New Organization Recognition

Recognition Process

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. 

Campus Life appreciates the heightened interest of students who are willing to start new clubs, hoping to forge community and connections for fellow Retrievers. As of March 2020, the Student Organization Committee, made up of Student Government Association students and Campus Life staff, has made the decision to pause the approval process of accepting applications for new student organizations. The Student Organization Committee revisited this decision in September 2021 and voted to extend this pause and revisit the decision the first week of November, 2021. Campus Life values the health and safety of students and ultimately wants all of our student organizations to experience success when it comes to connecting students to one another. Moving forward, we will reevaluate the pause on our traditional student organization application process each semester and post any updates on this page. If you have any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to reach out to Tori Ciorra (


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. To learn more about these advantages, please contact Tori Ciorra (, Coordinators 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 GuidelinesYou 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
Step 3: After your application is submitted, you will be contacted to schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Organizations .

Be prepared to discuss the following questions:

  • What was your inspiration for creating this organization?
  • How will your organization contribute to the mission of UMBC?
  • What makes your organization distinct from similar organizations at UMBC?
  • What needs do your organization meet that aren’t currently being met?
  • How will your organization attract students to join?
  • How do you plan to develop leadership within your organization?
  • How do you plan to sustain the organization?
Step 4: The Student Organizations Committee (SOC) will meet with your potential advisor.

This will serve as a way to ensure that the advisor is on the same page as the organization. Advisor resources can be found here.

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).