Student Organization Recognition Purpose and Structure

The purpose of recognizing student organizations at the College of William and Mary is to provide a structure through which students may exercise their right to freely associate in pursuit of a common purpose or goal that enhances community at William and Mary.  Recognized student organizations create opportunities for leadership development, learning, student engagement, and fostering of shared interests.

All recognized student organizations are expected to uphold University policies and procedures and always act in good faith when conducting organizational business.  Further, recognition does not imply that the University assumes liability or legal responsibility for the actions of any group.  Recognition of a group does not deprive the University of any of its rights to act for the welfare of the community.  Continuation of recognition is dependent upon the fullfillment of intent and demonstrated ability to abide by the organization's constitutions and the University's educational purposes.

Each student organization granted recognition by the College of William and Mary shall be categorized as either Sponsored or Affiliated.  Categorization is determined by assessing the student organization's relationship to the College; the purpose, scope and complexity of its activities; and the perceived potential risk to participants and the university.

Sponsored Organization

Sponsored Organizations are those considered to be critical to the mission and culture of the university.  These organizations have a substantial relationship with the College because of their role in representing the university or in presenting events that are considered to be an integral part of the institution.  These organizations have a defined relationship with a university department or office.  The activities and initiatives of these organizations are considered to be more complex because of their scope and perceived association with the university.  These organizations must have advisory support.  The organization's purpose and impact serves a broad segment of the campus community, not just its membership.

Affiliated Organizations

Affiliated Organizations are those that contribute to and are consistent with the mission and culture of the university.  These organizations engage primarily in activities that benefit their own membership but may periodically engage in activities that benefit the larger campus community.  Due to the variety and scope of Recognized Student Organizations at the College, Affiliated Organizations shall be further appraised as either Affiliated-Green OR Affiliated-Gold.  Determinations shall be made based on the purpose, scope, complexity of activities, and perceived potential risk to participants and the university.

Affiliated-Green:  The activities and initiatives of these organizations are considered to carry moderate level of complexity in relation to their nature and/or scope.  These organizations may have a close relationship with a university department or office.  It is recommended that these organizations identify advisory support.  These groups have the opportunity to balance the interests of both their membership and possibly the larger campus community.
Affiliated-Gold:  The activities and initiatives of these organizations are considered to carry a lower level of complexity due to their more narrow scope.  These organizations primarily serve the interests of their membership and are capable of functioning with minimal support.

Benefits and Responsibilities of Recognized Student Organizations