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Student Organizations

Authority, Responsibility, and Accountability for student organizations are delegated along the following line:

      Head of Student Organization (President, Chair, etc.)

      Coordinator  of Student Activities, Director of Greek Life, Leadership, and Engagement, Director of New Student Programs and Leadership

      Dean of Students

The Dean of Students has the authority, responsibility, and accountability for student affairs and student organizations. 

A. What constitutes a student organization at Rhodes College?

A student organization is defined as a group of college students who unite to promote or celebrate a common interest. While student organizations of the College may include faculty, staff, or community members, the majority of the organization must be Rhodes College students. Additionally, only students are permitted to serve as officers of officially recognized student organizations.

B. What does it mean to be a registered Student Organization at Rhodes College? 

A registered organization has completed all necessary paperwork and submitted it to Office of Student Activities and Rhodes Student Government. Please familiarize yourself with the privileges/benefits and make sure that your organization is not participating in these types of activities unless they are registered.

Groups that are existing organizations must re-register every year, and they must electronically submit an updated profile, membership roster and constitution and by-laws on Presence.

C. Benefits of being a Registered Student Organization

All organizations must maintain an active, up to date profile with Rhodes Student Government on Presence. Failure to register annually will result in denial of privileges. Registration as a student organization is a privilege, and is not intended to restrict the free association of students in non-registered organizations.

Upon registering, student organizations gain several privileges, including the ability to:

1. Reserve space on campus for meetings and approved activities.

2. Conduct approved fundraising projects on campus.

3. Coordinate activities with other student organizations and participate in events such as: Homecoming, Welcome Week, and organization fairs.

4. Have university mail collected by a student organization leader and the use of a mailing address at Rhodes College.

5. Apply for funding through the Allocations Board (if eligible) for all campus projects and programs.

6.  Be considered for RSG and College awards.

7.  Have an Organizational Site on Presence.

D. Student Organization Recognition

An organization seeking College recognition should first contact the Coordinator of Student Activities.  The organization must submit a completed Student Organization Registration online through the Office of Student Life. The completed online registration packet which includes a roster of all active members, a signed adviser agreement, and a proposed constitution that will be reviewed by the Director of Student Activities and the RSG Student Organizational Relations Committee. The Director of New Student Programs and Leadership, Coordinator of Student Activities along with the Chairman of the RSG Student Organization Relations Committee will then submit the completed new student organization materials to the Rhodes Student Government (RSG) Senate for consideration.  RSG Senate will vote to recommend to the Dean of Students whether or not the group should be a Recognized Student Organization.

With the exception of nationally-affiliated fraternities and sororities that have received official approval from the Dean of Students, official recognition by the College will be granted to organizations who meet with the following requirements: (1) the organization’s purpose is not in conflict with the mission of the College, (2) the membership of the organization is not exclusive (i.e., the organization must be open to all Rhodes students who are interested in membership), and (3) the organization must be distinct and unique from all other existing organizations on campus.

The RSG Student Organization Relations Chairman will notify the organization in writing of the decision. If denied, a written explanation of the denial along with the procedure for appeal must be included.

The decision of RSG may be appealed in writing to the Dean of Students.

The officers of recognized student organizations are responsible for the actions of their respective organizations. Neither the Dean of Students, Director of New Student Programs and Leadership, Director of Greek Life, Leadership, and Engagement, Coordinator of Student Activities, nor the Rhodes Student Government controls or is responsible for actions taken by student organizations.

E. Events During Finals

The focus during reading days and finals is preparation for final examinations and papers. To maintain this focus, student organizations may not schedule activities or study breaks during finals period, including reading days.

F. Applying for Funding

Once the College recognizes a student group, the organization may apply to receive financial support. Recognized status does not guarantee funding by the College.

For more information about Student Organizational Funding please visit the Allocations Board website at: https://www.rhodes.edu/content/allocations-board [11]

G. Organization Accounts and Equipment

Recognized Student Organizations will be given a College account in which allocated funds will be kept. Each Student Organization will receive a budget statement from the RSG Allocations Commissioner and/or Student Leadership Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the organization's President and Treasurer to monitor expenditures and income per event. Money from an organization's account may be obtained in one of two ways:

Cash. A petty cash voucher will be issued in situations that require $100 or less. Petty cash vouchers are obtained from Rhodes Express.

Check. A check request form may be obtained from Rhodes Express. All check request forms must be authorized by the organization’s advisor and the Student Leadership Coordinator. Check requests must be turned in to the Accounting Office no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday for a check to be issued on Friday of that same week. Checks can be mailed to a specified address or can be picked up from Rhodes Express after 2:00 pm on Friday. Proper documentation such as company invoice or receipt(s) is needed for all check requests. Complete mailing address and social security number (copy of W-9 for current year) for honorarium or stipend is required.

Monies not used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) will be turned back over to the College. Overages will be taken out of the organization's budget for the next year.

All equipment purchased by any Student Organization or Club Sport with College funds is the property of Rhodes College and must be inventoried annually at the conclusion of the season (for club sports) or academic year. Appropriate storage, administration and maintenance of equipment are the responsibility of the respective student organization.

H. Legal Issues and Liability

Student organizations are responsible for obtaining and maintaining, in conjunction with their national organization, the proper insurance coverage.

Copies of such coverage shall be submitted to the Dean of Students Office at the beginning of each academic year.

All student organizations are to follow their national organization social event guidelines and procedures as set forth by their national organization both on and off campus as well as any college policies or guidelines.

I.  Evaluation and Review

At the end of the academic year each organization shall  submit an annual report outlining its accomplishments in support of academic achievement, College and community service, and educational programs. Should the organization be required to submit to its national office a document which includes all of the above, a copy of that document may be submitted as its report to the Coordinator of Student Activities or Director of Greek Life, Leadership and Engagement.

Each organization will submit to the Coordinator of Student Activities via the Student Organization registration site (Presence) copies of its governing documents (constitution, bylaws, handbook, etc.) as requested. These documents are subject to review by the Dean of Students and RSG to determine that chapter policies are in keeping with college and RSG policies. 

J. Hazing

Hazing, which is an action taken or situation created to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, 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. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. No organization member shall condone hazing. Any student or student organization found in violation of hazing may be subject to suspension or expulsion from the College.

K. Judicial Process for Violations of Regulations or Standards of Conduct

A student organization’s violation of college regulations or failure to adhere to expected standards of conduct will be adjudicated by the appropriate student judicial body or administrator, as determined after initial review by the Director of Community Standards in conferral with the Coordinator of Student Activities or Director of Greek Life, Leadership and Engagement. Persistent or extreme violations at the student organization level may result in withdrawal of recognition by the College.

A student organization may appeal the findings of violation of regulations or standards of conduct in writing to the Associate Dean for Student Experience, unless otherwise directed in the sanctioning letter. Appeals must be based on the same grounds listed under the Rhodes College policies of Student Conduct in the Student Handbook. In the event that an incident is adjudicated by a judicial body, that body’s appeal guidelines govern the appeal for that finding.