Senior paves way for new political club

Senior+paves+way+for+new+political+club

Abby Kempf

RBHS has always harbored students with distinct political views, with clubs such as Young Republicans and Young Democrats each boasting large followerships.
Now a lesser known party, the Libertarian party, is attempting to insert itself into RBHS’s political scene. The Young Libertarians club held its first meeting Tuesday, Dec. 8.
“Liber” in Latin translates to free, which is in perfect accordance with the ideology of Libertarians. This political philosophy is centered around free will and personal autonomy, rejecting intrusive invasions from big government.
Senior Stephen Sowers, president of Young Libertarians, believes the club is a necessity for RBHS students who identify as Libertarians, and even those who don’t, to learn more about the party and its platforms.
“We decided to do the club because our views didn’t fit in directly with either of the clubs that already existed and we wanted to create to a club that was focused on teaching people about policy and reasoning, rather than just being so focused on the views of one side,” Sowers said. “We think it’s important that people are informed about the decisions our government is making and starting our own club that is centered around a not so well known, but very reasonable party, was a good way to do that.”
Club sponsor Susan Trice has assisted Sowers and his fellow leaders in the club formation process. Trice said the process is rather lengthy, but said “as long as there are a few students who are passionate about it, then it is absolutely worth it.”
“A person has to come up with a club and have a least four students in leadership. They have to get a petition signed stating ‘this is the club and these are students who would be interested,’” Trice said. “They have turn that it in and a Constitution of their club. It says what the purpose is and why the students are meeting. Then Student Council votes whether they are going to support it. If they do, then the club presents to Student Council. Then Student Council either OKs it, or doesn’t OK it.”
Sowers said another difficult step, even now that they club is approved, is gaining members and building interest. Young Moderates, a politically-similar club that died a few years ago, was never able to get the same footing that the Republican or Democrat clubs have.
“I’ve told everyone I know, and I’m putting fliers up in the school this week,” Sowers said. “I’ll also start a Twitter page, maybe.”
Trice said as far as her role as sponsor goes, she is mainly a facilitator, and that the students are the ones putting everything in action.
“Sponsors are just teachers who can provide a place and can help facilitate the group in moving forward and continuing to grow,” Trice said. “Sponsors go off of the student leaders; just take their lead.”
Sowers said the reason he is passionate about starting this club is that he wants RBHS students to be able to see issues from all perspectives and to fully understand what is going on in the government.
“Not all people, but I’d say a majority of people, don’t have a good understanding of politics and policy, myself at times including in the majority,” Sowers said. “I’d like to have a club focused on spreading understanding of how the U.S. Government is supposed to work, according to the Constitution.”
Libertarians like Sowers, love the Constitution, as it protects against “the tyranny of the majority,” and outlines exactly what freedoms the government cannot infringe upon. Sowers hopes his admiration of the Constitution can be found in younger classes at RBHS to carry on his club when he gone. But for now, he is concentrating on just introducing classmates to this more obscure party.
“If my club is successful and I get some people interested, I will have to find a younger student who really cares about the program to carry on its its values and really advertise for it in the future,” Sowers said. “I think that’s the best way [to preserve the club,] but I’m not extremely worried about that aspect yet. I’m more focused on spreading knowledge where I think people are lacking it.”