PACE Club In A Nutshell

By Daniel Navarro, Staff Writer

Ever wondered what’s happening in room 2180 every Friday at 3:30? Well, PACE (Political and Current Events) Club is in session.

PACE Club is an open invite club where as many as 5+ people join in on intense conversations about current events and political affairs on a domestic and international level.

Students are allowed to get involved, share their opinions, and hear others speak as these conversations can get deep and passionate.

Two to three members of the club make a presentation beforehand which guides the club’s topic of discussions for that day.  The topics can range widely from war to presidential elections. The only criteria that need to be met for these topics to be discussed are the relevance towards the topic and how current it is.

Some may think of this as a waste of time, yet the outcomes of these conversations are more than you can imagine, from both the academic and social perspectives.

From the academic side of things, students have agreed that these types of discussions help them in their social studies classes as well as expanding their understanding of politics. Socially, students are able to meet new people while connecting on interesting topics.

When in town, Umar Ahmed, former vice president of PACE and student at U of I (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will join in on the Friday conversations with the current PACE members.

“I think this is a good club for people who want to become more informed on issues that are facing us as American’s and citizens and people that just want to expand there worldview. Not only do we focus on domestic politics, we also talk international, and it’s important to stay informed and know what’s going on,” Ahmed stated.

Although the club engages in topics that teachers wouldn’t normally oblige in a regular class period, some students enjoy sitting back, listening in on to all sides of the conversation, and absorbing all the information on topics that are affecting our world today.

Some may say that the talks and conversations that occur within this club can help to improve your knowledge and problem-solving skills in social studies classes. Senior Peter Kougias has been a member for quite some time, and eagerly explained what he likes about the club.

“I like that we’re able to be informed about events that we know are going on in the world, and we’re able to hear different opinions on the same matter because that leads to more knowledge about the event occurring,” Kougias said.

While students are able to speak their mind here, sponsor of the club, Joseph Edwards is there to moderate the conversations. He is able to use his AP Government teaching expertise to guide the conversations or bring in other points of view that some students may not realize. Although for him, the benefits go further than just getting help in social studies classes.

“I think the students get to often talk about things that are obscure in the news, so it gives them a platform to speak about these things that they might not actually get to do in class or some other form,” Edwards said.

Come visit Edwards, Kougias, and the whole crew Fridays at 3:30 in room 2180 for some lively and informative discussions.