Start an Organization

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Are you interested in starting a new Student Organization at Calvin? The guidelines and procedures on this page will help you get started...

The chartering process is for new student groups wishing to be recognized by the college as an official student organization. Being chartered gives student organizations access to college funding, leadership development, and networking opportunities with other student leaders.

Steps to start an organization:

  1. Read the student organization guidelines and responsibilities (see next tab)
  2. Set up a meeting with Mary Van Poolen, Coordinator of Student Organizations (see: Contact Us page).
    • Prepare to discuss ideas, your mission, and goals.
  3. Plan a pilot meeting for interested students in which you create a membership list
    • Take attendance at your first meeting; there is a twelve member minimum for consideration as an official student organization
  4. Write your charter (see guidelines below)
    • Your student organization must have three student leaders and a faculty/staff advisor
  5. Complete the student organization leader commitment form
  6. Have your advisor complete the advisor consent form
  7. Create a justified budget request
  8. Turn in signed charter, budget request, and membership list to the Student Development Office
    • The charter will go before the Student Life Committee for review and voting. They may require changes in your charter. You must wait for approval by the Student Life Committee before your organization can formally begin

Note: Looking to start up your Student Org in Spring 2014? Chartering materials are due November 21st!

Writing your charter

Your charter should include the following information:

  1. Organization's name
  2. Organization's leadership team names and emails (minimum of 3 leadership positions)
  3. Organization's faculty/staff advisor name and email
  4. Mission statement
    • Your mission statement should clearly and concisely describe both WHO you are and WHAT you do. Within this statement it should be apparent that who you are informs what you do. The mission statement should also reflect the educational mission statement of Calvin College and a Reformed Christian worldview.
  5. Statement of purpose
    • This statement describes WHY you exist as an organization and what you plan to be for Calvin College.
  6. Tentative calendar of meetings and events
  7. Organization's structure
    • Should include: decision-making procedures, defining roles and responsibilities of leadership team, strategies for maintaining continuity within your organization
  8. Signatures of each member of the leadership team and the organization's advisor.