One of the many new clubs offered this year is the Junior State of America (JSA) club. JSA, the Loyola chapter of a national organization, is a club in which students discuss politics and become involved in the political world. Moderated by social sciences teacher Paige Burkholder, the club meets Mondays at lunch in Otero Lecture Hall.
Sophomore Jared Aimone, the club president, said, “JSA is a nonpartisan political awareness and activism club devoted to civic education, civil discourse, community engagement and fighting apathy.”
At lunch meetings, members have debates, discussions and other political events or talks. The club also participates in larger JSA events outside of school.
Aimone said, “The club also attends regional and state-wide functions with about 90 other schools. At those conventions, the same kind of things as at our meetings happen but on larger scales, like 50 debates over the course of the weekend.”
The club attended one of these conferences this last Saturday, Oct. 12.
The club’s vice-president, sophomore Lucas Fillipone, said, “It was at Pilibos High School, and it was really good and super informational, just overall fun. There was a Rwandan genocide survivor who talked about how that event has changed her life. Then, based on that and other issues, we had a day filled with debates.”
Aimone said, “If you discover your own opinion, share your opinion and learn from the opinions of others, you become more aware of your political surroundings. These three things will be extremely valuable for you and our democracy.”
Aimone explained, “At a meeting we may talk about the Rohingya Genocide, and this would allow you to learn about that topic. The meetings are also fun, and learning about these topics requires minimal effort.”
The JSA states on its website that the goal of the organization is to strengthen American democracy through education.