GSAC recognition allows your group to operate using the Columbia name (i.e. “The Columbia Steeplechase Club”) and provides you access to university facilities and other resources. Without recognition from GSAC, your group cannot use the Columbia name, nor can your group reserve equipment and facilities on-campus. Groups must re-register with GSAC every year to confirm that they are active, have student leadership, and are abiding by current policies and procedures. Below you’ll find a step-by-step overview of the recognition process.

Recognition Procedure
All petitions for recognition must be submitted by the first of the month during the fall and spring semesters. Two restrictions apply:

  1. No applications are accepted during the summer.

  2. No applications are accepted before the last GSAC meeting of the semester. That means applications may only be submitted from September–November and January–March. Applications submitted in December or April will not be considered. Please check the GSAC calendar for our meeting schedule.

There are no exceptions to either rule.

Group Recognition
In order to be approved as a GSAC-recognized group, your group must be unique and have a purpose that cannot be fulfilled by other existing student groups. Your group cannot be directly supported by a university department, program, or office, or have ties to an existing student group. Groups that are affiliated with a national organization and have recognized chapters at Columbia (such as Amnesty International) are ineligible for GSAC recognition.

Your group must have a constitution which clearly states the following:

Your constitution must also contain the GSAC Clause, which states: The [your group name] agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the Association of Student Activities, and its executive board. This constitution, amendments to it, and the by-laws of this organization shall be subject to review by GSAC Steering Committee to insure that they are in accordance with the aforementioned rules and regulations.

Click here to view a sample constitution.

Contents of an Application Package
Your application package should include your organization’s constitution and a completed GSAC Group Recognition form. Click here to download the form. Please note that the form must be signed by at least five Columbia students who will become members of the group.

Send all papers and forms to the GSAC Vice-President at Be sure to keep copies of all documents you submit.

Once the Application Has Been Submitted

GSAC will review your application at our next meeting, then vote on whether to recognize the group. If all of the requirements have been met, your group will be will be formally recognized. If the requirements have not been satisfied, GSAC may require revisions to your organization’s constitution as a condition of recognition. GSAC may also recommend that your group be recognized under a different category (i.e. sponsored group instead of fully recognized).

When further action is required, the group will have 6 weeks (upon receipt of our email) to make the requested changes. If no revised constitution has been received within that 6 week period, the application will be discarded. The group may re-apply for recognition in the following semester.

One Year Check for Provisionally Recognized Groups
All newly recognized groups are categorized as provisional. GSAC performs a one-year check to ensure that the group is still active, growing, and adhering to GSAC’s group recognition guidelines. A member of the GSAC Steering Committee will contact the group's officers prior to the group’s first anniversary. Your group’s officers must complete the Activity Review Form and submit it to GSAC. Click here to download the form. A GSAC representative may also wish to attend a group event or meeting to gauge the health of the organization.

After the forms are submitted, the Steering Committee will make one of the following recommendations:

The Steering Committee's decision will be announced to the group's President.