The Northeast State’s Fall State 2017 began on Saturday, December 9th in Boston. The event was hosted at the city’s historic Park Plaza hotel. Over 700 students from across the state attended. NES governor Derek Lo lead opening session. Lieutenant governor Sarah Hoffman, Gubernatorial Chief of Staff Elijah Pomerantz, Convention Coordinators Emily Shen and Jenny Wang, Director of Logistics Ankit Sahasrabudhe, Director of Activism Ivan Daquial, and Director of Publicity Ella Lederer all addressed the full convention. Lederer introduced the keynote speakers, Antonia Okafor and Khushbu Webber. Okafor is an advocate for concealed carry on college campuses and discussed why she believes that students should be allowed to exercise their second amendment rights at their universities. She focused on how women should be allowed to possess a firearm or similar defensive tools such as pepper spray and tasers to protect themselves from sexual assault. Webber is a Director of Policy at the nonprofit organization The United Way. She discussed her work on advocating for and improving the greater Boston community.
After opening session, there were a series of workshops that allowed attendees to practice certain debate skills. Examples include a moderator workshop and novice debate workshop. These workshops concluded around midday and students headed off to grab a bite to eat for lunch. Popular spots include Au Bon Pain and Chipotle. At the latter, the line stretched out the door despite the heavy snowfall.
Following lunch, students had the option to attend a wide range of debates from Resolved, that freedom of expression is often of greater value than political correctness to Resolved, that a second Cold war with China is on the horizon.
In the later afternoon, there was a wide range of panels to attend. These panels consisted of a wide range of experts in a variety of fields with a diverse range of experiences and opinions. At the Women’s Rights Panel, there was not an empty seat in the room.
JCOCP convened for their first meeting of the 2017-2018 school year. JCOCP is the legislative body of JSA and consists of all the chapter presidents from across the Northeast state. The group voted to allow the creation of three new departments: Publicity, Debate, and Chapter Internal Affairs, as well as the position of permanent logistics agent. The group also rejected an amendment to Article VI, Section 1, Subsection E stating that: “Any NES member may attend a meeting of the Joint Council of Chapter Presidents and propose an amendment, resolution, or legislation, granted that set amendment, resolution or legislation have a co-sponsor who is a Chapter President.”
There was a final debate block and then chapter caucus. Then, students went to dinner with their chapters. Following dinner, students attended a wide range of nighttime activities from the dance to political speed dating.
The next day began early in the morning with a debate block. This block was then followed by a Mock Police Board and a Mock Supreme Court. Three more debate blocks followed before closing session. At the closing session, best speaker gavels were handed out for each debate over the weekend and Governor Derek Lo officially closed Fall State 2017.
Kate Dario, Editor-in-Chief