Standards of Conduct: Student Organization Policies & Procedures (2019)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, referred to hereinafter as “the University”, is committed to supporting student organizations which permit and foster students’ ability to freely associate and express themselves. This support is formalized through the University recognition system, which has been put in place to serve the interest of both the University and student organizations. Student organizations that choose to be recognized by the University, accept the rights and responsibilities outlined in this policy and in their organization’s governing department. An organization that is only registered under an academic department may be held accountable under this policy. The Standards of Conduct for Registered/Recognized Student Organizations; written to govern New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark campuses, does not replace the policies and sanctions implemented by an organization’s governing department or by any applicable federal, state, or local laws, or other University policies.

All student organizations are expected to act consistently with the values of the University community. Student organizations are collectively responsible for any action committed by their members on behalf of the organization that violates University policy. Disciplinary action against a student organization is separate from action taken against individuals. Facts of an incident may necessitate action against both a student organization and the individual members of that organization who may have violated University policy.

Criteria Used to Determine Whether An Allegation Is An Organizational Violation

Generally, a recognized student organization may be held responsible for violations of University policy when:

a. One or more officers, acting within the scope of their stated or written duties, commit a violation;
b. One or more members commit a violation as part of an activity or assignment voted on by the organization and/or approved by the local, regional, or national leadership;
c. The violation is committed at an activity funded by the organization or by an individual in the name of the organization;
d. The violation is committed by members attending a function as a representative of the University, including, but not limited to, competitions, conferences, and conventions;
e. Members or officers permit, encourage, aid, or assist, in committing a violation;
f. Members or officers fail to report knowledge or information about a violation to appropriate University authorities;
g. Members or alumni commit a violation in the name of the organization.

Administrative Conference: the conduct process for an individual alleged to have violated the Code of Student Conduct.

Appeals Board (AB): This board is comprised of two students and a staff member who have been trained in the process, policies, and procedures which govern both individuals and organizations.

Anonymous Witness (AW): An individual who has provided information regarding an alleged violation but remains unknown to University Officials.

Athletics (Camden and Newark): Non-Division 1 Athletics that does not fall under the Recreation Department.

Conduct Officer: refers to an individual appointed by the Chief Conduct Officer to carry out the disciplinary process.

Chief Conduct Officer: is the person (or people) that enforce the University Code of Student Conduct, oversees the processes for handling misconduct, and may develop procedures for administration of the conduct process.

Confidential Witness (CW): An individual who has provided information regarding an alleged violation. This person is known to University Officials but wishes to remain unknown to the respondent.

DOS: Dean of Students. The department that oversees the Code of Student Conduct at Rutgers University – Camden

Evidence: Factual information presented which directly supports or disputes the complaint party’s allegations.

Hearing Board: A group of community members trained in the conduct process to hear the matters of violations of the Student Code of Conduct and Standards of Conduct for Student Organizations.

Investigation: A time when the Conduct Officer(s) assigned to address an alleged violation enters into a fact finding period to determine if there is enough information to charge an organization with a violation.

Not Responsible: When an organization is not taking accountability for the allegations against them.

Off Campus (OC): Any activities that happen off-campus, including, but not limited to dwellings (indoor/outdoor public spaces, hotels, banquet facilities, etc.), unaffiliated with Rutgers University but connected to an affiliated student/organization.

On Campus (SC): Any activities that happen on-campus, including, but not limited to dwellings affiliated with Rutgers University.

OFSA: The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The office that oversees recognized fraternities, sororities and other fraternal organizations.

OSC: Office of Student Conduct. The department that oversees the Code of Student Conduct at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

OCSSD: Office of Community Standards and Student Development. The department that oversees the Code of Student Conduct at Rutgers University – Newark

ORSE: Office of Reservations and Special Events. The department that oversees the event registration for organizations at RU-N.

Organization Conference (OC): This is a meeting to discuss an organization’s rights in the conduct process and to provide the organization with the factual information being used to charge the organization with a violation. This meeting also provides the organization an opportunity to respond to the charges and bring in evidence.

Organization Hearing (OH): This resolution opportunity provides the organization and the complaint party with the ability to present their case to a trained University Hearing Board for case resolution. The board will determine the outcome of the matter.

Preponderance of Evidence: The threshold used to determine if a group is responsible or not for a violation. “Preponderance” means that it is more likely than not that the information presented is factual.

Presiding Officer (PO): A trained member of the University Hearing Board who guides the hearing process.

RD: Recreation Department. The department that oversees Club Sports.

Recognized Student Organization: A student organization officially recognized after the completion of the required registration/recognition process.

Respondent: The organization accused of allegedly violating University policy.

Responsible: When the organization is taking accountability for the allegations against them.

Restorative Justice: alternative measures put in place to address harm and restore communities. This is outside of the conduct process.

Senior Student Affairs Officer: refers to the officer in the Division of Student Affairs, or their designee(s), who oversee the Office of Student Conduct/Community Standards.

SI: Student Involvement. The office that oversees the University’s recognized student organizations. *Organizations under University departments may be held to these standards.

Student Organization: any identified group of students who have complied with the formal requirements for University recognition and affiliation and have registered for affiliation with the University or who are advised by a university department or university employee.

Witness: An individual that was present for an incident and can speak to what occurred.

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