University Relationship with Recognized Student Organizations

Recognition is simply a means by which student organizations may apply to receive standard privileges granted when certain minimum requirements are met. Student organizations are expected to maintain alignment with OSU’s mission and exemplify the principles of honesty and integrity, and respect of diversity, while always acting in good faith in the business dealings of the organization.  Except as specifically identified in this policy or expressly written in any sponsorship agreement, the University does not control or accept responsibility for the activities nor endorse the programs of student organizations.  Student organizations shall not misrepresent the mission, purpose or goals of the student organization.   OSU maintains the right to rescind recognition and/or not recognize a student organization that, in the sole judgment of OSU, does not further the educational mission of OSU.  

 

Recognition Eligibility

In order to be eligible for University recognition, the following must be true:

  • Organization represents the interests of its members and control of the organization must be maintained by OSU Students
  • Membership consists of 100% OSU Students and at least 4 currently enrolled OSU students
  • Members create, manage, amend and approve the organization’s governing document/s
  • Members determine their own leaders (election and removal) through a process defined and outlined in their governing document/s.  This includes:
    • Officer/Leader eligibility and selection criteria
    • Officer/Leader election and/or appointment
    • Officer/Leaders roles and responsibilities
  • Members direct, control and execute all business and decisions of the organization
  • Members determine, coordinate, plan and execute organizational activities, including campus space and facility reservations
  • Members serve as the primary contact/s for the organization
  • Leaders and members of the RSOs may not be employees of OSU in their student organization capacity, nor receive any form of compensation from OSU for their student organization service or membership
  • Organization must operate exclusively on a not-for-profit basis
  • All funds that are raised must be used for fulfilling the purpose and mission of the organization as stated in its constitution
  • RSOs are restricted from raising funds, investing, or making profits that are then obtained by or distributed to individual members of the organization for personal financial gain
  • Organization must comply with OSU’s non-discrimination policy, which prohibits restrictive clauses based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status (Note: Social fraternities and sororities are permitted to retain their same-sex membership status)

 

Sponsored Student Organization (SSO) Overview & Recognition

An SSO is a student organization that is legally, a separate entity from OSU, but functions under the guidance and support of an OSU department.  Sponsorship from a University department indicates two things:

  1. The OSU department views the organization’s efforts as an integral component of the department’s goals, and therefore commits itself to provide support for the organization and its endeavors; and
  2. While recognizing the importance of student leadership and the autonomy of the student organization, sponsorship indicates a relationship with the University; therefore, a high level of accountability from the organization and the sponsoring department is required.

As a result of this relationship, the college dean or program director of the OSU department or their authorized designee enter a written agreement with the student organization describing each party’s role, expectations and obligations, which is completed through the annual registration process.

In order to become recognized and maintain recognition as an SSO, the organization must:

  • Meet all eligibility criteria listed above in Recognition Eligibility
  • Complete the registration process on an annual basis that includes:
    • Submit an organization information form
    • Submit club constitution/governing documents and any revisions
    • Complete risk assessment
    • Complete and submit an annual sponsorship agreement with the sponsoring department
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the OSU’s Student Code of Conduct and all other applicable OSU Standards and Policies, procedures, and applicable laws including Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Report violations of the Student Conduct Code including documentation of process and outcomes
  • Maintain a roster of current members through the Student Org Database.  Ensure complete and accurate rosters are submitted by the end of week 4 of each academic term
  • Have a faculty/staff member from the sponsoring department appointed/assigned as the Faculty Advisor
  • Maintain financial accountability to OSU for all University funds received 
    • These funds must be maintained in a Funds-in-Trust Account in the Auxiliary and Activities Business Center (AABC)
  • Maintain good standing with the University, all governing boards to which the organization belongs and all chartering, sponsoring or governing organization with whom the organization affiliates
  • Submit an activity report for all activity through the Student Org Database in advance of the activity

 

Voluntary Student Organization (VSO) Overview & Recognition

A VSO is a student organization that is legally, a separate entity from OSU, and functions solely under the direction and control of its student members. The activities and operations of these organizations are not affiliated with OSU. VSOs may enter into activity sponsorship agreements with an OSU department to access department support and resources.  No faculty/staff advisor is required for recognition under this classification.

In order to become recognized and maintain recognition as a VSO, the organization must:

  • Meet all eligibility criteria listed above in Recognition Eligibility
  • Complete the registration process on an annual basis that includes:
    • Submit an organization information form
    • Submit club constitution/governing documents and any revisions
  • Conduct affairs in a lawful and ethical manner and in accordance with the OSU’s Student Code of Conduct and all other applicable OSU Standards and Policies, procedures, and applicable laws including Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Report violations of the Student Conduct Code including documentation of process and outcomes
  • Maintain a roster of current members through the Student Org Database.  Ensure complete an accurate rosters are submitted by the end of week 4 of each academic term
  • Maintain good standing with the University, all governing boards to which the organization belongs and all chartering, sponsoring or governing organization with whom the organization affiliates
  • To receive benefits of recognition, an activity report must be submitted for all on-campus activity through the Student Org Database in advance of the activity
  • VSOs may not use OSU’s name, service mark, trademark, or abbreviation thereof in any publicity, advertising, or news release without the prior written approval of the authorized OSU representative.  VSOs may, however, list their name as (name of group) at OSU