Starting a New Student Organization

Benefits of being a recognized student organization include:

  • The opportunity to request funding from ASWU
  • Access to the Office of Student Activities resources and supplies
  • The ability to request room reservations for meetings and events (contact Student Activities for assistance with reserving space on campus)
  • Directory listing on the Office of Student Activities website
  • Access to distribute flyers or mailbox stuffers to student mailboxes
  • Leadership development and training opportunities

Things to keep in mind when creating your student organization:

  • New club names may not have "Willamette" as part of their official name
  • In order to start or lead an ASWU-affiliated student organization, student leaders must be current CLA (undergraduate) students
  • 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, additional 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  to discuss the Student Organization Affiliation Process and get answers to your questions.

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

  • 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.
  • Only Willamette CLA (undergraduate) students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible to hold club leadership positions

Find an advisor who is:

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

Complete 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)

Submit your affiliation paperwork (including constitution) to the Office of Student Activities (2nd floor of the UC) or email it to Emily Morris.

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.

This process can take from 4-6 weeks (or longer). The approval timeline depends on:

  • If your affiliation documents (including constitution) are complete when submitted.
  • How many affiliation forms the Club Approval and Finance Committee is currently reviewing.
  • Your willingness to communicate to Committee requests in a timely manner

Once the group has been approved, the group leaders must attend a Student Organization Orientation (held monthly) and submit additional registration documents (which will be sent from Student Activities). Contact Student Activities for more information. 

Continue to use the Office of Student Activities 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.

When things change:

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.

Fall Requirements:

Submit a roster of current students to the Office of Student Activities. The request for rosters will be sent to club presidents and treasurers via the club mail groups.

Spring Requirements:

Complete the annual Student Organization Registration (sent via email from the Office of Student Activities) which includes:

  • A spring roster of club participants
  • Completion of the Student Organization Update Form
  • An online reflection to be completed by the current or outgoing club president
  • Review and update your club's constitution (every other year)

Clubs and organizations that do not submit their annual registration (by the deadline) will be asked to re-apply for affiliation for the next academic year.

 
*The timeline to become a recognized student organization is approximately 4-6 weeks.