Groups and Organizations

Groups and Organizations

Groups of students and student organizations are expected to comply with all University rules, regulations, and policies, including the Student Code of Conduct and all additional rules and regulations pertaining to groups and organizations. Groups or organizations found to have violated any such provisions shall be subject to disciplinary actions and procedures. Groups and organizations may also be subject to administrative actions by recognizing bodies and for violations of specific policies relating to organizational activities, such as those contained in the Student Organization Handbook and the Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) Policies & Procedures Handbook.

Responsibility of Groups and Organizations

In general, a group or organization may be held accountable for the actions and behavior of its members and guests that violate University rules, regulations, or policies if such conduct occurs on the group’s premises, at events sponsored (officially or unofficially) by the organization, or when the actions or conduct are in any way related to the group or organization. It is also the responsibility of groups and organizations (and their officers and those in charge of an event) to identify foreseeable problems that may arise and to take timely preventative or corrective action. Sometimes it is necessary for the officers or members of a group or organization to seek assistance from University or emergency officials (police, fire department, ambulance).

The responsibility of a group or organization is ultimately determined by examining all the circumstances of a situation and by taking into account the following additional factors (this list is not considered exhaustive, nor is the presence or absence of any particular factor[s] determinative):

  1. The actions were committed by one or more officers or authorized representatives acting in the scope of their group or organizational capacities or after the actions were tacitly or actively approved or invited by the group or organization;
  2. The actions were committed by, condoned by (actively or tacitly), or involved organization officers or a significant number of organization members, alumni, or guests. This includes when one or more members, officers, alumni, or guests of an organization permit, encourage, aid, or assist in committing the action;
  3. The actions occurred at or in connection with an activity or event funded or sponsored by the group or organization;
  4. The actions occurred at or in connection with an activity or event that was publicized, advertised, or the subject of communications by the group or organization;
  5. The actions occurred on the premises of the group or organization or at a location over which the group or organization had control at the time of the action;
  6. The actions occurred at or in connection with an activity or event that reasonable people would associate with the group or organization;
  7. The actions should have been foreseen by the organization or its officers, but reasonable precautions against such actions were not taken (in which cases, the University may take into account prior occurrences of relevant incidents involving the organization);
  8. The actions were the result of a policy or practice of the organization or were not in conformity with the organization’s policies or practices, including local or national guidelines governing conduct, risk management, and safety;
  9. The actions would be attributable to the organization under the group’s own policies (including local or national risk management guidelines);
  10. The actions were taken by individuals who, but for their affiliation with the organization, would not have been involved in the incident;
  11. One or more officers or members of an organization fail to report knowledge or information about a violation to, or otherwise fail to cooperate with, appropriate University, safety, or emergency officials;
  12. One or more officers or members of an organization fail to satisfactorily complete the terms of any disciplinary sanction or outcome.

The intent of outlining these criteria is not so that groups can work around these issues or find loopholes whereby an organization’s risky activities might not be considered an organizational event. Rather, they are intended to advise groups, organizations, and their officers and members about their responsibilities and the decisions they need to make regarding planning and executing an activity or event.

Collective and Individual Responsibility

Groups of students and student organizations, as well as their members and officers, may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct or other University rules, regulations, or policies.

Organizational Sanctions

Organizations and groups found in violation of a University rule, regulation, or policy are subject to the same sanctions and outcomes as students (modified as necessary to address the group or organizational context), plus any such other sanctions or outcomes that are deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

Related Links

  • Other University Policies - contains links to policies governing student groups, SOFO, fraternities & sororities, campus publicity