Cabinet Convention Recap

On the 26th and 27th of August, the Midwest Cabinet, comprised of a group of individuals appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to help run and improve the Midwest State, convened at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Illinois to discuss their vision for the upcoming 2017-2018 JSA year. In only two days, they brainstormed numerous goals, planned out their agenda for the year, began working in each of their departments, and above all, formed a close-knit bond. Members of Cabinet came out of the weekend newly energized for what is to be an extremely exciting and productive year of JSA.

Each department set challenging but tangible goals. Examples include the Fundraising Department’s aim to raise at least $12,000 by the end of this year and the Chapter Internal Affairs and Expansion Department’s aim to reverse the trend of the decreasing number of chapters in the Midwest. Consequently, a generous amount of time was set aside for developing and following-through with these goals. Cabinet members from all departments worked tirelessly through the night on a number of important tasks: creating resolutions, event calendars, graphics, and so much more. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, members felt more than comfortable in their ability to serve the Midwest. As Expansion Agent Tatiana Washington puts it, “to say CabCon was productive would simply be an understatement.”

Cabinet is more prepared than ever to execute a variety of initiatives on both the state and national level. One such example is fundraising for the nation-wide matching grant which starts on September 1st. The dollars raised during this event will be going to scholarships that will help JSAers attend major conventions.

Continue reading

Fall State 2016 Recap

From November 19-20th, nearly 400 high school students from all across the Midwest traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to participate in the annual JSA Fall State convention. Following the difficult, divisive election cycle, the convention was appropriately titled From Promises to Policy: Unifying the Nation. In the morning, students had the privilege of hearing from keynote speaker Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, a local legislator, politician, and City Council member in Dane County, Wisconsin. Bidar’s speech highlighted unity and students had the opportunity to ask Bidar a variety of questions. Following Bidar’s speech, delegates participated in a multitude of debates, written and developed by the Midwest Cabinet, that ranged from feminism to EU geopolitics to parenting techniques. On Saturday evening, attendees interacted with a variety of legislators in roundtable discussion and engaged in activism activities for a variety of causes. Special JSA merchandise, like JSA pom-pom beanies and sweatpants, were sold over the course of the night. Come Sunday morning, debates resumed, including a Mock Supreme Court Case trial and a RISK-styled debate activity. Fall State opened and closed with a great deal of success, and political activity, thought, and education ran deep throughout the course of the convention.

Chapter Caucus

Picture 1 of 8

A Modern Proposal: Kill Two Rockets with One Species

On one side of the world, humans are rabbits. Many of these rabbits live in run down shacks where each individual survives on scraps of food and drips of water. But what makes rabbits truly rabbits? They multiply a bit too much. Currently, the population in just Asia is over two trillion people with more than fifty percent living in poverty, and these numbers continue to grow. These poor humans are under the impression that the more people in the family, the more there are to work, and the more there are to work, the more money they make! This is what happens when you have uneducated rabbits. What happens when there are more people? The food demand increases. Silly rabbits. On the other side of the world, people are no longer rabbits. Now, they are civilized and know what will bring humanity forward! “Space exploration is the solution to the world’s problems!” they claim, “Even the poor will prosper!” NASA spends more than one trillion dollars on improving the world’s problems, approximately the same amount of people who are impoverished on the other side of the world. So far, others have failed to grasp this American logic. However, I have found the justification for this logic that has yet to be publicized! Continue reading

Elite but Inefficient

Currently, the way that we are approaching the process of placing young students into higher levels of education in prosperous school districts is ineffective. In already extremely advanced school districts, it is not necessary to separate young students, starting at the age of 8, into different classes and is hurtful to many other kids in these district. The platform of higher education in elementary and middle schools must be reformed to include more kids and be available at more schools. In many districts, especially in middle class suburbs, including District 203, District 204 in Illinois to districts in places such as Washington: Kennewick School District, have a program that includes their top 2%.  These programs are considered two years ahead of the “normal track,” however, this exclusive 2% must be expanded to include at least the top 10%. Some may say expanding the program will make it less elite and will not suite the students who are bored in the honors track, however, the difficulty will not be lowered, and the opportunity to learn at this level should not be elite. Additionally, kids that are bored at this level of education must receive supplemental material at home. To conclude, in the middle school and elementary school years, colleges are not looking at students’ distinguishments, so why are school districts giving such an inherent advantage to those who subsequently score well on standardized tests, giving them a 2 year advantage when starting high school in subjects such as math and already exposing them to advanced and rigorous coursework. Continue reading

Morton West Chapter Conference: Candy Court Con Recap

On October 29th, 2016 Morton West’s had their Chapter Conference titled Candy Court Con. Opening session included a skype call where JSA-ers were allowed to ask Estela Naula questions, which was Morton West’s guest speaker. They were also able to donate to her, and she received eighty nine dollars from generous contributions. Candy Court Con consisted of each block having Supreme Court Cases. Supreme Court Cases that were debated are Miranda v. Arizona and Roe v. Wade. Candy Court Con also had a Mock Trial which was based on the United States v. Texas court case. To conclude the chapter conference, JSA-ers participated in Chapter Olympics. Chapter Olympics had events such as apple bobbing and relay races.

~ Bianca Montoya

Fall One Day Recap


On Saturday, October 8th, Midwest JSA held its second ever Fall One Day at the Chicago Union League Club. Midwest Governor Janani Kalyan welcomed delegates to the first Midwest convention of the year, and State Senator Omar Aquino served as the keynote speaker. Senator Aquino talked about his own involvement in politics and encouraged JSA-ers to get involved in politics whether on a local, state, or national level. Afterwards, the delegates dispersed to several rounds of debates ranging from topics such as the War on Poverty and the impact of Andrew Jackson’s presidency. After a break for lunch, the delegates reconvened for further debates. Shortly after, Midwest JSA held a Mock Presidential Debate, featuring the current presidential candidates as well as several others such as the Roosevelts and Harambe; the Mock Presidential Debate proved to be one of the highlights of the convention. At the same time, other delegates competed head-to-head in a Kahoot about the current presidential candidates. The convention concluded with a DEFCON and a vote on who the delegates would vote for in the upcoming election if they could. The vote was overwhelmingly for Clinton. Afterwards, the delegates said their goodbyes and left the Union League Club, all the more ready for Fall State.

30214257906_175f5da6de_o 30154518292_5e21a17366_o29640149983_839e2f11e1_o

Becoming President is Now More About Having Power Than Being a Leader

It is an almost unarguable fact that the United States is one of the most powerful countries in the world. It tries to provide a moral baseline, is a diplomatic center, and sometimes acts as the world police. As the U.S attempts to fulfill all of these roles, the power of its president accordingly increases, making him or her one of the most powerful individuals in the world. However, over time, the mentality and positions of the people coming to the office of presidency have been changing. Continue reading

Chapter Leadership Conference Recap

On Saturday, September 24th, the Midwest held our first ever Chapter Leadership Conference at Lake Forest High School. Eleven chapters attended with the goal of becoming stronger and increasing their meeting quality. The day was filled with ice breakers, workshops, and helpful advice from the Midwest Directors. Workshops included Fundraiser and Activism Project Planning, Elevator Pitches and how to expand the Midwest, publicizing chapter activities, and how to handle internal chapter mechanics. Afterwards, chapters collaborated to plan mock chap-cons, and newer chapters learned the ins and outs of ChapCon Planning. Throughout the entire day, Chapter Presidents shared experiences, worries, and ideas with each other to help strengthen other chapters as well as their own.

29930315155_05a048e189_o 29868607196_ba7022c444_o

Naperville North’s Chapter Conference: IntroCON Recap

On September 17th 2016, Naperville North held the first chapter conference of the year. IntroCON consisted of people debating resolutions such as affirmative action should be abolished,ifsocial disobedience is justified in a democracy, and if the Black Lives Matter is a positive movement. Abhay ended the Pokémon GO rap battle with his thunder bolt pikachu during the CONfirmed Fun block. Best speakers were awarded very cute cupcakes with miniture chocolate gavels on top.

screenshot-47~ Bianca Montoya

Should Fertilized Eggs be Granted “Personhood?”

On November 25, Ted Cruz said in an interview on George’s Candidate Conversations 2016 talk show for the Catholic network EWTN that he believes that abortions ought to be criminalized and that “with the Pope’s long standing, and prior Popes before him long standing call to protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.” This far right wing politician has found a loophole where he would not need a constitutional amendment to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions. Instead, he precariously suggested that Congress could just strictly maintain the “personhood” language and use the 14th Amendment to its advantage.
Continue reading