New RSO Leader Resources

Review these RSO transition tips to help your student organization prepare new leaders. Check out and share these resources shared here and on our social media pages!

  1. Send an email to introduce new RSO leaders to the RSO Advisor. 
  2. New RSO Leaders should set up a meeting with their RSO Advisor to learn about the role of an RSO Advisor and the university's expectations of RSOs.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of being an RSO
  4. Maintain updated contact info via the Blueprint roster.
  5. Abide by University policies (i.e. CLI's Policy Guide, student manual, etc.)
    • Each Autumn Quarter your RSO will be required to re-register and your officers must complete the appropriate, annual SOAR training.
  6. Responsibly manage funds in your RSO Financial Account.

Additional Links:

Here is a list of “Questions to ask” during your transition meeting with outgoing RSO Leaders:

  1. What is your greatest accomplishment from your time in RSO leadership?

  2. What do you wish you had been able to achieve during your term?
  3. What were your goals when you started? Did they change throughout the term? Why?
  4. What has been the most helpful resource to you throughout your time in leadership?
  5. Which faculty or administrators have been most influential in helping us succeed?
  6. What do you want this RSO to be like 5 years from now? What did you do during your term that you think will contribute to that?
  7. Walk me through the baseline responsibilities of this role, and then tell me what it would look like to go above and beyond.
  8. What does internal accountability look like in our RSO? 
  9. What is one thing you wish you had been told/shown when you transitioned into this role?

Additional Advice for current leaders facilitating transitions:

  1. ​Have you compiled transition documents such as account login information, guiding documents, budget sheets, event planning guides, contact lists, etc.?
  2. Establish an introduction meeting with key supports (vendors, faculty, staff, student leaders, etc.).
  3. Update your Blueprint Roster (*add new officers and remove old officers).
  4. Review relevant financial/budget information.

As you transition leaders within your RSO consider documents and guides that recorded regular activities and events within your student organizations. Below are specific tips for transitioning resources for marketing/communication and recruitment activities. RSO Leaders can also refer to our Event Policies & Resources webpage.

Tips for Transitioning Marketing & Communication Activities

  • Start making a list of account usernames and passwords for social media, Canva (or other design sites), email listservs, websites, etc.
  • Think about how you can cross-promote your programs- transfer any contacts previous RSO Leaders had with other offices and RSOs. ​ Examples: CPO, CII/OMSA, UCSC, another RSO, Wellness, CLI social media. Remember you can use the Blueprint directory of organizations to connect with other leaders.
  • Compile Transition documents that outline marketing initiatives pre-COVID and during COVID.

PRE-COVID

  • Where did you print posters or other materials for an event?
  • Do the new leaders know about the Student Activities Center?
  • Do the new leaders know where to find the RSO print number?

DURING COVID

  • How have your RSO utilized online resources and listservs?
  • How far in advance of the event did you need to market?
  • Would you keep any new marketing channels that were used during this time?

Tips for Recruitment Activities & Events

  • Familiarize yourself with the pipelines used in the past- explore new listservs?
  • Are there opportunities to work with other groups?
  • Plan to sign-up and host a table during CLI-sponsored involvement programs such as the Student Activities Resource Fair (SARF) during Autumn Quarter and Winter Welcome at the start of Winter Quarter.
  • Set goals for recruitment:
    • How many members- i.e. are you trying to retain members or grow?
    • How do you incorporate new people?
    • What are opportunities for new members to be involved other than just attending meetings?
    • Do you have any activities or events that are specifically focused on recruitment?

Tips for Re-occurring Meetings, Activities & Events

  • Save meeting minutes or other notes about the kinds of virtual programs and meetings that could be helpful as we transition.
  • Some things might be kept and others might be one-time events/activities.

Transitioning virtual resources:

  • Accounts for online password.
  • Which online platforms were utilized.

Fundraising:

  • Any existing things for fundraising?
  • If you have new fundraiser ideas, wait to have a bigger conversation with your advisor to understand fundraising policies.

New treasurers and presidents should know how to use the Blueprint Finance Module. Review relevant RSO financial or budget allocation information- (i.e. if outgoing leaders submitted annual allocation requests, make sure new leaders understand what funding was approved and the committee's expectations. 

Account Management

How are you keeping a record of your RSO funding and expenses?

  • Consider free google sheets for budgeting that records expenses, fundraising, and itemized budgets by events, etc. 
  • Does your RSO have supplemental documents for Blueprint financial account?
  • Can you explain how you got fundraising money?
  • Remember when applying for Student Government Funding you will need to report where this money came from. 
    • If your RSO received grant money, Dean's funds, or donations from alumni- how do you plan on keeping track of it separately from other funds. 
    • Where to store and schedule check-ins to make sure it’s all accounted for.

Information on Funding & Purchase Requests

  • Does the new treasurer and president know how to review funding allocations through the RSO Funding Page or Blueprint Finance module?
  • Save documents that were used to apply for funding.
  • Where can they go to find important dates regarding funding allocation?
  • How to view annual allocations approvals to see what events and line items were approved?
  • (i.e. utilizing the RSO Funding website)
  • Does the new treasurer and president know how to spend their RSO funds?
  • Review financial policies on our website.
  • Help set up a meeting with the RSO advisor about expenses.
  • Explain how to submit a purchase request.

Most Common Financial Mistakes

  1. Submitting proper documentation for reimbursements
    • Reimbursement documentation should include: (1) the original receipt. (2) information about who made the purchase (i.e. name of individual and card information).
  2. Collecting funds through third-party eCommerce systems
    • This means you cannot collect funds through sites like Paypal, Venmo, Eventbrite, or Kickstarter, nor can you utilize any credit card transaction apps like Square.
    • Look into other options like setting up a crowdfunding page, depositing cash/checks to an RSO account, or having people donate directly to the organization if it's a fundraiser.
  3. Purchasing promotional items from unapproved vendors.
    • Any customized item cannot be reimbursed if you paid out of pocket. The request needs to be submitted on Blueprint as a payment or purchase order request.
    • Check to see if your item can be purchased through Mercury Promotions first.
    • A quote MUST be obtained from Mercury before proceeding.
    • A quote is needed from at least two of the Preferred Vendors on the “approved list” before you can move forward with a different vendor.

Blueprint, UChicago's online involvement platform. Here you will be able to experience an ongoing marketplace of organizations and events, making it even easier to find ways to get involved on campus. With your CNetID and Password, you can log in and explore all that the system has to offer.

Update Blueprint's Roster

  • Check your RSO's primary contact is updated. The Center for Leadership & Involvement sends updates and regular communication to the primary contact in Blueprint's roster for all RSO-related information.
  • All new RSO leaders should be added to their RSO's Blueprint roster with the correct "assigned" position so they have access to Organization Management tools.

Review Uploaded Documents

  • Documents we expect all leaders to know about their organization are the Constitution and Bylaws. 
  • These documents SHOULD be uploaded.

Review the Finance Feature

  • Remember to review the Blueprint Finance Module with the new president and treasurer.
  • Review relevant RSO financial or budget allocation information. 

As leaders transition, help incoming board members understand the RSO's relationship with the Center for Leadership & Involvement as well as different university policies as applicable to their activities/events.

Benefits of being an RSO

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.

Maintaining Active Status

To maintain active status each RSO must complete the annual re-registration form through Blueprint and complete a leadership training (SOAR). Both are usually scheduled during the Second Week of the Fall Quarter to ensure that you have the tools you need to start the year, meet important members of our staff, and the RSO Leader community, as well as gain more leadership skills.

Additional RSO Policies & Forms

  • Familiarize yourself with the CLI policies & resources posted on our website.
  • 2019-20 Policy Guide
  • Policies & Event/Activity Forms
  • Financial Forms

UChicagoSocial: Center for Leadership and Involvement