Student organizations are collectively responsible for any actions committed by members that serve to reflect upon the organization as a whole or upon the University community. Disciplinary action against organizations is separate from disciplinary action taken against individuals, and the facts of an incident may necessitate action against both an organization and its individual members.
When a report of a possible Code of Student Conduct violation is received, the president(s) of the registered student organization(s) (RSO) involved are contacted and provided with the opportunity to schedule a required meeting with a staff member, or Case Manager, to share the RSO’s version of the event(s) in question. The nature of the conflict determines who a student may meet with in this initial intake meeting. In either case, the RSO president(s), or representative, is asked to aid the Case Manager in determining an appropriate educational response by offering information that is both truthful and complete.
As a result of the dialogue in the meeting, the staff member may dismiss the complaint if it is determined that the initial report lacks substance, is unsupported based on the new information or falls outside the purview of the Code of Student Conduct. If it is determined that the alleged conduct would constitute a violation of the Code, then the RSO will be provided with an opportunity to accept responsibility and resolve the matter informally. A written informal resolution offer will be presented for the RSO president to take back to the organization for their review, and a follow-up meeting will be scheduled for within 7 days of the initial meeting. The RSO members may decide not to accept responsibility, or feel that the offered resolution is unacceptable, in which case they may decide to use the formal process to resolve the matter. It is possible that the Case Manager may be unable to offer an informal resolution if there are conflicting versions of the events which would result in the situation being addressed through the formal process.
Every RSO is guaranteed rights under the Code of Student Conduct and charged with responsibilities within the process as well. For a complete listing of these rights, please refer to the Code of Student Conduct.
Should a RSO determine that they are dissatisfied with the informal resolution offered to them, or if the case manager is unable to determine what occurred in the situation, then the formal resolution process is necessary. RSOs have the option of taking the case before the University Hearing Panel, where a group of three members of the University community would hear the case and determine the outcome. Faculty, staff and students are approved by the Student Government Association and/or Academic Senate to serve on the University Hearing Panel. A student member of a peer-type RSO, a student who is not a member of a peer-type RSO and a faculty/staff member are selected for the hearing. The Code of Student Conduct further states all of the specific information about how the University Hearing Panel is selected and functions. After reviewing the Code, if the RSO leadership still have questions about the UHP process, then they are encouraged to contact Community Rights and Responsibilities for a meeting with a staff member to clarify.
In either case, information and witnesses on behalf of the complaint will be presented in the hearing. Then, the RSO is provided with the ability to provide information, including witnesses, in response to the charge(s) of alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct. Once all of the information has been presented, the UHP will move to closed session for determining whether a violation(s) occurred and what the appropriate response will be from the Community. For information about how the hearings flow, please reference the respective scripts below.
When registered student organizations (RSO) are found in violation of University regulations, educational outcomes or sanctions will be imposed. The purpose of sanctioning is to educate the membership of the RSO as to why their behavior is inappropriate, as well as to make the members aware of and sensitive to all the possible consequences of the behavior in question. Sanctions for misconduct will be determined on a case to case basis, utilizing three main criteria: a) the nature of the offense; b) the precedent established at the University for similar offenses, and; c) the previous disciplinary history of the RSO, as well as the membership's attitude and behavior throughout the resolution process.
Sanctions shall always be comprised of two components: a) an "inactive sanction" or written sanction (Censure, Disciplinary Probation, Deferred Disciplinary Suspension, Disciplinary Suspension, or Disciplinary Dismissal), as well as; b) an "active sanction" or educational outcome, requiring the student the student's active participation. RSO representatives are encouraged to review the Code of Student Conduct for information regarding types of sanctions which may be imposed.
A registered student organization can have up to five advisors present with the two representatives at any stage in the conduct process, whether a parent, member of the University community, faculty/staff advisor, chapter advisor or attorney. Registered student organizations who are affiliated with an national or international organization may have one additional advisor present. However, advisors may not speak in the formal resolution process, rather they may only communicate with the representative(s) of registered student organization. Registered student organizations and their advisors should refer to the Code of Student Conduct for more information about the role of the advisor(s) in the process.