Appendix B

Main Content

Registered Student Organization (RSO) Conduct

  1. Procedures for Responding to Allegations Against an RSO
    1. Intake and Review. Upon receipt of a report that an RSO may have engaged in misconduct, the Director of the Office for Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR), or their designee, will evaluate that report to determine whether the allegations, if substantiated, would constitute a violation of University policy. If not, the Director will close the case but may share the content of the report with other staff and/or units as appropriate. If the report does describe a possible policy violation, the Director will then evaluate the content, detail, and general credibility of the report to determine whether an informal resolution (see §I.B below), a formal case coordinator investigation (see §I.C below), or a full team investigation (see §I.D below) is most appropriate.
    2. Informal Resolution. If the Director determines that the report lacks sufficient detail and/or credibility to justify formal charges, the Director will assign the case to a case coordinator (CC) for informal resolution. Examples of informal resolutions include organizational self-investigations, educational conversations, and mediations. Although OSCR (and other appropriate offices) may retain a record of an informal resolution, these records will not constitute formal disciplinary history for the RSO.
    3. Case Coordinator Investigation. If the Director determines that the report is sufficiently detailed and credible to warrant formal charges and, after evaluating the complexity of the case, decides that a single CC can fully investigate the matter in a timely manner, the Director will assign the case to a case coordinator for investigation. The CC will conduct preliminary interviews as appropriate, notify the RSO of the allegations, interview the leadership of the organization, gather documentation, and conduct any additional interviews deemed necessary and appropriate. The CC will then either issue a decision per §II below or complete an investigative report for submission to the Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct.
    4. Team Investigation. If the Director determines that the report is sufficiently detailed and credible to warrant formal charges and, after evaluating the complexity of the case, decides that a single CC cannot fully investigate the matter in a timely manner, the Director will designate an OSCR staff member as the Investigation Coordinator, who will proceed with a Team Investigation. The concepts and procedures associated with a Team Investigation are as follows:
      1. Investigators. Investigators in a Team Investigation are designated staff, faculty, or graduate assistants responsible for conducting fact-finding investigations into RSO misconduct. Investigators are selected by the Director and trained by OSCR staff. Investigator training focuses on the education of current university policies and emphasizes fact-finding with efficient and effective techniques to swiftly move cases forward after an incident has been reported. Investigator selection may be conducted on an as-needed or cyclical basis as determined by OSCR.
      2. Organization Category Experts. Some Investigators will be designated as Organization Category Experts (OCEs). These individuals will have a higher level of knowledge and/or experience of a specific RSO category and are intended to provide clarity and advocacy during an investigation of such RSOs. OCEs may be staff members from specialized units related to the category of the organization or their designees. If possible, there should be OCEs for the following RSO categories: Academic/Pre-Professional (including professional fraternities), Club Sports, Cultural/Ethnic, International, Religious, Residence Life, ROTC, Social Fraternities & Sororities, and Student Government & College Councils.
      3. Investigation Team. The Investigation Coordinator shall assemble an Investigation Team of two or more Investigators based on the complexity of the investigation. The Investigation Coordinator may either serve in a consultative role in the investigation or be a participating member of the Investigation Team, as determined by the Director. If an OCE is available for the category of RSO under investigation, one or more should be included on the Investigation Team.
      4. Investigation Process. The fundamental charge of the Investigation Team is to provide OSCR with facts and statements so that they may determine next steps in the organization conduct process. After receiving an investigation charge from the Investigator Coordinator, the Investigation Team will immediately begin their investigation by reviewing submitted material/evidence; conducting interviews of witnesses, the leadership of the organization, and any other individuals with knowledge relevant to the case; and gathering additional documentation.
      5. Timeline. Typical investigations should take no longer than ten business days to complete. If the Investigation Team requires additional time, they must request and receive an extension from the Investigation Coordinator.
      6. Investigative Report. Upon conclusion of their investigation, the Investigation Team will submit an Investigative Report to the Director. This report shall contain copies of evidence and materials gathered during the investigation, summaries and/or written transcripts of interviews, and a compilation of all information discovered during the investigation. The Director will then determine whether the report will be submitted to a CC or the Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct for adjudication.
    5. Interim Suspension. The Dean of Students, or their designee, may impose an interim suspension on an RSO who is under investigation and whose alleged conduct poses a significant risk to student health and/or safety. At the Dean’s discretion, interim suspension may restrict some or all RSO activities.
      1. Notice. If the Dean of Students, or their designee, determines that interim suspension is appropriate, they will immediately notify the RSO and other appropriate parties (e.g. the RSO advisor, any parent/national organization, or relevant university departments) in writing of the interim suspension, including the reason(s) for the interim suspension and the scope of the interim suspension.
      2. Duration. Interim suspension shall persist until the case is decided by the appropriate hearing body unless information gathered through the course of the investigation demonstrates that student health and safety is no longer at significant risk. The staff conducting the investigation shall make a recommendation to the Dean of Students for the removal of interim suspension in such instances, though the interim suspension will remain in effect until the Dean has notified the RSO in writing that it has been lifted.
  2. Case Coordinator (CC) Decisions
    1. Jurisdiction. University case coordinators who have been designated by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline are empowered to adjudicate RSO cases in which the allegations, if substantiated, would not result in revocation of RSO status. Such case coordinators may only issue sanctions up to, and including, Conduct Probation.
    2. Deliberation. The CC assigned to adjudicate a given RSO case will review the results of the investigation and determine whether it is more likely true than not true that the RSO has violated the Student Code. If a violation is found, the CC will then select the most appropriate formal sanction and any number of appropriate educational sanctions and/or restrictions (see §IV below).
    3. Notice of Action Taken. The CC will then communicate the decision to the RSO in writing. If the RSO has been found in violation, this written communication will include information about the RSO’s right to appeal the decision in accordance with §V below.
  3. Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct Decisions
    1. Jurisdiction. The Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct is responsible for adjudicating RSO cases in which the allegations, if substantiated, could result in revocation of RSO status.
    2. Procedures. Unless otherwise noted in this appendix, the procedures of the Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct are substantially similar to those outlined in Article II, Section 2.06 of the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
    3. Member Selection.
      1. The subcommittee shall consist of faculty, staff, and students.
      2. All members of the Subcommittees on Undergraduate and Graduate Student Conduct are also members the Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct.
      3. Additional faculty and staff members of the subcommittee shall be appointed as needed by the Vice Chancellor with the approval of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline.
    4. Quorum Requirements.
      1. Quorum for hearings shall be no less than three (3) voting members. The hearing committee must consist of at least one (1) faculty/staff member and one (1) student. Each hearing committee will be chaired by a faculty/staff member, and the chair counts towards quorum.
  4. Actions Possible in Organizational Conduct Cases
    1. When determining whether an organization has violated a university policy, decision-makers have the following options:
      1. Finding of No Violation. This action can occur at any stage of the procedure. If a finding of no violation occurs, the organization has no disciplinary history. This information will not be considered in future proceedings.
      2. Charge(s) Dropped. This action shall be taken when the CC or the hearing committee determines that the organization cannot be found in violation of the university's regulations governing organization conduct. The behavior may have been unrelated to the rules of conduct, evidence may be unobtainable or insufficient, etc. A dropped charge may be reinstated within one calendar year of the date it was dropped if substantial new information should become available. If a charge is dropped, the organization has no disciplinary history related to it.
      3. Finding of Violation. This action occurs when the CC or hearing committee has established that a policy of the Student Code has been violated based on a preponderance of the evidence.
    2. Formal Sanction Options.
      1. University Reprimand. A University Reprimand indicates that the organization’s behavior is inappropriate for a member of the academic community. A University Reprimand is maintained in the organization’s disciplinary file for one year and would serve as a basis for further sanctioning should subsequent violations occur.
      2. University Censure. A University Censure in an official communication that an organization’s behavior is inappropriate for a member of the academic community. A University Censure is maintained in the organization’s disciplinary file for four years and would serve as a basis for further sanctioning should subsequent violations occur.
      3. Conduct Probation. Conduct Probation is a strong communication that an organization student is no longer in good disciplinary standing with the academic community, and that, if the organization fails to comply with any assigned sanctions or otherwise violates the Student Code while on probation, that organization should expect to have their status as an RSO revoked. Conduct Probation records are maintained for seven years after the end of the probationary period.
      4. Revocation. Revocation of registered organization status shall be imposed upon an organization when the hearing body determines that the organization’s relationship with the university should be terminated. When Revocation is imposed, the hearing committee will specify a minimum duration for the sanction. After this time has elapsed, the original hearing body may consider formal requests for permission to pursue registration. Revocation records are maintained indefinitely.
      5. Formal Sanction Held in Abeyance. In rare cases, the Senate Committee, appropriate subcommittee, or CC may determine that a certain sanction is the appropriate formal sanction for an organization, but strong mitigating circumstances warrant holding the formal sanction in abeyance. The organization will continue to be recognized under restrictions and conditions. An organization found to have violated the conditions or restrictions of a formal sanction held in abeyance will minimally have the formal sanction imposed. Formal sanctions held in abeyance for organizations must include an expiration date.
    3. Other Conditions or Restrictions.
      1. Other educational sanctions. This may include but is not limited to mandated service to the community, educational programs, research and reflective essays, presentations to the community, restitution, letters of apology, or other related discretionary sanctions.
      2. Restrictions. The organization may be restricted from certain activities (e.g. serving alcohol at social events; participation in university activities and events; recruitment, or other restrictions deemed just and appropriate).
    4. The Senate Committee on Student Discipline may authorize any other sanctions it deems to be just and appropriate.
  5. Appeals
    1. Jurisdiction. The Director accepts all appeals of disciplinary decisions issued to an RSO by a case coordinator. If the Director has a conflict of interest with respect to an appellant, the appeal will instead be decided by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. The Senate Committee on Student Discipline accepts appeals of all disciplinary decisions issued by the Subcommittee on Organizational Conduct.
    2. How to Appeal. An RSO that has been found in violation of the Student Code may appeal that decision by submitting a written Notice of Appeal to the Office for Student Conflict Resolution within five business days of the original decision. The Notice of Appeal must contain at least the following: (1) specific grounds for appeal (see below); (2) specific relief requested; and (3) appellant's reasons in support of the grounds selected and the relief requested.
    3. Grounds for Appeal. The appellant RSO must base the appeal exclusively on one or more of the grounds below:
      1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter.
      2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter.
      3. The CC or hearing committee members had a conflict of interest or bias that affected the outcome of the matter.
      4. Any sanctions imposed by the hearing body were not appropriate for the violation(s) for which the RSO was found responsible.
    4. Appeal Procedures. Unless otherwise noted in this appendix, the appeal procedures of in RSO cases are substantially similar to those outlined in Article III of the Student Disciplinary Procedures.
  6. Additional Information
    1. National/Parent Organizations. If an RSO is affiliated with a national or parent organization, OSCR, assigned investigators, and other applicable offices reserve the right to communicate with that organization about relevant allegations, investigations, and outcomes, provided such communications are in compliance with FERPA.
    2. Definition of an RSO Event. For purposes of holding RSOs accountable, the university considers an RSO event to be:
      1. Any activity sponsored and/or hosted by the RSO and about which members and/or the public are notified (formally or informally);
      2. Any activity funded by the RSO; or
      3. Any activity reasonably associated with the RSO through, for example, the actions of its members.

      An RSO event may occur on or off campus, including online. And an RSO event is not determined by the number of members present or participating. Lastly, the university may pursue disciplinary action against one or more individuals and an RSO for the same incident, and the responsibility for the individual(s) and the RSO will be assessed independently.

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