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Student Groups

Testudo in front of Riggs

Student organizations are an integral part of the SPP community – they recruit policymakers and scholars to speak at the school, provide a forum for students to discuss shared policy interests, raise money for deserving charities, promote international perspectives and more. Both graduate and undergraduate students are invited to participate in student organizations! 

Policy Student Government Association (PSGA)

The Policy Student Government Association (PSGA) is a team of undergraduate and graduate students who represent the needs and interests of all registered students before the administration and faculty. PSGA works to build a community among policy school students through regular social gatherings, service opportunities and networking socials.

Visit: Policy Student Government Association (PSGA)

Black Students in Public Policy

Black Students in Public Policy (BSIPP) was established in 2017 for the express purpose of creating a stronger sense of community among Black students at the School. BSIPP provides a safe space for Black students and other students of marginalized identities in both the graduate school (masters and PhD students) and undergraduate public policy major. BSIPP also exists to serve our community through volunteering, educational programs, and advocacy throughout campus.

Find us on: Facebook

Sustainability, Environment, and Energy Council (SEEC)

The Sustainability, Environment, and Energy Council (SEEC) is a student-led organization open to all students within the School of Public Policy who are interested in incorporating sustainability into their policy careers. SEEC engages in projects and activities that enhance environmental well-being, facilitates network-building through communication and social engagements, and provides scholarly opportunities to improve professional development and representation at the School. In addition, the Council makes an effort to develop a strong sense of community for sustainably-minded students with a variety of social events. Some examples of past SEEC events include: fireside chats with university faculty, a sustainability masterclass, documentary nights, happy hours and networking nights, and volunteering excursions.

Find us on: Facebook

International Development Policy Council

The International Development (IDEV) Council is a student-run organization at the School that is committed to enhancing the international development specialization to meet students’ needs, enrich students’ development worldview, assist in students’ professional development and facilitate a sense of community among international students. The Council is a link between the School and students, and also provides additional learning and networking opportunities for current IDEV students and alumni. It also partners with the Center for International & Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) to organize weekly CISSM Global Forums that highlight important security and development issues.


International Security and Economic Policy Council

The International Security and Economic Policy (ISEP) Council is a student organization that works to enhance the academic, professional and social experience of ISEP students at the School. The ISEP Council is a forum for students to discuss relevant issues and acts as a liaison with the School’s faculty and administration. It organizes networking, professional development and educational opportunities for the SPP community and sends a weekly newsletter listing events of interest around Washington, DC. The ISEP Council seeks to foster a stronger sense of community between ISEP students, alumni and faculty.


Social, Health, Education Policy Student Council

Social, Health & Education Policy Council (SHEP) is a student organization open to both graduate and undergraduate students within the School of Public Policy. The purpose of the Social Policy Council is to engage students, regardless of specialization, in social, health, and education policy. Social Policy Council provides a forum for students to discuss current social policy issues, relevant social policy research, and also works with faculty and staff to promote social policy at UMD. We aim to work with community organizations both through volunteer opportunities and professional development.

Find us on: Instagram | Facebook

Kappa Omega Alpha (KOA)

Kappa Omega Alpha (KOA) is the premier public policy professional fraternity at the University of Maryland. The UMD KOA chapter was established in 2018 by Jacqueline Ford '20. KOA is open to anyone, regardless of year, major or background. KOA members are public leadership scholars, world travelers, business minors, first-semester freshmen, change the world consultants, community service volunteers, journalism majors, state senate campaign interns and everything in between.

Find us on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website | YouTube

International Student Council

Established at the end of 2015, the International Student Council is a student organization aimed at supporting international students and promoting culture and diversity on the UMD campus. Events include academic and work field workshops, experience-sharing panels with alums, happy hours, potlucks and other cultural events. All international students are by default members of the council. However, the events are not exclusive and all are welcome to join. There will be fun activities coming up soon, and the council looks forward to meeting each and every one of you!

Find us on: Facebook

Queer & Trans Students in Public Policy

Queer and Trans in Public Policy (QTiPP, for short) is a group for those connected to the University of Maryland who are interested in the intersection of the field of public policy, and the LGBTQIAP+/queer communities. Undergraduate and graduate students, including but not limited to those in the School, as well as alumni, are welcome! Our goals include holding discussions about current events; creating a network of LGBTQ+/queer students and professionals working in the fields of public policy; organizing panels, guest lectures, and other networking events; and anything else that furthers our goals as we decide going forward. We are always excited to collaborate with other groups, both in and outside of the School. Also, allies are absolutely welcome!

Contact: Glenn Burnett at
Find us on: Instagram

Roosevelt Institution

This generation's college students want to make a difference. The Roosevelt Institution at UMD is the University chapter of a national network of student think tanks. Roosevelt Institution connects students' ideas to the political process and looks to train a new generation of leaders through leadership and community service.

University of Maryland Public Policy Review

Founded in 2016, the University of Maryland Public Policy Review is a student-run journal that provides a platform for students to showcase their work while furthering discourse on university, state-wide, regional, national and global policy issues. Read the latest edition here.


Women in Public Policy

The Women in Public Policy (WiPP) was established in 2002 to promote women’s leadership in policy and increase awareness about issues affecting women and girls around the globe. The organization provides leadership, networking, professional development, education and service opportunities to the the SPP community. WiPP is looking for students who are passionate about and interested in advocating, volunteering and developing policy solutions for issues affecting women and girls.

Find us on: Facebook

SPP Student Council Funding Process

PSGA requests funding directly from SPP every year. In addition to funding PSGA programming, SPP also disburses funds to individual councils. Each year, PSGA must allocate at least $200 to each of the individual student groups. The PSGA Treasurer determines this allocation. In 2022, the allocation is $300 per council.

Each council must designate only one authorized spender for your council, who must submit a budget to the PSGA Treasurer. This should include events, supplies, and other essential items. Budget reconciliation must be included at the end of each year, as it informs future allocation.

Each council must complete payment requests to the PSGA Treasurer Shayna Kieley, who will help determine the best way to purchase your item request. 

PSGA is also an official SORC-recognized student group and is working to obtain eligibility for SGA funds. There is the potential that SGA may pass these funds on the councils as well. 

Official SORC-registered student groups must meet several qualifications. PSGA meets these requirements on councils' behalf and can pass funding through to councils by "co-sponsoring" events. This may be a better option for larger events that exceed the $360 threshold. 

To access these funds, each council must reach out to the PSGA Treasurer, Shayna Kieley, and submit a detailed budget. Councils should not use these funds for operations or general funding.

UMD Internal Sources:

External Sources

Other possible sources of funding might include:

  • An external sponsor
  • Fundraising
  • Selling tickets to events

SPP and SGA funding may NOT be used for the following:

• Alcohol

• Gifts of sentiment (e.g. flowers for a funeral or a thank-you gift)

• Anything that is not directly related to the operation of the council

• Anything that directly benefits a council member (e.g. hiring a relative)

• Any event that does not adhere to current university restrictions regarding in-person events (e.g. size of events, social distancing requirements, etc.)

• Detailed guide

• Payment Request form

• SORC Website

• Fall 2020 COVID Safety Guidelines

For questions, reach out to 2022 PSGA Treasurer, Shayna Kieley.