Students Involve Themselves in Politics Through Political Clubs


Gender Equality in Politics Club explores the role of gender in modern politics. Photo Courtesy of Libby Eggemier.

Sophia Artandi, Assistant A&L Editor

Menlo has many different political clubs that tend to be left-leaning like the school’s population in general. However, all clubs are open to any political points of view and recognize their biases.

Gender Equality in Politics Club (GEIP) was founded by Ashli Jain (‘19), who graduated last year. Jain started the club for both girls and boys to be able to come together and explore gender equality in modern politics, according to co-president junior Libby Eggemeier, who now runs the club along with junior Annabelle Marenghi. According to Eggemeier, GEIP members generally lean left, but the leaders acknowledge this bias and respect all points of view. “[Annabelle and I] will most often play devil’s advocate and argue against the normally liberal views of our club members in order to cultivate an understanding that not all women think the same and conservative women’s opinions are just as legitimate and deserve the same recognition as liberal women’s opinions,” Eggemeier said. 

Though the students in GEIP are more liberal, another club, the Politics Club has a wider range of political views. The club was founded by seniors Charlotte Acra, Henry Knoll and Zach Saito as a way for students to discuss politics in a nonpartisan way. “Many students at Menlo have expressed dismay at their classmates’ reactions to unorthodox opinions that stray from the mean, and I wanted to create a low-pressure and inclusive environment in which these students felt safe participating in political discourse,” Acra said. 

Election Club was founded by senior Ethan Yan, and according to sophomore and club member Claire Lenden, more teachers attend than students. Though Election Club hasn’t yet started this year, Yan would present on a national or local election each week last year. “[Yan] is very knowledgeable about this sort of stuff, and it’s good to learn from him,” Lenden said. Lenden is also a member of GEIP and said that Election Club is more of a commitment, with lectures that typically last for all of lunch.

Menlo allows clubs freedom in what their purpose is, according to Dean of Students Tony Lapolla. Clubs are student-initiated, but they require a faculty advisor. “It’s not as if clubs are aimlessly going their way without guidance,” Lapolla said. According to Lapolla, clubs should be respectful of the school’s values, meaning that students should listen to different points of view. The administration gets involved if club members start to become insulting about political views. “I think that people should be listening to different perspectives, whether it’s in the classroom or a club,” Lapolla said.