2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    
    May 21, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Student Organization Policies and Procedures


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The mission of Student Life is to enhance the personal development, well-being, and intellectual growth of our students. We cultivate discovery, collaboration, civic engagement, and the exchange of ideas through innovative programs and a diverse residential community experience.

We engage students and student organizations through programs, services and individualized opportunities that support the ideals of a liberal arts education.

We create a welcoming, vibrant environment where our students can flourish and develop as global citizens and leaders with a passion and tenacity for lifelong learning.

As such, student organizations, clubs and similarly organized groups are recognized by the University to allow current students to gather together in shared missions and intents. These organizations contribute positively to the campus, adhere to expectations for the entire Furman community, and abide by all University policies governing both individual students and student organizations.

Groups of students not officially recognized by the University may not affiliate themselves with Furman University, the Office of Student Involvement or other official University organizations. Many benefits are extended to officially recognized student organizations, such as the ability to reserve campus facilities, the ability to advertise for organization activities on campus, and the ability to apply for funding through the Student Government Association.

The Office of Student Involvement desires to support and encourage all student organizations, student leaders and advisors at Furman University. This goal will be achieved through personal relationships, training sessions and established expectations and policies.

  1. Key Terms and Relationships
  2. Recognition of Student Organizations
    1. Suspension of Recognition
  3. Student Organization Disputes
  4. Student Organization Operations
  5. Student Organization Conduct Procedures
  6. Student Conduct Code Violations for Organizations
  1. Key Terms and Relationships

    1. BYOB. “Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB)” refers to alcohol brought to an Event by an of-age individual. The alcohol may only be consumed by the person who brought it. The alcohol that each person may bring and consume to a BYOB event is only beer, beer-equivalent (Whiteclaw, Truly, Smirnoff, Ciders, etc.), and wine. Beer and beer-equivalent may be no more than six individually packaged, 12-ounce containers. Wine may be no more than four individually packaged, 187 ml containers. Liquor is never allowed at BYOB.  Regardless of allowed amounts, each student is expected to engage in low-risk drinking.

    2. Facility Operator. A facility operator is a University employee who has primary decision-making responsibility for a University Space and includes, but is not limited to, staff in Athletics, Spiritual Life, Conference & Event Services, McAlister Auditorium, OSIE, and Registrar. The Use of University Space policy supersedes any conflict in the definition a Facility Operator.

    3. Food Service Provider. Furman’s food service provider is the entity and its successors contracted by Furman to operate dining facilities on campus.

    4. Governing Council. Governing Councils are Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) that are designated as an appropriate governing and/or funding body for a collection of student organizations. Governing Councils have a common mission or purpose which unites its member organizations. Governing Councils may have a constitution and by-laws that guide the business of the organization, which includes but is not limited to executive functions, member organization expectations, and budgetary responsibilities.

    5. Governing Council Recognized Organizations. Governing Council Recognized Organizations (GCROs) are Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) that are afforded all of the privileges outlined in this policy in section 2.2. “Governing Council Recognition of Student Organizations”.

    6. Office of Student Involvement. The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) primarily advises Student Government on the recognized student organization process. Any inquiries about starting a student organization and questions regarding Organizational Activity should be directed to OSI.

    7. Organizational Activity. Furman University defines Organizational Activity as any activity, on- or off-campus, sponsored or endorsed by an organization recognized by Furman or any activity a reasonable person would associate with the organization. Organizational Activity is not defined by the number of members engaging in the activity.

    8. Organizational Assumption of Risk. Student organizations and their membership assume responsibility for their actions. The University is not responsible for any injury, damage, debt or other liability caused by the Organizational Activities.  The University’s General Polices for Student Organizations, Risk Management Policies for Organizational Social Events, Student Organization Conduct Expectations, and other applicable university policies are only intended to provide guidance to reduce risk and to help Student Organizations contribute positively to the campus.

    9. Policy Conflicts. For the purposes of enforcement and interpretation, when a conflict arises between the University’s policies and the policies published by a student organization’s national organization, insurance group, or other controlling body, University policy controls. Student organizations should be aware of any and all external policies controlling their operations and make all reasonable attempts to satisfy those requirements placed upon the organization. 

    10. Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Representative. For the purposes of addressing alleged policy and/or student organization conduct violations, each Recognized Student Organization will have a designated representative navigate the accountability process on behalf of the organization. The University will direct communication to the student on file as the elected/appointed leader of the RSO (i.e., president or team captain). However, the RSO may choose any student member to serve as the official representative of the RSO at any time during the process outlined in the Student Handbook. If the individual designated is no longer eligible to serve in that role (e.g, the student withdraws from the University or is no longer a member of the RSO), or if the RSO dissolves prior to the investigation/adjudication process as outlined in this Code, the University may designate a RSO representative of their choosing.

    11. Recognized Student Organizations. Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) are student organizations who have acquired recognition from the Vice President for Student Life or designee, and the Student Government Association. RSOs are afforded all of the privileges outlined in this policy in section 2.1.2. “Privileges of a Recognized Student Government Organization”.

    12. Social Event. A social event is defined as an event or activity that the University determines is not primarily educational, professional development, competition, performance, or service in nature. If alcohol is provided at the event or activity, the University presumption is that the event is primarily social in nature.

    13. Student Government Sponsored Organizations. Student Government Sponsored Organizations (SGSOs) are student organizations that have acquired recognition from the Vice President for Student Life or designee, and the Student Government Association, and qualify to receive funding support from Student Government through the Student Government Fee. SGSOs are afforded all of the privileges outlined in this policy in section 2.1.3. “Privileges of a Student Government Sponsored Organization”.

    14. Student Organization. For the purpose of this policy, a student organization is defined as a group of currently enrolled students who unite around a common interest. Consequently, a student organization includes Recognized Student Organizations, Governing Council Recognized Organizations (fraternities, sororities, club sports, etc.), Athletics Department student groups, and similarly united groups. Student membership in student organizations is available for undergraduate students at Furman University. Student organizations may have graduate students and non-student members as part of the organization, but these individuals may not be considered voting members. Only undergraduate students may serve as officers and have a controlling interest in the organization.  Advisors are not voting members nor have a controlling interest in a student organization.

    15. Student Organization Recognition. A group of students wishing to form an organization must work through established University processes for doing so, which includes Student Government Association recognition, sorority and fraternity expansion, governing council recognition, Athletics, and more. Ultimately, the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics or designee determines recognition of varsity athletic teams. The Vice President for Student Life or designee determines recognition of all other student organizations, including but not limited to non-varsity athletic, honorary, or social organizations.

      1. Recognized organizations may affiliate themselves with Furman University and take advantage of the associated privileges. Any unrecognized organizations attempting to operate on Furman’s campus may be trespassed with individual members being referred to appropriate conduct or law enforcement officials.

    16. Third-Party Vendor. A licensed third-party vendor is a vendor or bartender licensed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue to serve alcohol. Third-Party Vendors must be approved by Furman’s Food Service Provider to operate on campus. All Third-Party Vendors must provide a copy of their current license allowing them to serve alcohol at an event on University property and proof of insurance naming the University as an additional insured/loss payee under their policy. The preferred Third-Party Vendor is Furman’s Food Service Provider.

    17. University Discretion. The University has sole discretion for approving Organizational Activity as well as interpreting policies and procedures that effect organizations, including but not limited to determining appropriate conduct action for an organization and/or individual members. 

  2. Recognition of Student Organizations

    1. Student Government Recognition of Student Organization

      1. Student organizations recognized by the Student Government Association fall into two classifications:

        1. Recognized Student Organization (RSO)
        2. Student Government Sponsored Organization (SGSO)
      2. Privileges of a Recognized Student Organization
        1. Reserving and using University spaces and facilities for events and meetings;
        2. Scheduling events on the University Calendar;
        3. Inclusion in various University publications;
        4. Use of the “Furman University” name-including but not limited to, “FU,” “Furman,” and “Furman University”-in communications, social media handles, swag, or any other expression;
          1. Use of the Furman University name in any form in communications or social media must include the following statement, in a readily apparent location, that the organization is: “A student-run organization and any opinions expressed by it do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Furman University or any representatives of Furman.”
        5. Eligibility to participate in the semesterly Student Involvement Fair; and
        6. Access to support services in the Office of Student Involvement.
      3. Privileges of a Student Government Sponsored Organization
        1. All of the privileges permitted to Recognized Student Organizations;
        2. University provision of additional leadership and professional development; and
        3. Eligibility to apply for funding from the Student Government Association (SGA)or a recognized Governing Council.
      4. Students seeking recognition for a new student organization should contact the OSI as well as the Vice President of the Student Government Association no later than four weeks after the start of the semester in which recognition is sought to receive information on the process.
      5. Recognized Student Organizations must have a faculty/staff member serve as an advisor. Those student organizations unable to find a University faculty/staff member willing to serve as an advisor prior to receiving recognition may be granted probationary status for up to one academic year. During this time, the organization will be allowed to operate as a Recognized Student Organization under the guidance of the Office of Student Involvement. If, at the end of the academic year, the organization has not found a faculty/staff advisor, recognition will be revoked.
      6. Prior to being recognized by the Student Government Association, all new organizations must also be approved by the Vice President for Student Life or designee.
    2. Governing Council Recognition of Student Organizations

      1. In order to be recognized by a Governing Council, a student organization must follow the processes outlined in the constitutions and bylaws of their respective councils, which include:

        1. Interfraternity Council (IFC). All North American Interfraternity Conference Greek-lettered fraternities must be members of IFC.
        2. Furman Panhellenic Council (FPC). All National Panhellenic Conference Greek-lettered sororities must be members of FPC. Sororities allowing both men and women must indicate their preference between IFC or FPC. The University will determine the appropriate council.
        3. Religious Council. All religious or faith-based organizations must be members of the Religious Council.
        4. Club Sports Council. All organizations that compete or intend to compete in organized athletic competitions against other schools on or off campus must be members of the Club Sports Council.
        5. Student Diversity Council. Affiliated organizations are committed to educating the Furman community on topics of cultural diversity while advocating for cultural understanding, awareness, and equality.
        6. Student Media Board. All organizations whose purpose is to produce at least one form of mass media for the consumption of Furman’s students, staff, or employees must be members of the Student Media Board.
      2. All social Greek-lettered organizations must be members of the appropriate Governing Council. The University will determine the appropriate council with input from the organization. Academic or service Greek-lettered organizations will be appropriately categorized based on the administrative and advisory support structure needed for the organization.
      3. If a Governing Council’s constitution or bylaws conflict with University policy, the University’s policy takes precedence.
      4. Prior to being recognized by a Governing Council, all new organizations must also be approved by the Vice President for Student Life or designee.
      5. Governing Council organizations receive the same privileges as Recognized Student Organizations.
    3. Recognition of Athletics Associated Student Organizations

      1. Athletic Department student organizations must follow the same policies and procedures as all Recognized Student Organizations at Furman University and are subject to conduct procedures as outlined in this policy.
      2. The recognition of athletic teams competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (herein “NCAA”) is exempt from this policy, when functioning within the scope of their sport. Should members of an athletic team organize to host a student event outside the scope of their responsibilities for NCAA competition, all relevant University policies will apply and must be followed. The Vice President for Student Life will make the final determination as to whether relevant student activity falls under the scope of the Student Handbook.
    4. Suspended, Expelled, or Otherwise Unrecognized Organizations

      1. Organizations no longer recognized or which never sought recognition by the University - whether suspended, expelled, disaffiliated, or otherwise - lose and are denied any and all privileges of a recognized organization. Denial of privileges includes, but is not limited to, the following:
        1. Using the “Furman University” name-including but not limited to, “FU,” “Furman,” and “Furman University”) in communications, social media handles, promotional materials, or any other expression;
        2. Using university space for organizational functions;
        3. Participation in any recruitment of students; and
        4. Financial, advising, or any other University support.
      2. Additionally, action may be taken by the University at its discretion to protect the safety and wellbeing of the campus; such acts may include, but are not limited to:
        1. Trespassing or barring the organization from campus;
        2. ​Providing communications to families, students, and others regarding the unrecognized status;
        3. Holding individual students associating with or as the organization personally responsible for misconduct stemming from Organizational Activity via the Student Conduct Code process;
        4. Barring or removing students from university leadership positions with orientation, admissions, etc.; and
        5. Replacing the organization with an equivalent option that is recognized by the University.
      3. For organizations whose recognition is suspended, the terms of the suspension will outline the return process. For organizations that voluntarily withdraw from or never seek recognition by the University and have a national governing body, the national group will not be considered for expansion or replacement efforts unless it demonstrates to the University’s satisfaction that it has ended any relationship (i.e. revoking charters, suspending/expelling members, etc.) with the unrecognized organization.
  3. Student Organization Disputes

  • The leadership within a student organization is encouraged to resolve internal conflicts and problems. If unable to resolve, the student leadership is encouraged to seek the counsel and guidance of their faculty/staff advisor. If still unable to resolve or if the dispute involves the advisor, the organization may contact the Office of Student Involvement to arrange mediation of the dispute.
  1. Student Organization Operations

    1. Allocation of University Funds

      1. The recommendations on allocations of funds from the Student Government Fee to student organizations are initiated by the Student Government Association. Student Government Sponsored Organizations may request allocations by presenting a written request and justification to SGA. Final SGA budget recommendations are then submitted to the Vice President for Student Life or designee for approval.
        1. Governing Council Recognized Organizations and Athletic Recognized Organizations are not eligible to receive funds from the Student Government Fee. Qualifying Governing Councils may receive funds directly from Student Government to distribute to their recognized organizations.
      2. Alcohol may not be purchased through or with student organization or any other University funds, nor may the purchase of alcohol beverages for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of, or on behalf of, the group.
      3. Purchases that do not align with the values of the institution should not be made with institutional funds.
      4. The allocation of all monies collected in the Student Government Fee is the final authority of the President of the University.
    2. General Risk Management Provisions for All Student Organizations

      1. Events. For the purposes of this policy, Event has the definition given to it in the Use of University Space policy, without giving consideration to the exclusions to such definition provided therein, and with the exception that the following gatherings do not constitute “Events” for purposes of this policy: (A) religious ceremonies, when they are held in the Charles Ezra Daniel Memorial Chapel using wine pursuant to the approval and supervision of the Associate Vice President for Spiritual Life or his/her designee, (B) academic courses using alcohol as required for classroom instruction.
      2. Insurance. All student organizations insured by an external insurance company must annually provide a copy of their insurance policy to the Office of Student Involvement; that policy must include a provision(s) that names Furman University as an additional insured and provides commercial general liability of $1 million/$2 million aggregate. Greek-letter organizations must be insured, as described above, to operate on campus.
      3. Philanthropic Events. Furman student organizations are prohibited from co-sponsoring philanthropic events and/or fundraisers in conjunction with any alcohol distributor, bar, or tavern or hosting philanthropic events at such locations. Alcohol may not be served at a philanthropic event without approval from the OSI.
      4. Space Reservations. Reservation of space on campus must follow the Use of University Space policy.
      5. Travel.
        1. Student Organization travel is deemed to be official travel of the student organization for the purpose of conducting business of, or acting as representatives for, the student organization, to include but not limited to, attending professional meetings, leadership conferences, off-campus social events, and other related meetings that require the engagement of student members. Sanctioned student organization travel is subject to the same policies and procedures as other university travelers except where noted in policy and procedures.
        2. Student Organization travel in conjunction with the hosting of an off-campus event or program must follow all relevant policies and procedures outlined in Section 4.2 “General Risk Management Provisions for All Student Organizations”, Section 4.3 “General Risk Management Provisions for Organizational Recruitment of New Members”, and Section 4.4 “Risk Management Provisions for Organizational Social Events”.
        3. Domestic. Student Organizations must register travel within the continental United States through the Office of Student Involvement at least seven days prior to the proposed trip and provide a complete itinerary of all events that would be considered student organization activity, in order to receive travel authorization. Domestic travel endorsed, arranged, and led by Athletics, Academic Affairs, Academic Departments and Programs, and Student Life is exempt from this policy.
        4. International. Any student organization traveling outside of the continental United States must contact the Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education at least thirty days prior to travel to receive authorization. Authorization will not be granted for events that the University determines are primarily social in nature as opposed to educational, professional development, competition, performance, service, or similar.
        5. Exceptions: Exceptions to this policy will be reviewed by the Office of Student Involvement, in consultation with appropriate university officials
    3. General Risk Management Provisions for Organizational Recruitment of New Members

      1. Alcohol-Free Recruitment. Events specifically aimed at recruitment of new members must be alcohol free, which includes not providing alcohol to potential new members for free or at cost, not providing alcohol during selection and/or initiation events, and not hosting recruitment events at a bar or tavern.
      2. Social Events and Potential New Members. Potential new members may attend organizational social events where alcohol is present so long as those events are open to the general student body and membership recruitment is not the primary purpose. Potential new members may only consume alcohol at such events if the potential new member is legally allowed to drink in the United States.
      3. Deferred Recruitment. Greek-letter organizations, with the exception of honor societies, may only recruit and extend new (non-transfer), first-year students invitations to join the organization in the spring semester. Academic credits earned while in high school or the summer prior to enrollment at the University for the fall semester do not exempt students from this policy. Interested students must have completed twelve (12) credit hours at Furman University in order to participate in recruitment.
      4. New Member Education Period.
        1. A student organization that requires new members to complete an educational or other probationary period prior to initiation must first provide the OSI with an educational plan that includes the following:
          1. A statement of purpose, including but not limited to mission, goals, and learning outcomes of the program; 
          2. A curriculum or detailed description of all new member education activities lasting no longer than six weeks (include calendar with dates, times, and locations);
          3. List of individuals identified as responsible for delivering the educational plan on behalf of the organization without substantial deviation (e.g. officer, advisor, alumnus/ae);
          4. Expectations of stakeholders involved (e.g. new members/candidates, initiated members, and alumni);
          5. Organization’s statement against hazing and hazing reporting protocol; and 
          6. Submitting a copy of a national organization’s new member education materials is welcomed as supplemental documentation; however, this does not fulfill requirements listed above.   
        2. New member education activities may not begin until the organization’s new member education plan is approved by the OSI. Failure to submit the plan in advance by a specified deadline may result in the student organization’s inability to begin new member education in a timely manner as well as a shortened window to conduct new member education.
      5. Dry Initiation. All student organization activities within 24 hours before, during, and 24 hours following selection (i.e. Bid Day) and initiation must also be alcohol-free.
      6. Overnight Retreats. New members may only participate in off-campus overnight retreats with prior approval from the OSI. Organizations should expect to provide location of retreat, planned activities, approval by headquarter staff and/or advisors, and list of attendees at a minimum. Organizations that are currently on disciplinary probation with either the University or their national organization may not host off-campus overnight retreats, including initiations, with new members. Similarly, organizations found responsible for a Hazing violation within the past calendar year may not host off-campus overnight retreats, including initiations.
      7. New Members and Alcohol. No alcohol shall be present at any new member program, activity, or ritual of the student organization regardless of age. This includes, but is not limited to, activities associated with “Bid Day/Night;” “big/little” events or activities; “family” events or activities that include new members; and initiation.
    4. Risk Management Provisions for Organizational Social Events

      1. Introduction. The following policies set the minimum University expectations for social events/activities-with or without alcohol. Organizations may choose to impose additional requirements in order to achieve their desired experience for the event. If organizations affiliated with national groups have additional requirements, the organization is responsible for knowing those additional requirements. However, the University will only enforce its own policies.
      2. Scope. The following policies apply to all applicable social events even if the organization fails to register the event as required by University policy. Registration is an opportunity for an organization to consult an advisor on University policies related to the event. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the organization to know and apply all relevant policies. The University is not responsible for enforcing or ensuring compliance with any external policies governing the organization.
      3. General Provisions for All Events/Activities
        1. 7 Day Requirement. All organization-sponsored events/activities must be registered with the Office of Student Involvement seven days in advance. The only exceptions are regularly occurring business meetings, at which members only are present. The OSI has final authority on approving events and/or requiring additional considerations based on the type and scope of the event.
        2. Academic Restriction Periods. In order to prioritize academics, no off-campus events may be registered from the opening of campus housing for student move-in through the close of business on the first Friday of the academic semester. Similarly, no off-campus social events will be approved the last seven days of classes for the academic semester (ending on the last day of classes) through the closing of campus housing. Limited exceptions will be made by the Vice President of Student Life in consultation with the Provost or their designees. Events registration is closed during summer and winter breaks.
        3. Advertising. Advertisements of an event may not contain any reference to alcohol specials or discounts as specials and discounts are not allowed by policy.
        4. Co-Sponsorship with Alcohol Distributor. No student organization may co-sponsor an event with an alcohol manufacturer or promoter.
        5. Cover Charges & Ticketing Events. Events may not create income for a student organization. Third-Party Vendors may collect cover charges so long as that money goes directly to the Vendor and not to the organization. Organizations may ticket events so long as ticket revenue are equal to or less than cost of venue rental and/or entertainment contract. Cover charges or tickets may not entitle a guest to any free or reduced-price alcohol. Events may raise funds for a philanthropic cause so long as 100% of all income is given to the charitable organization.
        6. Failure to Register. Failure to register an event may result in the cancellation of the event or conduct action.
        7. Guest List. Organizations are not required to maintain a guest list or limit attendees to invitation-only for an event, though both are recommended as best practices. The University may request a guest list after an event as part of a complaint or other investigation.
        8. High-Risk Activities. Any events involving high risk behaviors-including but not limited to, bar crawls, common source alcohol, drinking games, and organization sponsored or organized pre-parties-are strictly prohibited.
        9. Noise. All events must comply with local noise ordinances.
        10. Outside Beverages. No outside beverages are to be brought into an event, except for those allowed by BYOB. This includes, but is not limited to, water bottles, sodas, cups, etc.
        11. Risk Management Training. In order to be eligible to host an event, each organization must complete all required University training.
        12. Security. Events may be required to provide security in accordance with the Use of University Space Policy and/or Alcohol Policy. Additionally, the OSI may require events to include approved security based upon attendance size or other concerns. On-campus events may only use University Police or their designee as security.
        13. Themes.  All social event themes must be approved by the OSI prior to the advertising of or invitations to the event are distributed. Themes may not be demeaning.
      4. On-Campus Social Events/Activities with Alcohol.
        1. All events must comply with the University Alcohol Policy.
        2. All event spaces should be reserved fourteen-days in advance in accordance with the Use of University Space Policy, with additional notice to University Police.
        3. All events are limited to beer and wine only unless approved in advance by the Facility Operator and University Police.
        4. Security must be provided by the Furman University Police or their designees at the expense of the event planner.
        5. All events with alcohol that students would reasonably be expected to attend must identify attendees as of-age or underage and use Furman’s Food Service Provider or a Third-Party Vendor. Limited exceptions allowing for BYOB must be approved by the Vice President for Student Life or their designee.  
        6. Alcohol sales are limited to cash/credit purchase; open bars or other provision of drinks at no-cost or reduced-cost to the attendee are not allowed unless approved fourteen-days in advance by the Vice President for Student Life or their designee.
        7. Cost of alcohol may not be included in any admission, meal, or entertainment charge. 
        8. Non-academic public spaces on campus may be used for events with alcohol, which includes, but is not limited to, the Amphitheatre, Cherrydale Alumni Center, Hartness Pavilion, Trustee and Faculty Dining Rooms, Furman University Golf Course, Garden Room of the Chapel, Herring Center for Continuing Education, Paladin Tower at the Football Stadium, Timmons Arena, The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, North Village Pavilion, Trone Student Center, Younts Conference Center, and outdoor spaces.
        9. Academic spaces and classrooms may not be used for events with alcohol except when the event organizer in an academic department, academic affairs administrator, or a professor using alcohol as required for classroom instruction.
        10. Religious ceremonies involving alcohol that are approved by the Office of Spiritual Life are exempt from this policy.
      5. Off-Campus Social Events with Alcohol
        1. All events must comply with the University Alcohol Policy.
        2. All events must be registered seven days in advance with all required documentation in order. Registration must include Third-Party Vendor, acknowledgement the organization gave notice to the Third Party Vendor of University Policies, expected number of attendees, transportation plan for guests, theme, and contact person within the organization for the Vendor and University
        3. Off-campus events may only be held at or hosted by University-recognized Third-Party Vendors. For a list of recognized venues, please contact the OSI. To request use of a vendor not on the recognized list, a student organization must contact OSI a minimum of 30 days prior to the event.
        4. In order to be a recognized vendor, OSI must have a copy of the venue or vendor’s alcohol license. The University makes no representations regarding the quality of the vendor, and student organizations use the vendor at their own risk.
        5. Off-campus events with alcohol are recommended to be beer and wine only.
        6. Alcohol sales are limited to cash/credit purchase; open bars or other provision of drinks at no-cost or reduced-cost to the attendee are not allowed unless approved fourteen-days in advance by the Vice President for Student Life or their designee.
        7. Cost of alcohol may not be included in any admission, meal, or entertainment charge. 
      6. Applicability of other University Policies
        1. All on- or off-campus events planned, funded, and/or executed by a student organization or where a reasonable person would conclude a student organization is primarily responsible for its planning, funding, or execution must follow the student organization policies.
        2. The Student Conduct Code applies to students at all on- or off-campus events.
  2. Student Organization Conduct Procedures

  1. Authority of the University

Student organization conduct is the purview of the Vice President for Student Life, who has final authority on all matters related to the affiliation and function of student organizations at and with Furman University. This includes but is not limited to the recognition of organizations and revocation of an organization’s status with the University. As a matter of operation, the Vice President for Student Life may identify University personnel, as noted in University policy, to support vibrant student engagement and involvement experiences in accordance with established University guidelines. Any Recognized Student Organization may have their recognition revoked if it is deemed that the organization’s goals are not or are no longer compatible with the overall mission of Furman University. Outcomes resulting from all student organization conduct proceedings are recommendations to the University.

  1. Organizational Conduct Action - Internal

Organizations may not address a member’s violations of university policy via internal standards boards or other accountability mechanisms without prior approval of the Dean of Students Office. Conduct expectations unique to membership in the organization and that do not overlap or otherwise interfere with university authority may be addressed with the written approval of the AVP/Dean of Students or designee. Groups affiliated with national organizations that have established guidance and procedures over disciplinary matters, may follow the directive of those national organizations with regard to member conduct but must do so with written approval from the university. 

  • To address alleged member conduct that does not violate university policy (e.g. meeting attendance, enrollment status, upholding organization mission, etc.), organizations should work with their faculty or staff advisor to develop a process for addressing such behavior that is fair and equitable. Student organizations with concerns about the behavior of a member should submit a report through one of the various reporting options offered by the University.
  1. Notice to the University

    1. The University may receive notice of an allegation or potential violation of this or other related policies in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:

      1. The filing of an incident report with the appropriate University department or official, including self-reporting and anonymous reporting;
      2. Any Responsible Employee is made aware of any potential violation of this or other related policies; or
      3. Any Responsible Employee observes any potential violation of this or other related policies.
    2. The University may choose to protect the anonymity of a reporting party when the safety and well-being of the reporting party is an important factor.
    3. Conduct action may be taken against a student organization for Organizational Activity. Furthermore, conduct action may be taken against a student organization for the acts of individual members when a reasonable person would find that:
      1. The acts grow out of, or are directly related to, the organization’s activities or an environment created or knowingly permitted by the organization; or 
      2. A member of an organization is violating local, state, or federal laws or University regulations and other members are present and failing to discourage such activity, thus silently condoning the behaviors.
    4. In addition to conduct action being taken against an organization, action may also be taken against members and officers as individuals for their roles in any violation of University policy.
  2. Interim Action

    1. During an investigation and resolution of alleged organizational misconduct, the University may initiate interim action, which may include the suspension of any or all organizational activity. Notice of interim action will be given to the organization as well as other parties pertinent to the interim action including but not limited to, national organizations, advisors, other organizations on campus, and the campus community.
    2. A student organization may request an appeal of interim action through a “show cause” meeting. The sole purpose of this meeting is to address concerns surrounding the interim action taken against the organization. The Vice President for Student Life or designee will determine whether a meeting is warranted based on the circumstances of the allegations. If a meeting is granted, the Vice President for Student Life will meet with the appropriate student organization representative within seven (7) business days of receipt of the “show cause” meeting request. The student organization representative may request to have a support person present with them during the “show cause” meeting.
    3. The outcome of a “show cause” meeting can uphold, modify, or release the interim action issued against a student organization. The outcome of this meeting does not supplant any pending or ongoing investigation or student conduct action to which a student organization must address.
    4. “Show cause” decisions on interim action are deemed final until a student conduct proceeding has resolved the alleged misconduct violation(s).
  3. Procedures for Operational Violations

    1. Organizations are expected to comply with all provisions for operation contained in this policy. Failure to do so may result in an organization being charged with a Student Organization Policies violation.
    2. When an alleged violation(s) by a student organization is strictly related to a failure to adhere to student organization operations and not the Student Conduct Code, the matter will be resolved by the Associate Dean of Student Involvement & Engagement or designee (“Chair”).
    3. The Chair will notify the organization of the alleged violation(s) at least two business days prior to a hearing unless there is a reasonable need to waive this requirement. Notice may be given verbally or in writing. Additionally, the Chair may choose to notify the national office, advisor, or others pertinent to the resolution process.
    4. The incident will be heard by a Review Panel consisting of the Chair and two students, selected as follows:
      1. Violations by Student Government Recognized Organizations will include two students appointed by the Student Government Association;
      2. Violations by Governing Council Recognized Organizations will include two students appointed by the respective governing council;
        1. For violations by Greek-letter organizations the IFC, NPHC, and Panhellenic judicial/standards vice presidents will serve in rotation; and
        2. If the IFC, NPHC, or Panhellenic judicial/standards vice president is a member of the accused organization, the Chair will designate an alternate from the respective governing council to serve;
      3. Violations by Athletic Recognized Organizations will include two student-athletes appointed by the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics or designee.
    5. The accused organization may designate one member to attend the hearing and speak on the organization’s behalf. Alternatively, the organization may submit a written statement for consideration.
    6. The accused organization may bring a Support Person from the University’s current faculty, staff, or student body to attend the hearing. Regardless of affiliation with the University, parents, guardians, and attorneys may not serve as a Support Person. The Support Person role is intended to comfort the accused organization’s representative throughout the hearing. The Support Person may communicate with their organization’s representative privately but may not address the hearing panel, question Witnesses, or have any other speaking role.
    7. The Chair may choose to call witnesses with information about the facts of the alleged violation.
    8. By a majority vote, the Review Panel will make determinations of responsibility using the Preponderance of the Evidence as its standard of proof and, if responsible, assign sanctions.  
    9. The Chair will give notice of the outcome to the organization within five business days unless there is a reasonable need for delay. Notice may be given verbally or in writing. Additionally, the Chair may choose to notify the national office, advisor, or others pertinent to the resolution process.
    10. Notice of the recommended outcome will also be provided to the Vice President for Student Life or their designee for final approval.
    11. There is no appeal.
  4. Procedures for Student Conduct Code Violations

    1. Organizational Conduct Investigations
      1. Upon receiving notice of an alleged violation of this or other University policies involving an RSO, the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct or designee, in consultation with the appropriate University officials, will conduct a preliminary assessment to determine if there is a reasonable basis for conducting an investigation into the alleged violation of University policies. This initial assessment will include a review of the information reported. This may include, but is not limited to:
        1. Interview(s) with the person(s) who made the report
        2. Gathering information that would corroborate elements of the report
      2. It is the University’s discretion whether to forward a matter onto formal conduct proceedings.
      3. If the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct or designee determines at any point that a formal investigation is necessary, the case may be assigned to Student Life Investigators. The Assistant Dean of Student Conduct will notify the Student Organization Representative for the RSO, the RSO advisor, and any appropriate officials affiliated with the RSO’s inter/national governing body of the start of any investigation.
      4. During the course of the investigation, the RSO may request to enter information into the record and may recommend specific witnesses to the investigator. Ultimately, determinations of relevance of information or witnesses will be determined by the investigator.
      5. In completing the investigation, the investigator(s) may:
        1. Make contact (if possible) with the individual(s) who submitted the initial information.
        2. Interview any individuals with relevant information.
        3. Request relevant information from RSO members (i.e. screenshots of text messages or pictures/videos) and note whether or not RSO members were compliant in sharing requested information.
        4. Provide relevant information at any point during the investigation to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct related to interim measures.
        5. Require RSO members, or a select group of RSO members (i.e. all new members of the RSO) to participate in an interview and may restrict communication between RSO members during the interview (for example, sequestering RSO members in a room and prohibiting interview participants from using their cell phone or other devices during the interview/sequestration).
      6. Students participating in a formal investigation process are expected to participate in an active, cooperative and truthful manner. Failing to participate in any fashion, including failure to provide requested information or testimony, may constitute a violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct. Additionally, the investigators will document these failures and the hearing body may make any inferences based on these failures.
      7. The University will complete the initial investigation in a period of no more than 30 days, barring any exigent circumstances. In the event that exigent circumstances arise that will require a delay beyond 30 days, the University will notify the RSO representative of the delay, including the reasons for the delay and the anticipated timeline for completing the investigation.
      8. At the completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will provide a written draft of the investigation report to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct or designee. The Assistant Dean of Student Conduct will review that report for accuracy or thoroughness and will make the final determination of the relevance of any information gathered during the investigation.
      9. Upon completion of the final report, the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct will determine the appropriate adjudication process.
      10. If it Is determined that no investigation is necessary, the report is documented and administratively closed. The Assistant Dean of Student Conduct may, at their discretion, notify the RSO of the information received and that the matter is closed.
    2. Resolution Pathways
      1. When an alleged violation(s) by a student organization includes a Student Conduct Code violation, the matter will be resolved by a Conduct Official (hereinto “Chair”) as defined in the Student Conduct Procedures policy.
      2. The Chair will notify the organization of the alleged violation(s) at least three (3) business days prior to a hearing unless there is a reasonable need to waive this requirement. Additionally, the Chair may choose to notify the national office, advisor, or others pertinent to the resolution process.
      3. The Chair will review all pertinent information regarding alleged organization misconduct and determine whether the resolution of a student organization case can be addressed under any of the available resolution processes described in the Student Conduct Procedures section of the Student Handbook. All forms of resolution (informal and formal) will be documented for record-keeping purposes.
      4. In the case of a formal student conduct proceeding, the incident will be heard by a Review Panel consisting of the Chair and two students, selected as follows:
        1. Violations by Recognized Student Organizations will include two students appointed by the Student Government Association;
        2. Violations by Governing Council Recognized Student Organizations will include two students appointed by the respective governing council;
          1. For violations by Greek-letter organizations the IFC and Furman Panhellenic judicial/standards vice presidents will serve in rotation; and
          2. If the IFC or Furman Panhellenic judicial/standards vice president is a member of the accused organization, the Chair will designate an alternate from the respective governing council to serve; 
        3. Violations by Athletic Recognized Organizations will include two student-athletes appointed by the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics or designee.
      5. The Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Representative for the accused organization is expected to attend the hearing and present any relevant information related to the organization’s alleged misconduct. The RSO Representative is also expected to address any questions asked of them by the Review Panel, regardless if the RSO Representative was directly involved in the organization’s alleged misconduct or not. Alternatively, RSO Representative may submit a written statement and any relevant material for consideration in lieu of active participation in a student conduct proceeding. This information must be provided to the Chair no less than one (1) business day prior to the proceeding.
      6. The accused organization may bring a Support Person from the University’s current faculty, staff, or student body to attend the hearing. Regardless of affiliation with the University, parents, guardians, and attorneys may not serve as a Support Person. The Support Person role is intended to comfort the accused organization’s representative throughout the hearing. The Support Person may communicate with their organization’s representative privately but may not address the hearing panel, question Witnesses, or have any other speaking role.
      7. The accused organization has the opportunity to provide information on their own behalf during a Review Panel Hearing to address the alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code. This may include documentation and witnesses that will be a part of the hearing process. The Chair will resolve any questions concerning procedure or the admission of information (including but not limited to, its relevancy and reliability).
      8. The Chair may choose to call witnesses with information about the facts of the alleged violation. The accused organization will be given the opportunity to question all witnesses that appear during a Review Panel Hearing. The method of questioning will be determined by the Chair. The Review Panel may use any information and/or evidence to make a determination of responsibility.
      9. By a majority vote, the Review Panel will make determinations of responsibility using the Preponderance of the Evidence as its standard of proof and, if responsible, assign action items.  
      10. Student organizations who fail to have a representative appear for a Review Panel Hearing will have the determination of responsibility and Action Item(s) made in their absence, based on all information available at that time. If the Chair determines a decision cannot be made without the accused student organization, the Review Panel Hearing may be postponed.
      11. All decisions by the Review Panel will be presented to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct or designee for final approval.
      12. The Chair will give notice of the outcome to the organization within five (5) business days unless there is a reasonable need for delay. Additionally, the Chair may choose to notify the national office, advisor, or others pertinent to the resolution process.
    3. Appellate Procedures. The decision of the Review Panel may be appealed as follows:
      1. Notice of appeal must be submitted to the Dean of Students Office along with a completed appeal form no later than three (3) business days after receiving notice. The appeal form must be attached as a Word document submitted via email.
      2. The Appeal Board will consist of the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or designee (“DOS”), one student representative, and one faculty or staff representative.
      3. The appeal will not be a re-hearing of the original case and must be based on the one or more of the following criteria:
        1. Substantial new evidence can be provided related to the specific case which was not available at the time of the original hearing;
        2. substantial violation of the hearing procedure occurred; or
        3. The sanction(s) levied is excessive.
      4. Appeals that do not reasonably meet one of the aforementioned appeal criteria, as determined by the DOS, will not be given further consideration. 
      5. If an appeal does meet the criteria, the Appeal Board will choose to uphold the decision or alter the decision as its discretion.
      6. All decisions of the Appeal Board will be provided to the Vice President for Student Life or designee for final review.
      Special Considerations in the Resolution Process
      1. Student Organization Review Panels may not be convened during school closings, semester breaks, summer months and exam periods; consequently, all necessary determinations will be made as follows:
        1. If the organization denies responsibility for alleged violations, a panel of two or more faculty, staff, or students appointed by the Vice President for Student Life will make all necessary determinations; or
        2. If the organization accepts responsibility for the charges, the Dean of Students Office may assign sanctions.
  5. Student Conduct Code Violations for Organizations

    1. Application of Student Conduct Code. Upon determination that conduct action will be taken against an organization, the organization may be charged with any violation(s) listed in the Student Conduct Code.
    2. Additional Expectations for Organizational Behavior. In addition to Student Conduct Code violations, the organizations may be charged with the following:
      1. Demeaning Behavior. Any actions, activities, events or themes, whether on or off campus, which are demeaning and/or discriminatory based on a person’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation including but not limited to verbal harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct by individuals or members acting together. The employment or use of strippers, exotic dancers or similar, whether professional or amateur, at a student organization event is prohibited.  See the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
      2. Drug-Free Campus. The possession, sale or use of any illegal drugs, controlled substances, or prescription drugs without a valid medical prescription during Organizational Activity is strictly prohibited.
      3. Organizational Activities at Unrecognized Venues. Any Organizational Activity occurring at unapproved venues may result in suspension of activities and/or loss of recognition. If the University determines that Organizational Activity occurred, it is not a defense that such activity took place at an individual’s personal, off-campus residence.
      4. Hazing.
        1. Furman University will not tolerate any hazing by student organizations or their members.
        2. Hazing is considered an action taken toward a student or subset of students by an organization or its members that is not universally applied to all members of that organization. The only exceptions to the requirement of universal application are University approved educational plans for new members, sanctions or other disciplinary measures assigned as a result of an organization’s internal disciplinary process, and University, athletic, and military training approved by Furman employees. Examples of prohibited hazing include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
          1. Personal service to members of the organization or their designees;
          2. Physical abuse such as paddling, striking, branding, electric shock or bodily contact with harmful substances;
          3. Intimidation by threats of physical or other abuse;
          4. Excessive exercise or other tasks intended to cause physical exhaustion;
          5. Prolonged or repetitive tasks that result in sleep deprivation;
          6. Prolonged or harmful exposure to the elements;
          7. Humiliation through verbal or physical actions;
          8. Compelled consumption of any amount of alcohol;
          9. Compelled consumption of food or liquids;
          10. Grooming or dressing requirements; and
          11. Any task that requires the participant to violate the law or University policies.
        3. This list does not and cannot encompass every circumstance that will cause the University to discipline a student or student organization for hazing. Physical harm is not required for an action to be found to be hazing. Consent by the person against whom the hazing was directed is not a defense. The sanctions assigned as a result of hazing depend upon the severity of the act. Hazing as well as complicity with hazing is criminalized by the State of South Carolina at §16-3-510 and §16-3-520.  The University may refer hazing to law enforcement authorities
        4. No student or organizations may retaliate against or discourage participation by any individual who brings forward allegations of hazing, is a witness involved with, or cooperates in the investigation or adjudication of hazing cases. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or written harassment, threats, or intimidation of any person(s) who brought the complaint of hazing to the University or of anyone who was a witness or involved in the University’s review of the case.
      5. Violation of Federal, State or Local Law. Alleged violations of any federal, state or local law may be adjudicated as a University violation and can subject the organization or the individuals affiliated with the organization or event to University student conduct sanctions, as well as appropriate criminal or civil action.
      6. Violation of Student Organization Policies. An organization that violates the “Student Organization Operation” subsection of this policy may be referred for conduct action.