Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a new org?

Creating a new Recognized Student Organization is not difficult, but it does take time and energy. There are many great ideas for new student organizations, and the Office of Student Programs is here to help you make the ideas reality. Visit the Starting an Organization page for more information.

Can I create a chapter org?

Orgs that are affiliated or chapters of large national organizations require a greater amount of set-up and coordination than most orgs do. Please contact us if you are interested in talking about how to set up this kind of org. 

Expectations and policies my org must follow?

The College Honor Code applies to all recognized student organizations, student leaders, and student member. A full description of the MHC Honor Code can be found in the Student Handbook. RSO student leaders should also be familiar with the college Standards of Social Conduct, including the MHC Anti-Hazing and Risk Management Policy. Please refer to the Student Organization Handbook for all the policies your organization must follow. 

Does my org need a Mission Statement/Constitution?

Student Organizations are required to have a clear and accurate mission statement. A constitution is highly encouraged and helps clarify the group's structure, procedures, and codes of conduct. For helpful tips on how to write a mission statement or Org constitution student may contact Student Programs.

Does my org need an advisor?

Student Programs strongly recommends that all organizations solicit a faculty or staff advisor, advisors are often required for new student organizations. Organizations who have advisors receive more support for their initiatives, and maintain their organization better year-to-year thanks to the continuity of an advisor. Advisors DO NOT make decisions for groups or in any way affect the autonomy of the group. Advisors DO offer advice based on their experiences with the topic at hand and with group dynamics.  Advisors DO offer networking opportunities and on-campus or off-campus resources. Advisors DO offer conflict resolution when necessary.  Advisors DO maintain a living history for the group and assist with healthy transitions year to year. Organizations whose mission or initiatives include activities with significant risk or complexity will be required to have an advisor with the requisite skills and experience to guide the organization. Many campus surveys have reported that among the top ranking positive experiences for students at MHC are the opportunities to enjoy mentoring relationships with staff and faculty. If your organization is one of the few that does not already have an advisor, consider recruiting one. Contact Student Programs if you need assistance in identifying potential advisor candidates. Advisor contact information should be noted on your Registration Form, or given to Student Programs when confirmed. 

How can my org remain a Recognized Student Org?

In order to keep your organizations information accurate and up to date, Student Programs requires your registration annually and requests that you submit any changes to your registration as they occur.

Can my org participate in the Involvement Fair?

All registered Recognized Student Organizations are encouraged to participate in the annual fall and spring Involvement Fairs at the beginning of each semester. Completion of the annual Registration Form during the previous spring secures you a table at the Involvement Fairs.  New Organizations may be included to join if they have completed all of their registration paperwork and sufficiently created a foundation of leadership within their organization. Such determinations will be made in conjunction with the Office of Student Programs.

How should we elect new officers?

This process should be outlined in your Orgs constitution. If the process is not outline in your Constitution, please contact the Student Programs for help in deciding the different methods and assistance for adding it to your constitution. 

Everyone in my org is graduating. What do we do?

Student Programs encourages organization members to plan for the future and are expected to extend their membership to all of their peers. Contacting the Office of Student Programs in advance could help brainstorm ideas for new membership. Elections for new officers should take place in the spring semester. An organization goes defunct after two consecutive years of not registering.

Where does my org get mail?

Student orgs will no longer have individual mailboxes, so mail will come directly to the Student Programs office. Package deliveries for student orgs are sent to the Business Office. Your org officers will be emailed when there is mail or a package to pick up. 

How do we reserve a table or bulletin board?

Student Organization Information Tables and Bulletin Boards add vibrancy to the Community Center and cultivate the sharing of information and the building of awareness within the community. Recognized student organizations may reserve Information Tables in a designated area in the vestibule lobby outside the Dining Commons. Space is limited. Reservations must be made through the online Campus Space Request Form

Can my org have an office space in Blanchard?

A few Recognized Student Organizations have offices on the third floor Blanchard Campus Center. These spaces are utilized and overseen by the Office of Student Programs. Space is granted based on student leadership and proven need in collaboration with the Office of Student Programs. Space is not guaranteed for any student organization.

Can my org use the MHC Fleet Vehicles? How?

Recognized Student Organizations are welcome to reserve and use College Fleet Vehicles. Note that student and their organizations will be held responsible for at-fault accidents, and use of the Fleet Vehicles requires that you attend a training with the Fleet Office and submit a US driving history record. International driving records are not accepted. A Fleet Authorization form is required of all orgs wishing to use the College Fleet vehicles, and can be obtained/processed once your Org is Recognized. You can also read more in the Student Organization Handbook.

How can my org create an email/ listserve account?

Create an organization e-mail list if your organization has more than 15 members and you would like to create an organization e-mail list. Email LITS to request a list. You should include the following information:
The username of the list's owner
A suggested name for the list
Purpose for use of the list

How can my org create a website?

Organization web space is available to registered MHC student organizations (RSOs). It is strongly suggested that all organizations create a web page as it informs the MHC community of your existence, publicizes your purpose, recruit members, attracts prospective students, and serves as archival information for the College and organization. Organizations are strongly encouraged to use the MHC website space that is offered free of charge. Maintaining your site on our server assures continuity from year to year, a strong connection to Mount Holyoke services, and archival potential for your orgs content and photos. You can link to pages and sites outside the college domain, but only the pages you build on our server will be archived. An organization interested in creating a Web site for the first time, or updating their web-maintainer information must contact the Office of Student Programs with the name(s) and email address(es) of those wishing to have web permissions. Those Orgs with websites will have their pages linked from the student organizations directory. Do your best to keep at least your homepage current, even if that means keeping the content simple. 

How can my org apply for SGA funding?

Every MHC student pays a Student Activities fee, which your Student Government Association (SGA) receives from Mount Holyoke College to pay for events and services and to fund organizations. All recognized student organizations (RSO’s) may apply to SGA for funding, either for standard operating costs, special events, or specific needs such as conferences, equipment, etc. Funding requests may be made on a monthly basis. Consult the SGA's Funding Resources page for more information. 

Does my org have to have an SGA Audit?

Yes. The Ways and Means Committee of the SGA audits all organizations receiving SGA funding to encourage responsible spending and to track funding use. Contact your SGA Treasurer or SGA Ways & Means Representative for full, updated details on audits. 

My org needs to raise money. How can we fundraise?

There is no longer a fundraising requirement for Recognized Student Organizations. Orgs may still fundraise, but are cautioned to fundraise for their group with care. MHC policy does not allow organizations to solicit funding from outside organizations, including local or corporate sponsors without direct consultation with the Office of Student Programs. While donations may be accepted and deposited into an Org SGA Account, Organizations represent the Mount Holyoke Community and College and are therefore restricted from competing for outside funding. For hints and tips on fundraising ideas please connect with the office directly.

Can my org accept donations?

Yes. Unsolicited donations are welcomed and may be deposited along with other org funds into the SGA Business Office.