1. K-State home
  2. »Center for Student Involvement
  3. »Frequently asked questions

Center for Student Involvement

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Organization Recognition Policy, PPM 8540

Why did the policy change?

As part of the Action Plan for a More Inclusive K-State, a group of individuals representing faculty, staff, and students established a workgroup to analyze and make recommendations on University policies and Student Code of Conduct. 

In October 2021, a sub-workgroup was established to examine the structural relationship of student organizations with the university. This sub-workgroup included representatives from a variety of departments on campus, student representatives, and community/alumni advisors. The members completed a peer & aspirational institution review as well as several roundtable discussions with various student organization and advisor groups. The sub-workgroup utilized this information to put together a series of relationship structure options, which were submitted to University administration in February 2022. 

From there, a Student Organization Policies workgroup was formed to create and update student organization-related policies at K-State. These are the policies, announced in May 2023, that have emanated from that group’s work.

What are the major changes for student organizations?

  • Relationship to the Univeristy
    • The University now includes in its education programs and activities those that are planned and executed by all recognized student organizations, and activities that occur in residences controlled by recognized student organizations. View the Student Organization Conduct Code and Process for Discipline.
  • Organization Classifications
    • Organization classifications are updated to reflect a more accurate description of a Recognized Student Organization's (RSO's) relationship to the University. There are two classifications: Sponsored (previously Departmental) and Affiliated (similar to the prior Independent Student Organization classification).  
  • Student Organization Conduct Code and Amnesty Policy
  • Advisor Requirement
    • All recognized student organizations are required to have at least one member of the University faculty or staff, on at least 0.5 FTE, serve as an Advisor
  • Event Policy
    • K-State is updating to the student organization event policy, which will likely have a registration component for certain events and activities, such as organization travel, large gatherings, activities where alcohol is present, and activities that involve youth under the age of 18. We anticipate the policy to be implemented August 1.  
  • Support and Resources
    • As the University implements these new policies, you can expect resources and support for RSOs and Advisors, such as trainings, workshops, guidebooks, and meetings. 
What is the difference between Affiliated and Sponsored classifications?
  • Affiliated organizations are those that are, in general, interest groups and provide engagement activities that are primarily for their direct membership. Affiliated organizations are not a department, unit, or agent of the University, and the University does not accept responsibility or liability for the activities undertaken by affiliated organizations. Most Independent Student Organizations will be considered Affiliated under the new policy. 
  • Sponsored organizations are those considered congruent with the mission and culture of the University and operate as a part of a University department or unit. These organizations are inherently linked to the University because of their role representing KSU or in presenting events of broad appeal that are considered an integral part of the institution. Most Departmental Student Organizations will be considered Sponsored organizations under the new policy.  
How can I find an Advisor for my organization?
  • Sponsored RSOs will have an advisor assigned to the organization by their sponsoring department.  
  • Affiliated RSOs are responsible for seeking out a University faculty/staff member to serve as an Advisor. A great place to start is within your own personal network. Ask your friends, members, and alumni to help out. Tell your professors, mentors, and academic advisors about your organization and ask them to share your information with anyone they know who might be interested. When chatting with a potential new Advisor, discuss your expectations of the Advisor, such as how often you’d like them to attend meetings and events, and what areas you need their support in.
Will my alumni advisor/coach/campus minister/etc. count as the Advisor?
  • Advisors must be members of the University faculty or staff, on at least .5 FTE, and have completed the Advisor Acknowledgment form and training requirements.   
  • The University acknowledges that organizations may have individuals who are not University faculty or staff and serve in a mentor or coaching capacity to the organizations, and the CSI offers resources to help those individuals serve successfully; however, those individuals are acting in their own capacity and not on behalf of the University.  
How do I register my organization under the new policy?

All student organizations must be recognized with the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), in order to receive the privileges and benefits of University recognition, as defined in the new policy. 

The student organization recognition process for the 2023-2024 academic year will open August 1, 2023. View more information on the CSI website.


Why are organizations required to have a faculty/staff advisor?

Advisors provide important mentoring to leaders within RSOs to help ensure students are staying connected with the University and complying with federal, state, and University rules, laws, and regulations. 

What are the requirements to be an RSO advisor?

Advisors must be members of the University faculty or staff, on at least .5 FTE. All advisors are required to complete training as mandated by the CSI and to annually sign the Advisor Acknowledgement form.

Can I advise more than one student organization?


Are graduate students eligible to serve as RSO advisors?

Only if they are a .5 FTE faculty or staff member. Graduate students may support faculty members or staff who are serving as advisors. 

As an RSO advisor, will I be covered in the case something goes wrong?

Under the Kansas Tort Claims Act (KCTA), the State of Kansas has assumed liability for the negligent or wrongful acts and omissions of its employees and agents acting within the scope of their responsibilities on behalf of the State of Kansas. This includes Kansas State University, and RSO Advisors are considered to be an employee and/or agent of K-State when acting within the scope of their responsibilities as RSO advisors. More information about the KCTA can be found here. For questions, contact the Center for Student Involvement.

Student Organization Conduct Code and Process for Discipline, PPM 8545

What has changed with the Student Organization Conduct Code?

The Student Organization Conduct Code is a new policy which expands the University's jurisdiction to allow accountability and policy application to organization and individual student conduct. The Student Code of Conduct still applies to individual students who are reviewed through the Student Organization Conduct Code. 

Will I get in trouble for reporting a violation if I was drinking underage during the event?

University administrators have the discretion to apply the Student Amnesty Policy in this circumstance. Reporting potential violations is encouraged. 

I suspect hazing happening in an organization. How can I report it and what will happen?

All reports regarding hazing will be taken seriously and reviewed through the Student Organization Conduct Code. Students can file a report with the Office of Student Life.

Can an organization lose recognition status for policy violations?

Yes. The severity and persistence of the violation will be taken into account during the conduct review. A potential outcome of a violation could lead to the loss of recognition for a student organization. For more information, please view the Student Organization Conduct Code and Outcomes

Student Amnesty Policy, PPM 8550

What types of behaviors may be covered under the Student Amnesty Policy?

Alcohol and other drug use and emergencies, victims and witnesses to serious behavioral concerns. View the Student Amnesty Policy.

Is amnesty guaranteeed for reporting parties?

The purpose of this policy is to encourage students to report emergencies and other safety-related incidents by eliminating a potential barrier—concern of being punished for minor conduct infractions. This policy applies to the application of the university’s policies for students, including the Student Code of Conduct. At any point before or while reviewing conduct under a university policy, the university official responsible for the policy at issue may choose to apply this Student Amnesty Policy.

After consideration of the incident and surrounding circumstances, the university official will, in their full discretion, make the final determination as to the applicability of this policy and reserves the right to adjust, reduce, or forgo sanctions or dismiss alleged violations. In making this determination, the university official will consider the university’s goal of encouraging students to report safety concerns without fear of being disciplined for minor policy infractions. Each situation will be carefully reviewed and all efforts to apply amnesty will be made when appropriate.