Student Organization Policies and Procedures
1.1 An active, registered student organization is a private, voluntary, association and is not an official component of the University.
1.1.1 Montana State University-Billings in no way accepts liability for the action of such organizations.
1.1.2 Annual registration is simply a means by which student organizations may receive standard privileges granted when certain minimum requirements are met.
1.2 80% of a registered student organization’s overall membership MUST consist of currently enrolled students of MSU-Billings.
1.3 The purpose and activities of the organization shall be lawful and not in conflict with University regulations and policies as published by the University.
1.4 Membership, voting rights, and the ability to run for officer positions in an organization shall be open to students of Montana State University Billings without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.. The only exception is in the case of fraternal organizations that are exempt from Title IX regulations concerning discrimination on the basis of sex.
1.5 Student organizations shall not duplicate the purposes and functions of a previously registered organization unless need for such duplication is substantiated and approved by the Center for Engagement.
1.6 The organization shall show promise of effectively meeting its stated objectives, be free from control by any other organization, and be lawful and peaceful in its activities.
1.7 The status of a student organization may be any one of the following, as determined by the definitions:
1.7.1 Registered: The student organization has met the requirements for registration detailed in Section 2.0, and has been approved by the Center for Engagement.
1.7.2 Inactive: The student organization has met the requirements for registration during the last three academic years, but has not applied for, or has failed re-registration for the current academic year.
1.7.3 Disbanded: The student organization has not successfully re-registered for a period of three or more academic years OR has had its recognition revoked by the Center for Engagement as described in Section 4.0.
1.7.4 Only registered organizations may receive the standard privileges outlined in Section 1.0.
A. Standard Privileges for all registered student organizations shall include:
i. Use of meeting and program space in the Student Union and other approved campus facilities and spaces.
ii. The right to engage in on-campus solicitation and fundraising activities, once proper paper work has been filed and approved.
iii. The option to apply for use of student fees allocated by Student Senate.
iv. Inclusion in printed materials created by the Center for Engagement and other selected University Publications.
v. Access to services and materials provided in the Center for Engagement, Student Union 221.
vi. Eligibility to participate in student organization membership recruitment programs and other related events designated by the Center for Engagement.
2.1 Student organizations are not officially registered until they are sent a statement of approval by the Center for Engagement.
2.2 The minimum requirements to apply for registration include:
- Five current MSUB students must be willing to participate and sign-on to the organization’s charter. One student of these five must be willing to serve as a president or spokesperson.
- One faculty or staff member of the university must be willing to sign on as the organization’s advisor.
- The organization must have a constitution or similar governing document that explains its mission, structure, and guiding policies/procedures.
2.2.1 All student organizations must meet any other requirements posted by the Center for Engagement at the beginning of each academic year in addition to these minimum requirements.
2.3 Existing student organizations wishing to continue using privileges granted by Montana State University Billings to such organizations must apply to re-register annually with the Center for Engagement by the second month of the academic year.
1.3.1 Returning student organizations applying for re-registration past this deadline may be accepted at the discretion of the Center for Engagement.
2.4 New organizations (those registering for the first time) may register at any time throughout the academic year.
2.5 Student organizations that do not successfully re-register each academic year shall be considered inactive.
2.5.1 Student organizations that fail to re-register for a period of three or more years shall be considered disbanded.
A. The form for registering a student organization shall be posted to the Center for Engagement Website at the beginning of each academic year.
i. Forms need to be completed by a current officer or advisor by the stated deadline in order to be considered for registration during the current academic year.
B. Registered student organizations are responsible for notifying the Center for Engagement about any personnel or contact information changes.
C. Student Organizations will be categorized by the Center for Engagement according to the following definitions:
i. Arts & Media: An organization whose primary mission is creation or performance.
ii. Campus & Support Services: An organization that provides service to the campus and/or community and surrounding area. These groups offer safe communities for students that need help navigating the campus at MSUB.
iii. Cultural: An organization whose membership is to provide social and cultural awareness of various groups.
iv. Departmental & Honorary: An organization representing a specific academic area or college OR one whose membership is based on academic achievements.
v. Professional & Career Development: An organization focused on developing skills, knowledge, and/or networking for a specific profession or career.
vi. Programmatic & Representational: An organization that is based around the development of specific programs, services, and events, and/or seeks to provide a representational function for students to the university.
vii. Religious & Spiritual: An organization whose purpose is faith-based instruction and fellowship.
viii. Special Interest & Recreation: An organization whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for individuals to discuss and share information and/or participate in activities regarding a specific, non-academic related topic of interest.
3.1 The process for selecting advisors and officers on a yearly basis must be clearly
outlined in the student organization's constitution or governing document (as submitted
to the Center for Engagement).
3.1.1 Advisors and officers must agree to serve prior to their appointment/designation.
3.2 Only students may serve as officers of a student organization.
3.3 Officers of student organizations must be in compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in order to hold an office.
3.4 Only currently employed/contracted staff or faculty members may serve as an advisor to a student organization.
3.5 A student organization may register with up to two official advisors. Any additional advisors may serve in an unofficial capacity to the organization.
3.6 The minimum duties for an advisor include: to be available to the officers and members for consultation about the organization affairs; to attend organization meetings and functions as often as possible; to certify the expenditures of the organization by co-signing financial documents; to offer suggestions regarding the operations of the organization; to oversee adherence to University regulations and the organization’s constitution and bylaws; and to serve as a Campus Security Authority (CSA) as defined by the Clery Act.
A. Advisors must serve as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) as defined by the Clery Act.
i. Advisors are expected to complete training to inform them of their role and responsibility as a Campus Security Authority.
ii. Advisors are expected to report any incidents that classify as a Clery-reportable crime to University Police immediately.
iii. Advisors are expected to fill out an annual Crime Statistic Report form sent by University Police to report any Clery-reportable crimes that they have become aware of that were not previously reported.
4.1 Student organizations found to be in violation of these policies and procedures, university policies and procedures, Board of Regents policies and procedures, or local/state/federal law may have their recognition status revoked or suspended at the discretion of the Center for Engagement.
4.2 Student organizations may also have their recognition status revoked (at the discretion of the Center for Engagement) for participating in, or sponsoring activities/events/programs that are antithetical to the University’s values or could be damaging to its reputation.
4.3 A student organization that has had its recognition status revoked may appeal to the Director of the Center for Engagement; denied appeals may be further appealed to the Vice Chancellor of Student Access and Success, and the decision of the Vice Chancellor will be considered final.
A. If Center for Engagement becomes aware of an organization that may be eligible for revocation of its status, it will:
i. Notify the organization’s leadership AND advisor of the infraction via email. Depending upon the severity, a meeting may be necessary to address the issue.
ii. The student organization then has up to seven (7) business days (unless an immediate threat to others or property, immediate change is needed) to take corrective steps and/or comply with the stated policy.
iii. If the student organization does not meet the deadline to comply, their registration status will be revoked by the Center for Engagement and the organization will be officially considered “disbanded”.
iv. Depending on the severity of the infraction, the Center for Engagement will also report the incident or policy violation to the Dean of Students Office and/or University Polices.
B. A student organization who has had their recognition status revoked may appeal to the Director of the Center for Engagement in a written format detailing: the circumstances of the situation; responses to the reasons provided for revocation of status; corrective measures undertaken; and assurances against future errors.
i. The Director will review all submitted documents and will schedule a meeting with the organization’s leadership and advisor.
ii. The Director will make a decision on the organization’s revocation status at this meeting, and issue a written statement summarizing the reasons for this decision.
C. A student organization may further appeal the decision of the Director of the Center for Engagement to the Vice Chancellor of Student Access and Success.
i. The Vice Chancellor will review all documents submitted in the appeal to the Director of the Center for Engagement, as well as the organization’s response to the decision.
ii. The Vice Chancellor will review all submitted documents and will schedule a meeting with the organization’s leadership and advisor, and the Director of the Center for Engagement.
iii. The Vice Chancellor will make a decision on the organization’s revocation status at this meeting, and issue a written statement summarizing the reasons for this decision.
iv. The decision of the Vice Chancellor of Student Access and Success will be final.
5.1 All funds allocated to the organization from University controlled sources or raised through the auspices of a Montana State University Billings student club or organization must be maintained in a University account and spent in accordance with the financial policies and procedures of the University.
5.1.1 Student organizations are strictly prohibited from having outside bank accounts.
5.2 Student organizations must always maintain a neutral or positive fund balance.
5.2.1 Officers and advisors are responsible for maintaining their student organization’s fund balance; any negative balances must be corrected within seven (7) business days.
5.3 Student organizations that wish to have a financial account must designate a minimum of two fund controllers: one advisor and one student.
5.3.1 An organization’s fund controller must be officially updated annually through the process outlined in the procedures section.
5.4 Student organizations that receive funding from the Associated Students of MSUB (ASMSUB) must spend these monies in accordance with the ASMSUB Constitution, Bylaws, and other policies and procedures.
5.5 Each financial transaction or payment must be approved by the organization’s designated fund controllers.
5.6 Student organizations may not use their funds for personal purposes, or to purchase alcohol, drugs, animals/livestock, or property.
5.7 Student organizations may not exist for the purpose of generating a profit.
5.8 The Center for Engagement reserves the right to reclaim any funds in a student organization’s account for organizations that have been inactive (or disbanded) for a period of one academic year or longer.
5.8.1 All funds allocated by ASMSUB to the organization will be similarly reclaimed by ASMSUB
5.9 All purchases made by student organizations are considered state property, and must be retained by the organization.
5.9.1 Student organizations that lose or relinquish their registration status must return ALL purchased property to the Center for Engagement.
A. Student organizations who wish to have an account must fill out a fund controller form.
i. In order to access the funds in an organization’s account, a fund controller form must be updated and filed annually or when a change of officers occurs.
B. Cash or check funds may be deposited to a student organization’s account through the Center for Engagement.
i. Upon receipt of the funds, and a description of the source, the Center for Engagement will write a receipt for the student organization, if requested.
ii. The Center for Engagement will bring the deposit to the Student Accounts Office in a sealed envelope.
C. If the Center for Engagement learns that a student organization’s account has a negative fund balance, the office will:
i. Contact the officers and advisor immediately, to call a meeting to discuss the problem.
ii. Review the recent transactions for the index associated with the Student Organization.
iii. Establish an action plan with the student organization, signed by all fund controllers and the Center for Engagement, to correct the negative balance.
D. All purchases on behalf of a student organization should be made through the Center for Engagement.
i. The Center for Engagement will need written or verbal permission directly from the fund controllers prior to making the purchase.
E. When a student organization disbands, has its recognition revoked, or otherwise becomes inactive, it must return all purchased property to the Center for Engagement office.
i. Individual members must do the same with any property retained by the student
organization when he/she leaves the organization.
ii. Any passwords, keys, usernames, equipment, and other materials (physical or electronic) must be returned to the Center for Engagement.
iii. If a student organization fails to abide by the outlined policies and procedures, its financial account may be restricted or frozen.
6.1 All student organization fundraisers need to be approved by the Center for Engagement prior to the event or activity.
6.2 Fundraisers that involve asking outside organizations/businesses for financial or material support/sponsorship must be approved by both the Center for Engagement and the MSUB Foundation.
6.3 Any fundraiser that involves giving prizes or items to students must record the item, its value, the student’s name, and the student’s identification number, and return that list to the Center for Engagement.
A. A fundraising approval form must be filled out and submitted to the Center for Engagement at least two weeks prior to conducting a fundraiser.
i. Student organizations must follow all state laws regarding the administration of raffles, including the proper documentation. No tickets may be sold online. Student organizations must file a Raffle Approval Form with the Center for Engagement prior to conducting a raffle.
B. Student organizations must fill out a foundation approval request at least ten (10) business days prior to soliciting donations from external organizations or businesses. Forms must be turned in to the Center for Engagement.
i. The MSUB Foundation has sole discretion over approving solicitation/gift requests from external businesses/organizations. Student organizations may not approach any entity that the Foundation has not given permission to solicit.
ii. Following each donation, the student organization is expected to send the donor a thank you note, as well as a Donor-in-Kind-Verification Form to fill out for tax purposes.
iii. All completed Donor-in-Kind-Verification Forms should be returned to the Center for Engagement.
C. In order to protect the privacy of the student residence, no solicitation may be conducted in the living area units of University students on University property, unless approved by the Housing and Residence Life Office.
D. When an item, prize, or monetary award is given away to a student recipient, the sponsoring student organization is responsible for collecting the following information: the item, its value, the student’s name, and the student’s identification number.
i. A single list of all items should be submitted to the Center for Engagement immediately following the event.
7.1 Montana State University Billings is not responsible for bodily injury or personal property of students, faculty, staff and/or others who participate in activities sponsored by faculty/staff and/or student clubs, organizations, fraternities, or sororities. Students, faculty, and staff who engage in these activities do so at their own risk and should assure that they have the appropriate disability and/or health insurance, training, and protective equipment, where applicable.
7.2 The sponsoring student organization(s) shall be responsible for the observance of all applicable University-regulations by off-campus individuals or organizations whose appearance on campus is sponsored by the organization.
7.3 Any event that requires a contract must be reviewed by the university and its legal counsel.
7.3.1 All contracts must be submitted to the Center for Engagement before they are signed for review.
7.4 Student organizations that wish to host an event with alcohol must file the appropriate paperwork as designated by the university’s alcohol policy.
7.5 The university has an exclusive contract for food services with Sodexo Dining Services. Sodexo must be given the right of first refusal for catering and providing food at all events that occur on campus.
7.5.1 Student organizations may not provide outside food at an official meeting or event on campus without prior approval from Sodexo.
7.6 If a student organization wishes to host a viewing of a film, it must acquire the rights to host a public performance.
7.7 All printed or physical materials requested to be posted in building or designated posting areas must state the name of the sponsoring student organization or department.
A. All event space should be reserved through the Center for Engagement or Virtual EMS no less than one week before an event.
i. Space is reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the priority going to academic use.
B. All student groups planning to host an event that includes a contracted service (a person providing a specialized service such as a guest speaker, referee, contest judge, d.j., graphic designer, etc.) MUST provide a W-9 PRIOR to the event.
i. The typical timeline to provide a check to a contracted service is two weeks. Student organizations must provide a copy of the performer’s W-9, contract, and invoice at least two weeks before the event.
C. Student organizations must get special, written permission from the General Manager of MSUB Dining (Sodexo) to bring outside food for their event.
i. This permission must be given prior to the event.
D. Student organizations that wish to host a film viewing should consult the Student Organization Resource Manual for guidance on acquiring a public performance license.
8.1 Student organizations are required to notify and seek permission from the university by filing the proper paperwork in advance of any travel outside the city limits.
8.2 Student participants in travel must understand that they are participating at their own risk, and that the university is not responsible or liable for any incidents that may occur during the trip.
8.2.1 The university’s state insurance does not apply to students, faculty, or staff who are driving personal vehicles.
8.2.2 The university does not encourage using students as drivers for off-campus activities, but if there are no university employees available, the State insurance may cover students when driving a state car if planned in advance.
8.2.3 An advisor driving an MSUB vehicle must have successfully completed a Defensive Driving Course.
8.3 The Center for Engagement shall provide a letter verifying a registered student organization’s travel only if requested and the travel opportunity aligns with the organization’s mission.
8.3.1 These letters do not serve to excuse a student from their academic or professional obligations. Students must still seek approval from their faculty members and/or employers for an excused absence.
8.4 All international travel must be conducted in compliance with Montana State University Bozeman’s International Travel Policy.
8.5 If any student with a disability requires accommodation, the sponsoring organization should contact the Disability Support Services Office for assistance in providing reasonable accommodations.
8.6 All losses or damage to university property should be reported to University Police. Students and employees are responsible for the security of their own personal property while traveling.
8.7 While traveling as a part of an MSUB organization, students and employees are expected to remain free from the influence of drugs and alcohol.
1.8 All purchases made for or on the trip must be made with a university purchasing card, and all original receipts must be submitted to the Center for Engagement.
8.8.1 If reimbursable (i.e. organization) purchases are made with a student's personal finances, the purchase must be approved by the fund controllers and all original receipts must be submitted to Center for Engagement Office.
A. Student organizations must designate a point-person of contact for each travel opportunity (ideally their advisor or another university employee; if none are available, then an officer of the organization).
i. The point person shall be responsible for: maintain emergency contact information for each traveler; recording hotel room numbers occupied by students; and filing a Clery Travel Form upon the completion of the trip.
B. The following procedures should guide student travel for which no advance (per-diem, or other expenses that require checks to be distributed to participants) is required:
i. Complete a Student Travel Authorization Form. (One form per group, per destination).
ii. Fill out an Assumption of Risk form for EACH traveler. (One form per traveler).
iii. Upon completion of the trip, email the names and student ID numbers for ALL student participants to Business Services and the Center for Engagement within seven (7) days of returning from the trip.
iv. Fill out a Clery Travel Form (within ten days of returning from the trip).
C. The following procedures should guide student travel for which an advance (per-diem, or other expenses that require checks to be distributed to participants) is required:
i. Complete a Student Travel Authorization Form. (One form per group, per destination).
ii. Fill out an Assumption of Risk form for EACH traveler. (One form per traveler).
iii. Fill out a Travel Expense Voucher Form for each traveler that requires an advance within seven (7) days of returning from the trip.
iv. Fill out a Clery Travel Form (within ten days of returning from the trip).
D. When a student organization plans to spend money on its trip (i.e. meals, gas, fees), it must visit the Center for Engagement so that these can arranged in advance.
i. If a staff or faculty member is traveling with the student group, they may use a purchasing card for all purchases related to the trip, which can later be billed to the student group's account. All original receipts must be submitted at the end of the trip to the Center for Engagement Office.
ii. If purchases must be made with a student's personal finances and the student would like to be reimbursed, submit all original receipts to Center for Engagement Office. Reimbursements require additional paperwork to be deducted from the club's account and take a few weeks to process once all paperwork has been submitted.
9.1 Student organizations may have and maintain their own social media accounts, though they are expected to follow all University guidelines and expectations.
9.2 All social media accounts and passwords are the official property of the student organization. When individual members leave the group, they are expected to pass on all login information for these accounts to their successors and/or the Center for Engagement.
9.3 Student organizations must follow all university policies and guidelines regarding name and brand usage.
9.4 For all merchandise purchases with university branding, student organizations must buy through the MSUB Campus Store in order to comply with all licensing and product agreements.
A. When a student organization disbands, has its recognition revoked, or otherwise becomes inactive, it must return all login information for social media accounts to the Center for Engagement office.