The following are tips on starting a college council. Active communication with the College Councils Department is also very much needed to best guide students and local Knights developing the council.
Contacting the College Councils Department
Developing new college councils and revitalizing inactive college councils is important for the continued success of the college council program. Students, chaplains, and local Knights wishing to develop college councils should first contact the College Councils Department. College Coordinators will be in touch to discuss next steps, review the formation process, and answer questions. Following an initial phone conference, the College Councils Department will send a development packet to aid in starting a college council. This kit includes brochures, posters, and other support materials.
Assigning Council Development Organizer
The state deputy assigns a district deputy or state college coordinator to continue planning and development at the local level. This appointed individual receives a “New Council Development Kit” that contains materials to continue the process of college council development. The College Councils Department coordinates with this individual throughout the council development process.
Establishing University Contacts
Students and local leaders need to reach out to the campus ministry office and connect with the campus chaplain or ministers about starting a Knights of Columbus council. Supreme Council staff can send materials to share with them and our coordinators are available by phone and email to answer any questions regarding Knights of Columbus college councils. Students should also gather information from the university’s student affairs offices on how to become an officially recognized campus organization.
Making a Pulpit Announcement
Generate interest in forming a council by making an announcement at any weekend student Masses. With the pastor’s/chaplain’s permission have a student (or the chaplain) make the announcement. If no students have taken the lead in council development yet, a local Knight or member of the state council should speak. The announcement should briefly explain the Knights of Columbus as an international Catholic fraternity focused on charitable works, faith formation, and support of the local campus community. Set an organizational meeting for the following week and include the time and location in the announcement. The College Councils Department can provide materials to assist with the pulpit announcement and informational meeting.
Conducting an Informational and Organizational Meeting
For the first informational meeting, a member of the College Councils Department or the state council leadership team should be in attendance. Additionally, the campus Chaplain and other campus ministers should be present. All interested men (including members who are transferring) should fill our Membership Document (#100) at this meeting. Inform all candidates of the date and location for the First Degree Ceremonial that should already be set.
Growing Campus Membership
Continue the momentum started by the informational meeting by engaging prospective council leaders and members. The council development organizer assigned by the state deputy should connect the students with an established local council to host a new member initiation ceremony. Additionally, the local council can begin to mentor the new members who show interest in officer positions.
Following the First Degree, the new members should continue to meet and invite others to join. Planning sessions should discuss how the council will operate – who will be the first group of officers; how the council will live out the principles of charity, unity, and fraternity on campus; when and where will the council meet. Continue to include the campus chaplain and state leaders in these meetings.
Checklist for Forming a College Council
In order to be instituted as a new college council, the following requirements must be made:
All these materials should be scanned and sent to the College Council Department.