Student Organizations: Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents
  1. Getting Started
  2. Finances & Reimbursement
  3. Planning Events
  4. Tabling Events, Fundraisers, and Charitable Drives
  5. General Information

Getting Started

  1. How does our organization register and receive funding?
  2. How does our organization create a constitution or by-laws?
  3. How many officers does our organization need?

How does our organization register and receive funding? 

To receive funding and become eligible to hold events and meetings, each student organization must register at the beginning of each fall semester.  The registration process involves the following steps. 

  1. Complete the Organization Application Form.
  2. When submitting the Organization Application Form, you will need to upload a copy of (a) the organization's current constitution or bylaws, and (b) a detailed budget for the year describing how expected funding will be spent.
  3. Each officer must attend a mandatory training session at the beginning of the academic year.

How does our organization create a constitution or by-laws? 

A link to a model organization constitution can be found here. Organizations may adjust or adapt the model as they see fit.

How many officers does our organization need?

Each organization needs a minimum of four officers/board members.  The responsibilities of each board member are outlined in the Organization’s constitution.  Model officer responsibilities descriptions can be found here.

Finances & Reimbursement

  1. What is the balance of our organization’s account?
  2. How may we use our organization’s funds?
  3. May our organization purchase a gift for a speaker, faculty member, or someone else?
  4. Do all expenditures require pre-approval?  How does the pre-approval process work?
  5. How do I submit a reimbursement request?
  6. How does our organization request a grant?
  7. How do we deposit funds into our organization’s account?

What funds are available? What is the balance of our organization’s account? 

Each organization begins the academic year with either a zero balance or a certain amount of funds that have carried over from the prior academic year.  The Law School then makes a $400 annual contribution to each registered organization’s account.  The Law School will also match any deposited funds (e.g., dues, donations, etc.) dollar for dollar, up to $300 per year.  Any funds deposited by the members of the organization that are not used by the end of the spring semester, will carry over to the next year.  Prior “carryover funds” will also continue to carry over to the next year, until used by the organization.  However, unused portions of Law School contributions (i.e., annual contribution, matching funds, and grants) do not carry over.  Please review the Funding Policy for more information. 

To inquire about the current balance of your organization’s account, please email Ms. Chris Monroe, the Law School’s Budget and Finance Director.

How may we use our organization’s funds?

Most organizations spend their funds on events organized for the benefit of their members or the student body more generally.  All expenditures must further the purpose of the organization and should benefit the organization as a whole.  When in doubt, officers should discuss proposed expenditures with Dean Rogan-Mehta before moving forward.  When planning to spend more than $200, organizations must seek (and receive) pre-approval for the expenditure (see below for more information on the pre-approval process). 

Some items can never be purchased with student organization funds, such as gifts for members of the organization or for others.  Organizations cannot create scholarship funds or give cash (or cash equivalents) away to members or others.  Organizations also cannot raffle off prizes, cash amounts, or cash equivalents (e.g., gift certificates).

May our organization purchase a gift for a speaker, faculty member, or someone else? 

Per University policy, student organization funds cannot be used to purchase gifts. Small tokens of appreciation and thank you cards for speakers are available in Suite 238. 

Do all expenditures require pre-approval?  How does the pre-approval process work? 

All expenditures over $200 require pre-approval.  If the proposed expenditure relates to an event, you should request pre-approval by completing the appropriate fields of the Event Registration Form.  If the expenditure is not related to an event, please complete the Expenses Preapproval Form.  You will receive an email response to each request. 

Please note that if an organization does not receive pre-approval of an expense greater than $200 or spends more than the amount approved, the portion of the expenditure that was not approved will not be reimbursed. 

How do I submit a reimbursement request? 

Submit the Reimbursement form and your original (hardcopy) receipts to Suite 238.  If the reimbursement is $250 or less, a cash reimbursement form will be placed in your mail folder in about one week.  Take that form and your Marquette ID to the first floor of Zilber Hall for a cash reimbursement.  If the reimbursement amount is greater than $250, a check will be issued approximately three weeks after you submit your reimbursement request.  Unless you indicate on your reimbursement form that the check should be mailed to a postal address, the check will be delivered to Suite 238, and you will receive an email when it is ready to be picked up.

How does our organization request a grant? 

Organizations may request grants by completing a Grant Application Form. Generally, organizations should use their available funds before applying for a grant.  Organizations may apply for more than one grant per academic year, but the total amount provided to any organization during an academic year will not exceed $1,000. 

Grant applications should include a detailed explanation of how the grant would be used.  Please research the amount of funds needed before submitting a grant request (e.g., if applying for a $350 grant, the organization should first gather enough information to explain why $350 is needed).  If the funds would be used for an event, please research all of the costs of the event before submitting a grant application.  When proposing an expenditure, please remember that all organization expenditures must further the purpose of the organization and should benefit the organization as a whole. 

How do we deposit funds into our organization’s account? 

Bring the funds in an envelope labeled with your organization’s name to Suite 238.  You may also use a Deposit Form if you wish.   

Planning Events

  1. How do we begin planning an event or meeting?  How do we reserve a room in the Law School?
  2. Does our group need to reserve the Student Organization room (room 342) to hold our meeting there?
  3. How do I arrange to host a guest speaker at one of our organization’s events?
  4. How do I arrange to have a Law School photographer take photos at our on-site event?
  5. How can we promote our upcoming events?
  6. Can more than one organization co-sponsor an event?
  7. I heard that we can receive a small grant to help with the costs of co-sponsored events.  How does our organization request those funds?
  8. Can we serve alcohol at our events?
  9. We would like to serve food at our on-site event.  How do we arrange to have food delivered or use a caterer?
  10. Our organization would like to screen a movie at our event.  Do we need to obtain the rights to show the movie beforehand?
  11. Where can we hold events off-site?

How do we begin planning an event or meeting?  How do we reserve a room in the Law School?

Your first step in holding a meeting or event is to register the event with the Law School by submitting the Event Registration Form.

All on- and off-site events must be registered.  Please register your events at least two weeks in advance.  If you submit the form less than two weeks in advance, the Events and Facilities team will try to accommodate your request; whether a room can be assigned will depend on space and availability.  

The Event Registration Form serves several purposes.  It sends your request for a room assignment to the Events and Facilities team; a member of that team will respond to your request within four business days.  When applicable, a member of that team will also reserve parking in Eckstein Hall for a speaker or other guests identified on the form.  Registered events are also placed on the Law School’s calendar.  Additionally, the form sends your expense pre-approval request to the Assistant Dean for Students.

Does our group need to reserve the Student Organization room (room 342) to hold our meeting there?

Student organizations may use the student organization room unless another group has already reserved that space via the Event Registration Form.

How do I arrange to host a guest speaker at one of our organization’s events? 

Please see the MULS Speakers Policy.  All speakers must be approved by Dean Rogan-Mehta or in the case of a Speakers from Practice event, by Professor Anderson, at least two weeks in advance of the proposed event.  Please list all proposed speakers, and whenever possible, a link to a biography, on the Event Registration Form.  A response to your speaker request will come either in the form of (a) an event confirmation email (if you receive an event confirmation email and no other communication about your request, your request has been approved), or (b) a separate email response. 

How do I arrange to have a Law School photographer take photos at our on-site event?

Please email Stephen Nelson at least one week in advance of the event, with your request.  Steve will let you know if a photographer can attend.  Photos will be uploaded to the Law School photo galleries found here, under the “Student Organizations” gallery.

How can we promote our upcoming events? 

You may submit an announcement to Law News and Events using the Bundled Announcement Request Form. The deadline for submitting announcements for the Monday bundle is Friday at noon, and the deadline for the Wednesday bundle is Tuesday at noon.  

Organizations may also advertise their events via social media.  However, when advertising events on social media, organizations must also submit an announcement to Law News and Events, as some students do not participate in social media.

The Organization may also submit fliers to Ms. Jenny Chick, the Law School’s Building Supervisor, for placement on the bulletin boards in the student kitchen and room 342 (the Student Organization suite).  An electronic slide may also be submitted for display on the screens in the exercise room. 

Can more than one organization co-sponsor an event? 

Yes, organizations are encouraged to co-sponsor events.  When submitting your reimbursement request, indicate on the reimbursement form the amount that should be withdrawn from each of the sponsoring organizations’ budgets (e.g., for a $200 receipt: “$100 – American Constitution Society, $100 – Federalist Society”). 

I heard that we can receive a small grant to help with the costs of co-sponsored events.  How does our organization request those funds?

When organizations co-sponsor events, the Law School will provide a modest grant of $25 per organization, up to three organizations per event, to assist with the cost of the event.  In order to qualify for the grant: 

  • Each organization must advertise the event via Law News and Events.  It is recommended that the organizations promote the event in other ways as well (e.g., via email to members or social media). 
  • It is recommended that the organizations accept RSVPs to inform planning efforts.
  • At least 30 students must attend the event; please have students sign-in at the event.

To receive the funds, simply turn in the sign-in sheet with your reimbursement form and indicate which organizations co-sponsored the event.  Each organization’s account (up to three organizations) will receive a $25 credit.

All organizations are eligible to receive such a grant up to two times per semester.

Can we serve alcohol at our events?

Please read the Alcohol Policy and contact the Assistant Dean for Students with any questions about the policy.  Please note that whenever alcohol is served, non-alcoholic beverages and food must be complimentary to guests attending the function. All alcohol must be served by a licensed, third-party bartender.  Students with a bartending license may NOT serve alcohol at student organization events.  Please contact Dean Rogan-Mehta if you would like to serve alcohol at an event held in Eckstein Hall.

We would like to serve food at our on-site event.  How do we arrange to have food delivered or use a caterer?

Many groups have food delivered to the Law School by an outside vendor shortly before their event or meeting.  Students may also bring in or have non-alcoholic drinks delivered.  Student organizations may also use the University’s catering service.  Please contact Ms. Carol Dufek, the Law School’s Event Coordinator, to arrange to use the school’s catering service.  Catering costs will be paid with funds from the organization’s account.

If a local restaurant will deliver food to the Law School, please review these guidelines before the delivery:

  • A member of your organization needs to meet the food vendor in the Eckstein Hall lobby to receive the order.
  • Delivery personnel are not permitted beyond the lobby of Eckstein Hall, and their vehicle cannot be parked in front of the building for a prolonged period of time.
  • The use of sternos to heat or keep food warm is prohibited in Eckstein Hall.
  • Each group is responsible for making sure that the room is left in the same condition as when you entered it.

Our organization would like to screen a movie at our event.  Do we need to obtain the rights to show the movie beforehand?

If your organization can obtain the rights without too much difficulty or expense, it should do so.  Visit the film’s website, if one exists, and review any information posted about educational showings.  You may be able to easily obtain permission for an educational showing by following the producer’s instructions and meeting the relevant criteria for an educational showing.

However, information about an educational showing is not always available.  In that case, you may show the movie during your event without first obtaining permission if (1) a member of your organization owns the movie or rented it from the Marquette University library, and (2) you will not charge admission or collect anything of value at the event.  Please note that you cannot show movies rented from Netflix or similar rental services at your event without first obtaining that rental service's express permission.

If your organization plans to charge admission or collect anything of value (e.g., dues, donations of any kind, etc.) at the event, then you must first obtain the rights to show the movie at your event. 

Where can we hold events off-site? 

Many organizations hold events at restaurants and other establishments both during the week and on weekends.  If you plan to serve alcohol at your event, you must first read the Alcohol Policy and contact Dean Rogan-Mehta with any questions about the policy.  Please note that whenever alcohol is served, non-alcoholic beverages and food must be complimentary to guests attending the function.  Faculty members and administrators may attend off-site events and meetings; however, their attendance is not required. 

Tabling Events, Fundraisers, and Charitable Drives

  1. How do I reserve a table in the Zilber Forum?
  2. What do I need to know about holding a fundraiser in the Zilber Forum?
  3. How does our group organize and run a charitable drive?

How do I reserve a table in the Zilber Forum? 

To reserve a table for a fundraiser or other tabling event, please complete the Zilber Forum Table Request Form  at least one week in advance. 

What do I need to know about holding a fundraiser in the Zilber Forum?

To schedule a fundraiser, please submit the Zilber Forum Table Request Form  at least one week in advance.  Food or other items may be sold at a tabling event, if approved in advance

When holding a fundraiser, you may borrow a cash box from Suite 238; please note that the Law School does not provide cash to make change.  Immediately after your tabling event concludes, please bring the funds to Suite 238 for deposit in your organization’s account.  When your organization runs a fundraiser over several days, please bring the funds collected to Suite 238 immediately after each tabling shift. 

Students employed by bar preparation and study aid vendors who wish to reserve tables on behalf of their employers should review the Bar Preparation and Study Aid Vendor Policies.

How does our group organize and run a charitable drive? 

In the past, student organizations have collected and donated clothing, winter gear, toiletries, canned food, and holiday gifts to various community organizations. 

To schedule a drive, students should email Dean Rogan-Mehta.  Please indicate (1) the type of drive your organization would like to hold; (2) the community organization your drive will benefit; and (3) the dates during which your organization would like to hold the drive. 

All drives must be approved in advance and a representative from the organization must meet with the Building Supervisor to discuss the logistics of the drive at least one week before the drive begins. 

Please schedule your drive well in advance of the desired dates, as only one drive may be held in Eckstein Hall at a time.  Charitable drives can last up to two weeks.  Receptacles for collecting donations will be placed in the Student Organization area, Room 342. 

You may advertise your organization’s drive in Law News and Events by completing the Bundled Announcements Request Form. Students may also reserve a table in the Zilber Forum, using the Zilber Forum Table Request Form, on select dates during their organization’s drive to collect donations.  All donations collected at the table must be deposited in the appropriate receptacles in Room 342 or taken directly to the community organization. 

General Information

  1. Where can we store things for our organization?
  2. What supplies are available in the Student Organization Room (Room 342)?
  3. Can our organization use the Marquette University or Law School logo?

Where can we store things for our organization? 

Small storage bins are available to all organizations.  Bins need to be kept in room 336L (located within the Student Organization suite).  Food and beverages should not be stored in these bins.  Contact Ms. Jenny Chick for more information. 

What supplies are available in the Student Organization Room (Room 342)? 

When ordering food from a vendor/restaurant, please ask the vendor to provide, plates, and napkins. If those items are not available from the vendor, plastic utensils can be found in the kitchen area of Room 342. Plates and napkins may be available upon request from the Building Supervisor. Please contact the Building Supervisor before purchasing these items (and well in advance of your event date).  

Can our organization use the Marquette University or Law School logo? 

Please contact the Dean Rogan-Mehta with questions about using the Marquette University (or Law School) logo.