student org night pamphlets
Recognized Student Organizations

Recognized student organizations are student organizations that have completed the recognition process through either Student Leadership and Involvement or University Recreation (UREC) and have received notice of official recognition.

Privileges of All Recognized Student Organizations

Student organizations that are recognized by James Madison University and are in good standing with the university have the following privileges:

  1. Access to the Club House, a resource center where student organizations can create advertising and marketing materials
  2. Access to an official mailbox located in The Club House or UREC
  3. Reserve and use spaces and facilities on campus for meetings, events and advertising that adheres to Event Management guidelines
  4. Eligible to participate in Student Org Night each semester
  5. Access to an official organization page through Be Involved for organization management
  6. Eligible to fundraise on campus through approved programs and activities
  7. Eligible to apply for Contingency Funding consistent with the rules and procedures of the Student Government Association (SGA) as allowed by each organization’s governing office
  8. Opportunity to be honored and recognized through various university awards programs
  9. Eligible for rental of JMU state vehicles providing all requirements set by Transportation Services are met
  10. Use of JMU Logo in accordance with the JMU Brand Guidelines
Responsibilities of Recognized Student Organizations

To maintain recognition status, all student organizations must comply with the following:

  1. Conduct all activities in compliance with JMU policies and procedures, including all policies and regulations outlined in the JMU Student Handbook and the constitution and laws of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Harrisonburg. Any policies or laws applying to individuals also apply to recognized student clubs and organizations. For more information, please refer to the JMU Student Handbook
  2. Adhere to all policies and procedures set out by affiliated offices or departments, including Student Leadership and Involvement, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Center for Multicultural Student Services, the College of Business and University Recreation, as relevant to each organization
  3. Complete the annual registration process every year
  4. Have an organization adviser who is a full- or part-time faculty or staff member or a registered affiliate with JMU
  5. Maintain and update organization page on, including current roster information and the organization’s constitution
Student Organization Policies Violations

Failure to abide by the listed policies in the JMU Student Handbook may result in sanctions against the organization including, but not limited to, suspension of any and/or all activities and removal of the organization from campus. JMU staff will investigate allegations of policy violations to determine if the actions taken were at the direction or collaboration of an organization. If JMU staff reasonably believe the violations were at the level of an organization, then the conduct process will begin. Individual students who are members of an RSO are still subject as individuals to the expectations set forth in the JMU Student Handbook and Honor Code.  Should staff reasonably believe that individual policy violations may have occurred in relation to the RSO incident, the individual(s) may be held accountable via a referral to OSARP and/or the Honor Council.  Individuals may be referred to OSARP and/or the Honor Council regardless of whether an RSO is found responsible for organizational misconduct.

Conditions for Recognition
  • All recognized student organizations will be held responsible by the university for abiding by federal, state, and local laws, as well as all university regulations. The university may become involved in the off-campus conduct of recognized student organizations.
  • No organization may discriminate on the basis of any protected category as set forth in University policy 1302. JMU does not discriminate and prohibits discrimination in its employment, programs, activities and admissions on the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information (including family medical history), marital status, military status (including veteran status), national origin (including ethnicity), parental status, political affiliation, pregnancy (including childbirth or related medical conditions), race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or on any basis protected by law, unless otherwise permitted or required by law. Considerations shall be given to organizations which may be exempt from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, relating to discrimination on the basis of gender. Attendance and participation in programs and activities which are open to all students and/or the public at large must comply with the university’s non-discrimination policies.
  • Recognized student organizations may not engage in hazing activities. Any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in a recognized student organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding. Any recognized student organization that commits hazing is subject to disciplinary action. In accordance with the hazing policy in the JMU Student Handbook, the university prohibits hazing, including recklessly or intentionally endangering the health or safety of a student or students; inflicting bodily injury on a student or students; any activity or behavior that creates emotional distress, physical discomfort, embarrassment, shame, harassment, malicious amusement, or ridicule in connection with or the purpose of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization or association, fraternity, sorority or student body, regardless of whether the student or students so endangered, injured or affected participates voluntarily in the relevant activity. Students directing, engaging in, aiding or participating in, actively or passively, the forcing, compelling, requiring, encouraging or expecting, whether direct or implied, of individuals to participate in hazing activities shall be considered in violation of this policy.
  • Organizations cannot use trademarked or registered names in their official title (except either as permitted with explicit permission and/or approval of an affiliated national organization as permitted by an authorized third party. Names and titles of student organizations must be unique and distinguishable from existing student organizations.
  • Only currently registered students shall be eligible for student membership status in student organizations. All other persons, including but not limited to, faculty, staff and community members, may be admitted to associate membership.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students must be officially enrolled to be eligible to serve as appointed or elected officers within their organizations. Student organizations may establish and apply additional eligibility criteria for appointed or elected leaders/officers if the criteria do not violate the university’s non-discrimination policy with Student Leadership and Involvements’ approval.
  • The purpose or purposes of a student organization must not conflict with the educational functions or established policies of the university. It is incumbent upon any person presenting objections to the application for recognition or continuance of an organization to demonstrate how and in what manner the registration or continuance of that organization would conflict with the policies of the university. These concerns should be directed to Student Leadership and Involvement.
  • The purpose and/or functions of a student organization must not duplicate those of an existing recognized student organization. This requirement, however, is not applicable to an organization with religious or political purposes and/or functions as declared in its constitution on file with the university. The university may rescind the recognized status of an organization upon a determination that the organization is no longer fulfilling the purposes and/or functions described in its constitution. If an organization feels that a newly recognized organization duplicates its stated purpose as set forth in its constitution, it may seek a review through the Director of Student Life. This is accomplished by providing a letter explaining how another organization duplicates its stated purpose. Preference is given to the organization that has had recognized status longer and is in good standing.
  • If there is reasonable cause to believe that the organization seeking recognition is merely a reconstitution, in some form, of an organization that has lost university recognition, the request for recognition may be denied. Reasonable cause to draw this conclusion may be based on any of multiple factors, including overlapping membership, similarity of purpose, and the timing of both the prior loss of recognition and the request for new recognition. If it is determined that a recognized student organization is a reconstitution of a previous organization that lost university recognition, recognition shall be revoked if there is reasonable cause to do so.
Relation of the University to Student Organizations

Recognition of student organizations shall not be construed as agreement, support or approval by the university, but only as acknowledgment of the rights of the organization to exist at the university, subject to the conditions enumerated herein.

If you have any questions about this contact Student Life at

Back to Top