RSO Policy – RSO Changes


These changes to policy for RSOs are a bit more nuanced than those applied to the financial side. Major impacts to existing Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are those surrounding the RSO policy changes regarding the multidisciplinary status and tier system along with the stricter deadline for annual registration which will now occur entirely in the Spring semester. The policy changes will have implications on the funding processes for RSOs involved but more details are below. New organizations, or groups attempting to Charter for the first time to reach RSO status, will see a streamlined process with less Constitutional review and clearer guidelines. The Joint Campus Organization Committee, and their policy, will no longer be a point of review for organizations regarding chartering or revocation of RSO status. Additionally, a new appeals process has been created that gives clearer guidelines to what constitutes an appeal as well as clearer policy around the revocation or denial of RSO status.

Please be aware that these changes make all deadlines much more strict without any leeway available. Each of these mentioned points is outlined in greater detail below.

All of these policies and procedures are now in effect and currently enforced. It should be noted that the current Annual Registration process for existing RSOs is still on-going with a deadline of September 1st – to check your organization’s current status in that process click here – or to see what steps your organization needs to take please visit the Center of Student Engagement’s Annual Registration Website. Should you have any questions or concerns about this policy please reach out to Joyce Karanouh-Schuler, SGA’s Joint VP of Campus Organizations.

Overarching Policy Changes

As stated before, these changes are probably the most impactful to current Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). These policy changes listed below are covering the most drastic ones that may require some immediate action or understanding by RSOs and may have implications on funding. Additional provisions are listed below that only adjust verbiage or make the existent policy clearer around RSOs advisors, elections, and other expectations now centralized through this new policy. 

Multidisciplinary Status Has Been Removed

Upon the enactment of this policy, all multidisciplinary standings of all RSOs have been removed. RSOs will only be considered on a per organization basis and not by any sub-disciplines. This removes the application process for multidisciplinary status as well as financial benefits such as multiple coaching stipends per organization or the additional number of travel/event registration available due to multiple disciplines. 

What actions you as an RSO can take to maintain your funding level or operations:

  • Split your organization under similar constitutions with the differences clearly defined. This will require you to go through the chartering process.
  • Create a governing board to maintain relative leadership synergies as well as maintain equal access to shared assets and pre-existing accounts between the now split organizations.
  • Do nothing and keep your organization as one entity. While much easier, this direction is only recommended if the impacts on your overall funding are minimal.

If you need assistance in creating new constitutions, governing boards, or new organizational structures please reach out to the Center of Student Engagement as they are standing by to assist RSOs in maintaining your operations. 

Tier System Has Been Removed

With the enactment of this policy, all RSOs are now considered the same “Tier” for both funding and organizational purposes. This has heavy implications for Tier IIs but not as much for now-former Tier IIIs. Moving forward RSOs will be considered simply as RSOs and not with the Tier denominator. 

If you are a leader or advisor of Tier II and have not received an email from the JVPCO or the JVPF please contact us immediately.

Departmental Registered Student Organization Has Been Created

The creation of a new classification has been made; titled a Departmental Registered Student Organization (DRSO). DRSOs are RSOs that are in a defined relationship with a department or unit of Georgia Tech either through the involvement of property, space, resources, money, or even reputation. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be made between the RSO and department in question that outlines the features of the relationship between the two entities of which will be reviewed every year – including but not limited to advising, property, space, and financial resources. This MOU is required to be included in the Annual Registration documents of the DRSO.

At any time, even during the Chartering Process, an RSO can be considered for DRSO status by one of the following:

  • Request from the Center of Student Engagement (CSE)
  • Request from the Student Activities Committee (SAC)
  • Petition from either the RSO or department/unit

The initial request or petition must be submitted in writing to CSE, the department/unit, and the most senior RSO student leader.

Once DRSO status has been assigned, the relationship and MOU between the department and student organization must be maintained. Failure to do so will cause a forfeiture of the DRSO designation and may result in the forfeit of any and all RSO status.

Please note that DRSOs do not have greater access to the Student Activity Fee – the funding allocated by SGA.

If you and your organization are interested in pursuing DRSO status, or would simply like to learn more, please reach out to the Center of Student Engagement which can assist in MOU creation and departmental negotiation if need be. 

General Changes

These remaining changes can be referenced in the RSO Policy itself as they are not majorly impactful or require any action by your organization. They expand and describe in greater detail some of the RSO operation requirements as well as Advisors. The section of the applicable policy is listed at the end of the bullet for your reference.

  • Responsibilities, assignment, training, policies, procedures, expectations, and removal of RSO advisors (5.5)
  • Additional and off-campus advisors definition (5.5)
  • Clear definitions of RSO categories with a CRC provision for Competitive Sports Organizations as well as GT Fraternity and Sorority Life provision for applicable Greek Organizations (5.6)
  • Greater defined Constitutional amendment procedure (5.7)
  • Organization self-governance expectations in regards to student leadership are paramount to the definition of RSO (5.8)
  • Faculty, staff, and non-student membership definitions (5.8)
  • Dues can only be required by non-student entities (5.8)
  • Democratic style of governance is required for all RSOs along with additional outlines of what constitutes as a valid election (5.8)

Annual Registration Changes

Registering your student organization is an annual requirement to maintain “active” as well as “good” standing with the Center of Student Engagement (CSE). Prior to this policy change, the registration process occurred over the summer and into the Fall semester. This year the registration process will continue as laid out to conclude on September 1st, 2020 but will conclude for the 2021 – 2022 academic year in the Spring semester. Additionally, there are not any additional requirements or changes in the actual process of the annual registration of RSOs. However, the process has been laid out below as a reference for this year and for the coming Spring semester. Please note that these requirements and deadlines have gotten much more strict than previously before and little to no leeway regarding deadlines can be given.

For the current annual registration process please visit the CSE Annual Registration Page.

Updated Process

1. Prepare and Complete Annual Registration Requirements

Starting for the next annual registration of all RSOs will need to complete the registration requirements no later than two weeks before the first day of final exams in the Spring semester – for Spring 2021 that would be April 15th, 2021. All required materials and forms will be made available at the beginning of the Spring semester by CSE. If your RSO does not complete and submits all the required forms by the deadline your organization will be suspended. It is recommended that if you have a leadership transition before this or around this deadline you make these new leaders aware of this requirement as soon as possible. The registration requirements include:

  • Submission of the Annual Registration Application
  • Submission of the Senior Executive Officer Form
  • Submission of the Finance Officer Form
  • Submission of the RSO’s Advisors Form
2. CSE Reviews the Submission

After the submission of all requirements, your RSO will enter a pending status and indicates that the submissions are under review by CSE and will remain pending until CSE has confirmed the forms have been completed properly. This review will be completed within 15 business days after your RSO has submitted all required forms and a written decision will be sent over.

3. CSE Completes Review

If approved, it was determined that all forms were completed correctly and your RSO will be given the status of “Active.” This completes your RSO’s annual registration process.

If denied, then it was determined that not all forms were completed correctly and your RSO will be given the status of “Suspended” and all RSO privileges will be revoked. If your RSO is suspended for a calendar year, then the status will be changed to “inactive.” You may appeal the decision as outlined in the Appeals Section of this page.

Chartering Process Changes

If you are planning to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO), following the chartering process will allow you access to all RSO privileges such as SGA funding, RSO printing, and event space reservations to name a few. The process has been updated slightly with some additional changes around deadlines and appeals process along with a reduction in constitutional reviewers.

More resources and documentation are being created to assist new groups in becoming RSOs.

Updated Process

The entire chartering process revolves around the ‘Charter Window’ – which is the period of time in which Georgia Tech is accepting applications for new RSOs. These Charter Windows will be posted on the Center of Student Engagement’s Website by the second week of classes each semester and will be open for at least 6 weeks if not longer.

1. Prepare Before the Chartering Window

In order for your application to be accepted a series of requirements must be met. You will be asked to provide documentation proving these so it is highly advised that you begin completing these before the Chartering Window on ensuring these are completed:

  • A Constitution which meets the requirements outlined in This Document
  • Have at least 10 Georgia Tech student members who meet the following criteria:
    • Be enrolled in a degree program and be registered;
    • for Fall and Spring semesters, maintain a schedule with at least six credit hours on a for-credit basis or be a student registered with the Center for Career Discovery and Development on a work term
    • All student organization officers must be enrolled in Georgia Tech classes with at least six credit hours on a for-credit basis or be a student registered with the Center for Career Discovery and Development on a work term in Atlanta
    • Additional criteria related to academic standing and disciplinary standing can be found Here
  • Two distinct elected student officers filling the role of Senior Executive Officer and Finance Officer
  • Have an Advisor who meets the requirements of being full time employee of Georgia Tech or the Georgia Tech Alumni Association
2. Attend an Organization Chartering Training
  • This needs to occur within the semester in which the group is intending to charter
  • The schedule for all Chartering Training sessions will be posted by the Center of Student Engagement on their website.
3. Submit All Required Documentation

Within the Chartering Window, all required documentation must be submitted. If the documents and forms are not submitted in a timely manner all pending forms will be denied. The required documentation is as follows: 

  • Submit the New Organization Chartering Form
  • A Constitution which meets all the Requirements
  • Student Membership Roster of at least 10 GT Students who meet the eligibility requirements listed in step 1
  • Submission of forms to be completed by the Senior Executive Officer, Finance Officer, and Advisor
4. Enter Pending Status During CSE Review

While CSE is reviewing your applications and documentation, your group will be granted a “Pending Status” and this grants your groups some reservation privileges during this time with the ability to reserve space for purely information meetings to garner interest or additional membership. Your group will not yet be eligible to request funding.

This privilege may be revoked if the submission requirements are not met within the Charter Window or activities of the group are in line with the basis of denying the chartering application entirely – listed below in the Appeals Section.

5. CSE Completes Their Review

Within 10 business days of submission of all required documentation, CSE will complete their review on the basis of completeness. If all required documentation is properly completed then the application will move forward and the submitted Constitution will be sent to the Student Activities Council (SAC) for Constitutional Review.

If the application is denied by CSE, groups may appeal following the appropriate Appeals Process.

6. Student Activities Council Constitutional Review

The Student Activities Council (SAC) will review the constitution of the group to determine that it meets the requirements necessary. This initial review will be completed within 15 days and a determination will be given to the group:

  • The constitution is approved and meets all requirements
  • The constitution is not approved, but not rejected, and needs to be amended to bring it into conformity with the requirements or clarify points of ambiguity/confusion.

If your group receives the notice to update the submitted constitution you will have 15 business days to provide SAC with a revised constitution. Within another 15 business days after the submission of the revised constitution, SAC will make a determination either:

  • Approving the constitution due to it meeting all of the requirements
  • Denying the constitution and thus RSO status to the group as the requirements have not been met

If the constitution is denied the Appeals Process may be pursued or the process can be restarted in a later chartering window.

7. After SAC Constitutional Review

Organizations that receive an Approved or Approved Pending Changes decision at SAC may proceed with the final step of the chartering process: Submitting the Final Annual Registration and Constitution.

At this step, your organization should make any required changes to the constitution AND submit the final version of your Annual Registration with all required fields completed.  After your final Annual Registration is submitted, your Advisor must review and approve the submission.

After the submission is approved by the Advisor and successful completion is verified by CSE, you will receive a Fully Chartered email from the Student Engagement team.

Updated Appeals Process

An updated process has been created to provide student groups that may have had their application denied, constitution denied, or RSO status revoked to appeal that determination for a final decision. New causes for denial or revocation of RSO status have also been created, as well as a stricter timeline for the appeals process as a whole has been established.

Updated Causes for Denial of Chartering Application or Revocation of RSO Status

At any time Georgia Tech may refuse to Charter, and even revoke a current RSO’s status if it determines the student organization or chartering group:

  • Seeks to accomplish its objectives, goals, purposes, or activities through the use or promotion of violence
  • Engages in activities that materially or substantially interfere with the discipline and normal activities of GT or with the rights of others, including activities that present a danger to property, individuals, or the orderly functioning of GT
  • Is organized for the financial benefit of an individual member or members, or for the financial benefit of a for-profit organization 
  • Falsifies or forges an official GT record or document
  • Refuses to comply with federal or state laws, Board of Regents’ policy, and GT policies and procedures, including GT’s Code of Conduct, or states an intention to do so 
  • Fails to provide all necessary registration information to GT
  • Fails to meet financial obligations to GT after receiving written notice of the failure and not curing it within 30 business days

Updated Process

1. Initiating the Appeals Process

In order to begin the Appeals Process one of three things must have occurred:

  • CSE has denied a chartering group “pending” status – outlined in the chartering process
  • CSE has determined that a chartering group has not completed/submitted their application by the deadline
  • CSE has suspended or revoked an RSO’s registration or designation
  • SAC denies a chartering group’s constitution – denies, not to be confused with sending it back for revisions
2. Submitting an Appeal

Within 5 business days of notification of the decision, denial, or revocation the RSO or chartering group may appeal the decision in writing to Georgia Tech’s Associate Dean and Director of The Center for Student Engagement. 

Unless the denial or revocation was initiated under Georgia Tech’s Code of Conduct, which in those cases appeals are handled in accordance with Georgia Tech’s Code of Conduct.

3. Receive Written Decision from Associate Dean

Within 10 business days of submitting the appeal, a written decision containing the reasoning for granting or rejecting the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the process is complete and the initial denial or revocation is overturned. However, if the appeal is rejected additional steps can be taken.

4. Appeal to the Dean of Students if Applicable

If the appeal was denied from the Associate Dean, within 5 business days of receiving the written decision the chartering group or RSO may appeal to the Dean of Students in writing.

5. Receive Written Decision from Dean of Students

Within 10 business days of submitting the appeal to the Dean of Students, a written decision containing the reasoning for granting or rejecting the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the process is complete and the initial denial or revocation is overturned. However, if the appeal is rejected, no further action can be taken; this is the final decision.