Buffalo State offers a number of extracurricular activities for students interested in politics and diplomacy. Some of these are academic clubs recognized by Buffalo State's United Student Government or by the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Others are departmental-level clubs.
Political science students and faculty are actively involved in a number of these clubs or activities.
The Student Political Society (SPS) is the student academic club associated with the Department of Political Science. SPS hosts many events throughout the academic year such as visits and discussions with local politicians, post-election analyses, the ins-and-outs of graduate school, and lectures/discussions on topics of current interest to club members. SPS has a bulletin board next to the political science department chair's conference room (next to the department office) and a group on Facebook.
The Student Political Society office is located in B211 Classroom Building.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Patrick McGovern
Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society. Buffalo State has held chapter membership in Pi Sigma Alpha since 1983. Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is by invitation. The chapter faculty advisor will send out invitation letters in early March of each year.
Eligible students must meet two criteria: 1) complete at least 30 hours overall and 18 or more hours in political science at Buffalo State, and 2) earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in political science courses
The lifetime national membership fee is $35, which is collected by the local chapter (Xi Theta). The initiation fee is the only payment members ever make to the national office of the honor society; there are no annual dues. Students bring a check made payable to Buffalo State Department of Political Science. Honorees are officially inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha at the Political Science Department Award Ceremony (which takes place in late April or early May).
Faculty Advisor: Mr. Jon Lines
The Buffalo State Mock Trial team was created in 2007 as a student club and mock trial competition team. We are affiliated members of the American Mock Trial Association, a national organization that sponsors regional and national undergraduate mock trial tournaments around the country. For the last three, we have competed in the two day Adirondacks Regional Tournament sponsored by the AMTA and held at Syracuse University in mid-February. This is one of about two dozen or so AMTA regional tournaments, and draws about two dozen teams (23 in 2009) from public and private colleges and universities around New York State, Pennsylvania, and New England. In 2009 & 2010, Buffalo State competed against teams from Pennsylvania State University, Hamilton College, and Syracuse University.
The objective of the Mock Trial team is to give students hands-on experience with the legal system and trial procedures. Mock trial competitions follow closely the courtroom processes in the “real” world. While the cases are hypothetical, student attorneys must present evidence, conduct direct and cross examinations of witnesses (witnesses are also played by student competitors), follow rules of evidence and trial procedure, and present opening and closing arguments to a two-person panel of judges who score them on knowledge of law, quality of presentation, and their general role playing skills. Many students have joined the Mock Trial team because they have aspirations of attending law school, but all of our students enjoy the law and the courtroom experience as an intellectual exercise. We become a tight-knit group after spending the fall semester preparing the case, developing our arguments, and rehearsing for the February competition.
The Mock Trial team consists of students of all class ranks from freshman to seniors; and come from a variety of majors (political science, criminal justice, fashion technology, forensic science, etc.). We encourage any student with an interest in law to join our team and participate in the competition regardless of your major or career interests. While the preparation is intense, particularly during the Fall semester, you will learn the skills of developing an argument and oral presentation that will serve you well in whatever academic and career pursuits you undertake, while making new friends and having fun.
Visit our USG Bengal Connect page.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kyeonghi Baek
The United Nations is a student committee run under the auspices of the Student Political Society. See Dr. Baek for details.
Photo: Buffalo State political science majors at SUNYMEU (Yolanda and Tim in the center). Yolanda is now an attorney working in NYC and Tim is a policy analyst with the US Department of Energy. Yolanda played the European Council President and Tim played the European Commission president.
Faculty Advisor: Professor Laurie Buonanno
The SUNY Model European Union (SUNYMEU) has been organizing simulations since 1987. Buffalo State's Department of Political Science & Public Administration has been sending a delegation since 2007.
BREXIT? Migration Crisis? Eurozone? Data privacy? Transatlantic relations? What do these terms have in common? They are all issues facing the European Union, a regional association comprised of 27 European countries that has been the major force for European integration since 1957. Would you like to learn more about the European Union? To meet and work with students and faculty from European universities and other universities throughout the US?
If you answered yes to these questions, please stop by Professor Buonanno's office, Classroom Building B214 or email.
SUNYMEU takes place in NYC odd years (March or April) and is hosted by a SUNY partner university in Europe in even years (during J-Term).
Photo: A group from our SUNYMEU delegation in London on New Year's Day before heading to the University of Exeter for SUNYMEU.
Induction into the public administration and affairs honor society takes place each April. Qualifying MPA students will receive an invitation during the spring semester by Dr. Atta Ceesay, Pi Alpha Alpha local chapter faculty adviser.
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