What is a Student Organization?
A Law School Student Organization (LSSO) is an officially recognized student run organization at the University of Chicago Law School. LSSOs are entitled to various benefits including funding, tax-exempt status, publicity, event support, and more. LSSOs are strongly encouraged to partner with other groups and students looking to host events at the Law School.
A Registered Student Organization (RSO) is a student organization that is recognized by the University’s Center for Leadership and Involvement (CLI). This recognition makes the group an official part of the University of Chicago, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of that status. A privilege of being an RSO includes the ability to request funding from the University-wide Student Government (SG). Therefore, RSOs have access to additional sources of funding beyond the support available through the Law School and Law School Association (LSA). Because of the many resources offered by CLI, all LSSOs are strongly encouraged to become RSOs. Organizations may apply to be considered a Multicultural Student Organization through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at http://omsa.uchicago.edu/page/multicultural-student-organizations.
Several LSSOs are already registered as an RSO. A list can be found at https://blueprint.uchicago.edu/Organizations. Please note, however, that CLI requires each RSO to complete the recognition process annually. Each spring RSOs will be required to re-register and in the fall officers must complete the appropriate annual training. Failure to register annually will result in revocation of any funds awarded by the Student Government Finance Committee at the end of the previous academic year. Full requirement details for maintaining an organization’s RSO status can be found at http://leadership.uchicago.edu/maintaining-organization-status.
RSOs may use many of the facilities of the University free of charge or at reduced cost, hold events on campus, open a CLI expense account, apply for funding from the various University boards, rent CLI equipment, post notices on campus, conduct certain fundraising activities, and receive tax exemptions and/or discounts on certain purchases. RSOs have access to a variety of leadership development workshops and trainings for both members and leaders of the organization. For a full list of benefits and responsibilities associated with becoming an RSO please visit http://leadership.uchicago.edu/benefits-and-responsibilities.
Membership in any LSSO must be open to all law students. LSSOs are not required to maintain lists of members in good standing but are encouraged to do so. An LSSO may require the payment of nominal dues or impose a modest participation requirement as a condition of membership, but no other restrictions are permitted. Any condition of membership must be administered fairly and reasonably. Keep in mind that membership in a LSSO that is also an RSO must be open to all University students.
The Law School is a place for the open exchange and debate of ideas. In this spirit, the Law School prefers that LSSO events, especially on-campus events, be made open to all law students. Open events must be advertised on the LSA-Orgs listserv in advance of the event to give all students an opportunity to attend. Further details regarding open and closed events can be found below under Planning an Event.
Although violation of any University or Law School policy can lead to an organization losing its LSSO status, organizations must be especially careful to abide by the inclusion policy. Organizations that provide funding to LSSOs, including LSA and the University (for organizations that are RSOs), may impose additional requirements beyond those stated here regarding the use of funds for student events. This policy does not affect any rule established by LSA, the University, or any other source of funds regarding the use of those funds.