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Seniors stress about collegeinterrogations

Inside This Issue

Bay Area costs are more than just housing

Students question the validity of astrology




The Roar

Vol. XX No. 2 Friday, December 13, 2019

‘It’s not just the spawn of Students reveal how they the devil’: destress with social media

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

Downtown Santa Clara to be rebuilt in two years By Samantha Alde

The soft glow of store lights and the cadence of laughter that once filled downtown Santa Clara is now replaced by silence and vacant buildings. Most businesses that once stood in Franklin Square have moved, leaving the area devoid of the community that once gathered together. However, with a new plan approved by the Santa Clara City Council, there may be hope to revitalize the downtown. A majority of the credit in organizing the efforts to revive the historic area can be attributed to active members of Facebook group Reclaiming Our Downtown. According to Donna West, a core member of the group, the downtown was a victim of the urban renewal, which hit Santa Clara in the 1960s. Much of it was demolished so that new businesses could utilize the 25-acre expanse. Since then, there has been little in-

Lhana Phillavong/Roar Staff

Despite the stigma around social media, some of its aspects can promote a healthy mindset. By Sasha Syrevych

In the progressive age of technology, social media is often bashed for damaging the mental health of teenage users. It is believed to promote obsessive thoughts, negative body image and addiction, but aside from all of the negative effects, some positives prevail. The New York Post reported Keith Hampton’s findings that social media users are 63 percent less likely to experience serious psychological distress, including depression and anxiety. Hampton, a Michigan State University media professor, tracked data on more than 13,000 adult relationships from 2015 and 2016 through a household survey inquiring about social media and technology use. Many students at SCHS also use social media to cope with stress from school. “I have always used social media sites and apps to cope with stress,” junior Aspen Solis said. “I find that watching hours of random videos helps lower my stress level by making me forget about it completely.” Aside from offering a place to forget about reality, some social media sites make an effort to

promote better mental health for teenagers. According to digital health organization The Mighty, Instagram users whose content is flagged for self harm and suicide topics get a message from the app with support resources. “I think that a lot of social media is now including flagging certain statements from students and directing them towards support,” Wellness Coordinator Michelle Sandoval said. “Facebook and Instagram and different social media platforms have built those in to start identifying when people are making posts about wanting to harm themselves or be put in dangerous situations.” Wellness apps along with therapy apps are also gaining popularity among students for their availability and flexibility. “There are lots of really cool apps out there on mindfulness and improving your mental health,” Sandoval said. “I think that that can be helpful because we have access to our phones constantly, and if we are able to use them to engage in mindfulness or grounding or meditation, then it helps improve our mental health day-to-day.” Various social media sites also promote therapy apps that

give students easy access to the help they need. Apps that have a therapy chat are usually not free, but there are other moodtracking apps that are accessible to students. Junior Genevieve Phares believes such apps could be useful for people who do not have time to see a therapist in person. “I think it could be helpful, especially for people with busy schedules that don’t have time to actually visit a therapist, or just to have help with you directly on your phone,” Phares said. One wellness and meditation app called Calm helped junior Allyson Faye Elloso lower her stress. “The app helps you meditate, it helps you sleep better and lowers your stress,” Faye Elloso said. “I used it to sleep better, and it really worked.” According to senior Derek Tran, the user determines the ultimate intent of social media and technology. “Social media is a tool,” Tran said. “Whether it be to project a digital realm of the tangible world, or to promote business and network, or to even just contact somebody for work or fun, it’s not just a spawn of the devil.”

dication of redevelopment, and it remains deserted. Senior Riley Tinianov is one of many students who are excited about the project. He looks forward to see Santa Clara’s background come alive through the rebuilding of the downtown. “Downtown Santa Clara used to be very historic with the mission and El Camino,” Tinianov said. “I feel like Santa Clara should remember some of its more beautiful heritage.” The rebuilt downtown will run along Franklin Street. West, who has researched the town’s history and location, claimed there has already been set boundaries for rebuilding. “We have the grid marked and (have been) advocating to start on the side by Lafayette between Benton and Homestead,” West said.

See Downtown, Page 5

SCHS 2020 graduation will be elsewhere due to future field renovations By Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon

Santa Clara High School has been undergoing numerous changes in the past year, and there are no plans to stop construction any time soon. The back field and main field will be renovated to provide SCHS with new turf by the start of next school year. Principal Gregory Shelby, as well as students who participate in sports on the back field, are aware that the current field conditions can make sports practices difficult. According to soccer player senior Lindsey Crocker, the girls’ soccer team must practice on the back field, which could potentially lead to future issues. “Since the back field isn’t as well taken care of, the ground

is uneven,” Crocker said. “We’ll be used to the unlevel ground, which will make playing in turf more difficult.” Soccer player senior Victor Garibay agrees the back field can make practices difficult, but he believes it can also provide SCHS with a home field advantage. “It causes the ball to move in a weird way due to the holes and stuff on the ground,” Garibay said. “We get the advantage since we’re used to playing in those types of conditions.” Shelby confirmed that both the back field and the football field will be renovated. Renovations for the back field will start in late

See Field Remodeling, Page 8

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

The plan for the new main field will hinder sports and other activities. (Graphic based on photos provided by Principal Gregory Shelby.)




DECEMBER 13, 2019

Teachers need to implement engaging pedagogical strategies Learning is an interaction between students and teachers. While teachers are definitely the authority in the classroom, sometimes it is useful to listen to students’ perspectives on how they best learn information. One of the best qualities a teacher can have is enthusiasm. Teachers can be incredibly engaging when they express genuine interest in their own material. Students absorb relevant information with greater ease and better understand the crux of the lesson when the teacher is passionate about the subject. Another important aspect of learning is making sure the material is relevant to the real world. Students often look to the teacher to explain how the lesson relates to their own lives. Certain subjects frequently seem trivial to students. Therefore, if the teacher were to give examples of how inclass material is applicable to the real world, students would find more purpose in learning. When the teacher explicitly

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon /Roar Staff

lays out their expectations for the entire year, every student can feel more secure knowing what is required. Teachers can use a syllabus to provide an up-front information about expectations, values, important projects and dates. Additionally, it is important for teachers to maintain a balance of different pedagogical strategies.

Frequent lecturing is monotonous regardless of the lecturer. One strategy a teacher can implement is providing a copy of the lecture slides online that students can use to follow the teacher and make comments and questions rather than taking word-for-word notes of the slides. Textbook learning and lecturing should be interspersed with more hands-on lessons.

Tests and quizzes are necessary for teachers to evaluate students’ understanding of the material; however, they should also serve as a learning tool. Reviewing the test allows students to understand their mistakes and the teacher to focus on specific topics. Allowing test corrections for partial credit or as a homework assignment can also incentivize students to review what they got wrong and improve for the future. Teachers should return tests in a timely manner or else students will forget the material and move on to new topics. Projects should be assigned with the intention of producing quality work, which requires time. Sometimes teachers assign projects with the intention of allowing the students room for creativity. Teachers should set expectations for high-quality projects over quantity and allocate a reasonable amount of time for students to reach that standard. For large assignments, such as

projects or essays, giving students the freedom to create whatever they want with minimal regulation implies that the teacher is willing to grade the assignment with an open mind. Unfortunately, such freedom sometimes results in students losing points to a criteria they did not even know existed. In general, quality supersedes quantity. In many instances, students are either assigned far too much homework or not enough. Students often feel overwhelmed by the workload they are assigned in school. When teachers strike the right balance between the number of assignments and the depth of the material, students absorb more. People know what methods help them learn best. When students and teachers work together to create an effective learning environment, class time becomes more effective and enjoyable.

Is it ethical to separate the art from the artist? 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

Pro By Dalila Prudente

Society has had to reckon with the admiration of art by alleged sexual harassers, rapists and abusers. The monstrous behavior of dead geniuses like John Lennon and Alfred Hitchcock is now common knowledge. Recently, incidents have involved Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.Those revelations sparked soul-searching debates over whether audiences could keep enjoying “The Cosby Show” or “Rosemary’s Baby” and still consider themselves decent human beings. The problem with the boycotting “unethical” artists and their works is that people should also boycott all other collaborators. By proxy, supporting those who collaborate with questionable artists is hypocritical because they are supporting the artists through their collaboration. A slippery slope arises, where people end up boycotting most artists. Thus, people should separate the art from the artist. The art vs. the artist debates were a big topic in 2016 and early 2017, but they have slowly left the stands as fans started to realize that if they wanted to avoid any work of art that’s been touched by a predator or someone accused of a heinous crime, they would have to avoid just about everything. Consumers were forced to realize that there are more monsters in the creative industries than they ever dared to consider. Of course, art that these artists produce is boycotted by some, but it doesn’t mean they steer clear of the artists that they collaborate with as well. Not everyone involved in selling goods created by an abusive author or painter is knowingly complicit. But one also has to keep in mind that it’s possible, maybe even likely, that someone in a position of power at just about every large organi-

zation is a predator. If society has learned one thing recently, it’s that sexual misconduct in the workplace is an epidemic. Further, there is no ethical consumption under capitalism. If people have the money to wear sustainably-grown cotton that was picked, processed, sewn and shipped by people who are all earning a living wage, they’re still undoubtedly rich enough to be complicit in labor exploitation or the destruction of the environment in some other way. Consumers can avoid all art made by abusers – or even all art made by men – and still be implicated somehow.

Con By Olivia Jones In March of 2018, Harry Potter fans on Twitter may have seen that J.K. Rowling liked a tweet from a transphobic activist calling trans men “women in dresses.” Thus, they are faced with a dilemma: Do they stop supporting Harry Potter, or do they separate the art from the artist and enjoy Harry Potter regardless? For some, the word “artist” may only bring to mind musicians or painters, but an artist can be an author, illustrator or YouTu-

Amelia Howell/Roar Staff

It is a unique and fascinating capacity of the human mind to hold two opposing beliefs, known as cognitive dissonance. Moral high ground lies in dismissing these works outright, but when something is highly esteemed, then it becomes much more difficult to abandon. Emotions are tangled into the love for the artists work, and it can almost be painful to let go. As intricate or simple the reason, news about artists will continue to bombard the public’s general opinion and test their morals. At the end of the day, each person is in charge of who they choose to support or not and their reasoning behind it.

ber – anyone who creates original content. When an artist is alive and still profiting off their work, fans should make the effort to stop supporting their content if the artist engages in unethical behavior. Most of the time, paying to see a movie or streaming music provides the artists financial support. It doesn’t matter how vocal fans are against the artist’s actions or beliefs, giving them money is a vote of support. When artists profit off their content, fans are showing them that their actions do not matter. Some artists are not going to feel bad for their

wrong behavior as long as they are still lining their pockets with profits. Supporting an artist involves more than money; it gives them more fame and a larger platform. Even if one person can separate the artist from their views, a younger and more impressionable audience may not have that same level of maturity. Promoting the artist’s content inevitably spreads their immoral views further and gives them more opportunities to influence others. When YouTube vlogger Logan Paul visited Japan in January of 2018, he disturbed the peace, disrespected Japanese culture, and even mocked a victim of suicide. A majority of Paul’s fanbase is composed of pre-teens who think he is funny and could possibly emulate his actions. Thus, it’s better not to support Paul by giving him views. People can change, and artists are no exception. Everyone has done things they regret, but on social media, celebrities are often held to an unreasonably high standard. A few immoral actions don’t make one person irredeemable, but when an artist is clearly problematic and refuses to apologize for their actions, their fans should consider the cost of supporting their content. Earlier this year, for example, a three-year-old video in which Cardi B talks about drugging and robbing men resurfaced and spread around social media. Despite the fact that Cardi B showed no remorse for her actions, her career hasn’t been damaged. Continuing to stream her music betrays a lack of ethical concern about using robbery to kick start her career. It would be nearly impossible to avoid the work of every problematic person, especially considering how corrupt some major industries are, but that does not mean fans shouldn’t try. Even if they aren’t perfect in separating themselves from every unethical celebrity, some form of content boycotting shows that they care about morals.

DECEMBER 13, 2019



Seniors feel pressured by relatives when they are pestered about their plans for college and the future By Samantha Alde

As the period of college applications comes to a close, many high schoolers have had to deal with a volley of questions regarding their major and college of choice. In most cases, they do not have a strong grasp of what they would like to do in the future. People should stop bombarding seniors by constantly asking them questions about college because it stresses out those whose future plans remain undecided. Given that college application season is a pivotal time, relatives may slander students if they haven’t yet decided on their future path, making students worry that they need to have their interests sorted out during their final year of high school. Being constantly questioned about where they want to go and what they want to do in life makes it seem like those asking are judging them, silently weighing their future success. According to an article from

MedicalDaily, parents place psychological pressure on students when they constantly nag them about where they want to go to college. Students worry that their parents or relatives will look down on them for not going to a prestigious school, and negative comments may bring down their morale. Some seniors also may not have a clear vision of what they want to do in the future and should be encouraged to use the years after high school to figure out their passions rather than feeling pressured to immediately enroll in college. Students should take the course of action that they feel most comfortable with, which isn’t always going to a four-year college stright out of high school. A young adult’s perspective is constantly changing, and they need time to figure out who they are as people. However, relatives and others may simply be using the “college talk” as a casual conversa-

Billionaires’ existence is unjustifiable due to their societal influence By Dalila Prudente

Wealth inequality in the U.S. is currently at historic levels, according to the New York Times. The 400 richest Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million adults. Being a billionaire doesn’t just give people the exclusive right to buy yachts and penthouses, but also politics and policies. Americans currently live in a nation owned and controlled by a small number of multi-billionaires whose insatiable greed is having an unbelievably negative impact on the fabric of the entire country. Many want to believe – choose to believe – and claim that these overly-rich members of society have earned their fortune through hard work alone, but in this unfair hierarchy, their wealth simply has to do with familial status and connections. Nobody becomes a billionaire through hard work alone, not even Bill Gates, who recently regained the title as the richest man in the world. Unlike many children of the 19th century, Gates had many advantages prior to creating Microsoft, and he came from a comfortable upbringing. Years later, Gates is a widely recognized inquisitive mind with a big bank account and a lot of power. The most fundamental problem that comes with billionaires is that money – or more precisely, wealth – is power. A billionaire

has gobs of capital to invest in new enterprises, dictating to the rest what jobs will be created, for whom, to do what, and paying how much. Moreover, it’s billionaires who, by virtue of the power that makes them billionaires, control the financial system and the corporate governance that shapes all the economic activity. What jobs regular people have and can or can’t get, what they are paid and under what conditions they work are all huge aspects of Americans’ everyday lives. And billionaires run all of it like feudal lords. Billionaires also shape politics. The issue is not simply a matter of donating money, though that certainly plays a role. It’s that, as a matter of raw social gravity, billionaires command politicians’ time, focus and social circles. Inevitably, politicians come to see the world more like billionaires see it, meaning being a billionaire is having enormous influence with which to convince fellow citizens that billionaires are necessary. Most billionaires are flawed, even egotistical everyday human beings just like some other people, only they are imbued with a wildly disproportionate sway in society. The problem, at its most basic, is that in a society with billionaires, genuine democracy is not actually possible.

tional topic, or want a life update on the student. In addition, they may want to guide high schoolers by offering advice but must first establish what the senior knows about their interests and location of choice. They may not mean any harm, but even if they are genuinely interested in what a senior is up to and use college as a conversational place-holder, they do not realize that seniors are asked about college so often and are forced to come up with the same monotonous response each time. Seniors typically give a certain answer to please whoever they are telling but in reality are stressing over the fact that they don’t have themselves sorted out. The weight on their chest regarding their future increasingly gets heavier each time they have to talk about college. College is the turning point whilst transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but high school students are still inexpe-

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

rienced and have not fully developed their vision for the future. Therefore, relatives and other curious individuals should withhold

from pressuring said students to tell them what they plan on doing after high school.

Boys in dance should be supported not admonished By Rickie Thayer

Dance is widely regarded as enjoyable and strength-enhancing, characteristics that are typically seen as masculine. Yet, because dance is considered feminine, boys wrongfully shy away from joining dance out of fear they will be seen as lesser. They should be encouraged to participate in dance, not dissuaded. While SCHS has had minimal issues with stigma, other schools and youth dance teams have had males struggle with bullying for participating in some form of dance. Even in this day and age, it is quite common for boys in dance to suffer harassment, bullying or teasing from their peers. This stems from the sexist idea that femininity is equivalent to weakness. This antiquated and bigoted idea has lead to many having the idea that masculinity is a requisite for value. Another fear that drives young males away from dance is the risk of being thought of as gay. From observation, the majority of male dancers are a part of the LGBTQ community, but that does not make the activity itself gay. LGBTQ boys may choose to be on a dance

or cheer team because they want to not because they are LGBTQ – correlation is not causation. Nothing can turn a person gay; they already were that way. They decided to

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/ Roar Staff

dance because they enjoy it. Even if a boy who is heterosexual and not trans dances and is thought of as queer for it, that should not mean that they are inferior. As a society, we should know better than to equate LGBTQ people or any minority to being inferior. Boys participating in dance should be celebrated

not criticized. Taking part in dance, be it competitive or recreational, shows incredible passion and bravery for doing something they enjoy. Naysayers, rooted in their antiquated, unpopular ideas may claim that it’s a man’s duty to participate in masculine activities and a woman’s job to partake in feminine ones. Fortunately, recent social progress has bridged the gap between the two. All genders should have greater freedom to do what they enjoy. With the modern shift of social norms, boys should feel free to do dance and be proud not ashamed. Ultimately, it’s anyone’s choice to join a dance team if they want, but the fear of being seen as gay or girly should not bar dance as a possibility in their mind.



DECEMBER 13, 2019

4,000 apartments are under construction to support the increasing population in Santa Clara

New US law proposal may cause many SCUSD students to go hungry By Chariah Williams

Itzel Samano Varela/Roar Staff

Several apartment complexes are being built along the main street of El Camino Real. This street is an example of the rapid increase in new housing construction. One complex on El Camino Real was in the middle of construction and caught on fire over the summer. Crabtree hopes that closer housing will reduce commuting. According to ABC Seven News, people in the Bay Area and surrounding communities travel three or more hours to work and home each day. The construction of more homes closer to work could decrease commuting time. However, many Santa Clara locals believe overconstruction disrupts their community. On June 28, 2019, a fire occurred at 1890 El Camino Real, an apartment complex under construction. According to the City of Santa Clara, the cause of the fire was “undetermined.” Nonetheless, sophomore Cole McColloch witnessed the fire and believes it was caused by the housing growth. “They are trying to make as many as possible as fast as possible...which results in houses everywhere that are not being constructed the most efficiently,” McColloch said. Junior Krishma Perry also believes overconstruction has a negative impact. “I think it is way too much,” Perry said.

“They are taking down everything that is beautiful about Santa Clara. They are just spilling out 15 million apartments, getting rid of everything and just destroying everything.” English teacher and Santa Clara native Lindsey Couto-Mohamed does not support the increase in apartments because the city is not building enough schools to keep up with housing. “It should be for every so many housing complexes, they have to put up that many schools to account for the kids that are coming in,” Couto-Mohamed said. While there is a growing increase of opportunities in Santa Clara, many of the locals miss the feeling their city used to have. “El Camino is losing business, and it is all closing in favor of putting up housing because that brings in more money,” Couto-Mohamed said. “But we’re losing ‘mom and pop’ places that aren’t chains, and it’s kinda sad for someone who’s lived here forever.”

According to Andrew Crabtree, Director of Community Development for Santa Clara, there are about 4,000 individual apartments under construction in Santa Clara. The biggest development in progress is in Santa Clara Square, which has around 1,400 apartments under construction. Some other complexes have been built downtown as well as on El Camino. The increase of construction in the Bay Area has created opposing sides. Some believe that it is good for the community, and others think that there is an over-construction problem. The construction of more housing is not random. According to Crabtree, the decision-making process of building more apartments is a state-made choice. “The state does require that we plan for a certain amount of housing growth,” Crabtree said. “Every eight years they give us the number of housing units that we need to have and show what we have

capacity for in our general plan.” Crabtree believes the main reason for the housing increase is due to the influx of jobs in Silicon Valley. “We’ve actually been adding jobs four or five times faster than we have been building new housing,” Crabtree said. “So when the companies hire more people, those people need a place to live.” According to social science teacher Emily Haven, the increase in jobs and housing in Santa Clara gives people from other cities more opportunities. Haven moved to the Bay Area from Southern California because her husband received a job offer. “I think even though that (increase in housing) results in higher prices and overcrowding, I think that’s why there are more homes being built because that kind of stability and the access to those types of things and the options outweigh the crowding and the cost for a lot of people,” Haven said.

A call home:

Admin adopts new system to limit student tardiness

By Chariah Williams

By Amelia Howell

Freshman Nathan Hamilton found himself late to his first period English class on a Tuesday. As a result, he received both a tardy slip and a call home to his parents. At the beginning of this school year, administration implemented a new tardy policy. According to Vice Principal of Attendance, Technology and Discipline, Terry Flora, the system will help decrease the amount of tardies, and administration can focus more on the students who show a pattern of being late by calling the parents or guardians. “When there are a lot of kids in the halls, it’s hard to tell who is late just because they’re being late, and who is late because they really need extra help from an adult on campus,” Flora said. “It allows us to work a little more efficiently to give kids the best support we can give them.” The guidelines of the old tardy policy stated if a student was late to class, they would receive a tardy ticket and their name would be recorded on a spreadsheet along with the other students who owed a lunch detention. At the start of lunch, tardy students went to the theater and signed in on the spreadsheet to confirm their lunch detention attendance.

According to Flora, the new tardy system now depends on teachers marking their students tardy on Aeries, the school’s attendance database. The collective list of students is then sent to the security guards for lunch detention. The main difference between the two tardy systems is students who are late to class receive a phone call home stating that they were tardy, Flora said. “By including the parents and guardians in the process, we get fewer students showing up late to class, and that way we can target our interventions on students who need the most help,” Flora said. “We’ve had a lot of parents helping us and making sure their students are on time, and then that gives us more time to focus on students who need to get more interventions.” According to Flora, the new policy provides an opportunity for the administration to have a conversation with a student’s family to see what they can do to help support the student. “Opening up that dialogue with families gives us more information, which ultimately helps us to serve our students better.” Flora said. Security guard Junior Reyes believes the new tardy system is efficient. He confirmed that the new policy has helped lower the number

Amelia Howell/Roar Staff

Tardy students sign in to their lunchtime detention on the list security guards have from the attendance program Aeries. of students who owe a lunch detention. “It gets kids to class on time more often because they don’t want their parents being called every day,” Reyes said. “They’re actually trying to get to class on time.” Hamilton thinks the new policy will help regulate students during the school day. “I feel like it will give students a little more discipline,” Hamilton said.

Flora believes the new tardy policy benefits and impacts all bruins since students are not missing out on any important material being taught in class. “When students are in class on time, they will get more access to more information,” Flora said. “They are a part of the class from start to finish, which means they don’t miss any information that will impact their success, which can also impact their grades.”

A proposal made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cause two distinct changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This change could impact many students at SCHS. One alteration is students will not be able to automatically qualify for free lunch just because they participate in SNAP. Students will have to qualify for free lunch by applying through a new method. “They would have to either submit an income application or qualify through in any other program like food stamps,” Director of Nutrition Services Karen Luna said. “If they don’t re-apply via another method, then they will have to pay for their meals.” The proposal would also limit eligibility rules for SNAP. According to the USDA, SNAP will only be available for people who receive cash or non-cash benefits of at least $50 per month for at least six months from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Within the Santa Clara Unified School District, according to Luna, 1,226 students use SNAP. Junior Alexa Aguilar believes the change could affect her family as well as others. “I think it would affect my parents’ income – I have two younger siblings, and they’re in school. And then I have a sister in college, and they are helping her pay for college” Aguilar said. “So I think it would affect how much money they have left for essentials.” According to Luna, the eligibility for free lunch is based on income not expenses, which means that when a family makes over the minimum to receive free lunch, they still may not be able to afford basic necessities. Sometimes the free lunch a student receives at school could be their only source of food. “During the summer, we offer Seamless Summer, where its free food for anybody 18 and under, and we get families – a family of five, a family of four, and three other families – that come every day for lunch because they need that extra help,” Luna said. Students, according to Luna, could potentially go hungry if they do not qualify based on the changes. “It is very difficult for us, having to explain to families why we can’t qualify them, but we are bound by USDA rules and regulations,” Luna said. “It is heartbreaking that they could potentially lose the source of food.”

DECEMBER 13, 2019


Administration and the Gay Straight Alliance club push to create gender-neutral bathrooms for students on campus By Amelia Howell

Gay Straight Alliance club president, junior Liam Kennedy-Moore, only uses the bathroom when he knows there are little to no students in the hallways. “I’ve figured out the times of day when the hallway has fewer people in it and no one will be in the bathrooms,” KennedyMoore said. “For me, I have set times. I don’t want to use the girls’ bathroom because I’m not a girl, but I’m scared to use the mens’ bathroom.” The push for gender-neutral bathrooms at SCHS has been going on for some time. Both Principal Gregory Shelby and SCHS’s GSA have advocated for establishing such bathrooms on campus, and a plan for action is surfacing. “I’ve talked about this with board members, I’ve talked about this with the superintendent, and I’ve talked about this with our gender inclusivity team, which is a team of teachers and staff who are working on issues related to supporting transgender students,” Shelby said. GSA advisor, Arantxa Figueroa, said Shelby’s actions have been important to making student-accessible gender-neutral bathrooms on campus a reality.

Neil Veira/Roar Staff

There is one gender-neutral restroom for students in the nurse’s office, but students want more that are easily accessible. There are four to six gender-neutral staff restrooms around campus. “I think visibility is really important,” Figueroa said. “The fact that the district is actually asking high school kids to talk about gender-neutral restrooms is awesome, so I’m really excited about the representation and integration of this policy.” According to Shelby, there is currently one gender-neutral restroom on campus for both students and faculty located in the nurse’s office, and there are at least four gender-neutral employee restrooms.

“It’s a new California law that any single-stall employee restroom must be gender-neutral,” Shelby said. “They are staff restrooms, but they’re gender-neutral.” Until Nov. 22, the C-hall had two bathrooms labeled genderneutral. According to Shelby, administration deemed the signs misleading because it did not specify whether it was for faculty or students, and later that day, it was replaced with a staff gender-neutral restroom sign.

However, students and faculty have pushed to have genderneutral restrooms that are easily accessible to students. Kennedy-Moore believes a gender-neutral bathroom is important so all students can feel comfortable and safe using the bathroom. “When you’re a transgender student, going to the bathroom is not as simple as just going to the bathroom,” Kennedy-Moore said. “It (putting a gender-neutral restroom on campus) would

Leadership and clubs work to unite the Downtown student body by hosting activities during lunch Continued from page 1 By Alina Jafri

Over 2000 students roam the school campus during lunchtime, each one hanging out with their own group of friends. In order to unite the large and diverse student body, leadership and many clubs are creating activities to take place during lunch. “Since school can be stressful and classes can be dull, lunchtime activities serve to get students more interested in what is happening on campus and to provide a relaxed environment for students during lunch,” the ASB communications commissioner junior Pradeep Kundu said. This year, the ASB spirit commissioner, senior Laila Davison, and the ASB entertainment commissioner, senior Victoria Johnson, brainstormed ways to bring students together. Their main focus is making lunchtime activities more entertaining and students involved. One idea they implemented this year is bringing out games during lunchtime for all students to play in the quad. According to Johnson, foosball, jenga and ping pong are some of the games available. Johnson and Davison also created a music suggestion form. Students can suggest songs that will be played during lunch every Tuesday and Friday. This creates an easier process for everyone to get a chance to have their song played, Johnson said. Many students, such as senior Steven Lin, enjoy this change. “It’s a good way for everyone to share their music taste, and it helps diversify the song selection,” Lin said. Leadership is in the works of planning even more activities during lunch. According to Johnson and Davison, in the near future there will be dance competitions, eating competitions, cup stacking contests, and more events that will appeal to students.

Amelia Howell/Roar Staff

Performances are one of the events that occur during lunch. The dance team presented a routine for “Holiday in the Quad.” Leadership students are not the only ones organizing lunchtime activities. Many clubs also participate by conducting performances and games. “It is refreshing seeing club leaders and the leadership class hold lunch activities in a unique way, whether it is informing others about a prevalent issue, or connecting the student body as a whole,” the ASB president senior Jonathan Vergonio said. RAZA Latina is one of many clubs who have performed during lunch in the quad this year. The club co-president, senior Janet Farias, thinks lunchtime events are great for promoting clubs and other school organizations because more students are available to watch. “I believe it is a good chance to expose clubs and other school organizations on a wider scale,” Farias said. “Having been able to showcase a traditional dance of ours to the entire school was extremely rewarding.”

Link Crew is another club that hosted an activity during lunch. According to Link Crew member senior Danyah Al Wardat, they invited people from different grades to play one big game of human Hungry Hungry Hippos. “We decided to do the activity because we wanted to get more freshman involvement and mix up the students by asking one student from each class to become groups,”Al Wardat said. “It helped students to step out of their comfort zones and meet different new people.” Leadership students believe the lunchtime activities are a great way to reach out to students and emphasize unity so no one feels alone. “Students can feel that there are people who do care about what they think and that we are all part of this large beautiful unique Bruin family,” Kundu said. “After all, we are all Bruin Citizens of this Bruin Country.”

There have been approximately six failed attempts by other organizations to bring back downtown Santa Clara. Despite the past failures, a plan is finally being put into motion. The Santa Clara Council as well as active members of society are currently arranging for construction. The renewed effort to bring back the downtown began in 2016. Although actual construction is expected to begin in 2022, Jim Crouch, another member of Reclaiming Our Downtown’s core team, stated that carefully mapping out the area is the most integral part of the process. “It is like baking a cake,” Crouch said. “You have to take your time and make sure all the exact ingredients are measured and put in before making the cake.” West believes similarly and stressed the importance of meticulous planning. “The first part is creating the Downtown Precise Plan,” West said. “This is done by the urban planning team that includes a financial analysis and retail expert, about eight people.” Blocks of area along Franklin Street currently remain vacant after the urban renewal. Planners for this project are looking into adding and renovating buildings. So far, ac-


be to help transgender students feel comfortable going to the bathroom.” Figueroa said that GSA has received many questions regarding club members’ – specifically transgender club members’ – comfortability with having a gender-neutral restroom on campus. “I think every student is different,”Figueroa said. “I don’t think there’s a general consensus (with students’ comfortability) except for that it’s a positive move in the right direction for equity.” According to Shelby, the process for creating a gender-neutral restroom requires caution and patience because it could spark controversy. “It is something that I would like to work towards, but it’s something we have to do very carefully,” Shelby said. “First of all, we’d have to get school board approval because if we make this move for student restrooms, even if it’s just one of the restrooms on campus and not all of them, it will make national news.” GSA and Shelby believe gender-neutral bathrooms for students are a necessity, and GSA hopes to further advance their plans next semester. Both want all students to be accommodated as much as possible. “It’s the freedom to use a bathroom,”Kennedy-Moore said. cording to core member Linda Mello, the city has allocated approximately $500,000 for the project’s precise plan and urban planner team. “Nothing will be removed, only improved,” Mello said. “A few thousand Santa Clarans and interested parties filled out questionnaires saying what they would like to see in our new downtown.”

“The history is so amazing of Santa Clara....All it’s missing is its downtown.” -Linda Mello, member of Reclaiming Downtown Once a downtown is built, then a motorized trolley is supposed to follow in order to establish better access to vicinities. According to members of Reclaiming Our Downtown, the addition of a downtown will allow for more businesses, and the rest of the community will enjoy it as well. According to the information provided from the official Reclaiming Our Downtown page, the goal of the renewal is to both instill a deeper sense of community among those living in Santa Clara and rekindle the deep history of the town. “The history is so amazing of Santa Clara,” Mello said. “All it’s missing is its downtown.”



DECEMBER 13 , 2019

California, Costs and t

UNAFFORDABILITY: Coping with Santa Clara’s hi By Itzel Samano Varela Silicon Valley is one of the costliest regions to live in, with consumer resource Salary stating that the price of living in the County of Santa Clara is 51.4 percent higher than the national average. According to the Mercury News, the average price of a house in San Francisco is $1.3 million, while houses in Silicon Valley average $1.6 million. Due to limited land for new construction, existing homes on the market are costly, and many families are unable to find homes within their price range.

“Living in California is noticeably more expensive than living in other parts of the country.”

Rickie Thayer/Roar Staff

stead of Santa Clara is because of the high house pricing in Santa Clara. “Over there, I think the average is Social science teacher Jonathan $800 thousand while here it's around Wilson commutes from Santa Cruz $1.1 million,” Wilson said. to SCHS, which takes him anywhere With Silicon Valley’s high housing from 50 to 70 minutes. prices, many SCHS families choose to “Part of it is for financial rea- live in apartments instead of singlesons,” Wilson said. “My wife and family residences to save money. SeI are saving up to buy a house in nior Raul De Leon lives in an apartSanta Cruz.” ment with his sister and mother. One of the reasons why they de“Houses are expensive here, escided to settle down in Santa Cruz in- pecially with my mom being our only

source of income,” De Leon said. Living in California is noticeably more expensive than living in other parts of the country. When he moved to California from Colorado, senior Daniell Del Rosario said that he noticed a large difference in costs. “A house there is $250,000 and here (it) is like a million on average,” Del Rosario said. According to Business Insider, goods and services are 27 percent more expensive in San Jose than they are na-

tionally. Due to high overall prices as well as costly housing, some students and their families find that they cannot keep up with the expenses. The United States Department of Education reported that from 2016 to 2017, there were around 250,000 homeless students attending public school. Those who are considered homeless lack a permanent and safe place to stay, specifically a nighttime residence. Students who live in cars, abandoned buildings, sub-

SUPPLY & DEMAND: What makes California so e By Isaac Craig California’s housing costs are rising as a great number of people move into “The Golden State." Home to 53 of America’s Fortune 500 companies, ranking third most of the states, California’s tech industry is booming. California is home to the headquarters of companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and other large companies that supply jobs and greatly contribute to the economy. According to the company’s website, Apple alone employs nearly 40,000 workers in the state. California also thrives in the industries of entertainment, agriculture and tourism. Because of its diverse and successful sources of revenue, according to Business Insider, California’s gross domestic product sur-

passed $2.7 trillion in 2017, making it the world’s fifth-largest economy, rivaling entire countries. Additionally, the Silicon Valley is one of the best regions for entrepreneurship and startups, and is called the “Startup Heaven” by Investopedia. According to SmallBizGenius, a website which provides industry insights, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley produce 13.5 percent of the world’s startups. The sunny weather across the state – 63.6 degrees on average according to US Climate Data – provides another incentive for people to live in California. All of these factors create high demand, resulting in a shortage of Californian homes. Furthermore, a fairly large portion of California is reserved for zoos, parks and recreational uses, meaning

houses cannot be built on those parts. The National Landscape Conservation System manages 15.5 million acres of land alone, marking almost 15% of California’s land as reserved. Even if more land was available for building, funding would remain an issue. Proposition 13 – voted into California’s constitution in 1978 – ensures that added taxes to any property never exceed one percent of its assessed value. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, before Proposition 13 came into effect, 90 percent of local governments’ revenue came from property taxes. California’s government does not have as much money to spend on building properties. Due to a lack of homes and a growing demand to live in California, living wages have greatly increased. Additionally, high rates of inflation

compound the issue, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics claiming that prices have increased 49.11 percent since 2000. According to Zillow, California’s housing is expected only to become more expensive. Since 2010, the



DECEMBER 13 , 2019

the Housing Crisis

igh prices standard homes, hotels or share a home are considered homeless. From 2017 to 2018, there were around 4.3 million students who were reported as facing economic disadvantages, many of whom worked to financially support their families. Students like senior Mikaela Cardoso help their families by covering personal expenses with the money they earn.

“With high overall prices as well as costly housing, some students and their families cannot keep up with the expenses.” “I work to pay for things like clothes and sometimes food,” Cardoso said. “That way my parents don't have to pay for my clothes.” For others, their contribution is critical. Senior Katrina Martinez works to make up for her family’s financial situation. “My mom works for the district so she barely gets money, and over the summer, she doesn’t get paid, so I work to help out,” Martinez said.


Brian Kong’s Story: How Silicon Valley forced one former SCHS student into homelessness By Isaac Craig

Courtesy of Brian Kong

Brian Kong attended SCHS his freshman and sophomore years. His family’s main source of income came from his father, who worked as an engineer at his own machine shop. When the company of his father’s only client shut down, so did all of Kong’s income. As a result, his family decided to sell their house in Santa Clara, and Kong became homeless at the age of 16. After selling, Kong lost his only place to stay in California and was forced to move into his father’s shop, working hard to modify the shop to make it liveable. According to Kong, they went as far as adding a makeshift shower, and often had to improvise for food. “There were many cheap fast food places near us, and since we had a small gas stove, we were able to cook some of our own meals,” Kong said. Kong’s family lived in the shop for about a year while Kong was still attending SCHS. To get by, Kong’s father found new clients to sell to in both California and Arizona as they prepared to move. Since his father could not afford to hire any employees or assistants, Kong worked additional hours at the machine shop, outside of his schoolwork. Due to Santa Clara’s high hous-

ing and living costs, Kong and his family were eventually forced to move away from California, creating a challenge for Kong because he had to leave his memories and friends behind.

“I couldn’t imagine owning a five bedroom house in California.” - Brian Kong, senior Now a senior, Kong attends Basha High School in Chandler, Ariz., where his family owns a house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Contrastingly, they owned a threebedroom, two-bathroom house in California, until they were forced to sell. According to Kong, housing in Arizona is not only cheaper but also better. “I couldn’t imagine owning a five bedroom house in California,” Kong said. Kong claims that he still has to work to financially support his fam-

ily, clocking somewhere around 25 hours per week at a local boba shop. “Juggling work and school is pretty difficult considering that I have to work almost full-time to provide,” Kong said. After moving to Arizona, Kong said that his family has a little more money they can spend on luxuries. “We do use extra money to decorate the house a little bit, but other than that, most of our money is used on living expenses,” Kong said. In search of more affordable housing, Kong’s grandmother moved from the Santa Clara area to their neighborhood in Arizona earlier this year. Kong has a lot of family in the Santa Clara area, but according to him, “Most are planning to move to Arizona because of the affordable living here.” “In all honesty, I don’t see much of a future in myself, but I want to go to college, get a successful job in software engineering and get a family of my own,” Kong said. Though he admits that he does not see much of a future for himself, Kong holds on to his goals and is determined to achieve them despite his life circumstances. “I just need to push through until the very end,” Kong said.

In 2017, the County of Santa Clara accounted for 26 percent of the Bay Area’s homeless population.

The Bay Area has the third largest homeless population in the country.

New York Los Angeles average price of a home has increased from $332,000 to $551,000. Zillow also predicts that by September of next year, the average price will reach $559,000.

Bay Area

76,500 Homeless

55,200 Homeless

28,200 Homeless Vincent Nguyen/Roar Staff Statistics from Bay Area Council Economic Institute



DECEMBER 13, 2019

49ers file lawsuit against Santa Clara

SCHS students and staff share their viewpoints on Levi’s Stadium By Olivia Jones

This September, the 49ers filed a lawsuit against the city of Santa Clara due to a disagreement over management of events at Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and several city council members form the Stadium Authority, the branch of city government that oversees Levi’s Stadium. According to Gillmor, the city has been losing profits from Levi’s Stadium, and they also have reason to believe the 49ers are committing wage theft. Moving forward, the Stadium Authority will not pay for any nonNFL events until after they approve the necessary contracts, according to Gillmor. “It’s operational business as usual, but at the Stadium Authority, we’ve taken complete oversight on the non-NFL events to make sure that that public money is being spent wisely,” Gillmor said. Many SCHS students and faculty take different sides on the issue. Senior Ryan Limprecht is not in favor of the city getting involved. He agrees with the 49ers: some of the city guidelines are too restrictive and would discourage artists from wanting to perform at Levi’s Stadium. “I would like for the 49ers to control what happens in their own stadium because I’ve heard about the city ending events at 10 (p.m.), which is ridiculous for concerts,” Limprecht said. According to Gillmor, provisions such as the noise ordinance were put in place to protect residents. As the Stadium Authority takes over the

Courtesy of Juan Serrano

Cars line up on their way into Levi’s Stadium. On days where there are games and events, traffic in residential neighborhoods can become congested, making it difficult for residents to park. management of non-NFL events, their top priority is the quality of life for Santa Clara residents. “Believe me, there’s a lot of positives that come from having a stadium, but with the positive there’s also the negative,” Gillmor said. “As

OPINION: Athletes should not be expected to practice over break By Yasha Nag While school is in session, athletes must balance their grades with their daily sports practices and games. Vacations from school are given for students to take time off for themselves and spend time with their families. However, selected school sports have mandatory events for students to attend during their time off. Students should be able to enjoy their break regardless of

“I think breaks should be reserved for family time and relaxation.” -Arwen Hirsch, freshman whether they have chosen to do a sport. Students deserve much more than being expected to play their sport on a day they do not attend school. Sports practices may cause students to cancel other plans over break, leading to less time they get to spend with their families. Some, like freshman Arwen Hirsch, agree breaks are valuable

time, but she believes students can choose to opt for additional practices. “I think breaks should be reserved for family time and relaxation,” Hirsch said. “But if there is an important date set aside for optional extra practice, that is okay.” Exercising as a team or having games over break, however, may help those who struggle in their sport by giving them the opportunity for more training. Many have heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect,” and putting in extra hours will help athletes improve their skills. Even so, coaches should mention that practice will interfere with school breaks before the sports season starts. Coaches could also make practices and games over break optional so that students are not expected to cancel other plans. Student athletes should not have to miss their family occasions or time for themselves in order to fulfill sport expectations. Time is valuable, and students deserve a time off for the holidays whether they are athletes or not.

elected officials, we have to respond to our community first, and make sure that they’re protected. First and foremost, we want to make sure that Santa Clara remains a great place to live and raise a family.” Regardless of the future of

management at Levi’s Stadium, most SCHS students believe Levi’s Stadium has brought more good than harm to the city. According to senior Hawk Azordegan, the residents of his neighborhood have been surprised

with how well the stadium runs events. “Most people are actually impressed because we all expected it to be an inconvenience, but it turned out to be pretty well controlled and as if nothing’s happening,” Azordegan said. Azordegan does not believe a change in management will make a big impact on residents. “I think it would make more sense for the city to be in control of it, but currently with the way the 49ers are doing it, it’s pretty organized,” Azordegan said. “As long as the city does something similar, it should be fine.” Azordegan thinks the biggest negative effect that Levi’s Stadium has is the noise because residents in his neighborhood can hear the loudspeakers every time they host an event. Conversely, sophomore Tyler Louie believes the biggest inconvenience is traffic. “It’s definitely harder to find parking on game days,” Louie said. “It’s not a big problem, just a minor annoyance.” College and Career Resource Technician Anthony Butler is in favor of the addition of Levi’s Stadium because it adds more excitement to his neighborhood. He supports the 49ers and does not think Levi’s Stadium has had a negative impact on the neighborhood. “I hope the city learns how to manage and work well with the ‘9ers, because it’s a great organization, not just from a sporting standpoint but a philanthropic standpoint,” Butler said. “They give to the community.”

Field Remodeling Continued from page 1

somewhere other than the SCHS main field. “We have been pursuing alternate settings for our graduation,” Shelby said. Seniors will have a gradua-

“...for us, the much bigger project is the back field. This allows us to have one of the fields open for track.” -Gregory Shelby, principal Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar staff

The back field will soon be remodeled to include a practice baseball field, a main baseball field, a practice football field, a practice soccer field and a potential hockey field. Plans based on images provided by principal Gregory Shelby.

March and are expected to be done by mid-June. “The reason for that is that for us, the much bigger project is the back field,” Shelby said. “This allows us to have one of the fields open for track.” While SCHS is remodeling the back field, Wilcox will be renovating their main field. During spring, Shelby said, SCHS will be sharing their track with Wilcox sports teams. As of now there are

no plans of renovating the SCHS track, but Shelby acknowledged it is due for repair. SCHS main field renovations are set to begin once the back field is finished and are expected to be done by the end of August. This means the first few football games of the 2020 football season that were intended to be home games will now be away games. In addition, the class of 2020 will have their graduation ceremony

tion ceremony elsewhere, but many feel the time is necessary for SCHS to pursue a new main field. Soon the school will possess newly-renovated fields, which should be worth the effort in the future.

“It should end up being a really nice venue.” -Gregory Shelby, principal “It should end up being a really nice venue,” Shelby said.

Winter Sports Upcoming dates

Students and staff showcase their sporting savvy with fantasy sports Science teacher Alan Tan has been playing fantasy basketball for almost ten years. Tan enjoys the competitive aspect. He said, however, it can be time-consuming. “If you’re really serious, it

Boy’s Soccer 12/14 @ Serra Varsity 1:00 pm 12/17 vs Lynbrook Varsity 4:00 pm

“If you’re really serious, it can take a lot of time. When I first started playing, I think maybe an hour would go by and I wouldn’t even notice it because I was researching who I should draft, who plays well, or who’s going to get more playing time.”

1/3 vs Palo Alto Varsity 6:00 pm 1/8 @ Cupertino Varsity 3:30 pm 1/10 vs Homestead Varsity 6:00 pm

boys’ basketball 12/14 @ Washington Varsity 3:00 pm 12/19 @ Fremont Varsity 3:00 pm 12/20 @ Fremont Varsity 3:00 pm 12/26-28 @ North Salinas Varsity 1:00 pm

-Alan Tan, science teacher By Kristina Liah and Oliva Jones

Girls’ basketball Samantha Alde/Roar staff

12/17 vs Westmont Varsity 7:00 pm

Senior Rahul Amin checks his fantasy basketball stats at lunch. Amin joined his friend’s fantasy basketball league this year.

12/21 @ Live Oak Varsity 1:30 pm

By Olive Howden For many SCHS students and staff, playing fantasy sports is a fun way to test their knowledge of real-life sports and compete with their friends. Many sports have fantasy leagues, such as basketball, football and baseball. When participating in fantasy sports competitions, players must have knowledge of current, real-life games and player stats. Senior Rahul Amin recently joined his friend’s fantasy bas-

12/27-30 @ Newark Varsity 5:00 pm 1/7 vs Monta Vista Varsity 7:00 pm

girls’ soccer 12/21 vs East Union Varsity 1:00 pm 12/23 vs Presentation Varsity 6:00 pm 1/3 @ Palo Alto Varsity 3:30 pm 1/10 @ Homestead Varsity 3:30 pm

Boys’ Basketball 12/21 @ Fremont Varsity 3:00 pm 12/31 vs Westmont Varsity 1:30 pm 1/17 @ Lynbrook Varsity 7:45 pm

wrestling 1/4 @ Cupertino Varsity 10:00 am 1/9 @ Monta Vista Varsity 6:30 pm 1/10-11 @ Prospect Varsity 10:00 am 1/14 vs Saratoga Varsity 6:30 pm Schedule is according to



DECEMBER 13, 2019

ketball league. He often pays attention to NBA games and specific players when organizing his own fantasy basketball team. “Basically the way it works is that every day based on how an actual NBA player plays, like their stats, those stats get translated into fantasy points,” Amin said. “A league is basically just...a group of friends or sometimes just random people who join together and see who can score the most points.”

can take a lot of time,” Tan said. “When I first started playing, I think maybe an hour would go by and I wouldn’t even notice it because I was researching who I should draft, who plays well, or who’s going to get more playing time.” Tan has also played fantasy football and fantasy baseball. He believes fantasy football is the least tedious. “Fantasy football takes way less time (than basketball or baseball) because they only play a game once a week,” Tan said. “Basketball, you play every day, and that’s why I would prefer to play fantasy football. I’m terrible at it though because I don’t know football.” Similarly, junior Amar Singh

currently plays fantasy football and has played fantasy basketball. “At the start of the season, before the NFL season starts, you draft players,” Singh said. “There’s about thirteen rounds and each round, you draft a player, and each time a player plays you get points based on their performance. When your entire team gets more points than another team, you win (the game of the week).” Singh enjoys the friendly competition with his friends and the bragging rights that come with winning a game. In fantasy sports, partici-

“Lately, I’ve just been playing with my friends. Usually with my high school friends because I don’t really get to see them all the time. That’s just our way of being in touch with each other.” -Alan Tan, science teacher pants can play privately with friends or on public leagues like Yahoo. Although there are ways to earn money from fantasy sports, many players, like Tan, simply play to win. “Lately, I’ve just been playing with my friends,” Tan said. “Usually with my high school friends because I don’t really get to see them all the time. That’s just our way of being in touch with each other.”

Sports teams may receive punishment for losing By Kristina Liah Athletes at SCHS spend long hours practicing each week, sharpening their skills and preparing to face their opponents – but sometimes they still lose. When a team loses, coaches can have a variety of reactions.

“I think you should want to play better just for your own personal game and for the team, not because you don’t want to run.” -Jacob Ruiz, sophomore SCHS baseball player junior Joshua DeSousa said that during his sophomore year, coach Darren Evans would give the team extra exercises when they lost a game. DeSousa believes Evans’s methods motivate their team to try harder for the next game. “The players don’t want to

Olivia Jones/Roar Staff

Some coaches at SCHS choose to give athletes additional workouts in response to losing a game. really do it (the punishment), so they play better,” DeSousa said. Other sports teams at SCHS, such as soccer, wrestling and volleyball, do not receive any form of punishment for losing, according to baseball player sophomore Jacob Ruiz. Conversely, Ruiz said his

current baseball coach, Brad Comstock, would not give the team extra conditioning but encourage them to improve in the future. “We’re given words of encouragement,” Ruiz said. “Like we need to fix some things. Usually when we lost, we could have done better and

focus on the next practice.” Ruiz believes Comstock’s method is an effective coaching strategy. “I think you should want to play better just for your own personal game and for the team, not because you don’t want to run,” Ruiz said. Similarly, sophomore Dezi Ray Johnsen’s football coach, Burt Codera, assigned extra conditioning when the team lost in addition to finding other ways to help the team improve. “We’d also go back to our plays, maybe change them up a little bit,” Johnsen said. “All you have to do is look at the things that you did… and then just fix those mistakes.” Johnsen considers Condera’s methods a benefit to the team rather than a punishment. “Our punishment will probably be writing, but he wants us to make us better,” Johnsen said. “It’s not really a punishment; it’s just making us better.”



DECEMBER 13, 2019

Art theft: A ongoing problem among online artists By Emily Harvie

Student artists at SCHS have used social media as a way to share their artwork with the public, but many have had their art reposted without their permission or credit. Senior Athena Comoda began posting her artwork on Instagram in May 2017 because she wanted to share her art with others. “I really wanted to put myself out there and have a page where I could show my progress,” Comoda said. Like Comoda, freshman Kaitlyn Nguyen also creates digital art and posts it on the internet. “I realized that technology is a growing thing now, not just for doing your homework,” Nguyen said. “But it’s also grown into an artist thing where it’s a lot easier not only to learn how to do digital art but to share it with others.” After sharing their art, both Co-

“When the artist isn’t credited, it takes the name off of the art completely and really discredits the hard work for what they’ve created.” Samantha Alde/Roar Staff - Athena Comoda, senior Some SCHS student artists experience art theft on social media. moda and Nguyen have experienced art theft. “I was doing a commission for someone and I put it on my Instagram, and then this person reposted my art without crediting me,” Nguyen said. “I confronted them about it, and they were like, ‘I’m giving you exposure’ and all that stuff, but I definitely disagreed with that.” Similarly when Comoda was 12, she was a member of an art group

on Facebook. Looking at her feed, Comoda saw that her art was taken and reposted without her permission. She was flattered yet frustrated because anyone could have claimed it as their own, and she later learned how stealing artwork can damage an artist’s reputation. “When the artist isn’t credited, it takes the name off of the art completely and really discredits the hard work for what they’ve created,” Comoda said.

According to Comoda, those who take art either do it with the intention of making profit, or do it on accident. “(People steal art) either to make a profit or because they enjoy the art but aren’t very educated on how taking it can damage the artists’ reputation,” Comoda said. “However, sometimes people know what they are doing and remove watermarks, but that’s mostly to make a profit, to make their page or account grow.”

Nguyen believes that although everybody has different reasons for taking art, there is no excuse when the artist is not credited. “Some are like, ‘I’m giving the artist exposure’ even though they aren’t crediting them, or they are like, ‘I’m doing it to promote my own page,’” Nguyen said. “However, they are trying to find excuses to feel more inclined to post someone else’s art.” Unlike Nguyen, sophomore Becca Morse believes as long as someone claims the artwork is not theirs, people can repost her art without crediting her. “There are cases where people repost art because they like it and think it’s cool,” Morse said. “You don’t always have to credit it because sometimes you don’t know where it came from. As long as they aren’t claiming it as their own work, I’m fine with it.” To avoid having their art stolen, both Comoda and Nguyen use signatures and watermarks on their images. According to Morse, signatures need to be placed in an area that is hard to remove. “Signatures will work, but putting them in the corner allows people to easily crop it out,” Morse said. “But say you are drawing a bust and you put it next to the neck, it will be harder to get rid of, especially if there is something going on behind it.” According to Nguyen, followers may have difficulty navigating the privacy preferences of each artist since each one will be different. “If you are able to protect your art and have a reason behind it, then feel free to be more conservative,” Nguyen said. “But if you are someone who doesn’t put their watermark and you have this expectation that no one is going to repost it, you need to adjust that.”

Many students do not let their zodiac signs define their character By Andrea Torres SCHS students have differing and unique interests, and astrology has been a rising trend among many. Although astrology consists of numerous aspects, zodiac signs are the most commonly discussed topic. There are twelve zodiac signs, and each has corresponding traits, strengths and weaknesses. Many students at SCHS have different perspectives on the astrological zodiac signs and how they shape a person’s relationships and future. Senior Bella Gregory believes in the zodiac signs because she finds it compelling to find traits that match her own sign. “I thought it was kind of cool because sometimes it’s very and, oftentimes, oddly true and satisfying because you can see a person and see the description of their zodiac and it’ll fit, and then other times it can be the total opposite,” Gregory said. Students, such as freshman Brayden Guillot, were introduced to astrology in their classes. Guillot learned what astrology was in his sixth grade science class, and he believes that there should be an astrology class on campus. Other students learn about astrology from their friends or family. Senior Emily Chao was captivated by astrology when her mother told her about the stars and the zodiac signs. “My mom was telling me about all of the zodiac signs, and she told

me that I was a Taurus and that I was the third Taurus in my mom’s side’s generation,” Chao said. “I remember my teacher would give us sheets on the astrology signs and the details on them.” Although many students at SCHS enjoy astrology, there are students who disagree with the idea that zodiac signs are related to a person’s traits or future. Sophomore Kiara Plaza, does not agree with peoples’ compatibility based on their zodiac signs. “I’ve checked before. It’s fun to see what they say about you, love

“I don’t think it defines if you’re going to be successful or not because that’s up to you and how hard you work.” - Kiara Plaza, sophomore and fortune,” Plaza said. “I always knew that in the back of my mind it wasn’t true because I was never like, ‘Omg, I’m a Scorpio, so I can’t hang out with her or I can’t be with him.’” Although views on astrology can be different for everybody, there are some elements both sides agree on. One common opinion is that there is no need to begin or end any relationship with someone

Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

Students question the legitimacy of the astrological influence on life. because of their sign. “Yes, (I would keep a friendship) only because I care more about how they act rather than their sign,” Guillot said. Plaza believes that if someone focuses on zodiac signs when getting to know people, they limit the possible friendships they could have acquired. “If my astrology sign says I’m only compatible with Virgos then I’m only friends with Virgos, then (I’m) not giving a chance to other people,” Plaza said.

Astrology can be seen as a guide for their lifestyle, friendships and personality according to many students. However, Plaza and others believe everyone can be their own person who is held accountable for their actions and future regardless of their zodiac sign. “I don’t think it defines if you’re going to be successful or not because that’s up to you and how hard you work,” Plaza said. “You’re going to be successful if you are responsible and work hard in your life.”

Melina’s Booket List

By Melina Kritikopoulos

Lousia May Alcott’s 1868 novel “Little Women,” has inspired films, TV series and plays, and a new movie adaptation will be released on Wednesday, Dec. 25. I wanted to read the book before seeing the film. Usually, I’m the snarky kid in English class who raves about how much I love reading, especially classics like “Cannery Row.” But with “Little Women,” I found myself bored. Alcott’s novel follows the lives of the four March sisters – Amy, Beth, Jo and Meg – as they struggle through adolescence and early adulthood during postCivil War America, showcasing the lessons they learn from their shared experiences. While reading “Little Women,” I was studying the Civil War in my AP US History class. Learning about the societal structure of Alcott’s environment helped me understand the customs and larger themes of the novel in relation to her world. It is a fairly lengthy book, with 197,524 words divided among 47 chapters. Alcott made the novel this long in order to depict the protagonists’ lives over time, but I feel their stories would have a stronger impact if the book was shorter with more time jumps to relay the scope of their journeys. Alcott, however, has an incredible use of adjectives in her descriptions that prompted me to stop and write down my favorite phrases while reading.She also inserts her own voice into the plot at times with some first-person narration. The full omniscience helps to make a deeper connection between the reader and the characters. Even though the narration is interesting, the plot is still extremely convoluted. The book is already in a difficult vernacular, and following all four sisters is confusing. I found myself stopping to reread paragraphs, and some of the set-up scenes feel unnecessary and lazy. I much rather prefer to meet a character through the events of the story not through narration like, “...said Jo, who was a bookworm.” Despite the length and confusing plot, the characters of the novel are very relatable. I could feel the real-life inspiration for them by knowing Alcott’s biography and the history of the time period. Each sister has such a different and unique personality, yet the day-to-day descriptions of their lives left me unsatisfied. The protagonists’ paths relay the larger themes of the novel, lessons that can apply to women in any place or time, and the relatability of the characters and their journeys has made “Little Women” a timeless classic. The length, plot and minutiae, however, spoiled the classic for me.

A&E Easy Do-It-Yourself gifts are perfect for the holidays


DECEMBER 13, 2019 By Andrea Torres

With finals coming up and the semester ending, the holidays are right around the corner. December is the time of year where friends and family can come together and exchange gifts. Gift giving can get complicated due to some present prices, so Do-It-Yourself gifts may be a better option due to the low cost and customizability. The following examples are a few personal DIY gifts that can save some money.

365 Notes

Painted Notebook

Succulent Plants

Emergency Bag


4Time 4Effort 4Price

Small Spa Basket

Isaac Craig/Roar Staff

Andrea Torres/Roar Staff

Sasha Syrevych/Roar Staff

Andrea Torres/Roar Staff

Andrea Torres/Roar Staff

365 notes is a really sweet gift to give to a person who is important to the gifter. The gift consists of 365 notes that have short messages on them – from inside jokes to love letters to motivational notes – that are stored in a glass jar or decorative container. The person then takes out one small note everyday for a whole year, which in turn should make them smile every day. 365 notes is a caring gift for anyone who likes to read personal messages, and it may be a good way to express the giver’s care for someone evey day without direct communication.

Despite being simple, a painted notebook is a unique gift to give to people who enjoy writing or drawing in journals. A blank notebook can be decorated in any way to symbolize the relationship between the gifter and the giftee. The cover can have components that the receiver enjoys, such as inside jokes or cute decorations. This gift does not require much artistic talent as the symbols can be cute doodles, little notes or stickers, so it is a perfect gift to make. The giftee can use the notebook everyday and be reminded of the gifter.

Succulent plants would be a great gift for plant lovers. It requires succulent plants and simple pots that can be found in many stores. The way to make this gift is through filling the succulent pots with the correct soil, inserting the plant and personalizing the rest for the receiver with items such as garden gnomes, sand, pet rocks or shells. The giftee can even make a small garden out of succulents and put it in there room to freshen it up. Such plants do not require much care, so it is a great gift even for people who don’t have a green thumb.

An emergency bag can be very useful when something is needed at the moment. Creating a personalized emergency bag for someone requires a small bag filled with items the person would need, such as cute adhesive bandages, candy, gum, mints, chocolate, pens, tissues and bottled water. This is a great gift for people who often travel or venture out and may unexpectedly need snacks and other important items. Such bag may also be used in a school where students often feel stressed: items from an emregency bag may be picked in a way to calm the receiver.

A small spa basket would be great for someone who is into self care, or anyone who needs a reminder to take time for themselves. A small woven basket can be filled with useful products, such as lip scrubs, face masks, bath bombs, cute towels, lotions or scented candles. Attached to the basket may be a scented product like a bouquet garni, lavender or cinnamon sticks, which would add to the calming and relaxing aura of the gift. This would be a nice gift for anyone who enjoys relaxing and taking time for themselves.

Students use podcasts to destress and learn about various topics at the same time By Emily Harvie

As many music platforms now offer other modes of entertainment, podcasts have grown in popularity. They typically consist of people informing listeners on a certain topic. Many speakers will share stories and life experiences along with their opinions. Podcasts range in many subjects, but many SCHS students have taken an interest in listening to them for a variety of reasons. Sophomore Jackie Park became interested in podcasts after one showed up on her YouTube recommended feed. After trying out a few, she noticed that podcasts are like listening to a group of friends having a conversation. “I know this sounds kind of lonely, but it kind of feels like I’m in their conversation and discussion,” Park said. “At the same time, it provides a lot of value on learning in general.” Freshman Sahana Moogi was

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introduced to podcasts by her father. After listening to a few pieces focused on science, other topics also caught her interest. “I listen to science related podcasts because I think it’s an interesting way to learn information,” Moogi said. “There’s one I listen to called ‘Curiosity’ and it’s about a ton of recent topics in the world.” Park prefers listening to selfhelp podcasts and people-oriented podcasts, where speakers discuss their life experiences and open up to their audience about what they’ve learned from them. “After listening to podcasts, I feel like I got to know myself a little bit more, like I got to learn more of what I like and what I don’t like in general,” Park said. “When people open up about their problems, it feels like a safe space.” Park listens to podcasts when taking a break from school work. She believes they are a good way to destress and learn about new topics at the same time. “I’m always up to listen to discussions about anything and ev-


erything,” Park said. “You know how there are storytimes on YouTube – the way they engage you – that feeling drives me to listen to (podcasts).” Sophomore Dean Bulatao enjoys the simplicity of podcasts. He likes how he can multitask and do other tasks while enjoying a conversation. “The podcast I like listen-

ing to is by David Dobrik called ‘Views’ and the topics they talk about are stories from their personal lives, and it’s super funny and keeps me laughing while I do homework,” Bulatao said. Similar to Bulatao, Moogi’s

favorite aspect about podcasts is how she can learn so much even when doing other work. “Since I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule, it’s a way I can explore new topics and learn new things,” Moogi said. Both Park and Moogi have noticed an increase in popularity of podcasts. Park thinks it is the storytime-like aspect that pulls people in, while Moogi believes it is another way for influencers to reach their fans. “I think it’s a way for them to create more content and share more things with their audience and those who listen to them,” Moogi said. Bulatao has also seen many influencers coming out with podcasts. He said that although some may see podcasts as just another way for people to make money, podcasting is a unique type of entertainment that satisfies both the influencer and their listeners. “I think it benefits both the entertainers and the audience because although the influencers make



“After listening to podcasts, I feel like I got to know myself a little bit more, like I got to learn more of what I like and what I don’t like in general.” - Jackie Park, sophomore

money off the viewers or listeners of the podcast, the audience still enjoys and reacts to the podcasts in a positive way, so it’s a win-win situation,” Bulatao said. Although Park enjoys podcasts, she would recommend them to people who are more sensory oriented and like listening to people. “It really depends if people are willing to listen to 40 minutes of talking,” Park said. “If you want to get into podcasts, you will need to do some sifting to find what you like.” On the other hand, Bulatao would suggest podcasts to anyone and everyone who is even slightly interested in trying them. “I would highly recommend podcasts to people who procrastinate on schoolwork because they may already be on their phone watching Netflix or YouTube,” Bulatao said. “So instead they can listen while doing their work and you can get the best of both worlds.”



DECEMBER 13, 2019

SCHS community members participate in unique holiday traditions

By Neil Veira and Lhana Philavong

Freshman Thomas Hirvonen participated in the Finnish tradition Virvonta when he lived in Finland. Virvonta is similar to Halloween, where participants dress up as something evil or scary - such as a witch or a ghost and wander the neighborhood. On Palm Sunday, kids go around their neighborhood dressed up, carrying a willow branch in their hand. The willow branch is believed to place a curse on people if they do not hand out candy. For Hirvonen, the most enjoyable aspect of Virvonta was having fun with others while receiving free candy. Now that he lives in America, Hirvonen no longer celebrates Virvonta, but he does go trick-or-treating. Millions of holiday traditions are celebrated around the world, whether they are cultural, national or personal. Over time, many have started to create their own family traditions. Freshman Sydney Nutter participates in a family tradition called “Gag Gifts.” The tradition was started by one of Nutter’s uncles when she was younger, and the family has been exchanging “gag gifts” every Christmas since. “Before we give them the actual present, we give a weird present to someone,” Nutter said. “Then we trade it out, and you have three trades before you can keep it. You just keep going until every person gets a gift.” Nutter said she enjoys partaking in this tradition because of its unexpectedness and funny surprises. “It’s different every year, and sometimes people give really weird stuff, like one time (one of the gifts was) dinosaur poop. Like a fake fossil dinosaur poop,” Nutter said. Nutter recalled how a gift was reused several years in a row and became a running joke. “They (a family member) gave the present and then you’re supposed to keep it every year,” Nutter said. “A couple times they gave it back. So (the gift) got into the mix of things like three or four times.”

Freshman Sofia Morales has a similar family tradition to “Gag Gifts,” but her family calls it “White Elephant.” For this tradition, Morales’s family gathers to exchange random and puzzling gifts. “It could be a lantern or a shopping bag, basically random gifts,” Morales said. “I think once someone gave a noise machine because why not?” Apart from the presents, Morales said she enjoys gathering together with her family. SCHS Attendance Clerk Gina Parisi partakes in a religious tradition. “Our family celebrates The Epiphany, which is when the Wise Men finally make it to baby Jesus,” Parisi said. According to the New York Times, Epiphany, also known as the 12th day of Christmas, occurs on Jan. 6. For many Christians around the world, it marks the end of the Christmas holiday. Parisi grew up celebrating this tradition with her family and still takes part in it today. “It’s a religious event my mom grew up with in Central America, and we’ve just continued it,” Parisi said. Sophomore Alison Von Raesfeld takes part in a Christmas tradition that makes the gift exchange more interesting. “We all gather around the Christmas tree, and we all grab one present,” Von Raesfeld said. “Each of the kids grabs someone else’s present, and we have to close our eyes when we grab it.” According to Von Raesfeld, to exchange each gift, the gift giver must describe the recipient of the present without divulging their name or gender. “It’s pretty fun to describe your cousin by what they’re wearing or how they’re acting in that particular moment, or what their phone looks like, or if they’re tall or short,” Von Raesfeld said. Senior Naxely Belmont celebrates the Hispanic Christmas tradition Tatiana Serrano-Zeledon/Roar Staff

(Above) The Epiphany commemorates how a star led three wise men to baby Jesus. (Right) On Posadas, a star piñata with seven points is broken with a stick. Posadas, in which she gathers with her extended family. “People come together to eat Hispanic foods, meet and sit at a huge table, kind of like Thanksgiving. But it centers around having that community sense, especially around the holidays and Christmas time,” Belmont said. For Belmont, Posadas is a tradition that allows her to relax and find comfort with her family, especially during finals. “I think it really helps me because I get really stressed around Christmas time because of finals,” Belmont said. “So having moments like that really helps me de-stress in a lot of ways.” According to Belmont, the Hispanic origin of Posadas helps her remember her roots as she celebrates with her family. Sophomore Benjamin Singer celebrates the Jewish holiday Hanukkah with his family. He said it is similar to Christmas although the holiday lasts eight days. “(Hanukkah is) a special time for everyone because some of the Jewish holidays are very dark and thought -provoking while Hanukkah is just for fun,” Singer said. Singer and his family celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, which he likes since he can celebrate longer and exchange more presents. Like Singer, SCHS math teacher Marlene Spector celebrates Hanukkah, as her family has been for generations. “There’s a whole story about it,” Spector said. “The oil in the lamp lasted eight days instead of one. So think of it as your cell phone on one charge lasts for eight days instead of one day. That’s the miracle of Hanukkah - that’s

Graphics courtesy of Google Images

a good way people nowadays can understand it.” During Hanukkah, many Jewish families hand out chocolate coins known as “gelt.” According to Spector, this proved problematic because her son is allergic to tree nuts. Her family improvised by making their own homemade chocolate coins so they could ensure her son would not be allergic to them. “We couldn’t get the ones from the store. So instead we always made chocolate candy ourselves and put it into molds in the shape of (gelt), but then my son could eat it because we homemade it,” Spector said. “It’s a fun tradition, and we actually still do it with my grandson.”

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