Starting a New Student Organization

Benefits of being a recognized student organization:

  • Requesting ASWU funding
  • Access to the Office of Student Activities resources and supplies for FREE
  • Reserving rooms throughout campus for meetings and events with the Office of Scheduling & Conference Services
  • Listing on the Office of Student Activities website
  • Access to distribute flyers/mailbox stuffers to student mailboxes
  • And much, much more

Things to keep in mind when creating your student organization:

  • New club names may not have "Willamette" as part of their official name
  • The Office of Student Activities will not facilitate approval of organizations that:
    • involve activities that pose potential risk or harm to the safety and well-being of Willamette Students
    • involve activities that may include medical liability/risk/supervision or act as a support group

Steps to become* and remain a recognized student organization at Willamette University:

Review the list of current 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.
  • If there are no groups that exist to meet your interests, needs, and goals, continue to Step 2.

Meet with a member of the Student Activities Team, or one of the Student Activities Interns (formally known as the Leadership Consultants), to discuss the Student Organization Affiliation Process and get answers to your questions.

Find an advisor who is:

  • A member of the Willamette University faculty, staff or administration
  • Not on or planning a sabbatical or leave for the current year
  • Familiar with Willamette’s culture, policies, and resources
  • Interested in and willing to support your group’s mission, members, leaders, meetings, and activities

Identify a primary student leader and budget contact for the group.

  • We know not all student organizations have the same structure, and the group’s constitution will outline the specific responsibilities of all officers.
  • While shared leadership positions are welcome, the Office of Student Activities needs you to designate one primary contact and one budget contact (they can be the same person) who can be trusted to receive and disseminate information on behalf of the group.

Complete and submit the Student Organization Affiliation Packet (includes all of the following) to the Office of Student Activities on the 2nd floor of Putnam University Center.

  • Student Organization Affiliation Form
  • Petition of Interest Form
    • Solicit support from at least 10 Willamette fee-paying undergraduate students (indicating their interest in becoming a member of the student organization)
    • Note: Your club’s membership roster (most of which start as the Petition of Interest) must be composed of at least 50% Willamette fee-paying undergraduate students
  • Constitution and Bylaws (View sample constitution)

Respond to communications from the ASWU Club Approval and Finance Committee, ASWU Senate, and the Office of Student Activities. They will review your proposal, make suggestions and revisions, and make the final vote on whether or not to approve the group.

Once the group has been approved, the group leaders must attend a Student Organization Orientation (held monthly).

Continue to use the Office of Student Activities and the Leadership Consultants as a resource to answer questions as well as plan and implement meetings and activities throughout the year.

Be sure to check out the Resources for Student Organizations section for lots of additional information that will help your organization be successful.

Notify the Office of Student Activities (using the Student Organization Update Form) immediately when any changes are made to officers or other leaders in the group.

Review, update, and provide a current copy of your group’s constitution to the Office of Student Activities.

Complete the Roster Request and Annual Registration Forms in the spring to remain active for the following year.

*The timeline to become a recognized student organization is approximately 2-4 weeks.