Rice University boasts over 200 registered clubs on campus. Each of these groups is formed of students with similar interests or passions that wish to work together to achieve a joint mission and purpose. Club activities range in goals from service, to political advocacy, to cultural programming, to sports and recreation, and various special interest activities. These clubs are a great way for students to become engaged in the university and Houston community as well as to develop leadership skills and apply classroom learning in practical situations. There are both responsibilities and benefits to being a registered club on campus and it is the responsibility of the club leadership to uphold these requirements and to remember that clubs too are subject to the honor code.
• All undergraduate student organizations must follow the Student Association Bylaws with regard to their establishment as an organization. All graduate student organizations will likewise follow the Graduate Student Association Bylaws.
• No organization may discriminate in policy or action on the grounds of race, religion, color, sexual orientation or national origin.
• Members of the Rice community must comprise at least 50% of the membership.
• Principal officers and spokespersons must be currently registered Rice students
• Each club must have at least a President and a Treasurer
• All clubs are required to have a faculty/staff Sponsor
• Clubs must complete the registration and risk management process EVERY YEAR with the Office of Student Activities
• All club leaders should transition their new officers in an intentional and responsible manner to insure the future success of their organization
• All travel outside of Harris County must be registered
• Treasurers must complete a semester report of funds to the Office of Student Activities
• All clubs must uphold the procedures for clubs set out by the Office of Student Activities, the honor code, the policies and rules set forth by the university, and the laws of the state of Texas and the United States
Privileges of Registration
Registered Clubs are awarded the following benefits:
• A bank account through Office of Student Activities
• Use of University meeting rooms, facilities, and outdoor arrears by the student membership of the organization free of charge
• Opportunity to request funds from the Student Activities Presidents Programming Fund, ALFA fund, and New Club Fund
• Use of the Clubs Office with computers and a photo copy machine that will charge directly to your club fund at the end of each semester with minimal fees
• Organization mailbox and address
• Opportunity to advertise in the Student Center on their screens, doors, banner wall
• Ability to book space to hang banners on Fondren Library
• Listing on the student activities page and in the clubs booklet that is given to all students
• Use of the University Name and Logo
• Ability to set up a website through the university and to be linked to the Student Activities page
• Use of the Rice University Tax Exemption status
Note: these are privileges that may only be awarded to fully registered clubs who have completed our process by the October 1stdeadline. Failure to utilize these privileges responsibly or to uphold the requirements as listed above may result in revocation of the privileges listed and possible dissolution of the club, and/or possible charges through the Student Judicial Programs Office.
When your club is planning to sponsor a function of any kind, the most important thing to remember is to plan ahead! Regardless of what the event is and where it will be held, there are numerous steps which must be taken well in advance. A few things for you to consider:
• All events should comply with the Student Handbook as well as with other Rice University policies and procedures.
• Determine what your goals are for the event
• What are your measures of success?
• Who is your target audience for the event?
• What do you hope your event will entail:
- Alcohol: approval to have alcohol must be completed at least one month in advance, including club events at Willy's Pub where alcohol will be purchased.
• Write out timeline and to-do items for your event and be proactive about risk management
• Determine an appropriate date for your event
• Make appropriate room/event location reservations, don’t forget a rain location if necessary and that all outdoor events must be approved prior to marketing by filling out the outdoor space request form.
• Create an appropriate budget for your event
• Identify and secure funding sources
• Manage logistics (ie, make reservations, order catering, arrange entertainment, confirm speakers, arrange payments, parking for visitors, etc.)
• Publicize event with adequate time for people to make arrangements to attend, utilize multiple methods of advertising
• Advance notice of any campus wide major events must be reported to the Director of Student Activities at least three weeks in advance. Approved events may be submitted to the Rice Calendar of Events.
Registered clubs have the privilege of reserving rooms on campus for meetings and events sponsored by their organization. Space may be either available classroom space or space within the Student Center or other facilities.
Reserving Classrooms on Campus
Reservations for rooms on campus should be made through the Student Activities Room Request Form. Room reservation forms should be completed at least one week in advance, as reservations are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, after all class schedules have been arranged. You can check if a classroom is available at http://registrar.rice.edu., follow the “classrooms” link. The reservation will be confirmed through the requesting student's email address.
Reserving Student Center Rooms
Registered clubs wishing to reserve space in the Student Center should go to the online Student Center Room Reservation Form. All registered clubs are required to have a user ID and password to reserve space in the Student Center. Groups that have not previously requested space should go directly to the reservation form above to apply for a password. If you have forgotten your password email email@example.com.
Note: All Rice University facilities and scheduling of events therein are governed by the Policies for Using University Facilities and Scheduling Campus Events (see the Student Handbook online).
Note: If alcohol will be served at the event, it must be indicated on the reservation form, and the Alcohol Policy procedures must be followed. Refer to the section on Events with Alcohol.
Reserving Outdoor Space on Campus
Registered clubs interested in hosting an event in an outdoor space on campus must fill out the Student Activities Outdoor Event Form. Depending on the location of your event, the Office of Student Activities will give additional instructions regarding approval.
Outdoor requests must be initiated at least two weeks in advance of the planned date to allow sufficient time to obtain all approvals. Noise level of the event and class schedules will be taken into consideration before approval (i.e. no loud musical events or activities will be approved during class times). Outdoor musical events or loud activities should be planned for the lunch hour or begin after 4 pm. The Central Quad is most frequently used by clubs for outdoor events. Generally the academic quad is only reserved for events of a somber nature – for example, candlelight vigils, Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrances, etc.
Club Sports or other clubs wishing to reserve intramural fields for games or practice should call x8810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clubs that are planning on holding a bake sale or other type of food sale are required to complete a Food Handling Agreement Form. This form must be on file with the Student Center prior to the scheduling of your bake sale. Bake sale guidelines, as well as the agreement form, may be found here.
All contracts involving clubs must be submitted to the Office of Student Activities no later than three weeks prior to the contracted date, for signature by the Director of Student Activities after approval from University General Counsel. The Director of Student Activities is the ONLY person who can sign contracts for clubs. This review is established for the protection of the club, its officers and sponsor, and the University. Any contract signed before securing proper approval is the personal responsibility and liability of the individual signing the contract. If your club has a contract, please contact the Office of Student Activities at email@example.com.
When renting equipment from an off-campus vendor, please contact the Student Activities Office. The University's Director of Risk Management (X4751) will insure the equipment in the event of theft, lost property, or damage, and protect your club from liability. Please note that an insurance premium may be assessed if renting equipment. Make sure that you contact the Student Activities Office before you make the final arrangements with the vendor.
If your club will be hosting an event (conference, workshop, party, etc.) where registration is necessary, or tickets will be sold, then you might want to take advantage of the Rice Online Event Registration Signup. You will need to make an appointment with Student Activities (firstname.lastname@example.org) to initiate the event registration site. Be prepared to give some time to setting up and testing the site. Bring your event information and your club logo (in an electronic format) if you wish to use one for the site. Once you have created your registration site, the system will generate a url so you can communicate your registration site to the public. Your participants will be able to register online for the event and you will be able to download an excel report to see who has registered for your event. You create your own welcome message, online confirmation and send an automatic email confirmation to the registrant.
The site also accommodates paid registrations, has additional add-ons for items such as lunch options, t-shirt size, etc., and can give discounts for early registration, etc. If your club is charging for the event, or a payment is required for lunch, etc. then your participants will be able to pay online and the fees will be transferred to your c-fund. There is a 3% fee to process each transaction so make sure you include that when you set your registration fees. Contact email@example.com for more information or set up an appointment to create your event registration.
While it is acceptable for clubs to have connections with groups outside Rice community, all co-sponsorship should be in alignment with the Student Handbook policies. Likewise, affiliations with outside groups should in no way be construed as endorsement or support of this group by Rice University. Sponsoring an event in a University facility with any group other than a Rice registered club requires the approval of the faculty sponsor of the club and the Office of Student Activities. Requests should first be submitted to the Director of Student Activities.
Clubs wishing to sponsor candidates for political debates must invite all candidates for the contested office. In addition, the event must be approved by Public Affairs and the General Counsel. The Office of Student Activities will assist you with this process. Please also note that soliciting funds for use by political parties is not acceptable.
When does the travel policy apply?
The travel policy applies if you are planning travel as part of a registered club and planning an organization event outside of Harris county. An organization event is defined as: 1) An event where attendance is required, 2) University funds and/or resources are being utilized to support the event, 3) The event is directly associated with the club or Rice in event advertising (this includes, but is not limited to Facebook, fliers, calendar events, and emails)
If you club is engaging in a high risk activity within the Houston area where your group has identified that there is potential risk and you would like RUPD to be aware of your travel.
Why is the travel policy in effect?
The goal of the travel policy is to maintain an open line of communication between clubs and the university so that the university is better prepared to support students should there be an issue while traveling.
The Office of Student Activities staff is also available to sit down with your group and discuss your event planning process related to your trip or connect you to qualified resources such as International Programs, the Community Involvement Center, and/or the Director of Risk Management for Rice. If you are interested in following up on this resource, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. Please provide adequate lead time for event planning.
Registered student clubs who are engaged in a club sponsored event that is outside the Houston (Harris County) area, are required to follow the travel policy as outlined in this statement.
Notification for domestic travel outside the Houston area (Harris County) should be made at least two weeks prior to the trip. Students traveling on behalf of the registered student club should fill out the travel form with the appropriate information related to their trip. This information will be automatically shared with RUPD, Student Activities, and the Director of Risk Management.
The travel registration form should be completed with event specific information for each trip. Participants should sign a waiver and submit this information to the club sponsor at least one week prior to the event so that participants are aware of the risk of the trip and so that personal and medical related information is available if needed by the group. This information should be stored for two (2) years following the event.
Any updates should be resubmitted via the travel form, please save information to make this easier.
If an incident occurs during travel and the group needs emergency assistance club leaders should call 911 immediately. Students should then notify RUPD at 713-348-6000. Sponsors should be contacted to reference any medical information gathered on the waiver forms and to keep the university aware of the events. Following an incident the group should make arrangements to update the Director of Risk Management.
Due to resources, staffing and risk management related concerns a heightened set of criteria has been placed on registered club related international travel. Approval for International travel must be granted by the Risk Management Office.
There are a variety of ways for registered student organizations to provide general information about themselves to the Rice community, and to advertise upcoming meetings and special events.
If your club has a google calendar of events, be sure to share access to your calendar with the Office of Student Activities google account email@example.com, then let us know that you have done so by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that your events pop up on the main Student Activities page. Also consider adding your events to the Student Association Calendars email email@example.com.
Copies of fliers, posters and signs may be made in the Clubs Office for a minimal fee. (See Student Activities to set up a copier code for your club).
Before posting signs, please consult with the Department where you would like to post or the online Student Handbook to confirm which spaces are authorized for posting notices. If you have any question about the appropriateness of a space, check with the department, faculty, or college responsible for the area you wish to place your poster. The posting of signs on building columns, bathrooms, and doors is forbidden. Advertising for social events sponsored by colleges and clubs should NOT focus on alcohol.
Suggested Posting Areas
• The colleges (designated areas only)
• Office of Student Activities and Clubs Office
• Student Center (see SC policies, and contact the Help Desk with additional questions)
• Fondren Library (with permission)
The Office of Student Activities will levy a $15 fine against any student organization or individual for placing posters in unauthorized locations (including, but not limited to: sign posts, lamp posts, garbage cans, trees, bathroom stalls, and building columns). Facilities, Engineering and Planning personnel will remove signs from unauthorized locations on a daily basis. In addition, those posting signs are responsible for any damage caused by signs they post. All signs must list the name and contact information of the sponsoring club and contact person.
Note: The posting of signs, posters, and other campaigning materials during the general elections in the spring is controlled according to special provisions established by the Student Association.
Yard signs may be signed out from Student Activities and placed around the Student Center prior to your event. If you wish to place yard signs at the colleges, contact the college coordinator. If you wish to place yard signs in any other location, you must submit an outdoor request form and give exact details of the locations you want to place the yard signs outdoors. The maximum number of signs is ten in spaces other than the colleges and student center. Yard signs must be removed promptly after your event and you will be charged a replacement fee for yard signs that are not returned, and/or for any damage caused by inappropriate placement.
Other Means of Advertising
• Meal-time announcement at the colleges
• Announcement at major club meetings (SA, RPC, RSVP, college cabinets)
• Submit your meetings and events to the Rice Calendar of Events from the Student Activities website.
• Place an item in the calendar of the Student Association by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating a Club Webpage or Blog
Rice IT has a number of options for creating a Club web page or blog. Be sure to email the Office of Student Activities (email@example.com) when your club has created a page or when the URL of your page has changed, so the correct link can be included on the Student Activities website. For technical help with creating your club website, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating a Club OWL-Space page
Setting Up a Listserv
To set up a club listserv, go to the online application form at mailman.rice.edu. One or more members of your listserv should be designated as the listserv manager(s). Information on listserv management can be found here.
Table in Front of Fondren Library, Banners at Fondren, Student Center Doors, Chalking and more Student Center Offerings
To reserve a variety of advertising space such as tables in front of Fondren, Banners on Fondren, the Student Center Doors, and the opportunity to chalk around the Student Center can all be reserved in one convenient location through the Student Center. Please visit this page for more details.
The Fair Use Doctrine (1978) of the Copyright Act governs the making of photocopies of copyrighted material. Photocopies may be made for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research as long as the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage. Rice University will follow the federal law in dealing with violations of the copyright code.
Film and Video
Videocassettes may be shown, without license, in the home (or dorm room) or in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities. Non-classroom use in public places (i.e. TV lounge), regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, requires a license (see below). This means that student organizations cannot show films at organization events. Willful infringement for the purposes of commercial or financial gain is a federal crime and is punishable as a felony. Even inadvertent infringers are subject to substantial civil damages. Please contact Student Activities regarding ways to purchase a license.
Video Taping Events with Music
The Copyright Act also applies to the use of music. Should an organization wish to videotape one of their events with the intention of selling the recording, the use of copyrighted music will require a special license or permission from the copyright holder.
Information concerning Rice's appropriate use of computer resources policies can be found here.
Examples of situations requiring a special license or permission from copyright holder:
- Use of cartoons or logos for flyers or party themes
- Showing movies at a club activity
- Sharing computer software
- Use of music for events, performances, and the distribution and/or sale of video with music
Please contact the Office of Student Activities with any questions.
Use of Rice Name and Logo
The use of the Rice University name and logo in the printing of t-shirts, hats, etc. is generally acceptable, provided that the design is in good taste, the items will not be distributed outside the University and the items will not be sold for a profit. However permission to use the Rice logo must be obtained by either the Office of Public Affairs or the Office of General Counsel. In order to obtain their permission you must see the Director of Student Activities who will assist you in the process. If your group intends to sell the items or distribute them outside the University, you must first secure approval from the Office of Student Activities.
Due to the highly regulated and complex statutes governing raffles in Texas, Rice University does not permit student organizations to conduct raffles.