Establishing & Chartering a Student Organization
Student organizations that will contribute to the educational, social, community, and/or physical improvement of Tidewater Community College and/ or the larger community may be established. A student organization must be academic, educational and/or service-oriented, and all full-time and part-time students are eligible to participate.
Students petitioning to establish or charter a new student organization must fulfill the following requirements:
- Recruit a minimum of ten (10) currently enrolled students who have an interest in serving as a member and/or officer. Only currently enrolled TCC students, may serve as members, unless otherwise authorized by the campus Dean of Student Services or the Director of the Student Center. If the petitioning organization has difficulty in obtaining the required interest, the petitioning organization may request the Office of Student Activities to assist with organizing an organizational meeting on behalf of the petitioning organization to encourage interest.
- Secure a TCC faculty/staff member who is mutually interested in serving as a student organization advisor. If assistance in this area is needed, the petitioner should seek advice from a TCC faculty/staff member or the Office of Student Activities. (NOTE: The official campus of record for the student organization will be based at the organization’s advisor's primary campus, and all guidance, supervision, and fiscal responsibility will be assigned to personnel of the organization advisor's primary campus. In addition it is the primary responsibility of the student organization to locate a fulltime faculty/ staff to become advisor.)
Submit the following to a campus Office of Student Activities:
- An Application for Student Organization Recognition.
- A constitution that describes the organization's mission. Sample constitutions are available at any campus Office of Student Activities.
- Once materials are submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Student Activities, the petition will be forwarded to the Student Government Association (SGA) for review at their next scheduled meeting. The contact person petitioning must be in attendance at this meeting. If disapproved, the student organization's contact person will be notified accordingly with justification. If approved by the SGA, the application will be forwarded back to the Office of Student Activities for final approval. The Office of Student Activities (or designee) will review the student organization's petition and respond in writing with respect to the official action taken by the College on the student organization's request for official recognition. If the student organization has been approved, the Office of Student Activities will issue an official college charter to the student organization petitioner and advisor. This charter grants the organization the privileges of using college facilities and formal affiliation with the TCC name.
VCCS revised Policy Number 6.4.5, Requirements for Student Activities
The State Board encourages the development of a student activities program designed to promote educational and cultural experiences. Student activities are out-of-classroom activities that support the mission of the colleges and provide students avenues for personal growth and enrichment. Through participation in clubs and organizations, or other planned activities, students develop a wide range of abilities, including intellectual, communication, athletic, and leadership skills. Students develop self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and an appreciation for other cultures and lifestyles. Finally, students develop a sense of integrity, purpose, and social responsibility that empowers them to be productive within and beyond the college community.
The State Board shall recognize and encourage honorary, scholastic, service organizations, and sports clubs that do not restrict membership based on race, color, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation or other non-merit factors. Private clubs, private associations, social fraternities, and social sororities shall not be recognized by the VCCS. The following regulations and procedures apply to all student activity programs in the community colleges of the VCCS:
a. The entire program of student activities shall be under college supervision.
b. There shall be a faculty or staff sponsor for each student organization.
c. All student activity funds shall be deposited with and expended through the college business office, subject to State Board policies, procedures, and regulations pertaining to such funds.
d. Each college, with the approval of its local board, shall adopt its own regulations and procedures to implement the above policy.
e. All student activity programs and recognized organizations must comply with the VCCS's nondiscrimination policy, except as follows:
Any recognized religious or political student organization shall be authorized to limit certain activities only to members who are committed to furthering the mission of such organization. Suchactivities include ordering the organization’s internal affairs, selecting the organization’s leaders and members, defining the organization’s doctrines, and resolving the organization's disputes.
An Interest Group is a group of students that have expressed interest in starting a new student organization but have not completed the formal recognition process. Students that have expressed interest in starting a new organization may need assistance with campus resources such as room reservations and advisement to complete the formal application for recognition.
- Any group of students wishing to form an interest group should complete an "Application for Approval as an Interest Group" (form SS–##) and obtain approval from the Office of Student Activities Coordinator who will keep the Dean of Student Services/ Director of the Student Center informed of all interest groups formed on the campus. Notice of approval or disapproval shall be made by the Office of Student Activities Coordinator within one month.
- The use of College facilities may be provided.
- The group shall be open to all students, faculty, and staff regardless of race, color, sex, age, political affiliation, religion, handicap, national origin, veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation.
- Revenue-producing activities will be permitted only through the sponsorship of an officially recognized organization that bears full fiscal responsibility and liability for the activity.
- The group will not be allowed to use the College name in its title and no college funds or services will be provided to the group. However, the campus locations for meetings and activities may be designated.
- This application, if approved, validates the interest group through the end of the current academic year (end of summer session).
Note: A designee of the Office of Student Activities can act as advisor through the recognition process and will assist in reserving meeting and event space for interest groups on their behalf. Should an interest group not complete the formality of student organization recognition within two months of expressing interest, all temporary privileges can be revoked.
Funding of Student Organizations
Sources of funds for Student Organizations
There are three sources of funds for the student activities budget—student activities fees, college-wide event sales, and ID card replacement fees. Individual student organizations may receive additional funding as gifts from outside the college and through fund-raising efforts as long as TCC guidelines are followed.
The student activities budget, which is approved by Tidewater Community College’s Local Board prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, is funded from student activities fees for functions including student publications, intramurals and athletic teams, campus, community and cultural events, social activities, student organization support, college-wide activities, student government associations, and learning assistance. Monies received from the student activities fees also support the Student ID System and college-wide student engagement activities, and are allocated to campus Provosts, Deans of Student Services and Directors of Student Centers to supplement the campus student activities budgets as necessary.
CAMPUS AND COLLEGE-WIDE FUNDING Recognized Student Organizations that have been approved through the college’s annual recognition process are eligible to be considered for financial support.
Most Student Organizations are not guaranteed financial support from funds generated through the student activities fees, and therefore should not plan to utilize these funds as their primary source of revenue. Fundraising and/or the collection of dues is highly recommended. Student Organizations seeking campus funding should make an effort to submit funding requests at the time of chartering/re-chartering form to the campus Office of Student Activities by the third Friday in January.
Some student organizations are sanctioned by Tidewater Community College as official college entities and are benefactors of the support of the college. These organizations provide a variety of services, information, and resources to the community, the college, and individual students. They benefit all TCC students. Examples of these organizations include The Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and Athletics. The campus Deans of Student Services and the Office of Student Affairs reviews organization eligibility annually. These organizations may apply for special funding through the Office of Student Activities on their campuses, or through the College-wide Student Activities Office via completion and submission of an Application for Local Funding for Events form to the Coordinator of Student Leadership and Community Engagement by the last Friday in January prior to the academic year in which funding is sought.
Other Student Organization seeking college-wide funding should submit the Application for Local Funding for Events request to the Coordinator of Student Leadership and Community Engagement by the last Friday in January prior to the academic year in which funding is sought. The request should reflect how students at all campuses will benefit from the program or activity.
Eligibility for Funding
The following guidelines are applicable to all college-recognized student organizations that are funded through student activities fees. These guidelines determine whether a student organization is eligible to receive funding consideration.
Student organizations that receive financial support from the college must stipulate in their constitutions or by-laws the following:
- The primary purpose of the student organization is educational, cultural, and/or service.
- The group permits expression of a wide range of views among its members.
- Students' lives will be enriched by the event/activities.
Funding will be provided only for those events/activities that
- maintain the purposeful functions of the group, as stated within the student organization's constitution;
- will directly benefit or serve a large segment of the student body; and,
- are open to any interested student
- Emergency funding may be available if an unanticipated and immediate need arises for an event/activity not planned for during the regular budgetary process. These requests should be made directly to the respective campus Student Government President in conjunction with the campus Office of Student Activities or the Office of Student Leadership Development and Community Engagement (for college-wide events/programs).
- The student organization must maintain a sole financial account at the college, and all deposits and expenditures must be made through the campus Business Office.
- Funding requests must be approved by the student organization advisor.
- All requests and purchases must fully comply with State and College procurement guidelines.
- All requests for travel must carefully prescribe to the Guidelines for Student Travel and College Travel Policy and Procedures.
Criteria for Allocating Funds
The following criteria help to determine the amount that will be allocated:
- Strength of relationship between event/activity and the student organization mission statement.
The event/activity must meet at least four of the following six standards:
- Past performance of similar event/activity for which funding has been sought is assessed and determined to be successful.
- Expands education in all facets of student life.
- Encourages interaction among students.
- Increases students' sense of commitment to the college community.
- Event/activity is visible and accessible.
- Promotes the diversity of student interests.
- Past fiscal responsibility of the student organization is a determinant. For example, prior attention to deadlines and use of requested funds in the past are important factors. If requested funds were not used in the past, a written explanation must be attached to the budget request form.
- Evidence that careful research and planning have taken place to ensure feasibility of the event/activity.
- Assurance that policies of the college will not be in violation.
- Estimates of expenses and revenues are reasonable and have been adequately researched.
- The level of detail provided on the request and in the presentation given to the Office of Student Activities or designee (or College-Wide Student Activities or designee) during the budget hearing must be reasonable.
Funding Procedures & Guidelines
Student organizations seeking campus funding must submit a request for funding by the third Friday in September of each year to the campus Office of Student Activities. Student organizations seeking college-wide funding must submit an Application for Local Funding for Events form to the Coordinator of Student Leadership and Community Engagement by the last Friday in January prior to the academic year in which funding is sought. If the deadline is missed, the student organization must submit a request to be considered for any remaining funds, and the request is granted only after consideration of those requests that were submitted by the deadline. Requests for funding new student organizations chartered after the deadline will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Written justification and an oral presentation at a budget hearing must support the budget request.
- Re-chartering student organizations must demonstrate stability and fiscal responsibility by submitting budget records from the previous year, including all self-generated revenues.
- The student organization must be supported, in part, by self-generated monies. (Student organizations wishing to conduct a fundraiser and/or raffle must consult with their campus Office of Student Activities.)
- The student organization must certify that, during an open meeting, its members approved the budget request and that the student organization has consulted with its student organization advisor in preparing the request.
- The student organization must be active in at least one approved college event per semester and must actively participate in a minimum of two campus program initiatives per semester as arranged or agreed upon by the office of Student Activities.
- Funding is provided for all or any part of specific student organization events, activities, and travel, but not for general student organization support.
- Funding may be requested for student travel to conventions, conferences, performances, and competitive events. All travel requests are subject to the College Travel Policy and Procedures and must be related to the student organization's primary purpose as stated in its constitution.
- Funding may be used to pay off-campus vendors, as necessary, to support student organization events/activities.
- The campus Student Government Association Executive Committee, campus Office of Student Activities, and the campus Dean of Student Services approve all campus funding student organization requests. The Student Federation and the Coordinator of Student Leadership Development and Community Engagement approve all requests for college-wide funding.
Any recognized student organization that is allocated funds by the college must meet the following standards in order to continue to receive recognition and funding:
- The student organization shall meet at least one time during the academic year and submit the minutes of their meetings to the campus Office of Student Activities (or the Office of Student Leadership Development and Community Engagement when college-wide funding is provided).
- The student organization shall not allow any funds in their account to remain inactive (i.e., no deposits or withdrawals) for a period of nine months in any academic year. If a student organization has been declared as inactive, the campus Student Activities Office shall inform the campus Business Manager, with a copy to the Office of Student Affairs. The campus Business Manager shall transfer the funds from the inactive student organization to the college’s Student Activities general fund by the end of that fiscal year. The Business Manager shall notify the Office of Student Affairs when this action has been completed.
- o The student organization must be active in at least one approved college event per semester must actively participate in a minimum of two campus program initiatives per semester as arranged or agreed upon by the Office of Student Activities and must undergo budget, organization and leadership training with the Office of Student Activities annually.
ITEMS NOT FUNDED FOR AN EVENT/ACTIVITY Student Organization should follow State and College Procurement Guidelines at all times and, in particular, should be aware that the following items will not be funded:
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Charitable contributions (use of state monies is prohibited, although students may participate in charitable fundraising events).
- Compensation for services if the individual is a member of the organization and/or college.
- Funds to provide financial support to off-campus organizations.
- Purchasing any product that violates college policies.
- Items that promote violence or illegal activities, or defame individuals or groups.
- Items that promote or oppose a specific political candidate or party.
Funding Appeals Process
For the College-wide appeal process a student organization must submit funding appeals in writing within seven days of funding notification to the Office of Affairs for review. The Vice President of Student Affairs will issue a decision within two weeks of written notification. For a campus appeal process a student organization must submit funding appeals in writing within seven days of funding notification to the Dean of Student Services or Director of Student Center. The Dean of Student Services or the Director of Student Center will issue a decision within two weeks of written notification.