Student Organization Handbook

The University understands that student and faculty organizations and activities are vital to the educational process and encourages all campus-affiliated groups to make full use of University facilities when their meetings are part of their University work, or a logical outgrowth thereof. For policies, procedures, and helpful information related to such organizations contact the Student Activities Office.

The University also encourages participation by the community in its programs and activities. To the extent that space is available and subject to reasonable charges and procedures for reservations, the University welcomes organizations to campus for their meetings when their work is compatible with or supplementary to this educational outreach of differing ideas and issues. The University further recognizes the benefits of an orderly process of inquiry and discussion of differing ideas and issues. Contact Student Development for additional information.

Student Organization Basics

Types of Organizations

  • Academic- These are clubs directly correlated with an academic program such as the CU Art Guild or Biology Club.
  • Religious Organizations- These are groups that provide specific worship and spiritual growth opportunities for students.
  • National Honor Societies-Honor societies are unique in that students cannot simply sign up and become a member, but they need to meet certain requirements such as having a certain GPA in their academic discipline in order to be inducted.
  • Special Interest-This is the umbrella of a majority of the organizations on campus and includes everything ranging from the Aggie Showstoppers to Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Wherever there is a student interest, an organization can be created to meet that need.
  • Social Greek Organizations-Greek letter organizations are another unique student group. Each group has their own specific set of values and ideals; however the general mission is develop social excellence in its members through service, philanthropy, leadership development, and campus involvement.

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Defining an Organization

The first thing that any organization must do is develop a clear purpose as to why they are in existence. This purpose could be something as simple as a statement like providing an outlet for fun intellectual discussion about the socioeconomic and political impact of piracy or be a detailed bulleted list. Without a definitive mission, the organization will find it hard to plan activities and events as it will have no long term vision of what it hopes to achieve.

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Organization Constitutions

This step is often the bane of many a student’s pursuit of organization creation; however in order to function properly (and be recognized by Cameron) a constitution is a necessity. The purpose of a constitution is to define clearly what the organization is all about and how it operates.

Click here for a sample constitution.

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Starting and Maintaining a Student Organization

Registering New Organizations

Prior to making application to receive university recognition, the group should meet the following criteria:

  1. Organizations must have at least one faculty or staff advisor who is a current member of the faculty or professional staff at Cameron University.
  2. Members must be currently enrolled students (full-time or part time) in good standing with the University.
  3. Organizations should maintain a membership of at least seven (7) qualified individuals.
  4. Officers of each organization are to have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.00, and not be on any sort of academic or disciplinary sanction, nor have any type of enrollment hold.
  5. Organizations are to operate under a constitution approved by the University, of which a copy must be kept on file in the Student Activities Office.
  6. The organization's stated purpose must not be subversive to the United States of America, the State of Oklahoma, or Cameron University.
  7. The organization must comply with the nondiscrimination policy set forth by Title IX.
  8. No group will be recognized that serves a similar function as the SGA, PAC, or Residence Hall Association.
  9. No group will be recognized if their primary function is to serve as a subservient support group or auxiliary branch of another organization.

After the group has been formed and meets the above criteria, the group should adhere to the following steps to achieve university recognition:

  1. At least one executive officer and the advisor meets with the Student Activities Specialist to review the constitution and any bylaws of the organization.
  2. After reviews and recommendations, the Specialist refers the constitution to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) for review.
  3. SAC reviews the constitution and bylaws and meets with the group representative and the advisor.
  4. After the meeting, SAC decides whether to recommend the organization for recognition or to send recommendations back to the group for improvements. If SAC sends the constitution back to the group, it may then repeat the process.
  5. The recommendation of SAC is forwarded to Student Development for final approval.

When a new organization receives recognition from the Student Development, they are placed on a one semester probationary period. During this probationary period the organization, the officers, or responsible leaders must meet with the Student Activities Specialist at least once during the probationary period.

All applications for new student organizations are due to the Student Activities Office prior to October 1 (for consideration for the Spring Semester) and March 1 (for consideration for the Fall Semester).

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Re-Registering Existing Organizations

After an organization has gone through the recognition process, they must re-register with the Student Activities Office at the beginning of each school year (Spring registration is primarily to serve as an update of the Fall registration).

Steps for Re-registration:

  1. Complete an organization registration form and send it back to the Student Activities Office.
  2. Deadlines for filing registration forms are three weeks from the first day of classes. Failure to meet this deadline is cause for probation; failure to comply within two semesters is cause for suspension. Fines up to $150 per violation may also be assessed.
  3. A current membership roster must be on file in the Student Activities Office with each Fall registration. Student ID numbers must accompany roster.
  4. A current list of officers' names, addresses and phone numbers must be on file in the Office of Student Activities.  Officers' transcripts will be checked to assure compliance with rules set forth in the Student Handbook.
  5. Any changes of officers or advisor should be reported in written form to the Student Activities Office within 10 days of the change (s). The same is true of all constitutional changes, which are subject to approval by SAC.
  6. Advisors must indicate that your organization's funds have been reviewed and are in good order by signing the statement included on the registration form.
  7. The President and/or Vice President, of the organization, with advisor, should meet annually with Director of Student Activities to review and evaluate activities of the past year and those planned for the upcoming year. This meeting can take place in conjunction with the mandatory Student Organization Orientation Meeting, or by appointment.

Click here to see the current registration form.

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Hosting Events

Event Planning

Every event, no matter how large or small, needs to be effectively planned in order to be successful.  Below is a link to a basic checklist to follow while planning an event. With all events be sure to consider how the outcomes of the event align with the mission of the organization. Though the event may be targeted at a specific group, be careful not to exclude anyone. For example, do not advertize a cookie decorating competition only to women because it is considered a “feminine” event. Make certain that the event does not promote the stereotypes or demean any ethnic, religious, or cultural group. Be careful to vary your programming so that it does not exclude anyone based on disability or financial status. For example, don’t have all of your events be international skiing trips. Do all of your events take place during the evening when it is tough for students who have jobs or a family to attend? These are just some of the factors one must take into consideration when planning an event. 

Event Planning Checklist

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How to Reserve a Room

To reserve a room anywhere on campus log on to ress.cameron.edu/ress. From this site you may view all scheduled activities and see what rooms are available for reservation.  On the RESS homepage you will see two tabs. Click the one titled “Schedule an Event”

Room Reservation 1

From here, click the calendar in the upper right to select a date.

After the date is selected, use the drop down menu in the upper left to select a desired building. This will show all rooms in that building and their availability.

Room Reservation 2

If the room is available, simply click on the time you want to schedule.

Room Reservation 3

After the time is selected, finish my completing the forms which follow. First, you will need to select your organization and enter your e-mail address, You will then be prompted to fill out your contact information. The site will then have options such as room set up, tech needs, and food. Once you complete all of this, the reservation will be complete and you may await confirmation.

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Hosting a Movie

Public viewing of movies is strictly regulated by the Motion Picture Association of America. DVDs and video tapes may not be used as an event or entertainment unless the public performance rights (copyright) have been purchased or secured. DVDs and video tapes that people purchase or rent are intended for home viewing use only. These movies are permitted to be viewed within the confines of a student's room to a private audience. However, no public announcement or advertising may occur as it turns the private audience into a public one (even if the viewing still occurs in a private residence room) thus making the movie subject to public performance guidelines.

With the exception of a faculty member showing a film to an officially registered class at the University (see face-to-face exemption below), all other public showings on campus are prohibited unless a public performance right is secured. This is true regardless of the number of people who attend and/or whether or not admission is free. These guidelines apply, but are not limited to, class rooms (while not in use for officially registered classes); lecture halls; residence hall lounges; cafeterias; library screening rooms; and/or meeting rooms in the MCC, CETES, and Shepler.

Purchasing public viewing rights does not depend on variables such as audience size or charging of admission. Regardless if it is 3 people versus 300 people, size is not considered in determining if public viewing rights need to be purchased. (Size may, however, influence the amount of the public performance fee.) Likewise you still have to purchase the copyrights even if you are offering the movie/film to the audience for free. Because we are a non-profit educational institution we do qualify for the face-to-face teaching exemptions. However, that does not mean that because we are a non-profit educational institution that all films/movies shown at Cameron University are exempt. Only those with an instructor present with students enrolled in his/her class qualify for the face-to-face exemption. This principle holds true no matter how much educational or intellectual value is contained in the film.

Therefore anytime a group shows a movie in any context, the group must purchase the public viewing rights (copyright) for that particular showing. Copyright purchase for film currently runs between $300-$1,000 per showing for popular titles from major movie distributors. Independent films could cost less but must be negotiated with the holder of the copyright for those particular films.

Criterion Pictures
www.criterionpicusa.com
(800) 890-9494

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
www.mplc.com
(800) 462-8855

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
www.swank.com
(800) 876-5577

The Law

The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) governs how copyrighted materials, such as movies, may be used. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a copy of a copyrighted work carries with it the right to publicly exhibit the work. No additional license is required to privately view a movie or other copyrighted work with a few friends and family or in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities.

However, bars, restaurants, private clubs, prisons, lodges, factories, summer camps, public libraries, daycare facilities, parks and recreation departments, churches and non-classroom use at schools and universities are all examples of situations where a public performance license must be obtained. This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit, or whether a federal or state agency is involved.

Event Evaluation

It is important to take the time to evaluate your event. This will help you in future planning and will allow future planners to learn from your experience.

Below is a sample event evaluation form. However, make sure it is specific to your organization and your event.

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Advertising

Advertising Policy

(taken directly from the Student Handbook)

This policy applies to all advertising and promotion in whatever format. Examples are books, brochures, posters, programs, directories, newspapers, signs, radio, and television, video, audio tape, and electronic computer generated programming. This policy also applies to all events and activities organized by or sponsors by University departments or registered student organizations. 

  1. Only University recognized organizations are allowed to advertise on campus, except when approval is received from the Director of Student Development.
  2. Advertising which encourages students at the University to purchase reports and/or research material done by others is not acceptable.
  3. Advertising which requires the reader to send money to obtain further information on the product is not acceptable.
  4. Advertising deemed offensive or in poor taste is not acceptable. This may include, but is not limited to, advertisements derogatory to individuals or groups.
  5. Products which encourage violations of city, state, or federal laws and regulations are not acceptable.
  6. Two local references for ads of a “questionable” nature will be required. This includes, but is not limited to, masseurs and masseuses, dating services, escort services, models, pregnancy referral, adoption services and “get rich quick” promotions, as interpreted by the Director of Student Development. Ads must include a street address and phone number.
  7. Posters, flyers and handbills and other marketing items must comply with both the posting policy set forth above and the guidelines concerning the distribution of literature as stated in this publication.
  8. Using chalk to write on concrete sidewalks is allowed. All chalking must be approved by the Director of Student Development prior to its use. The name and phone number of the responsible party should be submitted with the message. Chalking can be done 72 hours prior to an event and should be removed within 72 hours after the function.
  9. All other advertising mediums besides those listed above must receive the approval of the Director of Student Development before implementation.
  10. The University reserves the right to remove any advertising that does not follow University policy.
  11. Please refer to the Equal Opportunity policy which can be found online at www.cameron.edu/oeo

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Posting Policy

(taken directly from the Student Handbook)

The first priority for postings on the university campus shall be for university and recognized student organizations events and activities.

Organizations posting materials are responsible for the prompt removal, on the day following the event, of all outdated materials advertising their event.

Off-campus, commercial groups, and other advertising postings are limited to designated locations on campus.

Advertisements posted on campus for events or sales of goods or services off campus by a non-campus organization, individual, or business enterprise will be done on a limited basis at the discretion of the Director of Student Development.

  1. In order to obtain campus authorization for posting or displays, a representative of the sponsoring group or unit must bring all material to be posted to the Student Development Office for an authorization stamp. Upon approval of the event and the item to be posted, the group’s representative will be given a current listing of approved posting areas on campus upon request.
    1. Flyers should not exceed 14” x 22” in size. Signs exceeding this limitation must receive special permission from the Office of Student Development (or by Student Activities or Student Housing, if sponsored by those departments).
    2. The name of the sponsoring group or unit must appear on each flyer, sign and display. The organizations name spelled out is preferred, but Greek letters, acronyms, and logos will be accepted if these clearly identify the sponsor. In case of symbols or initials which are not clear, the group will spell out the entire name of the group.
    3. No poster or display in a language other than English will be approved.
    4. Publicity displaying any type of alcoholic beverage or encouraging the use of alcohol is prohibited.
    5. Signs are not to be posted on trees or shrubs, trash cans, glass, painted surfaces, wooden surfaces, etc. Any signs posted in unapproved areas will be removed. Only one poster per event is permitted on each bulletin board or authorized wall/tile area.
    6. Signs without a registered stamp or those remaining up beyond the expiration date will be removed. Posting in unauthorized places may result in the individual or group being fined and/or prohibited from distributing posters for a definite period.
    7. The chalking or painting of sidewalks, buildings, etc. is not permitted, except when prior special permission has been obtained from the Student Development Office. (See the Advertising Policy, #8).
    8. Lawn signs for campus elections will be stamped and registered in the same manner as those to be posted and must conform to the SGA Election Board posting rules. The Director of Student Activities may approve lawn signs for special events of an all-campus interest for display on the day(s) of the event.
    9. On-campus organizations may have flyers posted in Student Housing by bringing 18 approved flyers to the Student Housing Office. Resident Assistants will post the flyers.
    10. Do not use plastic or duct tape.
    11. Signs advertising events on campus must include the following:
      Accommodations on the basis of a disability are available by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209 or by email at student_development@cameron.edu.
  2. Posters and printed material may be placed only in the areas designated for each individual building. All materials found outside these areas will be removed and destroyed, and responsible parties will be subject to fines or an alternate form of punitive action.
  3. Promotional materials may not be placed on car windshields.
  4. A campus activity must be approved prior to promoting the function.  On-campus locations must have prior approval from the Conferencing Services Department.  They are located in South Shepler, Room #100 and their phone number is 581-2291.
  5. Materials posted on university grounds must receive prior approval by the Director of Student Development.
  6. Please refer to the Equal Opportunity policy which can be found online at www.cameron.edu/oeo

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Posting Locations

There are many approved bulletin boards available on campus. The following is a complete list of bulletin boards available for all approved postings:

  • Aggie Rec Center
    • Give one to the front desk worker and they will post
  • South Shepler
    • 3rd Floor by the elevator
    • 1st Floor by the elevator
  • Mezzanine
    • One on each side of the Housing Office
  • North Shepler
    • 3rd Floor by the elevator
  • Ross Hall
    • Outside Room 104
    • West Entrance
    • Outside Room 227
  • Science Complex
    • Outside Room 206
    • Outside Room 227
    • Outside Room 104
  • Nance-Boyer
    • South Vending Machines
    • Outside 1051
    • Outside 1053
    • Outside 2053
    • Outside 2060
  • CETES
    • East Entrance
  • Administration Building
    • Human Resources
    • North Entrance
  • Burch Hall
    • Outside Room 111
    • Outside Room 210
  • Howell Hall
    • North Entrance
    • South Entrance
  • Music Building
    • North Entrance
    • Outside Room 120
  • Communications Building
    • Outside Room 114
    • Outside Room 118
  • Housing Office
    • 14 Copies and they will distribute

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Organization Travel

(taken directly from the Student Handbook)

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  The opportunity to represent Cameron University throughout the state, nation and world is one of the many benefits available to Cameron students.  The university has established a travel registration process to promote the safety and welfare of students. 

1.0       APPLICATION

1.1       The Student Travel Policy applies to student travel sponsored by a department or recognized student organization.
1.2       Specifically, these procedures are required when the any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The event is funded by the University,
  • The travel is undertaken using a vehicle owned or leased by the University,
  • The activity or event is required or organized by a recognized student organization, or
  • The travel is undertaken under the scope, direction or election of a department, class, university office, learning community, study abroad program, recognized student organization, or their representatives.

1.3       It is the responsibility of the entity sponsoring organized student travel to assure compliance with this policy.

2.0       GENERAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

2.1       Employees traveling on University business with students must be aware of and adhere to the University’s Travel Policies and Reimbursement Guidelines.
2.2       Access to current and accurate information is an essential factor in the University's ability to effectively respond to a critical incident involving Cameron students.  In an effort to ensure individuals responsible for providing assistance have the information needed and all travel is documented, travel coordinators are responsible for completing the following steps prior to travel:

  • Complete and submit the Student Travel Authorization Request and Student Travel Roster at least 72 hours prior to departure for in-state travel, 10 days prior to departure for out-of state travel and at least two weeks prior to departure for international travel.  These forms should be submitted to the Office of Student Services once appropriate signatures have been received.  Forms for Department of Athletics travel should be submitted to the Director of Athletics.  An updated Student Travel Roster and any changes to travel plans must be documented and submitted prior to departure.  Information submitted should include the names, student identification numbers, and emergency contact information for each participant traveling.  This information will be used by University staff members to assist student participants in case of an emergency.  It is imperative that a correct and up-to-date list of participants and travel plans are available on campus.
  • Submit a Travel Request for Leave and Reimbursement for each faculty and staff member traveling with the students.
  • Obtain copies of Voluntary Assumption of Risk and Informed Consent forms for each participant prior to departure.  These forms must be kept on file in the sponsoring department and maintained according to university records retention policies.  In the instance of students traveling frequently with a team to various competitions, only one copy needs to be on file for the duration of that particular competition season.
  • For trips lasting more than 24 hours, student travel insurance must be purchased through the Office of Student Development or provide proof of comparable coverage.  For trips of shorter duration, the trip sponsor may recommend requiring insurance.  For rates and information, contact Student Development.
  • For international travel, consult with the Office of Academic Affairs a minimum of six months prior to planned departure.  Vice President for Academic Affairs approval is required for all international travel.  Additional consent or waiver forms may be required.

2.3       At least one trip sponsor traveling with the group must be on call and available at all times during the travel to serve as an emergency contact.  Contact the sponsoring department director or chair if a pre-paid cellular telephone needs to be secured for the travel period.

2.4       All trip participants must comply with all laws, regulations, and University policies throughout the duration of the trip.

2.5       It is important that trip participants be made aware of details regarding the trip, and in many cases it may be necessary to have a meeting prior to departure in order to orient participants and set clear expectations.  Both a pre-departure briefing and a post-trip debriefing are required for international travel.  Consult with the Office of Academic Affairs to schedule these meetings for international travel.

2.6       The number of trip sponsors should be appropriate for the size of the group traveling.  It may become necessary to limit the number of participants if appropriate supervision cannot be guaranteed.  All trip sponsors should know the details of travel.

2.7       Prior to departure, the trip sponsor should gather applicable resources  and information (i.e. weather forecast, evaluate travel warnings, locate nearest medical care and/or veterinarian care, acquire radios in the event of poor cellular service, locate additional water for animals, collect local embassy contact, contract with professional tour guide, etc.).  In some instances, it may be prudent to send a trip sponsor in advance of the group to ensure that appropriate accommodations are made and available.

2.8       For high risk activities including adventure sports and snow sports, additional insurance is required.  Information is available in the Office of Student Development.

3.0       TRAVEL SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR USE OF MOTORIZED VEHICLES

3.1       Vehicle Operator/Occupant Requirements
3.1.1    Any person operating a motorized vehicle while engaged in travel covered by this policy must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid operator’s license, as required by law, to operate the vehicle. 
3.1.2      Operators shall comply with all laws, regulations, and posted signs or directions regarding speed and traffic control.
3.1.3      The following protocol is required to facilitate safe travel:

  • Operators must take a 30-minute rest break every four hours.
  • Operators must drive no more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.              
  • Operators must be familiar with safety features including hazard signals, door locking and unlocking mechanisms, spare tire equipment and usage.
  • A navigator must be assigned for all trips scheduled to take more than two hours. The navigator must be awake and alert while on duty and sit in the front passenger seat.
  • Trips requiring more than 16 hours driving time to reach a destination require overnight lodging.

3.2          Safety Requirements
3.2.1      Seat Belts – All occupants of motor vehicles shall properly use seat belts or other approved safety restraint devices required by law or regulations when the vehicle is in operation.
3.2.2      Capacity – The total number of drivers, occupants and luggage in any vehicle at any time during operation of the vehicle shall not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended capacity, or the number specified by University policy, or federal or state law or regulations, or the number of working seat belts, whichever is lowest.
3.2.3      Electronic Communication Devices – The driver of the motor vehicle shall not engage in the use of any hand held device, including cellular or mobile telephones, pagers, digital assistants, laptop computers, or any other electronic communication device while operating the vehicle

3.3          University Owned, Leased, or Rented Vehicles
3.3.1      University owned vehicles may be made available for student travel.  A request for use of a university owned vehicle must be indicated on the Travel Request for Leave and Reimbursement submitted by the department, and a copy of the processed Travel Request must be provided to the Office of Physical Facilities.  Requests for use of university owned vehicles are handled by Physical Facilities on a case by case basis.
3.3.2      Recognized student organizations may use University vehicles providing a faculty or staff member will be driving the vehicle.
3.3.3      Student employees may operate a University motor vehicle in the course of their employment if they hold a valid driver’s license issued by their state/country of residence/origin.
3.3.4      Refer to the Employee Handbook, Section 11.13 regarding the use of state or university owned vehicles.
3.3.5      The use of 15-passenger vans for transporting University employees, students, visitors or guests is prohibited.  Renting 15-passenger vans for the purpose of transporting University employees, students, visitors or guests is prohibited.

3.4          Privately Owned Vehicles
3.4.1      When requesting travel that involves the use of privately-owned vehicles, the University employee responsible for the trip shall verify current liability insurance for any vehicle to be used for the proposed travel and maintain a copy with the trip records.
3.4.2      The trip sponsor shall notify any driver operating a privately owned vehicle that his or her personal liability insurance policy must cover any liability that may result from the use of the vehicle for the proposed travel. It is the driver’s insurance that will be used to pay for damages to the vehicle(s) involved in an accident and/or injuries to a passenger or occupant of another vehicle. This is a large responsibility. If a driver is not comfortable with this responsibility, other transportation arrangements should be made.
3.4.3      Students will not drive other students to and from University sponsored events in privately owned vehicles. 
3.4.4      University authorization is not required for student drivers for the following routine or recurring activities for which Cameron University does not ordinarily provide transportation:  student teaching, practicums, internships, off-site instruction, and certain field research and service learning experiences.

4.0          TRAVEL SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR AIR TRAVEL

Student air travel must be on scheduled commercial flights.

5.0       TRAVEL SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY

5.1       Cameron University students are not allowed to travel to or through a country with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning in place restricting travel by U.S. citizens.
5.2       National standards for health and safety on trips abroad should be addressed by campus trip sponsors. These may be accessed at: http://www.nafsa.org/regulatory_information.sec/education_abroad/health_and_safety_1.
5.3       Leaders from the departments or student organizations sponsoring organized travel outside the U.S. are required to gain approval from the Vice President for Academic Affairs at least six months prior to a planned departure date.  Leaders must also complete a pre-departure briefing with the Office of Academic Affairs to gain training on safety, emergency procedures, crisis management and resources available to the group while abroad.  Additional consent or waiver forms may be required.

6.0       TEAM TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

6.1       The University may utilize Student Activity Fee revenue in funding student-related trips as prescribed in the Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 4.11.1.
6.2       A separate Team Travel Reimbursement form must be completed for each trip with a list of students traveling and CU ID numbers.  
6.3       Travel coordinators must provide itemized receipts and/or supporting documentation for each expenditure.  Receipts must include the following information:

  • Name of Vendor
  • Number of Students
  • Date
  • City and State
  • Signature of person making request

6.4       Faculty and staff traveling as advisors must submit a Travel Request for Leave and Reimbursement and process their reimbursement according to section 11.10 of the Employee Handbook.
6.5       It is possible to secure a travel advance to cover purchases during the duration of the trip.  Additional details are available in the Business Office.

7.0       ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES

This policy is considered to be a minimum standard. Departments and/or student organizations may mandate additional standards as deemed necessary to address the unique travel situation.

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Finances and Funding

Statement of Financial Responsibility

The University expects each student organization to be fiscally responsible. All organizations should practice sound management procedures to insure the fulfillment of this responsibility.

Each organization should anticipate its financial needs and plan ways to properly meet these needs. The officers and the advisor should establish a budget, and the commitments of the organization should never exceed the funds which it has available. Each organization must have all financial commitments approved by a majority of their group and receive the signature of their advisor prior to the commitments being made. University recognized organizations are encouraged to deposit their funds with the Cameron University Business Office.

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Guidelines for Outside Bank Accounts

University and Regents policies do not prohibit student organizations from using bank accounts outside the University for the purpose of maintaining funds except those from student activities fees, which are state funds that must be maintained within the system.

Student organizations are not required to register outside bank accounts. Funds generated by student groups from dues, assessments, fund-raising events, or any other revenue-generating activity could be handled through an outside bank account or through a University account at the option of the advisor of the student group.

The Office of Student Activities strongly suggests that, in order to protect the student officers and the student organization advisor and to alleviate any problems that might arise in regard to withdrawals and deposits, the faculty or staff advisor of the student organization should be a co-signer for any disbursements made from this account.

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Federal Tax ID Number

Banks require student organizations to obtain a federal tax identification number prior to opening an outside bank account. For an SS-4 form (Application for Employer Identification Number) go to the Business Office or to any location where federal forms are available (i.e. public libraries).

When the account is on-campus, an organization must follow certain fundamental procedures of fiscal accountability required by all university accounts. These procedures include:  1) Issuance of a purchase order, based on an approved requisition with the advisor’s signature, and the assurance that the goods or services have been received by the purchaser before payment is made from state monies.  2) Receiving competitive bids for items costing $2,500 or more.  3) Prior Board of Regents approval of items costing $75,000 or more.  4) Prior Board of Regents approval for Sole Source items costing $2,500 or more.  5) Signed invoice denoting that the goods or services have been received prior to issuing payments.

Payments from off-campus accounts must be made by check, and at least two signatures are required (the signature of an advisor and the signature of a student officer). No one person, whether student officer or a faculty/staff advisor, should be able to withdraw money from an off-campus student organization account.

Bills should be paid promptly. Student organizations have a responsibility to settle their accounts when due. The financial aspects of all events sponsored by a recognized organization must have the approval of the respective organization’s faculty advisor.

Student organizations should conduct a yearly review of their financial status and whenever there is a change of officers with their campus advisor. The Student Activities Office is also available for assistance.

In the event of disbanding or inactivation of an organization, the primary responsibility of properly providing for the close out of the account and the disposition of remaining funds rests with the organization and not the University. This can be a problem for off-campus accounts if not done immediately. If an organization is suspended by the University a hold may be placed on an organization’s account until disposition is determined by the University and the organization’s representatives.

 In the event of changing advisors, the Office of Student Activities is to be contacted first and it will contact the Business Office with the appropriate information. Failure to do so will delay processing of your purchase. *The University is not responsible for the payment of any debts or other obligations made by student organizations.

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Receipt of Cash by Departments/Organizations

In compliance with an audit recommendation, any department/organization which receives cash monies for any reason for the university or the Cameron University Foundation, Inc., must give the payor a receipt.

Sequentially numbered receipt books are to be obtained at the cashier’s counter located in the Administration Building. The $15 charge will be handled by inter-departmental transfer. No other receipt books will be acceptable. These receipts must be kept in your department/office. If a receipt is voided for any reason, the receipt must be marked void and retained.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the comptroller at ext. 2215.

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Deposit of University and Foundation Funds

Any funds for the university received by any department/organization must be deposited the same day with the cashier. Any funds received for the foundation must be taken the same day to the Foundation Office.

Each department/organization is required to keep the paper forms on file in their office and to complete whenever funds of any kind (check, money order, cash, etc.) are received. (Contact the Business Office.)

The appropriate form is to be completed in duplicate and brought to the cashier along with the funds being deposited for the university. The person depositing the funds and the cashier receiving the funds are each required to sign the form at the time of deposit. One copy of the form is left with the cashier along with the deposit and one copy will be for your records.

The same procedure is followed for any foundation funds with the exception that the foundation form and funds will be taken to the Foundation Office for signature. The funds and one copy of the form will be left in the Foundation Office. The second copy of the form will be for your records.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Business Office at ext. 2221.

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Fundraisers, Tickets and Sales Taxes

Cameron University was informed by the Oklahoma Tax Commission that sales taxes are to be collected by student organizations and university departments when selling any products and services.

The responsible group is to collect the taxes, complete the proper reports and forms and forward the funds to OTC. However, to help alleviate the complexity of these procedures Cameron requests that you turn in your tax collections to the Business Office, who will then complete the process for your organization.

This is the law, via the Oklahoma Tax Commission, (state statute Title 68, paragraph 1356.) It is also a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, as stated in the Student Handbook, to violate federal, state or local laws, in addition to University policies. Contact the Business Office if you need additional information.

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Corporate or Business Co-Sponsorship of Activities

All corporate or business co-sponsorships of a university or student activity must contract with the University, the terms of which must be set by and approved by the Executive Council. This policy applies to sponsorship or co-sponsorship only and shall not be interpreted to include paid advertising.

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Bake Sale Policy

Only prepared food items can be sold in campus buildings. All food and beverages requiring heating or cooking are not allowed except in outdoor areas or in areas specifically designed to prepare food with prior permission. A limit of two tables can be requested for food sales. One bake sale per building is permitted (Two in Nance-Boyer). No canned or carbonated drinks are to be sold. Sponsoring organization is responsible for collection/payment of taxes. A Facility Request Form must be completed and indicate the items that will be sold.

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Solicitations

1.    University buildings or campus spaces may not be used to raise money for any individual or off campus organization.

2.    Organizations intending to use the University’s spaces to benefit an off-campus effort must be prepared to prove the tax-exempt status of the benefiting cause.

3.    The Coordinator of Special Events will establish uniform procedures relating to the location, duration and setup arrangements for such solicitation activities. Be aware of your sales tax requirements.

4.    Under no circumstances may organizations, their staff or faculty sponsors, or students conduct direct solicitation of off-campus individuals or groups. Off campus fund-raising is coordinated exclusively through the Office of University Advancement.

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Raffles

Raffles are permissible for qualified organizations, as allowed by Oklahoma state statute. Raffles must be approved by the Director of Campus Life.

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SGA Fund Request Guidelines

Requirements, listed below, must be met to obtain funding:

  1. Must be a registered student organization on the Cameron University campus.
  2. Must be used for the improvement of the student organization and/or Cameron University students.
  3. Must have an active, representative member in SGA.
  4. SGA and the Finance Committee must receive notification at least one month before the planned usage of the funds.
  5. A Representative from the organization applying must meet with the Finance Committee or a member of the Finance Committee before the application is submitted.

The following are steps required to acquire funding through SGA:

  1. The organization must submit in writing a Funding Request Form (available in the SGA office).
  2. The SGA representative from the applying organization must meet with one member or the entire Finance Committee to discuss the application and the funding request form.
  3. The SGA Treasurer will notify the organization of the committee’s decision at the SGA meeting after the decision has been made and by a letter addressed to the organization. The letter will contain the reason and justification for the Finance Committee’s decision.
  4. The application and funding request form will be turned into the SGA advisor and the approved amount of funding will be transferred into the on-campus account.
  5. The organization will be responsible for collecting receipts for all expenses incurred. A copy of all receipts must be turned in to the SGA Treasurer no later than month after the event is completed. The receipts must total or exceed the amount requested by the organization.
  6. If the receipts are not turned in, the money will be transferred back out of the account. If the money does not equal or exceed the approved amount, the difference will be transferred out of the account. No individual person will be reimbursed.

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University Policies and Procedures

Hazing Policy

(taken directly from the Student Handbook)

The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action against individual students and/or groups who are involved in hazing activities. Such disciplinary action may be taken independently of state or local prosecutorial actions regardless of the outcome of such prosecutorial actions. Hazing on the part of students, faculty, or staff is strictly forbidden, whether on or off campus.

 

Section 1190 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes reads as follows:
A.    No student organization or any person associated with any organization sanctioned or authorized by the governing board of any public or private school or institution of higher education in this state shall engage or participate in hazing.

B.    Any hazing activity described in subsection F of this section upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with an organization sanctioned or authorized by a public or private school or by any institution of higher education in this state is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be a forced activity, even if the student willingly participated in such activity.

C.    A copy of the policy or the rules and regulations of the public or private school or institution of higher education which prohibits hazing shall be made available to each student enrolled in the school or institution and shall be deemed to be part of the bylaws of all organizations operating at the public school or the institution of higher education.

D.    Any organization sanctioned or authorized by the governing board of a public or private school or of an institution of higher education in this state which violated subsection A of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be punishable by a fine of not more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) and the forfeit for a period of not less than one (1) year of all the rights and privileges of being an organization organized or operating at the public or private school or at the institution of higher education.

E.    Any individual convicted of violating the provisions of subsection A of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be punishable by imprisonment for not to exceed ninety (90) days in the county jail, or by the imposition of a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by both such imprisonment and fine.

F.     For purposes of this section:
        1.     “Hazing” means an activity which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating subject to the sanction of the public or private school or of any institution of higher education in this state;
        2.     “Endanger the physical health” shall include but not be limited to any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, alcoholic beverage as defined in Section 506 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, low-point beer beverage as defined in Section 163.2 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, drug, controlled dangerous substance, or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual; and
        3.     “Endanger the mental health” shall include any activity, except those activities authorized by law, which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as prolonged sleep deprivation, forced prolonged exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual.

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Alcohol Policy

ON CAMPUS: At no time will alcohol be served at student functions on campus. Alcohol and controlled substances are strictly prohibited in residential facilities. Strong disciplinary measures will be taken against students in possession of or who have consumed alcohol or a controlled substance on campus. Persons who are determined to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance will be referred to the Director of Student Development for disciplinary action and/or may be subject to immediate arrest.

OFF CAMPUS:  Recognized student organizations must receive prior approval of the Director of Student Development for sponsoring off-campus events where alcohol is to be served. The Director may impose reasonable restrictions on any recognized student organization whether on or off campus. Recognized student organizations must abide by all local, state and federal laws with regard to the use of alcoholic beverages and will comply with directives of the Director of Student Development, including those stated in this handbook and the current Student Organizations Handbook.

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Risk Management

As a student leader you need to be aware of risk management issues. Something like an alligator wrestling match in a large pool of beer is an obvious risk management issue, but every event is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You need to be aware of all university policies, as well as local, state, and federal laws that dictate how the event should be run. As with everything, the key to minimizing risk is planning. If you have any questions or concerns about risk management, don’t be afraid to speak with your advisor or a student activities staff member.  

Industry Standards

This is a simple area to follow. Anytime where events require certain equipment, it needs to be used according to industry specification. For example, “sit harnesses” no more than five years of age should be used for a rock climbing event. The harness should also be used exactly as specified on the harness instructions. Events like climbing and swimming require qualified supervision. For example if the group plans to have a pool party, the industry standard is to have a minimum of one American Red Cross certified lifeguard for every thirty swimmers.

Event Transportation

It may seem easy to simply allow group members to use private vehicles to make off campus trips; however this creates another serious liability issue. The simplest way to avoid this risk is to use a common carrier or commercial transportation. This approach will be more costly initially, but the carrier assumes a majority of the liability in case of an accident. If the organization decides to use private vehicles, ensure that these steps are taken:

  • §  All drivers have valid licenses with a safe driving record (no accidents, DUIs, speeding violations)
  • §  All drivers are insured
  • §  The vehicle is in good condition and not overloaded with passengers or luggage
  • §  Drivers should have adequate time to rest or be rotated out to avoid fatigue

For more specifics about the university travel policy, click here.

Minimizing Risks

The major way in which one can reduce an organization’s liability is by getting an insurance policy.

Another method to shield against liability is through the use of a “hold harmless” agreement or Liability waiver. This document protects the sponsoring organization and its members from legal action as the individual signing the form verifies that he/she is assuming the risks associated with the activity. (click here for an example)

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Policy Violations

(taken directly from the Student Handbook)

Violations of Policies

If a University Recognized Organization (URO) violates university regulations or policies, the University has the responsibility of disciplining that organization. The Director of Student Activities is responsible for monitoring the compliance of student organizations with university regulations and policies. Complaints about a URO should be forwarded to the Office of Student Activities for consideration and action.

When a complaint or a report of a violation of a university regulation or policy is received by the Director of Student Activities, it shall be treated in the following manner:

1.    The Director of Student Activities shall investigate the validity of the violation.

2.    If the violation did occur, the Director of Student Activities will recommend to the Dean of Student Services that appropriate disciplinary action be taken against the offending University Recognized Organization.

3.    If the offending URO chooses to appeal the decision of the Director of Student Activities, the Dean of Student Services shall convene the Student Services Committee to review the decision.

The Student Services Committee shall issue its report and recommendations to the Dean of Student Services. The Dean of Student Services shall have the authority to decide the action to be taken against the offending URO.

Disciplinary Actions

1.    Probation:  A URO can be placed on probation for a specified period of time without the withdrawal of privileges granted to university organizations.

2.    Probation and withholding of university granted privileges:  A URO placed on probation may be restricted from use of university facilities and/or all other privileges afforded a University Recognized Organization.

3.    Withdrawal of Recognition:  A URO may have its recognition withdrawn for a specified period of time.

4.    Any sanction noted in the Code of Student Conduct.

The disciplinary action taken against a University Recognized Organization does not exempt disciplinary action from being taken against individual members of the organization who were responsible for the violations of regulations and policies. Correspondingly, the disciplining of individuals does not preclude disciplining of the organization for actions taken for and by the organization and its members.

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Aerial Photograph of Cameron University campus