Club Spotlight: Dreyfoos Political Society creates organized debate

Mary Rasura, Arts Staffer

A typical Political Society meeting involves freshly ordered pizza and debating. When you have a group of passionate high school students discussing politics, a heated debate is inevitable.

These debates are a way for Dreyfoos students to discuss politics in a manner where all political parties are being represented. However, the club originally started out as the Young Democrats Society.

“We decided that we should be having more of a dialogue with students who are conservative and liberal, and it morphed into the less sectarian Political Society,”club sponsor and social studies teacher Tom Ruth said.

Mr. Ruth believes that while the majority of Dreyfoos students are liberal, conservative students deserve to be represented as well.

“We’re known for being a very liberal school and there are sometimes frustrated voices from the political right. You can’t always listen to your own opinion,” Mr. Ruth said. “You need to, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, air your views in a civil way and try to affect positive change for America.”

Political Society meetings are meant to foster discussion, with students weighing in on pressing political topics.

“Sometimes we’ll have topics that we’ll throw out. ‘Should the United States send ground troops to ISIS?’ [or] ‘Should medical marijuana be approved on the ballot?’” Mr. Ruth said.

Mr. Ruth would like to harness club members’ natural affinity for debating as a means to educate the general Dreyfoos community.

“I really wanted to do speech and debate presentations of candidate’s views […] it’s really the pleasure of political discussion,” said Mr. Ruth..

Several students who were members of Political Society continued with those interests in their higher education.

“Some of the students who are interested in this do go into those fields of study like history, political science [and] law. We get a lot of that. ” said Mr. Ruth.

Ultimately, Mr. Ruth believes that creating a platform for students debate is what makes the club enjoyable.

“I like things that arouse strong emotion. Learning how to passionately discuss but also listen to the other person, I enjoy that as an intellectual opportunity and past time,” said Mr. Ruth. “It’s the first thing that I do in the morning, rip open the newspaper to read the right editorial and the left editorial. I’m hoping that it gets me fired up.”