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Center for Student Involvement

Frequently asked questions

Student organizations provide opportunities for students to connect with other students who have similar interests. These opportunities may lead to leadership, personal growth, community services, professional development and learning from others. Kansas State University recognizes that students should have an avenue to form and join organizations to support their own personal and educational goals.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the changes in student organizations.

What is the Center for Student Involvement?

The Center for Student Involvement is the university point of contact for registered student organizations. The center, 114 K-State Student Union, assists with registration, provides information to students and offers programming on topics such as leadership development.


Why is the university reorganizing the offices and changing the name?

More than 475 student clubs and organizations are now registered with the university. Student interest in clubs and organizations is at an all-time high. It is important for the university to communicate with and connect all groups to resources in a consistent way. Reorganizing the offices and consolidating them will help achieve these goals.

In addition, as groups become increasingly specialized and serve a variety of purposes and goals, it is important to distinguish between those that are sponsored by university departments and those that operate independently. The reorganization aims to clarify the university’s role and obligations, including risk management, in overseeing these Departmental Student Organizations, while respecting the independence and autonomy of the Independent Student Organizations, including their responsibility for their own risk management.


What are the different types of student organizations?

A department sponsored organization, or DSO, is a registered organization sponsored by a department and has a purpose critical to the university's mission. The sponsoring department oversees day-to-day operations and activities planned by the organization and designates an employee to support the organization.

An independent student organization, or ISO, is a registered organization not operated by or affiliated with the university. University employees are not permitted to act as advisors to ISO within the context of their university employment.


How do I know if an organization will be a DSO or ISO?

The classification depends on the level of responsibility of the university for the organizations which depends on their relationship with the university, the K-State Alumni Association or the Kansas State University Foundation. The Center for Student Involvement will assist in determining the type of organization.


How can I find out if there are similar groups to mine?

The Center for Student Involvement maintains a list of all student organizations.


Who can apply for student government funding?

All registered organizations may request funding from Student Governing Association, or SGA.

Funds from SGA to a DSO must be transferred to a university account where the money will be distributed in accordance with university, department, SGA policies and the legislation distributing those funds. DSO funds are maintained by the sponsoring department.

ISO funds from SGA will be in the form of an award presented to the organization. The ISO is solely responsible for use of the funds in accordance with the terms of the award. ISOs will be required to sign an award agreement prior to receiving any funds.


What is the role of an advisor?

An advisor supports, develops and directs the organization. For a DSO, the advisor is an employee designated by the department and the advisor's position description should include duties related to advising the organization.

University employees are not permitted to act as advisors to an ISO within the context of their university employment.


Are all registered student organizations required to have an advisor?

DSOs must have an advisor who is an employee of the sponsoring university department.

ISOs are not required to have an advisor. If they do, advisors are independent of the university. An advisor of an ISO who is otherwise employed by the university may only serve the ISO outside of the context of their university work. Advisors for ISOs will sign a separate written agreement acknowledging the ISO requirements and that the advisor role is not part of university employment.


How can we brand our organization with regard to the Kansas State University name and marks?

Branding requirements are different for DSOs and ISOs. DSOs must follow university branding that applies to the sponsoring department. ISOs wishing to use a Kansas State University mark may do so as described in the student organization branding guidelines on page XX of Kansas State University's brand guide.


What is the registration process under the new structure?

Due to the new structure, all student organizations need to register during the start of the fall semester. Annual registration remains in the spring, and student organizations will be notified of that timeline and procedure by the Center for Student Involvement.


How will complaints against fraternities and sororities be handled?

The Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils will continue to handle all complaints against member organizations and reports should be made directly to those organizations. These governing councils are independent and not controlled by the university. IFC and PHC have their own policies. Whenever a chapter violates one of their policies, IFC and PHC adjudicate based on their policy.


What if a student organization is not following the rules?
Individuals violating the Student Code of Conduct will be dealt with individually through that process. The Center for Student Involvement will enforce the registration requirements for student organizations, as described in the Student Organization Policy.


What are the responsibilities of a department that sponsors a student organization?

Departments must sign an annual form to verify that the student organization is sponsored by the department. The department owns and maintains all student organization funds and property. There must be at least one department employee who supports, develops and directs the student organization. The group may also be provided with space on the departmental website. 

The department has oversight of officers, use of funds and property, activities and operation of the organization.


Can a department sponsor multiple student groups?

Yes. Each department sponsored student group must have a designated university advisor and meet all DSO requirements outlined in the student organization policy. The Center for Student Involvement will not sponsor any student organization. 


How is accounting handled for department sponsored student organizations?

The student organization requires a separate line item in the department budget for non-donated funds and may also have a Kansas State University Foundation account. The funds need to be managed in accordance with university, department and SGA policies. 


What are the requirements for advisors of department sponsored student groups?

Advisor’s roles must be included in their job description and approved by department head.  The university department is responsible for the DSO is complying with all university policies. The department has final authority on matters pertaining to the organization.

What resources are available to me as an advisor?

For questions and additional information on registered student organizations, contact the center at 785-532-6541.



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