Organizational Misconduct

Student organization misconduct policy

Student organizations are responsible for abiding by University policy, the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (“Student Code” or “Code”), and all other agreements between the University and the student organization. Complaints involving a registered student organization will be addressed using the procedures described below. Complaints against individual members of a student organization may also be addressed under the appropriate University policies and procedures.

The standard of proof used when determining whether a student organization is responsible for a violation of the Student Code will be the preponderance of evidence, or a ‘more likely than not’ standard. If it is determined that a violation of the Student Code is more likely than not to have occurred, Educational and Other Sanctions (as defined below) will be assigned. If it is determined that it is more likely than not that no violation of the Student Code occurred, the case will be dismissed.

The Office of Student Conduct (“OSC”) investigates, hears, and makes the decisions for all allegations of misconduct regardless of group involvement or affiliation. The determination of whether a case concerns individual or organizational misconduct will be determined on a case by case basis by OSC. Allegations of organizational misconduct may be adjudicated before, at the same time as, or following related cases of individual misconduct.

Allegations of organizational misconduct involving sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking will be heard by Administrative Panel (as defined below) members trained in hearing matters of sexual misconduct.

Student Organization conduct records

Student Organization conduct records will be maintained and managed by OSC. The record for a particular matter will include at least a gleaned report, a notification of charges, and a decision letter regarding the charges.

Factors used in determining whether an alleged Code violation was committed by an organization may include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature of the alleged misconduct or incident(s);
  • Executive Board/Leadership knowledge of the alleged misconduct or incident(s);
  • Number of members from the student organization present;
  • Whether the alleged misconduct or incident(s) occurred at an organization-sponsored event(s) or within organization-related affairs, including whether it occurred at a housed organization’s facilities;
  • Failure of the student organization to implement preventative measures where it is reasonably foreseeable that a violation would occur;
  • Funding used for the event; and,
  • Self-reporting by the organization of the event

Procedures for organizational misconduct

Upon receipt of a complaint or other information indicating that a student organization may have engaged in misconduct, OSC will assess the initial report and communicate with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) or the Student Involvement and Leadership Center (SILC). OSC will investigate the student organization’s involvement in the alleged misconduct(*). A Notice of Investigation may be sent notifying the President, Primary Advisor, and Inter/National Headquarters Representative, if applicable, during an investigation. If appropriate, interim and remedial protective measures may be put in place during the investigation process, including a notice to cease and desist organizational operations and activities (see Interim and Remedial Measures below).

The investigation may include, but is not limited to, interviews with any complainants and other witnesses identified as having information relevant to the allegations made, as well as the examination of relevant documents and other information. Information for the investigation may be provided by complainants, the student organization, witnesses identified by any party, or the University. Any person believed to have information relevant to an investigation may be contacted and requested to make an appointment to discuss the matter.

Following the investigation, the investigator will prepare a report of investigative findings (“Glean Report”), which OSC and OSFL/SILC will then review. The Glean Report will be made accessible to the organization, their primary advisor, and their Inter/National Headquarters Representative, if applicable. The organization and their Inter/National Headquarters, if applicable, will have two weeks to assess the information presented in the Glean Report, communicate with members, self-investigate, and/or take appropriate action. Within two weeks of receiving the Glean Report, organizations must submit a response to OSC detailing information learned by the organization and any actions taken. OSC will assess the response, and determine if the case moves to an Alternative Resolution, Informal Collaborative Sanctioning Meeting, or Formal Administrative Conference.

*An Inter/National Headquarters will have the opportunity to co-investigate any alleged misconduct in partnership with OSC. Membership reviews conducted by Inter/National Headquarters may occur at any time during an investigation, but must be completed within two weeks following the finalization of the glean report.

There are multiple pathways to resolve a complaint. An organizational case may be resolved through one of the following pathways.

OSC, in consultation with OSFL/SILC, the organization, and at the discretion of the Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students (“VPSL”) or their designee, may determine that reported cases can be resolved through an alternative resolution in lieu of a formal hearing. In these cases, an investigative report may or may not be created. When an alternative resolution is agreed upon and successfully completed, a student organization will remain in good standing with the university. Alternative resolutions may include but are not limited to, mediation between two or more student organizations, restorative processes or related programs, Chapter Coach Referrals, an Inter/National Headquarters Referral, or a formal agreement with the VPSL.

  • When a conflict exists between two or more organizations, mediation between the student organization officers may be used to resolve and repair the conflict in lieu of a Formal Administrative Conference.
  • When harm to one or more student organizations has occurred as a result of another student organization’s behaviors, restorative processes or related programs may be used to resolve and repair the issue in lieu of a Formal Administrative Conference. Restorative processes or related programs may include, but are not limited to; formal apologies, story circles, restorative conferences, or restorative circles.
  • When there is minimal information learned through an investigation and/or when allegation(s) of misconduct do not indicate a violation of the Student Code, a Chapter Coach Referral or Inter/National Headquarters Referral will occur. In these instances, OSC will close the case and notify the organization’s president, OSFL/SILC, and the Inter/National Headquarters, if applicable. Chapter Coach Referrals are informal conversations between organization leadership and their OSFL/SILC advisor to discuss behaviors that, while not in violation of the Code, may be concerning. These conversations are meant to be preventative and proactive.
  • When a student organization or Inter/National Headquarters, if applicable, takes significant action to stop, prevent, and remedy behaviors that violate the Student Code from reoccurring, either before an investigation or a Formal Administrative Conference occurs, the VPSL may resolve the matter through a formal agreement with the student organization and Inter/National Headquarters, if applicable. Educational and other sanctions are included as part of the formal agreement.

Student organizations may engage in both self-governance and collaboration with Indiana University to resolve a complaint. When an organization accepts responsibility for all charges, or presents credible information and accepts responsibility for some charges the case may be resolved collaboratively with Indiana University staff in lieu of engaging in a Formal Administrative Conference. In order to initiate an Collaborative Action Plan Meeting, the student organization must meet the following criteria:

  1. The student organization must accept responsibility for the alleged misconduct charge(s), either as the initial reporting party, during the course of the investigation, or prior to a Formal Administrative Conference.
  2. The student organization must present a proposed action plan to correct the behaviors, which will be initially evaluated by an OSC, OSFL, and/or SILC staff member.
  3. The student organization will participate in an informal collaborative sanctioning meeting with three individuals designated by OSC, including at least one student and one staff representative. These three individuals and the student organization will discuss the proposed action plan, modify it as necessary, and determine an appropriate action plan.
  4. The action plan is not considered final until it is reviewed and signed by the VPSL or their designee. This action plan will be indicated on the student organization’s conduct record, and the outcome of responsibility and action plan are not appealable.

If both parties agree to the terms of the action plan, the case is considered resolved so long as the action plan is completed, including that any designated deadlines for action items are met. If the action plan is not completed as agreed upon, the case will be referred to a Formal Administrative Conference.

OSC has the ability to move any case to a Formal Administrative Conference ("Hearing”). Cases that may move to a Hearing include, but are not limited to, suspension-level cases, hazing cases, sexual misconduct cases, cases involving organizations with repeat behavior within a calendar year, cases that indicate lying or obscuring information during an investigation, and cases in which organizations do not accept responsibility for the charges.

Notification of Formal Administrative Conference and Pre-Conference Meeting

If an allegation of misconduct moves forward to a Hearing, a case file will be created. The representative(s) of the student organization (“organization representative(s)”) will be notified of the alleged violations, as well as the date, time, and location of the Hearing. Notice of the Hearing will be given at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the Hearing, unless the organization representative(s) elect to meet earlier.

The organization representative(s) (no more than 3 members) must schedule a pre-Hearing meeting at least five (5) days prior to the date of the scheduled Hearing to discuss the Hearing process and review the alleged violations and investigative findings. Organization representative(s) will meet with a staff member in OSFL or SILC. Instructions on who to contact to schedule this meeting will be included in the organization's charge letter. After this meeting, the organization representative(s) will be asked to provide a written response to the alleged violations and investigative findings. This response must be provided to OSC two (2) business days in advance of the organization’s scheduled Hearing, and this response will be shared with the Administrative Panel.

Administrative Panel

A Hearing will be conducted by an OSC representative, an OSFL or SILC representative, and a student representative appointed by the VPSL (collectively “Administrative Panel”). Representatives serving on this Administrative Panel are appropriately trained in reviewing allegations of misconduct per the Student Code and have special training regarding sexual misconduct and hostile environments, if applicable. The Administrative Panel has the ability to issue outcomes and action plans up to and including deferred suspension. If an Administrative Panel determines a case should result in suspension or expulsion of the organization, the Administrative Panel may make a recommendation to the VPSL, at which point the VPSL will determine the next course of action.

In addition to the Administrative Panel, the following individuals may also be present during the Hearing:

  • Investigator from OSC;
  • Individual complainant(s), if applicable;
  • Witnesses called by the panel or organization;
  • Up to three representatives from the organization, including at least one member of the student organization’s leadership;
  • An Advisor (see definition of Advisor below); and
  • Inter/National Headquarters Representative(s) (if applicable).

Process for Formal Hearing

  1. The Hearing will be audio recorded and saved to the case file for the purpose of being available for an appeal.
  2. The OSC representative on the Administrative Panel will present findings from the investigation.
  3. The organization representative(s) will be able to make a statement regarding the alleged violations. The Administrative Panel may also ask questions of the student organization.
  4. If the case involves an individual complainant(s), they will be provided an opportunity to participate, and may give a statement or present questions to the organization representative(s) in writing through the Administrative Panel.
  5. The Administrative Panel and student organization may call witnesses at their discretion to ask questions about the alleged misconduct.
  6. The Administrative Panel will ask questions of the organization representative(s) pertaining to the investigative report and the organization’s written and/or verbal statement.
  7. Organization representative(s) and individual complainant(s), if in attendance, will be asked to leave while the Administrative Panel deliberates the finding of responsibility using a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard of proof.
  8. Organization representative(s) will return to hear whether there has been a finding of responsibility. If more time is needed by the Administrative Panel to deliberate, a second hearing to deliver the decision will be scheduled.
  9. If the Administrative Panel finds that the organization is not responsible for a conduct violation, the matter will be dismissed. Organization representative(s) will be required to complete a follow-up meeting with OSFL/SILC.
  10. If the Administrative Panel finds that the organization is responsible for a conduct violation, the Administrative Panel will determine appropriate sanctions. The Administrative Panel may consider aggravating and/or mitigating factors in determining sanctions, including the organization’s past record of misconduct.
  11. A written decision describing the findings of responsibility, sanctions to be imposed, and available appeals process will be sent to the following:
  1. Student Organization president;
  2. Student Organization advisor;
  4. OSC;
  5. Inter/National Headquarters Representative(s) (if applicable); and,
  6. Complainant(s) (if applicable).

The student organization’s leadership may appeal the outcome of the Hearing to the VPSL or designee based on two standards:

  1. There was significant procedural error that reasonably would have affected the outcome of the Hearing; or
  2. The sanction(s) imposed is grossly disproportionate to the violation(s) committed.

An appeal may be initiated by filing a notice of appeal directly to the VPSL no later than ten (10) calendar days after the date of the written decision. The notice of appeal must include a memorandum stating the basis for the appeal.

The VPSL will only consider the investigative report and the record from the Hearing, and will not accept additional evidence. The student organization requesting the appeal shall have the burden of proving that there was significant procedural error, or that the sanction imposed was grossly disproportionate to the violation committed.

Should the standard for an appeal be met, the VPSL may uphold, reverse, refer back for further investigation and/or rehearing, or modify the determination of responsibility and/or sanctions as determined appropriate by the VPSL. The Office of the VPSL will notify the student organization of the final decision and effectuate the decision. The decision of the VPSL is final.

Interim and Remedial Measures

Interim and remedial measures may be appropriate while the University is in the process of determining student organization responsibility. Interim and remedial measures may vary depending on the specific circumstances. These measures may include, but are not limited to: an order to cease and desist organizational operations and activities, no contact orders; assistance in changing academic, living, transportation, and/or work situations; counseling services; victim advocacy services; and assistance in obtaining protective orders.

  • Cease and Desist (C&D): A Cease and Desist is an interim directive that may be utilized when there is an immediate threat of harm to individuals based on credibly reported behaviors, information learned during an investigation, and may be issued at any time prior to a final resolution of the case. When a Cease and Desist order is given, it may restrict some or all organizational operations and activities (e.g. social activities, chapter/business meetings, new member activities) for a period of time. When this occurs, notice will be sent to the organization representatives, advisor, and Inter/National Headquarters Representative, if applicable. OSC and OSFL/SILC will review the need for a C&D on an ongoing basis. An organization’s cooperation with an investigation, information provided by an organization, and interim corrective action taken by an organization may be considered in assessing whether a C&D will remain in place.

While on Cease and Desist an Organization:

  • Must complete Educational Meetings: Organization leadership is still expected to complete educational meetings and programs facilitated by staff in the OSFL and SILC, and/or sponsoring academic department (i.e. OSFL Chapter Coach/IU Advisor meetings with organization president). Additionally, educational programming requirements as outlined by OSFL Life (ASTP, FS101, FS201, and Step Up) are still expected to be completed.
  • Must complete Action Plans: Any previously issued action plans from OSC are expected to be completed by the deadline unless otherwise noted.
  • May engage in regular business meetings with members as long as an OSC approved advisor is present for the entire duration of the meeting unless otherwise noted.
  • May work with their advisor, OSFL/SILC staff advisor, and/or International Headquarters Representatives (if applicable) to address and resolve issues related to the alleged harm. This may include standards processes, member reviews, or an organization’s constitutionally allowed procedures for membership. Such attempts and remedies must be reported to OSC prior to the action taking place.

While on Cease and Desist an Organization may not:

  • Engage in social events with or without alcohol, unless otherwise noted.
  • Engage in recruitment events or new member activities, unless otherwise noted.


The student organization may, at its own expense, be accompanied by an advisor or support person of its choice during the disciplinary process. An advisor or support person is limited to the role of advising. The advisor or support person may not speak for the student organization, participate in the proceeding, may not question witnesses, and may not make any statements during the proceeding. The unavailability or unwillingness of any specific individual to serve as an advisor is not normally grounds for postponing a Hearing.


Confidential Report and Request for No University Action: If a person makes a complaint against a student organization and/or one of its members, but indicates a desire for confidentiality (i.e., a request that no investigation into the particular incident be conducted, a request that no disciplinary action be taken, a request that the alleged perpetrator not be notified, or similar requests), the University will weigh such requests against its obligation to provide a safe, non- discriminatory environment for all students and the University community. At times, the University may not be able to honor a request for confidentiality in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment, and will continue with an investigation and resolution in accordance with these procedures. If the University determines that it is able to honor a request for confidentiality, the person(s) making the request must understand that the University’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and respond appropriately may be limited.

Confidential Report with Request for University Action: If a person makes a complaint against a student organization and requests to remain confidential out of fear of retaliation, OSC will make all efforts to redact the student name and identifying information from the Glean Report. If a statement is being provided while an organization’s headquarters is co-investigating and the student wishes the statement to be made confidentially, they must state such so headquarters staff can exit the interview.

Hostile Environment

When conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to limit or deny a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs or affects employment.


The University is committed to safeguarding the privacy of the individuals involved in a complaint in a manner consistent with the University’s objective to effectively investigate and prevent violations of the Student Code. In all cases, the University will share the individual’s information and details of the allegation only with University officials, law enforcement personnel, and other individuals who have a legitimate administrative or legal reason to be so informed. The University may publish and/or post information about student organizations regarding violations and sanctions.


Retaliation includes intimidation, threats, harassment, adverse changes in work or academic environments or other adverse actions threatened or taken against the complainant or a third party, including witnesses, in an attempt to retaliate against, prevent or otherwise obstruct the reporting of violations of the Student Code or incidents of misconduct.

Retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint or participates in an investigation or proceeding against a student organization is prohibited by University policy. Instances of retaliation will be investigated and may result in penalties and sanctions against an individual under the Student Code and/or against a student organization under these procedures.

Student Organization Leadership

The President of the student organization, as identified on the student organization’s beInvolved site or an appropriate designee.

Outline of Organization Procedure

See a flow chart on the order of procedure once an incident is reported.

See also an accessible word document of the above flow chart.