Student Org Conduct

*SW = Systemwide, or University-wide regulations applying to all UC campuses. The numbers cited refer to corresponding sections of that document available for review on-line at http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/coordrev/ucpolicies/aos/toc.html.

  1. Student Organization Due Process


    Student organizations subject to University discipline shall be afforded procedural due process, a basic principle underpinning the enforcement of University policies and campus regulations. The primary purpose of any University disciplinary proceeding is to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused student organization. Deviations from established procedures shall not invalidate a hearing body’s finding unless the deviation significantly affected the result. It is recognized that University faculty, staff, and students are principally engaged in the business and the pursuit of education, and are not trained in the legal system. As such they should be guided more by principles of fairness and common sense than by formal rules of evidence or procedure. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA), or designee, is responsible for determining whether a student organization accused of violating campus policies or regulations has been treated in a fair and equitable manner and whether the fundamental precepts of due process were followed. Through publication of these regulations the VCSA has established procedures appropriate for adjudicating charges against student organizations, providing a range of sanctions to ensure appropriate penalties.

  2. Filing a Complaint


    Allegations of misconduct by registered student organizations must be made in writing to the Office of Student Life.

  3. Process for Notification of Charge


    Officers of the student organization shall be served written notice of the specific charges, the time and place of the hearing, and a copy of the procedures that will govern the hearing, at least five calendar days prior to the hearing. Notice may be made by U.S. mail, which shall be deemed to be completed upon deposit at a United States Post Office of the notification letter addressed to the student at the address listed in University records. Students will also be reminded by email that notice was sent by U.S. mail to the address listed in University records.

  4. Pre-hearing Conference


    The purpose of the pre-hearing conference is to determine how the formal charges against the organization are to be considered. The pre-hearing conference provides an opportunity for the organization to discuss the charges with the Dean of Students or designee. The organization must be represented by one or more of its officers. An advisor may attend the pre-hearing conference in an advisory capacity. One of the student officers must be designated as the official spokesperson for the organization, however.

    The purpose of the pre-hearing conference is to determine how the formal charges against the organization are to be considered. The pre-hearing conference provides an opportunity for the organization to discuss the charges with the Dean of Students or designee. The organization must be represented by one or more of its officers. An advisor may attend the pre-hearing conference in an advisory capacity. One of the student officers must be designated as the official spokesperson for the organization, however.

    The procedures available for formal consideration of the charges are:

    1. Administrative action
    2. Referral to a hearing panel
    3. No action taken

    If the official spokesperson of the student organization waives the organization’s right to a formal hearing, and admits to the veracity of the charges, the representative of the Office of Student Life may act on the charge administratively. In this event, a form requesting that the charge against the organization be considered administratively must be signed by the official spokesperson of the organization. The Office of Student Life then has the authority to impose a sanction.

  5. Hearing Procedure


    If an organization decides against resolving a case through administrative action, the Dean will refer the matter to a hearing for resolution. The hearing panel shall include: The Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, one director from the Office of Student Life, one undergraduate and one graduate student selected from the student members of the Student/Faculty Committee on Student Conduct or the Residential Review Boards. All five members (or a designee) of a hearing panel must be present to constitute a quorum. Hearings are closed to the public.

     

    A representative from the Office of Student Life will present the University’s reasons for bringing charges against the organization. Witnesses may be called by the University to testify in support of the charges.

     

    An officer must be chosen by the organization to serve as its spokesperson for the hearing. Up to three members of the organization may attend the hearing. With the exception of the spokesperson, organization members who are to be witnesses shall not be present during other witnesses’ testimony. The spokesperson may have up to three advisors, including the organizational advisor, the organization’s president, and one other advisor to assist him or her during the hearing. The spokesperson shall have the right to: be present at all phases of the hearing, except during the panel’s deliberation on procedural and evidentiary matters, findings of fact and potential sanctions; to present evidence and witnesses on behalf of the organization; and to have reasonable cross-examination of witnesses.

     

    Hearing panel decisions shall be based solely upon evidence introduced during the hearing. Legal rules of evidence do not apply to hearings under this policy; the hearing panel may hear and weigh evidence of probative value. The hearing panel will exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. A hearing panel member shall decide that a violation was committed only if the member finds that the greater weight of the credible evidence supports that finding. Decisions shall be made by majority vote.

     

    If the organization is found in violation, the hearing panel shall, by majority vote, arrive at a sanction commensurate with the seriousness of the violation. In arriving at a sanction, the panel may consider evidence of past violations by the organization as well as recommendations from the Dean of Students (or designee).

  6. Sanctions


    Sanctions imposed on student organizations by the University will be administered through the Office of Student Life. The sanctions below may be assessed singly or in combination (e.g., a group may have its registration rescinded and be placed thereafter on probation). Sanctions will list the length of the probation and/or rescission (unless indefinite), the specific privileges forfeited, and any other conditions.

     

    A Letter of University Reprimand—does not include forfeiture of privileges.

     

    University Probation—may stipulate the forfeiture of specified social and/or other privileges for a period of three to thirty-six months and may also include additional requirements (e.g., community service).

     

    Suspension—shall be for a period of three to twelve months and prohibits the organization from: sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or participating in any and all social, intramural, athletic, or other similar activities on or off campus; the solicitation of any new members or pledges; and the initiation of any new members. A suspension may also include the forfeiture of other specifically listed privileges. It may also include additional requirements (e.g., community service).

     

    Rescission of University Registration—involves revoking the University’s registration of the organization for an indefinite period of time. If the organization holds a charter from a national organization or association, the University may also request that the national organization or association revoke the organization’s charter. Organizations that maintain a meeting facility on University property may not use that facility until the organization returns as a registered student organization in good standing. The Office of Student Life will determine whether the sanction should be implemented immediately or deferred pending the outcome of an appeal.

  7. Appeals


    Disciplinary action imposed by the panel may be appealed only to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. There are no other further appeals. Appeals must be made in writing and must be submitted within ten (10) working days of the date appearing on the notification of the imposition of sanction(s) mailed to the organization.

    1. Grounds for Appeal
      The organization’s appeal may request that the sanctions be reduced or eliminated, or that the case be reheard. Any such appeal must specify in detail one or more of the following alleged conditions:
      1. Lack of a basis in fact in support of the sanction
      2. Disproportion of sanction with the offense
      3. Unfairness of the proceedings
      4. Significant relevant evidence discovered subsequent to the hearing.
    2. Appeal Review
      The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will make the final determination as to the outcome of the appeal. Only written materials pertaining to the case, including any additional written material supplied by the accused, will be reviewed. Using the four criteria established for the consideration of appeals, the Vice Chancellor will determine whether:
      1. The finding and recommended sanction of the original hearing body is upheld;
      2. The finding of the original hearing body is upheld but the sanction reduced or eliminated;
      3. The case should be referred back to the original body or to a different body for further hearing;
      4. The case should be dropped and the charges dismissed.

    It is expected that appeals will be considered and final decisions made within fifteen working days following receipt of the organization’s written request.