There are more than 130 student organizations active on campus, with more being formed each year. Read policies and procedures for student clubs and Greek orgs below.

To be officially recognized as a campus organization and thereby be entitled to use college facilities for meetings and functions, any organized group must have the official sanction of the Student Government. Students desiring to explore the possibility of establishing an organization should contact the Director of Student Involvement for an explanation of the proper procedures to follow. To remain in recognized standing, each organization must file a list of officers and members each semester with the Director of Student Involvement. Organizations failing to follow this procedure for a period of two terms will be considered to be inactive and will lose their official standing on campus. Reactivation shall involve the same procedure necessary for original recognition.

All student organizations must keep an updated copy of their constitution on file with the Office of Student Life. Student organizations must abide by their constitution as well as the Carthage Community Code. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary investigation and finding against the accused organization. Complaints or reports of an organization’s failure to abide by the terms of their constitution, or by the terms of the Community Code, will be investigated and acted upon by the Office of Student Life.

See criteria for a new student organization application

All members of a Carthage organization must be registered members of the Carthage Community (i.e. student, staff, faculty, administration). The College imposes no grade requirements for participation in an organization, with the exception of Greek organizations. Individual groups may impose academic requirements. Any members wishing to hold elected or appointed office in an organization must attain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average at the beginning of the semester the member would assume the duties of the office, and maintain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average while holding office. Organizations, however, may impose higher standards.

All organized events, their dates, and locations are to be scheduled and authorized through the Todd Wehr Center Office. This policy includes both open and closed functions to be held on campus. Failure to follow the proper registration procedures will result in cancellation of the event and loss of the sponsoring organization’s privileges. All calendar dates pre-registered on the official College calendar must be confirmed or canceled two weeks in advance of the function at the Todd Wehr Center Office. Event registration forms, procedures, and information are available at the Todd Wehr Center Office.

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidance to students, faculty, and staff when planning travel for a student organization or club sport team.

Definitions of Travel

The term “student” means all persons who are registered for classes or otherwise entered into any other contractual relationship with Carthage College to take instruction. This includes, but is not limited to all individuals (e.g., undergraduate and graduate) taking classes in person or through distance learning whether on a part-time or full- time basis.

Recognized Student Organization
The term “recognized student organization” means any student organization whose registration has been approved by the Student Involvement Office.

Organized Event
The term “organized event” means an activity initiated or arranged by a Carthage College employee or recognized student organization and is approved by an appropriate administrator (Ex: Divisional Vice President, Director of Athletics, Student Involvement Office).

Sponsored Event
The term “sponsored event” means an activity endorsed by Carthage College through financial support or by sending student to participate as official representatives of the College.

Note: This policy is not intended to cover study tour experiences. Additional policies and procedures apply for study away. Please see: Process for Travel Approval below.

Process for Travel Approval

For any travel involving students, there is a required approval process. The location for initiating the approval process is depending on the source of the origination for the travel (Ex: student organization, department lead, athletics, study abroad, etc.).

  • Student organizations must register their planned travel by submitting an event request form through their organization’s page on The Harbor.
  • Travel with students hosted by a campus department must be approved by the departmental dean.
  • Study abroad and study away trips must be coordinated with and approved by the Carthage College Director of Education Abroad.

Regardless of the process you follow, you find some items in common required. See a list below in order to prepare your information:

  • List of individuals traveling with ID#’s, contact information, emergency contact information, and date of birth
  • Chaperone name, title/role at Carthage, ID#, contact information and date of birth
  • Travel plan (reason for travel, destination, dates, planned mode of transportation, accommodations, etc.) and detailed itinerary
  • Proposed budget for travel and funding sources
  • Upon approval anticipate the need to complete liability waivers and health forms with all involved in the travel.

Chaperone Policy
For student organizations, organized travel, athletics and international travel, a college representative serving as a chaperone is required regardless of the number of students on the trip. The number of college representatives/chaperones on a trip involving multiple students is dependent on the nature, destination, and duration of the trip.

Exceptions: Local travel within 50 miles with no overnight stay.

If a travel group of students exceeds 12 students, they may be required to have more than one chaperone depending on the nature, destination and duration of the trip. A college representative must be a full-time employee, an approved coach/instructor or an approved Faculty/Staff member of Carthage College. The Student Involvement Office, Area Divisional Vice President or Athletics in consultation with the Carthage College Risk Manager will make the decision on the necessity of a representative’s presence on a trip.

Employees that chaperone college sponsored travel does not require the use of any paid time off. Student organization funds must cover the travel expenses of the assigned chaperone(s).

Trip Leader Role and Responsibilities
The student organization must have a designated Student Trip Leader who is responsible for all facets of trip planning for each travel program. Leaders must immediately inform both their advisor of any changes in itinerary or contact information as well as any concerns or challenges that develop before and during the trip that could affect the safety or well-being of the participating students and/or the overall integrity and productivity of the program.

The College regards the trip leader as the primary contact for the group. This individual must be accessible by cell phone during the travel program and must take a copy of the travel itinerary with them on the trip.

Student organizations should plan all travel in collaboration with their organization advisor and potential chaperone(s).

Trip Participant Expectations
While traveling as part of a college sponsored or college organized event, students are expected to comply with the Carthage College community code. Any incidents that could involve an alleged violation of the community code should be reported by trip leaders and chaperones to the Office of Public Safety by e-mailing or calling 262-551-5911.

When traveling internationally, there are some legal requirements of those given countries that may differ from our community code. In such situations, trip leaders and chaperones will need to seek advanced approval for participants to follow the legal requirements of the destination country (ex: legal drinking age for alcohol, legal drugs). The purchase of alcoholic beverages made while traveling on a Carthage College sponsored trip are non reimbursable expenses and must be covered by the individual’s personal funds.

In case of unique travel circumstances or an emergency that impacts accommodations, trip leaders and chaperones may operate outside of the Carthage College cohabitation policy.

Inclement Weather Policy
In the event that student drivers encounter inclement weather and adverse driving conditions, for the safety of all students on the travel program, they are encouraged to get hotel room(s) as needed for the number of students until the conditions improve. We urge you to discuss this policy with your Advisor prior to your trip when planning to travel in the winter months.

If inclement weather is imminent prior to a student organization trip or travel program, the Student Involvement Office reserves the right to highly encourage cancellation and/or cancel/postpone the trip or travel program.

Modes of Transportation
For trips over 250 miles, the use of a chartered bus or air travel is encouraged since driving over that distance requires multiple certified drivers and required stop/rest periods according to our insurance provider.

Traveling in excess of 250 miles (one way) requires a change of drivers at the 250 mile mark and an overnight stay.

Rental Vehicles

  • Wherever possible students should use a rental vehicle for all official student organization travel.
  • Drivers must be 21 years of age; be a certified driver through Carthage and have a valid driver’s license. Proof of documentation must be received by the student organization advisor.
  • Organizations’ must purchase the liability insurance offered through the rental company.
  • Rental vehicles for travel will be arranged by the organization and must be from a Carthage College approved vendor.
  • The driver to whom the vehicle(s) has been released is fully responsible for the security and operation of the vehicle and property stored and/or transported in the vehicle.
  • Carthage rental arrangements are for the sole use of college sponsored activities and should not be used or shared with others for non Carthage business.
  • All moving violations will be the responsibility of the driver to whom the vehicle has been assigned. Moving violations must immediately be reported to the Finance and Administrative Services Office via phone or email within 24 hours.
  • The vehicle(s) must be filled with gas upon return to the Rental Agency. Failure to fill Rental Agency Vehicles will result in a surcharge at the discretion of the Rental Agency.
  • The inside of the vehicle must be clean upon return. Failure to do this may result in additional monetary charges.

Chartered Bus

  • Buses are to be used for participants and advisors of the organization only.
  • The Trip Leader must develop a written announcement to distribute to all travel program participants prior to the trip. The written announcement should include:
    • General welcome greeting
    • Bus company name and number
    • Departure time after the program ends and the policy for waiting for trip participants
    • Instructions that in case of a problem during the trip, the trip participant should contact the Trip Leader at (applicable cell phone number).
    • Reminder: All students are responsible for their guests during the trip.

Public Transportation (Train or Bus)

  • If you are planning travel by train or bus, research the carrier’s reputation and consult with your Advisor and Faculty/Staff Mentors if any previous questionable conduct is uncovered. In general, it is better to postpone an excursion than to travel with a questionable driver or under questionable conditions.
  • Student organizations may purchase public transportation service tickets (bus, train, trolley, etc.) for travel and ground transportation. You will need a copy of the receipt in order to be reimbursed.
  • Travel involving airline or train reservations must be coordinated with your Advisor at least five weeks in advance.

Air Transportation

  • Reservations must be on a commercial airline.
  • Travel by commercial air travel shall be limited to Economy Class (also known as basic or coach class) and at the lowest overall price (including seat selection unless a student has a valid medical reason that requires a special seat assignment). Consideration should be given to fees associated with overhead storage or baggage fees.
  • Students should book the lowest logical airfare as far in advance as possible.
  • Individuals should not select an airline based on their personal frequent flyer program.(without regard to an individual’s frequent flyer program).
  • Premium fees such as baggage fees, excess weight fee, premium seating, precheck or pre-assigned seat assignment fees, extra leg room / exit row fees, in-flight entertainment, travel class upgrade fees, airline clubs and lounges, etc., are not reimbursable expenses.
  • Flight insurance coverage for students is not an allowed expense, except for international travel.
  • Carthage College will not reimburse students for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles even if those tickets are purchased for valid reasons. Individuals can use their “personal miles” or personally buy upgrades or seat assignments at their discretion; however, these are not reimbursable by the College.
  • Carthage College is not responsible for lost baggage or any fees associated with lost baggage.
  • Arrangements for transportation to and from airports will be the responsibility of the student organization members.
  • Travel involving airline or train reservations must be coordinated with your Advisor at least five weeks in advance.

Personal Vehicles

  • Carthage College discourages the use of personal vehicles. If the student organization does decide to use personal vehicles, the registered owner of the personal vehicle used for club travel must complete and submit a driver informed consent waiver and a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance in addition to the necessary travel itinerary and waivers to the Office of Student Involvement at least 48 hours prior departure.
  • Carthage College and the Division of Student Affairs does not provide insurance for the vehicle, its driver, or occupants and are not liable for personal injury or property damage, including damage to the vehicle, incurred in accidents during student organization travel.
  • Both the vehicle owner and the driver should understand that they might expose themselves to personal liability in the event of an accident. 
  • The College cannot assume responsibility for the driver or the safety of the vehicle being used. It is highly “recommended” that all drivers have two years of driving experience and have taken the defensive driving course offered by the National Safety Council.

Trip participants are strongly encouraged to use standard accommodations at reasonably priced mid-market hotels or motels. Requests should be made for educational discounts or business traveler’s rates.

Original itemized hotel receipts are required for reimbursement. The College does not approve accommodations at up market or luxury hotels (Ritz, Four Seasons, etc.).

Trip participants should maximize the capacity of lodging spaces for students in accordance with the Carthage College Cohabitation Policy. Chaperones should not share a room with a student(s).

Chaperones who are of the same gender may be asked to share a room, provided a separate bed/cot is available for each individual in the room.

In addition to hotel/motels, trip participants may use short term housing rental services such as Airbnb/VRBO, etc., but a detailed receipt is still required for reimbursement, so trip leaders are encouraged to check that such receipts are available before booking through these services. The email received at the time of booking which confirms nightly booking rate, any cleaning fees, and the service charge can be used as the receipt documentation. It is important to note that Carthage College must not be the contracting party for any agreements (electronic or otherwise) with services such as Airbnb/VRBO; instead, the agreement must be between the service and the individual since it is the individual choosing this method of service, and the individual is responsible for any and all liability associated with the use of such services.

In case of unique travel circumstances or an emergency that impacts accommodations, trip leaders and chaperones may operate outside of the Carthage College Cohabitation Policy.

Risk Management and Emergency Reporting
Always seek emergency assistance (e.g., calling 911) first, if applicable. If an incident (e.g., accident/injury/illness or participant misconduct, including sexual assault/harassment/stalking/intimate partner violence), takes place during travel, the incident must be promptly reported to the College. Notify the Carthage College Department of Public Safety at (262) 551- 5911 any time day or night to be connected with the appropriate College official(s).

Some situations may necessitate that the designated trip leader/chaperone remain onsite if a student experiences a critical incident that restricts travel (e.g., a medical emergency). Such determination will be made in consultation with appropriate College officials after the incident has been reported.

3 points *

* Student Conduct Point System: Students and organizations are assessed points and sanctions for violations of Carthage policies. The point system is divided into three categories, based on the degree of severity of the infraction. Read more about the Student Conduct Point System

Carthage College explicitly and emphatically prohibits hazing. A student is responsible for hazing when he or she takes any action and/or creates a situation on or off College premises which may produce mental or physical harm, discomfort, harassment, embarrassment, ridicule, or abuse as part of any activity and/or event related to membership and/or participation in an organization. Such activities and situations include but are not limited to paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, physical or psychological shocks, morally degrading and humiliating games and activities, late work sessions that interfere with academic goals, the coerced use of alcohol/other drugs, and any other activities that are not consistent with the guidelines and/or policies of the College.

All organizations shall be held responsible for the actions of their members, associates, alumni or persons otherwise associated with the organization. The organization shall be subject to suspension and/or revocation of its official campus recognition and privileges by the Office of Student Involvement with or without the advice or consent of the governing body of that organization. This policy equally applies to all activities of all recognized or underground organizations including all athletic teams and all honorary and professional student groups.

With this stated, it is important to understand that consent of a new member to given activity does not necessarily imply that the activity in question is appropriate. Wisconsin state law states “no person may intentionally or recklessly engage in acts which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating in connection with a school, college, or university.” Hazing is a Class A misdemeanor under Wisconsin state law. Hazing that results in death or great bodily harm is a Class H/G felony, punishable by up to ten years in state prison.

The following rules and guidelines pertain to all local and national Greek chapters. These rules and policy guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Office of Student Life. Each chapter is expected to contribute to the campus community in a positive way and present themselves in an appropriate manner in accordance with these guidelines. If Greek chapters have questions or concerns about any of the following guidelines, they should contact the Director of Student Activities or Dean of Students for clarification.


To be a recognized fraternity or sorority at Carthage College, an organization must meet all requirements outlined in the new student organization recognition application. In addition to the process for all student organizations, the Office of Student Life requires each fraternity/sorority to:

  • Maintain membership in the College Panhellenic Council or the Interfraternity Council
  • Operate under the provisions of Title IX of the Educational Amendments and IRS Code Title 26, 501.c.3 - which permits the organization to admit exclusively men or women
  • Provide a current certificate of liability insurance meeting the Carthage College liability insurance requirements
  • Annually submit a copy of the organization’s new member education plan
  • Be in good standing with its Inter/National Headquarters, if applicable
  • Have a minimum of one (1) Alumni Advisor who is actively engaged with the chapter

Students wishing to establish a chapter of an inter/national men’s or women’s fraternity or sorority should write a letter of intent highlighting the specific group they wish to bring to Carthage College; the inter/national organization’s website address; any local alumni/ae with who they have made contact; and the names of at least five current Carthage College students who are interested in being a part of the organization. One student should be identified as the main contact person regarding the recognition of the organization. All interested students must meet Fraternity/Sorority standards for Initiation and be eligible and plan to return to Carthage College the following year.

Additionally, the letter should explain how this organization will benefit the Carthage College community, specifically the Fraternity/Sorority community, and why Carthage College is ready for expansion to this particular group. Inter/national organizations interested in seeking recognition at Carthage College should contact the Director of Student Involvement with a letter of intent on official organization letterhead. The letter should include the inter/national organization’s website address and names and contact information for local alumni/ae who are supportive of starting a chapter at Carthage College. Additionally, this letter should explain how this organization will benefit the Carthage community, specifically the Fraternity/Sorority community, and why the organization is interested in starting a chapter at Carthage College.

Recruitment eligibility

All students wishing to participate in fraternity or sorority recruitment activities must attain a 2.00 cumulative GPA at the time the student wishes to participate in recruitment, and be enrolled as a full-time Carthage student during the recruitment period. First semester freshmen are ineligible to participate in fraternity or sorority recruitment. Transfer students may be eligible to participate in fraternity or sorority recruitment if they have been accepted to Carthage in good academic standing based on the requirement of the Registrar. All Greek organizations are expected to participate in recruitment and follow established recruitment guidelines. Greek organizations found to have members who are neither recognized by the College nor meet the above requirements for membership in a Greek organization will be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, loss of campus privileges, probationary status or suspension from the College.

New Member Program Requirements

  1. Each chapter must submit a New Member Program summary and agenda/calendar prior to the start of each new member program.
  2. The total duration of the new member program may not exceed eight (8) weeks.
  3. All new members/pledges/neophytes must be initiated/activated or cross in the same semester during which they pledge, unless in situations of colonization or new chapter development.
  4. New members who do not meet qualifications for full membership must be released and will be eligible for membership in another Greek letter organization based on the policies of their governing council.
  5. No more than twelve hours of activities per week may be required, including study hours.
  6. Because new members must be allowed time for sleep and study on evenings prior to classes, no activities may occur from 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on weeknights or between 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekends. New members may not be required to attend any event without being given at least 48 hours of the date, time, and location of the event.
  7. Academic performance by a new member class must take priority over new member activities. No required new member activities may be scheduled which conflict with academic commitments.
  8. No alcohol shall be present at any pledge/associate member/neophyte program, activity or ritual of the chapter, nor should alcohol ever be given as a gift from Big Brother/Sister to Little Brother/Sister or vice versa.
  9. Contents of the new member education program must be approved by the Director of Student Involvement. Once approved, it may not be altered without the approval of the Director of Student Involvement.

Liability Insurance Requirements

All fraternities, sororities and related organizations are required to maintain organization liability insurance. Each organization is required to present proof of its liability insurance to Carthage College annually. Documentation required to meet the standard of proof is your organization’s current General Liability Policy with the organization clearly shown as the “Name Insured Party.” The policy coverage must meet the following Insurance Standards:

  • $1 Million per occurrence policy limit
  • $2 Million policy aggregate
  • Deductible no greater than $2,500 per occurrence (not per claim)
  • Coverage to include:
    • Non-Owned and Hired Auto
    • Host Liquor Liability
  • No exclusions for the following items:
    • Hazing (exception is exclusion for perpetrator of the act only)
    • Sexual Abuse (exception is exclusion for perpetrator of the act only)
    • Assault and Battery (exception is exclusion for perpetrator of the act only)
    • Alcohol
    • Athletic Participation
    • Communicable Diseases
    • Punitive Damages

If a chapter does not have a stand alone General Liability policy, the organization may choose to engage in an umbrella policy secured by Carthage College. If your organization elects to participate in this umbrella policy, notification is required by October 1 of each year. Organizations covered by the umbrella policy on or before October 1 will need to provide written notification if they wish to opt out of future participation of the policy. After notification is made, policy fees are determined by the insuring agency based upon the total number of organizations and members. The individual member rates for the respective organization’s total membership will be passed on through an invoice from Carthage College in late December or early January of each year. Payment should be made payable to Carthage College by the date listed upon the provided invoice.Any organization failing to provide proof of liability insurance, actively participate in the umbrella liability insurance policy coordinated through Carthage College, or failing to pay the invoice associated with their umbrella policy coverage in a timely manner will lose recognition effective April 1 of the year in which the failure occurs.

Housing and Lounges

Fully recognized social fraternities and sororities in good standing and compliance with the Social Fraternity and Sorority Housing Guidelines may utilize the privilege to house chapter members in designated traditional-style residence hall wings. Fraternity and Sorority on-campus housing provides chapters space for members to build community through shared accommodations. As a residential college, we value communities built on campus and within the residence halls that support extracurricular activities.

If a chapter desires the privilege of chapter assigned housing and meets all conduct and Fraternity and Sorority Housing Guidelines, the Office of Residential Life will reserve the following spaces in a resident hall wing:

  • For larger chapters (26 or more total chapter members) eight (8) beds, typically resulting in three (3) to four (4) rooms; and
  • For smaller chapters (25 or less total chapter members) six (6) beds, typically resulting in two (2) to three (3) rooms.

The room locations will be scattered between the bathroom and the end of the hallway along both sides of the corridor.

Chapters will internally discuss and determine which members will sign up for the reserved rooms prior to housing sign-up. Chapters will encourage members to check on any financial and/or academic holds prior to Greek Housing Sign-Up to ensure they will be in a position to take one of the chapter assigned spaces. Additional members wanting to live on the same floor as chapter designated beds are able to sign up during normal credit-based housing sign-up.

Chapter membership may not take up more than 55 percent of bed space on the residential floor. This allows for chapters’ to have positive interactions with unaffiliated students. Each chapter will be provided a ‘flat sheet’ diagram of the floor where they have chapter assigned housing to familiarize the chapter with the respective chapter designated rooms on the floor.

All residence hall lounges are intended for use by all members of the corridor and should not be monopolized by any organization. Organizations wishing to use lounge spaces must receive prior approval from the Hall Director of that building.