The Student Organization Code of Conduct
The Student Organization Code of Conduct is developed to promote the safety and well-being of all members of our community. It is designed to support student organizations in reflecting the values and mission of the University in their conduct.
The Student Organization Code of Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted in person, online, via email or other electronic medium. Members of a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject an RSO to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations are posted online. The University does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of University officials.
The Student Organization Code of Conduct applies to guests of the RSO and the RSO may be held accountable for the misconduct of its guests. Visitors to and guests of Moravian University may seek resolution of violations of the Student Organization Code of Conduct committed against them by an RSO and/or members of an RSO through the Student Code of Conduct.
RSOs are advised to contact the appropriate University personnel if they require accommodations for their meetings.
Authority and Roles
Responsibility for administration of the Student Organization Code of Conduct rests with the dean of students/vice president for student life. The dean of students has delegated this authority to the following staff:
Case Administrator: The student development staff may identify individuals to be trained to serve as individual Case Administrators. These individuals can be assigned a Tier Two or Tier Three case and will meet with the RSO to determine if the RSO is responsible for the allegation(s) and, if so, determine an appropriate outcome.
Appellate Officer: The dean of students and student development staff will identify an individual or individuals to receive appeals submitted by RSOs following a Conduct Meeting and determine if there are grounds to change the original outcome, remand the case back to the original Case Administrator for further consideration or call for the case to be re-heard.
Definitions of Roles:
The following are various individuals or groups that may participate in the organizational conduct process:
Reporting Party: Any individual(s) directly impacted by the RSO’s alleged violation.
Recognized Student Organization (RSO): Any group that has been recognized by the University as a student organization or has applied for such recognition. This would include, but is not limited to, unchartered provisional chapters/interest groups, honor societies, fraternities, sororities, student clubs, club sports and athletic teams.
RSO Representative(s): An individual(s) that represents the RSO in any resolution process. This will typically be a student who has been elected or appointed leader of the RSO (president, team captain, etc.). However, the RSO may choose to designate a different student member at any time during the resolution process.
RSOs are accountable to all University policies, contracts, rules, bylaws and/or regulations. Examples include, but are not limited to: the Student Code of Conduct, Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Non-Discrimination Policy, Academic Code of Conduct Policies, Residence Life/Housing Policies, Technology Policies, Social Event Registration Policy, etc. Allegations that an RSO has aided, abetted, incited, organized, approved or otherwise participated in behaviors that are violations of any of these policies will be processed using the procedures outlined in this Code.
As stated, individual students who are members of an RSO are still subject as individuals to the Student Code of Conduct and may be held individually accountable for behaviors also attributed to the RSO. Individuals who are members of an RSO may, through their actions, subject the RSO to disciplinary action under this Code, whether or not those individuals are also adjudicated under the Student Code of Conduct.
RSO leadership who are aware of planned activities and condone or fail to prevent violations from occurring, may be held responsible for Complicity under the Student Code of Conduct.
Notice of Alleged Violation(s)
Anybody with information about a potential organizational violation has the right to bring that information forward. Information may be provided to the Office of Student Development, Office of Greek Life, Athletics, Office of Student Engagement, Office of the Provost, the Moravian University Police Department, or the Title IX Coordinator (when applicable).
There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code but as time passes, it may become more difficult for the University to obtain information to make a determination regarding the violation. Timely reporting is, therefore, encouraged but not required.
The University will review all information provided, including anonymous reports. Much like delayed reporting, anonymous reports may limit if and how the University responds. The University will make its best effort to review and respond to all information received.
Students who make a complaint under this policy or who participate in an investigation related to this policy will not be charged with other minor University policy violations that are brought to light in the course of the investigation that arose out of, or were committed as a direct result of, the incident(s) under investigation (i.e. students forced to consume alcohol as part of a hazing incident will not be charged with violations of the University’s alcohol policy) as long as those behaviors do not represent a threat to the health, safety or well-being of others. The University reserves the right to follow up with students related to those issues as appropriate in a nondisciplinary setting.
Self-Reporting of Individual Misconduct
RSO leadership are encouraged to immediately report any violations committed by members of the RSO of this or other University policies to the Office of Student Development. This report should provide a detailed description of the events that transpired, the names of any individuals involved, and a description of any internal disciplinary actions taken by the RSO. Unless information discovered in the investigation suggests that the incident was aided, abetted, sanctioned or organized by the RSO, the investigation will be limited to the individuals implicated in the self-report and not the RSO. However, if information is uncovered in the investigation that suggests that the RSO aided, abetted, sanctioned or organized the event, the RSO may be subject to the procedures outlined in this Code.
RSO leadership must also notify Student Development within 72 hours if a member of the RSO is arrested or cited as a result of any actions or behaviors taking place at or arising out of an RSO sponsored event.
Moravian University takes the health and safety of its community members very seriously and expects students to look out for one another’s well-being. The University recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs or who may otherwise be in violation of the Prohibited Behaviors in this Code or of the Community Standards in the Student Code of Conduct, may be hesitant to call for assistance for themselves or others due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Therefore, students and organizations that act in good faith to seek assistance for themselves or others by contacting and cooperating with the proper authorities will not be subject to student or organizational conduct allegations for alcohol and/or drug use at the time of the incident. Cooperating includes, but is not limited to, providing all information requested by authorities and remaining with the individual(s) needing assistance until authorities have arrived. Additionally, the University strongly encourages a culture of reporting sexual violence. Therefore, reporting parties and bystanders acting in good faith are offered amnesty and will not be subject to formal conduct allegations for alcohol and/or drug use at the time of the reported incident. Amnesty for other minor violations of policy may be granted at the discretion of the Office of Student Development.
Although students and organizations who make good faith reports will not be subject to formal conduct allegations, students and organizations may be required to meet with an administrator to discuss the incident and complete additional educational or developmental requirements. Additionally, information about policy violations covered by the amnesty policy will be considered during the sanctioning phase of any future conduct cases to ensure informed decision-making.
This policy is not intended to excuse repeated problematic behaviors. Therefore, incidents that would otherwise be covered by the amnesty policy may result in formal conduct allegations at the discretion of the Student Development staff.
In certain circumstances, the appropriate office staff may impose restrictions on an RSO up to and including interim suspension of all RSO activities prior to the final outcome of a case. Interim action may be imposed to ensure the safety and well-being of the members of the University community and to preserve the safety of University property and to ensure normal operation of the University if the RSO poses a threat of disruption. Interim actions may be added, amended, or removed at any time at the discretion of the University.
Upon notice of a potential violation, the appropriate staff will determine which resolution option will be employed to address the situation. Violations that typically result in each resolution option are listed in the table below:
It is important to note, however, that the determination in any given case is at the discretion of the University and will include consideration of the following factors:
- the severity of the alleged violations
- the risk of harm to others
- the conduct history of the RSO
- any other relevant factors
If a reporting party is involved, appropriate staff will work with the reporting party to determine how they would prefer the situation be resolved. Whenever possible, the reporting party's preference for resolution will be respected. In some situations, however, the University may determine that it must utilize a certain resolution process regardless of the reporting party's request.
Once a determination has been made to proceed with one of the three resolution options, the University may, at any time, determine that a case should be moved to a different resolution option.
RSO Representatives may be accompanied to any meeting related to the resolution process by an approved advisor or inter/national governing body staff member who may provide support but not participate directly in the process. It should be noted that this individual may be asked to leave at any point if being disruptive to the process.
TIER ONE: Developmental Meeting
For tier one incidents, an RSO representative will meet with the appropriate staff to discuss the situation. The RSO will have an opportunity to acknowledge the reported behavior and/or present additional information that counters the report. The appropriate staff will then issue a letter with a determination and outcome, including a rationale for both.
The RSO will have until 4 pm on the third calendar day following the delivery of the outcome letter to accept or decline the determination and outcomes as written in the letter. If no response is provided before the deadline, the determination and outcome will be final. In cases where the RSO declines the determination and outcomes, the appropriate staff will determine which of the other two tiers is most appropriate for the case to proceed.
TIER TWO: Collaborative Process
Note: Tier Two is only applicable to RSOs that have an inter/national governing body willing to collaborate with the University on an investigation and resolution process.
For tier two incidents, the RSO will be notified that a report of a potential violation has been received and that the RSO’s inter/national governing body will be notified and provided an opportunity to partner with the University on an investigation and resolution.
The University will review the investigation and outcomes determined by the inter/national governing body and will either:
- Accept the investigation as complete and provide the information to a Case Administrator for a conduct meeting. The Case Administrator may:
- Accept and enforce the proposed outcomes
- Issue additional outcomes
- Decline to enforce and/or issue additional outcomes
- Conduct additional investigation (as described in Tier Three)
If there is reason to believe alleged criminal behavior took place, the University will begin a synchronous investigation.
TIER THREE: Formal Process
For tier three incidents, investigations may be carried out by the appropriate departmental staff, Campus Police, or the Title IX Coordinator. Investigations may involve collecting written statements, conducting interviews, reviewing documentation, or other methods.
Once information has been received and an investigation has been conducted as necessary, appropriate staff will review the information to determine if there is reasonable cause to allege a violation or attempted violation of policy. Reasonable cause means that some credible information exists to support the allegation. A complaint wholly unsupported by any credible information will not lead to an allegation.
Once an allegation has been placed, an RSO will be invited to attend a Conduct Meeting with a Case Administrator.
If the RSO accepts responsibility for the allegation(s), the Case Administrator will determine appropriate outcomes in accordance with the outcomes section of the Code. If the RSO denies responsibility for any or all of the allegations, the Case Administrator may first determine if it is more likely than not, based on the information at their disposal, that the RSO violated or attempted to violate the alleged prohibited behaviors.
In cases where the Case Administrator determines that the RSO is not responsible for all allegations the process will end.
In cases where the outcome includes loss of recognition or a suspension of activities, the RSO has the right to request an appeal. Instructions for submitting an appeal request, if applicable, will be provided in the outcome letter. Appeal requests must be submitted by 4 pm on the seventh calendar day following the delivery of the outcome letter. The appeal request must include:
- The stated ground(s) for appeal (see below)
- Information that supports the stated ground(s)
- The intended outcome the appellant is requesting
Appeals are not re-hearings. Appellate decisions are focused solely on the issues raised by the RSO in the appeal process. Outcomes of conduct meetings may be appealed on the following grounds:
- To determine if a violation of the University procedures occurred that substantially impacted the original outcome.
- To consider new information, unavailable at the time the original decision was made, that would have substantially altered the original outcome. Information reasonably available but not presented at an earlier stage of the process will not be considered.
- To evaluate whether the outcome(s) are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation and/or cumulative conduct record of the RSO.
The appellate officer will review and make a determination for each ground addressed in the appeal. To do so, the appellate officer may consult with all parties involved in the original resolution process as necessary and conduct any inquiries relevant to understanding the issues raised in the appeal.
In cases where the appellate officer determines that grounds do not exist, the original decision will be final.
In cases for which grounds have been recognized by the appellate officer, the appellate officer can modify the original outcome, remand the case to the original Case Administrator with clear instructions for reconsideration only in light of the granted appeal grounds, call for the case to be re-heard by a new Case Administrator or uphold the original outcome.
Decisions of the appellate officer are final.
While an appeal is pending, all outcomes applied by the Case Administrator remain in effect. The RSO will be timely informed of the status and outcome of the appeal.
Potential sanctions may include meetings with University personnel, fines, loss of ability to participate in University sponsored events (Greek Week, Homecoming, etc.), dissolution of organizational housing (including Fraternity and Sorority houses) and relocation of all residents, and/or de-recognition.
An organization's recent conduct history, the severity of the violations, compound violations, organization cooperation, and other factors may be taken into account when determining sanctions. Allegations arising from unregistered social events will typically result in more severe sanctions. It is important, therefore, that organizations remember to register all social events.
$100 fine; organizational meeting with University administrator
$300 fine; loss of ability to participate in University sponsored events for the remainder of the semester
$300 fine; organizational meeting with University administrator
$450 fine; loss of ability to participate in University sponsored events for the remainder of the semester
Moravian University is grateful for the numerous professional resources made freely available by their creators that are continuously consulted in an effort to keep this document in line with the best practices in the field of student conduct. These include “A Twenty-First Century Model Code,” The NCHERM Group Model Code Project, the Association for Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA), and colleagues and documents from a variety of institutions of higher education. The Moravian University Student Organization Code of Student is adapted, in part, from The Dyad Strategies Model Code of Student Organization Conduct and is used here with permission.
Title IX Statement
Deep respect for others is fundamental to the Moravian University community. Moravian University does not discriminate against any person based on actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, age, veteran status, disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids, or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. In compliance with the requirements of Title IX, Moravian University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational program and activity.
Concerns regarding all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination:
Leah M. Naso
Title IX Coordinator/Executive Director for Equity and Compliance
210 Colonial Hall
1200 Main St.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
Concerns regarding gender and equity in athletics:
Assistant Athletic Director (Deputy Title IX Coordinator)
148 Johnston Hall
1200 Main St.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
Concerns regarding the application of Title IX:
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Report sexual harassment/sex discrimination online anytime (can be anonymous) at www.moravian.edu/titleix. Grievance procedures can be found in the institutional Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Non-Discrimination Policy at www.moravian.edu/policy.