What are the most politically active colleges?
Lots of colleges are fairly politically active places. Washington DC attracts many politically involved students. American and George Washington are known for this. So is Columbia in New York, Harvard in Cambridge and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It is typical that many of the flagship state universities are fairly active.
Here are a few to consider (not an exhaustive list):
For students who are politically interested, it would be worthwhile to look into the dominant political leanings, if there are any, of the schools at which they are looking. The student bodies at some institutions form a rather balanced political picture, while other schools may have a distinctly liberal or conservative “feel”.
This is not a definitive list, but I’ve read that the following schools have a reputation for political activism:
Georgia – Spelman College
Maine – College of the Atlantic
Massachusetts – Roxbury Community College
Montana – Little Big Horn College
North Carolina – Duke University
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Texas – University of Texas in Austin
Virginia – James Madison University
Wisconsin – Marquette University
University of Wisconsin – Madison
When I think of politically active colleges, American University and George Washington University quickly come to mind given their proximity to Capitol Hill. But, Cornell College in Iowa stands out as an under the radar politically active campus. As a college representative put it, “there’s nothing quite like a presidential election in Iowa.” The four-year college and election cycles ensure that every student graduates with caucus experience.
While there are certainly places that have historical traditions of student activism—Wisconsin, Berkeley, and Wesleyan in Connecticut have long and storied histories in that area–much depends upon issues and timing. Some schools, by virtue of their geography, their institutional leadership, or their make-up have been particularly involved in certain issues. Students at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) played important roles in the Civil Rights movement and remain attuned to such issues today, while their very location makes Washington, D.C. schools places to which students interested in politics and government flock. Increasingly in this age of social media, political activism is less centered in geography than ideology, and things like Facebook allow groups to transcend their geographic boundaries, a reality that has been reflected in the most recent political campaigns. Ultimately, political activism is less about institutions than about individuals, and pretty much any school can serve as a venue for your activism.
There is quite a list of colleges that consider themselves politically active campuses. Quantifying that list is difficult, as is being totally inclusive in this space. The College Finder, by Steven Antonoff has 3 pages of Colleges for the Politically Aware. They range in size, location and campus type. The usual suspects include: UC Berkeley, UW- Madison, Georgetown, NYU, just to name a few.
While political activism occurs on most campuses, some of the most politically active campuses are UCBerkeley, Brown, Wesleyan, Hampshire, Smith College, Harvard, Georgetown, Oberlin and Reed.
I think the Washington DC area schools are strategically located to promote politically active students…so you can’t go wrong with American, Georgetown and George Washington. Others that I really like (in no particular order) include: Bates, Brown, Berkeley, UCLA, Claremont-McKenna schools, CU-Boulder, Grinnell, University of Iowa, NYU, Princeton, Oberlin, Ohio University, Oregon, Washington, Wellesley, WIsconsin,
I think the Washington DC area schools are strategically located to promote politically active students…so you can’t go wrong with American, Georgetown and George Washington. Others that I really like (in no particular order) include: Bates, Brown, Berkeley, UCLA, Claremont-McKenna schools, CU-Boulder, Grinnell, University of Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, NYU, Princeton, Oberlin, Ohio University, Oregon, Washington, Wellesley, WIsconsin,
When I was in college, it was Columbia when Jerry Rubin was active. One of my ex-wife’s sorority sisters was killed at Kent State, and her brother was tear gassed at Ohio State.
Then it was the Vietnam War, but today students are more apathetic because Congress is so inept at accomplishing what’s necessary to fix the economy.
Gerogretown, American and GWU are pretty active, especially with their location in DC. On the left side of the isle you have Berkeley and Hampshire, while on the right you have SMU and BYU. Their are many other small, lesser known colleges that could be added the the spectrum list, but when we think of activity, I often think of a political presence, which adds schools like NYU and Michigan to the list. The best way for you to get a feel for the political activity on a campus is to visit and take a look around. Protests? Banners? Political Clubs and Activities? These are all good signs of a politically active campus.
All Ivy League Schools
The politically active schools are going to be your more liberal colleges, such as Berkeley.
Politically active campuses include
Claremont McKenna, CA
UC Berkeley, CA
UNC Chapel Hill, NC
U Mass Amherst
George Washington, DC
The answer is right here on Unigo! http://www.unigo.com/articles/the_10_most_politically_active_schools/?taxonomyid=760028
There is a fabulous book by Steve Antonoff called The College Finder that lists schools by these sorts of criteria. Mr. Antonoff does a great job of identifying colleges with distinct features. The most politically active? Duke, Spelman, UT Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of the Atlantic,, James Madison, UNC-Chapel Hill, Marquette and Brown.
If it’s politics and current events that appeal to you, Washington, DC is your mecca.
politically active colleges provide student organizations fundings and resources to bring members and conduct meaningful activities.
Swarthmore, Oberlin, Reed, Wesleyan, Brown, Berea, Sterling, Warren Wilson, Marlboro, Evergreen State.
When I was in college, it was Columbia when Jerry Rubin was active & also Berkeley. Sadly, today students are more apathetic because Congress is so inept at accomplishing what’s necessary to fix the economy.
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