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How to Start a Recognized Student Organization

New Groups

To establish a new undergraduate Recognized Student Organization, you must first attend an information session to gain a better understanding of the overall recognition process.  These sessions are offered a minimum of four times a semester, please RSVP via TribeLink events.  

All groups seeking recognition must have on record a minimum of five interested students on their initial roster of members; these students must be enrolled, full-time at William & Mary.  Additionally the organization must develop a proposed constitution (pdf). Once a group has completed a draft constitution, they must meet with a staff member from the Office of Student Leadership Development for individual consultation. Following staff consultation, the draft constitution and application for recognition may be submitted via TribeLink. After you submit a complete application, the Office of Student Leadership Development will contact you about scheduling a Student Organization Recognition Committee (SORC), presentation. 

The application materials will then be reviewed by the SORC, which meets at least once a month between September and April.  During your presentation, you will be asked to present your application and rationale, demonstrate familiarity with university policies, and answer questions from the committee.  After the presentation, SORC will make a recommendation to the Director of Student Leadership Development on the proposed recognition. The Office of Student Leadership Development will provide final notification to the group on status of the application via email.

Student Organization Recognition Process Step-by-Step

SORC Composition

The Student Organization Recognition Committee will consist of 7-9 enrolled, full-time students nominated by the Student Assembly and the Office of Student Leadership Development. The Assistant Director of Student Leadership Development (or their designee) will serve as a non-voting member of the group.

Reactivating a Group

To reactivate a dormant but previously recognized group, contact Anne Arseneau, Director of Student Leadership Development (757-221-3300 or

Graduate Student Organizations

Graduate groups seeking recognition should contact the governing student body of their individual school (Graduate Education Association, Graduate Student Association Arts and Sciences or Master of Business Association, School of Marine Science Graduate Association, or Student Bar Association).