Hello and thank you for taking time to learn more about the upcoming changes to the Recognized Student Organization (RSO) program at Oregon State University (OSU). 

These changes come in response to the inequities laden in the current RSO structure, unclear and inconsistent access to campus benefits and resources, and the limitations in finance and accounting structures which do not align to modern ways of commerce. The new classification model addresses these issues by creating and simplifying processes, scaffolding training and education, centralizing liability and resource access and providing an option for most clubs to operate under the umbrella of OSU.

 

Please review the the following video overview to learn more about the updated RSO program.

 

Video Overview/Presentation

Link to Transcript of Video Module

 

To Do Lists

Link to New Structure To Do Lists

 

New RSO Structure Drop-In Q&A Sessions

Please attend a drop-in session if you have questions about which classification is the right fit for your organization or have questions about the next steps. 

Thursday March 4th 3:00pm-5:00pm

Tuesday March 9th 6:00pm-7:30pm

Thursday March 11th 9:00am-10:00am

Wednesday March 17th 2:00pm-3:30pm

Friday March 19th 11:00am-12:30pm

Wednesday March 31st 3:30pm-5:00pm

Thursday April 1st 10:00am-11:30am

Monday April 5th 3:30pm-5:00pm

Wednesday April 7th 10:30am-12:00pm

Friday April 9th 3:30pm-5:00pm

Zoom Information, will remain the same for all sessions. 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/92781144920?pwd=L05yRUV3ZXRtSWJWTkwxTElpL0cvUT09 

Password: Clubs

Phone Dial-In Information
        +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 927 8114 4920

Join by Polycom/Cisco/Other Room System
[email protected]

Please review the supplemental information below after reviewing the videos.  

New RSO Overview - Key information

RSOs contribute to student learning and are critical to the mission and culture of Oregon State University. RSOs are responsible for legal compliance, fiscal accountability and maintaining student organization policy and community standards, including the Code of Student Conduct and any other applicable University policies or agreements. RSOs are provided access to resources, education and development through the Student Organizations and Activities Office (SOA), housed withing Experiential Learning and Activities, a department of Student Experiences & Engagement.  In the updated model, there are still two types of RSOs: University Student Organizations (USO) and Affiliated Student Organizations (ASO).

In order to be eligible for University recognition (USO or ASO), the following must be true:

  • Organization represents the interests of its members and control of the organization must be maintained by OSU Students
  • Membership consists of 100% OSU Students and at least 4 currently enrolled OSU students
  • Members create, manage, amend and approve the organization’s governing document/s
  • Members determine their own leaders (election and removal) through a process defined and outlined in their governing document/s.  This includes:
    • Officer/Leader eligibility and selection criteria
    • Officer/Leader election and/or appointment
    • Officer/Leaders roles and responsibilities
  • Members direct, control and execute all business and decisions of the organization
  • Members determine, coordinate, plan and execute organizational activities, including campus space and facility reservations
  • Members serve as the primary contact/s for the organization
  • Leaders and members of the RSO may not be employees of OSU in their student organization capacity, nor receive any form of compensation from OSU for their student organization service or membership
  • Organization must operate exclusively on a not-for-profit basis
    • All funds that are raised must be used for fulfilling the purpose and mission of the organization as stated in its constitution
    • RSOs are restricted from raising funds, investing, or making profits that are then obtained by or distributed to individual members of the organization for personal financial gain
  • Organization must comply with OSU’s non-discrimination policy, which prohibits restrictive clauses based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status (Note: National social fraternities and sororities are permitted to retain their same-sex membership status)

An USO will operate under the umbrella of OSU and have no legal/tax status outside of the University. While recognizing the importance of student leadership and the autonomy of the student organization, USO status indicates a formal relationship with the University; therefore, a high level of accountability from the organization and support from a Faculty Mentor is required.

Because of the University's status as a governmental entity and tax-exempt charitable organization, certain student organizations are not eligible for university status.

  • *Organizations with a legal/tax status external to OSU
  • *Organizations with a bank account external to OSU
  • Living groups living in property owned or managed by a non-OSU entity
  • Philanthropic organizations or groups whose primary purpose is to raise money for charitable causes
  • Organizations with an advisor who is compensated or assigned by someone other than OSU
  • **Local chapters or affiliates of other incorporated organizations
  • Partisan political organizations
  • Faith-based organizations

* Student groups who close their non-OSU bank accounts and/or cancel their tax status will become eligible for USO recognition. OSU will provide legal support for student groups who would like to rescind their tax status.

** Chapters/affiliates that operate independently remain eligible.

updated 04/05/2021 - DLH

An ASO will be legally be a separate entity from OSU and function solely under the direction and control of its student members. Because of their affiliation with OSU and focus on OSU student membership and development, organizations recognized as ASOs will eligible for access to certain OSU benefits and resources upon completion of registration and training requirements. No faculty/staff advisor is required for recognition under this classification.

NOTE:  ASOs will likely be required to maintain liability insurance coverage in order to host activities on the OSU campus.  A final determination and overview of those requirements are expected by the beginning of Spring term.

Baseline Benefits

The following are the proposed benefits intended to be available upon completion of the annual recognition process.  Where applicable, activities must be reported in advance of accessing the benefit.  Benefits may still be adjusted before finalization.
 

 Baseline Benefits

USO

ASO

Listing of current information in the Student Organization Directory

Yes

Yes

Club index

RSO Fund

Agency

University Space - Meetings

Yes

Yes

SOA Activity Grants - Meetings

Yes

Yes

Club Website

Yes

Yes

Club Email Address

Yes

Email Forwarding Only

Liability Insurance coverage through OSU

Yes

No

Use “Oregon State University,”  “Beavers” or any derivation thereof in the student org name

Yes

No 

Departmental Sponsorship

Yes

No

Advanced Benefits

The following proposed benefits require additional optional training and education in order to unlock access.  Where applicable, activities must be reported in advance of accessing the benefit.  Benefits may still be adjusted before finalization.

Benefit

USO

ASO

University Space – Open/Special Events

Yes

*Yes - COI required

SOA Activity Grants – Open/Special Events

Yes

**Yes – Direct payment only

Departmental Funding for Activities

Yes

**Yes – Direct payment only

TULIP (Special Event) Insurance

Yes

Yes

Motor Pool

Yes

No

Philanthropic Work

***Direct donation only

Yes

P-Card (credit card) use/access

Yes

Yes

* In order to host open/special events or to access motor pool, ASOs must provide a certificate of insurance naming OSU as also insured.

** Due to limitations of a ASO index, funding unit may be required to make purchases on behalf of the organization.

*** Money cannot be donated to other entities from an OSU account or index.

 

USO Only Benefits

The following proposed benefits are only available to USOs and require additional optional training and education in order to unlock access.  Where applicable, activities must be reported in advance of accessing the benefit.  Benefits may still be adjusted before finalization.

Benefit

Use University logos and trademarks

Procurement and Contracting

OSU & OSU Foundation Fundraising

OSU Contracted Services, including Travel

E-Commerce (Limited duration only)

OSU Surplus Access

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the FAQs below. The questions and responses on this page will be updated continually as new questions are posed so be sure to check in regularly.

Not Seeing the answer to your question? 
Help us populate this FAQ page by submitting your question/s here.

FAQs

The concept of sponsorship will remain with the new classification model but will focus only on the relationship/affinity between a student organization and an OSU department or program.  The following describes the sponsorship relationship:

Sponsorship is a formal written agreement between an University Student Organization and an OSU Department that establishes an affinity relationship between the USO and department.  Completed as part of the annual recognition process, the sponsorship agreement outlines any special benefits (optional), expectations and accountability measures.  A sponsorship agreement is only required if granting an USO on-going use and access to department resources or an annual budget.  If being provided an annual budget, request for funding is submitted separately through a funding request.

Affiliated Student Organizations are ineligible for department sponsorship.

The following is a comparison of the proposed benefits for the updated model (USO and ASO) compared to the benefits for current student organizations (SSO and VSO). 

 Baseline Benefits

USO

ASO

SSO

VSO

Listing of current information in the Student Organization Directory

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Club index

RSO Fund

Agency

Agency

Agency

University Space - Meetings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SOA Activity Grants - Meetings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Club Website

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Club Email Address

Yes

Email Forwarding Only

Email Forwarding Only

Email Forwarding Only

Liability Insurance coverage through OSU

Yes

No

Through Sponsoring Unit

No

Use “Oregon State University,” “Beavers” or any derivation thereof in the student org name

Yes

No 

Yes

No 

Departmental Sponsorship

Yes

No

Yes

No

 

Advanced Benefits

USO

ASO

SSO

VSO

University Space – Open/Special Events

Yes

*Yes with COI

Yes

Yes

SOA Activity Grants – Open/Special Events

Yes

**Yes – Direct Payment Only

Yes

Yes

Departmental Funding for Activities

Yes

**Yes – Direct Payment Only

Yes

Yes

TULIP (Special Event) Insurance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Motor Pool

Yes

No

At discretion of sponsoring unit

No

Philanthropic Work

***Direct donation only

Yes

Yes

Yes

P-Card (credit card) use/access

Yes

Yes

At discretion of sponsoring unit

Yes

Use University logos and trademarks

Yes

No

Yes

No

Procurement and Contracting

Yes

No

At discretion of sponsoring unit

No

OSU & OSU Foundation Fundraising

Yes

No

At discretion of sponsoring unit

No

OSU Contracted Services, including Travel

Yes

No

At discretion of sponsoring unit

No

E-Commerce (Limited duration only)

Yes

No

At discretion of sponsoring unit

No

OSU Surplus Access

Yes

No

No

No

 

 

* In order to host open/special events or to access motor pool, ASOs must provide a certificate of insurance naming OSU as also insured.

** Due to limitations of a ASO index, funding unit may be required to make purchases on behalf of the organization.

*** Money cannot be donated to other entities from an OSU account or index.

 

ASO Advisors
ASOs are not required to have an advisor as a condition of recognition.As such, if the ASO elects to pursue an advisor, the process for selecting an advisor is determined by the organization, with the specific responsibilities of the advisor to be negotiated and agreed upon by the organization and the potential advisor.
USO Advisors
Each USO is required to maintain a Faculty Mentor who is a member of the OSU faculty (teaching or professional).  Faculty mentors to USOs work collaboratively and proactively with student leaders to help the USO meet its stated goals and purpose. Advisors also support, guide and affiliated with student organization leaders to ensure fair, intelligent and reasonable decisions and actions within the boundaries established by applicable state, federal and local laws, OSU rules/policy, and the mission of OSU.

Faculty Mentor Expectations

  • Take an active role in advising the organization.
  • Know the general purpose of the organization and be familiar with all provisions outlined in the organization’s constitution and bylaws.
  • Support student leaders with annual review of the organization’s governing documents (constitution & bylaws) and/or guiding policies to ensure accountability by the student organization
  • Be a role model, demonstrating professional, ethical and positive behavior
  • Build a relationship with the officers and the current members of the organization
  • Meet with the organization’s leadership on a regular basis (at least twice per term)
  • Establish with the student organization leadership the manner and frequency in which the mentor will participate in the organization’s meetings (at least once per term) and other activities, e.g., programs, social events, etc.
  • Promote co-curricular learning through organizational development and management, goal setting, program planning, problem solving and group evaluation
  • Act as a resource to the campus for communication and issues related to the student organization
  • Be a facilitator and a resource for student leaders in the interpretation of and compliance with OSU policies & procedures
  • Advise leaders in planning and executing organization activities, including reaching out to SOA for support when needed
    • Support student organization leaders with the timely reporting of organization activities to allow for visibility, risk assessment & insurance considerations
    • Complete training and educational requirements for Faculty Mentors
  • Maintain awareness of student organization financial matters

Nothing will change for DSOs.  A DSO are still considered to be a program of an OSU department, and operates under that department’s supervision. DSOs are governed by and responsible for following all university standards, policies and processes, including financial and administrative responsibilities for its activities. Departments fully support the success of the student organization through supervision of its members, professional development, mentoring and advising. DSOs function under the supervision of an OSU faculty/staff member whose role and responsibilities is defined and outlined by the supporting department.

DSOs are not recognized and are not eligible for the special benefits outlined for USOs and ASOs. 

DSO Key Indicators

The following are key indicators that a student organization should be classified as a DSO:

  • Department directly employs staff to support, develop, and direct the organization.  The position description of these staff explicitly lists directing and supporting the organization as a primary duty of their position.
  • Department provides compensation to students for participation in the organization (compensation includes wages, scholarships, stipends, housing, term meal plans, etc.).
  • Departments manage all business and safety functions, including but not limited to: Business Center engagement, Office of Risk Management, Procurement and Contract Services, OSU General Counsel, OSU Foundation, etc.
  • Department manages organization finances and/or property and maintains control of access to these resources.
  • Department controlled resources (space, equipment, technology, etc.) are available to the organization without fees and individual use agreements.
  • Organization is responsible for allocating department resources to other student organizations.
  • Department has the authority to establish, maintain or eliminate the organization.
  • Department sets annual goals of the organization.
  • Department can recommend and require student leadership change.
  • Department can define positional roles and duties and can define unique criteria for participation

No.  Due to OSU's status as a non-profit, governmental entity, funds cannot be donated to external organizations from any OSU account/index.

USOs wishing to raise funds for charitable causes will need to arrange for direct donation methods with the organization intended to receive funds.  This means working with the organization to create a way for folks to donate directly to the cause in the name of the club, rather than to the club itself. Funds from an USO index cannot be used to support charitable causes.

ASO can raise and collect funds for charitable causes through an off-campus checking account if they have one or through the direct donation method noted above.  Funds from an ASO index cannot be used to support charitable causes.

Any organizations with an off campus bank account, that would like to be a USO, need to have their account closed by July 1st, 2021. 

USOs will be able to access SOA Grant Funding, event funding from a department on campus or annual funding from a department on campus. 

ASOs will be able to access SOA Grant Funding and event funding from a department on campus. ASOs will not be able to request annual funding from a department, meaning that a department cannot allocate a lump sum of funding per year to an ASO.  

The only other difference is that ASOs will not be able to have funds transferred into their Agency Fund Index for costs that are external to OSU. SOA or the funding department will need to purchase those items through the department index. 

To clarify, religious and political organizations, that meet minimum RSO eligibility requirements, will be able to be recognized student organizations. There has been recent law changes that will indicate if an organization will be able to be considered a part of the institution (USO) or need to be a separate legal entity (ASO). We are working with OSU general counsel and outside legal council to determine what classification options will be available to religious or political organizations. Decision will be communicated at the beginning of Spring Term well before the April 12th deadline.