CREATING A NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Thank you for your interest in starting a new student organization at UC Berkeley!
You will need (4) currently enrolled students who are willing to serve as the proposed organization’s Signatories. The Signatories will be responsible for leading the organization through our university’s mission, values, and policies.
Frozen Orgs | If your org has existed in the past and is currently “frozen” or has another pending status in CalLink, there’s no need to complete the new org application form. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can give you access to register the frozen group through CalLink before the deadline.
We look forward to reading your application and we hope to support your RSO in the near future. If you have any questions about the application and registration process, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
New Student Organization Application Deadlines
We are currently accepting applications from July 1st to September 10th for the 2021 Fall semester. After the registration deadline, we will accept new applications in the 2022 Spring registration cycle.
The following requirements must be completed before the registration deadlines:
Deadline: Friday, September 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm
- Submit your New Student Organization Application & Draft Constitution
- Complete the Signatory Training on bCourses x 4 signatories
- Submit the Signatory Terms & Conditions x 4 signatories
DISCLAIMER: Please allow 1-2 weeks for each of the requirements you’ve submitted to be processed by the LEAD Center.
Deadline: Friday, September 17th, 2021
- Attend required New Organization Advising Session with LEAD Center staff (via Zoom)
Deadline: Friday, September 24, 2021
- Upload your Student Organization Registration Form & Final Constitution Submission (CalLink)
LEAD Center finalizes all Registered Student Organizations in CalLink on Thursday, September 30th, 2021
How to Create a New Student Organization
- CONNECT WITH OTHERS TO CREATE A UNIQUE COMMUNITY
All you need is 4 members and a vision! Given our limited funding & space, we’re mindful of duplicate orgs. If you’re confident your org supports the needs of a new community not already on campus and in callink.berkeley.edu, please apply!
- DEFINE YOUR ORG’S PURPOSE AND MISSION
Defining your purpose and mission will help you recruit new members and also sets the framework for the creation of your org’s constitution. You can use the constitution template we have. Here’s the list of required clauses for all constitutions.
- ALIGN YOUR ORG’S VALUES WITH BERKELEY’S
Berkeley’s Principles of Community are the foundation for our orgs. If approved, we’re honored that your organization will uphold our university values & policies. There’s no tolerance for racism, hazing, discrimination, violence, & commercial activity.
- COMPLETE THE NEW ORG APPLICATION AND CONSTITUTION
You will need to list 4-8 students to serve as Signatories, an approved org name (no use of university trademarks like UC Berkeley/Cal), a statement of uniqueness, and your constitution. Lastly, you will select a time to attend the New Organization Advising Session with the LEAD Center students and staff.
- MEET THE SIGNATORY REQUIREMENTS X 4 STUDENTS
The 4 people who intend to serve as signatories for your RSO must complete (2) requirements: the Student Org Signatory Training, and the Signatory Terms & Conditions. Upon receiving signatory status, you will be prompted to accept the Terms & Conditions in CalLink. This is how we ensure you understand your signatory role & responsibilities. These 4 students will have the Signatory status on your org’s CalLink roster.
- MEET WITH THE LEAD CENTER & SUBMIT REG FORM/CONSTITUTION
During your New Organization Advising Session with the LEAD Center staff via Zoom, we will cover the fundamentals of leading an RSO and how to complete the final requirements of your application.
If approved during the advising session, we will send you a link to your CalLink page and your registration form. Once your form is submitted and approved, you will be an official RSO at UC Berkeley!
NEW THIS YEAR | Signatory Terms & Conditions
In an effort to make the Signatory process smoother, we have replaced the “Signatory Certification/Agreement Form” with a “Signatory Terms and Conditions” acceptance requirement step that is connected to the Signatory position in CalLink itself. There are two steps to this process:
Embedded now in the bCourse each Signatory will be able to input the student organization ID and student organization name for all the organizations you intend to serve as a Signatory for at the completion of Module 5 of the course.
You will then receive an email via CalLink requesting you to accept the Signatory Terms & Conditions. In order for the Signatory position to be completed, though, each Signatory will be required to accept the Terms and Conditions in CalLink after a student has completed Signatory Training bCourse. The Signatory Training bCourse and the Signatory Terms & Conditions will help you better understand the responsibilities associated with University recognition.
New Student Organization Application Requirements
The requirements and criteria used to evaluate a prospective organization application for Registered Student Organization (RSO) status are:
- The New Student Organization Application
– Please complete the New Student Organization Application
– New Student Org criteria includes Proposed Org Name and Draft Constitution
– New Student Org criteria includes a Statement of Uniqueness
– Must be complete and submitted by Friday, September 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm
- Proposed Student Organization Name that does not include university trademarks or any invalid characters
– Not allowed: UC Berkeley, California, Cal, UC, UCB, Berkeley Chapter, Berkeley Campus, Oski, Golden Bears, Go Bears, etc
– Allowed: “Student Org at/of Berkeley” or “Student Org at/of California”
–Invalid characters: < > ! @ % ^ \ ~ [ ] + (Please note that international characters may not be transferred correctly onto other platforms like 25live for classroom scheduling)
– If you use a name too similar to another RSO, we will work with you to find another.
- A draft of your proposed constitution w/approved name
– A Constitution Template is available
– Required clauses about anti-hazing, non-discrimination, and amendments (anti-hazing, non-discrimination, etc.) must be included in your draft.
– Please use allowable org naming standards in your draft constitution
- (4) Signatories who have completed the Signatory Training and accepted the Terms & Conditions by Friday, September 24th, 2021 at 11:59pm
Terms & Conditions on CalLink & Signatory bCourses Training
- Attended a required advising session with the LEAD Center staff via Zoom.
– You will select your group advising meeting in the new org application.
– We will review your application before the time of our meeting.
– The LEAD Center staff will go over New Organization fundamentals and frequently asked questions.
– We will inform you about the status of your application.
– Your group must attend a New Org Advising Session by Friday, September 17th, 2021.
Your application requirements must be complete and approved by each of these deadlines to be considered for Student Organization University Recognition for the 2021/22 Academic Year. Any student organization (new and returning) that fails to meet our requirements by the deadline will be moved to Frozen status in CalLink by Thursday, September 30th, 2021.
Review & processing of new student organization applications
As a friendly reminder – we have roughly 1,200 student organizations and over 5,000 signatories that register annually! The LEAD Center processes all registration requirements on a weekly basis both during and after the September 10th registration deadline.
Please note that signatory status does not automatically update on your organization CalLink roster(s) once you complete Signatory Training bCourse.
Depending on when you complete the Signatory Training bCourse, the 2021-22 Signatory Position will be updated to your student organization CalLink rosters within 5-7 business days. Please keep confirmations of your signatory requirement completions and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not see the position on your CalLink roster after a week.
After the September 10th, 2021 registration deadline, the LEAD Center needs time to process all your registration submissions in addition to reviewing and meeting with all new student organization applicants. If there are issues with your registration submissions, we will contact you to inform you what needs to be amended. It is critical that you make the required amendments and re-submit in a timely manner.
If your new student organization application and all your registration requirements are approved, your organization will have university recognition for the 2021-22 academic year and you will officially become a Registered Student Organization (RSO) visible to the public in CalLink, and have all the campus privileges and benefits of RSO status. Failure to meet our deadlines or to make the proper amendments in the time communicated to you will result in your organization losing RSO status. This means an organization will be moved to “frozen” status and will no longer be publicly visible in CalLink; will lose university recognition; will lose access to RSO funding in CalLink; and lose the ability to actively recruit members, host campus events, apply for funding, and reserve space on campus.
Our goal is to review all registration submissions and provide the campus with a finalized list of active 2021-22 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) by Friday, October 1st, 2021.
The LEAD Center will not deny or delay RSO status to organizations on the basis of their statements of purpose or uniqueness, mission statement, or other viewpoint expressed in its application.
If the description of a new student organization in a statement of purpose or uniqueness is duplicative of one or more existing RSOs, the LEAD Center may encourage, but not require, the applicant organization’s signatories to confer and collaborate with such RSOs. The LEAD Center may also ask that the group’s signatories discuss this potential duplication during the required meeting with a LEAD Center staff member. This meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the LEAD Center staff to help student signatories think through ways their organization can make a unique, positive contribution to the University’s RSO community.
1. What does it mean to be a Registered Student Organization? Why should we register?
Being a Registered Student Organization (RSO) gives your organization official recognition by UC Berkeley while you are on campus. RSO’s are separate entities from the university and their programs, events, and activities do not represent the university. The only way to become an RSO is to register annually with the LEAD Center (registering with an academic department, finding a faculty advisor, setting up a DeCal, etc, is not the same thing.)
The perks of being registered:
- Funding through a variety of sources
- Ability to reserve spaces on campus
- Eligibility to recruit members by posting fliers on campus and announcements on specified campus calendars
- Advising from professional staff who specialize in supporting specific campus communities
- Free insurance coverage for most on-campus events, based on risk
- The ability to apply for a groupname.berkeley.edu web address
- The opportunity to build community and make Berkeley feel like home
2. What are we responsible for as an RSO?
- Ensure that your organization is operating in alignment with university policies, including:
- Berkeley Campus Regulations
- The Code of Student Conduct
- Nondiscrimination Policies
- Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
- Statement on Hazing (Matt’s Law)
- Policy on Alcohol and Tobacco on Campus
- Major Events Hosted by Non-Departmental Users
- Time, Place, and Manner on Campus
- Campus Online Activities Policy
- Policy of Use of University Names, Seals, and Trademarks
- Your organization is financially responsible for any university charges
- To develop innovative ideas, to create a welcoming environment, and to provide social and educational opportunities to your members and the community.
- To have fun!
3. What does it mean to have an approved name?
Because student organizations are separate and distinct entities from the university, they are not allowed to use University trademarks in the name of the student organization and in the nicknames of the student organization.
- Trademarks include: UC Berkeley, California, Cal, UC, UCB, Berkeley Chapter, Berkeley Campus, Oski, Golden Bears, Go Bears, etc.
The name and nickname(s) of the student organization cannot begin with the word “Berkeley” or “California.” The University has granted the use of the name “Berkeley” or “California” to student organizations to be used only at the end of the student organization’s name or nickname(s) (“Student Org at/of Berkeley” or “Student Org at/of California”). If the student organization has received proper authorization from the Office of Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP) and the LEAD Center, a student organization can use University trademarked terms.
NOTE: Due to the CalLink system and its connected systems like 25live for classroom scheduling, there are some special characters that are invalid and may NOT be used in your RSO’s official name.
Allowed: # & ( ) | _ – * / $
Invalid: < > ! @ % ^ \ ~ [ ] +
Also, please keep in mind when choosing or changing your RSO’s name there are some website and platform limitations with regards to special characters or international letters. Such international letters include those with accents like carets (^), graves (`), and tildes (~). You may use international letters in your RSO name but be cautioned that it may appear correctly in CalLink but may not be transferred correctly onto other platforms.
As long as names fall within the above stated guidelines, they can be approved.
4. What’s the difference between a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Uniqueness?
A purpose statement (or mission statement) defines what your organization wants to accomplish.
Your organization’s uniqueness statement provides the LEAD Center with additional details about your organization beyond what you have stated in your statement of purpose. This is an opportunity to clarify how your proposed organization is different from other existing student organizations at UC Berkeley and how your group will have a positive impact on the university community.
The LEAD Center will not deny RSO status to applying organizations on the basis of their statements of purpose or uniqueness. Instead, the purpose of requiring these statements is to provide a valuable opportunity for the LEAD Center’s staff to help you think through ways that your organization can contribute to the University’s RSO community.
5. What information do we need to put in our constitution?
A student organization constitution is the official statement of the organization’s purpose and how it intends to operate. It should serve as a guide for making leadership changes, running meetings, planning activities, and generally makes decisions about how to best achieve an Organization’s stated purpose.
- All RSO constitutions must follow the format in the Constitution Template in order to be approved. While you may add articles or bylaws to the template, all of the articles in the template must be included. Additions to the document must adhere to the campus regulations as stated in the Berkeley Campus Regulations
- Please note and include the sections highlighted in red exactly as written, as this language complies with university policy.
- The sections highlighted in blue are required for all ASUC sponsored organizations and recommended for all RSOs
- Approved constitutions are uploaded and stored in the organization’s document folder on CalLink
6. Do Signatories need to be students?
Each RSO must have been 4-8 signatories at any given time. At least two of these must be currently enrolled students at UC Berkeley. The other 2-6 may be active students, staff, or faculty members.