Feb 06, 2023  
2021-2022 University Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 University Student Handbook [FINAL EDITION]

Student Engagement: Student Organization Policies and Procedures


 

Administrative Oversight of Student Organizations

Division of Student Affairs

The Dean of Students and the Assistant Dean of Students work to foster the growth and legacy of student empowerment through students’ involvement in university-recognized organizations and programs. Financial matters for all student organizations and programs are the administrative responsibility of the Division of Student Affairs through the Office of Student Engagement.

Office of Student Engagement

The Office of Student Engagement seeks to empower and develop students through innovative learning opportunities, programs, and services designed to prepare students to lead, serve, and achieve their educational goals and reach their potential. The Office of Student Engagement provides leadership opportunities and resources for students to impact campus life at Widener through the New Student Orientation Program, Student Club and Organization Program, Student Government Association, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Pride Activities Council, Alternative Spring Break, Commuter Student Association, Senior Class Committee, Late Night and Weekend Programming, Leadership Programs, Apogee Scholars Program, and a variety of student-centered traditions.

Adjudication and Accountability

The university maintains the authority to revoke an organization’s recognition and expedite removal from campus for egregious university policy violations. When deemed appropriate, the Division of Student Affairs will adjudicate student organizations and clubs according to campus student conduct system procedures. Fraternity and sorority organizations may be adjudicated by Division of Student Affairs under campus student conduct system procedures, fraternity and sorority life procedures, or both. The university standard for recognizing an organization’s activity is at least three students acting under the auspices of the organization.

Program Purpose and Learning Outcomes

The purpose of the Student Club and Organizations Program is to provide undergraduate students with meaningful opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities that enhance their intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, and professional abilities outside of the classroom.

The Director of Student Organizations is responsible for ensuring the development and success of the program by supporting, advising, and advocating for student organization needs and student-led programming through data collection, specialized leadership development programs, operations and compliance management, and recruitment and marketing strategies.

As a result of participation in a recognized student organization, a student participant will:

  • Gain a solid knowledge and understanding of student organization resources and policies to support overall organization sustainability.
  • Develop and demonstrate competencies in program planning and logistics, accounting and budgeting, risk assessment and management, team management and mentorship, organization operations and management, and membership recruitment, retention, and marketing.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of interpersonal skills, group dynamics, effective teamwork, conflict resolution, and motivating others.
  • Cultivate a sense of self-awareness through self-leadership and personal values assessment.
  • Establish and develop a value for pluralism and inclusion while gaining knowledge of concepts of power and privilege in relation to identities, intersectionality, and equity.
  • Have a greater satisfaction with their overall college experience.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with other students, university departments, and community partners.

Student Organization Expectations and Guidelines

Expectations for Student Organizations

To become an officially recognized student organization, each group is required to meet certain minimum standards determined by the Office of Student Engagement and the Student Government Association. Student leaders are also expected to abide by the Student Leader Character Clause if they are in an elected position. Additional requirements that exceed those of Widener University may apply to groups through national affiliations, but these requirements cannot conflict with Widener’s.

There are certain special regulations for the establishment of Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities.

Recognition of Student Organizations

The student organization recognition process outlined below applies to all Main Campus day undergraduate student organizations, except social fraternities and sororities which gain recognition through the Office of Student Engagement. The following criteria apply to a new organization requesting recognition.

  • The organization must be consistent with the mission and goals of Widener University and additionally must maintain the quality of student life on campus through its membership, activities, and services.
  • The organization does not duplicate an existing organization through name or purpose including activities, services, and programs.
  • The organization is intended to function indefinitely rather than to merely meet a short-term issue or concern.
  • The activities of the organization will not endanger the physical or emotional welfare of members; violate policies stated in this Student Handbook; violate laws of the city, state, or federal government; or create liability for the university.
  • The constitution of the organization is sufficiently developed to meet the mission and objectives of the organization.
  • More information can be found on MyWidener by searching ‘Student Organization Resource Center’.

Process to Gain Official Recognition

  • Student organization recognition applies to all main campus undergraduate groups proposing recognition through the Office of Student Engagement. In order to be in compliance with university regulations and procedures, all student-run groups should be recognized through the Office of Student Engagement. In addition, groups who intend on receiving any funds from the Student Government Association must be recognized through the Office of Student Engagement.
  • Students may propose a new organization with the Office of Student Engagement by following the guidelines in the “New Organization Recognition Process” section of the Student Organization Handbook. New organizations will be granted a “Pending” status until all requirements are met and approved by the Office of Student Engagement. An organization that has been inactive for two or more consecutive semesters must go through the new student organization recognition process.
  • General Greek-lettered organizations should refer to the expansion policy found on the Office of Student Engagement page on MyWidener. Competitive or contact sports groups must contact the Pride Recreation Center prior to beginning the recognition process.
  • Recognition of student organizations does not imply that the university endorses the views of the organization as a group or of its individual members.

Maintaining Student Organization Recognition

Groups wishing to maintain their recognition with the Office of Student Engagement must adhere to several requirements each semester. Recognized student organizations (RSOs) that meet all of the requirements and abide by all policies outlined in the handbook may enjoy the privileges and rights granted to recognized student organizations at Widener University. These groups will be granted an active status through the Office of Student Engagement. Please refer to the “RSO’s Semester Requirements” section in the Student Organization Handbook for more information on semester requirements for recognition. Groups that fail to fulfill semester requirements will be placed on inactive status and have their benefits and privileges revoked. A final list of RSOs are shared with university administration as it relates to space reservations, funding, etc. If an organization is inactive, space requests and funds through the Student Government Association will be revoked.

Fraternities and sororities must adhere to additional policies and requirements mandated by the Office of Student Engagement, their respective councils, and their organization’s international offices.

Club sports teams must adhere to the requirements and policies agreed upon between the Office of Student Engagement and the Pride Recreation Center.

Groups that are placed on inactive status for failing to fulfill semester requirements will automatically lose recognition for at least one semester. They may apply for reinstatement through the Office of Student Engagement in April (for fall recognition) and December (for spring recognition). The guidelines can be found in the “Organization Recognition Reinstatement Process” section of the Student Organization Handbook. Organization benefits and privileges will remain revoked until the group is reinstated by the Office of Student Engagement.

  • It is the responsibility of ALL student organization leaders and advisors to comply and keep current information on file with the Office of Student Engagement as requested by the Assistant Dean of Students or the Student Government Association. Current information may include an updated membership roster, constitution, bylaws, advisor certification, or event verification.
  • Student organizations that fail to maintain updated information with the Office of Student Engagement are considered to be inactive, and will have all campus organization privileges revoked.
  • Student organizations that remain inactive for two or more consecutive semesters are subject to having all associated university financial accounts closed. All remaining funds that were allocated through the Student Activity Fee will revert back to the Office of Student Engagement for campus programming initiatives.
  • The status and continued existence of all student organizations is subject to review by the Dean of Students.
  • Please refer to the student organization recognition requirements located on the Office of Student Engagement page on MyWidener or in the Student Organization Handbook.

Options for Student Organization Recognition

All recognized student organizations will have the flexibility of participating in a tiered recognition process based on each organization’s level of active participation and need for funding.

LEVEL 1 – Organizations receiving no SGA funding 

  • Hold a minimum of one meeting per month or three meetings per semester. This requirement is in place simply to ensure your organization is active. 
  • All executive board members must attend one Presence Training session offered throughout the fall semester.
  • Gain pre-approval for all events, programs, and meetings using the Event Approval form located in Presence. This is the form you will utilize to reserve spaces on campus.  
  • Send a minimum of one executive board member to attend the RSO Policy Training. 
  • Submit any changes to your executive board that occur after your annual transition through the Student Organization Update Form located in Presence.  
  • Complete the Annual Recognition Form by April 1 for all Fall-Spring organizations and November 1 for all Spring-Fall organizations.  
  • All new executive board members must complete the Student Leader Character Clause Form by April 1 for all Fall-Spring organizations and November 1 for all Spring-Fall organizations.  
  • All advisors must sign the Advisor Agreement by April 1 for all Fall-Spring organizations and November 1 for all Spring-Fall organizations.  

LEVEL 2 – Organizations receiving SGA funding 

  • Meet all of the Level 1 requirements.
  • Send a minimum of one executive board member to attend the RSO Policy Training and one executive board member to attend SGA Finance Training. 
  • Send a minimum of one Active Member (this could be an executive board member, committee member, or active general body member) to represent your organization at ONE additional workshop of your choosing.  
  • Update your active membership list in Presence by April 1 for all Fall-Spring organizations and November 1 for all Spring-Fall organizations.  
  • Maintain at least one organization member to act as the SGA Representative and COR member at SGA Town Hall Meetings. 
  • Complete the SGA Service Requirement – minimum of two service projects with a minimum of 5 people (unless otherwise approved by the Director of Student Organizations).

Loss of Recognition

Any student organization, including general Greek-letter fraternities and sororities, that has been officially removed from a Widener campus must adhere to the guidelines or sanctions of their removal as stated by the university or university representative. Failure to comply may result in individual Student Code of Conduct charges and additional sanctions. The removal policies and sanctions may vary among organizations, especially those that have violated federal, state, or local laws and organizations that report to national headquarters. Student organizations that have lost official recognition are subject to the loss of all allocated funds distributed from the Student Activity Fee. All properly identified funds that were allocated through the Student Activity Fee will revert back to the Office of Student Engagement for campus programming initiatives.

Eligibility for Holding an Elected or Appointed Office for Recognized Organizations

To hold elective or appointed offices in campus organizations, students must be matriculated and must have a total cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, which is the university’s required GPA for graduation. Organizations may elect to set higher standards. A student whose GPA at the end of the first semester of any year falls below 2.5 will be ineligible during the second semester to hold an elected or appointed office in a campus organization. The Office of Student Engagement will notify students of their ineligibility.

Any person holding office must meet the minimum academic requirements of the university (2.5 or higher overall GPA), may not be on academic, disciplinary, or social probation, and must be currently enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student on the main campus. All student participants in a student organization, whether recognized or not, are expected to abide by the expectations set in the Student Leader Character Clause. Student organization leaders or general members found in violation of the Character Clause are subject to removal from organization membership or dismissal from a specific role with the organization. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements or may be in violation of the Character Clause will be notified of their ineligibility to hold office by the Office of Student Engagement. The advisor may also be notified, and the group will follow the procedures outlined in its constitution to determine a replacement.

Guidelines on Student Events

Student organizations are encouraged to sponsor activities that contribute to the co-curricular life of the university. The organization should consult with the Office of Student Engagement and its advisor regarding the planning and implementation of its events. The Assistant Dean of Students reserves to approve certain high-risk events or require that certain events adhere to guidelines for advertising, security, supervision, and participation by non-Widener guests. All student events must receive approval by the Office of Student Engagement. The following guidelines typically relate to all events hosted by recognized student organizations:

  • When possible, events are to be open to all members of the university community. In certain circumstances, a valid Widener Campus1Card and appropriate proof of age may be required for admission. For social event planning in University Center and Lathem Hall, please refer to the Office of University Center Administration to obtain a copy of the Social Event Planning and Management Agreement.
  • Refer to the Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances Policy located in this Student Handbook’s section on the “Student Code of Conduct” for details regarding student events including alcohol.
  • Organization members, especially their elected or appointed leadership, are ultimately responsible for running their event and need to pay particular attention to maintaining appropriate control and order.
  • If an event will have alcohol present, there must be adherence to the university’s alcohol policies and permission received from the dean of students at least 10 days in advance. Appropriate advisors or administrative staff will be required to be in attendance.
  • A speaker or performer can only be invited to events that are sponsored by recognized student organizations and administrative offices or academic departments. Procedures for an organization to become registered by the university can be found in the “Student Organizations” section. Depending upon the nature of the speaker or performer, the university may require that additional procedures be followed to provide for a safe and successful program. Questions about this area can be directed to the Assistant Dean of Students.
  • Outside promotion companies are not permitted to cosponsor or promote any on- or off-campus student organization events and programs.
  • Event advertisements from student organizations may be made only on campus. Students should not contact external news media (newspapers, television, radio) or use e-mail as publicity vehicles. Students who wish to disseminate e-mails to the Widener community should contact the Assistant Dean of Students to arrange to have the e-mail sent via the Office of University Relations (see “External Press Coverage”).

Budget Allocation and Audit Guidelines

Only recognized student organizations are eligible to request funding from the Student Government Association through the annual budget allocation or grant processes. Groups that have not maintained updated information and complied with all Office of Student Engagement and SGA requirements during the recognition period are considered inactive and are ineligible to apply for funding for that academic semester, or year in some cases. If a recognized student organization is deemed as inactive for at least one full academic year, then the organization is subject to have all student-activity fee funding reclaimed by the Student Government Association.

All recognized student organizations are subject to a semi-annual or annual fiscal audit of financial transactions to ensure that allocated student activities fee funds are used in the manner in which they were approved. If it is determined as the result of the audit process that funds were not used for intended purposes, or not all funds were used within the respective fiscal year, then the Student Government Association reserves the right to reclaim misused or unused funds. The funds will be re-purposed and reallocated for future student organization initiatives and leadership opportunities.

Gaining Funding for a Recognized Student Organization

The Student Government Association has established additional criteria that outline how an organization can become eligible to receive funds. The organization must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Must be an officially recognized student organization for at least one semester.
  • Must have an updated file with the Office of Student Engagement, which shall include a current organization leadership list, current membership roster, updated constitution and bylaws, and an approved faculty or staff advisor.
  • Must have an organizational representative that has actively supported and attended at least 75 percent of all SGA general meetings the semester prior to when funds are being requested. The only exception is for organizations that have been officially recognized for only one semester.
  • Must be in good standing with the Office of Student Engagement.
  • Must practice sound fiscal management consistent with established university business procedures. No organization can incur debts, assume financial responsibilities, or in any way contract any financial obligations without the permission of the organization advisor and approval of the Office of Student Engagement. The organization must possess sufficient funds to meet such obligations, and the advisor must countersign all payment vouchers, purchase orders, and reimbursements. The Office of Student Engagement must review and sign off on all of the above.
  • All contractual obligations must be approved by the senior vice president for administration and finance. After a contract is reviewed by the organization advisor, a copy must be forwarded to the senior vice president for administration and finance for review approval before an event is permitted to occur.

Note: It is the responsibility of ALL organization leaders to stay informed on current budget and funding processes. Please refer to the Student Organization Policy Manual for detailed information.

Student Organization Policies and Procedures

Campus Chalking Policy

Purpose—The use of sidewalk chalk at Widener University by recognized student organizations and campus departments is considered an acceptable way to promote campus events, make announcements, and to share messages on campus. The purpose of this policy is to describe expectations for individuals who wish to chalk on campus grounds, ensure that chalking does not permanently or adversely impact the campus grounds, and to ensure that messages are consistent with all applicable laws and university policies. Individuals that are approved to chalk notices on university sidewalks or streets are expected to cooperate with the Department of Campus Safety regarding any requests for identification and information about the chalking activity in question.

Policy Guidelines

  • All recognized student organizations and campus departments must have an approved campus chalking policy form on file prior to the application of chalking to any university owned surface.
  • The content of all chalking messages must adhere to all university policies and applicable laws.
  • Students must use a water-soluble chalk product (sidewalk chalk). The use of spray chalk, semi-permanent, or permanent chalking materials including all markers, paints, oil based products, and other aerosol-based products are strictly prohibited at Widener University. Student organizations or campus departments may be fined if the university Maintenance Department has to remove any instances of chalking on university grounds where a water-soluble chalking product was not used.
  • Chalking is prohibited on all structures and vertical surfaces including all buildings, walls, benches, signs, poles, columns, steps, states, light poles, and trees. Chalking must occur at least 30 feet away from building entrances.
  • All chalking activities must identify the sponsoring student organization or campus department. Overwriting, erasing, defacing, or altering the chalking of another organization is strictly prohibited. Chalking requests may not be submitted by individual community members for personal gain or external businesses.
  • Chalking is permitted only in open areas that can be directly washed by the rain. The chalking cannot be placed on a horizontal surface that is covered by an overhang (e.g., Kapelski Portico).
  • Campus chalking requests may be prohibited the week of major campus events.

Display Board Use and Allocation Policy

Student organizations at Widener University that are officially recognized by the Office of Student Engagement may be allocated a bulletin board for the purpose of promoting that organization’s merits, educating the community of its mission, and advertising upcoming events. The Office of Student Engagement determines which organizations are granted space.

  • All organizations are given access to a key to open their designated bulletin board. All keys are kept in the Office of Student Engagement.
  • All organizations must register the names of those individuals who will have access to the bulletin board keys with the Office of Student Engagement. Only these individuals will have access to the bulletin board case key.
  • All materials intended to be hung inside the bulletin board display cases must be reviewed by the Office of Student Engagement and maintain compliance with all university policies and applicable standards.
  • The Office of Student Engagement reserves the right to make adjustments to the display case use policy.
  • An organization may lose its display case privileges if it is in violation of any aspect of a stated University policy or guideline.

Event Planning & Facility Reservations

To reserve space on the Chester Campus, follow instructions from the Office of University Center Administration as posted on the MyWidener portal.

  • Maintenance needs to be contacted at x1095 regarding room setup arrangements for all areas except University Center rooms and spaces and the Alumni Auditorium. Room setup for University Center, Alumni Auditorium, and Lathem Hall are to be selected in the designated area of the “25Live Online” scheduling tool. Please be specific when describing your setup arrangement to ensure it will be what you desire. Consult with the appropriate reservationist to ensure the facility can accommodate the setup you are seeking.
  • The “25Live Online” form is NOT an official request for audiovisual (A.V.) needs. If you need to reserve audiovisual equipment for your event, then please call the Teaching and Learning Technologies Office at 610-499-4090. Please note that it is helpful to list your A.V. equipment needs on the form, since some facilities are checked prior to usage to see if all is in place. A.V. equipment for Alumni Auditorium (excluding a laptop computer) is reserved through the University Center Office. If you require a technician to be present, you must provide one week’s notice.
  • The online “25Live Online” form must be completed a minimum of three business days prior to the event. Submission of this form does not guarantee a reservation. Once all information has been received, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. (Confirmations for student organizations will be sent to the designated advisor.) Once you have received a confirmation email, you have an official reservation.
    • Facility reservations are on a first come, first served basis, with the exception of high priority campus events.
    • We can better serve you if food requests and facility reservations are received at least two weeks in advance. This will give all service areas adequate lead time to prepare for your event.
    • All organizations are responsible for the condition of the facility during their usage and will be charged for any damage that occurs.
    • Due to the great demand for meeting rooms, please call the respective reservationist if your meeting is cancelled.
  • If Campus Safety officers are needed for any event, please give at least one week advance notice. Indicate how many officers will be needed for the event and the exact hours and location of the event. Officers are paid an hourly rate for their services during events.
  • Events and parties in University Center, Alumni Auditorium, and Lathem Hall must have completed forms and approval by the Office of University Center Administration in advance. Refer to University Center in the “Facilities and Services” section of this handbook.

Event Access and Security

Some campus events require students to provide a valid campus ID or to check-in using a social media app/laptop. These requirements are implemented to assist with occupancy requirements, security protocols, data collection, and to comply with the university’s social event planning policies. Students who fail to follow these admittance procedures may be asked to leave the campus sponsored event.

External Press Coverage

Student organizations may not contact external news media (newspapers, television, radio) regarding their activities. Instead, organization leaders must contact the University Relations Department by calling 610-499-4430. A professional staff member in the University Relations Department can provide assistance with creating and distributing press releases to local media outlets announcing public events, and coordinating press coverage for noteworthy activities.

Fire Circle Policy and Usage Guidelines

Policy Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to help event sponsors establish the minimum requirements necessary to create a safe environment and reasonable level of property protection from the hazards of fire, explosion, or other dangerous conditions in all facilities, structures, or grounds owned or operated by Widener University. The University is committed to providing its students, staff, faculty, and guests with a safe environment to learn, live and work.

This policy is subject to change with the introduction of additional guidance from local, state, and federal authorities, or directives from the senior leadership of Widener University, and may be modified at any time.
 

GENERAL POLICY INFORMATION

Widener University will provide one designated area for fire circle events. The designated area is located next to the University Center Patio in the lawn area located on 14th Street. University policy prohibits the facilitation of an “open burn” event in any other area of campus or the surrounding neighborhood.

Primary responsibility for the operation of the fire circle and the safety of all event participants shall remain with the sponsoring student organization, administrative department, or academic unit. All requests for use of the Fire Circle facilities are subject to review by the Department of Campus Safety and the Operations Department.

Fire circle events are limited to August 1 – December 1 in the fall semester and Mid-January – May 30 in the spring semester. Additional consideration will be given to proposed events scheduled for the summer months. To allow for ample planning, all fire circle event requests must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the event.
 

PROCESS FOR HOSTING A FIRE CIRCLE EVENT

  1. All fire circle events must be reserved through the Office of University Center Administration by submitting an online Event Approval Form. To access the form, please visit MyWidener and search “Event Approval Form” or “Student Organization Resource Center” and select the Forms and Resources menu.

  2. All fire circle event requests must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the date of the event to allow ample planning time and additional review by the Department of Campus Safety and the Operations Department.

  3. Once the form has been received, an event safety meeting will be held a minimum of 10 days prior to the event between the event planner and the Director of the University Center Administration to review the fire circle event requirements and to ensure the group is prepared to safely host the event.

  4. Upon a successful safety review meeting, the fire circle event request will be approved. After approval, the fire circle facility will be reserved, and all administrative departments involved will be notified – including the Department of Campus Safety and the Operations Department.

  5. Requests for additional tables, chairs, trash cans, or other equipment must be submitted at the time of submitting the event request through the online Event Approval Form.

  6. At the appointed time, the Office of University Center Administration will provide the appropriate event materials including a pair of safety goggles, gloves, a starter log, an igniter, a small bundle of wood, a fire rake or shovel, a fire extinguisher, and (2) five-gallon buckets for water to extinguish the flames.
     

FIRE CIRCLE FACILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • The Fire Circle facility located in the University Center Lawn on 14th Street is the only designated space on campus that University community members are permitted to host a fire on campus.
  • A fire is not permitted to burn longer than (3) three hours from the time it is lit, and must burn between the approved times of 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. All fires must be extinguished by 11:00 p.m.
  • A designated employee or organization advisor must be present at the start of the event and at the conclusion of the event to monitor safety and proper procedures to extinguish the fire.
  • All participants involved in the construction of the fire must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, and wear close-toe shoes with substantial soles.
  • Prior to lighting the fire, the event host must have all fire circle event supplies on site – including a starter log, an igniter, a small bundle of wood, a fire rake or shovel, a fire extinguisher, and (2) five-gallon buckets of water.
  • Direct access to a water source and hose must be available for all fire circle events. A water hose is available on the side of the main entrance of the University Center (closest to the gravel path).
  • Other than a starter log, no additional accelerants, or other flammable materials are permitted to start or maintain the fire in the fire circle. Accelerants can include gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, or other fuel sources. Fireworks are prohibited on campus and may not be used.
  • The height of the fire must not exceed (2) two feet and must be contained within the fire circle area.
  • Prevailing winds must not exceed 10 miles per hour for at least 30 minutes before the fire is lit or for any duration of the event or the event must be postponed for the safety of all participants.
  • Food items cannot be prepared directly on the griddle of the Fire Circle area.
  • All forms of alcohol are prohibited and not permitted in the Fire Circle area.
  • All areas in and around the Fire Circle area must be thoroughly cleaned at the conclusion of the event.

EXTINGUISING THE FIRE AND EVENT CLEAN UP

  • The responsible party should prepare to extinguish the fire at least 30 minutes before the conclusion of the event to ensure that the fire is completely out before departing the fire circle area.
  • Using a shovel, spread the embers around as much as possible within the fire pit area to increase airflow around the remaining embers and prevent reignition.
  • Using the water buckets provided, douse the fire pit area slowly with water. Please avoid contact with the steam that will be generated from the water hitting the hottest parts of the fire.
  • Using the shovel, stir or spread all remaining embers a second time, and then douse the area a second time with the remaining water bucket. Repeat this process until all embers are extinguished and the area is cold.
  • Charred ash and debris should be placed in the designated receptacle.
  • At the conclusion of the event, the Department of Campus Safety should be notified by calling (610) 499-4200, and all equipment should be returned to the Office of University Center Administration.

Fundraising Policy

Definition: For purposes of this policy, fundraising is defined as the collection of money through donations, sales, and/or event programming for the purposes of charitable donation or organizational budget enhancement. There are many creative opportunities to raise funds for recognized student organizations. Other types of fundraising activities not listed in this policy may be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Students for review.

General Policy Guidelines: The following guidelines are applicable to all fundraising activities by recognized student organizations on property owned, operated, or controlled by Widener University:

  • The sponsor of a fundraising activity must complete a “Fundraising Proposal Form” and submit it to the Office of Student Engagement for approval at least seven business days prior to the date of the fundraising activity. The proposal must be received and approved prior to the collection of any funds or items. Please allow additional time to obtain signatures that may be required from different offices.
  • Failure to obtain permission to hold a fundraising event, or failure to adhere to university policy regarding events for which permission has been granted, will result in the limitation or cancellation of the event by the Office of Student Engagement or another appropriate university official, or other sanctions.
  • The purpose for which the funds will be raised must be consistent with the purpose of the recognized student organization, the expectation of the Widener University Student Handbook, and all other applicable university policies.
  • Recognized student organization leaders are responsible for ensuring that proposed activities comply with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations as they are related to Widener University. A currently enrolled student member of the sponsoring organization must be present at the event at all times.
  • All funds that are raised as a result of the fundraising event must be deposited into the recognized student organization’s on-campus account. Fundraised proceeds will be sent to the charitable organization through the payment request voucher process (if applicable). No member can receive monetary gain from the fundraising of the group. Income cannot be given or loaned out under any circumstances to any person.
  • Groups promoting fundraisers that benefit one or more organizations must clearly communicate the recipients and distribution of the proceeds within event advertisements or other signage (e.g., 50 percent of proceeds go to the recognized student organization account and 50 percent goes to the charitable organization).
  • All fundraising activities must be reported to the Office of Student Engagement within five business days after the event using the online event reporting form. An accounting of any funds raised must be reported. The Office of Student Engagement reserves the right to request an accurate record of funds raised and funds spent.
  • Fundraising events that require a fee for admission must follow the Ticket Sales Policy. Please refer to that section of the Student Handbook for more information.
  • Widener University acknowledges that a policy of this nature may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise with respect to fundraising activities. As a result, the university reserves the right to impose reasonable restrictions and requirements with respect to the time, place, and manner of fundraising activities. These restrictions may be in addition to, or in lieu of, those set forth in the policy.

Selling Food: The sale of food on campus by recognized student organizations is limited to the sale of confectionery items (bake sales) unless otherwise approved by the Office of Student Engagement. A food license is not required to sell confectionery items on campus by recognized student organizations. Student organizations must ensure that (1) any persons wrapping items should take care that hands are extremely clean before handling food, (2) all items for confectionery sales must be wrapped in individual portions before being brought to campus to avoid contamination, and (3) sale items must not spoil in the absence of refrigeration.

Auction Events:

  • Groups may utilize an auction-type event to raise money by auctioning items such as art, tickets to an event, dinner, at a particular restaurant, or prizes and services provided by a qualified and insured vendor.
  • No individual or group may be auctioned for “services” or a “date.” Widener University values equality and diversity, and auctioning off an individual or group places a “value” on that person or group. This practice mimics a catastrophic time in history when slaves were auctioned and is not acceptable. Further, date auctions can perpetuate a sense of entitlement that makes it difficult to know the intentions of the person bidding.

Fundraising Item Examples: Widener University generally accepts the following list of items as approved forms of contributions that can be used to raise funds during fundraising events. The university reserves the right to review all fundraising contributions.

  • Items for sale that have been produced by the organization (e.g., baskets, bouquets of flowers)
  • Cash donations
  • Revenue from ticket sales or admissions fees
  • Donations of items of value (e.g., clothing, school supplies)
  • Items for sale that are directly related to the student organization’s mission or goals
  • Items that promote school spirit (e.g., buttons, balloons) but do not conflict with university branding policies
  • Pre-packaged items (e.g., candy, gum)

Locations: The specific campus locations listed below have established additional criteria for fundraising activities. All of these areas require approval by the Office of Student Engagement and the following personnel:

  • Residence Halls: approval by the Assistant Dean of Students for the Office of Residence Life
  • Dining Areas: approval by General Manager for Aramark Dining Services
  • Recreation Facilities: approval by the Director of the Pride Recreation Center
  • Athletic Facilities: approval by the Director of Athletics

Public Posting Policy

The policy for posting advertisements on public area bulletin boards and social media is in effect at all times at Widener University. All students, faculty, staff, and guests must adhere to the following policy guidelines.

  • Advertising materials of any nature posted on campus by any student organization or University Department must have written approval from the Office of Student Engagement. Unauthorized advertisements will be removed immediately.
  • Advertisements should be submitted to the Office of Student Engagement as a single sheet of paper in color or black & white. All advertisements must include the event date, time, location, contact information of the sponsoring organization, and a clear description of the event. All events must be open to the entire campus community and must have a confirmed location in order to be considered for approval.
  • External campus guests or vendors must be partnered with a recognized student organization or University Department in order to sponsor an advertisement on campus at Widener University.
  • All advertisements must be in good taste, and CANNOT promote drugs, alcohol, sexually provocative content, or contain defamatory or derogatory language that may offend any one person or a group of people.
  • The Office of Student Engagement requires at least 24 hours for the review and approval process. The organization contact will be notified once the advertisement is ready for pickup. All advertisements must be removed from all bulletin boards within 48 hours after the event has taken place.
  • An organization may post only one notice per event on any single bulletin board. Multiple postings of the same event will be removed, as everyone has an equal opportunity for display space.
  • Publicity posted on painted surfaces, windows, or any other unapproved areas will be removed and will subject the responsible organization or department to a loss of privileges or the payment of facility damages.
  • The act of “dorm storming” in the residence halls or solicitation in campus facilities is not permitted.
  • Requests to chalk the sidewalks on campus require the completion of a Chalking Request Form and approval from the Office of Student Engagement prior to any chalking occurring on campus. See “Campus Chalking Policy” below.

Campus Bulletin Board Locations for Student Organization Use:

KAPELSKI LEARNING CENTER
First Floor Main Hallway + Stairwell
Second Floor Stairwells (Quad/Walnut sides)
Third Floor Main Hallway + Stairwell

ACADEMIC CENTER NORTH
First Floor “General Information Board”
Second Floor Hallway

UNIVERSITY CENTER
Main Level outside Dining Hall
Lower Level outside of Office of Student Engagement
Lower Level Lounges

KIRKBRIDE HALL
Main Hallways - Floors 1, 2, 3, and 4

BRUCE HALL
First Floor Stairwell

OLD MAIN
Ground Floor Stairwell
Second Floor Stairwell

RESIDENCE HALLS
Advertisements for the residence halls must be approved by the Office of Student Engagement first. Once approved, the flyer must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life for distribution.

Public Film Viewing Policy

Any showing of a movie on campus must adhere to guidelines established by the Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). Movies shown in any campus facility (with the exception of an individual’s residence hall room) are subject to the “public showing” provisions of this act. If you wish to show a movie, you must obtain and purchase public performance rights prior to viewing. Public performance rights may be purchased through various movie licensing agencies. Please contact the Office of Student Engagement or the University Center Administration Office for more information about obtaining a movie license. Students, faculty, or staff members will not be permitted to show a movie on campus in an open public space without the movie license. Per the Federal Copyright Act, there are two exceptions to this requirement outlined below:

  • Movies owned by Wolfgram Memorial Library are exempt. You MUST show the copy owned by Wolfgram Memorial Library to meet the obligation of the Federal Copyright Act. You may not show a personal copy even if the movie is a part of Wolfgram’s collection.
  • Face-to-face teaching activities conducted by faculty members are exempt. Specific requirements must be met for this exemption to qualify (see Section 110 of the Federal Copyright Act). All six of the following criteria must be met to qualify:
    1. Copies of the viewing must be legitimate, original copies.
    2. The viewing must be part of a systematic course of instruction and not for entertainment, recreation, or cultural value. The course does not need to be for-credit, but must be recognized as an academic course by the institution and have students registered for the course.
    3. Broadcasting of the film from outside sources is prohibited. The viewing must be in the same location as the viewers of the film.
    4. The viewing must be held in a location deemed for academic instruction. Cafeterias, residence hall lounges, student  union meeting rooms, and other similar locations do not qualify.
    5. The viewing must be part of the educational mission of the institution.
    6. Attendance to the viewing is limited to the instructor, students, and guest lecturers. Only those registered for the course may attend. The instructor may not charge a fee for the viewing.

Student Organization Travel Policy

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

The opportunity to represent Widener University throughout the state, the country, and the world is one of the many benefits of participating in a recognized student organization. Widener University has established a general travel event registration process to promote the health and welfare of students while participating in activities that require travel.

Student travel places the responsibility for ensuring compliance on the organization sponsoring the trip, so it is imperative that groups are familiar with and follow proper safety procedures. An Organization Advisor should consult the Associate Vice President for Compliance and Risk Management prior to planning any trip in which a student group will travel 50 miles or more away from the University, and the following conditions apply to the event in question:

  • The event is funded by the University,
  • The travel is undertaken using a vehicle owned or leased by the University,
  • The activity or event is required by a recognized student organization, or
  • The travel activity undertaken is under the direction of college personnel, an administrative department, academic course, study abroad program, recognized student organization, and any other entity associated with or employed by Widener University.

Student Organization Advisors are required to attend university-sponsored events that require travel of 50 or miles away from the University.

Student organization trips and excursions that are located 50 miles or less from the University do not require the attendenace of an Advisor and should also follow basic risk management procedures.

While traveling as a part of a Widener University event, students and employees are expected to remain free from the influence of drugs and alcohol at all times.

An undergraduate or graduate student who participates in travel event related to an academic course requirement (e.g. field trips), or their assigned duties as a University employee, (e.g. research data collection) is encouraged to consult with their professor or employer for further guidance.

For international travel, recognized student organization leaders must make an appointment with the Assistant Vice President of the Center for Civic and Global Engagement to discuss the trip request and the necessary steps required prior to trip departure, including travel notification and training.

TRAVEL ACTIVITY REQUEST PROCEDURES

Complete a Liability Release Waiver Form

Each traveling participant should sign a Student Organization Liability Release Form. An electronic version of the form is located on the Student Organization Resource Center website.

Recognized student organizations should modify the form for the event by adding information about the specific travel activities in the Indemnity Clause section. The release form will also need to be signed by the parent or legal guardian of any participants traveling who are under the age of 18.

Complete a Travel Event Information Form

Groups must complete and submit a Travel Information Form to the Campus Safety Department at least two weeks before their group departs. Information submitted on this form shall include the full names, student ID numbers, and emergency contact information for all participants. The online Travel Event Information Form is located on the Student Organization Resource Center website.

This information will be used by the Campus Safety Department, the On-Call Emergency Response Team, and other University personnel to assist student participants in case of an emergency. It is imperative that the University has a correct and up-to-date list of participants and travel plans throughout the duration of the trip.

Solicitation of Products and Services

  • Non-Widener University groups or individuals desiring to solicit the sale of products or services on campus must obtain a permit through the Division of Student Affairs and the Purchasing Office. A non-Widener University solicitor is considered to be any person, on the date of the activity, not enrolled as a Widener University student or not recognized as a faculty or staff member of the university.
    • The permit application must be submitted and approved by the Division of Student Affairs at least five business days prior to the solicitor’s scheduled date for solicitation.
    • Persons permitted to sell products or services must carry verification of university approval and follow specific university regulations. This policy was developed to protect members of the campus community from off-campus sales solicitors. Under Pennsylvania law, anyone 18 years or over is legally bound by a signed contract. Students who enter into exchanges with sales representatives, solicitors, vendors, and others do so at their own risk.
  • Recognized Widener University groups or individuals desiring to solicit sale of products or services of any kind (including raising funds for charitable organizations) on campus must obtain a permit through the Office of Student Engagement at least five business days before the scheduled date of the event. Such persons must carry verification of university approval and follow specific university regulations. Solicitation is normally restricted to the University Center under conditions approved by University Center professional staff, and Quick Stadium under conditions approved by the Athletic Department. Door-to-door solicitation, whether in administrative, academic, or residential building, will not be approved under any circumstances.

Solicitation for Political, Religious, or Social Action Causes

The purpose of this policy is to support and encourage the free expression of ideas by Widener University students, faculty, staff, and members of the university community and non-Widener University participants. It is designed to protect the rights of those who wish to exercise the free expression of ideas, while at the same time balancing the rights of those who do not wish to participate in such activities. The enumeration herein of certain express limitations is not intended as all-inclusive and does not preclude the imposition of other legitimate limitations.

Free expression activities must not conflict with the normal uses of the campus, the rights of others, and the limitations of lawful conduct. Individuals or groups wishing to support religious, political, or social action causes may do so provided such activities, in the sole judgment of the university, do not unreasonably interfere or conflict with the educational, research, or administrative functions or other legitimate functions of the university. To preserve the order that is necessary for the enjoyment of freedom by members of the university community and to prevent activities that preclude the university from carrying on its functions, all free expression activities are governed by the following regulations:

  • The appropriate “Free Speech Permit” form must be submitted and approved by the Office of Student Affairs at least five business days prior to the activity’s scheduled date. The permit requires contact information of the event coordinator(s) and the time and scope of the event. Furthermore, Widener University community members must list their intended event location. Non-Widener University participants must be identified by name, contact information, and group affiliation.
  • Approved permits are only valid for their listed date.
  • Permits are designed to protect the rights of those who wish to exercise the free expression of ideas, while at the same time balancing the rights of those who do not wish to participate in such activities. Therefore, the permit seeks to coordinate the potential multiple users of limited space, ensure preservation of university facilities, and ensure the activity is managed in a way that provides for the safety of the participants and the university community.
  • The permits indicate approval or disapproval by the university to:
    • Distribute literature prior to, during, or after the activity.
    • Engage in civil rhetoric and discussion.
    • Use signage, including posters.
    • Grant special requests by the participants.
  • No activity may be conducted in a manner constituting a violation of federal, state, or local law.
  • No activity may obstruct or seriously impair any other university-sponsored or university-authorized activities.
  • No activity shall hinder or obstruct the ingress or egress to any university property or facility.
  • No activity shall create a volume of noise that unreasonably interferes with any university-sponsored or university-authorized activity. Sound amplification equipment is prohibited.
  • Participants shall not employ force or violence or intentionally constitute an immediate threat of force or violence against members of the university community, university property, or others.
  • No structures may be erected.
  • Upon conclusion of any activity, users are responsible for leaving university property in its original condition. Failure to do so may result in the assessment of a maintenance fee.
  • Violation of these requirements, as well as the violation of federal, state, local, or university laws, policies, protocols or regulations, may serve as the basis of denial of access in the future.
  • Widener University reserves the right to limit access to its premises when it is in the interest of the university to do so.
  • A permit request can be denied for one or more of the following reasons:
    • The permit or its requirements are incomplete or contain a material falsehood or misrepresentation.
    • The applicant has damaged university property on previous occasions and has not paid for damages.
    • A request has been granted to an earlier applicant for the same time and place.
    • The intended use would present a danger to the health or safety of members of the university community.
    • The applicant has violated the terms of a prior request.
    • The activity may interfere or conflict with educational, research, or administrative functions or other legitimate functions of the university.
  • If permission requested via this application is denied, written appeal can be made to the Dean of Students. Such appeal must include compelling rationale to justify reconsideration.

Additional Requirements Relating to Political, Religious, or Social Action Activities Involving Widener University Community Member Participants

These additional requirements pertain only to Widener University students, faculty, staff, and members of the university community wishing to support religious, political, or social causes by distributing literature, engaging in civil discussions, or conducting peaceful, non-disruptive demonstrations. Such persons must request a “Free Speech Permit” from the Student Affairs Office to occupy any location on campus consistent with the permit. One application is used only if ALL participants are members of the Widener University community. If non-university community members are participating, the “Free Speech Zone Permit, Including Any Non-Widener University Participant” form must be used. A non-Widener University participant is any person, on the date of the activity, not enrolled as a Widener University student, or not recognized as a faculty or staff member of the university community. The additional requirements are as follows:

  • No activity may be conducted on campus in such numbers, in such proximity, or in such a fashion as to physically hinder entrance to, exit from, or normal use of any university property or facility.
  • All activities and participants must remain a minimum of 20 feet from any university building.
  • No activity may be conducted within any university building.
  • No activity shall occur and no participants shall assemble immediately outside buildings at times when they are normally in use for classes, study, research, or administrative or office functions.
  • An approved permit supports a non-disruptive demonstration and activities on the Main Campus with Widener University community members ONLY as participants, at all times remaining 20 feet from any building, not restricting access, and conducting themselves in an orderly fashion.
  • Widener community members must abide by all applicable laws, requirements, policies, and protocols including those in the current Widener Student Handbook. Particular attention is to be given to sections covering “The Right and Freedom to Learn, Out of the Classroom”; “Violations of the Student Code”; and “Student Organizations, Solicitations for Political, Religious, or Social Action Causes by Members of the University Community.”

Additional Requirements Relating to Political, Religious, or Social Action Activities Involving Non-Widener University Community Member Participants

In addition to all of the foregoing requirements, the following requirements are applicable if one or more expected participants in the activity are not a member of the Widener University community. A non-Widener University participant is any person, on the date of the activity, not enrolled as a Widener University student or not recognized as a faculty or staff member of the university community. Therefore, such a permit also applies to activities completely facilitated by non-Widener University participants.

  • The applicant must include with the signed permit a Certificate of Liability Insurance with no less than $1,000,000 general liability coverage per occurrence, with Widener University, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013 listed as an additional insured.
  • Participants may use the table provided at its set location by the university for displaying information. The applicant will be provided with a map identifying the table location and adjacent Free Speech Zone area for the event. The table will be approximately three feet by six feet.
  • Non-Widener University participants must understand that freedom of expression does not include any disruptive behavior or interference with the orderly conduct of the university. Failure to follow the requirements set forth herein or specific requests of a duly authorized university representative during the planned activity can result in ending the activity, removal from campus, and/or other action consistent with federal, state, and local laws, including criminal prosecution.

Ticket Sales Policy

The Ticket Sales Policy is designed to communicate the policies and procedures affecting all recognized student organizations that wish to sell event tickets for organization-sponsored events. This policy covers advanced ticket sales, day-of-event ticket sales, and free events that do not require an admission price. Recognized student organizations may opt to use any combination of the ticket sales options provided in this policy.

Advance Ticket Sales

  • Ticket sales for all events planned more than three weeks in advance of the event date are required to sell tickets through an online ticketing software made available through the Office of Student Engagement or the Bursar’s Office. No alternate methods of online ticket sales will be permitted if using an online sales option.
  • The cost of using an online ticketing solution will be charged at a percentage of the ticket cost plus a per ticket flat fee. The overall cost will depend solely on the amount of each ticket. There is no charge for using the online ticketing software for events that are not charging an admission fee.
  • Revenue from all ticket sales must be deposited into the recognized student organization’s on-campus account within 10 business days after the event.
  • Recognized student organization leaders must complete an Online Ticket Sales Request Form no less than seven days prior to the first day of ticket sales. An event image and description is required in order to process the Online Ticket Sales Request Form.

Day-of-Event Ticket Sales

If the organization wishes to sell tickets at the door on the day of the event, the organization must note this option on the Fundraising Proposal Form and submit the fundraising proposal by the submission deadline stated on the form. Day-of-event ticket sales are not preferred, but if this option is chosen, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • At least one Campus Safety officer and two student organization representatives must be present for the duration of ticket sales for a major event (e.g., held in Lathem Hall or Alumni Auditorium). If the size of the event doesn’t warrant the consistent presence of a Campus Safety officer, then the student organization is required to call the Campus Safety Office to request an officer to report out and secure the funds at the end of the sales.
  • Student organizations are NOT PERMITTED to retain their collected money at the end of the event. At the conclusion of ticket sales, a Widener University staff member will count the money in the presence of two student organization representatives and a Campus Safety officer.
  • A receipt for all counted funds will be issued to the student organization representatives and the Campus Safety officer. The Campus Safety officer will be responsible for transporting the funds and securing them in the designated lock box or safe in the Campus Safety Office until the next business day.
  • The student organization must deposit all funds generated through ticket sales into their on-campus account on the first business day following the event. Funds collected during the event cannot be used to reimburse the student organization for personal expenditures, pay the DJ, or for other services contracted for the event.
  • Services contracted by the student organization must be paid through the payment voucher request system. All payments must follow established Widener fiscal guidelines.

Free Events

Ticket sales are not required for student organization events that do not require an entrance fee. Student organization leaders are encouraged to keep an accurate list of guests that attend the event

Student Organization Directory

For a current listing of all student organizations, visit the Office of Student Engagement on MyWidener or stop by the Office of Student Engagement located on the ground level of the University Center.