Skip to main content
Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater
how to start an organization

How To Start a New Organization

Intent to Organize Process

The process for University Recognition starts with a consultation with the Office of Student Organizations and Activities.  This often is completed in the form of an informational session which provides an opportunity to dialogue about the intention of the organization, assures that there is not mission duplication with other existing organizations, addresses alignment with the university mission and provides support in navigating the recognition process.

After this consultation, prospective organizations are allowed to hold up to three (3) on-campus group meetings with expressed written permission from SOA.  The presiding officer will provide SOA with the dates, times and locations for each of the three meetings.  No official activities or events may be sponsored until a group has received official university recognition.  Under no circumstance may an organization going through the recognition process use the Belmont University name or logo.

In order to assure consistent training and education for all student organizations, the University considers new organization request for recognition twice a year. All applications must be submitted by the third Friday of classes after the start of the term to SOA.

The following steps are required after the consultation with the Office of Student Activities in order to apply for University Recognition:

  • University Recognition Request Form: Complete on-line form in its entirety
  • Governing Documents: Provide an electronic copy of the proposed organization’s bylaws, constitution, and any other defining or governing documents. (Sample bylaws and constitution are provided at the informational meeting.)
  • Leadership: Identify organization officers including their email addresses, BUID #’s, and phone numbers. Each student organization must have a Presiding Officer (e.g. president, director, chair, etc), a Vice President, an Event Services Contact, and a Financial Officer.  Other suggested positions include, secretary, and historian.
  • Organization Rationale: Provide a one page rationale that outlines how the organization’s mission and activity will:
  1. Be congruent with Belmont’s Mission, Vision and Values
  2. Represent a contribution to the existing campus life and the overall student experience. 
  3. Demonstrate how organizational activity will support an environment of inclusiveness and develop community.
  • Membership: Provide an electronic list of prospective members that have expressed a commitment to join the organization if it is institutionally recognized. Belmont insists that there is enough interest from students that will sustain the organization beyond its initial founders. 
  • Advisor: Provide contact information for the proposed organization faculty/staff advisor. All Belmont faculty and staff members are eligible to serve as advisors of recognized organizations. Please refer to the Student Organization Classifications document to determine if an advisor is recommended or required for your student organization.
  • Classification. Review the Student Organization Classifications for information for a detailed description of each classification and their privileges and responsibilities.  Provide SOA with a recommendation for classification status that best fits the purpose and description of the anticipated organization. Any organization requesting Affiliated status must provide, in writing, confirmation from a University representative from the respective department/college of affiliation.

Final Approval Process

Upon submission of the completed Student Organization Application for University Recognition, SOA reviews all provided documents in order to ensure:

  • Completion of all required forms
  • Consonance with University Mission
  • Contribution to Campus Life
  • Demonstrated commitment to developing community

For organizations satisfying the initial review, SOA will present the application to the Student Life Council, a committee of the Faculty Senate comprised of faculty, staff and students, for review and possible recommendations regarding the purpose and activity of the organization relative to the university’s Mission and Community Commitments.

Finally, SOA considers Student Life Council recommendations and conveys or denies university recognition.  Organization Presidents and Advisors, will be notified via email. Newly-recognized student organizations must participate in the New Student Organization Orientation & Training Session led by SOA. No organizational activity may occur prior to completion of this orientation and training.