Monday, October 14, 2013

Student Organizations: Creating a New Organization

Creating a New Student Organization at the Appalachian School of Law

Section 4.I. of the Bylaws of the Appalachian School of Law nicely state the reason to create and support student organizations.

The Appalachian School of Law encourages and supports the creation of student organizations. Student organizations contribute to the educational experience at the Law School by providing social and professional interaction outside the classroom. The SBA Senate will recognize qualifying groups as official organizations. Official recognition allows the SBA to assist the organization in such ways as funding activities through student activity fees and locating office or meeting space on the law school campus. 
A student organization may establish criteria for membership provided that the organization’s policies are consistent with the anti-discrimination policy of the Appalachian School of Law. Specifically, no officially recognized student organization may establish membership policies that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national and ethnic origin. 
Furthermore, at the beginning of each academic year, all SBA recognized organizations shall provide a current list of all officers and members to the SBA Secretary prior to requesting any funding from the SBA.
Section 4.II sets out the process for creating a new student organization:
A group of students seeking to be recognized as an officially recognized organization may submit a written request for recognition to the SBC for review by New Organization Review Committee (NORC). Such application shall include: a list of prospective members, a mission statement of the proposed organization’s goals and purposes, a constitution, by-laws and other organizational documents describing the structural workings of the organization. The application shall also include a list of officers of the proposed organization. The members of the NORC shall draft and periodically revise a form to facilitate the application process.  [The form appears on the SBA's TWEN site.]
To become officially recognized as an SBA Organization, the Senate must approve the NORC’s recommendation by a simple majority vote. Prior to granting official recognition to an organization, the Senate shall consider the application, the recommendation of NORC, and how the new organization will contribute to the goals and mission of the Appalachian School of Law. 
Recognition shall not be withheld arbitrarily. If an organization is denied recognition, the Senate shall present its reasons for withholding recognition in writing to the members of the proposed organization. Any student organization denied recognition may appeal the decision of the Senate to the Honor Court. The Senate shall consider any written recommendations the Honor Court may submit relating to SBA recognition of the proposed organization.

Section 5. III of the SBA Bylaws describes the New Organization Review Committee (NORC).  It provides:
The NORC shall be chaired by the Vice President of the SBA. Three senators, one from each class shall also serve on the committee. The committee shall review the application for any organization seeking SBA recognition to ensure that the organization meets all requirements for recognition. The committee shall meet with the representatives of the proposed organization and submit a written report explaining how the organization complies with the requirements necessary for recognition. The committee report will be submitted to the Senate for review. Upon receiving the report, the Senate shall consider the committee’s recommendation and vote whether to confer official SBA recognition.

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