New Group Recognition

How to Become & Stay Recognized

Thank you for your interest in the new group recognition process.

ABC recognition gives recognized groups the power to request funding from ABC, the undergraduate student councils and Columbia’s various funds and departments, access to Lerner Hall rooms free of charge, power to vote in ABC elections, and the inclusion of “Columbia” as part of the name of the organization. Groups may be able to obtain similar benefits from the Student Governing Board, Club Sports, Greek Life, Community Impact, and the Governing Board at Barnard. Before applying for ABC recognition, groups should make sure that they are not better suited to another governing board.

We review applications from groups seeking recognition every semester.


Groups seeking recognition are expected to meet some minimum requirements before their applications will be considered.

To be considered for ABC recognition, a group must:

  1. Not be community service, political, religious, athletic, or activist in purpose. Honorary societies, fraternities, and sororities are also ineligible;

  2. Not duplicate the function and/or stated purpose of any other ABC organization [or university division/department];

  3. Require access to University facilities and resources not otherwise available to them as an unrecognized group;

  4. Be composed of at least twenty (20) members, unless the nature of the group precludes a 20-person membership (if so please offer a detailed explanation as to why your group should exist);

  5. Have a membership consisting of three-fourths (3/4) Columbia College, Barnard College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and/or General Studies undergraduate students.

  6. Have been active for a minimum of one semester leading up to the semester in which the group seeks ABC Recognition.

  7. Be in good standing with Columbia University

In addition, please take a look at our list of current groups to determine whether the group you want to start already exists; in which case, go join! If you feel your group meets our recognition criteria and occupies a niche / space not already covered by an already-recognized ABC group, please submit an ABC NGR application.


This year onward, groups that wish to be newly recognized may apply each Spring semester via the USL New Group Recognition webform.

Please open this link to access important information and the application.


If your group does not fall under ABC’s purview, please see the following other governing boards:

If your club is religious/spiritual/political/ideological/activist in nature…
Take a look at the Student Governing Board 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.

And if your club is primarily made up of graduate students
You may fit better within the Interschool Governing Board.