Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures
Through their formation and registration, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are members of the UW community. With this membership come both benefits and responsibilities. The UW Student Conduct Code forms the basis for the behavioral expectations in the UW community.
Alleged violations of this Handbook by an RSO will be adjudicated primarily by the Student Activities Office, or in the case of individual students, the matter will be referred to Community Standards and Student Conduct. Alleged violations committed by Panhellenic or Interfraternity Council organizations will be referred to Greek Relations.
In attempting to resolve any infractions, the primary intent of the accountability process will be to educate members of the organization, while holding them accountable for any violations allegedly committed. Furthermore, it is the desire of the Student Activities Office to promote critical decision making skills to encourage RSOs to prevent any possible future infractions.
The extent and terms of disciplinary action taken by the Student Activities Office (SAO) will depend upon the nature and severity of the infraction as well as any history of previous violations. Student organizations must be in “good standing” to maintain their registration status.
A student organization will be considered in good standing if, for the past 12 months, the organization has complied with all University policies and procedures including those outlined in the Student Organization Handbook. Policy and procedure violations, registered status, unpaid debts, probation status and adjudicated complaints against an organization will be considered in determining good standing.
Alcohol Infractions: Alcohol permits violations, possession without permission, and damage as a result of alcohol consumption.
Behavior Problems: Disruption of individuals or groups, failure to respond to requests by facility staff, bad manners, instigating negative behaviors.
Debt and Payment Violations: Failure to make timely payments or payment arrangements for reservations, facility, or other services.
Policy Violations: Failure to follow University policies and procedures. Examples include: event staff procedures, setup policies, posting violations, excessive noise, and email/web account misuse. Violations of the Student Conduct Code WAC 478-120.
Property Damage & Vandalism: Damage to facility or property as a result of careless behavior or intentional misuse of property.
Warning: Formal notice of violation and reprimand. Organization receives a formal notice of violation in writing by SAO. The organization must take action regarding the warning immediately. Continued similar misconduct will result in one of the more severe sanctions.
Probation: The minimum duration of probation is one full quarter. Notification of violation may result in the loss of some privileges such as use of facilities, use of office space, or applying for ASUW/GPSS funding. As a condition of probation a student organization may be required to complete additional sanctions during the probation period such as:
- Organization members may be required to attend a special training or orientation regarding their violation or behavioral action.
- Individual group leaders and or members will be responsible for payment of the damages caused by the organization or their sponsored guests.
- Individual group leaders and or members will be responsible for payment of the group’s debt through University collections.
- An organization may be banned from using campus facilities/services or other student organization benefits on campus for a minimum of one quarter and maximum of one year.
- The entire organization may have to complete a determined community service project.
- The organization may lose all benefits of their registration status.
- Any combination of the above sanctions.
Suspension: The minimum duration of suspension is one full quarter. As a result of serious, intentional or repeated violation, registration status and all privileges of registration may be revoked. All student organization privileges of registered status are revoked.
An organization which has had its registration revoked may apply for reinstatement after the term of suspension is completed. Petitions for reinstatement are to be submitted to the Assistant Director of Student Activities in 207 HUB.
All student organizations applying for reinstatement must be able to demonstrate that they have appropriately dealt with the problems which led to revocation and that they are in all other normal procedures, currently eligible for student organization status.
Accounts 30 days overdue: SAO will send a letter of warning to the student organization giving the organization and its members 30 days to resolve the debt.
Accounts 60 days overdue: Student organizations will be placed on probationary status and will be unable to reserve facilities. Other student organization benefits may also be revoked until the debt is resolved.
Accounts 90 days overdue: Student organization status is suspended for a minimum of one (1) full quarter. Organization is denied all privileges of a registered student organization. After payment is made and verified, a written appeal must be submitted justifying reinstatement after term of suspension is completed.
Disciplinary Process for Alleged Infractions
If the Student Activities Office becomes aware of an alleged violation of the RSO Handbook, the matter will be resolved in the following manner. This process will apply to all cases except those of Organizational Debt which will be adjudicated in the manner outlined above.
- Assistant Director of Student Activities or designee will investigate the alleged infraction and may gather information from a variety of sources to inform his or her decision to charge an RSO of an alleged violation.
- If the Assistant Director of Student Activities determines there is enough information to charge an RSO with an alleged violation of the RSO Handbook, the Assistant Director will contact the leaders of the RSO to set up a meeting to discuss the allegations. Notification of the meeting time and place may be done informally or formally.
- At the initial meeting with the Assistant Director, the RSO will be informed of the information received by SAO and be allowed to comment on that information. The Assistant Director will also inform the RSO of the specific charges and infractions of the RSO Handbook.
- A preponderance of evidence shall be used as the standard for making decisions; this means is it more likely than not that the violation occurred?
- If the RSO leadership and the Assistant Director agree that an infraction has occurred, they will work towards an Agreed Settlement in which the RSO takes responsibility for their actions and agrees to the sanctions imposed. This is a negotiated process which allows both parties to find solutions which will promote accountability and good decision-making within the RSO. At the end of the negotiation process each party will sign the Agreed Settlement. A copy will be furnished to the RSO leadership, their advisor, and one will be maintained by the SAO office. Failure to uphold the terms of the Agreed Settlement will result in reconsideration of the matter and more severe sanctions being imposed.
- If the RSO leadership and the Assistant Director of Student Activities do not agree that a violation has occurred or cannot reach resolution on appropriate sanctions the matter will be referred to the Student Activities Conduct Board.
- The Student Activities Conduct Board will consist of two staff members from Student Activities and Union Facilities (SAUF) and two student leaders from Registered Student Organizations appointed by the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW). The members of this board plus alternates will be selected at the beginning of each academic year.
- The Student Activities Conduct Board will be chaired by the Director of Community Standards and Student Conduct. The Chair shall conduct the hearing and be a facilitator of due process, but shall be a non-voting member of the Board unless there is a tie.
- Hearings before the Board will be informal, with the burden of proof falling on the SAO Assistant Director who will present the case for the University.
- RSO leadership will then present evidence and testimony supporting their assertions.
Board members will ask questions of all parties to gain clarity of understanding.
- Hearings will end with each side making a closing statement outlining desired outcomes of the process.
- The Board will deliberate and the Chair will inform the RSO leadership and the Assistant Director of Student Activities their findings and conclusions within 5 working days of the hearing.
Organizations may appeal disciplinary actions of the Student Activities Conduct Board
- Student Organization must provide a written rationale for the appeal to the Director of Student Activities and Union Facilities within fifteen (15) working days following the receipt of the findings and conclusions of the Student Activities Conduct Board.
The Director of Student Activities and Union Facilities may review the record of the Student Activities Conduct Board and materials presented in the appeal.
- A meeting will be scheduled with the Director of Student Activities and Union Facilities to review the appeal with the RSO to gain clarity as to the reasons for appeal. The Director may also invite the Chair of the Student Activities Conduct Board to clarify why the RSO was found in violation of the RSO Handbook.
- Within fifteen (15) working days following this meeting, the appealing organization will be notified in writing of the decision by the Director of Student Activities and Union Facilities. All decisions of the Director are final.