Skip to main content

Involvement Resources

For students looking for opportunities to get involved in registered student organizations, SOA plans several in-person organization fairs, manages digital resources, financial resources, and more. See the opportunities below.

The Student Activities Assistance Fund (SAAF, formerly known as the Student Activities Scholarship Fund) was established in 2012 as a supplemental grant to assist undergraduate students in registered student organizations with financial support to participate fully in their student organization’s programs and events. While most student organization expenses are paid by the university, sometimes individuals may be asked to cover their own sports/athletic equipment, travel costs to attend an academic conference, or national association fees. The SAAF is meant to help reduce the financial burden for undergraduate students.

Registered student organizations (RSOs), fraternity and sorority chapters under the four social councils, and Northwestern Competitive Sports Clubs are all eligible activities for members to seek financial assistance with personal expenses. All organizations are present on Wildcat Connection. If multiple members of a group require assistance, each member must fill out an individual application. Each application will be considered individually based on application answers and financial need data as provided by student accounts/financial aid.

How to Apply

The SAAF for Winter 2024 is open on the SES One Form site. Sign in with your netID/password, complete the general application questions and then search for the supplemental questions for the SAAF among the list of opportunities.

Prepare a personal list of expenses for all activities you are expected to pay within the current quarter and/or subsequent term break.

  • There is a $750/student cap for the academic year. If you have already received $750 in support for your activities in the current academic year, please do not submit a new application as this will slow the process for others.
  • Applicants will be reviewed on a first-come first-serve basis. Please check your email for notifications to accept offers and next steps.
  • SAAF offer levels are primarily based on two factors: Financial Need Index (FNI, as determined by financial aid) and the anticipated expenses. 
  • Students who need to amend their SAAF request can log-in to update responses and email Joe Lattal for a secondary review with "SAAF" in the subject line.
  • SAAF will cover personal travel expenses (CTA, rideshare, ground/airfare), organization dues, specialized apparel and equipment for athletics/dance activities, registration for events related to the organization (e.g. academic conference, national Greek retreat, etc.), and food while traveling related to an RSO, fraternity/sorority, or competitive sports-event (with itemized receipt). Various levels of support may apply depending on the item.
  • The SAAF may be limited for items such as branded apparel for an organization, software subscriptions for organizational roles when alternatives are available, and other case-by-case scenarios.
  • The SAAF may not be used for expenses that ought to be paid by organization's funds (e.g. props/set builds for a theatrical production, items for a crafts event hosted by an org, personal technology that is not specialized for the organization's activity). Visit the Funding page of the SOA website to learn about grants and other funding opportunities for these items. The SAAF may not be used for room/board and other housing-related expenses.
  • The SAAF is 100% donor-supported through several gifts. The fund is managed by representatives of SOA in consultation with and support from Student Enrichment Services, Financial Aid, and individuals from other units.

With over 350 undergraduate student organizations at Northwestern, getting involved is easy. Learn more about our student organization offerings by visiting Wildcat Connection, Northwestern's student organization directory. Once you log-in to Wildcat Connection with your NetID and password you can explore all our student organizations from A cappella groups and theatre organizations to community service groups and sport clubs. The Wildcat Connection events calendar shows students everything available to them sponsored by their friends' groups every week.

On Wildcat Connection you can:

  • Find student organizations' social media pages
  • Search upcoming events
  • Contact organizations directly

Can't find an organization that matches your needs? Learn more about starting your own and getting recognized by SOA to connect with others with a shared interest, passion, or identity on the Starting a New Organization tab on this page.

Interested in starting a new organization for 2023-24? 

This page is specifically for undergraduates at Northwestern seeking to charter a new registered student organization at the university. Only enrolled Northwestern students may submit proposals. For information about other graduate/professional school student organizations at Northwestern, please scroll down for more information.

Associated Student Government (ASG) co-hosted and recorded a New Org Info Session event online. 

Things to Consider

  • What is your organization's mission and purpose?
  • How will your organization serve a campus need that is not already being served by another organization?
  • Do other organizations like yours currently exist on campus? What makes yours different?
  • Will your group be sustainable beyond your time at Northwestern?
  • Are other students interested in your organization? At least seven total proposed members are required, including two officers and advisor. (For Sports Clubs, the minimum is 15; religious and spiritual clubs is 10)
  • Will your organization be open to any interested student? Only new organizations that are open to all students will be considered for approval.
  • Can Northwestern provide the resources your student organization needs to function? Is there already support from a department, institute, or other unit?
  • Have you identified existing campus partnerships or resources and connected with them about your application?  Some examples below:
Type of Student Organization Office/Individual Who SOA Recommends You Contact
Mental Health/Wellness Health Promotions & Wellness
Sports/Recreation Activity Competitive Sports, Caitlin Carney
Environmental/Sustainability Office of Sustainability, Julie Cahillane
Local mentoring or volunteering LDCE, Val Buchanan
Faith, Spiritual, Religious RSL, Rev. Kristen Glass Perez
McCormick-focused McCormick, Ellen Worsdall

Please note that student organizations must abide by a number of policies and procedures and organizations may not be approved due to the nature of the organization or the risk involved with participating.

Important Dates

New Org Submission Timeline
Quarter Proposal Submission Deadline Decision Notification via Email to Submitter
Fall Thursday November 9, 2023, 11:59pm Monday December 11, 2023
Winter Thursday February 22, 2024, 11:59pm Monday March 18, 2024
Spring TBA TBA


Northwestern Sports Clubs

  1. Have a unique sport concept not offered by the Athletic/Recreation department
  2. Set up a meeting with the Sport Club Office (Cait Carney, caitlin.carney@northwestern.edu) to talk about clubs concept and feasibility.
  3. Start work on Clubs proposal-Gather a list (roster) of interested full-time Northwestern University students. (Minimum 15: Names and addresses). Hold a campus meeting to determine student body interest and fill out a Sport Club Application.
  4. Start a rough outline of a club constitution.
  5. Write letter to Athletic/Recreation Department about the clubs purpose and philosophy, type of club you envision (include facility needs).

Religious & Spiritual Groups

  1. Proposals for religious & spiritual organizations enter through the same process as other organizations through the ASG committee review and recommendation process.
  2. Recommendations for approval are forwarded to the office of Religious & Spiritual Life for official and final approval.
  3. For any questions about existing groups on campus, anyone considering starting a religious or spiritual group, or anyone seeking to learn more about the committee's decision communication, please contact Executive Director Rev. Kristen Glass Perez to set up a time to discuss the topic further.

Graduate & Professional Students Starting a New Club

Application Notes

  • Applications will not be reviewed until each quarter's deadline. Exceptions cannot be made for groups seeking to access campus privileges immediately.
  • Until approval is received, use of the Northwestern name, event planning and fundraising are not permitted. Doing so could jeopardize your application. Recruiting students to get involved with your proposed group's efforts to gather interest is acceptable.
  • Your application must be completed and submitted by the deadline in order to be fully approved as an organization. Late submissions will be considered in the following quarter.
  • Approved organizations will be officially registered once they:
    • find a faculty or staff advisor and submit an advisor acknowledgement form
    • complete their constitution for approval by Student Organizations & Activities staff
    • complete all orientation modules in Canvas
  • Your name should not include Northwestern, NU, or Wildcat unless approved in writing by an administrative authority.
  • Your idea should support the educational mission of the University and meet its policies and procedures. You should have an already committed group of students who are interested in supporting your activity for a sustainable period of time.
  • 80% membership should be undergraduate students if the group plans to seek funds from ASG.
  • When you're ready, the proposal submission form is available on Wildcat Connection.

Any further questions please contact the new groups chair here.

The SOURCE is a multi-purpose space where students and registered student organizations can meet to collaborate, innovate, learn, and lead.

Students will find large dry erase boards, computers and printers, monitors for projection for collaborative meetings, supplies and resources, and a new Mondopad featuring multi-touch high definition display for digital interactive whiteboard and a built-in Windows PC. Full information about the printing and banner printing programs is available on the Student Affairs - SOURCE page.

Located on the third floor of Norris, the SOURCE is the gateway to Campus Life, the home of three departments: Student Organizations & Activities, Leadership & Community Engagement, and Fraternity & Sorority Life. 

To learn more about the SOURCE come visit during the hours listed above, or email Joe Lattal.

Winter 2024 Org Fair | Wednesday, January 3, 3-6pm | Norris University Center 2nd Floor

SOA hosts around 150 student organizations at the Winter Org Fair, the first day of Winter Quarter. This is a great opportunity to meet representatives of all categories of organizations including recently approved organizations from the fall proposal cycle. The winter fair is much more relaxed than the fall occasion. SOA will assist folx with finding what they're seeking at our welcome table.

List of participating organizations (updated January 3, 2024)

Diagram of Winter Org Fair by org category

You can also learn more about the 430+ active student organizations at NU through Wildcat Connection. And to stay informed about the latest news from SOA and be aware of our upcoming org fairs, please follow us on Instagram.For additional information or inquiries, you can also reach out to us via email at studentorgs@northwestern.edu.