Start a New Organization
Although WPI offers a wide variety of activities, students 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 sections of the Club Resources page to become familiar with responsibilities and procedures to becoming a university-recognized club.
Prior to application submission, the Student Organization Council encourages students to review the current list of clubs and organizations at WPI to reduce redundancy. The council reserves the right to deny recognition to clubs or organizations that already exist with a similar focus on campus. For questions about the current list of clubs and organizations on campus, email the SAO.
The SOC will hear new club requests once per term or at the discretion of the SOC Chair. All proposed student organizations must adhere to the deadlines below to be heard in the term in which they submit their application:
- Step 1: Due November 13
- Step 2: Due December 1
- SOC Hearing: Week of December 5-December 13
- Step 1: Due January 29
- Step 2: Due February 16
- SOC Hearing: Week of February 21-February 28
- Step 1: Due April 1
- Step 2: Due April 16
- SOC Hearing: Week of April 21-April 26
Step One: Requesting Recognition
To begin the official recognition process, the interest group must submit a recognition application to be invited to a Student Organization Council (SOC) meeting. The recognition application requires the following documents:
- A copy of the club or organization's letter of intent to organize listing the officer names, titles and physical signatures.
- 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 AND a physically signed letter from them stating their commitment and support.
- Names, emails, and physical signatures of at least ten students including officers committed toclub membership should the organization become recognized.
All items in step one must be completed and approved by the SAO prior to moving to step two. Club sports are required to meet with the Associate Director of Athletics or their designee prior to moving to step two.
Step Two: Gathering Interest
Once the above materials are submitted, the interest group will be permitted to conduct limited club or organization business on campus. In line with the dates listed for recognition in a given term, the proposed club may post notices on campus bulletin boards, reserve tables in public areas a maximum of three times, and reserve meeting rooms a maximum of two times.Rooms and tables must be reserved through the SAO.The student group may meet for organizing purposes only and may not sponsor any programs. The interest group must hold at least three tabling events prior to being reviewed by the Student Organization Council. While tabling, the group must collect names, emails and physical signaturesof 50 students who support the addition of the proposed club and its operation on campus. Groups that have not moved past step two within one calendar year of starting the SOC Application process will need to re-start the SOC process.
Step Three: Review & Approval
The Student Organization Council will review recognition requests at the next scheduled recognition meeting that has an available spot. The Student Organization Council will meet four times per calendar year (once per term) or at the discretion of the committee. Additional meetings will only be scheduled at the discretion of the SOC Chair.
Student leaders from the club or organization will be invited to provide a five-minute presentation about their group. Members representing the proposed club should be prepared to answer questions about their organization 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.
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. Groups that are denied may appeal the decision using the process outlined below.
Step Four: Portal Set-Up
Any groups approved by the Student Organization Council, will have three weeks from when the interest group was approved to submit the following:
- A MyWPI Portal for the Club
- All officers and advisors must be added
- Any requested changes to the organization's application or constitution
- An anti-hazing form signed by the organization president and members
If these forms are not completed within the timeframe stated above, then the club or organization could face the loss of recognition. If the club’s MyWPI portal is not submittedwithin three weeks of when the club was recognized, recognition shall be revoked. Members interested in regaining recognition will need to resubmit all SOC process paperwork beginning with Step One.
Recognized groups need to meet with the Chair of the SOC within three weeks of the club’s approval by the SOC.
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 of Students or their designee within five (5) calendar 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 Assistant Dean of Students, who will chair the committee;
- The Director of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics; and,
- 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.