A C o m p r e h e n s i v e M a n u a l
Find A Place To Meet.
Decide on a
Create a Constitution or Charter.
place to meet. Check with your campus
Constitution or Charter contains your by
to see if they have rooms that you can
laws, or procedures for operating. It is
use. Sometimes you must be a Regis
the basic framework of your group s
tered Student (or Campus) Organization
structure. It includes the group s name,
to use these rooms. Find out what it takes
purpose, leadership structure, voting pro
to become one. If meeting on campus
cedure, membership requirements, and
isn t feasible then check with local
anything else that your group feels is per
churches and synagogues. You may want
tinent to its successful functioning. Your
to consider meeting in someone s home,
school may require that certain things be
such as a supportive faculty member.
contained in the constitution. Make sure
Think about issues of accessibility, both
that you check with an advisor if you
to people with disabilities and also those
want to qualify as a Registered Student
on a bus line or a short distance from a
central campus location. Choose one
meeting site and stick with it.
Remember that your Constitution or
Charter is not a static thing. It can be
Decide On A Meeting Time.
changed. It will need to be changed, and
a time to meet for the upcoming weeks
it should develop and grow as your group
and then stick to that time. It will be
develops and grows.
helpful for people to know exactly when
and where they need to be each week.
Establish Basic Guidelines.
It will help
Word of your group will spread and the
create trust and safety if your group
easier it is for folks to find you, the more
norms are clear. Decide how you want to
likely that they ll get involved.
operate together, and what you can
expect from each other. Talk about con
Find an Advisor.
fidentiality. This is a big issue to consid
require student groups to have advisors,
er. This issue is especially sensitive for
but even if there is no requirement, it may
lgbt people who are in different places
be helpful in the long run to have a facul
with respect to their coming out process.
ty or staff person be affiliated with your
Some people aren t out on campus, and
group. Make sure that you pick someone
don t want to be out, while others may not
who is comfortable with lgbt issues.
care. It is important to not make assump
tions and accidentally come out for some
Consider Establishing Dues.
one. When this happens the sense of trust
groups decide to raise money by estab
and safety is decreased for everyone in
lishing dues. Something to consider is
the group. Therefore, limit the number of
whether you want to have members who
people who handle your membership list,
can t afford the dues participate. Will
don t put anything identifiably queer on
their status be the same or different?
the outside of mailings, don t give/lend
Some groups do not choose to have dues
your membership list to any other group
and instead throw a fund raiser. What
or leave it lying around the office. You
ever you decide, raising money and how
may want to establish other basic guide
your group will do it, is something you
lines for how you will deal with conflict
or gossip, etc. Whatever agreements you
D e f i n i n g Y o u r G r o u p
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