Organizational Misconduct

Charges and procedures for student organizations follow the same guidelines described for individual students in the Code of Conduct. For the following procedural aspects, there are differences noted for student organizations. The following procedures will be used to address reports received that allege violations of the Code of Conduct and Honor Code by Student Organizations.

Organizational Responsibility

Although not all acts of individual group members can or should be attributable to the group, any group or collection of its members acting in concert should be held responsible for its actions. A student organization may be held responsible for violation(s) of the Code of Conduct or Honor Code by the organization or its member(s) when the violation(s):

  • Takes place at an event that the organization has, formally or informally, sponsored, co-sponsored, planned, financed, or endorsed;
  • Occurs on the premises owned or operated by the group or its members; or
  • Have received consent or encouragement, whether implied or formal, of the organization or of the organization’s leaders or officers;

All the factors and circumstances surrounding the specific incident will be reviewed and evaluated. The standard of proof applied is preponderance of the evidence.

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Initial Review

The University strives to work in partnership with the national or international offices of a student organization. To that end, the University may notify the national office of alleged organizational misconduct at any point in the process. Additionally, the University recognizes the right of a national or international office to initiate its own proceedings regarding alleged organizational misconduct. To the degree the University believes it is appropriate, the University will honor any sanctions imposed by the national or international office of a student organization as additions to any sanctions the University imposed.

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Investigation

A notice of investigation will be provided to the President on record for the organization and the Associate Dean of Students, Student Engagement, or designee.
Investigation procedures may differ from those described above. The investigator, in consultation with the Offices of Student Engagement and Student Conduct, may choose any combination of the following techniques, or others not defined here:

  1. Individual interviews with selected members of the organization
  2. Facilitated discussion with the leadership and other selected members of the organization
  3. Group sequester with individual interviews

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Notice

When a report has been filed and has not been dismissed following the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct or a designee’s initial review and does not require investigation, the student organization’s President on record will receive written notification (sent via electronic mail to WFU student address) of the allegations from the Office of the Dean of Students. That notification will include the date of the report, the alleged conduct regulation violation(s), a brief summary of the alleged behavior, an electronic link to the Code of Conduct. Additionally, the chair of the Student Life Committee will be notified of the charges.

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Formal Resolution

All incidents resolved through a Formal Resolution require a hearing panel be convened.

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Sanctions

In addition to the sanctions listed for individual students, the following sanctions will be considered when an organization is found responsible.

  • Recommendation for Charter Revocation: An official request to a national office that the local chapter’s charter be revoked.
  • Revocation of University Recognition: Permanent severance of the organization’s relationship with the University.
  • Suspension of University Recognition: Removal of the organization’s recognition by the University for a specific period of time. The period of time and any requirements, which must be satisfied prior to re-recognition, may be specified in the decision of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel.
  • Deferred Suspension of University Recognition: Removal of the organization’s recognition by the University is deferred pending the completion of requirements specified in the decision of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel. An additional finding of responsibility during the suspension period will result in suspension or revocation of University Recognition.
  • Probation: A status imposed on a student group or organization for a specific period of time to allow the group to demonstrate the ability to abide by University policies and expectations. The organization’s behavior during the period will fall under greater scrutiny and any policy violations committed during the probation period may result in additional or more serious sanctions.
  • Restitution: Reimbursement for a loss caused by the organization’s actions.
  • Restrictions: Restriction or removal of some or all of the organization’s activities or privileges, including, but not limited to, social, recruitment, and lounge privileges.
  • Other Educational Sanctions: Projects or assignments designed to educate an organization and its members in connection with the effect of its member’s actions.  Educational assignments include, but are not limited to, alcohol awareness programs, and/or risk management programs.

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Appeals

Groups may request an appeal to the Student Life Committee within 10 calendar days from the date of the notification of the decision. Appeals are directed to the chair of the Student Life Committee.
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