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International Hosts the PNW’s Second Minicon
By: Iman Baghai
On March 17, 2012 International High School hosted the PNW’s second Minicon. International’s conference attracted students from various chapters to engage in a debates revolving around the election. The events theme was “Decision 2012″.
The debates primarily revolved around the republican nominees from resolved, that Romney will win the nomination on the account of his physical appearance to resolved, that Paul will be nominated because of his unrivaled foreign policy experience.
The debates provided the delegates with good humor, discussion, and debate. International also hosted a candidates forum for JSA-ers who are running for the elected offices of Vice Mayor, Greater Puget Sound Region Mayor, PNW Lt. Governor, and PNW Governor. Some of the questions asked a range of questions from: what experience they have to be qualified for their position to how would they describe themselves in one word.
The keynote debate at the end of the day regarded who would win the upcoming election: President Barack Obama, or the Republican nominee that was determined the best through the debates from the day, Mitt Romney. After an intense debate, the delegates overwhelmingly believed President Barack Obama should keep his job by a vote of 23-2.
After a successful day of debate it is clear that majority of the JSA-ers, at the conference, lean towards Barack Obama and are excited and engaged for the upcoming election.
The JSA-ers that were awarded best speaker awards during their debates are as follows: Iman Baghai (2), Issaquah High School; Vikram Kumor, Issaquah High School; Will Badart, International High School; and Brandon Lecoq, International High School.
Upon reflection, International student, Will Badart, who did majority of planning for this minicon believed that “the mincon was excellent. The turnout was great, people were really involved in their debates, and the candidate’s forum was really productive.”
As the second mini-convention in the PNW wraps up, the future awaits how many more there will be. The next one will be held at Issaquah High School intends on having one on April 7.
Issaquah Hosts First Minicon
By: Iman Baghai
On January 7th, 2011 Issaquah High School’s chapter, began the new year with a bang. Issaquah’s club hosted delegates from Issaquah and Skyline High Schools as both schools participated in a Battle of the Sexes Minicon hosted by Issaquah.
Students from both schools (along with some delegates from “other” schools) squared off on debates both serious and humorous. Some of the debates were: that men are better parents than women, that women have more power over males, and are women are better politicians than men.
At the end of the convention the schools selected some of their best debaters to face off in an impromptu debate contest. They were three teams: Skyline, Issaquah, and Other. The teams would randomly pick a topic and have to immediately start a one-minute speech about the topic then another team would debate the other side for one-minute. From there, the three judges would decide who won the debate and the winning team would earn a point. The contest went to the end but Skyline prevailed in a sudden death finale.
Issaquah’s Chapter President Karthik Palaniappan’s favorite debate was resolved, that women are better politicians than men as he explains, “My favorite part of the convention was the “Resolved, that women are better politicians than men” debate. Contrary to my expectations, the speakers used historical precedents and real evidence over sexist stereotypes. This introduced credibility and rationality into the debates.
Overall, both schools walked away from the debate convention successfully. Issaquah won more best speaker awards while Skyline wont the impromptu contest and they conveniently tied in their debates won. Issaquah boasted four best speaker awards given to: Iman Baghai, Junior; Vikram Kumor, Junior; Delaney Foreman, Senior; and Jared Ha, Senior. On the other hand, Skyline would bring home two best speakers awards awarded to: Karsten Ball, Senior and Lexi Boyer, Junior.
Since the theme was Battle of the Sexes there had to be a winning sex at the end of day and today that would be the men. The men won four debates supporting men as superior to women in certain aspects and the women took two victories against the men.
But, this Minicon won’t be the last according to Palaniappan,” We will defiantly host more Minicons, and we invite and encourage other JSA chapters to do the same.”
All in all, the two biggest chapters in the Pacific Northwest battled it out in an informal and fun manner for the first Minicon of the year with hopefully many more to come.
373 delegates from around Washington, Oregon, and Idaho gathered at the Bellevue Hyatt from November 11-12 in order to debate, discuss, advocate, and mingle. The delegates were part of the Junior State of America, the largest student-run organization in the country, The Junior State works to fight political apathy through discussion. The Fall State convention is the first of their three large conventions held over the course of the year.
Issaquah and Skyline would bring the first and second most delegates, Issaquah with 43 and Skyline with 37.
The key note speaker at the convention was Ben Minicucci the COO of Alaska Airlines. Among the things he spook about some of his points were about leadership in a difficult economy, perseverance, adaptability, and the elements of leadership.
Regarding the debates there were 36 astounding debates filled with good speakers. The debates ranged from topics such as resolved, teachers may be allowed to carry firearms to Resolved, that hyper-partisanship in Congress resulted in the downgrade of US credit rate to resolved that the “Bro” lifestyle is detrimental to society. Issaquah would take home the most gavels with 10 and Skyline would take home the second ,most amount of gavels with 7. The top 5 gavel winners at the convention were: Iman Baghai, Issaquah (5); Rohan Wagahani, Interlake (3); Zachary Lim, Skyline (3); Travis Fox, Skyline (2); and Karthik Palanoppan, Issaquah (2). A combination of great debaters and fascinating topics kept the delegates engaged through all 7 blocks of debates and the keynote debate: Resolved, that the country is more important than the individual which passed.
Besides debates delegates started signing a petition in an attempt to try to get leaders to listen to the youth voice and battle disturbingly low civic knowledge levels. Additionally, students made a presentation regarding “Falling Whistles” an organization that brings awareness to the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo were children as young as five are forced to charge at the enemy with nothing but a whistle till they are killed. Falling Whistles is an international peace advocacy organization trying to spread awareness about the war and facilitate a coalition for peace.
The debaters left the convention excited for the year and what awaits them at their local chapters with hopefully more local events to be planned. The next major convention will be in Portland in February 4-5.
Thank you for demonstrating your interest in Pacific Northwest JSA! The Junior State of America (JSA) is the largest student run organization in the United States and our mission is to fight political apathy through activism, civic engagement, and debate. The Pacific Northwest state encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho ,Honduras, and Honduras. Also, the PNW is the fastest growing state in JSA.
The Junior State of America provides students with the rare oporturnity to not only teach, challenage, and inspire their fears, but also to exercise their voice and truly impact their communities through activism.
I joined JSA when I was a sophomore in High School. I had no athletic abilities and no real niche in my school. I walked into my first JSA meeting, I unknowingly walked into a world that would change my life. JSA has given me an outlet not only academically, but also socially; through it, I have made life long friends and incredible memories.
Please navigate this website and learn how to get more involved, start a chapter, or attend an event. JSA has much to offer to all types of people. It can change your life just as easily as it has changed mine and many others.