Student Handbook

Student Organization Policy & Procedure

A full list of student organizations can be found here:

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 Processes. The requirements and process of obtaining University Recognition are as follows:

  1. Submission of the student organization's governing documents (constitution, by-laws, etc.);
  2. Submission of constitution or by-laws of the national or international organization with which the student organization is affiliated (if applicable);
  3. Identification of a UW-Whitewater employee to serve as a campus advisor to the student organization;
  4. Completion of recognition form;
  5. Completion of Student Leader training by the President/Leader and a member of the organization that is both a student and in good standing within the organization (includes both Antihazing Training and Campus Expectations Overview)
  6. Submission of signed Recognition Agreement by both the Advisor and President/Leader.

Application materials will be reviewed by staff in Career & Leadership Development to ensure compliance with all applicable University policies, as well as state and federal laws (i.e., Title IX).  The decision to grant University Recognition shall be made by Career & Leadership Development staff.  Student groups interested in applying for University recognition must do so by December 15th for the following semester, or by May 15th for the following academic year.

Recognition requirements apply to all recognized student organizations, including those on probation or suspension.

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 Connect for any and all changes. If changes are made in the organization constitution, a revised constitution must be submitted electronically to Career & Leadership Development, and is subject to review.

NOTIFICATION OF UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION - Once a student organization has completed the University Recognition Process, the organization's request for recognition 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 if 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. This process is completed at minimum once per academic year.

NOTIFICATION OF ADVISOR APPOINTMENT - Faculty or staff members serving as advisors to recognized student organizations will receive a letter from Career & Leadership Development. 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.



  1. Use of the University's name to identify the student organization's affiliation.
    Use of name must adhere to the campus licensing policy and identity standards.
    The University reserves the right of approval on a case-by-case basis;
  2. Reserve and use University facilities that are available for non-instructional use;
  3. Utilize Career & Leadership Development and Student Involvement Office services and programs developed and offered to recognized student organizations.
  4. Be included on official lists of recognized student organizations;
  5. Utilize University services and facilities, and participate in University events that are open to all recognized student organizations; and
  6. Be granted UW-Whitewater email account and web services.

Career & Leadership Development 
Career & Leadership Development is dedicated to developing student leaders and to promoting student involvement in the campus and community.  Career & Leadership Development is responsible for the administration of all policies and procedures related to student organizations.  Career & Leadership Development staff will help student leaders and advisors successfully fulfill roles.

Career & Leadership Development sponsors the following events and activities in which recognized student organizations might find it worthwhile to participate.

Involvement Fairs - held twice annually in September and January/February, the Involvement Fairs are sponsored to help organizations recruit new members and to provide students the opportunity to meet with representatives of the various student organizations.

Homecoming - student organizations are encouraged to participate in the undergraduate homecoming experience to show pride in UW-W and to demonstrate Warhawk spirit.  Numerous activities and friendly competitions are held for student organizations and Greek chapters.

Campus Awards - A student organization and individual student leadership award ceremony is held annually in order to recognize outstanding achievement.  The recognition occurs in the Campus Awards Ceremony, held late in the academic year.

Community Service Information and Opportunities - In order to foster a culture of service, Career & Leadership Development and the Student Involvement Office provide access to service opportunities to enable organizations to perform service projects.

Career & Leadership Development  and the Student Involvement Office offer a variety of services for recognized student organizations.  For a complete list of these services, visit Connect or the Student Involvement Office.

Services provided by other UW-W offices may be accessed by recognized student organizations.  They include:

  • Use of University grounds and facilities and corresponding audio-visual and technical services
  • Event advising service
  • Access to University Printing Services
  • Financial account at the Cashiers Office
  • Foundation account on behalf of the student organization at the Foundation Office
  • Use of rental vehicles through the University's contracted vendor (limited to those student organizations with access to a University Organization Code; whose travel is considered university business)
  • Listing of events on campus web-based event calendar (Connect)
  • Use of Hall Tables, Table Tents, Display Cases, Sign Board Space, Digital Signage, and sidewalk chalking
  • Recreation Sports Office provides an advisor and assistant to assist all club sports organizations

The following publications are available for recognized student organization:

  • An online database of all recognized student organizations is available to anyone affiliated with the University -
  • Policies, Guidelines and Processes are available to all recognized organizations through the Career & Leadership Development Web Site,
  • Club Sports Manual (published by Recreation Sports) -


  1. Recognized student organizations are expected to comply with all University Policies as well as Local, State, and Federal laws.  Those that do not comply will be held accountable via the UW-Whitewater/Recognized Student Organization Code of Conduct.
  2. The University has the rights and responsibility to place organizations on emergency suspension when deemed appropriate.
  3. Recognized student organizations are expected to recruit and orient new members with dignity and respect.  Adherence to the UW-Whitewater Anti Hazing Policy is expected at all stages of student participation in the organization.
  4. Recognized student organizations are expected to extend membership privileges, including voting and eligibility to hold office, to all students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran status or gender (except as otherwise permitted by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).  With the exception that, per the UW System Board of Regents Resolution 9279 (adopted 12/06) student organizations that select their members or officers on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g. religious or political beliefs) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who affirm that they support the organization's goals and agree with its beliefs.  It is acknowledged that the UW System Policy does not align with Federal Law (Christian Legal Society v Martinez - 08-1371).
  5. Recognized student organizations are expected to exercise reasonable precaution to ensure that their events, services, and programs are safe to all participants and do not cause damage to property or persons.  It is the role of Career & Leadership Development and the Office for Risk Management & Safety to provide guidance to student leaders and advisors on these matters.
  6. Recognized student organizations are expected to follow University policy, guidelines and procedures pertaining to the use of facilities and services provided both on and off campus.
  7. Recognized student organizations are solely responsible for any contract they enter into with third party vendors. The University will not be held liable for these contracts.
  8. Recognized student organizations are expected to conduct their activities in a manner that represents themselves and the University appropriately.  While this is a subjective expectation, Career & Leadership Development staff should be consulted if any activity is in question.
  9. Recognized student organizations and individual members are not exempt from federal, state, or local laws, and are not exempt from University policy. As a result of the action of members who appear to act on behalf of the recognized student organization, student organizations and individual members may be subject to disciplinary action through the Recognized Student Organization Code of Conduct, or the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code Chapters 17 and 18.
  10. Members of an organization that is being investigated and adjudicated for alleged violation of University policy are expected to fully cooperate with University officials.  Failure to cooperate may result in revocation of University Recognition.
  11. Student organizations may extend membership to individuals not enrolled at UW-Whitewater provided the majority of the organization's membership is comprised of currently enrolled students.
  12. Student organization leadership roles must be held by students currently enrolled at UW-Whitewater.
  13. All Student organization leaders are considered aware and informed of the inherent risk and liability to which they expose themselves, their organization and the University.  All reasonable steps to reduce risk and limit liability should be taken.
  14. UW-Whitewater may establish additional requirements for recognition consistent with this policy.


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, sex, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political affiliation, marital or parental status, 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.


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 of 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, Andersen 2130, 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.

To submit a conduct complaint electronically, go to: