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Students Celebrate National Election Process with Formal Debate

2 November 2012 admin 2,907 views One Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Students in grades 5-12 celebrated our national election process today through a formal debate. Director of Library and Media Center Darla Magana moderated a debate for the Upper School and a separate debate for the Middle School and grade 5 students. During the debates each political party had the opportunity to respond to a question on fiscal policy, foreign policy and rising higher education costs. Mrs. Magana introduced the debates by stating, “Ever since our Founding Fathers set up our democratic system, Americans have stepped up to elect their favored politicians. The success of our system relies on the voters to educate themselves to the issues and the party platforms. Today we come together to do just that—to learn about three significant current issues and how four political parties respond to those issues.”

Two weeks ago, all Middle and Upper School students were offered the opportunity to research for and participate in the debate. Student volunteers formed teams and were randomly assigned a political party.

Representing the Republican Party:

• Upper School – Daniel Reardon, Ashley Torok and Chandler Desforges

• Middle School – Romina Sahafi, Jenny Carpenter, Layla Shakerin and Jenny Li

Representing the Democratic Party:

• Upper School – Maddi Larsen, Blake Akers and Megan Brynjolfsson

• Middle School – Andy Shin, Dylan Conway, Owen Harding and Colby Rogers

Representing the Libertarian Party:

• Upper School – Liam McGregor, Ben Wang and Christian Rafli

• Middle School – Will Rosenthal, Neal Singh, Charlie Smith and Jack Li

Representing the Green Party:

• Upper School – Mattingly Messina, Savanna Riley and Madeleine Bidmead

• Middle School – Sydney Brinker, Becka Olsen, Makenna Mitchell and Katherine Adelman

The debates were lively and thought provoking. Republican team member, Chandler Desforges felt that the experience was really positive, “For the first time the school has done something like this, it went really well!” Many students in the audience felt that they learned a lot from the debates. Scott Lilly, grade 8, was surprised to learn details about the Republican Party particularly their stance on the use of the military. Alissa Ohanesian, grade 11, thought the debate was informative and particularly appreciated the humor that the Republican Party brought into the debate by including a comment regarding binders full of women. Junior Phoebe Van Duinen was impressed with the debaters’ skills, “I thought they did a great job including facts and talking about real bills and laws and what is actually happening.” Kelly Burke, grade 11, was happy to learn about the Green and Libertarian parties, “It was good to include those other parties because everyone thinks it is only the Democrats and Republicans.”

After the debates, all Middle and Upper School faculty and students were asked to fill out a survey responding to which party was most convincing. Upper School Assistant Principal Ryan Dahlem’s Advanced Placement Statistics students are using the data they collect from the survey to measure the consistency of opinions. Results will most likely be posted on Election Tuesday.


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One Comment »

  • Sr. Soderin said:

    Today’s student debates were really well done. Props to all of the students and teachers that made this such a meaningful experience!