University Center Activities & Events (ucae)

Starting a Student Organization

Looking to start a new group at Duke?

Follow these four steps to get started. Be sure to visit SOFC and DSG for more information. Graduate and Professional groups should visit GPSC for more information

1.Review the Duke Student Organization Recognition Sources and Basic Requirements

Basic Requirements

  • SOFC Approval
  • 10 Active Members
  • 1 Duke Faculty/Staff Advisor
  • Written Constitution
  • Current and up to date registration on DukeGroups
  • Completion of the Annual Student Organization Training
  • Compliance with all University policies
  • Open to all Duke undergraduate students
  • Cannot charge dues
  • Needs funding for events and general organizational expenses
  • Can apply to SOFC Programming Fund
  • Can apply to SOFC Annual Budget

Basic Requirements

  • SOFC Approval
  • 10 Active Members
  • 1 Duke Faculty/Staff Advisor
  • Written Constitution
  • Current and up to date registration on DukeGroups
  • Completion of the Annual Student Organization Training
  • Compliance with all University policies
  • May be selective in membership
  • May charge dues
  • Needs funding for events and general organizational expenses
  • Can apply to SOFC Programming Fund

Basic Requirements

  • Duke University Department Approval
  • 1 Duke Faculty/Staff Advisor
  • Written Constitution
  • Current and up to date registration on DukeGroups
  • Completion of the Annual Student Organization Training
  • Compliance with all University policies

Basic Requirements

  • Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Approval
  • 1 Advisor
  • Written Constitution
  • Current and up to date registration on DukeGroups
  • Completion of the Annual Student Organization Training
  • Compliance with all University policies

Basic Requirements

  • Office of Housing and Residence Life Approval
  • 1 Duke Faculty/Staff Advisor
  • Written Constitution
  • Current and up to date registration on DukeGroups
  • Completion of the Annual Student Organization Training
  • Compliance with all University policies

2. Formulate a clear, unique purpose to your group
Be sure to check dukegroups.com to make sure a similar organization does not already exist. It is extremely important to reach out to similar groups and see if your ideas truly overlap, as you will be asked these questions during your SOFC application meeting and are expected to know the answers. Lack of understanding of many similar groups often leads to no recognition until a clear distinction can be made

3. Apply through DukeGroups!
Register a new group through DukeGroups. First sign into dukegroups.com, and then click on the tab that says "Organizations." Once you are there, you can find the tab to register a new group at the bottom left of the page. Please follow all instructions to register the new group. Once you have completed the registration, SOFC will receive an e-mail and will follow up with your group about the approval process.

4. Meet with LAUNCH
SOFC requires that all new groups meet with LAUNCH before coming in for a hearing. They will help you articulate the vision for your group and direct you on first steps to take. You will not be granted a hearing time slot without having met with LAUNCH first. 

The Student Organization Finance Committee (SOFC) is the primary group on campus responsible for the recognition and funding of undergraduate student groups.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council is the primary group on campus responsible for the recognition of graduate and professional student groups.