(During Nov. 3-4, WMHS’s Junior State of America participants attended the 2018 Fall State Convention in Seattle to learn more about politics and policy.)

By Sachin I.

During the JSA trip, we viewed various debates that were held, took part in the social activities, and overall had a wonderful time. Each debate is placed in a period of time. The debates we went to were: whether or not the UN should restrict trade with a country that violates human rights, whether or not one should be fined for not using the Oxford comma correctly (a more humorous discussion), whether or not colleges are delegitimizing the First Amendment, a debate that discussed how social media contributed to political polarization. Afterwards, we participated in social activities such as a dance, an arts and crafts room, and some more debating.

The next day, we had speakers come and give a lecture, who were talking about how to reach potential voters as a candidate. After listening to the speaker they had brought in, we watched mock peace talks with North Korea for the first period. For the second period, we watched a debate that discussed whether or not protest discourages social compromise. For the third period, we watched a mock trial about Madison v. Alabama. Afterwards, we had our closing session.

As for my personal opinion on the JSA convention, I thought that not only was it a fun experience, but it was helpful to hear of new ideas in order to rethink my own. Students will surely benefit from listening to speakers debate, as it helps to rethink what your political beliefs are, whether you decide that your current ideals were wrong, or the other argument helped strengthen your own.