Starting a Bates Student Club

Although there are over 100 current student clubs at Bates, there is always room for more and students are encouraged to start a new club in order to pursue a collective interest.

To become formally recognized by the college as a student club, a constitution must be submitted to the Organizational Review Board (ORB) of the Bates College Student Government (BCSG) for ratification. Formal recognition enables a student club to have a business account in the Financial Office, blue-slip college facilities, sponsor all-campus activities, and most importantly, participate in the BCSG Senate’s budget allocations process for funding.

A constitution ensures continuity and provides a framework from which a club can best achieve its stated mission. Each club has its own set of rules for decision-making, allocating money, extending membership privileges, election of and roles for officers, which are outlined in their constitution.

In drafting a constitution, an interest group should pay attention to the following items and include them in the body of the document:

  1. Club name
  2. Stated purpose of club
  3. Terms for attaining membership and keeping membership. Rights and responsibilities of members. Distinctions between decisions to be made by members and decisions to be made by officers. Distinctions, if any, between voting and non-voting members
  4. Officer positions, terms of office, elections times and procedures, and specific roles of each officer
  5. Provisions for amending the constitution (usually 2/3 vote)
  6. Quorum requirements (number of members who have to be present to consider a vote official).

If you have any questions about how to organize a new club at Bates, the drafting process for a new constitution, or the procedure to have a constitution ratified by the ORB, please contact Nick Dressler, the Assistant Director of Campus Life and Paul Jordan, the Chair of the ORB. For more information directly from the ORB, please visit: To access current and past club constitutions, please visit: