How to Start a Registered Student Organization?

  • The first step is to check Engage, our student organization portal, to see if a registered student organization like the one you are proposing already exists on campus.
  • If so, have you contacted the organization to see if they are accepting new members? Or could your proposed student organization merge with an existing group to provide the same services/experiences to UI students?
  • If there is not an organization on campus with a mission similar to the one you are proposing, or if there is an existing group but it conflicts with your mission/ideas/goals, then follow the steps below to start a new student organization at the University of Iowa.

Requirements/Specifications for Approval:

  • Your student organization must contain 80% University Iowa students. In starting an organization, you are required to have five members. This means four of the five members must be University of Iowa students.
  • Student organizations petitioning for registration are not eligible to use the name the University of Iowa in their organization’s name. The organization could be named “Student Club at Iowa” or Student Club”, but not University of Iowa Student Club”.
  • All student organizations must be approved by the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC). This approval process happens after each open window period. To be considered, you much complete all steps in the new student organization process. Please note, you may be contacted to present to the SORC depending on the nature of your proposed organization’s activities.

Open Registration Periods for 2022-2023:

There are 4 windows of time in which a student can petition to start a new student organization and submit the required paperwork to become a registered student organization (RSO).

  • July 5th, 2022- July 31st, 2022
  • September 12th, 2022- October 12th, 2022
  • December 5th2022- January 5th, 2023
  • February 1st, 2023- February 15th, 2023

Steps to Receive Approval:

To be considered, you must complete all steps in the approval process during one of the open registration windows listed above. Registration only occurs during these four windows. If a open registration period is missed, a proposed student organization must wait until the next available open registration period to apply.

The Summer registration window will be open from July 1st to July 30th, 2022. Our staff is available before those dates to answer questions, help plan out your potential organization, and conduct Pre-Registration Meetings.

Steps:

  1. Ensure the organization you’re proposing does not exist by visiting Engage website.
  2. Make sure your organization has 5 people who are willing to be members.
  3. Schedule a pre-registration meeting with a staff member from Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement (LSCE) to discuss your potential new student organization. At this time, LSCE staff will provide any feedback needed to continue the steps in proposing a new student organization.

4. Create a constitution for your proposed new student organization using Constitution Standards and Guidelines.

  • Your organization’s constitution must include the entire mandatory UI Human Rights Clause in the membership section, and it must include the entire mandatory Financial Clause as written within the Constitutional Standards & Guidelines. Remember to edit the dissolution portions of the Financial Clause that are noted (IN PARENTHESES).
  • Do not simply copy/paste, then answer, the questions/prompts asked in the Constitutional Standards & Guidelines. Put thought into your organization’s constitution; format the information so that it is easy to reference and use. Keep in mind, the goal is for your organization to outlast your time at the University. You are setting up the structure that will govern your organization into the future.
  • If you need assistance drafting your constitution, please contact Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement by email at dsl-leadandserve@uiowa.edu

5. Sign in to Engage with your Hawk ID and password. If you have not joined Engage, you must create an Engage Personal Profile.

  • Once in Engage, click on the “Organizations” tab toward the top of the screen.
  • On the bottom left, click “Register an organization”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register a new organization”
  • Complete all necessary information as listed in the form and submit.

If a new student organization Registration Form is submitted without first having a Pre-registration Meeting, outlined in Step 4, the form will not be reviewed by SORC and will require the proposed organization to wait until the next available window to be reviewed and the Pre-Registration Meeting is held.

6. Once all necessary steps in the process have been completed, the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC) will look at all proposals submitted after each application window closes. Please allow for up to two weeks for notice of your application.

7. If your organization is not approved, follow up from the SORC meeting will occur to identify.

8. If approved by SORC, you will be sent an official notification via email. At least one member of your new organization is required to attend an orientation led by our staff. Orientation invites will be sent out to your organization's contact once the committee gives approval.

If a representative from your organization cannot attend one of these times, please contact dsl-leadandserve@uiowa.edu to reschedule!