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Greek Life Judicial Process


The Interfraternity Congress (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC) Joint Judicial Board (JJB) is a diverse group of Greek members who educate and hold the Greek community accountable to collective standards and values. We aim to create a positive and restorative environment while maintaining the integrity of the community by helping chapters align their actions with these standards and values.

We accomplish this by working with chapters to understand and to implement restorative practices as it relates to their formal and informal accountability structures within their organization.  We believe internal individual and chapter accountability is the most critical aspect in upholding the values and mission of each Greek Chapter. In the event that chapters fail to hold themselves accountable, our board will review and investigate any allegations related to organizational conduct and decide the most appropriate channel of accountability. The processes used by our board are outlined in detail below. Using these methods, we seek to pinpoint evolving trends in our community and work with the chapter to help them address the issue at hand. 

The IFC/PHC JJB works collaboratively with the university to address alleged policy violations of the Code of Student Conduct.  The IFC/PHC JJB is given authority by the university to address cases related to university policy as well as policies outlined in the IFC/PHC constitution and bylaws. The degree to which IFC/PHC is able to hear violations of the Code of Student Conduct is related to the severity of the alleged violation as well as the past history of the chapter involved. If an alleged violation is referred to the Office of Student Conduct, members of the IFC/PHC JJB serve as representatives on the hearing board.  It is important to note that the IFC/PHC JJB process does not have jurisdiction to address cases related to sexual misconduct. Any violation related to Title IX will be referred to the Office of Equity. Throughout this process, the IFC/PHC JJB and Office of Greek Life work to partner with the chapters’ National Organization, where applicable, to work in concert in investigating and addressing the alleged policy violations. The IFC/PHC JJB judicial process as well as an outline of jurisdiction is detailed below. Our collaboration with these entities to address alleged violations is critical in facilitating long-term cultural change within chapters and Greek Life overall. 

We ask for all members of the CWRU community to assist us in achieving a culture of community accountability. If you become aware of something that you believe is wrong or may be wrong, we support you in being a proactive bystander. In addition to that action and/or if you are not able to act, please report it to the IFC/PHC JJB. In order for us to achieve progress and true accountability we must be aware of these incidents; we must receive information in order to take action ourselves. We cannot do this alone and thank you for taking a step towards a just resolution and being a part of this community’s progress. 

  1. Policies Covered (link each of these)

    1. University Policies

    2. University student code of conduct

    3. NIC Alcohol and Drug Guidelines (and Hazing)

    4. IFC Bylaws & Constitution

    5. PHC Bylaws & Constitution (including substance free housing)

    6. NPHC Intake Procedures

  1. Incident Report: 

    1. Reports possible policy violation, or concern otherwise

      1. Policy violations include any possible breach of the policies detailed above

    2. Methods of Reporting for all members of CWRU

      1. Email/Google Form -  https://forms.gle/FEgFYpf4SwKahrjg9

        1. PROVIDING YOUR NAME-By providing your name we will be able to reach out to you for further questions or clarification should the information you provided  be insufficient to take action against a chapter. 

        2. REMAINING ANONYMOUS TO CHAPTER-You may remain anonymous to the chapter involved in the incident, however by giving us a way to contact you, we will be better able to hold the chapter or people accountable. 

        3. REMAINING ANONYMOUS-If you choose to not provide your name or cannot provide enough detail regarding the incident(s), it is unlikely that the information will be sufficient to proceed with a formal conduct process and potential formal sanctions. However, we would still follow up informally with the chapter through discussions and educational interventions

      2. Residence Life Incident Report

      3. Police Reports received through partnership with CWRU PD

      4. Community Concerns Reporting Form 

      5. National Organization

      6. Information received from other staff/faculty, parent, or other sourcesBased on the allegations, the case may be handled by the IFC/PHC JJB, the Office of Equity, or the Office of Student Conduct 

      7. If individual, consider also looking to see if the chapter has a national resource for reporting

  2. Jurisdiction

    1. Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee and the IFC/PHC Vice Presidents of Administration (VPA) evaluate the nature of potential policy violations and determine the appropriate conduct process to address behavior among one or a combination of:

      1. IFC/PHC Conduct Process, 

      2. Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, 

      3. Office of Equity

    2. If removal of campus recognition is a possible outcome of the hearing process, the case must be heard through a Greek Life University Conduct Hearing through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

    3. A nationally recognized organization may also choose to remove a chapter’s local charter at any time. 

  1. Charge letter (if IFC/PHC Process is determined appropriate to address behavior)

    1. Letter e-mailed to chapter president that gives time and place of reported incident and alleged policies violated.

      1. The chapter president receives communications about their rights in the or process.

    2. It is then the chapter president’s responsibility to schedule a meeting with the Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee and VPA within 48 hours of receiving the charge letter.

  2. Initial meeting

    1. Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee, IFC/PHC VPA, and chapter president meet to discuss the alleged violation, the corresponding charges, the available pleas, an overview of the conduct/hearing process, and their rights as a chapter in this process.  

      1. Responsible: By entering a plea of responsibility, the chapter/individual is agreeing with all evidence/facts presented by the IFC/PHC JJB.

      2. Not Responsible: By entering a plea of not responsible, the chapter/individual is disagreeing with all of the evidence/facts presented by the IFC/PHC JJB.

      3. No Contest: By entering a plea of no contest, the chapter/individual is not denying some of the evidence/facts presented by the IFC/PHC JJB, but are asking for the opportunity to present their side of the incident or rebut some of the charges to the JJB.

      4. Medical Amnesty Plea: By entering a plea of medical amnesty, the chapter/individual, is agreeing with the facts presented by the IFJB but acknowledges that the chapter/individual was responsible for seeking medical attention for the individual(s) involved. By entering this plea, a hearing is unnecessary and the chapter president/individual will meet with the IFC/PHC VPA and the Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee in order to agree upon appropriate educational outcomes.

    2. Chapter president then has five business days to submit a plea in response to the charges

    3. Chapter can have an advisor present for any of the stages of this process, but the advisor cannot address the board in the event of a hearing. 

 

In the event of:

  1. Responsible Plea

    1. Based on the severity, frequency, or account history of the violation, the most appropriate judging body is determined. The case may go to an informal, formal or university hearing. 

    2. At lower severity, an informal hearing may be held with the President, other involved persons, VPA’s, the Greek Life Judicial Board, and the Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee. 

    3. In the event that the severity does not warrant a formal hearing or informal hearing, the President comes back with suggested sanctions from the chapter. 

      1. Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee, IFC/PHC VPA, and chapter president then establish proper sanctions. 

  2. Not Responsible Plea

    1. Formal judicial board hearing or university level hearing depending on the severity, frequency, or account history of the violation

    2. Witnesses called

    3. Chapter can have an advisor present, but advisor cannot address the board

    4. Preponderance of the evidence standard (Preponderance means more likely than not or 51% likely)

  3. No Contest Plea

    1. Informal hearing

    2. Chapter can state their case and answer questions from justices

  4. Medical Amnesty Plea

    1. The process is mediated: 

      1. The chapter can propose educational outcomes which will then be discussed and finalized with the Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee, the IFC/PHC VPA’s, and a chapter representative. 

  5. Notification to National Headquarters

    1. Completed after sanctions are given unless it’s a serious or reoccurring violation

    2. Chapter is notified before letters are sent

  6. Follow up on sanctions

    1. The IFC/PHC VPA, IFC/PHC Justices, and the Associate Director of Greek Life or their designee, perform follow ups on the assigned outcomes to ensure they are properly done and are having the desired impact. 

    2. Failure to meet the outlined deadlines could result in an additional charge of Failure to Comply

    3. When completed, a Notification of Completion is sent to chapter and headquarters

 

Throughout the judicial process, we encourage chapters to be introspective and discover the places in which they most require growth or amendment. We ask chapters to identify their own proposed outcomes that they believe will have the greatest impact on influencing behavior change within the chapter. The board takes these proposed outcomes into serious consideration as they deliberate their decision and work to create outcomes that will facilitate growth. Our main goal in the hearing process is to understand why the behavior occurred and provide meaningful outcomes to help a chapter create positive change within the organization. There is not a “one size fits all” model for what this process looks like or for what outcomes will be issued in response to chapter policy violations due to the unique culture and function of each chapter.