JSA: The Fight Apathy Campaign

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Last Tuesday, March 26, the Junior State of America (JSA) held the kickoff of their Fight Apathy campaign. During lunch bands, Townsend Harris students had the opportunity to voice their interests and concerns by writing on free stickers that they wore through the rest of the day. The campaign continued on Thursday, March 28 when more students met in the library after school to discuss issues written on the stickers and ways to become involved in the community.

When describing the campaign, Vice President of JSA and junior Annlin Su stated, “Apathy is the lack of interest and concern. The Fight Apathy campaign is meant to emphasize how the youth should be more involved in the community and more concerned about the current events.” By distributing these stickers, JSA hopes that students will voice their strong opinions and immerse themselves in the increasingly apathetic world.

Senior Felix Montgomery, President of JSA, was glad to see success in the kickoff on Tuesday. He said, “The fact that so many people were receptive to these stickers struck me as promising for the future of the campaign, the club, and the youth of Townsend Harris. Specifically, the enthusiasm of the students was disarming, and yet, the way they expressed their most pressing issues illustrated to me the sincerity of their beliefs and the passions which inflame and inspire them.”

Freshman Johan Renfigo, if he’d gotten the chance to get a sticker, “would’ve written ‘the second amendment’ because [he] believe[s] that this right is constantly under attack and it is necessary to uphold this right in order to secure our freedom.” He continued, “This year’s turn out was pretty good; I saw several people wearing stickers and the one that stood out to me was ‘college is a scam.’”

On Thursday, students continued to share their passionate interests at the after-school meeting. Felix added, “We talked at length about what the various assembled people had written on their respective stickers—although some were more personal or comedic than others, there were such notable issues as the death penalty, climate change, and Barry’s Rock.”

Senior Barry Hui described an enlightening experience with a rock, retrieved from the senior trip at Honor’s Haven Resort. When discussing the sentimental significance of his rock, Barry said, “Originally, we didn’t have any intention of bringing it back to Townsend, but I decided that there was enough apathy in this world without leaving such a precious artifact behind. As a result, I took it with me on the bus ride back, and the rest is history.” Even the smallest instances, like Barry’s experience, prove that there are always opportunities for people, particularly students, to engage in their environment and take on new interests. He added, “Apathy is one of the greatest problems in our society today, as it embodies human carelessness and ignorance. If we don’t care about the big things and the little things alike, what is there to live for?”

After an accomplished campaign, Annlin looks to the promising future of JSA. She concluded,  “Hopefully, the campaign will spark even more discussion in the future. It would be great if we can get more stickers and get more students involved in the campaign. It’s time to be the people.”