JSA might only be a club at Beverly, but President Steve Kearns and Vice President Ronita Khakshoor apply great amounts of effort into getting club members to participate in conventions as well as their fundraising events. Khakshoor stated that their members are quite active this year; members have attended conventions as well as meeting every week, and have also attended Fall State and other one-day conventions.
JSA, which stands for Junior State of America, is a national organization which allows high school students across the country to take part in stimulating debates concerning events that are occurring around them. JSA club provides students interested in politics, law and government to exchange ideas about how politicians should deal with various problems. By participating in weekly debates and attending conventions, members of JSA club aim to gain an intelligent and educated viewpoint on issues concurrently being discussed by their government.
Khakshoor, who takes part in these conventions, vividly remembers one of the conventions that she attended in Myriad Hotel.“We had a one-day convention at the Myriad Hotel near LAX. In the morning when we first went there, we had an informational meeting and then we received the schedule for the rest of the day. We visited a blog about cyberbullying and we discussed topics like whether it is considered bullying or just joking if you put a threat and then put ‘lol’ after it. For lunch we all got into groups and ended up going to Subway in huge groups. When we came back, we had a lot more energy, and we got involved in various fun activities,” Khakshoor said.
These conventions, while they center around debates and serious discussions, also include fun activities that not only allow students to establish friendships, but to also explore politics in various climates.
“We played Dictionary, and I remember someone drawing a sort of space, and I screamed out ‘Columbia’ and everyone started laughing because it had nothing to do with the subject. And later when we made nicknames, they named me Columbia because of that incident. At the myriad there was a staircase that reminded us of Titanic so we started to sing its theme song. In short, the conventions are very legit, but there is also a lot of playing and joking around. We have the political and debating side, but we also have fun activities like Dictionary, which allows us to make friends from other schools,” Khakshoor said.
According to Treasurer Nicole Sayegh, topics debated at these conventions are centered on real life issues, such as legalization of marijuana, polygamy and the United State’s foreign policy regarding the army. The conventions allow participants to debate their own opinions about a topic and not a certain country’s opinion.
“The topics discussed at the conventions are a combination of everything, and not only did I get to discuss political issues, but through the conventions I made new friends whom some shared many of the same political opinions as me. A few had different convictions , but that just makes life all that much more interesting,” Sayegh said.
According to Khakshoor, JSA club plans to expand their membership in the future, attend more conventions like Spring State and become more politically active in the community. They are also trying to gather voters for the 2012 presidential elections. As a national organization, JSA also provides summer school opportunities at the following colleges: Georgetown, Princeton,and Stanford, which some members are trying to partake in. With their upcoming fundraising events and club week, JSA plans to expand their interests to students and to make more students active in the politics of their day.