View the Student Organization Incident Policies PDF here

Purpose:

The primary purposes for the existence and operation of the Student Organization Incident Policy (SOIP) will be to foster students’ personal and social development, to maintain and enhance the ethical climate on campus, and to better prepare students to handle the responsibilities of citizenship. The Department of Student Involvement works in conjunction with the Department of Student Conduct on this policy.

The Department of Student Involvement recognizes and registers student organizations. The Department of Student Involvement reserves the right to review this recognition and registration policy and the privileges associated with it at any time. The Student Organization Incident Policy (SOIP) policy describes the process used by Student Involvement to:

1. Determine if a registered student organization or officer is in violation of any Student Involvement or University policies, as well as municipal, state or federal laws.
2. Outline a procedure to be followed when an allegation of misconduct is made or of not following policy procedure.

It is important that the rights and privileges of organizations, along with the rights and obligations of the University and Student Involvement are protected.

The intent of this policy is to define the circumstances and a process to address violations should it become necessary for Student Involvement to review the conduct of a registered student organization. This process works in conjunction with the Department of Student Conduct. Student Involvement reserves the right to refer students and/or organizations to the Department of Student Conduct at any time. This policy serves as a notice to all student organizations regarding Rutgers University- Student Involvement’s right to grant, rescind, suspend, or restrict privileges of organizations and/or officers, or take other such action upon a showing of cause.

Policy Overview:

The Department of Student Involvement has established policies and expectations for student organizations seeking or wishing to maintain recognition. In return for meeting these expectations, Student Involvement provides certain services and programs designed to enhance the organization’s development and to assist in its leadership. Rutgers University and Student Involvement expects student organizations to meet these expectations and provides opportunities for student input into policies regulating these groups.

If a student organization or officer has an incident in which they violate Student Involvement or the University’s policies and/or municipal, state, or federal laws, Student Involvement and Rutgers University reserves the right to withdraw registration of the officer and/or group. In addition, Student Involvement reserves the right to deny the organization and/or officer those privileges given to Rutgers University registered organizations or to take other action as defined in this policy.

The Student Involvement Advisory Council (SIAC) is the advisory body of students responsible for adjudicating the incidents that reach the meeting stage and makes their recommendations to the Director for sanctions of those incidents. The SIAC is comprised of:
1) Associate Director of Student Involvement
2) Graduate Intern
3) Undergraduate Intern of the Advisory Council
4) At Large Member from student organizations
5) Peer Advisors of the Advisory Council

Organization Responsibilities:
This policy was created with the intent of fostering responsible conduct of Student Organizations regarding event planning, contract procedure, catering policy, alcohol policy, payment procedures, and all other activities and initiatives associated with Student Organizations.

1. All events and activities sponsored, co-sponsored, or hosted by the organization on or off the Rutgers University campus will comply in full with the regulations established in the:
Rutgers University Code of Conduct
Rutgers University Discrimination and Harassment Policy
RUSA Allocations Board
RBGA funds
SEBS allocations
• Catering Guidelines as well as any other agreements made with authorized University official regarding such events and activities here

2. Organizations will adhere to all Rutgers University policies and procedures, and local, state and federal laws. If an officer and/or organization is suspected to be in violation of any laws or policies, an investigation will ensue and the organization may lose operating privileges including, but not limited to, meeting space, event space, and account access until review is complete.

3. Student organizations must comply with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, disability, marital status, familial status, affectional or sexual orientation, or veteran status. (The prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex does not apply to social fraternities and sororities which are exempt from taxation under section 501-A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, the active membership of which primarily exists of students in attendance at institutions of higher education).

4. Student organizations that have a relationship with a “parent” or national/international organization must present documentation regarding their affiliation, and a copy of the parent organization’s constitution and/or guidelines when registering. The policies and procedures of the University, as well as local, state and federal laws prevail over those of any parent or national/international organizations.
5. The Organization’s monies (including dues, donations and fundraising income) must be maintained in an account at the Rutgers University Student Activities Business Office.

6. An Organization will pay a vendor/bill on time (on a specified date in the Vendor Contract, the Rutgers University Contract Addendum, vendor invoice etc.) or present (non-contracted) and future events supported by this Organization will be suspended until the outstanding bill is paid. However, in the event that a Student Organization is able to illustrate proper procedure history of said bill, then this clause will not apply.

7. The Organization must demonstrate that its services and programs benefit the Rutgers University community. The Department of Student Involvement reserves the right to deny registration if it is believed that the organization does not meet the needs of Rutgers University.

8. The Organization must maintain a non-profit status and cannot be used to promote personal and financial gain and/or commercial enterprise for any of its members. The officers, members, and advisor cannot use their position in the organization for any commercial and/or personal enterprise.

Incidents of Violation:
A student organization may be held accountable when an offense is committed by one or more officers, members or guests, and any of the conditions below apply:
1) Organization funds are used to finance the incident;
2) Violation is substantially supported by the organization’s membership;
3) Officers or members, approves or has knowledge of the forthcoming violation did not attempt to prevent the infraction;
4) The organization fails to report or chooses to protect those individuals.

1. Response to Notice – Failure to make a timely response to any official request from a member of the faculty, administration, or staff. Official University or Department of Student Involvement correspondence mailed and/or email to student officer’s address of record is deemed sufficient as notice to the student. It is a student’s responsibility to notify the Department of Student Involvement immediately of any change of address.

2. Misuse of University Facilities – Unauthorized or inappropriate use of any University facility or property.

3. Misuse of Materials – Unauthorized reading, removing, duplicating, photographing, and/or forging, counterfeiting, altering or misusing of any University material, file document or record, computer records, software, data files and similar entities owned or maintained by any member of the faculty, administration, staff or student body.

4. Failure to Comply – Failure to comply with authorized oral instructions from or agreements with Student Involvement staff, RUSA or related student boards, and or student employees, acting in accordance with their assigned duties.

5. False Information – Knowingly making a false oral or written statement to any university board, committee, office or member of the University faculty, administration, staff or student body.

6. Misuse of Organization Funds – This includes not only misuse, but also use of funds without appropriate prior authorization by advisor. Additionally, failure to reconcile cash advances within the specified timeframe is also a violation. Organization funds are considered the semester RUSA, RBGA, or SEBS allocations, generated revenue and donations intended for student organization business.

7. Misuse of Identification – The use of falsified identification documents or of another’s identification card/document, including the use of another’s computer account/password.

8. Alcohol and Drug Policy- Possession, consumption, or being under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances without a prescription, or illegal drugs (i.e., marijuana) is prohibited at all events and activities sponsored, co-sponsored or hosted by a Rutgers University Registered Student Organization, where student fees are paying for all or part of the event.

9. Misuse of Property and University Resources- Destruction, damage, misuse, defacing of, or unauthorized usage or entry into university buildings or property, private property and personal property on the campus of the University, including but not limited to files, documents, records, computer systems, networks, and peripherals, owned or maintained by members of the faculty, administration, staff or student body. Intentional misuse of any university fire alarm or safety equipment is prohibited.

10. Hazing or Inappropriate Requirements for Organization Membership- This refers to any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into an organization.

11. Theft – The unauthorized taking, misappropriation or possession of any real, personal, or intellectual property owned or maintained by the University or any person on campus.

NOTE: In addition to the group being held responsible, members and officers may be held accountable as individuals for their misconduct and be subject to the University Judicial procedures related to individual conduct that also violates the University’s Code of Student Conduct. Individuals who are alleged to have committed criminal violations will be reported to the police.

Reporting Incidents of Violation:
Complaints or reports of violations can be made through Student Conduct by completing an Incident Reporting Form (located on: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?RutgersUniv) on the Student Conduct website: http://studentconduct.rutgers.edu/. Student Conduct will review all incidents and determine if the incident review will be conducted with Student Conduct and/or Student Involvement based on the nature and severity of the incident. Student organization incidents may be reported by other officers, other student organizations, members of the University community and/or an Advisor. In all cases, the student organization that is subject of a report will be given due process and every opportunity to answer the compliant against them.

Levels of Disciplinary Actions:
In determining appropriate restitution to the University community, Student Involvement and/or the SIAC seek to take action that will restore, and rehabilitate group conduct and governance. Meetings will be called by Advisor in the Department of Student Involvement and the organization officer/s will be called in to discuss possible violations. Organizations will have an opportunity to explain the events surrounding a reported or discovered violation of policy. Results of meeting may include but are not limited to a Warning or Probation. Most of the violations and disciplinary sanctions will follow this course of action.

Such action should provide an opportunity for group education, reflection, renewal, and leadership development. In the application of this philosophy, levels of disciplinary action will be coupled with efforts to construct remedies that assure restoration of the group as a productive organization in the life of the University. The following are the possible courses of action that can be taken in relation to the severity and/or number of occurrences of certain violations:

SIAC Hearing/Meeting – The organization and the complainant will be present. The council has the jurisdiction that shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Alleged violations of University policies pertaining to student organizations;
b. Violations of Student Involvement policies and procedures;
c. Violations by organizations, or their members, of the Code of Student Conduct when a relationship exists between the misconduct and the activities of the group;
e. Controversies among student organizations.

Results of meeting may include but are not limited to a Warning, Probation, Suspension, or Loss of Registration.

Possible Sanctions:
1. Warning – An organization will be placed “on warning” for a specified period of time with all organization privileges still available. This can be automatically issued by the organization’s advisor. The Advisor will notify the SIAC so that the warning can be on record. The Advisor will construct a development plan, which takes into consideration group needs. NOTE: Two warnings call for a probationary hearing in which the SIAC will decide which sanction is appropriate for the incident.

2. Probation – This is a specified period of time in which a probationary hearing will determine the restrictions that will be placed on the organization including but not limited to SABO access, reserving space, and attending leadership workshops. A meeting with a member of the SIAC is required 1 week prior to probationary period ending. The Advisor and SIAC will construct a plan for restitution which takes into consideration group needs.

3. Suspension – The organization will not be permitted to exist at Rutgers University for a full semester. Not only will the organization be unable to operate in its assigned space, it may not utilize any funding, reserve University space or otherwise hold events or general meetings during the period of suspension. The appropriate external or parent organizations (if applicable) will be advised of the decision to suspend the student organization.

4. Loss of Registration – The group’s status as a registered student organization will be withdrawn until further notice. It will cease to exist and function at Rutgers University until it can be shown that all responsible officers/members are no longer involved in the organization. In this case, it is the responsibility of the student organization to provide assurances that the responsible members/officers are not involved in the organization. Student organizations that lose Rutgers University registration will be required to forfeit their group space and permanently cease to function as an organization on the campus. The appropriate external or parent organization (if applicable) will be advised of the action being taken. (Note: When an organization “loses registration” the Deans of Students, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Engagement will be notified as well as the Rutgers University Student Activities Business Office, and Rutgers University Student Centers.)

5. Loss of Officer Privileges – The student’s status as an officer of the organization will be withdrawn until further notice. The organization will cease to exist and function at Rutgers University until it can be shown that all responsible officers/members are no longer involved in the organization. NOTE: This can apply to one or more officers being removed while the organization may still be able to exist.

When a student organization denies responsibility for a violation, or if the transgression is most serious in nature, The Student Involvement Advisory Council (SIAC) will decide if the accused student organization and/or officer is responsible for the offense through a formal scheduled meeting.
***The sanctions listed above are recommended. The Department of Student Involvement and the Student Involvement Advisory Council reserves the right to amend the recommended sanctions on a case by case basis. ***

The Student Involvement Advisory Council Hearing Process
• All hearings/meetings will be scheduled at the earliest convenience of the organization, the complainant, and the council.
• Probationary Hearing:
o At least two e-board representatives of the organization must be present.
o Both the organization and complainant will be allowed to bring any member of the University community to advise them at the meeting. Student organizations are expected to speak for themselves. No outside legal representatives will be allowed at a meeting.
o At least two SIAC members must be present.
o The SIAC members will lead the hearing and address the issues of the incident of violation.
o All evidence available to SIAC prior to the meeting will be made available to the complainant, to the respondent, and to the meeting board.
o The organization will have a chance to share any more information and/or documentation about the incident.
o The SIAC will review the policy with the organization for future knowledge.
o The Student Involvement Advisory Council (SIAC) will deliberate in private to determine if there is clear and convincing evidence that the organization was responsible for the violation. This decision will be based solely on the information and evidence presented at the meeting. The Student Involvement Advisory Council (SIAC) will then make their recommendations.
• Completed Probation Meeting:
o This meeting will be during the final week of the probation period where the organization will meet with one SIAC member and review their improvement over their probationary period.