In order to facilitate student development, student organizations are expected to maintain high academic and behavioral standards within the Grand Valley State University community. It is incumbent upon students, student groups, and guests of students to conduct themselves within the framework of reasonable rules and regulations designed to prevent interference with or obstruction of the orderly operation of the university. Conduct contrary to these standards of behavior which adversely affects the ability of others to pursue their educational goals may result in campus disciplinary action.
It is expected that members of Registered Student Organizations (RSO's) respect the rules and regulations of Grand Valley State University as well as the rights of individual students, faculty, and staff. The Misconduct Review process is in place to evaluate the behavior of RSO's and decide if any disciplinary action is needed to correct behavior. The Misconduct Review process is separate and independent from any civil, criminal or university judicial (individual student) action and may proceed even if a related matter is anticipated or pending in other forums.
The purpose and scope of the Misconduct Review process is to serve both the institution and the RSO by establishing a fair and efficient process for adjudicating complaints concerning alleged non-academic misconduct involving violation of Grand Valley State University policies, procedures, regulations, or ordinances. Individual student misconduct is reviewed using separate procedures set forth in the Grand Valley State University Student Code.
Misconduct Referral Process
When a RSO is accused of violating a rule or regulation, a Student Organization Referral may be filed with the Student Organization Review Board (SORB) Chair. Please click HERE to file a Student Organization Referral. Any member of the university community may file a Student Organization Referral Form. Upon receiving a Student Organization Referral Form, the SORB Chair will review the referral and determine if a violation of university rules and regulations has occurred.
If a violation is found by the SORB Chair, the organization's president and the organization's advisor will receive a notification letter within ten (10) business days. The SORB Chair will include the following information in the written notification:
If no violation of rules is found by the SORB Chair, the complainant is notified in writing and the review process stops. If a violation is found by the SORB Chair, then the process continues as outlined below.
In the case of a violation...
The SORB Chair will then act as a liaison between the misconduct review process, the complainant, and the student organization. Assistance with the misconduct review process will be provided upon request. It is within the discretion of SORB, the SORB Chair, or the Associate Director of Student Life to extend time frames identified in the misconduct review process.
The RSO will have three business days in which to respond in writing to the SORB Chair indicating how the organization plans to reply to the claim. Student organizations have two options on how to proceed with their response to the misconduct review process.
Option One - Admit Responsibility
Provides the opportunity for the RSO to admit responsibility for the violation(s) identified in the Misconduct Referral Form. The president and the advisor of the RSO contacts the SORB Chair in writing and admits responsibility to the violation(s) identified. The RSO waives the right to a SORB misconduct review hearing and requests that the SORB Chair make the sanction decision. The SORB Chair will review the information provided with the Associate Director of Student Life to determine the appropriate action(s) or sanction(s). The SORB Chair has up to ten business days following notification of responsibility to gather information and provide written notification of any sanctions.
If the RSO does not admit responsibility for the violation it can request a misconduct review hearing (option two). This hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible. The organization will be given at least five business days written notice prior to the date of the hearing.
If the student organization does not respond within three business days, then a misconduct review hearing is scheduled.
Option Two - Misconduct Review Hearing:
The misconduct review hearing will be conducted by the Misconduct Hearing Coordinator (generally the SORB Chair) and three (3) members of the Student Organization Review Board, who will serve as the Hearing Panel. The SORB Chair will select the three Hearing Panel members. Hearing Panel members will include one student, one graduate assistant, and one staff member. The goal of the Misconduct Review Hearing is to provide a fair and impartial review of the evidence to make a decision of responsibility on any alleged charge(s).
The SORB Chair will be present during the entire presentation of a case. The SORB Chair, who makes the sanction decision, will have heard the explanation of the organization charged. The Hearing Panel and the SORB Chair may ask questions of any witnesses. The SORB Chair may request witnesses to be a part of the misconduct review hearing. The SORB Chair may remove any individual who is disruptive in a hearing from the room. The misconduct review hearing may proceed without the presence of the removed individual or be adjourned to reconvene at a later time. Unless the law requires, misconduct review hearings are not open to public.
Misconduct Review Hearing Rights & Responsibilities - RSOs
Registered Student Organizations and students involved in the Misconduct Review Hearing have the following rights:
Misconduct Review Hearing Regulations & Responsibilities - Hearing Panel
Misconduct Review Board Decision of Responsibility - Hearing Panel
After completing the Misconduct Review Hearing, the SORB Hearing Panel (by majority vote) will decide whether a group is to be held responsible or not on each charge/allegation.
Decision: Not Responsible - No violation of a rule or regulation has been proven.
Decision: Responsible - A violation of a rule or regulation has been proven by evidence presented at the hearing.
Following the determination of responsibility, the SORB Chair shall deliver a written statement outlining the decision(s) within ten (10) working days to the accused organization and the complaining party. If the organization is found responsible, a brief statement of why a violation was found will be included in the decision. The SORB Chair will determine whether any sanction(s) are warranted and will identify any sanctions and conditions. A written record of the decision (and sanctions if applicable) will be kept in the organization's file in the Office of Student Life.
When a Registered Student Organization is found responsible for violating a rule or regulation, the SORB Chair will determine the sanction. In determining a sanction, the SORB Chair may consider sanctions that have previously been imposed against the organization for other violations or rules or regulations. Possible sanctioning may include:
The accused organization, the alleged victim(s), or the complaining party has the right to appeal the decision of the SORB Misconduct Review Hearing Panel or the sanction(s) imposed by the SORB Chair to the Associate Director of Student Life. An appeal provides a limited review of the original decision. It is not an opportunity to present the evidence again or to re-evaluate credibility. If an error has been made, in most cases the matter will be returned to the original Misconduct Review Hearing Panel or the SORB Chair so that the error may be corrected.
One of the following three conditions must be used as a basis for appeal:
The Associate Director of Student Life will act as the Appeal Administrator. The Associate Dean of Student Life will act as the Appeal Administrator if the Director is unable to due to conflict of interest or absence.
Filing an Appeal
The following conditions apply to the appeal process.
The Associate Director of Student Life or Associate Dean of Student Life may suspend a registered student organization for an interim period pending a formal Misconduct Review Hearing when there is reasonable cause to believe that the continued activities of the organization and its members may cause an immediate threat and/or undue concern within the university community. During the interim suspension, the organization is required to cease all organizational activities immediately upon receipt of written notice from the the Associate Director of Student Life or Associate Dean of Student Life.
When a student organization is temporarily suspended, the organization's acting president shall be given notice concerning the reasons for the suspension, the duration and any special conditions that apply. A representative of the suspended organization shall be given the opportunity to meet with the Student Life staff member who issued the notice within five working days from the effective date of the temporary suspension. The meeting shall be held on the following issues as related to the temporary suspension:
It is not the purpose of the meeting with the Student Life representative to hear evidence concerning responsibility of the pending charges against the organization. A Misconduct Review Hearing shall be conducted by the Student Organization Review Board to determine whether an organization has violated conduct regulations within a reasonable time period and upon notification of all parties involved.
Changes in the Misconduct Review Process Provision
The Associate Dean of Student Life reserves the right to change or add to the process or procedures regarding the Misconduct Review Hearing Process at any time, provided that such changes and additions will be published in a manner reasonably calculated to give adequate notice.