Benefits of Being a Recognized Student Organization (RSO)
The University of Chicago dedicates an office to supporting your organization, the Center for Leadership and Involvement. There you will find a full complement of advising staff (including professional staff members and peer advisors), as well as a full complement of facility managers, events professionals, and financial administrators who are happy to assist you.
In addition, when your student organization is recognized through the Center for Leadership and Involvement, you are eligible for numerous benefits including:
- The ability to hold events on campus
- Free or reduced cost reservations in many of the University’s facilities
- Eligibility for Student Government funding
- Authorization to post notices on campus
- Use of the University's Tax Exemptions.
You should work with your advisor to take advantage of all of these opportunities as well as review the RSO Resource Guide (hard copies are available in the Student Activities Center) for full listings of resources available to RSOs.
Responsibilities of a Recognized Student Organization (RSO)
Along with the benefits of being an official part of the University of Chicago, your RSO status also comes with many responsibilities.
- RSOs are required to comply with all University policies included in the Policies section of this website, those listed in the Resource Guide, and the full contents of the Student Manual. It is your responsibility as an RSO leader to be familiar with all policies and to ensure that your organization is in compliance. This may seem like a daunting task, but a close relationship with your RSO advisor will make things much easier.
- Your RSO must consistently provide updated contact information to the Center for Leadership and Involvement by maintaining your Blueprint roster.
- RSOs are expected to maintain a positive account balance and be fiscally responsible. Organizations who manage to incur debt will be required to work through the Student Organization Debt Reduction Program.
- RSOs that seek to travel outside of the Chicago area must register their trip and seek approval for their advsior according to the Student Organization Travel Policy.
- Each Spring your RSO will be required to re-register and in the fall your officers must complete the appropriate, annual training.
RSOs may not discriminate against any potential members on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or other factors irrelevant to participation in the programs of the University. RSOs are also responsible for ensuring that their organizations do not participate in any hazing activities.
Resources Available to a Recognized Student Organization (RSO)
In addition to your selected Faculty/Staff Advisor, each RSO has a primary advising assignment, either a full-time RSO Advisor or our team of Peer Advisors. Your advisor is one of your most valuable resources and you are expected to remain in close contact with them. Your RSO advisor can discuss with you the goals of your organization, the status of your financial account, and assist with a number of organization and operational issues, including member retention, event planning, and a plethora of other topics that you might find useful. In addition, RSO advisors are required to approve any contracts or other financial transactions you seek to undertake for your organization.
You can check in the Student Activities Center (RC 001) for a schedule of your advisor's availability, or you can contact them directly to set up an appointment.
Student Activities Center
The Student Activities Center, room RC 001 in the lower level of the Reynolds Club, is a resource center dedicated to RSOs. Managed by full-time staff members and staffed by students, the Student Activities Center offers RSOs a wide variety of affordable (many times free!) services including:
- Mail Reception
- Photocopying/flyer paper
- Supplies for making banners
- Sale of paper goods
- Button maker
- Digital and video camera to check out
For a full list of the services offered, visit the Student Activities Center page.
Storage and Office Space
RSOs can apply for a secure and private storage unit for the entire academic year. Storage Space is allocated based on availability and demonstrated need during an application process in Spring Quarter. There is also limited office space available during this process. Details about the application process can be found on our Storage page.
- Web Pages: Information Technology Services maintains a server for RSO websites. A website can be a great way to publicize your group on- or off-campus, or to share your accomplishments with others around the world. You can apply for a new free RSO website url, update the administrators for your RSO website, or read information from ITS about managing your website on our Websites page.
- Mailing Lists: RSOs can use mailing lists to announce events and/or discuss projects and issues. You can apply for or administer a listhost for your organization at http://lists.uchicago.edu. Be forewarned, though, that discussions, unorganized emails, or high email volume over a primary mailing list may not be appreciated by all. Consider creating separate lists for those interested in discussion or internal conversations (e.g. board members, highly active members).
- Events Calendars: RSOs may submit information about their events to the Student Events Calendar and Blueprint's events calendar. These calendars can be viewed online by the University community as well as the public. The Student Events Calendar is distributed to all students via a weekly email and excerpts are posted on the Center for Leadership and Involvement website. You can also submit your events to other calendars at the same time (e.g. the Arts calendar). To add an event or view the Student Events Calendar visit http://stuff.uchicago.edu.