Ten sub-organizations operate under the umbrella of Student Organization. Each of these groups is concerned with significant issues of an identified population within the student body. Sub-organizations elect their own set of officers, and each group receives funds from the Student Organization. These funds are to be budgeted for specific programs and events, for the student body, i.e., seminars, guest speakers, and group functions.
Asian & Asian American Organization (AASO)
The purpose of the Asian & Asian American student group is to promote awareness of social justice issues faced by Asian/Asian American populations and to organize activities and events that promote cultural awareness and appreciation. The group also aims to build community among the Asian & Asian American students at the School of Social Work. Events held throughout the academic year may include guest lecturers to discuss Asian/Asian American issues, cultural events to highlight Asian festivals and traditions, and events to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage month.
The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) was established in 1974 (then referred to as the Hispanic Students Organization) in an effort to identify the needs of Latino students, influence the policies of the school, and to provide a link between the school and the Latino community. LASO provides Puerto Rican and other Latino students in the School with a vehicle to share ideas, enhance identification with Latino culture, and express sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs and issues affecting Puerto Rican and other Latino communities.
Since its inception, LASO has been concerned with the need for professional Puerto Rican and Latino social workers. For the past several years, LASO has worked directly with the faculty of the Puerto Rican Studies Project in the recruitment and retention of Latino students. In addition to numerous conferences, workshops, seminars, and cultural events, LASO and the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project faculty continue to co-sponsor Hispanic Youth Conferences, special workshops, and other activities aimed at enhancing and strengthening Puerto Rican and Latino social work students, service providers, and the larger society.
Organization of Black Social Work Students
Organized in 1968 by a group of Black students, the Organization of Black Social Work Students (OBSWS) provides support for the Black students in the School as well as in the community. Its goal is to sensitize the School and the larger community to the culture, the experiences, and the needs of Black people of African decent through a variety of forums, workshops, symposia, and artistic displays. In addition, “Black Studies for Social Work Practice” is available as a focused area of study.
With the aid of faculty and administration, OBSWS hopes to continue to develop the Black perspective in course content. OBSWS feels that this is critical in light of increased negative racial attitudes in this society. Although changing stereotypes, beliefs, and attitudes is a difficult task to bear, OBSWS maintains that Black social workers cannot give up if they are to be agents of change, if they are to make this world more equal and humane. OBSWS invites all Black students to participate in this organization.
Progressive Action Committee (PAC)
PAC began in 1980 as an informal group of concerned students who came together over their interest in the American involvement in El Salvador and other issues of common interest. Eventually they decided to formalize their group with a structure and a name. The Progressive Action Committee was chosen to symbolize the group’s belief in working toward social change that benefits the welfare of all people.
In 2011, students formed SSW Joins Occupy in order to raise awareness of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s existence and increase student participation in the local encampments. Over the same period, students formed a Healthcare4every1 group which worked to advocate for quality, affordable healthcare for all. The members of these groups decided it would be best to reinstate PAC as the SSW’s lead grassroots and advocacy student group.
PAC is a vehicle for students to raise and work on issues of social, political, cultural and economic concern. It seeks to complement the formal education of the social work student by providing the opportunity for students to increase their social consciousness and translate that consciousness into action. PAC will enable students to collaborate on issues in order to bring positive change to the local, state, and/or national community. The Progressive Action Committee will work to challenge issues of poverty, racism, inequality and discrimination through collective, inclusive action.
PRIDE is to serve the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied communities at the UConn School of Social Work, including students, faculty and staff.
We work to ensure that our school’s environment, classrooms, curricula, policies and events are accessible, safe, open, and affirming to all individuals regardless of sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions. As a social justice organization, we support all efforts to further equality and empowerment for all marginalized populations. We are committed to educating social work students to be better equipped to provide safe and affirming services once they become professionals.
Social Workers for Global Justice
Social Workers for Global Justice is a student organization that promotes awareness of international dimensions of social work. The organization welcomes all social work students who are interested in international issues.
Social Workers for Global Justice activities include movie showings, guest speakers, participation in the School of Social Work Annual International Day and in Social Work Day at the United Nations, collaborating with other sub-organizations, and facilitating discussions regarding international issues in which social workers are involved.
Students Against Mass Incarceration
The Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) sub-organization addresses diverse and complex issues concerning criminal justice reform and the role of social workers. Students can discuss and advocate for topics such as the school-to-prison pipeline, the needs of children of incarcerated parents, education in prison, politically oppressive systems, gender, community violence, street culture, police-community relations, and the improvement of re-entry services for formerly incarcerated men and women. SAMI will also provide a space where students can advocate, educate and self-identify as directly or indirectly impacted by incarceration and/or violence.
SAMI events include discussions, forums, panels, presentations, workshops, and direct action on topics related to criminal justice reform, the mass incarceration epidemic, culture and race. Innovative models of political advocacy, community organizing and research will be further explored.
Student Health Organization
The Student Health Organization (SHO) serves as a health resource/referral network on topics relevant to students’ needs, including crisis management, mental health, nutrition, exercise, pertinent health websites, and local health clinics. The SHO provides a forum for educational symposia and workshops seeking to generate interest in and awareness of important local, national and global health concerns and policies, while ultimately seeking to generate interest in and awareness of these topics. The SHO is committed to fostering a healthier occupational environment for the UConn community.
Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance
The mission of the Student Veterans and Supporters Alliance is to serve and support active duty personnel, reservists, national guardsmen and women, veterans, and civilian Allied communities at the UConn School of Social Work.
The SVSA mission is to ensure that our school’s environment, classrooms, curricula, policies and events are accessible, safe, open, and affirming to all individuals regardless of military or civilian status, including but not limited to the gendered and minority experiences of our current and prior service constituents. As a social justice organization, we support all efforts to further equality and empowerment for all student veterans. We are committed to educating our fellow social work students, to raise awareness of and to educate those interested in learning about veterans’ issues.
Women’s Caucus (WC) was established in 1979 as a feminist organization. The Caucus opposes sexism, not the male gender. It challenges sexism along with ageism, ableism, racism, homophobia, and other “isms” that comprise oppression. WC provides a supportive atmosphere for students to come together to share feelings and ideas. WC strives to educate the school community on the current issues that women are facing. All interested women and men are welcome to attend programs and scheduled meetings. Women of diverse backgrounds and perspectives are welcomed.