Southern Wesleyan University is committed to community. We believe learning best takes place in the context of community. Our mission involves members of our community-students, faculty, administrators and staff-working “together toward wholeness through the integration of faith, learning, and living.” We believe people become “whole” only as they interrelate to others. For this, we seek to foster community at multiple levels.
The gold standard for community as set forth in the New Testament is “love.” You cannot get around it. It is everywhere as you turn the pages of scripture. We believe God stamped His own image in people. They are deeply loved by God, and consequently, are of inestimable value. This value does not originate with the individual or relate to race, gender, age, personality, talent, beauty or wealth. Rather, worth arises solely from God and is extended equally to all. We are called to a fellowship of love because God loves and esteems each member. Jesus said it well in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you…”
The kind of love that truly drives community willingly abandons self-interest for the sake of another. True community is not built by sticking to rules, but by heart attitudes characterized by love. Undoubtedly the ultimate example of this love was Jesus as seen in His death on our behalf (cf. Romans 5:8; John 15:13; and 1 John 4:9-10). Paul describes the centrality of love in community life in 1 Corinthians 13. There he lays out the ideal toward which all members of the university community should aspire. Each member would do well to reflect continuously on his descriptive statements in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a in seeking to be a positive part of the university.
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Does not act unbecomingly;
It does not seek its own, is not provoked,
Does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Bears all things, believes all things,
Hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. (NASB)
Members of the community act respectfully toward one another. They do not take actions with the intent to harm another nor treat another rudely. Nor do they use abusive, foul or profane language or gestures. They listen quietly when another is speaking and avoid personal attacks when debating ideas. Honesty in words and actions is also expected as a means of showing respect.
They do not threaten, harass or demean any member of the community. This includes harassment on the basis of sex, race, disability, nationality, age, or political persuasion. Activity or entertainment that promotes violence, exploitation, discrimination or sexually immoral and degrading practices is to be avoided by community members. Everyone is to feel safe physically and psychologically at the university. Also for this reason, weapons and explosives of any kind, simulated or real, are not permitted at the university functions without prior authorization.
The use of language that diminishes or profanes the name of God or otherwise maligns Him is not permitted. The gratuitous denigration of other religious viewpoints is also inappropriate.
While there is room for disagreement in community, such disagreements are handled in a mature fashion without attempts to tear down or embarrass the other party. At all times the dignity of the institution, its policies, and its representatives are to be upheld. Disruptive conduct that interferes with the normal activity of the university is not allowed.
Respect for one’s own person and God’s intended use of the body is also important. Individuals should dress inoffensively and professionally with sensitivity to standards of modesty.
The Wesleyan Church’s stance on gender and human sexuality is biblical, historical, theological, practical and deeply convictional. The University believes that all sexual activity is only expressed privately between a man and a woman in the context of a covenant marriage. Because sexual expression is not merely physical, but deeply involves the mind, spirit and emotions, there is a need for sensitivity and caution at every level of intimacy. Intimate personal relationships between employees may be disruptive to the work environment and may be considered inappropriate behavior. Intimate relationships or sexual expression between employees and students is strongly discouraged and is considered inappropriate. In addition, we believe gender assignment is a beautiful genetic divine prerogative, not indicated by individual choice, and our living, learning and athletic offerings reflect that belief; therefore, students will receive such services in accordance with their birth gender.
In recognition of the holiness of the body and the injunction that it should only be under the control of the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 5:18), members shall abstain at all time and places from the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco products.
If a member of the community feels he or she or the larger community has been wronged by another, the first action taken is to go privately to the one perceived to be at fault and seek to make things right. If this response does not bring about resolution, it is appropriate to bring an administrator into the conversation.
The property of others will be respected within the university fellowship. Destruction, defacement or theft of the physical property of the university or personal property of individuals will not be tolerated.
Protection of property extends to intellectual property as well. Individuals will refrain from “stealing” the words, ideas, or creative work of another. Examples of this type of theft include, but are not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, or passing off another’s intellectual output as one’s own, and the inappropriate acquisition and use of copyrighted material without proper permission.
The university’s virtual property accessed through its network, including all social media outlets, are to be respected. University computers, servers and their contents are university property and are not used to retrieve or distribute obscene material; send harassing or abusive messages; engage in illegal computing activities; engage in non-university business or activity; nor to download or copy music, movies, or software in an illegal or unethical manner.
A Final Word About Rights & Responsibilities
The goals of the community at Southern Wesleyan University are to:
- Foster learning, scholarship and research through the free exchange of ideas.
- Provide encouragement and support to members of the community as they seek to grow toward wholeness amidst difficult and stressful life circumstances.
- Hold members of the community to high standards of academic honesty, intellectual rigor, and realistic humility in the pursuit of truth.
By joining the community, members are agreeing to pursue these goals. They are also agreeing to work to maintain an environment within the community where certain rights are protected.
- The right to free expression within the bounds of decency and order.
- The right to be respected and treated with dignity.
- The right to independent thought and reasoned dissent.
- The right to feel safe and free from threat, force or violence.
- The right to personal, constructive change.
While the university’s officers of administration and instruction have authority to give structure to the community, to foster its ongoing health, and to intervene if there are serious problems, the weight of responsibility for the health of the community rests with the community as a whole and with each individual member. To join the university community is to enter into a commitment to support that community and seek its goals.
The Student Handbook contains additional information and policies relevant to Campus Life.
Discipline procedures are printed each year in the Southern Wesleyan Student Handbook. Students placed on social probation are not allowed to represent the university.
Representation of the university is a responsibility and a privilege; therefore, such representation is generally carried out only by students in good standing. Students on social probation should not be involved in the following:
- membership in the homecoming court
- holding office in university organizations
- having a continuing role in leading chapel
- ministry teams
- inter-varsity athletics, including travel with the team in a support role, and cheerleading (Students on probation may practice on campus.)
- *senior practicum, including directed teaching
- *traveling ensembles
- *major dramatic productions
*Exceptions: Students for whom participation in one of these activities is a degree requirement may be allowed to participate.
In light of the basic principles of the university, any student whose conduct is considered detrimental to the best interests of the university, whose overall influence is negative to campus morale, whose attitude is persistently antagonistic toward others, whose academic performance is regularly delinquent, or whose stay in college seems to be of small personal benefit or inimical to others, may be informed privately that further stay at Southern Wesleyan is not desired. The student will be notified, given the opportunity to be heard, and allowed to withdraw privately or may be dismissed without formal charges.
Policy on Student Complaints
From time to time students enrolled at Southern Wesleyan University may desire to forward a complaint with respect to the administration of university policy, procedures, promised benefits, or requirements by an agent or agents of the university. When such complaints have occurred and a student raises the issue and asks for some form of redress in writing (either electronic or hard-copy) from an employee of the university, the university will investigate, and if warranted, resolve the complaint within established policies and procedures. Formal complaints should be submitted through the “We Are Listening/We Have Heard” portal on mySWU.
When a student complaint is submitted, the appropriate vice president or administrator who is responsible for the matter of concern is notified about the complaint. The complaint is subsequently investigated.
Normally, within ten (10) working days, a written response will be sent to the student by the investigator addressing one of two things:
- Indicating to the student that, upon investigation, no policy violation, injustice, threat, or inappropriate action on the part of the university was identified and clarifying any perceived misunderstanding; or,
- Indicating to the student the nature of the problem uncovered by the investigation and the steps the institution will take to remedy that problem.
If the complaint directly relates to the actions of a member of the president’s cabinet, the president will direct the investigation and render a decision. If the complaint refers to the university president, the student shall address the written concern to the chairman of the Board of Trustees for investigation.
||An expressed concern that meets the following criteria:
- Is from a student as defined below.
- Is submitted through the “We Are Listening/We Have Heard” portal on mySWU.
- Relates to a perception of injustice, threat, or failure to act in accordance with a real or implied commitment on the part of the institution or its agents.
- Is NOT a part of a defined appeals process in matters related to grades, academic policy, or student discipline.
- Is related to an area or issue under SWU’s control.
||An individual who is or was enrolled in a SWU course or is applying for admission to the institution.
Note to Georgia Residents
If the complaint is not resolved at the institution level through its complaint procedure, students who reside in Georgia may file a complaint with the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC), 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084-3300. The NPEC telephone number is 770-414-3300.
The NPEC has provided an online form to be used by students for filing complaints; this can be found at the following Web address: http://gnpec.org/consumer-resources/gnpec-authorized-school-complainant-form
Note to Non-South Carolina Students
Southern Wesleyan University students residing outside the state of South Carolina who desire to resolve a grievance are encouraged to follow the institution’s complaint procedures. Students may also to identify the appropriate state agency within the state they reside to file a complaint. If the student is unable to resolve the complaint through Southern Wesleyan University’s process, the complaint can be made to South Carolina’s Commission for Higher Education. Please note that should the student find it appropriate to file a complaint with the agency in the state in which reside, complaints regarding grades or conduct violations should be excluded, as such complaints are governed directly by Southern Wesleyan University’s complaint procedures.
Gender Discrimination under Title IX
Southern Wesleyan University endeavors to create an environment in which all members of the community are treated with the dignity and respect inherent in their position as creatures made in the image of God. Not only is gender discrimination a violation of federal law; it is contrary to principles of Christian conduct. Consequently, it is the policy of Southern Wesleyan University that discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.
Gender discrimination is defined as unequal treatment of a student based on gender that limits a student’s participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution’s programs and/or activities.
Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator for Southern Wesleyan is the Director of Human Resources. The Title IX Coordinator receives the complaint from the student and assists the student in understanding the process for filing a Title IX complaint. Refer to the Student Handbook for detailed information about the Title IX process and procedure.
Complaints of gender discrimination will be dealt with promptly, according to the following procedures. All complaints will need to be registered in writing, signed, and agreed to by the complainant. A student having a complaint should inform the Title IX Coordinator who will submit the complaint to the Vice President for Student Life. After securing from the student a written request for investigation, the Vice President for Student Life will investigate the complaint and recommend appropriate action (if any is needed). The investigation will be concluded and any redress recommended within ten working days of receipt of the written request. If the process is delayed beyond ten working days or if the student disagrees with the response, the student may appeal to the Student Life Council. The appeal must be in writing and must be made within ten working days of the student being notified of the initial determination. The Student Life Council will investigate the complaint and response and make a determination within ten working days of receipt of the written appeal. Upon notification of the decision of the Student Life Council, the student may ask for consideration by the President of the university. Again, the request must be in writing and must be made within ten days of receiving the Council’s decision. The decision of the President is final.
Southern Wesleyan University endeavors to create an environment in which all members of the community are treated with the dignity and respect inherent in their position as creatures made in the image of God. Not only is disabilities harassment a violation of federal law, it is contrary to principles of Christian conduct. Consequently, it is the policy of Southern Wesleyan University that harassment of individuals with disabilities is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.
Any form of harassment is absolutely prohibited. Disability harassment is intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student’s participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution’s programs. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name calling as well as nonverbal behavior such as graphic and written statements or conduct that is physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating.
All complaints need to be registered in writing, signed and agreed to by the complainant. Complaints of disabilities harassment will be addressed promptly.
A student with a complaint should inform the Student Success Coordinator. After securing from the student a written request for investigation, the Student Success Coordinator will forward the complaint to the investigator. The chart below explains the hierarchy of responsibility for investigating complaints.
||Executive Director of Student Learning
||Dean of the faculty’s department
||Executive Director of Student Learning
||Director or Vice President for the department
|Executive Director of Student Learning
||Executive Director of Student Learning
||Executive Director of Student Learning
The investigation will be initiated within 10 working days of the receipt of the written request.
If the investigation process is not initiated within 10 working days or if the student disagrees with the outcome of the investigation, the student may appeal to the Committee for Students with Disabilities. The appeal must be in writing and must be made within 48 hours of the student being notified of the initial outcome of the investigation. The Committee for Students with Disabilities will review the investigation of the complaint and outcome and make a determination within 10 working days of the receipt of the written appeal.
Upon notification of the decision of the Committee for Students with Disabilities, the student may ask for consideration by the University Provost. The decision of the Provost is final.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
It is the practice of Southern Wesleyan University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as with state and local requirements regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability will be denied access to or participation in any services, programs or activities of SWU.
Accessing Accommodations through Support Services
Students with a qualifying disability who wish to request accommodations at SWU will need to:
- Contact the Executive Director of Student Learning to schedule an appointment for an intake meeting;
- Be prepared to provide current and appropriate formal documentation of your disability.
Formal documentation may be mailed, emailed or hand-delivered to the Executive Director of Student Learning before or at the time of the intake meeting. Contact information is provided below. Accommodations do not begin until this process is completed; consequently, in order to start the semester with accommodations, this meeting should take place and the information should be provided to the Executive Director of Student Learning prior to classes starting.
Executive Director of Student Learning
Southern Wesleyan University
PO Box 1020
SWU Box 1994
Central, SC 29630
Accommodations are determined based on the individual’s documentation and needs. Accommodations may include but are not limited to:
- extended time on test-time and a half or double time depending on documentation;
- alternative/private testing location;
- copies of notes and/or PowerPoint presentations;
- ability to record lectures using recorder of Smartpen;
- have test read aloud;
- preferential seating.
All documentation must be current in order to be acceptable. In order to be considered current, the documentation must fall within the following time frames:
- Within 3 years for learning disabilities and all other disabilities (This does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.);
- Within 1 year for psychiatric disabilities.
Documentation should be typed on official letterhead, dated and signed by a qualified and credentialed professional. Documentation provided on a prescription pad is not acceptable. The documentation should include the following:
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability with its DSM-IV Diagnostic notation;
- A description of the diagnostic methods used along with copies of test results;
- A description of the student’s current functional limitations;
- A description of the expected progression of the disability, if relevant;
- A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications;
- Recommendations for accommodations, strategies and/or service.
Student disability and accommodations records are treated as confidential information under applicable federal and state laws as well as University policies. Information is provided only to support individuals on a need-to-know basis.
Process for Obtaining Services
- The student contacts the Executive Director of Student Learning to schedule an intake meeting to discuss accommodations;
- An intake meeting is completed in which documentation is reviewed and a determination is made regarding reasonable accommodations. If the documentation is deemed incomplete, a request for additional information will be made;
- The Executive Director of Student Learning sends the appropriate instructor an email notification about the approved accommodations for the student. A copy of this notification is sent to the student;
- The instructor reviews the accommodations and confers with the student and the Executive Director of Student Learning as needed;
- After the accommodations have been approved, it is the student’s responsibility to introduce himself or herself to the instructor on the first day of class and to provide further information the student deems necessary;
- The Executive Director of Student Learning and instructor will address any issues that arise with providing the requested accommodations;
- The student must meet with the Executive Director of Student Learning at the beginning of each semester to renew his or her request for accommodations.
Students who find services to be unsatisfactory or who wish to file a grievance should contact the Executive Director of Student Learning at 864-644-5082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRiO Student Support Services Center
Southern Wesleyan University’s Student Support Services (SSS) Program encourages students to build a sense of belonging and confidence as they pursue their chosen fields. The program advocates, navigates, supports, and serves as a resource for SWU students. Creating a positive and engaging environment, SSS collaborates with students, faculty, staff and the community to strengthen student self-efficacy. More importantly, SSS is dedicated to student success, defined as learning and empowerment through obedience to God’s will as revealed in scripture.
Eligibility for the Program
To be eligible for participation in the TRiO Student Support Services Program, a student’s status must meet at least ONE of the following requirements:
- First generation (neither parent nor custodial guardian has earned a 4-year degree) OR
- Low income (as determined by the Department of Education) OR
- Documented disability
In addition, students must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency status.