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Intro to SOA

img_8460.jpg Organizationally, Student Organizations & Activities is part of Campus Life, which is part of the broader Northwestern University Division of Student Affairs.

Student Organizations & Activities Purpose

Student Organizations & Activities seeks to engage students in involvement opportunities that build a sense of belonging and community at Northwestern University. Students have the opportunity to participate in 450+ student organizations on campus or create one of their own. Our office provides support, advising, and training for students and their organizations. Through educational and programming opportunities we facilitate and nurture experiences in:

  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Student community service
  • Social justice
  • Student organization development

We encourage students to visit us to find their passion, develop ideas, and think creatively about their student organizations.

Learning Outcomes

Students who engage in programs, activities, and services provided by Student Organizations & Activities will be able to:

  • Choose opportunities for involvement that enable them to collaborate with others across communities at Northwestern and beyond. (Interpersonal Competence)
  • Develop professional and leadership skills (such as empathy for others, event planning, conflict resolution, and team building) that can be transferred to their professional goals after Northwestern. (Cognitive and Practical Skills)

Barrier-Free Involvement

SOA promotes a student involvement experience free from barriers to finding belonging and community at Northwestern. SOA envisions all enrolled students are entitled to full participation in a student organization without extraneous barriers such as applications, interviews, and specific backgrounds.

SOA works with individual organizations to

  • center their recruitment on welcoming interested students with minimal barriers to entry
  • identifying avenues for involvement beyond established and narrowly defined roles
  • reach interested students beyond org fairs 
  • use observed behaviors in their student organization to identify an individual's future roles responsibilities rather than experience prior to Northwestern
  • promote depth in the involvement experience rather than quantity of roles


Campus Life

Student Organizations & Activities is part of the Campus Life department within Student Affairs alongside Fraternity & Sorority Life and Leadership Development & Community Engagement

Strategic Plan

Campus Life recently published a strategic plan to frame the work of the three areas within its unit: Student Organizations & Activities, Fraternity & Sorority Life, and Leadership Development & Community Engagement.

Check out the full digital publication available on Issuu.


All Campus Life offices are located on the third floor of the Norris University Center in the SOURCE. 

Northwestern Division of Student Affairs


Building just, healthy, and meaningful student learning experiences.


Student Affairs cultivates student programs, services, and skills; disrupts barriers; and partners across Northwestern and neighboring communities to create a culture in which all students can thrive.

Visit the Division of Student Affairs page for more information.