CREATING A NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Thank you for your interest in starting a new student organization at UC Berkeley!
You will need four (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.
Please note that the LEAD Center will not deny or delay RSO status to applying 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.
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 will be accepting applications from Saturday, January 1st to Sunday, February 6th, 2022 for the 2022 Spring Semester. After the registration deadline, the next opportunity for new applications will be in the 2022 Fall registration cycle.
The following requirements must be completed before the registration deadlines:
Deadline: Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 11:59pm
- Submit your New Student Organization Application & Draft Constitution
- Complete the Signatory Training on bCourses 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, February 11, 2022
- Attend required New Organization Advising Session with LEAD Center staff (via Zoom). Sign-up for the sessions within the new org application via Google Forms in Step 1.
Deadline: Friday, February 18, 2022
- Upload your Student Organization Registration Form & Final Constitution Submission (CalLink)
- Signatory Terms & Conditions should be fully accepted on CalLink by ALL signatories for each organization no later than February 18, 2022. The sooner the better because a new organization will not be moved to RSO status UNTIL ALL signatories have accepted the Terms and Conditions.
LEAD Center finalizes all Registered Student Organizations in CalLink on Friday, February 25, 2022.
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 a minimum of four (4) to eight (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 via Zoom.
- MEET THE SIGNATORY REQUIREMENTS X 4 STUDENTS
The four (4) people who intend to serve as signatories for your RSO must complete two (2) requirements: finish the bCourses Student Org Signatory Training, and accept 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 four (4) students will have the Signatory status on your org’s CalLink roster.
- CONNECT WITH OTHERS TO CREATE A UNIQUE COMMUNITY
*DISCLAIMER: Please allow 1-2 weeks for us to process the requirements you’ve submitted.
- MEET WITH THE LEAD CENTER & SUBMIT REG FORM and 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!
- MEET WITH THE LEAD CENTER & SUBMIT REG FORM and CONSTITUTION
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 via Open Computing Facility
- 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.