Student Organization Policy

Table of contents:

The McCourt School Student Organization Policy (also available as a PDF)

  1. Purpose
  2. Student Organization Privileges
  3. Student Organization Renewal
  4. New Student Organizations
    1. Student Organization Review Board
    2. Provisional Status
    3. Official Organization Status
  5. Limited Time Student Organizations
  6. Student Organization Dissolution

The McCourt School Student Organization Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the McCourt School Student Organization Policy is to detail the rules and procedures governing official student group formation, renewal, and dissolution at the McCourt School of Public Policy. The terms “student group” and “student organization” will be used interchangeably throughout this document.

Note that the procedure for gaining official student organization status through the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is not governed by this policy; the GSO process is separate and governed directly by the GSO. Not all McCourt School groups are GSO groups, and not all GSO groups are McCourt School groups. For example, Organization A might be an official McCourt School group but not an official GSO group, while Organization B could be an official GSO group but not an official McCourt School group. Organization C, however, may be both an official GSO and McCourt School group—but must have applied for and maintained these statuses separately.

Student Organization Privileges

Groups that are not recognized as official student organizations may request inclusion of their events on the McCourt School calendars, weekly email, television slides, and bulletin boards. Non-McCourt School groups are encouraged to partner with one of the School’s many student organizations to co-host an event, but funds will not be provided directly to non-McCourt School groups. For example, the Georgetown Public Policy Student Association (GPPSA) partners with many outside organizations to host service and concentration-specific events.

Official student organizations are eligible for: funding from the Dean’s office, as allocated by GPPSA; McCourt School listserv access; GPPSA and McCourt School staff support; access to the student organization closet; and a booth at student organization fairs. Old North meeting rooms are available to all groups, but scheduling and room preferences are given to official McCourt School student organizations. To maintain official organization status, student groups must follow the renewal guidelines listed below.

Student Organization Renewal

Official student organizations are required to renew their organizational status on an annual basis. To remain in good standing, student organizations shall submit the following items to the Assistant Director of Student Affairs no later than the last day of classes of the spring semester, with a grace period extending to the last day of final exams in the spring.

(1) Renewal Form to be provided by the McCourt School, which will include: the organization’s mission/statement of purpose; highlights/accomplishments from the last year (at least one is required); individual names of those in leadership positions for the next year (including a president/chair and financial officer); vision for the next year

(2) Constitution which will include: the organization’s purpose; leadership structure (including a president/chair and financial officer); leadership selection and removal processes; vacancy provisions; constitutional amendment process; statement requiring that the majority of members will be from the McCourt School and executive leadership is exclusively from the McCourt School; decision-making procedures as applicable

Organizations that do not submit the required renewal documents by the deadline are placed on probationary status until the documents are submitted, up to a period of one semester. Only official student organizations in good standing may submit a budget request to GPPSA during the normal budgeting period.

New Student Organizations

New organizations must be granted first provisional and then official organizational status to become an official McCourt School student organization.

Student Organization Review Board

The Student Organization Review Board (also called the Review Board) will consist of five members, including two McCourt School staff and three McCourt School students. The Review Board shall include the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Services, a GPPSA officer, a first year GPPSA representative, and a representative from an official McCourt School student organization in good standing. The Review Board shall be established at the beginning of each academic year and will consist of the same members unless a conflict of interest arises, in which case a permanent replacement shall be found. Conflicts of interest include but are not limited to: signing the demonstration of interest and serving on the leadership board of a proposed group. If a Review Board member is unable to serve for any other reason, a mutually agreeable replacement shall be chosen by the remaining Review Board members.

Provisional Status

To request provisional status, a proposed student group must submit the following items to the Student Organization Review Board:

(1) Mission/Vision statement

(2) Leadership list with a minimum of 2 organization leaders

(3) Demonstration of interest: a minimum of 25 signatures and corresponding GUID numbers from McCourt School students

(4) A short memo describing the reason for becoming a group, including why the group should work outside the scope of current official organizations

(5) A brief statement indicating the proposed group’s need for primer money, including the amount requested and planned activities

The Student Organization Review Board must make a majority decision granting or rejecting provisional status within 21 calendar days of receiving a request, excluding semester breaks. The Review Board may request a presentation or meeting with the proposed student group’s founders to gather more information to better inform the decision.

If provisional status is granted, the Review Board may also choose to grant primer money to the provisional organization. This primer money will be granted from the General Student Group Support Fund (GSGS) in consultation with the GPPSA Treasurer and is subject to available funds.

If a proposed organization would like to receive funding through the normal summer budgeting process, provisional status should be requested more than 60 days prior to the end of the spring semester to allow enough time to complete the new student group process. A group may only be in provisional status for up to 365 calendar days; at the end of that time period, a new request for provisional status must be submitted.

Official Organizational Status

Before requesting official organizational status, a group must first have provisional status for a minimum of 45 calendar days and no more than 365 calendar days. To request official organizational status, a provisional student group must submit the following items to the Student Organization Review Board:

(1) Constitution, with all items as required for official organizational status renewal

(2) Leadership list, including a president/chair and financial officer

(3) A memo detailing the McCourt School’s interest level in the organization, plans for organizational sustainability, and a clear statement of the group’s contribution to the McCourt School community

(4) A list of accomplishments/highlights from the provisional status period, which may also include pictures and other attachments as applicable

The Student Organization Review Board must make a majority decision granting or rejecting official organizational status within 30 calendar days of receiving a request, excluding semester breaks. The Review Board may request a presentation or meeting with the proposed student group’s founders to gather more information to better inform the decision.

If official status is granted, new organizations are immediately subject to all official McCourt School student organization renewal and dissolution processes.

If official status is not granted, the organization may be returned to provisional status for the remainder of the maximum days allowed if any days remain in that provisional period. The organization may only apply for official organizational status one more time if returned to provisional status. If official status is not granted for a second time, a proposed organization must complete the entire new student organization process again.

Limited Time Student Organizations

Limited time McCourt School groups—which may include but are not limited to disaster relief or temporary fundraising groups—should follow the provisional status organization guidelines presented in the new student organization section and inform the Student Organization Review Board that they are a limited time group. GPPSA may ask for extra funding from the Dean’s office on behalf of a limited time McCourt School group if more funds are needed.

Student Organization Dissolution

Student organizations may only be on probationary status as a result of not submitting renewal documents for up to one semester. If the requested renewal documents have not been submitted by the end of the probationary period, a student organization loses its official organizational status.

If a student organization chooses to dissolve itself, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs should be informed immediately. Self-dissolution constitutes the immediate loss of official organization status.

All accusations of misconduct—including but not limited to misuse of funds and vandalism—shall be immediately referred to the Student Organization Review Board. Additionally, the McCourt School administration may become involved depending on the seriousness of the alleged violation. Organizations facing these alleged violations will immediately be placed on probationary status and may be temporarily dissolved depending on the seriousness of the violation and at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs & Student Services, in consultation with the Assistant Director of Student Affairs. After the adjudication process, sanctions will be determined by the Student Organization Review Board and may include but are not limited to permanent dissolution, suspension of funds, and/or installation of new leadership. One appeal may be granted if requested. In addition to any actions that may be taken by the Student Organization Review Board regarding organizational conduct, individual members of the group are subject to the Georgetown Code of Student Conduct. The McCourt School Alcohol Policy shall govern all alcohol-related transgressions.

Leftover funds from all permanently dissolved organizations shall be returned to the GSGS fund.

These rules may be altered at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs & Student Services, in consultation with the Assistant Director of Student Affairs and GPPSA representatives. The McCourt School student community will be notified of any changes.