How to Start a Chapter

In addition to becoming a National Pre-SOMA member, members are encouraged to join a local Pre-SOMA chapter or establish a new chapter if one does not already exist at their undergraduate institution. This gives students a better opportunity to network with fellow like-minded pre-med students and support one another throughout the process of preparing for and applying to medical school. This also offers pre-osteopathic students a base from which to work as a team to educate the community about osteopathic medicine, encourage other students to apply to osteopathic schools, and prepare themselves for success as Osteopathic Physicians. In addition, holding a leadership position in a Pre-SOMA chapter, and especially helping establish a new chapter will distinguish individuals as leaders among the Pre-Osteopathic student population. Osteopathic medicine is a big family and as a Pre-SOMA Chapter you become a member of our community. Starting a Pre-SOMA Chapter is easy and is a great way to promote osteopathic medicine on your campus and in your community.

Here are some benefits to having a chapter on your college campus:

  • Access to the latest info on news in the osteopathic community
  • Access to the Pre-SOMA Liaison List, a list of osteopathic students from DO schools who are interested in helping your chapter by giving you a local link to the osteopathic family
  • Opportunities to be involved with Pre-SOMA in national leadership positions
  • Resources and mentorship from National Pre-SOMA to help your chapter grow and stay strong
  • Networking opportunities with other Pre-SOMA chapters for idea sharing
  • Opportunity to apply for Chapter of the Year and Officer of the Year

Becoming a New Student Club/Organization

While the process for starting a new club/organization at every undergraduate college or university is different, here are some guidelines to keep in mind. Check with the specific policy on your campus for more details.

Any group of students (numbers vary by school) that want to organize to pursue a common interest may start a student organization:

  1. Apply for Recognition – This process again, varies by school, but an authorized representative of your college or university must sign the “Verification of Student Organization Status” form. Recognition of a group as a student club/organization establishes an identity and relationship with the school which enables that organization to secure the use of college facilities and services.
  2. Develop a Constitution – A basic outline for the constitution is included in the new chapter application (see below). A signed copy of the National Pre-SOMA constitution must accompany the application for National recognition, and an individualized Chapter Constitution must be created and submitted to the National office by the beginning of the Spring Semester of the year of charter application. This can be the same as the national, or you can make changes if you need.
  3. Elect and/or Select Officers – A list with names, addresses, and phone numbers of the officers must accompany the application; and an Officer Update form must be submitted by the chapter each summer by June 15.
  4. Select an Advisor – Select a willing faculty advisor from your college or university who will assist with oversight of the organization and help to provide continuity over the years, as student officers come and go.
  5. Maintain “Active” Status – To maintain active status, a club must complete and submit all of the required forms, and download and read the Pre-SOMA Kit.

And as always, feel free to send questions to [email protected]