Looking around the University of Cincinnati (UC), you can find nearly 500 registered student organizations across campus, encompassing a wide variety of interests, disciplines, hobbies and more. However, at a university with thousands of diverse voices and ideas, starting a new student organization is always a possibility—no matter how complicated it may seem. Starting a student organization at UC can be a great way to explore new topics with your peers and make a positive impact on the community. Here are some steps to help you get started with creating your own student organization:
Identify a need or interest
Before you start a student organization, it's important to identify a need or interest that you and other students share. This could be a specific cause, hobby or academic field that you want to explore further.
Research existing organizations
Once you have identified a need or interest, research existing organizations on campus to see if there is already a group that aligns with your goals. If there is, consider joining that organization or thinking of ways to improve and innovate upon their idea.
Form a core group
Once you have determined that there is a need for a new organization, form a core group of students who share your passion and are willing to help get the organization off the ground. At UC, a student organization requires at least 10 student members. Each group must also have a treasurer, president and faculty or staff advisor.
Draft a constitution and bylaws
A constitution is a document that outlines the purpose, goals, and rules of the organization. It should include information on membership, leadership, and the decision-making process. Bylaws serve as guidelines for your organization to follow and help to create structure among the organization’s functions.
Register with CampusLink
In order to be recognized as a student organization, you must complete the necessary CampusLink application forms. CampusLink will serve as the central location for anyone to view your bylaws, constitution, roster or get in contact with your organization. In the spring 2023 semester, new organization applications are open from Jan. 9-Feb. 15.
Create a budget
Create a budget for your organization and develop a plan for how to raise funds and manage expenses. As many groups across UC do, finding a unique way to pay for the organization’s operations can be a fun way for members to connect with each other – like hosting bake sales and car washes, for instance.
Plan events and activities
Once your organization is established, plan events and activities to engage members and achieve your goals. Once you have events planned out and approved for a given semester, you also have the chance to spread the word across the student body about what your club is doing.
Get involved on campus
Attend student organization fairs and events, participate in campus-wide events and network with other student organizations to build relationships and increase visibility. One effective way to establish a campus presence is to set up tables on Main Street, for example, and talk to students on the way to class. Also, there are multiple pinboards along the busy sections of campus where you can attach flyers for your upcoming events.