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Student Handbook - Student Organizations

Student organizations and their officers are responsible for the observance and enforcement of all regulations regarding student organizations and their events. The following is a brief guide to the policies and procedures for Student Organizations. For more in-depth guidelines please refer to the Clubs Manual. Hard copies are available in the Clubs Office or the full text can be found on the Student Activities website.

 

Club Requirements

To operate as an official Rice University club, an organization must meet the following requirements: 

  • All undergraduate student organizations shall follow the Student Association Bylaws with regard to their establishment and organization. All graduate student organizations will likewise follow the Graduate Student Association Bylaws. 
  • No organization may discriminate in policy or action on grounds of race/ethnicity, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or national origin. 
  • Members of the Rice community must comprise at least 50% of the membership.  
  • Principal officers and spokespersons must be currently registered Rice students and in good academic and disciplinary standing. 
  • The club's constitution must be approved by the Student Association (SA) or the Graduate Student Association (GSA). 
  • All clubs are required to have a faculty/staff sponsor who is on campus for the entire academic year. 
  • Clubs must register every Fall with the Office of Student Activities. Registration for established clubs must be completed by October 1. 
  • New clubs may register at anytime during the year. 

    For more information, please refer to the Clubs Manual. 

     

Registration Benefits

  • Use of Rice University name and logo, with permission of the Office of Student Activities to identify institutional affiliation
  • Permission to recruit members on campus
  • Use of University meeting rooms, facilities and outdoor areas by the student membership of the organization free of charge
  • Use of copier in Clubs Office for a minimal fee and access to an organization mailbox in the Student Organization Resource Center
  • Ability to publicize events in the Rice Program Council Student Events Calendar, hang banners on Fondren Library and the Student Center Banner Wall, use Rice Memorial
  • Center glass doors for publicity, and rent the Student Center portable sound system for campus events
  • Listing on the Student Activities web page and links from the Student Activities webpage to the club's homepage
  • Ability to requisition funds from University sources
     
  • Ability to seek solicitation from the outside community after receiving permission from the Office of Student Activities
  • Use of Rice University Tax Exempt Form
  • Privilege of opening an Rice University banner account through the Office of Student Activities

    Note: These privileges are extended only to those organizations that are fully registered. Those organizations failing to register by October 1 are not eligible for these privileges until registration is completed. Failure to use privileges responsibly may result in revocation and possible dissolution of the club.

     

Current Student Organizations
For a list of current student organizations and their contact information please refer to the Student Activities website. 

Planning Events for Student Organizations

Important Points for Event Planning:

  1. Advance notice of parties, dinners, dances and other special functions must be reported to the Director of Student Activities, no later than one week before the function is scheduled to take place. 
  2. Organizations other than the colleges must report the names of speakers from off campus to the Office of Student Activities one week in advance of the event. 
  3. The Director of Student Activities is the only person authorized to sign contracts on behalf of student organizations. See "Contracts" for more information.   
  4. Events involving alcohol must be registered with the Office of Student Judicial Programs AT LEAST one week in advance. 
  5. Further guidelines are available at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~stact/plan.html. 

Reserving Space on Campus
To reserve classroom space for events or to reserve outdoor space, registered student organizations should fill out the appropriate form via the Student Activities website. Requests for outdoor space should be initiated at least two weeks in advance of the desired date to allow sufficient time for approval. Depending on the location of an outdoor event, the Office of Student Activities will give additional instructions regarding approval. Noise level of the event and class schedules will be taken into consideration before approval (i.e. no loud musical events or activities will be approved during class times). Generally the Academic Quad is only reserved for events of a somber nature - for example, candlelight vigils, Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrance, etc. Outdoor musical events or loud activities should be planned in the lunch hour or begin after 4 p.m. Club Sports wishing to reserve fields for games or practice should call x2739 or email clubsprt@rice.edu.  

To reserve space in the Student Center, registered student organizations should access the Student Center Room Reservation Request Form at http://rooms.rice.edu/login.aspx. All registered clubs are required to have a user ID and password to reserve space in the Student Center. All Rice University facilities and scheduling of events therein are governed by the Policies for Using University Facilities and Scheduling Campus.

Note: If alcohol will be served at the event, that fact must be indicated on the reservation form, and the Alcohol Policy procedures must be followed.   
   

Posting SignsBefore posting signs on campus, students must check with the department or faculty responsible for the area where they wish to place their handbill, poster or other notice. They can confirm which spaces are authorized for posting notices, including bulletin boards in all buildings and the doors or walls of departmental or individual faculty offices. College governments can provide information on designated sign posting areas on college premises.
 

The Assistant Dean of Student Judicial Programs may levy a $15 fine against any campus organization, department or individual for each posting of one or more identical posters, handbills or notices in unauthorized locations (including, but not limited to: sign posts, lamp posts, garbage cans, trees and building columns). Facilities & Engineering personnel will remove signs from unauthorized locations on a daily basis. In addition, those posting signs are responsible for any damage caused by signs they post. All signs must list the name and phone number of the sponsoring organization.

Note: The posting of signs, posters and other campaigning materials during the student elections in the spring is controlled according to special provisions established by the Student Association.
 

Banners on Fondren Library
To hang a banner from Fondren Library, interested parties must complete a Library Banner Agreement Form available in the Office of Student Activities. The student will sign an agreement to be responsible for the sturdy construction of the banner, use of waterproof paint and PVC pipes, suitability of wording (e.g., no primary emphasis on alcohol at parties) and prompt removal of the banner by the date agreed. The student will agree to remove and return to the Office of Student Activities other out-of-date banners. Approval of the banner will be based on adherence to the above and the organization's prior behavior in the prompt and tidy removal of banners. Approved banners should be taken, along with the signed approval, to the Library Administrative Office on the third floor of Fondren Library, where the students will be allowed on the roof to hang the banners during specified times. Banners may be hung no earlier than one week prior to the event. Special approval allowing banners to stay up longer is given by the Director of Student Activities, pending space availability. Failure to remove a banner is equivalent to posting a sign in an unauthorized location and will incur a fine of $15.

Hosting Events Involving AlcoholFor further information regarding events with alcohol please refer to the Alcohol Policy and to the Clubs Manual.

Planning TripsOrganizations planning trips outside the Houston area must complete forms releasing the University from liability during the course of the trip. A "Participation Agreement Including Assumption of Risk and Release from Liability" form must be filled out by each member of the organization participating in the trip. This form stipulates that Rice University will not provide any insurance in connection with the trip, and that the participant must: have proof of appropriate medical coverage; abide by all applicable policies of Rice University while participating in the trip; and release Rice University from any form of liability related to the trip.

These forms, along with a "Release Form Cover Sheet," to be filled out by the contact person representing the organization, must be turned in to the Office of Student Activities at least one week before the trip. Both the "Participation Agreement" form and the "Cover Sheet" are available on the Student Activities web page.

Fundraising and Sales TaxColleges and registered student organizations interested in fundraising should contact the Office of Student Activities for approval and instructions. For fundraising that involves the resale of merchandise (e.g. sale of t-shirts) organizations are required by law to report sales and pay sales tax. Contact the Office of Student Activities for information.

Solicitation of DonationsNo individual student or student organization, except the colleges, may solicit funds through advertisements, patrons' bids or otherwise from anyone other than active student members of the organizations without prior approval of the Office of Student Activities. The request for permission to solicit such funds shall state the purpose of the solicitation, the proposed form it will take and the list of persons or firms to be solicited. Members of the Board of Governors and Rice University associates shall not be so solicited. Any monetary donations clubs receive should be brought to the Office of Student Activities to be processed through Rice's gift accounting office. Donors will receive a receipt from the University for tax purposes. Clubs should contact the Office of Student Activities to access funds in the gift account. Note: No individual or group may use the name of Rice University or its colleges without prior approval of University officials.Contracts
Authority to obligate the University by contract in all matters relating to campus organizations lies solely with the President of the University on delegation by the Board of Trustees. All contracts involving clubs must be submitted to the Office of Student Activities no later than 3 weeks prior to the contracted date, for signature by the Director of Student Activities after approval from the University General Counsel. The Director of Student Activities is the ONLY person who can sign contracts for clubs. This review is established for the protection of the club, its officers and sponsor, and the University. Any contract signed before securing proper approval is the personal responsibility and liability of the individual signing the contract.