Discussing thousands of political issues on a strong politically motivated campus can be tough, but there is one organization that has tried to unify Western’s political community. We sat down with Danyal Lotfi, president of the Western’s Political Science Association, to discuss his organization and its future at Western.
Q: What is the Political Science Association?
The PSA is basically Western’s political science department’s student club. PSA aims to help students within the department and those who are thinking about joining the department find resources that would relate to the major and things that they are studying. We also serve to try and build a bridge between the students and the faculty. We hold events throughout the year that are politically related and, more specifically, focus on issues that are important to students – for example tuition and others. Our biggest event of the year though is the Political Science Association conference, where students get a chance to present a paper that they have written for a political science class and in the afternoon we have a guest lecture.
Q: How does PSA serve as a bridge between the students and the department?
The simplest way that we do that is by having study sessions, which don’t exactly connect students to professors, but allow for students to study with their peers. Also, in the events that we hold we often invite faculty to participate and mingle with the students in the department. In one event we saw a documentary on Egypt at the Pickford Theater and we invited faculty to watch it with us and have a cup of coffee afterwards. It was really a great opportunity to see and meet faculty in a non-academic setting.
Q: What would you say is the status of the PSA’s size? Is it growing?
The PSA wasn’t very active last year. So one of our biggest challenges this year was trying to get the PSA’s name out there again, and letting political science students know that the PSA existed and that there was a space they could go to in order to talk about politics.
Q: Does the PSA cater to one specific aspect of political science? Or is it very broad?
We are a nonpartisan club that addresses issues that are important to students: which can be both domestic issues like higher education, tuition or domestic policies or international politics. Our foreign policy affects us as students and citizens in general, thus it’s still important to discuss it. Any issues that are important to students we hope to cover.
Q: What is you biggest goal going towards the future?
Our biggest goal would be to see a greater presence of political science students in the club. I would also like to see a lot more collaboration between the PSA and other political science oriented clubs around campus.
Q: If someone wanted to join the PSA what should they do?
The easiest way would be for them to like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/wwupsa. That way they can keep up with all of our events and meetings. They can also ask any of their political science professors about us, and they should be able to get us in touch.