Medical attention is crucial to assess possible internal injuries or sexually transmitted diseases, as well as to collect medical evidence should the complainant /survivor choose to pursue prosecution.  The police will be contacted by the hospital to take possession of evidence collected while the complainant /survivor makes a decision about whether to pursue charges.

If a complainant chooses not to go to the hospital, the complainant is strongly urged to seek appropriate medical attention.

Follow-up and Recovery Services for Complainant

Research has shown that follow-up counseling is of significant benefit to a complainant /survivor of sexual assault and/or related trauma.  This counseling may be initiated at any time after an assault (from hours to years).  On-or-off campus counseling and other services are available to a student complainant whether the crime was reported or prosecuted.  Agencies available to UofSC Lancaster students include:

  • Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault, located at 106 North York Street in Lancaster.  This agency provides follow-up counseling to complainant s/survivors of sexual assault.  Counselors are available 24-hours a day by calling 286-5232.
  • The UofSC Lancaster Counseling Services in located in Starr Hall.  Counseling Services serve USC Lancaster students.  Appointments can be made by calling 313-7112.
  • Catawba Mental Health Center, located at 1906 Highway 521 Bypass South.  Catawba Mental Health is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.  Appointments can be made by calling 285-7456.  The number is also used for crisis situations after-hours.
  • South Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can assist respondent parties in finding an attorney to represent them in civil and criminal proceedings.  They can be contacted by phone at 1-800-868-2284 or (803) 779-7100.

Follow-up Services for the Respondent Party

Follow-up counseling may be of significant benefit to an respondent party.  On-or-off campus counseling and other services are available to a respondent party whether or not the crime was reported or prosecuted.  Agencies available to UofSC Lancaster students include:

  • The UofSC Lancaster Counseling Center, located in Starr Hall.  The Counseling Center provides counseling to UofSC Lancaster students.  Appointments can be scheduled by calling 313-7112.
  • South Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can assist respondent parties in finding an attorney to represent them in civil and criminal proceedings.  They can be contacted by phone at 1-800-868-2284 or (803) 779-7100.
  • The Office of Academic and Student Affairs handles the investigation and resolution of discipline complaints.  The phone number is 313-7101.

Reporting

All complainant s of sexual assault/battery are encouraged to report the incident to law enforcement agencies.  Regardless of whether the complainant chooses to immediately involve law enforcement officials, the complainant  is strongly urged to go through the rape protocol exam for medical attention and for the purpose of preserving important physical evidence of the assault, which may be used if the complainant  chooses to pursue legal prosecution at a later date.  The rape protocol exam should be done as soon as possible.  Physical evidence can be obtained up to 72 hours after the assault, recognizing that as time passes, the quality of the evidence diminishes.

A complainant /survivor may also choose to file a report to Campus Security or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.  Whether legal or disciplinary action is desired, an anonymous report may be filed at any time with Campus Security and the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.  This report provides University staff with information about the crime that may be valuable in their efforts to prevent future crimes and educate other students about high risk areas.

University officials who have knowledge about an assault are required to file an anonymous report with Campus Security in addition to supporting the complainant /survivor and referring that person to campus resources.

Discipline Policies and Procedures for Complainant and/or Witness

Witnesses to or complainant s of the above described sexual misconduct may wish to contact Campus Security or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, if the respondent party is a UofSC Lancaster student.

In this event, officials in Campus Security or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs will meet with the witness or complainant to discuss the report and determine whether there is reason to believe a conduct code offense has occurred.  At the same time, discipline procedures will be reviewed and the possible roles the complainant or witness may plan in the gathering of this information and/or the resolution of the complaint will be explored.

At this meeting, if the complainant or witness is willing and prepared, staff may conduct an investigative interview.  At the complainant ’s or witness’s request, an advisor, counselor, attorney, parent, or friend may attend.  In this meeting, and as needed, University discipline personnel will answer questions and provide offended individuals with general information about civil and criminal options available to complainant s or witnesses.  If there is no objection, in order to promote efficiency and provide authoritative answers to questions about legal options, this first meeting could include officials from the Lancaster Police Department.

When it is determined that there exists sufficient reason to believe a violation of University policy has occurred, disciplinary procedures may be initiated.  It should be understood that complainants and witnesses need not “press charges”; instead, the University is considered the complainant, and as such is responsible for initiating this investigative process.  Complainant s or witnesses can expect to be asked to contribute testimony and information to assist in the resolution of the complaint.

Discipline Policies and Procedures for Respondent Party

To begin discipline procedures, individuals thought to have relevant information or testimony, including the respondent party, will be contacted and interviewed by appropriate University officials.  If sufficient information is available to conclude there is reason to believe, or “reasonable grounds” to do so, the University will issue charges from the general conduct regulations and offer the respondent party opportunity to choose from among three possible hearing formats.

The respondent party may choose a pre-hearing adjudication, in which the charged party or parties accept responsibility for the charge(s) and request to have sanctions determined by a hearing authority without a formal hearing.

Alternatively, the respondent party may choose an administrative hearing, in which a University official is authorized to consider testimony and act as hearing officer, deciding whether the respondent is responsible for the charges(s) as issued, and what the University response or sanction, if indicated, should be.

Also available to charged students is a hearing before the Student Affairs Committee, a group of faculty, staff, and students who are trained and authorized to conduct hearings to determine responsibility and appropriate sanctions.

In each of these formats, the burden of proof shall be on the University as the complaining party.  Decisions regarding responsibility of charges shall be based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard, meaning responsibility does not have to be proven beyond a shadow of doubt.  The University need only demonstrate that the charged student is more likely than not responsible for the charge(s).

In these investigative hearings, regardless of the format chosen, hearing officers or members will not be restricted from testimony of technical rules of evidence.  Charged students are assured a right of access to a list of witnesses invited to testify, as well as an opportunity to review all available physical and documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing.  In these informal, non-adversarial hearings, there is no formal cross-examination.  Charged students are, however, entitled to question and rebut any evidence presented.  In order to conduct a fair, orderly hearing, reasonable accommodations may be made in hearing procedures, such as indirect questioning, or special seating arrangements in the hearing room.  Both the charged student and the complainant  may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice and remain present while all testimony is presented.

Should a hearing authority determine a student is responsible for the charges issued, it will ask Campus Security about the student’s disciplinary history, then adjourn again to determine what sanctions are appropriate to the circumstances and individual.  The hearing officers will attempt to respond in a manner that best provides for the educational goals of the process.  Possible sanctions include permanent suspension for a period of time, suspension held in abeyance, disciplinary probation, restitution, an official warning, or any combination of these.  Conditions, restrictions or specific prohibitions may be issued with or attached to any of these sanctions.

Educational Resources

The following offices within the University of South Carolina Lancaster and the Lancaster community provide a variety of educational offerings.  There are many videotapes, books, brochures, and periodicals that are available for viewing and/or checkout.  Please see the following list:

  • Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault, 1106 North York Street, 286-5232
  • Medford Library, UofSC Lancaster, 313-7060
  • Lancaster County Library, 313 S. White Street, 285-1502

Sexual Harassment

The University of South Carolina Lancaster will not tolerate the sexual harassment of any member of the University community. Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University by threatening the careers, educational experiences, and well-being of all members of this community. It undermines the University's deep commitment to the primacy of a reward system based purely on merit, intellectual excellence, and job performance. Sexual harassment of employees or students at the University 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. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following: 

  1. Threats to make an adverse employment or academic decision if another person refuses to engage in sexual activities. 
  2. Demands that another person engage in sexual activities in order to obtain or retain employment or academic benefits. 
  3. Promises, implied or direct, to give employment or academic benefits if another person engages in sexual activities. 
  4. Unwelcome and unnecessary touching or other sexually suggestive physical contact, or threats to engage in such conduct. 
  5. Indecent exposure. 
  6. Invasion of sexual privacy. 
  7. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual comments and questions, and other sexually-oriented conduct that is directed against a specific individual and persists despite its rejection. 
  8. Conduct, even that not specifically directed at the complainant, which is sufficiently pervasive, severe, or persistent to alter the conditions of the complainant's employment or status as a student and create a hostile working or learning environment, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person of the complainant's gender.

The full policy as well as procedures regarding complaints, investigation, and sanctions are available in the University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures Manual under EOP 1.02 and can be accessed at http://www.sc.edu/policies/ppm/eop102.pdf

Tobacco Policy

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 Lancaster 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 UofSC Lancaster community. Faculty, staff, and students are expected to enforce the policy for their facilities and/or sponsored activities.

Covered Individuals

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.

Definitions

“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 Lancaster 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 outdoors.

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 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.
  • Communication tips for community members to use in helping to enforce the policy will be available at the Tobacco-Free USC website, www.sc.edu/tobaccofreeusc.
  • “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 the Office of Academic and Student Affairs at 803-313-7101 (students), 803-777-6518

(faculty/staff) and/or MYgroup Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff) at 1-800-633-3353.

Additional resources are outlined on the Tobacco-Free USC website, www.sc.edu/tobaccofreeusc.

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 the Office of Academic and Student Affairs at 803-313-7101 (students), 803-777-6518 (faculty/staff) and/or MYgroup Employee Assistance Program (faculty/staff) at 1-800-633-3353. For more information, refer to Section F of this policy.

Students - Complaints regarding students will be directed to and handled by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct (STAF 6.26). Further information on the conduct process and potential consequences is available at https://www.sc.edu/about/system_and_campuses/lancaster/internal/documents/student_life/handbook.pdf

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 www.sc.edu/tobaccofreeusc.

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 campus administration. 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.

Exceptions

  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.
  3. 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.

Student Grievance Policy - Non-Academic

Academic Preface

The University of South Carolina Lancaster is committed to a policy of treating all members of the University Community fairly in regard to their personal and professional concerns. This procedure is designed to provide students an opportunity to address non-academic complaints and problems that they have not been able to resolve through other channels.

Purpose

The primary objective of the grievance procedure is to insure that concerns are promptly dealt with and resolutions reached in a fair and just manner. It is essential that each student be given an adequate opportunity to bring non-academic complaints and problems to the attention of the University administration with assurance that each will be given fair treatment.

Definition

A grievance is defined as dissatisfaction occurring when a student thinks that any condition affecting him/her is unjust, inequitable, or creates unnecessary hardships. 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, handicapped discrimination, sex 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, or traffic appeals decisions, or any other type of decision where a clearly defined appeal process has already been established.

Process

  1. Initiating a Grievance - The initial phase of the student grievance procedure requires an oral discussion between the student and the person(s) alleged to have caused the grievance. This discussion must take place within 10 working days of the incident that constituted the grievance.
  2. First Appeal
    1. If the initial oral discussion phase is not successful in resolving the complaint or problem, and if the student wishes to file a formal grievance, the grievance form must be completed and filed with the immediate supervisor of the person alleged to have caused the grievance. The grievance form must be filed with the person’s immediate supervisor within five (5) working days of the initial discussion referred to in paragraph 1 above.
    2. The supervisor shall immediately acknowledge receipt of the grievance form and shall begin an investigation reaching a decision; the supervisor shall inform the student in writing (with a copy to the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs) within three (3) working days of the conclusion of the investigation.
    3. If the student feels the grievance has been resolved, the process is complete. It not, an appeal may be brought before a Grievance Panel, whose members will be appointed by the Campus Dean. 

Grievance Procedure

If the grievance is unresolved, the student may bring the grievance before the grievance Committee by presenting a written statement within five (5) working days of the days of the date of the supervisor’s decision. This statement shall be forwarded to the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and shall:

  1. State the grievance;
  2. State why the response is unacceptable; and
  3. Request a hearing before the grievance committee.

Any related materials (including a copy of the grievance form and the written response from the supervisor) must accompany the letter.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall send a copy of the  appeal to the members of the Grievance Panel and the major parties involved. The major parties include: the person(s) against whom the grievance was initiated and the supervisor of the individual(s). The Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs 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 day period, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall meet with the Grievance Panel to examine the grounds for the request for an appellate hearing. A hearing shall be granted if a majority of the Panel finds that grounds for the appeal have been substantiated. A tie vote shall result in a hearing being granted. The Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall notify in writing, all involved parties of the decision of the committee to either hear or not to hear the grievance. The hearing shall be conducted not sooner than five (5) working days after the decision to grant the request for the hearing, and not later than 15 working days after the decision to grant the request for the hearing. A postponement may be granted by the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs upon written request of either party. The request shall state why the postponement should be granted.

Conduct of the Hearing

The Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall open the hearing by reading the request for an appeal, and informing the parties involved of the jurisdiction of the committee and its procedures. The Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall ascertain that all the parties involved are aware of their rights, answer any questions they have in regard to these matters, and conduct the hearing.

All hearings shall be closed to the public, unless all parties agree that the hearing be opened to members of the University Community. A tape recording shall be made of the proceedings.

All parties involved in a hearing shall maintain in the strictest confidence the identity of the individuals appearing before the Grievance Panel, as well as the information presented to the Grievance Panel.

Hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner. The taking of statements from the parties to the grievance (and witnesses, if any) may be done by discussion format, though each individual appearing before the Grievance Panel may be subject to cross examination. Witnesses shall be present only during the time they are testifying. The major parties involved in the grievance shall be required to attend all hearings of the Grievance Panel.

At the conclusion of the hearing, each party shall submit a proposed solution of the grievance to the Grievance Panel. After receiving the proposed solutions to the grievance, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall dismiss all the individuals who are not members of the Grievance Board. The committee shall reach its decision based on the information presented during the hearing, and according to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Grievance Panel shall decide by majority vote the solution of the grievance. In the case of a tie, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs shall vote and thus break the tie. The Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs (or their designee) shall forward a written copy of the Grievance Panel’s  decision to the major parties involved and to the Campus Dean’s Office within 5 working days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Decisions of the Grievance Panel shall be final. The decisions of the Grievance Panel shall be kept on file in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Any of the parties involved shall have the right, upon request, to listen to the tape recordings of the hearing in the presence of a staff member of the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

The Grievance Panel

The Grievance Panel shall be composed of seven members as appointed by the Campus Dean.

Composition

  1. Two (2) students
  2. Two (2) Faculty members
  3. Two (2) Administrators
  4. One (1)Associate Dean of Academic Affairs as ex officio Chairperson

Rules

  1. The Panel may adopt additional rules and guidelines not in contradiction of the spirit of this policy.
  2. A majority shall constitute a quorum of the Grievance Panel. Unfilled vacancies shall not count against the quorum. The Chairperson shall not count in constituting a quorum.
  3. The Panel shall file an annual report with the Dean and the President of the Student Government. This report shall include a summary of the Committee’s activity during the previous academic year, and any suggestions that the Committee may deem necessary.

Hearing Procedures

Rights of the Parties Involved in a Grievance

  1. If a grievance hearing is granted, parties involved are entitled to:
    1. written notice of the complaint; and
    2. written notice of the time and place of the hearing.

This should be forwarded to all parties at least five (5) work days prior to the hearing unless all parties waive all or part of the notice period.

  1. Review all available evidence, documents, exhibits, and a list of witnesses that each party may present at the hearing. This is to be considered a continuing obligation by all parties involved.
  2. Appear in person and present information on their behalf, call witnesses, and ask questions of any person present at the hearing.
  3. Be assisted by an advisor or counsel of their choice. The advisor upon request may:
    1. advise the individual on the preparation and presentation of their case.
    2. accompany the individual to all grievance hearing; and
    3. advise the individual in the preparation of the appeals.

Student Publications Policy

All student organizations, including student publications, must be recognized by the UofSCL SGA, recommended by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and approved by the UofSCL Dean.  Decisions regarding the content of student publications are the joint responsibility of the student editor and the faculty/staff advisor and should adhere to South Carolina libel laws and community standards regarding published materials.

Voter Registration Policy

Both the state and national voter registration applications are available via the Internet at the following sites:

  • SC Voter Registration by Mail Application---www.state.sc.us/scsec
  • National Voter Registration Application---www.fec.gov
  • Students can access the above web sites from the UofSCL computer labs

Parking Regulations

These regulations pertain to students, faculty, and staff of UofSC Lancaster.

Parking permits or decals must be displayed on vehicles of all students, faculty, and staff. Permits are issued during registration in the Office of Law Enforcement and Security in the campus maintenance building.

Campus speed limit is 10 mph unless otherwise posted.

Students may purchase preferred parking stickers for Lot A parking at a cost of $20 per year or $10 for the Spring semester.

Fines will be imposed for the following violations:

  • Parking improperly, $20.00
  • Parking permit or decal not displayed, $10.00
  • Parking in "No Parking" area, $20.00
  • Parking in loading or service zone, $20.00
  • Blocking sidewalk or driveway, $20.00
  • Failure to register vehicle, $20.00
  • Parking in or blocking "Handicap" space, 1st offense- $25.00, 2nd offense-$50.00, 3rd offense-$100.00
  • Boot removal, $50.00
  • Parking fine-other, $20.00

Fines should be paid in the Business Office or mailed to the same within four school days of the violation. After four days, the fine will be increased by $1 and an additional $1 for each week thereafter.

Students with unpaid fines will not be allowed to register at any UofSC campus until the fines are paid. Student records will not be transmitted from the Registrar's Office until fines are paid.

Initial questions regarding fines should be directed to the Business Office. Fines may be appealed, but the appeal must be made within four school days of the violation by notifying the Director of Law Enforcement and Security. The payment of fines is to be suspended until the appeal decision is rendered. During the time of an appeal, fines will not be subject to the $1 increase.

Those parking for classes or activities at the Native American Studies Center (119 S. Main Street) should use the parking lot directly behind the Center with access from White Street. Parking in downtown Lancaster is regulated by the Lancaster Police Department.

The income from the collection of fines will be deposited into the general University account to provide safety and security services for the campus.

Additional parking information can be found in UofSC Lancaster's Student Handbook.