The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Official Recognition of Student Organizations
As the first public university in America, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a long history of fostering free speech and intellectually challenging ideas. Our mission is to serve all the people of the State, and indeed the nation, as a center for scholarship and creative endeavor. In fulfilling that mission, we value each member of our community and believe that our role as a university is not to espouse a point of view, but, consistent with our First Amendment obligations, to provide appropriate opportunities for the expression of all points of view.
Involvement in student co-curricular activities plays an important and complementary role to learning in the classroom, and the University strongly supports student creation of and involvement in organizations. In 2004 – 2005, over 600 student co-curricular organizations were extended official University recognition. These organizations plan activities, programs, and services that address a wide span of interests. Participation in student co-curricular activities is one of the many options available on campus for the expression of student ideas and opinions.
Once the University grants official recognition to a student co-curricular organization, the organization is entitled to the following University privileges: (a) access to funding from the Student Activity Fee, which is collected from all enrolled students; (b) priority use, through reservation, of specified University facilities, property, services, and equipment; (c) use of the University’s name in the organization’s title, so long as University sponsorship or endorsement is not implied or stated; and (d) assistance from the Division of Student Affairs.
The University’s commitment to equal opportunity for each member of its student body is unshakable. Over twenty years ago, the United States Supreme Court declared that racial discrimination in education violates deeply and widely accepted views of elementary justice, noting that discriminatory treatment exerts a pervasive influence on the entire educational process. Mindful of this principle and of our responsibility as a public institution of higher education serving all the people, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Student rights to equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination must, of course, be honored in concert with student First Amendment rights to freedom of association.
Accordingly, it is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that:
To be eligible for official recognition from the University — and the privileges that accompany official recognition — a student co-curricular organization must abide by the following:
1. Membership and participation in the organization must be open to all students without regard to age, race, color, national origin, disability, religious status or historic religious affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Membership and participation in the organization must also be open without regard to gender, unless exempt under Title IX.
2. Student organizations that select their members on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g., religious or political beliefs) may limit membership and participation in the organization to students who, upon individual inquiry, affirm that they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs, so long as no student is excluded from membership or participation on the basis of his or her age, race, color, national origin, disability, religious status or historic religious affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or, unless exempt under Title IX, gender.
This Policy is maintained by the Office of University Counsel