Guidelines to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO)
Student organizations at the University of Maryland serve a valuable educational function by offering students the opportunity to join together in cultural, governmental, art, recreational, political, and/or special interest groups. Student organizations also offer students opportunities to serve in leadership roles and afford unique educational experiences outside 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, and that process provides specific guidelines under which student organizations may function. The registration process establishes a communication pattern between organizations and the University, through the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, that may support and add stability to student organization. The registration process spells out the responsibilities of student organizations and the consequences for groups that choose not to function in accordance with these guidelines.
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.
To become a registered student group with SORC and the University of Maryland, organizations must meet the following criteria. Registration approval is discretionary and is a function performed by the Student Organization Resource Center staff. Approval shall be based on a determination that the student organization meets the criteria listed below and that approval is in the best interest of the University.
- For a typical ‘continuing’ organization, the group must have a minimum of 8 members (if primarily undergraduate) or 5 members (if primarily graduate). ‘Provisional,’ or temporary groups do not have a minimum membership requirement.
- At least 75% of the membership must be currently enrolled students. It is the responsibility of the Registered Student Organization to maintain the required number of currently enrolled students listed as members.
- The organization must have at least one President and one Treasurer, held by two different members of the organization, and they both must be University of Maryland students. With the exception of the faculty/staff advisor, all officers must be held by currently enrolled University of Maryland students.
- President and Treasurer must complete online trainings and quizzes
- Registered student organization must be directed and controlled by currently enrolled University of Maryland Students.
- Officers must certify that information provided on the application form is accurate and up-to-date at all times
- The organization must have a faculty/staff advisor currently employed by the University of Maryland, and said advisor must complete an Advisor Agreement Form.
- Must include a statement of non-discrimination in the organization’s constitution, a statement agreeing to abide by University of Maryland policies, as well as a ratification date. Sample language for these statements can be found on our Sample Constitution website.
- Must have a mission statement
- Must disclose affiliate or parent organizations
- Must have a name that abides by University of Maryland trademark guidelines; i.e. may not use the terms “University of Maryland,” “Terrapins,” “Maryland Terrapins,” “Terps,” “Testudo” in its name without prior approval. Groups may use the term “University of Maryland” when the group’s name is “[Name of Organization] at the University of Maryland”
- Organization, its officers, and members shall not conduct commercial activities that contribute, either directly or indirectly, to the private financial benefit of any individuals or organization other than the organization itself or the University of Maryland. Officers, members, and faculty/staff advisors 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.
- May not be an underground group. University of Maryland defines an underground group as "An underground group means a number of persons who are associated with each other as former members of an organization for which Registered Student Organization status has been revoked. An underground group or organization perpetuates the previously registered student organization through the continued use of symbols, rituals, practices, and activities including but not limited to, hazing activities and hosting events accompanied by excessive drinking as well as overlapping membership."