Return to: Student Handbook
The Right to Associate
Students have the right to organize and join registered student organizations to promote their common interests consistent with the values, mission and policies of the University. The University reserves the right to determine which pursuits are suited to student-led organizations and which may be carried out only within the context of an institutional department or program.
Student organizations should exist:
- To encourage students to engage in activities which complement classroom instruction
- To broaden and strengthen students’ abilities and interests
- To enrich the campus culture and promote an ethic of service
- To offer students opportunities to develop leadership skills
Recognition of Student Organizations
All student groups must be recognized by the University in order to function on- or off-campus or online. Affiliation with an external organization will not of itself guarantee the recognition of a student organization. Recognition is granted solely by the University. In order to be recognized, student organizations must:
- Register annually with the Office of Student Activities & Involvement, through OrgSync
- Be overseen by an approved faculty or staff advisor/sponsor
- Have a minimum of ten currently enrolled students as members, including three who serve as officers
- Have a constitution on file in the Office of Student Activities & Involvement via OrgSync upload
- Be open to all Andrews University students
- Be in conformity with University policies and values
- Send an advisor/sponsor and at least one officer to a student organization orientation session or its equivalent
The failure of a registered student organization to meet the policies and expectations of the University could result in the revoking of University approval.
Unauthorized Student Organizations
Student groups that do not meet the criteria above are not permitted to function, recruit or otherwise have an influence on the Andrews University campus. Students belonging to organizations that exist without the approval of the University will be found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and will jeopardize their student status. Unauthorized organizations that have attempted to recruit University students in the past include Raw Dogs, Rubies, Fam One and O.M.E.G.A. Students who are uncertain of an organization’s legitimacy should call the Office of Student Activities & Involvement for more information.
Protection of Individual Student Rights
The right to associate must be practiced with respect to the individual rights of students who are either a part of the organization or seeking membership within it, as well as those outside of the organization. These rights include, but may not be limited to, the right to learn; the right to be free from discrimination and harassment; the right to discuss, inquire, express and petition; and the right to appeal. On this basis:
- Admission to organizations must be open to all students without respect to race, color, sex (except residence hall clubs), national origin, religion, age, disability or any protected characteristic.
- Organizations may establish membership requirements as long as these are made public and do not (1) discriminate against any protected characteristic, (2) deny a student’s rights as outlined in this “Handbook,” or (3) place an undue hardship on a student’s ability to maintain academic success and progress.
- Membership is the right of any student who meets an organization’s membership requirements and may not be determined by organizational vote or come solely at the invitation of an organization. Officers, however, may be elected by an organization, as outlined in an organization’s constitution and bylaws.
- Membership is to be granted only to currently enrolled students. Former students and alumni may maintain a connection to a student organization (as they would to the University) but may not participate as members or hold voting privileges.
- Students have the right to full disclosure of an organization’s existence, purpose, policies and procedures so as to make an informed choice for or against membership. Likewise, organizations must conduct their business and activities in a transparent fashion, with the full knowledge and participation of their advisor/sponsor.
- Students seeking to resolve differences within a student organization should do so through the established channels of the organization. However, a student always has the right to seek assistance from University personnel, especially in cases of misconduct, threatening or harassing behavior, etc. (see Right to Appeal/Grievance ).
- Commitment to membership in a student organization is voluntary in nature and may be withdrawn by a student at any time without consequence. Refunds of paid organizational dues, however, are at the discretion of the charging organization.
All student organizations are required to have a University-approved faculty or staff advisor/sponsor. Each organization is free to recruit and present a faculty or staff nominee to the Office of Student Activities & Involvement for approval. Large organizations or those with multiple functions may be required to select a second advisor/sponsor.
Members of the Andrews faculty and staff perform an important educational role when they accept the responsibility to advise student organizations. They will guide the student officers and units, but they will not arbitrarily seek to control the policies and decisions of the student organizations.
The advisor/sponsor or the vice president for Student Life may exercise the right to suspend or reverse a decision by the student officers or organization when that decision is found to be contrary to the philosophy of the University. An advisor’s/sponsor’s decision to suspend or reverse a decision may be appealed to the assistant director of Student Activities & Involvement and eventually to the vice president for Student Life.
All student activities must be sponsored by a University department, registered student organization, or student association (AUSA, AUGSA) and be approved by the Office of Student Activities & Involvement. All activities and trips must be supervised by the presence of a full-time faculty or staff member for the full duration of the activity or trip. Activity Approval Forms are available online at orgsync.com/login/andrews-university.
- On- or Off-Campus Day Activities. Student activities held on- or off-campus without an overnight stay must be approved by the Office of Student Activities & Involvement at least two weeks prior to the activity.
- Overnight Off-Campus Trips. Student trips to off-campus locations involving at least one overnight stay must be approved by the Office of Student Activities & Involvement as well as by the University Trips and Tours Committee. This is done by submitting a Non-Academic Trip Request Form at least two months prior to the trip.
- Fund-raising. Individuals may not solicit funds or fund-raise on-campus. Student organizations may engage in certain fund-raising activities with the approval of the Office of Student Activities & Involvement based on the following stipulations:
- Fund-raising promotional materials must clearly identify the recipient(s) of the funds and the purpose for which they will be used.
- All funds must be deposited into the student organization’s account.
- Funds may be disbursed to non-profit organizations holding 501c3 status and whose mission, values and practices do not conflict with those of the University.
- Loose cash collections may be taken up on behalf of charities; however, donors wishing to receive a tax deduction must donate directly to the benefiting organization.
- Donations made to University student organizations will not be tax deductible.
- Student organizations may disburse cash payments to individuals or families in need but only after a disbursement plan has been approved by the Office of Student Activities & Involvement.
- Student organizations are prohibited from soliciting funds from University departments or entities. University departments are also prohibited from using University funds to support student organizations.
The University requires financial accountability of student organization officers, including statements of an organization’s income, income sources and expenses.
Dues. Each organization is responsible for the collection and management of its own dues. Club dues may be charged to students’ accounts within the first monthly billing cycle of the semester with the submission of the proper charge forms. Yearly dues may not exceed $50.
Deposits. All student organization funds must be deposited with the University cashier into an organizational account to reduce the loss from misappropriation or the lack of proper custodianship when there is an officer turnover.
Use of funds. Dues or funds collected from the membership may not be used by the executive officers for gifts or activities that are restricted to the executive officers or any other select group within the club.
Accounts. The advisor/sponsor is responsible for the proper auditing of club accounts. Notices will be sent to the advisor/sponsor or assistant director for Student Activities & Involvement when an organizational account has reached a minimum balance and is in danger of being overspent. Major charges made to an organization’s account by a University department may require a balance verification before business can be transacted.
Tax status. The University’s tax-exempt status does not extend to student organizations, and therefore purchases made by organizations are not tax-exempt.