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Club Recognition

York University Student Club Recognition Rules


A " student club" is a voluntary, democratically run, membership-driven student-led club that is dedicated to a particular interest or activity. 

York University believes that student clubs can promote learning, growth and responsibility amongst those who conduct their activities and serve the interests of their fellow students. Further, it believes that these clubs can contribute to the educational, recreational, social or cultural quality and diversity of life at York University. 

Student clubs may access privileges provided that they have been formally recognized by the University in accordance with these Rules. 


1. Club recognition is granted only if in the opinion of the Manager, Student Life in the Centre for Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) the club meets the requirements of these Rules and agrees to abide by Presidential Regulation 4, Presidential Regulation 5 and all other University policies, procedures, rules and regulations.

2. All student clubs seeking recognition must:

a) Successfully submit a completed Club Application which includes the following components:

i. The club’s contact information.

ii. The names, student numbers, and email addresses of 15 currently registered York University students who are members of the group. 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 group.  Executives and 80% of the student club’s members must be currently registered York University students. Because academic departments vary in size there is no minimum number of members required for an academic student club but they are still required to submit a membership list.

iii. Renewing student clubs must also provide a copy of the election meeting minutes confirming that there has been a democratic procedure for change in leadership as well as ratification of the new executive team.

iv. The personal contact information for both signing officers. Signing officers must be currently registered York University students. Recognition will lapse for as long as this requirement is not met. Reinstatement will be at the discretion of SCLD.

v. Information on any Departmental/College/Faculty affiliations, including any non-York staff members the club has.

vi. An agreement by the signing officers to abide by the “Statement on Rights and Responsibilities”. The club must also consent to indemnify and hold the University harmless for any damages and legal costs resulting from its activities.

vii. The student club’s most up-to-date constitution including any incorporation papers.

viii. For renewing clubs, a copy of their most recent bank statement.

b) Executives and Signing Officers must complete the Clubs 101 Orientation Session offered during the current 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.

c) Clubs are expected to report any changes in signing officer information, non-York staff members, and constitutional updates within 5 business days. Where applicationinformation is insufficient, the club will be asked to provide more details.

3. 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.

4. SCLD reserves the right to refuse a student club’s request for recognition on one or more of a number of grounds including:  

a) it fails to meet the requirements in these Rules. 

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 Executive 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 Executive Director, Student Engagement, to believe that the club may be acting as an agent or conduit for a group, organization or other third party that is external to the University to increase its clientele or promote its business or cause.   

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.

5.  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.

6. All sport-related student 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.

7. All academic student 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.

8. SCLD may from time to time contact and require a meeting with student club executives and/or other members for reasons including but not limited to: complaints against the club and/or its members, concerns over the group’s activities, and policy violations. In the event the student club does not communicate or meet with SCLD as requested, SCLD reserves the right to suspend the club’s status as a recognized student club until necessary steps are taken to rectify the situation.

9. Club recognition expires annually on May 31 and all student clubs are required to follow the above procedure for re-registration. In the event a club fails to register itself by the deadline, all resources associated with the student club including their YU Connect page, email account and website, will be considered inactive and can be disabled by the University and their bank account must be considered frozen.

10. Club registration will run from the beginning of May until the end of September as well as 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.

11. No student may be a signing officer for 2 or more student clubs simultaneously. This does not preclude a student who is a signing officer for one club from being for example, the President of another club, provided they do not have signing authority in both roles.  

12. Student 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”).

13. Student clubs may not deny membership to anyone based on any of the grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

14. Student clubs must clearly and continuously be under the control and direction of the student executive and membership.  If the University suspects that there are external influences that are interfering with this, it may investigate the matter and take such steps as it sees fit and necessary to take.

15. Any disciplinary action against a member of a student club (e.g. impeachment, suspension, censure) related to sexual violence must go through the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education. If disciplinary action has taken place related to sexual violence without going through the Centre, it is considered out of order and void. When a complaint is filed, the Centre will outline interim measures which typically include a no-contact requirement between the parties to the complaint. This may require the respondent to step away from the student club in order to comply with the interim measures. However, the respondent does not need to disclose to the student club why they are withdrawing from the club. Disciplinary actions for all other types of misconduct can be addressed by the student club in accordance with their bylaws and/or constitution. Advice for this is available from SCLD.

16. Recognition does not enable student clubs to use the name York University or one of its sub-units in association with the club’s activities and the club will not do so without first obtaining prior written consent of York University pursuant to the Brand Stewardship Policy and Guidelines.

17. Non-compliance

17.1 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.  

17.2     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.

17.3 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.

17.4 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.

17.5 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. 

18.0 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.