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Student Organizations

There are a number of Africa-related organization on campus, whose overall mission is to promote Africa in different ways. Some of the groups focus on advocacy while others are dedicated to educating themselves and the larger MSU community about the African continent and sharpening their leadership skills to better serve Africa tomorrow. As a unit that represents Africa at MSU, the African Studies Center strives to offer the necessary support that student organizations require to accomplish their desired goals.


Student Advocacy Groups


kongamano.jpgKongamano is an umbrella student group that works closely with the African Studies Center at MSU. The group seeks to foster collaboration among student organizations related to or working in Africa and to also create a space for dialogue and networking among students, staff, faculty, and members of the Greater Lansing community who have interest and experience in Africa.

With the realization that too often popular culture and political rhetoric reflect a misunderstanding of the complexity and depth of the people and cultures within Africa, Kongamano has made a constant effort, through their events and projects, to promote knowledge about Africa and to expose the rich and vibrant aspects of life in Africa that have been perpetually silenced.


Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience


The goals of the Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience Program (mrule-ICA) are as follow:

Support students' transition to MSU and their engagement with campus services, resources, personnel, and peers.
Foster an inclusive campus climate that supports students' identity development, sense of belonging, and community building.
Cultivate students' abilities to engage with intercultural issues and cross cultural boundaries.
Support students' retention and persistence at MSU.
Build students' capacity to live and learn in a diverse, global society.
Enhance students' ability to view themselves as part of an interconnected global community.
Promote the value of lifelong, holistic learning.

Spartan Global Fund

sgdf.pngSpartan Global Development Fund is a student-run initiative at Michigan State University. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Spartan Global consists of students, professors, and alumni. Members work to expand awareness and support for microfinance while building lasting partnerships in the quest for permanent solutions to global poverty. We aim to educate, inspire, and enable tomorrow's agents of global change by raising funds locally in order to offer microloans to aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the developing world.


International Student Organizations

African Female Students Empowerment Program

The African Female Student Empowerment Program was founded in 2016 by three MSU African female faculty from three different Units with the support of the African Studies Center: Damaris Choti, Assistant to the Director, African Studies Center; Sheba Onchiri, Academic Advisor, Department of Chemistry; Ruth Mbabazi, Research Scientist, World Technology Access Program, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

AFSEP was initiated on realization that while MSU offers a variety of student services designed to meet the needs of international students, few African female students took the initiative to seek and utilize these services. Besides some students had expressed challenges that include building professional networks, lack of motivation to take up leadership roles and issues to do with navigating dating and romantic relationships in a foreign culture - challenges that can be partially attributed to the gendered socialization patterns in communities from which these students come.

AFSEP is, therefore, a support program that provides space where African female students at MSU come together to build comradeship, receive mentorship and engage in activities that will foster their self-esteem and develop their leadership and professional expertise.


Workshops and monthly sessions where invited speakers familiar with gender issues in Africa facilitate discussions on varied topics including self-esteem, professional networking, leadership training and intimate relationships.

Mentorship sessions that include professional peer mentorship trainings.

Social gatherings intended to promote a sense of community among the female students.


Dr. Damaris Choti



African Graduate Student Association

The African Graduate Students Association was formed in 2015, under the leadership of the African Studies Center, as a forum for MSU African graduate students to exchange ideas and frame issues pertinent to the development of Africa through research and scholarship. AGSA is also meant to serve as a networking platform for African graduate students at MSU and to facilitate the development of the students’ professional and leadership skills.”

Mission: To synergize, leverage, and mobilize resources for the development of Africa.

Vision: To shape the future of Africa through intellectual and civic engagements.


  • Monthly Meetings focused on topics relating to the economic, social and political development of Africa.
  • Annual Research Conferences in which African and Africanist graduate students present about their research or academic and community development projects.
  • Social events that include annual Fall welcome events to foster interaction among the new and old students. Faculty members are also invited to these events.


African Student Leadership Association


The mission of the African Student Leadership Association (ASLA) at Michigan State University is to boost leadership and diplomatic skills among participating African and Africanist students. The organization is open to both graduate and undergraduate students looking to participate in events that promote pan-Africanism and to engage with issues related to Africa’s development.

ASLA holds weekly meetings to discuss different political, economic, and social issues facing African countries and to propose solutions to address those challenges. In addition, ASLA participates in the annual International Model African Union Conference hosted by Howard University in collaboration with the African Union Mission to the USA. The conference is a simulation of the proceedings of the African Union. Participating students gain an understanding of the role, structure, and activities of the African Union.

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African Student Union

The African Students Union is an innovative student organization at Michigan State University born out in a grand mission of preparing future leaders that will serve the African continent and help relieve it from the socio-political and economic crises that ravaged its member states for a period of more than 300 years.

Connect on social media: @asu_msu

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Council of Graduate Students

COGSportrait.jpgThe Council of Graduate Students is an authorized student government on campus representing our graduate/professional students at various levels across Michigan State University. Our mission is to improve and advance graduate education in order to ensure the vitality of intellectual discovery.

COGS accomplishes its mission through advocacy, innovative research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.

Supporting education is critical to achieving the highly skilled workforce needed for the U.S. to compete effectively in the 21st century global economy.


Somali Association of Michigan State (SAM)


The Somali Association of Michigan (SAM) is a student-led volunteer organization dedicated to helping all Somali students and families in the greater Lansing and East Lansing area through free basic social service including youth and educational programs to improve the social conditions of the Somali people. The organization also brings awareness of the Somali culture and history through events and social activities.

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Muslim Students Association

The purpose of the Association is to bring Muslim students together on campus, and to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam. The MSA at MSU is more than just a group of people in an organization. It's a family of brothers and sisters in Islam. It strives to bring people together for the sake of God.

More information can be found here: Muslim Students Association