Starting a New Club

With over 300 student organizations on campus to choose from, it is relatively easy to find an organization to fit your needs. Not finding what you are looking for?  Do you see a need for a new student organization on campus? Why not start one yourself?


members of 2013-14 leadership conference
Fall Leadership Conference - Recognization of Chapter
her campus event
Her Campus
masquerade ball
Masquerade Ball
smooth awards
Smooth Awards
Wheelmen cycling club
Cal Poly Wheelmen

Start a New Club

The university, through the Office of the Dean of Students, officially recognizes Cal Poly clubs. ASI is a partner with the university, charged with administering day-to-day club operations. Starting a new club is a process that requires the participation of the new club, ASI Club Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students, as outlined below.

  • Ensure that no other club currently exists with a similar purpose.
  • Find a minimum of eight currently enrolled Cal Poly students that are interested in being a part of the club.
  • Find a Cal Poly State University employee who would be willing to serve as the club's advisor.
  • Complete a Petition for University Recognition form, and bylaws using the Cal Poly Club Bylaw Template.
  • Submit the Petition for University Recognition form, bylaws, and an electronic copy of the bylaws (e.g., on CD) (not mandatory) to ASI Club Services for processing.

Completion of the above items begins the club recognition process; however, club activities and events cannot commence until the club has been officially recognized by the university through the Office of the Dean of Students.

For additional step-by-step instructions on what is involved in starting a new Cal Poly club, please review the Cal Poly Club Handbook.

Start a New Independent Student Organization (ISO)

The university, through the Office of the Dean of Students, officially recognizes ISOs. ASI is a partner with the university, charged with administering the rostering and E-Plan process for ISOs. Starting a new ISO is a process that requires the participation of the new ISO, ASI Club Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students.

To be considered for recognition as an ISO, your organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain official affiliation with a national organization, or Incorporation as a non-profit.
  • Follow a national organization's constitution.
  • Follow a national organization's bylaws (customizing bylaws to the local organization is acceptable per authorization from the national organization)
  • Members must pay quarterly or annual dues that partially go to their national organization.
  • The national organization provides insurance for its affiliated chapters.

If you believe your organization meets the above ISO criteria, the next step in the process of starting a new ISO is to schedule a meeting with the Office of the Dean of Students. At this meeting, it will be determined if in fact the ISO criteria have been met by your organization.

If your student organization is interested in becoming a recognized Cal Poly ISO, please review the ISO criteria below:

  • Enter into a Recognition Agreement with the university
  • Provide a certificate of insurance from your organizations national governing body
  • Complete online training
  • Submit a Roster to ASI Club Services

ISOs are required to submit a Roster, contract, proof of insurance, and proof of an off-campus bank account every year.

For additional step-by-step instructions on what is involved in starting a new ISO, please review the ISO Handbook.