Regarding Student Groups and Fall 2020

Updates for Student Groups

Last Updated 9/21/2020

The Fall 2020 Semester will be a time of change for the University, and we are updating services for student groups to meet that change. Our department’s goals are to ensure groups have opportunities to engage with each other and with campus. As a result, our goals for this site are to:

  • Provide opportunities for students to engage remotely and resources for any necessary in-person gatherings
  • Support student groups as they cater efforts for diversity, equity, and inclusion within their respective contexts
  • Continue our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through our advising, resources, and training for students
  • Update processes to ensure uninterrupted, remote access to services

Below, you will find updates relevant to specific services your group may utilize in the fall. Contact the Student Activities Office at sao@umn.edu if you have questions or would like advice about how your student group may operate this fall.

The University follows recommendations and guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health. The Safe Campus website will be continuously updated as new information comes to light. As more information becomes available, the Student Activities Office will provide updates via these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to student groups and campus partners. As the University monitors the situation, questions will arise to which there are not yet answers. Please know that we will continue to update you as more information becomes available. We encourage students to continue checking this website for more updates.

Information for Incoming Students

For students who are new to the University, there will be a multitude of opportunities to learn about student groups in the weeks before the semester begins. Students always have access to search for student groups on GopherLink, where all active student groups can be found in the “Organizations” directory.

Incoming students should also view the Flipgrid Fair for undergraduate students (z.umn.edu/undergradflipgrid) and for graduate and professional students (z.umn.edu/profgradflipgrid) to see videos from student groups about their activities on campus.

Additionally, student groups are hosting Virtual Welcome Events (z.umn.edu/sgvirtualwelcomeevents) so incoming students can meet officers and members of student groups.

Please contact the Student Activities Office (sao@umn.edu) if you have specific questions about student groups.

General Information for Student Groups

The information below outlines the changes relevant to student groups for Fall 2020. Additional questions may be directed to the Student Activities Office (sao@umn.edu).

Opportunities to Recruit and Engage

Explore U and Weeks of Welcome

Student groups can engage incoming students through FlipGrid videos which will be promoted throughout Fall 2020. View information about participating in Flipgrid on the Student Groups: Welcoming Incoming Students page.

Opportunities to recruit and engage incoming Graduate and Professional students

In addition to opportunities for graduate students hosted by schools and colleges across the University, GopherLink is being updated to be searchable for graduate and professional opportunities. The events calendar and the organization directory will include “For Graduate Students” and “For Professional Students” categories to promote those events and groups that are specifically for graduate and professional students. We also encourage graduate and professional groups to update their GopherLink profile and participate in the student group Flipgrid opportunity. View information about participating in Flipgrid on the Student Groups: Welcoming Incoming Students page.

Note: The GopherLink platform will be updated October 1. Groups should wait to post any events that occur after October 1 until the platform is updated.

Annual Registration Process

For currently registered student groups

The annual re-registration process for currently registered student groups will be delayed until January 2021. As a result, groups will be considered “currently registered” and have access to benefits through February 28, 2021. GopherLink profiles have been updated to reflect that information.

For new and expired student groups

Due to changing circumstances for Fall 2020 and with a significant update to GopherLink occurring in September 2020, we changed the timeline for student group registration. New and Expired Groups can begin registration in October 2020. Student group leaders can take action steps now to prepare for registration. Review these preliminary steps here.

Funding

The funding information below is specific to Fall 2020 programs and events.

SUA Grants Program Delayed

Student groups have typically applied for Student Unions & Activities Grants to assist with expenses related to student group and departmental events and programs, as well as professional development opportunities for individual students. The first cycle of the SUA Grants program has been delayed. Updated information will be sent to student group officers as it becomes available.

More information about SUA Grants can be found at z.umn.edu/suagrants.

Student Services Fees

Visit ssf.umn.edu for more information on Student Services Fees.

Bank Accounts

Student groups can refer to more information about Bank Accounts and COVID-19 at z.umn.edu/sgbankacctsfall2020.

Advising for Student Groups

Student Activities Staff are available virtually by email, phone, Google Hangouts, or Zoom. For quick questions, please contact the Student Activities Office (sao@umn.edu). Students can setup an advising appointment with a Student Activities Advisor at z.umn.edu/studentgroupadvising.

Student Group Mail

Student groups that have their mail sent to 126 Coffman Memorial Union are encouraged to redirect (permanently or temporarily) to an alternate address by completing the Change of Address form at usps.com or by updating your group’s profile on any other websites associated with your group’s mail or packages. Groups that update their address should also make that update on their GopherLink profile.

Student groups that may have mail being held in 126 Coffman Memorial Union can sign up for a time to pick up mail on Wednesdays. Any officer listed on the student group’s roster may pick up mail. If a member is picking up mail on behalf of the group, an officer must sign up for a time and then send an email to sao@umn.edu with the person’s name and the group. Sign up for a time to pick up mail on this spreadsheet: Student Group Mail Pick Up Schedule (Fall 2020).

Please contact sao@umn.edu if you have questions or if no one from your group can make the pick up on Wednesday.

Student Group Fall 2020 Events

In order to prioritize health and safety of student group activities, student groups should host virtual activities and events in Fall 2020. More student group event guidelines are available on the Student Group Fall 2020 Event Guidelines page.

Student Group Responsibility and Accountability

Student groups and their officers are responsible for complying with University policies, as well as state, local, and federal laws. Health and safety directives, guidelines, and requirements from the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health apply to all student group activities and gatherings, whether on-campus or off-campus. Groups who fail to comply with directives, guidelines, and requirements from the University of Minnesota and/or the Minnesota Department of Health may lose access to benefits and are subject to the Student Group Conduct Process.