A student organization is a group of currently enrolled, undergraduate or graduate Villanova University students who convene to promote a common interest and is registered with Villanova University. Recognition will be denied to any organization which selects its members on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age or national origin. Active membership is limited to faculty, staff and officially registered students. Associate membership must be approved by the Director of Student Involvement. Only currently enrolled full-time undergraduate students can serve as officers or vote on organizational matters for undergraduate student organizations. Only currently enrolled graduate students can serve as officers or vote on organizational matters for graduate student organizations.
All members of student groups /organizations must adhere to these policies and regulations. Failure to do so subjects the group or organization to a maximum sanction of termination of recognition from the University. For questions relating to student organization policies or procedures, visit the Office of Student Involvement in 102 Dougherty Hall.
All organizations seeking recognized status on campus must undergo a formal recognition process. In order to maintain official University recognition, organizations are expected to comply with guidelines found in these Student Organization Policies. These regulations apply to all recognized student organizations. Violations of these regulations may be referred to the Dean of Students Office for resolution pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct.
A complete list of student organizations is maintained in the Office of Student Involvement. Students are expected to review the list prior to joining a student organization to ensure that the group is in good disciplinary standing.
Fraternities and Sororities must be formally acknowledged by their respective national organization, Villanova University and the Interfraternity Council/Pan-Hellenic Society as a legitimately functioning body in order to be considered a recognized student organization. Non-recognized fraternities/sororities may not organize or sponsor any event or activity that promotes or gives the impression or appearance that the non- recognized fraternity/sorority is a legitimate organization. Moreover, these non-recognized groups may not advertise, post, publish, solicit, rush, pledge, fund raise or assembly on campus. Such activities will be viewed as violations of University regulations and those students engaging in this activity will be held accountable. Students intending to join a Greek fraternity or sorority should contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to ensure that this fraternity/sorority is in good disciplinary standing. Fraternities and Sororities must provide the University with a certificate of insurance evidencing the liability coverage their national organization has in place covering the chapter, naming Villanova University as additional insured.
Student Organization Privileges and Expectations
Student organizations have the following privileges by Villanova University:
- Authorization to reserve University space, services, or equipment.
- Attend the Student Involvement Fairs and other resources fairs open to the University community.
- Eligibility to provide information to Villanova University’s students, faculty, staff, alumni through tabling at designated locations, postings in designated locations, or other approved communication methods.
- Eligibility to seek funding through the Office of Student Involvement.
- Eligibility to seek approval to raise funds, develop a new program offered to the University community, sponsor an event to raise awareness about a cause after is approved by the Office of Student Involvement.
- Ability to use student media for advertising or dissemination of information.
- Authorization to use the name or logo of Villanova University in a manner that is approved by the Office of Student Involvement.
Academic and Disciplinary Standing
Students may participate in student organizations only if they are in good academic and disciplinary standing, as determined by the student’s academic college, the Dean of Students Office and / or the Office of Student Involvement. Good academic standing is defined in the Villanova University Catalog and good disciplinary standing is defined in The Code of Student Conduct. It is generally recommended that executive officers maintain a GPA above a 2.75 and general members above a 2.5. The Office of Student Involvement welcomes the opportunity to work with advisors in making decisions that are in the best interest of students who are at risk academically.
Maintaining Status as a Registered Student Organization
In order to maintain recognition as a registered student organization, groups must:
- Adhere to the Mission of Villanova University, the Mission of the respective office recognizing the student organization, and all University and Student Organization policies.
- Reflect in the organization's mission statement and programs values that are consistent with the Catholic mission of the University. This includes a clear purpose that does not duplicate the purpose of an existing student organization or program.
- Uphold and act in accordance with the student organizations constitution and by-laws.
- Comply with all federal, state, and local laws, and with regulations of parent organizations as applicable.
- Maintain an active membership of students who are matriculated and in good standing with the University. Individual student organizations may set higher academic requirements for membership.
- Maintain a positive financial balance in any student organization account. Accept responsibility for all financial obligations incurred and decisions made as a student organization.
- Operate financially through an account (or accounts) established within the Office of Student Involvement.
- Have an active, full-time faculty/staff advisor who has been approved by the Office of Student Involvement.
- Re-Register annually with the Office of Student Involvement Villanova University allowing student organizations to obtain a budget from Villanova University.
If a student organization do not meet these criteria, the office representing the student organization may impose additional requirements to receive active statues including but not limited to educational trainings or to go through the new student organization process.
New Student Organization Requests
Students interested in creating a new student organization must attend a New Student Organization Information Session hosted by the Office of Student Involvement and the Student Government Association (SGA) during the beginning of each semester. A complete timeline as well as the necessary deadlines can be found by visiting the Office of Student Involvement in 102 Dougherty Hall. Students may not host or organize events and / or programs during the new student organization process. Students interested in starting a Fraternity or Sorority chapter of a Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, or Multicultural Greek Council must work with the process outlined by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life located in 108 Dougherty Hall.
Process to start a New Student Organization
The following is an outline intended to provide students with resources and information on how to effectively become a student organization at Villanova University.
- Following the New Student Organization Information session, students will receive notice of when to complete and submit the New Student Organization Proposal to SGA (firstname.lastname@example.org). There will be no exceptions for late submissions and those late submissions will not be considered until the following semester. The New Student Organization Proposal will include the following:
- Student organizations must be initiated, organized, and run by current matriculated Villanova students. Students will need to submit a proposed roster of students (12 names, email addresses, and physical signatures) of interested students. Only registered students shall be eligible for active membership status in student organizations. Only full-time students shall be eligible to serve as appointed or elected officers in student organizations. To serve as an officer of an organization, students must be fully enrolled in classes on-campus and cannot serve if participating in an internship or studying abroad. The roster of students must include an executive board including the positions of President, Vice President, and Treasurer. First semester new students and those students in their final semester are not permitted to start a new student organization process.
- Nomination of student organization advisor
- Student Organization Mission Statement, which is a one page-proposal highlighting the mission and goals of the new student organization request.
- Proposed Constitution and By-Laws.
- Proposed Schedule of Events for the following semester.
- Proposed Student Organization Budget.
- If the student organization request if affiliated with a national organization, include relevant documents which may include applications, contracts, agreements, or organization bylaws.
- The Office and Student Involvement and members of SGA will review the New Student Organization Proposal and request addition information if needed. The review will confirm that New Student Organization Proposal is consistent with the University mission. No organization, or member of any organization on behalf of the organization may encourage or participate in any activity which contravenes the mission of the University or the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. The University policies and procedures supersede those of any regional or national organization to which a proposed student organization would be affiliated.
- New Student Organization Proposals will receive feedback from OSI and SGA. Additionally, OSI may request revisions to the New Student Organization Proposal and request additional department approvals.
- Following a meeting with OSI and SGA, OSI and SGA will hear a presentation from the proposed new student organization. Other members of the University community may participate in the presentation as appropriate.
- Subsequently, and in private, SGA will vote on the New Student Organization Proposal. The results of this vote will be sent directly to the Director of Student Involvement or his / her / their designee. The prospective new student organization president and advisor will be notified by OSI the decision of SGA. OSI reserves the right to defer a decision, should additional review of the application packed be needed.
- Newly approved new student organizations must attend a New Student Organization Orientation and Training in order to active their student organization. At least three member of the student organization must attend the training. Following the training, the student organization will be a recognized Student Organization on campus. The Office of Student Involvement may require additional next steps as necessary to maintain status.
Student Organization Advisor
The primary goal of advising is to provide an educational experience for students in the student organization which advisors are supporting. Students in student organizations should feel that being a member of their organization is a worthwhile experience that enhances their social, spiritual, and academic development. Advising a student organization can be a very rewarding experience. Working with students outside of the classroom allows faculty and staff the ability to share information, resources, and encourage development with the student. These interactions with students allows advisors the opportunity to promote skills such as leadership development, ethics, teamwork, appreciation of diversity, and self-discovery that are invaluable to students when they leave Villanova.
Selection of an advisor is generally done through the mutual consent of the student organization, the proposed advisor, and the Office of Student Involvement. The advisor must be a member of the Villanova University community such as a full-time faculty member, administrator, or staff member. In order to retain recognition as a student organization, each student organization must have an active advisor. The advisor, student organization leadership, and the Office of Student Involvement should jointly and periodically review the advisor's performance. If students should wish to change the Advisor, they should contact the Office of Student Involvement who will arrange the transition among the current Advisor, student organization leadership, and the Office of Student Involvement to assist in the process and transition.
Specific functions of the advisor are listed below. Individual organizations may expand upon these through their constitutions and by-laws.
- The advisor should be aware of the organization's meetings and activities. He/she/they need not attend all of these activities, but a frequent visit is appropriate.
- The advisor should meet with the executive committee of the organization a minimum of once per month during the academic year. Executive committee meetings are ideal for establishing a meaningful working relationship with student organizations.
- The advisor should obtain minutes of all organizational meetings for review.
- The advisor should be knowledgeable of the organization's purpose and constitution assisting the students to adhere to them in decision making.
- The advisor should be aware of the student organization’s financial status, spending and account balances.
- It is generally recommended that an advisor should be at an event, conference, or program that is 300 miles away from campus where a large amount of students from the student organization are present. [JB1]
- The advisor MUST be present at:
- Any organization function held on campus, at which alcohol is served.
- Any event while non-Villanova students will be present.
- The advisor should serve as an academic resource for the organization, ensuring that no one in academic difficulty serves in a key office, and offering assistance to any group members who are in need.
- Advisors should assist students with leadership transition from year to year.
In the event that your group is not satisfied with the level of support from the organization’s advisor, or the Advisor has concerns about the student leadership, please set up a meeting with the Director of Student Involvement, whose office is in 102 Dougherty Hall.
The university views the role of student organization advisor as part of an employee's normal work and thus extends liability insurance coverage to any member of the university community so engaged and behaving appropriately. It is clearly wise however, for anyone involved in this type of work to exercise what the courts have described as "reasonable judgment" in the conduct of their responsibilities.
Student Organization Programming and Development
Student engagement often occurs in the context of Villanova’s many student organizations. The outlined expectations and guidelines are subject to change based on current University guidance and compliance with appropriate recommendations. Student organization meetings, events, and programs should always adhere to current University guidance, Student Organization Policies, compliance with CDC recommendations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements, and any additional applicable
- Participation in the event registration process with the respective Student Life / University department that recognizes the student organization.
Event Requests and Space Reservations
Any student organization that wishes to host an event or program (virtual or in-person) should submit a request through the event registration process with the respective Student Life / University department that recognizes the student organization which will be forwarded to the university’s Events Management System. The appropriate Student Life / University department will review the request and either approve, deny, or offer suggested modifications for the proposed event based on available space and details provided in the proposal. Student organizations can promote student organizations events, programs, or meetings after receiving the necessary approvals.
The organization, its officers, and / or any individual applying to reserve facilities on behalf of the organization are responsible for:
- Damages to the facilities used including any financial loss to the University or a registered student organization because of the temporary closing of facilities.
- How the facilities are used during the time reserved and occupied.
- Any violations of university regulations, state, local, or federal laws which occur in connection with the use of facilities.
- Not deferring its use of a reserved facility to another group or individual without the permission of the Office of Student Involvement.
- The cleanliness of the facility after its use.
Villanova University encourages student organizations and members of student organizations to participate in professional development opportunities such as conferences, case competitions, and other related professional experiences. Professional development approval must be approved in advance with the recommendation of doing so 3 weeks prior to the start of the program. The Office of Student Involvement will collaborate with respective University offices to approve student organization professional development opportunities. Student organization funding may be used, if available, to finance professional related experiences. Typical budget expenses that can be covered by student organization funds include travel costs, conference fees, reasonable meal costs, or hotel costs. Students or student organization advisors will not be reimbursed for any professional development expenses that were not approved in advance.
Student Organization Resources
Student Organization Tabling
The Office of Student Involvement provides table services to student organization(s) and on-campus offices / departments at only these designated tabling locations including Dougherty Hall, the Connelly Center, the Riley Ellipse, and Bartley Hall. Students should pick up and drop off tables during business hours (9:00am-5:00pm) in the Office of Student Involvement located in 102 Dougherty Hall. If tables are reserved on back-to-back days, students must still pick up and drop off the tables at the beginning and end of each day. Student organizations may be charged for replacing tables in the event of a missing or lost table. If a student organization thinks there is going to be inclement weather on a day where they have a table reservation outside, student organizations should make an additional reservation for a preferred rain location. In the event of inclement weather, students are not permitted to move tables to an inside location without a reservation. Tables can be reserved for 3 consecutive days. Student organizations can only have individually wrapped pre-packaged foods by vendors or third parties available at tables. Student organizations looking to have vendors coming to campus should contact the Office of Student Involvement in 102 Dougherty Hall.
Student Organization Web Pages
The University's website represents Villanova University to prospective students, alumni, the general public, and the on-campus community. To that end, its content and appearance should adhere to professional standards. Authors are solely responsible for the content of individual student organization home pages. If content or appearance violate the policy on the Student Code of Conduct, UNIT IT Policies, or any other University policy, the University reserves the right to contact the student organization to update, remove, edit, or take additional actions as necessary to make appropriate revisions
As per the Public Safety Van Fleet policy, University Vehicles should only be used in furtherance of the purpose for which they are reserved. The intended use of University Fleet Vehicles is to transport Villanova University students, employees and registered volunteers to and from University sanctioned activities and events. Driving University Vehicles for personal use is prohibited. Any unauthorized use of the vehicles or use for other than the stated purpose may result in loss of privileges as well as losing privileges for the student organization. All drivers of vehicles must be certified through Public Safety. Only those who have completed the driver training are eligible to drive University vehicles. Passengers riding in University vehicles should complete the necessary waivers as appropriate.
Visit the Office of Student Involvement in 102 Dougherty Hall for guidance on how to reserve a University vehicle and how to obtain the appropriate waiver for the vehicle reservation. Note that a Fleet Trip Itinerary must be submitted one month in advance for all trips over 200 miles one way for approval by the Director of Parking and Transportation or his/her designee. The itinerary must be completed and submitted prior to the van reservation being approved, and must provide details as to routes, travel times, drivers, and rest periods. Given the distance of travel, approval of the itinerary by the Director of Parking and Transportation is required prior to the van reservation being approved. A student and student groups prior driving performance will be taken into consideration for vehicle reservation approval. Refer to the Public Safety Van Fleet policy for a full outline on Villanova University vehicle requirements.
Student Organization Finances
All recognized student organizations must conduct their financial business through Villanova University. As a service to all organizations, Villanova University assists in maintaining the balances for each student organization account. Student organizations, with the exception of fraternities and sororities within the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, may not hold bank accounts outside of the University. Any student organization having such an account will be in provisional standing until the closing statement and the remaining funds are presented to the Office of Student Involvement. Student organization money is available for student organizations with the following standards:
- All income that is generated, through dues or other approved fundraising events, should be deposited in the established student organization account on the same day it is collected by bring collected money to the office recognizing the student organization.
- All bills will be paid with money withdrawn from the established student organization account.
- Money from University accounts may not be used to solely support social programs such as social activities, banquets, dinners, or excessing dining off-campus. Organizations may fundraise to support the above mentioned or other related activities.
- University funds may not be used to support the following student organization activities:
- Appropriation to any partisan, political activity or for the support of the political campaign of any candidate for public office.
- Appropriation to a legislative body or to a registered student organization whose primary purpose is to influence legislation.
- Contributions to organizations or activities which discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, or national origin.
- Hiring of legal services, paying legal fines or providing bail bond funds.
- Appropriation for personal non-contractual gain of any student, faculty member, or other person.
- Grants-in-aid, scholarships, salaries, wages, loans or other such personal compensations to organizational officers or appointed or elected members.
Funds allocated to student organizations do not carry over from year to year. Funds that have been raised by student organizations do carry over from year to year. Student organization funds should be used for specific programs that further the student organization’s mission. Student organizations which request funds for a particular program or purpose and do not use these funds for their intended purpose may lose some or all of their university allocation. Any group that overspends may be placed in provisional standing until a meeting and financial plan is discussed with the Office of Student Involvement.
Student organizations may sell approved materials related to the purpose of their student organization, may collect dues, initiation fees, donations, and admission charges at locations approved by the Office of Student Involvement and at organizational meetings. Funds raised by recognized student organizations must be used in any manner that is consistent with the purposes of their student organization. Fundraisers scheduled to occur during Orientation or Commencement will not be approved. Permission from the Office of Student Involvement is required for any student, group of students or student organization to solicit funds or sponsorship from anyone outside the University, including, but not limited to, alumni, parents, and off-campus businesses. All items to be sold for fundraising purposes must be approved, prior to their being ordered, by the Office of Student Involvement. Student organizations cannot sell items or sponsor fundraisers in the residence halls, study lounges, dining halls, or interrupt the conduct of classes.
Student Organization Purchasing
Utilizing serves including but not limited to buying supplies, ordering buses, or hiring entertainment must be approved in advance by the respective office supporting the student organization before final arrangements are confirmed with a third-party vender. The respective Student Life / University department supporting the student organization will work in collaboration with student organizations on specific contract and procedures for student organizations to utilize the third-party vender. The Office of Student Involvement maintains a current list of contracts that student organizations may need for venders to utilize when working with student organizations. Contracts should never be signed by a student.
Villanova faculty and staff members have a purchasing card (credit card) available for student organizations to utilize for transactions furthering the mission and purpose of their student organization. Visit the Office of Student Involvement in 102 Dougherty Hall during normal business hours to access the purchasing card for approved student organization purchases. This card may be used in the Office of Student Involvement only. Receipts are required and the amount purchased will be taken directly from student organization accounts.
Reimbursements will be issued to students/advisors after purchase requests have been approved. Reimbursements will only be processed for those dated 30 days from the date on the receipt unless there is written approval from the Office of Student Involvement. In order for student organizations to be reimbursed and / or approved, student organization leaders should consult with the respective Student Life / University department supporting the student organization. Student organization leadership must complete a Purchase Request form in order for Villanova University to reimburse the approved student organization purchase.
All checks for registered student organizations must be made payable to “Villanova University” with the student organization name written in the memo. Checks will not be accepted if written more than 90 days prior to deposit date.
Cash advances for registered student organizations, which are generally only used for travel expenses, will be processed through the Office of Student Involvement. In order to receive a cash advance, an organization must file the appropriate paperwork with the Office of Student Involvement at least ten days prior to the date on which the money is needed
- Cash advances can only be taken out in the name of a University faculty or staff member.
- Only one cash advance can be outstanding at a time. To clear a cash advance, receipts and any remaining money must be turned into the Office of Student Involvement.
- Any cash advances not returned or cleared within a reasonable time period will result in the outstanding cash being billed to the person responsible for the advance.
Student Organization Social Policy
The purpose of this policy is to support Student Life student organizations through the social event planning process that is designed to protect Villanova University student organizations, their members and guests by ensuring that student organizations are following all state and local laws, Villanova University policies, and (inter)national organization policies that are applicable to Greek-letter organizations. It is the responsibility of student organizations hosting social events to properly plan in order to meet the requirements and deadlines in this policy. This policy applies to social events planned by student organizations at approved third party venues and / or on Villanova University property.
Social Event Requirements
- A social event is a general term that includes, but is not limited to, formals, date parties, and mixers hosted by student organizations at approved third-party venues or on Villanova University property, and where alcohol is served.
- Student organizations proposing to hold social events must be in good academic, social, and disciplinary standing as determined by the Director of the sponsoring department. Greek-letter organizations must also be in good standing by their (inter)national organization.
- All social events must be registered and approved by the Director of the area sponsoring the student organization or their designee.
- The social event date registration should take place no later than 6 weeks prior to the event and will be reviewed by the Director or their designee of the area recognizing the student organization.
- If the student organization is hosting a social event at a third-party venue, all necessary paperwork required to host a social event at a third-party venue includes the list below and is due at least 3 weeks prior to the event, in order to allow the documents to be reviewed by the Office of Risk Management to determine compliance. Social events that are not in compliance may be cancelled by the sponsoring office of the student organization.
- Required documents for social events held at third-party venues
- Student Life Venue Agreement
- Venue contract
- Certificate of insurance
- Copy of the Third-Party Vendor Liquor license
- Required documents for social events held at third-party venues
- Student organization leaders shall attend a Social Monitor training hosted by Student Life to assist with the planning and well-being of students during the social event. All social monitors shall sign the Social Monitor Responsibility Agreement prior to the event. If a student organization does not have enough social monitors by the time of the event (in accordance with this policy), the event may be canceled.
- Social monitors are defined as currently enrolled full time Villanova University student members of the sponsoring student organization(s) who are free of the influence of any substance (including alcohol and non-therapeutic drugs) during the social event and hours leading up to the social event. These students assist the student organization social chair (or equivalent) in organizing the logistics of the social event, including loading and unloading of buses, monitoring bus behavior while traveling to and from the venue, monitoring members and guests, and arranging rides for those who need to leave the venue prior to the end of the social event. A minimum number of social monitors sufficient to represent at least 10% of the total attendees shall be present at each event. In the case of events sponsored by two organizations, the total number (i.e. 10% of the total attendees) of social monitors required should be distributed across both sponsoring organizations. Greek-letter organizations shall follow Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life guidelines relating to social monitors.
- The host student organization(s) shall compile a list of those attending the social event including guests and social monitors, to the area recognizing the student organization.
- Failure on the student organization’s part to submit dates and complete forms by deadlines may result in cancellation of the event resulting in the student organization being responsible for any costs related to event cancellation.
- Student organizations may plan social events at an approved third-party vendor or Villanova University locations, on dates provided by the Division of Student Life.
- No more than two (2) social events may take place during any given day.
- No events may occur on Sundays, during midterm/final weeks, on reading days, during recruitment periods, during New Student Orientation, or during breaks as defined by the Villanova University academic calendar. Other times may be determined by the sponsoring department.
- Venues must be within a one hour driving distance from Villanova University.
- Social event overnight trips are not permitted.
- If Villanova University is closed due to inclement weather, or if all evening classes are cancelled, the social event will also be cancelled.
- If a social event is serving alcohol, a reasonable amount of food must be present for all attendees. Non-alcoholic drinks must also be available to any guest.
- Venues must agree to the terms listed on the Student Life Venue Agreement.
- Venues shall cease serving alcohol 30 minutes before the end of the event and shall not serve shots, champagne, or any common container beverages (i.e. jungle juice). Only beer, wine, mixed drinks, and non-alcoholic drinks may be served. No open bars are permitted.
- Student organizations are not permitted to spend University budget monies on social events. Student organizations are responsible for financing their own social event and may use their student organization savings account funds with authorization from their respective recognizing area. Villanovatix.com is available for student organizations to sell tickets and receive payment for social events. However, Fraternity and sorority chapters within the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life are not permitted to utilize Villanovatix.com for social events.
- The student organization(s) are responsible for coordinating third-party transportation between the University and the third-party venue, with a Villanova University approved or preferred vendor, as provided by the Office Risk Management.
- The student organization(s) will further ensure there is a seat available for each person in attendance on the transportation vehicle(s).
- All buses will normally pick up and drop off in the West Campus loop by Garey Hall, unless otherwise directed by appropriate University staff.
- At least two (2) social monitors should be assigned to oversee each bus to verify guest list and monitor bus behavior while traveling to and from the venue.
- Social monitors present at bus pickup (i.e. before departure to the event) have the right and responsibility to refuse entrance to any guest for, among other reasonable causes, appearing visibly under the influence of alcohol, having or reasonably appearing to have alcohol or drugs in their possession, or falsely representing their identity for the purpose of gaining entrance to the event.
The following resources are available and should be used when dealing with an emergency:
- For an on campus emergency, call Villanova Public Safety at 610.519.4444
- For an off-campus emergency, call 911
- Villanova University’s Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC) Team: 484-343-6028
- Villanova University Anonymous Crime Reporting: 610-519-6999
- The sponsoring office of your student organization
- Your student organization advisor
Student Organization Community Standards
Student organizations, their officers, and members may be held collectively or individually responsible for violations of the Code of Student Conduct or the specific regulations governing student organizations. While group membership shall not serve to release an individual from personal responsibility, collective group responsibility may be found for some violations committed by individual group members at the University's discretion.
Student organizations, their leaders, and members are called to exemplify the values of our Augustinian community. As such, any violation of this manual or the Code of Student Conduct is taken very seriously, and both the individuals involved and the student organization may be held accountable for actions that violate these policies. In some instances, the office that oversees the organization may deem it necessary to review an organization’s recognized status, operations, and procedures. When matters in question arise, the University may notify the advisor, as appropriate. Villanova University reserves the right to take actions it deems appropriate with respect to actions or activities undertaken by any student organization. Student organizations found in violation of University policies or the Code of Student Conduct shall be considered for Organizational Probation, Organizational Suspension, and/or Loss of Recognition, among other outcomes. The decision for administrative outcomes against an organization shall be made by the Director of the office that oversees the organization, or their designee (here and afterwards referred to as “Director”). Additional information related to student organization disciplinary action is located in the Villanova University Code of Student Conduct.
In cases where a student organization and/or its members act in a manner unbecoming of a Villanova student and/or in violation of student organization or University policies, the overseeing office may render an outcome including but not limited to additional required trainings, community service, loss of social events, Organizational Probation, Organizational Suspension, and/or Loss of Recognition, among other possible measures. In some cases, the the overseeing office may consult with students, faculty, or University officials in determining outcomes.
When a student organization may be in violation of a University policy found in this Student Organization Manual or the Code of Student Conduct, the student organization may be referred to an administrative process, or other University processes as determined by the Director. During an administrative process, the student organization will be represented by the current president or equivalent of the organization. At any time, the Dean of Students Office may also pursue disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct separate and in addition to the process rendered by the overseeing office. The Director will review the violation in question with the student organization president and additional student organization leaders as appropriate. The matter will be reviewed in a manner chosen by the Director to ensure fairness to all involved. As part of the process, an investigation at the discretion of the overseeing office, in collaboration with University partners, may take place. After reviewing the violation(s) in question, if a student organization denies responsibility or the facts of the matter are in question, the Director may issue a finding or call a Community Standards Panel (here and after referred to as “panel”) to review the matter and render a decision on responsibility. The Director will follow the same general guidelines and preponderance of evidence as the panel. The panel will include three committee members: two Student Life staff and / or faculty members, and a current Villanova student. Any complaint referred to a panel will be heard in a timely manner. During the panel, the student organization will have an opportunity to present relevant information related to the violation(s) in question. The panel will ask questions in an effort to gain a full understanding of facts surrounding the matter. Before the panel concludes, the student organization may offer final comments to the panel. Subsequently, and in private, the panel will determine if the student organization is responsible for the violation(s) in question . Finding of responsibility will be determined by the preponderance of evidence and by a majority vote. The panel will communicate this decision to the Director, who will then render an appropriate outcome.
In cases where student organizations receive Organizational Suspension or Loss of Recognition, student organizations have the right to appeal on the grounds of disproportionate outcome. Other outcomes are not subject to review. The Vice President for Student Life will review the appeal from the student organization president. A letter must be sent by the student organization president to the Vice President for Student Life no later than 10 days after the outcome was given to the student organization. The letter must include the name of the student organization, rationale for the appeal, and any documentation that supports the organization’s appeal. Any outcomes assigned to the student organization will remain in effect through the appeal process. After review, the Vice President of Student Life will issue a decision which will be final and binding.
Student Organization Outcomes for Violations of University Policies
Student organizations must be in good standing to fully receive the privileges of a registered student organization. Student organizations in good standing must adhere to all University policies and, must meet all criteria for maintaining status as a registered student organization, and must adhere to all federal, state, and local laws. As members of a Catholic and Augustinian University, each Villanovan is responsible for creating a community where mutual love and respect for individual differences guide our community life. Maintaining these community ideals is the responsibility of every member of the University community. Students, staff and faculty should, through their conduct, reinforce the ideals and encourage all members of the community to do likewise.
- Villanova University is a welcoming community, where in the spirit of Augustine, each member greets guests warmly and acknowledges each other as colleagues engaged in mutual service to our students and their parents. Respect for all is powerfully affirmed.
- Villanova University is an educationally purposeful community which acknowledges learning should be a primary goal of every activity and interaction. Villanova University believes each member of our community both teaches and learns from every other. It is in this unifying context that Villanovans must approach each other. Teaching and learning in this Catholic-Christian environment are paramount.
- Villanova University is a selfless community, a place where individuals acknowledge and accept their responsibility to sacrifice self-interest for the common good, and where the universal values of integrity, compassion, and humility guide decision making at every level of the institution.
- Villanova University is a just community, a place where the sacredness of each person is honored, where favoritism, bigotry, and discrimination are categorically rejected.
- Villanova University is a caring community, a place where the well-being of each member is sensitively supported, where service to others is strongly encouraged.
- Villanova University is a celebrative community, which affirms the Catholic, Augustinian charism and our collegiate tradition.
Failure to adhere to all University polices may result in the Student Organization facing outcomes at the discretion of the overseeing office and, when applicable, in collaboration with other University partners.
Outcomes are assigned by the overseeing office if a student organization is responsible for a violation of University policy, as outlined by the processes set forth in this policy. At any time, the Dean of Students Office may also issue disciplinary sanctions to individuals or the organization as a whole, as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. The overseeing office can assign one or more of the following outcomes, in addition to other conditions that student organizations must comply with.
An Organizational Warning is a notice acknowledging that a policy has been violated, and further non-compliance may result in more severe outcomes. Warnings are typically assigned for minor, first-time violations that do not have a significant impact on the organization or the University.
Educational outcomes include trainings, workshops, seminars, and other programs designed to be educational in nature. Educational outcomes may be assigned in conjunction with or in lieu of another outcome.
Service projects or service hours may be assigned to a student organization if it is deemed that such an assignment would have the most impact on the organization. Required service may be assigned in conjunction with or in lieu of another outcome.
Financial restitution may be required for a number of reasons, including but not limited to if an organization causes damage to office, a room it reserved, or other University property.
Organizational Probation is typically assigned when a policy of a more serious nature has been violated or when minor policies have been violated more than once. Organizational Probation is for a specified period of time and further violations committed by an organization while on Organizational Probation will result in more severe outcomes, including but not limited to Organizational Suspension or Loss of Recognition. Additionally, the University may require additional conditions be met during or after the period of Organizational Probation.
Loss of Privileges
Loss of Privileges includes the loss of one or more privileges of being a recognized student organization. This outcome is generally for a specified period of time. Examples of privileges that can be lost include, but are not limited to, access to the Student Organization’s financial account, access to the organization’s web space, the ability to reserve rooms on campus, the ability to apply for funding from the University, fundraising activities, social events, access to office space, among others.
Organizational Suspension is when a student organization is deactivated for a specified period of time. This outcome is assigned when major violations of policy occur that have a significant impact on the organization and the University. During the period of Organizational Suspension, an organization may not operate in any way. Additionally, the University may require conditions be met in order for an organization to return to active status after an Organizational Suspension.
Loss of Recognition
This outcome is typically assigned in the most serious violations that have a significant impact on the University, the organization, and the organization’s members. This outcome can also be issued when an organization continually violates policies. Student organizations that have lost recognition may not organize or sponsor any event or activity that promotes, or gives the impression or appearance that they are an operating organization. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising, posting, publishing, soliciting, recruiting and/or welcoming new members, and fundraising or assembly on campus. Such activities will be viewed as violations of University policies, and those students engaging in this activity will be held accountable.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may become aware of an organization whose continued participation within the University community may pose a risk to the students or others, or may pose a pending risk of disruption to normal campus operations. If the Director of the overseeing office reasonably believes such a threat is posed, a Cease and Desist Order may be issued until such time that the University can carry out the processes outlined in this Manual to determine what, if any, final outcomes will be assigned.
Notification of a Cease and Desist will be sent to the student organization president and advisor. The notification will include information regarding the alleged behavior that provided the rationale for the interim action. A Cease and Desist Order is where, until further notice, the organization is not permitted to operate in any way. The student organization may not organize or sponsor any event or activity that promotes, or gives the impression or appearance that they are an operating organization at Villanova University. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising, posting, publishing, soliciting, recruiting, new member education, fundraising, or assembly. Such activities will be viewed as violations of University policy, and those students engaging in such activity will be held accountable.