Student Project Grants

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) Student Project Grants are a fantastic way for individual students to receive funding for individual projects that they would otherwise be unable to carry out. This year, with the expertise and assistance from the Governing Boards, the Student Project Grants have been re-envisioned as a way for students to propose project ideas that fall under the fundamental aspects of student life at Columbia that could benefit from the innovation of students like you.

There are 10 categories that students can apply for, with around $2,000 available for each category. Students who receive a grant will have the opportunity to carry out a proposed project with the full resources of CCSC behind them, including help with booking space, event planning, and fine-tuning the details and goals of the proposal. We’ll be there every step of the way, and together, CCSC and students will be able to see some really exciting and creative initiatives designed and achieved by students who have big ideas.

This application is due December 13th.

The application can be found here. Please read through the “General Guidelines” before proceeding.


General Guidelines

Every proposal will be judged on several general qualities, with each category having more specific guidelines that you should think about carefully as you are designing your proposal. Here are the general criteria: originality and ingenuity, benefit to the Columbia community, and minimal overlap with current student groups’ missions/programming

That said, we’re looking to be surprised, so surprise us! On the last point: we understand that some initiatives will be bettered by partnering with student groups. The Student Project Grant is intended to open funding directly to individuals, some of the categories will speak to student groups directly, and we encourage you to work with established student groups when your proposal requires it or when the partnership will significantly enhance the results of your idea.
Below are the categories available for you to apply under. In each category, we’ve given you the basic idea of the category, provided you with guidelines your proposal should meet, and highlighted a few examples of a project that might fit the category. We don’t want you to feel constricted by the examples, or even by the guidelines! Be creative and have fun!

Columbia Spirit: As a student body, we’re always saying that Columbia doesn’t have enough school spirit. This category aims to celebrate the many different aspects of being a student at the “greatest College, in the greatest University, in the greatest city in the world,” as Dean Valentini puts it. Although commonly associated with Athletics, a proposal about school spirit need not be centered around an Athletics event! It can be any idea that celebrates our institution.

Factionalism/Unity: As students, we often rely on certain labels to dictate who we hang out with and how we perceive others. We have stereotypes about members of athletics teams, Greek organizations, and cultural organizations, as well as stereotypes about students at Barnard, General Studies, and SEAS. This category aims to bridge the divide between campus communities, and it can be focused on reducing factionalism between two specific communities or it can be focused on reducing factionalism among many different communities.

Civic Engagement: This category is intended to get at two broad concepts of civic engagement: activism and service. Proposals should identify a community need or a social issue that manifests itself locally within the 5 boroughs of New York City. Projects should aim to address that need, whether it be food insecurity or the need to rally against the soda ban. Things the committee will consider when reading proposals will include questions like “how well thought out is the model of the service or activism?” This is not intended to be a volunteerism category, nor an opportunity to promote “day of service” type initiatives. This category is an opportunity to address a local issue through service or activism, with funds and other resources to help you along the way!

Student Group Collaboration: When it comes to groups throwing new events and finding partnerships with other student groups, funding is always a potential barrier to success. Student Government is looking to see groups collaborate on a project or event that they think would benefit the Columbia community. The project could be as huge as Night Market or a panel, or even as small as a study break, but we want to encourage student groups to work together to bring a new event to the Columbia community. The only requirements are that the project must be undertaken by at least 2 student groups and it must be an event that is not already held on campus

Application Development: Have the next biggest app idea? Pitch it to here and you could see it come to fruition! We are looking for creative application ideas that will benefit the Columbia Community. The best part? You don’t have to be a developer! If your idea ends up being selected, SPG will assist in finding developers to execute your idea. For existing developers, this is can be an excellent addition to your portfolio, with the bonus of SPG backing your idea! Submissions will be judged on:
1) Degree of benefit to the Columbia Community (i.e. what problem are you solving?), and 2) Explanation of how you (or someone else) would create it (i.e. how realistic is your idea?). This can be as big as you want it, but keep in mind your idea will be developed if it wins, so keep it within reason. For example, some really amazing ideas executed by Columbia students in the past include [email protected] and a Columbia University portal app featuring course listings, CULPA reviews, and feeds from Columbia’s news organizations.

Multiculturalism: At Columbia we pride ourselves in the diversity of our student body. This category calls for a proposal aimed at celebrating that diversity in a new and interesting way. This could be something like the film a group of students worked on last year, in which they highlighted the immigrant experience for a college student from South Korea, or it could be a performance showcase with student groups at Columbia. The possibilities with this category are endless, and you should aim for a creative way to celebrate our diverse Columbia community.

Student Wellness: Student wellness is a buzzword within the Columbia community. Our wellness affects every aspect of our lives in both subtle and obvious ways. This category is an opportunity for students to address the different facets of wellness within our community and come up with a way to combat some of the negative influences. Proposals don’t need to be limited to stress-reduction! There are many things that go into making individuals and communities healthy, and the funding attached to this grant could allow for some unique, creative, and innovative approaches to student wellness at Columbia.

Sustainability: Columbia is committed to sustainability. One of the key components to driving change is generating and increasing awareness. As a result, we are looking for students to come up with ideas about how to educate their peers around the environmental impact of everyday actions that take place on our Morningside Heights campus. One possible idea that students might accomplish is performing a waste audit of a dorm building or of CC, gathering information about the environmental impact of our actions, publicizing it, and offering constructive methods for how to improve our sustainability efforts.

Fun: This category is just what it sounds like: fun! Come up with a way to let Columbia students have fun! Anything goes, and you have up to $2,000 to do it, so think big, think creative, and have a blast with this proposal.

Other: If you have a proposal that doesn’t seem to match the categories listed above, or if it’s along the lines of a more traditional student project grant, then select this category and we’ll review your application. This is the place to get really creative and come up with great ways to benefit our community.