Student Organization Policy & Procedure

Student organizations granted University Recognition are a vital part of our University community. Student organizations sponsor activities and services which help to improve the quality of student life, provide opportunities for students to meet other students and faculty/staff of the University, and serve as a laboratory for students to practice the skills associated with leadership. Volunteer associations of students who have been granted the privileges of University recognition may be an asset to achieving the University's goals of student learning and retention. It is hoped that all recognized student organizations, as part of the University community, join in helping to create an environment that enables all students to accomplish their educational goals while at the University.

The following guidelines have been developed to clarify the relationship between the University and a student organization, and to provide for a consistent application of the criteria for University recognition.

RELATIONSHIP - University recognition of a student organization means that the student organization has completed the requirements for University recognition and is eligible for the privileges extended to recognized student organizations (outlined later in this document). University recognition, therefore, does not imply University endorsement of the activities of the student organization. University recognition also does not imply that the student organization has been granted agency status by the State of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin System, or the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. While faculty and staff members of the University serve in advisory capacities to student organizations, it is presumed that students of legal adult age are adults and, therefore, make and are accountable for their decisions and behavior as individuals and as members of organizations.

UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION: REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS - Career & Leadership Development is the University office with the responsibility to administer the Student Organization Program, including the University Recognition and Annual Renewal Processes. The requirements and process of obtaining University Recognition are as follows:

  • Attendance at a training session for student organization leaders. A number of these sessions will be held in the spring and you must sign up for them in advance by calling 472-1471 or visiting https://my.uww.edu. Two representatives must attend.
  • At least one full-time University faculty or staff member must serve as an advisor to the organization.
  • Submission of the organization constitution, and the constitution of all state, national, or international affiliates (if applicable). Membership requirements in organization constitutions must comply with the UW-Whitewater Non-Discrimination Policy for Recognized Student Organizations (included in this document) unless entitled otherwise under the provisions of Section 86.14 of the regulations under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.
  • Submission of up to date information (through Join!), which includes a list of organization officers and members, a public description, and electronic signatures of student leaders, committing to following university policy and expectations including the campus Antihazing policy and recognizing their role as leader within an org.  This does not indicate agency status with the university.
  • The passing of the University's Anti-hazing quiz by two active members.
  • Confirmation by the advisor(s) of commitment to advise and uphold university policies and expectations.

ANNUAL RENEWAL OF UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION: REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS 
Each academic year, all recognized student organizations must complete and submit to Career & Leadership Development the annual renewal information. Submission of this information, through Join!, accomplishes two purposes. First, it serves as the organization's official notice to the University that the organization will be active and wishes to continue to receive the privileges associated with University recognition. Second, it provides Career & Leadership Development with relevant information, such as the name of the student president or contact person, name of the advisor, listing of organization officers, and directory information. The requirements and process of Annual Renewal are as follows:

  • All recognized student organizations must send two representatives to a mandatory training program to be held in spring. Organizations failing to send representatives to the training meeting will not have the privileges of University recognition extended until they are able to attend one of these training sessions. The training sessions will provide students with information about legal liability, campus resources available to student organizations, University policy relevant to student organizations, and a variety of other issues, including: event liability insurance, managing crisis situations, and campus publicity resources. The annual renewal directions and applicable forms will also be distributed at this training session.
  • At least one faculty or staff member of the University who agrees to serve as an advisor to the organization for the upcoming academic year.
  • Completion and submission of annual renewal information (through Join!) including committment to following the Anti-Hazing Policy by the date designated.
  • The new President and a second active member passing the University's Anti-hazing quiz
  • Confirmation by the advisor(s) of commitment to advice and uphold university policies and expectations

CHANGE OF INFORMATION - During the academic year there may be changes in officers, advisor, or constitutions of student organizations. It is the responsibility of each student organization to update their org's information on Join! for any and all changes. If changes are made in the organization constitution, a revised constitution must be submitted electronically to Career & Leadership Development.

NOTIFICATION OF UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION AND ANNUAL RENEWAL - Once a student organization has completed the University Recognition or Annual Renewal Process, the organization's request for recognition or renewal will be reviewed by staff in Career & Leadership Development. If the membership requirements for the organization adhere to the University's Non-Discrimination Policy for Recognized Student Organizations, if the organization has no outstanding bills with the University, and the student organization is in good standing with Career & Leadership Development, the organization will be granted or extended the privileges of University recognition. At this time, contact will be made with the student contact person and the advisor(s) indicating that the organization is in good standing and is extended the privileges of University recognition.

NOTIFICATION OF ADVISOR APPOINTMENT - Faculty or staff members serving as advisors to recognized student organizations will receive a letter from the Career & Leadership Development Office. The letter serves as an appointment letter, acknowledging the official capacity in which that faculty or staff member will serve as the advisor to a student organization.

PRIVILEGES OF UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION

All student organizations granted University recognition shall be extended the following privileges:

  1. The eligibility to use University facilities and/or grounds for the purpose of sponsoring meetings and events for members and the campus community.
  2. Access to services extended to recognized student organizations. These services include, but are not limited to: Cashier Accounts, Computer Center services, Duplicating Center services, access to equipment as outlined in room use policies, campus mail, inclusion in campus organization listings and the student organization database, label requests, on-campus fundraising, computer use, and many other services.
  3. Eligible for access to a variety of publicity resources to promote the organization and its activities. These sources include: UC banners, sign board locations, Main Street banners, listing in UW Reporter, use of bulletin boards, inclusion of organization events open to campus community on Campus Event Listing, online calendar and bulletin board, sidewalk chalking, and other sources.
  4. Inclusion in annual Student Involvement Fair offered during the Fall semester.
  5. Unit participation in activities such as intramurals, Homecoming, and other UW-W sanctioned events.
  6. Eligible for file drawer space, on a space available basis, and use of student organization resources.
  7. Assignment of mailbox in Career & Leadership Development.
  8. Access to Career & Leadership Development staff to assist with issues related to organization development, and the invitation to participate in any and all optional skill training offered for student organization leaders.
  9. Eligibility for individual leadership awards and organization performance awards, and inclusion in the annual Campus Awards Ceremony.

EXPECTATION OF RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

As members of the University community, recognized student organizations are expected to meet certain standards of behavior. The minimum standards are:

  • To conduct all organization activities in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, as well as in compliance with the University of Wisconsin System and UW-Whitewater policy.
  • To complete all requirements for University Recognition and Annual Renewal.
  • To communicate with Organization Advisor(s) on a regular basis.
  • To provide Career & Leadership Development with appropriate constitutions, forms, officer names, and advisor signatures.
  • To help create an inclusive environment at UW-Whitewater, and to conduct organization activities which do not inhibit members from obtaining their educational goals.

UW-WHITEWATER NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY FOR RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to the concepts of equal opportunity, non-discrimination and diversity, and recognizes a special obligation to prepare people of all cultures, orientations and abilities to accept the responsibilities as leaders of tomorrow. Consistent with this, all recognized student organizations must comply with the concepts of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity when recruiting and selecting members. In addition, the University recognizes the important role that student organizations play in this educational process; and is committed to non-discrimination in the recruitment and selection procedures of University faculty and staff members who will, ultimately, serve as advisors of recognized student organizations.

As part of the criteria for University Recognition, all student organizations must adhere to the concepts of non-discrimination and equal opportunity as they relate to race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political affiliation, marital or parental status, Vietnam-era veteran status, or arrest and conviction record, in their educational programs and activities. In holding with the tenets of non-discrimination, the University stresses the importance of eliminating discriminatory and/or culturally insensitive language, behavior and content from University sponsored activities and urges all recognized student organizations to cooperate in this effort.

With very narrow exceptions, student organizations may not discriminate in their selection of officers or members.

UW-WHITEWATER ANTI-HAZING POLICY

Students, student organizations, athletic teams and other student groups of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater community are strictly prohibited from engaging in any type of hazing activity. Hazing is defined as "any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus, that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule." This includes any action that endangers the health or well-being on an individual, is personally degrading, has an adverse effect on the academic performance of the student, or which violates any federal, state or local statute or University policy. Individual or group consent to a hazing activity in no way validates the activity or excludes those perpetuating it from being charged with a crime.

Individual members, organizations and groups who violate this policy are subject to University disciplinary action, as set forth in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Student Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures under UW System Administrative Code, Chapter 17. This document is available for review at the Office of Student Affairs, the Whitewater Student Government Office, or at the Library Reserve Desk.

Additionally, any University student organization, group or individual student violating this policy or the Wisconsin Statute on Hazing, is subject to sanctions that may be imposed by the judicial or coordinating body of which the organization is a constituent member and/or a court of law. The Wisconsin Statute on Hazing, 948.51, is available for review at Career & Leadership Development, the Library Reference Desk, or from your state representative.Examples of activities or situations that could meet the definition of hazing include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Keeping the date of initiation/induction a secret; requiring signatures for initiation.
  • "Kidnapping" of any member, leaving members stranded in a remote location to find their way home, or scavenger/treasure hunts.
  • Any form of forced physical activity and/or exercise, whether extreme or not (i.e. push-ups, sit-ups or other calisthenics, runs, walks, etc.).
  • Physical harassment such as paddling, hitting, beating, slapping, pushing or striking.
  • Marking or branding.
  • Personal servitude of any kind (i.e. phone duty, cleaning, yard work, doing errands, etc.).
  • Forcing or encouraging ingesting of any type of liquid or solid matter, edible or non-edible (i.e. alcohol, chewing tobacco, goldfish, raw onions, spoiled food, dirt, etc.).
  • Requiring the carrying of any item around campus, such as paddles, rocks, books, shields, etc.
  • Requiring the wearing of unusual, embarrassing or uncomfortable clothing.
  • Sleep deprivation or requiring/encouraging anyone to sleep anywhere other than their own residence or bed.
  • Preventing personal hygiene, communication with certain groups, and/or restricting places that new members can go on campus or in the community.
  • Verbal abuse such as yelling or screaming or labeling with silly or embarrassing nicknames.
  • Any activity that interferes with a student's academic pursuits (class attendance, studying, etc.).
  • Requiring or suggesting that members vandalize, destroy or steal property or commit crimes.
  • Requiring anything of one group of members that is not required of another.

Evaluation of what specific conduct may constitute hazing shall be made with reference to what a reasonable person might consider hazing under those particular circumstances.

Enforcement of the UW-Whitewater Anti-Hazing Policy shall be the administrative responsibility of the Dean of Students Office, Hyer Room 200, and Career & Leadership Development, University Center Room 146. Individuals or groups seeking additional information about this policy or reporting possible violations should contact staff in Career & Leadership Development at 262-472-1471.