Policy on Unrecognized Organizations

No Colgate student may rush, pledge, join, recruit for, perpetuate, or otherwise engage in activities as an actual or prospective member of an undergraduate fraternal or similar selective membership organization not recognized by the University. Anyone engaging in such activities, either as an actual or prospective member, will be subject to penalties that may include suspension or expulsion.

Policy on Campus Solicitation and Concessions

In the interest of every student’s right to privacy, health, and safety, the University prohibits solicitation, sales, or door-to-door canvassing (for any purpose) by students or non-students on University property except with the written permission of the Office of Student Involvement. Common areas of residence halls and other University facilities may not be used for sales demonstrations or meetings. Organizations or individuals seeking to do business with Colgate students are encouraged to rent suitable facilities off campus, subject to applicable Village of Hamilton ordinances.

Policy on Advertising

At the end of the spring term of 1992, the Student Affairs Board approved a new policy concerning all aspects of on-campus advertising, including the use of chalk advertising, printed advertising, “Coop sheets,” and on-campus advertising by groups not affiliated with the University. The goal of this legislation (passed by the Student Government Association in Spring 1995) is to provide direction and organization with respect to advertising around campus. One goal of this policy is to provide for efficient use of Student Association funds with respect to advertising. Secondly, this policy aims to create a more courteous environment for equitable advertising of all organization functions. Finally, this policy is intended to improve the overall appearance and upkeep of the campus. It was updated in Spring 2008 by the staff of the Office of Student Involvement (OSI).

  1. Campus Advertising: Advertising can occur one week prior to the event. All forms of Advertising must be approved by the Office of Student Involvement.
    1. Chalk is not permitted on any University building.
      1. All chalk advertisements must be washed clean by those responsible for putting it up within 3 days of the conclusion of the event; or in the case of a political message, within one week of its posting.
      2. The use of chalk is confined to four areas on campus: The area directly outside of the Coop in the intersection of the paths; advertising should stay within a 20-yard radius of the steps leading to the patio; the area directly outside Frank; and the top 20 yards of “Cardiac” Hill; outside the front entrance to the Parker Commons.
    2. All advertisements must have a date and sponsoring organization’s name on them, regardless of content.
  2. Printed Advertising
    1. All printed advertising must include the organization’s name.
    2. No printed advertising can be placed on any tree.
    3. Posters should be hung only on designated bulletin boards.
    4. No posters should be placed on windows or any glass surfaces.
    5. On cork bulletin boards located throughout the campus, thumb tacks should be used. The use of tape and staples is prohibited.
    6. Printed advertising should never be stapled, tacked, nailed, or taped to University benches.
    7. Posters are limited to 75 per event. Only one poster, per subject, per bulletin board is permitted. 
    8. Placing posters over other posters is discourteous and should be avoided.
    9. All printed advertisements must be taken down within three days after the event has taken place.
  3. Coop Sheets
    1. Coop sheets are limited to the area around the Coop patio, the Commons, residence halls, and the Student Union. 
    2. Coop sheets must not be weighted with anything (i.e. water bottles, etc)
    3. All Coop sheets must be taken down the day after the event has taken place.
    4. There are to be no more than four Coop sheets up any one time around the Coop patio.
    5. Absolutely no one is permitted on the Coop roof or on the roof of any other University building.
  4. Non-Colgate Advertising (groups not affiliated with the University, non-credit card companies)
    1. All groups interested in advertising on campus must get approval through the Director of the Office of Student Involvement.

Policy on the Observance of Religious Holidays

Colgate is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all cultural and religious backgrounds. All members of the community should ensure that students do not suffer adverse consequences for practicing their religions.

In order that no student at Colgate incur academic penalty because of their conscientious observance of a major religious holiday, it is important that faculty members follow a uniform policy. Exams should not be scheduled, and papers should not be due, on any major religious holiday or on the subsequent day. In addition, every effort will be made not to schedule major college events on these days. For scheduling purposes involving the student body, Colgate recognizes as major religious holidays the following: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, Good Friday, Easter, and the first days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. 

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Colgate embraces our increasingly diverse and multifaith campus community, and recognizes that some religious holidays observed by students are not included in the list above. With respect to such holidays, students are entitled to full and equal accommodation. Students whose conscientious religious observance requires that they observe holidays other than those specified should inform their instructors well in advance. In such cases, each instructor and student shall arrange an accommodation consistent with the policy described above (including rescheduling exams or assignments, class absences, and so on). 

Please note that Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish holidays begin on the preceding evening. Jewish holidays require the cessation of work for the duration of the festival, and not simply during the time when services are held. Students observing Ramadan may need accommodation for their fasting arrangements. Students may contact the Office of the Chaplains for a detailed calendar of religious holidays

Policy on Framework for Religious Life at Colgate University

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations function within The Ethical Framework for Religious Life at Colgate University. Within each of these categories, their status on campus requires adherence to the specified conduct norms indicated throughout. Violations of these conduct norms places the person or organization at risk of withdrawal or nonrenewal of recognition, pursuant to applicable University procedures. Beyond those conduct norms, it is expected that all participants within the religious life of the University will identify with the broad aspirations and spirit articulated below, in the Mission Statement of the Office of the Chaplains, and in Colgate University’s Relationship Statement. 

The framework has been endorsed by the Vice President and Dean of the College and Office of the Chaplains. It has been reviewed by the University President, the president’s senior staff, the University’s legal counsel, and the Student Affairs Board. It is congruent with other University statements of mission, policy, and procedure. 

Under most circumstances, departures from The Ethical Framework will initially be handled through discussion with the University Chaplain and, if appropriate, other relevant University personnel. In the case of egregious or continuing violations by a religious leader, the person may be asked to cease their campus ministry/program at Colgate University. Where practical, before the termination stage is reached, the University chaplain will confer with the religious supervisor(s) within the sponsoring organization or denomination and/or, as appropriate, the Vice President and Dean of the College. In the case of egregious or continuing violation by a student organization, recognition may be withdrawn or renewal of recognition may be denied, through the applicable University process.

Provisions of the Ethical Framework

Maintaining Commitment to Faith and to the University

All recognized religious activity at Colgate University is coordinated through the Office of the Chaplains and supervised by chaplaincy staff. 

As per the University’s Student Organization Relationship Statement, chaplaincy organizations are student-generated and responsive to student needs and desires. 

The Office of the Chaplains prohibits external religious organizations from functioning on campus as independent entities. 

Adjunct staff, whether paid or volunteer, serve the University at the discretion, and under the supervision, of the University chaplain. 

When promoting their ministry/program, chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations must clearly identify themselves and their particular affiliation. When using the name of the Office of the Chaplains or the University as a whole, they must do so in a nonsectarian manner even while acknowledging the particular religious organization they represent. 

Those professionals or volunteers who gain affiliation with the Office of the Chaplains are encouraged to speak openly about their particular faith commitment under appropriate circumstances and to work actively to build their faith community on campus. The collegiality and professionalism of chaplains and other religious leaders is compatible with their expressing doctrines, voicing personal opinions, and carrying out religious practice. It is understood that chaplains and other religious leaders represent specific religious traditions or faith communities and that their primary commitment is to serve the welfare of their own campus congregations, even while they are called upon simultaneously to serve the welfare of the entire Colgate University community. 

When speaking or teaching about other religious communities or faith traditions, chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations commit themselves to providing accurate accounts of the beliefs and practices of those communities and traditions.

Balancing Particularity and Inclusiveness 

Student religious organizations must be open to general participation by any interested student and, as per the Student Organization Relationship Statement, may not discriminate against any student from any protected class. 

The student organizations may, however, specify requirements directly based upon the religious foundation of the group for holding a particular position and/or participating in a particular religious ritual.

Following University Policies

Recognized student religious organizations must follow the Colgate University Code of Student Conduct (including policies related to alcohol consumption), the Student Organization Relationship Statement, and the guidelines developed by the Organizational Advisory Council. 

Religious organizations are expected to comply with all University policies, including, but not limited to, those that pertain to hazing, harassment, academic integrity, registration of student organizations, use of campus facilities, and conduct of students. 

All fundraising for any Colgate-related religious life organization must be done through the University’s Office of Advancement. External religious organizations make a commitment, as part of their engagement with the University, to refrain from fundraising strategies that undermine or conflict with the University’s efforts.

Promoting Religious Freedom

A student must be able freely to participate in or to leave a religious organization without being subject to harassment or procedures that compromise the student’s autonomy. 

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations will support religious freedom on campus, enabling students to explore and believe — or not — any particular teaching or idea. Colgate University religious organizations should strive for a campus climate that honors the individual autonomy of each person, encourages open exploration, stimulates intellectual as well as spiritual inquiry, and supports the University’s devotion to truthfulness and the search for knowledge. 

Respecting Religious History and Ancestral Connection

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations should support the University’s goal of making every student feel as much at home as possible within the community, a goal that requires respect for the religious convictions and/or ancestral identification of each student. 

The University supports the presence of a wide range of religious organizations, encouraging the formation of new organizations to serve newly emerging religious/ethnic constituencies. Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations should inform themselves of the varieties of religious expression available on campus and within central New York, so as to help students learn about the religious setting of their heritage. Of course, students are free to explore religious options or embrace a religious tradition other than that in which they were raised, and chaplains and religious organization directors will generously facilitate their process of exploration.

Upholding Religious Diversity and Civil Discourse

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations should cultivate respect for, and understanding of, the range of world religions and nonreligious thought. Such respect will be strengthened by open dialogue, debate, and discussion among two or more organizations. Proselytizing by undermining another religious community is not desirable, and even sincere conversation should not be sought through deprecating other organizations. 

Chaplains, religious organization directors, advisers, and their students should share their faith with others in a manner that avoids harassing, demeaning, or disregarding the integrity and freedom of other persons in making their own decisions in matters of religious faith and identity. They should avoid language that foments hatred or prejudice, or that otherwise undermines the community of respect and trust that is essential to free academic discourse and to a democratic society.

Respecting the University’s Academic Mission

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations must not engage in any action that (a) seriously compromises a student’s academic standing, (b) removes students from campus by pressure or force or without their full consent, other than through recognized University processes, (c) places undue financial pressure on students, or (d) exploits the sexual or other vulnerability of students.

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations are expected to respect the goals and purposes of the University, avoiding programs or efforts that obstruct the achievement of those goals, especially with regard to students. They should responsibly support the University’s pursuit of the educational goals that form its foundation.

The overall programming calendar pursued by a religious organization should not be so demanding as to make it difficult for students who are committed members of the organization to meet the academic obligations that constitute the primary purpose for University enrollment. While attending to potential conflict of interest with the University on this overall level, chaplains, religious organization directors, and their staff are also encouraged to be sensitive to the academic and other demands on students involved.

Acknowledging Students’ Relationships with their Families

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations are encouraged to be sensitive to the relationship between students and their families, and to be as open as possible with concerned parents while respecting the confidentiality of communication, the requirements of applicable law, and individual autonomy of students as adults. 

In cases of uncertainty or conflict, the chaplain or religious organization director will confer with the University chaplain.

Publicizing with Integrity

In publicizing their organization and its programs or offering items on campus, chaplains, chaplaincy staff, adjunct staff, and recognized student religious organizations must create and distribute only materials that clearly and accurately convey who they are, the focus of their organization or program, and connections to any off-campus organizations. 

The name of the sponsoring organization needs to be large enough to be easily read by anyone encountering the item — whether a flyer, poster, newspaper advertisement, banner, or free gift. 

The name “Office of the Chaplains” or “Colgate University” may not be used on publicity without the knowledge and consent of the University chaplain. Nonaffiliated off-campus organizations may not use the name of the University in their own names so as to imply affiliation with the University. 

Use of the University’s seal or other trademarks, service marks, or logos must conform to the guidelines established by the University.

Confidentiality Statement

Chaplains, chaplaincy staff, and adjunct staff, whether clergy or lay, function as religious professionals and therefore must honor the confidentiality of students and others whom they guide and counsel. Such confidentiality governs unless specifically waived, or unless disclosure is required or permitted by applicable law or University policy. 

Likewise, student religious organizations should be educated to maintain an atmosphere wherein the personal communication encouraged by a religious setting is respected as confidential.

Dealing with Disagreements

When chaplains, religious organization directors, or advisers find themselves in disagreement with the University administration, the University chaplain, or their fellow chaplains, religious organization directors, or advisers, they are encouraged to handle this disagreement as an internal matter. 

Should claims of conscience bring a chaplain, religious organization director, or adviser to publicly disagree with established University policy or procedures, the chaplain, religious organization director, or adviser should notify the University chaplain, preferably in advance of the situation. In cases of conflict among chaplains, religious organization directors, or advisers, those involved will try to work with one another to achieve a resolution. If a solution is not reached at this level, those involved should seek counsel with the University chaplain. In situations where the above modes of resolution do not suffice, the University chaplain will seek the advice or involvement of the Vice President and Dean of the College or the relevant University official.

This shall not prohibit any person from complying with applicable whistle-blower, conflict-of-interest reporting, or related laws or University policies or procedures, nor shall it limit the University’s right to address, through appropriate procedures, circumstances otherwise brought to its attention.

The information contained in this publication applies to the academic years 2023–2024, but this handbook is not to be regarded as a contract between the student and the University. The University reserves the right to change requirements, policies, rules, and regulations without prior notice in accordance with established procedures.

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