Step One: Requesting Recognition
To begin the official recognition process, the student group must submit the following materials in TechSync in order to be invited to a Student Organization Council (SOC) meeting:
- A copy of the club or organization's letter of intent to organize
- A complete recognition application
- The names and school addresses (PDF) of at least 50 full-time students who support the establishment of the club or organization at WPI
- 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 (PDF) format
- The name of a full-time WPI faculty or staff member to serve as the club or organization’s advisor as well as a letter from them stating their commitment and support.
Step Two: Interest Meetings
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 Student Organization Council. Agendas, minutes, and a list of participants from these meetings must be submitted to the Student Activities Office to be able to schedule a recognition meeting with the Student Organization Council.
Step Three: Review & Approval
The Student Organization Council will review recognition requests at the next scheduled recognition meeting that has an available 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 Student Organization Council have any questions regarding the club or organization, they will be asked during the meeting or after, if additional follow-up is necessary. The Student Organization Council will make the final decision regarding recognition status and will refer to other university administrators as necessary.
The Student Organization Council encourages students to review the current list of clubs and organizations at WPI to reduce redundancy, and reserves the right to deny recognition to clubs or organizations that already exist in a similar format on campus. For questions or concerns about the current list of clubs and organizations on campus, email the SAO.
All clubs and organizations requesting recognition will be informed of the Student Organization Council decision by email. If approved, the club or organization will have two weeks to set up a meeting with the Student Organization Council chair to review the benefits of being a recognized club or organization and discuss any changes requested by the Student Organization Council. The organization will then have two weeks to complete:
- 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 Student Activities Office.
Appeals Procedure and Criteria
- Decisions of the Student Organization Council may be appealed to the Student Organization Appeals Board
- The organization representatives must submit all appeals in writing 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 these criteria:
- Failure to follow the procedures outlined in the student organization recognition process
- The concerns or issues leading to the initial decision were 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 Organization Council's decision uninformed
- New information became available following the presentation but prior to the appeal deadline that may change the decision of the Student Organization Council
- The appeals board may refuse to accept any appeal that does not satisfy the above 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 Student Organization Council 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 Organization 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 Director of Student Activities, 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 their designee depending on the majority target population of the organization presenting their appeal