Organizations Policy

1. General Statement of Purpose

The University recognizes:

1. the importance of organized student activities as an integral part of the total educational program of the University;

2. that college learning experiences are enriched by student organizational activity; and

3. that organizations provide a framework for students within which they may develop their own special talents and interests.

Inherent in the relationship between the University and organized student groups is the understanding that the purposes and activities of such groups should be consistent with the main objectives of the University.

All student organizations must register annually with the Center for Student Involvement and must then comply with the procedures and policies regarding registration as set forth.

The Dean of Students Office recognizes the role of Greek Coordinating Councils in establishing and upholding policies for member groups. However, membership in said councils does not exempt fraternities and sororities from judicial referrals to the Dean of Students Office for violations of Student Life Policies, including Organizations Policies.

The University Hearing Board, with the approval of the Dean of Students, delegates to Greek coordinating councils general supervision over those chapters of social sororities and fraternities which choose to be members of these councils.

The term "general supervision" shall include all the duties, powers and responsibilities exercised by the Greek coordinating council prior to the adoption of this policy, with the provision that membership in the Greek coordinating councils is optional with the local chapter.

It is understood that the Greek coordinating councils and their member groups will operate under the provisions of the Student Life Policies, including the Organizations Policy.

2. Procedure for Registration of New Organizations

2.1 Permanent Organizations

a. The group will file its name, statement of purpose, constitution or statement regarding its method of operation, faculty/staff advisor (if applicable), and the names of its officers or contact persons with the Center for Student Involvement.

b. In cases where a potential faculty/staff advisor is unknown to the group, the Center for Student Involvement will assist in identifying a university faculty or staff member who may wish to serve as an advisor. Organizations are encouraged to have a faculty/staff advisor.

c. Should the group not have elected its officers or completed other work connected with its formation at the time they initially see the Center for Student Involvement staff, the Center for Student Involvement staff shall make arrangements for them to use university facilities for organizational purposes on a meeting-to-meeting basis until the organizational process is completed and the required information can be filed.

d. At the time of filing, three officers or contact persons for the organization will sign a statement indicating that they are familiar with and will abide by the aforementioned responsibilities of student organizations. They will also sign the standard hazing and discrimination disclaimer required of all student organizations.

e. Having ascertained that the group's purpose is lawful and within university regulations and that the group has filed the required forms and disclaimers, the Director of Center for Student Involvement, or designate, will sign the application. Appropriate university personnel are notified by Center for Student Involvement that the group is then eligible for all of the rights of student organizations.

f. Should the staff feel that the organization does not meet the requirements for registration, a written copy of the decision and reasons will be furnished to the applying organization. The group may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students.

g. The Center for Student Involvement staff shall make arrangements for the group to use university facilities on a meeting- to-meeting basis until the appeals process is completed.

h. Decisions of the University Hearing Board may be appealed to the Dean of Students.

2.2 Registration for a Limited Purpose: Temporary Status

In some cases, groups will organize with some short-term (one which can be accomplished in less than one academic year) goal in mind such as the passage of some particular piece of legislation or the holding of some particular event. The organization's structure will expire on the date indicated on the registration form. Requests for extension of Temporary Status may be made to the Director of Center for Student Involvement.

2.3 Membership Regulations

a. Registered student organizations have freedom of choice in the selection of members, provided that there is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

b. Membership in registered student organizations is restricted to currently enrolled University of Houston students, faculty, staff and alumni.

c. Hazing-type activities of any kind are prohibited.

2.4 Officers Regulations

a. Student organizations are free to set qualifications and procedures for election and holding office, with the following provisions:

1. All officers must be regular members of the organization.

2. There is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation except where such discrimination is allowed by law.

3. Religious student organizations may limit officers to those members who subscribe to the religious tenets of the organization where the organization's activities center on a set of core beliefs.

b. Persons not currently enrolled at the University of Houston may not hold office or direct organizational activities.

2.5 Records

All registered student organizations must maintain the following records in the Center for Student Involvement Office:

a. An organizational information form listing the current officers and faculty/staff advisor (if applicable) is due at the beginning of each school year. Any changes during the year, other than membership, are to be recorded within 10 days with the Center for Student Involvement.

b. A copy of the organization's current constitution, or statement of purpose and statement regarding its method of operation, is to be filed with the Center for Student Involvement.

3. Rights and Responsibilities of Registered Student Organizations

Registered student organizations exist on the university campus on the assumption that their activities and programs contribute to the educational, civic, and social development of the students involved. Registration of a campus organization does not imply university sanction of the organization or its activities. Registration is simply a charter to exist on the university campus and may be withdrawn by the University Hearing Board if the organization is found in violation of any federal, state or local laws, or university regulation or policy.

3.1 Use of the University's Name-Organizations may not use the name of the University of Houston or an abbreviation of the name of the University of Houston as part of its name, except to designate location or chapter, nor advertise or promote events in a manner which suggests that the function is sponsored or sanctioned by the University unless the event is formally cosponsored with an administrative or academic unit of the University.

3.2 Rights-Registered Student Organizations may:

a. Use university facilities (subject to pertinent regulations, proper scheduling procedures, and prior needs of the University itself);

b. Invite off-campus speakers and artists to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and assemblies. Meetings and speakers must be scheduled in accordance with proper procedures and university policies;

c. Distribute literature relating to the organization's purpose and activities in those areas authorized by the current posting policies;

d. Sponsor profit-making activities and solicit funds for organizational activities in accordance with university regulations.

e. Apply for office/carrel space. Applications will be made available to registered student organizations in the spring of each year;

f. Request funding for an organizational event or program. (Subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate funding and programming board.)

3.3 Responsibilities-It is the responsibility of every registered student organization and/or its representatives to:

a. Carry out its activities and conduct itself and/or himself/herself within the student organization's own constitution, all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and all university regulations and policies;

b. Anticipate, provide for, and promptly meet its legitimate financial obligations;

c. Act accordingly in the best interests of its members and the University;

d. Comply with all organization information distributed through Center for Student Involvement mailboxes;

e. Take reasonable precautions for the safety and comfort of participants at organization events; and

f. Notify the appropriate advisor in the Center for Student Involvement of any and all changes in the organization's officers/contact persons, addresses, telephone numbers, or constitution.

4. Conduct of Student Organizations

Student groups and organizations may be charged with alleged violations of local, state, and federal laws and/or university policies. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when alleged violations occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that organization or group. See Section 21 of the Code of Conduct.

5. Changes in Organizations Policy

The Organizations Policy is an official policy of the University of Houston dealing with student organizations and their relationship to the university community.

The University Hearing Board is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Organizations Policy. The board's composition and specific powers, duties and responsibilities are described elsewhere in the policy.

5.1 Proposals for changes in the Organizations Policy shall be initiated and considered by the University Hearing Board.

5.2 After approval by the University Hearing Board, the proposed change(s) in the Organizations Policy must be approved by the Student Government Association Senate. Unless otherwise stated in the change, it shall take effect immediately upon approval by the Student Government Association Senate, the Dean of Students, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.

5.3 Any member of the university community may propose changes in the Organizations Policy to the University Hearing Board.

5.4 Upon request by a person or organization directly affected, the University Hearing Board will consider the waiver of any provision of the Organizations Policy for a specific time period.

5.5 All parts of the Organizations Policy and all procedures and operations of the University Hearing Board must be in compliance with the Student Life Policies and all other university regulations.