University Student Handbook

Student Organizations

Mei Wang Tai Chi

Recognition of Student Organizations

Groups of students who share a common interest, either social or professional, that serves the mission of Northwestern Health Sciences University, may organize and seek recognition as a student organization through the Dean of Students and Alumni Services. Requirements and procedures for recognition are available in the Student Affairs office.

New organizations may initiate the recognition process at any time during the academic year. Recognized organizations must submit a statement of purpose, objectives, and procedures that will be reviewed and approved by an advisor and the Dean of Students and Alumni Services. Each recognized organization must have an advisor. Recognized student organizations must go through the entire recognition process every third academic year. Every term, organization leaders are required to submit an updated list of officers and members to the Student Affairs office.

Opportunities and Benefits for Recognized Student Organizations

  • The ability to request funds from the University Student Senate.
  • The ability to use university facilities.
  • The ability to use the university name in conjunction with approved programs.
  • The ability to engage in fundraising activities for the organization.
  • The ability to list organization activities in the university’s publications.
  • The ability to sponsor approved events for the student body.

Responsibilities of Recognized Student Organizations

  • Organizations will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.
  • Organizations will not engage in activities that are illegal or against Northwestern policy.
  • Organizations will develop a clear definition of their goals and objectives, consistent with the University mission.
  • Organizations will provide opportunities for personal growth through leadership positions and programs.
  • Organizations will promote Northwestern Health Sciences University through positive representation on and off campus.
  • Organization leaders and their advisors will be required to attend meetings with the Dean of Students and Alumni Services upon request.
  • Consistent with the function of fulfilling the mission of the University, organization leaders are encouraged to determine means of assessing and reporting their activities.
  • Organizations must comply with University accounting procedures for collection and disbursement of funds.

Student Organization Seminar and Activity Policies

Recognized Student Organizations may request speakers and visitors from outside the University community to present programs to the students of the University. Such requests will be made by student organizations with advisor support, by completing a Facility Use Application form. The speaker and facility request will require approval by the Dean of Students and Alumni Services. Other speakers and visitors may be directly invited by faculty and administrative officers of the University, with notification to the office of the President.

The sponsorship or invitation of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement, either by the sponsoring group or the university, of the views expressed.

Off-Campus Seminars

Off-campus seminars are carefully considered by the Student Affairs office. Students must follow the University’s student organization and accounting policies for all off-campus seminars, or disciplinary action will follow. Circumstances which may trigger this action may include: not properly notifying Student Affairs of the seminar, or participating in other activities that might put Northwestern in legal risk or jeopardy.

Off-Campus Activities

Student Organizations wishing to participate in activities off-campus must notify the Student Affairs office and follow all university policies. Where such off-campus events involve the provision of clinical services, University malpractice and liability coverage requirements must be observed. This may require the presence of Minnesota-licensed, University faculty or other institutional representative(s).

On-Campus Activities

Throughout the year, events are planned by student organizations for the University community. All events  held on campus require written permission for use of the facilities. To request permission to use on-campus facilities, students must fill out a Facility Use Application which is available online. If the on-campus event involves the provision of clinical services, University malpractice and liability coverage requirements must be observed. This may require the presence of Minnesota-licensed, University faculty or other institutional representative(s).

Alcohol Request Forms

Students wishing to have alcohol at their function must complete an Alcohol Request form, which requires approval from the Dean of Students and Alumni Services and the Office of the President. If approved, Student Organizations must adhere to the University’s alcohol policy guidelines outlined in the Student Handbook, in addition to state and federal laws. In the event that student monitors are utilized for events that involve alcohol, their attendance may be required for additional training provided by Student Affairs or Human Resources offices.

Room Reservations

Students may reserve rooms for meetings, seminars or events through the Student Affairs office. In certain cases, the Facility Use Application form must be completed. Rooms that are reserved by student organizations must be vacated by other members of the campus community during the reserved time.

Financial Support

Donations to Student Organizations

Student Organizations may receive donations. When receiving a donation, student organizations should issue a receipt for the donation to the donor and send a copy of the donation receipt to the Dean of Students and Alumni Services. This receipt will provide appropriate certification for the portion of the donation which is exempt from taxes.

Fees Assessed for Seminars - Students

Student Organizations may assess reasonable fees to students for seminars.

Fees Assessed for Seminars – Outside guests

Northwestern seeks to encourage members of its community to participate in additional educational opportunities. Consequently, student organizations may not assess fees for seminars to guests outside of the campus community. Students may invite external constituents at no charge. Where certification for continuing education hours is a part of an event, the seminar must be sponsored by the University Department of Continuing Education.


Student Organizations may hold fundraisers for the purpose of organization-specific benefit. The Dean of Students and Alumni Services must first approve the event. University accounting procedures must be followed.

The University has the right to impose disciplinary sanctions if any organization deviates from these financial policies.


All student organizations must have an institutional advisor. The advisor will be responsible for assisting in the development of a purpose and objective statement, providing recommendations for speakers/visitors, and for providing oversight during any demonstration or practice of methods or techniques. Advisors are strongly urged to attend all other meetings of the organization. It is the responsibility of the advisor to notify the Student Affairs office regarding any change in organization purpose or mission. Any failure to observe the requirement for advisor presence during clinical practice or technique provision may result in sanctions being applied to the organization.

Meeting Reports

Student Organizations are required to complete monthly Meeting Reports and submit them to the Student Affairs office. These reports must include meeting dates, topics covered, advisor attendance, guest doctor or speaker attendance, and seminars held. Organizations are also encouraged to attach minutes of their meetings. Funding for Organizations may be reduced if Meeting Reports are not completed and turned into the Student Affairs office.


Student groups may be charged with violations of the Standards of Conduct, and the group may be held responsible, either individually or collectively, if violations by those associated with the group received the tacit or overt consent or encouragement of the group or its officers. Possible violations will be referred to the  Dean of Students and Alumni Services, or designee, who will conduct a review and present the findings to the Provost, and to others they deem appropriate. Where violations of the Standards of Conduct are determined to have occurred, the University President may impose sanctions. Sanctions for a student group may include revocation of the group's right to exist at the University, as well as other appropriate actions.