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Student Organization Guide

The following is a guide designed to help Student Leaders, Coaches, and Student Organization Consultants with the information needed to optimally engage their student community.  Please refer to this  PDF version of the Student Organization Guide or view it in parts below for your reference.

Accountability

The Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity promotes good citizenship within the Vanderbilt University community
through education. Students are expected to respect themselves and others, to act responsibly, and to be accountable for their actions. The student accountability
system addresses student violations of University policy through fair, consistent, and confidential procedures.

All students and student organizations are expected to comply with all University policies, which are derived from tradition and evolve with contemporary practice.
Ignorance of a policy is not a valid excuse for violating it. Grounds for corrective action cannot always be the subject of precise statement; however, when commonly
held standards of conduct are broken, students must be held accountable if the University community is to be sustained.

For more information, please visit the Student Handbook or The Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity Website

Coaches & Faculty Consultants

Role of a Coach

Registered Student Organizations are required to have a faculty or staff Organization Coach affiliated with Vanderbilt University and trained appropriately on all policies and procedures through the Dean of Students Office. Assistance may be obtained from the Office of Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service concerning financial responsibilities, interpretation of policies and procedures, and methods for obtaining a faculty or administrative
Consulting Advisor.

Coaches are encouraged and expected to provide leadership and holistic development through experiential learning opportunities, advocate for the mission and vision of the student organization in which they are associated, and council officers and members of the organization regarding their responsibilities. Coaches will help student leaders manage the programmatic, financial, and logistical operations of their organization(s).

Role of a Faculty Consultant

Registered Student Organizations may recruit a Faculty Consultant to act as a content matter expert or to provide experiential support, community engagement, and educational
& career development. The Faculty Consultant will not have oversight in areas such as financial responsibilities, logistical operations, and other administrative responsibilities.
Faculty Consultants can also serve as a Student Organization Coach contingent on the attendance of all necessary training sessions hosted through Vanderbilt University and the
Dean of Students Office in addition to the fulfillment of all Organization Coach requirements and expectations. Faculty Consultants do not have the authority to prohibit the expression of editorial opinion by a campus publication.

A detailed list of guidelines and requirements may be found on the SOLS website.

 

Fundraising

A Registered Student Organization can raise money via the following fundraising methods: Co-Sponsorships, Membership Dues & Event Admission, Merchandise Sales (Marketplace), Off-Campus Solicitation, Student Services Fee, and Tickets & Raffles. Accumulated funds should be intended for organization purchases only, so it is imperative that organization monies are not kept in personal possession. Follow the steps below to deposit funds:

  • Email Mark Leners at mark.leners@vanderbilt.edu with your RSO’s deposit information. It must include the following:
    • Name of Organization
    • Task number
    • Amount of deposit
    • How the revenue was earned
    • Your name and best way to contact you
    • Date of deposit

For more information, visit the How to Make Deposits page on the SOLS website.

Co-Sponsorships

  • Vanderbilt Programming Board Co-sponsorship — VPB administers co-sponsorship funding for program initiatives that align with the missions of the VPB component organizations. This is available for any RSO for major programs; more information can be found on the VPB Anchor Link page
  • Vanderbilt Student Government Co-sponsorship — VSG administers both general co-sponsorship grants and a “co-sponsorship of the month. To apply for co-sponsorship, fill out the VSG Anchor Link form. (Note: You must be logged in to Anchor Link to complete the form.)
  • The Student Services Fee Contingency Fund — SSF provides limited support for new organizations that were not eligible to participate in the annual activity fee allocation process, and for established organizations with new initiatives or unexpected circumstances. The 2020-2021 Contingency Fund Application can be found on the Student Services Fee Anchor Link page
  • General Guidelines:
    • Each organization can have 3 events funded by VSG per year;
    • Generally, student organizations are awarded up to $500;
    • Applications must be submitted by the 15th of the month.

Membership Dues & Event Admission

  • Registered student organizations are entitled to charge dues to their membership. Dues must be deposited in an organization’s University account upon receipt.

  • Registered groups may charge admission to events, provided that the primary purpose of sales is to raise money for the benefit of the organization, or for the benefit of a charitable group, and not for the benefit of individual members of the organization.

  • Registered Student Organizations that receive Student Services Fee (SSF) may charge no more than $5 for event attendance, with the exception of Rites of Spring, Commodore Quake and Lights on the Lawn

Merchandise Sales - Marketplace

  • Registered student organizations may engage in the distribution of items for a suggested donation when the funds raised are for the use of the organization in its regular activities (including philanthropic efforts) and are deposited into the organization’s University account.

  • The Marketplace is an online platform where all Registered Student Organizations shop and sell online. Vanderbilt students have access to the Marketplace by logging in with their VUNet ID and password. Students have the option of using their Commodore Card or personal debit/credit card for shopping. It is a great place for safe financial transactions! 

  • Any RSO that is interested in selling merchandise may request to open a shopping page by sending an email to sols@vanderbilt.edu with, “Opening A Marketplace Page” in the subject line. Our office will provide the organization’s Coach with administrative access to the page once it is created and students may reach out to them to make any selling posts. Only Coaches have access to make selling posts.

  • Merchandise must be compliant with the Office of Brand Engagement and Governance guidelines.

Off-Campus Solicitation

Local restaurants

  • Fundraising events in limited-service restaurants (i.e. bars), as defined by Tennessee statutes, or at any location where money is collected at the door, or through any other arrangement, with an establishment involving financial transactions that circumvent the University’s accounting system, are prohibited. Partnerships with other restaurants to benefit student organizations are allowed.

Corporations

  • All external fundraising must be approved through the Department of Alumni Relations (DAR). All student organizations must submit a list of external vendors that they want to solicit to DAR for approval. DAR will approve two list requests per academic year. It may take up to six weeks before DAR will complete the review process.

Student Services Fee

  • The Student Services Fee provides financial support, based on the University’s needs, for student co-curricular interests, organizations, events, and programs, as well as student support services and resources.
  • In general, Student Services Fee is allocated to student organizations that sponsor events open to the entire campus. RSOs (both undergraduate AND graduate) are eligible to apply for Student Services Fee funding in the spring semester of each academic year. RSOs will receive half in the fall semester and half in the spring semester.
  • Groups are required to keep diligent records (including tracking attendance through Anchor Link events) of each expenditure for each event in order to apply for Student Services Fee.

Information about Student Services Fee can be requested by emailing studentservicesfee@vanderbilt.edu

Tickets & Raffles

  • Only currently registered Student Organizations & Departments, and designated campus organizations are eligible to establish ticket sales. Requests for ticketing can be made by filling out the Request Event Ticketing form located on the Sarratt Box Office page on Anchor Link. Requests must be submitted by officers of the organization or department representatives. For more information, please visit the Event Ticketing Website.
  • Requests should be submitted 3 weeks before event date and 10 days prior to the requested on-sale date.
  • In accordance with Tennessee state law, students may not sell tickets for a raffle or lottery. Drawings for door prizes awarded to ticket-holding participants at an event are permitted.

Using Student Org Funds

This section covers the most common uses of organization funding; it is not an exhaustive list of how organizations can spend their money. Nevertheless, it is imperative to contact your organization’s coach before you make any purchase.

Gifts, Prizes, and Gift Cards

Purchases must be made by a Vanderbilt Employee using a OneCard. Students may not purchase gifts, prizes, or gift cards. Students will NOT be eligible for reimbursement.

  • Prizes and Gifts (tangible gifts – not gift cards): Gifts and Prizes: defined as items given to select individuals; items given to all attendees/members with a value under $75 are not considered gifts. The gift total value includes all items within the gift to one person at one time (IE: Gift Baskets)
    • Gift and Prize purchases must be made by a Vanderbilt Employee using a OneCard.
    • By university policy students may not purchase gifts, prizes, gift certificates or gift cards with personal funds. They will not be eligible for reimbursement.
    • The Oracle eprocurement system is not to be used for the purchase of gifts or prizes.
  • Gifts and Prizes Under $75
    • Prior to purchase:
      • Approval of the groups’ coach
    • After purchase:
      • Provide the following:
        • Explanation for purchase of gifts
        • Number of recipients receiving gifts (a list of recipients is preferred if available)
        • Coach approval email
  • Gifts and Prizes Over $75
    • Prior to purchase:
      • Approval of the groups’ coach
        • Coach should obtain approval from DOS Finance for the gift above $75
    • After purchase:
      • Provide the following:
        • Explanation for purchase of gifts
        • Tax tracking spreadsheet filled out and attached
        • Coach approval email
  • Gifts to Employees: Gifts and Prizes awarded to Employees (staff and student employees) must be reported as additional income to the employee
    • Coach should obtain approval and provide documentation to DOS Finance
  • Gift Cards:
    • The purchase of Gift Cards or Gift Certificates is highly discouraged.
    • Preapproval is required for the purchase of all Gift Cards or Gift Certificates regardless of value.
      • Cash Advance Gift Card Request Form
      • Cash Advance Gift Card Tax Tracking Form
    • Approved purchases must be made by a Vanderbilt Employee using a OneCard.
    • Students may not purchase gifts, prizes, gift certificates or gift cards with personal funds. They will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Merchandise and Apparel

Registered Student Organizations who wish to place orders for organization apparel, promotional products, awards, and more must adhere to the following guidelines:*

  1. Get a quote from a licensed vendor* (using an approved vendor is required). Click here to review the current list of approved vendors;

  2. Fill-out the on-line Merchandise Request Form* (this will require that you have your design ready);

  3. Finalize shirt type, sizes and design with the supplier;

  4. Send the quote to your coach for approval;

  5. Allow the coach to identify available resources for assistance with Oracle ordering (to create a purchase requisition in the Vanderbilt Oracle system). The Merchandise Order Request Number (MOR#) given by the Trademark Office must be entered on the Oracle requisition in a comment box;

  6. Once the requisition is approved through the Vanderbilt Procurement Department, the Coach (or designee creating the purchase requisition) should pass the purchase order number (different from MOR#) along to the supplier;

  7. The vendor can then process the order and send an invoice for payment to Vanderbilt’s Disbursement Department. That invoice should be sent to invoices@vanderbilt.edu;

  8. If additional resources are needed for assistance with ordering through Oracle, contact your departmental administrative staff to request assistance.

* If your organization is a Fraternity or Sorority, you may download and follow these guidelines on Ordering Promotional Items.

* If your department plans on using a licensed vendor often, create a Blanket Purchase Order

* Fill out MOR form at least four weeks in advance

Student Services Fee Allocation

The Student Services Fee is allocated to student organizations that sponsor events open to the entire campus. Up to 10% and no more than $1,000 of an organization’s allocation may be used for purposes internal to an organization, such as retreats, t-shirts, or other similar items.  Exceptions to these restrictions may be made with approval from the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee.

  • Organizations are restricted from using Student Services Fee funding on the following: 

    • Requests to purchase or supply alcohol or tobacco to students;

    • Requests to pay student leaders or members of the organization for services rendered;

    • Requests for programs which exclude participation or membership to segments of the Vanderbilt population, or where certain groups of students are not fully included in the event;

    • Requests to fund charitable donations or expenses intended to directly and solely benefit non-Vanderbilt students or agencies;

    • Requests for funding to directly maintain or establish a reserve. Organizations are allowed to be fiscally responsible and hold on to funds between years if they end a year under budget, but this reserve shouldn’t be above 5% of their previous allocation;

    • Requests to fund expenses that serve to sustain and/or benefit only the membership of the petitioning organization (i.e. private parties, T-shirts, etc.);

    • Requests to fund travel, unless it is core to the mission of the organization.

Speakers and Performers 

  • When bringing a speaker or performer to campus a student organization must utilize the Vanderbilt Performers Agreement template (used by procurement and DOS designee).

  • Speakers and Performers will not be paid until the agreement has been completed and signed by Vanderbilt procurement.

  • Requests for speakers or performers should be made at least 6 weeks in advance.

Spending Student Organization Funds

Student Organizations are able to make purchases in a variety of ways. Student organization leaders can access financial information such as the task number, budget, transaction, and more on your organization’s Anchor Link page. Click here for more details and information about the Finance Module. If your organization is affiliated with an office on campus, please contact that office directly for assistance with purchasing.

Coach Approval

All purchase requests require prior approval from the Coach of your organization. Please send an email request to your coach and include the following information: 

  • Organization:
  • Organization’s Task Number:
  • Reason for Purchase:
  • Vendor Name(s):
  • Estimated Cost:
  • Student Services Fee Funds Provided:
  • Funds Available in Org Account (How to check for funds):
  • Form of Payment Requested: 
    • In-person (P-Card to be Checked Out)
    • Online Purchase
    • Merchandise and apparel order (Purchase Requisition for approved supplier) 
    • Reimbursement for items purchased
  • Requested Date to Check Out P-Card or receive purchased items:

Purchase Card Process

A Check Out Card (P-card) is a credit card issued by Vanderbilt for the purpose of paying for expenses related to Vanderbilt departments and student organizations. P-cards may be checked out through a variety of offices. Follow the steps below to obtain a P-card:

  1. Request the P-Card at least 2 business weeks in advance by completing the Student Organization Purchasing Form found on the Dean of Students Anchor Link page. Failure to do so will result in denial of the P-Card request.

  2. Upload the following items with your request: Anchor Link Event Page or proof of submission, Coach Approval, and Shopping List. You will not be able to check out the P-Card until your event has been approved in Anchor Link

  3. Schedule an appointment to pick up the P-Card in 310 Sarratt.

  4. Make sure the person requesting the P-card is the person picking it up and making the purchases.

  5. Return the P-Card packet to a staff member in 310 Sarratt before 11:00 a.m. the next business day, unless prior arrangements are made with the card trustee.

  6. Inform the cashier before items are scanned that you are using a tax-exempt credit card from Vanderbilt University. Follow the cashier’s instructions.

  7. Secure an itemized receipt that lists all purchases. Take a picture of the receipt prior to leaving the establishment. 

  8. Attach each receipt to a Receipt Submission Sheet and fill out the corresponding information (i.e., organization to be charged).

  9. Upon completion of shopping, include all original itemized receipts in the P-Card packet, Anchor Link Event Print Out, and Attendance List for events with fewer than 20 attendees.

Reimbursement

  • Students who purchase items on behalf of their organizations may be reimbursed for their purchase if their group has funding available in its account. Below are some important guidelines regarding reimbursement: 

    • Receipts must have proof of payment shown by the vendor (usually the last four digits of your payment card). You can also provide a bank statement.

    • Receipts should not have sales tax.

    • Receipts must be legible and itemized. If the receipt is not itemized, contact the vendor and request an itemized receipt.  If you are unable to provide an itemized receipt, note in the comments on the report why you could not do so.

    • In addition to uploading the receipt(s), you will also need to upload an event flyer from Anchor Link or an official email about the event. 

    • In the description field of the expense report, the student should note the organization’s name and the name, date, and location of the event.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to complete reimbursement. 

Tax Exemption

  • As an RSO, your organization is considered to be a part of Vanderbilt and as such is afforded the use of Vanderbilt’s tax exemption.  In order to make purchases, you must physically have the Tax Exempt Certificate with you at the time of the purchase whether you are using your own money or the p-card.  If you are using your own money, please note that you may not receive the exemption (depending on the vendor). If required by the vendor to pay sales tax, you will NOT be reimbursed for taxes you paid on supplies for your organization. Click here to access the Tax Exempt Certificate

Student Org Event Policies & Procedures

Catering

  • When reserving your facility, be sure to inquire about specific guidelines for food as some spaces require you to order food through Vanderbilt Catering while others will allow for outside food to be served. University Departments and outside clients that host events in the Student Centers event spaces are required to request a quote from Vanderbilt Campus Dining. If a group’s needs cannot be met by Vanderbilt Campus Dining, an alternate caterer can be used for a small fee. If you need to use Vanderbilt Catering, be sure to place your order at least two weeks in advance.

Chalking

  • The use of chalk on any surface other than a chalkboard is prohibited, and the use of chalkboards in classrooms is limited to instructional or meeting purposes. Using markers, paint, or any other medium on any surface other than banners, posters, or flyers, is prohibited, as is using self-adhesive labels or stickers on surfaces other than banners, posters, or flyers. Individuals and organizations may be charged for the repair or cleaning of damaged surfaces.

Contracts (DOS)

  • Student organization members and officers are not authorized to sign contracts or make deposits. All contracts for performers, speakers, or other types of entertainment must be approved and signed by the Dean of Students. All performers will be paid at the conclusion of the scheduled event or performance. Your organization coach can share more information on contracts with you.

Event Security

  • The Vanderbilt University Police Department provides police and security services for Special Events. For more information please visit the VUPD Special Events Website.

Events with Alcohol

  • Undergraduate Student Organizations: Events (on campus or off) at which alcohol will be available must be registered in Anchor Link at least three weeks in advance of the event and arrangements must be approved by the Special Events Registration Committee, where applicable. Fraternity and sorority events occurring on campus must be registered in Anchor Link with the Office of Greek Life and must comply with the alcohol policies of the pertinent Greek governing body as well as the University.
  • Graduate & Professional Student Organizations: Graduate and professional students organizations must register events (on or off campus) at which alcohol will be present with the office of the relevant school’s dean and in Anchor Link at least three weeks in advance of the event and arrangements must be approved by the Special Events Registration Committee, where applicable. The stipulations of event management below may be superseded by additional requirements of the facilities when an event occurs at a location other than the relevant school.
  • If an undergraduate student organization cosponsors an event with a graduate or professional student organization, or if undergraduates are invited or present at an event, the policies governing the undergraduate events must be followed for EVERYONE in attendance. In addition, graduate or professional student organizations and their officers are subject to corrective action through the University’s student accountability process if there are violations of the underage drinking law or University policies and regulations at their events.

For more information and steps required to host an event with alcohol present, please visit the Student Handbook: Event Policies.

Off-campus Events

  • In keeping with the University’s policy prohibiting student organizations from making contractual commitments (whether formal, understood, or implied), registered student organizations may not hold events at off-campus locations without the express approval of the appropriate adviser and the completion of appropriate contractual documents (if applicable) approved by the relevant dean’s office of the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee. For authorized off-campus events, third-party (and when applicable, licensed) vendors must be engaged for all services (i.e., security, identification checks, distribution of alcohol, etc.).

Outdoor Space

  • Outdoor spaces may be reserved by Registered Student Organizations for signature events. Requests for space must be made at least three (3) weeks in advance but may be requested up to one year. All outdoor events are required to be registered in Anchorlink and the student organization may be required to attend the Special Events Registration meeting.

For more information, please visit the Events at Vanderbilt website.

Special Events Registration

  • The special event registration process is managed online in Anchor Link. Occasionally, event organizers may be required to meet with the committee should clarification be needed on one or more arrangements for the event.

For more information, please visit the Student Handbook: Event Registrations

Student Org General Policies & Procedures

Anchor Link

  • Anchor Link is Vanderbilt’s student involvement platform that helps students get connected on campus and manage their experiences outside the classroom. Anchor Link serves as the central calendar for student life and has pages for every registered student organization and residence hall on campus, as well as a variety of university departments, programs, and resources. Anchor Link has robust functionality for managing student organizations including recruiting new members, publicizing events and news, tracking attendance, maintaining organization records, conducting elections, and communicating with members. The public Anchor Link site is accessible to anyone, including those outside of Vanderbilt. However, every student, faculty, and staff member may log in with their VUnet ID and password for a more robust campus user view as well as customized content for each individual user based on their involvement and their interests.

Creating a Website

  • Student organizations are encouraged to use Anchor Link as their web presence. If RSOs feel the need for a full website, website assistance can be requested using the website form.

Demonstrations and Dissent

  • Demonstrations and dissent are necessary and acceptable forms of expression. Generally, picketing, distributing literature, silent or symbolic protests (e.g., holding signs, wearing certain clothing, standing, etc.), or short and spontaneous verbal reactions to a speaker are acceptable forms of protest and dissent, as long as they do not block, obstruct, or impede, among other things, access to a meeting or activity, the passage of persons or vehicles, the audience’s view or ability to pay attention, and/or the speaker’s communication or ability to speak.

For more information please visit the Student Handbook: Freedom of Expression.

Hazing

  • State law requires each college and university in Tennessee to adopt a policy prohibiting hazing. Hazing is defined in the law as “any intentional or reckless act in Tennessee on or off the property of any [college or university] by one (1) student acting alone or with others which is directed against any other student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student, or which induces or coerces a student to endanger the student’s mental or physical health or safety. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization.”
  • While including the statutory limitations of hazing above (i.e., student acts directed at students on or off campus), the University expands its definition of hazing to include any act that may produce, or is intended to produce, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule, or any acts that are humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning, or that endanger the health and safety of another person. Such acts include—but are not limited to— paddling in any form, inducement of excessive fatigue, required exercise inconsistent with the mission of the organization, or physical or psychological shocks; implementing or participation in treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or road trips that are not pre-approved by the appropriate University office; personal servitude; publicly wearing apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; forced or coerced consumption, drinking games, or, other organized activities, late work sessions, and other obligations which interfere with scholastic purposes of the student organization; and any other activity inconsistent with the purposes of the organization’s constitution, by-laws, standing rules and policies, or University policy. Students are subject to federal, state and local laws, and policies and regulations of the University.

For more information, please visit the Student Handbook: Hazing

Mail

  • Registered student organizations desiring University mailboxes may apply to the Director of Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service.

Marketing 

  • ACE Design is a free resource to students, registered student organizations, and faculty departments at Vanderbilt University. Select the forms tab on ACE Design’s Anchor Link page to submit a project request.

For more information, visit the Student Handbook: Publicity, Promotions and Advertising.

Posters/Banners

  • Notices that provide information regarding student activities or academic matters, or make announcements pertinent to the business of the University may be posted on campus. Hand-painted signs and banners should be made with acrylic latex house paint, which can be cleaned up with water. This paint will not dissolve in water or run, once dry. If a poster or banner stains the surface to which it is attached, the responsible student or organization will be charged for the stain removal.

Protection of Minors

  • The Protection of Minors Policy is administered by the Office of Risk Management. Further resources and information about this policy and the requirements can be found on the Vanderbilt Risk Management website. Student Organizations that work with minors must register their organization annually and follow all aspects of the Protection of Minors Student Organization Leader Packet.
  • To comply with COVID-19 guidelines and the Protection of Minors policy, student groups are required to do the following:
    • Be knowledgeable of the Protection of Minors policy and the rules for registering, tracking, and participating in an event that involves minors.
    • Distribute relevant Protection of Minors information to your organization members.
    • Review the RSO Online Events Guidance 2020-2021 for virtual/remote engagement with minors and to ensure compliance with Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 guidelines. 
    • Complete a Third Party Compliance Agreement if your organization will be working with a third party.
    • Ensure that every member of the organization’s roster completes the Protecting Youth module, or, if they completed the Protection of Minors 101 or Protecting Youth module before July 1 of the current academic year, the applicable Protection of Minors Annual Renewal module prior to any event with minors. Organization rosters should be updated regularly on Anchor Link to ensure compliance accuracy.
  • Note: If you are a student organization that is required to complete a background check, all members of the roster must be in compliance with that requirement as well

Registration

Student leaders must renew their organization’s registration each year by completing the re-registration process. The registration process serves to provide current information to the Dean of Students office and the University population at large. To re-register, student organizations must provide any updates to their officers, members, and constitution and by-law changes. Failure to renew their registration annually by the deadline will result in the student organization being frozen and not allowed to reserve space, host events, participate in the student involvement fair, or spend funds.

  • Eligibility for Re-Registration:
    • Be organized and run by four officers who are full-time registered students as defined by their colleges or schools.
    • Officers maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and may not be on academic or disciplinary probation.
    • Have at least one full-time, permanent, Vanderbilt University faculty or staff member as it student organization coach.
    • Maintain all funds on deposit in an account of good standing through the Office of Financial Affairs and follow appropriate accounting procedures (special conditions apply to fraternities, sororities, and Vanderbilt Student Communications divisions).
    • Be funded by its members or the University (ex. Student Services Fee, departmental funding, member dues).
    • Limit its voting membership to Vanderbilt students, faculty, or staff members (a limited number of other persons may be elected to honorary or associate membership without voting privileges).
  • To Start a New Organization:
    • Meet the above eligibility requirements and have a purpose that does not overlap significantly with any other registered organization.
    • Complete the New Student Organization Interest Form on Anchor Link.
    • The Office of Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service ONLY reviews new organization requests during the first three weeks of each semester (in some cases, the review process may take longer).
    • If approved, the organization is eligible to register in order to become a Registered Student Organization
    • All decisions are FINAL!

Travel

  • Domestic Travel:
    • Vanderbilt registers and assumes responsibility only for those official overnight or out-of-town trips sponsored and directed by an administrative division of the University (e.g., the Spirit of Gold Marching Band). The University assumes no responsibility for travel for which the University has no oversight, such as sorority and fraternity destination formals, or affiliated ministry service trips. Any student who wishes to travel on behalf of, or as a representative of, Vanderbilt University or any registered student organization must receive written authorization in advance from the appropriate dean. For domestic travel policies, please visit the Student Handbook: Travel.
  • International Travel:
    • Provisions of the Student International Travel Policy apply to students traveling abroad in University programs, including those of a co-curricular nature, or on University business

 

Detailed descriptions and additional policies are available in the Student Handbook. Policies are subject to change and may be updated. If you have specific questions that are not covered in this guide please contact the Student Organizations Office

Programming Guide

Event Registration

The Events at Vanderbilt team is here to provide guidance and resources to help you host a successful event. In addition to helping you book the best venue for your event, our team can assist with navigating vendors, approvals and equipment rentals. We are here to support your student organization! 

Contact us at eventservices@vanderbilt.edu, in Rand 307 or via phone at 615.322.2448. 

Reservation Guidelines

  • University- wide events such as Commencement, Homecoming/Reunion, Common VU, and Family Weekend have priority over other events.
  • Before planning your event or requesting a space reservation, consult the University Calendar and the Anchorlink Calendar to avoid conflicts with large-scale signature events or holy days.
  • Meetings and events scheduled on weeknights (Sunday - Thursday), must end at 11pm.
  • Registered student organizations shall not use their privileges to access space, resources or services and “front” for a non-university group or commercial entity in order to avoid fees or receive reduced fees. All instances of “fronting” for off-campus groups or commercial entities will result in an adjustment of all related fees to appropriate rate category.
  • All University requests for the use of facilities are to be submitted to Events at Vanderbilt though the EMS application, email, phone call or walk in.
  • Reservations for Signature or Annual Events can be made up to one year in advance. 
    • Requests for events must be made at least 21 days or 3 weeks in advance.
    • Outdoor events require a minimum of 28 days or 4 weeks in advance.
    • Meeting spaces that do not require any services may request a space 24 hours in advance. 
  • Standing or recurring reservations may be requested beginning April 15th for the following academic year. Events at Vanderbilt reserves the right to limit the number standing reservations permitted to student organizations. All student organizations are entitled to two (2) standing reservations per year, provided space is available. Standing reservations are limited to meeting, academic and rehearsal spaces only. 
    • Rehearsal space requests are made in collaboration with VPAC leadership each semester.
    • Academic space may be requested, but may not be confirmed until the academic schedule has been finalized each semester, which is normally 2 weeks after the first day of class. 
  • All meetings or events should fall between the first day of class and the last day of class each semester.

Reservation Timelines: 

Provost and DOS Sponsored Events 

  • April 1st - Requests for recurring meetings can be made for the following academic year.
  • August 1st - Requests for Signature Events can be made for Fall of the following academic year.
  • December 1st - Requests for Signature Events can be made for the Spring of the following academic year. 

University Sponsored Events 

  • Requests for Signature Events can be made up to one year in advance and require a minimum of 21 days.
  • April 15th (typically) - Requests for recurring meetings can be made for the following academic year.

Registered Student Organization sponsored events 

  • Requests for Signature Events can be made up to one year in advance and require a minimum of 21 days. (see above)
  • April 15th (typically) - Requests for recurring meetings can be made for the following academic year.
  • You may request space if you are listed as an officer in Anchorlink for your RSO.
  • All meetings or events should fall between the first day of class and the last day of class each semester.

Student organizations are required to register all co-curricular programs and special events (meetings, concerts, lectures, etc.) Events at Vanderbilt, room 307 Rand Hall 615-322-2448. 

For more information, please visit the Student Handbook, Office of Student Organizations and Anchor Link Website or The Events at Vanderbilt Website. 

Event Planning

Signature Events require much planning. Here is a checklist based on our professional planning experience. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to discuss your vision and possible options with our team. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentcenters/events/plan-your-event/ 

6-12 Months Ahead - Planning

  • Brainstorm: Determine your goals and the objectives of the program, assemble a planning committee and assign task assignments. Some questions to consider... 
    • What type of event would be best for this program (i.e. speaker, concert, tournament, etc.)
    • Does this event serve a need that has not been met on campus?
    • Are there enough people/resources to make it happen?
    • Does this fit into your organization's budget?
       
  • Event Details:
    • ​Date: Select a date for your event. Choose a date convenient for members of the group and guest/speaker, if applicable. Note: Event Requests are due 3-4 weeks before your requested event date depending on the location...
      • Choose a date that does not conflict with other existing campus programs/events or holy days by checking the University Calendar and the Anchorlink Calendar. 
    • Audience: Who will be attending your event and how many do you expect?
    • Time: Determine the best time for your target audience.
    • Location: Based on the type of event, what location will best support your needs?  
    • Contract: Does your event require any outside contracts to be completed?
    • Budget: Establish a budget and discuss sponsorship possibilities 

4-6 Months Ahead 

  • Program: Meet with your planning team and coach to create the program, speakers & agenda
  • Event Manager: Set up an initial meeting with your event manager
    • Room Setup: Determine if your event requires a room set up or you can use the room as is.  
      • Will you need accessible accommodations for your guests https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentcenters/accessibility/
    • Plant Op needs: If you are hosting an outdoor event, work with your event manager on your equipment needs (tents, tables, chairs, etc)
    • Audio Visual Needs: Determine your audio visual needs to help support your event. 
    •  Catering: Determine your catering needs for your event. 
    • High risk activities: If you are planning any activities that could involve risk (alcohol, animals, concerts, etc) you may be required to work with Risk Management for approval of insurance, waivers, etc. Discuss your plans with your event manager. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentcenters/special-event-registration/ 
  • Vendors: Send info to vendors to collect proposals for review https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentcenters/vendor-rentals/

2-4 Months Ahead 

4 Weeks Ahead 

Day of the Event

  • Arrive early
  • Check in with your event manager and review the setup
  • Sound check, check presentations on the computer being utilized
  • Track attendance
  • Enjoy! 

1 Week Post Event

  • Send thank you notes/emails to sponsors, VIP and all that assist to make the event happen.
  • Ensure all payments are received
  • Have a post-event meeting with key players

Tabling

Information tables may be reserved by Registered Student Organizations and University Departments in designated locations to help promote an event or program. Requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Tabling Guidelines for all locations:

  • Standing reservations are not accepted.
  • The table must be staffed by a representative of the organization at all times.
  • University Departments and registered student organizations shall not use their privileges to reserve tables and “front” for a non-university group or commercial entity. Outside companies may be referred to the Career Center.
  • Solicitation from non-student organizations is not permitted.
  • Religious organizations are permitted to use tables, but must be aware that they may not approach or solicit individuals to recruit them. They must sit at the tables and allow others to come to them for information. Any literature they have at their tables to hand out must identify the organization they represent.
  • VSG Candidates may not reserve tables as individual students; however, they may table if an officer of VSG makes the reservation on their behalf.
  • Goods (food, t-shirts, etc.) may not be sold. The organization may distribute such goods with a “suggested donation” associated, but a fixed price cannot be set.
  • Food may not be distributed unless prior approval has been obtained from Events at Vanderbilt.
  • Items may not be taped to the wall or windows without prior approval. Groups will be charged for any damage caused. 

Commons

Tables in the atrium will be available to reserve between the hours of 7am - 11pm. Hours are subject to change and are based on building hours. 

  • Outdoor tables may be picked up by any member of the organization at the Commons front desk, and should be returned afterwards.
  • Indoor tables are permanently set up at the base of the staircase in the atrium.
  • No group may make more than five table reservations per calendar month.
  • Amplified sound is permitted at low levels so as to not disturb events and classes on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
  • In the event of inclement weather, patio tables will be cancelled.

Kissam Center

Tables in the lobby will be available to reserve between the hours of 7am - 11pm. Hours are subject to change and are based on building hours. 

  • No group may make more than five table reservations per calendar month.
  • Amplified sound is not allowed.

Rand Wall

Tables may only be reserved from 11am - 2 pm Monday - Friday. 

  • In the event of inclement weather, groups may bring their tables inside to the Sarratt Promenade if no other event is occurring on the promenade.
  • A group may only reserve a table up to a maximum of 10 days per month.
  • Tables are picked up from and returned to the Events at Vanderbilt office (Rand 307). If a table is not picked up by 12pm, the table will become available for other student organizations to use for the day.
  • Rand wall ticket sales are no longer offered. 

Sarratt Promenade

Tables in the promenade will be available to reserve between the hours of 7am - 11pm. Hours are subject to change and are based on building hours.

  • Existing furniture cannot be moved
  • A group may reserve a table up to a maximum of 5 consecutive days.
  • All programs including food will require housekeeping. 

Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

The Mission of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) is to enhance the Vanderbilt experience of Black students, faculty, and staff by providing effective programming and resources to address the academic, cultural, well being, and social needs of the community we serve. The BCC is an essential resource for Vanderbilt and the greater Nashville community that seeks to highlight Black history, accomplishments, and culture.

For more information, please visit the BCC Website.

Center for Student Wellbeing

The Center for Student Wellbeing is a central part of Vanderbilt’s Student Care Network – the holistic network of resources and support services available to all students in support of their health and wellness. 

For more information on resources available, please visit the Center for Student Wellbeing Website

Human Resources

Vanderbilt University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and seeks to establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the University community, guests, and visitors. The University provides programs, activities, and a campus environment that foster courtesy and respect. Vanderbilt’s policies prohibiting sexual violence are a part of its overall commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment and to equal opportunity, both in educational programming and employment opportunities. 

For more information, please visit the Campus SaVE Act Policy Website.

The K.C. Potter Center 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Life at Vanderbilt University is a cultural center, a place of affirmation for individuals of all identities, and a resource for information and support about gender and sexuality. LGBTQI Life serves all members of the Vanderbilt community,including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, by creating educational, cultural, and social opportunities. The office also supports and advises LGBTQI-related campus groups and activities. 

For more information, please visit the LGBTQI Website.

Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center is an affirming space for women and for all members of the Vanderbilt community that actively resists sexism and all forms of oppression by providing resources and educational programming. 

For more information, please visit the Women’s Center Website.

Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students serves a central role in student learning and development at Vanderbilt, advancing the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service by fostering academic and social networks through which students develop as intentional learners and global citizens. The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities to involve students, faculty and staff in diverse learning communities and provides a critical support structure for enriching the overall student experience. We achieve these ends through strategic alignment, both internally and in concert with other university departments. 

For more information, please visit the Dean of Students website

Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

The Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion endeavors to help make Vanderbilt University a leading learning institution where achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion are its highest priorities as it trains global citizens who will contribute to the development of a better nation and world.

For more information, please visit the EDI website.

Office of Religious Life

The Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life nurtures a community of communities where students, faculty, and staff are invited to experience hospitality, to engage in discovery, and to practice generosity. 

For more information, please visit the Office of Religious Life Website

Project Safe Center

The mission of the Project Safe Center is to provide information, support, referrals, and education about sexual and intimate partner violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), as well as consent, healthy relationships, and healthy sexuality to the Vanderbilt University community. Project Safe serves as a central resource for those impacted by power-based personal violence and can assist with navigating the University’s resource and support network (including the University Counseling Center, Student Health, the Title IX and Student Discrimination Office, Equal Employment Opportunity, the Employee Assistance Program, and the Vanderbilt University Police Department), as well as external support and law enforcement resources. 

For more information, please visit the Project Safe Website.

Student Care Coordination

The Office of Student Care Coordination fosters wellbeing and success by identifying concerns and coordinating support for students facing life events that may interfere with their academic and personal goals using a proactive, collaborative, and student-centered approach. The Office of Student Care Coordination strives to empower students to take an active role in their wellbeing and to promote a culture of care within the Vanderbilt community. 

For more information on resources available, please visit the Student Care Coordination Website.

Student Center for Social Justice and Identity (SCSJI)

The mission of the Student Center for Social Justice and Identity is to promote an environment of cultural competency, inclusivity, and awareness on the Vanderbilt campus.

SCSJI’s vision is to provide a comprehensive service of inclusion and cultural engagement that facilitates the creation of an institution dedicated to all forms of racial, cultural, gender, religious, ability, and sexual identity expression. SCSJI seeks to do this by equipping the Vanderbilt community with the tools necessary to be effective agents of social change in an increasingly diverse world. 

For more information, please visit The SCSJI Website.

Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service

The Office of Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service strives to encourage co-curricular learning and personal development through intentional student engagement. Student Organizations connect the campus community by highlighting opportunities for meaningful involvement and helping students engage with tools to help manage and track the co-curricular student experience. 

For more information, please visit the Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service Website

Title IX & Student Discrimination Office

Vanderbilt University is committed to equal opportunity and to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all members of the University community, guests, and visitors. The University’s policies, programs, and activities are designed to foster courtesy and respect. The University prohibits and seeks to eliminate all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, and intimate partner violence, which includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

For more information, please visit the Title IX & Student Discrimination Office Website .

University Counseling Center

The UCC supports the mental health needs of Vanderbilt students, encouraging their work toward their academic and personal goals.

For more information on resources available, please visit the University Counseling Center Website.

Vanderbilt Student Health Center

The Student Health Center's mission is to enhance the academic experience of students by providing quality primary healthcare services in a nurturing and cost-effective manner. 

For more information, please visit the Student Health Center Website.