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The KYA Times

Volume 1: Issue 4

The Tampon Tax

November 17, 2016

for all women to purchase at least

once a month, leaving them thouBy: Sophie Edelen
sands of dollars out of pocket a
year on products that they have

Abolishing the leisure tax on femno choice but to buy. This is not
inine products bills are in high demand
an issue that we can ignore anythis year. To my surprise, there are
more. All over the counter, and
three separate bills all debating the
some not, medications are exsame controversial topic: are feminine
empt from the leisure tax in the
products medical necessities or not? As United States. The FDA has even
a female, I would argue yes, the tax on deemed feminine products to be
feminine hygiene products is complete- medication, which means there
ly unnecessary. Repealing it, though,
is no reason that these products
would cause a whole other issue in and are not already exempt from this
of itself. The Kentucky Government cur- tax. Seeing as we live in a socirently has a 6% sales tax on all female
ety that values equal rights for all
products. According to the bill by Oldgenders, this is simply not acceptham County High School, in 2014 alone, able. I know I may have seemed
the Kentucky Government collected
a little preachy in this, but if KYA
$2,222,967 just from the tampon tax. has taught me anything, its that

Feminine hygiene products include being preachy is not always horritampons, maxi pads, panty-liners, vag- ble.
inal creams or moisturizers, over the
counter vaginal medications and ointments, and intimate cleansing and deodorants. These products are necessary

The Y to me is a place of security,

and a feeling of home. Where I can
come with all of my fellow delegates, or just regular people, not
even at a debatable conference,
its just a feeling of home...where
I know I can be accepted, and
that I can voice my opinion, and
learn from other people. It just
makes our youth such an amazing
place to be.

To Governor Spencer Stewart,

the Y has a powerful meaning.
To me, The Y means meeting
and hanging out with friends
that have the same interest
as me. Learning how to be
the best I can be, and developing myself into a future
american leader. Stewart says.

To me, the Y is an organization

that promotes civic engagement,
and gives students the research
and knowledge to
initiate change in their schools,
communities, the state of
Kentucky, and the globe.

What does the Y

mean to you?
To Sophie Ritzenthaler, the Y
has a more simple meaning.
Something that most, if not all,
of us can realate to. It means
being home, and having a
place to share your voice. says

Leea Collard believes that the Y

follows everyone. The Y has
provided me with tremendous
direction that I dont believe I
couldve found elsewhere. This
organization has blessed me
with innumerable friendships
that I know will last a lifetime.
Even though Im graduating, I
know a peice of the Y will always
be with me.

Governors Genius Words

By: Sarah Daus

When Spencer Stewart stood up in front of the group of delegates that
he would preside over for the weekend, every memory from his campaign
came flooding back. He is still just as inspiredand shockedthat he won
the position of governor. The dedication that he showed during his campaign still rings true this year.

Last week, prior to the presidential election, Spencer had totally different speeches. In the wake of the election, though, he realized how divided our nation truly isand decided that he needed to change his speeches
to reflect the unity that he wants to promote. The unity in our democracy,
that he believes is so vital. One thing he didnt want KYA to be is a parallel
to the divided nation we have. In contrast, he wanted to foster an environment where everyones voice could be heard. Like he said in his speech,
Spencer truly believes every single person, no matter their party or beliefs,
can bring something to the table in a democratic setting.

Winston Churchill was a name Spencer quoted many times in his opening ceremony dialoguedespite yearning to use Abe Lincoln or another person. Spencer felt Churchills quotes were the right path. Churchill has always been one of Spencers idols. Hes inspired by his determination and his
personality. The hope he had for the conferenceand the ideal of democracyis that the quotes he read will begin to ring true. KYA illustrates democracy and the light Spencer wants us all to see it inlike Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

Even when our national democracy seems like darkness for half of us,
we can always count on KYA to provide us with the unity we all crave. If
you remember anything from the opening ceremony, Spencer hopes its this
The future is unknowable

out for
The words on my
socks are what I get
out of KYA, said
Connor Washburn, a
member of the Marshall
County delegation.

When asked about his

socks, all Daniel Sills
had to say was, Merica... No dont write

The judicial program can be a

very serious experience, but I
wanted to make it a little more
fun, said Dalton York, an
advocate in the judicial

Fantastic socks and where to

find them. Where to find them:
KYA. Fantastic: absolutely. The
Most fantastic socks can come
out of nowhere. This KYA, there
was no shortage of
awesome socks. Ranging from
inspiring quotes inscribed in the
bottom of them, to dinosaurs of
all colors, it has been an
interesting conference for

Dear KYA,

7 years ago I was clueless on the journey I would begin to embark
on through the Y. In 6th grade, in all honesty, I joined KYA to skip school.
I came to the conference not even knowing what it was about. Leaving my
first KYA was heartbreaking; I met so many new friends, and even though
I knew I would see them again, it wouldnt be for another year. I was being
forced to leave my safe place, which allowed me to feel like I could change
our commonwealth. After that first KYA, I was hooked. Growing up through
the Y, I learned that my opinion mattered, to follow my dreams, and, most
importantly, that I can change the world.

Throughout my journey through high school, photojournalism became
a prevalent part of my life. Coming into my junior year KYA, I was eager to
do something different. For the past 5 KYA conferences, I was just a delegate or a bill author. After all that time, I was eager to do something else.
I found out in media corps I would be able to take pictures, which is something I love doing. So, I blindly signed up for media corps. Coming into media corps, I wanted to take pictures, and that was it. Friends were, surprisingly, a last priority for me. Thinking my hard work had gone unnoticed, I
sat in the back and, unknowingly, was nominated to be the following years
editor and chief. Voting began and, somehow, I ended up winning the position. This year has been a whirlwind in the best possible way. I have met
so many lifelong friends because of this position. I have learned immense
leadership skills, and I have been able to implement the Ys four core values
into my everyday life. It breaks my heart that this conference will be my
7th and final KYA as a delegate. These past 7 years, filled with over 20 Y
conferences, have been the best of my life. I am so thankful for everything
this amazing organization has given me. Until next time
Haley Schoengart
KYA 1 2016 Media Editor and Chief

Smoothies: Friends or Foes

By: Madison Hillberry

Year after year, KYA is held at the Crowne Plaza. While everyone can
agree that it is a top notch hotel, from the friendly staff members to the
spacious ballrooms, there is one thing that everyone cannot agree on, and
that is their smoothies.

At each conference, there are a multitude of delegates who consume
these frozen strawberry beverages. So many, in fact, that tremendously long lines and a short supply of ingredients await anyone who takes the
bold risk of purchasing one. With this in mind, the smoothies cant be too
bad, right? According to the students at Woodford County High School, they
are, indeed, that bad. Sophie Edelen, student at Woodford County and assistant editor of media corps, says that she recalls a time when a fellow student got sick after drinking one of these alleged smoothies. Ever since this
tragic incident, the students at her school have implemented a full-forced
blockade on the sketchy beverages altogether.

At times like this, when their reputation is on the line, several delegates are willing to come to the defense of these controversial drinks. Keeley Slade from John Hardin High School is just one among many of these
delegates. She states that these smoothies are just as much a part of this
conference as we are; they have been here the entire time, constantly assisting us in our times of dire thirst and dehydration. Cant argue with that.

So what is the truth? Are the smoothies delicious? Are they repulsive?
Are they a healthy between-debate-snack, or do they cause illnesses? Well
folks, Im here to tell you that, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, smoothies are in the mouth of the delegate. Perhaps the dispute will be
solved within the Capitol Chambers at next years conference; until then,
however, the verdict remains.

Bluegrass v. Commonwealth: Drastically

Differential or Strikingly Similar?
By: Madison Hillberry

Students throughout Kentucky gather at this conference each year for

one central reason: to debate over
various bills. Considering that we,
as delegates, created these pieces
of legislation in the first place, they
are often hot topics that we feel passionately about. This passion is not
always spread evenly, though. Titles
that contain keywords such as marijuana, death penalty, assisted suicide, abortion, and so many others
tend to shake not only political opinions, but our entire belief system. We
participate in this program because
we have strong opinions, ones that
we want to be heard, but where is
the divide in these opinions? What
characteristics about us, as individuals, influence not only which side we
choose, but what topics we bother to
choose a side for? It is a direct product of not only our years of life experience, but our years of experience
within this program.

When comparing the Bluegrass
bills with those of the Commonwealth, there is a clear distinction
between those who have no experience within KYA and those who
do. This distinction, however, is not
negative on either side; it is simply
different. The Bluegrass section of
the bill book, for instance, contains
several obvious trends, one of which
is the concept of lowering current
age requirements. Whether it be to
donate blood, receive a Learners

Permit, or to engage in sexual relations, all of these bill authors aspire

to be able to do more despite their
young age. All of these bills suggest
that the age requirement be altered,
in most cases to 15, which coincidentally, is the age of a vast majority of
Bluegrass delegates.

Commonwealth bills, as a
whole, are much more concerned
with both education and environmental issues. One bill, for instance, is
An Act to Establish a State Operating
Biofuel Plant. Upon speaking to the
authors at the Education Fair, Kathy
Chung and Matthew Rivera, it was
evident that they both had a strong
handle on their bill and were excited
to improve our states environmental status. In addition to Chung and
Rivera, I spoke with Michael LaRoche, Commonwealth delegate from
Scott High School. When asked how
KYA has been transformational in
his life, he stated it has opened my
eyes to the majority of views in this
state. I knew we were Republican,
but I never realized just how Republican we were. Due to his years of
participation in this program, he has
been able to observe and form opinions of the political views within this
conference; whereas, when I spoke
with a Bluegrass delegate from Gatton Academy, Sara Saeed, she stated
that KYAs impact on her, thus far,
is meeting a lot of people and being more involved. Although all of

us would agree that we get to meet

some awesome people through this
program, those of us who are Commonwealth, like LaRoche, are more
than likely to have several more specific views regarding their take on
KYA throughout the years.

So, yes, there are divides between the experienced and the
non-experienced. With every divide,
however, there is a common ground.
For example, both groups have a
clear focus on promoting female
equality, and putting an end to the
injustices that they are forced to face
all too often. There are three separate bills to repeal tax on feminine
products; not to mention, a strong
emphasis on tackling issues of sexual
assault and dating violence, in which
90% of the victims are female. We,
as millennials, tend to feel passionately about social equality, and work
hard to implement bills that will contribute to that. This years embody
the idea of millennial mindsets, increasing at each new generation. So,
yes, there is both an age gap and
a Y-gap, but we are all here for the
same common goal, and that is to
leave a positive impact on the state
of Kentucky.

Bluegrass bill authors

presenting thier bill in the
House chambers.

Bill Authors getting
ready in the capitol
to present their bill.

Judicial Reigns Supreme

By: Claire Harmon

KYA is a place where students
often find a passion for democracy
and debate while learning the ins and
outs of how our government really works. There are many specialized programs throughout KYA that
represent the different functions of
Kentuckys state government. These
specialized roles can help students to
find where they excel. Whether its
photography and journalism with the
Media Corps, following parliamentary procedure as a parliamentarian,
or leading debates as a committee
chair, theres something for everyone.

With all of these areas, though,
there is one that requires more work
and preparation than any other: the
Judicial Program.

Students who dare to become
judicial advocates receive their case
materials a month before KYA even
begins. They are assigned a real case
that went through Kentuckys Supreme Court and told what side they
will have to advocate for. They work
to craft arguments that would stand
in an actual court of law and many
receive help from actual judges and
attorneys before attending KYA to
make their arguments as strong as

Once they arrive, judicial advocates are immediately thrown into
meetings where they share the outlines for their arguments with the
opposing side. They then work to
strengthen their oral arguments to
present to real attorneys the next


On the second day, advocates
present their oral arguments three
times at the hotel and in the actual
chambers of the Kentucky Supreme
Court. They receive feedback from
attorneys and judges that makes
them better speakers and improves
their speeches.

While doing all of this, advocates are also working to determine
the constitutionality of bills passed by
the House and Senate. Their opinions
are presented to the Governor who
signs and vetoes bills.

[The Y staff] say the Judiciary
Programs are some of the toughest
programs, if not the most tough program, that we offer. The thirty days
youre given to prepare doesnt even
prepare you for the questions the
judges are going to ask you, said
Tracy Ingram, the head of the Judicial Programs. Watching the students grow from the beginning of the
thirty days to the end of the conference is the greatest part.

KYA is an amazing experience
that has something for everyone.
People from across the Commonwealth unite to form a bond of democracy and friendship. The special
programs make KYA even more special and challenging than it already
is. Each of these programs are demanding and challenging in their own
right, but the Judicial Program stands
out among even the most demanding
of YMCA programs.