Want to start a student organization but don’t know the process?
Here are some things to consider first:
Before beginning the process of starting a student organization, it is a good idea to consider the following questions:
- Does the group’s stated mission overlap with that of an existing student organization or Office of Campus Life Department?
- Are there adequate university resources to accommodate the group’s activities, i.e. practice space, meeting space, storage space, office space?
- Will programs be held on campus?
- Do any university departments support the group’s efforts?
- Has the group made a concerted effort to determine if any existing programs offer similar services?
- Are there any significant safety risks associated with the activities?
- Is there a distinct benefit to GSW students from the existence of this group?
- Does the group have an enduring purpose?
- If associated with a national organization, is the GSW chapter’s agenda determined by the national organization?
- If offering programs to non-GSW individuals, does the group have a plan for training its members on ways to provide quality services?
After you have considered these questions and determined that your idea does lend itself to the creation of a new student organization, you can view a detailed description of the recognition and chartering process, as well as the necessary forms, on the Campus Life website. You can also contact the Director of Campus Life, Joshua Curtin One important step in the recognition process is the writing of your organization’s constitution. Tips for successfully completing this step can be found in the section on Writing a Constitution.
One last note: limited-time projects, personal business endeavors, and other similar enterprises may function without becoming a student organization. For example, a two-week long class project, which involves teaching elementary school students about the history of the Triangle area, would not need to become a student organization. Student organizations need to have a purpose that is ongoing, is not already adequately addressed by other organizations, has significant interest amongst GSW students, requires the continual recruitment of new members, is not-for-profit, and fills a niche within the GSW and local communities.
8 Step Process of Starting a New Student
- Hold and interest meeting with fellow student members to find out how much interest there is on the campus of GSW. (please use the guidelines on deciding whether or not to start said organization) Remember a good rule of thumb is to have at least 7 members in your new organization
- Setup a 1-on-1 meeting with the Director of Campus Life to discuss all avenues of “Starting a new organization.”
- Find a faculty or staff advisor to work with your organization.
- Write a constitution and/or by-laws for new organization. (Sample Constitution, see below) (Template for By-Laws, see below)
- Complete the Petition for Recognition Packet located on Canes Connect at canesconnect.gsw.edu
- Submit the Petition for Recognition Packet, Organization Roster and Minutes of 1st Meeting to the Canes Connect. The Director of Campus Life will submit all information to the Faculty for Student Affairs committee and email you when you are supposed to report to the hearing to defend your petition.
- Have a hearing with the Faculty for Student Affairs committee to defend said organization.
- If everything is acceptable with your Petition for Recognition status with Canes Connect, you will receive a congratulations letter from the Student Affairs committee congratulating you on your new organization.