Georgia Tech has established a designation of "Departmental" for select Registered Student Organizations (DRSOs). This page outlines some basic information on DRSOs and provides information on how to submit a petition for an RSO to become a DRSO. 

A DRSO meets the requirements of an RSO and has been assigned the Departmental designation by the Student Activities Committee (See Section 5.3) due to the RSO’s defined relationship (e.g., assets such as property, space, resources, money, reputation are involved) with a Georgia Tech unit. That relationship must be defined in a Memorandum of Understanding. 

Student Groups, created by Georgia Tech units, that have not completed the Chartering process and are not RSOs are not DRSOs; additionally, an RSO that is affiliated with a department is not necessarily a DRSO. DRSOs do not have increased access to Student Activity Fee funding.

Most Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will not become DRSOs.

What groups/organizations are not DRSOs?

Most RSOs will not be DRSOs. Student Groups created by Georgia Tech units that have not completed the Chartering process and are not RSOs are not DRSOs; additionally, an RSO that is affiliated with a department is not necessarily a DRSO. DRSOs do not have increased access to Student Activity Fee funding.

What is a home department?

A Home Department is a Georgia Tech unit with which a DRSO has a defined relationship and from which their Advisor is assigned.

What criteria are required/necessary for an RSO to become a DRSO?

An RSO will be considered a DRSO if it is in a defined relationship (i.e., involving assets such as property, space, resources, money, reputation) with a Georgia Tech unit.

Who determines if an RSO becomes a DRSO?

The Student Activities Committee (SAC). SAC is a standing committee of the Academic Faculty. More information on SAC is available in the Faculty Handbook.

Why should my RSO or department pursue DRSO status?

A Home Department or RSO may pursue the Departmental designation if the relationship between the two involves funding, space, property, resources, or reputation. Primarily, the Departmental designation is designed to help mitigate risk and increase effectiveness of RSOs which fundamentally serve the Institute's purpose. Organizations that further the academic mission (e.g., MotorSports and Invention Studio further the mission of the School of Mechanical Engineering) or that provide a service that would otherwise be provided by a department (e.g., the Student Center Programs Council serves as the programming board for campus; the Ramblin Reck Club manages the Ramblin' Reck, an Institute asset and fleet vehicle) are excellent examples of DRSOs. In the case of DRSOs, the Institute (through the home departments) facilitates the organization's purchasing/funding, provides a dedicated Advisor, and may provide space or other resources, among other supports.

Who can petition for an RSO to become a DRSO?

Based on the criteria listed below, an RSO may be reviewed at any time (including during the Chartering process) for departmental designation by:  

  • Request from the Center for Student Engagement;  
  • Request from SAC; or 
  • Petition from either the RSO or the Home Department

The initial request or petition should be submitted to the Center for Student Engagement, the Home Department, and the most senior RSO student leader.  The form link is found in the resources section below.

In addition to the requirements for all RSOs, what other requirements are there for DRSOs?

DRSOs and departments will have a written and agreed upon MOU, which will be reviewed annually by the DRSO and department leadership. The MOU must address the defining features of the relationship between the DRSO and the Home Department, including but not limited to: advising, property, space, and financial resources. The MOU will be a required component of the Annual Registration for DRSOs.

Are there any consequences if the additional requirements for DRSOs are not met?

Once DRSO status has been assigned, the relationship between the RSO and Home Department must be continuously maintained and renewed annually. Failure to do so will cause forfeiture of the DRSO designation and may cause reason to forfeit any and all RSO status.

Are there any financial benefits to becoming a DRSO?

No, there are no direct financial benefits for DRSOs. For example, SGA cannot grant additional or preferred funding to RSOs based on their category or designation (e.g., DRSO status).

What should go into a DRSOs MOU with a Home Department?

Please use this link to review a template MOU for all DRSOs. You may add additional sections and appendices as needed. You should not remove any existing sections. Additional support for crafting this MOU may be sought from the Office of General Counsel and the Center for Student Engagement.

Who can sign the MOU?

The MOU should be signed by the head of the department (this is not usually the Advisor for the DRSO) that will be in a relationship with the DRSO. Additionally, a copy of the MOU should be provided to whichever staff person has signature authority for your Home Department’s contracts.

What happens after I submit the petition for an RSO to become a DRSO?

After the petition is submitted, it will next be reviewed by the Center for Student Engagement and, if applicable, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). This initial review should last 2-3 weeks. After the initial review, the Center for Student Engagement (CSE) will pass on a recommendation, with considerations on risk management and areas of concern or opportunity, to the Student Activities Committee (SAC). The Student Activities Committee will make the final vote on whether an RSO should become a DRSO. The SAC may, before voting, request a meeting with the DRSO and Home Department. Regardless of the decision of the Student Activities Committee, each RSO that submits a petition will be invited to complete a risk assessment for their current protocols and programs with CSE and OGC.

Can my RSO have an MOU with a department if we are not a DRSO?

Yes, an RSO and a Department can create an MOU even if they are not in a relationship that requires or warrants a DRSO. For assistance with this, reach out to the Center for Student Engagement.

Who should I reach out to if I have questions?

Please contact Kayla Watson, Associate Director, Center for Student Engagement.