The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Non-debate statesmen prepare for JSA Fall Convention

Weston Benner
Junior Mingyi Chen presents the negative to universal healthcare in America. Proposed universal healthcare is one of the topics currently being debated by JSA.

Twelve days away from the Junior Statesmen of America Fall Convention in Austin, Texas, members of the JSA Houston chapter met in Room 3711 to prepare on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.

First on the policy agenda? A casual mock debate over universal healthcare to show new inductees what to expect in Austin.

Junior Alexander Tang took the affirmative, arguing for government-funded healthcare to cure our “boo-boos” quicker than under current privately funded healthcare.

Junior Mingyi Chen took the negative, rebutting the failures of other countries’ universal healthcare, including the months-long wait times of the United Kingdom’s NHS.

Story continues below advertisement
Junior Feifan Liu instructs JSA members how to pay dues to attend in the Nov. 4 convention. Student participation at the Convention in Austin is entirely student funded. (Weston Benner)

First-year member and junior Shaun Israni believed the informal debate, and particularly Alex’s wording, made the idea of attending the convention more approachable.

“I thought the debate was very lighthearted, and everyone was supportive,” Israni said. “It made [the prospect of] debating a lot easier.”

President and junior Emerald Tang, who is also in charge of Junior Statesmen of America at the Texas level, was excited about the number of non-debaters, such as Shaun Israni, attending this year.

“One issue our club [membership] faces has always been solely the debate community,” Emerald Tang said. “Seeing us able to outreach to people outside of that [community] makes me really happy. I just hope that we’re able to motivate them to want to speak outside of the debate space.”

Chen agrees with Tang and hopes freshmen and non-debaters alike will “hopefully fall in love with the organization.”

“We actually want people that are not engaged in debate so that they can be more engaged in politics and discussion,” Chen said.

For more information, join JSA’s remind at @belljsa.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Three Penny Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *