Registering a New Graduate Student Group


Graduate-professional students at Washington University in St. Louis may register their student groups in one of two ways.

  1. Student groups whose mission and activities cater exclusively (or primarily) to the students of a specific school should register locally in that school through procedures set forth by their school’s Graduate Student Association (GSA) or Dean’s Office.
  2. Student groups whose mission and interests are primarily involved in cross-disciplinary activities should register through the Graduate Professional Council (GPC), which is the university graduate student association, and the Professional and Graduate Student Coordinating Committee (ProGradS), which is the University Standing Committee on graduate student matters, as outlined below.

Process for University-wide Graduate Student Group-Approval

Step 1 – Provisional Status

To register as a university graduate student group, interested graduate student group members should initiate an application and review process through the GPC (see below for application details). Applications should be directed to the GPC President, and must be received at least 7-10 days prior to the next general body GPC meeting date in order to be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed by the GPC within two monthly meetings with the understanding that it is preferable to review applications as soon as possible. The GPC (GPC executive board members and school representatives) will vote on the acceptance or denial of each group’s registration. A majority vote of those present or voting in absentia will suffice. However, quorum is required for this vote.

Groups approved via step 1 of this process will be granted Provisional Status for a period of time not to exceed one year. During this time groups may reserve on-campus space, utilize campus facilities, apply for email accounts, and carry on activities, including internal fund raising (example: member dues; not external fundraising) to support their efforts. The leadership of a newly registered group should meet as soon as possible during the semester of their initial approval, with the Organizational Advisory Committee (which is comprised of GPC and ProGradS members) to develop organizational logistics.

Step 2 – Full Status

After the group has been approved by the GPC for Provisional Status, has met with the Organizational Advisory Committee, and has operated for at least one semester, the GPC will forward the group’s application and a group activity report to the ProGradS Committee for consideration of Full Status. If ProGradS votes to approve, the group will be considered fully registered at that time. If ProGradS voices concerns over the registration of any group(s), GPC will review the application(s) of said group(s) at their next regular meeting. If GPC votes to resubmit the registration (with or without additional information) ProGradS will reconsider the application at their next regular meeting. Group registration must be renewed annually, no later than June 1, by submitting an end-of-the-year annual report of activities and budget report; and a proposed activities plan and budget for the upcoming year. Forms should be submitted to the ProGradS Liaison who will administer follow-ups with accountant, GPC, and ProGradS committees.

Benefits: Full status registration qualifies groups for access to additional listserves and ability to develop additional funding, including external fundraising (within University guidelines) and university funding through the ProGradS Committee chair.

Registration Requirements:

  1. Membership must be open to all graduate and professional students of the University. (See Exhibit A at the end of this section for details)
  2. The name and purpose of the group must be consistent with the mission of Washington University and its policies. (See Exhibit A at the end of this section for details.)
  3. There must be at least 15 current and active members.
  4. At least 80% of current members must be WU graduate or professional students. No more than 40% of the members may come from any one school.
  5. There must be a formal constitution for the group, approved by the members and the leadership of the group. Please see Exhibit B for key points to consider and address when drafting this document. Also, samples of such documents can be found on the websites of the GPC and registered university-wide graduate and professional student groups.
  6. All groups approved for Full Status must submit an annual summary including an overview of activities during the previous year and a final budget report by June 1, and a renewal of group registration, including new officer’s names, positions, and contact information and proposed activities plan and budget, before fall classes begin, or by June 30 if university funding is requested.(See Step 2 above).

To begin the registration process: Your request to register as a university-wide graduate student group must contain all the information listed in the registration requirements (above). Please be sure to include contact information for contact persons, and School affiliation for members list. Send the above information to the Graduate Professional Council at Campus Box 1187 or via email You will be contacted upon receipt and given the opportunity to review your application and then attend the GPC meeting at which your application will be presented. We look forward to receiving your application!


  • Dean Elaine Berland, ProGradS Liaison
  • Dean Joe Fox, Business
  • Nick Miller, GPC President, 2011-2012

Effective: September 14, 2006
ProGradS Approved: September 14, 2006
GPC Approved: September 11, 2006

Exhibit A


Committed to Our Students:

Washington University’s educational mission is the promotion of learning – learning by students and by faculty. Teaching, or the transmission of knowledge, is central to our mission, as is research, or the creation of new knowledge. The faculty, composed of scholars, scientists, artists, and members of the learned professions, serves society by teaching; by adding to the store of human art, understanding, and wisdom; and by providing direct services, such as health care.

Central to our mission are our goals, which are to foster excellence in our teaching, research, scholarship, and service; to prepare students with the attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning and with leadership skills, enabling them to be useful members of a global society; and to be an exemplary institution in our home community of St. Louis, as well as in the nation and in the world.

Through our goals Washington University intends to judge itself by the most demanding standards; to attract people of great ability from all types of backgrounds; to encourage faculty and students to be bold, independent, and creative thinkers; and to provide the infrastructure to support teaching, research, scholarship, and service for the present and for future generations.

Copyright 2000-2006, Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University policies and programs are nondiscriminatory. The University administers all programs without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status or disability. Present Department of Defense policy governing ROTC and AFROTC programs discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation; such discrimination is inconsistent with Washington University policy.

Copyright 2000-2006, Washington University in St. Louis

Exhibit B


  • Define the organization’s mission and impact clearly and succinctly, including primary and ancillary mission identification. Provide examples of the type and nature of expected programs and activities.
  • Define the expected membership clearly, including both the voting (core) members as well as potential non-voting participants (Example: associate members might include postdocs, spouses/partners, etc.)
  • Define organizational leadership in terms of:
    1. Who qualifies to run for office
    2. How will the election be held ( specific election plan and process)
    3. Identify at least two specific leadership positions (president and treasurer) and leave room for others as needed
    4. Define the nomination process, notifications, and necessary lead times
    5. Scope of authority for the leadership team
  • Define succession planning for leadership in terms of:
    1. Length of term for elected offices
    2. Limitations on successive terms in office (if any)
    3. Timing of elections (strongly encourage March/April)
    4. Methodology of elections – in-person, on-line, electronic, etc. (all methods should be private)
    5. Define the necessary lead time and notifications process
  • Define your organizations operating processes in terms of:
    1. General membership meetings: timing, frequency, notification
    2. Executive leadership meetings: timing frequency, notification, agenda, reporting out the membership
    3. Communication and notification process for group sponsored activities, events, etc.
  • Define and identify the specific procedures for changing the constriction of by-laws of the organization


Keep it as simple as possible while achieving your goals.

  • Do not overly define areas that do not require such definition – leave room for growth and change within the rules as they exist
  • For examples, look at the sample sections from constitutions of generally tried and tested constitutions and organization structures at W.U.
  • When in doubt – ask for help from the GPC, ProGradS, particularly the Organizational Advisory Committee