Forming a New Student Organization

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 could be 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.

Tabling at the Org Fair, students from Women in Business


Step 1: Advising Meeting

Meet with a Student Life staff representative at the Student Organization Resource Desk to discuss your idea in a new organization consultation meeting. Please schedule a meeting through Org Help by booking through our virtual office hours from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT Tuesday-Thursday, or email [email protected].

Step 2: Registration

Complete the registration application via Engage using the steps outlined in Registration for a New Student Organization (PDF)After an organization submits their registration form in Engage and meets with a Staff Advisor at the Student Organization Resource Desk, the New Organization Committee will contact the individual who submitted the application to arrange a time to present. Please allow for at least 3-4 weeks between completion of all application materials and your presentation date.

Note: Part of your new organization registration is submitting a constitution/bylaws document for your potential new org. Every GW student organization constitution must include 4 required clauses. Refer to GW Constitution Guidelines (PDF) for a full guide on writing a constitution.

Step 3: Presentation

Present your proposed organization idea to the New Organizations Committee, which is comprised of GW students and staff. The presentation should be no longer than 5 minutes and cover the action plan and purpose of your organization, as well as what unique needs the organization fills on campus. The New Organization Committee hears presentations once a month, on a rolling basis, during the fall and spring semesters. Review the New Student Organization Rubric (PDF) for an insight into the committee evaluation process.

Ayooluwa Akintayo

Ayooluwa Akintayo

President of The African Development Initiative

"When I felt that there was not enough spaces on campus for conversations about African development and ways to get more involved in my field of study, the idea of starting a new org for students with similar interests came without a second thought. I've learned that being proactive and taking initiative on a daily basis will enable you to create opportunities for yourself and others that weren't there before."

Dates & Deadlines

New student organization registration is open in Engage throughout the fall & spring academic year. Applications for new or reactivating organizations are accepted until April 1, or until the New Organization 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 complete all New Org formation steps, including presentation to the Committee, by February 1 at the latest 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 2020-2021 academic year in August. 

Next Steps

Once an organization is approved for recognition from the New Organization Committee, the organization will be required to attend an assigned New Organization Orientation program with a GW staff member. Engage portals for each new organization will not be activated until the time of this orientation. As new organizations do not start out with a specifically assigned Staff Advisor (but maybe 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 Org Help, with any questions.