The Student Organizations Institute provides targeted education for those who work with student groups.

The knowledge and skills gained will allow these professionals to feel more confident and competent when approaching daily work, as well as lay the groundwork for professional growth.  

  • Gain applicable skills in key topic areas, such as training, risk management, and conduct  
  • Build a network of peers who do similar work on a daily basis
  • Hear necessary updates on legal issues, such as Title IX 
  • Share and learn tips from other attendees during sharing sessions

Sample Schedule

Here is a sample of what this program offers based on the 2017 event schedule.

Monday, June 19
  • Noon–4 p.m. – Residence Hall Checkin, South Hall Residence Hall
  • 4–5 p.m. – Tour of Campus, Starting at South Hall Residence Hall
    • Participants will tour University of Akron spaces utilized for student organization programming: Coleman Common, InfoCision Stadium, and Student Union

  • 6–8 p.m. – Opening Dinner with Keynote Speaker, Ballroom A
    • Welcome from Dr. John A. Messina, Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Akron
  • 8 p.m. Explore Local Nightlife
Tuesday, June 20
  • 6:30 a.m. – Morning Wellness (optional)
  • 7–8:30 a.m. – Breakfast (provided), Student Union Meal Pass
  • 9–9:45 a.m. – #Engage (Icebreakers), Student Rec and Wellness Center – Blue Courts
  • 10–11:15 a.m. – Deep Dive: Trends & Issues in Student Organization Advisement
    • This session will encourage participants to reflect on the significance of student involvement and consider ways to ensure that student organization structures, policies, training, marketing, and programs align with learning outcomes.
  • 11:30 a.m.–Noon – Light Bulb Session: Student Organization Registration Processes, Theater
    • Three participant volunteers, representing different types of institutions (public/private, small/medium/large, religiously affiliated, etc.), will share their best practices for student organization registration policies.
  • Noon – 1 p.m. – Lunch (provided), Student Union Meal Pass
  • 1–2:30 p.m. – Deep Dive: Student Conduct & Organization Policy Development, Ballroom
    • Participants will learn about strategies for developing sound policies for student organization handbooks and best practices from different types of institutions. Topics will include determining the breadth of policies (Is it necessary to have a policy for every possible scenario?); identifying who should be involved in policy development; frequency of comprehensive policy review; training staff, advisors, and students on policies; models for accountability/enforcement (appropriate sanctions); and individual versus organizational accountability.
  • 2:45–3:15 p.m. – Light Bulb Session: At Your Service – ACUI, ASCA, and NACA, Theater
    • Representatives of ACUI, ASCA, and NACA will share resources that each of these associations offers to assist them in their roles as student organization advisors and/or the staff who manage student organizations.
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m. – Breakout Session 1
    • Sexual Misconduct, Room 308 – Title IX as it relates to sexual misconduct viewed through the lens of student organization advisors and/or staff who manage student organizations.
    • Student Leadership Development, Room 310 – Developing training activities for student organization officers
    • Advisor Training, Room 314 – Developing training activities for student organization advisors
    • Innovations in Technology, Room 316 – How student organization advisors and/or staff who manage student organizations can utilize OrgSync/Collegiate Link to capture data and make organizational processes more efficient
  • 4:45–5:45 p.m. – Roundtable Discussion 1
    • Finance (Funding/Fundraising), Room 308
    • Programming, Room 310
    • Registration, Room 312
    • Student Government, Room 316
    • Balance/Health & Wellness, Room 314
    • Advisor/Staff Training Programs, Room 312
  • 6 p.m. – Dinner On Your Own
  • 8:30–10:30 p.m. – Game Night in the Union
Wednesday, June 21
  • 6:30 a.m. – Morning Wellness (optional)
  • 7–8:30 a.m. – Breakfast (provided), Student Union Meal Pass
  • 9–9:45 a.m. – Light Bulb Session: Best Practices in Engagement and Recognition, Student Union 335
    • Three participant volunteers, representing different types of institutions (public/private, small/medium/large, religiously affiliated, etc.), will share best practices on their campuses for student engagement and recognition (point systems, awards programs, giveaways, etc.), as well as advisor recognition.
  • 10–11 a.m. – Deep Dive: Risk Management, Ballroom
    • This session will provide a general overview of risk management and strategies for how to manage the risk associated with various types of student organizations, including defining risk management, using a matrix to identify risk, managing risk in activities planned by the organization, and responding to incidents.
  • 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. – Risk Management Simulation, Ballroom
    • As a follow-up to the risk management deep dive, participants will be divided into groups to engage in dynamic simulations based on real-life events that have occurred on various campuses. 
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m. – Lunch (provided), Student Union Meal Pass
  • 1:45–3 p.m. – Deep Dive: Free Speech and Campus Protests
    • This session will provide an overview of free speech issues through the lens of student organization advisors and staff who manage student organizations. Following are included areas of emphasis: the First Amendment, policies, advisor/staff considerations/implications for participating in campus protests, identity issues when providing support to students and student organizations engaged in campus protests, and self-care for advisors/staff who manage major campus protests.
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m. – Breakout Session 2
    • Sexual Misconduct, Room 308 – Title IX as it relates to sexual misconduct viewed through the lens of student organization advisors and/or staff who manage student organizations.
    • Student Leadership Development, Room 310 – Developing training activities for student organization officers
    • Advisor Training, Room 314 – Developing training activities for student organization advisors
    • Innovations in Technology, Room 316 – How student organization advisors and/or staff who manage student organizations can utilize OrgSync/Collegiate Link to capture data and make organizational processes more efficient
  • 4:45–5:45 p.m. – Roundtable Discussion 2
    • Finance (Funding/Fundraising), Room 308
    • Programming, Room 310
    • Registration Processes, Room 312
    • Student Government, Room 316
    • Balance/Health, Room 314
    • Advisor/Staff Training Programs, Room 312
  • 6 p.m. – Dinner On Your Own

Thursday, June 22
  • 6:30 a.m. – Morning Wellness (optional)
  • 7–8:30 a.m. – Breakfast (provided), Student Union Meal Pass
  • 9–9:50: a.m. – General Session: Innovation by Design, Ballroom
    • In this crash course in design thinking, participants will be introduced to a process for creative problem solving and innovation grounded in empathy. Participants will dive right into this human-centric approach with a bias towards action and reflect on applications for program design, civic engagement and campus controversy.
  • 10–11:30 a.m. – Design Labs with Institute Faculty
    • As a follow-up to the Innovation by Design session, participants will identify a “project” they would like to develop as a result of participating in the Institute and incorporate design thinking techniques to beginning drafting a plan.
  • 11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. – Closing