Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Julie Pelton


Despite a long history of student organizations on college campuses there is relatively little research on participation and student experiences in such groups, especially on what factors motivate students to become involved. This study sought to examine factors that influence participation in political organizations on college campuses through dependent variables of attendance and holding a leadership role. The sample focused on groups understood to be “liberal” such as the College Democrats, environmental groups, and others. Respondents were reached through personal connections, social media, and distributing the survey to student organizations. The examined factors accounted for less than a fifth of the influence on joining or holding a leadership role, however, being a Democrat, living on campus, and being involved with another organization were all significant. This data will hopefully result in further research into factors motivating participation in student organizations among college students.