Contact Us

Student Involvement

Department of Student Involvement
University of Idaho
Commons 302
Campus Box 442535 
Moscow, ID 83844-2535 
Phone: (208) 885-6331 
Fax: (208) 885-6944

Books at the University of Idaho Library

Student Organization Handbook

What is the Student Organization Handbook?

The Student Organization Handbook contains current policies and procedures related to recognized student organizations at the University of Idaho. Student organization officers and members are expected to read and follow all of the materials printed in the handbook. Abbreviations throughout the handbook include Department of Student Involvement (DSI) and Recognized Student Organizations (RSO).

  • Welcome

    The Department of Student Involvement (DSI) at the University of Idaho (UI) welcomes your involvement with student organizations.  We  believe in the importance of student clubs and organizations, and we want to support you in all that you do to enhance community life at the UI.

    The UI is home to multiple student organizations that provide a strong sense of community and opportunities for interpersonal and  leadership development. These diverse organizations allow students to create and direct the vibrant Vandal co-curricular life and learn skills for their future professional and personal lives.

    The staff in the DSI is here to help student clubs and organizations with your endeavors and leadership issues.  We encourage groups to utilize our office as an on-going resource to assist you in attaining group goals.  Our staff can provide assistance with special event planning, developing promotional strategies, and navigating the UI system and more!  

    We value you as partners in making student life at the UI successful.  Thank you for your leadership and investment in student development. We look forward to working with you.

  • How to Use this Handbook

    This handbook is provided for student organizations as a means to find out what procedures and policies are in place to help groups find success in their activities and events, reach their goals, and make a positive impact on campus.

    Inside the handbook you will find a comprehensive guide to information on student organization recognition, reimbursement and event planning. Also included are links to commonly referred-to policies and commonly used forms. 

    The staff of the DSI is here to support you and your group with resources and information on leadership and organizational development as well as to answer and address any questions or concerns that come up during the year.

  • Department of Student Involvement Office Location and Contact Information

    The Department of Student Involvement is located on the third floor of the Idaho Commons above Einstein’s Café.

    Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
    Phone: (208) 885-1020
    Mailing Address: 
    Department of Student Involvement and Associated Students of the University of Idaho
    University of Idaho
    875 Perimeter Drive MS 2535
    Moscow, ID 8344-2535

  • Recognized Student Organizations

    Recognized student organizations (RSOs) are student groups organized around a common purpose that is officially recognized by the UI. They fall into the following categories:

    • Academic/Honorary
    • Community Service and Civic Action
    • Cultural/Ethnic
    • Faith-Based
    • Multicultural
    • Professional
    • Recreational
    • Special Interest
    • Spiritual
    • Sport Club*
    • Student Governance


    *Administered by the Sport Club Federation, Campus Recreation

  • Recognition and Registration Process

    More than 180 student groups at the UI register each year with the DSI to become RSOs. Student organizations provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom; meeting other people with similar interests; developing life, work, and leadership skills; gaining a broader experience and a greater perspective; and engaging students as citizens of the campus community.

    A mandatory annual registration process for all student organizations allows them to exist as RSOs and have access to all the privileges afforded to them by the university.

    The DSI acknowledges several levels of recognition:

    • Active: A student organization maintaining an Active status is fully registered with the DSI. This status is contingent upon meeting all required recognition policies and procedures.
    • Inactive: A student organization with Inactive status is fully registered with the DSI, but has in some way failed to meet registration requirements or follow procedures and guidelines.  See page 5 for additional details.
    • Loss of University Recognition: A student organization that fails to meet or maintain registration requirements or follow procedures and guidelines may lose its recognition from the university and all right granted to it through Active status.  See page 5 for additional details.
    • Withdrawal of University Recognition: Any student organization may voluntarily withdraw its recognition by UI. Contact the DSI for assistance withdrawing UI recognition of your group. 
  • Annual Registration for Student Organizations

    Active RSOs must renew their registration with the UI by 5:00 pm on September 30 on each year. Failure to register by the deadline will automatically result in a change from Active to Inactive status.

  • Steps for Annual Registration

    To gain or retain recognition from the UI, student organizations must do the following during the registration period every fall semester:

    • Log-in to OrgSync and update or create your student organization’s account profile. Each officer in the organization should create individual OrgSync profiles and designate themselves as officers of their organization.
    • Indentify and maintain an organization advisor who is an UI benefits-eligible faculty or staff member
    • Attend a fall orientation workshop for RSOs. Sessions are held multiple times a week at the beginning of the academic year.

  • Governing Documents

    All RSOs are required to have a constitution or bylaws specific to the UI.

    Constitutions for RSOs must include:

    • The full name of the organization
    • The stated purpose and/or mission of the organization
    • A nondiscrimination clause consistent with that of the university. (An exception is made for fraternities and sororities to be single sex organizations per the
    • implementing regulations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)
    • An outline of all officer positions and their responsibilities.
    • A provision for election and removal of officers.
    • A provision for selection and removal of the advisor(s).
    • A provision for decision-making/voting processes.
    • A provision for amending the constitution 
  • Membership Requirements for Student Organizations:

    • RSOs must have at least two (2) UI students as members
    • At least 51% of RSO’s membership must be currently enrolled UI students. RSOs may further define and limit their membership, subject to the UI nondiscrimination policy. Examples of further limitations include restrictions permitted under Title IX, limiting all membership to UI students, or appropriate grade point average requirements for honor societies.
    • Non-UI students may join a RSO as non-voting members at the discretion of the organization. 

  • Advisor Requirements

    RSOs are required to have an advisor who is a benefits-eligible UI faculty or staff member. It is possible for a faculty or staff member to advise more than one RSO; however, advisors should strongly consider the impact of taking on these additional responsibilities on their ability to provide good advising to their RSOs.

    The following are additional requirements and guidelines for RSOs in identifying advisors:

    · Advisors must be actively employed and working at the UI.

    · RSOs may have more than one advisor.

    · Advisors may not sign contracts or agreements on behalf of the UI for their RSO.

  • Considerations for Advising

    • Guide the RSO in accordance with the purpose and educational objectives of the UI.
    • Supervise the financial procedures of the RSO.
    • Help increase student and staff awareness of UI facilities, events, and personnel.
    • Be familiar with the policies and procedures listed in the UI's Student Code of Conduct and ASUI Student Organization & Advisor Handbook.

  • Different Approaches to Advising

    There are many different approaches to advising. The most important aspect of advising is to remember that the main role is just that—to advise. The following suggestions are meant to help the advisor work more effectively with the RSO:

    • Help officers of the RSO consider issues that relate to ideas being approached by the RSO.
    • If an idea is inappropriate, the advisor should challenge the students to consider other alternatives.
    • Hold informal meetings for open and worthwhile discussions.
    • Encourage officers to take an occasional chance on some less proven members in delegating authority.
    • Periodically evaluate officers in their effectiveness

  • What a Student Officer May Expect of an Advisor
    • Assistance in formulating long-range goals and in planning and initiating short-term projects
    • A resource person for alternative solutions to problems confronting the RSO
    • Assistance with UI procedural matters
    • Suggestions of ways the RSO meetings can be improved
    • Representation of the RSO and its interests in staff and faculty meetings
    • Assistance in evaluating RSO projects, performance, and progress
    • Suggestions that will permit the officers to improve leadership skills
  • What an Advisor Should Expect of a Student Officer

    • Keep advisor informed of all RSO activities, meeting times, locations, and agendas.
    • Provide advisor with minutes of all meetings of the RSO.
    • Meet regularly with the advisor, and use him/her as a sounding board for discussing plans and problems.

  • How Can You Best Utilize Your Advisor

    • Meet with your advisor at least one day before RSO meetings to go over agenda and topics to be discussed at the meeting. If you are unsure about how to run the meeting or deal with a situation that may arise, use your advisor’s knowledge and experience to come up with solutions.
    • Meet with your advisor after the RSO meeting to brief him/ her on what happened if he/she could not attend. Be willing to ask for advice or comments on the way you handled the meeting.
    • Make your advisor feel like part of the RSO. Introduce the advisor to new members or visitors. Ask for input on discussions.
    • Both the advisor and the RSO should understand that the advisor is there to help the RSO and that the advisor is, with the exception of paid staff advisors, chosen and retained at the RSO’s discretion. RSOs should realize that an advisor has much to contribute to the success of the organization. Be sure to make your advisor feel welcome at your meetings as well as at social functions.

  • Change from Active to Inactive Status

    In some situations, it may be necessary for the DSI to change the status of a RSO from Active to Inactive. The following are examples of situations in which a status change to Inactive would occur:

    • Failure to update officer information during a registration period.
    • Failure to successfully complete the annual registration process.
    • Failure to adhere to UI policies and procedures.
    • Failure to adhere to Student Organization policies and procedures.
    • Loss of an advisor/inability to replace an advisor.

    If a RSO’s status is changed to Inactive, the RSO is immediately notified of the change by DSI and told what it needs to do to regain Active status. DSI staff is always available to answer questions about a status change. 

  • Loss of University Recognition

    In some situations, it may also be necessary for DSI to remove recognition from a RSO. The following are examples of situations in which a RSO might lose its UI recognition:

    • Continuous Inactive status.
    • Discriminatory practices.
    • Violations of UI policies or procedures as determined by the DSI staff.
    • Violations of local, state or federal laws.
    • Changes to the constitution or governing documents that are in violation of student organization policies, UI policies and procedures, or local, state or federal laws. 

  • Starting a Student Organization

    New student organizations may form anytime during the academic year. A student must first submit an Intent to Organize form to the DSI. DSI staff will contact the student to schedule an appointment. Please note:

    • A minimum of two (2) students is required for an organization to gain UI recognition and become a RSO.
    • Following the initial meeting, students starting the organization should create and submit a constitution to the DSI. Download a Sample/Template Constitution here. This template has the articles required in your constitution and will be discussed in a meeting at the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. Please read the governing documents section for more details.
    • Before gaining UI recognition and becoming a RSO, a student organization must have an advisor who meets the Advisor Requirements. Please read “Advisor Requirements” section of this Handbook for more details.
    • Students creating the organization must set up OrgSync accounts for themselves and follow the steps within OrgSync to create their organization.
    • When all the necessary processes have been completed, DSI staff will review your request for UI recognition. If the constitution or other registration materials need revision, you will be notified. You will then need to make the changes and resubmit the materials.
    Once the requirements are met, the student organization will be recognized by UI, will become a
    • RSO, and as a result, will gain access to all the privileges afforded to them by the university. Students will receive written notification from the DSI staff.
    • The creation of a student organization that provides personal financial benefit for individuals within the student organization is not allowed. 
  • Club Finances & Funding

    • RSOs must have a bank account in order to receive reimbursement checks from the ASUI Student Organization Funding Board(the board can reimburse a university department if they initially pay your club’s expenses).
    • To open an Organization Bank Account, your club must first have an Employer Identification Number or taxpayer ID.

    You can apply by phone, fax, on-line or mail depending on how soon you need the number.

    Phone: Fill out the Employer Identification Form first so that you have all the information on hand. Call 1-800-829-4933.
    Fax: Complete the form and fax it to the IRS. The fax number is: (859) 669-5760.
    Mail: Complete and send form at least 4-5 weeks before you need the number. Sign and date the application and mail it to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Attn: EIN Operation
    Cincinnati, OH 45999


    After receiving an EIN, your club should be able to open an account at any bank you choose. Be sure that you keep the bank informed about changes in officers/advisors so that they have the most current authorization information.


  • ASUI Student Org Funding Board Reimbursement Process

    Each registered club is eligible for up to $2,000 of reimbursement funding per academic year from the ASUI Student Org Funding Board

    Review the Student Org Funding Board Bylaws for detailed information regarding the RSO reimbursement process.

    STEP 1.  Attend a mandatory Pre-Reimbursement Funding Meeting hosted by the ASUI Funding Board one week prior to each Reimbursement Hearing.  This meeting is designed to help RSOs understand how the reimbursement process works and includes information on how to fill out the funding application, presenting your request to the board, and requirements to receive funding.

    STEP 2.  Complete a “Funding Request Form”, available on OrgSync.  All funding request forms must be submitted online by 12 p.m. two days PRIOR to the Funding Board Reimbursement Hearing you plan to attend.

    STEP 3.  Attend the Funding Board Reimbursement Hearing.  The Board will review your request and ask you questions pertaining to your proposed activity.  You will be called upon to explain the purpose of your organization and why your RSO is requesting funds.  They will also ask you what impact this funding will have on students at the University of Idaho.  RSOs who submit a reimbursement form request but fail to come to the ASUI Activities Board Reimbursement Hearing will be denied funding.

    STEP 4.  Wait for confirmation.  The ASUI Activities Board Chair will contact you within two (2) business days to inform you of the board’s decision, including the allocated amount and the items for which you will be reimbursed and how to turn in your receipts.   (NOTE: You will be reimbursed ONLY for those items approved by the ASUI Funding Board AND for those which you present original receipts—regardless of the amount allocated by the Board.  For instance, if the board allocated $500 toward the cost of reserving 4 hotel rooms for a conference, but you only produce $375 in original receipts for 3 rooms, you will ONLY receive $375.) 


    STEP 5.  Upon completion of the activity, you should set up an appointment to turn in receipts with the ASUI Business Manager.  Specific instructions are emailed to RSOs with their reimbursement confirmation from the ASUI Activities Board.


    STEP 6.  Wait for your reimbursement check to be processed.  Please be patient!  It takes a minimum of four (4) weeks for the ASUI and the University of Idaho to process your paperwork once you have turned in receipts.  Checks are available for pick-up from the ASUI Administrative Assistant.  You will receive an email notification when checks arrive in the ASUI office.

  • Raffle Policy

    The UI is not responsible for any raffles held by any student organizations. Therefore, its name shall not appear on any raffle documents. 

  • Trademarks and Licensing

     Using UI logos:

    • The UI logos are registered trademarks of the university. UI trademarks include, but are not limited to, the words “Idaho,” “University of Idaho,” “Idaho Vandals,” the initials UI and logos such as the block “I” Vandal, the Vandal script mark, Joe Vandal, and the official UI seal. This policy applies to all UI marks.
    All uses of UI trademarks on products require prior approval from the Trademark & Licensing office, (“UITL”), even if the proposed uses do not involve the sale of a product (i.e. promotional items for conferences or meetings, items for fundraisers, gifts, etc.). Any product bearing UI trademarks must be purchased from licensed manufacturers.  Using an officially licensed company to manufacture a product ensures that the company has provided the correct
    • product liability insurances and signed UI’s code of conduct agreement.  For a list of licensees please contact the UITL office at (208) 885-4007.
    • Use of an UI mark with an organization implies association with UI.  Therefore, only RSOs
       are allowed to use UI trademarks in conjunction with their organization’s name, subject to the requirements below.  RSOs may not assign trademark usage rights, or otherwise grant permission, to any other internal or external entity for any purpose without prior review and approval by the UITL.
      • RSOs are not part of UI and therefore RSOs may not use “University of Idaho” at the beginning of their organization’s name or “…of University of Idaho” at the end of their organization’s name, unless funding is received directly from an UI department.  However, RSOs may use “at University of Idaho” or “UI Chapter” at the end of the organization’s name if the organization is affiliated with a national or regional organization. “Vandal(s)” can only be used with the addition of “Club” at the end of the name.
    • UITL is the primary contact for logo utilization. They work in conjunction with the UI Communications and Marketing and the Athletic Departments in overseeing the appropriate use of UI trademarks. For further details contact UITL at 885-4007 or

  • Planning Events

    Advertising Events

    RSOs often create promotional materials such as flyers, posters, handbills, newspaper ads, and banners to advertise themselves or market an event or activity they are sponsoring or cosponsoring. Organizations are responsible for being aware of the University's regulations on advertising

    What to Include on Promotions:

    The following information should be included on all marketing/advertising materials put out by RSOs, whether on or off-campus:

    · Full name of the RSO (no acronyms or abbreviations)

    · Contact information (e.g., phone number, e-mail address, website)

    General Posters and notices may be displayed on bulletin boards and kiosks located inside buildings and on campus, in accordance with any applicable UI policy, when there is room for them and permission is granted.

    OrgSync Calendar of Events student organizations can create an event in OrgSync and tick the box to have the event placed on the community wide calendar. 

    University of Idaho Calendar student organizations can submit an event to the University of Idaho Calendar.

    Commons Flat Screens Check out the Commons Flat Screens Website for info on how your RSO can post an ad for free on the flat screen displays

    SRC Flat Screens Check out for info on how your RSO can post an ad for free at the SRC 

    Student Planner Submit your RSO’s events to the Department of Student Involvement each spring for the following academic year to be included in the student planner (space is limited). 

    Poster machine (located in the Department of Student Involvement, Commons 302) which prints out 24”x36” posters is available for RSO use. Each academic year student organizations are eligible for three free posters. Beyond the three posters there is a fee of $5 for black and white and $10 for color per poster for RSOs.

    Press releases Contact University Communications and Marketing at for help in composing and distributing information regarding RSO events.

    Table Tents To reserve table tent space in the Idaho Commons Food Court complete this online request form on this website. RSOs may make 25 one-sided table tent leaflets, 6 inches tall by 4 inches wide. Idaho Commons staff will put in and take out your announcement in acrylic holders on each table. Reservations may be made for no more than seven (7) consecutive days, three (3) times per semester.  Clubs must have the table tent leaflets to the Commons Info Desk the Friday before the week reserved.

    Argonaut RSOs receive a discounted rate for ads. Phone: 885-7794 Email: 

    KUOI – Have your RSO event information broadcast for free on the radio. Website: Email:


    Banners are only to be hung and removed by Commons/SUB Events Set-up Staff and require a reservation. Reservations can be made on the ICSU website

    Student Union: With a reservation, RSOs can have a banner hung across Deakin Avenue outside the Student Union for a fee of $60 for every time it is hung.

    Banner restrictions: hemmed height 48”–54” x width 30’-40’. There must be ½” grommets every 2’ on the top and bottom of the banner, and there must be wind slices in the banner.

    Idaho Commons: Banner spaces must be reserved for no less than one (1) week, no more than two (2) weeks in a row and for a maximum of four (4) weeks per semester for RSOs.

    Banners can be hung from the south side balconies (3 total—outside the ASUI Offices, third floor) or in the food court.

    Banners must be delivered at least three (3) days before the beginning of a reservation and must be picked up at the information desk three (3) days after the reservation ends, at the latest. A $10 charge will apply if the banners are not picked up.

    For more information, call the Scheduling Coordinator at 885-6956.

    Banner restrictions: 30” high x 9’-10’ wide. The banner must have three (3) grommets on the top and bottom (one in each corner and one in the middle). Cloth or vinyl banners are preferred. Outdoor banners should not have paint or ink on them (in case of rain).

    Hang Posters

    • Commons & SUB: Public bulletin boards available in both.
    • Residence Halls: RSOs can have their posters hung inside the residence halls by taking posters to the Housing Office on the second floor of the Wallace Building, outside the 24-hour desk in the LLC and posting information the campus movie channel.
    • Campus Locations: Contact individual building regarding poster hanging locations and policies.

    To make a chalking request, go to the Space Reservations website and fill out the form for your chalking request event and send it to Charles Zillinger, Chalk, when used on campus, must be latex based and designed for easy removal; oil and grease chalks are not allowed. Chalk drawings/writings may only be done on horizontal concrete surface that can be easily washed. Vertical surfaces, such as walls, step risers, bench seats, etc. may not be used for chalking. Contact Facilities- Landscape & Exterior Services at 885-6246 with any questions.

  • Risk Management

    If a RSO event could potentially have an elevated amount of risk (such as a sporting activity or field trip), an officer of that RSO should contact the UI Risk Management at Risk Management can help determine whether the RSO should obtain security, insurance or liability waivers to reduce risk at the event. 

  • Security Considerations for Events

    Marches, rallies or public demonstrations may require security. Security is also recommended for other events (e.g., concerts or dances) that might need “crowd control.” The DSI cannot provide security itself, although it can assist a RSO in finding security. Contact DSI for assistance. 

  • Contracts ▼

    For some events, RSOs may want to bring a performer to campus, sponsor a speaker, or pay for a service. In such cases, RSOs should meet with DSI to discuss next steps.

  • Appeals

    Appealing Decisions

    RSOs have the right to appeal any of the following decisions made by Department of Student Involvement or the UI:

    • Loss of Recognition for an Existing RSO
    • Denial of Recognition for a New Student Organization
    • RSO Status Changed from Active to Inactive
    • Constitution Revisions Denied
    • Advisor Removed from RSO

    Appeals Process

    The Appeals Board is a partnership between the Associated Students University of Idaho (ASUI) and DSI.

    • RSOs must file an appeal in writing no more than five (5) business days following DSI’s formal decision. The RSO’s written appeal must be given to the Student Involvement Coordinator that oversees RSOs or designee.  
    • Upon receiving an appeal, the Student Involvement Coordinator shall appoint an Appeals Board comprised of three student members (one from the Student Organization Funding Board, one ASUI Senator and one member of a student organization) and shall advise the Appeals Board.
    • The Appeals Board will review the RSO’s appeal and make a decision within ten (10) business days of receiving it. The Appeals Board will notify the RSO in writing of its decision.
    • If the RSO wants to appeal the decision of the Appeals Board, it may do so in writing within ten (10) business days of receiving the Appeals Board’s decision. The written appeal must be submitted to the Assistant Vice-Provost for Student Affairs (AVPSA). The AVPSA will make the final decision on the appeal within five (5) business days of receiving it. The RSO will be notified in writing of the AVPSA’s decision, which will serve as the ultimate and final decision of the appeals process. 
  • Complaint Process

    If a student believes that an RSO or member of an RSO has violated a UI policy or has discriminated against another student or community member, the student should bring the concern to the attention of the Director of Student Involvement or designee, 208-885-6331, who will assist the student in evaluating options to address the situation.  The informal and formal procedures for a student to address a concern related to RSOs are described below.

    Informal Complaint Process

    The informal complaint procedure seeks to achieve a resolution upon which both the complainant and the respondent(s) agree. An informal complaint may be oral or in writing, and should be brought to the attention of the Director of Student Involvement. Informal complaints will give the complainant an opportunity to discuss the matter with a neutral third-party to clarify whether a policy violation or discrimination may be occurring and to determine the complainant’s options, including the pursuit of more formal action. In some cases, the complainant may ask the Director of Student Involvement or designee to act as a mediator to talk to the other party to determine whether an informal resolution of the issue can be reached. If resolution by this process is reached, no further action will generally be taken, and the matter will be considered closed. However, there may be some allegations of a policy violation or discrimination that the University will investigate further despite a request for an informal resolution. In all cases, the Director of Student Involvement will keep a record of the complaint and its resolution.


    Formal Complaint Process

    A student can make a formal complaint without first using the informal complaint procedure. The formal complaint should be in writing and delivered to the Director of Student Involvement. The formal complaint should include: the offending party’s name(s); the times, dates, places, and circumstances surrounding the allegation of a policy violation or discrimination; and the name(s) of any witness(es) to the incident(s). A representative from DSI may, upon request, assist a complainant in preparing a formal complaint. After a review of the formal complaint, the Director of Student Involvement or designee will review relevant student files or records and consult with the complainant, the person(s) against whom the complaint is made, any witnesses, and, as appropriate, with other individuals in an attempt to resolve the matter and determine whether further investigation is warranted. The Director of Student Involvement may investigate further if deemed appropriate, or end a formal investigation at any time. Upon completion of the investigation, the Director of Student Involvement will determine if the complaint merits adjudication and will notify the complainant and respondent(s) in writing of the findings and recommendations. Even where a policy violation or discrimination is not found, the Dean of Students may determine that the conduct is inappropriate or otherwise violates the Student Code of Student. A complainant or respondent dissatisfied with the findings or recommendations may submit a rebuttal statement for inclusion in the investigative file. In cases warranting adjudication, the Dean of Students retains the right to determine who shall review the conduct. The proceedings will be conducted in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.