Student Clubs - Student Activities - Christopher Newport University

Student Activities

Student Clubs

The Compass is CNU's home for involvement and engagement

Visit the Compass to learn more about over 200 student organizations, view an interactive event calendar of student events, log your service, study abroad or research experiences, and access leadership tools and resources.

Christopher Newport is a place where we start new things all the time. Our Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) are no exception! We encourage students to express themselves through their involvement and take ownership of their involvement experience. Each year, around 25 new student organizations are founded on campus.

Interested in starting an RSO? First, consider a few questions:

  • Is there a current RSO that shares a similar mission or goal? Does your organization have a unique mission or purpose that makes it different?
  • Are there adequate university resources (e.g., space, funding, potential participants) to support the group's activities?
  • Are there significant safety risks associated with activities your organization will sponsor?
  • How will your organization contribute to the common good at Christopher Newport? Will it make our community a better place?
  • Is your organization sustainable? Are there students interested in continuing the organization after you graduate?
  • Would your organization be considered a sport club? If so, contact Recreation Services for more information at

Still interested? We can help!

New Student Organization (NSO) recognition has several required steps. All NSOs are asked to do the following:

  • Attend a NSO interest meeting, held on the first Tuesday of every month at 12:30 p.m. in the Office of Student Activities (OSA).
  • Find a minimum of 10 interested members.
  • Write your organization's bylaws or constitution.
    This document serves as a user manual for your organization, and should let any reader understand how your organization operates.
  • Consider if your organization needs an advisor. Your advisor can be a valuable advocate on campus, and can help your organization be more successful. Ask your adviser to review and sign an Advisor Contract.
  • Create a profile on the Compass involvement portal (you will need your roster and completed constitution to complete this step).
  • Once all materials have been received, you will be contacted by the OSA to schedule your NSO orientation. Once this meeting has been completed, your organization will be fully recognized.

Advertising and Posting

The ability to post and share information through university-sponsored resources is a privilege afforded to Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs). Guidelines are provided to ensure respectful and consistent use of these resources.

Animals at Events

Student organizations hosting animals at events are held to the same standards for animal care as those used in research settings, as outlined by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Liability Insurance for Events

Major events held by RSOs require the purchase of liability insurance. This insurance protects the student organization from risk and insures your event for instances of bodily harm, property damage and acts of God.

Optional Graduation Regalia and Accessories

Commencement is a formal academic ceremony. To preserve the dignified and significant nature of this event, guidelines are in place to set expectations for use of accessories and optional regalia during commencement activities.

For more information on RSO policies and procedures, please refer to the RSO Handbook.

Digital Library

We offer our student organizations a wide range of training and learning resources through our Student Organization Digital Library. This resource includes information on a variety of student organization topics, including:

  • Event planning checklists and reference sheets
  • Marketing plan templates
  • Goal setting and planning resources
  • Recruitment and retention resources
  • Information on movie licensing, accessing OSA resources and more.

Student Organization Resource Center

The Student Organization Resource Center is located in OSA on the third floor of David Student Union. It is available to RSOs to use for promoting and organizing events. Services available include:

  • Copier*
  • Two computers with printer
  • Large rolls of banner paper
  • Ellison die-cut machine w/stencils (including Greek letters)
  • Sticker maker
  • Fax machine*
  • Laminator*
  • Paper cutter
  • Button machine

*In order to use the copier or fax machine, organizations must obtain an account number from the Office of Student Activities. Visit DSU 330 or email

Request a Email Address

Once your organization is recognized by the Office of Student Activities, it is eligible to request a email address. Student organization presidents should email to request an account.

To avoid interruptions in service, you must log in to the Connect page once every 30 days. If your password is lost or your account is locked, please contact the OSA for a reset. Please do not submit a help desk request on behalf of your organization. All RSO requests must be submitted and authorized by the OSA.

Reserve Space on Campus

RSOs are eligible to reserve space on campus for events, meetings and event promotion. Up to two people per organization can access the Virtual Event Management System (VEMS). To request access, the organization president must email with the names of the two students you wish to have access. Then, please visit the VEMS website to create an account. Please note that referable spaces are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. RSO events are not permitted on the Great Lawn.

Student Organization Offices and Storage Space

Office space is allocated once per academic year. Applications for the next academic year will be available in March.

In support of our RSOs, OSA provides office space and storage space to a limited number of organizations. There are 25 organization offices, storage spaces and resource areas within the OSA. We are currently able to accommodate 32 student organizations with office space. Most offices are shared by two organizations. The storage space available is also limited and is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more about office/storage space within the OSA, visit DSU 330, call (757) 594-7260 or email us at

Record keeping and money management are a big part of running a successful club or organization. We are here to help you if you have questions, concerns or just need some help getting your money matters organized.

The OSA and the Student Activities Fee Appropriation Committee takes the responsibility of managing student money very seriously. It is our obligation to ensure that student activity fee money is spent responsibly and in accordance with university policy and state and federal law.

In order to request an account balance and/or printout, inquire about the status of a submitted transaction or for general how-to information, please email

Apply for Small Grant Funding

The Small Grant Fund is available to registered and sponsored organizations in support of events, activities and student-led programs/initiatives that contribute to the quality of campus life.

Please review the grant eligibility requirements listed in the small-grant funding policy prior to submitting an application

Apply for Conference Funding

The Conference Attendance Support Fund (Conference Fund) is available to any (eligible) student who wants to enhance his/her educational experiences by attending academic, professional and/or organization conferences.

Front End Budget (FEB) Funding

A small number of student organizations will be considered for Front End Budget (FEB) status. FEB organizations are student organizations whose contributions to the university extend beyond any specific issue/interest and are deemed to have a significant impact on the campus community.

Current Front End Budget Organizations:

  • Campus Activities Board
  • The Captain's Log
  • Interfraternity Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Panhellenic Council
  • CNU Alternative Breaks
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Student Diversity and Equality Council
  • Student Government Association
  • Student Honor Council
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