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.

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:

  1. A copy of the club or organization's letter of intent to organize
  2. A tentative operating budget for the club or organization
  3. A constitution prepared in accordance with WPI’s sample constitution (PDF) format
  4. The name of a full-time WPI faculty or staff member to serve as the club or organization’s advisor AND a letter from them stating their commitment and support.

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. Within a two-month period, it may post notices on campus bulletin boards, reserve tables in public areas a maximum of five times, and reserve meeting rooms a maximum of three 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 minimum three tabling events prior to being reviewed by the Student Organization Council. The groups must submit the names and WPI email addresses (PDF) of at least 50 full-time students who support the establishment of the club or organization at WPI.  This list 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 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.

Prior to application submission, 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.

Step Four: Portal Set-Up

Once the group has been approved by the Student Organization Council, they will have until two weeks from recognition or the last week of the term in which the SOC recognition (whichever is first) was approved to submit the following:

  • A Tech Sync Portal for the Club

    • All officers and advisors must be added
  • Any requested changes to the organization's application
  • An anti-hazing form signed by the organization president and members
  • A members anti-hazing submission completed by all club 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 Tech Sync portal is not submitted by the end of the term in which 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. 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 Student Activities 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

Appeals Board

The Student Organization Appeals Board will consist of three voting members:

  • The Assistant Dean 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