It was a busy weekend in Stamford, Connecticut, where the cabinet members of the Northeast State and the Mid-Atlantic States convened to kick off the 2017-2018 JSA year. Beginning with a joint-session with both cabinets, NES Governor Derek Lo, along with MAS Governor Ariel Rakovitsky led the session, with Governor Rakovitsky including an unintentionally funny opening remark comparing the JSA community to a brick wall: the foundation of the wall being all our passion for political, civic engagement, and bettering our communities, and the wall being built up with each brick, with the wall being the organization, and the brick being all of us, slowly building up the wall with each of our diverse skill sets and talents.
And, if I may continue the metaphor, the best days of this brick wall are ahead of it – withsome of it even possibly lying in the coming year. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast State cabinets have dedicated themselves to expanding JSA and betting all aspects of the organization. Over the next year, the Northeast State cabinet will work diligently to do its part in expanding the number of JSA chapters nationwide to 450 and increase the number of JSA Scholars nationwide to JSA summer school by thirty.
Additionally, Governor Lo and Lieutenant Governor Sarah Hoffman led a state cabinet discussion on what we could look to improving in this coming year. Faced with sobering statistics on conference attendance from the following two years, the NES cabinet was tasked with remedying this problem through the expansion of the JSA organization, the bettering of communication between the cabinet and chapter presidents, and fundraising. The communications department will work on engaging with chapter presidents all across the state, the publicity department will work on creating a more engaging platform for The Patriot in order to establish a line of broad communication with existing JSA members, as well as create state conferences appealing to JSA members, the expansion department will work to increase membership, and the fundraising department will look to expand scholarships to tackle the costs.
Additionally, the cabinet agreed upon new rules set for moderators, who will now be expected to attend workshops every conference to train them to better equip them to facilitate engaging debates. These debates, as well, will be revamped, as the Debate Department completed a list of hundreds of new debate topics relevant to the current and upcoming year, dealing with American values and social issues, such as racism, sexism, and discrimination.
When asked about her experience, Jillian McGuckin, Director of Debate for the Northeast State, said, “Cab retreat was extremely exciting this year, with many new faces becoming part of cabinet, bringing exciting new ideas that will help the Northeast State prosper. I am very excited, as a Director of Debate, for the upcoming year. We worked very hard to create new debate topics, and we can’t wait to see them in action at Fall State.”
Jenny Wang, Convention Coordinator for the Northeast State, echoed Jillian’s statements, expressing her excitement, telling The Patriot, “This year’s cabinet retreat gave all of us a great opportunity to interact with the rest of the cabinet, and I am very excited for the upcoming year.”
Following a series of cabinet and department meetings, and several pizzas later, operations were set for this upcoming year, and the brick wall has never looked better.
by Louis Gleason, Editor-in-Chief