The responsible administrator for this section is the Office of Student Activities. The Office of Student Affairs has approval authority

11.0. Introduction

The Office of Student Activities provides opportunities to engage students in the Amherst community. This includes facilitating access to inclusive co-curricular activities, leadership and advising support, as well as tools to support organizations.

Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) helps students to gain access to various benefits on campus (listed below). RSOs promote community building, leadership, social development and wellbeing. If an organization doesn’t currently exist, students are supported in registering new organizations during the open registration period each semester.

Key roles: RSOs primarily interact with the following College resources.

Office of Student Affairs: The Office of Student Affairs is the parent division to the Office of Student Activities and oversees all aspects of student life including residential, academic, counseling, and engagement support.

Office of Student Activities: The Office of Student Activities provides resources and advising for all areas of student engagement including oversight of Registered Student Organization activities.

 AAS: Association of Amherst Students, the student government of the Amherst College student body. The AAS oversees the distribution of the Student Activities Fee and policies about its use. AAS Senators, sit on various faculty/staff committees that help inform all areas of College policy.

 Athletics: The Department of Physical Education and Athletics offers recreational, intramural, club, and intercollegiate activities. Club Sports is a subcategory of Registered Student Organizations that is overseen by the Director of Club Sports and supported in tandem with the Director of Student Activities.

 Benefit: RSOs and Intramural groups obtain access to the resources below. Non-registered student groups may be denied certain campus resources 

  • Room reservations in Virtual EMS
  • Student Activities funding [all students may access AAS Discretionary Funding (https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/aas/budgetary/discretionary-fund-request) regardless of organizational affiliation]
  • Transportation resources
  • Online presence: RSO groups have access to the HUB’s resources, which helps organizations to share updates about their organization and manage their group members, promote events
  • Access to Get Involved Fair: this resource is used to help with recruiting and making your organization more visible on campus

 11.1. Definitions

Registered Student Organization (RSO): A RSO is a group of actively enrolled students at Amherst College who share a common purpose or interest. A RSO has been approved to operate by the Office of Student Activities. Additional information about Registered Student Organization can be found on the Club and Club Recognition (https://www.amherst.edu/mm/480001) page of the Amherst Association of Students (https://www.amherst.edu/mm/78026) website.

Athletics Team: An athletic team includes any of the teams recognized by the Department of Physical Education and Athletics and any intramural sports organization.

Student Group: The umbrella term for athletic teams and registered student organizations.

Non-registered Student Group: A group of students who share a common purpose or interest but have not completed the student recognition process. These groups are ineligible for the resources and benefits of an RSO; however, they are free to associate and assemble in accordance with College policies related to the privileges and responsibilities of enrolled students.

11.2. Policies

The Association of Amherst Students (AAS): https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/aas

Association of Amherst Student Budgetary Committee: https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/aas/budgetary

Co-Sponsorship: Co-Sponsorship is a funding agreement to support an organization (RSO or non-RSO) or an individual’s program on or off-campus. Co-sponsorship funds are offered through AAS, Student Activities, Campus Activities Board, and various departments on campus.

Durable Goods Policy: The Office of Student Activities provides limited storage areas in various locations on campus in support of group materials purchased either through the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) Budgetary Committee or the Office of Student Activities co-sponsorship funding. All items purchased through either source are the property of the AAS and Amherst College respectively. Student group leadership, designated through individual group rosters reflected through The Hub (thehub.amherst.edu) are the ultimate arbiters in how those items are stored and maintained across leadership transitions. In the case that a group is no longer in good standing with the Office of Student Activities for a year or more, all items purchased and/or stored in designated storage areas revert to oversight by the Office of Student Activities in conjunction with AAS approval for the repurposing and/or deaccessioning of purchased goods up to and including measures of recycling or disposal.

Once items have been identified by the Office of Student Activities as being in possession of a group no longer in good standing, the Office of Student Activities will reach out with reasonable efforts to communicate intentions of the aforementioned actions. Outreach will be made to currently enrolled students who are listed in the group’s roster on their Hub page and given a week for a response. Students who are still enrolled and were previously on the roster for defunct groups have the right to suggest reuse or repurposing for a currently registered organization or independent activity registered through the Office of Student Activities and open to the whole student body. Final approval of those suggestions for repurposing is granted through the Office of Student Activities.

Facilities and Grounds Use Policy: This document sets forth principles for the use of Amherst College facilities and grounds. The intent of this policy is to promote responsible use of the college’s facilities and grounds, enable the college to better know what events are occurring across campus, identify events that will necessitate logistical support (e.g., security planning, IT, etc.), and limit unauthorized uses by individuals who are not affiliated with the college. https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/facts/amherst-college-policies/general-administration-policies/facilities-and-grounds-use-policy

Fronting Policy: Students organizations are expected to fully participate in their programs and activities. As such, student organizations may not front for another cause and must follow the Amherst College Fronting Policy (https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/facts/amherst-college-policies/student-activities-policies/fronting-policy-for-student-groups).

Funding: Funding for student activities is facilitated primarily through the AAS Budgetary Committee through Club Budget and Discretionary allocations but can be supplemented in some cases through the Office of Student Activities Co-Sponsorship once AAS resources have been exhausted.

General Funding Guidelines: https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/our-community/keefe/funding

Hazing Policy: Hazing members of an organization is a serious violation of state law and College policy. Student Organizations must follow the Amherst College hazing policy. https://www.amherst.edu/offices/student-affairs/community-standards/college-standards/hazing

Illicit Activities: Amherst College students are expected to share with the College when they observe activities that seek to steal, defraud, or undermine the College’s educational mission. Reports can be sent to the College (anonymously or not) through the College’s reporting portal (http://amherst.edu/go/reporting).

Posting Policy: Campus advertising and posting is a privilege. Student Organizations must follow the Amherst College posting policy (https://www.amherst.edu/offices/student-affairs/community-standards/chapter-iii.-select-college-policies/section-25.-posting-policy).

RSO Open Membership: The AAS and Office of Student Activities maintains an open membership policy by which any student expressing interest in the organization must, within reason, be able to take part in group activities to some extent. In the case of audition-based organizations, it is expected that any interested student must be able to audition.

For those organizations that have restricted skill-based membership that ultimately excludes participation in the group at some level (e.g. dance performance groups), they will not be permitted access to the AAS Club Budget or Discretionary fund. However, the Office of Student Activities will consider co-sponsorship requests on a case by-case basis for those groups included in this category.

RSO Names: RSOs are given the opportunity to change their name when they re-register their organization during the fall semester. If RSOs wish to change their organization’s name, they can email studentactivities@amherst.edu to request a name change. The Office of Student Activities reserves the discretion to change RSO names at any time and for any reason.

Student Organization Storage: Amherst College has limited storage space and in general does not provide storage to student organizations. Petitions for storage space or for student organization office space can be sent to studentactivities@amherst.edu.

Travel Policy and Resources: Any RSO planning to travel domestically for group related activities (e.g. regional competitions, conferences) must register their plans for travel with the Office of Student Activities through their Hub page (https://thehub.amherst.edu/) and follow up with outreach to the Director of Student Activities for a meeting to discuss travel arrangements as well as viability for College sponsorship and potential AAS funding support. Please note that extracurricular travel does not supersede priority for academic responsibilities. The Office of Student Activities cannot advocate for alternative arrangements for academic deadlines or other responsibilities for RSO/student group travel.

In order for the Office of Student Activities to provide travel arrangements and funding support not provided through the AAS, students taking part in travel must complete a field trip waiver through Five College Inc. and initiated by the the Director of Student Activities (https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/field-trips-domestic-travel/field-trip-waivers)

Five College Inc. Domestic Travel Information: https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/field-trips-domestic-travel

International Travel: International travel is not supported by AAS funding and requires special permission granted by the Director of Student Activities. A meeting with a member of the Five College Risk Management team as well as the Director of Student Activities is required before consideration of approval can be granted. Prior to approval, the following must be established with the Office of Student Activities and Five College Inc. Risk Management: health insurance, general liability, AIG Travel Guard, evacuation/repatriation. (https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/intltravel/student_intl).

Five College Inc. International Travel Information: https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/intltravel

Visual Identity Toolkit: Student organizations have limited use of the College likeness and name when operating their student organizations, recruiting membership, marketing, and advertising events. Student organizations must follow the Amherst College Visual Identity Toolkit (https://www.amherst.edu/news/communications/visual-identity-toolkit) when using the College’s likeness, name, or reputation in their materials. The College reserves the discretion to limit use of its registered trademarks and/or service marks at any time and for any reason. This includes usages that, in the College’s sole judgment, imply a connection to Amherst College.

FCC Expectations for Student Media Broadcast: Students who broadcast from Amherst College are expected to utilize the training received from the Office of Student Activities and the WAMH Executive Board. Additionally, federal law prohibits obscene, indecent, and profane content from being broadcast on the radio or TV. Congress has given the FCC the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws. The FCC may revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture, or issue a warning if a station airs obscene, indecent, or profane material. The College may take disciplinary action against individual students—and/or against WAMH collectively as a student organization—for actions that the College determines are contrary to applicable FCC laws, regulations, and/or rules.

11.3. Resources

Creating a Student Organization

https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/our-community/keefe/organizations

Space Reservations: The Office of Student Activities utilizes the Virtual Event Management System (EMS) for all student event space reservations (Powerhouse, Ford Hall Event Space, Friedmann Room, O’Connor Commons). Event space reservations are prioritized for RSO use.

Virtual EMS:

https://ems.amherst.edu/VirtualEms/Login.aspx

For all other reservable spaces - Booking Space at Amherst:

https://www.amherst.edu/news/communications/conferences_special_events/events_planning/spacebooking

Funding Sources: The AAS Budgetary Committee is the primary funding source for RSO’s. In many cases, the Office of Student Activities is able to supplement remaining funding needs depending upon the nature of the request. In unique circumstances where the request is outside of the scope of what AAS and the Office of Student Activities can viablely support while maintaining equity of access for others, the Director of Student Activities may prescribe alternative sources of funding. Other sources should not be sought before exhausting the aforementioned primary sources.

Funding an Event:

https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/our-community/keefe/funding

RSO Executive Board Resources:

Template for RSO Constitution.docx 

HUB:

https://thehub.amherst.edu/

11.4. Student Profit-Making Enterprises

Amherst College does not permit students to operate businesses, profit-making enterprises, nor sell in College residences. The College does not permit the use of College resources for student-operated businesses or enterprises.