A recognized student organization and/or its members collectively or individually (when acting as part of the organization), may be held responsible for violations of the Code and, when appropriate, be subjected to disciplinary action. When a student organization is accused of committing a violation of University policy, (including but not limited to any violation of published University policies and procedures) or local, state or federal laws, a complaint may be filed with Office of Student Life. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director of Student Life (or his/her designee) shall conduct an investigation and determine if a hearing will be held regarding the complaint.
a. When the accused organization is a fraternity or sorority, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director of Student Life may choose to refer the case to the appropriate Greek governing Board (IFC, PHC or NPHC) for adjudication.
b. If it is determined that the alleged violations are by individuals but not collectively by the organization, the case will be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards for adjudication.
c. If an organization is accused of a severe policy or risk management violation (including but not limited to hazing, fighting, or other physical violence, or egregious violation involving alcohol or illegal drugs) the adjudication for the organization can be handled through an administrative hearing by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director of Student Life or appropriate Student Life staff member.
d. If the allegation involves club sports, the administrative hearing will be done in consultation with the Director of Recreation Services or his/her designee.
e. All other cases may be referred to the Student Organization Hearing Board for adjudication.
6.4.1 Adjudication Procedures
If a formal hearing is warranted, the following procedures apply for disciplinary cases involving a student organization:
a. Selection of Hearing Board. The Hearing Board will consist of five (5) members, three (3) to be selected from the Judicial Court of the Student Government Association, one (1) member being a current faculty/staff advisor of a recognized student organization and one (1) Student Affairs and Enrollment Services professional staff member selected in consultation with the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. A chairperson will be selected from within the committee. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life (or his/her designee) will serve as an advisor and ex-officio member to the Board, will take minutes and will answer procedural questions but will not vote.
b. Quorum. Four (4) of the five (5) voting members of the Hearing Board must be present to constitute a quorum.
c. Notice of Hearing. The President or highest-ranking officer of the student organization shall be notified in writing by the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least three (3) business days before the hearing. The notice shall also include a statement of the allegations of policy violations and information regarding the student organization’s rights in the hearing.
d. Absence of the Accused Organization. The accused student organization may choose not to attend the hearing and may instead submit a written presentation of its case. The hearing may proceed in the absence of the accused. By such absence; the accused organization forfeits its right to question witnesses.
e. Witnesses. The representative officer of the accused student organization, the complainant, and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life or his/her designee may invite persons who have information relevant to the accusation to present testimony at the hearing; however, the chairperson of the Hearing Board may limit the number of witnesses to avoid repetition and cumulative testimony. The Board may also limit the testimony of character witnesses to the sanctioning phase of the hearing. The names of witnesses and written disclosure of the main points of their testimony must be provided to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing. Each party shall be responsible for insuring the presence of his/her witnesses at the hearing and shall be prohibited from submitting a written statement in lieu of personal testimony, unless otherwise permitted by the Hearing Board to do so as a result of extenuating circumstances. Witnesses invited by either party shall be present only while they are testifying.
f. Student Organization Assistance. The officer of the student organization may be accompanied and assisted at the hearing by an advisor of the student organization’s choice, provided the advisor is an employee or student of the University. For Greek organizations, a chapter advisor and/or chapter representative may also accompany the officer. In the event a student organization faces pending criminal or civil charges based on the incident that has given rise to the University disciplinary proceedings, the organization’s attorney may accompany the officer of the student organization. The student organization must provide the name of the advisor to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life at least twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing. At no time may the advisor or attorney participate directly in the hearing proceedings. He/she may only consult with the student representing the organization.
g. Disqualification; Challenges. Any Hearing Board member may disqualify himself/herself if he or she has a conflict of interest with the case, with the accused student organization, with the complainant or when the Board member feels a personal bias makes it impossible to render a fair decision. The accused student organization or the complainant may challenge a Hearing Board member on the grounds of conflict of interest or personal bias. The decision whether to disqualify a challenged member shall be made by a majority vote of the remaining members present. If a challenge is upheld, the chairperson may, at his/her discretion, either appoint another person to fill the vacancy or direct that the vacancy not be filled. In the latter case, a quorum shall thereafter consist of the remaining members of the Hearing Board.
h. Conduct of the Hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in an informal manner and without reference to rules applicable to a court of law concerning the examination of witnesses and admissibility of evidence, but with a view toward providing the Hearing Board with a complete understanding of the facts involved. Irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded. The hearing and the deliberations of the Hearing Board shall be private. The Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life shall make a record of the hearing which may be reviewed in that office by a designated representative of the accused student organization upon request. Decisions of the Hearing Board shall be made by majority vote.
i. Continuances. The Hearing Board, by majority vote, may continue the hearing to a later time.
j. Additional Rules. Procedural rules not inconsistent with these procedures may be established by the Hearing Board from time to time to fulfill its functions in an orderly manner.
The decision of the Hearing Board shall be submitted as a recommendation to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services/Director, Student Life who may do one of the following:
a. Accept the recommendation and direct that the sanctions be implemented;
b. Lessen or otherwise modify the sanctions imposed by the Hearing Board;
c. Refer the case back to the Hearing Board for further consideration of sanctions.
6.4.3 Appeal Process
a. Appellate Review. The appellate review will be based on the information and materials in the case file; a summary of the evidence submitted; findings and recommendations; the student organization’s written request for an appellate review; and the record of the hearing.
b. A student organization may appeal the result of an administrative hearing decision to the next level administrator.
c. Decisions by the Hearing Board may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services & Dean of Students or his/her designee.
d. In both cases, the student organization has five (5) business days from receipt of the original decision in which to submit an appeal in writing.
e. The organization may appeal based on the following reasons:
1) A substantial procedural error that unreasonably impaired the student organization or the hearing body.
2) An unduly harsh sanction against the accused student organization.
3) New information of a substantive nature not available at the original hearing.
4) Information of substantial bias on the part of the disciplinary body hearing the case.
f. An appeal may be resolved in one of the following ways:
1) The original decision may be upheld.
2) Modified sanctions, either greater or lesser, may be imposed.
3) The case may be remanded back for a new hearing.
4) All allegations may be dismissed.
g. Appeal decisions shall be based solely upon the written documentation of the incident and a written statement of appeal from the organization.
h. The appellate decision shall be final and will not be subject to any further appeal.