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Club & Organization Relationship Statement

Lehigh University views its students’ involvement in campus activities as an important part of the college experience. These rich, learning experiences shape the individual identities of Lehigh students and the collective Lehigh community. 

Student organizations are one component of the campus involvement experience yet are afforded privileges not available to other involvement opportunities. A student organization is unique because it is given autonomy by the University to be student directed and offer a learning environment grounded in self-governance. These distinct characteristics are also the reason why student organizations are held to a high standard.

  • Student organization leaders and members make decisions and act on behalf of the organization.  As a result, the group and its members are responsible for and receive accolades for their successes. Further they are also responsible for all their actions such as when policies are not followed or plans are not carried out appropriately from start to finish.

  • Student organizations have the ability to express viewpoints that contribute to the educational discourse that takes place in the open market of ideas found on a college campus. Lehigh maintains a neutral stance on the product of a stated message while supporting the process of freedom of expression provided it is within the context of community, respect and civility.

  • Student organizations are autonomous, independent yet recognized members of the University community. Lehigh supports student organizations because of the educational and co-curricular value these entities bring to the table. Through this recognition and as members of the University community student organizations are expected to represent Lehigh in a way that is congruent with the University values.

  • Student organizations that cease to take responsibility for its actions, bring educational or co-curricular value to campus or represent the University in a positive light will be asked to consult with the respective student governing body.

To empower student organizations to operate within these expectations the Office of Student Activities is prepared to do the following:

  • Empower student leaders to take ownership of their respective organizations. We recognize that student leaders have been elected by their peers to make decisions on behalf of the student organization.

  • Work with student groups to customize programs and events to the extent the office is able and reflects an effective use of our resources.

  • Recognize there is inherent risk in offering excellent, cutting edge campus events. We are mindful of reducing risk when possible, but are also willing to take calculated risks when the educational rewards/benefits are significant for the students involved.

  • Expect students to learn effective decision making, problem solving and event planning skills. To this end, we will guide students to gather the necessary information, consider all options, make decisions in line with their individual and group values, and understand the consequences of decisions.

  • Understand that accountability is important skill for student groups to learn. Student groups are responsible for and receive accolades for their successes. Further they are also held responsible for their actions when policies are not followed or plans are not carried out appropriately from start to finish.