This policy applies to certain student organizations, such as religious or political organizations, that select members or officers based on a commitment to a set of beliefs and who seek official recognition by a UW institution.


The purpose of this policy is to balance the interests of certain officially recognized student organizations to restrict membership to students who share the organization’s commitment to a set of beliefs with the responsibility of the UW System, as a public institution, to prohibit discrimination and promote diversity.


Student organizations that select their members or officers on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g., religious or political beliefs) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who affirm that they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs, so long as no student is excluded from membership, officer positions, or participation on the basis of his or her race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, or, unless exempt under Title IX, sex.

This policy is in addition to other requirements for the official recognition of student organizations set forth in UW System or institutional policy documents, except that, to the extent that such UW System or institutional policy documents are inconsistent with this policy statement, they are superseded.


Each UW Chancellor shall establish policies and procedures as needed to ensure institutional compliance with this policy.

UW System’s Office of General Counsel shall provide guidance, upon request, regarding the implementation of this policy.


  • Regent Policy Document 4-21, “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression.”
  • Regent Policy Document 14-3, “Equal Opportunities in Education: Elimination of Discrimination Based on Gender.”
  • Regent Policy Document 14-5, “Measures to Alleviate Racism.”
  • Regent Policy Document 14-10, “Nondiscrimination on Basis of Disability.”
  • Regent Policy Document 17-1, “Programs for Minority and Disadvantaged Students.”
  • Regent Policy Document 17-8, “Equal Opportunities in Education and Employment.”
  • Regent Policy Document 30-5, “Policy and Procedures for Segregated University Fees.”
  • Wisconsin Statutes 36.12


History: Res. 9279 adopted 12/8/06. Res. 11515, adopted 10/08/2020, amended RPD 30-6.

See Also:

SYS 820, Segregated University Fees (formerly F50)

[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]