Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Guidelines

The Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Guidelines are subject to change with notification, and RSOs have three months to comply.


Recognized Student Organizations

At International American University (IAU), student leadership development is a cornerstone in supporting its students to become engaged citizens. Student leadership involves cultivating a frame of mind for exploring self, others and community. Leaders develop a skill set to adapt to change, craft creative solutions, and seize opportunities. Leaders are moved by what they care about to make the world a better place. IAU seeks to create an engaging learning environment in which community is strengthened and individuals flourish.

One of the primary means of student involvement is through Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs). RSOs at IAU are also responsible for many of the programs and events held on campus each year including social events, lectures, special events, cultural events, and conferences.

Student clubs and organizations represent the most visible and accessible avenue to student involvement and support the mission of IAU by providing active involvement in co-curricular experiences. They also help to provide valuable leadership and organizational skill development opportunities.


Student Organization Recognition Purpose and Structure

Why is there a Recognition Process?

The purpose of recognizing student organizations at IAU is to provide a structure through which students may exercise their right to freely associate in pursuit of a common purpose or goal that enhances community at IAU. RSOs create opportunities for leadership development, learning, student engagement, and fostering of shared interests.

Organization Classifications

Each student organization granted recognition by IAU shall be categorized by assessing the student organization’s relationship to IAU: the purpose, scope, and complexity of its activities.


A cultural student organization is an organization within a culture/subculture that works for the preservation or promotion of culture.


A professional student organization is an organization seeking to further a particular profession or student activity and the interests of individuals studying a particular IAU major or employed in the field.


Recreational student organizations are special interest activities that are engaged in for relaxation, and include indoor or outdoor activities, for example, sports, arts, games, or entertainment.

General Expectations of Recognized Student Organizations

All RSOs are expected to uphold IAU’s mission statement, policies, and procedures and always act in good faith when conducting organizational business. Further, recognition does not imply that the IAU assumes liability or legal responsibility for the actions of any group. Recognition of a group does not deprive the IAU of any of its rights to act for the welfare of the community. Continuation of recognition is dependent upon the fulfillment of intent and demonstrated ability to abide by the organization’s constitution and IAU’s educational purposes.

Recognized Student Organization Requirements

Name of Student Organization

RSO’s name reflects its association with IAU and is appropriate for its stated purpose. The name of the RSO shall include the campus location, for example, Bengali Student Association @ IAULA. Cultural associations shall use the official 2-character abbreviation country code; for example, the Brazilian Student Association and Bengali Student Association shall be referred to as (BrSA), and (BdSA), respectively.


RSO must have a clearly stated Mission statement that aligns with and supports the mission of IAU.  RSO is expected to enhance students’ physical, intellectual, emotional, cultural, or mental well-being by perpetuating the Christian values and principles of the IAU community.

Organizational Membership 

  1. RSO must have a minimum of 10 current IAU students interested in participating.
  2. Membership in this RSO shall be open to all active IAU students. RSO must allow any eligible IAU student to join and participate.


  1. RSO must appoint a minimum of three (3) officer positions. One person may not serve in multiple officer positions. Due to a possible conflict of interest, an RSO officer may not also serve as an officer of ISA concurrently.
    • President – Shall serve as Chief Executive Officer.
    • Treasurer – Shall handle all financial affairs and budgeting.
    • Secretary – Shall document the attending members of meetings and events.
  2. RSO will report its leadership and membership roster every term or when there are changes.
  3. RSO is expected to have a job description for every position. Job descriptions must minimally be reviewed annually and updated as needed. See examples:


RSO must have a current constitution or governing document that includes a mission statement, expectations of membership, criteria for member and leader selection, a non-discrimination clause, a process for resolving disputes, criteria for the removal of members and leaders, and the IAU hazing policy.

  1. The criteria used for member and leader selection must reflect the values and mission of the RSO.
  2. The expectations for members must align with the mission of the RSO.
  3. The constitution or governing document must minimally be reviewed annually.


RSO must hold a minimum of one meeting every month of a mandatory session. Meetings must be open to any IAU community member and allow virtual attendance via Google Meet. RSO Secretary will take minutes and store them on Google Drive. Minutes can be made available to any IAU community member  by request.


RSO must organize a minimum of one (1) event each mandatory semester. Budgets must be created/established and submitted to ISA to review and approval. Funding shall be dispersed from the Student Activities Fund based on factors, including but not limited to RSO membership, event budget, projected attendees, previous events.

Social Media

RSO are encouraged to create a social media page on popular platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Social media is a primary way to reach students and gives RSOs a platform to promote the RSO, introduce officers and members, showcase event photos and videos, and promote future activities.
Social media postings must align with the RSO’s mission statement and positively reflect IAU. ISA reviews social media postings and any postings deemed inappropriate at the discretion of the ISA, ISAL, or IAU must be removed within 48 hours.

Ongoing Expectations

RSO is expected to contribute positively to the IAU community and conduct themselves in ways that do not reflect poorly on IAU. In doing so, organizations should be cognizant of the Policies and Procedures.


How to Start a Recognized Student Organization

New Groups

To establish a new Recognized Student Organization, group member(s) must first review the entire RSO Guidelines to gain a better understanding of the overall recognition process. Questions can be directed to

All groups seeking recognition must have on record a minimum of 10 currently enrolled IAU students, including each student’s SID#, on their initial roster of members.

Additionally, the organization must develop a proposed constitution. See Sample Constitution. Once a group has completed a draft constitution, they must meet with an IAU Student Association Liaison (ISAL). Following ISAL consultation, the draft constitution and application for recognition may be submitted to After submitting a completed application, the IAU Student Association (ISA) will contact the group about scheduling a Student Organization Recognition presentation.

The application materials will then be reviewed by the ISA, which meets at least once a month between September and April. During your presentation, the group will be asked to present your application and rationale, demonstrate familiarity with university policies, and answer questions from the committee. After the presentation, ISA will make a recommendation to the ISAL on the proposed recognition.

The ISAL will provide final notification to the group on the status of the application via email.

Reactivating a Group

To reactivate a dormant but previously recognized group, contact the ISAL via email


Policies and Procedures

Alcoholic Beverage Policy

  1. The following conduct is prohibited by law:
    • Possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol under the age of 21.
    • Selling or providing alcohol to any person under the age of 21.
    • Appearing intoxicated in a public area.
    • Selling or serving alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person.
    • Possessing an open container of alcohol in a public area.
    • Bringing any type of alcoholic beverage into an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licensed facility or area, and taking alcoholic beverages out of an ABC area.
  2.  The following additional conduct is prohibited on campus at the university:
    • Possessing alcohol in public. Public areas where alcohol is prohibited include all indoor and outdoor university property, unless an event has been approved through the university’s event registration process.
    • Participating in drinking games or progressive drinking parties by students or guests.
    • Possessing items used predominantly for drinking games (e.g., beer pong tables and beer bongs).
    • Possessing “common containers” of alcohol, including but not limited to, kegs, pony kegs, beer balls, box wines and containers greater than 750 ml., and mixed alcoholic punch. The ISAL may grant permission for the use of common container alcohol at special functions.

Hazing Prevention

IAU is about strengthening community and creating opportunities for individuals to flourish. No one should ever be demeaned or exposed to harm in their efforts to be part of campus life. The Student Code of Conduct is strictly enforced.

Noise Policy

No activity or event shall be scheduled for an unsuitable location, taking into account considerations of size, accommodations, traffic, noise, time, relationship to nearby area and activities, and other relevant facts and circumstances.

Noise levels must be maintained at a reasonable level, as determined by the Offices of Facilities & Tech (FAC), or the event will be closed. Should a complaint be received regarding noise from an event, FAC will visit the site to make a determination on the noise level. If it is determined that it is too loud and creating a disturbance, the staff member will direct that the level be lowered to a reasonable level. If the level intensifies and/or complaints continue even after the volume is lowered, the staff member has the authority to close the event. All amplified music outdoors must end by dusk unless specific written permission has been granted in advance by the ISAL.

Posting on Campus

  1. RSOs may place posters on kiosks, bulletin boards, and other specifically designated areas around campus. (Posters shall be defined as signs, advertisements, announcements, and other informational devices.)
  2. Posters may be placed on campus bulletin boards with the following provisions:
    • May not exceed 14 inches by 22 inches in size.
    • Must carry the name of the sponsoring organization and the date (week) of posting.
    • Must be removed at the end of two weeks unless an extension is granted.
    • No advertisements offering paid for research may be posted on campus.
  3. Banners and signs in excess of 14 inches by 22 inches in size must be approved by the appropriate scheduling authority prior to hanging and may be hung only in certain designated areas with the following provisions:
    • They must carry the name of the sponsoring organization.
    • Banners may be posted for no more than two weeks unless an extension has been granted by the appropriate scheduling authority.
    • Signs and banners which are hung near entryways must not obscure vision or entry, and should be securely fastened. Signs must be constructed of material that can withstand adverse weather conditions.
  4. Banners, signs, or posters MAY NOT be posted or hung on trees, poles, walls, doors, windows, or fences without special permission. Unauthorized signs will be removed.
  5. All signs, posters, and banners must conform to the Student Code of Conduct and to any applicable laws.

Use of Campus Facilities Policy

Event Management

All registered RSO events require at least one Event Manager. The Event Manager takes full responsibility for management of the event. The Event Manager is responsible for registering the event with ISA and participating in an event management planning meeting with a representative of the ISA.

Furniture Requests

RSO must request the furniture it will need. All furniture must stay in the room in which it is requested. Due to fire safety policies, IAU cannot set up tables in the hallways. RSO will request the furniture setup when it submits the request for space. For more complex set-ups, please contact at least two weeks prior to the event to discuss the furniture needs and room arrangement.

Audio/Visual Equipment

RSO must email to use audio/visual equipment. A/V must be requested at least 5 business days in advance. If a technician will be needed for the duration of the event, the request must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance. RSO may be billed for a technician.


To reduce damage to the building, IAU does not allow groups to tack, tape, or otherwise affix anything to the walls, doors, windows, blinds, or railings in any of the rooms or hallways. Helium balloons are not permitted and the use of candles must be approved by FAC. RSO may be billed for damages or labor resulting from failure to adhere to this policy.


RSO is required to leave all rooms in the condition in which they are found, which includes removing or properly disposing of all items brought into the room. RSO should meet with the FAC staff on duty upon arriving for the event. FAC will make clear the expectations regarding clean-up at the end of the event. RSO will be held responsible for the cost of removing decorations or other items and any excessive cleaning that is necessary. FAC will determine when the room is in satisfactory condition. RSO may be billed for cleaning or labor resulting from failure to adhere to this policy.


If RSO is interested in serving alcohol at its event, it must make arrangements through the ISAL as far in advance as possible. All alcoholic beverages must remain in the room in which they are served. The Event Manager is responsible for supervising the serving and management of alcohol.

DJ or Band

DJs and bands may have specific electrical requirements that need advance preparations. Request a technical rider from any hired entertainment and bring it to the furniture set-up meeting so IAU can ensure the facilities meet the electrical needs.

Event Termination

Events that fail to comply with IAU policy, state law, or generally accepted rules of safety may be terminated by a member of ISA, an IAU official, law enforcement officers, or an appropriate fire or safety officer (depending on the circumstances). Failure to comply may preclude RSO from organizing future events.

Use of University Marks

Unauthorized use of the university name and/or marks may result in seizure of non-conforming products.

If RSO has any questions regarding the guidelines, please contact the ISAL at

The guidelines are as follows:

  1. Approval of any usage must be obtained from the IAU Office of Executive Affairs prior to production. This approval will not only involve the use of the university name and marks, but vendor production as well.
  2. No use of the university name or marks is permitted on any alcohol, tobacco, or firearm product. Alcohol, tobacco, or firearms may not be sold under the implicit or explicit authorization of the university.
  3. Products bearing the name or marks of the university in an offensive or distasteful manner or not meeting the quality standards of the university will not receive the appropriate authorization.
  4. Student organizations must first submit their product proposals to the ISAL, who will work with the Office of Executive Affairs to obtain approval of the artwork and product quality.


Email Accounts for Recognized Student Organizations

New Accounts

Student organization email addresses are provided through Google Workspace. To get an email account set up you must first be a Recognized Student Organization. The recognition process is managed by ISA. Once that process is complete, the RSO will be able to set up an organization email address.

The new RSO may request an email address that is appropriate and reflects the organization. ISAL must approve the email address.

After the recognition process has been completed, the RSO will activate their account credentials (user ID and password); a user ID will be generated for the RSO, and the RSO will set up the password following the instructions provided to them. Using these credentials, the RSO can access the Google Workspace email account for the organization.

Passwords for Existing Accounts

Passwords to RSO accounts need to be updated annually (this applies to email accounts as well). The current password is passed from one leadership team to the next. However, IAU knows that there can be issues with this process and RSOs may need help accessing the organization’s email account. To request access, contact TechSupport via email at