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 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.
While all University of Oregon students are subject to the University’s Student Conduct Code, students who voluntarily participate in study abroad are subject to additional regulations. 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 sanctions against a University of Oregon student through University student conduct procedures, the student waives 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. In some instances, a local university or organization may decide to implement sanctions or removal from a program independently of GEO. GEO leaves such actions to the discretion of the institution or organization.
Students with pending conduct matters must receive GEO approval before they are accepted to their program. Students who receive university sanctions due to conduct after acceptance may have their program acceptance withdrawn.
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 students will receive no refund of the program fee or any other associated costs. Students may not receive academic credits in this circumstance.
Students studying abroad remain subject to the University of Oregon’s Student Conduct Code. In addition, the following are prohibited throughout the student's participation in a GEO administered or sponsored program:
- Any material or substantial behavioral disruption to the GEO program.
- Violence against others. This includes striking or doing any other physical harm to another, threatening to do so, or producing a reasonable fear of physical harm in another.
- Sexual assault. This is defined as when a student subjects another person to sexual contact without having first obtained explicit consent or when they know 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 drug and alcohol-related laws at the program site.
- Abuse of alcohol or controlled substances, even when lawfully possessed.
- Participation in activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the safety of self or others.
- Unreasonably limiting the freedom of movement of others.
These prohibited activities are considered disruptive to the program and interfere in the academic progress of the students engaging in the activities, other students on the program and the overall academic mission of the GEO program. As such, sanctions against and possible removal of students engaging in these activities is considered to be necessary for the successful fulfillment of the program’s mission.
Review Procedures During GEO Programs
GEO staff, in consultation with the program Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee, will inquire into the circumstances surrounding an incident. If it is determined that further action is appropriate, the student(s) involved will participate in the following review procedures.
- Students will be notified in email of the incident by the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee and of the time and place to meet to discuss it. The meeting may be in person, or at the election of GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee, by telephone.
- Students may be accompanied by a third party if they choose, but must notify GEO of the identity of the third party prior to the meeting..
- 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. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee will determine relevance.
- If the student admits to the behavior, the incident will be discussed and appropriate
- sanctions will be determined and communicated to the student either verbally, through a written warning, or a letter of dismissal. See below under Sanctions.
- If the student denies involvement in the incident, the discussion will focus on the
- available information. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee will make a determination as to whether the student breached this Agreement based on available information. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader 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.
- If a student fails to accept receipt of written notice, misses meetings or otherwise fails to participate in these procedures, GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee may find that the student has engaged in the alleged breach and impose sanctions based on the information at hand.
In cases where GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader 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 GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee speaks with the student. If after speaking with the student, GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader 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.
GEO has a legitimate interest in affording students an educational environment conducive to learning while studying abroad. 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
1. Verbal Warning with email follow up:
A verbal notice is given to the student that the violation/incident is unacceptable and that the student may face further sanctions for additional violations. The student receives an email confirming the verbal warning was issued. GEO staff is informed via email of the verbal warning being issued to the student. GEO may, in its discretion, proceed directly to a written warning or dismissal in certain cases.
2. Written Warning:
A written notice is given to the student that the incident is deemed to be in violation of the GEO Student Behavior Agreement. A copy of the warning letter will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus if not a University of Oregon student. Additional sanctions (see below) may apply, including removal from the program if further violations occur. This letter may be issued if a student incurs repeated minor violations/incidents, and/or more severe single violations/incidents. GEO may, in its discretion, proceed directly to dismissal in certain cases.
3. Dismissal from the Program:
Dismissal may be applied in the case of repeated offenses of any severity, failure to complete required sanctions stipulated in the written warning, and/or single incidents of high severity meriting immediate dismissal. A written notice will be issued informing the student that their status as a program participant has been terminated. 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 and students are responsible for the cost of their return home.
4. 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.
- 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.
If a Letter of Dismissal has been imposed, a student may request an appeal. All requests for the hearing of an appeal will be directed to the GEO Executive Director. A request for an appeal must be submitted by the student within 24 hours of the student being notified of a decision. The student may give the appeal request to the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee who will send the appeal to the Executive Director. 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. The Executive Director may modify the decision or sanction or direct the “decisionmaker” to take further appropriate action.