Most student organizations at New York University School of Law are sponsored and funded by the Student Bar Association (SBA). Once a group has been approved it is completely autonomous and separate except for the annual budget process. As of 2012-2013, there are 70 student-led groups.
How to start a new student group:
- Create a document that explains how your student group is different from any student group that currently exists and what it will do that no current group could do.
- Demonstrate significant student interest in the group. Usually, this is done by submitting a petition of students expressing interest in joining the group. There are no strict numbers, but the greater the student interest, the greater chance of approval.
- Create a constitution, which outlines the goals of the organization, the leadership structure and the basic rules for its governance.
- Create a budget outlining the exact programming schedule and a funding request.
- Once you've completed these four steps, you must submit the application to the SBA. You can either email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org, personally hand the information to an SBA representative, or request time to speak at an SBA meeting and pitch your student group.
- The SBA will vote on whether or not to approve your group and then hold a separate vote to approve your budget.
Although the SBA encourages students to take an active leadership role in student life, not all proposed student groups can be approved. Because adding new groups necessarily means decreasing or limiting funding of previously existing groups that have already proven successful, we encourage students to work with existing student groups to create new programs or engage in new activities when possible. This is usually a much easier approach than trying to form a new student group. Also, mechanisms exist by which existing student groups may request additional funding from the SBA. Thus, in deciding whether to fund a new group, the SBA must be convinced that the group will have a long-term membership base, contributes in a meaningful way to student life, and is likely to exist beyond the academic career of the founders.