Left unsatisfied? Start your own RSO

By Pari Apostolakos, Assistant Features Editor

It’s every student’s worst nightmare: you took one lap, two laps, three laps, four laps around the Main Quad. You even made sure to hit the diagonal pathways so you wouldn’t miss any of the booths. Yet, you still can’t find the organization you were looking for.

Don’t get me wrong, you are more likely than not to find multiple groups that pique your interest on Quad Day. But there is a chance that, despite the seemingly endless plethora of Registered Student Organizations at the University, you might still be left unsatisfied.

Perhaps a group you were involved in during your high school career is nowhere to be found, or a friend of yours at another university is involved in an organization that hasn’t yet developed a chapter here.

This could actually be a blessing in disguise, because being unable to find a specific organization in which you want to participate leaves only one option: start your own from the ground up.

Creating your own RSO can be a fantastic opportunity to develop leadership and problem-solving skills, which will be a great asset for your time at the University and after. 

If you want to know how many students have done it before you, just count the number of booths on Quad Day. All RSOs start somewhere, and you could be the brains behind the next big club on campus.

Although this process is not as difficult as it sounds, there are still steps you must take if you are going to bring about a new group. The full list of requirements can be found on the Illini Union website.

Surprisingly enough, in order to start your very own RSO you must have at least five people. Just five people! Come to think of it, knowing that you yourself will be involved brings you 20 percent closer.

The name of your organization should be unique and not conflict with any other organization on campus or nationally. The only time this would be acceptable is if you intend to bring a chapter of a nationally recognized organization to the University. 

But why would you want to use another group’s name anyway? Starting an RSO is a big way to leave a mark on campus, and you should want yours to be memorable.

I know we all love our school. However, none of the words or abbreviations we use to describe it are acceptable to use within the name of your RSO. The only way to work our lovely institution’s name into your group is to follow your group’s name with “at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” which we all know is a mouthful, to say the least.

Names must also “be in good taste,” according to the Union’s web page, and this is left up to interpretation. If you ask me, this condition would definitely rule out curses, slurs and crude language.

The key word in Registered Student Organization is the middle one: student. All members and leaders of an RSO should be students, faculties and staff who are currently registered with the University, or (surprise, surprise) their spouses are also eligible for membership.

As is to be expected, no unlawful discrimination of any kind is tolerated. The University itself also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and more. So don’t even think about it. 

Only one party is permitted to register a new RSO, and that is the president or primary contact of said group.

In addition to a president, all groups are required to have a treasurer and three authorized agents (which explains the minimum of five members). 

The actual registration of a new RSO can be done through the Illini Union website. 

Keep in mind that starting an organization is one thing, but building it to last is another task entirely. Put in the effort to build your RSO into something you will be truly proud of.

Pari is a sophomore in Media. 

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