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Policies & Regulations - Student Organization Administration Policy

The University of Maine herein establishes a system of recognition for student organizations to insure the rights of students to freely form associations; to maintain the right of the University to choose which student organizations it will recognize; to define the relationship between the University and the student organizations; and to insure that requirements for recognition, the privileges received through recognition, and the policies and procedures that govern student organizations are administered in a fair and equitable manner.

Only recognition in accordance with this policy sanctions the existence and operation of an organization on campus, although students may participate in off-campus organizations. Recognition criteria apply to all activities of recognized organizations, whether those activities take place on or off campus.

Recognition requirements apply to all student organizations. The University of Maine provides for two types of recognition: recognition and direct-funded certification.  A third provision is made for those organizations choosing not be recognized as noted below in section I.

I. Recognition

Recognition will be administered by and through a two-step process.  It will be the responsibility of UMaine (specifically the Division of Student Life) to pre-approve groups seeking recognition from student government.  Groups seeking recognition status must submit their application/documentation first to the Director of Campus Activities and Student Engagement.  After approval from the Director or his/her designee, the organization’s application/documentation will be forwarded to the appropriate student government for its review.  Approval is needed from both the Director and appropriate student government in order for a student organization to become a UMaine recognized student organization.  Otherwise, the group, although including UMaine students, is not acting under the auspices of the University of Maine or student government.

Organizations that do not wish to seek recognition status or are denied recognition status may seek affiliation status from the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee.  Affiliation status granted by the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will allow the organization to have access to University programs, facilities and services but not recognition with or funding from student government.

Student government in this document refers to UMaine Student Government, Inc., Graduate Student Government, and/or any other applicable student government.

A. Requirements for recognition

In order for a student organization to become recognized and retain recognition status, the following conditions must be met to the satisfaction of the applicable student government. Student governments have the authority to revoke a recognition in accordance with this policy. This process is separate from action the University may take under the Student Conduct Code. In order to become recognized, the organization must

An advisor must perform the following functions:

B. Privileges of recognition

Recognized student organizations are eligible to:

C. Suspension/Revocation of recognition

Any violation of the recognition requirements may result in suspension or revocation of recognition. The appropriate student government adjudicates recognition violations. These decisions may be appealed to a three-person committee appointed by the Vice President for Student Life, and the committee’s decision is final. This process is separate from action the University may take under the Student Conduct Code.

Organizations granted affiliation status by the Vice President of Student Life under section I A of this document may have their status suspended or revoked for specified violations by a three-person committee appointed by the Vice President for Student Life, and the committee’s decision is final.

II.  Direct-Funded Certification

There are a handful of student organizations that receive funding from student money collected by the University and directly transferred to student organizations. The University of Maine System Policy and Procedures Manual, Section 704.1, states “The Board of Trustees recognizes the educational value of student-administered funds for educational, cultural, social, and recreational purposes consistent with Board policy and law. The Board recognizes its ultimate responsibility for these funds and delegates to the Chancellor and the Presidents the authority to assure that student government funds are expended for University-related educational, cultural, and recreational purposes. Changes to the amount of the fee shall be requested by the recognized student governing body on each campus and authorized after

It is clear from Section 704.1 of the University of Maine System Policy and Procedures Manual that the Board intends for the University administration to provide sufficient oversight to these direct-funded organizations to insure that the funds are used properly. Furthermore, the University of Maine System Administrative Practice Letters sets forth guidelines that must be followed in the areas of financial record audits, administration of payrolls for any employees, bank accounts for funds, and proper fiscal control procedures. Accordingly, additional requirements and privileges must be afforded to direct-funded student organizations: the Maine Campus, WMEB Radio, the Student Government, Inc., Association of Graduate Students, ASAP Media, the Maine Journal and any other student organization which receives funds from any University entity.

All University of Maine student publications and student broadcast media organizations and activities are governed by and accountable to the Student Media Board, as a condition of their receiving any “Student Activity” or “Communication” fee monies. This Board is established and chartered in full recognition of, and with respect for, the legal and educational responsibilities and proprietary interests of the University, and for the long-honored principle of an editorially independent campus press and broadcast media. The Board is appointed by and accountable to the President of the University of Maine and his/her designee.

A. Requirements for Direct-Funded Certification

In order for a direct-funded student organization to be certified, it must:

B. Privileges of Direct-Funded Certification

A certified direct-funded organization will be:

C. Suspension/Revocation of Direct-Funded Certification

Because of the unique responsibilities assigned to the President of the University for these organizations and because direct-funded certification is a privilege and not a right, the President may suspend or revoke certification or withhold certain privileges from any direct-funded organization that fails to comply with these requirements. Furthermore, in view of participation of Student Government, Inc. and the Graduate Student Government or other applicable student government in setting the fees for these organizations, student governments may recommend to the President that certification be suspended or revoked from any organization that the appropriate government believes fails to comply with these requirements. This process is separate from action the University may take under the Student Conduct Code, however, this process will afford due process and fundamental fairness to any organization whose direct-funded certification is considered for suspension and/or revocation.  For more information about the steps of this process, contact the Director of Campus Activities and Student Engagement or his/her designee.

Distribution and Availability of this Policy Document

A copy of this Student Organization Administration Policy and any future changes to this policy will be distributed to University vice presidents, academic and student affairs deans and directors, the Association of Graduate Students, the Student Government, Inc., all direct-funded certified organizations, and through the student governments to all recognized student organizations. The Vice President for Student Life and the Vice President for Administration and Finance and applicable student governments will keep a copy of an up-to-date version of this policy available for ready reference by any of the University of Maine’s students or employees.

Reviewed and updated July 2013

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Contact Information

Student Handbook
5748 Memorial Union
Orono , ME 04469-5748
Phone: (207) 581-1406 | Fax: (207) 581-4215
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System