Interested in starting a new Student Organization at Calvin? The guidelines and procedures on this page will help you get started.


The chartering process is for new student groups wishing to be recognized by the college as an official student organization. Being chartered gives student organizations access to college funding, leadership development and networking opportunities with other student leaders.

Please note: We will only review new charter applications if spots become available.

Steps to start an organization- Fall 2019

Read first: Student Organizations Guidelines and Responsibilities »

  1. Read the student organization guidelines and responsibilities.
  2. Set up a meeting with John Britton (JB), Associate Dean of Campus Involvement and Leadership (see: Contact Us page). Prepare to discuss ideas, mission, and goals.
  3. Plan a pilot meeting for interested students in which you create a membership list. Take attendance at your first meeting; there is a seventeen (17) member minimum for consideration as an official student organization.
  4. Your student organization must have three student leaders and a faculty/staff advisor.
  5. Complete the new charter form. See tips below for how to write your charter.
  6. Complete the student organization leader commitment form (every person on next year's leadership team needs to submit this form).
  7. Have your advisor read the Advisor Handbook and complete the advisor consent form.
  8. Create a justified budget request.
  9. Turn in membership list to the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office and complete the forms above by April 10, 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon).
  10. The charter will go before the Student Life Committee for review and voting. They may require changes in your charter. You must wait for approval by the Student Life Committee before your organization can formally be up for consideration. If approved, then your charter will be brought to the Student Org Council and they will vote if you receive a charter or not.

Tips on how to write your charter

Your charter should include the following information:

  1. Organization's name
  2. Organization's leadership team names and email addresses (minimum of 3 leadership positions)
  3. Organization's faculty/staff advisor name and email address
  4. Mission statement
    • Your mission statement should clearly and concisely describe both WHO you are and WHAT you do. Within this statement, it should be apparent that who you are informs what you do. The mission statement should also reflect the educational mission statement of Calvin College and a Reformed Christian worldview.
  5. Statement of purpose
    • This statement describes WHY you exist as an organization and what you plan to be for Calvin College.
  6. Tentative calendar of meetings and events
  7. Organization's structure
    • Should include: decision-making procedures, defining roles and responsibilities of leadership team, and strategies for maintaining continuity within your organization