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Standards Code of the Inter-Sorority Association Standards Board

Introduction

 

The Inter-Sorority Association is the governing body of all recognized sororities on SUNY Plattsburgh's campus. The ISA works to provide structure, guidance, and support for all its members. The ISA strives to enrich the fraternal experience so it can be the best it can be. The Inter-Sorority Association Standards Board is no different. The ISASB has a responsibility to govern the conduct of each member of the Inter-Sorority Association. The ISASB operates under the assumption that a sorority woman's behavior should demonstrate respect for self, respect for others, respect for the Fraternal Community, respect for the Campus and Plattsburgh City Communities, and responsibility for one's own actions. The Standards Code of the Inter-Sorority Association has been developed to outline acceptable behavior amongst our Sorority women. The ISASB is present to provide an opportunity to resolve any inappropriate behavior if a violation of its regulations occur. Organizations’ holding themselves and other organizations accountable is imperative to having a functioning Standards Board and Standards process as well as a values-based Fraternity/Sorority Community. There are different methods of holding groups and individuals accountable. These include but are not limited to:

Article I. Regulations

Section 1

Inter-Sorority Association chapters are officially recognized as student organizations by SUNY Plattsburgh. ISA membership implies that the members agree to abide by all rules and laws set forth by the State, the college, and the ISA. Any infractions of these rules or laws will subject the organization to disciplinary action by the Inter-Sorority Association. All reports should be made within 30 days from the date in which the incident occurred.

Section 2

The Inter-Sorority Association Standards Board shall have the final power to interpret all parts of the ISA Constitution, Bylaws, and the Fraternal Standards Manual Policies.

Section 3

Organizations will be held accountable for their actions. Any accusation or charge will be taken seriously, but substantial proof is required in order to charge an organization for any incident. The Inter-Sorority Association and its Standards Board will deal with each offense fairly. Regulations are subject to change in accordance with the Inter-Sorority Association Standards Board, the Inter-Sorority Association Executive Board, the Fraternal Standards Manual, the SUNY Plattsburgh Code of Conduct, and the SUNY Plattsburgh Club and Organization Conduct Manual.

Article II. Organization

The Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life shall serve as the Advisor to the Inter-Sorority Association Standards Board.

Section 1. Justice Selection

  1. The ISA Vice President of Standards will be in charge of convening the ISASB and all matters pertaining to the Standards process.
  2. It is the duty of the Vice President to get in contact with the member who is the official Standards Chair for each organization by the end of the first week of the semester. By the end of the second week of the semester, the Vice President and the Standards chair from each organization should have a meeting introducing the new members to their responsibilities and duties as members of the ISASB.
  3. Members shall be appointed on the basis of eligibility as stated in Article II, Section 2.

 

Section 2. Eligibility

  1. A 2.50 cumulative grade point average is required for appointment to the ISA Standards Board.
  2. Holds the position of Standards Chair in their respective organizations.
  3. All members must be able to keep important ISA matters and judicial hearings confidential. At the introductory meeting, the entire ISA Standards Board shall receive an individual statement explaining the responsibilities of each member, a pledge of confidentiality, and an acknowledgement that they have been informed of the consequences that will occur if in the event they fail in upholding their duties. The three above documents will be signed by the justice and a witness, the ISA Vice President of Standards. These statements will be attached to the minutes of the meeting and kept on file for one year by Fraternity/Sorority Life.

Section 3. Vacancies

  1. A vacant position on the ISASB may be filled by appointment by the ISA Vice President for Standards.

Section 4. Removal

  1. The advisor to the Standards Board and the ISA Executive Officers may remove a member of the ISASB who fails to meet the eligibility requirements listed in Article II, Section 2.
  2. A member of the ISASB may be removed for failure to comply with the confidentiality stipulation as stated in Article II, Section 2. Any Justice who breaks confidentiality will be subjecting their respective organization to a $500 fine and/or other sanction(s) as designated by the ISA Executive Board.
  3. Members of the ISASB may serve more than one semester on the Standards Board as long as they meet the set requirements stated by Article II, Section 2.

Section 5. Jurisdiction

  1. Matters involving violation of ISA regulations shall fall within the jurisdiction of the Standards Code of the ISA Standards Board.
  2. The Standards Board shall have the power to interpret all parts of the ISA Council Constitution, Bylaws, and the Fraternal Standards Manual.

Article III. Procedures

Section 1. Duties of the Vice President of Standards:

  1. When a report is filed it is to be brought to the next scheduled Review and Referral Committee.
    1. If the Review and Referral Committee concludes that the ISA Vice President of Standards should pursue an investigation of the report then the following steps should be taken:
      1. The accused chapter should be notified via written letter and phone call informing them that they have been accused of a violation.
      2. Within one week after the receipt of the initial letter and phone call, a meeting with the accused organization and the ISA Vice President of Standards must be arranged and take place.
        1. At the meeting, the President of the accused organization and one other representative should be present.
        2. The meeting is to allow the ISA Vice President of Standards to explain to the organization the violation their organization is being accused of and the evidence that is present. The organization can then plead guilty or not guilty to the accusations\charges being brought against them.
          1. If the organization pleads guilty, they are seen as taking accountability for their actions and will be allowed to develop a written proposal of what their chapter believes is an appropriate sanction. It is encouraged that the organization seeks out the assistance of the ISA Vice President of Standards or the Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisor when developing these sanctions. This proposal will then be given to the ISA Vice President of Standards within two weeks of the initial meeting with the ISA Vice President of Standards who will present it to the ISASB for approval.
            1. If the proposal is denied, the ISASB will make suggestions about what should be modified within the proposal. The proposal will be returned to the organization, who will then have until the next ISASB meeting to make the appropriate revisions.
          2. If the organization pleads not guilty, they will be required to attend an ISASB hearing where their case will be reviewed by a panel of ISASB justices. Here the organization will be found not guilty or guilty by the ISASB members. Refer to Article V. for complete details of the hearing procedure.
  2. Organizations who are found to be responsible of a non-standards violation, as determined by the Review and Referral, will be contacted by the ISA VP of Standards to schedule a facilitation meeting.

Article IV. Hearing Procedures

Section 1. Hearing Guidelines

  1. The Board shall meet whenever an organization pleads not guilty to accusations that are being brought up against them.

Section 2

  1. Complaints must be submitted to the Vice President of Standards by completing the ISA Violation Report Form within five business days of the accused violation in order for the case to be reviewed by the Review and Referral Committee.

    These complaints include all infractions that violate the ISA Constitution, Bylaws, and the Fraternal Standards Manual Policies, the SUNY Plattsburgh Code of Conduct, and the SUNY Plattsburgh Club and Organization Conduct Manual. These complaints must be submitted within 30 days of the alleged event. The ISA Vice President of Standards, in coordination with the Review and Referral Committee, shall discuss the case and determine whether disciplinary action should be initiated. If charges should be initiated, notification from the Vice President of Standards will be sent out, by way of a formal letter, as outlined in Article III, Section 1 of this document.

Section 3

If an individual, Chapter's representative, or a selected Justice does not appear at the hearing they forfeit their vote and voice in discussions that take place during Standards Board meetings or hearings. The Board will render a decision by way of a majority vote based off of the available information.

Section 4

The Vice President of Standards shall serve as the spokesperson and moderator for the Board. The Vice President of Standards shall also be responsible for informing any member of the ISA about the standards process.

Section 5

The President of the organization and one other Chapter member shall be the only Representatives of the concerned organization allowed at the hearing. The organization advisor may be present at the hearing for verification of policies, pertinent information, and as a reference, if needed.

Section 6

The cases shall be administered in the following format:

  1. The Vice President of Standards reads the charges.
  2. Accused organization enters a plea and argues on its behalf.
  3. Members of the ISA Standards Board are allowed to ask the defendant questions regarding the allegation.
  4. The accused organization is dismissed and the ISA Standards Board members begin deliberation of the allegation.
  5. The members establish responsible or not responsible of the allegation.
    1. If the organization is found not responsible, the charges are dismissed.
  6. In order to find an organization responsible there must be a half plus one vote among the Standards Board members.
    1. Voting rights are granted to the ISASB members of each organization but these rights are forfeited if they do not attend the hearing and the ISASB meeting prior to the hearing.
  7. If organization is found responsible, the members appoint unanimous sanctions to the violation.

Section 7

The Chapter shall be sent written notification of the Board’s decision within five business days of the hearing by the Board. The decision shall contain information about the results of the hearing, sanctions, and the process of appeal, if necessary.

Section 8

The minutes for all the ISASB hearings shall be recorded by member of the ISASB appointed by the Vice President of Standards. The Center for Fraternity/Sorority Life will keep these minutes for a period of two semesters. In the event of an appeal, the Appellate Body will review these minutes.

Article V. Requests for an Appeal

Section 1

An organization aggrieved by the Standards Board’s decision has the right to appeal to the College Judicial Board.

Section 2

An appeal must be made in writing and postmarked no later than two business days prior of the receipt of the letter informing the organization of the ISASB’s decision.

Section 3

Appeals must be based on one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Severity of sanction(s).
  2. Improper hearing procedures.

Section 4

Notice of an appeal suspends imposition of the sanction(s) until the appeal has been heard.

Article VI. Disciplinary Sanctions

Section 1

During the formal hearing of the case, the ISA Standards Board must render one of two possible decisions.

  1. First, the ISASB could determine that the organization is not responsible of violating a regulation.
  2. Second, the ISASB could determine that the organization is responsible of violating a regulation. The sanction(s) imposed upon the organization will be required to be executed within an amount of time reasonable and agreeable to the ISASB members hearing the case.
    1. When an organization is found responsible they will fall under one of the following statuses (refer to page three of Standards Manual):
      1. Suspension
      2. Probation
      3. Withdrawal of recognition

Article VIII. Amendments

Any member of the Inter-Sorority Association or ISA Standards Board may propose an amendment to the ISA Standards Code. Any changes are contingent to approval of the Inter-Sorority Association by three-fourths vote of the voting Representative members of the ISA, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given in writing at the preceding regular ISA meeting.

Contact Information

For more information about Fraternity/Sorority Life at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Allison Swick-Duttine
Director of Fraternity/Sorority Life & Organization Development
Angell College Center 204
Phone: (518) 564-4825
E-mail: allison.swick@plattsburgh.edu