Starting a New Student Organization

Interested in starting a new organization?

Here are the relevant New Organization dates for Spring 2019:
  • Round 1 – Applications Open: January 13
  • Round 1 – Applications Close: February 1 @ 5:00PM
  • Round 1 – Hearings: February 11-15
  • Round 2 – Applications Open: February 2
  • Round 2 – Applications Close: March 8 @ 5:00PM
  • Round 2 – Hearings: March 18-22

Starting a New Student Organization

Truman State University currently has 240 recognized student groups that are actively involved on campus.  Truman is privileged to have an engaged student body that creates unique learning and leadership opportunities on campus. With the current number of student organizations, there are a few challenges.  Truman is a relatively small campus community with limited space and resources so it is not possible to support every great idea. We highly value collaboration and have a commitment to maintaining and strengthening existing student groups.

With these goals as a foundation new groups must demonstrate a broadly recognized need that is not currently being met on campus and does not duplicate an existing student group or campus department.  Uniqueness alone is not a sufficient rationale for demonstrating an unmet need.  Truman looks for a balance between unique ideas and proposals that meet fairly broad unmet needs.

In order for organizations to be recognized by the University, and receive all privileges, they must obtain an organization charter from the CSI.

Any full-time Truman student can apply to start a new organization on campus.

The CSI Organizational Development team will charter new organizations in both the fall and spring semesters.

Before Starting the Chartering Process, ask yourself:

  • Do I have the time and energy to start and maintain an organization (i.e. publicity, finances, group dynamics, and recruitment)?
  • What do I want the organization to do? What would the mission/purpose of the group be?
  • Would this organization be affiliated with a national organization/chapter and if so would we be able to meet their minimum operation requirements consistently?
  • Is there already a group on campus that I can join that accomplishes my goals? (check our list)
  • If there isn’t an organization, what would be required to foster the growth and purpose of this organization?
  • How would we garner the necessary resources to support these activities?
  • Why would Truman students want to be part of this organization?
  • Have I considered and planned for the five types of risk (physical, emotional, financial, reputational, facility) that my organization would encounter or create?

Step 1: Initial Contact

  • If the prospective organization meets all of the basic requirements, the CSI Organizational Development team will contact them to set up a New Organization Hearing time
  • In order to be considered for charter, all basic criteria must be met.

      Criteria for Organization Approval:

  • A unique purpose that is differentiated from other groups on campus
  • A minimum of 10 interested students (undergraduate or graduate)
    • Including three that are willing to assume and maintain a key leadership role
  • An idea attractive enough to Truman students that the group will be able to recruit members beyond the founding group
  • At least one Truman faculty or staff member willing to serve as the organization advisor
  • A plan that ensures the sustainability of your organization for three years or more
  • A plan for how you can obtain financial support for your activity/organization

Step 2: Initiating the Process

Step 3: New Organization Hearing

  • The prospective organization will meet with the New Organization Hearing panel to gather further information about the potential group.
  • The Hearing panel will consist of the Organizational Development team, the CSI Program Advisor of Service and Leadership, and at least one Student-at-Large from a fee-based student organization (SAB, FAC, Student Government), and if available, a Career Ready Coach.
  • Potential organization members should be prepared to talk about several different topics including, but not limited to: the group’s unique purpose, group sustainability, financial sustainability, risk management, facility usage, etc.  Potential Advisors are welcomed, but students should be prepared to answer questions. *When discussing risk management, please be prepared to address the five categories of risk as they apply to your proposed organization. Information on the five categories of risk can be found here: Risk Management

Step 4: After the Hearing

  • The Organizational Development team will decide if the prospective group will be a sustainable and productive organization
  • If Yes: The group will be issued a Chartering Packet and designated an Organizational Development liaison.
  • If No: The group will be notified and encouraged to reevaluate the specifics of their organization.
    • Please note that if your proposed organization receives is denied you must wait until the next semester to reapply to the new student organization process.
    • If your proposed organization receives two denials from the Center for Student Involvement, the organization will not be permitted to reapply for a period of one year.

Step 5: The Chartering Packet*

  • The prospective organization will be asked to complete all components of the chartering packet which the liaison will help guide you through.
  • Once a prospective organization is given chartering paperwork, the students will be expected to work with the liaison to meet particular deadlines.
  • The Deadlines for the Chartering Packet, Constitution and all other relevant chartering documents will be outlined by your liaison at your first meeting.
  • Upon submission, the prospective organization’s liaison and CSI Professional Staff will review the constitution drafts. Any suggested changes will be passed along to the students and they will be expected to make appropriate revisions.
  • Once a constitution has been approved by the CSI Professional Staff, the prospective organization’s paperwork will be passed along to the Director for a Provisional Charter.

* Prospective organizations that fail to meet the Chartering Packet Requirements and associated deadlines may invalidate their eligibility to charter. Groups that fail to meet the Chartering Requirements and associated deadlines will be eligible to reapply one full year after initial

Step 6: Provisional Charter

  • Each new student organization, after successfully completing the chartering steps necessary, will receive a provisional charter for the duration of one or more semesters.
  • Under provisional status, the organization will have all privileges of a chartered student organization, excluding the right to apply for FAC funding.

 Step 7: Full Charter

  • The organization will meet with their liaison to prove that they were and will continue to be, a productive and sustainable organization on campus.
  • Full chartering rights will be granted to the organization, upon approval from the Organizational Development team, the Director of the CSI, and the Vice President of Student Affairs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 660-785-4222, email us at or stop by the CSI in SUB 2000.

  • University Policy dictates that the leadership of student organizations must come from within the student body of Truman State University, not Faculty/Staff of the University. Proposals will not be considered for proposed groups that fail to demonstrate independence from an external entity (i.e. business, non-profit, church, etc.). Proposals submitted by students employed by entities for whom they are attempting to create an organization will not be considered.
  • Proposals that are solely philanthropic based, with a long-term fundraising component will not be considered for charter.
  • Proposed student organizations may not be nationally recognized without first obtaining University Recognition. Proposed student organizations may not be listed on National organization websites without first being chartered campus organizations.
    • Proposals must disclose any external affiliations; provide the constitution and bylaws of any such organization with which it may be affiliated; and certify that all conditions for affiliation meet the certification standards of the University.
  • Proposals and chartering organizations must refrain from entering or attempting to enter into contractual obligations for the University without prior authorization by designated University staff
  • An organization cannot be created for the purpose of furthering the private financial gain of an individual or select group of individuals.
  • Please note inactive organizations who seek University recognition must re-apply through the new organization application process described here.
  • The decision made by the Organizational Development Team and Advisor are final.
  • There is no appeal process for Organization Chartering, but students may meet with the Program Advisor to discuss their organization proposal.
  • The University will not be financially liable for any student organization.
  • Student organizations may be required to show proof of insurance if the activities proposed by the organization pose a risk of harm beyond which is typical.