How to form a GSO

General Information

GSA recognition is the process by which a graduate student organization (GSO) becomes officially recognized by the GSA for the year. GSOs must reapply for recognition every year in order to receive funding for that year. Previously recognized GSOs are not guaranteed re-recognition if the guidelines and policies are not followed, or if there is any missing information.

Although GSOs may be recognized at any point during the fall and spring semesters, GSOs applying for recognition as a part of the annual online funding process will receive priority for GSA funding for the year. The annual funding and recognition application will always open near the beginning of the Fall semester and close at the end of the second week of the Fall Semester.

The GSA will publicize the application via its events listserv, website, and Facebook. An email about recognition will be sent out at the beginning of each semester, usually in the first week of September. The GSA  is not responsible for GSOs not receiving regular notices and not checking the website. It is the GSO’s responsibility to stay up-to-date on this information and to subscribe to the relevant email lists. You can sign up for the email list here.

Approval of recognition happens in one of two ways:

  1. The GSA secretary and the entire executive committee agree to recognize a GSO.
  2. The GSA secretary approves and recommends a GSO for recognition at a General Council Meeting. A representative from the GSO gives a 2 minute presentation and take questions, and the entire council votes on recognition.

Types of New GSOs

The GSA constitution recognizes two different types of GSOs, academic and non-academic, with different requirements for each.

Academic GSOs represent all graduate students within an academic department and are given voting rights at GSA council meetings. To quality as an academic GSO, a new GSO must be associated with a department that possesses a curriculum code under which students are enrolled, and must count all students within that department as its members. It must also be the only GSO representing all students within that curriculum code. A single academic GSO may represent all students in multiple curriculum codes, but no single curriculum code may be split between academic GSOs.

Non-academics GSOs include all other types of graduate student organizations. In qualify as a non-academic GSO, a new GSO must have a minimum of eight members and no more than half of the members of the GSO may be enrolled in the same curriculum code. Additionally, membership into the GSO must be fully open to all graduate students at Rutgers and the purpose of the GSO may not overlap with any already recognized non-academic GSOs.

Information Required for Starting a New GSO

When applying for recognition online, GSOs will need to be prepared to submit the following information.

  1. Whether the GSO is applying for academic or non-academic status
  2. A constitution detailing the purpose of the GSO, its membership, and its election and general meeting procedures. (You can find a model constitution here)
  3. A list of its officers for the year with their email addresses
  4. A specific email address delegated as the main point of contact for that GSO (this person must be a graduate student member of the organization.)
  5. A list of the graduate student members of the organization and their emails (university emails are preferred.

If a GSO is applying for academic status, it must include its corresponding curriculum code.

If a GSO is applying as a non-academic GSO, it must show through its email lists that it has at least eight students and that no more than half are from the same department.

Other Important Information

All GSOs must adhere to Rutgers and NJ state policy, in addition to policies set out by the GSA for recognition and funding. Some of the more important policies that groups should be aware of include:

  1. While religiously-affiliated groups are allowed, events with any specific religious or spiritual practices cannot be funded by the GSA.
  2. No two groups with the same purpose should exist – whether as an academic GSO or a non-academic GSO.
  3. All GSOs should send a representative to General Council meetings, at least 3 per semester, to remain in good standing.