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Student Organizations

Since becoming an independent school in 2009, Sanford graduate students have established numerous formally recognized organizations dedicated to representing the diverse interests of the student body and to strengthening Sanford students’ connections with other programs, professional schools, university resources, and the Durham community.

Duke Graduate Student Government

Organized labor organization for Duke graduate students, including PhD, master’s and professionals. DGSU is committed to having collective bargaining rights for teaching assistants, research assistants, and all the other forms of academic labor graduates provide to the university. Contact us about the Studnet Government

Duke Sanford Africa Policy Group

Duke SAPG’s mission is to fully bring Africa to life at Sanford by leading and supporting diverse policy discourse, academic enquiry, career development, knowledge exchange, cultural exhibition, and networking related to Africa within the Sanford community and across Duke. Contact us about the Africa Policy Group

Duke Technology Policy

The Duke Technology Policy Club’s mission is to bring together graduate and professional students from across Duke to explore their common interests in technology policy. The Duke Technology Policy Club will provide opportunities for graduate students across Duke to hear from guest speakers working in the tech space, engage in policy discourse with professors and students on current tech policy issues, and participate in career development events. Contact us about the Technolicy Policy Club

MPP Student Council

The MPP Student Council’s mission is to support the endeavors of the MPP student body, address students’ needs, champion their goals, and promote Terry Sanford’s legacy of doing the right thing in a difficult moment. The MPPSC brings concerns, questions, and recommendations regarding the MPP program to the administration. The organization facilitates student involvement in the Sanford School planning in partnership with the Director of Graduate Studies and the MPP Director of Student Services. Contact Sudent Council

For MPP students voted onto the Council, please note, participating in the MPP Student Council does waive 3 credits towards the management and leadership requirement, but does not count towards the overall credits needed to complete the degree.

Partners in Policy

Provide a space for graduate/professional students to engage their partners within the graduate/professional school community. Hosting events, dinners, and seminars where partners can engage social, service, and academic activities. Contact us about the Partners Program

Policy for the People

Policy for the People is an organization built around equity, activism, organizing, and progressive ideals. Our mission is to help teach how to successfully turn policy ideas into action by bringing organizing trainings to Duke students, providing DEIA trainings to Duke students, fostering relationships with local and communication organizations, and building skills necessary for action-oriented policy work. Contact us about Community Involvement

Public Policy in Living Color

Policy in Living Color (PiLC) is a Sanford based student-organization that focuses on advancing the interests of communities of color. Through teach-ins, movie screenings, and advocacy opportunities, PiLC provides education to the Sanford community and spaces for students to engage in meaningful discussion. Outside of Sanford, PiLC aims to connect with long-term Durham community members and to continuously uplift their interests through advocacy, policy, and organizing. Further, PiLC prioritizes creating and holding communal spaces for students of color to engage with one another in a trusted and secure environment. Contact the PLC group

Sanford Energy and Environment Club (SEEC)

SEEC provides a space for students interested in energy/environmental policy to share knowledge and ideas with each other, as well as network with industry professionals. SEEC hosts social events to facilitate conversations about climate change, the energy transition, and much more. Our goal is to connect students with fresh ideas, job opportunities, and leaders in the energy and environment community. Contact us about SEEC

Sanford Journal of Public Policy (SJPP)

The Sanford Journal of Public Policy was created in 2009 as a forum for public policy students and professionals to contribute to the current policy discourse through insightful analysis and innovative solutions. Produced by graduate students at the Sanford School, the online journal is published on an ongoing basis. Contact the Journal

Sanford Latin American & Carribean Student Group

Sanford LAC’s mission is to lead and support academic, career, outreach, cultural, and social efforts of the Sanford community focused on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in order to strengthen collaboration and engagement between LAC and Sanford. Contac LAC


PridePol exists to provide space and opportunities for the LGBTQIA+ community at Sanford to come together in coalition and power. The organization aims to amplify and support the efforts of queer individuals, events, and issues on the Duke campus, within the Durham community, and beyond. In addition, PridePol facilitates opportunities for Sanford students to learn about and advance policies affecting the queer community and our intersectional allies. Contact Pride Pol

Sanford Social Committee

Fosters connections and relationships and adds value to the social life of the MPP program. The Committee facilitates popularly conceived events that are fun, inclusive, and feasible within the Committee’s budget constraints, as well as the time constraints of its volunteer members. Membership on the Committee entails serving as a voice for classmates, generating event ideas, and basic administrative/logistical work associated with hosting events. Contact the Social Committee

Sanford Urban Policy

Sanford Urban Policy (SUP) is a group of graduate students that have come together to discuss and engage with urban issues within our local community of Durham and across the country. SUP promotes opportunities for formal and informal engagement with students, faculty, and guest experts to understand best practices and current challenges for policy decisions in urban spheres. Contact SUP

Sanford Veterans Association

The Sanford Veterans Association (SVA) is a student-veteran led organization that fosters a supportive community for active duty, national guard, reserve, retired, and separated service members at the Sanford School of Public Policy.  The SVA supports prospective, current, and alumni members in admissions, academics, career development, and life in Durham.  Culture, growth, and service guide our actions within our organization, the institutions of Sanford and Duke, and greater society. Contact SVA

Sanford Women in Policy (SWP)

Provides a forum to discuss and address challenges and opportunities for women. As a substantial and institutionalized organization, we seek to use this platform to support any groups that face oppression within the Duke community. SWP serves as a space to support, cultivate, empower and promote unity and fellowship for those who identify as women and their allies.