Student Organizations Policy
This policy establishes the authority for forming and managing student organizations at the University of West Florida.
University Policy SA-22.03-05/15
Registered Student Organizations are organizations that are established and generally maintained by students and that have received official recognition through the registration process with Student Engagement. Groups or organizations that are eligible for registration with Student Engagement are those that do not meet the definition of other types of organizations described in this section. Examples include, but are not limited to, a variety of special interest groups, faith-based organizations, professional societies, honor societies, and academic clubs.
Departmental Organizations are organizations established and maintained by a University sponsoring department or unit specifically to advance the programs and services of that particular University department or unit. Typical qualification for Departmental Organization status include:
- Funds allocated to the organization by the SGA are distributed to the sponsoring department, not the organization.
- The organization’s advisor is designated by the sponsoring department and advises the organization as part of his or her official duties and responsibilities.
- They must share a common purpose or function with the sponsoring department.
- They must be student-led, and have the autonomy to make decisions related to their purpose.
- They may not be involved in political or religious activities or projects for private gain.
Fraternities and Sororities are official interest groups, colonies, and actively chartered chapters of national or international organizations that are generally authorized and advised by a national or international organization and affiliated with a governing council. Honor societies and organizations affiliated with specific majors and careers are not classified as Fraternities or Sororities even when the organization’s name utilizes Greek letters or the organization is named a fraternity.
Sport Clubs are organizations established and generally maintained by students sharing a common interest in a competitive sport or recreational activity. Sport clubs promote opportunities for students to engage in sporting events, competitions, and activities in the state of Florida, the Southeast, and the United States. University of West Florida Sport Clubs are organizations registered within the Department of Recreation formed by students with a common interest in a physical sports activity that exists to promote and develop an interest in that particular activity.
Requirements and Qualifications
Student Organizations shall be required to comply with the following requirements:
- The organization’s purpose and activities must be lawful and consistent with University objectives.
- The organization’s membership policies must comply with University Policy P-13.09-02/20 Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy.
- An exemption to Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments permits Fraternities and Sororities, as defined by this policy, to maintain single-sex memberships.
- An organization whose primary purpose is religious will not be denied official recognition as a Registered Student Organization on the ground that it limits membership or leadership positions to students who share the religious beliefs of the organization. The University has determined that this accommodation of religious belief does not violate University Policy P-13.09-02/20 Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy.
- Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), organizations are obligated to ensure that their meetings, programs, services, and other activities are accessible to individuals with disabilities and that reasonable accommodations are made as necessary.
- Pursuant to the University Regulation 3.018 Anti-Hazing Regulation: Prohibition and Prevention of Hazing – Procedures and Penalties, student groups and organizations must educate their respective members on an annual basis regarding applicable University Regulations concerning hazing, and all Student Organizations must include University Regulation 3.018 Anti-Hazing Regulation: Prohibition and Prevention of Hazing – Procedures and Penalties as part of the organization’s bylaws or governing documents.
- The organization must maintain a constitution, by-laws, or other governing documents that describe membership criteria, leadership selection and appointment, processes for challenging and changing procedures, purpose and activities, use of resources, and other procedures that impact student participation and involvement. The organization must conduct its affairs in accordance with its constitution or bylaws and University regulations, policies, and procedures.
- The organization must fully comply with the University Regulation 3.010 Student Code of Conduct.
- If the organization completes the registration process, it must maintain its registration according to the procedures associated with the organization’s classification and/or departmental sponsor (e.g. Fraternity and Sorority Life Procedures, Registered Student Organization Procedures, Sport Club Handbook).
- The organization must have an advisor or primary University contact (faculty, staff, alumni, or other responsible party) as described by the procedures associated with the organization’s classification and/or departmental sponsor (e.g. Fraternity and Sorority Life Procedures, Registered Student Organization Procedures, Sport Club Handbook).
- The organization must comply with any other requirement(s) communicated by Student Engagement.