As of August 2021, new University branding guidelines are in place for all student groups classified as Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). More information may be found at university-relations.umn.edu (opens in a new tab).
No policy changes have been implemented for Campus Life Programs (CLPs). All CLPs must get approval on all logos and promotional materials from your sponsoring University department and University Relations. An overview of University trademarks for University departments may be found at university-relations.umn.edu (opens in a new tab).
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.
You can download a copy of the Student Group Policy Handbook here.
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 it relates 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 constitutes 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.
Student groups must be operated and led by currently registered students. Only currently enrolled, student services fee-paying students are eligible to be officers. Groups must have a minimum of five officers on their GopherLink roster.
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 laws and regulations. Student group policies are available on the Student Unions and Activities website.
- I understand officers of this group are responsible for the group complying with University policies, as well as state, local, and federal laws and regulations. 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 that 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.
- I understand that 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 led and operated by currently registered students and must operate as a non-profit.
- I understand that officers of this group must be currently enrolled, student services fee-paying students of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Officers must also be in good standing with the University and free of any sanctions defined by the Board of Regents Policy - Student Conduct Code, administered by the Office for Community Standards.
- 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.
- I understand that the University strongly encourages students to immediately report incidents of sexual misconduct that they experience, witness, or learn 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. Reports may be submitted to: http://eoaa.umn.edu/report-misconduct.
Benefits of registering¶
Student groups must register with Student Unions & Activities to establish a relationship with the University in order to access resources, facilities, and services. Not all University resources available to individual students for academic purposes are available for use by student groups; however, currently registered student groups in good standing have access to the following:
- Use of the following areas for meetings and events at free or reduced rates:
- Ability to conduct fundraisers and sales on campus with approved permit(s)
- Eligibility to apply for grants and student services fee allocations
- Access to student group-specific email and web accounts
- Ability to have an on-campus mailbox, via Student Unions & Activities
- Participation in campus-wide events, including University programs that support student group education, recruitment, and recognition
- Ability to promote events on the campus wide GopherLink Events Calendar
- Access to electronic elections and voting via technology
- Inclusion in the SUA student group directory on GopherLink
The resources a group is able to access are for that group’s use alone. For instance, reserving a meeting room, event venue, or contact table allows a group to use this space only for that group’s purpose. A group 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 resources may result in disciplinary action against the group.
Classification of Groups¶
Student groups that register with the University are classified as either Registered Student Organizations or Campus Life Programs and are subject to the following guidelines and policies.View the Differences between RSOs and CLPs table for more information.
Registered Student Organization (RSO)
Definition: A voluntary association comprised primarily of students that is not controlled by the University but, upon completion of the established registration process, may conduct activities at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
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 their designee confirms University sponsorship in writing. RSOs must comply with all policies and procedures for Registered Student Organizations contained within student group and University policies.
Registered Student Organizations may be affiliated or act in accordance with a national or parent organization. Students are responsible for an RSO’s operations and actions. The national or parent organization, sometimes through a designated advisor, may have additional recommendations and expectations for the group’s operations and actions, but may not supersede the regulations or policies of the University.
Campus Life Program (CLP)
Definition: 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, Campus Life Programs have the ability to conduct activities at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. CLPs are eligible for certain privileges and services not available to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).
A group registered as a Campus Life Program (CLP) 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 contained within student group and University policies. All CLP operations and activities are subject to the oversight of the sponsoring or affiliated department.
CLPs need to act in accordance with the 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 consistency between the group’s operations and actions and University interests.
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. See more information about hazing.
Safety of Minors¶
Student Groups hosting events on campus where minors are the primary intended audience are responsible to be aware of the University of Minnesota Administrative Policy on the Safety of Minors. All programs primarily intended for minors must comply with the Health and Safety Requirements for Programs Involving Minors.
Student Groups that operate programs or activities on campus or in a University facility where minors are the 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 a criminal background check, and that the program meets or exceeds the University’s Health and Safety Requirements for Programs Involving Minors.
- Campus Life Programs follow the Safety of Minors policy through involvement with a campus department. They are required to register the program on Youthcentral.umn.edu, which includes a certification of compliance.
- Registered Student Organizations 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. Facility use agreements include a compliance addendum.
Instructions about how to adhere to the Safety of Minors policy are found on the Student Unions & Activities website. For assistance in determining your group’s responsibility, please contact Student Activities at email@example.com.
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.
Student groups are responsible for understanding if funds received may be used to fund:
- events and/or activities where alcohol is present; or
- the purchase of alcohol; or
- payment to a licensed vendor who is selling and/or serving alcohol.
Student group access to resources is dependent upon their registration status or standing level.
- Student group registration status will be updated as a result of a group’s completion of the annual registration process or by request (in the case of dissolution).
- Student group standing can be changed by Student Unions & Activities as a result of non-compliance with or violations of student group policy, University policy, conduct investigation findings, findings of a national or parent organization, or student group actions not in accordance with the governing documents of the organization.
- 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. (Access granted upon completion of registration requirements)
- 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. Provisional access to benefits may be applied to certain groups.
- Access to Student Group Benefits: Full Access.
- GopherLink Listing: These groups have a profile on GopherLink.
- Definition: Group was previously registered and did not complete student group registration requirements or did not re-register during the required registration timeline.
- Access to Student Group Benefits: No Access.
- GopherLink Listing: These groups have a hidden profile on GopherLink. Any student may contact the Student Activities Office to re-register an expired group within two academic years of the group’s expiration.
- 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 do not have a profile on GopherLink.
- Definition: Group has not complied with policies and guidelines or has an officer who is no longer enrolled. Group is not in “good standing” with the University.
- Access to Student Group Benefits: Limited Access (as determined by SUA and terms of the probationary status)
- GopherLink Listing: These groups have a profile on GopherLink, but their profile will indicate that their current status is “probation.”
- Definition: A group can be suspended for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with policies, guidelines, or terms of probation. Group is not in “good standing” with the University.
- Access to Student Group Benefits: No Access.
- GopherLink Listing: These groups have a profile on GopherLink, but their profile will indicate that their current status is “suspension.”
Name and Logo Use¶
Student Group Naming Restrictions
By registering with Student Unions and Activities, groups reserve the right to the exclusive use of the group’s name at the University. The same group name cannot apply to multiple groups. Upon registration, groups will be assigned a permanent Group Identification Number. 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 a group’s name, a registered officer may request to update the name during the annual registration process and submit an updated constitution reflecting the new group name. Student Unions and Activities reserves the right to require a group to change its name outside of the registration process to align with University Branding guidelines.
Naming Restrictions: Use of Other Organization Names
Student groups may not use the name of any other organization as their group name or within their group’s name, except that they may use the name of a nonprofit group if they obtain written permission from the organization. Student Unions and Activities reserves the right to refuse registration to any group claiming to represent for-profit organizations or wishing to use a name protected under applicable intellectual property law. 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 or affiliated with or controlled by it. Registered Student Organizations shall not use the name “University of Minnesota,” any abbreviation thereof or the University wordmark, or the word “Gopher” as part of the name of the organization. Registered Student Organizations may use the word “University” or the geographical designation “at the University of Minnesota.”
General Use of the University of Minnesota Name, Marks and Logos
Campus Life Programs (CLPs) are subject to the oversight of the University and must use an official unit wordmark combination as approved by their parent department and University Relations.
Campus Life Programs may use any names that are acceptable for Registered Student Organizations. Additionally, they may use “University of Minnesota” and “Gopher” in their campus life program name, as they report into an official University unit. Examples include:
- “University of Minnesota Gardening Club”
- “UMN Gardening Club”
- “U of M Gardening Club”
- “M Gardening Club”
- “Gopher Gardening Club”
Registered Student Organizations (RSO) are separate entities from the University of Minnesota and their names, urls, social media handles, etc. may not imply that they are part of the University or controlled by it. Registered Student Organizations must include the following disclaimer on all social and web platforms (e.g., website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.): “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota.”
Registered Student Organizations shall not use the name “University of Minnesota,” any abbreviation thereof, or the University wordmark (“University of Minnesota” graphic), Block M, Ski-U-Mah, Row the Boat, or the word “Gopher” as part of the name of the organization or URL. The following names are examples of unacceptable names for Registered Student Organizations because they imply the group is part of the University:
- “University of Minnesota Gardening Club”
- “UMN Gardening Club”
- “U of M Gardening Club”
- “M Gardening Club”
- “Gopher Gardening Club”
If the words “at the University of Minnesota” are added, we recommend they be in a sans-serif font (e.g., Helvetica, Arial, Calibri, Open Sans, Tahoma).
Registered Student Organizations are allowed to use the official “Block M RSO Mark” or “Goldy RSO Mark.” These marks must be used in their entirety, without alteration, and may not be combined with any other marks. Groups should include the disclaimer: “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota.” when these marks are used. These marks may be requested by RSOs at z.umn.edu/URbrand. In addition, RSOs must use these marks in compliance with University graphic standards and policies, and the following guidelines:
Registered Student Organizations are not permitted to use or request any other University trademarks on any materials, including but not limited to the University of Minnesota Wordmark, Block M, Goldy Gopher, Row the Boat, Ski-U-Mah, etc.
Campus Life Programs must use an official unit wordmark combination for group identity. No other logo, wordmark, or other group identity graphic can be used. It is acceptable to have the group name in plain text. Campus Life Programs are also permitted the use of University trademarks, subject to approval by their parent department and University Relations.
Registered Student Organizations and Campus Life Programs may not use the name of the University or any University trademark, including the RSO marks:
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.
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, including membership and officer eligibility, and functions as a statement of the group’s policies and rules. It is also an acknowledgement of the University of Minnesota’s policies and regulations. Student group officers are responsible for keeping the constitution up to date and consistent with student group and University policies. 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. Student Unions & Activities will only recognize student group constitutions that meet all minimum requirements stipulated by the University and abide by all University policies and procedures and state, local, or federal laws and regulations. Visit the constitutions page to view the minimum requirements, recommended topics, and sample constitutions.
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 are dissolved as a result of three situations:
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.
Basic Financial Policies
The financial operations of student groups must be conducted in accordance with all University policies and local, state, federal laws and regulations, and the student group’s respective constitutions.
Officers of the student group shall have personal responsibility and accountability for the finances and operations of the group.
Use of Funds
All use of student group funds shall be in accordance with the group’s constitution. Student groups operate as non-profits and no individuals will profit as a result of any revenue the group generates. This does not restrict the group from paying individuals for work or 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. Groups should consult with the University Financial Aid director when considering the use of financial awards/prizes for participation in group activities. 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 & Tracking 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 allocations of 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.
University funds or funds accessed through University processes must be utilized for the purposes agreed upon when the group was awarded funding. Groups that misuse University funds or do not comply with the guidelines and procedures of a University funding process may be subject to disciplinary action.
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. The sponsoring or affiliated department shall make University records of transactions related to the group available to student group officers.
- CLPs are not permitted to 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 outside of the University. RSOs 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. RSOs are not permitted to 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 automatically have nonprofit status with the state of Minnesota.
- RSOs are encouraged to apply for an Employer Identification Number (also known as Tax 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). See additional information on applying for a Tax ID number.
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 (RSOs) may have tax filing requirements with the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Minnesota on an annual basis. To learn more about tax filing requirements, visit the Taxes page on the Student Unions and Activities website.
Campus Life Programs (CLPs) do not have tax filing requirements, as they are entities of the university.
Sales and/or Fundraising
All student group fundraising activities must follow University policies and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal laws and regulations. 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 that has 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 Name and Logo Use (Section IX) 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.
The On-Campus Sales and Fundraising policy gives student groups the opportunity to conduct sales and/or fundraising activities and must be adhered to in order to remain in good standing with the University of Minnesota. View the On-Campus Sales and Fundraising policy.
Gambling, Raffles, and Drawings
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. 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)(3) tax status with the Internal Revenue Service. Student Unions & 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.
- Registered Student Organizations that have been legally organized and/or have 501(c)(3) 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.
- Campus Life Programs and departments/colleges/units of the University may be eligible to conduct a raffle or other approved activity under the University’s charitable gambling permit number.
- You may collect charitable donations at an event.
- You 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 your event. There may be no real or implied cost for participation in your drawing. In events where there is a prize drawing, you may also collect donations; however, participation in the drawing cannot be contingent on payment of the donation (i.e., 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.”
- Poker tournaments are allowed if there is no cost associated. No money may exchange hands at any time (i.e., 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.
- Any questions regarding gambling should be directed to 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.
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. University Faculty and Staff who are advisors of RSOs 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 subdivision 2 below. Depending on the venue, most on-campus activities that do not need additional insurance include:
- Group meetings
- RSO sponsored concerts attended by University students
- 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)
- Campus space reservations
- Working concession sales at events in University facilities (e.g. Mariucci and Williams Arenas)
- RSO dance practices
- 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:
- Athletic events, including 5K or Fun Runs;
- Activities or events to which the general public is the primary audience;
- Activities involving the use of amusement devices (e.g. rides, slides, inflatables, bungees, climbing walls, dunk tanks)
- Activities or events which involve animals
- 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 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 a 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. 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.
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
Insurance should be considered when traveling as a group. Please consult the Student Group Insurance section for more information and work with a Student Activities Advisor or any questions you might have.
Student groups must consider local, state, and federal travel advisories and warnings to minimize health and safety risks.
Student Group Vehicle Rental/Use for Registered Student Organizations:
- 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.
- HOURCAR is one possible resource for local transportation.
- 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.
When traveling overseas, CLPs are required to purchase University-mandated international health insurance. RSOs shall be responsible for independently securing necessary travel and health insurance for any overseas activities. The University will take no responsibilities for RSO activities abroad. You may contact agencies directly. Contact the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, 612-625-5107, with questions.
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 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 for credit, 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 or locations designated as Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory by the U.S. State Department.
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 . However, it is strongly recommended that students obtain adequate insurance for all personal international travel.
Please note that while Registered Student Organizations are not governed by the University’s policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety, any individual student 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
Groups can consult Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) for assistance when considering international travel.
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 University policy on Student Travel and Education Abroad: Health and Safety 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 University policy, students are not permitted to drive motor vehicles (including but not limited to scooters, motorbikes, motorcycles, Segways, 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.
Health and Medically Related Activities¶
Student groups 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 that want to plan, organize, promote, or participate in health-related activities must meet appropriate legal standards. This includes requirement for students to hold a recognized certification or licensure to perform any health related activity under the appropriate level of supervision and general and professional liability to protect all 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For student organizations serving undergraduate students please contact Tricia Todd, MPH in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center.
Major Event Process¶
Student groups seeking to host a major event on campus must follow the Major Events policy. This policy applies to anyone, be it an individual, a group, an academic department, college, or administrative unit, proposing to host a major event on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. Examples of Major Events may include, but are not limited to, concerts, lectures, public appearances, performances, rallies, or events taking place in a large campus venue or outdoor space that will draw a significant amount of the campus population or a large off-campus crowd or that represents a significant security concern (i.e., public figure, celebrity, etc.).
To request to host a Major Event, Student groups must complete a Major Event Proposal form and submit it to the Major Events Committee for review. This information will be used to facilitate the Major Events Procedures and provide venue organizers and others the information they need to ensure a successful event. More information about Major Events, including the review and approval process are on the Major Events policy page.
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 the process will need to be completed in its entirety before an event can be confirmed and space reservations held. Student groups should not enter into any major event commitments until they have completed review pursuant to this policy.
Groups wanting to plan events can consult with a Student Activities Advisor.
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 the 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 Bake Sale Agreement. Agreements are due a minimum of ten business days (two weeks) in advance of the 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 and attach a copy of your approved public performance license agreement a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the event date. Public performance agreements are also needed if you want to play video games in a public venue. Please see Use of Copyrighted Works (Section XIX) 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 ( z.umn.edu/sgeventadvising ) 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.
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 do not 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:
- All posters or flyers must be approved through the SUA Post Office, bearing the original stamp of SUA approval.
- SUA staff will be responsible for placement of all posters.
- 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.
- Distributing Publications (handouts and flyers)
- 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.
- University Wide Policy on Distribution of Temporary Information through Publications, Banners or Chalking See Campus Specific Requirements: Twin Cities here.
- Distribution of publications inside of SUA facilities is allowed only at a reserved contact table.
The approval process for posting information for Residence Halls can be reviewed on the Housing and Residential Life website.
There are specific policies and procedures for the distribution of handouts, indoor postings, outdoor postings, chalking on campus. Student groups are responsible for knowing and adhering to these policies. See the Distribution of Temporary Information through Publications, Banners or Chalking.
Use of Banners on Campus
Download a Minneapolis campus map of approved outdoor posting locations.
Groups that would like to post a large banner must get approval from a sponsoring University Department, and complete and submit the Banner Installation Request Form.
All CLPs that wish to display outdoor and exterior facing signage that will be posted for longer than a day (lawn signs, clings, banners, sandwich boards, etc.), excluding posters and chalk, must be submitted to their parent unit and approved by the Signage Committee at email@example.com.
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 that 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.
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. The rental of a film, the purchase of a DVD/Blu-Ray, or subscription to a streaming service do not carry with them the right to show a 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 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.
- Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
- Criterion Pictures USA
- Motion Pictures Licensing Corp.
- Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
- 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 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: Office of University Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 Application.
Student group officers are required to adhere to the University’s security policies, laws, and contractual agreements for the type of data groups collect or are entrusted with by another organization, e.g., individual's contact information, affiliations, or survey results. Some data types that should not be collected are Social Security Numbers, credit card information, or healthcare information as defined by HIPAA. View the following resources:
- Information Security Fundamentals handout
- Securing Mobile Device handout
- Difference between Privacy and Security Article
- Additional IT Resources and Tips
- Online Training (search Training Hub Course Catalog for courses below)
- Information Security Awareness (ISA101) (approx. 30 mins) (https://training.umn.edu/courses/10109)
- Information Security Awareness (ISA102) (https://training.umn.edu/courses/15682)
To report a suspected unauthorized access or disclosure of University data or for more information, contact email@example.com.
Advisors of Student Groups¶
Student Group officers may select an advisor for their group.
- Campus Life Programs are required to have at least one Advisor who is affiliated with or designated by the department sponsoring their group.
- Registered Student Organizations are not required to have an Advisor but may choose to have an advisor. The advisor’s individual affiliation with the University shall not have a bearing or impact on the group’s relationship with the University while the group is classified as a Registered Student Organization.
Student groups and their advisors may develop an agreement that stipulates any additional roles and responsibilities of the advisor in relation to the group (beyond required responsibilities of a CLP advisor).
Student group advisors shall provide information and guidance to student groups based on information available.
Advisors should document and direct incidents (such as student group violations of, and non-compliance with, University policies and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal laws and regulations) to the Student Group Conduct Process for review by Student Unions & Activities.
- Incidents that result in impacts to the group’s classification, registration status, or standing with the department or national organization must also be reviewed by Student Unions and Activities.
- Independent student group conduct processes outlined and determined by sponsoring University Departments shall be operated in alignment with and parallel to the student group conduct process managed by Student Unions and Activities. See Student Group Conduct, Policy Violations, and Dispute Resolution.
- Sanctions as determined by an investigation or conduct process of a national or external organization shall be submitted to Student Unions and Activities.
Campus Life Program Advisors and the sponsoring department must agree to abide by the expectations and responsibilities outlined in the Campus Life Program Department Letter.
Advisors may seek support and guidance from Student Unions & Activities but may not act as leaders or officers of the organization. Actions that may be considered leadership of the organization include, but are not limited to:
- Acting on behalf of the organization
- Engaging in decision-making
- Managing the group’s GopherLink profile
- Selecting leadership of the group
- Representing the group or the University
- Being the sole financial manager of the group
- Hosting events on behalf of the group
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 Office for Community Standards (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 or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.