GUIDE TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF
NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS SEEKING CHARTER STATUS
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
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
OFFICE ROLE OF AUTONOMY
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
STEPS TOWARD GAINING RECOGNITION AS A STUDENT
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
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