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Handbook for Student Organizations

Procedures for Complaints

I. PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINTS

Any student, faculty, or staff member of the University may file a written complaint of an alleged violation with the Student Organizations Coordinator in the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office or with the Dean of Students. Complaints must include the following information:
      A.    Detailed description of the alleged violation
      B.    Date, time and place of the alleged violation
      C.    Name(s) of the student organization(s) involved in the alleged violation
      D.    Name(s), if possible, of the individual(s) involved in the alleged violation
      E.    Name(s), if possible, of witnesses
      F.     Name(s) and address(es) of the complainant(s) (any concern of
              harassment may be expressed to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
              Police Department by the Student Organization Conduct Committee upon
              request of the complainant)

All written complaints must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days (excluding breaks) of the alleged violation.

The Student Organizations Coordinator reserves the right to determine the immediate status of the RSO based on the alleged violations (being investigated) until the MEETING WITH THE STUDENT ORGANIZATION can occur.  Additionally, the Student Organizations Coordinator reserves the right to determine which of the two processes the RSO will enter into:  (1) Full Partnership Process (Section VII) or (2) University Conduct Process (Section VIII.)

All recognized student organizations shall be accorded due process. The following guidelines will be followed upon receipt of a written complaint or incident report.

II.    NOTIFICATION

      A.    Within three (3) business days of receiving the complaint or incident report,
              the accused recognized student organization (RSO) will receive written
              notification outlining the allegations and a request to meet with the Student
              Organizations Coordinator and the Student Organization Conduct
              Committee (SOCC) Chairperson.

      B.    The RSO, upon receipt of notification, must schedule a meeting with the
             Student Organizations Coordinator and the SOCC Chairperson to occur
             within fourteen (14) calendar days (excluding breaks).

III.   MEETING WITH STUDENT ORGANIZATION

      A.    Current president and advisor of RSO are required to attend. 
              RSO may also invite up to two additional members.

      B.    The purpose of this meeting is: (1) to explain the Full Partnership
              Process and the University Conduct Process, (2) to review alleged
              violations, (3) the RSO will have an opportunity to speak and participate
              in a question and answer discussion.            
 
IV.  FULL PARTNERSHIP PROCESS PROCEDURES

      A.    RSOs opting to participate in the Full Partnership Process will be
             afforded the opportunity to conduct an internal investigation of all allegations
             against the organization. Within ten (10) calendar days (excluding breaks)
             of the Meeting With the Student Organization, the organization is to provide
             a full, written report detailing each allegation and proposed corrective or
             disciplinary action to the Student Organizations Coordinator and the SOCC
             Chairperson.

      B.    Upon receipt of the written report, the Student Organizations Coordinator
             and SOCC Chairperson will review the information presented and schedule
             a Post-Investigation Meeting with the RSO to discuss the findings of the
             internal investigation.

      C.   Within seven (7) calendar days (excluding breaks) of the Post-Investigation
             Meeting, the RSO must provide a written Organization Enhancement Plan,
             outlining all corrective action and self-imposed sanctions the RSO will
             complete to remedy the situation. The Organization Enhancement Plan
             must be approved by the the Student Organizations Coordinator and the
             SOCC Chairperson.

      D.    Upon approval of the Organization Enhancement Plan, the RSO leadership
              must obtain proof of consent by the RSO membership within ten (10)
              calendar days (excluding breaks) and submit a Commitment Contract,
              indicating full responsibility for completing all outlined conditions in the
              Organization Enhancement Plan.

      E.    If applicable, the University will issue a letter of reprimand to the RSO,
             outlining all deadlines for Organization Enhancement Plan completion.
             For record keeping purposes a copy of the letter of reprimand will also be
             placed in the RSO’s file, in the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office.

      F.    If the RSO obstructs the process by providing false or inaccurate
             information, omitting information, or refusing to participate in the full
             partnership process, the RSO will move to the University Conduct Process,
             and a formal hearing will commence.

      G.   If the RSO misses any deadlines or violates any condition of the
             Organization Enhancement Plan, it is charged with a code of conduct
             violation and moves to the University Conduct Process.

      H.    If at any time it is determined that the allegations are pertinent to
              individual conduct and not RSO conduct, the process will end and
              individuals may face charges under UWS Chapter 17.

      I.     The Student Organizations Coordinator reserves the right to deem
             behavior as “egregious” or “dangerous misconduct” and require
             proceedings through the University Conduct Process (Section V).

V.  UNIVERSITY CONDUCT PROCESS

      A.   Should an RSO opt to participate in the University Conduct Process,
             the Student Organizations Coordinator and SOCC Chairperson will work
             with the SOCC to schedule a formal hearing. The hearing must be
             scheduled within twenty (20) calendar days (excluding breaks) of the
             Meeting With the Student Organization. Once the hearing is
             scheduled,the accused RSO and individual(s) filing the complaint
             shall receive the following information:
             •    Written notification of the time and place of the hearing;
             •    A statement of allegations against the RSO;
             •    A copy of the procedures for student organization conduct hearings.

      B.    Once the hearing is scheduled, any witnesses shall receive written
              notification of the time and place of the hearing.

      C.    The accused RSO, if unable to attend the hearing, must give a
              forty-eight (48) hour notice to the SOCC Chairperson and the
              Student Organizations Coordinator. They must also, if unable to attend,
              submit a written statement addressing the allegations to the SOCC
              Chairperson and Student Organizations Coordinator at least twenty-four
              (24) hours prior to the hearing.

      D.   Should the RSO decide not to cooperate with the hearing through the
             University Conduct Process the SOCC reserves the right to issue a
             decision in the matter with all pertinent information available at its disposal.

VI.   HEARING PROCEDURES
 
      A.    The Student Organization Conduct Committee (SOCC) shall preside over
             all hearings.

      B.    All conduct hearings shall be recorded.

      C.    At the outset of the hearing the SOCC Chairperson shall:
             1.    Call the meeting to order
             2.    Establish the attendance
             3.    Ask those present to state their name and association with
                    the case
             4.    Explain the format of the hearing to all assembled
             5.    Have the Student Organizations Coordinator read the allegations
                    against the accused student organization
             6.    Additional information from other campus department
                    representatives will be presented
             7.    Answer any questions about the complaint or the format of the
                    hearing

      D.    The Chairperson will ask the accused RSO to claim or deny responsibility
             of the allegations.

             1.    If the RSO claims RESPONSIBLE:
                    a.    The individual(s) filing the complaint and the accused RSO will be
                           provided the opportunity to make a statement.
                    b.    The individual(s) filing the complaint will be asked to leave
                           the hearing.
                    c.    The SOCC will have the opportunity to question the accused RSO.
                    d.    All persons other than the SOCC will be asked to leave the room
                           after the accused RSO has answered any questions pertaining to
                           the matter in question.
                    e.    The SOCC (in a closed session) will discuss the case and decide
                           on a suitable sanction(s) for the RSO.

             2.    If the RSO claims NOT RESPONSIBILE:
                    a.    All witnesses will be required to leave the hearing during the
                           opening statements, but remain in the area to be called for
                           questioning.
                    b.    The individual(s) filing the complaint, or their designee,
                           will be permitted to make an opening statement.
                    c.    The accused RSO will be permitted to make an opening
                           statement.
                    d.    The individual(s) filing the complaint will be permitted to
                           call witnesses and/or present information. Upon conclusion,
                           the accused RSO may ask questions. Following any questions
                           by the accused RSO, the SOCC may ask questions.
                    e.    The accused RSO will be permitted to call witnesses and/or
                           present information. Upon conclusion, the individual(s) filing
                           the complaint may ask questions. Following any questions
                           by the individual(s) filing the complaint, the SOCC may ask
                           questions. Questions must be relevant to the incident being
                           reviewed.
                    f.    The individual(s) filing the complaint will be permitted an
                          opportunity to make a closing statement.
                    g.    The accused RSO will be permitted an opportunity to make a
                           closing statement.
                    h.    Once all information and witness accounts have been heard,
                           all persons other than the SOCC will be asked to leave the room.
                           The SOCC (in closed session) will discuss the case and decide
                           whether the RSO is to be found in violation or not in violation,
                           and if necessary, decide on a sanction(s). A majority vote of the
                           members present is needed to find an RSO in violation, with the
                           SOCC chair casting the deciding vote in case of a tie.

             3.    The University shall share the SOCC findings and decisions in
                    writing to the RSO within five (5) business days (excluding breaks)
                    of the hearing, outlining all sanctions, deadlines, and, if applicable,
                    requirements for reapplying or retaining RSO status.
                    For record keeping purposes a copy of the findings and decisions
                    will also be placed in the RSO’s file, in the Activities, Involvement
                    and Leadership office.

VII.    POSSIBLE SANCTIONS

Possible sanctions which SOCC may impose include but are not limited to the following:

      •    Warning.  A written warning that the conduct of the RSO was not
            appropriate and should not be repeated.
      •    Probation.  Probation means that a RSO will remain recognized
            providing that it abides by all applicable laws and policies.
            Probation may also have several conditions attached. RSOs
            currently on probation that are found responsible of further
            misconduct will be subject to a minimum of one semester of
            suspension of University recognition.
      •    Loss of University Privileges/Services. Including but not
            limited to accounting services, posting, room reservations,
            duplicating, etc.
      •    Restitution.  RSOs may be required to pay for damages.
      •    Fines.  RSOs may be required to pay a sum of money,
            the amount of which shall be determined through the
            conduct process.
      •    Community Services.  The RSO may be required to
            organize and/or participate in specified community
            service activities or events.
      •    Education Program.  The RSO may be required to
            attend or participate in an educational program or
            the planning of an educational program for the RSO
            members and/or the campus community on a
            specified topic.
      •    Specific Conditions Related to Organization Functions
            and Activities.
  Limitations or parameters may be placed
            on the activities and functioning of the RSO.
      •    Suspension of University Recognition.  Includes loss of
            all University privileges and services. This suspension
            of University recognition would be for a specified period
            of time.
      •   Referral of Individuals from the RSO to the Dean of
            Students Office.
 
If from the RSO conduct hearing it
            becomes apparent that the policy violations were
            conducted by an individual(s) of a RSO, without the
            knowledge of the RSO, the individual(s) can be
            referred to the Dean of Students office for individual
            conduct hearings.
      •    Revocation of University Recognition. This is a
            permanent withdrawal of University recognition for the
            RSO.
      •    University Prosecution.  The University may choose
            to prosecute through civil court system. The University
            reserves the right to proceed with this option with or without
            the recommendation from SOCC.

Any complaints of harassment or assault by the complainant which
stem directly from the accusation or the sanctions thereof, may be
reported to the Dean of Students office or the UW-Eau Claire Claire
Police Department.

VIII. APPEALS

      A.    RSOs have First Right of Appeal to the Student Senate Executive
             Committee. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Student
             Senate within ten (10) calendar days (excluding academics
             breaks) of the notification of the finding and sanction(s)
             issued by the SOCC.

      B.    RSOs have a Final Appeal to the Dean of Students.
             Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Dean of
             Students within ten (10) calendar days (excluding academic
             breaks) of the notification of the decision by the Student Senate.

      C.    Reasons for appeal include:
             •    An error in due process, such as: inadequate notice,
                  failure to follow procedures, or failure to be notified of
                  the hearing procedures.
             •    Significant new evidence has come to light, after
                  the initial hearing has been completed and a decision
                  rendered.
             •    If the RSO feels that issued sanctions are too severe.

      D.    All sanctions will be upheld until an appeal is accepted to
             be heard and sanctions either modified or overturned.

      E.    The Dean of Students and/or the Student Organizations
              Coordinator will take up the matter within twenty (20) calendar
              days of the receipt of the appeal and form an opinion based
              on the original complaint, the findings of the conduct hearing,
              the decision and sanction, and any necessary records.

      F.    Decision of appeal may include the following:
             •    Affirmation of the original decision and sanction,
             •    Affirmation of the original decision, but modification
                  of the sanction (either positively or negatively for the
                  alleged organization),
             •    Reversal of the original decision and sanction.

IX. STUDENT ORGANIZATION CONDUCT COMMITTEE

A. Mission Statement
    The purpose of the Student Organization Conduct Committee shall
    be to establish and enforce the policies and regulations 
    governing RSOs on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

B. Membership
    The membership of the SOCC shall consist of four (4) voting student
    members (two Student Senators and two non-Student Senators), the
    Campus Affairs Commission Director, and the Student Organizations
    Coordinator. A pool of voting members of the SOCC shall be appointed
    by the Student Senate President and confirmed by the Student Senate
    each academic year. The pool of voting members of the Student Organizations
    Conduct Committee shall consist of:
               1. A minimum of four (4) Student Senators
               2. A minimum of four (4) non-Student Senators

C. Executive Positions
    1. CHAIRPERSON - The Chairperson shall be the Campus Affairs Commission
    Director of the Student Senate. The Chairperson is a non-voting member of the
    Student Organization Conduct Committee unless there is a need for his/her
    vote to break a tie. In the event that the Chairperson is unable to perform their
    duties, a designee will be chosen by the Student Senate President or Vice
    President within a reasonable timeframe.

              Duties:
                        1. Chair the Student Organization Conduct Committee meetings.
                        2. Be present at all conduct related student organization meetings
                           and hearings.
                        3. Disseminate the policies, procedures and laws governing
                            RSOs and the Student Organization and Leadership Center
                            in Davies Center.
                        4. Enforce all policies, procedures, rules, and laws governing
                            RSOs.

D. ADVISOR (S) - The Student Organizations Coordinator shall be the adviser to
                           the SOCC and will assist the Student Organization Conduct
                           Committee in its role. This is a non-voting member of the
                           organization.

E. Responsibilities of the SOCC members:

                      ~ To be knowledgeable of University policies and procedures and
                         behavioral standards for RSOs,
                      ~ To be objective and attend all meetings and hearings,
                      ~ To read complaints and familiarize themselves with the cases
                         prior to the hearings,
                      ~ To remove themselves in particular cases, if they have a bias
                         or direct involvement in the case, or are members of the RSO
                         under charges,
                      ~ To keep confidential all proceedings, discussions, and votes.                            

X. CRITERIA USED IN DETERMINING ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES

The following questions are used to help determine whether or not an
activity should be considered as a “student organization sponsored
activity” as opposed to the actions of some individual members:

      A.    Purpose of Activity
             •    What is the purpose of the activity?
             •    Is the activity held to promote group development and bonding?

      B.    Attendance
             •    Who is attending the activity?
             •    Why are they attending?
             •    Will a significant number of the members of the RSO attend
                  the activity?
             •    Do members perceive the activity mainly other members
                  will attend?

      C.    Resources
             •    What resources will be used to fund the activity?
             •    Were RSO funds used to support the activity?

      D.    Publicity/Advertising
             •    How was the event publicized or communicated?
             •    Was the RSO’s name, initials, or logo used on publicity material?
             •    Was the RSO’s listserv or email account used to promote the activity?
             •    Was the activity posted on the RSO’s website?
             •    Was the RSO’s name associated with the activity through word
                  of mouth?

      E.    Location
             •    Where was the activity held?
             •    If the RSO owns or rents a house or common living area, was
                  the event held at this dwelling?

      F.    Reasonable Person
             •    Would a reasonable person think that the activity is associated
                   with the RSO in question?

      G.    Organization Responsibility
             •    As a leader in your RSO, do you believe that you are in any
                  way responsible for this particular activity?
             •    If not, who would be held responsible in the event of an
                  accident or mishap?

Each activity will likely have a unique set of circumstances and should
be evaluated separately. These are a sample of the type of questions that
decision-makers (university officials, courts) will use when determining whether
or not your organization is responsible for a specific activity. Ask yourself these
questions as you plan safe and effective activities. If you have questions or would
like to talk about these issues, contact the Student Organizations Coordinator
in the Activities, Involvement, and Leadership office.


***The Student Organization Conduct Committee Procedures will be reviewed and
    revised as necessary each academic year by the Activities, Involvement,
    and Leadership office in collaboration with the Campus Affairs Commission***