Basic information about SORC Lotteries:

  • The use of Diag boards, Diag banners, Table Tents, and the Michigan Union banner is determined by lottery. A lottery is conducted three times per year:
    • Early September for Fall semester
    • Early January for Winter semester
    • Mid-April for Spring/Summer and September
  • For Diag boards and Diag banners, groups that apply are randomly assigned an appointment time during "Lottery Week."  These appointments happen on either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday; this varies from semester to semester based on SORC student staff class schedules. A representative from the group must go to the SORC on the designated date and time to reserve spaces.
  • For Table Tents and the Michigan Union banner, groups that apply will either win a space, or not. There are no appointments; winning groups simply need to complete a contract to claim their space. There is no lottery for the Michigan Union banner or Table Tents in the Spring/Summer.

Very important things to know:

  • If you enter the Union banner lottery and/or the Table Tent lottery, there is no appointment.  You will either win a space, or you won't.  You'll be instructed how and when to accept the space and complete a contract to make it official.
  • For the Fall and Winter lotteries, if you enter both the Diag board and Diag Banner Pole lotteries, you will have two separate appointments. For the Spring lottery, you will reserve both Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles at the same appointment. Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • At your appointment, a SORC reservationist will guide you through the available spaces.  Please consult Diag board maps and Diag banner maps in advance and prepare a list of your preferred locations.  It can be a struggle to fit over a hundred appointments into one day and stay on schedule, so it helps greatly if you make a list of preferred locations ahead of time.
  • Each group is granted a 10-minute grace period, after which the appointment is forfeited.  SORC staff members enforce this grace period very strictly.  If you come 11 minutes late, do not expect that an exception will be made for you.  You are not just 1 minute late; you are 21 minutes late.
  • Lottery appointments happen during class hours. When you learn what your lottery appointment time is, you must arrange for another group member to attend your appointment if it falls during your class.  Any member of your organization can reserve spaces for your group, but this MUST BE DONE AT YOUR SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT TIME.
  • Availability of spaces after the appointments, especially for the Fall and Winter lotteries, is very limited. 
  • In other words...DON'T MISS YOUR APPOINTMENT!!
  • Full payment is due by 4:45 PM on the Thursday of lottery week, after all lottery appointments are finished.  If you fail to pay for your reserved spaces by this deadline, they will be canceled and later offered to groups who did not get spaces.  SORC management will grant extensions to the deadline under extenuating circumstances, by request only.  To request an extension, call SORC at least one hour before the payment deadline.
  • If your organization wins one of the four available Table Tent spaces each week, you must simply accept them and pay for the weekly space rental by emailing us during lottery week, anytime before the Thursday 4:45 deadline. Full instructionsi for the Table Tent lottery hereHint: if you're coming for a Diag board or Diag banner appointment, the charge for Table Tents can easily be added to your contract. If you reserve at least 3 SORC advertising services for the same reservaiton period, you are eligible for a 10% discount!
  • In order to speed up the process and provide the best possible service, the sale of materials, use of the fax machine, and reservation of other SORC services may be suspended during lottery appointments. We are not able to inflate or deliver balloons during lottery week. All of these services will resume the Monday after lottery appointments are finished.
  • Your group is responsible for awareness of and adherence to SORC eligibility and content requirements and University of Michigan trademark and identity guidelines.

Preparing for the entire year:

  • Fall Lottery
    • Participate in the Fall lottery to reserve advertising spaces for mid-September through the first 3 weeks of January.
    • Fall Lottery applications are online and are typically open from mid-April through 5pm on the day of Festifall, which varies from one semester to the next.
    • Appointments typically take place the week after classes begin, either on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for late August, and you won't miss anything.
  • Winter Lottery
    • Participate in the Winter lottery to reserve advertising spaces for mid-January through the Monday after Spring Commencement
    • Winter Lottery applications are online and are typically open from the first week of December through the first week of January.
    • Appointments typically take place the week after classes begin, either on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for early December, and you won't miss anything.
  • Spring Lottery
    • Participate in the Spring lottery to reserve advertising spaces for early May through mid-September.  NOTE:  THIS INCLUDES WELCOME WEEK.
    • Spring Lottery applications are online and are typically open from late March through the middle of April.
    • Appointments take place sometime between April 10 and April 20 (on whatever day the most student staff members are available, often a Friday).
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for mid-March, and you won't miss anything.
    • Unique things about the Spring lottery
      • Early September dates, which are consider by most organizations to be prime recruiting time, are part of the Spring lottery.
      • Space rental is deeply discounted from May through mid-August.  Diag board space rental is FREE!
      • Table Tents are not available from mid-April through late August, but the Spring lottery includes an application for Table Tents for late August through mid-September.
      • Demand for the Michigan Union banner space is low during the summer; there is no lottery for it from mid-May through late August.  Available by request.
  • An announcement of the exact dates each semester is sent several weeks in advance to the SORC e-mail list.  To subscribe to that list, click here.

The Lottery in 3 steps

Step 1: Decide which lotteries to enter

  • In the Fall and Winter, there are separate applications for:
    • Diag Boards
    • Diag Banner Poles
    • Table Tents
    • Michigan Union banner
  • In the Spring, there is just one application:
    • Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles
    • Table Tents are not available from May through August
    • The Michigan Union Banner is available from May through August by request

Step 2: Submit the online application(s)

  • The deadline for all applications is the week before the lottery appointments. 
  • When you submit your application online, please be sure that after you click "Submit" you see a page that says "Thank you! Your input has been received!"
  • If you do not get directed to this page, it is possible that your application was not received.
  • We make extensive efforts to ensure that no applications are omitted, but the wonders of technology are not flawless.
  • To be absolutely certain, email SORC a day or two before the deadline to get indisputable verification (an e-mail from the clerk) that your application was received.

Step 3: Find out the lottery results to see if you won

  • Lottery results will be posted online at least 48 hours before appointments begin. 
    • We send an e-mail announcement a couple days before the lottery, but the list of recipients is large, and spam filters sometimes block messages; you might not receive an e-mail.
    • You will not be notified by telephone. 
    • Ultimately, it is your responsibility to find out your appointment time.  This information is readily available via website, email, or phone, but you have to look.
  • Fall/Winter:
    • Diag board and banner reservations take two days. Typically, these are on Tuesday and Wednesday. The exact schedule varies by semester and is contingent upon class schedules of SORC student employees.
      • Diag banner reservation appointments are scheduled between 10:30-4:30. These usually go quickly because there are only 9 locations to choose from.
      • Diag board reservation appointments are scheduled between 10:30-8:30. These take longer because there are over 75 locations to choose from.
    • For Table Tents and the Michigan Union banner, there's no appointment. Simply accept and pay for the space rental as instructed (there is a timeline).
  • Spring:
    • Diag Boards and Diag Banner Pole appointments are all on the same day, typically 10AM-5PM.
    • You can reserve both services (Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles) at the same appointment.
    • There is no lottery for Table Tents or the Michigan Union banner in the Spring.

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