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Club Recognition

York University Student Club Recognition Rules


The Presidential Regulation Governing Student Organizations provides, in section 7, that the Vice-Provost, Students will formulate and implement procedures for Recognition of Student Clubs.  

Student Clubs are formed by Students to pursue and contribute to the educational, recreational, social, or cultural quality and diversity of life on campus.

Recognized Student Clubs may access Privileges described in section 8 of the Presidential Regulation Governing Student Organizations. 

Club Recognition expires annually on September 30, except for Student Clubs that receive Levies: their Recognition does not expire, and they are governed by section 10 of the Regulation in its entirety.

Terms that are capitalized herein are defined in the Presidential Regulation Governing Student Organizations.


1.         Applications for Club Recognition, or its renewal, will be processed from the beginning of May until the end of September, and for a short period in the beginning of January.  In extraordinary circumstances this timeline may be altered by SCLD at which point the details including new dates will be communicated to student clubs. Student Club (hereafter “Club”) 

2.         Recognition is granted only if in the opinion of the Manager, Student Life in the Centre for Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) the Club 

(a) meets the requirements for Recognition as set out below


(b) agrees to abide by Presidential Regulation Governing Student Organizations.

3.         All Clubs seeking Recognition must successfully submit to SCLD a completed Club Application that demonstrates compliance with the following requirements:

(a)        It provides the Club’s contact information.

(b)       It provides the names, student numbers, and email addresses of 15 currently registered York University students who are members of the Club. At any time, SCLD can require the Club to produce a list of 15 currently registered York University students who will be contacted by SCLD and asked to attest that they are active members of the Club.  

(c)        It confirms that the Club Executives and 80% of the Club’s members are currently registered York University students. Because academic departments vary in size there is no minimum number of members required for an academic Club but they are still required to submit a membership list. 

(d)       It identifies any non-York members of the Club.  York alumni are non-York for the purpose of this requirement.

(e)        It specifies any Departmental/College/Faculty affiliations.

(f)        It confirms that there are two signing officers and provides the personal contact information for each of them. Signing officers must be currently registered York University students throughout their term as signing officers. Club Recognition will lapse automatically for as long as this requirement is not met. Reinstatement will be at the discretion of SCLD. No student may be a signing officer for two or more student Clubs simultaneously. This does not preclude a student who is a signing officer for one Club from being an executive or officer of another Club, provided they do not have signing authority in both roles. 

(g)       It provides the Club’s most up-to-date constitution including any incorporation documents even if these have been provided in previous years. 

(h)       For a renewing Club it provides a copy of the most recent election meeting minutes confirming that there has been a democratic procedure for change in leadership as well as ratification of the new executive team. 

(i)        Also, for a renewing Club, a copy of the Club’s most recent bank statement if it has a bank account.

(j)        It provides the signed agreement of the signing officers to ensure that the Club abides by all University Legislation.

(k)       Club must also acknowledge that York University does not insure or indemnify the Club, its members or any third parties with whom the Club interacts. 

4.         Executives and Signing Officers must complete the Clubs 101 Orientation Session offered during the current Clubs registration period.  The final Clubs 101 Orientation Session will take place after the Club Application deadline has passed to ensure late submissions have a chance to attend the session. Failure to meet this requirement will void Recognition without resort to procedures under the Regulation governing Student Organizations. 

5.         Executives and Signing Officers must also complete training modules on the use of additional resources at the University.  Failure to meet this requirement will void Recognition without resort to procedures under the Regulation governing Student Organizations.  

6.         Where any information provided in the Club Application is insufficient, the Club will be asked to provide more details to SCLD. 

7.         SCLD may seek advice from others, including but not limited to campus partners and other Clubs, prior to making its decision to Recognize a Student Club.

8.         SCLD reserves the right to refuse a Club’s request for Recognition on one or more of several grounds including:  

(a) it fails to meet the requirements in these Procedures. 

(b) it appears that the Club’s objectives are so similar to the objectives or programming of an existing Club or University department that, in the opinion of the Manager, Student Life, SCLD there would not be sufficient differentiation between the proposed club and that which is already in existence.

(c) there is a reasonable basis for the Director, Student Engagement, to conclude that the proposed club:

(i)      is seeking Recognition to avoid the impact of a suspension or other discipline or sanctions imposed on another club with similar objectives or membership; or

(ii)        is so similar, in objectives, membership or otherwise, to a club that existed previously that the proposed club is essentially the same club as existed previously; in such case the club could ask to be recognized under a different name while acknowledging that the club characteristics are not materially different


(d) there is a reasonable basis for the Director, Student Engagement, to believe that the proposed or renewing Club may be acting as an agent or conduit for a group, organization or other third party external to the University to increase its clientele or promote its business or cause.   

9.         All religion and faith-based student clubs must be members of the Inter-Faith Council (IFC) of York University. Recognition of religion and faith-based clubs is not based on principles of faith or substantive beliefs but rather on willingness to comply with the requirements of the Inter-Faith Council, including the Three Pillars of Tolerance, and whether similar clubs currently exist at the university.

10.       All sport-related Clubs go through an additional review procedure conducted by the Athletics & Recreation department to determine the necessary precautions and documentation needed for the club to be recognized.

11.       All academic Clubs must be affiliated with the relevant academic program or major at the university. New academic clubs seeking recognition therefore also require approval of the specific academic department before moving forward with registration.

12.       If Recognition is denied, the Club may appeal this decision by providing a written statement to SCLD explaining why it believes the grounds for refusal are incorrect: for example, it has met these rules, its objectives are unique, its intended membership is distinct, and it can differentiate its objectives or programming from those of an existing club or university department.  This appeal will be reviewed by the Vice-Provost Students who will make a final determination as to whether the denial of recognition stands, or the Club may proceed with the registration process.

13.  All previously Recognized Clubs are required to follow the above procedure for renewal of Recognition in subsequent years. In the event a Club fails to seek renewed Recognition within the timeframe for so doing, all resources associated with the Club including their YU Connect page, email account and website, will be considered inactive and can be disabled by the University.  

14. Clubs may not use the name of “York” or “York University” in their official name but may identify that the club is “at York” (e.g., Chess Club at York, which may be abbreviated to “CCY” but not “YCC”).  Exceptions to this must have received prior written consent of York University pursuant to the Brand Stewardship Policy and Guidelines.   

15. Non-compliance

15.1 Student clubs that do not comply with these Rules may be deemed by the University to have breached these Rules and forfeited recognition by the University.  

15.2     The University will notify a recognized student club in writing (as described in 17.4, below) where there are concerns that the student club:  

(a)   has ignored the rights, interests, or democratically expressed wishes of its members by failing to operate in an open, accessible, transparent, non-discriminatory and democratic manner consistent with its corporate objects, constitution, by-laws, policies or agreements;

(b)   has not been complying with a University regulation, code, rule, policy, procedure, guideline, protocol or law, or is in breach of any agreement with the University, or is otherwise not conducting its affairs in accordance with these rules; or

(c)   may have engaged in financial impropriety.

15.3 The Manager, Student Life, in SCLD (or designate) will be responsible for investigating and addressing alleged breaches of these rules. The decision of the Manager, Student Life may be appealed in writing within 7 calendar days to the Director, SCLD, whose decision is final.

15.4 The University will provide written notice of any concern to the student club to which it pertains, including the following information:

(i)    an indication that there is reason to believe a breach of these rules has occurred;

(ii)   the nature of the suspected breach;

(iii)  what the student club is required to do either to demonstrate on a balance of probabilities that a breach has not occurred or to remedy the breach;

(iv)  the date for compliance with item (iii), and the office to which the student club is to respond;

(v) any interim measures such as withholding levy, steps to have the club’s bank account frozen, withdrawal of privileges as the University deems appropriate and the date on which that will take effect; 

(vi) the date for delivery of any submissions concerning the fairness of such interim measures, and any format requirements for such submissions;

(vii) the potential consequences for failure to comply with item (iii), which may include interim measures or until there is compliance; and

(viii) whether the matter is to be addressed in writing only, or at a meeting, or at a hearing if the gravity of the matter makes that necessary in the opinion of the University.

15.5 The University must consider any timely written response or submission from the student club, before determining whether the student club has been and/or remains in breach of these rules. 

16.0 Sanctions

Potential sanctions to a student club found to be in breach of these rules include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a)       loss of one or more privileges available to recognized student clubs;

(b)       withholding of levies and/or no longer collecting levies;

(c)       withdrawal of University recognition of the student club which may result in loss of access to club funds.

Any sanction involving not collecting levies requires ratification or approval by the Board of Governors.