What are Clubs?

Registered clubs are social organisations that tap on the school’s resources (whether funds or space) to operate. They may organise nation-wide, school-wide or members-only activities. They must submit a constitution to Cornell and must adhere to the Campus Code of Conduct.


They are mostly not representatives of the school. However, there are a few that deal with matters directly pertaining to the school (e.g. Student Assembly)

Why Join Clubs?

Stress relief

  • Interest groups
  • Structured rest
  • Breaks up the monotony of school work


Personal growth

  • Time management
  • Avenue for exploration
  • Opportunity for leadership positions



    • Technical skills
    • Resumé builder
    • Greater understanding of industry

    Social circle

    • Broaden it (meet people across colleges)
    • Deepen it (more interactions with like-minded peers)

    Sense of community

    • Represent Cornell

    Disclaimers/Reality check

    • Not all clubs are able to provide all of the above (or even any)
    • Most clubs also take some time before providing those benefits
    • Different people react/vibe differently with a club

    Which Club?

    • Scan through all the registered student organisations on campus and seek out those which sound interesting (Do note that reality often doesn’t fit perfectly with expectations!)
    • Attend ClubFest - roam around the many tables and see who are the people you’re interested in being friends with (and becoming like).
    • Talk to seniors who you know to find out what they’re doing and whether that interests you/cold-email seniors you don’t know who are in clubs you may be interested in (and even attend their meetings)
    • Regardless of whether you’re still exploring or you have a very clear idea about what you want to do, have an open mind and push yourself to immerse yourself! It’s normal to flicker between the two ends of that spectrum.
    • If your interests lie outside of the list of registered organisations (or even if they do lie within), you can start your own club.

    What is the Degree of Club Involvement Required?

    Varies greatly from club to club and even within a club (dependent on whether you run for executive board). May have one event a semester or meet once a month for meetings, or take 5-10 hours a week and frequently go on weekend trips/out-of-state competitions

    Process of selection for executive board varies (either elected by all members or selected by the outgoing executive board members), but every club has at least a President, Treasurer, and two more board members

    How to Join?

    The application process for clubs vary greatly. Some are open to everyone and you can simply sign up for their mailing list. Some require multiple rounds of selection. During the week of ClubFest, many clubs will make their selection process known.


    Broadly speaking, there are these categories of clubs which tend to have certain application processes:

    • Academic research → can have resume submission and interviews
    • Business → information sessions held after ClubFest, resumé round and multiple rounds of interviews (for technical skill/social fit)
    • Community service → often have no process of selection
    • Community-based (e.g. SSA) → are legally obliged to be non-discriminatory and don’t have a process of selection, but usually self-selecting
    • Interest groups → often have no process of selection
    • Musical/performing groups → auditions held at the start of the semester (often will write audition dates in chalk on the floor and distribute flyers)
    • Political groups → may have tryouts, but are usually lenient in selection process
    • Pre-law/pre-med → may have information sessions and multiple rounds of interview
    • Publishing → may require submission of past work and resumé
    • Sports → tryouts (some have multiple) that are sometimes scheduled before ClubFest, so it’s most prudent to reach out to them early