The steps toward forming a new student organization at UMKC are as follows:
1. Discuss proposed group with a Student Involvement Office staff member to determine whether a similar group already exists at UMKC.
2. Obtain a new student organization recognition packet from the Student Involvement website http://www.umkc.edu/getinvolved/forms.asp. When you are completing the form, remember to have a general purpose statement for the organization and obtain ten student signatures to indicate support for the organization as well as your constitution/bylaws (Officers may be elected at this time). Use the guide that can be obtained from the Student Involvement website. Guidelines for writing a constitution can be found on the SGA website http://web2.umkc.edu/sga/Documents.html under “guides”. The information can also be found later in this document.
3. Turn in the application for new student organization recognition and the Student Involvement Office will submit a copy of the constitution to the SGA Executive Office.
4. The submitted charter will be placed on the SGA Student Council agenda at the next meeting of that body permitting that no edits need to be made. If edits are needed you will be contacted by SGA. The purpose of this review is to introduce and familiarize the organization with SGA and vice versa.
5. After the application and constitution is reviewed and approved by the SGA Student Senate and the Constitution/Bylaws and officer list are on file at the Student Involvement Office, the organization becomes an officially recognized student organization at UMKC. The officers will be checked for eligibility every year and/or whenever officers change. Each semester the Student Involvement Office must have the current list of officers on file to maintain recognition and privileges.
6. To receive funding from your council or the Student Activity Fee Committee, all student organizations must also attend a funding workshop each fall. If your organization is formed following the workshops that semester, you can contact the Assistant Director of Student Involvement to make arrangements.
7. A notice of recognition will be sent to the contacts on the application from the Student Government Association notifying you of your status.
Constitution Writing Guidelines for All New and Existing Organizations
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Student Government Association
Created February 2007
A constitution is a semi-permanent governing document that must explain the structure and operation of a student organization. It should contain enough detail to provide for the perpetuity of an organization whose membership will be in flux from year to year, yet maintain the ability to change if the need arises. Student organizations recognized by the University are fully subject to all policies imposed by the University of Missouri System and the University of Missouri – Kansas City. In light of several recent changes, this document has been created as a rough-and-ready guide to bring all new and existing student organizations into compliance. The guidelines below explicitly explain the elements that must be included in all constitutions. A sample constitution is provided at the end.
All constitutions must have the exact wording for each of the statements below, unless otherwise stated:
An exception for restricted membership may be granted to Greek, professional, and honorary societies only if the following three conditions are met: (1) It is in the interest of the organization to restrict membership to individuals with higher GPAs, other academic or merit-based credentials, or area of study in a particular field; (2) All such restrictions are mandated by the national level of an organization, or appeal is made to the Constitution Committee; and (3) Membership is only restricted by criteria other than those listed above. If an organization has a restricted membership, the constitution must contain the following statement (to replace the one above): “Membership decisions shall not be made on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or Vietnam era veteran’s status.” Greek organizations may omit “sex” from the preceding statement.
An organization that is required by a national, state, or other regional chapter (above the campus level) to collect dues does not need to include the above statement in its constitution. However, mandatory dues may not be assessed for the campus level. Organizations that do assess non-mandatory campus-level dues may have different levels of membership for students that do and do not pay dues.
Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to:
Hazing is a class C Felony.”
The sample constitution that follows can be used as a template for organizational constitutions. Brackets, […], contain information that must be inserted by the author. Writing in parentheses, (…), that appears in this sample is used for explanation and clarification; it should not be inserted in organizational constitutions. All writing not in brackets or parentheses can be copied directly. Refer to the “Guidelines” above to determine the minimum elements that must be included. Inclusion of all articles in the sample below, and possibly additional articles, is recommended.
Constitution of the [name of organization]
Month and Year
Name. The name of this organization shall be [name of organization] of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, hereafter referred to as [shortened name or abbreviation, if desired].
Purpose/Preamble. The purpose of the organization shall be …. [list purpose]
Membership. Membership shall be open to all duly enrolled UMKC students. Membership and activities are open to all currently enrolled students regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or Vietnam era veteran’s status.
(Note: Under Title IX, Greek letter organizations may remain single sex. Organizations falling under specific academic units may restrict membership to students enrolled in their unit, major, etc. Other exceptions may apply. For full details, see the text of the “Guidelines” above.)
Meetings. Meetings will be held …. [Describe frequency of the meetings]
Committees. [Describe functions of committees if applicable]
Officers. The officers of this organization shall consist of [list office titles]
Officers of this organization must be chosen in an election format open to all current members. Every effort will be made to notify all members of said election and, further, to reasonably accommodate the needs of all members desiring to participate.
Elections shall occur [insert time of year]. All positions will be held for a term [specify length of term], by a [2/3, ½, majority, etc…] vote of the membership. [Duties should be listed in the Bylaws.]
Officers must meet minimum eligibility requirements, including a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and six credit hours of current enrollment, and must not be on student conduct disciplinary or honor code probation. The requirement to be enrolled in six credit hours will be waived for Doctoral students who have completed their formal degree course work, have passed their comprehensive or matriculation examination, and are continuously enrolled in at least one hour of research in the Fall and Winter semesters.
(Note: For SGA Executive Officers, SGA Senators, Academic Council and Governing Council Executive Officers, the requirements are, in addition to the minimum requirements above, that they have accumulated 12 hours of credit at UMKC before filing for office. For full details, see the text of the “Student Organization Operational Guide”.)
Advisor. A qualified UMKC faculty or staff member must be selected by the membership as an advisor.
(Note: An alternative to the above statement is explained in the “Guidelines”.)
Finances. [Provisions for dues, fines, initiation fees, etc.] Paying dues is not a mandatory requirement to be considered a member of this organization.
(Note: Organizations are permitted to collect dues for a national chapter, in which case they are exempted from the above statement. For full details, see the text of the “Guidelines” above.)
The books of account shall be kept up-to-date and open to the inspection of the University auditor.
Anti-Hazing. Hazing is strictly prohibited in the State of Missouri and by the University. Hazing is defined as any willful act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, directed against a student or a prospective member of an organization operating under the sanction of an educational institution, that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or prospective member for the purpose of initiation or admission into or continued membership in any such organization.
Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to:
Hazing is a class C Felony.
Amendments. [Specify procedure for amending the constitution.] It is further understood that if this organization desires at any time in the future to change in any way the provisions of this constitution, that before such action is taken, the organization will submit for approval to the Student Government Association and the Student Involvement Office every detail of the desired changes to be made.
Bylaws. [Bylaws should specify more details, such as specific duties of the officers, actual meetings, actual fees, and how the bylaws are enacted.]