University to host political science conference

The university is set to host the 2017 Indiana Political Science Association  conference March 24 in Carter Hall.

The statewide organization gathers every year to host a conference that promotes the exchange of political ideas.

The conference is usually hosted and organized by the university where the president of the organization is employed.

“As the president, I am hoping that we will not only be able to showcase our organization, but also grow the organization too,” IPSA President Matt Hanka said.

This will be the first time the university has hosted the conference since 2013 when Associate Professor of Political Science Mary Hallock Morris was president of the IPSA.

“Four years ago she did a really good job, and I hope to continue that this year,” Hanka said.

Hanka, an associate professor of political science, said that some of the most successful conferences have been hosted by the university.

He said some conferences have been canceled in the past because there was no organization toward planning.

He said students benefit from the conference because of the low pressure atmosphere.

“Students can come and be more comfortable presenting their research in a setting like this as opposed to the Midwest Political Science Association,” Hanka said.

While there is no total yet for the number of people attending, Hanka said he expects around 80 students and faculty.

The registration deadline for the event was last Wednesday, but he said students who still wish to register that are not presenting research may still register for the conference online or at the door on the day of.

Registration is $25 for undergraduates, $40 for graduates and $50 for faculty.

The conference is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and President Linda Bennett is expected to make the opening remarks.

Professor of Communication Studies at IUPUI Kristina Sheeler will be the keynote speaker for the conference, presenting her speech “Campaign 2016: A New Era of Lowered Expectations.”

Sheeler’s most recent book “Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture” analyzes the frames through which the political candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were presented to the public.

Hanka said there will be a reception in the Performance Center lobby the night before the conference.

Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Raymond and Chair of the Political Science department Oana Armeanu assisted Hanka in reviewing the proposals.

Raymond said he will be presenting his research on how school board representatives run campaigns.

“This will include how much money they raise, how they recruit volunteers and how the campaign communications function,” he said.

Raymond said they have reviewed almost 70 proposals from all areas of politics.

Each proposal will be assigned a discussion panel for review and comments on the research. Undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty have all submitted proposals.

“I wasn’t involved at all with the organization before this year,” he said. “I am involved this year because it is at USI and I wanted to help make sure the conference runs smoothly.”