Student Organization Conduct

We know that good people will make bad decisions. We should also remember that good organizations can have members who make bad decisions. Research shows that when young people gather, they are more likely to act and behave in ways different than when alone. Sometimes this may mean continuing problematic “traditions,” collectively violating law or policy, or engaging in conduct that is detrimental to the campus community. Given the continued presence of hazing on our college campuses, this year’s Student Organization Conduct Track will focus on hazing within student organizations.

Regardless of institutional scope and environment, campuses often find themselves having to respond to their various student clubs, organizations, programs, and teams that sometimes engage in hazing behaviors. Recognizing that no two organizations are alike, even within the same category, a campus response to organizational hazing or other conduct violations must also be unique for the individual situation.

When resolving student organization violations, it is easy to fall into the trap of simply determining responsibility and relying on punitive sanctions. However, just as with individual student conduct cases, there is often opportunity to hold students accountable while also helping to educate and correct organizational culture to provide students the best possible experience. There is an opportunity to help student leaders learn to hold peers accountable and to practice continuous improvement of their group. This approach applies to violations by fraternities and sororities, club and varsity sports teams, performing arts groups, and honor societies. During this track, we will explore:

  • Overview of laws, policy, and research informing our work
  • Examination of issues surrounding group identity
  • Best practices for investigating organization misconduct, with particular focus on hazing investigations
  • Evaluating due process rights and fundamental fairness afforded to student organizations
  • Determining group responsibility and identifying appropriate sanctions for an organization
  • Collaboration with internal and external partners and stakeholders to develop protocols for campus response to hazing incidents


To view presenter biographies please visit our Meet The Gehring Team page.

L.J. Moore: Track Coordinator
Scott Irlbacher: Senior Faculty