ABOUT US 

 

Founded in 1935, the Columbia Political Union strives to uphold our university's rich history of political excellence. 3 presidents, 10 Supreme Court Justices, 36 Senators, 43 governors, 7 attorney generals, and over 130 members of the House of Representatives have been educated at Columbia. Throughout its existence, the Columbia Political Union has upheld this legacy and been the university's locus of political dialogue and civic engagement. We strive to continue Columbia University's status as one of the nation's best universities to study and take part in politics. We seek to enhance involvement in the political process, domestic and international, and draw every member of the campus community into an ongoing discussion of political ideas. As a multi-partisan group, we strive to incorporate all points of view, and voices from a variety of political backgrounds.

 

While our specific goals have changed over the years, our broader goals have remained the same. We continue to strive for an engaged and informed campus discourse surrounding the issues that matter to us on campus, in our country, and throughout the world.

GENERAL BODY MEETINGS

Interested in becoming a part of the important and exciting work we do? Come to a General Body Meeting to discuss upcoming initiatives, debate current issues and events, and plan future events and projects. Our usual meeting time is 8:00 PM on Mondays (location TBD). Check our social media pages or send over an email to cpu@columbia.edu for more information. We are always welcoming new members. 

SPEAKER EVENTS

 

The Columbia Political Union has always been integral to campus political discussion, both of on-campus issues and larger discussions. Most recently, the Columbia Political Union was instrumental in the first year of Voting Week: an exciting week of speaker events and outreach highlighting the importance of civic engagement through the ballot box. Our speaker events commonly feature activists, professors from Columbia and other institutions, or prominent political figures.

 

The Union has also brought several major speakers to campus in the past few years, including Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ralph Nader, Shimon Peres, Lincoln Chafee, David Dinkins, Raymond Kelly, and more. 

POLICY COMPETITIONS

Throughout the year, the Columbia Political Union assembles representatives from its constituent political groups (Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Roosevelt Institute, John Jay Society, and Socialists) to participate in a friendly competition that tackles pressing issues with concrete policy proposals set forth by each group. These competitions are exciting, provocative, and informative opportunities to engage with the intellectual, moral, and practical debates that we all face. We invite General Body members to attend, pose tough questions to participants, and who knows, perhaps even change their opinion on a certain topic. 

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

The Union is proud to work with institutional partners in the Columbia University community, as well as Columbia's Office of Student Engagement, to present events like Columbia Voting Week which seek to engage campus students and faculty. The Union also works closely with media organizations and the Columbia Elections Board to help disseminate information about campus elections.​

Interested in working with us to come speak at Columbia University? Have an idea for an event? Contact the Executive Board at cpu@columbia.edu.