Each year, the regents recognize three student-led organizations at each campus with these awards. The USD student groups honored were:
- Award for Academic Excellence � The Pi Kappa Alpha-Greek Fraternity encourages successful study habits, good organization, and realistic goal setting among its members. Study habits are taught at biannual scholarship retreats, and Pi Kappa Alpha takes its emphasis on academic excellence into the community to provide tutoring at Vermillion middle and high schools. Members also teach in the Supplemental Instruction Program on the USD campus.
- Community Service Award � The Student Nurses' Association participates in service activities at the local, national, and international level. The group collects children's vitamins and cash donations for overseas missions, care packages for military personnel stationed in the Middle East, and Halloween items for Human Services Center patients. Garage sales and other fund raisers helped raise money for St. Jude's Children Center, the Red Cross, and Hurricane Katrina victims. They also adopt families for holiday projects and host an annual health career fair on campus.
- Award for Organizational Leadership � Tiospaye U.-Native American Student Association demonstrates its depth of leadership by organizing many events on campus and within the community. The group co-hosts a dinner to welcome new American Indian students to USD, and sponsored a diversity march at the homecoming parade to kick off a new event called Diversity Days. They held a Halloween party open to the community, organized a forum on racial profiling, and have helped USD admissions staff with recruitment activities. One of the group's biggest tasks is to plan and host the annual USD Wacipi pow-wow festivities, which averages 2,500 participants.