By Alfred Wells,2014-07-10 09:21
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Student clubs and organizations play a vital role in the collegiate community. They provide

    opportunities for students to meet, to socialize, to be entertained, to gain more knowledge,

    and learn new skills. As a member of an organization you can:

    ? develop leadership skills and abilities,

    ? gain a sense of achievement,

    ? have a voice in shaping your campus environment,

    ? gain advantage in employment opportunities; and

    ? enjoy partnerships between faculty, staff and other students.

There are a wide variety of clubs and organizations at Spelman, but if none of them interest

    you, you may want to start a new one. Creating an organization from scratch can be very

    challenging. To ensure success the Office of Student Activities provides students the

    foundation needed to organize an effective student organization. The Office of Student

    Activities strives for strong, healthy organizations; organizations that can offer the

    membership positive and meaningful experiences. Student organizations are characterized by

    a written constitution and bylaws, officers, an adviser, and a program of projects and

    activities through which they attempt to carry out their objectives. The following chartering

    policies apply to all student organizations except social fraternities and sororities, which are

    chartered through a process originating in the Greek Life Department of the Office of

    Student Activities.

All newly chartered organizations will be subject to conducting an interview presentation

    with the Student Government Association as a part of the application process. Applications

    for New Organizations seeking charter status are made available during the Fall academic

    semester of each year. The only exception to the acceptance of New Organizations seeking

    charter is when there are more than 100 active RSO’s on campus. In this case, the OSA will

    issue a moratorium on establishing new RSO’s.

Other Chartering Information Details:

    1) Applications are only accepted during the fall semester.

    2) Applications should be hand delivered to a Student Activities staff member to ensure

    timely receipt. Do not slide applications under the office door before or after office

    hours. Applications may not be faxed or submitted electronically.

    3) All applications must be typed or neatly handwritten. An electronic version of the

    application is located on the Spelman website under the Division of Student Affairs

    / Office of Student Activities Forms.

    4) First-year students are not eligible to apply for Charter status.

5) Organizations must submit all application materials simultaneously. Partial

    applications will not be accepted.

6) All Registered Student Organizations (RSO) must have a Depository Account with

    the Spelman Business Office. An application for a Depository Account will be

    issued if you are accepted as a new RSO. If you are accepted as an organization,

    your Depository Account status will be activated by the Office of Student Activities.

    A deposit of $100 is required to establish an account.

7) All organizations are mandated to attend the Camp Jaguar RSO Training Session on

    September 26th, to affirm their status as an RSO on campus. A limit of three (3)

    representatives and their advisor per organization is required. Students may represent

    more than one organization, and a substitute member must attend if an executive

    officer is unable to attend. Failure to send the following representatives may result

    in the revocation of an organization’s charter:

    President ? Vice President ? Secretary

8) In the event that your organization does not have this organizational structure, you

    may send three (3) members.

9) Advisors are required to attend Camp Jaguar RSO Training Session. A representative

    may attend in their absence.

10) Upon approval, all RSO’s will be assigned a mail slot from the Office of Student

    Activities after charter applications are reviewed and approved. Currently, mailboxes

    are located in the Office of Student Activities in Upper Manley Activity Room 201,

    and may be accessed via the Information Desk in the office. Organizations must

    check mail slots at least once a week. The mailing address is:

    Name of Organization

    c/o Spelman College

    Office of Student Activities

    350 Spelman Lane Box 642

    Atlanta, GA 30314

11) All RSOs must have a full-time Faculty or Staff Advisor.

12) Organizations will be notified of charter status via the e-mail address provided as the

    primary contact information. Advisors will be copied on all official correspondence.

13) A non-refundable administrative fee of $25 is required for all RSOs seeking charter

    status. This is to be paid in cash or by money order to the Office of Student


14) All executive leadership of RSOs must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

15) All RSOs must have a membership of at least 10 active members.

    16) Please keep a copy of the completed charter application for the organization’s



Spelman College’s Office of Student Activities has been charged with the responsibility and authority

    to recognize and oversee the operation of all campus organizations.


A group of ten (10) or more full-time students wishing to form an organization and seek official

    status from the college by obtaining a charter may do so provided the following:

     1. The group does not duplicate an existing organization.

     2. The purpose is to ensure continuity and stability of the organization.

    3. The group does not organize under the sponsorship of an existing organization.

    4. If non-students are affiliated with the organization in a capacity other than an

    advisory role, they may only be associate members. Associate members may not

    hold office or vote.

    5. A formal constitution is submitted outlining the purpose of the group seeking the

    charter and framework of the organization.

    6. The Officers must possess a minimal 3.0 cumulative GPA. (The Office of Student

    Activities staff reserves the right to check officer’s academic standing.)

    7. The application for chartering a new student organization is completed and filed

    with the director of Student Activities together with proper supporting documents.

    8. First year students are not allowed to charter new organizations on campus.

     8. The organization has an adviser who is a member of the full-time faculty or staff.

    9. The organizational president and adviser meet with the Committee on Student

    Organizations regarding the proposed organization.

    A. Once approved, the new organization may proceed in accordance with its stated purpose

    and exercises the “Rights and Privileges” of recognized student groups at Spelman College.

    B. Recognition shall be denied if the evidence presented shows the proposed organization will

    present substantial likelihood of conflict with the educational mission of the College in any

    of the following:

    1. The regular and orderly operation of the College

    2. The requirements of appropriate discipline within the College community

    3. The academic pursuits of teaching, learning, and other campus activities

    4. The laws of public policies of the State of Georgia and the United States

    5. The statues and regulations of the College and the policies of the Board of Trustees

    6. The constitution and the by-laws of the Spelman Student Government Association


Three meetings may be held prior to the official chartering of a student organization. Business

    during these meetings should be limited to constitution drafting and forming the structure of the

    organization. A member of the Student Activities staff will meet with the group for aid and

    counseling in the forming of the new organization.


Once a constitution has been approved by the Committee on Student Organizations, said

    constitution is filed and becomes the official reference copy. No changes will be recognized without

    committee approval, and in the event of any controversy within the group, the official office copy

    will be used to determine points in question.


    1. The director of Student Activities will present the request to the Committee on

    Student Organizations at its next meeting; he/she will request the president and

    adviser of the proposed group to be present to answer any questions that might


    2. The recommendation of the committee is forwarded to the director of Student

    Activities for final action.

    3. The director of Student Activities will advise the president and adviser of the

    proposed organization of final action.

    4. The organizational president is responsible for setting meeting with staff of Student

    Activities to review campus policies and procedures and/or attending the RSO

    Training Forum.



Organizational Meetings

    Meetings held prior to the official chartering of a student group will be termed organizational

    meetings for the purpose of forming the proposed organization. Business during these meetings

    should be limited to constitution drafting, and forming the structure of the organization. The

    Director of Student Activities can meet with the group for aid and counseling in the forming of an

    existing organization.

    A. The Director of Student Activities may present the constitution to the student organization

    constitutional review committee, or may review the applications and make status decisions.

    The president and advisor of the proposed group may be asked to attend a review meeting,

    whereby they may answer any questions about the organization. In the event that the

    president cannot attend, someone who is familiar with the organization’s structure and

    history should be present.

    B. The approval process has four options: 1) approve the application; 2) refer it back to the

    group for major revisions; 3) give provisional recognition; or 4) deny the request. The

    decision will be made after review and conference by the committee.

1. Major Revisions Referral

    Constitutions which are referred back to the organization are typically those that have major flaws

    or indiscrepancies in them. When an organization has a constitution referred back to it, that group

    has thirty (30) days to re-submit a revised version. If this is not done, the group will be denied

    charter and will subsequently have to resubmit for recognition.

Groups who refuse to revise their constitution as per the recommendations of the committee or

    groups who fail to resubmit within the time line prescribed may be denied charter.

2. Provisional Recognition

    Provisional Recognition will be granted to groups whose constitution and by-laws require only

    minor modifications (e.g., typos, date corrections, etc.) Groups who are granted provisional

    recognition will have ten (10) days to revise and return the constitution to the Director of Student

    Activities. Failure to do so will result in the provisional approval being repealed and the group will

    be denied charter and will subsequently have to resubmit for recognition.

2A. Privileges & Limitations of Provisionally-Recognized Student Organizations:

    During the 10 day provisional period student groups are permitted to conduct organizational

    business. However, they may not:

    ? Request money from SGA/SAFAC

    ? Co-Sponsor programs with other student organizations

    ? Sponsor open programs or special events

    ? Sponsor fundraisers

    C. Once approved, the new organization may proceed in accordance with its stated purpose

    and exercises the “Rights and Privileges” of recognized student groups at Spelman College.

D. Recognition shall be denied if the evidence presented shows the proposed organization will

    present substantial likelihood of conflict with the educational mission of the College in any

    of the following:

    7. The regular and orderly operation of the College

    8. The requirements of appropriate discipline within the College community

    9. The academic pursuits of teaching, learning, and other campus activities

    10. The laws of public policies of the State of Georgia and the United States

    11. The statues and regulations of the College and the policies of the Board of Trustees

    12. The constitution and the by-laws of the Spelman Student Government Association

     Appeal of the recommendation for recognition can be made by following the procedures in Part

    VIII of this document.


For your convenient reference, a suggested format and sample constitution and by-laws have been

    prepared. The sample is only an example to follow. It is not to be used as a “fill-in” form. If you

    need further assistance, contact the Office of Student Activities in the Manley Center, Room 201,

    and (404) 270-5139.

    A constitution is the basic framework of an organization. It should state the general operating procedures and policies of a group, which are not subject to change frequently. The by-laws contain

    a more detailed method of doing business and specific rules. For example, the constitution would

    establish that dues are a requirement for membership and would outline the method of determining

    the amount; and the by-laws would state the specific dues amount.


















     at Spelman College


    Introductory Statement of Purpose The following is the Student Government Association’s preamble: “We, the students of Spelman College, in order for a democratic, efficient, and responsible

    student government to represent, lead, and unify the student body, to decide… do hereby establish

    and adopt this constitution and its by-laws for the Spelman College Student Government



Section A. The name of the organization should reflect the nature of the organization and cannot

    imply limited or discriminatory membership. The name of the organization shall be

    _____________________________ at Spelman College.

Section B. The purpose(s) of the organization should be listed. Use descriptive verbs that apply to

    your organization’s purpose. The purpose of (name of organization at Spelman College) shall be the


    1. To provide….

    2. To assist……

    3. To participate….

    4. To promote…


(Types of membership, requirements for membership, and a non-discrimination statement should be listed)

Section A. General membership shall be open to all undergraduate students. (Specify requirements:

    currently enrolled in at least (4) semester hours) at Spelman College.

Section B. Associate membership shall be composed of faculty and staff of Spelman College (and

    or community professionals in __________________ industry.) Students enrolled in less than four (4)

    hours should be assigned associate membership. Students enrolled in other AUC institutions should be assigned

    associate membership. State the limitations of associate members not required to pay dues, cannot hold office, do not have voting privileges, etc.

Section C. Members are considered in good standing (list requirements if they have paid they have paid

    their dues, attend at least (___) meetings per semester, etc.) Only members in good standing can vote.

Section D. Non- Discrimination Statement: No otherwise qualified individual shall be excluded

    from membership on the basis of age, race, gender, disability, national origin, religion, or sexual

    orientation. (This statement can be reflected in your constitution as printed here.)


A quorum of membership for voting purposes shall be reached when (__%) of the general members

    are present. (A quorum is usually a simple majority of members, but can be 2/3, ?, etc. Two thirds quorum is



    (List the officer’s positions, qualifications for holding office, and duties of their offices.)

Section A. The officers of the organization shall be the following: President, Vice President,

    Treasurer, Secretary, and (others designated as necessary.)

Section B. Officers must posses a minimum o 3.0 cumulative GPA during their term of office, be a

    member in good standing, (some organizations specify membership for at least one semester prior to holding office etc.)

Section C. The Duties of the officers shall be as follows:

    1. President

    2. Vice-President

    3. Treasurer

    4. Secretary

    5. Other Officers


    (List the term of office, nomination, vote counting, installation, and special election processes.)

Section A. The term of office shall be (one year, one semester, etc.) beginning on _________ and ending

    on _____________.

Section B. Nominations shall take place on (day of election, the week of, month preceding election, etc.)

    Section C. Votes shall be counted by (advisor suggested)______________________.

Section D. Installation of new officers shall take place (week of month,


Section E. Special elections shall be held if a vacancy occurs. The elections should occur within


    (days, weeks) of vacancy. Members shall be notified by (how notified and how much advance

    notification…phone, mail, email, direct contact, etc.)


    The process of impeachment of an officer, committee chairs, and filling vacancies should be stated.

Section A. Impeachment of Officers

    1. Charges may be brought against an officer by any member of the organization. It will take a

    unanimous vote of the executive committee, excluding the accused officer, to impeach.

    2. The impeachment officer shall then be provided due opportunities for defense. (suggested two

    weeks preparation.)

    3. A 2/3 vote of the voting body is then required to effect the resignation of the officer.

Section B. Filling Vacancies

    1. All vacancies in elected positions shall be filled for the remainder of the expired term.

    2. If one or more officers are unable to assume or continue with their duties, the remaining

    officers shall hold a special election to fill those vacancies under the guidelines for elections

    in this document. In the event that such an election cannot be held within a reasonable

    amount of time due to the College not being in session, the remaining officers shall appoint

    the replacement with the advice and counsel of the advisor.


    State the procedure for selecting a faculty/staff advisor. Duties and responsibilities should be included.

The group shall have an advisor who is interested in the purpose of and gives counsel to the

    organization. The advisor must be a full-time faculty/staff member at Spelman College. The advisor

    is selected or appointed on an annual basis by the majority of the organization’s general membership.

    The advisor serves as an ex officio member and does not vote. The advisor responsibilities include

    the following:

    ? Attend meetings and activities of the organization

    ? Travel with the organization and complete all travel forms

    ? Approve and sign facility request forms and Lotus Notes requisitions

    ? Sign check request and purchase requisitions

    ? Ensure that the organization has an account with the College Business Office

    ? Inform the Office of Student Activities of any changes that may occur within the



Provisions for membership fees, dues, and assessments, if there are to be any, they should be set in

    detail: (How often dues are expected to be paid, collection and handling procedures, delinquent membership dues, how

    the amount of dues will be determined, etc.) The provision for the organization’s account, should the

    organization become inactive or folds should be included (e.g., donate to _________ charity,

    scholarship fund, etc.)

    Section A. Dues collection (if any, when: academic year, semester, month, etc.)

Section B. Dues shall be set at the beginning of each academic year by recommendation of the

    officers and vote by the voting body.

Section C. Delinquent membership dues…..

Section D. If the organization becomes inactive or folds, the remaining funds in the account will be

    donated to….


Provisions for setting regular meeting times, stipulations for calling special meetings, and the officers which have the

    authority to call special meetings should be included.

Section A. Meetings shall be held regularly at a time to be specified by the organization at the

    beginning of each (academic year, semester, week of the month, etc.) There should be at least (indicate

    minimum # of meetings per semester) _______________ meetings per semester.

Section B. Special meetings may be called by the (President, combination of officers and advisor, etc.)

    Notifications, how, when?


Names of standing committees, if any should be listed. Include the method of choosing the chairpersons and committee

    members, the duties of the committees, and provisions for creating ad hoc committees.


A provision for some accepted rules of order for parliamentary procedure, such as “Robert’s Rules of Order” should be


Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guide by the presiding officer in all situations not covered

    by the provisions of the constitutions.







State requirements for adopting by-laws and amendments to your constitution. All amendments are

    subject to final approval by the Committee on Student Organizations.

Section A. By-Laws

    1. By-Laws may be created by (officers, members with recommendations from the officers, etc.) 2. By-Laws must be in accordance with this constitution as amended.

    3. By-Laws must be sponsored by at least 2 (two) persons, one being an officer, committee chair,


Section B. By-Laws shall be adopted by a (2/3, 3/4, etc.) vote of the voting body. (2/3 suggested)


This section should state the requirements for ratification of the newly formed organization.

This constitution shall be enforced upon ratification by a (2/3, ?, etc.) of the voting body, and upon

    approval of

    this constitution by the Committee on Student Organizations. (2/3 suggested)


    BY-LAWS FOR (name of organization)


    Section A. Dues will be (specify amount) per (semester, year, month, etc.)

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