Leadership, Activism & Community Service

Leadership development and community service are central to the university’s social mission and are integral to student development. There are many opportunities to serve the community and develop leadership skills through campus groups, college-based programs, and Five Colleges and community opportunities. The UMass Office of Civic Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) helps students integrate academic and community service goals.


UMass Amherst has a rich history of student expression and activism. Students can get involved with national and campus activism on a wide variety of issues through political and advocacy Registered Student Organizationsthe Center for Educational Policy Advocacy (CEPA), and The Resistance Studies Initiative.

MassPIRG offers non-partisan activist trainings in public speaking, community outreach, public relations, advocacy, an activist toolkit, and more. Some students also take courses themed on Advocacy, Activism and Human Rights.

Student organizers planning demonstrations should review guidelines and policies related to student demonstrations and consult with Student Activities and Involvement staff and/or the Student Legal Services Office to ensure awareness of their protected rights, University of Massachusetts Amherst policies, and the availability of campus resources to support the safe exercise of protected rights.