Student Organizations Handbook
The Student Organization Manual is a resource for every student organization here on campus. It outlines student organization and university policies that guide you in planning your events.
Student organizations are required to comply with the policies and procedures set forth in the manual.
Student Organization members are urged to consult their advisors and the Office of the Dean of Students on the Hammond campus and the Office of Student Life on the Westville campus to ensure compliance with university regulations concerning their activities. This manual is not meant in any way to replace consultation with a group’s faculty/staff advisor or with the Offices of the Dean of Students and Student Life.
Students using this manual are asked to provide suggestions on additional items they would like to see included in future editions. Questions or comments are encouraged.
Registered Student Organizations
Student organizations are an important part of the PNW community and the goal of student learning both inside and outside the classroom. There are a variety of different types of student organizations connected to a wide variety of interests. Being involved with a student organization at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) gives any student the opportunity to meet new people, enhance their academic experience, build key skills that will help them launch into life after PNW, and contribute to the university community.
Student organizations that are official registered student organizations (RSO) are entitled to unique benefits only available to RSO groups. RSOs receive support from the Office of Student life in navigating PNW policies and procedures, planning events, and negotiating contracts.
Additionally, the office of Student Life works with RSO leaders to build a vibrant RSO that can be sustained and truly thrive and provides opportunities for leadership training.
- RSOs receive a My PNW Life group page to help their student organization connect with potential
members, publicize information about meetings and events, and to help keep all their information in a centralized location through transitions in leadership.
- RSOs can request to have an organizational PNW email address.
- RSOs will be listed on the PNW Student Life website.
- RSOs receive access to apply for funding through the Student Government Association’s Student Service Fee (SSF) allocation. RSOs make applications for an SSF budget for each academic year. Additionally, RSOs receive a revenue account (COOL account) with the PNW Business Office in the organization’s name. Finally, RSOs have access to the Student Life Credit Card for making purchases. Space: RSOs have the ability to reserve event and meeting spaces across campus free of charge. This includes requests for tables, AV equipment, etc.
- Academic Interests
- Special Interests
- Greek Life
- Academic or Department Honor
- Multicultural and Identity
Every RSO needs to fill out a registration form and signature authorization form every year.
Want to start a new RSO?
- Check in with the Student Life office to see if an org already exists or has existed and to get other tips for starting a new successful org.
- Find 2 other students and decide officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer)
- Find an advisor
- Name your student organization
- Create a constitution (sample constitution)
- Submit registration form
- Submit a signed authorization form
- This form will be emailed to you upon processing of your RSO form
- Participate in Student Org Leader Training
- Start meeting and hosting events and let the fun begin!
Recognized student organizations are officially sanctioned by Purdue University Northwest. By virtue of their relationship with the university, recognized organizations are given access to use official university logos and name.
Recognized student organizations may use the registered name “Purdue University Northwest,” “Purdue Northwest”, or “PNW” and official university colors. “Purdue NW”, “Purdue University” or “Purdue” are not an approved references for the university.
For the most current information on student organization brand guidelines, please see the Marketing and Communications brand guidelines.
Every Registered Student Organization will:
- Be student led and managed by student officers
- Have an advisor who is a full-time faculty or staff
- Adhere to the policies and procedures of Purdue University Northwest
- Communicate and work with the office of Student Life when planning events and activities
- Have an executive committee member attend RSO leadership meetings
- Maintain the Student Organizations My PNW Life group page
Each registered student organization will provide opportunities for student members to experience leadership and self-growth; display conduct that nurtures diversity; develop career-ready skills such as strategic planning, budget management, communication and teamwork; and promote an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels valued.
Each year, all student organizations are required to renew their organization’s registration documents. Registration for each academic year begins in May. For example, registration for the 2022-2023 academic year begins in May 2022. Student Organization leaders will need to complete and submit the Registration, Signature Authorization and Social Media Registration (if they have social media) Forms to the Office of Student Life.
Each student organization must complete a Registration Form and a Signature Authorization Form in full. A Registration Form will list all of the organization’s officers and advisors.
Please note that all officers and members must be registered PNW students and enrolled in at least one class in the current semester. A staff member will verify student status of officers when an organization submits its form.
A Registration Form must be on file in the Office of Student Life before the end of the fourth week of the academic year in order for the organization to operate. If changes are made within the organization such as an officer change or election, a revised Registration Form must be submitted to the Office of Student Life within three weeks. Any questions or to update information email: Studentlife@pnw.edu
Once the Registration Form is processed the RSO will receive a Signature Authorization Form. This form must be completed in full and submitted to the Office of Student Life. Upon approval, the Office of Student Life will provide the form to the PNW Business Office and Bursar Office.
Each RSO will be provided a financial account on campus (COOL account). Off-Campus Bank Accounts are not permitted for PNW RSOs.
Each organization is required to submit a Social Media Registration Form in order for the Office of Student Life and the Marketing and Communications team to monitor the student organization’s social media presence PNW requires that all University-sponsored social media outlets be used in accordance with the University’s social media policy.
The Social Media Registration form requests the organization’s social media URLs and names of all account administrators. Please note that all student organization social media accounts must have two full-time staff or faculty members as account administrators.
RSO leadership Training is designed to give you the tools you need to have a successful year as an RSO!
Training will provide leaders with an understanding of key procedures and policies. It will also provide student leaders with information about services available to them and tips to promote growth and success. Attendance by an RSO leader is required to be an RSO and to access your SSF and COOL account funding.
RSO leaders are responsible for conducting business for the student organization by completing facility reservation requests, event requests, fundraising requests, advertising requests, maintaining their My PNW Life page, checking email for the organization, attending Student Life RSO leadership meetings, being familiar with University policies, and educating other organization members about University policies.
An organization member is defined as a currently enrolled Purdue University Northwest student who attends regular meetings, assists with/attends organization events on a regular basis, and/or has paid yearly dues. The operation of student organizations must remain with the student members. Full voting privileges may only be granted to Purdue University Northwest Students. Students must be free to join or leave an organization without being subjected to pressure, harassment or intimidation. Hazing is prohibited by university policy for all student organizations.
Individual student organizations can impose special eligibility requirements for its members. In these instances, the student organization should outline those requirements in its constitution, and these requirements must adhere to university policies. RSOs not open to all PNW students are not eligible for SSF funding.
All student organizations must have a full-time faculty or staff advisor who is willing to support the organization in a volunteer capacity in order to be registered with the Office of Student Life. If your RSO has a social media account then you are required to have 2 advisors, per PNW’s social media policy. Student organizations are given the privilege to select their advisor. The faculty or staff advisors act as the link between PNW and the organization. Their purpose is to serve as a resource and help the RSO set and achieve objectives.
If the RSO has a PNW email the advisor will have proxy access to the email account. This will allow the advisor to update the password and help transition the email access between RSO leadership each year.
The members of the RSO are responsible for:
- keeping their advisor informed of plans and activities of the organization
- inviting the advisor to all RSO events and meetings
- requesting the advisor’s input if a question of policy is involved.
Every organization must have a submitted and approved constitution to become a registered student organization. A copy of the organization’s constitution including amendments and by-laws must be on file with the Office of Student Life. A constitution template is available through the Office of Student Life. Each organization must customize the template to fit its organizational structure and function.
Every member should have a copy or have access to the organization’s constitution. Individuals must update their constitution once every three years or as changes are made. The student organization should revise and vote on constitutional changes. This includes changing an organization’s name. Revisions and/or changes to any part of the constitution must be submitted and presented to the Office of Student Life for approval. Revisions to the Constitution must include the signature of the president, vice president and advisor. Changes are allowed and should be considered if your organization finds a conflict with the existing approved constitution. The student organization operates on the most recently signed constitution.
Once an organization recruits members it is important to keep them involved and engaged.
- Ideas for keeping your members active:
Communicate, communicate, communicate…make sure members know what is going on. Can they find the meeting spot? Do they know what time? Is the information on My PNW life?
- Schedule consistent meetings
- Involve them in the decision-making process
- Organize team-building activities
- Make sure they know what role they play in the organization
- Give them leadership opportunities (event planning, head of a committee, etc.)
- Have returning members mentor new members to help them learn about the org and get engaged
- Celebrate birthdays and accomplishments
- Plan social events just for the members so they get to know each other
- (bowling, mini-golf, pizza and movie night, etc.)
- Recognize people for their hard work
- Get to know your members and what they want to gain from the organization
- Volunteer together
- Share PNW information and support one another
At the end of each academic year, there are usually some student leaders that are graduating or need to step down from leadership for other reasons. It is important to start the transition to new leadership early. Make sure members know how they can move into a leadership role and what the expectations are for each leadership role.
Leaders should be paying attention to members and noticing leadership potential that they can foster in preparation for when they leave the organization. Allow for a few weeks to transition from outgoing leaders to new leaders. Outgoing leaders should have a meeting with new leadership to discuss responsibilities and other key information that pertains to the organization.
At the end of the academic year, new leaders should complete the RSO for the upcoming academic year. If a transition happens mid-year the organization should inform student life of any leadership changes.
Marketing, Promotion and Communication
As an RSO your organization will have a My PNW Life page. This page will help your organization to connect with PNW students, share information about your events, and store key information for your organization through student leadership transition.
Recognized student organizations are officially sanctioned by Purdue University Northwest. By virtue of their relationship with the university, recognized organizations are given access to use official university logos.
Showing Affiliation with Purdue University Northwest
Recognized student organizations should use the official university name or logos when communicating.
Organizations may brand merchandise and other communications with official marks so long as those marks are used in the manner prescribed by the university guidelines and all merchandise is purchased through licensed vendors.
When organizations use official marks to show affiliation with PNW, university marks must be separate and distinct from the organizations’ logos.
Student organizations often develop logos to brand themselves and to differentiate themselves from other organizations.
Logos for student organizations must not include the official university lockup logo, monogram logo, lion, or other registered marks of the university. These marks are official branding marks and distinctive graphics for the university. As such, using them in organization logos presents brand confusion and affects the integrity and recognizability of the university’s logo.
No additional replica or alternative variations of the official logos or marks are allowed.
When producing logos, recognized student organizations may use the registered name “Purdue University Northwest,” “Purdue Northwest”, or “PNW” and official university colors. “Purdue NW” is not an approved reference for the university.
Type treatments used for the name “Purdue University Northwest” must be ostensibly different from the university wordmark. Do not use the typefaces found in the university art to typeset “Purdue University Northwest”, “Purdue Northwest” or “PNW” in organization logos.
Pantone colors 110 (Gold) and Black are available for use in organization logos. Visit the Brand Guidelines page for a full set of color codes for each official university color.
All student organization logos need to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Life prior to use.
Student organizations are able to utilize the weekly email that Student Life distributes to all students to promote their events. Organizations are not permitted to use an All Student ListServ through the Office of Student Life or other campus partners to send individual messages. Any exemption must be approved by the Office of Student Life.
According to Purdue’s Social Media Policy, in the section, “Assignment of Account Administrators,” it states that there must be at least two Account Administrators – individuals “must be benefits-eligible faculty or staff.”
All University-Sponsored Social Media Outlets must contain one of the following disclaimers.
(If character space allows, sites are to use the full version disclaimer; a short version is provided for sites that have limited character space.)
- Full Version: Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the official views of Purdue University Northwest. This site may contain links to websites and services outside the Purdue University Northwest domain. Purdue University Northwest does not endorse, takes no responsibility for and exercises no control over the views or content contained on these independent sites, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on them. Purdue University Northwest cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the independent site.
- Short Version: Opinions expressed on this site may not represent the official views of Purdue University Northwest.
- Organization name: Organization name should not start with PNW or Purdue Northwest.
- Student Organization Description: Offer a short description of who you are, what you offer and why interested students would want to join. This should be outlined in 35 to 150 words.
- Feature Image (Optional): If you have good photo assets, we recommend sharing one to include with your organization listing. This helps personalize the organization, adding interest and offering a sense of what you do. Images will be featured at 900 x 600 pixels, so the image shared needs to be horizontal. Photography that meets a high professional standard plays a crucial role in creating a positive image of Purdue Northwest. Images used on the website should align with PNW brand standards and inspire prospective students to connect with the university.
- Contact Information: Share the best method to reach your organization and its leaders. If desired, you can feature club officers with individual titles and contact information. Contact information for the organization’s advisors can also be shared in this section.
- Social Media Links: Organizations can link each social media account they manage to their listing. All social media websites featured should be registered with the Office of Student Life.
Per PNW’s website governance, “Official Purdue University Northwest resources, programs and services must be hosted in the pnw.edu framework or via approved, linked vendors. As part of the academic process, faculty or students may seek to create or host content outside the pnw.edu framework, on independent “third-party” sites. Individuals or groups looking to establish a third-party site must consult with PNW Marketing and Communications to discuss the trademark and branding implications as well as depreciation planning. The Marketing and Communications team is only able to support pages within the pnw.edu framework.”
Considering an External Site?
If student organizations are considering an external website, we encourage them to consider:
- What goals are you looking to accomplish with an external site that can’t be achieved with your pnw.edu listing?
- Who will be responsible for keeping the site secure and up to date?
External Site Guidelines
As PNW’s website governance policy states, “Individuals or groups looking to establish a third-party site must consult with PNW Marketing and Communications to discuss trademark and branding implications as well as depreciation planning.” This meeting should be the first step in the process.
- PNW’s logo should only be used with the approval of Marketing and Communications. It cannot be altered or used in a manner at odds with PNW’s brand guidelines.
- External websites should feature this disclaimer with a link back to the organization’s official listing on pnw.edu. Ideally, this disclaimer would be featured in the footer of every page. “Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the official views of Purdue University Northwest (PNW). This site may contain links to websites and services outside the PNW domain. PNW does not endorse, takes no responsibility for and exercises no control over the views or content contained on these independent sites, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on them.”
- To assist in continuity planning as membership in an organization changes, a permanent employee on PNW’s Student Life should be granted admin-level access to any website hosting and domain registration.
- We encourage any student organizations with an external site to review the “Writing for the Web” workshop hosted on PNW’s CMS Guide, particularly the sections on web accessibility.
Student Life will maintain a calendar of events that will be housed in My PNW Life. RSOs will also have the ability to create events, publicize events, and reach out to potential students via the platform.
Events can be added to the campus calendar using the correct form on the PNW website. Calendar listings should include event details, cost of attendance and contact information.
Student organizations are only to post flyers in the designated posting areas marked around campus. Student organizations are responsible for using the appropriate mounting material for their flyers. Items posted improperly or displayed in unapproved locations, including entrance doors, bathroom stalls or cafeteria tables, will be removed and discarded.
The small bulletin boards located near each classroom and lab door are for the exclusive use of the registrar and the faculty teaching in that space. Postings on these boards will generally be limited to class cancellation and related academic scheduling issues. All bulletin boards inside general purpose classrooms and instructional labs are reserved for instructional materials posted by faculty
Please remove any dated postings within 24 hours after the event. Only one flyer is permitted per posting location. Please do not post on bulletin boards or walls outside or inside classroom spaces. These areas are for faculty use only. Student organizations should not cover another flyer with their own and cannot post on bulletin boards or doors outside any office unless you have permission from the respective office. Be advised all public display areas will be cleared at the end of each semester.
Questions regarding the location of public display areas should be directed to PNW Facilities Services.
Many LCD screens are located across campus. To display your graphic, it must be formatted into 16:9 size. Graphics must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval and submission.
Display cases are located in the SUL and LSF concourses. Student organizations can reserve these cases for event promotion. To reserve, contact the Office of Student Life. Your reservation request must include the dates for the reservation and a proposal for the display. The student organization is responsible for setting and cleaning up the display case.
The Pioneer student newspaper advertises campus events in each issue. To have your event featured, contact email@example.com.
Student organizations can advertise their events on social media through the Office of Student Life. Student Life is active on Facebook and Instagram. Student organizations can promote their organization and its events on social media by:
- Tagging the Office of Student Life on Facebook or Instagram
- Sending your graphic (in .png or .jpg format) with caption to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tagging the Office of Student Life on Instagram Stories
- Making the Office of Student Life a co-host on Facebook events
Student Life Events Email
Each week, the Office of Student Life sends out an all student email with campus events. Student organizations can feature their events in this email. To submit your event, send the event graphic or flyer (in .png or .jpg format), event details and alternative text; which includes the text from the flyer typed out to accompany it. Events must be submitted by Thursday prior to the week start. Flyers for meetings will not be shared in the weekly email.
Tabling is a great way to build awareness about your student organization and engage other students on campus.
University persons or organizations may reserve tables from which to display literature and disseminate information. A table can be reserved by completing an Event/Facility Reservation Form.
Tables must have a person present during the requested tabling time. If there is not a person at the table, facilities will take down the table. Successful tabling will have materials that clearly express who your student organization is and will be eye-catching and organized. Feel free to have giveaways such as promotional materials or candy available. Other helpful materials for tabling:
- A sign to clearly display your organization
- A notebook or computer to collect information from people you talk to
- QR code for your My PNW Life group
The available locations are in the SULB concourse, the CLO concourse, and, as well as outdoor locations. Tables must identify the name of the sponsor organization. Tables must have a person present during the requested tabling time. If there is not a person at the table, facilities will take down the table.
While tabling student organizations will not shout or harass people that pass by.
Student organizations are responsible for maintaining a clean area while tabling and cleaning up and removing all materials when tabling is complete.
Planning and Hosting Events
For all RSO activity a form should be completed. This will not only allow your RSO to get the space you need for your event, but it will also allow the Office of Student Life to support you in other aspects for a successful event.
Student Code of Conduct
The Student Code of Conduct must be upheld with any RSO event, including the alcohol and drug policies.
If your RSO has a regular meeting day, time, and place the form you fill out can be marked recurring. Therefore, you can fill it out at the start of the semester. If your meeting time changes you are required to notify the Office of Student Life so that room reservations can be cancelled as well as other publicity.
There are many resources for hosting events that are informational and educational for your RSO’s specific interests. Collaborating with academic departments, PNW offices, and outside organizations and businesses can be great. If you would like help in identifying potential collaboration partners the Office of Student Life would love to support you in that work.
Dances and After-Hours Events
An on-campus late night party is any program, event or activity taking place on Purdue Northwest’s campus which is planned, sponsored, hosted, co-hosted, or promoted by any student organization or the Office of Student Life that occurs outside of regular building hours that is social in nature. These events must be scheduled at least one day in advance, and proper approval is required any time an event will extend building or staff hours.
For events that occur after the building is closed all doors will be locked for entry except the check-in door. All areas on campus are restricted to students and guests excluding the rooms and hallway used for the event. Prior to the event, the Student Organization will need to determine the entry location and discuss their plan with the University Police Department along with the Student Organization and Leadership Coordinator.
Public Viewing Policy (Movie Events)
Under federal law, the holder of a copyright for a movie has the exclusive right to control performances of the movie– including showings of a videotape or digital copy. An individual student, staff person, faculty member, or RSO that wants to show a film on campus must obtain permission for the showing from the copyright holder. Even personally owned copies and “home use” versions of films obtained from video retailers are not cleared for public performance use because proper licensing fees to the copyright owners have not been paid for such use.
The complete law on film copyrights is in the U.S. Copyright code, title 17, and may be found at www.copyright.gov/title17. Organizations will need to purchase movie rights prior to the event. Contact a staff member from the Offices of the Dean of Students and Student Activities for further assistance.
Protests and Demonstrations
Protests and Demonstrations follow the Free Speech and Open Expression Policy.
Purdue University Northwest recognizes the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and believes academic progress and freedom flourish when these rights are assured. Consistent with these protections, and with the powers and duties granted to the Trustees of Purdue University by the Indiana General Assembly, the Trustees have published Regulations Governing the Use and Assignment of University Facilities (Policy 1.4.1).
Consistent with the foregoing principles and regulations, Purdue University Northwest offers the following guidelines for the use of facilities at Purdue University Northwest.
Recommended Public Areas
To facilitate robust debate and the free exchange of ideas, the University has designated two recommended areas at the following locations for peaceable assembly and the expression of ideas and opinions:
- Hammond Campus Founder’s Plaza
- Westville Campus Central Plaza
These areas may be used for expressive activity by individuals and groups, including non-students and other campus guests. In addition to its high visibility and easy accessibility, these areas have been identified as a place where demonstrations and other expressive activities are least likely to disrupt University activities and functions. These areas may be used without permission from the University so long as the area has not been previously reserved or scheduled for a particular function, the expressive activity does not disrupt or obstruct University functions, and the participants do not violate other University policies.
Some University facilities that are not open to the public may be reserved, subject to availability. Reasonable charges or deposits may be imposed to ensure that exterior and interior locations are left in their original condition at the conclusion of the events.
Statement of Responsibility for Individuals Sponsoring Events
All events must be organized within the parameters of University policies and normal operating procedures. Individuals who wish to sponsor events may do so as long as the event does not disrupt, impair or obstruct the lawful missions, processes, procedures or functions of the University, or the lawful and authorized use of University facilities by others. Students and groups who sponsor events must adhere to the Regulations Governing Student Conduct.
Procedures for Scheduling Events in Defined Assembly Areas
Although it is not necessary for a person or group using the designated areas to obtain prior permission from the University, the University encourages such persons to contact the appropriate office to reserve a space. Priority is given for use of these locations to individuals and/or groups who register their assemblies with the University. The use of megaphones is permitted as consistent with the applicable law and local ordinances, but amplified equipment may not be used outside. Students should contact the Office of Student Life. Groups should contact the Senior Director of Facilities in order to reserve or schedule the areas in advance so as to minimize possible conflicts.
Nothing in the foregoing shall be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression elsewhere on the campus so long as the expressive activity or related student conduct does not disrupt University activities and functions or violate any other applicable University policies. Obstructing building entrances, walkways, and rights-of-way; obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic on or adjacent to campus; or interfering with classes, meetings, events or ceremonies or with other essential processes of the University will generally be considered to be disruptive of University activities and functions.
Procedures for Scheduling Events in Controlled Areas
Individuals who wish to use controlled areas on campus are expected to reserve the room in order to confirm its availability. Reserving the venue avoids the problem of competition for space. Students reserving venues must complete the “Event Form.”
Distribution of Printed Materials
Persons who distribute printed materials are responsible for the contents. Leaflets, informational sheets, or similar materials may be distributed if the distributors position themselves to avoid restricting access. Distribution of materials in connection with any activity that involves a request or plea for contributions, opinions, and/or support, which relates solely to the economic interests of the solicitor and/or his/her audience, is prohibited.
- Student: Any person, who has registered in one or more undergraduate or graduate courses at the University, excluding, however, regular staff members who are enrolled in courses for less than eight semester hours credit in the spring or fall terms or less than five semester hours credit in the summer term.
- Staff Member: Any person, who is not a student, but who is employed temporarily or permanently, full or part-time, by the University in any capacity, including but not limited to, members of the faculty and members of the administrative-professional, extension, service or clerical staff of the University.
- Campus: All real property owned or occupied by Purdue University Northwest.
- Public Areas: University Facilities, which are open to orderly unsupervised access by faculty, staff, students and visitors (e.g. streets, sidewalks, lawn areas, and designated portions of some University buildings and recreation areas during regular building hours.)
- University Facilities: Any building or structure or any improved or unimproved land, or any part of any such building, structure, or land, which is owned, used or occupied by Purdue University Northwest.
Response to Violations
Violations of this policy by a student or student organization will be forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Students for disciplinary review. Violations by faculty or staff members will be handled through appropriate administrative channels. Any individual who violates these guidelines is subject to removal from campus, police arrest and/or criminal charges.
The University, through the Chancellor and the Senior Leadership Team, shall act to encourage and facilitate free and open expression within these guidelines:
The University shall publish these Guidelines at least once each academic year in a manner that brings them to the attention of members of the University community. These guidelines will include the following:
- Policies and procedures/forms to be used for the reservation and use of designated spaces by members of the University community;
- Policies and procedures/forms to be used for the reservation and use of designated spaces by groups composed entirely or predominantly of persons who are not members of the University community.
Room and Outdoor Space Reservations
Student organizations may reserve meeting space on campus free of charge.
Student organizations may reserve meeting space on campus free of charge. To make a room reservation, a student leader must fill out a request on the Student Organization Event Planning webpage. A Meeting Request should be submitted for small, regular meetings to accomplish internal business.
An Event Request should be submitted for large, one-time events, which may include members or nonmembers. All space requests must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of use, but you should reserve space as soon as possible since some facilities are requested frequently and booked quickly.
Large events that require additional room set-ups, A/V equipment, extending building hours or university staff must be requested one month in advance. Note: Additional charges may be incurred for events that require extra staffing or security.
To reserve space, the following information is required:
- Name of the organization
- Name of event
- Date of the event
- Time of the event
- Preferred facility
- Number of people expected to attend
Student organizations are required to use the space in such a manner that reflects the approved request.
Events by student organizations may be scheduled under the following conditions:
- Events must be properly scheduled and approved
- Account for set-up and clean-up time when requesting campus facilities
- Indoor events outside of scheduled building days and hours may incur a Facility Usage fee. Open building hours can be found at https://www.pnw.edu/getting-to-pnw/building-hours/ This information is updated each semester.
- Outdoor events requiring facilities personnel may also incur a Facility Usage fee if they are scheduled outside employees’ scheduled hours.
- Adhere to room usage policies/procedures
- There is no smoking allowed on campus.
- Damages – A room inspection will occur after the event. The organization reserving the space is responsible to pay for repair of any damage caused during usage.
- Security guidelines must be implemented as outlined
- All fire pits must be approved by Facilities.
- Decorations may not be hung over exit signs, no smoking signs, fire alarms, thermostats, or emergency lights (light must be on and working at all times).
- Groups using the room must be aware of the following regulations required to meet fire and safety codes; All exit lights must be on!
- The exits must be kept clear of all obstructions including wires, speakers, tables, chairs and people.
- Organizations assume responsibility for compliance with all University regulations.
- Alcohol, drugs, and other controlled substances are against university policy. Violators may be subject to arrest or disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the Office of the Dean of Students.
- The sponsoring organization is responsible for:
- All related events that transpire during the course of the activity.
- Incidents which occur during the arrival and departure period of persons.
- The behavior of all persons in attendance, including guests.
- Requirements of the group:
- One member of the sponsoring group(s) must be designated as the “Contact Person” for the event and will serve as the responsible contact person before and throughout the event.
- The sponsoring group(s) is responsible for ensuring the reserved space and surrounding area is clean and that all furniture is returned to its proper place depending on room arrangements and program.
- Glitter is NOT allowed to be used in the building.
- Smoke Machines are NOT to be used in the building.
- No materials are to be used utilizing open flames in decorating.
- Hanging of items on walls may be done in event rooms only and must be secured with 3m putty or masking/painter tape. All items must be removed immediately following the event. It is strictly forbidden to drill, screw, nail or embed the walls. Hanging of anything from the ceiling is to be done only by Facility Staff.
- No markings with any type of tape allowed on floors.
- Damage done to walls, etc. during facility use will result in repair charges.
- Any decorations that are to be applied to structures or vegetation must be approved by Facilities.
To change an event or in the case of cancellation, a staff member from the Offices of the Student Life should be the first to be notified, and then be sure to contact any other department involved in the event.
Organizations may be held financially responsible for expenses incurred for the use of University personnel and use of facilities if a change of event form is not submitted 4 days prior to the scheduled activity.
Student organization activities may involve contracts, and the organization representative should not sign the contract on behalf of the organization.
A contract is required for any service, performance, or production that is to be paid through University funds (i.e. musical artists, DJs, speakers, inflatable services). University funds may consist of: student organization funds (SSF and COOL account), grants, state or university funds (or a combination of all). Contracts must be reviewed and approved and coordinated for student organizations through the Business Office and the Office of Student Life.
Representation for certain forms of entertainment may submit a contract to be reviewed and approved, or PNW may develop a contract for the performance/service provided. All contract information is required to be submitted to the PNW Business Office for assessment and processing. As a reminder, student organizations and members acting on behalf of student organizations are prohibited from signing any contractual agreement.
Longer planning time beyond the standard two weeks advanced submission for Event Request Forms may be required to review and create a contract for an event, and student organizations should plan accordingly for activities potentially involving contracts.
Food and beverages served at Purdue University Northwest (including Purdue Northwest-owned buildings off campus) must be provided by ALADDIN at the Hammond Campus or PNW EVENT MANAGEMENT at the Westville campus*.
*White Lodging Center of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Housing is excluded from this policy for The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Housing use only.
ALADDIN and PNW EVENT MANAGEMENT maintain the right to select product lines to be offered except that ALADDIN and PNW EVENT MANAGEMENT must abide by any pouring rights or exclusive rights granted to other licensees by agreement with PNW.
ALADDIN and PNW EVENT MANAGEMENT shall have “first right of refusal” to provide Food Services for catered events at Purdue University Northwest.
Please visit PNW Dining for more information on how to reserve catering, contact information, dining options, etc.
Specific to Alcohol: Any event where alcohol is to be served must be in full compliance with Purdue University Northwest’s Alcohol Policy.
Please Note: Food and beverage prepared for an event is designated for consumption at that event. Health Department Regulations prohibit removing perishable leftovers from the event site for later consumption. Purdue University Northwest is not responsible for food items removed from the event.
Event Policies and Risk Management
Individual student organizations must understand the risks associated with all activities the organization sponsors and attends. You can be held liable for your organization’s activities that harm others.
The Purdue Northwest Police will evaluate and provide the security staffing needs for the event based on the estimated audience and if money is being handled at any point during the event.
All Purdue Northwest students are required to provide their student ID at the door. The Purdue University Northwest Police Department reserves the right to inspect personal belongings. Re-entry policies are subject to change for individual events.
For events that occur after the building is closed all doors will be locked for entry except the check-in door. All areas on campus are restricted to students and guests excluding the rooms and hallway used for the event. Prior to the event, the Student Organization will need to determine the entry location and discuss their plan with the University Police Department along with the Office of Student Life.
Some campus events will be open to the general public or students will be able to bring guests. In these instances, the student must provide their student ID to get into the event and will be held accountable for their guests’ behavior. All students and guests are required to follow the Student Code of Conduct.
Possession, consumption, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages are permitted, with advance approval by the Executive Vice President and Treasurer or his/her designee, in areas designated by the University and under the supervision of the Purdue Memorial Union or the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, subject to compliance with all University regulations and applicable Indiana state laws.
University policy prohibits the use or possession of alcoholic beverages on campus and while involved in University-sponsored activities while traveling. Consumption, outside of university-related events, of alcoholic beverages by students of legal drinking age will be governed by the guidelines set out for the trip.
The possession, sale, use, or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages in or on any University property, unless expressly permitted by law or University Regulations (University Senate Document, 99-9, April 24, 2000). Additionally, prohibited behavior includes displaying behavior of public intoxication, operating a vehicle or other mode of transportation under the influence of alcohol, and providing or distributing alcohol to a minor, whether or not such conduct occurs on University property.
Members of recognized fraternities, sororities, and cooperative housing organizations are subject to the following conditions concerning possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises of their houses:
- Under no circumstances may alcoholic beverages be sold.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be available at any event where an admission fee is charged.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed outside the house.
- Alcoholic beverages and containers for alcoholic beverages may not be displayed outside the house.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be provided or consumed at an open event.
- All sponsoring organizations are equally responsible for open and closed events and for compliance with University regulations and applicable Indiana state laws.
- Violations of any of these conditions may result in University action.
For more information, consult the Student Code of Conduct. Copies are available at the Office of the Dean of Students.
Use, possession, providing, manufacturing, or distribution of any illegal drug, controlled substance, narcotic or prescription drug, except as expressly permitted by law is prohibited. Intentionally or recklessly inhaling or ingesting any substance (e.g., nitrous oxide, glue, paint, etc.) for the purpose or effect of altering a student’s mental state is also prohibited.
The hold harmless general release waiver form allows participants in Purdue Northwest sponsored events to waive, release, and hold harmless the University for damages that may be sustained during their voluntary participation in a student organization activity. A waiver should be completed for any recreational programs that are voluntary in nature or other programs that are different from the typical educational nature of the University. Completed waivers need to be submitted to the Office of Student Life. Waivers cannot be signed electronically.
Each registered student organization will have access to a University bank account through Central Office On-Line (COOL) and Bursar.
All cash or checks received by the organization through member dues, fundraising or donations should be deposited into the student organization’s COOL account. To complete this process, an officer can visit the Bursar’s office on either campus and request a deposit. A receipt will be given after the deposit is made.
All payments from the organization’s COOL account are processed electronically through the COOL portal, which can be accessed through the student’s myPNW portal or on the Student Organization Event Planning website. Choose the organization’s name and account you wish to use. Purchases made for student organization’s use will be reimbursed through this account. Scan or include a legible copy of the receipt/invoice. If you are dining, an itemized receipt (showing what food/drink was purchased) is required along with the final paid receipt. A maximum gratuity allowed for reimbursements is 20%. For each payment processed, the receipt must be uploaded, a payee must be entered and the payment must be approved by another member of the organization.
Purdue Northwest provides an opportunity to registered student organizations to present a proposal to receive Student Service Fee (SSF) funds. This is a one-time application per academic year. In order to be eligible for these funds, the organization must be open in membership to all undergraduate students and be in good standing with the Office of Student Life.
SSF funds are not deposited into the student organization’s account. SSF funds are managed through the Office of Student Life, and all expenses must be approved prior to purchase. Funds not used before the last day of classes of the spring semester or if the organization has failed to complete the necessary paperwork to maintain active registered student organization status will be forfeited.
The following procedures must be followed when using any awarded SSF funds:
- All purchasing requests must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date the purchase needs to be made using SSF Expense Approval Form. Please note, that purchase requests made outside of this timeframe may not be approved.
- SSF Expense Approval Forms must be completed in its entirety before submitting, including all required signatures, line items, date needed, vendor information, detailed lists of items needed and the total amount (including shipping, if applicable).
- All awarded funds must be used for the specific event or line item that were approved when funds were distributed. Line items are not transferable, and leftover funds from one line item may not be used to supplement another.
- RECEIPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED 24 HOURS AFTER PURCHASE.
- The treasurer of your organization must keep a detailed record of our awarded funds and all purchases made.
- A credit card from the Office of Student Life is available to use for purchases when using approved SSF funds. Please indicate that you would like to use the credit card on your SSF Expense Approval Form. Credit cards can be checked out for a 24-hour period and cannot be taken overnight on a weekend or holiday. Purchases made with the credit card are limited to only the items listed on your SSF Expense Approval Form and must follow the guidelines outlined in the Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures Manual.
- Any purchases that may require individual reimbursement within your organization must be submitted with a W9 and a Substitute W-9 (Payee Certification) form, along with the receipts or invoices from the purchase. When appropriate, an SSF Expense Approval must be submitted before the reimbursement is processed.
Before the start of the academic year (typically spring or summer), the Office of Student Life on behalf of the Student Government Association will put out a call for SSF budget proposals to all current RSOs. This is a one-time application process for the following academic year. For example, the call for SSF budget proposals in the Spring of 2022 will be for funding in the 2022-2023 academic year.
To be eligible to submit a proposal the organization must meet the following criteria:
- The organization must have open membership for all students.
- The organization is in good standing with the Office of Student Life: all registration forms have been completed for the current academic year, the organization completed all the steps to maintain active status and the student organization’s conduct remains exemplary.
- The organization has a full-time faculty or staff member serving as the advisor.
The RSO should complete a proposed budget for the SSF Committee to determine the allocation of funds. All submissions should be submitted to email@example.com with the budget proposal and the contact information of at least one member of the student organization. All proposals must be submitted in full to be considered. The organization should receive an email to confirm their submission within 2 business days. If confirmation is not received, it is the organization’s responsibility to follow up with the Office of Student Life.
Each organization’s budget should detail the RSO name, Academic Year, and breakdown of the requested funds, including expenditure description (line item), expenditure amount and total amount requested. A template will be provided. In addition, each organization will need to complete a Proposal Worksheet. This will outline the organization’s past spending, contribution to the university and activity, as well as give insight into how the organization plans to use the funding for the upcoming year.
The SSF Committee is composed of the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, the chair of the Student Affairs committee serving the faculty senate, the business manager and five students recommended by the Student Government Association. Please note that no staff of the Office of Student Life can serve on the committee or attend the meeting to determine SSF funding.
The Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs convenes the meeting but does not have a vote except to break a tie. The Student Affairs Business Manager and the Dean of Students serve as non-voting advisory members. The Business Manager records the decisions made by the SSF Committee and reports information to the Office of Student Life. The Administrative Assistant of the Dean of Students serves as a non-voting secretary to the SSF committee. Representatives of the student body abstain from voting in cases where the individual is a member of the student organization.
RSO can apply for grants to supplement the funding for the organization. Student organizations can only apply for grants on behalf of the organization and not for the University. If the grant is solely a donation, approval is not needed from any University entities. If the grant includes sponsored programs or expected deliverables, the student organization must seek approval through the Office of Institutional Advancement. For more information or guidance, the organization can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An organization may decide to utilize their raised funds for scholarships for its members. In this instance, scholarship is defined as financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need.
The student organization sets the criteria for recipient selection. The student organization must explicitly detail on the criteria of the scholarship agreement (major, grade level, grade point average, financial need, or a combination of other restrictive criteria).
Those eligible for any scholarship cannot take part in the decision-making process. At least three members of the student organization, including the organization’s advisor, must be a part of the selection committee.
Tax Implication: Portions of the scholarship used to pay for qualified expenses, such as tuition, books, and fees, are not taxable income. The amount exceeding qualified expenses is taxable income for both US and international students. There is no tax withholding on scholarships for US citizens. There may be a 14% tax withholding for international students, depending on what country they are from.
Note: For International students, taxes may have to be withheld on all of these forms of payments.
Note: All of these forms of payments must be considered educational resources for the student per federal regulations. Therefore, they have to be reported to the Division of Financial Aid.
Student organizations can raise funds in a variety of ways. Student organizations need to complete a Fundraising Request Form on the Student Organization Event Planning website.
If student organizations are soliciting funds or donations from an outside organization, they must submit a request to the Office of Institutional Advancement. See the policies outlined under “Donations.”
Student organization SSF funds may not be transferred as gifts, charitable contributions or donations to groups or organizations whose funds are managed outside the control of Purdue University Northwest, nor may these funds be transferred as a gift, charitable contribution or donation to an individual.
Student organizations can request a cash box for on-campus use during events or fundraisers. To complete this event, please mark the need on the Fundraising Request form. Cash boxes will be made out for $50 unless otherwise requested.
Types of Fundraisers
Student organizations collecting items must follow these procedures:
- An Event Form must be submitted
- Approval from the Office of Student Life is required; a proposal, including box placement, to be approved by campus facilities
- The appearance of the collection box must be appropriate for a college campus and consistent with the campus aesthetic
- The design of all boxes must be approved by the Office of Student Life and include an informative flyer on the box
- Collections should be limited to two weeks in duration
- The sponsoring organization is responsible for removing donated items or materials and removing the box(es) at the end of the assigned period
Home-prepared food items are prohibited to sell to the public according to the Indiana Food Code.
If you are purchasing items to “resell” the items purchased must be from Aladdin due to the PNW catering contract.
If your organization was going to sell donated items from a business, you would need prior approval. All bake sale events taking place on campus that are available for public consumption must submit a Temporary Food Service Application. The Temporary Food Service Application must be submitted for approval at least 7 days in advance of the event. Bake goods can be sold only if they are prepared in a certified kitchen or the foods are purchased and individually wrapped. The certified kitchen has to be supervised by a ServSafe certified food handler. If donations are obtained from local establishments in the business of providing food, such as a bakery or restaurant, they should be listed as the source of food on the food service application.
Food service gloves must be utilized when dealing with ready-to-eat foods. Hands must be washed before placing food service gloves on. Designate one person to handle money and another to handle the items for sale to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
For purposes of charity and support of victims of disaster or human suffering, Registered Student Organizations may solicit funds on the Purdue Northwest campus in accordance with the following policies. No SSF funds may be used for donation. Such solicitation may take the form of revenue-producing sales and programs, cash or gifts-in-kind such as food, clothing and toys. The following steps need to be completed:
- The fundraising activity must be approved in advance by the Office of Student Life. A Fundraising Request Form must be submitted for approval.
- If the solicitation is for charity or an outside organization, a proposal needs to be developed by the student organization. This includes food, clothing and toy drives. The student organization must submit a short proposal to Student Life that includes the following:
- Date(s) of benefit
- Who will benefit from the event
- What items will be collected (i.e. cash donations, non-perishable food items, clothes etc.)
- Money will be deposited in a bank account that day or items must be picked up by a designated organization member on a designated date
- Students shall comply with University regulations regarding raffles and lotteries. No raffles or lotteries are allowed. Check with the Business Administrator of Student Affairs or Bursar Office if you have any questions concerning this regulation.
Student organizations cannot conduct games of chance on or off campus as fundraisers. Games of chase include, but are not limited to, bingo games, raffles, charity game nights, door prize events, prizes from pull tabs, punch boards or tip boards.
Student organizations conducting sales become retail merchants and must collect sales tax on these sales. The State of Indiana sales tax of 7% must be collected by the organization when conducting sales. The tax collected from these sales and reported when depositing funds into the organization’s COOL account. Organizations can be exempt from paying sales tax when paying sales tax on items purchased for resale. For example, if you are purchasing bags in bulk for resale you would be able to avoid paying sales tax when you purchase the bags, but need to charge sales tax on the resale. If you are collecting non-cash payments there are approvals needed from the PNW business office.
Student organizations are eligible to solicit donations from community and campus partners with approval from the Office of Institutional Advancement. Organizations can request monetary donations or free or discounted goods and services. Student organizations can only solicit donations on behalf of the organization and not for the University.
Monetary donations are to be deposited into the organization’s COOL account. Cash or check can be deposited in the organization’s account via the Bursar’s office on either campus. For online donations, the Office of Institutional Advancement should be notified to arrange for a unique link to be created. All monetary donations must follow a separation of decisions and donations, which means that faculty can donate money and determine how those funds are spent.
External organizations can donate free or discounted goods or services for student organization use. All action items and deliverables must be approved through the Office of Institutional Advancement. This includes but is not limited to donations in exchange for research or delivered products.
The Office of Institutional Advancement is the University’s division that works to build and strengthen relationships for the benefit of the University and its students. That work includes Marketing and Communications, Alumni and Advancement (fundraising). All communications to the public and contributions to the various departments, offices and organizations within Purdue University Northwest are vetted through these offices. The gifts are deposited on the Hammond Campus in Lawshe Hall.
We wish you all of the best in your fundraising efforts and are here to help you achieve success because your successes become PNW successes.
Before you make a request for businesses and individuals to make a contribution:
- Write a letter – even if you are going to meet with prospective donors face to face, make sure you can leave a letter behind.
Your letter should introduce your organization, its purpose and why it might be of interest to them, talk about how you would spend their investment in you and give follow-up information. “If you have questions, you can call (phone number) and I will follow up with you on (date)”. Gifts must be forwarded to the Office of Institutional Advancement so that your donor(s) can receive an IRS-approved receipt AND be recognized as a PNW donor.
It should include our mailing address and a request that the donor put the name of the organization on the check:
Purdue University Northwest
Office of Institutional Advancement
2200 169th St.
Hammond, IN 46323
Online donations are also suggested: pnw.edu/giving
Our office can set up a direct link if you have multiple donors that want to go online to donate.
- Create a “potential donor” list of companies/businesses and others: for companies/businesses, get a contact name if possible. Your list should be thoughtful – who might want to help?
Both the list and the letter should be forwarded to email@example.com for any editing suggestions and approval of the potential donor list. We try to get back to students quickly, but if you don’t hear from us within a week, send a reminder.
Student organizations are not permitted to send out solicitations without completing this process with the Office of Institutional Advancement. Letters must be sent through official University branding.
Thank you notes should be sincere and from the heart. As soon as you get a notification that funding has come in, sit down and thank the people who made the investment in you and your organization. We will provide an official receipt, but they are making the gift to you. The thank you note will stay in their mind and the next time you ask, it may be easier!
All travel by recognized student organizations must relate to the purpose of the organization and comply with the policies of Purdue Northwest and applicable local, state, and national laws. The travel policy applies to the individual student and registered student organization travel; both in cases where the travel is sponsored by a University Student Organization and in cases where the travel is independent of student organization sponsorship but where an individual student or recognized student organization travels on behalf of, or with the financial support of, one or more recognized student organizations.
Travel is filed like events, at least two weeks in advance, and filed through the Offices of Student Life. Students do not have the authority to drive any vehicle on University business unless they are pre-approved by the University’s Risk Management Department and the Office of Student Life.
Student Organizations must follow the University’s Student Travel Policy. The policy and the required Waiver of Liability for Students Form are located on the Student Organizations Event Planning website.
Authorized Driver Certification
Student Drivers must complete a Request for Drive Authorization Form (RMO1) and USA General Release if they will be operating a University vehicle, operating a personal vehicle for University business or for any other University-related purpose.
Violation of any University rule governing student organizations, or the use of University property (including the time, place, and manner of meetings or demonstrations on University property), or of any other University rule that is reasonably related to the orderly operation of the University; provided, however, that no disciplinary sanction shall be imposed in any such case unless it is shown that the accused student knew, or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, of the rule in question.
Examples of prohibited behavior under this category include but are not limited to organizing and/or hosting, either individually or with others, an event, party or other gathering (“Event”), or attending such an Event, where the attendees are not required to, or willfully fail or refuse to, adhere to the requirements of the Student Guide, state and local public health laws, regulations or orders.
Purdue University Northwest is committed to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect among its members; and encourages each individual to strive to reach his or her own potential. In pursuit of its goal of academic excellence, the University seeks to develop and nurture diversity. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches campus life.
Purdue University Northwest prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran.
The University will conduct its programs, services and activities consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and orders and in conformance with the procedures and limitations as set forth in Purdue’s Equal Opportunity, Equal Access and Affirmative Action policy which provides specific contractual rights and remedies. Additionally, the University promotes the full realization of equal employment opportunities for women, minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans through its affirmative action program.
At no time is hazing ever an accepted method to welcome new organization members. Hazing is defined as any act that endangers the physical and/or mental health or safety of a student or any act or behavior that causes ridicule or humiliation for the purposes of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization, or as part of any activity of a recognized student organization or student group. Individuals or groups may not consent to these types of prohibited behavior.
Individuals will be held accountable for their own actions, and neither citing the activity as a “tradition” nor being coerced by current or former student leaders of such groups or organizations will suffice as a justifiable reason for participation in such activity. Examples of prohibited behavior under the hazing category include but are not limited to:
- Misuse of authority by virtue of one’s leadership position
- Assaulting an individual by paddling, beating, striking, or hitting
- Preventing an individual from attending class
- Requiring another to engage in any form of forced physical activity or exercise
Failing to report any of the foregoing behavior to the appropriate University officials (e.g., the Office of the Dean of Students and/or the Purdue University Police Department) after having firsthand knowledge of the planning of such activities or firsthand knowledge that an incident of this type has occurred. The foregoing list of prohibited behaviors under the hazing category is not intended to prohibit the following conduct: Planning or participating in customary public athletic events, contests, or competitions that are sponsored by the University or the organized and supervised practices associated with such events; or Planning or participating in any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum, a legitimate extracurricular program or a legitimate military training program as defined and approved by the University.