Starting A New Student Organization
Thank you for your interest in starting a new student organization.
This page is a resource to help guide you through the recognition process.
If you have questions that are not answered by this page please contact the Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership here.
- Prospective Organization – Applies to any organization that is in the process of forming but has not completed the recognition process.
- Recognition Process – Is the term used to describe the process a prospective organization must complete before becoming recognized as a New Student Organization.
- New Student Organization – Applies to any organization that has completed the recognition process but has existed for less than one year and has not completed all of the steps of the New Org Year Process.
- New Org Year Process – Is the one-year long process of guided training and support that all New Student Organizations must complete.
- Recognized Student Organization – Applies to any organization that has completed the recognition process. Additionally, the rights and responsibilities of recognized student organizations apply to new student organizations as long as they are making satisfactory progress through the new org year process.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What do I need to start a new recognized student organization?
A. On the most basic level you need an idea that is significantly different from the already recognized student organizations, a total of seven current students who are interested in helping you start the organization, and an official constitution for your organization.
Q. How do I come up with an official constitution for my organization?
A. After you complete the New Student Org Interest Form on Wildcat Link you will schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership. This meeting must take place within 1 month of your New Student Org Interest Form being approved on Wildcat Link. During this meeting you will discuss the process of drafting a constitution and you will be given a digital copy of a constitution template to use as the basis of your new organization’s constitution.
Q. Can I get a copy of the constitution template before this meeting?
A. The template is generally not given out before this meeting. The reason for this is because some kinds of organizations are not eligible for recognition and we wouldn't want to see students spend the time and energy to draft a constitution for an organization that wouldn't be recognizable. But if you want to get a general idea of what a finished constitution would like we suggest you check out a few constitutions on Wildcat Link.
Q. What kinds of organizations wouldn't be recognizable?
A. Here are a few common reasons why a proposed organization would not be recognizable:
- If a proposed organization is not significantly different from an already established organization, it is not likely that it would be recognizable.
- If a proposed organization is better suited for the Campus Recreation Club Sport process, it would also not be recognizable by the Office Student Involvement & Leadership.
- If the budgetary and executive authority lies with, and/or the drive to create or perpetuate the proposed organization comes from anyone other than UNH students, the proposed organization would not be recognizable.
- If the mission of the proposed organization would be contrary to the University standards outlined in Students Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, the group would be not be recognizable.
Q. What do I need to start a new Club Sport?
A. Please visit the page for our friends at Campus Recreation more information on Club Sports.
Q. My proposed Club Sport was not recognized by Campus Recreation. Can I submit the group for recognition by the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership until I am able to resubmit it to Campus Recreation?
A. No. The Club Sport process is entirely under the jurisdiction of Campus Recreation.
Q. How long does the recognition process take?
A. The duration of the process will vary from org to org. Depending on how quickly the meetings are scheduled and how quickly the students draft the constitution the process can take anywhere between two weeks and two months for an organization to move from being a prospective organization to entering the New Org Year Process.
Q. When can new student organizations start the recognition process?
A. The window for new student organizations to begin the recognition process begins the week after University Day (U-Day) and runs through the end of the last week of March. Outside of that time frame we welcome questions about the recognition process, but new organizations may not form nor may they conduct formal activities.
Q. I am a UNH student representing a group that has lost recognition. How can the group become re-recognized?
A. When the group lost recognition, the written notice should have included this information as it is unique to each situation. If that notice has been lost to history, please contact the Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership for more information.
Q. What is the New Org Year Process?
A. During a new student organization's first year as a recognized organization there are a series of trainings and follow-up meetings in which the organization leaders will be required to participate.
Q. Is the New Org Year Process New?
A. Yes. The New Org Year Process is required for any new student organization that has not completed the recognition process as of June 1, 2015.
Q. Are there exceptions to the New Org Year Process?
- Prospective Sport Clubs are under the jurisdiction of Campus Recreation and must follow their published recognition processes.
- While prospective social fraternities and sororities do fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership, their process is slightly different than what is outlined here. For more information please consult the University of New Hampshire's Minimum Standards for Expansion Policy under Fraternity & Sorority Life.
Q. If my proposed organization is recognized, do we automatically receive a budget from the Student Activity Fee?
A. No. There are very few organizations that have a set budget from the Student Activity Fee.
Q. Are there any sources of funding available?
A. Absolutely! From Parents Association Grants to fundraising to applying for supplemental funding from the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) there are a variety of options available to recognized student organizations.
Q. Can I set up a temporary student organization so I can host a one-time on-campus event, fundraiser or other activity?
A. No. Starting a student organization is a significant responsibility and requires commitment of its founding members. If you have a great idea for one-time event or activity it is best to bring it to an already established organization.
Q. Can I start a new honor society?
A. Yes. However a new organization may not use the title of "Honor Society" until it is approved by the Academic Standards Committee of the UNH Faculty Senate.
Q. Can I start a new fraternity or sorority?
A. Yes. For more information please consult the University of New Hampshire's Minimum Standards for Expansion Policy under Fraternity & Sorority Life.
Q. I am not a UNH student and I represent an off-campus entity. Can I start a student chapter at UNH?
A. No. While Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of the community the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by student interest.
Q. I am a UNH faculty/staff member. Can I start a student organization at UNH?
A. No. While the Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of UNH faculty and staff, the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by student interest.
Q. I am a UNH graduate student. Can I start a student organization at UNH?
A. Absolutely! The recognition process does not differentiate between student organizations formed by graduate students and undergraduate students.
Q. I am a UNH alum. Can I start a student organization at UNH?
A. No. While the Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of UNH alumni, the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by current student interest.
Q. Ok. I got it. Now, how do I get started?
A. At this time we are no longer accepting submissions through the New Org Interest Form as the window for beginning the process has closed. It will reopen in September 2017.