Forming a New Student Organization
The Student Life and Wellness Committee (consisting of students and staff) meets to consider new student organization applications and evaluates them on an individual basis. The committee determines whether a group applying for recognition will bring value to the university community and ensures there is no duplication in purpose or name of an existing Georgetown Law student organization. All student organizations must be open to all members of the Georgetown community, including faculty, staff, and alumni. The committee will meet once per semester to consider new student organization applications. Please see the Office of Student Life for more information about semester deadlines for applications. After a decision has been made, new organization applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by the Assistant Director of Student Life. The new organization is then required to attend mandatory student organization training to review policies and procedures for student organization management.
New student organizations can be considered for official recognition and be eligible to receive funding from the Student Bar Association by submitting the following:
- New Student Organization Application that includes goals for the new student organization, mandatory statement of contribution to the Georgetown Community, and mandatory sample program proposal with sample budget.
- A proposed constitution which must include:
- An outline of a clear leadership structure
- A definition of “active member”
- The elections process
- A list of 10 signatures of interested members, including one JD and one LLM student.
- Name and Net Id of a proposed student organization president and treasurer.
Additionally, one student on the proposed executive board must be a continuing student (non-graduating student). The goal for this enhanced application is to provide the new student organization the greatest likelihood of a streamlined transition to the next academic year, thus reducing stress and frustration for group members, executive boards, and the current SBA treasurer.
In order to be considered active for the following academic year and be eligible for SBA funds, all student organizations (both new and continuing) must:
- Notify OSL of new officers after spring elections, which include the names president and treasurer
- Attend OSL student leadership trainings
- Submit a current Constitution or Bylaws with any changes
- Review and submit the active organization membership list
- Submit a Summary Report by outgoing officers by June 1, which includes:
- Financial report for the previous academic year
- List of events hosted/co-hosted by the organization in the past year
- Goals for the following academic year
Taken together, these requirements for both student organization creation and re-recognition each year hope to provide real opportunities for student leaders to think critically about the goals of the organization more broadly, both in the coming academic year and also in the years to come. It becomes a truly iterative process by which student leaders assess, plan, execute, and reassess, which encourages multi-year strategic planning, productive fundraising initiatives, and innovative programming.
Benefits and Probationary Period Requirements for Student Organizations
Once formally recognized and approved as a student organization, the organization is on probationary for the first two semesters and organizations must show that they held at least one “substantial” event during their probationary period. Additionally, new student organizations must hold at least one event without alcohol during their probationary period. Should a new group need funding before the next SBA budget allocation cycle/during their probationary semesters, they are permitted to request contingency funding through the SBA Appropriations Committee.
Recognition as a formal student organization grants the group access to:
- SBA funding: Organizations are able to request contingency funding during their probationary semesters. After the probationary ends, organizations are eligible to request a full semester budget.
- Advertising: Organizations are able to advertise on all campus advertising platforms, including a CampusGroups page for the organization, the ability to submit for inclusion in the OSL broadcast, a table at the Student Org Fair, and posting to digital signage/bulletin boards.
- Space: Organizations are able to reserve on-campus space for events and programs directly, in line with current procedures and protocols.
- Fundraising: Organizations may fundraise externally, via Bar Reviews, or internally.
Community Interest Groups (CIGs)
Community Interest Groups will be subject to a different process for recognition. The barrier to entry is much lower to allow for as many CIGs as there is student interest. Additionally, CIGs are not meant to be held to any rigid meeting or membership structure, but instead designed to be more fluid, allowing students to join the fun when it fits their schedule. In order to preserve the pool of SBA funds for the most active student organizations, Community Interest Groups will have different rights and privileges than traditional student organizations as outlined above. It is important to note that students will self-select their organizations model, with appropriate guidance and advising from OSL staff as needed.
Requirements to form a CIG
To form a Community Interest Group, a student need only provide:
- One leadership member (for example, the name and NetID of a president or leader)
- A list of 10 interested students and one to two sentences about why they are interested
- A mission statement of the group
The minimal application is designed to allow for the maximum amount of community building with the lowest burden on students and staff.
Benefits and Restrictions for CIGs
A major distinction from the student organizations is that Community Interest Groups for each academic year will exist as a cohort and operate without the independent authority of a full student organization. The goal is not to penalize groups but to make it easy for students to see all of the opportunities to connect based on their interests on an ongoing basis and in one place.
The rights and privileges afforded to CIGs are more limited, but are in line with the type of more informal, spontaneous gatherings we expect from these types of groups. This includes:
- SBA Funding: CIGs do not receive any operating budget upon recognition, but can request funds directly from the Appropriations Committee. There will be a limit of funding for all CIGs set by the SBA.
- Advertising: Advertising for CIGs will be done collectively. All CIG events will be publicized in a single email once per month, on a single CIG CampusGroups page, in a single flyer included in the OSL Broadcast, and at a single CIG table at the Student Org Fair. All of these will outline the specific events or meet-ups for each CIG, but there will be no advertising for a specific, single event for a particular CIG.
- Space: CIGs cannot request space on-campus directly, but can have an SBA sponsor request the space on their behalf.
- Fundraising: CIGs may fundraise internally, but may not host Bar Reviews or fundraise externally.
The goal is not to constrain Community Interest Groups, but to provide them with the appropriate platform to reach students interested in their subject matter and the opportunities to connect with those students, without the administrative burden on either the groups or the SBA on the front end. The hope is that by offering a way for students to connect around similar interests and hobbies with fewer administrative hurdles, students will build those micro-communities at will, when the need and desire is present, without the stress of defending their existence through use of an SBA budget and robust leadership transition every single year.
Yearly Reapplication for Community Interest Groups
Community Interest Groups are approved for one academic year and must reapply for recognition each academic year with all required materials. It is important to note that a Community Interest Group, as it reapplies each year, could determine it has sufficient momentum to qualify as a student organization and this not only acceptable, but encouraged.
Recruiting New Members
The Office of Student Life assists organizations and Community Interest Groups in their recruiting efforts by hosting an annual Student Organization Fair every fall. Tables are provided for the student organizations that register for the event. Refreshments and entertainment are provided to all students by The Office of Student Life. Student Organizations and Community Interest Groups are encouraged to promote their organization and recruit new members by distributing information, answering questions, promoting upcoming events and activities, and collecting new member contact information.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Student Life at email@example.com.