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Chapters host JSA event at Harvard

Chapters host JSA event at Harvard

On Sunday, December 14th, the JSA chapters at Winchester High and Canton High co-hosted a JSA Chapter Conference at Harvard University. Held at William James Hall at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the event had an attendance of 130 students, making it the second-largest conference in the Northeast State this school year.  The conference was a great chance for JSA members from across Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York to come together and debate for the day.  There were also several attendees who had never attended a JSA event before, such as Littleton High School junior Satish Pokuri, whose school does not yet have a established chapter. Pokuri was invited to the event by students from Winchester (the school that he had attended prior to his sophomore year), and greatly enjoyed the event, saying, “I had a great experience. […] In the beginning, it was a little nerve wracking but now, it’s easy to speak in front of crowds. Everyone was very supportive. My future plans are to attend more of these JSA events, and hopefully, in the future, begin a chapter at Littleton High School.”

The theme of the event was “Education: What School Hasn’t Taught You.” Debaters discussed all types of issues regarding both individual schools and the education system in its entirety, in America and worldwide, and how they could be amended. Debate topics included Common Core, standardized testing, grading reform, student representation on school boards, gender neutral bathrooms and how proper education in Liberia may have impacted the Ebola outbreak. Being high school students, JSAers are obviously passionate about the education system, believing that they envision the greatest solutions; so many debaters were easily engaged. Some debates were decided by a very narrow voting margin, such as “Resolved, that religious influences on education are always detrimental” failed 8-9-3.  Others were more clear-cut, like “Resolved, that abstinence only education be banned” passed 50-0-4.

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Along with the debate blocks, there were two keynote speaker sessions.  Our first speaker was Jason Lewis,  a Massachusetts state legislator (and Harvard alumni).  Our second speaker was Angelina Cristiani, a member of the Boston Teacher’s Union. Senator Lewis discussed his legislative efforts which  currently focus on improving the education system in schools throughout the state. He expressed interest regarding the versatility of the day’s debate topics, mentioning that while they were being debated by high school students, many of the same or similar topics were currently being discussed in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Similarly, Mrs. Cristiani’s speech focused on issues faced by schools across the state.  She expressed concern about insufficient funding, and teachers not having sufficient qualifications to actually teach the topics they are hired to teach. After the speakers, students were moved into an activism block, where, after being handed a map they guessed literacy rates across the continents and in countries around the world. The results were fairly disheartening, albeit unsurprising: while most of North America had over 97% literacy, the number was much bleaker in areas of South America and Africa.

Throughout the day many delegates commented on the conference’s extraordinary turnout. Michael Larsen, Chapter President at Canton High School, said “[T]he most interesting part of the Megacon was how engaged all of the attendees were. [The] newcomers both swelled our numbers and strengthened our region. All in all this was a great event and we couldn’t be happier with how it all went.” The day was a great success, for the region, the chapters, and for activism. 50% of the proceeds made by our fundraiser are going to the Malala Fund, which encourages girls in both local and international settings to develop a strong educational background so they can reach their full potential as active and positive members of their societies.

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Overall, the Winchester-Canton Chapter Conference was an excellent day of debating, growing friendships, making new connections, and of being the people of JSA.

Article by Jonathan Santoro

Photo Credits to Michael Noone

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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 2017

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Southeast
Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120.00
Ohio River Valley
Sheraton Columbus
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 30

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $200.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 30

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $225.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 10

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $200.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $225.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 17

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 31

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $125.00
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 25

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $215.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $250.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Dec. 2 - 3, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 24

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $150.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $215.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $240.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $220.00
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Nov. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110.00
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 31

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $210.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $320.00
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 7

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200.00
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee: $250.00

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160.00
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room: $320.00


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