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Student Organization & Advisor Handbook

Student Organization & Advisor Handbook

Introduction and Purpose

This handbook is meant to serve as a resource for Undergraduate Association student organizations as they fulfill their mission and plan and implement programs.  It outlines important information, policies, and expectations and helps to improve the line of communication between student organizations, the Office of Student Activities, and the Undergraduate Association.  If any of the material in the handbook is unclear or your organization has questions, please reach out to us.  We are happy to provide assistance, support, and guidance to your student organization.

Table of Contents

Office of Student Activities

The mission of the Office of Student Activities is to enhance the overall education experience of students through the development of, exposure to, and participation in social, cultural, multicultural, recreational, leadership, and campus governance programs.

This mission is accomplished through New Student Orientation and Welcome Week, advising the Undergraduate Association and its components, providing support for the different student clubs and organizations, collaborative programming with the Campus Activities Board, coordinating the College's comprehensive leadership program, and working closely with Diversity Council.

Staff include Carey Backman (Director), Rachel Cordy (Assistant Director), Scott Castle (Intramurals & Recreation), and Kourtney Spaulding (Graduate Assistant).

Undergraduate Association Executive Board

The Undergraduate Association is Nazareth College's student government. They are responsible for providing funding and support to the different student organizations on campus as well as representing the student body's needs and interests.

The UA Executive Board meets weekly to discuss and work toward resolution of campus-wide issues. They also work with the Office of Student Activities to create and implement trainings and other leadership opportunities for student organization officers. In addition, they sponsor annual events including Up All Night and the UA Awards Banquet.

The UA Executive Board is made up of Jenn Lachell (President), Jason Taylor (VP of Executive Operations), Shannon McCullough (VP of Finance), Emily Demuth (VP of Communications), Stephanie Adams (VP of Campus Programming), and TBD (VP of Diversity Initiatives).

The UA Office is located in Shults 104. The email address is and the phone number is 585-389-2795.


Senate is the governing body of responsible for assisting student organizations with constitutional changes or requests for additional funding for trips or large events that benefit the student body as a whole. This group also works with individuals to create new student organizations and provides a venue for the campus to be heard at the highest level of student government.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is a sub-committee of Senate that serves to help individuals and student organizations prepare their Senate proposals to ensure that they are thorough and ready for the Senate's review.

Submitting a Senate Proposal

To make a proposal to Senate, you must fill out a Senate Proposal Form which can be found here under the "Undergraduate Association Financial Information" link. The completed form must be returned to the UA Office by the required deadline. A listing of both Steering and Senate meetings will be distributed at the start of the semester. A Senate proposal is a two-week process. Week one you will meet with the Steering Committee to review your proposal and prepare for Senate. Week two you will meet with Senate to formally deliver your proposal and receive your decision.

Before making your proposal, make sure you have all necessary information such as funding and cost breakdowns, number of students participating, and any other information you think Senate will need to make an educated decision. Your meeting with the Steering Committee will help to prepare you. If you would like additional help, please feel free to reach out to the VP of Executive Operations.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is the sub-committee of Senate responsible for allocating funds to different UA clubs and organizations through through annual budgets, processing line transfer requests, as well as providing funds to students for conferences.

Submitting a Conference Funding Proposal

To make a conference proposal, you must fill out the required Conference Funding Proposal Form which can be found in the UA Office or under the "Undergraduate Association Financial Information" link. Once your proposal has been turned in, it will be reviewed and you will be invited to the next Finance Committee meeting to explain your proposal in detail. After Finance Committee discusses your proposal, the VP of Finance will give you your decision.

Requesting a Line Change

To request a line change, you need to fill out and submit the required Finance Proposal Form at least one month before you plan to utilize the funds. Your proposal should include detailed information about why you need the line change. Like a conference proposal, you will be required to attend the next Finance Committee meeting to explain your proposal and receive your decision.

Campus Activities Board

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is made up of different committees that create and implement co-curricular activities for campus.

CAB chairs include Stephanie Adams (VP of Campus Programming), Paige Culver (Spirit of Naz), Josephine Kelly and Lauren Vito (Major Events), Victoria Lucido (Live@Naz), Gary Schreib (Marketing), Abbey Notter and Claire Nichols (Night Life), and Alexis Shufelt (Off Campus Events).

CAB can be reached via email at

Diversity Council

Diversity Council is comprised of representatives from the diversity clubs within the UA who work together to educate the college community and foster a greater understanding of what it means to live in a diverse world.

You can contact Diversity Council by emailing

Learning Outcomes

Through participation in a student organization, you will work on and develop skills that enhance your in-classroom learning. Specifically, the Office of Student Activities and the Undergraduate Association focus on the following learning outcomes.

Effective Communication, Networking, and Social Skills Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Leadership and Self-Understanding Teamwork and Collaboration Appreciation of Cultural and Human Differences


All student organizations are required to have a constitution that meets that guidelines outlined by the Senate. Please make sure that you have the most up-to-date copy on file with the Undergraduate Association. If you organization needs to make changes, you will need to submit a proposal to Senate. A model constitution can be made available upon request.

Selecting Your Advisor

All student organizations are required to have an advisor and to share this information with both the Office of Student Activities and the Undergraduate Association.

Your advisor must be a faculty or staff member at Nazareth College or otherwise approved by the Director of Student Activities & Leadership.

If your organization is having trouble selecting an advisor, please consult with the Office of Student Activities. We can recommend individuals and help make connections with people who may be interested in advising your group.

Advisor Role

Each advisor approaches their role differently with some individuals playing a more active role than others. Regardless of their approach, advisors are encourage to:

Be both accessible and interested in the group's activities; serve as a resource and guide the organization; motivate members to develop leadership skills, professionalism and personal growth; provide support, direction, and feedback to the group; notify college administration of any unacceptable behavior or noncompliance on the part of the student organization; regularly attend meetings; attend club programs/activities to show support for the student organization; sign off on yearly budget proposal; attend advisor training.

Your advisor serves as your mentor, team builder, conflict mediator, reflective agent, educator, motivator, and policy interpreter.

Just as your advisor has responsibilities to the student organization, you have responsibilities to your advisor as well. These responsibilities include:

Clearly defining expectations of the advisor; establishing lines of communication; notifying the advisor of meetings, activities, and programs; providing copies of meeting minutes in a timely manner; meeting regularly with the advisor to discuss organization matters; consulting with the advisor before making significant changes to the structure of the organization or policy changes; allowing the advisor to share their thoughts and ideas; showing respect and value for the advisor; considering the advisor's guidance and advice with an open mind.

Required Trainings

Officers are required to attend an initial training that will be hosted at the start of the fall semester. The Undergraduate Association will send out a notice about the training when officers return to campus. Officers are also asked to attend the annual Leadership Conference held each January. In addition, advisors receive training regarding fulfilling their roles. Student organizations, officers, and advisors can also request additional training on specific topics through the Office of Student Activities.

Club Rosters

A club roster is a list of all active members of your organization, noting officers and their respective positions. The Office of Student Activities and the Undergraduate Association use this information to maintain records for student involvement. Your club roster must be submitted by the end of September.

Meeting Minutes

The secretary of your club must take minutes for all officer and club meetings. Minutes must be submitted in a Word document saved as ClubName_MMDDYY.docx and emailed to no more than five days after the meeting.

Minutes should include club name, officer meeting or club meeting, date/time/location of meeting, attendance (officers, members, advisor), meeting business, and next meeting date/time/location.

Incomplete minutes will not be accepted and will be returned with the expectation that they will be resubmitted within three days. A sample set of meeting minutes can be made available upon request.

Elections Timeline

Officer elections for clubs should align with UA elections and take place in March or April. The only exceptions to this are the freshmen class officers and any unfilled positions. These elections should be completed by the end of September.

Officer Transition

It is important that your organization put time and effort into creating a successful officer transition. By electing officers in March or April, your organization will have time to do this. Successful officer transition allows new officers to better fulfill their roles while also allowing the organization as a whole to achieve its mission.

A smooth transition is the responsibility of both the outgoing and incoming officers and a time for new officers to ask questions and old officers to share their insight and knowledge. It is also a time for outgoing officers to reflect on the past year and help the group avoid "starting from scratch."

While there are many resources available online about successful officer transition, here are few suggestions ...

Advisor as Historian: In many ways, your advisor is the "keeper" of your organization's history, especially if our organization has had the same advisor for a few years. Take advantage of this expertise and ask your advisor to share your club's history with new officers.

Complete End-of-the Year Reflections: As outgoing officers to write an end-of-year reflection that can be given to the person taking over their position. Potential topics to address include what went well during their term, what unfinished business still needs to be addressed, what campus resources were the most useful?

One-on-One Officer Meetings: It can be helpful for new offices to "pick the brain" of outgoing officers. You can set aside time for one-on-one meetings so that incoming officers can ask questions and seek clarification of their oles. These meetings can be done either formally or informally depending on what works best for the individuals and the organization as a whole.

Transition Binder: Transition binders are a great way to share important documents and information with new officers. Outgoing officers can include their end-of-year reflection, budget information, checklists, notes, meeting minutes, and any other paperwork that may be needed by a new officer. Note: Transition binders are required by the UA. Your organization will receive more information about this during the year.

Hold a Transition Meeting: Scheduling a retreat for your organization gives outgoing and incoming officers a change to focus on the club, its needs, and sharing information without distraction. A retreat is a great time to set goals, develop a sense of team, and plan for the future.

1. Establish the purpose of your retreat 2. Select the facility 3. Coordinate transportation 4. Decide on your menu 5. Select the format for your retreat (workshops, experiential exercises) 6. Select necessary facilitators and presenters 7. Finalizing planning and hold retreat 8. Evaluate your retreat

Newly Elected Members

Once new officers have been elected, your club should submit this information to the UA. Please make sure you include first and last name, position, and email address. You should also indicate which member will be acting as your summer contact.

Financial Policies

A complete listing of UA financial policies as well as other financial information can be found online -


Students should not contact vendors or agents without approval from the Office of Student Activities. All student organization contracts must be requested, reviewed, and signed by Student Activities staff in order to prevent students from being personally liable. Under no circumstances is a student permitted to sign a contract using the name of Nazareth College.

If your organization is planning an event that requires a contract, your first step should be to schedule a meeting with either the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities. This meeting should take place at least three weeks before your event (although more time is always better). During this meeting, we will collect the details we need to execute the contract on your student organization's behalf. Without this meeting, your student organization will not be allowed to pursue the contract.

In addition to handling contracts, we are happy to work with you to tackle the details of your event including making reservations, connecting with other campus resources, and developing a promotional strategy.

Copyrighted Material

Any student organization showing movies or hosting video games on campus (outside of a residence hall room) is subject to federal copyright law. Any film showing or video game tournament must be approved by the Office of Student Activities to ensure that appropriate licenses have been secured. Renting a movie or video game without public distribution licensing or bring in a personal copy to show your membership or the general public is illegal.

Copying, Clothing Orders, Imprinted Items

Copies can be made through Office Services by submitting a hard copy of the item and a duplication request form or submitting your project via email to Make sure you indicate which club should be charged (will be taken from Involvement Fair/Publicity line unless otherwise indicated) and orders are typically processed within 48 hours. For a list of other offered services, go to

If your club wants to order imprinted items (t-shirts, hoodies, pens, cups, etc.) you must schedule a meeting with the Assistant Director of Student Activities to discuss your order. Students are not authorized to place orders for their club and any orders that are placed inappropriately will not be paid by the UA.

Van Reservations and Travel

If your club is planning an off-campus trip and needs transportation, there are several options ...

RTS Bus Service: $1 each way and takes you all over the city! Routes to downtown Rochester are free for Naz students with their school ID on Friday evenings and Saturdays. There is also a free route to Wegmans and the Pittsford Plaza on Sundays.

College Minivans: Clubs must have a current member who is certified to drive the college vehicles to utilize this option and vans are only permitted to travel within a 75-mile radius of campus. Reservations for using the campus vans can be made through the Office of Student Activities. Certification classes are held twice each semester. If members if your club are interested in pursuing this training, contact the Director of Student Activities.

School Bus: A school bus can be chartered for transporting larger groups. To do this, your group needs approval from the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities and requests must be made at least three weeks prior to the trip date.

Risk Management/Liability

It is important that student organizations consider liability and manage risk when planning events and activities so that everyone involved has a safe and fun experience. If you have questions about how best to manage risk for your event, please talk to your advisor and contact the Office of Student Activities.

Things you can do to mitigate risk ...

1. Assess the risks associated with your event or activity

2. Consider the possibilty of occurrence and the severity of the potential consequences for each risk

3. Explore and examine what actions can be taken to mitigate each risk; select and implement the appropriate mitigating action

4. Make sure you have a plan in place to deal with emergency situations

5. Consult with relevant campus resources (ex. Campus Safety)

6. Effectively communicate your risk management plan

7. Evaluate your plan and document for future reference, especially if it's an annual event


Waivers or liability release forms can be used to inform participants of the potential risks associated with an event or activity. By signing, individuals not only acknowledge their understanding of the potential risks but their willingness to participate. If an individual is under the age of 18, their waiver or liability release form must also be signed by a parent.

Before traveling off campus for a club sponsored activity or event, student should sign a liability release form or waiver. Completed forms from all participants should be left with Campus Safety before departure. f you think a waiver or liability release form should be utilized for an event (non off-campus trip) you are planning, please contact the Office of Student Activities. A copy of the standard waiver can be supplied upon request.

Professional Communications

When communicating on behalf of their student organization, members should utilize professional communication. If you are unsure how to format a piece of written communication or handle a particular type of correspondence, please connect with your advisor or Student Activities staff.

Ethics/Code of Conduct

As a member of a student organization, you are representing yourself as well as the organization and Nazareth College as a whole. It is essential that your actions and decisions be ethical and rooted in the values of your club and the institution.

Ethics Within Your Organization:

1. Keep an open communication line with all organization members

2. Never ask an organization member to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself

3. Treat all members equally regardless if they are your friend or someone you do not know well

4. Follow all Student Activities, Undergraduate Association, and Nazareth College policies

5. Do not offer services of another organization without consulting them first

6. Do not keep information from your advisor

7. Do not discriminate against other individuals

8. Do not participate in or condone hazing

9. Use social medial appropriately and responsibly

10. Do not use organization funds or materials for personal use

Nazareth College Statement of Respect & Diversity

We, the Nazareth community, embrace both respect for the person and freedom of speech. The College promotes civility and denounces acts of hatred or intolerance. The free exchange of ideas is possible only when concepts, values, and viewpoints can be expressed and challenged in a manner that is neither threatening nor demeaning. It is the policy of Nazareth College, in keeping with its efforts to foster a community in which diversity of all members is respected, not to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, marital or veteran status, disability, carrier status, genetic predisposition or any other protected status. Respect for the dignity of all peoples is an essential part of the College's tradition and mission, and its vision for the future.

Violation of Policies/Unethical Behavior

Violation of Student Activities, Undergraduate Association, or Nazareth College policies and unethical behavior on the part of a student organization or its members may result in disciplinary action for members and suspension of the group as a whole.

Inclusive Programming

When programming, it is important to be mindful of the differences of people within the community. Below are some areas to think about when developing your program:

1. Gender bias and gender-neutral language

2. Religious backgrounds, rituals, and traditions

3. Diverse racial and/or ethnic populations

4. Individuals with disabilities

5. Economic limitations

6. Heterosexual bias and diverse sexual orientations

Reserving Spaces

Reservations for spaces on campus should be made at least three weeks in advance; however, many locations on campus book quickly so more time is always better. When booking a space, make sure you discuss the set-up needs for your event (ex. tables, chairs, technology). If you end up canceling or postponing the event, make sure to adjust your reservation so that the space can be made available to another group.

For Arts Center reservations, contact Lindsay Chasse (

For Athletic fields or spaces inside Shults, contact Brian McGahan (

For Linehan Chapel, contact Ruth Santiago (

For Colie's Cafe, contact Carey Backman (

For other campus locations, contact Charlie Loray (

Otto A. Shults Community Center Policies & Procedures

1. Reservations are not complete until the Room Reservation Form is approved by the building director.

2. If you need anything during the event, go to the Information Desk.

3. Keep things neat and orderly. Do not take tables and chairs from a room that you have not reserved as it may be needed for another event.

4. If you need to move furniture for your event, be careful that you do not damage it. Do not drag tables or chairs across the Cabaret, Forum, or gym floors at any time!

5. If anything breaks or spills, please call x2324 or report it to the Information Desk.

6. It is the responsibility of the registered student organization president or chairperson to see that all college regulations, procedures, and policies are maintained.

7. At least two representatives of the sponsoring organization are to remain at the event until the even is terminated. Under no circumstances is the event to be left unsupervised.

8. When a student-sponsored activity is scheduled, no alcoholic beverages are to be brought into or consumed in the event space. Please refer to the Nazareth College Alcohol Policy. For special events such as the 100 Days or 50 Days mixers, a 21 Club may be requested. See the Director of Student Activities for approval. Please note that 4-6 weeks is needed to secure an alcohol permit in some locations.

9. Campus Safety or Shults Center personnel may terminate any event if college policies and procedures are not maintained.

10. The sponsoring organization will be held accountable for any maintenance charges and damage that occurs during the course of the event.

11. The organization sponsoring the event must file the required space reservation and activity registration forms three weeks in advance of the scheduled event.

12. All off-campus publicity must be approved by the building director. On-campus publicity may be posted in designated areas. Please check the Student Handbook for the Nazareth College poster policy.

Adding Events to the Nazreth Events Calendar

1. Go to

2. Click on the "Submit an Event" link

3. Provide the required information

Guidelines for Posting

Notices, posters, or signs may be placed only on bulletin boards, approved posting areas on walls, or similar locations designated for such purposes. Notices, posters, or signs may not be placed on poles, posts, signs, trees, walls, buildings, doors, windows, glass, transparent partitions, or painted surfaces not marked as posting areas. Notices, posters, signs, etc., shall not be placed in manner or location that may obscure or mark exit signs, fire alarm boxes, safety rails, fire extinguisher cases, hand rails, and similar devices installed as safety equipment in a building.

Banners may not be hung outdoors without the permission of the Director of Student Activities or the Director of Campus Life, Assistant Vice president for Student Development. Banners may not be placed on the exterior of buildings without specific approval of the building manager. It is the responsibility of the individual or organization hanging the banner to take it down by the date agreed upon.

Event Evaluations

The UA requires clubs to complete Event Evaluation forms within five days of an event. This is an opportunity for your club to:

1. Reflect on the planning of the event

2. Review the execution of the event

3. Acknowledge what when went well

4. Recognize/thank those who contributed to the success of the event

5. Consider what could have been done differently to improve the event in the future

If your event was service-related, you should connect with Center for Civic Engagement to share information for inclusion in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.


Co-sponsorships with other student organizations or campus departments are encouraged. Through co-sponsorships your organization can share not only the costs associated with hosting an event but the work as well. In addition, you can draw a larger audience to your program and increase your event’s visibility on campus.

Any co-sponsorship where finances are shared should be outlined in writing and submitted to the VP of Finance. The outline should include a breakdown of all expenditures (i.e. which organization is paying for which expense) and how any profits should be split. In the case that more than two groups want to co-sponsor an event, the costs may be divided into agreed percentages. The profits or losses from the event will be dividing according to the percentage invested in the event.

Co-Sponsoring a Mixer

All mixers must be co-sponsored with the Campus Activities Board and receive approval from the Office of Student Activities. Campus Safety should also be notified at least three weeks in advance to arrange for appropriate staffing.

To co-sponsor a mixer:

1. Contact the CAB Night Life Chair to indicate your club’s interest in co-sponsoring a mixer. You will need to meet to review expectations for mixers and determine your club’s responsibilities. Mixers must be registered using the Student Activities Registration Form which will by the CAB Night Life Chair.

2. CAB will provide in-house DJ services for mixers. If your organization would like to host an outside DJ, you must receive approval from CAB first. Only DJS who can meet the following requirements will be considered: they will sign a contract (to be requested and handled by the Director or Assistant Director of Student Activities)and they have their own DJ equipment.

3. Setup should be scheduled at least two hours before the start of a mixer. Setup needs vary for different locations and may include moving tables and chairs to make room for dancing and helping the DJ load in and/or set up equipment. For more specific setup information, connect with either the Office of Student Activities or the CAB Night Life Chair.

4. There must be two people at the door at all times and no doors are to be propped open.

5. Students must present a valid Nazareth ID to enter a mixer. One guest per Naz student is permitted with payment of the $1 guest fee. All guests must be signed in at the door. Naz students are responsible for the actions of their guests and no inebriated individuals should be permitted to enter.

6. To terminate a mixer whether due to end of event (2am), emergency, or behavior:

An announcement from the DJ booth is to be made stating that if the problems do not stop the mixer will be terminated. This is to act as a warning for the crowd;

If the problem persists after the warning has been given, the DJ, the contact person for the night, and Campus Safety must all agree to end the mixer;

Campus Safety must be present in the venue and the lights must be turned on when the mixer is called to an end;

The DJ hired for that night, the contact person for that night, and Security are the only people allowed to call an end to a mixer.

7. At the end of the mixer, the venue must be returned to its standard setup. Pick up all trash on the floor, tables, and chairs. Your group should also help the DJ break down the DJ booth or load their equipment.

8. Any money collected at the mixer must be deposited in Campus Safety IMMEDIATELY.

Maintaining UA Organizational Status

All of the information in this handbook should help you to maintain your organizational status and avoid probation. The UA Constitution defines active status as doing the following during the academic year:

1. Holding regular officer and club meetings with a minimum of ten people, excluding established Executive Board officers

2. Programming activities (contingent upon the nature of the club or organization) and submitting required event forms for each activity

3. Meeting the objectives or purpose of the club or organization as stated in your Constitution

4. Having an established Executive Board

5. Participating in the Fall and Spring Involvement Fairs

6. Attending Presidents’ Council

7. Submitting minutes for each meeting to the VP of Communication

8. If your club is a recognized diversity club, an elected representative must attend each Diversity Council meeting.

For more detailed information about UA functions, club expectations, and maintaining organizational status, refer to the UA Constitution which can be found online at

UA Office Materials for Use

The UA has colored copy paper, construction paper, a Cricut machine, crayons, stickers, scissors, and other assorted crafting supplies available for club use. Your club is responsible for purchasing any special supplies it needs from its own supply budget.

Club Storage Closet

Does your club have items that need to be stored for future use? The Club Storage Closet has space for you! There are community shelves from which groups can borrow with permission from Student Activities. There are also club owned shelves where students must get permission from the club who owns the items before they can be borrowed. To reserve a space in the Club Storage Closet, see Office of Student Activities staff. Clubs must provide their own labeled storage bins.

Poster Printer

The UA has a full-color poster printer that is available for club use. Posters can be created using a pre-loaded program or enlarged from a standard 8.5” x 11” document (hard copy or saved on a flash drive). Maximum size is approximately 24” x 32”.

To use: Submit a request via email to with file attached. Posters will be printed within 72 hours and available in the UA office for pick up. If you would like to use the poster design software, please schedule an appointment.

Helium Tank

Need some balloons to decorate for your event? The UA has its own helium tanks that are available for clubs to use. Email to learn more! There are some basic supplies available – no guarantee of colors or quantities. If your club needs something special, you will need to provide your own supplies.

Popcorn and Sno Cone Machines

If your club would like to utilize the popcorn or sno cone machines, you must first request permission from either Student Activities Staff or UA Exec.

Stage Pieces and Sound System

The UA has stage pieces and a sound system that are available for club use; however, members must be trained. To utilize the staging and/or sound system, please contact Student Activities staff.

Video Games and Gaming Systems

There are gaming systems and games available for your organization’s use. To reserve equipment, please email your request to

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