New/Prospective Student Organization Application & Registration Process
University Recognition & Sponsorship
All prospective student organizations must apply and register for University recognition through the LEAD Center’s annual new student organization process. University recognition as a Registered Student Organization (RSO) gives your group official recognition while on campus (recognition does not carry off campus). It also gives you the ability to access campus resources such as funding opportunities; event & facility access; and access to student organization event insurance. It is important to note that RSOs are separate entities from the University, and RSO programs, events, and activities do not represent UC Berkeley. LEAD Center advisors are happy to meet with any student and prospective student organization to help you prepare for our annual application and registration process. University recognition for RSOs is outlined in Berkeley Campus Regulations Implementing University Policies.
Spring 2020 New RSO Registration Process
Spring 2020 Application Period | January 2, 2020 – February 7, 2020
Students interested in starting a new student organization at UC Berkeley must apply to be registered with the university through the LEAD Center. The New RSO Spring Application process for the 2019-20 academic year is open from January 2, 2020 through February 7, 2020. The following application requirements must be completed by midnight on February 7, 2020 in order to be considered for university recognition.
There are several steps to becoming a LEAD Center-recognized student organization:
- Submit New RSO Application – Complete the new organization application, linked here. The LEAD Center will begin reviewing applications 1/13/2020 and will be reviewed in the order it was received. Before your RSO Application can be approved, you will need:
- An approved name (guidelines provided within RSO application)
- A statement of purpose
- A statement of uniqueness
- You should start drafting your RSO’s proposed constitution (find the constitution template on the Forms, Documents & Resources page). This does not need to be submitted with the new organization application. You can upload your draft constitution during Step 5 – Submit Your RSO Registration Form below if your organization is approved to move forward.
- Meet with a LEAD Center representative – If we have questions or other follow-up is needed for your application, the LEAD Center front desk staff will contact you via e-mail to set up your appointment once your application has been reviewed. This appointment may happen after the 2/7/2020 deadline.
- Signatories – Have between 4-8 members become certified RSO Signatories by completing the Signatory Certification Agreement by 2/7/2020 (a field will be provided to write in your proposed RSO name).
- Signatory Orientation – Have at least 2 of these signatories attend an in-person Signatory Orientation, RSVP on CalLink for an orientation by 2/7/2020.
- Submit RSO Registration Form – Once your new RSO application is approved, you will be directed to submit the RSO Registration form (A link to your new RSO’s Callink page, with instructions, will be sent to applicant).
- Update RSO CalLink Page and Membership Roster – please update your group’s CalLink page with current contact information, images, and a current membership roster once the Callink page has been established.
Completion and Processing Time
Once steps 1-5 are complete and approved through the LEAD Center, RSOs will have university recognition for the 2019-2020 academic year. A new organization will be able to table on campus, plan events, apply for funding/space/insurance, and other rights reserved for RSOs once the group has been fully approved and given university recognition – please plan accordingly.
Please note that it takes the LEAD Center about a week to process your application and supporting materials. If your submissions occur on or near the 2/7/2020 deadline, please be advised that it will take us longer to process the new organization applications as well as the returning RSO applications. We thank you in advance for your patience.
If you are unable to complete the new organization application process and requirements by the 2/7/2020 deadline, the organization’s may prepare to submit an application for review during the Fall 2020 Registration period.
- 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 (Step 2). 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.
- The criteria used to evaluate an applicant organization’s application for RSO status are (1) an approved name, (2) an approved, up-to-date constitution, and (3) at least 4 certified signatories. 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, so long as the organization completes the required steps of the application process.
- Returning RSOs are not required to submit a new name, constitution, statement of purpose, or statement of uniqueness in order to re-register. If a returning RSO intends to change its name or constitution for an upcoming semester, it must go through the same process for obtaining LEAD Center approval of its name and/or constitution as a new applicant organization.
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
- 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!
- 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.
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.
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
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.