AAUW and Colleges/Universities: Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

Whether you’re a member leader who’s had a strong relationship with your local college or an e-student affiliate learning about AAUW for the first time, it’s helpful to know the terminology AAUW uses when talking about colleges and universities. This glossary is a tool for differentiating between terms and finding commonly used definitions.



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An acronym for Campus Action Project. Campus Action Projects are annual, grant-funded, student-led projects that put AAUW’s latest research into action.

Elect Her–Campus Women Win

The only national program that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. A collaboration between AAUW and Running Start, Elect Her addresses the need to expand the pipeline of women candidates running for office and to diminish the longstanding political leadership gender gap.

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)

An acronym, pronounced “nick-whistle,” for the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, an annual conference that AAUW and NASPA host in late May or early June every year for college women students.

National Student Advisory Council (SAC)

A yearlong leadership program for 10 college women who serve as AAUW ambassadors on their campuses.

Start Smart salary negotiation workshops

College women entering the job market need the confidence, knowledge, and skills required to negotiate their salaries and benefits. AAUW’s Start Smart workshops empower students across the country to overcome the wage gap with practical tips and strategies to negotiate for fair and equitable salaries upon graduation.

State Student Advisory Council

A state-organized and state-managed leadership program. State student advisory councils are similar in structure to the National Student Advisory Council but focus on local AAUW activity. Learn more about starting your own state SAC.

Student org/student organization

A group of students at a college or university who want to form an official AAUW-affiliated group (formerly known as a student affiliate satellite). AAUW student organizations need not be located on an AAUW member campus.


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C/U chair

The branch or state officer responsible for coordinating C/U outreach and programs. This person is a liaison between AAUW and the C/U representative.

C/U committee

A group of volunteer member leaders who collaborate with national AAUW staff. The C/U committee helps staff and AAUW affiliates market and implement the college/university member, student affiliate, and e-student affiliate programs.

C/U rep or C/U representative

The designated official contact person for AAUW on a member campus who serves as a liaison between AAUW and the school’s faculty, students, and staff. Each member may appoint two C/U reps, each of whom receives a free AAUW national membership (valued at $49).


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C/U member

An institution that is a dues-paying AAUW college/university member. AAUW college/university membership runs from July 1 through June 30 and includes special benefits for students, faculty, and staff.

E-student affiliates (E-SAFs)

Students who join AAUW and receive information electronically but do not have AAUW voting privileges. All undergraduate students on a C/U member campus are eligible to become an e-student affiliate by registering online. Students remain e-student affiliates as long as they are undergraduates and their institution retains its membership. E-student affiliates also receive a free membership for their first year after of college. Learn more about recruiting e-student affiliates.

Graduate student membership

Students who have earned an undergraduate degree and become members at the branch, state, or national level. A graduate student membership offers a different set of benefits from an undergraduate student affiliate membership. Graduate students may join at an introductory rate of $18.81.

Student affiliate

An undergraduate on any college or university campus that is not an AAUW member. The student may choose to be affiliated with the national organization or local branch. Annual dues are $17. After joining, students gain access to all AAUW information online and in print.


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An abbreviated way of referring to a college or university — any two- or four-year educational institution that offers recognized associate, baccalaureate, or higher degrees and has full regional accreditation or appropriate professional association approval.

Member Services Database (MSD)

The online source for AAUW’s national database records. Presidents, membership vice presidents, and C/U chairs can view a list of current C/U members, C/U representatives, and e-student affiliates in the MSD.

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