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Columbia Club Sports Disciplinary Process Review

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We, the Alumni of Columbia University and past members of the Club Sports Assembly, acting as Advisers and Instructors to the Clubs, by request and with support of undersigned student Club officers, have investigated the new Disciplinary Process put into action in Fall of 2006. In principle, we find this process and its execution: 1. Unjustifiably harsh 2. Damaging to underclassmen undergoing review 3. Causing estrangement of and insulting to generations of Alumni supporting, instructing, and advising these Clubs 4. Lacking in transparency to Assembly and Clubs undergoing review 5. Lacking prerequisite Training of Officers to reach compliance with new rules and regulations 6. Lacking a reasonable grace period for Clubs to come into compliance 7. Lacking a support system for Clubs undergoing review 8. Lacking a system of checks and balances for elected Board as well as Club Sports Administration We conclude that the process requires review by the Assembly, the Alumni, and Administration and that further implementation of this process should cease until a review of the Process concludes. In review of the execution of the same Disciplinary Process we find: 1. A disconnect between Governing Board and Assembly wrt execution of the process. 2. A disconnect between Governing Board and the Club Sports Administration wrt interpretation of the new Handbook. 3. Sanctions leveled against Kung Fu Club unnecessarily harsh, untimely, and unjustified. 4. Conclusions reached by Governing Board and recommendations offered to Assembly are erroneous and not based on evidence presented throughout the process 5. All alleged "violations" and "mismanagement" of Clubs in question are exaggerated technicalities, blown out of proportion, and are easily remedied with proper transparency and training to Clubs 6. "Violations" sited wrt Martial Arts Clubs demonstrate a lack of understanding on behalf of the Board as to how various Martial Arts styles are structured within their respective training systems, how qualified instructors are chosen and how Martial Arts Clubs operate within the Club Sports system 7. Violations as per the new rules and guidelines are not "systematic and beyond remediation" nor are they the result of Club Officers\' ignorance or incompetency. We find that Clubs in question have acted in full transparency to and with full approval from Administration and have had no grounds to believe otherwise. 8. Budgets, instructor forms, t-shirt designs, rosters etc approved by the previous as well as current Director have been brought up at Disciplinary Hearing as violations. If existing forms and practices no longer comply with regulations, a new disciplinary process cannot find Clubs retroactively guilty without proper training and grace periods allowing Clubs to migrate from legacy practices. We conclude that execution of the process requires immediate review and remediation. We recommend that Clubs whose charters have been revoked be re-instated immediately and that the Board work with the Clubs and their Alumni advisers to gain proper clarity into the Clubs\' operations. In review of the Hearing portion of the process, we find: 1. A disconnect between what is communicated to the Club Officers in preparation for review and what actually occurs at Hearings. 2. An improper legal and hostile tone was maintained at Hearings. 3. Scope of Moderator\'s participation at Hearings is unacceptable and oversteps boundaries of impartial Moderator. 4. As an employee of Club Sports Administration, the Moderator unbalanced proceedings against the Club in review 5. Because the Director of Clubs Sports undersigns letters of probation and letters recommending dissolution of Clubs, and improper participation of Moderator at Hearing, the process cannot be termed a "peer" process. 6. Matters concerning finances of a 3rd party were improperly discussed in a legal tone without proper representation by parties competent and authorized to address such matters. 7. Contents of letters recommending dismissal were not representative of the contents of the Hearing. 8. Club Officers were not granted proper clarity into accusations leveled against them at the Hearing and were unable to properly prepare. 9. Alumni Adviser to the Club should have been present at this Hearing to balance position of Moderator. We conclude that The Hearing is the most error-prone portion of the process and we recommend its immediate review and revision. As to the function of the Governing Board within the Assembly, we find that The Governing Board has sincere intentions towards the Assembly. However, as evidenced by the errors committed in execution of the new disciplinary process, we strongly believe that no unilateral action should be taken by the Board without proper disclosure and approval by the Assembly. The Disciplinary Process was not reviewed in sufficient detail to be properly understood and approved by the Assembly prior to implementation. We believe that the Assembly is fully competent in participating in a process that ultimately affects the Clubs they represent, and the Assembly should move to prohibit such unilateral acts in the future. Our recommendations towards remedying the shortcomings of the current process and its execution: 1. Club Sports Advisory Board should be created immediately and Alumni be recruited to advise Governing Board and Assembly. 2. Implementation of current process should cease immediately until proper review, revision and training takes place. 3. Assembly should scrutinize, review and participate in amendment of current Disciplinary Process. 4. Disenfranchised Clubs should be re-instated immediately with all privileges granted to them prior to the Disciplinary Process. 5. Reasonable grace periods are granted to Clubs to come into compliance following training. 6. That the Governing Board provide a web site for Club Sports that provides all relevant contact information, guides, and forms in a centralized, discoverable place 7. That the Governing Board issue proper Agenda via electronic format prior to Assembly meetings. 8. Review system for Motions, setting Agenda within the Assembly. We ask the Assembly to consider our findings and to move with expediency to implement our recommendations. We, the Alumni, are always available to you and we hope to work with all of you towards a successful and prosperous Club Sports program. Thank you.


This petitions is sponsored by Alumni of Columbia University and past members of the Club Sports Assembly, acting as Advisers and Instructors to the Clubs, by request and with support of undersigned student Club officers.


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