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It’s just politics

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It’s the end of the first Thursday after Christmas break. From the view of a small classroom in A hall, people can be seen rushing past.  Seven people sit spread out in the brightly lit room. The tick tick of the computer keys can be heard in the breakout room where Mr. Spranger, the required (mandatory) adult supervisor of the Politics Club sits. A huge box of mixed chips is placed at the back of the room that is provided as a snack for the club.

Amangual Hydyrova is at the head of the class shuffling around different papers. Two other students sit at the front of the class patiently waiting for the club to begin. They continuously look at the door as people pass by.

Finally, Amangual called Ana by her friends, begins the club with a nervous hello. She immediately begins to talk about the goal of the Politics club to raise awareness for Human trafficking.

She explains that the girls Varsity basketball game taking place January 10 will be the perfect opportunity to get donations.

The awkward pauses and overlapping ideas all point out the first steps of becoming a new club. Everyone is very eager to share out ideas about the best way to raise donations.

There’s a slight issue of when to get donations. There is silence in the room until someone has a great idea of putting the donations basket not just at the beginning where people walk in but near the concessions so people can donate when they’re getting their snacks. There are nods and murmurs of agreement.

After the discussion, Anna asks if the group wants to play a game. She’s very nervous and isn’t exactly sure how the group will respond.  Everyone responds with nods, the ice has not been broken yet.

She shuffles some papers around and finally finds what she wants. She takes four pieces of paper with the bold words of STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE, DISAGREE. She takes these papers and places each one on four different desks.

Anna then proceeds to explain she will introduces a topic and everyone will choose their stance.

The main topic was immigration.

Anna shared the questions from a list on her phone. The first statement she said was, “There are too many immigrants coming to the United States.”

One person moved to the strongly agree desk and the rest of the three people moved to the agree desk.

The statements are said and people shuffle around to the different desks. The result of the activity turns out to be that the members of the politics club have similar views.

When it comes to the topic of if “the U.S. government should put more Immigration and Naturalization Service border patrol agents on the border with Mexico,” everyone disagreed with the idea. Ana, however, was quick to put in her opinion. “You want to have some control, you don’t want all the immigrants,” Ana said.

During the discussion of immigration and border control, President Trump’s plan of building a wall on the Mexican border came up. Opinions were said but one member made an interesting point as a result of building a wall. Instead of focusing on immigration, he wondered how the environment would be affected.

Other statements included:

1. Illegal immigrants take away jobs from U.S. citizens.
2. If a country is having economic problems, the U.S. should allow its residents to come
here for a better life.
3. Everyone who comes to the U.S. should be required to learn English.

The last statement had differing views in the club. The majority agreed English should be required but some argued that would take away from the culture or individuality of that person.

During the middle of the discussion, the custodian came in and grabbed the trash can. There were quick glances to him but everyone went back to listening to Ana. As a foreign exchange student, the immigration topic was a major issue for Ana. She shared her experience as an immigrant in America. “It’s really hard to come here… even like visiting on a visa,” Ana said.

Everyone’s eyes were focused on Ana as she explained the hardships of trying to come to America.

Suddenly the tick tick of Spranger’s computer stopped, and he appeared out of the breakout room.

This was a signal for Ana to start wrapping up things.  With a little wave of her hand, “You can go back to your seats,” Ana said. The papers that read STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE, DISAGREE remained on the desks.

Ana reminded everyone of the basketball game on Thursday. As she was talking, Mr. Spranger asked if the club wanted a name change.

There was silence until one student said, “Student Revolution” with a slight pump of his hand. Everyone groaned at the silliness of the name.

Everyone agreed to keep the name Politics Club. The last issue discussed before the club dispersed was the range of opinions. It was agreed by everyone that the club agreed too much on the discussed topics. They wanted a goal of having different opinions and perspectives. Anna promised to find more people with different views.

You can find the Politics Club on Instagram; their motto is “It’s just politics”.

 

 

 

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