Students Gathered in Hart Hall, from behind

Student Connections

Student Connections

You are not alone. Meeting up with fellow students can be a great way to feel belonging and find connections. There are several clubs and groups on campus that offer support and community for all system impacted students, and some special classes addressing issues related to incarceration.

Student-Run Organizations

Underground Scholars

Underground Scholars Logo


The Underground Scholars Initiative is a UC-wide movement led by formerly incarcerated people to support other formerly incarcerated and system impacted students and prospective students through recruitment, retention, and advocacy. Go to or email to learn more or get involved! 

Beyond the Stats

BTS Logo- hand with a diploma and broken manacleBeyond the Stats was founded by two formerly incarcerated students. The club meets for social activities, mutual support, and publishes a zine. To get involved, check us out, and like our Facebook page at or send us a message at


Students Against Mass Incarceration 

SAMI Logo SAMI is a student organization at the School of Law. Connect with them via their Facebook group, Students Against Mass Incarceration - UC Davis and Instagram samiucd.

As the school year gets started, SAMI will announce expungement clinics, activism and advocacy opportunities, and other events. System impacted students interested in legal careers can also connect with current law students for some mutual advice and resource sharing. 


First Year Seminar: Health, Inequality, and the War on Drugs and Crime

This first year seminar (open to all undergraduates) was developed by two formerly incarcerated PhD students who study the drug war and co-founded the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Davis. Combining their experiences and expertise with that of a physician and scientist provides multiple unique perspectives on the many social problems associated with health, inequality, and the war on drugs and crime. No matter your background, expect this course to challenge your thinking as you acquire insights and an intellectual community that will persist throughout your college years and beyond. Before each meeting, we will read, watch, or listen to something on topics including drugs, addiction, mental health, and mass incarceration. This seminar also relies heavily on reflective writing and student-led group discussions.

To enroll, go to, or email with questions. This first-year seminar is taught quarterly in 2022-23.


Education as Freedom: AKA Amerikkka This is How You Made Me

Students Beyond the Stats will be facilitating a 2-unit, pass/no-pass seminar. This will be a discussion-based, consciousness-raising course that explores the power of narratives and personal experiences as a part of a pathway to laboratory education.  We intend to explore systematic, historical, and political issues from a straight-up subjective lens. Those who lived it can tell their own stories, and we can learn and speak through experience. Readings will include: autobiographies-prison narratives-radical feminist or color-poetry-the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program-and more! We also have guest speakers. Our intention is to offer a space where we can share freely and learn from each other.