GLA Code of Conduct
All participants are expected to follow the Code of Conduct at all times.
Introduction to the Code of Conduct
While participating in a GLA program, students are expected to act in a way that is respectful to the local community, promotes the educational goals of the program and ensures the safety of all students. In order to achieve this, we have created a Code of Conduct that all students are expected to follow.
Due to safety reasons, leaving the GLA Home Base without permission or supervision, or abandoning the group while out in the community is grounds for expulsion. Because students are living in a country different from their own, student must always remain with the group or with a program staff member. At clearly defined times program staff may allow students to move freely within a pre-defined area, accompanied by a fellow student. At times during unstructured time students may be amongst themselves and not overseen by GLA program staff. During such times it is especially important that the student respect the safety rules and guidelines and exercise caution and good judgement in order to provide his or her safety and wellbeing. The student understands that they are not allowed to leave the group while outside the Home Base without permission from GLA Program Staff. If the Student chooses to leave the group at any time without first notifying staff, they may be asked to leave the program early due to safety reasons. If a Student needs to stay back at Home Base for any reason, he or she should approach a staff member to discuss their needs rather than staying back without informing staff.
Personal Safety & Wellbeing
Students must be responsible for their personal safety and wellbeing. This includes taking prescriptions as advised by their doctor, staying hydrated, putting on sunscreen, using insect repellent (if advised for location), wearing culturally and weather appropriate attire, eating three meals per day, and discussing any concerns, needs, or ailments directly with Program Staff. Students must display respectful listening and follow all rules set forth by any Program Staff or adult in charge of the group.
No Tolerance of Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Other Drugs
The possession, consumption, attempted sale or purchase of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or any illicit or illegal drugs, or assisting others to engage in such activity, is strictly prohibited during the program – even if permitted by local laws or by laws of the student’s home country, and any violation of this rule may result in immediate expulsion from the program based GLA’s best judgement and understanding of the situation. Program staff reserves the right to search student belongings at their discretion in cases where drug, tobacco or alcohol possession is suspected. Smoking tobacco, vaping products of any kind, using tobacco products is prohibited on all GLA programs, even with parental consent. Items that are in violation of the no tolerance policy will be confiscated by staff and will not be returned to the Student. Students are responsible for reporting any serious misconduct that they witness to a program staff member. If a student chooses not to report, they are also in violation of the Code of Conduct and the situation will be handled accordingly.
Knives and Other Weapons
Knives, slingshots, machetes, and other items that can be utilized as weapons are not allowed on GLA programs. In addition, because of risk to home base and infrastructure, matches and lighters are also prohibited. Students may not purchase these items as souvenirs while in country unless express parental consent is given directly to Terra; in these cases, program staff may opt to hold the item in question until the student departs from the program.
No body alterations, including tattoos or piercings are to be obtained while on a GLA program, even with parental consent.
Sex and Sexual Acts and Sexual Harassment
In order to promote an experience that is safe and inclusive of all students, and also respectful of local cultural norms, students are not permitted to engage in sexual acts during GLA programs. Students are not allowed to enter the sleeping quarters of those of the opposite gender or any room not assigned to them, unless given direct permission by a program staff member. Doing so will result in consequences that could lead to dismissal from the program. Students will refrain from engaging in inappropriate actions while on the program to ensure emotional and physical safety for all participants, and are encouraged to report any meaningful violations directly to staff members. Inappropriate actions include without limitation: Gender harassment, seductive behavior or imposition, solicitation of sexual activity by promise of reward or threat of punishment, assault, unwanted physical contact, comments or actions which criticize a person based upon gender or sexuality, whistling or making animalistic noises towards an individual, repeatedly standing too close or brushing up against a person, giving gifts or leaving objects that are sexually suggestive, repeatedly asking a person to socialize when he/she has said no or has indicated disinterest, or the display and/or distribution (virtually or physically) of offensive, sexually graphic materials.
Students are only allowed to swim under adult supervision. Students must obey all rules laid out by lifeguards or supervisory staff. Students may not swim alone or participate in any unauthorized water sport. All programs may require that students pass a swim test to participate in water-based activities.
Respect of Local Cultural Norms
Students must respect the local cultural norms. Pre-departure Travel Coordinators and Program staff will advise students about culturally appropriate behavior and clothing, and students must comply. Adhering to local dress codes is a crucial element in maintaining strong relationships with the communities with whom we work. Students will often be interacting in a foreign language during program and should practice patience and respect in these engagements.
GLA strives to create an environment that encourages students to unplug and forge connections between fellow students and the local community. Cell phones, electronics, and Wi-Fi access create distractions that affect students’ ability to be present and fully process their experience abroad. Cell phones, including pre-purchased data plans and talk, may be used only at times designated by staff. Designated times vary greatly by program structure and will be introduced at the beginning of the program by staff. If cell phone use is causing a distraction, affecting the group dynamic, or is contributing to disrespectful or disengaged behavior, staff will limit access to phones and may confiscate phones or other electronic devices. Use of phones and electronic devices will never be allowed during meals, Mentor groups, leadership workshops, or during service activities and may be collected by staff during these times for the duration or certain times of the program.
Respect for GLA Program Staff and Students
Students must show decency, civility, and respect towards each other and GLA program staff members. The use of insensitive or otherwise offensive language or behavior or engaging in behavior disruptive to the goals of the program may be grounds for disciplinary action. GLA students come from all walks of life and GLA embraces diversity and actively fosters a culture of acceptance, inclusivity and tolerance, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status. The use of bullying tactics before, during, or after program start which include insensitive or otherwise offensive language or behavior or engaging in behavior disruptive to the goals of the program may be grounds for disciplinary action. We define bullying as harassment, intimidation or any act intended to exclude or cause harm to another personal physically or psychologically. Verbal or physical threats of violence towards other students or program staff and/or play fighting will not be tolerated, and will result in immediate removal from the program.
Commitment to the Program
Students must be committed to the program. This means students will approach all program activities with an open mind and will participate in all aspects of the program. Students recognize that credit for community service hours are earned and not automatically rewarded. GLA may reduce service hours in response to violation of the Code of Conduct or lack of participation in the program.
Violations of the Code of Conduct will trigger disciplinary action which could include expulsion from the GLA program or a complete elimination or reduction of credited community service hours.
While most Code of Conduct violations result in immediate expulsion from the program, there may be instances where a verbal warning or written contract may precede expulsion when deemed appropriate by Program Staff. In the case of expulsion, the student will be sent home on the next available flight at the expense of the student’s parents or legal guardians, even if there is only one day remaining in the program without refund.