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 Office of Campus Life.
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 Biology Club or Engineering Club.
- 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 CU Black Student Association to Baptist Campus Ministries. 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.
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. All Cameron University organizations are required to have a mission statement for their organization in their constitution.
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.
Starting and Maintaining a Student Organization
Registering New Organizations
Prior to making an application to receive university recognition, the group should meet the following criteria:
- Organizations must have at least one faculty or staff advisor who is a current member of the faculty or professional staff at Cameron University. To be an advisor, faculty must teach at least 6 credit hours per semester and staff must be employed full-time.
- Members must be currently enrolled students (full-time or part time) in good standing with the University.
- Organizations should maintain a membership of at least seven (7) qualified individuals.
- 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.
- Presidents of each organization must be enrolled full-time at Cameron University. Other officers must be enrolled part-time at Cameron University.
- Organizations are to operate under a constitution approved by the University, of which a copy must be kept on file in the Office of Campus Life.
- The organization's stated purpose must not be subversive to the United States of America, the State of Oklahoma, or Cameron University.
- The organization must comply with the nondiscrimination policy set forth by Title IX.
- No group will be recognized that serves a similar function as SGA, PAC, or Residence Hall Association.
- 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:
- At least one executive officer and the advisor meets with the Office of Campus Life to review the constitution and any bylaws of the organization.
- After reviews and recommendations, the department refers the constitution to the Student Services Committee (SSC) for review.
- SSC reviews the constitution and bylaws and meets with the group representative and the advisor.
- After the meeting, SSC decides whether to recommend the organization for recognition or to send recommendations back to the group for improvements. If SSC sends the constitution back to the group, it may then repeat the process.
- The recommendation of SSC is forwarded to the Dean of Students for final approval.
All applications for new student organizations are due to the Office of Campus Life prior to October 1 (for consideration for the Spring Semester) and March 1 (for consideration for the Fall Semester).
Re-Registering Existing Organizations
After an organization has gone through the recognition process, they must re-register with the Office of Campus Life at the beginning of each school year (Spring registration is primarily to serve as an update of the Fall registration).
Steps for Re-registration:
- Complete an organization registration form and send it back to the Office of Campus Life.
- Each organization is given the deadline for filing re-registration forms. Failure to meet this deadline is cause for probation; failure to comply within two semesters is cause for suspension.
- A current membership roster must be on file in the Office of Campus Life with each Fall registration. Student ID numbers must accompany roster.
- A current list of officers' names, addresses and phone numbers must be on file in the Office of Campus Life. Officers' transcripts will be checked to assure compliance with rules set forth in the Student Handbook.
- Any changes of officers or advisor should be reported in written form to the Office of Campus Life within 10 days of the change (s). The same is true of all constitutional changes, which are subject to approval by SSC.
- 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.
Every event, no matter how large or small, needs to be effectively planned in order to be successful. 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 advertise 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.
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”
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.
If the room is available, simply click on the time you want to schedule.
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.
Organizations that are not recognized by the Student Activities Office may not be able to reserve rooms or spaces or may be charged for their reservation.
Hosting a Movie
Public viewing of movies is strictly regulated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Digital versions, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and video tapes may not be used as an event or entertainment unless the public performance rights (copyright) have been purchased or secured. Digital versions, Blu-ray Discs, 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 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.
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. Be detailed in your debriefing of the event so those who may host a similar event in the future can learn from you.
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.
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 Campus Life 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.
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 Office of Campus Life 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 Campus Life 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.
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 McMahon Centennial Complex (MCC) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Hall). No canned or carbonated drinks are to be sold. Sponsoring organization is responsible for collection/payment of taxes.
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.
Raffles are permissible for qualified organizations, as allowed by Oklahoma state statute. Raffles must be approved by the Director of Campus Life.
SGA Fund Request Guidelines
Requirements, listed below, must be met to obtain funding:
- Must be a registered student organization on the Cameron University campus.
- Must be used for the improvement of the student organization and/or Cameron University students.
- Must have an active, representative member in SGA.
- SGA and the Finance Committee must receive notification at least one month before the planned usage of the funds.
- 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:
- The organization must submit in writing a Funding Request Form (available in the SGA office).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
University Policies and Procedures
(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.
The student alcohol policy is applicable to every student enrolled at the University, whether part-time or full-time and whether in residence, by extension, or otherwise and may at times apply to persons off-campus when using University facilities or participating in University programs.
(1) At no time will alcohol be served in residential facilities or at student functions on campus. Possession of alcohol and controlled substances by students is strictly prohibited on university property.
(2) 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.
(3) To curtail alcohol abuse on and off campus, the University has adopted a minimum “Three Strikes” policy. The Three Strike policy may be subject to change due to the level of severity of the alcohol incidence.
(4) Off-campus events where alcohol is served, which are sponsored by university recognized student organizations, shall abide by the Off Campus Event Procedures.
(5) Alcohol education programs have been expanded, and all entering undergraduate students will be encouraged to complete these programs.
(6) Violations of the student alcohol policies may be reported to the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209.
(7) The University has established the Student Wellness Center to provide counseling for students or to provide referrals for off campus support.
(8) All fines collected as a result of this policy will support the university’s alcohol and drug education programs.
THREE STRIKES POLICY – DEFINITION OF A STRIKE
A “strike” is the University’s official recognition of a student’s or organization’s violation of the
University’s Student Alcohol Policy. Nothing herein shall waive a student’s right to due process. A strike is a final University disciplinary action that finds the student guilty of an alcohol-related violation. A student or organization may be charged with an alcohol-related violation based on the following:
- A conviction, deferred sentence, or a plea that has the effect of conviction of an alcohol-related violation of which the University is made aware;  or
- A University finding or allegation that a student or organization may have committed an alcohol related violation prohibited by the Code of Student Conduct. Such violations include, but are not limited to, the conduct prohibited by Section 2.02 of the Code, the Student Alcohol Policy, incident reports and citations. Upon notification of the foregoing, or any other violation reasonably related to alcohol, the University may charge the student pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct, and the student shall be entitled to an appropriate hearing or investigative meeting as defined in the Code. Whether by decision of an appropriate disciplinary body or administrative official, any final University disciplinary action resulting in a finding of guilt for an alcohol-related violation shall be considered a strike.
The University may act on any reliable information it receives. Although not an exhaustive list, the University may be notified of prohibited conduct in the following ways:
A police report from the Cameron University Office of Public Safety;
- An incident report generated in Student Housing;
- Reports from other law enforcement or security agencies that are received by the University;
- Notification by a University official that an alcohol violation occurred; or
- Any other information deemed reliable by the University that comes to the attention of a University official.
Once notified of alleged prohibited conduct, the University may investigate the information received to determine if the conduct constitutes a violation prior to taking action. Nothing herein shall waive a student’s right to due process.
The University strongly supports and encourages any student to seek transportation assistance in the event he/she cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. Further, the University strongly supports and encourages students seeking medical and/or mental health care in the event of alcohol-related illness or other concerning behavior related to alcohol use.
THREE STRIKES POLICY - SANCTIONS
The following sanctions are mandatory minimum sanctions for alcohol violations. Based on the severity of the infraction, the University reserves the right to impose any appropriate additional sanction(s). Any violation by an individual student remains part of the individual’s record. Based on the severity, the university reserves the right to modify the strikes. If a student is suspended after the 3rd strike and is readmitted to Cameron University, the student is readmitted with 2 strikes.
1st Strike may include the following:
- Parent/Guardian and/or 3 rd party notification via return receipt certified mail.
- $25.00 fine or 10 hours of community service
- Satisfactorily complete a defined alcohol education program
- Student housing probation
- Disciplinary Warning
2nd Strike may include the following:
- Parent/Guardian and/or 3 rd party notification via return receipt certified mail with a follow-up telephone call.
- $75.00 fine or 20 hours of community service
- Satisfactorily complete an approved alcohol counseling brief intervention and referral in the Student Wellness Center.
- Student housing probation or suspension
- Disciplinary probation.
3rd Strike may include the following:
- Parent/Guardian and/or 3 rd party notification via return receipt certified mail with a follow-up telephone call.
- Automatic suspension.
Students may appeal a strike in accordance with the process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
Organizational sanctions will be administered based on the illegal or prohibited use of alcohol at an organizational event or in a campus facility. Before imposing an organizational sanction, as opposed to solely an individual sanction, the University will consider the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the organizational event, including, but not limited to, whether:
- the alcohol violation was endorsed, sponsored, sanctioned, enabled, furthered, or funded, in whole or in part, by the organization, its officers, or the officers of its local, state, or national organization acting with actual or apparent authority, and any of them knew or should have known of the alcohol violation and they took insufficient action to prevent or cease the violation; or
- the alcohol violation occurred on property owned, leased, rented or occupied by the organization, and the officers of the organization took insufficient action to prevent or cease an alcohol violation they knew or should have known existed; or
- regardless of its location, the alcohol violation occurred at an event or any gathering of two or more individuals of the organization conducted in furtherance of the mission or purpose of the organization, including any event, program or ceremony; or
- the alcohol violation occurred at any gathering utilizing the organization’s name or logo, or that was advertised by the organization; or
- the alcohol violation occurred at any gathering of two or more individuals that would typically be in furtherance of the organization’s activities, but is designed to circumvent these rules.
The Director of Campus Life or his/her designee has the discretion to determine whether, based on the criteria above and the totality of the circumstances, the alcohol violation occurred at an organization event and warrants an organizational sanction.
Any violation by the group remains part of the organization’s “Three Strikes” record for a period of three calendar years, unless the organization requests and the University grants removal of an eligible first strike in accordance with the Student Alcohol Policy, below. All parties involved shall be held accountable.
Based on the severity, the university reserves the right to modify the strikes.
1st Strike may include the following:
- At the discretion of the University and after considering all relevant information, the University will impose a minimum fine of $100.
- 100% of the organization’s active membership must complete a defined alcohol education program.
- An aggregate community service requirement for the organization of 10 hours per active member at the time of the violation. It is at the discretion of the University as to whether pledges or associate members will be included in fulfilling the requirements of the sanction.
- Formal written warning: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations, including the possibility of more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event of the finding of a violation of any University regulation within a stated period of time.
2nd Strike may include the following:
- At the discretion of the University and after considering all relevant information, the University will impose a minimum administrative fee of $200.
- 100% of the organization’s active membership must complete a defined alcohol education program.
- An aggregate community service requirement for the organization of 20 hours per active member based on the organization’s membership at the time of the violation. It is at the discretion of the University as to whether pledges or associate members will be included in fulfilling the requirements of this sanction.
- Disciplinary Probation: Exclusion from participation in privileged or extracurricular University activities set forth in the notice for a period of time specified. Other conditions of the probation may apply to any other activities of the organization in the University community, except those that would affect organization’s academic pursuits.
3rd Strike may include the following:
- Organizational Suspension: The organization will be suspended for a minimum of one year. University approval, granted by the Office of Campus Life, is required before the organization will be reinstated.
Student organizations may appeal a strike to the Dean of Students.
 Alcohol violations and misconduct shall include, but shall not be limited to, minor in possession; public intoxication; manufacture, use or possession of false identification; driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, actual physical control and involvement in a crime while under the influence.
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.
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.
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
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)
(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 Campus Life 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 Campus Life 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 Campus Life, it shall be treated in the following manner:
1. The Director of Campus Life shall investigate the validity of the violation.
2. If the violation did occur, the Director of Campus Life will recommend to the Dean of Students 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 Campus Life, the Dean of Students shall convene the Student Services Committee to review the decision.
The Student Services Committee shall issue its report and recommendations to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students shall have the authority to decide the action to be taken against the offending URO.
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.
All organizations must comply with the nondiscrimination policy set forth by Title IX. It states that all students of Cameron University, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or political affiliation are eligible and welcome to become members of organizations. The organization must also comply with all state and federal laws as well as the non-discrimination policies of Cameron University.
For student organizations with religious associations only:
Membership shall not be based solely on an individual's race color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, marital status, or political belief. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the organization may require, as a condition of membership or leadership, adherence to the organization's sincerely held religious beliefs, compliance with the organization's sincere religious observance requirements, and compliance with the organization's sincere religious standards of conduct, and/or commitment to furthering the organization's religious missions, as such religious beliefs, observation requirements, standards of conduct or missions are defined by the organization.