College Students for Bernie

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College Students For Bernie
Logo of College Students for Bernie
States with Registered Chapters (In Blue).
Motto"Students of the 99% for Bernie Sanders"
SuccessorYoung Progressives Demanding Action
FormationApril 1, 2015; 4 years ago (2015-04-01)
DissolvedDecember 1, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-12-01)
TypePolitical organization
Legal statusDissolved
PurposeCampaign, Education
260+ Chapters

College Students for Bernie (CSFB) was a grassroots organization dedicated to increase young voter participation, enhance progressive politics, and support Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid. At the organization's peak during the 2016 United States presidential election, there were over 200[1][2] chapters (with the exact numbers being around 260) in universities across the United States.[3][4]

The group was founded in April 2015[5] and did most of their organizing online through social media.[6] The executive board and their founders consisted of students from various universities across the country (see Founding section).

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the organization split into two different organizations, the existing group Young Democratic Socialists,[7] and a new organization founded by College Students for Bernie members, Young Progressives Demanding Action, a subgroup of Progressive Democrats of America.[8]


College Students for Bernie was founded in April 2015 at Middlebury College[9] by Elizabeth Siyuan Lee[10][11] and Nathan Rifkin.,[12] as well as Alex Forgue at Northern Illinois University,[13][14][15] and Benjamin Packer at Dartmouth College.[16] After coming up with the "chapter model", where each college would have their own chapter under a larger network of progressive college students, they reached out to their peers to help establish chapters at Middlebury[17] and other colleges across the United States.

After they worked with progressive students in other colleges to establish around 30 chapters, College Students for Bernie was featured on the front page of the Daily Kos.[18]


National Organization[edit]

During the Democratic National Convention, the group endorsed the "People's Convention", a separate convention that was designed to create an open space for people to come together and create a progressive platform by the "people and for the people."[19]

College Students for Bernie teamed up with Young Democratic Socialists to co-sponsor a conference called "From Sanders to the Grassroots."[20] The conference took place from August 5 to August 7 (2016) at the National 4-H Conference Center.[21]

On March 11, College Students for Bernie members took part in the 2016 Donald Trump Chicago rally protest organized by students at the University of Illinois at Chicago(UIC).[22]

Individual Chapters[edit]

Campaign activities among chapters varied. These activities included phone banking,[23][24] car pooling students to voting locations,[25] or registering students to vote.[26]

At Austin Community College District, the Students For Bernie group there filed a lawsuit after the college refused to allow them to campaign on campus.[27][28]

Beyond the 2016 Election[edit]

After the 2016 election as well as the Democratic Primary elections of 2016, College Students for Bernie encouraged its members to change its chapters into a new group, Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA), which was founded by those who were active in the founding of College Students For Bernie. Young Progressives Demanding Action, is a subgroup of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).[29] Other members and founding members encouraged chapters to merge into a Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) Chapter.[30]

Other activists groups such as UCSB Activist Network grew out of UCSB for Bernie at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[31] Pitts Progressives at the University of Pittsburgh grew out of the Students for Bernie chapter there.[32]

After the Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016, the group never officially endorsed Clinton[33] due to the mixed feelings felt by college students.[34][35][36][37]

Young Progressives Demanding Action[edit]

By Fall of 2016, there were 15 registered-YPDA chapters.[38]

YPDA groups such as YPDA Hawaii organized protests against Donald Trump[39][40]


  1. ^ Ball, Molly. "The Kids Are for Bernie, but Are the Kids Alright?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. ^ Chozick, Amy; Alcindor, Yamiche (4 February 2016). "Young Democrats Flock to Bernie Sanders, Spurning Hillary Clinton's Polish and Poise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  3. ^ "CSFB National Roster - Google Sheets". Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ Correspondent, Abigail Pugh,. "Student group has burning love for Sanders". Technician. Retrieved 6 January 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. ^ "Thank You Bernie: A Message From College Students For Bernie". Daily Kos. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  6. ^ "The Grass Roots Are Getting Greener for Sanders, but Will They Wither?: Bill Boyarsky". Truthdig. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ "The Development of a Progressive Third Party". Young Democratic Socialists. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Student Organizations Start Strong This Year". The Middlebury Campus. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Why Young People Like Bernie Sanders". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  10. ^ Levitz, Jennifer. "Sanders Supporters at Colleges 'Not Yet Interested' in Joining Clinton Camp". WSJ. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Here's Why Young Women Aren't Voting for Hillary Clinton". Cosmopolitan. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  12. ^ Olcott, Grant (2016-02-25). "The Middlebury Campus" (PDF). Retrieved 05-06-2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. ^ "the-chase". the-chase. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  14. ^ "International Inspiration for Irish Students' Battle for Free Fees". Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  15. ^ "College students put down their Sanders signs, wonder what's next". mcclatchydc. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  16. ^ McGahan, Sara (2015-07-15). "Students organize in support of 2016 candidates". The Dartmouth Newspaper. The Dartmouth. Retrieved 06-02-2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  17. ^ Chozick, Amy; Alcindor, Yamiche (4 February 2016). "Young Democrats Flock to Bernie Sanders, Spurning Hillary Clinton's Polish and Poise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  18. ^ "College Students for Bernie Sanders". Daily Kos. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  19. ^ Schmidt, Peter (11 July 2016). "What's Next for College Students Who Backed Bernie". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  20. ^ "YDS Conference Report: From Sanders to the Grassroots". Young Democratic Socialists. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  21. ^ "From Sanders to the Grassroots". Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  22. ^ "SPUSA, YPSL and UIC Students join to Stop Trump!". The Socialist. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Harvard For Bernie Calls Into Iowa as Caucus Approaches | News | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  24. ^ McClintick, Neil. "LA VOZ NEWS | Students hold first campus phone bank for Bernie Sanders". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Carpool encourages WU students to vote early". Student Life. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  26. ^ Clemm, Clarissa (25 April 2016). "Students for Bernie hosts actress Shailene Woodley". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Students 4 Bernie: Austin Community College stymied campus activism". mystatesman. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  28. ^ Staff, KXAN (24 February 2016). "Bernie Sanders supporters sue ACC for blocking campaigning". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Defying Expectations, Young Sanders Activists Remain Engaged". Common Dreams. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Sanders leaders on campus turning their backs on Clinton campaign". mcclatchydc. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  31. ^ "UC Students March Against Tuition Hikes". Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  32. ^ "Pitt Progressives aims to fill gap in the left - The Pitt News". The Pitt News. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  33. ^ Levitz, Jennifer (23 March 2016). "Sanders Supporters at Colleges 'Not Yet Interested' in Joining Clinton Camp". WSJ. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  34. ^ Levitz, Jennifer. "Sanders Supporters at Colleges 'Not Yet Interested' in Joining Clinton Camp". WSJ. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Here's Why Young Women Aren't Voting for Hillary Clinton". Cosmopolitan. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  36. ^ Fuscaldo, Donna (21 June 2016). "Students, Still Unsure About Hillary Clinton, to Descend on Democratic National Convention".
  37. ^ "Will Bernie Sanders Supporters Vote For Clinton? Why Many Youth Want Jill Stein, Gary Johnson As The Next President". International Business Times. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  38. ^ "Our Chapters | YoungPDA". Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  39. ^ " - Connecting People Through News". Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  40. ^ Yee, Nick. "Trump Protests Planned for Oahu". Retrieved 8 December 2016.