“I love CU and taking classes everyday. I’m very passionate about learning and working to establish positive change. We need to see change in the world and I believe that young people are the ones with the capability to do so.”
As one of the co-president of CU’s National Political Honors Fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha, Parker is highly interested in politics. The fraternity is “a group of like-minded students who are really passionate about political science and get together to have discussions about the political climate, what we’ve been learning in our classes, and how that applies to the world around us,” Parker says. The fraternity will also often invite speakers from different fields to show what a degree in political science can look like in the real world.
“It’s very unstructured. I think we’re all very structured in our daily lives and schedules, so I like to keep things a little more casual,” she says. It’s a great opportunity to get together and talk about politics. To enter the fraternity, students must be juniors or seniors who have completed at least ten hours of coursework in political science, including at least one upper division course. Students must have achieved a B in all political science coursework. In addition, to enter the fraternity students must have an overall GPA that places them in the top one-third of their class.
“Right now it is a very interesting time to be a Political Science major with all the changes that are going on in our world,” Parker says. “I think there’s this misconception that Boulder is just this liberal political safe haven and no one has opposing viewpoints. That is certainly not the case. I’m very impressed by the Political Science Department and our professors’ ability to have political conversations in a way that allows students to develop their own independent opinions.”
Higher education should be an opportunity to open minds and kindle passions. “We’re all so privileged to be attending this University and everyone needs to be grateful and aware of that fact. Students should take advantage of all the opportunities to learn on campus. Use your knowledge become informed and engaged” she urges. “You can use the knowledge you gained at CU to help you make positive changes in the environment around you.”
How do students do this? According to Parker, we must:
“Use all opportunities to learn and expose yourself to different opinions. Be informed, be engaged. If you disagree with something, don’t be apathetic. Advocate for change. We are highly educated, smart, and capable young people, so we all should make use of the resources we possess,” she says with animation. “We are all intelligent, creative, and passionate students, so we must all make use of our capabilities to advocate for positive change in our communities.”
As an aspiring law school student, Bailey Parker is using every opportunity she can to challenge herself and her peers. She is more than prepared for her career ahead, and the department will miss her when she has graduated.
Samantha Jayne, now a Senior at CU Boulder, is majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish. “I’ve always been interested in political science and the government. I guess I was predisposed to it because both my parents were political science majors,” she says. “I remember growing up, they would always have the news on and be talking about these issues.”
“I really love Colorado. For me it’s practically studying abroad,” Jayne says. “[CU] was the only out of state school I applied to. It looked really good online and on paper. I applied and once I got accepted I came out here and toured and that’s when I knew I had to go here.”
Jayne is both co-president of Phi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Fraternity, and president of Phi Alpha Delta, CU’s pre-law fraternity. In speaking on Phi Alpha Delta, Jayne says “we’re pretty big. I know the past years we’ve come in second for recruitment.” Speakers come in to talk about their careers in the legal field so it’s a great place to network with fellow students and professionals.
Her involvement makes her active leader while also preparing her for law school. “I’m studying for the LSAT now,” Jayne says. Although she’s interested in family law, she’s still exploring her options.
Her Spanish minor gives her a unique perspective, and she plans on using it in her career. “I didn’t take many language courses in high school. I had to make up my language credits and I enjoyed learning Spanish,” she says. “By the time I made up what would be my third year of a language, I just decided to go for the minor. I think being able to speak Spanish is a really good tool. I love learning another language and being able to apply it. I think it’ll be very valuable when I’m a lawyer and have that reach.”
In studying political science, Jayne recognizes the importance of understanding the world around her. “I think it’s about being informed. It’s about turning on the news and understand the discourse that is going on and being able to follow it,” Jayne emphasizes. “For me, it’s being able to look more with a critical eye and being able to understand what I’m seeing. I just love watching how the different systems work.”
Her advice is to stay informed and stay active. “So many people don’t know how the government works,” Jayne says. “You should probably know how it works,” she laughs.