University of Wisconsin–Madison


  • Naming & University Logos

    Naming Guidelines for Student Organizations

    Below is a detailed list of university naming guidelines. Please see the “How to Use Bucky” document for a brief overview of this information.

    You may NOT use any form of UW-Madison as the BEGINNING WORD(S) of the name of your student organization, e.g., UW-Madison, University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin. Instead, list the UW-Madison affiliation at the end of the name of your organization, followed by a comma or parentheses, i.e., Checkers Club, UW or Checkers Club (UW-Madison). Make sure ALL REFERENCES to your organization (official name, acronym, website, etc) adhere to this guideline.

    You are required to disclose any community, state, national, or international affiliations of your student organization by listing them on the registration application form. Note that the name of your student organization cannot be the same name as the affiliated group. For example, if your group is affiliated with United Way and you wish to use the words United Way as part of your name, then you may name your student organization, e.g., United Way, UW Student Chapter; Friends of United Way; United Way, UW; United Way Student Programming Board.

    While an affiliated student organization may adopt the goals of the broader organization, the student organization itself must also relate to student life on the Madison campus, be composed primarily of UW-Madison students, and must be controlled and directed by UW-Madison students. For example, the United Way, UW Student Chapter purpose might be to support the work of United Way, to inform students about working in the non-profit sector, and for student members to encourage other students to volunteer in United Way agencies.

    Additional Naming Guidelines

    No Registered Student Organization name may start with an article or a special character. This includes, but is not limited to: the, a, an, “, #, @, *, any number (other than written out), or any non-Latin alphabet text.

    University Logos and Trademarks

    Adhere to the following guidelines if your organization intends on using university trademarks or logos on products or letterhead.  Visit the UW-Madison brand and visual identity guidelines ( for additional information.

    University Indicia

    • The university asserts ownership and all rights, title and interest in and to its indicia, which includes trademarks, service marks, mascots, slogans and any other indicia that is associated with or refers to the University. Licensed indicia are the names, symbols, designs, and colors of the university, including the trademarks, service marks, designs, team names, nicknames, abbreviations, city/state names in the appropriate context, slogans, logographics, mascots, seals, and other symbols associated with or referring to the university.
    • To protect the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s trademarks and promote a consistent visual identity, UW logos, symbols and marks may vary in size, but cannot otherwise be altered, tampered with, modified, incorporated into other marks, or overprinted with other words or design elements (
    • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System owns and supervises use of university indicia
    • Examples of university indicia include any graphic representation relating to the following (Motion W logo is only approved for use by Varsity and Rec Sports club teams):
    University Indicia
    Examples of university indicia

    approved for limited use by

    student organizations

    University of Wisconsin ®
    Wisconsin ®
    University of Wisconsin-Madison ™
    University of Wisconsin Badgers ™
    Badger ™
    Badgers ™
    Wisco ™
    Fifth Quarter ™
    UW ™
    UW-Madison ®™
    Logo of Bucky Badger head ®
    Football helmet logo ™
    Crest W ®
    Wisconsin Badgers ®
    W ™
    The Motion W logo ®
    Bucky Badger logo ®
    Bucky Badger ™
    Bucky ™
    Kohl Center ™
    Camp Randall Stadium ™

    About Collegiate Trademark Licensing

    • Countless third parties wish to associate themselves commercially with a school’s tremendous prestige and spirit
    • Trademark licensing has been developed to become an important means for universities to maintain and promote their prestigious images through licensed products and promotions
    • To ensure consistency in the use of the University’s name and logos, all products must be produced by manufacturers licensed through the university’s licensing agent, Fermata Partners
    • In return for the right to use the university name and marks on products, a university license requires a company (called a licensee) to sign a license agreement, which sets forth the specific rights and responsibilities of the school (the licensor) and the licensee
      • The UW currently receives a 12% royalty.
        • The royalty is based on the wholesale cost of the goods, and is in essence considered the “rental fee” for the use of the university’s trademarks on the product(s)
        • Royalties collected support the university’s “Bucky Grants,” scholarships for need-based students, and the Athletic Department.

    Who Can Use University Indicia?

    • Only companies that are officially licensed by the university are permitted to produce items using university trademarks
      • Approximately 370  companies are licensed with the University of Wisconsin
    • Purchases must be made from licensed vendors to ensure quality, consistency and appropriateness of design on the goods
    • In addition, licensees have signed a Labor Code of Conduct agreeing to conduct their businesses in a socially responsible and ethical manner
      • This includes meeting employment standards and practices deemed acceptable by the University of Wisconsin
      • The Office of Trademark Licensing can assist you in providing information on licensed companies

    To Use University Indicia for your Campus Organization

    • Receive approval from the Office of Trademark Licensing
      • Following are some design and layout guidelines for using the indicia upon approval:
        • The name of the recognized/registered student organization must be listed in close proximity to the university indicia you’re using.
        • For example, a university logo may appear at the top of a flier or letter or on the front side of a T-shirt with the name of the recognized student organization listed underneath or to the side of it.
        • A second line for University of Wisconsin–Madison or UW–Madison identifies your registered student organization as a part of the UW.
        • The logo of a non-university business or nonprofit organization which is co-sponsoring or contributing to a student organization event or activity may NOT be placed in close proximity to university indicia. However, you may list any mention of a sponsor in much smaller print at the bottom of the letter or flier as a thank you for their contributions in making the event possible.
        • On a T-shirt, the university indicia with your registered student organization name and affiliation with UW–Madison may appear on the front of the shirt.
        • Any acknowledgements of non-university sponsors should be listed on the back of the T-Shirt.
        • You may include a list of sponsor names and/or their logos on the back of the T-Shirt.
        • Any university departmental or other registered student organizations that are co-sponsoring an event or activity can be listed on the letter, flier, T-shirt, or other products by their name or logo (see cobranding under the following link:
      • Submit your request via e-mail (
        • Explain how you intend to use the indicia on promotional material
        • Include an actual design/layout of how the indicia will be used
        • Copy of promotional flier or T-shirt design
        • Take your artwork to a licensed company and ask the licensee to assist you in designing the look you desire
      • Please direct your request to:
        • Address: The Office of Trademark Licensing, University of Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, 1440 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
        • Phone: (608) 262-0195
        • Fax: (608) 265-1154
      • Contact for more information.
      • Additional information is available at

    Cost of University Indicia

    • Royalties are required when:
      • Item is intended for resale, either to the public or to individual members of a student organization.
      • Item includes a commercial message, sponsor, or endorsement (regardless of size).
      • Item is used as a promotional marketing device for a particular event.
        (Note: the royalty will be built into the final cost of the product and paid to the university by the licensee).
    • Royalties are exempt when:
      • The item (generally clothing) is used as a “uniform.”
      • Distribution of the item (generally non-apparel items) is for internal use by a department or an organization.
  • Alcohol Policies

    Follow the link for policies related to alcohol for student organizations: Alcohol Policies


  • Reserving Space

    Follow the link for policies related to reserving and utilizing space on campus: Reserving Space

  • Food Policies

    Policies regarding food can be found in numerous places in the Student Organization Resource & Policy Guide, based on a couple of factors.


    Different buildings on campus have different policies regarding food, so your best bet is first to determine where your event will be held and then to research that location. Here are a few resources to help with that.

    Some event locations restrict use of outside food vendors. Generally, the Wisconsin Union and University Housing require that events held in their facilities must purchase food from the Wisconsin Union or University Housing, respectively, with the exception of pizza which may be purchased from an off campus vendor. For any exceptions, including specific cultural foods, contact the Wisconsin Union and University Housing directly. Please check the Space Reservations Policies section for more information on specific regulations based on location.

    If the event is held in a university facility that allows the purchase of food from an off-campus food vendor, the vendor must be Licensed and have an Insurance Certificate on file with the University’s Risk Management Office. Check if off-campus food vendors have a License and Insurance Certificate on file on the Risk Management page.


    Authorization prior to serving or selling food is required from the Environmental and Occupational Health Department and UW-Madison Risk Management. To obtain authorization, fill out an application, read the temporary food event policy and read the safety requirements. The application and supporting documents can be found online by visiting

    If you are selling the food:

    There is helpful information under “Fundraising Opportunities” panel within the Finances page of this guide about selling food. Specifically, read this section to find out about sales of homemade goods (bake sales) which are not allowed on campus unless you purchase special insurance from the Office of Risk Management and not allowed under any circumstances on City of Madison property.

    Funding for food:

    There are several sources of campus funding for Student Organization events. Most of these sources do not fund food, however. You may want to prioritize using your organization’s funds or donated funds for this part of your event budget. On the link above, check out the AIS, Wisconsin Experience Grant, and the WUD grants for funding of food.

  • Posting, Chalking, and Leafletting Policies

    Registered Student Organizations use a variety of ways to get the word out about organization meetings and events.  If your organization would like to put up posters on campus, chalk announcements on campus, or hand out leaflets to students, please check out the Posting, Chalking, and Leafletting page for details.

  • Political Campaigning


    The following compilation of policies affects Student Organizations wishing to engage in political actions. If at any time an organization is unsure of compliance with these policies, please contact the Center for Leadership & Involvement (608)263-0365, Associated Students of Madison (608)265-2272, or the UW-Madison Office of Legal Affairs (608) 263-7400.


    Political campaign activity: Political campaign activity includes not only solicitation of campaign contributions, service in furtherance of candidates, political parties and political action committees, and advocating a particular position on a referendum, but also promoting action on issues which have become highly identified as dividing issues between the candidates. Further, comments regarding the specific actions, positions, or records of a particular candidate may be perceived as support or endorsement by the institution of a particular candidate or political party.

    Political event: a political event includes, but is not limited to, a program, debate, or public forum featuring candidates for public office or political campaign issues.

    Political fundraising: an event or activity during which individuals or groups are asked to contribute to a political candidate, party, or committee.

    Political Campaign Activity

    As a private citizen, you and your organization are free to engage in political activities on your own time and with your own resources. You may not use university resources to engage in political campaign activities at any time. University resources include, but are not limited to:

    • UW–Madison logos and trademarks
    • Office supplies provided by UW–Madison
    • UW–Madison owned photocopiers
    • UW–Madison telephones and telephone lines
    • UW–Madison websites
    • UW–Madison facilities

    As a Registered Student Organization you are permitted to engage in political campaign activity on campus, so long as you do so in public areas (subject to time, place, and manner limitations), or in a location that has been approved by the University for such activity.

    Political Events on Campus

    Political events including candidates for public office may be sponsored by registered student organizations (RSOs) under certain circumstances. See Facility Use Policy P-6 for details about how and when this is appropriate. Student groups wishing to organize such events should contact Campus Event Services Office at 262-2511 and state that this request is for a political event.

    RSOs are encouraged to arrange non-partisan events such as campus tours for legislators and candidates, as well as to sponsor forums in which political figures or candidates may debate one another.

    RSOs may host non-partisan events to encourage voter education and participation, such as candidate forums and voter registration efforts. These activities must be non-partisan for the sole purpose of voter education.

    Political Fundraising

    State law strictly prohibits the use of state-owned buildings for political fundraising. In accordance with UW System Financial and Administrative Policies (820) and consistent with campaign finance law, student groups may not use segregated fees to make direct gifts, contributions, or donations to political campaigns or candidates.

    Use of Segregated fees for posters, ads, or t-shirts

    Student organizations may use segregated fees to support their own expressive activities and views on public policy issues and other interests, as long as the item could not be considered a gift, contribution or donation to a campaign or candidate.

    Examples of general acceptable items are posters, ads, and t-shirts. Questions about appropriate uses of segregated fees can be directed to the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Funding Advisor (608) 890-0270.

    Urging Students to Vote

    Student organizations are encouraged to help educate and inform students about upcoming elections, including urging students to exercise their right to vote. Student organizations are also free to express their views about the parties and candidates, and to urge voting for particular parties or candidates, and to sponsor events for candidates so long as they comply with rules governing the use of university facilities.

    Candidates and volunteers are subject to policies restricting canvassing in the residence halls. Currently all forms of political canvassing in the residence halls are prohibited. For more information, visit

    Residence hall organizations and registered student organizations may request the use of an information table to pass out literature to students.

    Chalking may be used on University sidewalks; however, DO NOT use paint, oil-based chalk, indelible markers or spray chalk. Only chalk on flat services that are regularly exposed to rain; DO NOT chalk on streets, vertical services, or under covered locations.

    Further Resources

    For more information on University Guidelines:

    For more information on Facility Use Guidelines:

    In addition please note: If your organization holds federal tax-exempt status, your organization may be subject to additional restrictions on political activity.

  • Mailing Policies

    Obtaining Mailing Labels

    To request lists or labels send an email to UW Madison Data Request ( in the Office of the Registrar at least two weeks in advance of your mailing. Include your name, Email address, Student Organization, the purpose of your request, billing name and address, the population you are mailing to (all students, undergraduates only, etc.) and the directory data you would like to receive (name, home address, email, etc.) There is a flat fee of $35 per list for Registered Student Organizations and an additional cost of $0.03 per label if requesting labels. Prices are subject to change.

    Upon clarifying and approving your request, the Office of the Registrar will send you the list in Excel format to the email address you provided unless a different format is requested.

    University Bulk Mail

    To use University Bulk Mail Services, your group must be registered with the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI). Information can be found at UW-Extension Mail Services.

    Mailbox Stuffers for RSO Mailboxes Located in the SAC

    Mailbox stuffers aren’t allowed for the SAC mailboxes.  If RSOs are interested in posting information about events or programs they can post flyers on the bulletin board next to the welcome desk on the third floor of the SAC.  For further questions about mailboxes and SAC posting policies please contact the Student Activity Center Governing Board at

    Using the Campus Mail Service

    RSOs and university departments may send mail via campus mail, individually addressed with the individual name and the individual’s room number and building name. Businesses, non-profit organizations, non-university departments and other student groups which are not RSOs must send their mail via U.S. mail, individually addressed.

  • Contracts & Insurance


    Goods and Services

    • Signing contracts and purchasing goods and services are important parts of program planning.
    • You must be cautionary because this involves a financial commitment for your RSO.
    • Phone messages, verbal agreements, memorandums, and emails can all create contractual commitments.
      • Organizations or Individuals can be held liable for these contracts, both oral and written.
    • The University is not party to any contract made unless it involves university funds or significant sponsorship by the University.  If this occurs:
      • The contract must be referred to the departmental staff person to ensure compliance with the University’s contract requirements for signatures, etc. (see below for more details).
    • All contracts should be done in advance of any work to be performed or products to be shipped.
    • If it is a University contract, it cannot be signed by a student org.

    University or ASM funds

    • If your RSO is receiving funds from a university department, office, or student government to purchase goods or services you must:
    • When department or office funds are used:
      • The terms of any contract must comply with various laws and university policies
      • An official university signatory must sign the contract
    • Examples of contracts are:
      • A University Purchase Order
      • A contract offered by the supplier
      • A vendor quotation that has a signature line
      • A University Rider used to modify a Supplier’s Agreement
      • A University Standard Service Agreement
      • A Memorial Union or ASM “Entertainer Agreement”
      • Various other template agreements

    Non-University Funds

    • Contact the provider to secure needed information
    • Make sure your facility is reserved for the relevant date and that that facility meets the provider’s needs/specifications
    • Make sure all contracts contain all necessary information about the activity including
      • Date, Time, Place, Topic, Fee, Travel Arrangements, Security Arrangements, Cost, etc.
    • Keep written records of all contacts, contracts, riders and amendments, as well as a list of all verbal communication and any agreements made
    • Read all documents carefully and note any disclaimers, provisions, or language that shifts liability from the contractor to your group.
    • Make sure that the details are correct and the document doesn’t contain any blank spaces
    • If you want to make a correction to a contract:
      • Cross out and insert your changes if space allows
      • OR use a rider that specifically amends the original
      • Make sure both parties sign the amendment
    • Prepare 2 originals of the contract when possible so both parties each have a signed copy
    • Returned the signed contract and any riders to the provider and keep a copy of the agreement after it has been signed by both parties, retain copies for the event plus five years.
    • RSOs are responsible for their financial commitments
    • Contact the university office involved with your program with any questions before agreeing to anything
    • Contracts often contain insurance and indemnification clauses which may place an obligation on your organization either to provide insurance, or to waive all responsibility against the other party. The University does not provide insurance for student organizations so make sure you understand these sections of the contract and make sure you can fulfill your obligation before you sign

    Dances, Musical Events, Speakers

    • Make sure the facility you want is available AND reserved for the day you want
    • RSOs holding an event on university property may not invite non-university general public to these events unless sponsored by a university department
    • If the event is scheduled in the Wisconsin Union, additional policies apply
    • See RSO Large Events for more information or contact Campus Event Services
    • Get a contract in writing from the entertainer(s) before starting publicity
    • Remember there are charges for using a university facility for revenue producing events
    • If tickets are sold ahead of time, they must be printed
    • Sales tax will be due on tickets sold


    • University Liability Insurance
      • The University is insured through the State of Wisconsin’s self-insurance program
      • Coverage is limited to liability caused by the negligence of University employees and agents of the University while in the course and scope of conducting official university (state) business
      • RSOs are NOT normally covered by this insurance program
      • Students negligent actions may be covered if the activity is supervised by departmental staff and the activities are consistent with the department’s mission – do not count on this unless you have discussed this with the department or Risk Management beforehand
    • Special Events Insurance—For events not covered by the University’s liability protection
      • If there is potential risk for injury or property damage to others (not participants), the Office of Risk Management can assist RSOs in obtaining liability insurance for the event only
        • This will protect your org and members from the financial risk of claims being made against them
        • Examples of events where this may be relevant: Animal events, dances, or concerts, pyrotechnics, juggling chain saws, generally any activity that has the potential to seriously injure people physically or emotionally.
      • There is a charge based on the type of event being held,  the number of days and the anticipated attendance
    • Corporate Sponsor Insurance coverage


    • A Professional agency contract is a standard contract used by speakers or performers who use the services of a professional agent for the purpose of scheduling and collecting fees and stating the terms of service.
      • Confirmation letters, contracts or other documents will need to be generated by your organization if you are seeking to employ the services of speakers or performers who do not use a professional agent.
        • The documents you send should specify all necessary information: date, time, topic, travel arrangements, fees, liabilities, security arrangements, time and type of payment, and any other information you deem necessary.
        • It is better to err on the side of having too much information rather than too little.
        • Be specific as to exactly what you ARE and ARE NOT paying for.
    • A contractor is the entity providing the goods or services under a contract.
    • A contractee is the party receiving the goods or services from the contractor.
    • A rider is an attachment to a contract that contains various terms and conditions, spelling out the necessary details of the purchase or service. A rider may be used in a variety of ways such as to amend a contract and to expand the terms of a contract initiated by a professional agency

    Other Valuable Reference Websites

  • Car Fleet

    Registered Student Organizations are able to utilize University Car Fleet Vehicles by following the instructions in the links and information below. The Office of Risk Management has updated their policy on Fleet Vehicle use for Registered Student Organizations. The new policy and a link to the required training video can be found here. Existing policies found here and here.

    Fleet Vehicle Rental Rates

    Some items to note:

    • You need to be an authorized driver to be able to drive or even make a reservation – and this approval process takes 10 working days. Plan ahead!
    • There is now an official Student Trip Itinerary Form  that must be filled out by your group, approved by the University department that is sponsoring your travel, and submitted to Risk Management before a reservation can be made.
    • Risk Management has provided some helpful guidelines about required numbers of drivers and hours to drive. These will help you plan a safe trip.
    • We recommend going through UW Fleet as their policies are easier to navigate for Student Organizations than the DOA Fleet.
    • If you will be staying overnight at a hotel, motel, residence hall, or other location with which you have an agreement, you must fill out a CSA Travel Registry Form.