Start a Carroll Club

How to Become a Carroll College Club

First of all your idea for a club must meet the following criteria:

  • The clubs purpose reflects the Mission Statement of Carroll College
  • The club enhances, benefits a students experience at Carroll
  • The club is not self serving but instead aims to serve others.
  • Club funds are used to benefit those within but also outside the club itself.
  • You must have at least 10 committed members

Here are the 7 simple steps to become a club at Carroll College:

  1. Write a Constitution for your club (see info. below on how to write a constitution) and gather 10 committed members for this club.
  2. Present your completed Club constitution and your membership list to the ASCC VP, the Director of Student Activities, and the Dean of Students.  They will review your constitution and possibly ask questions about, or suggest changes to your constitution.  This step must be completed before presenting the constitution and membership list to the Senate.
  3. Attend a Senate meeting to present your club constitution and be prepared to answer questions about your club such as the purpose, benefits, goals, how funding will be spent, how it serves others, and how it reflects the Mission Statement of Carroll College.
  4. At the end of the presentation you will be thanked for your presentation and will be asked to leave as the Senate will vote to approve or dismiss your club.
  5. If the Senate approves your club it will be presented to the Dean of Students for final approval.  At this stage the Dean of Students can ask you for further information about the club.
  6. Lastly the Dean of Students approves or dismisses the club.

How to write a Club Constitution

The following content is essentially based on material from the Cornell University Student Activities Office web page ( Thanks to our colleagues for publicly sharing these materials.

The Constitution of an organization contains the fundamental principles which govern its operation.  The Bylaws establish the specific rules of guidance by which the group is to function.  All but the most informal groups should have their basic structure and methods of operation in writing.  To qualify for formal recognition all student clubs and organizations at Carroll College must submit either a Constitution OR a Constitution with separate Bylaws.  If a club or organization opts to submit a Constitution without Bylaws, that single document must address the relevant issues noted below under the discussion of Bylaws.

Why have a Constitution?

By definition an organization is a “body of persons organized for some specific purpose, as a club, union, or society.”  The process of writing a constitution will serve to:

  • Clarify your purpose
  • Delineate your basic structure
  • Provide the cornerstone for building an effective group
  • Allow members and potential members to have a better understanding of what the organization is all about and how it functions. 

If you keep in mind the value of having a written document that clearly describes the basic framework of your organization, the drafting of the Constitution will be much easier and more rewarding experience.

What should be covered by a Constitution?

The following is an outline of the standard information to be included in a Constitution.  The objective is to draft a document that covers these topics in a simple, clear and concise manner. 

Article I – The name of the organization
Article II – Affiliation with other groups (local, state, national, etc.)
Article III – Purpose, aims, functions of the organization
Article IV – Membership requirements and limitations
Article V – Officers (titles, terms of service, how and when elected)
Article VI – Advisor (term of service, how selected)
Article VII – Meetings (frequency, special meetings, and who calls them)
Article VIII – Quorum (number of members required to transact business)
Article IX – Vacancies and Dismissals (procedures and handling)
Article X – Amendments (means of proposal, notice required, voting requirements)
Article XI – Ratification (requirements for adopting this constitution)

Why have Bylaws?

The Constitution covers the fundamental principles but does not prescribe specific procedures for operating your organization.  Bylaws set forth in detail the procedures your group must follow to conduct business in an orderly manner.  They provide further definition to the Articles of the Constitution and can be changed more easily as the needs of the organization change. 

What should be included in the Bylaws?

Bylaws must not contradict provisions in the Constitution.  They generally contain specific information on the following topics:

  1. Membership (selection requirements, resignations, expulsion, rights and duties)
  2. Dues (amount and collection procedures, any special fees, when payable)
  3. Duties of Officers (powers, responsibilities, specific job descriptions, procedures for filling unexpired terms of office, removal from office)
  4. Executive Board (structure, composition, powers)
  5. Committees (standing, special, how formed, chairperson’s roles, meetings, duties, powers)
  6. Order of Business (standard agenda for conducting meetings)
  7. Parliamentary Authority (provisions for rules of order, generally Roberts Rules of Order – Newly Revised)
  8. Amendment Procedures (means of proposals, notice required, voting requirements)
  9. Other specific policies and procedures unique to your organization for its operation

Putting your Constitution to use

Remember the reasons for having a Constitution and Bylaws.  They articulate the purpose of your organization and spell out the procedures to be followed for its orderly function.  Constitutions usually require a 2/3 vote of the membership for adoption.  Bylaws only require a simple majority for passage.  Once you have developed your Constitution and Bylaws review them often.  The needs of your group will change over time and it is important that the Constitution and Bylaws are kept up to date to reflect the current state of affairs.

Make sure every new member of the organization has a copy of the constitution and bylaws.  This will help to unify your members by informing them about the opportunities that exist for participation and the procedures they should follow to be an active, contributing member. A thorough study of the Constitution and Bylaws should be part of officer training and transition.