Bad Godesberg The Aloisius College newspaper and student council organised their own discussion round on the US elections with notable experts.
Students from the Aloisius College (Ako for short) in Bad Godesberg were also following this year's US presidential elections with great interest. Many questions were still open, however, and this was one more reason for the students to take a closer look at the future German-American relationship. The FutureLab, an initiative of the student newspaper akomag and the school’s student council. therefore organised a discussion round on Saturday evening with prominent experts, which was broadcast live on YouTube and on the FutureLab website. Twenty-five young people participated in the project without any influence from teachers or parents – driven solely by their interest in the US election. "Our goal is to provide a democratic education for students by students," said Victor Abs, editorial director of the school newspaper. Abs also moderated the discussion with participants Prof. Sabine Sielke and Prof. Ulrich Schlie from the University of Bonn, former constitutional judge Prof. Udo di Fabio, Dr. Benjamin Becker from Amerika Haus NRW, and ZEIT correspondent Rieke Havertz.
After the discussion round with the experts, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. "Our aim is to inform and involve the audience in the discourse so that everyone can form their own opinion," said Benjamin Glenski (17). The student was responsible for monitoring the technology (camera, sound and lighting) during the evening.
Pupil Johanna Rohrmann (16) was glad that Biden had won the race. "You wonder what would have happened if Trump had remained president," said the student. Green politician Jürgen Trittin, who joined in with a guest contribution, warned against believing that things would become easier again for Europe under Biden. "Europe must take more responsibility. Global issues should be put to the test and new opportunities should be seized", the politician demanded. Becker agreed with him: “Yes, there are home-made problems between Americans and Europeans, it is not just because of Trump.” Schlie suspected that the Biden government would also focus more on American domestic policy. "We Europeans should not delude ourselves, we have to solve the problems on our own doorstep", said the Professor of security and strategy research. Havertz observed a divided America after the election. "The rifts between the Democrats and the Republicans will not disappear that quickly," said the US correspondent for Die Zeit.
Johanna Rohrmann, who had helped with the preparations beforehand, was pleased with the professional classification of the topics: "We have top-class people here who have special expertise and can provide us with information in a completely different way to the media, which usually show a very one-sided view of things," said the student.
More information (in German) here.
(Original text: Niklas Schröder, Translation: Caroline Kusch)