Chartered organizations within the Wake Forest University community are those which have been officially recognized by the faculty. Recognition is granted on the basis of a group's proposed intent and perceived ability to serve the interests of the academic community in a manner consistent with the University's purposes. Continuation of recognition is dependent upon the fiilfillment of intent and demonstrated ability to abide by the organization's constitution and the University's purposes. Further, recognition does not imply that the University assume liability or legal responsibility for the actions of any chartered group. Recognition of a group does not deprive the University of any of its rights to act for the welfare of the community. The advantages of being a University approved organization include:
- scheduling events on the University calendar and reserving and using various rooms and facilities on campus for meetings.
- having a faculty advisor who would support, encourage, and help the group fulfill its objective. (He/she would serve a liaison flinction in representing the students' interests before the faculty and its committees.)
- listings in various University publications such as the Student Faculty Directory, Wake Forest Student Handbook and the Howler.
- the allowance of establishing credit and reserving places for social events and other activities off campus.
- eligibility for allocation of University funding.
Responsibilities of a Student Organization
Student organizations will be held responsible for the behavior of members when their actions evolve from or are in any way related to their association with or the activities of the group. The only means by which liability on the part of the organization can be avoided is if the violators are identified and it can be shown that members of the organization took reasonable steps to prevent violations by their fellow members.
Every organization has the duty to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent any infraction of University rules and state laws growing out of or related to the activities of the organization. This duty is applicable not only to members of the organization who are engaging in the activity, but is applicable to every member, including those not engaging in the activity. Thus, if a number of members are involved in misbehavior growing out of their association or membership in the group, even if no other members are around to prevent the action, the organization will still be held collectively liable for the misbehavior so long as it grows out of the life of the organization. All members should be aware that their misdeeds may result in the sanctioning of their entire organization and themselves as individuals.
Guidelines for Establishing an Organization
- Students concerned with forming a group should meet informally several times to ascertain whether or not there is sufficient interest to justify its existence and to make tentative plans. As a guideline, the minimum size to justify seeking a charter is 5 interested potential members. Representatives of the group should contact the Office of Student Development at this stage for assistance in creating a constitution.
- The constitution should be submitted to the Charter Committee of the Student Government Legislature. The Committee's recommendation goes to the Legislature. The Legislature's decision, if affirmative, is then referred to the Student Life Committee of the faculty for its endorsement and subsequently to the faculty for University recognition.
- The organization must secure a faculty/staff advisor and report the advisor's name to the Student Life Committee for its endorsement. An advisor must have been secured before the constitution is presented to the Faculty for recognition; thereafter, the organization should state it's advisor's name when registering at the beginning of each academic year with the Office of Student Development. (See Item 6.) If an organization is without a faculty/staff advisor for one year, the Student Development Office will remind the organization of the urgent need for an advisor. At the end of the second year without an advisor, the organization will be asked to show cause why its charter should not be suspended.
- The philosophy and purpose of a student organization should be compatible with the principle of free inquiry, rationality, and responsibility which should characterize every facet of University life.
- All student organizations operate under the general purview of the Student Life Committee and are responsible to it. The Committee is unlikely to approve the constitutions of organizations which it believes
- discriminate against segments of the community,
- advocate the disruption of the educational process,
- threaten the health and safety of the community members,
- demean the personal dignity of individuals or groups, or,
- constrain the intellectual growth and reasonable personal freedom of individuals.
Such organizations, whatever their status outside the University community, are seen as a threat to the University's mission and integrity.
- All organizations must register with the Office of Student Development at the beginning of each new academic year. Any organization which is inactive for one year and does not become active the second year ceases to be a recognized organization. An inactive organization (of one year) must come before the Student Life Committee for recognition again. (Adopted by Student Affairs Committee, forerunner of the Student Life Committee, Oct.15, 1965.)
- No Wake Forest University student organization may either by written or unwritten policy or agreement selectively exclude students from its membership on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, veteran status, handicapped status, or disability as required by law. In addition, Wake Forest rejects hatred and bigotry in any form and adheres to the principle that no person affiliated with Wake Forest should be judged or harassed on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation.
Process of Ratification
- The proposed Constitution and By-laws (hereafter referred to as Charter) must be returned to the Student Government Office, Room 304 of the Benson University Center.
- The Student Government Appropriations and Charter Committee must approve the Charter.
- The Student Government Legislature must approve the Charter.
- The Student Life Committee must approve the Charter.
- The Faculty reviews the Charter presented for its recognition.
View a sample constitution for a new student organization now.