• Licensing
    The following guidelines have been created to assist groups in understanding what is allowed when affiliating with the university. Student groups are able to affiliate with Michigan State University in the following ways:
    • The student group identifies as a student-based organization, not to be confused with a university department, program or initiative.
    • The student group identity conforms to the guidelines herein and does not infringe on Michigan State University registered marks, athletic brand or intellectual property.

     Student Organization Names

    • Student organizations should include the word “club” or similar identifier in the naming of the organization. This will identify the club as a student-based organization and not a university department or office. Examples include Club, Society, Association, and/or Chapter.
    • Further, to enhance affiliation with MSU, organizations should include the words “at Michigan State University” along with or as part of their organization’s name. Acceptable alternatives include “at Michigan State” or “at MSU”.
      • For example “Accounting Club at Michigan State University”.
    • Student organizations may use the word “Spartans” or “Spartan” in their name, but it must be done in a way that does not construe or imply the university has taken an official position. For example “Spartan Republican Club” is permissible but “Spartans for Nixon” would not be permissible.

     Student Organization Logos and Visual Identity

    • Option 1: Use the approved design framework, which includes the Spartan helmet combined with the organization name and specified font.
    • Option 2: Create a unique visual identity that does not incorporate any registered marks of Michigan State University (Spartan helmet, Block “S”, Michigan State University word mark, Sparty).
    • Samples:

    Ordering Promotional Items

    Student organizations and clubs who are interested in ordering any promotional items with Michigan State trademarks or word marks for your group must first complete a licensing authorization form. 
    • Any word that refers to Michigan State has been registered as a word mark.
      • For example, MSU, State, Spartans, Michigan State, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan State University, Go Green, Go Green Go White, and Sparty (just to name a few) are all registered word marks and require prior approval.
      • Typical trademarks include Sparty images, the Spartan Helmet, the Block S, and the University Seal.
      • Please note: All of the vintage logos are part of the College Vault program and are only available for use at the retail level. 
      • In addition, use of the Spartan Bold font (the font used on varsity uniforms) will not be approved for student groups.
    • The licensing authorization form can be found on the Licensing Office website.
    • .University Licensing Programs typically responds to all licensing authorization requests within 1-2 business days.  If you do not hear back within that time period, it would be best to reach out to Kaye Blossey directly at  Be sure you plan ahead for any possible issues with your order (2 weeks before you need the items would be wise).
    • All orders must be supplied by a licensee of Michigan State University. The licensee lists are also available on the website. Once you receive your licensing authorization approval from Licensing, you may proceed with your order.
    • Please contact Kaye Blossey ( if you have any questions.
  • Signage

    No sign shall be secured to trees, other natural elements in the landscape, or building identification signs. All signage secured to trees, traffic signs, building signs, light poles, fences or outdoor furniture will be removed at the expense of the responsible organization. The responsible organization could also be charged for any and all damages as a result of unauthorized signage.

  • Directional Signage

    Permission to display directional signage on campus for an event can be requested through the IPF Campus Events Office by submitting an IPF Event Service Request:

    Requests must specify the signage location(s).  If approved, directional signs are to be placed no earlier than the evening before an event and removed immediately following the event. There can be no commercial advertising on directional signage. Signs must be 12 inches away from sidewalks. Ample notice, of at least 2 weeks, must be given for consideration of an exception.

  • A-Frames for General Marketing

    A-Frames are not allowed on campus for general marketing per MSU Ordinances. If an RSO would like to submit a request for an exception, the RSO must submit a request through the IPF Campus Events Office by submitting an IPF Event Service Request:

    If waiver request is approved, the name of the RSO, name of a contact person, and contact person’s phone number must be on the inside of any A-frame. There can be no commercial advertising on signage. Signs must be 12 inches away from sidewalks and in-ground posts are not permitted. A-frame signs may not be kept out overnight.

  • RSO Email Address
    RSOs may obtain a MSU email account. Along with the MSU email account, an MS Teams account will be created for the organization. RSO email addresses will contain “rso” at the beginning of the email address ( To obtain an MSU email account or to update officers, please complete the form on Involved@State titled, “RSO Request for a RSO MSU Email and MS Teams Account.” Creation of an email and MS Team account will be done within two (2) weeks of submission.
    To update who has access please complete the form in your annual reigstration process or submit the form titled "Update Access to a RSO MSU Email" any time throughout the year.
    Once granted access to the shared email box, for instructions on how to manage it, please visit:
  • The Rock

    No person or group can reserve The Rock. It is first come, first served with an unspoken rule of respect to allow it to sit for 24 hours before painting over it. The area near The Rock and/or  Auditorium Field (the open field behind The Rock) can be reserved by submitting the Event Request Form on Involve@State.

  • Mass Emails

    All-Campus/All-Student Emails

    It was determined by the university in 2020-21 that RSOs would not be able to send all student mass emails. We are actively working on navigating this as we find alternative marketing resources for RSOs.


    RSO Leaders/Advisors Relay Communications

    • Student organizations and campus partners can request a relay email to send information to all RSO Leaders and Advisors. A relay email is an email the RSO Team generate that will be sent to the officer positions you identify. The relay email is requested for a specific day. The morning of the day you're RSO plans to send the email you will receive the relay email form the RSO Team. You will use that email address in the "to". The relay email is only good for 24 hours. 

Marketing PDF

Update 12 August 2022