It's easy to start a student organization at MSUM! All that's needed to start is at least five interested MSUM students and an MSUM faculty or staff advisor in order to begin this process.
The 7-step recognition process is outlined below. The entire process can take about a month, depending on how fast one's constitution is submitted and the time of year as approval is required from the Student Organization Advisory Council (SOAC), Student Senate, and the President of the University. It pays to be prepared and to keep in contact with the Office of Student Activities and the Assistant Director of Leadership and Organizations regarding your organization's status.
The good news is that once you submit the "Intent to Organize" form and it receives approval from the Assistant Director of Leadership and Organizations, your organization is granted certain privileges. Therefore, you can start actively recruiting new members, publicizing your organization, and reserving University facilities.
Recognized organizations assume both privileges and responsibilities. In order to maintain recognition status, all organizations must register within three weeks of the start of the Fall Semester every year. Changes in officer status should be reported to the Office of Student Activities when they occur.
Organizations failing to register within this time period will become defunct, losing all privileges of a recognized student organization at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Defunct organizations are eligible to apply for re-admission. The re-admission process for defunct student organization will be the same process as for new organizations.
The first step to form a recognized student organization on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus is to complete an "Intent to Organize" form. There must be at least five interested MSUM students and an MSUM faculty or staff advisor in order to begin this process. Completion of this online form will grant pending status to groups awaiting formal recognition. This will give the organization the following privileges for 30 days:
Within 30 days of completing the "Intent to Organize" form, the organization will complete the remaining requirements for recognition:
Submit an electronic copy of the constitution to the Office of Student Activities (firstname.lastname@example.org) for review by the Assistant Director of Leadership and Organizations.
The Assistant Director of Leadership and Organizations submits request for recognition to the Student Organization Advisory Council (SOAC). SOAC reviews the request for compliance with local, state, and federal laws and university policy. SOAC recommends acceptance or rejection to the Student Senate.
The Student Senate then reviews the request for recognition and forwards their written recommendation to the University President.
The President of the University confers formal recognition of the organization.
Official campus recognition is an honor and recognized organizations assume responsibilities and privileges. This is an organizational status and must be maintained. All organizations must re-register within 3 weeks from the beginning of Fall Semester each academic year. Upon recognition, organizations have the following privileges:
YES! A good constitution contains the basics of how your organization will function. A constitution is the foundation upon which the organization will grow, mature, and perpetuate itself. It is designed to reduce internal conflict, to establish the organization's mission and goals, and to protect the rights of all members and students of the University.
A constitution is a great tool for any organization to have. It is essential to the future growth, development and is an integral part of the organization. A constitution clearly defines the purpose of your organization and outlines guidelines for officer positions as well as standing committees. It explains how organization business should be handled, how often business meetings are held, and the eligibility requirements for members and officers in the organization. Plus, it is required by the University for maintaining recognition as a student organization.
Constitutions are the framework of any organization. The details and explanations should be concise, easy-to-follow, and flexible enough to allow for change and growth. Every organization has its own unique style, but each must include the University required statements. A sample constitution is available on the OSA website. For constitution examples and for assistance in writing or making changes to a constitution, please contact the Office of Student Activities, CMU 222.
**Please note: If the organization is affiliated with another local, state, or national organization, a copy of that organization's constitution must also be provided.
Write your constitution in a broad manner, not limiting future leaders to your needs or conveniences.
Write your constitution with the future in mind. Do not use proper names or exact dates in defining leadership positions, locations, meeting times, etc.
After completing or revising the constitution, your organization must approve it. Then, you are ready to submit it to the Office of Student Activities. Once the OSA has reviewed your constitution, it will be taken to SOAC (Student Organization Advisory Committee) for review and approval, according to University guidelines. Once SOAC approves your constitution, a liaison will submit it to the Student Senate for approval. The University President will give final approval.
The Office of Student Activities will review your constitution in a timely manner. If changes need to be made, your constitution will be returned to you. Your organization will then have three weeks to return the revised constitution to the OSA. After a revision is completed, your constitution will continue through the process. The entire process can be completed within a few months.
**Please note: All organizations will be contacted by the Office of Student Activities to conduct five-year revisions. This process ensures that constitutions are current and accurately reflect the changing needs and issues of the organization.
Remember that your constitution is only helpful if you use it! Get into the habit of referring to it for clarification and use it as your basis for decision making. Distribute a copy to the members of the organization each year so they are familiar with the rules of the organization.