Politics club expands social sciences at JSC

The desire for lengthy political discussions and passion for expanding the social sciences at JSC has led to the creation of a politics club on campus. Co-founded by current SGA President Benjamin Simone and John Dabrowski about a month ago, the club looks forward to providing opportunities to learn more about politics and its integration into different social sciences for anyone who is interested.

Simone says that he is really invested in his double major of political science and mathematics, which drove him to start thinking of ways that he could become more involved with it. “I really wanted to create a club where we could learn more,” he said, “[where] we could push ourselves further than we have been in class.”

However, politics club is not only for those who are studying political science. Simone said that they want to provide the opportunity for everyone that is interested to learn more. Currently, the club consists of mostly political science majors, but Simone said that there are two students involved who are not.

Being able to hear the perspectives of those who are studying different subjects and their relation to political science is particularly interesting to Simone. “Political psychology [for example] is fascinating and to have that voice is great,” he said.

“The club strives to promote intelligent research and thought about politics,” said Simone. One of the goals of the club is to create an academic journal that students can submit their research to and have it be published on the journal’s website, and possibly eventually in print.

“We created the Johnson State College Journal of Social Sciences, where students can submit research they’ve done, be that any format, they can submit it to us,” said Simone. “We as a club can review it and get editing experience reviewing a research document and then they can have their name published in an undergraduate journal, which is incredible. It really allows students an opportunity that they wouldn’t have had before. When you apply to grad schools like most of us in the club are, we’ll be able to say we have editing experience in an academic journal. That’s huge.”

Simone said that the journal will be open to all social science research. “It really allows us to reach out to other majors,” he said. “It allows us to see how they can relate together.”

However, the journal is in its preliminary stages and Simone says that they have not had many submissions. “Having created this club later in the year it’s been more difficult to find a continuous structure,” he said. “We’re a relatively new club but we’d like to set a precedent for what an academic club can produce.”

Politics club is also responsible for helping to bring a Russian Lyndon State College professor to campus to debate with Associate Professor David Plazek, who is the faculty advisor to the club. “They are going to discuss and debate the Ukrainian crisis from a Russian perspective and an American perspective,” said Simone, who says that the club has created the questions for this debate.

Overall politics club is relatively small right now, with about seven members. “We’d love more than anything to have more people come,” said Simone. “Like it or not politics influence everything and I’d like for people to see that and come talk to us more about politics.”

People of all levels of political knowledge are welcome and encouraged to attend club meetings. “The goal of the club is to increase the knowledge of the individuals within it,” said Simone, “and any way we can do that we’d be happy and excited to do.”