Delegates share ideas at Fall State 2020.

Fall State 2020 Recap

by Cindy Oh, IMSA

Through Saturday and Sunday, October 24th-25th 2020, delegates from the Midwest, Texas, and Ohio River Valley regions gathered together over Zoom to attend the largest convention of the year: Fall State. From the three states, around 190 JSAers engaged in lively debates and thought talks that related to this year’s theme of Civic Engagement in Times of Crisis.

At the opening session, the Midwest Governor Anjali Parande, Texas Governor David Tang, and Ohio River Valley Governor Wonnie Kim called Fall State to start and introduced the first block of debates. During the first block, debaters spoke upon several topics that ranged from if a national mask mandate of COVID-19 should take place to whether politicians’ social media should be censored or not. The activism initiative “Environmentalism in COVID-19” also took place during this time. After the debates, members of the activism departments from each state presented an activism block with three activism workshops: “Activism Beyond the Screen,” “Dismantling the Walls of Activism,” and “Fight Apathy Speed Dating and Slogan Competition.”

After a short break, delegates interacted with new people from the Midwest, Texas, and Ohio River Valley states. during the social block. Participants were able to choose from three options that allowed them to connect with other JSAers. Following the social block was the lively and realistic Presidential Debate and Mock SCOTUS Block. Delegates portrayed candidates that JSAers nominated and ran a hypothetical race while staying true to their candidates’ beliefs. During the Mock SCOTUS portion, eight delegates portrayed justices, one delegate portrayed the chief justice, and one delegate portrayed the lead attorney. The justices and chief justice listened to a speech by the lead attorney to later share the court’s decision. The activism initiative “So You Wanna Talk about Race?” workshop also took place during this time.

Block two of debates took place after a short break where topics ranged from if permanent residents should be given the right to vote to whether the existence of billionaires is unethical or not. The activism initiative “2020 Mock Election” also took place during this time. After the engaging debates and productive activism workshop, the Midwest, Texas, and Ohio River Valley states divided into breakout rooms where each Governors concluded with ending remarks to bring the first day to a close.

To start the second day strongly, the Midwest, Texas, and Ohio River Valley states divided into breakout rooms for States of the States and Chapter Caucuses. Following the eventful breakout rooms was the third block of debates. Debates from the third block ranged from if solitary confinement should be abolished to should standardized testing be no longer considered in college applications. During the third block of debates, an activism initiative took place, going over how to build a petition.

After the third block of debates, JSAers were greeted with two keynote speakers: Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta as the Midwest keynote speaker and Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president Spike Cohen as the Texas keynote speaker. The two speakers gave detailed and inspirational speeches about their experiences in their political career. Students were also given the opportunity to ask and communicate directly, which allowed them to have a deeper connection with the keynote speakers.

Following the keynote speakers was the World Leader Conference & Pandemic Crisis Session block. During the World Leader Conference, eight chosen delegates represented eight world leaders and were asked to answer about their views on different topics. At the same time, the activism initiative “Action-ism Workshop: Human Rights Advocacy Campaign” took place where delegates discussed how to run a successful advocacy campaign. Afterward, the pandemic crisis session took place where delegates were presented with a scenario related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third block of debates started afterward where delegates debated on topics that were considered “fun” debates. In this block of debates, topics ranged from if math is red to whether playing country music in public places should be prohibited or not. During this block, the activism initiative “Activism at Home” workshop took place. After delegates enjoyed this fourth and final block, the time to call Fall State to a close came. All JSAers came back to the Zoom session and heard final statements from the Midwest Governor Anjali Parande, Texas Governor David Tang, and Ohio River Valley Governor Wonnie Kim. Thank you to everyone that attended this Fall State conference and made it possible for us to come together!

Best Speakers:

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Special Debates

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The Crimson Cardinal is Midwest JSA's publication, comprised of student voices and opinions.