Student organizations at UMBC contribute to broadening perspectives, opening opportunities, and connecting students’ passions with interests and issues important to members of the campus community and beyond. By starting a student organization, you take on the responsibility of creating a vibrant campus life and fostering change on campus. The steps outlined below will ensure that you are prepared for this role and connected to campus partners and potential collaborators. The recognition process generally takes between two and four months and in some instances longer.
Step 1: Take a look at the current list of 200+ student organizations that already exist at UMBC
We encourage you to think about whether your needs and interests can be met by an existing student organization. There are significant advantages to working within established organizations rather than forming new ones. Organizations that are too similar to existing student organizations will not be approved by the Student Organization Committee. To learn more about these advantages, please contact Tori Ciorra (firstname.lastname@example.org), Assistant Director for Student Organizations.
Step 2: Complete Student Organization Application found here.
Beforehand, please familiarize yourself with the requirements for recognition outlined in the Student Organization Guidelines. You will need to make sure you have the following items prepared before completing your application:
- A name and mission statement for your organization
- 5 undergraduate members
- A faculty or staff advisor
Please note that applications open on the first day of the academic year, and close March 1st.
Step 3: After your application is submitted, you will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Organizations and your advisor.
Be prepared to discuss the following questions:
- Tell us about your student organization! What do you do? What is your focus? What are your goals?
- What makes your organization distinct from similar organizations at UMBC? What need are you meeting that is not already met by a department or organization on campus?
- How will your organization attract students to join?
- How do you plan to transition and train leadership within your organization?
- How do you plan to sustain the organization? Think of this as your 5 year plan. What events, recruitment efforts, and long term goals do you have to make sure your organization is successful?
- What are your membership requirements?
- How many current members do you have?
- Are you linked to a national organization? If so, please provide their contact information and website
- Have you connected with departments on campus that correlate with your group?
- Why would your group like to be a recognized student organization? What needs do you have that are not being met in your current state?
Step 5: Complete the New Student Organization module
Once Step 4 is complete, all officers will have to complete the New Student Organization module. All officers are encouraged to review the module and contribute suggestions and ideas.
In the New Student Organization module, officers will:
- Learn how great leaders inspire action and create an organization “why” statement
- Set goals for your organization
- Create a first year plan
Step 6: The SOC will review application materials
After the New Student Organization module is completed, the SOC will review all application materials. The SOC might invite you to address any questions/concerns via email or during its weekly meetings.
Step 7: The SOC makes recommendation for recognition to the Director of Campus Life
If the Director of Campus Life confirms recommendation for recognition, all officers and advisor will receive an official recognition email at which point all privileges of being a recognized student organization will immediately go into effect.
Please contact Tori Ciorra for questions regarding new student organizations.
Recognized organizations will be extended the following services and rights therein including, but not necessarily limited to:
- Ability to use “UMBC” in the organization’s name and advertising,
- Ability to schedule use of campus space and request campus resources,
- Privilege of being listed on the Campus Life website as a recognized student organizations,
- Access to other services, benefits, and resources found on the Campus Life website, and
- Eligibility to receive SGA financial subsidy as outlined in the SGA Budget Policy (please note that all deadlines for financial requests must be honored in order to receive potential monies).