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Student Organization Registration Policy

Student Organization Registration Policy 

Policy Updated & Effective: April 1, 2022 

Purpose: 

Buffalo State recognizes that student clubs and organizations are an important part of the college experience. These learning experiences complement the college’s commitment to the intellectual, personal, and professional growth of its students. Student organizations enhance the co-curricular education of Buffalo State students to empower them to succeed and are charged with providing meaningful, fulfilling, and culturally enriching contributions to the campus community. 

 

General Policy: 

Registration by Buffalo State allows student organizations to identify an affiliation with the institution. This includes use of the college name and logo, designated services and facilities, recruitment of Buffalo State students on and off campus, fundraising, and space reservation. In addition, all registered Buffalo State student organizations are expected to comply with campus Student Code of Conduct, policies and procedures, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local laws. Registration does not imply Buffalo State endorsement of the positions and views of the organization, nor does the college assume sponsorship of, or responsibility for, any of the activities of the group on and off property of the college.  

Full registration with the College does not permit the organization to act in the name of the college, to represent the college, engage in any contractual obligation in the name of the college, nor represent the organization as being an official part of the college. 

 

Benefits of Student Organization Registration 

  • The college acknowledges the student organization as an affiliated entity. 
  • Use of the college’s name to indicate location of the organization.  
  • Use of the college’s logo and identity marks. Please refer to the college’s rules and regulations on trademarks and licensing: https://financeandmanagement.buffalostate.edu/trademark-licensing 
  • Space Reservation on campus: Registered clubs and organizations are eligible to reserve space in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library, Academic Buildings, Recreation Fields, and the Houston Gym and Sports Arena. 
  • Pre-Scheduling Major Events: Registered student organizations can pre-schedule all major events one semester in advance. 
  • Access to Bengal Connect 
  • Access to Student Organization Resource Center (student organizations recognized by the United Students Government will receive priority for desk space) 
  • Ability to be funded through the student activity fee. 

 

Student Organization Affiliation: 

To ensure the educational integrity of co-curricular activities on campus, the college has established registration procedures for student organizations. Student organizations include clubs, organizations, fraternities, sororities, social fellowships, and honorary societies. Student Leadership and Engagement is responsible for the oversight of the registration process for student organizations. All student organizations must complete the registration process in order to be considered an affiliated entity of Buffalo State.  

Students are prohibited from affiliating with any organization or group that had has its college registration withdrawn. Affiliation is defined as joining; rushing; pledging; accepting an offer of membership; residing in facilitated that are owned, rented, or controlled by the group; or being involved in any activity that would normally be associated with being a member of the group. 

Buffalo State will not register any student organization that duplicates an existing student organization or college provided services. 

 

Bengal Connect Requirement 

All student organizations registered with Buffalo State are required to have an updated and active Bengal Connect page. Bengal Connect is provided by the United Students Government (USG) to connect students with affiliated organizations and extra-curricular activities that enrich the campus community.  

 

Registration Process for New Student Organizations 

  1. Students seeking to establish a new organization should verify that the proposed organization does not already exist or resemble the mission of another student organization in some capacity. Proposed student organizations seeking registration from Buffalo State are required to perform the following in order to be formally recognized: 
  2. Complete the New Independent Student Organization Application via Bengal Connect. 
  3. Schedule a “Starting a New Student Organization” advisement session with a representative from Student Leadership and Engagement. 
  4. Find ten (10) Buffalo State students interested in joining the organization. 
  5. Elect a full executive board to serve as the leadership for your organization. This includes a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary (these individuals count toward the 10-member minimum). All executive board members must be registered as full-time (12 credits), matriculated Buffalo State students. 
  6. Submit a constitution for the proposed student organization to Student Leadership and Engagement for review and approval. 
  7. Designate an Adviser who is a full-time Buffalo State faculty/staff member and supports the mission of the proposed organization. All Advisers must complete the Adviser Agreement Form prior to an organization becoming recognized. If you need an adviser, the Student Leadership & Engagement Office can assist in matching you to a full-time faculty/staff member through the Adviser Interest Form
  8. Application will be reviewed by the Student Organization Review Committee. The students proposing the organization must prepare a short presentation for the committee as part of the review process. 

 

Re-Registration Process for Returning Student Organizations 

Student organizations already recognized at Buffalo State must apply for re-registration on an annual basis. It is the responsibility of the student organization to complete this process. Failure to comply with the re-registration process may result in a revocation of your student organization’s registration status. 

The re-registration period each year will begin on April 1st and end on May 31st each academic year.  

  1. Complete the student organization re-registration process via Bengal Connect. 
  2. Provide an updated active membership roster of at least ten (10) Buffalo State students, including the newly elected executive board (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary) for the upcoming academic year. All executive board members must be registered as full-time (12 credits), matriculated Buffalo State students. 
  3. Submit the student organization’s most recent constitution and by-laws Bengal Connect. 
  4. Submit an updated Adviser Agreement Form. Student organization advisers must be a full-time Buffalo State faculty/staff member. If you need a new adviser, the Student Leadership & Engagement Office can assist in matching you to a full-time faculty/staff member through the Adviser Interest Form

All student organizations will be required to attend the mandatory annual meeting with Student Leadership and Engagement to be trained on Buffalo State policies and procedures. This meeting will occur the first few weeks of the academic year. Each student organization will be required to send at least one representative to this meeting. Failure to do so may result in the following: 

  • All current space reservations will be placed on hold. 
  • Unable to reserve future space in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library, Academic Buildings, Recreation Fields, and the Houston Gym and Sports Arena. 

 

United Students Government (USG) Recognition 

The United Students Government (USG) serves as an official recognizing agent for student organizations at Buffalo State. USG recognition is a separate process and provides student organizations the opportunity to qualify for student activity fee funds in addition to other benefits. Any recognition outside of USG must receive approval from the Student Organization Review Committee. 

Exceptions: Greek lettered organizations, social fellowships, Honors groups or other organizations allowed to have selective membership requirements. These groups are not allowed to receive funding from the mandatory student activity fees. 

All currently recognized USG member organizations must complete USG re-recognition once every three-years. However, all organizations are required to register via Bengal Connect with updated roster, contact information, adviser, and constitution on an annual basis. 

 

Independent Student Organizations 

Student organizations that choose not or cannot be recognized by the United Students Government (USG) may form and apply annually as an independent student organization. These student organizations, once approved by the Student Organization Review Committee, have the right to reserve campus space for meetings.  

Independent student organizations will not have access to the mandatory student activity fee. Buffalo State is not responsible for any outside financial transactions made by independent student organizations. 

 

Registered Student Organizations That Participate in Athletic Oriented Activities (club sports) 

Insurance Requirement 

Registered student organizations that participate in athletic oriented activities (club sports) will be insured and provide proof of insurance to the college. All permit holders MUST provide proof of single limit public liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 and general aggregate coverage in the amount of $2,000,000 naming the following as additional insureds covering dates requested for the use of University facilities: 

  • State University of New York 
  • State of New York 
  • SUNY Buffalo State 
  • Buffalo State Foundation 

This requirement does not apply to USG recognized organizations that participate in athletic-oriented activities as they are covered under the student government’s general liability policy.  

Safety Requirement 

Such organizations are required to have at least one safety officer whose responsibilities include overseeing safety and emergency response at the facility or practice area. 

Student organizations have appropriate first aid materials available at events/practices 

Student organizations have the contact information for Emergency Medical Services for the jurisdiction in which the events/practices take place.  

Foundation Accounts 

Registered club sports teams will be required to have an on-campus foundation account for all financial transactions including deposits from fundraising and purchases of supplies and materials for group activities. No outside bank accounts are permitted. 

 

Student Organization Travel 

When an organization is traveling for a student organization sponsored event, they must submit a travel liability release form. USG recognized organizations must follow all travel policies and procedures issued by the student government. Independently registered organizations must submit a Student Organization Travel Liability Release Form to Student Leadership and Engagement prior to their trip.  

 

Travel Out-of-State 

If your organization wishes to attend an event outside of New York State, they must follow all the steps required for in-state travel. An additional requirement will include the student organization’s adviser MUST also attend the out of state event with your organization. 

USG recognized organizations must submit a letter from their adviser confirming they will be traveling with the students attending the event. This letter is submitted to the USG Business Office along with the USG Travel Policy Form. 

Independently registered organizations must submit a letter from their adviser confirming they will be traveling with the students attending the event. This letter is submitted to Student Leadership and Engagement along with the Student Organization Travel Liability Release Form

 

Advisers for Student Organizations 

All student organizations affiliated with Buffalo State must have a full-time faculty/staff member serve as their adviser. Graduate Assistants or Interns are not eligible to serve as a student organization adviser. The role of the adviser is an essential role in the development and success of student organizations. Furthermore, the adviser serves in partnership with Student Leadership and Engagement, the student government, and the academic/administrative offices at Buffalo State.  

Roles and Responsibilities of Advisers 
  • Have knowledge and understanding with the student organization(s) mission, values, and history, lending continuity to the organization.  
  • Be aware and attend (when necessary) activities, meetings, and programs sponsored by the student organization. 
  • Build trust with the student organization and establishing guidelines for their role as adviser. 
  • Encourage members to assume responsibility for their actions and effectiveness of their programs. 
  • Guiding, while at the same time, allowing freedom for members to plan and coordinate their own activities and programs. 
  • Providing knowledge and information relevant to the needs of the organization through expertise and experience. 
Adviser Agreement Form 

All student organization advisers are required to complete an Adviser Agreement Form through Student Leadership and Engagement. This serves as an official agreement between the adviser, the student organization, and Student Leadership and Engagement that the faculty/staff member understands the roles/responsibilities associated with the position. The Adviser Agreement Form must be completed on an annual basis and submitted to Student Leadership and Engagement.  

Adviser Interest Form  

All student organizations are required to have a full-time Buffalo State faculty/staff member serve as their adviser. If an organization does not have an adviser at the time of their re-registration, the Student Leadership & Engagement Office can assist in matching you to a full-time faculty/staff member through the Adviser Interest Form

 

Student Conduct & Community Standards  

Student organizations add value to the campus community and the overall student experience. All recognized Buffalo State student organizations are expected to comply with campus Student Code of Conduct, policies and procedures, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state, and local laws. Student organizations recognized by the United Students Government (USG), in addition to compliance with Buffalo State’s Student Conduct and Community Standards, must adhere to the policies and procedures under USG’s Judicial Council.  

Discrimination and Harassment 

Buffalo State is committed to the need for proper treatment of all members of the college community. The college can achieve its educational mission only in an atmosphere of mutual respect which is free from intolerance, and which offers equal opportunity to all. Every member of the college community shares the responsibility for addressing incidents of disrespect for dignity of others, acts of discrimination, racism, bigotry, harassment, exclusion, abusive language, or mistreatment of individuals or groups. 

Among the goals of the college is the empowerment of a diverse population of students to succeed as citizens of a challenging world. The college is dedicated to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual vitality, collegiality and collaboration. It will not have attained its goal until and unless all in its midst obtain fair and equitable treatment in employment and education. For this reason, Buffalo State condemns, and pledges itself to fight against all acts of invidious discrimination, bias, intolerance, or harassment. 

Racial discrimination is a particularly serious problem. The goals of the college are undermined and human dignity is offended where employment or educational benefits, opportunities or privileges are denied or restricted on the basis of race, religion, color, or national origin, or where a racially hostile environment exists. Racial discrimination and illegal discrimination of any sort limit the opportunity for individuals to realize their potential and deny them the rigors, joys, and fulfillment of intellectual curiosity.  

Therefore: 

It is the policy of Buffalo State to provide an employment and educational environment free from invidious discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital or veteran's status. It shall be a violation of this policy for any agent, student or employee of Buffalo State to discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or veteran's status against any individual with respect to the terms of employment, education or benefits of any program or activity at Buffalo State. 

Non-Discrimination in Membership and Programming 

No club or organizations shall be registered if its constitution, rules, regulations or practices violate Buffalo State’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy. 

Exceptions: Greek lettered organizations, social fellowships, Honors groups or other organizations allowed to have selective membership requirements. These groups are not allowed to receive funding from the mandatory student activity fees. 

 

Hazing Policy 

Hazing, is defined and prohibited by both college regulations and New York state law. These regulations apply to all groups and organizations operating on campus. 

New York State Anti-Hazing Law 
(Education Law S.6831-B or A.11012B) 

“The trustees or other governing board of every college chartered by the regents or incorporated by special act of the legislature shall adopt rules and regulations for the maintenance of public order on college campuses and other college property used for educational purposes and provide a program for the enforcement thereof. Such rules and regulations shall prohibit, among other things, any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization. Such rules and regulations shall govern the conduct of students, faculty, and other staff as well as visitors and other licensees and invitees on such campuses and property. The penalties for violations of such rules and regulations shall be clearly set forth therein and shall include provisions for the ejection of a violator from such campus and property, in the case of a student or faculty violator, his suspension, expulsion or other appropriate disciplinary action and, in the case of an organization which authorizes such conduct, recision of permission for that organization to operate on campus property. Such penalties shall be in addition to any penalty pursuant to the penal law or any other chapter to which a violator organization may be subject. . .” 

 

New York State Penal Law 
(Paragraph 120.16 and 120.17) 

A person can be found guilty of hazing in the first degree (Class A Misdemeanor) if, in the course of a person’s “initiation into or affiliation with any organization,” that person “intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk or physical injury to such person or a third person and thereby causes such injury” (Penal Law, paragraph 120.16). A conviction of this offense now carries a potential penalty of a fine up to $1,000, one year in jail, or both. A new offense designated as hazing in the second degree (a violation) incorporates a nearly identical definition except that no actual injury to any person need be proven (Penal Law, paragraph 120.17). 

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Student Leadership and Engagement

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Campbell Student Union 400 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-4631 •  Fax: (716) 878-5600   sle@buffalostate.edu