MARCH 5, 2020 VOLUME 93, ISSUE 6
hear our voices THE FIGHT FOR EID P. 12-13
LIBERTYVILLE HIGH SCHOOLâ€™S STUDENT NEWS PUBLICATION
STUDENT ACTIVISM AT LHS P. 18-19
SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVISM P. 20
News Brief 5 LOCAL
Senior conducts art therapy study 6-7 STATE
How to vote in Illinois
The Madness of March
The History of Sports Activism
WHO WE ARE Drops of Ink is a student-written, edited and produced high school publication. Our publication functions as a service to the school and greater community of Libertyville, first and foremost delivering open-minded, informative content that is relevant to our readership. While not our primary motive, Drops of Ink also looks to provide entertainment to our audience. We aim to challenge readers to see different perspectives and gain knowledge of the world around us. 2
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CONNECT FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @lhsdoi Libertyville High School Drops of Ink
@lhsdoi Visit us at lhsdoi.com
WEâ€™D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU Contact us at email@example.com Contents by Natalie Isberg Cover illustration by Lily Hieronymus
The new generation of smoking 12-13 ACTIVISM
Faith vs. Education: The Fight for Eid 15-17 LOCAL
The Liberty Theater: A Memorable and Uncertain Future 18-19 PROFILE
The Voices of the Future: Student Activists in Libertyville 30 WHAT’S TRENDING
What to do in March 31 CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Prominent Women in History
12-12 20 STAFF EDITORIAL
The Many Sides of Social Media Activism
Friends and Fundamental Human Rights: When Does Their Opinion Cross The Line? 22 OPINION
22 EDITORIAL BOARD
ELLA MARSDEN AND CLAIRE SALEMI
Editors in Chief
Layout & Design Editor
Online Editor Managing Editor
MOIRA DUFFY News Editor
U.S. History’s flawed narrative 23 COLUMN
Philanthropists Aren’t As Generous As You Think
STAFF MEMBERS Pavan Acharya Sarah Bennett Sara Bogan Sayre DeBruler Jade Foo Mara Gregory Lily Hieronymus Rowan Hornsey Brooke Hutchins Natalie Isberg
Jasmine Lafita Megan Lenzi Cali Lichter Maguire Marth Anika Raina Christian Roberts Peyton Rodriguez Lillian Williams Rayna Wuh Sophia Zumwalt
NEWS BRIEFS The MainStreet Starbucks location recently announced that it would be closing at the end of June this year; the location has been open for 25 years. The coffee shop is closing due to its lack of business compared to other locations in the Chicagoland area as well as not being able to modernize the location, like adding nitro cold brew to keep up with the Starbucks brand and modernized theme in surrounding locations according to the Chicago Tribune. While some residents were surprised to hear that the Starbucks will be closing its doors, the village is not worried about finding a different business to occupy that space. In a Facebook statement sent out by Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler, he described in further detail: “I am disappointed to say that the downtown Libertyville Starbucks will be closing at the end of the lease in June. Since some business closings in Libertyville have been blamed on landlords, I like to make clear the landlords and I have attempted to work with Starbucks.” After 25 years on MainStreet, the Starbucks is closing this June due to competition from other Starbucks locations in the Chicagoland area.
Another coffee shop has opened near the train tracks named Birdy’s Coffeehouse (but it is subject to change), opened by the owners of The Green Room, Maria Mandarino and Dan Temesy. The shop is open from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and serves biscuits and gravy and avocado toast, along with coffee, of course. The space was available five years ago but with The Green Room just getting started, it was too big a risk opening a second cafe. But now that the pair has five years under their belt, it is much more managable.
The owners of The Green Room recently opened Birdy’s Coffeehouse on MainStreet. Birdy’s Coffeehouse serves coffee, avocado toast and biscuits and gravy.
After 25 years on Mainstreet, the Starbucks is closing this June Bakers Square abruptly closed on Jan. 24 due to a corporate reorganization. The company also closed multiple other locations, including those in Wilmette and Joliet. The parent company of Bakers Square, American Blue Ribbon Holdings, announced it had filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware and promptly closed locations within the next two days. The employees of the Libertyville location were made aware of the situation the day after the bankruptcy announcement, after their last shift. Some of the employees moved to the Gurnee location according to the Daily Herald.
On Jan. 24, Bakers Square closed their Libertyville location due to corporate reorganization.
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Burnsies Uptown opened in December 2018 and closed their doors on Jan. 1. Burnsies Uptown, a breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant, has closed its doors as of Jan. 1. The restaurant opened in December 2018 by John Durning, who also owns Pizzeria Deville, and Steve Burns, and it was just a breakfast place in the beginning. They soon expanded to doing all meal hours with different menus changing throughout the day. The restaurant rang in the new year on Dec. 31 before officially closing down the following day. A local favorite, Milwaukee Trace, is coming back and will be moving into the Burnsies Uptown space.
SENIOR CONDUCTS ART THERAPY STUDY Sara Bogan
hroughout this school year, senior Rachel Bond is evaluating the effects of art therapy on LHS seniors’ stress levels to complete her required AP Research project. Art therapy is utilized by professional psychologists and medical doctors to treat and aid patients, such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and breast cancer, according to Bond. Art therapy is “using art and art-making processes to feel and express your emotions,” she stated. Bond was required to conduct a study second semester for her AP Research class. While many of her classmates chose to produce surveys, Bond decided to create a five-week study in which participants stay for 45 minutes to an hour after school on Fridays. In AP Research, “you actually conduct your own original research, so you’re contributing to that database [of existing research],” Dr. Paul Reiff, the AP Research teacher, explained. “You’re creating that experiment.” Bond distributed a survey to LHS seniors, inviting them to participate in the study. Eleven people replied, and many of her friends also contributed to the project. “Coming out of eighth period classes, usually I’m still pretty stressed from just being in a classroom environment and trying to perform really well, so winding down with art for a little bit, it kind of takes you out of that [more stressful] headspace,” said Maggie Hutchins, a participant in the study. First, the participants fill out a pre-survey on the likert scale to quantitatively measure their emotions. Five on the scale is extremely stressed while one is not stressed at all. The 11 students then perform an art-based activity such as painting, drawing, coloring mandalas, collage making and clay-building, sometimes with yoga music in the background. Explaining that Bond took a supervisory role during the sessions, Hutchins recalled how she complimented their drawings and distributed paint to the students, creating a positive atmosphere. Painting was Hutchins’s favorite art activity because she doesn’t typically paint. After the sessions, Hutchins said she will continue to practice art therapy because “taking a minute to distract yourself from homework and doing art is good for your mental health.” At the end of the session, the students complete a post-survey so Bond can collect data. She then compares these results to those from her pre-survey, where students generally report having less stress. “I noticed that people feel a lot calmer, a lot happier. Just more good vibes in general,” Bond described. Interested in a pre-med track in college, Bond plans to major in
Amanda Black neuroscience and biochemistry. Since she can’t evaluate brains in a laboratory at LHS, Bond believed that a project assessing people from an outside perspective was the next best project. Bond also described the high levels of stress she noticed at LHS, especially amongst her fellow seniors. “It’s a timely and relevant topic. Everybody’s talking about mindfulness now, so she’s contributing to that conversation,” Dr. Reiff stated. Conducting the study is only one of the chapters in Bond’s academic paper for her project. During the first semester of the class, she presented on this topic and formed the introduction of her paper. Dr. Reiff described his role as the teacher of the AP Research class is to “empower the students” and “intervene as little as possible” in order to create independent and student-led research. Other students in the AP Research class are also completing projects that align with their interests. These include senior Jessica Schrag, who is exploring police tactics and how effective they are in Libertyville, while comparing crime statistics to interviews with police officers. Senior Will Moore is focusing on the productivity of LHS’s concussion protocol compared to NFL post-concussion interventions. Visiting a nursing home and leading patients with dementia in dancing activities, senior Thea Graur observes the effects of dance on these patients. In May, Bond and her classmates will then complete their studies and turn their academic paper into the College Board to be evaluated for potential college credit. The AP Research students must also complete a 15-20-minute in-class presentation graded by Dr. Reiff, which accounts for 25 percent of their AP score.
Photo Courtesy of Rachel Bond For her AP Research project, senior Rachel Bond has chosen to analyze the effects of seniors’ stress levels after doing art therapy. Her study lasted five weeks, with each session lasting 45 minutes to an hour.
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DROPS OF INK
THE NEW GENERATION OF
SMOKING Claire Salemi and Lilly Williams
Editors’ Note: Although the topic of vaping and using e-cigarettes, both on and off school property, are mentioned in this article, Drops of Ink does not condone or promote the behavior discussed here, especially given that, for all students under the age of 21, such activities are illegal. We as a staff believe that it is our duty to report on events and experiences that occur in high school and are aware that while not every student engages in these acts, there are some who do, making this a relevant and worthy topic to discuss. If you or a friend need help with something addressed in this article, we encourage you to seek help from your counselors and/or LST. Since illegal activities and actions that go against the school’s Code of Conduct are discussed in this article, all individuals interviewed were granted anonymity, aside from their grade and gender.
Around 100 years ago, one popular social activity among teens was smoking; it was what many young adults and adults classified as “cool.” While this trend of smoking cigarettes has significantly decreased, a new trend has replaced it: smoking electronic cigarettes. Both can cause health-related problems and many have nicotine in them, which can lead to addiction. MARCH 2020
Vaping Facts 37.3%
of 12th graders nationally reported in 2018 that they have vaped in the last 12 months; 27.8% of 12th graders reported vaping in 2017
cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported along with 64 deaths across 28 states
cases of vaping-related illnesses have been recently reported in Lake County
of teen users find the flavor component the primary reason of vaping Information from the CDC, FDA and National Institutes of Health
“Honestly, I couldn’t care less [about the risk of illness from vaping]. But a lot of [the causes of illness] are from THC smoking as well. Yeah, I am not an idiot. I don’t do that.” - Anonymous junior girl
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Vaping, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “to inhale vapor through the mouth from a usually battery-operated electronic device (such as an e-cigarette) that heats up and vaporizes a liquid or solid.” The electric product was first made to aid cigarette smokers in their efforts to quit smoking, but it has since evolved into many teens’ and adults’ preferred way of smoking in the 21st century. In 2019, some of the first reports emerged about vaping-related illnesses, which affect the lungs. As of Feb. 4, there have been 2,758 people hospitalized nationwide due to vaping illnesses, and there have been 64 deaths, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Lake, Cook, DuPage, Will and Kane counties in Illinois alone, there have been more than 50 people diagnosed with lung injuries due to vaping, according to the Illinois Department of Health. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), signs of the illness include “breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization.” “[Reports of these illnesses] scared me, but I also was not 100% sure of it,” emphasized an anonymous senior boy. He said he recently stopped vaping due to a cough that he believed was linked to his habit after starting as a freshman. While scientists are still studying the causes of the illness related to vaping, the FDA has come out with an initial study showing that 73 percent of their participants used THC products, and inside the THC, there is a chemical called vitamin E and other diluents that are thought to hurt humans. THC is the chemical found in marijuana that creates most of its psychological effects. A study done by the University of Michigan has shown a 14 percent increase from 2018 to 2019 in the use of THC vaping products among teens. “Honestly, I couldn’t care less [about the risk of illness from vaping]. But a lot of [the causes of illness] are from THC smoking as well. Yeah, I am not an idiot. I don’t do that,” said an anonymous junior girl. While illness is one possible result of vaping, so is addiction. According to AP Psychology teacher Ms. Kara Bosman, “Teens, without a fully developed frontal lobe and frontal cortex, are more susceptible to addiction, and the nicotine in the vaping devices is a chemical that is an addictive substance, so the younger you start, the more likely you are to get addicted.” The three students interviewed for this story who vape or have vaped confirmed that they felt a craving at one point for their preference in vaping devices, and one student said that they also have headaches if they haven’t vaped in awhile. With the amount of reported addictions and illnesses among teens, many state and federal laws are being proposed and going into effect. Many companies like Juul, which makes vaping devices, have been accused of marketing fruit-flavored cartridges to teens. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump’s administration established a ban on flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but “larger, tank-style e-cigarettes — which users can manually fill with e-liquids of their choice, and are primarily sold in age-restricted vape shops — would be exempt,” Time magazine stated. The senior boy explained that he thinks the law is very ineffective due to the loopholes attached to it: “The ban doesn’t apply to [flavored] disposables.” With new legal restrictions being imposed on vapes, the validity of the
“We need to be focused on vaping — what are the dangers, how do you talk to a friend who you feel might be addicted.” - Dr. Brenda Nelson vape quality is often called to question due to a lack of regulation for illegally purchased e-cigarettes. “I paid $30 for a pack of mango [Juul pods] and then I would get them and be like, ‘This is just chemicals.’” The senior girl will now only use regulated Juul pods to ensure validity. She said she now buys her products from stores in Wisconsin, where vape products are legal to buy for anyone 18 years or older. She stated that “if you have someone who’s 18, you can just get it; it’s not hard whatsoever, but also a lot of places don’t even card, especially in Wisconsin.” She commented that she prefers this to buying them from a friend or older sibling, since the products sold in stores are legally regulated and therefore safer and more reliable. The senior girl also mentioned that at some stores, customers can scan their vaping cartridges to test the validity of them. As for Illinois, the legal age to purchase vape products is 21, a change that went into effect last year. Nonetheless, some underage students have previously bought their products from Mundelein Tobacco, a store that often doesn’t ask for an ID at purchase, making it easy for minors to buy Juuls, Juul pods and disposables much more quickly and efficiently. However, the store lost its license in October, and all three anonymous sources for this story claimed they are too afraid to go back due to the increase of cops near the store and therefore a higher chance of getting caught. Officer Wayne Kincaid, the LHS School Resource Officer, noted a slight decrease in students vaping since the beginning of this school year: “Either students realize this is just not the place to do it, or they eventually realize they’re going to get caught.” Officer Kincaid said that at the beginning of the school year, there was approximately one student getting caught per week, and toward the end of first semester, there were basically zero students caught per week.
He also expressed that in most cases when a student gets caught vaping at school, it is often by accident. “It’s not always me, but maybe another teacher or student will go into the restroom and see something that they know is out of place or not right,” Officer Kincaid said. Repercussions for vaping at LHS become harsher when a student is caught repeatedly. When a student is caught for the first time, if they’ve had no previous issues with the police or administration, the student receives what is called an “Informal Station Adjustment.” An Informal Station Adjustment, explained Officer Kincaid, is essentially an agreement between the student, their parents and the school administration that a student must avoid being truant or breaking any kind of state or local laws. If this agreement is followed, there are no further repercussions and it is considered a single bad judgment call. If this agreement is not met, or a student gets caught a second time, they receive a citation, which involves going before a judge and paying a fine, and getting their name permanently in the court system. “We try and give them a chance so that they learn from their mistake,” commented Officer Kincaid. Dr. Brenda Nelson, LHS’s prevention and wellness coordinator, has worked for the past three years on the prevention of vaping within the school. Dr. Nelson has hosted an informative session about vaping for students and parents, focused part of Red Ribbon Week to inform students about the harms and has also started teaching second-period wellness leaders about the topic so that they can eventually present this information to their classes. “We need to be focusing on vaping — what are the dangers, how do you talk to a friend who you feel might be addicted,” Dr. Nelson said. “So that has been the main focus.”
Types of Vaping Devices
Vape pen A device that is about the size of a pen that can be disposable or rechargeable with refillable e-liquid.
Vape MOD A device that is bigger than a vape pen, but it usually has more nicotine and is also typically rechargeable.
Information from Center on Addiction
E-Cigarette A device that resembles a regular cigarette that comes in disposable or rechargeable forms. It usually has the lowest battery life of out the three. MARCH 2020
FAITH VS. EDUCATION: THE FIGHT FOR EID Charlotte Pulte
Winter break, the long stretch of relief built in to the school year, is coordinated around the Christian holiday Christmas. Other Christian holidays like Easter and Good Friday are often built in to spring break. Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are non-attendance days for students of all backgrounds. However, the two main holidays of Islam, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, are not officially recognized by LHS or District 128. While other students have integrated non-attendance days for their holidays, students who celebrate Eid are faced with a decision: skip school to celebrate and risk getting behind in classes or miss out on family time and traditional festivities. “Year after year, we’re asked to choose our faith or our education. Are you going to choose to go to school or to celebrate your holiday?” stated junior Amal Hasan, who has recently begun working with administrators in an attempt to make Eid become a non-attendance day for students. Hasan described how tough the decision is for her every year, and that last year, Eid fell on picture day at school. “I was conflicted, and I was like ‘Do I go to pictures or do I go to my holiday?’ I didn’t want to miss pictures, and I didn’t want to have to get caught up on school work, so I went to picture day,” Hasan described. Making the decision to come to school or not is not unique to just Muslim students at LHS. Skokie School District 68 is the only district in Illinois to recognize Eid as a non-attendance holiday. The two Eid holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, are celebrated for two different reasons. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Eid al-Adha celebrates the sacrifices of the Prophet Ibrahim. These are also the only holidays in the religion of Islam, and the dates change yearly depending on the lunar calendar 12 DROPS OF INK
and astronomical predictions. This year, Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated from May 23-24 and Eid al-Adha from July 30-31. Hasan stated that many members of the Muslim community in Libertyville go to the Libertyville Sports Complex and rent out a space to celebrate for Eid, where they spend time with friends and family, eat traditional food, pray together and exchange gifts. According to Hasan, around 7,000 people came to the Sports Complex for last year’s celebration. Still, District 128 has yet to recognize Muslim students’ holidays with days off of school. The fight to see Eid added to the list of non-attendance days was started in 2015 by LHS graduate Mariam Tolba, founder of the Muslim Holiday Coalition, a movement in Lake County that advocates for Eid as a non-attendence day. While her efforts did not result in these non-attendance days, Tolba reached out to Hasan earlier this school year and urged her to continue the mission and “keep the fight going, continue to try to get the day off,” Hasan described. “When she passed it on to me, I felt so honored. I couldn’t believe that she had thought of me to do that, something that was so important to her. I am so grateful to be the one to keep it going,” said Hasan. This year, Hasan and three friends, juniors Sarah Belabbes, Emma Bleck and Zaina Kagzi, spoke about this issue in front of the school board at a public meeting on Jan. 28. Bleck does not celebrate Eid but “was there representing the rest of the student body, and as someone who doesn’t celebrate but does support it, which I think was really effective at bringing in another perspective,” stated Bleck. Bleck also described that having the day off for a religious holiday is “a privilege that should really be a right. Most students don’t realize
that having your holiday off is a privilege because the fact that [Muslim students] don’t have Eid off is often overlooked,” Bleck explained. Hasan spent months gathering data and statistics about Eid for her presentation, which she worked on from November to January. She explained that her argument was mainly centered around “the [district’s] DARING Mission ... and I spun it around. [The mission is] supposed to be raising awareness on racial discrimination, promoting global standards and inclusivity, and I basically said ‘now, you follow it.’” Hasan also met with district superintendent Dr. Prentiss Lea, LHS Principal Dr. Tom Koulentes and Jon Guillaume, the principal of Vernon Hills High School, in the months leading up to the board meeting. “There were a lot of road bumps,” stated Hasan. She explained that they asked to be put on the board’s meeting agenda, meaning that they would have unlimited time to speak, and they would be able to have their presentation shown behind them. Instead, the board told Hasan that she would have to give her presentation in the public comments section at the very start of the meeting, which meant
FEATURE Ms. Greenswag and Mr. O’Neill both attended the meeting as well. Ms. Greenswag noted that it was “the proudest moment I’ve had as a teacher. It’s one of those weird role-reversals where like you feel like you’re learning more from the kids than you’re teaching them. It was amazingly inspirational, and as a history teacher, seeing your students actually make history is just indescribable.” “Being a Muslim has always been hard,” Kagzi stated, “because you’re considered different, but being able to represent your religion and make a change happen, that’s special.” After the presentation was over, the group was unsure whether or not the board would respond right away to their concerns, as they typically wait to respond since everything said at the meetings is a matter of public record. However, the school board did respond to their argument. Hasan explained that the school board’s response was that they “were open to looking into it more and that they’d never seen it like
“Year after year, we’re asked to choose our faith or our education. Are you going to choose to go to school or to celebrate your holiday?” - AMAL HASAN that she and her peers each had three to four minutes to speak. “This was the most frustrating part of the whole thing,” noted Hasan. From here, the group had to work on condensing their presentation. They also began meeting with social studies teacher and debate coach Ms. Sarah Greenswag and Mr. Kevin O’Neill, social studies teacher and Muslim Student Association club sponsor to fine-tune their presentation. In the weeks leading up to the board meeting, the girls used social media to spread awareness about their cause and to urge people to come support them. “We weren’t really expecting that many people to come, but when we got there… just the sheer number of people in the room was amazing. I mean, literally every seat was filled, there were people standing, just lining the room. It was amazing,” Bleck described. Belabbes commented on how “comforting [it is] to know that this community is supporting us by being there at the meeting and by working with us to get the day off. It just shows us how many people stand with us.” Kagzi emphasized that when she was speaking, she “was so nervous and I was shaking, but that adrenaline made me feel so powerful, and they were finally listening to my story. For the first time, I felt like I had a voice or a say at this school.” Senior Catherine Corliss, one of the student board representatives who attended the board meeting that night, stated that “hearing them speak at the board meeting was incredible. Their presentation was so well put together and each of their speeches was really impactful. I got literal chills listening to them talk.”
this. They said that we could try to get it going and make it work with the school’s calendar, which was very surprising, and I felt so grateful,” Hasan explained. “Everyone should have their holiday be recognized and have that day off for them. There should be no strings attached to celebrating your religion with your family, and it’s especially hard when you don’t have the same privilege that others do,” Belabbes described. On Feb. 24, Hasan met with the district’s Calendar Committee, which plans out the school’s calendar each year. At the meeting, Hasan repitched the idea to the committee, and while students will not be given the day off for Eid this spring, it is a possibility that Eid will be a non-attendance day in future years.
MARCH 2020 13
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THE LIBERTY THEATER A MEMORABLE PAST AND AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE Pavan Acharya
he Liberty Theater has long been a highlight of downtown Libertyville due to its rustic charm and 82-year history. After years of rumors that The Liberty was going out of business, on Jan. 30, it was revealed that the theater would officially be closing its doors. Although the time for the Liberty Theater has come to an end -- for now -- it has created many memories for its community.
HISTORY Prior to 1937, downtown Libertyville was lacking an entertainment attraction. However, 64-year-old German immigrant Frederick William Dobe was prepared to change this by financing Libertyville’s first formal movie theater. After months of construction and anticipation, the Liberty Theater opened to crowds of children and adults on Aug. 27, 1937. Dobe’s new theater was considered very modern for its time. The auditorium of the theater seated exactly 706 people in air-cushioned chairs. To increase safety, the walls were supported with steel columns and beams. Another one of the theater’s innovative new features was a water-cooled air system, similar to modern-day air conditioning. The system allowed for cooled water to pass through coils within the theater. A defining characteristic of the theater was its towering, retro-style marquee. The marquee became an emblem for downtown Libertyville until it was eventually taken down in 1955 and replaced with a more traditional one. Regarding films, the Liberty opened showcasing the Warner Baxter film “Slave Ship.” In the 1940s, the theater would go on to show movies such as “Tycoon” and “Gone with the Wind.” The theater was considered a financial success, as noted by The Independent-Register -- a former Libertyville news outlet. At one point, the theater even hosted the world premiere of “Desperate Journey,” a 1942 film about allied soldiers escaping Nazi Germany that featured then-actor Ronald Reagan. The theater’s popularity at one point even led to the employment of a young Marlon Brando. Brando would, of course, go on to play the titular role in “The Godfather” and, as rumor has it, ride his motorcycle through the original Libertyville High School building. Although he would eventually play a large role in the movie industry, former employee and LHS junior Erin Benton described hearing rumors that “when he worked there, he hated it.” She also said that she heard “he made a mess and quit his job.” LHS wrestling coach Mr. Dale Eggert, who graduated from LHS and taught at the school for more than 30 years, called the Liberty Theater “the only show in town” and said that “basically everyone went to the Liberty” throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The theater maintained its rustic and classic appeal throughout multiple generations until it was bought by Scott Dehn in 2012. Dehn, owner of Golden Age Cinemas, installed two new $120,000 digital projectors and hosted a grand re-opening of the theater. MARCH 2020 15
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Dehn announced to his employees in late January that the theater would be closing its doors, effective immediately. “We were all called in for a meeting on Thursday night, in the last week of January, and we were all told the news at the same time,” said sophomore and former employee Audrey Batesky over email, stating that it was “so odd and didn’t feel real.” Although the news was unexpected, there had been signs for some time that the theater was struggling financially. Multiple factors contributed to a decline in attendance. The most influential factor in the closing of the Liberty Theater was the opening of the AMC 12 in Vernon Hills in 2015. Benton noted that before the AMC opened, the Liberty Theater “had hundreds and hundreds of people every night” and “there never really was a no-show.” However, the appeal of the reclining seats and more modern projector technology of the AMC drew many of the crowds that used to flock to the Liberty. Besides increased competition in the theater market, the power and influence of streaming services has also had an impact on the Liberty and movie business in general. Streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix have increased the number of films released exclusively to their services. Senior Mary Wetterling, another former employee of the Liberty, noted that one of the top movies of 2018 “won the most awards and was not even in theaters.” Wetterling was referring to “Roma,” an Alfonso Cuaron film released on Netflix.
The information in the “History” section of this story was found from various historical sources and archives at the Cook Memorial Library.
Photos from CinemaTreasures.org Photos by: mpf775, Norman Plant, Bruce C, LouRugani, R8teco, Granola, Texas2Step
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IMPACT Although the Liberty Theater is closed and may not see its glory days again, its impact on its employees and community cannot be understated. Many of these former employees — the majority of them LHS students — made strong bonds with their co-workers and the theater itself. Benton feels that the Liberty Theater taught her important lessons about acceptance and kindness. According to Benton, “so many different types of people worked [at the theater], like athletes or theater kids.” She believes that she “would have never thought that the theater would bring [her] closer to so many people,” but she also learned to “be more accepting because of it.” Employees of the theater often created their own games and special traditions. Batesky recalled that she and other workers would sometimes “crawl through the tunnels below Milwaukee Avenue” and “[play] random games in the lobby with one another.” Another very common tradition among employees was the hiding of a small toy unicorn in the theater. According to Wetterling, the unicorn “went unfound for years until someone [she] worked with found it.” The employees of the theater then began hiding it after that. Wetterling also noted that it was common for movie posters to be placed in the office and modified to have spoofed versions of their names. Socially, the theater was a common meeting place for employees and some non-employees as well. Over email, Bateskey noted that some of her special times at the theater “would just be going up onto the roof with staff and friends after the theater closed for the night.” Benton recalled that some of her favorite memories from the theater were spending time with college students who were former employees at the theater. She believed that the theater allowed her to make such strong friendships with people she may have otherwise not known as well. The Liberty Theater was also the site of a student-made film known as “Rhys Wick” this past spring. The short film was “a spoof of the popular series John Wick” according to junior and former employee Ty Holzwarth. Holzwarth worked alongside a handful of other junior boys -- including Jon O’Hara, Rhys Junas, Jack Regan and Andrew Clark -- to create this film. According to Holzwarth, the creators of the picture “were in the parking lot [of the Liberty Theater] for a lot of it.” The Liberty Theater was also meaningful to Mr. Eggert and his childhood. Mr. Eggert called the Liberty “a happy place” and that every weekend the theater was “a packed house.” He recalled that he would often go to the theater “once every three weeks, if not, once every two depending on what new show was playing” during the 1970s.
THE FUTURE OF THE LIBERTY For now, the Liberty Theater is officially closed for business. The theater’s two poster frames outside the entrance both read “Closed: Thanks for the Memories.” Yet the future of the theater may not be as bleak as it seems. According to Benton, Dehn has been communicating with “people in Libertyville” and “these people have offers and signed forms to take the theater and [make] it into a different type of theater.” This new theater would be more modern and could feature live performances in a bar-type style. A small stage currently resides behind one of the theater’s screens and could provide for a smooth transition into this new type of theater. However, no specific decisions have been made and there have also been proposals to demolish the building. Therefore, the future of the Liberty Theater is still very much in the air.
From left to right: Audrey Batesky, Thomas Evans, Lucia Loffredo, Ivy Schafer, Mary Wetterling, Erin Benton, Michael Lothspeich
“SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE WORKED [AT THE THEATER], LIKE ATHLETES OR THEATRE KIDS... [I] WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT THAT THE THEATER WOULD BRING ME CLOSER TO SO MANY PEOPLE” - ERIN BENTON
The Voices of the Future STUDENT ACTIVISTS IN LIBERTYVILLE
Throughout history, student activism has changed and continues to change the world. From the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960 to the #NeverAgain movement happening today, student activists have fought for the issues they believe in. At Libertyville High School, these are some of the student activists who are trying to make history with their passions.
KEVIN JOSEPH Junior Kevin Joseph is a co-president of LEAF club, an environmental and recycling group at school. He has been a member of the club since his freshman year and has been one of the co-presidents of the club since his sophomore year. Joseph explained his love of the environment and feels that “it’s very important that we take care of our world because there’s so many things happening around us that we’re not aware of.” Before he joined LEAF, Joseph used to help with recycling for his middle schools, St. Joseph Catholic School and Oak Grove School, which led him to join LEAF. “I heard that [LEAF] is responsible for doing all the recycling in the school and that sort of thing. It looked like a fun club
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to join, so I started going to the meetings,” Joseph stated. He has done lots of work with LEAF, including helping to create a courtyard full of native plants, which has been the club’s main project this year. Outside of school, he has also been active in his pursuits to help the environment. While working at the Starbucks in downtown Libertyville, he said he has been pushing for more environmentally safe procedures. He has also been certified through the Starbucks Greener Apron program, which is a course that educates Starbucks partners on environmental sustainability. One of Joseph’s many goals is to “make sure everybody’s aware of what’s happening. There are things that we’ve seen [about the environment] that aren’t true, and I want to inform people on the truth.”
KATHLEEN LEE Senior Kathleen Lee identified as a pro-life activist. She has gone to Chicago’s March for Life, a public demonstration against abortion, many times. This past year, she traveled to Washington D.C. for the national March for Life event. Lee is also the senior representative for the Young Americans for Freedom club. She has attended rallies with her church and said she has given many presentations about abortion at school. “I believe that life starts from conception and should be protected until natural death. With that belief in mind, I think abortion is murder, and I’m going to stand up for all the innocent children,”
Lee explained. Lee first went to a march when she was 6 years old, going to the March for Life in Chicago with her family. Since then, she has gone to the March for Life every year. In the future, Lee plans to attend Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in southwest Florida, where she plans on continuing her advocacy. Ave Maria participates in the March for Life every year and also has a club dedicated to fighting against abortion, all of which Lee would like to particiapte in. “I want abortion to be illegal and banned. I think there are certainly options [other than abortion]. I mean, it’s killing a child, so there are definitely ways around it. I don’t think children should be killed at the convenience of the mother,” stated Lee.
IZZY GREENBERG Senior Izzy Greenberg is a co-president of HOPE’S IN, an organization in Barrington dedicated to helping families in Guatemala. She has gone to Zone Three, one of the 21 zones that make up Guatemala City, every summer since her freshman year in 2017 to help families there and plans to go again this spring break. “I had never really done something like [going to Guatemala] before. I’d done all kinds of local things, like Feed My Starving Children and Bernie’s Book Bank, but I had never really done a bigger trip,” Greenberg stated. “I thought it’d be a great experience to try, and then I absolutely fell in love with the cause and the people and the organization.” She found out about HOPE’S IN from her father’s work at the Good Shepherd Hospital, which is partnered with the organization. “Not a lot of people know, but Zone Three is where more of the disadvantaged people
Scan the QR code to read about two more LHS student activists: Maeve Rattin and Dylan Trott.
in Guatemala City live. There’s not a lot of access to education, and there are lots of teenage pregnancies. Once I had connected with the people there, I just became more passionate about [the organization],” she explained. Her goal for HOPE’S IN is to raise as much money as she can for Guatemala City’s residents. She outlined four major initiatives for the organization: building homes, working with kids that have special needs in orphanages, maintaining a medical clinic and holding a support group for at-risk girls. Greenberg plans on continuing her work with HOPE’S IN after she starts college and looks to join other local nonprofits in the future. She says that she aims to stay socially and politically aware and stay active in her advocacy.
CHLOE MAHONEY Senior Chloe Mahoney is on the executive board of Caring for Cambodia, a club that helps to ensure that the people in Cambodia have access to clean water and a good education. Mahoney has been in the club since her freshman year and was elected to the executive board her senior year. “I had a passion for helping others, and in Cambodia, there's a lot of history that people don't know about. So, I think learning more about a different country and culture and being able to help people just across the world made me feel good about making the world a better place,” Mahoney explained. Caring for Cambodia’s main goal is to raise money, with all of the proceeds funding their service work. During their biennial summer trips, they help improve the conditions of schools for Cambodian children. Mahoney has participated in many fundraisers for CFC and has gone on one of the trips. Currently, she is working on the annual Band Jam, a fundraiser where student bands perform, and people attending vote for their favorite at the
end. In the future, CFC would like to continue what they are currently doing and keep going to Cambodia to help people there. “I would say making sure that every kid in Cambodia has a fair chance for a good education and clean water [is my main goal]. I know that a big issue there is the cleanliness of the water and not having the proper tools that everyone else has here,” Mahoney said. Outside of the club, she participates in church mission trips, where she helps to build houses in Kentucky. Mahoney plans on continuing her service work into her adult life, which includes her hopes to go into the medical field and be a part of the organization Doctors Without Borders. She would like to continue advocating for worldwide health and making sure everyone gets the services they deserve.
MARCH 2020 19
The Many Sides of Social Media Activism Jade Foo
Note: As this piece is a staff editorial, it is representative of the opinions of the Drops of Ink staff. The author(s) of this piece did not place their personal opinions in this story; they merely reflect the students’ thoughts.
Social media is either lauded as the most remarkable thing wielded by our generation or brutally condemned as a brain-rotting time suck. Regardless of your personal opinions on the matter, it is obvious to anyone with an internet connection that social media has become increasingly affiliated with politics in recent years, especially recently, with the 2020 presidential elections right around the corner. Being an exceptionally accessible place to speak your mind, naturally there has been an upturn in people online sharing their political ideologies and inflating the general discourse. This has changed the way we view activism as a concept and brought it primarily into the virtual world, which is where most members of Drops of Ink involve themselves politically. The primary reason for this is that social media has made activism and politics more spontaneous and accessible, with ideas diffusing from person to person. This makes it much easier to spread and consume information, however credible or dubious that information may be. This all begs the question of whether or not political activism online is more or less efficient than its real-life counterpart. To ask the question plainly, is social media activism effective? When asked, the Drops of Ink staff shared mostly the same sentiment, acknowledging both the benefits and drawbacks to online activism. It differs from platform to platform, as on Twitter responding to posts is much more public than it is on Instagram stories (where we see a majority of political content posted). This makes participation in debate something more accessible to others, resulting in a much faster and easier route to hive-mind mentalities and confirmation bias. In fact, algorithms on some sites actually facilitate this confirmation bias, as they recommend content to users similar to that of which they already follow. Another danger of social media activism is the spread of incorrect or misleading information. Anyone can post anything, which means that oftentimes personal opinions are framed as and taken at face value as factual, which is obviously not good for those seeking out the real facts. Instagram specifically contributes greatly to this issue, as you can only post links in your bio. This makes it difficult to post articles past their headlines, which can definitely be misleading and generally uninformative, as a lot of people don’t make the effort to actually go read the article after seeing the headline. This can lead to headlines being taken out of the context of the article as a whole. While social media activism does definitely have its downfalls, it also has considerable positives as well. Information spreading quickly means that it is easier than ever to find people with the same values and same qualities as you, as well as find and create communities, support systems and movements. However, a criticism posed of social media is that movements usually don’t move past just spreading awareness — which while certainly important — is not enough to bring about notable change. A prime example of this is the March for Our Lives movement, sparked in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. The movement culminated in a world-
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wide rally against gun violence on March 24, 2018. Involvement on social media was crucial to the movement’s momentum, being the main way that student activists organized protest efforts such as walkouts at high schools nationwide, including at LHS. Although there was a marked increase in gun safety legislation passed in 2018 following the Stoneman Douglas shooting and the peak of the March for Our Lives movement, there is no denying that gun violence, especially for schools, is something that still occurs frequently today. It is unfair to expect a Many people will repost the same content they see on one of their friends’ stories, single movement to eradicate especially if they see it on multiple friends’ school shootings completely, stories. This is a direct contributor to the hive-mind mentality and confirmation bias. but one could argue that the March for Our Lives movement hasn’t done a ton past raise awareness for the issue. However, that doesn’t mean that all movements started on social media are bound to hit their ceiling after raising awareness for a given issue. For example, there’s the #MeToo movement, which according to the movement’s official website, “was founded in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls, and other young women from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing.” Odds are, if you’re aware of the #MeToo movement, you’re aware of it because of the Twitter hashtag that went viral in October 2017 after sexual-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein were exposed in a New York Times article. Following the allegations going public, women worldwide began to utilize the hashtag in solidarity to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. On Feb. 24, Weinstien was ultimately found guilty of rape and a felony sex crime, which is a huge victory for the movement as a whole. The #MeToo movement is a prime example of how social media activism can bring people together, pioneer a movement and make real-life change. Following the movement’s inception and eventual virality, there was a significant increase in people in positions of power like CEOs, candidates and other public figures being fired and stripped of their influence. Overall, there are certainly plenty of dangers that come with political involvement on social media, but the possibility of making a substantial change, or even just making someone else feel like they’re not alone, should be ample motivation to keep using the platforms in a positive way.
Friends and Fundamental Human Rights: When Does Their Opinion Cross the Line? Amanda Black
aving different political opinions from outcry that resulted from her sitting next Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your friends is 100 percent okay. I’m to President George W. Bush, who is known friends with different opinions as you. In friends with people who have different for fiercly opposing same-sex marriage, at fact, it’s probably healthy to hear the other opinions than I do on subjects like abortion, a football game this fall. side of certain arguments. However, if your religion and gun control. Her response, according to The Los friend believes a certain person’s human It’s the people who have fundamentally Angeles Times, was, “Just because I don’t rights are lesser than their own, I say drop different social values that I have a problem agree with someone on everything doesn’t ‘em. with. mean that I’m not going to be friends with It’s also difficult to have family members When a friend of mine told me about a them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ with different social values. girl who genuinely believes white people I don’t mean only the people that think the When kids are at a young age, their family are the superior race, we both completely same way that you do. I mean, be kind to members, especially their parents, have a cut her off. I couldn’t stand being friends everyone. It doesn’t matter.” large influence in shaping their beliefs. with a person who thought white peoHer reply got me thinking...a lot. This means that family members set ple are superior. Her “proof” was that only If she, a gay woman, can look past somethe stage for the beliefs of their kids or white people had made younger siblings. This is major accomplishments a reason why many kids throughout history, have similar opinions which isn’t even true, as their family. When and if that were the case, you’ve been influenced it’s only because white by the people you care people have suppressed about for years, it’s other races for a large difficult to branch away, part of history. even if you want to. However, having politI have friends who ical debates is completehave different opinions ly okay. A few of my as their parents, and they friends and I occasionally get very uncomfortable debate certain issues, like when their parents start abortion, and despite the If you feel that someone’s opinion on what you consider to be voicing their opinions. fact that I don’t agree fundamental rights is being infringed upon, it might be good For the most part, they with them, I respect choose to ignore it, but to weigh how you feel about and if their negative opinions their opinions. the ones with younger outweigh what you like about them. I even know somesiblings have expressed one who doesn’t think their frustration as they climate change is real, see their siblings begin and although I think they’re completely one’s disapproving opinions about her own to believe, for example, that transgender oblivious, I’m still friends with him. I just identity, who was I, as a straight woman, to people are “confused” and women shouldn’t occasionally send him articles about climate judge someone based on this belief? be able to choose what to do with their change. The only problem is that it’s difficult bodies. In the past, I’ve been guilty of dropto remember this as people close to me To me, family is incredibly important, ping friends because their opinions were are hating on beliefs that I think are basic so unlike with friends, you can’t just drop different than mine. In eighth grade, I cut human rights. them. But, getting into occasional debates a friend out of my life because they were Not to mention, there’s the question may be good for both sides. homophobic. However, I’ve never stopped of whether Ellen’s right or wrong in this How you handle these situations is obvibeing friends with people based on petty thought process. I have a hard time underously a personal decision. Although I comthings, like supporting or not supporting standing how two people can be friends pletely agree with Ellen’s overall message of the president. when one believes the other shouldn’t have being kind to everyone, I disagree with the In my mind, this was justified, and I still fundamental human rights. If someone told idea of being friends with someone if they believe it was, but for a brief moment, I me the way I lived my life is wrong and bethink their lifestyle is the only “right” way to questioned how right I was in doing this. cause of that I’m inferior to them, I would live. If you continue to coddle this person A few months ago, I was watching “Ellen.” be pissed. and don’t talk to them about their beliefs, On the show, she addressed the public they may never learn to be more accepting. MARCH 2020 21
U.S. History’s By Drew Benoit Photo by Peyton Rodriguez Flawed Layout by Ian Cox Narrative America was founded as a shining city on a hill. We worked hard and
braved the rugged frontier to tame the vast, uninhabited wilderness to carve out a blessed land of freedom and opportunity. We brought economic prosperity to millions and propelled the glorious capitalist free markets to the rest of the world. We defeated Hitler and kept the communist ideology from spreading across the globe. Now we’re number one: the greatest economy and greatest superpower there ever was on the face of the Earth. We might have had some growing pains, some early misfires as we grew into a great nation, but the great and glorious history of America cannot be denied. So goes the common narrative that students across the country are subjected to. I exaggerate, of course, but the truth is not so far removed. Students are taught the history of America in a way that either leaves out details crucial to the whole picture of our history or that hides some of the darker truths and controversies behind clouds of supposed objectiveness or reason. But serious historians understand the institutional evil of America’s foundation, the unimaginable human cost of our westward expansion and the subjugation of the third world that was vital to America’s economic success. They understand America was not solely responsible for the defeat of Hitler, the much deeper intricacies of the Cold War and the toll America’s rise to the top has had on the world. Unfortunately, as much as we wish it could be, history isn’t a set of unchanging, irrefutable facts to be learned and memorized. History, by its very nature, is a narrative that changes its tune depending on who’s singing. What textbooks choose to include and how they choose to present that information is very important because they are framed as absolute fact. Many students never take another U.S. history class, and so what they learn in high school becomes their only interaction with the narrative. Therefore, U.S. history is one of the most important topics covered in a student’s academic career. It sets the groundwork for how we view society and helps provide context and a basis for critical reasoning when confronting modern issues facing our nation. This gives U.S. history textbooks and classes one of the most important responsibilities in the development of American youth. Across the country, they fail. Miserably. Textbooks create an archetypal myth of American history so powerful that even when teachers try their best to tell the truth, it’s futile. The unfiltered facts don’t fit the overall story of the class and are thus rejected by students. We cannot process history in a vacuum, only in narrative: the true form of history. The narrative is all that is remembered and the narrative paints America with broad white strokes. Sometimes, textbooks actively promote distasteful or harmful ideas or concepts in an effort to teach our history from the perceived “both sides.” One textbook used at LHS falls victim to this, too. The textbook used by AP U.S. History classes, written by Alan Brinkley, is filled with questionable phrasing and problematic ideas. One of the worst examples of this in the Brinkley textbook is how it deals with the Klu Klux Klan in the post-World War I era. The book says “...where Klan leaders came from the most ‘respectable’ segments of society, the organization operated much like a fraternal
society, engaging in nothing A large amount of the U.S history curriculum is built around the textbooks more danused in class. However, the textbooks contain gerous than problematic ideas that help support a common occasional narrative of U.S. history. political pronouncements.” The textbook goes on to say that the Klan “tried to present themselves as patriots and community leaders.” Although the textbook briefly covers the violence the Klan wrought on minorities, there is an important truth that the textbook fails to cover entirely. The 1920s Klan acted as a political machine that wrested control of state positions from east to west. According to PBS’s The American Experience, entire states, such as Colorado or Indiana, fell under Klan control. This was known as the “Invisible Empire,” and its effect was felt from coast to coast. It gave the Klan a powerful hand in shaping both our nation and it’s narrative. The inability of the textbook to flatly teach the truth--that the Klan was one of the most evil and violent manifestations of the ever-present racism in our history--helps explain the misconceptions about America today. How can we understand what’s going on in our country right now if we don’t have an honest, accurate and helpful historical context for it? California and Texas, as the largest states in terms of population, have a tremendous influence on the narratives in textbooks. According to The New York Times, publishers frame their textbooks around those two states, and it can have big impacts on the nation. These two states, generally speaking, have vastly different views on politics. This means that two vastly different narratives are sold. Regardless of the ideological bent of the book, allowing companies to sell books based on the world views of unelected state agencies is dangerous. Another great failure of how U.S. history is taught is a failure to develop conversations and questions about the truth. Students are given a list of terms and names and told to memorize them. Alexander Hamilton, John C. Calhoun, John J. Pershing, J.P. Morgan, Robert McNamara. After the test, these snippets of information are forgotten, and nothing is truly learned. Suppose, instead, history was taught as a larger picture. More would be learned, as individual facts are seen in the context of the entire narrative. Questions should be asked, and issues should be dealt with. Instead of avoiding the controversy, classes should lean into it, examine it. Understand what effects these events had and discuss them. There should be less memorizing of disconnected information and more discussion of complex issues and their impact on history and how they shape the world we live in. Students should be encouraged to disagree with ideas presented and intellectual honesty should be promoted. The problems with U.S. history, of course, are deeper than the way we teach it. As a society, we need to come to grips with the dark realities of our history, but teaching the truth and changing the way we teach our history will help us move forward in a more honest and helpful way.
Philanthropists Aren’t As Generous As You Think Rayna Wuh
iving in Libertyville, it is easy to forget that we live in a world of haves and have-nots. At times, I too am guilty of failing to recognize the true magnitude of the economic disparity that exists within the United States. According to the Federal Reserve’s Distributional Financial Accounts, the top 1 percent of the population possessed 32.2 percent of the wealth in 2019, whereas the bottom 50 percent only controlled 1.6 percent. The pooled wealth of the three wealthiest people, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, is greater than that of the entire bottom 50 percent. It is difficult to fathom how, together, three individuals could possibly be richer than half of the U.S. population combined. As a result, seeing the incredibly wealthy involving themselves with philanthropic initiatives tends to provide reassurance. We get it in our heads that perhaps work is being done to use that wealth in a positive way. However, when one looks beyond the surface, it becomes evident that the exact opposite is often true. “Philanthrocapitalism” is a term coined to describe the increasingly prevalent practice of combining philanthropy (charitable giving) and capitalism (a system that advances businesses and individual economic interests). The intersection between such seemingly contradictory ideas raises the question: how can the two possibly work simultaneously? The answer is that more often than not, they do not. Charitable and profit-oriented mindsets cannot effectively be exercised at the same time without one being compromised at the expense of the other. Unsurprisingly, the results are skewed to favor the billionaires with exorbitant amounts of power. It is true that tangible good can be done by organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When the right resources are mobilized using business-like models, invaluable causes such as global health and environmental protection can be supported. However, on the other side are people like the Sackler family. While they attached their name to institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, the Sacklers were also in charge of Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the pain-relieving drug at the center of the opioid epidemic, OxyContin. It is no coincidence that until lawsuits alleging that Purdue helped cause the opioid crisis arose, the Sackler name was only prominent within the spheres they wanted it to appear. Meanwhile, as New York Attorney General Letitia James said in December, the Sacklers were removing money and earning billions in profits even as “Purdue’s OxyContin was directly causing countless addictions, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and tearing apart millions of families.” The Sacklers’ positive contributions to the arts acted as a facade, covering up their more controversial—and exceedingly lucrative—
Distribution of Wealth in the United States in 2019 Over the past year, the Federal Reserve Financial Accounts claim that the top 1 percent of the population possess 32.2 percent of distribution of household wealth in the United States.
Top 1% (32.27%) 90-99% (37.36%) 50-90% (28.77%) Bottom 50% (1.6%)
practices. One family was able to cause immense harm while flying under the radar for years. It is frightening to think what others could do with the same amount of power. In addition to reputation cleansing, “charitable” giving has several other benefits for those seeking personal gain. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) allow donors to put money aside into an account, receive the largest possible tax break, and keep money there indefinitely before any is granted to charities. This is obviously problematic for a number of reasons, and ironically, even the Internal Revenue Service recognizes this. An informational page on the IRS’s website acknowledges that at times, DAFs “appear to be established for the purpose of generating questionable charitable deductions, and provid[e] impermissible economic benefits to donors.” Regardless, this loophole still remains viable for exploitation. In theory, creating incentives for the ultra-rich to contribute their funds to helping the less fortunate seems mutually beneficial. However, a lack of transparency means that the power accompanying large sums of money can have equally large consequences. If we continue to take donations at face value, we fail to understand their true costs. While it is much more convenient to merely see the narrative being painted for us, the absence of public scrutiny accompanying these issues is part of the reason they exist at all. Given the increasing popularity of philanthrocapitalism in the area of charitable giving, I urge you to dig beyond the surface. Although such deep-rooted problems cannot be solved immediately, building awareness is the first step towards accountability. Especially as we enter a presidential election year with billionaire candidates on both sides, it is more important than ever to be cognizant of people’s practices inside and outside of the public eye.
MARCH 2020 23
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24 DROPS OF INK
With Selection Sunday less than a month away, fans everywhere are getting ready for one of the most watched sports tournaments in the world: March Madness. With 68 teams playing in 67 games in 15 cities nationwide over a span of three weeks, this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament is sure to attract millions of viewers, with even more filling out brackets. In 2019 alone, over 170 million brackets were made worldwide, with over $10 billion wagered, yet not a single bracket ended up predicting every game correctly. Don’t expect to see any perfect brackets this year either, as according to Forbes Magazine, there is only a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance that someone could correctly pick the winner of every game in the 68-team NCAA tournament. Whether you pick based on which mascot looks the coolest or spend hours studying every single team in the tournament, it’s still very, very unlikely that you could predict every game correctly. According to a study done by the University of Duke, there’s a better chance you flip a coin and get heads 50 times in a row, get struck by lightning three times in a single year, or guess a nine-character password on the first try than predicting a perfect bracket. But the crazy upsets and ruined brackets are what make March Madness, madness, right? According to CBS, the corporation that broadcasts all of the NCAA tournament games over several networks, an average of more than 15 million people watched each game in the 2019 tournament, a number that is sure to grow thanks to a season that’s yielded lots of controversy. From Michigan State’s fall from number one overall to unranked in less than a month, Memphis freshmen star forward James Wiseman being suspended, to the FBI investigations of multiple high-profile universities, this year has been filled with lots of chaos. Fans everywhere can’t wait to see how the season
will end, in hopes that their bracket will win them bragging rights or even better, money. Sophomore John Graham is someone who participates in the events surrounding March Madness. “I was making brackets before I was potty trained. March Madness is like an extended Christmas to me,” he said. With years of experience under his belt, one might think that Graham would have won multiple bracket titles by now. “I’ve never won a bracket group. I usually bet on my favorite teams, like Wisconsin and Notre Dame, but they’ve never gotten me very far. I sometimes pick which mascot would win in a fight and take them all the way to the championship,” Graham articulated. “I actually placed last in my bracket last year. I chose Wisconsin to win it all, and they got upset in the first round to Oregon. I was pretty angry,” he stated. Despite his lack of success, Graham still spends lots of time watching games. “I usually take one or two days off at the beginning of the tournament to watch the first round of games. I put up every game on four or five screens and watch them all at once. It isn’t really just a game to me; it’s more like a lifestyle,” he claimed. Graham hopes to claim the top spot in one of his many bracket groups, which will formally get started after this year’s tournament field is revealed on Selection Sunday on March 15. MARCH 2020 25
As the tournament is coming soon, here’s one fan’s take on what to watch for:
“I was making brackets before I was potty trained. March madness is like an extended Christmas to me.” - John Graham While many people like Graham take their brackets very seriously, others make casual brackets just for the fun of it. One of these people is senior Geneva Gomez, who doesn’t follow college basketball until March comes around. In an interview, Gomez claimed, “I pick teams based on their names. If they have a cool name, like Gonzaga, that’s who I take to go the farthest.” This worked pretty well for her last year, as Gonzaga made it all the way to the Elite Eight. However, this is a somewhat new thing for Gomez, as she’s only been making brackets since seventh grade. “I only started making brackets because our math teacher made us do it. I’ve just done it every year since then,” she said. Despite not knowing much about March Madness, Gomez still enjoys all the things that come along with it: “I usually follow all the games on my phone. If you have a TV provider, you can watch all the games for free on the March Madness app,” Gomez explained. “I don’t bet money on the games, but it’s fun to see your bracket beat out all of your friends’ brackets, even when they know a lot more than you do.”
26 DROPS OF INK
The ACC is having a down year: With only three ranked teams as of week 15, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is not living up to its preseason expectations. At the end of last year’s regular season, the ACC claimed eight of the top 25 spots in the Associated Press rankings. Those rankings included teams such as North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and others. This year, Duke has suffered a few bad losses, which include a 20-point beatdown against North Carolina State and a 12-point overtime loss to a subpar Wake Forest team. The University of North Carolina has only won four conference games, one of their worst records of the past two decades. Don’t be surprised if the ACC sends only a few teams to the tournament. The Big Ten is very, very inconsistent: The Big Ten started out the season with four teams in the preseason top 25, including No. 1-ranked Michigan State. Since then, three of those teams have fallen entirely out of the rankings. A team that everyone did not expect to succeed was Penn State. Penn State had low hopes for this season but have since jumped to a season-high ninth overall in the AP top 25 rankings as of week 15. The Universities of Illinois and Iowa have both moved in and out of the rankings, with the latter having the better current ranking. Be ready to see a wild finish by the end of conference play. Kansas is the best team in the country...when healthy (or eligible): This Jayhawks squad has two legitimate All-American candidates in Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. Dotson has been one of the best point guards in the country despite going through a prolonged shooting slump (27 percent from three this year). Azubuike is practically unguardable when near the hoop, utilizing his seven-foot, 300-pound frame to propel himself to a country-wide number one field-goal percentage, at 77 percent. He had a career game against the Baylor Bears in Waco, recording 23 points and 19 rebounds. However, the Jayhawks lost two players to suspension thanks to a January brawl during a game against rival Kansas State, and almost every player in the starting lineup has dealt with some minor injury. There’s only two things standing between Kansas and a national championship: Baylor and injuries. If this Kansas squad can stay healthy, they can be very, very dangerous. Dayton is criminally underrated and may have a legitimate chance to win March Madness: With the highest scoring offense in the country, which includes a number-one ranking in field-goal percentage and three-point percentage, the Flyers have cruised to a 25-2 record so far this season, with their only losses coming at the hands of the University of Kansas and Colorado at Boulder. This surplus of wins may be thanks to 6’9” sophomore forward Obi Toppin. Toppin might be the most dominant player in the country, averaging over 20 points and eight rebounds per game. A future NBA star, Toppin has carried this Dayton squad to a No. 4 ranking in the AP top 25 poll. If this team is at the top of their game, which they often are, they’re practically unbeatable.
March madness student paRticipation stats
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The The hisTory hisTory of of sporTs sporTs AcTivism AcTivism Christian Roberts
Long before Colin Kaepernick put his career on the line and took a knee during the national anthem, athletes were protesting against racial and gender inequalities that have plagued the country for decades. From the Yale women’s rowing team protesting unequal treatment to Jackie Robinson becoming the first African American baseball player to make it to the major leagues, athletes have a long history of standing up for what they believe in, despite the pressure to stay silent on current issues. Here is a list of some of the most iconic protests and acts of activism that paved the way for the future of sports.
Often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammed Ali was also a strong follower of the Islamic faith. In 1967, Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War after being drafted, citing his beliefs and opposition to war in general. Refusal to enter the military after being drafted is a felony, and Ali was sentenced to five years in prison. However, an appeal allowed Ali to stay out of jail, but a three-year ban from boxing took away what would have been some of the peak years of his fighting career. When Ali’s ruling was overturned, three years later, he returned to the sport, but the Ali that returned to the boxing ring was a mere shadow of his former self. Although Ali would go on to amass an astonishing record of 56 wins and only five losses, one cannot help but wonder what would’ve happened if Ali wasn’t kept out of the ring during his prime years. However, Ali is an example of not discarding one’s beliefs even when it means giving up something you love. 28 DROPS OF INK
Billie JeAn King
“The Battle of the Sexes,” a 1973 tennis match between former No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player Bobby Riggs and highly-ranked women’s tennis player Billie Jean King, was aired worldwide to over 90 million people, making it the most-watched tennis match of all time. King challenged Riggs to a one-on-one match after he claimed that “the women’s game was so inferior to the men’s game that even someone as old as he was could beat the current top female players,” according to Time magazine. King ended up winning the match in three sets, inspiring many young women worldwide. King was also an advocate for equal pay, as the prize money for winning the U.S. Open, the national tennis championship, was not the same for men and women at the time.
mAhmoud ABdul- rAuf
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a former college basketball standout in his sophomore year at Louisiana State University, was having the best season of his NBA career in 1996 when he decided not to stand during the national anthem. Abdul-Rauf, a believer in Islam, stated that “the flag had a long history of oppression and tyranny,” and decided to instead dedicate his time to Allah during the anthem. In addition to being suspended by the late NBA commissioner David Stern, Abdul-Rauf encountered blowback from people who disagreed with his decision, which went as far as setting fire to his house. Abdul-Rauf was eventually traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Sacramento Kings, where he would ultimately be released from the roster.
A passionate feminist and activist for women’s suffrage in Great Britain, Emily Davison gave her life to her cause on June 4, 1913. During the Epsom Derby, one of the most popular horse races in the world, Davison ducked under the rails of the track, armed with two suffragette flags. She ran at the horse belonging to King George V, and pinned one of her flags upon the reins. She was struck down by the horse and ultimately died from her injuries four days later. However, her death would not be in vain, as her dream came true when women were given the right to vote in 1928, after British Parliament passed the Equal Franchise Act.
yAle Women’s roWing TeAm
One of the most well-known athletes of all time, Jackie Robinson made history on April 15, 1947, when he started at first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the first African American player in Major League Baseball in the modern era. He didn’t just play baseball, he dominated it. He won National League Rookie of the Year in 1947 and National League Most Valuable Player in 1949, while winning six World Series championships throughout his 10-year career. Robinson’s jersey number, 42, was retired by all MLB teams, showcasing the respect he garnered for breaking the race barrier in a sport that had previously been segregated.
In 1972, Title IX, a new law outlawing gender discrimination on college campuses, was enacted. In theory, this means that the 1976 men’s and women’s Yale University rowing teams should have enjoyed equal treatment. However, this didn’t happen. The women’s team, who at the time was far more successful than the men’s team, was forced to row in old, wooden boats while the men’s team competed in state-of-the-art boats. The women’s team didn’t have their own locker rooms or showers, and would sit shivering on an unheated bus after competitions. The men would be clean, warm and collected after rowing meets, while the women would come down with various illnesses, such as pneumonia or the flu. One day, team captain Chris Ernst decided they wouldn’t take this obvious discrimination anymore, and staged a protest with her fellow teammates. Nineteen members of the women’s rowing team marched into the athletic director’s office, with “Title IX” painted on their backs, as Ernst read a statement describing the discrepancies between the women’s and men’s teams. A New York Times article written about the protest sent shockwaves through college campuses around the country, which helped make the promises put in Title IX become true. MARCH 2020 29
This year marks the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the local Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. Being one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, it brings in around 200,000 people annually on its historic route down Columbus Drive. Although the parade celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, the actual march takes place on Saturday, March 14, the weekend before the holiday. The parade involves colorful floats waving Irish flags, groups of Irish step dancers, marching bands, bagpipers and so much more during this three-hour celebration. On that same day, one of the most famous St. Patrick’s Day traditions will take place on the Chicago River. Each year, dating back over half a century, the river is dyed emerald green. The water starts to turn green at around 9 a.m. and only keeps its bright color for about five hours, so don’t miss out! In addition to the green river and parade, another iconic St. Patrick’s Day tradition will return once again this March—the Shamrock Shake. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this mint-flavored ice cream treat’s debut in 1970. To celebrate, McDonald’s is taking the shake nationwide for the first time since 2017. McDonald’s released their popular treat on Feb. 19, and it will continue to be sold until St. Patrick’s Day. Alongside the Shamrock Shake, the brand new Oreo Shamrock McFlurry made its debut last month. The McFlurry features the Shamrock flavor and Oreo cookie pieces blended with vanilla soft serve to create this mint-chocolate dessert. On the McDonald’s website, McDonald’s archivist Mike Bulington claimed, “Every year customers eagerly await the return of the Shamrock Shake—and over the past five decades, getting a sip of this green legend has become a seasonal tradition for many.” March is also a very important month in the world of baseball, because spring training just started! These are preseason exhibition games to mark the start of the season, and is where new players compete for a spot on the official roster. It is also a time when established players get real, live action. Both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox train in Arizona, and the official season begins at the end of this month. The Cubs open up with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, in Milwaukee, from March 26-29. The White Sox have been rebuilding their team the last few years and hope to see a huge improvement in the upcoming season. Their first series is at home against the Kansas City Royals from March 26-29.
PROMINENT WOMEN IN HISTORY CROSSWORD Jasmine 1
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, this puzzle is all about famous women.
1. A British stateswoman, also known as the “Iron Lady”, who served as the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom 4. An English novelist who wrote six novels that comment on landed gentry, including “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility” 6. A Swedish environmental activist on climate change and youngest recipient of the Time Person of the Year award who has also been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 7. An American author and political activist who was the first blind and deaf person to earn a Bachelor’s of Arts degree 9. A Mexican surrealist painter known for her many self-portraits that reflect Mexican society and popular culture 11. An American lawyer and jurist who was the second female appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by Bill Clinton 12. A Native American woman who helped Lewis and Clarke on their expedition to to explore the Louisiana Territory 14. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, first female professor at the University of Paris, and she founded a new science of radioactivity 18. An American diplomat and activist who was the longest serving First Lady of the United States and worked as the United States delegate to the United Nations 19. She was a poet, author, and civil rights activist who wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “On the Pulse of the Morning” 20. The last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt before its occupation by Rome, known for having an affair with Julius Caesar
2. A civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama 3. An 18th century Empress of Russia who came into power after a coup that she organized and made Russia recognized as one of the greatest powers of Europe 5. A nun and missionary who devoted her life to helping the sick and poor in Calcutta, canonized by the Catholic church as a saint in 2016 8. An American Abolitionist who helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and served as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War 10. A Pakistani activist for education for girls, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and human rights advocate, especially in her home in Swat Valley, Pakistan 13. The world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees known for her work in the Gombe Stream National Park, who works on conservation and animal welfare 15. An American singer, writer of the song, “Respect”, and and civil rights activist who is known as “The Queen of Soul” 16. The “Queen of all Media”, an American Talk show host, actress, philanthropist, and North America’s first black multibillionaire 17. A heroine of France and supporter of King Charles VII during the Hundred Years’ War who helped recover France from English rule