Eligibility Requirements


When the primary contact person submits the registration application form, it means that they have read the eligibility requirements carefully and that their organization is in compliance. If at any time the organization no longer meets eligibility, the organization is no longer entitled to the privileges granted to Registered Student Organizations (RSO), and at that time the primary contact person is obligated to inform the Center for Leadership & Involvement of the change. Student groups at UW-Madison must be registered as a student organization in order to use university facilities or the name of the university. Refer to Name Guidelines for further information. 


To be eligible for registration, organizations must:

  • Be a not-for-profit, formalized group
  • Be composed of at least 75% UW-Madison students
  • Be controlled and directed by UW-Madison students
  • Be related to student life on campus
  • Abide by Federal, State and local laws
  • Abide by all University policies, including the nondiscrimination policy



  • Identify a Primary Contact person for the organization (see role requirements below) who is authorized to assist with accessibility requests
  • Identify a Second/Financial Contact who is authorized to represent the RSO in financial matters
  • Identify a Third Contact and Fourth Contact
  • All four contacts must be at least half time UW-Madison students
    • Undergraduates: enrolled in at least 6 credits
      • Exception: Student who are enrolled in a co-op (cooperative education program) for the semester/year can have fewer credits
    • Graduate Students: enrolled in at least 4 credits
      • Exception:  Graduate students can have 3 credits if working on a dissertation or thesis



  • Provide the Center for Leadership & Involvement with information required on the application form
  • Develop and submit the constitution, bylaws, or operating procedures for the group
  • Complete the Registered Student Organization Orientation
  • Complete the Badgers Step Up! program (including pre-test, session attendance, and post-test)
  • Abide by financial and all other regulations specified in the Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide (Financial Regulations of Registered Student Organizations are listed below).




Primary Contact Role

The Center for Leadership & Involvement defines “Primary Contact” as the person in your organization who:  

  • Fills out important forms (including the Registration application and sign-up form for the Student Organization Fair)
  • Receives important communication from our office, benefit providers, and the CSO Chair and is responsible for responding in a timely fashion
  • Serves as the Accessibility Contact for the organization
    • This means that if a student contacts them to ask about reasonable accommodations, the Primary Contact will work with the student to get them what they need to participate in the organization or event
  • Is in a leadership position within your organization (must meet all eligibility criteria).  This person does not necessarily need to be the President
  • Receives weekly “CfLI Buzz” emails and shares pertinent information with your group



Primary Contact Compliance Agreement

The primary contact person for each organization agrees to inform others in their organization about university policies affecting them and agrees to comply with these policies, including the Policy on the Conduct and Discipline of Registered Student Organizations and other policies and procedures as found in the Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide. The primary contact person further agrees that their organization complies with university rules prohibiting unlawful discrimination and will maintain all other eligibility requirements for registration. And, lastly, the primary contact person attests that they have read their organization's completed registration form, and, to the best of their knowledge, the information on the registration form is complete and accurate.

Primary Contact FERPA Guideline

Primary contacts must NOT have a FERPA shade with the Office of the Registrar, as all Primary Contacts must be public within the Wisconsin Involvement Network (WIN).  If you do have a FERPA shade, you must choose a different student to serve in that role or remove the FERPA shade by contacting the Office of the Registrar.



Nondiscrimination in Membership and Programming

University policy, as well as federal and state laws, prohibits discrimination by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) against students at the university.
Regent 30-06 Policy on Recognition of Student Organizations states:
"Student organizations that select their members or officers on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs (e.g., religious or political beliefs) may limit membership, officer positions, or participation in the organization to students who affirm that they support the organization’s goals and agree with its beliefs, so long as no student is excluded from membership, officer positions, or participation on the basis of his or her race, color, creed other than commitment to the beliefs of the organization, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, or, unless exempt under Title IX, sex."
RSOs can hold closed meetings for the purpose of peer counseling sessions or for other purposes if attendance is limited to a pre-established list of members. If such a meeting is publicized, it must be clearly labeled as a membership meeting.



Financial Regulations of Registered Student Organizations

Every RSO at UW-Madison is governed by standards and regulations developed by the Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI). These regulations are designed to protect the best interests of the student members of the RSOs.


As a condition of registration, each student organization (RSO) is required to:

  • Provide CfLI with a student contact person who is authorized to represent the RSO in their financial matters (Second/Financial Contact).
  • Maintain accurate and complete financial records of all receipts and expenditures and make these records available to any member of the organization upon request.
  • Make all financial records available for examination no later than 15 days after receiving a written request from the chair of the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) or the Director of CfLI. Such requests shall be made only in order to: (a) ensure public access to information regarding the generation of revenue using university facilities or (b) investigate allegations that RSO funds have been misappropriated or misused.

Should the Director of CfLI or the chair of the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) learn that a student organization is not abiding by these regulations, and should the student organization not contest that fact, the Director of CfLI, in consultation with the chair of the CSO, can determine appropriate sanctions. If a group contests the allegation, the chair of the CSO or the director of CfLI will file a complaint requesting discipline through the CSO.