The Catholic University of America

Starting a New Student Organization

Student organizations form the basis of co-curricular life at Catholic University and are an important element to educating the total person. Although there are approximately 80 student organizations, we may not have the special one for which you are looking. Outlined below is the process by which you can propose a student organization that is recognized by the Office of Campus Activities (OCA) and the University.

A student organization seeking recognition must be non-discriminatory and open to the entire CU undergraduate and graduate populations. All proposed student organizations and any affiliated national organizations must adhere to the goals and mission of Catholic University and the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. Please note that not all proposed new student organizations will be approved based on several factors including but not limited to the number of similar organizations, the interest and sustainability, the use of campus resources, likelihood of sustaining over time, appropriateness, and support of the mission and vision of the University and the Catholic Church. In addition, no organization can be in support of any specific political candidate for any election.

Before you begin, please consider:

  • Does your organization’s mission overlap with any existing organizations? Review other clubs’ constitutions here: If there is some overlap, what does your organization give/do for CU that no other organization does?
  • Has your organization existed at CU in the past? If you think your group may have once existed at CU and is therefore eligible for re-registration, contact OCA at or 202-319-6003 or visit us in Pryz 204.
  • Are you a graduate student? Contact the Graduate Student Association at


Student Organization Proposal & Registration Process:

Step 1: Submit a proposal through the Nest.

  • Proposals can only be submitted from September 10 - October 9, 2018 here.
  • OCA will inform you if your proposal has been accepted by October 22, 2018.
  • Be prepared to answer the following questions on your proposal:
    - What is the name of the organization?
    - What is the purpose of the organization?
    - What are the short term goals for the first year of the organization?
    - What are the long term goals for the first five years of the organization?
    - What thorough research and findings has been done into any potential conflicts with the Catholic Church and explanation of how the organization is consistent with Catholic Social Teaching?
    - Any additional information?
    - There is also an opportunity to upload a file.

Step 2: Hold a recruitment/organizational meeting.

  • This meeting can only be held after OCA has approved your proposal
  • If your organization is approved to move on to Step 2, you will be able to reserve space and post announcements for one meeting. At this meeting you should discuss with your potential members any outstanding requirements needed to complete Step 3.

Step 3: Register your Organization on the Nest by December 3, 2018.

  • Log in to the Nest and click on "Organizations"
  • On the left you will see a link to "Register a New Organization"
  • The registration form will require the following information:
    • Organization name and description
    • Organization roster, including at least six members and a CUA faculty or staff advisor
    • Organization constitution (guidelines found here and a template can be found here)

Step 4: Review Process

  • Once the New Organization Registration has been submitted, the request will be reviewed by OCA staff. If additional information is required, OCA staff will contact the organization. OCA has the authority to recognize (or not recognize) student organizations on behalf of the university.
  • Upon authorization, OCA will approve the organization’s registration in The Nest. OCA will also notify all necessary campus departments that the organization has been recognized.
  • The review process will be completed by December 10, 2018 and the student organization will complete training in Spring 2019 as a part of the continued registration process.

Please note: The next available time for new student organization proposals to be submitted will be in the Spring 2019 semester. The proposal submission form will open January 22, 2019 and will close March 4, 2019. The process noted above will remain the same with new dates.