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CONDUCT VIOLATION COMPLAINT & RESTORATION PROCEDURE

Adopted and approved by the Board of Directors October 30, 2017

Students for Sensible Drug Policy recognizes that ending the War on Drugs rests on building an inclusive community dedicated to consciously addressing the disparate impacts of the War on Drugs and the ways in which its policies have marginalized specific, targeted people and communities, most particularly people and communities of color. We are committed to working with allies across ethnic, gender, national, religious, health, political, ideological, experiential, and all other spectrums of difference to co-create sensible drug policies which achieve safety and justice by recognizing that our liberty is bound together.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy implements a set of practices to cultivate and sustain a community free of harassment or assault, unethical behavior, or personal attacks where a vibrant debate of ideas is upheld by a foundation of personal respect. We enforce this conduct violation complaint and restoration procedure to support these practices. These practices are grounded in the following principles:

Scope

This policy applies to all Students for Sensible Drug Policy staff; Directors of the Board; Trustees; and members including students, alumni, supporters, and those invited to participate in SSDP activities. Anyone granted the privilege of membership in the SSDP community is expected to uphold SSDP’s mission and values and protect them in our community.

Responding to inappropriate conduct

Within your chapter

Chapters are entitled and expected to resolve intra-chapter conflict using their established democratic processes. SSDP staff, particularly your outreach coordinator, are available to provide guidance and advice in all such cases; if your outreach coordinator is not the most appropriate staff member to help, reach out to any member of staff (or the board) you feel comfortable with.  

Chapters may elect to restrict the privileges of the accused individual (the “respondent”) including restriction from certain events or certain types of events or meetings, loss of leadership office, or expulsion from the chapter upon a vote of the members, or other remedies according to such a process as outlined in the chapter’s constitution.

Respondents who are dissatisfied with the decision of the chapter may appeal to SSDP staff, who will investigate and respond. When possible, restitution or restoration of privileges may be available at the discretion of the reporter(s) and with the support of SSDP staff.

In any case which involves violence, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct, chapter leaders or members are required to notify and engage the support of SSDP staff immediately upon learning of such misconduct. In the case that chapter leaders are accused of such behavior, chapter members are required to notify and engage the support of SSDP staff.

Within the SSDP community

When the respondent is not a member of your SSDP chapter, reporters should bring concerns to any member of staff, including the Executive or Deputy Director, if possible. If the respondent is Executive or Deputy Director or the reporter is otherwise uncomfortable bringing the situation to a member of the staff, reporters should alert the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors or any other member of the Board of Directors.

Investigation and loss of privileges

Complaints of violence, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct will be investigated by the Executive and Deputy Directors. Complaints should include as much of the following information as possible:

Investigations will include interviews with witnesses, reporters, respondents, and others with knowledge of the event(s) in question. Investigations will be thoroughly documented and records will be maintained permanently. In particularly complicated, egregious, or unlawful cases, counsel may be engaged to support the investigation.

Following the investigation, the Executive and Deputy Directors will determine any appropriate loss of privileges which may include restricting access to certain or all types of SSDP events, restricting access to members and chapters, expulsion from various online communities, and limitations or complete restriction from participation in SSDP activities. The results of the investigation will be provided, in writing, to the reporter and respondent as well as any other relevant SSDP members whose role will require them to enforce the decision.

Appeals

All decisions regarding loss of privileges may be appealed; appeals shall be conducted according to the guidelines of investigation above. Chapter decisions may be appealed to SSDP staff, staff decisions may be appealed to the Executive Committee (Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary) of the Board of Directors. The decision of the Executive Committee or an ad-hoc investigative committee appointed by the Board of Directors is considered final.

Restoration of privileges

When possible, restitution or restoration of privileges may be available at the discretion of the reporter(s). In such cases, a restorative justice model shall be employed. Activities to earn restoration of privileges may include counseling; behavior contracts, monitoring, self-charting, and/or feedback; restitution and community service; problem solving approaches; and/or appropriate training or classes.

Confidentiality

All inquiries, complaints and investigations are treated confidentially. Information is revealed strictly on a need-to-know basis. Information contained in a formal complaint is kept as confidential as possible. All information pertaining to a complaint or investigation is maintained by the Executive and Deputy Directors in secure files. Members of staff, the Board of Directors, and any ad hoc investigative committee are bound by a confidentiality agreement and will not discuss the details of the complaint except as required for the investigation and conclusion of the appeal.

Legal procedures and remedies

The procedures available under this policy do not preempt or supersede any legal procedures or remedies otherwise available to a victim of violence, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct under campus policy or local, state, or federal law. In the case of such misconduct, SSDP staff will encourage reporters to contact the authorities or campus support services and file a complaint regardless of their immediate intentions to press charges, as immediacy is often considered a relevant factor in such cases. Whenever possible, SSDP will provide support through the reporting process or connect the victim to legal or support services.