Political Science Clubs Involve Students on Three Campuses

By Charlotte Walton

The University of North Georgia offers a variety of politically based clubs and events for its students to participate in. Some of these organizations, such as the College Democrats and College Republicans, are almost universally known. Some of these organizations and events are unique to the university itself.


Located on the Gainesville campus is the Politically Incorrect Club. The organization exists to provide students with a non-party-affiliated forum to aid students in learning about and discussing public policy and politics. It has won 14 campus-wide awards for “outstanding educational programs.” The club is advised by Dr. Douglas Young, who encourages honest speech from all students. Students learn how to critically analyze and debate the nation’s current issues and attend an annual field trip to the State Capitol.

Located on the Dahlonega and Cumming campuses are Crossfire debates, an innovative program originally organized by Dr. Carl Cavalli, professor of political science on the Dahlonega campus, to promote thinking on both national and global topics. Meredith Shea, president of the Political Science Student Association, which sponsors the Crossfire program, explains that the debates “strive to provide a platform for students of all backgrounds to have an open conversation about hot topics, regardless of political background.” Similar to the Politically Incorrect Club, Crossfire exists to allow for an open forum at which students may engage each other and improve their political knowledge.
The PSSA creates voters’ guides in the spring and/or fall and showcases candidates in an effort to better inform the student populace. Membership in the PSSA is not limited to political-science students, and, says Dr. Cavalli, it is more of a “politics club.” PSSA President Shea describes the organization’s goal as being to “foster communication and encourage political involvement by the students at UNG outside the traditional classroom.”
Dr. Stephen Northam extended the Crossfire debates to the Cumming campus last fall.


Also offered on the Dahlonega campus is Model United Nations, which seeks to aid students in understanding international cooperation among states by simulating the operations of the United Nations’ General Assembly. Dr. Jon Miner is the faculty advisor for the club and teaches a Model United Nations class in the Fall semester as well.

Students meet regularly to prepare for several conferences throughout the year. The Model UN Club attends two annual conferences each year in Atlanta (Fall Semester) and Charlotte, NC (Spring Semester). UNG Model UN hosts a simulated UN conference on the Dahlonega campus that all students can participate in during the Spring semester. The annual conference at UNG is much like the conferences the Model UN Club attends as students are divided into committees, and each represent a different country as they engage in debate, diplomacy, and public speaking activities during the conference.

Ali Seidel, the secretary of the Model UN club, explains “Model UN allows you to put all of the things you learn in your classes to work and practice being confident about your position on various issues. Model UN has allowed me to practice being a diplomat and has spurred a desire in me to have a career in diplomacy.”