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Office of Student Involvement

CatLife - Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the best internet browser to run CatLife?

Office of Student Involvement staff’s recommended browser for Catlife is Google Chrome (speed, responsiveness of platform, etc.).

The recommended browser is Google Chrome.

How does our advisor and officers gain administrative access to CatLife?

When registering, the president will add officers and assign their positions. They should also be able to add advisors. Once roles have been assigned, they should have access to the admin dashboard. If you have any trouble, please contact studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu for administrative access or stop by our office in Granite 163.

How do I get help with something in my CatLife Account?

CatLife is a digital solution that is provided by a company called Presence. Presence provides technical assistance/support in a couple of ways.

  • If you have questions about the system, your CatLife account (such as something related to your student organization information, posting your organization events, etc.) go to the Help section to search one of the articles that may provide the answers to your questions You may also access the complete library of helpful articles at (learn.presence.io)
  • Students, faculty, staff with admin user access of CatLife can also access LIVE CHAT support by clicking on the blue square in the bottom right corner. Presence experts are available to assist you from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. *This is only seen via when you are in the admin dashboard of CatLife*

NOTE: Please do not submit an IT Help Ticket for help on how to use the CatLife platform. They are not able to assist with questions about the platform.

What kind of assistance can I get from the CatLife campus administrators?

Please send an email to studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu for assistance with any of the following issues:

  • Deactivating an organization that is no longer active
  • Help with setting up a profile for a Campus Department that is not currently in CatLife
  • Changing the setting on a student organization page so that students cannot join the organization automatically but have to go through a selection process. 
Who are the CatLife campus administrators for UC Merced?

Hayley Montoya is the main staff managing CatLife.

You can also reach out to her team at clubsandorgs@ucmerced.edu. Please make sure studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu is always cc’ed on any communication in case Hayley or her team is out of the office.

What size should I make images if I want to post my organization or departmental logo to my organization page?

960 X 375 px is the most compatible with the template.

About Creating Events

My organization or campus department wants to post an upcoming event in CatLife. How long will it take for my event to show up after I submit it?

All events must be approved by a CatLife campus administrator. As we get adjusted to this platform, your event requests may take from 3-7 business days to review. If all of the information needed is complete on the form, you could receive a confirmation that your event is approved within 3 business days.

  • The event will then show up on the Events section of CatLife and also will appear on UC Merced Events Page.
  • Remember to use ASTRA and EMS, if any rooms or spaces are needed for your event.
I want to keep events I create private for just the organization members. What do I do?

You can make events viewable only to those in the organization when setting up the event.

  • On the Event Request under, “options”, please select “Hidden from Non-Members” and/or “Members Only Check-In”

About Catlife Finance Page

My club needs to purchase items for our upcoming event. What do I do?

You will need to submit an Expenditure Request on CatLife.

  • Please log into CatLife with your UC Merced credentials. Once logged in, go to your “Admin Dashboard”. Here are some helpful screenshots for finding how to access the Expenditure Request Form.

Any further questions regarding spending your club funds, please email osifrontdesk@ucmerced.edu, request to set up a zoom call or stop by our office at Granite Pass 166. Our business hours are Monday - Friday from 8 AM - 6 PM.

I’m not sure how much money my club has in its account. How can I find that information?

Under the finance tab of your CatLife page (see above for reference), your organization account total should appear. Here is an example of what it looks like if there is NO budget there.

  • If you believe your club or organization should have funds in their account, please reach out to Connie McBride, cmcbride3@ucmerced.edu.

About Student Organizations

My student organization page in CatLife has a JOIN button that allows anyone to join by just clicking on the button. Our organization has restricted membership, how can we stop that from happening?

A “campus administrator” of CatLife (approved UC Merced staff member) can turn off the feature that allows for open membership to your organization.

Please send an email to studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu with the message below: Close roster for [name of your organization]. I am the [organization officer]

I would like to be, or am currently, in an organization that I may not want to have my name be visible and public on the organization roster. What do I do?

Organization members, (with the exception of officers), are viewable only to the organization membership and are not visible to others outside the organization. Your privacy is important.

I am an advisor to a student organization but do not have access to the organization’s profile in CatLife.

Send an email to studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu along with your name (first, last), your role with the organization, and the name of the organization.

I’m a student organization leader and would like training on using CatLife. Where should I go?

The Office of Student Involvement provides training for you on use of this platform and can help. See this link for more info.

About Campus Departments

I am a faculty/staff member and my campus department hosts several co-curricular events/activities throughout the year that we would like to list in CatLife but I don’t know how to enter our events.

You must first complete a form to get a Campus Department profile set up in CatLife. Complete the form found here and send any follow up questions to studentinvolvement@ucmerced.edu. As we are transitioning to this new platform, we will need around 3 business days to review your request. Once your department profile is set up, you will be sent information on “How to Enter Events.”

About Community Service Hours

I am a student and I have completed several hours of community service hours. How do I get these approved and validated so that they are reflected on my co-curricular transcript on CatLife?

Reporting service hours to Catlife is important because it captures the total service hours completed by your organization and it helps us identify the great work our UC Merced scholars are engaging in. The process takes less than 5 minutes.

  • Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to report your hours on Catlife:
    • You can visit the Community Engagement Center’s Youtube channel to watch the video
  • Please be aware that even though philanthropy is important and impactful, we will only be approving direct service hours. If you need a refresher on what counts as philanthropy versus what is direct service, you can click here.
  • For any additional questions, please reach out to the Community Engagement Center at communityservice@ucmerced.edu or visit us at KL 190.

General Club and Organization Questions

How do I reserve a room for club/org meetings?

You can reserve an academic room via Astra. Non academic spaces can be reserved via EMS. Please follow room reservation

How do I start a Club/Org?

There are 4 requirements to be able to start a club. For more information, please refer to this site.

How do I find an advisor?

Ask a professor or staff member that you know or have a connection with if they’d be willing to be an advisor for your org. If you are having trouble finding an advisor, please contact clubsandorgs@ucmerced.edu or stop by our office at Granite 163.

On-campus staff, faculty, and graduate students can serve as an advisor.

What locations are we allowed to post flyers at?

You can post flyers in various locations on campus. Certain locations require permission from other staff/departments. Flyers require a stamp of approval in Granite 166 and must be removed the day after the event occurs. You can find the locations here.

Where can we get flyers approval to post on campus?

Flyers will be approved and stamped in Granite 166. Guidelines can be found here.

What do I need to do if my organization wants to work with minors?

Events or activities involving minors must be reviewed by both OSI and Risk Management. To work with minors, please contact Hayley Montoya (hmontoya2@ucmerced.edu) and cc Cindi Zimmerman (czimmerman3@ucmerced.edu)

How can I obtain a UC Merced email for my organization?

Contact Connie Mcbride (cmcbride3@ucmerced.edu), she will have you complete this form.

What if my club previously had access to a UC Merced email, but the log-in information was not passed down to the new officers?

Contact Connie Mcbride (cmcbride3@ucmerced.edu), she can reset the access for you.

What if my officers cannot attend the designated required training dates?

Videos of the training will be uploaded on our site soon. Officers can watch the video followed by a quiz to verify participation. All trainings must be completed by the end of the semester for the club to be considered active.

Does an organization have to register every year?

Yes, an organization must re-register every year to be considered an active organization at UC Merced.

General Tabling Questions

Can orgs provide snacks during tabling?

Yes, clubs can provide pre packaged snacks during tabling. These snacks do not require prior approval.

How do I submit a Tabling request?

A tabling request must be submitted on Catlife. Please submit a request 5-7 days before the planned date. For tabling guidelines, take a look at this flyer.

Where can my club/org table?

Clubs and Organizations can table at various locations throughout the campus. Some popular sites to consider are: Scholars Lane, Academic Walk, University Plaza and Pavilion Lawn. For more tabling locations, tips and tricks, take a look at our pamphlet.

Where can I check out tables for tabling?

Tables, chairs and canopies can be checked out at our office in Granite Pass 163. The checkout form must be filled out in our office.

General Finance/Funding Questions for RCOs

How does my club receive funding?

Your club can receive funding via various different avenues. You can request funds via ICC. You can also receive funds from ASUCM.

Where can I find more information regarding funding?

More information about ASUCM funding can be found here. Information on ICC funding can be found here.

Where do I submit an expenditure request (formally called purchase request)?

A purchase order can be submitted on Catlife. Please leave at least 1 week in anticipation. Here is a timeline regarding purchasing items.

How do I open an on campus bank account for my club?

Please email Connie McBride at cmcbride3@ucmerced.edu and Catrina Parr at cparr-abundiz@ucmerced.edu.

General Food Related Questions for RCOs

How do I get food safety trained?

Students handling food are required to complete a Food Safety Training on the UC Learning Center site. This training must be completed every three years.

For more information regarding Food Safety, Food Policies and other information, please visit UC Merced Food Safety site.

How do I submit a food permit request?

You can submit a food permit request on Catlife. When submitting an event request, make sure to include the vendor.

Does a private event need a food permit?

No, a private event does not require a food permit.

Can I bring a food truck to my event?

Food vendors must be on the UC Approved list to be brought onto campus. They must also have a Environmental Health permit in their residing county and must have a Food Safety Training certificate for all employees that will be handling food.