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Standards of Excellence

Introduction Organization Identity & Vitality Membership
Management Scholarship Social Responsibilities

INTRODUCTION

Student organizations at Nicholls State University are grouped into several categories: departmental/professional, honorary, religious, service, special interest, and social. The principal aim of these organizations is the personal development of their members through a variety of activities, programs and services, which complement the academic offerings of the University and contribute to the cultural, intellectual, physical, emotional and social development of its students. Standards for student organizations have been established to assist student organizations, their members, officers, and advisors, in fulfilling their responsibilities to each member, the University, its governing organization, and the general community. The standards have been written to address all categories of student organizations. Greek letter organizations are expected to exceed basic standards and to set an example for excellence in the activities, programs and services provided by each group. The specific purpose and function of each organization will determine the level of application of each standard.

I. Organization Identity and Vitality

The standards in this section draw attention to each organization’s need to reiterate its purpose and distinctive characteristics; to ensure that its ideals, purposes, traditions, and procedures are understood and accepted by all members; and to maintain its distinctive characteristics and traditions in the context of the policies and position statements of Nicholls State University and the organization’s national or international affiliate.

Standards:

A. Organizations encourage positive intellectual and/or social development of the organization and its members.
B. Organizations preserve unique characteristics of the organization through the use of educational programming to instill knowledge of history, ideals, policies and procedures of the organization.
C. Organizations provide training in leadership skills, personal and social skill development, and awareness and appreciation of different life-styles and cultural heritages.
D. Organizations promote individual and organization behavior that is representative of the high standard of conduct expected of Nicholls State University students and the founding ideals of the organization.
E. Organizations educate members regarding Nicholls State University policies and procedures including the Code of Student Conduct.
F. Organizations foster a community spirit through programming and participation in a variety of campus activities and interaction with other groups. Each organization promotes involvement in extracurricular activities.
G. Organizations develop and implement individual and organization community service programs.
H. Organizations remain in close contact and maintain a working relationship with faculty and staff of the University, alumni and their national or international affiliate.

II. Membership

The strength of any organization is derived from its members. The skills, abilities, aptitudes, and attitudes of each member define the levels of attainment possible for the organization in scholarship, leadership, community service, social awareness and involvement, and career preparation. These qualities of individual members also are indicative of the way the organization maintains its traditions and passes them on to future generations. The standards of this section provide focus for an organization’s membership selection decisions, its processes for assimilating new members into the full life of the organization, and its programs for developing the full potential of each member.

Standards:

A. Organizations select members consistently with the purpose and distinctive identity of the organization as established by its constitution and/or by-laws.
B. Organizations maintain a minimum membership as specified by the University and its national or international affiliate.
C. Organizations adhere to all Nicholls State University and national or international affiliate guidelines regulating membership recruitment, including academic standards established by these standards.
D. Organizations follow practices for educating and initiating new members according to University and national or international affiliate guidelines regulating membership recruitment.

III. Management

The organization and administration of an organization have both direct and indirect effects on the vitality of the organization. An optimal environment for all members is achieved through sound fiscal management and efficient administration of organization operations. Standards of this section detail the elements requisite to responsible, efficient, and effective organization management.

Standards:

A. Organizations demonstrate a commitment to efficient and prudent organization management by officers’ and members’ compliance with operation policies established by the University and their national or international affiliate.
B. Organizations practice effective risk management as directed by policies of the University and their national or international affiliate.
C. Organizations demonstrate a commitment to good management by maintaining a close working relationship with their faculty or staff advisor.
D. Organizations demonstrate a commitment to sensible financial operations by adhering to policy and procedures specified in Section Eight of the Manual for Student Organizations.
E. Organizations operate within the rules and regulations of the University, as well as all local, state and federal laws.

IV. Scholarship

The fundamental reason for enrolling in a university is to acquire the educational foundation necessary to function effectively as a citizen. The range of academic programs offered by Nicholls State University provides the opportunity for all students to prepare themselves to assume in government, in business and industry and in the professions. The major indicators of the progress are: the course selection decisions made; achievement levels attained in each course; major and minor areas of study; and in the graduate programs, occupations, or profession each member enters upon graduation. The academic progress of all members considered collectively indicates the relative strength and vitality of the organization. The standards in this section reflect the central importance academic achievement should occupy in the life of each organization at Nicholls State University.

Standards:

A. Organizations nurture academic excellence within the campus community by providing continuing and new members appropriate incentives and resources to facilitate scholastic achievement.
B. Organizations create an environment conducive to academic success by offering education programs to members maintaining acceptable academic standing and to members confronting academic distress.
C. Organizations maintain a minimum overall organization grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scaleĀ .
D. Organizations require individual members to maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in order to maintain active status/eligibility required to represent or be considered (individually or part of the chapter) for Greek, Student Life, campus or community activities or awards.
E. Organizations work closely with a faculty or staff advisor who is an employee of the institution and whose influences are directed primarily toward organization scholarship and secondarily toward other organization obligations at the host institution.

V. Social Responsibilities

The basic purpose of any student organization is the constant development of its members in the areas of scholarship, leadership, community service, social awareness and career preparation. The standards of this section center on the social realities of the broader contemporary contexts for student life and provide guidelines for addressing issues associated with the University’s culturally diverse community, with interactions between the sexes, with substance abuse issues, and with other social issues of the University and general community.

Standards:

A. Organizations demonstrate a commitment to the campus community values stated in The Nicholls Creed.
B. Organizations promote the kinds of diverse social interactions that their members will encounter throughout the University, and upon graduation, as active participants in their communities and as socially responsible citizens.
C. Organizations stress social activities which are conducive to dignified interaction among people and are not degrading or demeaning to any person or group.
D. Organizations maintain effective alcohol and drug abuse awareness programming, intervention and referral procedures for members, and disciplinary measures that ensure that violators are punished but that also provide due process for any member who violates organization standards.
E. Organizations maintain effective social awareness programs that address campus and community issues such as individual and group appropriate behavior, sexual harassment, date rape, hazing, etc. Organizations are expected to enforce community standards through the use of disciplinary procedures that ensure that violators are punished but that also provide due process for any member who violates these standards.
F. Organizations sponsor activities that are conducted within the following guidelines:
1. Activities are not scheduled during the mid-term or final exam period or at times and dates prohibited by the University.
2. Activities are within the guidelines of the University and each organization’s national or international affiliate.
3. Activities are not scheduled off-campus during orientation week.
4. All activities whether sponsored on or off the campus are registered with the Office of Student Life and the organization’s advisor. The registration process includes verification that the planned activity will comply with organization, state or national, and University regulations.

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