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.
COVID-19 Updates & Student Organizations FAQs
Northwestern maintains the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 guidelines for gatherings, meetings, and events on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates page. For student organization members seeking information regarding event planning and hosting, visit SOA's Planning an Event page.
Fall 2021 Student Organization Fair Events September 21 & 22
SOA is pleased to announce a series of opportunities to connect students to registered student organizations, sports clubs, and fraternity & sorority chapters to kick off the year. The health and wellness of our community is SOA's top priority. This year, we are curating both an in-person event that meets the university's expectations regarding campus gatherings as well as virtual offerings to support the enrichment of the student experience.
- Tuesday September 21, 3:00-6:00pm | Norris East Lawn
- This event will feature representatives from over 300 organizations ready to connect with future members. Wildcat Connection is Northwestern's online directory of registered student organizations and other opportunities to get involved. SOA arranges organizations by category and also hosts an info desk to assist students with navigating the event.
- Student organization representatives: Only organizations who have completed the 2021-22 annual requirements by the 9/1/21 are eligible to participate (fraternities and sororities may have a separate requirement through the Fraternity & Sorority Life office). Sign-up for eligible orgs is now open. Sign-ups for fraternity & sorority chapters and related groups of the four social councils is also open. Organizations must sign-up for the fair to participate by September 13.
- Wednesday September 22, 3:00-4:30pm | Wildcat Connection
- The Virtual Fair includes representatives from student organizations hosting their own Zoom Meetings and Google Hangouts to meet future members. Jump from virtual meeting to virtual meeting to learn about how to get involved. More information available on the Virtual Fair site. SOA will also host a virtual info desk to assist with navigation.
- Student organization representatives: Only organizations who have completed the 2021-22 annual requirements by the 9/1/21 are eligible to participate (fraternities and sororities may have a separate requirement through the Fraternity & Sorority Life office). To sign-up, officers listed on your organization's Wildcat Connection page can click 'manage organization' to see the prompt to sign-up. Organizations are responsible for setting up their own virtual meeting space (i.e. Zoom Meeting, Google Hangout, etc.). Organizations are strongly discouraged from sharing virtual meeting credentials outside of this event in compliance with Northwestern cybersecurity standards.
- Student organization interest and welcome videos on-demand
- SOA will publish a series of student organization informational videos tailored to interested students on its YouTube channel during Wildcat Welcome. SOA will continue to add to this series as more content comes our way.
Interested in starting a new organization for 2020-21?
This page is specifically for undergraduates at Northwestern seeking to charter a new recognized student organization at the university. At this time, only enrolled students may submit proposals. For information about other graduate/professional school student organizations at Northwestern, please scroll down for more information.
Associated Student Government and SOA have co-hosted "New Org Interest Sessions" this year. Recordings of the session are available on the SOA YouTube channel. SOA encourages all students who are interested in proposing a new org in the Spring 2021 review period to view the recordings.
If you are an undergraduate interested in starting a new student organization consider some of the following before you get started:
- 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?
- Can Northwestern provide the resources your student organization needs to function? Is there already support from a department, institute, or other unit?
- 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. (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.
- How does the current environment affect the organization's development efforts to sustain itself?
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.
Applying to be a Student Organization
Start your application to propose a new organization on the New Student Org Review Committee's Wildcat Connection page. The application for recognition consideration for 2021-22 will be available in Fall 2021.
The review committee for new groups is advised by Joe Lattal, led by the ASG new groups chair, and includes representatives of Associated Student Government. The application to propose a new group for campus recognition is available for a limited window each fall, winter, and spring quarter. Only enrolled undergraduate students are eligible to complete an application for review. Members of the committee may contact advisor or student officers listed on the proposal or related offices at Northwestern for further information during the review process.
|Quarter||Proposal Submission Deadline||Decision Notification via Email to Submitter|
|Fall||Friday October 29, 2021 11:59pm||Monday November 15, 2021|
|Winter||Friday February 18, 2022 11:59pm||Monday March 7, 2022|
|Spring||Friday April 15, 2022 11:59pm||Monday May 9, 2022|
Northwestern Sports Clubs
- Have a unique sport concept not offered by the Athletic/Recreation department
- Set up a meeting with the Sport Club Office (Ben Wager, email@example.com) to talk about clubs concept and feasibility.
- 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.
- Start a rough outline of a club constitution.
- Write letter to Athletic/Recreation Department about the clubs purpose and philosophy, type of club you envision (include facility needs).
Religious & Spiritual Groups
- Proposals for religious & spiritual organizations enter through the same process as other organizations through the ASG committee review and recommendation process.
- Recommendations for approval are forwarded to the office of Religious & Spiritual Life for official and final approval.
- 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 Chaplain Jason Mohn to set up a time to discuss the topic further.
Graduate & Professional Students Starting a New Club
- Please contact a representative from your college's dean's office on how to charter a new organization sponsored by Feinberg, Kellogg, Pritzker, or The Graduate School.
- Executive MBA new groups: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
- Kellogg MBA new roups: firstname.lastname@example.org
- TGS new groups: email@example.com
- Feinberg new groups: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pritzker new groups: email@example.com
- 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 recognized 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.
- Your idea should be one of general organizations and their programs.
- 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.
- You should have a plan that ensures the sustainability of your org for a period of three years or more.
- You should have a realistic plan for how can obtain financial support and resources (space, storage, etc.) for your activity within the resources of Northwestern.
Any further questions please contact the new groups chair here.
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.
The Student Activities Assistance Fund (SAAF, formerly known as the Student Activities Scholarship Fund) was established in 2012 as a supplemental grant to assist 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.
Recognized student organizations, fraternity and sorority chapters under the four social councils, and Northwestern Competitive Sports Clubs are all eligible for members to seek financial assistance. All organizations are present on Wildcat Connection. If multiple members of a group require assistance, each member must fill out an individual application. Please note that because of the overwhelming need for these grants, SAAF will no longer be funding international travel. 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 will re-open soon 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.
Please be sure to include a full budget template (available inside the application) for all activities for the remainder of the year since the system will not allow multiple submissions from the same user within the same term.
- In efforts to support as many student activities as possible, there is a strict 2-week turnaround for receipt submission. Applicants who are offered awards and do not follow-up with proof of payment in a timely manner may forfeit their award back to the SAAF balance. For any concerns with this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is a $600/student cap for the academic year. If you have already received $600 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.
The SOURCE is closed until further notice in keeping with best practices during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic while most staff work remotely.
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 whiteboard space, several 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.
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. The hours are consistent with the Norris building hours.
To learn more about the SOURCE come by, or email Joe Lattal.