Graduate student club and organization handbook

It is important for each club to read and understand the policies and guidelines established by the GSA. The handbook provides nearly all of the information and answers clubs and organizations need in order to comply with GSA policies, thereby maximizing potential GSA funding for your club or organization.

Start your GSA-recognized club today

  • How to start a club

    Why become a GSA-recognized club?

    • A club must officially be recognized by GSA to receive any GSA Funding.
    • You must be recognized by GSA to use the facilities at the Joe Crowley Student Union.

    How do you become a recognized GSA club?

    1. In order to be considered for GSA recognition, an organization must not be discriminatory with regards to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, handicap and any other type of discrimination. Club membership has to be open to ALL University graduate students & this must be stated in the Constitution.
    2. Groups seeking recognition must submit the following items to the GSA:
      • Brief description of the Club’s purpose and activities
      • Copy of the Club’s Constitution
      • GSA Application for Club Recognition Form.
      • List of members: Club Executives (3 members: at least 1 has to be a graduate student/graduate special) & Club Members (5 graduate student/graduate special members)
    1. Submit the GSA Club Recognition form one week PRIOR to the next available GSA Clubs & Organizations Committee Meeting. A club representative will be contacted by the committee and must be present at the next meeting to describe their club. The committee meets every other Tuesday during the academic year on the same day as the GSA Council Meeting. Call the GSA office for meeting schedules at (775) 327-5190

    Guidelines for Writing a Club Constitution

    Writing the Constitution

    Your constitution should clearly describe how your organization will conduct business. This will be especially important when you are no longer at Nevada and others have to follow in your footsteps. It should include your purpose, how officers are elected and what they are responsible for, how money will be handled, how business will be conducted, and more. The following template can also be used for writing the constitution:

    • Article I Preamble: State the purpose and aims of your organization.
    • Article II Name: State the full name of the organization.
    • Article III Membership: State requirements, rights, duties, resignation, and termination methods for members. Club membership has to be open to ALL UNR graduate students and remember, according to University policy, no organization may discriminate in its membership with regards to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, handicap or sexual orientation. These stipulations must be stated in the Constitution.
    • Article IV Officers: List the officers of your organization, method of selection, term of office and general duties.
    • Article V Executive Council: State the composition of the Executive Council (committee or board) and method of the selection to members, their term of office, general duties, authority, and responsibility. Provision for vacancies of officers or other executive council members may be included in a section under this article.
    • Article VI Quorum: State the size for all of your organization’s regular meetings.
    • Article VII Parliamentary Procedures: Questions of parliamentary procedure shall be decided according to Robert’s Rules of Order, latest Edition.
    • Article VIII Amendments: Amendments require previous notification to the membership and 2/3’s or 3/4’s affirmative vote of those present and voting, or those present for this adoption.
    Updating the Constitution

    If the Club has to make any changes to the Constitution, all updates must be sent to the Clubs & Organizations Committee and GSA Administrative Assistant Allison Ferguson at

    Recognized GSA Club

    • Once an organization has been recognized, each year that organization needs to submit an updated Club Recognition Form along with updated Constitution and updated list of members on or before 31st October of each academic year. Seeking recognition after the October 31st deadline will require the club to attend a Clubs & Organizations Committee Meeting.
    • Any changes to the Executive Board listed for the Club must be sent to Clubs & Organizations Committee and GSA Administrative Assistant Allison Ferguson at
    • Keep checking GSA website for any GSA policy, bylaw and constitution change. GSA will not be responsible for informing its clubs individually. 

    GSA Club Services


    Clubs should maintain their website and or social media page. GSA will provide a link to your club’s web page through our website.

    Room Reservations

    GSA recognized clubs can reserve rooms in the JCSU. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and generally fill up early in the semester. The clubs should contact the JCSU Scheduling Office for more information.

  • How to get club funding

    Club Funding Request Guidelines


    • Only clubs and organizations that have been officially recognized by the GSA for the current academic year, August – July, are eligible to apply for funding. Funding for an event is contingent upon the availability of GSA funds and the approval from either GSA Clubs & Organizations Committee, GSA Senior Advisor, and/or GSA President.
    • Funding Limits
      • Clubs will be funded a maximum of $500.00 per academic year.
      • Clubs can request funds for items such as food, beverages, event equipment, printing cost for flyers, tip*, venue reservation fees, etc**.
      • Clubs cannot request funds for alcohol, guest speaker travel, honorariums, gifts, prizes, etc**. 

    * Tips are itemized within 15% – the receipt of which is stated and signed by the receiving party.

    **Please note that the approval of ALL funding requests is at the discretion of the GSA Clubs & Organizations Committee, GSA Senior Advisor, and/or GSA President.

    Funding Request Procedure

    1. In order to receive funding, you must submit your request PRIOR to your event.
    2. The Club Funding Request form must be submitted online by 5pm on a Tuesday which falls one week PRIOR to the next Clubs & Organizations Committee meeting at which you will present your request. The Committee meets every other Tuesday during the academic year on the same day as the GSA Council Meeting. View the meeting schedule. Clubs can also call GSA office to find out the meeting schedule (775) 327-5190.
    3. If a club is applying for a funding request of $500, which is the maximum funding available to a recognized club over the fiscal year, then it is mandatory for the club to provide an outline and description of the events they will be hosting over the fiscal year using those funds.
    4. A club representative must be present at the GSA Clubs & Organizations Committee Meeting at which the request is considered. The representative will be required to present a brief overview of your event, and answer any questions asked by the Committee Members.

    Advertising the Event

    • Clubs are required to advertise their events through flyers and social media. Please note that flyers cannot be posted to social media for accessibility reasons. 
    • Clubs should prepare a flyer for events containing the following information: Event name, Date, Venue, Time, GSA logo and University logo, entry fees. The logos can be found on the Graduate student club graphic design standards webpage.
    • The club should submit their flyers/announcement with their application for funding or email the flyer/announcement to the GSA at least one week before the event.
  • How to get reimbursed

    Requesting Reimbursement

    1. Any purchase and or event where GSA Club Funding is being utilized must be approved by the club funding committee before or at the last meeting of that fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Please note that the deadline to apply for GSA Club Recognition remains October 31 of that fiscal year, which can be done as early as the first GSA Clubs & Organizations committee meeting for that fiscal year. Once that recognition request has been approved by the committee, the club’s recognition is effective until the end of that fiscal year, June 30. If approval for club funding is being sought during the summer months when the GSA Clubs and Organizations does not meet, then someone acting in that capacity such as the GSA Senior Adviser or GSA President will review the club funding request for approval, provided that the club has already been recognized by the GSA Clubs & Organizations committee during the previous fiscal year.
    2. If you would like to utilize the GSA Department Purchasing Card to purchase items for an event, then you will need to make arrangements with GSA Administrative Assistant (Allison Ferguson) at least one week prior to intended date of purchase. If you would like to place an order for food to have at an event it is the responsibility of the club to place the food order in advance of payment to be made by the GSA. All purchases should be tax exempt. View the tax exemption form
    3. All receipts submitted for reimbursement must be itemized as shown below. Any receipts not itemized will not be processed for reimbursement.  No Exceptions. It is the responsibility of the club to obtain itemized receipts for purchases made, not the Graduate Student Association.
    4. If a club is seeking reimbursement, all itemized receipts must be submitted to the GSA office no later than 7 days after the event is held. Any receipts submitted after the 7-day deadline will not be reimbursed.
    5. When making purchases clubs are not allowed to have personal purchases and club purchases on the same receipt. All club purchases must be on their own receipt. No Exceptions
    6. If a club has any remaining funding left over at the end of the semester and would like to utilize those funds by the end of the fiscal year, the club will have to submit a new funding request, and have it approved.
    7. Clubs can’t receive reimbursement for any of the following*: parking charges, guest speakers or guest speaker travel, sales tax, alcohol, honorariums, or gifts.
      *Please note that the approval of the funding requests is at the discretion of the GSA Clubs & Organizations committee, GSA Senior Adviser, and GSA President.
    8. Please note that the GSA encourages the clubs to use the funding facility for productive purposes which have academic and professional benefits for the graduate students of University of Nevada, Reno.