Students participating in programs through GEO are, at all times, expected to: exhibit sensitivity to the host culture; respect and observe local rules and laws; and conduct themselves in ways that demonstrate a high regard for the intellectual and cultural experience in which they are engaged. The Student Behavior Agreement includes policies based on such expectations and the assertion that students are both adults and guests abroad. As students and adults, GEO participants are expected to abide by this Agreement and are legally subject to the same laws and regulations that govern the host country's citizens and any other laws which are applicable to the student's immigration status in the host country.
GEO participants must also abide by the policies and regulations of their enrolling and home institutions, hereafter referred to as "home institutions.” University of Oregon students must follow the University of Oregon Student Conduct Code for the duration of a GEO administered or GEO sponsored program. In the event that the University of Oregon may decide to pursue disciplinary action against a University of Oregon student through University student conduct procedures, you waive any deadlines regarding the initiation of disciplinary procedures under the student conduct code so the University may choose to delay action until you return to the Eugene campus. As an academic organization, the GEO community strives to maintain a positive and respectful environment for all members, advocating respect and consideration towards all students, staff, faculty, members of host institutions and citizens in general. You are privileged to be a guest in another country and responsible for maintaining a positive attitude and demonstrating respect towards both yourself and others. For the duration of your time in a GEO program, recognize that you reflect both GEO and your own country, and you are expected to be a positive advocate. GEO holds you responsible for knowing and abiding by this Agreement. This Agreement exists to facilitate a positive educational environment as well as ensure a safe, developmental and rewarding experience abroad. Choosing to ignore this Agreement is not an acceptable excuse for a breach. GEO students who are participating in a program involving a local university or organization are subject to the rules of conduct, academic procedures, academic honor codes and student disciplinary procedures of the respective university or organization as well as this Agreement.
GEO students who are participating in a program sponsored by GEO but administered by a program provider must also follow the policies and regulations set by the provider.
Students are expected to follow GEO rules and regulations. Those who choose to engage in unacceptable conduct and violate this Agreement are subject to appropriate review and sanctions, up to and including removal from the program. Information regarding students who violate GEO policies may be provided to the students' home schools. The home institution may elect to impose additional sanctions. In the event that students are found responsible for misconduct, and/or dismissed from the program, it will be at student’s own personal expense and that students will receive no refund of the program fee or any other associated costs. Students may not receive academic credits in this circumstance. The following are prohibited throughout the student's participation in a GEO administered or sponsored program:
- Violence against others. This is defined as striking or doing any other physical harm to another or threatening to do so.
- Sexual assault. This is defined as an offense committed when a student subjects another person to sexual contact without having first obtained explicit consent or when he or she knows or should have known the person was incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental incapacitation, intoxication, or physical helplessness. This also includes definitions established by local laws and student’s home institution conduct code.
- Verbal abuse of faculty, staff, students, home stay families, host community members, or representatives from GEO partner organizations.
- Disruption or obstruction of classes offered by the program or local universities, or disruption or obstruction of other program activities.
- Damage to GEO property, property of host universities or partner organizations, residence halls, property of hosts or host families, apartments, facilities used by GEO or GEO sponsored programs, or the property of fellow students.
- Possession or use of firearms or other dangerous weapons.
- Possession or use of fireworks, incendiary devices, dangerous explosives or other dangerous instrumentalities or substances.
- Unauthorized entry into or use of program facilities, equipment, or technology or host university/partners' facilities, equipment, or technology.
- Use of GEO or GEO partner organizations’ technology for any unlawful or impermissible purpose.
- Violations of residential guidelines or rules, including specific and reasonable requests from a homestay family.
- Criminal behavior or violation of local laws.
- Failure to follow the program established guidelines, local attendance policies, directives, timetables and reasonable instructions of the program staff or faculty members.
- Failure to attend required classes, events and excursions, unless otherwise noted on a syllabus or excused.
- Obtaining unauthorized access to, viewing of, copying or distributing confidential information.
- Falsification, forgery, or alteration of documents.
- Harassment of any person, not limited to members of the GEO community. Harassment is defined as any conduct that either in form or operation unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, marital status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work or academic performance because it has created an intimidating, hostile, or degrading working or academic environment. Sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination which is defined as any sexual advance, any request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic experience; or such conduct is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work or academic performance.
- Stalking of any person.
- Failure to obey the drug and alcohol-related laws.
- Abuse of alcohol or controlled substances, even when lawfully possessed.
- Participation in activity which recklessly or intentionally endangers the safety of self or others.
- Unreasonably limiting the freedom of movement of others.
REVIEW PROCEDURES DURING GEO PROGRAMS
The Site Director (or designee) will inquire into the circumstances surrounding an incident. If the Site Director (or designee) determines that further action is appropriate, the student(s) involved will participate in these Review Procedures.
- Students will be notified verbally or in writing by the Site Director (or designee) of the incident and of the time and place to meet with the Site Director (or designee) to discuss it. The meeting may be in person, or at the election of the Site Director (or designee) by telephone.
- Students may be accompanied by a third party if they choose, but that party may not be an attorney.
- At the meeting, student(s) will be informed of information that has been reported about the incident in question.
- At the meeting, students may present any relevant information, including written statements from witnesses. The Site Director (or designee) will determine relevance.
- If the student admits to the behavior, the incident will be discussed, and appropriate sanctions will be determined.
- If the student denies involvement in the incident, the discussion will focus on the available information. The Site Director (or designee) will make a determination as to whether the student breached this Agreement based on available information. The Site Director (or designee) has a reasonable time in which to render a final decision in each case. Students will be notified as soon as possible after a decision has been reached. Sanctions for breach of this Agreement are in effect as soon as a decision has been rendered. A student will be notified verbally or in writing of the decision.
- If a student fails to accept receipt of written notice or otherwise fails to participate in these procedures, the Site Director (or designee) may find that the student has engaged in the alleged breach and impose sanctions.
Should a breach be discovered at the end of the program or after a student has left the program, GEO may notify the home institution. In this situation, all documentation and pertinent information on the case will be forwarded to the accused student's home institution for review.
In cases where the Site Director (or designee) reasonably believes that there is potential for further harm to self or others, the Site Director (or designee) may immediately remove any student from his/her residence or the program until the Site Director (or designee) speaks with the student. If after speaking with the student, the Site Director (or designee) reasonably believes that there is potential for further harm to self or others, the interim suspension may be continued until the student has been notified of the decision rendered at the conclusion of the review process set forth above.
If a sanction of Disciplinary Probation or Dismissal has been imposed, a student may request an appeal. All requests for the hearing of an appeal must be directed to the GEO Executive Director. A request for an appeal must be submitted by the student within five days of the student being notified of a decision. The student may give the appeal request to the Site Director who will send the appeal to the Executive Director in Oregon. The student may also submit the appeal directly to the Executive Director. All sanctions remain in effect until any appeals have been considered and responded to in writing. The Executive Director (or designee) will first determine whether the appeal will be heard. If the appeal will be heard, the Executive Director (or designee) will review the record and consult with site staff and others regarding pertinent information. An appeal is not a rehearing of the case.
All sanctions are designed to be educational, with student growth in mind. Sanctions can take a variety of forms, and can be issued in combination, depending on the violation in question.
- Written Warning: A written notice is given to the student that the violation/incident is unacceptable and placed in the student's file on site. Written warnings will not be communicated to the student's home institution on the first offense. However, the warning will remain in the student's on-site file and will be communicated to the student's home institution if additional incidents occur (see below).
- Letter of Reprimand: A written notice is given to the student that the violation/incident is unacceptable. A copy of the letter of reprimand will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus, and additional sanctions may apply (see below). This sanction may be used if a student incurs repeated minor violations/incidents (see above), and/or more severe single violations/incidents.
- Disciplinary Probation: A written notice is given to the student that the violation/incident is unacceptable. A copy of the notice of probation will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus. Specific conditions will be set which the student must meet in order to continue participation in the program, and additional sanctions may apply (see below). Disciplinary probation may be applied in the case of repeated violations/incident of any severity, and/or single violations/incidents of high severity.
- Dismissal from the Program: A written notice is given to the student terminating his or her status as a participant in GEO. A copy of the dismissal notice will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus. All GEO-affiliated institutions and individuals in the host country will be notified that the student's affiliation with GEO is terminated. No refunds will be granted of any GEO fees. Dismissal may be applied in the case of repeated offenses of any severity, and/or single violations/incidents of high severity.
- Additional Sanctions: Additional sanctions applied as a condition for continuing in the program may include but are not limited to:
- Restitution/Fine: This involves charges to be paid for damages, theft, penalty, or any other expenses related to the violation.
- Formal Apology: This involves the requirement to present a written apology to program staff or instructors, students, and/or community members (host families, host institutions, neighbors, etc.) affected by the conduct.
- Community Education or Service: This involves students being required to perform an educational task or to provide service to a group as assigned for a limited period of time. These efforts will generally relate to the violation in question.
- Required Assessment and/or Participation in Drug, Alcohol, or Other Professional Counseling: This involves requiring the student to be assessed by a qualified professional and/or attend a specified number of sessions with a specific individual or treatment program for professional drug, alcohol, or mental health counseling.
- Behavioral Contract: This involves a contractual agreement between the student and GEO specifying certain types of behaviors that will, or will not be engaged in by the student as a condition of continuing on the program.
- Loss of Privileges: This means that a student's privileges to use facilities or to participate in activities or events will be withdrawn permanently or for a period of time.
- Housing Change or Termination: This means that a student may be required to leave his or her housing and move to alternate housing or obtain housing accommodations independently. No refunds will be provided. Depending on the situation, housing termination may be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.