Principles and Pragmatism: Grappling with Ideology
“While many voters say they dislike Washington and its partisan rancor, at the polls they often don’t elect people who’ve shown willingness to work with members of different ideologies and backgrounds; ability to explain Washington back home and represent home and represent home in Washington; and skill at forging consensus on tough policy challenges.” Commentary by Center on Congress at Indiana University Director Lee Hamilton.
At Fall State 2014, debates about issues ranging from the economy, to foreign policy, to the environment will challenge students to articulate their views on national and local issues, in the context of balancing principles and pragmatism. Students will engage each other through thought talks, and special activities, where they will be encouraged to collaborate on finding pragmatic solutions. “Solution Central” and “Problem-Solving Forums” will get students to work together to agree on the best way to conquer vexing problems, while a moot Supreme Court session will help students understand how the judicial branch works to resolve controversial issues. Prominent keynote speakers will address the students and answer their questions to help them understand the policy considerations facing the nation. Training tomorrow’s leaders to be effective in the values and traditions of democracy means pushing them to breakthrough pure ideology to find common ground. It’s a fundamental skill that we, as a nation seem to be losing, and one that our democracy desperately needs to rediscover.
How to Register
Schools and students interested in attending these conventions need to obtain a registration packet. The packet includes information on how to register, student permission slips, housing forms, and other important details on the convention. We encourage all chapters to register online at your MyJSA Account starting September 16. For information on how online registration works, please click here.
Teachers lend guidance to students and are essential to the educational aspect of the organization. Teacher/Advisors are also responsible for supervision and enforcing school rules. Due to their commitment to better a student’s education, teacher/advisor registration is free (if they stay in a shared room with another teacher/advisor of the same gender). These conventions are a great opportunity for teachers to network with their colleagues and relax while immersing themselves in an intellectual atmosphere. A teacher/advisor must accompany each delegation to a convention.
Registration fees cover overnight hotel accommodations, educational materials, exciting seminars, and recreational activities including a dance at night. Registration fees should be collected by chapter presidents or teacher/advisors and sent to the Junior State of America offices. Registration fee packages vary by JSA state; refer to this page for descriptions of the available packages. A delegation’s fees should be paid with one inclusive check, money order, or credit card.
Four students of the same sex are housed in a room with two beds; make sure your delegates are aware of this.
In cases where a delegation has fewer than four students of one sex assigned to a room, delegates from another high school will be housed with your delegates in that room.
Elected and appointed JSA student officers (approved by the Program Director) who have been invited to come to the convention one day early and stay in a room with other JSA student officers must get the approval of their Teacher/Advisor and should be listed in their school’s delegation. List the student officers separately on the Rooming List Form and notify your Program Director via email with acknowledgment from the Teacher/Advisor.
Accommodations can be made for students or chaperones that need special arrangements due to a physical disability or handicap. Please call or email your Program Director by the registration deadline so these accommodations can be made with the hotel prior to the start of the convention.
Transportation and Meals
With the exception within certain Junior State delegations attending the Washington D.C. Congress conventions, delegates arrange their own transportation to conventions. Student-driven cars are strictly prohibited. Delegations are encouraged to form carpools with teachers/parent drivers or arrange transportation through their schools. Delegates are also on their own for meals during the convention. The Junior State of America often works with our host hotels to offer reasonably priced meals on the hotel property.
Because we have to make guarantees to the hotel far in advance of the convention, we are unable to make refunds after the registration deadline has passed. After the registration deadline, your chapter is held financially responsible for the number of delegates submitted online. JSA staff reviews and confirms the registration that is submitted and will accept the registration before an invoice is generated.
We encourage paid delegates who find themselves unable to attend to find another student from their school to go in their place and have the new delegate reimburse them for the registration fee. Each replacement student MUST submit a permission slip.