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RSO Operating Procedures

 

sTATEMENT OF PURPOSE

OBJECTIVES

DEFINITIONS

GENERAL INFORMATION

RESPONSIBILITIES AND BENEFITS OF REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING AN ORGANIZATION

MAINTAINING STATUS

ORGANIZATIONAL FUNDING

ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES

MEMBERSHIPS, MEETINGS, AND ADVISORS

FACILITIES, SPEECH, ADVOCACY, AND THE ASSEMBLY

REQUIREMENTS FOR OFF CAMPUS TRAVEL

LONE STAR COLLEGE-NORTH hARRIS ADDENDUM

POLICY ON STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

POLICY ON HAZING

 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The College recognizes:

The importance of organized student activities as an integral part of the total educational program offered to students by the college;
College learning experiences are enriched by student organizational activity;
Organizations provide a framework for students within which they may develop their own special talents and interests.
Inherent in the relationship between the college and organized student groups is the understanding that the purposes and activities of such groups should be consistent with the main objectives and formal organizations of the college.

All Registered Student Organizations are to comply with the procedures and policies regarding recognition and operation as set forth by this document.

OBJECTIVES

To assist students throughout the campus community with like interests and talents to become better acquainted;
To provide an opportunity to extend classroom experiences into the academic life of the campus;
To develop social interaction among students;
To assist students in developing leadership qualities;
To provide profitable use of leisure time by creating additional learning opportunities on campus and throughout the surrounding communities.

DEFINITIONS

  • "Advisor" is a full-time employee who counsels the members and guides activities of an organization and implies the willingness to support the mission, purpose and goals of the organization.
  • "Co-advisor" describes a full-time or part-time employee who assists with the group on a limited or special basis.
  • "Class Day" means any day during which classes or examinations are regularly scheduled.
    "Program Managerr" describes the Program Manager for Student Activities
  • "CSSO" means the Chief Student Services Officer.-LSC-North Harris Vice President of Student and Organizational Development
  • "RSO" is a Registered Student Organization, meaning an "active" student organization.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  A. General policies concerning student activities have been promulgated for the purpose of providing uniformity and consistency in making decisions affecting students in the Lone Star College System.

  B. Students are expected to recognize constituted authority and to recognize the rights and privacy of others. Disorderly conduct, including damaging of public property and disobeying college officials, subject the individual students and organizations to disciplinary actions. In addition, students must meet all guidelines for Student Code of Conduct, specified in the Lone Star College System catalog.

  C. Any individual student, group of students, or student organization may petition the CSSO or designee on any matter relating to the policies and regulations set forth in this document through the Program Manager.

  D. Registration procedures as specified in the following sections are to be followed by any group of students eligible to propose a new student organization.

  E. A proposed constitution must be submitted to the Student Activities Office for review by the Program Manager no later than 30 days after the date on which application is submitted.

  F. Upon fulfillment of procedural requirements and upon approval of its constitution by the CSSO or designee, the organization will be officially recognized as a student organization of the respective college within the Lone Star College System. The constitution will be kept on file in the Student Activities Office of the respective college. The Advisor of the organization will be sent a letter confirming acceptance or rejection of the application.

Role(s) of the Student Activities Office/Manager

The student activities office/Program Manager is assigned to assist with the creation and maintenance of student organizations.  This includes assisting with budgets, travel, training, planning and coordinating events while providing support for organization advisors and students.  The goal of the student activities office/Program Manager is to promote successful campus organizations and foster collaboration between all student organizations and advisors.  The student activities office is the primary resource for all issues pertaining to student organizations.

The student activities office/Program Manager is not responsible for making travel arrangements, reservations, designing publicity for club events, or completing facility requests. The Program Manager is not responsible for initiating payments or reimbursements for organizational bills and purchases.  All of these responsibilities lie within the individual organization.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND BENEFITS OF REGISTERED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS 

Registered Student Organizations exist on the college campus on the assumption that their activities and programs contribute to the educational, civic, and social development of the students involved.

Specific Benefits of becoming an RSO

1. Use of college rooms, buildings, and facilities, and using college equipment (subject to proper scheduling procedures, and prior needs of the college itself).
2. Use of the name of the appropriate college in all information, publicity, and references in accordance with Community Relations policies;
3. Use of the services of the Student Activities Office, including assistance in planning, carrying out, and evaluating activities and programs, and assistance in making the organization more effective and efficient.
4. Use of available campus facilities as determined by the College Relations scheduling officer.
5. Use of campus resources (i.e. website, email, newspaper) to disseminate information or advertise events and meetings.

PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING AN ORGANIZATION

1. Individuals or groups who wish to register a new organization or reactivate one shall make application to the Program Manager, who will assist the group in preparing its application if necessary. The application requires the group to secure an advisor from the full time employees, to submit a copy of its proposed constitution, and to prepare a list of proposed officers and a minimum of eight members.
2. During the establishing period, activities will be limited to those necessary to recruit members and develop the organization. This includes receiving prior approval for hosting meetings, posting flyers, etc.
3. Approval of the organization shall be the responsibility of the CSSO or designee. Upon receipt of the following forms, the status of the organization will be determined.
   A. Completed Registered Student Organization Application;

   B. Copy of proposed constitution;

   C. Completed RSO statement of Officers;

   D. Completed Advisor Agreement Form;

   E. Completed Hazing Statement.

4. Recognition does not constitute endorsement of its program or purpose, but is a charter to exist on the college campus and may be withdrawn by the Program Manager if the organization deviates from the basic objectives for Registered Student Organizations.

5. No organization shall be registered at the college that:

   A. excludes anyone from membership on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin or ethnicity;

   B. has procedures inconsistent with the purposes and policies of the college;

   C. conceals any of its purposes and practices from its members or from the academic community or whose actions or activities are in opposition to the educational purposes and value statements of the institution;

   D. includes hazing, with our without the consent of the student as a practice. "Hazing is construed to involve dangerous, harmful, or degrading features, including "walks" or "paddling" (according to section 4.19, Texas Education Code).

6. The CSSO or designee may revoke registration or deny subsequent application to any student organization failing to comply with its own constitution of college regulations or both.  The first year of an organization's existence constitutes a probationary period.  If at any time during this first year the organization does not maintain status as specified above, registration may be revoked.

MAINTAINING STATUS

General:

Organizations that become directly or indirectly affiliated with organizations on the United States Attorney General, a list of subversive or continuing registration, along with those organization whose purposes, objective , and activities violate or advocate the violation of federal and state laws.

Specific Status Requirements:

1. To maintain RSO status an organization must complete the following on an annual basis:
   A .Updated Registered Student Organization Application;

   B. Copy of constitution if updates have been made;

   C. Completed RSO Statement of Officers (included on RSO Application);

   D. Completed Advisor Agreement Form (included on RSO Application);

   E. Completed Hazing Statement (included on RSO Application).

2. A Registered Student Organization may function as long as it complies with the following:

   A. Has college affiliated advisor;

   B. Confines membership to currently enrolled students of the college;

   C. Schedules all on-campus meetings and programs through the Student Activities Office;

   D. Observes college regulations;

   E. Communicates through its officers with the Program Manager.

3. If any changes or updates occur during year, it is the responsibility of the advisor to submit updates and revisions to the Student Activities Office.

ORGANIZATIONAL FUNDING

Student Activity Fee Allocation Process:

Prior to recommending the student fee budget to the Chancellor, the President shall consider the report and recommendations of a student fee advisory committee for each college.  Each committee shall be composed of the following nine members:

  1. Five student members who are enrolled for not less than six semester credit hours at the College and who are representative of all students enrolled at the College, selected by one of the following methods:

   A. If the college has a student government, the student government shall appoint three students to serve two-year terms on the committee and two students to serve one-year terms on the committee.

   B. If the College does not have a student government, the students enrolled at the College shall elect three students to serve two-year terms on the committee and two students to serve one-year terms on the committee. A candidate for a position on the committee must designate whether the position is for a one-year or two year term.

  2. Four employee members who are representative of the entire College appointed by the President.

A student member of the committee who withdraws from the College must resign from the committee.  A vacancy in an appointive position on the committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as the original appointment.  A vacancy in an elective position on the committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by appointment by the President.

If the President's recommendations to the Chancellor are substantially different from the committee's recommendations to the President, the administration of the College District shall notify the committee not later than the last date on which the committee may request an appearance at the Board meeting.  On request of a member of the committee, the President shall provide the member with a written report of the President's recommendations to the Chancellor.

  - Education Code 54.5031

Eligibility for Funding

The organization must:

1. Maintain RSO status;
2. Meet campus participation requirements. See institutional addendum.i
3. Provide financial history of all organizational accounts for current budget cycle.

RSO funds for funding may be frozen, reduced or removed due to violations of Lone Star College System or individual College policies relating to student conduct or inappropriate fiscal management as deemed appropriate by the CSSO or designee.

Fundraising

Due to the implementation of the Student Activity Fee, fundraising is no longer necessary for most organizations and is strongly discouraged.  The following are exceptions:

1. The activity is tied to a philanthropic organization with all profits being donated;
2. The activity is part of a larger campus event designated as an RSO fundraising event (limited to one per semester.) The Program Manager may regulate the time, place, and manner of fundraising activities and may require financial reporting and accountability.

All events of this nature must take place on the campus.  The College President must approve exceptions.

ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES

The receipt of dues, fees, and other income or property by student organizations and any disbursements shall be under the supervision of the advisor of the organization.  These records will be subject to audit by officials of the college at any time.  All purchase orders, check requisitions, and petty cash reimbursement forms must be signed by the appropriate individuals.

MEMBERSHIPS, MEETINGS, AND ADVISORS

Membership in student organizations shall be limited to currently enrolled students.

Meetings and Assemblies:

1. In keeping with institutional purposes and policies as outlined in the student handbook and Board of Trustee Policies, conduct on all social functions, meeting, and assemblies shall be orderly and shall not interfere with academics or administrative functions or activities.
2. All on-campus social functions, meetings, and assemblies must be registered in the Student Activities Office and entered on the Student Activities Calendar prior to the scheduling of any public announcement of the event.
3. Space assignments for meetings must be obtained from the Community Relations Scheduling Officer, or Student Development, depending on accommodations needed.
4. Advisors must be notified well in advance of all meetings and social functions and are required to attend official activities. In the event an official advisor is unable to attend he/she may designate another LSC-North Harris employee to serve in his/her absence.
5. The organization is responsible for the conduct of its members and guests at its meetings, social functions, and assemblies.
6. All participants attending RSO events on campus and off campus must comply with the Lone Star College System Student Code of Conduct.
7. Speakers or performers from off campus may be retained by way of Independent Contract form submitted to the CSSO prior to event.
8. Alcohol is not permitted at student functions. Special circumstances must receive the approval of the CSSO and college president.     

Advisors:

It is the responsibility of the organization to identify an interested full-time employee, eligible to serve as advisor.  The advisors will be an official appointment through the college president's office.  An individual should not serve simultaneously in an advisory role for more than two Registered Student Organizations as of fall 2005, unless granted administrative approval.

The term of the advisor is indefinite pending the following scenarios:

1. The advisor wishes to resign.
2. There is reasonable cause for the advisor to be dismissed. The CSSO or designee will evaluate such concerns.

FACILITIES, SPEECH, ADVOCACY, AND THE ASSMEBLY

Philosophy and Limitations

1. Freedom if inquiry and discussion are basic and essential to intellectual development. Students and registered student organizations have the right; therefore, to present speakers to petition, to post signs, to set up booths or tables and to demonstrate peacefully on campus, all in accordance with local, state, and national law, and in accordance with applicable district rules and institutional regulations. Such activities shall not disrupt or disturb the regular academic and institutional program and shall not result in damage to or defacement of property.
2. The college reserves the right to establish reasonable, non-discriminatory regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of speech, advocacy and assembly. The CSSO or designee is the administrative officer primarily responsible for the development and administration of such policies.
3. It shall be made clear to the academic and to the larger community that in their public expressions and demonstrations students and student organizations speak only for themselves, since the college does not endorse any statement or activity that does not represent official college action.
4. Section 5. Article 6889-3A, Vernon's Texas Civil Statues, is quoted as follows to serve as a regulatory statement to indicate that there is coupled with the right of freedom of speech and assembly the responsibility for each individual to support and defend the constitution of the State of Texas and the United States.    "It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or willfully to ... advocate, abet,   advise, or teach by any means ...under such circumstances as to constitute a clear and present danger the securing of the United States, of the State of Texas, or of any political sub-division of either of them..."
5. Persons having no legitimate business on college property may be refused access to such property and persons who engage in disruptive behavior may be removed from the campus.

REQUIREMENTS FOR OFF CAMPUS TRAVEL

The college recognizes student organizations that are athletic, academic, service oriented, and/or social in nature as means of enriching the students' experiences.  Example of travel that is undertaken by student groups:

1. A trip to national, regional, or district conference hosted by an affiliated organization;
2. A music group performing at an off-campus location site;
3. A student group tutoring children at a regional center; or
4. A sports club/team competing at an off-site location.

The advisor of the RSO must take the following steps prior to a trip:

1. Confirm that budgeted funds are available for the trip, including suitable transportation for the trip;
2. Be familiar with the process to be used to respond to any special needs of a student with a disability;
3. Submit travel approval from (Form D-2) and secure the response from the associate dean and vice-president; and
4. The advisor or another approved college official must accompany the student organization to events in which the student organization represents Lone Star College System.
5. Attend risk management training.

After receiving approval for the trip, the sponsor must advise all students of the trip and take the following additional steps prior to departure:

1. Advisor is to complete the following forms:

  • Trip Plan and Roster (Forms D-3) with itinerary and list of student participants;
  • Request an Authorization for Leave of Absence (From D-4);
  • Request for Employee (or other) to Operate College Vehicle (Form D-5); *Only needed if District Vehicle is used*
  • Vehicle Use Information Sheet (Form D-6);
  • Guidelines for Drivers (Form D-7); and
  • Request for Information From Texas Driver Licensing Records (Form D-8).
  • Reimbursement forms and original receipts within two weeks following the completion of the trip.

2. Advisor is to secure the following forms from each participant:

Statement of Understanding and Agreement Regarding Student Participation in Off-Campus Activities, Field Trips, etc. (Form D-9);
Participant's General Information and Authorization for Medical Treatment Form;(Form D-10);
Participant Release Form for Contact Sports [athletic events, intramurals, recreational sports, etc.] (Form D-11); and
General Information and Passenger Acknowledgement and Release Concerning Travel in Private Vehicle (Form D-12).
3. After the trip, the sponsor is to submit a written incident report (Form D-13), if necessary, to the CSSO and other pertinent college officials. A written incident report must be completed in the following instances:

Any misconduct by participants, as stated in the Lone Star College System Student Code of Conduct;
Any civil rights violations that were brought to her attention;
Any injuries or illness;
Any police or other official inquiry or assistance provided, or
Any circumstances that could lead to any disciplinary or legal action.
Student participants on an approved college trip are entitled to make up missed work.  It is the responsibility of each student to make arrangements with his or her instructor prior to leaving for the trip.

All forms listed can also be accessed through Educational Services and Programs website: http://eps/nhmccd.edu/Risk_Mgmt/Default.htm

The Lone Star College System is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment.  The college does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, disability, age, veteran status, national origin or ethnicity in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other district or college administered programs and activities.

LONE STAR COLLEGE-NORTH HARRIS ADDENDUM

i Eligibility for Funding  (Page 5)

Campus Participation Requirements

Have an SGA Representative attend all scheduled SGA general meetings each semester. One excused absence per organization may be permitted each semester.
Participate in Fall & Spring Involvement Fair.
Participate fully in Fall Festival and Spring Fling.
ii Accounting Procedures (Page 6)

Appropriate signatures include a student officer's signature with an advisor's initials. An advisor's signature is acceptable outside of the regular fall and spring semesters or during officer vacancies.

Each form must be signed by the student activities office/Program Manager or the Vice President of Student and Organizational Development

iii Lone Star College-North Harris North Star News (http://www.lonestar.edu/, ADOPTED: 04/01/2004 )


FKB LOCAL STUDENT PUBLICATIONS LEGAL PROCEDURE
  
Lone Star College System strongly supports the creation, support, and operation of student publications to:

Contribute to the establishment and maintenance of an atmosphere of responsible discussion;
Create an opportunity for students to learn and develop skills in writing, editing, and communications; and
Provide news, information and a forum for the Lone Star College System learning communities. 
  
EDITORIAL FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
The District, as the publisher, must ultimately bear the responsibility for the content of all official student publications. This responsibility lies with the Board of Trustees of the Lone Star College System, the Chancellor and each College President. To ensure free, responsible expression, the District delegates publishing responsibilities and authority to the College President or to a college Student Publications Board to be composed of faculty/staff advisors and students, if one has been appointed by the College President. . In turn, each President or Student Publications Board is to delegate sufficient autonomy to student editors and student publications staff members so that each student publication is free to maintain its integrity of purpose as a vehicle for free inquiry and free expression in an academic community. 
  
 DEFINITIONS
 "Advisor" means the administrator or faculty member who is appointed by the President to meet with and guide the operations of the student publication.

"Good standing" means that a student editor or student publication staff member is not on academic or disciplinary probation and that a faculty/staff advisor is not under any corrective action or disciplinary action, or has not been recommended by the Chancellor for a change of status.

"Libel" means any defamation expressed in printing or writing, or by signs, pictures, or drawings tending to harm the memory of the dead, or tending to injure the reputation of one who is alive, and thereby expose him/her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or financial injury, or virtue, or reputation of anyone, or to publish the natural defects of anyone and thereby expose such a person to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury (Article 5430, Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated [1958]).

"Obscene material" means material, the dominant theme of which, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest in sex. The material is patently offensive because it affronts contemporary community standards relating to the description or representation of sexual matters, and is utterly without redeeming social value.

"Student" means a person currently enrolled, or a person enrolled in a prior semester or summer session and eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer session that immediately follows.

"Student publications" means:

Student newspapers created to publish news and comments of interest and importance to the college community with emphasis upon the news that most directly and immediately concerns students,
Student literary magazines created to provide an outlet for creative writing (short stories, poems, short plays, articles, art, photography, essays, humor), and
Other publications that are created to offer a service to students by conveying information pertinent to their lives and studies at Lone Star College System that have been officially recognized by the College President or by a College Student Publications Board, if one has been created. 
  
OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
A student publication that is officially recognized in accordance with this policy is permitted to receive student activity funds for purposes of the publications, use the college name in its title, utilize college resources in the production of the publication, be covered under the college district's liability insurance policy, and use college facilities without fee for meetings associated with the student publication.

In order to be officially recognized as a student publication, the student group and its advisor(s) must submit to a Student Publications Board, or if one has not been created, to the Student Activities officer at the college, information demonstrating the following about the proposed publication:

It will not deny participation by a student on the basis of race, color, gender, nationality, citizenship, sexual orientation, creed, or veterans' status;
It will conduct its affairs in accordance with District policies and procedures, and with local, federal and state laws;
The publication staff will consist only of students and advisors;
Adherence to a professionally recognized canon of journalistic ethics;
Protection of editorial expression that includes processes to censure or remove staff members for proper and stated causes;
Professionally appropriate and legal standards to govern acceptance or rejection of advertising; and,
Publication review processes that will avoid libel, the use of obscene material, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo.
The proposed content of a statement that will be run on the editorial page or other appropriate place indicating that opinions expressed in the publications are not necessarily those of the District, college or the student body.
Official recognition will not be denied or removed on the basis of the views expressed by a proposed student publication or an existing student publication. Official recognition of a student publication will be denied or revoked if the publication staff violate reasonable District or college rules, interfere with the ability of other students to receive an education, violate State or federal laws in their membership practices or pose a substantial threat of material disruption to the campus or harm to individuals. 
  
RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENT PUBLICATION BOARD
The College President may appoint a Student Publications Board to be responsible to:

Implement and enforce the provisions of this policy;
Recommend sanctions for student staff members of student publications for good and valid reasons, none of which shall be based upon disagreement with the content of viewpoints expressed in the publication;
Consider grievances involving allegations of libel, obscenity, or violation of these policies; and,
Adjudicate disputes pertaining to student publications. 

RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENT PUBLICATION ADVISORS
Each student publication is required to have at least one advisor who is a member of the faculty or administrative staff who is in good standing and who is approved by the President. An advisor is responsible to:

Provide professional guidance, training, and support to the editor and staff of the publication,
Advise and assist the editor in the establishment of deadlines, the supervision of student staff members, and the maintenance of the highest standards of journalism; and
Execute fiscal and administrative responsibilities in the day-to-day operations of the publication and advise the student editor in personnel, fiscal, and operational management. 
  
RESPONSIBILITY OF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
The editor-in-chief of a student publication has final authority over what is published in the publication and is responsible to:

Ensure that the publication conforms to canons of journalism that detail the responsibility to avoid libel, the use of obscene material, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and techniques of harassment and innuendo.
Work in conjunction with the advisors to fulfill their respective obligations. 
  
FLBC LEGAL HAZING LOCAL PROCEDURE
 
The District prohibits hazing. "Hazing" means any intentional, knowing or reckless act on or off campus directed against a student, by one person alone or acting with others, that endangers the mental or physical health or the safety of a student for the purpose of being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students. The term includes, but is not limited to:

Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body or similar activity.
Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student.
Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student.
Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described above.
Any activity that induces, causes or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code.
Education Code 4.51
 
The following actions shall be included in the offense of hazing. Students who commit any of them violate District policy and are also subject to criminal prosecution:

Engaging in hazing.
Soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding or attempting to aid another in hazing.
Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly permitting hazing to occur.
Having firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student, or firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly failing to report that knowledge in writing to the College President or designee.
Education
 

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