New Organization Approval and Onboarding Process

Approval and Onboarding Overview

Organizations registering for the first time must submit an Intent to Register Application to the YCDO by the semester registration deadline. All Intent to Register applications will be reviewed by the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC), a sub-committee of the Committee on Undergraduate Organizations. More information on the Student Organization Review Committee can be found in the following section. At least one officer must attend New Organization Training to begin the onboarding process. Once approved, new organizations will spend the semester onboarding. The onboarding semester serves to help the new group’s student leaders establish a strong foundation for their organization’s success at Yale.

As a requirement of their onboarding, new organizations confer with their Student Organizations Consultant (SOC) at least three times during that semester. The SOCs help support groups as they meet a series of benchmarks set by the YCDO.

During their onboarding semester, organizations continue to have access to most of the privileges of registration. Privileges granted to organizations only after the successful completion of their onboarding year include:

  • Ability to accept gifts from alumni and other donors for the current use of the undergraduate organization, when the solicitation for that donation was approved in the manner described in Section H of the Undergraduate Regulations
  • Ability to track alumni in partnership with the Yale Alumni Association
  • Full access to requesting funding from various campus funding sources, including the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee and special funding sources such as the Dean’s Discretionary Fund and Traphagen Alumni Speaker Series Fund

Note: Organizations seeking membership at Dwight Hall are excused from this process and will instead become provisional Dwight Hall member groups for two semesters. However, if a group begins the Dwight Hall new member process but is not approved as a Dwight Hall member group, the group will still need to complete a semester of YCDO onboarding. 

Student Organization Review Committee

At the beginning and end of an organization’s onboarding semester, new organizations will be evaluated by the Student Organization Review Committee (SORC) . The SORC also includes a Student Organizations Consultant (SOC) subcommittee. The SORC will meet in January and May . During an organization’s first semester of existence, the Committee decides whether or not the group is eligible for registration with the YCDO. At the end of the onboarding semester, the Committee decides whether 1) the organization may become a fully registered organization OR 2) the organization must complete one additional semester of onboarding OR 3) the organization must be reviewed by the larger SORC.


The SOC subcommittee meets to review Intent to Register applications. The SOC subcommittee evaluates Intent to Register applications based on:

  • Whether or not the organization meets the minimum requirements for registration,
  • the thoughtfulness of the proposed organization’s mission,
  • what specifically the proposed organization hopes to accomplish on campus,
  • the proposed activities of the organization,
  • and how the proposed organization is different from existing organizations.

The SOC subcommittee will decide whether 1) the organization meets the criteria for becoming a new organization and will be permitted to register their organization with the YCDO and begin the onboarding process OR 2) whether the organization must be reviewed by the larger SORC. The SOC subcommittee is comprised of SOCs and Undergraduate Funding Committee (UOFC) members.

The larger SORC meets the Friday following the registration deadline to evaluate Intent to Register applications referred by the SOC subcommittee. The SORC will decide whether or not the organization meets the criteria for registering as a new student organization. The SORC is comprised of:

  • 2-3 Administrative Staff members, including members of the Committee on Undergraduate Organizations
  • 2 students, including SOCs and UOFC members

At the end of the organization’s onboarding semester, the group must have completed all benchmarks with their SOC and submitted a completed constitution and registration form to their Yale Connect portal. The organization must also provide a summary of its goals and activities to the SORC, which will be completed in Yale Connect. Based on the feedback from the organization’s assigned SOC and information provided by the organization in their year summary, the SORC will decide whether 1) the organization may become a fully recognized organization OR 2) the organization must complete one additional semester of onboarding OR 3) whether the organization must be again reviewed by, and potentially invited in for a conversation with, the larger SORC.

The information provided in the organization’s semester summary will include:

  • the organization’s mission,
  • its leadership structure,
  • its positive impact on the Yale community,
  • its stated goals throughout the year, progress in achieving those goals, and goals for the foreseeable future,
  • its event calendar during its onboarding year,
  • and its plan for sustaining group membership and activity in the future.

If an Organization is granted Full Recognition, they no longer need to meet consistently with their SOC and may function like all other recognized student organizations.

If an Organization is not granted Full Recognition, they may continue onboarding for one additional semester. At the end of the third semester of its existence, they must be reviewed by the Committee again.

If an Organization is not granted Full Recognition after its second appearance before the Committee, the group will be deregistered for at least one academic year. Student groups are advised to take into account Committee feedback after their first review and be clear about any improvements or efforts you’ve made with the additional semester. 

Group Responsibilities during Onboarding

  • Submit all YCDO requested forms and surveys, such as the official application to register a group and any check-in surveys, financial reports, and membership/leadership rosters. 
  • Meet the benchmarks assigned by the YCDO throughout the semester.
  • Check in with their Student Organizations Consultant 3 times during the semester to go over their progress on the YCDO Benchmarks. Organizations are encouraged to think about these sessions as working sessions and they will often involve creating, distributing, or submitting information. Organizations should expect to have a meeting in:
    • February
    • March
    • April

Benchmarks for New Student Organizations

Benchmark Required from Groups or Developed During Benchmark Meeting with SOC


  • Create draft of Constitution
    • Special focus on the leadership roles, structure, and responsibilities. Determine what will work for your group.
  • Review Organization’s Goals and Missions, articulated during Registration
    • Create a plan for implementation during the benchmark meeting with your SOC.
  • Questions pertaining to the Undergraduate Regulations
  • Yale Connect portal
    • Your SOC will briefly introduce Yale Connect’s features.
    • Your group should submit a completed portal profile/registration, have the president and treasurer join the portal, and have the founding five members join the portal.
  • Membership Conversation
    • What does membership mean for your group? Who is a member? Membership rosters are required by the end of the first semester of an organization’s existence.
    • New Member Onboarding and Integration Plan
    • Ideas for membership recruitment at next Organizations Bazaar
  • List of potential meeting/rehearsal spaces
  • List of potential funding sources applicable to the group (may be further developed during the meeting)
  • List of potential events for the year
    • Focus on building a budget and drafting a timeline for event planning


  • Reflection of First Semester Activities
    • What events did you have? What are you planning to do next semester?
    • How did your meetings go? Have they been effective? 
  • Leadership Turnover Process and Timeline
    • Have you had elections already? If not, when and how will you have elections? How will you transfer knowledge?
  • Funding Update
    • Did you get all the money you needed this semester? How does your budget look?
  • Prioritize for the Upcoming Semester
    • What events will you be holding?
    • What funding will you need?
    • What are you worried about and/or excited for?


  • Outline and Preparation for Committee on New Organizations Presentation
  • Data storage: Retaining bank documents, alumni list, constitution, event posters, archived grant applications, budgets, etc.
  • Finance check in: How is the group finishing off the year, financially? What has the group learned about their needs and wants?

Additional potential topics of inquiry, depending on the organization:

501c3 Incorporation

  • Why-To: Is this appropriate for you?
  • How-To
  • Tax Responsibilities


  • Why-To
  • How-To
  • Transferring bank information

Contracts and Outside Vendors

Corporate Solicitation

Large Event Management: Conference Planning

  • Reserving spaces
  • Fundraising inside and outside of Yale
  • Logistics management
  • Check in with Yale Conference & Events

Large Event Management: Performances

  • Finding performance spaces
  • Fundraising
  • Costumes and storage

Performance Groups

  • Planning and running auditions
  • Finding adequate rehearsal spaces
  • CPA Award guidelines
  • Acquiring music
  • Institutional memory for choreography, scripts, and performances
  • Connecting to Undergraduate Productions

Travel Planning

  • Domestic vs. international
  • Choosing a travel leader
  • Travel leader’s responsibilities
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Touring

Working with Minors

  • Filling out paperwork
  • Policies