On October 21st, 2017, JSA student delegates from Illinois and Wisconsin traveled to the Union League Club of Chicago for the first Midwest-level convention of the year, Fall One Day. The event was in its third annual iteration, and Midwest Governor Colin Jensen began the convention with a few opening remarks. He was followed by the keynote speaker for the convention, Sarah Brune. As the Executive Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Brune spoke at length about her experiences from both running a nonprofit associated with political activism and her maturation as an advocate and young person in rural Nebraska. During the questioning period that followed her keynote speech, she provided students valuable advice on staying involved in their community.
Soon after, the first debate block began. Three debates and one thought talk were running simultaneously in the Union League Club’s exquisite rooms. Topics ranged from launching cyberattacks on Russia to prohibiting colleges from asking for applicants’ criminal history. After the third block, delegates went out into the city to eat lunch and converse with other delegates. A fun block with debate games such as RISK and Debates Against Humanity closed out the activities — a raucous, warm ending to an excellent convention.
Throughout the convention, various Midwest initiatives took place. The Expansion Department had an informational tri-fold to publicize their efforts, and the Summer School Department advertised JSA’s Summer Programs with informational pamphlets about JSA’s summer program. Fundraising sold homemade cookies, and Activism ran an Implicit Bias Project with the aim of learning more about people’s self-perception and biases.
Finally, the debates came to a close. During closing session, Jensen and Director of Debate Ceci Gao announced best speakers for the debates and handed out Best Speaker gavels. After some closing remarks by Colin, the convention was called to a close. The convention was highly successful, with attendance reaching a record-high 100 delegates, and served as the perfect precursor to the next Midwest level convention on December 2-3, Fall State.