How To: Deregister Student Organizations

Student unions are often the bureaucratic switchboards for hundreds of student organizations. The largest campuses can have more than 1,000 student organizations, and it’s not uncommon for midsize to large campuses to have upward of 400 or 500 groups. To be recognized as an official university student organization, each must be registered, usually annually, through a process that includes naming officers, requesting funding and developing a budget, and in most cases qualifying by completing some battery of trainings related to leadership and policy.Deregister

In some cases, new organizations might need an action plan and a written constitution, show proof they’ve recruited members, and be required to meet with a “new organizations committee” within student government or engagement. Student involvement and activities professionals recognize there will always be attrition within student organizations and simplifying the process by which inactive organizations or those in bad standing are deregistered is an important aspect of piloting a successful student activities program. One of the best, initial ways to simplify deregistration is to have an automated registration system that recognizes organizations that have not met the requirements to remain in good standing. For instance:   New and renewing groups must register by a set deadline. Failure to do so can trigger deregistration. New and renewing groups must complete required trainings.

Failure to do so can trigger deregistration. Some student engagement offices require groups to meet annually with a staff advisor to review policy information.   Some offices will place organizations in “bad standing” on probation for as long as one academic year to allow them to complete requirements. During this time, all existing event registrations are cancelled, and the organization is not allowed to book space on campus, request funding, or be listed in the student organization directory.

“We recently improved the ease and efficiency of our registration process through the implementation of OrgSync,” said Colin Spaulding, coordinator for activities and special events at University of Colorado– Boulder’s University Memorial Center. OrgSync is one of the centralized communications and online resource systems that many student involvement professionals have selected to streamline registration processes, track involvement, and minimize paper use. Spaulding said he hoped the system would also reduce attrition rates and improve on-time registration. What Happens to Funds of a Deregistered Group

Most student organizations draw funds from two places: Disbursements from student government or student fees following a budget request, or from activities they’ve conducted themselves. Organizations usually have an advocate authority or advisor connected with an academic department or university division who acts as the responsible third party with respect to that second type of funding.  When a group is deregistered remaining funds that came from student government are returned to that account, while funds generated by the group itself are returned to the advocate authority’s unit. But as Joe Lattal, assistant director of student organizations and activities at Northwestern University’s Norris University Center, noted, “If a group is in the red and goes inactive and deregisters, the advocate authority could be on the hook for their debt.”

What Happens to Funds of a Deregistered Group


Most student organizations draw funds from two places: Disbursements from student government or student fees following a budget request, or from activities they’ve conducted themselves. Organizations usually have an advocate authority or advisor connected with an academic department or university division who acts as the responsible third party with respect to that second type of funding. 

When a group is deregistered remaining funds that came from student government are returned to that account, while funds generated by the group itself are returned to the advocate authority’s unit.

But as Joe Lattal, assistant director of student organizations and activities at Northwestern University’s Norris University Center, noted, “If a group is in the red and goes inactive and deregisters, the advocate authority could be on the hook for their debt.”

Load more comments
New code
comment-avatar