Writing a Constitution

Writing or reviewing your organization's constitution allows your organization to refine your mission, officer roles and responsibilities, meeting rules, and membership requirements. A student organization's constitution is important when questions arise about the activities or mission of the group. All Northwestern registered student organizations are required to have up-to-date constitutions.

Components of a student organization constitution:

  • Official group name

  • Organizational structure
  • Membership
  • Executive Board election/selection process
  • Meetings
  • Removal of officers
  • Dissolution of organization
  • Amendments
  • Hazing Prevention Policy

Northwestern University Constitution Writing Guide (Revised March 30, 2017)

Tips for holding a constitution review meeting:

  • Bring all stakeholders together, including organization advisor
  • Start by creating/reviewing mission statement that describes the purpose of the group, along with a list of activities that will accomplish the purpose.
  • Define the composition your membership and the requirements for admission into the group
  • Write officer descriptions in third person using position titles instead of pronouns, i.e., "The President will."
  • Keep the document in an editable digital format (.doc), a permanent digital format (.pdf), and in print

Adapted from University Center Activities and Events at Duke University

Hazing Prevention Policy

Northwestern Position Statement

It is the responsibility of all students/student organizations to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and to provide positive influences and constructive development for members and aspiring members. Students/organizations are expected to use good judgment to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organization activities and requirements.

If a healthy team or organization is being created and the values and purpose of the organization are being upheld, chances are the organization will not have to worry about whether or not an activity is hazing. Hazing leads to dysfunction within the organization and is ineffective at creating teamwork, respect, and unity, and it is an unproductive and hazardous custom that is forbidden by the University.

For more information please visit the Northwestern Student Affairs Hazing Prevention website.