Practicing Politics with JSA President Mani Sehgal

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Pictured from left to right: Miranda Mueller (10), Alyssa (from Carlmont), Cici Hanna (10), Sabrina Watkins (10), Mani Sehgal (11), Tracy Lane (9)

The Junior State of America (JSA) is a nationwide organization that is a mix between debate and model US government. Using a model similar to that of the government of the United States, JSA divides the country into 10 states, each with a governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the assembly. Each state is then divided into regions, headed by a mayor and vice mayor.

Led by junior Mani Seghal, M-A’s own JSA meets on Wednesdays at lunch in room G5. Below, he provides insight on JSA details.

1) What goes on during JSA meetings? How are regular meetings different from conventions?
“At meetings, we debate a topic that we decided on in the last meeting (so you choose the topic). You can choose what side to argue, if you want to argue a side — you can always just sit back and watch. There are three main conventions, and two of them are centered around debates like these. The special one is the Winter Congress, which is a mock Congress. For this convention, you get to write your own legislature to solve a problem interesting to you, and then, at the convention itself, you get to fight for your bill in the House and Senate. The conventions are all super fun, and they even have a dance at night. Conventions also feature keynote speakers, who are often people with very interesting political careers.”

2) What kind of people should join the JSA?
“People interested in politics, public speaking, or learning about politics/public speaking would get the most out of JSA.”

3) Is there any other interesting information you would like to share in hopes of recruiting new students to the JSA?
“We recently came back from the Winter Congress convention, and one of our delegates (Cici Hanna) won a ‘best speaker’ award and another delegate (Sabrina Watkins) got her bill passed — very impressive, seeing as about half the bills fail.”

For more information on the JSA, stop by room G5 on Wednesdays at lunch!

Hi, my name is Hannah Giarrusso and this is my first year writing for the M-A Chronicle. I am passionate about social justice issues, and I love to get involved in activist groups in my free time. This year I am excited to write articles that reflect my opinion on social and political issues. I am hoping to keep community members informed and interested about news stories that are relevant to them.

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