Student Organization Statuses

  • Student Organization Advancement and Recognition (SOAR) - SOAR is the formal relationship between the University and student organizations. It includes the tiered structure of student organization status and the Standards of Conduct for Student Organizations.
  • Recognized Student Organizations(RSO) - This category refers to both sponsored and voluntary student organizations.  RSOs agree to abide by the Standards of Conduct for Recognized Student Organizations.
  • Sponsored Student Organizations (SSO)  - Sponsored student organizations are student organizations that have a substantial relationship with a sponsoring University unit. SSOs must be sponsored by an executive officer, dean, or director of an academic or operational unit and must have a mission that is consistent with the missions of the University and sponsoring unit. The unit must provide an advisor for the SSO. SSOs agree to be held to the same standards of responsibility as both VSOs and University Units.
  • Voluntary Student Organizations (VSO) - Voluntary student organizations are student organizations that seek access to certain University-controlled benefits and resources and are accountable to the university for legal compliance, fiscal responsibility and adherence to established community standards. VSOs are recommended to seek out a faculty/staff advisor although an advisor is not required for VSOs.
  • Non-Affiliated Student Organizations (NSO) Non-Affiliated status only gives an organization a listing in Maize Pages.  An NSO is not afforded other benefits such as a SOAS account, free space usage, University funding, or participation in student organization fairs.  

The University supplies benefits to the student organizations that are recognized. Of the three types of student organization statuses, only Sponsored Student Organizations (SSOs) and Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs) are recognized. The differences among these statuses lie in the nature of the relationships between the organization and the University.

*All SSO YES categories are contingent upon department approval. 

Ability to benefit from University's tax-exempt status YES NO
Ability to accept tax deductible contributions YES NO
University insurance coverage YES NO
Eligible for university funding YES YES
On campus mailing address YES YES (csg)
Use of University Purchasing Card YES NO
Student address labels YES  YES
Listing in Maize Pages YES YES
Use or rent university equipment YES YES
Rent University vehicles YES YES
Ability to reserve dedicated University space/eligible for discounted rates YES YES
Ability to use "The University of Michigan" or derivation thereof in the organization's name YES NO

Affiliated Units and Initiatives

  • The Central Student Government (CSG) is the central student government at the University of Michigan, representing students from every school and college.
  • Sponsoring Unit - This is the unit through which a Sponsored Student Organization is sponsored. This unit provides access to the benefits and information for an SSO. This is also the home unit of the SSO's official advisor.
  • Center for Campus Involvment (CCI) - The Center for Campus Involvement is a resource specifically designed to help you make the most of your co-curricular experiences. Developing effective student organizations and leaders through involvement and education is CCI's primary mission.
  • Student Organization Account Services (SOAS) - The primary purpose of SOAS is to serve registered student organizations by assisting and educating officers about their financial responsibilities. SOAS offers a variety of services and resources to assist your organization with its financial management needs.

Financial Resources

  • Authorized Signer - A member and current student of a recognized student organization who is authorized to rent rooms on campus, conduct financial transactions with SOAS and modify group registration information. Any changes to the authorized signers on an SOAS account will require the approval of two current authorized signers. To add or remove a signer on an SOAS account, a current signer would need to go to  Organizations need a minimum of 3 authorizied signers and can have no more than 10.
  • Project/Grant - A project/grant number is assigned to all student organizations when an account is opened through SOAS. The project/grant is one piece of a set of chartfields that allows the University to identify your account. This number is used for all financial transactions. Organizations that desire to use University facilities or who expect to receive funds from CSG, College student governments/councils, or University departments, MUST maintain these funds in a SOAS project/grant.
  • Purchase Order (PO) - A PO is an easy way for organizations to purchase merchandise or services outside the University. It is a pre-approved payment to a vendor, which allows organizations to buy the goods or services they need without spending money out-of-pocket.
  • Shortcode - A shortcode is a single number that summarizes the chartfield information for your account. Some University units will require your shortcode instead of your project/grant number. An authorized signer can get account information including balances and chartfield information from SOAS over the phone at (734) 763-5767 or email [email protected].
  • Tax Exempt Status - Tax exempt status is the exemption from paying federal income tax. Sales tax exemption is a state exemption. If you are a Sponsored Student Organization, you may apply for tax exemption status through your sponsoring department.

Additional SOAR Definitions

  • Advisor - SSOs require a faculty or staff member who is a part of the sponsoring unit to act as an designated advisor. This designated advisor must go through training provided by CCI. VSOs are strongly encouraged to have an advisor.
  • Maize Pages - This is the official listing of all student organizations registered with CCI. You can search by name or category and other contact information.
  • Non-Discrimination Policy - All recognized student organizations must adhere to the University's non-discrimination policy.