Student Clubs

Student Clubs

New Student Clubs & Organizations

Standards for recognition of clubs/organizations
Privileges of official club/organization recognition
Responsibilities of officially recognized clubs/organizations
Guidelines for club/organizations constitutions
Guidelines for constitutional by-laws

Standards for recognition of clubs/organizations:

  • A list of the names of no fewer than fifteen prospective members.
  • The name of at least one faculty or staff member willing to serve in the capacity of organization advisor.  Additionally, in the case of a club sport, the name of a qualified coach acceptable to the College.
  • A proposed constitution, written according to the Guidelines for Student Organization Constitutions at Canisius College.
  • A statement by the prospective club sport has satisfied and is in compliance with requirements for health information, athletic training support, facilities scheduling and use, college liabilities, funding, equipment needs, etc.  See the policy section on Club Sports and Rigorous or Physically Demanding Activities for more information and direction.

    Upon receipt of the petition, the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development will review compliance with the above requirements.  The following actions will then be taken:
    • If more information or clarification is deemed necessary the petition will be returned to the submitting group.
    • If the petition is satisfactory, the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development will submit it to the Executive Board of the Undergraduate Student Association, who will include the petition on the agenda of a future Senate meeting.
      • A representative of the petitioning group should be prepared to attend that Senate meeting in order to defend the petition, and to answer any questions that the Senate may have.
        • The Senate will either grant or withhold official recognition to the petitioning group.
        • Grants of official recognition by the Senate are subject to review and confirmation by the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development and final approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Official recognition by the college provides an organization with the following privileges:

  1. The use of the name of the college in conjunction with the name of the organization.
  2. The right to seek funding* and sponsor programming events in accordance with college policies and procedures.
  3. The right to schedule college facilities for organizational meetings and activities.
  4. The use of college duplicating equipment.
  5. The use of college bulletin boards and other areas approved for posting.
  6. The right to have meetings and events posted in the college's calendars.
  7. The right to participate in the annual Student Activities/Student Services Fair sponsored by the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development.
  8. The exclusive use of a mailbox in the office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development.
  9. The right to petition for office space on campus*
  10. Use of the services, counsel, and publications of the college.

Officially recognized organizations have the following responsibilities:

  1. To observe the Canisius College Community Standards and all other applicable policies and procedures of Canisius College as stated in the Student Organization Handbook, and supplemented elsewhere, that govern activities of organizations. Please note that violations of the Community Standards could result in the loss of College recognition.
  2. To provide the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development and the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) with an annual year end budget request and the other information throughout the year which includes:
    • Organizational goals, objectives, and proposed activities for the coming year as appropriate.
    • The names of the most recently elected (or appointed) officers and a complete list of members in the organization including each member's full name, College ID number, and telephone number.

Failure to fulfill these responsibilities may result in the loss of official recognition or in other sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development and/or the USA. 

General Guidelines for Student Organization Constitutions

The constitution of an officially recognized organization at Canisius College should contain the following:


States the purpose and aims of the group.

Article I:

States the name of the organization.

Article II:

Section I: States to whom membership is open.
Section II: States requirements for active membership.

Article III:

Lists the various organizational officers, defines eligibility for each office and gives their term in office.

Article IV:

Executive Committees (if appropriate)
States the make-up of the executive committee (board or council), the method of their selection, and their term of office. Provision for vacancies of officers or other executive members may be included in a section under this article.

Article V:

States regular meeting times and provisions for calling special meetings. If meetings cannot be held regularly, authority to call meetings may be stated here.

Article VI:

Requires previous notification, also a two-thirds or three-fourths affirmative vote of those present and voting for adoption, as well as majority approval of the USA.

Article VII:

All organizations require constitutional ratification by the USA Senate.  Provisions for ratification by organizational members may be included here if necessary.



A list of by-laws is not required by an organization in order to obtain official recognition; however, by-laws are recommended in order to ensure the effective functioning of an organization. By-laws deal with the following topics:

  1. Detailed material concerning members, that is, rights, duties, resignation and expulsion procedures.
  2. Provision for initiation fees, dues, and assessments, and procedures regarding delinquencies.
  3. Date and method of selecting officers and duties of officers.
  4. Duties, responsibilities and authority of an executive committee.
  5. The names of standing committees and the method of choosing chairmen and committee members. Duties of the committees should also be stated.
  6. A provision for some accepted rules of order of parliamentary procedure.
  7. The number of members constituting a quorum.
  8. Provision for honorary membership or honorary officers.
  9. A method to amend the by-laws (usually a majority vote.) Amending the constitution should not be too simple a process, in order to maintain the stability of the group; it should be, however, easier to amend the by-laws. The constitution should always carry the date of its last revision. It is a good idea to insert in parentheses after an amendment the date of its adoption.

*Official recognition does not guarantee an organization either financial support from the Undergraduate Student Association (USA), or office space on campus, although it does enable the recognized group to petition both. Organizational funding is approved by the USA based upon the recommendation of the USA Finance committee. Office space is provided upon the joint recommendation of the Assistant Director of Events Management, the appropriate Senate committee, and the USA Advisor, who base their recommendation upon the assessed needs of all recognized student organizations, and upon the availability of space.