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Current Events Club Recap: Duane Quam

Recently on Friday, September 8th, Breck’s very own Current Events club welcomed Minnesota House of Representative member Duane Quam. With over 100 students in the library, the clubs leaders, Nate Miller, Noah Levinson and Ollie Kadue, had successfully organized one of the biggest club meetings the Upper School has ever seen.

The format of the meeting was simple: the club leaders would put a prompt on the board for Representative Quam to respond to, and, after his response, students could challenge his statements or ask questions on his position. In these rapid-fire questions, the Representative had just seconds to respond. While the turnout was huge, many students weren’t happy with the event.

The most common complaint was that Representative Quams very roundabout, vague way of responding to students’ questions,  and that he would never fully answer them. For example, Catherine Walker (‘25) asked for Representative Quam’s thoughts on the new Florida legislation; she had to interrupt his response to redirect his attention to the “Don’t say gay” bill, as he wasn’t saying anything of substance. Moreover, he spoke almost exclusively in generalities. He often referenced “the media” and “the hype” without any specificity. Further in the instances when he tried to cite certain studies, he could never specify a study’s name, figures, or contributors. Yet, despite his lack of specificity in any area he touched on, a fair minority of the students seemed to support him greatly. His raw, unforgiving attitude and eager combativeness were appealing to some.

In short, Quam’s Friday appearance was divisive. Though his stance on hot topics like abortion and climate change divided students, it’s safe to say his presence had everyone on the edge of their seats. With such a great turnout to the first meeting, Current Events leaders guarantee we’ll be seeing more figures like Quam soon.

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