Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I create a Student Group at Brown?

With over 400 student groups on campus, so many options are available. Students are encouraged to browse through the many options in BearSync.

If your interest is not represented, you may be able to form a new group. Most undergraduate groups are recognized by the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS). Exceptions include Club Sports, Greek social groups, and academic organizations.

For UCS groups, new group recognition occurs for a few weeks in the middle of each semester. The application for new group status is available on BearSync. Your group will need to have a mission statement, a constitution, and at least 10 current Brown students interested in being involved. Your group must also demonstrate how it is unique at Brown and how it will serve a need within the student body. Please see the UCS web site for more detailed information, including samply constitutions!

2. How do I ensure my group continues to exist and retains its recognition?

Keep your contact information, especially the primary contacts, up to date in BearSync. All important communications for groups are sent to the primary contacts listed in that system, including the requirement to re-register every fall. 

3. What if I need help planning my events?

The SAO can help you out with many of the procedures, contacts, and policies that you will need. Stop by and visit us in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center (Room 230). Don’t hesitate to ask questions – the SAO is here to help you!

4. How do I reserve space to hold a meeting or event?

The Scheduling Office website contains a listing of the majority of on-campus spaces and who schedules them. There is also a link for some off-campus facilities on the site.

It is important to keep in mind that spaces come as is, so you will need to arrange any additional set-up with Facilities Event Support and/or other event support services.

For graduate student groups, the Graduate Student Lounge is an option if the event's primary audience is graduate students. Policies, a request form, availability calendar, and directions for the Lounge are available on the Graduate Student Council (GCS) website.

5. How do I register events with more than 100 people OR with alcohol?

Events where 100-299 people are anticipated for attendance MUST be registered with SAO at least two weeks prior.

Events hosting 300+ guests must be registered at least three weeks prior to the event.

Events with alcohol must be registered at least three weeks prior to the event.

If your event has alcohol or has some or all of the elements of a party, the SAO may define it as a social event, in which case, you will also need to have group members certified as Party Managers. Certification classes are held monthly; contact the SAO for the semester schedule. 

Check out the event registration page for a more detailed description.

6. How do I get the message out about my group’s events and programs?

Check out the University's publicity policies and a list of venues that are available. Additionally, you may consider a submission to morning mail and the University calendar.

7. How do I get a financial account for my group?

All student group financial accounts must be maintained within Brown.

If you are affiliated with a department, they may be willing to coordinate your accounts.

You may also open an account with the Student Activities Office using the application on our financial forms page. Please review the Policies and Procedures.

8. How do I get funding to support my group’s activities?

For Undergraduate Student Groups:

Every undergraduate pays a student activities fee as part of their annual tuition payment. This fee is used to fund student groups constituted by the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS).

The Undergraduate Finance Board (UFB) administers and oversees the funding process. UFB provides $200 in baseline funding each semester to all UCS Category II and III groups. Category III groups are eligible to request additional funding at any UFB meeting throughout the year; however, the majority of monies are distributed during the annual budget process each April.
You can also seek funding from departments and other sources. The Funding Options page contains specific information about these resources.

For Graduate Student Groups:

The Graduate Student Council (GCS) has limited funds to support events or activities that are of interest to Brown graduate students. Please review the GSC website for GSC funding.

The SAO website has information about other funding sources.

9. How do I create online and electronic resources for my group?

Groups recognized by UCS are automatically added to BearSync. New graduate student groups, or undergraduate academic groups may also be added upon request. Once recognized, groups may also request a website, e-mail addresses, and listservs through Brown.

10. Where can I get office or storage space for my group?

Groups are encouraged to satisfy their office and storage needs with departments, if applicable. A very limited amount of storage space is available in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center and in T. F. Green Hall. There are also several shared working spaces for student groups in the Campus Center. Please inquire with the SAO for more information.

 11. What is my student group's mailing address?

Student groups may send mail and/or packages to the SAO. US Mail should be sent to Your Group Name, c/o Student Activities, Box 1930, 75 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02912-1930.

Many student groups affiliated with a department will use the department's mailing address.

12. Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

The UCS Student Activities Committee and the SAO are here to help you.

The UCS SA Committee typically meets every Monday at 8 PM in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center Conference Room (Rm 225).

For the SAO, you can stop by their office in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center (Room 230) between the hours of M-F 8:30 AM-5:00 PM. You may also call (401) 863-2341, email