Student Organizations Handbook


WELCOME

To All Lamar University Student Organization Leaders and Advisors:

Student organizations play an integral role in campus life at Lamar University by providing opportunities for students to develop and refine leadership skills and to interact and network with their peers, faculty, and staff. The Office of Student Organization Services is committed to assisting all student organizations in reaching their co-curricular goals.

To effectively and efficiently plan activities, organization leaders should be knowledgeable about available resources as well as university rules and regulations. Several of the policies and procedures for student organizations have been updated. Please thoroughly review this Handbook so that you will be informed. This Handbook provides information on policies, procedures, forms, and resources available to student organizations and advisors. Also, the Office of Student Organization Services expects the student organizations to conduct their affairs in accordance with state/national law and university policy. This Handbook outlines many of these expectations in summary form. Specific policies are found in the Student Handbook and the Code of Conduct.

The Setzer Student Center Staff looks forward to assisting you and members of your organization. The Office of Student Organization Services is here to serve and assist your organization with your out-of-classroom experience at Lamar University.

With Cardinal Pride,

Dr. Terry C. Mena
Interim Director of the Setzer Student Center
Associate Vice President of Student Engagement, and Dean of Students


RICHARD W. SETZER STUDENT CENTER

MISSION STATEMENT

The Setzer Student Center provides programs that enhance personal, social, and leadership development to compliment the educational growth of Lamar University students. The Setzer Student Center also serves as the center of campus life and provides a shared home for the university; welcoming students, faculty, alumni, staff, parents, and guests. This mission is accomplished in the following ways:

  • Complement the academic experience through a variety of cultural, educational, leadership, social, and recreational programs.
  • Create an environment that values participatory student-centered decision-making.
  • Provide opportunities through volunteerism, advisory boards, student organizations, student employment, and committees for students to take part in the development of policies and procedures for the center.
  • Encourage diversity and multicultural programming throughout the operations of the center.
  • Foster sponsorships with university departments in the development of educational programming.
  • Maintain a safe, clean, and functional facility that enhances the community life of the campus.
  • Develop a communications system to notify students about activities on campus through the website, flyers, newsletters, and intercampus communication systems.
  • Develop programs that award students and student organization excellence.
SETZER STUDENT CENTER ADMINISTRATION
  • Director of the Setzer Student Center
  • Associate Director of Student Engagement
  • Associate Director of Greek Life
  • Coordinator of Event Planning
  • Coordinator of Student Organizations
  • Administrative Associate Senior
ABOUT THE SETZER STUDENT CENTER

The Setzer Student Center was named for Dr. Richard W. Setzer, Lamar University President from 1967 to 1969. Dr. Setzer was an active and well-known participant in student life. The Setzer Student Center serves as the center of campus life. Other entities located in the SSC are the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, the Student Government Association, and other administrative offices. The SSC has several meeting rooms of various sizes available for use by student organizations.


THE OFFICE OF STUDENT ORGANIZATION SERVICES

The Office of Student Organization Services was established to help coordinate organization services and to aid Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). The Office of Student Organization Services reports to the Director of the Setzer Student Center and works closely with the Committee on Student Organizations. The Committee is comprised of students, faculty, and staff who work with a variety of student organizations.

MISSION STATEMENT: The Office of Student Organizations creates and fosters leadership and involvement opportunities that enhance personal, interpersonal, and organizational development for Lamar University students.

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • Engagement
  • Communication
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Management
  • Leadership

Registered Student Organizations play an important role in campus life at Lamar University. Throughout the year, they sponsor a variety of extra- and co-curricular activities for the campus community as well as participate in service projects on and off campus. In addition, Registered Student Organizations provide a means for students to develop and refine leadership skills and to interact and network with their peers, faculty and staff.

The Office of Student Organization Services provides administration of all student organizations using OrgSync, an online campus management software accessible by LU students, faculty, and staff.

The Office of Student Organization Services is located in the Setzer Student Center. Please stop by or call our office at 409-880-8722. We are here to help you!

SERVICES FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

MAILBOXES: Every Registered Student Organization has the option to have a mailbox in the Office of Student Organization Services, Room 212 of the Setzer Student Center. Through these mailboxes, the university, other organizations, businesses, and students communicate with each of the organizations. These mailboxes are not secure; therefore, exercise discretion in the types of items routed through the mailboxes. Mail should be addressed to:

  • Organization's Name
  • Lamar University
  • PO Box 10018
  • Beaumont, TX 77710

MEETING ROOMS: Several meeting rooms, including a ballroom, are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for meetings or events in the Setzer Student Center. Organizations should contact the Event Planning Office, Room 252, in the Setzer Student Center at 880-8727.

EVENT PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANCE: Our experienced professional staff can help organization officer's plan and implement successful events, as well as help identify problems and suggest approaches for implementing plans. The staff can also assist organization officers in planning for a successful leadership transition. The Event Planning Office is located in SSC, phone number 409-880-8727.

STUDENT ORGANIZATION DIRECTORY AND HISTORICAL INFORMATION: The Office of Student Organization Services maintains accurate records of organizations officers, constitutions, by-laws, and other important documentation on OrgSync, an online communications tool.

POSTING APPROVAL: The Setzer Student Center approves all printed material including flyers, posters, and banners for display on all public bulletin boards, kiosks, and sign-holders in designated areas on campus. Consult the Event Planning Office and the University Posting Policies for more information.


TYPES OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AT LAMAR UNIVERSITY

GOVERNANCE ORGANIZATIONS

Governance organizations are formed to represent a group of organizations that have been specifically supported by the university to serve such a purpose. The groups have delegated a portion of their power to the larger organization but retain the right to representation. Membership in these types of organizations is usually based on involvement in one of the representative groups and an expressed interest in working with the umbrella organization.

ACADEMIC ORGANIZATIONS

Academic organizations include those groups with memberships in honor societies or professional organizations, or those based on an academic (departmental) field of study. University students form honor organizations to recognize academic and/or leadership achievements. Membership is based primarily on scholastic achievement, but also may consider character and leadership. All organizations have criteria for membership that must be met and some are by invitation only. Most of these organizations are tied to university departments and belong to national organizations. Departmental and professional organizations are organized to further develop and promote a student's learning within an academic department or program. These organizations normally work closely with a university department and are often part of a larger local, state, national, or international organization. Membership is normally based on an interest in a particular field or discipline that the organization represents.

MUTUAL INTEREST ORGANIZATIONS

Mutual interest organizations are groups that have formed solely on the basis of a group of individuals that have common interests. The groups in this category focus on a multitude of different topics, including service to the community. Membership is based on sharing the same interests.

MULTICULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Multicultural organizations are groups that strive to expand students' knowledge of the different cultures represented in the LU community and abroad.

SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

Spiritual and religious organizations are formed to provide a campus community of students who share the same or similar religious faith or spiritual beliefs. Membership in these groups depends on a student's beliefs and interests.

GREEK SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

Greek social fraternities and sororities are groups that are organized primarily for the purpose of social interaction among a particular group of students who share common interests. These types of organizations involve themselves in numerous activities including leadership development, community service, and recreational activities. Membership is based on the student's interest, individual selection criteria, and some form of mutual selection. Although fraternities and sororities are an American invention, each group is designated by a Greek letter name. Members are referred to as Greeks. Chapters are often called Greek letter societies, and all are known collectively as the Greek Council. These groups must be a part of a national or international organization. The organizations are affiliated with the Inter-Fraternity Council, the College Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS

Sports organizations are formed to sponsor some type of athletic activity on a non-NCAA university level. Many of these groups work closely with the Sport Clubs program in the Department of Recreational Sports and may work with other types of organizations or groups of students to promote their activities. Membership is based on student's interest and may involve some form of competition for membership.


STUDENT ORGANIZATION POLICIES

DEFINITIONS: In these regulations, unless the context requires a different meaning:
  1. Advisor means a full-time member of the faculty or staff who counsels the members of an organization.
  2. Class day means a day on which classes or reading periods before semester or summer session final examinations are regularly scheduled or on which semester or summer session final examinations are given.
  3. Student means a person enrolled or accepted for admission or readmission at the university while present on the campus.
  4. Student Officers means a student who has been elected or appointed into a student leadership position in the Student Organization which includes but not limited to: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and any other student leadership position.
  5. President means the President of Lamar University.
  6. Vice President means the Chief Student Engagement personnel officer, his/her designee, or his/her representative.
  7. Dean of Students means the chief Student Code of Conduct officer, his/her designee, or his/her representative.
  8. Director means the Director of the Setzer Student Center, his/her designee, or his/her representative.
  9. Coordinator means the Coordinator of Student Organizations.
  10. Organization means a student group holding a valid provisional or permanent recognition certificate from the Office of Student Organization Services.
  11. University means Lamar University.
  12. University facility means a classroom, auditorium, residence hall, or any other area of the campus.
  13. Social Event means dances, mixers, receptions, banquets, and rush parties. Business and/or routine meetings are not considered social events unless such meetings in fact become so as a result of the activity itself.
PARTICIPATION IN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Studies have shown that students who are more active in co-curricular activities tend to persist in college longer and gain more satisfaction from their college experience. Employers are also eager to hire those who have exhibited dedication to activities outside the classroom.

Participation in student organizations is much more than just fun and games; it can play a vital role in the educational process and in a student's success at Lamar University. Student-to-student interaction, including participation in student organizations, produces positive outcomes. Students can benefit substantially from being involved in campus organizations.

Highly involved students devote considerable energy to studying, spend a lot of time on campus, participate actively in student organizations, and interact frequently with faculty members and other students. Serving as an officer of a campus organization offers an opportunity to transform knowledge obtained in the classroom into practical competencies.

As a result, the underlying purpose of student organizations is to contribute to the classroom by serving the following functions:

  • Providing support groups for students with common needs and interest
  • Improving leadership and communication skills
  • Allowing the student to apply learned concepts in a real setting
  • Teaching self-discipline, initiative, and responsibility
  • Helping students to develop friendships
  • Gaining new skills that can be transferred to careers
  • Networking with faculty, staff, and employee contacts are gained through the student organization
  • Serving as a campus resource to faculty, staff, and other students
ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: All organizations shall conform to the university policy on eligibility for extracurricular activity as outlined in the Student Handbook:
  1. Any student currently registered in good standing with the university with a 2.0 GPA on all coursework completed at Lamar University is eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity.
  2. Members who do not meet this requirement will be limited to only meeting attendance and academic improvement programs.
  3. University organizations may establish higher individual requirements for GPA and enrollment status.
  4. In order to become a candidate for and/or hold student office in an extracurricular organization, a student must:
    1. Be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, and
    2. Be in good standing (disciplinary, scholastic, and financial) with the university, and
    3. Maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on all coursework completed at Lamar University.
    4. One-semester exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Director.
    5. First-semester freshmen are eligible to hold office after completion of one semester at Lamar University.

GRADE CHECKS OF OFFICERS: The Dean of Students will verify the cumulative GPA of all elected Student Officers during the first two weeks of September and January, to include spring classes just completed, for the elected and appointed Student Officers. Coordinator will check eligibility notify student. Any exceptions to the Appeals process will be decided by the Dean of Students on a case-by-case basis.

APPEALS: If ineligible, student may appeal to the Dean. A request for review under this Regulation must be submitted in writing by the affected Student to the Dean of Students Office within three (3) business days after notification of ineligibility. Failure to submit a timely appeal will result in immediate relinquishment of the office.

The request must state the grounds upon which the Student seeks review of his/her ineligibility. The Student may provide additional supporting documentation to support his/her eligibility by delivering those documents to the Dean of Students Office for consideration within three (3) business days after the notification of ineligibility.

Within five (5) business days after the request has been received, the Dean of Students or his/her designee shall render a decision on the request for review and shall notify the Student of that decision in writing.

MEMBERSHIP IN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Membership in a Lamar University student organization may not be restricted on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, age, handicap, or national origin, consistent with the Assurance of Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Executive Order 11246 as issued and amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Organizations must sign a statement to this effect before approval may be granted and once a year thereafter. This Statement of Compliance is included in the registration process on OrgSync.

NON-STUDENT MEMBERS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Only currently enrolled Lamar University students are eligible to hold office in recognized campus organizations. Provisions for membership of faculty and staff members may be made, but non-students may not outnumber student members in any of the organizations.

SINGLE-SEX ORGANIZATIONS: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at the university unless such programs and activities are specifically exempt from the law. The university is required to be in compliance with the provisions of Title IX. Therefore, compliance with Title IX is a condition to be a registered student organization at the university.

Since passage of this law and the publication of the implementing regulations, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has developed a clear set of criteria for determining when single sex organizations are exempt from the provisions of Title IX. These criteria are as follows:

  1. The organization must have tax-exempt status under Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code;
  2. Members must be limited to student, staff or faculty at Lamar University;
  3. The organization must be a "social fraternity" as defined by the Department of Education. The Department of Education defines "social fraternity" as a group that can answer "no" to all the following questions:
    1. Is the organization's membership limited to persons pursuing or having interest in a particular field of study, profession or academic discipline?
    2. Is the membership limited to individuals who have a high level of achievement in scholarship or any other endeavor?
    3. Are the members permitted to hold membership in other fraternities or sororities at the university?
    4. If a group answers "yes" to any of the questions, it is not a social fraternity" and therefore is not exempt from the requirements of Title IX and therefore must accept members of both sexes. An affirmative answer to any of these questions is evidence that the organization is professional, service, or honorary in nature and not a social fraternity or sorority for Title IX purposes.

United States Department of Education- Office for Civil Rights Rationale: The rationale for this distinction based on the intangible educational advantage afforded by membership in such professional, service and honorary organizations. Many such honor and service organizations have school and alumni recognition and reputation, which enhance student members' careers. Members frequently gain enhanced status, which, as alumni, is often influential in decisions affecting campus life and university policy. This type of educational opportunity and benefit is significant and may not be denied to students on the basis of sex. (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights)

DECLARATION OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES:

The University is required to file with the federal government each year a report declaring its compliance with the Civil Rights Act. Failure to comply could result in loss of support for virtually all of our student financial aid programs, loss of federal funds for buildings, and ineligibility for federally funded grants in support of institutes, conferences, research, and other activities. The University cannot properly declare its compliance with the Civil Rights Act if it practices discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin, except as may be provided by law, including the granting of official recognition to student organizations which practice such discrimination. We request your cooperation with the following:

Any student organization that practices discrimination, except as provided by law, will be in danger of removal of its charter and withdrawal of University recognition. This means that any student who presents himself/herself for membership in your organization must be accepted as long as he/she meets the necessary requirements as applied to all potential members. In case of recognized social sororities and fraternities, this means that any student who represents himself/herself for participating in intake activities must be accepted for this program and must be treated in exactly the same manner as all others. All requests for literature related to your organization and to new member intake must be filed without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin. Charges of discrimination will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action taken.

HAZING POLICY: Hazing is prohibited in state educational institutions by the Texas Education Code. Students of Lamar University are forbidden to engage in, encourage, aid, or assist any person(s) participating in what is commonly known and recognized as hazing. The Lamar University Hazing Policy is located here.

RIGHTS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: Student organizations are recognized on the assumption that their activities and programs contribute to the educational, professional, civic, and social development of the students involved. Neither the student organization nor its representatives may suggest that either is acting with authority or as an agent of Lamar University. Student organizations have the following rights:

  1. Use of the Lamar University name as part of the student organization's formal name, specifically at the end of the organization's name. Example: The Chess Club at Lamar University.
  2. The right to recruit new members from the Lamar University community.
  3. The services of the Office of Student Organizations, including assistance in planning, carrying out, and evaluating activities and programs, club accounting, and assistance in making the organization more effective and efficient.
  4. The right to hold events and the use of university facilities free of charge or with a minimal fee.
  5. Invitation of off-campus speakers and artists to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and assemblies, subject to scheduling in accordance with Off-Campus Speaker Policy.
  6. Distribution of literature relating to the organization's purpose and activities in those areas authorized by the University Posting Policy.
  7. Sponsorship of profit-making activities and solicitation of funds for organizational activities in accordance with the Fundraising Policies.
  8. Representation in the Student Government Association.
  9. To apply for Co-Sponsorship Funding. Provisional organizations are not eligible for co-sponsorship funding.
  10. The right to be listed as a Recognized Student Organization.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

  1. To manage and carry out activities within its own constitution; local, state, and federal laws; and university rules and regulations.
  2. To conduct its business and fiscal operations in accordance with standards of good business management and practice.
  3. To be cognizant of the special role the organization holds as an integral part of Lamar University and to act accordingly in the best interest of its members and the university, as well as the surrounding community.
  4. Follow the Policies and Procedures for Student Organizations as outlined in this Handbook.
ANNUAL REGISTRATION RENEWAL: Every organization must renew their registration during the spring semester by updating their OrgSync portal; President and Advisor must complete the Risk Management Quiz (Located in blackboard under "My Courses") each year. All information and forms will be submitted via OrgSync and blackboard. The registration process will begin March 1 and end May 1 each year.
  1. The Coordinator of Student Organization Services will review each submitted registration renewal request to determine if the organization is eligible for continued recognition as a registered student organization. If the Coordinator determines that an organization is ineligible for registration or is inactive, the Coordinator shall notify the organization President and Advisor via email of its status.
  2. Information on the OrgSync portal, including officer names and contact information, meeting days and times, membership requirements, etc. must be kept current and accurate throughout the semester. The organization President or designee will be responsible for ensuring that this information is kept current.
  3. The officers listed on the most recent registration request will be recognized as those authorized to speak for and represent the organization in its relations with the university.
  4. If the organization uses Student Club Account services, the President or Treasurer must submit a new Student Club Account Signature Card or no access to the account will be granted.
  5. Presidents and Treasurers must attend Fiscal Officer Training in the fall semester.
  6. Failure to register your student organization by the deadline will result in your organization being designated as inactive, and all privileges granted to your student organization will be suspended. This form must also be completed within 7 days of any change in officers.
  7. Organizations must have at least five eligible members, two of which must act as officers.
MEETINGS: Organizations must give their members and advisor reasonable advance notice of its meetings. Organizations must conduct its meetings in accordance with its charter and constitution. All disputes shall be appealed to the Coordinator of Student Organizations.

UNIVERSITY TRADEMARK LICENSING POLICIES: All student organizations must adhere to the Student Organization Licensing guidelines and University Visual Standards when using Lamar University trademarks on marketing materials or apparel.


STUDENT CLUB ACCOUNTS

ON-CAMPUS ACCOUNTS: Registered Student Organizations that do not hold a 501c3 status (A recognized status by the federal government) must have a bank account with the Office of Student Organization Services. The Student Club Account is a free banking service provided to Registered Student Organizations. Checks, bank statements, and mail service are provided free of charge. Upon request, a student club account statement is available from the student club account bookkeeper located in Carl Parker Room 109, or call 409-880-8721.

STUDENT CLUB ACCOUNT POLICIES: The President and Treasurer must submit a signed Student Club Account Signature Card to Carl Parker Room 109. In submitting this Card, the officers agree to accept responsibility for the Student Club Bank Account.

  1. They are authorized to withdraw funds from the treasury of this organization upon his/her signature until this permission is changed by the submission of a new signature card by the organization, which is signed by the organization's Advisor.
  2. They are responsible for repaying any negative balances in the account within seven (7) days after proper notification is given;
  3. They are responsible for collecting any returned checks on the account;
  4. If the account remains dormant over a period of two (2) years, the balance will automatically revert to the Student Clubs Closed Account after written notification to the student organization's Advisor.

FISCAL PROCEDURES: Unless it is financially responsible to a university department or agency, it is mandatory that organizations deposit their funds in a Student Clubs Bank Account through the Office of Student Organizations.

Groups that are not chartered by Lamar University but are associated with a university department or university program and have a full-time Lamar University official that will act as an official agent of this group may request to be given a non-organizational account in the Office of Student Organization Services. The Director will evaluate these requests, and will make the decision to grant these group's initial requests and as to whether the groups may be continued or not. These groups must comply with all of the requirements of the organizational accounts except in the charter requirement.

No organization, whether registered or not, may use the facilities of the university as long as it owes a monetary debt to the university and the debt is considered delinquent by the crediting university agency.

OFF-CAMPUS ACCOUNTS: Registered Student Organizations that can furnish proper documentation of 501c3 status may have an off-campus account. Because the university doesn't regulate off-campus accounts for student organizations, it's important to establish financial controls to limit the risk of mismanaging organization funds, specifically the use of funds for personal gain. Examples of easy-to-implement controls include:

  • Require double endorsement of expenses
  • Requiring 2 signatures on checks prevents purchases by check without the consent of a second student organization officer.
  • Unfortunately, paper checks are used less often these days in favor of ATM or check cards. As a result, double endorsement of all expenses is difficult to enforce.
  • Separate financial duties
  • The student organization financial officer should reconcile the bank's financial statements regularly. While the financial officer could theoretically be the second signer on a check, he or she should not be the primary purchasing officer or have access to an ATM or check card. If so, another person needs to reconcile the bank statements.
  • Use a central mailing address
  • Student organizations should use their LU mailing address to receive bank statements and notifications. This way, statements and other notifications that might identify financial mismanagement cannot be easily hidden from the student organization's membership.
    • Organization's Name
    • Lamar University
    • PO Box 10018
    • Beaumont, TX 77710
  • Checks and paper statements are becoming increasingly rare. If statements are being e-mailed or require Web site access, multiple recipients or users should be authorized.
  • Keep records public
  • Purposeful mismanagement of funds is difficult to conceal when financial records are made public or readily available to the student organization's members. Public records let members question all expenses, which virtually guarantees generally accepted use of the organization's resources and protects against prolonged collusion.
  • Define consequences for embezzlement: Address embezzlement in your organization's constitution or bylaws. By doing so, the student organization states its intentions to police financial management of organization funds. This acts as a deterrent and leaves no ambiguity about the risk of being caught. The point is to deter the activity and outline a course of action in the rare event embezzlement occurs.Include:
    • Definitions
    • Methods for policing
    • Consequences for breaking the rules

Tax Identification Number: Every bank account is required to have a tax identification number associated with it. Student organizations are not eligible to use the Lamar University tax ID number for the purpose of setting up a student organization bank account. Therefore, it is recommended that the organization apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for use in the bank's tax reporting requirements.

Remove your information from accounts when you leave: When you are no longer associated with the student organization, due to graduation or any other reason, be sure to communicate with the bank and have your personal information removed from any accounts. If you don't remove yourself from the accounts, you can be held responsible for financial obligations. Also, transferring your account status to a current organization member ensures a smooth transition for the organization.


CO-SPONSORSHIP FUNDING

Co-Sponsorship is defined as funds that are available to assist RSOs with half of their event or travel expenses. The Registered Student Organization can request a maximum amount up to $1,500 per academic year.

The Co-Sponsorship program assists Lamar University Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) with funding requests. Student organizations must submit an application, a general statement, and detailed budget regarding the purpose of a campus event or travel request.

PURPOSE: The Co-Sponsorship program assists Lamar University Registered Student Organizations with funding requests. Student organizations must submit an application, a general statement, and detailed budget regarding the purpose of a campus event and travel request.

DEFINITIONS:

  1. Co-Sponsorship: Funds that are available to assist Registered Student Organizations with half of their event or travel expenses. The Registered Student Organization can request a maximum amount up to $1,500 per academic year.
  2. Campus Event: For purpose of these guidelines, the co-sponsorship funding can only be used for an educational activity or event that provides an educational enhancement to their personal or professional experiences at Lamar University.
  3. Registered Student Organization: A student organization that is registered with the Office of Student Organization Services and is in good standing with the Dean of Students Office.
  4. Travel: Lamar University Registered Student Organization are eligible to apply for travel funding to present academic research or attend a professional development conference at local, state-wide, regional or national levels.
GENERAL GUIDELINES:
  1. A Registered Student Organization can request a maximum of $1,500 during the academic year (September 1st – July 31st). The Council on Student Organizations must review and approve/disapprove all co-sponsorship proposals more than $500.
  2. The Office of Student Organization Services and the Associate Director of Student Involvement and Civic Engagement may approve requests of $500 or less.
  3. The co-sponsorship applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. These guidelines for co-sponsorship apply to Lamar University Registered Student Organizations only.
  4. Registered Student Organizations making requests for funding must be fully registered and in good standing with the Office of Student Organization Services and the Dean of Students Office, specifically:
  5. Registered with up to date officers in Orgsync
  6. Registered Student Organization President and Advisor has completed Risk Management Training
  7. No outstanding balances with any University Departments
  8. Complete Co-Sponsorship application through OrgSync
  9. Complete an University Travel Waiver Form for all student travelers as part of the Co-Sponsorship application and submitted at least two business days in advance of travel to receive the travel funds
  10. Organizations that are requesting co-sponsorship funding must complete 30 hours of community service BEFORE applying.
  11. For campus event or travel request to be considered for co-sponsorship funding by the Office of Student Organizations Services, the co-sponsorship application must be submitted 21 business days in advance of the date of the event or travel request.
  12. All correspondence regarding co-sponsorship will be sent to the Registered Student Organization President and Advisor
  13. Only the Registered Student Organization President or Treasurer may submit Co-Sponsorship application.
  14. The Registered Student Organization President or Treasurer will have ten (10) business days to come in and fill out paperwork once co-sponsorship has been approved.
  15. Failure to do so will result in forfeiting co-sponsorship funds that were approved
  16. If there are mistakes on the co-sponsorship application, the organization will have two (2) business days to make the necessary corrections. If the corrections are not made, the application will be denied and a new application must be submitted.

GUIDELINES FOR RECEIPTS:

  1. Registered Student Organization will have 14 business days after an event or travel to submit proper documentation of how funds were used.
  2. ALL receipts must be presented at once.
  3. Failure to provide proper documentation in the allotted time will result in:
  4. If the co-sponsorship funds that were awarded cannot be properly documented on how they were used, then any remaining balance will be taken out of the Registered Student Organization account. If funds are not available, the Registered Student Organization's privileges for requesting co-sponsorship funds will be suspended by the Office of Student Organization Services for the next academic school year

UNUSED FUNDS: If Registered Student Organization does not use funds provided, they can re-apply for co-sponsorship after 30 business days. Each case would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

RESTRICTIONS OF CO-SPONSORSHIP: Co-sponsorship funding cannot be used for the following:

  • Senior design project materials
  • Materials for a competition
  • Banquets
  • Meetings
  • Receptions
  • Concerts
  • Honorarium
  • Marketing/Promotional items
  • Apparel
  • Tobacco/Alcohol
  • Gift Cards
  • Ammunition/Firearms

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR CAMPUS EVENTS:

  • Must be open and marketed to all Lamar University students
  • Must be in a form of an educational activity or event
  • Must have an university-wide impact
  • Request for food cost must not exceed $100
  • Must submit all forms of marketing materials including but not limited to social media, flyers, posters, etc.
  • Must provide all acceptable documents on how the co-sponsorship funds will be used for the event:
  • Quotes for Speakers, services, program items and food
  • Standard University contracts will be required for certain services and speaker agreements
  • All acceptable methods and format for submitting the documents are JPEG, PNG, & PDF
SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR TRAVEL:
  1. The cost of meals will be calculated based on Lamar University Travel policy.
  2. Must provide all acceptable documents on how the co-sponsorship funds will be used for the travel:
  3. Itinerary from sponsoring organization
  4. Hotel Invoice/ check-out receipts
  5. Registration Cost
  6. Receipt for Meals, Snacks and Gas for off-campus travel.
  7. All receipts may be dated one day before, through one day after conference if traveling.
  8. All acceptable methods and format for submitting the documents are: screenshot of website, JPEG, PNG, & PDF

FUNDRAISING POLICIES

Registered student organizations may raise funds on and off campus of Lamar University. If raising funds on campus, you must follow all solicitation and reservations policies. If raising funds off-campus, the organization must complete an Off-Campus Solicitation Policy

FUNDRAISING: Plans to sell any items should be approved by the Office of Event Services before anything is begun. The sale of food may require permits.

OFF-CAMPUS SOLICITATION PROCEDURES

  • All registered and chartered student organizations desiring to solicit off-campus must submit a Permit to Solicit Funds Off-Campus Form through OrgSync.
  • Completed forms, along with a draft of the requested letter or materials, must be uploaded along with the completed application.
  • The Director of the Setzer Student Center or designee will approve all solicitation correspondence to vendors before distribution.
  • If the solicitation is approved, the form must be shown to all merchants from whom funds are solicited.
  • The Director, or designee, will maintain a calendar showing approved solicitation permits to ensure there is not mass solicitation at one time and to answer any questions that may arise.

RATIONALE FOR APPROVAL OF OFF-CAMPUS SOLICITATION REQUESTS

Approval of solicitation requests will be based on consideration of the following priorities:
  • activity for which funds are requested (i. e., charity, trip, dance);
  • value to the university;
  • frequency of requests from the same group; and
  • number of requests received during a stated interval of time.

CHARITABLE RAFFLES

Most Registered Student Organizations are not qualified to conduct raffles in the State of Texas. Raffles involve paying money for the chance to win a prize of greater value, which is considered gambling. Instead of raffles, CSI suggests that student organizations hold “Free Drawings” in which no money is exchanged.

The Charitable Raffle Enabling Act, effective January 1, 1990, permits “qualified organizations” to hold up to two raffles per calendar year.

Two types of student organizations may conduct raffles:

  • an association organized primarily for religious purposes that has been in existence in Texas for at least 10 years; or
  • a nonprofit organization that has existed for at least the three preceding years, during which it has had a governing body duly elected by its members and is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) , Internal Revenue Code; and does not participate in any political campaign. [A copy of your organization’s IRS Letter of Determination verifying 501(c) status will be required.]

Any organization conducting a raffle on campus must complete a booth application and follow university ticketing procedures. Raffle tickets may not be advertised statewide or through paid advertisements. Each raffle ticket must state the name and address of the organization holding the raffle, the name of an officer of the organization, the price of the ticket, and a general description of each prize to be awarded that has a value of over $10. A prize may not be money. Only members of the organization may sell tickets. No one may be compensated directly or indirectly for organizing or conducting a raffle or for selling raffle tickets.

For further information on raffles, visit www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/raffle.shtml

TAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS: Gifts to student organizations are not considered gifts to the University; they are considered gifts to the student groups, which, in most cases, are not non-profit organizations with the ability to issue tax-deductible receipts. Some student groups may be affiliated with a national non-profit organization, which would give them some ability to fundraise under that organization's policies and procedures.

Gifts to student organizations are not tax deductible to the donor. Most donations to these groups are small and not motivated by a tax benefit; so 99% of the time this is not an issue. If there was a donor who wanted to make a large donation to a group and there could be an educational purpose to the donation or activity, you should consult with an academic department, if appropriate, to see if they would be willing to "run the donation through" their academic account.

For example, if the Accounting Honor Society might want to raise funds to attend an accounting related competition/event in Dallas, and if they identify one donor willing to fund $5,000, it would be reasonable to expect that the Accounting Department would be willing to assist them by accepting the donation into their account, following all applicable rules of the university. In that instance, the gift would be reported by the department to our office for instructions on how to handle the gift, and the donor would receive a tax deductible receipt from us. The related expenses would need to be paid by the department out of their account, following standard university policies.

We would be happy to talk through any situation with you to brainstorm ideas whenever you have a substantial donor ($1,000 or more).

SOLICITATIONS: A few companies that are major donors to the university have asked that we not allow direct solicitations from student groups or individual departments. These are companies that make one large donation to the university spread out over several areas. They have asked that our office compile a list of funding requests and we know what types of projects they are looking for. This keeps every student group from hitting them up for $250 for a sign, t-shirt sponsorship, etc.

There are also individuals that the university is working with at a high level for donations, and it would not be appropriate for them to also be solicited numerous times for small amounts from different student organizations.

Our current "do not solicit list":

  • ExxonMobil
  • Entergy
  • Education First Credit Union
  • Walter Umphrey, Provost Umphrey Law Firm
  • Reaud, Morgan and Quinn Law Firm, Glen Morgan, Wayne Reaud
  • Regina Rogers
  • Valero
  • BASF
  • Giglio Distributing

STARTING A NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION

APPLICATION: A group may apply for recognition by completing the Intent to Organize a New Student Organization on OrgSync. The Coordinator of Student Organization Services will review the application and will grant provisional recognition to the organization if the rules for eligibility are met.

ELIGIBILITY: A group is eligible for recognition if:

  1. Its membership is limited to Lamar University students, faculty, and staff.
  2. Its membership is not denied anyone on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin, except as may be provided by law.
  3. The group has at least five eligible members, two of which must act as officers.
  4. It has an eligible advisor (Advisor must have been employed by Lamar University for at least 6 months)
  5. Individuals are not under disciplinary sanction prohibiting recognition.
  6. It conducts its affairs in accordance with university rules and regulations.
  7. Its purposes are in accordance with the stated purpose and goals of the university. No organization may be recognized if the actions or activities of the organization are adverse to the educational purpose and work of the university.
RECOGNITION OF GREEK SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS: For a Title IX-exempt social Greek-letter fraternity or sorority (as defined under the provisions of Section 1681 of the U.S. Education Act of 1972) to be recognized as a student organization at Lamar University, it must first be granted membership in its University-recognized Greek Council. Once membership is confirmed with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council, the College PanHellenic Council, or the Multicultural Greek Council, recognition materials will be processed by Greek Life.

PROVISIONAL RECOGNITION: The Office of Student Organization Services will notify the organization President and Advisor by email when a decision has been made about their application for recognition. If the application is approved, the office will create a new OrgSync portal for the organization. Then, the organization President must ensure the following steps are completed:

  1. Complete the OrgSync portal to include organization description, officer names and contact information, meeting days and times, membership requirements, etc.
  2. Consent to the Non-Discrimination and Hazing Policies included in the registration process and update the agreement date.
  3. Upload the organization's Constitution and Bylaws to the OrgSync portal.
  4. The President and Advisor must view the Risk Management presentation. Both must then complete the Risk Management Quiz (Located in Blackboard under "My Courses")
  5. After these steps are completed, the organization is given provisional recognition for sixteen weeks during the fall or spring semester. During this time, the organization has the following privileges:
    1. The right to reserve university facilities for the purpose of holding organizational meetings.
    2. The right to publicize the initial organizational meetings in line with university posting policies.
    3. The right to invite membership.
PERMANENT RECOGNITION AND CHARTER: The Director will consider applications for permanent recognition. In considering an application, the committee shall permanently recognize the applicant unless it does not meet the rules for eligibility.
  1. The student organization will be notified via email if they have been approved for recognition.
  2. If the Director refuses to grant permanent organization recognition, the applicant organization may petition in writing to the Committee on Student Organizations to review the application. The applicant organization shall attach a copy of its application to the petition.
  3. If the Committee on Student Organizations, at its discretion, agrees to review the Director's refusal, it shall direct the Director to furnish it and the organization a copy of the written statement of the reason for refusal.
  4. The Committee on Student Organizations shall confine its review of the Director's refusal to the petition, application, and Director's statement. The Committee on Student Organizations may:
    1. Affirm the Director's decision;
    2. Refer the matter to the Director for reconsideration; or
    3. Grant recognition to the provisional student organization.

STUDENT ORGANIZATION DISCIPLINE

ORGANIZATION CONDUCT OFFENSES: Student organizations are responsible for conducting their affairs in a manner that reflects favorably upon themselves and the university. Such responsibilities include:

  1. Compliance with university regulations, policies and/or procedures except for those offenses listed below.
    1. Violations will be reported to and adjudicated by the Dean of Students;
  2. Taking reasonable steps, as an organization, to prevent violations of law or university regulations by its members.
  3. A willingness to deal individually with those members of the organization whose behavior reflects unfavorably upon the organization or upon the university.
  4. Failure to accept the responsibilities of organization membership may subject the organization to permanent or temporary withdrawal of university recognition and/or support, social probation, denial of use of university facilities, or other appropriate action.
  5. The Director has responsibility for initiating and expanding disciplinary action in any group offense cases.
  6. A student may also be disciplined for a violation under the Student Code of Conduct even though the organization of which he/she is a member is penalized for the same violation growing out of the same factual situation.
  7. Judicial and appeal procedures are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFENSES: When the Coordinator for Student Organizations receives information that an organization has allegedly violated an administrative rule or regulation, he/she shall investigate. The Coordinator for Student Organizations may then dismiss the allegation, requiring no further action, or conduct a meeting with the student organization and their advisor to obtain more information about the allegations. An organization violates a university regulation or administrative rule when:
  1. One or more of its officers or authorized members acting in the scope of his/her general responsibilities commits the violation;
  2. One or more of its members commits the violation after the action that constitutes the violation was approved by a majority vote of those members of the organization present and voting;
  3. One or more members of a committee of the organization commits the violation while acting in the scope of the committee's assignment; or
  4. A majority of the members of an organization commit the violation.
SANCTIONS: When, after the meeting, the Coordinator finds that an organization has violated an administrative rule or regulation, he/she may make their recommendation for sanction to the Director. The Director may choose to penalize the student organization by one or more of the following actions, including but not limited to:
  1. Suspend for not more than one calendar year the organization's right to do one or more of the following, including but not limited to:
    1. publicly post signs;
    2. publicly assemble or demonstrate;
    3. sponsor or present a public performance;
    4. publicly raise funds or make a solicitation;
    5. reserve the use of university facilities;
    6. participate in intramural athletics;
    7. engage in recruitment of members (fraternity and sororities will be referred to Greek Life office); or
    8. apply for co-sponsorship funding.
  2. Suspend for not more than one calendar year the organization's recognition; or
  3. Cancel the organization's recognition for not less than one calendar year.
  4. Any allegations involving a Greek Organization will be reviewed and adjudicated by the Office of Greek Life staff.

APPEALS: If a student organization believes these procedures were not followed it may choose to appeal to the Dean of Students. All appeals must be submitted within five class days from the date of notification to the Dean of Students. The letter of appeal must provide a clear explanation of how this process was not followed or their disagreement with the severity of the sanction.


EVENT POLICIES

Organizations must register all on-campus and off-campus events in OrgSync. It is the responsibility of the organization officer to inform their advisor of an organization social event. One of the functions of the advisor is to advise the leadership and/or members of an organization about the acceptability of a planned course of action. The final responsibility, however, for an acceptable social function and the conduct of those attending an event rests with the organization, with the officers of the organization, and with the individual members and guests.

Student organizations may not hold events on or off campus during Finals Week each semester, unless the event is focused on stress relief.

The Event Services Office manages space in the Setzer Student Center and outdoor, on-campus locations. The Office invites provisional and permanent student organizations to make reservations in our facilities. Please be accurate in requesting reservations and set-ups by following the procedures on the Event Request Form small to medium size room request must be sent in at least 14 (fourteen) business days in advance. For the Live Oak Ballroom and other large scale events, the request must be made 40 (forty) days in advance. All tabling request must be made 7 (seven) days in advance. Rooms are not guaranteed until a confirmation has been issued.

PROMOTING YOUR EVENT: All student organizations must follow the University Posting Policies to advertise their meetings and events. Posting approval is obtained in the Event Planning Office in the Student Organizations Annex.

CATERING POLICY: If an organization is planning an event where food will be served, and total cost of the food served is more than $250, then they must follow the Chartwells Catering Procedures. The Event Services Office will assist organizations in following the requirements of the Catering Procedures.

EVENT PLANNING POLICIES

  1. All requests for use of SSC facilities must be made through the SSC Office by completing the appropriate form in Org. Sync. Small to medium size room request must be sent in at least 14 (fourteen) business days in advance. For the Live Oak Ballroom and other large scale events, the request must be made 40 (forty) days in advance. All tabling request must be made 7 (seven) days in advance. Rooms are not guaranteed until a confirmation has been issued.
  2. All required and applicable forms must be completed and turned in to the SSC office before a reservation will be confirmed.
  3. Reservations will not be made or confirmed over the telephone. No requests for tentative reservations will be taken.
  4. Reservation requests for registered student organizations and University departments will not be accepted more than one year in advance of the event. Reservation requests for individual students or university personnel will not be accepted more than six months in advance of the event. Reservation requests for off campus groups will not be accepted more than three months in advance of the event.
  5. Student organizations must have a current Student Organization Contact form on file with the SSC each semester.
  6. Proposed use of SSC facilities must be appropriate and suited to the size, structure, purpose, and operational cost of the facility.
  7. The SSC Office reserves the right to change a reservation to another room in order to accommodate the greatest number of organizations with the understanding that, if possible, a comparable room will be provided.
  8. Changes to the standard arrangement of furniture and equipment in a reserved space must be requested through the SSC Office at least two (2) business days prior to a scheduled event. After initial room set-up, changes will be made only as time and personnel permit.
  9. Facilities reserved for events will not be used in excess of their maximum occupant capacity.
  10. Off-Campus Speakers in University Facilities:
    1. No invitation by a registered student organization will be issued to a non-university speaker without prior approval from the Director of Setzer Student Center.
    2. All procedures outlined in the Student Guidelines will be followed.
  11. All contracts related to an event in the SSC, including contracts between user and performers, event decorators, speakers, sub-contractors, managers, and others, must be reviewed by the Director of the SSC to ensure the facility is appropriate for the requested event.
  12. Student Organizations with an outstanding bill or debt owed to the SSC will have their privileges in the facility suspended until the debt is paid in full.
  13. Electronic Media Signage: Monitors are available to display schedules or advertisements of special events.
    1. All artwork, slides, and information must be submitted to the Marketing coordinator no later than 2 days prior to the program.
    2. Monitors may not be moved once the SSC personnel has set-up signage for an event.
    3. Digital files should be 1920 x 1080 pixels JPEG images.
STUDENT-SPONSORED EVENTS WITH CRITICAL RISK FACTORS

Any event with critical risk factor must abide by the following procedures:

  1. Campus police officers are required for all student events held on campus that are considered to present a greater risk to the campus community. Some events with critical risk factors will be required to provide police offices, regardless of attendance. Those events will have any or all of the following critical risk factors:
    1. Dance or concert
    2. Continues until any time after 11:00 PM
    3. Money is exchanged (tickets, admission or a donation)
    4. Events with 100 people or more
    5. Events open to the general public
  2. Events that have these factors must be held at one of the following locations in the Setzer Student Center:
    1. Live Oak Ballroom
    2. Atrium
    3. Outside Locations
  3. Events that do not fit any of these factors will be subject to review and approval for proper risk management procedures by the Event Planning Office.
  4. Security Procedures:
    1. The Sponsoring Organization is responsible for providing one Student Event Coordinator (student) and a minimum of four (4) Monitors and one faculty/staff Advisor for the entire event. The Monitors and Student Event Coordinator must attend an event coordination and training session prior to the event.
    2. Monitors will be posted at the admission table and entrance to the room.
    3. Monitors will be responsible for handling cash at the admission table and ensuring patrons entering the event are properly banded. Monitors will also be responsible for checking identification cards and assigning wristbands in accordance with the admission policy.
    4. The Setzer Student Center will provide one operations manager to work during the event as a resource for the sponsoring organization and/or security.
  5. Police Department: Final determination of police staffing will be the responsibility of the LU Police Chief, and/or their designee. The police detail supervisor attending the event will determine location and assignments of security and police officers prior to the start of the event.
    1. All safety and security matters observed at the event will be referred immediately to LU Police Officers on site and will be handled in an expeditious manner.
  6. Security Costs: The sponsoring organization is responsible for all security costs for their event. The sponsoring organization will be required to deposit 50% of their estimated security cost (including civilian security personnel), as determined by this policy, the Police Department, and the Setzer Student Center Event Planning Office. This deposit is due in advance or prior to the conclusion of the event. Organizations will then have 30 days in which to pay their security fees. Sponsoring organizations with outstanding security fees owed to the student union will be prohibited from hosting an event that requires security until their past due balance is satisfied.
    1. The number of police officers and other security personnel is determined by the capacity of the room where the event takes place and the length of the event. Officers will be assigned for a minimum five (5) hours shift. The length of time in which the officers will be assigned to the event is the length of the event, plus 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the event (i.e. one additional hour over the length of the event). The rate for LU organizations is $35/hour. The number of offices assigned to an event will be determined by the maximum capacity of the room, according to the chart below. However, the number of officers may be adjusted based on the specific expectations for the event. The following matrix determines the minimum charges for police security for events lasting 4 or fewer hours:
      1. Center Arbor - Capacity: 1,000 people - Required Number of Officers: 10 - Average Rate: $35.00 per hour, per officer
      2. Dining Hall Lawn - Capacity: 1,000 people - Required Number of Officers: 10 - Average Rate: $35.00 per hour, per officer
      3. Cardinal Park - Capacity: 1,000 people - Required Number of Officers: 10 - Average Rate: $35.00 per hour, per officer
      4. Live Oak Ballroom - Capacity: 376 people - Required Number of Officers: 3 - Average Rate: $35.00 per hour, per officer
    2. Note: If an organization fails to cancel an event by the specified time frame, the organization will still be billed for the police detail and/or civilian security personnel.
  7. Signage: The sponsoring organization is responsible for placing conspicuous signs at the entrance and exits to the event. These signs must advise patrons of the admission and no-reentry policies. It is strongly recommended that admission requirements are listed in all advertisements for the event.
  8. Wristbands: Depending on the event, all admitted patrons will be identified with wristbands. Wristbands will be provided by the Setzer Student Center Staff assigned to the event. The Setzer Student Center will provide for door monitors and a counter to determine the number of people attending the event and to assure that the count is less than the capacity of the room.
  9. Lighting: Lighting inside the event venue must be sufficient to comply with safety requirements as determined by the LU Police Department, Setzer Student Center staff, or other public safety officials.
  10. Emergency Procedures: At the direction of LU Police Officers, the advisor, or Setzer Student Center staff, admission to the event may be suspended in the event of an emergency or problem. In extreme circumstances, LU Police Officers, advisor, or Setzer Student Center staff may terminate the event prior to the anticipated ending time.
  11. Cash Procedures: Monitors from the student organization, under the supervision of LU Police Officers, the advisor, and Setzer Student Center staff will handle cash collected from admission, refreshment, or merchandise tables. At no time will LU Police Officers staff handle any cash collected, but will monitor any cash handling. At a designated time, the admission and refreshment tables will close and a designated LU Police Officer will escort the designated member of the organization, Advisor, and Student Event Coordinator with the funds to a secure location where the cash will be counted and prepared for deposit.
  12. Event Conclusion: Immediately prior to the conclusion of the event, the Student Event Coordinator will initiate an announcement that the event will be concluding, and advising patrons that loitering in the parking lots and garage after the event is prohibited. At the conclusion of the event, LU Police Officers will assist in clearing the room and will then assist in monitoring the parking lots. Parking lots will be cleared in accordance with established Police Department.

POLICIES FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATION OFF-CAMPUS EVENTS

Lamar University recognizes the right of university-affiliated organizations to sponsor and hold off-campus events. The university assumes no responsibility for the conduct of participants, nor for the financial and/or contractual obligations associated with off-campus events. However, the university does hold each organization and its officers responsible for abiding by all federal, state and local laws.

Sponsoring organizations and their officers are responsible for conducting off-campus events in a manner that reflects favorably upon themselves and the university, and for arrangements for adequate safeguards at these events.

Sponsoring organizations and their officers are responsible for fulfilling all financial and contracted obligations entered into in conjunction with off-campus events.

Sponsoring organization and their officers are also responsible to follow their international or national organization policies and standards for hosting off-campus events. For more information for social fraternity and sorority events, please refer to the Greek Operational Guidelines and National Organization's Risk Management Policies, commonly referred to as "FIPG" policies.

Violations of law, unacceptable conduct, and/or failure to meet financial or contracted responsibilities may subject an organization to disciplinary action by the university.

 


POLICIES FOR CAMPUS SPEAKERS

The freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution shall be enjoyed by the students of Lamar University in respect to the opportunity to hear off-campus (outside) speakers on the campus. Free discussion of subjects of either controversial or non-controversial nature shall not be curtailed.

Since, however, there is no absolute right to assemble or to make or hear a speech at any time or place regardless of the circumstances, content of speech, purpose of assembly, or probable consequences of such meetings or speech or speeches by outside speaker(s), the issuance of the invitations to outside speaker(s) shall therefore be limited in the following ways:

  1. Outside or off-campus speakers are not permitted to speak on campus unless invited to do so by a university group or organization.
  2. A person who has been convicted of a felony must be granted special approval by the Vice President of Student Engagement to speak before an organization.
  3. No contract or formal commitment between any recognized organization and an outside speaker can be issued to an outside speaker without prior written approval by the Director or the Vice President of Student Engagement.
  4. By acceptance of the invitation to speak, the speaker shall assume full responsibility for any violation of law committed by her/him while she/he is on campus.
  5. The university reserves the right to assign facilities for all activities on campus.
  6. A request made by an organization may be denied for failure to comply with the policy or if it is determined that the proposed speech will constitute a clear and present danger to the institution's orderly operation by the speaker's advocacy of such action as:
    1. The violent overthrow of the government of the United States, the State of Texas, or any political subdivision thereof; or
    2. The willful damage or destruction, or seizure and subversion, of the institution's buildings or other property; or
    3. The forcible disruption or impairment of, or other invasion of legal rights, of the institution's officials, faculty members, staff, or students; or
    4. The physical harm, coercion, intimidation, or other invasion of legal rights, of the institution's officials, faculty members, staff, or students; or
    5. Other campus disorders of a violent nature.
  7. In determining the existence of a clear and present danger, all relevant factors will be considered, including whether such speaker has incited violence resulting in bodily harm to individuals and/or in the destruction of property or has willfully caused the forcible disruption of regularly scheduled classes, educational or service functions at any other institution. Consideration may also be given to the climate of the campus in making a determination of the probability of advocacy prompting a group or individual to action.
  8. If an organization's request for an outside speaker is denied, the organization shall, upon written application to the Chief Student Personnel Officer, obtain a hearing at the earliest possible time, following the filing of its appeal. The Vice President of Student Engagement shall either uphold or reverse the decision of the Director.

PROCEDURE: A Speaker Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Director of the Setzer Student Center by an officer of the student organization desiring to sponsor the proposed speaker at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the date of the proposed speaking engagement.


TRAVEL POLICIES FOR STUDENTS

Student Travel and Use of Motor Driven Vehicles and Equipment; Reference Texas Education Code Section 5 1.949, and Senate Bill No. 263.

These travel procedures apply to faculty and staff who engage in transporting students off campus a distance of 25 miles or more from campus to an activity or event that is organized, sponsored or funded by the institution, using a vehicle owned or operated by the institution, or travel that is required by an organization registered at the institution. These travel procedures are considered to be minimum standard; departments may mandate additional procedures.

It is recommended that a designated staff member and/or faculty member accompany each student travel group. In the event an advisor cannot attend the function with the student/student group, the organization member/members should be advised on what the expected behavior from each student should be. All University rules and regulations must be followed.

Groups of 24 and over may be required to obtain commercial/chartered transportation. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and final decision for such an event will be given by the Vice President for Student Engagement or his/her designee after consultation with the student organization advisor. Chartered transportation must comply with all state and federal laws. Groups under 24 may travel by University owned, leased, rented, or privately owned motor vehicles.

For student/student organization travel, only employees of Lamar University are allowed to drive University owned, leased, or rented, motor vehicles. Lamar University students are not covered under the University insurance policy unless they are employed by the University. Any employee who is to drive a University vehicle must first provide the Vice President for Finance and/or his/her designee with a copy of their driver's license and sign an "Application For Copy of Driver Record" form. A license check will be run which will reflect the status of the license, list any accidents and moving violations in the past three (3) years. Permission for an employee to drive a University owned, leased, or rented motor vehicle will depend on the results of their driving record. The employee's driver's license and the "Application For Copy of Driver Record" must be submitted to the Vice President for Finance office at least two (2) weeks prior to the date the employee is expected to drive the University owned, leased, rented, or privately owned motor vehicle.

Because personal automobile insurance will be considered first in the event of an accident, all persons who use their personal vehicles while conducting university business should be aware of the possibility of personal liability related to such use. No individual shall be required to use his/her personal vehicle to drive to official university sponsored activities. Use of personal vehicles by students to drive to official university sponsored activities is discouraged.

All state and federal laws will be followed when operating a vehicle for students/student organizations official travel. Drivers will comply with all applicable traffic laws and regulations. All occupants must use seat belts and other safety devices when the vehicle is in motion. Manufacturer suggested vehicle capacities will be followed when vehicles are used by students/student organizations.

The following activities are PROHIBITED for drivers while driving:

  • Driving while under the influence of impairing drugs or alcohol
  • Use of radar/laser detection devices
  • Use of headphones or earphones
  • Use of cell phone
  • Eating, smoking, or drinking

The fatigue of the vehicle operator should be considered at the time of travel and only rested drivers should operate a vehicle.

Each student who travels by motor vehicle or any other form of transportation to participate in a University related activity must execute a copy of the Release and Indemnification Agreement.

Each traveling student must have document proof of current medical insurance coverage. Any traveling student less than 18 years of age must have consent for treatment form on file.

Organizations that travel frequently are encouraged to have consent for treatment forms on file for all travelers.

Departments that encourage or require one or more students to travel to events and activities covered under this policy are responsible for verifying that students are aware of this policy.

Faculty and staff employees who fail to comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable provisions of the faculty handbook and the staff personnel manual.

Individual students who violate this policy and the safe travel rules approved by the university are subject to disciplinary action, to include suspension. Student organizations that violate this policy and the safe travel rules are subject to disciplinary action, to include suspension and loss of funding.


COMMITTEE ON STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

COMPOSITION OF COMMITTEE: The Committee on Student Organizations advisory committee of the Setzer Student Center and has a membership of faculty, staff, and students. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Students serves as the committee chairman, who presides over the committee meetings and serves as the committee's chief executive officer. The Director of Setzer Student Center and the Coordinator of Student Organizations or his/her representative serves the committee as an administrative advisor and ex-officio without vote. A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum, and a majority of a quorum rules.

JURISDICTION OF COMMITTEE: Except as provided below, the committee has jurisdiction over all student organizations. The committee does not have jurisdiction over:

  • Organizations where jurisdiction has been transferred by agreement between the Setzer Student Center and an Academic Dean or other administrative official and with the approval of the student organization;
  • Activities in which participation may yield academic credit in degree program offered by the university; or
  • Any NCAA regulations pertaining to Lamar University Athletics.

GENERAL DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE: The Committee on Student Organizations shall:

  • Review all appeals from new student organizations requesting recognition, and
  • Review and select the Student Organization Award Nominations, and
  • Review and recommend proposed changes to the Student Organization Handbook.

STUDENT ORGANIZATION ADVISORS

POLICIES FOR ADVISORS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: All organizations are required to have at least one advisor who is a member of the faculty or staff. Advisors must be full-time employees with at least six (6) months of full-time employment at Lamar University with the exception of administrative staff members whose job description includes specific advisement responsibilities. The Coordinator and Director have the responsibility of approving student organizations and advisors. It is the responsibility of each student organization to submit the names of advisors. The Coordinator will notify each organization of endorsement for Student Organizations.

Advising is both beneficial and time consuming. Organizations should, therefore, attempt to find advisors who are not already working with more than two other student organizations. This will assure the organization of more attention from its advisor and permit the benefits of advising to accrue to others on the faculty and staff.

University recognized student organizations are entitled to the use of university facilities, when available. In order to use campus facilities for meetings and other functions, the advisor must approve facility requests. Some university facilities may require the attendance of the advisor or his/her designee, who will accept responsibility for the organization and the facilities.

Before a faculty member or staff member accepts to be an advisor to a student organization, they should review if their time is available.

In accepting the position of advisor of a student organization, the faculty or staff member should be present at as many activities and meetings of the organization he/she is advising as possible.

Exceptions to these policies may be granted at the discretion of the Director.

Student Officers and advisors may perceive his/her relation to a student organization differently. Some advisors play very active roles, attending meetings, working with student officers, and assisting in program planning and development. Others maintain a more distant relationship to the organization. It is hoped that each advisor will maintain some regular contact with your organization. An advisor accepts responsibility for keeping informed about activities of the organization and for advising officers of the organization on the appropriateness and general merits of policies and activities. Advisors should be both accessible and interested and should provide whatever council a group or its members might seek.

Given the myriad of purposes, activities, and objectives of various student groups, the role of the advisor will vary in some degree between groups. As groups vary in their expectations and needs, it is important that you develop an understanding with your advisor as to the nature of your involvement. The advisor and group should agree on a set of expectations of one another from the onset and should write this list down as a contract between the group and the advisor. Following are some of the roles an advisor may assume:

  • Mentor
  • Team Builder
  • Conflict Mediator
  • Reflective Agent
  • Educator
  • Motivator
  • Policy Interpreter

STUDENT ORGANIZATION AWARDS

The Student Organization Awards are presented during the spring semester. The Student Organization Awards Committee, composed of students, faculty, and staff, chooses the recipients. Awards are presented at the annual Toast to Leadership Banquet.Awards are given to acknowledge outstanding achievement by registered student organizations and their advisors in the following categories:

  • Organization of the Year
  • New Organization of the Year
  • Event of the Year
  • Community Service Award
  • Dr. Melvin F. Brust Advisor of the Year
  • Officer of the Year
  • Community Service Award
  • Academic Achievement Award

STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

The Student Government Association (SGA) represents the voice of students, facilitates new and improved student services and programs, and serves an important role in student judicial proceedings. The Student Government Association represents all enrolled Lamar University students. All enrolled students have the opportunity to promote, support, and participate in a well-rounded student life program. Students can serve on the academic affairs, community outreach, environmental affairs, public relations, student organizations, and/or student services standing committees in addition to serving on other university advisory committees.