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Start a Service Organization

OACS advises more than 75 student service organizations. The primary goal of OACS is to support students in their ongoing service initiatives while better preparing them to implement, assess and reflect on those activities. OACS provides student leaders with financial advising; risk management planning for events and programs; paperwork assistance; and facilitates connections to agencies and volunteer opportunities in Nashville.

Starting a Service Organization

Vanderbilt currently offers two windows during the academic year when organizations can form (September and January). Follow these steps to get started:

  • Check that no current service organization exists that meets the need you have identified.
  • Tell us about your organization. An OACS Program Coordinator will contact you to set up a meeting. Email us at
  • Write a constitution for your service organization.
  • At the appropriate point in the year, submit a registration form to be recognized by the University. You will also register on Anchor Link and apply for a center number.

Requirements to be advised by OACS:

  • Maintain regular communication with your advisor.
  • Complete an assessment survey at the end of fall and spring semesters.
  • Update OACS with new leadership rosters at the end of the spring semester.
  • Send at least one member of your leadership team to the OACS Service Leaders Conference every August (typically the week before classes begin).

What to expect from your OACS advisor:

OACS advisors serve as advocates, establish a source of continuity year to year, and provide program ideas and experience. We help with the growth, progress and sustainability of service organizations by assisting the incoming board and group members every semester. We also offer financial counseling and help navigating Vanderbilt’s Edog system.

Joining a Service Organization

  • Please view our list of student organizations. You can access individual organization pages by clicking on their logos – this will direct you to their Anchor Link pages.
  • Contact an OACS staffer to get more info or come in to Rand 305 and speak with us.