Above: Members of the CSULA Political Science Association (and Faculty Advisor Taylor Dark) meeting with Rep. Adam Schiff (28th Congressional District, California) during a trip to the US Congress in June 2015.
The Department has a long tradition of student involvement in various clubs and organizations. There are currently four student organizations active in the department:
- The CSULA Political Science Association, for all students interested in political science. Facebook Page. Advisor: Prof. Taylor Dark.
- Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society (3.0+ GPA required). Facebook Page. Advisor: Prof. Taylor Dark.
- The Pre-Law Society, for students who are interested in a legal career. Facebook Page. Advisor: Prof. Martin Adamian.
- Our award-winning Model United Nations chapter. Advisor: Prof. Emily Acevedo.
The CSULA Political Science Association
The CSULA Political Science Association (CSULA-PSA) is open to all CSULA students interested in the study of politics. As a non-partisan organization, the PSA acts as a liaison between students and the Political Science Department, provides leadership and organizational experience to motivated students, and facilitates a better understanding of politics and political issues on campus and throughout the community.
Among other activities, the PSA regularly takes field trips to various political locations. In the past, the group has visited the State Capitol in Sacramento, a meeting of the Western Political Science Association in San Francisco, and the US Congress (both in 2012 and 2015). The group also takes local trips to Los Angeles City Hall and to special events throughout southern California. A slide show of the group's 2012 trip to Washington, DC is available on YouTube.
The CSULA Pre-Law Society
The Pre-Law Society is dedicated to providing students with the tools and skills needed for applying to law school successfully. PLS resources include information on scholarships, internships, mentoring programs, and LSAT preparation. PLS members can gain insight about various fields of law by attending PLS guest speaker seminars. In addition, local law school campus visitations are scheduled throughout the year to help students decide which law schools they would like to attend. Law advisors also stress the importance of extracurricular participation for those interested in applying to law programs.
In recent years, the Pre-Law Society has held an annual banquet at the end of the academic year, and a day-long Law Fair each spring (with representatives from 15 law schools, many workshops and panels, and a chance for a free LSAT prep course).
The Pre-Law Society conducts weekly meetings, every Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
Pi Sigma Alpha
The department sponsors our local chapter (Gamma Omega) of Pi Sigma Alpha, a national political science honorary society for students who meet designated academic standards (see below). Pi Sigma Alpha has organized lectures, field trips, essay contests, as well as sponsoring an annual banquet in which membership certificates have been awarded. With payment of a one-time $35.00 fee, those who are qualified receive life-time membership of Pi Sigma Alpha, an official certificate, and a pin. Medallions and cords (to be worn at graduation) can also be ordered for an additional charge.
According to the Pi Sigma Alpha by-laws, the membership criteria are the following:
Primary qualifications of student candidates for active membership include high scholarship, manifested interest in Political Science, and promise of achievement in their chosen field. Election to active membership shall be from among such juniors, seniors, and graduate students who are majoring in Political Science at CSULA and who meet each of the following qualifications:
- completion of a minimum 16 quarter hours of Political Science courses, at least one of which must not be open to student in their first two years of collegiate work (transfer students must have completed at least 8 of the 16 quarter hours, or its semester equivalent, at CSULA, with a GPA of 3.0 or better);
- an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 for undergraduates and 3.5 for graduate students;
- a minimum GPA in Political Science courses of 3.0 for undergraduates and 3.5 for graduate students;
- payment of the annual chapter dues and the one-time national chapter dues ($35.00)
Recently Inducted Members (2009-2015)
2009/2010: Luis Centeno, Giuliana Day, Kristin Hoffman, Cintia Huitzil, Sarah Kirwan, William Rendon, Dalia Rodriguez-Hernandez, Martin Stadtner, Fermin Vasquez, Tyler Weiper.
2010/11: Hazel Tongeo, James E. Starkey, Paula Jovell, Kevin Gresham, Guillermo Gonzalez, Johanna Bonillo, Klarissa Palacios, Nancy Carrillo, Nelly Yaboudjian,Gabriel Clift, Anna Hofstetter, Eden Fite, Kevin Gresham, Wendy Rosero, Lance Acuna, Gerardo Sosa, Delilah Do, Christopher Picasso, Shanjida Milon, Brian Ortiz
2011/12: Melanie Holden, Mark Zundel-Waterson, Krystal Henriquez, Brett A. Morrow, Artin Amirian, Vlad Levente Viski, Laura Pintar, Kathleen L. Miucci, Valerie Leones, Erica Luna, Robert Brown,Kiana R. Juarez, Linh Cao, Brian Lopez, Grant Johnson, Elizabeth Lopez, Daniel Larios, Denise Robles, Joseph A. Evanilla, Huey Ngo.
2012/14: Robert Cira, Marine Chikneyan, Hripsime Grigoryan, Jacqueline Sandoval Gutierrez, Grant Johnson, Nels Nelsen.
2014/15: Welela Karageorgiou, David Zakharian, Hugo Ortega, Luis Virgen, Hermon Hagos, Norma Chavez.
2015/16: Alberto Gomez, Raveena Jammu, Savannah Moore, Deysi Acabal, Bradford Yamamoto, Bianca Padilla, Anush Ghazanchyan, Danielle Petty, Lilethozelle Gutierrez.
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
At CSULA, the MUN program is open to all enrolled undergraduate students, irrespective of major. Students who wish to participate in this program must sign up for the Model United Nations course, which consists of POLS 420A and POLS 420B. Students must be in good academic standing in both POLS 420A and POLS 420B if they wish to attend the National Model United Nations conference in New York. Those who are not in good academic standing will still be able to complete the course and receive credit, but will not be able to represent CSULA at the NMUN conference.
In POLS 420A, students learn about the history and current operations of the United Nations system encompassing a variety of international issues such as disarmament, security, environmental protection, sustainable development, and human rights.
In POLS 420B, students build on their knowledge by learning the political, social, and economic background of the country represented at the NMUN conference. Students are assigned a committee and collaborate to identify the key country/committee policy objectives. Students then write a position paper that acknowledges accomplishments and shortcomings of their represented country’s implementation of UN resolutions and mandates. POLS 420B prepares students not just for their role as delegate of a specific country, but also helps students prepare for the NMUN conference through mock sessions.
To join, contact Prof. Emily Acevedo
For more information, see here.
Articles on the CSULA Chapter: