New Student Group Recognition

Thank you for your interest in the new club recognition process. Interschool Governing Board recognition confers several privileges, namely the ability to apply for a funding allocation from the IGB, standing to apply for many other funds on campus, the ability to reserve space for meetings and events, and use of “Columbia” in the organization’s name. We are currently reviewing applications on a rolling basis, in accommodation of the absence of this function from the last two semesters. Previously, club applications were evaluated every semester. This page includes information on prerequisites for IGB recognition and outlines the application process.

Clubs seeking recognition are expected to meet some minimum requirements before their applications will be considered. To be considered for recognition, a club must:

  • Not be community service or athletic-oriented in purpose. Honorary societies, fraternities, sororities, or privately incorporated organizations are also ineligible;
  • Have a membership consisting of at least one-half (1/2) of the students from the graduate/professional schools; *
  • Have a membership consisting of students spanning multiple schools, where not more than one-half (1/2) of the students are from the same school/college; *
  • Not have a membership consisting of at least one-half (1/2) of the students from the sum of the following schools: (a) Barnard College, (b) Union Theological Seminary, (c) School of Public Health, (d) College of Physicians and Surgeons, (e) College of Dental Medicine, (f) School of Nursing *
  • Plan to meet and have all regularly scheduled events and meetings on the Columbia University Morningside Campus;
  • Be open to all members of the Columbia community regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, veteran’s status, academic major, or physical handicaps;
  • Be composed of at least ten (10) students;
  • Not duplicate the function and/or stated purpose of any other IGB club, governing body, or student group on campus;
  • Require access to University facilities and resources not otherwise available to them as an unrecognized club;

Criteria marked with a * (star) are suspended for clubs that do not qualify to be recognized under the jurisdiction of any other Columbia University board, council, or any other entity that can provide monetary funds and/or group space.

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Club Recognition Application Form

The mission of the Interschool Governing Board (IGB) is to represent and serve the needs of Columbia University student interschool organizations whose membership and mission is interschool in nature and includes a combination of graduate and undergraduate professional schools, groups and students who do not fall under the immediate jurisdiction of other governing boards or individual school councils. IGB is dedicated to overseeing and supporting such student organizations in their efforts to bridge the gaps between various students and academic disciplines on the Columbia University campus. To apply for recognition, this form and all necessary materials must be completed and submitted. The IGB Budget Committee will determine if everything has been submitted and forward a recommendation to the IGB General Body for official voting. Student Club leadership may be required to follow up with the Budget Committee or attend an IGB meeting to clarify budget details and justifications.

You will need to complete this application in one sitting. Please have the following two documents handy:

  • Organization Constitution & Signatures
  • School Affiliation for 10 organization members.

Application Deadlines:

Student clubs shall submit the application and all relevant materials by the following dates:

  • For recognition in the Fall Semester - March 1 of the previous semester
  • For recognition in the Spring Semester - November 1 of the previous semester

In other words, if you submit your application on:

November 1, 2022: Your student group will be recognized for the Spring 2023 Semester.

March 1, 2023: Your student group will be recognized for the Fall 2023 Semester.

If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email us at [email protected]. We look forward to receiving your applications

Question: After submitting my application, what happens next?
Answer: After submitting your application to [email protected], you will be contacted within sixty (60) days by a board member of IGB with further instructions. The response will include a conditional approval or denial, based on a vote from the full Interschool Governing Board.

Question: Is there an application deadline for a Summer Recognition?
Answer: No. All club applications must be submitted for Fall or Spring recognition. No exceptions.

Question: Why can’t I be recognized the samefor  semester that submit?
Answer: Because of the March 1/November 1 deadlines, we can't review all applications in time before the semester is over. If you submit early, it is possible to be recognized the same semester you submit. 

Question: May I hold an event during the summer or in between semesters?
Answer: No. Any event that requires funding from IGB may only be completed during the semester, and you must meet with your advisor before each semester before being able to request funds for your event.

Question: Who can be a mentor and what is the role of a mentor?
Answer: The mentor should be a faculty member or staff of Columbia with a valid UNI, who is willing to support your group and able to provide the necessary advice. The mentor should be doing work relevant to your club. The mentor needs to provide necessary support and be one of the emergency contacts for your group. IGB might contact the mentor for emergencies or discuss issues relevant to your group with the mentor (which is very rare).  Please be aware that once you get recognized by IGB, you will be assigned an advisor from University Life who manages your club's administrative and financial work. Then you can talk to both the advisor and the mentor to resolve issues the club has.

Question: What if I have additional questions not answered by the FAQ?
Answer: If your question is IGB-specific, please contact us at [email protected]. If you are a current IGB group, make sure you talk to your advisor and mentor to resolve the issue!

  1. You will be contacted by a staff member from the Office of Student Engagement for further instructions.
  2. You will be offered a staff advisor from the Office of Student Engagement. They will be your contact person for all future space and funding reimbursement requests. IGB will allocate those funds to your club, but the advisor will be responsible for helping to pay out those funds for your meetings and events.
  3. At the bare minimum, meet with your advisor at the beginning of every semester! In addition, work with your club mentor to plan out activities for the coming year.
  4. Start planning your meetings and events! Make sure that you continue to meet the IGB membership requirements as you gain more student interest. Remember that your club should be interschool in nature.

If your club is primarily composed of undergraduate students and is religious/ spiritual/ political/ ideological/ activist in nature…

Take a look at the Student Governing Board and contact [email protected].


If your club is primarily composed of undergraduate students and is pre-professional/ academic/ competitive/ cultural/ special interest/ performance/ publication/ media/ performing arts in nature…

You might want to check out the Activities Board at Columbia and contact [email protected].


If your club is community service oriented…

Check out Community Impact and contact [email protected].


If your club is athletic in nature…

Try Club Sports and contact [email protected].


If your club is a fraternity or sorority…

Contact the Intergreek Council at [email protected].


If your club is primarily composed of graduate students from one school…

Contact your school's student government, council, or student affairs office.


If your club is primarily composed of graduate students from the Columbia University Medical Center... 

Check out the P&S Club!

Phase 1- Note: IGB Board has 60 days to make their decision for Phase 1.

Step 1: The group founders and officers will attend the next IGB meeting to present their group and answer any questions (10-15 minutes). The full board votes on whether the group is to be conditionally approved for phase 2 of the recognition process. The full board can vote (1) to conditionally approve the group for phase 2 (this is a “YES” vote), (2) to not conditionally approve the group for phase 2 (this is a “NO” vote), (3) to ask the club founders/ officers to clarify and answer additional questions regarding their club (this is a “MAYBE” vote).

Step 2: If the full board votes for option (1) or (2) in step 1, skip to step 4. If the full board votes for option (3), the group founders and officers will either attend the next IGB meeting to discuss various questions and concerns from the board or will supply written statements with answers to the posed questions and concerns.

Step 3: The full board re-votes after getting their questions answered. This will be done immediately following the group presentation or receipt of the supplied answers to the full board. At this point, the full board can vote (1) to conditionally approve the group for phase 2 (this is a “YES” vote), (2) to not conditionally approve the group for phase 2 (this is a “NO” vote). There is no third option for step 3.

Step 4: Group is notified of IGB decision.

Step 4A: If a group does not receive a conditional approval for phase 2 from IGB, IGB executive board emails them the decision and may include reasons why based on notes taken at full board meetings. End of process for majority of groups.

Step 4B: If a group does receive a conditional approval from IGB, IGB executive board emails them letting them know that they have been conditionally approved for Phase 2 of the recognition process, the meeting with their potential adviser and constitutional review. Group mentor and IGB advisor is CC’ed on correspondence to be able to follow up immediately.


Phase 2

Step 1: IGB advisor receives group’s NGR packet as well as committee and full board notes on decision for conditional approval.

Step 2: IGB advisor assigns group to potential group advisor depending on group’s needs and niche.

Step 3: IGB advisor circulates application and recommendation materials to the Associate Director and potential advisor for constitutional review. Any concerns are collected by potential advisor.

Step 4: New potential group adviser schedules meeting with group and their mentor (optional) to discuss organizational needs, programming, and any questions that are presented from the constitutional review.

Step 5: Group either contests or agrees to constitutional changes.

Step 6: Final application and group constitution are sent to the IGB advisor and the IGB executive board. IGB Executive Board (not full board) will approve of the final application and group constitution or will bring it up with the full board if there are any concerns with the new application and constitution. In that case, they will vote on a decision that may include caveats depending on any agreements made with the group during meeting or constitutional review.


Phase 3

Step 1: IGB Advisor and IGB Executive Board draft letter with final decision after Phase 2. For groups who are approved for recognition, the IGB Executive Board and IGB Advisor will sign the recognition letter. The document is also accompanied by the approved constitution and amended application, completing the Recognition File located on the shared drive. The IGB advisor emails letter and constitution to group, the group advisor, the group mentor, the IGB Executive Board, UEM, and additional stakeholders as needed.

Step 2: Student Engagement Financial Advisor sends a welcome email to the group with financial advisor information as well as account number.

Step 3: Student Engagement Financial Advisor and IGB advisor will notify to enroll student leaders in training on respective policies and procedures to officially receive funding.


For appeals:

Groups may appeal to the IGB and in some instances, are granted a secondary (or tertiary) interview if the full board votes it so. Usually, these interviews are granted if new information surfaces that the full board (through vote) believes are critical to the understanding of the group and its functions.