The Central Trend

The revival of PACE Club provides students with an opportunity to discover politics

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Nisha Rajakrishna

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Politics have always been a crucial part of communities, but students often never get the chance to fully discover the complexity of current events in the world. PACE Club, co-run by junior Francesca Duong and sophomore James Aidala, is aspiring to fill this space for students. For the first time this school year, PACE Club is providing students with a place dedicated to discussing and learning about all aspects of “politics and current events.”

People don’t really care where you fall on the topic, but sometimes, it’s good to hear something other than what you hold deeply.”

— Steve Labenz

PACE Club is being restarted after a semester on hiatus. Francesca and James have decided to run the club that was started years ago by several alumni. After the original founders graduated, there was no continuation of the club until Francesca and James stepped forward.

“The club was started by John Pearcy, Patrick Jarvis, and Ryan Hilbert a few years ago,” James said. “They had been taking it on for all four of their years. They all encouraged political awareness that I think a lot of people, especially in this day and age, need right now.”

Even after the founders of PACE club graduated, Francesca and James’ passion for politics never diminished. They decided it was important to keep the club to give students the opportunity to stay educated about politics.

“We decided to keep the club running,” Francesca said. “Especially with the 2016 elections, things are always changing and it’s important to be informed and discuss your ideas with others. PACE Club provides you the opportunity to do just that.”

The revival of PACE Club would not be possible without the guidance of AP US History teacher, Steve Labenz. Labenz gives the group insight from a more experienced perspective. He also moderates discussion or provides facts to prevent misconceptions. His support of PACE Club is a vital component to the club’s success.

[PACE Club helps students to] learn more about important issues and also be challenged on your beliefs,” Labenz said. People don’t really care where you fall on the topic, but sometimes, it’s good to hear something other than what you hold deeply.”

As for the club itself, it meets for an hour each week to discuss the week’s political and current events, hence the acronym. All students are invited and encouraged to attend to understand the world they live in better.

PACE Club aspires to heighten political awareness throughout school. Talking about politics can develop your opinions and widen your scope of knowledge. All opinions are welcome and all thoughts are always considered. Not everyone even has to contribute to discussions, as there is still plenty of potential to expand political knowledge by just being present at the meetings.

“PACE Club is set up in a discussion-setting,” Francesca said. “We all sit in a circle and share our ideas regarding the topic at hand. There are always multiple sides to a topic and I really feel like many of them are being represented and people always add a new layer to the discussion.”

Freshman Tony DiMeglio went to his first PACE Club meeting three weeks ago and plans to attend them as much as possible. PACE Club provides a new place for him to develop his awareness for politics and the world around him.

“PACE Club has not only given me an outlet to voice my political opinion, but it as also helped educate me and keep me informed on world news,” Tony said. “I hope more people with opposing views will come out and voice their ideas on world conflicts and American politics.”

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About the Writer
Nisha Rajakrishna, Editor in Chief

Nisha Rajakrishna is a senior and entering her last year on staff as an Editor-in-Chief. Nisha loves to travel and experience new cultures, and in her free time, enjoys spending time with friends and family. During her twelve years of school, she has lived in China, Florida, and England before landing in Forest Hills two years ago. However, she could not be more happy about spending her senior year at Forest Hills Central and as a leader of The Central Trend.

Favorite part of being on staff: Learning about FHC through meeting new people, as well as the incredible people and atmosphere of being on staff

Favorite type of story: Reviews and profiles

Hobbies/interests: Traveling, reading, and watching TV

Favorite book and why: Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata because of its deep story and intriguing characters

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