Student Association Handbook: The Basics of Becoming A Student Association


Any group of UBC Okanagan students can make a request to start a SUO Student Association. We encourage members to check our Student Associations Club Directory and Course Union Directory before submitting a request to ensure that a similar Student Association doesn’t already exist. Once you have done so, you are ready to fill out our Student Association Registration Form

You can submit the application form at any time, however applications for new Student Associations will only be ratified during the months of September/October and January/February.

Every new Student Association must be ratified at a SUO Board of Directors meeting. What does ratification mean? Being ratified as a SUO Student Association means that your group can access all resources that the SUO has available (we'll get into what those are soon). 

How do I become ratified? Once a Student Association Registration Form has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the VP Internal and Membership Outreach Coordinator.  If we have questions, we will reach out via the email on the form.  You may be invited to attend a meeting at the SUO office or do a presentation to the SUO Board at a Board of Directors meeting.  The Student Association will be denied if it is a duplicate of any existing Student Association or it is not in alignment with the Student Union Regulations.

  • Student Association means any organization ratified by the Students’ Union in accordance with this Regulation, except for a Course Union and is open to all SUO members. 
  • Course Union means a Department or Faculty specific student association open to members only specific to that Department or Faculty, ratified by the Students’ Union in accordance with the Student Associations Regulation.  Any student is welcome to be a member of a course union, however voting members are undergraduates or graduates, who major or minor in the relevant subject of the course union. Course Unions must have Annual General Meetings and Annual Elections to vote in the Executive Board of the Course Union. There is usually a Faculty advisor working in partnership with the course union.

For all Student Associations you will need:

  • three executive members
  • three signing authorities
  • fifteen regular members
  • a general student association email address
  • Course Union only - Write a constitution that outlines the mandate and operations of your course union. Here's an example constitution. 

Most importantly, Student Associations must be open to all current UBC Okanagan students (all undergraduate and graduate students at UBC Okanagan) and must not duplicate the function of a pre-existing group. Once you have been ratified, you may have alumni, staff, or members from the community join your Student Association.
Make sure your group follows the guidelines set out in the SUO Student Association Regulations.

Your signing authorities are the executive members of your Student Association who oversee and approve the spending of your Student Associations funds. While you may have more than three executive members, you may only have three signing authorities and they must also be executive members. We highly recommend that your President and Treasurer/VP Finance be listed as signing authorities. We do not accept e-signatures or computer font signatures on page 2 of your registration form (your list of signing authorities).

Fill out the Student Association registration form
Contact the SUO VP Internal ( or Membership Outreach Coordinator ( if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Check your Student Association email. This is where you will get notice of your ratification status.  Included in the email will be a New Student Association Funding Form.  You will have 10 days from the date of the ratification email to submit the funding form for the maximum amount of $250.  If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until the Term 1 or Term 2 funding periods to apply for SUO funding.  You still will only be able to apply for the maximum amount of $250 until you provide a Student Association End of Term Report showing fiscal responsibility.

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