Starting a Club

The Office of Student Activities and the Student Organizations Oversight Committee are responsible for supporting students’ extracurricular experiences and stewarding the resources needed to manage a vibrant and sustainable student organization ecosystem. Should you have an idea for a new organization, follow the procedures below.

In your application, please answer the following questions:

  1. What is the mission/purpose of your club?
  2. How will your club be different than existing clubs, and how will it benefit students at Bowdoin? If your club is similar to existing clubs, please discuss your attempts to organize activities within the existing club.
  3. What are your specific plans for events/activities for the coming year?
  4. What funding needs do you anticipate?
  5. How many other students have expressed interest in joining the club? Minimum 10.

Applications will be circulated to campus stakeholders for feedback and approval, including staff and faculty members.

Before proposed groups can be considered for approval from the Student Organizations Oversight Committee (SOOC) they must receive provisional approval from the Office of Student Activities. Approval is contingent on meeting the following conditions:

  1. Receive clearance from the Campus Stakeholder Group.
  2. Admit all students regardless of race, religion, age, ethnic or national origin, gender, physical ability, or sexual orientation.
  3. Abide by the Code of Community Standards.
  4. Demonstrate a mission distinct from all other clubs on campus.
  5. If similar to existing student groups or academic departments, demonstrate collaborative efforts with other groups or departments (for at least three months). Note: Generally, if the mission statement falls within an obvious college department or creates a duplicate event that is already sponsored by a department, the club should work within that department to sponsor these events. To that end:
  1. If your proposed club is only open to students within an academic department; consists of members who share the same major; and/or is clearly a pre-professional/academic group, please explore chartering or sponsoring events through an academic department.
  2. If your proposed club has a mission that is primarily focused on fundraising and/or volunteer/community service, please explore the possibility of organizing through the McKeen Center (reach out to Samantha Cogswell, Associate Director of the McKeen Center).
  1. Provide a leadership structure that will ensure the continuity of the club from year to year.
  2. If applying in the Spring semester, the founders and members of the organization cannot be graduating seniors. 
  3. Seven members in addition to the club leaders need to attend the meeting with Student Activities Staff.
SOOC Chartering
Club Rules & Regulations