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Cause for Disciplinary Action Against University Recognized Student Organizations
Activities sponsored by University recognized student organizations (RSO) must comply with the rules, policies, and procedures of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as well as with federal, state, and local laws/ordinances. When a sponsored activity of a recognized student organization violates law, University rules, policy, or procedure and/or causes injury to persons or damage to property, the organization may be subject to disciplinary action. If, in a fair process, the organization’s actions are found to have caused such violation, injury, or damage, the organization shall be subject to disciplinary warning, probation, suspension, or permanent revocation of University recognition.
At the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Career & Leadership Development Department (CLD) has administrative authority to determine University recognition of student groups, as outlined in the University Recognition Policy for Student Groups. Because the authority to grant University recognition is an administrative process, the authority to adjudicate discipline cases that may affect the status of a University recognized student organization is also an administrative process. The Dean of Students Office has authority to investigate, determine whether or not a violation(s) has occurred, and if so, determine appropriate sanctions. It is the responsibility of Career & Leadership Development to inform student leaders and organization advisers of their responsibilities outlined in this policy, help student organizations under investigation understand and follow the procedures outlined in this policy, and communicate as needed with appropriate stakeholders throughout the process.
Code of Conduct and Expectations
Recognized student organizations and their individual representatives (officers and members [student and non-student]) are expected to comply with the rules, policies, and procedures of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as well as with federal, state, and local laws/ordinances. This includes rules, policies, or laws relating to off-campus conduct, and facilities or locations where the organization may be located or conduct activities. Individual student officers or members of a recognized student organization may be held personally responsible and subject to disciplinary action under UWS Chapter 17 or any other applicable federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. Note: the investigation and disciplinary procedures against the RSO and individual student(s) can be happening concurrently.
Any organization found in violation is subject to disciplinary action by the University. While recognized student organizations are expected to comply with all law and policy, the following are examples of key laws and policies for which recognized student organizations may be held accountable:
Eligibility requirements and financial regulations for University recognized student organizations.
All related University of Wisconsin-Whitewater nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity policies that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, veteran or military status, or sex, unless pursuant to an exception recognized by applicable federal or state law.
Student organizations that select their members or officers on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g., religious or political) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who, upon individual inquiry, affirm they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Anti-Hazing Student Conduct Code Chapter 17.09 (5) and
Wisconsin State Statue 948.51 pertaining to hazing.
Violation of the legal drinking age and the provision of alcoholic beverages to minors.
Use or sale of illegal drugs at organization events or in organization facilities.
Incidents of theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, or harassment.
Creation of an unsafe or dangerous environment at an organization event or facility, which may include, but is not limited to dangerous or excessive use of alcohol or drinking games, fighting by members or guests, and physical or sexual assault.
All other University of Wisconsin-Whitewater policies, procedures, or regulations.
Procedures for Complaints
Anyone may file a written complaint of an alleged violation by a University recognized student organization with the Dean of Students Office. Complaints should be completed via an online form (Student Organization Misconduct/Hazing Reporting Form) and should include the following information:
Detailed description of the alleged violation,
Date, time, and place of the alleged violation,
Name of the University recognized student organization(s) involved in the alleged violation,
Name(s), if possible, of the individual(s) involved in the alleged violation,
Name(s), if possible, of witnesses,
Name(s) and address of the person filing the complaint (complainant).
All complaints must be filed with the Dean of Students Office within fourteen (14) calendar days of when the complainant had knowledge of or should have known of the alleged violation.
At any time during or after the fourteen (14) calendar days, if other information is received that a recognized student organization may have violated campus policy, city ordinance, or state or federal law, a complaint may be generated against a University recognized student organization and an investigation conducted.
Notice, Investigation, and Findings
Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the complaint the Dean of Students Office will provide written notification to the student organization (President or other identified leadership) that a complaint has been filed and provide a summary of the allegations contained in the complaint. Contact will be made based upon officer and/or advisor information as recorded with Career & Leadership Development as well as information provided by the complainant. Failure to update campus records does not negate responsibility to respond or the potential for being held accountable.
The Dean of Students Office will conduct an investigation into the allegations to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that the student organization (officers, members, and or representatives) more likely than not violated University policy. If there is insufficient evidence to find that a violation occurred, the Dean of Students Office will notify the student organization and CLD Director and no further action will be taken. If there is sufficient evidence that University policy was violated, then the Dean of Students Office will:
Within fourteen (14) calendar days following the completion of the investigation, the Dean of Students Office will notify the student organization leadership and advisor(s) to schedule a meeting to review the findings and communicate the disciplinary sanctions.
Within fourteen (14) calendar days following the meeting the Dean of Students Office will send a written report summarizing the finding(s) and disciplinary action(s) to the student organization and other appropriate stakeholders (e.g., organization advisor, inter/national offices, Director of Career & Leadership Development, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs).
Possible Disciplinary Actions
Following is a list of possible disciplinary actions that may be imposed on a student organization found in violation of University policy. The severity of the actions assigned are based upon the seriousness of the violation and the real and/or potential impact on student safety This is not an exclusive list, and other sanctions may be imposed. Note that individual student members of the organization may be investigated by the Dean of Students Office and disciplined under Chapter UWS 17.
Community Service. The student organization may be required to organize and/or participate in specified community service activities or events.
Educational Programs. The student organization may be required to attend and/or plan an educational event held for organization members and/or the campus community.
Loss of University Privileges/Services. Including but not limited to access to University funds, accounting services, posting, room reservations, hallway tabling, printing services, etc.
Probation. While the student organization continues to be a University recognized student organization, probation signifies a warning status that any further violation of policy may result in Suspension or Revocation of University Recognition. When probation status is assigned it is accompanied with a timeline to return to good standing, and may also include other sanctions.
Restitution. The organization may be required to pay for damages.
Revocation of University Recognition. Permanent loss of University recognition.
Specific Conditions Related to Organization Functions and Activities. Limitations or parameters may be placed on the activities and functioning of the student organization.
Suspension of University Recognition. Suspension signifies loss of all University privileges and services for a specified period of time. Upon conclusion of the suspension the student organization must re-apply for University Recognition.
Temporary Emergency Suspension. All activities of a student organization may be immediately suspended if the Dean of Students Office has reason to believe that the safety of individuals or the community may be in jeopardy. The emergency suspension must be communicated to the student organization leadership, advisor(s), inter/national offices, and the CLD Director immediately. An emergency suspension is followed by an investigation as outlined earlier in this policy.
Warning. A written warning that the conduct of the student organization was not appropriate and should not be repeated.
Organizations that are sanctioned may request an administrative review. Should a student organization wish to do so, it must submit a request for a review in writing to the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee) no later than fourteen (14) calendar days from receipt of the written summary of the findings and disciplinary action(s) provided by the Dean of Students Office.
An organization may request an administrative review based solely on one or more of the following factors:
The evidence does not support the finding or disciplinary action(s) issued;
New evidence or information has been received that was not available and of which a reasonable person would not have been able to obtain during the investigation, that is relevant and material
to the issue at hand;
The procedures outlined in this document were not followed.
Upon receipt of the request for an administrative review, the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee) shall conduct a review and make a final determination as to whether the decision shall be upheld, modified, or reversed, and the decision shall be provided to the student organization and the Dean of Students Office in writing no later than fourteen (14) calendar days from receipt of the written appeal, unless extenuating circumstances warrant additional time. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee) is final.
This Release of Information Form allows a student to release their records to another party. The Dean of Students Office will not typically release information about a student without a signed copy of this form on file. This form is unique to the Dean of Students Office and must be completed regardless if the student completed a different release of information form with another office. Please contact our office at 262-472-1533 with questions regarding our record release policy.
Know what your triggers are. If there are certain behaviors that have a tendency to get under your skin or things that students do to push your buttons, recognize what they are before a situation occurs in or out of the classroom.
If a student does become disruptive, some of the following strategies may help to de-escalate the situation.
If a student will not stop being disruptive, you have a responsibility to maintain the environment for all of the other students. In this case, consider these options:
The University of Wisconsin- Whitewater strongly values free speech both in the statement of an idea and in the response to that idea. Generating and exploring innovative ideas and realities requires us to permit multiple perspectives and dynamic discourse. We are committed to freedom of expression and the right to assemble for the purpose of expressing differing opinions or to request certain actions from the University.
This Protest Response Procedures (PRP) is intended to provide general guidance to UW- Whitewater’s community (students, faculty, staff, families, alumni and our governing bodies) concerning our response to protests and demonstrations consistent with our shared priorities and institutional values. The campus’ 400-acre main campus footprint is host to almost 50 buildings. The Connor University Center, Center for the Arts, classrooms and other spaces across the Whitewater campus host numerous events. In addition, the UW- Whitewater at Rock County campus has a footprint of 50 acres that also hosts events in the Janesville community. Continuity of operations among these facilities is important in setting consistent expectations for expressive activity.
We encourage individuals and groups who plan to use UW-Whitewater as a site for expressive activity to reach out to the UW-Whitewater Police Department (UWWPD) so we can assist in making your event successful and safe (especially if you believe the event might draw controversy).