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Student Organizations

The Social Work Student Organization (SOWOSO) is composed of all degree-seeking students in the School. It is recognized by the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) and by the University. The mission of SOWOSO is to:

  • Develop student leadership
  • Provide a collective voice for student concerns
  • Organize educational, cultural, and political opportunities
  • Support all forms of student initiatives 
  • Foster a positive relationship between students, faculty, and staff of the School of Social Work and the community surrounding the University.

SOWOSO is committed to improving students' academic experiences and gives students a chance to offer input into curriculum and related activities and provides a forum for addressing student needs and concerns.

SOWOSO is directed by students elected by the student body. Co-chairs determine the time, place, and agenda for meetings; facilitate meetings; coordinate other SOWOSO activities; represent the interests of the membership to faculty and staff; and fulfill other duties.

The co-chairs ensure that student representatives serve on a range of school committees and meet monthly with the Deans to exchange perspectives and information.

Student-created and directed caucuses within SOWOSO represent the interests of and provide support to the School community. Students are also encouraged to attend and contribute to formal committee meetings that occur throughout the academic year.

Visit the SoWoSO website

For more information, contact one of the 2016-17 Tri Chairs: Kristan Rosenthal, Verlissa Mason and Michelle Helton.

Other Social Work Student Groups:

2015-2016 SHAC Coordinators: Aileen Aylward, Bethann Cleary, Caroline Holcomb, Samantha Leder, Julia Taylor, and Maggie Usher.

SHAC (Student Health Action Coalition)
For the past 30 years, UNC students have offered free health services to the community through the Student Health Action Coalition - the nation's oldest student-run interdisciplinary free health clinic. Every Wednesday, students from the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Social Work collaborate to serve all clients who come through the clinic. SHAC provides social work students an incredible opportunity to get hands-on experience with clients and to develop skills in collaborating with other professions.

SHAC Beyond Clinic Walls
Formerly known as Mobile SHAC, this program began in 1999 in an effort to expand services to the elderly community. In 2001, SHAC joined forces with the Hubbard Program, which provides multidisciplinary home health evaluations to geriatric patients with complex medical and/or psychosocial needs. In teams that include students from the six schools mentioned above, volunteers make monthly follow up visits to these patients and provide health education, monitoring of vital signs and medication management, assessments of the home environment and referrals to community resources based on each patient's needs. SHAC Beyond Clinic Walls aims to provide clinical experience outside the context of a clinic or hospital and the opportunity to work with team members from other disciplines. Under guidance, students learn how to help patients understand and manage their health and maintain their quality of life.

SHAC Outreach
SHAC Outreach is the newest part of the Student Health Action Coalition. Teams of student outreach volunteers from the health disciplines are matched with a community with unmet health needs. The student teams work with residents to prioritize their health needs, create a health intervention, and enhance their community by linking members to already-existing programs and information. This is a really great opportunity for social workers interested in community practice and planning or in mental health prevention and education.