Students who choose to participate in student organizations are given a special trust as representatives of Villanova. Accordingly, students who choose to represent the University as members of an organization commit to additional standards of accountability. Student organizations, their officers, and their members may be held collectively and/or individually responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct and/or the specific regulations governing student organizations.
Additionally, at the University’s discretion, an organization may be found responsible for violations committed by one or more individual students under appropriate circumstances including, but not limited to any of the following:
- When the violation reasonably appears related to an activity of the organization, where sponsorship by the student organization was either official or reasonably implied;
- When organizational members (including new and uninitiated members), leaders, and/or alumni enable, endorse, or encourage the conduct that led to the violation, or reasonably should have known that the conduct would occur and fail to take preventive or corrective action;
- When the violation occurs on property leased, rented, owned, or otherwise controlled by the organization and/or members or alumni;
- When organizational funds are used to finance the activity which resulted in the violation, and/or if members or alumni contribute personal funds in lieu of organizational funds;
- When the student organization attempts to conceal or withhold information regarding the misconduct of individual students.
For purposes of this Code of Student Conduct, a student organization is any club, team, chapter, society, committee, or otherwise organized group of students, the organizational purpose and official status with the University notwithstanding.
Student Organization Procedural Resolution for Violations of the Code of Student Conduct
When a student organization is alleged to have violated the Code of Student Conduct, the matter will be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office and the organization will typically be referred to the University office that oversees the organization for administrative resolution of the matter. The overseeing office will generally follow the resolution process outlined in the Co-Curricular Student Organization Policy. Should the circumstances warrant, the overseeing office reserves the right to take appropriate administrative action, up to and including the revocation of recognition. At any time, the organization may be referred to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary resolution under the Code of Student Conduct. The overseeing office and the Dean of Students Office may consult with other University officials as needed during this process.
For disciplinary resolution under the Code of Student Conduct, the student organization will be represented by the current president of the organization or appropriate designee. The current president or designee will meet with the Conduct Review Administrator who will explain the rights and options available as well as describe potential sanctions for the alleged violation in question. Student organizations suspected of a Code violation that accept responsibility for their conduct as documented will be sanctioned accordingly by the Conduct Review Administrator and receive notice of the sanction(s) imposed. Acceptance of responsibility may be rejected by the Conduct Review Administrator in any case that warrants additional investigation.
Student organizations that accept responsibility do not waive their right to appeal for review of the sanction as outlined in the Code.
When student organizations suspected of a Code violation deny responsibility or the facts of a specific incident are in question, the Conduct Review Administrator will review the matter in a manner chosen by the Conduct Review Administrator that will endeavor to ensure fairness to all involved, and will generally follow the procedural options outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
The Conduct Review Administrator may determine in their discretion that due to the seriousness of the potential sanctions, or the nature or complexity of the facts of the case, it would be beneficial to have a proceeding before a Conduct Review Board.
Student organizations in violation of University rules and regulations are subject to a maximum sanction of termination of recognition from the University, or any lesser sanction, including but not limited to, restriction or suspension of the privilege to sponsor and/or promote programs/events, the loss of funds allocated by the University, removal of leadership or members, restitution for damages, and loss of facilities use.
Additionally, fraternity and sorority chapters in violation of the University policy are subject to a maximum sanction of termination of recognition from the University or any lesser sanction, including but not limited to, denial of new member recruiting and education privileges, restitution for damage, loss of facilities use, and restriction or suspension of the privilege to sponsor and/or promote programs/events. In all cases where applicable, the national sponsoring organization will be sent a written notification of sanctions imposed.
Student organizations have the right to appeal as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. The Dean of Students will review appeals in cases where the sanction is termination of recognition or suspension of recognition, and the student organization believes that the sanction is disproportionate to the offense. Other sanctions are not subject to review.