No matter the club, consistent members is a constant challenge for SGA-affiliated clubs. Thankfully, Political Science Club has found something of that, as it looks forward to electing a new E-Board.
“We have about 10 students who show up regularly to our meetings, sometimes more,” said Club President Kaitlin Wright, who will be graduating at the end of this semester. “It really depends on what we are talking about at our club meeting that day.”
Unlike the College Republicans, which Wright is also the chair of and who the club consistently collaborates with, Political Science Club is often seen as being more neutral with its political affiliation. As such, it often does not receive the amount of backlash as its collaborator. This was the case when the Political Science Club co-hosted Larry Pratt from the Gun Owners of America.
“Political Science Club was largely ignored in regards to commotion surrounding the Gun Owners of America event,” Wright said. “I know there was an email sent out by the Students for a Democratic Society to various clubs asking to partake in a protest of the event, but the email only mentioned College Republicans and not Political Science Club. I think many people just associated the event with the College Republicans because the Second Amendment tends to be a more conservative topic, but we had decided to co-host the event with them in the hopes to bring more speakers on campus that would talk about policies that concern all Americans.”
According to Wright, a typical Political Science Club meeting is very discussion-based, drawing from current events.
“At our general meetings, we normally discuss some sort of political issue,” she said. “A fair amount of the policies and issues that we discuss are American issues, but we also spend time talking about issues around the world. Some of the topics we discussed this year were minimum wage policies, the politics of Thanksgiving, the Northwest Passage, the parliament elections happening across Europe, the push for modernization in Saudi Arabia, as well as the history of Columbus Day.”
And while the club has no more events slated on their docket for this semester, they have had a packed fall. In addition to co-hosting Pratt, they’ve hosted New England Newspapers, Inc. President Frederic Rutberg, who talked about politics and the media, as well as Rep. John Barrett and former state rep. candidate Christine Canning, who visited campus while they were campaigning for the seat vacated by Gailanne Carriddi, who died in June.
Despite this, and having a solid membership base, the club will continue to work on its numbers.
“I think a lot of clubs probably struggle with this,” she said. “You have your first meeting and a ton of people show up and it stays that way for your first couple meetings, but as the semester starts winding down and the homework keeps piling up, less and less students show up. It’s certainly understandable, we are all students first.”
Political Science Club meets Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. at Bowman 217, but that is subject to change with the election of the new E-Board, of whom Wright offered some parting words of advice to.
“Be open-minded,” she said. “Don’t let this position of power get to your head. Sure, you may love this club, but remember, you are only one person and you can only do so much. Make sure you are making academics a priority and that all of your E-Board is contributing their portion of the work. To tie it into politics, be a check and balance on one another.”