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University of Chicago Institute of Politics

Where: University of Chicago Institute of Politics, 5707 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 (Opened in 2013).

What: The UChicago IOP is a nonpartisan, extracurricular organization at the University of Chicago that aims to inspire and cultivate the next generation of political and public service leaders.


The beauty of the IOP is that it serves different functions for different groups. For the university, it’s the political hub of campus. For its staff, it’s a place of business. For visiting fellows, it is a temporary classroom. For students, it’s a forum to hear from some of the world’s most influential individuals. For me, it’s my Third Place.

Having held the House Manager position at the IOP for my work-study job during my 2nd year of college, it now, during my 3rd year, acts as a place to see friendly faces outside of the classroom. Whether it’s to attend an event hosted by visiting thought leader or to just stop by to grab a snack and chat with the staff, I always feel welcome.


1. People connection (how does your third place activate community?)

· Brings students together with each other and with public service leaders

· Cultivates an atmosphere of civic engagement on campus

· Houses student organizations

2. Place connection (how does your third place activate the public realm?)

· Non-UChicago affiliated adults are welcome to come to its events, enticing mingling among people of all ages and backgrounds

· The funds it provides to students (myself being one of the many beneficiaries) for political internships forges a commitment to public service that reaches beyond the boundaries of UChicago

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