Seven SA Principles of Student Organizations

The Students’ Association Senate aims to support an organizational system which allows students to pursue their interests while focusing their energy in ways that promote community on the River Campus.  The Seven SA Principles of Student Organizations (Clear and Focused Mission, Membership, Inclusion, Uniqueness, Programming Publications Activities and Collaboration (PPAC), Future Leadership Development, and Evaluation/Assessment) were designed to encourage more collaboration, more community-directed programming, and fewer self-serving activities.  In order to gain Students’ Association recognition, an organization must fulfill all Seven Principles.

All student organizations must have a clear and focused mission statement in their constitutions.  Mission Statements should enhance the educational goals for the College, including: freedom, autonomy, community and responsibility as well as improving the college community and undergraduate experience.  Without a clear and focused mission, a student organization has no direction and no purpose on campus.  Each organization must fill a specific niche and their specific intent needs to be clearly defined in the mission statement.  All organizations are expected to operate within their stated missions.

All student organizations are required to maintain and demonstrate a membership sufficient to accomplish their missions and meet the Seven SA Principles of Student Organizations.  To ensure accurate reporting, members of an organization must confirm their involvement in the organization.  Without sufficient membership, too much strain is put on active members with less than desirable results.  Also, inadequate membership is a sign that an organization is not unique enough, meaning potential members may be affiliated with a similar organization or there is simply not enough interest on campus.

All student organizations must be actively inclusive and welcoming of the diversity of the undergraduate students of the University of Rochester.  According to Article V, Section 2 of the Students’ Association Constitution, “Student organizations must not discriminate against any person because of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or political affiliation.”  All organizations must add to the quality of life on campus for every student and for this to be possible, inclusion is necessary.  All organizations must also make the effort to be accessible to the student body through programming, publications, activities, and collaboration.

All student organizations must be unique and distinct from all other student organizations.  This is necessary to prevent too many similar organizations.  Similar organizations pull similar members, so the membership of each organization suffers.  Also, student organizations that spark the creation of infinitely more organizations must not be formed.  If the number of student organizations is not kept under control, resources such as space, money, advisors, and advisor time begin to run out and every organization on campus suffers.

All student organizations are required to demonstrate through initiatives, programs, events, publications, and meetings that they are active within the campus community. Without PPAC an organization is both inactive and not inclusive.  Collaboration and co-sponsorship among organizations has been found to be successful at community building.  Collaboration also sparks dialogue, connections, and saves resources on campus.  In order to improve the quality of life on campus, it is important for all student organizations to be collaborative within the campus community.

All student organizations must invest in the future leadership of the organization in order to maintain their recognized status.  This should include recruitment, leadership opportunities, and training for younger members. Such activities are essential to enhance an organizations chance of succeeding and persisting.  When an organization gains SA recognition, they are expected to remain a successful organization on campus for years to come. However, if there is no future leadership development, success is not possible.

All student organizations are required to evaluate their programs, publications, activities, and collaborations.  Organizations that evaluate and assess their mission, constitution, programs, publications, activities, and collaborations are able to evolve and remain sustainable.  All organizations must evaluate themselves and what they have done in the past in order to continually improve.  They also must assess themselves to make sure they have not strayed too far from their original mission.  Remember to apply our motto to your student organizations: Meliora, ever better.