Starting a New Club

Founding a Student Organization

NYU Shanghai Student Government is responsible for recognizing, governing, and funding student groups on campus. Applications to register a student organization are collected by Student Government on a monthly basis, and successful groups are given access to request budget lines and space reservations on campus. To facilitate the management of student groups, Student Government, in partnership with the Center for Student Involvement, follows the following guidelines when reviewing applications for student clubs and organizations.

Types of Organizations that are eligible for funding and support by Student Government:

  • Academic: Clubs engaged in activities centered around academic pursuits, including but not limited to academic disciplines
  • Arts, Performance, and Media: Clubs that focus on performance arts, including but not limited to dance, theatre, and music; clubs that encourage art in various forms
  • Computer & Technology: Clubs engaged in activities that promote computer and technological arts
  • Cultural: Clubs that are focused on exploring and observing cultures through dialogue, education, and celebration
  • Debate and Speech: Clubs that provide opportunities to develop communication and critical-thinking skills through debate and speaking activities
  • Identity-Based: Clubs that provide a space for students to explore and promote awareness of identities through community building, dialogue, and education
  • Issue-Based: Clubs that promote intellectual and social understanding of topics and areas of interest and/or concern through community building, dialogue, and education.
  • Literary/Publication: Clubs that explore literary themes and the publication of students’ creative works
  • Professional: Clubs that create opportunities for students’ professional and career development and related activities
  • Recreational/Social: Clubs that provide an opportunity for fun, relaxation, socializing, and recreation around shared interests
  • Service/Volunteer: Clubs that engage in regular civic engagement or community-service activities
  • Sport: Clubs that engage in on-campus activities that build a community around a particular sport; please note that sports clubs do not compete or represent NYU Shanghai as a team sport

Types of Organizations that Will Not Be Considered by Student Government

Students proposing these types of clubs should not submit an application, as they will not be considered by the Student Government. For specific questions regarding any of these parameters, please contact the Office of Student Life by emailing

  • Unlawful: Clubs engaging in activities that are not permissible under any applicable law
  • Extreme Risk: Clubs engaging in activities that pose an extreme level of health and safety risk to participants and others or activities that pose a risk of damage to public or private property
  • Service Providers: Clubs providing services more appropriately provided by university offices and academic departments, government agencies, private sector, health and mental health agencies, legal and financial investment firms, and emergency response agencies
  • For-Profits/Nonprofits: Clubs incorporated as for-profit businesses or nonprofit organizations
  • Investment/Lending Clubs: Clubs engaging in the investment and/or lending of funds, microfinance/microcredit, and solidarity lending services
  • Social Drinking or Smoking Clubs: Clubs engaging in activities focusing on the consumption or tasting of alcohol or use of tobacco or similar products
  • Office-Affiliated Clubs: Clubs that will be open primarily to students affiliating with an NYU administrative office or center
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL): Students interested in bringing Greek/FSL organizations to NYU Shanghai should speak to the Director of Student Life
  • Academic-Based Fraternities, Honorary and Secret Societies: Honorary fraternities and sororities or honorary or secret societies affiliated with an academic program or with membership restrictions based on academic standing or enrollment in a specific academic discipline

If, after consideration via the above criteria, student groups are eligible for Student Government funding and support, applicants may follow the following process to establish a new student organization at NYU Shanghai:

Apply to register a club or chapter with Student Government. The section below provides information and guidelines that Student Government will require when reviewing applications to create a student organization. It is suggested that students review this section prior to applying.

  • Club or Chapter Name: The use of "NYU Shanghai" or "New York University Shanghai" as part of a student organization name is restricted to "at NYU Shanghai" or "at New York University Shanghai.” For example, clubs are not authorized to use the name "NYU Shanghai Theatre Club" but are authorized to use the name "Theatre Club at NYU Shanghai." New clubs may not identify themselves as an "Office," "Council," "Board," "Center," "Department," or other names commonly used to identify official governing bodies or administrative or academic areas of the University. In cases where a club is a campus chapter of an international organization that includes these terms, the Student Government and Center for Student Involvement will consider an exception to this policy.
  • Inclusivity Statement: All clubs must be open to all NYU Shanghai students and students studying away at NYU Shanghai.
  • Mission Statement: The club's mission statement defines what the mission of the organization is and what it aspires to be. It allows for growth and change, distinguishes the club from other groups on campus, and serves as a framework to evaluate the success of the group. An important intention of the mission statement is to keep current and future members aware of the group's core purpose and values. To that end, the mission statement should include the purpose and values of the group, identify who the club's primary stakeholders are, outline the responsibilities of the group to its members and the NYU community, and set out the main objectives the organization will accomplish. The mission statement should be brief and clearly stated so that it is generally understood by all.
  • Founding Members: Founding a new club or chapter requires four NYU students to serve as the founding members until elections are held following the ratification of the group's constitution. The founding members are required to be current fully matriculated NYU students in good standing with the University who are enrolled in academic courses working toward an academic degree. Faculty or staff may not serve as founding members. At least two of the four founding members must be students whose home campus is NYU Shanghai. A maximum of two founding members may be students currently studying away in Shanghai. Students are only permitted to be a founding member for one club or chapter per academic year. No more than 50 percent of the founding members of any student organization can be of the same nationality.

They NYU Shanghai Student Government will notify applicants if they have been approved for Student Government funding and support. Following approval and registration of new groups, the Student Involvement staff in the Office of Student Life will recommend a faculty/staff advisor to work with the student group. Further questions regarding the process status of applications to create a student organization should be directed to Student Government at


Finish all required tasks on time as required by Student Government in order to complete and maintain registration as an official NYU Shanghai student organization. Tasks may include the following:

  • Setting goals and timelines for group objectives 
  • Recruiting new members (Minimum of 10 fully matriculated NYU Shanghai students in good standing with the University; membership must be open to all students at NYU Shanghai and without restrictions)
  • Writing and ratifying the group's Constitution (a sample constitution will be provided)  
  • Electing leaders
  • Planning activities
  • Applying for a budget 
  • Hosting activities
  • Following any other timelines and deadlines for requirements set by Student Government