Know Your Politics!

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Know Your Politics!

JSA hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of being politically aware.

JSA hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of being politically aware.

Sydney Chang

JSA hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of being politically aware.

Sydney Chang

Sydney Chang

JSA hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of being politically aware.

Sydney Chang, Opinions Editor

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As the official presidential campaign of 2016 is approaching, Americans can only fidget and anxiously wait. Who will lead our country the next four years? Who will represent our country in international affairs? Who will be the figure that inspires and encourages in upcoming times of hardship? These are the pressing questions of our citizens. But maybe not.

So many people, especially young people, neglect what is happening outside of their own bubble. Not knowing the definition of “international affairs,” some students cluelessly relate this term to cheating and adultery while I can only sit and facepalm.

Issues surrounding our government have always been controversial. But they have become even more so due to the candidates running for this presidential election. We have to realize that someone with wavering foreign policies and someone who strongly believes in a wall along the Mexican border (which may I mention, is estimated to cost to be eight billion dollars) may potentially run a country that already fails in certain aspects.

With accusations thrown at the 2016 candidates calling them crazy and irrational, it has become time for a certain group of people to rise and participate: teenagers.

Well, I would not call them “teenagers” since one has to be at least 18 years old to vote. But you probably get what I mean. The United States presidential election needs more support and participation from young people, such as high school students and college students (both who should seriously care).

Politics may not be the most exciting topic, but it evidently influences us all. As someone who will soon be a college student, I can only shudder at the thought of student loans and debt. As inhabitants of the United States, everyone should keep watch on how the federal government spends money on the military and leads among multiple different countries.

I feel like one is either a die-hard politics geek or an indifferent human being (in my case). There seems to be no in between. In order to raise awareness of the importance of young people being politically aware, the Junior State of America (JSA) have come forward with a campaign.

On March 10, the JSA chapter at West Ranch held its “Fight Apathy Campaign” during brunch. Students were each given a sticker that said “I Believe In…,” leaving the rest of the sentence up to the students to complete. On the side, officers tried striking up conversations based on what each student put. Those who participated were given a chance to actively show what they believe in and stand up for. While there were hilarious responses, there were also serious and assertive responses as well.

“I Believe In…hot guys.”

“I Believe In…racial equality.”

“I Believe In…Bernie Sanders.”

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Mina Jang, a freshman, shows her support as the presidential campaign quickly approaches. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

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Some responses were more on the silly side. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

The JSA club has emphasized the importance of young people being active in political issues. In our current society that centers around advanced technology and entertainment, students are often indifferent to politics, and choose to focus on TV shows and fashion.

“Not only is America the country students live in, but also a place where there will be clashing ideas. Even if a discussion is not related to politics, it is important for students to understand other people’s opinions and their own,” said Irene Lee, president and founder of the JSA chapter at West Ranch.

The president of the United States of America is a big position to fill. It requires responsibility, leadership, and strong mentality. The people have big roles in determining who gets to be president; however, many students do not realize this.

With the 2016 presidential campaigns rapidly approaching, JSA and its events will hopefully boost students’ participation rate and encourage them to venture out into the political world.

“Club meetings happen every other Friday. I hope more students begin to recognize our JSA club and realize that there is a nearby outlet for them to voice their own thoughts confidently,” said Lee.

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  • All students were welcome to share their answers. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

  • Officers simply wait to hand out stickers and answer any questions. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

  • Many students took the time to think through in their answers. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

  • Students laughed and pointed at some of the other students' responses. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

  • As a reward, students who participated were each given a piece of candy. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

  • Officers of JSA proudly hold up the end results. (Image Credits: Sydney Chang)

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