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To be registered as a Club Sport and to maintain active status with the University of Southern Indiana (USI) and the department of Recreation, Fitness, and Wellness (RFW), each club must observe and fulfill the following policies and responsibilities:
I. Membership and Eligibility
All USI Club Sports members must fulfill one of the following requirements to be eligible for participation:
- Current USI student (enrolled in at least 6 credits)
- Current USI faculty member
- Current USI staff member
Each club will determine its own membership rules. However, no participant may be discriminated against for reasons of race, age, religion, sex, color, ethnic or national origin, physical, mental, or sensory disability, marital status, political or social affiliation, or sexual orientation. Not all members are required to compete. Each club is responsible for knowing and adhering to its own association / league regulations governing eligibility for participation. USI Alumni are prohibited from participating.
II. Register as a Student Organization
The privileges and advantages of being involved in a student organization are many; however, before a club is able to take full advantage of these privileges the club must register with the Office of Student Development Programs. This includes keeping the Office of Student Development Programs aware of the club’s activities and status and updating records. They use an online organization portal called OrgSync, which you will use to communicate with your club and with the school.
**Clubs must renew their registration each fall**
III. Club Sports Waiver and Release Form
All participants of Club Sports at University of Southern Indiana are exposed to the possibility of physical injury due to the nature of the activity. Club members accept this risk and responsibility as their own by choosing to participate. Therefore, all club members will be required to read and sign an agreement to participate/release form. This release form must be completed and filed with the RFW before individuals participate in any practice or competition. To download, print, and fill out this form, click here.
IV. Club Sport Representative Meetings
The RFW will hold organizational and informational meetings throughout the academic year. There will be at least two meetings during the fall semester and two during the spring semester. These meetings are essential for effective administration of all active club sports. All clubs must have representation (at least 2 members in attendance) at these meetings. The following meeting attendance policy will be enforced:
- 1st Offense: The club sport will be on probation for the remainder of the academic year and must meet with a RFW staff member within one week of the missed meeting. Failure to meet with the RFW will result in further disciplinary actions.
- 2nd Offense: The club sport will become inactive and lose its registration as a University of Southern Indiana Club Sport. This will result in the removal of facility/space reservations for the club.
V. Accurate Membership Roster and Officer Listing
It is important to keep the club’s information current and accurate. Keep the RFW aware of any changes in your club’s leadership or status as a club. Notify the office as soon as possible after an election or selection of new officers, if the club selects a new advisor, or if there are any changes/additions to the coaching staff. It is very important that both the membership roster and officer listing are kept current to ensure that all members meet University and club eligibility requirements and have the proper waiver forms completed and on file. This also will insure that mailings and other necessary information are sent to the correct people. Doing this in a timely manner will ensure that the club is able to take full advantage of all the privileges available.
VI. Designate Club Advisor
Student organizations are required to have an advisor who must be a member of the University of Southern Indiana faculty or professional staff. The advisor assumes responsibility for working on a continual basis with his or her respective club in accordance with the policies of the institution. Advisors give their time and expertise to facilitate the growth and development of students through the group process. The faculty advisor’s role is to monitor activities so that the club and each of its members meet all requirements listed in this Club Sports Handbook, including practice, competition, travel, and insurance requirements. It is important to maintain a relationship with the advisor, because he/she provides a degree of continuity to the club as new students arrive and others graduate.
The advisor must complete and submit the code of conduct form to be kept on file at the RFW.
VII. Designate a Club Sport Coach
The coach does not have to be a USI employee, but must be approved by the Club Sports Advisory Committee which may consist of:
- The RFW Program Coordinator
- The RFW Director
- The Program Advisor for Student Activities
The coach must demonstrate the appropriate expertise in that particular activity with an emphasis on safety for those participating. He/she shall have appropriate certifications in that sport (if available) and certifications in CPR and First Aid.
The coach also will meet with the RFW Program Coordinator and Director to ensure that he/she understands and agrees to follow all University policies regarding safety, travel, eligibility, and the USI Code of Student Behavior.
The coach(es) must complete and submit the code of conduct form to be kept on file at the RFW.
VIII. Safety of All Individuals Participating in Club-Sponsored Events
Safety is extremely important and all precautions should be taken to ensure that club members and visiting team members practice safe procedures when participating in a club sport event or activity.
The following precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all participants:
- Absolutely no practices or contests will be scheduled until the required forms have been completed and returned to the RFW. The required forms are:
- Assumption of risk and general wavier of all claims (for each participant)
- Club sport officer list and list of members certified in CPR / First Aid
- Copies of drivers licence and medical insurance cards (currently optional)
- All clubs will be required to have a minimum of two members certified in First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The club will provide a list of all members currently certified in First Aid and/or CPR. Copies of certifications cards will be on file with the RFW. It is mandated that at least one member with current CPR certification and one member with current First Aid certification be present at all club functions. For clubs that do not have anyone with current certification, the RFW will provide classes to obtain certification at very minimal cost ($5 for the certification card). Failure to have a safety officer with proper certification may result in a loss of privileges and status as a club.
- A First Aid kit must be on site for all club functions. First Aid kits can be checked out from the RFW.
- Inspect fields and facilities prior to every practice session, game, or special event and report unsafe field conditions to the RFW. If you are at an off-campus site, report the condition to the on-duty personnel. Do not use facilities or equipment if they appear unsafe.
- All personal injuries suffered during Club Sports activity must be reported to and the appropriate accident report forms completed for the RFW within 24 hours of the injury.
- All clubs hosting events and/or practices at University of Southern Indiana will need to be able to communicate with emergency personnel. Therefore, all hosting clubs will need to arrange for telephone(s) access at the site of the event. For outdoor events, each event site will need to have access to a cellular or public telephone. All club members must have access to emergency numbers.
- University of Southern Indiana clubs are not permitted to host a competition with individuals involved under 18 years of age. Opposing teams are required to sign a form abiding by this policy.
IX. Training for Succeeding Members
Transitioning from one club president to another is very important. This transition must be as smooth as possible so that the club can continue. Please remember to talk to the younger members so they know what needs to be done. Introduce them to people on campus that they need to interact with in the future. Start keeping all files and information in a binder or folder to hand down to your successor(s). What you do today will affect the future successes (or failures) of your club so please take this seriously.
Clubs may purchase equipment for their teams using club funds. This equipment may be stored at the RFW in the assigned locations. If the RFW purchases equipment for a club, it must be kept in storage at the RFW and checked out when needed. Remember that your equipment is safe at the RFW and can be accessed at any time. Just find a supervisor and they should be able to make your equipment available to you.
Clubs are encouraged to develop their own online presence to help raise awareness of their club's activities. Facebook is an incredible tool to not only engage fans, but also manage private club communications. To leverage the full power of Facebook, understanding the difference between Fan Pages and Groups is imperative:
- Facebook Fan Pages: These are used to communicate with those "outside" your club. Anyone who "likes" your fan page will have access to information about your club. You can post your future events, show off your club's photos, or even brag about last game's score. You can even set up different users in your club to be able to post on the club's behalf.
- Facebook Groups: Groups are used to communicate with those "inside" your club. The group can be set to "private" (which is recommended for a club), and anything posted will be seen only by those who have been granted access. You can post private events, upload documents, poll your members, or simply discuss issues related to your club.
Set guidelines for what types of posts are allowed in your group.
Members are now able to turn off notifications for a group, and they are more likely to do that if they receive a large number of notifications for irrelevant, foolish posts. Treat your group as a perpetual business meeting. Be consistent, and delete any posts that do not meet the criteria you set. If a particular member seems to violate these guidelines frequently, you might consider speaking to them privately. Some clubs work around this issue by creating two private groups: one for business and one for pleasure.
XII. Create a website
It is not necessary to create a website for a club, especially if a Facebook page and group exists. If your club desires to create a website, consider using one of the following online website creators:
XIII. Online Sport Management Systems
There are many websites that exist to help club administrators maintain their club online and communicate with its members. Here are a few that seem to be useful:
XIV. Insurance Coverage (provided by the university)
All club sports teams are now provided with commercial general liability insurance through the University of Southern Indiana. Club sports teams are also covered under the university's policy for catastrophic accident medical insurance to cover medical expenses and disability from injuries sustained during the play, practice, and travel for a sport. Club sports teams that are deemed to be low risk may not be covered under this insurance. Please contact the Program Coordinator to confirm that your club is listed.
XV. Non-Hazing Policy
The University of Southern Indiana is an institution of higher education and, as such, maintains high standards and recognizes the importance of academic achievement. The University strives to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning and which promotes academic success. To help ensure such an environment, hazing is prohibited by Section 2.5 of the USI Student Rights and Responsibilities and by Indiana Code 35-42-2-2. The University unconditionally opposes any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Freedom from the humility and danger of hazing is guaranteed to every student. Any violation of this guarantee should be reported immediately to the Office of Student Development Programs.
XVI. Academic Policy
Each club member must sign a Grade Release Form authorizing the University of Southern Indiana and its designated officials to release semester and cumulative grade reports, mid-term grade reports, and hours enrolled to the Office of Student Development Programs, Department of Recreation, Fitness and Wellness, organization president, organization advisor, organization scholarship chair, and organization coach (if applicable). Any disclosure of academic information shall be for use in determining eligibility to participate, scholarship programming, awards recognition, and verification of minimum academic standards. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3 to be a part of the Club Sports program.
Members can receive tutoring from Academic Skills (http://www.usi.edu/acadskil/tutoring.asp).
When a club member falls below a cumulative GPA of 2.3, one of the following will occur:
- Club member with a GPA of 2.0-2.2
- Can practice and compete with the club
- Game Suspension
- Club member with a GPA of 1.5-1.9
- Can practice with the club, but cannot compete or travel.
- Club Suspension
- Club member with GPA of below 1.5
- Cannot practice, compete or travel with the club until grades improve.
When a club member has two consecutive semesters with a GPA below 2.0, the following will occur:
- Can practice and compete with the club
If the member has a third consecutive semester GPA below 2.0, the member will be suspended from all club activities.
- Club Suspension
- Cannot practice, compete or travel with the club.
Freshman/New USI students
In the first semester, when a freshman or a new USI student falls below the semester GPA of 2.0 the following will occur:
- Can practice and compete with the club
After second semester, freshmen and new USI students will be considered under the general cumulative and semester GPA guidelines.
If the entire club’s semester or cumulative GPA falls below a 2.3, then the club may lose the following privileges. This will be decided on a case by case basis.
- Practice times
- Financial help
- Club Status
XVII. Disciplinary Process
All Club Sports have an obligation to operate within the rules and regulations set forth by the University of Southern Indiana, the RFW, and the Student Development/Student Organizations website www.usi.edu/studentorganizations. Any violation of the rules, regulations, and recommendations listed and those set forth by the RFW and University of Southern Indiana may result in disciplinary action. The RFW and the Dean of Students serve as the judicial officers for the University of Southern Indiana and any suspected violations will be referred to the RFW staff or the Dean of Students for review.