Student Groups Committee Charter

Article I. Purpose

The purpose of the Undergraduate Student Government Student Groups Committee (hence forward, “the Committee”) shall be to oversee the creation of new student groups on campus and ensure that groups continue to present undergraduates with vibrant and varied extracurricular opportunities.

The Committee shall assess to approve or deny the instatement of proposed student groups as deemed appropriate. The Committee shall also serve to direct applicants to organizations already in existence, to proper faculty and administrators, and to other resources that may prove helpful in the pursuit of applicants’ goals. In addition, the committee will work to support existing student groups and maintain or improve the infrastructure that the groups use to operate. Finally the Committee may also begin additional projects as deemed appropriate by the Student Groups Chair or the Committee.

Article II. Members

Section 1. Membership Defined

The Student Groups Chair will appoint committee members through an open application process. This process shall be appropriately advertised and made available to all undergraduates. The Chair will determine the number of committee members needed for their term based on their objectives, the volume of student groups and number of qualified applicants. These appointments are subject to approval from the USG Senate. All appointments made must be confirmed in Senate by a majority vote of those voting. The term of the Committee Chair and members will be one calendar year. The Committee can create internal subcommittees to address specific issues or manage specific projects without needing to request Senate approval.

Section 2. Appointment of the Student Groups Chair

The USG President shall appoint the Student Groups Chair, subject to the approval of a majority vote of the USG Senate.

Section 3. Role of the Student Groups Chair

The Student Groups Chair shall serve as the chairperson of the Committee. S/he shall be responsible for planning and directing all meetings of the Committee. At each meeting, s/he shall introduce the requests for student group approval to the members of the Committee and facilitate discussion. The Student Groups Chair shall furthermore present all decisions of the Committee to the next chronological meeting of the USG Senate. Finally, the Student Groups Chair shall ensure that the members of the Committee attend meetings regularly, oversee the maintenance of the Committee’s web-site, and perform other administrative duties as necessary.

Section 4. Quorum Requirement

In order for a Committee meeting to convene and render decisions, there must be a majority of members present, including the Student Groups Chair.

Article III. Meetings

Section 1. Meeting Times

The Committee shall meet at least eight times per academic year. The schedule of meeting dates, times, and places shall be set by the Student Groups Chair and made available to all students no later than the first regular meeting of the Committee.

Section 2. Applicants Defined

Applicants are defined as the proposed officers of the proposed group. The number of applicants for any given application may not exceed five undergraduates, and in the case that there are more than five proposed officers, the five highest ranking shall serve as the applicants.

Section 3. Format of Meetings

Meetings of the Committee shall be closed to the public before, during, and after the presentation of proposed student groups, and only applicants and Committee members may attend. At the discretion of the Student Groups Chair, the presentation portion of meetings may be made open to the public. Groups shall present in an order determined by the Student Groups Chair, and groups should come with a prepared presentation. Following their presentations, groups will be subject to questioning by Committee members.

Section 4. Voting

Each member of the Committee shall have one vote for all applications. All applications that garner a majority vote of all members present shall be approved. All approvals are subject to repeal by a 2/3 vote of the USG Senate.

Section 5. Appeals

In the case that an applicant(s) is denied approval, the Student Groups Committee shall inform the applicant(s) of potential means of improving their application. Each applicant(s) will subsequently have one opportunity to resubmit their application within two SGC recognition meetings of initial submission for reconsideration by the Committee.

Section 6. Conflicts of Interest

A member of the Committee who is applying for student group approval, or who is a familiar acquaintance of a student applying for approval must remove him/herself from deliberation for that proposal at the discretion of the Student Groups Chair.

Section 7. Censure of Members

Any voting Committee member may, with unexcused absences from two regular Committee meetings in a given semester, be brought before the USG Senate for failure to adequately discharge enumerated duties. That member may be dismissed from his/her position by a 2/3 vote of the USG Senate. In addition, the USG President and a majority of the USG Executive Committee may call for the review and dismissal of the Student Groups Chair or any Committee member for failure to perform. That member may be dismissed from his/her position only by a 2/3 vote of the USG Senate.

Article IV. Powers and Authority

Section 1. Eligible Applicants

All currently enrolled undergraduates of Princeton University may apply to the Committee in order to establish a new student organization.

Section 2. Applying for Student Group Recognition

Any student or group of students who wish to apply for student group recognition shall submit a formal application to the Committee. Applications shall be made available via the Committee’s website, and shall address all areas of consideration that the Committee deems necessary. Applicants failing to fully complete the online application and/or failing to meet any other investigative request made by the Committee shall forfeit their application.

Section 3. Criteria for Approving Applications

The Committee, in deliberating over applications, shall consider in no particular order:

(1) the future viability of the proposed group, as determined by potential conflict with University rules and regulations, including those that govern student group funding;

(2) the future viability of the proposed group, as determined by the existence of similar groups that draw on potentially overlapping sections of the student body;

(3) the future viability of the proposed group, as determined by the quantification of explicitly stated interest by members of the student body;

(4) the quality of responses given during the Committee’s inquiry;

(5) the definitional clarity of the objectives and goals of the proposed group; and

(6) any other circumstances associated with the application that the Committee deems relevant.

Section 4. Prohibition of Discriminatory Considerations

Neither the political or religious ideology of an application, nor an applicant’s age, gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation shall affect decisions made by the Committee. Furthermore, as stated in Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, “recognition will not be withheld from any group pursuing lawful objectives merely because its aims seem unorthodox.”

Section 5. Review of Student Group Recognition

The Committee reserves the right to revoke or amend a student group’s charter upon review, taking into consideration the same criteria found in Article IV, Section 4. The committee will work alongside ODUS to identify groups that are no longer functioning and will make multiple attempts to identify group officers and members. In the event that no officers or members can be contacted the Committee will consider suspending the group. Once suspended the Committee will advertise the suspension of the group and offer the entire undergraduate community the opportunity to apply to revitalize the existing group. If after an extended period of time the Committee finds that there is no interest in the group, and it no longer serves the undergraduate students of Princeton University, the committee may vote to discontinue the group and remove it from applicable databases. This decision is subject to repeal by a 2/3 vote of the USG Senate.

Article V. Amendments

This Charter may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the USG Senate.