At WashU, you’ll be pushed—and inspired—to explore deeply, push boundaries and make real, positive change in the world.

We offer several leadership development programs, scholarships, and civic engagement opportunities to get involved with the larger community. You’ll also discover opportunities to step up as a leader through involvement in elected positions and extracurriculars, and grow from your interaction with the diversity of student backgrounds and perspectives represented here.

The John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics

The John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics seeks to deepen academic and public understanding of religion and politics in the United States. 

The Center serves as an ideologically neutral venue for fostering rigorous scholarship and informing broad academic and public communities about the intersections of religion and U.S. politics. The Center’s commitments are to support and enhance outstanding scholarly research on the historical and contemporary intertwining of religion and politics, to disseminate excellent scholarship to students and the broad public by means of courses, lectures, and conferences, and to foster debate and discussion among people who hold widely different views about religion and/or politics. 

Student Union

Student Union (SU) is WashU’s undergraduate student government. SU has two primary functions: 

  • Allocating the Student Activity Fee to engaging activities, programs, and initiatives
  • Representing you in the administration’s decision-making process, ensuring that you have a voice in the academic and social decisions that directly affect you

SU comprises five executive officers: the President, the Vice President of Administration, the Vice President of Finance, the Vice President of Programming, and the Vice President of Public Relations, as well as two legislative bodies, the Treasury, which consists of representatives elected at large, and the Senate, which consists of representatives elected from each undergraduate school. 

School and Class Councils

Each undergraduate school and class has its own council that works within Student Union. School Councils present your input to each undergraduate school administration and provide academic and social programming, including the annual dance parties: Bauhaus Ball, sponsored by the Architecture School Council, and Vertigo, sponsored by EnCouncil (the engineering school council). Class Councils provide social programming, including Sunday on the Swamp and Senior Week. 

Congress of the South 40

The Congress of the South 40 (CS40) works on programming for you on the South 40 and functions as a governing body that presents your input about the residential operations to the administration. 

CS40 comprises five executive officers: the Speaker, the Director of Development, the Director of Services, the Director of Finance, and the Director of Public Relations. 

The other aspects of CS40 are the 150-member General Assembly; nine individual committees, each chaired by an appointed officer; and 10 College Councils, which provide programming for individual residential colleges. 

Office of Student Involvement and Leadership

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership is dedicated to helping you develop as leaders during your time at WashU. Their office helps you find ways to both learn about and practice leadership. WashU believes that leadership is more than a position you hold – it’s about the positive change you help create. 

Campus Politics

You can pick your party, or explore other options, through the variety of campus political groups. Groups such as College Democrats, College Republicans, and the Young Americans for Liberty (College Libertarians) engage you in current issues and promote political action on local and national levels. Through these groups, you can get involved in local campaigns and advocacy groups to help make a difference in the community. In addition, WashU has been the site of a number of official U.S. Presidential debates over the years.