Recognized Student Organization Conduct Process
Effective: September 1, 2020
Summer Annual Review
Referral to the office of Student Conduct & Community Standards: Individual Recognized Student Organization (RSO) members may be referred to the office of Student Conduct & Community Standards for individual student misconduct concerns under UW System Chapter 17. It is important to note, the policies and processes in this document outline organizational level misconduct. Individual conduct is another matter subject to the policies and processes of the office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.
University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) expects that students demonstrate appropriate behavior and follow state and federal laws. University of Wisconsin System Administrative Conduct Code Chapter 17 & 18 are policies that all students are expected to follow. Students are also expected to adhere to all other policies related to recognized student organizations while enrolled as a student at UWRF. These policies apply to student’s behavior both on and off campus; with UWRF adjudicating student behavioral issues through the institution's university conduct process.
At UWRF, the office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) is responsible for administering the University's conduct process. This process is outlined as follows:
1. The office of Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS) receives a report via https://www.uwrf.edu/StudentConductAndCommunityStandards/ReportingConcerns.cfm of possible non-academic misconduct. This report may be received from a number sources including but not limited to:
• University Police
• UWRF Departments
• River Falls Police Department
• Other Community Agencies
• Other UW System Schools, colleges and Universities
• Faculty, Staff, or Students
• Community members and businesses
2. Any complaint of sexual harassment or sexual violence shall be directed to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Office of Title IX, please file concern at https://www.uwrf.edu/TitleIX/
3. SCCS reviews the report to determine whether it implicates a possible policy violation(s) under UWS Administrative Conduct Code Chapter 17 or 18.
4. SCCS reviews the report to determine whether it implicates a possible policy violation(s) under UWS Administrative Conduct Code Chapter 17 or 18.
5. If SCCS determines that a policy violation may have occurred, SCCS issues the student a formal letter to the student’s UWRF e-mail account providing notice of the alleged policy violation(s) and requesting the student schedule a meeting to discuss the incident with an investigative officer of SCCS.
• It is the student's responsibility to be checking their UWRF e-mail account regularly and retrieve any communications sent to the student.
6. The student meets with an investigative officer of SCCS to discuss the incident, provide their account of what was reported, and offer any relevant information they would like considered in making a determination regarding responsibility. SCCS determines what further investigation, if any, is needed.
7. If the investigation indicates that the incident is tied to the activity of a recognized student organization, in which the recognized student organization has violated UWS Administrative Conduct Code Chapter 17/18 or the Student Involvement Policies, SCCS may reach out to the Office of Student Involvement to request a Roster list or other pertinent information to assist SCCS with furthering its investigation. Please note, RSOs will be given an overview of the policies at a mandatory meeting at the beginning of both fall and spring semester.
8. SCCS will consider all information available to them, make a decision about the individual student's responsibility in the case, and decide if the case needs to be handed over to the Recognized Student Organization Sanction Committee (RSOSC) for sanctioning related to the RSO’s action in the case.
The Recognized Student Organization Sanction Committee consists of the following staff roles:
• Associate Director of Student Involvement
• Assistant Director of Student Involvement
• Advisor of Interfraternity Council
• Advisor of College Panhellenic
• Advisor of Identity-Based Recognized Student Organizations
• Advisor of Sport Clubs
• Student Government Association—University Center Committee Appointed Student Representative
9. If determined the findings will go to the RSOSC, then SCCS will deliver its report relating to the RSO from their investigation to the Associate Director of Student Involvement for review. Student Involvement does not release the SCCS report to any third parties.
10. The Associate Director of Student Involvement will call a meeting of the RSOSC members to begin the review process. The RSOSC will review the possible sanctions (as listed below) and determine which sanction(s) is most appropriate (requires 2/3 vote). The RSOSC will also review the conditions during this time.
First Meeting of the RSOSC: Within fourteen (14) calendar days (excluding breaks) of receiving the investigation report including the findings from SCCS, the RSOSC will meet to review the findings from the investigation report and prepare to determine consequences and actions plans. The recognized student organization being sanctioned will receive notification from the Associate Director of Student Involvement immediately following this meeting to let the RSO leader(s) and advisor(s) know their current status.
Second Meeting of the RSOSC: Within one month after findings from SCCS have been shared with RSOSC, there will be a second meeting with RSOSC to determine the consequences and action plans. A formal written notice will be delivered to the RSO’s president and advisor outlining the Sanction and Conditions determined by the RSOSC.
A sanction is a consequence placed upon any RSO who is found in violation of UWRF Policy. Sanctions help define the RSO’s status at UWRF.
The sanctions listed below are assigned by the RSOSC based on the severity of the incident and past conduct history:
Recognized Student Organization Disciplinary Warning: A written warning that outlines why the conduct of the recognized student organization was inappropriate and warning of additional sanctions if the conduct continues.
Recognized Student Organization Disciplinary Probation: The recognized student organization will remain recognized provided it abides by all applicable laws and policies. Probation will allow the use of University of Wisconsin-River Falls facilities and resources available to all recognized student organizations. Probation signifies a warning status that any further violation of policy may result in Disciplinary Suspension or loss of University Recognition. Disciplinary Probation will be given for a specific time period; the recognized student organization will return to good standing once the time period has expired.
Recognized Student Organization Disciplinary Suspension: Resources available to recognized student organizations and the use of University facilities will be suspended. Recognized student organizations on suspension will not be allowed to meet, conduct organization business and will be held accountable for any continued misconduct of the recognized student organization. Any further violation of policy when suspension has been invoked will result in immediate loss of University Recognition. Disciplinary Suspension will be given for a specific time period after which the recognized student organization must re-apply for University Recognition. The re-application must include a plan for steps the recognized student organization has taken to eliminate the risk of future violation of policy.
Revocation of Recognized Student Organization University Recognition: The recognized student organization will officially lose recognition by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. All resources and rights enjoyed by recognized student organizations will be permanently lost. Revocation of University Recognition will occur based upon the type and severity of the misconduct. In addition, University Recognition may be revoked when a recognized student organization on Disciplinary Suspension violates University policy and/or federal, state, or local law.
Recognized Student Organization Emergency Suspension: The recognized student organization may be immediately suspended if the Senior Student Affairs Officer has reason to believe the safety of individuals or the community may be in jeopardy. Any Emergency Suspension will be followed by an investigation as outlined in this document. Emergency Suspension should be used in extraordinary circumstances and is not intended to be a long-standing condition for recognized student organizations.
Loss of Recognized Student Organization University Privileges: The recognized student organization will be prohibited from using specific resources if found in violation of abuse of such resources. Loss of University Privileges will be sanctioned for a specified time period after which the privileges will be reinstated.
Recognized Student Organization Restitution: The recognized student organization will be responsible for the cost associated with replacement or maintenance of item(s) damaged due to misconduct.
CONDITIONS (Action Plans):
With each sanction, conditions, and restorative actions may be assigned. In addition, notifications may be given to other university officials as necessary. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
Educational: Can include educational seminars, meetings, and other learning experiences. This category aims to address specific behaviors that caused a moment of incongruence.
Restorative: Can include restitution, letter of apology, mediation, talking circle, community service, and topical presentations. This category aims to address the person and/or community affected by the behavior.
Reflective: Can include reflection papers, closure meetings, and potential meeting with an impacted party. This category aims to address one’s actions and the impact of those actions on others.
Wellness: Can include alcohol/drug education, anger management, and off-campus counseling. This category aims to address wellness of students, especially those who might want emotional support on- or off-campus.
Adapted from: https://studentaffairs.indiana.edu/student-conduct/action-plan/index.shtml
Recognized student organization leaders may appeal to the Senior Student Affairs Officer within one week after the written report is received from the Associate Director of Student Involvement. Appeals should be done in writing and should substantiate the reasons for an appeal. The Senior Student Affairs Officer shall sustain the decision unless it is found that the evidence does not support the sanction.
Reason to appeal a decision may include:
• An error in this process occurred
• Significant new evidence has become known after the sanction decision was made
• The sanctions given are too severe in the opinion of the recognized student organization leaders
If the Senior Student Affairs Officer finds the record supports the grounds for the appeal, they may invoke an appropriate remedy to settle the complaint against the recognized student organization. Records will be kept on UW-River Falls’ shared drive for the next 7 years.