Club spotlight: Political Debate Club

Calabasas High School now has the first Political Debate Club on campus, co-founded by club Presidents David Sorkin, Aiden Rubinstein and Sophie Azimi, and supervised by Mrs. Cook, the AP U.S. History teacher. 

“It’s not going to be people calling on each other,” said Sorkin. “It’s going to be an actual back and forth debate. Just make sure to respect the people on your side, and more importantly, make sure you respect the people on the other side.”

Even though he had clubs in the past, Sorkin felt that now was the time to start a political debate club. With how toxic the political climate has become over the past five years, Sorkin felt it was the appropriate time to start a club that would debate political topics with like-minded and students who disagree with him. 

“I had clubs in the past, but I felt now was the right time to start a club like this,” said Sorkin. “The political climate over the past five years has been so toxic, so why not start a club that talks about political topics in a respectful way with like-minded students and people who disagree with me as well.” 

Meetings are held on the first and third Friday of the month, and members are notified of the debate subject the previous Monday, thus allowing members to decide whether they are for or against the chosen topic and ready to come prepared with facts. During meetings, the club is split in half, one side arguing for the supporting side of the argument and the other in opposition. 

“The sides have nothing to do with political ideology,” said Rubinstein. “It’s just something we do to ensure that everyone is able to get a fair opportunity to speak, as opposed to sitting as a group and having the same few people speak.” 

In the most recent meeting, the topic of debate was whether or not there should be an electoral college. Members participate heavily and are excited to debate current and controversial subjects. 

“I really enjoy the meetings,” said senior club member Vincent Weisberg. “The topics are worth debating, and I enjoy doing the research prior to the debates.” 

Having an opportunity to discuss and debate current topics at school enriches the Calabasas High School atmosphere. 

“I think it’s really cool [to have a political debate club] at school,” said Mrs. Cook. “The whole basis for the club is to listen to the other side, and I think it’s really cool.”

The next Political Debate Club will be on Friday, Dec. 17th.