President Joe Biden Moves into the White House

Courtesy+of+Avian+Munoz

Courtesy of Avian Munoz

Samantha Nodine, Staff Writer

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History was made on January 20 as the world watched Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris take the oaths of president and vice president, respectively at the Capitol in Washington D.C. After he defeated incumbent president Donald Trump in the November 2020 election, Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th President alongside his running mate, Kamala Harris, making her the first female and woman of color to become vice president.

“Watching the inauguration in class was surreal,” says senior Avian Munoz. “As someone who is half Mexican and half Asian, all my life I’ve just never felt like I was represented by the White House. Even though I’m not South Asian, I’m Southeast Asian, seeing Kamala Harris get elected was just so inspiring. To see a second-generation American like me, it made me feel like I could do anything because someone just like me became vice president, and if that can happen, anything can happen.”

In order for high school students to be able to stay current and talk about issues, Munoz formed a club, Junior State of America, where Bearkats can come to talk and learn about politics in the world around them.

“Every club meeting, we always have a topic that’s the overview of every meeting, and then based on that, I prepare an outline,” said Munoz, who is currently the president of JSA. “I research facts about it so that it can help me guide the discussion of the meeting. Overall, the meeting is a safe space for anyone who wants to speak on that topic to be able to come and have an open discussion. We say what we want to say about the topic at hand and build on each other.”

Although JSA has not had a chance to talk about the results of the election yet, they had a meeting in early October, about a month before the election took place, in which they discussed the presidential debates.

“It’s very beneficial to be able to have a conversation with someone on the other side because it makes me more educated,” said senior Sabrina Fekrache, who is the vice president of JSA. “It’s less of an idea you see on TV or Twitter or Instagram, and it’s less of a construct and more of a personal thing when you’re able to say, ‘I understand where you’re coming from.’”

Amidst conversation everywhere about the electoral college, these JSA officers, like Secretary senior Nicole Cage, explain how the system currently works.

“Every person in their county has the ability to go out and choose who they want to be their leader, and that goes into the popular vote,” says Cage. “The electoral vote comes from the sections of the counties, and then eventually, culminates into the state and is based on population to determine how many electoral votes that you get. California gets 55 and has a huge population, and Texas has 38. Once they’re counted, whoever has the most electoral votes gains the presidency.”

Cage expressed that she is waiting for results to be certain because of the media’s fiery response to the election.

“I’m kind of in the camp where I don’t really accept the media saying they ‘called it’ even though we went through all of the channels and looked into all of the irregularities that are going on. I think we all have a right to a fair election. Back during the whole Russia thing with Trump, we poured millions of tax dollars into looking into that. Nothing really came out of it. So, I think we have a basis to look into what happens, and if it proves that all these inconsistencies mean nothing, then okay. It’s America, we’ll get through it.”

These JSA members, like most Americans election week, anxiously awaited results. Munoz jokes about how he stayed up all night on November 2 to hear the outcome.

“The entire week, I was just so invested,” Munoz said. “I could not keep my eyes off the screen looking at Steve Kornacki and his magical doodle board. I just couldn’t help myself. So, I stayed up all night, and what do you know, the results came back on Saturday when I was in the shower. I thought it was so funny that after all that, I had missed it. I stepped out of the shower and I checked my phone, and Sabrina had texted the Klein JSA group chat saying that Biden won the election, and I was just thinking, ‘there’s no way that Sabrina got this information before me, she can’t be right,’ and she was.”

Additionally, Cage addressed her idea that our generation of teenagers needs to be more involved in politics.

“High schoolers are always reminded that we’re the next generation, and in a way, we are, but I also think that we’re the ‘now’ generation,” Cage said. “It used to be okay going off into the real world and going off to college not knowing exactly what you believe. I think you need to know it now because we are washed with all of this stuff on social media. There’s so much depth and there’s so much nuance to the issues that we face today, and that’s so important. It’s unfortunate that it’s become so taboo to talk about in the classroom.”