OUR HISTORY

WONDERING WHAT WE'VE DONE AND WHY WE'RE HERE? LOOK NO FURTHER. 

The Columbia Political Union was founded in the spring of 1935 by a group of fifteen intrepid and visionary undergraduates seeking a central organization for politics at the university. Modeled after similar organizations at Yale and Oxford, the Columbia Political Union enjoyed immediate popularity and became the central space for political debate on campus. 

CPU was lauded by university faculty who declared it to be "timely, admirable, and sensible." At a time of intense political turmoil in the United States, CPU represented the students of Columbia coming together to find answers to the biggest questions of our time. The Great Depression called into question the American free market, while the Great War and a myriad of revolutions in Europe raised big questions about the right path for society. The New Deal initiated change at all levels of government, and young people found themselves at the cusp of a new America.

It was in this atmosphere of radical change that the Columbia Political Union was founded, and it is within a similar atmosphere today that we are most needed. We hope you will join us in continuing our long-standing mission. 

Below are various selected excerpts from the Columbia Spectator, which has dutifully chronicled our long history. There are many more examples available in the Spectator archives for our die-hard fans to peruse at their leisure.

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