• With more than 300 student-run clubs at NYU, you have myriad chances to put your activism into action.
  • The LGBTQ+ Center at NYU is home to numerous clubs and groups that offer community, resources, support, and opportunities to spark activism on and off campus.
  • From environmental awareness and sexism in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to mental health awareness and food security, activism weaves throughout the very fabric of student life at NYU.
A female-presenting student of color raising their hand in class.

Every semester NYU students, faculty, and staff across the globe positively impact the communities around them. Regardless of the type of social impact you want to make, when you join the NYU community, you can use both your voice and your actions to help create a better world. At NYU, it’s not a matter of if there’s a way for you to make change. It’s a matter of which opportunity best suits you and the impact you want to make.

In part one of this series, we explore activism in the classroom. Here, in part two, we examine how NYU students engage with fellow change-makers across campus. Don’t forget to check back soon for part three, where we’ll uncover difference-making resources at NYU.

Connect Through Clubs

Interested in advocating for your fellow students? Building a community of like-minded peers? With more than 300 student clubs to choose from and new ones created every year, there are a number of student organizations NYU students can join to impact the world around them. For example, the First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership and the LGBTQ+ Center offer myriad avenues to activism.

Students passing through the lobby of Bobst Library.

First-Gen Support in FLIP

The First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) is a student-founded and student-led club. It offers first-generation, low-income students a space to build community, participate in professional development opportunities, and advocate for one another. What’s more, the club has a committee focused specifically on activism and advocacy work. Their projects ranged from making study away more accessible for low-income students to helping establish technology grants and funds for low-income students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“FLIP is passionate about making sure first-generation students have access to the resources they need to succeed at NYU,” says Freddy Barrera. Freddy is FLIP’s former coleader and a recent graduate of the Politics major at the College of Arts and Science. “FLIP is one of many NYU organizations that works to help first-generation, low-income students. But its student-led approach makes it a little bit different than the other groups. We are for students, and we pride ourselves in that.”

Exterior of the LGBTQ+ Center in the NYU Kimmel Center for University Life.

Education and Service at the LGBTQ+ Center

The University’s LGBTQ+ Center also hosts numerous student clubs. The main focus of these clubs is fostering community. Many, like Queer Union, New Masculinities, SHADES, CampGrrl, and T-Party, also provide students with resources and opportunities to spark activism and change both on campus and beyond.

“A big part of the LGBTQ+ Center’s mission is education and service,” explains Catherine Chen. Catherine is a Chemistry major at the College of Arts and Science. “It’s helpful to be a part of a community where people both acknowledge the problems you face and give you the tools to address those problems, help others, and uplift one another. Our clubs are a great place to meet people. But they’re also a great place to learn, lead, and serve.”

Seven female-presenting members of of the STEMinist club at NYU.

Student Groups Make an Impact

Do you want to join fellow NYU students in effecting change? Then, check out these additional advocacy groups on campus:

  • Active Minds works for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention
  • Alliance for Environmental and Social Justice focuses on justice for all living beings, nonliving beings, and the natural world
  • Earth Matters was founded in 1982 and is NYU’s oldest environmental club
  • J Street U inspires students to support peace, human rights, and multiracial democracy
  • Native American and Indigenous Students Group generates awareness for Native American and Indigenous issues and works to find resolutions
  • STEMinist empowers students to combat sexism in all forms, both within STEM fields and everyday life
  • The Social Justice Art Project empowers NYU students to create art that addresses political and social issues as a form of activism
  • Sprout Up provides free environmental education programs to first and second graders
  • Students Creating Radical Change is devoted to supporting and promoting human rights organizations at NYU
  • Students for Sexual Respect focuses on survivor-centered programming, including policy change, reproductive justice, and sexual autonomy
  • Two Birds One Stone delivers leftover, hot, edible food from NYU dining halls to nearby food pantries

Kelly McHugh-Stewart is a Senior Writer and Strategist for NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, where she seeks out and enjoys telling stories that help people understand the world through a new lens. Kelly holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University. Her reporting and personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, CNN Opinion, and Sports Illustrated, among others.