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Student Organizations Manual


The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the official resource and liaison for the student body in matters involving the school administration, faculty, and students. Upon enrollment at the School of Law, each student becomes a member of the organization. The SBA Board provides funding, leadership, and guidance for all student organizations. SBA sponsors social educational and recreational activities for the community throughout the year. SBA sends a weekly announcement email to the Law School community about upcoming meeting, events and general announcements. Fee for use of the student lounge, student organization storage room and conference room. The SBA office is located in Room 107 (next to the Student Lounge).

The policies stated in this manual are guidelines only and are subject to change at the sole discretion of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Questions or concerns? Please contact the Director of Student Affairs, Nancy Whalen or SBA


Updated September 2020.

Alcohol Policy   

1.            The Alcohol Policy has been established in an effort to balance the interests of students and those of the Law School community and to encourage responsible decisions about alcohol. Therefore, Law School funds, including the Student Activity Fee Fund administered by the Student Bar Association (SBA), shall not be used to purchase alcohol to be served at any Law School event that includes student participation, any SBA event or any student organization event, except for the “Authorized Events” (listed below under Part II) or as the Dean or the Dean’s designee shall authorize.

2.            Alcohol (beer and wine only) may be served at “Authorized Events” (listed below under Part II), only if no less than thirty days prior to the event, the sponsoring group submits to the Director of Student Affairs a written request for approval that includes an Alcohol Plan specifically addressing all of the issues listed in Paragraphs 3 and 12 below, and that request is approved.

3.            The SBA and other student organizations, including the Villanova Law Review, the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, the Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, and the Moot Court Board, may organize off-campus events at which alcohol may be served to students, but no Law School funds, including Student Activity Fee Funds, may be used to purchase alcohol or to subsidize the cost of alcoholic drinks, including, without limitation, the use of such funds to pay cover charges at bars or arrange for discounted drink prices.

4.          In addition, such events must be approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee and shall be subject to the requirements listed in Paragraph 12 below and the following requirements:

a)     No less than 30 days prior to the event, the sponsoring group must submit to the Director of Student Affairs a written request for approval that includes an Alcohol Event Approval Form specifically addressing all of the issues in Paragraph 11 below.

b)     A fully executed and completed Insurance and Indemnification Statements for Caterers:

     Off Campus Event

              On Campus Event

c)     A fully executed and completed Vendor Checklist. The vendor checklist requires a certificate of insurance and a copy of  the liquor license.


The fully executed and completed Insurance and Indemnification Statement, Vendor Checklist, Certificate of Insurance, and copy of the Liquor License in form and substance satisfactory to the University Office of Insuarnce and Risk Management, must be delivered to the Director of Student Affairs, Nancy Whalen no less than 2 weeks prior to the date of the event; many times certificates of insurance need to be revised to evidence our insurance requirements. Because the venue will need time to review and complete, student groups are reminded to allow enough time in their planning to meet the deadlines required for approval.

5.            The SBA and other student organizations, including the Villanova Law Review, the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, the Moorad Sports Law Journal, and the Moot Court Board, sponsoring events (on-campus or off-campus) involving alcohol must meet with the Director of Student Affairs well in advance of finalizing the event. Failure to timely request approval for any event may result in rejection of the request. Any questions regarding these requirements should be raised with the Director of Student Affairs.

6.            The SBA and other student organizations, including the Villanova Law Review, the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, the Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, and the Moot Court Board, shall not advertise any event before receiving approval as an “Authorized Event.”

7.            Student organizations, other than the SBA, may sponsor or co-sponsor no more than two events with alcohol per semester, including on-campus or off campus.

8.            Law School funds shall not be used to purchase alcohol or reimburse students for the purchase of alcohol in connection with law school-funded student travel.

9.            Organizations sponsoring events on-campus (in the law school building or grounds) must work with the Director of Events to ensure that the manner in which alcohol is served and liability issues are properly addressed by the vendor. The selection of vendor to serve the alcohol at student organization events in the law school building must be approved by and is at the discretion of the Director of Events, and must be either University Catering or a vendor approved by the University.

10.         No alcohol may be served or consumed outside of the approved venue in the law school building, including, without limitation, in any classroom.

11.         No alcohol may be auctioned or raffled. No alcohol may be served at any event on campus where attendees are charged for attendance or where monetary donations are sought (regardless if the beneficiary of the donations are Villanova or a third party), unless 90 days prior to the event, the sponsoring group has submitted a written request for approval that includes an Alcohol Plan and, if applicable, a request for an Alcohol Catering Permit from University Catering, and the event request is approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee and, if applicable, the Alcohol Catering Permit is approved/obtained by the University.

12.         The Alcohol Plan must specify:

•  a description of the promotion and advertising of the event;

•  the amount and type of alcohol to be served (beer and wine only);

•  a description of the manner in which alcohol is being served, and a commitment that the group understands that alcohol may only be served by professional, licensed servers who can properly address the liability issues involved, and designation of who the professional servers are;

•  a plan for monitoring alcohol consumption at the event, including preventing under-age attendees from drinking;

•  a detailed plan for providing designated drivers, taxi cabs, and other manners designed to encourage all guest to travel safely;

•  a designation by name and role within the organization of at least two who are designated as responsible persons from the sponsoring student organization who will be present throughout the event;

•  a provision for non-alcoholic drinks at the event;

•  a provision for food to be served throughout the event;

•  a specific start and stop time of the event, and specific start and stop time for serving of alcohol; and

•  an explanation of the source of funding for the event.


II.           Schedule of Authorized Events

The following list of student organization events have been presumptively approved and may serve alcohol provided that the requirements of Part I are satisfied:

1.            Barristers Ball;

2.            Public Interest Auction;

3.            Two SBA events per semester (not the activities fair); and

In addition, from time to time and under compelling circumstances, additional student organization events involving alcohol in the law school building may be approved as an “Authorized Event” by the Dean or the Dean’s designees, provided that, among other things: (1) the event complies with Part I; (2) if the requesting group is a student organization funded by the SBA and it seeks funds from the SBA for the event, it has submitted the proposed event to the Director of Student Affairs at least two weeks in advance; and (3) other than in the case of the SBA, the event has also been approved by the Faculty Advisor of the requesting student organization.

Approval as an “Authorized Event” is only for the specified event and on the specified date, and is not to be considered as annually approved or an addition to the Schedule of Authorized Events for subsequent years.



In order to ensure compliance with all necessary requirements of CLE programming, any Student Organization wishing to provide CLE credit for any programming or event must partner with one of the Law School’s Centers of Excellence (for example, the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship) or the Villanova University Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation to provide such programming. All such programming must be co-sponsored by a Center of Excellence or the Institute and must be planned and executed in cooperation with such Center or Institute. Students must first obtain approval from the Associate Dean for Faculty & Research & Development regarding possible partnership with a Center for a CLE program before beginning to plan any CLE programming.


For questions about CLE Programming, please contact Events.


Student Groups interested in showing a film/movie as a part of their programming should contact Bo Connell, Assocate Dean for Finance, Administration and Strategy at least 2 weeks prior to the proposed event.


Sending mass e-mails to the entire student body by individual students is prohibited. However, Student Organizations and the SBA may send mass emails using the following guidelines:

  • Student Organizations may not send mass emails directly to the student body.

  • The faculty advisor for a Student Organization may send mass email to the law school community for the group. No more than 2 mass emails per week per student group.

  • The SBA Secretary will be responsible for sharing student organization announcements in the weekly SBA Newsletter. Student Groups must meet the SBA's weekly deadline for announcments to be included.


For questions about the email policy, please contact: Nancy Whalen or SBA


All recognized student groups who wish to sponsor an event involving a political speaker/candidate should first discuss the proposed speaker with the group's faculty advisor and then must schedule a meeting with the Director of Student Affairs. The meeting should take place at least 3 weeks prior to the event, and before inviting the speaker, promoting the event, or finaling plans. The student group is expected to work with University and Law School administration guidlelines in planning the event.  


  • For the 2020-21 academic year, all tabling requests at the Law School must be submitted by email to Joe Mariani, Director of Facilities and approved by Bo Connell, Associate Dean for Finance & Administration.  All tabling requests will be evaluated based on the Public Health & Safety guidelines set forth by the University.
  • Tables and sale efforts must be sponsored by a recognized Student Organization. Individual law students may not hold bake sales or fundraising efforts on school property for personal fundraising without the sponsorship of a Student Organization.

The Law School administration reserves the right to limit the amount of sales held and types of goods sold as set forth in the University's non-solicitation policy.

For questions about tabling, please contact: Joe Mariani Director of Operations



For all requests related to the creation of promotional materials in print or digital  (apparel, accessories, gifts, social media) utilizing Law School or University marks (seal, logo), please refer to the Law School’s Licensing Guidelines.

To request the Law School seal or logo image file for other usage, please contact Julie Toth. Please refer to the Villanova University Brand Guidelines for rules on usage.

Please note: Student groups are not permitted to share the Law School seal/logo or VU logo with outside partners or vendors without prior consent.

For questions about use of University marks, seals and logos please contact: Law School Communications

Certain activities of Student Organizations, such as intramural and other sporting events and travel, require the review and approval of the University Office of Insurance and Risk Management and may require that participants sign certain waivers for participation. Any Student Organization seeking to participate in an activity that may require such review and approval shall notify the Director of Student Affairs at least 2 weeks in advance of such activity.

For questions about waivers, please contact: Nancy Whalen Director of Student Affairs

The Worby Wall may be used in conjunction with an event being held in the Commons OR to enrich the Law School community. All usage and content must be approved by Associate Dean for Finance, Administration & Strategy, Bo Connell.


Preparing Slides:  (10 days notice)

Before preparing content, student organizations are strongly encouraged to consult with Associate Library Director Amy Spare to review best practices, copyright compliance and search strategies.  Also see this research guide and the Sample Template.

After creating content and 10 days prior to the date of airing, the group should submit the file to Associate Library Director Amy Spare for review. Content will be assessed using the following:

  1. Works such as photos, videos, music, and text are governed by copyright law. More often than not, student groups will be required to receive permission for use of copyrighted materials and obtaining such permissions takes time and may involve payment of fees. Groups should not assume that “fair use” applies.
  2. Provide attribution for each individual work on the slide where it appears.
  3. Note that some copyright holders explicitly allow use of their works without prior permission. To find works that do not require fees or prior permission, such as those with a Creative Commons designation, see the Research Guide.
  4. If using personal photos in your content, permission of the individual(s) in the photo is required before being displayed on the Worby Wall.

After review, slides are forwarded to Associate Dean for Finance, Administration & Strategy, Bo Connell for approval.


Tech Support: (1 week in advance)

After receiving content and usage approval, groups should send the presentation to Instructional Technology/Media Services (  or ) for  their technical assistance to put the presentation/display on the Video Wall. Please note the following tech specifications:

  • There is no capability for audio when using the Worby PC. Audio can only be used for setups where Instructional Technology/Media staff can attach a Laptop directly into the wall in the Commons. Generally, these setups are for discrete events.
  • The recommended/default program for building a presentation to be displayed on the Worby Wall is PowerPoint. Attached is a Sample Template for building your presentation.

For questions about displaying items on the Worby Wall, please contact: Amy Spare

The Law School’s room reservation system will be off-line for Fall 2020. For health and safety purposes, no classrooms or law school space (Commons, Student Lounge, Cafeteria) will be available for student groups to reserve for events, activities, or groups meetings.

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. Yet we will need to accomplish these things in different ways, virtually or in- person with a smaller number of people present. It is recommended that student organization 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. Email and

a. Events featuring large numbers and/or with external guests generally should be held virtually or postponed from the Fall 2020 semester. Programming during the Fall 2020 semester should target Villanova faculty, staff, and students to limit unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.

3. In conversation with the events and student affairs offices, student organizations must register their intended event (including virtual events) with the University’s Event Management team at by clicking on the “submit your event request” in the upper right-hand corner. The Team, working with SBA, 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:

a. 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. At the law school, very few spaces will allow for any significant sized gathering. Should the Pennsylvania guidelines change, we’ll adjust based on the new information.

b. Plans to ensure health and safety of all attendees (i.e., masks, social distance, room capacity, etc.)

c. Nature and purpose of the event, such as events that are inclusive and seek to create, nurture, or celebrate community.

4. See the section below on “Limitations” for additional information on activities and events that will not be possible this Fall.

5. Questions? Email or

Eboards/TV Screens


Student groups wishing to promote an event/initiative on the Law School’s electronic boards (e-boards) are encouraged to submit their requests in either of two ways:               

  1. Email your designed image (specs: 1210x763 px) to the Law School Communication team for review/posting 
  2. Submit the event details (e.g., date, time, location, contact/registration info) for the Communication team to create a designed image.

Please note: the review/design process takes approximately 2-3 business days.  

For questions about the electronic boards, please contact Law School Communications


Flyers & Posters:

Student groups may post flyers posters or notices about their events on the bulletin boards on the ground floor next to the locker room. Notices, posters or flyers may notbe posted on walls, doors, windows or painted surfaces.  Please do not post flyers, handouts or notices in the Commons, Coffee Bar/Reading Room, Library, Dining Room, student lounge, or restrooms. These will be removed.


For questions or concerns, contact Joe Mariani, Director of Operations.


SBA Newsletter/Gavel Gazette

Student Organizations are encouraged to send announcements regarding meetings and upcoming events for inclusions in the weekly SBA Newsletter to and the Gavel Gazette

Social Media:

Social Media Accounts: Any Student Organizations interested in starting a new social media account or maintaining an existing one—under the auspices of the University—must apply to be officially recognized. For questions, please contact the Law School’s Communication Team.

Planning an event? Won a prestigious award? Contributed to a rewarding service project? The Law School Communication   team   wants   to   hear  from  you.   Students and student groups can submit a story to the VLS Communication team Student groups can also submit event photos for possible website and social media inclusion.



Each recognized student organization is funded by the SBA. Information regarding the rules and regulations of the SBA budget process is communicated by the SBA. Student Organizations must follow the budget approval process as determined by SBA, and send a representative to the Budget hearings and general meeting each semester. Student Organizations are responsible for working within the budget allocated from SBA and submitting reimbursement request during the timeline established by SBA. Failure to comply with SBA’s budget policy and procedures or non-timely payment to vendors may result in the groups’ losing formal recognition. Neither SBA nor the Law School will reimburse student groups or individual members for expenses incurred for their student group that do not comply with SBA's funding policies.

For budget questions, please contact the SBA Treasurer: Leah Edelstein

Co-curricular organizations (Law Review, Journals, Moot Court, Honor Board) and academic programs such as Clinics, Graduate Tax and JD/MBA are funded by the Law School. These groups are encouraged to coordinate with the Events Office in the planning of all events and are expected to comply with the policies as listed.

After submitting the SORF form, each recognized group may have access to a Villanova Law email account. The leader of the group receives ownership of this account and may grant access to other group members. This account links to each group member’s current Villanova Law email account and therefore does not require a different password. Groups are required to check this email account regularly and to be responsive to informational requests.

For any any questions about your groups’ email account, contact Computer Services/TechZone helpdesk located inside the library.

Getting Official Recognition

Recognition is a process through which an organization is granted the privilege to function officially at the law school. Such a status includes the privilege of using the name "Villanova Law” in your official name, utilizing campus facilities and services, including items in the Gavel Gazette, and applying for student organization funding. In order to be recognized as a registered organization, a group must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Student groups MUST complete and submit the Student Organization Recognition Form (SORF) for formal recognition for each academic year. The deadline for submitting the SORF is determined by SBA.
  • Have a membership of at least ten (10) students.
  • Comply with all law school policies and regulations, with federal, state, and local laws, and with regulations of the parent organizations as applicable.
  • Have an active faculty/staff advisor.
  • Membership must be open to all in the Law School community. Recognition will be denied to any organization that selects its members on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability or national origin.

Contact Information

Student organizations are encouraged to keep the information on their webpage current. If there are any changes in leadership or in any of the information posted, groups should inform Marlene Musonge in Student Services to update the contact information listed.


All mail received for student organizations at the Law School address is distributed to a bin in the SBA office on a daily basis. Groups should check the mail bin regularly. Mail placed in the bin is each group’s responsibility to read and handle appropriately.

Workspace/Conference Room

The Student Organizations Workroom (Rm 106) and conference room (106B) are valuable space allocated for recognized Law School student organization to use for student organizations’ business and meetings. The office contains mailboxes and storage spaces for all student organizations to use. All Student Organizations are expected to keep this space clean and organized. Reservations for the conference rooms can be made by emailing The conference room is available for 2 hour blocks of time for student groups for meetings or student group related purposes. 

For issues related to student groups' storage or space, contact SBA or Joe Mariani.