Kirkwood Club Handbook

Kirkwood Club Handbook

Kirkwood supports the opportunity for students to gather and form groups based on like interests that help create a sense of teamwork, collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and an environment for students to expand on their college experience beyond the classroom. The benefits of starting a new group on campus include the opportunity to host meetings and events on campus, the ability to post flyers on designated boards, and the ability to network with other students, faculty, and staff with similar interests.

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Club Resources

What is an active club or organization?

An active club or organization at Kirkwood is a group of students who have followed the proper guidelines of establishing themselves through an application, constitution, approval from the Student Life office, and submission of relevant updated information (including rosters) each semester.

There are four types of groups that can form as a club or organization. Each group must pick the ONE type that makes the most sense.

  • General Interest Clubs: Groups are typically open to any enrolled student with a common interest in a specific topic, interest, or hobby. Examples include a faith-based club, book club, or gaming club.
  • College-Supported Groups: Groups that are organized by a Kirkwood department. This includes groups like Student Ambassadors (Admissions), Active Minds (Counseling Services), and Veterans Club (Veterans Affairs).
  • Academic and Honor Organizations: Groups formed with a connection to a specific academic department or general academic area. Examples include Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Student Nurses Association, Ag Tech Club, and Business Professionals of America (BPA).
  • Club Sports or Recreation: Groups that form with an interest in competition or are athletic in nature. Examples include Sports Shooting, Esports, Cheerleading, and Soccer Club.

Club and Organization Guidelines

Each semester, the advisor must submit an updated roster of current students involved within the club or organization. In the fall semester, the advisor must also certify that the constitution on file (if already submitted) is accurate and up to date; he or she must also update any related information as required by the Student Life office. Roster submission is required by Oct. 15 for the fall semester and Feb. 15 for the spring semester.

On an annual basis (by Oct. 15), each club and organization will adjust their current constitution or confirm it is still up to date. Each year, Student Life will also ask individual clubs and organizations to self-identify which (if any) of the student learning outcomes set by the college best relate to the mission/goals of their group. Note that it is not required that clubs and organizations meet any of Kirkwood’s student learning outcomes. Rather, it’s just the opportunity to gather information and get a sense of how Kirkwood’s clubs and organizations relate to these student learning outcomes. These include:

  • Analytic Inquiry: Graduates will examine complex questions and problems and integrate resources, theories, and practical approaches to make decisions and propose solutions.
  • Civic Engagement: Graduates will demonstrate skills necessary to engage with their communities.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Graduates will be able to work constructively as part of a team to achieve a common goal.
  • Communication: Graduates will demonstrate effective communication.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Graduates will be able to engage with people and ideas different from their own.
  • Ethical Reasoning: Graduates will demonstrate the process necessary to make ethical choices.
  • Information Literacy: Graduates will be able to find, organize, evaluate, and use information.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Graduates will be able to apply quantitative reasoning to analyze and interpret problems and scenarios.

Information and specific forms that Student Life needs on a semester or annual basis will be requested from the Student Life office and sent to the advisor of each group.

Only registered students or faculty/staff may initiate the establishment of a new student club or organization. A club is eligible to form when there are five interested students and an eligible faculty/staff member of the college to serve as advisor. The process starts by filling out a New Club or Organization Application. Once filled out and signed by the student leader and proposed advisor, Student Life will set up a meeting with a minimum of one student and one advisor to talk through specifics and grant “pending” status to the group.

Pending status can be granted to a club that meets the minimum requirements, has submitted a New Club or Organization Application, and has completed a meeting with the Student Life office but has not yet established a club constitution or submitted a group roster and related information. Pending status allows groups to post one flyer on designated boards and/or reserve one table on campus for the sole purpose of promoting an upcoming informational kick-off meeting. Pending status does not, however, give clubs the approval to host events, post flyers, or table for any reason other than to promote the initial informational meeting. Once the informational meeting takes place, the club constitution can be created, which would help the club move to “active” status upon approval.

Until pending or active status has been granted to a club or organization, the group may not post flyers, host meetings, or otherwise promote the proposed group. Doing so will prevent the group from getting organized, as it would suspend the group before getting started.

Club or organization constitution

Before any group becomes active, a constitution needs to be submitted. A template constitution and examples can be provided by the Student Life office. Each club’s constitution will look different, but all need to include, at a minimum, the information outlined below:

  • Article 1 – Name: What is your group officially known as?
  • Article 2 – Overview and Affiliations
    • Section 1 – Overview and History of the Group: What’s the goal of the group?
    • Section 2 – External Affiliations: Are you connected with a local group, national organization, other?
    • Section 3 – Description: What will be put on the website to help promote your group?
  • Article 3 – Eligibility of Members: Who can join? Only students? What about nonstudents? A minimum of 51 percent of members must be currently enrolled students and only students will have voting rights.
  • Article 4 – Advisor Eligibility and Requirements
    • Section 1 – Eligibility of Advisor(s): Can the advisor be anyone who meets the college’s requirements? Does he or she need to be someone from a specific academic area?
    • Section 2 – Requirements of Advisor(s): Does the advisor need to do anything special that’s not laid out in the advisor section of this handbook?
  • Article 5 – Leadership
    • Section 1 – Officer Positions and Eligibility: Each officer needs to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits. Beyond that, what do those positions look like? Do you have a president and vice president? Do you have co-chairs?
    • Section 2 – Term of Office: When do elected students start their roles? When do their roles end?
    • Section 3 – Method of Elections: How do elections work?
    • Section 4 – Removal/Resignation of Officers: How do you vote out your own club president? Can you?
    • Section 5 – Replacement of Officers: Your club president just transferred schools; how do you replace that person?
  • Article 6 – Dues and Fundraising
    • Section 1 – Dues: Does it cost anything to join?
    • Section 2 – Fundraising: What do you plan to do with money you fundraise?
    • Section 3 – Scholarships: Most clubs don’t have this, but does yours offer scholarships from the money you raise?
  • Article 7 – Meetings
    • Section 1 – Frequency of Meetings: How often do you plan to host meetings?
    • Section 2 – Quorum: How many (or what percentage) need to be in attendance to do official business?
    • Section 3 – Parliamentary Authority: Will you use “Robert’s Rules of Order”? (“I move that we …” – “I second that motion.”) Something else? Nothing?
  • Article 8 – Amendments: What are the rules for changing the constitution?
  • Article 9 – Constitutional Approval: When does this constitution take effect? Do you need to list a specific date or can it simply say, when signatures of club leaders, advisor and Student Life office have all signed and dated this constitution? Once the document is signed, it also signifies that everyone agrees not only to the club’s specific constitution, but the policies and procedures set by Kirkwood Community College.

Clubs can add additional sections under each article as long as they come after the sections already listed. Groups may choose to add additional articles as well, but they need to come between articles 7 and 8 listed here (just bump articles 8 and 9 so they remain the last two articles of your constitution).

Club and Organization Policies

Groups that fail to meet the minimum qualifications to form a club, or those failing to submit an updated roster and constitution, will be considered inactive. Inactive clubs are not able to post flyers, reserve space, or host any meetings or activities until becoming active.

Any group that has been inactive for longer than the period of one year OR has a new advisor needs to start with a new club application. Clubs active within the last year that have the same advisor do not need to submit a new club application; however, they must update their constitution and complete club requirements before active status is granted. Student Life can grant pending status to any inactive club for the sole purpose of hosting an informational meeting, but the group must meet the minimum qualifications prior to pending status approval.

Any money in a club account can be moved from the inactive club account to an active club account with approval from the Student Life office. Any money remaining in the club account after two years of inactive status will be transferred to a Student Life account.

Clubs and organizations can be suspended without notice for a specified length of time that could range from two weeks up to one year. Suspension of clubs and organizations is at the discretion of the Student Life office. Any suspended club or organization will have any financial accounts frozen and be unable to act as a recognized group which includes, but is not limited to, the ability to post flyers, set up tables, book rooms, travel, and promote their group or activities. The following criteria may be used to suspend any club or organization that has:

  • been found to violate the rules and regulations of this club and organization handbook and/or the policies and procedures set forth by Kirkwood Community College.
  • been found to have an off-campus bank account.
  • been found to misappropriate club/organization funds.
  • carried out activities and/or travel without proper approval.
  • carried out an activity deemed not in the best interest of the college (in the opinion of the director of Student Life or his/her representative).

The advisor or advisors of clubs and organizations at Kirkwood play an important part in helping to lead each group. The advisor of each club or organization is a member of the full-time faculty or is a full- or part-time staff member at Kirkwood Community College whose primary function is to actively advise, counsel, and serve as a resource to students involved or interested in the group. Note that any students who are also employed part time at the college are not eligible to serve as advisor to any group. Adjunct faculty are not eligible to serve as the primary advisor of any club or organization. Additional staff or faculty (including adjunct faculty) can also be listed as co-advisors to the group.

The responsibility of the club/organization advisor includes (but is not limited to):

  • having an understanding of the Student Life Clubs and Organizations Handbook, the rules or processes set forth in the club/organization constitution, the understanding of the college’s policies and procedures, and the student conduct policy.
  • attending meetings with the entire club/organization leadership team as needed, and anytime that elections are taking place or major decisions are discussed. Examples include voting of any kind, modifications to the club constitution, the removal or addition of club officer positions, decisions on expenses from the club account, and decisions in which a quorum needs to be present.
  • helping students create and abide by a club constitution and making sure the information is up to date and understood by student members.
  • serving as the primary contact with the Student Life office for all forms, questions, approvals, and other concerns or ideas involving any aspect of the club’s activities.
  • attending (or designating an alternative advisor) to supervise any activity that takes place outside of normal business hours on campus, any activity that involves the use of club funds, or any off-campus activities that fall under the college’s travel guidelines.
  • approving all forms relating to club or organization activity, including travel, deposit forms, payment request forms, constitution edits, and roster submission each semester.

Note that the advisor has no vote unless outlined in the club constitution; however, he or she must approve any proposed club activity or expense.

The structure of each group on campus may be drastically different from group to group. While a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary might make sense for one group, two co-captains or co-chairs might make sense for another. Each group needs to have at least two students listed as officers of the group in some form or another, even if they are just the two main student contacts for the group. Officers must be registered in a minimum of 6 credits during the fall and spring semesters in which they plan to serve. The specific duties of each officer position can be decided by each group and must be described in the club’s or organization’s constitution.

Events & Activities

Hosting meetings, setting up a table on campus, or hosting an activity put on by the club is often the majority of what groups on campus do. Student Life can help set up all of these requests for you; the event or activity must have prior approval. The Activity Request Form is the starting point to book rooms, set up a table, or host any other type of activity on or off campus.

Here are some examples of the types of events and activities and some details relating to each:

  • Meetings: Any student group wishing to reserve space on campus to host a meeting can do so by filling out the Activity Request Form. Student Life can then help find the ideal location to meet your needs. If academic organizations are using their academic department to book rooms, please notify Student Life as to where and when these meetings will take place.
  • Table Events: This can include an informational table to promote upcoming club and organization events or fundraisers, for recruitment, or to promote the mission/goals of your group. Whatever it might be, Student Life can help set up the table and figure out what might make the most sense in terms of location, time of day, etc. When at a tabling event, students are required to stand behind their designated table; they cannot approach students, come out from behind the table with clipboards, or engage with students away from their table location. You must allow students the opportunity to come to your table instead of you leaving your table to approach students.
  • Food Sales: Bake sales are great ways to promote your group while doing fundraising. Food sales are permitted as long as they follow the guidelines listed in the fundraising section of this handbook. You must also remain behind your designated table as described above. Note that food-related sales may be off-limits in areas next to Kirkwood food service operations.
  • Events: Several groups on campus host events each year ranging from talent shows to welcome picnics. Regardless of the activity, an Activity Request Form is needed to start the process. Student Life can assist with any questions relating to planning those events or activities to ensure that no rules or regulations in this handbook are violated. The use of music or noise louder than normal talking volume for events, tables, bake sales, or any other event needs to be approved prior to the event.
  • Movie or Film Showings: The Federal Copyright Act prohibits the showing of copyrighted movies or films without purchasing the license for each showing. (Even if you own a DVD, it doesn’t give you the right to show it.) Any group interested in hosting a movie or film can discuss the process of obtaining a license by reaching out to Student Life.
  • Donations and Related Activities: Any group wishing to have a donation drive or similar activity can do so with prior approval from Student Life and any other departments or areas impacted by the activity. The activity must also be well defined with information for those interested. For example, if you’re running a clothing drive for a local nonprofit with donation boxes across campus at the Library, Rec Center, and Computer Lab, you must obtain approval from Student Life to host the donation drive as well as from each location to place a donation box in their area. The box then needs to have information attached regarding what the drive is for, the name and contact information for the group that’s conducting the drive, and the timeline of the project.
  • Off-Campus Activities: Off-campus activities that are not defined as travel (below) will be approved under the same process as events and activities held on campus and described above. In addition to the Activity Request Form, the group needs permission (if applicable) from the location where the activity is to take place.

Each event hosted needs to be tagged with one of these six categories:

  1. Academic Enrichment: Engaging academic areas and/or organizations across the college in activities. For example, automotive students showing other students how to check their oil and tire pressure, ceramics students doing pottery wheel demonstrations, dental health students handing out toothbrushes, and respiratory students hosting a display on the dangers of smoking.
  2. Civic Engagement: Promoting engagement within the community that ranges from voter registration to political activities to community service activities.
  3. Diversity and Inclusion: Intentional efforts to include students from all backgrounds in a variety of events on campus. This includes International Education Week, National Coming Out Day, and the Multicultural Fair.
  4. Health and Wellness: Several annual activities relate to physical and mental health, such as flu shots, mental health events, and recreation events.
  5. Leadership and Personal Growth: Such events could include a job fair, an industry expert coming to talk to students in a particular major, and hosting a leadership speaker on campus.
  6. Social and Campus Engagement: If an activity or event doesn’t fit in one of the five categories above, it likely falls into this one. For example, a performing arts event, attending an athletic event, or hosting a table to promote your club fits this category. These are events based on connecting students to a specific resource, department, or club on campus without relating to the other areas described above.

One of the most common requested forms of promotion is the use of the college’s approved bulletin boards across campus. Here are the guidelines for posting on approved boards:

  • All flyers or posters must be approved by Student Life, Career Services, and/or Communications & Marketing prior to posting.
  • Approval to host the event/activity/meeting must also be granted by the Student Life office prior to any flyers being approved. As a service to registered clubs and organizations, Student Life can print and post flyers on the designated boards. Please allow up to three business days for these to be posted.
  • Posting flyers on campus is limited to the designated boards. Note that not every bulletin board on campus is open for posting and that most are designated for specific academic departments or areas. Posting flyers on walls, vending machines, in classrooms, restroom stalls, and anywhere other than the designated campus announcement boards is not permitted.
  • Internal postings (Kirkwood department or registered club or organization) must promote an event or activity with a specific date or dates, time, and location. These postings are permitted no sooner than one month prior to the event or activity.
  • External postings (community or job openings) will be taken down after one month and are only allowed on designated boards in Cedar Hall.
  • Posters are limited in size to 12x18 inches and must be flat (nothing 3D).

Exceptions to any posting guideline outlined here is given on a case-by-case basis by the Student Life and/or Communications and Marketing offices. Additional forms of promotion, such as sidewalk chalk or table tents, will be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Student Life and/or Communications and Marketing offices.

Social media can be a great way to keep club and organization members connected as well as to promote group activities. Groups looking to use social media must follow these regulations:

  • Registered clubs and organizations are permitted to have their own social media accounts as long as they don’t violate anything written in this handbook or the policies and procedures set forth by Kirkwood Community College.
  • Advisors of the group (or the Student Life office if the advisor is not interested) must be an administrator of the account and/or given the login information to access the account if needed.

The Student Life office will also use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help promote club and organization activities that have prior approval.

Group Funding & Spending

Fundraising or collecting money to support activities is an important function for nearly all clubs and organizations. There are a handful of guidelines that will help you through this process to make sure things are being done the right way. All fundraising activities must be approved prior to promotion or hosting the fundraising activity. Fundraisers cannot support individual students unless defined through the student scholarship process (working with Student Life and the Kirkwood Foundation) and laid out in the club or organization constitution. Failure to abide by these guidelines can result in suspension of club or organization status. Here are a few areas related to fundraising that will help guide you through this process:

  • Sales: Members of student groups directing or participating in the sale must be currently registered for classes or be employed by the college. This includes bake sales, T-shirt fundraisers, or any other time a product or service is being exchanged for money.
  • Food Sales: Food sales, or bake sales, are some of the most common fundraisers for groups on campus. No item that needs to be temperature controlled may be sold without prior approval from Student Life. This includes cold items like cheesecake, and warm items like pizza or walking tacos. Commonly sold items that are acceptable include cookies, brownies, popcorn, pretzels, doughnuts, and candy.
  • Solicitations: If a club or organization wishes to solicit donations of any kind from businesses in the community, they need prior approval from the Student Life office and the Kirkwood Foundation. Contact Student Life with any questions; they can also help with the process of approval from the Foundation.
  • Raffles: Defined as the selling of a chance to win a prize, raffles are not permitted because the college does not have an Iowa gaming license.
  • Cash Boxes: Groups that need to use a cash box can request one through Student Life, which will provide up to $40 in startup money to give change (in $1 bills and quarters). Advance notice to Student Life is needed to ensure the availability of a cash box for each event.
  • Venmo/PayPal/Etc.: Currently, accepting payments via Venmo, PayPal, ApplePay, and similar services is not permitted. All payments made to the club must be made via cash or check.
  • Deposits: Any money fundraised must be deposited into the appropriate club account within 24 hours (or on Monday for a Friday afternoon/weekend fundraiser). Deposits include a completed Deposit Form as well as the money to be deposited, submitted to the Student Life office. Student Life will then verify the deposit and get it to Kirkwood’s Finance department.

Payments on behalf of any club or organization expense must come from the club or organization account. Payments cannot come directly from money received from a fundraiser without first being deposited into the club or organization account. Here are a few areas related to payments that will help guide you through this process:

  • Payments must adhere to the college’s purchasing procedures specifically outlined in procedure 730.3. Please contact Student Life with any questions.
  • Any expenses must have prior approval from the group advisor and/or the Student Life office before making the purchase.
  • The college does not pay tax unless it’s for hotel or meal expenses. Tax Exempt Form link here.
  • The group needs an invoice, receipt, or other documentation before the college can issue payment on behalf of a club or organization.
  • The college sets per diem rates as based on the United States General Services Administration. This limits the amount you can spend on hotels and/or meals depending on your location. Tips at restaurants are limited to 20 percent of the total bill.
  • An itemized receipt is needed for all expenses. For example, if four people go out for lunch, the receipt must detail what was ordered and purchased, not just show the total amount paid.
  • Reimbursement paid to an advisor or college employee needs to go through the Chrome River system. Reimbursement paid to a student will be done through a Club/Organization Payment Form filled out by the advisor of the group.
  • Sending a check from the college generally takes about two weeks after all information is collected. This includes a Payment Request Form, invoice/receipt, and a W-9 for whom the college is cutting the check to. It is the club’s or organization’s responsibility to obtain this information before payment can be submitted.

The Kirkwood Foundation supports club and organization activities each year in collaboration with Student Life to offer opportunities for individual groups to be rewarded for participation in various activities throughout the year. Clubs can receive funding for participation in a club and organization recruitment fair, annual food drive, and other activities. Funding information is sent from Student Life to all active clubs and organizations.


Any group of students leaving campus (regardless of whether it is for a class, club, or other reason) must determine if their activity is considered travel. Travel:

  1. includes an overnight stay OR
  2. involves a Kirkwood vehicle or college-provided transportation (rental, bus, etc.) OR
  3. occurs outside of the college’s seven-county service area (leaving Linn, Johnson, Cedar, Benton, Washington, Iowa, or Jones counties).

If the off-campus activity is not any of the three, an Activity Request Form must be filled out. If one of those three does occur it is considered travel and the group must abide by the Domestic Travel Policy and Practice.

The travel process begins with the advisor (trip sponsor) of the group submitting a Travel Notification – for Student Domestic Travel (found in Employee Forms Plus). It asks “who, what, when, where”-type questions about the travel. The opportunity to continue the process will be approved by that advisor’s/employee’s supervisor. At that point, each student listed on the notification form will receive an email and must log in to both confirm their participation in the travel and enter emergency contact information. Once all students and advisors have completed the process, the trip will be approved. Until that happens, the trip is not approved. Any group traveling before all steps are completed will be in violation of the Domestic Travel Policy and Practice. Advisors must also be aware of and abide by the Vehicle and Equipment Use Procedure, Fleet Vehicles Procedure, Travel and Expenses Procedure, and any other Kirkwood policy or procedure relating to travel.

It is recommended that between two and four students share a standard hotel room while traveling. Students cannot share the same hotel room as staff on the trip, and under normal circumstances, students are not permitted to room with another student who does not identify as the same gender. Exceptions to hotel arrangements can be discussed with the club advisor (trip sponsor) and the Student Life office.

Note: Nonstudents are not permitted to participate in travel activities as part of any club or organization.

Academic organizations can request funding from Student Life to support their travel experiences to a conference, competition, or other learning opportunity that takes place off campus that is considered travel. These funds can only be granted to clubs that operate independently of classes and will not be given to any group traveling as part of a class. Any active academic organization that has been active for a minimum of three consecutive semesters (fall and spring, but not summer) is eligible.

The specifics on the amount of funding received is currently being modified by Student Life. Please reach out to Student Life for more information.

Photo of Amanda Charlton

“Even though I live at home, I still feel like I have lots of opportunities at Kirkwood. I’m involved in Student Ambassadors, Student Leadership Council, and Dance Marathon — these activities have opened lots of doors for me.”

Amanda Charlton,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Kirkwood Student Life

2nd Floor Iowa Hall

Phone: 319-398-5578

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