Naperville North High School hosted the first Midwest JSA Chapter Conference of the year on October 14th. During registration, attendees had the opportunity to donate used art supplies to SCARCE, an environmental organization non-profit based in Glen Ellyn, IL. Various desserts, baked by various NNHS chapter members, were also available for purchase. Roughly 90 students from a variety of different chapters were in attendance.
After the conference was called to a start by Chapter President Max Zhang, students broke off into three different rooms, two of them featuring different debates and one featuring a thought talk. Issues discussed ranged from stock options and company executive pay to governmental funding towards Planned Parenthood. Different styles of debate, such as the 180, where the speakers must argue in favor of the opposite viewpoint at the moderator’s discretion, were featured in each block.
After two blocks of heated discussion, pizza, salad, and drinks were served. JSAers took this time to catch up with one another and discuss their favorite JSA experiences. Appleton’s Cecelia McDermott says that IntroCon featured “ some of [her] new favorite memories of connecting with other JSAers.”
Lunch was followed by two more debate blocks, each filled with spirited discourse with many solid arguments made on both sides. A particularly controversial topic that attracted many students was the gavel debate regarding free lunches in public high schools. Both main and subsequent speakers brought awareness to the issue of malnutrition and the negative effects it can have on both academic and extracurricular activities.
The last block gave students a choice between attending RISK debate or Debates Against Humanity. A RISK debate is an impromptu-style debate with two teams competing to gain the most territory by winning each round. Debates Against Humanity is a modified version of the ever-popular Cards Against Humanity where the student with the most compelling argument is victorious.
IntroCon was a lasting experience for many JSAers, including D204 chapter member Vaishnavi Kalyan, who says that she was able to “meet so many like minded people and enhance [her] debate skills” at the event.
“It was a great start to the convention season!” she adds.
The Midwest State is truly looking forward to what upcoming chapter conferences have in store.