Nov 15, 2019  
2018-2019 Student Handbook 
    
2018-2019 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Registered Student Organizations


3.1 CATEGORIES OF REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

There are three types of organizations at The W: Academic, Social, and Special Interest. Organizations also have the opportunity to self-identify into special interest sub-categories which include: Performance, Cultural Awareness, Religious/Faith Based, and Political.

3.2 PRIVILEGES OF REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

The privileges below are afforded to student organizations which are registered through the Office of Student Life:

  1. Appear as a registered student organization (RSO) and eligible to have a portal in the on-line file management system.
  2. Use university services such as facilities, food service, campus mail, etc. when available on behalf of the organization. Fees for services are set by the managing departments.
  3. Recruit new members on campus.
  4. Use services available through the Office of Student Life (Equipment, event supplies, poster paints, program advertisement, calendar, etc.).
  5. Participate in any University event which is intended to highlight the availability of student organizations.
  6. Solicit funds on campus for the support of organizational activities, including admission charges at organizational events (See Section 3.6.5 for more information on the Solicitation and Fundraising Policy).
  7. Participate in leadership training activities offered through the Office of Student Life.

3.3 NEW REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATION APPLICATION PROCESS

For those interested in chartering a new registered student organization, the following guidelines must be met:

  1. A new organization may not organize under the sponsorship of an existing organization.
  2. Interested students must meet with Student Life professional prior to scheduling any meeting of the proposed student group.
  3. Prior to officially chartering an organization, students may work with the Office of Student Life to hold two organizational meetings for the purpose of forming the proposed group. Business during these meetings will be limited to recruitment of members, constitution drafting and structural formation of the organization. Requests for the meeting must be made through the Office of Student Life.
  4. When a proposed organization is affiliated with an academic department, it will be necessary to have a representative from the department approve the proposal for the establishment of the organization.
  5. Individuals forming an organization must submit the following information to the Office of Student Life for approval:
  • New Organization Form via the on-line file management system
  • One copy of the proposed constitution:
  • If the group is seeking affiliation with a state, regional and/or national organization, one official copy of that constitution must also be submitted for approval.
  • One copy of New Organization Membership Roster.
  • An organization must have five members to be chartered and must maintain a minimum membership of five students in order to remain in good standing. An exception may be made for governing bodies
  • All members must also e-sign a copy of the MUW Hazing Prevention Guidelines via the on-line file management system.

   6. Upon approval, the organization will receive notifcation by the Office of Student Life.

3.4 RESPONSIBILITES AND EXPECTATIONS OF REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

All organizations are expected to operate within the guidelines and regulations set forth for student organizations. University recognition of any student organization is based on the condition that the organization operates according to the charter purpose and adheres to the guidelines set forth by the university. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action (See Section 3.9 for more information regarding Change of Status).

University RSOs are afforded certain privileges and are expected to discharge certain responsibilities. Responsibilities and expectations include but are not limited to the following:

  1. An organization’s officers, advisor(s), and members are to be familiar with and responsible for upholding policies and regulations governing organizations set forth by the university and the Office of Student Life.
    1. These policies and regulations will be furnished to the organization, and notifications of changes and additions will be made in writing.
    2. It is the organization’s responsibility to check with the Office of Student Life to ensure that organizational information is current. Official copies of policies and regulations are kept in the Office of Student Life and are available for an organization and/or its members to review.
  2. The stated purpose of the organization must be followed.
  3. Each organization will sponsor only those projects which will be beneficial to the organization, its members, or the university. It is the responsibility of each organization to support the university goals and educational programs by planning activities according to the objectives set forth in its constitution.
  4. An organization should not assume that an activity is acceptable only because it is not specifically prohibited. In planning all activities, an organization should consult with its advisor. When there is doubt concerning the appropriateness of an event (on or off campus), the organization should contact the Office of Student Life.
  5. A recognized organization will not use its official status for any purpose other than its own organization. This shall include, but is not limited to, sponsoring activities, reserving facilities, or carrying on business for an unchartered group. Student Life must be notified if a student organization plans to sponsor an event with an off-campus or unchartered group or individual.
  6. Organizations are expected to meet all financial obligations promptly.
  7. Organization officers are expected to attend workshops and any other meetings or programs designed for student organizations.
  8. If affiliated with a national, regional, state charter, etc., the organization president is expected to inform Student Life when an official representative from the charter is visiting the student organization for the purpose of training, interviews, investigations, workshops, etc.
  9. Organizations are expected to provide documentation, which may include internal club documents, when deemed necessary by the Office of Student Life.

3.5 REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

The following requirements are to be completed by all registered student organizations in order to remain active/in good standing:

  1. Membership
    • Members of all organizations must be currently enrolled at Mississippi University for Women. Membership is not restricted to full-time enrollment. This should be assessed by the organization each semester and an updated list of members should be submitted to Student Life when changes occur.
    • Each member must maintain an overall 2.0 grade-point average in order to be a recognized member of the organization. An organization may set a higher grade-point average requirement for its individual members.
    • Each organization must maintain a combined 2.0 overall grade-point average to remain in good standing.
    • Registered student organizations must maintain a minimum of five members in order to be considered an active organization that is in good standing.
    • Every organization is required to inform new members and/or pledges in writing of the specific requirements necessary to complete the organization’s new member and/or pledge intake process. A copy must be submitted to the Office of Student Life for approval. 
    • Each organization must inform active members of requirements necessary to remain in good standing with the organization. This information should be found in the organization’s constitution.
  2. Advisor
    • Each organization must have an advisor that has been approved by the Office of Student Life. Currently employed faculty or staff may serve as an advisor.
    • Organizations that are connected to academic units or university offices may have a designated advisor; otherwise, each organization is free to choose its faculty or staff advisor.
    • By accepting appointment, an advisor agrees to the following responsibilities of advisors:
      1. Maintain contact with the organization so as to be familiar with its mission, programs and personnel, having in mind not only the objectives of the particular group, but also the best interests of the university;
      2. Assist students with navigating policies and procedures set forth by the university;
      3. Advise and consult with the organization and its officers on financial affairs such as budgets, security of funds, and organization debt payment;
      4. Transmit communications between any University office and the officers of the organization as needed;
      5. Attend workshops and any other meetings or programs designed for student organizations as schedule allows;
      6. Ensure consistency of the organization’s brand by assisting with or managing officer transitions annually;
      7. When possible, attend meetings and events sponsored by the organization to ensure compliance with Section 3 of the Student Handbook.
      8. Provide leadership training and guidance as needed.
  3. Off-Campus Volunteers
    • In some instances, the use of off-campus volunteers may enhance the student organization experience and an organization may choose to have assistance beyond the campus resources and faculty/staff advisor.
    • An off-campus volunteer is defined as a non-faculty/staff member who is volunteering time, support, and/or expertise to an RSO:
      1. The scope of assistance must be limited to recommendations and educational guidance
      2. The off-campus volunteer may not act as the advisor and will not have any authority to approve any university forms or speak on behalf of the organization
    • In order for an RSO to utilize this option, the following guidelines must be met:
      1. Up-to-date contact information on the off-campus volunteer must be provided to the Office of Student Life via the on-line file management system;
      2. An acknowledgement, signed by the president and faculty/staff advisor, must be on file with the Office of Student Life indicating that the RSO has received and understands the university policies and procedures stated in the Student Handbook and that the organization is willing to take responsibility for ensuring that members, advisors, off-campus volunteers, and guests abide by these policies and procedures;
      3. The role of the off-campus volunteer(s) must be identified in the organization constitution:
        1. The use of these volunteers should not replace the role of the faculty/staff advisor.
        2. The volunteer should not be in a position of authority with the organization.
      4. The faculty/staff advisor must be present at any meeting, event, function, etc. where off-campus volunteers are also present, for the entirety of the time that the off-campus volunteers are present
        1. In the event that the organization’s faculty/staff advisor cannot be present, another university employee must serve as a proxy.
          1. The university employee serving as the proxy must sign a copy of the Handbook Acknowledgment and the Hazing Prevention Guidelines before serving in this role.
        2. Exemptions may be allowed to organizations that are responsible to state, regional, national, or international charters/bodies (i.e. locally chartered organizations, will not have this flexibility):
          1. Documentation will be needed to show affiliation with these bodies.
          2. Non-locally chartered RSOs must get written notification of their exemption before allowing an off-campus volunteer to assist.
  4. Required paperwork

    All RSOs must maintain current organization information on file with the Office of Student Life via the on-line file management system. The following information must be submitted to the Office of Student Life within seven (7) days of change/adoption:

    1. Organization Renewal via on-line management system
    2. Membership List
      1. List should include student identification numbers and positions
    3. Constitution
      1. If controversy arises within the group, the official office copy will be used to determine points in question.
      2. An RSO must clearly outline the requirements of membership (new and continuing) in their constitution
    4. Change of Advisor Form
    5. Change of Membership Status Form
    6. Change of Officer/President Form
    7.  Hazing Prevention Guidelines:  The Hazing Prevention Guidelines will be strictly enforced. E-signed copies of the Hazing Prevention Guidelines from all members of student organizations must be on file with the Office of Student Life.

3.6 EVENT PLANNING

3.6.1       Appropriateness of Event

An organization should not assume that an activity is acceptable only because it is not specifically prohibited. In planning all activities, an organization should consult with its advisor. When there is a doubt to the appropriateness of an event (on or off-campus), the organization should contact the Office of Student Life.

3.6.2       Scheduling an Event

Events sponsored by student organizations must be scheduled through the Office of Student Life. Before finalizing plans and advertising for an event, student organizations must secure approval from the Office of Student Life to prevent duplication of programming and conflicts in scheduling. Events may not be approved if they conflict with another event already scheduled (See Section 3.6.4 for more information on event planning).

                         Events should be scheduled at least 10 days in advance of the requested day.

                         Student organizations wishing to co-sponsor an event with an off-campus individual

                         or organization not registered with The W must notify the Office of Student Life.

The last day to conduct a special event or program is the Wednesday before Finals Week. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for dates.

3.6.3       Advertising Events

Student organizations and their members may only advertise activities that have been approved by the Office of Student Life and for which a facilities reservation confirmation has been received.

3.6.4       Forms for Event Planning

Event Request Form: To register an event, initiative, campaign, etc., whether on or off campus, an Event Request Form must be received no later than 10 days prior to the event via the on-line file management system. To avoid duplication and to maintain an orderly process, reservations will be submitted on a first come, first serve basis. All requests must include an e-signature approval from the organization leader and advisor prior to submission. Forms are available on the on-line file management system (See Section 3.7 for more information on Facilities Requests).

Dining Services Release: MUW Dining Services is the contracted food vendor for all campus events. Should an organization choose to have food provided by an external vendor, a Dining Services Release must be completed as part of the Event Request Form via the on-line file management system. The Office of Student Life will review the request and submit the form to Sodexo for a decision.

Equipment Check-out Form: The Office of Student Life has sound equipment, novelty supplies, projectors, and other event supplies available for checkout by RSOs. The equipment reservation form, available on the on-line file management system, is processed on a first come, first serve basis and all equipment must be picked up and returned to the Office of Student Life during regular business hours. Student organizations will receive notification once a decision has been made.

Fundraising Request: If an RSO plans to collect funds as part of an event or initiative, a fundraising request should be submitted via the on-line file management system along with the Event Request Form for approval. All fundraisers must be approved by the Office of Student Life before advertisement can begin. Student organizations will be notified with the approval status of the fundraiser after all information is received. See below for the Solicitation and Fundraising policy for more information (See Section 3.6.5 for additional information on the Solicitation and Fundraising Policy).

3.6.5       Solicitation and Fundraising

Fundraisers must be registered with the Office of Student Life by filling out a Fundraiser Request Form, and a Dining Services Release Form should be completed if food will be sold by RSOs. Both forms can be submitted through the on-line file management system.

Organizations wishing to hold fundraisers on campus must also comply with the University Posting/Advertising & Solicitation Guidelines (Section 7.14, University Posting/Advertising & Solicitation Guidelines).

3.6.6       Security During Events

Organizations are responsible for obtaining security coverage at all major events and events where money is being exchanged. A major event shall be defined as a serenade, a march, new member presentations, parties and after parties, and all other events where large crowds are expected or where off-campus people will be present, either free or through paid admission. The sponsoring student organization must contact The W Police Department (662-241-7777) to secure coverage. If security is not available through The W, the student organization is responsible to hire security to assist with maintaining control over those who attend. University Police must be consulted to determine the number of security personnel needed, which will depend upon the size and nature of the event.

3.6.7       Non-Student Minors

Any student organization wishing to sponsor an event, in which non-student minors will be present either as the primary audience or primary entertainment, should contact the Office of Student Life before beginning planning for such an event. The event must abide by all University policies and procedures, and Student Life can assist the student organization in navigating the planning process for this special population. (See Section 1.18, Minors Compliance Policy.)

3.7 FACILITY RESERVATION PROCESS 

Mississippi University for Women facilities are designed to support the university and its mission. The University’s facilities shall be used for educational, cultural or charitable purposes determined to be in the best interest of the university. The following procedures and guidelines have been established by Student Life and the Office of Resources Management.

  1. Complete the Event Request Form via the on-line file management system 10 days prior to the requested event date.
  2. Completion will include the e-signature/approval of both the organizational representative AND the organization’s advisor.
  3. The form must be approved by the Director of Student Life or his/her designee via the on-line file management system.
  4. The completed form will then be sent to Resources Management electronically.
  5. Resources Management will email a confirmation to the organization if the facility is available for use.

Reservation Guidelines

  1. An activity should not be considered approved until this electronic confirmation is received
  2. All facility requests, set-up requests, and equipment requests must be received no later than 10 days prior to the scheduled event
  3. All applications for facility use will be considered in order of receipt
  4. Scheduled academic activities and continuing education events will have priority for the use of a facility
  5. The University may occasionally cancel a scheduled event, and when cancellation is necessary, the unit or groups holding the reservations shall be given notice as far in advance as possible
  6. The utilization of electrical or mechanical systems must be supervised by qualified University personnel
  7. Persons/organizations are expected to return the facility and its furnishings to the same condition as found
  8. A fine may be assessed for negligence or damage to any facility or equipment
  9. All University regulations apply during any scheduled event
  10. The sponsoring organization and advisor are responsible for the conduct of all the participants at events. If an organization needs assistance with disruptive participants, the MUW Police Department can be reached at (662)241-7777.
  11. If the regulations relating to the use of the facility are not observed, the University may withdraw the privilege of further use
  12. MUW reserves the right to determine the time, place, and manner of any event
  13. University property is not to be removed from the campus

3.8 HAZING PREVENTION GUIDELINES

  • Each organization is required to inform members and potential new members in writing of the specific requirements necessary to complete new membership intake and to stay in good standing with the RSO.
  • A copy of new membership intake activities must be submitted to the Office of Student Life for approval.
  • Programs for members, new members or pledges in all organizations should be designed to support the University and local community and to broaden the individual’s educational experiences.
  • All organizational experiences should encourage academic excellence and provide opportunities for personal growth; therefore, all organizations shall ensure that their members, alumni, pledges or other persons do not participate in any hazing ceremony, activity, or practice.
  • Only active members of an organization who are currently enrolled as students at MUW may formulate, implement, and/or actively engage in programs for prospective/new members or pledges.
  • All active and prospective members must e-sign a copy of the MUW Hazing Prevention Guidelines and submit it to Student Life prior to the start of the membership intake process activities.
  • Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Hazing includes servitude, which is often defined as “personal favors.” Specifically, hazing includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Activities and situations which create excessive fatigue or enduring extreme conditions.
  2. Physical abuse and psychological shock.
  3. Wearing apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste.
  4. Morally degrading, humiliating or embarrassing games, stunts, jokes or activities, irrespective of whether performed in public or in a private setting.
  5. Pledging/member intake activities may only occur between the hours of 7am - 11pm, Sunday through Friday, regardless of on-campus or off-campus location. Hours spent in intake activities must allow for a minimum of 8 hours of sleeping time.
  6. Any activity which requires an unreasonalbe or inordinate amount of the individual’s time, impairs academic efforts or requires the individual to miss work.                                                                                                                                                           
  7. The placement of any liquid or solid matter in the mouth or the rapid consumption of food or liquid.
  8. Any action which would place the individual in immediate danger. Obstructing vision is strictly prohibited.
  9. Paddling in any form.
  10. Requirements which compel the individual to participate in any activity which is illegal, contrary to the individual’s genuine moral or religious beliefs, or which is contrary to the rules and regulations of the University and the State of Mississippi.
  11. Use of alcohol.
  12. Quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, and road trips.

3.9 CHANGE OF STATUS OR WITHDRAWAL OF RECOGNITION/REGISTRATION OF A STUDENT ORGANIZATION

The university reserves the right to change the status or revoke the charter of any registered student organization. In the event that a status is changed, the president and advisor would be contacted in writing to outline the updates and terms.

A decision by the Office of Student Life to change the status of a student organization may come about in one of five ways:

(1) the organization fails to maintain compliance with the requirements and expectations of registered student organizations; (2) the organization ceases to operate as an active organization; (3) the organization requests withdrawal of registration; (4) the organization fails to submit required reports to the Office of Student Life; or (5) the organization operates or engages in any activity in violation of city, county, state, or federal laws or in conflict with rules and regulations enacted by the university or the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. In the event the Office of Student Life seeks to impose change of status, withdrawal of registration, or suspension of an organization on the basis of (5), the organization may also be subject to the disciplinary procedures outlined in this handbook. When the charter of an organization is revoked, the organization, as originally approved, may not be reinstated at the university. The organization may apply for university recognition as a new organization after a period of one year.

Status classifications held by student organizations include, (1) Active, (2) Probationary, or (3) Inactive. Active organizations are those meeting stated requirements and expectations to receive active status for the current academic year. Probationary organization status is a designation for a group that was an active organization but has failed to meet requirements and expectations set forth for student organizations. Inactive groups are not recognized by the university and do not have privileges of student organizations.

In addition to the change of status, additional sanctions and the length of the change of status period may differ, based on the nature of the non-compliance or situation that initiated the change of status. Below are the general privilege eligibility categories based on the status of an organization:

Organization Privileges

Active

Probationary

Inactive

Engage in Fundraising

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

No

Meet in campus facilities

Yes

Yes

No

Check-out equipment

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

No

Hold/participate in social events

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

No

Publicize events on campus

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

No

Participate in Involvement Fair

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

No

Remain awards eligible

Yes

No

No

Retain a visible portal

Yes

Yes

No

Conduct Membership Intake

Yes

Dependent upon sanction

Dependent upon sanction

The following process will be observed in the event that an organization’s status requires review:

  1. A meeting will be requested by the Office of Student Life to discuss the concern(s) with the organization’s president and advisor.
  2. The Director of Student Life or a designated Student Life staff member will make a decision based on the information available.
  3. The organization will be notified of the Office of Student Life’s decision in writing through the organization’s president and advisor.
  4. After the successful completion of the probationary or inactive period, including all sanctions, the organization will be eligible to return to active status. Unsuccessful completion of the probationary or inactive period, including all sanctions, may result in additional disciplinary action.