Student Involvement Expectations

In addition to compliance with Student Community Standards and the Student Code of Conduct all student groups must adhere to the following expectations:

  • Be consistent with the University’s Mission Statement and abide by all University policies and procedures.

  • Ensure that group involvement and activities do not adversely affect the academic success of group members or other Gonzaga community members.

  • Follow the group’s constitution and by-laws.

  • Be responsible for all financial transactions done by and/or in the name of the group. All financial transactions will proceed through the group’s controller account or GSBA. No off-campus bank accounts are allowed.

  • Have at least fifteen student members (5 for law school groups).

  • Register their group annually with the Center for Student Involvement.

  • Follow the University “Events Policy” for all events and programs.

  • Maintain good communication with the Center for Student Involvement by checking, updating and maintaining their Zagtivities page and checking their club mailbox at least once per week.

  • Follow all policies and procedures of the various departments and/or organizations with which they might interact. These may include, but are not limited to, the Controller’s Office, University Relations, Campus Services, GSBA, Student Activities, Sodexo, Athletics, Security, etc.

  • Accept responsibility for members' behavior including whenever an event is held, officially or unofficially, in the name of the group or whenever the action of a member draws attention to the group rather than to the member as an individual.

  • Any group that is inactive for over four years will be expected to repeat the student group recognition process.

  • All philosophical or general changes in the group’s original recognition paperwork must be submitted to the Center for Student Involvement immediately so as to not affect the group’s standing with the University.

  • Registration and/or official recognition does not commit the University to the proposed programs of any group.

  • Student groups that fail to adhere to the expectations, conduct standards, or policies of the University may be subject to conduct procedures.

Recognition & Requirements

Student Group Classifications

In order to better organize and support the variety of student groups at Gonzaga, all student groups will be given two different classifications:  “Category” and “Type”.  The Dean of Student Engagement or the Center for Student Involvement will make the final determination on a group’s category and type.

Student Group Categories

First, all student groups will be placed into a category that best describes their mission and/or purpose.  Groups may be placed in two categories if their purpose closely aligns with both categories. 

Student Group Categories:

  • Academic 
  • Arts & Performance Arts
  • Awareness
  • Career/Professional
  • Community/Volunteer Service
  • Cultural/International
  • Health/Wellness
  • Honor Societies
  • Law School Club
  • Political
  • Special Interests
  • Sport Clubs
  • Student Governance/Representation
  • Recreation/Hobbies
  • Religious/Faith/Spirituality
  • Student Publications

Student Group Types

Student Group Types help identify the relationship the student group has to the University as well as the responsibilities and benefits the student group will have (See Chart of Student Group Benefits by Type).  Student groups will be placed into a group type based upon the following criteria:

  • The student group’s relationship to the university
  • The student group’s connection to the mission.
  • The complexity and/or scope of its intended activities and programs.
  • The perceived or potential risks associated with the group and/or its activities

All student groups will be assigned to one of the following four group types:

  1. Departmental Student Programs
  2. Sponsored Student Organizations
  3. Student Clubs
  4. Student Interest Groups

Criteria for Student Group Recognition

The Center for Student Involvement and GSBA will develop and facilitate the formal recognition process and procedures. The following are criteria that will be considered when deciding whether or not to recognize a student group. 

  • Mission/Purpose: The clubs mission/purpose must be in alignment with the University’s mission and its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic heritage and identity. The mission/purpose of the club must show how it aligns with the University’s mission.
  • Contribution to the education and/or development of students: Student groups should show how they contribute to the education and development of its members, other students and/or the Gonzaga community.
  • Risks: Student groups may present a variety of risks to its members, the community and/or the University. While we cannot eliminate all risks, they should be identified and ensured they can be eliminated, minimized or mitigated as appropriate.  Student groups that present too many or too high of risks may be denied recognition.
  • Duplicate purpose or service: The University does not allow for duplicate student groups or student groups that wish to duplicate services offered by a department.
  • Level of student interest and sustainability: Student groups should demonstrate an interest among the general student population for their group and there should be some plan amongst students to sustain the group into the future. Student groups are not typically intended to provide one-time events or projects. This typically can be better carried out by working with existing departments or student groups.
  • Outside sponsorships/relationships:  Any relationships (formal or informal) with organizations outside of the University must be disclosed and reviewed.  The outside organization should be in alignment with the University’s mission and the relationship should be vetted for obligations of the club and University.

**No University funds may go to or benefit an external organization that sponsors the student group or to which the student group is attached.

  • Resources: An assessment should be made of the potential resources that will be needed to support the student group. 
  • Non-Discrimination: All practices and activities of student groups shall conform with Gonzaga University’s Non-Discrimination Statement and Gonzaga University’s Commitment to Human Diversity. Student groups approved to allow selective membership pursuant to the “Membership Criteria” section of this policy shall commit to these statements in all activities and practices unless an exception is approved by the Dean of Student Engagement, these exception shall be outlined in the group's by-laws.  

Membership Criteria

Pursuant to its mission,Gonzaga University is an inclusive community in all of its endeavors and believes that student groups should strive to have membership criteria open to all students. However the institution also recognizes that within the context of an educational environment there can arise instances where selective membership will be beneficial to the educational and/or developmental purposes of the University, the student group, and/or its members.  Student groups seeking to allow selective membership must clearly demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Membership in the group requires a special talent that is integral to the group’s purpose
  • The group is an honorary group that requires special GPA, class standing and/or course of study requirements, typically connected with a local, national or international organization
  • When issues of safety and security arise because of open membership
  • Limiting the membership furthers the educational and/or developmental purposes of the group or the University and is in line with the University’s Mission

Groups requesting selective/exclusive membership must submit their guidelines and processes for selection during the recognition request process and annually during registration. These guidelines and processes must be approved by the Center for Student Involvement.

Religious/Faith Based/Spiritual Student Groups

All religious, faith based or spiritual student groups must be sponsored through the Office of Mission and Ministry and will be categorized as either Sponsored Student Organizations or Departmental Student Programs.  Prior to or during recognition and/or registration the student group will be instructed to work with Mission and Ministry in defining the relationship between the student group and the department.

Student Publications

All groups whose purpose is to produce a publication must seek sponsorship from the Office of Student Publications or from an academic department and will be categorized as a Sponsored Student Organizations or Departmental Student Programs. 

Law School Student Groups: Are approved by the Dean of the Law School

Departmental Student Programs  

Departmental Student Programs (DSP) are student groups that operate under the direct guidance and supervision of a University department.  Student groups with this status are considered to have the closest relationship with the University.  Their purpose, activities and functions are seen as key elements in carrying out the University’s mission.  They provide a service to the University and are integral to the function of the department and/or University.  Members of these groups are typically chosen or selected by the department and in some cases may even be compensated.   These groups usually originate from the staff/faculty of a particular department or they start as a club and their activities have become closely aligned and integral to the function of a department.  DSPs receive their recognition and approval from the Dean (or designee) of the area that oversees them.  Oversight of DSPs and their events comes from the department that oversees them

Benefits for DSP

Recognized DSP will have the following benefits from the University:

  • Listing in the University’s Directory of student groups and involvement opportunities
  • Ability to solicit members on campus and attend the fall and spring “Club Fair”
  • Ability to host and sponsor events
  • Ability to use and reserve University space and facilities
  • Ability to request and receive GSBA club funding
  • Ability to request money from University departments

**No University funds may go to or benefit an external organization that sponsors the student group or to which the student group is attached

  • Ability to request and use University equipment
  • Ability to use the University’s name and logo (upon approval)
  • Account (fund #) set up through the University’s Controller’s office through sponsoring department.
  • Ability to fundraise

Responsibilities of DSP

All DSP’s at Gonzaga must:

  • Be consistent with the mission of the University and its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic heritage and identity
  • Receive formal recognition from the Dean (or designee) of the area that is sponsoring them. This recognition must be renewed annually.
  • Must have a Gonzaga faculty/staff advisor, appointed by the dean, from the sponsoring department
  • Must inform the University of all connections or ties to any international, national, state or local organization(s)
  • Register annually with the Center for Student Involvement

Student Clubs

Student Clubs are student groups that contribute to the University’s mission and culture by regularly hosting events for their members, their guests and the campus community.  The complexity or scope of their events is generally moderate in nature.  The activities, direction, leadership and decisions of Student Clubs rest mostly in the hands of the student leaders and members of the club.  Student Clubs must receive formal recognition from the University (see Recognition Framework and Criteria). Oversight of Student Clubs will fall to the Center for Student Involvement and GSBA.

Benefits of Student Clubs

Recognized Student Clubs will have the following benefits from the University: 

  • Listing in the University’s Directory of student groups and involvement opportunities
  • Ability to solicit members on campus and attend the fall and spring “Club Fair”
  • Ability to host and sponsor events
  • Ability to use and reserve university space and facilities
  • Ability to request and receive GSBA club funding
  • Ability to request money from University departments

**No University funds may go to or benefit an external organization that sponsors the student group or to which the student group is attached

  •  Access to a club mailbox in the Center for Student Involvement
  • Ability to request and use University equipment
  • Ability to use the university’s name and logo (upon approval)
  • Account (fund #) set up through the University’s Controller’s office
  • Ability to fundraise

Responsibilities of Student Clubs 

All Student Clubs must: 

  • Be consistent with the mission of the University and its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic heritage and identity
  • Receive formal recognition from the University
  • Must have a volunteer Gonzaga faculty/staff advisor
  • Have a minimum of 15 members (5 for law school) **Only matriculated Gonzaga students may be members
  • Must have a constitution or other governing document
  • Must inform the University of all connections or ties to any international, national, state or local organization(s)
  • Register annually with the Center for Student Involvement 
  • Abide by all University policies and the rules and regulations outlined in the clubs and organizations manual

Student Clubs may not: 

  • Duplicate any existing student group
  • Be commercially focused or financially profitable to group members
  • Disrupt or obstruct University functions or classes
  • Endanger or threaten to endanger the safety of any member of the University Community or its physical property.
  • Conduct any business, events, programs, etc. in secret from the University
  • Be aligned with, or representative of any national or local social fraternity or sorority.

Sponsored Student Organization (SSO) 

Sponsored Student Organizations (SSO) are student groups that are closely connected to the University.  Their activities closely align with a particular department and the complexity and scope of their events are typically higher than those of Student Clubs.  SSO tend to receive more support from the University through the department that sponsors them.  SSO have advisors assigned to them from the sponsoring departments whose job is to work closely with the SSO and all their activities. SSO must receive formal recognition from the University and be sponsored by a university department with the appropriate Dean’s approval.  Oversight and responsibilities for SSO is a collaborative effort between the sponsoring department and the Center for Student Involvement. 

Benefits for SSO

Recognized SSO will have the following benefits from the University:

  • Listing in the University’s Directory of student groups and involvement opportunities
  • Ability to solicit members on campus and attend the fall and spring “Club Fair”
  • Ability to host and sponsor events
  • Ability to use and reserve University space and facilities
  • Ability to request and receive GSBA club funding
  • Ability to request money from University departments

**No University funds may go to or benefit an external organization that sponsors the student group or to which the student group is attached

  • Access to a club mailbox in this Center for Student Involvement
  • Ability to request and use University equipment
  • Ability to use the University’s name and logo (upon approval)
  • Account (fund #) set up through the University’s Controller’s office
  • Ability to fundraise

Responsibilities of SSOs

All SSO’s at Gonzaga must: 

  • Be consistent with the mission of the University and its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic heritage and identity
  • Receive formal recognition from the University
  • Must have a sponsoring University department
  • Must have a Gonzaga faculty/staff advisor from the sponsoring department
  • Have a minimum of 15 members (5 for law school) and at least two from each class

**Only matriculated Gonzaga students may be members

  • Must have a constitution or other governing document
  • Must inform the University of all connections or ties too any international, national, state or local organization(s)
  • Register annually with the Center for Student Involvement 
  • Abide by all University policies and the rules and regulations outlined in the clubs and organizations manual

SSO’s may not: 

  • Duplicate any existing student group
  • Be commercially focused or financially profitable to group members
  • Disrupt or obstruct University functions or classes
  • Endanger or threaten to endanger the safety of any member of the University community or its physical property
  • Conduct any business, events, programs, etc. in secret
  • Be aligned with, or be a representative of any national or local social fraternity or sororit

Student Interest Groups (SIG)

Student Interest Groups (SIG) are student groups that plan to host events for their members only.  SIG events are generally very low in complexity and scope (i.e. Meetings).  SIGs allow students to gather and meet and discuss a wide variety of issues. SIGs are expected to be in alignment with the University’s mission and its Catholic and Jesuit tradition.  Student Clubs and Sponsored Student Organizations awaiting formal recognition will be considered Student Interest Groups until a final decision has been made.  Student Interest Groups who become more active are encouraged and may be asked to consider applying for Student Club or Sponsored Student Organization status.

Benefits for SIGs

Student Interest Groups will have the following benefits from the University 

  • Listing in the University’s Directory of student groups and involvement opportunities
  • Ability to solicit members on campus and attend the fall and spring “Club Fair”
  • Host and sponsor simple, low risk, member-only events
  • Ability to use and reserve university space and facilities for meetings and/or member-only events

Responsibilities of SIGs

All SIGs must:

  • Be consistent with the mission of the University and its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic heritage and identity
  • Register every semester with the Office of Student Involvement
  • Have a minimum of 15 members (5 for law school) 

**Only matriculated Gonzaga students may be members

  • Must have a written mission or statement or purpose
  • Must inform the University of all connections or ties to any international, national, state or local organizations
  • Register annually with the Center for Student Involvement 
  • Abide by all University policies and the rules and regulations outlined in the clubs and organizations manual

SIGs may not:

  • Duplicate any existing student group
  • Be commercially focused or financially profitable to group members
  • Disrupt or obstruct University functions or classes
  • Endanger or threaten to endanger the safety of any member of the University community or its physical property
  • Conduct any business, events, programs, etc. in secret
  • Be aligned with, or be a representative of any national or local social fraternity or sorority.
  • Host or sponsor events on campus that are open to non-members and/or require services or privileges that are only granted to Student Clubs and Affiliated Student Organizations
  • Conduct any financial business or transactions
  •  Receive any benefits or privileges not entitled to Student Interest Groups (See Chart of Student Group Benefits by Type)

Additional Compliance Measures

In addition to compliance with Student Community Standards, the University's Ethos Statement and the Student Code of Conduct all student groups must adhere to the following expectations:

  • Be consistent with the University’s Mission Statement and abide by all University policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that group involvement and activities do not adversely affect the academic success of group members or other Gonzaga community members.
  • Follow the group’s constitution and by-laws.
  • Be responsible for all financial transactions done by and/or in the name of the group. All financial transactions will proceed through the group’s controller account or GSBA. No off-campus bank accounts are allowed.
  • Have at least fifteen student members (5 for law school groups).
  • Register their group annually with the Center for Student Involvement. 
  • Follow the University “Events Policy” for all events and programs.
  • Understand and abide by the University Hazing and Alcohol Policies.
  • Maintain good communication with the Center for Student Involvement by checking, updating and maintaining their Zagtivities page and checking their club mailbox at least once per week.
  • Follow all policies and procedures of the various departments and/or organizations with which they might interact. These may include, but are not limited to, the Controller’s Office, University Relations, Campus Services, GSBA, Student Involvement, Sodexo, Athletics, Security, etc.
  • Accept responsibility for members' behavior including whenever an event is held, officially or unofficially, in the name of the group or whenever the action of a member draws attention to the group rather than to the member as an individual.
  • Any group that is inactive for over four years will be expected to repeat the student group recognition process.
  • All philosophical or general changes in the group’s original recognition paperwork must be submitted to the Center for Student Involvement immediately so as to not affect the group’s standing with the University.
  • Registration and/or official recognition does not commit the University to the proposed programs of any group.

Student groups that fail to adhere to the expectations conduct standards, or policies of the University may be subject to sanctions determined by Student Code of Conduct.

Social Fraternities and Sororities

  • Gonzaga University does not recognize any social fraternities or sororities. We do have some academic and honor societies with Greek letter names, but they are not social fraternities.
  • Non-recognized fraternities and sororities are prohibited from reserving space, advertising (includes fliers, banners, etc.) or hosting events on Gonzaga’s campus. No formal presence is allowed.
  • Non-recognized fraternities and sororities are prohibited from using the Gonzaga University name or likeness in any marketing, social marketing or events.

Club Advisors

  • Club Advisors must be aware of their role as club advisors. Advisors are the primary staff contact for all clubs. Advisors should meet with their club leadership at least once per semester and be aware of the club events and happenings.
  • Club Advisors are prohibited from using clubs as a wing of their classroom or dictating club activity. Clubs are independent student-led groups.
  • Club Advisors may not sign contracts for clubs on behalf of the university.
  • Club Advisors are asked to chaperone larger club events, any trip to Canada or more controversial events or events with alcohol.