Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Starting a New Student Organization

What should you do if there isn’t a student organization at Jefferson that you feel is the right fit for you? You can start your own!  Starting a new student organization may seem daunting at first but it is a great way to connect with your fellow students over a shared interest while contributing to the Jefferson community.  You and other interested parties will work together to develop the foundation for the new student organization. Throughout the process of starting and implementing a new student organization, you’ll likely encounter many opportunities for personal and professional growth, while helping to create and foster this new community for like-minded individuals on campus.  We’ve put together some important information, including timelines and specific steps, to help you get started in creating a new student organization.

Timelines

New student organization proposals will be reviewed by the Office of Student Life and Engagement Advisory on a rolling basis.  Please see the timelines below.

Fall Semester Timeline (for spring developmental status)

  • Informational Meeting with the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommended Deadline: October 1st
  • Draft Proposal submitted to Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccomended Deadline: October 15th
  • Final Proposal submitted to the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Required Deadline:  November 15th
  • Approved proposals will be granted developmental status for the spring semester of that academic year. 

Spring Semester Timeline (for spring developmental status)

  • Informational Meeting with the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommended Deadline: January 15th
  • Draft Proposal submitted to Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommened Deadline: February 1st
  • Final Proposal submitted to the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Required Deadline: March 1st
  • Approved proposals will be granted developmental status for the spring semester of the current academic year.

Spring Semester Timeline (for fall developmental status)

  • Informational Meeting with the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommended Deadline: March 1st
  • Draft Proposal submitted to Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommened Deadline: March 15th
  • Final Proposal submitted to the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Required Deadline: May 1st
  • Approved proposals will be granted developmental status for the spring semester of the current academic year.

Summer Semester Timeline (for fall developmental status)

  • Informational Meeting with the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommended Deadline: May 1st
  • Draft Proposal submitted to Office of Student Life and Engagement - Reccommended Deadline: May 15th
  • Final Proposal submitted to the Office of Student Life and Engagement - Required Deadline: June 15th
  • Approved proposals will be granted developmental status for the fall semester of the next academic year.

Steps To Starting A New Student Organization

1. Informational Meeting

Set an Informational Meeting with the Office of Student Life and Engagement.  Please come to the meeting prepared to discuss the idea you have for the new student organization.  We’ll review some important information with you and let you know what you need to do to get started.  To schedule the Informational Meeting, please email StudentLife@jefferson.edu with the subject “Starting a New Student Organization.”

2. Draft Proposal

Following the Informational Meeting, you’ll put together a draft of the following two documents which will comprise your new student organization Proposal.

  • A cover sheet that includes the following information
    • Student Organization Name
      • Please note that as of the 2015-16 academic year, new student organizations may not utilize “Jefferson” or any variation (e.g. “Jeff”) as part of their student organization name.  Student organizations already in existence prior to the 2015-16 academic year were grandfathered in to the new Jefferson Trademark policy and may continue to use the Jefferson name.
    • Student Organization Officers (at the present time) – student organizations must have at least four members serving in the role of officer. 
      • Each organization must have a designated President and a designated Treasurer.  The other two officer positions may be determined by the student organization. 
      • You must include the following information for each officer:
        • First and last name
        • Campus key
        • Officer position
        • College
        • Jefferson Email
    • Student Organization Advisor
      • The position of advisor is strictly voluntary, there is no financial compensation.  The advisor is selected by consensus of the student organization officers and/or membership and must be a current Jefferson faculty or staff member. 
      • We encourage you to select an individual that supports the intended mission of the student organization and who is willing to serve as a resource to the officers and members.  You may wish to share the Student Organization Advisors section of this manual with anyone that you are considering for the role.  Please ensure that you have received confirmation from the individual that they will serve as Advisor before listing them on your Proposal.
      • You must include the following information for the Advisor
        • First and last name
        • Position at Jefferson (title)
        • Department/Office
        • Jefferson Email
    • Disclosure of Affiliation with External Group
      • Student organizations may be affiliated with a “parent” group or external group (as is typical for professional associations) if the student organization discloses that affiliation in this section AND in the bylaws.  You must certify that the conditions for affiliation with the “parent” or external group do not conflict with the standards of the University.
      • Additionally, you will need to provide a copy of the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the “parent” or external group.  This should be submitted as an Appendix to the cover letter.
    • Goals
      • In this section, you’ll state
        • Why you think there is a need for this new student organization
        • What you would like the organization to accomplish – this can include both short term and long term goals
    • Bylaws for the new student organization

Once you’ve completed the above, submit the Draft Proposal to StudentLife@jefferson.edu. Our office will review the information and reach out to you if there’s any additional information, suggested edits, or clarification needed.

3. Final Proposal

Once you’ve heard back from the Office of Student Life and Engagement about your Draft Proposal, please make any final edits or updates and then submit the Final Proposal to StudentLife@jefferson.edu.  This is the document that will be reviewed for status assignment by the Office of Student Life and Engagement Programming Team.

4. Office of Student Life and Engagement Programming Team

The Programming Team will review the proposal.  Approved proposals will be granted developmental status for the next fall or spring semester of that academic year.  The Office of Student Life and Engagement will contact the proposed new student organization with their status and other relevant information after the meeting. 

Student organizations receiving developmental status will need to complete the Annual Registration Process as outlined in the Student Organization Manual before they may start operating.