Recognition and Budget Policy Adopted March 27, 2016. Last Amended March 23, 2022.

Article I - Summary

Official Student Organizations at Washington and Lee University may be classified as recognized organizations or Law School organizations. Recognized organizations will adhere to this policy for continued recognition to be considered for funding from the Executive Committee. This document will outline the policies of how Student Organizations can receive recognition.

Article II - Applying for Recognition

  1. A new organization may apply for recognition at any point during the academic year prior to the release of budget allocation for the Spring Budget Allocation session. An organization applying for recognition must provide a Constitution and a Student Body Recognition (SBR) application to the Executive Committee at least one week prior to scheduling an interview with the EC during a Business Meeting.
  2. Student Organizations seeking recognition from the Executive Committee must fill out a SBR application, which can be found on the Executive Committee website, http://ec.wlu.edu and submit it by email to the Executive Committee Vice President.
    1. In the SBR application, Student Organizations are expected to include current membership statistics regarding student participation. For example, Student Organizations may include meeting attendance data from any meetings having taken place prior to the application’s submission.
  3. As a part of the SBR application, the organization must submit a Constitution based on the interests of its members. Issues that must be addressed in the Constitution include, but are not limited to:
    1. History of Organization (if known)
    2. Mission statement, including the purpose/focus of the organization
    3. Requirements for membership
    4. Organization of Leadership/Officers (not including specific names)
      1. These must describe the specific duties associated with each position as well as the election process
    5. How the organization will be beneficial to Washington and Lee University and/or the surrounding community
  4. After recognition, the organization's Constitution will serve as a reference for future members of the Washington and Lee student body. Future student generations may use an archived Constitution to restart an inactive recognized organization. The Constitution should, therefore, provide a thorough description of the organization.
  5. If the organization is a club sport, the SBR Application must be pre-approved by the Director of Campus Recreation before presenting it to the Executive Committee along with the group's Constitution. If the sport is denied "University Club Sport" status, it may seek to become a general club or organization.
  6. Following a recognition hearing and consideration of the SBR application by the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall decide whether to recognize the organization by a majority vote.
    1. The Vice President shall forward a copy of the full SBR application of recognized organizations to the Office of Student Activities along with a brief justification of the Executive Committee's recognition decision. The leaders of the organization shall be copied on this communication.
      1. The leaders of the organization should contact the Office of Student Activities to register for the Student Activities Fair.
    2. Student organizations denied recognition by the Executive Committee may seek recognition from the Office of Student Activities. Recognition from the Office of Student Activities does not result in recognition by the Executive Committee. A denial of recognition by the Executive Committee cannot be appealed. Organizations may reapply for Executive Committee Recognition no sooner than one calendar month from the most recent application.

Article III - Recognized Organizations

  1. Recognized Organizations shall meet the requirements for recognition or lose their status as a “Recognized Organization.”
  2. Recognized Organizations are not guaranteed funding by the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee reserves the right to grant a student organization recognition without funding them. However, the Executive Committee shall provide reasoning as to why funding privileges are being denied.
  3. Recognized Organizations
    1. Recognized Organizations shall receive a page on the Executive Committee website. This page will include a brief description of the club, contact information for club's current leadership, and the club's constitution.
      1. Recognized Organizations may submit additional resources to be included on their respective pages through the Continuing Recognition application or through communication with the EC Vice President at any point in the year.
    2. All active organizations will be included in the Student Organization Handbook to be distributed at the activities fair each fall.
      1. Organizations may submit changes to their respective sections in the handbook through the Continuing Active Status application.
    3. Recognized Organizations are strongly encouraged to hold one event each academic year with another Executive Committee Recognized Organization for the purpose of cross-community engagement:
      1. Recognized Organizations may be asked to present plans for this event to the Executive Committee in their Budget Application as well as the Continuing Active Status Application;
      2. Law School Student Organizations should refer to Article VI.
  4. Un-recognized Organizations
    1. The Executive Committee shall consider an organization to be un-recognized if:
      1. The organization fails to submit a Continuing Recognition application by the deadline (see Article X) and a majority of the Executive Committee votes in favor of un-recognition;
      2. There are no active members of the organization;
      3. The organization lacks an acceptable structure of organization; or
      4. The organization holds no meetings or events over the course of an academic year.
    2. Un-recognized organizations will not be eligible to receive funding during budget allocations until they are reestablished as Recognized Organizations. They shall maintain accounts with the Business Office that are monitored by the Executive Committee Vice President.
  5. Upon being classified as un-recognized, an organization's website page will be removed.
  6. Un-recognized organizations must regain “Recognized Organization” status through the SBR application process.
    1. Organizations that remain un-recognized will have any unused funds returned to the Student Body Working Reserve at the end of the Fiscal Year, provided those funds did not come from an academic department.

Article IV - Revocation of Recognition

  1. The Executive Committee reserves the power to revoke the recognition of a student organization at any time by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
    1. Causes for revocation may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Misuse of Executive Committee funds;
      2. Lack of adherence to the Budget and Recognition Policy; or
      3. Conduct unbecoming of a Washington and Lee Student organization.
  2. If an organization's recognition is revoked, all of that group's Executive Committee funding will roll back into the Student Body Working Reserve. The Executive Committee Vice President may ask the Business Office to close the organization's account, provided the Office of Student Activities does not recognize the organization.
  3. The organization's website page shall be moved to a separate page titled “Previously Recognized Organizations.”

Article V - Continuing Recognition

  1. Following the election of the new Executive Committee officers, the Executive Committee will publish an application for Continuing Recognition on the Executive Committee website (http://ec.wlu.edu) and Canvas page.
  2. As a part of the Continuing Recognition application, an organization will submit:
    1. The name and contact information of the president or equivalent officer(s) for the next academic year;
      1. Any name and contact information given in accordance with this section will be listed as a contact on the organization's page on the Executive Committee website and in the Student Activities Handbook.
    2. The name and contact information of the treasurer or equivalent officer(s) for the next academic year;
      1. Any name and contact information given in accordance with this section will be the organization's contact with the business office.
        1. This officer shall be responsible for attending a training session with the Business Office regarding the use of Executive Committee funding or shall find an alternate who will provide them with the information from the meeting.
      2. This person may be the same person listed under Article VII, Section II, Part a.
    3. The name(s) and contact information of any student representing the organization during May budget allocations and who will be coding expenses for the Student Organization for the upcoming academic year;
      1. When creating the Continuing Recognition application, the Vice President shall note in writing on application that, if possible, the individual(s) listed as the leaders of the organization are the preferred representatives when the organization applies for budget allocations in May.
    4. How much money was spent during the year;
    5. Any updates to the organization's Constitution;
    6. Any updates to the organization's page on the Executive Committee website.
  3. All Continuing Recognition applications must be submitted to the newly elected Executive Committee Vice President at their discretion prior to the Spring Budget Allocation session.
  4. All organizations submitting a complete and satisfactory Continuing Recognition application before the deadline shall be considered “Recognized for the next academic year. Organizations submitting a Continuing Recognition application shall not need to appear before the Executive Committee to remain recognized.
  5. Recognized organizations failing to submit a Continuing Recognition application will be considered unrecognized by the Executive Committee.
  6. The Executive Committee will review the status of all student organizations before the Spring Budget Allocation session and remove all unrecognized organizations from the Executive Committee Website and Student Activities Handbook.

Article VI - Law School Organizations

  1. If a student organization is strictly a part of the School of Law, it may be recognized in accordance with the Student Bar Association's law student organization recognition policy.
    1. Upon recognition of a new law student organization, the SBA shall appoint a representative to meet briefly with the Executive Committee during a business meeting. This representative will describe the newly recognized organization to the Executive Committee and send a digital copy of the organization's file for Executive Committee records.
  2. The Student Bar Association shall allocate funds to Law School Student Organizations.
    1. Law School Student Organizations strictly serving law students should directly contact the Student Bar Association regarding funding requests. Law Student Organizations need not attend Executive Committee Budget Allocation sessions throughout the year if they are strictly serving law students, are not recognized by the Executive Committee, or are receiving funds through the SBA.

Article VII - Student Organization Funding

  1. The Executive Committee shall require all organizations that request funding to be Recognized in accordance with the Executive Committee's Policies regarding recognition of student organizations. In order to be considered, an organization must submit an application for funding.
  2. The Executive Committee's Fiscal Year shall run from June 1 to the end of the second week of the undergraduate Spring Term. The Executive Committee shall use the second two weeks of Spring Term to determine its budget for the following EC Fiscal Year.
    1. All student organizations must settle their accounts by the end of the EC Fiscal Year.
      1. Exceptions to this clause may be made in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Student Body Treasurer.
      2. A majority vote of the Executive Committee shall be required to make an exception to this clause.
    2. The Executive Committee credit card may not be used after May 8th in any given Fiscal Year.
      1. Exceptions to this clause may be made in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Student Body Treasurer.
      2. A majority vote of the Executive Committee shall be required to make an exception to this clause.
  3. The Executive Committee shall hold its primary allocations in May. It shall also hold emergency allocations in October and January.
    1. The Executive Committee shall allocate no more than 88.5% of the next academic year's total funds before the end of the undergraduate spring term.
    2. The Executive Committee shall allocate no more than 92.5% of its total funds before the end of the undergraduate fall term.
    3. The Executive Committee shall allocate no more than 96.5% of its total funds before the end of the undergraduate winter term.
  4. The Executive Committee shall meet with newly recognized student organizations at the Executive Committee’s discretion and grant the newly recognized student organization funding if applicable.
  5. During the undergraduate spring term, the Executive Committee shall make an effort to have at least one member of the EC meet with every organization requesting an amount greater than or equal to $10,000.
  6. The Executive Committee shall require all recognized organizations requesting funding to present an accounting of their income and expenses over the previous year, as well as a projection of their income and expenses for the next year following the budget request and percent growth of their budget. The president of the requesting organization shall certify that the representations in the aforementioned documents are made in good faith to the best of his or her knowledge.
  7. Organizations shall appear before the Executive Committee in closed session to answer questions from the Executive Committee about their budget, unless the Executive Committee decides in advance that the organization’s budget does not need clarification.
  8. In deliberations, the Executive Committee shall consider the following:
    1. Total membership of the student organization including growth and/or decreases in size;
    2. How many events the organization has hosted;
    3. How funds were used in the previous year;
    4. How funds will be used to meet the organization’s goals and serve the campus community;
    5. The ability of the organization to conduct fundraising events;
    6. The amount the total budget request of the student organization has increased in comparison to the previous fiscal year;
      1. The Executive Committee will not grant increases of a student organization budget over 10% except in exceptional circumstances.

Article VIII - Use of Executive Committee Funding

  1. Student organizations will use their funds in the following order:
    1. Executive Committee funds will be used first.
      1. Unused Executive Committee funds will be returned to the Student Body Working Reserve at the close of the fiscal year.
        1. At the discretion of the Executive Committee, an organization may maintain some or all Executive Committee funding for the next fiscal year. This decision shall be made as a part of budget deliberations, must be reported to the Executive Committee prior to Budget Allocations, and must be considered during any vote to approve the budget.
      2. Student organizations must use Executive Committee funds in a similar manner as described in their budget requests made to the Executive Committee. Any purchases made different from their budget requests must be approved by the Executive Committee Vice President and Treasurer.
    2. Any fundraising funds will be used second.
      1. A student organization shall maintain fundraising funds from year to year. c. Any department funding to the organization will be used third.
  2. Items not funded by the Executive Committee shall include the following:
    1. Transportation: The Executive Committee shall not fund the following items related to transportation for students or university employees including but not limited to airfare, rental of vehicles, tolls, etc. However, the Executive Committee may include in the organization's allocation mileage expenses for driving to and from organization's events.
    2. Uniforms: The Executive Committee shall not fund any articles of clothing for use as uniforms. Any article of clothing made exclusively for members of the organization shall be considered a uniform.
    3. Lodging: The Executive Committee shall not fund any expenses related to lodging for students or university employees including but not limited to hotel reservations, fees, and/or room service.
    4. Alcoholic beverages: The Executive Committee shall not fund any expenses for alcohol.
    5. Politically partisan organizations and religious organizations: It is the Executive Committee's policy not to directly fund politically partisan organizations or organizations that advocate a certain religious faith.
    6. Honor societies: It is the Executive Committee's policy not to directly fund honor societies.
    7. Greek organizations: It is the Executive Committee's policy not to directly fund Greek-affiliated organizations that have been chartered and active at Washington and Lee for more than six consecutive years.
  3. The Executive Committee, if necessary, shall define other budgetary items that are not funded as deemed necessary.
  4. The Executive Committee may fund any of the aforementioned budgetary items as deemed necessary under exceptional circumstances.
  5. The Executive Committee reserves the right to revoke funding and/or active status for an organization that fails to adhere to these spending restrictions.

Article IX - Objectives of Recognized Student Organizations

  1. Recognized student organizations should strive to better the Washington and Lee community through their activities and use of funds.
  2. Student organization leaders will make an effort to responsibly manage the membership and outreach of their respective organizations. Depending on the current student generation, organizations will contract, grow, or remain the same. Student organization leaders hoping to successfully lead their organizations and receive increased funding for their respective organizations should, generally speaking, strive for the following ideals:
    1. Academic Interest Groups
      1. Should strive to reach out to and include students whose area of study is outside the group's interest
      2. Should be successful in positively impacting the campus community, Rockbridge County, and beyond
      3. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations or academic departments outside the area of interest
      4. Should be effective in recruiting and retaining members to carry out its mission
      5. Should use funding to advance its resources and provide relevant information to the community
    2. Advocacy Groups
      1. Should have a clear message that is communicated effectively to the campus community, Rockbridge County, or beyond
      2. Should strive to include diverse populations of the student body and members of the Rockbridge community in its discussions
      3. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations
      4. Should use funding to share the group's message and provide relevant information to the community
    3. Club Sports and Athletics
      1. Should involve as many students as reasonably possible without exhausting resources
      2. Should provide opportunity for recreation and/or competition
      3. Should represent the school well in competitive events (even if not winning, exhibiting the spirit and sportsmanship of a general)
      4. Should use funding to provide resources for members to improve and enjoy the sport
    4. Law and Debate
      1. Should strive to include students from diverse areas of study
      2. Should provide opportunity for development of skills and critical thinking
      3. Should represent the school well in competitive events (even if not winning, exhibiting the spirit and sportsmanship of a general)
      4. Should use funding to provide resources and opportunities for members to develop their skills
    5. Multicultural Student Organizations
      1. Should celebrate a race or culture at Washington and Lee, in Rockbridge County, or beyond
      2. Should reach out to and involve students who are not as knowledgeable about the group
      3. Should advance community discussion of issues affecting the group
      4. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations
      5. Should use funding to effectively advance conversations about important issues facing Washington and Lee or a larger segment of society.
    6. Performing and Visual Arts
      1. Should strive to include students whose area of study is outside performing and visual arts
      2. Should be successful in positively impacting the campus community, Rockbridge County, and beyond
      3. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations
      4. Should use funding to advance the organization's contributions to the performing and visual arts and allow for the artistic development of its members
    7. Politics
      1. Should not be politically partisan or support particular candidates or ideologies
      2. Should strive to include students whose area of study is not politics
      3. Should be successful in positively impacting the campus community, Rockbridge County, and beyond
      4. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations
      5. Should use funding to involve students and other members of the community in political discussions and share information about the political process
    8. Publications
      1. Should strive to reach out to students from diverse areas of study
      2. Should provide opportunity for development of skills and critical thinking
      3. Should use funding to responsibly achieve the goals of the organization while also striving for high quality and quantity of production
    9. Service
      1. Should strive to include a large and diverse population, which may include undergraduates, law students, and other members of the community
      2. Should foster a spirit of community engagement and facilitate learning through service
      3. Should be effective in recruiting and retaining members or volunteers to carry out its mission
      4. Should use funding to maximize the impact of the organization
    10. Special Interest Organizations
      1. Should strive to include students from diverse areas of study
      2. Should make efforts to involve the community in activities associated with the organization
      3. Should use funding to buy materials and host events that allow students to experience the club's area of interest
    11. Student Life
      1. Should strive to have a diverse membership given the size of the organization
      2. Should reach out to a large and diverse population, which may include undergraduates, law students, and other members of the community
      3. Should actively improve the student experience at Washington and Lee
      4. Should host interdisciplinary events with other student organizations
      5. Should use funding to buy materials and host events that most effectively achieve these goals
  3. No organization recognized by the EC should:
    1. Be open only to particular population or students of a certain academic discipline
    2. Host events that are required for academic credit by a department
    3. Fulfill the exact same role as another student organization
  4. Student organizations meeting all of the recommendations within their respective categories may not necessarily receive the same level of funding. Final judgment rests with the Executive Committee to weigh the overall impact and financial need of each organization submitting a budget request.