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Club Recognition FAQs

Q: Why should my club apply for Student Senate Recognition?
•    Access to the HUB
•    Club Resource Room
•    Club Affairs Liaison
•    Room  Reservations
•    Assistance from the Office of Student Activities
•    University representation

Q: Can any group apply for recognition from Student Senate?
A: No. To be recognized by the undergraduate Student Senate, an organization must have an executive board of all undergraduate students. Further, the president and treasurer positions must be fulfilled by two different undergraduate students. Additionally, the majority of the club’s members must be undergraduate students, though graduate students are allowed to participate. Student Senate does not recognize social fraternities or sororities. However, clubs with restricted membership are eligible to apply.

Q: Can any recognized club receive funding?
A: No. Any club that has restricted membership such that not every undergraduate student can join and participate is automatically ineligible to receive funding. Further, Student Senate designates each newly recognized club as either budgeted or non-budgeted at the end of the application process (discussed below). Clubs designated as non-budgeted are also ineligible to receive funding.

Q: What is the application process to start a new club?
1)    The club must submit an application via the HUB. This application includes a club constitution, list of club officers, statement of consent from a faculty/ staff member that will serve as advisor to the club, and a petition of at least twenty-five students that support the club.
2)    The club must present its goals and purposes to the Club Affairs committee and answer any questions that the committee may have. Once the club has presented, Student Senate will vote to either grant or deny the club preliminary recognition.
3)    If granted, preliminary recognition is a fifteen academic week trial period for the club to function. Club performance over this trial period will be evaluated in deciding whether or not to grant full recognition. Also, any club that is eligible for funding (all clubs are eligible except for those with restricted membership) will receive a limited budget. Similarly, the spending of this money will be evaluated when deciding whether to designate a club as budgeted or non-budgeted.
4)    At the end of the trial period, the club must present itself to the Club Affairs committee one last time. The club is responsible for listing its accomplishments during the trial period, explaining its goals and future plans, and answering the committee’s question. After this meeting, Student Senate will vote to accept budgeted recognition, accept non-budgeted recognition, extend preliminary recognition, or deny recognition.

Q: What kind of club will be granted preliminary recognition?
A: Although every decision is made on a case-by-case basis, there are certain qualities that a preliminarily-recognized club should have. Ideally, a club at this point of the application process will have:
•    proven interest from the student body
•    a unique purpose the will benefit the Lehigh community
•    evidence of sustainability such that the club will have a lasting impact
•    ideas for getting new members
•    plans or agendas for a few events or meetings
•    considered different ways to fund club activity
•    interest in working with Student Senate

Q: What kind of club will be granted full recognition?
A: Clubs applying for full recognition are already preliminarily-recognized and should therefore possess all the aforementioned qualities. In addition to the above mentioned qualities, a club at this point in the application process will have:
•    increased participation from members
•    stable and well-organized leadership
•    new ideas and goals for the future
•    plans to transition the club to new leadership
•    appropriate spending practices

Q: What kind of clubs will be approved as “budgeted” and receive continued funding?
A: One of the most important considerations for funding is financial need. If the events a club proposes can be successful without funding, a club would be less likely to receive a budget. In contrast, clubs are more likely to receive funding if their events have a large impact on campus and the community. In general, the more students that will benefit from an event, the more likely it will receive funding. However, Student Senate cannot directly fund a charity or not-for-profit organization. Instead, a philanthropic-minded organization can receive funding in other ways, such as by hosting an event to increase awareness.
It is also important to realize that a budget is used to fund events on a yearly basis. As a result, organizations that require start-up costs but not continued funding will most likely be approved as “non-budgeted.” Therefore, these clubs are eligible to apply for a one-time grant for items to be kept as inventory.
One final point of consideration is a club’s past spending habits. Clubs should know that how they spend their $75 trial budget can impact whether or not they are approved as “budgeted” or “non-budgeted.” Therefore, clubs should be sure to allocate their funds responsibly over their trial period.

Q: What happens if Student Senate denies recognition of a club?
A: Any club that is denied trial recognition is eligible to re-apply immediately. However, they must start the application process from the beginning and submit a new application via the HUB.
A club denied full recognition does not become a club but also loses its preliminary recognition. The club may re-apply for recognition from Student Senate, but must wait fifteen academic weeks to do so. Again, the club must start the application from the beginning by submitting an application via the HUB.

Q: What if Student Senate votes to extend preliminary recognition?
A: If this happens, the club does is not granted full recognition but does not lose preliminary recognition. Instead, the club has an additional fifteen academic week to function. At the end of this period, the club must meet with the Club Affairs committee once more and Student Senate must vote whether or not to grant full recognition.

Q: Can a non-budgeted club apply to become budgeted?
A: Yes.
1)    The club must meet with its Club Affairs liaison and fill out an application containing an explanation of why the club is in need of funds, a list of other efforts to fund raise, and a description of how funds will be spent. The application will be considered by both the Club Affairs and Allocations committees and voted on by Student Senate.
2)    If approved, the club will have a six academic week trial period in which it receives a limited amount of funds (the amount of which is determined by the Allocations committee).
3)    At the end of this period, the club must meet with the Club Affairs committee to explain how it managed its finances over the trial period and why it is in need of permanent funding. Student Senate will then vote whether or not to grant the club budgeted recognition. If the club is denied budgeted recognition, it retains its former non-budgeted recognition.

*     The only exception to this process is in the case of a club with restricted membership. Any club that is not open to all undergraduate students is at no time eligible to receive funding from Student Senate. However, if a club such as this is currently recognized as non-budgeted, it may apply for budgeted recognition in the same way. The only difference is that the application must include an updated club constitution stating that all undergraduate students are eligible to participate.