Political issues club debates controversial topics

As high school students, it’s not very often that we get to speak face-to-face with senators and government representatives. Political Issues Club was formed with the goal of getting students interested in current issues seen as controversial. Typical activities involve debating issues, forming resolutions, and listening  to various political speakers, like senators and representatives.

Although attendance depending on the topic being debated, the club boasts around 15 frequent members. The issue being discussed brings in many interested students. Topics debated so far include traffic cameras, gay rights, and tax policy.

“People should join because it is an overall great experience. You get to learn about various topics and learn the opinions of your fellow classmates,” said the club’s leader, junior Jacob Pence.

Acting as “speaker of the house”, Pence leads the mock legislature. “ I cannot vote or debate on issues; I just moderate the debates,” said Pence. He started the club after being in Mr. Dyvig’s class last year and enjoying the mock debates. “Students got to debate, and express their opinions on controversial issues in the nation. I talked with my friend, [junior] Justin King, and we decided to create the club,” said Pence.

Social studies teachers Mr. Dyvig and Mr. Schmidt attend meetings and recommend solutions or supply background information, even though they cannot vote in the debates.

A typical meeting has three phases: proposal phase, formation/amendment phase, and lastly, the voting phase. During the proposal phase, students form their opinions during debate. Brainstorming problems, the members take sides on the issue and vote. Secretary Justin King records everything and creates it into a singular bill. After further debate, it will be amended if needed with a ⅔ vote. After the vote, a new topic will be created for the next meeting.

Political Issues Club meets Friday mornings at 7:15 a.m in Mr. Dyvig’s room (259) or Mr. Schmidt’s room (256). Anyone is welcome to attend.

Class of 2014

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