III:11:12 Student Organizations

Purpose

Student organizations exist to establish integrated resources and programs that contribute to the intellectual and social growth of Volunteer State Community College students enabling them to assume roles in all forms of leadership on campus and beyond. The following policy provides minimum standards for the registration and conduct of student organizations at Volunteer State Community College and is in accordance with TBR Policy 3:01:01:00.

Policy

Student organizations may be either organizations sponsored by VSCC, such as student government associations, associated student body organizations, and professional and honor societies, or organizations officially registered by VSCC. Organizations which may be registered to operate include the following: (a) honors and leadership organizations and recognition societies; (b) departmental organizations and professional fraternities and sororities; and (c) special interest groups (political, religious, athletic, etc.). Registration of a student organization shall neither constitute nor be construed as approval or endorsement by the VSCC of the purposes or objectives of the organization.

A. General policies on student organizations

  1. No student organization may sponsor any activity on the campus unless the organization has been officially registered by VSCC.
  2. VSCC shall not be responsible for injuries or damages to persons or property resulting from the activities of student organizations, or for any debts or liabilities incurred by such organizations.
  3. No student organization shall deny membership to any person on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, handicap, national origin or sexual orientation.
  4. No student organization or individual shall engage in or condone any form of hazing. Hazing shall include, but is not limited to: Any action taken, or situation created intentionally, to produce mental of physical discomfort, embarrassment or ridicule; any form of verbal or physical harassment or abuse; and engaging in public stunts, morally degrading or humiliating behavior or games, whether on or off campus. Excessive demands on a student's time so as to interfere with academic performance are prohibited. Threatening in any manner or form for the purpose of cajoling individuals into secrecy in regard to breaches (planned, threatened, attempted, or perpetrated) of hazing violations also is prohibited. Hazing activity which is in violation of any other VSCC regulation such as the misuse of alcohol, drugs, school property, etc., is strictly forbidden.
  5. Student organizations shall be vicariously responsible and liable for the conduct and actions of each member of the organization while acting in the capacity of a member or while attending or participating in any activity of the organization.
  6. No person, group or organization may use the name, Volunteer State Community College, in any manner, provided that registered student organizations may use the name Volunteer State Community College following the name of the organization. No person, group or organization may use the seal or any symbol of Volunteer State community College without prior written approval of the President or his designee.

B. Criteria for Registration

  1. Any proposed student organization shall be open to all students who otherwise meet membership requirements. Membership in the organization shall be limited to currently enrolled students and/or VSCC alumni; provided that organizations may include faculty and staff, and/or spouses of students, faculty and staff and provided further that professional organizations may include members of the professional and business communities as members.
  2. A proposed organization must represent the interest of the members and the control of the organization must be within the local campus group. The organization must not have a knowing affiliation with an organization possessing illegal aims and goals.
  3. The proposed organization must agree to comply with all policies, regulations and procedures established by the Board of Regents and Volunteer State Community College and with all federal and state laws and regulations.
  4. The proposed organization must not: a) have illegal aims and goals; b) propose activities which would violate regulations of the Board of Regents or Volunteer State Community College of federal or state laws and regulations, or materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of Volunteer State Community College; c) or advocate incitement of imminent lawless action which is likely to produce such action.
  5. The proposed organization must have a minimum of ten (10) charter members and there must be a demonstration of continuous interest in the registration on a long-term basis which is determined by the Coordinator of Student Activities or the designee. In the event there is not sufficient interest to warrant long-term registration, Volunteer State Community College may grant temporary registration to an organization for a limited period of time.
  6. New organizations may be denied registration where the purposes are within the scope of a currently registered organization. No organization may use the same name or a name which is misleading and similar to the name of a currently registered organization.
  7. The organization must provide for the distribution of all funds and assets in the event of dissolution.

C. Nature and Conditions of Registration

  1. Registration of a student organization for other than a temporary period will be on an annual basis only, effective until the beginning of the next fall term and shall be subject to annual renewal by Volunteer State Community College for each ensuing year.
  2. Annual renewal of registration of an organization shall be dependent upon the organization's demonstration of compliance with the following:
    1. It must adhere to the purposes, aims, and activities as stated in the approved constitution and bylaws;
    2. It must continue to meet all of the requirements for initial registration;
    3. It must have remained in compliance with all rules and regulations of Volunteer State Community College and all federal and state laws;
    4. It must submit all changes in the constitution and bylaws to the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee for approval;
    5. It must maintain a currently list of officers, faculty advisors and sponsors on file in the Office of Student Life & Diversity Initiatives; and
    6. It must have submitted all required financial and other reports to the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee.
  3. Annual renewal of registration of an organization shall be contingent upon the completion of required Student Government Association forms. These forms ensure disbursement of seed money.

D. Probation, Suspension, and Withdrawal of Registration

  1. An organization may be placed on probation, be suspended, or registration may be withdrawn by the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee or Volunteer State Community College for any of the following reasons:
    1. The organization fails to maintain compliance with the initial requirements for registration;
    2. The organization ceases to operate as an active organization;
    3. The organization requests withdrawal of registration;
    4. The organization operates in any activity in violation of rules and regulations of Volunteer State Community College or federal or state laws; or
    5. The organization fails to submit any required reports.
  2. An organization which is placed on probation may continue to hold meetings but may not sponsor any activity or program. Any organization which is placed under suspension may not engage in or sponsor any activity or program, and may not hold meetings. Where registration of an organization is withdrawn, it shall cease to exist as an organization.
  3. In the event an organization is placed on probation or suspended, or registration is withdrawn on the basis of Section (1). (d), the organization shall be afforded the opportunity for a hearing before the Coordinator of Student Activities and the Director of Student Life & Diversity Initiatives.

E. Reports

  1. Volunteer State Community College requires all organizations to submit an annual report concerning its programs and activities during the preceding year. This report is reviewed by the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee and is a requirement for renewal of registration.
  2. Volunteer State Community College requires all organizations to submit an annual financial report reflecting all revenues received and disbursed by the organizations, and/or an interim financial report or such report concerning any fundraising activity or the organization. This report is a requirement for renewal of registration.

F. Fiscal Procedures

  1. Each organization shall maintain a sound financial system related to the collection and distribution of revenues in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and according to VSCC policy. An organization may be subject to audit by the Coordinator of Student Activities, Director of Student Life & Diversity Initiatives and/or the Vice President for Student Services at any time, and appropriate financial records shall be maintained for the purposes of audit.
  2. Each organization shall designate an officer of the organization who is responsible for the collection and disbursement of funds and the maintenance of books and records.

G. Officers of Student Organizations

  1. No student who is under academic or social suspension from Volunteer State Community College shall be eligible to become or maintain the status of an officer of an organization.

H. Programs and Activities

  1. The use of any campus property or buildings by an organization shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the Board of Regents and Volunteer State Community College concerning use of property and facilities. All organizations registered pursuant to this policy shall be "affiliated organizations" for the purpose of any Board or Volunteer State Community College policies concerning use of campus property and facilities (Reference TBR Policy No. 3:02:02:00, TBR Rules 0230-1-1).
  2. Except for routine meetings of the organization, no on-campus program or activity shall be engaged in unless approved by the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee. All programs and activities, whether on- or off-campus, must receive approval prior to the program and/or activity. The club or organization advisor is required to attend all programs and activities hosted by that club or organization and for certain events a Campus Police presence may be required.
  3. Any fundraising activity on campus shall be for the benefit of the organization as a whole or a charity, and no funds shall be distributed to the officers or members of an organization for personal profit or gain.

Procedures

Before a student group applies to become an organization they must complete a 45-Day Intent Form which provides them with a 45-day timeframe in which they are able to complete the application process outlined below.

Application Process

  1. In order to become officially registered as a student organization, a group must meet the criteria set forth and must provide to Volunteer State Community College a minimum of the following:
    1. Submit a completed Student Organization Application.
    2. The proposed constitution and bylaws of the organization, which must clearly contain the following: The name, purpose, proposed activities and rules of membership of the organization, the officers, their terms and methods of selection, the proposed nature and frequency of meetings and activities, and the financial plans of the organization, including any proposed fees, dues and assessments.
    3. The names and signatures of the charter members of the organization;
    4. The names of the faculty advisor and/or the administrative officers of the institution who will sponsor the organization;
    5. A statement of assurance of compliance by the organization that it will comply with all rules and regulations, policies and procedures of the Board of Regents and Volunteer State Community College and with all federal and state laws and regulations.
  2. The designated number of copies of the foregoing documents and information must be submitted to the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee who is authorized to review and make recommendations concerning proposed organizations.
  3. The Coordinator of Student Activities is responsible for reviewing or registering proposed organizations and may require the sponsor to clarify any materials or information provided in the registration process, to resubmit the application or request with non-conforming materials or provisions deleted, or to appear at a hearing for the purpose of providing additional information and testimony concerning the purposes, aims or proposed activities of the organization.

Sports Organizations

Student organizations which are formed with the intent to engage in team sports must abide by the following rules and regulations in addition to all other VSCC policies and the policies of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

  1. Membership
    1. Members of a sports club must be currently enrolled students at Volunteer State.
    2. A minimum enrollment in six (6) credit hours per semester is required of each member of a sports club at Volunteer State.
    3. Each member of a sports club is required to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA each semester of active membership.
    4. Failure of a membership to maintain a minimum of six (6) credit hours each semester and/or maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA each semester will result in a suspension from membership in the sports club.
  2. Meetings
    1. Sports clubs must establish a regular meeting schedule.
    2. Regular meetings must be held: 1) on campus; 2) at least one day each month; 3) in an assigned meeting room.
    3. Regular meetings must be given to discussion of the business of the sports clubs. The business of a sport club should include, among other activities, planning special activities and events.
    4. Team practices must not be held in lieu of regular meetings.
  3. Insurance
    1. Each player-member of a sports club must file an Insurance Report with the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee each year and prior to his/her participation in a practice or game.
  4. Invitations to an Outside Individual or Group Player(s)
    1. The issuance of invitations to off-campus or outside individuals or groups for the purpose of engaging in a practice or game shall be limited in the following particulars:

      A written request to invite an outside player(s) must be submitted to the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee not later than ten (10) days prior to the date of the proposed game or practice. The request must contain the name of the sponsoring organization, the proposed date, time and location of the game/practice, the name of the outside coach or acting coach who will be present at the proposed game/practice with the outside player(s) and the signature of the advisor to the sponsoring organization. No invitation shall be issued to an outside player without the prior written approval of the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee.

  5. Use of Campus Property and Facilities
    1. Each semester sports clubs must secure assignment of a regular meeting room from the Room Scheduler.
    2. At least ten (10) days prior to a practice or game, sports clubs must secure approval from the Athletic Director for use of any campus property and/or facilities other than motor vehicles.
  6. Travel
    1. Students are not permitted to drive any Volunteer State motor vehicles, i.e., bus vans, wagons, trucks, golf carts or cars.
    2. Approval to use a Volunteer State vehicle must be secured from the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee.
    3. The expense of travel to participate in sports events must be assumed by the sports club.
  7. Equipment
    1. Special equipment and/or uniforms needed to engage in a practice or game must be purchased by the sports club.
  8. Membership Roster
    1. Before September 30 of any fall semester or January 30 of any spring semester, a roster of the members of a sports club must be submitted to the Coordinator of Student Activities or designee.

TBR Source: SBR Meetings, September 29, 1978; December 7, 1979; September 30, 1983 March 23, 1984, September 21, 1990

VSCC Source: November 3, 2008, President's Cabinet