Student Organization Process and Sanctions
Student Organizations (including Fraternities, Sororities, all sports teams and other groups recognized by the University) should serve as role models to their peers in upholding Drexel University's values and standards. Student Organizations are responsible for knowing and complying with all policies listed in the Code of Conduct [PDF] as well all supplemental policies from the departments or organizations they are associated with. Student Organizations, like individual Students, are responsible for the conduct of their members both on and off Drexel University campuses.
The process for resolving complaints against Student Organizations mirrors the process for individual Students, with a few exceptions. Please note that interim measures may be taken, if deemed necessary, prior to the adjudication of alleged violations.
All reports or complaints of alleged misconduct involving a Student Organization will be reviewed by Student Conduct. The University has the authority to determine whether the Student Organization, individual members, or both should receive notification of alleged violations on a case-by-case basis. Examples of the criteria used by Student Conduct in making that determination are:
- One or more of the Organization's members and/or leaders committed or supported the acts in the particular incident.
- The behavior or actions taken can be attributed to an Organization-sponsored, -associated, or -financed activity.
- The behavior or actions took place at or on property controlled by the Organization.
- The Organization's leadership had prior knowledge that the particular behavior or action would be occurring and made no reasonable effort to intervene.
- One or more of the Organization's members and/or leaders were not honest about the particular incident.
It is Student Conduct's sole judgement to proceed with formal notifications of allegations. Student Conduct will take the steps deemed appropriate to gather relevant information pertaining to a particular report or complaint. If Student Conduct concludes that there is enough information to meet the preponderance of the evidence standard, the Student Conduct Process will be initiated.
General Student Conduct Process for Student Organizations
The conduct process for Student Organizations mirrors the process for individual Students, with some nuances. Additional information about the conduct process can be found on our Process page.
- Notice of Conference (Alleged Violations) sent to the Organization's president or designee.
- Representatives of the Organization (no more than 2) meet with the Conduct Case Administrator for the Pre-Hearing Conference. During this meeting, the Organization will be informed of the conduct process, have the opportunity to discuss the alleged violations, and be given a chance to respond to the alleged violations.
- A case may be resolved in the following ways:
- Collaborative Resolution – The Organization accepts responsibility for the alleged violations and the Conduct Case Administrator determines appropriate sanctions. The Conduct Case Administrator will notify the Organization in an Outcome Letter of the final determination and sanctions. Organizations can appeal Collaborative Resolution decisions on the criteria of Unduly Harsh Sanction only. Definitions, criteria, and the process for appeals can be found in Section 9 of the Code.
- University Hearing – If the Organization denies responsibility for the allegation and there is adequate information to move forward with the case through the Student Conduct Process, the Pre-Hearing Conference Conduct Case Administrator will refer the case to a Hearing with the University Conduct Board. The University Hearing format can be found in Subsection VI of the Code. A decision from a University Hearing can be appealed on the grounds of Unduly Harsh Sanction, Insufficient Information, New Evidence, and Inappropriate Procedure. Definitions, criteria, and the process for appeals can be found in Section 9 of the Code.
Hazing Investigation and Resolution Process
If a report alleges violations of the University's Hazing policy, Student Conduct has two options to address the allegations.
- If the report contains enough information to reach the preponderance of the evidence standard, Student Conduct will assign a Conduct Case Administrator and the case will be addressed through the Student Organization Conduct Process.
- If the report does not contain adequate information to be resolved immediately through the Student Organization Conduct Process, the Hazing Investigation Team will initiate an investigation to ensure the safety of Organization members and potential new members. The investigation process can include individual Student conversations or a full Organization process.
Interim measures may be taken prior to and during any investigation; more information about Interim Measures can be found in Section 6 of the Code.
The Hazing Investigation process will generally follow these steps:
- The Hazing Investigation Team (HIT) convenes and one to two (1-2) Lead Investigators are assigned.
- The responding Student Organization members will receive email notification from Student Life requesting all current members and potential new members attend interviews with a specific date, time, and location. The interviews will typically occur within one to two (1-2) business days of the notification. The Investigators will work to accommodate Student Organization members and potential new members based on availability, when possible.
- On the day of the interviews, the Lead Investigator(s) will explain the process and may limit communication within or outside of the space (i.e. no cell phone usage). There will be at least one (1) Process Advisor who will serve to support the Student Organization and advocate for the students in the interviews as needed. The Process Advisor will be a trained member of Student Life. The Student Organization Advisor may be permitted to be present during the process, but will not be allowed to sit in the individual interviews. Students will have their rights and responsibilities explained before the interview process.
- Following the interviews, the HIT Lead Investigators will compile an Investigation Report summarizing what was discovered during the interview process and will make recommendations regarding next steps (i.e., conduct process versus an educational conversation).
- Student Conduct, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, will determine whether to pursue additional actions and will inform the Student Organization’s leadership of next steps within fourteen (14) calendar days of completion of the investigation, barring extraordinary circumstances.
- If the original report or complaint is substantiated, or if any information is gathered through the investigation that could be determined as alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, the case will then follow the General Student Conduct Process for Student Organizations detailed in the previous section.
Sanctioning for Student Organizations
The goal of all conduct proceedings is to educate those involved and repair harm done to impacted communities. To accomplish this, Drexel utilizes two main categories of sanctioning. The first is educational sanctioning. This can take the form of an essay, project, program, or anything else that requires the Student Organization involved to reflect on their experience. The second category of sanctioning is referred to as a status sanction. A status sanction typically limits some form of activity for a period of time.
Sanctions that may be imposed for cases involving all Student Organizations include, but are not limited to, the following:
A disciplinary reprimand is a written notice that a Student Organization has violated the Code of Conduct and that another violation will result in a more severe sanction.
Disciplinary Probation is a designated period of time during which the Student Organization is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the community's expectations of behavior articulated in the Code of Conduct. Suspension of social privileges, including the ability to host social functions, may accompany this sanction.
Loss of University Privileges and Services
Loss of University privileges and services includes, but is not limited to, loss of space reservation privileges and the ability to receive or retain University funds.
Loss of Membership Recruitment
Loss of membership recruitment is the prohibition of any event or activity with the goal of increasing student membership or interest in joining the organization for a designated period.
Loss of Use of Common Spaces
Loss of use of common spaces is the prohibition against using any organizationally appointed common spaces in the residential facilities by any Students affiliated with the Student Organization. This may include, but is not limited to, lounges, kitchens, and basement spaces.
Alcohol Ban in Residential Facility
Total ban of alcohol in University Housing for a given period of time. This ban includes members/residents who are over the age of 21 years old and applies at all times, not just during social events.
Removal from University Housing
Removal from University Housing is the separation of a Student Organization from residential facilities (including Model A, B, and Master Lease). This will be for a specified period of time, and conditions for readmission to University Housing may be specified.
Deferred Social Suspension
Deferred Social Suspension is a designated period of time during which a Student Organization is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the University's Student Organization social policies. If the organization is found to be in violation of any University Policy during this period, the University is obligated to consider social suspension as a primary response.
Deferred Suspension of Recognition
Deferred Suspension of Recognition is used for offenses found serious enough to warrant suspension, but where the specific circumstances of the case mitigate the offense, or may be issued for repeated offenses of a less serious nature. Deferred suspension is a designated period of time during which a Student Organization is given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to abide by the community's expectations of behavior articulated in the Code of Conduct. If the Student Organization is found responsible for violating any additional University Policy or regulation during the period of deferred suspension, the organization may be immediately suspended from the University and may be subject to additional sanctions for the subsequent violation. If the organization is found to be in violation of University Policy during this period, the University is obligated to consider suspension of recognition as a primary response.
Social Suspension is the loss of all social function privileges for a defined or indefinite period. A social function shall be defined as any event where alcohol will be served, OR any event that has the primary characteristics of a "party." These characteristics include: socialization as the primary purpose and activity, dancing, and/or music (DJ, band, etc.). In addition, no alcohol will be permitted in the affiliated organization's University housing assignment by any persons, including those who are 21 and over (if applicable).
Suspension of Recognition
Suspension of Recognition is a designated period during which a Student Organization loses recognition by the University and access to all University services. A suspended Student Organization must cease all organizational activities. Any attempts to operate the Organization without recognition will result in additional disciplinary actions for individual Students. In addition, the members of the Student Organization must vacate the affiliated organization University housing assignment (if applicable) and all of the Organization's social media presence will need to be deactivated for the duration of the suspension. After the designated period of suspension, the Student Organization may submit an application for recognition through the appropriate recognition process.
Withdrawal of Recognition
Withdrawal of Recognition is the permanent loss of recognition as a Student Organization by the University. A Student Organization that has had its recognition withdrawn must cease all organizational activities. In addition, the members of the Student Organization must vacate the affiliated organization University housing assignment (if applicable) and delete the Organization's social media presence. The name of the Organization and all symbols associated with Drexel's chapter shall be removed from all Drexel University property, including websites. Any attempts to operate the Organization without recognition will result in additional disciplinary actions for individual Students.
Organizational Learning and Engagement
Educational sanctions provide a Student Organization the opportunity to review conduct expectations, understand how behavior can contribute to a positive and beneficial University experience, and learn of campus resources which support academic and non-academic success.
This may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Membership Review
- Risk Management Policy Revision
- Risk Management Training
- Hazing Program/Training/Presentation
- Removal of Organization Officers
- Temporary or Permanent Restrictions on Accessing University Funds
- Temporary or Permanent Restrictions on Accessing University Facilities
- Educational Program – The Organization is to host an educational program on a topic assigned by the Conduct Administrator. This program can be open to the entire community if the Conduct Administrator determines it is appropriate.
- Mandatory Follow-Up Meetings between Conduct Administrator/Drexel Administrator and Organizational Leadership
- Educational Presentation from a Drexel Administrator to the Organization's members