The elections may be over, but the WTAMU Political Science Society is just getting started. After a few semesters of absence, the old organization is being re-established by students and faculty of the political science department.
“Periodically, we’ve had students show interest in a political science society or in particular political advocacies,” Andrew Garcia, instructor of Political Science, said. “But often times, when those students graduated, the society kind of went away.”
According to Reed Welch, head of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, the reason for re-establishment was a need to educate the campus of political and governmental events and news.
“A lot of students who belong to the society right now are there to, as they see, better educate the campus community about politics and government and why it matters.” Welch said.
Fifteen members make up the entire society, but Aurora Ortiz, the Political Science Society president, said they hope to spend the rest of the fall and spring semesters raising that number.
“We’re doing quite well for only being up and running for about less than two months,” Ortiz said. “We’re trying to gain more steam here on campus…and get more people to join and be aware of who we are.”
Even though the organization was developed and run by Political Science students and faculty, society members welcome students of all majors to join in on political discussions.
“One of the common misconceptions we have already with the society is that people believe it’s only for majors and minors,” Ortiz said. “But it’s open to the entire community.”
For the recent political season, society members gathered together to watch and discuss the presidential debates.
“The professors that were there not only watched with the students, but answered questions and established a dialogue about the different types of things that were brought up,” Garcia said. “It was kind of a way to integrate campus participation and political advocacy and activism here at WT.”
Various Political Science professors and students are trying to institutionalize the organization for a more permanent existence at WT.
“Politics, and government and policy affect all of us,” Welch said. “There are a lot of students out there that are interested in it and would like to join and discuss those kind of issues and learn more about those things.”
The society is young, but plans to expand political knowledge and awareness are already in place.
“We’re actually going to start a new ad push here in the coming semester,” Ortiz said. “I don’t want to give it away… the more that we inform other people of political science in general, the more the communities are informed on policy and what’s going on in our government which affect us every day, whether we like it or not.”