Forming a New Student Organization on Campus


Do you and other students have common interests and want to create a forum in which you can express and share those interests? Then forming a student organization is definitely the way to go! Starting a new organization requires time and dedication but it will be worthwhile. Student organizations at the George Washington University provide students with an opportunity to explore interests, sharpen skills and learn about themselves and others while enhancing the academic mission of the university.


For an organization to be recognized at the George Washington University and be eligible for all benefits provided to registered student organizations, follow this process:

  1. Meet with a Student Life representative at the Student Organization Resource Desk to discuss your idea in a new organization consultation meeting. No appointment is needed. 
  2. Complete the registration application via Engage using the steps outlined in the Guide to Forming a New Student Organization. (If you are reactivating an existing organization, in place of completing a new application, please e-mail [email protected] as explained in the Guide to Forming a New Student Organization.)
  3. Present your proposed organization idea to the New Organizations Committee, comprised of students and staff. The presentation should be no longer than 4 minutes and cover the action plan and purpose of your organization, as well as what unique needs the organization fills on campus.

Review the full Guide to Forming a New Student Organization for a complete explanation of the process.

New Student Organization Registration

After an organization submits their materials, the New Organizations Committee will contact the individual who submitted the application to arrange a time to present. Please allow for 3-4 weeks between completion of all application materials and your presentation date.


New student organization registration is open throughout the academic year in Engage. Applications for new or reactivating organizations are accepted until April 1, or until the New Organizations Committee's presentation slots are filled, whichever comes first. Organizations wishing to submit a budget request for Student Association annual allocations for the following academic year must apply by February 1 to guarantee a registration decision in advance of the budget submission deadline. Those who apply after April 1 will be assigned to present to the New Organization Committee at the first Committee meeting of the 2019-2020 academic year in August. If you are approved as a new organization from that presentation date, you may participate in the Fall Org Fair. However, please note that while we will do our best to accommodate new orgs wishing to participate in the Fall Org Fair, you will not be guaranteed a table at the fair. 

Student Organization Constitutions

All student organizations must have a constitution to govern their organization. Every constitution must include 4 required clauses. Refer to the GW Constitution Guidelines in Engage for a full guide on writing a constitution.

Next Steps

Once an organization is approved for recognition from the New Organizations Committee, the organization will be required to have an advisory meeting with Shannon Donaldson, the Program Coordinator for Student Involvement who oversees the new organization process. Engage portals for each new organization will not be activated until this meeting is held. As new organizations do not start out with a specifically assigned Staff Advisor (but may be paired with one for the academic year following their formation, if necessary), the Student Org Resource Desk is a helpful tool for new organizations to utilize moving forward. Otherwise, new orgs should contact Shannon Donaldson with questions at [email protected].