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Policy on the Recognition of Student Organizations

Classification number LCG 1110
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-President, Academic and Provost
Approval date March 11, 2015
Review date March 2018
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020
Supersedes Recognition of Student Organizations, June 2011


At the University, student organizations play an important role in the life of the University and enrich its intellectual, social and cultural diversity. Recognized Student Organizations are able to pursue social, cultural and other interests, and to organize and hold various activities for the benefit of their members. At the same time, the University expects that these activities will be carried out in a responsible, democratic, and cooperative manner that is based on the observance of certain procedures and the acceptance of certain obligations. The Policy on the Recognition of Student Organizations sets out the principles according to which student organizations are recognized by the University. 


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Event” means a scheduled activity, occurring on or off campus that is sponsored and/or organized by a Recognized Student Organization.

“Policy Lead” and “Policy Owner” have the meanings ascribed to them under the Policy Framework.

“Recognized Student Organization” means:

  • a Student Association recognized by the University under the terms of this Policy;  or
  • a Student Group.  

“Student Association” means a student organization that represents all students enrolled in a major segment of the University, or across multiple Faculties and programs (e.g. all undergraduate, graduate, or part-time students); and

 “Student Group” means any society, club or other type of student-formed organization that is duly constituted and recognized by a Student Association. 

Scope and Authority

This Policy applies to all student organizations wishing to be recognized by the University in order to use the University name and logo, access University facilities and equipment and/or hold Events as part of its activities.

The Policy Owner is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of a Policy Instrument.  The Provost and Vice- President Academic, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner. 


All student organizations wishing to use the University name and logo, access University facilities and equipment and/or hold Events as part of their activities must be recognized by the University. The University will recognize Student Associations and Student Groups in accordance with the principles set out in this Policy, and any amendments thereto.


  1. Membership in any Recognized Student Organization must be open to all students in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.  While discriminatory membership practices are not allowed, it is recognized that certain groups may be homogeneous in nature without being discriminatory.
  2. Fraternities and sororities, as chartered or incorporated organizations known collectively as the Greek System, and groups associated with fraternities and sororities, will not be granted recognition by the University.  These organizations are independent of the University and any acts by these organizations are not the responsibility of the University.
  3. The University is respectful of the autonomy of student organizations and will not attempt to censor, control or interfere with any Recognized Student Organization on the basis of its philosophy, beliefs, interests or opinions expressed unless and until these lead to activities which are illegal, discriminatory, infringe the rights and freedoms of others within the University community, or are in violation of the University's policies and procedures.
  4. Recognition by the University of a student organization does not imply endorsement of a particular organization’s beliefs or philosophies, nor the assumption of legal liability for the respective Recognized Student Organization’s activities.
  5. Recognized Student Organizations are expected to act in compliance with the University's policies and all applicable municipal, provincial and federal laws.  

Student Associations

  1. Student Associations are responsible for ensuring that Student Groups comply with this Policy. 

Student Organizations Requesting Recognition as a Student Association

  1. Organizations seeking recognition as a Student Association may request to be recognized under this Policy.
  2. Requests for recognition will follow the Procedures for Student Association Recognition and will demonstrate that:
    • The objectives of the organization and its proposed activities will contribute to the educational, social, and/or cultural life of the University.
    • Membership in the organization is open and in compliance with this Policy.
    • The requesting group has the support of a major segment of the University.

Revoking of Recognition

  1. Recognition by the University of any Student Association or Student Group is a privilege conditional upon the acceptance and observance of this Policy, as amended from time to time.  These privileges can be revoked by the University in its sole discretion if a Recognized Student Organization fails to comply with the requirements of this Policy and/or the Student Association Accountability Policy.

Monitoring and Review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years.  The Assistant Vice-President, Student Life, or successor thereof is the Policy Lead and is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant Legislation

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Related policies, Procedures & Documents

Student Association Accountability Policy

Procedures for Student Organization Recognition (TBD)

Student Conduct Policy

Policy Framework