University Policy on Student Organization Housing

Note: These policies are from the 2012-2013 academic year. Some policies that reside on other websites have not been archived.
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Organizations which provide off-campus housing to student members (hereinafter "Housing Organizations") must apply for official University recognition in order to utilize the services made available to recognized Housing Organizations. Greek-letter social fraternities and sororities which maintain chapter houses are among the groups included within the category of Housing Organizations. A Housing Organization is responsible for managing its housing unit, enforcing internal chapter rules, and ensuring that relevant national, state, and local laws and regulations are observed in the process.

The University's services for Housing Organizations include assistance with student financial transactions, publicity, membership recruitment, and other services. In addition, Housing Organizations are eligible to use meeting rooms on University property and enjoy other privileges granted to recognized student organizations which do not provide housing. A Housing Organization must comply with applicable regulations described below in order to retain its University recognition and thereby continue receiving these privileges. A Housing Organization which fails to comply with applicable regulations is subject to disciplinary action by student-run governing boards and/or the vice president. The Center for Student Involvement & Leadership advises the local student-run governing boards which are authorized to regulate the system of affiliated student organizations.

As used below, "Undergraduate Residence Groups" refers to Greek-letter associations affiliated with an undergraduate governing board listed below. Fraternities recognized by an academic college are referred to as "Professional Residence Groups." Throughout this section, "fraternity" refers to all-male fraternities, all-female sororities, and mixed-gender fraternities.

  1. Undergraduate Residence Groups
    1. Governing Boards. Undergraduate men’s and women’s fraternities are governed by the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council, which may establish, consistent with the University Policy on Human Rights, additional rules and regulations for recognition of new fraternities, membership selection standards, and standards of conduct. All amendments to the constitution or bylaws of the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council (including the Risk Management Policy) shall be forwarded to the vice president for review and approval. As explained in subsection (c) below, these governing organizations may sanction student organizations subject to their authority that are found in violation of the governing organization’s regulations. Recognized student organizations affiliated with these governing bodies which do not maintain residential facilities are subject to the rules promulgated by these governing bodies.
    2. Recognition Procedure. An Undergraduate Residence Group (“Group”) must comply with the recognition, re-recognition, and organizational change procedures applicable to non-housing organizations outlined in section III.A. In addition, each Group must provide information upon request to the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership. The possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in recognized undergraduate residence group housing except where explicitly authorized in writing by the Vice President for Student Life. The current version of the undergraduate residence group housing alcohol policy is available in the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership.
    3. Disciplinary Action by the Fraternity/Sorority Standards Boards.Student-led boards investigate and adjudicate minor (i.e., non-suspension) complaints alleging violations of rules promulgated by governing councils except in cases investigated by the Office of the Dean of Students. In determining whether sanctions are warranted against a Group under investigation by the designated governing board, representatives of the Group which has been accused of misconduct will be provided reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to the board’s final decision. 

      If organizational funds were allocated in violation of University policies or a member or members of the Group under investigation violated University regulations (1) at an event sponsored by the Group or (2) in the course of the Group's affairs and the Group failed to exercise reasonable preventive measures, the designated governing board may place a Disciplinary Warning in the Group's disciplinary file, place the Group on Disciplinary Probation, or restrict the Group's privileges. A Group may appeal an adverse decision of the standards board. If a Group has exhausted its remedies within the fraternity/sorority community and is not satisfied with the outcome, the Group may ask the dean of students to review the governing board's decision.

      If the designated governing board recommends de-recognition of the Group under investigation, the governing board's findings and recommendation shall be referred to the dean of students, who has the authority to revoke a Group's official recognition as set forth below.
    4. Disciplinary Action by the Dean of Students. Ordinarily, allegations of minor violations of Group regulations are resolved by the student governing board authorized to impose sanctions as described above. Depending upon the gravity of the allegations and the Group’s prior disciplinary record, allegations of misconduct may be resolved by the dean of students. The dean of students, in consultation with the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, is authorized by the University to revoke a Group’s official recognition, place the Group on Probation, or restrict the Group’s privileges if (a) organizational funds were allocated in violation of University policies or (b) a member or members of the Group violated University regulations (1) at an event sponsored by the Group or (2) in the course of the Group’s affairs and the Group failed to exercise reasonable preventive measures.

      Activity that takes place on property owned or controlled by the Group is considered "in the course of the Group's affairs." Activity on non-Group property may also subject a Group to University sanctions depending upon the circumstances. Hazing activity involving Group pledges no matter where the activity occurs, violates University regulations and subjects the Group to University sanctions including a loss of University recognition.

      In addition to observing all University rules, a Group that is chartered by a national organization must maintain its affiliation with the national organization in order to retain its University recognition. University recognition of the Group will cease when the national organization no longer recognizes or sponsors the Group as an active organization. Once the national organization has officially returned the Group to affiliation status, Group representatives may apply to the University for recognition, although re-recognition is not guaranteed. When the University de-recognizes a group for violating University rules but the Group remains affiliated with the national organization, the Group will not regain their University recognition by virtue of their relationship with the national organization.

      In determining whether policy violations occured and sanctions are warrented, the procedure followed will provide the Group accused of misconduct reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard on the merits of the complaint prior to the final decision. Using a preponderance of evidence standard of proof, the dean of students shall determine, after meeting with representatives of the Group, whether the accused student organization did or did not violate University regulations as alleged. If it is determined the University rules were violated, the dean has authority to place the Group on probation, require education for the Group officers and/or members, or impose other sanctions less than revocation. During the investigation, interim sanctions may be imposed as provided in Section III.A(8). Determining interim sanctions is the responsibility of the dean of students. 

      In those cases where the dean of students or collegiate dean is prepared to revoke the organization’s recognition based upon the results of the investigation, an administrative hearing shall be scheduled consistent with the formal hearing procedures set forth in the Student Judicial Procedure.  If the hearing officer determines the student organization is responsible for the violation of University regulations, the dean of students or the collegiate dean shall impose sanctions, which may include revocation of recognition.  

      If a Group is not satisfied with the permanent sanction decision made by the dean of students following the investigation, representatives may appeal to the president of the University or designated representative. Appeals must be filed in the Office of the President, or designated representative with supporting materials (if desired) within 10 University business days following receipt of the written notification of the hearing officer's decision.  Following a hearing, representatives may appeal to the University president or designated represenative if the Group is not satisfied with the administrative hearing officer’s decision.  Appeals must be filed in the Office of the President or designated representative with supporting materials (if desired) within 10 University business days following receipt of the written notification of the hearing officer’s decision. 

      The Group’s written petition for appeal should specify the grounds for appeal.  No new evidence will be received with respect to the hearing officer’s findings of fact and the interpretation and application of the conduct regulations.  The decision by the president (or designee) on appeal usually will be transmitted to the Group within 30 calendar days of the president’s receipt of the Group’s appeal petition.  The president may provide additional time for response by the dean of students and rebuttal by the Group.  During the appeal, sanctions imposed by the dean of students shall remain in effect.

    5. Applicable Regulations. For purposes of this section, “University regulations” includes, but is not limited to, the constitution and by-laws of the relevant governing board(s), the board’s Risk Management Policy, the University Policy on Human Rights, the conduct regulations in the Code of Student Life, and the University Policy Regarding the Use of Illegal Drugs & Alcohol.
    6. De-Recognition. An Undergraduate Residence Group that has lost its recognition is no longer eligible to affiliate with a governing body and may not participate in activities sponsored by the governing body or by organizations affiliated with the governing body. Because a de-recognized Group is not entitled to University services available to recognized Housing Organizations, Group members may not participate in a structured formal recruitment or utilize the Fraternity Business Service, for instance. In addition, a de-recognized organization is not eligible to use meeting space on University property or enjoy other privileges granted to registered student organizations.
    7. The Code of Student Life. Individual members of a Group accused of misconduct may be disciplined under the Student Judicial Procedure (refer to Section II). Responsibility for enforcing the Code of Student Life lies solely with the dean of students. In order that the dean of students may determine whether formal charges should be filed against individual group members under the Code of Student Life Judicial Procedure, a copy of the governing board’s findings shall be referred to the dean of students upon request.
    8. Chapter Finances. Unless the vice president has granted an exception, each Undergraduate Residence Group must conduct all financial transactions through the Fraternity Business Service in the Office of Student Life and comply with its rules.
    9. Housing Law Compliance. Each Undergraduate Residence Group must provide safe and healthful lodging and cooperate with city or state agencies responsible for enforcing applicable laws.
    10. Reviews. In order to determine whether a Group is in compliance with governing board regulations, University officials may from time to time review the Group’s record. Information gathered as part of the review may include, but is not limited to, the following topics: aggregate grade-point averages, membership figures, financial reports, internal rules and policies, insurance coverage schedules, educational programs for members, safety and security precautions, compliance with relevant municipal ordinances and state laws, and complaints to the Iowa City police.
  2. Professional Residence Groups
    1. General Policy. The responsibility for the regulation and governing of professional fraternities which maintain chapter houses shall be that of the dean of the respective college. Professional fraternities recognized by the College of Medicine and the College of Dentistry maintain chapter houses, and a fraternity of chemistry students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate College maintains a chapter house.
    2. Salutary Living Environment. So that students may choose from several different types of living arrangements, the University provides services to professional student organizations which maintain living quarters for members. Prospective members may find that living in quarters maintained by students in their professional field of study will supplement the work of the classroom in individual development. The University requires that professional residence groups cooperate with city or state agencies responsible for enforcing applicable health and safety laws. Professional residence groups are also obliged to observe relevant University policies in their housing facilities, including the anti-hazing policy and the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
    3. Financial. Each professional chapter may conduct financial transactions through the Fraternity Business Service in the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership.