JSA Nation

Run a Chapter

Chapters experiment with a variety of formats and topics to keep members interested and excited. Here are some tips, activities, and best practices to support effective leadership and the overall strength of your chapter to help it grow and thrive.

Publicize your Chapter

Well-publicized meetings will help draw a crowd and grow your chapter, so get creative with social media, posters, and flyers. If you’re hosting a special activity, start publicizing it one or two weeks in advance.


Keep your Meetings Interesting

Prepare ahead and stay organized during meetings to avoid disorder and distractions that might discourage people from returning. Try to conduct internal chapter business at designated officer meetings.


Provide Refreshments

Food often attracts people to your meeting. Inexpensive snacks can give the meeting a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. They may come for the first time just to eat, but return to participate in the activities.


Be Social

It’s important to maintain a balance between educational and social activities. Try to create activities that accomplish both, such as watching a political or historical movie together, to build culture and create a sense of unity.


Be Active

JSA Chapters serve as centers of political activism on their campuses. Be sure to include activities that promote political awareness and education in your chapter programming.

Sample Chapter Activities

Below are some of the most common activities used by other JSA Chapters.


In a debate, a limited number of speakers offer research, evidence-backed presentations on a certain topic. Debates allow members to exchange ideas and educate one another while still maintaining order.

Thought Talks

Students can address important issues without the formality of a debate. Thought Talks lend themselves to topics where there is no clear-cut division between two sides; multifaceted issues are best.

Problem Solving Forums

Similar to Thought Talks, forums focus on group collaboration and generating solutions to a given problem. Frequently, a plan to address the problem will be proposed, debated, and adopted.

Guest Speakers

Invite local leaders to your school to engage with your chapter members and inspire them to take a more active role in their community.

Local Government Simulations

A simulation of a school board or city council meeting provides chapter members with firsthand experience of how local government works.

Impromptu Speech Contests

Give short, unplanned speeches on topics selected on-the-fly as a break from more serious activities at the meeting. These are a great way to strengthen speaking skills.

Chapter Resources

  • Jason Y

    JSA has always been a place where I’ve been able to discuss serious issues with my peers while learning more and expanding my views. This organization has fostered my love for politics ever since freshman year, and it’s where I’ve found some of my closest friends.

    Jason Y.
    2021-22 JSA Texas Governor


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