JSA Attends Fall State

Ajla Nasic, Social Media Manager

On the weekend of Oct. 28, nine students from JSA attended Fall State, an annual convention held by the organization in which different districts from Southern California participate in a discussion about politics and current events. Held at the Marriott Hotel Woodland Hills, the convention encouraged students to challenge their views as well as exercise their public-speaking skills through participating in formal debates.


Students were encouraged to express their views on a variety of political issues, including topics like the repeal of DACA, abortion, and political violence. The convention encouraged students attending the convention for the first time to freely express their outlook on such topics through civilized discourse and debate.


Joining JSA for the first time this year, Isaac Medina, 11, voiced his opinion during Fall State as he participated in a debate surrounding the question of whether ANTIFA should be labeled a terrorist organization.


“It was a surreal experience. I felt very confident in my opposition and reasoning,” Medina said. “However, you can never be too certain on the outcome of your argument. The fact that I could have discredited myself if a mistake was committed was nerve-racking at first.”


In attending the convention, members could exercise the skills learned through attending club meetings, including developing stances on a grand scope of topics and organizing their thoughts in a concise manner for debates.


Board member and social media manager, Kay Urquieta, 11, takes part in organizing the resolutions members discuss each meeting.


“I joined JSA because debates are fascinating to me,” Urquieta said. “It challenges students to be more politically aware.”


Before participating in debates, students are expected to research the topic in question in order to strengthen and deliver a more persuasive argument. As a club, JSA prepares students for debates through proposing resolutions that members can either oppose or support by backing up their arguments.


JSA member, Josh Lopez, 12, revels in the mind-opening perspective the club promotes as it allows teenagers to formulate their own opinions on timely political occurrences.


“It teaches kids to research into issues themselves instead of just blindly listening to what the media has to say,” Lopez said. “Once you do even a tiny bit of researching, you realize there’s a much bigger picture to everything.”


In addition to Fall State, the JSA organization hosts other events like Winter Congress and Spring State in which students can further express their political views. The club meets every Monday in room B-211.