Create a New Student Org

Thank you for your interest in starting a new student organization at UC Berkeley!

What does the New Organization Application and Registration cycle entail?

The LEAD Center works with over 1,200 student organizations and opens the New Organization Application and Registration period at the beginning of every Fall and Spring semester. The New Organization Application and Registration cycle takes place in two phases, the application phase, and the registration phase. In order to best serve our students, we ask that you carefully read through the requirements to become a New Registered Student Organization. 

Phase I: New Org Application and Requirements: 

Please review the Fall 2022 | New Organization Application Questions and prepare any materials you may need to complete the application. The LEAD Center will accept applications starting Friday, July 1, 2022, until Friday, September 9, 2022, at 11:45 PM for the Fall Semester. 

  1. Have four (4) currently enrolled students be willing and able to take the LEAD Center Signatory Training on bCourses who will become the designated Signatories for the organization.
    • We strongly recommend identifying your 4 potential signatories prior to beginning your application.  In addition, You will need the names and contact information of your 4 signatories to complete the application. 
    • During this phase, please have those same (4) signatories begin the bCourse. They have until September 23, 2022, at 11:45 PM to complete this course. 
    • In module 5 of the Signatory Training bCourse, you will complete a google form to identify the org(s) for which you will serve as a signatory. For New Orgs, please list XXXXX for Org ID.
  2. Complete the Fall 2022 | New Org Application, which includes uploading a draft constitution with required clauses
  3. RSVP for and attend a virtual New Organization Advising (NOA) Session with the LEAD Center. You will RSVP for a NOA Session when you complete the New Org Application.
    • 1 signatory is required to attend but all are welcome.
    • During the NOA Session, LEAD Center staff will notify you of the next steps, including whether your application was approved and if your organization can move on to the registration phase OR if there are additional steps needed for your application to be approved.

Phase II: New Org Registration and Required Action Items:

When your application is approved the LEAD Center will move your organization to the registration phase. Your organization will not be completely registered and recognized by the LEAD Center until the following steps are completed. During the registration phase, the LEAD Center will create your organization’s CalLink page and email your signatories the access link. From here you will complete the Student Organization Registration form via CalLink and other important steps. The deadline to complete all of your registration action items is September 23, 2022, at 11:45 PM.

  1. If your application is approved, all four (4) students mentioned in the application,  must complete the LEAD Center Signatory Training on bCourses. The deadline to complete this step is September 23, 2022, at 11:45 PM. 
  2. CalLink Page + Signatory Terms & Conditions
    • The LEAD Center will create your organization’s CalLink page and upload your signatories into your CalLink roster. Please note, that this may take LEAD Center staff 2-5 business days or more to complete depending on the number of applicants.
    • All four (4) signatories must then accept the Signatory Terms & Conditions on CalLink.
  3. Complete and submit the Student Organization Registration Form on CalLink. 

Frozen Organizations | 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 studentorgadvising@berkeley.edu 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 studentorgadvising@berkeley.edu. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to lead@berkeley.edu

What are some important dates, events, and deadlines to know?

  • Friday, July 1, 2022 – New Organization Application and Registration Period opens
  • Friday, September 9, 2022, by 11:45 PM – New Organization Application Window closes
  • New Organization Advising Session – RSVP when submitting your application
  • Friday, September 23, 2022, by 11:45 PM – New Organization Registration Period closes

How to Create a New Student Organization

    1. 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!
    2. 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
    3. 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.
    4. 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. 
    5. 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.

                   *DISCLAIMER: Please allow 1-2 weeks for us to process the requirements you’ve submitted.

    1. 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! 

Registration FAQs

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?

The Responsibilities:

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 (so these are not allowed in names/nicknames): UC Berkeley, California, Cal, UC, UCB, Berkeley Chapter, Berkeley Campus, Oski, Golden Bears, Go Bears, Bears, Campus Building Names, etc.
  • Not allowed: Using Berkeley or California at the beginning of the name
  • Allowed: “Student Org at/of Berkeley” or “Student Org at/of 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 in the name.

Please note that if Berkeley is approved for use in the name of the student org, the student org will be required to use the trademark symbol on the word Berkeley and to use a licensee for all product needs.

NOTE: Due to the CalLink system and its’ connection to other systems (such as 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/Not Allowed: < > ! @ % ^ \ ~ [ ] +

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 as 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.