Being Politically Active at Princeton

August 19, 2020
Naomi Hess

No matter your political leanings, there is a place at Princeton for you. Princeton’s long list of student organizations includes many groups that focus on political engagement. We have the Princeton University College Republicans, and the Princeton College Democrats. The Princeton Progressive is a journal dedicated to progressive political thought, while The Princeton Tory is the corresponding journal of conservative thought. These groups foster a community of students with like-minded views and allow these students to explore their political interests.

While it is important to have groups based on political identity, there are also groups at Princeton that are non-partisan and try to unite students who have all sorts of different political opinions. One such example is Whig-Clio, the country’s oldest collegiate political, literary and debate society. Whig-Clio organizes events such as presidential debate and election watch parties, study breaks with friends and food, and guest speakers. Whig-Clio also has several subsidiary organizations, including the Princeton Debate Panel, Princeton International Relations Council, Princeton Mock Trial and Princeton Model Congress. Being a part of Whig-Clio is a great way to meet students passionate about politics and policy. My favorite debate they host has nothing to do with politics at all- it’s the annual Latke vs. Hamentaschen Debate to crown the best Jewish food! I have so many good memories with Whig-Clio, from waiting anxiously for election results to commenting on a presidential candidate's debate performance while chatting with my friends and eating delicious food.

Another non-partisan organization is Vote100, a group dedicated to increasing Princeton students’ voter registration and turnout rates. Historically, Princeton voter turnout has remained fairly low, and Vote100 seeks to change that. In the past, Vote100 hosted voter registration drives, gave out cool gear with a message, and ran days of action where students can contact their legislators. Vote100 recently started a new campaign through TurboVote that makes registering to vote or requesting an absentee ballot as easy as clicking a button (if you’re not a Princeton student, go to I’m proud to be part of this organization as we get closer to the 2020 election. 

I think it is important for Princeton students to be politically engaged because young people like us are the future of the country. Luckily, groups like the ones I described here make it easy to become or remain politically active while at Princeton.