Starting a New Student Organization
New student organizations are continuously forming at UT Dallas. If you cannot find a student organization on campus that meets your needs, consider forming your own organization! Here are the requirements and procedures for starting your own organization:
Step 1: Explore Currently Registered Student Organizations
Hello Comet! The first thing that you should do is confirm whether or not there is a registered student organization with the same mission or goals as the organization you want to create. If you find a currently registered organization that is very similar to yours, we encourage you to make contact with that organization to see how you can get involved or connect with them to see if your new ideas can be incorporated into the existing organization.
If you cannot find an existing organization whose mission, goals, or purpose align with your idea, then follow the steps below.
Step 2: Recruit Members
In order to register a student organization or re-register a previously existing organization, you must have a minimum of five currently enrolled UT Dallas students.
Step 3: Secure an Organization Advisor
All registered student organizations at UT Dallas must have one full-time UT Dallas faculty or staff member as an advisor for the student organization. Read more about student organization advisors.
As a reminder, University Teaching Assistants (TA’s), Peer Advisors (PA’s), and student employees may not serve as advisors to registered student organizations.
Step 4: Write a Constitution
In order to register a student organization, the organization must submit a constitution. Your constitution should be as detailed or as simple as your organization requires for smooth operation. Remember that the constitution will give continuity to your organization. By-laws are the general procedures of your organization (its “working rules”) and are not required.
Here are a few key items that should be included in your constitution:
- The organization’s full name and abbreviated name
- The organization’s statement of purpose or mission statement
- The organization’s officer roles and duties
- Detailed information on the organization’s election process
- Think about when the organization will engage in the election process, who is eligible to run for an officer position, how should they apply, how the new officers will be selected.
- A section on amending the constitution.
- How should amendments to the constitution be presented? Who can suggest amendments? How will the amendment be decided?
- The selection process and role of the organization advisor.
- Your constitution must include Article III Sections 1 & 2, referenced in the Sample Constitution (pdf), in regards to Membership
Step 5: Submit the New Student Organization Application & Constitution
Before the Student Organization Center gives the green light for you to register your student organization, we must first receive the application and the constitution for review. Submit your New Student Organization Application and constitution. Please allow 7 business days processing time.
If no additional questions or concerns arise with your application and constitution, you will be contacted via email by the Coordinator of Student Organizations or the Assistant Director of Student Organizations to schedule your new student organization orientation.
Step 6: Attend New Student Organization Orientation
In order to complete registration, one member of the new organization and the organization advisor, if the advisor is a first-time advisor here at UT Dallas, must attend the mandatory new student organization orientation. The orientation takes approximately one hour and is conducted by one member of the student staff of the Student Organization Center.
An organization may elect to send more than one member to the orientation. Please inform the office of how many attendees to expect so that we have sufficient materials for everyone.
Step 7: It’s Time to Get Started: Set up Your Organization
Congratulations! You are ready to set up your organization. Complete the organization registration through Microsoft Forms by following the instructions listed below. Please allow 7 business days processing time.
After your registration has been approved, the organization should begin working on the following items listed below:
- Publicize and recruit more members.
- Spread the word by setting up a booth for informational purposes, hosting events, and participating in campus-wide events.
- Organization should acquire an EIN number and turn in completed W-9 to the SOC office
- (Optional) Organization opens a bank account
- If necessary, be sure to request a certification letter or registration from the SOC office.
- Organization room reservation schedulers should request individual EMS (room reservation) accounts.
- Attend Risk Management training at the earliest scheduled opportunity
- Organizations registering during the summer (May, June, July, and August) will attend risk management training in the fall.
- Organizations registering after the Fall risk management trainings have occurred will attend risk management training in the spring.
Student Organization Terminology
- The foundation of an organization. The constitution explains the purpose of the organization, provides guidelines that are followed by all organization members, and ensures that the organization runs smoothly. (Note: This is step 4 in the New Student Organization process)
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Also known as a Tax ID Number. A unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to business entities operating in the United States for the purposes of identification.
- Event Management System (EMS)
- Also known as the room reservation system. EMS is used by students, staff, and faculty to request the use of event spaces on campus. Each registered student organization is allocated three accounts.
- New Student Organization Application
- Your first step in showing interest in creating a new organization here at UT Dallas. The application allows you to detail information such as the proposed organization’s mission, how the organization will serve UT Dallas, and your motivation behind creating the organization. (Note: This is step 5 in the New Student Organization process)
- New Student Organization Orientation
- An orientation hosted by the Student Organization Center to assist new organizations with gaining the knowledge to be successful. Some topics discussed during orientation include but are not limited to: funding, creating a bank account, registration renewal, etc. (Note: This is step 6 in the New Student Organization process)
- Organization Advisor
- A UT Dallas full-time staff or faculty member chosen to advise the student organization. The advisor serves as a liaison between the student organization and the administration, guides the organization to accomplish its mission and goals, provides resources and support, and maintains regular contact and involvement with the organization.
- Attracting new members to the organization.
- The act of keeping someone (members of the organization).
- Risk Management Training
- State-mandated training for all registered student organizations and their advisors on subjects such as behavior at parties, alcohol and illegal substances, sexual assault, and harassment, hazing, student travel, fire and event safety, and accommodations for students with disabilities. This training is mandatory and must be completed by all registered student organizations each year.
- Room Reservation Schedulers
- The three officers selected by the organization to have access to reserving the EMS system and reserving event spaces on behalf of the organization
- A standard tax document often utilized in business and financial transactions. We ask each registered student organization to submit to the Student Organization Center a W-9 with the organizations EIN listed. We will use the W-9 and EIN to provide payments (reimbursements) to the organization when funding has been requested.
There are over 300 registered student organizations in categories like academics, arts and music, club sports, cultural, educational, Greek, honor, political, recreation, religious, service learning, special interest and spirit.
Student Organization Match Card
Want to get involved but don't know where to begin? You've come to the right place! Use the Student Organization Match Card form to share your interests. After you submit your information, a member of the Student Organization Center will contact you with recommendations about involvement opportunities. We look forward to connecting with you!
Sample Constitution (pdf)
All organizations registered with the Student Organization Center are required to submit a constitution upon registration.