How to Start a New Club or Interest Group
Thank you for taking the first steps of starting a club or interest group at Ridgewater College!
It is important to discuss with your fellow interested student members the purpose for the club/interest group you wish to start and how it will benefit the students involved, the college, and the student body. Once you have identified your purpose and mission, please complete the following steps and submit the required paperwork to the Student Activities and Wellness Coordinator or the Vice President of the Student Senate on your campus.
Which Should You Choose?
Being an official club or interest group gives students access to advertise their meetings and events campus-wide through Student Life. See below for the differences between each group.
Club Benefits & Requirements
- Access to a budget to spend on club events and travel.
- Access to fundraising resources.
- Clubs can travel, attend conferences, and use college vehicles.
- Advisors can help guide students through college policy, manage purchases, and reserve spaces on campus that aren’t open to all students.
- Have a minimum of five (5) students interested in joining the club.
- Have an advisor who is an employee of Ridgewater College
- Submit the following paperwork and renew yearly:
- Club Recognition Application
- Club Constitution
- Club Roster
- Signed Advisor Responsibilities Form
Interest Group Benefits & Requirements
- A great way to test the waters to see if there’s interest on campus for an activity or hobby.
- Interest groups have transitioned into clubs in the past and they are a great option for book clubs, study groups, drawing get-togethers, or activities that won’t have high costs for students.
- There is less paperwork.
- Students lead the group; you do not need to find an advisor.
- Interest groups can reserve study rooms for meetings or use common spaces on campus that are available to all students.
- Have a minimum of five (5) students interested in joining the interest group.
- Designate a student representative that will act as the main contact for Student Life and Student Senate.
- Submit a list of rules for your club and renew yearly.
Steps to Become a Recognized Club at Ridgewater College
- Complete the application.
- Clubs: Ridgewater student club recognition application [PDF]
- Interest Groups: Ridgewater student interest group recognition application [PDF]
- Create your club constitution or rules.
- Clubs: Submit a full constitution.
- You can use this sample constitution [PDF] as a starting point.
- Interest Groups: Submit a list of rules.
- Rules may outline meeting attendance guidelines, meeting etiquette, or other expectations that the Interest Group requires its members uphold. This does not need to be a lengthy document.
- Clubs: Submit a full constitution.
- The Student Senate will review the requested application materials and invite representatives of the club or interest group to appear before the Student Senate to petition orally for their charter.
- The Student Senate will recommend recognition status by a 2/3 approval vote and will notify the club or interest group of their status.
If Student Senate finds the club or interest group applying has not successfully completed the above application process, or if other major questions or problems arise during the review process, a letter will be sent outlining the reason for postponing/denying the recognition process. Suggestions for revisions will be included in the letter.
When changes are made and additional information is presented to the Student Senate, the Senate will re-process the new information and respond accordingly. Application for official registration as a student club or interest group will be considered inactive if all required materials are not submitted within 30 days after filing for registration.
Responsibilities of Recognized Clubs
- Accept responsibility for the supervision and safe operation of all sponsored programs and events
- One member must be recognized and serve as a club representative to the Student Senate and attend a minimum of 1 (one) meeting per semester
- All club or interest group members must hold current student status at Ridgewater College
- The club or interest group must maintain active and updated files in the Student Life Department
- The club or interest group must practice non-discrimination in recruiting members and programming, as defined by the Ridgewater College policy and local, state, and national statues
- All members of the club or interest group must act responsibly as members of the Ridgewater College community, both on and off campus
- Advisor(s) must attend one club advisor meeting each year (clubs only)
- Compliance with all College policies and procedures as defined in the Ridgewater College Policy and Procedure website.