Chartering a New Student Organization
Have you found a void that you believe a new student organization can address? Student Engagement and the SGA Joint Campus Organizations Committee serve as resources to chartering new Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). The SGA Joint Campus Organization Committee (JCOC) Policy guides the creation of new student organizations.
Each Fall and Spring Semester, the Center for Student Engagement (CSE) hosts Charter Windows wherein new groups can begin the process to become a Registered Student Organization. While groups are not able to submit paperwork outside of these chartering windows, we encourage student leaders to begin collecting the necessary materials in advance of the Charter Window. This allows the process to move more quickly and more smoothly for each group.
Before the Charter Window Opens
Find 10 Members
All new RSOs are required to have at minimum (10) current Georgia Tech student members. The officers of your organization (President, VP, Treasurer, etc.) are included in the total number required; for example, if you have four officer members, you'll need 6 additional student members. JCOC policy describes student membership in the following ways:
- Students that pay the student activities fee and are eligible for participation in extracurricular activities as defined by the Georgia Tech student handbook.
- Co-Op students in the Atlanta metro area may be considered full-time Georgia Tech students for the purpose of membership
- Students from institutions affiliated with the Georgia Institute of Technology who also pay the GT student activities fee are considered Georgia Tech students for the purpose of this policy.
The Georgia Tech Catalog requires the following for a student to be eligible to participate in Extracurricular activities (including student organization membership or officer positions)
- Be enrolled in a degree program and be registered
- for Fall and Spring semesters, maintain a schedule with at least six credit hours on a for-credit basis or be a student registered with the Center for Career Discovery and Development on a work term
- all student organization officers must be enrolled in Georgia Tech classes with at least six credit hours on a for-credit basis or be a student registered with the Center for Career Discovery and Development on a work term in Atlanta
Find an advisor
RSOs are required to maintain a Faculty/Staff advisor to their organization. While organizations may have multiple advisors, all RSOs must have at least one advisor who is FULL-TIME and EXEMPT (is not eligible for overtime pay) employee of Georgia Tech. If you or a potential advisor are unsure whether they meet these eligibility requirements, Student Engagement can verify their eligibility. Send us an email at engage(at)gatech.edu with the Advisor's first and last names.
For GT employees who are new to advising, there may be some additional questions regarding the role of an advisor, expectations, and more. To support new advisors, Student Engagement has created an overview of Advisor Guidelines & Agreements. Please consider sharing this document with any potential advisor you meet with.
Draft a constitution
The constitution for your organization is the blueprint of how the group is structured and managed, how it must be run, what the roles and privileges of members and officers are, and more. When building a constitution, you'll want to think about how the constitution is not only guiding your organization now, but also how it will guide the organization in the 5, 10, 20 years to come. With this in mind, we want your constitution to be clear about what must happen (e.g., we must host officer elections each Spring), what must not happen (we cannot have a vacancy in the President's role), and guidelines for how to achieve each item that must or must not happen.
SGA requires a few significant criteria in each registered student organization constitution. These are outlined in Article V. Section 1 of the SGA JCOC policy
To support new student organizations in developing a constitution, the CSE team offers a model constitution that meets all SGA requirements. A copy of the most up to date Model Constitution can be found here. Items in highlighted in yellow must be verbatim; items in blue are suggested wording which meet SGA criteria.
Chapters of a National Organization & Greek Organizations
If your organization will be a chapter of a larger, external entity (e.g., a non-profit organization, a National Greek organization/council, a chapter of a professional organization, etc.), leaders should contact their Hosting organization for more details on any requirements for student organization chapters (e.g., membership restrictions, membership dues, activity requirements, constitution requirements, etc.).
This information will be vital to chapters as they work through the chartering process.
Register for a Charter window
Each semester, CSE hosts charter windows wherein new organizations can submit the required materials to become registered. All new student organizations are required to attend a New Organization Charter Training. Dates are announced via Engage and the Student Organizations website. Each Charter Window is limited to 15 student organizations at a time; organizations may not sign up for consecutive charter windows.
Spring 2020 Charter Windows
|Training Date||All Materials Due||Revised Constitution Due|
|Tuesday, 1/28||Tuesday, 2/11||Tuesday, 2/18|
|Thursday, 2/6||Thursday, 2/20||Thursday, 2/27|
|Friday, 2/14||Friday, 2/28||Friday, 3/6|
When Your Charter Window Opens
- Each Charter Window may accommodate no more than 15 new student organizations at a time. All Charter Windows are first come, first served.
- All requirements and their deadlines for the respective Charter Window will be published at the beginning of the semester.
- Students are encouraged to select the charter window which will best fit within their availability (e.g., if a student is not able to attend Tuesday meetings, they should consider selecting a charter window which features meetings on another day).
- If a new organization fails to meet the requirements in their selected Charter Window, they may not register for the next available charter window. With the approval of Student Engagement, they may be eligible to register for another window in the same semester (e.g., if an organization fails to meet requirements of the 1st window, they may not register for the second window, but may, with prior approval, register for the third window). An organization may register for a Charter Window in the following semester without prior approval.
1) Attend the New Organization Charter Training
At the beginning of each Charter Window, CSE Engagement hosts a mandatory New Organization Charter Training. Organizations that fail to attend the mandatory training in their training window forfeit their ability to complete the requirements in that respective window.
This training covers important information regarding the chartering process, how to write a constitution, organization best practices, and Institute policies. The Charter Training is mandatory for all new organizations and serves as the first formal step in the charter process; organizations cannot move forward with chartering until this step is complete. To register, fill out this form.
Each organization in a given Charter Window is required to send at least one leader to attend the training; this member should be an officer (e.g., president, VP, treasurer, etc.) of the organization.
Each Organization has 2 weeks following the New Organization Charter Training to complete steps 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: Submit New Organization Charter Form, Submit First Draft Constitution, Advisor Registration Form, 10 members in portal, and First Constitution Review with CSE
2) Complete the New Organization Charter Form
Following the New Organization Charter Training, the leader who attended the training will receive an email with a link to the Student Organization Chartering Form. This form is hosted and completed within Engage. The New Organization Charter Training will ask the following questions:
- Organization Name
- Organization Purpose
- Organization Category (Academic, Community Service, Competitive, Competitive Sports, Cultural, Greek Chapter, Honor Society, Political, Production/Performance/Publication, Professional/Departmental, Recreation/Leisure, Religious/Spiritual). Descriptions for each category can be found in SGA’s JCOC policy.
- Is your organization a chapter of a larger organization?
- Does your organization work with minors (youth under the age of 18)?
- Acknowledgment of Alcohol and Illegal Drug Policy
- Advisor Name, Department, Georgia Tech Email, Phone Number
3) Advisor Registration Form
After submitting the New Organization Charter Form, you should send the following link to your Advisor: https://gatech.campuslabs.com/engage/submitter/form/start/379968
This Advisor Registration Form collects the necessary details from your potential advisor and requires their acknowledgment of the Roles and Responsibilities of an Advisor. This form must be submitted by your Advisor. To submit the form, they must log in to their profile in Engage.
4) Submit the First Draft of your Constitution
When you're ready to submit your first draft of your constitution, you can do so using this form: https://gatech.campuslabs.com/engage/submitter/form/start/379974. You'll use this form each time you need to update your constitution during the chartering process (first draft, draft after meeting with Center for Student Engagement, draft after SAC meeting, etc.).
5) Update your Organization Portal & Add 10 Members
All new organizations are required to have at least 10 members to complete the charter process. New student organizations are required to have 10 members listed in the Roster of their portal to satisfy this requirement. Remember: the 10 members requirement does include organization officers; if you have 3 officer positions filled, you are only required to have an additional 7 members to meet the requirement.
This resource provides more information on how to add members to your portal.** Note: you will need to use a student's original email address (this is the address they use to log-in) to send an invitation. Alias addresses will not work. For example, use the address email@example.com not firstname.lastname@example.org.
6) Attend a Constitution Review with Student Engagement
At your Constitution review with CSE, the Student Engagement staff will provide guidance and ask questions regarding the structure and language in your constitution. This step is designed to provide organizations with the information they will need to be as successful as possible when meeting with SAC and JCOC.
Each organization has 1 week following steps 2-6 to complete step 7: Submit a Revised Constitution.
7) Submit revised constitution
Following the constitution review with CSE, your organization will have one week to make all required edits and to submit them in a new Annual Registration. Please be meticulous in editing your constitution. Constitutions which do not have completed edits cannot be scheduled for the final steps in the Charter Window and will be required to begin the process anew in another Charter Window. Here is the constitution update form: https://gatech.campuslabs.com/engage/submitter/form/start/379974
8) Review of JCOC
The SGA Joint Campus Organizations Committee (JCOC) will review all chartering requests to ensure that potential organizations meet the requirements of SGA policy. At the discretion of JCOC, any organization may be invited or required to attend a JCOC meeting to discuss that organization’s chartering documents. Following approval from JCOC, an organization may proceed to a meeting with the Student Activities Committee (SAC).
9) Attend a meeting of the Student Activities Committee
The Student Activities Committee (a standing committee of the Faculty Senate) is responsible for reviewing all charter requests and making recommendations to the Academic Faculty regarding their status.
To be scheduled for a SAC meeting, a student organization must have completed each of the requirements detailed above. Student Engagement will verify their completion and schedule your organization for a meeting with SAC.
Your organization must send one representative to the SAC meeting; this member should be an officer of the organization and should be knowledgeable about 1) the management of the organization and 2) the Constitution.
There are four primary outcomes of a SAC meeting:
This designation is relatively rare; most organizations require at least minimal revision to their Constitutions following a SAC meeting. Organizations that are Approved will complete the chartering process when they have submitted the Final Draft of their Annual Registration following the SAC meeting.
- Approved Pending Changes
This designation is most common; most organizations require changes to their constitution following a SAC meeting. Organizations which are Approved Pending Changes will complete the chartering process when 1) they have received and implanted all required changes to their constitution, 2) CSE has verified all changes to the constitution, 3) when they have submitted a Final Draft of their Annual Registration with the revised constitution following the SAC meeting.
This designation is provided when SAC has remaining questions, concerns, or clarifications regarding a student organization. Tabled organizations will most likely see SAC at a second meeting; they cannot complete the charter process until SAC as provided an Approved or Approved Pending Changes designation.
- Not Approved
This designation is provided when SAC does not approve the chartering of a new organization.
While SAC will provide a decision on the organization’s charter, your organization WILL NOT be fully chartered until Step 10 is completed.
10) After the SAC Meeting
Organizations that receive an Approved or Approved Pending Changes decision at SAC may proceed with the final step of the chartering process: Submitting the Final Annual Registration and Constitution.
At this step, your organization should make any required changes to the constitution AND submit the final version of your Annual Registration with all required fields completed. After your final Annual Registration is submitted, your Advisor must review and approve the submission.
After the submission is approved by the Advisor and successful completion is verified by CSE, you will receive a Fully Chartered email from the Student Engagement team.