Student Engagement

GS Student Life provides engagement opportunities for GS students to facilitate connections for students with faculty, alumni, and staff; to learn about professional opportunities; to explore New York City and New York State; and to support specific populations at GS.

Ongoing Engagement Opportunities

The Mid-Semester Success Series is a week-long program series designed to give students an opportunity to reflect on areas of personal growth, holistic wellness, and community building in preparation for the second half of the semester. With programming that is responsive to both undergraduate and Postbac Premed students, the series is both diverse and robust in responding to students at various stages in their academic and professional careers.

The series is planned in collaboration with GS Student Life and the GS Academic Resource Center (ARC). The series occurs at the end of October during the fall semester and at the end of February in the spring semester.

This topical discussion series will provide an inclusive space for students to engage in critical conversations around pressing issues facing our campus and community at large. Students will learn to embrace and navigate both challenging and uncomfortable conversations that impact our community at large in support of solution-oriented problem solving.

These workshops, facilitated by Senior Assistant Dean of Student Veteran Initiatives, David Keefe, and current GS students, are designed to utilize art, culture, and creativity to focus on the skills of close reading and reflective writing to connect people over important issues and our relationality between one another amid an ever-changing world. These workshops are an hour of community discussion following an assigned creative reading and 5-minute writing prompt. Using art and culture, and the natural elements of the virtual space in which the workshop takes place as “grounding elements,” participants are effectively made aware of their “sense of place” relating to history, society, culture, and the current environment. Craft-making is a direct connection to nature and a mediator between people. The goal of these workshops is to utilize participatory craft-making, through writing and storytelling, as the action to build a capacity within our Self to listen to the Other. Through a making experience, stories are expressed and received in a new co-created narrative of witnessing and collaboration. In this interaction we find relationality to others around us and can draw on both the positive and challenging understandings of recognition, empathy, and acceptance. In this newly defined safe space, rather a Creative Connective Space, we find commonality by recognizing both our similarities and differences with one another. 

GS Student Life hosts a series of programs to encourage students to engage with faculty members outside of the classroom.

  • Student-Faculty Dinner
  • Student-Faculty Cocktail Reception
  • Student-Faculty Lunch Program

GS Student Life hosts a series of programs in collaboration with GS Alumni Relations and the Center for Career Education (CCE) to encourage GS students to engage with and learn from the experiences of GS alumni, and to explore various professional career paths.

  • The Art of Networking with GS Alumni
  • International Alumni Panel & Reception
  • The Art of Networking with International GS Alumni
  • Dinner & Discussion Series with GS Alumni
  • Joint CCE & GS Major Advising

GS Student Life hosts a series of programs to encourage GS students to engage with staff members outside of the traditional office setting.

GS Student Life hosts a variety of events that encourage students to explore New York City and the State of New York.

  • Annual Fall Apple & Pumpkin Picking Trip
  • Broadway, Opera, and Dance Shows
  • Museum Visits and Tours
  • Annual Spring Theme Park Trip

GS Student Life hosts programs and events to promote inclusion and support specific populations at GS (including, but not limited to, Postbac Premed students, Dual and Joint Degree Program students, international students, veteran students, and more). Programs include:

Throughout the academic year, GS Student Life collaborates with the Student Life offices at Barnard College, Columbia College, and Columbia Engineering to advise student-led traditions that build community across all four undergraduate schools at the University.

  • History and Heritage Months
  • Homecoming
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Glass House Rocks
  • Bacchanal
  • Senior Week

Throughout the academic year, GS Student Life and the Dean of Students Office host a variety of events for the GS community in which Student Life volunteers may be involved. These events include GS Planning Day, New Student Orientation, meet & greets, alumni events, memorials, Senior Week, and Graduation. Through their service, volunteers have the opportunity to develop relationships with new and current students and administrators, as well as to foster a welcoming community for GS students.

Time Commitment

This position is ideal for students who want to get involved in GS but cannot commit to an intensive leadership position, as there are a variety of involvement opportunities available with varying time commitments. Volunteers are notified about involvement opportunities via email and are able to volunteer on an event-by-event basis.

Learn More and Apply

Note: If you have previously served as a GS Orientation Leader, Junior Marshal, or are a member of a GS-focused student organization, you are already a member of the GS Student Life Volunteers mailing list.

Only students in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible to participate in student organizations, study away from Columbia, study abroad, and serve as officers on the General Studies Student Council (GSSC).  In addition, each student organization or group may have its own set of policies pertaining to minimum academic requirements for participation in that organization.

To be considered in good academic standing, undergraduates must maintain semester and cumulative grade-point averages of 2.0 or higher (including unofficial withdrawals (UW) or unauthorized incompletes), incur no failing grades, and make satisfactory academic progress. Students with multiple withdrawals, who are placed on academic or disciplinary probation, or required to withdraw for either academic or disciplinary reasons, are not considered to be in good standing.