Club Spotlight: Harriton Political Club

Jake Marks, Staff Writer

The presidential election of 2008 was a landmark for multiple reasons, not the least of which was the election of an African-American president. However, another dynamic that was incredibly important was the youth vote. Twenty-two million voters under the age of thirty went to the polls – over two million more than the previous election. Our generation has a lot of ideas about politics and government that we want to put into action. In addition to the increased voter turnout, that enthusiasm can be seen in local political activism.

It is that same spirit of political involvement and participation that led current Harriton seniors to found the fledgling Harriton Political Club. The club strives to establish a forum for debate, information, and camaraderie for those that are interested in politics. The group has no partisan affiliation – in fact, it encourages those without a political background to come and listen to arguments from Democratic, Republican, and other party perspectives. Of course, if you are a longtime political fanatic, you are welcome to come and participate – but bring your best facts and be ready for some tough opposition!

Although the club meets regularly in Mr. Robinson’s first-floor room, the meetings are not strictly formal or moderated. This is because each meeting is centered around the exposition and debate of a certain issue, which some students may feel more strongly than others about. If you consider yourself to be an expert on a subject, you can lead a discussion on it. Another day, you may find yourself taking more of a learning role.

In its first year, the club managed to net a small but devoted crew of participants that eagerly shared arguments and listened to each other roughly twice a month. This year, they seek not only to establish a larger membership, but organize political activities outside of debate and discussion. These would include political activism, introduction of outside speakers (such as local politicians or staffers), and hopefully a mock election for the 2012 campaign year. If you are a student who is well-versed in politics, or interested in learning more about politics or governmental issues, listen for further announcements about how you can get involved with the 2012-2013 Harriton Political Club!