Committee on Student Organizations
Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, 70 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Phone: (608)263-5700 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective: November 1, 2019
This Policy on the standards and procedures for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison establishes a Student Organization Code of Conduct as well as procedures for reporting information that alleges violations against student organizations and for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions should a student organization be found responsible for the alleged actions. It was originally adopted on April 25, 1996, by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) and revised by the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) during the 2003-04, 2005-06, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2019-2020 academic years.
The University recognizes that participation in student organizations constitutes an integral aspect of the living-learning environment. Student organization membership affords opportunities to develop skills in areas such as leadership, fiscal management, event planning, ethical decision-making, delegation, and team building. We expect that students will adhere to high standards of behavior in the execution of their organizational responsibilities.
This Policy is a means to strengthen the standards that are expected of RSOs and which expand upon and complement the University’s teaching, research, and public service missions. The Policy also is a means to provide for an expedient and effective process for handling those situations when the University’s standards of conduct are not upheld. While detailed and lengthy, this Policy is a tool that both helps protect the rights of RSOs while making sure those organizations are held accountable to their members, the University community, and the community-at-large.
The Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) is the principal body for implementing and revising this Policy. The CSO itself is an appointed body of students, faculty, and staff; a majority of the Committee is made up of students.Revisions to this Policy are made in consultation with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) and the Dean of Students. Revisions are subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (as the Chancellor’s designee).
The Student Organization Code of Conduct in this Policy applies to all University of Wisconsin-Madison RSOs. The disciplinary procedures outlined in Section II apply to all reports alleging Code of Conduct violations. Social fraternities and sororities are subject to the regulations listed in this Code of Conduct, the Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide, and the registration requirements and the conduct rules of their governing umbrella groups: Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association.
Questions regarding this Policy may be addressed to the Chair of the Committee and to the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee. These individuals may be contacted at the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
I. Student Organization Code of Conduct
Any violation of the following regulations by an RSO may result in disciplinary sanctions against the organization. Registered Student Organizations are not exempt from discipline for such actions under this Policy that constitute violations of federal, state or local laws, and may be subject to additional action by an appropriate judicial body.
All Registered Student Organizations:
1. Must comply with the eligibility requirements and financial regulations published in the Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide;
2. Shall not discriminate 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, or sex, unless pursuant to an exception recognized by applicable federal and 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 beliefs) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who, upon individual inquiry, affirm that they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs, so long as no student is excluded from membership, officer positions, or participation on the basis of their race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, or, unless exempt under Title IX, sex;
3. May be subject to disciplinary action as a result of violations of federal, state, or local laws not otherwise addressed in this Policy;
4. May be subject to disciplinary action as a result of actions of individual members of the organization undertaken while representing the organization;
5. While conducting business or participating in events, an RSO shall be responsible for all activities and/or damages that may result. An RSO must exercise reasonable caution to ensure that it and its contracted agents and vendors not cause harm and/or damage to the property of students, University employees, the University, or other organizations. RSOs are responsible for not harming individuals or fostering an environment that may constitute a serious danger to the personal safety or well-being of a member or guest of the University community and do not obstruct or seriously impair University run or University authorized activities;
6. Shall be responsible for compliance with all University policies and all reasonable requests related to the application and enforcement of these policies. These may include, but are not limited to, the use of University facilities and grounds, fleet vehicles, electronic information technology and facility reservation contracts, and the Student Organization Code of Conduct;
7. Shall insure that invitations to events taking place in a University facility are limited to students, faculty, and staff of the University unless an exception is specifically authorized in accordance with appropriate facility use policies;
8. May not knowingly organize, sponsor, cosponsor, or in any way coordinate an event with any student organization that has been prohibited from participating in that type of event or has had its RSO status terminated. If an RSO is suspended or on probation, the RSO shall not participate in any activities which would violate the conditions of the suspension or probation;
9. Are accountable, through their primary contact, officers, and other designated representatives, to the University. When an organization’s primary contact, officers, or other designated representatives make a knowingly false statement, either orally or in writing, to any University employee, committee, or agent, on a matter relating to the activities of the organization or its members, the organization shall be subject to discipline. Organizations must also submit any updated contacts to the Center for Leadership & Involvement if/when contacts or the contact information for contacts change;
10. Student organizations that serve or permit possession of alcoholic beverages and/or other drugs, including controlled substances, at student organization functions, on or off campus, may be disciplined if violations of alcoholic beverage laws, the Registered Student Organization Alcohol Policy (SOAP), or university regulations occur at student organization functions if the violations involve members and/or guests.
11. An RSO shall not conduct or condone any activity expected of someone joining the RSO or to maintain full status in the RSO that humiliates, degrades, abuses, endangers, sexually violates, causes emotional and/or physical harm, or requires a person to give up personal liberty regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. Examples may include but are not limited to use of alcohol, servitude, taking away cell phones, not allowing class attendance, requiring apparel that would normally be considered poor taste, scavenger hunts for questionable materials, engaging in activities designed to create excessive fatigue, smearing of substances on skin, or consumption of vile substances.
a. Due to the complexity of hazing, additional information for RSOs to reference for other examples and commonly accepted definitions can be found at www.stophazing.org
12. Shall abide by decisions of the Committee and/or the Dean of Students regarding complaints arising out of this Policy.
II. Disciplinary Procedures for Violations of the Student Organization Code of Conduct
Timelines in this section regarding the report and hearing process may be extended for the Committee by the Dean of Students or their designee upon petition by the Chair of the Committee. Extension of timelines in this policy shall apply once the process outlined in this section is initiated.
1. Any student, University faculty, staff, student organization or community member may report an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct as provided within this Policy.
2. A report that an RSO has violated any provision of the Code of Conduct must be submitted in writing, via email, or using the electronic report form to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or designee within twenty (20) school days of when the Reporter knew or reasonably should have known of the incident. The report must include a statement of the facts upon which the allegation is based, the name and mailing address of the Reporter, and any documentation regarding the report. No formal action can be taken on anonymous reports. (If any student organization, registered student, or other concerned party has a report against an RSO for reasons other than a Student Organization Code of Conduct violation, they should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Greek Judicial Board, Center for Leadership & Involvement Staff, Dean of Students Office, or other appropriate governing body directly.)
3. The Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee will forward a copy of the report to the Chair of the Committee.
4. After consulting the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee, not exceeding ten (10) school days from the receipt of the report, the Chair of the Committee will determine:
a. Whether the report is timely;
b. Whether the report puts forth a possible violation of the Code of Conduct;
c. Whether the report involves an issue under the jurisdiction of any other judicial body.
i. If it is found that another judicial body has jurisdiction over the issue, the report will be shared with that group, however the CSO may still hold jurisdiction
5. If the report is not timely or no potential violation of the Code of Conduct is determined by the Chair of the Committee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee, no formal action will be taken. The reporter, RSO, and CSO will be informed of this decision in writing.
6. Through the decision of the Dean of Students or their designee, an RSO’s registration status may be suspended on an interim basis pending final resolution of the report for any one of the following reasons:
a. It is deemed necessary for reasons of health or safety;
b. The RSO is alleged to have engaged in egregious or discriminatory behavior to the degree that an immediate interim suspension is warranted.
7. All interim suspensions must be presented to the Committee at the next CSO meeting. The Dean of Students or their designee will consult with the CSO and determine if the interim suspension will continue. Interim suspensions can only be lifted under the conditions outlined in (8.)
8. An interim suspension made under (6.) will be in effect until:
a. The suspension is lifted by the Dean of Students or their designee; or
b. The CSO process is completed
9. If a possible violation of the Code of Conduct does exist, the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee shall determine if:
a. The report alleges a violation that could be mutually resolved;
b. The Committee has enough information based solely on the report to hold a hearing; OR
c. The Committee does not have enough information based solely on the report, in which case the report will be forwarded to the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or their designee for an investigation. If the report is forwarded to the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or their designee, the role of the Investigating Officer will be:
i. To collect information regarding the report,
ii. Prepare preliminary findings to present to the Chair of the Committee and an OSCCS staff member
iii. If warranted, recommend action to be taken by the Chair and OSCCS staff member as outlined in (11.)
iv. If warranted, recommend sanctions
10. The Chair of the Committee, any time before a final decision is issued, may resolve a report with the RSO for the appropriate, mutually resolved sanctions. The Committee must affirm these mutually resolved sanctions by a majority vote at the next CSO meeting.
a. If the CSO affirms the mutual resolution, the primary contact of the RSO and the Chair of the CSO must sign an official statement outlining the resolution(s).
b. If the CSO rejects the mutual resolution, the report will move forward to a hearing as outlined in (12.)
11. Following the information gathering by the Investigating Officer (Step 9c of this section), and within twenty (20) school days of initiating the information gathering, the Investigating Officer will share preliminary findings with the Chair of the Committee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee. After consulting the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee, the Chair shall either:
a. Not initiate formal action;
b. Call a meeting of the Committee to hold a formal hearing on the report
c. Notice of a hearing must be sent to the respondent at least five (5) school days prior to the hearing; or
d. Mutually resolve the report, as outlined in (10.)
12. If a formal hearing on the report is necessary, it:
a. Shall be open only to the members of the Committee, the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee, and student representatives of the RSO against which the report was filed. Any Committee member may recuse themself from hearing a report. If a clear conflict of interest exists for a Committee member, and the member refuses to recuse themself, the Committee may recuse the member by majority vote. If the Chair is recused, the Committee shall appoint an interim Chair to handle the proceedings of the report. The Committee may operate at a smaller membership for hearings, provided there is a student majority and at least three students able to serve.
b. Shall permit the student representatives to have an advisor present at any point, but in an advisory capacity only. Advisory capacity means that the advisor may speak to RSO representatives, but cannot address the CSO at the hearing.
c. Shall allow for the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee (except those in the appellate chain, outlined in Section II, Subsection 15) to present a case in favor of the allegation, using witnesses and evidence as relevant.
d. If the report is forwarded to the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or their designee (as under Section 9, Subsection c), the Investigating Officer will present the findings of the investigation.
e. Shall allow for student representatives of the RSO to cross-examine witnesses present at the hearing and present witnesses and evidence in the RSO’s defense.
f. Shall allow for members of the Committee to ask questions of both sides for clarification of facts.
g. Shall be recorded.
h. May involve multiple reports against the same RSO in the same hearing. Should this situation arise, each report will be heard in chronological order.
13. Following the formal hearing, the Committee will meet as soon as reasonable to deliberate. Such deliberations will be open only to members of the Committee. Within ten (10) school days of the hearing, the Committee shall issue a decision, based upon a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. The result of such decision may include:
a. Dismissal of the report; or
b. Implementation of sanctions deemed appropriate by the Committee, including, but not limited to, warnings, education and service events, probation, suspension, or termination.
14. The Chair of the Committee shall notify the respondent in writing of the Committee’s decision and the respondent’s right to appeal the decision within ten (10) school days. The decision of the Committee shall be forwarded to the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee and included in the RSO’s disciplinary file. The respondent shall inform the Chair of the Committee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee of a decision to appeal within ten (10) school days. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Committee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee. Sanctions issued in the decision letter remain active unless the appeal decision modifies or strikes down these sanctions.
15. Appellate jurisdiction for CSO decisions shall rest with an Ad Hoc CSO Appeals Committee. The creation of an Ad Hoc CSO Appeals Committee shall be the responsibility of the Dean of Students or their designee, with the following requirements:
a. The creation of an Ad Hoc Appeals Committee shall be initiated upon receipt of the formal request for an appeal that satisfies the requirements of section 14. Appeals may only consist of allegations that the Committee on Student Organizations failed to follow its processes and material prejudice to the RSO was the result.
b. The Dean of Students or their designee shall solicit for a minimum of one student from the student misconduct panel appointees from ASM. Students selected shall not be current representatives of the CSO and shall serve for the duration of the appeal in question.
c. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee may include more than one representative of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards so long as the number of Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards representatives does not exceed the number of student representatives.
d. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee will conduct an administrative review of the case to determine whether a due process violation has occurred in the appellant’s case. If a violation of due process is found to have occurred, the Ad Hoc Appeals Committee may uphold, modify, or strike down the sanctions placed on the appellant by the CSO. The appellant may also request the committee direct the CSO to rehear the case.
e. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee shall have full access to all evidence presented to the Committee, the minutes, and recordings of the hearing of the appellant’s case. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee may request any further clarification from the Committee, Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, or the appellant.
16. Reports filed less that twenty (20) school days prior to the first day of Spring Commencement will establish timelines beginning the first school day of the following fall semester.
17. The voting members of the Committee shall be as follows:
a. Two faculty representatives.
b. Three academic staff representatives from departments outside the Dean of Students reporting line.
c. One academic staff representative of the Center for Leadership & Involvement.
d. Nine student appointees made in collaboration with the Associated Students of Madison and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards shall be responsible for accepting applications and forwarding them to the ASM for appointment consideration. OSCCS may remove students not in good standing with the University. The ASM Shared Governance Committee shall be responsible for the timely appointment of students. However, the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee is permitted to actively participate in all appointment processes of students as ex officio members to ensure the process fairly provides diverse perspectives on the committee. This involvement may include but is not limited to formation of application procedures, interviews, and deliberations, with the exception of voting rights.
III. Definitions Used in This Policy:
Anonymous Reports are reports where no one, including the chair or the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee, knows the identity of the reporter
Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is the student government association formed in 1994 to represent student concerns.
Business day means any day on which the University conducts regular business.
Chancellor is the Chancellor of the University or designee.
Committee on Student Organizations (CSO or Committee) is the University’s official Committee on Student Organizations as originally adopted by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) and approved as University policy by the Chancellor. This committee is filled with representatives from the ASM Shared Governance process, Center for Leadership & Involvement, Faculty and Academic staff according to section 17 of this policy. The CSO exists to revise and implement the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Code of Conduct, and is invested with judiciary powers in order to review allegations of misconduct by RSOs.
Committee on Student Organizations Chair (Chair) is the person appointed annually by the Committee at their first meeting of the academic year. The Chair serves as the spokesperson for the Committee and is responsible for bringing information regarding reports to the Committee.
Confidential Reports are reports where the chair and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee member know the identity of the reporter, but the identity of the reporter is not shared with any other party without written consent of the reporter.
Controlled Substance means substances defined in Ch. 161, Wisconsin Statutes or other substances that may be detrimental to health, though not against Federal, State or Local laws. Day means calendar day, except as specifically noted otherwise in this Policy.
Dean of Students is the Dean of Students of the University or their designee.
Disciplinary Sanction means any action affecting the status of an RSO, as an RSO, that is imposed in response to the organization’s misconduct. The term includes, but is not limited to, educational programming, restitution, community service activities, apology letters, probation (including denial of specified University privileges), suspension, termination, or other such sanctions deemed appropriate by the Committee.
Discrimination (Discriminatory), as referred to in this Policy, is determined based on Regent Policy 30-06, which states:
“That, upon recommendation of the UW System President, the Board of Regents adopts the following policy on the recognition of student organizations: Student organizations that select their members or officers on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g., religious or political beliefs) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who affirm that they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs, so long as no student is excluded from membership, officer positions, or participation on the basis of his or her race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, or, unless exempt under Title IX, sex.”
Egregious Behavior is conduct which is extreme and outrageous, exceeding all bounds usually tolerated by the University community. This behavior must be a violation of UWS 14, 17, 18, and/or student organization policy, as determined by the University.
Event – The Committee on Student Organizations determines the likelihood of an event based on information provided in each case and uses the preponderance of the evidence standard to make the final determination. Cases are independent of each other in their practice and therefore treated as such. When identifying events some concepts considered may include but are not limited to member attendance, funding, location, advertising, and capacity.
Financial Records means account statements, checking and savings records, and all other records of receipt or payment of funds from any source of organization funds.
Greek Judicial Board is the body that decides upon reports arising out of social fraternities’ and sororities’ code of conduct under the jurisdiction of the Greek Judicial Board.
Hearing Panel means the Committee on Student Organizations.
Individual Misconduct means student conduct that violates UWS 14, 17, or 18.
Investigating Officer is an individual designated by the Office for Student Conduct and Community Standards or the Dean of Students to conduct investigations of RSO misconduct as defined in this policy.
On the Record means that no information other than that presented at the hearing can be added while reviewing the case in the appellate jurisdiction in the case of an appeal.
Preponderance of the Evidence means whether it is more likely than not that the violation happened based upon the available/presented information. In mathematical terms, it would mean the information leads the committee to be 51% sure that the violation did or did not occur.
Primary Contact means the designated contact person of the RSO as listed on the group’s registration form.
Probation means the RSO is permitted to remain registered only upon the condition that it complies with all University rules and regulations and with other standards of conduct that the organization is directed to observe for the duration of the period of the probation. Probation may include the suspension of organizational rights as specified by the CSO. Probation may not exceed eight semesters in duration for any given misconduct. Violation of probation requirements shall be grounds for further sanctions, up to, and including, termination.
Provost means the Provost of the University or designee.
Quorum for the Committee means a majority of the appointed members, unless otherwise provided for in this Policy. There must be a student majority and at least three students and at least one faculty/staff able to serve.
Registered Student Organization (RSO) is a group, composed mainly of, and directed by, students, consisting of at least four (4) students, and which has filed all appropriate registration forms with the Center for Leadership & Involvement and meets the eligibility criteria for registration.
Reporter is the person, as allowed in this Policy, who brings forth information that may allege possible misconduct by an RSO.
Respondent is the person or RSO about whom or against which an allegation of possible misconduct is brought forth.
School day means any day on which classes normally meet, including finals week, but excluding summer session.
Student, for the purposes of this Policy, is any person who is registered for study at the University for the current academic period. A person shall be considered a student during any period that follows the end of an academic period the student has completed until the last day for registration for the next succeeding academic period, except that a student from the spring academic session, who is not attending any summer session, shall remain classified as a student, for purposes of this Policy, until the last day for registration for the succeeding fall academic period.
Suspension means a temporary loss of all of an RSO’s privileges for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year from the CSO decision date. The purpose of suspension is to provide a focused opportunity for an RSO to address issues that led to its violation(s) while limiting the day-to-day organizational activities of the group. The terms of suspension include, but are not limited to, ceasing all organizational activity with the exception of one executive board meeting per week. The CSO may allow additional organizational activity that would assist in the RSO’s development. Additional violations of the Student Organization Code of Conduct may lead to termination. Notices of suspension will be sent to campus service providers (central reservations offices, funding providers, etc.).
Termination means the revocation of a student organization’s status and privileges as an RSO for a length of time and according to terms to be determined by the Committee. Terminated organizations are required to cease operations and disband as a student organization.
Witness means anyone with knowledge of the incident that the presenter or respondent brings to a hearing, excluding confidential reporters. The presenter is also considered a witness.
University means the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Registered Student Organization Alcohol Policy (SOAP)
[April 25, 2014 | Updated: May 23, 2017]
Any Registered Student Organization event with alcohol must abide by the following policies:
1. An appropriate selection and quantity of non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available.
2. If event attendees are anticipated to include individuals below the minimum legal drinking age, then procedures must be in place to prevent consumption of alcoholic beverages by these individuals. Minimum requirements include:
a. At an alcohol licensed venue, sober monitors and/or alcohol licensed venue staff must request an ID from every guest at the point of entry. Regardless of who IDs the guests, the organization maintains responsibility for making sure guests are properly identified.
b. At a venue without an alcohol license, sober monitors and/or hired security staff must request IDs from every guest at the point of entry and before providing guests with alcohol. Regardless of who IDs the guests, the organization maintains responsibility for making sure guests are properly identified.
c. Alcohol is dispensed in a designated area for attendees at or above the minimum legal drinking age. This includes alcohol brought by event attendees.
d. The organization will provide attendees with a wristband to indicate that the guest is at or above the minimum legal drinking age.
3. At any event where the consumption of alcohol is allowed, each sponsoring organization must provide a minimum of two sober monitors for up to 50 total attendees. One additional sober monitor from each sponsoring organization must be provided for every additional 25 attendees.
a. The sober monitor shall refrain from the consumption of alcohol until the completion of the event.
b. Half (50%) of the sober monitors from each sponsoring organization must be in an officer/executive position or have been a member for over one academic year.
c. At least one sober monitor from each sponsoring organization must be at or above the minimum legal drinking age.
d. The Sober Monitor’s duties shall be:
i. to be present at all times during which alcoholic beverages are served or consumed;
ii. to ensure that the Registered Student Organization Alcohol Policy is observed by all persons in attendance at the event;
iii. to ensure that inebriated persons do not consume alcoholic beverages;
iv. to maintain or ensure control of alcoholic beverages at all times to prevent unauthorized consumption and ensure alcoholic beverages are properly secured at the conclusion of the event; and
v. to ensure that individuals below the minimum legal drinking age do not consume alcoholic beverages.
e. All sober monitors must have completed the online sober monitor training program within the previous calendar year prior to serving as a sober monitor (adapted responsible employee training, which is still be developed).
4. Total attendees at any given time may not exceed the fire code capacity of the venue or the requisite supplied number of sober monitors.
Any Registered Student Organization making alcohol available at a venue without an alcohol license must abide by the following additional policy: Alcoholic beverages present at the event are limited to beer (fermented malt beverages) and wine. Common sources of alcohol such as kegs, bowls, barrels, boxed wine, etc. are not permitted.
CSO’s Operating Protocol
Part I: General Provisions
1 – Title
These protocols shall be known as the “Committee on Student Organizations’ Operating Protocol” and may be cited individually by specific Protocol number or collectively by their title.
2 – Scope and Authority
A. These Protocols shall apply to any and all business conducted by the Committee on Student Organizations. Committee members and all persons having business before the CSO shall abide by the provisions of these Protocols, subject to the sanctions of Protocol 6. Should any Protocol or clause of a Protocol be rescinded or otherwise violated, no other Protocols shall be affected.
B. The Committee on Student Organizations shall, at its first meeting of every semester, revise this Operating Protocol as necessary. If the CSO is unable to review and revise the Operating Protocol as necessary, the current version will remain in effect.
3 – Definitions
a. “Appellant” refers to a person/entity who petitions for appeal
b. “Committee” refers to the entire Committee on Student Organizations (CSO), or all of CSO present at a hearing so long as quorum is achieved. Only the Committee may resolve cases where the recommended sanction is suspension or termination.
c. “CfLI” refers to the Center for Leadership & Involvement.
d. “Decision” refers to the action taken by a Hearing Body regarding a report of organization misconduct
e. “Reporter” refers to the person(s) who has/ve filed a report or petition.
f. “Respondent” refers to organization against whom a report or petition is filed.
g. “Hearing” refers to a public or private meeting of a Hearing Body at which reporters and respondents are involved and/or decisions are rendered.
h. “Hearing Body” refers to either Panels or the Committee when convened to resolve reports of organizational misconduct.
i. “OSCCS” refers to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
j. “Panel” refers to a subset of the Committee, comprised of three students and at least one but no more than two faculty/staff appointed to the Committee, convened to resolve reports of misconduct. May not resolve cases where the recommended sanction includes suspension or termination. Panels will elect a student member to serve as Chair at the beginning of any meeting. Panels will be scheduled at the start of each semester. Ad hoc panels may be convened as needed. All hearing panels will be an option for all student members to attend.
k. “Party” refers to any person/entity having duty before the CSO; multiple parties on the same side of a hearing may be referred to as “co-parties”
l. “Quorum” refers to a majority of the duly appointed members of the CSO, where a student majority is present, which is needed for any business of the committee; Hearings only require a panel to operate.
4 – Open Forum
A. The right of members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to be heard at all public meetings of the CSO is imperative; as such, Open Forum will be offered at each CSO business meeting.
B. At every public meeting, any member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison may by right communicate on any topic for a period of three minutes; such period may be extended by a majority vote of the CSO. Persons who are not members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison may communicate on any topic by leave of the CSO, done by a majority vote. All open forum topic must be germane to the purview of the Committee.
C. Open forum will be limited to a maximum of forty-five minutes unless extended by a majority vote of the CSO members present.
5 – Formatting Decision Letters
A. Decisions of the Hearing Body shall be included in a letter explaining the positions taken by the Panel or Committee. Every decision shall conform to the provisions of this Protocol. The decision shall include:
a. background of the case;
b. a list of the allegation(s) made against the RSO;
c. decision(s) of the Hearing Body on those allegation(s);
d. a rationale for each decision, based on a preponderance of the evidence, and the rationale for required sanctions.
B. Sanctions: At the conclusion of the decision, the CSO shall inform the parties involved in the matter of any sanctions that the CSO may deem necessary and appropriate.
C. Other Decisions: The Hearing Chair shall be responsible for authoring the decision letter. The Hearing Chair shall also be responsible for authoring the rationale to be included in the decision letter. Any member of the Hearing Body may by right have their name listed on the decision as having abstained or voted against the rationale and/or the official decision. Any member dissenting with the majority decision may choose to author their opinion and have it be attached to the Hearing Body’s official decision. Dissenting opinions shall follow the same format set forth by the majority decision.
6 – Sanctions
A party’s failure to comply with any of these protocols shall be grounds for such sanctions as the CSO determines to be reasonable and proportionate to the offense, and sufficient to deter further violations.
7 – Suspension
These Protocols may be suspended in a particular instant by a majority vote of the panel or committee members present, excluding committee members recused form the case, in the interest of seeking the facts or greater understandings of the case. No general or indefinite suspension shall be issued; all suspensions must be to remedy specific problems or injustices.
8 – Posting
These Protocols, as well as CSO governing policies of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, shall be posted on the OSCCS and CfLI websites and shall be available in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Copies of CSO Agendas, Minutes, and Decisions may be requested from OSCCS or CSO.
Part II: Hearings
9 – Filing of Report
A. Anyone may by right file a report of alleged policy violations or petition for relief against any registered student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Reports must comply with specifications set forth in the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations.
B. Once received; the CSO shall follow the procedures set forth in the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations.
10 – Notification Protocol
A. If a report is deemed to be timely and have potential violations of the codes of conduct, the organization will then receive notice of the report and the potential codes violated within 10 school days from when the CSO received the report.
B. This notice may:
a. Invite the organization to a mutual resolution if deemed appropriate by the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee and CSO Chair
b. Inform the organization of the report, potential violations, that an investigation has commenced, and ask the organization to meet to discuss the report
c. Dismiss the report
C. When notifying the organization, the contact information provided in WIN will be used.
D. The contact that should be notified are:
– Primary Contact – email is sent to this person – with statement about other notifications to be made and the timelines for these notifications.
E. Once the RSO contact has been notified, notification will also be sent to the following contacts listed in WIN. This notice will occur within 3-5 school days of notice being sent to the RSO.
– Advisor (if listed) – email is copied to this person
– House Corporation President (if listed) – email is copied to this person – note: send to this contact only if involves organizational facility
– Dual Registration Point of Contact – if organization is registered as a dual registration organization such as fraternity/sorority, engineering org, rec sports org, etc.
Note: Primary contacts of the RSOs will continue to be the main point of contact for the inquiry
F. Decision letters would be sent to these points of contacts with the same timelines that were used for reports.
11 – Pre-Hearing Requests
A. Each party may by right make any request deemed relevant to the report. Pre-hearing requests are requests made prior to the start of any hearing; they may be made in writing up to twenty-four hours prior to the start of a hearing, and may be made orally to the entire CSO at any point prior to the actual start of the hearing.
B. The Chair of Committee shall rule on each pre-hearing request up to 24 hours prior to the hearing. The Hearing Chair shall rule on each pre-hearing request brought to the Hearing Body prior to the hearing. Any member of the CSO may by right challenge the Chair’s ruling on requests; the ruling by the Chair shall be sustained by a majority vote of the Hearing Body members present.
12 – Disposition without a hearing
A. When a party fails to appear for a hearing that was properly convened and fails to offer any evidence to the CSO prior to the hearing, the Hearing Body may render a decision based on the information available to it.
B. Withdrawal – A reporter may, at any time prior to the start of the hearing, file a written request with the CSO to withdraw his or her report. Withdrawal of a report shall not result in automatic dismissal of the case, unless it is the only active report pertaining to a particular incident.
C. Multiple reports submitted regarding the same incident shall be considered as part of one case, and be resolved during the same hearing.
D. The Committee may review and approve Mutual Resolutions as set forth in the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations.
13 – Standard Hearing Agenda
A. All hearing proceedings shall be recorded through closing statements and excluding any Hearing Body deliberations.
B. Each party to a hearing shall be limited to thirty minutes total for opening and closing statements and the presentation of evidence; additional time may be extended by leave of the Hearing Body.
C. Any persons may request for a recess of no more than fifteen minutes, and the Hearing Chair shall rule on all such requests. The Hearing Chair shall have the authority to declare a recess during a meeting should they deem that such action is appropriate.
D. The Chair of the Hearing Body shall have the authority to remove any person who interrupts the proceedings.
14 – Information and Objections
A. Each party may by right submit any relevant information to the Hearing Body. Information may be either as an exhibit, police report, or any other forms of relevant information procured through the course of an investigation.
B. Any party may request any relevant information from any person, who shall be obligated to substantially comply. The Hearing Chair shall have the authority to compel information requested by a party, when the custodian of that information refuses to comply with a party’s request. Failure to comply with an order shall lead to sanctions as outlined in Protocol 6.
C. Should verbal statements be offered, opposing parties must have an opportunity to question any witnesses. If questioning a witness is not possible, then that witness may not offer statements. Statements obtained through the course of an investigation may be offered as evidence and/or exhibit, without it being considered as witness testimony. Questioning time shall NOT be included in the total presentation time, and may be done immediately following the initial examination, or during the opposing party’s own time.
D. A party may object to any evidence on the grounds of relevance, or failure to comply with the provisions of these Protocols. Relevant evidence is information that makes a fact necessary to prove a claim more or less likely. A majority of the Hearing Body must agree to sustain any objection, which precludes the use of the objectionable evidence.
15 – Decision
For each report heard, a Hearing Body shall render a decision on behalf of the CSO.
Part III: Appeals
16 – Grounds to Appeal
Sections 14 and 15 of the Policy on the Conduct of Discipline of Registered Student Organizations shall govern appeals from the CSO.
Part IV: Organization Reinstatement Procedure
17 – Terminated Organization Reinstatement Procedure
According to the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations, termination means the revocation of a student organization’s status and privileges as a Registered Student Organization (RSO) for a length of time and according to terms to be determined by the Committee.
The following steps must be taken if an organization that has been formally terminated by the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) seeks to have their status as an RSO reinstated.
A. Submit an application to the CSO for review and approval no later than 60 school days prior to the desired date of return. The desired date of return must be after the conclusion of the termination period listed in the termination decision letter.
a. Within five school days of receiving an application, the CSO Chair or designee will send notice to the Associate Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) or their designee to collect and organize information relevant to the applying organization for review by the CSO.
b. The applying organization must meet with representatives of CfLI for an orientation on RSO policies and guidelines prior to reinstatement proceedings. CfLI may invite representatives of other relevant offices as necessary.
c. Applications can be submitted once per academic year from organizations that have been terminated.
B. At the formal CSO review, the terminated organization must present an Action Plan that has:
a. Executive Board or equivalent leadership body roles and expectations within the organization.
b. A comprehensive transition policy for the organization’s Executive Board or equivalent leadership body.
c. A detailed description of the organization’s event procedures.
d. A completed initial RSO application.
C. During this review, the CSO may:
a. Ask further questions regarding the information provided within the Action Plan and other relevant information, including documented incidents that occurred while the organization was terminated.
b. Request that the organization demonstrate its knowledge of the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations by identifying policy implications within provided case studies and effectively articulating how the organization would respond in such scenarios.
D. A decision regarding the reinstatement of the organization’s RSO status should be determined no later than ten school days following the CSO review.
a. Two-thirds of the CSO must vote to approve the RSO status for this organization.
E. An organization must have complied with all sanctions in the original termination decision letter and an approved RSO application before being reinstated as an RSO.
F. No additional sanctions may be added to those listed in the original termination decisions as a result of this process.
Part V: Business Meetings
18 – Parliamentary Authority
The Committee on Student Organizations shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order in a manner deemed necessary for the purpose of the Committee.
19 – Rights to Communicate
Only CSO members shall usually address the CSO, provided that other persons may communicate pursuant to Protocol 4. CSO members, by a majority vote of the CSO members present or Hearing Body, may yield to a non-CSO member when the issue under discussion involves their area of expertise. The rights of any person to communicate before the CSO, other than rights arising under Protocol 4, may be suspended or revoked by a vote of the majority of the CSO. Nothing in this Protocol shall be constructed so as to allow or require non-CSO member’s entry to a closed session of the CSO.
20 – Closed or Private Sessions
Pursuant to Wisconsin Open Records and Open Meeting Laws, the CSO may meet in closed session when discussing issue of a sensitive nature, or when determining the nature of pending hearing. Before going into closed session, the general nature must be on a previously posted agenda. Any member of the CSO may by right object to said closed session, and such objection shall be sustained by a majority vote of the CSO members present.
21 – Voting
A. Voting shall be done consistent with the parliamentary authority noted in Protocol 18, provided that, voting shall be by roll-call vote when (1) the question requires two-thirds majority to pass; (2) the CSO is deciding on a pending case.
B. Voting for the election of CSO Chair shall be done by secret ballot.
C. Voting by Unanimous Consent: any member of the CSO may by right request a Unanimous Consent on any matter they wish, provided the matter is germane to the topic under consideration by the CSO. Any member of the CSO may by right choose to object to any Unanimous Consent request, at which point, any member of the CSO may by right request a roll-call vote on the same question.
22 – Standardized Forms
The CSO may, by majority vote, adopt and amend standardized forms for the submission of reports and other petitions or requests before the CSO. Any forms adopted pursuant to this Protocol shall be made publically available pursuant to Protocol 8.
23 – Amending the CSO’s Operating Protocol
Any Protocol included in the CSO’s Operating Protocol may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the CSO.