Monthly Archives: December 2012

SAO, ASA, UA… oh my!


Neither the SAO, UA, or ASA are as scary as lions, tigers, or bears (and we all have hearts and brains…also)

OK, sorry for all of the acronyms there in the title, but, of course, as MIT leads by example, we are an institution of acronyms!

So, there are a bunch of different bodies that deal with student organizations and their roles in MIT life and activities.  What do they all do and what role do they play on campus and how do they interact with each other?

The ASA is the Association for Student Activities, and is the overall governing body for student organizations at MIT.  They are responsible for organizing the creation of new student groups, as well as the administrative details of year-to-year registration and member management.

The UA, or the Undergraduate Association, represents undergraduates at MIT, and is the student government concerned with bringing concerns and issues of the undergraduate community to the Institute’s attention.  They offer unique opportunities to get involved with campus life and policies, as well as additional programming and financial opportunities to student organizations that serve the undergraduate community.

The SAO, or Student Activities Office, is a partner in the work that the UA and ASA does, offering opportunities to discuss organizational and leadership development, transition between organization leadership from year to year, and financial guidance as student organizations utilize their Student Activities Fee based budgets.  The SAO is staffed by professionals with years of experience in financial management, large event planning (bringing a concert to campus? The SAO can help you gameplan!), leadership and personal development, and social justice education.  SAO considers itself a thinking parter to students and their organizations, helping them to achieve great things for their organizations and the MIT community.

Image originally posted by MIT Panhel @

The SAO helps to manage much of the financial work of student organizations, so if you have questions regarding effective budgeting, how to navigate payments and contracts, or additional funding for your programming ideas and dreams, visit the SAO over in W20-549 or email a SAO staff member to set up some time to discuss your thoughts and ideas.

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Filed under Student Activities Updates, Student Leaders

Hosting minors at an on-campus event?

MIT student organizations do some pretty unique and great things around the campus and the community, and the SAO is proud to assist in any way possible to ensure your events are a success.  There are lots of opportunities to get involved with the Boston education community, and the SAO has a few updates regarding sponsoring events that will bring minors on campus.

This little kid is excited to attend your event at MIT.

As you start planning your on-campus event where you will host minors, part of your event registration process should include contacting Alana Hamlett in the Student Activities Office.  Alana is available to sit down with you and your organization representatives to help flesh out the details of your event and the logistics of hosting minors on campus on behalf of MIT.  There will be a few forms to fill out and bring to this meeting, which Alana will attach to an email when you set up the meeting.  These will ask you for information regarding the schedule and plans for your event, as well as more detailed information about the youth you are bringing on campus.

Why do you need to do this extra step?  With recent issues surrounding minors visiting college campuses, MIT and the SAO wants to be sure that not only are the youth who visit our campus are protected and are able to have a good time, but that you as MIT representatives are also protected and are able to provide an enjoyable time on campus for these groups.  By chatting with Alana and filling out the appropriate forms, we can help ensure that MIT is providing all of the necessary resources for your organization, event, and visitors.

As you prepare and plan your event, please make sure you give Alana at least 3 weeks prior to your event to meet with you regarding these issues and policies to ensure a smooth process and successful event.


Happy Planning!

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Filed under Student Activities Updates

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

The Alchemist, a sculpture created by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, is a celebration of MIT’s 150th Anniversary and sits in front of MIT’s student center, W20/Stratton/The Stud.

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by | December 12, 2012 · 9:16 pm