Engagement, Leadership, and Service

The Engagement, Leadership, and Service (ELS) department within the UGA Division of Student Affairs believes student engagement is a pivotal part of an enriched collegiate experience.

ELS seeks to deliver programs, services, events, and significant learning experiences which strengthen students’ connection to the University, cultivate a sense of community, and empower students to be engaged and contributing leaders. Within ELS, students can join and create student organizations, participate in and lead service opportunities, engage with leadership trainings and content, coordinate or attend multiple events, and so much more.

102 Tate Student Center
45 Baxter St, Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-6396 | ugaels@uga.edu

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Programs

Engagement

Student organizations and other involvement opportunities on campus create a way for every student to engage with the UGA community in their own, unique way.

Leadership

Opportunities such as the annual Student Leadership Conference, Leadership UGA and a monthly lunch-and-learn series allow students to grow their skill sets and reflect on their personal development.

Service

UGA's service driven organizations and the Service staff from within the ELS provide a range of opportunities for students to participate in service and cultivate these opportunities for their peers.

Activities

Student activities and events on campus provide space for students to engage with their peers. Students within University Union & Homecoming committees work to plan events throughout the year.

Student Governance

The Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association encourage students to represent their peers through legislation and council initiatives.

Latest News

Upcoming Events

  • A Christmas Story

    Friday, December 10th 2021
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

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  • A Christmas Story

    Friday, December 10th 2021
    9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

    More Details
  • A Christmas Story

    Saturday, December 11th 2021
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

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  • A Christmas Story

    Saturday, December 11th 2021
    9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

    More Details
  • A Christmas Story

    Sunday, December 12th 2021
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

    More Details
  • A Christmas Story

    Sunday, December 12th 2021
    9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Part of University Union's 2021 Fall Movie Calendar

    More Details
  • Community Health & Wellbeing Trip

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Nashville, Tennessee

    This trip's focus will be Community Health and Well-being. Community Well-being is the combination of social, economic, cultural, and political conditions identified by individuals and their communities as essential for them to flourish and fulfill their potential. Connectedness, livability, and equity are major components of this. This focus is extremely intersectional. We will do service with various issues that factor into overall community health and well-being. Some include homelessness, mental health, food insecurity, youth empowerment, refugee health, etc.

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip.

    Ben Dozier: kbd35462@uga.edu

    Tess Mosley: tessmmosley@gmail.com

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  • Shelter & Resource Access Trip

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Savannah, Georgia

    Shelter and resource access is an incredibly broad term that encompasses the needs of many. From people experiencing homelessness to mothers in need of resources to families with little access to food, different people are experiencing different needs every day. Shelter needs include affordable housing, eviction victims, those experiencing homelessness, and anyone seeking a roof over their heads. Resources can include food, clothing, education, LGBT resources, and many more.

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip.

    Ankita Shah: aks36688@uga.edu

    Sahauna Ramesh: spr68693@uga.edu

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  • Affordable Housing Trip

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    Affordable Housing is when an individual/family spends less than 30% of their annual income on housing. 

    Homelessness and Affordable Housing: “It is important for those who have never experienced homelessness before to understand that every homeless individual faces a different and complex set of circumstances. It is the responsibility of the general public to educate themselves about issues related to homelessness." As you become a member of the Athens community and call this city home for the next few years, it is important to consider the issues that the area faces and how we as students may also be perpetuating it. This trip will be able to cover the issue of affordable housing but also the many intersectional issues that directly link to this problem, and how these social justice issues tie together to create lasting problems that are difficult for communities, especially marginalized communities of color, to overcome at all. In Tuscaloosa, another large college town, we will be able to understand a similar issue to one we face in Athens. The service trip week will provide students the opportunity to begin delving into the complexities of the affordable housing crisis as well as serve alongside local nonprofits and organizations that work to actively combat this crisis daily. The understanding they develop can be taken back to Athens in hopes that students can make it part of their time in Athens to understand the issues the community faces, and they can actively involve themselves in reducing such burdens in their own dear college town.          

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Nikita Shah: nus58749@uga.edu

    Rithika Archinapalli: ra48872@uga.edu

    More Details
  • Immigration Awareness: Refugee Resettlement Trip

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Clarkston, Georgia

    The mission of the IMPACT program is to engage University of Georgia students in an affordable, week-long, substance-free, experiential service learning project that encourages an understanding of pressing social issues in a significant way. It is the goal of the organization to address community needs through direct and indirect service as well as provide students the knowledge of social issues in our own country. By providing new perspectives and hearing the stories of others, participants gain invaluable experiences that bring us together. Refugee Resettlement specifically focuses on the political, social, and cultural experiences and is centered in Clarkston, GA. We will engage in 40 hours of community service as well as reflection.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Aryan Rath: ar44863@uga.edu

    Maegan Panebianco: mvp07667@uga.edu

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  • Ageism Trip

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Charleston, South Carolina

    Our trip aims to examine the circumstances surrounding the aging process, with a particular emphasis on how these ideas are negatively socialized and perpetuated. We will also focus on the lack of access to common needs of the elderly such as accessibility to resources, financial stability, and healthy social lives.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Madison Picklesimer: mnp48433@uga.edu

    Sonia Kalia: sk50019@uga.edu

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  • LGBTQ+ Awareness & Advocacy

    Thursday, December 16th 2021 6:00 AM - Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Atlanta, Georgia

    The LGBTQ+ Activism and Advocacy trip connects participants to Atlanta's history of LGBTQ+ rights, including transgender rights and HIV/AIDS. This trip encourages critical thinking and questioning of the status quo while also providing the foundation of meaningful service work for participants. This trip emphasizes intersectional topics such a queer trans people of color, disability, housing equality, and non-Western LGBTQ movements.

     

    Advocacy in terms of our issues include thinking of politicians and representatives that claim to be LGBTQ+ friendly, but only in terms to white, able-bodied LGBTQ folks. LGBTQ advocacy means fighting for trans women of colour, people with disabilities, low-income residents, and indigenous/ refugee rights. LGBTQ activism encompasses all of these identities, so we hope to help facilitate comprehension and advocacy for this field.

     

    Access includes everything from: equitable housing, equitable payments, workplace discrimination protections, transgender legal services, HIV/AIDS, to reproductive justice. LGBTQ rights encompasses every movement and identity, and recognition of this is critical in order to do impactful work.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Maeve Munson: mam36090@uga.edu

    Manasa Vemaraju: sv03628@uga.edu

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  • Spring 2022 Engagement Fair

    Tuesday, January 25th 2022
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Student Center

    Join ELS for the Spring Engagement Fair to explore student organizations and engagement opportunities at UGA! The Engagement Fair will be held on January 25, 2022 in the Tate Student Center from 7-10pm. With 175+ student organizations, free food, and giveaways, this event is the perfect way to kick start your engagement and involvement experience at UGA.

    For additional information leading up to the event, please visit https://els.uga.edu/engagement/involvement-events/. A list of participating groups and organizations will be posted in late January, along with the event map.

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  • Affordable Housing Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Sunday, March 13th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Asheboro, NC

    We will be serving with Habitat for Humanity in Asheboro in order to understand and discuss the various barriers to affordable housing. We will also explore how these barriers intersect with identity factors through means such as gentrification, discrimination, and cyclical/generational poverty. Through discussions and service, we hope to shed light on the foundation importance of affordable housing and how to best advocate for those who lack access to this right.

    For more information, feel free to contact the site leaders for this trip.

    Diane Kim: dek22063@uga.edu

    Shaelin Lee: shaelinrose.lee@uga.edu

    More Details
  • Environmental Justice Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

    On the Environmental Justice trip to New Orleans, we will serve with multiple community organizations that address environmental issues and the inequities that arise as a result of these issues. We will discuss environmental justice both as a global issue and as a human rights issue, covering topics like conservation, climate change, and environmental racism.

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip.

    Melina Patterson: mmp58537@uga.edu

    Catherine Iracondo: cmi10744@uga.edu

    More Details
  • Education Access & Advocacy Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

    Throughout our educational careers we are encouraged to dive deeper and ask “Why?”, after all, a part of UGA's mission is to “Inquire into the nature of things”. On this trip, participants will be challenged to step outside of the "UGA bubble" and interact with a community in a meaningful and sustainable way. Participants will perform service and work with community partners in Charlotte, North Carolina to learn about the importance of education in the lives of children and how it affects them into adulthood. This trip will expose participants to aspects of education that they may not have had to experience. It is this exposure that will challenge participants to think beyond their own experiences and become conscious about the depth of this social justice issue.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:
    Riley Grube: riley.grube@uga.edu
    Sohawm Sengupta: sas82718@uga.edu
    More Details
  • Community Health & Wellbeing Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

    Focusing on Community Health and Wellbeing, our trip will explore the wide range of what service can like within that social justice issue. Because of the variety of factors that affect community health, we will highlight multiple aspects that interact with the wellness of a community. We are so excited to learn together as we explore what it means to be an active citizen in Indianapolis and how we can continue to grow in Athens.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Sydney Goins: sfg92372@uga.edu

    Rutva Patel: rnp37509@uga.edu

    More Details
  • Disability Advocacy & Awareness Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Jackson, Mississippi

    On the disability/ability awareness trip, we will learn and serve alongside differently-abled people. We will learn about disability rights and will learn how to best and most respectfully talk about disability rights. Through working with people with disabilities, we will become confident in how to respectfully and authentically interact with people with different levels of ability.

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip.

    Sarah Laguerre: sl96332@uga.edu

    Linda Nwosu: lnn64322@uga.edu

     

    More Details
  • Animal Welfare & Advocacy Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Charleston, South Carolina

    Animal welfare is a broad umbrella that encompasses a variety of different issues pertaining to the well-being of animals. During our trip, some topics we will cover include: factory farming, animal testing, and pet shelters. We will also be discussing how animal welfare intersects with the environment, farmers' mental and physical health, and our daily lives. We want to welcome everyone to our trip focus and can't wait to meet you!

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Isabella Dodge: ind32646@uga.edu

    Isha Naidu: in82596@uga.edu

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  • Human Trafficking Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Birmingham, Alabama

    Birmingham is a hub for human trafficking due to its intersection of major highways. This trip will dive into what the community does to combat this growing issue and the intersectionality of human trafficking with minority communities and issues like poverty, mental health, and homelessness. We will discover how human trafficking affects every single one of us and learn how to be advocates in our own community.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Sahithi Boddireddy: srb15714@uga.edu

    Alice Culpepper: arc42079@uga.edu

    More Details
  • Environmental Justice Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Ft. Myers, Florida

    This is a week-long service-learning trip in Ft. Myers, FL with a focus on environmental justice.Some things you'll be participating in include environmental conservation, informational panels with experts on environmental justice issues, and a number of other fun environmental service projects specific to Ft. Myers. There will be daily reflection time to discuss what you've learned and process how you feel about what you've experienced.

     

    Along with immersing yourself in meaningful, transformative experiences, you'll also be connecting with other students from the University of Georgia who are just as passionate as you are about making a difference. In other words, you'll have a handful of new best friends when you return to Athens! So do something different this Spring Break. Have one of the best weeks of your life, learn about yourself and others, and make an IMPACT. 

     

    *Housing will most likely be at a church, and showers will be available. Food and transportation will also be accounted for. All you have to bring is a sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries, and a positive, open-minded attitude.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip: 

    Molly Holcomb: mrh32444@uga.edu

    Mason Christmas: masonchristmas@gmail.com

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  • Immigration Awareness: Farmworker Justice Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Immokalee, Florida

    Immigration is currently a prevalent issue that has been heavily generalized and politicized. One of the many issues related to immigration is farmworker justice. The farmworker justice movement emerged as a way for farmworkers to advocate for their rights and raise awareness about the many injustices launched against them that have derived from a defective immigration system. Some of the key causes that the farmworker justice movement advocate for include environmental justice pertaining to the use of pesticides and climate conditions, gender/sexual violence against women, and access to education. Throughout the week, we will commit to 40 hours of educational, direct, and indirect service to learn more about the history of the farmworker justice movement as well as how the movement has evolved to empower the farmworkers that provide the produce you see at the grocery store. Through service, we will aim to humanize the concept of immigration by learning more about the Immokalee community's involvement in farmworker justice, the stories the members hold, and what actions we can take on both the individual and community level to raise awareness and advocate for farmworker justice.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Gaby Fernandez: gmf37169@uga.edu

    Dana Newman: dmn83430@uga,edu

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  • Shelter & Resource Access Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: New River Valley, Virginia

    This trip will focus on learning about the barriers that affect the availability of housing and access to resources, specifically in rural communities. We will do this by participating in service at different sites in the New River Valley community, meeting with community members, and group and individual reflection. Shelter and resource access intersects with many other social justice issues such as food security, community health, access to education, and affordable healthcare. We aim to not only help participants learn more about themselves, but also to connect what we learn and see in New River Valley to the local community in Athens!

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Saad Rahman: sar35574@uga.edu

    Prisha Kumar: pn61684@uga.edu

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  • Food Justice Trip

    Saturday, March 5th 2022 6:00 AM - Saturday, March 12th 2022 6:00 PM

    Event Location: Durham, North Carolina

    Food justice is communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the wellbeing of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self reliant communities, and a healthy environment.

     

    For more information, please contact the Site Leaders for this trip:

    Swathi Bala: swathib1901@gmail.com

    Elizabeth Moshiri: efm66857@uga.edu

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  • First-Year Day of Service

    Saturday, March 26th 2022
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Reception Hall

    Come join us for First-Year Day of Service!

    First-Year Day of Service is dedicated to first year students at the University of Georgia, in which students celebrate finishing their first year at UGA by engaging in service together in the Athens area. It's a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know your new home in Athens!
    The day of service, you will be assigned a site to serve with. To ensure you are appropriately dressed for all service, please be sure to do the following: 

    • Wear long pants and closed-toed shoes
    • Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty
    • Bring a water bottle
    • Bring any medication you may need (General first-aid kits will be on-site)


    We are so excited to have you serve with us! If you have any questions, please email Madison Birckhead at madisonbirckhead@uga.edu.

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  • Interbelief Day of Service

    Saturday, April 9th 2022
    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Event Location: Tate Theatre

    Interbelief Day of Service breaks down barriers by encouraging collaborative service that facilitates open discussions about the motives, belief systems (secular or faith-based), and backgrounds that drive us to serve.

    Volunteers will be serving with local Athens non-profits. Please Note: In intentional efforts to create religiously and spiritually diverse groups, we will be assigning volunteers to sites for this event, but if you have a preference for an indoor versus an outdoor site, you can indicate that when you register online for the event. Registration will be at the Tate Theater in Tate Student Center Check-in will begin at 8:00am and will be followed by a program with guest speakers starting at 8:30am. We will depart campus by 9:00am and service projects will start by 9:30am at the latest. Participants will serve at their assigned sites for about 2 hours and should be back on campus around 12:00pm. 

    Transportation is provided, but volunteers are also welcome to carpool. A light snack is provided in the morning, but eating breakfast beforehand is encouraged. For questions and more information, email serve.uga.athens@gmail.com

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