Registered Student Organizations.
Section I: Scope and Mission
Section II: Principles of Group Responsibility
Section III: Organizational Rules of Conduct
Section IV: Registered Student Organization Rights through the Committee on Student Organizations Disciplinary Process
Section V: Committee on Student Organizations Disciplinary Process
Section VI: Sanctions
Section VII: Appeal Process
Section VIII: Committee on Student Organizations Sanction Review Process
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.
The Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) is the principal body for implementing and revising the behavioral standards related to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). The CSO itself is an appointed body of students, faculty, and staff; a majority of the Committee is made up of students. The Associate Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards(OSCCS) advises the Committee but is not a voting member.
The up to fifteen (15) voting members of the Committee are as follows:
The Committee must have a quorum to conduct its official business. However, the Committee may operate at a smaller membership for hearings and the review of an RSO’s Disciplinary Probation status provided there are at least three (3) students able to serve, at least one (1) faculty or staff member able to serve, and a majority of the serving members are students.
To complement the University’s teaching, research, and public service missions, the CSO works to:
The Registered Student Organization Code of Conduct applies to all University of Wisconsin-Madison RSOs and shall be deemed a part of the terms and conditions of RSO registration. The Registered Student Organization Code of Conduct applies to all RSOs for conduct that occurs:
This detailed process 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 prohibited conduct described in the Organizational Rules of Conduct section below (Section III) applies to RSO behavior and will not be used to impose discipline for the lawful expression of ideas. The right of all students to seek knowledge, debate, and freely express their ideas is fully recognized by the University.
Questions regarding the Registered Student Organization Code of Conduct may be addressed to the Chair of the Committee or their designee and to the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee.
The following criteria will be used to determine if a Registered Student Organization (RSO) can be held responsible for the Organizational Rules of Conduct ( Section III):
It is not a requirement that all of these criteria be met in order to hold an RSO responsible for the Organizational Rules of Conduct (Section III).
It is important to understand that students may be held accountable as individuals under the processes listed in UWS Chapter 14, Chapter 17, and/or Chapter 18 for their conduct, whether the students are acting in an individual capacity or the students are acting as a member of an RSO.
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are expected to abide by the following rules. These rules should be read broadly and are not designed to define prohibited conduct in exhaustive terms. The prohibited conduct outlined in the section applies to RSO behavior and will not be used to impose discipline for the lawful expression of ideas. The right of all students to seek knowledge, debate, and freely express their ideas is fully recognized by the University. Any violation of the following regulations by an RSO may result in disciplinary sanctions against the organization.
RSOs are not exempt from discipline for such actions which constitute violations of federal, state, or local laws and may be subject to additional action by appropriate judicial bodies or governmental authorities. Individual members of RSOs may also be held responsible for violations of UWS Chapter 14, Chapter 17, and/or Chapter 18 for behavior that occurs as part of organizational activity.
The University may discipline an RSO for engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others in engaging in any of the following:
Failure to comply with University policies including, but not limited to, the use of University facilities and grounds, fleet vehicles, electronic information technology, and facility reservation contracts.
Hazing is defined as any action, or situation, which intentionally or recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. Hazing includes but is not limited to:
Any violation of UW-146 UW–Madison Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.
The following rights shall be afforded to a Registered Student Organization (RSO) during the Committee on Student Organizations Disciplinary Process (Section III) and shall be provided to the RSO in writing when they are charged with violations of the Organizational Rules of Conduct. RSOs have a right to:
The following processes apply to all Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) alleged to have violated the Organizational Rules of Conduct. Should the RSO be charged with violation of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will be consulted at each step of the process outlined below.
Any person (e.g. student, University faculty, staff, or community member) may report an alleged violation of the Organizational Rules of Conduct as provided within the Registered Student Organization Code of Conduct.
A report that an RSO has violated any provision of the Organizational Rules of Conduct must be submitted in writing, via email, or using the online incident reporting form to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) which can be found here. OSCCS may also receive referrals from external entities, including law enforcement. While the Committee will review all reports it receives, the submission of anonymous reports can significantly impede the University’s ability to address the incident.
Upon receiving a report, the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee will review the relevant information and consult with the Chair of the Committee or their designee to determine whether the information submitted rises to a possible violation of the Organizational Rules of Conduct. The Chair of the Committee or their designee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee may request additional information regarding the allegation at any time. If it is found that another judicial body has concurrent jurisdiction over the issue, the report may be shared with that group. The Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) Disciplinary Process may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or after proceedings of other judicial bodies.
If after reviewing the information, it is determined by the Chair of the Committee or their designee and the Associate Director of OSCCS or their designee that there are no potential violations of the Organizational Rules of Conduct, no formal action will be taken.
When deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of any individual or any part of the University (or its community) the Dean of Students or their designee may take immediate action by placing the RSO named in a report on an interim suspension. When placed on interim suspension, an RSO must cease all organization-related activities with the exception of one executive board meeting per week.
An RSO may request one review of the interim suspension status. This request will be made to the Dean of Students or their designee who will determine whether the interim suspension will remain in place. The Dean of Students or their designee may keep the interim suspension in place, alter the terms, or remove the status.
Interim suspensions will be in effect until either:
Notification of all interim suspensions will be shared with the Committee at the next scheduled business meeting following the starting date of the interim suspension.
2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019, 01-01-2022