Start a New Organization
Although WPI offers a wide variety of activities to its students, they may want to form a new club or organization. As outlined below, any WPI department may agree to recognize a new student club or organization; however, that does not mean that it is officially recognized by the Student Activities Office (SAO) and the university. Please be sure to read all pages in the Club Resources section to become familiar with responsibilities and procedures.
Step One: Organizing
Student groups that are looking to learn more about the recognition process are encouraged to meet with the chair of the Student Organization Council (SOC). If they are looking to become a recognized student organization, student groups should download an application or obtain it from the SAO.
Step Two: Requesting Recognition
To begin the official recognition process, the student group must submit the following materials in order to be invited to the SOC meeting:
- A copy of the club or organization's letter of intent to organize
- A complete recognition application
- The names and school addresses of at least 50 full-time students who support the establishment of the club or organization at WPI on the signature page
- A completed Anti-Hazing Policy form and Anti-Hazing club signature sheet signed by the advisor and future officers of the club or organization
- A tentative operating budget for the club or organization
- A constitution prepared in accordance with WPI’s sample constitution format
- A one paragraph description of the organization for potential use in university publications
- The name of a full-time WPI faculty or staff member to serve as the club or organization’s advisor as well as a commitment letter from him/her
Once the above materials are submitted, the student group will be permitted to conduct limited club or organization business on campus. Over a two-month period, it may post notices on campus bulletin boards, reserve tables in public areas five times, and reserve meeting rooms three times. The student group may meet for organizing purposes only and may not sponsor any programs. It must hold at least two interest meetings prior to being reviewed by the SOC. Agendas, minutes, and a list of participants from these meetings must be submitted to the SAO to be able to schedule a recognition meeting with the SOC.
Step Three: Review & Approval
The SOC will review recognition requests at the next scheduled recognition meeting that has an available and open spot. Student leaders from the club or organization will be invited to provide a five-minute presentation about their club or organization. If members of the SOC have any questions regarding the club or organization, they will be provided during the meeting or after, if additional follow up is necessary. The SOC will make the final decision regarding recognition status and will refer to other university administrators as necessary including risk management.
The SOC encourages students to review the current list of clubs and organizations at WPI to reduce redundancy and reserves the right to deny clubs or organizations recognition which already exists in a similar format on campus. For questions or concerns about the current list of clubs and organizations on campus, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All clubs and organizations requesting recognition will be informed of the SOC decision by email. If approved, the club or organization will have two weeks to set up a meeting with the SOC chair to review the benefits of being a recognized club or organization and discuss any changes requested by the SOC. The organization will then have two weeks to complete the following:
- Any requested changes to the organization's application
- An Anti-Hazing signature form, resubmitted and signed by all general members
If these forms are not handed in within the timeframe stated above, then the club or organization could face the loss of recognition. A recognized status is not reached until all required paperwork is handed into the SAO.
Appeals Procedure and Criteria
- Decisions of the SOC may be appealed to the Student Organization Appeals Board.
- All appeals must be submitted in writing by the organization representatives to the Assistant Dean for Student Programs within five (5) days following communication of the initial decision.
- Grounds for an appeal must be based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Failure to follow the procedures outlined in the student orgnaization recongition process;
- The concerns or issues leading to the initial decision was not shared at any time with the organization representatives for them to address;
- The decision was based on misinterpretation of the presentation, leaving the Student Orgnization Council's decision uninformed;
- New information became available following the presentation but prior to the appeal deadline that may change the decision of the SOC.
- The appeals board may refuse to accept any appeal that does not satisfy these criteria.
- The following will then take place:
- A meeting of the appeal board will be scheduled within 10 business days of receiving the appeal request;
- The current chair of the SOC will share the application materials and grounds for the initial decision to the appeals board in advance of the meeting;
- The organization representatives will also be provided the opportunity to present their proposal for recognition to the appeals board;
- The Student Orgnaization Appeals Board will then render a decision in writing following that meeting within 10 business days unless otherwise notified.
- The decision of the appeals board is final and no additional appeal will be provided.
The Student Organization Appeals Board will consist of three voting members.
- The Assistant Dean for Student Programs who will chair the committee;
- The Director of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics;
- The current Student Government Association President or Graduate Student Government President or his/her designee dependingo n the majority target population of the organization presenting their appeal.