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Western Kentucky University

Policies and Guidelines Regarding Student Organization

The Rights of Student Organizations

Students associating into organizations may secure registration of the organizations provided they comply with the regulations for registration as stipulated in the regulations for student organizations.

Registered student organizations may use campus facilities, provided the facilities are used for the purpose contracted, subject to regulations of the University.

Registered student organizations may invite and hear speakers of their choice subject to the University's speakers policy.The responsibility of assuming the consequences of one's own actions.

The responsibility to insure that no student organization, constitution or other organizational document includes discriminatory clauses pertaining to race, creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

The responsibility to respect the rights and property of others, including other students, the faculty and the administration.

The responsibility to recognize that student actions reflect upon the individuals involved and upon the entire university community.

The responsibility for knowledge of and observance of established University policies presented in official University publications.

The supervision of student organizations should rest with The Office of Student Activities and Organizations.

Student organizations are categorized in the following types:

1. Social Sororities and Fraternities

2. Honor, Leadership, and Recognition Societies

3. Departmental Organizations and Professional Fraternities

4. Political Organizations

5. Government Organizations

6. Specialty Organizations (religious, athletic, military, etc.)

I. Membership

Membership in student organizations shall be limited to students, faculty, and staff of the University, except honor, leadership, and recognition societies, which may include other persons as provided for in their national constitutions.

II. Registration

Any student organization which wishes to use the Western Kentucky University name, facilities or property or to solicit thereon must be registered with the Office of Student Affairs. Its registration is at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students may establish and maintain an organization for any lawful purpose consistent with the purposes of the University as outlined in the University catalog. A group seeking University registration must submit a petition to the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs by way of Student Activities containing the following information:

1. A constituent document, e.g., charter, constitution, articles, by-laws or other specific statement of the organization's structure and rules of procedure. Contained in that statement or document should be the following:

a. A clear statement of purposes.

b. Requirements for and obligations of membership.

c. A limitation on membership to matriculated students, but without any restrictions based on sex, race, religion and national origin except as expressly permitted by law.

d. An affirmation or pledge that the organization is willing comply with all laws, rules and regulations of the University as a condition to initial and continued registered status.

2. Identification of organization, authorized spokesmen and a permanent mailing address.

3. A statement from a faculty or staff member indicating willingness to serve as a faculty advisor.

The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs shall notify the petitioning organization by letter of the action taken on the petition.

Student organizations must be registered before they may use University facilities or property. The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs shall promulgate regulations governing the use of University facilities by registered student organizations. These regulations shall specify the times when facilities and premises are available for use, the manner in which they may be used, and how they may be reserved.

III. Advisors

Each such organization must comply with the following requirements for advisors upon submission of an application for registration:

1     Every social fraternity or sorority shall have a University advisor who shall be appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs and a faculty advisor elected by the membership.

2     Every honor, leadership or recognition society shall have a faculty advisor elected by the membership.

3     Every departmental organization and professional fraternity shall have a faculty advisor.

4     Every political organization shall have a University advisor elected by the membership or, failing that, appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs, as well as a faculty advisor elected by the membership.

5     Every government organization shall have a University advisor appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs.

6     Every specialty organization shall have a sponsor, who must be approved by the Vice President of Student Affairs, and a faculty advisor elected by the membership.

 

The definition and scope of the various advisors required above is as follows:

University Advisor: A member of the University staff within the Division of the Vice President of Student Affairs or any administrative office under the Vice President's jurisdiction whose duty shall be to counsel and advise the organization and its officers as to their powers and responsibilities. However, the Vice President of Student Affairs shall have no authority to prohibit any proposed action by a political organization.

Faculty Advisor: A member of the faculty or the University connected with or interested in the organization, which shall offer support and advice to the officers in carrying out the purposes of the organization and shall be available to meet with members of the organization.

Sponsor: A responsible person interested in the purposes of the organization that shall give guidance and counsel to the officers in carrying out the purposes of the organization and shall be available to meet with the members of the organization at their regular meetings.

 

IV. Offenses

Offenses as defined that violate the Student Code of Conduct when committed by student organizations.

1.  Hazing

2.  Interference, coercion or disruption which impedes, impairs or disrupts University missions, processes or functions, or interferes with the rights of registered student organizations.

3.  Conduct which is disorderly, abusive, drunken, violent or excessively noisy.

4.  Discrimination against any person due to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin except as expressly permitted by law.

5.  Knowingly electing, appointing or retaining as an elected or appointed officer or committee chair any student on academic probation, financially delinquent to the University, or under disciplinary sanctions which prohibit the student from holding such office.

6.  Organizing, sponsoring, implementing or conducting programs or activities which are disorderly, which are violations of law or University regulations, or which contain lewd, indecent or obscene conduct or expression. 

7. Recurrent financial over-obligation and non-payment of debts.

8.  Recognized student organizations may use the University's trademarks and/or logos only with the permission of the University, and only in accordance with the University's Trademark and licensing Policies and Procedures.

9.  Any violation of University rules or policies which apply to registered student organizations or their use of University facilities or property.

 

Student organizations or individuals representing student organizations are subject to discipline by the The Office of Judicial Affairs when found in violation of any of the categories one through twenty-five as listed http://www.wku.edu/judicialaffairs/student-code-of-conduct.php.

 

V. Organizational Conduct Procedure

 

Authority and Responsibility for Student Organization Conduct:

 

The Office of Student Activities and Organizations in consultation with the Office of Judicial Affairs is responsible for notification of serious allegations of student organization violations. The Office of Judicial Affairs receives evidence of alleged violations in cooperation with the Office of Student Activities and Organizations.

The Department of Student Activities and Organizations or the appropriate governing bodies typically handle minor student organization violations or conflicts; however, certain violations may be handled by The Office of Judicial Affairs due to the nature of the violation.

Examples are incidents that involve but are not limited to; Hazing, Unruly Conduct, Sexual Misconduct, Major Alcohol violations, and general Student Code of Conduct allegations.

The Office of Judicial Affairs in consultation with Student Activities and Organizations may impose range of sanctions/actions from restricted participation, probation up to and including suspension, refusal or cancellation of registration.

 

Roles in Student Organization Conduct:

1.  Director of Student Activities and Organizations or his/her designee

The Director of Student Activities and Organizations or his/her designee is responsible for the oversight of all student organizations and may handle minor violations related to the policies and procedures for student organizations at WKU.

2.  The Office of Judicial Affairs 

The Office of Judicial Affair is appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs to be primarily responsible for investigating all serious allegations of the Student Code of Conduct. Student organization violation of a serious nature might include, but are not limited to, Hazing, Unruly Conduct, Major Alcohol violations, and general Student Code of Conduct allegations are the responsibility of the Office of Judicial Affairs.

The Office of Judicial Affairs, or his/her designee, conducts investigations in cooperation with Student Activities and Organizations.

3.  Vice President for Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the overall coordination of rules and regulations regarding student organizations. The Vice President of Student Affairs may assign a designee to act in his/her stead. The Vice President of Student Affairs reserves the right to determine if a case should be handled by The Office of Judicial Affairs rather than the Student Activities and Organizations when in the Vice President's sole discretion; he/she believes that the circumstances warrant such action or have a conflict of interest.

 

Preponderance of the Evidence

In determining whether or not a violation has occurred, The Office of Student Activities will use the preponderance of evidence standard of proof. A preponderance of evidence means such evidence as, when considered and compared with that opposed to it, has more convincing force and produces in the minds of the University the belief that the alleged violation more likely occurred than not.

 

Preliminary Procedures

1.The University shall have notified the organization or students in writing as to the time and place of the conference to be held by the for the organization or student disciplinary matters and of the nature of the problem or charge and the information against the organization or students.

2. Notification to the organization or student (s) shall be made at least three days before the conference is to be held.

3. The organization will meet with The Office of Student Activities and Organizations to gain understanding of the process discuss the details of the allegations and to determine if there is a responsibility for the alleged violation.

4. The Director of Student Activities and other persons on the staff designated shall provide The Office of Judicial Affairs with a written report of the facts of the case and determination of responsibility.

5. The Office of Judicial Affairs will meet with the students determined to be involved and assign sanction if deemed responsible.

6. Follow-up letter of sanction or action taken will be sent to the organization.

 

VI. Right of Appeal

Within ten (10) days upon receipt of notice that Student Activities and Organizations has refused or canceled the registration of an organization, representatives of such organization may appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The appeal shall be in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The final decision will be rendered by the University President.

 

VII. Conditions for Appeal

The University understands the need to have a corrective process in place to address circumstances should the judicial officer err. One or all of the following conditions must be met in order for an appeal to be considered.

An appeal should be set forth by the accused:

1. To determine whether the original conference was conducted fairly and in accordance with the Office of Judicial Affairs sanction determination and procedures.

2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information to determine the preponderance of evidence and/or the level of responsibility.

3. To determine whether any sanctions imposed were appropriate and not unduly harsh for the violation(s) set forth in the Student Code of Conduct.

If one of the aforementioned conditions is proven, the appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate reviewer. The appeal will be reviewed and determined by the Director of Judicial Affairs, The Vice President for Student Affairs or The President.

If none of the three conditions for appeal is met, the decision of the original conference will be upheld and the responsible student is expected to comply immediately.

 


 

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 Last Modified 9/24/14