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Early AP exam sign ups pressure students

Inside This Issue

Pollution: Present and future

SCHS students question Tik Tok fame




The Roar

Vol. XX No. 1 Friday, October 25, 2019

Santa Clara High School 3000 Benton St. Santa Clara, CA 95051

A place for everyone:

LGBTQ+ athletes at SCHS share their experiences By Olivia Jones

At his old school in Arizona, junior Antonio Rico played second baseman for his school’s baseball team. His teammates would ignore him, avoid being paired with him, and treat him differently in the locker room. The reason for his ostracization was due to Rico’s sexual orientation. Though LGBTQ+ issues are increasingly common topics in mainstream media, athletes can face different experiences and reactions if they choose to come out to their teammates. At SCHS, LGBTQ+ athletes have varying stories to tell. Rico’s story from Arizona involved him being excluded by his teammates. “They treated me as if I was a different kind of subspecies, per say,” Rico said. “That sounds a little harsh, but I guess that’s the only way I could describe it.” Rico stated that his coach noticed this behavior but did not address the issue. However, Rico was supported by a friend, who backed him up when the other members of the team were bothering him. According to Rico, discrimination against one athlete hurts the entire team. He saw the harmful effects firsthand during his own experience in Arizona, where his teammates did not collaborate with him. “They wouldn’t take me as a

EL classes added to accomodate the increase of students By Chariah Williams

Itzel Samano/Roar Staff

Sophomore Isabel Maloney identifies as bisexual. She said her identity has never caused any issues or been a source of awkwardness in her two years of playing tennis at SCHS. serious member of the team,” Rico said. “They would do what they saw was best and not what was best for the team as a whole.”

For other athletes, like sophomore Isabel Maloney, their identity has not affected their experience. Maloney has played tennis for six

years – two at SCHS – and her bisexuality has never caused prob-

See LGBTQ+ Athletes, Page 9

According to English Learner Coordinator Naomi Ansaldo, there are at least 26 languages spoken on campus. Students from all over the world come to SCHS and are enrolled in the English Language Learners program. This year, class sizes have increased. One English Language Development class exceeded the maximum capacity, and others were getting close. “I have students from Mexico, I have students from Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, the Philippines,Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Russia, Uganda, pretty much from everywhere around the world,” Ansaldo said. Since more students were added to the ELD program, Principal Gregory Shelby asked the district to include more classes. On Sep. 23, another science and another history class was added to create smaller class sizes. “We are just really, really thankful that we were able

See EL Classes, Page 5

Junior Nithila Poongovan strives to ‘foster scientific curiosity’ By Amelia Howell

Junior Nithila Poongovan founded the organization Young Inquisitive Minds, which gives SCHS students with special needs the same educational opportunities as everyone else. “We bring STEM to the special needs community,” Poongovan said. “We foster scientific curiosity and exploration in kids with developmental and intellectual disabilities.” Young Inquisitive Minds was inspired by Poongovan’s experience volunteering for Santa Clara’s Therapeutic Recreation Services. According to their website, the purpose of TRS is to “serve the recreational and social needs of individuals with disabilities.” TRS hosts team bonding sessions with both volunteers and members of the special needs community weekly by age. According to Poongovan, there are many TRS sessions that conduct STEM workshops and teach spe-

cial education students robotics. Poongovan and her best friend, Lynbrook High School junior Meghan Repaka, decided they wanted to do more. “We decided we would try something new with TRS after going to their team STEM day,” Poongovan said. “We decided to see where it goes and host a few more sessions, then we decided to make it a nonprofit.” Elevate the Future, a nonprofit organization started by two students at Lynbrook High, is fiscally sponsoring and lending their tax-exempt status to Young Inquisitive Minds. “We had to go through some of the legal work,” Poongovan said. “It’s a lot easier for us to become a nonprofit and get our 501(c)(3) taxes and status because we are a fiscally sponsored program.” According to Poongovan, her organization is time-consuming, but she enjoys what she does. “It definitely plays a really large role in my life,” Poongo-

van said. “I have meetings once or twice a week with my co-founder or another organization just to discuss what our plans with them would be and what kind of sessions we plan to host.” At their sessions, Young Inquisitive Minds works with different organizations with similar purposes to help the special needs community learn STEM and robotics. The other organizations provide resources and connections. “A lot of visual learning goes on,” Poongovan said. “We have robotics sessions, where we work with Ozobots, which are tiny spherical robots, and Sphero robots as well. We [also] work with snap circuits and other experiments similar to that.” Poongovan strives to help special needs students both on and off the SCHS campus. “I found out that some of these kids really like space, so I went to the club fairs and found a space club,” she said. “Now they’re part of that.”

Dalila Prudente/ Roar Staff

Courtesy of Nithila Poongovan

Poongovan (left) hopes Young Inquisitve Minds (right) can help bring STEM resources to the special needs community. Poongovan hopes to increase Young Inquisitive Minds’ outreach across the world and is currently in contact with organizations in Africa and New Zealand. The organization sends materials and teaches them how to host sessions. “Their communities don’t get as many resources as we do, and we’re very fortunate to have the resources we do to give out to these communities,” Poongovan said.

Young Inquisitive Minds has been helping the special needs community learn about technology and different robotic machines for a year now. Poongovan looks forward to helping the special needs community continue to thrive. “I’ve become really close with the special ed kids at SCHS. I know them all really well,” Poongovan said. “Hopefully by next year, our plan is to file to become a 501C3 nonprofit on our own.”




OCTOBER 25, 2019

Unproductive arguing prevents positive change in society

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon /Roar Staff

As warned by the scientists of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there are only 11 years remaining to limit the effects of climate change before the global temperature raises past the 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit “safe” limit. Yet, as the world burns around us and the threats of drought, poverty and extreme heat set in, it seems as though

very few people are capable of working together with “the other side” in order to move forward. On a political level, rather than there being informative debate and reconciliation, there are screaming matches and rude insults. Both liberals as well as conservatives are guilty of taking the opinions of others as personal attacks, choosing to respond with

only more vitriol. It would surprise most people at SCHS if they were to discover that approval for the financing of renewable energy research is actually 75 percent among Republicans, according to a study published in the journal Climatic Change. The same study suggests that an average 57 percent of Republicans in each congressional district agree carbon dioxide emissions should be limited. It is ignorant to suggest that everybody – regardless of their ideologies – should come together, ultimately fixing the problems we are faced with. Simply put, that is not realistic. What is concerning, however, is that groups of every type on the political spectrum choose only to hate on what is different instead of identifying common ground in the name of progress. According to a 2012 study published in PLOS ONE, a peerreviewed scientific journal, the

divide between liberals and conservatives is often exaggerated to a perilous extent. What this indicates is that people view themselves so differently from others on the political spectrum that the final result is often unproductive incivility. Looking at the comments of any controversial post on social media, it is clear that we live in a political climate that labels liberals as socialists, and derogatively brands conservatives as “boomers.” It is much more about mocking than understanding or solving, something highlighted by President Trump’s Sep. 23 Tweet aimed at 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Belittling her, Trump sarcastically wrote, “A very young happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” On campuses and schools across the country, the trends of hyperpartisanship and namecalling have only progressively

worsened in the incendiary “Age of Trump,” with volatility among students now at a new high. In a survey by the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access, “almost 9 in 10 principals report[ed] that incivility and contentiousness in the broader political environment has considerably affected their school community.” Furthermore, these recent years have seen students experiencing an increase in both derogatory remarks toward certain groups as well as hateful, sometimes even hostile rhetoric. This culture of unwarranted controversy impedes upon the United States’ ability to invoke changes of any sort, every attack on another person’s political beliefs doubling as an attack on productivity itself. Especially as the issue of climate change looms overhead, approaching seemingly faster than ever before, it is time to stop the childish behavior and begin looking for compromise.

Busy work wastes time and impedes learning By Dalila Prudente

THE ROAR 2019-2020 editors-in-chief Olivia Jones • Alina Jafri opinion | Samantha Alde campus | Alina Jafri focus | Vincent Nguyen sports | Olivia Jones a&e | Sasha Syrevych spotlight | Olive Howden visuals | Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon online | Melina Kritikopoulos staff writers Isaac Craig • Emily Harvie Amelia Howell • Kristina Liah Yasha Nag • Lhana Philavong Dalila Prudente • Itzel Samano Varela Rickie Thayer • Andrea Torres Neil Veira • Chariah Williams advisor Bob Ansaldo Mission Statement The Roar works to inform students, showcase their accomplishments, and explore issues relevant to them as individuals and as a generation. We value journalistic ethics and professional behavior toward both our sources and our readers. We will investigate and inform students about happenings onand off-campus, and provide information comprehensibly. As a student-run newspaper, The Roar strives to establish itself as a reliable news source for Santa Clara High School. Letters and Opinion columns submitted to The Roar must be signed, although names can be withheld. Submissions should be limited to 200 words and may be edited for content, libel, or grammar. Opinion submissions can be delivered to Mr. Ansaldo’s room (B109) or his mailbox in the front office.

DISCLAIMER The opinions on these pages reflect the views of the individual writer, not those of Santa Clara High School. The Roar Newspaper Santa Clara High School 3000 Benton St. Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 423-2720

Many parents may think the quality of their child’s work is not up to par. Oftentimes, however, it is not the student’s effort parents should complain about but the homework being assigned. Busy work takes up time better spent completing actual educational assignments, and engaging in healthy physical activity and spending time with friends and family, all of which are essential for healthy physical and mental development. Families have only a limited time together in the afternoon and evening. If students are doing busy work, they have less opportunities to participate in family life that is crucial for emotional and social development. Children and teens also require a good night’s sleep, and busy work might mean delaying bedtime to ensure that it gets done. Busy work refers to assignments that may take a lot of time to complete but don’t actually have educational value. Many students are assigned homework that make them really busy, but its purpose is to simply keep them occupied or because the

Rickie Thayer /Roar Staff

teacher needs something for the gradebook, but the students do not learn anything from it. Busy work includes activities such as coloring and word searches. Beneficial homework, on the other hand, serves a different purpose. Effective homework assignments supplement learning and practice the integration of newlylearned skills. Homework gives students the chance to study at their own pace and discover for themselves which concepts they are having trouble with and those they have mastered. Some skills are best learned by repetition. Fifteen math problems using the same process can seem

like busywork, but by the tenth problem most students will find that knowing how to solve the problem has become automatic and completing the last five easily may make them feel accomplished. Assigning a number of problems beyond mastery, however, becomes busy work. When students can learn the skill in 15 problems, they don’t need to complete 25. Unless assignments are meant to improve a student’s fine motor skills, homework asking for students to cut, color and glue doesn’t have a whole lot of educational value. Homework can then be re-

viewed in class, whereas busy work is skimmed by the teacher and then stamped for an easy full credit. If not completed, then it can weigh down student’s grades, bringing it down despite it being a simple word search or coloring assignment. However, in the classroom, busy work sometimes has its merits. Lesson plans for substitute teachers often contain busy work, especially when the teacher planned on introducing new concepts to the class and would rather wait until they returned to do so. Even then, review or extra time to catch up and ask questions may be a better use of class time. Rather than focusing on attaining easy points from trivial assignments, the goal of homework should be to make sure students are excelling and following with the rest of the class. Students who take AP or honors classes have a heavy workload as it is. Busy work onlys adds to their stress. The banishment of these types of assignments is much more appealing, once people realize they are not part of the college curriculum.

New AP exam registration date stresses students to sign up with little knowledge about their classes By Samantha Alde

AP classes are notorious for being time-consuming and administering a large workload. With SCUSD AP exam registration in late September, AP students scrambled to figure out if they wanted to take the exam. Early sign-ups stress students out to register for an AP Exam with little consideration for their mental states. AP students should be able to sign up for their exam later in the year so they are able to determine whether or not they’re prepared to take it. The more accustomed a student is to the content later in the year, the more willing they are to sign up. Classes such as AP Macroeconomics and AP Government are semesterly, so students who have one or

the other in the second semester sign up for their exam blindly. Senior Sonal Surikal, who has taken multiple AP courses, finds it inconvenient that AP students are told to sign up early in the year when there has been minimal material instructed. “Because it’s so early in the year, it doesn’t give us the time to decide whether we want to take any of the AP tests or not,” Surikal said. “It’s September. We don’t know how the class will be yet.” Many students also feel pressured to do as well as their peers. Receiving a score lower than a three, the minimum passing score, can often demoralize students after taking the course for a full year and testing in a cramped room for three hours. AP students are deterred from signing up early since they

haven’t developed a stronger understanding of their own academic ability. According to an article by Inside Higher Ed, a news source dedicated to covering education and learning, students who devote most of their time to a class in which they are taking an exam increases the risk of their performance in other classes deteriorating. Later registration sign-ups mean more time to gauge their situation. On the other hand, one benefit to signing up for the AP Exam earlier in the year is that it motivates students to try harder. SCUSD pays for the AP exams, but once a student registers, they cannot back out unless they pay a fee. This means they will need to put forth increased

effort in their course if they don’t want to get fined for backing out last minute. Although early registration benefits those who do well with the added pressure, success is not necessarily guaranteed since they have not experienced the full extent of the AP curriculum. However, if students are certain that they have had sufficient preparation later in the year to take the exam and pass, they will have a higher chance of succeeding. Overall, it seems unreasonable to make students decide whether they want to take an AP Exam so early in the year. Everyone wants to do well, so they should have time to consider the pros and cons of taking the AP Exam for the sake of their scores and well-being.



OCTOBER 25, 2019

Mass shooting prevalence in the U.S. has desensitized students and hinders them from taking proper action People are becoming increasingly less informed, though it’s According to the Gun Violence not their fault. Mass shootings are not new or unusual anymore. Archive, there have been over Most are desensitized to gun 335 mass shootings in the U.S. violence to some extent, and stuin 2019, and the year isn’t over. dents have become desensitized There have been more shootings than days so far, a stark contrast to school shootings. School shootings have become to 2000, which had only one. a laughing matter for many stuIt’s no mystery that mass dents. Almost every student has shootings have increased recentheard a crack at school shootings ly, but they have spiked in the past few years. At the same time at some point, whether it was a fake threat or a meme comparing there is less coverage and less mass concern nowadays. We as a a school to a shooting range, or society are becoming increasingly something entirely different. For example, even when there desensitized to mass shootings. By Rickie Thayer

was an armed individual near SCHS and the school had to implement a shelter in place, many students joked about it. This may have been a coping mechanism, but it affects more than them since fearful students had to hear those jokes too, likely exacerbating their fear. However, there is a psychological reason behind desensitization. In an article published by Time magazine, according to Dr. Bruce Harry – an associate professor of clinical and forensic psychiatry – desensitization

is the brain’s way of trying to shield individuals from trauma. This system has backfired in light of the spike in mass shootings. Human brains are not supposed to endure a constant bombardment of violent images and ideas. When they are, people become less likely to care. This desensitization has mentally deprioritized the tragedy of mass shootings. The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists. The lack of information, as well as decreased attention

leaves a problem untreated. If someone were to get a virus, their body should be able to fight it off unless they have a compromised immune system. Right now, America’s virus is its shootings, and desensitization is compromising the metaphorical immune system’s ability to fight it off. Problems don’t often go away if they are ignored, and this one won’t either. Just because mass shootings have become mundane, doesn’t mean that they should be treated as a normal event.

Fast food is not an accurate representation of cultural cuisine By Dalila Prudente

Earlier this year, a nationwide survey called The Harris Poll was conducted to determine people’s favorite brands over the years. According to the study, 77,000 participants, fifteen or older, rated Taco Bell as the “Best Mexican Restaurant in America.” That’s right. Taco Bell was voted the best Mexican restaurant. However, ranking Taco Bell number one is like saying Panda Express has the best Chinese food. It’s not ethnically accurate. Ethnic fast-food chains lack authentic ingredients in the dishes they are trying to replicate. Taco Bell serves almost everything with yellow cheddar cheese, which is not typically used in Mexican dishes at all. They swap the cilantro for lettuce and onions for other alternatives. Not to mention, the tortillas

that americanized Mexican food use are made out of flour instead of natural corn. Knowing the difference in ingredients is important because it brings awareness to stereotypes built around a certain culture’s food. It’s not just Taco Bell that is misrepresenting ethnic food. Multiple fast-food chains for other cultures do it, too. McDonald’s, another wellknown food chain, faces the same criticisms of being greasy, unhealthy and high in calories. If someone who had never tried McDonald’s outside of America were to try it, then they may assume that all American food is similar and that Americans only eat unhealthy junk. Many may refuse to categorize Taco Bell as anything other than Mexican food, but there’s a reason why Mexico refuses to open Taco

Private Data Collection:

assumption that all Mexican dishes are greasy and are come wrapped in flour tortillas. Mexico is a tremendously rich country given its Spanish and Indigenous heritage. Mexican food is being eaten by indigenous and non-indigenous people alike, regardless of color or social status.

“Knowing the difference in ingredients is important Olive Howden /Roar Staff

Bells in Mexico. Taco Bell resembles more of a Tex-Mex portrayal of food with their burritos, nachos and mexican pizza – all of which are not actually eaten in Mexico. If Taco Bell was the only “mexican food” people consumed, then based on the food there, they may assume that all Mexican people eat tacos and quesadillas, which is false since the “tacos” served

Most people have seen an advertisement that seems suspiciously like the advertisers knew their private information and chances are, they did. That convenience is

because it brings awareness to stereotypes build around another culture’s food.” It is important to be aware and inform others of the misrepresentation of a so-called certain cultures food. Indigenous people are not the only ones who eat real Mexican food.

The underlying morality of technological advancement

Lhana Philavong /Roar Staff

By Rickie Thayer

there are nothing like traditional ones. Fast-food chains give people a false reality of what the culture’s food is really like. If someone happened to not like what they had at Taco Bell, they may never try authentic Mexican dishes in the future. What this then leads to is the creation of stereotypes. Someone eating Taco Bell for the first time might make the

not worth giving away one’s own personal information. It is no secret that corporations collect information from individuals. Many of them rely on the information-collecting business for money. Many apps use an individ-

ual’s information to make things run more smoothly for them, and many websites display advertisements that users are more likely to click on. The collection of an individual’s information happens in a num-

ber of ways, from Google searches and questionnaires given in ads, to locations identified from a device’s IP address. The extent of information corporations have on people is extreme, going beyond someone’s birthdate and where they grew up. They also may know exactly what a person says in the privacy of their own house. With this information, companies could go beyond ad targeting and influence the decisions of individuals. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and sometimes Siri, are advertised to only activate and record what people say in response to a keyword, but in reality they never stop recording. The only way to stop private conversations from being recorded with one of those devices in the house is to unplug it or shut it off, defeating its purpose, according to Washington Post author Geoffery A. Fowler.

It is hard to know the exact extent of what corporations are doing with personal information, but it can’t be morally sound if they’re so secretive about the use of such information. Without the information that companies collect, technology wouldn’t be as advanced. The basis of function for most modern artificial intelligence is private information and companies leading the world in technological advancements are neck deep in the information-collection business. It is convenient for people now, fueling technological advancements to make day-to-day life easier with quick access to entertainment and reminders. However, corporations having access to an individual’s private information gives them more power over people than necessary. If corporations can’t contribute good to society without doing evil, they should not be contributing anything.



OCTOBER 25, 2019

club brainstorms new ideas to Blue Hole makes a comeback: The bring more spirit at SCHS this year By Amelia Howell

Known for their spirit and energy, SCHS’s Blue Hole is making a comeback from being an inactive club for three years. They plan to bring even more hype to the school environment with new spirit activities beyond home football games. Blue Hole has brought spirit and student engagement to football games while pursuing their purpose of “unifying the student body through school spirit to support Santa Clara athletics,” according to Blue Hole club president senior Laila Davison. According to Davison, Blue Hole was an active club until around 2016 when the activity started to decline due to a lack of engagement and student interest. Last year, Davison helped the club restart and gain activity by getting the word out about Blue Hole. “Last year, the person who became president asked me to be her co-president,” Davison said. “ I helped her pull in new people through the Blue Hole Instagram.” Blue Hole also had some financial troubles because of its inactivity, according to Davison. Since at least 2013, Blue Hole’s account has had a negative balance in the hundreds. Davison said this was specifically due to T-shirt sales. They are achieving their goal to get out of debt by starting new fundraisers at school events, such as selling food

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

According to club president Laila Davison, she plans for the club to make a comeback after being inactive for three years. Besides cheering at the football games, the Blue Hole club plans to hold more spirit activities at school to help unify the student body. at the Homecoming dance. “We’ve done a lot of fundraising and we’ve gotten several donations, and we’re just $20 away,” Davison said. Blue Hole additionally began selling new merchandise and pom-poms this year. However, the money of the merchandise does not go to the club. Instead, the funds goes to the company that printed it.They designed the merch on Custom

Ink, where people can order and pay for it themselves. “It’s just for spirit. The money doesn’t go through us,” Davison said. According to Blue Hole club member sophomore Shelby Munoz, her favorite thing about Blue Hole is the members’ unique spirit and enthusiasm. “It really helps hyping up the football team to take that win during the games,” Munoz said.

“The fact that some of our cheers mix with the Spirit Squad and the marching band really encourages others to join our group.” Besides bringing energy and hype to football games, Blue Hole has plans to host activities this year, such as a paint party in the quad. Davison hopes the activities will unite the student body. “We’re going to start doing new spirit activities. We’ll start

talking about that once the (football) season ends,” Davison said. According to Davison, Blue Hole plans to keep helping SCHS be the welcoming and spirited place it is through unity and encouragement. “Blue Hole is always open,” Davison said. “Anyone who has spirit or loves the Santa Clara community should be a part of Blue Hole.”

CA law combats the second leading adolescent death in Santa Clara County By Olive Howden

This y ear, SCHS stu dents noticed a new addi t ion to their student ID c ards. While in the past, the back of the cards have been l eft blank, the 2019-2020 ID cards now have the Na t ional Suicide Preventation Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), printed on the back. Accordi ng to Principal Gregory Shelby, the addition of the number is a result of Senate Bill 972, a new state l aw, requiring California schools to print the number on the back of ID cards for all students in grades seven t hrough 12. “It is a great idea because all students have ID cards,” Shelby said. “It’s a very simple solution. The more t ools we can give students, t he better off we are.” Wellnes s Coordinator Michelle Sandoval agrees

“It’s a very simple solution. The more tools we can give students, the better off we are..” - Gregory Shelby, principal that adding the number to the back of the ID cards helps encourage students

to call if they need help. “I think it is great be cause we’re having more awareness for teen sui cide,” Sandoval said. “It’s the second leading cause of death in Santa Clara County among youth ages 10 to 24, so it’s a real issue.” Sandoval believes that the anonymity and accessi bility of having the number on the ID cards also serves to make students feel more comfortable. “One thing I do wish they would have included

“I feel like it’s a good thing because the number on the card reminds us that people can always ask for - Andre Crabajalas, senior is there’s actually a crisis text line that I feel is more comfortable for a lot of stu dents,” Sandoval said. Junior Alyson Ostachuk also believes the addition of the suicide hotline is a good way to make the num ber available to students. However, she is unsure how many students will actually call the number when they need it. “I have very mixed feel ings about it,” Ostachuk

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

Senate Bill 972 requires all California schools to put the national sucide hotline on the back of student ID cards. According to Principal Gregory Shelby, the student id card is a great rescource since every student has one. SCHS students recieved the new student id card on the first day of school this year. said. “I do think it’s a really good resource for teens to have because it’s right there – it’s right on the back of your ID card – but I also think that a lot of teens nowadays are more anxious, even with all the mental health awareness. And I do think that teens now

wouldn’t really be willing to personally call the suicide hotline.” Like Ostachuk, Senior An dre Crabajalas believes the additi on of the suicide hot line is beneficial for anyone who might need it. He also thinks it provides an impor -

tant reminder about mental health. “I feel like it’s a good thing because the num ber on the card reminds us that people can always ask for help,” Crabajalas said. “They can always have a second chance at life.”

OCTOBER 25, 2019



New class teaches the dangers of vaping to first-time offenders caught on school property By Alina Jafri

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four high school students use flavored e-cigarettes, and the rising numbers have affected SCHS. The issue of students vaping in campus restrooms has caused school administration to take a new direction in their disciplinary methods. “Vaping is far more dangerous than teenagers realize,” Principal Gregory Shelby said. “Teenagers don’t seem to be aware and most believe it to be a safe alternative.” Instead of suspension, first-time offenders are required to take a class that will educate them on the dangers of vaping. According to Shelby, this is to help lower the suspension rate so students do not lose time in class as well as to protect them from the potentially dangerous addiction. “We wanted to provide educational services to make students more cautious,” Shelby said. “A phrase I always say is, ‘Always choose the punishment that changes the behavior versus the standard consequences.’” The class is organized by the California Youth Outreach, a non-profit organization that provides gangimpacted youth with educational opportunities. It is taught by California Youth Outreach employees Roberta Garcia and Salvador Alvarez twice a month at the Wellness Center. Firsttime offenders are required to take two classes, each lasting an hour and a half. The class started in the middle of last school year. According to Garcia, Vice Principal of Attendance,

Rickie Thayer/Roar Staff

The new class consists of group discussions and videos to show students in depth what nicotine does to their bodies. Many students in the class said it was going to make them think twice. Technology and Discipline Terry Flora saw something similar in Campbell and wanted to implement it at SCHS. So far, the class has been going well. “I think the administration wanted to try it out and see how it goes last year,” Garcia said. “It went pretty well and we’re continuing it this year.” The class consists of group discussions and videos. Garcia has noticed that everyone is engaged and speaks about their experiences. She believes the class environment allows students to feel comfortable and connected to each other. “A lot of the times we have the class, it goes into deeper issues and

students share what they’re going through,” Garcia said. “We also connect with them with our experiences, and they say, ‘I went through something similar as well.’” Some students like senior Amani Chowdhury believe suspension is a more effective punishment. She thinks students will most likely get the idea that they got off easy. “I think that the suspension creates a bigger threat and would cause fewer students to be smoking in the bathrooms in the first place because they wouldn’t want to face the consequences,” Chowdhury said. However, senior Kasey Moon feels the class is a better form of discipline over suspension because it

educates towards a solution. Suspension does not caution students on the negative effects of vaping, so it won’t make them stop, Moon said. “I don’t think suspension makes students not want to vape again,” Moon said. “They might as well learn the dangers of it.” Garcia and Alvarez believe the curriculum helps students realize the dangerous impact vaping has on someone. One student even wrote a letter about how the class affected them, according to Alvarez. “Many students were shocked when they found out some of the effects of vaping has, and some said it was going to make them think twice,” Garcia said.

As stated by the art department chair, Neil Woodman, eventually, there will be a mural on the side wall showcasing student art. Students can help paint it once a final design is chosen. With all of these new ideas coming together, Woodman is excited about having Sinclair teaching in the new classroom. He feels that she will really make the room her own, and students will enjoy her teaching and her classroom.

Neil Veira/Roar Staff

According to art teacher Abbey Sinclair, she looks forward to adding her style to the art room. She believes the students’ touch will make this art room the best one on campus. By Chariah Williams

Continued from page 1 to get a second history and a second science class so we can have smaller classes, and the teachers can get to them (the students),” Ansaldo said. Classes were chaotic before the change, according to history teacher Kristina Flores. Many of the students are immigrants, who may not have been in school since the sixth grade. Flores said it is important to have one-on-one help since the

Art department gains classroom due to an increase in student interest

According to art teacher Abbey Sinclair, time and student work will make the new art room the best one on campus. Intro to Art no longer requires a digital curriculum, so the art department changed the computer lab into another art room. “You don’t necessarily need the computer lab because (students) have Chromebooks,” Sinclair said. “So we thought it would be a better idea to convert this into an art room instead.” By converting the old computer lab into a new art room,

EL Classes

all the art teachers can be together in the J wing, and all of the technology teachers can be together in the D wing. Furthermore, more students have been requesting art classes in recent years. According to Sincliar, adding a new room on campus was a better way to fit the increased class sizes and the desires of the students. Sinclair has been in the new room since the beginning of the school year. She feels her classroom could be different from others because of her teaching style and other new ideas incorporated

throughout the room. “I am pretty laid back in my teaching style,” Sinclair said. “I want my art room to feel that way too. It’s organized, but eventually I’d like to have some areas where students can grab supplies that they want to use when they are done with their work early to make sure they have something that they can do that has to do with art.” There are going to be many more changes in the room, such as replacing the old computer lab tables with new ones that better fit the room.

“You can tell when teachers have their own room. It makes a big difference. When they put stuff on the walls, it’s a better environment for students to be in.” -Neil Woodman, art department chair “I think she’s gonna make it her room,” Woodman said. “You can tell when teachers have their own room. It makes a big difference. When they put stuff on the walls, it’s a better environment for students to be in.”

“The goal is to help our students learn English as quickly as possible so they can access those mainstream classes.” -Naomi Ansaldo, English Learner coordinator students are not used to the culture of an American school and unaware of the language. Flores struggled to help the 32 pupils in her classroom, and students who knew how to speak some English would have to help others with their schoolwork. “Those students who could speak just a little bit

“Those students who could speak just a little bit more English would step up and become the teachers of the classroom and help other kids..” -Kristina Flores, history teacher more English would step up and become the teachers of the classroom and help other kids,” Flores said. “But while they are helping other kids, they would get behind in their own work.” According to Ansaldo, the dynamic of the room changes when students become frustrated and the teacher cannot answer all of the questions at hand. She believes behavior issues can stem from this problem. Now with the two new classrooms, Flores feels like stress levels have decreased. It is easier to help students learn English so they can move forward into the mainstream classes. “The goal is to help our students learn English as quickly as possible so they can access those mainstream classes,” Ansaldo said. “We feel like the smaller classes are definitely a way to help them with that.”


Pollution: Statistics

Coca-Cola is the largest corporate polluter of oceanic plastic, annually producing 3 million tons of plastic packaging.

Images from Google Images Statistics from Ellen MacArthur Foundation

41.1 percent of people in the United States live in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone pollution.


OCTOBER 25 , 2019

Santa Clara — Plannin

ing more eco-friendly transportation options. The Bicycle Plan of 2018 has As pollution levels have risen been updated to increase safety for cyclists and to make bikeways more in recent years, certain places available, encouraging individuals to have taken initiatives to lessen the use bicycles as their means of transimpact they will have on the enviportation. ronment. The city of Santa Clara is Additionally, Pineda stated no exception. the city is working to create a Pedes According to Assistant City Manager Manuel Pineda, Santa Clara trian Plan and a Creek Trail Master Plan to reduce fuel emissions from has found ways to reduce polludriving by improving overall mobility tion on a regular basis. They have options. The goal for the Pedestrian employees who use environmenPlan is to build more walkways that tally friendly pesticides, fertilizers are safe, comfortable and convenient and similar products. In order to minimize the amount of waste going for Santa Clara residents, while also building more accessible curb ramps into the environment, the city holds creek cleanups and programs such as and increasing the visibility of local Adopt a Spot, under which residents crosswalks. Changes have also occurred and businesses pick a spot to pick up on campus to make SCHS more enlitter. vironmentally friendly. The recycling Along with reducing the bins in the hallways are a recent adwaste and litter that are produced dition, co-founded by the school and daily, the city has also implemented the club Project: Earth. Recently, the projects that will help against polHomecoming floats have started to lution in the long-run, such as offer-

use more paint to lessen the amount of paper wasted upon demolition. SCHS will be incorporating other ways to decrease pollution in the future. The school is currently planning to expand the amount of recycling bins on campus by placing more outside. Despite its initiatives, SCHS is still no exception to being affected by pollution, with air quality being an issue. According to Principal Gregory Shelby, the school must now use the website to remain informed and decide what actions to take. “Up to two years ago, there was no protocol in place in terms of air quality because it happens so rarely,” Shelby said. “Now that they are happening more frequently, with wildfires and climate change, we’ve realized that it is absolutely necessary.” While the school itself has plans in place, teachers find individu-

A Plastic Problem: How It Happened

By Isaac Craig

By Itzel Samano

Vincent Nguyen/Roar Staff Statistics from World Health Organization

In 2015, Californians recycled 18.6 billion out of the 23 billion containers eligible for bottle-deposit reimbursements. This include aluminum, glass, plastic and bimetal packaging.

Tatianna Serrano-Zeladon/Roar Staff

According to National Geographic, the world is polluted by 8 million tons of plastic each year – a number that continues to grow. Plastic pollution is primarily caused by big corporations and consumers. Plastic is one of the least ecofriendly substances available because it is full of toxins and takes an average of 1,000 years to decompose. Plastic’s slow decomposition rate is most visible when looking at the ocean. According to the International Coast Cleanup, in Sept. 2019, there was a total of 45 million pieces of plastic picked up by its volunteers on beaches and in oceans. Due to its affordability and utility, big businesses tend to use plastic despite its harmful effects on the environment. In a 2019 report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation revealed

What do students do that c “The students here sometimes litter and waste our resources. I think when there’s an influence to pick up trash, that’s the only time that they’ll do it.”

80.8 Percent

“I see a lack of knowledge of what can or cannot be recycled. I feel li that could change i we started teachin it in school more so we know how to properly dispose o the materials we use


Cole Carter, Sophomore

Vincent Nguyen/Roar Staff Statistics from CalRecycle


Samantha Alde/Roar Staff

Rayana Palacios Junior Tatianna Seranno-Zeladon/Roar Staff


OCTOBER 25 , 2019

ng for Pollution

Tatianna Serrano-Zeladon/Roar Staff

that four companies alone – Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle and Danone – produce six million tons of plastic every year. According to Dan Sakaguchi, Staff Researcher with Communities for a Better Environment, “corporate polluters are key targets because they tend to be the largest, have the resources to lobby against regulation and can invest in marketing and advertisement to skew their public image.” Coca-Cola is the largest and most well-known polluter of plastics in the oceans. Forty of the 42 countries surveyed for pollution by Greenpeace contained Coca-Cola products. Additionally, in the MacArthur report, Coca-Cola admitted to producing 3 million tons of plastic each year. “One other thing to raise up is that people are not just affected by

last school year, we did Earth Week, where every day of the week had some activity.” The club has taken part in beach cleanups and hopes to do similar activities in the future. Shelby believes that school is where many students learn about world problems, and the way the

school approaches those issues affect the amount of students eager to become involved. “Everything we do has to be a combination of curriculum, particularly in science classes, as well as all-school efforts, such as recycling and informational campaigns that are largely student-based,” Shelby said.

the individual impacts from pollutants, so we need to think about the cumulative impacts of multiple types of pollution,” Sakaguchi said. “Often the agencies that regulate these facilities do not think like this.” Plastic pollution is also affected by consumer demand for cheaper products. For example, a standard clear 16-ounce bottle on the website SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. costs $0.76 each, whereas its glass counterpart costs $1.03. Ultimately, this affordability persuades consumers to ignore negative environmental repercussions. However, despite the impact that individual actions can have on the environment, countries and their leaders have the largest influence on the issue of pollution. China, for example, stopped accepting used recycling from the United States earlier this year despite the Environmental

Protection Agency’s claim that about a third of all recycling is exported. Without the opportunity to export to China, the United States struggles to recycle what it has, further contributing to plastic waste. Additionally, only eleven states in the United States have bottle-deposit legislation, under which consumers and retailers pay a redeemable fee for beverage containers, raising the collection rates of plastic, glass and aluminium. The remaining 39 states lack such legal obligations, contributing to the country’s rising pollution levels. Despite the lack of motivation for some, many feel it is important that every individual contributes toward mitigating the effects of pollution. “For me, preventing pollution matters because the lives of these community members matter,” he said.

contributes to pollution?

ike if ng e o of e.”


“When you go to 7-11, you’ll see a bunch of people eat and just throw their trash on the ground when there’s a trash can literally two feet away.”

“Students are a part of pollution from the minute they wake up. There are little things they do that contribute such as brushing or washing while keeping the water on too long.”



Bismah Hamid, Senior Tatianna Seranno-Zeladon/Roar Staff

Helping from Home

1. Invest in a cheap water filter and fill up your reusuable bottles using a kitchen faucet.

al ways to help out the environment. Physics and Calculus teacher Christopher Gallick is planning to set recycling bins and locations on campus. He hopes that his plan will encourage others to recycle and educate others outside the school. “My goal was to create a recycling program where we could kind of change the culture and the mentality about throwing things away versus trying to reuse that product or at least the materials that make up that product,” Gallick said. “If we can teach students and staff alike at the school, hopefully those habits would continue then wherever they will go.” Some students have also taken action. Clubs such as Project: Earth have helped students get more involved in activities that help reduce pollution and help spread awareness. “To do that, we could be part of more events,” club president senior Haritha Karthikeyan said. “We did ARK week this year. At the end of the



2. For groceries, bring your own reusable bags instead of paying extra for plastic.

3. Buy reusable cloth napkins for food and keep a handkerchief for allergies.

4. Swap to bamboo products when buying toothbrushes or hairbrushes.

Eunice Oh/Roar Staff

Alexander Truong, Senior Kristina Liah/Roar Staff

Images from Google Images



OCTOBER 25, 2019

SCHS’s new dance coach plans to make a positive impact on campus

By Kristina Liah and Olivia Jones

Yvonne Ambriz joined SCHS Spirit Squad this year as the new dance coach. A professional dancer herself, Ambriz danced for well-known teams, such as the 49ers and the Warriors. Members like sophomore America Toronto are eager to learn from Ambriz’s time as a professional cheerleader. “I’m really excited about this new season with our new dance coach,” Toronto said. “I’m really looking forward to learning about her past experiences and then learning new tips and tricks.” Ambriz, an SCHS alumna and former member of the dance team, began dancing when she was seven years old and dancing professionally in 2012. Now that she is retiring from professional dancing, she is returning to SCHS to coach the dance team. Coach Erica Fuller, SCHS Spirit Squad director, reached out to Ambriz about the open job. Ambriz was excited to receive the offer and wants to make a positive impact through her coaching. So far, dance team members have enjoyed having Ambriz as a coach. “I think she had great energy and was really fun to work with,” dance team member junior Julia Nguyen said. “She’s really good at teaching choreography and was really uplifting.” Ambriz grew up taking various dance classes, including ballet, jazz, hip hop and tap. After graduating high school, Ambriz became a cheerleader for the San Jose Sabercats, the Golden

10/25 @ Milpitas Varsity 7:00 pm 11/1 vs. Wilcox Varsity 7:00 pm

boys’ water polo 10/30-11/1 League Finals Varsity 1:00 pm

Girls’ Water Polo 10/30-11/1 League Finals Varisty 1:00 pm

Marching Band 11/2 @ Independence

Girls’ Tennis Courtesy of Yvonne Ambriz

New dance coach Yvonne Ambrie looks forward to using her position to teach cooperative skills and empowering woman. State Warriors and the San Fran- ations when she was feeling upset. dance team members. cisco 49ers. “Dance was a passion for “I‘m very excited to teach the “I was grateful for the experi- me,” Ambriz said. “Whenever girls new skills and empower ence,” Ambriz said. “It was fun I was feeling down or sad, I them,” Ambriz said. “Girls can do but very challenging and a lot of would dance because it helped anything they put their minds to.” work.” me escape.” Growing up, dancing was AmAmbriz plans to use her pobriz’s way of coping with her situ- sition to positively impact the

cross country member also emotionally support each other. “For me personally, I just drink some water and head to the start line about 10-15 mins before the race starts,” Pandey said. “My friend and I also tell each other that we will be great, and that there is no need to worry about the race as long as we keep running.” Similarly, the members of the

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar staff

Before each game, football players shout “one team, one heart” to each other. These traditions provide support for athletes and help them get into the winning mindset.

The night before a big game, SCHS’s football team gathers in the school cafeteria. To prepare for their upcoming game, they load up on carbs with foods like pasta. They also say a prayer for the safety of their teammates, according to football player senior Tanner Muenich. Football is not the only team that engages in unique traditions. Some athletes, whether individually or as a team, have rituals they

Upcoming dates Football

Athletes perform traditions before each game in order to get in the winning mindset

By Yasha Nag and Olivia Jones

Fall/ Winter Sports

perform before each game. Cross country head coach Julie L’Heureux reminds her racers to stay hydrated and healthy on the day before a meet. “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate... especially on hot days, hydrate. You got to be hydrated,” L’Heureux said. “Start the night before, and make sure you eat well and get some good sleep.” Freshman cross country runner Surabhi Pandey follows L’Heureux’s advice before a meet to prepare. She and one fellow

“I think having traditions before a race helps you relax and feel less nervous. It also reminds you that you are a part of something bigger.” -Surabhi Pandey, freshman water polo team support each other by stretching while playing music before each meet, as well as a team huddle. “As a team, before games we sometimes do stretch circles with music to pump ourselves up and loosen our muscles,” water polo player senior Ana Ray said. “We do

this both for communication, and I believe to help relieve our nerves.” Coaches can also help support their players with a pre-game rit-

“Start the night before, and make sure you eat well and get some good sleep.” -Julie L’Heureux, cross country coach ual. Football coach Burt Codera attempts to psych up his players before each game by telling them his catchphrase: “It’s a good day to have a good day.” The football players themselves also have a tradition of supporting each other. One of them will holler “One team,” and the rest will shout back “One heart,” according to Muenich. Before a game, athletes can feel nervous, but the rituals they have can help them get in a mindset to win. “I think having traditions before a race helps you relax and feel less nervous,” Pandey said. “It also reminds you that you are a part of something bigger.”

10/29-10/30 @ Gunn Varsity 1:00 pm

Girls’ volleyball 10/29 @ Milpitas Varsity 6:45 pm 10/30 @ Cupertino Varsity

Cross country 11/5 League Meet Varsity 2:00 pm

Girls’ Basketball 11/18 @ Lynbrook Scrimmage Varsity 6:30 pm 11/26 vs Hillsdale Varsity 7:00 pm 11/30 @ Notre Dame Salinas Varsity 2:30 pm 12/3 @ Andrew Hill Varsity 7:00 pm 12/5 @ Irvington Varsity 7:00 pm

boys’ Basketball 11/30 Scrimmage vs. Harker Varsity 4:30 pm

Schedule is according to

OCTOBER 25, 2019


Chess players engage in the rigors of competition

9 Do you think sports contribute to school atmosphere and spirit? Reporting by Yasha Nag “I really think sports do contribute to anything revolving around our school. It brings people together and spreads happiness throughout the area. It could be useful in making new friends and just having a look at how our school applies their abilities in sports.” -Noel Cevallos, freshman

“I 100% think that sports are a big part of the school atmosphere. If you’re more involved with the school, you’ll be more aware of any separate school activities like rallies and clubs. I think it’s a great idea to be involved with the school and play sports.” Samantha Alde/Roar staff

Chess club members junior Ryan Taffe and junior Gabriel Ticau make their opening moves as they compete against each other in chess.

By Kristina Liah and Oliva Jones Chess grandmasters can burn 6,000 calories in one day of a tournament, according to an article by ESPN. That fact may shock some who do not perceive chess as physically taxing, but SCHS chess players say it is a rigorous activity at higher levels. “Anything can be competitive as long as there’s some sort of regulation,” Chess Club member junior Ryan Taffe said. “There has to be a third party that posts tournaments or some competitive aspect.” Some SCHS students have participated in competitive chess. Chess Club president junior Vasmi Atmuri used to play in local tournaments, and he currently competes on chess. com. “Just like any other sport, I see competitive chess players as athletes. They have to train

themselves, attend practices and go to games,” Atmuri said. “Chess really trains the mind as it improves cognitive functions. And we also do also sweat a lot during competitions.” Atmuri has been playing competitive chess since he was in middle school, though he stopped entering tournaments in high school. He sees chess as a game of mental strategy. “Chess (is) a mind sport where you’re trying to outsmart the other person,” Atmuri said. “It’s competitive because you’re trying to show, ‘Oh, I’m better than you at that.’” Chess Club advisor Hannah Blue agrees that the competitive aspect of chess comes from the strategic component and the drive to defeat the opponent. “Just like any game, so you’re always trying to outsmart the other person, outthink your opponent,” Blue

said. “You’re always trying to improve and do better, just like you would with any sport.” According to Atmuri, chess is not only rigorous, but stressful, especially for competitors. “I remember that I was pretty nervous during my first competition. It felt like I was taking the SAT or some sort of AP test,” Atmuri said. “I didn’t do well that day, but I eventually got the hang of it and found participating in chess competitions to be fun.” Regardless of the difficulty, Atmuri believes chess is a game that everyone can enjoy. “My best experience was when I was 12 years old and I was playing a high schooler,” Atmuri said. “I was very scared, but I still managed to win. I realized that chess is a mind game and it doesn’t matter who you are. You just have to outsmart your opponent.”

-Jada Morgan Chacon, sophomore

“Yes, because it teaches kids about teamwork and working together. It also brings in a family and creates a community together.” -Yasmen Flores Junior, junior

“Yeah, I think sports do really contribute to school atmosphere and spirit. It's… really cool to see a lot of people come together over one facet of highschool, which is football...I feel basketball is pretty much the same as well.” -Rohan Kolappa, senior All photos by Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon//Roar staff

LGBTQ+ athletes Continued from page 1

lems for her. “People would expect it to in the locker rooms or something, but people just want to get changed as quickly as possible and get out,” Maloney said. “There’s really no awkward sort of thing.” According to junior Karsen Ferreira, the sport that one

“No one should feel inadequate or feel like they’re alone, or no one should feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in their own skin.” -Julie Kawamoto, girls tennis head coach plays influences the experience they have. “Different sports have dif-

ferent communities,” Ferreira said. “When you think about the old sports, the ones that go back farther, you have more of the older fans, and you know older people aren’t exactly more understanding.” Girls’ tennis head coach Julie Kawamoto believes that LGBTQ+ athletes at SCHS generally feel comfortable and accepted. She attributes this to the school’s efforts to create a safe environment for everyone. “We’re trying to just have everyone feel as though they are accepted no matter what,” Kawamoto said. “No one should feel inadequate or feel like they’re alone, or no one should feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in their own skin.” Whatever their experience, LGBTQ+ athletes at SCHS agree that diversity should be recognized in the sporting world. Maloney thinks that it should be present but not obtrusive. “I definitely think they

should acknowledge it, but it should not be the center of attention,” Maloney said. “It really shouldn’t affect the game at all.” Rico believes that representation is important because it normalizes having LGBTQ+

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“There’s going to be people who are very active people who are wanting to be in an organized sport and they’re also gay. There’s nothing wrong with that.” -Antonio Rico, senior athletes. “There’s going to be people who are very active people who are wanting to be in an organized sport and they’re also gay,” Rico said. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”

@schstheroar @ SCHSROAR


A&E OCTOBER 25, 2019 10 Popular clothing store Brandy Melville causes Melina’s controversy over body image among students Booket List By Emily Harvie

Walking down the halls of SCHS, there is a high chance of seeing someone wearing a garment from Brandy Melville. Founded in 1994 by Silvio Marson, Brandy Melville has now become one of the most popular clothing stores among teenage girls. Junior Lauren Fish discovered Brandy Melville through its leaping popularity in 2018. Although Fish browses the store every time she goes to the mall, she does not agree with their “one-size” policy. Unlike other stores that carry sizes ranging from extra small to extra large, Brandy Melville only carries small. “It’s a trend that’s excluding specific body types. It sucks that other people can’t be like ‘I’m wearing Brandy Melville, too,’” Fish said. Although Fish dislikes the idea of the store only carrying one size, she believes that the management does it to keep a specific aesthetic and maintain a consistent target audience. Senior and former Brandy Melville employee Megan Takamatsu understands that only selling clothes in one size can be seen as practical from a production point of view. The company does not need to spend more money manufacturing a variety of sizes because they only carry one. Although Takamatsu enjoyed working in the store, she found the hiring process very different from anything she had experienced before. “I went in there and this girl was like, ‘Have you ever thought about

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

“One-size” clothes sold by Brandy Melville do not fit every body type. working here,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah,’ so she took a photo of me and hired me on the spot.” Takamatsu said. “She didn’t even know who I was or any background, and she just hired me off of what I was wearing and how I looked.” As an employee, Takamatsu learned that Brandy Melville is very focused on how they display themselves as a brand. “They are very image based. Even their Instagram is very aesthetic, so they must be very worried about the way they present themselves.” Takamatsu said. Sophomore Rachel Friedman believes that their “one-size” policy is used as a marketing technique as well. The fact that they only have one size makes their brand seem more exclusive. According to Friedman, Brandy Melville has the same appeal as ex-

pensive brands. She said that when someone owns Gucci, they feel rich enough to have Gucci, and it is the

“It’s marketed, or at least used to be marketed as ‘one-size-fits-all,’ which obviously isn’t true because even ‘one-size’ hats don’t fit everyone, so how do you expect jeans to fit everyone.” - Rachel Friedman, sophomore same with Brandy Melville regarding size. One may experience a feeling of accomplishment because they are a part of the minority that

can fit into their clothes. “It’s marketed, or at least used to be marketed as ‘one-size-fitsall,’ which obviously isn’t true because even ‘one-size’ hats don’t fit everyone, so how do you expect jeans to fit everyone,” Friedman said. Sophomore Jason Visitacion, a friend of many who shop at Brandy Melville, thinks the brand’s “onesize” policy will cause insecurities for those who cannot fit into their clothing. The store is making people feel like they need to change the way they look as an attempt to fit into their popular clothing. “Everybody out there has different body types. All different shapes and sizes, and they can’t change that,” Visitacion said. “Brandy Melville shouldn’t do that (“one-size”) because it can cause people to feel insecure about themselves and their bodies, and push them to limits that make them incredibly uncomfortable.” Like Visitacion, Friedman does not approve of their “one-size” policy, and finds it frustrating to find cute, well-made items but not have it available in her size. However, she wants others to know that it is okay to not fit into certain clothes, and that one’s worth is not defined by a brand label. “Just because you can’t fit into Brandy Melville’s clothes, it doesn’t determine your worth as a person.” Friedman said. “Everybody is beautiful, and you don’t have to have that one body type to be pretty, or popular, or to wear cute clothes.”

Famous Tik Tok users at SCHS have different views about what it takes to go viral on the Internet By Emily Harvie

Tik Tok is a social media app where users can create short videos of all types, including lip-sync, talent show-off and comedy skits. What many people first downloaded as a joke has grown to be one of the most popular apps among SCHS students. Some have even become internet famous and gone viral on Tik Tok. Junior Marky Calvillo downloaded the app as a way to make memories with his friend who was about to transfer schools the following year. “During the track season last year, me and my friends Maia and Layla started doing it as a joke. We said that during every practice we’d make one,” Calvillo said. “We wanted to make the best of it and have our memories on video.” After one track practice, a Tik Tok of Calvillo’s went viral. According to Calvillo, he was shocked because he thought the video was not funny and would not get much attention. Junior Luke Jenkins downloaded Tik Tok after seeing many posts about the new app on Instagram. He then discovered that he could make them, too. “I downloaded it as a joke. I saw all of the memes on Instagram about it, so I was like, ‘Why not?’” Jenkins said. “Then I started to watch videos, and I was like, ‘I can totally make those.’”

Junior Jamie Watt believes the reason why Tik Tok is popular at SCHS is due to how easily influenced teenagers are by social media. According to Watt, Tik Tok is growing the same way that the app did. “A lot of people noticed how popular it was becoming and decided to download it ‘as a joke’ or just to see what it was all about,” Watt said. “Since then, people have actually started to really enjoy it, whether they’re making their own videos or watching others. The app is very interactive and fun.” Amelia Howell/Roar Staff

“Content shouldn’t be just people standing there being like ‘I’m attractive.’ It should be the originality and creativity.” - Jamie Watt, junior Although Tik Tok is enjoyed by many, the idea of going viral and becoming famous on the app can be seen as controversial by some. Watt noticed that to become viral on Tik Tok, one either has to be very attractive or extremely funny or creative. According to

Junior Luke Jenkins makes a Tik Tok of himself doing the “woah” dance. Watt, her video seemed to become popular with just luck, but in most cases she’s seen, looks play a huge role in whether a video goes viral. “A lot of people have really good content and are original and creative, but they aren’t seen as ‘pretty’ or something, so they don’t get enough attention,” Watt said. Watt attributes this to society’s outlook on appearance. “Our society is based off of looks and image, so people don’t see the real content,” Watt said. “Content shouldn’t be just people standing there being like ‘I’m attractive.’ It should be the originality and creativity.” Like Watt, Junior Nicole Bucton

believes that the standards are biased. According to Bucton, much of what can be found on the “For you” page consists of people who can be seen as very attractive, but there is no way to change it. “We can’t really do anything about it because it seems like that’s what the majority of viewers want to see,” Bucton said. On the other hand, Jenkins believes anyone could become famous on Tik Tok. “It’s really about riding the waves of trends,” Jenkins said. “Becoming famous, or going viral does not take a lot of skills on Tik Tok. All you have to do is have some creative ideas and upload consistently and you’ll eventually make it.”

By Melina Kritikopoulos

As a self-declared nerd, I am always looking for new books and authors to consume my life with. A chance encounter with an Oscar Wilde biographical video on YouTube led me to the masterpiece “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Originally published in 1890 as a cover story for “Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is Wilde’s only novel. History, science-fiction and tragedy merge together to form a dynamic storyline. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a supernatural tale describing the corruption of protagonist Dorian Gray, a visually perfect human. Painter Basil Hallward creates a portrait of him, which Gray curses, praying that it may physically bear his immoral actions and age. Years pass and Gray’s portrait continues to assume the debt of his actions, leaving him with the gift of not aging. Fans of developed vocabulary, page-long character soliloquies and frequent plot twists will devour this novel. Wilde definitely lives up to the stereotypical classics that write about “the color of her lips” for three pages. The plot moves somewhat slow because of this, but Wilde inserts mind-boggling plot twists at the perfect points in the story to recapture his audience. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a “historical fiction memoir” of sorts, since Wilde was living in the setting of the novel (19th-century London), and engaging with the same kinds of literary and philosophical people while writing it. This aspect coupled with his semiomniscient third-person narration adds a special feature that allows the vernacular and interactions of the novel to feel real. The story has been rumored to reflect Wilde’s various affairs with men. Historians believe that real-life friend of Wilde, John Gray, inspired Dorian Gray’s character, and the two were more than close. During the republication from the magazine to a novel, editor Joseph Marshall Stoddart changed words like “admired” to “obsessed with.” Despite this, Wilde’s emotion and passion in his descriptions of Basil’s “obsession” with Dorian and his beauty are still eye-catching and detailed. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” represents LGBTQ characters in a different manner from the classic falling in love trope of current YA novels. Though the novel never explicitly expresses that Dorian or Basil are in love – either mutually or not – knowing that they were originally intended to be makes the story better.

OCTOBER 25, 2019

Movie Theaters:



One staffer shares their experience at five movie theaters around Santa Clara By Sasha Syrevych

1) CineArts Santana Row CineArts Santana Row stands on the end of the commercial district of Santana Row. Its location allows visitors to check out many of Santana Row’s shops and cafes before watching a movie. The inside of the theater looks very fancy and chic: there is a carpet on the floor and a huge area for obtaining food. The workers at the food stand and the guest services are welcoming, but there are not many of them. Aside from basic popcorn and sodas, the movie theater carries a varitey of unusual snack s like chicken wings, ice cream and hot chocolate. The medium popcorn costs $7.50 and the medium drink is $5.30, both a cheap price by movie theater standards. The popcorn was buttered well and there was a variety of drinks to choose from. Inside the actual theaters, there are fewer seats than in any other theater I visited. This creates a more intimate atmosphere and allows attendees to focus on the movie rather than on ambient noise from the surrounding people. The chairs are more comfortable than in Showplace Icon Theater. They are bigger and have a better angle to watch the screen, but the seat warmers get too hot. The chairs also have moveable tables with drink holders. The screen is not too large and not too small, perfect for capturing all of the details. One factor that was unpleasant was that CineArts did not screen “Abominable,” so I was forced to watch another movie. CineArts Santana Row works under the same company as Century 20 Great Mall, so the ticket for “Abominable” cost the same price of $15.25. Overall, the theater gives out bougie vibes, and the large selection of unusual food and the ambiance are worth the cost.

Key: = Cost of tickets

= Quality of Theater = Location = Food = Service

Score: 21/25

Score: 19/25

3) AMC Mercado 20 AMC Mercado 20 was one of the first stadium cinemas in the Bay Area, along with AMC Saratoga 14. It is a lone-standing building with many surrounding shops and restaurants, allowing people to purchase food prior to or after the movies. AMC Mercado 20 is the only theater from the ones I reviewed that did not have reserved seating, which is inconvenient because I had to arrive early to grab a good spot. The ticket to “Abominable” was $14.69 for adults, so it is on the cheaper end. The theater offers a slightly elevated traditional movie experience, with workers serving popcorn and snacks like hot dogs and pizza, as well as alcoholic drinks. There were not many service members around, but they looked friendly and approachable. The theater has regular and gourmet popcorn, with flavors such as cheddar and salted caramel. The regular popcorn comes out to a standard price of $7.99, but the drinks were more expensive than in other theaters: $6.00 for a regular size. The inside of the theater looked very unwelcoming: the floor was dirty with popcorn, the seats looked old, and there were empty chip bags stuffed in between the chairs. The theater is medium sized, and the screen is fitting for the amount of seats. The chairs are soft but they do not recline and have do not have seat warmers, which is understandable since it is an old theater. AMC Mercado 20 and AMC Saratoga 14 are the only theaters that have liftable armrests, a fantastic feature. Overall, AMC Mercado 20 offers viewers the traditional movie watching experience, but it is not worth going to even for a cheaper price.

Score: 17/25

4) Showplace Icon Theater The recently-built Showplace Icon Theater is located at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara. The location allows movie-watchers to wander around the mall before or after going into the theater. There is a VIP area with a bar and a restaurant upstairs, but it is only for those older than 21. Showplace Icon Theater is a little hard to navigate at first because unlike a traditional theater, it has self-serving kiosks for simultaneously purchasing tickets, food and drinks. The tickets are printed right at the machine along with a food receipt, which is taken to the food counter to be redeemed. I saw “Abominable,” and my ticket cost $15, which is about the average among other theaters. The food options are limited to popcorn and some candy. However, Showplace Icon Theater has the CocaCola Red machine that contains an abundance of different drinks and sodas. The popcorn had the perfect amount of salt and butter, so it was worth its price of $9 with free refills. When I approached the movie usher, they were absent, and I could easily sneak in without getting my ticket checked. I had to wait before a stand to get into the theater hallway for a few minutes, which left me with questions about their service. The seats inside of the actual theaters are reclinable and have seat warmers. The seats were not the most comfortable and tended to get too hot during the movie, so I had to turn them on and off. The theaters are larger than the ones at Century 20 Great Mall, but the screens are nice and curved, allowing everyone to view the movie with comfort. Overall, I liked the automated kiosks and the screen quality, but the absence of service and uncomfortable seats left me wishing for more with such a high ticket price.

Score: 17/25

5) Century 20 Great Mall and XD Century 20 Great Mall and XD is the farthest theater from SCHS. The drive took about 20 minutes since the theater is located at the Great Mall in Milpitas. As I walked into the movie theater, I noticed a lot of workers around ready to help. There are stands with people to buy tickets as well as food counters. It is very different from the mainly self-serving Showplace Icon Theater: the food and drinks are served by a friendly cashier. There are more food options than in Showplace Icon Theater, but there are only six drink options. The medium size popcorn was $5.90, which is on the cheaper side, and the regular drink was $4.75, the cheapest out of all theaters. Century 20 Great Mall and XD also allows for free refills of both drinks and popcorn. The inside of the actual theater looks more intimate than at Showplace Icon Theater as there are fewer seats. The chairs are large and reclinable but do not have seat warmers. Some of the seats also carry two armrests in between, so I didn’t have to battle my seat partner for a drink holder in the armrest. The screen is the smallest out of all theaters I went to, which is inconvenient and doesn’t create the right atmosphere of submerging the viewer into the movie. The quality of the movie was decent and the sound was great: not too loud or quiet. Overall my experience was pleasant, but I expected a bit more from the theater as my ticket was the most expensive out of all theaters: $15.25 for an adult.

Saving the planet with eco-friendly clothing By Andrea Torres and Sasha Syrevych

2) AMC Saratoga 14 AMC Saratoga 14 is a separate-standing movie theater in the El Paseo de Saratoga retail complex. The theater is very similar to AMC Mercado 20 because they are from the same chain and appeared at the Bay Area around the same time. Although they are similar, the AMC Saratoga 14 offers a better experience for the viewers. The seats have to be reserved in advance, which is convenient, and the ticket for my movie was the cheapest among all theaters: $14.49 for an adult. The theater has the same layout as AMC Mercado 20: the food is served at the counter and is taken to the cashier, where I purchased the drink as well. The cashier was a little mean and impatient, but the other service members were nice. The prices for popcorn and drinks are the same, and there are the same options available at AMC Mercado. The popcorn was $7.99 for a regular size and tasted decent, and the drink was $5.99 for a regular. The inside of the actual theater is huge. It made me feel very little, but it accommodates more attendees. The seats are non-reclinable and have no seat warmers, but they are comfortable, set at a good angle, and the armrests lift. The screen is big and not too bright, so it was comfortable to look at it for more than an hour. The sound on the other hand was too loud in the beginning, but I got used to it as the movie went on. The floors of the theater are clean, but they look old and rustic. My experience in the AMC Saratoga 14 was definitely better than in AMC Mercado 20, but it was worse than in other theaters since it lacked some of the more luxurious elements of other theaters.

Score: 16/25

As an effort to fight for a healthier environment, many clothing companies have changed their methods of production to make more environmentally-friendly clothing. Companies like Levi’s, Amour Vert and PACT make clothing from natural or recycled materials, reducing the amount of resources that goes into creating them. Some SCHS students, like sophomore Andree Deiparine, support those efforts by purchasing clothes from sustainable brands. “I buy environmentally-friendly clothing because the Earth is getting harmed from other brands that have negative impacts on our environment, and we need to stop causing damage to our planet,” Deiparine said. Many popular clothing stores have a negative impact on the environment. According to The Laurie Loo, an ethical fashion website, companies such as Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters use a high amount of natural resources and use synthetic fabrics, which take a long time to decompose. “These companies are able to keep up with the quick demand of trends that change very often by using non-sustainable or non-environmentally friendly materials,” senior Marissa Casas said. Despite being good for the planet, environmentally-friendly clothing is not available for many shoppers as it is more costly and harder to find than cheap fast-fashion garments. “Many companies should make more environmentallyfriendly clothing and make it affordable for everyone to purchase,” Deiparine said. Such clothing is hard to find in-store, so Deiparine purchases it from a sustainable fashion webstore called Amour Vert. Casas agrees with Deiparine on the fact that eco-friendly companies are not as popular among people as fast-fashion companies. “I think many people don’t know about environmentallyfriendly clothing because it’s not huge in the clothing industry, and that would be because it’s not quick and cheap,” Casas said. Environmentally-friendly companies are not as popular as some of the less sustainable companies, but that does not stop stores like PACT from following their sustainable values. According to the PACT website, they are built on the belief of guilt-free fashion, and they are “working to change fast fashion into ethical fashion.” Sustainable clothing is mainly available online, made by small brands and businesses. The fact that it is hard to find in-stores may be the reason why not many people are aware of it. “I think that we should spread awareness on environmentallyfriendly clothing because there may be people who don’t know what it is and letting people know can help the environment a lot,” senior Fariha Abedin said.



OCTOBER 25, 2019

Life in different shades of color

Junior Omri Shoshani said that when he sees a full moon at night, it appears green to him. By Lhana Philavong and Neil Veira

For junior Omri Shoshani, the moon sometimes looks green. This is because he is colorblind and mixes up green and yellow. Color blindness can be more accurately described as color vision deficiency. There are various types of colorblindness, such as red-green, yellow-blue, and the rare inability to see any color. According to Colour Blind Awareness, men are affected far more than women: 8 percent of men are colorblind, while only 0.5 percent of women are colorblind. Shoshani, like several other SCHS students, has red-green color blindness. “Occasionally, I have an instance where I can’t figure out something if it’s yellow or green,” Shoshani said. “It can be a little bit annoying but other than that, it’s fine.” Senior Victoria Johnson found out she was colorblind freshman year in Biology class. “We were in Biology and we were learning about color blindness and they did a colorblind test,” Johnson said. “And I completely failed it.”

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

Johnson, like Shoshani, has trouble identifying reds and greens, otherwise known as red-green color blindness. “Honestly, I didn’t notice it (that she was color blind) before, but now that I have, I kind of see that when I think I am wearing red I am really wearing orange,” Johnson said. Similar to Johnson, senior Gaurav Bhatnager determined he was colorblind through school when he accidentally used red to color the bear on the California flag. He has red-green color blindness. “I couldn’t see what the crayon was named since the cover was already gone, so I just picked a color that looked a bit like gray,” Bhatnagar said. “But in the end, it turned out to be red, and you know, bears are not supposed to be red. They’re supposed to be brown. So the next parent-teacher conference (my teacher) came in and said, ‘You might want to get your child tested for color blindness.’” Senior Bryan Reyes has red-green color blindness with a missing pigment, known as

Protanopia, and blue-purple with a damaged pigment, or Tritanopia. He found out in fifth grade when he could not see part of the colorblind symbols and numbers test. In the test, dots of one color form a number, while dots of another color fill the circle or shape surrounding the number. People who have color vision deficiency cannot see the number because it blends in with the surrounding dots. Reyes was unable to see the number, and eventually went to a doctor. “The doctor had me arrange colors from light blue to purple and dark purple, and I couldn’t do it,” Reyes said. “And then the doctor was like, ‘Yeah, you’re colorblind.’” Friends occasionally ask Reyes questions about his color blindness, sometimes joking, and other times genuinely curious. Oftentimes, they will ask him what color an object is. “When people show me different colors, I’m like, ‘I can see the color,’” Reyes said. “It’s just colors that are together, specifically red and green and blue and purple. That’s when I get them mixed up.” Junior Brandon Rapp has received similar questions.

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

“It is annoying, but I got used to it,” Rapp said. “People need to know that being colorblind is just how I live life.” Like Bhatnagar, Rapp has Protanopia and mixes up blues and purples. As color blindness is usually genetic, Rapp inherited it from his grandfather. Similarly, Shoshani’s brother is colorblind, as is Johnson’s father. “My dad is really colorblind,” Johnson said. “He has to get the special glasses (enchroma glasses) to literally see most colors.” Johnson has also been asked questions about her color blindness by people who knew she was colorblind. “It used to really bother me, especially since it would be really stupid questions. They would pull up a white marker and be like, ‘What color is this?’” Johnson said. Although the questions initially annoyed her, Johnson understands peoples’ curiosity and has grown used to it. “Being color blind isn’t as cool as others would think it is,” Johnson said. According to Reyes, another common

misconception is that people with color blindness cannot see color at all. While this is true for some, the large majority of people with color blindness simply have trouble seeing certain shades or pigments. “A lot of people think color blindness is black and white, but it’s not,“ Reyes said. One memorable experience Reyes had with mixing up colors was while coaching a kids’ football team. When he had to separate the players into teams, Reyes thought he was separating them into the right colors, but that turned out not to be the case.

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

“(There was) a little five-year-old telling me I’m getting the colors mixed up,” Reyes said. Both Reyes and Bhatnagar have been told they cannot pursue certain professions because of colorblindness. “I can’t be a pilot or a professional driver for racing because they have to see green, yellow and red, and I get confused with green and red. But I’m not interested in that,” Reyes. Bhatnagar feels that color blindness is not that different from other vision problems, such as when one has to wear glasses to see farther away. “In reality, each person has a different kind of eyesight in their daily lives, and in the same way, my eyes are just different from others,’” Bhatnagar said.

People with color vision deficiency, commonly known as colorblindness, may not be able to see the number in colorblind tests such as the one above. However, what they see depends on what type of colorblindness they have.

Protanopia (red-green colorblindness) and Tritanopia (blue-yellow colorblindness) compared to normal vision. Graphics courtesy of Google Images

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