Love in this club

Politics club returns, launches new events.

By Tristan Johnston
[staff writer]

“You have to understand that everyone has a reason for believing what they believe and you have to respect that,” says Alex McGowan, president of the Politics Club of Kwantlen (PCK).

Although the club is generally non-partisan, they aim to help students who do want to take a stance. Their club meetings are generally spent planning events — and this semester in particular they’re hoping to organize a lot.

“We’re co-hosting with the university and the student association an all-candidates’ debate [for the municipal election], so that we can make it easier for young people to engage with the issues,” says McGowan. They also intend on hosting debates next year with candidates from the federal election.

They’re also planning a civic engagement campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming election. McGowan says they want people to, “realize what some of the issues are, and to encourage people to take a position on it, and to vote when the time comes.”

The club also plans on holding political discussions, hopefully bringing in figures like Elizabeth May and Nathan Cullen.

Originally founded in 2008, the PCK has taken off again after a temporary lapse in activity.

According to McGowan, “The club was sort of . . . inactive for the last year or two. It wasn’t as active as it could have been, and this year we’re making a push to make it more active.”

“I’d say that it’s definitely growing. We’re attracting a lot of interest from first-years and young people.”

Club members are not solely political science students, but come from all faculties including biology, criminology and policy studies.

“It’s a good educational opportunity,” says McGowan. “It can be great to engage with peers on these issues. It’s a really great skill-building opportunity, [and it’s] good for getting better at public speaking.”

With young people being caught in the stereotype of not voting or taking an interest in politics, the PCK presents a useful opportunity to prove the stereotype wrong.

“There’s two issues: one, the general population doesn’t vote. Which includes young people,” says McGowan. “Young people are even lower, which is a huge problem. But I think an almost larger problem is general society apathy, [rather] than young people apathy in particular.”

“Generally, young people aren’t always happy to just vote. They often feel that there’s more they need to do, or that voting isn’t enough.”

Youth voting is just one of the topics discussed by members of the club.

“We’re the Politics Club of Kwantlen,” says McGowan, “which is pretty vague, but that’s how we like it. We have a pretty broad mission of promoting more political involvement for students, helping students get engaged with the issues, [and] if they feel strong on something, we want to help them on that.”

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