Student Group Policies

This page contains the policies relevant to student groups registered at the University of Minnesota. All students must comply with the policies listed in order for student groups to remain in good standing with the University.

Compliance

Student groups must comply with all University policies and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal laws and regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the Board of Regents Policy on Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action as they relate to group membership and access to programs. Religious student groups may require their voting members and officers to adhere to the organization’s statement of faith and its rules of conduct. Please note that the Student Conduct Code applies to individuals and members of student groups and their activities both on and off-campus.

Violation of these or other requirements constitute grounds for revocation of registration status and/or other sanctions, following established University procedures of due process to be administered by Student Unions & Activities. Nothing in this policy should be construed to abridge the constitutional rights of students to freedom of speech, association, and free exercise of religion.

Officer Responsibilities

Student Groups shall have the privilege and responsibility to develop and implement appropriate internal policies and procedures, governing operations, activities, and the conduct of members. These groups shall also be responsible for informing members of such policies and procedures, including the potential consequences if violated. The responsibility for development, implementation, administration, and enforcement of such policies and procedures shall be exercised on behalf of each student group by the group’s officers and in accordance with the group’s constitution.

By becoming an officer of a student group, students agree to the following statements:

  • I agree to abide by any and all University of Minnesota policies, as well as federal, state, and local regulations.
  • As a student group officer, I am not able to enter into a contract on the University's behalf.
  • I understand that this student group must be operated by currently registered students and must operate as a non-profit.
  • I understand that officers of this group must be enrolled at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for at least six credits.
  • I understand that no more than 1/3 of the groups voting membership will be comprised of non-University of Minnesota students.
  • I accept and will uphold the principles of nondiscrimination, as stated in the University’s Equal Opportunity Statement whereby the University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • I understand that officers of the group shall be personally responsible and accountable for the operations of the group.
  • The University strongly encourages students to immediately report incidents of sexual misconduct that they experience, witness or lean about to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative action (EOAA). Student employees who learn about sexual misconduct in the course of their University employment have a heightened responsibility and must report any sexual misconduct to EOAA.
    • When EOAA receives a report of sexual misconduct, it reaches out to the impacted person to provide resources for personal support and inform the student about the University’s procedures for investigating and addressing sexual misconduct. You can learn more about EOAA’s investigative role and processes at: https://diversity.umn.edu/eoaa/process.

Benefits of registering

Student groups must register with Student Unions & Activities to establish a relationship with the University in order to access to resources, facilities, and services. Not all University resources available to individual students for academic purposes are available for use by student groups, however, registered student groups have access to the following:

The benefits you are able to access as an officer of a student group are for your group’s use alone. For instance, reserving a meeting room, event venue or contact table allows you to use this space only for your group’s purpose. You cannot reserve spaces for use by other student groups, University departments, outside groups, or individual use to provide access or reduced costs in using University facilities, services, or staff. Providing this inappropriate access to student group benefits may result in disciplinary action against your group.

Classification of Groups

Student groups who register are classified as either a Campus Life Program or a Registered Student Organization. These classifications determine additional guidelines and policies that each group must abide by and also provides additional resources for the group.

Registered Student Organization (RSO)

A voluntary association comprised primarily of students that does not have a direct relationship to the University; but upon completion of the established registration process, has the ability to conduct activities at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

Registered Student Organizations are independent and autonomous from the University and are responsible for managing their own affairs. Registered Student Organizations are not units or agents of the University, and should not represent themselves as such. Events and activities conducted by Registered Student Organizations are not considered University-sponsored under this policy unless the Director of Student Unions & Activities or his/her designee confirms University sponsorship in writing. RSOs will comply with all policies and procedures for Registered Student Organizations as identified within student group and University policies.

Campus Life Program

A voluntary association comprised primarily of students whose activities, operations, and decision-making processes are directly governed by University academic or administrative departments, and for which the University is ultimately responsible. Upon completion of the established registration process, they have the ability to conduct activities on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus.

Registering a student group as a Campus Life Program (CLP) means that this group must be affiliated with a University of Minnesota academic or administrative department and have a designated University faculty or staff advisor. The CLP and its advisor must be approved annually by the dean or department head and comply with all policies and procedures for Campus Life Programs as identified within student group and University policies. All CLP operations and activities are subject to the oversight of the sponsoring or affiliated department. Registration as a student group grants the CLP certain privileges and services not available to Registered Student Organizations (RSO). Please see the outline of the differences between CLPs and RSOs.

CLPs need to act in accordance with best interests of the University in all aspects of their operations and activities. The sponsoring or affiliated department, through the designated staff or faculty advisor, is responsible for ensuring compatibility between the group’s operations and actions and University interests.

Hazing

Hazing by any member of the University community is prohibited by the University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code and MN State Statute 121A.69 . Hazing is prohibited whenever it occurs on University premises or in connection with any University affiliated group or activity. Learn more about hazing.

Safety of Minors

Student Groups hosting events on campus where minors are the primary intended audience are responsible to be aware of and in some cases adhere to the Regents policy on the Safety of Minors.

Student Groups that operate programs or activities on campus or in a University facility where minors are primary audience without an accompanying adult, or when the program includes an overnight stay must certify to the University that all individuals who will have ongoing interaction with minors have received training and have undergone the criminal background check, and that the program meets or exceeds the University’s Health and Safety Requirements for Programs Involving Minors.

CLP’s would follow the Safety of Minors policy through involvement with a campus department. RSO’s responsibility for meeting safety requirements are similar to an outside organization using space on campus. Responsibility for meeting requirements are shown on the Safety of Minors - Requirements Grid attached to the Safety of Minors Policy.

For assistance in determining your group’s responsibility, please contact Student Activities at sao@umn.edu or 612-626-6919.

Learn more about how to adhere to the Safety of Minors policy.

Alcohol at student group events

Student groups must comply with the University’s policy on the sale and/or service of alcoholic beverages on University owned or operated property. See Alcohol Beverage Sales and Service, and Venue Liquor Licensing.

Status Levels

Student group access to resources and benefits is dependent upon their registration status or status level. Student group status can be changed as a result of violations of student group policy, complaint investigation findings or student group actions not in accordance with the governing documents of the organization.

Status Levels

  • New
    • Definition: Group is in the process of registering with Student Unions and Activities for the first time.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: No access yet.
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups do not have a profile on GopherLink.
  • Currently Registered
    • Definition: Group completed the registration or re-registration process with Student Unions and Activities.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: Full Access.
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups have a profile on GopherLink.
  • Expired
    • Definition: Group is not meeting student group registration requirements or does not re-register during the required registration timeline. Group can be re-registered at any time.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: No Access.
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups do not have their full profile listed on the SUA website, just their group name and identification number.
  • Dissolved
    • Definition: Group elects to dissolve and/or does not re-register during the required registration timeline.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: No Access
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups are not listed on the SUA website.
  • Probation
    • Definition: Group may be placed on probation for a variety of reasons, including non-compliance with policies and guidelines.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: Limited Access (as determined by Student Unions and Activities and terms of the probationary status).
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups are listed on the website, but will indicate that their current status is probationary.
  • Suspension
    • Definition: Group may be placed on probation for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with policies, and guidelines, or terms of probation. These groups are not in “good standing” with the University.
    • Access to Student Group Benefits: No Access.
    • GopherLink Listing: These groups are not listed on the Student Unions and Activities website.

Copyrighted Name and Logo Use

Student Group Naming Restrictions

Name registration and changes. By registering with Student Unions & Activities, groups reserve the right to the exclusive use of the group’s name. The same group name cannot apply to multiple groups. Upon registration, groups will be assigned a Group Identification Number that is permanently assigned to the group and will remain with the group despite changes to registration status (i.e. expired, probation, normal, new). This number will not change if the group name changes. Upon registration the group name will be listed in the GopherLink Directory. In order to change the group’s name, a registered officer needs to submit a Name Change Request Form and an updated constitution reflecting the new group name.

Naming Restrictions: Use of Copyrighted or For-Profit Organization Names

Student groups may not use any copyrighted names within their group’s name without written permission from the copyright owner. Student groups also may not use any for-profit organization’s name within their group’s name. Student Unions & Activities reserves the right to refuse registration to any group representing or using a copyrighted or for-profit organization. Housing organizations, such as apartment complexes, whose primary tenants are University of Minnesota students, may register one student group containing the name of that housing organization.

Naming Restrictions: Use of "University of Minnesota"

Registered Student Organizations are independent of the University of Minnesota and their names may not imply that they are part of the University of Minnesota. Registered Student Organizations shall not use the name “University of Minnesota,” any abbreviation thereof or the University wordmark, or the word “Gopher” in conjunction with the name of the organization. Registered Student Organizations may use the word “University” or the geographical designation “at the University of Minnesota.” The following are examples of acceptable names for student groups: “The Gardening Club at the University of Minnesota,” “The Campus Gardening Club,” “The Minnesota Gardening Club,” “The Student Gardening Club,” and “The University Gardening Club”. “The University of Minnesota Gardening Club,” however, is not acceptable, as it implies that the club is part of the University.

General Use of the University of Minnesota Name, Marks and Logos

Campus Life Programs (CLPs) are University entities and subject to all responsibilities and entitled to all privileges thereof, including use of the University names and symbols.

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) cannot use the name “University of Minnesota”, any abbreviations thereof, or the University wordmark in conjunction with the name of the organization, including use for promotional materials or clothing. RSOs may use the word “University” or may indicate the geographical designation “at the University of Minnesota” (See Naming Your Student Group). Registered Student Organizations may use the block “M” and Goldy Gopher images in accordance with University graphic standards and policies. These images may not be used in a way that expresses or implies University endorsement or approval of the student group or its programs and activities. Contact University Relations at brand@umn.edu with questions about using these logos. Additional guidance:

  • Registered Student Organizations may use the block “M” and Goldy Gopher images:
    • For events, on a case-by-case basis, with permission of University Relations.
    • On promotional products or clothing, as permitted by University Relations upon request (items must be purchased from licensed vendors).
    • On stationery, provided the registered student organization is a Recognized Student Governance Association (e.g., MSA, COGS, PSG) with permission of The Office for Student Affairs to use the block “M” or Goldy image, and provided that the use is for governance activities and does not advocate a position that is contrary to that of the University.
  • Registered Student Organizations may not use the name of the University or any University trademark:
    • In connection with alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or other tobacco products, sexually oriented products or services, religious products or services, political parties or partisan political activities, gaming or games of chance, or firearms.
    • In any way that creates the impression that the University is a user of or endorses a product or service.
    • In a manner that suggests or implies University endorsement of a point of view or personal, religious, or political opinion, business, activity, movement, or program that is not official University business. If there is potential for confusion in a statement describing affiliation with the University, the organization should use a disclaimer stating that the University is not involved in the business, activity, movement, etc.

Constitutions

In order for a group to register with Student Unions & Activities, the group must have a constitution that outlines the fundamental principles and structure of the group and functions as a statement of the group’s policies and rules. It is also acknowledgement of the University of Minnesota’s policies and regulations. By submitting a constitution to the Student Activities Office, the group provides documentation of compliance with student group and University policy and the rules that will govern the group. To view the minimum requirements, recommended topics, and sample constitutions visit the constitutions page.

Dissolving a Group

When a group dissolves, the name, identification number, and status as a currently registered student group at the University of Minnesota are permanently terminated and cannot be utilized by students in the future.

Student groups dissolve as a result of two situations:

  1. A group is expired for three consecutive academic years, or
  2. The group votes to dissolve and permanently terminate the student group.

Upon dissolution of a student group, the group’s officers shall be responsible for the distribution of remaining funds, in accordance with the group’s constitution.

Finances

Basic Financial Policies

Compliance. The financial operations of student groups must be conducted in accordance with all University, local, state, federal laws and regulations, and the student group’s respective constitutions.[1]

Responsibility. Registered officers of the student group shall have personal responsibility and accountability for the finances and operations of the group.

Banking. Registered Student Organizations shall independently secure and maintain banking services through a service provider of their choice. All accounts should be opened and maintained under a Tax ID Number (or EIN-Employee ID Number) specific to the group. Campus Life Programs are required to use the University’s financial management system for all transactions and may not have a checkbook or separate banking account.

Use of Funds

All use of student group funds shall be in accordance with the group’s constitution. Student groups operate as nonprofits and no individuals will profit as a result of any revenue the group generates. Student groups may pay its officers and employees’ salaries, wages, stipends, or other lawful incentives for services rendered. Student groups may also provide financial awards/prizes to individuals, including officers or members, as a result of individual participation in a student group activity. Other payments, including gifts, distribution of residual assets or profits, dividends, and so on, to officers, members, or other individuals are prohibited. Where appropriate, organizations that qualify as charitable, educational, social, or benevolent organizations may make payments to other affiliated organizations outside the University.

Independent auditing is an important element of the ongoing financial solvency and accountability of student groups’ accounts. Please see Maintenance & Records for additional information regarding best practices. Student Unions & Activities reserves the right to require audit information from a qualified independent auditor.

Partisan political student groups and student fees funding. Partisan political student groups are not eligible to apply and/or receive general student services fees. “Partisan political student groups” are organizations affiliated with and in support of a registered political party or candidates for election. Such groups may seek funding for their nonpartisan political activities (e.g., candidate forums available to all qualified candidates, nonpartisan educational programs, etc.) through other University grant and student funding programs.

Limits on use of University funds for all student groups. No registered student group may use University funds on behalf of a candidate for public office in a political campaign.

Financial Policies for Campus Life Programs (CLPs)

  • Registered student groups classified as Campus Life Programs (CLPs) must comply with all University financial policies and procedures.
  • All CLP funds shall be reflected on the University ledger system and all major equipment shall be registered on University inventory.
  • CLPs shall not maintain financial accounts (including checkbooks) outside of the University and/or University of Minnesota Foundation.
  • CLP funds and financial operations shall be subject to the oversight of the host academic or administrative department.
  • Recommended Procedures for Campus Life Programs:
    • Student group funds should remain separate from other departmental funds.
    • All documents relating to the CLP should be signed by a registered officer of the student group and the departmental financial officer.

Financial Policies for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

  • Registered student groups classified as Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) must comply with all University student group financial policies and procedures.
  • RSOs shall maintain independent financial accounts (including checkbooks) outside of the University. RSOs shall not operate their finances via the University’s financial system.
  • RSOs do not have access to the University’s tax-exempt status and may not use the University tax identification number. Student groups seeking tax-exempt status must file on their own behalf with the state of Minnesota and/or the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Although the University of Minnesota asks all RSOs to operate as nonprofit entities, these groups do not have nonprofit status with the state of Minnesota.
  • RSOs are encouraged to apply for a Tax ID number (also known as EIN-Employee ID Number) to be used for any financial accounts on the group’s behalf. Groups apply for a Tax ID number through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). View additional information on applying for a Tax ID number.

Tax Information

Student groups shall be responsible for all applicable tax requirements; including, but not limited to, collection and payment of sales taxes and filing and payment of income taxes. To learn more about applicable tax requirements, see Taxes and Tax Status. Registered Student Organizations (RSO)may be required to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service on an annual basis. Campus Life Programs (CLPs) do not have to file taxes, as they are entities of the university. To determine your filing requirements, visit the Taxes page.

Sales and/or Fundraising

Fundraising is one of the best and most proactive ways to make your group self-sufficient, finance your group’s activities and gain valuable experience for the participating members. All student group fundraising activities must follow University policies and procedures, as well as to local, state, and federal laws. When planning a fundraiser, keep the following in mind:

  • Reserved spaces and contact tables must display the name of the student group and be staffed at all times by the members of the student group which have reserved space for the fundraiser or sale.
  • The name of the sponsoring student group must be prominently displayed in all advertising and other communications connected with the fundraising or sales effort, including at the event site itself.
  • Sales of goods and/or fundraising activities are allowed by registered student groups with an approved sales/fundraising permit from Student Unions & Activities.
  • Registered student groups should be aware of policies pertaining to Use of the University of Minnesota Name, Marks and Logos for CLPs and RSOs for use on any merchandise.

On-Campus Sales and/or Fundraising

Student groups officially registered with the University of Minnesota may conduct sales and/or fundraising activities, up to five (5) days per semester or summer session, using University facilities in accordance with the following guidelines. All on-campus sales and/or fundraisers (including the solicitation of donations and merchandise/book sales related to public appearances by musicians, guest speakers, performing artists, non-university vendors, etc.) must be reviewed and approved by Student Unions & Activities. The following policy gives student groups this opportunity and must be adhered to in order to remain in good standing with the University of Minnesota.

View the guidelines and apply for a permit.

Gambling, Raffles, and Drawings

  1. All forms of gambling are illegal in any location within the State of Minnesota without an approved gambling permit, subject to certain exceptions and requirements. However, student groups are not eligible for a gambling permit with the State of Minnesota or to conduct a raffle, regardless of total value of prizes, unless they have applied for and received 501(c) tax status with the Internal Revenue Service. Student Activities will not review any sales and/or fundraising permits with a gambling component without the student group’s proof of IRS status, and either a State of Minnesota Gambling Control Board permit, or if conducting a raffle, documentation validating that the total yearly monetary value of prizes awarded by the student group/organization for raffles is less than $1,500 (in compliance with Minn. Stat. §349.166, Subd. 1(c)). Below are acceptable activities that may be conducted without a charitable gambling permit.
  2. Registered Student Organizations that have been legally organized and/or have 501(c) tax status with the IRS, should contact the Minnesota Gambling Control Board for more information on eligibility and how to obtain a charitable gambling permit at http://www.gcb.state.mn.us/ or 651-639-4000.
  3. Groups may collect charitable donations at an event.
  4. Groups may have a drawing for prizes at your event, provided that you do NOT sell tickets to attend the event or require a payment to enter the drawing for those prizes. Admittance to the event and all prize drawings must be free for all who attend the event. There may be no real or implied cost for participation in your drawing. In events where there is a prize drawing, groups may also collect donations, however, participation in the drawing cannot be contingent on payment of the donation (the drawing and donation must remain separate at all times).The ticket or registration form for the drawing must state “no payment or donation is required.”
  5. Poker tournaments are allowed if there is no cost associated. No money may exchange hands at any time (no entry fee, no table fee, no fee per person, no personal money). You may play with chips that have no monetary value and participants may win prizes, but participants may not contribute financially to the poker tournament in any way.
  6. Any questions regarding gambling should be directed to the University’s Office of the General Counsel, the State of Minnesota Gambling Control Board or Student Unions & Activities.

Drawings and Raffles: Student Groups will be solely responsible for compliance with all gambling laws, rules and ordinances, whether enumerated in this guide or not. See Frequently Asked Questions.

Insurance

University Campus Life Programs have status as University of Minnesota entities and are insured under the University’s insurance program. Individual students are not considered to be Insureds under the policies.

General Liability Insurance - On-campus Events

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and their officers, individual members and/or employees are not covered by the University’s General Liability Insurance. RSO Faculty and Staff Advisors are Insureds under the University’s policy which also covers them for their service to CLPs. The University has general liability insurance which provides coverage for claims of bodily injury and property damage against the University arising out of the negligent actions of the insured Faculty and Staff Advisors.

While RSOs do not have general liability insurance coverage from the University, the University does not require RSOs to purchase additional insurance for most of their on-campus activities except as noted under #2 below. Depending on the venue, most on-campus activities that do not need additional insurance include:

  1. Group meetings
  2. RSO sponsored concerts attended by University students
  3. All RSO meetings and events within student union facilities (Coffman Memorial Union, St. Paul Student Center, outdoor spaces adjacent to student unions and West Bank spaces reserved by Student Unions & Activities department)
  4. Campus space reservations
  5. Working concession sales at events in University facilities (e.g. Mariucci and Williams Arenas)
  6. RSO dance practices
  7. RSO on-campus events and programs intended for and attended by University community and students

On-Campus Events Requiring RSOs to Purchase Liability Insurance

While the University does not require additional liability insurance for most on-campus activities, the University does require RSOs to provide a certificate of insurance in order to conduct the following activities on campus:

  1. Athletic events, including 5K or Fun Runs;
  2. Activities or events to which the general public is the primary audience;
  3. Activities involving the use of amusement devices (e.g. rides, slides, inflatables, bungees, climbing walls, dunk tanks)
  4. Activities or events which involve animals
  5. Activities determined by Student Unions and Activities and the University’s Office of Risk Management to be a potential risk to the University or its students, faculty or staff members.

Where insurance is required, Registered Student Organizations will be required to provide a certificate of insurance in order to conduct events at University facilities. In these cases, insurance requirements for RSOs must be consistent with the terms of the University of Minnesota’s agreement with other third-party users of University space.

To conduct excluded activities in University facilities, Registered Student Organizations must provide proof of general liability insurance coverage (i.e., a certificate of insurance) covering that organization’s event, naming the Regents of the University of Minnesota as an additional insured, and evidencing coverage with a limit of not less than $1,000,000 each occurrence for bodily and personal injury and property damage. Download a sample copy of a Certificate of Insurance.

If an RSO does not have its own coverage, it may purchase Tenant User’s Liability Insurance Policy (TULIP). This program is designed for third-party facility users who need to purchase general liability insurance for an event. TULIP is a General Liability policy that protects both the facility user and the University. The policy provides coverage for bodily and personal injury or property damage arising out of the use of University premises by external users.

Learn more about how to purchase insurance.

Coverage for Off-Campus Activities

In addition to not being covered by the University for their on-campus activities, RSOs and their individual members are not covered for liabilities arising from their off-campus activities by any University General Liability insurance. The University recommends that RSOs consider purchasing their own General Liability insurance coverage for their off-campus activities. While the University cannot provide this coverage, other insurance agents may be able to provide coverage for your organization.

Coverage for International Travel

See "International Travel" section.

Compliance with Insurance Requirements

Where necessary, RSOs shall be responsible for independently securing necessary liability insurance coverage to conduct activities using University facilities that are excluded from the General Liability insurance program provided by the University. The TULIP program is available as an option to cover some excluded activities (generally excepting athletic-oriented activities). Additionally, RSOs are encouraged to pursue Property, Automobile Liability workers compensation, Directors and Officers, Special Event and/or Fidelity and Crime insurance coverage; as appropriate.

Student Unions & Activities shall provide educational support addressing risk management and insurance issues and shall provide current information regarding insurance coverage options in conjunction with annual registration. [1] However Student Unions & Activities shall not enter into contracts with or on behalf of independent student groups.

Sponsorship of Activities

All parties involved in the joint sponsorship or co-sponsorship of an excluded activity using University facilities each shall be required to meet all insurance requirements. Co-sponsorship of an excluded activity using University facilities with a University Campus Life Program or other University entity shall not exempt student groups from insurance requirements for that activity. For purposes of determining insurance requirements, joint, co-sponsorship and sponsorship shall be defined as logistical involvement by the student group in the planning and coordination of the activity.

Travel

Student groups arrange many programs each year that require travel. Please note that the group is responsible, and can be held liable, for all members traveling as part of a group activity. For this reason it is important to consider many different aspects of travel. The following areas are important to consider.

Domestic Travel Considerations

Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use for Registered Student Organizations:

  1. Registered Student Organizations do not have use of University Fleet Services. Whenever possible, student groups should use third party vendors (i.e. buses, rental vehicles) for transportation needs. This helps to defray some liability from the group and minimize health and safety risk. When using rental vehicles, individual insurance may be required or may not be provided by the vendor.
  2. HOURCAR is one possible resource for local transportation.
  3. When it is not possible to use a third party, groups should have a stated procedure for personal vehicle use that notifies members that they are personally responsible for anyone they are driving in their own vehicle.

Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use for Campus Life Programs:

Campus Life Programs can use third party vendors for transportation needs and are allowed to rent vehicles from University Fleet Services. Vehicles can be used and expenses for use will be charged to the groups EFS number. When using a third party vendor, the group will need to work through their sponsoring department if a certificate of insurance is required, and any drivers may also need to maintain personal insurance.

Insurance

Campus Life Programs are governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety. The policy requires all students to register travel with the University, sign an electronic release and waiver, obtain mandated international travel, health and and security insurance, provide 24/7 emergency contacts and complete the online health and safety orientation.

If the travel involves undergraduate students AND a University unit is organizing or promoting the travel, the policy requires that the group work through an education abroad office. Please visit the Learning Abroad Center Student Groups website for additional information on the policy requirements.

CLPs will also need approval from the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) if they are planning to visit countries under a U.S. Department of State travel warning.

Registered Student Organizations have no direct relationship with the University and therefore, international travel by an RSO is not considered University-purpose and is not governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety. However, it is strongly recommended that students obtain adequate insurance for all personal international travel.

Please note that while Registered Student Organizations, as the group itself, aren’t governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety, any individual student(s) on a RSO trip or program that is receiving University funding or credit are governed by the policy. If a University unit is organizing or promoting the travel, the travel is also governed by the policy. Please contact Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) for assistance.

International Travel Considerations

Student groups are encouraged to consider participating in programs abroad; however, careful planning is required to minimize health and safety risks. Before you begin planning a program abroad for a student group, please review the Learning Abroad Center’s recommendations for best practices regarding safe travel and program planning.

Please note that international travel refers to travel to any country (including Mexico and Canada) or territory (including non-contiguous U.S. locations of American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island) outside the continental U.S., Alaska or Hawaii.

Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use

Per the University policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety, students are not permitted to drive motor vehicles (including but not limited to scooters, motorbikes, motorcycles and cars) while traveling for University-purpose, which includes all international travel by Campus Life Programs. Faculty and staff may not drive vehicles in which students are passengers abroad without an approved exception from the Office of Risk Management in advance of departure from the U.S. Students must either use public transportation or hire a local driver/vehicle when abroad.

Student Organizations must comply with University of Minnesota policy as well as adhering to federal, state and local laws when involved in student group activities domestically or abroad.

Student organizations who want to plan, organize, promote, or participate in health-related activities must have the appropriate level of supervision and general and professional liability to protect student participants. Health-related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment (blood pressure, height, weight, etc.)
  • Education, or providing health-related advice that is above and beyond materials that have been produced independently by an independent legitimate or peer reviewed source. This can include preventive information or care.
  • Diagnosis of any type
  • Transfer, distribution, administration or explanation of pharmaceuticals of any type (over-the-counter as well as prescription)
  • Treatment of any ailment
  • Collection of blood samples (anything that involves an invasive process)
  • Performing or assisting in surgery
  • Representing your members as health professionals (wearing a white coat, stethoscope, etc.)
  • Other activities that would be viewed as providing care that would otherwise require a license or be identified as functioning outside a licensed scope of practice.

Registered Student Organizations may not plan, organize, promote or host health-related events where health related activities (including, but not limited to those listed above) are performed by students. Students enrolled in a health profession college, program or school must be part of a recognized Campus Life Program with appropriate oversight from a department and a faculty advisor if they are involved in any health related activities.

For student organizations serving AHC health profession students contact: Brian Sick, MD in the AHC Office of Education at drbsick@umn.edu.

For student organizations serving undergraduate students please contact Tricia Todd, MPH in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center.

Large Event Process

Student group sponsored events taking place in a large campus venue or outdoor space that will draw a significant amount of the campus population, a large off-campus crowd, or represents a significant security concern (i.e. public figure, celebrity, etc.) will need to review plans through Student Activities, and potential prior approval by the Large Scale Events committee before a venue can be secured. Events may include, but are not limited to; concerts, lectures, public appearances, performances and rallies.

In meeting with Student Activities, student groups must produce a completed Large Scale Event Proposal. Student groups will be asked to provide documentation of financial commitment to the event as part of their proposal. Upon completion of the Large Scale Event Proposal, Student Activities will work with campus partners to determine feasibility of hosting the event on campus, and may ask for the student group to attend a meeting of the Large Scale Events Committee.

It should be noted by groups hoping to host such an event that this process includes a significant amount of investment on the group’s part. This should be considered before entering into any agreements with; sponsors, venders, artists or performers, as it will need to be completed in its entirety before an event can be confirmed and space reservations held. Student Activities encourages groups not to enter into any written agreements until they have received approval to host the event from the Large Scale Events Committee. More information about planning events can be found here.

Permits and Agreements

Student groups are responsible for knowing and following University policies and procedures, as well as following event approval timelines and permit/application deadlines. Applications and permit deadlines vary. It can take the full approval timeline for a permit to be approved, so please plan accordingly for your preferred submission timeline.

Serving food during meetings or events: depending on the type of food you are serving, you will need to submit a Pizza Agreement form, a Potluck Agreement form, or a University Food Permit application. Forms are due a minimum of ten business days (two weeks) in advance of event date.

Fundraisers and Sales: please see Fundraising and Sales for student group policies and applications related to fundraisers and sales during events. This includes the Student Group Sales and/or Fundraising Permit application and Bake Sale Agreement. Applications are due a minimum of ten business days (two weeks) in advance of event date.

Requesting to serve alcohol at an event: If your group is interested in applying to have alcohol present at your event, you need to submit the Alcohol Use Application for registered student groups. Completed application is due a minimum of fifteen business days (three weeks) in advance of event date.

Public Performance of Films and Video Games: In order to screen a film, you must submit a Public Performance Application and attach a copy of your approved public performance license agreement. Public performance agreements are also needed if you want to play video games in a public venue. Please see Use of Copyrighted Works for more information.

General Liability Insurance Coverage for on-campus events: please see Student Group Insurance

Concerts or Dances: If your group would like to hold a dance or concert, contact Student Activities immediately to discuss your event plans, additional fees for security, and event policies. You must contact Student Activities at least one month in advance of your proposed event date.

On-Campus Promotions

View the Literature Distribution Policy.

View the Chalking Policy.

Hanging signs or posters on campus is one of the most popular ways to get the message out. The University allows posting for student groups in approved locations. Any posting that is not displayed in an approved location may be removed. Any damages to buildings incurred due to inappropriate posting will be assessed to the student group and its officers. Academic buildings and off-campus businesses have different policies on posting. Make sure you ask for permission and get specific procedures at each building. We recommend dividing campus locations and businesses so that your members don’t all poster in the same areas. We also recommend keeping a list of the locations and businesses that allow you to poster for future use.

The Student Unions and Residence Halls both have an approval process for poster/flyer distribution highlighted below:

Student Unions

  1. All posters or flyers must be approved through the SUA Information Desk, bearing the original stamp of SUA approval.
  2. SUA staff will be responsible for placement of all posters.
  3. Posters or flyers are allowed at designated posting areas only. No posters or flyers shall be put on any glass, carpeted, paneled, papered, painted, or wood surfaces.
  4. Distributing Publications (handouts and flyers).
  5. Publications may be distributed outside of SUA facilities provided the distribution is not disrupting traffic or blocking any SUA facility entrance and distribution is 25 feet from any building entrance.
  6. University Wide Policy on Distributing Publications and Installing Banners at the University.
  7. Distribution of publications inside of SUA facilities is allowed only at a reserved contact table.

Residence Halls/Apartments

The approval process for posting information for Residence Halls can be reviewed on the Housing and Residential Life website.

Literature Distribution

There are specific policies and procedures for the distribution of handouts, indoor postings, outdoor postings, chalking and placing publication bins and racks on campus. Student groups are responsible for knowing and adhering to these policies. See the specific policy under Distributing Publications and Installing Banners at the University.

Use of Banners on Campus

Chalking Policy

Chalking on campus is limited to recognized student groups, University of Minnesota departments, faculty members, staff members and any registered U of M student. Chalking must comply with the University Administration Chalking Policy. Facilities management reserves the right to clean and remove any chalking, which does not comply with this policy.

Distribution of Information via Snow

In accordance with outdoor space policies, during winter months, groups are not permitted to decorate or deliberately discolor the snow. Groups must remove any discolored snow after an event. If the area is not returned to original condition, the organizing group will be financially liable for clean-up costs.

Use of Copyrighted Works

Copyright Policy Statement for Student Unions & Activities

Federal law grants holders of copyright several valuable rights. They have the exclusive right to reproduce a copyrighted work, to distribute it, to prepare derivative works based on it, and to publicly display it. An especially valuable right is the exclusive right to publicly perform the work. Under this right, only the holder or a person granted permission by the holder may “recite, render, play, dance or act” the work, may show images sequentially from a video of it, or play audio from it “in a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.” U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101. In most instances, showing a film, playing a video game or broadcasting music in the Student Unions or at other campus venues, is public performance.

Registered student groups, students and other members of the University community are expected to know what is permitted or not under copyright law, to respect the rights of copyright holders, and to exercise their rights, including their right of fair use, in compliance with laws, University policies and any binding agreements. (Copyright Basics, a publication of the U.S. Copyright Office summarizes the principles of federal copyright law and is available. You are encouraged to review this and other publications of the U.S Copyright Office to better understand American copyright law).

Student Unions and Activities (SUA) advisors and employees may recommend a course of action but users of copyrighted works ultimately bear the responsibility for complying with the law and any permissions, licenses or other agreements granting a right to use a work. Violation of a holder’s rights in a copyrighted work is serious. A federal court may award statutory or other damages, fines, and in certain instances, imprisonment or any combination of the above.

The University may require the presentation of proof that permission to use a copyrighted work, as planned, had been obtained. The University reserves the right to bar the showing of a film, playing of music or other use of a copyrighted work if there are reasonable concerns that the showing, playing or use likely violates the rights of the holder of the copyright.

Common Situations

While each use of a copyrighted work raises unique questions and concerns about the need to obtain permission from the holder of the copyright, in the following situations permission very likely needs to be obtained:

  • Showing a film to a general audience. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a DVD/Blu-Ray carries with it the right to show the film outside the home. Unauthorized public performances refer to situations where an institution or commercial establishment shows a video or film to its members or customers without receiving permission from the copyrighted owner. This includes public performances where an admission fee is charged as well as those that are simply offered as an additional service of the establishment. This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, whether the institution or organization is commercial or nonprofit, or whether a federal or state agency is involved.
  • Permissions. In order to show a film as a public performance a student group must purchase a Public Performance License for each instance they would like to show a film/video. This can be done by contacting one of the following agencies that handle public performance licenses for many different film companies. If a license is not available through these agencies, your student group will need to contact the film/videos creator to obtain license purchasing information.
  • Allowing use of video games. Video games are generally for individual or private use. Use in a public setting may require additional licensing fees.
  • Music. The University pays a fee for music copyright to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC which generally cover performances by University entities, non-University performers at SUA events, as well as registered student group on-campus projects, performances and activities. Questions on music copyright may be directed to:
    • Bobby Wangaard, Office of University Relations
      612-624-5082, wangaard@umn.edu
  • Events in Student Union Venues. Use of copyrighted works in Coffman Union and the St. Paul Student Center falls under Student Unions & Activities reservation policies. Please work SUA Reservations staff regarding a public performance agreement.

Student Group Conduct, Policy Violations, and Dispute Resolution

Student Group Conduct

Student Unions & Activities is responsible for holding groups accountable to student group and University policies, the Student Conduct Code (including hazing), and their own established procedures outlined in the group constitution or related materials. If it is believed that a student group has violated a policy, the group’s internal procedures, or otherwise acted unethically, any individual may submit an Incident Report Form to report the policy or procedure violation to Student Unions & Activities.

How to report an alleged student group conduct violation

If it is believed that a student group has violated a policy, violated the group’s internal procedures, or otherwise acted inappropriately, any individual may submit an Incident Report Form to report the alleged violation to SUA.

  • Submit an Incident Report Form. The incident report must include the name and contact information of the reporting party as the reporting party will be contacted during the review process for Student Unions & Activities to learn more about the reported incident or violation. Anonymous reports can be filed through the University's confidential reporting service, EthicsPoint, however, these are not submitted directly to Student Unions & Activities and are not specific to Student Group violations.
  • Who can make a report? Anyone may file a report on possible student group conduct violations including staff, faculty, students, and individuals external to the University. A report should be filed to make SUA aware of an incident and to initiate the student group conduct process. The Incident Report Form is the primary form of communication regarding student group conduct violations. An individual student (or individual students) involved in a reported student group activity may be referred to the OCS for an individual student disciplinary investigation.
  • How to determine if the incident is individual or student group conduct? The following questions provide a guideline for determining group vs. individual responsibility. The determination regarding whether an alleged policy violation was committed by a student group or by an individual(s) will be made on a case-by-case basis. OCS and SUA will together make this determination. The following factors will be considered when making this determination:
    • How many of the members of the student group were involved in the incident?
    • Did the incident occur at a sponsored event of the student group?
    • Did a member(s) of the student group violate University regulations at an event sponsored by the group or in the course of the group’s affairs, and did the group fail to exercise reasonable preventive measures?
    • Did the student group’s leadership have knowledge or notice that the conduct was going to occur?
    • What was the nature of the incident?
  • How are student group violations reviewed and resolved? SUA and OCS will follow the outlined Student Group Conduct Code Procedure. The purpose of the student group disciplinary process is to provide a framework for resolving complaints about violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code, so that:
    • Informal resolution is encouraged. The disciplinary process encourages informal resolution of complaints where appropriate.
    • Student development is emphasized. The disciplinary process emphasizes the educational purpose in student group discipline, including helping students understand and accept responsibility for their own behavior.
    • Community interests are met. While the emphasis of the disciplinary process is on responsible student group self-development, the nature of the offense may require, in fairness to the community, the imposition of disciplinary sanctions.
    • Student groups receive fair treatment. Most disciplinary matters are resolved informally, with the agreement of the student group. When the people involved are unable to reach agreement, however, Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code requires that student groups have the opportunity to receive a fundamentally fair hearing and a campus-wide appeal.

Please visit this link to find the full Student Group Conduct Code Procedure.

Questions on allegations of student group conduct violations can be directed to Student Activities at sao@umn.edu or 612-626-6919.