The Political Science Academy (PSA) is an organization that aims to bring students and faculty together to discuss "the great issues of the day" (from al Qaeda, terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation, to civil liberties and civil rights, to zero job growth and the economy) in an informal setting. It is open to all members of the UMSL community, but is especially aimed at political science students, both undergraduate and graduate.
The Political Science Academy sponsors monthly meetings with academics, politicians, journalists, and others usually at a political science faculty member's house, in which students and faculty led by a guest speaker discuss a timely topic over refreshments in a casual setting. These meetings reinforce regular coursework and provide entrees into actual political practice. Aside from fostering lively debate on current issues of local, national, and international importance, the meetings provide a good opportunity for social interchange. PSA meetings are a great chance to meet faculty and fellow students on a personal basis outside the classroom.
Among the recent subjects discussed at PSA meetings have been "Politics and the Media: Is There a Bias?," "Is There a New Dawn in Russia?," "The North American Free Trade Agreement," "The Other November Elections: The State Government Races and the Future Leadership of Missouri," "New Directions on the U.S. Supreme Court," Grassroots Campaigning, The Contest for Control of Congress, and Iraq, Iran, and Other Hotspots in the Middle East: An Update.
PSA is an authorized student organization with an annual budget provided by the University's student activities fund. Officers are elected every April. Students are encouraged to become involved in PSA and other extracurricular activities since they can greatly enrich one's undergraduate experience at UMSL. Look for PSA announcements posted in the departmental office, 347 SSB and on bulletin boards.