Student Activities at MIT

Student
Activities at
MIT

The Student Activities Office is here for you!

The Student Activities Office provides an environment for students to test new ideas, develop leadership skills and create community at MIT.


As thinking partners, we challenge and support student organizations to take risks and experiment while upholding the importance of student autonomy as a key component of leadership development. As a hub for student leadership development, the Student Activities Office collaborates with student-governing bodies and departments across the Institute to provide co-curricular programming that enhances the student experience. We also support our 500+ student-led organizations by providing individualized guidance, tools, expertise and resources. We help students navigate Institute policies, implement solutions, and practice financial stewardship
 
We intentionally thread social justice* and cultural competencies*throughout our programs and work with students to optimize their leadership development. We provide a brave space*for students to be themselves, build community, and find a home on campus.
 
*Social justice – According to Adams, Bell and Griffin (2007) “social justice is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs” (p. 3) SAO incorporates social justice concepts into our leadership training workshops and programs to encourage students’ awareness of their identities and to use what they learn at the Institute to improve their communities and the world. 
 
*Cultural competencies – Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural Competence defines cultural competency as "a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum.” (Definitions found here: https://nccc.georgetown.edu/curricula/culturalcompetence.html
 
Building on Cross’ definition, Georgetown’s National Center for Cultural Competence suggests that "Cultural competence requires that organizations:
  • Have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally. 
  • Have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of communities they serve.
  • Incorporate the above in all aspects of policy-making, administration, practice and service delivery, systematically involve consumers, families and communities.” 
SAO’s leadership development programming invites students to consider the impact of culture and identity when working in groups; SAO encourages student organizations to have an awareness of the contributions of members from various backgrounds and find ways to continuously include members from a range of perspectives.”
*Brave Space - In a learning environment, “safe spaces” cannot be guaranteed — people experience safety differently depending on their identities and past experiences. SAO encourages instead, “brave spaces” which encourage students to embrace and work through conflict and differences in opinion as part of the process of learning (Arao and Clemens 2013). By acting courageously when facing conflict, students can develop assertiveness and rationale for their viewpoints. We believe that leadership includes an ability to explain one’s perspective as well as engaging in active listening. Brave spaces make both of these contributions possible.

News and Announcements:

  • Student Activities Office now how Sign Up Hours. Please click here for more information.
  • Student Activites Office Hours of Operation: 9am - 5pm!
  • The City of Cambridge licensing office now has an online system for license application submission. This will entail creating an account, completing an online form, and then attaching your fully approved Atlas event registration. Here is the link: https://cambridgema.viewpointcloud.com. As in the past, the Atlas Registration system will send an email once your event is fully approved if the answers on the form indicate you need a license. To review if your event may need an Alcohol License, Entertainment license, or both please review the SAO & CAC event planning guide. Please contact our office if you have any questions: sao-desk@mit.edu
  • Need to sell tickets or collect fees? MIT's got you covered: use AdMIT One for all your ticketing needs! With staff here on campus to support your event and a direct connection to your student organization accounts, AdMIT One is the easiest and most secure way to sell tickets. It's also cheaper than most outside ticket sale services! Contact the SAO for more info.
  • Student Leaders! Click here for more information about how to start the year off right with your student organization.  
  • There's a new way to Buy... and Pay! It's Buy to Pay, or B2P! For trainings and additional information, click here.
Whether you are looking to join an organization or grow your skills as a student organization leader, or whether you are looking to learn more about the intersections of identity and dive deeper into your own cultural heritage, the Student Activities Office is here to support you. From financial transactions and organizational budgeting to large-scale concerts or small craft nights, we have staff and interns who know the resources and opportunities that are best suited to enhance your work. Come in and chat with us, and we’ll help you make great things happen!