Dear Members of the JSA Community,
Like all of you, we have been intently following coverage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and considering the many ways in which its future course might alter our lives and the lives of the JSA community. These past few weeks have been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another—and how our choices today determine our options tomorrow.
We are writing to you today to update you on a major near-term change to JSA’s programming that will limit exposure to the disease among members of the JSA community. JSA is cancelling all of its Spring State conventions across the country.
The decision to cancel these conventions was not made lightly. We believe we must minimize the need to gather in large groups, and to spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as crowded convention meeting rooms. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and are consistent with similar decisions being made across the country by organizations that run large events.
Our Spring convention cycle is a significant part of the JSA program as it includes our annual student elections and Chapter of the Year judging. Our national Council of Governors is taking the lead in designing a fair election process that can be run remotely, as well as a process to judge Chapter of the Year in each JSA region. We will update all of you as soon as possible with what that process will look like.
To our students, we know how much Spring State means to you. It is not only a time for elections, but it brings closure to our seniors, and provides an opportunity to focus on the hope of a new generation of JSA leaders. We know it will be difficult to miss out on this experience. We are doing this not only to protect you, but to protect other members of our community who may be more vulnerable to this disease than you are.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflects JSA’s mission and values. JSA’s mission is to educate the future leaders of this country about responsible leadership in a democratic society, and we do so by rising above self-interest to promote the public good. JSA will not condone any language or actions concerning race-based generalizations, demonizing, or conspiracy theories related to COVID-19. In this critical moment, we applaud our student leaders' efforts to uphold those values and continue to be a shining example of what it means to Be The People.
We are grateful for your participation in JSA. We look forward to a time when we can be together again to debate, and discuss and even dance.