Classification: University - Students
Approval Authority: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Responsible Entity: Associate Provost for Educational Affairs and Student Life
Policy Owner: Darlene Shaw, PhD
Original Effective Date: April 14, 2019
I. Policy Statement
MUSC recognizes the value student organizations add to the development of- students. This policy establishes the University requirements for the recognition of student organizations before they can conduct any form of business. It also establishes that Recognized Student Organizations must at all times adhere to the terms set forth in the MUSC Handbook for Student Organizations, MUSC-related policies, and applicable federal, state, and local laws. Receiving recognition status does not equate to the University’s endorsement of the merits of an organization’s mission, purpose, or activity.
This policy applies to all student organizations that have or seek to have Recognized Student Organization status. Each of the six colleges has the option of imposing additional requirements upon college-specific student organizations to obtain recognition. However, all Recognized Student Organizations are required to abide by this policy regardless of whether the recognition is conferred by the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity or the Dean of a College.
III. Approval Authority
The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is the approval authority for this policy.
IV. Purpose of This Policy
Recognized student organizations are a reflection of the MUSC Enterprise. This policy sets the minimum expectations required of Recognized Student
Organizations and promotes consistency in the setting of expectations of recognized organizations. This policy promotes MUSC’s interest in safeguarding students and the MUSC community.
V. Who Should be Knowledgeable of This Policy
All students, college deans and associate deans, advisors, faculty, and staff who interact with student organizations should be knowledgeable about this policy.
VI. The Policy
A. Only two MUSC authorities are empowered to confer official recognition status to student organizations: (1) the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity and/or (2) the Dean of the College for college-specific organizations.
B. Students, advisors, and others affiliated with a recognized student organization must comply with this policy and all MUSC policies as well as federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
C. All student organizations who seek Recognized Student Organization status will submit an application to the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity who will forward a copy of the application to the appropriate college, if it is an application for a college-specific organization.
D. Each college will establish a process for reviewing college-specific organization applications and conferral or denial of the recognition status. The college will inform the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity if a group achieves recognized status.
E. The University will establish a process for reviewing university-wide applications and the conferral or denial of the recognition status.
F. The Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity will maintain a central repository of all approved, disapproved, active, and inactive applications.
G. Both the University and each college will establish a process for addressing alleged violations of this policy.
H. Student organizations who seek Recognized Student Organization status are required to meet eligibility criteria and follow requirements, which include, but are not limited to the following:
1. A student organization must
a. Have a membership of 6 or more MUSC students
b. Open membership and participation in the organization to all students regardless of age, race, color, national origin, ability, religious affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Organizations seeking exception to the open-membership requirement must demonstrate that a selective member process is essential to the success of the group and must receive the approval of the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity or the Dean of the College for college-specific organizations.
c. Have a constitution and bylaws
d. Have a Student Organization Advisor who is an MUSC employee; it is recommended the advisor be a full-time employee
e. Follow University policy and guidelines, including but not limited to, copyright, solicitation and fundraising, industry relations, alcohol service, finance, and travel
f. Follow additional guidelines required by the college (for college-specific organizations)
g. Follow MUSC branding standards
h. Follow local, state, and federal laws
i. Follow the procedures identified in the MUSC Handbook for Student Organizations
2. A student organization cannot
a. Duplicate the purpose or mission of an existing student group
b. Compromise the safety of members of the MUSC community or cause damage to University property
c. Disrupt the normal operation of the University or clinical enterprise
d. Act in conflict with the diversity and inclusion mission of the University
e. Have a primary goal of promoting the financial gain of group members
f. Endorse or condone hazing (hazing represents a violation of MUSC Policy and South Carolina Law)
3. See the MUSC Handbook for Student Organizations for additional information.
I. Student organizations that receive and maintain Recognized Student Organization status are entitled to certain benefits. Only recognized student organizations are permitted to collect dues, fundraise, and solicit charitable donations.
VII. Special Situations
VIII. Sanctions for Non-compliance
Recognized Student Organizations that are accused of failing to comply with the principles outlined in this policy are subject to review as outlined in the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Recognized Student Organizations.
If the governing authority finds a Recognized Student Organization responsible for violating policy, the governing authority will determine what if any sanctions are appropriate. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, a written reprimand, organization suspension, loss of the organization’s charter, and/or loss of its recognition by the University.
If, based upon the investigation, an individual student is perceived to have potentially violated the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct of Students, the student will be referred to the dean of their college and subject to the college’s process for addressing alleged violations of the Policy on Professionalism and Standards of Conduct for Students or its equivalent.
IX. Related Information
A. References, citations
Policy for Alcohol Service at Student Events
Bank Account and Agency Funds Policy
The Standards of Professional Behavior Policy for the MUSC Workforce
X. Communication Plan
The policy will be published in The Bulletin and distributed to the Deans’ offices and leadership in Education and Student Life.
Recognized student organization
An MUSC student organization that successfully meets the criteria established for recognition and which is officially recognized by either the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs (university-wide) or the dean’s office of one of the six colleges (college-specific)
University-wide recognized student organization
University-wide recognized student organizations are independent of any particular college and are typically interprofessional in nature. University-wide recognized student organizations are approved by the Executive Director of Student Programs and Student Diversity. For university-wide recognized student organizations, the organization’s executive board and advisor(s) are responsible for organizational oversight.
College-specific recognized student organization
College-specific student organizations serve one or more of the many academic or professional interests of the college and its students. College-specific recognized student organizations must be approved by the College Dean’s Office. For college-specific recognized student organizations, the organization’s executive board and advisor are responsible for organizational oversight. Examples of college-specific organizations include, but are not limited to, academic or professional interest groups, discipline-specific honor societies, national organization student chapters (e.g., MUSC Chapter of the Student National Dental Association), professional fraternities, and class groups (e.g., College of Pharmacy Class of 2021 student group); college-specific organizations can also be classified as an Interest Group,
Service Group, Professional Development Group, Educational Group, and/or Community Outreach Group; college-specific groups cannot assume the identifier as an Affinity Group.
A group of MUSC students linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest which helps support and promote diversity at MUSC. Affinity groups must support recruitment, retention, education, advocacy, and community building amongst MUSC students.
The MUSC authority that conferred official recognition status to a student organization; either the Executive Director of the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity or the Dean of the College for college-specific organization.
XII. Review Cycle
This policy will be reviewed every 3 years.
XIII. Approval History
Original approval date and subsequent review dates:
MUSC Board of Trustees (presented as information) 02/08/2019
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost 04/14/2019
XIV. Approval Signature
Lisa K Saladin, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost