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SOA to close, IU student organizations defined in new policy


The Student Activities Tower is home to offices for student organizations. Student Organization Accounts will close by the end of next month due to the implementation of a 2016 Student Organization policy. Jennifer Lee Buy Photos

Student Organization Accounts will close by the end of next month due to the implementation of a 2016 Student Organization policy.

With the policy, numerous changes affect university organizations and clubs’ operations.  In addition to Student Organization Accounts closing, the policy changed the definitions of student organizations and clarified the role of advisers.

SOA Accounts closing

The Student Organization Accounts service provided bookkeeping and financial services for student organizations. This service ending has created the need for a business account for student organizations, said Jim Johnson, Student Involvement and Leadership Center associate director. Students now have to attach a Social Security Number to accounts at a bank they choose.

Students have to close accounts by April 1 through either zeroing the balance or moving funds to an external account and filling out an account closure form, Johnson said. By that deadline, the form and all payment requests or extension requests must be filled out.

Johnson said the final payments request must be submitted by April 17, and the final check must be picked up by April 30. If an organization expects funding after the April 1 deadline, it can request an extension but should still fill out an account closure form.

Student organization definitions

University entities are now defined as three types of student organizations: nonregistered, university and self-governed.

Johnson said university student organizations are part of IU and subject to all policies.

Self-governed student organizations are independent and free to exist at any time. SGSO leaders and advisers are responsible for all conduct and activity.

Self-governed student organizations can also be split further into different categories such as unincorporated nonprofit associations and nonprofit corporations. Johnson said nonprofit corporations must establish themselves through the Indiana Secretary of State and can gain federal tax exemption.

Becoming a nonprofit corporation shouldn’t be pursued lightly, Johnson said. Nonprofit corporations need to file multiple forms and formal business records must be maintained. Boards of directors have to be created, and financial records have to be sent in as well.

If a student organization is interested in becoming a nonprofit corporation, then it must choose a name, draft bylaws and decide on initial incorporators, among other needs. It then has to file Articles of Incorporation with the Indiana Secretary of State. It may also look into filing the Nonprofit Application for Sales Tax Exemption.

Advisers' roles

Other changes are clarifying the role of an adviser.

The relationship between student and advisers in control of organizations used to be murky. Now, however, Johnson said the new policy gives students more explicit power over their organizations.

They are supposed to provide advice, but not act as supervisors for a student organization, the policy said.

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