Viraj Patwardhan
Staff Reporter                                                                                                                                                               December 6, 2016

     The Republican Party won the executive office and has taken root, not only the White House, but Atholton as well. The founding of the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club is bringing conservative advocacy and ideals to the school. This year the club plans to invite guest speakers and conduct discussions about current topics.

     President of YAF Timmy Wassel has high hopes that the 15 member club will grow by the end of the year. “We hope to expand membership to 30 members, with half being underclassmen to ensure that YAF will last into future years.”

   Students in the Atholton community may be hesitant to join this club due to unawareness of the ideals that the club supports. According to the official website of the Young Americans for Freedom Foundation, the national organization of which Atholton is a member, “YAF chapters bring together students to advocate for the ideas of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values and a strong national defense.”

   The club’s sponsor Ms. Eichert spoke about the reasoning behind her decision to help out with the club: “I wanted to give these students the opportunity to express their values in a respectful way.”

   YAF may also be planning a special event with YDA. Timmy Wassel stated,

“YAF wants to join together with the Young Democrats to hold several forums to discuss the issues and answer questions from students.”

   Young Democrats of America (YDA) is another Atholton club, at the other end of the political spectrum. The co-president of YDA, Josh Kim spoke about the possibility of a discussion with YAF. “We would be open to participating in future discussions that provide a substantive conversation on how we can improve the country.”

   Given the outcome of the November 8th election, the club has some things planned. “YAF will spend time this year observing the actions of government now that Republicans control Congress and the Presidency. In terms of special events we may hold a party celebrating the conservative control across government,” said Timmy Wassel.

   Just because YAF supports conservative viewpoints does not mean that students must always believe these things to attend meetings. Wassel believes that there can be a variety of viewpoints at YAF meetings. “YAF is happy to have students with all different opinions come to our meetings. However members need to agree with most of the beliefs stated by the Sharon Statement,” which is a document stating the conservative beliefs, available on YAF’s website.           

   Now that Atholton has clubs that represent both parties, it is easier for students at Atholton to find a place to voice their opinions. Whether a student prefers to join YDA or YAF, there are bound to be some future excitement. Timmy Wassel expects that they are going to bring in some big name speakers, possibly including Ben Shapiro, an American conservative political commentator. Another event on the radar is visiting the YAF Activism Seminar in Virginia. In the White House only one political party can exist. At Atholton however, both Democrats and Republicans can now peacefully coexist.

Posted by Viraj Patwardhan

Viraj is a senior at Atholton who has been in Journalism for two years. He plays soccer for his high school and enjoys spending his free time eating pizza. He is involved in clubs such as the student government (SGA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). In his free time he enjoys playing FIFA with his friends.