How To Register
The Office of Student Organizations holds the authority to grant registration to student organizations and has established the following procedures for registering new and existing organizations.
Any student member of the Vanderbilt University community can begin a new student organization. The process is relatively simple, provided that the proper guidelines are followed.
- Contact the Director of Student Governance and Organizations to make sure there is not another organization on campus similar to the one you are proposing.
- You will then need to determine whether there is enough interest in your idea for an organization, by having an informational meeting.
- Once you have determined interest, you should meet with those members who will form the executive board and write a constitution
- You will then need to choose an adviser who is a full time faculty or staff member.
- The next steps are to register your student organization on Anchor Link. Registration steps are below. New organizations registering for the first time must send an email to email@example.com after submitting the registration materials for notification purposes.
- After review and approval, your organization will be notified and may begin to conduct student organization business. New Greek, Community Service, and Religious organizations must obtain approval from the directors of Greek Life, Office of Active Citizenship and Service, and University Chaplain respectively. New Sports Clubs must contact the Student Recreation Center prior to registering their organization.
The following steps are required to complete the registration process:
- Log into Anchor Link at https://vanderbilt.collegiatelink.net and create a user profile.
- Existing organizations will search for their group on the “Organization Directory” and click on “Register this Organization”.
- New or newly registering organizations will go to the “Organization Directory”and click on “Register a new organization”.
- The registration process will be completed online. Please review the list below for the materials you will need in order to complete the process.
Items you will need to complete the Student Organization Registration Process:
- Name, Email Address, Phone Number, and VUnetID for the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary;
- Name, Email Address and Phone Number for the Faculty or Staff Advisor;
- Electronic Version of the Organization’s Constitution to upload;
- Electronic Version of the Officer and Adviser Affirmation Form, signed by the Officer and Adviser. The Form can be scanned in Sarratt 207 and should be uploaded as part of the registration process;
- Electronic profile picture;
- Vanderbilt.edu email addresses for all members either separated by commas or entered one address per line.
NEW organizations are required to fill out the Center Number Request Form in order to have an on campus account for organization financial transactions. This can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Existing student organizations are required to re-register annually to maintain their official status. The deadline for renewing your organization’s registration occurs in the Spring semester prior to the academic year in which you will be registered. The process is accessible on-line at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentorganizations. The registration is reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Organizations, provided the organization meets all requirements.
Every student organization should have an up-to-date Constitution on file in the Office of Student Organizations. Your organization should submit a current Constitution with your re-registration. A Constitution is a living document which serves as an organization’s blueprint for success; it should be reviewed at least annually and used in an organization’s day-to-day operations. An outline for a typical Constitution is in the Forms section.
To be eligible for registration, an organization must:
- be organized and run by officers who are full-time 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.),
- 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.
Why Should We Register?
All registered student organizations are entitled to the following privileges:
- Use of the Vanderbilt University name to identify institutional affiliation
- Use of University meeting rooms and facilities for free or reduced rate
- The opportunity to use equipment in the Sarratt Student Center
- Free organizational consulting and training by University administrators
- Membership on VULEADER, the student leader list-serve, maintained by Student Organizations
- Eligibility to apply for funding from various sources on campus
- Use of the Vanderbilt accounting system, with financial planning consultation available
- Access to organizational mailbox in the Station B Post Office
- Access to free publicity in publications and submit events to the online University Calendar (http://calendar.vanderbilt.edu).
- Use of campus bulletin boards and kiosks to promote organizational activities
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As officers and advisers of student organizations, you must affirm that your organization, including all members, officers and advisers, will abide by all Vanderbilt University regulations, policies, and procedures, as described in the Vanderbilt University Student Handbook, in operating your student organization. You must affirm that your organization does not participate in or encourage any unlawful activity. Your organization must abide by the University’s nondiscrimination policy as stated below:
In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientationi, gender identityii, or gender expressioniii. 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.)
- Sexual orientation refers to a person’s self-identification as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or uncertain.
- Gender identity is generally defined as a person’s own sense of identification as male, female, both, or neither as distinguished from actual biological sex, i.e.it is one’s psychological sense of self.
- Gender expression is everything we do that communicates our sense of identification to others.
(From the Student Handbook)
Vanderbilt Campus Disability Access
Vanderbilt University is committed to equal access for people with disabilities. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Vanderbilt does not exclude otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, solely by reason of the disability, from participating in University programs and activities, nor are persons with disabilities denied the benefits of these programs or subjected to discrimination.
The Disability Services Program, which is part of Vanderbilt’s Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department, provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, which allow for equal access to education. Accommodations are available for Vanderbilt University students who have temporary or permanent disabilities and are based on the documented needs of each individual. To request reasonable accommodations, students are to contact the Disability Services Program to schedule an intake meeting with the appropriate staff person. Intake meetings are provided on an individual basis to help students orient themselves with the EAD’s processes and services. It is the individual student’s responsibility to request accommodations and provide sufficient and appropriate documentation. Students are encouraged to contact the EAD’s Disability Services Program prior to or upon enrollment at Vanderbilt University.
For further information about services for students with disabilities, write or call the EAD Disability Services Program, PMB 401809, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-1809; telephone 615-322-4705 V/TDD. (See EAD, below)
The Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department (EAD)
The EAD serves as a resource in the following capacities:
- to assist in keeping the administration informed of the University’s obligations under state and federal equal opportunity laws;
- to coordinate and monitor the University’s Affirmative Action Program in compliance with equal opportunity laws;
- to serve as a source of information for faculty, staff, and students who may have questions or complaints pertaining to equal opportunity in employment practices, University-sponsored programs and activities, and educational opportunities;
- to provide training to the Vanderbilt community on issues of equal opportunity and affirmative action; and
- to coordinate services for persons with disabilities.
Several federal and state laws impose special obligations on the University. Some include:
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- Executive Order 11246, as amended
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Tennessee Fair Human Rights Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA)
Of these laws, Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA and the ADAAA protect students from discrimination in educational and recreational programs and activities sponsored by the University. Discrimination is prohibited by Title VI on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin and by Title IX on the basis of sex, which includes sexual harassment. Students with disabilities are protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA and the ADAAA. The EAD is the office responsible for coordinating services for students with disabilities.
Students who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment may call the EAD staff for additional information. For more information, visit the EAD Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ead/).
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The Student Organization Leader
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, 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.
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 Vanderbilt Student Communications division. For undergraduates, full-time registration is defined as being registered for, and carrying, at least 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.
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 Office of the Dean of Students 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 these activities. In addition, restrictions may be placed on a student’s participation in University co-curricular activities for the duration of a disciplinary sanction.
The Student Organization Adviser
At Vanderbilt, an organization must have a faculty or staff adviser in order to be a registered organization. By accepting the position of adviser to a student organization, a faculty or staff member chooses to become involved with campus life. An adviser serves as a consultant to an organization and assists in the growth and development of the group by providing direction through advice, understanding, and clarification. Advisers do many things for organizations including:
- clarify adviser roles to group members. If advisers and student leaders have a shared understanding of each other’s responsibilities, there should be few problems;
act as an interpreter of University policies that govern registered student organizations;
- provide guidance in planning programs and events, and approve event registration forms;
authorize spending by signing 1180s, purchase orders, and check requests, or delegate signature authority to a secondary adviser (often another staff member or department secretary);
- obtain signature authority by filling out accounting paperwork (see Forms section);
- receive and reconcile monthly accounting reports (ledger sheets or electronic access to accounts) or delegate to student members or secondary adviser;
- encourage and assist the group in setting annual organizational goals;
- encourage groups to review and update their Constitution annually;
inform officers about leadership development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, and scholarships;
- make themselves available to group officers for consultation about their roles and programs
- encourage officers to maintain accurate records;
- attend meetings occasionally or frequently, depending on agreed-upon responsibilities;
- provide constructive feedback where appropriate and facilitate creativity and innovation for the organization;
- provide continuity from year to year in the face of frequent officer turnover;
- NOT let personal goals interfere with or influence group decisions, activities, or goals;
- facilitate a learning experience for student leaders and members by enabling their success, or, when necessary, by illustrating that failure often teaches as much as success;
- act in a conscientious and caring manner to promote student growth;
- consult the Office of Student Organizations at 322-2471 for advice, guidance, and more information.
When a faculty or staff member accepts the position of adviser to a student organization, he or she also accepts responsibility for the actions and activities of the organization. An adviser acts on behalf of the University and is expected to exercise that responsibility reasonably, diligently, and in good faith. The type of liability or risk varies greatly depending on the type of organization being advised and the type of activities planned by that organization. Some suggestions to guide advisers follow.
1. Advisers should anticipate risks which may arise out of any decision or situation. Regardless of what organization or activity is involved, there will always be an opportunity for something to happen that might create a liability for the University. However, if decisions are made in good faith and reasonable precautions are taken, the risk involved can be minimized.
2. It is important to be aware of University policies and regulations as they affect student organizations. The Student Handbook is the student information manual and a source for many University rules and regulations. Advisers should be familiar with the Handbook, particularly those sections that apply to community life, student organizations, and guidelines for organizational activities. The Division of Student Life and the staff of the Office of Student Organizations can also serve as resources for advisers and their student organizations.
3. Advisers should act only within the scope of their authority. Advisers may make certain decisions or take certain actions within their stated responsibilities as advisers. For example, an adviser may approve purchases necessary for the day-to-day operation of an organization. However, advisers do not have the authority to contract on behalf of or to bind the University. Dean of Students is authorized to sign contracts.
For more information about liability and risk management, advisers may contact the General Counsel’s office at 322-8331 or the Office of Risk Management at 936-0660.
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