Am I a Department or Recognized Student Organization?

DSO Eligibility

If the answer is yes to any of the following, the organization is not eligible to be a DSO and should pursue recognition as a Sponsored (SSO) or Voluntary (VSO) Student Organization.  If the answer to all 3 is no, review DSO Key indicators.

  • Is the organization religiously focused?
  • Is the organization a political
  • Does the organization maintain a tax identity number separate from Oregon State University


DSO Key Indicators

The following are key indicators fo DSOs.  If any of the following are true, the organization is not currently eligible to become a recognized student organization:

  • Department directly employs staff to support, develop, and direct the organization - the position description of these staff list directing and supporting the organization as a primary duty of their position
  • Department provides compensation to students for participation in the organization (compensation includes wages, scholarships, stipends, housing, term meal plans, etc.)
  • Departments manage all business and safety functions, including but not limited to Business Center engagement, Office of Risk Management, Procurement and Contract Services, OSU General Counsel, OSU Foundation, etc.
  • Department controls/approves organization finances and requires the organization to maintain all funding and property under the department/University
  • Department controlled resources (space, equipment, technology, etc.) are available to the organization without fees and individual use agreements
  • Organization is responsible for allocating department resources to other student organizations
  • Department has the authority to establish, maintain or eliminate the organization
  • Department sets annual goals of the organization
  • Department recommends and/or requires student leadership change
  • Department defines positional roles and duties and can define unique criteria for participation.
  • Department utilizes OSU’s TIN or the OSU Foundation TIN for all business, including solicitation and receipt of gifts-in-kind, donations and sponsorships

If none of the above are true, then the organziation should pursue recognition as a Sponsored (SSO) or Voluntary (VSO) Student Organization, by first ensuring they meet the criteria for being recognized.  

If you answered Y to one or more of the above, then the organization is not currently eligible to be a recognized student organization. The options moving forward for these organizations are:

  1. Transition the organization to Department Student Organization Status.  The following are required of all DSOs:
    • Conduct all business and activity as University business
    • Maintain all finances in University or Foundation accounts
    • Have budgets and expenditures approved and managed by department
    • Transition ownership of all property to the University
    • Program is listed under the University Tax ID –any other TINs associated with the Organization must be dissolved
    • All student leaders are staff or official University volunteers
    • A staff person should be assigned to supervise the organization
  2. Transition organization to RSO by making adjustments to the structure in order to meet the eligibility requirements for recognition.