Starting a New Organization

Before You Start

Currently, there are 300+ student organizations at Tufts University, representing both undergraduate and graduate students.  While the Office for Campus Life, TCU Senate, and the Graduate Student Council fully support students’ extracurricular experiences, they also have a responsibility to the University regarding the resources needed to manage such a large number of organizations. Should you have an idea for a new organization, please follow the procedures below.

Note: Not all new student organizations will be approved, based on several factors, including but not limited to the number of similar organizations, the interest and sustainability, and the use of campus resources. The New Student Organization process is a Fall semester process only. Applications are available for a limited time each fall semester.

Questions to consider

1. Does your organization overlap with any existing organizations and what makes it different from similar organizations?
2. Has your organization met the TCUJ (Judiciary) guidelines for recognition?
3. Is your organization sustainable?  Do you have members and interest to keep the organization going from year to year.
4. Why does Tufts need this organization you are proposing?
5. What resources will your organization require and can the TCU Senate/University support your needs?

NOTE Certain types of organizations may require further vetting and approvals from other departments or administrators as well as additional recognition processes. This includes but not limited to Club Sports, Religious Organizations, Dance Groups, and chapters of National Organizations. (See below for more details on these types of organizations.) Graduate Students looking for information on forming a new Graduate School student organization should contact the Graduate Student Council.

Club Sports:
Club Sports are a subset of recognized student organizations that regularly compete in sports activities against other colleges and universities within a national governing body. Our Club Sports program offers an assortment of team and individual sports. If you don’t see a sport you are interested in and want to create a new club sport, please visit our website to learn more about how to create a new club sport here at Tufts.

Religious Organizations:
The University Chaplaincy is committed to protecting and supporting religious and philosophical diversity at Tufts University. We value and respect the distinctiveness of our many traditions, and center student leadership and vision in our University Chaplaincy-recognized student organizations. We do not coerce or proselytize, but rather seek to learn from one another within and beyond our specific communities.  We value interdependence, hospitality, and open communities. We seek to cultivate wisdom and compassion, practice generosity and care, and strive for transformation and growth. Prior to starting the New Student Organization Process, new Religious and Philosophical Student Organizations (RPSOs) must receive the University Chaplaincy’s approval to proceed.  If you are interested in starting a new religious or philosophical organization at Tufts, first contact University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger for a discussion about the Chaplaincy's process and policy

Starting a New Student Organization

Step 1: Office for Campus Life/Director of the Office for Campus Life

  1. Complete the New Student Organization Application Form on JumboLife (available 8/12/24). The Fall '23 process has ended.
  2. Attend a New Organization Information Meeting held in the fall semester. This meeting will be held in early October '24 (TBD). Applicants will be contacted regarding their attendance at this meeting. This meeting is the start of the process. For organizations that are qualified the process for full recognition will take place throughout the fall semester. Final recognition for approved organizations is granted at the end of the semester. The New Organization meeting is the first step and will explain the process.
  3. Director of the Office for Campus Life will either ask you for further information to pursue your organization status or grant you temporary recognition. Temporary recognition states that you are in the process of seeking approval for a new organization and allows you to reserve a meeting room through Tufts Space & Resource Reservation System for the purpose of gathering members, preparing a constitution, and gathering ideas for events/programs.
  4. For organizations just starting the process and have not yet met recognition requirements, you may still submit an application. A meeting with these groups will be more informational on steps to take throughout the next year to eventually become a recognized organization.

Step 2: Recognition and the TCUJ, Tufts Community Union-Judiciary*

The next step is to meet with the Tufts Community Union-Judiciary The Tufts Community Union-Judiciary (TCUJ) is the branch of the TCU student government responsible for the rulings of constitutionality on the actions of the TCU-Senate and other student organizations. The TCUJ is also responsible for officially recognizing all Tufts undergraduate student organizations. See their website for more information on the Recognition process. The TCUJ New Organization Chair will be in contact with you following the New Organization Information Meeting to set up the next meeting with the TCUJ.

*Note: The TCUJ has several requirements for student organizations to seek full recognition. Often it may take up to one full year to seek full recognition. Please review the TCUJ By-Laws for detailed information on student organization recognition requirement.

Step 3: Recognition Notification

Your group will be notified by the TCUJ regarding your recognition status.

Step 4: Registering Your New Organization

The Office for Campus Life is required by the University to register all TCU recognized organizations. The act of registration implies that a student organization obligates itself to abide by all the rules and regulations of the University pertaining to student organizations. These rules and regulations are specified throughout this website.

In addition, the Office for Campus Life maintains a list of student leaders in order to extend invitations to participate in leadership programs and to connect students to a group they may be interested in joining.

Registration is required to gain access to the privileges of recognition. These privileges include:

  • Scheduling and use of University facilities
  • Option to apply to the TCU for funding
  • Recruiting members at the Student Activities Fair

Note: TCUJ recognized organizations that fail to register with the Office for Campus Life may lose the privileges above.

Registration does not imply or indicate Tufts University sponsorship or approval of the activities of the organization and does not serve as a substitute for recognition by the TCUJ.

All recognized organizations must re-register each semester with the Office for Campus Life.

Should your organization not be officially recognized, you may stay in temporary status should you wish to remain active to seek official recognition the following fall.  The Office for Campus Life will contact all organizations in the temporary status phase that did not receive official recognition from the TCUJ to see if they wish to remain active until the following fall.