Freedom of expression and communication is recognized as essential to the basic purposes of the University. “The freedom and effectiveness of the educational process depends upon the provision of appropriate conditions and opportunities for learning in an environment that is supportive of diversity among ideas, cultures, and student characteristics.” (Student Rights and Responsibilities, Article 2.I.)

Within this context, student organizations can further opportunities for learning through co-curricular programs which they sponsor. The Outside Speakers Policy specifically encourages student groups to invite speakers to the campus in order to foster free inquiry and “to encourage the timely discussion of a wide variety of issues, provided that the views expressed are stated openly and, therefore, are subject to critical evaluation”.

Student groups may seek funding for the programs they choose to sponsor from a variety of sources.

The All-University Policy on Student Fee Collection, provides for students to tax themselves in order to provide programs and services of particular interest to members of the student body. Further, the University has specific provisions, under the All-University Policy for the Use of Michigan State University Facilities and Services, whereby student groups can utilize University facilities and services for revenue-producing projects. Under this policy student groups may sell tickets or charge admission to public activities or events, as well as solicit voluntary contributions or sell student-produced goods and student-provided services. In order to support their programs and activities, student groups are encouraged to look to revenue-producing projects and funding from those student organizations that distribute student tax revenues.

Beyond utilization of student tax dollars and revenue-producing projects, student groups may solicit the support of other student groups on campus to co-sponsor programs of mutual interest.

University funds may be provided directly to student groups by administrative units for student-sponsored programs and activities if the following criteria are met:

1. The group must be either a registered student organization or student governing body recognized by the University.

2. The funds allocated must be designated for defined programmatic purposes, e.g., conferences, speakers, exhibits.

3. Allocations of funds should, in the judgment of the unit(s), promote the educational, programmatic objectives of the unit(s).

4. In the absence of actual unit sponsorship, allocations by an administrative unit must serve to supplement funding, not provide sole support for programs and activities under the auspices of a student organization.

5. The amount of any allocations typically reflects factors such as the overall budget a student group believes is needed to meet its program objectives, the available sources of funding for student-sponsored programs and activities, the availability of funds within the unit for such purposes, and the unit’s practice of funding similar programs and activities.

6. Administrators shall advise student groups that any programs and activities funded by an administrative unit must meet the requirements set forth in University policies and Student Group Regulations, e.g., the Outside Speakers Policy, the All-University Policy for Use of Michigan State University Facilities and Services, and the Anti-Discrimination Policy.

7. Administrators who allocate funds to student organizations are held accountable for these allocations and their programmatic implications within the context of the University’s usual procedures. The unit must maintain a record of funds directly allocated to student organizations. Further, for public events (e.g., outside speakers), the unit’s contribution to the event should be visible on materials related to the program.

These criteria do not apply to activities for students sponsored by administrative units.

  • Office of the Provost
  • Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services
  • June 7, 1990