New Student Organization Recognition

Eliot CrewNew Student Organization Recognition 

Thank you for your interest in contributing to our campus by creating a New Student Organization.

Before beginning the steps to apply for Recognition, keep in mind that College recognized student organizations are independent and must maintain local autonomy, meaning they cannot be a division or chapter of a national organization or foundation. Furthermore, recognized student organizations should serve our community and uniquely contribute to our campus. Students should consider carefully the unique impact of their organization and whether or not existing recognized student organizations already serve similar purposes before beginning the Recognition Application process.

Our office and the Harvard College Undergraduate Council (the UC) have developed a new Student Organization Recognition process that entails an application submission, a meeting with a designated staff member, and a proposal presentation to the UC. Then, the Committee of Student Life (a committee of both students and staff) will grant prospective organizations Provisional recognition at the end of the fall semester. Provisionally recognized student organizations hold all privileges granted to fully recognized groups, however, they will be subject to review by the UC after one year. If still in good standing at that time, the UC will approve their promotion from Provisional to an established Recognized student organization of Harvard College.

The New Student Organization Recognition application is currently closed. The application, as well as more information about the process, can be found in theHub on the New Student Org Recognition Portal, listed under Forms.

Please note that late applications will not be accepted, and there will be no opportunity to apply for Recognition in the Spring term.  The Recognition process only occurs once a year, in the Fall. 

The following information is also listed within the New Studen Organization Portal on theHub, but we have also listed it here for your convenience. 

Application additional requirements:

1. Prospective organizations will be required to upload and submit a Constitution (also called bylaws) with their application. A sample Constitution template can be found here

Keep in mind a student group's Constitution/Bylaws must also comply to these requirements:

  • The bylaws must affirm that the student organization is open to all students at the College.
  • The bylaws must include a process for selecting officers or leadership. These officers must be currently registered students at the College.
  • The bylaws must affirm that the student organization will not discriminate against any potential members on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or other factors irrelevant to participation in programs of the College.
  • The bylaws must affirm the student organization will not participate in any hazing activities.
  • The bylaws must outline a detailed overview of their new membership processes. These processes must be rationally linked to the function and purpose of the student organization and must not be particularly onerous.

2. You will need an official adviser for your prospective organization, which must be faculty or staff (professor, proctor, tutor etc.) with an appointment at the University. You may wish to begin reaching out and building relationships now in order to ensure you have a faculty advisor for the fall.

3. You will also need ten undergraduate students who are interested in membership to the organization. Begin to reaching out to students you think may be interested.

These additional requirements may be subject to additions or changes.

Questions? Please email the staff at the SOCH.

constitution_template1.doc40 KB