Registered student organizations guidance
Our team in Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement are here to help guide you and your organizations to success. We hope to be able to provide communication, guidelines, and support to you as you work to navigate what this semester and academic year will look like. We also understand that for many student organizations the realities of the pandemic have impacted and will continue to impact the goals and visions you may have had for this year.
As we continue with the COVID-19 pandemic and work to minimize the spread of infections in our campus community, we encourage you to continue to think of ways to hold your events virtually. You are also able to hold events in person, as long as they follow the event and meeting guidelines communicated by the Critical Incident Management Team, as well as the Code of Student Life and Student Agreement. For the most up-to-date meeting and event guidelines, please review the information here: https://coronavirus.uiowa.edu/returning-work.
Guidance for Student Engagement Efforts and Registered Student Organization Activities
To preserve the critical university mission of student success, all student engagement efforts and registered student organization activities are strongly encouraged to be held in a virtual format. We have a shared responsibility to the communities in which we live, learn, work, and serve. By limiting the number of students, employees, and community members involved with in-person activities we will reduce the potential exposure to and spread of the virus – not only through our student population but many of the vulnerable community members living in the greater Iowa City area.
All student organization events must be submitted through the Engage platform using the Event Information Form. You can learn more about how to do this through our Manage Your Organization resource page.
All events are subject to additional review and questions related to health and safety guidelines with attention towards social distancing and the use of protective equipment. Virtual events need to be submitted through this process as well. This includes drives, collections, etc.
In-person events with 50 or more people in attendance are subject to a review by the University’s Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT). Student organizations must submit their event first through Engage before engaging CIMT in its review process. The Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement team is here to assist and support you with these processes.
All in-person events and activities must follow health and safety guidelines, including but not limited to, use of face coverings and practicing social distancing. All student organizations requesting in-person activities will need to demonstrate a plan and strategies for supporting health and safety at their event(s). Please contact Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement (email@example.com) with any questions or for support.
Student Organization Business Office (SOBO)
Effective Spring 2021, the Student Organization Business Office (IMU room 132) will re-open on an appointment-only basis (limited to 1 member per visit) to accommodate social distancing recommendations. Appointments can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for student organization deposits and credit card (p-card) checkouts. All other business should be conducted through email and/or virtual conference meetings.
Student Organization Expenses
It is highly recommended to spend personal funds and seek reimbursement from your student organization whenever possible. Keep in mind University Purchasing rules still apply (i.e. printing/copying, personal supplies, hazardous materials, etc.). Find out more by reviewing Policies Affecting Student Organizations. Credit card checkouts are available on an appointment-only basis. Email email@example.com with an attached credit card request form to schedule an appointment with a staff member at least 1 business day prior to your desired appointment day. Please ensure your Outlook calendar is up to date. Reimbursement, credit card request, and more forms can be found on our SOBO Forms page. Email approval from an account signer in lieu of a signature is sufficient. We are not using paper forms until further notice (with the exception of deposit forms)
Please contact us for advice prior to service agreements/purchases, purchases over $5000, or any unique purchase request.
Student Organization Deposits:
Collecting money: We are encouraging student organizations to collect money safely with proper social distancing. This may include collecting money by electronic means, mail, or meetings that comply with recommended health and safety guidelines.
Statement on collecting money by electronic means:
Currently, the only approved 3rdparty vendor for student organizations to have money directly deposited with the University is Signmeup.com. The University has a contract with Signmeup.com to allow a student organization to set up an account with reduced fees. If a student organization is interested in creating a Signmeup page, the organization must first contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to set up a Signmeup page that will link to their SOBO (Student Organization Business Office) account.
Individuals might decide to use other 3rd party electronic money collection services such as Venmo, PayPal, etc. with an account set up using their own name. There could be a potential for tax liability for the individual collecting the money. As such, individuals should proceed at their own risk. These accounts may not be set up or advertised as using the name or email address of a student organization or the University of Iowa and cannot be linked to a University account. Money received using these services is treated no differently than receiving cash, and the Cash Handling policy should be followed.
Deposit by appointment:
Contact email@example.com to schedule an appointment with a staff member. Please ensure your Outlook calendar is up to date and describe your planned deposit. It is recommended that you count the cash and endorse the back of each check with your student organization’s name and “for deposit only” prior to your appointment. Please contact your scheduler if you need to reschedule.
Deposit by mail (checks only; do not mail cash):
Checks made payable to your student organization should be mailed to:
Student Organization Business Office
132 Iowa Memorial Union
Iowa City, IA 52242
We will continue to provide updates as recommended health guidelines and office procedures change. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with all questions and requests.
Accountability and Community Response
As part of our community commitment to health and safety, we are relying on the leadership from all our student organizations and community members. We each have a responsibility to one another, and our larger surrounding area to observe and follow the guidance provided as part of our response to COVID-19. As part of that, we are hoping each of you takes seriously your support of each other and our community. As you plan and execute events it is expected that organizations, their leaders, and members adhere to the provided guidance. In cases where the guidance is not being followed, future opportunities to host events, meetings, and activities may be denied. We encourage you to keep yourself and your peers accountable when you notice guidance is not being followed. In cases where this is not possible you can also submit a concern regarding the actions of an individual or organization through the Dean of Students Office: https://dos.uiowa.edu/report-concern. You can also contact Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement regarding questions you have about the guidance or student organizations.
What comes next
We will continue to monitor and evolve our policies, guidelines, and supports as things develop within and outside the university. This is a fluid and at times unpredictable situation where we are left with no easy answers. We encourage you to reach out with questions, to provide feedback, and I know we are committed to the success of your leadership experiences and student organizations. We are confident in your commitment in your investment in helping make this is a safe and successful spring semester.
To find updated information about our offerings, events, workshops, and other future programming, please continue to check the Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement website and Campus Labs Engage.