How to Create an Organization
1. Choose an administrator for faculty member to advise the organization
2. Choose a name for the organization
3. Submit a constitution to the SGA for approval. The SGA approves charters for all student organizations. To be chartered by the SGA, the organization must meet requirements outlined in the SGA constitution. (link to constitution)
Where to go for help:
Student Activities Office: Student Center room 103 (601) 318-6444
Student Government Association Office: Student Center room 104 (601) 318-6444
Creating a Constitution
In accordance with university policy, each new organization must submit to the Office of Student Activities a constitution. The Director of Student Activities will then forward the constitution to the Student Government Association for approval. Once approved, the organization becomes a recognized group on campus and may freely reserve rooms and publicize in campus publications.
It is the responsibility of each recognized organization to keep an updated list of club officers and any constitutional revisions on file in the Office of Student Activities.
What is a Constitution?
The Constitution of an organization contains the fundamental principles which govern its operation. The By-Laws establish the specific rules of guidance by which the group is to function.
Why have a Constitution?
By definition, an organization is a "body of persons organized for some specific purpose, as a club, union, or society." The process of writing a constitution will serve to clarify your purpose, delineate your basic structure and provide a cornerstone for building an effective group. The constitution will allow the campus community to have a better understanding of what the organization is all about and how it functions.
Outline for a Constitution.
The following is an outline of the standard information to be included in a constitution. The objective is to draft a document that covers these topics in a simple, clear, and concise manner. Each topic within an article should be delineated by titling it a section (e.g., Article Ill. Section 2.).
Article I Article II Article III Article I V Article V Article VI Article VII Article VIII Article IX Article X Article XI
The name of the organization
Affiliation with other groups (local, state, national, etc.)
Purpose, aims, functions of the organization
Membership requirements (how determined, who's eligible, etc.) Officers (titles, term of office, how and when elected, grade requirements) Advisor (term of service, how selected)
Meetings (frequency, special meetings and who calls them)
Quorum (number of members; required to transact business) Referendum 'and Recall (procedures and handling)
Amendments (means of proposal, notice, voting requirements) Ratification (requirements for adopting this constitution)
Why have By-Laws?
The constitution covers the fundamental principles but does not prescribe specific procedures for operating your organization. By-Laws are set forth to detail the procedures your group must follow to conduct business in an orderly manner. They provide further definition to the articles of the constitution and can be changed more easily as the needs of the organization change.
What should be included in By-Laws?
By-Laws must not contradict provisions in the Constitution. They generally contain specific information on the following topics:
- Membership (requirements, resignations, expulsion, rights and duties)
- Dues (amounts and collection procedures, and special fees, when payable)
- Duties of Officers (powers, responsibilities, specific job descriptions, procedures for filling unexpired terms of office, removal form office)
- Executive Board (structure, composition, powers)
- Committees (standing, special, how formed, chairpersons, meetings, powers, duties)
- Order of Business (standard agenda for conducting meetings)
- Parliamentary Authority (provisions for rules of order, generally Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised)
- Amendment Procedures (means of proposals, notice required, voting requirements)
- Other specific policies and procedures unique to your organization necessary for its operation
Once we've got them - what do we do with them?
Remember the reasons for having a Constitution and By-Laws. They articulate the purpose of your organization and spell out the procedures to be followed for its orderly functioning. Constitutions usually require a 2/3 vote of the membership for adoption. By-Laws only require a simple majority for passage. Once you have developed your Constitution and By-Laws, review them often. The needs of your groups will change over time and it's important that the Constitution and By-Laws are kept up to date to reflect the current state of affairs.
Make sure every new member of the organization has a copy of them. This will help to unify your members by informing them about the opportunities that exist for participation and the procedures they should follow to be an active, contributing member. A thorough study of the Constitution and By-Laws should be a part of officer training and transition.
Source: Student Organization Development Center, University of Michigan
Securing new members for a new or an existing organization can be a challenge. There are many ways to develop successful recruitment and interest in your organization. The best way to maintain a healthy membership in your group is to remain an active group with visible events and a regular meeting schedule. By having close contact with your advisor and the Student Activities office information is easily passed on to students.
How to recruit
- Participate in the Student Activities Fair scheduled the first day of classes (fall trimester). The Activities Fair is outside of Chapel from 10am-10:30am. All organizations are invited to participate. You will need to contact the Director of Student Activities during the spring trimester to reserve a booth.
- Participate in the summer orientation programs. If you are unable to attend you may drop off any recruitment information to the Director of Student Activities during the spring trimester.
- Place advertisement for meetings and events in the Cobbler Newspaper
- Turn in all advertisement to the Student Activities office to be posted on campus, announced on the activities hotline and in the Carey Call. All announcement and advertisement must be turned in one week before the event.
- Register your organization’s meeting and events with the Student Activities office
- Place all your organization’s event on the Student Activities event calendar. All dates must be turned in during the spring trimester before the next year.
Hosting an Event
- Discuss ideas/goals for the event with your group and/or advisor
- Make sure to consider budget, space, time, food, purpose, and any other possible needs
- Fill out a pink packet for every event.
- Facilities setup, food services, and the student conference sound room.
- Submit packet by deadline established by student activities
- New events not on master calendar
- Must be approved by student activities
- Fill out pink packet when approved
- Submit to student activities at least 2 weeks before event
- Non-compliance may result in unavailable facility services
- If there are any requests for financial support from Student Activities your organization must follow the procedure for Organization Funding
How to get Funding
During the spring trimester meet with your organizations treasurer, advisor and/or the Student Activities office and develop a budget for the next year.
You organization will need to budget for participating in three community service projects (one per trimester). Your organization must host one of the community service projects. You will need to budget for supplies, advertising, tee-shirts, prizes or any other expenses.
All community services projects must be accepted by the Community Service Commissioner of the Student Government Association. The Student Activities office has many community service projects and ideas. It is up to you and your organization to plan and organize the project. The Director of Student Activities will assist you.
If your organization chooses to host a event you will need to budget for the event and possible fundraising ideas
To receive any funding through the Student Activities office your treasurer will present your financial budgets and spending records once every trimester. This can be done in the weekly SGA meetings or make a separate appointment with the SGA Treasurer.
To receive any funding from the Student Activities office your organization will have to fill out the Request for Funds Form. This form can be found on this site, in the Student Activities office, or your Student Government Association Treasurer.
The Student Activities office is not responsible for financially supporting your events, however if you follow our policies and procedures and plan in advance we will try to assist you efforts.
- Talk to your Student Activities Director about your organizations advising needs.
- Discuss with the members of your organization their expectations for advisement.
- Set up a meeting with your advisor to discuss ideas and budgeting
- Provide your advisor with a current constitution and list of all officers and members.
- Communicate frequently with your advisor on meetings and events. Remember your advisor can often be a great resource for ideas and contacts.
- The advisor should be knowledgeable of the organizations constitution and mission.
The advisor should hold the organization responsible for commitments, being reliable and straightforward, and the rules and regulations of the William Carey University.