About the SPJ Board

This chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists serves as the voice of the student body for the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. The board advocates for student concerns and issues. It works with the graduate school administration to solve problems on behalf of the student body. The board also organizes professional, networking and social programming for all students throughout the year.

The SPJ board at Columbia’s Journalism School is advised by Rebecca Castillo.

How to Get Involved

Any current journalism school student can join an SPJ committee. Committees may form throughout the year and are at the discretion of the leadership board. Each committee has a different schedule, agenda and rules, but typically meet once a week. Some examples include the Academic Affairs Committee, the Hybrid Graduation Committee and the Speakers Committee. Fill out this form to join a committee.

Joining the Leadership Board

Each academic year, members of the leadership board are elected by their fellow students. Any current student at the journalism school can be on the leadership board, but must participate in the election process. Board members include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, cohort representatives and university senator. Find detailed descriptions of each role here. Students can also join the board as general board members. Any student who does not win election for one of the titled roles are offered a position on the board as a general board member.

Elections take place every September (or in February for members of the class starting in January due to the pandemic.) For more details on the election process, read more here. This information will also be sent to all students via email prior to election season.


Typically, general meetings occur on a weekly basis in person at the Journalism School. Currently, meetings are held via Zoom every week. The meetings are typically not open to non-board members, but recordings of each meeting are posted in full on this website.

Any student can submit an agenda item to be discussed at the meeting by filling out the student survey available under the Resources tab.

SPJ Membership

Journalism graduate students can join this chapter’s board without being members of the national Society of Professional Journalists, but SPJ membership has many benefits and is highly recommended. Join the SPJ here.

Operating Guide

Download a copy of the chapter operating guide below.