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Starting a New Student Organization

The Student Organizations Committee (SOC) works directly with students interested in forming new student organizations at Macalester. Student organizations provide opportunities for organized student engagement. Being a student organization requires registration/renewal requirements and are afforded campus privileges. The information below contains the guidelines and processes for starting a student organization.

SOC Guidelines for New Student Organizations

  • Is your org new and different?
    • New student organizations must demonstrate a unique purpose or reason for existence. They should be able to distinguish themselves from other organizations on campus.
  • Do enough people want to take part?
    • Student organizations must have a significant amount of interested and committed people. Significant is understood to be at least 10 students who consistently attend organizational meetings.
  • Will your org be open to anyone who wishes to join?
    • Student organizations must be non-exclusive. Any student who wishes to join the organization should be allowed to do so.  
  • Student organizations will appoint leadership through fair elections.
    • New leadership must identify themselves to the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement and MCSG for the purpose of maintaining an accurate list of active organizations and organizational contact persons.
    • Groups without elected leaders must identify at least one contact person to the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement and MCSG. Contacts will be subject to the same notification procedures as leaders in other student organizations.
  • Student organizations will beStudent organizations will participate in a formal check-in at the end of their first year as a newly chartered student organization. Then, they will move to a three-year check-in cycle by the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) of MCSG.audited at the end of their three-year charter cycle by the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) of MCSG.
    • The aim of this process is to ensure organizations are healthy, fulfilling their mission as outlined in their charter on campus, and getting the support they need. This review process may have implications for the budgeting process.
  • Existing groups on campus that would like to transition to an active student org
    • Groups that are already receiving funding or support from another entity on campus (e.g., club sport, Forensics activity, Identity Collective, etc.) should meet with CSLE and their existing staff advisor prior to submitting a new org interest form. 

Steps to Start a New Student Organization

  • Review the above listed SOC guidelines for starting a new org.
  • Meet with an SOC member to discuss the group’s formation and registration process
  • Find a faculty/staff advisor. This person can be any staff or faculty member who shares your passion or interest in your organization.
  • After meeting with SOC, draft a Charter using the Sample Charter Template
    • The charter is a statement of your group’s policies and rules. It details the way  you will run your organization. The charter of an organization provides for efficiency, fair and equal consideration, clarification, and continuity in the regular operations of an organization. 
    • Review the Sample Charter with a member of the the SOC before submission
  • Submit your charter to the SOC email ([email protected]
  • SOC will review your charter template submission for any potential editing. This process will include: 
    • SOC will invite members of new group to an SOC meeting to have a conversation to discuss:
      • The vision of the org
      • Charter questions and clarifications
    • SOC suggests edits and assigns revision deadline
  • The SOC will vote on charter approval
    • If passed: SOC sends charter to MCSG Legislative Board (LB) for review during their meetings, which take place weekly on Thursdays from 12pm to 1pm, regarding approval of the charter. This process will include:
      • An opportunity for LB members to ask questions about the charter
      • A vote by the LB to approve or reject the charter
    • If failed: Suggestions and edits are issued with new revision deadline
  • Following approval- submit the Student Organization Registration Form in Involve, you’re now registered Student Org!

Should any questions or concerns arise at any point during the chartering process please contact the SOC chair at [email protected].

Student Organization Benefits and Responsibilities


  • Can reserve spaces on campus
  • Access to dedicated email account
  • Can hold events/programs for members of the group and general campus community
  • Can request participation in the fall Involvement Fair and Spring Org Fair
  • Can publicize events through college publications and materials (e.g., Mac Daily, poster runs, Sandwich Boards outside Campus Center)
  • Can request an annual budget and additional allocations (eg. travel funds, additional event funds) from MCSG
  • Receives FlexiFund of $100 each semester
  • Ability to request to fundraise
  • Ability to request storage space


  • The officers are responsible for submitting a charter to MCSG for approval. Charters must include all information required by the Sample Template provided by the Student Org Committee (SOC).
    • Any changes in the organization’s charter must be authorized by MCSG.
    • All student organization charters will be reviewed after one year of activity and every 3 years following
  • Annual Mandatory Workshops:
    • Student Org Leader Orientation (SOLO), September
    • Budget Workshop, February
    • FAC Liaison Meeting, February
    • Org Transition Workshop, March/April
  • Annual Mandatory Processes
    • Complete Annual Transition Process
      • Maintain and update Presence page
      • Submit updated roster, including list of org members who should have administrative and p-card access for finance
    • Maintain at least 10 active members via Roster in Presence


Check out the Student Org Funding and Finance Page for more information.

Non-Discrimination Statement from MCSG

Macalester College guarantees the freedom to organize and join organizations. 

  • The Macalester College Student Government officially charters student organizations on behalf of the College, making criteria for the granting of charters consistent with the general policies of the College. 
  • Although organizations may set restrictive membership criteria (e.g. tryouts/auditions), these should have a basis in the functioning of the organization and should not be discriminatory, as specified in the College’s non-discrimination policy. 
  • Membership in Student Organizations may not be restrictive or discriminatory. In no aspect of its programs shall there be any difference in the treatment of persons based on race, creed, color, national origin, disability, age, gender, any consideration of sexual orientation, or associational preference or any other classification which would deprive the person of consideration as an individual. Equal opportunity and access to membership, programming, facilities, and benefits shall be open to all persons. 
  • No organization shall be required to submit a membership list to the College.