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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.