(Our next review of these policies is scheduled for late January 2023)
Have an idea for a new student organization in mind? Let's get things rolling!
Step 1: Getting Started
- Have you completed at least one semester at UL Lafayette?
- Do you have a minimum of two semesters left before you graduate?
- Is your organization unique to the University?
- Are there 10 students or more already interested in being part of 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! Awesome! Starting a new organization requires time and dedication, but it will definitely be worthwhile. The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership (OSEL) will help and support you every step of the way!
Step 2: Getting Your Paperwork Together
1. The Roster: Your initial roster will need to include 10 or more interested students. The roster should have the printed name, C-number, University email (in louisiana.edu format), and signature of each interested student.
2. The Advisor Letter: You must have an on-campus advisor that is a full-time faculty or staff member. They will need to write a letter stating they are willing to be the advisor for your organization; the advisor must physically sign this document.
The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership has a lot of information available for current, new, and potentional advisors available in our Resource Center, which can be accessed 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. Your document should be unique to your organization, and reflect those nuances.
Step 3: Fill Out Interest Forms
You are making serious progress with your organization! Now, let’s prepare you for the first meeting with COSO.
- Register your new organization on Pathways. Go to the UL Lafayette Pathways homepage.
- Log in with your ULID and password.
- If you click on "Organizations" on the top right menu, you can explore registered student organizations (RSOs) that have completed the process.
- Otherwise, click on “Forms" at the top of the page.
- Select “Organization Registration.”
- Be sure to select "New Organization" where prompted on the form.
- Fill out the basic information about your organization. Remember to include a good description of your organization. If approved, not only will COSO see this, but prospective members will see this, too.
- Finish filling out your organization’s profile (this will include uploading your Paperwork in PDF format (logo, etc.). Do this from a computer, not your cell phone, please! We do, however, recommend that you upload your constitution as a Word document.).
- In your registration, you will discuss how your organization is unique from RSOs that already exist, 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, and the commitment the task will take.
- After proposing your new organization’s idea, the Director of OSEL and the Coordinator for Student Organizations will determine if you ready are to move forward, or if any revisions or additional information is needed. If approved, you will be contacted to reserve a pitch time to present your organization to COSO.
Step 4: Meeting with a Staff Member
You will meet with a member of the OSEL to review your constitution and answer any questions you might have. Please bring a laptop with the constitution on it to the meeting so that you can take notes and make any edits with this staff member. Also, (if applicable) please bring a copy of your national organization’s by-laws or constitution.
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! Your advisor is also welcome to attend.
Some questions you should be able to answer:
- What sets your organization apart from other organizations at UL Lafayette?
- What is the purpose and mission of your organization?
- How would UL Lafayette students benefit from your organization?
- What kind of events/activities are you planning to produce?
Step 6: The Results
Now that you have presented, are you an organization yet? Not quite, but you've gotten 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 COSO. An abbreviated summary of your proposal and your constitution will be sent off for University approval. This part does take a bit of time; patience is important.
Step 8: Orientation
All new organizations will attend an orientation session with OSEL staff. At this session, you will receive critical 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 COSO and OSEL, you will now officially be an RSO at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Awesome! 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!