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Section 1. Student Organization Recognition

1.1 University Recognized Student Organizations

More than 200 student groups at Boise State University register each year with the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.  Student organizations provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom, meeting others with similar interests, developing life, work and leadership skills, gaining a broader experience and a greater perspective, and engaging students as citizens of the campus community.

The authority to recognize student organizations on behalf of Boise State University resides with the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. However, this authority is delegated to the director and staff of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

1.1.1Definition of a University Recognized Student Organization

A University Recognized Student Organization is a group of students organized around a common purpose that is officially recognized by Boise State University. Recognized Student Organizations include:

  1. Student Agencies
    1. Student Agencies are autonomous organizations that receive a direct student fee. Student Agencies include:
    2. Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU)
    3. The Arbiter (student newspaper)
    4. University Pulse Radio (student radio)
  2. Student Organizations
    1. Student organizations are housed and supported by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and may fall under one or more of the following categories.
      1. Academic
      2. Art
      3. Business
      4. Council
      5. Cultural/International
      6. Dance
      7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      8. Environmental
      9. Gaming/eSports
      10. Graduate
      11. Health Sciences
      12. Honor Society
      13. Language
      14. LGBTQIA+
      15. Media
      16. Multicultural
      17. Music
      18. Outdoor/Sportsman
      19. Performing
      20. Political
      21. Professional
      22. Recreation
      23. Religious/Spiritual
      24. Science/STEM
      25. Service
      26. Social
      27. Special Interest 
  3. Social Sororities and Fraternities
    1. Social fraternities and sororities are housed and supported by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
  4. Club Sports
    1. Club sports are housed and supported by Campus Recreation.

1.1.2 Academic Department Groups

Groups that are based solely in an academic department are not recognized by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and therefore are not granted the same rights and privileges. Department based groups are often managed and funded by the department in which they are housed and are not eligible for student fee funds. 

1.2 Levels of Recognition

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center acknowledges several levels of recognition:

  1. Active: A student organization with an Active status is fully registered with the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. This status is contingent upon meeting and maintaining all required recognition policies and procedures.
  2. Temporarily Inactive: A student organization with a Temporarily Inactive status has not met or maintained the requirements to be an Active organization. Temporarily Inactive organizations are not visible on the Engage organization directory and can only be accessed by Student Involvement staff. Temporarily Inactive organizations may contact the Student Involvement office to learn the steps required to become active.
  3. Inactive: A student organization will automatically be given an Inactive status when it has been Temporarily Inactive for more than two academic years or has lost its recognition from the university for not following university policies or the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook. The organization will not be visible in the Engage directory and cannot be accessed by any previous members. Inactive organizations seeking to become active are required to complete the registration process for new organizations. 

1.3 Change in Recognition Status

In some situations, it may be necessary for Student Involvement to change the status of a recognized student organization. The following examples are situations in which a status change from Active to Temporarily Inactive may occur:

  1. Student organization’s financial account is in deficit;
  2. Failure to successfully complete the annual registration process by the stated deadline;
  3. Failure to adhere to Boise State University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct;
  4. Failure to adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook; 
  5. Failure to adhere to the organization’s constitution and/or governing documents.

If an organization’s status is changed to Temporarily Inactive, the group is immediately notified of the change by Student Involvement and told what it needs to do to regain Active status. Student Involvement staff are always available to answer questions about a status change.

1.3.1 Loss of Recognition

In some situations, it may also be necessary to remove university recognition from a student organization. The following are examples of situations in which an organization may lose its university recognition:

  1. The organization is Temporarily Inactive for more than two consecutive years.
  2. The organization has been found responsible for:
    1. Continuous disregard and/or failure to adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook;
    2. Non-compliance with university imposed sanctions;
    3. Violation(s) of the organization’s constitution and/or governing documents;
    4. Violation(s) of the Boise State University Student Code of Conduct;
    5. Violation(s) of Boise State University policies or procedures;
    6. Violation(s) of local, state, and/or federal laws; or
  3. Changes to the organization’s constitution or governing documents that are in violation of the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook, Boise State University policies and procedures, or local, state, or federal laws.
  4. At the request of an organization’s national/international headquarters.
  5. Voluntary withdrawal of university recognition: Any student organization voluntarily choosing to deactivate its status may withdraw its recognition from the university. Contact Student Involvement for assistance.

1.4 Student Organization Rights and Privileges

All Active student organizations recognized by the university will be granted the following rights and privileges:

  • Ability to apply for ASBSU grant funding. 
  • An organization portal on Engage.
  • University email address for your organization upon request. 
  • Access to Student Involvement staff for day-to-day advising and support, leadership development, and training. 
  • An on-campus financial account with an initial zero balance for future organization expenses and/or fundraising. 
  • Ability to reserve meeting rooms in the Student Union Building, academic buildings, and other approved spaces on campus.
  • Ability to request the use of a university credit card for approved purchases.
  • Possible tax exemption for pre-approved purchases. 
  • Order catering, request audio/visual equipment, request event parking, and other resources at a reduced rate through University Event Services and campus partners.
  • Promote programs/events and post advertising materials on campus.
  • Print up to 200 photocopies each semester at no cost in the Student Involvement office. 
  • Request a free locker in the Student Involvement office or additional storage space off-campus.
  • Request a mailbox in the Student Involvement office.
  • Participate in Involvement Fairs, coordinated by Student Involvement.
  • Request to borrow digital projectors, event supplies, and equipment at no cost from Student Involvement.
  • Use paper, paint, and assorted office supplies available in the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

1.5 Annual Registration for Student Organizations

Active student organizations recognized by the university must renew their registration annually. Not completing registration by the communicated deadline will automatically result in a change from Active to Temporarily Inactive status. Steps and deadlines for annual registration will be communicated to all current officers, posted on the Re-Registration Process page on the Student Involvement website, and shared in Student Organization Updates.

1.5.1 Student Organization Paths

To better serve the unique interests, passions, events, and goals of student organizations each group will choose a registration path by selecting the appropriate level of training and support the organization needs to operate successfully. This path is chosen during the registration process and can be changed at any time by contacting the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

  1. Path 1 organizations operate efficiently with a minimum of three members, meeting regularly to fulfill their organization’s purpose and mission in a manner that doesn’t require them to rely on spending money. Advisors are optional.
  2. Path 2 organizations operate effectively with a minimum of three members, two of which must fill a President and a Financial Officer role. Path 2 organizations often engage members in additional officer positions to successfully fulfill the organization’s mission. These organizations organize small to medium scale events, utilize their on-campus student organization financial account to fund special projects, activities, and group travel. Organizations will sometimes host fundraisers to benefit a charity of choice or to support their own organization’s needs. Advisors are required for Path 2 organizations.
  3. Path 3 organizations operate within a more complex organizational structure that includes a minimum of 5 officers and an advisor to successfully fulfill the organization’s mission. These organizations host signature, large-scale, and/or multi-day events, and heavily depend on fundraising and sponsorship efforts to support a philanthropic cause/charity. These organizations also fundraise to support special projects and activities, travel, and other organization operational needs. 

1.6 Starting a New Student Organization

A new student organization may be started at any point during the year as long as it has a minimum of three (3) currently enrolled Boise State students. To become officially recognized by the university, follow the process outlined on the Start a New Club page on the Student Involvement website.

1.6.1 Requirements for Recognition

  1. Completion of the New Student Organization Intake form on Engage.
  2. Meet with a Student Organization Coordinator.
  3. Submit a constitution for review.
  4. Eligible members vote on and return an approved constitution.
  5. Secure an Advisor for your organization (if applicable). 
  6. Submit a New Student Organization Officer form.
  7. Complete required officer training.

Once the requirements are met, the student organization will receive email notification of recognition from Student Involvement. The organization will also be given access to their Engage portal and benefit from the privileges afforded to them by the university. 

1.7 Constitution and Governing Documents

All student organizations recognized by the university are required to have a constitution. This is the basic framework of the organization and includes the fundamental principles which govern and guide its operation. A constitution template is provided to all organizations to help outline the required sections, suggested language, and offers student leaders the opportunity to customize their constitution to meet their unique policies and procedures. Organizations wanting to revise their constitution or change the name of their organization must submit a new constitution for review to Student Involvement. Following Student Involvement approval, student organization members will vote to enact the proposed constitution with a simple majority of at least three active members participating.  

Constitutions for student organizations must include:

  • The full name of the organization.
  • The stated purpose and/or mission of the organization.
  • A non-discrimination clause consistent with university policies #1060 and #1065.
  • A definition of the organization’s membership that is consistent with Student Involvement’s membership requirements for recognized student organizations.
  • An outline of all officer positions and their duties and responsibilities.
  • A provision for the election and removal of officers.
  • A provision for the selection and removal of the advisor(s).
  • A provision for decision-making/voting processes.
  • A provision for amending the Constitution that is inclusive of the membership. 

1.7.1 Precedence of Governing Documents

Student organizations are governed by many documents, including:

  1. Local, state, and federal laws;
  2. Idaho State Board of Education and university policies, including the Student Code of Conduct;
  3. The policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook; 
  4. The organization’s constitution; and
  5. The rules, regulations, or policies of the national and/or international headquarters.

The documents set forth above are intended to be complementary. However, in the case of any conflict or inconsistency arising from the documents, a lower numbered document shall supersede a higher numbered document to the extent necessary to resolve any such conflict or inconsistency (for example, this Handbook shall supersede an organization’s national charter).  Provided, however, that in the event an issue is addressed in one of the above mentioned documents but is not addressed in another of such documents, no conflict or inconsistency shall be deemed to occur.

1.8 Membership Requirements

Membership requirements vary between different types of organizations recognized by the university. Please read the following for the requirements for your organization.

1.8.1 Student Organization Membership Requirements

Membership requirements for student organizations are as follows:

  1. Student organizations must have at least three (3) currently enrolled Boise State University students as members.
  2. Student organizations may not discriminate on any basis which is prohibited by law or by University policy (e.g., race, age, sexual orientation) except that a religious student organization may limit leadership positions to students who adhere to its sincerely held religious beliefs or standards of conduct.
  3. At least 80% of the total membership shall be fee-paying students of Boise State University, maintain a minimum of three (3) credit hours, and be in compliance with all Boise State policies.
    1. Some student organizations may further define and limit their membership. Examples of further limitations include appropriate grade point average requirements for honor societies and single sex restrictions permitted under Title IX.
  4. Non-Boise State University students may join a student organization as non-voting members at the discretion of the organization. 
  5. Student organizations may be affiliated with non-Boise State University entities, such as professional organizations, inter/national fraternities/sororities, honor societies or community organizations. Typically, these external entities are non-profit organizations.  Payment of dues and/or fees as a condition of affiliation is permissible. However, if a Boise State University student organization wishes to affiliate with a for–profit external entity, it can do so provided that dues and/or fees are not required as a condition of affiliation.
  6. Only currently enrolled Boise State University students may serve as officers.
  7. To serve as an officer of an organization, students must carry a minimum of three (3) credit hours.
  8. All current organization officers must be members of their organization’s Engage portal.

1.8.2 Student Agencies Membership Requirements

Memberships for Student Agencies have different membership requirements. Some groups undergo an interview process while other groups undergo an appointing or voting process. Please review the guiding documents for your organization’s membership requirements.

  • Only Boise State University students may be members of these student organizations.
  • Personal beliefs, values, or viewpoints may not be used as criteria for membership or for eligibility to hold an officer position, except that officers may be limited to students who adhere to the sincerely held religious beliefs or standards of conduct of the organization.

1.9 Advisor Requirements

Student organizations recognized by the university as a Path 2 or 3 organization are asked to have an advisor who is a current Boise State University faculty or staff member. When asked to be an advisor, faculty or staff should speak with their supervisors about the time commitments involved with serving in this role for student organizations. Faculty and staff may advise more than one organization. 

1.9.1 Identifying Advisors

Student Involvement staff serve in a general advising capacity for all student organizations. The following are requirements and guidelines for organizations in identifying advisors: 

  1. Advisors are optional for Path 1 student organizations. 
  2. Path 2 and 3 student organizations must have at least one advisor who is actively employed as Faculty, Professional, or Classified Staff at Boise State University during the time of their service. 
  3. Student organizations may have more than one advisor.
  4. Community members can serve as additional student organization advisors.
  5. Individuals whose primary role on campus is an undergraduate student cannot serve as a student organization advisor.
  6. Graduate students may serve as a secondary on-campus advisor.
  7. Advisors for student organizations must be confirmed by Student Involvement.
  8. Student agencies (ASBSU, University Pulse, and The Arbiter) will be assigned an advisor(s) by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or their designee.

If your organization needs assistance with identifying an advisor please contact Student Involvement at getinvolved@boisestate.edu

1.9.2 Advisor Guidelines

  1. The advisor role is a voluntary position and has no term limit as long as the student leaders wish to continue with the partnership.
  2. Advisors may not sign or otherwise agree to a contract or other obligation or agreement on behalf of the university for their student organization, even if the advisor has authority to sign contracts on behalf of the university as part of their university employment.
  3. Advisors do not have voting rights in the student organization.
  4. Advisors may not appoint students into officer positions; instead they may assist the membership to follow the election process outlined in the student organization constitution.
  5. Advisors may be removed from office by the internal processes established in the constitution or other governing documents of the specific student organization.
  6. Faculty and staff may advise more than one organization, however, they should consider their own balance by taking on these additional responsibilities and whether this will impact their ability to provide quality advising to their organizations.

1.9.3 Advisor Responsibilities

Accepting an advisor role involves adhering to the following responsibilities and expectations:

  1. Complete the annual Clery Act training to understand their role as Campus Security Authorities (CSA) to help Boise State maintain a safe campus.
  2. Complete the Advisor Confirmation form on Engage. 
  3. Act in the best interest of the student organization leaders and its members.
  4. Offer guidance to the student organization to make sure the group is following proper Student Involvement and university procedures and policies.
  5. Maintain regular communication with the Student Organizations Coordinator and Student Involvement.
  6. Notify the Student Involvement and Leadership Center when your advisor role comes to a close. 

1.10 Requesting Student Information

Student organizations may request student information from the Office of the Registrar through Student Involvement by submitting a Query Request form on Engage. Approved requests will generate a list of up to 1,000 results based on the factors provided in the query request. All results will be managed by Student Involvement staff. Student organizations are able to submit one query request per academic year. 

After your request is reviewed, Student Involvement will place your query request with the Office of the Registrar and contact you when it is complete. The information contained within the report is confidential and protected by FERPA and can only be used for the approved purpose of the query request itself. Registrar query results may not be shared with any off-campus entity, including affiliated or national organizations of a student organization at Boise State. 

Organizations may use the query results to send invitations to potential new members. This message will be sent by Student Involvement on behalf of the organization. 

Sharing student data with third parties may be a breach of federal and state laws and/or university policy. If you are asked to share student data with any party outside of Boise State University, please contact the Student Involvement office.