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Adjudication Process for Student Organizations

Student Group Adjudication Board (SGAB)

The Student Group Adjudication Board (SGAB) is a hearing board made up of student representatives from the following boards and councils:

  • Activities Board at Columbia (ABC)
  • Columbia College Student Council (CCSC)
  • Engineering Student Council (ESC)
  • General Studies Student Council (GSSC)
  • Interschool Governing Board (IGB)
  • Student Governing Board (SGB)

SGAB's purpose is to adjudicate incidents related to student organizations that are recognized under one of the above governing boards/councils or student organizations and advised by Undergraduate Student Life or General Studies Student Life.

The adjudication board is a peer-to-peer process that consists of trained students elected from the above boards and councils. The director for academic integrity is the adviser for SGAB and the assistant dean for Student and Family Support is the administrator. The executive director of Student Engagement serves as the appellate officer.

Students elected to serve on SGAB are trained by Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) and remain in their elected position for one academic year.

SGAB hearings occur as needed as submitted reports are received, reviewed and deemed appropriate for the peer-to-peer SGAB hearing board process.

Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS)

SGAB works together with Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) for all student board trainings and to review individual student conduct. The SGAB administrator can refer a student to the Dean’s Discipline process if individual behavior has allegedly violated a University policy.

How to Report a Student Group/Organization Incident

Members of the Columbia community can report an incident by filling out the General Concern Report and selecting the nature as “Student Group Concern.”

Completed reports will be electronically routed for review by the adviser and administrator, as well as staff members of Undergraduate Student Life, University Life, and School of General Studies. Reported incidents will be reviewed in a timely manner, and all reports will be reviewed to determine the most appropriate response for resolution, which can include:

  • informal adviser resolution with the student organization and/or
  • resolution through the SGAB hearing, Dean’s Discipline or the Rules of University Conduct

If a reported case is deemed appropriate for the SGAB to hear, the student organization will be contacted by the adviser of SGAB to schedule a meeting with the hearing board members. Submitted reports that pertain to alleged violations of the University Values, Rights and Protections will be referred to the Rules of University Conduct and then reviewed by the rules administrator to determine if the report will be adjudicated by the University Judicial Board.

If the report is determined as ineligible for the University Rules process, then internal follow-up will be conducted by the student organization's adviser.

Student Group Adjudication Board (SGAB) Members

SGAB is comprised of seven (7) student members who are elected student representatives from the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC), Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), Engineering Student Council (ESC), General Studies Student Council (GSSC), Interschool Governing Board (IGB) and the Student Governing Board (SGB). The members of SGAB include:

  • One (1) Chair
  • One (1) Vice Chair/Recorder
  • Five (5) additional elected hearing board members

The SGAB members are supported by the following Columbia staff members:

  • Adviser, Director of Academic Integrity
  • Administrator, Assistant Dean of Student and Family Support
  • Appellate Officer, Executive Director of Student Engagement

Read more about the responsibilities of each SGAB member here.

Examples of Cases

  • Financial policy violations including, signing of contracts on behalf of the University; intentionally overspending funds; holding funds in off-site accounts (e.g. Venmo); not submitting paperwork in a timely manner that results in late/no payment to artist/speaker/performer, etc.
  • Not attending Club ReFuel but still acting as an organization trying to reserve space and host events
  • Fronting of space on behalf of another student group, department or outside organization that results in an issue
  • Violating the Undergraduate International Travel Policy or the Student Domestic Travel Policy as an organization
  • Not submitting guest lists for Lerner Hall or residence hall lounge spaces in a timely manner
  • Advertising an event that is not confirmed
  • Violating any press policy

Possible Outcomes/Sanctions for Student Organizations

The following potential sanctions, in approximate order of severity, include (but are not limited to):

  • Warning
  • Education/training sessions
  • Allocation deduction
  • Account freeze
  • Transfer of funds to aggrieved party/parties
  • Loss of space reservation abilities
  • Suspension of governing board privileges (e.g. governing board co-sponsorship endorsements for grant applications)
  • Loss of ability to recruit at activity fairs
  • Mandated changes to group’s constitution
  • Banning individuals from leadership positions
  • Group probation
  • Group suspension
  • Group de-recognition

Appeal Process

An appeals process will initiate after the student organization in question submits an appeal to the appellate officer (director of student engagement). Appeals for decisions by both types of hearing bodies will be considered based on the following grounds:

  • New information unavailable at the time of the hearing
  • Concerns with the process that materially affect the outcome
  • Sanctions that are disproportionate to the nature of the offense

Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days of the release of the decision. An organization is only allowed to appeal a decision once. The appellate officer must release a decision within 5 business days of receiving the appeal.

If you have additional questions about the Student Group Adjudication Board, please email us at ugrad-sgab@columbia.edu.

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