I mistook 属する for “to be attached” instead of “to belong to” which prompted a jisho search of what 所属 means and a discussion with a native speaker. She said that 所属 isn’t used with physical attachment and that’s also in line with the example sentences on jisho and weblio’s eng-jpn dictionary and the definition on weblio’s monolingual dictionary.
My beef is that although “Attached to” is totally valid, I automatically think of the physical meaning of “attached” first, like “The door is attached to the wall.” I think it would be easier to clarify that the meaning is strictly used with groups to switch the primary (attached to) and alternative (belong to) meanings. Additionally, I think “affiliated with,” although an unusual translation, would make a good additional alternative meaning to drive home that 所属 refers to belonging in a social and concrete group way than in a physical sense.
What are your thoughts?