How to Start a Caucus

Questions to Consider:

      • Do you have the time and energy to maintain a Caucus (communication, accounting, group dynamics, and recruitment)?
      • Does your proposed caucus overlap with any existing caucuses? What makes it different from similar Caucuses? Is there already a Caucus that you can join that accomplishes your intention?
      • What do you want the Caucus to do? What would the mission/purpose of the group be?
      • How will you ensure the longevity or existence of the Caucus? How will leadership be maintained from year to year?

CSSW Caucus Requirements:

In order to be a CSSW recognized caucus with the Office of Student Life, a Caucus must:

      • Fulfill a need in either the student or University community that is not being addressed by another recognized CSSW Caucus.
      • Identify a primary contact person for communication with Student Life.
      • Provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding your Caucus.
      • Follow the established registration process and deadlines.
      • Abide by all University policies.

While the Office of Student Life fully supports students’ co-curricular experiences, it also has a responsibility to the School regarding resources needed to manage such a large number of organizations.

Not all proposed caucuses will be approved, based on several factors, including but not limited to the number of similar Caucuses, the interest and sustainability, and the use of campus resources.

Proposal Process:

The organizers of the student group shall make a formal request to the Office of Student Life.

This request must include:

      • contact information of leaders (there must be at least two established leaders)
      • a statement of purpose and/or a mission statement
      • a statement on how the proposed caucus aligns with social work and Columbia University
      • an organizational structure (with at least two leadership positions)
      • a plan for recruiting new members
      • an indication of numeric strength of its constituency through a student petition including at least 50 signatures/student supporters (5% of the current student body)

After submitting the required documents to [email protected], Student Life staff will review the request and will contact students within 14 days.


Email [email protected].