The Art of Persuasion

“Be the People”


James Schaap

Alexis Kallen, senior, spoke at the fall leadership conference.

Students from all over Southern California met together in Los Angeles for the JSA (Junior Statesmen of America) Fall Leadership Conference to debate a wide range of topics.

On September 29, high school students gathered to practice the right of self-governance and live up to the JSA motto, “be the people.” Having originated from a range of Southern California schools, students arrived in droves with one common interest: Government.

The LAX Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles was the location for the first regional JSA conference this school year. Students of all skill levels of debate were welcome.  Alex Hai, senior, said watching experienced debaters at work impressed him, saying that a good speech can change a person’s opinion.

There were many different formats of debate available that included regular debates, speed chess style, and reformed debates like political compass. “I liked the reformed debate,” said Tina Tagliaferri, senior, after attending a political compass debate, where students aligned themselves to sides of a room depending on their opinion to the topic at hand.

Student representatives debated a number of available topics including everything from the situation in Syria to outlawing 32 oz. soft drinks. “The hallways were crowded” with students rushing to events to hear arguments for all sides, said Alexis Kallen, senior.

Debates continued throughout the course of the day, from registration at 9 am to closing assembly at 3 pm.

“It was great seeing all of the students get involved and defend their views on the issues of our society,” said Sierra Najolia, senior, Cam High’s JSA chapter president.

The Cam High chapter meets every Friday at lunch in D-3, Mr. Shawn Near’s room.