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 typically over 100 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 Catholic 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 on the Nest. If there is some overlap, what does your organization give/do for CU that no other organization does?
  • Check the OCA list of student organizations that have existed in the past, but currently do not have active leadership. If you would like to restart a student organization listed on the sheet, contact OCA at
  • Has your organization existed at Catholic in the past? If you think your group may have once existed at Catholic and is therefore eligible for re-registration, contact OCA at or 202-319-6003 or visit us in The Nest (Pryz 300).
  • Are you a graduate student and want to start a group just for graduate students? Contact the Graduate Student Association at to learn more about the resources available through them. 


Step Fall 2023 Spring 2024
Proposal Form Open on the Nest Sept. 6 - Oct. 9, 2023 Jan. 10 - Feb. 5, 2024
Earliest Decisions Sent Out Oct. 23, 2023 Feb. 19, 2024
Check-In Meeting with Student Org Management Team Oct. 23 - Nov. 20, 2023 Feb. 19 -  Mar. 18 2024
Register Your Org on the Nest Deadline Dec. 11, 2023 April 29, 2024
New Student Org Training Jan. 16, 2024 Aug. 27 - 29, 2024

Proposal & Registration Process

Step 1: Submit a proposal through the Nest

  • Proposals can only be submitted on the Nest . OCA will inform you if your proposal has been accepted by the dates outlined above.
  • 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: Check-In Meeting with the Student Organization Management Team

  • This meeting can only be held after OCA has approved your proposal. You will receive an email to schedule a meeting with the student organization management team.
  • The team will work with you to discuss goals, next steps, help you book space and print flyers for your recruitment/organizational meeting.

Step 3: Hold a recruitment/organizational meeting

  • This meeting can only be held after you have met with the student organization management team.
  • At this meeting you should discuss with your potential members any outstanding requirements needed to complete the next step.

Step 4: Register your organization on the Nest

  • New organization registration must be submitted by the dates outlined above.
  • 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 Catholic University faculty or staff advisor
    • Organization constitution (guidelines and a template can be found here)

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: Attend New Student Organization Training

  • This training will touch on all aspects of how student organizations at CUA operate, including a presentation about the Treasury Board and how to receive Student Activity Fee funding.
  • Each organization is required to have at least two members participate, but more are welcome to attend!