Faculty/Staff: Support a student organization

There are many opportunities – academic, research, public service, internships, recreation, and social – for students to get involved outside the classroom at UW–Madison. Not only do spaces like these allow students to build community, socialize in a safe and healthy manner, and establish lifelong friendships – they have also been shown to improve academic success and their mental health and well-being while helping create a sense of belonging. 

One way many students get involved is by joining one or several of UW–Madison’s more than 1,000 registered student organizations (RSOs). Membership in an RSO requires the organization and its student members to follow policies established by the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO)

There are several ways faculty and staff can support the success of students involved with an RSO. Here are a few.

Departmental Sponsorship of Events

Some RSO events may require university departmental sponsorship, including space for activities, fleet vehicles for travel, public-facing speakers, and more. If an RSO approaches your unit or department for sponsorship and you are unsure of your options or responsibilities, please contact the Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI).

Advising Opportunities

If you or someone within your department has an interest in advising a student organization or group of students but does not have an active student group connection, please contact CfLI, and they can connect you with organizations that may be seeking faculty or staff support.

Choosing an RSO at UW–Madison

RSOs listed on the Wisconsin Involvement Network (WIN) are in good standing with the institution. Please review this site as you consider partnering with or advising a student group.

In rare circumstances, the Committee on Student Organizations will terminate an RSO or a student group may choose to disassociate with the institution. This means that the RSO is no longer officially affiliated with the university and does not have access to UW–Madison RSO benefits. In certain cases, students choose to continue operating the group (sometimes with the support of their national office).

Currently, there are three organizations no longer recognized or affiliated with the university due to repeated and/or egregious violations of university policies: Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, and Theta Chi Fraternity. The university does not recommend students join these groups or that university departments enter any sponsorship agreements with them. 

CfLI maintains a list of unrecognized RSOs on its website. These organizations are currently terminated, suspended, on probation with restriction, or have disassociated.

We hope this information is helpful as you interact with and support students and their educational journey at UW–Madison. If you have any questions about RSO involvement opportunities, please contact the Center for Leadership & Involvement at cfli@studentaffairs.wisc.edu or 608-263-0365. 

Thank you for all you do to support student learning, growth and development both within and outside of the classroom!