Policies Pertaining to Student Organizations, Social Fraternities & Sororities

1.0 POLICIES PERTAINING TO STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

1.01 GENERAL DESCRIPTION Student organizations are formed to further the common interests of the members of the group and the SMU community. The work of student organizations is an essential part of the learning environment at SMU. These organizations develop many opportunities to supplement and reinforce the classroom activities of students. No organization is authorized to act or make statements on behalf of the University, the SMU Students' Association, or the Student Senate. The Student Senate is the authority on all matters relating to recognition of student organizations.

1.01(a) All graduate student organizations specific to one School will not be recognized through this process but must seek recognition through their respective School. All graduate student organizations not specific to one School may seek charter through this process.

1.01(b) All organizations comprised of students in the SMU certificate programs (such as GuildHall, Dispute Resolution, etc.) will be not be recognized through this process but must seek recognition through their respective schools.

1.01(c) Undergraduate and graduate student organizations or student groups may not hold programs, events, and/or official meetings during periods designated as reading days on their school's respective academic calendar.

1.01(d) Any organization that uses any money allocated from the Students' Association to purchase alcohol will be ineligible to receive funding from the Student Senate for three years.

1.02 RECOGNITION Student organizations must be chartered or be in the process of receiving a charter in order to be recognized by the University. There are three tiers in the recognition process.

1.02(a) PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENTS In order to be recognized by the University a group must adhere to the Student Code of Conduct including the section dealing with responsibilities and requirements of student organizations. Additionally, before a group can begin the recognition process the following must be submitted to the Chair of the Student Senate Organizations Committee:

1.02(a)(1) Constitution including the following sections:

1.02(a)(1)(i) a nondiscrimination clause compliant with University Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Organizations which are exempt from nondiscrimination policy as listed in Title IX are not required to have the nondiscrimination clause

1.02(a)(1)(ii) a statement of purpose

1.02(a)(2) By-laws

1.02(a)(3) Leadership roster with contact information

1.02(a)(4) Membership roster (including a minimum of eight SMU student members)

1.02(a)(5) Completed "Application to Initiate Charter Process"

1.02(a)(6) Name and contact information of an SMU faculty/staff advisor

1.02(b) PROBATIONARY TIER Upon receipt of the aforementioned documents, the Organizations Committee Chair shall review the documents. If the documents are found to be in good order, the Organizations Committee will invite the organization's leadership and advisor to a committee meeting. In order to receive probationary status an organization must demonstrate to the committee that it shows promise that it will be beneficial to the University community, that it will be a good financial steward of the Students' Association monies, and that it will contribute to the University in a manner different than any existing student organization. If the committee determines the organization has met the necessary requirements, it will make a recommendation to the Student Senate that the organization be advanced to probationary status. That recommendation will stand unless it is complained against in accordance with the Student Senate Policies and Procedures. The Student Senate is the authority on all matters relating to recognition of student organizations.

1.02(b)(1) Probationary status will be granted for 8 weeks in which the Student Senate meets in regular session, and may be extended upon the recommendation of the Organizations Committee and approval of the Student Senate.

1.02(b)(2) During the probationary period, the Organizations Committee Chair will provide assistance to the organization as needed.

1.02(c) TEMPORARY CHARTER After the 8 week probationary period has elapsed, the Organizations Committee will meet a second time with the organization's leadership. At this point the organization's probationary status may be extended or terminated, or the organization will advance to temporary chartered status. Upon recommendation of the Organizations Committee, the Student Senate will vote on what action to take.

1.02(c)(1) An organization is eligible to receive a Temporary Charter if the Organizations Committee determines it has met the following requirements:

1.02(c)(1)(i) held an event aimed at membership growth

1.02(c)(1)(ii) has a minimum of 12 members

1.02(c)(1)(iii) has met any other requirements set forth by the Student Senate Organizations Committee bylaws and/or the Student Senate bylaws

1.02(c)(2) The organization must also demonstrate to the Organizations Committee the following:

1.02(c)(2)(i) adherence to the groups founding documents

1.02(c)(2)(ii) adherence to the original criteria necessary to receive a probationary charter

1.02(c)(2)(iii) ongoing benefit to the University Community

1.02(c)(3) Upon recommendation of the Organizations Committee, the Student Senate will vote on what action to take.

1.02(c)(4) A Temporary Charter will be valid for one year and may not be extended.

1.02(c)(4)(i) within three weeks, in which the Student Senate meets in regular session, of the expiration of the Temporary Charter, the organization must again go before the Organizations Committee.

1.02(c)(4)(ii) during this time period, the Organization will maintain its Temporary Charter

1.02(c)(5) During the one year temporary period the organization must experience at least one leadership transition.

1.02(d) FULL CHARTER Once the Temporary Charter has expired, the organization will come before the Organizations Committee for review. If the committee determines the organization has met the necessary requirements, it will make a recommendation to the Student Senate that the organization be advanced to full chartered status. The Student Senate will then vote upon the committee's recommendation. If the committee recommends that the organization lose its chartered status the Student Senate will vote on the matter after following the complaint process included in the Student Senate Policies and Procedures.

1.02(d)(1) In order to receive a Full Charter, the organization must also demonstrate to the Organizations Committee the following:

1.02(d)(1)(i) adherence to the group's founding documents;

1.02(d)(1)(ii) adherence to the preliminary requirements necessary to receive temporary status;

1.02(d)(1)(iii) ongoing benefit to the University Community.

1.03 PRIVILEGES OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS Each tier entitles the organization to specific rights.

1.03(a) PROBATIONARY ORGANIZATIONS

1.03(a)(1) May request meeting space in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

1.03(a)(2) Have access to a Students' Association Checking Account maintained by the Students' Association Comptroller.

1.03(a)(3) May petition to advertise on campus in accordance with existing University regulations (e.g. stake signs, flyer, tables, table tents, etc.)

1.03(a)(4) May petition the Organizations Committee Chair for a mailbox in the Student Activities office.

1.03(a)(5) Have access to the Student Senate "Senate Fund".

1.03(a)(6) Are responsible for and expected to abide by information and policies set forth in the Student Organizations Manual, which is available on the Student Activities office web site, smu.edu/studentactivities.

1.03(a)(7) May request to participate in the Activities Fair(s).

1.03(b) TEMPORARY CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS Organizations with a temporary Charter will have all the rights of fully chartered organizations except that they will not have access to an allocated annual budget. Organizations with this type of charter will be able to request money through all other avenues of funding.

1.03(c) CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS Privileges of Chartered Student Organizations include the following:

1.03(c)(1) May include "SMU" or "Southern Methodist University" as part of the name of the organization; however, the organization may not under any circumstances use the name "SMU" or "Southern Methodist University" in such a way as to represent to others that the organization is authorized to act on behalf of the University (e.g. when negotiating or signing contracts).

1.03(c)(2) Will be assigned a mailbox in the Student Activities office.

1.03(c)(3) May request meeting space in and take advantage of other services offered by the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

1.03(c)(4) May request an appropriated budget from the Students' Association as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and the Student Senate Policies and Procedures (This privilege does not apply to Temporary Chartered Organizations).

1.03(c)(5) Will be included on the Student Activities office's directory of organizations.

1.03(c)(6) Will be assigned an affiliate senator by the Student Body Vice-President.

1.03(c)(7) May place stake signs in accordance with existing University regulations.

1.03(c)(8) May request for advertising in the Daily Campus Students' Association Bulletin Board.

1.03(c)(9) May request inclusion in the Student Development & Programs Friday mass e-mail updates.

1.03(c)(10) May request to participate in the Activities Fair(s).

1.03(c)(11) May request to distribute flyers in Residential communities.

1.03(c)(12) May open a Students' Association checking account controlled by the Students' Association Comptroller.

1.03(c)(13) Will be given web space with a link from the Student Activities web site so long as all material posted on the web site upholds the integrity of the University.

1.03(c)(14) May request use of the Students' Association vans after meeting the set requirements.

1.03(c)(15) May request a copy code from the Student Activities office and use the Student Activities copier.

1.03(c)(16) May request free Coke product through the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

1.04 RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS All recognized student organizations, regardless of the tier in which they are currently located, must adhere to the following responsibilities and requirements:

1.04(a) The purpose of the organization must be consistent with the goals and philosophies of Southern Methodist University.

1.04(b) Membership must be open to all members of the SMU student body without respect to sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, disability, age, veteran status, or national origin. This applies to all groups with the exception of those organizations specifically exempted in Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. Organizations may establish additional membership and academic eligibility requirements for their organizations.

1.04(c) All the members of an organization must be SMU students, staff, or faculty. Exceptions, if any, must be approved in writing by the Vice President for Student Affairs. In order to be officially recognized as a member of an organization, one must self-join and be approved by organization leadership on Access.smu.edu.

1.04(d) All persons holding office must be currently enrolled full-time students and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Each organization is expected to include within its Constitution and/or Bylaws academic requirements it feels are appropriate to hold office.

1.04(e) Every recognized organization must have an SMU faculty or staff member serving as advisor. The advisor does not have the authority to control the policy or funds of the organization.

1.04(f) The organization's current Constitution and/or Bylaws must be on file with the Student Activities office.

1.04(f)(1) Any organization wishing to change its name must do so in its constitution

1.04(g) Religious organizations wishing to be recognized as a student organization must have a written recommendation from the Campus Ministry Council (CMC) before appearing before the Organizations Committee. Generally, CMC convenes only one meeting per month. In order to be recognized, new religious organizations must be willing to participate as a member of the CMC. (Participation is defined as attending monthly CMC meetings.)

1.04(h) Groups designated as sports clubs must have waivers of liability for all members on file with the Associate Director of Recreational Sports / Sport Club Director before participating in any activity of the group. Due to the unique nature and activity of sports clubs, additional requirements may be imposed before the University will sanction their activities.

1.04(i) Membership must adhere to the Constitution and Bylaws of the organization. Policies of a recognized organization must be in accordance with the Student Code and are subject to review by the Student Senate.

1.04(j) To continue to receive any privileges once recognized, an organization must be represented by four student members and one advisor at one mandatory organizations meeting each year and complete and sign the Annual Update Form at this meeting.

1.04(j)(1) If an organization fails to attend a mandatory organization meeting, the organization's privileges as outlined in 1.03 will be suspended and the organization will be brought before the Executive Committee of the Student Senate for charter review.

1.04(k) All funds of the organization must be administered in accordance with the guidelines set by the Student Senate. Organizational financial records are subject to review by the Students' Association Comptroller. Organizations receiving student activity fees must meet the following guidelines:

1.04(k)(1) All funds must be held in a Students' Association account and administered by the Students' Association comptroller.

1.04(k)(2) All appropriated student activity fee monies not encumbered at the end of the fiscal year shall revert to the Students' Association.

1.04(k)(3) All revenue generated by the organization shall be kept in a Students' Association checking account and shall be retained by the organization at the end of the fiscal year.

1.04(k)(4) If a recognized organization disbands, all assets of the organization will revert to the Students' Association. Upon appeal, an exception to this clause may be granted by the Vice President for Student Affairs in consultation with the Student Body President.

1.04(k)(5) Neither the Students' Association, the Student Senate, nor the University is liable for the debts incurred by a recognized organization.

1.04(k)(6) All equipment purchased with Students' Association funds is the property of the Students' Association. It is subject to inventory and must be surrendered to the Students' Association upon request.

1.04(l) Any contract that is to be entered by an organization authorized to spend University funds, including student activity fees, must be submitted to the Student Activities office to be processed for review by the Office of Vice President for Legal Affairs and signed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or any other officer of the University authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University. Contracts to be signed for an event sponsored by the organization must be submitted to the Student Activities office at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the event.

1.05 CAMPUS MINISTRY ORGANIZATIONS

1.05 (a) Campus ministry organizations may seek chartered status through the Student Senate following the process outline in sections 1.02 and 1.04(g).

1.05(b) Any non-Chartered organizations that has received recognition by the Campus Ministry Council (CMC), shall receive all rights of a Fully chartered Student Organization except:

1.05(b)(1) The right to funding through the Semester Budget process, Chartered Organizations Fund, or any other fund outside of the Senate Fund.

1.05(b)(2) The right to use the University's name (i.e. Southern Methodist University or SMU) name as part of the organization's name (i.e. SMU _______). The organization is permitted to promote its group by using the name of the SMU Department of the Chaplain or the SMU Campus Ministries Council.

1.05(b)(3) Any listing of chartered student groups on campus shall include a section titled Campus Ministry Organizations, which shall list all groups with CMC recognition.

1.06 STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE ALLOCATION Student activity fees are to be used to support programs and services for the benefit of the SMU student body. Student activity fees may be applied for through the Senate Finance Committee for review and recommendation to the Student Senate. To be eligible to apply for funds, one must be a chartered student organization or, for non-student organizations, be sponsored by an SMU academic or administrative department and be determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs to have a "legitimate relationship" with the University. This legitimate relationship exists when the requesting organization has, in the opinion of the Vice President for Student Affairs, both (a) a sufficiently similar academic or programmatic purpose as the sponsoring academic or administrative department, and (b) could not be appropriately chartered by the Student Senate. Funds allocated through this process are subject to guidelines approved by the Student Senate. These include, but are not limited to, accounting for all expenditures through documentation filed with the Students' Association comptroller before the end of the fiscal year.

1.07 PROCESS FOR REQUESTING AND ADMINISTERING FUNDS

1.07(a) Chartered (not including Temporary Chartered) organizations may submit a budget application within the time line and guidelines established by the Senate Finance Committee. Chartered organizations receiving student activity fees must have all organizational funds deposited in a Students' Association account and administered by the Students' Association comptroller.

1.07(b) Funds allocated through the appropriations process are governed by policies that restrict the use of those funds. Groups are expected to spend their appropriated funds in accordance with the way in which the funds were allocated. All expenditures must be credited to the line item designated for that type of expenditure. Groups will not be allowed to transfer money allocated in one line item to cover expenditures incurred in another line item without specific approval by the Student Senate. Groups found to be using appropriated funds for expenditures not specifically approved in their budget will be subject to disciplinary action and will jeopardize their funding in the future. Groups will have the opportunity to defend the action to the Student Senate Finance Committee as being necessary to uphold intent and effectiveness of programs approved by Student Senate.

2.0 SOCIAL FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES

2.01 GENERAL DESCRIPTION Fraternities and sororities derive their recognition through their invitation from the University President to establish a chapter on the SMU campus. It is the continuation of that invitation that legitimizes their existence at SMU, which enables them to utilize University property to house their members, and enables the University to establish rules and regulations to govern that housing. In addition, fraternities and sororities draw their rights and privileges from the Student Senate through the chartered status of fraternity and sorority councils (e.g. the Interfraternity, Multicultural, National Pan-Hellenic and Panhellenic Councils). Specific regulations regarding recruitment and fraternity and sorority system policies are established and supervised by those councils. Members of the fraternity and sorority community are also expected to abide by the University's Greek Relationship Statement. These policies shall be in accordance with the policies of the Student Code as set forth by the Student Senate and the University. Questions regarding fraternity and sorority system policies should be directed to the individual councils. The privileges afforded to the individual fraternities and sororities are equal to those of all chartered student organizations except for the following:

2.01(a) Because sororities and fraternities are voluntary fraternal associations, their internal structure and governance are controlled by their own constitutions.

2.01(b) May not request an appropriated budget from the Students' Association, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Senate policies and Procedures

2.01(c) May not request advertising in the Daily Campus Students' Association Bulletin Board

2.01(d) Will not be assigned an affiliate senator by the Student Body Vice-President

2.01(e) May not open a Students' Association checking account controlled by the Students' Association Comptroller

2.01(f) May not request a copy code from the Student Activities office

2.02 RECRUITMENT Recruitment (also known as Rush or Membership Intake Process) is defined as any contact between fraternity and sorority affiliated and non-affiliated students, the intent of which is to pledge or solicit affiliation of the non-affiliated student to a particular fraternity or sorority.

2.02(a) RECRUITMENT CONTACT

2.02(a)(1) A recruitment function is defined as any contact, on or off campus, between non-affiliated students and fraternity/sorority members for the purpose of exploring the possibility of membership in a fraternity or sorority.

2.02(a)(2) The University allows contact between fraternity and sorority affiliated and non-affiliated students, but prohibits first-year student pledging during the student's first semester on campus.

2.02(b) ELIGIBILITY FOR PLEDGING

2.02(b)(1) Students interested in pledging a fraternity or sorority must : (1) Have successfully completed at least 12 semester hours in residence at a college or university during their last semester enrolled in that college or university preceding recruitment, (2) Have a minimum 2.500 GPA for that previous semester, and (3) Have a cumulative 2.500 GPA at all colleges or universities previously attended at the time of beginning recruitment. Individual Councils may have higher GPA requirements for recruitment eligibility.

2.02(b)(2) Students who are found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and are sanctioned by disciplinary probation or greater will be ineligible for fraternity or sorority recruitment during the time that sanction is in effect.

2.02(c) FORMAL AND OPEN RECRUITMENT

2.02(c)(1) Formal and Open recruitment is applicable only to the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, and will be held the week before classes of the spring semester. The Multicultural Greek council organizes their Recruitment during the first four weeks of each semester. The National Pan-Hellenic Council determines their Membership Intake Process through their individual national boards.

2.02(c)(2) Structured open recruitment occurs for non-first-year students in the fall semester, usually in the first few weeks of September, and for all students in the first few weeks of the spring semester following the formal recruitment period. However, students who meet the eligibility requirements may pledge at any time at which an invitation for membership is extended by a group.

2.02(c)(3) Requests for exceptions to the eligibility requirements for Recruitment and pledging may be made to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs through the advisors to the individual fraternity and sorority councils.

2.03 EXPANSION OF THE FRATERNITY & SORORITY SYSTEM Requests for Fraternity & Sorority Life expansion to be reviewed by Council President, Council Advisor, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Executive Director of Student Development and Programs. Such requests will be reviewed according to the following procedures.

2.03(a) Criteria for Expansion

2.03(a)(1) Status of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Council

2.03(a)(1)(i) Average size and growth of Council in past three years.

2.03(a)(1)(ii) Academic standing compared to SMU GPA

2.03(a)(1)(iii) Recruitment statistics

2.03(a)(2) Enrollment trends of the University

2.03(a)(3) Number of chapters currently active and average number of members in each chapter. Must demonstrate need for additional chapters due to current chapter overload and interest from students.

2.03(b) If the decision on the Criteria for Expansion is positive by the four initial reviewing persons, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the President of the University are then petitioned for approval for the next steps to proceed.

2.03(c) Upon receiving official approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs, the petitioning Council must pass the proposal for expansion by a two-thirds vote. If expansion is approved, the Council must abide by their Council expansion policies, with supervision of their Advisor and the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

2.03(d) If expansion is approved and offered, the accepting chapter must provide SMU and the respective Council with the following materials and complete the following action items prior to colonization/recolonization (dates to be set by Council Advisor and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs):

2.03(d)(1) National Constitution and Bylaws

2.03(d)(2) Mission Statement/Vision Statement of National organization

2.03(d)(3) Present size of fraternity (number of current active chapters and colonies and location of each)

2.03(d)(4) Number of new chapters and colonies in last three years (current size of each)

2.03(d)(5) Goals of Colony at SMU

2.03(d)(6) Colonization procedures including, but not limited to, new member recruitment, retention guidelines imperative for colony to be chartered (including financial), growth plan for the colony.

2.03(d)(7) Member Recruitment Plan

2.03(d)(8) Service/Philanthropy Plan

2.03(d)(9) Academic Success Plan

2.03(d)(10) Copies of all National/chapter policies, including risk management policies

2.03(d)(11) Leadership Development - opportunities offered by National Fraternity

2.03(d)(12) New Member Program - (See clause 2.05) - copy of sample program and length of new member period.

2.03(d)(13) Financial - new member/initiation costs, average active dues, any other financial responsibilities charged to members.

2.03(d)(14) Colonization Timeline

2.03(d)(15) Must have an established and viable Advisory Board and/or a Written plan on how the organization plans to obtain the support of an advisor and alumni three months prior to chapter colonization or recolonization. This Advisory Board/Advisor must be composed of local volunteers who will be working with the new chapter. Before colonization/recolonization, the Board/Advisor must:

2.03(d)(15)(i) Meet with SMU Administrators

2.03(d)(15)(ii) Meet with the Council Advisor

2.03(d)(15)(iii) Meet with the other chapter Advisory Boards, under the facilitation of the Fraternity & Sorority Life Advisor

2.03(d)(15)(iv) Present goals and plans to the Council

2.03(d)(15)(v) Receive advisor training, in some form, from national officers as to responsibilities and duties to the chapter.

2.04 POLICIES PERTAINING TO FRATERNITY & SORORITY HOUSING

2.04(a) ROOM AND BOARD PAYMENT Any student signing a residence contract or a sub-lease to live in fraternity and sorority housing understands and agrees that the student's University records, including diploma and transcript, and the right to be readmitted to SMU may be withheld if the student is in arrears in bed rent or board payment.

2.04(b) ALCOHOL See IV. Code of Conduct - Section A.

2.04(c) BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES Students may not keep bicycles, mopeds or motorcycles in their rooms or in the entrance areas or secured to railings at the entrance of buildings. Bicycle lockers are available during the year for rent on a first-come, first-served basis from the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing. Gasoline powered vehicles are not allowed in fraternity or sorority houses or any University owned housing at any time and must be parked at least 15 feet from the exterior of any building except in designated parking spots.

2.04(d) PETS See "Pets" Section of Community Standards for Residents

2.04(e) FIRE AND SAFETY REGULATIONS Each housed chapter is required to have a fire safety inspection as scheduled by the University Park fire marshal and to conduct a fire drill within the first month of each semester coordinated with the SMU Police Department.

2.04(f) VISITATION Visitation hours are to be decided upon by each house. Cohabitation is not permitted in any of the fraternity and sorority houses. Fraternities and sororities who are hosting guests or visitors for more than five (5) days should notify the coordinator of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Non-students may not live in fraternity or sorority housing without the written consent of the University, requested through the Vice President for Student Affairs.

2.05 NEW MEMBER EDUCATION All fraternity and sorority new member education programs must be no more than eight school weeks in total which must be consecutive.

 

Last revision - 22 Oct 2013

 

 
The Office of the Dean of Student Life is a department in the Division of Student Affairs.