RSO Handbook

Student Activities Center

About the Student Activities Center

The Student Activities office serves as a guide for Florida State students in molding and creating their FSU experience.

The Student Activities Center believes that student involvement outside of the classroom contributes to important learning gains and a well-rounded college experience that prepares students for life after graduation.

The Student Activities Center hopes to serve as a catalyst to engage and involve students by:

  • providing advising, training, and mentoring to student leaders and advisors
  • inspiring students to become active members of the campus and community
  • creating programs that foster interactions among the diverse members of the University community
  • maintaining lively spaces and resources for student-focused initiatives that enrich our campus culture
  • designing and supporting programs, venues, and resources that cultivate student expression
  • engaging student leaders to discover new knowledge that will enable them to critically evaluate evidence, make informed judgments, balance multiple perspectives, and act ethically

Student Activities Areas & Teams

Recognized Student Organizations

What Are Recognized Student Organizations?

All students are encouraged to enrich the FSU campus and their own college experience by getting involved.  One method of involvement is joining a student organization. Student organizations foster interpersonal relationships, explore educational opportunities, develop professional skills, and enhance academic experiences by serving the campus community and cultivating leadership at FSU. Over 600 student organizations currently thrive at FSU and new organizations are continuously being recognized. Recognition is a process that must be completed every Fall semester by all student organizations to receive and maintain privileges on campus.

RSO Expectations

RSOs are afforded privileges and resources at FSU and, in exchange, are required to adhere to and fulfill the following expectations as conditions of recognition.

RSOs will:

  • Complete the annual recognition process with the Student Activities Center by submitting all required information, passing the Financial Manual Quiz, participating in annual RSO workshops, and making timely updates to organization’s information (officers, constitution, etc.) as changes occur.
  • Follow and abide by all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and all policies and procedures of Florida State University, including the FSU Student Code of Conduct ( and the Recognized Student Organization Handbook.   
  • Remain in good standing with all departments at FSU (Oglesby Union Guest Services, SGA, campus departments, etc.) and conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the University.
  • Abide by FSU’s Alcohol Policy at social events with alcohol present  (
  • Adhere to the rules and procedures set forth in the organization’s constitution, including the non-discrimination, non-hazing requirements for membership, etc.
  • Meet all fiscal obligations incurred by the organization, understand the SGA Financial Manual, and abide by the SGA Finance Code when applicable (
  • Ensure proper planning and execution of organization events, and consult with the Student Activities Center staff for help with event policies and contract management (
  • Provide adequate training during the officer transition process.
  • Establish consistent communication with the organization advisor, and keep advisor informed of organization activities and decisions.
  • Ensure proper use of campus resources, including meeting and event space, office space, and other benefits afforded to the organization.

Authority for Recognition

The Florida Administrative Code states, “the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee” will be responsible for the annual recognition process of student organizations at FSU. The Vice President for Student Affairs has designated the Student Activities Center to oversee this process for the University. All new RSOs are approved by the Student Activities Center (as designee for the Vice President for Student Affairs).

Requirements for Recognition

All groups submitting an application must meet the following criteria to become a Recognized Student Organization (RSO). Change of Officers, Advisor, or constitution during the academic year must be submitted to the Student Activities office for verification and continuation of recognition.

  • All Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) must annually submit an Application for Recognized Status through Nole Central in order to officially become or remain a RSO at Florida State University.
  • All Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) must minimally have four individuals complete the online hazing prevention as a component of the recognition process. These individuals must not have previously completed this module.
  • All organizations must have a minimum of 10 members (including the required two officers), and all members must be currently enrolled FSU students.
  • Non-FSU students, who are enrolled in joint FSU programs or participate in partnership programs approved by the University Registrar, shall be eligible for limited membership in recognized student organizations and shall be free to participate in a manner that is consistent with university policies and the constitution and bylaws of the organization.  (
  • Of the 10 members, a minimum of two officers is required for every organization, one of which must be a President or an equivalent role (i.e. Director, Chair, etc.). If the group will be applying for funding from SGA, a Treasurer is also required.
  • At least 2 officers must take and pass the Financial Manual Quiz with a minimum score of 80% each year.
  • All Officers must be currently enrolled in at least 6 credit hours, if an undergraduate student, and 1 credit hour, if a graduate student. They also must be in good academic standing with FSU by maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
  • All information is subject to verification by the Student Activities office or by Student Government Association as part of the resource and funding allocation process.
  • All organizations must submit a current membership roster at the time of recognition and are expected to maintain current rosters throughout the year.
  • All new organizations must draft and submit a current local constitution. Returning organizations may opt to keep the previous year’s document only if no changes have been made. Each constitution must include the FSU non-discrimination statement and non-hazing statement as well as other required sections as found in the Sample Constitution document online.
    • Greek organizations recognized by a Greek council within the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and organizations under Student Government Association will sign a memorandum of understanding in place of a constitution.
  • Each organization must have a full-time Advisor from the Faculty or Staff of Florida State University. Graduate or Undergraduate students (including Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants) and Adjunct Faculty may not serve as an Advisor to a Recognized Student Organization.
  • All Officers and the Advisor must read the Liability Information listed in this Information Guide. The President and Advisor must attest to their understanding of the information by signing the Student Organization Advisory Packet.
  • All RSOs must uphold the "Expectations of RSOs" listed above as a condition of recognition.
  • RSOs not meeting all Requirements and Expectations are subject to review and removal of recognition status.

Writing a Constitution

A constitution is a set of rules for your organization. A well-written constitution can be a great asset to your group. Use the sample constitution in this section to generate ideas and get started. Then spend time writing a constitution tailored for your student organization. It may be any length, but must cover the basic components and include required statements outlined below. An important note to nationally affiliated groups: national constitutions will not be accepted as part of the recognition process. All organizations must draft a local constitution for their group to include FSU-specific requirements and policies for the organization. A Student Activities Center staff member may assist you with this process if you have questions when drafting a local constitution. For help writing your constitution, contact the Student Activities Center at 644-6673 or SOAR Board at Your constitution is only helpful if you use it! Get into the habit of referring to it for clarification, and follow your constitution as your basis for organizational decision making. Distribute a copy to the members of the organization each year so they are familiar with the rules of the organization. Update your group’s constitution annually and submit a revised copy to the Student Activities Center. 

By-laws may often accompany a constitution with “working rules” of the organization but are not the Constitution. If your group wants to put your common practices in writing, you will need to draft by-laws. Common topics included in by-laws are committees, rules of order, meeting parameters, etc. By-laws are NOT required for each organization; rather, they are an additional tool available for your organization. However, if you draft By-laws they must be sent to the Student Activities Center for approval.

Types of Recognition

There are three types of recognition for student organizations:

Creating a New Organization: Student organizations just beginning at FSU will follow the recognition process designed for new organizations. This process includes a meeting with a member of the Student Organization Advisory and Resource Board, completing the RSO 101  workshop, completing the hazing prevention module, passing the SGA Financial Manual quiz, completing the online application, signing/completing the Student Organization Signature Packet, turning the Student Organization Signature Packet in to the Student Activities Center office, and any other required trainings and modules. Applications are submitted for approval by the Student Activities Center. Officers will be notified if changes or additional information is required to submit their application. New RSOs will be sent an email notification once their applications have been approved, usually within 2-3 weeks. Visit the Student Activities Center online to complete the online recognition process at Creating a new organization can take place during any recognition period, including Summer C. Recognition will be complete when the organization receives approval via Nole Central from the Student Activities Center stating that the recognition was approved. Available in the Fall & Spring Semesters.

Re-Recognizing an Existing Organization: Re-recognition is for current RSOs and occurs between July and September. Student organizations must re-recognize each year to retain benefits and services for the organization. Re-recognition includes updating the officer contact information and completing all required trainings and modules. Student organizations completing the re-recognition process must complete the online application. The Student Activities Center staff will review the application and submit it for processing. Re-recognizing student organizations may choose to not upload a Constitution if no changes have been made. Officers will be notified if changes or additional information is required to submit their application. Visit the Student Activities Center online to complete the workshop and online recognition process at Re-recognition will be complete when the organization receives an email from the Student Activities Center stating that the recognition process was successful.

Inactive to Active An inactive organization who is looking to become active again will also go through the re-recognition process, similar to a new organization but must first meet with a staff member in the Student Activities Center.  Inactive to Active Organizations may be required to attend the RSO 101 workshop, and must complete annual trainings and modules required of all RSOs. Contact the Student Activities Center (644-6673 or to set up a meeting if your group has been previously established here at FSU. Available only in the Fall Semester.

Benefits and Privileges of Recognition

In order to be eligible to receive privileges and services, student organizations must complete the recognition process with the Student Activities Center. The benefits of a recognized student organization are numerous. Below are several examples of benefits for recognized student organizations:

  • 5,000 free black and white copies each year on the copy machine in the Student Activities Center (groups must provide own paper). A copy code is given to each RSO and is required to use the free copies.
  • Access to computers and a fax machine in the Student Activities Center – usage of these tools should be for organization business only.
  • Recognized student organizations are automatically included in a list of current organizations on Nole Central. 
  • Campus posting privileges including chalking, distribution of handbills, and posting flyers in compliance with the University Posting Policy (
  • Eligibility to win awards such as “Student Organization of the Year,” and the “Vires, Artes, Mores” Awards at Leadership Awards Night held each spring – nominations are due in early spring.
  • Eligibility to apply through the Union Board for an office space assignment in the Student Activities Center. Note, during the new Union construction project, RSO space will not be available in the Union. Space will be available upon completion of the new Union building, anticipated opening in fall 2020 (  Applications are due early in the Spring Semester, as space assignments begin in the summer and last for one full year. For more information about the space allocation process, please contact the Union Board at 644-5322 or stop by the Student Activities Center.
  • Ability to co-sponsor events with Union Productions - contact UP at 644-6673 or email, for more information.
  • Eligibility to apply for a campus mailbox in the Student Activities Center. Only a limited number of mailboxes are available.
  • RSO Leaders are added to Leaders Listserv, a weekly newsletter with upcoming events sponsored by RSOs. Organizations can also utilize the Leaders Listserv to promote events and information to other student leaders.
  • Access to SOAR Board to communicate issues or concerns (
  • Tabling during Market Wednesday (

Space Reservations RSOs can reserve rooms for meeting and event space on campus through Oglesby Union Guest Services. Groups can also reserve Union tables and banner space. Reservations open for summer and fall semesters the first Monday of April, and reservations open for the spring semester the first Monday of November. Oglesby Union Guest Services in located on the second floor of the Student Services Building and can be contacted by calling 644-6083, or by visiting the website (Note: Meeting room space will be limited during the New Union construction project ( Event Planning Resources The Student Activities Center staff is here to assist RSOs with planning their events! If you are holding a major campus event or an event involving food, amplified sound, inflatables, or an outside entity requiring approval, the Student Activities Center can help you complete the Event Permitting process located at The Guest Services office will let you know if an Event permit is required to complete your request. Food permits may also be required if your event has food and can be completed as part of the event permit. Event permits are due at least 10 business days before your event. Contracts Any event sponsored by a RSO, which brings an outside person or company to campus, has to be officially contracted by the University. This includes, but is not limited to DJs, speakers, bands, and conferences. Even if the cost is $0, a contract must still be signed. Contracts are legal documents on behalf of Florida State University and they must ALWAYS be signed by official staff of the Student Activities Center if using A&S fees. Never sign a contract yourself for this type of event-you or your organization could be responsible for paying the entire fee on your own. Never verbally commit a date or a certain fee to an artist – verbal commitments are legally binding in the state of Florida. RSOs can contact the Student Activities Center at 644-6673 or for more information and help concerning contracts of any kind. Funding Opportunities RSOs are eligible to apply and obtain Activity and Service (A&S) fees to help fund their organization. To request A&S funding, an organization must be recognized by the University, have a treasurer, become financially certified, and submit a funding request through FSU’s Student Government Association. There are also several funding boards established to allocate funding to student organizations. Please check with the Student Government Association Accounting ( for more information about the funding boards or any funding opportunities.


Additional Organizations Notes

Social Greek-Letter Organizations

For a Title IX exempt social Greek-letter fraternity or sorority (as defined under the provisions of Section 1681 of the U.S. Education Act of 1972) to be recognized as a student organization on the Florida State University campus, it must first be granted membership in its University-recognized Greek council. Once membership is confirmed with either the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, or the Panhellenic Association, recognition materials will be processed by the Student Activities Center. For requirements related to membership in one of the aforementioned councils, visit the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life website at

Sport Clubs

Sport or recreation-based student organizations that desire to be a part of the Sport Club Program within Campus Recreation, must apply for admission on an annual basis through Campus Recreation. Once membership is confirmed by the Sport Club Program, the recognized student organization shall be classified as a Sport Club by the Student Activities Center and shall be subject to the administrative requirements of the Sport Club Program and budgetary processes of the Sport Club Allocations Committee. For requirements related to admission into the Sport Club program, visit the Sport Club Program website at

SGA Affiliates

For a Florida State University Student Government Association (SGA) Affiliate to be recognized as a student organization on the Florida State University campus, they must first be promulgated in SGA statutes. Upon confirmation of promulgation, recognition materials will be processed by SGA and the Student Activities Center. To be an affiliate of the Student Government Association, please contact SGA at

Student Academic Programs

Student Academic Programs (SAP) are unique in their relationship with academic units and their multiple funding sources. While these organizations are unique, they will still be held accountable to adherence to University policies. For this reason, the Memorandum of Understanding confirms the necessity for SAP groups to participate in the recognition process under the auspices of Student Activities. The requirements for recognition, as well as these other limitations, are on file in the Student Activities Center, Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Government Association, and Campus Recreation. 

RSO and Their Relationship to the University

Liability Information

RSOs at FSU are responsible for their events and activities, as well as the actions or negligence of the organization membership. Take a moment to thoroughly read the liability information detailed below. Be sure to review the information with your organization at the beginning of each semester, and discuss how these issues might affect your group’s activities. The president and advisor must initial and sign the Recognition Application stating they have read and understood the liability information. Compliance The purpose and activities of all organizations must be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Florida State University, the Florida State University Board of Trustees, and local, state, and federal laws, including the FSU Hazing and Alcohol Policies located in the FSU Student Code of Conduct and Chapter 6C2 of the Florida Administrative Code. The policies and practices of the organization pertaining to membership may not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veterans’ or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other legally protected group status. In cases where the nondiscrimination policy conflicts with the organization’s religious beliefs, tenets, or doctrines, or an organization’s limitation of membership to a particular gender, as allowed by law, the organization may request in writing an exemption from the part of the policy that is in conflict. Requests for exemption will be submitted to the Director of Student Activities (or designee) who will determine whether the exemption will be granted. Denial of a request for exemption may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs, whose decision shall constitute final University action on the matter. The Office of the General Counsel at the Florida State University may be consulted as necessary regarding legal issues associated with the request.

If an organization is Title IX exempt (i.e. Social Greek organizations), they do NOT need to submit a request for exemption. Insurance Clarification Florida State University has no insurance covering the activities of student organizations. In accordance with the laws of the State of Florida, Florida State University, and the Florida State University Board of Trustees, the University is unable to provide insurance that covers any student organization or activity. The only exceptions to this rule are for salaried officers of the Student Government Association acting within the scope of his/her office. Completing the recognition process with the Student Activities Center as a student organization is not recognized by the State Risk Management Trust Fund and does not establish or fall within the State of Florida, Florida State University, or the Florida State University Board of Trustees coverage under that fund. Approval of a student organization or activity by the Student Activities Center or the Student Government Association does not establish State of Florida, Florida State University, or the Florida State University Board of Trustees liability coverage for that organization or activity. Responsibility and Liability In consideration of the participants of the organization and its members in the stated activities of the organization and others that may occur during the academic school year, the organization’s officers and individual members have both an organizational and personal legal responsibility to adhere to all local, state, and federal laws, and Florida State University administrative policies and procedures. It is understood that neither Florida State University, the Florida State University Board of Trustees, nor the State of Florida can defend the activities of the organization under its present insurance coverage or defray the costs, including attorneys’ fees, of defending any lawsuit or claim against the organization, its officers or members. The organization agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the State of Florida, Florida State University, The Florida State University Board of Trustees, and their officers and employees for and against any claims caused by the activities of the organization, its officers, and members. The organization may be held fully liable for its activities and any claims that may result will be against the organization, its officers, members, and possibly advisors. Acknowledgement The chief officer and advisor of this organization shall declare in writing by signature on the application for student organization registration that they both fully understand and acknowledge their reliance wholly upon their own judgment, belief, and conscious appreciation of the particular activities and dangers involved in the organization's events, programs, and functions. Further, they acknowledge and understand that the State of Florida, The Florida State University Board of Trustees, and The Florida State University disclaim liability for any and all damage, injury, or loss of life that may occur with respect to the activities, functions, and programs of the organization. By signing the following form, they also acknowledge their responsibility to notify all members of the organization of these terms and conditions, and the provisions stated in Section 6C2-3.0015, Florida Administrative Code, found in the FSU Student Handbook and FSU General Bulletin. The term of registration is valid for one academic school year from October 1st to September 30th, and it is the responsibility of the signing officers to notify any future officers of the terms and conditions of this disclaimer of liability. They understand that signing this form does not relieve FSU from liability for its negligence, as stated in Section 768.28, Florida Statutes. Non-Profit Status/Tax-Exemption Official recognition of any club or organization does not constitute university endorsement or grant university-specific privileges. As a result, tax-exempt status is not granted when organizations receive recognition.


Using the Name of the University

Recognized Student Organizations that wish to use the university’s name as part of their organization’s name may do so as long as sponsorship or endorsement by the university is not implied or stated. If used, organizations are restricted to the following:

  • The university’s name may only appear at the end of the organization's name and should be followed by the statement “a Recognized Student Organization” (i.e. Student organization at Florida State University, a Recognized Student Organization).
  • The title should follow one of these forms: (1) Florida State University; (2) FSU.


Copyrights and Trademarks

Where permission is necessary, the use of any registered University symbol or logo shall be by written agreement between the University and the user. Any individual, group, or organization desiring to use registered university symbols or logos, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, should contact the Director of University Trademark Licensing, who shall be responsible for determining the appropriateness of such use, and the execution of any necessary written agreement extending permission for use. All requests received by other university offices for permission to use the University's name, symbols, or logos should be referred to the Director of University Trademark Licensing. Proceeds derived from the use of university symbols or logos by third parties shall accrue to the Seminole Boosters, Inc. or other departments as determined by the President or designee.

The Director of University Trademark Licensing shall be responsible for general monitoring of the use of the University's registered symbols or logos and shall report to the Office of the University Attorney all uses which may constitute infringement of the University's registration.

Representing the University in an Official Capacity

According to the Florida Administrative Code, the only person(s) who can represent the University in an “official” capacity are University faculty, staff, administrators, and the Student Body President. No student, aside from the student body president, is ever considered an official representative of the University. This is especially important to understand when working with outside vendors, agents, etc.

RSO Review Process

The Recognized Student Organization (RSO) review process is in place to educate organizations about the responsibilities of having official University recognition, to hold organizations accountable for violations of University Policy, and to protect the rights of recognized student organizations. Students, faculty, staff, and community members can report any RSOs who violate any laws, University policies, or established protocols and procedures related to student organizations through the RSO Incident report found here. A Recognized Student Organization that has allegedly violated FSU’s expectations of RSOs will be subject to a review by the RSO Review Board, depending on the severity and/or frequency of the alleged violations of the group. After going through the review process, if the organization is found to be responsible for the alleged incident, they will be charged with appropriate sanctions, which could include probation or suspension of the organization for a period of time or loss of recognition status. For more details about the RSO Review Process or the RSO Review Board, see their Nole Central page at or contact the Student Activities Center.  Should the alleged violation also violate the Student Code of Conduct and/or Organizational Code of Conduct managed through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  Please refer to

Event Planning and Risk Management

Why is Planning for Events Important?

Anyone can plan an event, but it takes hard work and preparation to host a GREAT event! Even a simple meeting can involve advertising and promotion, coordinating the event agenda, contracting speakers, planning engaging activities, keeping up with committees and special projects, and providing and permitting refreshments. Just imagine what’s involved with bringing a big-name speaker, comedian, or performance to campus! The purpose of hosting events can vary (to communicate ideas, promote the organization, etc.) so it’s important to know both why you’re planning the event and how to do it successfully.

The Student Activities Center is available to provide assistance with event planning at all stages of the process. From setting event goals and conceptualizing the program to evaluation, we can work with you to make your event a success. Contact the Student Activities Center staff at 850-644-6673 to make an appointment to review your event plans and obtain assistance with the event permitting process.

**Please visit for event planning and permitting tips.

Paying for Your Event

Your organization can either use A&S Fees (SGA money) or off-campus private funding to pay for your event.

With A&S Fees
RSOs often request funds through the SGA Program Allocations Committee for event funding. Other options may be available as well. Information on funding procedures can be found at The SGA Financial Manual is available here:

With Off-Campus Private Funds
If you are using off-campus private funds (managed at a bank) to pay for your event, you should first ensure that you have the adequate amount of money in your account to fund the event. You do not want to overdraw your account or bounce any checks! After you verify the funds, you can purchase the items you need for your event. If one of these items includes bringing in someone or something from off-campus to provide a service at your event (ex. DJ, speaker, inflatables, rented equipment), you will need to complete a RSO Facilities Use Agreement for those individuals or groups. This form is also required if the vendor is unpaid. Companies providing rented equipment or services for on-campus events also must provide proof of insurance. Contact the Student Activities Center office for current guidelines regarding the event planning process.

Off-Campus Events with Alcohol
If your organization chooses to have an off-campus event with alcohol, your organization must still abide by the University’s Alcohol Policy. Additionally, be sure to follow all the tips and guidelines for Off-Campus Events with Alcohol provided by Student Activities. If your organization needs any help planning the event, be sure to contact Student Activities. FSU’s Alcohol Policy is available here:


Co-Sponsorships are a great way to combine ideas and resources to plan an event. Why compete when you can collaborate? RSOs may choose to co-sponsor programs with other RSOs, SGA agencies, community organizations, the Student Life Cinema, and/or Union Productions. Union Productions may be able to help with event costs if they decide to co-sponsor the event. Contact these organizations about event co-sponsorship well in advance of the event date to allow for ample planning time.

For information on co-sponsoring with Union Productions, visit  

For information on co-sponsoring with the Student Life Cinema, visit

Processing Contracts

Any event sponsored by a RSO, which brings an outside person or company to campus to provide a service, requires a contract. Regardless of the funding source (SGA, Off-Campus Account, etc), whether an artist is being paid or not, or the location, a contract is required. This includes, but is not limited to, DJs, speakers, bands, and conferences.

The contract process is split into two separate processes, depending on your funding source.  A&S Fee, or funding provided by SGA, contracts use one process. Off-campus funded and $0 (unpaid) vendors use another process. Each process has paperwork specific to that process; however, both processes need to be completed 15 business days in advance of your event.

Contracts for Events Using A&S Fees
Contracts using A&S fees (SGA funding of any kind or self-generated funds in an SGA account) are official legal documents on behalf of FSU, and therefore must ALWAYS be signed by official staff of the university. The Student Activities Center will ensure all contracts are routed and signed by the appropriate individual(s). Never sign an A&S Fee contract yourself—you could be responsible for paying the entire fee on your own! SGA Accounting has to verify that you have the appropriate funds in your A&S Fee account. 

When talking with a speaker or artist (or agent), never verbally commit to paying a certain fee or bringing the artist on a certain date. Verbal agreements are legally binding in the state of Florida.  Use language such as:

  • Can you give me a price quote for the lecture?
  • Is the artist available on a certain date, if we are also available?
  • I will pass this information on to the planning committee and respond back to you shortly.
  • Please send me an artist rider with the quoted fees and I will seek the necessary approvals. 

To complete an A&S Fee contract, you will need to follow current processed outlined by SGA.  Information and any appropriate procedures and forms can be found at In some cases (like most rentals or performing artists) they will send you a contract to have signed.  It is a good idea to ask for one to make sure you have everything well in advance so you can provide it with any SGA contract forms. Once SGA receives the contract and verifies funding, the contract will be forwarded to the Student Activities Center Contract Manager for processing.

For more information and assistance with this process, you can contact the Student Activities Center at 850-644-6673 or visit


Contracts for Events Using Off-Campus Funding or $0 (Unpaid)
Off-campus funded (private bank) or $0 (unpaid) contracts have two components: (1) a Facilities Use Agreement with the University, and (2) verification of insurance coverage, if applicable. 

In some cases (like most rentals or performing artists) they will send you a contract to have signed. It is a good idea to ask for one to make sure you have everything well in advance. If the vendor does not have a contract, it is encouraged to work one up on your own so all expectations and clearly outlined and agreed upon. 

The University cannot sign the contract portion of off-campus funded contracts since the University does not have any way to verify that the organization does indeed have the funds to pay the outside party. Thus, the University goes into an agreement with the organization for the space and the organization goes into an agreement with the outside party binding them to the event (i.e. the organization will sign the contract portion). However, the University can assist the organization with contract negotiation for the outside party and will review contracts for you to ensure the company is not transferring undue liability to your organization or the university.

To complete an off-campus funded or $0 contract, you will need to complete a Facilities Use Agreement, attach insurance coverage verification (if applicable and in adherence with current university guidelines) and turn it into the Student Activities Center for processing. Forms can be found online at

Notes on Specific Types of Events

The following types of events require Events Permits and meetings with Student Activities to discuss the perceptions and nuances of the event.

Gambling as a Form of Fundraising

All Recognized Student Organizations are expected to uphold all State of Florida laws. Specifically, gambling as a form of fundraiser, or as a fun activity, is not acceptable for any RSO. This includes, but is not limited to, raffles where tickets for the raffle are sold in exchange for an opportunity to win money or a prize(s); games or tournaments that have an entry fee; betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any University athletic event.

If an RSO is planning an event, such as Casino Night, or Poker Tournament, or raffle drawing, the RSO must meet with Student Activities by contacting 850-644-6673.

Types of Gambling are as follows:

  • Gaming - where the outcome is decided largely by chance. Examples include bingo, raffles, and card games including blackjack.
  • Betting or wagering - on the outcome of a future event. Examples include horse racing, Sports betting, and Internet betting.
  • Speculation - such as gambling on the stock market.


State of Florida Law

849.08 Gambling.--Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--RS 2651; s. 1, ch. 4514, 1895; GS 3579; RGS 5508; CGL 7666; s. 1063, ch. 71-136.

849.085 Certain penny-ante games not crimes; restrictions.--

(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is not a crime for a person to participate in a game described in this section if such game is conducted strictly in accordance with this section. (2)  As used in this section:

(a)  "Penny-ante game" means a game or series of games of poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mah-jongg in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or game do not exceed $10 in value.
(b)  "Dwelling" means residential premises owned or rented by a participant in a penny-ante game and occupied by such participant or the common elements or common areas of a condominium, cooperative, residential subdivision, or mobile home park of which a participant in a penny-ante game is a unit owner, or the facilities of an organization which is tax exempt under s. 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. The term "dwelling" also includes a college dormitory room or the common recreational area of a college dormitory or a publicly owned community center owned by a municipality or county.

(3)  A penny-ante game is subject to the following restrictions:

(a)  The game must be conducted in a dwelling.
(b)  A person may not receive any consideration or commission for allowing a penny-ante game to occur in his or her dwelling.
(c)  A person may not directly or indirectly charge admission or any other fee for participation in the game.
(d)  A person may not solicit participants by means of advertising in any form, advertise the time or place of any penny-ante game, or advertise the fact that he or she will be a participant in any penny-ante game.
(e)  A penny-ante game may not be conducted in which any participant is under 18 years of age.

(4)  A debt created or owed as a consequence of any penny-ante game is not legally enforceable.
(5)  The conduct of any penny-ante game within the common elements or common area of a condominium, cooperative, residential subdivision, or mobile home park or the conduct of any penny-ante game within the dwelling of an eligible organization as defined in subsection (2) or within a publicly owned community center owned by a municipality or county creates no civil liability for damages arising from the penny-ante game on the part of a condominium association, cooperative association, a homeowners' association as defined in s. 720.301, mobile home owners' association, dwelling owner, or municipality or county or on the part of a unit owner who was not a participant in the game.

Planning Poker & Other Games of Chance

In preparation for hosting an event which involves gambling/games of chance, you must complete the following steps in chronological order to have your event approved:

  1. Read the section of the Student Organization Handbook related to gambling and games of chance.
  2. Complete an Event Permit at You must include a very detailed description of the gambling or game of chance, including which games are being played, how it will be played, how prizes are awarded, etc.
  3. Schedule a meeting with Student Activities, to discuss the details of the event at 850-644-6673.


Important Details…

  • There is a minimal cost for space when any exchange of money occurs for programs hosted in the Oglesby Union, Askew Student Life Center, or Student Services Building. For pricing, please contact Guest Services at 850-644-6083 or visit
  • The Student Activities Center staff or designee reserves the right to attend the event.
  • Failure to follow policies and/or procedures can result in the loss of privileges and benefits of being a student organization and/or can be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.


Section 849.0935, Florida Statutes, authorizes qualified nonprofit corporations and their officers, employees and agents to conduct drawings by chance, provided certain conditions are met. All brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks used for such drawings must conspicuously disclose:

  (a) The rules governing the conduct and operation of the drawing.
  (b) The full name of the organization and its principal place of business.
  (c) The source of the funds used to award cash prizes or to purchase prizes.
  (d) The date, hour, and place where the winner will be chosen and the prizes will be awarded, unless the brochures, advertisements, notices, tickets, or entry blanks are not offered to the public more than 3 days prior to the drawing.
  (e) That no purchase or contribution is necessary.

It is unlawful for any organization that is authorized to conduct a drawing by chance to require an entry fee, donation, substantial consideration, payment, proof of purchase, or contribution as a condition of either entering the drawing or being selected to win a prize. Therefore, the organization distributing the raffle tickets may not require a contribution or donation in order to participate in the raffle; nor may it arbitrarily disqualify or reject any entry or discriminate in any manner between entrants who contribute to the organization and those who do not. It is also unlawful to fail to notify the person whose entry is selected to win that they have won, or to fail to award the prizes in the manner and at the time stated.

Funding and Fundraising

Activity and Service (A&S) Fee Funding

Students at Florida State University pay an A&S fee per credit hour as part of their institutional fees.  These fees are used to fund involvement opportunities on campus as well as several campus facilities. Agencies, bureaus, affiliated projects, funding boards, the Congress of Graduate Students, and student organizations are all eligible to receive and spend A&S funds. Please remember these funds are allocated to your organization to help it fulfill its mission.

For more information on funding, please visit and review the Financial Manual found here:

Funding Boards/Committees

Please check the SGA website for the most up-to-date and detailed information regarding organizational funding:

All graduate level organizations not affiliated with the College of Law or College of Medicine must apply for funding through Congress of Graduate Students (COGS). Contact the COGS Program Assistant at 644-7166 or  for more information.

Recognized Student Organizations affiliated with the Sport Club program within Campus Recreation must apply for funding via the Sport Club Allocations Committee. Contact the Director of Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs at 850-644-7698 or visit for information.

Off-Campus Banking

How to Open an Off-Campus Account:

  1. Establish a permanent on-campus address
    1. This address can be through the Student Activities Center, your advisor’s office address, the address of the department your organization is advised under, etc.
  2. Request a Federal Employers’ ID Number (EIN number), also referred to as a Tax ID Number (TIN or FEID#)
    1. This is similar to a social security number for your organization. This number is used to identify your organization for tax purposes with the IRS
    2. See below for Step by Step on requesting your EIN number

**Don’t forget** Obtaining an EIN number does not mean your organization becomes an official 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization that is exempt from federal taxes**

  1. Visit a local bank or credit union to establish your account
    1. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your IRS EIN letter
    2. It is recommended that 2 members of your organization are signatures on the account

** Remember: Please note: the organization will still pay taxes on purchases with the off-campus bank account, but will not have to file a tax return. **

Things to consider before setting up an account:

  • Checking – Is it free? Cost of checks? How many signers will be on the account? Who will have access to account’s information?
  • ATM cards – who will have them, how many? How will these be passed down to new officers? Who will pick PIN?
  • How many transactions are permitted during a month without cost?
  • Is there a required minimum balance?


Obtaining 501(c)3 Status:
It is recommended that if your organization is connected to a nonprofit organization that you use their 501(c)3 status. For example, Dance Marathon at FSU does not have 501(c)3 status but they can use the status of the Children’s Hospital they are connected to be exempt and to share with potential sponsors for tax purposes.

**If you want to obtain this  non-profit status, here is a link to 5 easy steps:


Requesting your EIN Number Online
Complete this online application and you will obtain your EIN number immediately (please print or save for your records):

  1. Click on this link:
  2. Begin Application
  3. Click “View Additional Types, Including Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations’ and click continue
  4. Click “PTA/PTO or School Organization” and click continue
  5. Choose “I am a responsible and duly authorized officer or member of this organization”
  6. Type the permanent address your organization is using
  7. Legal name of PTA/PTO/School Organization is your organization’s name, County is Leon County,

** Remember you cannot have Florida State or FSU in the beginning of your organization’s name. Ex. Dance Marathon at FSU is allowed but FSU Dance Marathon is NOT! **

  1. Select NO for all the options
  2. Click Other and click continue and then click “Organization”
  3. Select the category that best describes your organization. Ex. Dance Marathon at FSU would select Fundraising and specify: “Raise funds for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Pediatric Outreach Programs”
  4. Click receive letter online, review information and submit!
  5. If and when the address or individual’s name on the account changes- make sure to update changes to the IRS

Officer Transition Plan:

  • When you are no longer associated with the student organization, due to graduation or any other reason, be sure to communicate with the bank and have your personal information removed from any accounts
    • If you don’t remove yourself from the accounts, you can be held responsible for financial obligations. Also transferring your account status to a current organization member ensures a smooth transition for the organization


Tips to Successful Finance Management

  • Create a budget, save receipts and track spending and share with organization members and advisor
  • Meet with advisor to develop a internal approval process for all organization spending
  • Maintain monthly reports that the treasurer can share with the organization members and advisor
  • Have 2 signatures on the account
  • Create a transition plan to update financial information when officers transition
  • Have a semester meeting with entire organization going over organization finances
  • Keep a receipt book when collecting dues
  • Make sure to have a witness when counting and depositing funds (this can be dues or fundraised monies) 


Fundraising Allowed on Campus
Fundraisers are allowed on Florida State University’s campus as long as you submit an Event Permit and do not charge admission into a reservable space. As a recognized student organization, your organization has the privilege to reserve space on campus free of charge. If you want to charge students for an event on campus, you will have to pay for your venue space.

**Note: you ARE allowed to ask for optional donations to attend an event on campus**

Some fundraiser ideas on campus include:

  • Sell merchandise or food items while tabling on Landis Green (tip: be very detailed on what food you’re selling, where it’s coming from and how it is being handled for the Event Permit. It’ll need to be approved)
  • Host a carnival event where students pay for tickets to participate in certain booths
  • Host a coin war competition with different organizations
  • Promote social media challenges (ie. Dye hair a certain color when a monetary goal is reached)

**Note: it is not encouraged to use online platforms such as GoFundMe to fundraise for your organization**

For any questions regarding successfully fundraising on campus, email Student Activities at   

University Policies and Procedures

Student Code of Conduct, Codes and Policies

The Florida State University Student Conduct Code applies the principles found in the "Statement on Values at Florida State University" by promoting responsible freedom for all students. Responsible freedom is exercised when actions are directed by ethical standards. This Code seeks to apply the principle of responsible freedom as it guides the conduct of FSU students. Moreover, the Code operates as a vehicle for informing students about their rights and responsibilities while reinforcing the development of ethical standards that make responsible freedom possible. FSU jurisdiction regarding discipline is generally limited to conduct of any student or Recognized Student Organization that occurs on Florida State University premises. However, the University reserves the right to impose discipline based on any student conduct, regardless of location, that may adversely affect the University community and its international programs. 

Students and RSOs should be aware of the Student Code of Conduct and the Student Organization Code of Conduct, as they are the documents that should guide their behavior and operations. To view the code in its entirety, please visit

Alcohol Policies

Please refer to the FSU Alcohol Policy at:

Florida's Hazing Law

All students involved in social activities at Florida State University should visit to learn about our community’s strong stance against hazing behavior. 

On the website, students can hear student leaders discuss the issue, read Florida’s criminal hazing law and FSU’s policy, test their knowledge about hazing information and resources, report incidents they observe in the community and list their name and organization’s commitment to providing a safe and hazing-free environment.

Florida’s Hazing Law
Florida’s hazing law is called the ‘Chad Meredith Act’

In 2001, University of Miami student Chad Meredith returned from a concert and began drinking with two officers of Kappa Sigma, a fraternity he wished to join. After several hours of drinking, the group tried to swim across Lake Osceola near campus. Meredith had a blood alcohol level of 0.13. He drowned 34 feet from shore in six feet nine inches of water. Although, the fraternity officers protested that the incident was not a fraternity-sanctioned hazing event, a jury found otherwise, and awarded the deceased student’s family a $12.6 million verdict in a negligence suit based on hazing.

Under Florida’s law, "hazing" includes, but is not limited to:

  • Pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law;
  • Any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or other forced physical activity that which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student;
  • Any activity that which would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that which could result in extreme embarrassment;
  • Other forced activity that which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.

Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions or any activity or conduct that furthers a legal and legitimate objective.

In 2005, Florida became the first State to designate hazing as a felony

A person commits hazing, a third-degree felony, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing results in serious bodily injury or death of such other person.

A person commits hazing, a first-degree misdemeanor, when he or she intentionally or recklessly commits any act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization and the hazing creates a substantial risk of physical injury or death to such other person.

In Florida and at Florida State University, you cannot defend hazing behavior by stating:

  • The consent of the victim had been obtained;
  • The conduct or activity that resulted in the death or injury of a person was not part of an official organizational event or was not otherwise sanctioned or approved by the organization; Or
  • The conduct or activity that resulted in death or injury of the person was not done as a condition of membership to an organization.


Hazing-Free Community Pledge
All students are encouraged to submit their name and organization on to let others know that you are committed to creating a safe community for Seminoles.

“I have read FSU’s Hazing Policy and agree that hazing is harmful for students and our community and contrary to the values of Florida State University.  By signing this pledge, I commit to lead by example and will not support, condone, or participate in any hazing activities throughout my involvement in student organizations, sports clubs, or athletic teams.


Florida State University
The Student Conduct Code outlines behavior expected of all students.

Hazing is…  any group or individual action or activity that endangers the mental or physical health or safety or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participant(s). Although hazing is generally related to a person’s initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any group or organization, it is not necessary that a person’s initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity, or that the activity was sanctioned or approved by the organization, for a charge of hazing to be upheld. The actions of active, associate, new, and/or prospective members of an organization may be considered hazing.

Hazing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unreasonable interference with a student's academic performance
  • Forced or coerced consumption of food, alcohol, drugs, or any other substance
  • Forced or coerced wearing of apparel which is conspicuous and/or inappropriate
  • Forced or coerced exclusion from social contact
  • Branding
  • Creation of unnecessary fatigue (including but not limited to acts that stem from forced physical activity, such as calisthenics and deprivation of sleep)
  • Deprivation of food
  • Beating, whipping, or paddling in any form
  • Line-ups and berating
  • Physical and/or psychological shocks
  • Personal servitude
  • Kidnapping or abandonment
  • Unreasonable exposure to the weather
  • Any activity that would be viewed by a reasonable person as subjecting any person to embarrassment, degradation or humiliation
  • Expectation of participation in activities that are unlawful, lewd or in violation of University policy

Oglesby Union Board Policy

The Union Board was established to develop policy and guidelines for activities, programs, and services in the Oglesby Union. The Union Board represents the university community so that facilities, services, and amenities of the highest standard are offered to meet the needs and interests of this community. Specific responsibilities of the Oglesby Union Board include the following:

  • Develop the Union Board Policy Manual
  • Administer space assignments in union facilities through the Space Committee
  • Participate in the budgetary process for the overall union budget
  • Offer input on long-range planning issues for the union

For more information on the Oglesby Union, including contact information and a current Union Board Policy Manual, please visit or stop by their office in the Student Activities Center.

Amplified Sound Policy

RSOs that would like to have amplified sound at an outdoor event will need to request approval for amplified sound during the event permitting process. To ensure that amplified sound does not interfere with the academic processes or activities of the University, the Union Board has implemented an Amplified Sound Policy. This policy pertains to areas outside Oglesby Union including and, including but not limited to, the Union Green and Langford Green. The Director of the Oglesby Union can grant exceptions to the Amplified Sound Policy.

Amplified sound will be permitted during the following times:
Monday through Friday 12pm to 1:00pm
Friday from 5 PM to 11:30 PM
Saturday from 12 PM to 11:30 PM
Sunday from 3 PM to 7 PM

For more information about the Amplified Sound Policy, you can refer to the Union Board Manual found at

University Posting Policy

It is important that the campus environment remains aesthetically pleasing and welcoming for faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, and visitors. The campus should be free from excessive and abusive postings, chalking and the distribution of commercial and promotional materials, which deface, and depreciate the value of our grounds, facilities, and campuses. To ensure proper posting, FSU has a posting policy that applies to all entities that post, including student organizations. The University Posting Policy can be found online at

Market Wednesday Guidelines

Market Wednesday is a medley of activities that occurs every Wednesday of the semester in the Oglesby Union courtyard. A combination of recognized student organizations, market vendors, and passersby makes the Union the place to be on Wednesdays. The event occurs every Wednesday during the school year. If you are interested in participating, find more information at or contact the Student Activities Center at 850-644-6673.

Recognized Student Organizations
RSOs can participate in Market Wednesday by tabling, fundraising, or sponsoring the amplified sound hour. The Student Activities Center and the Student Organization Advisory and Resource (SOAR) Board encourage all RSOs to join us every Wednesday to help highlight our student organizations and to help get students involved on campus. If you have ideas for Market Wednesday events, questions, or concerns, you can contact SOAR Board at

RSOs can participate in Market Wednesday by reserving a table to promote their events, recruit new members, or just show off their group. All RSO tables will be on the south side of Moore Auditorium.

Table reservations can be made online at from 10:00 am on Thursday until 4:00 pm on Tuesday before each Market Wednesday each week. Once registered, check-in and set-up will begin at 9:30 am Wednesday morning.

The following policies must be followed when tabling:

  • Check-in begins at 9:30 am. Someone must be at your table no later than 10:30 am or your table may be reassigned to other organizations on the waiting list.
  • You must have a current FSU ID and table reservation confirmation upon check-in. You must also present the confirmation page emailed to you after registering for the table online. You can print the confirmation or show it on your Smartphone.
  • Each student may only reserve a table for ONE RSO.
  • Each RSO may only reserve ONE table.
  • Reservations must be made online EACH WEEK. Reservations do not roll over each week.
  • If no more tables are available online, your organization will be placed on a waiting list. Waiting list organizations will be given tables that have been unclaimed after 10:30 am Wednesday morning. Organizations on the waiting list will be contacted at the phone number given at registration if and when tables become available.
  • To cancel a table registration, you must email PRIOR to that Wednesday.
  • If your organization registers for a table and does not show up for Market Wednesday, sanctions may be imposed. After the THIRD time, your organization does not show, your tabling privileges at Market Wednesday will be revoked for the remainder of the semester.
  • All materials/set-up must fit within your organization’s tablespace. You may not interfere with another area.
  • The University Posting Policy ( must be followed at all times. This means no posters/banners/flyers can be taped to painted surfaces or brick walls, absolutely no balloons can be used outside, and all chalking must be in the pre-approved areas.
  • Tables and chairs CANNOT be moved for any reason.
  • Please make sure all trash is discarded into trash cans during Wednesdays and especially before leaving your table for the day. Consistent violators will be asked not distribute flyers to promote their organization, event, activity, etc.
  • If your organization is planning to do a bake sale, a Food Permit must be completed through the event permitting process, and receive approval. If your organization is planning to sell any other items, you will need to table as a vendor. Vendor tables can be reserved through Oglesby Union Guest Services. More information can be found at
  • If your organization wants to sponsor the Amplified Sound Hour, you must complete an Amplified Sound Hour request form and get approval in addition to registering for a table.
  • Any violations of these policies may result in the loss of tabling privileges at Market Wednesday.


RSOs can also fundraise during Market Wednesday. If your group would like to do a bake sale, all you need to do is complete a food permit as part of the event permit process and table with the other RSOs. If your organization would like to sell any items other than food, you must register to table with the vendors at Market Wednesday. You can find the vendor forms online (, and you will be charged a small fee to participate.

Amplified Sound Hour
Another way RSOs can utilize Market Wednesday is to sponsor the Amplified Sound Hour. This occurs every Wednesday from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. RSOs can use the time to choose the music, showcase a band, or show off their own performance skills. Requests to sponsor the hour must be made online, and dates are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Organizations may only sponsor one date per semester. Market Wednesday Sound Hour Reservations happen in 20 minute blocks: 12:00-12:20, 12:20-12:40 & 12:40-1:00.

Market Wednesday is designed to showcase local vendors who wish to sell products on-site. The event occurs every Wednesday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Load in can begin as early as 7:00 am, and all vendors must be packed up no later than 6:00 pm. All vendor tables are located on the east side of Moore Auditorium. To participate, you must complete the Vendor Form found online at in the “Forms” section.

Student Organization Travel

The University is not liable for any student who travels (other than the SGA President). However, the Student Activities Center realizes that some RSOs may travel to conferences, competitions, or other events to promote their organization or to convene with other chapters of the large state or national organization. All members of RSOs are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner when they travel and within the Florida State University Student Code of Conduct and in a manner that does not detract from the reputation of the university.  Find more information, tips, forms, and resources for student organization travel at

* Please note that FSU does NOT provide insurance coverage for personal vehicles or any individuals in the vehicle. 

The Florida State University Policy for International Experiences

The Florida State University recognizes the importance of preparing students to be successful citizens in the global society of the 21st century and supports international study and intercultural experiences as an integral part of the academic, social and cultural development process of a university education. The following policy has been developed and adopted to ensure the safety and security of all students participating in international experiences. In addition, the policy attempts to ensure that all international programs are academically and culturally enriching experiences. 

The following programs require a Student International Experience Plan (SIEP): international awards funded through Florida State University, international experiences through the Center for Leadership and Civic Education, Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and the Career Center, Recognized Student Organization (RSO), university sponsored or other university-funded international experiences.

For detailed information on International Experiences and the Student International Experience Plan (SIEP), please go to


Waivers should be used for RSO travel, activities that have liability concerns (5Ks, bringing children on campus, inflatables, etc), and any other events deemed necessary. The Student Activities Center has worked with FSU Legal Counsel to prepare several different types of waivers for student organizations. Please visit to obtain copies of sample waivers, or contact the Student Activities Center at 644-6673 for additional information about waivers.

Crisis Response

While RSOs are advised to plan their activities and events in such a way as to avert a crisis, it is important to proactively plan how to respond in the event one should occur. Intentional development of a crisis response plan prior to an event or activity will empower the organization to effectively respond. Educating members prior to a crisis is crucial. All organization members must know who is in charge and be prepared to follow the plan. The following information is intended to assist students in the development of a crisis response plan, but should not be considered a complete plan, rather a guide for designing a protocol that fits the organization’s needs.

As a student leader, it is important to understand that crisis can happen to you and your organization. If this happens, know that you are not alone. Call on the resources of Victim Advocate, FSUPD, First Responders, the University Counseling Center, or any other pertinent office to assist you. It is important to be aware of your own feelings, perceptions, and issues so that you can monitor your ability to cope with the difficult situation.

General Crisis Response Plan

  • Develop a crisis response strategy for your organization prior to your event or program.
  • Create a step by step process for what to do in case of a crisis.
  • Designate organizational officers and crisis team who can take charge of a crisis situation.
  • Review your crisis response plan on a regular basis and update your plan as needed.
  • If medical attention is needed, attend to those needs before doing anything else. You can call 911 or the FSU First Responders at 644-3349.
  • For assistance with event statements and/or reporting events contact FSUPD at 644-1234.
  • For assistance with crisis management, call FSU’s Victim Advocate office at 644-7161 or 644-2277. The Victim Advocate program provides support to victims of crime. An advocate is on call twenty-four hours a day to respond to FSU students who are victimized or any other person who is victimized on our campus or in our community. Services offered include emotional support, instructor notification, referrals, and educational programming for our campus community. 
  • Contact the Student Activities Center at 644-6673 to inform them of the situation.

Sample Emergency Contact Card

RSOs should create emergency contact cards for their organization. Contact cards should be kept in a permanent visible location, as well as brought to organization events and/or when traveling.  These contact cards will enable organization members to react quickly in an emergency and reach pertinent people.

An emergency contact card can be created in a variety of ways. The following is one example:

Organization President 850-555-1234 Mom, 850-555-6789
Organization Advisor    
Student Activities Center 850-644-6673  
FSUPD 850-644-1234  
FSU First Responders 850-644-3349  
FSU Victim Advocate
(nights and weekends)

850-644-7167 or 850-644-1234



Organizing Your RSO

A Consultation: The Student Activities Center

The Student Activities Center is available to provide consultations with your organization. We can assist you with leadership skills training, understanding group dynamics, and conflict mediation. Contact the Student Activities Center staff at 644-6673 to make an appointment for a consultation session.

What it Means to Be a Member

Being in a group can offer many advantages if you are willing to put something of yourself into the experience. You have an opportunity to make friends, to work with students from various backgrounds and in different fields of study, to gain experience in leadership and in community activity, and to serve your university. A group member’s responsibility to the group can be best summed up in the member’s Code of Conduct:

As a member of a group I will:

  • Accept membership only when I feel I have the time and energy to do the job well.
  • Attend meetings regularly, and when this is impossible, strive to catch up on what I have missed.
  • Seek to understand the job assignment of the group, interpret it to others, and work to complete it in the allocated time.
  • Participate in the deliberations with preparedness and objectivity.
  • Share the time of discussion with other members and stick with the topic at hand.
  • Listen and seek to understand and utilize the ideas of other group members.
  • Evaluate my contribution to the group and encourage the group as a whole to evaluate its work.

Running an Effective Meeting

Careful planning is the secret to running an effective meeting. Poorly planned or unplanned meetings are typically viewed as boring, unproductive, and a waste of time. However, with proper planning, any meeting can be productive and fun.

Benefits of Keeping Minutes

Meeting minutes are beneficial because they provide:

  • the official records of an organization, the processes utilized in democratic decision-making, and the results of an organization effort.
  • a valuable review of the activities of the past, and aid in report writing and formulation of future activities and programs.
  • credibility and accountability for an organized program effort.
  • members who could not attend a meeting with information regarding the organization.
  • help with follow-up on organization actions and committee assignments.
  • help in formulating the agenda for the next meeting.

continuity between organization committees and organization activities.


People are the most important ingredient of any organization. Recruiting quality people is a difficult task at best. Yet, it is an on-going responsibility that should be done throughout the year and not restricted to a designated time period. The continued existence of your organization depends on the recruitment of quality people.

Possible ways to recruit student organizations are by participating in the Involvement Fair every semester, tabling at Market Wednesday promoting events via Nole Central, etc.

Social Media

If your organization chooses to have social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. be sure to store all of the passwords in one area. Additionally, we recommend that multiple individuals have access to each social media account. There are many ways that RSOs can be promoted via social media whether that is through their own accounts or SOAR Board’s account. Social Media is a great way to promote your organization, events, etc.

Selecting an Advisor

All Recognized Student Organizations are required to have an advisor. Your advisor MUST be a full-time faculty or staff employee at Florida State University. Adjunct faculty and graduate/teaching assistants are not eligible to be an RSO advisor.  Note that employees managing any student discipline process may be ineligible to serve as RSO advisors. 

When selecting an advisor, you may want to find someone who can easily take a personal interest in your group and whom you feel can work well with the organization. If your organization has alumni who are full-time FSU employees, consider asking one of them to serve as your advisor. If your group is focused around a particular interest or discipline, try asking a faculty member in that department. Be sure to have a conversation with your advisor to establish expectations of the advisor’s role with your organization. If you need help in selecting an advisor, please contact the Student Activities Center at 850-644-6673.

Officer Training and Transition

The key to a successful transition is new officer orientation. Outgoing officers and advisors should plan either several orientation workshops or an organizational training retreat to provide information to the incoming officers to continue the success of the organization.

Topic to Discuss at Transition Meetings

  • Historical perspectives of the organization
  • Constitution and by-laws
  • Policies and procedures
  • Officers job descriptions’ / background information
  • Meeting minutes, historical records
  • Previous years’ goals, projects, and activities
  • Preview years’ budget
  • Financial records
  • Suggested changes
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Resources of contact lists of important people
  • Roles and expectations of officers and advisor for the coming year
  • Leadership/skill-building sessions - can be facilitated by advisors, outgoing officers, or outside resources and may include: delegation, recruitment ideas, communication, etc.
  • Always ask for feedback and questions
  • Passwords, Copy Codes, email address information, etc.

Other Helpful Hints

Treasurers and presidents will need to meet with the new officers to change over bank information - especially permission for the new signers if your organization has an off-campus bank account at the local banks, PIN numbers, records of budget and finances, and checks. Be sure to lookout for funding board dates and deadlines for early Fall.  Also refer back to the financial information provided in this manual. 

Officer Duties
New officers sometimes don’t know where to begin. Encourage your officers to create a quick to do list for the new officers, including advice and suggestions. See attached handout for sample form. It is also a good idea to pass along manuals, folders, and documents that were used, both electronic and hard copy.

Create a contact sheet
Collect names, email addresses, and phone numbers of new and old officers so the executive board can continue to communicate over the summer to help with forwarding of information.

Important Dates
Be sure to let your new officers know of important dates and deadlines.


An advisor is a full-time faculty and/or staff member of FSU that agrees to be an educational resource and consultant for an organization and its members. The advisor should be a caring individual with a genuine interest for students, the organization, and their programs and activities.

Advisor Guidelines

  • To serve as a mentor for the student organization and serve as a liaison between the University and the organization
  • To be familiar with the Florida State University Student Code of Conduct and Student Organization Code of Conduct at and other institutional guidelines that establish expectations for student behavior and activities
  • To attend executive officer meetings, general meetings, and organization events when possible

Principles & Practices of an Effective Advisor

  • Develop leaders by challenging the students to strive for excellence
  • Encourage and assist the student organization in setting & reaching goals
  • Promote diversity within the organization and campus involvement
  • Establish a consistent working relationship with leaders and members
  • Coach officers in principles of good organizational and administrative skills
  • Provide continuity to the organization’s policies, programs, and traditions
  • Encourage organization to participate in Leadership Awards Night
  • Advise organization’s officers on finances and review financial statements periodically
  • Facilitate officer transition and orientation of new members

Advisor Resources

  • The Student Activities Center (SAC) will provide advisors with relevant articles, newsletters, and professional development opportunities throughout the year as they become available through the advisors' listserv.
  • An Advisor Manual is available with further details for advisors and their roles available at

Campus Departments

Name Phone Number Website
Student Activities Center 850-644-6673
Guest Services 850-644-6083
Student Government Association 850-644-1811
Oglesby Union 850-644-6860
Career Center 850-644-6431
Center for Leadership and Social Change 850-644-3342
Challenge Course 850-644-6124
Dean of Students (DOS) 850-644-2428
FSU Police 850-644-1234
Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life 850-644-9574
Center for Global Engagement 850-644-1702
Campus Recreation 850-644-0548
Student Disability Resource Center 850-644-9566
University Health Services 850-644-6230
Victim Advocate Program 850-644-7161

RSO Handbook 2018

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