Student Engagement

Achieving and Renewing Recognition

How to Start a New Recognized Organization

Recognition Requirements

  • At least five members

    • Minimum officer requirements: President, Treasurer, and Organization Adviser (who is at least a half-time permanent employee of Iowa State University)

  • File a constitution online

  • Constitution approved by Student Engagement

  • Operations Manual approved by Student Engagement

  • Compliance Agreement Form

Recognition Tiers

All recognized organizations are required to file the appropriate paperwork with Student Engagement in order to be considered active at Iowa State University. There are two recognition classifications: campus organizations and student organizations. Organizations are classified according to who may serve as the officers and who their primary members are.

Campus Organizations

Campus organizations are voluntary special interest groups organized for educational, scholarship, social, and service purposes. All campus organizations must be recognized by Student Engagement in order to function within the university and exercise the privileges of recognition. Membership is open to university community members (faculty, staff, students, spouses/partners of these persons, and/or retired faculty) and non-university community members (alumni, Ames and surrounding community residents). Non-university community members may participate in the activities of campus organizations and act as voting members, provided at least 50% of voting members belong to the university as defined in this section. The president, treasurer, and adviser, as well as the majority of the officers of a campus organization, must be members of the university community.

Student Organizations

Student organizations are any group whose primary membership consists of students currently enrolled at Iowa State University; formed in order to contribute to the students' personal development; and properly recognized by Student Engagement within the Division of Student Affairs. All student organizations must be recognized by Student Engagement in order to function within the university. The officers of the organization must be students. Membership in a student organization must be mainly composed of students (minimum 80% student membership) and be controlled and directed by students. Non-students may participate in the activities of student organizations as nonvoting members. Officers must be currently enrolled and not on temporary enrollment. Student Organizations are divided into three-tier categories:

Sponsored Student Organizations

Affiliated Student Organizations

Registered Student Organizations

* For the purposes of this policy, community college students who have been accepted into the Admissions Partnership Program who have chosen to pay the optional student activities fee shall be considered ISU students. Admissions Partnership Program participants who do NOT pay the optional student activities fee shall be considered non-university community member

Renewing Recognition

Recognition is renewed every time a new Compliance Agreement Form (CAF) is completed in the Student Organization Database. The CAF is generated each time there is an update to the President, Advisor, and/or Treasurer. To reinstate recognition after being archived or suspended, please review and complete the items noted in the Student Organization Databse.

Related Pages to Consider:

Step-By-Step Guide

Operations Manual Guidelines

Confidentiality and Regulation of Material

Constitution Guidelines

Leadership and Service Center

Recognition Appeals

Risk Management

Student Organization Database


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