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The Commune

Being a graduate student at Northwestern should be an exciting and fulfilling experience. The Department of Political Science has a very active student body, and many events, activities, and programs to enhance the student experience.

The Commune is the formal organization of Political Science graduate students, started in 1968. The Commune is led by an elected board comprising two co-chairs, a secretary, a treasurer, and a department representative (i.e. liaison with the Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council).

The Commune has three primary goals: facilitating communication between the department administration and the graduate student body, advocating for the collective needs of graduate students, and organizing professional development and community building events. In addition to general meetings each quarter, the board also meets regularly and sets up ad-hoc working groups to address specific issues as they arise.

Some recent examples of the results of the Commune’s advocacy on behalf of graduate students include:

In recent years, the Commune has organized numerous professional development events, with support from a TGS grant:

Last but not least, the Commune also organizes several community-building events, including:

The Commune's reputation is well known throughout Northwestern; in 2013, the Commune was nominated for two Northwestern University awards: a Community Enrichment Award and an Outstanding Graduate Student Organization Award.

The Commune leaders can be reached at, and welcome input and suggestions from all members of the community!