High Schoolers For Biden take action beyond ETHS
October 20, 2020
Students For Biden is a nationwide organization for students seeking involvement in the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris presidential campaign. High school students interested in the campaign can join High Schoolers For Biden, a subset of Students For Biden focused on engaging high school students with campaign work and political involvement.
“Many high school students can’t vote, so High Schoolers For Biden, and chapters like Illinois High Schoolers For Biden, gives them a voice to support the campaign in other ways,” Illinois High Schoolers For Biden co-chair Ethan VanGosen said. “This is really important because it promotes civic engagement early on, not just at voting age.
Although the Evanston chapter of High Schoolers For Biden is not affiliated with ETHS in any official capacity, many members are ETHS students interested in politics at a local and national level. The Evanston chapter of High Schoolers For Biden was started by juniors Daryn Kaplan and Holden Johansen, who wanted to create a space for ETHS students to become involved in politics beyond the classroom.
“It occurred to me when I was trying to organize stuff for Pete Buttigieg back in January. I got in touch with the Illinois High Schoolers For Biden people, and I talked to them about what it would entail starting a chapter,” Kaplan said.
The main action events hosted by ETHS High Schoolers For Biden are phone banks where students register voters, talk to registered voters about voting for Joe Biden and recruit volunteers for other events.
There are also events that are extended to High Schoolers For Biden chapters around the country and identity-based chapters such as LGBTQIA+ Students For Biden and High School Women For Biden. The events hosted by national leaders throughout the summer and fall have been centered around policy discussions, watch parties and different types of phone banking events.
“Being politically engaged before voting makes you a more informed voter because you’re naturally having conversations with people from either side of the aisle, so you are naturally going to be a more informed voter,” Kaplan said. “Even for people who are not at voting age yet or will not be a voting age by the election, you’re still going to be a more informed voter down the line, even if it’s different candidates.”