Starting a New Student Organization

Guidelines for Naming Your Organization

New student organizations applying for recognition who wish to use the name "Dartmouth" or "Dartmouth College" in their name/logo are required to indicate in the organization's name or that it is a student organization. To accomplish this, we suggest using words and phrases such as:

  • "students"
  • "student organization"
  • "undergraduate"
  •  "undergraduate organization"
  • "graduate student"
  •  "graduate student organization"
  • "student alliance"
  •  "student partnership"
  • "student society" or
  • "student association".

Please note the words "at Dartmouth" alone do not convey student status. If a recognized student organization wishes to use the words "at Dartmouth" in its name, or uses "Dartmouth" in an acronym, it must still include language indicating its status as a student organization.

All student organization names will be reviewed and approved by the COSO Board during the recognition process. 

Process for Starting a New Organization

  1. Develop your initial idea for your club. Think about what is feasible and determine interest on campus. Hold recruitment and organizational development meetings. This might also include holding elections, organizing a retreat, and developing your organization's mission. 
  2. On the COSO website under recogintion, read Overview and Checklist. 
  3. Meet with the COSO Advisor for an initial meeting to discuss your organization and review all documents. This meeting will be scheduled for 15 minutes and must be scheduled in advance. To schedule, please click here.  All materials should be drafted prior to this meeting. If you are a service group, final approval from the Center for Social Impact is needed before the meeting. 
  4. Find a current faculty or staff member willing to advise your student organization. The role of an advisor is to provide stability, continuity, and guidance and to assist in fostering the prudent management of organizational funds. In some cases, the advisor will have to log in to Dartmouth Groups so they can be added from the advisor drop down menu in the registration form. 
  5. Develop and write student organization governing documents. This would include a Constitution and a Statement of Purpose.
  6. Complete the Registration through Dartmouth Groups. Two Officers and eight members must be selected from the drop down menus after which these individuals will be notified to approve their selection. Please note: in spring term, the founders and members of the organization cannot be graduating seniors. 
  7. Submit and complete all forms (Constitution, Bylaws, and Statement of Purpose) to COSO via Dartmouth Groups. Forms will be reviewed by COSO and your organization will be invited to attend a COSO meeting.
  8. Present the proposed organization at a COSO Recognition Hearing meeting. This meeting will typically occur once in fall, winter, and spring terms. (please note, no recognition hearings are held during summer term) The advisor and seven members of your organization are expected to attend. At this meeting, you will explain the mission of your organization and answer any questions COSO may have.
  9. After the meeting, you will be notified of COSO's decision about recognition. If recognized, you will receive a new organization email from the Student Involvement Office. This includes a welcome letter, information about creating a blitz/dnd account, link to treasurer forms and financial procedures guide, and information about your account number and startup funds.
  10. As a recognized COSO organization, you are now eligible to apply for funding, start planning events, and become active on campus!

Applying in Dartmouth Groups

  1. Go to Dartmouth Groups and use your Dartmouth Net ID to login using single sign-on;

  2. At the top of the page, click on the "Groups" icon;

  3. Click on "All Groups" on the right side of the drop down menu;

  4. Click on "Register New Council on Student Organizations";

  5. Complete the online form;

    1. upload your constitution;

    2. ensure your advisor has logged in to Dartmouth groups so they can be added from the dropdown menu;

    3. encourage selected officers and members to approve their selection via Dartmouth Groups asap.

    4. You will be able to add additional members and officers and create custom officer positions in Dartmouth Groups if approved for recognition.

  6. If approved for recognition by COSO, you will be given access to an organization portal in Dartmouth Groups.