FAQs - Student Activities Office

Listed below are the FAQs for the Student Activities Office that range from Event Planning, Financial Inquiries and General Questions.

Event Planning:

Who should I talk to if I want to plan an event?

If you are planning an event as a member of an ASA (Association of Student Activities) Student Group, then you can contact Veronica Santana, Program Coordinator for Student Activities and Event Management, with any questions or concerns. If you are planning an event as a part of one of the areas below, please visit their websites for the best person to contact:

FSILG (Fraternities, Sororities & Independent Living Groups): https://studentlife.mit.edu/fsilg

Residence Life: https://studentlife.mit.edu/life-campus/residential-life-programs

How do I know if my event needs to be registered:

 Please refer to the list below, taken from the CAC and SAO Event Planning Guide, to determine whether your event must be registered on Atlas:

  • ALL events, on campus, where alcohol will be served.
  • Departmentally-sponsored events held off-campus with alcohol do not need to be registered. However, organizers of these events held off campus must notify the appropriate senior officer.
  • Off-campus student organization events with alcohol must be registered and approved by the appropriate offices.
  • ALL on-campus events where money will be collected during the course of the event.
  • For on-campus events in facilities other than residence halls, where the attendance will exceed 100 people.
  • For events in residence halls, any event open to non-residents where the attendance will exceed 100 people OR any event closed to non-residents where the attendance will exceed 250 people.
  • ALL events where more than 20% of the audience is (or participants are) expected to be non-MIT community members, including conferences.
  • All events that involve working with a non-MIT organization (as co-sponsor or guests).
  • All events that involve working with minors (any non-MIT person less than 18 years old).

How do I register my event:

You register your event digitally through Atlas. Please search for Create New Event to begin the easy to follow form. If you have any technical issues or questions about the form, please contact the IS&T help desk.

How soon should I register my event?

You should register your event at least ten days in advance if it will not require a license from the City of Cambridge. A license from the City Cambridge must be applied for two weeks in advance and requires an approved event registration with the application. For further information on whether your event requires a license, please visit the City License page.

Who should I talk to if my group is having minors attend?

If you’re having minors attend your event, you will need to reach out to Elizabeth Thompson to discuss policies and procedures around this. Your group should plan to connect with Elizabeth every semester to ensure there have been no changes to these policies and procedures.

For other useful advice and steps on event planning, please refer to the CAC and SAO Event Planning Guide.


Finance Related:

What is the difference between Main and Funding Account?

The Main Account is real money that has been deposited into your clubs Bank of America account.  The Funding account is the allocation the GSC or Finboard has awarded the club for the expenses for an event.

What is a funding cycle and what are the dates?

The funding cycle is the period of time you have to spend the allocation the GSC or the Finboard have awarded your club for the specific event.

Funding cycle dates:

  • Summer is 7/1 to 9/30
  • Fall is 10/1 to 12/31
  • Winter is 1/1 to 3/31
  • Spring is 4/1 to 6/30

All receipts must be dated during the time period in order for the funds to be used.  All allocation have a 2 week grace period after the end date to turn in RFP reimbursement or RFP payment.

What is my cost object?

Your cost object is your group’s account number. This can be found on your group’s ASA Database Entry under the “Dashboard” function, and then click on “Settings”. From here, you will click on the “More” button, and scroll to the bottom of the page. This is where you will find your group’s cost object.

Why does my funding account have a negative balance?

This negative balance can occur if your group overspends the amount that was allocated to you for the current funding cycle. You will need to speak with Colin Codner during his office hours to rectify this issue.

Can I use your Purchasing Card for my student group?

You can use the Purchasing Card during open office hours.

We have a negative balance due to the timing of LEF/ARCADE funding, how can I reimburse students for their purchases?

You can use your main account to cover the balance of the reimbursement, provided that your student group has the adequate funds in the main account to reimburse the students of your group. For all additional inquiries, please refer to Colin Codner during his office hours.


General Questions:

What are the beginning steps for a new Officer or Signatory in a club?

Register with the ASA-Email with the name and Kerberos ID of your president and treasurer, cc'ing your officers' list. We will give them access to change the entry for your group. Please update the remaining information for your group afterwards. Also, please make a note of this during your group's next transition (to new officers, board members, etc.) so they do not have to go through the same thing.

  • Contact Katrina to have your permissions set up to view your clubs Accounts in Atlas
  • Come meet the staff of SAO-W20-500
  • Go to the SAO website for training

Where can I find forms?

By visiting our Forms Page, you will find the form you’re looking for to complete your transaction.

What time is the SAO open?

We are open Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm

Where is the SAO located?

We are on the 5th floor in the Stratton Student Center, in room 500.