Student Group Accountability Board

Student Group Compliance with Student Organization Policy

Student organizations are fully recognized and supported by the University; for example, student organizations are granted the tax-exempt status of the institution and are able to conduct events on campus in the same manner as departments. The University seeks to give student leaders as much autonomy and responsibility as possible in order to create a dynamic learning environment for student leaders and participants. We believe that self-directed co-curricular life on campus is a defining characteristic of a Princeton education for which the entire University community benefits.

In light of this relationship, it is necessary to articulate guidelines and policies by which organizations, and individual students acting on their behalf, must conduct their activities. All registered student organizations are governed by the policies outlined in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. In addition to these University policies, student organizations are required to adhere to the policies established by their sponsoring departments. 

Presidents and treasurers of ODUS student organizations are required to adhere to Student Organization Policy and acknowledge their understanding and adherence to the policy by signing the Student Organization Policy Adherence Document. Presidents of student organizations are required to attend the Mandatory Presidents Training. Treasurers of student organizations are required to attend the Mandatory Treasurers Training.

Student Group Accountability Board

As articulated in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities 2.1.3, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students has a long-standing charge to develop, articulate, and enforce policies related to student organization activity. In the interest of promoting transparency, peer-based leadership, and accountability, ODUS has instituted a more nuanced student group accountability process called the Student Group Accountability Board (SGAB). Additionally, with the SGAB being made up of student representatives from entities that are involved with various parts of the student organization life cycle, an important feedback loop will be created. Thus, the activities of the SGAB will play an important role in identifying ways in which we can improve student processes such as officer training, Projects Board funding, and the new student group recognition process.  

Student Group Accountability Board (SGAB) Composition

The Student Group Accountability Board (SGAB) is a review board generally made up of student representatives from the following entities and is chaired by the Assistant Dean and Director of Student Leadership and Engagement: 

Projects Board 

Alcohol Initiative 

Student Group Recognition Committee 

Undergraduate Student Government 

Performing Arts Council (PAC)

The role of the SGAB is to review the alleged violation of Student Organization Policy for student organizations sponsored by ODUS, and make a recommendation of responsibility and consequence to the Assistant Dean, who will inform the student organization of the consequence. In order to determine that a student organization has violated a Student Organization Policy, a majority of the voting committee members present must conclude that the evidence presented constitutes a clear and persuasive case in support of the charges against the student organization.

Student Conduct and Community Standards 

The Assistant Dean will refer a student to the Residential College Disciplinary Board or Committee on Discipline if individual behavior has allegedly violated a University policy as stated in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. In instances where a student has allegedly violated University policy and ODUS student organization policy, the student may face individual disciplinary action as well as consequences for the student organization as issued by the Assistant Dean. 

Reporting 

If members of the Princeton community are concerned that a student organization may have violated a Student Organization Policy, they are encouraged to contact ODUS by emailing sgab@princeton.edu. Reported incidents will be reviewed in a timely manner, and all reports will be reviewed to determine the most appropriate response for a course of action. Please note that this is a mechanism to report student organization activity, and should not be misconstrued as a replacement for any other University reporting systems such as Title IX reporting, making anonymous reports via EthicsPoint, reporting to the Department of Public Safety, etc. If you have any questions or need clarity on which reporting system best fits your situation, please reach out to ODUS or your residential college Director of Student Life. 

Please note that as stated in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities 1.3.5, in emergency situations, if there is a suspected crime in progress, or imminent or serious threats to the safety of anyone, community members are to immediately contact the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911.

Please note that if members of a student organization are concerned that another member of their organization may have violated Rights, Rules, Responsibilities (including the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy), they are encouraged to contact ODUS or their residential college Director of Student Life. Participation in a student organization can only be limited through talent-based auditions (singing, theater, dance, writing) with prior notice to Campus Recreation, ODUS, ORL, or the Pace Center and cannot be limited by other members of the student organization based on their perception that a University policy has been violated.

Review Process

If the issue raised is deemed to be an alleged violation of ODUS student organization policy, the Assistant Dean will designate the ODUS program coordinator to contact the president of the relevant student organization and inform them of the alleged violation. The president will be notified in writing of the specific violation(s) of the Student Organization Policy that the organization is alleged to have committed in advance of the review. The program coordinator will explain the student group accountability process to the president of the student organization in question, and the president may read all statements, reports, or other information relevant to the report. The facts of the alleged violation will be discussed and the president will be given ample opportunity to present their own account of the incident in question. The president of the student organization has the option as to whether or not they would like their case heard by the SGAB. If the president does not choose to have the case heard by the SGAB, the program coordinator will inform the SGAB of the review of the case and the SGAB will make a recommendation to the Assistant Dean, who will inform the student organization of the appropriate consequence(s). If the president does choose to have the case heard by the SGAB, the president will present the case to the SGAB and the SGAB will deliberate and make a finding by majority vote. Then, the SGAB will submit a recommendation that will include the finding (summary of the review, hearing, finding and/or rationale) regarding the finding of responsibility and/or consequence(s) for the student organization in question to the Assistant Dean. The Assistant Dean will determine the appropriate action. 

Examples of Cases 

Examples of cases that would be reviewed by the SGAB include, but are not limited, to: 

  • Financial policy violations including, but not limited to, signing of contracts on behalf of the University, holding funds in off-site accounts, misuse of funds

  • Failure to attend mandatory presidents and/or treasurers trainings 

  • Not adhering to venue specific policies and expectations 

  • Misrepresenting activities on behalf of a student organization 

  • Failure to register student organization activity in CLEVER

Possible Outcomes/Consequences for Student Organizations

If a student organization is found responsible for violating a Student Organization Policy, they student organization will be informed of the consequence(s) with a letter from the Assistant Dean, which may range from, but are not limited to: 

  • Warning

  • Mandatory education/training session 

  • Loss of space reservation abilities

  • Group probation

  • Group suspension

  • Travel restrictions

One of the key goals of this process is for the student organization to better understand and adhere to ODUS student organization policies. We’re mindful that students are overwhelmingly working in a voluntary capacity and we appreciate their contributions to campus life. We recognize that this is an opportunity for the student organizations to better understand student organization policies, understand why these policies are important, and to work with group leadership to develop systems to improve actions moving forward. 

Appeal Process 

An appeal of a decision should be directed to the Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students within one week of the decision date. Such appeals can only be made on the grounds of procedural unfairness or new information that was unavailable during the time of review. The purpose of an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact or a new determination of whether a violation of the Student Organization Policy has occurred.