Center for the Study of Govt. and Law | Saint Francis University
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Center for the Study of Govt. and Law

  • Mission

    Contact Us
    Joseph A. Melusky, Ph.D.
    Director, Professor of Political Science
    316B Scotus Hall
    Saint Francis University
    Loretto, PA 15940
    (814) 472-3060

    "You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you." -- Marshall Berman

    This Center's programs emphasize the importance of engaged, informed, and active citizenship. The Center's core message is that citizens in a democratic society have rights and responsibilities. They must be prepared to recognize the former and to assume the latter. By offering programs that underscore the relevance of governmental and legal developments to their lives, the Center helps students become better prepared for lives of civic engagement.

    "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people that mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge brings." -- James Madison


    • Inspiring a love of lifelong learning
    • Earning a national reputation for academic excellence with a particular emphasis on developing citizens who will lead or serve with character and values in their chosen professions and communities
    • Striving to confront students with the full force of the diverse developments taking place in all aspects of modern life, drawing on the experiences of their predecessors, and helping students chart a realistic course for the future -- their own and that of society
    • Encouraging the free and open exchange of ideas and responsible action
    • Striving to be compassionate to all and especially to the poor and the disenfranchised; engaging in active service to the poor and to those with special needs
    • Preparing graduates for service and achievement in a career and civic life  
    • Improving the academic experience through service learning, curricular and co-curricular links, study abroad, internships, and student research; providing opportunities for students to lead, serve and grow through academic, and cultural offerings that are engaging, enjoyable, and educational.
    • Graduates who are responsible citizens committed to ethical leadership and service to others; integrating the skills, knowledge, and values bases that inform questions of ethical responsibility and social justice
    • Creating community by developing programs and services for the campus and surrounding area; building relationships by seeking partners and collaborators to advance the University's mission, vision, and strategic goals; providing community outreach programs and activities that educate and serve  

    These elements of the Saint Francis University Statement of Mission, Vision Statement, Educational Philosophy, Goals of Franciscan Higher Education, and Strategic Themes all relate directly to the citizenship-based mission of this Center. The Center coordinates curricular and co-curricular programs that inform students' interest in politics, government, and law. Such programs are designed to provide a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, establishing a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in the future. Our students are students for four years; they are citizens for the rest of their lives.  

    "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society than the people themselves. . . . If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." --Thomas Jefferson  


    The Center works with the Pre-Law Club, the political science, public administration/government service, and pre-law programs, and other bodies to offer a wide variety of relevant programs. This Center coordinates, supports, and publicizes programs like the following:  

    • Mock National Convention 
    • Model United Nations (on-campus and off-campus,
    • Voter Registration Drives
    • Moot Court (Pre-Law Club)  
    • Legal Debate Program for area high school students (Pre-Law Club)  
    • National Constitution Day Program (Pre-Law Club)  
    • Trips to United States Supreme Court (Spring) and National Constitution Center (Fall)  
    • Trips to visit law schools (Pre-Law Club)  
    • Dorsey-Muller Pre-Law Awards  
    • LSAT Preparation Sessions (on-campus or at Penn State University)
    • Under the Capitol Dome Program for area high school students  
    • Pi Sigma Alpha, National Political Science Honor Society  
    • Political Science Research Forum  
    • Placements with the Center for Political Science Fellows  
    • Internship Placements (including Washington Center, Washington Internship Institute, and Ann Eppard Memorial Internship Scholarship)  
    • Congressman Bud Shuster archival materials  
    • Politics and Popcorn Film Series  
    • Gleason Lecture Series  
    • Additional Guest Speakers and Panel Discussions.  

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be." -- Thomas Jefferson  

    "A silent majority and government by the people are incompatible." -Tom Hayden  

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin