Advisor FAQs

Below are links to questions you may receive as an Advisor. Read through them so you have a thorough understanding of funding, risk management, and other general questions!

Email [email protected] or call (616) 331-2345 if you have more specific questions or need clarifications.


  • Student organizations in good standing have the privilege to request funds from the Student Life Fund for travel, campus events, and equipment. However, student organizations should first search for alternative funds such as donations, fundraising, sponsorship by appropriate campus departments, etc. They can submit a funding request after they've raised as much money on their own as possible (refer them to the Student Organization Support page for more funding resources and information about how to submit the request.)
  • Demonstration of multiple funding sources (vs relying solely on the Student Life Fund) often increases the chances of a funding request being granted.
  • Graduate RSOs should refer to the Graduate Student Association (GSA) website for information on how to request funding. This is a separate process facilitated by the GSA.
  • Funding requests for individual  travel is capped at $500 for 5 members of the organization with a minimum of $50 per person, not including a group van.
  • Organizations can receive funding for a van up to twice a year with a total cap of $1,500.
  • Funding requests for events technically do not have any limits. However, large requests generally do not receive full funding.
  • Regardless of the amount of money being requested, the question you should ask your organization is: "What have you done to raise money for this event? Have you tried fundraising, finding sponsors or donors, or asked campus departments? Have you exhausted all other options?" 
  • If your organization is requesting a large amount of money ($2,000 or more), your organization must meet with Bri Slager in the Office of Student Life to discuss your request.
  • Graduate RSOs should refer to the GSA Bylaws for more information about funding.

NO! Do not make any purchases PRIOR to being approved for funding. Any purchases made by your organization prior to being approved will NOT be retroactively reimbursed.

  • Not necessarily. Funding from the Student Life fund is stored in an account in the Office of Student Life. However, your organization cannot add money to this Student Life account as if it were their bank. If your organization collects dues, fundraises, or has other sources of income, you may consider opening an off-campus bank account.
  • To set up an account, off-campus banks requires that your organization is assigned an Employer Identification Number (EIN) number. An EIN number is designated through the IRS.
  • Once the organization receives the EIN paperwork, drop a copy off at the Office of Student Life. You are now free to open a bank account! We strongly recommend that the organization adds you, as their advisor, as a co-signer on the account.
  • Please note that the student organization itself is responsible for the oversight of the off-campus account; the Office of Student Life does not have access to it or oversight of it.

Extremely unlikely. Travel-related funding is reserved for conferences and experiences that are pertinent to the organization’s mission/purpose.

  • It depends. All Student Senate funding must go towards events that are free and open to all students. So, if they are asking for money for pizza for a general weekly meeting; it would be denied.
  • If your organization is requesting food, the food must be provided through GVSU Catering. Outside food (Little Caesars, Peppinos, other catering, etc.) will not be funded and is not permitted by the university for any public events!
  • No. Student Senate funding is "use it or lose it". If the awarded funds are not used, it will be returned to the Student Life fund automatically.
  • Also, funding can only be used towards the budget item requested. For example, if your organization asked for $400 in catering, but only used $300, the remaining $100 cannot be used to purchase any other expenditure for the event. This is why it is important that your organization takes their time submitting the budget request so it is as accurate and detailed as possible.
  • No! The Office of Student Life has a variety of ways to pay for approved expenses. Payments can be made via invoice, department transfer, or credit card. Purchasing Cards are available to check out AFTER funding has been approved. Expenditures paid on the purchasing card require a receipt and must be tax exempt. If tax is charged to the item, your organization is responsible for reimbursing the Office of Student Life for the cost of taxes.
  • If your organization has already been approved for funding and your student wants to use their own money, they can complete a reimbursement form after the purchase has been made.
  • No! Students are never permitted to sign contracts on behalf of Grand Valley State University.
  • Advisors are also not permitted to sign contracts on behalf of the Office of Student Life.
  • Any contracts for performers MUST be signed by a full-time staff member in the Office of Student Life after funding has been approved for the event. If the contract is signed by the Advisor or any member in the organization, that individual can be held financially liable to pay the bill.

Event Planning & Programming

  • For flyers, here are numerous posting boards located around campus where your organization can post fliers. All fliers must be approved by the Promotions Office located in 0008 Kirkhof.
  • The Promotions Office also offers design & print services to promote your event, and you can use funding from the Student Life Fund to cover the cost.
  • For the chance to be promoted through @GVSUStudentLife social media, you can fill out this form with info about your event.
  • Event Services reserves rooms in Kirkhof, Cook-Dewitt, and Henry Hall. If you want your event to be located in one of these buildings, direct your students to the Event Services website, or stop by the office in 1110 Kirkhof.
  • For information on other spaces on campus or space downtown, refer to the Event Services contacts page.
  • Yes! To find out who to contact to reserve specific outdoor spaces on campus, refer to the Event Services contacts page.
  • Yes and no. Your organization can hold events off campus, but they will not receive any Student Senate funding for the event.
  • Also, your organization will be responsible for reserving any off campus space.
  • If your organization has received Student Senate funding for their trip, then yes they must complete the travel release and waivers.
  • If your organization did not receive funding for the trip, we strongly recommend your organization still completes the travel release statement.
  • Student organizations have the privilege to rent cars, minivans, or 12 and 15-passenger vans for student organization related travel through the Office of Student Life (partnered with Enterprise). Your organization can request funding for these vehicles or pay with their own funds and must fill out a Vehicle Rental Request Form. Rental requests must be completed 2 weeks before use, but if your organization is requesting funding for the vans, the request must be submitted 4 weeks before use.
  • To reserve table space on campus, contact Event Services at 1110 Kirkhof or (616) 331-2350.

Risk Management & Reduction

  • If it’s a major accident: call 9-1-1 and then notify The Office of Student Life and Enterprise as soon as possible.
  • If it is minor damage and the vehicle is still operational: notify Student Life and Enterprise upon your return from your trip.
  • You must report any damage. Vehicle rentals reserved through Student Life are covered through the university insurance; however, failure to report any damage can result an individual or organization being financially responsible.
  • Regardless, make sure your organization takes pictures and captures as much detailed information as possible: who was involved, what was the date and time, what happened, was anyone hurt, were other vehicles involved, etc.
  • If a student comes to you regarding harassment, be kind and open to discussion.
  • For bias incidents, students can refer to the GVSU Team Against Bias for reporting options.
  • For all other incidents, including sexual assault and Clery reporting, direct them to TAB Guidance and Support page for resources, reporting, and other information.
  • As an advisor to a student organization you are a mandated reporter, and you should notify any students who divulge information to you that you might have to report it. At the beginning of the semester you should have gone through Campus Security Authority (CSA) training on reporting. We are required by federal law to report incidents involving sexual assault / harassment, and any violent / illegal incidents.
  • Be sure to notify the student that you will have to report the information given either to the police or to the Title IX office. For more information on what types of incidents must be reported, or to file a report, refer to the Title IX office webpage.
  • Contact the Assistant Director for Student Organization Development in the Office of Student Life. They will help you navigate your next steps or call a meeting to resolve the situation. Call (616) 331-2345 to speak with them. 
  • Review the Misconduct Review Process in the RSO Handbook and the Student Code for the next steps your organization should take.
  • Contact the Assistant Director for Student Organization Development in the Office of Student Life at (616) 331-2345. They will help you navigate your next steps or call a meeting to resolve the situation.

General Organization Management

  • Every organization has a Constitution that is uploaded on their LakerLink portal. Refer to this document and follow the procedures listed there. If your organization adjusts this document, make sure they re-upload the Constitution to LakerLink.
  • For information on how to update the student organization portal, check out the Student Organization Support page.
  • As an Advisor, feel free to attempt resolving any situation based on your comfort level. If you feel uncomfortable, or if the situation is escalating, the Assistant Director of Student Organization is available to mediate, discuss, and resolve issues at (616) 331-2345.
  • For information on updating portals and positions on LakerLink, refer to the Student Organization Support page.
  • If they still need assistance, have them email the Student Organization Staff Assistant at [email protected] or call (616) 331-2345.
  • Every fall, the President of your organization is required to renew the LakerLink portal. Refer to Renewing Your Organization for instructions on renewing the portal and changing E-board members.
  • In order for a student to be on the E-board of any organization, they must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and be registered in at least 5 credit hours. In the event that an officer loses either of these requirements, they must be replaced. Refer to your organization’s Constitution for replacement policies.

Page last modified November 11, 2020