Young Conservatives of America club encourages bipartisan debate

Mary Petersen, In-Depth Editor

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The Young Conservatives of America, or YCA, is a club at DGN for conservative students to speak about their beliefs and have discussions about political topics. Despite being a partisan club, it hosts a wide range of different beliefs and allows for enough dissent for a debate.

YCA hosted a debate over the currently contentious impeachment issue Oct 2. Drew Driscoll, one of the student leaders of the club came in with notes on the topic and started the debate, and the people in attendance were willing to speak freely, often against the conservative standpoint the group generally takes.

“I do believe that everyone has their fair chance to talk, debate what they say, and express their opinions,” YCA President Alexander Martin said.

The discussion started out with a question from Driscoll, and the first response came from a student with a dissenting view. This was met with a response from the conservative side, and so on. Most members present took qualifying positions, and there was little assumption of either guilt or innocence on either side.

“If he really didn’t do it and there’s no evidence that he did, he should just let the investigation run its course and they’ll find no evidence,” one member said about ten minutes in.

At the end of the debate, club sponsor Kelly Zuerner came in to discuss other things like their next meeting. They planned to host another debate, this time on capitalism and socialism, with hopes to invite the Empowerment Club.

“Let’s welcome everyone in from the other side so we can get more of a conversation-style debate,” Zuerner said. Everyone, regardless of political belief or affiliation, is welcome at YCA meetings.

The existence of a partisan club can seem like it excludes the other side by nature, but YCA believes that inviting opposition better represents the freedom of speech and expression that they stand for.

“A well educated individual has the ability to understand the opposing side so there is a deeper understanding and movement to compromise or collaborate on topics which impact our country and the world around us,” Zuerner said about the club in a 2017 interview.

“I know there were some people who didn’t attend, I talked with them, they disagreed with what we were saying, I said ’well, come to the next meeting,’” Martin said.