Student Organization Policies

Belonging Get Involved Student Organizations Student Organization Policies

Duke University policies are designed to help provide expectations about the use and access to variety of resources and privileges. In addition to the policies listed below, you may wish to refer to the complete Duke University Community Standard as well as a full listing of Duke University Policies.

  1. Student organizations and their activities will be offered advisement, support, and the opportunity to conduct their business.  Student organizations will adhere to Duke University policies and procedures.
  2. Student organizations and their activities include, but are not limited to: on and off campus meetings, activities, events, programs, and student and organization space.
  3. Providing in-person and virtual opportunities for student organizations to conduct business will be our priority.  The format, venue, and advisement for students and their organizations will be offered through a team approach and include: Student Involvement & Leadership, Conference & Event Services, and Venue & Production Services.
  1. All student organization leaders must complete the online registration process in DukeGroups and receive online approval status.
  2. Student organization Presidents, Treasurers, and select officers must complete student organization trainings.

Student Organization Policies

All policies and procedures are subject to change. For any questions or concerns, please email

Alcohol and Other Drugs

  • All student organizations are expected to adhere to the alcohol and other drugs policy with respect to all organization activities, meetings, events, and gatherings
  • Events involving alcohol must be registered via Duke Groups
  • Guidelines for events involving alcohol


  • All banking and financial transactions for student organizations must be conducted through Student Organizations & Programming Finance (Student Affairs)

Corporate Presence/Solicitation

  • Student organizations are not permitted to front for a non-campus entity
    • Fronting as it relates to student organizations is granting university access and/or benefits to a non-campus entity whose purpose is unrelated to the sponsoring campus organization
  • Student organizations may bring off-campus entities to campus if:
    • The entity’s mission directly aligns with the respective student organization
    • The solicitation opportunity is document through the event registration process
    • A member of the respective student organization is always present with representatives from the off-campus entity
    • The representatives from the-off campus entity agree to and abide by all university policies, and local, state, and federal laws.
  • Students employed as campus ambassadors/representatives may not solicit or distribute items on behalf of their employer
  • Student organizations are responsible for the behavior of the off-campus representatives while on university property

Duke Community Standard

  • All undergraduate student organizations must adhere to the Duke Community Standard

Event Registration

  • Any student organization event can be registered on Duke Groups
  • Events must be registered on Duke Groups if they meet any of the below criteria:
    • 50+ people
    • Alcohol present
    • Amplified sound
    • Charging admission
    • Contracted performer(s)
    • Guest speaker(s)
    • Government official(s) and/or candidate(s) for office
    • Minors present
    • Off-campus attendees invited
    • Outdoor recreation (5Ks, races, field days, etc.)
    • Voter registration drives

Trademark & Duke Licensing


  • Student groups traveling both domestically and internationally on behalf of their organization should register their travel via Duke Groups event registration
  • Student groups traveling internationally must register their travel with Global Administrative and Travel Support

Venue Use

  • Student organizations must abide by venue-specific policies. Groups should check with venues prior to use to ensure compliance.

Additional event support info can be found here.


  • Advertisements must provide information regarding Duke community activities, events, services, or products
  • Advertisements must include the name of the sponsoring organization, business, department, or person responsible
  • Posters/flyers must never be attached to doors, windows, trashcans, entryways, exteriors of buildings, interior walls, stairway railings, floors, benches, ceilings, trees, utility poles, windshields of parked cars, or sidewalks
  • The use of glue, nails, and duct tape is prohibited
  • Chalking is prohibited on any surface, including, but not limited to, sidewalks, archways, and benches


Amplified Sound

  • Amplified sound is allowed in residential spaces:
    • West Campus
      • Monday through Thursday 5:00-7:00pm
      • Friday 5:00pm-2:00am
      • Saturday 1:00pm-2:00am
      • Sunday 1:00pm-6:00pm
    • East Campus
      • Friday 5:00pm-12:00am
      • Saturday 12:00pm-12:00am
      • Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • Amplified sound is allowed outdoors:
    • Monday through Friday 5:00pm-11:00pm
    • Saturday and Sunday until 11:00pm
  • Amplified sound is allowed on the BC Plaza:
    • Monday through Friday 12:00pm-1:00pm
    • Monday through Thursday 5:00pm-7:00pm
  • Food trucks are not permitted to emit music or other amplified sound unless pre-approved by Student Involvement & Leadership or Housing & Residence Life


  • No events with animals are permitted at this time


  • Decorations must be approved by the venue and must comply with safety and fire laws
  • All items must be removed at the conclusion of the event by the student organization
  • Any damages incurred due to placement or removal of items is the responsibility of the student organization
  • Duke Policy


  • Food approval is dependent upon the event venue and should be coordinated with the venue directly
  • The sale of food by non-Duke Dining entities is prohibited in Campus Center buildings
  • Any meeting/event in Brodhead Center must use one of the food service providers located in Brodhead.


Movie Licenses

  • Organizations or individuals planning non-home showings of videos, films, and DVDs must secure licenses to do so, regardless of whether or not admission is charged

Pickets, Protests, & Demonstrations

  • Duke University respects the right of all members of the academic community to explore and discuss questions that interest them, to express opinions publicly and privately, and to join together to demonstrate their concern by orderly means.
  • Duke Policy

Political Candidates

  • Candidates for political office may speak on campus at the invitation of a recognized student-run organization affiliated with the university as long as they follow these guidelines:
    • Equal speaking opportunities are provided to political candidates seeking the same office. If there are multiple candidates running for one position, all candidates must be extended the same invitation and opportunity to speak.

    • The recognized student-run organization does not indicate any endorsement, support, or opposition of a candidate. This should be stated explicitly when the candidate is introduced, and in any announcements or advertisements of the candidate’s attendance.

    • No political fundraising occurs.

    • Allowable appearance types include: a speech, Q&A session, or similar format typical of an educational activity.

    • Any questions are prepared and presented by a non-partisan and independent panel or individual to not demonstrate an endorsement or opinion of a candidate.

  • All invitations and appearances need to comply with the above guidelines and other Duke University policies, as well as applicable laws, regulations and government ethics policies. This guidance is applicable to all Duke-sponsored campus-based events, whether in-person or virtual, held off-campus (i.e., symposiums, receptions, meetings) or in a government facility.
  • To ensure events can be approved, student organizations are encouraged to submit their event in Duke Groups as soon as possible for review or to contact to review plans and take adequate steps to ensure compliance.
  • For further details, please check the Government Relations Policies page on political activity.

Registration Requirements

  • Events must be registered on Duke Groups at least 5 days in advance
  • Events with any of the following criteria must be registered on Duke Groups. These should be registered further in advance to allow for sufficient approval time.
    • 50+ people
    • Alcohol present
    • Amplified sound
    • Charging admission
    • Contracted performer(s)
    • Guest speaker(s)
    • Government official(s) and/or candidate(s) for office
    • Minors present
    • Off-campus attendees invited
    • Outdoor recreation (5Ks, races, field days, etc.)
    • Voter registration drives

Security & Emergency Personnel

  • In consultation with Duke University Police Department, Student Affairs may assign event security, EMS, and/or administrative staffing for scheduled events if deemed appropriate
  • The staffing costs will be the responsibility of the student organization

Space Reservations

  • It is the responsibility of the reserving party to read and adhere to the space confirmation instructions
  • Program commitments such as contracts, advertisements, tickets, etc. should not be made prior to the receipt of confirmation of the venue

Study Breaks

  • Study Breaks are the only events permitted beginning the last day of classes through the end of the exam period each semester.
  • Study Breaks must adhere to the following:
    • Under 2 hours
    • Closed to group members only
    • 50 people or less
    • No amplified sound

Ticket Sales

  • Preferred ticket sales method is through the University Box Office ( at least three weeks prior to the desired ticket on sale date.
    • This is required for events in Reynolds, Sheafer, and Baldwin.
  • 5% of the tickets sales will be taken out for taxes, as per North Carolina sales tax on entertainment activities
  • A Duke event may be exempt from sales tax when attendance is limited to a closed group and education is the primary purpose of the event


Student Organization Finance Guidebook


  • All banking and financial transactions for student organizations must be conducted through Student Organizations & Programming Finance (Student Affairs)


  • Students are not permitted to sign contracts of any kind
  • Contracts should be signed before services are performed
  • Contracts will not be initiated or signed after an event has taken place/the contracted service has already been completed
  • Contracts must be signed by an authorized Duke employee in Student Involvement & Leadership or Graduate & Professional Student Services for all DSG and GPSG affiliated groups.
  • Contract requests must go through the Duke Groups payment request process

Donations (Giving)

  • Student organizations may only use fundraised money to make donations to external organizations. Allocated funds from student fees are ineligible for donation.

Donations (Receiving)

  • Financial gifts to student organizations totaling $1,500 or more need to be approved by Student Involvement & Leadership before the funds can be deposited.


Gifts and Prizes

  • Approval for the use of gifts or prizes for Duke University employees, students, or friends must be obtained from SOP Business Office prior to the purchase
  • It is strongly suggested that the value of any gift be kept under $100 due to tax implications
  • Prizes and gift cards must be purchased via p-card or IR form. These cannot be reimbursed.

Prohibited Purchases

  • AirBnb
  • ATM withdrawal reimbursements
  • Craigslist
  • Custom merchandise from non-licensed vendors
  • eBay
  • Farmer’s markets
  • GigSalad
  • PayPal
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Rental homes
  • Redbubble
  • Venmo