Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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Sun Youth Forum :

Youth Forum: Down With Hippies

Students sought social standards from skirt lengths to birth control yesterday at the 12th annual SUN Youth Forum at Las Vegas Convention Center.

Seven panels of 699 Clark County high school student discussed local, state, national and international problems, under adult moderators.

By far the hottest session was the Social Attitudes panel moderated by Bill Willard. After sharp debate on legalizing abortion, student generally felt people are too selfish nowadays.

“Abortion is unfavorable to the family structure, but people are so selfish they have to excuse their indifference,” said one student. However, the youth though the decision to have an abortion was up to the individual, not the state.

The moderator led into hippies and their effects on society from the draft card-burners to the flower children. Group consensus condemned hippies for selfishness causing a social burden to other Americans.

“They may believe what they want to believe,” one girl said, “but hippies are self-centered.”

Selected by the students, the seven major were Education, Problems on the Local Scene, Social Attitudes, National Affairs, Crime and Law Enforcement, International Affairs and the Teenage Dilemma.

After the SUN-sponsored lunch, the panels summarized their topics and voted for summarists who will present the groups’ conclusions at a special luncheon at the Riviera Hotel’s Versaille Room Tuesday at noon. The public is invited and reservations may be made by calling the SUN office by Monday.

The 14 finalists will appear on KLAS-TV, Channel 8 Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. to present their conclusions.

Yesterday’s forum delegates registered under the direction of Service League members.

Mesdames Donna Andress, Gloria Abrums, Pat Beitz, Margy Purdue, Jean Ackerman, Mary Laub, Merle Lysgaard, Stella Kennedy and Jan Haupt of the Service League acted as registrars.

Adult moderators included Mrs. Mabel Mitchell, Joe Shoemaker, Mrs. Marge Phillips, Bill Willard, Mrs. Peggy Phillips, Freddie Little, John Beville, Harry Reid, John Wawerna, Robert Mullen, Dr. Heinz Rettig, Joe Delaney, Zel Lowman and Dr. Irving Katz.

At 3 o’clock all the students went to the Gold Room of the Convention Center for a gala entertainment featuring the Checkmates, Ltd. and the comedy team of Pepper Davis and Tom Reese, with music furnished by Musician’s Local 369, emceed by Delaney.

Two summarist and two alternates were chosen for each topic.

Students and their topics were Kelley Crawley and Jill Sneed, Education; alternates Bob Bigarian and Sue Haller; Betsy Lowman and Bill Mead, On The Local Scene; alternatives Bill Brown and Frank Cunningham; Benard Hamilton and Don Powell, Social Attitudes; alternates Joe Macchieaverna and Tom Collins; Charles Mack and Kevin Staples, National Affairs; alternates, Donna Mendoza and Mario Aguero; Two Lenz and Ginny McNeill, Teenage Dilemma; alternates Terry North and Bill Padovese.

Past Youth Forums have changed adults attitudes toward teenagers. A human relations board youth was recently set up from discussions held during a forum and juvenile court procedures were started after students pleaded with adults for three consecutive years.

Representing every high school in Clark County, participants came from as far as a hundred miles to air their views in the lively discussions.

The annual affair is sponsored by the Las Vegas SUN and its publisher, Hank Greenspun. Mrs. Ruthe Deskin represents the SUN as director, working closely with Forum coordinator, Harvey Dondero of the Clark County school administration. The program is prepared in cooperation with the Clark County School District.