Being a political science major most certainly has its perks. During my four years here I have made some long lasting friendships with other members of my major and even my professors. With these things in mind, however, something has come to my attention over the past year. In political science we have many concentrations and paths a student can take. One of our recently added concentrations is applied politics, which includes the addition of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.
With the new center and concentration, I have seen a shift in attitude of some of my peers in the department.
There is now language like, “I’m not like those international relations people” or “those law students.” I feel this is somewhat of a problem.
One group, in particular, I think that has contributed to this new language is the creation of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics and its newly affiliated counter part, the Political Delegation of Mercyhurst College.
For those not familiar with our department, the Political Delegation is an ambiguous group, and one I feel is not transparent enough to be considered a student-friendly organization on this campus.The group of people involved in this political delegation group is comprised of many applied politics students and is run like a student organization.
However, membership and information about the group is not circulated to the department, students or even members of this group.
One good thing that the organization stands for is that it is a forum for students to actively engage in applied politics.
The problem, as a former member of the group, is I have never been informed of meeting times or who the adviser of the group was. I have only recently learned that the adviser of this group is Dr. Peterson.
Also, when officers were selected, students were never informed of how these members were selected.
I speak out against this organization because it seems they have brought division in the department among some students.
If the organization wishes to stay active or achieve credibility, it must become more open and representative of members in the department and inform us of its actions and stay true to its mission, similar to the operations of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society, which organizes many functions for the department.
Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) needs to ensure that these organizations are forming for a purpose that helps to actively engage the student body.
A final statement is this, student organizations shall be open and transparent in their activities, and clubs and
organizations should stay actively engaged and should work toward the mission of the college.
It is the responsibility of MSG to hold these clubs accountable to their mission statement.
If you want to create a private organization, then you should look into creating a fraternity or sorority and not operate under the guise of a student club.