Student Organization/RSO Conduct Procedures

General Statement  
  • Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) of the University are required to comply with the regulations of the University. 
  • All student organizations, including but not limited to societies, fraternities, sororities, clubs and similar groups of students which are affiliated with, recognized by, or which use the facilities under the jurisdiction of USG institutions, are responsible for enforcing compliance with local, state, and federal law by all persons attending or participating in their respective functions and affairs, social or otherwise as directed by Board of Regents Policy 4.6.3. 
  • The right of provisional organizations to operate may be revoked upon an adverse finding during the investigation phase.  In cases of revocation of provisional status, there is no institutional appeal of the decision. 
Initiation and Evaluation of Complaint 
  • Complaints against an RSO for an alleged violation of policy or the Code of Conduct should be provided in writing to the Director of Student Engagement and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, who shall conduct an inquiry and investigation into the alleged violation. 
Adjudication Options 
  • In cases where is it further determined that a violation of the Code of Conduct may have occurred, the Director of Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs shall issue a formal charging document to the designated president/student leader of the RSO and the designated RSO advisor(s), with appropriate sanctions. 
    • The RSO may accept responsibility for the violation, accept the sanction, and waive their hearing and appeal rights in the case. 
    • The RSO may deny responsibility for the violation and request a hearing on the case. 
  • In cases where it is determined that there is not enough information to determine whether a violation occurred, the designated president/student leader of the RSO and the designated RSO advisor(s) will be notified of the allegation and the dismissal of the case.  
Hearing Process/Resolution 
  • After both parties (complainant and a student representative of the RSO as the respondent) have had an opportunity to present their side of the case, the hearing body will, in a closed session, deliberate and reach a decision regarding the responsibility of the respondent related to the violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 
    • In cases heard by a Student Conduct Hearing Panel, a majority vote is necessary to reach a decision regardless of the quorum. 
  • During deliberation, the hearing body will make a decision based on whether it is more likely than not that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred. 
  • If the RSO is found responsible for the alleged violation, the hearing body will determine an appropriate sanction. 
    • The hearing body may review prior student conduct history related to the RSO only after reaching a determination of responsibility in the current case. 
  • If the RSO is found not responsible, the Hearing Officer will notify the president/student leader of the RSO and the designated RSO advisor(s) of the decision and the case will be closed. 
  • The Hearing Body shall base their decision and finding on a preponderance of the evidence.   That is, whether it is more likely than not that a violation of the Code has occurred. 
  • Following a hearing both the respondent and the complainant shall be provided a written decision via institutional email of the outcome and any resulting sanctions.  The decision shall include details as to how to appeal. 
  • In determining the severity of sanctions or corrective actions the following should be considered:  the frequency, severity, and/or nature of the offense; history of past conduct; an offender’s willingness to accept responsibility; previous institutional response to similar conduct; strength of the evidence; and the wellbeing of the university community. 
  • Possible sanctions for RSOs, (including those noted in the Behavioral Conduct Procedures above) include but are not limited to: 
    • Educational or learning objectives as a result of the violation
    • Community Service
    • Suspension or cancellation of recognized status
    • Imposition of monetary fines 
    • Withholding or withdrawal of allocated COA funds and/or Dues Account funds
    • Imposition of restitution for damages
    • Removal of any RSO officers or members from the RSO and its activities
    • Restriction of any privileges or rights enjoyed by an RSO. 
  • An RSO found responsible for a violation of the Code of Conduct, regardless of the sanction, shall have the right to appeal the outcome on any of the following grounds: 
    • To consider new information, sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known or knowable to the person appealing during the time of the original hearing. 
    • To allege a procedural error within the hearing process that may have substantially impacted the fairness of the hearing, including, but not limited to, whether any hearing questions were improperly excluded, whether the decision was tainted by bias, or whether there was a violation of the student’s due process. 
    • To allege that the finding or sanction was inconsistent with the weight of the information. 
  • Appeals may be made by the RSO for the above reasons in any case where sanctions are/were issued by a Hearing Panel or Hearing Officer – even those in which such sanctions are held “in abeyance,” such as probationary suspension or expulsion. 
  • The appeal must be made in writing, and must set forth one or more of the bases outlined above, and must be submitted within five (5) University business days of the date of the final written outcome decision. 
  • Appeals shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the respondent, complainant, or witnesses will be held. 
  • The Student Conduct Officer will convene an Appeals Body.   This Appeals Body may be a Hearing Officer or a Hearing Panel, neither of which shall be comprised of any individual involved in the original hearing.  These proceedings will be held within five (5) University business days of the receipt of the written appeal by the respondent. 
    • In rare cases, the Student Conduct Officer may ask for an additional five (5) University business days when it may be challenging to coordinate availability of the Appeals Body. 
  • The Appeals Body will make one of the following decisions: 
    • Affirm the original finding and sanction. 
    • Affirm the original finding but issue a new sanctions of lesser severity. 
    • Remand the case back to the original decision-maker to correct a procedural or factual defect. 
    • Reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. 
  • The Student Conduct Officer shall issue a decision in writing to the respondent and complainant within five (5) University business days of the Appeal Body’s decision. 
  • This is the final appeal at the institutional level. 
  • Should the RSO wish to appeal this final decision, they may request review by the Board of Regents in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Policy on Discretionary Review. 
    • Applications for review shall be submitted in writing to the University System Office of Legal Affairs within 20 calendar days following the final institution decision. 
    • Information about this application can be found at in the Board of Regents Policy Manual 6.26