Start a New Organization
Benefits of being a Student Organization?
A student organization that has completed the recognition process with Student Engagement becomes eligible for many benefits.
- On and off campus organizational programming is covered by Lewis & Clark Insurance Policy.
- Access to an organizational Lewis & Clark College financial account.
- Ability to hold events on campus without paying for space.
- Approval to request Associated Students of Lewis & Clark funding.
- Access to networking opportunities and interactions with guest speakers that come from a wide variety of occupations, viewpoints & backgrounds
- Development of knowledge, skills and leadership experience that will stay with you throughout your life and your time here at Lewis & Clark College and enhance your resume.
What do you need to get started?
There are a wide range of student organizations available to any student at L&C. Nevertheless, occasionally there is a desire to create a new student organization. Below are the steps any L&C student may take to create a new recognized organization.
Review the list of student organizations and see if there are other groups with similar goals or interests to yours.
- If other groups exist that are similar to yours, approach their leaders to discuss collaboration. Here’s the link to all recognized Student Organizations.
If there are no groups that exist to meet your interests, needs, and goals, continue to step 2.
Find an advisor who is:
- A member of the faculty or staff.
- Planning to be on campus for the entire academic year.
- Familiar with Lewis & Clark’s culture, policies, and resources.
- Interested in and willing to support your organization’s mission, members, leaders, meetings, and activities.
- Willing to commit to and complete the online New Student Organization Advisor Volunteer Service Agreement.
Identify two (2) primary student contacts, one (1) finance contact for the organization, and at least seven participants. As student organizations are funded by student fees, these positions must be held by actively enrolled students and/or paying student fees during their time of leadership.
- Student Engagement knows that not all student organizations have the same structure, and the group’s constitution will outline specific responsibilities of all officers. While shared leadership positions are welcome, Student Engagement needs you to designate two primary student leader contacts that can be trusted to receive and disseminate information on behalf of the group.
- Identify a third student to serve as your student organization’s finance contact. It is important that a third student serve as the organization’s finance contact (they’ll need to track expenditures, sign-off on check/reimbursement requests, etc.) to promote financial accountability and transparency. Identify two (2) primary student contacts and one (1) finance contact for the organization.
- Identify at least seven other students to participate in your organization. Including your leadership, there should be a total of ten student participants.
- Create a club constitution. A constitution is required to create a new student organization. The purpose of your constitution is to outline your club’s mission and values, as well as create a written contract with Student Engagement about the scope and responsibilities of your club. A sample constitution can be found here.
- Review, complete and submit the online New Student Organization Registration.
- Upon request from Student Engagement, complete and submit the supplemental online Risk Management Information Packet.
Read and understand the following from the Student Code of Conduct: IX. STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS.
- Student organizations may be charged with violations of this Code or College Policy.
- The officers, leaders, and members of a student organization, as well as the organization as a whole, may be subject to discipline under the Code when its members, officers, or leaders commit violations with sponsorship from the organization.
- The officers, leaders, or any identifiable spokespersons for a student organization may be directed by the Dean of Students or designee to take action to prevent or end violations by members, officers, or leaders acting with sponsorship from the organization.
- Outcomes for organizations may include loss of all privileges, including College recognition, for a specified period of time, revocation of funding, dissolution, as well as other appropriate outcomes. Individuals involved in violations with sponsorship from an organization may also be assigned personal outcomes, regardless of those assigned to the organization.
Student Organization Leaders’ Responsibilities
- Respond to communications from Student Engagement and the ASB Student Organizations Committee within forty-eight hours when requested.
- Attend mandatory (usually only once a semester) student organization orientation/training meetings. These meetings are important orientation/training opportunities for student organization leaders. There is a lot of important information and guidelines that need to be communicated to all student organizations each semester. These meetings are required for all student organizations to attend.
- Meet with the ASB Allocations Director and/or ASB Treasurer when requested to discussion funding allocations.
- Notify Student Engagement immediately of any leadership or advisor changes in your organization. Failure to keep Student Engagement updated can result in an organization’s funds being frozen.
Continue to use Student Engagement staff as a resource to answer questions as well as plan and implement meetings throughout the year.
- Be in good conduct and academic standing.
Guidelines pertaining to Funding Use
- Funds are allocated for an academic year and can only be spent during that academic year. Funds that are not spent by the last day of classes of the spring semester will be returned to ASB for future re-allocation.
- All deposits and expenditures are managed by the College. No student organization may maintain an account with an off-campus financial institution.
- Student organizations are expected to follow their approved budget in accordance with the policies, rules, and regulations of ASB, Student Engagement, and the College.
- Student organizations are responsible for tracking their deposits and expenditures. Opportunities to learn about this process is available with the ASB Treasurer throughout the academic year.
- All events must be free of charge, unless the Director of Student Engagement has granted prior approval for nonprofit fundraising efforts. The Director of Student Engagement may also grant a waiver for special events where monies collected are used to defray costs.
- Student organizations are strongly encouraged to collaborate and partner with other student organizations on events. This allows for funds to be used more effectively and reduce duplicated efforts. Working together also allows for event planning responsibilities to be divided amongst organizations, reducing the workload while getting more people to attend and enjoy events.
- Student organizations may hold fundraisers to raise funds for nonprofit organizations. Simply submit the online Fundraising Request to Student Engagement for approval.
- The ASB Treasurer and Director of Student Engagement routinely audit all spending by student organizations. If an organization is found to have misspent allocated funds, it will be subject to disciplinary action through Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Responsibilities of Student Contacts
- Affirm that the student organization and its members are aware of and understand the policies, rules, and regulations of the College, Student Engagement, and ASB.
- Affirm that neither the student organization nor its members are acting on behalf of the College and will not represent themselves as official agents of the College.
- Affirm that they understand that they cannot sign any contracts on behalf of their organization or the College. The Director of Student Engagement must review and sign all contracts.
- Affirm that they are all working together to track student organization deposits and expenditures. Meet regularly with the ASB Treasurer to ensure that the records of the student organization match those maintained by ASB.
- Affirm that their organization does not discriminate in its membership practices or in its activities.
Affirm that their organization is required to have a faculty/staff advisor and is responsible for finding an advisor.
- See the New Student Organization Advisor Volunteer Service Agreement for an outline of advisor responsibilities.
- Attend all required student organization meetings, orientations, and trainings called by Student Engagement or ASB.
Do you want to…
- Do you want to reserve an on-campus event or meeting space? Contact Conferences and Events at email@example.com.
- Do you want to have a performer or speaker come to campus? Contact Tamara Ko the Director of Student Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss logistics and the contract process. Remember that you cannot sign contracts! All contracts must be reviewed and signed by the Director of Student Engagement.
- Do you want to promote your event or meeting on the digital screens around campus? Contact Tamara Ko the Director of Student Engagement at email@example.com and she’ll work with you to get your event or meeting posted. All we’ll need is a jpg image and the basic event information (who, what, where, when, etc.).
- Do you want to post flyers around the Flower Student Center on approved bulletin boards? Stop by the Student Engagement counter to get your flyers reviewed and stamped.
- Do you want to show a movie? Contact Tamara Ko the Director of Student Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org to review the copyright policy and make the necessary arrangements.
- Do you want to find a student organization resource or important information? Visit the Useful Student Organization Resources page (check back often as the page is regularly updated).