Young Progressives foster dialogue about current events

By Devon Phillips ’20

Clubs are a great way for students at Jesuit to bring their personal interests to school, and while many people may be familiar with the Strake Jesuit Young Conservatives club, as it is one of the largest clubs in the school, Jesuit also houses the much smaller Young Progressives club. 

Mr. Auzenne and John Kuryla ‘20 head the club. Its mission? “Facilitating constructive dialogue about current political events,” John said, “and encouraging members to form their own political opinions and views after considering various perspectives on political issues.” 

John said that in anticipation of the presidential election the Young Progressives will hold “discussions about the various candidates running to be the Democratic nominee.” The purpose of these discussions is, as John puts it, “that each club member can get an idea of whom they want to support in the 2020 elections.” Discussions like these are commonplace for the club. Will Johnston ‘20 said that he joined the club not only to participate in these discussions, but also to “better educate myself for discussions regarding controversial topics.” 

The Strake Jesuit Young Progressives Club is far smaller than its conservative counterparts, and while some may see this as indicative of the larger Strake Jesuit community’s political views, John insisted that this is simply because “the club has not focused as much on recruiting new club members as SJYC.” Will Johnston told me that his favorite part of the club is its “togetherness.” No doubt the club’s small size plays a part in this feeling Will describes. 

Because John is a senior, this will be his last year as head of the club, and his hope when he leaves is “that the club can continue to increase so that more and more Strake Jesuit students can have the opportunity to get involved in politics outside of school and also become more informed about local, state, and national political issues.”

Only recently, Mr. Fahy set up a stand to help students register to vote in the 2020 national election. It is clear that Strake Jesuit would like to encourage political participation in its students. 

This small Strake Jesuit club, the Young Progressives, has high hopes to foster such participation, a mission the organization’s departing seniors will pass down to the underclassmen.