The 10 Most Politically Active College and University Campuses of All Time

Published Jul 15, 2008

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Some college students like to see how many beers they can chug in an hour; others are more interested in debating the intricacies of presidential elections. If you fall into the latter category, you might be interested in seeing this list of the 10 most politically active college and university campuses.


1.) The George Washington University

The George Washington University is located right in the heart of Washington D.C., so it's no surprise that GW students are more politically active than most. Undergrads and grads alike participate in government internships and the many demonstrations that occur on campus and off. GW could never be confused with a sports school or a party school. The students here are more interested in joining the College Democrats or the College Republicans than they are in joining in on the average college experience.

2.) Princeton University

Many of the students who attend Princeton University are politically active because they are aspiring politicians. In fact, politics is the one of Princeton's most popular majors. Students stay active by participating in student groups, such as the Princeton Committee Against Terrorism (PCAT) and the Princeton Committee on Prejudice, and by taking advantage of the many opportunities Princeton offers outside the classroom.

3.) Macalester College

Macalester College's focus on internationalism helps to fuel political fires on campus. There's always a protest going on somewhere on the St. Paul campus and political organizations are popular. In a survey conducted by The Princeton Review, one student admitted that most Macalester undergrads who visit the nearby Mall of America would rather stage an anti-sweatshop protest than shop.

4.) Lewis and Clark College

Lewis and Clark College has a reputation for being a 'pseudo-hippie' school filled with liberal students, and the reputation isn't undeserved. Republicans are an endangered species, though there are a few scattered throughout the mostly liberal student body. Students spend much of their time on campus, participating in forum discussions, committee demonstrations, political protests and similar activities.

5.) Harvard University

Harvard's reputation for educating future leaders attracts a lot of politically active students. The school has a Harvard Republican Club, a Harvard Democrat Club and a number of other politically motivated student organizations. Harvard students are very diverse and opinionated when it comes to political issues. It isn't unusual to see two students having a debate right in the dining hall.

6.) American University

The American University's location in Washington D.C. encourages politically active students. American's campus contains a blend of liberals and conservatives and is constantly rife with debate. Typical activities for an undergrad include attending political forums and working on the Hill.

7.) Pitzer College

Pitzer College is one of the few schools where political activism is taken more seriously than academics. Nearly all of the students are up on their current news and aware of what's going on in the world of politics. Pitzer has a long-standing reputation as a 'hippie school' and most students are considered 'left wing.'

8.) Georgetown University

Like most schools in Washington D.C., Georgetown University invites and encourages students who are highly political and socially aware. The student body is well-known for its political activism. Students participate in a number of annual rallies and protests, including Take Back the Night. Georgetown student committees have garnered pay raises for university employees, advocated for fair trade and ended the Georgetown use of sweatshops.

9.) Wesleyan University

Since nearly everything at Wesleyan University is student-run, campus politics are a huge part of student life. The Wesleyan campus is a hotbed for demonstrations and political discussions. Students who attend this school are frequently referred to as liberal or alternative.

10.) New York University

NYU students are among the most politically active students in American higher education. Campus protests and demonstrations are very common. NYU students aren't afraid to cross lines established by the government or the community and have been known to get arrested for some of their more theatrical displays of activism.

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