Starting a New Chapter

Welcome to SOMA! We are excited to partner with you to create a brand new SOMA Chapter on your campus. By launching this process you are taking an important first step in elevating the voices of the students on your campus, allowing them to participate in shaping the future of osteopathic medicine. We will be here to guide you through every step of the process.

Getting started:

  • You will need to read through the SOMA Constitution and Bylaws to determine whether you are prepared and eligible to start a new SOMA chapter. You can find our Constitution and Bylaws under the “About Us” tab on the SOMA website.
  • You will need to find a faculty advisor, someone who is willing to oversee and support the activities of your chapter.
  • You will need to obtain and complete a Charter Application form, which you can do by contacting the National SOMA Office and the Region Trustee assigned to your region. Please see the region map under the “About Us” tab on the SOMA website to determine what region your school is in.
  • You will need to recruit at least five students in this process, as your charter application requires the signature of five students for it to be accepted for consideration by SOMA.

Submitting your application:

  • Your charter application must be submitted to either:
    • American Osteopathic Association, Attn: SOMA Executive Director, 142 East Ontario St., 7th FL, Chicago, IL 60611, OR…
  • Once submitted, you are required to send at least one student to the next session of the SOMA House of Delegates, where the House will vote to approve the SOMA Charter for your school and allocate a $2,000 start up award to aid the chapter in getting on its feet prior to a membership drive.

Once your charter application is approved:

  • You will need to write your SOMA chapter constitution. In your constitution you will have to consider, at minimum: leadership structure, voting process, and membership dues. Please reach out to your Region Trustee to obtain samples of other SOMA chapter constitutions and general guidance for this process.
  • You will need to launch a membership drive. This process must be coordinated with National SOMA.
  • You will need to hold elections for your Executive Board. Each chapter must have, at minimum: a President, a National Liaison Officer, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, to serve as the Executive Board, except where the Region Trustee deems the chapter unable to elect a complete Executive Board due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Once your leadership team is elected, you will receive your start up funding, be granted access to your newly created email account, and be ready to send your President and NLO to the next SOMA Convention. Your Region Trustee will ensure that you start receiving all important communications from National SOMA and have all the resources necessary to run your chapter successfully.

If you have any questions, or you feel that you do not understand the next step in building your SOMA Chapter, contact your Region Trustee.