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Registered Student Organization Brand Guidelines

Student Group Names

  • By registering with Student Unions & Activities, groups reserve the right to the exclusive use of the group’s name at the University. 
    • The same group name cannot apply to multiple groups. 
    • Upon registration, groups will be assigned a permanent Group Identification Number. This number will not change if the group name changes. 
    • Upon registration, the group name will be listed in the GopherLink Directory
    • In order to change a group’s name, an officer may request to update the name during the annual registration process and submit an updated constitution reflecting the new group name.
  • Student groups may not use the name of any non-profit organization as their group name or within their group’s name until they obtain written permission from the organization.
    • Student Unions & Activities reserves the right to refuse registration to any group 
      • claiming to represent for-profit organizations or
      • wishing to use a name protected under applicable intellectual property law.

General Use of the University of Minnesota Name

Naming Restrictions: Use of "University of Minnesota"

  • Registered Student Organizations (RSO) are separate entities from the University of Minnesota and their names, urls, social media handles, etc. may not imply that they are part of the University or controlled by it. 
    • Registered Student Organizations shall not use the name “University of Minnesota,” any abbreviation thereof, or the University wordmark (“University of Minnesota” graphic), Block M, Ski-U-Mah, Row the Boat, or the word “Gopher” as part of the name of the organization or URL. The following names are examples of unacceptable names for Registered Student Organizations because they imply the group is part of the University:
      • “University of Minnesota Gardening Club”
      • “UMN Gardening Club”
      • “U of M Gardening Club”
      • “M Gardening Club”
      • “Gopher Gardening Club”
      • GardeningClubUMN.com
      • GopherGardening.com
    • Registered Student Organizations may use the word “University” or the geographical designation “at the University of Minnesota.” The following are examples of acceptable names for student groups: 
      • “Gardening Club at the University of Minnesota” 
      • “Campus Gardening Club” 
      • “Minnesota Gardening Club” 
      • “Student Gardening Club”
      • “University Gardening Club” 
      • GardeningClubatUMN.com
      • GardeningatUMN.com
    • If words “at the University of Minnesota” are added, we recommend they be in a sans-serif font (e.g., Helvetica, Arial, Calibri, Open Sans, Tahoma).
  • Campus Life Programs (CLP) may use any names that are acceptable for Registered Student Organizations. Additionally, they may use “University of Minnesota” and “Gopher” in their campus life program name, as they report into an official University unit. Examples include: 
    • “University of Minnesota Gardening Club”
    • “UMN Gardening Club”
    • “U of M Gardening Club”
    • “M Gardening Club”
    • “Gopher Gardening Club”
    • GardeningClubUMN.com
    • GopherGardening.com
  • Campus Life Programs are subject to the oversight of the University and must use an official unit wordmark combination as approved by their parent department and University Relations.

Use of University Marks

Registered Student Organizations are allowed to use the official “Block M RSO Mark” or “Goldy RSO Mark.” These marks must be used in their entirety, without alteration, and may not be combined with any other marks. In addition, RSOs must use these marks in compliance with University graphic standards and policies, and the following guidelines: 

    • For group identification: Student groups are encouraged to list their official name, as listed on GopherLink, on all promotional materials.
    • For promotional products or clothing: The Block M RSO mark or Goldy RSO mark cannot appear next to or in the same visual space as other artwork. Items must be purchased from licensed vendors. For a list of licensed vendors, contact Gopher Athletics or review this list.
    • For print or web: Use the Block M RSO mark or Goldy RSO mark at the bottom of a print piece separate from your student logo or name and it must be accompanied by the disclaimer: “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota.”
    • For athletics/sports: RSO Groups that are identified as Athletics or Sports are not allowed to use the Block M RSO mark or Goldy RSO mark on uniforms, protective gear, or any game-related materials. 
    • For stationery: Only a Recognized Student Governance Association (i.e., MSA, COGS, PSG) with permission of The Office for Student Affairs to use the RSO marks may use University trademarks, provided that the use is for governance activities and does not advocate a position that is contrary to that of the University.
    • For fundraising purposes: Use of the Block M RSO mark or Goldy RSO mark are optional; however, student groups are required to include the group’s official name on any fundraising materials. Additionally, groups should include the disclaimer for any fundraising promotional materials: “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota.”

Registered Student Organizations are not permitted to use or request any other University trademarks on any materials, including but not limited to the University of Minnesota Wordmark, Block M, Goldy Gopher, Row the Boat, Ski-U-Mah, etc.

Campus Life Programs must use an official unit wordmark combination for group identity. No other logo, wordmark, or other group identity graphic can be used. It is acceptable to have the group name in plain text. Campus Life Programs are also permitted the use of University trademarks, subject to approval by their parent department and University Relations.

Apparel Color

While we recommend using maroon and gold, student organizations are allowed to use different shirt colors to represent themselves. Be aware of colors that might infer a different university (such as black and gold, blue and gold, etc.). If you have questions on this, please contact z.umn.edu/URbrand.

Digital Disclaimer

Registered Student Organizations must include the following disclaimer on all social and web platforms (e.g., website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.): “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota.”

General Prohibitions

Registered Student Organizations and Campus Life Programs may not use the name of the University or any University trademark, including the RSO marks for the following:

  • In any way that creates the impression the University is a user of, sponsor of, or endorses a product or service.
  • In a manner that suggests or implies University endorsement of: 
    • personal, religious, or political point of view; 
    • business activity; 
    • any movement, political party or partisan political activity;
    • alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or other tobacco products, sexually-oriented products or services, religious products or services, gaming or games of chance, or firearms;
    • or any program that is not official University business. 

Registered Student Organizations should use the disclaimer stating: “This group is a Registered Student Organization and is independent from the University of Minnesota” to address potential confusion related to affiliation with the University

Guidelines

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