Rutgers University Student Assembly

Your Undergraduate Student Government

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does RUSA stand for?
RUSA stands for the Rutgers University Student Assembly.


2. What does RUSA do?
RUSA is the overarching student government at Rutgers University, representing the undergraduate population in Rutgers New Brunswick. We have a close, but mutually exclusive relationship with the Rutgers administration. Our members interact with Rutgers administration on a regular basis to ensure that the voices, concerns, and issues of students are properly and promptly heard. RUSA has also organized a state-wide student association (New Jersey United Students) to develop a mutual support network of students intent on preserving the quality of higher education in our state.


3. Who are RUSA members?
Membership is open to all undergraduate students at Rutgers-New Brunswick regardless of school, major, age, or resident status. Members must also maintain a 2.5 GPA. Members are democratically elected by their student peers. In addition, other governing councils and organizations within the university send their representatives to RUSA and are full voting members.

4. How do I become involved in RUSA?
Students residing on Busch, Livingston, College Avenue, Cook, Douglass Campuses or affiliating with Off-Campus or Commuter can run for positions on their respective geographical areas. Once elected, they will serve on RUSA and represent their respective campus on their “Caucus.” Students enrolled in a professional school (Engineering, Pharmacy, Business, SEBS, Mason Gross) may be elected by their respective professional school Councils. An official notice will be sent to RUSA informing us that your professional school has chosen you as their ambassador and voting member of RUSA. Women affiliated with Douglass Residential College may be elected as RUSA representatives via Douglass Governing Council. Various cultural organizations also send representation to RUSA.


5. How are members elected?
The great majority of the RUSA members are democratically elected by their peers. Some professional schools, however, will internally elect representatives that they will send to RUSA.


6. When are the elections and who can run for RUSA positions?
RUSA elections take place twice per calender school year. One election is held at the beginning of the Fall semester and another one during the end of the Spring semester. A RUSA member’s term ends following the conclusion of the Spring semester. During the Spring semester a majority of seats are up for election while elections in the fall are used to fill vacancies.


7. Which types of issues are discussed during RUSA meetings?
RUSA issues vary. They can range from dining services, transportation, safety, academics, internal issues, legislative initiatives in Trenton and much, much more. RUSA does not shy away from tackling any issue. It can be anything from a poorly lit area on campus to tuition caps or tuition hikes.


8. Why doesn’t RUSA give my organization money?
RUSA (the general body) typically does not give money to organizations. That is left up to RUSA Allocations, our sister branch of RUSA of which we monitor, approve its members, and guidelines. RUSA Allocations provides funding to the nearly 400 organizations on campus. If, however, RUSA (the general body) feels strongly about an event then we will co-sponsor that event and provide adequate and additional funding. The only caveat is that RUSA takes an active role in the event from planning to promotion of the event.


9. RUSA and RUSA Allocations are the same, right?
RUSA and RUSA Allocations are quite similar but serve different purposes. RUSA is the general body and is directly elected. RUSA works on a litany of issues and is more of the political wing. RUSA passes bills and resolutions. The RUSA Allocations Board, however, is approved by a vote in RUSA and is apolitical and impartial. They go through an interview process prior to being approved by RUSA. In addition, RUSA Allocations funds money to all the recognized student organizations on campus. The Treasurer of RUSA also serves on RUSA Allocations to monitor and assist them in their endeavors.


10. How is RUSA different than the governing councils?
RUSA is different from the governing councils in that it represents all students regardless of school affiliation. Members of governing councils do serve on RUSA but are told view issues through the prism of the general welfare of all students, not just their particular school/governing council. RUSA is truly representative of all undergraduate students on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus.


11. Are RUSA and RUPA related?
The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) and Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) are related in that they both fall in the Student Life department at Rutgers University. RUPA, however, provides university-wide student programming that serves the Rutgers community by providing a variety of cultural,educational, recreational, and social programs that appeal to the diverse student body. RUSA advocates on behalf of students. RUPA plans the annual Rutgersfest while RUSA plans town halls with Rutgers administration, meetings with legislators, influences Rutgers policy, and represents the voice and will of students.


12. I have something I would like to bring to the University community’s attention. Can I speak at a RUSA meeting?
You are certainly more than welcome to speak at a RUSA meeting. At the start and end of every general body meeting, there is “Public Sector” portion where anyone can voice their concerns, promote an event, or bring anything up to their student government. We also host speakers at our meetings and you are allowed to ask them questions as well. We encourage your attendance, participation, and input during our RUSA meetings. Just remember to be respectful of other people’s opinions.


13. When are RUSA meetings?
RUSA general body meetings take place every other Thursday at 7:30PM at the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus. It is located on 613 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. RUSA committee meetings take place on the alternating Thursday in which there are no general body meetings and they take place on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus.


14. Do I need to run for office to make an impact and join RUSA?
No, anyone can join a RUSA committee (excluding the Internal Affairs committee). You are all encouraged to join a RUSA committee because that is where a majority of the work is done. RUSA Committees include: Academic Affairs, University Affairs, Legislative Affairs, Public Relations, and Internal Affairs. Internal Affairs is the only committee NOT open to people not elected to RUSA.