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.
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.