Welcome to SOFO Student Organizations Finance Office

The Student Life Experience


The student life experience at the University of Colorado is enriched by the hundreds of student organizations which are active on campus. By conducting activities that are of interest to the members of their groups, the student organizations together create a dynamic, stimulating environment for all. The cultural, intellectual, social, spiritual and recreational activities conducted by student organizations provide students with opportunities to socialize, learn about people who are different from themselves, and feel involved with the University. Organizing the groups and their activities also provides opportunities for students to acquire leadership skills and experiences. The intellectual and personal development of students in this manner is an important contribution to the University's mission of preparing educated, responsible citizens for our society.

Recognizing the value of student organizations, the University of Colorado provides assistance for the groups to develop themselves and to conduct their activities. This assistance is generally available to all student organizations, but the level and type of assistance varies depending on the relationship of the student group with the University. The formal relationship is dependent on the interest of the entities and their mutual agreement for carrying out functions on behalf of the institution. Because student organizations differ in their interest and ability to conduct activities on behalf of the University, the relationship of student organizations with the University varies by kind of organization. The types of relationships are defined by category of student organization which are: University of Colorado Student Government, Affiliated, Independent, Club Sports and Greek social organizations. Each category of student organization has a distinct relationship with the University that is defined in their organizational agreement with the University. These agreements have established termination dates and describe the benefits and services provided by the University to the student group, as well as the expectations of the student group.

Students may form, associate with, or disband any student organization. Further, student organizations may request University assistance provided that they adhere to the Boulder Campus policy on non-discrimination in determining their membership. The University reserves the right to make activity-based assessments of on-campus events sponsored by student organizations for the purpose of safety. The University will deny University assistance to groups who advocate inciting or producing imminent lawless action, fail to comply with reasonable regulations, or engage in unlawful activity or conduct. Normally, the denial of University assistance is activity specific. However, if a student group continues the before described activities, the denial may be permanent in compliance with University due process procedures.


While the Board of Regents and the Officers of the University retain ultimate authority and responsibility for the University as a whole, authority and responsibility for operational matters rests with administrators and managers in the University organization. For student-fee areas the authority and responsibility for operational matters is vested in the officers of the CUSG in such a fashion as to provide CUSG maximum flexibility to participate in student-fee areas. This authority and responsibility is committed to the Student Government to provide for the implementation of its constitutional responsibilities, in recognition of the historically sound management practices demonstrated by CUSG, and in recognition that the students constitute the primary financier and consumer of the services provided through the student-fee areas.

While the student fees are technically considered auxiliary monies, the officers of the CUSG and the programs provided by student fee are distinguished from other auxiliary administrators and programs in that CUSG officials are directly elected by their student constituency.

In summary, the CUSG is a duly constituted part of the University of Colorado, Boulder with a relation to the campus that is unique due to the special nature of the CUSG as a student union, managed by elected student officials and as the only student organization recognized by the Board of Regents. The CUSG/Boulder Chancellor Agreement of Principles and Responsibilities defines the relationship between the University and CUSG.

AFFILIATED: A student organization determined to be acting on behalf of the University is placed in an affiliated category. Group such as CU Energy, residence hall councils, Program Council, college and school student governments and academic honor societies represent the University and conduct University business. To be placed in this category, an organization must perform University functions formally delegated to them by a designated University official. The process of identifying affiliated groups requires a group to pass the "but for" test, asking whether a certain function carried out by the group would be performed by the University if the group did not exist. Utilizing a set of criteria (see the addendum below), an authorized University department (including the University of Colorado Student Government) approves a student group to be affiliated with the University. An affiliated group may carry out functions such as coordinating special programming, representing a University office or department, funding student organizations from University-collected fees, and allocating space to student organizations. These groups can use the University's trademarks including name, tax-exempt and governmental status, purchasing and contracting system, and other administrative services. Because the affiliated groups are under the University's jurisdiction when carrying out their designated responsibilities, departmental liaisons are associated with affiliated groups. Affiliated student groups hold the same status as any other department, institution, center or unit of the University and are subject to the same rights, regulations, procedures, and rules of the University.




The designation of a student organization as an affiliated group may be proposed by either the student organization or a University department. The process of determining affiliated groups requires a group to pass the “but for” test, asking whether a certain functions(s) carried out by the group would be preformed by the University if the group did not exist.

If determined that a student group should be affiliated with the University, the agreement of affiliation must be accepted by both the student organization and a University official acting on behalf of a University department. This agreement including the function(s) carried out by the student group, and the expectations of the group as a representative of the University while conduction functions not identified in the statement shall be in writing.

Either party may terminate the agreement based on their ability to carry out their respective responsibilities as defined in the agreement. All funds allocated to the affiliated student group (including the funds raised by the group) for the purpose of supporting the group’s activities are state funds and shall remain with the University.


CLUB SPORTS: The Club Sports at the University of Colorado are under the direction of Recreation Services and the Recreation Board. The staff of the Recreation Center oversees the selection of coaches, funding of expenses, and the scheduling of games and trips. Provided the club members complete an agreement with the Recreation Center and comply with the policies of the Recreation Center, the clubs may use the University's trademarks including name and have a priority on the use of University recreation space.

INDEPENDENT: Independent student organizations are free to exist or disband and are fully responsible for their own activities. Student organizations must comply with University policies and procedures in scheduling and conducting activities on campus, but the groups' goals, membership and activities are determined solely by the groups themselves. The compliance of independent student organizations with the Campus Use of University Facilities (CUUF) is monitored by the University through the Student Organizations Finance Office (SOFO). In support of these groups, the University and CUSG provides limited office space, funding, activity and recreational space, as well as opportunities for fundraising. The groups do not have access to the University's purchasing, travel office, payroll and personnel systems unless they are sponsoring events or activities considered to be programs of the University. Working with student organizations, allowing use of facilities, and giving access to University resources and services is not an endorsement of student group's beliefs. Because they are not an organization of the University, independent student organizations may not use the University's name, IRS tax-exemption or governmental status, legal or tax advice. However, when co-sponsoring an event with a University department, the independent student organization may request the use of University trademarks for the event only. Independent groups are not required by the University to have advisors and are not protected by the University from being held liable for their debts, violations of the law, or contractual obligations. An independent student organization may elect to select an advisor who serves in a voluntary capacity.

GREEKS: Greek social organizations are independent and distinctive student organizations because of the manner in which they establish themselves at the University and their influence on student life in general. The Greek system's ideals of scholarship, leadership, brotherhood, service and social growth are very compatible with the University's educational mission. Consequently, the University provides special support and expectations that are intended to guide the success of the Greek system in living up to its ideals. As Registered Fraternal Organizations, Greek social organizations are provided the same services and privileges as independent student organizations.

CU Students at outdoor meeting

CU Students in Norlin Quad

UMC atrium


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Student Organizations Finance Office
UMC 231, 207 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309
phone 303-492-6366 Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00AM-4:30PM

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