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Chapter 3: Community Life

Freedom of Expression / Undergraduate Student Governance / Graduate and Professional Student Governance / Student Communications / Study Abroad Programs for Undergraduates / Student Activities / Advisers to Student Organizations / Scheduling Activities / Sound Amplification and Noise / Publicity, Promotion, and Advertising / Vanderbilt Community Creed

 

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Regulations concerning community life have been established to ensure opportunities for effective participation for all.

Freedom of Expression

  • Meetings open only to members. A campus organization may invite any person to address its members, but organizations must follow normal procedures for reservation of space with the Office of Schedules and Reservations, Sarratt Student Center, and demonstrate ability to pay for associated costs.
  • Meetings open to the Vanderbilt community. An organization may invite any person, approved by the majority of its members, who represents a point of view pertinent to the occasion to speak to an assemblage of the Vanderbilt community, provided that the sponsorship of the event is consistent with the purposes of the organization.
    • Registered student organizations may also order films to show on campus if the film is part of a planned program consistent with the stated purpose of the organization. Films may be promoted and advertised on campus only.
  • Normal procedures for assemblies of this nature include registering in advance with the Office of Schedules and Reservations, Sarratt Student Center, so as to ensure the adequacy of arrangements, minimize schedule conflicts, reserve space, and demonstrate ability to pay for costs incurred.
  • Meetings open to the public. For open meetings sponsored by campus organizations, normal procedures must be followed by obtaining prior approval through the Office of Schedules and Reservations.
  • Disruptive activity. Vanderbilt students engaging in disruptive action or disorderly conduct are subject to University disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion. Vanderbilt students and others may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
  • Limitations on meetings. The University may restrict the times and places of organization meetings in campus facilities. A campus organization denied permission to sponsor an assembly may appeal the decision to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.
  • Sponsorship. A student organization that sponsors an activity will be responsible for registration, arrangements, publicity, costs incurred, and the conduct of the participants. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee must approve access to University facilities for requests from individual students who wish to use the facilities for a speaker of their choosing. Off-campus groups may cooperate with a campus organization in a campus event, but the campus organization remains fully responsible for the conduct of the off-campus group. Off-campus groups or individuals wishing to use University facilities independently must conform to University policies and must request access through the Office of Schedules and Reservations.
  • Distribution of printed statements. Persons who distribute printed materials are responsible for the contents. Students may distribute leaflets, informational sheets, or similar materials on Rand Terrace or outside the building in which a meeting has been scheduled by another organization, if the distributors position themselves so as to avoid restricting access. There may be no charge or requested donations for these materials.
    • Information about the sale of printed statements, etc., and the display of posters can be found in the sections "Sale and Solicitation" Sale and Solicitation and "Publicity, Promotion, and Advertising" Publicity, Promotion, and Advertising. Campus organizations sponsoring events involving controversial persons or views are responsible for providing for the safety and well-being of their guests. Arrangements must be made with the Office of Schedules and Reservations.

Undergraduate Student Governance

The University recognizes a representative student organization that serves as a channel for student opinion for each school. Recognition has been extended by the University, in consultation with the Office of Student Activities, to the following governing bodies:

Arts and Science Council. Membership includes the presidents of all registered academic majors' associations plus one freshman and one sophomore student representative. The president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer are elected by the students of the College.

Blair Council. Membership is represented by elected members from the classes and by an elected Executive Committee.

Engineering Council. Membership includes elected representatives from each of the classes, the president, and one elected representative from each registered professional society.

Student Association of Peabody College. The association is directed by an Executive Committee, and members are elected at large by students of Peabody College. Each class also has a representative on the Executive Committee.

Interhall. Interhall is the governing body of residence halls which acts as a liaison between residents and the Office of Housing and Residential Education. All students in residence are members.

Panhellenic, National Pan-Hellenic, and Interfraternity Councils. The Panhellenic Council (Panhel), the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and the Interfraternity Council (IFC), which govern the activities of the Greek social organizations, are composed of representatives from each registered national and local sorority and fraternity on campus.

Student Government Association. The SGA has two divisions: the Student Senate and the Executive Cabinet. The Student Senate, composed of two senators from each class and the president of each school, lobbies and conducts research on resolutions for specific issues. The Executive Cabinet is the program division of the SGA and provides various campus programs and activities. Students can become involved with SGA through the Student Senate or committees.

Undergraduate student government is empowered to act in the following areas in accordance with University policies:

  • Development and administration of regulations concerning sponsorship, approval, and scheduling of social events initiated by groups other than those under jurisdiction of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils.
  • Development and administration of election procedures for use in elections conducted by the Student Government Association.
  • Development and administration of procedures for screening and nominating students to serve on University committees and Student Life committees.

Student Finance Committee. The Committee is a representative student group which annually allocates to student organizations funds collected as student activities fees. Membership comprises the eight elected SGA class senators, a representative from the Graduate Student Council, a representative from the professional schools, and three student representatives appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.

Graduate and Professional Student Governance

The Graduate School and all of the professional schools and/or programs have representative student organizations that serve as channels for student opinion.

Graduate Student Council of the Graduate School. Membership consists of one elected representative from each department, but any graduate student may participate.

Graduate/Professional Student Association of Peabody College. Membership consists of representatives elected by students in each department. This body coordinates academic, social, and other activities significant to the student community and is also available to the administration and faculty for consultation regarding concerns of the students in Peabody College.

Vanderbilt Bar Association. Membership consists of students of the Law School who are directed by a Board of Governors elected by the classes.

Student Council of the Divinity School. Membership consists of editors of the two student publications and representatives from the various levels of academic training.

Council of Class Officers (School of Medicine). Membership consists of elected officers from each class.

Graduate Nursing Council. Membership consists of representatives of each of the five clinical majors in the M.S.N. program.

Owen School Student Association (OSSA). The Executive Council membership consists of five second-year representatives and four first-year representatives, but all registered candidates for Owen School degrees can participate in OSSA activities. OSSA provides leadership and coordination for professional and social activities.

Student Communications

VSC

Vanderbilt Student Communications, Incorporated (VSC), is a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the University that publishes and supervises the Vanderbilt Hustler, the campus newspaper; the Commodore yearbook; Versus, a general interest magazine; The Vanderbilt Review, an annual literary-photo magazine; WRVU, an FM radio station; and Vanderbilt Video Productions.

Publications for general distribution to the University community or to persons outside the membership of a student organization and publications funded directly by the student activities fee or indirectly through the VSC Creative Arts Fund are under the exclusive authority of VSC.

Newsletters

Any student organization, supported directly or indirectly by the University, financially or otherwise, wishing to print and distribute a newsletter, must be registered by the Office of Student Activities and must advise the Office of their intention to publish. Newsletters should inform members of the organization or interested persons about news and activities relevant to that student group, but should not be a journal of opinion. Newsletters must conform to the appropriate editorial and business policies of VSC, as contained in its Editorial Standard Code and Bylaws.

Other Publications

Distribution of publications not produced by Vanderbilt organizations must conform to University policies regulating the use of University facilities.

Study Abroad Programs for Undergraduates

Through the College of Arts and Science, Vanderbilt has established the following direct-credit programs of study abroad:

  • Vanderbilt in England, University of Leeds
  • Vanderbilt in France, Aix-en-Provence
  • Vanderbilt in Germany, University of Regensburg
  • Vanderbilt Program in Ghana, University of Legon
  • Vanderbilt Program in Israel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Vanderbilt in Spain, University of Madrid
  • Vanderbilt in Spain, University of the Ballearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca
  • Vanderbilt in Italy, Lorenzo deń Medici Fine Arts Institute of Florence; Dante Alighieri Linguistic Center, Florence
  • Humanities in London (summer program only)
  • International Studies in London (summer program only)

Through Peabody College, Vanderbilt has established the following opportunities for study in Cambridge, England:

  • Junior Year Abroad Program, a two-semester program at Homerton College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, for qualified students in any major
  • Student Teaching Program, a summer program that partially fulfills teacher certification requirements for seniors majoring in elementary education

Vanderbilt participates in selected Council on International Educational Exchange's (CIEE) programs in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Russia, and Taiwan. Vanderbilt also participates in selected Butler Institute for Study Abroad programs in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Scotland, as well as CET's programs in China, and Siena, Italy.

In general, the policies and regulations in the Student Handbook apply to students registered for the Vanderbilt study abroad programs, although some additional regulations may apply. Students on academic or disciplinary probation may be prohibited from participating in study abroad programs. Specific regulations for students enrolled in study abroad programs are available from the program directors or from the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Science or from the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs of Peabody College.

The directors of study abroad programs are responsible for academic matters. They are also responsible for co-curricular and disciplinary matters, within the limits of the policies established by the University.

A committee of at least three persons and the director will advise on both curricular and co-curricular matters.

In disciplinary cases the director will conduct a hearing and take appropriate action. Students may appeal a decision by requesting a review of the case by the committee (without the director) mentioned above. The committee will either consent or refuse to hear the appeal after examining the record.

Students are required to abide by the laws of the particular country with respect to the age at which alcoholic beverages may be consumed. Otherwise, all of the policies with respect to alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs included in this Handbook apply. Students are subject to disciplinary action including expulsion and referral for prosecution for violation of these policies.

Undergraduate students enrolled in an study abroad program will be charged only for that portion of the Student Activities Fee allocated to the Commodore yearbook.

Student Activities

Eligibility

To be eligible for participation in any contest or activity other than a social one, or to act as a representative of Vanderbilt in any public exercise, a student must be a full-time student of the University (as determined by the academic policies of the school in which he or she is registered). A student on disciplinary probation may not hold a leadership position, including (but not limited to) Admissions Tour Guide, Summer Academic Orientation Leader, Vuceptor, or Resident Adviser. Student organizations and University departments may have additional eligibility requirements.

A student must be full time and not on academic or disciplinary probation to be eligible to hold office in a student organization or to be a division head or business manager of a VSC division. For undergraduates, full-time registration is defined as being registered for and carrying twelve hours per semester during the regular academic year or nine hours in the summer. Also, an undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative C average. For clarification, see Nonacademic Undergraduate Class Designation

Eligibility standards that exceed these minimum standards may be set by student organizations or their governing bodies.

Requests for exception or waiver of eligibility regulations should be made through the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee with the recommendation of the appropriate governing body.

If a student's participation in co-curricular activities threatens academic performance, the University may counsel the student about the scope of these activities. If a student is subjected to disciplinary action, restrictions may be placed on campus co-curricular activities for the period of the sanction.

Registration

The University may regulate the campus activities of organizations whose activities relate to the University's educational and service purposes. An organization whose membership includes students is under University jurisdiction when it seeks:

  • Financial support from the University
  • Use of University facilities for regular business (as in the case of campus publications)
  • To hold meetings on University premises
  • To solicit funds from, or make sales to, members of the University community on campus
  • Inclusion of the name "Vanderbilt," or titles indicating University affiliation, such as "Black and Gold," "VU," or "Commodore," in the name of the organization
  • Use of campus address or campus mail services
  • Representation in student government
  • To advertise and promote the organization and its purposes on campus

The Office of Student Organizations registers undergraduate and graduate student organizations within the Vanderbilt community. Sport clubs must have approval from the Director of Campus Recreation. In addition, religious groups must have approval from the Director of Religious Affairs. Political groups must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee. Volunteer and/or service organizations must be approved by the Coordinator of Volunteer Activities. Greek organizations require approval of the Greek advisers.

Student organizations must reapply for registration yearly. All organizations must have current membership and policy information on file in the Office of Student Organizations.

The registration application will include a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedure, and names of officers and advisers. An organization must affirm that it does not discriminate unlawfully on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation (see the "Statement on Sexual Orientation" section in the "Foreword" of this Handbook), age, military service, disability, or national or ethnic origin, and that activities will be conducted in the spirit of this affirmation. Also, an organization must affirm that it will conduct its activities in accordance with all University policies and federal, state, and local laws.

To be eligible for registration, an organization must:

  • Be organized and run by officers who are full-time student members of the Vanderbilt community
  • Have at least one full-time, permanent Vanderbilt faculty or staff member as an adviser
  • Maintain all funds on deposit in an account of good standing through the Accounting Office and follow appropriate accounting procedures. (Special conditions apply to fraternities, sororities, and Vanderbilt Student Communications.)
  • Be funded by its members or the University
  • Limit its voting membership to Vanderbilt students, faculty, or staff members. (A limited number of other persons may be elected to honorary or associate membership without voting privileges.)
  • Have purposes that do not overlap significantly with those of any other registered organization

A registered organization may hold meetings on campus, in accordance with space reservation procedures, and advertise and promote itself on campus. Meetings or other activities scheduled off campus may not be listed in the Vanderbilt Register except by special authorization from the Office of Student Organizations. Requests for exceptions to any of these policies must be directed to the Office of Student Organizations.

Officially recognized organizations may use the University's name for purposes generally consistent with the organization's purpose and its usual activities or to identify themselves as campus groups (such as the Vanderbilt International Student Association). However, no organization is authorized to make any contractual commitments or binding statements on behalf of the University.

An organization may not use slogans or make statements that purport to speak for the University. For example, statements or slogans such as "Vanderbilt Backs Libertarians" may not be used by organizations unless they have been authorized to speak for the University. Published statements must carry the name of the responsible individual or organization. Unauthorized use or imitation of the official Vanderbilt stationery is prohibited.

Fraternities and Sororities

Fraternities and sororities must register annually with the Office of Student Organizations The Greek Adviser assists with the registration and the coordination of their activities. The Greek Adviser is also a liaison between these student groups and the University and between the University and the national fraternity and sorority organizations. The Guide to the GreekCommunity, distributed annually as a supplement to the Student Handbook, explains how University regulations relate to these groups. This document can be obtained in the Greek Life office, 339 Sarratt. Fraternities and sororities must be members of the Interfraternity, Panhellenic, or National Pan-Hellenic Councils, which have governing responsibilities and disciplinary authority over their member groups. Disciplinary actions may be taken against fraternities and sororities by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (Panhel), and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) judicial boards for violations of fraternity, sorority, or University policies. Violations of University policies may also fall under the jurisdiction of the Chair of the Conduct Council.

Membership. The IFC and Panhellenic Council administer the recruitment programs for their member groups. Freshman induction takes place early in the spring semester. Upperclass induction takes place in both the fall and spring semesters. Transfer students must be enrolled at Vanderbilt for one full semester (fall or spring) prior to pledging, or affiliating with, a Greek organization. NPHC organizations each administer their own recruitment programs.

The IFC, Panhellenic Council, and NPHC set a minimum academic requirement to join a Greek organization; however, some chapters have higher academic standards. To be eligible for fraternity or sorority membership, first-year students must have carried and passed twelve semester hours and achieved a cumulative GPA of 2.3. Transfer and upperclass students must have at least an overall 2.3 average. Advanced Placement credits are not applicable and summer school credits apply only for upperclass students.

Establishing Additional Fraternities and Sororities. Proposals for the establishment of additional fraternities and sororities may be made to or initiated by members of the Interfraternity, National Pan-Hellenic, or Panhellenic Councils. If approved by the appropriate council, the proposal is forwarded to the Greek Advisers for consideration. Upon the recommendations of the councils, the Greek Advisers, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee, the University may invite a national organization to colonize a new fraternity or sorority.

Advisers to Student Organizations

Campus organizations are required to have advisers. Assistance may be obtained from the Office of Student Organizations concerning financial responsibilities, interpretation of policies and procedures, and methods for obtaining a faculty or administrative adviser.

Advisers are available to counsel and advise officers and members of the organization regarding their responsibilities and to help oversee the activities and finances of the organization. The adviser is expected to be aware of the financial status of the organization to help ensure that the organization remains solvent. Advisers do not have the authority to prohibit the expression of editorial opinion by a campus publication.

Scheduling Activities

Registration of Meetings, Concerts, Lectures, and Special Events

University organizations are required to register all co-curricular programs and events (meetings, concerts, lectures) with the Office of Schedules and Reservations, 208 Sarratt Student Center (322-2448), at least five class days prior to the event. Registrants should be advised that completion of the registration process for major events (concerts, dances, etc.) may require as long as three weeks, and are further advised to consult the Student Organization Manual for complete procedures.

The University has established a priority system for events and a means to oversee the policy. These events in order of priority are:

1. University events (e.g., Commencement, Freshman Convocation). No other events may be scheduled during these times.

2. Primary events (e.g., Alumni Reunion, move-in weekend, the housing random selection process, Parents Weekend). Other events may be scheduled only with the approval of the coordinator of the primary event or the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.

3. Campus events (all other co-curricular programs and activities). Scheduling conflicts will be resolved by the Events Registration Committee (208 Sarratt, 2-2448). Appeals of scheduling decisions regarding University, Primary, and Campus events may be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.

Event Registration

Procedures for registering recurring regular meetings, as well as special events, concerts, and lectures, can be found in the Student Organizations Manual.

In addition, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Approval must be obtained through the Office of Schedules and Reservations for social events and other activities at which alcoholic beverages will be consumed in University buildings or on campus grounds, with the exception of the private residential space of sponsoring individuals. Before approval is requested through the Office of Schedules and Reservations, a recommendation must be obtained from the appropriate assistant director when residence hall facilities are to be used or from the organization's adviser when other facilities are to be used. The sponsoring organization or hosts will be held responsible for any expenses or damages incurred.
  • For registering fraternity or sorority functions, there are additional forms to complete and submit to the Greek Life office.
  • Postbaccalaureate groups may serve alcoholic beverages to members who are of legal age to drink, if nonalcoholic beverages and food are also served. All other applicable policies must be observed. See Alcohol and Controlled Substances.
  • Undergraduate groups may not serve alcoholic beverages except with the authorization of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee. Undergraduate students who are of legal age to drink may possess and consume alcohol at events registered and approved for consumption of alcohol. See Alcohol and Controlled Substances.
  • Permission must be obtained through the Office of Schedules and Reservations to hold a social event or other meeting to which persons other than Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff will be invited. Conferences must be scheduled through the Office of Conferences.
  • In-town events should be registered as early as possible but at least five class days in advance.
  • Social activities scheduled on weeknights must end at 11 p.m. so as not to interfere with students' sleep or study, or other events on campus.
  • Events which require amplification (for musical instruments, stereos, vocal performances, or public address) may not take place at times or locations which will interfere with scheduled class times or other previously scheduled events and must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.
  • Exhibitions of motion pictures, paintings, sculptures, and musical or dramatic performances are often expensive and may conflict with other campus activities. Special arrangements will be made each year to coordinate the activities of groups desiring to schedule film series, concert series, etc.

Student Travel

Vanderbilt registers and assumes responsibility only for those official overnight or out-of-town trips sponsored and directed by an administrative division of the University (e.g., the marching band). The University assumes no responsibility for events sponsored by groups such as sororities and fraternities. However, such organizations must-in advance of the trip-inform their advisers (the Greek advisers in the case of fraternities and sororities), and report information regarding out-of-town events to the Office of Schedules and Reservations.

Any student who wishes to travel on behalf of or as a representative of Vanderbilt University or any approved student organization must receive written authorization in advance from the appropriate dean. (See also the statement concerning Universal Waiver in University Policies and Regulations.)

Reserving Facilities

Only registered organizations (or those with registration pending) may reserve the use of campus buildings and facilities. Reservations must be made in advance.

For nonacademic uses of most Vanderbilt facilities, reservations are made with the Office of Schedules and Reservations. Reservations for Dudley Field, VU Track, Memorial Gym, or McGugin Center are made with the Department of Athletics in McGugin Center.

A basic charge is made for most facilities. Some facilities are available for use by student organizations without charge; if, however, the facilities will require more than ordinary housekeeping services after use, the organization must pay for the additional service.

Requests for Exceptions

The responsibility for compliance with the foregoing regulations for social events lies with the sponsoring organization. Requests for exceptions should be made at the time of registration through the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.

Sound Amplification and Noise

Functions or special events which require electronic sound amplification (for musical instruments, stereos, vocal performances, or public address) must be registered with the Events Registration Committee and approved by the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee. Electronic amplification may not be used in the vicinity of classroom buildings, the library, the hospital, or the apartments for family housing. Use of outside amplification at any event or function held in close proximity to the residence halls must involve consultation with the Office of Housing and Residential Education.

Sound amplifiers may not be positioned without authorization in such a way as to provide outside amplification (e.g., inside buildings or on porches).

Authorization for late evening concerts or events to be held outside and where campus-wide attendance is expected may be granted for Friday and Saturday nights, with the hours set at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee. Individual groups having parties primarily for the benefit of the group or at an informal rush function may be granted authorization for afternoon or twilight concerts or events, as appropriate. Outdoor amplification equipment may be used with activities such as late afternoon or early evening pep rallies, speak-out programs on Rand Terrace, twilight concerts, and carnivals, etc., so long as they do not interfere with scheduled academic or administrative activities.

Moderate sound amplification for informal listening on decks and patios of Greek houses and residence halls is permitted from 4pm to 8pm on Fridays, and noon to 8pm on Saturdays. The Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee may issue additional guidelines for activities routinely permitted without specific authorization, such as weekend music playing in fraternity row. These guidelines may be revised upon the recommendation of the Interfraternity or Panhellenic Councils, or other student representative groups, or upon the initiation of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee.

Sound amplification-whether specifically authorized or informal, inside or outside-may be monitored by University officials, student representative groups, or IFC or Panhel representatives. Monitoring may include on-site inspections and the use of a decibel meter.

Students should be aware that local laws limit outside amplification to certain noise levels. Consideration should be given to the neighboring community to avoid complaints about noise disturbance.

Amplification which violates University policy or local ordinances may be discontinued at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee, or a representative of the Vice Chancellor (including officers with the University Police Department, or Assistant Vice Chancellor or directors in the Office of Housing and Residential Education).

Publicity, Promotion, and Advertising

Distribution of Notices in Campus Mail Boxes (See Services for Students, See Mail Services)

Display of Posters, Banners, and Printed Announcements

Notices that provide information regarding student activities or academic matters, or make announcements pertinent to the business of the University may be posted on campus. Commercial advertising matter and posters unrelated to the University are prohibited since advertising opportunity is provided in campus publications. Individuals who advertise services to students (e.g., typing or sale of books) may post small notices on bulletin boards.

Notices must carry the name of the responsible campus organization or department.

Notices, posters, flyers, banners, etc., may not use logos or trademarks of alcoholic beverages, or mention or refer to alcoholic beverages or their availability at an event. "B.Y.O.B.," as shorthand for "Bring Your Own Bottle," may be used on postings, etc., for events that have been registered B.Y.O.B. during the event registration process.

Nails, tacks, tape, or staples may not be used to attach posters to trees or buildings, but posters and banners may be tied to tree trunks with string. Stakes bearing signs may not be driven into the ground.

Bulletin boards at Alumni Hall, Rand Hall, Hill Student Center, Sarratt Student Center, and kiosks at Stevenson Center and Kissam Quadrangle may be used for poster display. Bulletin boards in classroom buildings, however, are reserved for announcements concerning academic programs. Notices may be attached to kiosks or bulletin boards with thumbtacks, but they may not be stapled or taped anywhere. Notices may not be posted on automobiles.

Student groups may place posters that measure no more than 36" by 48" on the posting boards attached to the exterior walls of Rand. Each organization is limited to one poster or flyer, regardless of size, on each board.

Permission to display banners in any residence hall must be obtained from the appropriate area Assistant Director for Housing and Residential Education. Permission to hang posters in the interior of Rand Hall must be obtained from the Director of Vanderbilt Dining.

Posters that are not removed within three days after the date of an event, will be removed by the University, and the person or organization responsible for them will be charged for their removal. Organizations will be held financially responsible for enforcing these policies with candidates for their respective offices. If an organization continually violates these policies, it may lose the privilege of posting notices or have its registration withdrawn. (See the Student Organization Manual for more specific information.)

Hand-Painted Signs and Banners

Hand-painted signs and banners should be made with acrylic latex house paint, which can be cleaned up with water. This paint will not dissolve in water or run, once dry. If a poster or banner stains the surface to which it is attached, the responsible student or organization will be charged for the stain removal.

Permission to paint designated windows in the dining or housing areas must be obtained from the Director of Vanderbilt Dining or the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education, respectively.

Sale and Solicitation

These regulations apply to the sale or distribution of goods and services and the solicitation for, promotion of, and advertising of any item, program, or service.

The following guidelines generally apply:

  • Sale and/or promotion are limited to activities permitted under municipal, state, and federal laws. Individuals and groups must conform to local licensing laws. Authorized sales and/or promotions must not disrupt the normal operation of the University.
  • Tax-exempt property of the University may not be used as the place of business for profit of on- or off-campus groups or individuals. Facilities of the campus, including Hill Student Center, Rand Hall, Rand Terrace, Sarratt Student Center, Dudley Stadium, the Student Recreation Center, and Memorial Gymnasium, may not be used for the sale or promotion of activities that are not related to the University except by arrangement with the appropriate University office.
  • Sale of newspapers and newsletters must be authorized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration. Papers may be sold in vending machines on Rand Terrace and in specified, pre-approved residence halls.
  • Concession arrangements for athletic events and all events at Memorial Gymnasium are made with the Department of Athletics.
  • Arrangements for sale or solicitation at Rand Hall or Rand Terrace, by registered organizations or by University departments, are made with the Office of Schedules and Reservations. (See the paragraph below on Sale and Solicitation by student organizations.) Businesses may not use a University post office box as a business address.
  • Students registered with the Office of Housing and Residential Education may serve as on-campus agents of their own businesses. They may solicit business through the campus media and provide services such as distribution of newspapers in the residence halls. Commercial advertising using bulletin boards must be authorized by the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education. Campus mail boxes may not be used for commercial advertising unless the advertising is handled as regular U.S. mail with necessary postage paid. University affiliation or endorsement may not be stated or implied in the business address or business name of individuals or groups doing business on campus.
  • Door-to-door solicitation or promotion in residence halls by off-campus organizations and businesses is prohibited. Written authorization of the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education is required for student door-to-door solicitation, promotion, or distribution of literature. Solicitation for insurance and the like may take place in residence halls only with the invitation of the student. Campus newspapers and other similar publications may be distributed in the lobbies of residence halls where containers to prevent littering are provided by the student organization.
  • Sale or solicitation by a registered organization is permitted to the members of the group and/or to the campus community. No approval is required for the operation of dining rooms and rental of living quarters by fraternities and sororities, sale of foodstuffs and beverages in the Overcup Oak and the Stonehenge Cafe, sale of tickets for admission, and occasional sale of items for fund raising when the funds are for the use of the organization in its regular activities and are deposited into the organization's University account. These activities may not be promoted off campus except when the activity also serves the similar interests of other academic institutions and, therefore, is promoted on other campuses as in the case of concerts and lectures. Vice Chancellor for Student Life or his designee must authorize any advertising or publicity to the general public.
  • The location of the sale(s) must be approved by the Office of Schedules and Reservations.
  • The Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education may regulate times and places of delivery of items, including foodstuffs such as cakes and pizzas, or gifts such as flowers.
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education must authorize the solicitation for donations by Vanderbilt organizations for off-campus organizations.

Student Organization Fundraising

Organizations that are registered with the Office of Student Organizations have a variety of options available to them for funding their organization and its programs. Before considering any of these options, an organization should:

  • Define its goals and plans for the year.
  • Create an itemized budget for annual needs and/or any special projects, based on those goals.
  • Determine what monetary support the group already has, e.g., membership dues, Student Activities Fee money, etc., and learn about other potential sources.
  • Calculate what kinds of funds are needed, and be able to articulate how this money will be spent.
  • Consult its adviser to ensure the budget plans are feasible.

The various options available to student organizations for funding are described in detail in the Student Organization Manual, but can be summarized as follows:

The Student Activities Fee

Students enrolled in Vanderbilt University pay a Student Activities Fee. The Student Finance Committee (SFC) makes annual allocations from these fees to registered student organizations that sponsor programs, projects and services that benefit the students who have paid the fees. Applications for a regular allocation are available in January, and are due to the Student Finance Committee at the end of February for funding in the following academic year. In general, programs must demonstrate a wide campus appeal and be available to all students (including graduate and professional students) free of charge or at a reduced rate, and must enhance the overall educational, social, and cultural climate available to all students.

Due to the nature of the Activities Fee's purpose, certain organizations and programs are ineligible for receiving regular activities fee allocations. Further, funds allocated by the Student Finance Committee are subject to some restrictions on their use. For more information on student organization eligibility and programming restrictions for activities fee money, consult the Student Organizations Manual, available from the Office of Student Organizations, 207 Sarratt.

Contingency Fund

If surplus funds are available after all regular allocations have been made, student organizations may be eligible to petition the Student Finance Committee for an allocation from the Contingency Fund. Funds allocated from the Contingency Fund must be used for the exact purposes for which they were proposed, and any funds remaining after the event or project is complete will revert to the Contingency Fund. Campus organizations registered with the Office of Student Organizations (except those classified as religious or political), may request funding as long as the following criteria are met:

1. The programming expenses must conform to the policies set forth for regular allocations.

2. The program for which funding is requested must demonstrate a wide campus appeal and be available to all students (including graduate and professional students) free of charge or at a reduced rate, and must enhance the overall educational, social, and cultural climate available to all students, or

3. be new or for a new organization, or

4. be for a newly identified or unforeseen need.

Co-Sponsorships or Department Allocations

Many student organizations and student programs can be subsidized by grants or allocations from academic or administrative departments. If the program or organization derives from an academic discipline (e.g., the Chemistry Majors Association) or complements the academic experience, the corresponding academic department is the best place to solicit funding. Many administrative departments may also be willing to supplement programs or services. To solicit their financial support, it is best to schedule an appointment with a member of that department to discuss partnerships which benefit both the organization and the department. For more information on co-sponsorships, consult the Student Organization Manual, available from the Office of Student Organizations, 207 Sarratt.

Dues, Ticket Sales, and On-campus Fundraisers

Registered student organizations are entitled to charge dues to their membership. Dues must be deposited in an organization's University account upon receipt. Registered groups may also charge admission to events, provided that the primary purpose of sales is to raise money for the benefit of the organization, or for the benefit of a charitable group, and not for the benefit of individual members of the organization. In accordance with Tennessee state law, students may not sell tickets for a raffle or lottery. Drawings for door prizes awarded to ticket-holding participants at an event are permitted.

No approval is required for the sale of tickets for admission, or for the sale of items for fund raising when the funds raised are solely for the organization or its charity and are deposited into the organization's University account. Students must make arrangements with the Coordinator of Schedules and Reservations to reserve a table or room to sell tickets or items. Students must also secure the approval of the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education in order to sell or deliver items door-to-door in the residence halls.

Sales and promotional activities must be conducted by members of the registered student organization. No organization may sponsor the sale of goods or services to students on behalf of a non-Vanderbilt commercial enterprise, except where the sales activity provides a value-added service during a traditional Vanderbilt event, such as Orientation, Homecoming, or Rites of Spring. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Vice Chancellor of Student Life or his designee.

For information regarding other on-campus sources of funding, consult the Student Organization Manual, available from the Office of Student Organizations, 207 Sarratt.

Off-Campus Fundraising

If an organization has exhausted all other sources of funds on campus, it may be possible to solicit funds from sources off campus. Funds can be obtained in several ways: through solicitation of parents and alumni, solicitation of area merchants and large corporations, and invitations for co-sponsorship or gifts in kind from businesses.

Guidelines for Soliciting Parents and Alumni

The Office of Institutional Advancement maintains some historical records of student organization membership, and may be able to provide a student organization with mailing labels of the organization's alumni. To obtain a set of labels, a group may call the Office of Institutional Advancement, at 322-2929 to determine if there is a list of its organization's alumni. If so, the group may obtain written approval from its student organization adviser, and provide this approval letter and a copy of its solicitation letter to Office of Institutional Advancement for review. If the purpose of the solicitation and the letter's content are approved, labels will be provided.

If the organization or program is relatively new, does not meet criteria for funding from other sources, or does not have alumni labels available to it, the organization may solicit parents and alumni for contributions. Before beginning a campaign, student organization leaders must submit a one-page summary of the program or project's mission and budget to the Office of Student Organizations. If all other funding options have been exhausted, and the program is consistent with the organization's goals and compliments the University's mission, the Office of Student Organizations will refer the proposal in writing to the Office of Institutional Advancement for assistance. Pending their review, the Office of Institutional Advancement will assist student organizations with approved proposals.

Guidelines for Solicitation of Area Merchants and Corporate Sponsors

Area merchants and corporations can contribute to student organization endeavors in two ways: by a simple donation of money, items, or merchandise, or by a donation of money, items or merchandise in return for some recognition, an arrangement sometimes known as co-sponsorship.

1. An organization that plans to solicit an area merchant or corporation for a simple donation or gift with a value of less than $1000 must notify the Office of Student Organizations in writing of its plans and instruct donors to send contributions to the Office of Gift Records (201 Alumni Hall, Nashville, TN 37203-9977).

2. An organization that plans to solicit an area merchant or corporation for a simple donation or gift with a value greater than $1000 must secure authorization from the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, 322-2741 and instruct donors to send contributions to the Office of Gift Records.

3. Before an organization invites an area merchant or corporation to "co-sponsor" an event by contributing any amount, it must receive authorization from the Office of Student Organizations. Generally, student groups may acknowledge the assistance or contribution of co-sponsoring merchants or corporations in programs, banners, displays, or event memorabilia (party favors, T-shirts, caps, etc.). Sponsorship is the passive listing of the name or logo of a sponsor tastefully displayed on a T-shirt or banner, or listed among sponsors in a program. (It is not intended to solicit business. It simply acknowledges the support of the team, the event, etc. The Division of Student Life does not endorse advertisements for off-campus businesses, such advertisements being those that are designed to bring more business to the off-campus concern.) Student groups may not permit co-sponsoring merchants or corporations to conduct sales or sales promotion, or distribute free samples in conjunction with any student organization program or event, unless the sales promotion activity provides a value-added service during a traditional Vanderbilt event, such as Orientation, Homecoming or Rites of Spring. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education. Co-sponsorships by alcoholic beverage or tobacco brands or distributors are prohibited.

As is the case with student organization and departmental co-sponsors, groups are strongly recommended to develop a written co-sponsorship agreement with external co-sponsors. Written agreements should list time and date of program, the agreed-upon responsibilities of all co-sponsoring parties, and the required signatures of all co-sponsoring parties. Sample agreements can be obtained in the Office of Student Activities once co-sponsorship plans are approved. It is not necessary for co-sponsoring agencies to send contributions to Gift Records.

Grants and Foundations

Many private and corporate foundations and federal agencies have funds or grants available for organizations seeking funding for educational or service programs. Grant writing requires a great deal of research, but can yield positive results. The Office of Sponsored Research (322-2631) is a good resource for additional information.

Soliciting for Charity

Student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, may solicit the student body for charitable purposes. The following guidelines apply:

  • Solicitation must be registered and approved by the Office of Student Organizations.
  • Up to 15 percent of the gross funds collected may be used to recover costs incurred in the solicitation-the rest must be turned over to the recognized charitable organization.
  • Donations to reimburse expenses incurred by the student organization over the 15 percent may be solicited independently if the purpose of this solicitation is clearly stated.
  • Financial reports of expenses, incomes, donations, sales, and disbursements must be made available to the Office of Student Organizations and the appropriate student governing body.
  • Organizations may solicit using Vanderbilt in their names if they comply with these policies.

Violations of these policies will subject the officers of the organization to disciplinary action by the Conduct Council, and the organization may also lose its registration. Organizations failing to distribute at least 85 percent to the charity may be required to make up the difference from other organization funds.

Requests for exceptions to these guidelines should be made in writing to the Office Housing and Residential Education at least two weeks before the solicitation.

The Office of Student Organizations has responsibility for enforcing these policies and prescribing the conduct of those who participate in charitable solicitation. It is the responsibility of the individual student or organization doing the solicitation to comply with these policies and the prescribed conduct. Student organizations soliciting for charitable purposes will be required to comply with state and local laws regulating charitable solicitations.

Vanderbilt University Charitable Giving Policy

As a not-for-profit educational institution, Vanderbilt University seeks and receives the support of the community through its delivery of health care, its athletic programs, its participation in the commercial real estate market, and its status as a corporate citizen, as well as in other ways.

Nashville has a strong tradition of charitable fundraising and a tradition of generous participation in charitable dinners by the corporate community. Although Vanderbilt University raises funds in the Nashville community for its own academic and research programs, it actively participates in this tradition both through in-kind contributions to community services, particularly in those areas that are related to Vanderbilt's mission, such as education, and in occasional instances through financial contributions to fundraising events.

Charitable donations in lieu of sending flowers in memory of the bereaved may be made by the University if the donation does not exceed fifty dollars ($50.00).

All contributions will be made in the name of Vanderbilt University and Medical Center.

Soliciting for Religious Activities

The Director of Religious Affairs coordinates religious activities. Student religious groups, after being registered by the Office of Student Organizations, will be assisted by the Office of the University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries in fulfilling their aims insofar as these are consistent with other University policies.

Campus religious groups must be registered, and registered religious groups must have faculty advisers. Representatives of off-campus organizations may be invited onto the campus for specific purposes, but these representatives may not interfere with the self-determination of the group. Representatives of religious organizations may visit residence hall rooms only with the prior invitation of the resident students of those rooms.

Off-campus representatives of religious organizations may meet with groups on campus and assist them in fulfilling their aims (when these are consistent with procedures established in this section of the Student Handbook) only after securing the written permission of the Director of Religious Affairs. This permission may include a letter of introduction to the University provided by the Director of Religious Affairs and will specify procedures to be followed. The Director of Religious Affairs will assist in providing meeting places.

Solicitation for religious purposes by on- or off-campus groups or individuals is governed by the same regulations stated in the sections See Publicity, Promotion, and Advertising and See Student Organization Fundraising. For further information concerning religious solicitation, students should consult the Office of the University Chaplain.

Soliciting for Employment

Student employment representatives who wish to recruit students for jobs must register with the Career Center, 110 Alumni Hall, 322-2750. Arrangements must be cleared in advance and specific procedures must be followed.

Recruiting organizations must obtain permission from the Career Center to post bulletin board notices of jobs or related meetings. Notices must state clearly the organization, product, or service involved, and the job to be done. Notices may not be posted on automobiles or distributed in the residence halls. Any recruitment or related presentations must be scheduled well in advance with the Career Center and may not be conducted in residence halls. Failure to comply will prohibit future recruiting activities by the offending organization.

Vanderbilt Community Creed

Individuals who join the Vanderbilt University community embark on a lifelong journey toward greater intellectual enlightenment and personal growth. Those who aspire to this purpose share an obligation to honor the principles that define Vanderbilt. The University's enduring tradition of excellence is preserved when the community is united by a common set of values:

SCHOLARSHIP is the pursuit of knowledge in an environment of academic freedom. Members of our community engage in a partnership of learning in which the exploration of ideas is encouraged and protected.

HONESTY is a commitment to refrain from lying, cheating, and stealing. Recognizing that dishonesty undermines community trust, stifles the spirit of scholarship, and threatens a safe environment, we expect ourselves to be truthful in academic endeavors, in relationships with others, and in pursuit of personal development.

CIVILITY is the genuine respect for the rights of others. We value constructive disagreement and are mindful of the potential impact of our words and actions.

ACCOUNTABILITY is taking responsibility for our actions and their consequences. We accept the duty to actively participate in the decisions that affect our academic and personal lives, and we honor our commitments to ourselves and to others.

CARING is the concern for the well-being and dignity of others. We are dedicated to supporting one another within our community. We make a lifelong commitment to channeling service, knowledge, and experience toward the betterment of humanity.

DISCOVERY is the exploration of the wonders of self in relation to a larger world. We embrace the opportunity to take risks, challenge assumptions, and understand disparate experiences at Vanderbilt and beyond.

CELEBRATION is the active appreciation of Vanderbilt University's tradition of excellence. We support the endeavors and recognize the achievements of our community members. In celebrating the expressions of our differences, we delight in the spirit that unites individuals throughout our community.

We pledge to foster the values set forth in the Vanderbilt Community Creed and confront behaviors that threaten the spirit of our community.

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Foreword | A Statement of Principles | The Honor System | Community Life | Services for Students | University Policies and Regulations | The Student Conduct System | Alcohol and Controlled Substances | Residential Life