Start a Student Organization
Chartering and recognition process.
The first step to founding an official student organization starts with knowing what to expect and what you need to provide. Explore the chartering and recognition process here.
A big part of the process includes writing a constitution that will govern your organization. You may use this template as a starting point. Simple fill in the bracketed areas with answers fitting to your organization. You may add additional clauses to the constitution, if necessary.
The following guidelines dictate specific items that must be included in the constitution of your student organization for constitutional approval by the Student Government Association:
- All new constitutions and new amendments must be typed and submitted for review to the student senate in a clear and precise form.
- The student organization must have a name that is not being used by a recognized organization or one that has not been recognized during the past seven years, unless it is an organization that is returning to recognized status.
- The purpose, or purposes, of the organization must be clearly stated and in compliance with university policy and student code.
- A statement must appear in the constitution, such as Membership and participation shall be free from discrimination and harassment per the policies of Purdue Fort Wayne Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct as stated in Part 1 Section A, Items 3 and 4.
- At least 51 percent of the total membership must be currently enrolled students of Purdue Fort Wayne, and only those members may vote, hold office, and represent the organization/university in an official capacity. In addition, there is a membership requirement of a minimum of eight (8) members per organization.
- All student organizations must specifically state the financial obligations required to become, or continue as, a member. If no dues are required, then such a statement must be included.
- The organization’s officers must be elected by the voting membership. The term of office and a date/time frame for the election process must be stated.
- The criteria and functions of all elected and appointed officers need to be stated and must make clear that all officers, upon being elected or appointed, are to attend annual training by the Student Life or Student Leadership.
- The procedure for electing officers and the acceptable voting margins must be stated. In addition, whenever there are officer changes, student organizations are required to report these changes to Student Life within one week of election. The replacement officer must then attend training by Student Life or Student Leadership.
- The procedure for officer replacement or succession must be stated.
- The frequency of the general organizational meetings must be stated and open to the student body in addition to the quorum specifications for all meetings, including, but not limited, to general organizational meetings, committee meetings, or special meetings.
- Attendance requirements must be specifically stated; if there are no attendance requirements, such a statement must be included.
- Each organization must have at least one advisor designated as the primary organization advisor who is a full-time Purdue Fort Wayne faculty or staff member. The organization may have as many secondary advisors as deemed appropriate by the organization.
- The grounds and procedures for the impeachment of officers must be stated.
- Expulsion requirements and procedures for members must be specifically stated.
- The process for amending, revising, and approving the constitution must be stated; if the changes are approved by the organization, the changes must be submitted to the student senate for approval.
- An enabling act must be included that states when the constitution becomes effective and when officers will be elected.
- The bylaws may not contradict the student organization constitution.
Note: Constitutions of currently recognized student organizations must comply with the guidelines in place at the time of constitutional approval. Amendments must comply with the guidelines in place at the time of amendment approval.
When an unrecognized organization wants to achieve recognized status, the constitution must comply with the guidelines in place at the time of being newly recognized.
Your advisor can be any full-time Purdue Fort Wayne staff or faculty member who is willing to commit to your group. Make sure to choose an advisor who will be vested in helping your organization grow and be successful. Your organization’s advisor must complete their section of the report form in order for your organization to be recognized.
Once you have been chartered by the student senate, you must complete an Organization Recognition Form and submit it to the Student Life in Walb Union, Room 210. This document is vital to the recognition process and must be updated annually; it is also extremely important that your group updates the Organization Recognition Form if there is a change in officers. By doing this, new officers will be able to access funds through the Office of the Bursar.
Each year, if you are an officer of a student organization, you will be required to complete officer training. Training dates will be sent to you upon receiving your completed RSO form.
If you have any questions about the chartering and recognition process, please contact Student Life at [email protected] or 260-481-6609.