Student Organizations and Governance Bodies

Scope: Who is Covered by this Policy?

Undergraduate and Graduate Students


Student organizations and governance bodies are important adjuncts to the academic life of the University. Student groups may be formed to engage in activities related to the academic, recreational, and social programs of the University.

Recognition of Student Organizations

Departmental Organizations

Any division of the University may create departmentally affiliated organizations which perform a service or function of the division and which provide educational/learning opportunities (e.g., Marching Band). The division shall be responsible for directing, managing and funding the departmental organization and will appoint an advisor to effectuate those obligations. The departmental organization may provide educational and leadership opportunities for students, including obtaining academic credit, provided, however, the division, through the advisor, is responsible for directing, managing and funding the activities of the departmental organization. Departmental organizations are not student organizations, and references throughout the Student Handbook referring to Registered Student Organizations shall not be deemed to include departmental organizations.

A departmental organization must be approved by a vice president if the affiliated organization is being sponsored by an administrative unit.

A departmental organization must be approved by a dean if the departmental organization is being sponsored by an academic unit.

Departmental organizations do not require additional recognition by the Associated Student Government. Departmental organizations will annually provide current information to the Office of Student Activities through the annual registration process in order to access University services or facilities.

Registered Student Organizations 

Student organizations wishing to use University services or facilities for the purpose of conducting general or public meetings, fiscal safeguards, or access to funding by the Associated Student Government must obtain recognition by and follow regulations of the Associated Student Government as set forth in the Associated Student Government Bylaws. A student group seeking recognition by the Associated Student Government as a student organization must submit an online application to the Office of Student Activities. Once approved by the Office of Student Activities, the student organization will be recognized. Student organizations must also register annually with the Office of Student Activities to ensure continued access to services and facilities.

Club Sports

Registered student organizations that meet the following three criteria may be considered club sports:

  1. Purpose: the purpose of a club sport is to participate in a physical activity with the primary emphasis being competition or instruction.
  2. National Governing Body: a club sport has a conference, division or national governing body that oversees rules and regulations associated with the sport.
  3. Risk Management: the nature of the sport and/or extensive travel associated requires additional oversight to decrease the risk of injury, liability, and incident.

New student organizations seeking recognition are required to complete Office of Recreational Sports information forms prior to recognition by the Associated Student Government. For detailed information regarding sports clubs, please consult the Sports Club Handbook available in the Office of Recreational Sports.

Student Media Organizations

Student Media Organizations shall be recognized and governed by the Committee on Student Media Organizations (COSMO), a subcommittee of Student Life Council.

Student Organization Requirements and Responsibility 

A student organization selecting its membership on the basis of restrictive clauses dealing with gender (except as noted below), race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or veteran status shall be considered to be operating in conflict with University policy and will be denied recognition. It is understood that membership in student organizations is limited to currently enrolled Miami University students.

Registration of Student Organizations

Any recognized student organization, in order to be considered active and eligible for services on the campus, must each year register their officers and advisor(s) with the Office of Student Activities. The registration deadline is set in the spring semester for the following academic year. Until such registration has been completed, use of University facilities and services will be withheld. Such registration means that the organization is in good standing and may use University services and be granted fiscal safeguards. Failure to register by the fall deadline may result in the loss of privileges for that academic year.


A student organization must have at least one advisor. Advisors should be faculty, staff or graduate students, this being considered as a part of their service to the University. Exceptions may be granted by the Office of Student Activities or, in the case of sports clubs, by the Office of Recreational Sports. Advisors are encouraged to be actively involved in the affairs of the organization. They are minimally expected to: periodically attend meetings of the organization; provide guidance to the officers and members in the organization’s plans, programs, and activities; be aware of the organization’s requests for University space, budget, and other such request forms as necessary; and serve as a resource to the organization for information about policies of the University. It is expected that officers and members will utilize fully the services of their advisor. Guidance for advisors and organizations is available from the Office of Student Activities from the Office of Recreational Sports for sports clubs.

Financial Affairs

All student organizations are encouraged to obtain a University account and to keep all of their funds on deposit in these accounts; this enables these groups to use University services as well as apply for funding. Having funds on deposit with the University means a student organization cannot maintain an outside account at any other location or bank. To obtain a University account, the organization must have signed verification from the Office of Student Activities that they have been duly recognized and registered. The organization must take this form to the General Accounting/Student Organizations Associate, located in Roudebush Hall, Room 107. All student organizations must elect a treasurer who will be responsible for all financial transactions. This includes depositing revenue, paying expenses, and balancing books. Treasurer responsibilities and duties are explained in the Student Organization Treasurer Procedures Manual, and online resources are available through the Associated Student Government website.

Meetings and Activities

Proper conduct of meetings and activities is a responsibility of the organization, the members themselves, and their officers. Included among these responsibilities are the planning and scheduling of all activities, practices, and games; and accounting for the organization’s funds and other monies under its control. In the case of sports clubs, and other groups as the activity may warrant, the responsibilities include: participants receiving assurance from the Student Health Service prior to engaging in the activity that they are in a state of health and physical conditioning appropriate to the activity; obtaining, maintaining, and inspecting all necessary equipment; requiring use of all appropriate safety equipment; assuring that all appropriate safety rules and procedures are followed; and assuring the prompt availability of emergency medical assistance where necessary. For meetings and activities beyond those established during the registration of the organization, an officer of the organization must arrange the use of University facilities through the appropriate scheduling office.

Related Form(s)

Not Applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures



Not Applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officer

  • Associate Vice President & Dean of Students
  • Director of the Office of Student Activities

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Revision History

Edited July 2018; Amended July 2020; Amended October 2021

Reference ID

Student Handbook 5.1

Governance Authority

  • Student Life Council
  • Administrative