Now in its second year at St. Paul’s School, the Youth and Government club is dedicated to educating students on how the United States government works and making the concept of governmental procedures more enjoyable.
The current club president, Philip James, founded the Youth in Government club at St. Paul’s during the 2013-14 school year. James believes that the club allows students to get involved in a fun way and possibly develop a new interest that they may have never considered. James also said that qualities necessary for active participation in the club include coherent speaking abilities, as club activities involve a considerable amount of public speaking, debating, and arguing.
Club members all seem to agree on both the charm and educational potential of the club.
“Through awful skill and tact, we actually learn something about political procedure,” club vice president, Max Gold, said.
The club meets weekly and practices lawmaking procedures, such as the proposition, amending, and passage or denial of bills. This can incorporate surprising creativity. For example, at one meeting, James and Gold proposed a bill that would seize a school in West Folsom and transform it into an ecosystem for the housing of the living elephants remaining in Louisiana, all of which are currently in captivity.
Club members are encouraged not to scoff at ideas such as this, but to use them as training exercises for actual governmental procedure. For example, the authors of the bill were queried on the real number of elephants affected by this expensive, hypothetical bill.
“Extensive research led me to six (elephants),” James said. “We looked at every zoo in Louisiana, and that’s what we found.”
It remains plainly visible that the club gets creative and fun with law making procedures, but never abandons its mission of accurately teaching members about how their government works.
Unfortunately for prospective members, dues have already been collected for this year’s membership. But next year, the club hopes that more students develop the itch to learn about their government’s inner workings.