Recognition of Student Organizations

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Student organizations are an important link in the co-curricular activities of the University of Iowa. As such, the University encourages the formation of organizations around the areas of interests of its students, within the limits necessary to accommodate academic needs and ensure public safety.

The University of Iowa, through the Office of the Vice President, has delegated the responsibilities and obligations of recognizing student organization to the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG), Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS) and to deans of academic colleges. Recognition of a student organization by the University does not constitute an endorsement of its program or its purposes, but is merely a charter to exist. The reasons for denying or withdrawing recognition of a student organization shall not violate the University Policy on Human Rights. A recognized student organization is entitled to certain privileges such as the use of University facilities as long as its members comply with all regulations contained in the Code of Student Life, the UISG Constitution, ECGPS Constitution, and those listed below.

  1. Eligibility. Any group or organization which consists of and maintain at least 51 percent University students, and whose purposes are consistent with the educational objectives of the University, is eligible for recognition by the University. To start a new student organization, the organization must consist of and maintain at least five (5) individuals as members, of which three (3) must be UI students. 

  2. Membership Policy. It is the policy of the University that all recognized student organizations be able to exercise free choice of members on the basis of their merits as individuals without restriction in accordance with the University Policy on Human Rights. Any student organization whose choice of members is subject to approval by national or other non-University organizations, or which is required by a non-University organization to procure a recommendation from an alumnus or any other person not currently an active member of the local organization prior to admitting a person to membership is ineligible for recognition by the University. 

  3. Principal Representatives. Principal representatives are individuals who are authorized by the organization to speak for or represent the organization in its relations with the University and who are authorized to receive for the organization official notices, directives, or information from the University. Every student organization or potential student organization, registered with the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership via OrgSync must include the names of two principal representatives in its Org Profile. Both principal representatives must be registered UI students. One name will be designated as the primary principal representative and the other as the secondary representative. It is the responsibility of each student organization to update the Org Profile with the current list of principal representatives. A student organization no longer under the direction of registered students may lose its recognition. 

  4. Access to University Resources. Recognized student organizations are guaranteed an equal opportunity to apply for funds from mandatory student activity fees or for any other benefit conferred by the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) or Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS) or their constituent bodies, without differentiation for reasons which violate the University Policy on Human Rights or inhibit the group’s exercise of First Amendment rights of free expression and association. Nothing in this section shall be construed to create or guarantee any expectation of the receipt of funding or other benefits from UISG and/or ECGPS by any student organizations or to prohibit the individual consideration of the program merits of funding or other proposals submitted by such student groups. 

  5. Recognition Procedure. Throughout the year on an ongoing basis, the University will consider applications from student organizations which request official recognition. Recognition of student organizations is granted by the Student Organization Review Committee, under the auspices of student government, an appropriate academic college, Recreational Services, or the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership. In order to receive funds from mandatory student activity fees, a student organization must be recognized by the UISG or ECGPS. Undergraduate Greek-letter social organizations may petition to join the University of Iowa Interfraternity Council, the University of Iowa Panhellenic Council, Multicultural Greek Council, or the National Pan-Hellenic Council. To start an organization a student must sign in to OrgSync (https://idp.uiowa.edu/idp/Authn/UserPassword) and complete a personal profile. Once signed in, view the list of organizations, and select the "Register New Organization" tab to fill out the required information.

    Recognition of student organizations which are residential living units (residence halls, fraternities, and sororities) is granted by their respective governing bodies [Associated Residence Halls (ARH), Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Panhellenic Council (Panhel)] with the concurrence of the vice president for student life (hereinafter, "vice president"). 

    The Student Organization Review Committee shall review all recognition applications. Depending upon the results of its evaluation, the Committee will (1) recognize the group and forward the group’s application to the appropriate governing body or office for confirmation; (2) recognize the group subject to specific conditions on activities the group is permitted to sponsor; or (3) reject the application. If an application is rejected the organization may appeal the decision of the Student Organization Review Committee.  The organization has 30 calendar days to appeal the Committee’s decision upon the receipt of their denial of recognition letter.  Appeals must be submitted in writing to either the Director of the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership or the Director of Recreational Services.  The denial of recognition letter will specify where an organization may submit their appeal.  If an organization appeals and is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the Director of the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership or the Director of Recreational Services they may then submit another appeal in writing to the Vice President in 249 IMU

  6. Re-Recognition. Each student organization must renew its Profile on OrgSync during the first two weeks of the fall semester and during the first two weeks of the spring semester, even if there are no changes from the previous semester in leadership names and contact information. An organization that does not update its Profile will ordinarily lose its recognition automatically. After the third week of each semester, any changes in leadership or changes in contact information (e.g., phone number and address) must be reflected in the Profile. Recognized student organizations must provide complete and accurate information as requested in the Profile. If additional information is needed, organization representatives must provide information upon request to Center for Student Involvement & Leadership. For those student organizations which are recognized by an academic college as well as by a student government, student leaders are advised to check with the academic college about registration deadlines. 

    From time to time, the Student Organization Review Committee reviews the status of student organizations to ensure the safety and welfare of students who participate in activities sponsored by the organization. Depending upon the results of its evaluation, the Committee will (1) re-recognize the group; (2) re-recognize the group subject to specific conditions on activities the group is permitted to sponsor; or (3) recommend to the Director of the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership/Director of Recreational Services/Dean of Students that re-recognition be denied.

  7. Organizational Changes. During the year, recognized student organizations shall report to Center for Student Involvement & Leadership any amendments to or changes in their constitutions, by-laws, principal representatives, advisers, or programs within two weeks of the changes becoming effective. Recognized student organizations must also submit any additional information or date requested from time to time by their respective governing body or the vice president.

  8. Disciplinary Actions. There are a number of reasons a student organization’s recognition may be withdrawn by University officials.  When an organization fails to adhere to established requirements for continued recognition or to other relevant guidelines, the Director of the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership/Director of Recreational Services/Dean of Students/dean of the recognizing college, in consultation with the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership is authorized to revoke the organization’s recognition, place the organization on probation, or restrict the organization’s privilege if (a) organizational funds were allocated in violation of University policies governing the distribution of mandatory student fees, or (b) a member of the organization violates University regulations at an event sponsored by the organization or in the course of the organization’s affairs and the organization failed to exercise reasonable preventive measures. The reasons for withdrawing recognition of a student organization shall not violate the University Policy on Human Rights.

    A student organization that has lost its recognition is not eligible to receive funds from UISG or ECGPS or have office space in the Student Organization Office Suite, and may not receive the various services which the University provides to recognized student organizations until the terms of the organization's sanctions are fulfilled. For purposes of this section, rules and regulations promulgated by student governing bodies, such as the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG), the Executive Council of Graduate & Professional Students (ECGPS), Interfraternity Council (IFC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Panhellenic Council (Panhel) are considered University regulations, as are the housing regulations explained in sub-section III.C below and the Code of Student Life.

    In determining whether policy violations occurred and sanctions are warranted, the procedure followed will provide the student organization accused of misconduct reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard on the merits of the complaint prior to the final decision.  Using a preponderance of evidence standard of proof, the Dean of Students or collegiate dean shall determine, after meeting with representatives of the student organization, whether the accused student organization did or did not violate University regulations as alleged.  If it is determined that University rules were violated, the dean in charge of the investigation has authority to place the student organization on group probation, require education for group officers and/or members, or impose other sanctions less than revocation.  The dean may designate an appropriate governing board to hear minor complaints (i.e., non-revocation of recognition).

    In those cases where the Dean of Students or collegiate dean is proposing to revoke the organization’s recognition, an administrative hearing shall be scheduled consistent with the formal hearing procedures set forth in the Student Judicial Procedure.   If the hearing officer determines the student organization is responsible for the violation of University regulations, the Dean of Students or the collegiate dean shall impose sanctions, which may include revocation of recognition. 

    Determining appropriate interim sanctions is the responsibility of the dean of students or the dean of the college.  If the evidence gathered in the initial stage of an investigation of the alleged conduct indicates that continued recognition of the organization during the resolution of the matter is likely to cause harm to faculty, staff, students, or other specified persons or groups, the dean may impose interim sanctions including revoking the organization's recognition or restricting organizational privileges pending the final outcome. An organization whose recognition has been revoked on an interim basis may seek review of the decision by requesting the dean to reconsider the decision within 5 University business days after the organization's principal representatives have received notice. 

  9. Appeals. After all appeals have been exhausted within the appropriate student governing body and the vice president for student life, student organizations may appeal any adverse decisions of the governing body to the president of the University or designated representative. 

  10. Advisers. Student organizations are encouraged to have advisers who are members of the University faculty or administrative staff to provide continuity for the organization and assist in designing and evaluating goals and activities. 

  11. Finances. No University of Iowa recognized student organization shall have an outside bank account without the written authorization from the Office of the Vice President. Student organizations recognized by a student governing body are required to transact all of their financial business through the Student Organization Business Office, located in 159 IMU, which offers the advantage of a permanent record of transactions, a detailed monthly statement of account, and the purchasing power of the University. Failure to do so may result in revocation of recognition.

    Student organizational funds may not be allocated for purposes prohibited by University policy. The Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, in cooperation with student governments, periodically conducts mandatory financial information meetings. Each student organization is responsible for having at least one representative present at these mandatory financial information meetings. 

  12. Space Allocation for Student Organizations. Limited desk space and cabinet storage is available to student organizations recognized by a student governing body in the Student Organization Office Suite in the Iowa Memorial Union. Organizations allocated space in the Student Organization Office Suite must abide by the policies in regard to use of office space within the Student Organization Office Suite. Application forms are available through OrgSync and more information can be found online through the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership website (http://csil.uiowa.edu/manage/student-organization-office-suite-soos-information/). Office space requests are reviewed each year by the Office Space Allocation Committee and recommendations for assignment of space are made to the directors of the Iowa Memorial Union and the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership.

Updated August 2012