/ Advisers to Registered Student Organizations / Communications, Student / Freedom of Expression / Funding (See also “Sale, Solicitation, and Fundraising.”) / Governance, Student / Organization Mailboxes, Student / Publicity Promotions and Advertising / Reservations and Event Registration / Sale, Solicitation, and Fundraising / Sound Amplification and Noise /
Contributing to the University’s mission of teaching and learning, student-engagement opportunities help build a community in which students may develop not only as scholars, but also as well-rounded individuals. Engagement in co-curricular endeavors provides a balance of challenge and support designed to enhance students’ intellectual and personal development. Participation aids students in becoming ethical, responsible, and self-disciplined leaders; challenged to develop an appreciation for civility and diversity; prepared for community leadership and citizenship; and supported in an environment that embraces discourse and the exchange of ideas.
Students receive advising in their student-organization roles in areas such as organizational behavior, financial management, ethical decision-making, accountability, and recruitment/retention. Finally, through opportunities to become engaged in the community, students celebrate their own, and each other’s contributions to University life and the larger community.
Registered student organizations are required to have faculty or staff 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. A more detailed listing of guidelines and requirements may be found on the Student Organizations website.
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 Organizations. Newsletters should inform members of the organization or interested persons about news and activities relevant to that student group, but may not be a journal of opinion.
Vanderbilt Student Publications
Student 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 are under the exclusive authority of VSC.
Vanderbilt Student Communications, Incorporated (VSC), is a nonprofit corporation, affiliated with the University, which publishes and supervises The Vanderbilt Hustler, the campus newspaper; the Commodore yearbook; The Vanderbilt Review, an annual literary/arts magazine; The Torch, a libertarian and conservative publication; The Slant, a humor publication; Orbis, an environmental issues publication; The Vanderbilt Political Review, an academic journal; WRVU, an online radio station; Vandy Radio, an online radio station; VUFinder, a documentary production group; GlobalVU, an international issues journal; Vandy Interactive, a gaming and software development group;The Vanderbilt Historical Review, an academic journal; Synesis; PEARL; RVU Records, a recording studio; and Vanderbilt Television, VTV Channel 6.
Distribution of publications not produced by Vanderbilt organizations must conform to University policies regulating the use of University facilities.
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- 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 Reservations and Events in Sarratt Student Center, and demonstrate its 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. The motion picture titles shown on the Vanderbilt campus are cleared by the distributors for public performance exhibition. This means that Vanderbilt has the legal right to show titles before groups of students, faculty, and their friends on campus. The “home use” versions of these same titles, obtained from video stores, etc., are not cleared by the distributors for public performance use by the University, because proper licensing fees to the copyright owners have not been paid for such use. Films, videos, or DVDs may not be shown to dorm audiences, clubs, fraternities, sororities, or other organizations, without first obtaining a public performance license. Reservations and Events in Sarratt Student Center, 615-32(2-2448), can provide additional information.
- Procedures for assemblies described above include registering in advance with Reservations and Events in 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, procedures for reserving space through Reservations and Events must be followed.
- Disruptive activity. Vanderbilt students engaging in disruptive action or disorderly conduct, particularly that which obstructs or disrupts teaching, administration, or other authorized activities on University premises, are subject to University corrective action, including suspension or expulsion, through the University’s accountability process. 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 on University premises. A campus organization denied permission to sponsor an assembly may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee.
- Sponsorship. A registered student organization that sponsors an activity will be responsible for registration, arrangements, publicity, costs incurred, and the conduct of the participants. The Dean of Students, or the Dean’s designee, must approve access to University facilities for requests from registered student organizations that wish to use the facilities for a speaker of their choosing. Off-campus groups may cooperate with a registered student organization in a campus event, but the campus organization remains fully responsible for the conduct of the off-campus group, and the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee must pre-approve the arrangement. Student organizations’ fronting for off-campus groups is prohibited. Off-campus groups or individuals wishing to use University facilities independently must conform to University policies and must request access through the Office of Reservations and Events.
- Physical distribution of printed statements or electronic media. Persons who distribute printed materials or materials on electronic media are responsible for the contents. Students may distribute leaflets, informational sheets, compact discs, 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 twenty feet from the entrance and so as to avoid restricting access. For outdoor events, distributors may position themselves twenty feet from the reserved lawn or area, again in a manner so as to avoid restricting access. There may be no charge or requested donations for these materials and the name and contact information of the distributing individual or organization must be provided on each piece.
Information about the sale of printed statements, etc., and the display of posters can be found in the sections “Sale and Solicitation and Fundraising” and “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 that fulfill this responsibility must be made through the Office of Reservations and Events.
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Funding (See also “Sale, Solicitation, and Fundraising.”)
Students enrolled in Vanderbilt University pay a Student Activities Fee. On an annual basis, the Activities Fee Committee of Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) recommends to the Dean of Students allocations of these fees for registered student organizations that sponsor programs, projects, and services that benefit the students who have paid the fees. Applications for a regular allocation for funding in the subsequent academic year are available—and due—according to the schedule announced annually by the AcFee Committee, In general, programs must demonstrate a wide campus appeal, be available to all students (including graduate and professional students), be free of charge or provided at a reduced rate for students, and must enhance the overall educational, social, or cultural climate available to all students.
Due to the nature of the activities fee’s purpose, only registered student organizations and their respective programs are eligible for activities fee allocations. Further, funds allocated through the AcFee Committee’s recommendation process are subject to some restrictions on their use. More information on student organization eligibility and programming restrictions for activities fee allocations, may be found on the Student Organizations website.
See also “Fees, Co-Curricular” in Chapter 1, “Policies and Regulations.”
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Graduate & Professional Student
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 comprises one elected representative from each department, but any graduate student may participate.
Peabody Graduate Student Association. Membership comprises 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 comprises students of the Law School who are directed by a Board of Governors elected by the classes.
Divinity School Student Government Association. Membership comprises editors of the two student publications and representatives from the various levels of academic training.
Council of Class Officers (School of Medicine). Membership comprises elected officers from each class.
Graduate Nursing Council. Membership comprises representatives of each of the five clinical majors in the M.S.N. program.
Owen School Student Association (OSSA). The Executive Council membership comprises five second-year representatives and four first-year representatives, but all registered candidates for Owen School degrees may participate in OSSA activities. OSSA provides leadership and coordination for professional and social activities.
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 Dean of Students office, to the following governing bodies:
Arts and Science Council. Membership includes the presidents of all registered academic majors’ associations, one first-year student, and one sophomore representative. Students of the College of Arts and Science elect the president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.
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, whose members are elected at large by students of Peabody College. Each class also has a representative on the Executive Committee.
Panhellenic, National Pan-Hellenic, and Interfraternity Councils. The Panhellenic Council, 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 registered national sororities and fraternities on campus.
Vanderbilt Student Government. Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) represents student interests, concerns, and aspirations, to the faculty and administration. In addition, the organization sponsors and coordinates activities and programming promoting student involvement and interaction with faculty. Student interests are addressed through the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the organization. The Senate comprises elected students representing the four undergraduate schools and the residence halls.
In accordance with University policies, the purpose of the Vanderbilt Student Government is as follows:
- to provide a means whereby undergraduates may effectively express their views and interests to other components of the University and to the outside community in matters which affect their social, cultural, physical, and academic welfare;
- to stimulate effective student organizations and to coordinate their activities for the benefit of the Vanderbilt community; and, to provide for the development and coordination of activities and services beneficial to Vanderbilt students and the University community;
- to serve as a liaison between students and the University; and,
- to maintain effective student representation and participation in the decision-making process of the University.
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 the student is registered, and published in the University catalog). A student on disciplinary probation may not hold a leadership position, including (but not limited to) Admissions Tour Guide, VUceptor, Resident Adviser, head or business manager of a Vanderbilt Student Communications division, or head or business manager of a registered student organization. Registered student organizations and University departments may have additional eligibility requirements.
To be eligible to hold office in a student organization or to be a division head or business manager of a Vanderbilt Student Communications division, a student must be enrolled full time (as above), and may not be on academic or disciplinary probation. Also, an undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative 2.0 average. For clarification, see “ Nonacademic Undergraduate Class Designation ” in Chapter 1, “Policies and Regulations.”
Student organizations or their governing bodies may set eligibility standards that exceed these minimum standards, as long as such eligibility standards comply with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.
Requests for exception or waiver of eligibility regulations should be made through the Dean of Students office with the recommendation of the appropriate governing body.
If a student’s participation in co-curricular endeavors threatens academic performance, the University may counsel the student about the scope of the activities. In addition, restrictions may be placed on a student’s participation in University co-curricular activities for the duration of an accountability sanction.
The University regulates the campus activities of organizations and groups whose activities relate to the University’s educational and service purposes.
The Student Organizations office registers undergraduate and graduate student organizations within the Vanderbilt community. Sport clubs must have approval from the Director of Campus Recreation or the director’s designee. Religious groups must have approval from the University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life. Political groups must be approved by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee. Volunteer and/or service organizations must be approved by the Director of Active Citizenship and Service. Greek-letter social organizations requires membership in one of the three Greek-letter governing bodies..
Student organizations must reapply for registration annually. Typically, the deadline for registration is in April for the subsequent academic year. Registration expires July 1 for organizations that fail to re-register, or that are unsuccessful in completing the registration process. All organizations must have a current membership roster and constitution and/or bylaws on file with the Student Organizations office.
The registration process requires the submission of a constitution or bylaws, which include a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedure, and, names and contact information for officers and advisers. During the registration process, the organization must affirm that it does not discriminate unlawfully or in violation of University policy. (See “Equal Opportunity” section in Chapter 1 “Policies and Regulations.) Registered student organizations must be open to all students as members and must permit all members in good standing to seek leadership posts. Single-sex organizations are permissible to the extent allowed under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to Anita J. Jenious, J.D., Director; the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department; Baker Building; PMB 401809, 2301 Vanderbilt Place; Nashville, TN 37240-1809. Telephone 615-32(2-4705) (V/TDD); FAX 615-34(3-4969.)
Detailed information regarding organization registration may be found on the Student Organizations website.
Organizations must affirm that they will conduct their 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 Vanderbilt students,
- have at least one full-time, permanent, Vanderbilt faculty or staff member as its adviser,
- maintain all funds on deposit in an account of good standing through the Office of Financial Affairs and follow appropriate accounting procedures (Special conditions apply to fraternities, sororities, and Vanderbilt Student Communications divisions.),
- 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.
Through established policies and procedures, registered student organizations may seek
- to use the name “Vanderbilt University,” or titles indicating institutional affiliation, such as “Black and Gold,” “VU,” or “Commodore,” in the name of the organization,
- financial support from the University (Activities Fee allocation, and other sources when available).
- to use the University accounting system to obtain financial planning consultation,
- to use University facilities for conducting regular business (as in the case of campus publications),
- to use University meeting rooms and facilities at no charge or at a reduced rate,
- to use University electronic resources (e.g., Anchor Link, listservs, email@example.com electronic mail boxes, University hosted website), and to subscribe to the student leader listservs maintained by the Student Organizations office
- to use common space allocated for registered student organizations,
- to use storage space allocated for registered student organizations,
- to solicit funds from, or make sales to, members of the University community on campus,
- to use a campus address, an organizational mailbox, and campus mail services,
- to participate in the annual Student Organizations Fair
- • to advertise and promote the organization and its purposes on campus, and to advertise in Dean of Students supported publications and other media,
- to publish events on Anchor Link and in the University Events Calendar,
- to use campus bulletin boards and kiosks to promote the organizations activities.
- to use the University accounting system including certain business tools,
Registered student organizations may use the University’s name for purposes generally consistent with the organizations’ purposes and their usual activities or to identify themselves as campus groups (such as the Vanderbilt International Student Association). However, no organization is authorized to make either 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, logos, or marks, is prohibited.
Fraternities and Sororities
Fraternities and sororities must register annually with the Student Organizations office. The Greek advisers assist with both registration and coordination of their activities. The Greek advisers serve as liaisons between these student groups and the University and between the University and the fraternity and sorority national organizations. For information about policies relating to these groups, visit the Greek Life website. Fraternities and sororities must be members of the Interfraternity, Panhellenic, or National Pan-Hellenic Councils, which have governing responsibilities and accountability authority over their member groups. Corrective actions may be taken for fraternities and sororities by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) for violations of fraternity, sorority, or University policies. Violations of University policies may also fall under the jurisdiction of the office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.
The IFC and Panhellenic Council administer the recruitment programs for their member groups. NPHC organizations each administer its own recruitment program.
The IFC, Panhellenic Council, and NPHC set a minimum academic requirement to join a Greek organization; however, most chapters have higher academic standards. To be eligible for fraternity or sorority membership, students must have carried and passed twelve semester hours. In addition, those seeking membership in Panhellenic or IFC organizations must have achieved a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Those seeking membership in NPHC organizations must meet minimum GPA requirement established by their individual chapters ranging from 2.3-3.0. Advanced Placement credits are not applicable and summer school credits apply only for sophomores and 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 will be forwarded to the Greek Advisers for consideration. Upon the recommendations of the councils, the Greek Advisers, and the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, the University may invite a national organization to colonize a new fraternity or sorority.
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Registered student organizations share a large space in Rand Hall suitable for conducting business and interacting with other registered student organizations. Although accessible to any student, the space is designed for use by registered student organizations. Student organizations are prohibited from establishing offices, social spaces, or living quarters, off-campus.
Registered student organizations desiring University mailboxes may apply to the director of Student Organizations.
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Distribution of Notices in Campus Mail Boxes (See “Mail Services ,” In Chapter 1, “Policies and Regulations.”), 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 Beverage,” 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. From time to time, University departments may install directional signs similar in design to those signs placed in yards for political campaigns. Student organizations desiring to use such signs must obtain authorization from the Director of Student Organizations, or the director’s designee. Note that the use of such signs is reserved for directions, only, that they may not be used for general advertising or promotion, and that they must be removed immediately at the conclusion of the event for which they are installed.
Posters and fliers may be posted by registered student organizations on the bulletin boards at The Commons Center, Sarratt Student Center | Rand Hall, The Kissam Center, and The Student Life Center with the authorization of building management, obtained at the reception desks of these facilities.
The kiosk at Stevenson Center 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.
Registered student organizations may place posters that measure no more than 24” x 36” on the posting boards attached to the exterior walls of Rand Hall. Each organization is limited a single poster or flyer, regardless of size, on each board.
Permission to display banners in any residence must be obtained from the appropriate Area Coordinator for Housing and Residential Education. Permission to hang posters in the dining spaces of Rand Hall must be obtained from the Director of Vanderbilt Campus Dining. Permission to display banners in The Commons Center, Sarratt Student Center| Rand Hall, the Kissam Center, and the Student Life Center must be obtained from building management at the reception desks of these facilities, and is issued only rarely, if at all.
Student organization use of the banner display devices on the east side of Sarratt Student Center | Rand Hall requires no prior authorization. However banners must comply with the requirements for notices, above.
Greek chapters with houses may hang banners from their own facilities. Student organizations seeking to hang banners from Greek houses must secure the authorization of the chapter.
The University may remove posters, banners, or other advertising that remain three days after the date of an event, and may charge the person or organization responsible for them. 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.
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. Space for making hand-painted signs and banners is available on the third floor of Rand Hall.
Banners may not be hung from trees, or between trees, or from or between other objects such as lampposts. With the endorsement and cooperation of student government, a series of poles with rigging especially designed for the hanging of banners has been installed on the east side of Rand Hall, to consolidate the display of banners.
Permission to paint designated windows in the dining or housing areas must be obtained from the Director of Vanderbilt Campus Dining or the Director of Housing Facilities, respectively.
Chalk, “Tagging,” etc.
The use of chalk on any surface other than a chalkboard is prohibited, and the use of chalkboards in classrooms is limited to instructional or meeting purposes.
Using markers, paint, or any other medium on any surface other than banners, posters, or flyers, is prohibited, as is using self-adhesive labels or stickers on surfaces other than banners, posters, or flyers. Individuals and organizations may be charged for repair or cleaning of damaged surfaces.
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Student organizations are required to register all co-curricular programs and special events (meetings, concerts, lectures, etc.) Reservations and Events, room 189 Sarratt Student Center 615-32(2-2448).
Registered student organizations, administrative offices, or academic departments may reserve space on campus.
- University-wide events, such as Commencement, Homecoming/Reunion, orientation, and Family Weekend have priority over other events. Those reserving space must consult the University events calendar and the calendar in Anchor Link prior to making a space reservation request to avoid conflicts with University-wide events.
- Event planners should be cognizant of–and sensitive to–religious observances of a particularly solemn nature. A calendar of religious observances and holy days may be found on the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life website.
- Generally, meetings and events scheduled on weeknights (Sunday through Thursday), must end at 11pm so as not to interfere with students’ sleep or study.
- Serving as a front for off-campus organizations or groups is strictly prohibited.
- Authorization must be obtained through the Special Event Registration Process (see below), to hold a social event or other gathering to which persons other than Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, and affiliates are invited.
Using space on campus without reservation, other than for informal study, is prohibited.
The Reservations and Events website provides a more detailed list of reservation policies, and a link to the online reservations tool. Reservations can also be made by visiting or calling Reservations and Events (room 189 Sarratt Student Center, 615-32(2-2448)), which will resolve scheduling conflicts.
Special Event Registration
The special event registration process is designed to support a variety of events that have special needs. The Special Event Registration Committee comprises representatives from Reservations and Events, Traffic and Parking, Vanderbilt University Police Department, Plant Operations, the Center for Student Wellbeing, and the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee, and staff who oversee compliance with the protection of minors policy.
The special event registration process is managed online in Anchor Link. Occasionally, event organizers may be required to meet with the committee should clarification be needed on one or more arrangements for the event.
The following types of events must be registered through the Special Event Registration Process in Anchor Link:
- Outdoor events, including but not limited to:
- Events requesting amplified sound (with the exception of Greek events)
- Events that require Plant Operations assistance (tables, chairs, trash cans, tents, power, etc.)
- Events that require Traffic and Parking assistance (road closures, clearing lots, etc.)
- Art exhibits
- Events at which alcohol will be present
- Events with alcohol hosted by sororities or fraternities should be registered as follows:
- Social functions with alcohol at fraternity houses must be registered through Anchor Link and approved by Greek Life.
- Off-campus, third party vendor events with alcohol (ex. date parties, formals) must be registered in the Greek Life office.
- All organizations seeking to register events with alcohol are required to have officers complete Host Responsibility Training through the Center for Student Wellbeing.
- Events with alcohol hosted by sororities or fraternities should be registered as follows:
- Events that may require security
- Events open to the general public
- Events that require contracts for talent (speakers, musical performances, etc.) Note that student organizations may not sign contracts for liability reasons. All contracts sought must be signed by the Dean of Students.
- Events that include showing a film on campus
- Note that public performance rights must be obtained prior to showing a film on campus.
- Reservations and Events can assist both with ordering films and with securing public performance rights.
- Events that include minors
- Note that Vanderbilt students under the age of 18 are not considered minors for the purpose of event registration.
- Events that include minors must be registered in Anchor Link at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the event to ensure that compliance obligations, if any, associated with the protection of minors policy are met.
- Student organizations hosting events with minors that require a third party compliance agreement under the protection of minors policy must upload the agreement during the event registration process in Anchor Link. Student organizations hosting events with minors that require parent permission forms with emergency contact information under the protection of minors policy must bring the forms to the Special Events Registration Committee meeting.
- Events that include minors must track attendance of Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, and affiliates through the Anchor Link attendance tracking process.
- Note that events that fall under the protection of minors policy are subject to a compliance audit.
Registering a special event requires completion of the following steps:
- A new event must be created in Anchor Link in the appropriated organization’s Anchor Link site.
- Details about the event must be provided during the new event creation process.
- A meeting with the Special Events Registration will be arranged, if necessary.
- Changes in plans, if any, must be made in the Anchor Link event should they occur after the original registration process has been completed, and appropriate offices—including Reservations and Events—notified.
Requests for Exceptions
The responsibility for compliance with the foregoing regulations for events lies with the sponsoring organization. Requests for exceptions should be made at the time of registration through the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee.
Student Domestic, Co-Curricular 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 Spirit of Gold Marching Band). The University assumes no responsibility for travel for which the University has no oversight, such as sorority and fraternity destination formals, or affiliated ministry service trips. However, such organizations and ministries undertaking such travel must–in advance of the trip–inform their advisers (the Greek advisers in the case of fraternities and sororities), and provide emergency contact information and a roster of student travelers to the Vanderbilt University Police Department and the office of Housing and Residential Education.
Any student who wishes to travel on behalf of, or as a representative of, Vanderbilt University or any registered student organization must receive written authorization in advance from the appropriate dean. (See also the section entitled “ Universal Waiver ,” in Chapter 1, “Policies and Regulations.”)
Provisions of the Student International Travel policy apply to students traveling abroad in University programs, including those of a co-curricular nature, or on University business.
Domestic student travel for academic programs is overseen by academic departments and schools. Travel for students participating in varsity athletic events is overseen by the athletics administration. Travel for students participating in Outdoor Recreation programs or Sports Clubs is overseen by the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center.
Students traveling domestically for other co-curricular engagement must comply with the policies and procedures set forth, below. Travel proposals and plans are subject to review by the Dean of Students and/or the Dean’s designee.
Generally, students traveling for co-curricular programs are required to complete Student Travel Forms [60-002-658 (9/11)], and the accompanying Release of Liability form, although there are some exceptions.
Students engaged in co-curricular travel in Davidson or one of the contiguous counties may be excused from completing the form in circumstances where the travel is incidental (e.g., picking up materials from local merchants, or running other errands), or may be required to complete the form only once for recurring activity.
Even in these cases, completion of the Student Travel Forms is required if one or more of the following conditions is relevant:
- Travel involving an overnight stay
- Travel between the hours of 11pm and 6am
- Travel to sites with hazardous materials
- Travel with “destination risk:”
- Disaster zones
- High crime areas
- Programs and experiences addressing populations under stress (the homeless, the incarcerated, or the medically at risk)
- Protest sites and demonstrations
- Remote areas (more than 60 miles from the nearest hospital)
Students using their own vehicles for sanctioned co-curricular travel must have a valid driver’s license, and must complete the University’s driver training. Students using their own vehicles must be insured, and must understand that they themselves are the “primary insurers,” in the event of accidents. A “primary insurer” responds first to any auto insurance claim. Secondary insurers respond only after the primary insurance is exhausted.
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These regulations apply to the sale or distribution of goods and services and the solicitation for, promotion of, and advertising of any item, program, charity, or service.
The following guidelines generally apply:
- Sale and/or promotion are limited to activities permitted under municipal, state, and federal laws, and of those, activities permitted by University policy. Individuals and groups must conform to local licensing laws and University trademark and licensing policies. Authorized sales and/or promotions must not disrupt the normal operation of the University. Vendors, promoters, and advertisers may neither claim, indicate, or imply University support, and must avoid the appearance of University endorsement.
- Tax-exempt property of the University may not be used as the place of business of on- or off-campus groups, businesses, or individuals unaffiliated with the University. Facilities of the campus, including Alumni Hall, Rand Terrace, Sarratt Student Center | Rand Hall, The Student Life Center, The Commons Center, The Kissam Center, Vanderbilt Stadium, the Recreation and Wellness 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 or the Vice Chancellor’s designee. Papers may be sold in vending machines on Rand Terrace and in specified, pre-approved residences.
- Concession arrangements for athletic events and all events at Memorial Gymnasium are made with Student Athletics.
- Arrangements for sale of event tickets through the Sarratt Box Office may be made through the Reservations and Events office.
- Arrangements for solicitation in Sarratt Center | Rand Hall or on Rand Terrace, by registered organizations or by University departments, are made with the Reservations and Events office. (See the paragraph, on sale and solicitation by student organizations.)
- Businesses may not use a University post office box as a business address, nor may anyone use University space, voice network, or data network for business purposes not authorized by the University.
- Businesses may distribute materials to campus mailboxes via postage-paid, US mail, only.
- Campus student agents for businesses must register with the Dean of Students, or the Dean’s designee, and may solicit business through advertising in student publications under the purview of Vanderbilt Student Communications, Inc.
- Door-to-door solicitation or promotion in residences is strictly prohibited. Very rare exceptions to the policy require written authorization of the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee, 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 a resident 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 registered student organization.
- Sale or solicitation of sale of event tickets by a registered student 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 by fraternities and sororities in their respective chapter houses.
- The sale of tickets for admission to concerts, performances, and the like requires no authorization. However, 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 films, concerts, and lectures. The Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee must authorize any advertising or publicity to the general public.
- Registered student organizations may engage in the distribution of items for a suggested donation when the funds raised are for the use of the organization in its regular activities (including philanthropic efforts) and are deposited into the organization’s University account. Organizations undertaking such distribution must comply with University policies regarding the ordering of merchandise and licensing. With the exception of event tickets, organizations are prohibited from offering items for sale. Locations for distribution for donation or sale must be arranged through the Reservations and Events office. (See also the section on Event Management in Chapter 6 , Alcohol and Controlled Substances.)
- The location of the sale(s) must be approved by Reservations and Events.
- The Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee may regulate times and places of delivery of items to residences, including foodstuffs such as cakes and pizzas, or gifts such as flowers.
- The Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee must authorize the solicitation for donations by Vanderbilt student organizations, of off-campus agencies, groups, businesses, etc.
- Fundraising events—or “bar nights”—in “limited service restaurants” (bars)—as defined by Tennessee statutes—or at any location where money is collected at the door, or through any other arrangement, with an establishment involving financial transactions that circumvent the University’s accounting system, are prohibited.
- Service auctions must comply with the conditions delineated, below.
Student organizations should prepare their budgets to meet their annual needs, and participate in the annual Activity Fee allocation process. However, there may be times when new organizations form after the process has been concluded, when a new initiative arises, or when an unanticipated opportunity presents itself. Registered student organizations seeking co-sponsorships for programs or events have several options.
The AcFee Contingency Fund provides limited support for new organizations that were not eligible to participate in the annual activity fee allocation process, and for established organizations with new initiatives or unexpected circumstances. The application form is available in the Forms section on the Vanderbilt Student Government Anchor Link page.
Vanderbilt Student Government also administers co-sponsorship funding, the application for which may also be found in the Forms section of the VSG Anchor Link page. VSG allocates for both general co-sponsorship grants and a “co-sponsorship of the month.”
The Vanderbilt Programming Board administers co-sponsorship funding for program initiatives that align with the missions of the VPB component organizations. The application can be found in the Forms section of the VPB Anchor Link page.
The Dean of Students office has no central funding for co-sponsorships, but a number of its component departments do maintain limited co-sponsorship budgets. To apply for co-sponsorship funds, student organization leaders may apply for co-sponsorship funds by completing the application in the “Forms” section of the Dean of Students Anchor Link page.
Please note that student organizations may not approach offices outside the scope of the Dean of Students, more than one department within the Dean of Students operation, academic departments, or other programs, services, and centers across the University, for financial co-sponsorships. Students who believe that a particular department or office might be interested in its program initiative, or who wish to inquire whether a particular academic department routinely supports a particular organization, should consult either their own advisers within the Dean of Students offices, or (if their advisers work elsewhere), the Student Organizations office.
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 distribution of items for suggested donation for fund raising when raised funds are solely for the organization or its charity and are deposited into the organization’s University account. Students must make arrangements with Reservations and Events in Sarratt Student Center to reserve a table or room to sell tickets or distribute items.
Students must secure the approval of the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee in order to sell or deliver items door-to-door in campus residences.
Organizations wishing to sell event tickets using the Commodore Card must make arrangements with the Sarratt Box Office for Ticketmaster setup, and must comply with the requirements for such sales. Ticketmaster may be used for ticket sales, only. There is no option for sale of items or collecting donations on the card.
Some registered student organizations might choose to undertake auctions or silent auctions as an element of a fundraising event. In so doing, the sponsoring organization must ensure compliance with applicable statutes and University policy. Tobacco, alcohol, or promotional items for these products may not be used for auctions or any other fundraising activity. The Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee may prohibit other items at the Dean or designee’s discretion. Such items might include animals, gift cards or other items from adult entertainment establishments, etc.
Distribution of items for a suggested donation and other 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 Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee.
For information regarding other on-campus sources of funding, consult the Student Organizations website.
The auction of services to other students, to faculty, staff, and other members of the Vanderbilt community is permitted within the following limitations:
Only specific services may be offered (e.g., a car wash, the preparation of a meal). The offering of unspecified labor—for either a specific period of time, or an open-ended period–is prohibited.
Offering services that require a license (haircuts, manicures, massages, etc.), is prohibited, as is the offering of services that are in violation of the law or University policy, and services that potentially endanger the health, safety, or well-being of students or others.
The “auction” of individuals is prohibited, as is the auction of unspecified services of individuals.
Advertising and promotional materials for service sales and auctions must list the services on offer.
Advertising and promotional materials must provide the name of the organization(s) receiving the funds raised.
The Dean of Students reserves the option of denying approval of, or canceling, events whose arrangements fail to comply with the delineated limitations or which seek to circumvent their purpose.
If an organization has exhausted sources of funding 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 Annual Giving holds access to limited historical records of registered student organization membership, and may be able to provide a registered student organization with mailing data of the organization's alumni. To obtain the mailing data (usually provided as a set of labels), a group may submit a request to the Student Organizations office to determine if there is a list of its organization's alumni. If such a list exists, the registered student organization must complete the Fundraiser/Solicitation Form in Anchor Link for review by the Student Organizations office and the Office of Annual Giving. If approved, the mailing data will be provided. The Office of Annual Giving requires two week’s notice to process requests, so student organizations should submit requests to the Student Organizations office at least four weeks in advance.
Provided mail and email lists are made available by the Office of Annual Giving for one-time use, only. Once the fundraising project is complete, or a list has been held for more than thirty days, the list is out of date and must be discarded. If after thirty days the project has not been completed, a new list must be requested. By statute, the University is required to update alumni, parent, and friend communications preferences (such as mail or email subscription drops), continually. Using an out-of-date list subjects the University to the risk of potential violation of statutes such as the CAN-SPAM Act.
Registered student organizations may obtain authorization to solicit funds from the parents of its membership by submitting the Fundraiser/Solicitation Form in Anchor Link. The proposal must include a statement of the purpose of the appeal, a sample of the solicitation mailing, and the proposed date of the appeal. The Student Organizations office will forward the proposal to the Office of Annual Giving for review.
Guidelines for Solicitation of Area Merchants and Corporate Sponsors
Area merchants and corporations can contribute to registered 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 must complete the Fundraiser/Solicitation Form in Anchor Link for review by the Student Organizations office and the Office of Gift Processing. If authorization is granted, the organization is limited to soliciting those merchants whose names appear on a list provided by the Office of Annual Giving, and must instruct donors to send contributions to the Office of Gift Processing.
2. 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.), and the event website. Sponsorship is the passive listing of the name or logo of a sponsor tastefully displayed on a T-shirt, banner, or event website, or listed among sponsors in a program. (It is not intended to solicit business. It simply acknowledges the support for the team, the event, etc. The Dean of Students office 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 in advance by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee. Co-sponsorships by alcoholic beverage or tobacco brands or distributors, or “limited service restaurants” (bars) as defined by Tennessee statute TCA 57-4-102, are prohibited.
As is the case with student organization and departmental co-sponsors, groups are strongly advised 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 from the Student Organizations officeonce co-sponsorship plans are approved. The sponsoring organization must instruct co-sponsoring agencies to send contributions to Gift Processing.
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 615-32(2-2631) is a good resource for additional information.
Soliciting for Charity
Registered student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, may solicit the student body for charitable purposes. The following guidelines apply:
- Net funds remaining after expenses (if any) have been paid must be submitted to the charitable organization on whose behalf they were raised.
- Financial reports of expenses, income, donations, sales, and disbursements must be made available to Student Organizations office, and the appropriate student governing body.
- The collection of entry or admission fees for events such as fun runs and walks, fundraising performances or concerts, etc., is allowable, as is drawings for door prizes awarded to individuals present, but entry fees, and cash awards for, events that involve an element of chance such as a raffle, a card tournament, a “rubber duck drop,” or a casino night, are prohibited by both University policy and government statutes.
- Organizations may solicit using Vanderbilt in their names if they comply with these policies.
Students should be aware that although policy does not prohibit them from sending charitable solicitations to faculty and staff, persons on the University payroll may run afoul of University policy should they forward those solicitations to their colleagues.
Violations of these policies will subject the organization and the officers of the organization to corrective action by the office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity and the student governing bodies with jurisdiction. The organization may also lose its registration
Requests for exceptions to these guidelines should be made in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students at least two weeks before the solicitation.
The Student Organizations office has responsibility for effecting compliance with 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 on occasion, 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 University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life coordinates religious activities. Student religious groups, after being registered by the Student Organizations office, will be assisted by the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life 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 campus groups. Representatives of religious organizations may visit rooms in campus residences 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 authorization of the University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life. This authorization may include a letter of introduction to the University provided by the University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life and will specify procedures to be followed. The University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life 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 “Publicity, Promotion and Advertising” and “Student Organization Fundraising.” Specifically, persons are strongly discouraged from approaching individuals whom they do not know in order to recruit them for religious reasons. Note that employees may not engage in religious solicitation in their job settings. Visits to residences by individuals from off campus are to be at the invitation of a particular student, for a particular time, in that student’s room, only, and with the permission of that student’s roommates, if any. For example, persons who are invited to visit in a resident’s room may not recruit on the hall among other students. This policy also prohibits the use of any common spaces in dormitories or campus buildings for recruitment, training, prayer groups, or any other activities unless the group is a registered student organization.
Vanderbilt does not infringe on any individual’s religious freedom. Indeed, the University encourages the free flow of religious ideas as well as lively debate among persons from various religious persuasions. However, Vanderbilt will endeavor to protect students and others in the University community from unauthorized solicitation.
For further information concerning religious solicitation, students may consult the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life.
Soliciting for Employment
Students may note that employment representatives (including current students who may be employed with an organization) who wish to recruit students for any type of job must register with the Vanderbilt Center for Student Professional Development, 220 Student Life Center, 615-32(2-2750). Arrangements must be cleared in advance and specific procedures must be followed.
Organizations recruiting anywhere on campus must obtain permission from the Center. Recruiting includes the posting of bulletin board notices for jobs, hosting employment-related meetings, or distributing materials on campus. All approved notices must clearly state the organization, product or service involved, and a job description. Notices may not be posted on automobiles, distributed in campus residences, or posted on any other unauthorized space on campus.
Employers who wish to post positions electronically for internships or full-time permanent employment should forward notices to the Center by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To post part-time jobs or student employment jobs electronically, employers should call Student Employment in the Financial Aid Office at 615-32(2-3591) or visit the website. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the prohibition of future recruiting activities by the offending organization.
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Functions or special events which require electronic sound amplification (for musical instruments, stereos, vocal performances, or public address) must be registered with the Special Events Registration Committee and approved by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee. Electronic amplification may not be used in the vicinity of classroom buildings, the library, or the hospital. Use of outside amplification at any event or function held in close proximity to campus residences must involve consultation with 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).
Due to the capacity of certain automotive speaker systems to disturb the quiet of the campus, use of these systems at sufficient volume to be heard outside of the vehicle is prohibited.
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 Dean of Students or the dean’s designee. Individual groups having parties primarily for the benefit of the group 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 chapter houses and campus residences is permitted from 4pm to 8pm on Fridays, and noon to 8pm on Saturdays. The Dean of Students or the dean’s designee may issue additional guidelines for activities routinely permitted without specific authorization, such as weekend music playing on Greek row. These guidelines may be revised upon the recommendation of the Interfraternity, National Pan-Hellenic, or Panhellenic Councils, or other student representative groups, or upon the initiation of the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee.
Sound amplification-whether specifically authorized or informal, inside or outside-may be monitored by University officials, student representative groups, or IFC or Panhellenic representatives. Monitoring may include on-site inspections and the use of a decibel meter.
Local laws prohibit the use of amplification outdoors between the hours of 11pm and 7am if a facility is within fifty feet of a residence except when exempted for a special event or gathering and if a permit is issued by the Metropolitan Nashville Government. At all times, consideration should be given to the neighboring communities as stated in the “Good Neighbor Guidelines.”
Amplification which violates University policy or local ordinances may be discontinued at the discretion of the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, or a representative of the Dean of Students (including officers with the University Police Department, or directors in Housing and Residential Education).
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