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A unit of the University System of Georgia

General Policies

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President's Statement on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment, in any of its many guises, is a threat to the academic community. Everyone has the right to learn, teach, or work in an environment free from sexual behavior which is intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Such behavior cannot be tolerated because it imperils the purpose and spirit of Gordon State College.

Procedures for Reporting and Handling Harassment and Discrimination

The health, safety, and well-being of all students enrolled at Gordon State College is the College’s primary concern. If you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of sexual misconduct, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Assistance can be obtained 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from:

Police (Gordon State College Public Safety, 678-359-5101; Lamar County or the City of Barnesville: 922).

Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Center (24 hour Crisis Line: (770) 477-2177; Phone: (770) 603-4045.

During business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), you also are strongly encouraged to contact Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Coordinator as soon as reasonably possible to report any sexual misconduct you believe may have occurred.

Employees, applicants, and other members of the college community should report alleged harassment and discrimination to: (a) the direct supervisor; or (b) the Human Resources Manager; (c) the Vice President responsible for the area in which the person who was subjected to the alleged harassment or discrimination (hereafter referred to as “the complainant”) works; or (d) the Vice President responsible for the area in which the alleged harassment occurred; or the Anonymous Ethic Hotline (1-877-516-3466). In all cases, a report of harassment must be immediately reported to the Human Resources Manager.

Students and prospective students should report alleged harassment or discrimination to: (a) the student employee’s manager; or (b) the Title IX Coordinator at Gordon State College; (c) the Vice President for Student Affairs; or (d) the Director of Public Safety. In all cases the responsible employee must promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator of such reports. All employees of Gordon State College with the exception of licensed counselors are considered mandated reporters under Title IX and are required to report any student sexual misconduct that they become aware of. Student Code of Conduct violations should be reported to the Conduct Officer in the Office of Student Affairs.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

The Gordon State College Sexual Misconduct Policy is in place to address instances of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, stalking, intimate partner and dating violence in a meaningful, educational manner that respects the rights of all involved, and to comply with federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination including Title IX, the Clery Act and the Campus SAVE Act, and to ensure the safety of the campus and members of the Gordon State Community. 

Link to Gordon State College Sexual Misconduct Policy - 


Anti-Harassment Policy

Gordon State College prohibits and will not tolerate harassment based on sex, race, color, nation origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, gender, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  This policy applies to all administrators, faculty members, staff, employees, applicants, independent contractors, students, prospective students, visitors, volunteers, and anyone else who visits or has business on the campus of Gordon State College or interacts with employees, students, or other members of the college community.  Any person who violates this policy against harassment will be subject to appropriate penalties, which may include termination, expulsion, and/or dismissal.  “Harassment” prohibited by this policy includes any conduct (including electronic conduct such as e-mails, texting and social media) that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educations performance or creates and intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or educations environment, or of interfering with or limiting one’s ability to fully participate in or benefit from an educations program or activity.  This is the case even when the person responsible for such conduct did not intend to be offensive, or is not part of the Gordon State College community.

Policy Statement on Discrimination

Gordon State College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, nor does it permit members of the college community to engage in such discrimination.  Gordon State College also prohibits retaliation against individuals who report or oppose conduct which they reasonably believe to violate this policy, as well as individuals who cooperate with investigations of reported discrimination.

This policy on non-discrimination applies to all employment and educational opportunities, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, employment benefits, advancement, discipline, educational programs and activities, academic standing, and all other programs, activities, and opportunities offered or governed by Gordon State College.

This policy on non-discrimination further applies to all administrators, faculty members, staff, employees, applicants, independent contractors, students, prospective students, visitors, volunteers, and other members of the Gordon State College community. It is the policy of Gordon State College that members of the college community have the opportunity to work, attend classes, and pursue educational and developmental pursuits in an atmosphere and environment that is free from any form of discrimination. The College expects that all faculty, staff, and students will act in a responsible and professional manner to maintain an environment free from discrimination.


Gordon State College does not retaliate and will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who reports or makes a complaint of sex discrimination, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, whether reported to Gordon State or an external agency, or against anyone who exercises their rights or responsibilities under Gordon State policies.  If any party involved in the incident or conduct process retaliates in any way against a victim, informant, witness, or others involved in an investigation, he or she may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.


Gordon State College as a public institution, cannot guarantee confidentiality in all cases.  Gordon State will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve a complainant and respondent’s privacy and to protect the confidentiality of information in some cases however, Gordon State’s obligation to provide a safe environment free from sex discrimination may override a victim’s or other party’s interest in confidentiality.  The determination whether Gordon State is able to honor a request for confidentiality shall be made by the Title IX Coordinator after consultation with appropriate Gordon State administrators.  To the extent permitted by law, Gordon State will take reasonable steps to avoid inclusion of personally identifiable information about a complainant, respondent, or witness in documents made available to the public.  If a student wishes to discuss an alleged violation of law or Gordon State policies in a confidential environment, the student may contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services office at 678-359-5585 or the Student Health Center at 678-359-5476.

What is Title IX?

Notice of Non-Discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Gordon State College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities. Prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment including sexual violence. “Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol, or due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual batter and sexual coercion. All such acts of violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.”

What does that mean?

Title IX prohibits discrimination in any university program including athletics, admissions, academic programs, extracurricular activities, employment, financial aid, housing, and student services. Every member of the Gordon community – students, faculty, staff, and administrators – is expected to comply with Title IX and to practice respectful, ethical, and equitable treatment of others regardless of their sex.

What behaviors are considered “discrimination based on sex” in violation of Title IX?

Sexual misconduct is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.  Sexual misconduct refers to “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol.  An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability.”  Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  4. Sexual Exploitation

Policy for Victims of Sexual Assaults

It is the policy and practice of Gordon State College to provide an environment that is sensitive and responsive to victims of sexual assaults.  In accordance with the position, the college has established a policy for students, employees, and others who may become victims of such assaults on its campuses.  Victims are entitle to the following rights:

  1. To have sexual assaults treated with seriousness.
  2. To be treated with dignity.
  3. To have sexual assaults investigated and adjudicated by appropriate criminal and civil authorities.
  4. To receive the full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities.
  5. To be free from any kind of pressure by campus personnel not to report crimes or to report crimes as lesser offenses than the victims perceive.
  6. To have legal assistance, or to have others present, in any campus disciplinary proceedings.
  7. To receive the full and prompt cooperation of campus personnel in obtaining, securing, and maintaining evidence as may be necessary to the proof of criminal sexual assaults in legal proceedings.
  8. To be made aware of, and assisted in exercising, options regarding mandatory testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases and to be notified of the results of such testing.
  9. To receive counseling from mental health services established by the college or from other victim-service agencies.
  10. To be protected by campus personnel to the extent reasonable feasible from unnecessary or unwanted contact with alleged assailants.

Institutional Responsibility

Admission, discipline, promotion, graduation, and formulation of all rules and regulations pertaining to students of institutions of the University System are matters to be handled by the institutions within the framework of regulations of the Board of Regents. Students violating rules and regulations of an institution may be punished, suspended, excluded, or expelled as may be determined by the institution.                            

Any person who violates this policy against discrimination will be subject to appropriate penalties, which may include termination, expulsion, and/or dismissal.

Individuals should be encouraged to come forward and to report sexual misconduct notwithstanding their choice to consume alcohol or to use drugs.  Information reported by an individual during an investigation concerning use of drugs or alcohol will not be used against the particular individual in a disciplinary proceeding or voluntarily reported to law enforcement; however, individu7als may be provided with resources on drug and alcohol counseling and/or education, as appropriate.

Students, faculty, and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors and guests.

Dating Violence
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a close social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim of the violence.

Domestic Violence
A pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power or control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotion, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.  This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or would someone.  There is often a pattern or repeated cycle of dating or domestic violence, starting with the first instance of abuse.

Gender-Based Harassment
Title IX also prohibits gender-based harassment (such as rape, attempted rape, sexual touching and sexual battery) that involves having or attempting to have sexual conduct with another individual without that individual’s consent.

Examples of sexual violence

  • Any sexual activity performed in the absence of consent or through coercion
  • Forced oral, anal, or vaginal sex with any body part or object
  • Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity
  • Keeping someone from protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STDS
  • Sexual contact with someone who is very drunk, drugged, unconscious, or unable to give a clear and informed yes
  • Threatening or pressuring someone into sexual activity

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact
Any physical contact with another person of a sexual nature without the person’s consent.  It includes but is not limited to touching (or penetrating) of a person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks); touching (or penetrating) of a person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.

Responsible Employees
Those employees who must promptly and full report complaints of or information regarding sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.  Responsible Employees include any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, or other person in a position of authority who is not a Confidential Employee or Privileged Employee.  Student employees who serve in s supervisory, advisory, or managerial role are in a position of authority for purposed of this Policy (e.g., teaching, assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders).

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning or living on campus.  Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals associated with the College, e.g., an employee and a supervisor; coworkers; faculty members; a faculty, staff member or students and a customer, vendor, or contractor; students; or a student and a faculty member.

Signs that it could be sexual harassment:

  • Sexual comments or inappropriate references to gender
  • Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes regardless of the means of communication (oral, written, electronic, etc.)
  • Unwanted touching, patting, hugging, brushing against a person’s body or staring
  • Inquiries or commentaries about sexual activity, experience, or orientation
  • Display of inappropriate or sexually oriented material in locations where others can view them
  • Offers of or demands for sex for jobs, promotions, money or other opportunities or rewards
  • Unwanted flirtation, advances or propositions

Sexual Misconduct
Includes, but is not limited to, such unwanted behavior as dating violence, domestic violence, nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment and stalking.

Engaging in behaviors directed at a specific person that result in that person being reasonably afraid for his or her safety or the safety of others, having to alter his or her activities, or suffering substantial emotional distress.

Signs that it could be stalking:

  • Following you, with or without your knowledge
  • Calling or texting excessively
  • Knowing your schedule and/or showing up at places you go
  • Threatening to hurt you, your friends, family, pets or themselves
  • Damaging your property
  • It can even look romantic or non-threatening, like cards, flowers, emails, etc., but if this behavior is unwanted it could be stalking.

A student is defined as anyone that has officially been accepted to Gordon State College, registered properly for at least one course, and paid all required fees for the semester. Enrolling in non-credit courses does not satisfy the requirements for student status.

Handling Reports of Sexual Misconduct
Reports of Sexual Misconduct should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator or the System Director will lead the investigation into reports involving a student respondent.  The investigation process set forth in Section 4.6.5, Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings shall be followed.

Hearings, Possible Sanctions and Appeals
All sexual misconduct hearings, sanctions, and appeals involving a student respondent, whether overseen by the institution’s Coordinator or the System Director, shall follow the investigation process set forth in Section 4.6.5, Standards for Institutional Student Conduct Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings.

All sexual misconduct adjudication involving an employee respondent, shall be addressed utilizing the institution’s employment policies and procedures.

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Title IX Coordinators at Gordon State College

Title IX Coordinator
Ms. Laura M. Bowen
Title IX and Special Projects Coordinator
Address: Russell Hal 205
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5835
Email: laurab@gordonstate.edu

Chief Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Ms. Kristi Hayes
Compliance Officer
Address: Office of Human Resources
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5011
Email: kristih@gordonstate.edu

Title IX Investigators

Ms. Gratasha Banks
Assistant Director of Residence Life
Address: Office of Residence Life
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5420
Email: gratashab@gordonstate.edu

Ms. April Mason
Address:  Finance and Administration
                419 College Drive
               Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5733
Email: aprilm@gordonstate.edu

Dr. Sonya Gaither
Library Director and Professor of Library Science
Address: Hightower Collaborative Learning Center & Library
              419 College Drive
            Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone:  (678) 359-5076
Email: sgaither@gordonstate.edu

Ms. Emily Mumford
Student Success Center Assistant
Address: Student Success Center
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5550
Email: emilym@gordonstate.edu

Sgt. Lynn Ray
Police Sergeant
Address: Department of Public Safety
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5101
Email: lray@gordonstate.edu

Mr. Gary Sharpe
Athletic Director and Student Conduct Officer
Address: Athletic Department
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5061
Email: garys@gordonstate.edu

Mr. Darrell Thomas
Assistant Coach
Address: Athletic Department
              419 College Drive
              Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5490
Email: darrellt@gordonstate.edu

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

It is the policy of Gordon State College to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified disabled individuals who are employees of, students of, or applicants for employment to Gordon State College. The College will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required affording equal employment opportunity to qualified disabled individuals. Reasonable accommodations shall be provided in a timely and cost-effective manner in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University System of Georgia and this College.

Students requiring special services or an accommodation in order to participate in any of the classes, programs, or activities of Gordon State College should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services, 678-359-5585. Additional information related to the process for student accommodations may be found at http://www.gordonstate.edu/studentslife/accessibility-services

Any employee at Gordon State College who wishes to request an ADA accommodation should refer to the Gordon State College ADA statement and accommodation request process found at http://www.gordonstate.edu/images/uploads/human-resources/Gordon_State_College_ADA_Statement_And_Accommodation_Request_Process.pdf

Persons requiring accommodations for employment opportunities should contact the Human Resources Office, 678-359-5011.

To review the full Gordon State College ADA Statement and Accommodation Request Process Policy, please visit: http://www.gordonstate.edu/images/uploads/human-resources/Gordon_State_College_ADA_Statement_and_Accommodation_Request_Process.pdf

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Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Employment Opportunity has been, and will continue to be the fundamental principle of Gordon State College. It is the policy of Gordon State College to provide equal opportunity to all employees, students and applicants for employment or admissions without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

The policy of this college is consistent with the requirements and objectives of Executive Order 11246, as amended, Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended (#38USC2012), Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and their implementing regulations. It is the college’s objective to obtain, without discrimination, individuals qualified and/or trainable for positions by virtue of job related standards of education, training, experience or personal qualification.

In conformance with the Federal regulations listed above, Gordon State College does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment or against any student or applicant for admission in regard to any position for which the employee or student is qualified. Affirmative action shall be taken to ensure fulfillment of this policy including, but not limited to, the following personnel actions:

  • Recruiting, enrollment and educational practice
  • Hiring, placement, upgrading, transfer or promotion
  • Treatment during employment
  • Recruitment, advertising or solicitation for employment
  • Rates of pay or other forms of compensation
  • Selection for training
  • Layoff or termination
  • Fringe benefits

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Voting Privileges

Students are encouraged to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. A student whose class schedule will otherwise prevent the student from voting will be permitted an excused absence for the interval reasonably required for voting (BOR Minutes 1977-78, p. 245). Gordon State College has a Deputy Voter Registrar for the State of Georgia on staff. The Deputy Voter Registrar is qualified to register students to vote in their hometown. Students may register Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Registrar's Office.

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Computer and Electronic Equipment Usage Policy

Policy Statement

The rules stated below are (1) to assure that all College property, including, but not limited to, computer hardware and software, electronic and telephone systems are used for business purposes only, (2) to assure that all internal proprietary information is safe-guarded, and (3) to advise employees and students that College equipment is not to be used to store or transmit information or items which they consider to be private or personal. The fact that the College may not have enforced these policies in the past should not be interpreted to mean that the College cannot enforce them now or in the future.

  1. Only current faculty, staff, and students may use the College computer equipment, electronic equipment and software.
  2. Students may use college computers and software for class assignments, term papers, projects, and/or tutorials for their courses.
  3. Computer software is protected by United States copyright law. Most software manufacturers allow for use of software in classes or computer labs. The College does not condone use of its software for any other purpose.
  4. Disk/files are subject to inspection by Gordon State College. Those found to contain unauthorized copies of copyrighted software will be erased.
  5. In classes where computer networks are used, students may use only user names, passwords, and files authorized by their instructor.
  6. Unauthorized changes to machine configurations, system configuration programs, or batch files are prohibited.
  7. Unauthorized additions, deletions, or modifications of application software are prohibited.
  8. Gordon State College equipment cannot be used to type, transmit or print harassing, offending, illegal, sexually suggestive, or inappropriate messages.
  9. All systems belonging to Gordon State College are subject to monitoring. The College reserves the right to enter and review all computer databases and electronic transmissions, including but not limited to, computer, electronic, and telephone systems.
  10. Anyone who uses the College’s computers and electronic equipment acknowledges and agrees to observe these policies.

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Official Method of College Communication

Upon admission to the college, all students are issued a Gordon State College e-mail account which should be checked on a regular basis. Gordon State College considers these e-mail accounts to be an official means of communicating college information to the students.

Information on accessing Gordon State College student e-mail accounts is available on the Computer Services page of the Gordon State College website at www.gordonstate.edu and in the Computer Services Office located in the Instructional Complex, Room 109.

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Freedom of Expression

In order to balance the rights, health and safety of all members of the College community, the College may regulate the time, place, or manner of such expression. Accordingly, the following regulations shall apply to all students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and visitors:

  1. Persons or organizations may engage in scheduled speech activities in the following Freedom of Expression location: the amphitheater between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM, Monday through Friday except when the area has been reserved by a College affiliated department or student organization. Maps indicting this area are available in the Community Education Office 678-359-5126.
  2. Plans for speaking activities in other campus areas and times may be schedule by the Community Education Office at least 72 hours in advance of the event.
  3. This policy does not limit or prohibit the right of members of the College or community to exercise their right to free speech anywhere on campus as long as in doing so they do not any any way disrupt or otherwise interfere with the primary purpose of the College, which is teaching and learning.