To do most things on campus, you need to be registered as a student group. You just need three students to do this. Pick up the application forms from Campus & Community Involvement (SSB 4.104), and follow these simple steps:
Complete an application for registration and pay a $10.00 registration fee
Sign a membership, solicitation and hazing statement
Complete an authorized officers form. These are the only people who can sign off on a lot of UT paperwork, and they are usually the ones called by curious students or the media. If you know a sympathetic professor, make him/her your faculty advisor (for bureaucratic help, and continuity between semesters).
Participate in an orientation session
Other rules and regulations regarding campus organizations are outlined in the Student Group Handbook, which you can get in the CCI office.
Introduce yourself to Cheryl Wood. To reserve rally space, you must go through her.
Set up a bank account in the Student Organization Bank (next to CCI). You need to complete a Bank Account Authorization Form, in which you pick who will have access to the account. Thereís no reason to have more than two people for this. The purpose of a UT bank account is to make transitions between semesters easier on the group. For more info. on student group banking, go to http://www.utexas.edu/depts/dos/cci/handbook.html.
Set up a mailbox on campus. This can also be done in the CCI office. Route all mail through this address instead of through someoneís apartment.
Get some webspace. UT has space available for student groups, but it is overpriced. Try Doteasy.com. They have space for 5 years for $90. They give you unlimited email addresses and plenty of space so youíll have room for photos. This fee also includes domain name registration.
When you register your group, you will be asked to submit a mission statement. This part is very important because it will be posted on the UT Student Group webpage and it is how a lot of students get information about your organization. Make it concise and direct. Make sure it encompasses the general goals of your group without being too vague.
To spread the word about your group:
Set a regular meeting time and space (see Section III).
Make fliers and post them around campus (see Section VIII). Make sure the name of your group, contact info., and meeting time and place are clearly visible.
Advertise in The Daily Texan. Announcing meetings and events can be done for free if you are registered student group.
Make announcements in classes. Itís more effective to make an announcement at the beginning since everyone is ready to leave at the end. You could also pass fliers around or write your information on the chalkboard.
Start an email list and post notices of meetings and events. A free service for this is Topica.com.
Tabling is a great way to get your message out. Itís also an effective way to get people on your mailing list and raise money (see Section VII).
Expect to be the forerunner of the group and to do most of the work, even if you have hundreds of people on your membership list. But always be on the lookout for people with initiative to help share the responsibilities. Most groups are held together by a few strong people, with other volunteers working only when convenient.
Accept that people will have different levels of involvement. Youíll probably have a core group of active members who regularly attend meetings, as well as people who wonít attend meetings but will help with specific projects if asked.
Be grateful for every contribution, no matter how small, and never publicly criticize or embarrass anyone. Peopleís activism thrives on encouragement and recognition rather than criticism.
Avoid criticizing others behind their backs, even if youíre speaking confidentially. If you need to criticize, criticize the act instead of the individual.
Learn membersí talents and interests and delegate accordingly. Find out what people are good at: who is good at designing posters, who has access to making copies, who has public speaking skills, etc.
Donít insist that people adhere strictly to your beliefs and lifestyle before they join; as they learn, they will probably change. Just set a good example, provide them plenty of information, and let them move at their own pace.
Be open to new ideas and encourage people to express themselves.
Insist on accountability. Let members know that they are accountable to you and to the entire organization.
Know your membersí weaknesses, fears, and levels of maturity. Encourage them to push their comfort zones.
Provide adequate information and resources. This is especially important when a member is taking on a particular task for the first time.
Tolerate mistakes. Your members need to know that you trust them and that if they make mistakes, you will be helpful and encouraging to ensure they will make fewer mistakes.
Communicate expectations and deadlines clearly.