Start a New RSO


Recognition Process for Student Organizations

Starting a New RSO

If you find that none of the existing organizations meet your needs, follow the step-by-step guide to starting a new student organization. Feel free to contact Student Life at 501-450-3137 if you have any questions along the way. Before you begin the process, consider the following:

Criteria for Approval

In order to be recognized as a new UCA group, the organization must:

  • Create a name that clearly represents the function of the student group.
  • Have a clear purpose that is not duplicated by another student group or campus department and compliments the University’s mission.
  • Create a local constitution or bylaws that outline organization operations.
  • Have a separate President, Treasurer, and On-Campus Faculty or Staff Advisor (F/S advisor cannot be a graduate student).
  • Have a minimum of 6 students on the roster.
  • Comply with all local, state, and federal laws and does not create undue risk or liability to the University.
  • Upon request, submit group budgets and other information based on the type and complexity of the organization.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE to Starting a New Student Organization

Step 1. Read the Student Handbook
Everything you need to know about student organizations at UCA is in the handbook.

Step 2. Find a UCA Advisor
The advisor requirements and role are very important. Make sure when selecting an advisor, it is a good fit for both the group as well as the advisor. Advisors need to be a full or part time employee of UCA. Graduate Students are not eligible to be primary RSO advisors.

Advisors have various responsibilities to both the RSO and the institution. Be sure to review and share the Advisor Responsibilities with potential advisors.

Step 3. Develop a Constitution
Each constitution submitted must follow the Sample Constitution. This sample constitution outlines requirements from the Board of Trustees as well as suggestions from Student Life to ensure a solid constitution is created.

Step 4. Register New Organization and Submit Constitution
Register your new organization on CubConnect.  The UCA Review can take anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks, because your constitution must go through an approval process with the Student Government Association and the Associate Dean of Students/Student Life Committee. Follow these steps for registration. New RSO Registrations will be unavailable from the Friday before Spring Break until the second Monday of April each year to allow the new annual processes to be updated.

Step 5. Complete required trainings
In 2022, Student Life put trainings on the Vector Solutions platform to allow student leaders and advisors to complete the trainings on their own time. The required training for RSO Registration and Renewal is the Annual RSO Training, and must be completed by the president and F/S advisor before an RSO is approved.

This training can be located on the Vector Solutions platform for Students and Faculty/Staff.

While RSO Registration is pending, communication from the Associate Director of Student Life, Student Government Association representatives, and the Associate Dean of Students/Student Life Committee will happen primarily through comments on CubConnect. The submitter and any reviewers will receive email notification from CubConnect.

Please note: Submitting an application for a new student organization does not guarantee recognition.

After Gaining RSO Approval:

Renew RSO Annually
Once your group has successfully been approved, you must renew your group each year on CubConnect by the second Friday of September. Your RSO will be disabled if it has not been renewed by this date.

While disabled, all RSO privileges (outlined on page 52 of the Student Handbook) will no longer exist for the group. In order to re-activate your group, you must apply for reactivation. At the discretion of Student Life, any disabled group may have to go through the new RSO approval process to determine if reactivation is granted.

Complete Annual Mandatory Trainings
The president and a faculty/staff advisor of each student organization must complete the Annual RSO Training on the Vector Solutions platform by the RSO Renewal deadline. Student Life may require additional members and an advisor to complete a specific training, such as the RSO Events Policy.

Check Mailbox on a weekly basis, if applicable
Mailboxes are available to RSOs on a first come, first served basis. All student organizations must manage their mailbox located in the Student Center 207. If the mailbox is not being checked, the RSO will be contacted, and the mailbox may be re-assigned to another group. You will not be able to get your mailbox back until a vacancy occurs. If your RSO needs a mailbox, reserve one here.

RSO Categories and Structure

RSOs categorize themselves based on their function as an RSO.  Below are the current categories and a brief description

  • Academic: Groups focused on a particular major or academic college.
  • Club Sports: Groups focused on sports programs and competition league play established under guidelines provided by the UCA Campus Recreation.
  • Cultural: Groups representing diverse ethnicities and backgrounds and are focused on a specific culture’s values and customs.
  • Greek: Social groups who are members of the four Greek governing bodies. (Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council, & United Greek Council).
  • Honorary: Nationally recognized honor organizations usually based on academic achievement, leadership, and/or extracurricular success. Membership is often based on nomination or minimum grade point average.
  • Faith/Spiritual: Groups representing diverse faith communities and belief systems who observe and follow religious and/or spiritual practices and traditions while offering fellowship and outreach through activities, programs, and worship services.
  • Service: Groups focused on providing service to the campus, community, and national charities.
  • Special Interest: Groups focused on a specific issue, topic, or activity of interest that connect them with others who share the same interest.

After Approval

After your RSO has received approval, you can check the New RSO Next Steps page for a quick summary of useful information in starting your RSO.