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At Harvard Kennedy School there are many ways in which students can explore and share their interests outside of the classroom. From student-run conferences and groups to publications, volunteering, and social events, there is opportunity for engaging extracurricular involvement for HKS students.
HKS students organize, manage, and host conferences annually, sometimes jointly with students from other Harvard schools, to convene leading thinkers and practitioners and explore modern global challenges. All conferences held on the HKS campus take place during the spring semester, and in the past, have included the:
We have over 80 student-run organizations whose interests focus on a range of topics such as culture, policy, leadership, and sport. Student organization events are open to all students and offer a platform for discussion and engagement with other students and guest speakers.
Below are the 2016 HKS organizations that are as diverse as our students.
|Africa Caucus||Human Rights*|
|African Diasporan Women||In Vino Veritas|
|Arab Caucus||India Caucus|
|Arab Gulf Caucus||Indonesia Club|
|Argentine Society||International and Global Affairs*|
|Armed Forces Committee||International Development*|
|Arts in Public Life||International Security*|
|Asian Pacific American Caucus||Israel Caucus|
|Australia and New Zealand Caucus||Japan Caucus|
|Basketball Club||Jewish Caucus|
|Black Student Union||Korea Caucus|
|Brazilian Caucus||Latinx Caucus|
|British and Irish Caucus||Latin American Caucus|
|Business and Government*||Law Society|
|Canadian Caucus||LGBTQ Caucus|
|Catholic Caucus||Live Poets Society|
|Central Asian Caucus||Media*|
|Child and Family Welfare*||Mexican Caucus|
|Chilean Caucus||Middle East Study Group|
|China Society||Multicultural Cooking Club|
|Christian Fellowship||Muslim Caucus|
|City+Local*||North Korea Study Group|
|Climate Justice Caucus||Pakistan Caucus|
|Colombian Caucus||Palestine Caucus|
|Community Development Project Group||Persian Caucus|
|Criminal Justice*||Progressive Caucus|
|Crisis Management*||Public Speaking Club|
|Democratic Caucus||Rowing Club|
|Disability Justice Caucus||Self-Empowerment and Defense Group|
|Education*||Southeast Asia Caucus|
|Electoral Politics*||Spanish Caucus|
|Energy and Environment*||Student Public Service Collaborative|
|European Club||Students for the Alleviation of Poverty and Social Inequality|
|Finance and Macro*||Systems Thinking and Leadership Club|
|Food and Agriculture*||Tea Club|
|Food Literacy Project Group||Tech*|
|Francophile Club||Turkish Caucus|
|Future Society, The||U.S. Foreign Policy Club|
|Gender Policy Union||Venezuelan Caucus|
|German Caucus||Well-Being Group|
|Health Policy*||Women At HKS|
*Professional Interest Council (PIC)
The academic year begins with HKS Serves, a proud Harvard Kennedy School tradition that brings students, faculty, staff, and alumni together for a day of volunteering in teams at local nonprofits and schools. A celebration of our community’s commitment to public service, HKS Serves is an engaging and fun way for students from different degree programs to get to know each other and meet HKS faculty members, staff, and alumni, while learning more about the school and the greater Cambridge area.
Another way in which HKS students engage in community service is by participating in the Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC). The SPSC is a student-led organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of public service on campus and in the surrounding community. Among many activities, it organizes monthly volunteering opportunities, food and clothing drives, and the annual Public Service Week, which takes place during the spring semester and includes workshops, lectures, and a day of service.
The Take a Faculty Member to Lunch (TFMTL) Program is a popular initiative with HKS students as it is a unique way for them to get to know and engage with faculty members outside of the classroom. Students may participate in up to two lunches each semester in which groups of two to eight students invite an HKS faculty member to lunch. The Degree Programs and Student Affairs department provides a set amount of funding for students to use to pay for the lunch.
A quorum call in parliament is a practice used to summon absent members of a deliberative body, but at HKS it is an opportunity to mingle with students from all degree programs over snacks and refreshments and unwind at the end of the week. The KSSG together with the Degree Programs and Student Affairs department co-host the on-campus Quorum Calls every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.