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Students lead election education effort


CORRECTION: Previously, we reported that Alex Ericksen (’13) was the president of the Young Republicans Club. This is factually inaccurate, as he is not a member of the club.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s stressful campaigns for the U.S. presidency are nearing their collective end. On November 6, both candidates will discover their fates, and they have the world as their audience, including the ASL community.

Young Democrats Club Co-Presidents Deirdre Ely (’13) and India Patel (’13) and  Alex Ericksen (’13) are spearheading the effort to educate and involve ASL students in the current US presidential election.

Ely believes that every student should take note of the political event, due to its role in preserving freedom. “Our goal is very simple – to educate the student body about the election and help them to become motivated to take part in their political process,” she said. “It shouldn’t matter how old you are, what country you are from, or to what political creed you adhere. Voting and elections are how we preserve our freedom, and everyone should have a vested interest in that.”

In order to inform and prepare the High School community for the elections, the Young Democrats Club has been presenting one theme a week since October 1 and will end the initiative on November 6. In a bid to cover all aspects of the election, themes include ‘Evolution of Party Politics’, ‘Foreign Policy of Candidates’, and ‘Economic Policies.’

Videos of various debates will be broadcasted on high school plasma screens. There will be an elections-themed quiz bowl on October 16. Also, a debate in the commons will take place in coordination with the Debate Club. The candidates’s economic policies will also be explored in Economics and AP Statistics classes.

On October 11, former presidential candidate John McCain will speak at ASL. All High School and eighth grade students are invited to attend.

The Young Democrats Club’s work this year will not come to an end following the conclusion of the elections, though. Patel said that throughout the year, the club plans on facilitating and discussing “ongoing debates both in the US and abroad.” International politics will also be covered by the club.

In several meetings with Dean of Students Joe Chodl, Director of Academic Advising and College Counseling Patty Strohm, and select student leaders, Ely, Patel and Ericksen discussed facilitating the process. Chodl praised the trio for their dedication in what has been a student initiative. “The kudos should be given to Alex, India and Deirdre because they’ve really taken the initiative here and they’re running with it,” he said. “In a perfect world, students would run everything and we would be the secondary people facilitating.”

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