Students discuss the pandemic at ‘Pastries and Politics’

Biology sophomore Kara George (left) and political science junior Jeffrey Ramsey (right) debate the effects of COVID-19. Vanguard Photographer | Sarah Brege

SVSU’s College Republicans and the College Democrats hosted their February ‘Pastries and Politics’ event with the scheduled topic of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diva Patel, a political science and biology senior, said the topic was decided at last month’s Pastries and Politics. Patel is the president of College Democrats.

“[People] were interested in sharing their personal thoughts and opinions on the pandemic,” Patel said. “It is also a very timely topic of discussion.”

Abigail Sefick, a political science sophomore and the president of the College of Republicans, said there was something that she loved about discussing this topic.

“While we are all tired of talking about COVID, everyone came into the conversations with open minds,” she said. “It is really important that we all become comfortable discussing current events in a civil manner, while also developing solutions to problems in the community.”

The discussion went back and forth, allowing each side to bring their thoughts and concerns to the table.

“A key highlight from the event was seeing all of the participants at Pastries and Politics having civil and productive conversations with one another,” Patel said. “It was incredible to see how individuals with different viewpoints can still find things in common.”

The event had about 21 people in attendance to enjoy the pastries and the political conversation.

Junior Sarah Doran talks about unemployment. Vanguard Photographer | Sarah Brege

However, for this Pastries and Politics, Sefick said they did things a little bit differently.

“We threw a wrench into the event by numbering everyone off, so it would push people outside of their comfort zones – to promote growth; I was worried that would have hindered conversation, but all of the groups had really diverse and educated arguments that were really beneficial,” Sefick said. “I am so grateful for people who are willing to engage in tough conversations and are willing to flesh out the issues in society, it gives me hope for the future.”

Sefick highlighted what she thought was the key part of the event.

“There was one key area that caught me by surprise: no one thought that lockdowns were beneficial in the long run,” Sefick said.

For the next Pastries and Politics, the groups will discuss the topic off United States Policy, foreign and domestic.

“The topic was chosen based on what attendees wanted to discuss,” Patel said. “I believe that the topic of U.S. policy is fascinating and will help students have an active discussion on the policies that the United States is currently implementing on the domestic and foreign fronts.”

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