Current Political Issues Class: Candidates and Climate Change

Earlier this month, students in Current Political Issues, a course co-taught by Whit Lesure and Matt Gallery ’09, enjoyed a firsthand look at the “Race to the White House” when they attended events and rallies representing both side of the political spectrum days before the New Hampshire presidential primary.

On Wednesday, February 5th, members of the class joined Gallery and Rob Eldredge ’14 (intern) for a trip to Concord, NH, where they attended the New Hampshire Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall. The event was designed to invite the Democratic candidates to share their climate change action and clean energy priorities. These statements were followed by a moderated Q&A session led by students from across New Hampshire (high school-aged and above) who are currently conducting studies and research about these topics. The BA contingent gained front-row seating where they listened to remarks from Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bill Weld, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were represented by surrogates.

Less than a week later, on February 10th, Gallery and Lesure brought students down to Manchester, NH, where their first stop was to the Southern New Hampshire University arena, which hosted President Trump. Though the group was unable to gain entry into the arena, they did manage to join scores of spectators outside who were gathered to watch the event unfold on the jumbotron. The group listened to Vice President Pence and the first half of President Trump’s speech before heading out in time to catch the rally in support of Bernie Sanders. Upon their arrival, the students managed a stealth maneuver that saw them earn front-and-center seating in the press box, allowing them to watch Dr. Cornel West, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders deliver remarks before The Strokes took the stage to close out the evening.

These civic engagement initiatives will no doubt be memories our young men will carry with them for a lifetime, and we are grateful to Coach Lesure, Matt Gallery ’09, and Rob Eldredge ’14 for making our students’ attendance at these events possible.