Student Club and Organization University-Wide Recognition Policy

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Summary

Organized student groups are expected to complement the University’s mission and to comply with campus policies, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state and local laws.

Policy Information

  • Unit: Student Engagement
  • Date Established: 01/30/2020
  • Date Last Updated: 01/30/2020

Policy Statement

The University at Buffalo recognizes that organized student groups are a valuable part of the student educational environment. Student organizations further the University’s educational mission. They are responsible for making positive contributions to the primary educational mission of the University and are expected to encourage intellectual and social development of their members.

Recognition provides official identification for an affiliated group, use of designated University facilities and services, and the coordination and communication of the group’s activities to the campus community.

Recognition does not imply University endorsement of the purposes of an organization, nor does the University assume sponsorship of, or responsibility for, any of the activities of the group on or off the property of the University. Recognition shall not be construed as agreement, support or approval by the University, but only as recognition of the rights of the organization to exist at the University, subject to established conditions.

In order to achieve and maintain Recognized Student Organization status each student organization must minimally:

  • Adhere to the policies, regulations, and requirements set forth in this document and University Policies and Procedures.
  • Achieve and maintain recognition by one primary approved University Recognizing Agent that is responsible for the actions of the club or organization. Recognizing agencies include student governments, academic and administrative departments as well as other formally recognized University entities. Groups may choose an affiliate recognizing agent with the understanding that the University Recognizing Agent is responsible for the actions of the club or organization. This does not limit clubs and organizations from utilizing space from additional University agents.
  • Contact their preferred recognizing body to indicate their interest and intent. All Recognized Student Organizations must abide by the Rules and Regulations of their University Recognizing Agent.

Definitions

Recognized Student Organization

A student group that is organized for the students of the University at Buffalo which has complied with university registration requirements set forth in these regulations and has complied with all requirements set forth by their University Recognizing Agent.

University Recognizing Agent

Any student government, formal university department, or approved affiliated entity that will assist with the annual registration process and act as a liaison for appropriate university policies.

Registration

The annual process in which student organizations register for university-wide recognition through UBLinked, where they update officers, rosters, governing documents and group descriptions.

Benefits of Recognition

  • Acknowledgement of the group as an affiliated organization of the University. Use of the University’s name to indicate location of organization. Refer to University Rules and Regulations and the Office of Trademarks and Licensing
  • Access to funding from the Mandatory Student Activity Fee (if recognized by a student government)
  • Utilization of UBLinked – the University’s Interactive Student Organization web service
  • Ability to reserve/rent space on campus for events and meetings
  • Access to vendor and lobby tables in the Student Union
  • Privilege to apply for temporary office space in the Student Union. Space is limited. (There is a separate application to request space, which can be obtained through Student Unions.) 
  • Privilege to conduct fundraising activities on campus
  • Eligibility to access a University at Buffalo Foundation Account for official organization business (only for organizations not recognized by a student government)
  • Eligibility to participate in all membership recruitment opportunities offered through Student Engagement, as well as other campus resources and involvement activities
  • Access Student Engagement resources including advising, leadership and diversity training programs, event planning, problem solving and referrals

Eligibility Requirements

Organization Membership

The following functions and activities in Recognized Student Organizations must be reserved to students, faculty and staff of the University at Buffalo. Non-University membership must be less than 10% of the total makeup of the organization (exception: “City-Wide” Fraternity and Sorority organizations). Non-University members may be permitted membership in a recognized campus organization, but may not perform any of the following functions and activities:

  • Holding office in the organization
  • Presiding, officiating, voting, or making/seconding motions at any meeting of the organization
  • Working at tables or distributing materials on the campus on behalf of the organization, with the exception that others may assist active members in working at tables or distributing noncommercial literature, announcements or statements provided that an active member is at all times present and responsible for the table or the distribution
  • Soliciting funds on the campus on behalf of the organization
  • Accessing club office space on campus via card access

*The above sections are not intended as a comprehensive description of "active membership," and other functions or acts may indicate that a person is participating as an active member of an organization.

The participation of any person who is not a University at Buffalo student, faculty or staff member, who engages in any of the above functions or acts reserved for students, faculty and staff of the University at Buffalo constitutes grounds for revocation of the Recognized Student Organization Status.

Additional Requirements

Student organizations must be non-profit in nature.

Upon request, student organizations must provide financial information to the Student Engagement within forty-eight (48) hours of request.

Recognition Process for University Recognizing Agents

Student Government

Student governments can serve as official recognizing agents for student organizations. All organizations must comply with all the formal rules and regulations related to the student government’s recognition process. There are currently seven student governments that have an affiliation with the University at Buffalo:

University Department or Office

Student organizations seeking recognition from a university department or office are required to perform the following in order to be formally recognized:

  • Visit the UBLinked registration page to learn the details and instructions about the registration process.
  • Complete and submit the UBLinked "Register a New Organization" form.

Advisement

Though advisors are not required, groups are encouraged to enlist a University faculty or staff member. An advisor can help provide continuity, as well as assist in designing and evaluating organization goals and activities. Student Engagement staff are available to provide advisement on specific matters.

Non-Discrimination in Membership and Programming

No club or organization shall be recognized if its constitution, rules, regulations or practices violate the university’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Exceptions: Fraternity and Sorority Lettered, Honors groups or other organizations allowed to have selective membership requirements. These groups are not eligible to receive funding from Mandatory Student Activity Fees.

Organizations shall have uniform terms of office for leaders to promote orderly transitions and improved program effectiveness

Rules

  • Each organization is required to exercise responsible management and financial integrity. Each organization and their University Recognizing Agent will be responsible for its own financial, legal and contractual obligations. The University assumes no responsibility for such actions. Organizations based on selective membership are not eligible to apply for use of mandatory student activities fees. Student Engagement holds the right to review and audit the financial information of an organization.
  • When functioning on campus, all registered student organizations will be held responsible by the University for abiding by federal, state and local laws, as well as all University regulations. The University will not become involved in the off-campus conduct of registered student organizations except when such conduct is determined to have a substantially adverse effect on the University or upon individual members of the University community.
  • Any organization which restricts membership or eligibility to hold appointed or elected student officer positions on the basis of factors covered in the university’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy will not obtain or maintain University registration/ recognition.
  • Only currently registered students shall be eligible for active membership status in student organizations. Students must be in good academic standing (as defined in Article 1 of the Student Code of Conduct University Standards and Administrative Regulations):
    • to serve in an appointed office
    • to be a candidate for elected office
    • to serve throughout one's elected or appointed term

Recognized/registered student organizations and governments may establish additional requirements for office or membership so long as they are not unlawfully discriminatory or in violation of University policy.

  • The purpose or purposes of a student organization must not conflict with the educational functions or established policies of the University. It is incumbent upon any person presenting objections to the application for registration or continuance of an organization to demonstrate how and in what manner the registration or continuance of that organization would conflict with the educational functions or established policies of the University.
  • Student organizations will not be granted recognition or registration status if the recognition/registration unit determines that its proposed purposes or functions duplicate those of an existing student organization. Student organizations will not be permitted to retain recognition/registration status if they do not fulfill their stated purposes and/or functions or violate campus rules, regulations, standards and policies.

Hazing

Registered student organizations may not engage in hazing activities. Hazing is defined in the Student Code of Conduct as any act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, including, but not limited to, making physical contact with or requiring physical activity of such student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.

Responsibility

The University seeks to promote maximum flexibility and autonomy for all student governments, student clubs and organizations. All are expected to adhere to the policies, regulations and requirements set forth in this document and University Policies and procedures. Failure to comply may result in the loss of privileges. The University, working with the University Recognizing Agent, may take appropriate legal, administrative or disciplinary action against offending group(s) and individual(s). 

Student organizations must adhere to the “University at Buffalo Student Conduct, University Standards and Administrative Regulations.”

All recognized student organizations must re-register annually with Student Engagement through UBLinked. Failure to do so may result in a loss of recognition.

Procedure

Student organizations seeking recognition from a university department or office are required to perform the following in order to be formally recognized:

  • Visit the UBLinked registration page to learn the details and instructions about the registration process.
  • Complete and submit the UBLinked "Register a New Organization" form.
  • Allow for seven (7) to ten (10) business days for organization registrations to be processed. The submitting student will be contacted if any edits need to be made to the submission.

Contact

For additional information, please contact:

Student Engagement

Student Life

University at Buffalo
150 Student Union, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-6469