Welcome to Tent State University

Thanks to everyone that came out to Tent State VII and made it a great success!  To find out more information or get involved come out to thenext meeting thursday at 9 PM in Scott Hall room 123!

During one week in April, students, faculty, staff and allies from various communities and organizations come together and build a tent city on Voorhees Lawn (next to Scott Hall and across from the Grease Trucks on College Ave) to run an alternative, democratically-run, free university. It began here at Rutgers in 2003 as we faced unprecedented state budget cuts to higher education in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Every year the organizers of Tent State set up a variety of classes, workshops, open mics, discussions, rec. sports, in addition to the Tent State institutions:

  •  Legislative Tent At the entrance to Voorhees Mall from College Ave, this is where we demonstrate our social power to legislators by flooding their offices with THOUSANDS of phone calls in support of FULL STATE FUNDING FOR RUTGERS!                                                                                        
  •  Art City, in the heart of Tent State, fosters the creation of collaborative murals, sculptures, and other visual arts, and offers a variety of workshops such as fire spinning, drumming, etc.
  •  Daily Assemblies in the evening bring everyone at Tent State together in the “Town Hall” tent. This is a key aspect of Tent State: It is where we practice democracy, where all decisions are made about our space and resources. Here anyone can raise concerns, ideas, suggestions, plans, etc. regarding everything ranging from camp clean-up and security to plans for direct action.
  •   LIVE MUSIC EVERY NIGHT! Hip hop, punk, rock, funk, a cappella, capoeira from all the best local bands. 
  • YOU TELL US! Email us at info@tentstate.com and tell us what you want to see at Tent State VII. Then come help us organize it!


Any individual or group who supports the Tent State mission is welcome. In fact we encourage you to invite your friends, family, community organizations, etc. We aim to unite students, faculty and staff organizations with labor, peace, feminist, and local community-based organizations. Local high school students also organize contingents from their schools to participate in Tent State.

Tent State does not affiliate with any political party or any single political philosophy. We are not Democrats and we are not Republicans. However individuals and groups that consider themselves Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, etc. are all welcome as long as they support the Tent State mission.

During the week of Tent State students demonstrate what democracy means to us. WE WORK TOGETHER, WE DECIDE TOGETHER. We use this concept to create a culture at Rutgers where politics, art, and education are inseparable.

Contact us at info@tentstate.com or attend one of our weekly meetings:

Thursdays, 9pm
Scott Hall Auditorium 123

Join the Tent State University/Students for a Democratic Society Facebook group for information on parties, events, etc. throughout the year.

How can my organization
get involved in Tent State?

Send an email to info@tentstate.com for more information. Coalition meetings occur regularly. Your organization will be able to work with others in the Rutgers community and practice democracy on a large scale. Whatever level of involvement your group can provide is fine. You may want to:
• Help with the planning and running of Tent State.
• Use the space to hold events or promote issues that are important to you.
• Set up a tent and a table.
• Organize friends to sign-up at tentstate.com and camp out.
• Run a class or workshop.
• Ask your professors to have class at Tent State.
The possibilities are endless. Groups are encouraged to be Creative and Bold. Use Tent State as a space to get things
accomplished, and build the world you want!


We would like to take a minute and thank some of the guest speakers who were kind enough to speak at one of our events.

Julian Castro

The Clark Law Office

Morgan & Morgan


Tent State University is a national movement (started right here at Rutgers in 2003) that believes democracy and education are inseparable social rights that belong to everyone.

Tent State wishes to dispel the myth of a “budget crisis,” which is used as an excuse year after year to justify cuts to social capital like education, while money for wars of aggression or corporate welfare is always available. This is a crisis of values and leadership. This is important now more than ever in this global economic meltdown.

Tent State is a space where students, faculty, staff, community members and organizations can come together and practice democracy. Only by building our own institutions of art, politics, and education can we generate enough social power to change the undemocratic structures and practices of our universities and society.

Thursdays, 9pm
Scott Hall Auditorium 123


Supported by the center for American Progress / Campus Progress