Policies for Student Organizations

Policies and procedures

1. Classification of Recognized Student Organizations

View the Student Organization Reconition Policy.

2. Funding from the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering

Funding from the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering (COE) is available on a limited basis to COE RSOs.

All COE RSOs provided with COE funding are required to participate in bi-monthly Engineering Student Council (ESC) meetings. Approximately 75-80% of these meetings must be attended by a member of the RSO in order for it to be eligible to apply for funding the following year.

All COE RSOs provided with funding from the COE are required to participate in the ESC leaders retreat (sometimes called a business meeting), and to abide by the rules and guidelines in this document.

The highest priorities for funding from the COE for student organizations are for student competition and/or design teams, followed by professional development activities. All student orgs that receive COE funds must be RSOs (ISOs are not eligible for college funding).

The funding model will be a block fund allocated to the department for its discretion to provide support for its student competition and/or design teams.

Only RSOs can receive funding from the COE. However, not all RSOs will be provided funding.

Department matching is not required.

COE/departmental RSOs will be required to complete the COE online budget request. Application access and availability will be announced during ESC meetings and via email.

For more information please refer to the following presentations:

COE Budget Request

  • Financial status must reflect funds carried over from the previous year. This includes the balance in your RSO restricted-fees account and/or foundation account. You may work with your departmental accountants to get the balance in your foundation or RSO accounts, or you may contact Chassy Nichols, chassy@k-state.edu, if you are a college-level organization (e.g., NSBE, SWE, Tau Beta Pi).
  • Support from the department must be agreed to by the department head sponsoring the organization BEFORE submitting the funding request to the dean’s office.
  • A best practice is to seek SGA/CSI funding before submitting a funding request to the dean’s office as this will also help to meet funding request deadlines.
  • Travel information must be provided for each planned travel event. You will also need to include the purpose of the travel, i.e., competition, conference, industry tour, etc.
  • All requests must be accompanied by a brief (100 words or less) description of the benefits of the requested funds.
  • Submit a bulleted list (one-page max) that covers the following:
    • a brief listing of the previous year’s activities and/or events such as competitions, regional/national meetings, major recruitment activities, major service activities, and other significant activities or events
    • results of competitions or other significant outcomes (if applicable)
    • dates and locations of known key activities and/or events for the coming year

Student Competition and/or Design Teams

  • If a department has two or more student competition and/or design teams, it will receive a block fund with a recommended distribution per team. Funding will be determined based upon prior year needs, the current request and available funding. However, distribution of the final allocation will be at the discretion of the department head.
    • The dean’s office will look at the RSOs associated with each department, and total the funding requests from the RSOs in the competition team category and those in the professional development category. It is highly likely that funding requests will exceed the amount allocated. In that case, a block allocation amount will be provided with a basic recommendation for funds distribution. However, because departments know their RSOs, their funds and needs, they may adjust the suggested distribution amounts, keeping the funding requests at or below the total that is provided.
  • Each department will need to provide a brief funding allocation report on how funds were used in the previous year at the time of the fall budget request process.
  • All funds will be from the KSU Foundation and will be transferred to the respective designated RSO KSUF fund.
  • Any team-/organization-specific targeted funds (such as the BNSF competition team’s funds for SAE formula, steel bridge and concrete canoe teams) will be transferred to the respective departments. These also require funding and utilization reports as a part of the annual donor reporting process conducted by the KSU Foundation.

Student Professional Development

  • Overnight travel to a student professional development activity/meeting/conference can be funded.
  • Travel awards up to $150 per person, with some exceptions granted, will vary depending on the nature and professional development aspects of the activity and available funds. Travel is to cover transportation and lodging, not meals.
  • Travel support from SGA must also be requested.
  • All requests must include a brief (100 words or less) description of the benefits of the requested funds.
  • Other professional development activity (local industry site tours, professional development workshops, etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability of funds.
  • If a department has two or more student “professional” DSOs, it will receive a block fund with funding amounts determined based on prior year needs, the current request and available funding. However, distribution of the final allocation will be at the discretion of the department head.

International Travel Requests for Service Learning, Study Abroad and Related Activities

  • All international travel funding requests should be submitted through the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Education Abroad process. These funds are generally for individual travel associated with an approved Education Abroad activity.
  • Travel awards will vary depending on the nature and professional development aspects of the activity and available funds. Full-semester Education Abroad activities will be given the greatest consideration. However, faculty-led study tours and service learning activities will also be considered.

3. Expenses and Reimbursement

University purchasing, and payment policies and procedures apply to RSO expenditures (see PPM 6320 Document Completion Procedures and PPM 6310 Purchasing Procedures for additional information).

Charge Cards

RSOs should check with the sponsoring department regarding charge card options.

Documentation for Expenditures and/or Reimbursements

  • Turn in each original itemized receipt (credit card receipts showing a total only are not acceptable).
  • Provide the name and address of the person or entity being paid.
  • If this is an individual, both email and mailing addresses are required.
  • If the expenditure is for services, a W-9 must be submitted that includes the vendor’s tax identification number.
  • Provide a description of what was purchased and why (i.e., supplies for study night event, pizza for weekly meeting, etc.).
  • If this was an event, identify where it was held (i.e., K-State campus; Union Pacific Depot, Manhattan, Kansas; etc.).
  • If this was an event, you will need to identify the attendees (i.e., members of Tau Beta Pi, faculty and staff from the college). If there were fewer than 20 attendees, you will need to list their names and affiliations (i.e., John Doe, student; Willy Wildcat, Black and Veatch Corp.; Matt O’Keefe, dean; etc.).
  • Provide all dates of expenditures or events.
  • Reimbursement for the purchase of gift cards must be approved in advance. Additional documentation and tax forms completed by the recipient(s) of the gift card(s) will be required before reimbursements will be issued.

Travel Guidelines

  • You will need to keep itemized receipts for all expenses (i.e., receipt from shuttle service to hotel showing amount paid, itemized hotel bill, itemized receipt for registration, etc.). You will need to include a reason for all miscellaneous expenses.
  • Meal allowance guidelines follow
    • Meal allowances, when covered, are based upon departure and return times, as well as the area in which you are traveling.
      • Note: Meals may not always be covered and may be your own responsibility.
    • Meal costs should be reasonable.
    • Reimbursement for alcohol is not permitted under any circumstances.
    • There will be a deduction for meals provided by the conference or others. This will need to be included on the travel request form.
    • You will need to keep your itemized receipts (i.e., itemized receipt from Applebee’s showing what you ate, individual charges and the total including tip).
    • Tips are part of the total reimbursement and are not to exceed 20% of the cost.
    • Expenses over the allowed reimbursement amounts are the responsibility of the traveler.
    • If you have questions about the meal allowance for a specific area, please ask your departmental accountant or Chassy Nichols, chassy@k-state.edu, in the dean’s office, 1046 Rathbone, phone 785-532-5590.
  • If you are using a private vehicle, you will need to include mileage to/from the event. Vicinity mileage for meals is not allowed.
  • You are not allowed to pay the expenses of other travelers such as airfare, registration, lodging or meals.

Prohibited Expenditures

  • Purchase of alcohol
  • Purchase of tobacco, e-cigarettes, etc.
  • Business class or first-class airfare
  • Insurance or ticket protectors on airfare
  • Vicinity miles for meals
  • Charges for movies, spas, exercise facilities or other items of similar nature
  • Snacks and beverages, unless part of a meal or substituted as a meal
  • Tips exceeding 20%
  • Expenses of other travelers such as airfare, registration, lodging or meals

Gifts and Prizes

  • Gifts and prizes, including but not limited to gift cards, should not be purchased with DSO or state funds.
  • The college requires that purchases for gifts, prizes and gift cards be approved in advance. The use of RSO or state funds may be declined if proper preapproval and documentation is not obtained.

4. Student Travel

  • Request approval to travel and complete the single event travel request form.
  • Travel funding comes from two sources:
    • SGA
    • COE
  • If you are using a private vehicle, you will need to include mileage to/from the event.
  • If you are using a state vehicle, you will need to contact the motor pool and reserve a vehicle, and complete the request for transportation form. Always include the insurance. If you have someone that is not an employee of the state of Kansas, you will need to complete the non-state driver form and submit it to the state two to three weeks prior to your travel.
  • You will need to keep receipts for all expenses (i.e., receipt from shuttle service to hotel showing amount paid, itemized hotel bill, itemized receipt for registration, etc.). You will need to include a reason for all miscellaneous expenses.
  • Single-Event Travel (SET) cards are available for use.
    • When a club may need immediate access to purchase hotels, rental car and other travel-related items that cannot be prepaid on the university BPC, a SET card may be issued to a club officer or representative.
    • The SET card is a declining-balance card with a dollar limit determined by a preauthorized budget (such as the travel request or group event travel budget).
    • Group meals, where funds have been collected or that include meals as part of the budgetary meals and incidental expenses (M & IE) advance, may be purchased using the SET card, if acknowledged and authorized by the department head on the request form. Meal charges cannot include alcohol or exceed the daily M & IE rate.
    • The SET card may be issued to employees or KSU student representatives traveling on behalf of the university. These cards are authorized per travel event (one-time use).
    • To request a SET card, an Account Action Request Form needs to be completed and authorized by the department head/unit head. The cardholder will be asked to complete a brief online training and sign a cardholder agreement prior to obtaining the card.

5. Deposits and Collection Methods for Membership Dues and Approved Sales

Deposits and Collection Methods

  • Fees collected through membership dues and RSO sales are deposited to the RSO’s university member account through Cashnet.
  • RSOs that need a mechanism to accept credit cards off site (mobile location) must use an approved secure collection device.
    • The “Square” is NOT an approved secure collection device.
    • RSOs that need to facilitate credit card processing in this manner should contact the Division of Financial Services to request a secure processing method.

Approved Sales

  • Each RSO is required to submit a summary of its anticipated sales activity and an estimate of annual revenues from club activities. A RSO Fees form should be used for this purpose.
  • RSO sales are subject to sales tax collection and reporting requirements (PPM 6130 Kansas Sales Tax). All RSO sales must be preapproved by the sponsoring department.

6. Room and Equipment Reservations

University centrally scheduled classrooms

  • Reserve centrally scheduled classrooms (CSC) through University Facilities by completing the Building Request Form.
  • Questions concerning classroom reservations should be directed to Room Scheduling in Facilities at rooms@ksu.edu or 785-532-1712.
  • In requesting CSC classrooms when not serving food, a seven-day advance notice is required, no exceptions.
  • Requesting CSC classrooms when serving food, a 10- to 14-day advance notice is required, no exceptions.

Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Room Reservation Information

Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Classrooms – Email engg-rooms@k-state.edu or visit the ERGP office in 1048 Rathbone Hall to reserve the following rooms:

  • 1107 Fiedler Hall – Fiedler Auditorium (150)
  • 1109 Engineering Hall – Engineering Hall Auditorium (251)
  • 1064 Rathbone Hall (24)
  • 1027 Durland Hall (50) - Recording room
  • 1032 Durland Hall (18) - Recording room
  • 0093 Engineering Hall (64) - Recording room
  • 0096 Engineering Hall (28) - Recording room
  • 0097 Engineering Hall (36) - Recording room
    • Note: Recording rooms are not for general student organization use.

Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Conference Rooms, Atriums and Plazas – Email engg-rooms@k-state.edu or visit the dean’s office in 1046 Rathbone Hall to reserve these rooms:

  • Engineering Hall First-Floor Atrium
  • Engineering Hall Ground-Floor Atrium
  • Engineering Hall Main Plaza
  • Engineering Hall Rain Garden Plaza
  • Fiedler-Rathbone Atrium

Equipment – Visit the dean’s office in 1046 Rathbone or email Whitney Moore to reserve the following equipment:

  • eight-foot tables
  • cocktail tables
  • chairs
  • easels
  • white board signs and sign holders

7. Food Policy for On-Campus Events

Kansas State University has a long-standing policy concerning special or temporary events that involve serving food on campus.

A clear distinction is made between those that are a closed-group event, i.e., members only, office only, department only; and those sponsored by a university group but inviting "the public" to participate (campus, city, etc.). Events fully catered by purveyors licensed by the state of Kansas will be approved.

Those who are sharing food among themselves know who is responsible for the food preparation and must make their decision to participate accordingly.

When a group sponsors an open event, "the public" must reasonably expect their health and safety will be protected. Events open to the public with food prepared by individuals at individual locations will have a difficult time receiving approval.

Policy – Environmental Health and Safety would like to caution organizations about sponsoring open events involving the serving of food. Any event held on university grounds or in university buildings, whether admission is charged or not, is subject to the provisions of the Kansas Food Code and must follow this policy and procedure. These regulations apply to all events.

Procedure – A food preparation plan must be submitted to the campus sanitarian two weeks in advance of the event for approval. Criteria for approval include the following:

  • event title, date, start and end times and location
  • menu
  • who is preparing the food
  • how the food will be prepared
  • where it will be prepared
  • when will it be delivered/arrive on location
  • where/how will it be stored until served
  • where/how it will be served and by whom
  • how it will be cleaned up

The campus sanitarian will review the food preparation plan and determine if it meets the provisions of the Kansas Food Code. Special attention is given to the hazard of a particular food; sanitation procedures during its preparation; transportation and serving equipment available to maintain temperatures during preparation, transportation and serving.

All events will proceed only if approval has been granted by the campus sanitarian.

Additional Requirements/Information

  • Student orgs first need approval from their advisers to host a food-related event.
  • Student orgs are highly encouraged to use a food vendor who has an account with the university. Please check with your department’s business office for a current list.
  • Food charges are to be reasonable.
  • When fewer than 20 persons are involved, a list of names and department affiliations must be provided for all attendees provided food.
  • Food may be served only in buildings or locations approved by the division of facilities.

8. Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Alcohol Policy – Revised Nov. 26, 2012

This policy and associated situations all refer to Carl R. Ice College of Engineering-sponsored events and activities. This does not apply to departments within the college of engineering, although they may have their own and/or similar policies.

In recognition of the fact that the majority of our undergraduate students are not of legal age to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages, the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering prohibits the expenditure of any university or foundation funds for alcohol that will be served to students regardless of their age, nor does the college endorse any student-focused function that involves consumption of alcoholic products. Reference is also made to the Kansas State University Alcoholic Beverage Policy, PPM 3053.

To clarify this policy, the following specific situations are identified:

1. College-sponsored events primarily for faculty, alumni and friends of the college

1.1. Alcoholic beverages may be served to guests/sponsors, as well as to K-State faculty and staff, so long as it is done in compliance with Kansas State University Alcoholic Beverage Policy, PPM 3053.

1.2. No alcohol is to be served to any students – even if they are of legal age. If a “cash bar” exists, the vendor assumes all responsibility.

2. College-sponsored, student-centered events (i.e., picnics, socials, etc.)

2.1. Distribution and/or consumption of alcoholic beverage products is not authorized at college-sponsored, student-centered events (i.e., those hosted by the college and/or a college department, and/or those that would use state/departmental/college funds). These activities are open to students of all ages and a majority of our students are not of legal age for alcoholic products. This includes student club and organizational picnics, socials, etc. funded by student organizational funds and associated with the college.

3. Student travel in conjunction with university sanctioned events

3.1. Students travelling as part of a college competition (individual or team) or to a college-supported/endorsed professional meeting or activity, and who are of legal age to purchase/consume alcoholic beverages, are strongly encouraged to exhibit discretion and professional behavior at all times.

3.2. Alcoholic beverages in open containers and students who are under the influence of alcohol are strictly prohibited from being in any state/college/departmental vehicle at any time.

4. Other student organized events

4.1. College of Engineering-supported student organizations cannot use their organizational funds (i.e., their organizational accounts) to purchase alcoholic beverages for any event. Any such event that intends to provide alcoholic beverages must abide by the Kansas State University Alcoholic Beverage Policy, PPM 3053. In addition, these events may *not* have any name association with the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering or one of our academic departments.

4.2. Events where alcoholic consumption is the primary objective (such as pub crawls) are highly discouraged and are in no way endorsed by the college. Student social events, such as pub crawls, which involve alcohol, shall not in any way be connected with the college. This includes language/wording on t-shirts, flyers and email messages. Please see Kansas State University Alcoholic Beverage Policy, PPM 3053.

9. Carl R. Ice College of Engineering Student Organization and Team Philanthropic Fundraising Guidelines


K-State engineering is committed to your involvement through a belief steadfastly grounded in the knowledge that students who participate in activities will ultimately get more out of their college experience. In doing so, you will contribute positively to the larger environment in which you live. Many alumni recall their involvement in a student organization being as memorable and as valuable as their academic pursuits. K-State student organizations and competition teams each leave their own special mark on the cultural, social and intellectual life of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

The staff within the KSU Foundation’s engineering development team supports students of RSOs in their fundraising efforts. In short, we are committed to your ultimate success, both as a student, and as a contributing member of the K-State engineering community and wider society. We hope your organization will find these guidelines useful as you plan. We welcome your feedback at any time. Best of luck to you and your organization this year!

Foundation Fund

A foundation fund can only be opened for a RSO that’s been registered and approved by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). The foundation cannot accept independent student organization (ISO) funds.

Classification guidelines allow a RSO to establish a RSO Member Account through the university. Contact the engineering dean’s office with further questions.

Donations to your foundation account should be derived directly from corporations, households, not-for-profit organizations, etc. to be used for scholarships, excellence or needs specific to the purpose of the club (such as travel and conferences). The IRS does not allow philanthropic funds to be directed to a specific individual. By giving to KSU Foundation and a RSO’s foundation account, donors may obtain a receipt to document the donation for tax purposes.

Contact the college or departmental business manager/accountant for your fund number or to create one.

  • Donations to your fund at the Kansas State University Foundation are typically tax deductible.
    • The IRS requires donors be provided with a tax receipt from a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Because of the group’s RSO status, the KSU Foundation is assigned to handle gifts for the university.
    • All funds in the KSU Foundation are documented. An individual or company can then be recognized not only by your organization, but by the university.
    • Your KSU Foundation fund number is where donors can direct funds to your organization.


Before pursuing fundraising options, make sure you have utilized campus resources available to you:

  • funding from the Center for Student Involvement (CSI)
  • funding from your engineering department
  • COE budget proposal process

Recognizing many engineering student groups will require additional financing to further their mission and that such funding sources may overlap, the KSU Foundation engineering development team monitors all fundraising efforts on behalf of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

The following groups can make an impact on your organization through financial contributions:

  • current and alumni members of your organization
  • friends and family of members
  • businesses or corporations

Any solicitation of gifts from businesses or corporations must be approved by the engineering development team. The college and university have many strategic partnerships with businesses and corporations that already exist. To continue to steward those relationships, the development team will make sure specific companies are being solicited properly and/or confirm if a company already has a gift in process that may benefit your group.

Types of Philanthropic Gifts

  • Cash or check
    • Checks should be made payable to the KSU Foundation, with your fund number in the memo line, and mailed to —
      Kansas State University Foundation
      1800 Kimball Ave., Ste. 200
      Manhattan, KS 66502
    • If you receive cash or a check, work with your department accountant to submit the money to the foundation. The accountant will fill out a contribution transmittal form, and submit the form and money to the foundation.
  • Credit card
    • Online gifts can be made by going to ksufoundation.org/give.
    • By request, the foundation can create a direct hyperlink unique to your fund. This allows donors to give directly to your fund without having to locate the fund number.
  • Matching gifts
    • Many corporations and businesses encourage philanthropic behavior and enhance the impact of employee generosity with matching gift programs. If you know a donor who works for a matching company, ask them to complete their employer’s matching gift form and send it along with their gift.
  • Gift-in-kind (GIK) contributions
    • Many corporations and businesses contribute equipment, inventory or other assets to student organizations (such as car parts, etc.).
    • Coordination with the engineering development team is required for the foundation to accept any GIK contributions.
      • In order for the foundation to process a GIK donation, you will need to obtain a GIK form (pdf).
        • Make sure to include a copy of the invoice, sales, quote or something to prove the valuation of the gift.
        • For the signature, you can either get a physical signature or attach an email from the donor stating what they have donated.


Newsletters are a great way to keep your alumni and donors updated on what your group is doing. Newsletters can be sent in print form or electronically. Communicate with your department head in advance of creating a newsletter for initial permission.

  • Determining your newsletter distribution group
    • Send your newsletter to alumni of your organization.
      • In partnership with the Alumni Association, the foundation can assist with getting your alumni coded in the university’s alumni database.
      • Work with the engineering development team to determine if your group is already being coded in the database. If it is not, you will need to provide the office with a list of all past alumni from your organization to be coded.
    • Send your newsletter to those who have donated to your organization within the last five years.
      • Include your fund number on the ECW form and your newsletter will be distributed to anyone who has donated to your organization’s fund.
      • Limit your mailing to donors from the last five years, because some donors may no longer be connected or associated with the organization.
  • Additional tips for a successful newsletter
    • Your newsletter should be reviewed and proofed by your adviser. If you need editing assistance, please contact Engineering Communications at engg-comm@k-state.edu.
    • Include an opportunity for readers to make a contribution to your organization.
      • Direct contribution links can be provided for your fund and included in an e-newsletter. To request a direct link, contact the engineering development office (engineering@ksufoundation.org).
      • A .jpg file of a contribution card can be inserted into your print newsletter for donors to cut out and mail back in with a check. Include this preference on your ECW form.
    • Invite your alumni and donors to participate in your organization’s event or activity, and to come to campus to see your project, etc. Being involved means staying involved. Please notify the engineering development team (engineering@ksufoundation.org) when you invite someone and know he or she is attending. We will track who comes to campus to see if it’s necessary to give the individual or company the opportunity to visit other groups while they are here.

Additional Services

We can also provide you with the fund balance of your foundation account. The engineering development team is happy to assist you as needed.

**To ensure all departments involved in the process are able to provide necessary assistance, please allow at least ten (10) business days for completion of most requests.

10. Communications

President’s Listserv

@engg This Week – Student Edition

  • If you wish to include an item in the newsletter, submit an annoucement request no later than Friday at noon for it to be included in the newsletter sent out the following Monday.

Digital Signage

  • The dean’s office maintains digital signage located on the first floor of the engineering complex.
  • Landscape orientation, large font, without many words works best.
  • Many departments also have digital signs, which are maintained by those departments. Please see your department for information on adding content to their signs.
  • Digital sign and lab wallpaper request form


  • Flyers for bulletin boards on the first floor of the engineering complex must be approved.
  • Take flyers to the Fiedler Learning Commons for approval.
  • Use low-tack tape for posting items to the boards outside of DUR 1066.
  • Do not tape flyers on walls or doors of the complex. Flyers may only be placed on designated bulletin boards.


  • RSOs are encouraged to utilize OrgCentral for external website.

11. Miscellaneous

Raffles as Fundraisers

In Kansas, a raffle is considered a lottery and thus a form of illegal gambling under K.S.A. 21-6403 if it is “an enterprise wherein for a consideration the participants are given an opportunity to win a prize, the award of which is determined by chance.” (State-run lotteries and tribal gaming are exempted.)

All three of these elements must be present to make a raffle an illegal lottery.

(1) consideration (usually meaning payment)

(2) a prize

(3) chance or luck

RSOs should obtain preapproval through the college before holding a raffle to ensure that no form of illegal gambling is conducted.

Branding Guidelines

Purchasing Promotional Items

A list of K-State approved vendors is available through Trademark Licensing. The purchase of uniforms is not subject to royalty fees.


COE – Carl R. Ice College of Engineering

CSI – Center for Student Involvement

RSO – Registered student organization

GIK – Gift in kind

M & IE – Meals and incidental expenses

SET – Single event travel

SGA – Student governing association