3.1 General Standards for Student Organizations

Saint Louis University firmly believes that learning takes place in a wide variety of settings and circumstances. Involvement and participation in a Student Organization provides limitless opportunities for developing leadership skills and enhances campus life at SLU. In recognition of the potentially important role of Student Organizations in Student formation and the significant contribution they can provide to the comprehensive mission of the University, Saint Louis University continues to support their growth. Learning leadership skills and learning in the area of interpersonal relationships are of great importance. Many ethical and moral decisions are encountered while running a Student Organization, planning an event, or carrying out plans for activities. Often, the decisions made, and/or the accomplishments faced, foster the skills vital for personal development and self-realization. This knowledge is of equal importance with the skills and information gained in the more typical "academic" setting.

A Student Organization shall be defined as a group of Saint Louis University Students joined together in the pursuit of a common purpose that is congruent with the University's institutional mission and/or Catholic teaching. Student Organizations are open to all Students with regard to sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other protected classification. Fraternities and sororities may retain gender specific membership (see Section 3.1.(G)).

There are three different types of Student Organizations:

  1. Recognized Student Organization (RSO): Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) are formally recognized by the University but are not chartered nor affiliated with SGA. This means they are financially independent of SGA and Student Activity Fee monies. RSOs must be endorsed by a department and/or unit of the University, who agree to provide advising support for the organization’s operations. In some instances, the sponsoring department and/or unit may also provide financial support. These organizations will receive the following privileges:
    1. The use of Saint Louis University facilities
    2. The use of campus bulletin board space
    3. The ability to publicize events and activities open to all Students on all University calendars
    4. Table during Fall and Winter Welcome events
    5. Operate and manage a SLU Groups page
    6. Reference or utilize the University in their name, which includes but is not limited to references to “SLU,” the Billiken, or Saint Louis University.
    7. Comply with the University’s Community Standards (Student Handbook, 2.0) and Student Organization Policies (Student Handbook, 3.0)

      To become a RSO, the interested students should formally apply for approval through the Student Involvement Center. They will then meet with a member of the SIC team, including a representative from the sponsoring department/unit and their prospective advisor. In this meeting they will share their vision for the Organization’s mission and operations, and a draft constitution. Upon completion of this process they will receive official recognition from the University and will be granted immediate RSO status.  
  2. Developing Student Organization (DSO): These are groups that have expressed interest in becoming a Chartered Student Organization through SGA. They are responsible for facilitating the process through outreach to the Vice President for Student Organizations (sga.stuorgs@slu.edu). Upon completion of their initial meeting,they will then be scheduled to present to the Committee for Student Organizations (ComSO) to receive DSO recognition. Upon this approval, the organization is granted similar rights and abilities as CSO’s, except funding eligibility. The developing period can last anywhere from six to twelve months to ensure a solid infrastructure, adequate student interest, and that the group successfully transitions through one leadership cycle. DSO status cannot be extended past 12 months unless recommended and approved by ComSO in extenuating circumstances. If a group fails to apply to become a CSO during this six-twelve month window, their DSO status may expire and they would have to reapply to initiate the DSO process.

    When an organization is ready to apply for Charter recognition, they will again appear before ComSO to receive approval. At that time the VPSO will prepare chartering legislation for the organization to appear before SGA’s General Assembly. An officer representing the proposed organization will be present to answer any and all questions. If one such officer is not present, the application will be automatically tabled until the following meeting of the General Assembly. Upon a second absence of such an officer, the charter will be automatically denied, and the Organization will need to reapply to initiate the DSO process.

    If approved by a majority vote of the General Assembly, the organization will be granted immediate CSO status.

    Extenuating Circumstances for DSOs:
    When concerns arise about the existence of a developing organization and its compliance with any of the University’s Student Organization policies and expectations, and the Organization has received approval through SGA’s General Assembly, the Student Involvement Center, as represented by the Director, shall have 48 hours in which to file an "objection to charter." This objection must be filed with both SGA and the organization applying for a charter. If no objection is raised during this period, the organization will be immediately chartered and recognized.

    In the event that SGA and the Student Involvement Center do not concur regarding the granting or revocation of a charter, the question will be referred for resolution to an appeals board composed of one faculty member, one administrator, and three Students chosen by the President of the University, or designee. This appeals board will meet and rule within a 10-day period after a request for appeal has been made, and its decision will be final.

    In addition, the President of the University reserves the right to determine whether any organization proposed for charter does or does not conform to the ideals and goals of the University.
  3. CSO (Chartered Student Organization): Once a DSO is chartered by the Student Government Association (SGA) they immediately receive Chartered Student Organization status. A CSO has the following rights and responsibilities:
    1. Use of Saint Louis University facilities
    2. Use of campus bulletin board space
    3. Publicize events and activities open to all Students on all University calendars
    4. Apply to SGA to receive funding from the Student Activity Fee and/or Wellness Fee
    5. Receive a University operating fund, to manage SGA allocation
    6. Receive financial training and support from the Student Involvement Center
    7. Have access to a mailbox in the Busch Student Center
    8. Table during Fall and Winter Welcome events
    9. Operate and manage a SLU Groups page
    10. Apply for a SLU Email through ITS
    11. Attend Leadership Workshops offered by the SGA Committee for Student Organizations (ComSO)
    12. Utilize the Vice President for Student Organizations (VPSO) or ComSO for questions
    13. Reference or utilize the University in their name, which includes but is not limited to references to “SLU,” the Billiken, or Saint Louis University.
    14. Comply with the University’s Community Standards (Student Handbook, 2.0) and Student Organization Policies (Student Handbook, 3.0)

      If a CSO is a member of a larger governing organization (local and/or inter/national), both the CSO campus constitution and any additional operational documents must be uploaded to the organization’s SLU Groups page (see: Online Presence). The University will accept, in good faith, the provisions of such constitutions and bylaws, indicating that the organization is free to select members upon the basis of individual merit, and the membership in the organization is not governed by restrictive clauses that deal with sex, gender, gender identity and expression, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other protected classification (see the University Harassment Policy, 1.8). The only exceptions to this guideline are Greek-letter organizations who are protected and permitted to remain single-gender organizations under TItle IX.

      Additional guidance for Chartered Student Organizations:
      1. Membership in CSOs should be open to any member of the University student body, as CSOs are funded by the Student Activity Fee, paid by all SLU students. Should a CSO be found in conflict with University Policy in the selection of its members, the group will be asked to submit evidence that action has been or is being taken to remove such restrictive membership provisions, such as a request for a waiver of the restriction from the inter/national organization. The Director of the Student Involvement Center, in consultation with the SGA President, may provide a “reasonable timeline” for the Organization to remedy and remove the restrictive provisions. Continued restriction of membership by constitutional requirements and/or other binding enactment contrary to University Policy will result in withdrawal of the charter of the Student Organization.
      2. Review of Charter. If it is believed that a Chartered Student Organization has changed its purpose or method of operation, thus altering the essential nature of the organization as it was originally chartered, or has a purpose which has fallen outside the Catholic, Jesuit mission of the University, there may be a request for a “Review of Charter” This may be initiated by the Director of the Student Involvement Center, or by the SGA President, and brought to the SGA General Assembly through a majority vote. The SGA General Assembly will conduct the charter review. Should SGA find that the organization in question has essentially departed from the terms under which it was chartered, it may vote to "Suspend Charter," and the organization will have to reapply for recognition and charter.
      3. Continuation of the Charter. To remain an active Student Organization at the University, with all rights and privileges as outlined herein, each organization must maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of executive level officers who are responsible for organization operations, as well as the name of their Advisor(s) via SLU Groups. At minimum, the following should be included:
      • name,
      • email address, and
      • phone number of a President/Chair, Treasurer, and Advisor.

All Student Organizations must complete an “Intent to Return” form within SLU Groups, to persist as an active organization from one academic year to the next. This is an organization's official notice that they wish to continue operations for another year.

Organizations who fail to comply with SGAs CSO guidance and expectations, including failure to complete an “Intent to Return” will be presented for de-chartering in one of the final General Assembly meetings of the academic year. This legislation will be presented by the Vice President of Student Organizations, and the legislation would pass with a majority vote from the General Assembly.