How to Start a YD Chapter

It’s the Young Democrats of Arkansas’s goal to have a YD chapter on every campus and in every county in Arkansas. That starts with you taking leadership in your community to get things started. Follow this guide and the included resources to get off on the right foot.
The first, and maybe most important, step of starting a YD chapter is finding a team. You can’t do this alone, and even if you could, we don’t want you to. Find at least two other folks to take on leadership with you as you get the chapter off the ground. This team might become the chapter officers, but they don’t have to! If you don’t know where to start, ask YDAR.

Every club and organization needs a set of guiding documents that lay out how meetings are called, who gets to be a member, how officers are elected, what money gets spent by who, and more. We’ve made it easy on you! Check out these templates, make a copy, and follow the included instructions, and you’ll be well on your way to good governance.



Stay in close contact with the YDAR leader who’s guiding you through this process. They should introduce you to your local county party leaders and other YDs in your area. Get permission from your school to start a student organization – if they say “no” or make this difficult for you, let YDAR know. You have a constitutional right to organize on your campus.

Time to go public! Your first meeting is a big deal – it’s your best opportunity to build your initial membership roster and get people excited about what’s coming next. Set a date that gives you time to recruit but isn’t too far away and get to work. Put up posters, text your friends, post online, set up a table, call through a list of local Dems, do everything you can to get folks there.

The day has come. At your kickoff meeting, you need to adopt whatever guiding documents you’ve drafted and elect your first group of officers. YDAR can help you find programming and maybe even buy pizza for your kickoff. Be sure to get everyone at the meeting to sign up – these are your chapter members now! Put that information on your roster: here’s a template.


You’re standing at the finish line! Just one last important step: apply to become an official chapter of YDAR. Get your new guiding documents, your new membership roster, and your officers’ contact information together and complete this application form. The YDAR Executive Committee will vote on your charter sometime in the next month!