Tag Archives: Student Activities Office

Come meet our new Assistant Director!

Come meet our new Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership, Elizabeth Thompson!

It’ll be great fun… not awkward at all…

…no… srsly… we’re going to have fun!

Elizabeth, in addition to being responsible for a number of leadership development initiatives through SAO, will also work with and advise student organizations and student-run initiatives, including the Freshmen Leadership Program. She will be able to help you gain valuable leadership knowledge amongst the rush of the firehose!

Working with Elizabeth will allow you to do this to the firehose!


So, join us in W20-549, the SAO Suite from 1:30 – 3:00 PM this Friday, September 18th!


Refreshments available!

…plus you won’t have to share!

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Filed under Around MIT, Student Activities Updates



Good News!

The nomination deadline has been extended to Friday, April 24th at 5pm!

So, get to work on those individual and group nominations soon and get them in before the deadline, here: http://studentlife.mit.edu/sao/sla!


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Filed under Community Events, Events, Student Activities Updates

People over PSets: Multicultural Conference 2015 is coming soon!

Lots of news stories and stories of humanity have broken in our community, across our region, our nation, and across the globe these past few months.  Whether it was the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the subsequent discussions of free speech and freedom of the press, or the work of MIT students, staff, and faculty to bring to campus discussions about the #blacklivesmatter movement, and how to transform that power into last change.

There are things we need to talk about, conversations we need to have, and topics we need to learn more about.

Unlike Ron Swanson, we actually want to talk to you about this issues.

MIT’s Student Activities Office and Office of Multicultural Programs hosts an annual Multicultural Conference (MC^2) which delves deep into the issues affecting our community and our globe, and we want you to join us this year!

Taking place at the Endicott House from Friday, Feb. 5th after class to the evening of Saturday, Feb. 6th, this conference will feature discussions around the topic of “People over Psets: Tools for Building Community,” and is a must-attend opportunity!

Grab a coffee, let’s chat.

Find more info at http://studentlife.mit.edu/omp/mc2 and register soon, spaces are going fast!!!

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Filed under Beyond MIT, Diversity & Inclusion, Events

Signatory Trainings and Reimbursements… AKA, MONEY!

MIT works with vendors utilizing a payables policy of Net 30, which means that MIT strives to pay all its obligations within 30 days of receipt of service.  Notice this is not 30 days after you get the bill, but 30 days after the vendor or entertainer provided their services.  This policy works well for student groups working with outside vendors, but what about reimbursements to students?  What policy should we use for reimbursing members of your organization?

I would like to suggest that all Treasurers of student groups adopt a Net 10 policy for reimbursement to students, ensuring they will receive their reimbursement within two weeks.  It is important to remember that the process doesn’t end with the electronic reimbursement submission to SAO.  There can be up to a week from that time before the check or direct deposit reaches the student.  Treasurers must be mindful of this timeline when developing their own internal systems to provide funds back to organization members.


Finally, it is very important that the submission of the reimbursement is done correctly, as incorrect submissions can cause significant delays in the reimbursement process.  The SAO offers Signatory Trainings each semester for any organization Treasurers interested, and is perfect for first time Treasurers or those looking for a refresher on the process!

The Signatory Trainings are happening in the next couple of weeks, starting tonight, so make sure you get to one soon!

Tuesday, Feb 12 from 6-7pm in 56-114

Thursday, Feb 14 from 6-7pm in 3-133

Wednesday, Feb 20 from 6-7pm in 3-133

Thursday, Feb 21 from 6-7pm in 3-133

Please visit the SAO website or email Colin Codner (cmcodner@mit.edu) for additional details.




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Filed under Financial Resources, Student Activities Updates

MIT Charm School Turns 20!


The MIT tradition that is Charm School turns 20 next week, with events that covers academic and non-academic subjects as well as topics serious and not so serious (although, one could argue that the Art of Tying a Bow tie is a serious matter).

Charm School was born in 1993 during IAP, and has grown into a thriving and strong MIT tradition each winter.  In 2008, Charm School expanded to include new, in-depth workshops that addressed issues key to leadership, personal development, and interpersonal skills.  It is a true community event, involving interested students, committed alumni, faculty who look forward to engaging students outside of the classroom, and staff committed to the development of MIT students and the MIT community.

This year, Charm School offers 3 unique workshops to complement the traditional Charm School program, so scroll down for info on each opportunity!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 – Intercultural Communication Panel

7pm – 32-155 – Facebook Event

As the U.S workforce grows in diversity, an understanding of how various cultures communciate is critical.  Join us for a conversation about the importance of learning how to prevent and or repair miscommunications and misunderstandings as well as how to communication with others of different cultures within the workplace.  Gain tips from the distinguished panel presenting:

Christy Anthony- Director, Office of Citizenship, Neal Hartman- Senior Lecturer, Managerial Communication, MIT SLOAN, Christine Kelly- Senior Lecturer, Managerial Communcation, MIT SLOAN, Heather Paxson- Associate Professor, Anthropology

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 – Semi-Formal Etiquette Dinner

6pm – R&D Commons – Facebook Event

Charm School presents its annual Etiquette Dinner.  Learn the ins and outs of dining etiquette and table conversation while enjoying a complimentary meal. Dress is semi-formal.  Vegetarian options available upon request.

Register Here: http://studentlife.mit.edu/sao/charm/schedule/workshops

Thursday, January 31, 2013 – Dating Etiquette Workshop

12pm – W20 Coffeehouse Lounge – Facebook Event

Dating can be difficult.  Come to this session to share your thoughts and questions about flirting, asking somebody out, dating, and building a solid relationship.  Learn how to develop skills that will help you find that special someone.

Register Here: http://studentlife.mit.edu/sao/charm/schedule/workshops

Friday, February 1, 2013 – 20th Annual Charm School

12pm-5pm – W20 (Various spaces on 1-3rd Floors) – Facebook Event

Participate in mini-classes on a wide variety of “charming” subjects. You may even earn your “Ch.D.” (Doctoral degree in Charm).  Classes are rolling, so stop by at any time during the five-hour period.

We hope you are ‘charmed’ by our offerings next week, and we hope to see you all there at these great events!  There is lots of learning and enjoyment to be had, so bring your student organizations and your friends, and get your Charm on!
Don’t forget to Like the Student Activities Office on Facebook for all the latest information relevant to the student organization community, and keep on following this blog for all the scoops!
Thanks everyone!
–Joel P.

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Filed under Charm School, Community Events, Events

Welcome to the SAO Blog!

Hello MIT and readers beyond!  Welcome to the new, fresh, and potentially awesome resource that is the MIT Student Activities Office Blog!

The Student Activities Office seeks to be a thinking partner for every student and student organization at MIT, helping students to achieve great things in and out of the classroom, and beyond MIT!  We offer numerous resources and opportunities to expand your skills, knowledge, and experiences, and we want to help make the MIT experience a top-notch one.

What do we hope to achieve with this blog?  We hope that we can connect the student organization community with the latest updates on event policies and financial procedures, information on effective event planning or resources for building leadership skills, and insights from students and staff that help to show off the amazing work our student organizations are doing across campus and around the world.

We want this to be the go-to resource for the MIT student organization community, and we want to hear from our students as well.  Does you org have an upcoming event that you want to advertise on the blog?  Do you want to keep your fellow students up-to-date on things happening on campus and around Boston?  Let us know, we would be happy to have you on the team.  Write blogger Joel at joelp@mit.edu and we’ll get you connected through the SAO Blog to the rest of the student organization community.

We look forward to seeing what this blog can do, so keep checking back, shoot us some feedback, and we’ll talk to you soon!

–Joel P.

P.S. is everyone else excited that hockey is back like me?

Hockey is back! Joel at the SAO is excited… sooooo excited.

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Filed under Student Activities Updates

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 @ panel.mit.edu

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