Show/Hide University Links
UTSA Roadrunner Body

While this Handbook is intended to be a summary of certain matters of interest to student organizations, its readers should be aware that:

  • It is not a complete statement of all procedures, rules and regulations of the University;
  • The University reserves the right to change without notice any procedure, policy, and/or program which appears in this handbook;
  • Divisions and departments may have their own procedures and policies, which apply to student organizations.

**Please click here for complete handbook or browse by chapter links on the left hand side.



Student Organization Management

Download the chapter pdf.


ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS & RECOMENDATIONS

Annual Registration for Existing Student Organizations (required)
Existing student organizations are required to register once a year on RowdyLink, but are required to immediately update any changes in organization's representatives or contact information.

Registration for the next academic year begins in April. Those organizations not registered by the tenth (10th) class day of the Fall Semester will have the privileges registered student organizations in good standing enjoy (e.g. workspace, bulletin board, reservations, postings, etc.) frozen until they register. The registration process for both returning and new organizations is done on-line at
utsa.edu/RowdyLink.

In the upper right hand corner is the "Log In" button. Use your UTSA ID (abc123) and password to log in. Once you log in, go to "Organizations" at the top of the screen. Find your organization by either using the directory (the letters on the left side) or searching (button on left side). Once you find the organization, click the button under the name that says "Register this Organization". Carefully read the instructions during the registration process to ensure that the registration will be accepted.

State Mandated Risk Management Training (SMRMT) (required)

  • Every fall semester, the Office of Student Activities will host the State Mandated Risk Management Training. All organizations must send two representatives to one of the scheduled trainings.
  • If an organization does not have the minimum required members in attendance to one of the fall State Mandated Risk Management Training sessions, the organization will lose recognition for that semester. The organization will have the opportunity to attend a State Mandated Risk Management Training session at the beginning of the spring semester.
  • In addition, advisors must attend a State Mandated Risk Management Training session for advisors only. This includes the faculty/staff advisor(s) on record and any off-campus, primary advisor that may be an alumnus/a of the university or the organization (i.e. Chapter Advisor, Alumni Advisor, Graduate Advisor, Campus Minister, etc.).
  • Organization Risk Management Compliance will be issued when the organization has:
    • had the minimum number of students attend State Mandated Risk Management Training;
    • held a Risk Management information meeting for their organization;
    • submitted completed Compliance paperwork regarding information meeting by due date;
    • been recorded as "Complete" in the Student Activities Risk Management Database.
  • If an organization fails to complete these steps, the organization is not in compliance and therefore is no longer a registered student organization and has no rights and privileges on campus (including, but not limited to, reserving space, postings, workspace, and bulletin boards).
    Note: Any new organization registered by the last day of the semester will be required to attend the State Mandated Risk Management Training held in the following semester.

Note: Any new organization registered by the last day of the semester will be required to attend the State Mandated Risk Management Training held in the following semester.

Disclosure of Solicitation: Financial Statement Due Each Semester (required)

Each registered student organization shall, within 30 days after the beginning of each long session semester, file with Student Activities a statement fully disclosing the sources and amounts of money obtained from solicitations during the preceding semester or summer session and fully disclosing the purposes and amounts of the expenditures made during the preceding semester or summer session. Any organization failing to comply with the provisions of this rule shall be prohibited from solicitation activities until the organization files the required report. (Rules and Regulations of The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, Series 80103, Section 4)

Registered Student Organization Orientation
All student organizations should attend the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Orientation, typically offered August and the RSO Transition Training. These sessions will take place on campus at a day and time set by the Senior Associate Director. The sessions are an opportunity to provide training to every student organization and to discuss any issues that have arisen during the last year or any changes that affect student organizations.

End of Year Review Report
Record keeping is an important part of maintaining a student organization and transitioning an organization's leadership. Keeping a history of your student organization will help not only student leaders, but all members, know what has worked well in the past, what has already been done in the past, and what traditions or special events should be carried on into the future.

Each organization may choose the format that works best for their purposes. This report can include successes, areas of improvement, advice for the future, program evaluations, program ideas, total service hours, philanthropic events completed, amount of funds raised, thoughts from the leadership about ongoing traditions, problems faced throughout the year, major achievements, training for leadership, team-building for the organization, etc. It is strongly recommended that each organization upload their annual report to its RowdyLink page at the same time each year it generally transitions to new officers.

ORGANIZATION NAME CHANGES

If your student organization wishes to change the organization name, after completing the Re-Registration Process, they must fill out the Organization Name Change document and submit it on RowdyLink.

The name change will require the old name, the desired name, the signature of 2 authorized representatives, an explanation of why the name is being changed, and the advisors signature. Once complete, the form should be submitted on RowdyLink. Authorized Representatives and Advisor must be listed on the Organizations RowdyLink Profile to be approved.

After the organizations name change has been approved and changed. It is the organizations responsibility to change the name on the constitution, the organization description/summery on RowdyLink, EIN numbers, and all bank or cost center accounts.

Note: For off-campus banking institutions, a letter may be requested from the Office of Student Activities.

LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES AFFIDAVIT FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Statement as to Make-up of Members:

At the beginning of each semester, each registered student organization or group must file with the appropriate institutional officer a written statement that the organization or group does not, and will not during the semester, have as a member any person who is not either a student or a member of the faculty or staff of the institution. If an organization or group fails or refuses to file the required statement, or if the Dean of Students determines that the statement is or has become false, the Dean of Students, after providing notice, shall begin disciplinary proceedings. The Dean or Hearing Officer may cancel the registered status of the organization or group or impose other appropriate penalties (Rules and Regulations of The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, Series: 50202, Section 6.3).

Any UTSA student, faculty member, or staff member who subscribes to the purpose and basic policies of the organization may become a member of the organization subject only to compliance with the provisions of the constitution.  Enrollment or employment at another University of Texas System campus does not meet the requirement for student organization membership.  All officers/representatives must be currently enrolled students at the University.  A student organization must have at least five members to register.

II. Prohibition of Hazing:

Hazing in state educational institutions is prohibited by both state law (Sections 51.936 & 37.151 et seq., Texas Education Code) and by the Rules and Regulations of The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, Series: 50101, Section 2.8). Individuals or organizations engaging in hazing could be subject to fines and charged with criminal offenses. Additionally, the law does not affect or in any way restrict the right of the University to enforce its own rules against hazing.

Individuals

A person commits an offense if the person:

  1. engages in hazing;
  2. solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid another engaging in hazing;
  3. recklessly permits hazing to occur; or
  4. has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution.

Organizations

An organization commits an offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.

Definition

The term "hazing" is broadly defined by statute to mean any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:

  1. any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity
  2. any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subject the student to unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  3. any activity involving the consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  4. any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation, that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described in this subdivision; and
  5. any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code. The fact that a person consented to or acquiesced in a hazing activity is not a defense to prosecution.

The Rules and Regulations of The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, Series: 50101, Section 2.8 provide that:

  1. Hazing with or without the consent of a student is prohibited by the System, and a violation of that prohibition renders both the person inflicting the hazing and the person submitting to the hazing subject to discipline.
  2. Initiations or activities by organizations may include no feature which is dangerous, harmful, or degrading to the student, and a violation of this prohibition renders both the organization and participating individuals subject to discipline.

Activities which under certain conditions constitute acts that are dangerous, harmful, or degrading, in violation of Rules include but are not limited to:

  • calisthenics, such as sit-ups, push-ups, or any other form of physical exercise;
  • total or partial nudity at any time;
  • the eating or ingestion of any unwanted substance;
  • the wearing or carrying of any obscene or physically burdensome article;
  • paddle swats, including the trading of swats;
  • pushing, shoving, tackling, or any other physical contact;
  • throwing oil, syrup, flour, or any harmful substance on a person;
  • rat court, kangaroo court, or other individual interrogation;
  • forced consumption of alcoholic beverages either by threats or peer pressure;
  • lineups intended to demean or intimidate;
  • transportation and abandonment (road trips, kidnaps, walks, rides, drops);
  • confining individuals in an area that is uncomfortable or dangerous (hot box effect, high temperature, too small);
  • any type of personal servitude that is demeaning or of personal benefit to the individual members;
  • wearing of embarrassing or uncomfortable clothing;
  • assigning pranks such as stealing; painting objects; harassing other organizations;
  • intentionally messing up the house or room for clean up;
  • demeaning names;
  • yelling and screaming; and
  • requiring boxing matches or fights for entertainment.

Immunity

In an effort to encourage reporting of hazing incidents, the law grants immunity from civil or criminal liability to any person who reports a specific hazing event in good faith and without malice to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution and immunizes that person for participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from that report. Additionally, a doctor or other medical practitioner who treats a student who may have been subjected to hazing may make a good faith report of the suspected hazing activities to police or other law enforcement officials and is immune from civil or other liability that might otherwise be imposed or incurred as a result of the report. The penalty for failure to report is a fine of up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both. Penalties for other hazing offenses vary according to the severity of the injury which results and include fines from $500 to $10,000 and/or confinement for up to two years.

 

III. Laws, Policies and Procedures

Student organizations are required to abide by federal, state, and local laws. Additionally, students and student organizations are responsible for adhering to all of the applicable terms and conditions of the Student Organization Handbook, Student Code of Conduct, UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, and any other applicable University policies and procedures. Violation of applicable laws, policies and/or procedures by any student organization and/or its members may subject that organization to disciplinary action.

STUDENT ORGANIZATION ASSIGMENTS:

MAILBOXES

A mailbox is assigned to every registered student organization to receive official correspondence from on and off campus parties. The mailbox may be used to pass on messages to other officers and members; however, it is required that at least 3 authorized representatives have access to the mailbox to reduce the chance of misplaced mail.  The mailbox may also be used to receive mail. The address to be used is:

Name of Student Organization
c/o Student Activities
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249

No personal mail should be sent to the organization's mailbox. Student organization mailboxes cannot be used for: sales or commercial activity, or activities of non-students (individuals or affiliated groups).

A student organization's mailbox can be located at the Main Campus. The organization's mailbox is automatically put on the Main Campus (HSU 1.210); however, if you would like to have your mail routed to the downtown campus, inform Student Activities.

Mailbox Procedures

The following procedures are to ensure that all student organizations consistently check and pick up mail in a timely fashion.

  • Mailboxes must be checked once a week, by Thursday evening.
  • On Friday, organizations will receive a notice if they have failed to pick-up their mail. 
  • The following Thursday, if mail is still not picked up, it will be returned to sender. The mailboxes are maintained by Office of Student Activities, and materials can be distributed upon request.

All student organization mailboxes in Student Organization Complex shall be reviewed for appropriate space utilization every semester. All student organizations failing to comply with this or any University policy or procedure risk disciplinary action, including: losing their student organization mailbox, loss of recognition, or any other sanction deemed appropriate by University officials.

Exclusions and Special Situations

If an official University holiday or other circumstance (such as finals) occurs during a week student organizations will be notified that there is an exception for that week. 

Bulletin Boards

A bulletin board is utilized to communicate information about the organization and its activities to its members and the campus community. Bulletin boards are located in the FLN (2nd floor) MH (2nd and 3rd floors), MS (2nd and 3rd floors).

An organization will have the opportunity to apply for a bulletin board during the re-registration process.  Be sure to read the application carefully, as boards are selected and assigned on a first come, first serve basis.

Once a bulletin board is assigned only one representative of the organization can claim the bulletin board (membership verified by RowdyLink) If the bulletin board is not claimed by the deadline  the organization could lose their assignment.

Organization bulletin boards must be decorated by the beginning of Roadrunner Days. Failure to comply with the deadline will result in the loss of the bulletin board and the student organization may reapply for a new board. There is no guarantee during the reapplication process the student organization will receive the previous board picked.

Once a bulletin board is assigned, the student organizations must cover and maintain the board according to the following guidelines:

  • cover the space (within the lines marked above the board) with paper or cloth (no cork background is allowed to be seen)
  • display the name of the student organization
  • display contact information of the organization
  • use only regular-sized staples or push pins
  • do not use utility staples, nails, or screws
  • do not permanently affix anything to the board or the surrounding wall
  • do not use glitter to decorate bulletin board

Bulletin Board decorations must be removed by May 1st.

NOTE: Because the bulletin boards are located in public areas Student Activities has no means of preventing vandalism and unauthorized posting of materials on/in these boards. Therefore, please be advised that posting items in a bulletin board is at the risk of the student organization. Displaying items and decorations of significant value is discouraged.

Workspaces (Located in HSU 1.210 & HSU 1.206-1)

The concept behind the workspace is to create an active community made up of students. The members should have a noticeable consistent presence. The purpose of these procedures is to establish a baseline for allocating space fairly and for holding groups accountable for appropriate usage.

This policy applies to student members of a registered student organization when assigned a workspace by the Office of Student Activities.

Workspace Procedures

The following procedures are to ensure that all student organizations feel comfortable in these areas and are able to derive the greatest benefit from them.

  • Organizations who have been assigned a workspace are required to use the workspace at minimum, once a week.  In order to track this usage, a representative from the organization will check in at the Student Activities desk at least once each week. 
  • Periodically, organizations who have been assigned a workspace will be required to turn in workspace document (placed on desk).
  • Other factors may also be used to track usage of the space. 

Workspace Application Forms

An organization will have the opportunity to apply for a workspace during the re-registration process.  Be sure to read the application carefully, as workspaces are selected and assigned on a first come, first serve basis. Underutilized workspaces may be re-assigned at the end of the fall semester, or may not be reassigned to the student organization the following year. 

There is no guarantee that a student organization will receive a workspace.  In addition, there is no guarantee that the same location will be assigned to the same student organization from year to year.  In reviewing the applications, consideration is given to:

  • Past use of the workspace;
  • Involvement in campus wide events during the previous academic year;
  • Expected level of programming for the next academic year;
  • Type/size of space needed;
  • Type/amount of work expected to occur; and
  • Other factors that are deemed appropriate.

Once a workspace is assigned, the student organizations must decorate and maintain the space according to the following guidelines:

  • All belongings of the organizations must be contained within the shelves, drawers and cabinet of the workspace. 
  • Workspace must be decorated
  • Free standing glitter is NOT allowed
  • Cups and open food items must be discarded daily
  • Must abide by all Student Union Policies which can be reviewed at http://www.utsa.edu/events/om/studentunion/index.html

Request to store items: Organizations wishing to store large items for a short period of time in their workspaces must contact the Student Activities office (210-458-7132) to gain approval prior to storing items. Large items may only be placed in workspace area for 48 hours, unless otherwise specified.

Note: In the event that demand for workspaces exceeds supply, student organizations that are eligible for workspace, but not assigned space will be placed on a waiting list. If workspaces become available during the year, organizations on the list will be offered these spaces in the order their request was received. The Office of Student Activities will maintain these waiting lists. New student organizations formed throughout the year may be assigned spaces if there is not a waiting list. Otherwise, they will be added to the current waiting lists and will have the opportunity to apply for services during the next application period.