JSA: What is it?

This+is+a+poster+for+the+meeting+this+past+November+1st%2C+2017.+The+next+meeting+is+November+15th%2C+2017.
This is a poster for the meeting this past November 1st, 2017. The next meeting is November 15th, 2017.

This is a poster for the meeting this past November 1st, 2017. The next meeting is November 15th, 2017.

This is a poster for the meeting this past November 1st, 2017. The next meeting is November 15th, 2017.

Emma Schultz, Reporter

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Junior States of America, or JSA, is “essentially” a debate club, said sophomore Lauren Boray, who is a member of the club.

This Arrowhead club allows people who have any interest in current events, politics and debate a chance to participate in an activity that helps them learn more about the topics at hand, she said.

Staff advisor to the club, Tim Tower, a Sociology teacher here at AHS, says that nationally JSA is one of the largest team organizations. He says that JSA is very active in Wisconsin, but more active in the south.

“There are a lot of things that go into JSA, but it really is kids just having a voice,” Tower says.

This club takes place once or twice a month. There is an upcoming meeting on Tuesday, November 15th in N162. Times may vary, so check the JSA website. The November 15th meeting is scheduled from 5:30-7pm.

“People can also come and watch if they prefer to not participate,” said Tower.

Boray says, “There is no pressure to speak if you don’t want to, and if you do want to say something, the rest of the club is always listening.”

Anybody can come to any meeting that JSA holds, to talk or just to watch. Members of the club who are more active go to a fall state convention, a winter convention, and a spring convention, says Tower.

Currently there are about 65-70 members, but more can join.

“One meeting this year,” he says, “we had over 100 kids come. It just depends on their schedule.”

One thing that Boray really enjoys about JSA is that she can debate about topics in a “respectable” way. She says this is her favorite part because it keeps the club interesting and allows depth for the discussion.

Boray says JSA is a “perfect” place to meet friends, because all the people have similar interests.

Tower has been a part of Junior States of America since he taught at Oconomowoc. He says he then brought JSA over to Arrowhead about 18 years ago. Tower says he makes sure things are safe, and things are in order, but for the most part the kids run the debate and pick the topics for that night’s meeting.

If Boray had to choose one thing to change it would be the time limit that they meet for the debates. She wishes that they had more time.

“We always debate up until the end of the time, and sometimes go over,” says Boray

One challenge that Tower is working to overcome is the size. He says they have recently become much more bigger than other years, and have had more meetings lately. He says the club numbers “fluctuate” depending on the seasons and where people are in life.

Boray’s says, “I love JSA and can’t wait to continue my passion for it in years to come.”

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