Student Organizations Focused on Social Justice

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) National Service Fraternity’s mission is to prepare campus and community leaders through service. Its purpose is to develop leadership, to promote friendship and to provide service to humanity. The Alpha Eta Theta Chapter at Sewanee recruits at the beginning of each semester and welcomes students from any class year to join work with various service organizations in the area like Housing Sewanee and Animal Harbor.

The African American Alliance (AAA) is a student-run organization whose purpose is to promote the values of and to foster relationships between minority students, non-minority students, the campus, and surrounding community. AAA sponsors programming that serves minority interests and provides opportunities for the academic, spiritual, and leadership development of its members. Membership and programming of the African American Alliance is open to all students of the University.‌

The Bairnwick Women’s Center is the home to a student-led movement that actively promotes equality and social justice through education, support, and mentorship in Sewanee and beyond. We seek to celebrate and challenge gender and sexuality in our community. Residents of the “Wick” offer informal peer support for the student body 24 hours a day through their “on call” system.

The mission of the Hispanic Organization for Latino Awareness (HOLA) is to celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage. By organizing different activities, HOLA exposes the Sewanee community to events that enrich the student body intellectually and socially. HOLA’s goal is to start a dialogue that discusses different life experiences that positively and negatively affect the Latino/Latina community in the United States.

SPECTRUM provides a setting for confidential and frank discussion concerning human sexuality. Its goal is to dispel stereotypes about sexual orientation by building community and providing education.

The African and Caribbean Student Association (ACASA) promotes awareness and understanding about the diverse African and Caribbean cultures throughout the University of the South and to the greater Sewanee Community through educational and social events.

The focus of OCEAN (Organization for Cultural and Empowerment of Asian Awareness & Networking) is to enlighten the Sewanee community about the issues that exist for both Asian Americans and international students on campus and in the world. ln addition, the organization endeavors to build unity within a group where leadership can be cultivated and members of the organization can teach and learn from each other. The organization strives to be as inclusive as possible by collaborating with other existing groups like HOLA, OCCU, AAA, etc.  

Beyond Sewanee is a current events club at the University of the South. It is dedicated to bursting the "Sewanee Bubble" by discussing current events and raising global awareness on campus. Beyond Sewanee also invites teachers and speakers to the meetings for discourse on their subjects of expertise. This organization sponsors other events that focus on bringing issues "Beyond Sewanee" to the Mountain.

The College Democrats provide an avenue to participate in and contribute to the political discourse in Sewanee as well as the larger community.

The Sewanee College Republicans encourage students to participate in local, state, and national political campaigns, and network with the Republican Party. Some students of the club have completed summer internships and full-time jobs with Republican lawmakers, and campaigned for Republican presidential candidates. The College Republicans allow students to develop leadership skills by serving on the cabinet while enjoying the company of fellow Republicans on campus.

The GreenHouse is an intentional community of 11 student residents focused on sustainable and creative living that is infectiously joyful. The residents organize educational events and practice sustainable living as a resource for the Sewanee community. The GreenHouse is one of many components of Sustain Sewanee, the University’s “green” initiative.

The purpose of JapanAddicts is to gather and use “out of the classroom” resources is to foster a greater understanding of Japanese culture and society. While the club is open to all members of the University community, there is a special focus on relating club activities to the Japanese language classes.

The Organization for Cross-Cultural Understanding (OCCU) encourages all students to recognize, appreciate, and understand ethnic diversities on campus through social and educational activities. It also provides a forum for all students to share their cultural heritage. OCCU presents the interaction of these diverse cultures as a positive component of the liberal arts experience.

The Sewanee Young Democratic Socialists (Sewanee YDS) is the University of the South's campus chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America ( and its youth arm, the Young Democratic Socialists ( We fight for a world beyond capitalism where people democratically engaged while resisting unaccountable government and private bureaucracies. We seek to unite labor, feminist, queer and trans, immigrant, anti-ableist, anti-racist, environmental, and student activists by critiquing the system that connects these struggles. On the Domain, we practice solidarity with like-minded groups and individuals and invite all who are interested to participate in ongoing campaigns and events.

Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) advances and advocates excellence in legal and public service by upholding and promoting the integrity, ethics, and professionalism of the legislative and legal fields. TISL also promotes understanding of the legislative and legal process of the State of Tennessee, and provides students with relevant and competent experience in the legislative, legal, communications and public affairs fields. 

Model UN strives to increase the awareness of the student body concerning current global issues and prepares its active members to represent the University at regional and national conventions.