Missouri Southern State University Cheerleading Constitution 2019-2020 - "Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to ...
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Missouri Southern State University Cheerleading Constitution 2019-2020 “Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ‘me’ for ‘we’.” ~ Phil Jackson
Page 1 Introduction This document is intended to inform cheerleaders (and parents, relatives, other interested parties, and prospective cheerleaders) of various policies (i.e. practices, travel, appearances, alcoholic beverages, drugs/drug testing, and nutrition) of the Missouri Southern State Cheerleading Program. In all policy and program matters, members of the cheer squad shall first be good, law-abiding citizens of the nation, state, and city, and secondly, shall be exemplary representatives of Missouri Southern State University. I. Philosophy A. The Missouri Southern State Cheerleading Program is a student activity. As a student activity, its first and foremost responsibility to the student is to support and not to compromise the student's academic career. Secondly, the program should aid in developing the student participant into a responsible, mature and independent adult. Specifically, the program is a means of improving the student's mental and physical well-being. Cheerleading is an activity where the student will: 1. Be provided leadership training. 2. Develop the ability to make decisions. 3. Enhance the ability to respond to life's situations, i.e. conflict/frustration, control of heat, anger and hate, win/loss, react without too much emotion. 4. Contribute to social development, i.e. awareness of one's self, development of self-confidence, development of interpersonal relationships. 5. Generally, maximize the opportunity for student growth, change and maturity. II. Purpose & Values A. Purpose 1. The primary purpose of the Missouri Southern State Cheerleader is to be a member of the team, which has as its goal the support of intercollegiate athletics and Missouri Southern State University. That support is directed into three major areas, as follows: a) To lead the cheers; to raise the level of fan support for intercollegiate athletics; to lead in positive vocal support for the team; to solicit that support from Missouri Southern State University fans and to project that support to the University and its teams. b) To participate in the athletic activity known as cheerleading by performing gymnastics, stunts, motions, pyramids, dance movements; to perfect this athletic activity for keeping the crowd attention/direction focused on the field/floor where the intercollegiate activity is taking place, and for entertainment and competitive purposes. c) To serve as public relations ambassadors of intercollegiate athletics and Missouri Southern State University; to uphold, reflect and project the goals and ideals of the University; to appear at University activities, functions and programs, at charitable and public causes to promote intercollegiate athletics and the University. B. Values
Page 2 1. The Missouri Southern State Cheerleader will be: a) Respectful b) Spirited c) Cooperative d) A team player e) A leader by word and deed f) Physically and mentally strong g) One who continually strives for self-improvement in all aspects of his/her life h) Knowledgeable of the game he/she is cheering for i) On time j) Committed k) Safe in cheerleading and in his/her life III. Eligibility & Tryouts A. Eligibility 1. The candidate must: a) Be a current Missouri Southern State University student enrolled in at least 12 hours. b) Be an incoming freshmen or transfer student with proof of acceptance to Missouri Southern State University for the Fall 2018 semester. 2. Upon selection to the squad, the member must: a) Maintain a 2.0 GPA. b) Maintain full-time enrollment status (12+ hours are considered full-time). c) Pass at least 9 hours each semester to stay eligible for the next semester. d) Maintain good standing with the squad. B. Tryouts 1. Tryouts for the 2019 - 2010 season will be held during the weekend of April 5-7, 2019. a) Additional tryouts may be held in the fall as the coach(es) sees fit. 2. As a part of the tryout weekend, clinics will be held to teach the necessary tryouts material to candidates. For candidates who cannot attend the tryout weekend, instructions on how to submit a video tryout can be found within the tryout packet on our website. 3. Each candidate must turn in his/her complete application to the coach on the first day of tryout weekend. NO LATE/INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. 4. Each candidate will demonstrate the designated set of skills in front of a panel of qualified and impartial judges. This panel includes the coach(es). 5. The tryout format will be conducive to allow each candidate to show his/her best abilities and potential in a fair and open manner. 6. A total of up to 28 cheerleaders will be chosen.
Page 3 7. The tryout for women will consist of the Fight Song, a cheer, a sideline chant/crowd leading, group stunting standing tumbling, running tumbling, stunting, and an interview with the coach(es). a) The Fight Song, cheer, and sideline chant/crowd leading, will be judged on knowledge of the words/motions, voice inflection and volume, sharpness of motions, and overall impression. b) The group stunting will be judged on difficulty level execution, and the potential for growth. c) The tumbling and stunting will be judged on difficulty level, execution, and the potential for growth. d) The interview will consist of character questions. 8. The tryout for men will consist of the Fight Song, a cheer, a sideline chant/crowd leading, partner and group stunting, standing tumbling, running tumbling, stunting, and an interview with the coach. a) The Fight Song, cheer, and sideline chant/crowd leading, will be judged on knowledge of the words, voice inflection and volume, use of megaphone, and overall impression. b) The partner/group stunting will be judged on difficulty level, execution, and the potential for growth. c) The tumbling and stunting will be judged on difficulty level, execution, and the potential for growth. d) The interview will consist of character questions. 9. Tryouts & clinics are closed to the public. 10. Tryouts will be hosted by the seniors at the end of every cheerleading year. a) Seniors will be responsible for learning the tryout material to teach the potential candidates. 11. If, for any reason, a cheerleader requests or is asked to leave the squad at any time the coach(es) and administration will make the final decision to add a new member. 12. An informational meeting/practice will be held the afternoon immediately following tryouts to order shoes and be sized for uniforms. At this time, a deposit of $100 is due to place the order for shoes and reserve our camp dates. IV. Organizational Structure A. The Missouri Southern State University Cheer Squad is made up of no more than 28 members. All squad members are required to cheer for football games, women’s and men's basketball games, and any postseason games in any of these sports. B. The coach(es) will select two veteran members each year to be co-captains together. This decision will be based on leadership skills, punctuality/attendance, integrity, and responsibility.
Page 4 V. Scholarships A. Scholarships will be awarded based on a loyalty program. For every year spent on the squad, your scholarship will be increased by $250. 1. 1st year on the squad = $250/semester 2. 2nd year on the squad = $500/semester 3. 3rd year on the squad = $750/semester 4. 4th year and beyond on the squad = $1000/semester B. Scholarships are prorated at Missouri Southern and awarded at the beginning of every semester. This means that any cheerleader that is dismissed from the squad or voluntarily leaves will forfeit the remainder of his/her scholarship for that semester. For example, if you were awarded a $500 scholarship for the fall semester but you leave or are dismissed from the squad during the 8th week of the semester, your scholarship will be divided by the 16 weeks in the semester to determine the amount you will pay back to the school. In this scenario, $500 / 16 weeks = $31.25/week; $31.25 x 8 remaining weeks of the semester = $250; you would repay the school $250 for the unused portion of your scholarship. VI. Financial Obligations A. Cheerleaders will be responsible for a portion of their costs associated with cheering at MSSU. B. The costs associated will be as follows: 1. Summer Camp - $200 2. Various team undergarments (Spanx, sports bras, socks, etc.) - $200 3. Team shoes - $90 4. Fundraisers will be planned immediately after tryouts to offset these initial costs associated with cheering. C. Any items checked out to you by the school (i.e. uniforms, warm ups, bags, etc.) must be turned into the school in the condition in which they were given to you. Any damages to items will be the responsibility of the cheerleader, except for normal wear and tear. D. UCA Nationals in January will be an additional expense. This expense will be determined at a later time based on available UCA, MSSU, and personal financial resources. When traveling to Nationals, fundraisers will be held to offset the cost of this and the entire squad is required to participate in these fundraisers. E. All balances must be paid in full by the end of the 2018-2019 school year to be eligible for cheer the next year. You may still tryout for the 2019-2020 season with a balance on your account, however you are unable to enroll for Fall 2019 classes if you still have a hold on your account at the end of the semester. If you cannot enroll in classes, you will forfeit your eligibility to cheer the next year. If you wish to be set up on a payment plan throughout the year to avoid paying one big lump sum at the end, please meet with a coach to get this set up. F. Should a cheerleader terminate their spot on the squad (voluntarily or involuntarily) the payment plan will be forfeited and the remainder of the balance will be due
Page 5 immediately. VII. Travel Expectations A. Occasionally, the Cheer Squad will travel out of town to perform their duties. This may be for UCA Summer Camp or post-season tournaments. The primary emphasis of this policy focuses on the behavior of cheerleaders when they travel as representatives of the University. At all times, cheerleaders' behavior shall be exemplary. Behavior which is loud, boisterous, rude, unrestrained, rough, rowdy, offensively harsh or discordant, unruly, etc., shall subject a cheerleader to discipline. B. Further information and rules on travel are contained in Section XII, E., 1-5, this document. VIII. University & Community Events A. Several times throughout the year, the squad is asked to make appearances at University and Community events and fundraisers. These appearances and events sometimes require all squad members, and sometimes require only a few. Events that require all squad members are required. In committing to an appearance that requires only a few cheerleaders, squad members will be chosen at the coach(es) discretion. IX. Alcoholic Beverages A. As stated earlier, cheerleaders are expected, first, to be good, law-abiding citizens of the nation, state, and city. This expectation is foremost when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Cheerleaders are reminded that, as highly visible members of the Missouri Southern State University community, their actions and behavior are under constant observation. Absolutely while in uniform, but also while not in uniform, MSSU cheerleaders are known, subject to scrutiny, and can easily be the object of criticism for their behavior or actions; in particular, for indulging or for overindulging in alcoholic beverages. B. While traveling off of the campus to postseason games or other official functions, the possession of or consumption of alcoholic beverages, even by those members who are 21 or over, is strictly prohibited. C. Members of the squad shall adhere to the following rules regarding alcohol: 1. Cheerleaders shall not possess or drink alcoholic beverages in a University car, van or bus. 2. Cheerleaders shall not consume alcoholic beverages 24 hours before or during a game or a practice. 3. Cheerleaders shall not offer to procure for or attempt to coerce cheerleaders who are under 21 or who do not want to drink alcoholic beverages into doing the same. 4. When those members 21+ are legally consuming alcohol, this will not be done in uniform or any piece of clothing that could be associated with MSSU Cheerleading. 5. When those members 21+ are legally consuming alcohol, this will not be done at any school sponsored and/or team event. 6. Cheerleaders who violate these rules shall be subject to serious disciplinary
Page 6 measures up to and including immediate dismissal from the squad. D. In summary, cheerleaders are expected to be good citizens and, therefore, carefully and faithfully abide by University rules and regulations and the laws and ordinances of the city or state in which they live or travel. E. Members who are found in violation of these rules are subject to discipline from the coach(es) and assistant athletic director, up to and including dismissal from the squad. X. Illegal Substances A. Missouri Southern State University strongly opposes the use of controlled substances and the use of tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco. The use of these products is specifically prohibited while on University grounds, while traveling to and from University events, and while in attendance at University events. B. Missouri Southern State University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for the Cheerleading Program. Thus, conduct which involves the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution, or manufacture of controlled or illegal substances by a cheerleader while traveling for the University or at any official cheerleading events/activities shall result in termination from the MSSU cheer program. C. Similarly, the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution, or manufacture of controlled or illegal substances by a cheerleader at any other time shall result in appropriate discipline, up to and including termination from the cheer program. 1. The legal use of prescribed medicines under the direction of a MSSU or personal licensed physician is permitted. D. Like all MSSU athletes, members of the squad are subject to random drug testing. Urine analysis testing is used; urine samples are taken by the MSSU athletic training staff with testing results being analyzed by a certified laboratory. Initial positive drug tests result in counseling; any continued pattern of drug usage or serious drug abuse shall result in dismissal from the squad. E. Members who are found in violation of these rules are subject to discipline from the coach(es) and assistant athletic director, up to and including dismissal from the squad. XI. Demerits A. A demerit system will be implemented to deter unnecessary attendance and rule violations. B. When a cheerleader reaches 5 demerits, he/she will be dismissed from the squad. Each squad member must be respectful of the squad as a whole. XII. Attendance A. Good attendance and on-time arrivals to practices, games, and other events are vital to a well-prepared squad and to the success of the Missouri Southern State Cheer Squad. In accordance with this philosophy, the following policies exist: 1. Late arrivals will result in 1 demerit. 2. Being late is determined by one or more of the following: a) Not dressed in accordance with attire rules. b) Not being in the designated building or at the designated spot on time. c) Not being mentally and emotionally present at the
Page 7 practice/game/function. B. Excused absences will include: 1. Illness to the cheerleader and/or immediate family members requiring that cheerleaders’ attention and travel away from campus. 2. Death in the family. You are of an age to determine when it is appropriate to miss for a death. 3. Required class obligations, i.e. tests scheduled outside regular class time or mandatory lectures required for the class. a) Extra credit opportunities are not required and therefore not an excused absence. 4. To qualify as an excused absence, notice of these situations, when possible, must be submitted to the coach at least 24 hours in advance. It is recognized this may not be possible when it involves illness of the cheerleader or illness or death in the immediate family. C. All other absences will be considered unexcused and result in 1 demerit. XIII. Rules & Regulations A. General 1. Cheerleaders shall maintain a 2.0 GPA, maintain full-time enrollment status (12+ hours) at Missouri Southern State University, and pass no less than 9 credit hours each semester to be eligible to participate the following semester. 2. Cheerleaders shall not consume alcoholic beverages while in uniform or while away on official travel as a cheerleader. (See Section VIII, B, in this document.) 3. Without special permission of the coach(es), cheerleaders, while in uniform, shall not go into any place where alcoholic beverages are served. Exceptions would be events such as an official appearance at MSSU or MSSU Alumni Association events. 4. Each cheerleader shall have a complete physical and concussion training by the University Sports Medicine Department prior to participating in any practice/game/competition/camp/etc. 5. No jewelry. No earrings, tongue rings, nose rings, necklaces, belly button rings, rubber wristbands, gauges...no jewelry of any kind is permitted at tryouts, tryout clinics, or any practice, appearance, game, or performance throughout the year. These standards are in accordance with the AACCA College Safety Rules, and following these rules at all times is mandatory. 6. Tattoos are permitted for practices, however, all tattoos must be covered with makeup or an athletic sleeve for all tryouts, appearances, games, or performances throughout the year. 7. Cheerleaders are expected to work as a team. Individual members of the squad may be close friends. Squad members' friendship or non-friendship shall not have a negative effect on the team. 8. Each squad member is responsible for all of the clothing, uniforms, and equipment assigned to him/her. Care must be taken to ensure such clothing,
Page 8 uniforms, and equipment is in a clean and presentable condition. Each squad member shall safeguard his/her clothing, uniforms, and equipment and shall be, therefore, personally liable for its replacement for loss or damage, excluding normal wear and tear. 9. Other rules concerning cheerleaders may be promulgated verbally or in written form by the coach(es). Violation of these additional rules may result in disciplinary action. 10. Violations of any cheerleading rules shall subject the squad member to a ½ demerit. 11. A serious violation of these rules or repeated violations shall result in one's being suspended from the squad. Less serious violations, in addition to a ½ demerit, may result in one's loss of the opportunity to cheer at games/events. A squad member may be suspended from cheering one or more games due to violations of these rules. 12. These rules and regulations are subject to addition and change when found necessary and beneficial. The coach(es) makes final acceptance of all rules. B. Summer Practices & Camp 1. There will be three weekends/weeks during the summer held for practices and camp. These are required for all cheerleaders. 2. The dates are as follows: a) June 6-9: MSSU Paperwork/Work weekend #1 b) July 9-12: UCA Home Camp c) August 2-4: Work weekend #2 3. Cheerleaders will also be given a specific strength and conditioning routine to follow during the summer. It will be very clear who has committed to this routine and who hasn’t when the squad returns for practice in July. Following the strength and conditioning routine is mandatory for all cheerleaders. C. Season Practices 1. Cheerleaders shall attend all practices. (Regular practices will be scheduled once fall class schedules are determined; these will be held twice per week.) 2. Cheerleaders shall attend all team workouts. (Workouts times are TBA.) 3. Cheerleaders will not be tardy or absent from practice. 4. Cell phones will be put away and on silent for the duration of practice, even on water breaks. 5. Cheerleaders shall not consume alcoholic beverages before a practice. 6. Cheerleaders shall be warmed up, stretched, and have the mats rolled out before the coach arrives to officially begin practice at the designated start time. 7. Cheerleaders shall be dressed each day in the attire chosen by the coach(es). 8. Cheerleaders shall have no jewelry in at all times during practice in accordance with ACCAA rules. 9. Other rules concerning cheerleaders may be promulgated verbally or in written form by the advisor. Violation of these additional rules may result in disciplinary action.
Page 9 10. Violations of any cheerleading rules shall subject the squad member to a ½ or 1 full demerit, based on the severity of the situation. 11. A serious violation of these rules or repeated violations shall result in one's being suspended from the squad. Less serious violations, in addition to a demerit, shall result in one's loss of the opportunity to cheer at games/events. A squad member may be suspended from cheering one or more games due to violations of these rules. 12. These rules and regulations are subject to addition and change when found necessary and beneficial. The coach(es) makes final acceptance of all rules. D. Games/Events 1. Cheerleaders shall attend all home football and basketball games, required scrimmages, and/or special scheduled games or activities. 2. Cheerleaders shall arrive at the game site at the time set by the coach(es). 3. Cell phones will be put away at the direction of the coach(es) and will stay put away until given the “all-clear” to get them out again. 4. Cheerleaders shall not consume alcoholic beverages before a game. 5. Cheerleaders shall be warmed up and stretched before the coach arrives to officially begin game/event stunt and tumbling warmups at the designated start time. 6. Cheerleaders shall be dressed for each game/event in the attire chosen by the coach. 7. Cheerleaders shall have no jewelry in at all times during games/events in accordance with ACCAA rules. 8. Other rules concerning cheerleaders may be promulgated verbally or in written form by the coach(es). Violation of these additional rules may result in disciplinary action. 9. Violations of any cheerleading rules shall subject the squad member to a ½ or 1 full demerit, based on the severity of the situation. 10. A serious violation of these rules or repeated violations shall result in one's being suspended from the squad. Less serious violations, in addition to a demerit, shall result in one's loss of the opportunity to cheer at games/events. A squad member may be suspended from cheering one or more games due to violations of these rules. 11. These rules and regulations are subject to addition and change when found necessary and beneficial. The coach(es) makes final acceptance of all rules. E. Travel 1. Travel to postseason tournaments will be in accordance with budget restrictions and in accordance with the MIAA Conference, and University rules and regulations. 2. The squad or a portion thereof, will travel with a chaperone as a group and return as a group. If a cheerleader chooses to go to or from a game by other transportation, he/she gives up his/her privilege to cheer at the game, except in special cases, which will be determined by the coach(es).
Page 10 3. Final authority of all decisions made while traveling shall rest with the coach(es); decisions may be made with the advice and consent of the captains and majority. 4. An itinerary will usually be prepared and given to each cheerleader traveling. The itinerary will include times of departure, arrival, etc., telephone number(s) of hotel(s), appropriate articles of clothing, etc. Squad members shall adhere to the itinerary. 5. When only a specific number of cheerleaders are attending an away game, final authority on who goes rests with the coach(es). Consideration as to the selection shall be as follows: a) Determination of who wants to go. b) Fairly even distribution of trips for each squad member. c) Attendance records at practices, games, special events with due consideration to tardiness. d) Input from the squad (vote as to whom the squad thinks would be best to go). e) Other methods of selection, which could be used, are (1) Drawing (2) Seniority (3) Class (4) GPA XIV. Injuries & Illnesses A. Any illness or injury shall be reported to the coach(es) immediately. B. Any injury suffered during practices, games, or other official functions will be treated by the MSSU Athletic Trainer. Initial expenses for such treatment shall be paid by the squad member's personal insurance up to the amount of the applicable insurance policy. C. If an injury or illness incapacitates a squad member, he/she shall not be permitted to practice and cheer for a period of time as determined by the MSSU Athletic Trainer. XV. Social Media A. The MSSU Athletic Department recognizes and supports the cheerleaders’ rights to freedom of speech, expression, and association, including the use of social networks. In this context, however, each cheerleader-athlete must remember that cheering and competing for Missouri Southern State University is a privilege. As a cheerleader, you represent Missouri Southern State University and the community of Joplin. The University and community of Joplin are expecting you to portray yourself, your team, and the University in a positive manner at all times. Attached you will find social networking guidelines: 1. Everything you post is public information – any text or photo placed online is completely out of your control the moment it is placed online – even if you limit access to your site. Information (including pictures, videos, and comments) may be accessible even after you remove it. Once you post a photo or comment on a social networking site, that photo or comment becomes the property of the site
Page 11 and may be searchable even after you remove it. 2. What you post may affect your future. Many employers review social networking sites as part of their overall evaluation of an applicant. Carefully consider how you want people to perceive you before you give them a chance to misinterpret your information (including pictures, videos, comments, and posters). 3. Similar to comments made in person, Missouri Southern State University will not tolerate disrespectful comments and behavior online, such as: a) Derogatory language or remarks that may harm my teammates or coaches; Missouri Southern State University student athletes, professors, or coaches; and student-athletes, coaches, or representatives of other schools, including comments that may disrespect my opponents. b) Incriminating photos or statements depicting violence; hazing; sexual harassment; full or partial nudity; inappropriate gestures; vandalism, stalking; underage drinking, smoking, selling, possessing, or using controlled substances; or any other inappropriate behaviors. c) Creating a serious danger to the safety of another person or making a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person. d) Incriminating photos or statements depicting any activity(ies) that involve alcohol or illegal substances. Persons 21 years of age or older shall not publicize their indulgence or overindulgence of alcohol. Persons 20 years or younger shall not publicize their indulgence or overindulgence of alcohol as that against the law. e) Indicating knowledge of an unreported school or team violation—regardless if the violation was unintentional or intentional. 4. Violations to the above mentioned guidelines may result in discipline at the discretion of the coach(es), up to and including termination from the squad. B. In short, do not have a false sense of security about your rights to freedom of speech. Understand that freedom of speech is not unlimited. The online social network sites are NOT a place where you can say and do whatever you want without repercussions. The information you post on a social networking site is considered public information. Protect yourself by maintaining a self-image of which you can be proud for years to come. XVI. Health, Lifestyle, & Nutrition A. The MSSU cheerleading program is committed to promoting and fostering healthy lifestyles and eating habits for squad members. Conduct which opposes this philosophy and/or conduct which poses unacceptable risk and disregard for the health, safety and welfare of participants is violation of this policy and will result in appropriate counseling and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination from the squad. B. Cheerleaders at Missouri Southern State University must be excellent athletes.
Page 12 Cheerleading involves some aspects of several athletic activities; i.e. rotation and tumbling of gymnastics, stamina of basketball, strength of body building of football, balance and movement of dance, etc. C. A primary activity of the MSSU cheerleaders is stunting. Pyramids are stunts combined vertically (in levels, not to exceed two-and-a-half human heights) and horizontally (side-by-side partner/group stunts). The nature of these activities demands certain general physical requirements of the MSSU cheerleader. Both male and female squad members must have sufficient strength to base pyramids and to lift, hold, throw and catch the flyers safely. Female squad members who are the flyers must be of appropriate size and weight such that they can be lifted, held, thrown and caught safely. D. Program Requirements 1. All squad members shall be required to lift weights and adhere to a cardio routine. The Head Strength Coach or the Assistant Strength Coach in consultation with the Cheer Coach will design specific weight programs.
Page 13 Missouri Southern State Cheerleading Constitution Contract I, _______ , pledge to abide by all rules and requirements set forth in the Missouri Southern State University Cheerleading Constitution upon selection to the Missouri Southern State Cheer Squad for the 2019-2020 school year. I pledge to strive for a quality cheerleading program at Missouri Southern State University. Cheerleaders are a highly visible part of our University community and the community of Joplin and as such, must maintain a high standard of character in addition to providing quality performances and promoting crowd interaction and school spirit! If, at any time, I feel I cannot carry out my responsibilities as a Missouri Southern State Cheerleader in a responsible and committed manner, I will resign from the squad. Candidate Signature: ________________________________________________________ Date: ___________________
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