Roseville High speech and debate club reflects on candidates, issues

By: Jessica Fogary, Jason Bennett and Jessica Barber Roseville High Speech and Debate Club
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It’s presidential election time in America. Political leaders are presenting platforms and rigorously seizing every opportunity to spread their ideas across the nation. The Speech and Debate class of Roseville High School has recognized pre-election issues and mania by reflecting society within a group of 37 citizen voters. Students began the process of establishing parties and deciding affiliations during a caucus process through which they recruited delegates. Students studied background information for six political parties and ultimately selected candidates to represent the Democratic, Republican and Independent parties. Through research and speeches student delegates will inform school peers about how the political process works and the ideas in which they believe. Each party caucus constructed five plank speeches to present in a public forum along with debates on the RHS campus. Student Alex Perkinson, presidential candidate for the Independent Party, said his party’s planks are solid. Among the issues his party will be pushing are universal health care, the economy and foreign policy. “We believe in the issues and we need to stand up for those beliefs,” Perkinson said. The Democratic Party, led by senior Mason Hershenow, has included the same issues as the Independents, in addition to planks on the environment and alternative energy. Candidate Hershenow said this project is especially important for teenagers. “Soon, we’ll be in charge of this country. The sooner we get involved in the process, the better off we’ll be,” Hershenow said. The party with the most delegates, the Republicans, is represented by senior presidential candidate Jason Bennett and his running mate, senior Jessica Fogarty. “This is an excellent opportunity to get an early start to really impact the future of our country. We hope to increase Generation Y’s interest in politics,” Bennett said. Speech and Debate class teacher and advisor Brad Rinn said he is pleased with what the class has accomplished so far. “It’s been compelling to see how each delegate has grown through the democratic process, which has included elements of caucus, campaign organization, research, leadership and team work through the identification of student strengths and delegation of duties,” Rinn said. Other students feel that the project has been a fun, productive, and educational endeavor. Juniors Kylie Springsteen and Mary Kate Cavaghan said they learned the differences between the Democratic, Republican, and Independent partys’ views of the issues and the political process. Senior Natyra Feliz admitted she has learned much about the economy through this class project. The project will conclude with presentation of plank strategies, debates, presidential speeches, and a school-wide election over the course of the next two weeks.