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Policy Index

SOA updates each section below as it receives information about resources and policies.

Campus Life and SOA staff serve as conduct administrators in conjunction with Northwestern's Office of Student Conduct team in efforts to hold student organizations and their members accountable for their actions. All students engaged in student organization activities are expected to abide by university policies outlined in the Student Handbook. The Student Handbook also has information relevant to recognized student organizations in particular. For common policy topics, please consult the expandable sections below. Please alert regarding any issues with this page of the SOA website.


Up-to-date information regarding resources, campus policies, and more on the topic of advertising and promotion can be found on our Campus Advertising Guidelines page.


All registered student organizations must have a Northwestern faculty, staff, or graduate student advisor. Religious & Spiritual affiliate organizations may have an affiliate advisor, but they must also have a designated representative of Northwestern Religious & Spiritual Life as their university liaison.


Any student events with the presence of alcohol must abide by Northwestern event planning policy. More information on the Event Planning page.

Branding and Licensing

For any apparel or publicity that includes licensed properties of Northwestern University, please consult with Northwestern's Trademark Licensing.

Campus Movie Guidelines

For information regarding showing copyrighted materials on campus, visit the Campus Movie Guidelines page.


All information about behavior expectations and conflicts can be found on the Community Standards page.


Constitutional Language

All registered student organizations must have a publicly available constitution for their group. The document is also uploaded during annual re-registration in the spring term. For more details as well as a template that includes university-required language, please reference our constitution guide page here.

Contracts and Vendor Forms

While students and staff remain off campus due to COVID-19, please submit digital copies of contracts to our CL admin assistant at

Contracts are used whenever you invite a person or organization to campus to provide a service or performance or participate in a virtual event sponsored by a Northwestern group. Visit the Contracts and Vendor Forms page to access these documents.

Discrimination and Harassment

From the Northwestern University Office of Equity

Northwestern prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by law (referred to as “protected classes”) in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services, or in the educational programs or activities Northwestern operates.  Such conduct violates Northwestern’s values and disrupts the living, learning, and working environment for students, faculty, staff, and other community members.

Read the full Policy and Procedure on Discrimination and Harassment.

Event Spaces

RSOs in need of space for their event should visit the Find a Space page for information on space available to them on campus and procedure for utilizing off campus space.

Film Screening

It is the responsibility of student groups to seek out the license-holder and have a contract to screen any media on campus.

SOA has a full page of guidelines regarding this process here.

Flag Services

If an RSO would like to have flags at their event, visit the Flag Services page for more information regarding policies and procedures.


Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) have several options available to them when considering food for their events. Visit the Northwestern Dining page for more information regarding policies and procedures.

Fundraising Restrictions

Please consult the fundraising restrictions on the event planning page of the SOA website.

Hazing Prevention Policy

Northwestern Position Statement:

It is the responsibility of all students/student organizations to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and to provide positive influences and constructive development for members and aspiring members. Students/organizations are expected to use good judgment to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organization activities and requirements.

If a healthy team or organization is being created and the values and purpose of the organization are being upheld, chances are the organization will not have to worry about whether or not an activity is hazing. Hazing leads to dysfunction within the organization and is ineffective at creating teamwork, respect, and unity, and it is an unproductive and hazardous custom that is forbidden by the University.

For more information please visit the Northwestern Student Affairs Hazing Prevention website.

Office, Storage, Closet Space

Norris University Center has nearly 100 student groups as tenants on an annual basis sharing office space, a closet, or a storage locker. The demand for each type of space is very high, and it is not guaranteed that groups will be able to maintain their space or that there will be room for new groups to be included in the list.

Look for an announcement over Wildcat Connection in the spring quarter regarding space applications. Aside from Norris, your advisor (or sponsoring academic department) may have a solution. Lastly, ASG has frequently funded off-site storage expenses for student groups with large theatrical sets and other objects of value worth preserving.

Officer Transition

Registered student organizations are responsible for appropriate officer transitions as outlined in their organization's constitution. During springtime annual registration, incoming/outgoing representatives will be asked to initial, sign, and upload a formal transition from with criteria for successful transition. Groups who are transitioning in fall or winter can use the most recent version here for reference and submit to Joe Lattal. Note that the group will re-upload this once we reach the spring general re-registration period.

Outgoing leaders are responsible for updating contact information and rosters on Wildcat Connection to ensure continued communication between the group's representation and SOA.

Outgoing advisors and officers must sign out of any group SOFO accounts in-person in Norris to avoid any issues with accessing group assets.

Products, Purchasing, and Procurement

Northwestern has relationships with many partners. Learn more about utilizing their list of preferred vendors by visiting the Procurement and Preferred Vendors page. The same office also manages a list of Wildcard benefits, businesses who offer discounts for members of the Northwestern community. Rules, restrictions, and promotions are available on the list of Wildcard Advantage site.

For groups purchasing items (especially in relation to new events or in new expense categories for the group's activities), it is recommended to connect with the advisor to ensure the purchase meets the mission of the group and payment procedures (reimbursement, cash advance) are clear.

Publicity and Advertising Policies

All posters, flyers, leaflets, and other notices must clearly state the name(s) of the sponsoring student(s) and/or organization(s).

  • Only members of recognized organizations of the Northwestern community are allowed to publicize events on campus.
  • Alcohol and other drugs may not be mentioned or depicted in advertising.
  • All advertising must comply with University policies and procedures.
  • Violators of the publicity policy may be fined and have their publicity privileges suspended.

Recruiting New Members

Student organizations may begin recruiting new members the day of the all-organization fair (typically the first day of classes fall term). Organizations are strictly prohibited from direct, face-to-face recruiting, holding information sessions, auditions, or tryouts, or advertising these events on campus prior to the date of the all-organization fair.

Groups in violation of this policy may have their privileges revoked. For any groups seeking an exception to this policy, email

Theater Guidelines

If an RSO would like to utilize Norris or Shanley for a performance, please review the Theatre Guidelines page.


Full details regarding the student group travel policy can be found here.

University Disruption and Demonstration

This policy addresses the parameters for free expression and peaceful demonstration by members of the Northwestern University community. Click here for the full policy and a list of responsible university officials.

A list of helpful FAQs is available to help student orgs.

Use of Student Organization Funds

Student organizations are responsible for appropriate management of their assets. Funds must be kept in a SOFO account, and each organization must have a SOFO-trained finance officer or treasurer. If your organization receives an allocation from ASG Student Activity Fee, the group is responsible to their Account Executive or Group Executive for appropriate use of those funds. Groups are also expected to use grant funds appropriately as well.

Any violation of the use of funds will result in their assets being frozen and may result in other consequences.

Use of University Facilities for Political Activities

Although University organizations may sponsor political forums or debates, only recognized student organizations may use University facilities to host an event on behalf of a single political candidate. It applies to activities on any of the University’s campuses and to activities relating to any political candidate, whether domestic or foreign. Click here for the full policy and contact information for any questions.