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The Junior Statement

In this issue: Chapter of the Month: University High School 4 The real problem with the Republican Party

6

Should schools assign campus beautification as punishment? 8

October 2013

To SAT or to not SAT? The Junior Statement examines the arguments in favor and in opposition of the country’s most widely taken college admissions test PAGE 7


2 . news

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Debate dept. promotes innovation on state and national level by Arian Rubio Staff Writer

The debate departments of the Junior States have begun implementing innovative strategies to encourage increased participation in debates and thought talks. On both a national and state level, the directors are making changes to the ways in which Junior Statesmen discuss debate topics, in the hopes that it may attract more participants. Nationally, the Junior State is planning to take on new initiatives. “The debate department and the Council of Governors are attempting to establish partnerships with ProCon,” Timothy Kang, National Director of Debate, said. “We’re also working on a streamlined mobile app with the National Technology Department.” These ideas by the National Debate Department would help facilitate unity throughout the Junior States. A relationship with ProCon, a non-partisan organization based on educating without bias, would help the debate departments throughout the country develop new ideas for debates while having a FROOHFWLYH UHVRXUFH DYDLODEOH WR ÀQG more information about the topics.

A mobile app created in conjunction with the National Technology DepartPHQWZRXOGDOVREULQJ-6$WRWKHÀQgertips of Junior Statesmen, allowing statesmen to connect and debate from all across the country. 3DFLÀF 1RUWKZHVW 'LUHFWRU RI  'Hbate Brian O’Rourke hopes to improve his state’s department by appealing to new JSAers, who can be intimidated by the competition. “A long standing issue when it comes to participation in debates is the tight structure of parliamentary debates. [Many potential debaters] are apprehensive due to the competitive environment.” In response to this issue, the Pacific Northwest has implemented deEDWHV ZLWK YDU\LQJ OHYHOV RI  GLIÀFXOW\ advanced debates would be focused around experienced debaters, while novice debates would help novice debaters get adjusted to the JSA debate-style environment. Another state that wishes to attract more debate participants is the Mid-Atlantic State (MAS). To achieve this, the MAS Debate Department, under director Marko Kasilkovic, has reached out to individual chapters, asking for debate topics chapters would be inter-

Junior Statesmen can win gavels for winning Best Speaker in their debate. PHOTO BY ARIAN RUBIO

ested in seeing at state conventions. The Southern California State is taking a different approach, and seeking for more moderator participation. Under Director of Debate Alexis Kallen and Director of Moderators Jane Lichacz, the SoCal Debate Department has labeled moderator spots as “easy”, “moderate” and “hard”, making it easier for delegates to decide on which moderator spot they would like to sign up for. Since keeping the debate organized and well-run has often been a problem

for inexperienced moderators, this new strategy will allow for better control of the debate. 'HEDWHSOD\VDVLJQLÀFDQWUROHLQ-6$ conventions. There are many new debate structures, moderator positions, and national initiatives that JSA is implementing this year in the hopes of increasing the participation in debate. Arian Rubio is a senior at Rutgers Preparatory Academy in Somerset, NJ in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State. He serves as the Mid-Atlantic Director of Expansion.

Washington Redskins’ name change could be a gamechanger

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder walks along the field dring practice. PHOTO COURTSEY OF SCOTT VUCCI, ASSOCIATED PRESS.

by Rachel Donaldson Staff Writer Controversy over the Washington Redskins team name has reached an all time high. Football fans across the country are up in arms. Some passionately oppose the team’s name, arguing that the name is offensive towards Native Americans.

Others see the name as innocuous. They argue that name isn’t very VLJQLÀFDQW DQG KDV JDUQHUHG unnecessary attention. As the team name becomes increasingly controversial, Redskins owner Dan Snyder must decide whether he is for against a name change. In past years, Snyder promised to keep the name as it is. However,

resolute petitioners, particularly those of Native American descent, will not JLYHXSWKHÀJKW These protestors ardently believe that that Redskins logo dehumanizes Native Americans, characterizing them as wild savages. Today, they are lobbying the U.S. government to deny federal trademark protection to the Washington Redskins. If the team is denied of federal trademark, Snyder may be inclined to change the name to DYRLGÀQDQFLDOFRPSOLFDWLRQV At one memorable Redskins game, fans were handed redskin potatoes as they entered the stadium. The Native Americans participating in this subtle act of protest suggested sarcastically that if the team will not change their name altogether, their mascot should at least be changed to the potato. Supporters of the team name, however, believe that the name merely represents tradition and team spirit. An Associated Press-GfK survey exhibited in April of 2012 that 79% of Americans do not support changing the team name.

Surprisingly, 90% of Native Americans responded to the poll saying WKDWWKH\GLGQRWÀQGWKH:DVKLQJWRQ Redskins name to be offensive. According Stephen Dodson, a proud American Inuit chief, the name Redskin can even be used as a term of endearment or honor. Although the polls overwhelmingly favor keeping the traditional name, the subject of name change continues to be a popular topic. President Barak Obama expressed that he would consider changing the name if he were Dan Snyder. “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team... was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” he said in a recent statement. Other politicians have begun to get involved, supporting petitioners from among their constituencies. Despite the many heated debates, the team, for now, will remain the Washington Redskins. Rachel Donaldson is a sophomore at Winchester High School in Winchester, Massachusetts in the Northeast Junior State.


news . 3

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Congress agrees the debt ceiling is too damn high by Jasmine Lee Staff Writer

The White House remained in division and at a standstill during the government shutdown as Republicans and Democrats argued for over two weeks on the Affordable Health Care Act. 7KLV FRQÁLFW QRW RQO\ EURXJKW WKH government to a shutdown, but also delayed the process of raising the debt ceiling, an important step requiring agreement from both parties. Resolving their differences and reaching a compromise took on a feeling of urgency as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the government would run out of money to pay its bills by October 17th, a situation promising serious consequences for the U.S. economy. Although the debt ceiling and the government shutdown are two different issues, Republicans turned the impending date as an opportunity to pressure the Democrats into agreement. Effects of a government default would prove catastrophic. The debt ceiling acts as legal limita-

tion as to how much the government can borrow from other countries to pay off its debts. Failure to raise this debt ceiling would force the Treasury to rely on incoming revenue to pay off ongoing expenses, cause concern for debt owners, stop the funding of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and create higher interest rates which would increase the cost of business and houses. These consequences could possibly throw the U.S. into a bigger recession, implying global risks. While the deadlock between the Republican and Democratic Party persists, many citizens bring into question the practicality of having a debt ceiling at all. Those who are against the debt ceiling argue that this process interferes with the U.S.’s ability to pay off their debts and is instead used as a weapon to force legislative agreement. Advocates of the debt ceiling claim that the debt ceiling serves as a sensible plan for spending and borrowing. The U.S. remains the only country that has implemented a debt ceiling.

AMANDA KAUFMAN

Although no complete agreement on the issue will occur in the near future, both parties struggle to reconcile their differences in light of the impending deadline. The Associated Press reported that “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will ask House Republicans for a short-term debt ceiling increase.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-

NV) said, “I’m very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that’s reasonable in nature this week”. Congress hopes to reach an agreement in the near future. Jasmine Lee is a junior at Van Nuys Senior High School in Van Nuys, California in the Southern California Junior State.

Anti-Petraeus protests at CUNY: be the people?

LAUREN LIAO

by Hannah Smilansky Staff Writer Many of you have already seen the video footage of former Gen. David Petraeus walking amidst a mob of angry protestors at the City University of New York (CUNY). The retired CIA director was hired by CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College as a visiting professor, an appointment many of the college’s students strongly disagreed with. On Monday, September 9th, as Petraeus was on his way to give a lecture, CUNY students surrounded

him on the New York City Streets. Shouting phrases such as “Petraeus out of CUNY” and “He’s a war criminal,” the protestors followed him down the street and threatened to continue protesting before every class. During one protest, six students were arrested by the NYPD and charged for “disorderly conduct, riot, resisting arrest, and obstruction of governmental administration.” The debacle has been a vivid depiction of student activism in action. On one hand, the students stood up for WKHLU EHOLHIV ZLWKRXW YLROHQFH RQ WKH

other hand though, the aggressive behavior and foul language captured in the viral YouTube video actually paints Petraeus in a better light. Explaining why students began protesting against Petraeus’ appointment, Hunter College’s Latin American History professor, Sandor John, has some answers. John is a member of the group that organized the protests and stated that Petraeus’ being a “war criminal” angered the students. According to John, “Most of [CUNY’s] students…are from the working class and from oppressed communities, spe-

FLÀFDOO\ IURP IDPLOLHV«LQ FRXQWULHV where the effects of U.S. imperialism and militarism have been experienced LQ«XQVSHDNDEOH DQG KRUULÀF ZD\Vµ 7KHVHVHQWLPHQWVZHUHRQO\LQWHQVLÀHG after the revelation that Petraeus was offered $200,000 for teaching a threehour-a-week course called “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?” Once students and faculty expressed their outrage, Petraeus’ salary was dropped to $150,000 and then to only $1 to “remove money as a point of controversy.” JSA advocates for its members to “be the people”, to take a stance. We all know that violence is not the answer, but how passionate is too passionate? Are there forms of protesting that are not effective, if only because they switch the public’s empathy to the person being attacked? Does the public’s empathy matter? The answers will not come from this one event, but perhaps the CUNY protests will help us move a step closer to uncovering the truth. Hannah Smilansky is a senior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington in the Pacific Northwest Junior State.


4 . news

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Chapter of the Month: University High School, Irvine by Victoria Snitsar Staff Writer

Quality or quantity? University High School, Irvine’s chapter of the Junior State of America (JSA) has managed to increase both for the coming year. The chapter, located in Irvine, California in the Southern California Junior State, (not to be confused with University Preprepatory School, also in the Southern California Junior State) has experienced an exponential growth in the past year, increasing IURP DQ DWWHQGDQFH RI  MXVW Ă€IWHHQ DW Winter Congress 2013 to already registering 72 delegates for Fall State Los Angeles this year. Under new leadership, the chapter board takes a lot of pride in its accomplishments in the past few months. “The Uni JSA board is extremely proud of our growth this year. Just a month into school, our Fall State attendance has increased by 400% from last year,â€? Chapter Co-President Katie Flattum said. In addition to increasing conference attendance, University JSA is planning

to host a one-day chapter conference in either February or March. This will EH WKH ÀUVW 2QH'D\ WKH FKDSWHU KDV ever hosted, and hopes to continue hosting a one-day conference for years to come. Regardless of its small delegation in previous years, University’s chapter has seven members appointed to various levels of cabinet throughout the JSA organization, and has the second highest number of cabinet members in the state. It has the highest ratio of cabinet member to chapter member in the state., and has at least one member holding a position on every single level of cabinet, from national to regional. University has members appointed as or serving in: National cabinet (Lilia Abecassis- Editor-Chief of the Junior Statement), state executive department (Jessica Shin- Lieutenant Governor), two department heads (Jennifer Kodia- Convention Coordinator and Katie Flattum – Director of Public Relations), state cabine (Faizan Motiwala- Chapter Coordinator and Haruka Hatori- Advocacy Publicist)

University High School, Irvine in the Southern California Junior State experienced a 400% increase in attendance from Fall State 2012 to Fall State 2013. Pictured: University High School chapter board and adviser (left.) PHOTO COURTESY OF JESSICA SHIN.

DQGUHJLRQDOFDELQHW 6DĂ€QD0RWLZDOD Southern Empire Region Director of Fundraising.) Governor Sabrina Lieberman admires the University JSA delegation for each individuals talent. “University is such a dynamic chapter,â€? Lieberman said. “Although each member possesses a unique talent, each carries a distinct professionalism and poise.

Despite its size, University is a very active and ubiquitous chapter both in Southern California and nationwide. Congratulations to University High School JSA for being awarded as October Chapter of the Month! Victoria Snitsar is a junior at Skyline High School in Issaquah, Washington in the Pacific Northwest Junior State.

Government cracks down on the modern Silk Road

ANJA SENG

by SiTian Zhang Staff Writer Ross Ulbricht seems like an average 29 year-old citizen who lives in San Francisco. He has a master’s degree in physics, and a love for computers. He likes to frequently work on his laptop in the cafÊ across the street from his home. Despite his innocuous facade,

Ulbricht calls himself Dread Pirate Roberts, a character from the Princess Bride, in the online world. Furthermore, he is the owner and manager of the largest and most prominent online black market: The Silk Road. The items sold on his site range from counterfeit sunglasses to fake IDs. Transactions remain entirely anonymous and products are paid for

through “bitcoinsâ€?, a decentralized virtual currency. On October 1st, 2013, Ulbricht was arrested by the FBI. The FBI had been investigating The Silk Road for years. It was not until they intercepted a package containing fake IDs with Ulbricht’s images that they found out the identity of The Silk Road’s owner. The FBI arrested Ulbricht on charges of money laundering, narcotLFV WUDIĂ€FNLQJ FRQVSLUDF\ DQG FRPSXWHUKDFNLQJ+LVDUUHVWZDVĂ€UVWRI  eight others made across the world in relation to The Silk Road. Authorities have closed down the site and seized the 26,000 bitcoins held in escrow. However, unable to access Ulbricht’s bitcoins, Ulbricht’s $80 billion remains at large. Despite the closing of The Silk Road and the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the illegal activities promoted by The Silk Road have not been lagged. Vendors have simply moved on to other

platforms such as Sheep Marketplace, Black Market, and Diaspora. Interestingly, to some vendors, continuing to engage in illegal activity through these platforms is not mereO\DEXVLQHVVWUDQVDFWLRQUDWKHULWLV their way of expressing an ideological statement. Many users of The Silk Road advocate limited government and extreme individual freedom. “What we’re doing isn’t about scoring drugs or ‘sticking it to the man.’ It’s about standing up for our rights as human beings and refusing to submit when we’ve done no wrong,â€? wrote one Silk Road user. Ulbricht, himself, stated in his /LQNHG,Q SURĂ€OH SULRU WR FUHDWLQJ The Silk Road, â€œâ€ŚI am creating an economic simulation to give people D Ă€UVWKDQG H[SHULHQFH RI  ZKDW LW would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.â€? SiTian Zhang is a junior at High Tech High School in North Bergen, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the New Jersey Region Star.


news . 5

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Schools censor student criticism, challenge free speech by Laura Whelan Staff Writer

Schools are beginning to limit their students’ First Amendment rights by extending into students’ private computers and blocking students from writing anything defamatory about their schools online. These actions schools are taking to prevent students from publicizing their opinions are sparking a debate on whether the schools have the right to limit their students’ voices. Among the schools that are beginning to place restrictions on their students voices is Kent Place School, a preparatory day school in Summit, New Jersey. The Kent Place School implemented a controversial policy in 2013, stating, “do not use commentary that reasonably may be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous toward Kent Place School.� Those who do not comply with this rule will be “examined by administration who will determine

ANJA SENG

consequences.� Just like Kent Place, many preparatory schools across the nation are adding the same rule in their student handbooks and warning the students about the consequences they will face if the rule is not followed. Expressing defamation is not formally covered under the First Amendment. The issue of schools censoring students’ voices online has not yet been debated on the Supreme &RXUW KRZHYHU WKH 6XSUHPH &RXUW regarding the censorship of school newspapers, said that deleting parts

Students incorporate online education by Rohit Joshi Staff Writer Just a few decades ago, people would have categorized the regular use of Internet as ludicrous. Fast-forward to today and the use of technology has become ubiquitous. Technology has come to play a crucial role in education. With the advent of tablets and online educational websites, our education has become portable and easily accessible. Coursera and Udacity are just a few examples of sites that offer free courses taught by college professors to anyone with an Internet connection. Furthermore, teachers and educators from all around the country are incorporating online education videos into their curriculums. A recent report by StatCrunch has revealed that nearly 40% of people prefer online classrooms to real-life ones. Online virtual classrooms hosted by platforms such as WizIQ have become so realistic that students can raise their hands to speak and the teachers can call on them to talk. Some educators believe that in just a few decades, the norm in teaching ZLOO EH ´à LSSHG FODVVURRPV¾ VWXGHQWV

will learn the material at home via the Internet and come to class merely for discussions and further practice. While this might not be commonplace just yet, teachers around the world are already starting to experiment with this type of learning and seeing the beneÀWV,QVWHDGRI XVLQJFODVVWLPHWRJLYH lectures, they can answer questions and expand on topics in order to address VSHFLÀF TXHVWLRQV TXHVWLRQV WKDW JHQerally would not have been answered, as most students are reluctant to approach teachers outside of class. However, these educational models bring about their own risks— students will not be motivated to watch and learn lectures outside of their class. In addition, many students will view learning at home as an unnecessary burden compared to the current method of completing practice work at home. While the switch to learning online seems inevitable, it is clear that these DUHGHÀQLWHO\TXHVWLRQVWKDWQHHGWREH addressed before such ideas become the norm. Rohit Joshi is a senior at Dublin Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio in the Ohio River Valley Junior State. He is the Central Ohio District Mayor.

ANJA SENG

of a student’s article was acceptable, as long as the regulations were “reasonably related to a legitimate pedagogical interest.� Furthermore, the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1996 and the AntiCybersquatting Law of 1998 stated that a criticizer’s words are covered under the First Amendment unless a business can prove economic damage from them. Although schools are not commonly thought of as commercial ventures, some schools, especially private

VFKRROVPDNHSURÀWDQGFDQWKHUHIRUH be compared to businesses. The majority of the schools that have implemented rules to ban students from publicizing any obscenity are private schools. Students at private schools receive a different level of protection from the First Amendment than public school students. Public schools are associated with WKH JRYHUQPHQW WKXV VFKRROV PXVW act in respect to the Bill of Rights. Private schools, however, are not associated with the government. This allows private schools to limit the constitutional rights of their students without breaking a federal law. What sparked the creation of a school rule to limit the students’ words is unclear, but the results are QRW 6WXGHQWV WR DYRLG DQ\ FRQà LFWV with their schools, must now take extra precautions when posting comments online. Laura Whelan is a sophomore at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State. She is the New Jersey Region Co-Director of Fundraising .

Punishing rape victims in Saudi Arabia by Ben Lanier Staff Writer A Saudi Arabian court recently increased a 19 year old female, married, rape victim’s punishment to 6 months in prison and 200 lashes after Abd al-Rahman al-Lahim, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer, complained about her original sentence of 90 lashes for “illegal mingling.â€? The court has also chosen to ban Al-Lahim from the case and has conĂ€VFDWHGKLVSURIHVVLRQDOOLFHQVH During the trial, the judge frequently asked the victim why she was out of her house, and why did she not tell her husband where she was going. According to Farada Deif, a researcher in the woman’s s rights division of Human Rights Watch, this type of questioning indicates how the judicial system in Saudi Arabia is more likely to cause trauma to the victim rather than justice for the perpetrator. The rape victim was originally with a man in Qatif who promised to give an old photograph. After she met with this man in the car, a gang of seven men raped and assaulted both of them

several times. Human Rights Watch asked King Abdullah to have her sentence voided and to have all charges against her dropped. It is worthy to note that Saudi Arabia has no written penal code, and thus sentence length and severity varies widely across the peninsula. Trials in Saudi Arabia also remain closed to the public. Judges often do not write their verdict, even in cases of severe punishment, like the death penalty. Judges also can choose to deny individuals the right to legal representation. King Abdullah announced some measures of judicial reform on October of this year, including new specialized courts, and training for judges and lawyers. Along with increasing the sentence of the victim to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison, the Saudi Court has also doubled the sentences directed towards rapists. However, the fact that Saudi Arabia has chosen to keep blame on the rape victim is much more startling and noteworthy. Ben Lanier is a junior at Stuyvesant High School in New York, New York in the Northeast Junior State.


6 . opinion

October 2013 The Junior Statement

The GOP’s problem is the message, not the medium

by Matthew Cohen Staff Writer

Reince Preibus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, recently announced that he would make D  PLOOLRQ LQYHVWPHQW LQ ´QHZ Ă€HOG operationsâ€? that will work on spreading the Republican message to “minority communities and groups.â€? Mr. Preibus believes that poor communication was the primary reason why Republicans got trampled in the 2012 general election. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The problem with the current Republican Party is not communication, it is the message they are trying to communicate. As a result of the Tea Party movement swinging the party in a more conservative direction, a greater number of people are becoming less inclined to vote for Republican candidates. Look no further than the increasing Hispanic vote (currently, 10% of the electorate). In 2004, Kerry won this group by  LQ  2EDPD ZRQ LW E\  in 2012, he won it again by 44%. The Republican Party’s anti-gay marriage and

LAUREN LIAO

anti-abortion positions are not popular among the younger generation. Their platform, which calls for drastic cuts to programs that help the nation’s middle and lower class, makes Republicans unpopular among people that make less than $50,000. The close association between Republicans and Protestantism makes many Jews, Muslims, and Catholics feel excluded from the party. Republican calls for severe immigration restrictions

cause immigrants to be more inclined to vote for Democrats. In sum, Republicans have a limited direct appeal to Protestant, white, wealthy, and elderly people. Many Hispanics will not vote Republican if the Republican stance on immigration is deportation and increased border security. New communication techniques, like a Republican Congressional Hispanic Twitter account, are going to accomplish very little. There

Gene-altered foods for students

by Andrew Laberee Staff Writer

Regardless of an individual’s personal politics, there is one certainty that emerges from the recent raging in Washington over critically important policies— everyone is misrepresenting the truth in some way.  :H FDQQRW À[ WKDW IHDWXUH RI  partisan politics and there are just not enough hours in the day to attempt to peel away the many layers of hype and propaganda in order to arrive at our own personal, well-informed truth. However, when it comes to the food that goes into our mouths, we really must all arrive at the truth on our own, because it isn’t likely to happen through conventional information delivery systems, and it really matters. It matters, because we are what we eat. Do you know what is in the food offered in your school cafeteria? The two biggest GMO, or genetically PRGLÀHG RUJDQLVP SURGXFLQJ countries are the U.S. and China. The list of countries that ban GMO

crops and that demand thorough labeling is very long. This should tell Americans something. Students can make a big statement by demanding to know what is in the food they are served and by demanding GMO free meals. 7KHUHFHQW*02OHJLVODWLYHVFXIĂ H demonstrates how a massively active citizenry can beat the political machine. At the outset in March 2013, the amendment on House Resolution GUHZĂ€UHIURPWKHJHQHUDOSXEOLF organic food activists, celebrities, and many science research organizations. The trouble with HR933 was in section 735. Most claim that it was smuggled in. This provision is called the “Monsanto Protection Actâ€?. It GHUHJXODWHV JHQHWLFDOO\ PRGLĂ€HG organisms by allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to override judicial rulings and grant temporary permits for conventional farmers to plant and grow genetically PRGLĂ€HGFURSVZKLOHSHQGLQJUHYLHZ Thanks to an impressive grassroots effort that brought about complex procedural maneuvers to get rid of

this language, it was killed in the Senate last month. This will not be the end of it, though. The revolving door at Monsanto, which reveals many powerful politicians and many powerful expoliticians building their fortunes on GMOs, must be watched carefully. The only sane response to GMOs in the school cafeteria is boycotting the foods. Although most of us are not old enough to vote, this is one issue where we have strength in numbers DQGZKHUHDXQLĂ€HGIURQW and group response could actually change the direction of the GMO evolution. We can drive it toward extinction. Andrew Laberee is a homeschooled freshman in Medford, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State and a member of the Renaissance Council Chapter.

is a better chance that the communication LPSURYHPHQW ZLOO EDFNĂ€UH IRU LW ZLOO make people more aware of the GOP’s extreme policies. However, since Republicans did a wonderful job gerrymandering many states’ congressional districts, Republicans won a clear majority in the House of Representatives while losing the overall congressional vote count by 1.5 million votes. This means that many districts in the House are “solid5HSXEOLFDQÂľ WKH SULPDULHV LQ WKRVH districts will yield very conservative congressmen and congresswomen because candidates need to only appeal to primary voters. Republicans can improve their 70% disapproval rating by adopting a moderate message, and spreading it effectively. While it will take time to earn the trust of the many voting blocs they have alienated, the GOP can become a viable competitor to the Democratic

Matthew Cohen is a senior at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, California in the Southern California Junior State. He is the Southern California Chief of Staff.

Staff Lilia Abecassis Editor-in-Chief

Jack Cahn

Managing Editor

Kelly Kim and Keshav Sota News Editors

Emma Seely-Katz and Simran Singh Opinion Editors

Jenny McGinty and Nithin Vejendla Events Editors

Victoria Yu

Photo Editor

Nassim Touil

Illustrations Editor

Joy Cai, Mica Caine, Matthew Cohen, Rachel Donaldson, Somnath Ganapa, Juan Hernandez, SJ Hyman, Rohit Joshi, Ashley Kim, Paul Kleiman, Andrew Laberee, Ben Lanier, Jasmine Lee, Pablo Ordonez, Harry Petsios, Ipsita Rao, Arian Rubio, Ahmed Shah, Hannah Smilansky, Victoria Snitsar, Laura Whelan, Catherine Zhang, and SiTian Zhang Staff Writers

Amanda Kaufman, Lauren Liao, Antor Paul, Anja Seng, Marissa Shaw, and Lucas Wang Cartoonists


opinion . 7

October 2013 The Junior Statement

by Lilia Abecassis

SAT pro: The Great Equalizer

Editor-in-Chief

I go to a very competitive and notoriously rigorous high school. The regular classes, especially the math and VFLHQFHRQHVDUHVDLGWREHDVGLIÀFXOW as their honors level equivalents at other schools in the district and state. It is much harder to get a higher GPA at my school than it is as at other less competitive schools across the country. For students in my position, the SAT is the one thing that levels the playing ÀHOGLQFROOHJHDGPLVVLRQV,W¡VWKHRQH thing that allows us to prove to college DGPLVVLRQV RIÀFHUV WKDW HYHQ WKRXJK our GPA is not as high as it could be (a result of the rigor of the school, no doubt,) we are still prepared academiFDOO\DQGDUHMXVWDVTXDOLÀHGDVLI QRW more than, other students with higher *3$V DW OHVV FRPSHWLWLYH RU GLIÀFXOW schools. Every school has a different level of GLIÀFXOW\DQGDGLIIHUHQW*3$V\VWHP $W VRPH VFKRROV JUDGHV DUH LQà DWHG

and at others, it’s much harder to earn an A. It would be nearly impossible, not to mention completely wrong, to compare students from different schools without having one equalizing factor that put them in the same realm. The SAT allows all students to be seen objectively. Among the SAT’s opponents are those who believe students can buy their scores through expensive preparatory classes that lower-income students can’t afford, or believe that the SAT doesn’t measure creativity or VSHFLÀFWDOHQWV7KHUHDUHDOVRVWDWLVWLcians who’ve concluded that an SAT score does not correlate with the success of a student later in life. But a recent College Board study, with a sample size of over 150,000 students at 110 colleges nationwide, shows a strong correlation between high SAT scores and academic sucFHVVGXULQJWKHÀUVW\HDURI FROOHJH³ in other words, exactly what the SAT aims to measure and what colleges are looking for in future students. It’s wrong to say that the SAT doesn’t

AMANDA KAUFMAN

KDYH à DZV³ EHFDXVH LW GRHV³ EXW that’s why the test shouldn’t be— and isn’t— the only thing that determines a student’s acceptance to college. It’s only part of a holistic process. With all the other numbers and accomplishments on a student’s application, it’s necessary that we have one

objective score that puts students in the same realm as others from across the country: the SAT. Lilia Abecassis is a senior at University High School in Irvine, California in the Southern California Junior State. She is the National Editor-in-Chief of The Junior Statement.

SAT con: Memorization, not intelligence

LUCAS WANG

by Joy Cai Staff Writer For ambitious high school students, the SAT is not just a standardized test. The SAT is a benchmark that must be passed in order to gain admission into one’s dream school. In order for a student to achieve the highest score

possible, students must accumulate eight hundred points on each of the Writing, Critical Reading, and Math sections for a perfect 2400 scoresomething achieved by only .03% of all 1.66 million annual test-takers. . Students can only miss two or three questions maximum to achieve a perfect score in each section, but the

curve depends on the month taken. The SAT has been taken by college-bound high school students for GHFDGHVMXVWUHFHQWO\KRZHYHUWHDFKers, students, and parents across the country have started to oppose the test. 7KHWZRWZHQW\ÀYHDQGRQHWZHQW\ minute Critical Reading sections test the student’s vocabulary and reasoning skills, ostensibly. The Math sections are also composed of three separate parts, in the same time format as the critical reading. The mathematical concepts do not extend beyond Algebra 2, however, instead of direct application of formulas and lessons learned in school, a student must be able to think RXWVLGHRI WKHER[ZLWKLQWZHQW\ÀYH minutes using only his or her general NQRZOHGJHDQGDVFLHQWLÀFRUJUDSKLQJ calculator. The Writing portion contains two multiple-choice sections as well as a WLPHG WZHQW\ÀYH PLQXWH HVVD\ 7KH WLPHG ZULWLQJ LV H[WUHPHO\ GLIÀFXOW for many students who struggle to get their thoughts written on paper during

the time constraints. Materials learned in school are not tested extensively— rather, the SAT diction and syntax WHVWV DUH GLIÀFXOW IRU PDQ\ VWXGHQWV especially those without a native English background. The SAT is about simply knowing how to take a test. It’s about mastering tricks to achieve a perfect score. According to several studies, the average SAT score of a student increases with each $20,000 in their family’s income. SAT prep courses demonstrate how coachable the test is and how to really prepare for it. Students can buy themselves a higher school with expensive preparatory classes- something that lower income students cannot afford. The SAT does not always measure intelligence- it measures wealth and memorization ability. The SAT exam does nothing to help a student in college, and it should be abolished. Joy Cai is a sophomore at Walnut High School in Walnut, CA in the Southern California State. She is the Angeles Region Director of Social Activities.


8 . opinion

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Campus beautification: rightful punishment? CON:

PRO:

by Somnath Ganapa Staff Writer John Wooden, one of the most legendary basketball coaches of all time, once said, “Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.â€? Unfortunately, this adage is not applicable to all human beings—especially not to students. Not all students are able to behave themselves in a manner that is acceptable at school. Even the most competent high school student may falter from time to time. Although their slight mishaps should not be completely censured, it would be worthwhile to instill certain values within students to help them learn from their mistakes. Trash pickup, a well-practiced and well-known instructive form of punishment, might be the solution to this problem. Trash pickup gets its effectiveness as a SXQLVKPHQWIURPWKHPRUWLĂ€FDWLRQDQ individual must go through while doing it. When a students picks up trash, they are cognizant of what they has done to deserve such a punishment. Through this technique, the school will be able to prevent that particular misdemeanor from ever happening again. Because the student is observed by staff members and his fellow peers, he will be affected on a psychological level, linking the particular misdemeanor with shame. Is this not the ultimate goal? To prevent misbehavior, to help students conduct themselves in a proper manner, and to correct them so that they may follow a more righteous path rather than the long and meandering one they followed beforehand? Those who believe that trash pickup will have no effect on the school FDPSXVEHFDXVHFDPSXVEHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQ is the vocation of only the janitors are extremely disillusioned. If you, or anyone else, think that the few janitors can control the mess we students seem to create every day, I implore you to take a look around. We are walking in trash, learning to ignore our state of squalor so that we may lead happier lives. Therefore, trash pickup as a punishment will help janitors charged with the

daunting task of keeping our schools clean. Even worse are those who believe trash pickup is too cruel of a punishment. In terms of childrearing, forcing a child to perform a duty, especially one that he or she does not like, helps

by Ahmed Shah Staff Writer Strides lengthen, paces quicken and an atmosphere of tension develops as the one-minute bell ominously warns potential truants of the undesirable

LUCAS WANG

to curtail chances of the child being spoiled in the future. Similarly, trash pickup prevents students from developing into anarchic adults who have no respect for governing laws. Those who think that trash pickup is too cruel of a punishment obviously UHĂ HFWWKHPRUDOGHFD\RI :HVWHUQ&LYLOL]DWLRQ ZH KDYH EHFRPH WRR FDXJKW up in our selves and too critical of any correctional punishments. Somnath Ganapa is a junior at Van Nuys Senior High School in Van Nuys, California in the Southern California Junior State.

consequences of tardiness. The possible penalties include a phone call home, an additional tardy on the next progress report, and deJUDGLQJFDPSXVEHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQ There is no questioning the fact that truancy is a problem, but the one of the methods through which truancy is being prevented and penalized, forced FDPSXVEHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQLVTXHVWLRQDEOH if not immoral and ineffective. We are all born free, but through the course of our lives, the numerous authoritarian hierarchies that we encounter limit our individual autonomy. Ideally, all human action ought to be voluntary, so the mere fact that we are

compelled to attend school unveils the authoritarian nature of our education system. While the education system is immensely crucial to the production of an informed population, there is no getting around the fact that most schools employ punishments that infringe upon individuals’ freedom. Schools try to promote traits that are EHQHĂ€FLDOWRVRFLHW\DVDZKROHKRZHYer, that does not grant moral superiority to the methods through which those behaviors are enforced. Forced campus EHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQ LV LPPRUDO EHFDXVH LW LV forced labor. It is coercive in the sense that the threat of potential retributive action in UHDFWLRQ WR GHĂ€DQFH RI  IRUFHG EHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQFRPSHOVVWXGHQWVLQWRVXEPLVVLRQ  &DPSXV EHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQ FDQ DOVR be compared to chattel slavery and wage labor, both coercive labor systems, in the sense that all three systems coerce people into doing undesirable and involuntary work. &DPSXV EHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQ FOHDQV XS WKH FDPSXV DQG UHGXFHV WUXDQF\ KRZHYer, students who genuinely care about their grades would not be intentionally WDUG\LQWKHĂ€UVWSODFH If anything, the delay caused by forced labor during passing period increases the amount of missed class time. Students’ parents pay taxes to the public education system, then students are forced to do work that would otherwise be the school’s expense. Schools should be places where students can freely pursue knowledge without the threat of physical punishment. (YHQLI FDPSXVEHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQUHVXOWV in a lower rate of truancy, it is important to note that the “endâ€? does not always justify the “means,â€? especially if the means are immoral. &DPSXVEHDXWLĂ€FDWLRQPD\VHHPOLNH an acceptable punishment because we are so used to it, but remember that corporal punishment was also the status quo in the past. In order to determine the morality of an establishment, we must begin by questioning it. Ahmed Shah is a junior at Van Nuys Senior High School in Van Nuys, California in the Southern California Junior State. He is the Southern California Deputy Director of Debate.


opinion . 9

October 2013 The Junior Statement

by Harry Petsios

On and Off Government

Staff Writer

“They’ve lost their minds,â€? declared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a sentiment shared by most Americans towards the United States Congress. Nearly two weeks after the United States government closed, lawmakers appear no closer to a solution than they did before. The shutdown, the Ă€UVW LQ DOPRVW  \HDUV KDV SOXQJHG the country into a political dark age, leaving over 800,000 government employees furloughed and rendering countless departments inoperable. With a shroud of dismay enveloping Washington as we grow closer to a loan default, the government shutdown, portrayed as a heroic battle of principles, is quickly losing support. A large percentage of Americans blame the Republicans for this ordeal, while others put President Obama and Democrats in the spotlight. Still others say that the entire government is at fault, a viewpoint that has proved wise. Americans understand the Ă DZHG QDWXUH RI  RXU SROLWLFDO V\VWHP especially in this shutdown. If a

AMANDA KAUFMAN

political majority can more or less hold the entire country hostage at gunpoint, what example does this set for our future leaders? The means of deliberation employed throughout this debate, coined ‘chokehold politics,’ create a dangerous PLQGVHWLQRXUHOHFWHGRIĂ€FLDOV:KLWH

House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that “What we see happening with this Republican strategy is a willingness to threaten the very foundation of the world’s greatest economic power.� ‘Chokehold politics’ breed a mentality wherein a party’s principles are held higher than the

well being of the United States and its populace. Harry Reid, denouncing the Republican leaders, said “You know with a bully you cannot let them slap you around, because they slap you DURXQGWRGD\WKH\VODS\RXĂ€YHRUVL[ times tomorrow.â€? If we allow political bullies to run our government through fear, how can ZH Ă€QG WKH DXGDFLW\ WR FDOO RXUVHOYHV United States citizens? Whether the bullies are Republicans or Democrats, this is a terrible precedent to set for our nation. This situation, which is wholly divisive in nature, only works to undermine our national unity and sense of brotherhood. By permitting House Republicans to bring government activities to a halt over their own party agenda, Americans are in essence condoning very childish behavior. Once politicians realize that they can promote their own interests by forcing the government into a deadlock, how much will they abuse this strategy, and at what cost to the American people? Harry Petsios is a junior at Townsend Harris High School in New York, New York in the Northeast Junior State.

Obamacare: what we’re really in for

ANTOR PAUL

by Ashley Kim Staff Writer What is there NOT to like about the Affordable Care Act? It helps the poor. It helps the disabled. It lowers premiums... right? On top of that, it has met wide public support, especially when in 2009, Obama promised he would let Americans keep their current health care plan if they liked it, preserving the

right to choice. Then reality hit. Days into the implementation, Americans are receiving letters from their insurance companies announcing insurance changes, millions of business are cutting employees and employee work hours to avoid providing coverage for full-timers, the right to patient privacy has been endangered, and the quality of healthcare is spiraling down. An employee of Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange, MNsure, sent an

XQHQFU\SWHG ÀOH WR WKH ZURQJ SHUVRQ and left 2,400 people’s private information at the mercy of a nearby insurance agent. How can we be sure that all of our private information is in good hands? The government has a tendency to PLVXVH DQG ÀOWHU WKURXJK RXU LQIRUmation, much to our detriment. Not only does the nascent health program seriously endanger patient security and safety, but also the quality of the healthcare they receive will undoubtedly be sub-par, as with all other instances of universal healthcare. The government now has complete access to all private records, including banking records. At the discretion of the HHS Secretary, this information can be released to third parties. PhysiFLDQVDUHRUGHUHGWRJLYHRQO\DVSHFLÀF type of treatment to the extent of the patient’s eligibility. If check-ups proceed in this manner, can patients really WUXVW WKDW WKH\ ZLOO EH UHFHLYLQJ ÀUVW rate treatment? Why are Obamacare provisions exempted from Chapter 35 of Title 44 U.S. Code, a privacy law, and from ju-

dicial review, blocking Americans from bringing lawsuits on such provisions? And sorry, advocating for Obamacare does not make you a hero of legal justice. The practice of insurance companies dropping existing policies when people became sick was made illegal in 1997. Perhaps we are blinded by the pursuit of an ideal world and the dream of universal health coverage, a system that would embrace the weak and the poor. Sure, we could support a highly Ă DZHGSDJHODZWKDWQRWHYHQRXU very own president has read but is trying to instigate on the American people as part of his platform. Alternatively, we could carefully reYLHZDQGFRQVWUXFWDSURJUDPVSHFLĂ€cally targeted towards those who truly need it - the disabled, the homeless veterans, the cancer patients, and the struggling citizens living in the land of freedom and opportunity. Ashley Kim is a senior at Santiago High School in Corona, California in the Southern California Junior State. She is on Convention Support Staff on Southern California Cabinet.


10. events

October 2013 The Junior Statement

NER and ECR host one-days one week apart by Andrew Laberee Staff Writer

The Northeast Junior State (NES) ‘s two regions, the Empire Constitution Region (ECR) and the New England Region (NER), held their fall one-day conferences on October 13 and 19, respectively. 160 Junior Statesmen attended the ECR One-Day at Barnard College in New York City. This event was centered on America’s justice system and the struggles it faces. It included mock trials, thought talks, and traditional JSA debates on a variety of topics such as, the Patriot Act, the murder of Trayvon Martin, WKH ,VUDHO3DOHVWLQH FRQĂ LFW ZKLVtleblower Edward Snowden and the death penalty. 7KLV ZDV WKH Ă€UVW WLPH WKH (&5 used QR codes, and every attendee with a smartphone was able to use an online agenda by scanning the square bar codes that were displayed at the registration desk, in common areas and on room posters. Another feature of this conference was a mock debate between Governor,Ben Reytblat, and Lieutenant Governor Austin Ostro, representing New York City’s mayoral candidates Bill De Blasio and Joe Lhota. respectively. They addressed issues pertinent to the eight million residents of New York City, such as tax rates, job creation, minimum wage laws and the

NYPD’s controversial “Stop and Friskâ€? policy. “The mayoral debate was a great way of getting the region more informed and more involved in local politics,â€? Reytblat said. The ECR One-Day was successful in its attempts to incorporate technology and relevant politics. The NER also hosted a successful Fall One-Day at Boston University the following week with a “Throwbackâ€? theme on the concept of justice through the ages. Debates were organized into two blocks – the 1990’s and the present day. Students had the unique opportunity to debate old issues and new issues, although the favorite throwback aspect among the attendees was the Bob Dole impressions -courtesy of NER Mayor Adam Oriola. Seizing a perfect opportunity to “be the peopleâ€?, the NER selected huPDQWUDIĂ€FNLQJDVWKHDFWLYLVPWRSLF In Solution Central, students were urged to seek solutions to the illegal sex trade and slave labor which are still pressing issues in our nation. The focus was on working with The 3RODULV 3URMHFW D QRQSURĂ€W 1*2 7KH\ FRPEDW KXPDQ WUDIĂ€FNLQJ DQG modern-day slavery by working with victims, operating hot-lines, and advancing federal and state policies relating to this crime. The interest and participation in this activism initiative far exceeded expectations. 7KHUHZHUHPDQ\VSHFLĂ€FLGHDVDQG plans put into motion before the end of the day. As one attendee

Top: Junior Statesmen sit in on the opening session of the ECR one-day. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAREN SU. Bottom: from left, Ben Reytblat, Jacob Shannon, Austin Ostro, Adam Oriola, and Frank Kachmar at the NER one-day. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIEL GUAN.

expressed: “Solution Central’s focus RQKXPDQWUDIĂ€FNLQJZDVDQH[FHOOHQW springboard for our activism strategy for the year.â€? Both one-day conferences attracted a large number of attendees, and the

NES hopes to see growth in future conferences as well. Andrew Laberee is a homeschooled freshman in Medford, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State and a member of the Renaissance Council Chapter.

Arizona Territory’s one day deemed successful

by Ipsita Rao Staff Writer

The Arizona State One Day Conference was held on October 19 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona Territory Lieutenant Governor Laura Badillo described the event as “small but mighty.â€? The goal of their event was to help JSA members become more comfortable speaking and expressing their opinions in front of an audience so that they could become more FRQĂ€GHQWGHEDWHUV Badillo ran the event with the help of Arizona Territory Chief of Staff, Matt Kendall, and Program Director, Edda

event to run “smoothly�. JSAer members were able to participate in thought talks, debates, and ice breakers. NHS chapter member Lilian Montoya liked the idea of having thought talks before formally debating on the issue. She believed it gave background knowledge on the issue and made it easier for participants to pick a side. Although, the Arizona One-day was small, in the end it proved to be a success. Ipsita Rao is a junior at South Brunswick High School in South Brunswick, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State. Arizona Junior Statesmen pose for both professional and fun photos. PHOTO COURTESY OF EDDA MARGESON.


events .11

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Central Valley High School sponsors “Philosophoconâ€? by Andrew Laberee Staff Writer The Central Valley High School &KDSWHU LQ 6SRNDQH :$ LQ 3DFLĂ€F Northwest (PNW) hosted a unique chapter conference that specialized in philosophy debates. As any JSAer will tell you, philosophy forms the framework for most political, social, and even economic debates. For ages, scholars have studied philosophy in order to gain a better understanding of the world around them. From Sophocles to Plato to Kant, the study of philosophy has been crucial in understanding the human experience and rational thought. Philosophocon was held on October 12th in the Inland Empire Region at Central Valley High School. Dozens of students discussed the central tenets of Hobbes, Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Kant while addressing enduring ques-

tions. The debate list included: “Is absolute sovereign power preferential to the state of nature?â€?, “Is taxation by government a form of slavery?â€?, “Was religion created to empower the weak at the expense of the strong?â€? Although most of the debates consisted of more serious topics, attendees agreed that the most popular question of the day was: “Is ‘Bro’ philosophy EHQHĂ€FLDOWRVRFLHW\"Âľ The conference was well attended with a large number of delegates travHOLQJRYHUĂ€YHKRXUVWRDWWHQG(DVWern Washington University Professor Kevin Decker was the honorary guest speaker. Professor Decker spoke about the eternal relevance of the writings of the great thinkers, especially for the Junior Statesmen who are debating issues of great importance. Andrew Laberee is a homeschooled freshman in Medford, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State and a member of the Renaissance Council Chapter.

From left: Brian O’Rourke, Adrienne Hubbard, and Stephen Fleischman with their Best Speaker gavels. PHOTO COURTSEY OF JOANNA HAMILTON.

New Jersey Region one-day attracts over 300 delegates

Left: Junior Statesmen attend the opening session of the New Jersey Fall-One Day. Right: The Bergen County Academies chapter takes a group picture. PHOTOS COURTSEY OF ANDREW PLOTCH.

by Pablo Ordonez Staff Writer

On October 19, 2013 at Princeton University’s McCosh Hall, the New Jersey Region (NJR) hosted its annual Fall One Day conference at Princeton University. 370 high school students from across the Mid-Atlantic Junior

State debated the most pressing issues of the day. The event also featured an activism fair, where students were given the opportunity to meet with representatives from all sorts of political parties, providing them with a holistic view of geopolitical opinions. As part of the activism efforts, a mock election was also held for New Jersey’s gubernatorial elections: nearly twice as many delegates voted for incumbent governor Chris Christie over

Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. “The New Jersey Region is one of the strongest regions of JSA in the nation, regularly having more delegates at our One Day Conferences than any other region in the country. 7KLVLVDWLPHIRUUHĂ HFWLRQQRWRQO\ on how far we have come as a region, but also for how we can improve. I am IXOO\FRQĂ€GHQWWKDWZHKDYHWKHSRWHQtial to continue to do great things as statesmen and as active citizens,â€? said

the NJR Mayor, Alex Kaunzinger, on the success of the conference. In his closing remarks, Mayor Kaun]LQJHU FKDOOHQJHG GHOHJDWHV WR IXOÀOO their national duties by being involved. Indeed, JSA embodies the spirit of the Constitution––by the people, for the people. Pablo Ordonez is a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center in Miami, Florida in the Southeast Junior State. He is the Southeast Chief of Staff.


12 . events

October 2013 The Junior Statement

Southern California hosts three regional one-days by Ispita Rao Staff Writer

Over the course of two weekends, the Southern California Junior State (SoCal) hosted three regional one-day conferences. The Angeles Region (AR) One-Day was held on October 12, the Channel Island Region (CIR) One-Day was held on October 19, and the Southern Empire Region (SER) One-Day was held on October 20. The AR One-Day, held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, attracted over 190 Junior Statesmen from all three SoCal regions The event featured Jennifer Bunn, JSA alumna and former SoCal Governor, as keynote speaker. “She is a practicing lawyer and is very successIXO LQ KHU Ă€HOG VR VKH VSRNH DERXW the justice system and observations she sees within her work and in the bigger picture,â€? AR Mayor Samantha *DUĂ€HOGVDLG The One-Day aimed to promote strong connections within the AR. “Through our new chapter alliance system, mixers, on campus food vendors, and diverse debate topics, we

wanted to promote AR pride,� GarÀHOGVDLG Debate topics included a discussion of state laws versus national laws, a mock trial simulation in which students retried George Zimmerman, and other ethics-based issues. There was also a silent auction where Junior Statesmen could bid on cabinet members to raise money for scholarships, and advocacy letters to Governor Jerry Brown regarding juvenile justice reform were signed. Exactly one week later, the CIR One-Day was held at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Although there were only 33 Junior Statesmen in attendance, according to CIR Mayor Ernesto Ambrocio, the goal of the CIR one day was to give novice debaters the ability to share their opinions and become more comfortable speaking in front of others. Students who attended the event also signed a letter to their state senators voicing their opinion on the digitalization of textbooks in California. The following day, 168 Junior Statesmen attended the SER OneDay, held at the University of Cali-

NNHS hosts MidWest One-day by Hannah Smilansky Staff Writer On October 12th, Naperville North High School (NNHS) ’s JSA hosted a one-day chapter conference for the JSA chapters of Illinois. The event was planned by NNHS’s Chapter President Will Donnelly, along with Vice President Matteo Alleman and Public Relations Director Shruti Baxi. According to Baxi, the event was attended by “over one hundred people from JSA chapters all across Illinois and even two from Wisconsin.� The debates covered a wide range of issues, from resolutions on the government’s role in the press to more humorous topics such as whether the Gilded Age was also the “Golden Age� of facial hair. Kristiana Yao, JSA’s Midwest Governor and a student at NNHS, ex-

plained that the event’s theme “centered around contrasting past and present� and using “history for guidance on current problems.� For Yao, the event marked one of her last chapter conferences as a Junior Stateswoman, but it was also an opportunity for many new JSAers to come into the spotlight and learn about the organization and the messages it aims to promote. Misha Bogdanov, who won two best speaker awards at the conference, happily noted the “amount of new JSAers who boldly and willingly stood up to give speeches.� Overall, the event was a great success for the Midwest Junior State. Hannah Smilansky is a senior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington in the Pacific Northwest Junior State.

The Angeles Regional Cabinet, from clockwise from left: Michael Abber, Joy Cai, David Taylor, Jahlyn Reyes-McKinley, Henri Stern, Avery Salumbides, Samantha Garfield, and Samantha Bordy. PHOTO BY VICTORIA YU

fornia, Irvine. New JSA members could participate in debate workshops, novice debates, and other activities such as political compass and JSA musical chairs. “This is one of my favorite events of the year because it is an opportunity for new members to really get a feel for what JSA is and understand why everyone loves it so much,� SER

Mayor Anna Nguyen said. In addition to the fall One-Days, SoCal will host 3 more in the Spring, and chapters will host their own as ZHOODQGUHJLRQDORIĂ€FHUVKRSHWRVHH increased attendence. Ipsita Rao is a junior at South Brunswick High School in South Brunswick, New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Junior State.

5 Northeast chapters joint-host one-day by Paul Kleiman Staff Writer On Sunday, November 3rd, Stuyvesant High School hosted the New York City Megacon, a joint chapter conference between the Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, High School for Math, Science and Engineering, Horace Mann and Townsend Harris chapters of the Northeast State. The convention is especially notable due to it leading up to the November 5th election of Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, members of the New York City Counciland the Mayoral election to replace Michael Bloomberg. Due to its proximity to the election, many of the debates focused on the ÀVFDO SROLFLHV DQG YRODWLOH LVVXHV WKDW Joe Lhota, Republican, and Bill De Blasio, the Democratic NYC public advocate, have focused their attention on this election season. Debates also included issues relevant to the many New York City teenagers who attended the convention, including the

NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy, internet censorship in school, the secesVLRQ RI  6WDWHQ ,VODQG DQG WKH RIÀFH of public advocate. The centerpiece of the event was a mock mayoral debate between Republican candidate and former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, and Democratic candidate and NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. This debate differed from others because individual students were able to sign up on the day of the event to speak as Lhota or de Blasio, giving everyone a chance to speak as their candidate of choice. The NYC Megacon proved to be a well planned and unique event. If you missed this chapter conference, look forward to the West Wingacon, to be held on November 16th at Scarsdale High School in Westchester County, NY. Paul Kleiman is a junior at Ossising High School in Ossising, New York in the Northeast Junior State. He is the Northeast Director of Logistics.


October 2013 Junior Statement