Handbook for Leaders of Student Organizations

This handbook is intended to help smooth the process of transitioning from one cohort of student leaders to the next cohort of student leaders. It will also contain information on where to access different resources within the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and across the University of Minnesota.

Student Groups and Organizations

There are different student groups and organizations at the Humphrey School and on campus that meet regularly and host programs and events. These activities play a critical role in building community on campus. There are also University of Minnesota-wide student organizations that Humphrey School students can be a part of.

Humphrey School Student Groups

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Humphrey International Students Association (HISA)

The Humphrey International Students Association (HISA) represents international students pursuing education at the Humphrey School. HISA is driven to enhance engagement and interaction between the U.S. and International students at the Humphrey School. To achieve this, HISA organizes and provides spaces of gathering and mutual learning that result in overall well-being for the Humphrey School community.

HISA is committed to;

  • Providing formal representation of international students at the Humphrey School via advocacy of rights and interests in the Humphrey School and beyond.
  • Enhancing awareness of issues and interests relevant to the Humphrey School international students by encouraging and facilitating conversations, ideas, and experience-sharing between the international students and the Humphrey community.
  • Helping our international students get familiar with the opportunities available to them at the Humphrey school and beyond.

Positions are available for; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and PASA Representative.

HISA faculty advisor: TBD

[email protected]

Humphrey Students of Color Association (HSOCA)

The Humphrey Students of Color Association (HSOCA) serves as a collective voice for students of color at the Humphrey Schools. We advocate for positive change for underrepresented and marginalized communities of color and provide a venue to share ideas and work on issues that most directly affect students of color at the Humphrey.

Positions are available for; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Community Outreach Chair, Student Coalition Chair, and Public Relations Chair.

The President may appoint additional officers from time to time to help the Association meet its goals and objectives for the school year. Such positions have included a Programming Chair, Public Relations Chair, Recruitment Chair, and a First-Year Representative.

HSOCA faculty advisor: Bryan J. Bradford, [email protected]

[email protected]

Public Affairs Student Association (PASA)

The Public Affairs Student Association (PASA) is a student-run group at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. PASA distributes funding and plans events for the Humphrey Student body. It especially focuses on opportunities to connect students across degree programs, and to advance conversations about racial justice, gender justice, and disability justice, both within the Humphrey School and within academia and public policy more broadly.

Positions are available for the executive board consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Event Chair, degree program representatives, and curriculum and equity officers. PASA also acts as a liaison between the student body and the Humphrey administration.

Interim PASA faculty advisor: Amber Bieneck Thom, [email protected] 

Humphrey Public Affairs Review (HPAR)

The Humphrey Public Affairs Review (HPAR) is the student-run academic journal of the Humphrey School. HPAR allows students to build academic and professional skills through writing and editing high-quality work in a variety of mediums. HPAR also facilitates collaboration across Humphrey programs and builds connections between students, staff, the broader university, and the local community. HPAR aspires to create an enduring forum for open dialogue and contribute to discussions on pressing public affairs issues.

Every fall, interested students enroll in PA 5934 (Humphrey Public Affairs Review) to learn the process of academic publication through editing and writing. Leadership commits to year-round involvement to foster the annual publication process. All editors choose their own level of commitment to HPAR, whether that be for half of a semester to the entire time enrolled at Humphrey. Any current Humphrey student can submit to the journal by the end of October, which are all edited through a double-blind peer review by the editorial team. A physical and digital copy of the journal is published near the end of the spring semester.

Every position in HPAR is voluntary and the transition to new leadership begins as soon as the class ends at the end of the fall semester. Monthly meetings start in January so the managing editor can begin to pass along responsibilities and resources to the incoming managing editor(s). Once the journal is published at the end of the spring semester, the managing editor will have one last transition meeting to ensure the incoming leadership is prepared.

Positions are available for; Managing Editor, Associate Editor, Senior Editors, Editors, Editor & PR Director, and Editor & Director of Publication.

HPAR faculty advisor: Judy Temple, [email protected]

[email protected]

Planning Student Organization (PSO)

Planning Student Organization (PSO) is the student organization for the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning students and anyone with an interest in urban planning.

Positions are available for; President, Vice President, Social Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, APA-MN Student Representative, MURP Student Representative, and First Year Student Representative.

PSO faculty advisor: Ryan Allen, [email protected]

Gender, Sexuality, and Policy Event Committee (GSPEC)

The Gender, Sexuality, and Policy Event Committee (GSPEC) is a student organization at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, within the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, dedicated to supporting women, genderqueer, and LGBTQIA+ students. We work to foster conversations about the intersection of gender, sex, sexuality, and policy through biweekly meetings and monthly school-wide events.

GSPEC works closely with both the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy and the Gender and Sexuality Center as partners in many events. They provide expertise, resources, and even funding. For more information on the latter, contact the CWGPP.

Some of the activities you can work on include but are not limited to: affinity groups (LGBTQ+, queer, women, trans*, non-binary, etc), coffee hours, virtual drag brunches, fundraisers for AIDS/other causes, talks, and webinars, etc.

Positions are available for leadership board members.

GSPEC faculty advisor: TBD

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development (IPID)

The Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development (IPID) Project is a student initiative at the University of Minnesota linking graduate students, scholars, and practitioners with interests in international development.

Positions are available for; President and Vice-President

IPID faculty advisor: TBD

[email protected]

Energy and Environmental Policy Club (EEPC)

The Energy and Environmental Policy Club (EEPC) hosts a variety of events such as;

  • Skill-building workshops focused on economic instruments
  • Informal faculty conversation sessions
  • Happy hours and networking events
  • Site visits

[email protected]

University of Minnesota -Wide Groups

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Professional Student Government (PSG)

The Professional Student Government (PSG) on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota rests with the Professional Student Government (PSG). All currently registered professional students at the University of Minnesota are members of PSG.

PSG represents and serves students in the Carlson School of Management, Law School, Medical School, Dental School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Education and Human Development, and Humphrey School of Public Affairs. PSG is a resource for its 10 member Councils, the primary contact point for administrative units, a professional student policy-making, and policy-influencing body, and a center of inter-and intra-collegiate interaction among professional students.

Positions are available for; the President, Vice President, and Executive Cabinet members such as the Secretary of Communications, Secretary to the Senate, Secretary of Finance, and representative to the Board of Regents.

Common Grounds

Common Grounds is an interdisciplinary student-led graduate student organization that applies the concept of integrative leadership to community challenges. Guided by the principle that complex problems require cross-sector collaboration, Common Grounds brings together graduate students from across the University of Minnesota to explore community issues; provide professional research and consultation services to community organizations; and practice and promote integrative leadership.

Council of Graduate Students

The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) is the Recognized Student Governance Association (RSGA) at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus that represents, advocates for, informs, facilitates communications among, and supports Twin Cities graduate students (students who are seeking a research degree: a PhD or a Master's that is associated with a PhD program).

How to Transition from One Cohort of Leaders to the Next

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Elections process and requirements

Current/Outgoing Officers

  • Post open positions for spring elections - February
  • Open Candidate Filing Period and Campaigning Period for each organization - First two weeks of March
  • Set and announce the Voting Period - Last two weeks of March
  • Confirm vote winners after the end of the voting period and confirm acceptance of positions - Last week of March to the first week of April
  • The student organization can accept applications for the unfilled positions after the close of elections until the positions are filled
  • Send the results of any elections within one week to [email protected]
  • After the elections, check the description and link on the Student Organizations page to make sure the information is up-to-date with new officer information

The timelines above may differ as the voting details and timeline are determined by your student group’s constitution.

Student groups may request the assistance of SUA to conduct the elections and help run the voting process.

Student unions and activities - elections and voting

Any registered student group at the University of Minnesota may use Student Activities to conduct their student group voting, such as officer elections, constitutional amendments, or other decision-making needs. In order to effectively assist your student group with elections, Student Activities must receive the student group voting request form (available upon request from [email protected]) with a minimum five business day lead time to prepare the ballot:

Complete the election request form and have it signed by a minimum of five current officers of your student group. The information you will need to complete the election request form includes

  • A list of open positions and the details related to each position (description of the position, # of candidates that may be selected, standard vs. instant run-off voting)
  • A list of candidates and candidate descriptions/statements for each position.
  • The dates and specific times that your student group would like the election to be open.

Schedule and attend a meeting with a Student Activities advisor by emailing [email protected].

  • This meeting is intended to clarify your election details and ensure that the specifics of the election are set up correctly according to the election guidelines and protocol outlined in your student group’s constitution.
  • Bring the completed request form to your meeting with an advisor.

Email follow-up documents to the advisor you met with within two days of the meeting. Failure to do so may delay the timing of your election.

  • An excel spreadsheet of the Internet ID information of eligible voters for your organization.
  • A word document of all candidate statements and candidate pictures, if applicable.

Hold your election. Student Activities will email a link to the voting site to the officers. Officers are responsible for communicating the election link to the entire voting membership. Voting outside the specified time period is not possible.

Election results are emailed to officers specified on the Voting Request Form.

Incoming officers - leadership transition after elections

After the elections incoming officers should collaborate with outgoing leaders to;

  • Officially re-register the organization with the University Office of Student Union and Activities through the official registration link
  • Determine relationships and affiliation with PSG (Professional Student Government) and COGS (Council of Graduate Students)
  • Give a financial overview of policies and procedures
  • Confirm and determine the schedule of end-of-year events. 
  • Outgoing and incoming officers hold one-on-one transition meetings with their respective counterparts to pass down key information on the student group. For an overview of how to hold a one-on-one officer transition meeting, see the Outgoing Officer and the Incoming Officer Transition Packets.
  • Schedule a meeting with your student organization’s advisor in the first month after new officers are elected.
  • Create continuity from the spring election by planning the first fall engagement activity. For example, most organizations participate in new student orientation week. To get more information on orientation, contact Amber Bieneck Thom ([email protected])
  • Contact the Career and Student Success office for information about orientation scheduling and tabling to recruit new members during student organization week.
  • Schedule a beginning-of-the-year meeting with the dean's office to discuss your organization’s concerns and plans to address Humphrey School students’ needs.
  • Meet with key Humphrey School staff in Career and Student Services, Financial Services, and Communications to discuss ways they can support your goals for events, communicating with new students, etc.

Resources to develop and implement an officer transition process

The following are some materials and resources that will help student groups develop and implement an officer transition process.

Contact the Student Activities Office at [email protected] or call 612-626-6919 to schedule an advising appointment on the transition process.

Financial Resources

Transfer of financial responsibility

Registered Student Organizations with Bank Accounts and EINs:

  • Have an incoming officer file Form 8822-B to change the “Responsible Party” of your group’s EIN. This allows you to update your group's mailing address, business location, and the person responsible for your EIN.
  • Transfer bank account access to incoming officers. More information can be found at sua.umn.edu.
  • Update contact information with the IRS, if the group is tax-exempt, and with the State of Minnesota, if the group is registered as a nonprofit organization.

University Funding Resources

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Student Services Fee

The Student Services Fee (SSF) at the University of Minnesota enhances the student experience and provides services and support that benefit the campus community. Student groups may request SSF funds for events.

Student Unions & Activities (SUA) Grants

Contact the Student Activities Grants Assistant at [email protected] to apply for grants to assist with a variety of expenses related to student groups events and digital engagement.

Student groups should apply for funding as early to ensure that there is funding available for their event. Please see the grant application deadlines table for deadlines.

Student Activities Grants (Administrative and Student Services Fees (SSF) Event Grants) and Coca-Cola Grants (Activity Initiative, Development Initiative, Sustainability Initiative, and Academic Initiative) - Intended to provide supplemental financial support to student groups, university departments, and individuals seeking to host or participate in activities, programs, and special events that enhance the co-curricular experience for students at the University of Minnesota. Applications must show how the project will promote student development, enhance diversity, and/or benefit the campus community. Applicants may request their award in the form of funding and/or Coca-Cola® products for the Coca-Cola Grants.

Grant Process Overview

  1. Apply 6-8 weeks before your event takes place to account for fund transfer and any other errors in the application that may need to be resolved. Start Your Online Application.
  2. Continue planning your event. Sample Event Planning Worksheet.
  3. Grant application is reviewed by the SUA Grant Committee.
  4. If awarded, follow the instructions outlined in your grant award notification email.
  5. Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will be notified when their check is ready for pickup or has been mailed to them 3-6 weeks after their application is approved.
  6. Host your event.
  7. Following the completion of your event, submit the Post Event Form and upload all event receipts. Once this form is submitted, an advisor will review the form and will only require a meeting if they have questions related to the event and financial documents.

Professional Student Government (PSG) Grants

The PSG offers the following grants;

Academic Grants which offer funds for events, programs, and services that contribute to the overall academic development of professional students.

Social Event Grants fund events that will enhance the personal development of professional students and the professional student experience.

Inter-council Grants provide additional funding for Councils to host joint events for the development or enjoyment of professional students.

To apply for a PSG grant;

  • Submit your application at least 14 days before an upcoming session of Congress to guarantee that your grant will be considered. The event must also occur after the nearest upcoming session of Congress. Please remember to check the Congressional Sessions. Email [email protected] with your questions and concerns.
  • Await for an email to schedule an interview with PSG’s Secretary of Grants.
  • Wait for PSG correspondence relaying grant approval or decline. Your event/initiative must occur after the date on which Congress meets to review your application.
  • Attend or host your event or initiative! Don’t forget to save all receipts and other documents. Also, collect pertinent information for evaluation purposes.
  • After you attend/host your event/initiative, complete our online evaluation form no later than 14 days later. Expect PSG correspondence shortly explaining how to pick up your funds.

Public Affairs Student Association (PASA) Funding

Student groups can request PASA funding by using one of these funding request forms:

You can reach out to the PASA treasurer if you have any questions about filling out the form, or about what types of projects and events are eligible for funding.

Council of Graduate Student grants

Student groups can apply for the Council of Graduate Students grants.

An event that has already occurred by the time the grant will be reviewed will be considered for a grant for reimbursement on the same basis as an activity that has not yet occurred.

Grant recipients will be asked to provide itemized receipts for all of their expenses associated with the grant activity. Upon receiving the receipts and a revised budget form reflecting actual expenses and sources of funding, COGS will disburse funds via PayPal.

Gender Equity Grants

Women's Center Gender Equity Grants seek to support a more inclusive, diverse University community with an enhanced campus climate for women faculty, staff, and students. Gender Equity Grants are intended to foster and support increased awareness, improved understanding, and institutional change.

Minnesota Student Association Grants

The Minnesota Student Association offers a variety of grants for registered student organizations that can assist with their operational and event costs.

Huntington Bank Sponsorships

Huntington Bank offers sponsorships up to $1,000 to University departments and registered student groups for on-campus events. Each group is eligible for one (1) event per calendar year.

LGBTQIA+ Healthy Norms Promotion Grant

The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life (GSC) and the President’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct (PIPSM) grant initiative aims to amplify peer-based sexual violence prevention efforts among LGBTQIA+ student communities. The grant initiative will provide up to $1500 of funding and support to three informal or formal student groups to implement a small group norms intervention or a social norms marketing campaign. Groups of students are invited to submit a grant proposal for campus-based initiatives to help prevent sexual misconduct among LGBTQIA+ students.

Reserving Rooms

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Humphrey School

You can go to the front desk in 130 during business hours to request that staff there make the reservation.

Humphrey School houses a Conference Center that manages some of the larger meeting spaces. Most of those spaces (with the exception of Room 205) require payment. Review the Conference Center resources. Student organization leaders are encouraged to set up a meeting with the conference center to go over processes and regulations by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 612-625-1806.

Student unions and activities event spaces

Coffman Memorial Union

Rates for Registered Student Groups on reserving space at the Coffman Memorial Union;

Contact the Event Services Office at [email protected] with any questions relating to Coffman Memorial Union.

St. Paul Student Center

Rates for Registered Student Groups on reserving space at the St. Paul Student Center;

Contact the Event Services Office at [email protected] with any questions relating to the St. Paul Student Center.

Humphrey Staff Resources and Contacts

Below is the contact information for some of the Humphrey staff that work with the student organizations in different departments.

Humphrey Contacts
Events ManagerVal Horton[email protected]
Strategic Communications and Technology OfficeMeagan Pierluissi[email protected]
Career and Student Success OfficeRachel Leatham[email protected]
Alumni Relations OfficeBryan Bradford[email protected]
Dean's OfficeDean's Office Staff[email protected]
Technology or Software SupportOIT and Humphrey School Staff[email protected]

View the full list of all Humphrey staff resources and contacts.

End of Year Awards

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Student Leadership Award

The student leadership award is given to the member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of their classmates, has demonstrated the most significant leadership initiative during their time at the Humphrey School.

Only graduating students are eligible for this award and only graduating students are allowed to vote. The award is announced at the end of the academic year. The winner also will receive a $500 prize.

Jernberg Award

The Jernberg Award recognizes the student, faculty member, or staff member who has most contributed to the improvement of student life in the past year. Individuals or groups can be nominated.

This award is presented at the end of the academic year. The winner(s) also receive a prize of up to $2,500. Students will nominate and vote by online ballot for the Jernberg Award.

Student Speaker

The Student Speaker receives the honor of delivering the commencement address. Only graduating students are eligible to be the speaker, and only graduating students are allowed to vote for the student speaker.

2021-22 Student Leaders

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2021-22 Student Leaders

Portrait of Bassel (Bas) El Mrawed

Bassel (Bas) El Mrawed

Gender, Sex, and Policy Event Committee (GSPEC)

My time at GSPEC was great. It was insightful to meet with other organizations, plan and execute events, talk to various branches of the administration, liaise with the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy and the Gender and Sexuality Center, and form a great community to uplift the gender and sexuality in public policy discourses.

Portrait of Alice Rutter

Alice Rutter

Humphrey International Students Association (HISA)

Over a challenging couple of years, where understanding of “community” and “connection” has been constantly shifting for so many of us, we have worked to rebuild in a way that meets students where they are now. To do this, we redesigned our organization from the ground up, with a renewed focus on spaces for conversation and celebration.

Personally, HISA gave me the opportunity to meet with, support, and learn from the incredibly diverse community at Humphrey; the insights I’ve gained from my peers have enriched my learning experience at Humphrey beyond measure.

Portrait of Samuel Turner

Samuel Turner

Interdisciplinary Perspectives of International Development (IPID)

My time at the UofM was made better by being part of a fantastic group of people and the thought-provoking discussions and projects we’ve had across a wide spectrum of backgrounds and career paths. Our organization facilitated a meaningful exchange of experiences and perspectives on the issues facing us and the development career field as it stands today and its potential betterment in the future.

Portrait of Jo Auvin Rutkiewicz

Jo Auvin Rutkiewicz

Humphrey Public Affairs Review (HPAR)

HPAR is the Humphrey School's academic journal for graduate students. As the managing editor, I worked closely with the editorial team and the faculty advisor for planning and decision-making. The managing editor works year-round in order to recruit editors, organize the journal, and plan the curriculum for the HPAR class.

I had a wonderful experience in this role because of the team I worked with. HPAR is an organization that includes all levels of experience with writing and editing to develop their skills from where they are at. In my opinion, the role of managing editor can be done solo, but most effective with a foundation of collaboration and shared responsibilities. It is a long process to publish the journal, so trusting the process and patience are necessary.