Starting a New Student Organization
Thank you for your interest in starting a new student organization at the University of New Hampshire. This page is your one-stop-shop for information about the process for recognizing a new student organization.
New student organizations may begin the recognition process beginning the week after University Day in the fall semester running through 9am on the first Monday of the last week of March. Once the window closes for the year any organization that is currently in the process will have ten business days to complete all of the remaining steps in the process.
Please note that due events related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the window for new student organizations has not been opened yet. We anticipate opening it once we receive approval from the University's senior leadership for in-person student organization activities.
In the answer to the final FAQ below you will find the link to the New Org Interest Form. If that link is not active, it means that the process is not currently open and we are not accepting new Student Organizations.
Applies to any organization that is in the process of forming but has not completed the recognition process.
Is the term used to describe the process a prospective organization must complete before becoming recognized as a New Student Organization.
Applies to any organization that has completed the recognition process but has existed for less than one year and has not completed all of the steps of the New Org Year Process.
Is the one-year long process of guided training and support that all New Student Organizations must complete.
Applies to any organization that has completed the recognition process. Additionally, the rights and responsibilities of recognized student organizations apply to new student organizations as long as they are making satisfactory progress through the new org year process.
On the most basic level you need an idea that is significantly different from the already recognized student organizations, a total of seven current students who are interested in helping you start the organization, and an official constitution for your organization.
After you complete the New Student Org Interest Form on Wildcat Link you will schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership. This meeting must take place within 1 month of your New Student Org Interest Form being approved on Wildcat Link. During this meeting you will discuss the process of drafting a constitution and you will be given a digital copy of a constitution template to use as the basis of your new organization’s constitution.
The template is generally not given out before this meeting. The reason for this is because some kinds of organizations are not eligible for recognition and we wouldn't want to see students spend the time and energy to draft a constitution for an organization that wouldn't be recognizable. But if you want to get a general idea of what a finished constitution would like we suggest you check out a few constitutions on Wildcat Link.
Here are a few common reasons why a proposed organization would not be recognizable:
- If a proposed organization is not significantly different from an already established organization, it is not likely that it would be recognizable.
- If a proposed organization is better suited for the Campus Recreation Club Sport or Instructional Program process, it would also not be recognizable by the Memorial Union & Student Activities.
- If the budgetary and executive authority lies with, and/or the drive to create or perpetuate the proposed organization comes from anyone other than UNH students, the proposed organization would not be recognizable.
If the mission of the proposed organization would be contrary to the University standards outlined in Students Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, the group would be not be recognizable.
The duration of the process will vary from org to org. Depending on how quickly the meetings are scheduled and how quickly the students draft the constitution the process can take anywhere between two weeks and two months for an organization to move from being a prospective organization to entering the New Org Year Process.
The window for new student organizations to begin the recognition process begins the week after University Day (U-Day) and runs through 9am on the first Monday of the last week of March. Once the window closes for the year any organization that is currently in the process will have ten business days to complete all of the remaining steps in the process.
Outside of that time frame we welcome questions about the recognition process, but new organizations may not form nor may they conduct formal activities.
When the group lost recognition, the written notice should have included this information as it is unique to each situation. If that notice has been lost to history, please contact the Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership for more information.
During a new student organization's first year as a recognized organization there are a series of trainings and follow-up meetings in which the organization leaders will be required to participate.
No. The New Org Year Process has been in place for any new student organization that has not completed the recognition process as of June 1, 2015.
- Prospective Sport Clubs and Instructional Programs are under the jurisdiction of Campus Recreation and must follow their published recognition processes.
While prospective social fraternities and sororities do fall under the jurisdiction of the Memorial Union & Student Activities, their process is slightly different than what is outlined here. For more information please consult the University of New Hampshire's Minimum Standards for Expansion Policy under Fraternity & Sorority Life.
No. Orgnaizations are not automatically given funding. The process for an organization to recieve a set budget occurs annually and is only open to organizations with at leats five years of sound financial history. For more information on this process, called Budgets & Concepts, please visit the SAFC website. Some colleges or other University entities may offer financial support to organizations through their own processes; however, no organization automatically recieves funding upon recognition.
Absolutely! From Parents Association Grants to fundraising to applying for supplemental funding from the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) there are a variety of options available to recognized student organizations.
No. Starting a student organization is a significant responsibility and requires commitment of its founding members no only to the mission and vision of the organization but also to recruiting and traning new members. If you have a great idea for one-time event or activity it is best to bring it to an already established organization.
Yes. However a new organization may not use the title of "Honor Society" until it is approved by the Academic Standards and Advising Committee. The Coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership can assist you in starting this process after your recognition is achieved.
No. While Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of the community the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by student interest.
No. While the Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of UNH faculty and staff, the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by student interest.
Absolutely! The recognition process does not differentiate between student organizations formed by graduate students and undergraduate students.
No. While the Memorial Union & Student Activities values the input of UNH alumni, the process of starting a new student organization must be driven by current student interest.
Please note that due to the suspension of face-to-face education and events due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the window for new student organizations has been closed early. We anticipate reopening the widow as planned after U-Day 2020.