Create a New Student Org

CREATING A NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION

Thank you for your interest in starting a new organization at Berkeley! Becoming a New Registered Student Organization and RSO Signatory comes with many campus privileges and responsibilities. You will need 4 students who are willing to serve as the Signatories for your proposed organization. The four of you will be responsible for upholding our university’s mission, values, and policies as they relate to the Student Organization experience. The New Student Organization Application and the Signatory Training & Agreement Form will help you better understand the responsibilities associated with University recognition.

New Student Organization Application Deadlines

New Student Organization Applications are accepted twice a year, at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Semesters. We are currently accepting Fall 2020 New Student Organization Applications from July 1st to September 11, 2020.

There are 3 Deadlines for New Student Organization Application Requirements:

BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
1. New Student Organization Application & Draft Constitution Submission
2. Student Organization Signatory Training on bCourses x 4 students
3. Student Organization Signatory Agreement Form x 4 students

BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
4. Required New Student Org Meeting with LEAD Center (virtual group advising)

BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020
5. Student Organization Registration Form & Final Constitution Submission (CalLink)

OCTOBER 1, 2020 | LEAD Center Finalizes all Registered Student Organizations in CalLink

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
    How do you hope to positively impact our campus community and/or the world? 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.
  3. ALIGN YOUR ORG’S VALUES WITH BERKELEY’S
    What values will guide your org’s membership and decision making? Berkeley’s Principles of Community are the foundation for our orgs. If approved, we’re honored that your org will uphold our institutional 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 4-8 students to serve as signatories, an approved org name (no use of university trademarks like Berkeley/Cal), a statement of uniqueness, and your constitution. You’ll also select a time to meet with a LEAD Center advisor in the application form.
  5. MEET THE SIGNATORY REQUIREMENTS X 4 STUDENTS
    Each of the 4 people who intend to serve as signatories for your org must complete 2 requirements: the Student Org Signatory Training, and the Signatory Agreement Form. 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.
  6. MEET WITH THE LEAD CENTER & SUBMIT REG FORM/CONSTITUTION
    During your virtual group advising session with the LEAD Center, we’ll either let you know what needs to be amended to move forward or we’ll approve your org. If approved, we’ll 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!

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 also includes a Statement of Uniqueness
    – Must be complete and submitted by midnight on Friday, September 11, 2020
  • Proposed Student Organization Name that does not include university trademarks
    – Not allowed: UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, Golden Bears, California, etc.
    – Allowed: “Student Org at/of Berkeley” or “Student Org at/of California”
    – If you use a name too similar to another org, we will work with you to find another
  • A draft of your proposed constitution w/approved name
    – A Constitution Template is available
    – Required Language (anti-hazing, non-discrimination, etc.) MUST be included
    – Please use allowable org naming standards in your draft constitution
  • At least 4 student signatories who have completed BOTH
    – A. The Signatory Training by Friday, September 11, 2020.
    – B. The Signatory Agreement Form by Friday, September 11, 2020
  • A required meeting with a LEAD Center representative in a virtual group session
    – You will select your group advising meeting in the new org application
    – We will review your application in time for your meeting
    – LEAD Center staff will go over New Organization basics and FAQs
    – We will inform you if your application is approved as is, or
    – We will let you know what needs to be amended to move forward
    – New Org advising meetings must occur by Friday, September 18th, 2020

And if your New Organization Application is approved to move forward:

  • A Student Organization Registration Form and Final Student Org Constitution
    – We will create your student organization’s CalLink page
    – We will send you the link for your org’s CalLink Registration Form
    – You will upload your org’s final constitution in the Registration Form
    – The LEAD Center will review your Registration Form and Constitution
    – If your submissions are approved, you will become an official RSO for 20-21
    – These must be submitted by the Friday, September 25th, 2020 deadline

Your application requirements must be complete and approved by each of these deadlines to be considered for Student Organization University Recognition for the 2020/21 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 October 1, 2020.

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 11th registration deadline.

Please note that signatory status does not automatically update on your organization CalLink roster(s) once you complete both the training and agreement form. Depending on when you complete the training and agreement form, the 2020-21 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 lead@berkeley.edu if you do not see the position on your CalLink roster after a week.

After the September 11, 2020 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 2020-21 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 2020-21 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) by October 1, 2020.

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.

Registration FAQs

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
What are we responsible for as an RSO?
The Responsibilities:

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.” The name “Berkeley” can be used only at the end of the student organization’s name or nickname(s) solely to designate the geographic location or origin of the organization, i.e., “at Berkeley” or “of Berkeley.” 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.

As long as names fall within the above stated guidelines, they can be approved.

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.

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, planing 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
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 students, staff, or faculty members.