Opportunities for Involvement
Bluffton University recognizes that the ideal education experience is one that addresses the need for the development of the whole person mind, soul and body. While academic instruction and study are the primary component of the student's education experience, that experience is incomplete without opportunities that support the academic program and students holistic development. Bluffton seeks to provide a wide variety of activities and organizations designed to develop all aspects of character and personal growth. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to involve themselves in the life of the university through these co-curricular opportunities.
OFFICE OF STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
- Students will establish a foundation of leadership skills that will be enhanced in their future endeavors.
- Students will discover the significance of teamwork and collaboration among organizations.
- Students will acquire the skills needed to synthesize information from various resources to develop creative and original ideas.
- Students will develop a knowledge base for ethical reasoning within complex situations.
- Students will understand and attain effective and meaningful organizational skills.
- Students will endorse living and learning in a global community through the actions of service to others.
Services & Opportunities
Leadership Resource Library
>>> Resource library
American Red Cross Bloodmobile
Riley Creek Festival & Little Sibs Weekend
>>> Riley Creek Festival
There are currently nearly 60 student organizations and activities that are listed as opportunities for involvement for Bluffton University students. These groups and activities can be categorized into three areas; student organizations, department activities and performance groups.
Student organizations are campus groups led by registered students and a faculty/staff advisor for the purpose of advancing a special interest through the entire campus community. Student organizations are eligible to receive annual funding allocations as determined by the Student Senate funding process. In order to be recognized, all student organizations must undergo the formal registration and approval process outlined in the Student Handbook. Proposed student organization expectations and criteria are listed in Criteria & Procedures for Active Student Organizations.
Criteria for student organizations
- Have an up-to-date constitution on file with the office of student involvement
- Submit a list of officers or leaders and advisor for the current year by Oct. 1 with the office of student involvement
- Have a faculty or staff advisor
- Have membership open to all students
- Have only registered students as members
- Have a written mission or purpose statement
- Contribute to the overall educational mission of the university
- Support the university mission and be consistent with the values of the university and the Mennonite Church
- Abide by university policies and expectations (This includes, but is not limited to, community of respect statement, campus standards, honor system, travel policy, dining service policy, etc.)
- Sponsor at least one program per year that is open to the entire campus community
- Officer/leader must attend at least 2 workshops during the academic year
- One of these will be the Student Senate required allocation workshop
- Attendees are only permitted to represent one group at each workshop
- Ability to reserve and use select facilities and services on campus
- Ability to post information about your group and activities on designated campus bulletin boards and posting areas, on Channel 2, and the Jenzabar bulletin boards.
- Ability to reserve and use table tents in the Commons of Marbeck Center
- Ability to have stuffers delivered to campus mailboxes
- Inclusion the Opportunities for Involvement section of the Student Handbook
- Participation in the annual Involvement Fair
- Opportunity to apply for funding from Student Senate
- Receive a university student activity account for financial transactions
- New groups must complete the Student Organization Application Form (Also available through office of student involvement)
- Draft a constitution (operating procedures) that minimally should contain sections on the group's name, purpose, membership, officers/leadership and how they are chosen, and the advisor.
- Draft a statement on how organization meets a need not being met by another organization and contributes to the overall educational mission of the university
- Describe how the organization will be financed (if applicable)
- List the group s intended activities
- Have at least 5 registered students interested in the organization
- Have a faculty or staff advisor
- Must be student initiated
- Must be open to all students
Application process flow
- Complete application form (Available through office of student involvement.)
- Submit application and accompanying documents to the director of Marbeck Center (to ensure that application is in order)
- Submit to Student Senate for approval (majority vote)
- Senate submits to dean of students for final approval by the enrollment management & student life advisory committee for final approval (majority vote)
- Result reported to faculty and to director of Marbeck Center
Policies pertaining to student organizations
All fundraising and sponsorship requests will need approval from Robin Bowlus, director of public relations, in consultation with the Mark Bourassa, assistant dean of students; Chris Moser, director of development; and James Grandey, assistant athletics director for development.
- The application form needs to be filled out by the group, signed by the advisor or coach and submitted
for approval. Please estimate at least one week for the approval process. The approval
process will reference:
- Timing and type of event – We do not want multiple groups soliciting and doing similar events during the same period of time.
- Activity that is in line with university values and campus standards.
- Charitable intent of the activity and what extra steps need to be taken.
- Some events may require additional approval from the Vice President with oversight for the organization, class or team (athletics director), if the event involves liability issues or contractual agreements with vendors.
- The faculty/ staff advisor or team coach must sign the application.
- Faculty/staff advisors and coaches are ultimately responsible to make sure the fundraiser follows best practices regarding money processing, contracts with vendors, brand standards use, product delivery and distribution, following campus code of conduct and community relations.
- If you are applying on behalf an athletics team, you will also need to have James
Grandey, associate athletics director for development, initial your application before
it is submitted.
- Groups must follow all student life policies when organizing and implementing a fundraiser
- University values and student life policies include, but are not limited to the following
- No alcohol
- Nothing that can harm or injure someone
- No gambling
- Includes split-the-pot and “brackets”
- No lottery
- No games of chance
Ex: Money is given with the intent of possibly winning more money back
- In an effort to be good neighbors to our Village residents, no door-to-door selling
in the Village of Bluffton is permitted by Bluffton University students, faculty or
- To sell something in the village (on a street corner, in a parking lot, etc.) you must file for approval from the Bluffton Village Council. Prepare for this process to take a few weeks
- In an effort to be good neighbors to our fellow students, no door-to door selling in the residence halls.
Charitable intent-donations are gift of more than $25, when a service or product is not given in return.
- Donors may intend to receive a tax credit for their donation. If this is the case, the development staff on campus must process these contributions for proper documentation for the donor. During the review of the application, you will be alerted if you need to work with the director of development for the processing of your gifts.
- Selling a product or providing a service = no charitable intent
A “sponsorship” is asking businesses for cash or items for donation to support your event. Examples include: cash gifts to help cover the costs of the event, items to use as giveaways, etc. Any gifts valued at $1,000 or more, will need to be secured through the development office. In an effort to be respectful of our local business community supporters, you will be asked to provide a list of the locations you plan to solicit. It is possible that locations on your list may not be eligible for you based on their previously negotiated sponsorships with Bluffton University.
If you intend to negotiate the use of corporate logos and names as part of sponsorships, this needs to be clearly defined on your application request.
Please contact Robin Bowlus, director of public relations, when you need to use the logo for any reason
- A brand standards guide will be available for reference
- Any item being sold must be “on brand.”
- Exception to this rule: mementos for group (t-shirts, unless it is an apparel item that is being worn as a uniform.)
- Uniforms must be “on brand.”
- Keep in mind it may take 6-8 weeks to have products or items developed, produced and delivered to campus. The PR Staff can help you be in contact with approved campus vendors.
Campus Facilities Use
If you plan to use campus facilities for your event, you will need to make those space requests through the University Event Complex staff. When planning an event (run/walk; Cancer Day; festival; etc.) your event must be approved by the director of the University event complex. The approval of your fundraising/sponsorship application does not guarantee you the use and reservation of campus facilities, or the approval of a campus wide event.
For questions or more information, please contact Robin Bowlus, director of public relations.
Off-campus travel policy (student activities)
Trip Registration and Reporting
- use of university and/or rental vehicles
- overnight stay away from campus
- a group consisting of six or more students
- travel outside a 150-mile radius of Bluffton, Ohio
University & Rental Vehicles
Van Reservations for Student Organizations
Appeals and Special Travel Considerations
- All university activity participants should be aware that all campus policies and expectations outlined in the Student Handbook must be observed while participating in the travel activity.
- Those scheduling travel activities should arrange for departure and traveling times during daytime hours whenever possible. Overnight driving should be avoided.
- All vehicles used in an activity may hold no more than one passenger per safety belt available in the vehicle. Vehicle drivers are responsible for assuring that all passengers are wearing safety belts while inside the vehicle.
- University and/or rental vehicles are for official business only; personal use is not permitted.