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University of Houston - Victoria

STUDENT ORGANIZATION PROCEDURES

There are several student organizations such as; Gamma Beta Phi, Mexican American Student Organization, Psi Chi, and Student Senate. Any group of persons wanting to register a new student organization at UHV must submit the following information to the Office of Student Life and Services (SLS) with the Registration for New Student Organization form and the Hazing and Discrimination Disclaimer:

  • name of organization
  • a statement of purpose
  • a constitution (bylaws) regarding its method of operation
  • the name of the faulty/staff sponsor (organizations are not required to have a sponsor, but are strongly urged to do so)
  • the names of five student representatives

The following articles should be included in all organizational constitutions:

  1. Name of the Organization
  2. Purpose of the Organization
  3. Qualifications of Membership
  4. Officers, the Election Process, and Duties
  5. Selection of a Sponsor
  6. Meetings of the Organization
  7. Attendance Requirements
  8. Expulsion Requirements
  9. Financial Obligations
  10. Constitutional Amendments

At least one faculty or staff sponsor shall signify in writing the willingness to sponsor the organization. Before the organization will be registered, three student representatives must sign a disclaimer after reading the hazing and discrimination policies.

The Office of Student Life and Services (SLS) will review the required paperwork and sign the registration form 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

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:

Register the organization (using the Registration Form) and file a list of officers and members with the SLS by September 15th of each academic year. After submission of the form, the organization shall keep the SLS informed as to any changes in officers or the faculty/staff sponsor as the changes occur throughout the school year. A constitution (bylaws) must also be provided to the SLS within two weeks. When any changes are made to the constitution, update the copy in the SLS within two weeks.

Any organization whose officers fail to submit their Registration Form to the SLS by the above stated deadline shall have official university registration withdrawn until such time as the Registration Form is received by the SLS.

At least one faculty or staff sponsor shall signify in writing a willingness to sponsor the organization.

Before the student organization will be registered, three officers or student representatives must read and sign a hazing and discrimination disclaimer.

Register every event (using the Event Registration Form) other than regularly scheduled meetings, with the SLS and inform that office of all out-of-town travel to meetings or events in which the organization will be participating as a university sanctioned organization.

Any organization which consistently fails to notify the SLS of events, other than regularly scheduled meetings, or out-of-town travel at which the organization will be participating as a representative of the university, will also be subject to having university registration withdrawn.

Abide by all university policies governing membership, including:

  • alcoholic beverage policy
  • anti-hazing policy
  • constitutional guidelines of the organization
  • all pertinent university policies

Keep all financial affairs in accordance with sound business procedures and appropriate university policies.

Act accordingly in the best interests of its members and the university.

Notify and keep the sponsor informed of all activities, meetings, and events of the organization if sponsor is designated.

Utilize university facilities, grounds, and equipment properly at all times in order to avoid damage and/or lost or stolen university property. The organization will be responsible for replacing, repairing, or paying for damages and lost or stolen property.

Realize that the recognition status granted to the organization by the university, its membership, both individually and collectively, will be viewed by the community as a representative of the institution.

Withdrawal of Recognition

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 Student Services Generalist (SSG) will make recommendations 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 Organization Privileges

  • Use of UHV name and logo.
  • Access to the services of the SLS and the Office of Finance, including the mail service, assistance in planning, executing, and evaluating activities and programs.
  • Use of designated university rooms, buildings, facilities, and equipment subject to proper scheduling procedures and prior scheduling needs of the university itself.
  • Use of campus news and publicity media, subject to editorial discretion.
  • Right to invite off-campus speakers and artists to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and assemblies.
  • Right to distribute literature relating to the organization's purpose and activities in those areas authorized by the distribution policies.
  • Use of university bulletin boards to post notices that conform to regulations.
  • Right to hold fund raising activities and to solicit funds for organizational activities in accordance with university regulations.

Fund Raising Policy

Any club or organization wishing to hold any type of fund raising event must have approval in advance from the Student Services Generalist (SSG). The Event Registration Form should be filled out and submitted to SSG. Direct solicitation of businesses and individuals without prior approval is prohibited. When deemed appropriate, the SSG 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 fund raising event. OUA personnel will consult with the university President, who has final authority, when necessary. If a club or organization desires to appeal a denial by the SSG, it may do so through the Director of Student Life and Services.

Fund raising 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).

Student Organization Financial Procedures

Student organizations are frequently interested in raising funds to support activities and events. Some groups collect dues, or have members pay their own way. Whatever fundraising arrangement your group has, it is important to follow all university and UH system rules regarding fundraising on campus. If at any time you have a question or concern about fundraising, please contact the Student Services Generalist (SSG) at 361-485-4410.

Fiscal Responsibilities

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. They are 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 members hold signature authority on the account. Transactions should be conducted with two members 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 trade-marks 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 Student Services Generalist (SSG). The SSG will provide you with your organization’s EIN. You must have this number to open an account.
  • Submit a copy of the organization’s by-laws or meeting minutes that approve the opening of the bank account.
  • Two to three people are required to sign on the account.
  • The contact address should be:

Name of the Organization (use of the university name, initials, or logo is prohibited)

3007 N. Ben Wilson

Victoria, Texas 77901

Follow these guidelines to prevent mismanagement of off-campus accounts for student organizations.

Examples of easy-to-implement controls:

Require two 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 enforce.

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 Office of Student Life and Services by the student organization treasurer or president.

Like checks, paper statements are becoming increasingly rare. If statements are being e-mailed 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 or bylaws. Include

  • Definitions
  • 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 member ensures a smooth transition for the organization.

Student Organization Acknowledgement Form

A Student Organization Acknowledgement Form must be completed and signed by two officers of each active student organization and submitted to the SSG on an annual basis. If a student organization does not submit a signed Student Organization Acknowledgement Form for two consecutive years, it will be considered to be inactive. All remaining funds in University cost centers will be transferred to contingency cost centers unless funds are from a donor, in which case the Office of University Advancement will be contacted for proper handling of donated funds.

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, using the Funding Application Form (http://www.uhv.edu/sas/pdf/Request_StuOrgFunds.pdf). Funds from this account cannot be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, personal gifts, equipment or the maintenance of equipment, or office supplies. Food expenditures will not be permitted unless part of a conference/registration fee.

No award or combination of awards shall be in excess of $250 a year per organization. The Student Senate will approve all requests with a simple majority vote in the presence of a quorum. The Student Senate shall consider cost, overall impact on the UHV community, target audience, event preparation, the organization's past programming success, scope of the event, and the timing.

Exceptions to the $250 per year ceiling may be made by the Student Senate if, upon consultation with the SLS, there is money available in the budget and the expenditure will positively impact the university as a whole.

Funding Criteria

  1. A co-curricular activity, event, or program of special interest must enrich campus life.
  2. Support will be considered for production costs for publications distributed mainly on campus.
  3. Consideration will be given to some off-campus programs that have limited benefit to the university provided that the organization has direct input or responsibility for the event.
  4. Support may provide campus organizations the opportunity to participate in off-campus workshops, conferences, or seminars related to their organization's interest and/or purpose. No one individual's trip can be financed entirely out of this fund.

Procedure for Requesting Funding

  1. The Funding Application Form may be picked up at the SLS or Request for Student Organization Funds (http://www.uhv.edu/sas/pdf/Request_StuOrgFunds.pdf).
  2. The Funding Application Form must be submitted to the SLS at least two weeks prior to the event. Events requiring contracts must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the event. No request will be considered after an event.
  3. The request will be processed by the SLS and be presented to the Student Senate at its first meeting following filing. A representative from the organization must be at the hearing to present the program and receive instructions.
  4. Student organizations must be registered with the SLS and must have an Account established with the Office of Administration and Finance prior to the request for any funding.