The Wrangler

American Political Exchange Club

By+forming+a+circle%2C+Socratic+Seminars+give+all+members+an+equal+opportunity+to+speak+if+they+wish+to+contribute+to+the+discussion.
By forming a circle, Socratic Seminars give all members an equal opportunity to speak if they wish to contribute to the discussion.

By forming a circle, Socratic Seminars give all members an equal opportunity to speak if they wish to contribute to the discussion.

By forming a circle, Socratic Seminars give all members an equal opportunity to speak if they wish to contribute to the discussion.

Christian Muresan, Photojournalist

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There is a new club at YLHS, where a collaborative exchange of ideas regarding current and significant events are presented and discussed. The American Political Exchange Club (APEX) emphasizes the importance of giving all students at YLHS the opportunity to partake in a political atmosphere, free from ad hominem attacks (attacks aimed at a person, rather than the position they maintain).

 

Though many of the topics discussed are controversial in today’s society, the meetings are controlled and tame, since the club requires all members to respect all beliefs, especially when opinions differ. This is mainly achieved through the club’s method of using a Socratic Seminar style discussion. By creating a neutral atmosphere, a calm yet stimulating discussion is maintained.

 

Civil interactions among political figures seem to be largely lacking in the current state of our nation. The members of APEX are determined to change the way that politics are viewed by actively voicing their opinions through civilized discussion. Topics such as gender equality, gun control, free speech, etc. must be discussed and evaluated by each individual in order to take steps towards a more unified society.

 

The club began when a few students at YLHS began thinking about the harmful effects of a hostile political atmosphere. They concluded that current politics have faced a “gridlock,” where two polarized parties are not willing to compromise with each other. Having a polarized nation is not only unproductive in the world of politics, but it also creates a negative influence on many Americans.

 

When asked about some of the major issues in current political discussion, Mr. Lejano, the APEX club adviser, thinks that “A lot of us think that our society has lost its ability for people to speak civilly with each other about topics that they don’t agree on.” However, it is evident through this club that, “…we are breaking that mold with a generation that is willing to learn.”

 

The aim of the club is to not only talk about politics, but it is also designed to equip students with the ability to listen. Having a productive conversation requires both a speaker and a listener to be present. If listeners cease to exist because everyone wants to be a speaker, then nothing will ever be accomplished. This is not a tactic used to silence any voices, but it is a strategy used to amplify the voices that are not often heard.

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