Student Organization Handbook
Chapter 2: Student Organization Recognition Process
NOTE: The university strongly discourages student participation in student organizations which have been unrecognized and/or not recognized by the university, including fraternity or sorority chapters . The university does not provide any form of support, oversight and/or organizational advisement for these unrecognized groups or their members. Students who choose to associate with these unrecognized organizations will not be able to obtain any and/or all of the benefits available to those who join a recognized organization including, but not limited to, access to student meeting space, participation in university events as a group, member recruitment programs, athletic competitions, fund raising and so on. Also, since these groups often lack national affiliation, they may not have liability insurance, or oversight policies for risk management, hazing and/or sexual harassment. If one of these chapters would experience a civil lawsuit, each member of that group, singly or together, might be held directly liable by a complainant, exposing himself/herself and their family members to unneeded risk. Any individual or group of individuals choosing to operate and/or recruit under the name or derivation of the name of any unrecognized group may be subject to disciplinary action under the student code of conduct.
Section 1: Classification of Student Organizations
Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) on the campus of GC are classified in the following four categories: Institutional organizations, Greek organizations, Activity Clubs, and Traditional organizations. All groups are required to register annually with the Department of Campus Life.
Institutional Organizations are student organizations that serve a primary function and help to support the mission and goals of the University. These groups, by nature of their design, are essential to the fundamental purpose of student learning. The SGA President and the Director of Campus Life must approve any student group wanting to classify itself as an Institutional group. Appeals can be made to the Vice President of Student Affair and Dean of Students. The following group will be classified as such: WGUR, Colonnade, Pep, Concert & Jazz Bands, Student Ambassadors, Peacock's Feet, Campus Activities Board, SGA and the University Cheerleaders.
Greek Organizations are traditional fraternities and sororities whose primary focus is social in nature. These groups are governed by the Greek Life office and restrict their membership based on gender. An organization in this classification must be a member of the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or Panhellenic Council. The following groups will be classified as such: Delta Zeta, Alpha Delta Pi, Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Mu, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Delta, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta.
Traditional Student Organizations are student groups with at least seven currently enrolled students joined together for a common cause. Members are those individuals interested in goals of the organization who are actively willing to work toward those goals. Any group of students who meets the minimum requirement and receives approval from the Student Government Association can form these groups.
Activity Clubs are traditional student organizations who have chosen to classify themselves as such. This classification was developed for those groups who only meet once or twice a semester and never request funding from the Student Government Association. Groups such as departmental honor societies and professional fraternities would be good candidates for this group. Activity Clubs cannot do the following:
* Petition Student Government for funds or have another group petition for you
* Petition the Student Activities Budget Committee for long-term funding
Section 2: Criteria for Registration of Student Organizations
Registration will be granted only to those organizations whose purpose and proposed activities are clearly related to the educational goals and mission of the university. Registration shall be denied if the evidence shows that the proposed organization will conflict with the educational process of the university or any of the following:
1. The regular and orderly operation of the university.
2. The requirements of appropriate conduct within the university community.
3. The academic pursuits of teaching, learning and other campus activities.
4. The statutes and regulations of the university and the policies of the Board of Regents.
Note: Recognition of any organization is not to be interpreted as an endorsement by the university of the purpose, activities, partisan political position, or point of view of the organization.
Section 3: Process for Obtaining Official Recognition
A. New Student Organizations
The following are procedural steps which must be followed in order to achieve student organization registration:
1. Hold informal meetings to discover potential members and to discuss purpose of organization.
2. Secure and complete a Student Organization Application from the Department of Campus Life in the Student Activities Center. The application packet includes:
* Recognized student organization petition for recognition form
* Group membership list form, including list of officers
* Statement of organizational privileges and responsibilities
* Student organization classification form and information
* A guide for writing a constitution and bylaws
* Chalking policy information form
* Posting guidelines information form
* Advertising information form
* GC vendor permit request
* Recognized student organization activity application
3. Develop an organizational constitution (a sample is available from the Department of Campus Life). This constitution should be submitted before the RSO deadline established by the Director of Campus Life.
4. Present to the Director of Campus Life the following:
- Student Organization Application
- Proposed Constitution
- Membership List (minimum of seven member required)
5. The Director of Campus Life will submit a copy of the above to the president of the Student Government Association.
6. A prospective officer of the student organization seeking registration will contact a student senator for sponsorship in the form of a senate bill or resolution.
7. The Student Senate will place the request on its agenda and will ask a member of the prospective organization to be present at the Senate meeting to answer any questions. The Student Senate will then take action on the request.
8. The request is then forwarded to the Director of Campus Life. The Department of Campus Life will then inform the prospective group of its status.
Note: The process for beginning a social fraternity or sorority requires different procedures. Please refer to Chapter 10: Policies for Social Fraternities and Sororities.
B. Renewal of Continuing Student Organizations
Recognized Student Organizations on the campus of GC will be required register annually with the Department of Campus Life. During the fall, this normally takes place beginning on the first day of classes until Friday after Labor Day. This registration also reoccurs again in the spring semester from the first day of classes until Friday after Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Renewal is an online process that returning RSO's complete for continuance. Notification of registration will be sent to continuing organizations via the student organization management system (OrgSync) and other viable means of communication. Please watch for advertisements on campus indicating the RSO Renewal Meeting dates and times.
Section 4: Changes or Updates to Your Student Organization
Any changes to the organization's constitution or local charter must be submitted through the procedures for registration. Constitutions are kept on file with the Department of Campus Life and must be updated/reviewed each year.
Section 5: Withholding/Withdrawing of Official Recognition
Official recognition of any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, religious, political, professional/academic related, or other student organizations that discriminates on the basis of sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability shall be withdrawn. The prohibition on membership policies that discriminate on the basis of gender does not apply to athletic groups/clubs, social fraternities or sororities, or to other university living groups. All new and continuing student organizations must include this non-discrimination provision in their bylaws. Furthermore, official recognition of a student organization may be withdrawn for hazing as defined in the hazing section (see Chapter 8: Code of Conduct for Student Organizations).
Section 6: Responsibilities of Recognized Student Organizations
Recognized student organizations and their officers should be aware of the following responsibilities:
- To inform members of the organizations that they will be responsible for conforming to all university, local, state or federal laws and regulations.
- Officers may be responsible for the actions of the members of the organization.
- To insure that any Student Fee funds allocated to the organization are spent appropriately. Funds may be revoked if there is a violation of university, local, state or federal laws or regulations.
- To insure payment is made for any university bill incurred by the organization to be held individually responsible for making payment.
- All organizations affiliated with national, state, and/or local groups must provide an electronic copy of their constitution and bylaws by way of the student organization management system (OrgSync).
- To inform the Department of Campus Life of any changes in an organization's officers, advisor(s), and contact information, in addition to changes in an organization's constitution and bylaws. These changes are also to be made to the electronic copy located on OrgSync.
Section 7: Organizational Rights and Responsibilities
All organizations may apply for official recognition at any time. If your organization submits an application at the end of a semester, your application may not be reviewed until the next semester. Recognition is good till the Friday after Labor Day (September) of the following year.
- Please review the complete list of existing organization in order to avoid duplicate organizations and to strengthen existing one.
- All organizations affiliated with national, state, and/or local groups must keep on file with Campus Life, the constitution or other governing document(s) of its affiliate group.
- Each organization will report all changes to its constitution, bylaws, or officers to Campus Life within two weeks after the change(s) are adopted. Every organization must keep a current copy of its constitution and/or bylaws on file with Campus Life.
- Each organization will operate in accordance with federal and state laws, local ordinances, university and University System of Georgia regulations, policies of Student Government, and the constitution and/or bylaws of the organization itself, including those of any national affiliate.
Membership lists are used only for verification of requirements and reporting of statistical information. They will be kept on file with Campus Life.
Officers are expected to act on behalf of the organization. Officers are the only people allowed to make room reservations and alter information about the organization.
All officers of officially recognized organizations must be regularly-enrolled students of the University. Undergraduate students must earn 6 units per semester while holding office unless graduating the following semester.
The president and the treasurer must maintain cumulative and total grade point averages of at least 2.0.
The chief executive officer/president/coordinator/chairperson and the treasurer must be in good standing and must not be on probation of any kind, including academic or disciplinary probation. If the chief executive officer/president/coordinator/chairperson or the treasurer is placed on probation, they cannot continue to be an officer of the officially recognized student organization.
An officer of each organization is required to attend a yearly orientation session conducted by Campus Life, which provides an overview of current policies, procedures, organizations, resources, and programs.
B. Allocated Office Space
A limited number of student organization office spaces have been designated for organization who purpose serves a university priority. The following organizations have been designated an office space on campus: Student Government Association, Colonnade, WGUR, Peacock's Feet, Greek Life councils, and the Campus Activities Board. Because office space is limited, it is rare that space becomes available.
C. Finance and Debt
Organizations should carry on business transactions and contractual obligations in a professional manner whether using student monies or off-campus accounts. Any student organization receiving monies must conform to the purpose and practices approved by the Student Activities Budget Committee. All budget payment requests should be submitted with proper documentation and authorization. No university employee may be a signatory to any campus organization's off-campus financial accounts.
For more information regarding financial information see Chapter 5: Financial Management.
Section 8: Benefits of Official Recognition
The official registration of a recognized student organization authorizes it to:
A. Use "at Georgia College" in promotion of activities and events.
B. Use university facilities and equipment, subject to approval of the facilities manager, and equipment allocating authority.
C. Solicit membership on campus.
D. Participate in homecoming, rallies, organization fairs, and other university activities as an organization.
E. Participate in fund-raising, social and service activities on university property.
F. Petition the Student Government Association for special projects funding consideration.
G. Apply for yearly funding through the Student Activities Budget Committee.
H. Be listed online as a recognized student organization.
I. Gain access to room reservations, copy services and sign posting.
J. Mailbox space in the Student Activities Center
Section 9: Specialized Organizations
A. Sport Clubs
A Sport Club is an organization formed by individuals who are motivated by a common interest and desire to participate in a particular sports activity. More specifically, Sport Clubs are formed so the participants can learn new skills, improve existing skills, engage in competition, and enjoy recreational and social fellowship. The concept of the program is to emphasize student leadership and direction. Other important features of Sport Clubs that make them unique include self-motivation, self-administration, self-support and self-regeneration. All GC Sport Clubs are Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) and must apply for registration as an RSO prior to becoming a recognized and affiliated Sport Club. The Sport Clubs are designed to offer opportunities for students, faculty and staff of the university to participate in a variety of competitive sports and recreational activities. Each club is organized and conducted by its members under the direction of the Sport Clubs Council.
The Director of Recreational Sports provides guidance to Sport Clubs and schedules facilities for practices and games. These facilities include the Centennial Center (basketball and volleyball courts, racquetball courts, indoor track, weight-training areas and the swimming pool), the West Complex (softball fields, soccer field and ultimate Frisbee/flag football fields) and Baldwin County Recreation Department facilities.
The Department of Campus Life provides additional administrative assistance and guidance, scheduling for project/meeting spaces and publicity/promotional assistance.
B. Sport Clubs Council
The mission of the Sport Clubs Council is to promote sportsmanship, competition, and recreational fun. The Sport Clubs Council will strive to provide leadership, coordination, and cooperation among all of the Sport Clubs.
The Council is an association of student-run Sport Clubs united to provide opportunities for competitive sport activities at all levels of ability and serves as a liaison between the member clubs, the Coordinator of Intramural and Recreational Sports and the Department of Campus Life. The Council encourages members of the GC community to assume responsibility and experience leadership challenges and establishes policies and procedures for the operation of the Sport Clubs program.
The Council is composed of an Executive Board and one (1) voting representative from each full member status club.
The responsibilities of the Sport Clubs Council include:
1. Supporting the Sport Clubs.
2. Holding regularly scheduled meetings.
3. Recognition of new clubs.
4. Sport Clubs budget allocation.
5. Disciplinary review and corrective action.
6. Recommendations concerning policies, procedures and participant concerns.
7. Address issues pertaining to the Sport Club community.
C. Procedures for Affiliation
A Registered Student Organization requesting membership in the Sport Clubs Council must adhere to the following procedure:
1. Meet with the Director of Recreational Sports to ensure that the following criteria are met:
a. Expression of student interest and leadership
b. Availability of facilities for practice and competition
c. Availability of competition within a reasonable geographic range
d. Availability of funds to meet the club's needs
e. Availability of an advisor and coaching/instruction
2. Make a brief presentation to the Sport Clubs Council at a regularly scheduled meeting regarding the new club's constitution, goals, objectives, membership composition, facility requests, anticipated financial needs, etc.
3. Be approved by a majority vote of members present. Approval grants a one (1) year probationary status to be reviewed at after one (1) year for full membership.
NOTE: The Sport Clubs Council reserves the right to refuse affiliation to any proposed Sport Club that requires extensive funding or resources, involves high liability or risk factor or that does not properly represent the GC student body.
NOTE: No person shall be excluded from participation on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age or disability.
NOTE: While in a probationary status, the club will receive up to $100 in funding to from the Sport Clubs Council, must attend a minimum of five (5) competitions and exhibit growth potential. The club may attend fewer than five (5) competitions at the discretion of the Sport Clubs Council if five (5) competitions are unavailable. Additionally, the club must attend all Sport Clubs Council meetings. Clubs in a probationary status do not have a vote.
Each club must file the following documents with the Department of Campus Life:
- A copy of its constitution and bylaws.
- Certification of a faculty advisor and a list of current club officers whose names, addresses, and telephone numbers will be on file.
- An informed consent signed by each member.
- An up-to-date membership roster.
These forms must be updated when changes occur within the club. Clubs failing to provide all required documentation by the established deadline will not be recognized and consequently ineligible for all associated benefits.
For more information regarding eligibility guidelines, member roles, financials, and accident/injury reports please see the Sport Clubs Handbook.
D. Social Fraternities and Sororities
A Greek organization must be deemed "Greek" by the Greek Life office. An organization of this classification must be a member of the GC Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council or College Panhellenic Council.
Any group desiring to form a new social Greek letter organization must adhere to the guidelines which can be found in Chapter 10: Policies for Social Fraternities and Sororities.