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Student Activities | Student Club Certification

Student Club Certification Information

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Annual Club Certification Process

In order to form a new student club or organization on campus, there are just a few steps that must be taken:

If you would like to discuss your plans and ideas, or have questions about the packet, please see Dean Meechie Bowie in Main 223.

Upcoming Certification Deadlines

For Fall 2016 certification students must submit all required paperwork to Student Activities by Friday April 15, 2016.

For Spring 2017 certification, students must submit all required paperwork to Student Activities by Friday December 2, 2016.

Benefits of Certification

Student organizations that have been certified with Student Activities have the following privileges:

  • Ability to reserve and use campus facilities
    • Use of rooms and space, subject to policies and procedures
    • Invite off-campus speakers, performers, and other guests to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and events/programs (Speakers, performers, and other guests must comply with University policies and procedures)
  • Financial Support
    • Ability to request annual funding for programs and events at the time of Certification
    • Request supplemental funding through Student Government Council for an organizational event or program
  • Marketing and Promotion
    • The right to advertise as an official student organization at Trinity Washington University
    • Distribute literature relating to the organization’s purpose and activities
    • Be listed as a student organization by Student Activities in any publications and on the Student Activities website
    • Use of the supplies in the Dean of Student Services Office to create banners and inflate balloons.
  • Organizational Support
    • Apply for bulletin board assignment
    • Access to Leadership resources and the Leadership Library
    • Eligibility for Student Affairs Awards and other recognitions through the University
    • Receive USPS and campus mail through Student Activities
    • Participate in University sponsored events

Guidelines for Student Club

  • The name and purpose of the student organization must be unique—it cannot duplicate an existing student organization.
  • A student organization may state that its membership is composed of Trinity Washington University students but it shall not suggest or imply that it is acting with the authority or as an agency of the University. Student organizations are not official entities of the University and may not represent themselves as such.
  • Student organizations cannot use the words “Trinity Washington University” as a part of the official name of the organization. In addition, student organizations cannot use the University trademarks, seal or logos, without permission, as part of any letterhead, sign, banner, pamphlet, t-shirt, or other printed material that bears the name of the organization. Furthermore, student organizations may not manipulate or otherwise alter any trademark, seal or logo of the University without express permission. To learn more about Trademarks and Identity Guidelines, visit
  • Student organizations may indicate existence at the University as part of any letterhead, sign, banner, pamphlet or other printed material that bears the name of the organization by adding the phrase “at Trinity Washington University”.

Faculty / Staff Advisors

Why does a student organization need an advisor?

An advisor can prove to be a valuable asset to your organization by sharing their life experiences, wisdom, and providing continuity, organizational memory, and connections to resources. The key role of the advisor is to serve as a resource for the organization. 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. The advisor should not serve as an unofficial officer of the organization. Advisors should not advertise for the organization or complete any required forms in place of the officers. If at some point you have difficulty locating an advisor, or are having some complications with your current advisor, please stop by Dean of Student Services office in Main 223.

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 his/her support, the advisor should expect that he/she 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.

For assistance in defining officer-advisor relationships, contact the Assistant Dean for Student Engagement for advice and resource materials.

Gathering Interest

If you are interested in starting a new student organization, but want to gauge interest prior to completing all registration requirements, our office can assist you in hosting an interest meeting. You must submit an Event Proposal Form for one allowed 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 Activities (see the policies regarding postings). Again, you will need to notify Student Activities that it is a posting for a potential student organization.

For more information, please contact Dean Meechie Bowie at 202-884-9611 or via email at



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