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Student Affairs: Student Organization Policies

Preface

The following policy statement was approved by the University Activities Committee, hereafter referred to the Committee, during the Spring quarter of 1972 and serves as the policies by which organizations operate at Armstrong, hereafter referred to as the University. It was amended in the Spring of 2004 by the Committee to incorporate new philosophies and amend old guidelines. The renewal process was added in the Fall of 2015.


General Philosophy

Student organizations at the University exist as an integral part of the total educational program. Their general purpose is to contribute to the development and welfare of the students and to benefit the entire community. Student organizations are established and managed by students and are subject to the regulations of the University. As an integral part of the University community, they have certain responsibilities including, adherence to the organization's announced purposes and sound business management. Basic democratic operational procedures are expected of all student organizations. Student organizations must have an advisor and be approved by the University before they can function as recognized organizations of the University. The Assistant Dean of Student Life and the organization advisor are available to advise and assist organizations, but the final responsibility for performance rests with the members themselves. In addition to other policies and regulations, organizations are responsible for complying with the following fundamental regulations:


Regulations for Active Organizations

I. Basic Regulations

II. Social Regulations and Conduct

III. Location

IV. Financial Responsibilities

IV. Sanctions


RSO Policy for Outside Guests at University Functions

The University encourages meetings, programs and activities by recognized student organizations (RSOs) but must also ensure that such activities do not disrupt educational activities or violate Board of Regents policies. Therefore, no RSO may invite an outside guest, speaker, or organization to the campus without first obtaining approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). For purposes of this policy, an outside guest, speaker, or program participant is any person who is not a student, faculty member or staff member of Armstrong State University, and who is invited to speak, appear or participate in a presentation or program.

Such requests must be made using the online Outside Guest Approval Form by an officer of the RSO no fewer than ten calendar days prior to the event and must include the name of the RSO, the proposed date, time and location of the proposed event, anticipated attendance, and the topic or activities of the program.

When deemed necessary or appropriate, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may stipulate conditions for approval. Such conditions may include but are not limited to: a statement on all event publicity that sponsorship does not necessarily imply endorsement by either the RSO or Armstrong; a requirement that the event be closed to all persons other than Armstrong Faculty, staff or students; or restriction of the event to a specific venue or area of campus.

This policy applies only to outside guests, speakers and program participants invited by RSO’s. Uninvited speakers should refer to Armstrong’s Freedom of Expression Policy.


Single Sex Organizations

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at the university unless such programs and activities are specifically exempt from the law. The university is required to be in compliance with the provisions of Title IX. Therefore, compliance with Title IX is a condition to be a registered student organization at the university.

Since passage of this law and the publication of the implementing regulations, the U. S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has evolved a rather clear set of criteria for determining when single sex organizations are exempt from the provisions of Title IX. The criteria are as follows:

The Department of Education defines a "social fraternity" as a group that can answer "no" to all the following questions:

If a group answers "yes" to any of the questions, it is not a "social fraternity" and is not exempt from the requirements of Title IX. Therefore, the organization must accept members of both sexes. Questions regarding this policy can be directed to the professional staff in the Office of Student Life.


Procedures for Becoming a Recognized Organization

I. Procedure for Submitting an Application

A finished copy of a proposed constitution must be submitted to the Office of Student Life, Memorial College Center (MCC), room 201. The constitution should embody principles hereafter set forth, should be in an acceptable form and should be free of grammatical, spelling and typographical errors.

The draft of the constitution should be accompanied by a brief statement incorporating the following (NOTE: This statement should not be made part of the constitution. It should be drafted on a separate page and attached to the individual copies of the constitution submitted.):

II. The Form of the Constitution

In drawing up a constitution the applicants should bear in mind that the function of a constitution is to set forth the general ground rules for the conduct of the business of an organization. As it constitutes a fixed reference on permanent file of these rules, it should be so explicit in those areas which it seeks to govern as to leave no doubt as to its meaning, e.g., the titles and general duties of the organization's officers and the manner, time and procedures for conducting elections. On the other hand, the Committee considers that it unwise for the constitution to venture into legislative matters best left to the determination of more easily alterable by-laws which can be passed by an enlarged and more representative membership.

Because important changes in the policy and leadership of an organization frequently hinge on constitutional interpretation, it is strongly suggested that the constitution be framed in outline form for easy reference. For a convenient outline form the applicants should consult an acceptable authority such as the MLA Style Book or Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Thesis or Dissertations. The committee makes the following suggestions respecting form:

III. Content of the Constitution

There are minimal requirements for the content of submitted constitutions. Without presuming to proscribe the inclusion of other topics not listed or to dictate the general order of presentation of topics, The Committee insists that the proposed constitution of any applicant organization include explicit provision for the following (items in italics are intended as explanations):

IV. Responsibilities of Applicants in Making a Constitutional Presentation

Responsibilities of the Student Activities Committee are such that it must confine its attention to the consideration of substantive matters. Consequently, the Committee cannot be expected to contribute in any way towards putting an organization's constitution in proper form. The entire burden of producing a constitution in acceptable form rests with the applicant organization. This means the constitution, before it will be considered by the Committee, must embody the provisions established by the Committee.


Final Recognition

The Committee meets with representatives of each organization desiring recognition by the University. After examining the constitution and after consulting the organization, the Committee votes as to whether the organization will be recognized. The President of the University has the authority to grant the final recognition to an organization.


Annual Renewal Process

In order to ensure that our student organizations will remain active on campus and to maintain a connection to organizations and their leadership/advisors, all groups must complete the renewal process by the 3rd week in each fall semester.
Steps for Organization Recognition Renewal:

Once all steps are completed, the organization will be listed as active for the academic year.

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