- Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
- Conduct within the University Community
- Student Health Services
- Responsible Use of Computing Policy
- Parking Policy
- Other Policies
- Other Regulations
George Mason University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution committed to the principle that access to study and employment opportunities afforded by the university, including all benefits and privileges, be accorded to each person—student, faculty, or staff member—on the basis of individual merit and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or age.
Mason maintains a continuing affirmative program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices in every phase of university operations. Furthermore, affirmative action is taken to ensure that opportunities afforded by the university are fully available to those with disabilities, women, disabled and Vietnam veterans, and minorities. The university makes every reasonable accommodation to enable students or employees with disabilities to undertake work or study for which they qualify.
Students and employees should bring problems or questions regarding equal opportunity (EO), affirmative action (AA), or sexual harassment policies to the attention of the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, Mason Hall, Suite D105, 703-993-8730. Employees with disabilities may contact the ADA specialist in Mason Hall, Room D111, 703-993-8857 or 703-993-8787 (TTY). Students with disabilities may contact the Disability Resource Center in Student Union Building (SUB) I, Room 234, 703-993-2474.
Conduct within the University Community
The Mason community respects and protects the individual dignity, integrity, and reputation of all its members. All students, faculty, and staff must comply with the conventions and regulations of university life that are necessary to maintain order, protect individuals and property, and fulfill the purposes and responsibilities of a university. This includes ensuring our commitment to high standards of civility and decency toward all.
Students enrolling in the university assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the university’s function as an educational institution. The Code of Virginia (Section 23-9.2:3) confers upon the university the responsibility for maintaining order within the university, and the right to exclude those who are disruptive.
The Office of the Judicial Administrator is administratively responsible for supervising student conduct on campus. A system of courts administers nonacademic discipline. In addition to these courts, the student Honor Committee, described in the Academic Policies chapter, is responsible for adjudicating violations of the Honor Code that relate to academic matters. Questions regarding student conduct should be directed to the Judicial Affairs Office, SUB I, Room 302, 703-993-2884.
Student Health Services
Student Health Services provides high-quality health care to all currently enrolled students. There is no evaluation fee, but there are minimal charges for most tests and procedures. The staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a medical technologist, and various levels of support personnel. Appointments are required for nonemergency services.
Offices are located on the Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington campuses. Contact information is as follows:
Fairfax Campus: SUB I, phone: 703-993-2831
Prince William Campus: Occoquan Building, Room 202E, phone: 703-993-8374
Arlington Campus: 3330 Washington Boulevard, Room 150 F and I, phone: 703-993-4863
Immunization policies are determined by legislation enacted by the Virginia General Assembly, and by recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the American College Health Association. All students born after December 31, 1956, are required to provide documented evidence that they have been immunized against certain communicable diseases.
The required immunizations are as follows:
- Two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), with first dose given after first birthday and after 1967. Laboratory report of a titer documenting immunity is acceptable.
- Primary tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis series, with last tetanus and diphtheria booster within past 10 years.
- Students must be immunized against meningococcal disease, or they must sign a waiver stating that they have received and reviewed information on meningococcal disease and the availability and effectiveness of the vaccine, but have chosen not to be vaccinated. If that student is less than 18 years old, the waiver must be signed by a parent or other legal representative.
- Students must be immunized against hepatitis B disease, or they must sign a waiver stating that they have received and reviewed information on hepatitis B disease and the availability and effectiveness of the vaccine, but have chosen not to be vaccinated. If the student is less than 18 years old, the waiver must be signed by a parent or other legal representative.
- For international students only, tuberculosis (Tb) screening is required for all students from countries where Tb is endemic as defined by the CDC.
At least one month prior to enrollment, records of immunizations are to be sent to the Immunization Office, Room 214, in care of Student Health Services, SUB I, 4400 University Drive, MS 2D3, Fairfax, VA. 22030. Immunization records can also be faxed to 703-993-4053. The immunization record is included as a tear-out form in the orientation booklet that is mailed to all new undergraduate students when their application for admission to the university has been approved. For more information, call 703-993-2836, e-mail email@example.com, or go to www.gmu.edu/student/hcs/imm.html.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
The abuse of drugs and alcohol by members of the campus community is not compatible with the goals of the university. Mason attempts to prepare individuals to act responsibly by defining standards of behavior and by providing educational programs to create an awareness of drug- and alcohol-related problems. Those in need of assistance in dealing with drug- and alcohol-related problems are encouraged to seek the confidential help of the university’s Substance Abuse Programs and Services, located on the Fairfax Campus in the Health and Wellness Center, SUB I, Room 219K.
- Use or possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia is prohibited on any campus. Violation will be considered a serious offense. Implementation of this policy will be in accordance with established university procedures as contained in the University Judicial Code.
- University Police enforce all applicable local, state, and federal laws in accordance with established standing orders, procedures, and guidelines.
- A judicial review of all reports of drug offenses occurring on campus will be conducted by the university. Actions taken under the auspices of the University Judicial Code will neither prejudice nor be prejudiced by actions taken in the criminal justice system or the management of university housing.
- At the discretion of the hearing officer, students found responsible for violating the law or regulations involving illegal drugs may be required to undergo an evaluation administered by personnel in the office of the university’s Substance Abuse Programs and Services.
- The housing status of a resident student found in violation of a campus drug regulation while in a residence hall will be determined by the appropriate housing official. Guests and visitors found in violation of a campus drug regulation while in a residence hall will be issued a trespass order prohibiting their presence in any and all residential buildings on Mason campuses. This trespass order will be in effect for a minimum of one calendar year.
- In addition to any action taken by the Office of Housing and Residence Life, the standard sanction for a student’s first on-campus violation involving possession or use of marijuana or possession of drug paraphernalia will be university suspension for a minimum of one academic semester.
- Students found responsible for a violation involving sale or possession of an illegal substance with intent to distribute will be permanently separated from the university.
- Students found responsible for use or possession of an illegal drug other than marijuana will be suspended from the university for a minimum of one year. To apply for reinstatement after suspension, students must provide evidence of successful participation in a drug-treatment program.
- The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is limited to those locations and circumstances authorized by university policy.
- No alcoholic beverages are permitted in Presidents Park.
- Students who are 21 years of age or older are permitted to possess alcohol in residence hall rooms except those located in Presidents Park. The quantity of alcohol may be limited by residence hall regulations.
- No alcoholic beverages may be consumed in public areas of a residence hall. These areas include, but are not limited to, hallways, study rooms, and lounges.
- All first-time offenses of this policy by residential students (except those involving severe intoxication or a police or emergency medical response) will be adjudicated through the housing judicial system. All offenses by nonresident students will be referred to the university judicial administrator.
- Discipline sanctions related to housing infractions will be primarily educational but may include a housing assignment change, referral to the university judicial administrator, or removal from housing.
- All cases involving severely intoxicated students or a police or emergency medical response will be referred to the university judicial administrator for disciplinary action. Sanctions imposed in these cases will be designed to offer assistance in overcoming any identified problems. While the purpose of the judicial action will be educational and remedial, it may be appropriate to remove the student from campus housing or the university.
- The university will encourage parental involvement whenever there is a repeat offense, or when the first offense indicates a serious problem. This involvement will be in accordance with provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
Notice to All State Employees
The federal Drug-Free Workplace Act requires the university to inform all employees of the state that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace. The workplace consists of any state-owned, controlled, or leased property, or the site where state work is performed. Any employee who violates this prohibition will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge and, at the discretion of management, will be required to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Employees must abide by the terms of this prohibition as a condition of employment, and must notify their supervisor no later than five days after conviction of any criminal drug statute conviction occurring in the workplace.
Commonwealth Policies on Alcohol, Drug Use
Those who purchase, possess, and consume alcoholic beverages on campus must do so responsibly and must have reached the legal age of 21. All members of the university community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and their guests) are expected to comply with university-related regulations as well as federal and state laws regarding the use of alcohol. Compliance also extends to university-sponsored activities held off campus. Students and employees are expected to take personal responsibility for their own conduct when making decisions regarding alcohol use.
Virginia state law prohibits the purchase, possession, or consumption of beer, 3.2 beverages, wine, or distilled spirits by those under the age of 21. The law also prohibits purchasing for or serving such beverages to a person under age 21. Underage people who use or attempt to use a driver’s license that has been altered, forged, borrowed, or in any way deceptive in an attempt to obtain prohibited beverages shall have their driver’s license revoked for a minimum of 30 days, but for not more than one year. Consuming alcohol in non-licensed, public places or offering a drink to another in a non-licensed, public place is also a violation of Virginia law. The sale of alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person is prohibited. Additionally, it is unlawful for an intoxicated person to purchase or possess alcoholic beverages. While purchase or possession by an intoxicated person is a misdemeanor, violators are subject to having their driver’s license revoked for one year.
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle, including mopeds, when a person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Individuals under age 21 who drive with a BAC of more than .02 percent, but less than .08 percent, risk having their driver’s license suspended for six months, and a fine of up to $500 may be imposed. If a person is arrested for driving with a license revoked or suspended under a prior driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, the offender’s car is immediately impounded for 30 days. Following conviction, the court can impound the vehicle for an additional 90 days. If the car does not belong to the offender, the owner of the car may petition the court for release of the vehicle.
Sobriety spot-checks to detect drunken drivers are legal. Refusing a breath test or having a BAC of .08 percent or higher may result in an individual’s driver license being revoked for seven days. There is no longer an option to request a blood test instead of a breath test for an alcohol-related offense.
It is illegal to serve alcohol from an unregistered keg, which is defined as a common container holding four gallons or more. Only University Dining Services or other authorized entity may serve alcohol from kegs.
Possession, use, sale, or distribution of controlled substances, including marijuana, is a violation of federal and state laws as well as university regulations. The 1988 federal Drug-Free Workplace Act also prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace.
Students, faculty, staff, and sponsoring organizations found in violation of state or university regulations may be subject to disciplinary action, civil action, or loss of the privilege to reserve or use university facilities. Disciplinary action for students or student organizations will be conducted in accordance with the Mason Judicial System for Student Conduct, and civil proceedings may occur in certain situations. University sanctions are intended not to punish individuals, but to provide education and rehabilitation services.
Sanctions depend on the severity of the violation. They range from written warnings to expulsion from the university. Most sanctions require the student to be evaluated by Substance Abuse Programs and Services personnel, who will assess the severity of alcohol and other drug problems and offer referrals to arrange community service hours. Employees found in violation of the university’s drug and alcohol policy may be subject to action by the appropriate administrative office.
Alcohol is a depressant that slows brain activity. Alcohol use can impair decision-making abilities and lead to negative consequences, including risky sexual behavior. Drinking alcohol should be avoided by pregnant women and anyone taking prescription medications or operating a motor vehicle. Long-term or heavy use of alcohol is linked to cancer, heart and liver damage, and other serious illnesses, and can lead to tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Excessive alcohol intake can cause death due to alcohol poisoning. All students and employees are expected to respect those who choose not to drink.
Illicit drugs have more than legal consequences; they have specific health and ethical risks that can cause dangerous consequences and unhealthy, dependent behavior. Use of alcohol (or any other drug) in a manner that leads to impairment or intoxication is unhealthy and risky, and should be avoided and discouraged. The potential for health problems can also develop from the use of nicotine or caffeine products.
Those who need assistance dealing with alcohol and other drug problems are encouraged to seek the confidential services of resources listed below.
General Rules for Serving Alcoholic Beverages
University regulations prohibit the possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage on university grounds unless the university has sanctioned the location and conditions for possession or consumption, such as the Bistro. For more information, please review the comprehensive guidelines for alcohol service available in the Office of Substance Abuse Programs and Services.
Campus and Community Resources
Fairfax Campus: Health and Wellness Education Resource Room, SUB I, Room 220, 703-993-3686, SUB I, Room 219, 703-993-2830
State Employee Assistance Service (SEAS): 804-786-6741
Alcoholics Anonymous: 703-993-3686 for campus meetings; for other locations, 703-876-6166
Narcotics Anonymous: 703-532-1255
The drug and alcohol policy outlines university regulations on substance use and abuse. This policy is distributed annually to all employees and students to inform the campus community of alcohol and drug laws, health risks, and campus and community resources. University regulations regarding the drug and alcohol policy have been developed by a committee of faculty, staff, and students. This policy statement is available in the Office of Substance Abuse Programs and Services, Health and Wellness Center, SUB I, Room 219K. This policy is also distributed through the student and faculty and staff handbooks and the university newspapers, Broadside and the Mason Gazette.
Responsible Use of Computing Policy
The responsible use of computing (RUC) policy applies to all academic and operational departments and offices at all university locations, owned and leased. The policies and procedures apply to all university faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors.
The university provides and maintains computing and telecommunications technologies to support the education, research, and work of faculty, staff, and students. To preserve the security, availability, and integrity of computing resources, and to protect all users’ rights to an open exchange of ideas and information, this policy sets forth the responsibilities of each member of the university community in the use of these resources. This policy supports investigations of complaints involving computing abuse including sexual harassment, honor code, and federal or state law violations.
Violations of this policy may result in revocation of access, suspension of accounts, disciplinary action, or prosecution. Also, evidence of illegal activity will be turned over to the appropriate authorities. It is the computer user’s responsibility to read and follow the policy and all applicable laws and procedures (user sign-on agreement). Those who observe someone violating this policy or another university policy using university computing resources should report it by e-mail to the Security Review Panel (SRP) at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Many local computing systems have similar e-mail reporting addresses.
George Mason computing resources: All computers, systems, workstations, networks, networking equipment, peripheral devices, servers, and any other university property attached to the Mason network. It also includes all software, files, documents, and databases stored in Mason computing systems. It does not include equipment of Internet service providers and personal equipment owned by members of the university community who may use this equipment to access university computing resources.
System administrators (SA): Mason employees who are responsible for maintaining, configuring, operating, or repairing university computing resources. SA’s have special privileges and special responsibility under this policy.
Security review panel (SRP): A committee of faculty, information technology staff, and students who interpret this policy, provide oversight, and offer security advice.
Stopit group: A group including the SRP and other Mason officials who are responsible for university policies that may be violated using university computing resources.
Stopit procedure: A graduated set of warnings and responses for people suspected of violating this policy.
Information technology unit (ITU): The organizational entity responsible for IT equipment and services within the campus system. The ITU is headed by the vice president for information technology (VPIT), who is administratively responsible for this policy.
Technology council: A group of faculty and staff who provide advice and recommendations to the VPIT regarding the selection and architecture of technologies used to provide IT services.
Responsibilities of the Various Groups
SA’s have been granted extraordinary powers, which they should exercise with great care and dignity, to override or alter access controls, configurations, and passwords. SA’s manage computers and administer policies, but they do not create policies. Their actions are constrained by this policy and by the policies of local administrative units.
A set of guidelines and standards for all SA’s is created and maintained by the ITU with the review and concurrence of the SRP. These guidelines address job responsibilities, integrity issues, and standard system administration actions that do not violate privacy. Managers of university units who employ SA’s are responsible for ensuring they comply with and enforce the requirements of this policy in the systems for which they are responsible. SA’s who violate this policy or who misuse their powers are subject to disciplinary action beyond the Stopit procedures.
If an SA observes someone engaging in activities that would seriously compromise the security or integrity of a system or network, including intrusions, break-ins, unauthorized service or access denials, or Trojan horses, the SA may take immediate action to stop the threat or minimize the damage. This may include termination of processes, scanning for rogue programs, disconnection from a network, protecting and holding evidence for an investigation, or temporary suspension of an account. Account suspensions must be reported immediately to the SRP. SA’s who observe suspected violations of law should immediately alert University Police.
The SRP is responsible for reviewing SA decisions, responding to complaints, providing security advice, and periodically reviewing the computing policy. The SRP consists of the IT security coordinator, three faculty members, two members of the technology council, one representative from the Faculty Senate, one graduate student, one undergraduate student, one information technology unit (ITU) staff member, and one non-ITU system administrator. The vice president for information technology (VPIT) appoints the SRP members. The SRP chair is a faculty member appointed by the VPIT.
SA’s must report all violations and their responses to the SRP immediately. Any member of the community can report a violation to the SRP via the Stopit mechanism. The SRP will establish a dispatching procedure for routing Stopit complaints to the appropriate official or staff member for action. All those who investigate complaints under this policy should use the three-step Stopit process, which is described below.
The SRP is authorized to create subgroups to assist in its mission. An example is a George Mason Computer Emergency Response Team (GMU-CERT), which coordinates responses to abuses, provides technical assistance on security matters to SA’s, and issues security advisories.
The SRP is also responsible for periodically reviewing these policies and recommending improvements and clarifications as needed. All modifications to the policies will be made after full public disclosure and a reasonable period for public comment.
Rules of Use
Access to university computing resources is a privilege granted on a presumption that every member of the campus community will exercise it responsibly. Because it is impossible to anticipate all the ways in which individuals can damage, interrupt, or misuse computing facilities, this policy focuses on a few simple rules.
Rule 1: Use university computing resources consistently with stated priorities.
These priorities are set on the use of Mason computing resources:
High: All educational, research, and administrative purposes of the university
Low: Other uses indirectly related to university purposes that have an educational or research benefit, including news reading, web browsing, chat sessions, and personal communications.
Forbidden: Selling access to Mason computing resources; engaging in commercial activity not sanctioned by the Provost’s Office; intentionally denying or interfering with any network resources, including spamming, jamming, and crashing any computer; using or accessing any university computing resource, or reading or modifying files, without proper authorization; using the technology to in any way misrepresent or impersonate someone else; sending chain letters; and violating federal or state law or university policy.
Note: Employees and contractors of the Commonwealth of Virginia may not use university computing resources for recreation or entertainment.
Rule 2: Don’t allow anyone to use your account for illegitimate purposes.
Your account username identifies you to the entire Internet user community. You may be held responsible for another person’s actions in your account. Any policy violations will be traced back to your username, and you may be held responsible. If you have a legitimate reason to give someone access, keep it strictly temporary, and change your password after that person finishes using your account.
If someone offers use of an account you are not authorized to use, decline. If you discover someone’s password, don’t use it; report access of the password to the owner or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rule 3: Honor the privacy of other users.
The university respects the desire for privacy, and voluntarily chooses to refrain from inspecting users’ files except in certain well-defined cases (description follows). SA’s who carry out standard administrative practices such as backing up files, cleaning up trash or temporary files, or searching for rogue programs, do not violate privacy. Examples of privacy violations are as follows:
- Accessing the contents of files of another user without explicit authorization from that user
- Intercepting or monitoring any network communications not explicitly meant for you
- Using systems to transmit personal or private information about individuals unless you have explicit authorization from the individuals affected
- Creating programs that secretly collect information about users. Software on university computing resource is subject to the same guidelines for protecting privacy as any other information-gathering project at Mason. Systems that keep audit trails and usage logs are not secret and are considered normal parts of system administration.
Rule 4: Don’t impersonate someone else.
Using university computing resources to impersonate someone else is wrong. If you use someone else’s account without their permission, you may be committing acts of fraud because the account owner’s name will be attached to the transactions you have performed. If, while using someone else’s account, you communicate with others, you should clearly identify yourself as doing so.
If you send anonymous mail or postings, you should realize that it is normal etiquette to identify that your message is anonymous or is signed by a pseudonym. Because policy violators often use anonymous communication to hide their identities, many people give less credence to anonymous communication than to signed communication. Also, SA’s who receive anonymous complaints and cannot locate the sender for additional information or clarification may be unable to assist the sender or provide witnesses to support claims of illegal activity.
Rule 5: Don’t using computing resources to violate other policies or laws.
Examples are given below to assist in avoiding inadvertent violations, but the list is not comprehensive. In case of doubt, check with the SRP, or e-mail email@example.com.
- Don’t violate copyright laws and licenses. Many programs and their documentation are owned by individual users or third parties and are protected by copyright and other laws, licenses, and contractual agreements. You must abide by these restrictions; to do otherwise may be illegal.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to violate harassment laws or policies. Various types of harassment, including sexual or racial, are proscribed by university policies.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to violate the Honor Code.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to attack computers, accounts, or other users by launching viruses, worms, Trojan horses, or other attacks on computers here or elsewhere.
- Don’t perform unauthorized vulnerability scans on systems; such scanning is considered to be a hostile act.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to harass or threaten others.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to transmit fraudulent messages.
- Don’t use Mason computing resources to transmit, store, display, download, print, or intentionally receive obscene material, or to distribute pornographic material to minors.
All users of university computing resources are subject to federal and state obscenity laws. State employees should also be aware of laws prohibiting the use of state equipment to access, store, print, or download sexually explicit material.
Electronic Information Environment
Personal e-mail, electronic files maintained on university equipment, and personal web pages are all part of a unique electronic information environment. This environment creates unique privacy issues that involve federal and state laws as well as university policies. E-mail is not secure. It is easily forwarded to a multitude of recipients and may be altered. Intruders to the network may be able to bypass password protection. E-mail may also be accessible under Freedom of Information laws, and backup computer tapes may contain deleted e-mail for over a year. Mail undelivered for any reason may be copied to the mailbox of a “postmaster” on the sender or recipient computers. For all of these reasons and others, expectations of privacy concerning e-mail and electronic files should take these realities into account.
Most systems have public directories for temporary files. Examples are print spoolers, system-wide web caches, and scratch areas used by document editors. The temporary files stored in these directories are usually restricted to being readable only by the owner. To protect privacy and prevent these directories from overflowing, SA’s empty them regularly. Do not count on these files surviving after you log out.
No user may intentionally read personal files, including those storing e-mail, without the owner’s consent. In the event of a lawful investigation of misconduct, law-enforcement officials and university officials involved in the investigation may inspect user files and communications.
The university reserves the right, to the fullest extent permitted by law, to inspect user files and communications for the purposes of investigating allegations of illegal activity and violations of university policies, or to protect the integrity and safety of network systems.
The university’s official web pages (www.gmu.edu) contain public information about the Mason’s offerings, programs, and promises. These pages project the public identity of the university and are the first electronic point of contact with the general public, students, parents, and employers. The university exercises editorial control over the content of its official web pages.
The university is not responsible for information, including photographic images, published on or accessible through personal web pages, including personal home pages. Personal web pages are created and maintained by employees, students or university-recognized student groups, and are the sole responsibility of the person or student group identified by the account. The university does not monitor the contents of these personal web pages. The individual creating or maintaining personal web pages may be held criminally or civilly liable for materials posted on the site. For example, an individual who posts obscene material may be subject to criminal prosecution, and an individual who posts copyrighted material might be liable to the owner of the copyrighted material under copyright law.
Personal web pages contain the personal expression of their creators. The contents, including link identifiers, of these pages include academic subjects, hobbies, religion, art, and politics, as well as materials that some viewers may find offensive. Neither the contents nor the link identifiers are reviewed or endorsed by the university. If you feel you might be offended by material following a link identifier or material on the page itself, do not continue.
The university will investigate all complaints involving personal web pages, and will remove or block material or links to material that violates federal or state law or university policy.
Schools, Institutes, Centers, and Departments
Organizational units at Mason operate computers and networks to support their missions. The principles of this policy apply to all organizational units as well as to any computers owned or operated by the university. Units may set additional local policies and expectations that are consistent with this policy. For example, local units may stipulate that material displayed for public access from their sites should be consistent with their public image and mission. They may set guidelines for format and content of material in home pages, ftp directories, listservs, netlibs, and info servers, and may appoint an editor or moderator for such material. They may prioritize and prohibit types of use to efficiently manage computing resources.
The Stopit process was modeled after a similar program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Using a graduated approach to handle policy violations, it is based on two premises: The vast majority of users are responsible; and most offenders, given the opportunity to stop uncivil or disruptive behavior without having to admit guilt, will do so and will not repeat the offense.
This policy distinguishes between incidents that pose no immediate dangers to others or to system integrity, and incidents that do. The three-step Stopit process described below is designed for cases in which there are no immediate dangers. Incidents posing immediate dangers to people or systems require immediate action. These include active system break-ins or intrusions, denials of service, and fraud or criminal activity conducted with Mason computing resources. In these cases, the responsible SA may take reasonable actions to deal with the threat, such as temporarily disconnecting the system from the network, temporarily suspending accounts, and calling law-enforcement officers. The SA taking such actions will notify his or her supervisor and the SRP chair as soon as practicable.
The Stopit process rests on two foundations:
Wide distribution of policy information—Notices describing the essence of the RUC policy will be displayed in computer labs on university premises; the same information will be given to new users and to each user annually. New users will be asked to sign their agreement to the RUC policy as a condition of activating their account.
Standard reporting mechanism—The Stopit e-mail address is monitored regularly by SRP members, who respond promptly to complaints. Anyone observing harmful or disruptive behavior should report it to the Stopit e-mail or to University Police. The SRP member who responds to a complaint usually forwards it to the SA of the system on which the infraction apparently occurred. That SA investigates the complaint, determines its validity, and takes appropriate actions such as sending the first warning (see below).
The steps of the process are as follows:
- First warning: The SRP member handling a case (or
SA, if the case is delegated) sends a warning letter to
the alleged perpetrators of improper use of computing
resources, harassment, or other uncivil behavior. The
letter has this form:
“Someone using your account did [whatever the offense is].” This is followed by an explanation of why the behavior violates policy. “Account holders are responsible for the use of their accounts. If you were unaware that your account was being used in this way, it may have been compromised. Your system administrator can help you change your password and resecure your account. If you are aware, then please make sure that this does not happen again.”
This warning ensures that alleged perpetrators are aware that a policy violation may have occurred and that there was a complaint. It offers them a chance to desist without having to admit guilt, and a chance to secure their account against unauthorized use.
- Second warning: If there is a second offense from an account that received a first warning, the SRP member will issue a second warning and may require that the account holder come to a mandatory interview. The SRP chair can authorize the temporary suspension of access to the user’s account if the individual fails to arrange for a mandatory interview. The user can request a hearing before the full SRP.
- Disciplinary procedures: If the previous steps do not
persuade the perpetrators to desist, the matter will be turned over to the appropriate university authority designated for that type of offense. The SRP will make available all information and evidence it has on the case to that authority.
If it appears from the evidence that any federal or state laws may have been violated, the SRP may suspend the account pending the outcome of an investigation.
Amendments and Additions
All amendments and additions to the RUC policy (administrative policy number 1301) are to be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice President.
Sandy Creek Parking Office
All faculty, staff, and students who park on property owned or operated by the university must display a valid permit, or must park in a parking deck and pay an hourly or daily rate. On the Fairfax Campus, the decks are located on Mason Pond Drive and Sandy Creek Way off Patriot Circle. Visitors and guests must park in the deck or at a meter, unless special arrangements have been made through Parking Services.
Permit enforcement runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Metered parking is designated for short-term use and is monitored from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Broken meters are considered closed parking spaces; any vehicles parked in such spaces are subject to citation.
Restricted areas such as yellow curbs, crosswalks, sidewalks, landscaped or barricaded areas, loading zones, disabled spaces, and fire and emergency lanes are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To avoid receiving a substantial fine, students, faculty, and staff should purchase a permit as soon as they arrive on campus. Three types of parking permits are available: annual, semester, and summer. Permits may be purchased at the Parking Services sales office, located in the Sandy Creek Parking Office. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Disabled parking is available at a number of convenient locations at Mason facilities. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) disabled placard or license plate must be displayed along with a university permit; a DMV placard or license plate alone is not sufficient for parking in disabled spaces in university lots. A visitor with a DMV placard or license plate may park in a parking deck at prevailing rates. Parking in or blocking access to a disabled space carries a fine at the prevailing rate.
Some parking lots have designated spaces reserved for faculty and staff, resident students, special permit holders, or service and repair vehicles. Please read all signs posted at entrances to the parking lots. All vehicles must be parked in a marked space. Complete parking regulations are in the Information Guide available at Parking Services. For more information, call the Parking Services Office at 703-993-2710.
Motorist Assistance Program (MAP)
The Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) is designed to assist drivers who have minor car problems. Trained MAP personnel are available to help with dead batteries, and also can contact lockout or towing services at the driver’s request and expense. MAP is available at the Fairfax Campus from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. To access this service, call 703-993-2715.
Ombudsman for Student Administrative Services
Student Union Building (SUB) II, Room 2028
The Office of University Services assists students who are having difficulty obtaining administrative services or who need help negotiating the university’s administrative support structure. The director is designated as the university ombudsman for student administrative services. The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; no appointments are necessary. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sexual Assault Policy
The following policy applies equally to all members of the Mason community: students, faculty, administrators, staff, contract employees, and visitors.
The university is committed to providing an institutional environment where all people may pursue their studies, careers, duties, and activities in an atmosphere free of threat of unwelcome and unwanted sexual actions. It strongly condemns sexual offenses, will not tolerate sexual offenders, and supports those who have been victimized.
Sexual assault includes the attempt or act of rape (sexual intercourse without consent or with a child under the age of 13, by a stranger, an acquaintance, or an intimate), forced sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or the forced penetration by a foreign object either animate, such as a finger, or inanimate. Non-penetration sexual assault includes the act of touching an unwilling person’s intimate parts such as genitalia, anus, groin, breast, or buttocks, or the clothing covering these parts, or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts.
The above acts constitute sexual assault when they are committed against a person’s will as evidenced by refusal of consent; through the use of force, threat, manipulation, or intimidation; or against a person who, by virtue of mental incapacity or physical helplessness, is unable to give or withhold consent. This includes, but is not limited to, incapacity or helplessness caused by alcohol or other drugs. Intoxication of the assailant shall not diminish the assailant’s responsibility for the sexual assault.
The university will respond promptly, fairly, and decisively to all reports of sexual assault. Members of the university community accused of sexual assault will be subject to university disciplinary procedures when the alleged incident has occurred on campus, or when the incident has occurred off campus and materially affects the learning environment or operations of the university.
Sexual assaults are serious violations of the university’s student judicial code, faculty standards, and university employee policies. They are crimes under state law and punishable by fines or imprisonment. In addition, these actions are subject to civil suit for damages.
Mason is compliant with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (The Clery Act) as amended in 1998, which requires all post-secondary institutions to publish and distribute certain information regarding campus crimes, including reports of campus sexual assault, sexual assault policies, and security programming to all current students, employees, and any applicant who so requests.
Through the Office of Sexual Assault Services, 24-hour assistance is available to those who have been affected by sexual assault.
For more information, contact Sexual Assault Services at 703-993-4364.
Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct and is not condoned in any form. This policy is part of the university’s efforts to maintain learning and work environments free from sexual harassment. While this problem can seriously affect all members of an educational community, sexual harassment can be particularly devastating for the student population. A sexual harassment experience can affect a student’s emotional well-being, impair academic progress, and even inhibit the attainment of career goals. This problem can likewise adversely affect employees and applicants for both employment and admission to the university. The university, therefore, must move to eliminate this problem from the community.
It is generally agreed that what constitutes and defines sexual harassment can vary under particular circumstances and events. Nevertheless, using the definitions of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the university defines sexual harassment as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute harassment when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s academic performance or employment.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions about academic evaluation, employment, promotion, transfer, selection for training, performance evaluation, or selection for academic awards or benefits.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment or substantially interferes with a student’s academic or an employee’s work performance.
While this definition reflects the historical fact that the majority of sexual harassment complaints involve a male harasser and a female complainant (or victim), the definition applies equally to female harassers and male victims as well as same-sex harassment.
Mason is committed to eliminating sexual harassment from the campus while ensuring basic protection for all parties. The Office of Equity and Diversity Services is specifically charged to assist in the investigation and resolution of allegations of discrimination and harassment including sexual harassment. Further, the office exists, in part, to ensure that members of the campus community understand their responsibility to create and maintain an environment free from discriminatory actions and behaviors.
For more information, contact the Equity Office at 703-993-8730 or 703-993-8787 (TTY).
Stalking is a crime under Virginia state law (18.2-60.3). Incidents of stalking outside the Commonwealth of Virginia may be admissible in court if they are relevant to the case, and may be punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony. Stalking behavior is prohibited and will not be tolerated byGeorge Mason University.
The university defines stalking as a series of behaviors that in context intend to place, or have knowledge that the behaviors might place, another person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or mental or physical well-being. Such behaviors include nonconsensual (unwanted) communication or contact, including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, electronic mail, instant messaging, written letters, and unwanted gifts; harassment, either by the individual or through a third party; use of threatening gestures; pursuing or following; surveillance or other types of observation; use of electronic devices or software to track or obtain private information; trespassing; vandalism; and nonconsensual (unwanted) touching.
Some behaviors may result in separate criminal charges. While certain acts can be classified as crimes, others that do not rise to criminal behavior may still be subject to the campus judicial process. The university can take action and has the right to give sanctions to an offender. Incidents occurring on or off campus are subject to university discipline when such actions materially affect the learning environment or operations of the university.
Legal options available to victims of stalking include reporting to the campus or local police, seeking a remedy through civil proceedings, and utilizing the campus judicial process. Additional support is available at Sexual Assault Services.
This policy applies equally to all members of the Mason community: students, faculty, administrators, staff, contract employees, and visitors.
The university is committed to protecting the right of all individuals to pursue their intellectual, vocational, and personal interests without harassment or interference. The university is also committed to providing an environment in which visitors to and members of the campus community are treated with dignity, respect, and regard for their welfare and learning needs.
For more information on stalking issues or this policy, contact Sexual Assault Services at 703-993-4364.
Individuals with Disabilities Policy
The university is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for people with disabilities. Mason recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from university educational programs, services, and activities, and to have equal employment opportunities. The university will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as necessary to afford equal employment opportunity and equal access to programs for qualified people with disabilities. Applicants for admission and students requesting reasonable accommodations for a disability should contact the Disability Resource Center at 703-993-2474. Employees and applicants for employment should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity Services at 703-993-8730 or 703-993-8787 (TTY). Questions regarding reasonable accommodations and discrimination on the basis of disability should be directed to the ADA coordinator in the Office of Equity and Diversity Services.
Annual Security Report
George Mason University’s 2005 Annual Security Report is available on the University Police Department web page. This report contains the previous three years of crime statistics, and includes policies concerning campus security such as sexual assault, stalking, and other matters that pertain to safety on campus. To view a copy of the report, go to www.gmu.edu/police/annual security.htm. Paper copies of this report are available at any police facility.
The unauthorized possession, storage, display, or use of any kind of ammunition, firearm, firework, explosive, air rifle, air pistol, or other lethal instrument is prohibited on university property. For more information, call University Police at 703-993-3840.
Smoking is not permitted in any building on campus.
Bicycles and Skateboards
Bike racks are provided at various on-campus locations for the convenience of students who bike to and from campus. For resident students, bike racks are located in the residential complexes. Bikes and skateboards are not permitted on sidewalks, stairs, ramps, footpaths, or grassy areas of the campus. They also are not allowed inside university buildings.
No pets, except those assisting people with disabilities, are permitted in university buildings at any time. Pets on campus grounds must be on a leash and under supervision at all times.
Solicitors and Salespeople
Except on official business with the university, solicitors and salespeople are not permitted on the campus without prior approval of the University Services Office.