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Establishing Student Organizations

Establishing Student Organizations

 

About Student Organizations

Student organizations at Point Park University are initiated and run by students. They provide students with co-curricular opportunities for social interaction, recreation, leadership training, and enhancement of academic interests. Students learn to organize and to work with others, pursue special interests, and make friends. The student organizations on our campus are as diverse as our student body and are a great way to meet new people and enhance your college experience.
Participation in student organizations is open to all Student Activity Fee paying undergraduate students at Point Park University regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical limitations. The United Student Government (USG) and the Office of Student Activities work together to provide the majority of services available for student organizations. For example, USG is responsible for approval of all student organizations as well as a yearly census of the groups, while the Office of Student Activities assists student organizations in acquiring space on campus, transportation, approval of marketing and policy consulting.
Go here to see a complete list of student organizations.

Student Organization Categories:

Academic

These student organizations are closely related to an academic major or have a substantial educational focus. They provide students with opportunities to explore new topics and partner with students outside the classroom.

Governing Boards

The student governing boards; CAB, RHA, and USG are designed to represent the needs and concerns of the student population. Students are welcome to attend the general meetings of these boards to make the representatives aware of important issues. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) functions as a group assisting in the development and implementation of various events across campus. The Residence Hall Association (RHA) serves residential students by giving them a voice for their residential needs. The United Student Government (USG) listens to the concerns of the entire student population and brings an action plan to the administration to bring about change.

Interest-Based

These organizations are for students interested in a particular topic. There are a wide variety of groups, from those focusing on purely social activities to events involving raising awareness of a greater cause.

Service Organizations

The sole purpose of Student Service Organizations is to give back to the community. These students volunteer their time and energy helping others.

University Sponsored Student Media

University Sponsored Media Organizations help make students aware of what is going on around them. They publish our newspaper, make announcements on our radio station, broadcast the news, and produce magazines.
The following are University sponsored student media organizations at Point Park University:

  • The Cavalcade
  • The Globe
  • U-View
  • WPPJ-670AM

The organizations noted above are available to students of any major. Please feel free to contact the United Student Government or the Office of Student Activities for any questions.

Establishing a New Student Organization

If you are interested in starting a new Student Organization, it is important to discuss your options with the Office of Student Activities. This process may take up to four (4) weeks to complete.

  • STEP 1: Contact the Office of Student Activities at studentactivities@pointpark.edu, or 412-392-4735.
  • STEP 2: Set up a meeting with the Student Organizations Coordinator.
  • STEP 3: Review and compile information needed to complete the Student Organization Standards. This process will include; registration of the Student Organization on OrgSync and completion the online Organization Registration Update form.

Recognition of Student Organizations

Recognition of new Student Organizations is officially established through the United Student Government (USG), not through the Office of Campus Life or Student Activities. Recognition is given upon Senate Vote by the USG, once a student organization is recognized they must continue to update USG on any changes in leadership, advisor or student organization status, or they could lose their recognition.
Upon recognition, each new Student Organization can now begin to establish group status within the USG recognized Tier System. Please refer to the Finances portion of this manual for further information concerning the status of each individual group.
The New Student Organization Probationary Period is a one year period for all new student groups. This will allow the student organizations to adequately establish their group prior to incorporation into the Point Park Tier System. Such organizations have the following rights and expectations within the Office of Student Activities;

  • Plan a meeting with the Student Organizations Coordinator
  • Complete Student Organizations Standards

Student Organization Tier System

Overview

Acknowledging the variety of purposes, and the different levels of risks and financial responsibilities that student organizations may possess, the Office of Student Activities in collaboration with USG developed a four-tier categorization system to facilitate the development of specific training to support the needs of your organization. Most student organizations fall into the Tier I or II categories. Tier I and Tier II organizations are defined and operate in the manner described below.

TIER I ORGANIZATIONS:

Characteristics
  • An association of students with a similar interest(s)
  • High visibility on campus
  • Greater detail in the organizational structure
  • Low to high risk activities
  • Could need space to meet.
  • Rely on USG for funding
  • Rely on Student Activities for event space, event planning support and advisement
Benefits of Being a Tier I Organization
  • Use of all reservable University facilities
  • Use of a University sponsored student organization email account
  • Ability to post flyers around campus for events
  • Ability to request equipment from Media Services
  • Opportunity for co-sponsorship of on-campus events
  • Ability to request funding from the USG
  • First to receive semesterly budgeting from USG
  • Ability to request co-sponsorship with the Campus Activities Board (CAB)
  • Use of University Vans
  • Student Organization Lockers
  • Space on the University website
  • Access to leadership development opportunities
  • Ability for an extra-curricular transcript
  • Ability to be included in the weekly “Check This” email
Requirements to be a Tier I Organization
  • Properly register with the Office of Student Activities (complete the Tier I Registration Form on OrgSync)
  • Complete the Office of Student Activities Standards; which include the following
  • Organization Officer attends Student Organization Training session
  • Submit Student Organization Registration Update form on Orgysnc
  • Student Organization must have an active Orgsync Organization Account within Campus life
  • Student Organization must hold at least three events on campus per year, unless within New Student Organization Probationary Period.

TIER II ORGANIZATIONS:

Characteristics
  • An association of students with a similar interest(s)
  • Low visibility on campus
  • Simple organizational structure
  • Low risk activities
  • Need space only for meetings
  • Rely on USG for funding
  • Rely on Student Activities for event space, event planning support and advisement
Benefits of Being a Tier II Organization
  • Use of University facilities for meetings
  • Use of a University sponsored student organization email account
  • Ability to post flyers around campus for events
  • Ability to request equipment from Media Services
  • Opportunity for co-sponsorship of on-campus events
  • Ability to request funding from the USG
  • Second to receive semesterly budgeting from USG
  • Ability to request co-sponsorship with the Campus Activities Board (CAB)
  • Use of University Vans
  • Student Organization Lockers
  • Space on the University website
  • Access to leadership development opportunities
  • Ability for an extra-curricular transcript
  • Ability to be included in the weekly “Check This” email
Requirements to be a Tier II Organization
  • Properly register with the Office of Student Activities (complete the Tier II Registration Form)
  • Complete the Office of Student Activities Standards which includes the following;
  • Organization Officer attends Student Organization Training session
  • Submit Student Organization Registration Update form on Orgysnc

Tier III Organizations: (WPPJ, USG, CAB, etc)

Characteristics
  • Organizations that are financially supported by student fees
  • Formally referred to as “Chartered Organizations”
  • Moderate to high visibility on campus
  • High accountability to all students
  • Moderate to high risk activities
  • Regular interaction with University staff
  • Reliance on the University Departments or student fees for funding, financial support, facilities and event planning support
Benefits of Being a Tier III Organization
  • Use of all reservable University facilities
  • Use of a University sponsored student organization email account
  • Ability to post flyers around campus for events
  • Ability to request equipment from Media Services
  • Opportunity for co-sponsorship of on-campus events
  • Ability to request supplemental funding from the USG
  • Ability to request co-sponsorship with the Campus Activities Board (CAB).
  • Use of University Vans
  • Student Organization Lockers
  • Space on the University website
  • Access to leadership development opportunities
  • Ability for an extra-curricular transcript
  • Ability to be included in the weekly “Check This” publication
Requirements to be a Tier III Organization
  • Complete the Office of Student Activities Standards; which include the following
  • Organization Officer attends Student Organization Training session
  • Submit Student Organization Registration Update form on OrgSync
  • Student Organization must have an active OrgSync Organization Account within Campus life

TIER IV ORGANIZATIONS:

Characteristics
  • Organizations that have not fulfilled Student Organizations Standards for the current academic year
  • Considered inactive for a period of one or more years
  • Will have no rights to reservation of University space
  • Will have no rights to USG funding
Benefits of Being a Tier IV Organization
  • Ability to restart group with new interested individuals
  • Ability to register as Tier I or II within the Office of Student Activities

Student Organization Standards

The following are the guidelines set forth by the Office of Student Activities for any student organization wishing to use the services provided by this Office.

  1. Register Student Organization on OrgSync.
    HOW TO:
    • Sign-in to OrgSync.com, or simply create a new account if not previously registered.
    • Find the tab labeled “My Orgs,” and click. Choose the option “Join an Org” within this drop down menu.
    • Choose the “Register New Organization” option. This tab can be located in the top left-hand side of the page.
    • Follow the directions provided to complete.
  2. Complete Org Sync form titled “Organization Registration Update,” which includes the following:
    1. Complete list of your executive board and their phone numbers and email addresses.
    2. List of active members and their student ID numbers.
    3. Advisor name, number and email.
    4. Upload a Constitution (Word Doc or PDF)
    5. Regular meeting schedule, place, and time. This will be used to highlight group information within the weekly “Check This” email.
    6. Upload a picture/information to be added to Point Park website.
    7. (For the Org Sync form, a picture is optional; however, it is strongly suggested.)
    8. Summer contact list.
  3. The organization president and one general member must attend a leadership training seminar at the beginning of the fall semester:
    1. Should leadership roles change, the new President must meet with the Office of Student Activities.
    2. Any student organization formed within a semester must set up a meeting with the Student Activities Office in order to comply with leadership training standard.

Failure to comply with the above standards will result in the inability to hold events as well as use of services provided by the Office of Student Activities
New student organizations that are not yet approved through USG will be able to reserve one table for a week for recruitment. They will have the ability to advertise through the Office of Student Activities’ weekly newsletter “Check This” for two weeks.

How to Create a Constitution:

What is a Constitution? What Are Bylaws?

A constitution allows students to address and present all of the fundamental principles that govern the organization. Bylaws, on the other hand, set forth the procedures that the organization must follow in order to abide by the rules set forth by the constitution. These set laws provide further definitions to the Articles of the Constitution and can be changed with greater ease in accordance with the needs of the organization. All clubs MUST have a constitution on file to be recognized by the United Student Government (USG). The constitution should be the primary operational guide of the organizations and not simply a document that is filed away in a drawer and forgotten.
Reference Sample Constitution

What is the Framework for a Constitution?

The United Student Government has provided your student organization with a basic sample constitution. Items highlighted are issues that need to be completed. The best way to decide your organization’s policies is to hold an unofficial meeting where you can discuss these important topics as a group.

How Do I Use the Sample Constitution?

Many people find writing constitutions to be complicated, however, they are extremely helpful to sort out your organization and what its purpose will be. Also, you may not become a student organization until you have written a constitution.

  • Be specific about times and procedures, such as meeting times and frequency, how your student organization will run their meetings, what duties and powers your officers will have, or how and when you will elect officers.
  • Be general about your goals and mission as they are likely to evolve as leadership changes. It is better to write “This organization will expand the interest and public knowledge of American literature on campus” than to write “We are going to read Faulkner every Wednesday”.
  • Never include names or specific places in your constitution. This document should define your organization for as long as the group exists.
  • Be sure to review the guidelines for organizations in the United Student Government Constitution to ensure quicker response time from the USG.
  • If you would like, set up time with a member of USG’s Rules Committee for assistance. Contact usg@pointpark.edu

Some Specifics to Consider

Name

The best names are specific and catchy ones that define the organization and look good on a t-shirt.

Affiliation

If the organization receives money from the university, they will be eligible to become a chartered organization and less likely to receive USG funds.

Dues

Will the organization require dues to join? If so, put that in Article III.

Qualifications

The organization must welcome everyone who wishes to join. If the group requires its members to audition, they must open the auditions to everyone and thoroughly publicize the time and date. Structure Groups are not limited by the officers listed in the sample constitution. Each organization may create as many officers with any title that seems appropriate. Also, committees with specific purposes can be very helpful.

Duties and Powers

Be sure to assign important jobs to specific officers or committees. This way, no one can say “it isn’t my job.” No one can foresee everything that will need to be done, but try to cover as much as possible during this early stage.

 

Yearly Student Organization

Registration

All student organizations are required to complete the registration process annually. Organizations that elect officers in the late spring will renew their registration in the Fall (August/September). Organizations that elect officers in the late fall will renew their
registration in the Spring (January/February).To register your organization, complete the following steps:

  • STEP 1: Update and make all necessary changes to OrgSync group profile.
  • STEP 2: Complete the OrgSync Organization Registration Update form. This form will require the organization constitution, along with a variety of information about your student group. Please note: your constitution must have been reviewed, updated, and/or revised within the last two years and have the last review date noted on the constitution.
  • STEP 3: Attend the mandatory Student Organization Training at the beginning of the fall semester in order to review and/or learn existing policies and procedures.