Starting a New Club

The NYU Shanghai Student Government recognizes, governs, and funds on-campus student groups, and collects applications to register a student organization each semester.

Activities & Community Engagement

Groups that successfully complete the application process will be given a budget line, and will be able to reserve meeting spaces on campus. Student Government partners with the Student Involvement Team, and follows the guidelines below when reviewing applications for new student clubs and organizations.

New Student Organization Guidelines

Types of Organizations eligible for funding and support by Student Government:
Academic Clubs centered around academic pursuits, including but not limited to academic disciplines at NYU Shanghai.
Arts, Performance, and Media Clubs that focus on or encourage art in various forms, including but not limited to visual, media, and the performing arts.
Computer & Technology Clubs where students meet to code, explore technology, and more.
Cultural Clubs that celebrate, explore and share culture through education and dialogue.
Debate and Speech Clubs that provide opportunities to develop rhetorical, public speaking, and critical-thinking skills through speech and debate.
Identity-Based/Affinity Clubs that provide a space for students to explore and promote awareness of identities and social justice through community building, dialogue, education and more.
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 promote the publication of students’ creative works.
Professional Clubs that create opportunities for students’ professional development and related activities.
Recreational/Social Clubs that provide an opportunity for fun, relaxation, socializing, and recreation through shared interests.
Service/Volunteer Clubs that engage in regular civic activities or community-service projects.
Sports and athletics Clubs that engage in on-campus activities that build a community around a particular sport; please note that sports clubs may not compete or represent an official NYU Shanghai team. To learn about joining competitive team sports for NYU Shanghai, see the Athletics & Fitness page.
Types of Organizations that are NOT eligible for funding and support by Student Government:
Illegal Clubs engaging in activities that are not legal.
Extreme Risk Clubs engaging in activities that may pose an extreme level of health and safety risk to participants and others, or activities that may damage public or private property.
Service Providers Clubs that provide services that are more appropriately provided by university offices and academic departments, government agencies, private sector organizations, health and mental health agencies, legal and financial investment firms, or emergency response agencies.
For-Profits/Nonprofits Clubs incorporated as for-profit businesses or nonprofit organizations.
Investment/Lending 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 would 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 contact the Office of Student Life (email below).
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 you are unsure if your proposed club or organization falls into any of these categories, please contact the Office of Student Life by emailing

Follow these steps to begin the application process for your new club:

STEP 1 | Prepare the following

  • Club Name

    Student clubs may use “NYU Shanghai” or “New York University Shanghai” to append their organization name. Example:

    • Theatre Club at NYU Shanghai
    • NYU Shanghai Theatre Club

    Terms that may not appear in the club name because they may conflict with the university’s administrative or academic bodies include:

    • Office
    • Council
    • Board
    • Center
    • Committee

    In cases where a club would be the campus chapter of an international organization that includes these terms, Student Government and the Center for Student Involvement may consider an exception to this policy on a case by case basis.

  • Inclusivity Statement

    All clubs must be open to all NYU Shanghai students and students studying away at NYU Shanghai.

  • Mission Statement

    A club's mission statement is a brief, and clearly written document that defines the purpose of the organization, and what it aspires to be. When writing the mission statement for your club, consider how it will distinguish your club from other groups on campus, and use it as a framework to grow, change, and benchmark the future success of the organization. It is important to share your mission statement with club members so that each individual is aligned with the club’s core purpose and values. In the mission statement please include the following:

    • Purpose
    • Values
    • Primary stakeholders
    • Responsibilities of group to its members and the NYU Shanghai community
    • Key objectives
  • Founding Members

    A new club or organization requires four NYU Shanghai students to serve as founding members until elections are held after the group’s constitution is ratified. Founding members must currently be fully matriculated NYU students in good standing with the University, who are working toward an academic degree at NYU. Faculty and staff may not serve as founding members.

    At least two of the four founding members must be students whose home campus is NYU Shanghai. This means that only two founding members may be study away students at NYU Shanghai.
    Only two of the four founding members should be of the same nationality. Students may only be the founding member for one club per academic year.


STEP 2 | Submit your application

New club application forms will be available after each semester’s Involvement Fair. Students will be able to access the application form through an OrgSync link sent by email from the NYU Shanghai Student Government.

The NYU Shanghai Student Government will notify applicants if they have been approved for funding and support. After new groups are approved and registered, the Student Involvement staff in the Office of Student Life will assign a faculty/staff advisor to work with the student group. Questions about the status of applications for new student organization may be directed to Student Government at


STEP 3 | Complete required tasks

After the application for your student organization is approved, the following tasks are required to complete and maintain registration as an official NYU Shanghai student organization.

  • Set goals and timelines for group objectives
  • Attend monthly Club Leadership Meeting held by the Student Organizations Committee
  • Recruit new members. Clubs are required to maintain a membership of at least 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)
  • Write and ratify the group's Constitution (a sample constitution will be provided)
  • Elect leadership
  • Plan activities
  • Meet deadlines for monthly budgets
  • Host activities
  • Follow any other timelines, deadlines, and requirements set by Student Government