Club Discusses Politics in A School Environment – By: Nigella McConnell

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Political Action is a club where students who feel strongly about politics can talk about the issues that they care deeply about. “I didn’t know about the details but since joining Political Action, I have learned more about them and I’m getting more involved in political issues,” Sam Newberry said.  

 Political Action formed back in August of 2019 and has been meeting ever since. The club was started by Nigella McConnell and PJ Jungblut, a former GHS student. We asked Ms. Ward, an English teacher and MiProject consultant, to be our faculty advisor. “I was a political science minor when I went through school, so I’ve always been interested in the idea of who has power and who doesn’t have power,” Ward said. The club’s purpose is to educate themselves, communicate effectively, and to allow young voices to be heard. So far, the club has talked about issues such as climate change, gun violence, and how our current economic state connects to the political environment that has emerged in recent years. When asked how the club has benefitted him as a person, Daniel Lamboy (12th grade) says, “I’m legit just learning some things about what’s going on in the world.” Political Action is needed in our current school environment because political issues impact the way students think every day.

 The club has helped the students involved find a sense of community and make new bonds with each other during every meeting. “We are able to compromise and everyone understands that all sides need to be heard,” Kyle Tarchinksi (11th) says. Even though the club has some good qualities, it could always use some new improvements, such as acting on the issues discussed rather than talking about them. “People should know that it’s just more than debates. We can take action. Put your words into action because it’s unhealthy if you don’t. And even if you feel like you’re doing nothing, you’re doing something. It’s better to be a rock that’s been pushed than a rock deep underwater,” Tarchinski continued. Gabe Jordan (11th) also says the club could improve by “connecting with other schools or get more involved with things that are happening in the world or outside of school,”.

 Most people are reluctant to join the club because they believe that the members are completely liberal and unwilling to hear differing views or opinions. This is simply not true. The club advertises itself on posters that can be found all around the school. The posters say some of the following “ALL OPINIONS WELCOME! NO ATTEMPTED ASSIMILATION! ALL SIDES REPRESENTED!” The club obviously wants to make it known that they want students of differing views to get involved. The club also prides itself on having peaceful conversations. When asked what the club’s best quality is, Jordan (11th) says, “Definitely welcoming other people and their ideas.”

The club is currently working toward registering students who are about 18 years old to vote on February 25th, 2020. To join the club, all students have to do is come to at least one meeting. If they enjoy the discussions, they are more than welcome to return to the club the following week. Elise Fitzpatrick (10th), the mediator or as she is called by her group members, The Secretary of State, says, “It would be better if we had people who had different opinions because we’d have a bit more to talk about within the topics and we won’t always be agreeing with each other.” The club meets every Thursday from 3 pm-4 pm in room 217.  

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