This year Marquette University is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the political science major. To commemorate the anniversary, events are being held throughout the year and aim to celebrate student accomplishments while also focusing on the future of political science.
Professor Risa Brooks, a political science professor at Marquette and the chair of the Anniversary Committee said the celebration is important because it recognizes the students who will shape the next 100 years of political science at Marquette.
“We want to encourage people to see that politics isn’t a bad word, that it’s something positive,” Brooks said. “We all can benefit from learning about it and doing it better as a community and country.”
The events will also bring attention to the “cynicism around politics” through discussion panels combined with professors and students.
Brooks said professors will share current issues they see in politics in the United States and globally, and discuss how those issues are shaping their teaching and research at the panels. Students will then share issues that they are concerned with and raise emphasis on topics they desire to learn more about.
“Our first event was last April, and it brought together a cross-section of students to talk about what they liked about the political science department to get them in conversation about their studies and what it means to them,” Brooks said.
Brooks said In addition to the April event, there was also the “Past, Present, and Future Political Science at Marquette” event this September.
Alex Fountain, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences said, “The Past, Present, and Future” event is not only the kickoff event theme, it will also be reflected throughout the whole course of the year.”
The next event, “Celebrating a century of mission-driven political science” is planned for Tuesday, October 10, 2023, in the Alumni Memorial Union ballroom. It will primarily focus on Marquette Alumni and feature a reception and dinner to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the political science major and the 35th Anniversary of The Les Aspin Center for Government. The Les Apsin Center provides an opportunity for students to work in an internship personalized to their career goals while also taking classes in Washington D.C.
“It will feature recent alumni from different career paths in business such as government and corporate relations,” Brooks said. “They will discuss their experience as students and how studying political science set them up for their lives.”
Brooks said more events will be coming, but they are still in the works. The invites will be sent to political science students, but all are welcome to attend and be a part of the community.
Nicole Laudolff, a Senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said, even if political science is not your main interest, it is a great resource that provides internships and mentorships.
“I’ve learned everything in our world is political, whether you like it or not,” Laudolff said. “It’s not simply who you vote for.”
Fountain said there are not beliefs or ideas thrown at students in political science, but rather students are taught how to reason through issues.
“Don’t be discouraged from taking political sciences courses just because you’re not a political person,” Fountain said. “Just because you don’t love watching the news or talking about politics doesn’t mean that it’s not for you.”
Brooks said Students don’t realize it, because they don’t go to other schools, but Brooks said the way you learn political science is in a very powerful way at Marquette.
“Students may differ on the solutions to problems, but they have a common commitment to solving those problems in a sound and ethical way through the mission of Marquette,” Brooks said. “I believe that makes political science here at Marquette special.”