Know Your Rights
The Right to Associate
Students have the right to organize and join registered student organizations to promote their common interests consistent with the purposes and policies of the University. 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
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, discuss, inquire and express; the right to be free from discrimination or harassment; and the right to petition and appeal.
On this basis:
- Admission to organizations must be open to all students without respect to race, color, gender (except residence hall clubs), national origin, religion, age, disability or any other legally protected characteristic.
- Organizations may establish membership requirements as long as these are made public and do not 1) discriminate against any legally protected characteristic, 2) deny a student's rights as outlined in the Student 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 granted at the discretion of the charging organization.