Undergraduate Student Organization Policies & Procedures

Accessibility Statement

Student organizations should make the necessary arrangements to make their events welcoming for students with disabilities. In order to promote accessibility of student events, please include the University’s accessibility statement on all electronic and print publications:

This event is open to all without regard to gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic.

If you need any special accommodations for a disability in order to attend or participate in this event, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services at 410-516-4720 or [email protected].

Bake Sales, Community Meals, and Student Organization Events with Food

Bake sales are often effective fundraisers for a student organization. However, student groups are responsible for ensuring that food served to the public has been handled with the utmost care and caution. Candy, whole fruit, prepackaged items, popcorn, and baked goods (cannot have cream, meringue, custard, or cream cheese) can be sold. Other prepared foods not outlined above cannot be sold.

Registered Student Organizations occasionally host community meals wherein food is prepared and served only to organization members. Groups do not need to obtain a temporary food license for these occasions. However, it is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that safe food handling practices are being followed. Please refer to and abide by the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety recommendations outlined in the USDA’s “7 Food Safety Steps for Successful Community Meals”.

If a Student Organization wants to serve food to individuals outside of their student organization or to the public a valid Maryland caterer’s license or a temporary food service facility license are required. Student Organizations can pick from the following two options:

  1. Order catering through Foodify using Leadership Engagement & Experiential Developments corporate account. Foodify is a free, online food ordering service that allows student organizations to order catering from a wide variety of local restaurants and licensed caterers. Groups can order food in advance without the need of a JHU purchasing card. Foodify just sends LEED an invoice, and we bill it directly to your student organization. To order catering through Foodify simply submit a Payment Request on Hopkins Groups and follow the ordering instructions.

Student Organizations are required to purchase a PDF Document: Temporary Food Service License (PDF) from the Baltimore City Health Department for all events open to the public where food is being prepared and served by unlicensed individuals. The Temporary Food License needs to be purchased at least 15 days in advance of the event. Please refer to and abide by the Baltimore City Health Department PDF Document: Temporary Food License Fact Sheet for detailed guidelines.

Branding Guidelines and the Use of University Name and Iconography

The use of the University name and iconography by student organizations is governed by the PDF Document: Student Affairs Branding Guidelines and JHU’s Office of Communication. Student Organizations that use “Johns Hopkins University”, “Hopkins”, or “JHU” in their name or incorporate JHU iconography in their logo are required to comply with the HSA Branding Guidelines effective the first day of classes in the Fall 2017 semester. The Student Leadership Consultants in the Office of Leadership Engagement & Experiential Developmentand Involvement are available to work with student organizations to manage this transition and provide assistance. Please PDF Document: review answers to frequently asked questions or email [email protected] with questions and concerns.

Commercial Use of University Resources

The use of University resources, such as, but not limited to, e-mail, listserves, newsgroups, websites, or the Internet to advertise or solicit sales is strictly prohibited. Any commercial use of the University’s systems (through an office, RESNET, or JHU-Connect network connection, or stored on an e-mail account) resulting in a financial gain to yourself or someone else is a violation of this policy.


All events must be registered at least 15 business days before your event. Your event will be denied if you submit an event less than 15 business days in advance. All student organization events, both on- and off-campus, must be registered in Hopkins Groups. Please visit the Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development website for more information to help you plan your event. Please visit the Event Registration and Sober Party Monitor Training Information page for information about registering off-campus events and parties.

Film Screening Policy

Under the Federal Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code), no movies or films can be shown in public spaces, including residence hall lounges, without obtaining film rights. Neither the rental nor the purchase of a movie carries with it the right to show the movie outside the home. Students, staff, faculty members and student organizations must first obtain copyright permission from a film distribution company. This legal requirement applies regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, whether the institution or organization is commercial or non-profit, or whether a federal or state agency is involved.

There are several exceptions to this law:

  1. Home viewing: A student may show a lawfully obtained (rented or purchased from a video store) video to family members or a small group of friends in his/her own dorm room/apartment/house.
  2. Faculty members may show a film for educational purposes if: a) it is during face-to-face teaching activities, or b) it is shown in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction. The audience is limited so that only persons enrolled in or teaching the class (and necessary staff) may attend. In addition, there should be an educational component such as a discussion or panel after the film.

Below are two ways through which you may obtain copyright permission:

  1. Purchase a license from a Motion Picture Distributor. The major firm the Office of Student Activities uses is Swank Motion Pictures, Inc., which can be reached at www.swank.com or 1-800-876-5577. Fees can range from $371 to $871 and are determined by such factors as the number of times a particular movie is going to be shown, how old the movie is, and so forth.
  2. Contact the producer, copyright holder, or film distributor (usually a movie company like Warner Bros). They can provide a written waiver to the copyright allowing you to show the movie or film. After obtaining permission mentioned above, you must bring a copy of your rental agreement or other licensing documentation to the Office of Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development (The LaB, N100) before your screening, or you may have the licensing company send this documentation directly to Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development at [email protected].

“Willful” infringement of the Federal Copyright Act is a federal crime carrying a maximum sentence of up to five years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine. If you are uncertain about your responsibilities under the copyright law, contact the Office of Student Activities for more information.

Food and Clothing Drives

If an organization is hosting a food drive, clothing drive, etc. that will require boxes being on display, the group must arrange to drop off locations in advance. Student organizations must obtain approval from the appropriate office to place collection boxes. To place donation boxes in residence halls, students should contact the Housing Office at 410-516-7960.

Group Email Addresses & Websites

As a recognized student organization, groups are able to establish an organizational email, mailing list, and website. JHED Group Accounts Utilities is responsible for group email accounts. Student group leaders may access the site to establish a group email account, change passwords, and to edit the account. If additional help is needed, contact [email protected].

Mailing lists are a free service provided to the JHU community by Hopkins IT Services and the Enterprise Messaging team. They provide an easy electronic means for groups to communicate amongst themselves. Detailed information may be found on the IT Services web page.

Students have access to create websites through Hopkins Groups. The University will not pay for outside website vendors or software that is a duplicate of software or applications students have free access to through the University.

The University accepts no liability for web content on its server. However, concerns raised by community members over information on a student group website that violate the student code of conduct and/or state, local, or federal laws may be reviewed by the University and removed pending investigation. For more information, visit the Information Technology Web Services and Hosting page.

Group Misconduct

Actions of recognized student organizations are subject to review. Student groups are held to the same standard of conduct as individual students. The Student Conduct Code outlines basic expectations for the behavior of Johns Hopkins students. The fundamental purpose of the University’s regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. Failure to abide by University policies may result in organizational disciplinary action. Disciplinary action(s) may range from a documented reprimand to revocation of privileges and/or recognition.

Actions of student organizations affiliated with the Student Government Association, Graduate Representative Organization, Center for Social Concern, or a University department or administrative office are subject to review and disciplinary proceedings as outlined by those entities. Student group umbrella organizations (i.e. Inter-Fraternity Council, Performing Arts Council, etc) may hear initial complaints against a student group, providing they have a standing system to adjudicate such complaints. The administrative staff of Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development and/or the Student Conduct Board may determine disciplinary actions against student groups. Appeals are referred to the Dean and Associate Deans/Executive Directors of Student Life.

Actions of individuals of an organization may be referred to the Office of the Dean of Student Life for further action as described in the University Conduct Code. For clarification of Conduct Code policies, contact the Office of the Dean of Student Life, Mattin Center 210 or call 410-516-8208.

Guest(s) Policy

Student organizations are responsible for informing their guests of all University policies and are accountable for the actions of their guests. If a problem arises, the student organization may risk losing their ability to reserve space in the future and may be subject to disciplinary action by the University.

Open Flames & Fire Safety

Baltimore City law prohibits open flames in all public indoor spaces, including residence halls. Open flames should not be used during events or ceremonies. Outside observances, such as vigils, religious ceremonies, or initiation activities that involve open flames, must be approved by the Levering Student Life Office when the space is reserved.

Groups are responsible for ensuring that entrances are not blocked during their events so patrons can evacuate immediately in an emergency.


The University encourages and promotes the free exchange of ideas on campus. To facilitate that interest, locations have been designated to distribute student newspapers, magazines, and other publications. These include Levering Hall, MSE Library, and residential facilities.

All publications must be approved by the Sr. Director of Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development before they are distributed in the MSE Library. Publications placed on campus without prior approval or in non-designated areas are subject to immediate removal.

Raffles and Gaming Events

The University follows all laws relating to gambling in the state of Maryland. In brief, ventures which involve the exchange of money, games of chance, or pools are not permitted without an appropriate permit.

If a student organization plans to conduct a raffle or gambling event where money or items of value will be exchanged, it must apply for a Gaming Permit. Gaming permit applications must be submitted to: Permits Department, Baltimore City Police Department, 601 East Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. For questions, call 410-396-2130. Violation of this policy is considered a misdemeanor.

Off-Campus Trips/Risk Management Waivers

If your organization is hosting an off-campus trip or an event that could be considered “risky,” the group must have all participants complete a waiver form. Such events could include bus trips, recreational activities, sports competitions, etc. These waivers may protect your organization and members from being held liable in the event of injury or misconduct.

It is the responsibility of the organization to contact the Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development Office to develop a release of liability waiver form for group events and/or activities.


The following list provides examples of situations when security may be required for an event:

  • Involving alcohol,
  • Open to non-JHU college students,
  • Open to the general public,
  • Involving cash transactions,
  • With no clear boundary between audience and performers (e.g., dance party, concert), and/or
  • With a precedence or potential of liability or security risks to Johns Hopkins students, faculty, staff, or property.

The Department of Student Life and/or JHU Security has the right to require commissioned officers for any event at the expense of the student group if they feel the event may pose a liability or security risk to Johns Hopkins students, faculty, staff, guests, or property. The number of officers needed is decided on an event-by-event basis. The decision for requiring additional JHU officers may include but is not limited to projected attendance, type of speaker/performer, mode of advertisement, and contractual obligations designated for the event.

When organizations register events in Hopkins Groups the form will notify you if you need security for your event and automatically forward the request to Leadership Engagement & Experiential Development. All security arrangements must be completed 10 business days before the event. Security requests made within 2 weeks of the event may not be honored. Cancellations must be made at least 72 hours before the event. Any cancellation fees incurred will be applied to the requesting student group’s budget.

Pricing for Security

Note: subject to change; based on a 4-hour minimum

  • Wolf
    • Officer: $27.00 per hour
    • Supervisor (required): $28.00 per hour
  • JHU Officer: $40 per hour
  • Baltimore City Police: $50 per hour


Johns Hopkins University is a private campus and reserves the right to determine who may or may not solicit on campus. Solicitation may be defined as anything from selling a product to distributing information, to recruitment activities of any kind. Solicitation without express permission may result in trespass violations or further penalty. Solicitation of any kind is prohibited in residence halls and University-owned apartments. Student organizations should reserve tables in advance through the Department of Student Life if they plan to fundraise or recruit on campus.

Unauthorized Entry

Entry to an event through an unauthorized entrance will result in removal from the venue and building.