Start a club

1) Make sure your organization is a good fit for the TCU.  If you're running a sports team, you'll be better off under the Athletics department (contact Branwen Smith-King). If your organization is targeted at graduate students, you'll be better off under the Graduate Student Council (contact the Graduate Student Council). Finally, do your best to ensure that no existing groups serve the same purpose as yours. If there is an existing group that covers a related topic, your group should approach that organization first and consider discussing the possibilities of becoming a subgroup or supergroup.

2) Hold a General Interest Meeting.  Make sure to have a sign-in sheet, including, at a minimum, name, year of graduation, e-mail address, and phone number (anyone may refuse to provide a phone number and such a refusal will not count against your organization) for each member on the list. A GIM never counts as an event nor does an e-list and the sign-in sheet does not count as an accurate membership list.

3) Get Active on Campus. One of the more important criteria the Judiciary looks for during recognition is the events that a group provides which benefit the entire Tufts student population. The Judiciary requires at least 3 events per semester that are open to any and every Tufts student. Some possible events that could count towards the recognition criteria include workshops, guest speakers, panel discussions, lectures, movie showings, and collaborations with other groups on campus. One weekly meeting may be counted as an event if it is advertised to the student body as an open meeting. Events do not include General Interest Meetings, postering, chalking, tabling, or regular group meetings that were not advertised to the campus as a whole. Groups applying for recognition need to have already hosted 3 events during the semester prior to the semester in which they approach the Judiciary.

Check: Is your group ready to apply for recognition?

4) Fill out a New Organization Registration Application (found at http://ocl.tufts.edu/student-orgs/new/). Return the form to the Office for Campus Life, located on the main floor of the Campus Center. There, you will sign up for a New Organization Information Meeting. These meetings are held in the FALL ONLY.  This means that groups are only recognized in the fall.

5) Attend the Meeting.  Once you attend the New Organization Information Meeting, your group will be classified as Unrecognized. This means you will be able to reserve rooms on Tufts campus up until a decision has been made by the Judiciary.

6) Write a Constitution.  A rough outline can be found here. Pay close attention to your mission statement; it will be taken seriously. Additionally, your Constitution must include the following:

7) Acquire Other Necessary Documents.  If you're starting a religious organization, you need a letter of approval from the Chaplaincy. If your club is a branch of a national organization, you need a letter from nationals saying that they're aware and approve of your efforts to start a chapter at Tufts.

8) E-mail the Recognition Chair informing them that you've collected your materials and are ready to meet with the Judiciary. They will respond with a time and place.

9) Meet with the Judiciary.  Bring physical copies of all your materials: Group constitution, at least 3 proofs of events, and a handwritten membership list. E-mail your constitution to your Judiciary contact and bring at least one physical copy. At the meeting, you will talk about your club, your past events, your reasons for seeking recognition, and the direction you plan to take the club. You will then field questions from the Judiciary. The entire process typically takes around 15 minutes, but it can vary. The Judiciary will e-mail you with the decision as soon as it is made, providing there were no remaining questions or concerns.

FAQ:

1.) What are the possible results of a meeting with the Judiciary?

There are four possible results:

  1. Recognized. You're done. You can now head to the Senate to request funding, if you'd like.
  2. Recognized Pending. This means we have minor issues - often with your Constitution - that we'd like resolved before your group is upgraded to Recognized.
  3. Tabled. This means we need more information before we can make a decision. You may or may not need to come back in.
  4. Non-TCU-classified. This is a general term for an organization that has neither of the above classifications: Recognized or Recognized Pending, etc.

2.) Does recognition mean we get funding?

Not at all. Recognition means that a group can approach the TCU Treasury and request funding, but it doesn't guarantee that the group will receive funding.

3.) Do we need to have all of our materials together for the meeting

Yes, you must have all of your materials when you approach the Judiciary. Events that will be happening in the future do not count toward your proofs of events, regardless of how many people say they will attend.

4.) Can our proofs of activity/consitution/membership list come from last semester?

Your proofs of events must be from the prior semester but your membership list must be current. If you meet us late in the fall semester the Judiciary may also expect to see current activity as well.

5.) Does a group have to be recognized to hold events and exist on campus?

No, not all groups need recognition; a group may function without being TCU recognized. Without being recognized a group may not use the Tufts name in their title or reserve space on campus [though recognized groups may reserve the space for the unrecognized group's use]. Unrecognized groups are also not eligible to apply for funding through the Treasury.


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44 Professors Row
Medford, MA 02155

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Tufts Historian
Max.Hirsch@tufts.edu