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 Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement, Campus Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Sport Clubs, 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. Anonymous calls or reports may warrant additional investigation to substantiate the validity of the complaint.
After reviewing the written report, the Director (or designee) determines whether there is sufficient reason to charge the student organization with a violation of the Student Conduct Code through the information provided in the written report or through further investigation. If a hearing is warranted, the case may be referred to the AUHB or hearing officer, depending on the severity of the case or the student organization’s conduct history.
If the incident is referred to the AUHB, the Chair shall identify members to serve and convene for a preliminary review meeting within two (2) weeks.
The AUHB shall review all relevant information, and develop questions for the hearing, review information regarding the organization, and consider restorative opportunities that may repair harm to others caused by the incident.
At the conclusion of the preliminary review meeting, the AUHB shall schedule the hearing to occur within one (1) week, and notify the President or designated student leadership of the Respondent student organization as set forth below.
Responsible Action Exemption
The health and safety of members of the Colorado State community is a primary concern. Students are encouraged to make responsible decisions in emergency situations that result from alcohol and other drug abuse (to include alcohol poisoning, overdose, serious injury, and victims of sexual assault) and to seek medical attention for someone who is in danger because of intoxication. Colorado State University seeks to remove the barriers that prevent students from seeking the medical attention they need. Therefore, students should alert Residence or Apartment Life staff, the Colorado State University Police Department, Fort Collins Police Department or other university personnel when they or another person are in danger.
Exemption from Discipline:
Student organizations and their leaders/members that seek immediate assistance from appropriate sources will not be charged with violations of the Student Conduct Code related to alcohol and other drugs, providing that the organization’s members and/or the student impacted, including the organization’s leaders, completes an assessment and any recommended treatment by the University Hearing Officer. The organization must also cooperate with University officials and procure its members for training or educational programs deemed necessary or advisable by the Hearing Officer. Failure to complete an assessment, recommended treatment or training/ educational programming may result in charges from the Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services Office.
How to Receive Exemption:
The student and organization that seeks a disciplinary exemption must complete the following steps
- The student who contacts an appropriate resource (i.e. law enforcement or other University staff) on behalf of an intoxicated student must remain with the intoxicated student. Alternatively, a leader from the student organization may also remain with the intoxicated student.
- The student seeking assistance for an intoxicated student must give his/her name to law enforcement or staff. Alternatively, a leader from the student organization may also provide his/her name.
- The student who calls and representative from the organization’s leadership must contact the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services within three (3) business days of the incident.
- The student and/or organization’s leadership must work with the organization’s membership and submit confirmation to the office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services an assessment was completed by all members deemed necessary by the Hearing Officer, and that any additional educational or treatment requirements have been completed.
Limitations to Exemption:
Limitations to Exemption. The disciplinary exemption does not apply to students or student organizations experiencing an alcohol or drug-related medical emergency that are found by university staff (i.e. Residence or Apartment Life staff, Colorado State Police Department, Faculty, or Administrative Staff) or local law enforcement. The help must be sought by, or on behalf, of a student. In cases of repeated violations of the Student Conduct Code, the University reserves the right to take judicial action on a case by case basis regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported. The University reserves the right to adjudicate any case in which the violations are egregious. The University may consider all prior exemptions granted to student organizations in determining whether additional exemptions should be granted. If it is determined that a student organization is engaging in repeat, similar conduct that results in alcohol or drug related incidents that negatively impact the campus or community, exemptions may be denied. No exemptions will be provided related to any activities that may constitute hazing in violation of the Student Conduct Code or Colorado law.
All proceedings and records directly related to a Responsible Action Exemption will be considered educational and will not be maintained as discipline records. If the incident involves a student under the age of 21, parents may be notified.
All charges shall be presented to the President of the Respondent student organization in written form through the email on file with the University at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date.
The 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 AUHB reconvenes following scheduled breaks. The student organization, with the consent of the (or designee), may waive the minimum notice requirements through existing waiver forms.
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:
- Restriction of Certain Activities - in some cases, it is necessary to limit specific functions of a student organization, such as social functions or new member activities, pending resolution of the matter through the hearing process.
- Cease and Desist – a temporary suspension of all student organization activity pending resolution of the matter through the hearing process. This includes meetings, practices, philanthropic endeavors, and social gatherings and essentially serves as a “time out” for student organizations until the matter is resolved.
- No Contact Orders - this designation prohibits contact with Complainants or witnesses via text, phone, email, online, in person, in writing, though a third party, or in any other way. If violated, students or organizations may be cited/arrested for harassment and face additional disciplinary action. If a No Contact Order is implemented, the onus is on the Respondent student organization to remove themselves from any situation involving potential contact with Complainants or witnesses.
The notice letter will also be sent to the student organization’s local Advisor(s) and inter/national organization (if any) on file with the University.
The student organization shall be presumed not to have violated the University Student Conduct Code until such a violation is proven. The standard of proof shall be preponderance of the evidence.
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 Advisement
Following notification of the charges, the President and Advisor of the student organization may meet with the designated Chair of the AUHB to discuss the charges, options and the disciplinary process.
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.
Administrative Meetings and Disciplinary Hearings
Administrative meetings shall be conducted when Respondent student organizations accept all of the charges outlined in the notification letter sent prior to the meeting.
Disciplinary hearings shall be conducted when Respondent student organizations dispute one or more of the charges outlined in the notification letter sent prior to the meeting.
Disciplinary hearings will be recorded for appeals purposes. A copy of the record may be requested at the Respondent student organization’s expense. The original will be considered the official record of the hearing. Recesses and deliberations are not recorded.
In some cases, if the charges are not disputed, alternative resolution through restorative justice, mediation or other resolution processes may be offered by mutual consent of the parties involved and on a basis acceptable to the Director (or designee). 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 AUHB or hearing officer process for possible disciplinary action
Administrative meetings and disciplinary Hearings shall be conducted by the AUHB or hearing officer 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.
After the hearing concludes, the AUHB or hearing officer 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, which indicates whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent student organization violated the Student Conduct Code.
The AUHB or hearing officer 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; effectiveness of internally or externally imposed sanctions or restrictions; and the past record of discipline.
Written notice of the AUHB or hearing officer decision will be sent to the Respondent 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 will also be sent to other appropriate University offices, such as the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Sport Clubs, or the Student Involvement, Engagement, and Community Engagement Office. The University reserves the right to inform parents or appropriate family members of involved students of the disciplinary decisions related to student organizations.
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 and Disciplinary Status
These are possible sanctions that may be levied against student organizations:
||The All University Hearing Board takes no disciplinary action.
|Warning or Written Reprimand
||A student organization is issued a formal warning or reprimand for minor infractions.
|General Disciplinary Probation
||Probation is for a designated period of time during which the student organization is required to show appropriate culture changes within the organization. Specific sanctions or restrictions may be imposed as a part of this discipline but do not result in loss of good standing with the University. A violation of the terms of General Disciplinary Probation, or subsequent misconduct after discipline, is grounds for further disciplinary action, including loss of good standing, suspension, or expulsion.
|Loss of Good Standing
Loss of Good Standing status is for a designated period of time during which the student organization is required to show appropriate culture changes within the organization. Specific sanctions or restrictions may be imposed. The student organization is not in good standing with the University and is prohibited from:
- representing the University through official events
- representing the student organization by serving on a University committee, panels, or governing bodies
- participating in intercollegiate or Sports Club athletics as a student organization
Further conduct violations while on Loss of Good Standing status may face further disciplinary action, suspension or expulsion.
|Recommendation for Removal of Recognition
||The AUHB or hearing officer may recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs recognized student organizations lose recognition after a University Hearing. Approval of this action deprives the student organization of the use of campus resources, the use of the University’s name, and the right to participate in campus sponsored activities or recruit Colorado State University students. This loss of recognition may be for a specific period, for an indefinite period of time, or until stated conditions are met. Should the VPSA approve this action, an official request will also be sent to the national office that the local student organization’s charter be revoked.
|Discretionary Educational Sanctions
The student organization participates in educational programs or assignments aimed at supporting culture change, including but not limited to:
- Implementation of a new program or policy to support officer transition and general membership education;
- Leadership development, ethics, or values development;
- Restorative Justice practices or mediation with impacted parties;
- Risk management plans and programs, including alcohol awareness, event-planning procedures and processes, and development and implementation of risk management teams;
- Use of University programs or workshops to educate the student organization membership on issues identified during the administrative meeting or disciplinary hearing;
- or other related discretionary sanctions.
Educational sanctions may include the regular submission of an accountability report to update the appropriate University offices and/or inter/national organizations on progress made toward a sanction.
||The organization compensates for loss, damage, or injury with appropriate service, monetary or material replacement.
||Restriction of some or all of the organizations activities or privileges, including but not limited to: social privileges, community service opportunities, a limited number of intramural, intercollegiate, or Sport Clubs games, and recruitment privileges. Specific restrictions will be outlined in the outcome letter sent to the Respondent student organization and may not be tied to disciplinary status.
The Director (or designee) serves as the appellate board for review of decisions made by the AUHB or hearing officer. 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.
The Respondent student organization or Complainant(s) may appeal the decision of the AUHB or hearing officer in writing within seven (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. After seven (7) business days the decision of the AUHB or hearing officer is considered final.
The appeal request will be considered based on:
- Whether the original hearing was conducted fairly, giving both the respondent and complaining parties the opportunity to present relevant information.
- Whether the decision is based on substantial and sufficient information.
- Whether the sanctions(s) imposed are appropriate for the violation.
- Whether the decision revokes recognition by the University.
- Whether new information exists that was not available at the original hearing.
After reviewing the appellant’s request, the Director will take one of these actions:
- Deny the appeal.
- Return the case to the AUHB or hearing officer for further consideration; while the case is being re-considered, the student organization must continue to abide by any stated conditions.
- Grant a hearing to consider new information.
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 AUHB or hearing officer.
If a hearing is granted to consider new information, the general process outlined under the AUHB procedures will be used.
The Director (or designee) may make one of the following decisions:
- 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 for possible revision of sanctions.
- Affirm the decision: the committee agrees that the information supports the decision reached by the AUHB or hearing officer.
- Amend the decision: the committee agrees that the information supports the decision reached by the AUHB or hearing officer, but takes the opportunity to clarify sanctions or offer additional resources to support the Respondent student organization.
- Return the case to the AUHB or hearing officer 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.
The Director (or designee) will communicate the decision to the student organization in writing. Unless the case is returned for further consideration, the matter is considered final.