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Current events club takes over

Seniors+Mollie+McGrann%2C+Kelly+Rash+and+Caroline+Koehl+get+together+to+plan+their+future+meetings+on+the+Current+Events+club.
Seniors Mollie McGrann, Kelly Rash and Caroline Koehl get together to plan their future meetings on the Current Events club.

Seniors Mollie McGrann, Kelly Rash and Caroline Koehl get together to plan their future meetings on the Current Events club.

Jane Guidera

Jane Guidera

Seniors Mollie McGrann, Kelly Rash and Caroline Koehl get together to plan their future meetings on the Current Events club.

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Seniors Mollie McGrann, Caroline Koehl and Kelly Rash sparked the idea of forming the Current Events Club in 2016 after the presidential election sparked political tension among the student body. The club takes place in Mr. Aman’s room, 206, and holds monthly meetings in which they discuss the current topics striking the headlines.

“Kelly, Caroline and I wanted to create a platform for students to get involved with the community, and be engaged here in our local government while debating hot topics in the news,” senior Mollie McGrann said, “and Orono lacked the time and space where these political tensions could be relieved through thoughtful and supportive discussion.”

There have been three meetings and over 30 people have attended each meeting, resulting in students having to sit on the ground as the club has become so popular. Bringing current events to a high school can be important, as many teachers have recognized the usefulness in teaching a class where students have good news reading skills and an awareness of current affairs, according to Education World.

“I love being able to hear everyone’s different opinions on prominent events,” senior Harry Graham said.

Current Events Club has become a main platform for students to come together and discuss important issues. The club supports all beliefs and political views, as it is formed on the purpose of being informative. Any student can attend the meetings and choose to state their opinion or sit back and listen to the opposing viewpoints unfold.

“I am not super involved in politics, so it is interesting to hear multiple viewpoints discussed about a wide array of topics that interest me and keep me informed,” senior Jack Randolph said.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, understanding current affairs can help students engage in communication from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Encouraging students to see the world through other eyes can be important to understanding the concept of identity, according to Robert Campbell, the principal of Impington, a college outside of Cambridge.

“I thought this club would be a good step towards creating a dialogue in our school on important issues. Sometimes our school can become divided on these issues because a lot of students have strongly held beliefs,” senior Caroline Koehl said, “so I really wanted to create a time when students who disagree or want to learn more about these issues could come and do that.”

So far, the topics have included immigration, gun control and sexual assault. Raising student awareness of global issues is growing in importance as the world becomes more interdependent. Talking about these issues can help defeat the idea of narrow-mindedness as students become exposed to a variety of ideals, according to PBS.

“We believe these tough conversations, whether they be about mental illness in relation to gun control or the gray area separating mutual flirting from sexual assault, mark the beginning of progress,” McGrann said.

These crucial concepts can prepare young people for the global economy. As more students become informed the global skills gap can diminish, according to Think Global. As the global skills gap weakens, the upcoming generations will become more educated on the current affairs affecting our world.
“I am super happy with how the club meetings have gone so far, and I am very grateful that we are allowed to do this, and that people have been enthusiastic participants,” Koehl said.

The club leaders goals flourished as they were driven to find a way for students to express their opinions. This allows for students to discuss topics that are out of their comfort zone and that they may never have a chance to talk about, even at home.

“As we sought advice from Mr. Aman, we collectively decided that Current Events Club would be the best way to ease political tensions and provoke thoughtful discussion,” McGrann said.

By discussing these prominent topics surrounding the day to day life, it can encourage people to feel more confident as they become more educated, according to Tom Franklin, the Think Global chief executive.

“I believe we have fostered meaningful conversations. These conversation are not easy to have, and are not easy with fellow classmates in a school setting,” McGrann said, “although, we all identify with heavily left ideals, we are constantly discussing our beliefs, and reflecting on our understandings as club members bring up different opinions and insights during discussion.”

These insightful discussions can build students language, vocabulary, reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, oral expression and listening skills, according to Education World.

“We hope that when club participants leave each meeting, they leave with a better understanding of their classmates, their friends and themselves,” McGrann said.

In Current Events Club, students will have the ability to form an understanding of the world’s economy, politics, social structures and environment. Anyone studying current events can benefit in making decisions about how to live their own lives, according to PBS.

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Current events club takes over