Junior Statement The
Vol. 1 Issue 1
The Official Newspaper of the Junior State of America
Midwest sees promising start BY ASWIN SIVARAMAN Midwest State
JSA summer school students pose outside the Captiol Building in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Lia Cromwell
Summer schools offer new perspective Students experience JSA beyond the high school setting BY SHRUTI KANNAN Northeast State
Every year, on prominent college campuses around the nation, JSA puts on summer schools for hundreds of year-round and new JSA students. This past summer, programs took place on three campuses – Georgetown University, Stanford University, and Princeton University – for three to four weeks each, as well as in China for the first year ever. Because most year-round JSAers are unaware of what summer school actually is, it was quite a shock to them to experience something so different from the usual convention routine. Micaela Cirimeli from Northgate High School in Northern
California says of her experience, “Entering JSA summer school, I expected a three week long convention. I found that the student run aspect is cast aside in order to emphasize the importance of political awareness, study, and activism.” In addition, summer schools have proven a primary way to introduce new students to JSA. “I had the most amazing experience,” said Zach Haldeman of Willard, Ohio. “Everything was new, everyone was nice, and it was allaround fun. My class was amazing, and I had the craziest, most awesome professor.” “The speakers programs were great,” he continued. “It was just a wonderful experience that I’ll never forget, and never be able to recreate.” Nearly every student agrees that each summer school is academically rigorous in its own right and that a summer school attendee is always on the go. Students are quick to note that the term ‘summer school’ is somewhat misleading; courses are advanced rather than remedial. Quali-
fications vary by course and campus, but admissions are always highly competitive. Still, summer school is not all work and no play – students have free time and Sundays off and they are free to spend them however they please. Overall, students agree that summer school – while busy – is an
invaluable experience. The atmosphere is similar to that of college, making it the perfect opportunity for high school students to get a taste of what is to come. As any JSAer can attest to, there is always much to be learned – both from the program and from peers – and the friends that one makes are for a lifetime.
Photo by Lia Cromwell
Nationwide, Fall State proves successful BY HALEY STRACHER Northeast State
Amidst the chaos at the start of the school year, JSAers across the country prepared for a politically engaging weekend at Fall State. Offered by each JSA state throughout the nation, Fall State conventions were held in various locationsn the month of November. This year’s theme was “Energizing America: Capturing the Winds of Change.” Kirstyn Petras of Culver Academies in Indiana looked forward to the debates. “When you bring together students with such a wide range of geographic and demographic difference, new ideas and perspectives are brought forth,” explained Petras. “It sounds cheesy, but the debates are really what make JSA what it is,” she added. While the excitement of a
debate-filled weekend was shared rience overall. throughout the country, each region Midwest Governor Tony Castoffered unique activities that differ- agnoli expressed excitement in his entiate their weekend from those of preparations for Midwest Fall State, other states. which took place in Milwaukee. Su“Where I live in Seattle, there is preme Court simulations were added not much politto the agenda in ical diversity,” addition to the desaid Seidman. bates and thought “Everyone is talks of past years. liberal, but Fall State has the PNW as a long been a valuwhole is very able and enjoyable politically distart to each JSA verse. Fall school year. When State gives asked what they me a chance love most about to hear views the conventions, Kirstyn Petras from across students’ answers Midwest State the political were unanimous: spectrum that I “The people.” would not get to hear otherwise.” Conventions provide a unique Under the direction of a new opportunity to take a break from the cabinet each year, each state took Fall routine of high school, reunite with State as an opportunity to enhance the friends from summer school and disactivities offered and enrich the expe- cuss current issues with students with
“It sounds cheesy, but the debates are really what make JSA what it is.”
a passion for politics. Students couldn’t wait for their region’s conventions, but they would not mind trying out some others. When JSAers were asked which state’s Fall State convention they would attend if given the option, answers varied as much as students’ political views. “I would go to NorCal, hands down,” said Seidman. “I want to see how [Jay] Moody runs things. At Georgetown [Session 1, 2009], Moody always talked about how he wanted to be governor. It’s been so exciting to watch him accomplish it.” Despite curiosity, Leora Rosenberg of High Tech High School in New Jersey remains loyal to her region. “I would go to MAS, of course,” she responded. Regardless of the location, Fall State has fulfilled its purpose of uniting politically interested JSAers from across each region.
The 2010-2011 Midwest JSA year has had a fantastic start, promising greater expansion and participation. Though there has been substantial development throughout the state, two schools’ chapters, Arrowhead High School and Neuqua Valley High School, have shown tremendous growth from Fall State and beyond. Located within a small suburb of Milwaukee, Arrowhead boasts a fairly well-rounded and typical JSA chapter. Under the leadership of Ryanne Olsen, Jordan McEvoy, Arun Srinivasan, Brian Payne, Lucy McCollgan, Shawn Goggins, Paulette Hubbard, Patrick Eisenhower, and Lindsey Weber, however, Arrowhead is making its name known throughout the Midwest. At each meeting, Arrowhead JSA students work on mainly formal debates and thought talks, as well simulating a mock election with respect to the 2010 midterms. With much time and effort, the students successfully held a mini-con at the school on October 16th, 2010, garnering about thirty students in attendance. Arrowhead JSA member Angelo Porchetta noted that his favorite debate was the Prostitution Legalization debate. All in all, this mini-con was a defining moment in Wisconsin JSA. Though the state has few JSA chapters, Arrowhead aims to revitalize them to strengthen Wisconsin membership for future Midwest conventions. The Naperville-Aurora in Illinois is already well-known for yielding strong Midwest JSA leaders. Yet now, another school pushes to strengthen its stance in Midwest JSA representation. Neuqua Valley’s JSA chapter, located in southern Naperville, has experienced immense growth throughout the fall 2010 semester. Led by Aswin Sivaraman, Vikram Ramesh, Nesh Patel, George Luke, Krishna Yarramasu, Aneysha Bhat, and Puja Nigam, Neuqua’s JSA meetings consist of generally thought talks, crossfires, formal debates, and occasionally guest speaker workshops. “I have really enjoyed topics, such as the Dream Act and the Medal of Honor Taliban controversy, where points anywhere from economics to ethics can be incorporated into the discussion,” said JSA Member Tyler Rotche. With a chapter membership ranging up to 150 students, Neuqua held a mini-con on November 6th, 2010, to connect its newest members with the regional realm of JSA. As a step towards greater community involvement, JSA teams from Neuqua Valley and Naperville North debated on October 28th, 2010, about term limits and districts, televised live on a local television station. With Neuqua Valley and Arrowhead High Schools as mere examples, the Midwest State has truly made strides in the 2010-2011 school year.