The Junior State of America Club held its Equality and Economy Conference on the third floor of Chalmers Jan. 31. The conference included four blocks where students debated topics such as wage ratios, the rights of small business owners, food stamps and other social issues.
There were also games, Thought Talks, which are conversation-styled debates, and workshops on JSA speech and debate.
“We did a novice debate for students who had never won an award for speaking at JSA, and we also did workshops on how to speak well,” JSA Club Vice President Eleanor Halloran ’18 said.
Unlike most conferences, the Equality and Economy Conference lasted one day and was suited for beginners who wanted to try out JSA.
“The best place for novices to get a feel for JSA is at one-day conferences like the one we held,” JSA Club President Lauren Kim ’17 said.
The JSA Southern California State organization holds three different conferences each year lasting for either two or three days.
However, because JSA is a student-led organization, individual chapters can hold one-day conferences.
“Harvard-Westlake has always been a relatively small chapter, and organizing this one-day event was a great way to establish ourselves in the JSA community,” Kim said.
About 50 students from all over Southern California attended. History Department Head Katherine Holmes-Chuba chaperoned the event.
“This felt a little more intimate because it was at Harvard-Westlake and it was run by us,” Halloran said. “It was nice to see people out of the big events.”