Convention Activities

What Happens at a Junior State Overnight Convention?

During the Fall State and Spring State conventions, students engage in a variety of activities including debates, thought-talks, mock trials, and other simulations which critically examine the political landscape.  Students can choose from several different topics and activities that are offered in each “activity block” during the conventions.

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Debates

What style of debate is used at the conventions?

Debates serve as the cornerstone of the Junior State by giving delegates a forum to express their views in an orderly fashion, while promoting a clash of ideas that leads to deeper understanding of controversial issues.  Using parliamentary debate style, delegates develop political awareness, attitudes and public speaking skills through participation.

JSA debates center around “resolutions” that outline the issue being discussed.  For example, “resolved, Social Security should be privatized.”  Debates begin with six-minute opening speeches by the main affirmative and negative speakers.  These two debaters are selected prior to the convention; they research and prepare their arguments beforehand.  A pre-selected student moderator guides the action following the opening speeches, where any student in the audience may volunteer for three minute subsequent speeches in support of either side.  Download the Junior State Debate Handbook from the Virtual Library for a complete guide to debating in the Junior State.

Students vote for the “Best Speaker” at the end of each debate.  The main focus of Junior State debate is, however, on persuading the audience and imparting a greater understanding of the issues involved ,rather than competition between speakers.

Thought Talks

What if a student is not comfortable in a formal debate setting?

Thought talks are student-led discussions on pressing issues or questions.  These activities don’t have the formal structure of a debate and allow students to explore issues in-depth, in a less confrontational setting.  A moderator guides the participants by posing questions and offering facts about the topic; however, students will have an open opportunity to express their thoughts and let their comments take the discussion in many different directions.  No main speaker are chosen for Thought Talks, and no awards are given.  This pressure-free atmosphere engages students very differently than debates and helps students gain confidence with their public speaking skills.

Keynote Addresses and Political Fairs

Are there adult speakers at the conventions?

Distinguished politicians, statespersons, journalists and public policy experts are invited to address JSA conventions.  Past speakers range from Pat Roberston to Ralph Nader to Colin Powell to Joe Trippi and others across the political spectrum. Students have the opportunity to meet and pose questions to key figures from the world of politics.  In addition, some conventions feature Political Fairs that enable students to meet representatives of lobbying and political groups and get to ask questions regarding their policies and views.  In recent years, our Political Fairs have included groups like the National Rifle Association & Handgun Control Inc., NARAL Pro-Choice America & the National Right to Life Organization, the Republican, Democratic, Green, Libertarian and other political parties.

Other Activities

In addition to debates and thought talks, Junior State of America conventions include a variety of other activities.  Spring State conventions feature dramatic and exciting “political convention style” elections for Junior State offices.  Mock trials allow delegates to explore our nation’s judicial system and examine how legal and constitutional controversies are resolved in the United States.  Simulations of city council and school board meetings help students grapple with local governance issues.   These and various other political seminars give students a wide-range of ways to get involved.

Fall State Pricing Guide

Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below.  Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student.  There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.

Fall State Pricing Package Details 2016

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 29 - 30, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 12 – Sept. 25

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southeast
DoubleTree Sawgrass Mills
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $195

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $235

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $155
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $205

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Ohio River Valley
Cincinnati Marriott North
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Oct. 26

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $160
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $210

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 10 - 11, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 24 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 7 – Nov. 23

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320


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