Council Development Guidelines
The advice below offers guidance in developing a college council, however, active communication with the College Councils Department is needed to best guide students and local Knights developing the council.
Contacting the College Councils Department
The development of new college councils and the redevelopment of inactive college councils is important for the continued growth and success of the college council program. Students, chaplains, and local Knights wishing to develop college councils should first contact the College Councils Department for further details. Our 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 will include brochures, posters, and other support materials that have proven useful in past council developments.
Assigning Council Development Organizer
The State Deputy should assign a district deputy or state college coordinator to continue planning and development from the local level. This appointed individual will receive a “New Council Development Kit” which will contain materials to continue the process of college council development. The College Councils Department will continue to coordinate with this individual throughout the council development process.
Establishing University Contacts
Students and local leaders will 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 how Knights of Columbus college councils operate. Students may also want to gather information from the university’s student affairs offices on how to become an officially recognized campus organization.
Making a Pulpit Announcement
The best way to gather interest in forming a council is to make an announcement at any weekend student Masses. The Chaplain’s permission should be obtained for this; if possible having him encourage men to join is helpful. Ideally a student should make the announcement, but 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. An organizational meeting should be planned for the following week and the time and place of their meeting should be mentioned during 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 and a date for a First Degree Ceremonial should be set.
Growing Campus Membership
All interested men should join the Order as soon as possible. It is important to continue the momentum started by the informational meeting and to continue to engage the prospective council leadership 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, interested men should continue to meet and invite others to join. Meetings should discuss how the council will operate – who will be the first group of officers; how will the council 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:
Completed Notice of Institution of New Council (#136).
20 men must have taken their first degree and have their Membership Documents (#100) sent to the Supreme Office.
Election of Officers – Complete Report of Officers Chosen for the Term (#185) and Service Program Personnel Report (#365).
Appointment of Financial Secretary – Complete Application for Appointment as Financial Secretary (#101) and Nomination for Appointment as Financial Secretary (#103). Please note that the Financial Secretary cannot be a student but should be a faculty or staff member of the campus or member of the community.
Appointment of Chaplain, ideally one associated with the university/campus ministry.
All these materials should be scanned and sent to the College Council Department.