Starting a Student Organization

Starting a Student Organization

Although Creighton has over 200 student organizations on campus, student needs are diverse and always changing. If you can’t find an organization that fits your needs, the Student Leadership & Involvement Center gives you the opportunity to start your own. 
    
Applications for new student organizations are due and reviewed once a year, the Wednesday before undergraduate Fall break. Please make an appointment with Molly Salisbury, Assistant Director of the Student Leadership & Involvement Center, before submitting your application: 402.280.1715 or clubs [at] creighton [dot] edu.

Application Process

Step 1: Make an appointment with Molly Salisbury, Assistant Director of the Student Leadership & Involvement Center (402.280.1715 or clubs [at] creighton [dot] edu)

  • Applicants must have a Constitution draft prior to the meeting
  • Complete an application packet, including:
    • Application form
    • Constitution
    • Mission statement
    • Calendar of proposed events
  • Turn in application packet by deadline
    • Fall deadline: Wednesday before undergraduate fall break
  • Attend SORC interview during the two weeks after undergraduate Fall Break.
  • Make necessary revisions to application packet as suggested by Director of Student Leadership & Involvement or his/her designee.
  • Wait for a letter from the Vice Provost for Student Life indicating approval for conditional status - usually near the beginning of the spring semester

Conditional Status

Student organizations will remain in Conditional Status for the duration of the spring semester. conditional status organizations must reach the following milestones to be considered for final approval:

  • Attend the Winter Involvement Fair (undergraduate organizations only)
  • Hold at least three informational meetings
    • Director of Student Leadership and Involvement Center or his/her designee must be present for one of those meetings
  • Meet one-on-one with the Director of the Student Leadership and Involvement Center or his/her designee following Spring Break to discuss the progress of the organization
  • Attend the Spring Student Organization Orientation Conference
  • Attend two Leadership Exchange sessions sponsored by the SLIC
  • Complete the Annual Registration Process through the SLIC which includes reporting the following:
    • Roster of members
    • Roster of executive members
    • Goals of the organization
  • Moderator must complete Moderator Training
  • Create and update a CU Involved page
  • Meet with CSU Vice President of Finance to discuss how to apply for funding

Conditional Status Progress Report

  • After groups complete Conditional Status by meeting the appropriate milestones, a progress report will be sent to the Vice Provost of Student Life.
  • The Vice Provost for Student Life will return his/her decision on the Final Approval of each Conditional Status Organization at the end of the spring semester.
  • Groups who have reached Final Approval Status will be considered a fully registered student organization.
    • Groups who do not move from Conditional Status to Final Approval Status may remain in Conditional Status for two additional semesters. They do not need to go through the SORC process again, but would need to meet the same Conditional Status milestones and would be reconsidered for Final Approval the following spring semester. After three consecutive semesters of being not approved for Final Approval Status, organizations would need to re-start the SORC application process in its entirety.
  • Following Final Approval Status, organizations would have access to all privileges as all other regular, registered student organizations found. 

Other Important Information

  • Take advantage of these meetings to sustain interest in the group, to begin building relationships with potential members and to start planning the programs and activities you hope to offer if approval is obtained. 
  • Please be honest with those who express interest in your group.  Make sure you let them know that you are going through the process to become a registered student organization, but you have not yet been approved. 
  • If you would like to reserve space for these meetings, you will need to meet with the Director of Student Leadership & Involvement or his/her designee in the Student Leadership & Involvement Center, Skutt Student Center 120, so that he/she may approve the scheduling of the rooms for you.
  • In addition, any publicity (fliers, posters, banners, Creightonian ads, etc.) for any recruiting or other activities must be approved by the Director of Student Leadership & Involvement or his/her designee.

Constitution

What is a Constitution?

A constitution is a written document that incorporates the organization’s mission, principles, and rules. It also defines the way the organization will be governed.  It ensures fairness and information to its membership. A constitution should contain statements regarding the enduring aspects of the organization.

Using the Outline of a Sample Constitution

Not all of the sections of the PDF iconsample constitution shown may pertain to your organization, and thus can be eliminated. Other aspects of your organization may not be covered in the examples provided and you may have to substitute them or add different sections.

Important Items to Remember

While you may know how “things go” in your organization right now, you will not always be a part of it. Create your constitution so future leaders can maintain the dynamic, successful organization you envision.  

Try not to be so vague when writing/revising your constitution that future members of your organization are unable to reference it when issues arise or decisions need to be made (ex: “Other officers will be elected as needed or wanted”).

Also, try not to be so specific when writing your constitution that your organization is not allowed any flexibility to account for changing membership. (Ex: “Meetings will be held every Thursday at 9 p.m. in Skutt Student Center 105”).

Don’t make assumptions that your group will not need or use something in the future just because you do not presently. (Ex: “This organization will not have a budget”). Leave your group options.

Getting Help

As you begin to develop or revise your constitution, the Student Leadership & Involvement Center strongly encourages you to meet with the Assistant Director, who works with student organizations, to discuss the specific items you would like to have included in your constitution.  Going over this while you are working on it may save you from not having it approved by the Student Leadership & Involvement Center.  Sometimes looking at another group’s constitution can be helpful in preparation for writing your own. 

If you have any questions, would like to meet with someone to talk about your organization’s constitution, or would like to review a sample constitution, please feel free to stop by the Student Leadership & Involvement Center.

Classifications

Club

A Club is defined as a group of 4 or more current students who have joined together for a common social, educational, social justice, religious, or cultural purpose. Clubs are considered affiliated with, but not official units of Creighton University. Clubs agree to abide by all University policies and procedures. Clubs with an inter/national affiliation must also abide by all inter/national organization policies and procedures. Clubs must renew their registration each year through the Student Leadership and Involvement Center. 

Categories: 

Academic/Interest
Academic/Interest organizations serve as a forum to explore issues in a particular academic field or area of interest; students do not have to be enrolled in that line of coursework in order to be members of these organizations. 

Cultural
Cultural organizations provide an opportunity to explore and celebrate other cultures as well as to increase campus understanding and support. These organizations provide a support network for students from a particular culture as well as educate the campus about that culture.

Faith-Based/Spiritual
These groups are directly affiliated with a faith-based organization and/or educate about faith-based beliefs, conduct any faith-based activities, or foster development of the spiritual self.

Graduate/Professional
Graduate/Professional organizations are those that exist in the Graduate School, Law School, Medical School, Dental School or School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, regardless of other categories under which they could be classified.

Political
Political organizations are those that represent political parties, or exist to represent particular political interests.

Service
Service organizations are those that are primarily dedicated to providing solidarity, aid or assistance to others on campus or in the community.

Social 
Social organizations exist to provide various types of social environments and/or activities to the campus and its membership. 

 

Honor Society

An Honor Society is defined as a group of students or students and faculty who are invited to become members based on scholastic rank and/or GPA. Honor societies recognize students who excel academically and/or as a leader among their peers. Honors societies agree to abide by all University and inter/national organization’s policies and procedures. Membership in an Honor Society is exclusive and typically based on academic achievement in a certain field. 

Categories: 

Academic Honor Society
Academic honor societies recognize students and/or faculty and/or staff who excel academically or as leaders among their peers within a specific academic discipline.

Professional Honor Society
Professional honor societies recognize students and/or faculty and/or staff who excel within a particular field.

General Honor Society
A general honor society is a rank organization that recognizes excellence among peers. 

 

Department-Affiliated Group

A Department-Affiliated Organization has a special, elevated relationship with a Creighton University Department or Office. Sponsorship by a Department or Office requires support, endorsement, supervision, and the assumption of responsibility for the actions and activities associated with the organization. Department-Affiliated Organizations have a dedicated advisor or supervisor whose University role or job description directly includes the advising of the group. Department-Affiliated Groups agree to abide by all University policies and procedure.

Categories: 

Program/Event
A department affiliated program/event includes any student-led program or event formally affiliated with a University department.

Organization
A department-affiliated organization includes any student-led group formally affiliated with a University department.

Entrepreneurial Efforts
Recognizes student entrepreneurial efforts that are under the guidance of a University department or organization

 

Sports Club

A Sport Club is classified through the Student Organization Review Committee process as either a Competitive or Recreational team. A Competitive Sports Club is a group that provides structured competition for students who are non-intercollegiate athletes. A Recreational Sports Club does not regularly compete. These sports can be either co-ed or single gender. Sports Clubs have a dual reporting relationship with the Student Leadership and Involvement Center and Recreation and Wellness. Sports Clubs are required to follow University, Student Leadership and Involvement Center, and Department of Recreation and Wellness policies and procedures. 

Categories: 

Competitive
A competitive sports club competes against other teams or clubs at the local, regional, and/or national level. 

Recreational
A recreational club holds practice sessions in which members compete with other members of the same club to develop and refine existing skills and enjoy the recreational and social fellowship of sports and recreation.

 

Fraternity/Sorority Organization

A Fraternity/Sorority Organization is defined as a group of men or women formed by a brotherhood or sisterhood and common goals and aspirations who make a lifelong commitment to each other through ritual. Fraternity/Sorority Organizations abide by the policies and procedures of the University and also the policies and procedures of their organizations’ inter/national headquarters. This does not include honors societies. 

Categories: 

Interfraternity Council (IFC) Organizations
IFC organizations represent a diverse range of inter/national men’s fraternities as recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference. 

Panhellenic (PHC) Organizations
PHC Organizations represent a diverse range of inter/national women’s sororities as recognized by the National Panhellenic Conference. 

Culturally Based Fraternal (CBFO) Organizations 
CBFOs represent a diverse range of inter/national men’s and women’s organizations that are culturally based. 

 

Governing Body

A Governing Body is an organization that serves an official function on behalf of the student body by governing a select number of clubs or hall councils existing on campus. Governing Bodies may be given special authorities related to the oversight of their organizations and the interests and needs of the students they are serving. However, rules established by the Governing Body may not supersede policies and procedures established by the Student Leadership and Involvement Center or the University.  

Requirements

Student organizations are recognized as vehicles that increase a student’s growth and leadership development. Creighton views student organizations as partners in the pursuit of this goal. These organizations provide students the opportunities to develop leadership skills, broaden social and professional perspectives, and contribute to the University and Omaha area. Through participation in these organizations, students are encouraged to share ideas, values, cultures, and activities with other members of the campus community.

Student Organization Requirements

  • It is strongly encouraged that membership be open to all students without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex, religion or sexual orientation. (Restricted membership may be granted if the organization provides adequate justification for this special status. Social fraternities and sororities may retain gender-specific membership.)
  • All registered student organizations in good standing are eligible to apply for funding from Creighton Students Union except social fraternities and sororities.
  • A moderator who is a faculty or staff member from Creighton University must agree to advise the organization and participate in an online training (once every three years).
  • Create and maintain a student organization site on CU Involved.
  • Provide the Student Leadership & Involvement Center with the names of two students who will be able to make reservations on campus for your student organization.
  • Officers, as defined by the organization’s constitution, must be in good standing with the University (not on academic or disciplinary probation) at the time of their elections and throughout their terms in office. All officers must possess a 2.5 cumulative GPA or its equivalent to be eligible for office and maintain a minimum of 2.5 GPA or its equivalent while serving out their term. If an officer’s cumulative GPA falls below the 2.5 minimum or its equivalent, he or she may be removed from office.
  • As part of the initial application, the moderator and president must sign an agreement concerning compliance with any and all relevant University policies, procedures, rules, regulations and guidelines.
  • Groups applying for registration must meet a need not presently met by any other organization or department on campus.
  • The organization must live out the University mission and be consistent with values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions in both purpose and practice.
  • A registered group must contribute to the overall educational mission of the University. It must demonstrate that its activities will contribute to the advancement of social, moral, cultural, intellectual, physical, or spiritual development of its individual members and the University community.

Creighton University does not necessarily endorse the views reflected and opinions expressed by student organization members or during their events. Student organizations must assume full responsibility for their members and the events they sponsor. Creighton University assumes no responsibility for student organizations.

Seeking registration takes time and forethought. A group must submit a constitution, mission statement, schedule of events, and completed application to be considered for registration as an organization. Once the Student Leadership & Involvement Center receives these materials, the pending organization has access to limited services while waiting for approval. The pending organization will be asked to meet with the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC), which meets twice per year.

The University extends certain privileges to each registered student organization. Along with those privileges come certain responsibilities that are expected of each organization. Please see Privileges and Responsibilities of Student Organizations for further details.

While the University respects the right of individual students and student organizations to express their ideas, it is understood that such expressions or views remain those of the individuals or organizations and are not to be construed as necessarily reflecting University opinion or as an endorsement by the University.