Certification Resources

Certification Process

Check that you meet all the Preliminary Organization criteria before applying for recognition.

See below.

Apply to be a Preliminary Organization!

The application is made available at the beginning of each Fall semester.

Attend your interview with the Organizations Committee!

The Chair of Organizations will schedule this interview.

Senate grants you Preliminary Organization status.

Senate recognizes the recommendations of the Organizations Committee and provides the Preliminary certification status.

Stay active for at least one semester!

You must produce regular programming and meet all the relevant criteria. See below.

Apply to be a Certified Organization!

This application is sent out to all eligible organizations by the Chair of Organizations at the beginning of every Spring semester.

Senate grants you Certified Organization status.

Senate recognizes the recommendations of the Organizations Committee and provides the Certified certification status.

Preliminary Organization Criteria

You must have a written constitution for your proposed pre-org. It should include your group’s official name, mission statement, leadership structure and its requirements and responsibilities, meeting structures, member eligibility, elections process, impeachment and removal of office processes, constitutional amendments, and anything else that you believe is necessary for your group. A model constitution and examples of org constitutions are provided in the Pre-Org Resources folder.

You are required to submit a list of signatures of people who have indicated interest in your group. There is no minimum number of signatures to have, as every group’s level of interest will differ. You are recommended to also have an informal interest meeting to help acquire signatures and gauge the number of students interested in your proposed pre-org. Though you may not flyer or reserve spaces in EMS, there are many spaces on campus to hold informal meetings and you may ask VSA pre-orgs and/or full orgs, academic departments, administrative offices to collaborate and help you reserve a space. A Signatures page is available in the Pre-Org Resources folder, though you may use any sheet of paper.

How will your proposed pre-org impact and benefit the student body? The Orgs Committee is looking for groups whose missions are to benefit the student body and contribute to campus life. While we appreciate the energy Vassar students give to off-campus activities, it’s important to maintain and build that energy among the Vassar community as well. Ways to show impact include having events, meetings, lectures, workshops, etc.

Your proposed pre-org must be different and unique from existing orgs and pre-orgs and you must be able to identify in your application what that difference is. If it makes more sense to be a part of an existing organization, we will be hesitant to approve your application. Ultimately, the VSA has a limited amount of funds and having similar orgs competing for those funds does not benefit any of the orgs.

We encourage collaboration between other pre-orgs and full orgs, academic departments, and administrative offices to promote camaraderie and connections across campus. It would be helpful for your group to start thinking of how you would collaborate with others.

Your group should start thinking of potential events and programming to have that support your group’s mission. Specific things to think about include the event name, description, location, times, and purpose of the event. Spaces get booked quickly, so it’s important to plan events ahead of time so that you can have a successful event.

VSA Pre-Orgs are able to receive $150/semester. Think of how your group would utilize those funds, if necessary.

There must be a designated primary contact for both president and treasurer, even if your group has a non-hierarchical leadership structure. If your group has a traditional leadership structure, it would be helpful to think of the positions your group needs in its executive board and the responsibilities involved.

We are looking for groups that would be able to effectively transition from semester to semester and year to year. If you are an upperclassman trying to start a pre-org, make sure that you have a plan for your proposed pre-org as you near graduation.

After your pre-org application has been submitted, the Orgs Committee will invite your group to come in to speak to us about your application and answer any questions we may have. The whole group does not need to come; we recommend sending 1-3 people who are knowledgeable about the proposed pre-org. Interviews will happen within 1-2 weeks of submission and decisions will be made within 1 week after the interview.

Certified Organization Criteria

You must have a written constitution for your proposed pre-org. It should include your group’s official name, mission statement, leadership structure and its requirements and responsibilities, meeting structures, member eligibility, elections process, impeachment and removal of office processes, constitutional amendments, and anything else that you believe is necessary for your group. A model constitution and examples of org constitutions are provided in the Pre-Org Resources folder.

You are required to submit a list of signatures of people who have indicated interest in your group. There is no minimum number of signatures to have, as every group’s level of interest will differ. You are recommended to also have an informal interest meeting to help acquire signatures and gauge the number of students interested in your proposed pre-org. Though you may not flyer or reserve spaces in EMS, there are many spaces on campus to hold informal meetings and you may ask VSA pre-orgs and/or full orgs, academic departments, administrative offices to collaborate and help you reserve a space. A Signatures page is available in the Pre-Org Resources folder, though you may use any sheet of paper.

How will your proposed pre-org impact and benefit the student body? The Orgs Committee is looking for groups whose missions are to benefit the student body and contribute to campus life. While we appreciate the energy Vassar students give to off-campus activities, it’s important to maintain and build that energy among the Vassar community as well. Ways to show impact include having events, meetings, lectures, workshops, etc.

Your proposed pre-org must be different and unique from existing orgs and pre-orgs and you must be able to identify in your application what that difference is. If it makes more sense to be a part of an existing organization, we will be hesitant to approve your application. Ultimately, the VSA has a limited amount of funds and having similar orgs competing for those funds does not benefit any of the orgs.

We encourage collaboration between other pre-orgs and full orgs, academic departments, and administrative offices to promote camaraderie and connections across campus. It would be helpful for your group to start thinking of how you would collaborate with others.

Your group should start thinking of potential events and programming to have that support your group’s mission. Specific things to think about include the event name, description, location, times, and purpose of the event. Spaces get booked quickly, so it’s important to plan events ahead of time so that you can have a successful event.

VSA Pre-Orgs are able to receive $150/semester. Think of how your group would utilize those funds, if necessary.

There must be a designated primary contact for both president and treasurer, even if your group has a non-hierarchical leadership structure. If your group has a traditional leadership structure, it would be helpful to think of the positions your group needs in its executive board and the responsibilities involved.

We are looking for groups that would be able to effectively transition from semester to semester and year to year. If you are an upperclassman trying to start a pre-org, make sure that you have a plan for your proposed pre-org as you near graduation.

After your pre-org application has been submitted, the Orgs Committee will invite your group to come in to speak to us about your application and answer any questions we may have. The whole group does not need to come; we recommend sending 1-3 people who are knowledgeable about the proposed pre-org. Interviews will happen within 1-2 weeks of submission and decisions will be made within 1 week after the interview.