Make History in the History Club

Michael Varriale, Staff Writer

Are you a history buff? Do you want to participate in events like the Ethics Bowl and Model U.N.? The History Club might just be the perfect thing for you. All you need to do is go to room 121 on Mondays and meet with Advisors Mr. Hughes and Mrs.Theo.

The History Club first started as a place for students to come together and share a love of history and discuss things going on in the world like elections, current events, and global issues. At first it was just some students discussing current events and the occasional guest speaker. Some students who had once been a part of the club have even been able to turn it into a career. “The three kids who came to us to start the club all have their PhDs today. They were just those kinds of students,” says Mrs. Theo about the start of the club. 

As more people joined the club, it branched off to bigger things like Model U.N. and the Ethics Bowl. The Ethics Bowl is an event judged by professors, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals where students are given a set of cases from the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) to examine moral and ethical issues that range from everyday life (privacy and technology issues ) to the ethical responsibilities of doctors in war-struck areas. Twenty-four teams compete in the Long Island Region, and students are given points for how well they present their arguments, as well as how they answer the judges’ questions. “It’s such a process, and watching them take on and explore these issues, and watching their positions evolve and grow while they think on their feet, it’s amazing to see that,” says Mr.Hughes. This year, Farmingdale made it to the finals, but unfortunately lost by just two points. 

Another event is the Model U.N. About 20 students go to Hofstra and engage in discussions about food insecurity, child trafficking, and arms issues. It is very hands-on for students, and teachers basically stand back. Part of Model U.N. is the Crisis Committee, which is based on either past events or future crises and students discuss and have to create responses for these crises in a fast-paced environment. 

As for the future, Mr. Hughes and Mrs. Theo are planning on hosting a “town hall style” meeting where students can meet with administrators from Farmingdale Schools to discuss what is working for the schools and what can be implemented in the future. Similar to this, the students take part in the Legislative Action Committee. This is a district-wide initiative where the students meet with local state senators and assembly people from Albany, school administration, and community leaders to discuss the needs of the Farmingdale School District. The kids give a student perspective on curriculum, student safety, and what should be funded more and less. In the past, they have also taken a bus trip to Albany.

A big part of the club is their executive board. The executive board shares authority between Kevin Piraino, Amanda Treulich, Dan Seaman, and Sarah Manandhar. Amanda and Sarah do a lot of logistics and keep students in the loop. Kevin does some of the creative stuff, like writing up scenarios, and he is captain of the ethics team, while Dan contributes a lot of input and completes the board.

Mr. Hughes and Mrs. Theo encourage people to join as they are always looking for more people, especially underclassmen. History Club gives you a chance to express yourself and be comfortable in a supportive environment.