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The Milton Measure

IPIC, Milton’s Newest Club, Encourages Multifaceted Discussion

by on Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Many students at Milton hold strong and sometimes unshakeable political views. Consequently, students tend to communicate their opinions with like minded people. As a result of these discussions, students engaging in political conversations often hear only their side of an issue — resulting in an echo chamber. Though two political clubs already existed on campus, some students believed that more conversations without the labels of “liberal” or “conservative” were needed in the community. To facilitate these conversations, Jack Robinson (II), Jack Weiler (II), and James DeLano (II) created the Issue-Based Politically Independent Club (IPIC). According to Jack Robinson, the trio wanted to form “a place where students could have an informed debate/discussion about the American political and economic climate.” IPIC declares no political affiliation and encourages issue-focussed discussion. According to IPIC’s mission statement, they want to remove themselves from political bias so that students can “have an opinion without the pressure of a political party.”

However, some are worried on how civil discourse will be maintained in IPIC because of the variety of strong opinions present. Marieme Barry (III) thinks that the club should have a faculty member “in the background to take authority, if need be,” in meetings. Others think that faculty members are not necessary for civil discussion. According to Rachel Ding (III), faculty members often hold “inherent power that could influence students.” Despite these concerns, many agree that faculty members should help keep peace. In terms of discussion, Star Hu (III) thinks that people “shouldn’t be allowed to talk until a board member presents all sides.” Especially in a club like IPIC, students must learn to listen thoughtfully to all sides. At Milton we get into the habit of listening in order to respond rather than listening in order to understand.

Another challenge will be students’ comfort to speak when they feel like the minority. Marieme Barry (III) worries that meetings could turn into a “values class where people avoid main topics to avoid getting into uncomfortable situations and fights.” On the other hand, some students might have trouble listening to opinions that they do not agree with. According to Pierce Wilson (III), “whenever I’ve attended a FLLAG and SAGE joint meeting, people have the same opinion.” According to Jack Robinson (II), the club wants people to “argue the opposite side… to gain a more thorough understanding [of the issue].” He thinks that people at FLLAG and Conservative Club usually all “agree and the same idea is beaten with a stick.” He thinks that having issue-based discussions will help students “get informed without party policy and principles.”

IPIC gives students a chance to vocalize their opinions and learn about different topics and issues by utilizing unbiased sources. Some people can get caught up in being part of a group of only one set of opinions, resulting in an echo chamber that does not achieve much. These clubs cause students to not take time to think about their own thoughts or ever deviate from their friends or peers. This group mentality only persists if they talk to the same people, who agree with the same ideals. Issue-Based Politically Independent Club will give students the chance to step back and consider their views.

Jack Weiler describes that the first meeting of IPIC went very well and had “a pretty diverse array of voices. The people seemed to be engaged.” He encourages students to join weekly meetings on Mondays during activities period.

Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=9157

Posted by on Mar 9 2017. Filed under More News, News, Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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