How to Start a Registered Student Organization

Have you checked to see if a registered student organization like the one you are proposing exists already on campus? If it does, have you contacted the organization to see if they are accepting new members or how your proposed organization could merge with an existing group to provide the same services/experiences to UI students? If there is not an organization on campus with a mission similar to the one you are proposing, or if there is an existing group but it conflicts with your mission/ideas/goals, then follow the steps below to start a new student organization at the University of Iowa. 

Things to know before getting started:

Keep in mind that your student organization must contain 80% University of Iowa students. In starting an organization, you are required to have five members. This means, four of the five must be University of Iowa students.

Student organizations petitioning for registration are not eligible to use the name the University of Iowa in their organization's name. The organization could be named "Student Club at Iowa" or "Student Club", but not "University of Iowa Student Club". 

Steps to receive approval

Student organizations are approved by the Student Organization Review Committee once per semester. To be considered, you must complete You may be contacted to present to the Student Organization Review Committee depending on the nature of your proposed organization's activities. 

Please note: The Spring registration window closed on March 12th. Anyone interested in starting a new organization for Fall 2021 will need to complete all these steps by the end of the Summer registration window.

The Summer registration window will be open from July 12th to July 30th, 2021. Our staff is available before those dates to answer questions, help plan out your potential organization, and conduct Pre-Registration Meetings. 

For more detailed student information organization registration visit the Registration of Student Organizations section within the Policies and Regulations Affecting Students

Step 1:

Ensure the organization you're starting doesn't already exist. You can check by visiting Engage. You also will need to make sure you have five (5) people who are willing to be members of the organization. 

Step 2:

Create a constitution for your potential new student organization using the Constitutional Standards & Guidelines. 

If you need assistance drafting your constitution, please contact Leadership, Service, & Civic Engagement by email at dsl-leadandserve@uiowa.edu

Your organization’s constitution must include the entire mandatory UI Human Rights Clause in the membership section, and it must include the entire mandatory Financial Clause as written within the Constitutional Standards & Guidelines.  Remember to edit the dissolution portions of the Financial Clause that are noted (IN PARENTHESES).

Do not simply copy/paste, then answer, the questions/prompts asked in the Constitutional Standards & Guidelines. Put thought into your organization’s constitution; format the information so that it is easy to reference and use.  Keep in mind, the goal is for your organization to outlast your time at the University.  You are setting up the structure that will govern your organization into the future.

Step 3:

Schedule a pre-registration meeting with a staff member from Leadership, Service & Civic Engagement to discuss your potential new student organization. If you want to start a new Sports Club, please contact Recreational Services to meet with  Shannon Tumelty (shannon-tumelty@uiowa.edu) or Matt Schaefer (matthew-schaefer-1@uiowa.edu).

You must e-mail a copy of the final draft of your constitution before your pre-registration meeting for feedback.

Based on the discussion and feedback provided at your pre-registration meeting, make any changes before proceeding to Step 4.

Schedule an appointment

Step 4:

Sign in to Engage with your Hawk ID and password. If you have not joined Engage, you must create an Engage Personal Profile. 

Once in Engage, click on the “Browse Organizations” tab toward the top of the screen.  Then, Click on the green button that says, “Register New Organization.”  You will then need to click on “Student Engagement & Leadership” and finally click “Select.”

Complete the New Organization Registration Form.  This form should take about 20 to 25 minutes to complete. 

Step 5:

Submit the New Organization Registration Form on Engage.

*Please note:  If a New Organization Registration Form is submitted without first having a Pre-registration Meeting, the form will be re-opened and will not be reviewed until a meeting has been held.

Step 6:

New Organization Registration Requests are approved by the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC). You may be contacted to present to the Student Organization Review Committee depending on the nature of your proposed organization's activities. One of the Student Organization Development Staff or Sports Programs staff will contact you about attending the meeting.

Step 7:

If approved by SORC, you will be sent an official notification via email. At least one member of your new organization is required to attend a Zoom orientation led by our staff. Orientation invites will be sent out to your organization's contact once the committee gives approval.

The training times for Spring 2021 will be: 

  • Tuesday, March 23th at 5pm
  • Wednesday, March 24th at 2pm
  • Thursday, March 25th at  6pm

If a representative from your organization cannot attend one of these times, please contact dsl-leadandserve@uiowa.edu to reschedule!