Political Science Department

Pi Sigma Alpha

Zeta Upsilon Chapter

Founded in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society. Our local chapter, Zeta Upsilon, was instituted in 1974 by the late Professor Charley Tidmarch. Since then, uninterruptedly, the honor society has been offering opportunities for leadership and service on our campus. Currently, one of the professors in our department, Zoe Oxley, serves as President of the national Pi Sigma Alpha organization.

Thanks to the initiative and energy of some of our most creative and committed Majors, our local chapter is quite active. For three years, from 2007-2010 we sponsored the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, and we regularly organize and co-sponsor talks, film series, and other events of political relevance. Our students are also active writers and scholars -as seen in the Zeta Upsilon special issue in The Union Banner, and the attendance of four of our Majors to present papers at the national Pi Sigma Alpha Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2015. Two students were sent to the undergraduate research conference in 2020.

Zeta Upsilon’s dinners, debates, and registration campaigns during electoral years have become a tradition, as have our annual essay contest, the yearly gathering of students and alumni (many of whom are Pi Sigma Alpha members), and our elegant year-end banquet with the Political Science faculty, which every Spring offers an opportunity to celebrate together the intellectual life in our Department. In 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2015, Zeta Upsilon was distinguished with a Best Chapter Award.

The criteria for eligibility for selection to our chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha are the following: PSC major or ID major; junior or senior status; overall GPA in the top 1/3 of the class; at least 4 PSC courses taken; and, PSC GPA of 3.5 or higher.