On Tuesday night, I attended a unique kind of fundraiser held by Holliston High School’s Model United Nations Club. For $5, I got a pasta dinner, dessert, and a chance to mingle with politicians.
Titled "Meet the Candidates Night," the event took place at the High School just as Super Tuesday voting was winding down. The funds raised will go towards the club’s trip to Dartmouth College for an annual Model United Nations conference at the end of this month.
The event attracted dozens of townspeople, many of whom stayed for hours and chatted with politicians from local, state, and national levels. The attendees ranged from candidates for Massachusetts’ senate seat to members of Holliston’s town government.
At the beginning, I found myself in an animated conversation with Carolyn Dykema, who represents Eighth Middlesex District in the state senate and lives here in town. Topics included things as big as the controversial Keystone LX pipeline and as small as the High School’s BYOD initiative.
The fundraiser acted as an opportunity for High School students, who aren’t usually known for their political knowledge, an opportunity to learn more about the subject. Young people were more prominent than any other age group at the dinner.
“I found it very interesting and informative; it was nice getting to meet some of the people who represent us,” said Andrew Mades, 17, a senior at the High School.
Later on, I spoke with Paul Healy, a member of Holliston’s Park Commission, and Bill Hueler, a town Library Trustee, about the rising costs of college and what it means for today’s students.
“Three year college programs are going to get more and more common; they’ll have to if they want kids to be able to pay for school,” Healy predicted before wishing me luck in my own college future.
Overall, the dinner proved to be not just a good fundraiser, but a way to give people, especially young people who will be able to vote soon, a chance to see politicians in a new light. These days, that kind of exposure is becoming rare and precious.