Frequently Asked Questions

What is COSO?

COSO stands for the Committee on Student Organizations and is a group of student dedicated to helping new student organization become established as well as providing current student organizations with the training and tools to be successful on campus. Some of COSO’s well known events include Canefest, the Spring Involvement Fair, and SOAR awards to recognize excellence in organization leadership. COSO members have an office in the Shalala Student Center Student Organization Suite, Room 210H and have someone present to help answer questions daily Monday through Friday 9 am – 6 pm during the academic year.

How Do I Start a New Student Organizations

Students Interested in starting a new organization on campus should first refer to COSO Guidelines found here

A potential organization should meet the following criteria (note this is not a complete list; complete criteria are located under COSO Guidlelines)

  • Students who are interested in starting a new student organization should review the New Student Organization Interest packet on COSO’s Engage portal.
  • A roster of 25 prospective undergraduate members with full names, C numbers, emails, and signatures must be uploaded to the New Student Organization Interest Packet on Engage. Advisors, faculty and staff members, graduate students, COSO delegates, and SAFAC delegates will not count towards the 25 undergraduate member requirement. The roster template can be found in the New Student Organization Interest packet.
  • All organizations are required to have a full-time faculty or staff member as an advisor. Graduate students are not eligible to become advisors to an organization, and the advisor cannot be on a leave of absence or sabbatical from the university.
  • Organizations must not infringe on the safety, health, and welfare of the University community and the order of campus operations, must be compliant with stated policies, procedures, and laws as well as the University of Miami Student Organization Handbook and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.
  • Student organizations must be comprised of at least 75% undergraduate members.

 What are the benefits of starting a new student organization?

 Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to…

  • Promote themselves at COSO events such as Canefest, the Spring Involvement Fair, and other leadership programs and initiatives;
  • Apply for annual awards through the Student Organization Awards and Recognition(SOAR) Awards Ceremony;
  • Reserve meeting/event space in the Student Center Complex (Whitten University Center and Shalala Student Center) and use designated equipment (A/V, tables, etc.) at no charge;
  • Access Engage and maintain an organization portal;
  • Apply for office and/or storage space in the Student Center Complex through the Student Center Complex Advisory Council’s application process;
  • Request SAFAC funding in accordance with stated SAFAC policies and procedures;
  • Utilize University accounts to manage organization finances;

You can read more about this on our COSO website under “Starting A New Student Organization”.

COSO Database

The COSO database is a networking tool for all student organization. You can access it by going to . It is a great resource for finding out what events are taking place on campus, posting messages to your organization, as well as provides the ability to request membership to any of the 305+ student organization currently recognized by COSO.

Can I start an organization as freshman?

As a first semester student you cannot start a new organization until your second semester at the University. COSO feels that your first semester should be dedicated to getting to know the 280+ student organizations as well as focusing on your academics before you take on the task of leading a student group

 Can I start an organization as a senior?

 Seniors are not allowed to start an organization during their last semester at the University.

Who is my COSO liaison?

Your COSO liaison can be viewed on the COSO database under your student organization's profile and roster. They will be profiled at the top of the page.

How do I re-register?

Once a year we ask all current student organizations to confirm their interest in continuing to be recognized by COSO through a registration process. Registration will open in the Spring Semester. We ask all new presidents for the upcoming academic year to complete the registration form. The form can be accessed from the database by clicking on the Forms Tab located on your Engage profile. Please be prepared with the names, C number, UM email address, and phone number for the president, treasurer, as well as your advisor.

What happens if I do not re-register?

Organizations that fail to register by set Spring Semester deadline will not be allowed to participate in Canefest and will not be provide a SAFAC budget. If you are having problems with the system it is the organizations' responsibility to meet with their COSO liaison before the assigned deadline.

How do I register for Canefest/Spring Involvement Fair?

Both registrations for Canefest as well as the Spring Involvement fair can be done through a form located on our Engage page. Questions about either Canefest or the Spring Involvement Fair can be directed to the COSO Chair at

Who is the advisor of COSO?

Mercy Lavado and she can be reached at