III. Student Activities and Organizations
We encourage our students to be participants—not spectators—and to take great pride in the quality and variety of activities and organizations we offer.
Policy on Student Clubs and Organizations
Purposes of Student Clubs and Organizations
“The University promotes personal and spiritual development through group activities, particularly faith households. It opposes those social groupings that impede personal or spiritual development.” Franciscan University Mission III.B.4. Franciscan University fosters and supports a diverse network of over 100 student clubs and organizations that fulfill the following four goals:
1. Student clubs and organizations provide opportunities for students to integrate their faith and right reason into their daily lives outside of the classroom. “A Christian student is one who concentrates on intellectual development through studies while integrating faith and learning in and out of the classroom.” Franciscan University Mission II.A.
2. Student clubs and organizations provide development opportunities for student leaders to engage society through humble service and evangelization. The University is committed to giving “special emphasis to the development of leaders for Christ and the Church through teaching programs and experiential learning situations.” Franciscan University Mission I.D.7.
3. Student clubs and organizations provide unique opportunities for students to develop friendships and to experience community life, thereby encouraging and fostering students’ personal, social, and spiritual development. “The University desires all its programs to be guided by the law of love, which builds true community among its members, respects the honor and dignity of each individual, and reaches out in merciful love to the deprived. “ Franciscan University Mission III.B.1
4. The variety of student clubs and organizations anticipates the different social, economic, political, and cultural areas that students are called to influence in public life after they leave the University. St. John Paul II taught in Christifidelis Laici that Christians have a “duty to participate in public life, albeit in a diversity and complementarity of forms, levels, tasks, and responsibilities.” (#42)
Rights and Responsibilities. “No club or organization has a right to exist or function on campus unless it has the explicit written permission of the vice president for Academic Affairs or the vice president of Student Life of the University and any approved organization may have its approval immediately withdrawn upon evidence that it has violated these standards as specified in the Student Handbook.” Franciscan University Mission III.B.4.
Student clubs and organizations that have received official University approval to operate on campus may reserve rooms, sponsor events, fundraise, advertise, recruit new members, and present themselves as a student club or organization to the University community and to the public. Groups of students that have not received official University approval do not have these privileges and are not permitted to advertise, recruit, present themselves as a student club or organization to the University community or to the public, or otherwise operate as a student club or organization.
All fundraising must comply with the Policy for Campus Fundraising, Soliciting, Vending and Student Businesses. Advertising must comply with the Sign and Advertisement Policy. Events and speakers must comply with the Student Events Policy and the Speakers Policy.
Initiation and Induction. All initiation practices must conform to the Mission of the University and the Code of Student Conduct. Ceremonies and processes must promote Christian maturity and good stewardship by showing respect for the dignity of the human person and care for University property. Practices that do not meet this criterion are prohibited; such practices include, but are not limited to, “kidnapping,” theft of or damage to property, sleep deprivation, and other dangerous or humiliating acts. Such actions are subject to disciplinary action. (See also “Hazing” in the Code of Student Conduct.)
In support of the priority of academics at Franciscan University, household induction ceremonies and Greek initiation ceremonies are not to be conducted during the week prior to and the week of final exams. This policy applies to both semesters of the academic year and to all class ranks.
Student Officers and Coordinators. Officers of officially recognized academic and student clubs, Student Government senators, and household coordinators must maintain a minimum cumulative quality point average (QPA) of 2.0. Candidates for leadership positions must have a 2.0 cumulative QPA in order to be considered or to run for office. If the cumulative QPA of an officer or senator falls below 2.0 while serving in office, he/she must resign his/her position for the subsequent semester.
Presidents of officially recognized academic and student clubs are ineligible to serve as senators of the Franciscan University Student Government.
Categories of Student Clubs and Organizations
Student clubs and organizations at Franciscan University fall into one of four categories:
- Households. Households are faith-centered, voluntary student organizations that are officially recognized by the Student Life Office. Households must meet the requirements listed in the document General Household Vision, Recommendations, and Requirements in order to function as a recognized organization. Households may seek funding from Exc!te or Student Government for particular events, but households may not apply for recognition from Student Government.
Student Clubs. These clubs are organized by students and sustained by their voluntary activity and initiative. Student clubs may form for any reason consistent with the University’s mission, but they may not fulfill a function or duty that is considered a responsibility or extension of any administrative body of the University. Students may apply for student club status through the Office of Student Life. No student club may operate without written approval from the vice president of Student Life. Student clubs are required to operate under a written constitution that outlines the purpose of the club and its consistency with the mission of the University. These clubs must have an advisor chosen from the faculty or staff of the University, and must have official officers. These clubs may choose, but are not required, to seek recognition and funding from Student Government. Presidents and vice presidents of student clubs are required to attend an annual training session. A list of student clubs may be found on the Student Life pages of franciscan.edu/student clubs.
- University Organizations. Certain outreaches and activities are conducted primarily by students under the direction, supervision, and funding of a University department. These include Exc!te—the Office of Student Activities, The Troubadour (student newspaper), Works of Mercy, Missions of Peace, Graduate/Non-Traditional Student Outreach, Fine Arts Society, varsity and club athletic teams, residence hall councils, and various Chapel Ministries. Student leaders of these organizations are subject to departmental policy rather than the Policy on Student Officers and Coordinators.
- Academic Clubs. These clubs are sponsored by an academic department to deepen students’ understanding of academic coursework and to apply academic knowledge and skills through outside-of-class activities, events, and outreaches. A faculty member from the sponsoring department serves as the advisor, and members are normally students in that department. Academic student organizations are approved each semester by the office of Academic Affairs. Academic clubs are required to operate under a written constitution that outlines the purpose of the club and its consistency with the mission of the University. Academic clubs are not required to have student officers; however, if an academic club does have officers, the Policy on Student Officers applies. These clubs may choose, but are not required, to seek recognition and funding from Student Government. A list of academic clubs may be found on the Student Life pages of franciscan.edu.