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Student Organizations Handbook

Authority: Student Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: April 2, 2022

Applicability

Policies and procedures in this policy are applicable to student organizations seeking recognized status, current recognized student organizations (RSOs), and student organizations unrecognized due to suspension, expulsion, or the need to register or reactivate.

Introduction and Benefits

Students with common interests are encouraged to form officially recognized student organizations. Benefits of University recognition include:

  • Access to University facilities for programs and activities;
  • Representation in the Student Government Association Senate or House;
  • Potential to apply for and receive funding through the SGA Organizations Fund and/or other student fee assessments such as Leadership and Multicultural funds;
  • Opportunities to participate in co-curricular learning, service, and social activities that strengthen the overall college experience;
  • Leadership development of group members;
  • Use of campus technology to market the efforts of your group; and
  • Utilization of the University’s state sales tax-exempt status when making purchases directly from an on-campus account.

Organizations complementing the University’s mission and positively contributing to student life are highly valued within the University community. Recognition by the University is a privilege of association extended to student organizations and is revocable if the organization does not comply with University policies or applicable state and federal laws.

Obligations of Organizations

Along with the above mentioned benefits come obligations of the organization back to the University. Failure to maintain the required duties can result in disciplinary action against the organization up to revocation of University recognition. Recognized organizations are required to:

  • Complete registration documents once per academic year according to the specifications given by the Office of Student Services;
  • Maintain communication between organization officers, advisors, and the University;
  • Maintain accurate and complete financial records involving organization funds;
  • Remain compliant with all University policies and, if applicable, all national organization policies;
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date paperwork with the Office of Student Services;
  • Send a delegation to all required leadership development activities hosted by the University and student self-assessed fee entities;
  • Maintain a cumulative organizational GPA of 2.5. If an organization falls below a 2.5, it must demonstrate a commitment to improving member GPAs. Organizations failing to meet the minimum and failing to demonstrate a commitment to improvement for three consecutive semesters will no longer be recognized by the University; and
  • Participation in any required student organization orientation workshops.

Administrative Authority

The dean of student services oversees a broad array of services and resources that directly impact student life. The director of student organizations and fraternity/sorority life is designated as the administrative officer charged with ensuring student organizations positively contribute to the quality of campus life and comply with appropriate rules and regulations of the University. The dean of student services and/or the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee may impose sanctions on individuals and groups found to be in violation of University rules and regulations. The Student Organizations Committee considers requests for recognition that have been declined and considers appeals related to disciplinary actions taken against student organizations.

Policy Updates

Changes to this policy are effective on the date noted at the top of this policy. Updates occur on a regular basis, and student organizations, their advisors, and their officers are solely responsible for maintaining awareness of policy changes that may impact their operations.

Category Descriptions of Recognized Organizations

While some organizations are small in scope and number and others large and broad, all serve an integral part as members of the University community. Realizing student organizations are inherently diverse, McNeese has developed the following categories for recognized organizations:

  • Academic: Students organized to further develop interest, knowledge, discussion, or study of an academic major or field.
  • Campus Ministries: Students organized to celebrate, share, and support faith-based interests.
  • Chartered: These organizations have been selected to support the ongoing mission of the University and, therefore, are assigned specific resources and fees. Student organizations that are recipients of assessed fees are considered chartered organizations (i.e., Debate Council, Cheerleaders, Cowgirl Kickers, Blue and Gold Peerleaders, Log, Contraband, Student Union Board, and Student Government Association).
  • Greek: Social, fraternity and sorority life (FSL) organizations with national affiliations are key components of campus life at McNeese. Realizing their contribution and the desire for their optimum function means groups must be organized under one of the following FSL governing councils: Interfraternity Council (IFC), McNeese Panhellenic Association (MPA), or National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). In the interest of maintaining a healthy FSL community, all FSL organizations must belong to the Greek Unity Board (GUB), a unified body for all FSL organizations regardless of their council affiliation.
  • Honors: Nationally recognized honorary organizations affiliated with academic departments, majors, or activities.
  • Multicultural: Students organized to celebrate the values and interests of one or many cultures or ethnicities.
  • Political: Students organized to support the interests, actions, and affiliations with various political parties or issues.
  • Professional: Students organized to pursue mutual interests and goals in preparation for entry into various professions.
  • Service: Students organized to provide community service and perform philanthropic events for the McNeese campus and surrounding communities.
  • Special Interest: Students organized to promote and pursue particular interests or issues pertaining to lifestyle choice, society, or socialization.
  • Spirit: Students organized to promote, protect, and maintain spirit and traditions at McNeese State University.
  • Sports/Recreation: Student athletic clubs comprised of non-scholarship student-athletes organized under the Recreational Sports Complex. Sports clubs are not affiliated or regulated by the NCAA. Sports clubs that compete with clubs from other colleges and universities must do so under the direction of the Recreational Sports Complex.

Organization Formation, Activation, and Reactivation

New Organizations

New organizations may apply for University recognition under the following conditions:

  1. Minimum of five charter members and at least one advisor from among the University faculty, staff, or University alumni/constituents (subject to approval by the Office of Student Services);
  2. The organization can fulfill a useful purpose within the University community; the organization is compatible with the role, scope, and mission of the University; and provisions of the organization’s charter and/or constitution complement the University’s mission, vision, and policies;
  3. Completion and submission of appropriate application and registration forms to the Office of Student Services;
  4. Submission of a constitution and by-laws or other similar documents outlining the organization’s mission, terms of membership, and operating procedures;
  5. Acceptance of the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy;
  6. Acceptance of the University’s Cash Collections and Deposits Policy; and
  7. Participation in any required student organization orientation workshops.

Completed applications are submitted using the Engage McNeese online platform.

If approved, the organization will receive notification and may begin functioning as an officially recognized University organization. Denied applications may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee for review within 10 class days of the date on which the denial was received. The committee generally meets as needed to consider appeals by student groups. If the committee approves the organization’s request, the organization is immediately recognized and considered in good standing. If the committee denies the request, no further appeals exist, and the organization may attempt to re-apply for recognition during the next academic term (Fall or Spring).

Once organized and approved, groups may request access to University facilities (as available), are eligible to participate in Student Government Association activities once registered with the organization, and may begin to impact the quality of the student life experience.

Student Organizations Committee

The Student Organizations Committee consists of the following persons:

  • Vice president for student affairs (chair or will appoint a chair);
  • One full-time University staff member;
  • President of the Student Government Association;
  • President of the Greek Unity Board (or other designated FSL president);
  • President of the Student Life Coalition (or appointee);
  • Student at-large appointed by Student Government Association;
  • Chair of the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee;
  • Member of the University faculty; and
  • Graduate assistant, designated by the Office of Student Services.

Appeals of denied requests should be made in writing to:

Student Organizations Committee Chairperson
Office of Student Services
Box 92549
Lake Charles, LA 70609

Appeals may also be emailed to studentservices@mcneese.edu.

The Student Organization Committee operates following the Denied Applications and Appeal Hearing Procedures.

Organizations Inactive for Disciplinary Reasons

Student organizations that have gone into inactive status due to low participation, lack of interest, or other non-disciplinary factors for two academic years or less are eligible to reactivate at any time by complying with items 1-5 above. Organizations inactive for more than two academic years are considered new and must complete the same procedure as other new organizations.

Organizations Inactive for Non-Disciplinary Reasons

Student organizations having been suspended, expelled, or otherwise deactivated for disciplinary reasons by the University may be required to adhere to the following process in order to apply for reactivation:

  • Fully adhere to the terms of disciplinary action taken against the organization within the prescribed period of time associated with the disciplinary action;
  • Fully comply with the process for recognition of new student groups as outlined above; and
  • Appeal for reactivation as outlined below:
    • Submit a formal letter generated and signed by all members of the local student interest group to the Office of Student Services requesting consideration for reactivation by November 1 for spring reactivation and by April 1 for fall reactivation. This letter should contain a brief explanation of the issues leading up to disciplinary action against the group and an explanation of steps taken and/or changes in conditions and group composition that will provide assurance that problems requiring disciplinary action have been adequately addressed and resolved;
    • Submit a formal letter generated and signed by at least two members of the University faculty or staff indicating support for reactivation of the organization, expressing confidence in the organization’s ability to positively contribute to campus life, and identifying specific assurances that prior problems and conditions have been adequately addressed;
    • Submit a formal letter generated by the national chartering authority for the organization (if applicable) indicating eligibility for reactivation of a local chapter; and
    • Appear for a hearing before the dean of student services or designee. The faculty/staff advisor and acting organization president will be given the opportunity to speak for up to 15 minutes each on behalf of the application. The dean of student services or designee will ask questions, consider the request, and render a decision within 10 class days. Approvals will include a date, usually within 30 calendar days, upon which the organization is considered reinstated. Denied requests may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee within 10 class days. The dean of student services or designee will forward appropriate documentation and materials to the committee. The committee chairperson will notify the applying organization of the date, time, and location of the meeting. No further appeals shall exist beyond the Student Organizations Committee. The Student Organizations Committee will operate following the Denied Applications and Appeal Hearing Procedures.

Approvals will result in an automatic two-year probationary period during which the Office of Student Services, Student Organizations Committee, University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee, and national office officials (if applicable) will closely monitor the organization’s activities and compliance with appropriate laws, University policies, and chapter regulations. During this period, the Office of Student Services is authorized to invoke temporary suspensions of group operations in order to conduct thorough and unfettered investigations into possible improper or illegal conduct should credible allegations arise. Investigative suspensions lasting longer than 30 calendar days may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee. Organizations denied reactivation may not reapply until September of the academic year following the date of the Student Organizations Committee’s denial.

Existing Organizations

Organizations continuously operating in good standing on the campus are required to provide the following items to the Office of Student Services on an annual basis:

  • Updated contact information for organization officers and advisor(s), current mailing address, and anticipated standing meeting information, if available;
  • Updated roster of group members (first and last name);
  • Updated Anti-Hazing Policy agreement;
  • Updated cash handling/fundraising agreement;
  • Updated copy of organizational constitution if there are substantive changes from the constitution on file;
  • Send a delegation to all required leadership development activities hosted by the University and student self-assessed fee entities; and
  • Participation in any required student organization workshops.

Mid-year changes in organization contact information (officers, advisors, address, meeting information, and/or group membership) should be immediately reported to the Office of Student Services to ensure uninterrupted communication between the University and the organization.

Disciplinary Revocation of National Charter

Any organization whose local charter/chapter is revoked or dissolved for disciplinary reasons by its national charter authority is automatically dissolved by the University for the period of time indicated by the national office. Additional time may be imposed by the University. Such groups are able to apply for recognized status under the same terms as groups under disciplinary sanction by the University.

Regarding disciplinary matters, the University will use the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee when dealing with individuals and the Student Organizations Committee when dealing with organizations.

General Operating Procedures for Student Organizations

Academic Performance

The purpose of enrollment and attendance at the University is, first and foremost, learning, and a strong commitment to academics and student success is a core value of the University. All student organizations must establish and enforce minimum standards of academic performance for their members and officers. Students must be continuously enrolled and in good academic standing with the University in order to participate as members in recognized student organizations. Members who fall out of good standing with the University due to discipline or academic matters are strictly prohibited from participating in any activities of any student organization whether such activities occur on or off campus. Good standing assumes current enrollment in at least three hours, a minimum overall GPA of 2.0, and absence of any active disciplinary sanctions by the University. Organizations that have officers below a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 between the fall and spring semesters must elect or appoint replacement officers. The organization must then submit the updated information to the Office of Student Services for the organization to continue its active status. Organizations demonstrating outstanding academic achievement are encouraged to apply for both on and off campus awards recognizing McNeese student organizations.

Organizations receiving direct student self-assessed fee funding must establish and enforce standards of academic performance that include minimum levels of course enrollment and the GPA necessary for elected leaders. The Office of Student Services must confirm academic eligibility of any candidate for elected or appointed office within organizations receiving direct student self-assessed fee funds prior to election or appointment proceedings.

For policies regarding academic requirements for FSL organizations, please refer to the Fraternity and Sorority Life Organizations section.

Class Attendance and Excused Absences

All student organizations are expected to promote class attendance as a measure of individual and group success. Occasional excused absences when necessitated by events and activities where students are officially representing the University for a previously approved purpose may be granted only by approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management. Requests for excused absences should be submitted two weeks prior to the absent dates to allow adequate time for processing and review (preferably within the first two weeks of class, if possible). Contact the dean of student services for assistance with requesting pre-approved excuses for absences.

Community Service and Service Learning

All student organizations are encouraged to participate in community service and service learning initiatives and should demonstrate a good faith effort to broadly involve their members in these activities. Every recognized organization is encouraged to complete at least two community service/service learning activities each year. Organizations are encouraged to write up a short summary of these activities including date, time, location, number of members, and numbers of hours worked and turn that information over to the Office of Student Services for compilation purposes.

Contracts and Agreements

Student organization officers and members, including those in organizations who receive funds obtained through student self-assessed fees, are not authorized to independently enter into contracts or agreements of any kind on behalf of the University. Proposed contracts and agreements that involve expenditure of University funds, including those obtained through student self-assessed fees, must be authorized through the University’s normal approval process and must reflect the approval of the organization president and advisor prior to being processed. Such contracts must be fully processed by appropriate University officials no less than 14 days in advance of the proposed event. The University president or their designee is the only individual authorized to enter into contracts using University funds, including student self-assessed fees. No proposed contracts will be considered without appropriate approvals at all levels of the organization and University.

State regulations pertaining to use of public funds are applicable to student self-assessed fee expenditures. Appropriate approvals, purchase orders/requisitions, and bid requirements apply to use of these funds. Contact the Office of Student Services for guidance with respect to potential contracts and agreements, including those that involve purchase of goods and services with student self-assessed fees and other University funds.

Constitutions of Student Organizations

All recognized student organizations are required to submit a constitution upon application for recognition by the University. Constitutions should be reviewed annually by organization members and revisions submitted to the Office of Student Services as changes are finalized. While it is not necessary that constitutions be lengthy, protracted documents, they should sufficiently communicate the essential aspects of group purpose, terms of membership, and operating principles.

The University values the belief that organizations are self-regulating entities held to their constitutions. The University does, however, retain the right to supersede any organization’s constitution if it is believed to be in the University’s best interest. The University may also require items in an organization’s constitution to be added or modified. A checklist is available to assist with the development and updating of organization constitutions.

Distribution of Food and Beverages

The University’s contracted dining services agent is the exclusive provider/responsible vendor of alcohol service for student-sponsored events on University-owned or controlled property.

Such events require and are subject to written approval by the University president. No outside alcohol sales or service is permitted for student-sponsored or directed events.

The University’s contracted dining services agent is the exclusive provider of catering services for student-sponsored events on University-owned or controlled property. No outside vendor is permitted to prepare or provide catered meal services for student-sponsored or directed events. The Office of Student Services may authorize exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis, and such exceptions will ordinarily involve permitting the University’s contracted caterer the opportunity to competitively bid for services related to the proposed event. The contracted dining services agent may request a surcharge for the utilization of outside services.

Student organizations who occasionally provide free food and beverages to students during events as a means of promoting their organization may contact the Office of Student Services to request special accommodations relative to the specific proposed event. Pre-prepared food items such as baked goods, pizza, and sealed drinks (e.g., water, soft drinks, etc.) may be brought to the campus for fundraising or free social purposes on approval by the Office of Student Services. Any food preparation occurring on the campus must be done under the oversight of the University’s contracted dining services agent. Normal and customary fees may be assessed to the sponsoring organization to ensure that appropriate health department regulations pertaining to food handling are followed and that the health and safety of the student population is protected.

Student organizations hosting activities or meetings that involve non-pre-packaged/pre-prepared food or beverage items are required to have proof of $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance on file with the Office of Purchasing and Property Control.

“Bring Your Own Bottle” (BYOB) alcohol and cash bar service are prohibited at student-sponsored or directed events occurring on University-owned or controlled property.

See Important Notes below for information pertaining to University policies and procedures regarding alcohol distribution at student events occurring on University-owned or controlled property.

Distribution of Literature

Recognized University student groups are permitted to distribute literature regarding student events in the Holbrook Student Union and surrounding areas, such as the Quad and Bookstore courtyard. Distribution of literature is not permitted in interior dining areas.

Student groups should refer to the University’s Placement of Printed Materials on Campus Policy for information about distributing literature on campus.

Event Security

It is the organization’s responsibility to begin a dialogue with University Police regarding security issues for any events on campus so any issues can be dealt with in a timely manner. University Police is the exclusive provider of security for events occurring on University-owned or controlled property. Use of personnel privately secured by one group to function as guards, parking lot security, “bouncers,” and other tasks is strictly prohibited. Private arrangement with non-University law enforcement agencies for on-campus event security is strictly prohibited. Ten-day advance payment for security fees is required, and additional fees may be assessed following the event if crowd size is substantially higher than estimated. Providing for a safe and responsible event environment requires a good working relationship between the sponsoring organization and University Police. For any questions or concerns regarding security, contact University Police at (337) 475-5711.

Facilities Use

Recognized student groups may request to use University facilities at no charge. Considerations taken into account when reviewing requests include:

  • evidence that the event is actually sponsored by and for a recognized student organization;
  • evidence that the event is primarily designed to benefit McNeese students;
  • availability of requested space or venue and appropriateness to the proposed event; and
  • capacity of the University and requestor to provide a safe and secure environment for the event.

Most commonly used areas include the Student Union Annex (New Ranch) rooms, Old Ranch, La Jeunesse Room, and the Quad. Contact the Office of Student Services for information about reserving New Ranch and Old Ranch rooms, the Quad, and other common areas of the campus.

All facilities requests are processed using the online facilities use system. Students can reach the form through their MyMcNeese Portal account. This form should be completed and approved a minimum of 10 business days prior to the event taking place to ensure the event in properly reserved. Requests for facility use must be approved by an organization’s advisor prior to submitting the online request. Various campus administrators will have the final approval for use of a facility. While facilities are generally available to student groups at no cost, certain events and programs may involve additional effort by the University, particularly with respect to electrical output capacity for public address systems, custodial/maintenance support, fire safety compliance, and event security. Costs for such efforts are beyond normal daily operations of the University and are passed through to the reserving organization. Groups requesting use of facilities will be informed, in advance, of any anticipated charges and may be required to pay the estimated amount in full in advance of the event. Unforeseen factors may also result in additional charges due and payable within 10 days of conclusion of the event (fees for cleaning, damages, and last-minute setup needs).

Under no circumstances shall a University-approved student organization use its official status to sponsor an event on the campus that is designed to cater primarily to the general public in order to achieve reduced or waived fees for use of University facilities.

Important Notes

  • Student events occurring on campus are for McNeese students. Alternative venues throughout Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish are more appropriate for general public events.
  • Current McNeese student identification is required for attendance at campus events, and the general public has no assumed or implicit right of attendance at student events. Terms for admission of guests vary from event to event, and are subject to approval of the Office of Student Services in advance of the event.
  • Student events are to be attended then promptly exited upon conclusion of the event. Loitering on University premises outside event venues or on sidewalks, parking lots, and grounds, “cruising” parking lots and campus streets, and failure to immediately clear event venues and parking areas upon event conclusion are prohibited and are grounds to be immediately barred from University-owned or controlled property.
  • Campus events must receive complete approval and facility reservations must be confirmed, in writing, at least 10 days prior to the event and before advertising and promotions regarding the event are initiated. Premature issuance of advertising and promotions will not be a basis for approval.
  • Event organizers must receive complete approval and facility reservation confirmation, in writing, before student organizations request issuance of agreements or contracts with outside vendors (i.e., caterers, disc jockeys, speakers, performers, and related vendors and contractors). Premature execution of contractor and vendor agreements will not be a basis for improper reservation/use of campus facilities.
  • Event organizers should ensure adequate volunteer personnel are on hand to assist with set up, break down, equipment removal, and campus premises restoration at the conclusion of the event, particularly for events that involve movement of tables, chairs, and related items to exterior areas such as the Quad, Housing courtyard, and other locations. It is the responsibility of event organizers to ensure that exterior areas are free of debris and that University, personal, or contractor equipment is removed and stored in its proper location immediately following the event. Improperly cleaned areas may result in assessment of fees by the University to the event organizer.
  • Alcohol may be served at student-sponsored campus events with prior written request to the Office of Student Services and approval of the University president. Upon receipt of the president’s written authorization to serve alcohol, the sponsoring group must provide, attached to the Facilities Use Request Form, a proposed plan for managing alcohol service at the proposed event. This plan must be received and approved by the vice president for student affairs, dean of student services, director of facilities and plant operations, and University Police chief at least 10 days in advance of the proposed event and should include text and diagrams/sketches of the proposed venue(s) and processes through which alcohol service will occur.

Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Constituent Advisors

Advisors are encouraged to become actively involved in developing leadership skills of group officers, promoting organization activities, and participating in group life. Advisors are expected to regularly attend group meetings, maintain a general awareness of activities and initiatives undertaken by the group, and guide the group in general administration of the organization (i.e., budget development, financial management, membership rules, and event planning).

Advisors are required to attend events and activities that involve the use of substantial campus facilities and services. Failure of an advisor to properly oversee group activities may result in disciplinary action against the organization. Activities conducted without the knowledge and consent of the organization advisor may constitute hazing and could result in disciplinary action against the group. The University reserves the authority to remove/appoint advisors for student groups in instances in which insufficient advisor oversight results in excessive violations of University rules and regulations that impair the group’s ability to properly function. Such action may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee whose decision shall be final.

Members and advisors for groups that receive funding as a result of direct student self-assessed fee initiatives are held to a particularly high standard of conduct and performance. The University retains the authority to confirm or veto recommended advisor appointments for organizations that receive direct student self-assessed fee funding through a student body referendum. Such action may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee whose decision shall be final.

All student organization advisors approved through annual registration are considered campus security authorities (CSAs). According to federal law, specifically The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (renamed the Clery Act in 1998), University Police is required to report “statistics concerning the occurrence of certain criminal offenses reported to the local police agency or any official of the institution who has ‘significant responsibility for student and campus activities.'” Student organization advisors are identified by federal law as CSAs. The definition of CSA, according the federal law, is as follows: “An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings.” Student organization advisors will have access to annual training pertaining to their role as a CSA. This training must be completed for an advisor to maintain supervision and oversight of student organization activities. If you have any questions regarding serving as a CSA or reporting, please contact University Police at (337) 475-5711.

Financial Responsibility

Organizations incurring charges or debts for services, materials, travel, and related expenditures are required to resolve all financial obligations in a timely and complete manner. McNeese State University assumes no liability for the debts of student organizations, and student organizations are not authorized to enter into contracts or agreements on behalf of the University.

Organizations are required to establish agency accounts with the University for the purpose of depositing, expending, and accounting for funds on or off campus. These accounts are a free service to organizations and serve much the same function as a traditional checking account. In most cases, these services can be provided in a 24-hour turnaround time period. Services provided to organizations with agency accounts include:

  • Checks cut on behalf of the organization;
  • Reimbursement for organizational expenses incurred;
  • Deposits received for the organization; and
  • Utilization of the University’s tax-exempt status.

Agency account information including forms necessary for check requests, petty cash reimbursements, or deposits are available at www.mcneese.edu/studentlife/organizations.

University accounting procedures will apply to all organizations using the University as a repository for funds. University policy requires organizations that fall under the following criteria to deposit, expend, and account for its funds in a University Agency Fund account, unless written approval is received from the vice president for business affairs:

  • Any account in which a University employee is designated as an authorized signatory on behalf of a student or departmental organization;
  • Any account using the name of McNeese State University;
  • Any account using the University’s tax identification number; and
  • Any auxiliary account associated with an organization receiving direct funding through student self-assessed fees.

Organizations which receive direct student self-assessed fee funding through a student body referendum are expressly prohibited from obtaining outside bank accounts for any organization’s funds raised, managed, or otherwise under the control of the group. Such funds must be deposited in an account through the Office of Administrative Accounting. The University considers student self-assessed fee funds to be public/restricted funds. Organizations which receive direct student self-assessed fee funding must manage these resources in compliance with all University accounting practices and state law. State and University regulations pertaining to, but not limited to, bidding, accounting controls, reporting, receivables and expenditures, and audits apply to these funds. Contact the Office of Student Services or the Office of Internal Audit for questions regarding compliance with University and state regulations.

Organizations that do not fall under the criteria listed above are strongly encouraged to not obtain off-site banking services. Off-site banking account records for organizations are difficult to maintain with the revolving student leadership of organizations and have greater potential for abuse. Registered organizations with private bank accounts are strongly encouraged to exercise great care in obtaining and maintaining their accounts. Two signatures (one officer and one advisor) should be required in order to execute all transactions (check writing, funds withdrawals, funds transfers, etc.) to ensure an appropriate level of checks and balances.

All organizations shall prepare and present to their entire general membership a complete accounting of all funds (received, expensed, and encumbered) during each academic term (Fall and Spring) of each year. All organizations receiving student self-assessed fee funds from the University are required to present annual financial reports to the Student Self-Assessed Fee Oversight Committee and are further required to make formal financial presentations at regularly scheduled meetings of the committee. Contact the Office of Student Services for a sample of the format that must be used when reporting financial activity to the Student Self-Assessed Fee Oversight Committee.

McNeese State University reserves the authority to request copies of financial statements and related financial documents for the purpose of conducting disciplinary investigations, routine financial audits, and determining eligibility for continuing recognition of student organizations.

The University will not shield from criminal prosecution persons who improperly use organization resources for their own benefit. Failure to cooperate with University inquiries into financial matters is a violation of University policy and may result in disciplinary action against individual members and/or the entire organization.

Fundraising

All fundraising activities occurring on the campus must have advance approval of the Office of Student Services. Fundraising activities on and off campus must be conducted in a manner that positively influences the University’s reputation and image with the campus community and the general public. A proper accounting of expenses and receipts relative to any fundraising activity must be recorded and reported, in writing, to the group advisor and members within 30 calendar days of the activity. Any organization wishing to conduct fundraising events on campus must deposit all funds involved into an agency or McNeese State University Foundation account. Failure to properly account for expenses and income relative to fundraising activities and failure to deliver promised goods are grounds for disciplinary action by the University. The University reserves the right to audit fundraising records and activities of officially recognized student organizations.

Cash Handling Policy

Organizations/departments that collect funds on campus must follow the University’s Cash Collections and Deposits Policy. The policy was created to maintain safety and integrity with regards to cash handling on the University’s campus. Those student organizations not compliant with the mandated cash handling procedures will be subject to disciplinary action and the organization may be removed from campus. Collection of organization dues and/or donations also falls subject to cash handling procedures. As a recognized student organization, any act associated with the organization that violates the Code of Student Conduct or any other University policy, both on and off campus, is subject to investigation by the University and may result in disciplinary action. The cash handling policies and procedures will be distributed as a part of the student organization annual registration documentation. In order to gain or maintain an active status, a student organization’s president and advisor must sign an agreement professing they understand the policy and consequences faced if the policy is not followed.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Organizations

The University recognizes and values the rich traditions of fraternity and sorority life (FSL) and encourages a strong FSL presence on the campus. FSL organizations best embodying the values and priorities of the University are those who:

  • Proactively collaborate with the University at large, the Office of Student Services, and other FSL and non-FSL organizations to promote a vibrant, positive FSL experience on the campus;
  • Demonstrate a clear and visible commitment to academic excellence and achievement among their officers and members;
  • Support the University’s mission by clearly articulating expectations for standards of conduct through regular orientations, discussion sessions, and other appropriate communications with members;
  • Assertively address issues pertaining to alcohol and substance abuse through educational, peer mentoring, and chapter disciplinary programs;
  • Maintain high standards of compliance with University, national office, federal, state, and local laws and regulations;
  • Adhere to the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy at all times;
  • Embrace and promote the University’s Equity and Inclusion Policy at all times;
  • Promote wellness and healthy living principles, in word and action, among their members; and
  • Embrace standards congruent with the North-American Interfraternity Conference, the National Panhellenic Conference, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Governance

Fraternity and sorority life organizations share a great deal; they also have individual nuances related to their governance. McNeese recognizes this and has formed governing bodies to serve our three distinct groups. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) serves our groups belonging to either the North-American Interfraternity Council or the Fraternity Leadership Association including Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, and Theta Chi. The McNeese Panhellenic Association (MPA) serves our groups belonging to the National Panhellenic Conference including Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, and Phi Mu. The National Pan-Hellenic Council at McNeese State University serves our historically African American groups including Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Iota Phi Theta, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta.

In addition to being represented in their respective governing councils, all fraternities and sororities officially recognized by the University are required to participate in regularly scheduled meetings of the Greek Unity Board (GUB). This board, under the leadership of the director of student organizations and FSL, brings together representatives from the various FSL groups in order to enhance communication, collaborate on issues and activities of common interest, develop policy recommendations regarding fraternities and sororities, and promote University-wide awareness of FSL. The GUB is the primary communication tool between FSL organizations and University administration.

The University respects the governing documentation for individual FSL chapters; however, each chapter’s governing documentation must be in agreement with the policies and procedures of the chapter’s on-campus governing council and the GUB, along with other University regulations applicable to FSL organizations.

Because scholarship is the primary reason for attending college, the following policies are in place regarding leadership positions and voting rights within the governing councils:

  1. Only those currently enrolled students with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 are eligible to serve as an officer in any of the FSL governing councils; and
  2. Only organizations maintaining a minimum overall chapter GPA of 2.5 have a right to vote at the governing board meetings. Organizations are responsible for providing the director of student organizations and FSL updated chapter rosters at the beginning and end of each semester so the chapter GPA can be verified.

FSL organizations are leaders on campus and are held to higher standards than other recognized student organizations at McNeese. Scholarship is a cornerstone of ALL FSL organizations and the University calls upon FSL organizations to maintain an overall and semester chapter GPA of 2.5. Organizations failing to maintain this GPA requirement will be placed on probation and have their voting rights for the governing boards suspended.

Organizations falling below a 2.5 in either category must demonstrate their commitment to academic success to the University by improving their overall chapter GPA in the following semesters. Organizations with three successive semesters of an overall or semester chapter GPA below 2.5 and who do not demonstrate a commitment to improving their academic standing will no longer be recognized by the University.

FSL organizations are required to comply with the procedures denoted in the Inductions, Initiations and Other Member Intake Activities section to retain recognition by the University. Any chapters found to be in violation of this protocol risk the existence of its charter at McNeese State University.

Auxiliary Groups

Auxiliary groups or “little sister, little brother” organizations are inconsistent with the University’s mission and are strictly prohibited. They are not recognized by the University, and any FSL organization or FSL members with an affiliation to ANY auxiliary group may by subject to disciplinary action.

Hazing

Hazing is a violation of Louisiana law, a violation of University policy, and inconsistent with the University’s philosophical and practical commitment to equal opportunity and non-discrimination. Adherence to the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy is a condition of institutional recognition. Hazing activities by individuals within recognized student groups may result in disciplinary sanctions against individuals and the entire group membership. Sanctions may include but are not limited to suspension or dismissal of individual members and/or entire organizations. The University will not shield from criminal prosecution persons who violate civil hazing laws. Rather, the University will actively assist local and state authorities in investigating hazing allegations and enforcing criminal penalties against persons found to have violated hazing laws.

The Office of Student Services will investigate allegations of hazing within student organizations. University Police may also conduct concurrent criminal investigations of hazing incidents. The Office of Student Services or the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee may impose sanctions including but not limited to suspension or dismissal of individuals and/or groups found to be in violation of the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy. The vice president for student affairs or dean of student services may also temporarily suspend operations of registered student organizations in order to conduct thorough and unfettered investigations of hazing allegations. Investigation suspensions lasting longer than 30 calendar days may be appealed to the Student Organizations Committee.

Hazing Education

Per state law, each student organization is required to participate in no less than one hour of hazing prevention training and education annually. This training may or may not be conducted by the University but is required to be approved by the University. Organizations that wish to conduct their own training session must have their trainer and training agenda approved by the Office of Student Services prior to conducting the session. Organizations that do not complete this requirement by the date specified each academic year will not be recognized by the University. This requirement is in addition to the individual hazing training requirement for all students per the Louisiana Board of Regents and University of Louisiana System.

Hours of Operation

The University maintains standard hours of operation that generally include a business day lasting from approximately 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday. Student-sponsored events that require substantial use of University resources should be scheduled during regular business hours in order to control costs to the organization and promote broad student involvement. Student organizations may conduct on-campus events at other times, subject to approval through normal processes of the Office of Student Services. Student events should generally conclude by 10:00 p.m. during the week (Sunday through Thursday) and 1:00 a.m. on weekends (Friday and Saturday). Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be reviewed based on the University’s academic calendar, scope of event, security needs, and related issues, and are subject to the approval of University administrators associated with facility use requests.

Inductions, Initiations, and Other Membership Intake Activities

Student organizations that conduct inductions, initiations, and other membership intake activities which take place off-campus OR proceedings that last more than a period of one day are required to provide documentation to the director of student organizations and FSL concerning the details of the activities. This information is reviewed and kept confidential in an effort to mitigate the potential of hazing and to better manage the safety and security of student participants. The following information should be submitted following the electronic submission procedures designated by the director of student organizations and FSL:

  • Dates and estimated times of the proceedings;
  • Location(s) of the proceedings;
  • Name and contact information of the student manager;
  • Name and contact information of the approved advisor supervising;
  • Names of the members participating in the proceedings (including current students and alumni members if applicable);
  • Names and student ID numbers of all students participating in the induction, initiation, or other membership intake activities; and
  • A summary of the activities.

This information must be provided no less than two weeks prior to the commencement of any proceedings. Organizations that fail to comply with these procedures will be subject to disciplinary action according to the Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures.

Insurance and Indemnification of Outside Parties

Any third-party contractor, vendor, or provider of goods or services entering the University campus is required by state regulation to provide evidence of insurance indemnification before entering the campus. This regulation applies to the entire University community and includes caterers, entertainers, performers, disc jockeys, broadcasters, and other service providers whether or not services are provided for a fee. Contractors, vendors, or other providers must provide insurance limits no less than commercial general liability with $1,000,000 combined single limit per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage; automobile liability with $1,000,000 combined single limit per accident for bodily injury and property damage; and, where applicable, worker’s compensation limits as required by the Labor Code of the State of Louisiana and employers’ liability coverage. Contact the Office of Student Services for additional information and guidance on ensuring compliance with this regulation. Events using improperly insured providers are subject to immediate cancellation by the University.

Insurance and Indemnification of Student Organizations

Student organizations may be required to provide proof of $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance when hosting events, meetings, and activities. Any prepared foods for an activity (such as homemade cakes, cookies, grilled hamburgers, nachos, etc.) require proof of insurance. Food purchased from restaurants (such as pizza) which is being sold to third parties (i.e., students, guests, etc.) require proof of insurance. Events catered by the campus dining provider are exempt from this requirement as they are already covered. Additionally, events that could have potential additional risks may require insurance as well. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. Student organizations are encouraged to use waivers for participants when event activities assume risks.

If a student organization has a national body that insures the organization down to the local/chapter level, groups are encouraged to request a copy of the organization’s liability insurance certificate to be filed in the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. This will be required once per fiscal year or as policies expire. For questions related to insurance, contact the Office of Purchasing and Property Control.

Media and Public Relations

The University seeks to foster an open and transparent flow of communication with the community through print and broadcast media. In order to ensure accurate and timely exchange of information, students are encouraged to use the services of the Office of Public Relations and University Events.

This office can help coordinate interviews with student groups and members, issue press releases, and oversee related media relations activities. Students or student groups should never directly or indirectly identify themselves as official spokespersons for the University. This role is delegated by the president to the director of public relations and University events. Contact the Office of Public Relations and University Events at (337) 475-5635 for questions and assistance regarding interactions with the media.

Off-Campus Activities

The University reserves the duty of governing and overseeing activities conducted by recognized student organizations off-campus. This includes activities that may involve a non-student organization co-host or sponsor. Off-campus activities by student organizations may require the approval of the Office of Student Services. It is recommended for student organizations to notify the University of any activities scheduled off-campus which includes patrons who are not student members of the organization. Activities scheduled which conflict with the mission of the University and the safety/security of students can be canceled by the University. Under no circumstances are recognized student organizations allowed to host events and programs off-campus which include high risk activity such as the serving of alcohol without the approval of the University. Organizations are expected to report off-campus activities to the Office of Student Services.

Activities such as pre-game tailgating may only be conducted within the parameters specified by the University. Organizations that violate this directive will receive disciplinary action according to the organization’s conduct history and the significance of the violation.

Public Forum and Free Speech

Individual persons interested in promoting their ideas in a public manner may apply to use the University’s public forum. Contact the dean of student services or view the University’s Public Forum Policy for specific policy information regarding use of the public forum.

Removal from Office

Organization members, senators, justices, advisors, agents, and officers may be dismissed from office by resignation, constitutional impeachment or removal, or disciplinary sanction by the University. Any person arrested on charges of law violations related to performance of their duties in a student organization is automatically placed on administrative leave from any and all leadership roles within the organization in question pending outcome of criminal and University investigations. The University reserves the authority to remove from office persons whose actions (violations of University policy or civil law) reflect negatively upon the image and reputation of the University.

Any person convicted of a crime related to the performance of duties in a student organization is automatically dismissed and permanently barred from membership in all University recognized organizations. Such persons are also rendered ineligible to participate in University commencement ceremonies, Honors Day activities, Homecoming Court, and all other public events, activities, and communications designed to showcase student achievements before the University community and general public.

Signs, Posters, and Bills

Recognized student groups may post signs, posters, and bills promoting events and activities associated with the organization. Student groups should refer to the University’s Placement of Printed Materials on Campus Policy for information about signs, posters, and bills.

Sound Amplification Systems and Broadcasting Standards

Sound amplification systems are permitted during indoor and outdoor student events.

Indoor event sound accommodations can usually be obtained at no cost through the University, particularly in venues permanently equipped for such purposes. Outdoor event sound equipment and technical assistance may require privately-funded use of a third-party provider. Since the University’s primary business is teaching and learning, sound amplification systems should not interfere with daily campus activities and are subject to sound level monitoring and modification by appropriate University officials.

Broadcasting occurring on the campus via individual media player, amplified sound system, disc jockey, media broadcaster, or entertainer/performer must be acceptable for play over public airwaves regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and must occur in accordance with applicable copyright law.

Standards of Conduct

Students who are members of recognized University organizations, sports teams, and other official groups are, as far as the general public is concerned, representatives of the University. As such, students in these organizations are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic, ethical, financial, legal, personal, and professional conduct at all times. Organization members are especially responsible for ensuring that their behavior is without reproach and appropriate during any situation or context in which they appear to be engaged in official activities and business pertaining to the organization and/or the University. This includes activities and business which takes place both on and off campus.

Organizations and their members who fail to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with civil and criminal law, the University’s mission, Code of Student Conduct, and administrative policies and regulations of the University are subject to disciplinary action that may include criminal prosecution and/or administrative sanctions by the dean of student services or the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee. Serious violations may result in dismissal from leadership roles, dismissal from student organizations and teams, termination of organization-funded employment and scholarships, and suspension or dismissal from the University. Note the University’s Code of Student Conduct for detailed information regarding student judicial processes and procedures in the Student Handbook policy.

Student Self-Assessed Fee Appropriations

Recognized student organizations in good standing who meet University eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for student self-assessed fee appropriations from the Student Organizations Fund, Leadership Fund, Greek Life Fund, and the Multicultural Fund. To be in good standing, recognized organizations must:

  • Have completed all organization registration requirements by the fall/spring cut-off date;
  • Must have fulfilled requirements designated by the Office of Student Services;
  • Maintain a University agency account;
  • Have regular attendance at SGA meetings and be in good standing with SGA to be eligible for Organizations Fund appropriations; and
  • Complete all required sponsorship paperwork within the requisite timeframe for the appropriation.

If awarded funds, any appropriations will be distributed directly from the awarding budget. All transactions must follow state regulated financial policies for restricted accounts. Absolutely no transfers will be made to agency accounts from restricted accounts.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is composed of a legislative and executive branch. A University designee serves as the advisor to SGA. SGA is the primary vehicle through which students voice their interests and concerns regarding University policies and practices and serves as the primary student-led conduit for developing co-curricular leadership initiatives that directly impact students.

Questions regarding programs or activities of SGA should be directed to the executive offices located in the Old Ranch. Visit the SGA website for additional information and regular updates about events and activities originating with SGA.

Executive Officers

SGA executive officers include a president, vice president, and treasurer who are elected each spring by student election. SGA also utilizes part-time student employees and volunteers in managing a variety of projects and initiatives related to student government operations.

Senate

The Senate is composed of representatives from approved student organizations and representatives from each academic college. Approved student self-assessed fee organizations and college representatives are eligible for a seat in the Senate.

House

Membership in the House of Representatives is open to one member from every registered student organization at the University. Representatives have the responsibility to seek the opinion of the organization they are representing. Having done so, they shall make decisions and vote on matters brought before the House of Representatives according to their own reasoned judgment.

Student Identification Card

All currently enrolled University students must obtain and maintain an official student identification card. ID cards may be obtained through University Police. Failure to possess and present a current student ID card may prevent a student from entering and participating in events and activities sponsored by the University. Students on campus or in attendance at any University-sponsored or controlled event must present current University identification upon request by any University faculty, administrator, or police officer. Failure to do so may result in immediate suspension from the activity and additional disciplinary action.

Travel

Organization travel must be approved in advance by the organization president and advisor, and may require advance approval/purchase through the Office of Administrative Accounting. Travel expenses incurred should be in accordance with PPM-49, the state’s official travel guide. For more information visit https://www.doa.louisiana.gov/doa/ost/ppm-49-travel-guide/. Any person driving a University vehicle must have completed the state’s defensive driving training course and been approved by the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment (see Student Organization Vehicle Use Procedures). Members of organizations who travel on official University business must be accompanied by an advisor for any travel that involves overnight stays outside of a 125-mile radius of Lake Charles unless this requirement is waived by the Office of Student Services. Organization advisors may impose more rigorous travel restrictions. The sponsoring group is responsible for funding advisor travel at customary rates for vehicle use, airline fare, hotel accommodations, and meals. Appropriate travel precautions should be observed at all times by all parties (use of safety belts, shared driving to relieve fatigue, incremental stops for rest and essential services, proper vehicle loading/occupancy, etc.) to ensure safety of all parties concerned. Illegal possession and/or use of alcohol and drugs or other prohibited materials or substances while traveling on University organization business is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action. Under no circumstances may alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, or other prohibited materials or substances be transported in a University-owned or controlled vehicle, including vehicles rented with funds obtained directly or indirectly through student fee assessments. Travel days should be limited to the minimum number necessary. Added expenses due to arriving early or staying beyond what is necessary becomes the sole responsibility of the student or advisor. Within three business days of concluded student travel, regardless of how it is funded, the University’s Student Travel Form should be completed and submitted for review. The travel form is available on the MyMcNeese Portal.

University Policies and Procedures

University policies, as the primary information resources that guide student life activities and operations, trump individual student organization policies. Constitutions, by-laws, and related rules that complement the University’s policies are strongly encouraged and help ensure ease of communications and operations between individual organizations and the University.

Visit www.mcneese.edu/policy/ for a comprehensive listing of University policies.

Use of University Name, Seal, Logo, or Emblems

Approved student organizations may NOT use the University’s name and/or replicas of the University’s seal, logo, or emblem for advertising, promotions, publications, t-shirts, and related print media without approval by the Office of University Marketing and Licensing. Any questions regarding the use of the University’s name and logo should be directed to Ginny Karg, director of University marketing and licensing, at (337) 562-4150 or gkarg@mcneese.edu.

Non-chartered student organizations are NOT allowed to use “McNeese” in the beginning of their name as it implies a direct relationship/sponsorship between the organization and McNeese. Only those organizations authorized by the University to receive student self-assessed fees may use “McNeese.” Organizations who wish to be recognized as affiliates of the institution should use the following example: “Rowdy Club at McNeese State University” or “Rowdy Club of McNeese State University.”

Use of University Vehicles

University vehicle use is limited to organizations that receive student self-assessed fee funding, other organizations utilizing fees assessments through sponsorships, or organizations directly under a University department. Vehicles must be returned to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations and keys properly surrendered immediately upon return to the campus.

Advance written approval is required to reserve and use University vehicles. Possession, use, and/or presence of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or other illegal or inappropriate material is strictly prohibited while occupying or operating a University vehicle, including vehicles rented for official University business. Any person driving a University vehicle must have completed the state’s defensive driving training course and been approved by the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment.

Only classified and unclassified University employees, student employees, and personnel specifically authorized by the president or their designee, in writing, may operate a University vehicle for University business.

Students may not be authorized to drive a University-owned or rented vehicle unless they are employed by the University. In addition to being employed by the University, the student must have passed a Louisiana safe driver course and must have been verified as having a satisfactory driving record.

Passengers in University vehicles who are not employees must have signed an Office of Risk Management Hold Harmless Agreement acknowledging that neither the University nor the state assumes any liability for any loss, injury, or death resulting from said travel. Copies of this agreement may be obtained from the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations. Students who routinely travel for sports, debate team, SGA, etc. may sign one indemnification form for the fiscal year, but it must be renewed at the beginning of each new academic year.

Unauthorized persons should not be transported in University vehicles. Approval of exceptions to this policy may be made by the traveler’s supervisor if they determine that the best interests of the state will be served and only if the passenger (or passenger’s guardian) signs an Office of Risk Management Hold Harmless Agreement acknowledging that the state assumes no liability for any loss, injury, or death resulting from said travel.

See Student Organization Vehicle Use Procedures below.

Weapons

Possession and/or use of any weapon, gun (including weapons designed to propel an object using non-incendiary methods), or other device or object designed to injure or inflict pain, maim, or otherwise disable or render another person immobile is a serious violation of University policy and will not be tolerated at events occurring on campus or on property owned or otherwise controlled by the University. Disciplinary proceedings and criminal prosecution, where appropriate, will apply. Contact University Police at (337) 475-5711 if you have any questions.

Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures

The following process should occur if a recognized student organization is in violation of policies outlined in the Student Handbook, Student Organizations Handbook, Anti-Hazing Policy, Cash Handling Agreement, or any other mandatory directive issued by University faculty/staff. This procedure will govern actions against a student organization.

Individual students in violation of University policy are subject to disciplinary action according to the Code of Student Conduct (see Student Handbook). In applicable circumstances, disciplinary action may be taken against both a student organization and individual students.

Disciplinary Procedures

  1. The organization will be notified of the violation by email correspondence or formal letter.
  2. The organization will be encouraged to proceed with developing a plan to address the violation internally. The organization will have no less than three class days to submit in writing a plan to internally address the violation. This will be considered when action is being taken by the University.
  3. The matter will be evaluated, further investigated (if necessary), and acted upon by the Office of Student Services.
  4. Considering past precedence, the severity of the violation, and recent history of the organization, a determination will be made regarding the consequence(s) the organization will face as a result of the violation.
  5. The University designee(s) may use other forms of research necessary to make a fair decision regarding actions to take as a result of the violation.
  6. A University designee will notify the organization in writing outlining the action(s) taken by the University including the rationale.

Appeals

  1. Appeals of the decisions made by the University designee(s) will be reviewed by the Student Organizations Committee.
  2. Appeals must be submitted in writing no less than 10 class days following the correspondence received from the University designee. Appeals should be sent to:

Student Organizations Committee Chairperson
Box 92549
Lake Charles, LA 70609

Appeals may also be emailed to studentlife@mcneese.edu.

  1. The committee shall meet within seven calendar days of receiving the appeal unless extenuation circumstances cause a delay.
  2. The proposed consequences by the University designee(s) will remain in place until an appeal is presented and decided upon.
  3. The committee will review the matter through a hearing with the accused and complainant campus official(s).
  4. The committee shall determine whether to uphold the ruling, increase the consequences, or decrease the consequences.
  5. All decisions of the Student Organizations Committee shall be final.

Student Organizations Committee Procedures for Denied Application, Reactivation, and Appeals Hearings

Composition

The committee shall consist of the vice president for student affairs (chair or appoints chair), one University full-time staff representative, one faculty representative, president of the Student Government Association, president of the Greek Unity Board, president of the Student Life Coalition (or appointee), chair of the University Conduct and Academic Integrity Committee, one student at-large appointed by Student Government Association, and a graduate assistant appointed by the Office of Student Services. If a student committee member is affiliated with an organization submitting an appeal, they shall not be able to sit on the committee for the said hearing. A temporary student replacement will be appointed by the chair if necessary to make quorum.

Participants

Up to two representatives from the accused organization, the organization’s faculty/staff advisor, and the University designee(s) who issued the consequence and their witness(es) may be called upon to speak before the committee. The faculty/staff advisor may advise the students but is strictly prohibited from speaking on behalf of the student(s) in any way during the proceeding.

Quorum

The committee shall obtain quorum when at least two student representatives, one administrator/faculty representative, and the chairperson are present.

Call to Order and Decorum

The chairperson shall call the hearing to order, noting the time, date, and location of the hearing, and identifying a secretary to record minutes of the open session proceedings. The chairperson shall then introduce all members of the committee and will also identify other participants in the hearing. The chairperson reserves exclusive authority to maintain appropriate order within the hearing. The chairperson may expel any person from the hearing who demonstrates improper decorum toward the committee or its processes and may further continue the hearing in the absence of said expelled persons. The hearing shall be video recorded.

Opening Statement

The chairperson shall begin the hearing by calling upon the University designee to brief the committee on the specific nature of the case before the committee, University policies, state and federal laws, and student organizations policies relative to the case. The chairperson shall remind the University designee that providing false information to the committee is grounds for disciplinary action by the University.

Presentation by Student Organization Representative(s)

The chairperson will recognize the student organization representative(s) and will provide for a 15-minute presentation of facts, information, and basis for the appeal to the committee. The chairperson shall remind the student(s) that providing false information to the committee is grounds for disciplinary action by the University. The chairperson may, with majority vote of the committee members present, extend this time up to an additional 10 minutes.

Presentation by University Designee(s)

The chairperson will recognize the University designee(s) and witness(es) if applicable and will provide for a 15-minute presentation of facts, information, and basis relative to the student organizations’ case to the committee. The chairperson shall remind the University designee and witnesses that providing false information to the committee is grounds for disciplinary action by the University. The chairperson may, with majority vote of the committee members present, extend this time up to an additional 10 minutes.

Questions by Committee

The chairperson will provide an appropriate period for the committee members to ask questions of the student organization representatives, University designee(s), and witness(es) at the conclusion of both presentations.

Closing Statements

The chairperson will provide five minutes for the student organization representatives to make a final closing statement. The chairperson will provide five minutes for the University designee(s) to make a final closing statement.

Deliberation and Decision

The committee shall convene into closed session to deliberate the case. No notes or record of the discussion shall be kept. The committee may decide to determine no fault or guilt of the organization, uphold the University designee(s)’ ruling, increase the consequences, or decrease the consequences. A majority vote of the committee members, within the closed session, shall constitute a decision.

Announcement of Decision

The committee shall reconvene into open session with a call to order by the chairperson.

The chairperson shall verbally inform the student organization representatives of the committee’s ruling, including the vote outcome, and will provide formal written notification to the student organization and University designee(s) by campus mail or email within three business days. The decision of the committee is final.

Adjournment

The chairperson shall call for adjournment.

Disposition of Minutes

The chairperson shall provide to the Office of Student Services a written copy of hearing minutes and correspondence to the organization to be added to the organization’s file within three business days.

Student Organization Vehicle Use Procedures

A student organization that receives or utilizes funding from one of the University’s student self-assessed fee restricted accounts may be allowed to use a University vehicle to travel on official University business pending the following.

General Student Organizations

General student organizations are those that do not receive funding through student self-assessed fees.

  1. Organizations should be a fully registered and recognized student organization as outlined in this policy.
  2. Approved use of a University vehicle will be determined by University officials using the Travel Request Form. Approvers include the dean of student services, vice president for student affairs, and director of facilities and plant operations.
  3. An employed faculty/staff member of the University must accompany the student organization and is the only authorized driver of the vehicle.
    • Authorized drivers must have an approved driving record as outlined in the University’s Vehicle Use Policy.
    • Authorized drivers must have successfully completed the defensive driving course.
  4. The travel should be necessary for the organization’s participation or representation of the University.
  5. A Travel Request Form must be completed and approved by the appropriate University officials before the vehicle reservation is secured.
  6. Funds for mileage must be paid by a restricted University account (i.e., Leadership Fund, Organizations Fund).
  7. The travel outcome should provide a development opportunity that will influence the University’s student community.
    • Organizations whose traveling is sponsored by University restricted funds are expected to contribute on behalf of the University (i.e., educational session presentations, volunteerism, etc.).
    • Organizations are expected to return with knowledge and expertise that will contribute to the University.
  8. Organizations are subject to the University’s rules and regulations involved with using a University vehicle.

Assessed-Chartered Student Organizations

Assessed-chartered student organizations are those that receive funding through student self-assessed fees.

  1. Travel should be approved by the advisor.
  2. A Travel Request Form must be completed and signed by the appropriate University officials before the vehicle reservation is considered secure.
  3. Funds for mileage must be paid by the organization’s restricted University account.
  4. Employed faculty/staff members of the University or an approved student employee are the only authorized drivers of the vehicle.
    • Authorized drivers must have an approved driving record as outlined in the University’s Vehicle Use Policy.
    • Authorized drivers must have successfully completed the defensive driving course and had their driving background verified.
  5. The travel outcome should provide a development opportunity that will influence the University’s student community.
    • Organizations whose traveling is sponsored by University restricted funds are expected to contribute on behalf of the University (i.e., educational session presentations, volunteerism, etc.).
    • Organizations are expected to return with knowledge and expertise that will contribute to the University.
  6. Organizations are subject to the University’s rules and regulations involved with using a University vehicle.

Communication

This policy is distributed via the University Policies webpage and through communication with students and student organizations by the Office of Student Services.

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