You are here: American University Campus Life Student Involvement Student Handbook

Recognition Policy

Annual Renewal is the process that all recognized student organizations go through once a year to maintain their active status. This process may include steps such as updating the organization governing documents, renewal of the volunteer advisor agreement with a faculty/staff member, in-person or online training, and updating general and executive board membership rosters. 

Registration is the process that all organizations go through to achieve initial recognition. This process may include steps such as creating the organization governing documents (constitution and bylaws); the documentation of interest for the proposed organization from eight AU students in good academic standing; finding a faculty/staff volunteer advisor; and participation in training (in-person or online) for new executive board members.

Recognition is the formal acknowledgement by the Center for Student Involvement of a student organization that has completed all steps for registration or renewal. Recognition is granted throughout the year on a rolling basis and renewed once a year during the spring semester.

Policies and Guidelines

The policies and guidelines included on the right are designed to ensure that student organizations operate responsibly and provide quality programming that will enhance campus life in three areas:


Building Healthy Environments: Create empowering and supportive environments that promote safety and well-being.

Community Building: Encouraging critical discourse and a compassionate campus that values difference and inclusion.

Active Citizenship: Promote active civic involvement to contribute to and improve campus life for the purpose of transforming ideas into action.

Effective Programming

Student leadership teams that plan in advance and properly prepare for events and programming initiatives have greater access to funds, spaces, and University Center and Student Activities office support. The documents in this section can assist you in the planning and successful execution of programming at AU. Before proceeding with any events, make sure you have followed the appropriate funding allocation process to obtain funding and meet with your SA advisor. 

Marketing and Publicity

University Center Student Activities provides a wide variety of locations and options to promote their efforts, and maintain the beauty of the campus while ensuring that information about club events and programming is distributed widely. All marketing flyers and information messages must be approved by SA Marketing. ( Please allow two days for approval. (Ideally, student clubs should submit their request 3 weeks before the proposed event date.)

Event Checklists

Student organizations must follow Student Activities procedures when organizing events. The documents below will help your organization successfully plan meetings, travel, dance parties and more. 

Building Clubs that Matter

Student-run organizations are akin to social movements and civic organizations. Student-run clubs are often formed in response to a students need for community, connection, or outreach towards an identity or issue of personal concern.

The success of a student club is measured by the success of the small leadership team. Because of the self-governing, and highly autonomous leadership structures of student run clubs, leaders must recruit (and often hold elections for) volunteer leaders, develop their capacity for making decisions about organizational governance, and create organizational structures for engaging additional volunteers in the work of the group. The following guidelines can provide both new and seasoned student organization leaders a series of best practices they can add to their toolkit to build better organizations.