Student Organizations


I. Recognized Student Organization (RSO): Defined

  1. Recognized Student Organizations at Clemson University are based on, centered around, led, governed, and directed by students. Membership is open to all Clemson University students and may also include Clemson University faculty, staff, alumni and alumnae as well as off-campus members. However, only Clemson University students may be voting members and officers. Note: Bridge to Clemson students may join any RSO with the exception of Club Sports and Fraternities and Sororities.
  2. Approval for recognition is granted by Clemson University Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) or Clemson University Graduate Student Government (CGSG) under the advisement of a staff member in the Division of Student Affairs. RSOs cannot be recognized by both governing bodies. In order to be recognized and to retain official recognition, student organizations must meet certain requirements. Recognition of new student organizations takes place during the fall and spring semesters only.
  3. A recognized undergraduate student organization is defined as an organization whose membership comprises a majority of currently enrolled undergraduate students.

II. Rights and Privileges of Student Organizations

  1. The structure of each student organization shall be decided solely by that organization provided that it does not conflict with any CUSG or University policies.
  2. Student organizations complying with the conditions of recognition and who are in good judicial standing shall enjoy the rights and privileges associated with the status of being officially recognized by the University including the following:
    1. Invite their own faculty or staff advisors.
    2. Publish their organization picture in the Clemson yearbook.
    3. Reserve University facilities provided they meet the requirements or the use of the facility.
    4. Have an organizational email, web account, and OrgSync portal.
    5. Sponsor a candidate for Miss Homecoming.
    6. Participate in Organization fairs and other Get Involved events.

III. Student Organization Recognition

  1. In order to become recognized, organizations must adhere to the following guidelines:
    1. Select a full-time Clemson University faculty or staff member to serve as its primary advisor. A secondary advisor may be a full or part-time faculty or staff member or a graduate assistant.
    2. Create a constitution that articulates the purpose of the organization and outline the procedures to be followed for its orderly functioning. Bylaws will not be accepted in place of a constitution, although they are recommended.
    3. Be open in membership unless otherwise permitted under federal law.
    4. Have a plan that ensures the sustainability of said organization long term. This plan must be evident in the organization’s constitution.
    5. All potential organizations cannot resemble any current RSO on campus. Therefore, to propose a similar organization one must state reasons for which the current RSO does not meet the needs of the students seeking to start the potential organization.
    6. The aforementioned criteria are minimum requirements set for the recognition of student organizations. Organizations may choose to set higher standards for membership including higher officer grade point requirements, higher membership grade point requirements, etc.
  2. Student Organization Recognition Status Descriptions
    1. Recognized: The organization meets all current requirements for recognition and can operate without restrictions.
    2. In Progress: The organization recently started the recognition process for the first time. The organization can operate minimally, but must meet the recognition requirements before being granted the full rights and privileges of a recognized student organization.
    3. Deferred: The organization is still considered active, but has failed to meet all necessary organizational standards and is limited in its ability to utilize campus resources. If the organization remains deferred for more than 60 days, it will become suspended and will no longer be considered active.
    4. Suspended: The organization is no longer recognized by the University, but is permitted to request renewal. If one of the group's representatives does not request the renewal of the organization within 60 days, the organization will lose its chance for renewal.
    5. Expelled: The organization is expelled by the University and is no longer considered an operating organization. As there is no longer a potential for renewal, the organization is defunct and exists only in the Organizations Director’s files for archival purposes.
  3. Student Organization Recognition Process
    1. Complete and submit a new organization request for Recognition of New Student Organization and upload requested documents (Constitution/Membership List) in OrgSync.
    2. Submitted new organization requests and supporting documents will be reviewed by the CUSG Organizations Director and Associate Director of Student Organizations and Clubs who advises this Director. Only completed new organization requests submitted via OrgSync will be accepted for review.
    3. Student Organizations that are approved to continue the recognition process will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the CUSG Organizations Director and Advisor. During this meeting the organization will begin the process of obtaining a CU user ID and password. The Chief Officer and Advisor of the organization should attend this meeting.
    4. After this meeting, the Chief Officer and Advisor will receive an electronic confirmation of recognition status and will be designated as recognized in OrgSync.

IV. Categorization of Student Organizations

  1. Sponsored Student Organizations
    1. Definition: Sponsored Student Organizations shall be defined as those organizations which serve the interests of a broad and diverse range of Clemson University students and are considered critical to the mission and culture of the University. These organizations are advised by a staff member in the Division of Student Affairs.
    2. These organizations include:
      1. Clemson Undergraduate Student Government
      2. Fraternity and Sorority Life
      3. Central Spirit
      4. Tiger Paw Productions
      5. ClemsonLive
      6. Media Advisory Board
      7. Military Council
    3. Sponsored Student Organizations will be responsible for participating in Spring Budget Hearings in order to receive Activity Fund monies for all subsequent fiscal year proposed expenditures.
    4. Activity Fund monies will be dispersed from the Student Activity Fee Budget as a lump sum to these organizations in accordance with the decision for funding made by the Student Activity Funding Board in adherence to the funding priority guidelines set forth for the board.
    5. These organizations will follow the guidelines for Student Activity Fee funding in accordance with Article VI of the Student Organizations Section.
  2. Club Sports
    1. Definition: Club Sports shall be defined as those organizations whose primary purpose is to train for and to participate in intercollegiate athletic competition. Club Sports are managed by Campus Recreation.
    2. Club Sports budget proposals must be submitted to the Club Sports Office in Campus Recreation who shall submit a recommendation to the Student Activity Funding Board before Spring Budget Hearings.
    3. Club Sports Organizations will be responsible for participating in Spring Budget Hearings in order to receive Activity Fund monies for subsequent fiscal year proposed expenditures.
    4. Club Sports Organizations will be required to fund at least 35% of their proposed budget requests.
    5. Club Sports will follow the guidelines for Student Activity Fee funding in accordance with Article VI of the Student Organizations Section
    6. Activity Fund monies will be dispersed from the Student Activity Fee Budget as a lump sum to these organizations in accordance with the decision for funding made by the Student Activity Funding Board in adherence to the funding priority guidelines set forth for the board.
    7. All organizational requirements will govern these organizations.
  3. Student Organizations
    1. Definition. Student Organizations shall be defined as those which are formed with respect to student interests and which serve a narrower constituency than Sponsored Student Organizations.
    2. All organizational requirements will govern these organizations.
    3. Organizations in this category are eligible for operational and non-operational funding as defined in the Student Activity Funding Board Guidelines.
    4. Classification of Student Organizations Clemson University Undergraduate Student Government uses a classification system in order to assist students with finding organizations of interest. Student Organizations are assigned a classification based on its primary mission/purpose.
      1. Creative and Performing Arts: An organization dedicated to the practice and encouragement of visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts such as music, theatre, dance, and film.
      2. Cultural and International: An organization whose purpose is to provide social and cultural awareness and/or adjustment activities for students.
      3. Governing: An organization whose primary purpose is to govern another body of individuals. These include groups such as Student Government and Residence Hall Association
      4. Honorary: An organization with the primary function of conferring distinction for honorable achievement.
      5. Media: An organization whose primary purpose is to communicate via the media.
      6. Political Activism: An organization that forms around an organized political party or to advance political or social understanding.
      7. Professional/Academic/Departmental: An organization with the primary purpose of promoting future professional activity such as one's occupation or major.
      8. Religious: An organization whose primary purpose is to provide religious instruction and fellowship.
      9. Service and Advocacy: An organization whose primary purpose is civic engagement and/or philanthropic services which benefit the welfare of others, as by charitable events, activities, or aid.
      10. Sports and Recreation: An organization of which the primary activity and purpose is promoting and engaging in athletics and recreation-based activities

        NOTE: Recognition as a Sports/Recreation organization or club with CUSG does not automatically qualify your organization to be recognized as a Club Sport with Campus Recreation. Club Sports focus on competitive sporting and recreational activities. For information on Club Sports contact the Club Sports Office at cucs@clemson.edu.

      11. Special Interest: An organization whose primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for individuals to discuss and share information regarding specific, non-academic related topics of interest and to participate in such activities.

V. Retaining Recognition

  1. To retain recognition, an organization must:
    1. Adhere to all municipal, state and federal laws, the Clemson University Student Handbook, Code of Conduct and all University rules and procedures.
    2. Maintain updated contact information for officers and advisor(s) on OrgSync before the start of each semester
    3. Maintain a full-time Clemson University faculty or staff member as an Advisor Participate in all required meetings and training
  2. It is the responsibility of the Chief Officer of an organization to notify CUSG Organizations Director in writing if it wants to voluntarily revoke its recognition status permanently.
  3. Any recognized undergraduate student organization that does not follow the above listed responsibilities may lose its recognized status, all student activity funds allocated to the organization, and all rights granted by the recognition process. Your organization will be notified of the intent to withdraw recognition and the reason(s) for which recognition is to be withdrawn by the CUSG Organizations Director via an email sent to the Chief Officer and Advisor of your organization.
    1. The CUSG Organizations Director shall determine whether an organization merits expulsion. The Organizations Director will then draft and propose legislation in the form of an expulsion bill. The bill will require a majority vote of the Senate and appropriate signatures before the organization is officially expelled. The Advisor and Chief Officer for the organization will be notified via email when an organization has been expelled.
    2. Organizations that are expelled must wait 60 days before they are eligible to apply for re-recognition. During this time the organization will be in a suspended status. The 60 day probation period begins on the day of notification. A group can appeal this decision unless the revocation was initiated under the Student Code of Conduct. When the 60 day period is over, a meeting with the CUSG Organizations Director will be arranged.

VI. Organizational Funding

  1. Receiving Funding
    1. If an organization is to be funded in any capacity it must:
      1. Obtain a Budget Packet from Student Government.
      2. Arrange for a hearing with the Student Government Student Activity Funding Board.
      3. Send at least one representative to the scheduled hearing time. Funding requests will be heard during the specified scheduled hearings only, and failure to show up for the scheduled hearing time may render the organization ineligible for the specific funding request.
      4. If the required documents are not submitted in adequate time, acceptance is the discretion of the Funding Board.
    2. After the hearings, the Student Activity Funding Board will submit recommended allocations within the Appropriations Bill to the Student Senate for approval.
    3. Exceptions to funding procedure when the Student Activity Funding Board is unable to hear a request are set forth in the Student Activity Funding Board guidelines.
  2. Guidelines for Funding Requests
    1. All recognized organizations should be familiar with the Funding Priority Statement set forth in the Guide Lines for Organizational Funding.
    2. Additionally, Student Organizations should be aware of the types of expenditures which may be funded, as set forth in clauses of the aforementioned section.
    3. Funding for Club Sports will follow the guidelines set forth where the Club Sports Category is defined.
    4. All Recognized Student Activity Organizations and Student Activity Organizations will be subject to the funding rules set out in part B, Guidelines for Organizational Funding.
  3. Guidelines for the Use of Funds
    1. The funds allocated by Student Government are state monies and are to be used under the same purchasing guidelines of all state agencies.
    2. When an organization applies for funding, this contract requires that the funds only be used for those categories for which were applied by the organization and specified by the final allocation of the Student Senate. If an organization wishes to reallocate funds, a Budget Reallocation Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Student Body Treasurer for approval. These forms shall be available to organizations in the Student Government Main Office.
  4. Procedure for Organizational Funding
    1. Prior to annual budget hearings, the Student Activity Funding Board will allocate the entire Student Activity Fee Fund to the three organizational categories, as defined in the categorization of Student Organizations. The preliminary allocation made by the Student Activity Funding Board may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the board.
    2. To determine the allocation of funds for those organizations that are defined as Student Activity Organizations and Club Sports, hearings shall be held in the Spring Semester not later than the third Monday of February. The annual budget requests of these organizations will be decided both in their entirety and in accordance with the Guidelines for Organizational Funding, Article V.
    3. For those groups defined as Student Organizations, the Student Activity Funding Board will hold Budget Hearings at least every two weeks during the academic year to allocate funds for operational and non-operational uses. Student Organizations must submit budget requests at least four weeks in advance of the scheduled event. The Student Activity Funding Board will have the sole discretion to suspend the rules to allow a funding request to be heard which has not been submitted the required four weeks in advance.
    4. During the Budget Hearings, the Student Activity Funding Board will review the proposed budgets submitted by student organizations. Activity Fund monies shall be allocated to eligible student organizations.
    5. The Student Funding Activity Board must specify for which categories the appropriation is recommended as well as the specific purpose of the funds.
    6. The Treasurer will present the organization with a contract detailing which categories are eligible for Student Activity Fee spending and how much is allocated to be spent per category at the conclusion of the budget hearing. The contract must explicitly state that the money is to be used for no other purpose than for the event and categories allocated. Both the organization leaders and Student Government Treasurer will sign the contract, ensuring both parties understand the terms of the appropriation.
    7. The Student Body Treasurer will properly educate the student organizations of the approved usage of the funding as well as the guidelines for using funding. The student organization reimbursements will be checked quarterly by the Student Body Treasurer. If a student organization has not used their funding, the Treasurer will remind and encourage the student organization to use their allocated funding. If the student organization has not used funding allocated for the event that should have taken place by February 28th, any leftover funding can be placed back in the Student Activity Fund on or after March 31st for reallocation before the end of the fiscal year.
    8. Recommendations made by the Student Activity Fee Funding Board during the Spring Budget Hearings shall be submitted to the Student Senate for approval by April 1. After approval by the Senate and signature by the President, the signed contract will be sent to the Student Life Budget Office.
      1. For budget requests arising outside of the academic semester, the Student Body Treasurer shall send a copy of the proposal electronically to all members of the Student Activity Fee Funding Board. If a majority of the board approves the request, it shall be forwarded to the Student Senate president for his or her approval. If approved, it shall then be sent to the Student Body President for his or her approval. If either of those individuals vetoes the proposal, then the only way for it to be approved outside of the academic year is for a special session of the Senate to be called.

        The Student Activity Fee Funding Board will have the sole discretion to suspend the rules to allow a funding request to be heard which has not been submitted the required four weeks in advance. Any resulting allocation must still be approved by a vote of the Student Senate.

    9. The Student Body Treasurer will review each student organization’s receipts quarterly to ensure that student organizations are being reimbursed according to the specified allocations. If a student organization was refunded within funding categories, but used their funds in a manner that is not congruent to their request then this incongruent use will be taken into consideration in future funding requests from the student organization.
    10. For budget requests arising outside of the academic semester, the Student Body Treasurer shall send a copy of the proposal electronically to all members of the Student Activity Funding Board. If a majority of the board approves the request, it shall be forwarded to the Student Senate president for his or her approval. If approved, it shall then be sent to the Student Body President for his or her approval. If either of those individuals vetoes the proposal, then the only way for it to be approved outside of the academic year is for a special session of the Senate to be called.
  5. Guidelines for Organizational Funding
    1. Activity Fund allocations will be made in strict accordance with the following guidelines.
    2. The Student Activity Funding Board shall approve standing rules and may approve special rules of order which do not conflict with the Student Handbook. The guidelines set forth in this handbook may not be suspended, no matter their nature, unless explicitly allowed for in that particular section of this handbook.
    3. Funding Priority
      1. The Student Activity Fee seeks to promote the interaction and education of Clemson University students in accordance with the University's Core Values statement. Consequently, funding proposals which seek to further those values will be given the highest consideration. Other factors which will impact an allocation decision will include:
        1. Impact of the event (number of students, number of non-students, degree, etc.)
        2. Likelihood of success
        3. Academic and Cultural value
        4. Availability of other funding source
      2. Allocation of Student Activity Fees will follow strict viewpoint neutrality and will not discriminate amongst student groups on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran's status.
    4. Allocation of Operational Funds
      1. Operational uses shall be defined as those which further a consistent, repeatable, or essential function of an organization. This shall include but not be limited to office supplies, postage, and newsletters.
      2. Definitions
        1. Printing: Expenses incurred in printing reports, bulletins, and publications.
        2. Telephone: Calls made in regard to club business.
        3. Postage: Cost of stamps, postcards, and bulk mailings.
        4. Supplies and Materials: Expenditures for expendable, inexpensive articles, including but not limited to supplies and minor equipment.
        5. Rentals: Expenses for the use of equipment or rooms for a specified period of time.
        6. Repairs and Maintenance: Expenditures for the repair and maintenance of minor equipment.
      3. Each organization will be required to fund at least 35% of its operational expenses.
      4. No organization will be eligible to receive more than $200 for operational funding in a given fiscal year. No Student Organization whose operational budget receives funds from a Student Activity Organization shall receive Operational Funds.
      5. Uses which are eligible for operational funding are strictly limited to those defined in Clause (1) of this section,
      6. No Student Organization whose operational budget receives funds from a Student Activity Organization shall receive Operational Funds. No Student Organization whose Non-Operational Budget request incorporates funds from a Student Activity Organization shall receive funding for that Non-Operational Budget request.
    5. Allocation of Non-Operational Funds
      1. Non-operational uses shall be defined as those which further a unique and/or widely available function of the organization.
      2. Definitions
        1. Travel: Transportation to and from conferences or events. Allocations will be based on Transportation Services' vehicle rental and lease rates.
        2. Registration: Registration for conferences or tournaments.
        3. Repairs and Maintenance: Expenditures for the repair and maintenance of major equipment
        4. Honoraria: Fees for lecturers, consultants or other. State employees may not receive honoraria.
        5. Advertising for events: Costs incurred which directly publicly promote the event for which funding is requested.
        6. Insurance for events: Insurance costs directly related to the event for which funding is requested.
        7. Direct event expenses: Costs incurred which are directly related to the successful and complete execution of the event for which funding is requested.
        8. Equipment: Expenses incurred by groups whose primary function requires some form of equipment.
      3. Monies shall not be distributed for the following:
        1. Food
        2. Alcohol and illegal substances
        3. Banquets and related expenses
        4. T-shirts and related clothing items
      4. Each organization will be required to fund at least 35% of its proposed non- operational expenses.
      5. Uses which are eligible for non-operational funding are strictly limited to those defined in Clause (1) of this section.
    6. Allocation of Club Sports
      1. Club Sports Organizations will be required to fund at least 35% of their proposed budget requests.
      2. The following expenses are considered as eligible for funding:
        1. Travel: Transportation to and from conferences or events. Allocations will be based on Transportation Services' vehicle rental and lease rates.
        2. Equipment: Equipment which is directly related to the training or competition of the sport in which the club is involved.
        3. Repairs and Maintenance: Expenditures for the repair and maintenance of equipment.
        4. Registration: Registration for tournaments or competition.
        5. Honoraria: Fees for lecturers, consultants, referees, game officials or other experts. State employees may not receive honoraria.
        6. Printing: Expenses incurred in printing reports, bulletins, and publications.
        7. Postage: Cost of stamps, postcards, and bulk mailings.
        8. Supplies and Materials: Expenditures for expendable, inexpensive articles, including but not limited to supplies and minor equipment.
        9. Telephone: Calls made in regard to club business.
        10. Insurance for Events: Insurance costs directly related to the event for which funding is requested.
        11. Insurance for Equipment: Insurance costs directly related to the equipment which enables the successful function of the sport. This category will not include insurance for theft.
        12. Direct Event Expenses: Costs incurred which are directly related to the successful complete execution of the event for which is requested.
        13. Advertising for Events: Costs incurred which directly publicly promote the event for which funding is requested.
      3. Activity Fund monies will be dispersed from the Student Activity Fee Budget as a lump sum to these organizations in accordance with the decision for funding made by the Student Activity Funding Board in adherence to the funding priority guidelines set forth for the board.
      4. All organizational requirements will govern these organizations.
    7. Emergency Funding.
      1. Requests for Emergency Funding are limited to specific purposes or events that are considered essential to the function of the club but could not be planned or were foreseen at the time annual budgets were approved; except in the case of unforeseen debt, which is not considered Emergency Funding. Funding will not be granted retroactively.
      2. Organizations requesting Emergency Funding must complete an Emergency Funding Request Form (available in the Student Government Main Office) and submit it to the Student Body Treasurer for review. If the Student Body Treasurer feels the request warrants consideration, it will be forwarded to the Student Activity Funding Board and an Emergency Funding Hearing will be scheduled.
      3. During an Emergency Funding Hearing, nine copies of the organization's current budget, the organization's Emergency Funding request and the Emergency Funding case will be presented by the organization to the Student Activity Funding Board.
      4. After the hearing, the Student Activity Funding Board will follow the same procedures used for regular funding requests. The chairperson of the Student Senate Finance and Procedures Committee shall present the Emergency Funding legislation to the Student Senate for approval.
      5. Student Activity Organizations and Club Sports will be eligible for Emergency Funding.
    8. Allocation of Student Activity Fee Funding
      1. Student Activity organizations will be funded in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Clemson University Student Handbook, Student Organizations, Section V.
      2. Definitions
        1. Travel: Transportation to and from conferences or events. Allocations will be based on Transportation Services’ vehicle rental and lease rates.
        2. Registration: Registration for conferences or tournaments.
        3. Repairs and Maintenance: Expenditures for the repair and maintenance of major equipment
        4. Honoraria: Fees for lecturers, consultants or other. State employees may not receive honoraria.
        5. Advertising for events: Costs incurred which directly publicly promote the event for which funding is requested.
        6. Insurance for events: Insurance costs directly related to the event for which funding is requested.
        7. Direct event expenses: Costs incurred which are directly related to the successful and complete execution of the event for which funding is requested.
        8. Equipment: Expenses incurred by groups whose primary function requires some form of equipment.
        9. Printing: Expenses incurred in printing reports, bulletins, and publications.
        10. Postage: Cost of stamps, postcards, and bulk mailings.
        11. Rentals: Expenses for the use of equipment or rooms for a specified period of time.
        12. Telephone: Calls made in regard to club business.
      3. Monies shall not be distributed for the following:
        1. Alcohol and illegal substances
        2. Banquets and related expenses
      4. Activity Fund monies will be dispersed from the Student Activity Fee Budget as a lump sum to these organizations in accordance with the decision for funding made by the Student Activity Funding Board in adherence to the funding priority guidelines set forth for the board.
      5. Procedure to become a Student Activity Organization:
        1. General student organizations should have an established relationship with the Funding Board by having presented to the Funding Board and have been allocated funds for several events prior to the following steps.
        2. Once a funding relationship is established, the organization must present a five year plan to the Funding Board and meet annually to give updates of the five year plan.
        3. After the first three years, the Funding Board, with ratification through the Student Handbook, may grant temporary status at any point as a Student Activity Organization.
        4. After the remaining two years on the five year plan, the Funding Board, with ratification of the Student Handbook, may continue yearly temporary status indefinitely, grant permanent status, or discontinue the procedure to become a Student Activity Organization.
        5. All decisions will be based on the impact the organization has on the campus and if their activities abide by the Core Values. A significant population of the student body, comparable to other Student Activity Organizations, must be in the constituency of any organization attempting to go through this procedure first.
    9. The Student Body Treasurer shall decide the categorization of an expense in accordance with these guidelines.