We are happy you’ve joined the Governors State University learning community. You and all your fellow students make us what we are – a diverse, lively, friendly place. We take pride in all we do to maintain a true sense of community on our campus.

Know your student rights and responsibilities at GSU!


 As members of the Governors State University community, it is important that we all know what to expect of one another and how we make our shared values come to life every day. Our mission is not a static statement – it is what we live by. Any well-functioning community must have a set of values; this Handbook is meant to serve as a guide not only for our students, but also for faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure that all members of our community, are informed about policies, procedures, rights, and privileges. 

Our Student Code of Conduct, along with other university policies, will give you clear guidance on both what you can expect from GSU faculty and staff and what we will expect from you. The Student Handbook also contains helpful information, guides, and directories that will make navigation of campus life easier.

If you have questions after reading through this Handbook, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

We wish you the best this academic year. And remember, we are here to help you succeed.


Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, University President
Dr. Aurélio Manuel Valente, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Mr. Corey M. Williams, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students


For student reference, selected policies are excerpted below from the Student Handbook. Full details are available in the Student Handbook. Questions about any policies or procedures can be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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    Governors State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, as amended, and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as well as other federal and state legislation.

    This legislation applies to the opportunities that must be available to students choosing to attend an institution of higher education. Under ADA, students pursuing a post-secondary education are responsible for documenting and requesting accommodations for their specific needs. Students are responsible for identifying themselves as students who have a disability. The student must provide the University with appropriate documentation regarding their disability and recommended accommodations.

    For more information and/or to arrange for appropriate accommodations, please contact Access Services for Students with Disabilities. 

  • Areas of Free Expression, Demonstration, & Protest

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    The Demonstration and Public Protest Policy (Policy 79) states that Governors State University provides necessary resources to support the exercise of constitutional rights provided by the First Amendment. The policy is intended to provide for the safety of all persons and property associated with the planned or spontaneous acts of demonstration or protest. Additional information about restrictions associated with demonstrations and public protests are listed in policy 79.

    Registered Demonstrations: Organizers of demonstrations and public protests are encouraged to seek registration of their events at least 2 business days in advance by notifying the University Events office and following the office's instructions.

    Non-registered or Spontaneous Demonstrations: GSU welcomes demonstrations and public protests without prior registration so long as all participants comply with all other terms of the policy. Organizers and participants are encouraged to select one of the following locations for the event and if the demonstration involves a larger group, the group may be limited to the following locations:

    • The Columbus Carillon Area (Bell Tower), immediately south of the University's Main Entrance (D Building) between parking lot East 1 and parking lot West 1.
    • GSU Main Entrance (D Building) sidewalk, at least 25 feet from the doorway, from the eastern limit of D Building to the eastern limit of C Building.
    • GMT Building, outside sidewalk between roadway/parking Lot West 2 and GMT main entrance
    • D-Building Atrium (between main entrance and the Hall of Governors entrance)

  • Complaints & Grievances

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    GSU is committed to addressing comments, questions, and concerns related to students' experiences. Students may file complaints or grievances should they wish to provide feedback or resolve an issue at the university.

  • Campus Bulletin Board Posting

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    Prior approval by Student Life is required to post materials on Student Life and University Housing bulletin boards. Materials for posting must be dropped off in the Office of Student Life (A2100) for review.

  • Campus Safety Information (Clery Report)

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    The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (now known as the Clery Act) is a federal mandate which requires that all current students and employees be provided with information on policies and procedures involving campus security, the reporting of criminal action or other emergencies, and the enforcement authority of security personnel.

    The Dpeartment of PUblic Safety published the annual Campus Security Report online.

  • Concealed Carry

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    The Concealed Carry policy was developed in response to the Illinois Firearms Concealed Carry Act, 43 ILCS 66 [the “Act”]. The Act prohibits anyone from knowingly bringing a firearm onto property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education.

    For more detailed information, please see the GSU Concealed Carry policy.

  • Good Samaritan/Amnesty Practice

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    The health and safety of every student is important to GSU. The Office of the Dean of Students recognizes that the potential for a conduct action may deter students from seeking needed medical assistance for a fellow student or themselves. As a university, we support and encourage all students to reach out for assistance in cases of a medical emergency and/or when you see others in need.

    Through the Good Samaritan/Amnesty practice, students are encouraged to be active bystanders and respond to potentially risky circumstances (such as alcohol or drug intoxication) without reasonable fear of consequence from the university.

    For medical assistance, contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 708.534.4900 or dial 911.

  • Mental Health Contact Information Disclosure

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    In January 2016, the State of Illinois enacted a new law (Public Act 099-0278) that allows students the opportunity to authorize a person to contact for mental health emergencies. This individual would be outside the emergency contact person you provided when you enrolled in the university. This mental health emergency contact will be used should you experience a mental health crisis where you are determined to pose a clear danger to yourself or others.

    More information about your right to designate a mental health emergency contact is available through the Counseling Center. 

  • Parent/Guardian Notification

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    GSU is committed to providing a safe campus environment that enhances student learning and development. The campus acknowledges the important role of parents and families in supporting and facilitating their student's success in college.

    In accordance with federal law, GSU may notify a student’s parents of the student’s violation of federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the University regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the student is under age 21 at the time of the notification and if GSU has determined that the student has violated university policy.

  • Reasonable Accomodations of Religious Observances

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    Governors State University will not discriminate against students for observing religious holidays and will reasonably accommodate the religious observances of individual students in regard to admission, class attendance, as well as the scheduling of examinations and academic work requirements.

    The full policy is detailed in Reasonable Accommodation for Students' Religious Observances (Policy 38).

  • Sexual Misconduct (Title IX)

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    If you experience sexual misconduct or know someone who has, we encourage you to report it so that we can help create a university community free of any such conduct. Sexual misconduct can include sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating/domestic violence, or other sexual violence.

    Information about the Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) policy and procedures is available on the Title IX Website.

  • Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Campus

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    In accordance with (110 ILCS 64/) the Smoke-Free Campus Act, as of July 1, 2015, Governors State University prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products indoors and outdoors on campus property, including parking lots and in parked cars. Littering the remains of tobacco products or any other related waste product on campus property is further prohibited.

    For more information please review the GSU Smoke Free Policy.

  • Student Athlete Handbook

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    Student Athletes can review information about the athletic program, including academic, behavioral, and compliance requirements in the Student Athlete Handbook.

  • Student Privacy (FERPA)

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    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student information maintained by the university. FERPA deals with the release of your student education record and ffords you certain rights with respect to your education records.

    Questions about FERPA, including waivers to share information with parents/families, should be directed to the Registrar.

  • University Housing Handbook

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    University Housing publishes the Housing Handbook with information about key policies, residence hall security features and other important housing information about living on campus.