The Progressive

ABOUT US: The Short Version

The Princeton Progressive is a recently revived student published print magazine at Princeton University dedicated to promoting left-leaning political discussion on campus. The publication strives to provide progressive students with a dedicated platform to share their views and voices.

Our magazine is generously supported by the Princeton Progressives (PPro) alumni group and Generation Progress. PPro is network of Princetonians who share a commitment to progressive values. Generation Progress Journalism Network is the youth division of the Center for American Progress.

Generation Progress


The Long Version

In 1968, Princeton students participated in the March on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. They carried a sign that read “Even Princeton,” making a statement that, despite the dominance of conservative politics on campus, Princeton students were still willing to take a principled stance against an unjust war. Today, the prevailing perception that our campus is apathetic or conservative still exists. But we choose to stand with those students who, risking arrest and abuse in 1968, asserted a different Princeton narrative. That is the historical legacy that motivates us at The Princeton Progressive.

even princeton

In the early 1980s, a group of students formed The Princeton Progressive Review, a magazine inspired by an earlier publication that had Socialist leanings. In 2001, the Idealistic Nation, a competitor to the Progressive Review was formed. Ideologically, the two publications were very similar, except that the Idealistic Nation was printed in newspaper rather than magazine format. In 2005, The Progressive Review and the Idealistic Nation merged to form The Princeton Progressive Nation (PPN) as “one big liberal media conglomerate.” The PPN not only produced several print issues per year, but also engaged in activities around campus aimed at furthering political awareness. For the 2008 election, PPN staffers staged a protest that came to be recognized nationally: “I Could Be John McCain’s Econ 101 Teacher.” The skit, conducted outside Frist Campus Center, included one student acting as “the teacher,” lecturing another student (“John McCain”) with elementary supply and demand curves on a whiteboard. In 2009, the PPN published an opinion piece advocating gender-neutral housing, finally bringing this issue to the attention of University administration.

In 2011, the PPN brought the national progressive Occupy movement to Princeton, with “mic checks” at J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs recruiting sessions on campus. PPN staffers and other students dressed in business attire and infiltrated the sessions to “protest the campus culture that whitewashes the crooked dealings of Wall Street as a prestigious career path.” As a result of the economic recession, the print version of the PPN became defunct in 2011. We spent our limited funds on organizing and rebranding our publication as The Princeton Progressive, and generating content and discussion on our website. Two years later, we are re-financed and re-energized, ready to step in as the progressive voice on campus.

We believe in a broad progressivism that is less of a distinct party platform and more of an approach to dealing with politics. Our progressivism is about introducing new voices and perspectives from disparate ideologies. We are committed to challenging dominant discourses on both sides of the political spectrum. There is no shortage of progressive students on campus, but until now, there has been no dedicated platform to share their voices. This publication has a unique role on campus: bringing those voices together. We want to promote a culture of progressive dialogue on a campus where strong political convictions are largely absent.

How do we do that? By printing a magazine in the digital age. We want to bring progressivism into the physical spaces of our dorms and campus areas, not just add to the background noise of online commentary. Campus politics is about visibility—it is nearly impossible to participate in the political discussion on campus without something physical to read, and it is hard to ignore a pristine and well-crafted political journal. We believe in the old-fashioned power of having a tangible to hold in one’s hands.

We’re here to present several viewpoints to you. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. As one of our previous editors-in-chief, Jessica Mulligan ’14, once said, “disagreement creates progress, and creating progress is our goal.” We invite you to join us. Help us diversify our Table of Contents. Help us show that even Princeton has progressive voices that are ready to be heard.