Starting an OSL Organization at UCSB
(Society for Accessible and Safe Spaces)
1. Step One: Conducting Research
- When you are looking to register a new student organization through the Office of Student Life (OSL), it is important to first do your research. Questions you might want to ask include, but are not limited to:
- Has this organization existed before on campus? If yes, was it ever a registered/active OSL organization?
- Are there any other organizations on campus that serve a similar purpose as the one you’re attempting to begin?
- In my particular situation, Society for Accessible and Safe Spaces (SASS) was previously an organization on campus. Therefore, I went to the OSL Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Student Resource Building to find out whether or not it had ever been registered as an active OSL organization.
- My next step in the research process was to get in contact with people who had previously been active members in the group, which included Shae Miller, Abrahan Monzon, and Charlie O’Hara.
- To further my research, I also did reading on the history of PISSAR, which each member had mentioned as a crucial piece to the founding of SASS.
- Step Two: Creating an account on OrgSync
- OrgSync is a website that is used by UCSB’s campus as a database for everything that is org-related. The website is: http://www.orgsync.com/
- Creating an account for this website is free and does not require that you be affiliated with any organizations prior to signing up. Once your account is created, you will receive organization updates regularly to your e-mail, and you will also have access to information from every single organization that is registered through OSL on UCSB’s campus.
- Step Three: Drafting the Mission Statement
- The organization that you are starting will need a mission statement, which should be a brief statement (1-3 sentences) about the purpose of your organization. Keep in mind that this purpose may shift as you continue to develop the organization, nothing is set in stone, but having a general direction will help you when you are attempting to generate interest in your organization.
- Here is an example of the mission statement for SASS:
- “This is a student organization modeled after the coalitional work done by the trans*/gender non-conforming students and students with disabilities that created PISSAR. The goal of this group is to help create a more safe and accessible campus for trans* students and students with disabilities, as well as many other students.”
- Step Four: Outreach (Generating Interest in your Org)
- Facebook: Use your mission statement to do outreach on Facebook. Create a generic message stating what your group is about and then post it in every UCSB group page that you are a member of. Leave contact information, so that those who are interested in getting involved can contact you.
- Creating flyers: I personally used In-Design to create my flyers, but any program or even hand-made flyers will work. Consider using a portion of your mission statement on the flyer, so people have a general idea about your organization and its purpose. Again, put contact information on the flyer. Distribute the flyers by hand, and leave them at different places on campus (i.e. Residence Halls, offices in the SRB, etc).
- Create a document where you can save all the information of those who contact you. Collecting people’s e-mails is beneficial because you can create a listserv where you will send out updates about upcoming events and meetings.
- Once you start generating interest in your organization, this is how you will find your officers.
- Step Five: Create an E-mail Account for your Organization
- This step builds upon the last one. Using g-mail to create a generic e-mail account for your organization will be helpful for your listserv. Also, it will prevent the complexities of having all the information tied to someone’s personal account.
- Step Six: Creating the Constitution
- Every organization that is registered through OSL is required to have a constitution. The paperwork for this constitution can be found at: http://orgs.sa.ucsb.edu
- While creating your constitution you will need to think about officer positions (whether you want it to be a board or set positions), elections (how officers will be nominated & elected), and meetings (how they will be held and who counts as general voting members).
- Step Seven: Tabling Materials
- Using the basic information from your mission statement, as well as your constitution, you should create materials that will help you table for your organization at different events on campus that will allow it. Tabling materials will include some type of poster with your organization’s information on it, flyers/handouts that contain contact information, and anything else you might be able to think of to draw people’s attention.
- Once you have created your tabling materials, begin to table at every event possible where you think there might be potential interest. Be sure to bring your listserv sign up sheet, so you can continue to generate interest and recruit active members.
- Step Eight: Electing Officers & an Advisor
- Through the interest you generated in your outreach, you will elect three officers (at minimum) for your organization.
- You will also need to appoint an advisor, who must be someone that is employed by the University. This will include faculty, staff, graduate students, etc. When choosing an advisor you want to consider how involved you anticipate them being and discuss those expectations beforehand.
- Step Nine: Registering Your Organization
- When you’re ready to submit your application to register your OSL org, you will do so through your OrgSync account. The application will require that you fill out all the necessary information, as well as upload a PDF copy of your constitution.
- If you have any questions about this process, you can e-mail: email@example.com
- Step Ten: Participating in the Required Workshops
- After submitting your application, you will be required to attend the required workshops at the beginning of the academic year. (*This portion is to be continued because I will attend these workshops in the upcoming Fall)