Students are packing their bags, preparing their notes and gearing up for their passionate debates. Why? Because, for the young politicians involved in the Staples chapter of Junior Statesmen of America, or JSA, their annual Fall State conference is right around the corner.
The conference, which is scheduled to take place Dec. 7-8 in Boston, features students from the northeast coming together to debate and participate in a wide variety of activities.
“In my opinion, it’s one of the most important conventions of the year,” Jacob Nadel ‘15, a member of the club, said. “It’s one of the three major conventions, and it’s a great way to really kick off a new year of JSA.”
The weekend trip is organized into eight blocks of time for students to debate, moderate, and watch others. As the club members eagerly await the trip, they reflect on all their favorite aspects of the conference in previous years.
“It’s always interesting to watch the keynote speaker,” Emma Broadbent ’16 said. “I’m not sure who it’s going to be this year yet, but I’m really excited to find out.”
In addition to a keynote speaker, students are also given time to do a variety of different activities during the weekend.
“There’s a newspaper distributed that features a lot of articles about political affairs and popular debate topics,” Zoe Feygin ‘16 said. “JSA is all about sharing opinions, and the newspaper is a way to get more opinions out there.”
But all the JSA kids are looking forward to watching and participating in the most important element of the club.
“The best part of Fall State for me is the debates themselves,” Nadel said. “It’s extremely interesting to hear all the different opinions from the kids from around the northeast on a huge variety of issues.”
But it certainly isn’t all work and no play for JSA debaters. Cole Bruno ’16, said of his experience with debates at Fall State:
“Fall state is full of fun debates, and we debate really all topics. I once even used a ‘Godfather’ quote in a debate.”
While the countdown to Fall State continues, the JSA students continue to work at their debating and moderating skills in their after school meetings.