VOLUME V ISSUE 6
March 29, 2018
THE WILDCAT TRIBUNE In response to recent school shootings, students have risen up to challenge the legality of guns. Turn to pg. 6 to see how local citizens are getting involved.
Illustration by Sarah Kim & Elaine Park Front Page Design by Sasha Hassan & Taylor Atienza
MARCH 29 2018
VFSC STRIVES TO BEFRIEND LOCAL SENIOR CITIZENS BY STEVEN DENG Staff Writer
Connecting senior citizens to the rest of the community has always been a goal for the members of the Volunteer for Senior Citizens (VFSC) club at Dougherty Valley High School. With the increasing prevalence of new technology in society, junior club President Michael
Quang notes that senior citizens have become “isolated.” VFSC takes a variety of approaches while trying to integrate the elderly of San Ramon back into society, including holding art classes and computer guidance classes. “We hold computer guidance classes because there’s a huge generation gap between senior citizens [and the youth] so that when they’re presented with new technology, they don’t know what to do. What we try to do is we try to bridge that gap by holding classes in which senior citizens can come in and if they have any questions about their technology or computers or whatever, they can talk to us,” said Quang. Because VFSC has such a specified target audience and goal, if members try to build meaningful relationships that build over time with the seniors they volunteer for. “We introduce ourselves once, and then as the year progresses and as more and more of the same people come in, we become more comfortable, like friends,” Quang explained.
In the future, the officers of VFSC hope to continue to expand their influence and open up more opportunities for senior citizens to learn more. “We’re trying to create different classes that we can do. Instead of computer guidance and art classes, we’re trying to do more specialized classes,” junior club secretary Abhinav Vishwanath said. The club’s long term goal is to ultimately have a larger impact on the senior citizens by creating a greater variety of classes for the seniors to participate in and learn from. They are also hoping to promote greater interest in their club and attract more volunteers so that they’re able to become even more influential in the community. Quang feels that the club has already definitely had an impact on society and ultimately benefited the seniors for the better. “These senior citizens have gone through so much and in a way, [the club] helps them feel like part of the community and not just isolated from the newer generations,” he said.
1 & 2 | Two Seniors proudly display their artwork. // STEVEN DENG
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH Following Black History Month in February is Women’s History Month in March. Women’s History throughout time has been defined by a long fight for equality. Representation is important, and there have been many notable politicians, activists, movements and events that have influenced people’s thoughts about a traditional role many females were expected to play. BY PRANAV CHILLAPPAGARI, CAROLINE LOBEL & SKYLER SPEARS Staff Writers & Photography Editor
An African American woman, Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and a women’s rights activist. Also a powerful speaker, she advocated for freed people during the period after the Civil War because she believed women deserved a better life. Her iconic “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, demanded equal human rights for all people regardless of their race or gender. PHOTO COURTESY OF DUCKSTERS
Tarana Burke founded the “Me Too” movement in 2007 to unify survivors of sexual harassment and assault. The hashtag “#metoo” took over all forms of media and became the face of a movement. Burk tweeted, “It’s beyond a hashtag. It’s the start of a larger conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Join us. #metoo.” To show its impact, Time magazine named the “Silence Breakers” as 2017 person of the year.
Susan B. Anthony was a driving force for the Women’s Suffrage Movement. After being denied the chance to voice her opinions at a political convention, she realized that she was not being taken seriously because of her gender. She contributed to the movement for female voting rights which led to the establishment of the 19th amendment. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CaShawn Thompson started this hashtag as a way to “counteract negativity” on social media platforms, but it has evolved into a unifying stance of black women to combat racism and sexism. The hashtag is now used to “celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women.” You can find it in posts about a variety of topics, from style to artist appreciation. It offers a place for black women to be appreciated when mainstream magazines, books and TV shows won’t.
It started as a pre-production publicity for the movie “Free the Nipple.” The movie, along with the campaign, calls attention to the fact that while it is perfectly acceptable in society for men to go shirtless in public, it is considered very inappropriate if a woman does the same. The movement’s official statement is “to raise awareness and affect change in the areas of the inequality of men and women that are still being experienced in the world today.” Currently, the hashtag is being used as a way to protest guidelines on social media and the unfair standards women are forced to live by.
Malala is the inspirational student who was shot by the Taliban in pursuit of her own education. Malala’s story is notable for her determination and how she brought to light the privilege of education to many around the world. She established the Malala Fund, and she still continues to advocate for girls’ right to education. Her admittance into Oxford and title as the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient proves she is a person driven by a vision for a more equitable world. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TELEGRAPH
In April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped in Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria by Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organization. Although some have managed to escape over the past four years, an estimated 112 girls are still missing. As a reaction to this, many notable celebrities started holding up pieces of paper with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to raise awareness of the situation.
Indira Gandhi is best known for being the only female Prime Minister of India. She is politically known for her driving force in international relations, the economy and agricultural pursuits. She was critical to the establishment of Bangladesh. Her tough personality made her one of the most notable figures in India’s political history, earning her the title of ‘Woman of the Millennium’ in 1999 via a BBC poll. PHOTO COURTESY OF BIOGRAPHY.COM
Run by Women of the UN is an entity focused on women’s empowerment. The official campaign statement reads, “HeForShe is inviting people around the world to stand together to create a force for gender equality. And it starts by taking action right now to create a gender equal world.” The movement calls on people to identify harassment as not solely a women’s issue but a human issue. Its goal is to get men and boys to be agents of change in the issue. Their logo is a combination of the traditional female and male gender signs as a symbol of unity.
This movement is a response to Trump’s lenient stance on sexual harassment, after the release of a controversial video of Donald Trump talking about grabbing women “by the p*ssy,” The video was from 2005, where Trump talked about seducing a married woman and said, “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p*ssy. You can do anything.” Women expressed their outrage online after hearing the then presidential candidate using the offensive word. They started to make t-shirts and posters which read “#P*ssyGrabsBack” on election day. Some celebrities posted the hashtag #P*w” on social media, which later became a became popular hashtag on Twitter.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOVEMENTS
TIMELINE BY SKYLER SPEARS
MARCH 29 2018
ASK AMANDA: SOCIALIZING, SELF-WORTH AND SERIOUS DOUBTING OF AMANDA’S QUALIFICATIONS TO RUN THIS ADVICE COLUMN BY AMANDA SU Co-Editor-in-Chief
with outside of class. Casually ask them if you can sit with them during lunch and gradually begin hanging out with them more and more. If you’re going to join a new friend group, do it quickly! BeEveryone, cause the longer you wait, the more difficult it is Thank you to everyone who sub- to integrate yourself. mitted questions this issue! Based Good luck! on the questions I received, it seems like March — Amanda has been kind of a rough month for a lot of people. So hang in there everyone! Unfortunately, I was Q: How can you deal with depression? not able to answer all of the questions submitted — [name omitted] due to lack of space. If your question wasn’t an- A: For the sake of protecting your privacy, I deswered, stay tuned for next issue! Submit more cided to omit the name you submitted from my questions for the April issue via: tinyurl.com/ column since it is the name of a real student on campus. I am so sorry if depression is something askamanda-tribune that you’re struggling with right now. Q: How do you know if a girl likes you or flirts I think the best advice I can offer is to seek help from people like your doctor; Mr. Matt Newton with you? and Ms. Lindsay Walker, our school psycholo— Nathan A: Oh dear. I asked many, many girls of all grade gists and Mr. Joseph Ianora, our student support levels, and here are some of the things they said: counselor, who all can get to know you better and — She teases and playfully makes fun of you, but find the root cause of your depression, since it’s different for every person. Surround yourself with not in a way that’s mean. — You catch her glancing at you, and she imme- people who you know care about you, make sure your parents are always aware of how you’re feeldiately looks away when she sees you notice. — Her friends act kind of weird when you’re ing and confide in a teacher that you’re close to so that there’s always an adult on campus that you around (especially as you leave). — She smiles A LOT when she talks with you, trust and knows what’s going on in your life. even when what you’re saying isn’t remotely in- Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to provide an answer that’s foolproof and works for evteresting or funny. — If you bring up other girls and you notice her eryone. But I truly wish all the best for you, and please know that there are people who support act differently (i.e., get a little uncomfortable). you and can help. — She tries to be physically close to you. — Amanda Good luck my friend! — Amanda Q: Hey this isn’t a question but i think you’re really cool for answering random questions from Q: Why should I ask you for advice? random people you’ve probably never even met — :ok_hand: A: You really shouldn’t ask me for advice haha. at school. Thanks for that! You’re a great person. Luckily, the answers that I provide in this ad- May fate wish you well in college or your future vice column are almost always based on lots of endeavors and I hope you get a cat at least 1 point crowdsourcing and interviews with people far in your life because those dipsh**s are cute asf :) more qualified than I am. So rest assured, you are — its ok A: Whoever you are, I love you and appreciate (hopefully) in good hands. this so much! — Amanda — Amanda Q: How do you deal with “exclusive” friend Q: Why do you have an advice column? groups? — Just wondering — Awkward Turtle A: You need a new friend group. Never surround A: That’s a good question! yourself with people who don’t want to include — Amanda you. You don’t need that negativity in your life! There are so many other friend groups out there Q: I sit in my house and play video-games even when invited somewhere else because I’m scared who would be willing to accept you. To take that difficult step and actually leave the of talking to people. How do I develop social skills? exclusive group, start talking more with people — socially dead you talk to in class but don’t usually hang out A: Tag along with an extroverted friend to social situations just to take the first step to get out of
the house. Have them help you ease into conversations and meet new people you’ve never met before. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable having conversations with people, force yourself into uncomfortable situations without your friend as a safety net. You should also join clubs on campus and meet new people that share common interests. For example, join a video game club! So instead of playing video games by yourself at home, you can play video games with other people. It’s so much easier to get past the mental block that keeps you from initiating conversations if you and the other person have common interests to have conversations about. Also know that people are usually just as scared of talking to you as you are of talking to them. Shortly after a conversation, most people you interact with will completely forget whatever immediate judgements they made of you. And 99.9
Never surround yourself with people who don’t want to include you. percent of the time, people are thinking more about how awkward they think they are than how awkward you are. So don’t be afraid to talk to people! Good luck! — Amanda Q: For over a year, one of my friends has been verbally harassed on a daily basis by classmates. The admin won’t do anything about it, so s/he is just forced to sit there and take it all in. However, ignoring the classmates only encourages them to keep going. What do I do?? — Worried A: I decided to reach out to Principal Kravitz to ask him your question. This is what he said: “The first step is we need to be informed. So whether a student who feels they are being bullied or a friend of a student who knows they are being bullied, they need to inform an administrator ... The more specific information given, the better. Because there is a definition of bullying. It’s a pretty cut and dry definition; however, bullying is not cut and dry. So the more specific the information, the better. Because the bottom line is, ‘is this something that is systemic, that it is repetitive?’ That’s one of the key elements of the definition of bullying. Sometimes people report to us those kinds of
situations that we can address with the person who is doing the bullying and there could be a wide range of results: a warning, consequences, etc. But we can’t do anything unless ... there is specific information. Because sometimes people bring information to us that is unclear or hard to prove. So you know, pictures of, posts on social media or texts. That specific information is helpful for us in attempting to cease the bullying. But what we’re always trying to figure out is it this is a one-time thing or a multiple-time thing and if so, that could be categorized as bullying and we can certainly step in and set some parameters, expectations and consequences if needed ... The last thing we want is for anyone to feel intimidated, harassed, afraid on this campus in any way, shape or form.” — Amanda Q: [I] am always seeking validation from ... people I like. Like if I’m smart enough, act like everyone else enough, am attractive enough, then maybe I’ll get their validation ... What should I do? I don’t want to stop trying to get them to like me back, but sometimes it feels tiring to get their validation, but my brain keeps telling me if I don’t, then they won’t ever like me, because who I really am can’t be good enough if they never noticed me in the first place. — sorry for the weird wording A: I completely understand how you feel. Even beyond just seeking validation from people I like “romantically,” I find that my self-worth is ALWAYS based on others’ impressions of me. But ultimately, if the person doesn’t like you how you are, then their validation isn’t worth it. You just have to remind yourself that. My mentality has always been to just do my own thing and know that others’ validation will come once I’ve become confident in myself. And if their validation doesn’t, then who cares? It’s an admittedly naive mentality, but it has definitely worked for me! — Amanda Q: What do you do if you need to pass gas in the middle of class with people sitting all around you? — Pressured A: According to several dear friends of mine who will not be named, you could: — Stand up to go get a tissue. As you blow your nose, slowly let it out. — Lean forward (That supposedly makes the farting sensation go away.) — Ask to use the restroom and let it out there — Let it out and own up to it or blame it on your classmate (or your teacher!) — Amanda
VIEWPOINT: SCHOOL DANCES BREED COERCION BY MIGUEL DICKENSON Assistant Opinions Editor
Prom is just around the corner, and pretty soon prom asks will begin to inundate your Instagram feed. Generally, school dances such as prom allow wishful (and very hormonal), teenagers to go on a “date” with the person of their choosing. And due to established societal norms, it is typically the boys who
are initiating. Guys ask girls who they are very close with and who have clearly reciprocated romantic interest to be their date to a dance. In other words, if given the opportunity, during a Sadie’s dance for instance, said girl would just as likely ask said guy to the dance as he would ask her. It’s a date for God’s sake; why wouldn’t their feelings be mutual? But they’re not. Let me explain. The other day I was having a conversation with two friends. Out of respect, I will keep them anonymous. We shall
CARTOON COURTESY OF BRANDON SHI
call them Henry and Griff. Henry was talking to us about the possibility of asking a girl (we shall call her Violet) to prom. Henry let on that he was nervous, being that he wasn’t sure if Violet liked him. He was concerned about being out of line with what Violet would see as appropriate for their relationship. Seems like a reasonable concern, right? Not to Griff. To Griff, Henry was overthinking it. “It’s simple,” he said, “no need to worry.” Griff argued that if Henry made a nice and glittery poster, expensive roses, and asked Violet in a very public area, she would “fo sho” say yes. “No doubt about it,” Griff said. And for the most part, Griff was right. In line with society’s traditional understanding, organizing a poster and buying flowers takes work, and one should be compensated for this. In fact, paying money for the flowers, in a way, could be seen as paying money for the date, as the flowers are one of the key objects in this social transaction. I give you a shiny (most of the time punny) poster, pricey flowers and the courage of expressing myself, and in return, I get a prom date. So when Henry asks Violet to prom with a dance spectacular in the middle of the quad followed by the presentation of a glossy poster portraying the all-too-funny pun, Violet feels inclined to say yes — “inclined” being the operative word here. So then, what is driving this feeling of inclination? Is it genuine eagerness, raw romantic interest or something else? Thomas Chamberlain, AP Psychology teacher at Dougherty, posits that, “The person being asked probably does feel more pressure to say yes to a proposal when it is done in public. Whenever someone does something
nice for us we enter into a social contract where it can be hard to do something that may hurt that individual.” Indeed, it seems as if the underlying force behind school dance environments is social pressure. How can you turn someone down with 50 people waiting eagerly to see a successful
Indeed, it seems that the underlying force behind school dances is social pressure. prom ask? How can you turn someone down when they bought pretty red flowers for you? How can you turn someone down with such an amazing and creative pun as “I would be very graTe 4 for U to come to homecoming with me”? When your heart is beating, your palms are sweating, and your face is reddening? Crushing the heart of your admirer, disappointing a large crowd and embarrassing yourself is a difficult situation to face. As Dougherty junior Hadal Tankel puts it, “It makes you look bad.” And most high schoolers would rather spend the night with someone they don’t have any interest in than “look bad.” Ultimately, it really doesn’t seem like these people — these Violets — have much of a choice here. Here’s where that radical word comes in: coercion. If Violet considers the potentially damaging foreseeable circumstances, she feels forced to say yes. This, by definition, is coercion. Should we then begin to label all of those who have asked somebody to a
school dance with a poster and some chocolate as the devil? Well, “the devil,” probably not. But if you agree with my equating of school dance asks to coercive tactics as explicated above and believe that coercion is, generally, an immoral act, then inconsiderate, malicious and selfish become adequate descriptions for these candy-bearing perpetrators. What does this mean for the future? Well, for one thing, our current concept of school dances will disintegrate into ashes. Without the compromising emotion of peer pressure, many more girls would turn down guys, there would be a decrease in the amount of actual dates, and the traditional school dance spirit would deteriorate. Prom would become a single guy’s or girl’s night, riddled with a few intimate couples. For better or worse, school dances would change forever. As for the Henry and Griff situation, Henry did, in fact, ask Violet to prom with a “nice glittery poster and expensive roses,” and Violet did, as predicted, say yes. Henry manned his port in front of the 1000 building. Dozens of his comrades (including Griff) backed him with weapons of mass-coercion — a group stood by with a chant. “Say yes. Say yes. Say yes,” they yelled, with maniacal enthusiasm. Leading the army, Henry carried the ultimate poison — sweet-smelling (not to mention costly) roses paired with a pun-inspired poster that would finally lead her to his cage — a gymnasium dance floor. In the end, Violet had this to say: “I genuinely liked Henry before he asked me, and I totally would’ve asked him myself too if he hadn’t.”
MARCH 29 2018
YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON A HISTORY BY ARMAAN RASHID Co-Editor-in-Chief Dear Senior, What we forget — among other things — is that Leland Stanford was, in the last decade of his life, a vehement anti-capitalist. Yes, the same Leland Stanford that was an industrial titan in our country’s hyper-capitalist Gilded Age, the man whose namesake university lies not 50 miles from here. Leland — I’ll call him by his first name, for the sake of clarity — saw Stanford University as the seed of a post-capitalist society, one based on a “cooperative” vision, where workers ran themselves, and corporate hierarchy would slowly be disassembled by an educated working class, where the working class was comprised of everyone. This vision is built into Stanford’s founding documents — most piercingly, Leland saw that “the few very rich can get their education anywhere. They will be welcome to this institution if they come, but the object is more particularly to reach the multitude — those people who have to consider the expenditure of every dollar.” Fast forward more than a century, and 17 percent of Stanford’s student body — according to data from the class of 2013 — come from the top 1 percent; two-thirds of students are from the top 20 percent. Barely 4 percent of students are from the bottom 20 percent. The historical shift here is stark, but it’s also one that complicates a narrative — a narrative, dear senior, that has some deal of importance to us right about now. A NARRATIVE The story of elite college admissions 100 years ago, as told by sociologist Jerome Karabel in his masterfully detailed “The Chosen,” goes something like this: almost exclusively, affluent white men were shuffled from elite private schools to elite institutions like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, with little attention paid to the criteria we perceive to be important today. Admissions, then, were still “meritocratic” — but that merit did not hinge so much upon intelligence or academic performance, but upon the right kind of family and a strong sense of athleticism. (The Ivy League is first and foremost an athletic league, after all. And there are absolutely historical lines to be drawn from this policy of good blood and good body to admissions practices of today — the preference for legacies and the continued practice of recruiting athletes, for example.) This was all based on the mostly true assumption that the people who would go to Harvard, Yale and Princeton would go on to be the leaders of the world. At this time, the American elite class functioned very simply. Affluent white men were born into status, and the Ivy League college they attended was an almost compulsory gate into maintaining that status. It’s easy to see how the accumulation and insulation of America’s most elite built the severe network of wealth and connection, intellectual or not, that remains there today. But, for reasons Karabel never really specifies, academically exceptional Jewish men kept applying to these institutions and, due to their qualifications and progressive admissions officers, were admitted. Here we see definitions of “merit” tilting, slightly, away from old standards and towards what we would expect today: academic accomplishment. Elaborate back-and-forths on what “merit” looks like define this history, but as both Karabel and a couple of key modern-day studies — by Patricia Conley in the late ‘90s and Leslie Killgore in the late ‘00s — note, “merit” is usually defined so that a university can maintain its own prestige. You are admitted based on the institution’s confidence that, one day, they can put you on a prestigious alumni list. In this way, the reinforcement of capitalist hierarchy by the elite college happens subconsciously — unintentionally, even. As more academically accomplished Jewish men started to populate the Ivies, admissions officers fretted that their universities would be isolated from the still very-Christian institutions around them, the connections which gave the Harvard or Yale name its slowly accumulating power. So admissions became about character. “Holistic” is the word, one you’ll still find on ev-
ery elite college’s website. Realistically, the new requirements — like letters of recommendation — were about excluding Jews in a way that could be covered up as part of the process. But history ran its own course, and it no longer became very useful for the Ivies to be the pass-throughs of elite white men — other colleges were attracting students because they were co-ed, so Harvard, Yale and Princeton went co-ed; a fear of racial violence led them to start admitting black students, as well. By the middle of the 20th century, the “Big Three” suddenly began to prioritize genuine intellectualism, as opposed to the perpetuation of an elite class, which is when admissions began to more closely resemble the “meritocracy” we see today. This meant a shift from focusing on upper class, “old money” children to the children of professionals who embodied the meritocratic ethos of genuine excellence in all aspects of life — from upper-class kids to upper-middle-class kids, basically. Again, though, we see how the use of this admissions policy based around “merit” excluded, creating hierarchy almost subconsciously, with the well-documented discrimination against Asian-Americans in the 1980s. It happened almost unintentionally — a product of what the definition of merit was at the time, and how Asian-Americans, who were mostly not upper-middle-class at the time, systematically did not match up with it. In this way we can observe how the use of “merit” as a gate to institutional access allows for a subconscious reinforcement of hierarchy. So very quickly we wind up here, today. For a perception of the state of things it’s useful to look at Raj Chetty’s comprehensive and somewhat damning statistics for the Equality of Opportunity Project, data compiled from mil-
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF ELAINE PARK
lions of tax returns on college students as recent as the class of 2013. The “Ivy plus” as a whole — eight Ivies plus Duke, MIT, UChicago and Stanford — admits more students from the one percent (around 15 percent) than from the bottom 50 percent, and most of these colleges have around two-thirds of their students coming from the top 20 percent. That demographic shift from the upper-class to the upper-middle-class is still highly visible here, a sign that this is a history still in progress. A SIGNAL What’s happening is “social closure,” as numerous sociologists put it — to be very literal, it’s the closing off of one social group (i.e. the upper-middle and upper classes) from access by other social groups (the lower classes). Those admitted to Ivies and their brethren tend to come from higher socioeconomic status, and graduates tend to have notably higher socioeconomic outcomes. This process — of who and who does not get access to education, particularly “elite” education — is surely related to the U.S.’s historically low socioeconomic mobility.
Before someone says “CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION #rekt” I should say that I can’t offer you causal statistical evidence, obviously. But I’d still wager the elite college admissions process is very much a participant in “social closure,” as former Ivy professors (like William Deresiewicz, in his entertainingly broad “Excellent Sheep”) and researchers from various disciplines (David L. Swartz, Amy Liu, Jonathan J.B. Mijs, Ansgar Allen, Raj Chetty, probably more) will tell you. But still, this is a controversial claim, and examining that controversy tells us a lot. When the aforementioned “Excellent Sheep” came out in 2014, elite college professors absolutely lost it. “Excellent Sheep” is not exactly a book of nuance, but the fact that Pomona professor Kevin Dettmar AND Rutgers historian Douglass Greenberg “blew a gasket” (in the words of journalist James McWilliams) about the book represents how severely the reality of elite reinforcement pushes back against a narrative that elite colleges would like to promote: that they are arbiters of social justice. This, as elaborated upon by Killgore in her study on “Merit and Competition in Selective College Admissions,” is one of many mixed signals that elite institutions are caught up in. It’s a narrative I’m sure these professors genuinely, deeply believe in, one that’s believed all over. The Yale admissions room isn’t a bunch of people cackling, “Hmmmmmm, how can we enshrine the American elite even further today?” I’m sure the issues I’m bringing up weigh heavily on the minds of admissions officers and professors at elite colleges. But we have to look at a larger system, not the person bewildered within it. Elite colleges have a desire to project an air of commitment to diversity and social justice, as Killgore states, and as is evident on their websites. UChicago touts their level of “civic engagement” with the city of Chicago; Yale and Harvard have entire sections devoted to congratulating themselves on how much financial aid they offer low-income students, forgetting to mention that they barely admit any. It’s a ruse, to avoid the reality of the closure. The point is, dear senior: we are enclosed. Dougherty kids, I’d bet, aren’t as uniformly wealthy as they are perceived to be. (Despite the astronomical property values around here, San Ramon does have affordable housing options.) But while I can’t definitively say that we’re mostly upper-middle-class, we do kind of have a culture to show for it. It’s a culture described academically in Anette Eva Fasang, William Mangino and Hannah Brückner’s study on “Social Closure and Educational Attainment,” described cynically in “Excellent Sheep,” described offhandedly in Dylan Hernandez’s “How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid.” If you go to this school, you know what it is, even if you’re not necessarily a part of it. There’s all the extracurriculars and APs and SAT prep, and that doesn’t even cover it. More egregiously, there’s the private college counselors and the very, very weird practice of asking everyone, “where did you apply?” and “did you get in?” ,and then keeping score. And, of course, the cheating. The inescapable cheating. Please know, dear senior, I’m not claiming any moral superiority. I don’t think you’re bad if you use or do any of these things — even the cheating. I’m enclosed too. It’s of a history. This is how our enclosure, which is very much an artifact of elite admissions’ slight shift in preference from the upper-class to the upper-middle-class, operates. It’s not just a matter of the excess economic resources we have access to — it’s the excess social capital, a different cultural focus. It’s not just that we can pay for SAT prep and college counselors but that we know to do so, how to do so, where to do so. Our enclosure, it’s worth noting, is not the same as everyone else’s. For one, our school is more socioeconomically and racially diverse than people generally give it credit for, than I’ve been giving it credit for — not everyone here is an upper-middle-class Ivy-chasing kid, even if that’s how it might be painted. Private high school enclosure — where generally many more people end up at Ivies or their equivalents than do from here — is different, and privileged over us in many ways. Think of the compulsory letters of recommendation — our teachers and counselors do astonishing work keeping up with demand, but it’s simply easier for private school staff to deal with given their much smaller class sizes, to know more students more intimately, to spend more time on each letter. And there’s an especially fascinating enclosure that self-help guru Cal Newport described in his
treatise on “How to Be a High School Superstar” in 2010. Newport describes “relaxed superstars” who are “genuinely interesting” and live, well, fairly relaxed lives up until they get into Harvard or whatever. “How to Be a High School Superstar” is also, if you read between the lines, an inadvertent social study of progressive upper-middle-class whiteness in the 21st century — and that enclosure might have even more access to the social capital, the cultural knowledge needed to get in, than ours does. I hope by now I’ve very fully deconstructed the idea of “merit” in your mind. “Getting in” is fundamentally not about any mercurial idea of “merit,” but about signaling eliteness to an elite institution, signaling that one day they can put you on a list of prestigious alumni. And that signal might align with hard work and accomplishment and talent — it most often does with minority kids like us. But it only takes one look at other “enclosures” — ahem, especially the enclosure of legacy students, who are overwhelmingly white and socioeconomically privileged — to see how signaling eliteness is not always about what one does, but where one’s from. There is, perhaps, an even more pressing argument to be made that what one does has a lot to do with where one’s from.
...at the edge of history it’s so easy to find yourself nearly vanished into a statistic, a trend. Even if you’re Leland Stanford. TO DESERVE “Why does aptitude guide the allocation of educational resources?” asked (funnily enough) Harvard sociologist Jonathan J.B. Mijs in his 2016 study, “The Unfulfillable Promise of Meritocracy.” It shouldn’t be a radical question, but in the current climate, it is. If, at the Ivies and their equivalents, our “best” educational resources are housed — why are they allocated to those who are perceived to be “deserving” of them? Why not give the people who have struggled the most our best educational resources? I’m not saying this is what should be done. But thoughts like these are scary to us because we like to think of ourselves as in control of our lives. The idea of earning, the idea of deserving, is not just the fuel of capitalism — it’s the fuel of selfworth, at least in this society. Meritocracy is impossible. Unless there is a reset to pure equality across every single generation, merit is always going to be tied up with privilege, and as we’ve seen, there’s never a consistent definition of what merit even is, anyway. I think the system is broken. I don’t know what the solution is. But what’s more pressing for me and you, dear senior, is the idea that your future and mine might be bound up in something much bigger than us. I hold fast to the belief that reality is more complex than a generalized narrative — a narrative like the one I’ve just outlined. There are always exceptions and anomalies, people who are “ahead of their time” — people like, well, like Leland Stanford. But at the edge of history it’s so easy to find yourself nearly vanished into a statistic, a trend. Even if you’re Leland Stanford. No one knows — not even researcher Lee Altenberg, who rediscovered Leland’s original vision — how Stanford went from the seed of a post-capitalist society to what it is today, a pipeline to Silicon Valley with most of its students coming from an elite class and departing to become part of a new one. I’ve given you, dear senior, an (incomplete) history of Stanford’s East Coast brethren that cuts a nice narrative about the construction of American capitalism through the centuries. Stanford violates that story, but in the midst of everything its idealistic vision was lost to the annals of history, imperceptibly. It got swept up in a history bigger than itself. For an entire institution to not be able to maintain its individual spirit is terrifying. At the level of a person? It’s late March, dear senior, and as you and I might be forced to think about the future, I wonder about all the histories we might be missing out on, swept up in without even thinking.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
“END OF THE F***ING WORLD” PIERCES THE MIND OF A TEENAGER BY VIKRAM BALASUBRAMANIAN & SKYLER SPEARS Satire Editor & Photography Editor The eight-part series based on the graphic novel by Charles S. Forman, “End of the F***ing World,” is a dark comedy and a perfect netflix binge. It’s a romance story for the twenty-first century: a classic boy-meets-girl. But this boy is a self-diagnosed psychopath, and he’s looking for his first kill. We start by meeting James, who introduces himself as an emotionless teenager whose killing of small animals is his favorite hobby. Except animals aren’t quite good enough anymore, he’s looking for bigger prey. Cue Alyssa. She is almost the opposite of James and deemed a “rowdy, foul-mouthed rebel,” who lives with her distant mom and her creepy step dad. James decides she’ll be the perfect kill, so naturally he pretends to fall in love with her. This tryst leads them on a wild adventure when Alyssa decides she wants to go find her absent dad. The show presents a beautifully framed coming-of-age story, filled with dark humor, sick twists and an anti-romantic romantic comedy. The show makes it obvious it’s going for the gritty, dark, middle-finger-tothe-world mindset right away, presenting characters who spontaneously
BY SASHA HASSAN Co-News Editor
and collectively hold all the traits society says a sharp no to. The first three episodes, all very brutal and deliciously dark, possibly to the point of overkill (no pun intended), introduce us to James and Alyssa’s unusual road trip. The show is not only stunning in content, but it also exceeds the mark in all other aspects too. Using a combination of flashbacks, voice overs and creative shots the show becomes a new kind of masterpiece. The main character’s internal thoughts are often broadcasted out giving the viewer a unique insight that no one else on screen knows and offers brutal honesty that leaves onlookers laughing despite the shows dark tones. DVHS junior Sara Dada said, “The show has a very unique aesthetic. The format of the 20-minute episodes, the retro vibe and music all separate ‘The End of the F***ing World’ from anything I’ve ever watched before.” Unfortunately, the show falls flat with a poor side tangent with cops Teri Darego
TIMBERLAKE KINDLES A NEW SPIRIT IN ALBUM “MAN OF THE WOODS”
and Eunice Noon, played by Wunmi Mosaku and Gemma Whelan respectively. Representing female, LGBT cops, the characters’ love life provides such a cringey humorous sidebar it’d be better omitted. The “good cop, bad cop” trope leaves audiences wanting for less, and grateful for a transition back to the main characters. The soundtrack was the cherry on top of this TV adaption. It integrates a combination of ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s music, setting the “End of the F***ing World” to a remarkably haunting soundtrack. Director Jonathan Entwistle speaking to Billboard Magazine said, “We made an adult show about teenagers. The dawn of teenagers was the ‘50s and because we were playing that whole creepy, suburban thing, I automatically went to a ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s doowop thing. I think that’s the saddest music in the world.” The combination of grim scenery and cheerful music leaves you with an inexplicably sinister feeling. In the era of teen dramas and reality TV, it’s easy to tune into a shows riddled with stereotypes and repetitive plot lines. “End of the F***ing World” provides the perfect alternative: a gritty, joyful and honest romance. It gives us a look into the tumultuous world of a teenager’s mind, and leaves the viewer with a hunger for more.
The Netflix original reinvents the “boy meets girl” story. //SARAH KIM
ter egg requires an extensive knowledge of the ‘80s — knowledge that I lacked. Although Cline haphazardly explained some of the references throughout the novel, I still felt alienated and confused. A comAfter the release of the CGI-heavy trailer, dedicat- prehensive understanding of the ‘80s is required in ed fans have been practically salivating for the mov- order for each step in solving the puzzle of Halliie adaptation of “Ready Player One,” directed by day’s egg to feel logical; otherwise, the answers feel Steven Spielberg and set to hit screens on March 30. Critics from the Boston Globe to Entertainment Weekly praised the book and marked it as one of “Each page is crammed with refthe best books of 2011 when it was first released. erences to ‘80s pop culture to the The trailer itself proudly touted the novel as a “Holy Grail of pop culture.” I opened the book excited to point where the plot becomes deembark on an immersive journey, but was disappendent on it. The thought process pointed with what I found. Ernest Cline’s story follows 18-year-old Wade involved in finding the egg requires Watts in 2044, where the real world has fallen to an extensive knowledge of the ‘80s ruin. The good citizens of the world now learn, work and live almost entirely in the OASIS, a virtual reali— knowledge that I simply lacked.” ty so captivating and pervasive that it has essentially replaced reality. Wade is part of a global hunt for the Easter egg, a arbitrary and forced. virtual prize left behind by the now deceased James Indeed, that’s Cline’s selling point. He markets Halliday, owner and creator of the OASIS. Wade himself as an unabashed geek, a proud devotee of races against fellow egg hunters (known as gunters) the era of his childhood. His fans, the downtrodden and the mega corporation IOI that wants to com- nerds and geeks of the world, praise the book for its mercialize the OASIS for a profit. In the end, Wade homage to their favorite decade of pop culture. emerges triumphant, defeating the IOI and winning Cline himself provides an excellent example: ownership of the OASIS along with Halliday’s entire “I made a big entrance when I arrived in my flying fortune. DeLorean, which I’d obtained by completing a Back The first and most obvious issue with the book is to the Future quest on the planet Zemeckis. The that it’s marketed to a very specific audience: nerds. DeLorean came outfitted with a (non-functioning) I’ll preface this with the disclaimer that I’m not a flux capacitor, but I’d made several additions to its huge ‘80s fanatic, so perhaps my sense of alienation equipment and appearance. First, I’d installed an was magnified by the fact that I grew up in a gener- artificially intelligent on-board computer named ation beyond the era “Ready Player One” is devoted KITT (purchased in an online auction) into the to. But I expected a greater degree of relatability dashboard, along with a matching red Knight Ridfrom a book so widely praised. After all, I enjoyed er scanner just above the DeLorean’s grill. Then I’d series like “Stranger Things” and “Ender’s Game,” outfitted the car with an oscillation overthruster, a which are built around the ‘80s and nerd culture. device that allowed it to travel through solid matter. The difference is that “Ready Player One” is almost Finally, to complete my ’80s super-vehicle theme, exclusionary in nature. Everything is centered I’d slapped a Ghostbusters logo on each of the Dearound the ‘80s and the media James Halliday (a.k.a. Lorean’s gull-wing doors, then added personalized Cline’s self insert) love so dearly. plates that read ECTO-88.” The main issue is with the excessive use of refer- At some point it stops being about paying respect ences, to the point where it feels like you’re reading to the ‘80s and becomes about how many referenca Wikipedia page and not a fiction novel. Each page es Cline can sneak into the novel. Well, not ‘sneak’ is crammed with references to ‘80s pop culture to so much as ‘parade past you.’ Passages like this are the point where the plot becomes dependent on it. littered throughout the book. Other works based The thought process involved in finding each Eas- around the ‘80s don’t feel the need to loudly explain
MARCH 29 2018
BY ERIC CHANG Staff Writer
pride,” highlighting his affection for his wife. Although the work may seem as if it focuses on the platform from which he developed his With the release of “Man of the Woods” on career around, due to the country style guitar Feb. 2, Justin Timberlake brings his music back riff in the background, by delving deeper into to his origins, surprising his fans and critics the lyrics, the piece is truly written for his wife. with an unfamiliar combination of country “There’s only one me and you,” Timberlake and pop and moving away from his usual style. sings as he rejoices at the memories he shares While feelings about the album have been with the love of his life. By devoting this song mixed, Timberlake successfully blends genres to his wife, Timberlake emphasizes the positive effect that Jessica has with nostalgia and love, had on his life as well as creating a familial atmohis music. sphere that will make A shift to a more you want to dance. popular style in the alRight off the bat, the album, “Say Something” bum cover is unlike any reveals the impact outof the artist’s past covside opinions have had ers. It features Timberon his album developlake standing in a forest ment. In this song, Timwearing a suit. However, berlake acknowledges underneath he is wearthat his new album is ing a red and white flanmoving away from his nel and jeans, hinting at normal style, writing the effect of southern “everyone knows all culture, not only on the about my direction.” specific album, but also experiments with differ- He writes that his criton his music and style Justin Timberlake ent genres in his latest album. ics push him to “say as a whole. The album is // RCA RECORDS something that says named after his son Silas, whose “name means ‘of the woods,’” as Timber- something,” leading to the release of an album that “says something” about his music and style lake announced in an Instagram video. Starting off the album with a blast from the origins. The final song of the album, “Young Man,” is past, Timberlake brings “SexyBack” with the song “Filthy.” Although the song strays from dedicated to his son Silas. “When this song plays, I have to leave the the main purpose of the album, it successfully captivates the listener with its declaratory room because it makes me so emotional,” guitar chords mingled with funk. Timberlake Timberlake explained during a preview of the repeats, “I guess I got my swagger back,” hinting album with Poleman. Throughout this piece, Timberlake teachat a newer version of the established pop star’s es his son how to face the demanding world image. Tom Poleman, the chief programming officer and be a man and tells him that “you can do at iHeartRadio, stated that “I would be disap- anything in the world if you listen.” The proud pointed if the [‘Filthy’] reviews weren’t mixed father advises his child to never “back down,” because that would mean he came out with never “act out,” and never “stay down.” One can hear the thought and emotion that went something predictable.” The album’s main song is “Man of the Woods.” into this track for his child. In an age where hyThe piece is devoted to his wife, Jessica Biel. He per-masculinity is becoming an issue for men, constantly repeats, “I brag about you to anyone Timberlake sensibly informs his son that “if you outside / But I’m a man of the woods, it’s my need to cry, you’ve got my permission.”
every reference to really milk the nostalgia like Cline does because those works have actual substance and don’t rely on heaps of references to make people care about the characters. Many of Cline’s fans are victims of what I call “nostalgia porn,” a flimsy narrative whose sole selling point is the fact that it constantly dumps warm, happy reminders of relics from a bygone era straight into the reader’s lap. “Ready Player One” is nostalgia porn on steroids. Instead of being content with simply remembering the ‘80s, Cline invents a world where the culture is glorified. It’s a world geared around his interests, where a maniacal obsession with the ‘80s conveniently pervades society due to the death of an eccentric Steve Jobs-esque billionaire. It’s a world where being a nerd isn’t scoffed at; it’s socially acceptable, even admirable. The flimsy nature of the narrative becomes most apparent when one takes a closer look at Cline’s characters. Wade Watts, the main character and narrator of the novel, is rather one-dimensional. In a tactic similar to that used in harem anime, Cline produces a bland, colorless and slightly pathetic character for his target audience to unconsciously project themselves onto. Nobody cares about Wade because he’s strongwilled or has compelling motivations; people care about Wade because he’s generic enough for every nerd reading the book to relate to. Thus, the audience cheers Wade on because his successes as a nerd validate their own identities. Outside of being a nerd, Wade has no defining traits. His motivations are largely unclear as well. The most compelling reason I could find to root for Wade was because he was up against a greedy corporation who sought to monopolize the OASIS for a profit. As much as I hate lazy writing, I guess I
hated the mega corporation more. In an almost self-congratulatory fiction, Cline writes a character who gets it all — just for being a nerd. He starts the book as a poor, lonely, chubby nobody, barely scraping by and living in a trailer park. At the end, he’s a fit and famous billionaire who owns the OASIS and has the most powerful avatar inside the simulation. And of course, Wade gets the cute nerdy girl he’d been crushing on (and kind of stalking) since the beginning. This wouldn’t be a problem if Wade earned any of these achievements, but he doesn’t. Any meaningful character development is subverted by Cline, since any and all obstacles can be overcome through Wade’s inexplicable gaming prowess and devotion to ‘80s trivia. At one point, Wade acts out the entire plot of a movie inside a virtual simulation verbatim. Of course, Wade manages easily, because he’s “watched [the movie] over three dozen times.” He infiltrates and hacks IOI’s database singlehandedly in eight days while on the run as a fugitive. At the end of the book, he outlasts his friends only because he plays a perfect game of Pac-Man (a perfect game of PacMan! Literally SEVEN people have done this in history). In an attempt to cover for this, Cline occasionally kills off minor characters and acts as if Wade’s fleeting, episodic grief is some sort of meaningful character development. Ultimately, Wade doesn’t need character development because he has no real flaws. And that, in and of itself, is a flaw. It’s easy to get caught up in Cline’s world. He offers a sort of self-proclaimed escapism from reality. But, when you break down the novel, it’s a shallow narrative with a dose of ‘80s references, barely held together by Cline’s imagination. The novel inspiring Steven Spielberg’s newest film offers fan service, but not much else. // CLAIRE ZHANG
IN MARCH WE MARCH
1 COURTESY OF SKYLER SPEARS; 2, 8 COURTESY OF MANJU CHEENATH; 3, 4 COURTESY OF NIA DORSEY; 5, 6, 7, 9 COURTESY OF HARMONIE YACOB
AFTER PARKLAND, LOCAL STUDEN BY AMRUTA BARADWAJ & MIGUEL DICKENSON
Across the nation, students are fighting for common sense gun control as thousands poured out of their classrooms and onto the streets. In the hours following the shooting in Florida that killed three staff members and 14 students, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School seniors Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky and David Hogg sparked a revolution that started with one tweet and one TV interview, and has now incited millions to take action. Specifically, these leaders planned a national school walkout on March 14, sponsored by the Women’s Youth Empower movement, a march on Washington on March 24 and another national school walkout on April 20 (the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school shooting). This activist spirit has spread to San Ramon, where a march was held at City Hall on March 9, and students participated in the March 14 walkout within the SRVUSD. Despite the general call to action, protesters aren’t completely united in their thoughts. “There’s different opinions on how to approach [gun control policy],” said sophomore Rabail Abbas, who helped organize the March 9 march around San Ramon’s City Hall. I l lu st rat i ng her point,
certain protesters demanded a repeal of the Second Amendment, whereas others are less strict with their proposed regulation. It is safe to say, though, that most people who participated in the demonstrations fall under the same umbrella of “common sense gun control” — universal background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, banning automatic and semi-automatic rifles and preventing the mentally ill from getting access to guns. Regardless of where exactly protesting students fell on this confined gun policy spectrum, all left their classrooms and marched onto campuses, streets and city halls on March 14 to call for change. Approximately 2,800 schools participated in the march, according to USA Today. In Parkland, students walked with a nearby middle school to the memorial containing the 17 killed, ignoring directions from administrators to return to class as more than 17 minutes elapsed. On the scene, an impassioned Kasky told reporters, “We’re not going to let the 17 bullets take us down. We’re going to keep running and keep the rest of the nation behind us.” And the rest of the nation followed. In San Ramon, suburban teens marched passionately across San Ramon Valley High School, California High School, Gale Ranch Middle School and Dougherty Valley High School. Dougherty’s FemEquality, Black Student Union and GSA clubs, along with individual students, worked collaboratively to organize an event that included students walking out to the quad to hear speeches urging students to pre-register to vote, sign a letter urging local politicians to propose gun reform and partake in a moment of silence for the 17 lives lost. Anticipating the walkout, sophomore Rameen Khan shared that, “I think in the end, even just having one person show up, it is still effective, because people have the voice to share.” A few more than one person showed up though, as around
1,500 students (according to GSA p Riya Gupta) walked out of class at 10 join the efforts of demonstrators ac country. Organizers of this event alli the administration of Dougherty to e safe demonstration: students were to campus, but were free to participat out receiving a “cut.” Thus, students w alone when they stepped onto the qu day, encircled by many Dougherty sta speeches and then a moment of silen dents peacefully filed back into class. “It went really well. We got a great and people seemed to really be into president, Colin Fisher, reflected. The week before, on March 9, Doughe dents also executed a demonstration of the San Ramon City Hall. Sophom Lee, Lauren Ottley, Isabella Chaves, Nguyen, Rameen Khan and Rane Amara used their leadership skills to o the event. At first the mood was tenta reserved. Within a few minutes, howe chants and calls to action gained tract soon enough a group of confident and teens seen marching down Bollinger, chants and proudly displaying posters iterated their call to action. Once back in front of the City Hall, es commenced. Various topics were c among them Chaves’s personal conne one of the victims of the shooting. Chaves, who used to live in Broward Fla., which contains the city of Parkl counted her life there and how the sho Parkland affected her on a more funda level. In addition, all of the speakers th up on the podium, voiced the need for and action. Although March 14 resonated across the movement was not met without s position. At Vero Beach High School 100 miles away from Parkland — calls reform were met with opposition chan as “Trump!” and “We want guns!” C walkout not only drew those advoca gun control measures, but also a g counter protesters from the Cal Poly Republicans trumpetting gun holst MAGA hats. And, although local demonstratio curred without much pushback, there position at times. Most notably, at the
A CALL TO ACTION
BY OCE BOHRA, SHEYDA LADJEVARDI & CAROLINE LOBEL After each mass shooting, “thoughts and prayers” are sent out. Any talk about stricter gun laws is shut down before people can hear about it because it’s not respectful to politicize the deaths of others. And while the murder of innocent people should never be politicized, it still is. The topic of gun violence has become a war between Democrats and Republi-
cans when it should just be a human rights issue. By using it as a blanket statement, politicians attempt to erase the distinction between issues in their hands, like gun violence, and those that aren’t, like natural disasters. A quick browse through the internet shows the phrase comes up on most lists detailing condolence statements for inevitable tragedies like sickness, a death of a loved one, etc. Using it when discussing mass shootings or murder indicates the end of a conversation, rather than a beginning and poses the trag-
edy as an inevitability. Although people do need time then the situation will have faded Everything goes back to the way shooting to emerge. There are live voke change, we need to consist gun laws. Mass shootings have occurred w States and it’s time the people do s
NTS MARCH FOR CHANGE
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9 event, a group of teens who walked behind the marchers continuously chanted “I love Trump!” Though it was largely in jest, one counter-protester, using the pseudonym Pink Guy (in reference to YouTube comedian Filthy Frank), shared his genuine discontent. “We thought [...] there was going to be an open mic where people could say their stances on supporting guns and against certain gun control, but it wasn’t like that, so we were disappointed.” At the March 14 walkout, a student yelled “protect second amendment rights!” during a moment of silence. Reportedly, this student was dared to yell this by another junior. The student who yelled it was not aware that it was during a moment of silence and did not intend to disrespect the 17 who died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Despite the opposition, more is yet to come. On April 20 students will walk out again, on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine shooting. And finally, in November, millions of newly enfranchised students will rush to the ballot box to cast their vote for change.
JULIE LAZAR (History Teacher)
I am against [arming teachers] because of the amount of training that we have as law enforcement officers to carry all weapons that teachers would never be able to have. So by putting teachers in the classroom with lack of training and in position of the gun now you just have another weapon on campus that you have to worry about. So is it properly locked up? Is it cared for? Can a student beat up the teacher and then unlock it? … In the heat of the moment is a teacher going to know how to act if something happens? [I think some alternative solutions could be] more video cameras and better safety around the school, fencing … more visuals of the area … and obviously tighter gun laws.
OFFICER KATIE WILLIAMS (School Resource Officer)
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JOYCEANNE SOLIMAN (Math Teacher)
JACK SORENSEN (Physical Education Teacher)
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to mourn their losses, by d in the eyes of the public. it was, waiting on another es at stake. In order to protently advocate for stricter
I think that it’s absurd and I have no interest in ever having a gun at school. I saw something interesting online … it says that they want teachers to have the responsibility of carrying guns but they won’t even give us the responsibility of controlling your own thermostats. So I find it a little perplexing where I only get four degrees of temperature control but you’re going to give me a loaded gun and ask me to potentially shoot another human being and I don’t want to do that.
I grew up in a hunting family. I shot my first gun probably when I was four or five. And I’ve been shooting guns ever since. I shoot, I hunt, I protect my house and family. Everything with it. [To be armed on campus], first and foremost, [teachers] need to get their conceal and carry permit. You go through a safety class which entails shooting, handling, cleaning, carrying, etc and then when you pass you can apply and obtain your carry permit. … No way you should carry a gun until you complete the necessary courses and training.
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I personally don’t want to be armed [on campus]. Even though I like the freedom to have a gun, I would rather have more officers who are trained or more teachers who are fully trained in firearms to. I do believe that we should have the freedom to own guns, with background checks and more education about gun safety and storage. But I don’t think that gun control is the same issue as arming teachers. Just because I don’t want to be armed on campus doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the freedom to bear arms. This is because I haven’t been trained to protect people with a gun. But I am trained to protect students by following school emergency protocols.
I would never support [arming teachers]. It’s just ridiculous. I am anti [second amendment] ... I don’t think the framers of the Constitution intended for us to protect ourselves from bad guys so much as to defend our borders from the English or the French and to enable white people to go after Americans and Native Americans.
6 INTERVIEWS BY AMANDA SU, TEJU ANAND, ASHITA JEWARGI & ARSHIA MEHTA In the wake of the Parkland shooting, the Trump administration has seriously floated the idea of arming teachers in school to protect students from any potential shooting threats. Trump’s stance on the issue has been widely condemned by advocates for gun control, but taken more seriously by those who seek alternatives to limiting the availability of guns. Above, various members of Dougherty Valley’s staff offer their opinions on the issue.
NANCY AMINI (Government Teacher)
I don’t think it is a very good idea to bring more weapons into the school. I think we just need to be more diligent [in enforcing existing gun legislation] ... I come from a previous career in the army, and I actually carried a weapon, and was qualified and all those different things. Personally I don’t think it is necessary [for guns] to be on a school campus. I don’t want to treat the school campus like a combat zone because it is not necessary.
DEMETRIUS BALL (Assistant Principal) I think [arming teachers] creates a very negative climate in the classroom. We have essentially created way more volume of dangerous weapons that teachers would be responsible for, maintaining accountability, protecting them at all times and keeping them away from children ... And that’s not our mission. Our mission is to educate students.
ANDREW WENGEL (Social Studies Teacher)
ARMING TEACHERS? DV STAFF PROVIDE THEIR OPINIONS
OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS’ GUN VOTING RECORDS BY VIKRAM BALASUBRAMANIAN, AMANDA SU & MICHAEL HAN
ASSEMBLYWOMAN CATHARINE BAKER (R)
5/19/16: Voted against SB 1446, which prohibits the possession of high-capacity gun magazines 6/30/16: Voted against AB 2607, which authorizes certain individuals to request a gun violence restraining order
6/1/16: Voted against AB 2607, which authorizes certain individuals to request a gun violence restraining order 6/30/16: Voted against SB 1446, which prohibits the possession of high-capacity gun magazines
7/16/14: Voted against H Amdt 1098, which would prevent use of federal funds on enforcing some gun regulations 2/26/16: Voted against HR 2406, which would expand recreational hunting and shooting opportunities 2/2/17: Voted against HJ Res 40, providing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 3/16/17: Voted against HR 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act 12/6/17: Voted against HR 38, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 3/14/18: Voted for HR 4909 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) which reauthorizes the grant program for school security in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Acts of 1968
2/27/15: Co-sponsored AB 1135, which prohibits firearms with bullet button (a device that makes it easier to reload guns) 6/1/15: Voted for SB 707, which prohibits concealed firearms on school grounds 5/19/16: Voted for SB 1235, which requires background checks to buy ammunition 5/19/16: Voted for AB 1135, which prohibits firearms with bullet button 6/30/16: Voted for AB 1674, which expands the prohibition on purchasing more than 1 firearm within a 30-day period to include all firearms and all types of transfers 9/15/17: Voted for AJR 24, which recommends Congress refrain from Concealed Carry Reciprocity
9/1/15: Voted for SB707, which prohibits concealed firearms on school grounds 6/30/16: Voted for SB 1235, which requires background checks to buy ammunition 6/30/16: Voted for AB 1674, which expands the prohibition on purchasing more than 1 firearm within a 30-day period to include all firearms and all types of transfers 6/30/16: Voted for AB 1135, which prohibits firearms with bullet button 9/12/17: Voted for AJR 24, which recommends Congress refrain from Concealed Carry Reciprocity *** 9/11/17: Abstained from voting for AB 424, which would prohibit superintendents from being able to grant permission for individuals to carry firearms on campus
CA SEN. STEVE GLAZER (R)
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D)
Source: Vote Smart
OPINION: CONSIDERING A BAN ON SEMI-AUTOMATIC GUNS BY VIKRAM BALASUBRAMANIAN, KAVIN KUMARAVEL, BRANDON SHI, SKYLER SPEARS & SRAAVYA SAMBARA
We hoped it wouldn’t happen again, but it did. Since Sandy Hook, mass shootings have become routine, permeating our news feeds with cycles of mourning and inaction. Most recently, in Parkland, Fla., a gunman killed 17 people in a rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As usual, the shooting has reignited the gun debate. And this time, perhaps due to the survivors’ calls for reform, meaningful gun control legislation is actually on the table. Given this revitalized conversation, it would be a mistake to not seriously consider banning the private ownership of semiautomatic weapons — which fire one bullet and automatically reload with each pull of the trigger, including everything from assault weapons to handguns. To clarify, shooting ranges and hunting grounds (with regulations and public oversight) could still keep stores of weapons on site for gun enthusiasts to use — it’s just private ownership that presents an issue. While we can all get behind soft reforms like universal background checks and voluntary buybacks, these changes are not enough. To be sure, prohibiting a wide variety of firearms is an unpopular political position — a poll conducted by The Economist on Feb. 25 indicated that close to 50 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans opposed restricting access to handguns, let alone all semi-automatics. However, barring ownership of guns, including handguns, is a necessity for reducing gun violence, preventing both mass shootings and homicides. A Feb. 15 op-ed by conservative Jacob Sullum, senior editor of Reason magazine, maintains that “legislators’ ‘assault weapons’ definitions … are based on appearance rather than lethality.” Our proposal is to ban all semi-automatic weapons, thereby encompassing all “assault rifles,” which means an ill-informed definition is not a problem. Additionally, assault weapons such as AR-15s are undeniably lethal, and their regulation is not just a matter of appearance. Heather Sher, a radiologist who treated the Parkland victims, writes, “[AR-15] bullets ... are different. They travel at a higher velocity and are far more lethal than routine bullets fired from a handgun.” Sher described victims’ organs as “shreds” reminiscent of “an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer.” Unlike handgun bullets, AR15 bullets don’t have to hit an artery to kill; victims often die from blood loss before reaching the trauma center. Thus, perpetrators don’t have to be skilled or precise to kill large numbers of people. A WIRED article praised AR-15s as particularly “ergonomic,” and characterized by “easy handling” — words that you wouldn’t want to use to describe an active shooter’s weapon. Range, of course, is another issue — enabling perpetrators to effectively combat police. Further-
more, assault weapons are highly modular, meaning that they can be customized with additions such as bump stocks that convert them into fully automatic weapons. So despite sharing semi-automatic characteristics, assault weapons are significantly more dangerous than other firearms. Banning them would decrease both the number and body count of mass shootings. While banning assault weapons is a necessary first step, they are useless without also passing a handgun ban. Handguns contributed to 65 percent of the 9,616 firearm homicides in 2016, far outnumbering the death toll from AR-15s. Their usage in cases of violent crime exceeds that of all other firearms. Handguns are effective tools for criminals because they are cheap, easy to use and concealable. Substitution is highly unlikely after the ban because it simply isn’t feasible to discreetly commit most crime using long guns. But beyond that, suicides constitute the majority of lives lost due to gun violence; every year, over 21,000 Americans die by gun suicide. As one can imagine, attempting suicide using a firearm is almost always fatal. Antonio R. Andres of the VSB-Technical University of Ostrava and Katherine Hempstead of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation state that “much of the decline in suicide in the United States over the past decades has been linked to the reduced prevalence of ﬁrearms.” Handguns are the primary culprit, causing 49.9 percent of all firearm suicide deaths according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. And it’s a myth that without access to a gun, suicidal people will find a way regardless — intense suicidal thoughts are often temporary, so any barrier to a suicide weapon could save lives. What about self-defense? Shouldn’t people be able to possess a small pistol or revolver? It’s a common, intuitive argument, but ultimately one that falters in the face of both statistics and anecdotal evidence. The self-defense myth peddled by the NRA has been proven to be massively overstated and overreported. Self-defense is self-defeating. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that “the handgun bought for self-protection is far more likely to be used against the owner or someone known to the owner — in a homicide (usually as the result of an argument), a suicide, or an unintentional shooting — than in legitimate self-defense.” There are plenty of examples of people killing themselves or others by accident, including the recent unintended death of 18-year-old aspiring nurse Courtlin Arrington at an Alabama high school. There have certainly been instances where people have used handguns to defend themselves. But this kind of anecdotal evidence of people using a firearm to protect themselves against an intruder is skewed, because it ignores vital context. According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, owning a handgun makes one more likely to become target in the first place — consequently making it more likely that you will end up having to use said handgun in “self-defense.” The journal indi-
cates that the statistically determined possibility of using a gun against a criminal during a crime will occur “zero times” for the average person — an infinitesimal probability. It’s also highly possible that an unarmed intruder will successfully seize and obtain possession of the homeowner’s legally-held firearm, escalating
The Constitution is not absolute even in the status quo. the stakes of a home invasion. So it’s not surprising that these “self-defense” incidents often do not end well. A Harvard analysis the federal National Crime Victimization Survey shows that “the likelihood of injury when there was a self-defense gun use (10.9 percent) was basically identical to the likelihood of injury when the victim took no action at all (11.0 percent).” It is important to note that while the number of uses of guns in self defense are widely disputed, the NCVS, conducted from 2007 to 2011, had a sample size of 160,000 of which 127 people reported using a gun in self defense. Compared to the most prominent study touted by conservatives (the Kleck-Gertz survey in the 1990s), it has a sample size 3100 percent greater and is far more recent. The Second Amendment, as commonly interpreted, is wrong — it clearly only outlines firearm usage for militias. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to allow for a citizen militia to ostensibly rise up against an authoritarian government. But, the probability of tyranny is so low that its use as a justification for the continuation of complacency is laughable. The Second Amendment does not allow for blanket gun ownership. The Constitution is not absolute even in the status quo — “strict scrutiny” allows for an unconstitutional law to remain in place as long as it presents a “compelling government interest,” which a gun ban would. But in order to justify its benefits, the logistics of this ban must be different this time. The reason why previous regulations were ineffective is not because gun control as an idea is ineffective, but rather because the wording of bills allowed for the owning of guns and gun accessories that were made illegal as long as they were bought before the passage of the law. It is this grandfather clause that allows for the perpetuation of the black market after a ban. It is crucial that we implement a system of mandatory buybacks to eliminate this loophole. Australia used the system after it passed sweeping gun regulations similar to a semiautomatic weapon ban after the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996. The Washington Post states that “there were 13 mass shootings in the 17 years prior to the passage of the National Firearms Agreement [by Australia]. Since then, there hasn’t been a single one.” There do remain some other objections to
bans, with fingers pointing at Chicago or D.C. as examples of where gun bans have failed. It’s important to remember, however, that these bans were not applied nationwide, allowing for circumvention by buying firearms from outside the area where the law was enacted. The plan we propose must be implemented federally. Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University state that because “ [the National Firearms Agreement] applied across the nation meant that gun owners could not simply travel across jurisdictions to purchase a replacement firearm, as can occur in the case of the more limited buybacks.” Buybacks also solve for a majority of the “black market” that conservatives mention because the illicit market derives its supply from the legal market — often through theft or straw purchasing, an explanation supported by the National Institute of Justice. Drying up the legal supply prevents illicit channels. At the root of this problem are the NRA lobbyists, whose sole purpose in this context seems to be to impede any and all gun control legislation headed towards Congress. NRA gun lobbyists pull the strings, and their GOP allies cower in fear as they do so. The NRA bestows grants of hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians on both sides of the aisle, buying not only their support but their silence. In 2017 alone, 24 full time NRA lobbyists lobbied for more than 200 bills, spending upwards of $5.1 million to do so. In addition to lobbying expenditures, NRA electoral spending last year reached an astounding $54 million, in the form of donations to Republican candidates. The NRA diligently supervises everything related to gun control happening in Congress — nothing happens without their knowledge and consent. In Florida, for example, legislators and political analysts make sure to run any changes to legislation by NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer before even thinking about passing the bill, according to email records obtained by The New Yorker. Their deference to her is clear. And it highlights the overarching problem: that legislators and politicians are being persuaded by money to sway to the tune of their charmer — the NRA. If a shooting occurs, then a bill will be proposed. It will be brought down by lobbyists, and the issue will be brought up again only when another shooting happens. It’s a cycle of inaction and cynicism that has defined our modern politics. But never again. We simply cannot afford to be vague in our response to guns in America. Every time there is a delay in Congress or every time a mediocre gun control bill is proposed, we risk losing another life. We’re treading water right now, and before we’re dragged back underneath by yet another tragedy, we need to do something. Guns don’t save lives, they only take them. And this cycle of violence is just perpetuated by the existence of guns for the foolish fallacy that they serve to protect, while in reality, they only endanger us.
MARCH 29 2018
MARCH 29 2018
RACQUETBALL PLAYER NIKITA CHAUHAN “SERVES” SUCCESS ON THE COURT BY AMANDA SU Co-Editor-in-Chief
Making waves as a young athlete in a sport not often recognized, Dougherty Valley High School junior Nikita Chauhan, a Team USA racquetball player, dominates daily on the racquetball court. Racquetball is an indoor, fast-paced sport, in which players hit a rubber, hollow ball against the wall in an enclosed space with a teardrop-shaped racquet, rallying against their opponents. According to Chauhan, it’s “one of the only sports where all the muscles in your body are worked out.” Because Chauhan’s father used to play squash in college, a sport that is somewhat similar to racquetball, Chauhan was inspired to follow in his footsteps. However, when her family moved to San Ramon and joined the gym at Club Sport Pleasanton, they discovered that the gym doesn’t have squash courts — only racquetball courts. Despite initially thinking racquetball was a “pretty lame sport,” Chauhan tried it out and soon grew to love it because of all the friends she has made through the sport in international competitions. She has now been playing for around six years and hasn’t looked back since. Three times a week, Chauhan works on staying fit, conditioning — doing body-weight exercises — based on work-out schedules that her coach, David Horn, creates for her. “The things that I do for conditioning are actually a huge mixture of things and change all the time. Racquetball is one sport in which the greatest amount of muscles are worked out so I have to make sure I am working out my entire body,” she said. Outside the gym and on the racquetball court, Chauhan practices six days a week, which involves doing specific drills — such as footwork drills, using the ladder to improve her movement on the court and practicing her serves “since it’s the most important shot of the game.” In addition to this training, she also has a coach in Arizona, to whom she sends videos of herself playing and who responds with critiques to improve her game. Beyond preparing herself physically for competitions, Chauhan also noted the importance of preparing herself mentally: “I’ll watch my previous matches and see what I could have done better. You know, finding certain words to tell
yourself when you’re in an important match that kind of help you stay calm and keep going. To keep your focus and attention and focus on the game.” As a result of her diligence in training, Chauhan has had numerous accomplishments in racquetball. Most recently, at the National High School Racquetball Tournament in Portland, Oregon, from Feb. 28 to March 4, Chauhan and her fellow Dougherty juniors Reema Sreenivasan, Mansi Jain and Kashish Pandey helped Dougherty win 11th place for girls teams out of all the schools in the nation. Chauhan’s individual accomplishments at the Championships include earning a gold in the Level 1 Consolation Division of girls doubles with Pandey as her partner and bringing home a silver medal in the Level 1 Gold Division of girls singles, making it to finals in that event. Chauhan is currently ranked first in the state of California for girls aged 18 and under and has participated in four Junior World Cham-
“I don’t mind about losing or not but it’s always tough when you don’t give a tough fight and play your best game because you know you could have played better. But that’s just helped me train to prevent that from happening again.” — Nikita Chauhan pionships as a part of Team USA. At her first one in 2014 in Cali, Colombia, she won a bronze medal. The following year in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, she was a semifinalist. In 2016 in San Luis Patosi, Mexico, she won a bronze in doubles. And in the 2017 tournament in Minnesota, she won a bronze medal in the gold division. To compete in these tournaments as a member of Team USA and maintain her spot on the team, Chauhan has had to consistently perform well in the annual Junior Nationals tournaments and stay in the gold division — for singles, that means winning first or second at Junior Nationals and for doubles, that means winning the complete bracket. Chauhan has thus far been to six Junior Nationals and competed as a part of the Team
USA team for the last four. Having been on Team USA for the last four years, in 2017, Chauhan had the honor of being chosen from all the players on Team USA to receive the Sportsmanship of the Year award for her good sportsmanship and positive attitude. She credits this as one of her proudest accomplishments and most memorable experiences. “Normally they give it to players whose last year it is on the team, and I think I was 15 at that time,” she said. “My coach handed it to me, so it felt really rewarding. Smiling on the court and being a good sport really does pay off.” Although Chauhan has always worked hard to maintain a positive attitude, she admits that she has had to overcome difficult losses and obstacles as an athlete. “Forgiving yourself when you make a mistake has been one of the hardest things,” she said. “The most difficult [loss] was last year at Junior Nationals. I made it to the finals and I was training really had to defeat my opponent. But I guess I was just having an off day. I don’t worry about losing or not but it’s always tough when you don’t give a tough fight and play your best game because you know you could have played better. But that’s just helped me train to prevent that from happening again.” In Chauhan’s athletic career, there have been several individuals whose support has been formative in her growth, including her coach, Horn, and her father, who sparked her interest in racquetball and continues to support her athletic endeavors today. “I look up to my dad because all the sacrifices he has made in trying to help me become the best player and person I can be on and off the court … My dad is my main coach and takes time off [from] work to be able to coach me at important tournaments,” she said. Since her beginnings as a racquetball athlete, Chauhan’s passion for racquetball has never wavered. But, she is dismayed that racquetball doesn’t get as much recognition as many other mainstream sports. “I really don’t know why racquetball doesn’t get enough credit. It’s an Olympic sport. And it’s entered a bid for the 2028 Olympics in LA. I think it just got unlucky and kind of died down after the 1970s-ish but hopefully it’s popularity is going to start to gain back,” she said. To promote the sport and students’ interest, Chauhan founded and is the president of Dougherty Valley’s racquetball club. In the future, Chauhan aspires to go to a col-
Nikita Chauhan defeats Kaitlyn Boyle in a tie-breaker at the 2018 National High School Racquetball Tournament in Portland, Oregon, advancing to the finals. // PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF GALLEMORE
lege that has a racquetball team, or would herself like to start one there to continue to help the sport gain recognition. Beyond this, she is also determined to eventually win a world title and become a professional racquetball player. However, she said that, “unfortunately, even if you do become a professional racquetball player you can’t really make a living out of it unlike professional basketball players. Even though I do have a sponsor [Gearbox], it’s not going to pay enough.” Consequentially, she is also potentially interested in pursuing a career in the fields of biology or biophysics. Uncertain about what her future holds, Chauhan hopes to enjoy her time playing racquetball as much as she can and advises young athletes to “appreciate whatever you’re doing and have a good attitude.” Never taking her talent and opportunities for granted, Chauhan continues to embrace pressure and challenges, stating, “there are many people who would want to be where I am.” Everyday, she lives by tennis player Serena Williams’s quote at the U.S. Open last year: “Pressure is privilege.”
NIKA SHIRAZI “CROSSES” AKSHAY ARORA ACES THE COACHING GAME WITH ATHLETIC SPIRIT BY HARMONIE YACOB Assistant Photography Editor Senior Nika Shirazi is not only one of the most spirited DV students but she’s also a star lacrosse player, being the only goalie and captain on the Varsity Women’s Lacrosse team. She started out playing a small common position but immediately went to a more difficult position. “I started playing lacrosse because my friend was doing it and I wanted to try new things to expand my time here at Dougherty,” she said. Ever since sophomore year, her career as a high school lacrosse player has significantly improved. When asking about her proudest moment she referenced her sophomore year. “My proudest moment is probably when we went overtime my sophomore year, and I was scared out of my mind. This girl shot the ball at me and I somehow saved it and cleared it, but I was dying inside.” She is spending a great amount of time working to improve her fitness and skills to make her last season her best season. Not only is she working out almost every day of the week, but she has joined a club team to increase her playing time and her goalie skills to
be the leading role model for her team this upcoming spring season. Being the captain of the varsity team, she feels it is important to be the best she can be, and as athletes like to say, have “no days off.” In previous years Shirazi has seen a common trend in the team’s performance. She states her goals for this season is to successfully have her team make it to NCS: “I want to emphasize having a strong bond with the team and having that translate on the field. In past years the game was predominately in possession of a couple people and I want to involve everyone and bring everyone’s strengths to the table and use it to get to NCS.” Not only does Shirazi play for the DV team but she’s recently joined the club team, Stick With It. Although playing a sport that is predominantly Caucasian, as being an Iranian may produce natural or slight discrimination, she is not faced with any of those challenges. She states, “I haven’t faced any necessarily challenges being middle eastern in a predominately white sport especially since most of my career I’ve been at Dougherty which is not predominantly white. But for my club team every person is white and its weird seeing how they all have a different culture
BY ARMAAN RASHID & ELISA FANG Co-Editor-in-Chief & Managing Editor
Senior Nika Shirazi defends the goal. // HARMONIE YACOB
than me, and different family life, but its not a challenge,” she said. As it is her last year, not only on the team, but at Dougherty, she has made it her goal to make this season her best since she will not be continuing to play lacrosse in college. She wants to truly take on the role of captain, not only to help the experienced girls, but to nurture the newcomers. She, along with the rest of the seniors on the team, want to make a lasting reputation for the varsity team for many years forward. “I want my legacy to be known as someone who’s always in good spirits and energetic and weird but also be someone who’s there for everyone and able to help.”
For the head of a team with an unbroken four-year winning streak, Men’s Tennis Coach Akshay Arora is surprisingly unconcerned with victory. “All around NorCal, kids are practicing [tennis] from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every day, just like us. If we can just do a little bit more, be a little bit better, that’s enough,” he said, early into the spring 2018 season. Fittingly, Men’s Tennis Captain Akshay Sathiya describes Arora’s coaching as “passionate” above all else. “He instills in us the mentality to always give 100 percent. ‘Give ‘em hell’ — that’s what he always tells us,” Sathiya said. That spirit appears to have worked, given the team’s four-year-long streak of unbroken league wins, and it stems from Arora’s own coaching philosophy. “I hope [the players] take away from being on the team is hard work — the skill of hard work, and what it takes to get to the top.” Arora himself began playing after moving to the Bay Area from India after living there for 11 years. Attending Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA, he picked up the sport by simply playing with his brother on the courts in their free time, before training more seriously in high school and even playing competitively at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. His story wasn’t one of instant prodigal success. “Growing up, I wasn’t the most talented tennis player, so it was easy for other coaches to say ‘this is [what] he’s not good at,’” Arora reflected. “I wasn’t the most talented, top tennis player
Coach Arora also runs a private tennis coaching business, Arora Tennis. // PHOTO COURTESY OF ARORA TENNIS
— and coaches would always say, ‘he’s not the tallest, or the strongest,’ and I didn’t like that. So instead my mentality is, ‘let’s improve their strengths.’” Indeed, his own players verify his commitment to nurturing every player on the court. “In sports there’s a tendency where the most attention is spent on the best players … but for Akshay, if he feels different about certain players over others, he certainly doesn’t show it,” said former team captain Shawn Jiang, who trained with Arora for over five years. Jiang, when asked to describe Arora as a coach in one word, chose “goofy.” “I know that sounds like a terrible thing [for a coach] — but it’s actually very endearing. Akshay,” Jiang describes of Arora, on a first name basis, “never tries to portray the sort of domineering, distant figure that some coaches do. If you talk to him outside of tennis, he’s very funny and very nice.” However, as a coach, Arora commented that it’s not necessarily his job to be “the most likable coach. It’s my job to be one of the more respected coaches.” “[I learned] a lot about leadership just by observing him,” Jiang said.
MARCH 29 2018
MEN’S VOLLEYBALL STRUGGLES DURING INITIAL STRETCH OF SEASON
BY JESSIE TSANG & KATIE WILLIAMS Staff Writers
Despite losses to Foothill and Amador, the Wildcats held their heads high after a sweep against Livermore Cowboys, putting Dougherty’s league record at 1-3. On March 1, the Foothill Falcons defeated the Dougherty Valley Wildcats. Dougherty’s offense was unable to respond as they were consistently held to below 15 points by the Falcons, with each set’s score being 13-25, 1225, and 11-25 respectively. This was Dougherty’s second loss of the season. Dougherty’s men’s volleyball team had to undergo a transition to a new varsity coach. Gary Reznik, who has coached volleyball for over 30 years, and currently runs the East Bay Volleyball Club (which many DV players are a part of), has come to coach the varsity team this year. In addition to a new coach, many new players made the varsity team this year, and new adjustments are needed. “We really only lost the game because of mistakes on our end and once we clean up our game and play more cohesively, I know we’ll do a lot better,” said fourth-year varsity player Sankalp Panigrahi. Set one looked strong for both teams. Dougherty’s senior setter Pedro Menezes opened the game with an ace, driving the momentum for
the Wildcats. However, Foothill’s outside Daniel Qian powered through Dougherty’s defense and helped Foothill take the first set. The remaining two sets followed a similar pattern: Dougherty came out strong but simply could not stop Qian and Foothill’s offense. Qian finished the game with 12 kills. “Next time we play Foothill we’ll really be focused on shutting down Daniel,” said Panigrahi. “He was able to pick apart our defense and find the holes in our blocks.” The Wildcats were not discouraged. Despite the loss, they went up against Livermore on March 6 with determination. The Wildcats finished with an overall game score of 3-0. The first set was tight throughout but the Wildcats came out on top, winning 26-24. From there they took games two and three, finishing 2521 and 25-12 respectively. “A definite change we had was in our morale,” said Menezes. “As we kept winning, each set our morale boost grew which directly correlated to our score growing in each set, so that was magnificent.” With higher confidence also came better performance. Many of the players and the coach felt that this game was a much better demonstration of their skill and teamwork. “Without a doubt, our serve receive, our passing, was remarkably better against Livermore than it was against Foothill. If you can’t pass and serve receive, it’s really hard to win or score points at all,” said Coach Reznick.
With new mental and physical changes, the team faced their toughest opponent, Amador Valley High School, on March 8. Dougherty suffered a loss against the Dons in three sets. This was Dougherty’s third loss of the season. The first set was a rusty start for both teams, with many serving and hitting errors on both sides of the net. However, once Amador began to get in the swing of things, they ran away with the first set 25-16. Set two was a close sideout game all throughout. Dougherty played significant defense and was able to keep up with Amador by putting up a strong block against their tough offense. However, Amador’s offense persevered. Junior Colton Brooks from Amador, outside hitter, dominated from both the front and back row, putting the Dons back on top to finish the game. The Wildcats still performed well against the Dons, with Panigrahi and senior outside Shanwen Lo having 10 kills in the game. But it wasn’t enough to defeat the powerhouse offense, and the Dons stole away the win. “I think that we tried our best against them. We did some really good things and we figured out what we didn’t do,” said Menezes, “We went point-for-point with them, we matched them in skill most of the time.” The team is still confident, despite the crushing defeat. More than half the season lies ahead for the Wildcats. Coach Reznik, along with Menezes and Panigrahi, has high hopes
STUNT TUMBLES THEIR WAY TO VICTORY BY CAROLINE LOBEL & CLAIRE ZHANG Staff Writers Dougherty Valley High School’s STUNT team has started the 2018 season off with a bang, with an overall EBAL league score of 4-0. The team’s most recent game against the Livermore Cowboys on Mar. 20 was a close match. The game finally ended with DV winning 16-11. The first quarter, Partner Stunts, ended with DV in the lead by 3-1. The second quarter, Pyramids and Tosses, was more action-packed than the first. It concluded with DV winning 5-4. During this quarter, there is one tie, and the Wildcats forfeited a total of 2 routines, namely, routine 6 and routine 5. The team is currently working on the two routines. Jenna Scheiner, the head coach, said, “The first priority is completing the final two routines that we haven’t played yet.” Jumps and Tumbling, the third quarter, is Dougherty Valley’s best event. “I think that’s our strongest quarter because of the technique of their jumping and tumbling skills are better than others,” stated Coach Scheiner. The third quarter was especially close. DV and Livermore tied two times in this quarter. The quarter ended with the Wildcats still in the lead 9-6. The game finally concluded with the fourth quarter, Team Performance. It was a suspenseful quarter due to the possibility of a Cowboys comeback, but the Wildcats eventually took the game home, 16-11. Although their last match was a close game, the Wildcats continue to hold their ground. They work on their stunts and their teamwork everyday
for the team and the season. “It’s a turtle and the hare; we may not do well the first couple of points, but eventually we’ll get going and we’ll beat them with sheer tenacity,” said Menezes. The Wildcats will face off the Granada Matadors next at a home game on March 30.
THE WILDCAT TRIBUNE www.thewildcattribune.com Facebook: DVHSTribune Twitter: @WildcatTribune Instagram: Wildcat_Tribune The Wildcat Tribune strives to cover the news accurately, fairly and honestly. It is our policy to correct significant errors of fact. All corrections should be emailed to wildcattribunestaff@gmail. com. The Wildcat Tribune, Dougherty Valley’s student-produced newspaper, is dedicated to printing the truth, refraining from libel and obscenity and abiding by the journalistic code of ethics. Advertising material is printed herein for informational purposes and is not to be construed as an expression of endorsement or verification of such commercial ventures by the staff, school or district. The journalism class is located in Room 1205 at Dougherty Valley High School 10550 Albion Road San Ramon, CA 94582
EDITORS Stunt celebrates their Senior Night victory. // DVHS STUNT INSTAGRAM
after school. “We need to improve on trusting each other and the technique of our skills,” one of the three captains, senior Sara White, said. To remedy this, the team has a team dinner every week. They also have group chats through which the team members can connect. STUNT, although fun, puts the team members under a lot of stress. The sport requires consistency and execution under pressure to win. Freshman Chloe Richard stated, “They call routines on the spot, so you never know what’s going to happen and being able to do it under pressure and to stay on track with what’s happening can get difficult.” They have to memorize the routines before their practices so they can focus on just executing the routines. The team still enjoys the sport even after all the grueling work that they put in. Hailey Heyes, senior, said, “I like
BASEBALL: Season: 6 - 1 League: 1 - 0
TRACK: (DUBLIN DISTANCE FIESTA) BOYS: 2:02.27 GIRLS: 2:35.36
Jarom Kuaea serves the ball overhand. // RIYA BINDLISH
GOLF: Season: 3 - 1 League: 3 - 1
BADMINTON: Season: 2 - 0 League: 0 - 0 LACROSSE(M): Season: 4 - 4 League: 2 - 3
STUNT because we have a really good team. Our bonding is great and we get to meet the new team. It’s fun being a flyer.” Being on the STUNT team requires a lot more work and effort than what is presented during the games. Coach Scheiner said, “Each of the athletes [have to] take ownership of their positions and routines. You have to be really smart to play STUNT and to memorize it. I think they are smart to memorize their accounts.” In order to master the routines as a team, they have rigorous practice everyday. Applying that much commitment also takes a lot of motivation. Senior Jasmin Miranda said, “Winning a lot of the games [motivates us] because we have an undefeated record. We want to keep that up.” The team is set to play California High on Apr. 10. Their last set game will be against San Ramon on Apr. 17.
TENNIS: Season: 4 - 0 League: 4 - 0
VARSITY SPRING SPORTS RECORDS
ARMAAN RASHID & AMANDA SU, Editors-in-Chief ELISA FANG, Managing Editor ANUMITA JAIN, Managing Web Editor TAYLOR ATIENZA & SASHA HASSAN, News Editors BRANDON SHI, Opinions Editor KAVIN KUMARAVEL & MEGAN TSANG, Arts & Entertainment Editors RONIT KUMAR, Sports Editor MIGUEL DICKENSON, Assistant Ops & Sports Editor VIKRAM BALASUBRAMANIAN, Satire Editor SKYLER SPEARS, Photography Editor HARMONIE YACOB, Assistant Photo Editor SARAH KIM & ELAINE PARK, Arts & Graphics Editor RIYA BINDLISH, ANIKA GARG, SRAAVYA SAMBARA, DANIEL SHEN, Copy Editors
TEJASVI ANAND, OCE BOHRA, PRANAV CHILLAPPAGARI, ERIC CHANG, STEVEN DENG, MICHAEL HAN, ASHITA JEWARGI, AISHA KHANDELWAL, SHEYDA LADJEVARDI, CAROLINE LOBEL, ARSHIA MEHTA, HARSHITA NERALLA, ANOUKI PANTHAGANI, JESSIE TSANG, KATIE WILLIAMS, CLAIRE ZHANG
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR KAREN WANG
ADVISOR MS. RACHEL DECKER
SOFTBALL: Season: 3 - 0 League: 0 - 0
SWIMMING: Season: 3 - 0 League: 2 - 0
VOLLEYBALL: Season: 2 - 9 League: 1 - 6 LACROSSE(W): Season: 3 - 5 League: 2 - 2
STUNT: Season: 4 - 0 League: 4 - 0
MARCH 29 2018