Park University herein establishes a system of certification for student organizations to insure the rights of students to form associations, to define the relationship between the University and student organizations, to maintain the right to choose which student organizations it recognizes, and to insure that the requirements for certification, the privileges received through certification and the policies and procedures that govern student organizations are administered in a nondiscriminatory manner.


Limits of Certification

Certification does not permit a student organization to use or act in the name of the University, to represent the University, engage in any contractual obligation in the name of the University nor represent the organization as being an official part of the University. Certified student organizations are permitted to have external affiliations, may be part of an incorporated external organization, or may be individually incorporated. Certification expressly permits certified student organizations to only operate on campus. Off-campus activities of certified student organizations are the sole responsibility of the organization, officers and members. Membership in a certified student organization and participation in its activities are voluntary and all risks of personal injury, property damage or other losses that occur incidental to membership or participation in activities are assumed solely by the student organization and/or individual member(s) or participant(s).


Certification Status:

Certification:  Certification of a student organization is accorded to student groups that meet the standard conditions for certification. Nationally affiliated organizations must be recognized by their national office to officially operate on campus.

Recognition:  Recognition of a student organization is accorded to student organizations that meet certification requirements and have an official association or working relationship with an official operating unit of the University. The nature and extent of the working relationship are determined solely by the chief administrator of the operating unit. The activities and programs of recognized student organizations are not considered official programs of the University.


Requirements for Certification

1.    Complete the online Certification Application found at

2.    Accurately disclose the purpose of the organization and operate in accordance with its stated purpose.

3.    Disclose any external affiliations; provide the constitution and bylaws of any such organization with which it may be affiliated; and certify that all conditions for affiliation meet the certification standards of the University.

4.    Submit a constitution according to standards with the Certification Application. (see Student Organization Manual.)

5.    Submit a complete membership roster with the names of at least (5) currently enrolled Park students (on Certification Application) semi-annually (September & January).

6.    Organizations must secure a full-time faculty or staff member at the University to serve as an advisor.

7.    After approval of certification, maintain an active membership of a minimum of five (5) Park student members.

8.    Provide accurate membership rosters and signed Hold Harmless Agreements for all members and participants in organization activities as directed.

9.    Maintain at least two (2) student officers, President and Treasurer.

10. Limit voting, officer positions and formal leadership roles to currently enrolled students of the University.

11. Submit all changes in constitution and bylaws, officers and advisor within one week of formal elections via the electronic student organization certification form found at

12. Adhere to University policies and procedures and local, state and federal laws.

13. Conduct all activities in a manner consistent with the educational mission of the University.

14. Conduct all activities in a manner that contributes to the intellectual, ethical, psychological and personal growth of its members.

15. Refrain from advocating, inciting or participating in any material interference or physical disruption of the University.

16. Refrain from the use of deceptive recruitment practices and the use of coercion, manipulation and proselytization techniques as a means of recruitment.

17. Refrain from the use of any illegal discriminatory criteria including those listed in the Park University Student Code of Conduct non-discriminatory policy in the determination of membership.

18. Refrain from participation in hazing activities.

19. Refrain from using the organization for the financial enrichment of any officer, member or affiliate.

20. Refrain from directly or indirectly using University resources for the express benefit of external affiliates.

21. Use dues and other membership fees for the express benefit of the organization and in fulfillment of its purposes.

22. Maintain University accounts as required.  (Visit the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement on the First Floor of the Thompson Student Center for more information.)

23. Refrain from maintaining outside bank accounts if funded by activity fees, and refrain from using the name of the University on private bank accounts.

24. Refrain from entering or attempting to enter into contractual obligations for the University without prior authorization by designated University staff.

25. Refrain from directly or indirectly using University resources in support of any candidate for public office.

26. Refrain from soliciting funds outside the University without the express approval from the Office of Student Life found at


Benefits of Certification

1.    Eligible to use University facilities, equipment and services according to policies and procedures.

2.    Eligible to apply for funding from student government under the policies and procedures set forth in the appropriate student government constitution and bylaws.

3.    Eligible to receive professional advising and other services from the Office of Student Life.

4.    Eligible to collect dues, sponsor fund-raising events and solicit funds according to University policy.

5.    Eligible to receive awards or honors presented to student organizations and members.

6.    Eligible to be listed in University publications.

7.    Eligible to participate in University activities.

8.    Eligible to distribute literature and organizational materials as well as post material on controlled University bulletin boards according to University policies and procedures.

9.    Eligible to apply for a University account and to use the services of the University business departments.

10. Eligible to request assistance to the Office of Student Leadership & Engagement to receive services from the Communications Department to promote organizational activities.


Additional Requirements and Privileges for Recognition

1.    Organizations with National sponsorships must be recognized to operate on campus and are subject to additional recognition policies and procedures approved by the Office of Student Life

2.    The student organization must have established an official working relationship with an operating unit of the University.

3.    The purpose and activities of the group must be compatible with the mission of the University.

4.    The sponsoring University unit and/or the approving academic Dean may establish additional requirements for recognition beyond the standard requirements for certification, must approve of the organization's constitution as a condition of recognition, and may establish policies and procedures to guide and define the working relationship. They may afford the recognized student organization additional privileges beyond the standard privileges of certification.

5.    The recognized student organization is granted exclusivity of purpose and function, that is, the operating unit will not recognize more than one such group.



If you are interested in starting a new student organization, the Office of Student Leadership & Engagement provides a limited opportunity to utilize on-campus facilities to gauge interest prior to completing all registration requirements. You must submit the Petition to form an organization form located at . You may contact the office of Student Life to plan an interest meeting. An interest meeting is defined as a meeting to explain the purpose of the organization, identify individuals interested in forming the organization and completing the requirements of registration (i.e. creating a constitution). In addition to having one interest meeting, you may post on campus once (i.e. to advertise the interest meeting). Postings must be approved through Student Life (see the policies regarding postings). Again, you will need to notify Student Life that it is a posting for a potential student organization.



What is an advisor?

An advisor is person who gives advice or makes a recommendation as to a decision or course of action. This is the most practical application of the term.  In a university setting this definition is expanded to often include a role model, teacher, confidant, resource person, and more.


The role of the advisor will vary from student organization to student organization and is often dependent upon the very nature of the personalities involved.  Primarily, the role of the advisor is not parental. They will establish a good working relationship with the group based on respect and genuine caring. Appropriate intervention, sound guidance and an objective perspective are all ingredients necessary for good advising.


Guidelines for being an advisor

All student organizations are required to have an advisor who is a full-time staff or faculty member at Park University. Within the context of the broader mission and policies of the University, advisors shall share insights and directions that allow student organizations to further their objectives and enhance the meaningfulness of organization membership. The advisor should not serve as an unofficial officer of the organization.


Specific responsibilities of the advisor shall be to:

·         Attend meetings

·         Provide guidance to officers

·         Receive all financial statements

·         Oversee all financial transactions of the organization

·         Ensure that all members have a 2.2 minimum GPA

·         Provide consultation concerning membership selection procedures and responsibilities

·         Review and sign the organization’s annual report


Because of the involvement of some student organizations in University governance, their advisors may be appointed by the Dean of Students as part of the advisors’ professional responsibilities.


Take some time to discuss reciprocal expectations with your advisor(s). Try to establish open lines of communication that will enable you to work together effectively. Advisors should not advertise for the organization or complete any required forms in place of the student officers. If at some point you have difficulty locating an advisor, or are having some complications with your current advisor, please stop by Student Leadership and Engagement or call 816-584-6375


Who is eligible to serve as an advisor?

An advisor must be either a faculty member (not on sabbatical) or a staff member at the University. The faculty or staff member must be employed at the University full-time. Unless it states otherwise in their position description on file with human resources, faculty and staff may only advise up to two student organizations.


What is the role of an advisor?

The advisor serves as the link between the Student Organization and the University; providing guidance to the organization in regards to University policies and procedures.


While specific roles should be defined by the organization and the advisor, an advisor should generally:

·         Provide expert knowledge and advice

·         Be knowledgeable about activities and programs of the organization

·         Suggest and encourage new program ideas

·         Help members apply principles and skills learned in and out of the classroom

·         Point out new directions and options

·         Provide insight into the group’s problems and successes

·         Assist in maintaining high standards of programming and individual performance

·         Provide continuity with the history and tradition of past years

·         Assist in the development of procedures and plans of action


In return for their support, the advisor should expect that they be consulted regularly by the officers concerning their plans for group activities or programs. The advisors should know what events are being planned and should offer ideas and suggestions freely, but not dominate the program planning process.