Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Students Exchange Views At Annual SUN Youth Forum

Nearly 700 area high school students exchange opinions on topics of public concern yesterday in spirited debate at the 15th annual SUN Youth Forum at the Convention Center.

Their concerns will be presented to at a luncheon Dec. 16 at noon in the Thunderbird Hotel, on KLAS-TV on Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and in specially written newspaper columns to be published in the SUN.

Speakers the students themselves selected to report to the public on Dec. 16 and Dec. 19 were:

Jack Sawyer, Brad George, John Richardson, Gary Schnitzer, Moshe Bialac, Cathy Broughton, Mark Kaner, Galen Brown, Bob Pearlman, Steve Hernandez, Don Hanlen, Jim Van Cleve, Bill Taschek, and Bill Williams.

First item of business yesterday was the selection of the recorders to take notes on the proceedings for the benefit of the students in attempting to reach a consensus on each of the wide variety of subjects discussed.

Late in the afternoon the students were treated to a spaghetti feed hosted by the SUN and then a riotous funny and tuneful show in the Gold Room by the comedian Redd Foxx, singer Frank Sinatra Jr., and singer Laurie Perrie herself an alumnus of the very first SUN Youth Forum.

Foxx is currently appearing at the International Hotel, Sinatra Jr. at the Frontier Hotel, and Miss Perrie at the Landmark Hotel. The special show was arranged by SUN columnist Joe Delaney through the courtesy of the Musicians Performance Trust Fund.

A surprise guest of the day who came to hear first-hand how youths react to community problems of crime and law enforcement was Gov.-elect Mike O’Callaghan who brought a class to the award-winning program several times.

Moderators yesterday were all veterans of the Forum. They were Lt. Gov.-elect Reid, Delaney, John Wawerna, County Commissioner Bill Briare, Mrs. Ed Phillips, Dr. Irving Katz, Municipal Judge Robert Mullen, former Junior Middleweight Champion of the World Freddie Little, Mrs. Wendel Bunker, artist and writer Bill Willard, Mrs. Andrew Mitchell, Assemblymen Zel Lowman and Dick Bryan.

Coordinators for the event wereHarvey Dondero, associate superintendent of schools, and Ruthe Deskin, administrative assistant to SUN Publisher Hank Greenspun.

Some of the liveliest discussions yesterday were on the so-called new morality or “doing your own thing.” Most of the students appear to take the attitude that they want to live by their own high moral standards but they do not want to cast judgment on their contemporaries or to preach to them how they should live.

Some of the moderators expressed surprise that so few students signed up for the two discussions on politics in light of increased student participation in community affairs. In terms of numbers, only the two sessions were the least populated.

Perhaps some of the most severe criticism of society and its institutions was leveled against all segments of the news media.

Among the observers who were also welcomed to the discussions was the basketball team from Millwaukie High School of Portland, Ore. They are in town to play the Las Vegas High School team on Friday and the Rancho High School team on Saturday.

Students at those high schools invited the out of town team to come sit in with them at the Convention Center. They spent part of the morning with the Las Vegas area students, but had to leave early to practice for the weekend games.

For the 15th year, the women of the Las Vegas service league volunteered to run the registration desk throughout the morning period.