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Start a New Organization

Have an idea for a new student organization in mind? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Getting Started

  • Have you completed at least one semester at UL Lafayette?
  • Do you have at least two semesters left before you graduate?
  • Is your organization unique?
  • Are there at least 10 students already interested in your organization?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you have already completed Step 1.

The Committee on Student Organizations (COSO) would like to commend you for your interest in starting a new student organization! Starting a new organization requires time and dedication, but it will be worthwhile. The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership is here to help you every step of the way!

Step 2: Getting Your Paperwork Together
1. The Roster: You will need a roster of at least 10 interested students. The roster should have the printed name, signature, and the ULID numbers of current UL Lafayette students interested in joining your organization.
2. The Advisor Letter: You must have an on-campus advisor that is a full-time faculty or staff member. They will write a letter stating that they are willing to be the advisor for your organization, and they must physically sign it.

The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership has a lot of information available for current, new, and potentional advisors in our Resource Center, which you can access here.

3. The Constitution: The Constitution is an important document, so you want to spend some on it. Consider using this sample constitution as a starting point

Step 3: Fill Out Interest Forms

Now that you’re serious about starting your new organization let’s prepare for the first meeting with the COSO.

  1. Register your new organization on Engage. Go to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Engage homepage.
  2. Log in with your ULID and password.
  3. Click the UL Lafayette logo in the top left corner to get to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette main page.
  4. Click on “Organizations" on the task bar at the top of the page.
  5. Select “Register New Organization.” 
  6. Fill out the basic information about your organization.
  7. Select “I am registering a new organization”.
  8. Finish filling out your organization’s profile (this will include uploading your Paperwork in PDF format. Do this from a computer, not your cell phone! We do recommend that you upload your constitution as a Word document.).
  9. In your registration, you will discuss how your organization is unique from those already existing, why you want to start a new organization, and how much of a commitment you are willing to contribute to the process. It is important to understand the responsibility of what it means to start up a new organization.
  10. After proposing your new organization’s idea in the interest packet, the Director of Student Engagement and Leadership will determine how ready you are to move forward. You will be contacted if you have been approved to reserve a pitch time to present your organization to the committee.

Step 4: Meeting with a Staff Member

You will meet with a member of the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership to review your constitution and answer any questions you have.  Please bring a laptop with the constitution on it to the meeting so that you can make notes and changes with this staff member. Also, please bring a copy of your national organization’s by-laws or constitution (if applicable).

Step 5: The Pitch

The Committee on Student Organizations meets as needed each semester. Depending on when you are approved for this next step, you will be able to schedule a “pitch” time for one of these meeting dates. You will be allotted five minutes to present your organization proposal. Following your presentation, the committee will take about five minutes to ask you questions. The pitch presentation will not last more than 10 minutes and all you need to bring is your enthusiasm!

Some questions you should be able to answer:

  1. What sets your organization apart from other organizations at UL Lafayette?
  2. What is the purpose and mission of your organization?
  3. How would UL Lafayette students benefit from your organization?
  4. What kind of events/activities are you planning to produce?

Step 6: The Results

So, you have presented. Are you an organization yet? Not quite, but very close!
After your presentation, you will be contacted by a COSO delegate and notified of the committee’s decision. Here are the different outcomes:

Approved: Congratulations! Your packet will be forwarded for signatures!
Sidelined: Additional clarification is needed before you can proceed to the next step. This is often the case when something goes against University policy, a similar group already exists on campus, or more questions need to be answered.

Step 7: Decision Time

You’re received approval from the COSO. An abbreviated summary of your proposal and your constitution will be sent off for University approval. This is a time of waiting.

Step 8: Orientation
All new organizations will attend an orientation session with the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership staff. At this session, you will receive all of the necessary information and resources in order to successfully run your new organization. Prior to this step, you will be granted the opportunity to reserve meeting space on campus for a maximum of three organization meetings before you receive final approval. The president, treasurer, and advisor of your organization MUST be present at your orientation.

Step 9: Celebrate
Once you receive a letter from the COSO and the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, you are now officially a student organization at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. You are eligible for all rights and privileges that come with responsibilities on your part to abide by all University policies and to do everything in your power to represent UL Lafayette and the organization in a positive light. Congratulations!