Plans for a Hinsdale Central Young Democrats Club, a liberal counterpart to the Young Conservatives Club, are in the works for the 2012-2013 school year. The club will engage in activities such as discussion about politics and current events, volunteering with the DuPage County Young Democrats, and publicizing political issues in the news to the population of Central.
Emma Jerzyk, junior, is a co-founder of the club and is very enthusiastic about its start. “We aim to engage students in political discourse and create an environment in which political beliefs can be discussed openly and comfortably, and we hope to foster relations with the Young Conservatives and other political groups on campus in order to encourage cooperation and bipartisanship,” Jerzyk said.
Mr. Michael Palmquist, English teacher at Central, is the sponsor of the club and shares the same optimism about its future. “I think it will attract a lot of students who are looking for a way to combine school and their political beliefs in their outside lives. A bunch of people are interested in having a place in school to discuss the Liberal side as well as the Conservative side of an issue,” Palmquist said.
There are some difficulties associated with starting a politically-oriented club that Jerzyk has encountered. “Volunteering is a tricky for the club, since teachers aren’t supposed to affiliate themselves with political parties through the school. So we won’t be volunteering as a club, since that would require a chaperone. However, we will be making volunteer opportunities available to club members who would like to partake in them,” Jerzyk said.
The formation of this club is occurring at a very politically active time in America since it is an election year. “The club will meet bi-weekly normally, and weekly during election season,” Jerzyk said. She also hopes to maintain positive relations with their Conservative counterparts. “Hopefully, every month or two, the Young Conservatives and Young Democrats will be able to hold a meeting together to discuss current issues, and to encourage bipartisan discussion,” Jerzyk said.