The University of Houston defines its relationship with Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) in the Student Handbook through the Dean of Students Office.
Registered Student Organizations
Registered Student Organizations ("RSOs") are unsponsored organizations that function independently from the University and are entitled to request minimal support from the University. They are private entities and are not extensions of the University. The RSOs may conduct the organizations' business on their own behalf, but they may not imply or suggest that they are representatives or agencies with authority to make decisions or speak on behalf of the University. These organizations are registered annually through the Center for Student Involvement at the University of Houston. In addition, they are required to have:
- Faculty or Staff advisors that are acceptable to the University. The RSO advisors are volunteers that will exercise their duties independently of any duties that they may have with the University and not as representatives of the University.
- A constitution that includes the anti-hazing clause and non-discrimination clause
- At least three enrolled students at the University of Houston
Purpose of RSOs
The University recognizes:
- The importance of organized student activities as an integral part of the total educational program of the University;
- That college learning experiences are enriched by student organizational activity; and
- That organizations provide a framework for students within which they may develop their own special talents and interests.
Inherent in the relationship between the University and organized student groups is the understanding that the purposes and activities of such groups should be consistent with the mission and goals of the University of Houston.
Privileges Given to RSOs
Registered Student Organizations exist on the university campus on the assumption that their activities and programs contribute to the educational, civic, and social development of the students involved. Registration of a campus organization does not imply university sanction of the organization or its activities. Registration is simply an opportunity to organize on the university campus and may be withdrawn by the University Hearing Board if an organization is found in violation of any federal, state or local laws, or university regulation or policy.
Use of the University's Name
Organizations may not use the name of the University of Houston or an abbreviation of the name of the University of Houston as part of its name, except to designate location or chapter, nor advertise or promote events in a manner which suggests that the function is sponsored or sanctioned by the University unless the event is formally cosponsored with an administrative or academic unit of the University. For example, “University of Houston Cougar Fan Club” is not acceptable. The acceptable format is “Cougar Fan Club at the University of Houston.”
Rights and Responsibilities of Registered Student Organizations
Rights - Registered Student Organizations may:
- Use university facilities (subject to pertinent regulations, proper scheduling procedures, and prior needs of the University itself);
- Invite off-campus speakers and artists to appear for regularly scheduled meetings and assemblies (Meetings and speakers must be scheduled in accordance with proper procedures and university policies);
- Distribute literature relating to the organization's purpose and activities in those areas authorized by the current posting policies;
- Sponsor profit-making activities and solicit funds for organizational activities in accordance with university regulations;
- Apply for office/carrel space. Applications are available to registered student organizations in the spring of each year;
- Request funding for an organizational event or program. (Subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate funding and programming board.)
Responsibilities - It is the responsibility of every registered student organization and/or its representatives to:
- Carry out its activities and conduct itself and/or himself or herself within the student organization's own constitution, all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and all university regulations and policies;
- Anticipate, provide for, and promptly meet its legitimate financial obligations;
- Act accordingly in the best interests of its members and the University;
- Comply with all organization information distributed through Center for Student Involvement mailboxes;
- Take reasonable precautions for the safety and comfort of participants at organization events; and
- Notify the appropriate advisor in the Center for Student Involvement of any and all changes in the organization's officers/contact persons, addresses, telephone numbers, or constitution.
In addition, Registered Student Organizations are welcome to do the following:
- Establish a profile on UH Get Involved website
- Participate in university events such as Cat’s Back, Homecoming, New Student Orientation, etc.
- Eligible to receive reduced advertising rates in student publications and free campus notices (according to guidelines) in the Daily Cougar
- Receive consultation from the Center for Student Involvement on risk management or event planning
- Apply for awards and honors presented at the Campus Leaders Reception
- Distribute literature, flyers, posters, banners, and organizational material according to the posting policies
- Eligible to use university services and resources such as information technology and mail services
- Faculty and staff advisors can receive training and consultation from the Center for Student Involvement
- Apply for funding from the Activities Funding Board and UH Dining Catering Donations
Conduct of Student Organizations
Student groups and organizations may be charged with alleged violations of local, state, and federal laws and/or university policies. A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when alleged violations occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that organization or group. (See Section 21 of the Code of Conduct of the Student Handbook published by the Dean of Students.)