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Student Organization Application and Recognition

The Dean of Student Life Office in partnership with Student Activities and Leadership Programs, Campus Recreation, the Student Fee Committee Chair, and the Organization Budget Council began work on the criteria and process for student organization recognition in Fall 2005. The Student Organization Recognition policy is overseen by the Student Organization Application and Recognition (SOAR) committee through the Dean of Student Life Office. The Committee consists of the Dean of Student Life, Director of SALP, SALP Associate Director, Rec Clubs Coordinator, SFC Chair (or designee), ASPSU President (or designee), representative from Recreational Club Council, and a representative from the Organization  Budget Council. The following policy is to be reviewed and updated during Spring term of each year. Last revised: February 28, 2014.

The Student Organization Application and Recognition committee has the responsibility of reviewing and updating the following policy and hearing appeals.

 The Campus Recreation and Student Activities and Leadership Programs Advisors are authorized by the Dean of Student Life Office to use this policy to determine the recognition of a group of students as a student organization, student-operated service, department sponsored organization, affiliate, or forming group. It is also the responsibility of the Advisors to determine if the group has continued to meet the criteria in order to maintain recognition, department sponsorship, or affiliation.

Purpose
Types of Groups 
Definitions
Criteria for Recognition 
Privileges and Responsibilities
Process for Application
Cancellation, Suspension, or Probation of Status
Appeals
Funding of Student Organizations 

Purpose

The purpose of formally recognizing student organizations or student-operated services is to:

  1. Officially recognize student organizations or services as agents of the University in order to allow them access to services and resources as well as to determine risk and liability.
  2. Collect correct contact information.
  3. Determine the needs of student organizations, services, and student leaders.
  4. Assess the sustainability of student organizations and services.
  5. Plan for the effective use of university resources.

The purpose of recognizing a department-sponsored student organization or an affiliation is to:

  1. Formalize a relationship betwen a student organziation and a sponsoring Portland State department or outside organization.
  2. Collect correct contact information for student leaders and the sponsoring department or organization.
  3. Determine the needs of student leaders and the their sponsoring department or community partner.
  4. Allow the group limited resources in order to recruit and operate on campus.

The purpose of recognizing a forming group is to:

  1. Allow a group time to recruit new members and organize before formal recognition.
  2. Collect correct contact information for student leaders.
  3. Determine the needs of student leaders and the group.
  4. Allow the group limited resources in order to recruit and operate on campus.

Types of Groups

Recognized Student Organization

  • A student organization is a group of five or more eligible students who have formed around a defined mission or purpose. 
  • Student organizations are completely student-led.  Their constitutions, missions, participation, event planning, spending, and other decision making must be dictated by the students and cannot be directed by an outside organization or non-students.
  • They may or may not be funded by the Organization Budget Council or Rec Clubs Council.

Student Operated Service

  • Student-Operated Services must be operated by students; however, all student employees report to the Coordinator of Student-Operated Services who acts in a general manager capacity.
  • Student-operated services’ defining characteristic is providing services to others that are professional in nature. They fit into the same set of requirements that all student groups have with a few notes:
    • Their organization tends to follow a business-like model. 
    • They may be responsible for generating much more revenue than a typical student organization.
    • They may have hourly employees.
    • They may be very visible both on- and off-campus due to the nature of the service that they provide. Oftentimes, student-operated services are perceived by the community-at-large to be a part of the institution in the same way that a department would be.
    • The university often takes on additional liability concerns given the nature of the work that student-operated services perform.

Department Sponsored Organization

  • A department sponsored organization is a student organization that exists within and under the guidance of a PSU department. The sponsoring department is responsible for supporting the finances, administration, equipment, and risk management for the organization.
  • A group may be recognized as a department sponsored organization if:
    • The organizations’ mission and/or activities demand specific technical knowledge and expertise that surpass SALP’s capabilities.
    • The groups’ activities require department/faculty involvement in order to be successful.
    • Membership in the organization requires completion or enrollment in an academic course.
    • The organization maintains a Foundation account through the department and/or receives ongoing funds from the department.
    • They are required to report annually to a national or international chapter.
    • The groups’ activities require a level of risk management beyond the scope that SALP can provide.

Affiliation

  • A group that is a student-chapter of a larger regional or national organization.
  • An affiliated group exists under the guidance of an outside organization or association.  The sponsoring organization is responsible for supporting risk management and setting expectations for finances (if applicable).
  • A group may be recognized as an affiliation if:
    • The outside organization sets standards for determining how the group functions, the mission and purpose, and/or a higher threshold for membership. 

Forming

  • An Advisor may designate a student organization as a Forming Organization if they missed required deadlines or need extra time to address questions or concerns brought up during the recognition process.
  • In order to be forming, the student organization has to meet all the criteria of a student organization as outlined above.

Definitions

Eligible Student Leader 

A student leader in the organization, for the purposes of this policy, is someone who has been selected, hired, or voted in and has decision making, community building, and administrative responsibilities in the organization. They are eligible if they are an undergraduate student completing six credits and maintain a 2.5 GPA per term or a graduate student completing five credits maintaining a 3.0 GPA per term. Eligible student leaders must be in good standing with Portland State University (2.5 cumulative PSU GPA for undergraduates and a 3.0 cumulative PSU GPA for graduates). A person who is staff or faculty at Portland State, not including student staff, as defined by Human Resources, is not eligible to be a student leader.

Active member

Current Portland State students who meet the criteria set out in the organization constitution. If no criteria is set, than an active member is one that the organization identifies as someone who regularly attends meeting and events.

 

Criteria for Recognition as a Recognized Student Organization, Affiliation, Department-Sponsored Group, or Student Operated Service

SALP and Campus Recreation reserve the right to not recognize a group if the needs of the group are beyond the scope of services and resources they are able to provide.

Distinct Mission:

The mission and constitution of each student group must be distinct from other student organizations and services and from off-campus or department affiliations. Students proposing a new organization should ensure that the purpose is clearly distinguishable from existing student organizations' missions. The SALP and Campus Recreation websites list all current student organizations' missions.

Student Interest:

A new student organization is viable if at least five eligible students are interested in starting and maintaining the group. Recreation organizations may have a higher minimum depending upon club status within their system. Student-operated services may have fewer depending on the nature of the service.

Tenure and Activity:

A student organization is viable if there is an intention to be active for at least three terms out of the subsequent four (groups must be approved by the second week of the term to count the term as active). The length of time and level of engagement in activities central to the mission are criteria for determining a student organization's renewal status. Campus Recreation groups must remain in good standing with the Recreation Club Council. Student-operated services may be required to show a higher level of viability due to the larger responsibility of providing services.

Risk Management:

A student organization is viable if the Advisor determines that the risk incurred by the proposed mission and activities is acceptable. Student organizations may be required to work with an Advisor to identify risk mitigating strategies and/or an alternative mission and activities as part of the recognition process.

Leadership:

A student organization is viable if at least three students are committed to engaging in the leadership. The leadership responsibilities include, but are not limited to, completing necessary paperwork, attending required trainings, meeting with an Advisor, and stewarding the mission, purpose, outreach, and proposed activities. The stewardship of the organization must be clearly held by students. Advisors will not recognize classes or initiatives led by non-students (staff, faculty, community, corporations) as student organizations. 

 

Privileges and Responsibilities of Recognized Groups

Recognized Student Organizations

Privileges:

  • Access to an assigned Advisor for resources and support;
  • Access to trainings, workshops, and conferences for student leaders;
  • Establishment of a Portland State financial account and accounting services;
  • Use of Portland State University in name of student organization;
  • Portland State group e-mail account;
  • Portland State group website;
  • OrgSync portal
  • Portland State voice mail account (charges will be assessed);
  • Access to reserve space on campus;
  • Ability to apply for office space through the Smith Memorial Student Union Advisory Board (SALP Organization only);
  • Ability to table at recruitment fairs for student organizations;
  • Ability to request funding through the Organization Budget Council or Rec Clubs Council

Responsibilities:

  • Have a clearly defined lawful purpose and mission statement;
  • Maintain at least three eligible student leaders who are responsible for the leadership of the organization;
  • Maintain at least five active members of the organization;
  • Be open to new membership and/or involvement;
  • Have a clearly advertised way for interested students to contact the group and respond to requests for information in a timely manner;
  • Maintain communication with the assigned Advisor;
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the organization constitution and bylaws, as well as in accordance with University policies and procedures, city ordinances, state statutes, and Federal laws;
  • Demonstrate compliance with Portland State's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, veteran status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law;
  • Fulfill all student organization requirements, including mandatory trainings and reporting;
  • Maintain sustainable student leadership and membership;
  • Be student led and organized;
  • Maintain total membership of at least 80% currently enrolled Portland State University Student or the criteria set forth by the SALP/CREC Advisor for risk management, access, and other purposes;
  • Follow any SALP/CREC criteria or recommendations based on risk assessment categorization, or standing;
  • Host a meeting, event, or other group gathering at least once a month during three out of four terms.

Student Operated Services

Privileges

  • Access to an assigned Coordinator for resources and support;
  • Access to trainings, workshops, and conferences for student leaders;
  • Establishment of a Portland State financial account and accounting services;
  • Use of Portland State University in name of student organization;
  • Portland State group e-mail account;
  • Portland State group website;
  • OrgSync portal
  • Portland State voice mail account (charges will be assessed);
  • Access to reserve space on campus;
  • Ability to table at recruitment fairs for student organizations;
  • Ability to request funding through the Student Fee Committee;
  • May generate revenue through the sale of services and/or products

Responsibilities

  • Have a clearly defined lawful purpose and mission statement;
  • Be open to new membership and/or involvement;
  • Have a clearly advertised way for interested students to contact the group and respond to requests for information and services in a timely manner;
  • Maintain communication with the assigned Coordinator who acts in the capacity of General Manager;
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the organization constitution and bylaws, as well as in accordance with University policies and procedures, city ordinances, state statutes, and Federal laws;
  • Demonstrate compliance with Portland State's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, veteran status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law;
  • Maintain sustainable student leadership and membership;
  • Be student operated and organized;
  • Follow any SALP criteria or recommendations based on risk assessment categorization, or standing;
  • Maintain compliance with all University and State employment and workplace policies including, but not limited to, hiring processes, mandatory trainings, health and safety requirements, and payroll deadlines;

Forming Organizations

Privileges

  • Access to an assigned Advisor for resources and support;
  • Access to trainings, workshops, and conferences for student leaders;
  • Access to reserve space in Smith Memorial Student Union;
  • Ability to table at recruitment fairs for student organizations;
  • OrgSync portal
  • Forming organizations are not funded though the Organization Budget Council and cannot receive accounting support through SALP

Responsibilities

  • Maintain at least three members of the group that are taking 6 undergraduate or 5 graduate credits and are responsible for the leadership of the organization;
  • Maintain at least five active members of the organization;
  • Be open to new membership and/or involvement;
  • Have a clearly advertised way for interested students to contact the group and respond to requests for information in a timely manner;
  • Maintain communication with the assigned Advisor;
  • Demonstrate compliance with Portland State's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, veteran status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law;
  • Maintain total membership of at least 80% currently enrolled Portland State University Students

 

Department Sponsored Organizations

Privileges

  • Access to an assigned Advisor for resources and support;
  • Access to trainings, workshops, and conferences for student leaders;
  • Use of Portland State University in name of student chapter;
  • Portland State group e-mail account;
  • Portland State group website;
  • OrgSync portal;
  • Ability to table at recruitment fairs for student organizations;
  • Department sponsored organizations are not funded though the Organization Budget Council and cannot receive accounting support through SALP

Responsibilities

  • Have a clearly defined lawful purpose and mission statement
  • Maintain at least five involved members of the group, 3 of whom are taking 6 undergraduate or 5 graduate credits and are responsible for the leadership of the organization;
  • Be open to new membership and/or involvement;
  • Have a clearly advertised way for interested students to contact the group and respond to request for information in a timely manner;
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the organization constitution and bylaws, as well as in accordance with University policies and procedures, city ordinances, state statutes, and Federal laws;
  • Demonstrate compliance with Portland State's prohibition of discrimination on the basis of  age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, veteran status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law;
  • Maintain recognition through the Dean, Chair, or Director of the department.  The sponsoring department is committed to supporting the finances, administration, equipment, and risk management for the organization as applicable. 

Affliations

Privileges

  • Access to an assigned Advisor for resources and support;
  • Access to trainings, workshops, and conferences for student leaders;
  • Use of Portland State University in name of student chapter;
  • Portland State group e-mail account;
  • Portland State group website;
  • OrgSync portal
  • Ability to table at recruitment fairs for student organizations;
  • Affiliations are not funded though the Organization Budget Council and cannot receive accounting support through SALP

Responsibilities

  • Have a clearly defined lawful purpose and mission statement
  • Fulfill standards set forth by the regional or national organization;
  • Maintain at least three members of the group that are taking 6 undergraduate or 5 graduate credits and are responsible for the leadership of the organization;
  • Be open to new membership and/or involvement;
  • Have a clearly advertised way for interested students to contact the group and respond to request for information in a timely manner;
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the organization constitution and bylaws, as well as in accordance with University policies and procedures, city ordinances, state statutes, and Federal laws;
  • Maintain recognition by the host organization and have an active advisor/liaison.

Process for Application

Student organizations, student-operated services, department sponsored organizations, and affiliations are recognized in spring term for the following academic year. All student organizations, department sponsored organizations, and affiliations must re-register each spring. Their assigned Advisor will evaluate the organization and review any available student organization documentation, observations, and meetings. The organization must provide all information relevant to recognition during the review period. The Advisor will then approve or deny the recognition of the group based on their timely completion of the application process and all recognition criteria. If a group's application for recognition is denied, they may appeal the decision and/or reapply during the recognition period. Recognition is not guaranteed based on previous recognition.

Additional Criteria for Department Sponsorship

  1. The group must have a current sponsorship agreement on file between the sponsoring department and SALP.
  2. The sponsoring department must provide a professional staff or faculty member to act as the Faculty Advisor to the student organization.
  3. The group must be in good standing with the University; meaning there are no ongoing risk, liability, or conduct concerns.

Additional Criteria for Affiliation

  1. Group must be a student chapter of a larger organization, for example a Greek or Honorary chapter.
  2. The group must have a current sponsorship agreement on file between the larger organization and SALP.They must have an alumni, faculty partner, or member of the larger organization willing to support the on-campus chapter and to liaison with the SALP office when necessary.
  3. The group must be in good standing with the University, meaning there are no ongoing risk, liability, or conduct concerns.

 

Cancellation, Suspension, or Probation of Status

Recognition of student organizations, student-operated services, department sponsored organizations, and affiliations may be revoked by the Advisor or designated body if the organization has not been active for two full quarters, or if it does not meet the responsibilities outlined above. Furthermore, a student organization, student-operated service, department sponsored organization, or affiliation’s recognition status may be revoked, suspended, or be put on probation if it is determined that they no longer meet the criteria, if they are found to have misrepresented information during recognition, due to inactivity, if they lack sufficient leadership, or as a result of a Student Conduct hearing.

Appeals

An Advisor's recognition decision can be appealed to the SOAR Committee by putting the appeal in writing and sending it to askdos@pdx.edu within 10 business days of notification of the recognition decision. The SOAR Committee can only hear appeals based on recognition. The SOAR Committee will not hear appeals that are based on a Student Conduct Code decisions. The SOAR Committee's decision will be based on the criteria, privileges, and responsibilities as articulated in the policy.

Funding of Student Organizations

Funding of student organizations and student-operated services and the criteria thereof is determined by student-run funding committees. Requirements for formal student organization recognition in order to receive funding are determined by the funding bodies. Affiliated groups and forming groups cannot receive funding from the University. Department sponsored organizations cannot receive funding from the Organization Budget Council.