Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services

Discipline process - organizations

Here are the steps in the discipline process for student organizations. Click each heading for more information.

Charges

Any member of the University or larger community may report alleged misconduct involving a student club or organization. This process is initiated through the submission of a written account of the incident to Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services or the respective advising staff or student leaders (i.e. Student Involvement and Activities, Greek Life, Sports Club, ASCSU). Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. In cases in which a University staff member is notified of an incident from an outside person or entity the staff member may document the call and prepare the charging report. In cases in which the reporting person fears retribution, the name may be withheld by the reporting staff member at the discretion of the Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services. Anonymous calls or reports may warrant additional investigation to substantiate the validity of the complaint.

Upon the receipt of a written report, the Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services (or his/her designee) may determine that there is sufficient reason to charge the student organization with a violation of the Student Conduct Code and a Student Conduct Board hearing is warranted. The case is referred to the All University Hearing Board.

Hearing notification

All charges shall be presented to the Respondent Student Organization in written form. This letter of notice will provide a copy of the initiating report(s) and set a time for the hearing. Hearings will be arranged as expeditiously as possible but depending on the academic calendar, may be extended until the All University Hearing Board reconvenes following scheduled breaks.

The letter of notice may contain specific requirements or restrictions, pending the resolution of the matter through the hearing process as needed to protect the interests of the involved students, student organization, or the University. These requirements could include but are not limited to, temporary suspension of activity pending resolution of the matter through the hearing process or orders prohibiting contact with Complainants or witnesses. The notice letter will be sent to the Student Organization President and local Advisor(s) and Inter/National Organization (if any).

Options for resolution of disciplinary charges

Following notification of the charges, the President and Advisor of the Student Organization will meet with the designated Chair person(s) of the All University Hearing Board to discuss the charges and the options. If the charges are disputed, or the sanctioning is best determined by the board, the case will move forward to the All University Hearing Board for a discipline hearing.

In some cases, if the charges are not disputed, alternative resolution such as Restorative Justice or mediation may be offered by mutual consent of the parties involved and on a basis acceptable to the Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services. A written summary of these agreements are provided to all parties. These agreements are binding and once entered are not subject to appeal. Failure to abide by the agreements could result in the situation being returned through the Student Organization Conduct process for possible disciplinary action.

Hearings

Disciplinary Hearings shall be conducted by the All University Hearing Board according to the following guidelines:

1. The President or designated student leadership of the Respondent organization may be accompanied by an advisor or support person they choose, at their own expense. Such advisor may be an attorney. Since the direct interaction with the students involved is essential to the educational relationship with the University, the advisor is limited to counseling the student(s) and may not act as a representative of the student organization, speak on the organizations behalf, or participate directly in the hearing. Advisors may not serve in a dual role as a witness in the hearing. The All University Hearing Board may also consult with or choose to have University Counsel present at a hearing.

2. All University Hearing Board hearings and administrative meetings are considered private educational interactions between the student organization and the University. The Complainant, students representing the Respondent Student Organization, and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the All University Hearing Board.

3. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements, including impact statements, may be accepted as information for consideration. The Complainant and the students representing the Respondent Student Organization shall be allowed to review and respond to any reports or statements the All University Hearing Board will consider as the basis for the charges or determination of evidence related to the hearing.

4. The Complainant and the student representatives of the Respondent Student Organization will have the opportunity to present their own perspective of the incident or events by personal statements, as well as through written statements and witnesses.

5. If the representatives of the Respondent Student Organization, with notice, do not appear for the hearing, a decision may be made by the All University Hearing Board taking into consideration the totality of the information related to the charges available at the time of the hearing.

6. In disputed cases, the Complainant, the representatives of the Respondent Student Organization, and the All University Hearing Board may bring witnesses and/or ask for relevant witnesses to be called. The All University Hearing Board will try to arrange upon reasonable request (at least two days prior to the hearing) witnesses who were identified by or contributed to the report. Witnesses outside of the University community could be asked to participate via conference call or the University staff member who responded to the complaint could appear and present the information from the original complaint. Witnesses shall be present only during the time they are presenting information in the hearing. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions directed from the All University Hearing Board. Questions may be suggested by the Respondent Student Organization and/or Complainant to be answered by each other or by witnesses. To preserve the educational tone of the hearing and appropriately manage the proceedings, the All University Hearing Board may ask that all questioning be directed through him/her and use discretion related to limiting repetitive information/statements. The Chair and the advisor to the All University Hearing Board may confer on procedural issues.

7. If information presented in the hearing creates additional need for clarification or investigation, or to accommodate irresolvable scheduling conflicts with key witnesses, the All University Hearing Board may reschedule the hearing.

8. If the hearing involves more than one Respondent Student Organization, the All University Hearing Board may permit the hearings concerning each student organization to be conducted either jointly or separately.

9. The All University Hearing Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation/retribution of the Complainant, Respondent Student Organization, and/or other witnesses during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined to be appropriate.

10. Formal rules of process, procedure, or evidence as established and applied in the civil or criminal justice system do not apply to this process. 

Decisions

1. After the hearing concludes, the All University Hearing Board will review all pertinent information and make a determination related to each of the charges specified from the Student Conduct Code. The determination is based on the preponderance of evidence standard-whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent Student Organization violated the Student Conduct Code.

2. The All University Hearing Board will have the authority to determine the appropriate level of discipline action taking into consideration: the severity of the infraction; impact on individuals or the community; willingness to remedy the situation; internally or externally imposed sanctions or restrictions; and the past record of discipline.

3. Written notice of the All University Hearing Board decision will be sent to the student organization within ten (10) business days of the hearing. The notification shall consist of the determination of responsibility, level of discipline imposed, and a complete description of any sanctions or requirements. If the charges were disputed, the notification will include a summary of the basis for the determination. A copy of the decision may also be sent to other appropriate University offices. The University reserves the right to inform parents of involved students of the disciplinary decisions related to Student Organizations.

4. Decision letters that include information identifying persons listed as victims may not be released by the Respondent Student Organization to unauthorized third parties. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in additional disciplinary charges.

Sanctions

These are possible sanctions that may be levied against student organizations:

1. No Action The All University Hearing Board takes no disciplinary action.
2. Warning or Written Reprimand A student organization is warned or reprimanded for minor infractions.
3. General Disciplinary Probation The student organization is required to change problem behaviors and implement specific plans or remedies for a certain time. The organization remains in good standing with the University. If the organization commits a conduct violation while on probation, it may face further disciplinary action, including loss of good standing, suspension, or loss of recognition as a Colorado State University Student Organization.
4. Disciplinary Probation/Loss of Good Standing

The student organization is required to change problem behaviors and implement specific plans or remedies for a certain time. The organization is not in good standing with the University, which means it may not:

a. represent the University

b. serve on a University committee

c. participate in intercollegiate or Sports Club athletics

If the organization commits a conduct violation while on probation, it may face further disciplinary action, including suspension or removal of recognition.

5. Disciplinary Suspension The organization ceases operations and forfeits the rights and privileges associated with recognition by the University for a certain time. While on suspension, the organization may not: represent itself as affiliated with Colorado State University, participate in University events using the name of the suspended organization, recruit new CSU student members, or use University facilities or resources. The Student Organization must fulfill certain requirements before the University will consider re-instatement.
6. Removal of Recognition Recognized student organizations may lose recognition after a University Hearing. This action deprives the organization of the use of campus resources, the use of the University’s name, and the right to participate in campus sponsored activities. This loss of recognition may be for a specific period, for an indefinite period of time, or until stated conditions are met.
7. Discretionary Sanctions The organization participates in educational programs or assignments; Restorative Justice; mediation; community service; substance or intervention; leadership development, ethics, or values development; or other related discretionary sanctions.
8. Restitution The organization compensates for loss, damage, or injury with appropriate service, monetary or material replacement.
9. Monetary fines The organization pays a fine published by the respective governing board.

Appeals

1. The Director of Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services or his/her designee serves as the appellate board for review of decisions made by the All University Hearing Board. If the Director serves as the original Hearing Officer, the Vice President of Student Affairs shall appoint a three person committee to consider the appeal. The committee shall then make recommendations to the Vice President of Student Affairs, who will make the final decision regarding the appeal.

2. The Respondent Student Organization or Complainant(s) may appeal the decision of the All University Hearing Board in writing within 7 business days from the decision being sent. The appeal request must clearly state the reasons for the request and be addressed to the Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services. After 7 business days the decision of the All University Hearing Board is considered final.

3. The appeal request will be considered based on:

a. Whether the original hearing was conducted fairly, giving both the respondent and complaining parties the opportunity to present relevant information.

b. Whether the decision is based on substantial and sufficient information.

c. Whether the sanctions(s) imposed are appropriate for the violation.

d. Whether the decision revokes recognition by the University.

e. Whether new information exists that was not available at the original hearing.

4. After reviewing the appellant’s request, the Director will take one of these actions:

a. Deny the appeal.

b. Return the case to the All University Hearing Board for further consideration; while the case is being re-considered, the Student Organization must continue to abide by any stated conditions.

c. Grant a hearing to consider new information.

5. If an appeal is granted, the Director will review the record or arrange for a hearing if one is necessary to hear new information. While the decision of the Appeals Committee is pending, the Respondent Student Organization must comply with all conditions of the decision of the All University Hearing Board.

6. If a hearing is granted to consider new information, the general process outlined under the All University Hearing Board procedures will be used.

7. The Director or his/her designee may make one of the following decisions::

a. Reverse the decision: If the appeal is resolved in the Respondent’s favor, the disciplinary decision will be is changed to “No Action.” If the appeal is resolved in favor of the Complainant, the case is referred back to the Hearing Officer or Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services for possible revision of sanctions.

b. Affirm the decision: the committee agrees that the information supports the decision reached by the All University Hearing Board.

c. Return the case to the All University Hearing Board for further consideration: the committee believes that additional considerations should be made which could include increasing or decreasing the penalty or addressing additional issues raised through the appeals process. While the case is being re-considered, the Student Organization must continue to abide by any stated conditions.

8. The Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services or his/her designee will communicate his/her decision to the student organization in writing. Unless the case is returned for further consideration, the matter is considered final.

9. The All University Hearing Board considers members from the ASCSU Supreme Court who are nominated by the President of the Associated Students of Colorado State University and ratified by the ASCSU Senate to serve a two-year academic term. Any vacancies will be filled as quickly as possible using the same process of nomination by the President and ratification by the ASCSU Senate. ASCSU leaders or students designated by the Director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, who have received appropriate training, may serve on the panel, as needed, to achieve a quorum or over summer breaks if selected members are not available. All full-fee paying students in good standing with the university are eligible for membership on the ASCSU Supreme Court. Student members may serve more than one term.

10. The ASCSU Supreme Court Chief Justice is a nomination made by the ASCSU President and subsequent ratification by the ASCSU Senate.

 

 


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