Starting a Student Group
The Student Activites committee meets every Monday at 8:00pm in the UCS Office (Old Card Office, Wooley Hall).
For questions regarding student activities please e-mail Brady Wyrzten, the Student Activities chair.
The steps to starting your own student group are listed below. Feel free to download our sample constitution as a guide.
I. Prepare a constitution.
Members of an organization must prepare a written constitution containing:
1. Name of the organization.
2. Statement of purpose, including nature of departmental, administrative, legal, religious, political, or financial affiliations without which the organization would not exist (where applicable).
3. Description of membership and definition of membership. Must include: 1) verbatim the non-discrimination statement on attached constitution format, unless specifically exempted in Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and 2) a statement requiring majority membership to consist of full-time undergraduate Brown students.
4. Description of Officer positions or structure of leadership. Officers must be currently enrolled full-time undergraduate Brown students.
5. Election of Officers (where applicable).
6. Organizational financial responsibilities (where applicable). If activity fee funded, must include verbatim the Student Activity financial responsibility statement on attached constitution format; if non-activity fee funded, must include a description of the financial account structure and the financial obligations of membership.
7. Description of duties of official advisor (where applicable).
8. Amendment procedure. Must include verbatim the UCS amendment statement on attached constitution format.
9. The Category’s required number of signatures of members of the organization who are full-time undergraduate Brown students. 10 Signatures are required for Category I groups, and 15 signatures are required for Category II & III groups.
II. Submit a draft of your Constitution
The group must submit a draft of the constitution to the UCS Coordinator of Student Activities for review at least two (2) full days before the Student Activities Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting.
Send a representative from your group to the Student Activities meeting.
A representative of the organization must attend the Student Activities Committee meeting for questions and discussion, as deemed necessary by the committee. A simple majority of the committee is needed to recommend constitution.
III. Receive Full Council Approval of Constitutions
Weekly, the Coordinator of Student Activities will present a report of all Constitutions it recommends, including the group’s full name, category status, statement of purpose, and reasons for recommendation. If this report includes any co-sponsorship, changing status to Category three, or appeals, the group concerned will be asked to attend the Full Council meeting in order to explain their purpose and field any questions from Council.. The Coordinator will provide copies of all proposed Constitutions for members that request them. Constitutions shall be considered official when a two-thirds (2/3) majority of Council members present vote to accept them.
IV. Categorization of Student Group
The Undergraduate Council of Students shall also decide, upon recommendation of the Coordinator of Student Activities, to which student activity category the new group will be assigned. (See Section II on Student Activity Categories.) This decision shall be part of the motion to constitute. e.g. “I move to constitute the XYZ CLUB as a Category One group.”
V. Constitutional Revision
If there are any constitutional change unresolvable at the Full Council meeting as deemed necessary by Council before approving the constitution, the group must begin the process again, resubmitting a new constitution as per steps A – D.
The constitution of the newly constituted group will receive an official stamp indicating the date of its approval, its category, and the signature of the Coordinator of Student Activities. It shall be the responsibility of this coordinator to forward a copy of this constitution to the Student Activities Office and to the Undergraduate Finance Board, if a Category Two or Three Group.
A group wishing to appeal the decision of the Student Activities Committee may submit a written request and reasons for the appeal to the UCS Coordinator of Student Activities within fourteen (14) days of the date of the Student Activities Committee’s original decision. The group shall have a hearing with the Student Activities Committee of UCS within fourteen (14) days after the Coordinator of Student Activities has received the appeal. Upon closure of this hearing, if there are at least one-fourth (1/4) minority vote of the Student Activities Committee approving of the constitution, the constitution will be brought before Full Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting. If a minority of the Student Activities Committee approves of the constitution, a member of the majority opinion will report the majority’s reservations to the Full Council before its decision. The group’s written appeal will be submitted to all Council members.
A group wishing to appeal the decision of Council may submit a written request and reasons for the appeal to the UCS Coordinator of Student Activities within fourteen (14) days of the date of the Council’s original decision. The group shall have a hearing with the Student Activities Committee of UCS within fourteen (14) days after the Coordinator of Student Activities has received the appeal. The Coordinator of Student Activities will submit the decision of the Student Activities Committee and the groups written appeal to the Full Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting after the appeal.
VIII. Amendment and Category Changes
A group wishing to change its constitution or category must submit an amended constitution and a written request and reasons for the constitutional change to the Student Activities Committee of UCS in the same manner as outlined in Subsections (b) and (c) above.