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Organization Handbook

Table of Contents:


For most students, a significant factor in the successful attainment of a college education is the manner in which time outside the classroom is utilized. The fact that Young Harris College makes available to students a number of social, recreational, cultural, and an academic opportunity implies a firm belief in the value of extra-curricular educational experiences. One important phase of a student’s learning can be participation in campus clubs and organizations, where the opportunity is offered to form friendships, work with others of varying backgrounds, assume leadership, and explore shared interests.

Mission

The mission of the Office of Campus Activities is to provide Young Harris College students with different opportunities to become involved in on and off campus experiences, which will enhance the development of the whole person. The office complements the College’s academic programs. It enhances the overall educational experience of students through development of, exposure to, and participation in social, cultural, leadership development, fraternity and sorority, intellectual, recreational, and community service.

Recognition of Student Organizations

Students interested in forming an organization must contact the Director of Campus Activities. 

Recognized student organization shall be categorized into one of the following:

  • Honor Societies: Recognize and provide support for students who demonstrate a high level of academic achievement
  • Academic /Departmental Organizations: Promote and establish a liaison between an academic division or department and the College
  • Greek Organizations: Greek letter organizations that consider themselves a social fraternity/sorority
  • Cultural Organizations: Organizations representing a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Service Organizations: Provide volunteers for on-campus and off-campus service-related projects and are community based organizations
  • Spiritual Organizations: Provide a means for students of a particular denomination or religious affiliation to interact with others
  • Club Sports: Promote and develop common sports or recreation related interests
  • Special Interest Groups: Organizations with a wide range of purposes, geared toward unique or specialized audiences
  • Student Governance Organizations: Organizations that exist as a governance body (i.e., Student Government Association, Inter-Greek Council, Inter-Religious Council)
  • Media and Publications Organizations: Organizations that provide students with media production experiential opportunities

For a student organization to be granted official recognition and maintain status as a recognized student organization, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Each recognized student organization must renew recognition status at the beginning of each Fall semester. Recognition packets are available from the Office of Campus Activities. Student clubs/organizations that fail to renew their registration will be declared inactive unless approved by the Office of Campus Activities. Inactive student clubs/organizations are not entitled to privileges granted to those student clubs/organizations that are officially recognized.
  2. Each organization must govern itself according to a constitution agreed upon by the organization’s membership and approved by the Director of Campus Activities. The constitution must state, using proper form, all membership requirements, the purpose of the organization, and all policies which will govern the workings of the organization. A current copy of each organization’s constitution must be kept on file in the Office of Campus Activities.
  3. Each organization must have an advisor approved by the Director of Campus Activities. The advisor must commit to be actively involved in overseeing the activities of the organization. It is expected that each organization will routinely consult with its advisor and inform him/her of all organization activities, practices, and undertakings. Any faculty or staff member employed by Young Harris College is eligible to serve as an advisor to a student organization.
  4. Each organization must submit a current membership roster to the Director of Campus Activities no later than the end of the second week of classes each semester. In addition, each Greek organization must submit a new member roster no later than 24 hours after the deadline for acceptance of bids. Each organization must immediately inform the Director of Campus Activities of any changes in membership during the course of each semester.
  5. All organization-sponsored campus programs must be approved no less than one week in advance by the Director of Campus Activities. This approval process applies to any event/activity held on Young Harris College property and/or off-campus, which is formally or informally planned, advertised or undertaken by any student organization or any part thereof.
  6. Each recognized student organization must provide one student representative to the Council of Presidents as an active and voting member. Meetings are held on a monthly basis.

The College may deny or withdraw all recognition of rights and privileges from a recognized student organization where there is 1) a failure or refusal to abide by College policy, 2) danger of violence or disruption of the College’s educational mission, or 3) there has been a violation of criminal law by the organization or by its members at a function sponsored by the organization.

Rights and Privileges of Recognition

The various recognized student organizations which exist on campus assume an important role in contributing toward a healthy and positive campus activities program. The College extends to recognized student organizations the right to use its name and its facilities, when available. Accordingly, to ensure a basic consistency of purpose and philosophy, certain policies governing the on-going recognition of organizations have been developed. Recognized student organizations and their members may be subject to the revocation of recognition and/or other disciplinary action for violation of these policies.

Officially recognized student organizations have the following rights and privileges:

  • Use of Young Harris College facilities subject to the Facilities Use Policy;
  • Appropriate use of the Young Harris College name and logo on formal letters and publications in accordance with the YHC Brand Standards Manual available from the Office of Advancement located in Sharp Hall; 
  • Authorization to publicize events and distribute information on campus (with proper approval);
  • Opportunity to sponsor fundraising activities on campus consistent with College policy;
  • Opportunity to schedule registered activities and events in accordance with the appropriate policies and procedures;
  • Advisement from the Office of Campus Activities;
  • Ability to borrow items for events/meetings from the Office of Campus Activities;
  • Opportunity to have club or organization information on the Young Harris College website;
  • Representation on the Council of Presidents for Clubs and Organizations;
  • Eligible to receive funding from the Office of Campus Activities when available; and
  • Participate in leadership opportunities offered by and through the College.

Loss or Denial of Recognition

If, at any point during the recognition process, it is determined that an organization will lose or be denied recognition, the Office of Campus Activities will properly inform and provide the organization an opportunity to eliminate the basis for denial.

Possible reasons for the suspension or denial of organization recognition include:

  • Failure to submit officer and organization registration forms by deadlines
  • Violation of College policies and procedures
  • Violation of Student Organization policies
  • Failure to act in accordance with the organization constitution or stated objectives
  • Neglecting organization responsibilities as stated in the recognition process

Provisional Status

A new organization that wishes to be recognized as a student organization may be recognized on a provisional status. Provisional status provides recognition for one full semester in order to fulfill the requirements of the College and appropriate governing bodies for full recognition. Below are some of the requirements that the new organization must meet in order to receive full recognition of the College:

  • Must complete a minimum of three programs of different types, for which a flyer/sign in sheets be submitted to the Office Campus Activities (i.e. educational, community service related) where at least 50% of the organization members participate;
  • A current list of at least five (5) students who meet membership requirements for the organization and will continue their education at YHC for the following semester;
  • Signature of a Young Harris College faculty/staff member indicating his/her willingness to continue to serve as the organization’s advisor;
  • Evidence that all members read and understand the anti-hazing policy;
  • Documentation showing that meetings were held on a weekly/biweekly basis throughout the provisional period;
  • All members must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA;
  • Must conduct its affairs in a lawful manner according to Georgia state law, organization constitution, and the policies of the College. Individuals are considered to be acting on behalf of their organization when they are functioning as organization members.

If denied full recognition, the petitioning group may request a continuation of temporary recognition and will have until the end of the current semester to submit the request to the Office of Campus Activities. In addition, if temporary recognition is approved, the organization will have a maximum of 30 days commencing the first day of the following semester to complete the new request for full recognition. If the application is denied again, the group’s recognition is terminated. One calendar year must elapse before reapplying for recognition.

In the case of an organization not following the appropriate administrative guidelines outlined by the Director of Campus Activities, loss or suspension of recognition may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Development for reconsideration. In the case of loss or suspension of recognition as a result of a student conduct violation, please refer to the Student Conduct System section of this Guide for information on the appeal process.

Fundraising

Following the guidelines set forth by the Sales and Solicitation policy contained in the Guide, organizations may collect dues, initiation fees, and donations. They may sell materials related to the purpose of the organization. Funds raised by recognized student organizations may be expended consistent with the stated purposes of those organizations. Such funds are subject to local, state, and federal laws, and to financial accountability. No fundraising activities shall conflict with the ongoing business operations or interests of Young Harris College.

Event Request

Recognized student organizations, in order to request approval for an event to take place on campus, must submit a Request for Program form to the Office of Campus Activities at least one week prior to the requested event date. The Request for Program form is located in the Student Development Suite in the Pruitt-Barrett Administration Building. The Director of Campus Activities will notify the YHC Police Department of any events sponsored by recognized student organizations. Local authorities in conjunction with YHC Police monitor off campus student sponsored events. The office reserves the rights to deny an event from taking place on campus that violates College policies.

Booking an Event Location

The College extends to recognized student organizations the right to use its name and facilities. Once an event is authorized by the Director of Campus Activities a location may be reserved by contacting the Office of Planning and Assessment at 706-379-5317. The College reserves the right to deny the use of facilities to any organization that is not officially recognized by the College or a recognized student organization that does not follow College policy.

The following facilities are available for student use: Black Box Theatre, Campus Recreation Center, Campus Restaurant & Robinson Dining Room, Chapel, Classrooms, Clegg Auditorium, Computer Lab, Enotah Amphitheatre & Conference Room, Glenn Auditorium, Library Conference Room. McKibben Conference Room (Goolsby), Myers Student Center, Planetarium, Plaza & Lawn, Pruitt-Barrett Conference Room, Residence Hall Common Spaces, Sharp Conference Room, and Wilson Lecture Hall (Goolsby).

Recognition of Greek Organizations

Young Harris College requires membership in the various recognized student organizations to be open to all students without any discrimination to race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. Restricted membership may be granted if the organization provides adequate justification for this special status. Greek organizations may maintain gender-specific membership.To be recognized, a fraternity or sorority must be in good standing with Young Harris College. In order to be in good standing with the College, all Greek organizations must abide by the requirements for recognition of student organizations along with the below requirements.

Rush/Membership Requirements

The Young Harris College Greek system currently holds one formal Rush Week and Membership Intake Process each fall and spring academic semester. The Membership Intake Process is the potential new member period where a candidate for membership in a Greek organization becomes acquainted with the organization’s purposes and goals and learns the requirements for membership and the traditions of the particular organization. Rush week consists of a “Smokeless” Smoker’s Tea, Preference Parties, and bid day for the potential Greek members. Rush and the Membership Intake Process’s activities must not interfere with or jeopardize the candidate’s academic standing or any other College responsibility, nor interfere with the academic or social lives of non-participating students. The campus wide Membership Intake Process shall not last more than 6 weeks with the conclusion being no later than two weeks prior to final exams that same semester . All deadlines are set and approved by the Director of Campus Activities. In addition, all activities must be suspended during breaks where the College is closed (i.e. Spring & Thanksgiving Break).

  • Each Greek organization must submit an up-to-date education plan to be reviewed and approved by the organization’s advisor and by the Director of Campus Activities no later than the first day of Rush Week each semester.
  • Any student wishing to rush and join a Young Harris College Greek organization must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and have completed 12 credit hours at YHC.
  • Members of Greek organizations must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to retain membership. The Director of Campus Activities will submit membership rosters to the Registrar at the beginning of each semester to verify the eligibility of each student holding membership in a Young Harris College Greek organization.
  • Rush and membership requirements apply to ALL members of a Young Harris College Greek organization, including gentlemen/sweethearts. Creation of a membership category for academically ineligible members, such as “honorary” or “secrets” is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action for the student organization involved.
  • Invitations (bids) to join any student organization must be given out at a set date and time and must include a specific date and time for the invitee to accept the bid. All fraternities and sororities will issue bids at a common time, and will likewise share a common deadline for bid acceptance. 
  • The names of all students accepting bids must be emailed to the Director of Campus Activities no later than noon of the following day. The Director will then confirm through email, no later than three (3) business days after receiving the information, that the potential members are able to take part in the Membership Intake Process based on current academic status.

Additionally, Greek organizations must adhere to the following restrictions to maintain recognition by the College:

  • Each Greek organization must provide one student representative to the Council of Presidents as an active and voting member. Meetings are held on a monthly basis.
  • Each Greek organization must complete at least one service/volunteer project per semester. A minimum of 10 volunteer hours is required per group and each project must include no less than 50% of the organization’s membership. Service/volunteer project hours must be certified by the Director of Campus Activities no later than two weeks prior to the end of the semester. Each Greek organization must participate in at least one annual community service/volunteer project sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities (i.e. YHC Make a Difference Day, MLK Day of Service). In the event a Greek organization fails to complete the listed service requirements, during the following semester 1) the organization shall not be permitted to participate in Rush and 2) must complete the service hours for the previous semester as well as the current semester by the stated end of semester deadline to remain a recognized student organization.

Advisor Responsibilities

Young Harris College requires that each recognized student organization have an advisor who is a full-time employee of Young Harris College (exceptions may only be made with permission from the Director of Campus Activities and Vice President for Student Development). Organizations are free to choose their advisor pending approval from the Office of Campus Activities. The advisor serves as an important resource for the organization, providing the basis for long-term stability, as well as growth and development. As the students change from year to year, the attention and guidance of an advisor can have a marked impact on the group with which he or she works.

Ideally, recognized student organizations are to be initiated, developed and maintained by the students. It is important for each advisor to provide support and guidance while encouraging the students themselves to supply the primary source of organizational leadership and initiative for the planning of programs and events. The appropriate balance of leadership exerted between the advisor and student leaders often depends upon the mix of personalities involved. In instances when the student leadership may be underdeveloped, the advisor is encouraged to help develop the appropriate skills in the student while communicating with the Office of Campus Activities.

The duties of the advisor, as detailed below, may be interpreted differently depending on the nature of the organization; specific areas of knowledge and expertise will vary among advisors. Each advisor’s personal style will affect the degree of direct involvement he or she has with the group, and the extent to which responsibility for certain organizational functions are shared among the advisor and chief officers. Additional responsibilities listed in the organization advisor agreement form include the following:

  • To be aware of all plans for programs and activities, and to provide assistance when needed in the coordination of these events
  • Must sign off on all room requests and room setup requests sent to Campus Activities and the Physical Plant Office
  • To be aware of College policy regarding recognized student organizations
  • To provide a basis for continuity in the organization from year-to-year

Final Exam Week (“Dead Week”) Policy

In an effort to support the academic mission of the College and ensure students are not overly burdened during finals week, certain restrictions are placed on the activities of recognized student organizations. Beginning Reading Day through the end of the semester, student groups and organizations shall not organize/schedule social events such as dances, elections, concerts, or other activities which may conflict with academic studies. 

Institutional events that are not sponsored or organized by student groups and organizations may be exempt from this policy. Study breaks, tutoring sessions, regular organization meetings and/or end-of-term, and members-only social gatherings are permitted. However, organization presidents and advisors should ensure meetings or academic-related activities do not conflict with the study time of members. In rare cases, exceptions to this policy may be made as determined by the Director of Campus Activities.

Academic Policies Regarding Recognized Student Organizations

While participation in a student organization plays an important role in a member’s personal development, it should always be remembered that the chief focus of each student should be on intellectual achievement, the development of understanding, and the ability to use one’s mind positively and creatively. To underscore the importance of such achievement for each student, the following policies have been developed:

  • One student cannot hold the presidency of two or more of the following groups at the same time: Student Government Association, Student Activities Board, Inter-Greek Council, or Inter-Religious Council.
  • Presidents of all student organizations must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and may not be on academic or conduct probation at the time of election or during the term of office. If the student fails to meet any of the above requirements, he or she must resign and is not eligible to hold an office in that organization for a minimum of two semesters.
  • Each Greek organization is required to maintain an average minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for its membership. If one of these organizations fails to achieve a 2.0 average for any given semester that organization will not be permitted to participate in certain activities, as defined by the Director of Campus Activities, until a 2.0 grade-point average for one semester’s academic work has been achieved. Any organization that cannot achieve a 2.0 GPA for two consecutive semesters may be suspended for one or more semesters.

Conduct Policies Regarding Recognized Student Organizations

Recognized student organizations are representatives of the College. Therefore, the goals and purposes of recognized student organizations must be consistent with and in support of the goals and mission of Young Harris College. Student organizations will be held responsible for the behavior of their members when their actions evolve from, or are in any way related to, their association with activities of the group. The only means by which liability on the part of the organization can be avoided is if the violators are identified and it can be shown that members of the organization took responsible steps to prevent the violation by their fellow members.

Violations of College policy by recognized student organizations are typically either heard by the Director of Campus Activities or a designated hearing board. 

Shared Responsibility

Every organization has the duty to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent infractions of College policy as well as federal, state, and local laws related to the activities of the organization. This duty is not only applicable to members of the organization who are engaging in the activity, but is applicable to every member, including those not engaged in the activity.

Recognized student organizations should understand that it is very important when dealing with allegations of student organization violations, the College defines a "College related activity" as any activity sponsored by the College or by organization recognized by the College. The degree to which an organization is responsible for the activity of its members is not necessarily dependent upon the number of members engaging in the activity, but depends upon whether the activity is related to the organization. All members need to be aware of their behaviors while participating in College related activities.

Reporting a Violation

Any person or organization wishing to report a violation related to a recognized student organization may do so by contacting the Director of Campus Activities. Depending upon the violation, it will either be handled administratively by the Director of Campus Activities or be sent through the Student Conduct System by the Associate Dean of Students as described in the Student Conduct System section starting on page 77.

Sanctions

Each recognized student organization must conduct its affairs in a lawful manner according to state and federal law, its constitution, and the policies of the College. It is expected that every organization will exercise self-governance, which carries with it the responsibility of each member to hold other members accountable for their actions. When such actions are in conflict with the policies, philosophy, or interests of the College an organization may be held responsible for the actions of its membership, or for any part thereof, and may be subject to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Administrative Warning
  • Restitution
  • Conduct Probation
  • Loss of Privilege
  • Loss of YHC Recognition/Charter
  • Completion of education and training programs

For a complete list of sanctions please refer to the Student Conduct System section of this publication.

Hazing

Young Harris College upholds the position on hazing adopted by the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) and Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG). 

Click here to view the Young Harris College Hazing Policy.

Posting

The purpose of this policy is to establish a balance between efficiently disseminating information and maintaining the aesthetic appearance of the College environment. The posting of printed literature, posters, placards, and banners on campus must be approved by the Office of Campus Activities. The posting of non College related materials is limited to designated areas. Posting in residential areas must be approved by the Director of Residence Life. Department and office boards are maintained by the respective department/organization and are not available for general use, unless prior approval is granted.

The College encourages sensitivity to all members of our diverse community in postings and prohibits profanity or prejudicial content in advertising. It is expected that individuals respect the goals of building and maintaining a dynamic college community. Postings that contain subject matter demonstrating lack of thought, common sense, or good judgment contradict the values and goals of the community. Individuals should consider the impact of their words. While individuals may have a right to post something, they also have a responsibility as members of the Young Harris College community to review the impact before submission for posting. In addition, the Student Development team is committed to sustainable practices. Please consider the impact on the environment as you make decisions regarding printing and distributing flyers. Events approved by the Director of Campus Activities are automatically placed on YHC Connect.

All public notices or publicity material posted on College property must be sponsored by a recognized student organization, College department, or otherwise approved by the Director of Campus Activities. In addition, advertising that promotes the use and/or sale of alcohol is prohibited.  Publicity should bear the following information:

  1. Name of the activity
  2. Time of the activity
  3. Place of the activity
  4. Name of the person or organization responsible for the activity

Any general questions about the Young Harris College posting policy should be directed to the Director of Campus Activities at 706-379-5110.

Approval

  • Materials may be posted for a maximum of two weeks.
  • All materials advertising campus events must include the name of the sponsoring organization, group or department, title of event, location, and event start and end times.
  • All flyers, handbills, banners, and notices to be posted on the campus of Young Harris College must be submitted to the Office of Campus Activities a minimum of five (5) business days before the expected posting date for approval. The original must be approved and stamped PRIOR TO PRINTING.
  • For all recognized student organizations and clubs, approval must be obtained from the Office of Campus Activities (approval/date stamp on flyer, poster, or banner). Recognized student organizations and clubs MUST be registered with the Office of Campus Activities in order to post flyers/banners on campus.
  • Flyer size for bulletin boards is limited to 8 1/2 by 11" or 8 1/2 by 14" for all postings.  Exceptions: College sponsored or external events that have preprinted posters size 11 x 17".
  • Flyers/postings will not be rejected as long as all information presented is true and not libelous; must not be inconsistent with the College academic mission/policies; and does not infringe upon rights of others.
  • All constituents interested in posting flyers on campus must make their own copies and post around campus. In some cases, Residence Life staff can post flyers in the residence halls. Please see the addendum below for clarification.
  • At no time will businesses or other organizations outside of the Young Harris College community post flyers without the consent of the Director of Campus Activities. Postings from any businesses or organization found in violation of this policy will immediately be removed and the group may lose future campus posting privileges.

Posting Procedures: All Campus

  • Materials may be posted on campus bulletin boards and doors only (excluding special purpose bulletin boards specifically designated by campus departments or groups, and/or Susan B. Harris Memorial Chapel).
  • Posting on designated bulletin boards is limited to 1 flyer per event per board and only one single layer of fliers allowed (no overlapping). Postings may go up no more than 2 weeks prior to the event and must be removed by the next business day following the completion of the event. Only one banner per organization or department may be displayed at one time on/in each campus building.
  • Only transparent scotch tape and blue painter’s tape are acceptable means of attaching flyers and banners. Many adhesives are too aggressive and will damage the finish (i.e. paint) of the door. If found responsible, an organization or individuals using improper adhesives (i.e. clear packing tape, duct tape, etc.) will be held financially accountable for damages.
  • Posting of materials on any campus bulletin board that is assigned to a College department or unit requires the approval of that department or unit, and must follow its applicable policies and practices relating to the posting of materials. Any materials not authorized by the applicable department or unit will be removed and discarded.
  • Academic offices may post on their own department office doors at their own discretion.
  • Space for banners is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Banners may only be moved by the sponsoring group or the Office of Campus Activities.

Posting Procedures: Residence Halls

  • In addition to the above posting procedures, the following procedures must be followed when posting in any residential facility.
  • All flyers/notices to be posted in Young Harris College residence halls must be approved by the Director of Residence Life a minimum of 5 business days before the expected posting date. 
  • Residence Life staff members are unable to guarantee that the flyers will stay posted as students ultimately make choices about the decoration of their doors and may choose to take down the flyers.
  • Constituents interested in posting flyers must make their own copies and collate them in separate stacks for each building.
  • Residential students may post on their own room doors in the Residence Halls.

One of the following three strategies must be used for posting flyers in the residence halls:

Strategy A

This strategy requires a total of 225 flyers and the constituency requesting this type of posting is responsible for actually posting the flyers. Flyers may be posted in the following places:

  • Room doors in Appleby Center (67), Appleby West (22) and Hillgrove (48)
  • Suite doors in Enotah Hall (50), Rollins (11), Appleby East (6), Manget (8) and Winship (13)

Strategy B

Another strategy is to post one flyer per RA. Residence Life staff will post these flyers. You must provide the flyers in the following manner to the Director of Residence Life at least 5 business days prior to the posting date. The Director of Residence Life reserves the right to refuse excessive requests.

Make 34 copies and collate them in the following manner:

  • 13 copies for Enotah Hall and Manget
  • 9 copies for Appleby Complex
  • 12 copies for Hillgrove, Winship and Rollins

Strategy C

A final strategy is to post two flyers per building. Residence Life staff will post these flyers. You must provide the flyers in the following manner at least five business days before the event. The Director of Residence Life reserves the right to refuse excessive requests. A total of 14 copies should be made and collated in the following manner:

  • 6 for Appleby Complex
  • 6 for Rollins/Winship/Hillgrove
  • 4 for  Enotah/Manget

Posting Prohibitions

Posters, flyers, notices, or similar items may not be attached to unauthorized campus facilities, including, but not limited to, trees, columns on the Plaza, trash cans, Susan B. Harris Memorial Chapel, recycling bins, benches, campus maps, light poles, or exterior surfaces of buildings. Items posted improperly will be removed daily and destroyed. Persons and organizations that post items improperly may be subject to student conduct sanctions and/or charged for the cost of removal and any damage to College property. Young Harris College is not responsible for maintaining or returning items that are improperly posted and removed.

Posting Removal

Recognized student organization and College departments are responsible for removing their posted notices. Directional signs must be staked and removed by the next business day after completion of the event.

Chalking Procedures

Chalking is not allowed on poles, columns, or campus buildings. Chalking should only be displayed where rain will naturally wash it off and all of the posting guidelines should be followed as well.