An enduring issue in the study of political participation is the extent to which political awareness and engagement are socially or individually motivated. We address these issues in the context of a municipal election which generated a high level of political engagement on the part of college students for whom the election was relevant. An effort was made to interview all these students using an on-line survey, and the students were asked to provide information on their friendship networks. The paper demonstrates that awareness and engagement are not simply a consequence of individually defined interests and awareness, but rather that individuals are informed and engaged based on their locations within structured networks of social interaction.