SCOPE on deferred suspension after incident

The org is a minor violation from ‘immediate’ suspension

By Lily O'Gara
On October 5, 2012

The Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) has been found responsible for violation of the UNH Student Code of Conduct in the form of "attempted or actual theft of public property," according to Anne Lawing, dean of students.

As of this week, SCOPE is considered to be on "deferred suspension." This means that, according to material provided in the incident's conduct report, "in the event the organization violates the Code of Conduct, no matter how minor the violation, the organization shall be suspended immediately."

SCOPE may be reinstated as long as the organization complies with requirements set forward by the university, including the revising of organizational manuals and leadership job descriptions, as well as providing mandatory accountability training and hazing workshops. In addition, all activities, meetings and training must be approved and supervised by an advisory board. The group will be on probation for two years following its reinstatement as a student organization.

Leaders of SCOPE are not permitted to officially speak on behalf of the organization, per instruction of university administration. Once permitted, the organization is willing to comment.

The incident occurred last April 10-11, 2012. According to the report, the theft took place in Portsmouth during "an official SCOPE event designed for new members to bond with current members." Current members were educating new members as to how to request menus from restaurants to provide to visiting performers. The new members were allowed to continue alone and one stole a couple of signs and put them in the other's car.

According to the report, the Portsmouth Police Department was contacted and alerted of the theft. The new member who owned the car told a supervisor at a campus job about stealing the sign, and the supervisor then told the MUB staff. Then, the Portsmouth police informed the UNH Police Department of the anonymous tip that they had received, investigated, and informed the MUB staff. Once they received the information, the MUB staff "took SCOPE through the conduct system."

Although the students were not on school property, the incident was associated with the university because the students were in Portsmouth to fulfill a UNH student organization responsibility. Administration was also dissatisfied with the manner in which SCOPE leaders handled the incident and those involved, resulting in the group's requirement to reorganize their system, through measures such as revising manuals and job descriptions.

The incident was revisited in June and the hearing took place in early August. SCOPE was allowed to work throughout the summer, but the group is now waiting for the advisory board members to be appointed. Dr. Kevin Charles, assistant vice president of student and academic affairs (as well as executive director of Health Services), will be selecting board members.

SCOPE cannot take any action until the board is created to oversee activities and, thus, cannot complete the requirements to be reinstated until the board is appointed to approve and oversee them. As of right now, no concerts have been scheduled by SCOPE.

Contrary to rumors, the Tiesto concert is in no way affiliated with the organization, and the organizational status of SCOPE will have no effect on that particular performance.   

This violation falls under Section 18.5 of the Student Organization Recognition Policies, and specifically violates responsibilities 1, 2, 6. These responsibilities are as follows:

Recognized Student Organizations at the University of New Hampshire are required to:

1. Be designed and operated by students and to consider student development, Citizenship and safety (physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological) of paramount importance; 2. Adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and University policies 6. Hold membership of their organization accountable to the organization's policies and procedures, as well as to the policies and procedures of the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities (SRRR), MUB, and Student Organizational Manual.

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