Student Organizations 101

Welcome to Student Organizations 101. Whether you are new to the student org world or a seasoned leader, reference this page to learn information about GetInvolved, important deadlines, constitutions, advisors, and more.

2022-2023 Student Organization Registration is OPEN!

Student Organizations are encouraged to complete the registration process before summertime!

Want to start a New Student Organization?

  1. Browse GetInvolved to ensure that your new organization idea is unique and does not exist already.
  2. Gather at least 5 UHCL students interested in joining.
  3. Use the New Organization Packet (pdf) to think through critical organization components as a group. Reach out to Student Involvement and Leadership with any questions or concerns that arise.
  4. Create an organization constitution utilizing the constitution guide (docx).
  5. Elect officers. Organizations should have at least a primary and secondary officer.
  6. Designate Faculty or Staff advisor (if applicable). See more information about advisors below.
  7. Register a new organization on GetInvolved.
  8. Primary and secondary officers should complete required Blackboard course to learn about UHCL policies and procedures pertaining to student organizations. See attached for instructions on how to self-enroll in the Blackboard Course (pdf).

Once all requirements are complete, you will receive an email indicating your organization is registered for the following year. Registration submissions are reviewed by staff on a first-come, first-served basis as staff capacity allows.

For questions or to set up an advising meeting regarding starting a new org, contact studentorgs@uhcl.edu.

Returning Student Organization Registration

All organizations wishing to remain actively registered at UHCL must complete the registration process annually. These requirements may change annually, so stay in touch with Student Involvement and Leadership to know what is expected this year.

New officers should work together to complete the following steps during this time with support from old officers if necessary:

  1. Elect Officers for the following academic year. The new primary and secondary officers should lead the registration process, but the outgoing officers are encouraged to help as needed. Need help with transitioning officers? View the Officer Transition Workshop.
  2. Update your org constitution and honor cord point systems (if applicable). Ensure all edits are group decisions and not made by just one or two leaders. Have these documents somewhere you can access them when you get to step 4.
  3. Complete the Blackboard Registration Course. The 2022-2023 primary and secondary officers should each complete the online, asynchronous Registration Blackboard Course. This will take approximately 90 minutes and can be revisited whenever you would like. They should complete the quiz at the end of each section to indicate their learning. Attached are instructions on how to self-enroll in the Blackboard Course (pdf).
  4. Complete the Registration Form on GetInvolved. Once you’re done with training, you’re ready to officially “Re-Register” for 2022-2023 on GetInvolved! Go to your org home page and click “Register my organization”. Only 1 officer should complete this for the group.

  5. Await your Confirmation Email. Registration forms will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve capacity. Upon completion of the above steps, we appreciate your patience as we review materials and confirm your registration for 2022-2023.

GetInvolved, the hub for Student Involvement at UHCL.

GetInvolved is UHCL's online platform where students can view events on campus and browse student organizations. Each student organization will manage their own GetInvolved page for the community to view for more information.

Advisors and student leaders alike should become familiar with navigating the platform. Advisors are required to have an account on GetInvolved and be listed on their organization's roster as "Advisor." Accounts can only be created by UHCL students, staff, and faculty.

A few resources on GetInvolved include:

  • Annual organization registration
  • Managing organization profiles
  • Updating membership rosters
  • Advertising for events
  • Holding elections
  • Housing important documents (constitution, bylaws)
  • Posting news articles
  • Signing up for Student Involvement Expos
  • Accessing important campus links (space reservations, food permits, and more)

For questions related to GetInvolved, check out the Help Center or email studentorgs@uhcl.edu.

Student Org Seasons

While each student organization has a unique life cycle, there are some events and processes led by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership that student leaders should become familiar with.

Election Season: March

Organizations should consider holding elections in March each year. This allows ample time for officers to transition critical information prior to members graduating. Elections may be held independently, in-person, or on GetInvolved.

Transition Season: April - August

All organizations wishing to maintain active status on-campus for the following academic year must complete the re-registration process at this time.

Learn more about steps required in the annual Registration Process below.

Officer Transitions 

It is important that outgoing and incoming officers meet during the transition season to pass along pertinent information. Such information can include sharing documents, reviewing previous year's events, sharing campus resources, reflecting on what went well and what went poorly this past year, etc.

Celebrate your Success

In March, student leaders and organizations may apply for leadership awards. Winners are announced and celebrated at the Student Leadership Banquet that takes place in April. The Banquet typically includes a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony, and it is the perfect way to close out the academic year.

Dormant Organizations become Inactive

If your organization fails to complete the re-registration process by the deadline, Student Involvement and Leadership will assume students do not want to continue the organization, and it will be considered "inactive" for the following year. This organization can be re-registered at any time by students formerly a part of the organization, or a brand new group of students.

Recruitment Season: August - September; January

As new and returning students arrive on-campus at the beginning of each semester, we encourage all student organizations to recruit new members. While more new students typically begin at UHCL in August, many begin in January as well.

Student Involvement Expos

Registered organizations may sign up to participate in the Student Involvement Expos. The Expos are a prime time to recruit new members for your organizations, provide information about upcoming events and meetings, and spread the work about what you all do! Orgs hand out giveaways, engage peers with activities, and chat about why they love their organization.

Student Involvement and Leadership typically provides a free tri-fold poster board to all organizations wishing to decorate one for their table.

Member Interest Meetings

Member Interest Meetings are a recommended next step once your org gets face-to-face time with prospective members. Here, your org can delve deeper into what you do and give peers a taste of what being a member could be like. Engage peers with ice breakers and show off your current members. At this point, prospective members are still deciding whether they want to officially "join" your organization.

New Member Admission

Once members have clearly expressed that they wish to join your organization, ensure you add them to your GetInvolved roster, and they should accept the invitation. Then, you should have a process to acclimate them to your organization. Be intentional about helping new members form relationships and delegating tasks to let them know that you care about their participation in your RSO.

Active Season: August - April

The active season is the core of your organization's activities and events. Below are some recommended tips for leading your organization successfully during this period. Some orgs plan events during the summer, but it is not as common.

Executive Board Meetings

Create a consistent day and time to meet with your officer team to go over large-scale organization business. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly based on what is best for your group. The more often you meet, the more you can likely accomplish together!

General Meetings

To retain members, it is critical to have a consistent meeting time — weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Ensure that members are receiving tasks to work on so they feel that they are actively contributing. General Meetings can be used to build team morale with ice breakers, check-in on tasks from previous meetings, reflect on recent events, or delegate tasks for upcoming events.

Events

Not all organizations host events, but we are here to help should you want to! Once you have actively engaged members, utilize the energy to plan events on campus and bring your mission into action. Consider what your organization's mission and values are, and then plan events that align with what you care most about. Examples of events include fundraisers, networking events, speaker series, events just for fun, org bonding events, and community service events. The possibilities are endless!

Assessment

To continually improve and grow, we encourage you to assess all programs and processes your organization has. Create surveys in the "Form" function on GetInvolved to ask members how they are enjoying their experience or use the "Evaluation" function for your GetInvolved Events to ask attendees about their experience at your event.

Event Organizer's Guide to Post-Event Evaluation

RSO Constitutions

All Registered Student Organizations should manage a constitution that outlines its activities, officers, and expectations as an organization.

  • Download the constitution template (Docx).
  • Include the two required clauses: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Hazing (can be found in the constitution template).
  • A constitution should be treated as a governing document and will prevail in cases of disputes in organizational procedures.
  • Any updates to the constitution should be submitted to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership within 14 days of the change.

Elements to consider including in your constitution:

  • Officer titles, expectations, and responsibilities
  • General member expectations and responsibilities
  • Election and officer transition processes
  • Honor cord point systems
  • The onboarding process for new members
  • The process to remove an officer or member
  • Financial processes
  • The process to make updates to the constitution
  • Conflict resolution processes
  • Membership dues expectations (optional)

As your organization carries out organization business and you run into a situation you are not sure how to handle, consider adding a section to your constitution regarding that situation so that your future officers have more direction.

Working with Advisors

Student Organizations are recommended to have a faculty or staff advisor at UHCL. Student organization Advisors should have an account on GetInvolved and be listed on their organization's roster as "Advisor".

UHCL faculty and staff should not advise politically affiliated student organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a faculty/staff advisor?

Your advisor can be any UHCL faculty or staff member that members of your group have made a connection with. This person will ideally feel connected to your organization mission and provide benefit by advising your group.

If your organization is affiliated with a national chapter, you may work closely with a representative of the organization who provides advising-like services. A faculty or staff advisor is still recommended in this case to provide an on-campus contact.

Why do we need an advisor?

An advisor can provide many benefits to your organization including:

  • Experience in your area of interest
  • A network in the field
  • A neutral third-party in times of conflict
  • A liaison to connect with the larger UHCL community
  • A UHCL faculty or staff member in your corner
What should our relationship with our advisor look like?

Your relationship with your advisor may look however you would like! The President or Executive Team may set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your advisor to talk through upcoming projects, or your advisor can remain very hands-off and offer advice as you need it.

We encourage student organizations to set expectations of what the advising relationship will look like in action, using the Advisor Expectations Worksheet (Docx)

How do we designate someone as our advisor?

Meet with your Advisor and utilize the Advisor Expectations Worksheet (Docx). Upload it along with your annual re-registration application.

You should also add your faculty/staff advisor to your GetInvolved roster and designate them as your advisor. You may do this when you are re-registering your organization each spring, or do it throughout the year as changes occur.

Please email studentorgs@uhcl.edu if you have any updates to who your Advisor is.

What if we want to change our advisor?

An advisor serves a one-year term unless otherwise stated in an organization constitution. You are welcome to change who your advisor is at any time. Please reach out to us at studentorgs@uhcl.edu regarding steps to do so.

Contact

  • Student Involvement and Leadership

    Phone: 281-283-2560
    Fax: 281-283-2566
    Email: getinvolved@uhcl.edu

    SSCB 1204
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 198
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Regular office hours:
    Mon. - Thurs., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Fri. - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.