Becoming an RSO

  • What is a RSO?

    “A Michigan State University (MSU) registered student organization (RSO) is a volunteer group of enrolled students organized to obtain certain goals and objectives. The goals and objectives of these organizations are met through education, social, cultural, religious, or philanthropic activities. These activities should enhance and support MSU students, the university and the community.

    Membership in organizations benefits students’ growth and education while attending the university. It is the responsibility of each (RSO) to adhere to the mission of the university and its supporting bylaws and statutes. An organization’s goals, objectives and activities are not to deviate from established University policies or regulations.” ~MSU Student Group Regulations, Spartan Life

  • Benefits of Being a RSO
    Being a RSO at MSU provides many benefits, including:
    • Having an active page on Involve@State.
    • Access to participation in Sparticipation and Springticipation.
    • Access to New Student Orientation Fairs.
    • Access to on-campus meeting and event spaces.
    • Discounted rates for selected locations on campus for events.
    • Discounted rates for selected campus services.
    • Free consulting to support student organizations.
    • Access to enhanced training and workshops.
    • Ability to accept institutional funding.
    • Ability to have an institutional account.
    • Ability to have a free RSO MSU email and Microsoft Teams account.
    • Access to institutional marketing.
    • Eligible for the Department of Student Life Leadership Awards
  • Annual Re-Registration and New Student Organization Requirements

    Registration for returning and new student organizations can begin as early as August 1*.

    Registration is valid from the date of registration through the end of the second week of the following fall semester.

    RSOs must register each year via Involve@State.
    *Please see the Pilot Program referenced in the following section

    The following information is required to register:

    • Name of the RSO.
    • The purpose/purpose statement of the RSO, such as mission, vision, values.
    • The positions and contact information of at least four (4) currently enrolled student members.
    • Name, email, phone number, and current local address for president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and a
      • RSOs open only to undergraduate students may have an advisor who is a MSU faculty member, staff member, or graduate student.
      • RSOs open to undergraduate and graduate students or only graduate students must have an advisor who is a MSU faculty or staff member.
    • Current RSO constitution containing the following:
      • The purpose of the organization.
      • A clause that indicates that only currently enrolled Michigan State University students are eligible to be officers and/or voting members.
      • The full MSU anti-discrimination clause:
        • “The organization will not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability, status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or weight”.
        • If you are a single-sex social fraternity or sorority, affiliated fraternity or sorority, or otherwise have Title IX exempt status, see the section related to “Single-Sex Membership Organizations”.
      • Information regarding necessary operating procedures, such as rules of order, officer positions and descriptions, elections, membership removal, and committees.
      • Procedures for amending the c
      • Procedure for disbanding the organization.
    • Confirmation of review of the RSO Expectations Video.
    • RSO self-selected category t
    • RSO photo or logo.
      • Please note all logos must abide by MSU licensing rules. Refer to the Marketing section of this handbook for more details on logos.
    • Address of any property owned or rented by the RSO.
    • Organization account number (if renewing).
    • Officer position, email, phone number, and current local address for two authorized signatories (if renewing or creating an organization account).
    • If applicable, RSOs should submit information about national affiliations.
  • How to Re-Register RSO Pilot Program
    • Re-registration will be based on your organization type:
      • Affiliated Organizations will begin in June.
      • Returning Organizations will begin in July.
    • At the time of registration for your organization, follow the steps below:
      • Be sure to have all required pieces of information listed in the Annual Re-Registration and New Student Organization Registration Requirements section to ensure an easy and efficient registration submission process.
      • Any of the following officer positions will be able to re-register the RSO:
        • President
        • Vice President
        • Treasurer
        • Secretary
        • Captain
        • Assistant Captain
        • Primary Contact
    • Log into Involve@State.
    • Go to your RSO Page.
    • Select “Manage Organization” button in the upper right corner.
    • Select the dark blue “Re-Register” button.
      • If there is no blue “Re-Register” button, then registration is not currently open for your organization.
      • The light blue box will indicate when registration will open for your RSO.
    • Read all instructions thoroughly.
    • Use MSU email addresses for all members on the roster.
    • All items with a red asterisk (*) are required.
    • Follow up with student officers and advisor(s) to ensure they have created their Involve@State profile and accepted their role(s) in the organization.
    • To view a video tutorial on re-registration, visit the Student Life Registered Student Organization website.
  • How to Register a New RSO
    • Confirm that there is not a similar organization on Involve@State.
    • At the time of registration opening, please follow the steps below:
      • Be sure to have all required pieces of information listed in the Annual Re-Registration and New Student Organization Registration Requirements section to ensure an easy and efficient registration submission process.
      • Log into Involve@State.
      • Select “Organizations” in the top horizontal menu bar.
      • Select “Register an Organization” in the left vertical menu bar.
      • Select the blue “Register a New Organization” option at the bottom of the page.
      • Read all instructions thoroughly.
      • Use only MSU email addresses for all members on the roster.
      • All items with a red asterisk (*) are required.
      • Follow up with student officers and advisor(s) to ensure they have created their Involve@State profile and accepted their role(s) in the organization.
    • To view a video tutorial on re-registration, visit the Student Life Registered Student Organization website.
  • Registering Social Greek Letter Fraternities and Sororities
    Social Greek Letter Organizations must meet two additional requirements in order to receive Registered Student Organization Status: (1) Validation of Single-Sex Membership and (2) Validation of 100% chapter membership’s participation in Greeks Take the Lead.


    Validation of Single-Sex Membership

    • In accordance with Title IX, the university does not allow affiliated organizations to discriminate based on sex. Title IX allows certain single-sex social sororities and fraternities an exemption from such requirements. To qualify, the sorority/fraternity must meet all of the following criteria:
      • The organization must have tax-exempt status under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.
      • Members must be limited to students, staff or faculty at MSU.
      • The organization must be a “social fraternity/sorority” as defined by the Department of Education.
    • The Department of Education defines a “social fraternity/sorority” as a group that can answer “no” to the following questions:
      • Is the organization’s membership limited to persons pursuing or having interest in a particular field of study, profession or academic discipline?
      • Is the membership limited to individuals who have a high level of achievement in scholarship or any other endeavor?
      • Are the members permitted to hold membership in other fraternities or sororities at the university?
    • If a group answers “yes” to any of the questions, it is not a “social fraternity/sorority” and is not exempt from the requirements of Title IX, and therefore must meet all required criteria of a regular RSO.
    • If the sorority or fraternity meets the above exemption criteria, it may register as a RSO, even if the sex-discrimination-related clause is not included within its existing constitution. If the sorority or fraternity meets the above exemption criteria, it may register as a RSO, even if the sex-discrimination-related clause is not included within its existing constitution. To do so, the registrant must submit a signed statement with the group’s bylaws certifying the group “…is a tax exempt organization under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, with membership limited to students, faculty or staff of Michigan State University, and is a social fraternity or sorority as defined by the Department of Education.”
     

    Greeks Take the Lead

    To maintain status as RSOs, full membership of all sororities and fraternities are required to participate in annual MSU “Greeks Take the Lead” sexual harassment and assault prevention training. Failure to participate in annual training will result in the inability to register as a RSO and/or revocation of RSO status. For information regarding “Greeks Take the Lead” programming and to schedule a training session, contact the MSU Prevention Outreach & Education Coordinator at (517) 355-3865 or gttl@msu.edu.
Updated 21 May 2021