University of Maryland Guidelines to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO)
Section I. Introduction
Student organizations at the University of Maryland serve a valuable educational function by offering students the opportunity to join together in governmental, cultural, political and/or special interest groups. Student organizations also offer students opportunities to serve in leadership roles and afford unique educational experiences outside of the classroom. Finally, student organizations contribute to the diversity and range of activities and perspectives on campus, enriching the overall academic environment.
The University of Maryland has established a registration process for student organizations on campus. The registration process provides specific guidelines under which student organizations may function. The process establishes a communication pattern between organizations and the University, through the Stamp Student Union, that may support and add stability to student organizations. The registration process also spells out the responsibilities of student organizations and the consequences for groups that choose not to function in accordance with these guidelines. Finally, receipt of registration student organizations receive a variety of benefits and privileges, including no-cost or discounted access to University facilities, access to programming support and leadership training from the Stamp Student Union, and access to University e-mail listservs.
Student organizations are "recognized" by the University. The activities undertaken by a student organization are not sponsored or approved by the University. Registration does not create a contractual relationship between the University and the student organization or a property right or legal expectancy on the part of the organization. The University encourages student organizations to become Registered Student Organizations so students can better understand the University’s expectations regarding responsible co-curricular activity and take advantage of the many programs and services provided to assist them.
Section II.Criteria for Registration Approval
To be approved as a Registered Student Organization, a student organization must meet the criteria listed below. Registration approval is discretionary and is a function performed by Student Organization Resource Center staff. Approval shall be based on a determination that the student organization meets the criteria listed in Section II below and that approval is in the best interest of the University.
- Must have a minimum of 8 members (if primarily undergraduate) or 5 members (if primarily graduate), except there is no minimum membership requirement for Provisional Registration.
- At least 75% of the membership must be currently enrolled students. Must provide student names and campus e-mail addresses. The Student Organization Resource Center staff will verify that members listed on the Student Organization Registration Forms are currently enrolled students at the University. It is the Registered Student Organization’s responsibility to maintain the required number of currently enrolled students listed as members within the group's OrgSync portal.
- RSO officers must be directed and controlled by currently enrolled University of Maryland students.
- Must have a faculty/staff advisor currently employed by the University of Maryland and provide advisor's name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number.
- Must provide an official organization mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and website (if applicable). Organizational contact information shall be made available on-line or upon request to the campus community. For example, organizational contact information will be included in an on-line searchable directory of Registered Student Organizations. Officers of a Registered Student Organization have a responsibility to see that the organizational contact information submitted is accurate and up-to-date at all times.
- Must have a President and a Treasurer held by two separate members of the organization. With the exception of the faculty/staff advisor, all officer positions must be held by currently enrolled University of Maryland students.
- The University of Maryland College Park Code on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ("Code") applies to the entire campus community including registered student organization. An RSO must affirm in its constitution that it will not discriminate in violation of the Code. (see http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/vi100b.html) or other University policies (see http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/vi105.html ).
- An RSO may establish different levels of membership and/or additional criteria governing eligibility for participation, voting and holding officer positions, provided:
- the criteria are specified in writing in the student organization’s governing documents, e.g., constitution and/or by-laws.
- Must have mission statement.
- Must disclose affiliate or parent organization.
- In accordance with the Code, an RSO Constitution must include the following provision:
- The organization does not discriminate in violation of the University’s Code of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (see http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/vi100b.html) or in violation of University policies (see http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/vi105.html). The organization, its officers and members must agree to abide by University policies and procedures and applicable federal, state and local laws. Such policies and laws include, but are not limited to the following:
- Organization, its officers and members shall abide by and be subject to the University’s Code of Student Conduct.
- Organization, its officers and members shall not conduct commercial activities that contribute, either directly or indirectly, to the private financial benefit of any individual or organization other than the organization itself or the University of Maryland. Officers, faculty/staff advisors and members are prohibited from using organization or their position to benefit a private commercial enterprise, organization or individual other than the organization or the University of Maryland.
- Organization, its officers and members shall agree to abide by the University of Maryland trademark guidelines. Organization may not use the University's Marks, including but not limited to "University of Maryland," "Terrapins," "Maryland Terrapins," "Terps," "Testudo" in its name without prior approval. To minimize confusion regarding the relationship between organization and the University, organization may not use the words "University of Maryland" in its organizational name except to denote where the organization is located, such as "[Name of Organization] at the University of Maryland".
- Organization, its officers and members shall adhere to all University, Student Government Association (SGA) and Graduate Student Government (GSG) financial guidelines in the event organization is granted Recognition status by the SGA or GSG and is eligible for student activity fee funding allocations.
- Officers certify that the information provided on the application form is accurate and up-to-date at all times.
- Officers must authorize the Stamp Student Union to disclose to the campus community organizational information contained in the application, including organizational contact information, constitution and organization type.
Section III. Benefits and Privileges of Registration
The following benefits and privileges are available upon Registration approval, provided the student organization is in good standing:
- Use of campus facilities and space at no charge or at the discounted student organization rate. For newly registered student groups, registration approval permits the organization to reserve rooms for meetings and to use assigned University facilities for small organizational events. Registered student organizations will be required to have at least one semester of organization experience in programming small events before being authorized to sponsor larger events, such as socials, concerts, etc.
- Assistance from the Stamp Student Union staff with program planning and leadership skills. Officers are encouraged to improve leadership skills by attending workshops and other opportunities provided by the Stamp Student Union.
- Discounts on purchases of supplies and group-related items from the University Book Center.
- Eligibility to apply for Recognition by Student Government Association (SGA) and Graduate Student Government Association (GSG). SGA Recognition requires a minimum of 25 undergraduate members. GSG Recognition requires at least 5 graduate members. SGA and/or GSG Recognized Student Organizations are entitled to apply to the SGA and GSG for funding allocations from Student Activity Fee monies, which funding allocations may be used by Recognized Student Organization to utilize University services, such as printing, motor pool, the purchase of office supplies and other items through the University’s General Stores and other vendors, with the approval of and coordinated through the Stamp Student Union's Office of Student Organization Services.
- Secure access to information about student organization's own members, such as a group roster, mailing addresses, mail reflector and other services.
- Access to Stamp Student Union sponsored publications, such as campus calendars and the Guide to Student Organizations, and University advice on promoting upcoming events and activities.
- Access to Registered Student Organization office allocation process.
- Listing in on-line Registered Student Organization Directory which includes search function whereby students can search Registered Student Organizations according to primary and secondary classification categories and keywords chosen by the Registered Student Organization. Classification categories include: academic, advocacy, cultural, governing bodies, Greek, honors, media, performing groups, political, recreational, religious, service, social, and sports.
- Access to history of member's co-curricular involvement in student organizations, including listing of student organizations, officer position(s) held, dates, and participation levels.
- Assistance from Stamp Student Union in determining member eligibility for officer positions or participation in intramural sports and recreation, e.g., if grade point average (GPA) is required for candidacy/eligibility.
- Access to information regarding University awards and nomination processes pertaining to student organizations.
- Access to up to 10 megabytes of space on University server for student organization web page.
- Access to Student Activities Reporting System tools that allow authorized organization members to post news items and e-mail organization members listed with Stamp Student Union.
Section IV. Non-Compliance with Registration Requirements
- Good standing is a determination made by the University based on a finding that the Registered Student Organization is in compliance with the requirements of Section 2. Compliance with registration requirements set forth in Section 2 is subject to periodic review by the Stamp Student Union. Compliance with registration requirements set forth in Section 2 may also be reviewed following a referral of the Registered Student Organization, its officers or members for violation of the University’s Code of Student Conduct. Prior to any finding, the Registered Student Organization will be provided an opportunity to meet with a representative to discuss the University’s specific concerns. The Registered Student Organization will be notified in writing if there is a finding that it is not in good standing. The Registered Student Organization shall also be informed in writing of sanctions, if any, to be imposed by the Stamp Student Union and/or the Office of Student Conduct.
- Sanctions. If a Registered Student Organization is found to be not in good standing, the following sanctions may be imposed:
- Student organization is placed on probation with full privileges.
- Student organization is placed on probation with restricted privileges.
- Student organization’s registration is suspended without privileges.
- Student organization registration is revoked.
- Student organization officers are referred to the Judicial Board based on charges of violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
- Other sanctions deemed appropriate by the University.
Section V. Registration Process
A. Types of Registration
- Temporary: Temporary registration is available to groups that intend to operate for a short period of time on campus. Examples of groups granted temporary registration are groups formed to support a short-term program, groups formed to support a specific political candidate or summer school residence hall groups. Applications for temporary registration are accepted at any time of year. Temporary registration is granted for a period of time not to exceed one year.
- Continuing: Continuing registration is available to groups that are of a more permanent nature. Applications for continuing registration are accepted at any time of year. Continuing registration is renewable annually upon application within thirty (30) days of new officer elections, unless otherwise required as specified in Section 5, B. 2.
- Provisional: Provisional registration is granted for the express purpose of allowing a group of students time to organize a permanent student organization. Applications for Provisional registration are accepted at any time of the year. Provisional registration is granted for a period of three months, and may be renewed by the Stamp Student Union for an additional period, when appropriate.
- Probationary: Probationary Registration is a status placed on a registered student organization which organization, officers or members, have been found responsible for violation of University policies, procedures and guidelines. A student organization on Probationary Registration status may have the benefits and privileges of registration withheld or partially or totally restricted. Probationary registration status shall be for a specified period of time. Probationary registration status may be removed only after review and approval by the Stamp Student Union.
The officers of a student organization seeking Registration should determine the appropriate type of registration. The Stamp Student Union staff are available for consultation and assistance, as needed.
- New Registration: If a student organization has not been approved as a Registered Student Organization during the previous academic year, it should complete and submit online a Registration application form along with an electronic copy of its constitution, and where applicable, its by-laws. On-line registration can be completed at orgsync.umd.edu.
- Renewal Registration: In the event a student organization has been approved for Registration during the previous academic year, it must file for Registration renewal no later than one month after the occurrence of any one of the following events: (a) officer elections; (b) a change is made in the organization’s constitution or by-laws; (c) a change is made in organization’s mission or stated purpose; (d) change of faculty/staff advisor; (e) change in organization’s official mailing address or organization’s e-mail; (f) change in Contact Information, name, address, e-mail or telephone number of any officers. The renewal form must be submitted by a member authorized by the Registered Student Organization to conduct business on behalf of the organization with the Stamp Student Union (generally the past president or treasurer). Please note: Failure to file for Registration renewal will result in automatic revocation of the privileges of Registration as listed above in Section III.
- Approval of an application for Registration requires a finding by the Stamp Student Union that (a) the student organization meets all criteria set forth in Section II and (b) has completed all steps of the on-line Registration application and/or renewal process. Upon approval by the Stamp Student Union, a student organization shall be Registered with the University for a year or until such time as the organization holds new officer elections, provided officer elections are held the following academic year, whichever period is longer. Renewal applications must be submitted for approval within thirty (30) days of new officer elections.
A constitution reflects the policies and procedures of organizations. Since every organization is different, constitutions will vary in their content. The following sample constitution contains areas typically addressed in constitutions and possible wording. When writing a constitution, however, student organizations should be sure that their constitution reflects the policies and procedures of their particular organization.