Student Organization Travel

June 2023 - new Student Organization Travel Authorization (SOTA) system

We have launched a new and improved SOTA system. While the name and process are familiar to current users, you'll find improved functionality and more automated notifications to make trip coordination easier.

Travel Policy and Procedures for Student Organizations

The Student Organization Travel Policy and Procedures for Student Organization Use of University Vehicles govern travel for activities or events sponsored by a recognized student organization and authorized by Iowa State. Travel authorization requests must be submitted and approved through the Student Organization Travel Authorization system (SOTA) prior to travel.

Trip Coordinator Responsibilities

The student organization must designate one member of the travel party to serve as trip coordinator. Once a trip has been submitted in SOTA, only the trip coordinator has access to view and edit trip details.

Trip coordinator responsibilities:

  • Submit travel authorization requests through SOTA for each trip.
  • Travel with the organization and act as liaison for their student organization during the approval process and while on the trip.
  • Confirm receipt of appropriate travel documents with the staff of either the Office of Risk Management (ORM) or Recreation Services (for Sport Clubs). When necessary, the trip coordinator may need to meet with staff to review and evaluate the completed SOTA request.
  • When a trip involves use of a 15-passenger van or a vehicle towing a trailer, the trip coordinator must ensure that drivers for the trip have completed the required van and trailer training. The required two-part training includes an online course in SOTA and driving observation, which must be scheduled through Transportation Services. Your trip will not be approved until all drivers have completed both portions of the training.

Complete your SOTA Request

  1. In SOTA, search for your organization's name exactly as it appears in the student organization database.
  2. Click on your organization's name.
  3. Complete the "General Information" page as completely as possible, then click "Submit."
  4. In the application:
    • Add lodging (if applicable).
    • Add itinerary information (be as specific as possible).
    • Submit vehicle request (if applicable). In order to use university vehicles, your organization's travel must fit within one of the "Eligible Vehicle Use" criteria listed in Procedures for Student Organization Use of University Vehicles.
    • Add participants. Only members who have been added to the organization's roster and who have acknowledged their membership in the student organization database may be added to the trip. As you add participants, be sure to mark which are drivers. Members under 18 years of age or who are not ISU students must be added as an "Exception," and will receive participant agreement forms to complete via email. Participants can be added and removed until the trip is approved by ORM or Recreation Services.
  5. When all items have been completed, click "Submit Application." You will have a chance to review your trip one final time, and then click to submit the trip.

IMPORTANT: If the itinerary or general information for an approved trip is changed, all participants and the advisor and treasurer will need to re-approve the trip.

Student Organization Driver Training

Student organization members who wish to drive for their student organization travel must complete Student Organization Driving Policy and Safety Training in SOTA prior to travel. Visit the Transportation Services Student Organization Travel page to sign up. After you have successfully passed the Student Organization Driver Training quiz, you are approved to drive all university vehicles except 15 passenger vans or towing a trailer, which require additional training. Your Student Organization Driver Training is valid as long as you are an Iowa State student.