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Certification Resources

What's the process of becoming a Student Organization?

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

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.

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.

What's the criteria for becoming a Preliminary Organization?​

All applications must include a written constitution for their proposed organization. It should include the objectives, functions, membership, meetings and quorum, officers and their responsibilities, elections procedure, impeachment and removal of officers, and amendments procedure of the organization. No constitution shall conflict with or supersede the Governing Documents of the Association.

A constitution template can be found here.

An example constitution template can be found here.

Note that any amendments made to the constitution after preliminary certification must be submitted for review and approval by the Organizations Committee.

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 organization. Though your group may not flyer or reserve spaces, there are many spaces on campus to hold informal meetings and you may ask an organization, academic department, or administrative office to collaborate and help you reserve a space.

The demonstrated interest form here.

How will your proposed organization impact and benefit the student body? 

The Organizations 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, we find it important to maintain and build that energy within the Vassar community as well. Ways to show impact include hosting all-campus and group-specific events, meetings, lectures, workshops, and other similar activities.

Your proposed organization must be distinct from existing organizations and you must be able to identify in your application what that distinction is. If it makes more sense to be a part of an existing organization, we will be hesitant to recommend your certification.

Ultimately, the VSA has a limited amount of funds and having similar organizations competing for those funds does not benefit any organization.

We encourage collaboration between other organizations, academic departments, and administrative offices to promote camaraderie and connections across campus. Thus, we ask that groups comment on this in their application to ensure that they consider collaboration as they form their organization.

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 potential event name, description, location, times, and purpose. Spaces get booked quickly, so it’s important to plan events ahead of time so that you can have a successful event!

The programming form can be found here.

Each PreOrg is allocated $150 per semester. We take into consideration your group's need to access these funds and review how your group would utilize those funds to support your expected programming.

There must be a designated primary contact—commonly in the form of a president—and treasurer, even if your group decided to operate in a non-hierarchical manner. If your group has a traditional leadership structure, it would be helpful to think of any additional positions your group needs in its executive board and the responsibilities involved.

We are committed to providing a breadth and continuous amount of student involvement opportunities. Therefore, we are looking for groups that will be able to effectively transition semester to semester and that are committed to continuous programming and member engagement. If you are an upperclassman trying to start an organization, make sure that you have a plan for your proposed organization as you near graduation.

What's the criteria for becoming a Certified Organization?

All applications must provide the organization's constitution. It should include the objectives, functions, membership, meetings and quorum, officers and their responsibilities, elections procedure, impeachment and removal of officers, and amendments procedure of the organization. No constitution shall conflict with or supersede the Governing Documents of the Association.

Note that any amendments made to the constitution after certification must be submitted for review and approval by the Organizations Committee.

You are required to submit a count or estimated count of individuals who have attended all events and programming your organization has hosted or sponsored. 

You'll note the demonstrated interest in the programming form.

How has your proposed organization impacted and benefited the student body? 

The Organizations 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, we find it important to maintain and build that energy within the Vassar community as well. Ways to show impact include hosting all-campus and group-specific events, meetings, lectures, workshops, and other similar activities.

Who has your organization collaborated with, will continue to collaborate with, and plan to also collaborate with?

We encourage collaboration between other organizations, academic departments, and administrative offices to promote camaraderie and connections across campus. Thus, we ask that groups comment on this in their application to ensure that they consider collaboration.

What programming has your organization successfully hosted and sponsored, will continue to host and sponsor, and plan to begin hosting and sponsoring?

The programming form can be found here.

All CertOrgs may request, but are not entitled to, a budget allocation. We take into consideration your group's proposed budget to provide support and guidance to ensure that your organization balances your desires and the limited funds available to the VSA for allocation.

The proposed budget form can be found here. This form is designed to be similar to the Annual Budget Request form you'll submit to the Annual Budgeting Commission to prepare your organization for that process.

We are committed to providing a breadth and continuous amount of student involvement opportunities. Therefore, we want organizations to effectively transition semester to semester and commit to continuous programming and member engagement. If your leadership includes seniors, what steps has your organization taken to ensure a smooth transition and continuous programming and member engagement?

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