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Institutional Policies

Policy STUA-UNA-011

logo of The University of Southern Mississippi
Responsible University Administrator: Vice President for Student Affairs
Responsible Officer: Director of The University Union Complex
Origination Date: N/A
Current Revision Date: 05/26/19
Next Review Date: 05/26/23
End of Policy Date: N/A
Policy Number: STUA-UNA-011
Status: Effective


Policy Statement

The principle vehicles for student activities at The University of Southern Mississippi are student organizations. Student organizations at The University of Southern Mississippi are chartered by The University and, when chartered, become officially recognized organizations that may avail themselves of all privileges relating thereto.

Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding the chartering of a new student organization.

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.

Website Address for this Policy




An officially chartered student organization will not use its official status for any purpose other than its own organization; this shall include, but is not be limited to, financial gain for individuals, sponsoring activities for an unchartered group, and reserving facilities and conducting business for an unchartered group.

Student organizations are characterized by a written constitution and bylaws, officers, an adviser, and a program of projects and activities through which they attempt to carry out their objectives. The following chartering policies apply to all student organizations except social fraternities and sororities that are current or past members of the Interfraternity Council, College Panhellenic Council or the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which are chartered through a process originating in the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office.


  1. A group of 10 or more full-time students wishing to form an organization and seek official status from the university by obtaining a charter may do so, provided the following requirements are met:
    • The group does not duplicate an existing organization.
    • The purpose is to ensure continuity and stability of the organization.
    • The group does not organize under the sponsorship of an existing organization.
    • If nonstudents are affiliated with the organization in a capacity other than an advisory role, they may only be associate members. Associate members may not hold office or vote.
    • If any person is paid for instruction through a student organization, a budget must be approved by a majority vote of the members, by the student/ faculty committee on student organizations and by the Recreational Sports department for sports clubs. Any payment for ongoing instruction must be provided through Recreational Sports or Continuing Education, whichever is appropriate.
    • A formal constitution is submitted outlining the purpose of the group seeking the charter and framework of the organization.

     2.  The application for chartering a new student organization is completed and filed with the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement with proper supporting documents.*

  • Student Organization Information form.
  • The proposed constitution signed by officers, chartering members and adviser (In the event the group seeks to affiliate with a state, regional or national organization, three copies of that constitution must also be appended.)
  • Letter of support from the adviser of the proposed student organization
  • A letter from the department with which the proposed organization will affiliate. (If no affiliation is planned, no letter is required.)
  • Chartering application.
  • Health and Human Services form, which states the proposed organization does not have any statement in its charter, bylaws or other regulations that restrict membership on the basis of sex, race, religion, color or national origin unless allowed to do so under federal exemption.
  • The organization has an adviser who is a member of the full-time faculty or staff.
  • The organizational president and adviser meet with the student/faculty committee on student organizations regarding the proposed organization.

* This information can be found on the LSI website.


Three meetings may be held prior to the official chartering of a student organization. Business during these meetings should be limited to constitution drafting and forming the structure of the organization. A member of the Student Activities staff will meet with the group for aid and counseling in the forming of the new organization.


Once a constitution has been approved by the student/ faculty committee on student organizations, said constitution is filed and becomes the official reference copy. No changes will be recognized without committee approval, and in the event of any controversy within the group, the official office copy will be used to determine points in question.


  1. LSI will present the request to the student/faculty committee on student organization at its next meeting and will request the president and adviser of the proposed group to be present to answer any questions that might arise.
  2. The recommendation of the committee is forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs for final action.
  3. LSI will advise the president and adviser of the proposed organization of final action.
  4. The organizational president is responsible for meeting with assistant director of Student Activities to review campus policies and procedures.


The Director of The University Union Complex is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).





Related Information



Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.

02/27/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.

05/26/19:  Changed Greek Life office to Fraternity and Sorority Life Office.  In second paragraph, change Office of Student Activity to Office of Student Leadership & Involvement. Added text after asterisk at end of paragraph 2.  In paragraph Organization Steps, added LSI.

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