Student Organizations

Student Organization Handbook
Requirements for Recognized Student Organizations


Student Organizations, Governments and Activities Committee (SOGA)

Student Organizations, Governments and Activities Committee (SOGA) makes recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs on the recognition and activities of student clubs and organizations, student government associations, fraternities and sororities as described in academic regulations, Article XI, Section 6, dated March 7, 1977.

Recognition Requirements for Prospective Organizations

All prospective organizations seeking recognition must have:

  • a unique purpose from any existing organizations;
  • a minimum of ten (10) members who are currently enrolled students at the University of Missouri – Columbia;
    • Exceptions for cultural/minority groups can be made by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee.
  • a full-time (at least .75FTE) Mizzou faculty/staff member to serve as an advisor;
  • a clearly outlined constitution that meets the minimum standards as set by the Office of Student Organizations.

Organizations will be student-centered, student-driven and student-led. Control by any outside entity, public or private, or non-student of the university shall not be permitted

Once your prospective group meets the above standards, you will be presented to SOGA. Should there be any issues with your application, you will be notified and allowed an opportunity to correct any deficiencies.

Organizations seeking recognition as a club sport will need to pass a review by UM System Risk Management and the Mizzou Club Sports Federation (MCSF).
Procedures regarding the recognition process can be found within the Organization Resource Group (ORG) Guidelines.

Maintaining Recognition

Recognized student organizations, student governments, fraternities and sororities all must abide by the University policies and procedures to ensure their organization remains recognized by the University of Missouri. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures might result in a variety of disciplinary actions ranging from formal warnings to suspension or loss of University recognition. Organizations that lose their recognition status must re-apply for recognition as any other non-recognized group. More information about the Standard of Conduct and the Conduct process can be found within CRR 200.010 and CRR 200.020.

Annual Requirements

In order to maintain status as a recognized student organization all organizations must:

  • Complete the annual registration process with the Office of Student Organizations.
    • Annual registration assures that the office has current information for each organization.
  • Attend required trainings

Recognized Student Organizations that fail to complete the registration process or attend required trainings will be recommended to SOGA for removal of their status as a recognized organization. SOGA shall consider this recommendation and if recognition is removed, reinstatement of recognition status will require an organization to follow the procedures outlined for beginning a new student organization.

Membership Requirements

  • All recognized student organization members shall be either MU students, faculty or staff.
  • All officers (cabinet-executive level) of a recognized student organization/government must be enrolled a minimum of six class hours per semester during both fall and spring semesters and maintain a minimum 2.2 cumulative G.P.A (some organizations may set this minimum level higher).
    • Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education students who have completed their formal coursework for the degree, have passed their comprehensive or matriculation examination and are continuously enrolled in at least two hours of research in the fall and winter, or one hour in the summer semesters, also may hold office for a maximum of two years.
  • No student may serve in any officer-level position while on University Disciplinary Probation for a student conduct code violation. Students who are placed on Disciplinary Probation during their term of office would have to resign from their position. Non-compliance with this policy would result in the student organization/government potentially losing their status as a recognized student organization.
  • All officers of student organizations attending any event, trip, social etc. sponsored by the organization will comply with all local, state and federal laws, University regulations and any self-imposed organizational or organization-specific governing regulations from regional, national or international parent organizations.

Financial Responsibility

The University of Missouri-Columbia requires financial responsibility from all student organizations and encourages groups to complete an independent audit on a periodic basis. The University reserves the right to require an audit when it is made aware of financial concerns or misuse of funds; however, the University assumes no fiscal responsibility or liability for lost funds or debts accrued by the student organization and its members. The Coordinator for Student Organizations will be the contact person to assess if an audit is needed. Fees for mandatory audits will be paid by the student organization. Audits requested by the University must be completed with a form approved by Administrative Services or Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Results are to be provided to the Office of Student Organizations within 90 days from the time of notification by the University.

Use of the University Names/Marks/ Logos

In order for the University to maintain and protect its brand, all University departments and recognized student organizations are required to obtain prior approval to use any of the marks or names of the University in any commercial or non-commercial venture, including giveaways, fundraising activities and internal use. Recognized student organizations are also required to purchase emblematic merchandise from officially licensed vendors (licensees) of the University. Please visit the Licensing and Trademarks website at: for a list of licensees and licensed Columbia screen printers.
For more information contact: MU Office of Licensing and Trademarks, 200 Heinkel Building, (573) 882-7256 or visit their website at

Hosting Events

Events held on campus reflect upon the University and therefore should be appropriate for the image of the University as a public institution of higher education. It is the expectation of the University that the student organizations shall follow all applicable laws.

Events Regulations
  • Noise that interferes with other activities is prohibited.
  • If the event is held in a location where restroom facilities are not available, the sponsoring organization is responsible for providing such facilities.
  • Any street closing is subject to University and City of Columbia approval. Street closing forms are located on our website.
  • The total number of individuals participating in a function held in any University building must not exceed the designated capacity of the facility.
    Any and all facility specific regulations must be followed.
  • If more than $500 of University funds is used to pay for a band and/or other type of performer or service, a University contract must be completed.
  • University contracts may be obtained through the Office of Student Organizations.
  • Please allow up to eight (8) weeks for processing.

It is the responsibility of the host organization to bear any related costs for the event including, but not limited to:

  • Facility and equipment rental
  • Security
  • Grounds services such as additional trash receptacles and pickup, repairs, etc.
  • Additional housekeeping required
  • Damages
  • Additional materials or equipment
  • Utilities
Movie Policy

Student Organizations may not show/exhibit copyrighted materials (Movies, Music Videos etc.) on campus without first receiving the appropriate rights and permissions. Student Organizations may not show movies on campus until permission has been granted by the MSA/GPC Films committee. Once that is granted, you need to secure the rights to the film. A copy of the screening license must first be given to the Coordinator of Student Organizations a minimum of 1 week before the event is to occur.

Examples of screening protected works may include but are not limited to:

  • Showing a film in the lounge of your residence hall or Greek House
  • Showing a film as part of an organizational meeting or event
  • Having a Professor speak about the film does not exempt you
  • Public Display of copyrighted material
    If you have any questions about this policy or about movie licenses, please see the Organization Resource Group website at
Event/Program Sponsorship

The University of Missouri-Columbia recognizes the educational importance of student organizations’ development and involvement in campus and co-curricular activities. These activities will be encouraged and supported by the University, and appropriate personnel will assist student organizations and officers in the development of these programs. In planning these programs, student organizations must be aware of all applicable laws, as well as University guidelines and policies concerning fundraising, canvassing, soliciting and advertising.

The student organization might desire to seek support of an organization or business that is not part of the University. The University realizes that other organizations and businesses can and do make an important contribution to the activities of student organizations. If the student organization wishes to pursue such avenues, the following Board of Curators Policy and MU guidelines must be followed:

  • The University shall not be used for commercial or promotional advertising purposes, nor will the name of the University be identified in any way with the aims, policies, programs, products or opinions of any organization or its members.
  • A commercial business may contribute assistance for approved student organizational events or activities held on or promoted on the campus. A commercial business may not sponsor or co-sponsor activities of student organizations.
  • Limitations placed on commercial business involvement: The primary visual or auditory focus of the advertising and promotion for the program or event must be on the approved program or event (i.e., the logo, product or company name of the business must be smaller than the logo or name of the event and/or logo or name of the student organization).
  • If money is collected during any part of the program/event, this is considered “fundraising,” even if no profit is made. Please see the Organization Resource Group guidelines for fundraising specifics.

All recognized student organizations are accountable to the Standard of Conduct (CRR 200.010) as well as following campus polices as found in the M-Book including the following:

The University Conduct Process and Procedures can be found within CRR 200.020.

Club Sport Recognition

To be recognized as a Club Sport, an organization must:

  • Obtain University recognition
  • Follow the aforementioned policies for maintaining recognition
  • Attend all mandatory training sessions offered by the Club Sports Office
  • All members must fill out hold-harmless forms before participating in any sports-related club activities (try-outs, practices or competitions)
  • Appoint a representative to the Mizzou Club Sports Federation (MCSF) and fulfill their obligations for membership and good-standing

Recognition from the Office of Greek Life

To be recognized as a Greek organization under the Office of Greek Life, an organization/chapter must:

  • Obtain University recognition
  • Follow the aforementioned policies for maintaining recognition
  • Obtain Office of Greek Life recognition
  • Attend all mandatory training sessions and meetings offered by the Office of Greek Life
  • Obtain and sustain membership in a respective governing council (Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic  Council, Panhellenic Association or Multicultural Greek Council)
  • All intake/recruitment activities must be alcohol/drug free
  • Submit membership rosters to the office of Greek Life by the date provided by the Office of Greek Life for the Fall and Spring semester

Recognized Organizations Providing Housing to MU Students

Recognized student organizations that wish to provide housing to MU students must…

  • Obtain University recognition
  • Follow the aforementioned policies for maintaining recognition
  • Employ a full-time, live-in house director.
  • This person coordinates the day-to-day operations between the lease holder and residents.
  • The live-in house director cannot be an undergraduate student.
  • Contact information for the house director must be filed with the University.
  • All house directors will be required to attend one training meeting per semester.

Additionally, all housing units will…

  • Meet state and local housing ordinances.
  • Meet all state and local fire codes.
  • A minimum of one documented fire drill must occur annually.