The deadline for registration of Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) is approaching. The policy set forth by Student Activities requires that all RSOs, whether newly formed or already in existence, register themselves annually. Last year’s registration process was anything but smooth and serves as a lesson as this year’s deadline draws near.
According to the Reporter’s coverage last October, a total of over thirty RSOs failed to meet the deadline, including even the International Student Association. The debacle culminated in a heated MSSA meeting, after which the decision was made to extend the deadline.
According to the RSO page on the MSU website (mnsu.edu), each RSO must complete the following steps by Sunday, Sept. 25 in order to be recognized:
1) submit a constitution and roster,
2) ask for administrator privileges on the group’s OrgSync page if need be, and
3) have the group president join the “Recognized Student Organizations – Executive Members Club” OrgSync portal. In addition, each RSO must send at least one member to the Inauguration Event this Sunday, Sept. 18 from 4-6 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.
MSSA president Faiçal Rayani notes that an ad hoc committee was created in order to prevent a repeat of the situation last fall.
“If the leader of an RSO simply didn’t care enough to register, I don’t know if that warrants an exception. Senate would have to decide that,” he says. “But if the leader of an RSO was not able to finish the registration process for a valid reason, then I don’t think a technicality should stop them from creating an RSO. I think we can approach exceptions on a case-by-case basis,” Rayano said.
Rayani stresses that the registration process should still be respected, saying “I firmly encourage all RSOs to follow the process because I believe in the hard work that Ashley Strom and the ad hoc committee put into this new process.”
Ashley Strom, Assistant Director for Non-Traditional Student, Registered Student Organizations, and Leadership, notes that the gravity of the situation last year has perhaps been overplayed.
“[It] was certainly a headache, but not in vain,” Strom said.
“We had 242 organizations that submitted for recognition during the recognition period last fall, and only 37 of those organizations that submitted had difficulty with one or more of the expectations of the process,” Strom said.
While many members of RSOs that failed to meet last fall’s deadline were upset with the process last fall, Strom argues that the annual registration requirement is essential.
“[It’s] necessary so that we know who the leaders of the specific organizations are from year to year. This way, we know who to hold accountable for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Specific benefits are granted to recognized groups, but in order to make use of these benefits, again, we need to know who is responsible for the operations of the organization,” Strom said.
OrgSync currently lists a total of 301 RSOs, ranging from international student groups such as the Middle Eastern Student Association to athletic groups such as the men’s and women’s rugby teams to academic groups such as the Microbiology Club. According to the MSU website, each RSO has at least five members and one faculty advisor.
“RSOs are an essential part of our community at MNSU,” said Rayani.
“I feel that every student can relate with at least one RSO or club. It makes a student feel more at home. The purpose of college isn’t just to get your degree and get out. You also want to have people make connections and you also want people to flourish in every aspect, including extracurriculars.”
Rayani adds that RSOs are given various privileges, such as a $50 stipend from MSSA, access to the Creation Station, and free use of rooms on campus. While Student Activities takes care of the logistics of registration, it is MSSA that officially approves the RSOs.
For more on the registration process, visit http://www.mnsu.edu/activities/rso/registering_an_rso.html.