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K-State Polytechnic Office of Student Life
Center for Academic Excellence and Engagement
Technology Center
2310 Centennial Road
Salina, KS 67401

Sarah Werner
Director of Student Life
sarahdwerner@k-state.edu
785-826-2984

Starting a New Organization

Congratulations! 

You have taken the first step to creating a student organization. Through your efforts, students on campus will have yet one more opportunity to become involved, grow and learn through their participation, and gain valuable skills necessary for entering into the workforce after graduation. Thank you for taking this initiative!

Before creating a new organization, please contact Kari Zook, Student Activities Coordinator, at 785-826-2959 or karizook@k-state.edu

Getting Organized

Student organizations, like all organizations, involve people — people getting together to accomplish a task. Getting people to work together in an organized manner is not an easy task, but it is essential for the success of your organization. The following are a few basic principles that may assist you in organizing your organization: 

  1. An organization needs to have a reason for existing. There needs to be a unity of purpose that the membership understands and can support. The entire membership should, therefore, establish the goals each year for the organization. This participation creates a sense of belonging. Both short-range and long-range goals should be planned a month or two in advance. Long-range goals will give members a chance to look at the overall goals for the next year. Establishing clear-cut goals helps to avoid mediocre involvement and accomplishment.
  2. Effective leadership is essential to any organization. The officers should meet together between meetings to organize the next meeting’s agenda and to brainstorm ideas. A printed agenda distributed to members at each meeting helps to keep your members informed. It also saves time in meetings.
  3. Officers should not make decisions for the group. Their job is to do the legwork. Find out the information and report it to the group. The group should make the decisions. Persons involved in the decision-making process are more likely to be committed to the decision.
  4. Appoint members to committees. This way, they feel a part of the organization and also gain valuable experience for future leadership roles.
  5. Make it a point to welcome any guests at the beginning of a meeting. Friendliness and openness will encourage people to join and to help you accomplish your task.
  6. Enthusiasm is a must. The officers set the tone. Enthusiasm is contagious (so is apathy). Do not be an officer if you don’t believe in your group and what it aims to accomplish. Encourage a “doing” atmosphere.
  7. Regularity of meeting times and places is critical to the success of your organization.
  8. Cooperate with other organizations and campus officers. It makes everybody’s task more pleasant.