Sam Morrow ’12
It’s a unique scene every Monday afternoon as a small group of like-minded, enthusiastic students gathers together for the meetings of the Jefferson-Guevara Society. The Society started up recently at the beginning of this year, and holds meetings in English teacher Adam Cluff’s room to discuss the latest political developments in the country.
Make no mistake, the club’s atmosphere is “super-chill,” in the words of President Carter Ivey ’12, but there’s quite evidently a shared passion for activism and debate amongst the group members.
The club escapes easy definition: it’s a “political activism group in the sense that [it] raises awareness of Progressive ideals,” in Ivey’s words, but it also carries “left-leaning philosophical undertones.” The closest parallel would likely be a liberal activist group that analyzes both current events and its own philosophy critically. (Don’t be fooled by the “liberal” bit though; club members are more than eager to consider opposing viewpoints.)
Although the newly-formed club currently has a low member count, members raise awareness indirectly in the form of countless posters filled with provocative images and thought-inducing quotations that line the school’s halls. The intent of the posters, as Vice President Maulik Limbachiya ’12 clarifies, follows closely with the club’s intent: to raise an “awareness of current events” that, hopefully, “will lead the people of our generation to change the world.” A lofty goal indeed, but even if the club’s work doesn’t “inspire the leaders of tomorrow,” Limbachiya quips that it might, at least, “give us a better Republican candidate.”
Beyond its posters, the club offers an open environment for its members, one where they can “openly express their ideologies and participate in open-minded, healthy debate”, according to member Yanni Konstantinidis ’12. There’s no “conforming” to establish ideologies in this group — if someone has an idea, they’ll say it (and if it’s interesting enough, make a poster of it). Above all, as Konstantinidis notes, “the conversation [here] keeps going;” the club doesn’t stop addressing an issue or idea until everyone has considered all viewpoints.
That’s a sentiment that captures the club’s essence. As Ivey says, unlike in more structured school clubs, the “conversation [here] goes on until it burns out.”