student at the be involved fairCU Boulder students can start a new recognized student organization (RSO) by following the steps and policies outlined below.

But first, see if your organization already exists. You can browse organizations by category or search for specific words or phrases on BuffConnect, CU’s comprehensive student involvement database. If your idea isn’t already out there, we encourage you to start a new RSO.

Timelines and Deadlines
  • December 1st to January 1st:  Proposals for new organizations may still be submitted, but no movement on forms will occur due to semester break.  New organization creation will resume after January 1st.
  • February 14th, 2024:  Although we love starting new organizations, this is the submission deadline during the current academic year.  This date ensures you have enough time to fully complete the process before the year ends.
    • We also selected this date because funding opportunities become more limited towards the end of the year.  If you are hoping to start a new organization and immediately apply for funding in spring semester, please know that this may not be feasible.

A recognized student organization (RSO) is CU Boulder’s formal name for student-run clubs, groups or organizations. An RSO’s mission must be educational, charitable, cultural, social or recreational in nature and may not result in personal (financial or academic) gain for individual members or for the RSO. 

The primary mission or activity of a recognized student organization must be centered on, for the benefit of and driven by CU Boulder students.

We require at least three members prior to RSO creation and at least two of the three must be full-time, fee-paying students.

Student groups are not required to register with the Center for Student Involvement. However, there are many benefits with being registered. They include the ability to

  • Reserve spaces on campus at discounted or free rates.
  • Access a email address specific to your organization.
  • Apply for office space in the UMC.
  • Apply for funds.
  • Reserve a table for the Be Involved Fair or Involvement Fair.
  • Apply for and be recognized at the annual CU Involvement Awards.
  • Use the BuffConnect system for recruitment and networking.
  • Drop in for advising with Center for Student Involvement staff.
  • Participate in leadership development courses, retreats and programs offered through CU GOLD.

The registration process to create new RSOs opens annually in August and closes in March of the following year. You are free to begin the process at any point within this date range, although pay attention to the following cutoff dates:

  1. Visit our RSO directory to ensure your suggested RSO does not already exist.
  2. Be sure to review all information on this webpage first.
  3. Brainstorm the following:
    • Organization name
    • Purpose, mission or interest of your potential organization
    • Ideas for programs, events or activities you anticipate the organization having
  4. There are some minimum requirements for all RSOs. Be sure your proposed RSO meets the following requirements before you go on to the next steps.
    • Free and open to all students
    • A minimum of three student members
    • A clear sense of purpose and mission for organization

Below you can read the steps for a general idea of what may be involved.  The following steps needed to be completed in the order they are listed and may take longer than listed depending on time of year (Fall Welcome, Spring Break, etc):

  1. Complete the new RSO request form (February 14th, 2024 was the deadline to start new organizations for the current year.  Please check back after July 1st).
    • It may take up to one week for the form to be approved.
  2. If approved, a CSI liaison will email you to schedule a time to discuss your request in further detail.
    • It may take 1-3 business days from receiving approval notice for a liaison to contact you.
  3. Complete an Annual RSO Training.
  4. Complete the new student organization application (organization registration form). 

If interested in restarting the organization, please email Please provide any information regarding the previous org (previous leaders, last year you think you were active, etc). If you remain in contact with any former org members, please reach out in advance and ask to lead the restarted organization. While not a requirement to restart the organization, it will help expedite the process.

We encourage all new leaders to review the RSO handbook as it offers plenty of tips in running a successful student organization. Our resource center page outlines many similar helpful tips.