AAUW Student Organizations: Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in empowering women in your campus and community? Do you want a great leadership experience for your résumé? Then you should start an AAUW student organization to take advantage of all the resources and connections that AAUW has to offer. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about AAUW student organizations. Have more questions? E-mail us at coll-univ@aauw.org.

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My school is an AAUW college/university partner member. Does that mean we already have a student organization?

No, C/U partner membership does not automatically guarantee that a school has an AAUW student organization. In order for a student organization to be recognized, students must follow university guidelines for forming clubs and then submit a form to the AAUW national office for approval.

How do I know if my school is an AAUW college/university partner member?

Head over to our C/U partner member directory and see if your school is on the list. If it is, congrats! You and your undergraduate organizational members can join AAUW for free as e-student affiliates.

What if my school isn’t an AAUW college/university partner member?

C/U partner membership is not a requirement for student organizations. You can still form your club, but you won’t be eligible for free e-student affiliate membership, and you won’t have the same benefits that students at our C/U partner member institutions receive. You can still join AAUW as a student affiliate member for $17. Want to recruit your school and receive free membership? We can help! Your campus may be eligible to join at the introductory rate of $125. E-mail us at coll-univ@aauw.org for more information.

What’s the difference between an AAUW branch and a student organization?

Student organizations are hosted on a college campus. Membership is composed entirely of students. Branches are groups of local AAUW members, who already have at least an associate degree, working together in their communities to empower women and girls.University branches, which are different from student organizations, are also an option for C/U partner members. University branches follow the same policies as any other branch but generally consist of faculty, staff, and some students. For more information about this type of organization, e-mail connect@aauw.org.

How does my student organization benefit from partnering with a local AAUW branch?

Branches can help you by

If your school is already an AAUW college/university partner member, the branch can be helpful in linking your student organization to your C/U representative on campus. If your school is not a member, communication from a local branch may be the push your school needs to become an AAUW member.

In addition, many branches provide scholarships to send students to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

Search online to find a branch near you. If you need assistance, please e-mail connect@aauw.org.

How can I find funding for campus programs?

To identify sources of funding, collaborate with your local branch, apply for grants, partner with campus and community organizations, and apply for funding from your school. Look for the listing of student organizations on campus, and identify which groups have similar missions to yours. Partnering with other groups can create opportunities for co-sponsorships and will increase your chances of receiving funding from student government. Seek out local community organizations and business that would be interested in sponsoring specific needs for your programs, such as food, refreshments, or printing handouts.You can also take advantage of The Princeton Review’s SCORE program, which provides AAUW members with free workshops and practice entrance exams (which you can then charge for as a fundraiser) for students who wish to attend college or graduate school. For questions and more information about this program, please e-mail businessdev@aauw.org.

There is already a women’s organization on campus. Is there a way to affiliate it with AAUW?

Existing women’s student organizations are free to use the resources provided on the AAUW website. An AAUW student organization, however, will give your student organization special recognition and additional leadership support from national staff.In order to be recognized by AAUW, you will need to complete the official student organization registration form and submit it to coll-univ@aauw.org. We ask that your activities relate and contribute to the AAUW mission.

What resources are available to student organizations?

Student organizations receive guidance, leadership training, and support from AAUW’s national staff. Undergraduate students at C/U partner member schools are eligible to join AAUW as e-student affiliates for free. This free membership gives you access to discounts, updated information on leadership opportunities, a free digital subscription to AAUW Outlook magazine, and keeps you connected with the AAUW community.Student organizations are also encouraged to take advantage of AAUW’s campus leadership programs, many of which are free to you.

How can my student organization take action?

One of the most exciting parts of being in an AAUW student organization is creating events on your campus that make a difference for women and girls. We encourage students to sign up for our Two-Minute Activist, an online tool that sends you alerts on women’s issues so you can send targeted messages to Congress and the president quickly.

Can graduate students join an AAUW student organization?

Graduate students may be involved with student organizations, but they cannot be student affiliate members. After earning an undergraduate degree, you must become a member at the branch, state, or national level. Therefore, a graduate student’s AAUW membership would not be the same as that of an undergraduate member in the group.Graduate students can join AAUW at a special introductory rate of $18.81.

Who can be our student organization adviser?

First and foremost, follow any university guidelines. If you’re unsure whom to approach, consider campus faculty or staff who are interested in gender issues and student leadership. Use this FAQ to better understand your adviser’s role. You can also work with the AAUW national office for support by e-mailing coll-univ@aauw.org.

What do I name my student organization?

Your student organization name must contain AAUW’s name. Traditionally, organizations have used the format “AAUW at (university name)” — for example, AAUW at Penn State. Student organizations cannot use “branch,” “club,” or “chapter” in their names.

How many members do I need in my organization?

All organizations must be registered with their universities. Make sure you are following the policies of your institution. For AAUW, you need to fill four positions: president, treasurer, liaison to AAUW, and an additional student member.

Do I have to join the local or state AAUW branch?

Your organization can partner with a local or state branch, but you are not required to become members.

Can there be men in my group?

Yes! There are no barriers to participation with AAUW on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class.

Do I have to register my organization with AAUW?

AAUW requires that you register your organization with us at the national office. Regardless of whether you are working with a local AAUW branch, you must fill out the national form. These forms are reviewed by the national board of directors on a monthly basis. When you register, your organization joins our extensive community of students, community leaders, and thousands of members. Additionally, you get access to our resources and member benefits.

How can my student organization take action?

One of the most exciting parts of being in an AAUW student organization is creating events on your campus that make a difference for women and girls. We encourage students to sign up for our Two-Minute Activist, an online tool that sends you alerts on women’s issues so you can send targeted messages to Congress and the president quickly.

I have more questions. Who can I ask?

Feel free to contact coll-univ@aauw.org for additional resources and support.

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