The youth vote has spiked lately, with participation in primary elections just shy of the record set when the voting age was first lowered to 18. What’s more intense is the youth political movement, with some form of political discussion common in the everyday high school conversation. To provide a more engaging environment for these politically active students, the Polytics Club acts as a hub for all local, national, and international political discussion and debate.
“I think that it is vital for teens to not only be aware of current events but to also formulate opinions regarding those events,” junior Francesca Aloiso said at a recent meeting, “[the] Polytics Club offers a forum for informed teens to discuss these issues with their peers in an environment where they will actually be heard, not ignored, as many teens are while discussing current events with adults.”
While students may have a well-developed and substantial opinion, they are largely limited to blogs and lunchroom conversations to actually articulate an idea. While the debate team is another way to do this, participants are assigned a view and restricted to formality. Polytics is a way for any student to express their own views in an informal environment.
Junior Tesii Wagner said, “I’m expecting to understand other people’s points of view about what’s happening in the world because I only really understand the reasons behind my own opinions.”
Even if students don’t have a formulated opinion, meeting with others in a similar situation and with students who do have opinions is a way for the student body to improve their awareness of both current events and the impact on others. Polytics Secretary Rachel Sellers said, “Polytics engages students in informed conversation and can allow them to figure out where their beliefs lie.”
Polytics was founded last year by Hussoon Nayef and Andrew Nelson, and currently has 37 members. Meetings are held in Mr. Campbell’s room (room 121) after school every Tuesday or Wednesday. Most of the coordination is via its Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7556190821&ref=ts), but all meetings are advertised on the club advertisement board behind the counselors’ offices.