“The category of Recognized Social Organization (RSO) is designed to support organizations comprised primarily of Harvard College undergraduates, whose purpose is primarily social and which do not discriminate on the basis of gender. Becoming an RSO is an important milestone marking a group's commitment to becoming an inclusive community aligned with the educational mission and values of Harvard College. Through recognition the College is verifying a social organization's gender-inclusivity and therefore ensuring students (of the Class of 2021 and later) who belong to RSOs have full access to leadership positions and fellowship opportunities at the College.”
—Harvard College Student Handbook, 2019–2020
Which student organizations are RSOs?
You can join any of the following 13 RSOs for the 2019-2020 Academic Year:
Relationship with the College
RSOs are independent and distinct from Harvard University. In recognizing an RSO, Harvard College is not adopting its goals, activities, or points of view. Provided that an RSO meets certain requirements, however, the College will verify that an RSO is not an Unrecognized Single Gender Social Organization for purposes of the May 2016 social organization policy. In addition, RSOs will be eligible for certain privileges to support their function as positive and inclusive social spaces at Harvard College. The provision of such privileges does not mean a RSO is a unit of the University, or controlled by the University. These privileges are contingent on a RSO’s compliance with all policies outlined for all recognized student organizations. Certain of these policies include that the University is not responsible for a RSOs contracts or other acts or omissions. RSOs, especially those who own or rent space, are therefore encouraged to carry appropriate insurance. RSOs do not qualify for the use of the University’s taxpayer identification number or tax-exempt status in connection with purchases and sales, gifts to the RSO, or any other activity.