SOAN's graduate students are a diverse and growing group of active students with a variety of goals spanning across many interests such as activism, teaching, research, and a broad range of social and political issues. To develop a community and share opportunities to collaborate, many students become active in one or more student-oriented organizations. Should you decide to to join SOAN at Mason, we encourage you to learn more about these student groups and we hope you'll join us in our upcoming socials, workshops, colloquiums, and other events!
The Graduate and Professional Student Association is a university-wide organization that seeks to bring together graduate students of all backgrounds in a forum of collaboration and discussion. They promote success in personal, professional, and academic areas of graduate student life. As a result, there may be ample opportunities for members to network with students of other disciplines and discover a community that extends beyond SOAN.
The Graduate Student Sociological Association works in close association with the Public Sociology Association. Their primary goals differ, however: the GSSA emphasizes the development of community among sociology students through informal social events, skill-development workshops, and professional development. The "Sociological" part of GSSA is a slight misnomer: in fact, student members often take multidisciplinary viewpoints in their work and are open to discussing ideas that originate outside of the field.
Each year, the Public Sociology Association democratically selects and engages a flagship cause. The flagship cause is a highlighted issue that typically concerns a disadvantaged segment of the population, yet is often overlooked or underrepresented by many media sources. Some areas which the PSA has most recently engaged (and actively worked with the public about) are economic and mobility inequalities, the growing peril of contingent faculty in academia, and human rights violations against West Papuan civilians. Each flagship cause is highlighted during the annual PSA conference hosted during the fall semester.