The mission and purpose of Villanova’s student organizations are integral to the community we seek to support on campus for all students.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This semester, health and safety measures surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic will need to inform every aspect of campus life, including how student organizations function. These guidelines provide expectations for how students in student organizations will gather, meet, or host an event, understanding that all behavior on campus will be informed by the need to put Community First.

Thank you for your interest in starting a student organization at Villanova University!

The following is an outline intended to provide students with resources and information on how to effectively become a recognized student organization at Villanova University.

  • Complete the petition to start a recognized organization.  Due to COVID-19, OSI is allowing digitial signatures for new student organization petitions. Email for the online New Student Organization Petition. 
    • Student organizations must be initiated, organized and run by current matriculated Villanova students.
    • Obtain 12 names, email addresses and signatures (digitial are permitted due to COVID-19) of interested members.
    • Only faculty, staff and registered students shall be eligible for active membership status in student organizations. Only full-time students shall be eligible to serve as appointed or elected officers in registered student organizations.

Note: In order to serve as an officer of an organization, students must be fully enrolled in classes on campus.  They cannot serve if they are participating in an internship or studying abroad.

  • Create a one-page proposal highlighting the mission and goals of your student organization. Please attach this to your petition. Become familiar with the Villanova University mission statement and Student Involvement’s mission statement, so that the purpose of your organization will be congruent.
  • Schedule a meeting with OSI to discuss the new student organization petition. Your advisor is welcome to attend this meeting. Please email to set up a meeting, where you will talk through your new organization request with a Student Life staff member. If the missions are congruent and there is no follow-up questions regarding the mission and purpose of the new student organization, OSI will then assist in setting up a meeting with the Student Government Association (SGA) and OSI to hear a presentation on the mission and goals of the new student organization.

The following guiding principles will serve as a foundation for student organizations during this semester and until further notice:

  1. Adherence to the Villanova Health and Safety Plan, compliance with CDC recommendations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements, and any additional applicable guidance provided by the University.
  2. Acknowledgment that many programs, events, and activities that have traditionally taken place will need to be scaled back, postponed, or even canceled in the interest of maintaining the health and safety of the University community.
  3. Engage with the registration process through the University’s Events Management Team, in conjunction with support from Student Involvement, for any event hosted by a student organization.

Student engagement on campus often occurs in the context of Villanova’s many Student Organizations. The mission and purpose of Villanova’s student organizations are integral to the community we seek to support on campus for all students.

This semester, health and safety measures surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic will need to inform every aspect of campus life, including how student organizations function. These Student Organization Guidelines provide expectations for how students in student organizations will gather, meet, or host an event.

The Student Organization Manual contains student organization policies and procedures. Please contact us with questions.

Social distancing requirements currently limit gathering spaces on campus. Under the Villanova Health and Safety Plan, the first priority for spaces on campus is academic classes, study and dining. Facilities Management has evaluated spaces on campus and designated new capacities for spaces that take into account the CDC and Pennsylvania requirements for social distancing. As a result, the number of spaces for students and student organizations to meet in-person is radically decreased than in past semesters. Given the anticipated few spaces that will be available for appropriately social-distanced student organization meetings, many meetings will be virtual. 


  • In-person student organization meetings need to be registered or submitted for approval regardless of location utilizing VU Groups. 
  • Students can reserve spaces in Dougherty Hall and the Connelly Center for in-person meetings through VU Groups, classrooms, tents, or bring chairs to an outdoor location on campus.
  • Student organizations can purchase reasonable amounts of food and beverages for approved meetings taking place outside.

Membership Engagement

  • For student organizations looking to host membership either in-person or virtual engagement opportunities (i.e. movie nights with your student organization, outdoor fitness event, outdoor dinner with your student organization, etc.) we are asking that you submit these types of requests through the VU Groups at least 2 weeks in advance for in-person engagement and one week in advance for online engagement. Thank you for your patience during this review process. Students will be notified of event approval as soon as possible. 
  • Student organizations can buy reasonable amounts of food or beverages for approved membership engagement events taking place outside. 

A program or event is generally open to anyone in the Villanova community and can include a partnership with another student organization. Many programs, events, and activities that have traditionally taken place will need to be scaled back, postponed, held virtually, or even canceled in the interest of maintaining the health and safety of the University community.

It is recommended that student organizations submit any proposal 3 weeks prior for an in-person event and 1 week in advance for virtual events. Any student organization wishing to host an event should first:

  1. Talk with their advisor
  2. Contact Student Involvement. Student organizations will have the potential opportunity to program or co-host events in conjunction with the Campus Activities Team (CAT).
  3. Late Night Programming: On campus late night programing will continue through the campus programming board, Campus Activities Team. 
    • Student organizations will need to work collaboratively, plan smaller events that include physical distancing and wearing of masks. Some events may be held outside.
    • Events featuring large numbers (exceeding state and federal guidelines) and/or with external guests generally should be held virtually or postponed. Programming should target Villanova faculty, staff, and students in order to limit unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
    • Student organizations will need to register their intended event through VU Groups. Please contact us if you have questions.
  4. In conversation with Student Involvement, register the event with the University’s Event Management Team. The Team, working with Student Involvement, will review the request and will either approve, deny, or offer suggested modifications for the proposed event. Approval of an event will take into consideration:
    • What space is requested and whether a space is available,
    • The number of people anticipated to attend. This cannot exceed Pennsylvania Governor requirements or posted capacity limits. In both instances, social distancing must be accommodated. On our campus, very few spaces will allow for any significant-sized gathering. Should the Pennsylvania guidelines change, we will pivot our behavior accordingly.
    • Plans to ensure health and safety of all attendees (i.e., masks, social distance, room capacity, etc.)
    • Nature and purpose of the event, such as events that are inclusive and seek to create, nurture, or celebrate community.

Questions? Contact us.

In order for student organizations to receive their budget allocation, we ask that student organizations watch an training video and then complete a brief budget questionnaire to receive the student organizations approved budget from OSI.

All in-person or online programs and events must be registered in order to use student organization funding. 

Student organizations are permitted to use approved University buses for approved off-campus programming. Buses must be booked through the Office of Student Involvement. In an effort to continue to keep our community healthy and safe, students will continue to follow the Caritas Commitment by adhering to social distancing practices at all times, following vehicle and space capacity limitations, as well as wearing a mask at all times. 

Off-campus community service is significantly limited this semester and will not occur in-person off-site until further notice. Various organizations are working with their community partners to re-imagine opportunities for outreach and service that might be accomplished remotely or in other formats.

Student organizations are encouraged to print flyers and hang them at the approved on-campus locations. To have a flyer approved, student organizations must first submit the flyer online to OSI. Student organizations will receive notice of approval where they are then permitted to print the flyer, bring the approved flyer to OSI in Dougherty 102 for a stamp of approval. Then the flyer can be posted on-campus at approved posting locations.

At this time, no formals will be approved for the Spring 2021 semester.

Many fundraisers include tabling, delivery to residence hall rooms, and other close contacts, that are inconsistent with the Health and Safety Plan. As a result, fundraisers will be significantly limited this semester and should directly support a current / approved student organization program. 

Each group should work individually with their advisor or with Student Involvement if they have questions or ideas they want to pursue that would be consistent with limiting exposure to COVID and the Caritas Commitment. The recommendation is to delay fundraisers to a future semester. 

Student organizations are permitted to engage in off campus approved programming as long as Villanova students continue to primarily interact with Villanova students, faculty, or staff off campus. In an effort to continue to keep our community healthy and safe, members of students organizations will continue to follow the Caritas Commitment off campus by adhering to social distancing practices at all times, following vehicle and space capacity limitations, as well as wearing a mask at all times as students represent Villanova University.

To limit exposure, student organizations will not be permitted to attend in-person conferences, camps, leadership summits, retreats, or other similar activity off-campus until further notice. For on-campus options, register your request through VU Groups.

OSI encourages our student leaders to participate in professional development opportunities such as conferences, case competitions, and other related professional experiences. Professional development experiences (conferences, conventions, field trips, etc.) must be approved in advance by OSI.

OSI has supplemental funding for student organizations to use for professional development opportunities. Student organization funding may also be used to finance professional related experiences. 

The Professional Development form will also assist with approvals as well as determining the appropriate funds to be distributed to your student organization for conferences, online professional development experiences, competitions, and others. OSI and SGA are looking forward to working with your student organization through this process.

Students can be reimbursed for purchases related to the student organization's programming goals by completing the appropriate forms found in the Office of Student Involvement located in Dougherty Room 102. Reimbursements will not be processed for student organizations programs that are not registered or approved with OSI.

Limited tabling will be permitted for distribution purposes outside between the Connelly Center and Dougherty Hall where you will find paw prints for tabling. Three tables will be available for Villanova student organizations, faculty, and staff on Tuesday's and Wednesday's between 11am - 4pm. Student organizations and offices can sign up for tables by visiting Dougherty 102. Students are permitted to make reservations in advance and for consecutive days.  

Because of social distancing requirements, the Villanova Fleet Vehicles will be very limited due to COVID-19 as Public Safety needs additional time to clean vehicles between usage, masks must be worn by all passengers and at all times, and all vehicles will be filled at half capacity to maintain social distancing. Please visit this website for up to date information and the process to reserve vehicles through OSI.



RISE: Resources Igniting Student Empowerment

Rise Image: Resources Igniting Student Empowerment


The R.I.S.E. program is a brand new initiative through OSI. Designed to provide student leaders moments of pause to reflect on their student organization mission, RISE also develops student organization leadership and management skills. This program will build relationships among leaders as well as staff in OSI!

  • One student leader from each student organization is required to attend the two required sessions per semester totaling four per academic year.
  • One student leader from each student organization is required to attend two elective sessions during the academic year.​
  • Students should not represent multiple student organizations.


Ignite Your Strengths

  • Thursday, April 15 at 6 p.m. (Registration closes April 8) *Students will need time complete the CliftonStrengths assessment.
This Session begins with taking the CliftonStrengths assessment which we view as a “tool for self-discovery” and a common launch point for the community to start the conversation. From this session, students will identify talents that come naturally to them and learn how to turn these talents into personal strengths. Students will learn how to maximize these strengths in the classroom, in leadership opportunities, in their relationships and in their careers.




Thank you for your willingness to serve as a student organization Advisor! 

Selection of an advisor is generally done through the mutual consent of the student organization, the proposed advisor, and the Office of Student Involvement. See below for a list of expectations in supporting students within student organizations.

Expectations of an Advisor

Specific functions of the advisor are listed below.  Individual organizations may expand upon these through their constitutions.

  • The advisor should be aware of the organization's meetings and activities. He/she need not attend all of these activities but a frequent visit is appropriate.
  • The advisor should meet with the executive committee of the organization a minimum of once per month during the academic year. Executive committee meetings are ideal for establishing a meaningful working relationship.
  • The advisor should obtain minutes of all organizational meetings for review.
  • The advisor must be registered as the Faculty/Staff Advisor on, giving them access to a complete officer and membership list with addresses and phone numbers.
  • The advisor should be aware of financial transactions of the group and their budget status. The advisor should periodically review club finances with the organization treasurer or business manager. Please visit the Office of Student Involvement – 102 Dougherty Hall for assistance.
  • The advisor should be knowledgeable of the organization's purpose and constitution and help the general membership adhere to them in decision making.
  • The advisor should be aware of the student organization’s financial status, spending and account balances.
  • The advisor may assist the students in adding the role of the Advisor to the Constitution and Bylaws.  This should include the selection process that the student leadership team will use to select their Advisor.
  • The advisor must be present at:
    • Any organization function held on campus, at which alcohol is served.
    • Any outdoor event held on campus.
    • Any event that is more than 300 miles away from campus.
    • Any event while non-Villanova students will be present.
  • The  advisor  should  serve as an academic resource for the  organization, ensuring that no one in academic difficulty serves in a key office, and offering assistance to any group members who are in need.
  • The advisor is encouraged to discuss the annual report that is filed each Spring Semester with the Office of Student Involvement.
  • Approve and submit newswire posts.
    • Log into MyNova and on the “Home” tab and see the “Links” section on the left hand side. In the “Important” tab scroll down to the Newswire Submission forms section to click on the “Wildcat Newswire” link.
  • The advisor should direct students to the Office of Student Involvement – 102 Dougherty Hall to approve all tee-shirt designs, flyers and fundraising events.
  • The advisor should attend the Advisors’ eetings to support the student organization.
  • The advisor should be in contact with the Office of Student Involvement with any concerns or questions.
  • Advisors should assist students with leadership transition from year to year.
  • Advisors are not expected to:
    • Attend all events and meetings.
    • Lead meetings.
    • Dictate use of funds.
    • Use personal credit card/money.
    • Plan events for student organizations.
    • Sign any contracts/agreements on behalf of the university.
    • Submit or complete budget request, registrations or final report.
    • Serve as the Primary Contact on the student organization webpage.

Advisor Concerns

In the event that your group is not satisfied with the level of support from the organization’s advisor, or the Advisor has concerns about the student leadership, please set up a meeting with the Director of Student Involvement, whose office is in 102 Dougherty Hal

Insurance & Risk Management Considerations

Certificates of Insurance

  • Any vendor coming on campus to provide services or products is required to provide an insurance certificate meeting the below requirements.
    • Villanova University must be named as Additional Insured.
    • General Liability: $3,000,000 each occurrence minimum*
    • Automobile Liability: $3,000,000 each accident minimum* 
    • *The General and Automobile Liability limits can be made by means of Umbrella or Excess Liability
    • Workers Compensation/Employers Liability: Statutory (waived if sole proprietor)
  • Preferred Vendors/University Suppliers have current insurance certificates on file.
  • If a vendor does not meet our standard requirements above, please ask the vendor to send an insurance certificate with its maximum limits evidenced for Insurance & Risk Management to review. Only Insurance & Risk Management can make exceptions to University’s standard insurance requirements.


  • Contracts should be reviewed by Insurance & Risk Management before being signed. Some contracts depending on value will also be sent to General Counsel for review.
  • The vendor will often provide a contract into which we can incorporate our terms and conditions.
  • Only those with signing authority for Villanova can sign contracts.  Students do not have authority to sign contracts.


  • Required for minors (under 18) participating in University events. Must be signed by parent or legal guardian of minor.
  • Required for University sponsored trips off campus.
  • Required for certain inherently risky activities held on campus, such as inflatables, athletic activities, etc.


Interaction with Minors (non-students under age 18)

  • Please see the Minors in University Programs Policy.

Campus Crime, Sexual Misconduct and Child Abuse Reporting Responsibilites

Clery Act

  • Complex federal law governing the reporting of crimes on campus or on university-controlled property.
  • “Campus security authority” - An official who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
  • Campus security authorities must report crimes that occur on campus or on university-controlled property.  Crime statistics are aggregated into Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.  In some circumstances, a timely warning notification may be required for the campus community. 
  • Clery Act crimes include murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, sex offenses (forcible and non-forcible), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.
  • Report crimes to the Director of Public Safety.  Do not try to investigate. 

Title IX/Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

Villanova’s Title IX Coordinator: Ryan Rost
Villanova’s Title IX Deputies: Debra Patch (Public Safety); Lynn Tighe (Athletics); Kathy Byrnes (Student Life); Albert Baladez (HR)

  • Prohibits discrimination based on sex/gender in federally-funded programs.  Broader than gender equity in athletics. 
  • OCR – Sexual violence (rape/sexual assault) is sexual harassment that violates Title IX.
  • Schools need to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effect.  
  • Incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence must be reported to one of them.  Again, do not try to investigate.  Not limited to student/student incidents; can also be faculty/student; staff/student and employment relationships. 

Child Abuse Reporting

  •  Any person who in the course of employment comes into contact with children shall report when they have a “reasonable cause to suspect” child abuse. 
  • Child is under 18. Can be sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
  • Reporting is to Dave Tedjeske, Director of Public Safety.  He has the obligation to report for the institution to DPW.
  • New Minors on Campus Policy applies to all programs where there is contact with children. 


Office of Student Involvement
102 Dougherty Hall

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.