By Samantha Phillips
It’s only been active for a year, but Youngstown State University’s Alpha Alpha Rho chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, an honors society for political science, has already won the organization’s best local chapter award.
Pi Sigma Alpha gives awards to local chapters based on their enrollment. A total of 12 chapters were awarded, and each winner got a $250 grant.
Greta Frost, president of Alpha Alpha Rho, said her chapter was excited to win because their student leaders worked hard to get the organization back off the ground last year.
“We worked very hard last year, and we are all very passionate about education, politics academia,” Frost said. “We hope we can apply again next spring and get it. We were proud to receive this award.”
Paul Sracic, chair of the department of politics and international relations, said the society was dormant for years, but assistant professor Adam Fuller reformed it last year.
“We’re really proud,” Sracic said. “They’re an ambitious group. They do a lot of things with the community and the election.”
Fuller said the group’s volunteering efforts caught the judges’ attention. After the terrorist attack in Paris, the group held a dinner and bar crawl to raise money for victims, and painted the campus rock with a “Pete for Paris” logo.
“They were impressed about the fact that a brand new chapter was so energetic in its first year,” Fuller said. “[And] by how the students sprang into action.”
With the upcoming national and local election, the group is focused on educating voters on campus this semester. Frost said they will have tables set up in Kilcawley Center where they will provide information on candidates and issues and help students register to vote, if they haven’t yet.
“Our goal is to provide opportunities for people regardless of party,” Frost said. “It doesn’t matter to me who they support; I just want them to go out and vote.”
Frost said the group is nonpartisan, and the students have open-minded conversations with people of various political ideologies.
The honor society gives students the opportunity to network, go to political conferences and promote education and politics on campus, Fuller said.
“It’s a prestigious honor to be a member,” he said. “The vast majority of their peers are not eligible to be a part of this honor society, so it’s something they can put on their resumes.”
Fuller said he’s proud of the work they’ve done.
“I’m really happy to have reactivated a chapter that has been recognized so quickly by the national office as one of the best chapters in the nation,” he said.