Student Life and Development
There are over 20 student organizations at the university, with new groups forming on a continuing basis. Any group of persons wanting to register a new student organization at UHV must submit the following information to the Department of Student Life and Services (SLS) through JagSync.
- Name of organization (use of the university name, initials, or logo is prohibited)
- Statement of purpose
- Constitution (bylaws) regarding its method of operation
- Name(s) of the faculty/staff advisor (required)
- Names of five student officers
The following articles should be included in all organizational constitutions:
Name of the Organization (use of the university name, initials, or logo is prohibited)
Purpose of the Organization
Qualifications of Membership
Officers, the Election Process, and Duties
Selection of an Advisor
Meetings of the Organization
At least one faculty or staff advisor shall signify the willingness to advise the organization. Before the organization will be registered, three student officers must submit a disclaimer after reading the hazing and discrimination policies.
The Department of Student Life and Services (SLS) will review the required information for approval after verifying that the organization’s purpose is lawful and within university regulations. If the requirements of registration are not approved, the organization may appeal the decision to the Director of Student Life and Services.
Retention of University Recognition
At the beginning of each academic year, student organizations are required to renew their recognized status for that year. To maintain its official university recognition, a student organization and its officers are responsible for complying with pertinent federal, state, and local laws along with the following university regulations:
- All existing organizations will need to renew their registration each academic year by updating their profile information on JagSync.
- After renewal has been approved, the organization must update any changes in the officers or the faculty/staff advisor by updating their profile in JagSync. If any changes have been done to the organization’s constitution, the organization must provide an updated copy of their constitution in their JagSync profile.
- Any organizations whose officers fail to renew and submit the required forms on JagSync by the deadline communicated to them shall have official university recognition withdrawn until all documents are received by the Department of Student Life and Services.
- All organizations must have at least one faculty or staff advisor who is a current employee of UHV.
Withdrawal of Registration
When university registration is withdrawn, the organization will no longer be able to conduct business in the name of UHV, nor shall the organization have any access to the funds in its university account. The Coordinator of Student Life (CSL) will make recommendations regarding withdrawal of recognition to the Director of Student Life and Services, who will then recommend action to the President of UHV.
The UHV student body does not have the authority to abolish any student organization. This decision is vested with the President of UHV, who is responsible to the Board of Regents.
Student Organizations Privileges
1. Use of the University of Houston-Victoria name in all information, publicity, and references (except in the name of the organization).
Use of the UHV logo is also permitted, but organization must have items using the logo reviewed by the Department of Student Life and Services and the Department of Marketing professional staff to ensure that the logo, which is copyrighted, is being used correctly.
2. The services of the Department of Student Life and Services, including assistance in planning, implementing and evaluating activities and programs, and assistance in making the organization more effective and efficient.
These services may include one-on-one advising, but primary source of information and assistance is provided in the many workshops hosted by the Department of Student Life and Services throughout each semester. Organizations are strongly encouraged to participate in these workshops. In addition to gaining valuable information, officers have opportunities to network and interact with officers from other UHV student organizations. Included in these services is the use of the Department of Student Life and Services office and mail services.
3. Access to campus facilities.
Student Organizations are allowed to use designated university rooms, buildings, facilities, and equipment subject to proper scheduling procedures.
4. Use of campus news and publicity media.
Assistance through the Marketing & Communications Department is provided to organizations for the use of design services, campus news and publicity, but also includes assistance in publicizing events through off-campus news media. If marketing and communications materials are to be distributed off campus, they must be approved by the Marketing & Communications Department.
5. Privilege to invite off-campus speakers and artist to appear for regular scheduled meetings and assemblies (subject to scheduling in accordance with the proper procedures).
It is the policy of the university to permit the expression of a full range of ideas as long as there is no violation of federal, state, and local laws or university regulations. University programming committees, academic program areas, and recognized student organizations may invite any speaker to speak on any subject to an audience of students, faculty, and staff to which the public is invited, provided that (a) proper arrangements for facilities and supervisory personnel have been made and (b) proper event forms have been approved.
6. Distribution of literature relating to the organization’s purpose and activities in those areas authorized by UHV posting policies.
The university permits the posting and distribution of information for student organizations on campus. Student Organization’s primary posting space are the assigned bulletin boards in the hallway in Jaguar Hall. Bulletin boards are assigned on a first come first serve basis every year during the organization re-registration process. Student organizations that re-register have the option to select a bulletin board while supplies last.
7. Sponsorship of profit-making activities and solicitation of funds for organizational activities in accordance with university policies and regulations.
There are certain restrictions on certain types of fund raising activities. Contact the Department of Student Life and Services for more details.
8. Representation on Student Government Association.
The Student Government Association (SGA) is composed of a representative of all registered UHV student organizations who choose to participate. SGA is a great place to network with other organizations and to share information and resources with one another.
9. Petition to the Student Government Association for funding for program development purposes.
Funds are available from SGA, derived from student services fees, to assist student organizations in hosting a variety of engaging and developmental programs. These funds are processed through the Student Organizations Finance Committee (SOFC).
Any organization wishing to hold any type of fundraising event must have approval in advance from the Student Life (CSL). The Event Registration Form should be submitted to CSL at least two weeks prior to the event. Direct solicitation of businesses and individuals without prior approval is prohibited. When deeming appropriate, the CSL will consult with the Director of Student Life and Services who will in turn consult with the Office of University Advancement (OUA) before approving any fundraising event. OUA personnel will consult with the University President, who has final authority, when necessary. If an organization desires to appeal a denial by the CSL, it may do so through the Director of Student Life and Services.
Fundraising events eligible for approval include, but are not limited to: carnival games, casino nights (without betting), car washes, bake sales, garage sales, and barbecues (or other similar dinners). Raffles are NOT allowed.
Student Organization Financial Procedures
Student organizations are frequently interested in raising funds to support activities and events. Some organizations collect dues, or have members pay their own way. Whatever fundraising arrangement your group has, it is important to follow all university and UHV system rules regarding fundraising on campus. If at any time you have a question or concern about fundraising, please contact the Department of Student Life and Services at 361-485-4411.
While we do offer in house accounts, student organizations are encouraged to use an outside bank account. Student organizations have certain responsibilities when handling finances:
Student organizations collecting money on campus must comply with all policies of the University which includes any of its offices.
Monies raised should be spent on student organization activities.
If a student organization opens a bank account, at least two officers and an advisor hold signature authority on the account. Transactions should be conducted with two officers present.
Off-Campus Bank Accounts for Student Organizations
It is important to establish financial controls to limit the risk of mismanaging organization funds. Your organization should establish a bank account that will provide security for the money as well as documentation for transactions. Remember that using the name of the University of Houston-Victoria, any abbreviation thereof, or any of the University’s trademarks or logos is prohibited, including on the name of your bank account.
To Open a Bank Account
Complete and submit the form SS-4 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf) to the Coordinator of Student Life. The Coordinator of Student Life will provide you with your organization’s EIN. You must have this number to open an account.
Submit a copy of the organization’s constitution or meeting minutes that approve the opening of the bank account.
Two to three people are required to sign on the account (two officers and an advisor).
The contact address should be:
Name of the Organization (use of the university name, initials, or logo is prohibited).
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901
Follow these guidelines to prevent mismanagement of off-campus accounts for student organizations.
Examples of easy-to-implement controls:
Require two officer signatures for endorsement of expenses
Requiring two signatures on checks prevents purchases by check without the consent of a second student organization officer. Unfortunately, paper checks are used less often these days in favor of ATM or check cards. As a result, double endorsement of all expenses is difficult to endorse.
Separate financial duties
The student organization treasurer should reconcile the bank’s financial statements regularly. While the treasurer could theoretically be the second signer on a check, he or she should not be the primary purchaser or have access to an ATM or check card. If so, another person needs to reconcile the bank statements.
Use a central mailing address
Student organizations should use the UHV mailing address to receive bank statements and notifications. This way, statements and other notifications that might identify financial mismanagement cannot be easily hidden from the student organization’s membership. Unopened statements will be picked up in the Department of Student Life and Services by the student organization treasurer or president. Like checks, paper statements are becoming increasingly rare. If statements are being emailed or require web site access, multiple recipients or users should be authorized.
Keep records public
Purposeful mismanagement of funds is difficult to conceal when financial records are made public or readily available to the student organization’s members. Public records let members question all expenses, which virtually guarantees generally accepted use of the organization’s resources and protects against prolonged collusion.
Define consequences for embezzlement
Address embezzlement in your organization’s constitution. Include:
Methods for policing
Consequences for breaking the rules
By doing so, the student organization states its intentions to police financial management of organization funds. This acts as a deterrent and leaves no ambiguity about the risk of being caught. The point is to deter the activity and outline a course of action in the rare event embezzlement occurs.
Remove your information from accounts when you leave
When you are no longer associated with the student organization, due to graduation or any other reason, be sure to communicate with the bank and have your personal information removed from any accounts. If you do not remove yourself from the accounts, you can be held responsible for financial obligations. Also, transferring your account status to a current organization officer ensures a smooth transition for the organization.
Student Organization Advisor
All recognized organizations are required to have an advisor who is a full-time faculty or staff member at the university. Advisors are critical to the success of a student organization. They are active and involved to promote leadership; they control and advise the student organization by asking questions; they challenge students and support their efforts. Advisors provide community for an organization to pass along valuable information. It may require spending some additional time and effort to work with student organizations’ but by building a learning relationship with the students, advisors will encourage student development.
There are many benefits associated with becoming an advisor to a student organization. Here are some:
- Satisfaction of seeing and helping students learn and develop new skills.
- Watching a group come together to share common interests and work toward common goals and an understanding of differences.
- Furthering personal goals or interests by choosing to work with an organization that reflects one’s interests.
- Sharing one’s knowledge with others.
While serving as an organization advisor, one can be as involved as one would like to be and as your schedule permits. There are some specific responsibilities of an advisor such as:
- Attend meetings.
- Provide guidance to the officers.
- Review all financial statements and oversee financial transactions of the organization.
- Ensure that officers meet minimum GPA requirements according to their constitution (if applicable).
- Provide consultation concerning membership selection procedures.
- Review and monitor the organizations presence on JagSync.
The Student Organizations Fund
An account for student organizations was created in 1988 with student service fees. Any registered student organization may apply for these funds available from Student Government Association (SGA), to assist student organizations in hosting a variety of professional development programs. These funds are processed through the Student Organizations Funding Committee (SOFC).
Qualifications for Funding
- Only student organizations recognized, and in good standing with Department of Student Life and Services will be considered for funding. University wide events and departments that are not recognized as a student organization are not eligible. The SOFC will receive a list of student organizations from the Coordinator of Student Life and Services.
- Organizations must have been established for a minimum of six (6) weeks to be eligible for funding consideration. Organizations can be approved for funding under the special circumstances that they have been active as an interest group before being officially chartered.
- Each chartered organization can receive up to $500 for each academic year (September-August) (excluding travel). Each interest group can receive up to half of the amount received by chartered organizations.
- Organizations and interest groups requesting additional funds that exceed the amounts list above will be evaluated by the SOFC.
- All organizations are required to appoint at least one student as a Student Government Association representative. That member or a designated substitute must attend four (4) SGA meetings per/semester.
Student Organization Funding Committee Process
In order to receive any funding, all of the following must be done by a student organization:
- Complete the Student Organization Funding Request Form by the appropriate date. The form can be located in the Student Government Association’s JagSync Portal in the forms section. If assistance is needed, please contact the Student Organization Student Director or Coordinator of Student Life and Services at 361-485-4411.
- Receive approval from the Coordinator of Student Life and Services as an established and recognized student organization or interest group.
- Receive SGA approval that one member has been appointed to represent that organization and attend at least four meetings; regardless of how long they have been a chartered organization.
- If an existing organization is requesting funds at the beginning of the academic year or semester they must have had a representative present at four (4) SGA meetings the previous semester.
4. Present in front of the SOFC at a regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
- Additional meetings or an alternative meeting format (email, phone conference, etc.) may be called at the discretion of the SOFC Chair to discuss request.
The student organization will then coordinate with the Director of Finance for purchasing and logistics.
Each organization is required to make a presentation before the members of the Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC), which can be accepted in an alternate form by the discretion of the chair. The presentation should explain the organization’s purpose and activities, any source of income (including sponsorship, fundraising projects, and dues). Student organizations may bring brochures and other visual aids, if they so choose, to the presentation. Presentations should last no more than ten (10) minutes and will be followed by a five (5) minute period for discussion.
SOFC is intended to provide financial assistance to student organizations that have an impact on UHV’s campus. Student organizations should take special care to convey this during their presentation.
- Funding Priorities
a. Activities impacting UHV students outside the organization
b. On-campus programs
c. Activities that bring recognition to UHV
2. SOFC cannot fund direct monetary contribution to charities (SOFC may choose, however to help fund an event designed to raise money for charity if the event is free for students to attend.)
3. SOFC does not fund scholarships for student organization dues. SOFC monies cannot be used to provide academic scholarships.
4. SOFC will not fund mission trips of any kind.
5. No organization should expect to be funded for more than one speaker or program per semester. Funding for additional events would depend upon the merit of the program and availability of funds.
6. Proper receipts are required for reimbursements for all approved requests.
7. Ordinarily, no organization may charge admission to students at any program that is in any part subsidized by these funds. An exception may be granted in those circumstances whereas of part of the original request, the requesting organization satisfactorily demonstrates the merits of a program for which admission charges are proposed.
8. No SOFC funds shall be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.
9. Funds may be allocated to registered student clubs and organizations for travel to conferences and for performances, competition and programs pertinent to the student body. It is expected that school or college related travel be funded from those respective accounts. Requests for these funds not pertinent to student organizations or UHV will receive a low funding priority.
10. Ideally requests for travel funds must be submitted to the Student Government Association at least eight (8) weeks prior to departure. All late requests will be denied unless the Student Organization Funding Committee deems circumstances of a particular request extraordinary.
11. All students traveling must be a currently enrolled UHV student with no UHV collection holds on their account.
12. In the event that student organizations would like to collectively host an event a vote must be taken and two-thirds (2/3) of all active chartered organizations and interest groups must vote in favor of the event in order for the event then be passed to the SOFC committee for approval.
13. For funds to be approved two-thirds (2/3) of the SOFC committee must approve on the spending.