The Southern California International Review, USC’s undergraduate journal of international studies, hosted its release party for its Spring 2014 issue at the University Club Monday night.
Funded by the university, the SCIR publishes twice a year and seeks to advance discussion on pressing global issues.
Monday’s event, the First Annual Release Symposium, celebrated the published work of undergraduate students in international affairs all across the globe, and those in attendance were able to network and pick up copies of the published journal.
Distributed globally, the SCIR receives submissions from undergraduate students around the world and staff then chooses the five best pieces to be published.
Editor-in-chief of the SCIR Matthew Prusak noted that the SCIR is the largest journal of its kind on the West Coast, with competitors at Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“West of the Mississippi we’re the biggest journal in town, and that’s starting to show,” Prusak said. “We get many, many excellent pieces — it’s competitive. We’re proud of the final product.”
He specified that submissions to the journal doubled in the fall issue and again in the spring.
Some of the authors of the journal were in attendance for the release party Monday night. Sean McGuire, author of “Explaining Jewish Terrorism in Mandatory Palestine,” said he was very proud to have been selected for the journal.
“I’m really thrilled to have been published,” McGuire said. “I didn’t expect to get selected at all because I know the reputation of this journal has been expanding globally, and I know the competition is really stiff.”
McGuire, a USC alumnus who graduated from the university last December with a degree in international relations and economics, wrote his piece for a class he had taken at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
“I had written a good paper for a religion and political science and journalism class … I expanded the paper really with the goal of submitting it to [SCIR],” McGuire said.
His piece studied the reasons why certain minority groups lash out in pursuit of their freedom and analyzed case studies from the first half of the 21st century regarding the Jewish population in Mandatory Palestine –— a British civil administration operating in the Palestine region from 1920 to 1948.
“I’m interested in the question of why some minority groups — specifically religious minority groups — turn violent in expressing their sovereignty,” McGuire said.
Prusak noted that the SCIR fosters a culture of identity for international relations students, and churns out an admirable publication.
“This organization [has] really just become a way for the [international relations] community to rally around its own culture,” Prusak said. “We work together, we create a good product — that’s what its about.”