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Student Organization Handbook
This handbook is intended for use by all organizations’ principal officers and advisors, and by those students interested in forming new organizations on campus. It contains applicable policies, rules, and regulations concerning student organization activities, as well as information on whom to contact for the establishment of an organization. This handbook will serve as a guide in helping student organizations maximize their effectiveness in achieving its stated purposes.
Forms mentioned in this handbook can be found on the Student Life website (http://www.nwfsc.edu/Students/StudentLife/) under the Student Organization Resources tab.
The Student Life Office recognizes that some important information may inadvertently have been omitted. If this is found to be true, please advise Student Life (email@example.com). Your comments and suggestions regarding this handbook are earnestly solicited.
Each student activity, club, and organization authorized to function in the name of the College shall be organized, chartered and operated in accordance with Florida Statutes, State Board Rules, provisions of the Student Handbook, and the Student Organization Handbook.
Any student Organization that breaks or defies the regulations established by the college and Student Life will receive a warning documenting the infraction. If the severity of the infraction is extreme, the organization immediately may be placed on social probation status. The student organization will receive documentation describing the infraction and the steps expected of them in order to be relieved from probation. Any infraction that is repeated or not corrected will lead to the organization being recommended for disbandment.
During Social Probation, student organizations may not perform any activities that are privileged to registered student organizations such as hosting official organizational meetings/activities or utilize college resources available to college sponsored (registered) groups.
Academic Eligibility Requirements
Specific grade point average (GPA) requirements for membership and active status for each student organization are specified in the constitution of each organization. Student Life recommends that students holding office in a NWF State College registered student organization maintains a 2.5 cumulative GPA. All members must be in good academic standing.
The accumulative GPA of the organization may not fall below 2.0, which is the minimum GPA required for a student organization to remain active on campus. If the cumulative GPA of the total membership falls below 2.0, the organization can be placed on social probation until the next mid-term grades are posted.
Enforcement of academic eligibility is generally the responsibility of the student organization advisor as deemed necessary. Student Life investigates academic eligibility of student organizations and its members on an as needed basis and reserves the right to place a student organization or its member(s) on social probation.
Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Institution
Northwest Florida State College is dedicated to the concepts of equity and equal opportunity. It is the specific intention of the college not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, ethnicity, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, genetic information, or gender, in its employment practices or in the admission and treatment of students in its programs or activities.
Register a New Student Organization | Student Organization Annual Renewal | Student Organization Reactivation | Constitution Amendments
Students have the right to assemble at public locations (LRC, Raider Café, and Study Rooms) on NWF locations provided that the students in accordance with Florida Statutes, State Board Rules, Board policies, provisions of the College Catalog, and provisions of the Student Handbook .
Students may assemble to create clubs based on common interests but cannot operate as a registered student organization and function in the name of the college. The students must complete the registration process described in next section in order to function as a registered student organization.
Registered Student Organization Benefits:
Step 1: Assemble Membership
The first step in starting a new organization is to assemble a small membership of at least 4 NWF currently enrolled students that share the common interest or goals. Early membership is also critical in successfully establishing the foundation for the organization because the involvement will help foster more commitment, ownership, and value towards the proposed organization by the members.
The group is able to hold informational meetings for the purposes of recruiting members and establishing the proposed student organization.
Step 2: Establish Officers
The next step for the assembled members is to determine officers and their responsibilities. Student Life requires the minimum officers of a president and a treasurer for each student organization.
The president will be the primary point of contact and will be responsible under the guidance of the advisor in maintaining the organization in good standings by abiding by the guidelines and policies described in this handbook.
The treasurer will be the designated member to process the student organization purchase requests (refer to Finance Guide section).
Step 3: Develop Mission, Goals, and Name
Your organization will need to develop a mission statement that effectively describes the purpose for your organization’s existence. The mission should reflect the goals for the organization and provide a niche for the organization to stand out and be meaningful for interested students. Student Life will delay the approval of a new student organization if the mission is too similar to a current active or inactive organization until it is revised. Contact Student Life for assistance in determining if proposed organization is unique before proceeding.
Once the mission and goals are developed, the membership determines a meaningful name that creatively describes the mission of the organization.
Step 4: Recruit an Advisor
College policy requires that all student organizations have a faculty advisor in order to become a registered student organization and maintain status. The advisor assists the organization in achieving its purpose through continuity and experience and functioning as a liaison for campus resources. The advisor also serves as an official representative and spokesman for the college should emergencies arise which necessitate "on-the-spot" decisions and action. Student organizations may have more than one advisor.
Student organizations are given the privilege of recruiting advisors to oversee the student organization. The members are responsible for seeking out a prospective advisor. Approval of the advisors will be dependent on the following factors:
Tip: Students should first check with instructors whose field closely relates to the purpose of the organization. Students may also want to check with the various department offices for leads. Having placed much effort in the first 3 steps of registering a student organization will prove beneficial in recruiting an advisor because it shows commitment and responsibility on the behalf of the student membership.
Step 5: Develop the Constitution
Each organization needs to develop a proposed constitution. The Constitution Guide may be used as a template for developing the organization’s constitution. The guide may be retrieved from Student Life website.
Step 6: Complete Student Organization Registration Form
The student organization will need to complete the Student Organization Registration Form located on the Student Life website.
Step 7: Student Senate Approval
Contact Student Government to make arrangements to meet with the student senate. The president or officer from the proposed student organization will need to present the proposed organization and constitution to the student senate and receive approval.
Step 8: Wait for Final Approval
Once all steps 1-7 are complete, the student organization will wait for final approval from Student Life.
The renewal status begins for every organization on August 1st. In order to remain in active status, each student organization must complete the Student Organization Registration Form by September 30th or the following business day. The student organization will be placed on inactive status after renewal period if renewal is not completed and submitted to Student Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously active student organizations do not need the minimum of 4 NWF currently enrolled students to renew but need to have an acting president and a treasurer in place.
A student organization that has been inactive for more than 2 years will need to complete the Student Organization Reactivation. To reactivate a student organization, you will need to complete the Student Organization Registration Form.
Contact Student Life to obtain any past student organization documents such as the constitution to update and resubmit.
In the case of a change in advisors, the new advisor will need to complete the Advisor Agreement Form and receive approval before submitting for organization renewal. Contact Student Life for the contact information of the previous advisor if available.
Amendments made to the constitution are governed by the procedures described by the organization’s constitution. Once amendments have been approved by the organization, the amended constitution has to receive student senate and college approval.
Student Organization Training
Approved organizations’ designated officers will attend Orientation Training designed to help prepare them to lead their respective organizations. A minimum of two officers are required to attend the orientation trainings. These sessions take place during the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
Student Leadership Programs
Student Life hosts leadership development events throughout the year open to all students during the fall and spring semester. A minimum of two officers are required to attend these activities.
Council of Student Organizations
The Council of Student Organizatiions (CSO) is the governing body of all clubs and organizations formed on campus. The CSO operates following the governance of the SGA Constitution Article VII and the Student Organization Handbook. The CSO is composed of the president or designee of each student organization and is chaired by the Vice-President of the Student Government Association. The council is designed to promote unity and cooperation among the student clubs and organizations of NWFSC.
Participation in CSO is required by all registered student organizations that are active. The president or a designee at minimum will need to be present at each meeting. CSO is required to meet once a month.
Student Life only funds the organizations that are sanctioned by the Florida College System Activities Association on an annual basis: Brain Bowl, Forensics, and Student Government Association. All other student organizations receive funding by other means through membership dues, fundraising, and budget requests.
Custodial accounts allow student organizations to safely store funds with no monthly fees or balance requirements. Contact Student Life to have a custodial account created and obtain an index number.
Funds are deposited at the business office cashier located in the Student Services Center. The index number will need to be provided in order to deposit funds in appropriate account.
Student Organization funds will roll-over to the following year. Abandoned funds from inactive student organizations will be moved into the Student Activities Board account after a minimum of 3 years of inactivity.
Student organizations may expend funds from their custodial account or grant funds. Complete the Purchase Request Form located on the Student Life website for payment of goods/services and reimbursements. Requisitions take 1-2 weeks to complete. Requests must be appropriate and relevant to the organization’s mission and goals.
A Purchase Request is not required if the item is related to an approved travel. Travel related expenses are processed through the Travel Request Form.
Payment for Goods
All requests for supplies, materials, equipment shall be submitted through the Purchase Request Form.
Payment for Services
Any contract for materials or services drawn in the name of Northwest Florida State College or any of its organizational components that obligates college funds (including grant and contract funds) or facilities must be processed through the Student Life:
Commitments shall not be considered firm, binding, or valid until such contracts are signed by the college President or the Coordinator of Purchasing as the persons authorized by the Board to commit college funds and/or facilities.
Reimbursements may be processed to the student organization’s advisor or treasurer for appropriate purchases by completing the Purchase Request Form. The recipient will disburse funds accordingly among the student organization.
The college is not subject to the State Sales Tax and cannot pay it or reimburse anyone for paying it. Statutes prohibit payment for taxes by the college except for airline travel and hotels that will not accept the college’s tax-exempt certificate. Tax charges as required by law become the obligation of the traveler.
The tax exemption number is 56-09-019060-57C. Copies of the College’s tax exempt certificate are available in Student Life.
Funds from your group’s custodial account can be used to pay taxes.
The college authorizes the payment of gratuity up to 20%.
Student organizations are authorized to collect membership dues from members. The treasurer will be responsible for depositing the dues into the organization’s custodial account.
Student Organizations may request funds from the Activity & Service Fee by completing a Budget Request Form on the Student Life website. All budget requests related to a travel will need to be completed in conjunction with the Travel Request Form. Budget requests are to be submitted by the student organization president.
Budget requests may only be submitted for the fall and/or spring semester. It is recommended to submit budget requests early in the fall semester.
Student government may request to schedule a meeting with requester in order to have the student senate approve the budget request. If the senate approves, the request will be sent through the remaining approval steps and the student organization will be notified of the final status.
Student organizations are required to complete an Activity Request Form on the Student Life website to organize an event or fundraising activity. Activity registration is to be submitted by the student organization president.
The student organization must wait on final approval before proceeding with event; no advertising should take place before approval. The form should be submitted no less than 3 weeks of the proposed activity.
No activities should be scheduled during the week of finals.
All food functions will need to be described on the Activity Request Form. When providing food for people outside of the organization, all food and drink items must be store bought or professionally prepared.
Small Food Functions
Student organizations may provide food during their activities without notifying Aladdin Food Service Management if the audience is a smaller audience (0-25). Make sure food is permissible in the activity location.
Larger Food Functions
For larger food functions, the student organization must work with Aladdin Food Service Management. The group will need to provide Aladdin with the right of first refusal to cater their function.
Student Organizations may seek the services of an outside professional caterer for the function provided Aladdin Food Service Management has been given the first right of refusal. The caterer must be licensed and have liability insurance in order to provide services for your function on or off campus.
If the event involves the charging of admission, the process should be described on the Activity Request Form. Collection of admissions shall be administered under supervision of the advisor. If necessary, collections of admission charges also shall be accomplished through procedures approved in writing by the Comptroller.
Contract for Professional Services
Refer to "Payment for Services." A Contract for Professional Services (obtained from Student Life) will need to be submitted after obtaining approval for event.
The freedoms of speech and assembly guaranteed by the first and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution shall be enjoyed by the students of the college with regard to the opportunity to hear "off-campus" speakers and/or schedule activities on the college campus. Students at the college are expected to accept fully the responsibilities that accompany the freedoms of speech and assembly which they enjoy. When inviting a guest speaker or scheduling an activity, a student organization is charged with the responsibility of making a choice that reflects the students’ genuine concern for the best interests and welfare - not only of the student organization - but of the college and the community as well.
The process for extending invitations to guest speakers who are not of the college community or scheduling a student organization function shall be governed as follows:
Fundraising activities by students and/or student organizations are permissible when the specific purpose is to support institutional scholarships, humanitarian/charitable efforts, or a recognized student organization’s mission and goals. Students/Student Organizations must receive approval by completing the Activity Request Form located on the Student Life website at least one month prior to the activity’s scheduled date.
Student Life sends out fundraising opportunities to active student organizations as they are available.
Complete the Activity Report Form located on the Student Life website within 1 week of the activity completion.
Northwest Florida State College has many venues to accommodate your meeting, conference, dance, expo and more! NWF does not charge a facility rental fee for "College Sponsored Events." Even though your event is "College Sponsored", you may be required to pay set-up/staff fees depending on location and needs. Request for reserving facilities is included on the Activity Request Form. Contact the Student Life for more information regarding reserving campus facilities.
NWF provides free audio/visual support for registered student organizations for the various functions. Please note that the wired network connections in most meeting spaces are inactive and a request to the IT department needs to be made in order to utilize the wired network connections.
Brief list of Audio/Visual Resources:
These guidelines outline the standards for the college’s visual and written identity to ensure consistent presentation of Northwest Florida State College in all applications. Questions should be directed to the NWF State College Graphic Services Manager (Terry Comeau) at (850) 729-6063 or the Director of Marketing and Public Relations (Stephanie Pettis) at 850-729-5244.
Any press releases involving the name or initials of the College must be cleared through the College’s Media/Public Relations Office prior to release. In like manner, any signs, posters, or placards bearing the name or initials of the College must be cleared through Student Life.
Notices may be posted by students and recognized student organizations on appropriate bulletin boards. Items are not to be taped, glued, or pasted on painted or finished surfaces. All such posting must be cleared in advance through Student Life at the Niceville Campus. College Center Directors may approve notices at their respective locations. The general distribution of notices is prohibited by anyone other than instructional and staff personnel in the performance of their duties or by recognized student organizations to advertise an approved event. Student organization must complete the Notice Posting Agreement on the Student Life website.
All media within the Northwest Florida State College service area receive all press releases sent from the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.
All internal faculty/staff communication will be sent via the Raider Review internal newsletter on Wednesday of each week. All information is due to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations each Tuesday by noon for Wednesday’s e-communication. Press releases will continue to be sent to the media in a timely manner throughout the week.
Student communications are sent out each Friday by the Student Life department. All information is due to the Student Life each Thursday by noon for Friday’s e-communication.
Student Life provides printing services for registered student organizations. Please contact Student Life for assistance with printing needs. Printing requests can be made on the Activity Request Form on the Student Life website.
Student Life Web Page
The Student Life web page is an excellent form of communication for student organizations. Descriptions of each active student organization and contact information are listed on the Student Life website. The updated student organization is captured during the Student Organization Registration Form. Contact Student Life to have content added to the Student Life website.
Student Life Social Networks
Student Life utilizes the following social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Items submitted for the Student Life Newsletter are usually also included on the social media sites. Student Life is willing to post any item on behalf of your organization to any of the social sites as long as it is appropriate.
Branding & Editorial Style Guide
The name of Northwest Florida State College and the names/titles of the college’s recognized student and other organizations are owned by the college. All College symbols/images, such as the official college seal, college logo and the logos of college organizations, are also the property of Northwest Florida State College and may not be altered or used in any fashion without written permission of the college. Authorization for use by the media for news purposes only is granted.
Student organizations may not provide college symbols to outside organizations or vendors without prior permission of the college President, Graphic Service Manager and/or Director of Marketing and Public Relations. If a college symbol is to be imprinted on an item, the file must be created by and/or approved by Graphic Services prior to production.
Approved original image files must always be used. Photocopied or low resolution versions/images are not acceptable. Digital files are available and may be requested from Graphic Services for internal college usage only. Any usage outside the college must follow the guidelines noted above.
Written Representation of the College
The official name of the college is "Northwest Florida State College." The firstreference to the college in any written document should always be the full name.
The official abbreviation of the college is "NWF State College." NWF State College is an acceptable secondary reference to the college after the full name has been referenced or when a shortened version is necessary.
In instances where an acronym is absolutely necessary, the acronym NWF should be used.
When Referring to the Entire College:
When Referring to the Niceville Location:
When an Acronym is Absolutely Necessary:
First Reference: NWF
When Referring to the Fort Walton Beach Location:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Only the Niceville and Fort Walton Beach locations of the college may be referred to as a "campus" as the name "campus" has a specific meaning in terms of the college’s accreditation. All college locations other than Niceville and Fort Walton Beach must be referred to as a "center" as noted on the following pages.
When Referring to the Crestview Location:
When Referring to the DeFuniak Springs Location:
When Referring to the Santa Rosa Beach Location:
When Referring to the Mattie Kelly Arts Center:
Niceville Campus Building Numbers:
During the Fall Semester of 2015, the NWF Niceville campus changed building identifications from an alpha to numerical system. The old alpha system should not be used, but use the numerical reference to buildings (Bldg. 410).
Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Statement
All student organization publications such as flyers and brochures must include the following statement at bottom of file: "An Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Institution"
The College Colors
The official college colors are scarlet and silver and may be used in concert with black and white. Scarlet is represented by Pantone Matching System (PMS) 200C. When one color versions of the college seal or logo are used, NWF State College symbols may be printed in black, scarlet or silver. No other color is authorized for the college logo or college seal without prior permission of the Graphic Services Manager, except if the seal or logo is embossed in gold or silver.
The College Seal
The college seal is the official formal emblem of the college and is to be used on diplomas, official transcripts, legal documents and similar items only.
Use of College Logo
The college logo is an official emblem of Northwest Florida State College and should be used only in accordance with the following guidelines to ensure consistent presentation of the college in all applications. The official college logo shall be used in most non-instructional college documents except the diploma, transcript and legal documents – which shall all use the official college seal. Logo usage shall be according to the most recent Branding & Style Guide. Questions should be directed to the NWF State College Graphic Services Manager (Terry Comeau) at 850-729-6063 or the Director of Marketing and Public Relations (Stephanie Pettis) at 850 729-5244.
The logo and logo icon should primarily be used in the two-color black and red version. This is the primary approved usage of the logo. The two-color version is scarlet and black. Scarlet is represented by Pantone Matching System (PMS) color 200C. If the logo is imprinted on colored items, such as a black, silver, or red background – consult the Graphic Services Manager to obtain the necessary reversed logos. The icon may not be altered or stretched. The font (Trajan Pro - Adobe) used for the name of the college should not be altered. The size and spatial relationship of the name, presented with larger and smaller font sizes, should not be altered. Student organizations should not attempt to recreate the fonts or spatial relationship on desktop computers, simply use the original image provided or consult with the Graphic Services Manager on your specific needs.
Use by Outside Organizations or Vendors
Written authorization is required for use of NWF State College logo by organizations outside the college, except for the news media. Authorization for use by the media is granted for news purposes only. Student organizations may not provide the College Logo to outside organizations or vendors without prior permission of the Graphics Manager, Director of Marketing and Public Relations or College President (or his designees). If the college logo is to be imprinted on an item, the file must be created by and/or approved by the Graphic Services Manager prior to production. Approved original image files must always be used. Faxed, photocopied or low resolution versions/images are not acceptable. Digital files that are available from this site are for internal college usage only. Any usage outside the college must follow the guidelines noted above.
Use by Student Organizations (Internal Use of Logo)
Approved original image files must always be used. Faxed, photocopied or low resolution versions/images are not acceptable. Digital files are available from Graphic Services upon request and should be used according to the provided guidelines and in a manner consistent with the mission of the college. College employees may not provide the college logo to outside organizations or vendors without prior permission of the Graphics Manager, Director of Marketing and Public Relations or College President (or his designees) – see "use by outside vendors" above.
Self-Contained Image (SQUARE) Use – Primary Logo
The square logo (with all elements in a self-contained square) is the primary usage of the logo for use when square application works best (such as parking stickers, etc.). The icon may not be altered or stretched. The self-contained square logo should primarily be used in the two-color black and red version shown. If the logo is imprinted on colored items, such as a black, silver, or red background – consult the Graphic Services Manager to obtain the necessary reversed logos.
For digital files of the college logo, please contact Student Life or the Graphic Services Manager.
Official travel and subsistence for students/student organizations shall be for the benefit of the educational program of the college or student organization’s mission and shall be authorized at the discretion of the Dean of Student or his/her designee.
Student organizations are required to complete the Travel Request Form located on the Student Life website for all student travel. The student organization
must wait on final approval before proceeding with travel. The form should be submitted
no less than 3 weeks of the proposed activity.
Student travelers may receive allowance for meals prior to travel departure. Meal allowances are based on the state of Florida meal schedule:
No traveler shall receive allowance for any meals that are included in registration, hotel, or airfare.
Hotel reservations can be made on the college credit card and confirmation information will be provided to travel requester. Payment is often prearranged through a credit card authorization prior to travel. Travel requester will need to obtain all receipts and verify that charges are accurate. No taxes are to be applied to invoice when traveling within the state of Florida. If there are any discrepancies, please attempt to have them resolved immediately and obtain a corrected receipt.
Travelers are responsible for any unauthorized expenses charged to room such as minibar, phone, or damages. Travelers will be responsible to reimburse the college for any unauthorized charges that are assessed to the college card.
Authority to operate a College vehicle is restricted to college staff and official volunteers. The college currently has cars and 15 passenger vans for use for transportation.
Train, bus, commercial airline operating scheduled flights, or rental cars of an established rental car firm. Travel by common carrier may be authorized through Student Life on unique basis pertaining to each travel. Common carrier expenses shall ordinarily be at the lowest discounted rate for the chosen mode of transportation. Reimbursement, however, shall not exceed the cost of discounted coach air fare.
College staff and official volunteers may operate a rental car in the circumstances that appropriate college vehicles are unavailable for specified travel times. Student Life will assist in the process of reserving a vehicle through Avis or Enterprise for travel.
Traveler must obtain approval for mileage reimbursement prior to travel from Student Life. Approval for mileage reimbursement is based on certain situations and is rare. Mileage is reimbursed by the state rating of 44.5 cents per mile when using a private vehicle. Total trip mileage must be included on the Travel Request Form.
The Activity Report Form needs to be completed and submitted to Student Life within 1 week of the travel. All receipts, unused funds, and the completed Meal Signatures Form need to be submitted to Student Life.
Note: Meal and gas receipts do not need to be submitted.
Students may receive excused absences from classes while on approved travel. Student Life can send a memorandum to faculty to request excused absence upon request.
Student Life is aware that unexpected issues may arise during travel. Student Life will provide your group with a point of contact for issues that occur after hours. Unfortunately, issues such as hotel credit card authorization may arise; Student Life will provide backup documentation to the traveling advisor to help prevent such scenarios. If issues can’t be resolved, Student Life point of contact can be reached for further assistance.
Code of the Road Agreement
You will be representing Northwest Florida State College as a student leader and are
expected to follow necessary guidelines and policies. All travelers must read this
Code of the Road Agreement and sign prior to traveling.
All student travelers must complete the Liability Agreement before prior to the travel and submit to Student Life.
Student travelers who receive meal money need to complete the Meal Signatures Form located on the Student Life website.
Personal Vehicle Agreement
If travelers have chosen of own free will to provide own transportation to and from the destination, they will need to complete the Personal Vehicle Agreement. Passengers will also need to complete form as well.
Registration Reimbursement Agreement
All student travelers need to complete the Registration Reimbursement Agreement if the event has registration fees. The agreement holds the student traveler liable up to the full registration amount should they cancel for a non-documented medical or family emergency. Agreement is to ensure commitment and responsibility to the travel by the student before committing funds on the student’s behalf.
Travel Emergency Information
All student travelers are required to complete the Travel Emergency Information prior to travel. The form provides the college with emergency contact, allergen, and special condition information.
Travel Request Form
Student organizations are required to complete the Travel Request Form located on the Student Life website for all student travel.