Helvidius Group

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Helvidius Group
Founded: 1989
Recognition: ABC
Membership: 25
Executive Board: Ben Drucker,
Jonah Smith,
Executive Editor
Daniela Quintanilla, Managing Editor
Sibo Wang,
Lead Senior Editor
Leigh Colvin,
Robert Baldwin,
Director of Strategy
Category: Publication
Website: {{{Website}}}
Contact: {{{Contact}}}

The Helvidius Group is a student organization that publishes the Journal of Politics & Society, an annual journal of undergraduate research in the social sciences. It is believed to be unique in its focus on interdisciplinary undergraduate research.


The Helvidius Group conducts an international call for papers every year, soliciting manuscripts from students at major research universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and various other English-language universities. From 200-300 submissions, the Editorial Board selects approximately 6-8 papers for an intensive peer review and editing process before print publication. Traditionally, at least one Columbia undergraduate has been published in the journal. The Helvidius Group occasionally publishes other content such as book reviews.

The Helvidius Group also conducts extensive editing development for its members, teaching the process of managing and editing an academic journal through workshops, guest speakers, and writing exercises.


Founded in 1989 by Peter Tomassi, CC '91, the journal began as a magazine distributed to schools in the Ivy League and in Congress.[1] It was originally called the Columbia University Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the journal did not change to an academic journal format until the mid-1990s. It was originally founded to provided undergraduates with an outline to bring forth good political argument regardless of the ideology they espoused. Thus it was very much a journal that revered the First Amendment. The journal expanded its distribution over the years, reaching subscribers and outside academic departments as well as establishing a solid presence on campus. Currently, about half the journal's distribution occurs for free on Columbia's campus to all Columbia affiliates.

In 2006, the Helvidius Group held its first alumni reunion. In 2007, it launched an annual research symposium in the spring. Also in 2007, the journal became the nation's first commercially distributed undergraduate periodical, after a period of tenacious bureaucratic wrangling. It is now sold in Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores.[2]


The group is named after the Roman statesman and philosopher, Helvidius Priscus, who was banished and eventually executed for his vocal support of republican government.[3]


See the Helvidius Group Website for further information, including current contact details and submissions requirements.