Registering an RSO can be stressful but rewarding

By Taylor Lucero

There are more than 1,100 registered student organizations on campus, and University students, faculty and staff can add their own clubs to the list through the Office of Registered Organizations using the website “CollegiateLink.”

To register an RSO, preliminary requirements must be met, including having a minimum of five initial members.

Dementro Powell, assistant director of the Organization Fund Advisory Board at the Illini Union, said most registration applications are accepted, but some can be rejected.

Some conditions of rejection include the potential organizations not following the guidelines or putting its members’ health or safety at risk.

The president and treasurer of each organization are also required to take a quiz and get a perfect score when registering and re-registering each year, even if the same people have held the positions for consecutive years.

Even though there is no limit to the number of groups on campus, Powell said, the University tries to avoid having organizations that have a similar purpose.

“Obviously sometimes that happens to where there are different groups doing the same thing, but something else may be a little different,” Powell said. “Maybe they travel when another group doesn’t, or something of the sort.”

The name of the organization also has restrictions. Specific rules on group names are listed on the Illini Union’s website. For example, the organization cannot include “University of Illinois,” “University” or its abbreviations in the name. However, “at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” is acceptable.

It took Aaron Chen, junior in LAS, two to three months to have a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recognized at the University.

This organization raises awareness for mental health. Chen said that a challenging part of the registration process was finding enough members who were interested and motivated to join the group.

“Sometimes it might seem a little daunting to start an organization, especially since there’s already so many different organizations on campus, but there’s always a group of people on campus that will be interested in what you’re going to start,” Chen said, “especially since this campus is so big.”

The length of time for organization approval also varies. David “Boots” Fulton, 2014 alumnus, said the Pickin’ Illini (or Folk and Roots Club) was approved in 24 hours.

Fulton and his brother, Daniel, also a 2014 alumnus, decided to register the folk and bluegrass music group because of their passion for the genre. According to Fulton, registering was simple, but getting a good group of people together was challenging.

“It is important to make sure you have a team that will be dedicated to make the organization reach its highest potential,” Fulton said in an email.

People who would like to create an organization that includes University and non-University members should contact the Office of Facility Management and Scheduling to register as a Campus-Community group.

Specific step-by-step instructions on registering and re-registering an organization on CollegiateLink can be found on the Illini Union’s website.

Registering a meeting place for an RSO on Quad Day is already closed for 2014, but those interested in starting a group can still apply. The full RSO handbook can be found on the Illini Union’s website.

Taylor can be reached at [email protected]