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Judicial Affairs Office

5 Rope Ferry Road, Room 203
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-3482
Fax: (603)646-0421
Hinman Box 6020
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Organizational Adjudication Committee (OAC)

Please click here for more information on HazingStandards of Conduct, or OAC member application.


The Organizational Adjudication Committee (OAC) is established to carry out the Board of Trustees' directive that "All students and student organizations should be treated under the same set of guiding principles and rules, and that violations be adjudicated by a single judicial system embracing all student organizations...." College recognition of student organizations is a privilege, and student organizations are recognized and supported in order to further the broad educational objectives of the College. In appropriate circumstances consistent with the College's Group Accountability Policy, College-recognized undergraduate student organizations may be held accountable for the behaviors of their current and/or former members and officers that violate the existing Standards of Conduct. The OAC process will review and adjudicate all such cases. Organizational behavior in violation of departmental rules or policies not covered by the Standards of Conduct normally will continue to be managed by individual departments, in consultation with the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office. Information about all kinds of organizational violations will be shared with the UJAO to enable consultation with departments about the disposition of cases. In the event of a disagreement, the Director of the UJAO (as the representative of the Dean of the College) would have the authority to make a determination that a case would be heard by the Committee.


The OAC shall be composed as follows: six members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who shall be appointed by a process determined by the Committee on Organization and Policy for a term of three years; twelve members who shall be members of the sophomore, junior, or senior classes, and who meet the same requirements for service established by the Committee on Standards, six elected annually by the student body and six selected by the Dean of the College; six members from the administration who shall be selected by the President. The COP, Student Assembly, Dean of the College, and President shall ensure that a full complement of their respective members are available each term and shall appoint members as required to provide a full complement. A quorum for a hearing is three students, two faculty members, and two administrative members.

The Committee will be chaired by the Dean of the College, who has institutional responsibility for undergraduate discipline, or a designated member of the Dean's senior staff. The Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office Director or Assistant Director will normally be present at all hearings but is not a member of the OAC. The UJAO or the Chair may also request that any member of the Dartmouth community attend the hearing as a witness for the committee. Witnesses may be asked to provide information about the behavior in question, or to provide information about the structure and operation of the organization(s) before the Committee.

Group Disciplinary Process

In cases where a student organization may have violated a departmental standard or regulation, the department head responsible for oversight of the organization will consult with the UJAO but will normally be responsible for adjudicating the matter according to normal departmental practice. Such violations of departmental standards, however, may be referred to the OAC. Where the behavior in question may also have violated a College Standard of Conduct, the matter will be referred to the OAC for investigation and adjudication.

Initiation of Allegations

The UJAO shall be responsible for receiving all complaints and for drafting whatever allegations may be issued. Any student, faculty member, or employee may file a complaint regarding a student organization with the UJAO. (Complaints filed with the Department of Safety and Security will be forwarded to the UJAO.) In addition, the UJAO may initiate an allegation on the basis of information coming to his or her attention from any source. The UJAO shall inform the appropriate administrative office of complaints or other information concerning a student organization, and, in consultation with the appropriate colleagues, shall determine whether complaints or other information concerning a student organization shall result in formal disciplinary allegations. Administrative officers and department heads responsible for student organizations shall also inform the UJAO of information coming to their attention regarding possible violations of College Standards by student organizations. The UJAO shall coordinate the investigation and disposition of complaints and shall call upon other members of the College community for assistance as necessary.

OAC Hearings and Process

Reports to the OAC of Administrative Actions. The UJAO shall report to the OAC at least annually the disposition of cases regarding violations of departmental standards that have been adjudicated at the departmental level.

Reports to the Community. The UJAO shall report annually to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dean of the College, the President and the community the disposition of all OAC and departmentally adjudicated organizational behavior.

OAC Hearings. The UJAO will be responsible for providing to the OAC all relevant materials relating to cases which come before it. Where, after a hearing, the OAC finds an organization responsible for one or more violations, it will then recommend a penalty to the Chair, who will then determine the penalty after consideration of the recommendation.

Admission of Allegations. An organization that admits responsibility for the allegations may request to forgo a committee hearing and have its case heard by the Dean of the College (or the Dean's designee). In such cases where the Dean agrees to conduct the hearing, the decision of the Dean on a penalty shall be final (except for the organization's right to request reconsideration.)

Timing of Hearings. In circumstances where cases involve allegations of organizational misconduct as well as individual misconduct, the UJAO Director will determine the order in which the various hearings occur. The Dean of the College and/or the senior College officer responsible for an organization have the authority to suspend an organization, and any of its activities, pending the outcome of a hearing, when in their judgment circumstances warrant.

Sharing of Information. Information from organizational hearings that pertain to allegations regarding individual misconduct may be shared with the dean(s) or the COS conducting the individual hearings. Information from individual hearings may be shared with the OAC conducting organizational hearings. The UJAO may designate an appropriate College official(s), including him or herself, to attend any hearing as an observer for the purpose of collecting relevant information for a different hearing. In appropriate cases, the OAC may hold a joint hearing, or partial hearing, with the COS.

Consideration of Prior Record. In all cases concerning organizational conduct coming before the OAC, the organization's prior record, along with precedent for similar cases, may be considered for purposes of imposing an appropriate penalty.

Sanctions and Penalties. The OAC may impose any sanction, penalty, remedial action, or educational and community-service requirement that it deems appropriate. Those consequences may include, but are not limited to: probation with or without other restrictions, suspension of recognition, permanent revocation of recognition, suspension of eligibility to represent the College in athletic competitions or other events, removal of officers and members, fines, withdrawal of financial or other support such as office space, loss of specified privileges, restitution, letters of apology, completion of organizational or campus-wide educational initiatives and completion of other compensatory requirements. Failure to comply with the terms of a sanction may result in additional disciplinary action.

Disclosure of Decisions. The UJAO will promptly notify appropriate organizational officers or members, advisors, and administrative supervisors of organizations about decisions of the OAC. Decisions of the OAC, along with relevant information about organizational behavior, may also be conveyed to the broader campus community as deemed appropriate by the UJAO and/or Dean of the College.

Requests for Review. An organization whose case was decided by the OAC may make a request to the chair, via its designated representative, for reconsideration by the OAC on the basis of one or more of the following grounds: 1) procedural error which has materially prejudiced the organization's case; 2) newly discovered facts which, had they been introduced at the proceeding would likely have affected the outcome of the proceeding either with regard to the finding of responsibility or with regard to the penalty imposed (if such facts were not reasonably available to the organization at the time of the proceeding).

A request for reconsideration must be in writing and must set forth in reasonable detail the grounds for reconsideration, and must have attached to it any materials the organization wishes to have considered in its request. The request, with all accompanying materials, must be submitted by the designated representative within seven days of the date of the written decision in the organization's case. When a request is granted, the case shall be reconsidered by the OAC.

Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities: Guidelines for OAC Hearings

OAC proceedings are administrative in nature and are not governed by the rights and rules that apply in a court of law. However, if an allegation of an organizational violation of College Standards is reviewed by the OAC, the disciplinary process does provide that organization with certain rights and obligations.

The UJAO will identify an appropriate representative(s) of the organization to appear before the OAC. That representative is expected to be familiar with the rules and procedures of the OAC, and all officers and members of the organization are expected to cooperate fully and truthfully with the investigation and with the disciplinary process. Failure to do so may subject the organization to additional disciplinary action. All students, witnesses and advisors are obligated to be completely honest in an OAC hearing. Any student who knowingly makes a false statement to the Committee may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College. New rules may take effect upon appropriate notice to the Dartmouth community by the Dean of the College. In addition, the OAC may enact by simple majority vote, or by a ruling by the chair, operating rules and procedures necessary to conduct its business so long as such rules and procedures are not inconsistent with the rules and procedures of the OAC as set forth herein. Those rules and procedures are generally the same as those outlined forCOS hearings, except that "the student" referred to in the context of COS hearings is the organizational representative(s) identified by the UJAO, and the COS is the "OAC."

Last Updated: 7/23/12