RISO Resources

Health and Safety

Basic Needs Assistance & SNAP Benefits Assistance

Basic needs include food and housing, childcare, mental health, financial resources, and transportation, among others. Student basic needs security is critical for ensuring strong academic performance, persistence and graduation, and overall student well-being. If you or someone you know are experiencing basic needs insecurity, please see the following resources: UH System Basic Needs.

SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federally funded program with the mission of providing additional funding to low-income households to help fill in the gap of unmet food needs. It is overseen by the Department of Human Services in Hawaiʻi.

With the increasing need for access to basic needs for students, and the changing federal guidelines in light of COVID-19 and the various stimulus packages, UH Hilo has a staff member who can help students navigate the process of applying for SNAP benefits, talk through eligibility, answer questions, and connect students to external resources.

If you are a UH Hilo student who has questions regarding your eligibility for SNAP or if you would like help with filling out your applications you can email Maile at uhhsnap@hawaii.edu or call 808-932-7796. You can also review this FAQ doc that helps answer some of the most asked questions.

Confidential Advocacy

The UH Hilo campus has a couple of confidential advocates that you can speak to. They include Student Medical Services which provides TB Screenings, HIV/Hepatitis C Testing, and Family Planning Health Care among general clinical care. Counseling Services provides prevention and outreach services as well as support groups and individual counseling sessions. All records from visits will remain confidential unless your consent is given to the advocates.

Finally, The Office of Equal Opportunity provides a Confidential Advocate and Prevention Educator who works to leads the campus efforts to raise awareness of sex discrimination and gender-based violence while providing education and resources with the goal of increasing reporting and ultimately eliminating discrimination. Additionally, if you need to talk with someone to find out your rights and discuss your options you can contact the Confidential Advocate for an appointment.

Confidential Advocate and Prevention Program (CAPE)

Within the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Confidential Advocate and Prevention Education Program (CAPE) offers free confidential advocacy services to support students impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic & dating violence. The Confidential Advocate is available to:

  • Maliu: Listen, offer a space to express concerns, and attend to individual needs
  • Wehewehe: Assist in understanding administrative processes
  • Aʻoaʻo: Offer advice and guidance
  • Kōkua: Assist with connecting to campus and community resources
  • Kākoʻo: Offer supportive measures, including though not limited to, academic, housing, and employment accommodations

Contact our Confidential Advocate for more information: Kekai Lindsey , kekaikan@hawaii.edu, (808) 932-7958. Follow them on Instagram: @uhhilocape

Title IX

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of gender/sex at all educational institutions in the United States. Under the Title IX, Hawaii State Law, and UH System policy all UH Hilo faculty and staff are responsible for reporting incidents. All RISO advisors need to have Title IX training. For more information about Title IX, please visit https://hilo.hawaii.edu/titleIX/ and to file a report click here.

UH Hilo Care Team

The UH Hilo Care Team is a multidisciplinary team who receives referrals about students whose behavior raises significant concerns and reasonably suggests that the behavior, physical and/or emotional state:

  • Presents safety issues for the student or others
  • May hinder the student’s ability to meet expected standards of conduct or achieve academic requirements
  • May be evidence of severe emotional distress

Care team members include:

For more information visit UH Hilo's Care Team website

UH Hilo Security

Campus Security’s mission is “Loyalty, Service, Integrity.” UH Hilo is devoted to making the campus a safe environment for faculty, staff, students, and guests. For more information, please visit: Crime Awareness and Campus Security. If you need to report something please contact security at 808-974-7911.

RISO Administrative Information

RISO Tutorials

  • How to Create a Copy of the Membership Roster template
    • This tutorial shows you how to create and edit the Membership Roster for your organization to submit with the RISO Registration Pack. Please note that you only need to include a roster if your RISO has more than 15 members. If you have 15 or less you can enter their information directly into the google form.
  • RISO Registration Tutorial
    • This form is required for both NEW and RETURNING RISOʻs. We have combined the forms for the 2021-2022 academic year. Once you enter the form you will be asked if you are new or returning, please click the appropriate option and the rest of the questions in the form will be tailored to the documents and information that we need.

Starting a Bank Account

Most banks require your club to have the following to start a bank account:

  • Meeting Minutes indicating who will have access to funds and who has permission to make changes to the account. (Be aware that some banks may limit your organization on how many people can be on the account and may ask that minutes need to be signed)
  • Have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS
  • Register your organization with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA)

Some banks may ask for the following:

  • Constitution & By-Laws for the structure of the organization.
  • Letter from the IRS stating that your organization has received an EIN number
  • Proof of identification for each person authorized on the account (Valid, government-issued I.D. and/or Social Security Numbers).


  • Schedule an appointment with a bank. Everyone who will be authorized to make changes to the account must be all present at the signing. Note that when making changes to an account all authorized people must be present to make the changes.
  • Please contact the bank that would be the most convenient to your club for the requirements needed to open a bank account.

Applying for an EIN Number

An EIN number is an Employer Identification Number assigned by the Federal Government. RISOs are not required to have an EIN number but many have found that they need one in order to receive payments from performances or services that the club has done. Additionally, most banks require that a RISO has an EIN number in order to apply for a bank account. Apply Online - This will give you an Employer Identification Number (EIN) immediately after validations. Eligibility:

  • You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.
  • The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN).
  • You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.
    • The “responsible party” is the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercise ultimate effective control over the entity. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.

Apply by Fax/Apply Mail - Complete Form SS-4 (PDF)

For more information, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-to-apply-for-an-ein

Applying for a GE Tax Number

A GE Tax number is a number assigned by the State of Hawai`i that is needed for any entity that received income in the State. RISOs are not required to have an GE Tax number but many have found that they need one in order to receive payments from performances or services that the club has done. General Exercise Tax Information Website & Apply Online

For more information visit: https://tax.hawaii.gov/geninfo/get/

Creating a Constitution and By-Laws

There is no reason to recreate the wheel, so please feel free to use these resources to help with building or revising your Constitution and By-Laws. You can start with this sample document created for UH Hilo RISOs which allows you to insert or delete information as needed. This was designed to be as comprehensive as possible to fit the needs of various RISOs at UH Hilo. You can also watch a video that explains the difference between the two documents so you can better understand the difference when you are developing them.

Please note that you will be required to turn in both a Constitution and a By-Laws document, they should not be one single document.

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are written or recorded documentation that is used to inform members of an organization of topics discussed at a meeting. It is highly recommended to have your secretary take notes every meeting that you have and have them approved by members at the next meeting. Most clubs use Robert’s Rules on how to take minutes. You can start with this sample meeting minutes document created for UH Hilo RISOs to insert or add information as needed. For more information on Robert’s Rule visit: http://www.rulesonline.com/rror-10.htm

Managing Risk- Creating a Risk and Release Form

RISOs need to be especially aware of their liability. As stated in BOR 7.203, RISOs are independent of the university and "the university assumes no responsibility for the activities of a RISO". This means that all RISOs should be aware of their liability and work to ensure that they are protected as an organization. This means being aware of the risks that are inherent in your activities and programs and working to mitigate negligence and risk as much as possible.

We have created a sample Risk and Release form to help you notify your members of potential risk when they are participating in your activities. You will also be required to have a Risk and Release from to use some of the benefits extended to you as a RISO.