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Chronicle the harvard-westlake

Studio City • Volume 30 • Issue 1 • Aug. 26, 2020 •

Teachers prepare for Zoom

By Frank Jiang

Although many schools initially considered hosting in-person classes in the fall, most have opted to hold events and classes online for the upcoming academic year instead. On-campus events that would typically occur at the beginning of the school year are now all taking place online, such as Sophomore Orientation, Convocation, Back to School Day and Fast Start. Since the school plans to conduct classes online for the majority of the upcoming academic year, some teachers have asked students to take home additional materials. For example, Honors Physics teachers asked students to return to campus to pick up boxes containing items that they will need for class, including a ramp, springs and washers. With both the challenges of COVID-19 and the limited number of items they could place in the boxes, science teachers encountered the dilemma of which labs to keep, modify and cut. Science teacher Richard Vo said that there were a variety of other factors besides the space limitations that the science department had to consider when discussing the feasibility of labs. “[The issue of labs] was something we were already really thinking hard about, like what labs were really essential and focused on the topics we cared about, what labs were useful for students in terms of getting an idea that was hard to get unless the lab was hands-on, what labs kids liked, right?” Vo said. • Continued on A3


School announces anti-racism initiatives

By Hannah Han and Ethan Lachman

In light of the racial justice movement sweeping across the nation, members of the class of 2019 created Blackathw, an Instagram account highlighting the experiences of Black students on campus. After a series of discussions with Black alumni and students, upper and middle school administrators composed an anti-racism plan, which they released July 24. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Janine Jones said she anticipated the creation of Blackathw after students at private schools such as Campbell Hall, Brentwood School and Marlborough School founded similar accounts. Since Blackathw was created by alumni June

21, Jones said she has been reading the posts regularly. “My initial reaction was pride,” Jones said. “I was really proud of the students who are a part of the class of 2019 who started the account because it takes a lot of courage to do something like that. It is not easy to be an African American student at Harvard-Westlake or at any school where you are not in the dominant racial culture.” Currently, the account has over 2,700 followers and 31 experiences posted anonymously by people of color at the school. Jones said she had already heard most of the stories through Black Leadership, Awareness and Cultural Club (BLACC) gatherings and brown bag lunches, which are informal professional development meetings. However,

she said one post, in which a semi-conscious Black student was sexually assaulted by a group of boys at a party, appalled her in particular. Associate Head of School Laura Ross said that throughout the summer, she and other administrators held conversations with Black alumni and students, including the authors of an alumni letter with over 1,600 signatures and the founders of Blackathw. Ross said the administration was wary of releasing a statement addressing social justice early in the break without first taking direct, substantial action. “At the beginning of the summer, I think we felt some pressure that we should just be saying something, but we didn’t want to put out something that was just like, ‘Oh, we feel your pain,’

or something that was empty words,” Ross said. “That felt like that would be disrespectful of the stories people were telling us, so we felt it was much more Harvard-Westlake to make sure that we had a thoughtful, thorough response.” BLACC leader Cameron Herring ’21 said the conversations, which occurred primarily in June, were difficult yet effective. “It was tough to be in there because it was everybody around you, your loved ones, your community at Harvard-Westlake, talking about painful experiences that they’ve had,” Herring said. “One thing that’s been hard for me as a 17-year-old is having to advocate for a whole community when I’m still learning about the • Continued on A2

Administration releases plans for reopening in light of COVID-19

By Tessa Augsberger and Sandra Koretz


EMPTY QUAD: While students, faculty and staff prepared for online learning in the summer, lunch tables were removed from the lower quad.

The administration released their Return to School Plans and Guidelines for the 2020-21 school year July 31. According to the plans, students will attend classes from home in a distance-learning model upon their return to school Aug. 24. The action plan, developed by a task force of administrators from both campuses, outlines the school’s updated reopening system in accordance with public health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The plan also includes guidelines for the responsibilities of students’ families and the school community as a whole.

Once Los Angeles County is taken off California’s County Monitoring List for 14 days, the school will resume on-campus learning through a pod approach, in which grade-level pods will attend classes in-person two to three days per week. However, all classes will be available through Zoom, as students, faculty and staff are not required to come to campus on pod days if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Head of Upper School Beth Slattery said that although many students are excited to return to campus, some teachers are concerned. “I think families in particular are really eager for their kids to be in-person,” Slattery said. “It’s been an interesting situation because faculty are a bit more reluctant to return to school because they are older than students and

typically have child-care concerns or are caring for a parent.” According to the plan, some students who choose to return to campus will attend class with their teachers present, while others will attend class remotely from a different spot on campus in order to maintain social distancing. Sarah Rivera ’21 said she probably will not return to campus, even when the pod approach is implemented. “I will most likely end up staying home, just because [the pod approach] seems more inconvenient than anything,” Rivera said. “I understand that being on campus for school is a necessary experience, but having teachers teach in person and on Zoom at the same time does not at all seem practical to me.” • Continued on A3

A2 News

The Chronicle

Commons releases DEI plan

Aug. 26, 2020

• Continued from A1

issues myself.” Jones said she recognizes that some may see the anti-racism plans as reactionary, but inaction is far worse. Administrators were genuinely determined to take action both before and after the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, she said. “I don’t like saying that any of our stuff is performative, although I know somebody is going to read the anti-racism plan as performative,” Jones said. “But there’s so much goodness and meat in that anti-racism plan that they can say that [it is performative] because it’s just not true.” Although Herring appreciates the school’s thoughtfulness and fully supports their initiatives, she said she remains cautiously optimistic. “The only thing that I’ll say is that I will be happiest when I see [the anti-racism plans] starting to be implemented and enforced,” Herring said. “Harvard-Westlake is very good at, you know, making really amazing promises. As we saw with their mission statement, they said this is going to be a diverse and inclusive community. And they’ve been saying that for years, which is amazing, but that wasn’t the case, right? So, I don’t know—I’m happy to see it all laid out because that’s where it starts, but I will not feel completely fulfilled until I see everything beginning to be implemented and all the people in our community [taking] part in anti-racism work, instead of a select few seeing it as their responsibility and doing what they have to do.


CAFETERIA CONSTRUCTION: Construction for the second upper school cafeteria, located outside of the Seaver classrooms, nears completion. The cafeteria annex, which aims to account for the new schedule’s common lunch period, includes an outdoor seating area and a bar that overlooks the quad.

Outdoor cafeteria undergoes construction

By Tanisha Gunby

In an effort to provide lunch efficiently to the school community, the administration decided to build a cafeteria annex at the flag court. Associate Head of School Laura Ross said that while the school was planning the new schedule, many members of the community were concerned about the common lunch period. Without the cafeteria annex, the entire student body would be forced to occupy one space when purchasing their food. “We recognized early on that we had to create options

for [people to get lunch] so that they aren’t just standing in lines,” Ross said. “We also knew that we wanted more covered outdoor space.” President Rick Commons said he hopes the cafeteria annex will help manage traffic flow effectively. “I think it’s going to be a nicer place to sit and a nicer place than we otherwise would have had to pick up food items quickly,” Commons said. “We are of course trying to make sure that we can have that community lunchtime not be a nightmare for people but be a dream come true. [We want lunch to] be a time for people to connect with

friends and teachers and everybody free at the same time, creating a real community.” The school has also added a section in Chalmers Hall for students to pick up snacks and drinks between classes, Ross said. Ross said that once the school transitions to hybrid learning, stickers and signs will be placed in the cafeteria, forcing individuals to stand six feet apart. In addition, adults will regulate the cafeteria to ensure that students maintain social distancing throughout the day. Katarina Cheng ’21 said she was worried that one cafeteria would not be able to cater to ev-

ery student. “One of my main concerns about the new schedule was the chaos and congestion of the common lunch period, so an extra cafeteria area should be able to fix that,” Cheng said. Maya Doyle ’21 said she looks forward to using the new cafeteria once classes are held on campus. “I’m excited to see how the school is adapting to accommodate the new schedule,” Doyle said. “[The cafeteria annex is] close to my locker, and I won’t have to walk down and back up the stairs from the patio area. I hope that the cafeteria will allow communal lunch to function efficiently.”

In the issue...

A4-5 NEW TO SCHOOL: Students pro-

file and introduce new faculty and staff members coming to the school this year.

A11 TRUE MOTIVES: A student questions community service programs possibly formed because of college pressure.

B4 BLACK AT HW: Female students of

color discuss their experiences attending a predominantly white institution.

The Chronicle, the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, is published eight times per year and distributed for free on both the upper and middle school campuses. There are about 730 students at the Middle School and 870 at the Upper School. Subscriptions may be purchased for $20 a year for delivery by mail. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to or mailed to


staffers share their favorite music picks for their quarantine summer playlist.


Students discuss the unclear future of sports and college recruitment in 2020.

3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Lucas Lee at or Emma Limor at Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or the school.

Aug. 26, 2020

News A3

School selects new DEI coordinators By Quincey Dern

be,” Limerick said. “Practically, I think this can be done through As part of the school’s com- education around and [the] pracmitment to foster a more wel- tice of inclusive language, cencoming environment, Visual Arts tering student voices from the Teacher Reb Limerick and Bene- margins and infusing the arts, fits Administrator Yutopia Essex eco-consciousness, joy, rigor and will serve as the new Diversity, interdisciplinary collaboration Equity and Inclusion (DEI) co- into the hard work.” ordinators this year. Essex will also serve as a DEI In 2019, Limerick began their Coordinator, in addition to her full-time position teaching Vid- responsibilities working in emeo Art I and III and co-directing ployee benefits. Besides these both the Westflix Film Festival roles, Essex said she loves conand the HWGo! Storytelling Ad- necting with students, participatventures program. Additionally, ing in the theater department and they will replace science teacher helping lead Black Leadership Nate Cardin as the Upper School and Culture Club (BLACC). DEI Coordinator. “I love HW, and “As a queer environI want to be a part of mentalist with a passion making it an even betfor facilitating converter place for all of our sations around intersecstudents and commutional justice, I saw the nity members, espeDEI position as an opcially our students and portunity to deeply incommunity members vest in this meaningful from marginalized white’s work in an active way,” and underrepresented Nate Limerick said. “With groups,” Essex said. Cardin [Cardin] stepping Essex said she hopes down from the role, to achieve various goals L.G.B.T.Q.+ faculty reached out with the DEI team, including to encourage me to apply, step up working on the school’s mission. and be a resource and advocate “I want to look within and be for all L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ members in a state of constant change withof the HW community.” in myself,” Essex said. “We all Limerick said they hope to have biases, thoughts and ideas in implement the many ideas they need of paradigm shifting. I want have for the school’s DEI work. each member of our community “Grandly, I hope to catalyze an to feel entitled to all of the access, expansion of our collective imagi- resources and privileges HW pronation of just how diverse, equi- vides—for each member to feel table and inclusive our school can they truly belong.”


ROLLING WITH IT: Peter Shen ’22 tries a classic physics experiment with materials sent by his teacher for his Honors Physics 1 class. This fall, many teachers are exploring creative ways to engage their students at home.

Teachers prepare curriculum for remote learning in the fall • Continued from A1

“What the pandemic forced us to do was add another layer [of thinking], like how do we modify this so that it’s safe for students?” Furthermore, activities and demonstrations that usually would have occurred in class are now being filmed and sent out as videos to students so that they can still experience these demonstrations from the comfort of their own homes. Science teacher Heather Audesirk said all materials were

School releases reopening plans

• Continued from A1

Slattery said she is worried about the way remote learning will affect students’ interactions with their teachers. “Last year, we had the benefit of [students] knowing [their] teachers for three quarters of the year, so transitioning to remote [learning] wasn’t problematic,” Slattery said. “Now, teachers have to be much more intentional in the way they connect with kids.” Although the schedule for the

beginning of the year is modified, it closely resembles the block schedule approved by the New Schedule Committee. In the revised schedule, which will remain in place for the remainder of the year, classes will rotate in a sixday cycle, and most periods will be 75 minutes long. Most days, classes will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 3:10 p.m. or 3:25 p.m., depending on the day of the cycle. The school day will be followed by office hours to pro-

vide time for students to meet with teachers, and lunch will last one hour instead of 50 minutes. Katharine Doble ’22 said she feels the school is handling the reopening plans well and is excited for her junior year. “I am looking forward to returning to campus, as the reopening plan takes all necessary safety measures [into account] while allowing students and faculty to connect in person,” Doble said. Rivera said she was eager to

not sent home for classes due to the potential hazards of certain labs. Because of this, some labs have also been substituted with online simulations. “For A.P. Chemistry, we didn’t send home any materials because the labs we do in A.P. Chemistry are too complicated and too dangerous to try to replicate at home,” Audesirk said. “This led us to film more of the labs and also have [the students] spend more time on figuring out how to do the experiment and less time

actually doing the experiment.” In addition to Honors Physics, Chemistry Honors teachers have also asked their students to pick up a box of materials from school. This box contains several graduated cylinders, measuring scales and mystery chemicals that will be used in labs throughout the year. For now, classes are being conducted online but will be subject to change depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses over the course of the school year.

Socially, I wanted this to be a really fun senior year, and I just don’t think that’s going to be possible if we’re all online [at the beginning of the year]. It’s almost like we’re already at college at this point if we’re seeing everybody virtually.” —Sarah Rivera ’21

spend her senior year with her peers and is disappointed that the school’s reopening plans may prevent her from experiencing senior year traditions such as Homecoming and prom. “Socially, I wanted this to be

a really fun senior year, and I just don’t think that’s going to be possible if we’re all online [at the beginning of the year],” Rivera said. “It’s almost like we’re already at college at this point if we’re seeing everybody virtually.”

Six faculty members win awards

By Konnie Duan


President Rick Commons presented awards to six faculty and staff honoring their dedication to the school Aug. 17. Mathematics teacher Mike Grier won the Kogan Family Award for innovation in teaching, and Learning Center Coordinator Nathaly Blanco was awarded the Marion Hays Award for her service to the school. Middle School Physical Education Department Head Robert Ruiz and science teacher Blaise Eitner also won the Dis-

tinguished Service Awards for their long-time commitments to the school, while dance teacher Joe Schenck and world languages teacher Brad Holmes earned Early Achievement Awards for impacting students early in their teaching careers. At the Upper School, Holmes currently teaches two core Latin classes and three electives. Holmes also chairs the Senior Independent Study Committee and co-sponsors the Junior Classical League club. Avery Konwiser ’22 took three classes with Holmes last year and


said that Holmes created a welcoming and open atmosphere in his classroom. “Conversations always flowed freely, and everyone felt their opinion was heard, respected and discussed,” Konwiser said. Holmes said he hopes to continue nurturing this classroom environment and will use this award as inspiration to do so. “This award motivates me to keep trying to improve and innovate in what I’m doing in all of my courses since the school recognizes what I’ve already been able to do,” Holmes said.

A4 News

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020


Teneice Stegall: Upper School Dean By Melody Tang


Teneice Stegall joined the Upper School as a dean, replacing Maude Bond, who departed after four years at the school. Previously, Stegall served as the Associate Director of College Counseling at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. Stegall also acted as a dorm parent, a JV girls soccer coach and a member of the Multicultural Affairs and Athletics Advisory Committee. Before that, Stegall worked as the Associate Director of Ad-

mission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment at Rhodes College, as well as an Admissions Evaluator at Vanderbilt University. Stegall said she looks forward to experiencing everything that the school has to offer and hopes to be a source of change in the community. “I asked [students] what they would change about [Harvard-Westlake],” Stegall said. “This was a difficult question because, for many, the good things outweigh the challenges. However, in addi-

tion to sharing in the joys of [Harvard-Westlake], I hope to be someone students trust to help them address challenges as well.” As Stegall enters the new school year, she said she feels nervous but is confident that the community will make the transition smooth for her. “Admittedly, I was nervous about beginning a new position at a new school in a new city during a global pandemic, while deciphering my personal role in recent movements to combat racial injustice,” Ste-

gall said. “However, my communication with the Upper School Dean Team, administrators and the Human Resources Office made the transition to [Harvard-Westlake] and L.A. seamless. Additionally, recent virtual meetings with students, parents, faculty and staff have made the adjustment even more positive by demonstrating a level of intellectual curiosity, spirit of kindness and commitment to address injustice that I hope will be hallmarks of my [Harvard-Westlake] experience.”

tire person’s case load of students, essentially, is going to be a challenge,” Brookshire said. “Getting to know, especially my seniors, quickly enough to forge a relationship that can be grounded in trust and mutual respect [will be challenging]. I know that that stuff doesn’t come overnight. It takes a while to get to know someone.” Brookshire said she feels comforted by the fact that she is able to work with a supportive and collegial group, especially after transitioning from a university to a high school environment and

moving from the East Coast to the West Coast. “I am looking forward to being in a new secondary school community and joining a really collaborative team, the [dean] team,” Brookshire said. “It’s a really unique model, pretty specific to Harvard-Westlake. I am looking forward to having so many knowledgeable and downto-earth colleagues that I hope, one day, I can call friends. Definitely I consider [them] mentors already. I think it’s going to be a really great professional opportunity for me.”


Marcus said she decided to teach at the school because of the supportive and collaborative teaching environment in the history department. “I think there’s a lot to learn from other people. I am at a point in my career where I want a lot of input from colleagues so that I can be a better professional,” Marcus said. “History is something that is tricky because as a teacher, there’s a school of thought that you shouldn’t be political in the classroom. But history, and I’d say most teaching, is political by nature. I really look

forward to working with other people, so I can present a balanced understanding of history.” Although Marcus said she is excited to connect with her colleagues and students this year, she enjoys taking part in solitary activities in her free time. Over the summer, she went Hipcamping with her family in Southern Utah, an activity that involves renting others’ backyards and pitching their campsites there. Marcus also enjoys other hobbies such as dancing, reading, hiking, practicing pottery and doing yoga.

Sara Brookshire: Upper School Dean By Tanisha Gunby Sara Brookshire joined the Upper School Dean Team after former Upper School Dean Beth Slattery assumed the position of Head of Upper School this fall. Brookshire served as the Director of Admission at Brandeis University for the past six years and previously worked at Emerson College as the Director of Admission. In addition, she is currently an Elected Board Director for the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

After working at those universities, Brookshire said she is excited to connect with students on a more personal level. “I hope that this can be an opportunity to dial it back,” Brookshire said. “To be a part of a smaller place that is more handson, more collaborative, where at the end of the day, students are going to [be] the center of all the work that I do.” Brookshire said she admires the work Slattery does and is looking forward to working with her new students. “Being able to assume an en-

Jennifer Marcus: History By Tessa Augsberger


Jennifer Marcus joined the Upper School History Department to teach the World and Europe II and United States History this year. Prior to teaching at the Upper School, Marcus taught United States History, World History, Comparative Religion and Global Studies at Windward School in Los Angeles and Westridge School in Pasadena. Marcus said she did not always intend to study history. She earned her bachelor’s degree

in Geography and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas and continued on to study at the Teachers College of Columbia University, where she earned her master’s degree in teaching history. “I don’t come from a history background,” Marcus said. “I thought I wanted to go into urban planning, and then my course shifted when I started working in that field and realized that I was just more interested in interconnectedness of all of the social disciplines and that history was my love.”

Aug. 26, 2020

News A5

Ingrid Sierakowski: History By Natalie Cosgrove


Ingrid Sierakowski joined both the History and the Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research Departments as a History and Latin American Studies teacher this fall. She will be teaching The World and Europe II, a sophomore-only class, and Latin American Studies. Sierakowski moved from New York, where she taught history classes at Trevor Day School. Before teaching there, Sierakowski studied and earned her bachelor’s

degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in history from Yale University. She also taught Latin American Studies at the New York University School of Professional Studies. Sierakowski is originally from Guatemala but moved to the U.S. when she was nine years old. She said she has always had a cultural connection to the place and an inherent curiosity that led her to become a teacher. At Trevor Day School, Siera-

kowski spearheaded the Students of Color Affinity Group and the Latin American Culture Club. “At my old school, I was really fortunate to be at the beginning of some of those culture clubs, and [to see] them come to fruition was very exciting, and I think they are in good hands now,” Sierakowski said. “I want to definitely bring that here. I know there are some clubs like that here, and I want to join and to help support [these clubs].” She initially entered UCLA as an English Major but took histo-

coming school year, Stewart said she feels the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly affect how teachers approach teaching chemistry classes, which are often very lab-intensive. However, Stewart she said she is confident the chemistry teachers will be able to adjust successfully. “We did have to get creative this year in how to perform labs,” Stewart said. “The beauty of chemistry is that it is happening everywhere all of the time, so we are trying to incorporate more observations and labs you can

do at home. There are also a lot of resources online where we can simulate labs and data collection and videos of really cool demos we can analyze.” Stewart enjoys reading and gardening, as well as learning how to speak Spanish. Stewart said she is excited to virtually interact with students. “The thing I am looking forward to the most this year is the fantastic versions of ‘Happy Birthday’ or other songs we will be singing on Zoom together,” Stewart said.

ry and culture classes about Latin America that quickly led her to change her path to what it is now. “I am very much excited to get to know my students, albeit through Zoom,” Sierakowski said. “I am certainly excited to be back in Southern California and to be close to family. Overall, I am looking forward to growing and learning from this new community and to contribute the best I can in forwarding HarvardWestlake’s mission, which I see as a call to action, particularly during these unprecedented times.”

Chelsea Stewart: Science By Melody Tang Chelsea Stewart returned to the Upper School Science Department as a chemistry teacher following a two-year absence. After departing the school in 2018, Stewart spent two years teaching chemistry to high school students at the Lakeside School in Seattle, her hometown. Stewart earned her bachelor’s degree in both biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Washington and continued on to earn her doctorate in biomedi-

cal science from the University of California San Diego. Prior to teaching high school students, Stewart taught Pharmaceutical Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego. Stewart said she became a chemistry teacher because of her passion for learning “I became a chemistry teacher because I loved the puzzle of using data to learn about a world that we cannot see which we interact with on a daily basis,” Stewart said. Looking forward to the up-


Bev Meyer: Performing Arts By Lucas Cohen-D’Arbeloff


Bev Meyer entered the Upper School Performing Arts Department as an acting teacher this school year. In addition to teaching sections of The Actor and the Stage I and The Actor and the Stage II courses, she plans to help with the fall production. In the past, Meyer has worked as an educator, social justice advocate and theater teacher at Larchmont Charter School. She also founded the Zurich Young People’s Theatre and functioned as its Artistic Director.

Meyer earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, her teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and a master’s degree in Creative Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She said that she uses her social justice principles in her acting classes and that she is looking forward to implementing these ideas at the school this year. “I’m particularly interested in seeing how we can address themes

that [the school] is bringing to the [forefront] this year, like antiracism and ‘courageous conversations,’ which I think will make for some dynamic and thoughtprovoking classes,” Meyer said. Meyer said she believes theater training has broad applications beyond the stage, as she feels it can help performers build their concentration and learn the value of making mistakes. “[Theater] helps us learn about ourselves and understand others, and it builds the confidence and self-esteem we need to allow us to move outside our comfort zone

into the sphere ‘where the magic happens,’” Meyer said. Along with the rest of the faculty, Meyer will teach her courses on Zoom at the start of the school year. Meyer said she is excited to join the community and is ready to confront the obstacles that virtual learning will present. “Teaching online is a particular challenge with a subject like theater, and it’s also going to make starting at a new school and meeting new students more challenging,” Meyer said. “[However,] it will certainly push me to come up with creative solutions.”

“It is my great passion to teach students, teachers, employers and employees how to communicate compassionately, delegate effectively and reach their fullest potential as individuals and a team.” When asked about her goal for the 2021 Vox Populi, Bladen said her hope is the same as it is every year: to include at least two photographs of every single student, teacher or faculty member. Bladen said in the past five years, new technologies and have emerged in yearbook production. “It’s been my job to stay on top of trends and new develop-

ments,” Bladen said. “That being said, none of us could predict this 100% virtual fall. It’s nice to have an entire community of yearbook advisers, editors, students and experts with whom to brainstorm and strategize.” While she acknowledged the challenges of running a yearbook production virtually, she said she realizes how Zoom can foster new relationships and bonds even at home. “We found through yearbook camp that Zoom will, in fact, make us a more cohesive yearbook staff,” Bladen said.


who have traditionally been oppressed in the past. The teacher pioneered a Black history course, which was generally not a part of history discussions at the time. “We had a full year of Black history, and I thought learning stories and narratives that were really outside of the mainstream at that time was really fascinating to me, so I began to be really interested in how stories are told and how narratives are constructed and how the American identity is created,” Sheehy said. Because of his teacher, Sheehy said he tries to incorporate techniques of presenting different perspectives and primary sources

to students in his own classrooms. “I am always trying to be conscious of including voices that provide new perspectives on the American story,” Sheehy said. “Of course, with this moment that we are in, one of the most important civil rights movements for America and for the world is going to amplify the importance of Black history. [Uplifting underrepresented voices] has always been central to my approach, but also looking at other voices, like Indigenous people, women’s history, L.G.B.T. stories, and all of that needs to be woven into kind of a fabric of history that we tell in class.”

Jennifer Bladen: Yearbook Advisor By Will Sherwood After taking a five-year hiatus, Jennifer Bladen returned to the school to head the yearbook program. In her time away from the school, she acted as the Director of Communications for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and consulted nationally in journalism education. Bladen has been in the yearbook sector since 1998. At the school, she watched Vox Populi become a Pacemaker Finalist and win a Silver Crown

while also heading the journalism, student government and debate departments. Bladen has a master’s degree in Journalism Education from the University of Missouri, along with a bachelor’s degree from California State University San Marcos in English. Bladen’s many passions, such as working in leadership education, led her to where she is now in the yearbook industry. “I was the kid who was invited to leadership development conferences and camps starting in junior high school,” Bladen said.

Peter Sheehy: History By Natalie Cosgrove


Peter Sheehy (Will ’22, Tate ’24) joined the Upper School History Department this year to teach Advanced Placement United States History and Advanced Placement Government. Sheehy holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University and a doctorate in United States History from the University of Virginia. He previously taught social studies at Horace Mann School and Rutgers University in New York. Since relocating to Los Angeles, Sheehy has taken a break from teaching in order to as-

sume leadership positions on two school boards, serving in public education and co-directing KidUnity, a non-profit organization. KidUnity was established to help students get involved in community service and civics by initiating projects like packaging food for the homeless, running Zoom book clubs and organizing tutoring sessions for underserved students. Sheehy said he hopes to get students to take action in the program this year. Sheehy said he had a history teacher in high school who changed his view about the subject. His teacher kindled his interest in giving voices to people

A6 News

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020







FELLOWS IN ACTION: (Clockwise, from top left): Khyra Stiner ’21 studies HBCU’s. Jonathan Cosgrove ’21 interviews Israeli Chef Addena Sussman. Josephine Amakye ’21 writes notes about post-Apartheid South Africa. Grace Shin ’21 edits a video about Alaskan climate change. Evie de Rubertis ’21 builds a model for her studies on the representations of the female form. Valentina Gaxiola ’21 edits her iMovie about Italian women’s soccer. Baghdad, Iraq bustles in a shot taken by Jameel Zuher, who helped Emma Limor ’21 with her project.

Going Global!

Seven juniors received summer fellowships to help them better understand their cultural and global responsibilities. The fellows studied topics related to a range of countries and extended their knowledge outside the range of the traditional classroom, despite their inability to travel due to COVID-19.

Khyra Stiner ’21: agers from several MENA counFor her Junior Summer Fel- tries including Algeria, Iraq and lowship project, Khyra Stin- Yemen. These teenagers comer ’21 captured the experi- pared dialects, national culture, ences of enslaved people by politics and social customs. telling their harrowing stories. Limor then documented noShe said she intends to use table similarities and differencpoetry, photography and video es and researched these topics. to educate others about the exLimor said she gained a cleartraordinary experiences of Black er image of the essence of shared people in American history. She humanity while making lifelong also said she hopes her work will friends from various cultures. shed light on the per“I learned that no ilous journeys and the matter where you are valiance of enslaved from or what you bepeople who used the lieve in, as long as Underground Railroad you have a kind heart, to escape slavery in you will connect with the early 19th century, others,” Limor said. a topic that she says —Konnie Duan lacks proper emphasis in history classes. white’s Grace Shin ’21: Before the pandemGrace Grace Shin ’21 exic, Stiner planned on Shin ’21 amined the impacts following the path of of climate change the Underground Railroad herself on Native Alaskan communiby traveling to Atlanta and visit- ties this summer as part of her ing each stop individually, from Junior Summer Fellowship. North Carolina to Canada. De“There were some really surspite the roadblock, Stiner has still prising things I learned,” Shin found effective research methods said. “One was that the [Cento produce an authentic project. ters for Disease Control and “I want my audience to come Prevention] has declared fallaway understanding what the ing through ice an epidemic in experience of escaping from Alaska. Because of the warmslavery and taking the dan- ing temperatures, the ice is begerous journey felt like and coming weaker. A lot of people what it entailed,” Stiner said. have fallen, and quite a number —Liam Razmjoo of people have actually died.” Emma Limor ’21: Shin said she also learned about To pursue her interest in the negotiations between Native Alasdevelopment of Arabic language kan communities and governing and culture, Chronicle Opinion bodies such as the Forest Service. and Business Editor Emma LiShin said she felt inspired mor ’21 spent the summer study- to examine the human iming the similarities and differenc- pact of climate change bees of six Middle East and North cause of the growing sense of African (MENA) countries. urgency surrounding the issue. “The heart of this proj“I want to allow the stories of ect was exploring the every- the communities that I’m learnday language through the ing about to shine through,” lens of others,” Limor said. Shin said. “I wanted to show Limor created an exchange that [climate change] is affectprogram and gathered 30 teen- ing people, people are dying

[and] people’s ways of life are threatened. Climate change is not a problem in the future; it’s having real effects right now.” —Daphne Davies Jonathan Cosgrove ’21: As a recipient of the Junior Summer Fellowship, Jonathan Cosgrove ’21 facilitated conversations between chefs from Israel, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates through his podcast “Chef to Chef.” Cosgrove said he hoped to travel to Israel this past summer to work in a restaurant and conduct interviews with several different chefs but was unable to do so. Still, he says he hopes his project will allow him and others to learn more about how food brings people from different nations together. “I will be looking at the way people come together and put aside political differences through cooking and food in the Middle East,” Cosgrove said. When applying for his fellowship, Cosgrove said he was originally inspired by history teacher Dror Yaron, who explained to him how food has served as a foundation for dialogue between people in the Middle East for centuries. Cosgrove’s final product will be a series of 15-minute podcasts which will recap his findings and contain interviews with various Middle Eastern chefs. —Ryan Razmjoo Josephine Amakye ’21: Josephine Amakye ’21 studied race relations in post-Apartheid South Africa as part of the school’s Junior Fellowship program this summer. “I originally thought that I would find a peaceful society where race relations were perfect, but I realized that race relations have [only] been reconciled [on an emotional level],” Amakye

said. “People are treating each ner’s stance, covered in chains. other better, but economically, “[The second] is about reclaimthere’s a lot of divides along race. ing feminine beauty [so] that we There are still so many inequities apply it to ourselves, and not in South Africa, so those inequi- others upon us,” de Rubertis said. ties sometimes lead to friction.” “The chains are a hint at captiviThrough the fellowship, ty or restrictions that are owned Amakye virtually met with Rev- by us and not by the captors.” erend Stephanie Clarke after Even with the complications reading her book “The Miss-Ad- of the pandemic, de Rubertis said ventures of an Irreverent Rever- she still took full advantage of her end: A Spirited grant and found Guide for Rebways to explore els and Renepassion. No matter where her gades.” Amakye —Harry Tarses you are from or what was inspired by you believe in, as long Clarke’s courage Valentina Gaxito hold classes ola ’21: as you have a kind to teach kids Junior Sumheart, you will connect to speak and mer Fellowship with others.“ read English, recipient Valwhich was at entina Gax—Emma Limor ’21 iola ’21 rethe time illegal due to the ban searched gender on gathering in groups inequalities in the Italian that include Black people. sports world this summer. Amakye will present her findGaxiola said she was inspired ings to the committee that se- to study sexism in the athletlected her to participate in the ic world after watching profesproject this fall. She also hopes sional and pickup games on a that Apartheid becomes a larger trip to Italy several years ago. role in the school curriculum. “All the girls were always —Lily Lee on the sidelines,” Gaxiola said. “It was very polarizing.” Evie de Rubertis ’21: While Gaxiola said the ItalEvie de Rubertis ’21, one ian women’s soccer team has of the seven recipients of the made significant strides in the Junior Summer Fellowships, past couple years, she still beexplored the history and evo- lieves there is work to be done. lution of women in art to ex- She said she hopes her fellowamine how these feminist ship will call attention to sexism works relate to her this summer. in sports and inspire change. “I’m really into feminist-fo“I hope to change the cused artwork,” Rubertis said. way women are viewed and “The whole point [of my fel- compared to men through lowship] is to study women’s sports in Italy,” Gaxiola said. role in society through [their] She interviewed Italian citidepiction in art at a given time.” zens and athletes about the role Along with research, de Ru- of women in sports, and she inbertis created her own art. She tends to compile these interviews gathered an array of materials to in a documentary alongside footcraft two pieces: one of Nike, the age of women’s soccer games to goddess of victory, and another show the rise of female athletes. of a woman crouching in a run—Liam Razmjoo

Community The Chronicle • Aug. 26, 2020

Studio City adapts to COVID-19 By Sandra Koretz


HOMELESSNESS IN LA: 66,436 homeless individuals live in Los Angeles, a 12.7% increase in homelessness compared to last year’s data, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. This homeless encampment is located off of the 101 freeway in Studio City in close proximity to Universal Studios Hollywood.

LA city officials seek to alleviate homelessness By Quincey Dern and Will Sherwood

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic hardship in Los Angeles, the homeless population has increased by 12.7%, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services. City officials and social service organizations, such as Homeless Health Care (HHC), are currently focusing their resources to fight the dual crises of homelessness and COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom made fighting homelessness one of his top priorities statewide, proposing a $720 million plan to combat homelessness at the start of 2020. Newsom also launched Project Roomkey, an initiative that provides hotel rooms to those who would oth-

erwise have to live on the streets. LoOn the local level, Los Angeles cal officials said their goal for Project Mayor Eric Garcetti battled the issue Roomkey is to move approximate- of homelessness by filing an emerly 15,000 people into hotel rooms gency order in an effort to strengthen and prioritize higher-risk individu- protections for LA residents 10 days als in order to prevent the spread of prior to Newsom’s statewide moraCOVID-19. Izzy torium. Garcetti’s Ahn ’22 has been order suspended I am planning working to mitiLos Angeles Degate the effects of partment of Water a drive to help the the homeless criand Power shuthomeless during this sis throughout the offs for non-paysummer. ment, as well as an pandemic because “It’s importmoratorithey have less access to eviction ant to protect the um for the city. protective equipment.” homeless from the “Garcetti virus because they works closely with —Izzy Ahn ’22 us in our many are exposed more from not having a programs helping place to live,” Ahn said. “I’m planning the homeless in Los Angeles,” HHC a drive to help the homeless because board member Jennifer Hyde said. they have less access to masks and “Our mayor has been supportive in hand sanitizer and such equipment.” our services that we daily provide.”

High school volunteers host virtual summer courses for young students

By Lucas Cohen-d’Arbeloff and Tanisha Gunby

Childhood Communication to provide opportunities for hearing-impaired students. The organization In order to break down educa- also began a high school program tional barriers and provide academic over the summer, which includes Adsupport for under-resourced students, vanced Placement course “check-ins” some students have expanded their and standardized test preparation. philanthropic organizations. Bored of Boredom has grown over Founded by Hope the summer to about 850 Shinderman ’21 after the student learners and 400 COVID-19 outbreak, mentors and has members Bored of Boredom is an from every continent exorganization that serves cept Antarctica. elementary and middle “Having people from schoolers. Shinderman other time zones has said Bored of Boredom helped us provide a broad strives to bring enrichrange of classes time-wise, ment opportunities to which I think makes it white’s those who have historicalmore accessible to more Lyon ly been denied them. people,” Art and MiscellaChung ’21 Bored of Boredom adneous Co-Head of Bored ministers classes daily on of Boredom Shoshie BerZoom in varying subjects and lan- nstein ’22 said. “Summer break has guages. The organization hosts about definitely allowed countless new peo25 classes each weekday and around ple from different backgrounds to get 10 classes on Saturday and Sunday. involved in this organization.” Bored of Boredom has partnered Lyon Chung ’21 founded anothwith the University of Southern Cal- er charitable organization, Leaders ifornia Caruso Family Center for United for Change, in March of

2019. When the pandemic prevented mentors and students from meeting in person, Chung created an online summer program consisting of weekday enrichment classes. The program ran from June to August and concluded with student-made projects in each course. Leaders United for Change mentor Helen Graham ’21 said she hopes to serve more disadvantaged students. “I would love to focus more on reaching out to students from lower-income backgrounds and who attend schools with fewer resources,” Graham said. “We want to make sure that we’re helping people who need the most help.” Now consisting of over 600 mentors and students from across the world, Chung said he is looking forward to Leaders United for Change partnering with international schools this school year. The organization will host chef and Kogi taco truck creator Roy Choi for a cooking class over Zoom on Aug. 29. All proceeds will help provide students with academic support.

While many social service agencies closed when the COVID-19 hit LA, HHC has remained open and continues to provide resources for those experiencing homelessness. HHC has seven programs of service, including the use of outreach workers. These workers visit the streets and assist people in need of housing by providing food, supplies and emergency help. “We have several service programs,” Hyde said. “The ReFresh Spot on Skid Row provides hand washing stations, showers, clean restrooms and laundry facilities to the homeless. The ReFresh Spot is seeing over 1,000 people a day, and we are in need of women’s and children’s garments. Monthly donations of as little as $10 will help so many individuals in our programs.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused Studio City’s stretch of Ventura Boulevard to transform throughout the summer, as businesses have adapted to stay afloat and provide for others in the community. Granville, The Village, Katsu-Ya Sushi and other restaurants have added tables outside and separated them with sneeze guards in order to maintain social distancing boundaries. As of late July, 90% of small businesses in the United States reported they are open in some capacity, according to a small business report published by the United States Chamber of Commerce. In Studio City, restaurants remain operational and seat guests outdoors. Big Sugar Bakeshop, a bakery operating in Studio City since 2006, sells a variety of baked goods. Since the bakery sells food to the public, the employees take extra precautions to avoid the spread of the virus, such as wearing masks and gloves. Studio City resident Len Korol ’21 said that he will continue to support the economy by purchasing goods from local businesses. “In order to keep businesses which we enjoy open, we have to do our part to support them,” Korol said. “If a store is taking the proper precautions, then I would buy baked goods from them.” Bonjour Fete, a party and small gifts boutique store, has reduced its capacity and now requires shoppers to wear masks. Hand sanitizer is placed throughout the store, and the door is left open to maximize airflow. The lack of parties and events happening during the virus has affected business, since the store mostly sells unique party supplies, Bonjour Fete founder Rachel Huntington said. “There are no more large parties, so we are not selling as many bulk supplies, but people are finding the time to make celebrating milestones special, and we have been doing a lot of parade supplies and balloons,” Huntington said.


SERVING STUDENTS: High school students spent their summer volunteering for Leaders United for Change, a charity that provides free tutoring lessons to young students.

A8 News

The Chronicle

A Summer of Service

Aug. 26, 2020

While spending time at home over the summer, upper school students pursued a variety of community service projects and advocacy opportunities in Los Angeles.



SIGN OF THE TIMES: Kennedy Hill ’22 holds up her homemade sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles this summer.

WAVES OF CHANGE: Chloe Appel ’23 points to garbage bags filled with trash that she picked up after searching for litter hidden in the sand. Appel participated in a clean up at the beach for her summer service.



SPEAKING ZOOM: Violet Barron ’22 teaches Introduction to Mandarin to students through Bored of Boredom, an organization started by Hope Shinderman ’21 that provides educational support for young students.

MASK MAKER: Aiden Cho ’22 makes masks for the L.A. Homeless Services Authority and the Windsor Gardens Convalescent Hospital of L.A.



STANDING FOR JUSTICE: Kennedy Hill ’22 stands at the intersection of Coldwater Canyon Ave and Ventura Blvd before attending a protest.

REACHING FOR EQUALITY: Prentiss Corbin ’22 and her friends raise their hands during a protest at City Hall in downtown LA. After George Floyd’s death in May, upper school students protested against police brutality.

The harvard-westlake

Chronicle Editors-in-Chief: Hannah Han, Ethan Lachman

Print Managing Editors: Austin Lee, Jaidev Pant, Celine Park Digital Managing Editor: Kyle Reims

Opinion The Chronicle • Aug. 26, 2020

Studio City • Volume 30 • Issue 1 • Aug. 26, 2020 •


Presentation Managing Editors: Siobhan Harms, Lucas Lee News Editors: Tanisha Gunby, Frank Jiang Assistant News Editors: Tessa Ausberger, Ava Fattahi, Sandra Koretz, Will Sheehy, Melody Tang Opinion Editor: Emma Limor Assistant Opinion Editors: Julian Andreone, Caroline Jacoby, Sarah Mittleman, Alec Rosenthal Features Editor: Ruoshan Dong, Marina Nascimento Assistant Features Editors: Milla Ben-Ezra, Kate Burry, Quincey Dern, Mia Feizbakhsh, Sophia Musante, Katharine Steers A&E Editor: Chloe Schaeffer Assistant A&E Editors: Sydney Fener, Keira Jameson, Mimi Landes, Caitlin Muñoz Sports Editor: Charlie Wang Assistant Sports Editors: Justin Goldstein, Ben Jacoby, Liam Razmjoo, Ryan Razmjoo, Amelia Scharff, Maxine Zuriff Engagement and Multimedia Editor: Marina Nascimento Photography Editors: Crystal Baik, Eugean Choi Broadcast Producers: Alex Amster, Kyle Reims, Charlie Wang Business Managers: Lucas Lee, Emma Limor Assistant Broadcast Editors: Zachary Berg, John Coleman, Ely Dickson, William Moon, Mikey Schwartz Art Director: Evie de Rubertis Junior Art Director: Alexa Druyanoff Layout Assistants and Staff Writers: Grace Belgrader, Rebecca Berlin, Lucas Cohen-d’Arbeloff, Claire Conner, Natalie Cosgrove, Daphne Davie, Fallon Dern, Allegra Drago, Konnie Duan, Georgia Goldberg, James Hess, Julia Im, Jina Jeon, Paul Kugan, Lily Lee, Annabelle Nickoll, Andrew Park, Max Ruden-Sella, Leo Saperstein, Charles Seymour, William Sherwood, Natasha Speiss, Harrison Tarses, Karen Wu, Vasilia Yordanova, Emmy Zhang Adviser: Jim Burns, Max Tash Layout Assistant: Alexis Arinsburg The Chronicle is the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School. It is published eight times per year. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Emma Limor or Lucas Lee at or llee3@, respectively. Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or school.

It’s the Little Things

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that schools in Los Angeles County would not be allowed to start in person, many students, including us staffers on The Chronicle. In June, we were already setting layout dates and expecting to return to Weiler Hall by the fall, but with the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, we wholeheartedly agreed with Newsom and the medical experts advising him—school should be virtual until it is safe for large groups to convene. So, just as we did last semester, we will wake up every day, open our computers and log in to class on Zoom. The prospect of staring at a screen all day is certainly not enticing. As we have for the past six months, we will miss out on the small but often under-appreciated memories that make up our school experience. The classmate with whom you share three classes with will just be another person in a box on your Zoom screen. Waving to last year’s English teacher will become a thing of the past with interactions limited to scheduled office hours and overly-formal emails. You’ll never get to know that person in another grade who you would have sat next to in a Kutler Center course if school was happening in person. And perhaps most significantly, you won’t get to make small talk with Kay and Phairot as you walk through the cafeteria looking for freshly baked cookies or frozen grapes. Though many members of the school community are thankfully safe and healthy, these times have taken an emotional toll on all of us. Yet despite the ennui overshadowing us, remember that these moments of boredom serve to remind us of how lucky we are to attend an educational institution that fosters such a friendly in-person environment. When daily life returns to normal, think back to these months and consider how lucky you are to not


have to constantly remain six feet away from others and to not have to wear a mask whenever you leave the house. While school often throws unavoidable curve balls, this time in quarantine should be a reminder to embrace those surprises, both positive and negative. Instead of continuing to complain about school being online, pay attention to the positives that virtual classes have to offer. For one, we’ve been forced to evolve our technological skills for greater work efficiency and to actively seek out human interaction; group FaceTime sessions have become a part of our everyday lives. With the introduction of the Quad, students have been able to learn yoga and Zumba moves they never would have known otherwise. Picnics and drive-in movies, previously obsolete, are now special happenings enjoyed six feet apart from one another. On top of everything, our teachers are providing the same level of exceptional education that they offer in person. In addition, our school was featured in The Wall Street Journal because of its extensive planning for a return to campus; students attending schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) don’t have the same assurances. Everyone is struggling right now, some more than others. Students with family members who are essential workers may have to babysit their siblings. Others may have loved ones who are battling COVID-19. Students enrolled in LAUSD schools are only required to attend class four days a week, and nationwide, all students battle slow WiFi, a lack of access to devices and quiet spaces needed to work. In the meantime, try to be grateful for the opportunity to attend school, and motivate yourself to make new friends, participate in different clubs or join a virtual athletics class. Until we all see each other again, Zoom onward.

A10 Opinion

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020

Making sense of censorship: newsroom bias By Emma Limor


n a time when the trustworthiness of news is so critical, yet essentially every source seems to be biased, diversity in the newsroom is not just important but required. Reforms in the editorial process and diversity and equity initiatives are imperative to redirect the trajectory of the American newsroom toward something we can all be proud of. In a more diverse journalistic community, previously silenced groups can take a seat at the table. Especially at the beginning of the editing process, with pitch acceptances and the decision of what is “newsworthy,” the structure of many publications allows for implicit and explicit biases to play a major role in what is published. Without a variety of perspectives, decisions are made by a small, privileged group in newsrooms across the country. Allowing news to be determined by the white male elite perpetuates the systematic silencing of minority voices. Even if a newsroom is “diverse,” having token minorities is not enough. Tokenization puts the individual into a position in which they are pressured to either represent their entire community’s interests and perspectives, checking the box, or stay in agreement, afraid to possibly be the only one to speak out.

Jessica Naziri, a seasoned Los Angeles journalist who worked at CNN, CNBC, CBS and the Los Angeles Times left her career at these companies. Naziri founded TechSesh, a women’s tech blog and community resource primarily because of the lack of freedom she experienced as a minority woman trying to write articles she felt were important to her community. Speaking to her experience, Naziri said she felt frustrated by the bureaucratic red tape of the newsroom. At all the news companies she worked at, she said it was no secret that her white male editors had the power to reject articles without giving a reason. As a journalist, Naziri said she feels this is frightening because she found that editors can, and did, censor important stories that need to be covered. By the time Naziri founded TechSesh, she had come to the realization that the generic newsroom wasn’t running stories that spoke about and for women in tech. She said she wanted to be able to write about the trailblazers unrecognized by mainstream media, and at companies she had worked at, covering such topics was always a fight. Naziri’s experience reveals the unsettling truth about the power certain individuals hold within news


companies. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of newsroom staff are non-Hispanic, white males, and men overall represent 66% of the newsroom staff, which is 8% higher than the average workplace. In addition to being able to control what is newsworthy, the white males who so often are editors at major papers contribute to an echo chamber of thought: as the same perspectives are continually represented and listened to, the bias and censorship in the newsroom only compounds, leaving virtually no room for other voices. Though this is not unique to The Chronicle, there are unfortunately many structural powers delegated to editors that can become flaws when we fail to have a diverse staff. Editors are able to reject pitches, and while this is an inevitable aspect of journalism, diversity can help keep this power from being abused. As a student paper that doesn’t put out issues as often as larger publications, our staff often feels pressure to ensure the articles will still be “relevant” and “newsworthy” by the time they’re in print. But importance is completely subjective considering the immense differences between the realities that some people in our community live

in versus the realities of others. For example, in this issue, I rejected an article for print pertaining to the explosion in Lebanon because it would have already been “old news” and was “less relevant” than the writer’s alternative pitch. Still, the reality is that this explosion and its repercussions will be on the minds of Lebanese Americans in our community for months if not years from now. Last year, when I pitched an article about the Trump Israel peace plan, the same reason resulted in it being rejected for print. It’s not good enough to recognize this issue in hindsight, and although I will continue to try my best to broaden my perspective, it doesn’t change the fact that if we had a more diverse staff, we could expand and improve our understanding of what is truly newsworthy and relevant. So what can we do moving forward? Thankfully, this year, The Chronicle is creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) board to help current staff members from diverse backgrounds have a seat at the table and represent the variety of communities students and faculty belong to. The issue is that our staff is not diverse enough to begin with. In order to increase diversity among the staff, we should actively attend




affinity group meetings and offer the opportunity for group members to join staff, regardless of whether they can fit the Modern Journalism class into their schedules. Additionally, we should consistently encourage letters to the editors and op-ed pieces from minority groups on campus and have more frequent check-ins with our affinity club beats. These are simple suggestions that can easily be implemented, but, in addition, we should create more space for point-counterpoint articles within the opinion section and continue to foster an environment that encourages every voice. Creating an appellate system for members of staff to bring rejected pitches to a higher level when they feel their voice needs to be heard in the issue is another way to check editors’ biases. Finally, editorials should not just be decided upon and written by the Management Team; editorial ideation sessions should be open to any staff member who would like to join, regardless of their position. Undoubtedly, the best and most reliable news source is a diverse one. So, as we continue to witness issues surrounding diversity and racism within the news, we should first work to combat the issues of racial inequity within the newsroom itself.

Teaching the times By Hannah Han



Struggling with self perception

By Tessa Augsberger


s a half-German, half-American girl living in the United States, I’ve always felt as though I live in two separate worlds. One is the world of salmon on Christmas Eve, backyard gatherings where barbecue is conspicuously absent, the smell of wet pine needles and soccer. It is the German world, spaghettieis and dirndls and alpine flowers. The other world is the American one. It is war history, economic policy, international relations and journalism. It is Washington and FDR biographies and novels by Louisa May Alcott and Sylvia Plath. From the outside, one might look at my nationality and observe that the German world is my father’s and the American one my mother’s. After all, everyone on my mother’s side—the American one— has at one point devoted themselves to service for their country through some form of public policy. As the daughter of an American diplomat during the Cold War, my mother grew up in Poland, Switzerland, Germany and the United States, eventually settling in Los Angeles. My father was born and raised in Munich, Germany, but immigrated to the U.S. when he was 32. I, too, always saw the German world as my father’s and the

American one as my mother’s, and I struggled to determine where I would fit. On one hand, I live in America, and I don’t speak much German (only ein bisschen), so one would think I identify more with my American heritage. On the other hand, half my family lives in Germany, both my mother and father lived there and most of my parents’ friends are German. I used to think my family friends were more German than I am because most of them speak the language fluently and either lived in Germany or went to boarding school there. At family reunions, it has always been difficult for me to communicate with my father’s side of the family in their native language, a barrier I am ashamed of. I figured if I tried harder to be German, if I learned the language and memorized the proper etiquette, I would feel more connected to my heritage. But in doing so, I found that I fit into the American world less and less. I felt awkward setting the table at my friends’ houses, not knowing if I should place the utensils to the right or left of the plate, and I wanted to wake up with a sense of jittery excitement on Christmas Day like my classmates, instead of opening gifts the night before in the German

tradition. However, after years of grappling with my cultural identity, the conciliatory overlap between my two worlds started to become apparent. When I began to look at my identity more closely, I learned most people never inhabit a specific world. Rather, their whole lives are an amalgamation of different experiences in different places. For example, my mother grew up abroad as an American expatriate in Germany, while my father has been a German immigrant in America for 20 years. After 17 years of feeling out of place in both worlds, I have finally come to terms with my identity. Spending time with my American family inspires a strong sense of patriotism in me, and visiting my father’s family fills me with pride of my German heritage. Now, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Instead of believing my nationalities are mutually exclusive, I’ve discovered they’re complimentary. I know I am fortunate to inhabit two worlds, two histories, two sets of values. I am lucky to view the world through bifocal lenses. I value the contrast and live in the overlap. I’ve learned to revel in my duality.

y history exam loomed dangerously near. I spread my flashcards out on my desk, consolidated my hand-written notes and toggled through three different shared study guides on Google Drive. As my alarm clock flashed 11:23 p.m., I began compiling a list of key terms from the unit: Navigation Acts. Seven Years’ War. Cottage industry. However, even as I committed these events to memory, they seemed entirely removed from current times. My teachers always explained to me that history is fluid, dictated by a series of causal events that inevitably move through cycles leading up to the present. They told me that students should study history “to avoid repeating the past.” Yet I always wondered—how can we avoid repeating the past if we don’t understand how it relates to our current world? Last year, in my Advanced Placement United States History class, my teacher assigned both textbook readings and recently published articles from The New York Times and The Atlantic for homework. In class, we analyzed the construction of certain social structures and examined how these hierarchies are perpetuated in the present day. For instance, in our second to last unit of the year, we studied how the return of African American soldiers at the end of World War I led to the Red Summer of 1919, a series of massacres of Black people intended to maintain white supremacy. We then learned about the creation of Japanese internment camps during World War II and compared them to the anti-Chinese sentiment rampant throughout the war against COVID-19. Again and again, we saw how minorities were scapegoated during national crises, rendered as “other” in an attempt to uphold a seemingly “untainted” version of America. My teacher presented our past with stunning clarity, introducing history in a way that contextualized our present and gave it relevance.

Our discussions allowed me to understand how our current reality is inherently shaped by our past and how we might work to achieve a more equitable world. In English, although we learned about the legacy of slavery and systemic racism through books such as Jesmyn Ward’s “Salvage the Bones” and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,”the present realities of the African American experience were not emphasized as much. Generally, in most of my humanities classes, conversations focused on the past and neglected to mention more recent events. Members of affinity groups on campus regularly host discussions about the experiences of minorities within our community. The wider student body only began engaging in these difficult conversations during the Zoom meetings held after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Because all of these forums were optional, they attracted a group of students who were already dedicated to discussing difficult topics such as race, socio-economic status and privilege. For the most part, these conversations do not extend to the classroom. Due to the implementation of the new block schedule this year, humanities classes have gained extra class time. With this additional time, English and history teachers can host biweekly lectures or discussions surrounding current events, giving students the opportunity to analyze the intrinsic connections between the past and the present, especially in terms of race. As my friends turn 18 and receive voter registration forms in the mail, the study of current events becomes even more significant. In order for voters to make educated, politically aware choices and for all of us to understand the implications of the Black Lives Matter movement, we need to stay informed about current events. And those discussions about the present should start within the classroom.

Aug. 26, 2020

Opinion A11

Charity: for college or community? By Alec Rosenthal


tudent-run charities are springing up left and right in our school community. However, it is easy to question the authenticity of giving back to the community amidst the presence of college applications, an overwhelmingly large aspect of our school's identity. The community fosters an extremely competitive environment as a college preparatory school. Declining college admissions rates coupled with pressures to get into top universities create an atmosphere where “the pursuit of excellence” takes center stage, in a harmful way. This competitive atmosphere pressures students to stand out from their peers to reach their dream school, motivating them to push themselves past their limits. Students join clubs, take hard classes and participate in extracurricular activities to make their application stand out. But aside from the normal ways students try to get a leg up, they may even volunteer and create charities solely to appeal to colleges. Students' participation in nonprofit organizations for the purpose of strengthening their applications is the essence of performative activism. Although the action itself is kind-hearted, in performative activism, it is rooted in a more selfish thought process that emphasizes the individual's goals above helping the community. Clearly, not all students have college on their mind when helping others. However, higher education is a factor ingrained into their minds during the process. For some, positively impacting their communities might not be at the top of their list of priorities. Looking at students’ charity initiatives, Bored of Boredom (@ bored.of.boredom on Instagram) aims to close the digital divide and provide educational opportunities to neurodiverse, ESL and lowerincome students. It has about 850 students enrolled and 400 high school volunteers. Another big organization is @studentartactivists with 1,347 fol-

lowers on Instagram. The account founders collect student-made art and sell it to raise funds for Black Lives Matter (BLM). The organization garnered thousands of dollars by selling paintings, photos and articles of clothing, which it then donated to operations like Assata’s Daughters, the National Bail Out Collective and The Okra Project. Bored of Boredom and Student Art Activists seem to be larger and more fleshed out organizations. Meanwhile, others like Communfinity and Helpendhungerr appear smaller and shorter-term. Communfinity, although active in charity work at the beginning of the summer, hasn’t updated their Instagram in months aside from a brief blanket statement about Black Lives Matter and racial intolerance. Their website has not mentioned the completions of any new charity projects beyond donating masks and organizing recreational activities for seniors since June. Helpendhungerr collected $62,101 on GoFundMe from


44 separate donations almost one month after the fundraiser was originally published July 19. During that month, Helpendhungerr posted on Instagram very frequently but gradually came to a stop. GoFundMe is one of the most popular fundraising websites, its biggest fundraiser being the Official George Floyd Memorial fund, which has accumulated over $14.7 million. Although it has cheaper fees than most other fundraising sites, it still takes a cut of 2.9 percent + $0.30 for each

contributor from the gathered funds. Depending on the situation, contributing directly to the cause instead of going through a thirdparty platform like GoFundMe might be better because the organization receives the entire donation. Beyond spreading resources through fundraising, students should generally be wary of making their own nonprofits and giving themselves a CEO title. It would be more effective to volunteer for a pre-established organization instead of creating multiple organizations that serve similar purposes and spread resources thinner than needed. Additionally, Communfinity and Helpendhungerr's posting habits are reminiscent of performative activism. During BLM protests across America, people posted excessively in support of the movement at its height, and over time, the amount of posts gradually decreased. This also happened with charity Instagram accounts — they posted excessively when their accounts were at their heights and then neglected to post when it appeared the “trend” of activism had died out. Many organizations may ride the wave of a movement for personal gain. Still, there is a chance these accounts may be sincere and simply meant for short-term activism. Additionally, with the examples of BLM and even possibly these student-led accounts, Instagram activism alone might not be the best way to advocate for a cause. Even if these student-run charity organizations are performative for college applications, they are still doing helpful work. The issue is they could be doing better if organizations consolidated or people stopped spending time on creating nonprofits and more time actively working with those they wish to serve. Of course, it is virtuous students are applying themselves to better their communities and other people’s lives. But, if the students aren’t truly getting much out of it beyond an activity for college, then what's really the point?

Why do you think students are primarily motivated to start charities? For the community: 6.9% For themselves: 19.7% Both: 73.4% *188 students polled

"[Sometimes students'] motivations for starting a charity aren't primarily based on [something they care about]; they're primarily based on having another thing to put on their college app."

Olivia Feldman ’22


Alon Moradi ’21 "I do think that students are very conscious of the advantages and opportunities we’re given at Harvard-Westlake and that they use those to help other people."


Kieran Chung ’23

"The truth of modern culture is that everything teenagers do is at least partially for college."


Letter from the Editors

Uplifting the Truth By Hannah Han and Ethan Lachman


n June, we stood in the middle of Weiler 106, facemasked, sweaty and surrounded by towering stacks of Chronicles. Halfway through packaging the 1,600 newspapers that would be mailed to every family at the school, we paused to check the string of COVID-19 notifications on our phones. As the newspaper ink bled into the creases of our palms, we realized that the carefully constructed world we had built for ourselves was deteriorating. Laying out our final issue of Volume 29 over Zoom was only the beginning of a series of substantial changes that The Chronicle would have to undergo. Like the rest of the publications world, we are now writing articles and laying out pages for our first issue of Volume 30 completely virtually, but our ability to do this comes with the recognition that we are extreme-

ly privileged. With the support of the school, we have been given free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud on our personal computers and can meet at will over Zoom. The coronavirus has revealed the inequities rampant within our educational system on both socio-economic and racial levels. Six months ago, we never expected to be in the midst of a vortex of change: a racial reckoning, a global pandemic and a historic election cycle. This year at The Chronicle, we will continue to uplift the truth and to report unbiased news representing all students’ perspectives. We are now developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force to amplify underrepresented voices on campus and give Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) students a platform to share their stories. We realize our staff does not


MASK ON, MASK OFF: Editors-in-Chief Hannah Han '21 and Ethan Lachman '21 pose socially distanced on campus

and wear masks to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines, ready to present another new year of The Chronicle to the community.

fully reflect the racial and ethnic demographics of our school nor all students' viewpoints. In order to become a fully inclusive organization, we encourage students to submit Letters to the Editors and guest editorials, which will be published for the community online and in print. Internally, we will work to improve our staff’s ability to report on nuanced and sensitive subjects and assess our performance as allies within the community. To do so, we will study the historical and current realities of diversity,

equity and inclusion within the greater journalistic community and engage in conversations about ethics and diversity in our newsroom. Additionally, we are revamping our Community News section in order to expand our coverage of the greater Studio City area. Though we often exist solely in the microcosm of our school, or now, our homes, we recognize the importance of expanding our viewpoints through our reporting. In the wake of the pandemic, we are also increasing our online presence

by further integrating broadcast into our identity and widening our engagement through ChronUp, our monthly newsletter, and through social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. This year, although our staff may be slightly smaller in number, we are equally fierce and determined. As we embark on our 30th anniversary, we promise not to hide behind our laptop screens. We will keep our Zoom cameras on, seek the truth and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to you.

Aug. 26, 2020

Opinion A12

Conflict Crisis By Julian Andreone


eer Support, the largest club on campus, presents itself as a student-led safe space in which all members are welcome to share issues that compromise their personal well-being. However, the club’s policies often run counter to its frequently advertised goal of establishing a supportive and inclusive atmosphere for all members. Ultimately, Peer Support does a lot of good, helping students develop close friendships with their peers that prepare them for similar relationships later in life. While Peer Support meetings can be enjoyable, one may question certain policies such as “conflicts,” as they can have significant negative consequences on students’ mental health. “Conflicts” are occasions in which one group member feels uncomfortable sharing their personal issues in the presence of another group member due to personal reservations. Group leaders deliberate amongst themselves over which of the two students to “conflict out” of their group. Three aspects of “conflicts” are particularly concerning with respect to the psychological foresight of the Peer Support supervisors. First, if a student is “conflicted” out of every Peer Support group, they would be unable to participate in the program as a whole. According to Harvard University Psychologist Dr. Sharon Levy, one’s behavioral issues in school that may prompt peers to dislike them often stem from familial conflicts at home. Peer Support is designed to provide a safe space for such adolescents to express themselves. Thus, by rejecting the students who need consolation the most, Peer Support blocks a vital source of emotional support and contradicts its own self-declared mission. It is appalling that Peer Support supervisors, some of whom are licensed psychologists, allow “conflicts” to continue despite the psychological implications they pose. Whether their inactivity surrounding “conflicts” stems from support or indifference, one may be compelled to question their expertise on adolescent psychology and their decisions that ultimately affect students’ susceptibility to mental health disorders. Secondly, Peer Support evades the privacy of the “conflicted” individual by protecting the anonymity of the student raising the conflict. By excluding the “conflicted” individual from discussion of the conflict, Peer Support clearly violates the “conflicted” party’s consent to disclose private information. Through its disregard for the second party’s perception in any given conflict, Peer Support’s

management reveals its insensibility to the psychosocial implications of unjustifiably excluding an individual from their group. In a National Institutes of Health study, neuroscientists detected increased activity in the insula, a region of the brain correlated with visceral pain, when adolescents were exposed to social exclusion. By removing members from groups they have grown accustomed to without sufficient explanation, Peer Support leaders effectively increase activity in the students’ insulae, further triggering visceral pain and increasing susceptibility to correlated neurological diseases such as major depressive disorder and social anxiety disorder. The club, shortsightedly using confidentiality to avoid drama, ultimately compromises students’ mental health, a cost far too steep to justify using this method to avoid awkward situations. Lastly, student group leaders make the final decisions on which individuals to keep in their groups. This policy fosters a sense of superiority among the leaders, which challenges the authenticity of the word “peer” in Peer Support. How can one succeed in establishing an entirely inclusive environment when a small group determines who to exclude? Additionally, since group leaders are also members of the student body, they have implicit biases that favor some students at the expense of others. For example, if a conflict arises between a senior boy and a sophomore girl, the senior boy is likely to remain in the group because group leaders are upperclassmen. Also, adolescents may experience distress stemming from uncertainty regarding their hierarchical place in the group. Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson theorized that psychological development in adolescence is characterized by identity and role confusion, a phenomenon centered around an adolescent’s lack of clarity regarding their psychosocial identity and place in society. Adolescents are greatly susceptible to role confusion in Peer Support, as their roles in their respective groups are determined by their relationships with the leaders. Overall, allowing the leaders of Peer Support groups to decide which members to keep and which members to remove completely contradicts their all-students-included maxim and is heavily susceptible to selection bias among students. By eliminating the “conflict” system, Peer Support would more closely align with its goal of improving students’ mental health and upholding all members’ perspectives equally.

Pressured Productivity By Caroline Jacoby


ince the pandemic began, each interaction I have with others has started with a countless set of questions: How are you using your extra time? What new skills have you acquired? Through the expectation to spend your time learning a new language, jogging and organizing your room, the media’s message is clear: lockdown must be utilized for projects. However, you don’t actually need to be productive right now. For upper school students, the pressure to overachieve is nothing new. It is ingrained in us that it’s necessary to excel in all honors classes, play a sport and complete

hours of community service regularly in order to succeed. Though the focus has shifted to finding creative ways to make the best of this “new normal,” students’ stress has only increased since the pandemic. Whether it’s learning to play an instrument, tutoring younger kids or painting a portrait, we’re constantly told that if we don’t spend our extra time at home being productive, we are wasting an opportunity for self-improvement. This summer, after much encouragement from my parents, I signed up for several volunteer opportunities. While they were incredibly fulfilling, focus on pro-


Tick Tock, Trump’s on the clock By Sarah Mittleman


ays before President Trump’s Tulsa Rally, millions of users on TikTok banded together to troll the event by registering for it and not showing up. Just a month after photos of the humiliatingly sparse crowd flooded the internet, Trump decided to ban the popular online video-sharing app. Because it is owned by a Chinese company, the President’s excuse is that TikTok presents a security threat to America–but I’d argue the only security it’s threatening is Trump’s. On Aug. 6, Trump issued the executive order to ban ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok. The order included claims that the Chinese company’s popular social media app allows “the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.” According to Trump, Tiktok immediately takes large amounts of data from new users and provides the Chinese government with location tracking of federal employees. The order will hurt the many teenagers and young adults who have found fame via the social media app, but more importantly, it endangers all American citizens as well. The President swears to fear for our online safety, but ByteDance vehemently denies handing user information to the Chinese government. There is no concrete proof to back Trump’s claims–and yet, TikTok is still being banned. In fact, it’s suspicious that

the President would even want to prevent citizens from using a social media app that doesn’t violate laws. But perhaps Trump cares less about data security and more about his reelection campaign. As seen in the Tulsa Rally, TikTok has become increasingly politicized. But this rally foiled by TikTok users struck too close to home for Trump; now that the app is a potential menace to his presidency, he wants it gone, even if it means exaggerating the threat of ByteDance in order to do it. Recently, Trump has been under fire for a fascistic streak– attempting to push back the election and threatening to outlaw Twitter for fact-checking his posts are just two examples. In Naomi Wolf’s “The End of America,” the 10 steps that dictators have often followed are outlined–number eight is controlling the press. Social media posts are much less credible than newspapers; that said, TikTok is becoming a quasi “press” for young people who want to debate politics. Banning it in order to limit the voices of anti-Trump accounts would, in turn, prevent all 800 million active users from making content. Trump is violating our freedom of speech with baseless claims of security threats in hopes of erasing the possibility of his loss in November. 32.5% of TikTok’s users are between the ages of 10 and 19; high schoolers are the backbone of the app’s success. Particularly

during the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and throughout the months before the presidential election, students at our school have used TikTok in educational ways: watching live videos of protests, putting up and signing petitions and learning new facts about COVID-19. What once was a shallow social media app for skits and dances has evolved into a way for our generation to communicate our viewpoints on critical issues: through TikTok, our voices are heard. It is not petty or immature to protest the upcoming ban. TikTok has offered us something that most social media platforms can’t. The very thing our President finds so terrifying is also what makes the app brilliant–everybody has a chance to have a platform and make an impact on their peers. Donald Trump is frightened that teenagers like us will use this popular app to condemn him to the point where his campaign fails, but regardless of one’s opinion on the 2020 election, the ban is unconstitutional. If we allow powerful politicians to start using unsubstantiated claims to limit what we can and can’t say, we won’t have presidents anymore–we’ll have dictators.

An Assistant Opinion Editor writes about the pressures to be productive that many upper school students, like herself, have felt throughout the past six months of quarantine because of COVID-19. ductivity can be problematic when it serves to amplify students’ guilt. Lurking behind this productivity mania is the omnipresent fear of not having an impressive college resume. Though most colleges claim they take these circumstances into account, it is difficult to trust the idea that quarantine will not affect admissions. There’s no space for those trying to stay afloat when we’re conditioned to think it’s wrong to take a day off from working towards college admissions. In reality, most people’s quarantine lifestyles don’t match their perfect Instagram feeds. The pandemic and current social justice

revolution have raised concerns for the well-being of friends and family, placing a lot of stress on people. For students, this is compounded by the inability to go to school and interact with friends and classmates, causing many students to feel lonely and isolated. It makes sense that people would distract themselves with an overload of hobbies. But this unnecessary pressure can be harmful to students’ mental health. It is difficult to motivate oneself to complete chores and assignments right now. The expectation that you have to try out new activities on top of that can leave those

just trying to get through each day feeling like they don’t measure up to their peers. Reinforcing this workaholic mentality only makes it harder for students to cope with these strange times or reach out to others when they are struggling. Instead of putting pressure on students to fill up their extra time with college level courses or an abundance of new activities, it is essential to be extra kind and empathetic right now. Students are grappling with extreme uncertainty and should be met with compassion rather than judgement about how effectively they have been using their time.

Features The Chronicle • Aug. 26, 2020

Out of Bounds Members of the school community reflect on their experiences with toxic masculinity in male athletics.

By Mia Feizbakhsh and Sophia Musante

L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly environment. “I think there has always been an understanding within the football As Jack Shane ’19 frantically ran team that homophobia isn’t right,” into baseball practice, he felt the judg- Douglass said. “[Have I heard] the ‘f ’ mental gazes of his teammates upon slur? Never. ‘Gay’ has been used a few him. Late from dropping off his girl- times, but every time that it was used, friend, he rushed to apologize, only to either I or someone else said, ‘this isn’t be met with taunts from his friends. right, this isn’t acceptable behavior.’” “That’s gay,” they said. Unlike Douglass, former football For Shane, these words represent- player Loyal Terry ’19 said despite imed the normalization of homophobic provement through the years, aspects slurs and the negative connotations of homophobia were present during people used of the word ‘gay’ that he his time on the team. had witnessed in his years as an ath“To be blunt, when I first arrived lete. [on the team], that language occurred “People always joked that I was gay often, but by the time I left, it was not because most of my friends were girls,” as acceptable,” Terry said. “Some peoShane said. “I had to be gay ple would still use that type because in their minds you of language, and I am conhave to be friends with guys fident that in certain groups and do ‘manly things’ to be that language persisted.” a man.” To queer student Audrey Shane is not the only stuPerkins ’23, the group chat dent to express his frustrais representative of a largtions with the toxic mascuer culture of homophobia linity present in the school’s within male athletics. white’s male athletic programs. Ac“I’m sad to say that I Viswa Douglass ’21 cording to The New York wasn’t actually that surTimes, toxic masculinity inprised by the football group cludes the promotion of hyper-mascu- chat and what has been [allegedly] linity and repressed emotion. said in it,” Perkins said. “I don’t think Sarah Reiff ’20 recently sparked di- many of them realize how common alogue by referencing a football team L.G.B.T. people really are, or that group chat called ‘Gay Group chat’ they most likely have L.G.B.T. friends in an Instagram story posted Aug. of their own. Being surrounded by 10. Reiff alleged several homopho- homophobia all the time, especially bic statements had been made in the within your friend group, could lead a group chat. Since then, screenshots of closeted person to feel extremely alone Instagram comments in which mem- and probably push them further into bers of the football team used the the closet.” word ‘gay’ in an insulting manner have According to the American Psyalso been brought to light. chiatric Association, L.G.B.T.Q. inHead of Athletics Terry Barnum dividuals are 2.5 times more likely to said the administration is currently experience substance abuse, anxiety or investigating the group chat, which depression compared to their heterois not officially affiliated with the sexual peers. These numbers largely school. correlate to the discrimination, isolaFootball player Viswa Douglass tion and homophobia that L.G.B.T.Q. ’21, who identifies as bisexual, said the individuals experience throughout group chat was not a homophobic fo- their lifetime, the L.G.B.T. Foundarum, despite its misleading name. tion said on their website. “[It was named that because] there Like Perkins, queer male athlete was a meme that happened last year Steve* said his coming out experience where, before games for good luck, we was delayed by the casual, normalized would hit on each other and compli- homophobia he experienced in locker ment each other,” Douglass said. “The room and team environments. name should never have been that, “Not everybody comes from the and that is a mistake all of us are will- same places, and a lot of people can’t ing to own up to.” understand each other’s points of view Furthermore, Douglass said on the team,” Steve said. “I definitely the football team has created an had some friends, two friends, that I

was kind of really scared of losing, so I Shane said he has been able to priorijust didn’t wanna say anything because tize his mental health in a way he nevI was afraid they would just not talk to er knew possible. me anymore.” “I didn’t even know therapy existIn boys athletic programs, Shane ed until I got to college,” Shane said. said toxic masculinity is perpetuated “A lot of our view on therapy in high by misogynistic comments and an school was that therapy means someoverall sexist attitude. Shane said he thing is wrong with you and you have recalled an instance where girls were an issue, not that therapy is just anothranked for their appearance above er tool in the bucket to help you fight and “below the neck,” as well as an whatever you are going through.” incident where a teammate instructed Barnum said he believes student others to call his ex-girlfriend a whale. -athletes are reluctant to come for“It happened so much that it al- ward, not only because of the prevamost became this big mush of things lence of hyper-masculinity, but also where you can’t remember the exact because of the possible social consetimes you heard each one,” Shane quences. said. “It just feels like everything was “I think that there might be some involved some way in students that fear gomisogyny and objecing forward because tification.” if you go to an adult, There’s this Terry said he felt famous quote from Tom an adult is going to do that this misogyny something about it, Hanks that says there’s was not exclusive to and that might come no crying in baseball. I male athletics but at a social cost for the was always taught that student,” was more commonly Barnum from a young age.” perpetuated there. said. — Jack Shane ’19 “This occurred Perkins said that in almost every because toxic massphere of life at Harculinity is so deepvard-Westlake,” Terry said. “Boys and ly ingrained within society, she feels girls would do this, and while it is students have the ultimate ability to more destructive in many instances dismantle hyper-masculine standards with boys objectifying women, every- by calling out their peers and having one did it. I at least knew plenty of difficult conversations. people who did it in their ‘safe’ spac“I know some people think that es.” our school can fix these issues, but However, according to Shane, the I don’t think that it can, at least not most prominent aspect of toxic mas- with the current approach that it has,” culinity in male athletics was the sup- Perkins said. “Homophobia and hetpression of male emotion. eronormativity are too ingrained in “There’s this famous quote from our society as a whole for a claim of no Tom Hanks that says there’s no crying tolerance and a stand during [Interin baseball,” Shane said. “I was always national Day Against Homophobia, taught that from a young age, to not Biphobia and Transphobia] to really show that kind of emotion. When you reach these people.” suppress your emotions for so long Barnum said that the school is and you don’t even talk about them or committed to promoting tolerance feel them, you are bound to eventually and acceptance to players, coaches and become aggressive with them.” other figures within the athletics comIn the sports program, efficiency munity. and athletic achievements were priori“We are working with adolescents, tized over athletes’ mental health, and and teenagers at times make misstudents were taught and encouraged takes,” Barnum said. “So our job is, to put the team’s success before them- when they do make mistakes or when selves, Shane said. they do need to be educated in areas of “It got to the point where you respecting one another [and] undercan’t really admit that you couldn’t standing and respecting our diversity, beat something, whether it be school whether it be racial, religious or sexual or stress or sickness,” Shane said. “You orientation, that they are responsible.” had to constantly be the one winning.” Since his departure from school, *Names have been changed.

illustration by alexa druyanoff

B2 Features

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020

Going the Extra Mile In light of California’s COVID-19 protocol, students travel out of state for available standardized testing.

By Tanisha Gunby

challenged,” Slattery said. “I worry that they are actually going to rely on When John Szijjarto ’21 opened the quick and dirty ways of admitan email from College Board on ting kids by just using grades or just Aug. 21, he was disappointed to find using test scores.” Even though Szijjarto signed up out that his SAT exam had been canceled for the fifth time. Because of for the SAT at test centers outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, test cen- Los Angeles, he said he is still uncerters across the country have canceled tain of whether the examination will standardized tests multiple times take place. “I planned to take the SAT at since March. “It is painful to have my SAT test many different locations,” Szijjarto dates repeatedly getting canceled,” said. “I’ve scheduled to take the test Szijjarto said. “I’ve been preparing at my school, in at least four sepato take the test for a year, and I’ve rate counties besides LA County and in another state. All of my spent so much time and tests so far have been caneffort to get the best score celed.” possible, and I don’t want Szijjarto said that planthat preparation to go to ning for the SAT out of waste. I know my SAT state was difficult. score would serve to help “It was not challengmy chances of getting into ing to plan a road trip to a selective university, and the closer counties, as the the idea of not having that drive wouldn’t be more opportunity is difficult for white’s than three hours,” Szijjarto me to grapple with.” John said. “The drive to another Although many colleges, Szijjarto ’21 state, Oregon, on the other including the Ivy League hand, was going to be very, schools and institutions within the University of California very difficult. The drive takes an ensystem, have declared test-optional tire day, I would have to go during policies for this year’s admission sea- school, and I would need to be on son, some students are still planning my computer using a hot-spot for at least seven hours.” to take standardized tests. However, Slattery said she thinks “I planned to take a standardized test because I have been preparing students from the school will still be to take the SAT for the better part competitive for college admissions of a year, and my scores are good,” without having to go out of their way Szijjarto said. “I think that taking an to take a standardized test. “Even though I have concerns SAT and receiving a very high score can really help to further my college about how colleges will use testing, I am not sure I love the idea of peoapplication.” Head of Upper School Beth Slat- ple traveling all over the place,” Slattery said that although many colleges tery said. “I think our students, even are declaring test-optional, the ad- without testing, are actually going to missions officers may still be tempt- be really impressive candidates. So, I ed to consider testing as a factor in don’t think our kids need it as much as they think they need it.” admissions. In an effort to provide more op“I worry because colleges get so many applications and are under- tions to take the SAT exam, the staffed that sometimes their ability school added a test date scheduled to actually really read deeply can be for Oct. 14, exclusively for the senior

class. In a poll of 184 students, about are test-optional, what I worry is, are 58% reported that they signed up for all scholarship programs test-optionthe new test date. al? Are there still things where the Director of Standard and Special school says they are test optional, but Testing Nathaly Blanco said the Oc- there are places where students are tober SAT School Day could pro- not getting opportunities?” vide an additional opportunity for Upper School Dean Sara Brookstudents to take the exam without shire, previously the Director of interfering with regularly scheduled Admissions at Brandeis University, classes. The school has also added said the pandemic has provided an two ACT exam administrations in opportunity for colleges to reflect on September and October. and make changes to their admis“Seniors have experienced the sions process. stress and unease of the pandemic “I think that the people having and subsequent test cancellations the biggest scramble are going to be throughout the spring and summer,” the admissions offices that weren’t Blanco said. before test-option“With the limal,” Brookshire said. [Although] ited testing seats “[They] now need to available in the schools are test-optional, figure out how they fall, we hope the evaluate students in a what I worry is, are all added test dates world where they don’t scholarship programs provide seniors have those test scores with an opportubecause for many test-optional?” nity to take the schools, they think of —Laura Ross it as an even playing exam and alleviate some of the Associate Head of School field, in that every kid distress.” no matter where they Blanco said go to school or where the College Board and ACT dictate they live in the country or possibly all testing dates and administrations, the world takes the same kind of and the school will consider adding test.” alternate SAT and ACT testing opBrookshire said she believes the portunities when possible. testing system has been flawed for a “While Harvard-Westlake is long time. hoping to administer all upcoming “We have to think really critically scheduled exams, the health and about what it means to be admissible safety of students and proctors is of to a college that is selective,” Brookutmost importance,” Blanco said. shire said. “It’s going to be hard. A lot “We are trying our best to help and of value proposition questions need to provide whatever opportunities to take place on college campuses, College Board and ACT make avail- but at the end of the day, I think that able.” we are going to pay more attention Associate Head of School Laura to what you actually do every single Ross said she is concerned about how day as a student in hard classes at a the test-optional policy will impact great school like Harvard-Westlake areas beyond the admissions process. than what you did one time at the “I am grateful that so many col- end of your junior year on a Saturday leges went test-optional in this time,” morning when you were really tired. Ross said. “But I also [hope that] So that should not define your worth students who want the opportunity or your ability to be successful in colto test get that. [Although] schools lege, in my opinion.”


B3 Features

Aug. 26, 2020

The Chronicle

Bursting the Bubble

While some families turn to learning pods as a supplement for virtual schooling, others fear that this trend may widen the education gap. By Katharine Steers

brother will participate in a learning pod. Carson said he hopes to return In mid-July, California Gov. to in-person learning, as he misses his Gavin Newsom announced the peers and teachers. Although he has state’s requirement for reopening been keeping up socially through regeducational institutions: the school’s ular FaceTime calls with his friends, county must be taken off the state’s Carson said it is not the same as the “Monitoring List” for 14 consecutive in-person interaction his brother will days in order to conduct in-person have with his classmates. “[My brother’s] closest friends are instruction. Given the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the in his learning pod, so he’s not too summer, many California public and frustrated about it,” Carson said. “He private schools were forced to reverse would obviously rather be in a regular plans to return to campus in the fall. school setting, but he’s looking forAlly White ’22 said her family un- ward to it. I’d be happy to [study in a learning pod] if that were derestimated how long virthe only way to get back on tual school would last and campus.” was distressed by online Following Newsom’s learning. order, remote learning al“My entire family ternatives began flooding thought it was going to be news and social media feeds over in two weeks,” White targeting parents. In July, said. “It wasn’t. Now here Selected, an app that conwe are. My siblings and I nects schools with teachers likely won’t even go back white’s looking for employment, for at least the entire first Janine launched “Selected for Famsemester.” Jones ilies” in order to aid them Newsom’s announcein organizing learning pods. ment was met with concerns from parents, who feared that Co-founder of Selected Waine Tam remote schooling would hurt their said demand has been high. “We serve [primarily lower-instudents academically and socially. According to NYMetroParents, many come schools] on one hand and on parents are struggling mentally with the other hand, high-income families their children quarantined at home. also seeking teachers,” Tam said. According to Redtri, learning While the majority of Californian public and private schools will only pods typically cost a minimum of offer remote learning this fall, many $500 a week—an amount unrealistic anxious parents are now looking at for most working families. To acsupplemental or alternative educa- commodate a learning pod, parents tional options for their children, in- must have a relatively private space cluding learning pods. Learning pods, with little distractions, high-speed which are also called quaranteams, internet and accessible facilities. The micro-schools or pandemic pods, are revamped homeschooling system is small, privately curated groups of no not an option for most families, and more than 10 students engaging in critics expressed concern that the pod in-person learning under the pedago- model will exacerbate the academic divide among students. gy of parents or employed tutors. Latin American Hispanic Student While Avi Carson ’22 is starting school virtually, his nine-year-old Organization (LAHSO) leader Penny

Juarez ’21 said she feels that pods are ity researcher Jessica Calarco found unfair. that that is not the case with public “For low-income families, it’s hard schools, as in California, school budto move onto online school because gets are reduced by every student these families don’t have Wi-Fi or ac- that leaves. According to EdSource, cess to computers,” Juarez said. “It’s as average daily attendance declines, a privilege that one would have the LAUSD schools lose funds from the luxury of [in-person learning].” state. From the Operation Varsity Blues Director of Diversity, Equity and scandal to the Black Lives Matter Inclusion Janine Jones said that learnmovement, people are now question- ing pods are inequitable. ing the status quo and examining “There are huge equity issues with themes of equality, especially within that because we think about socioecoeducation. nomics and the ability of some fami“The pandemic has highlighted lies to pay a tutor,” Jones said. “Is that the inequalities in widening the gap? education: inconOn an income level? sistent quality of On a wealth level? For low-income remote learning Absolutely. That’s families, it’s hard to among schools, the very concerning.” [lack of ] financial In light of Newmove onto online resources to supsom’s order, many school because these plement or replace Southern Californian families don’t have Wi-Fi independent schools remote learning and the possibility that or access to computers.” are seeking waivers to private schools will return to some form —Penny Juarez ’21 of in-person learning return, while public schools remain even as their neighonline only,” White boring public schools said. “With the [Black Lives Matter] remain virtual. movement and the college scandal, “We have the resources and have inequities are becoming more trans- the plan to be able to distance,” parent.” Jones said. “Does that make it fair? Tam said he agrees with the crit- No. There are considerations at play icism that learning pods are not eq- where I’m not saying that [indepenuitable and argues that the best solu- dent schools] shouldn’t [open]. I’m tion would be public subsidies, which saying, ‘Let’s not pretend this can be would cover teachers’ salaries. done in an equitable fashion.’” “What does this country value?” White said she feels that economTam asked. “All the way from early ic standing should not be a factor in childhood, there’s little to no support which students return to in-person for low-income families as it relates learning. nationally for childcare. It’s a system“As someone who went to public atic issue.” school, I’ve encountered a variety of With students increasingly with- people from a large range of economdrawing from virtual education in ic backgrounds,” White said. “I disfavor of learning pods, some pod par- like how economic privilege and privents argue their departure leaves more ilege in general can influence which resources for the remaining students. children get a good education and Sociologist and educational inequal- which don’t.”

Illustration by Alexa Druyanoff

B4 Features

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020

Diversity, Inequity and Disillusion Black female students reflect on their experiences while attending a historically predominantly white institution.

By Kate Burry

“If you’re a Black guy, especially if you play sports, you can be seen as Every day, as Chandace Apacanis the token at that PWI,” Duruisseau ’21 walks onto campus or logs onto said. “But if you’re a girl, especially Zoom, she feels like she must put up one who’s conscious of what’s going a guard to defend herself. As a Black on in the world, comfortable in her female student attending a predom- own skin and does not assimilate inantly white institution (PWI), she with the culture at HW, you may not constantly has to fight against the have many friends.” many manifestations of racism. According to all six female stu“When I go to school, it feels like dents interviewed, Black women are I’m preparing for battle,” Apacanis constantly subjected to microaggressaid. “Whether it’s physically, people sions such as offensive or derogatory trying to touch my hair, or emotional- jokes, comments and actions. While ly, somebody makes a rude comment this type of racism isn’t as conspicutowards me, or in ways that I don’t ous, the snowballing effect it has on know about at the time. It its victims’ mental health always feels like I have to can be emotionally devasjustify my existence and my tating. presence at the school.” Gabby Odoom ’21 In light of the current said she has experienced social climate, the school discrimination at both recently reinforced its efthe Upper and Middle forts to address systemic School. She said she was racism and raise awareness belittled by her peers, who about minority experiences. claimed she didn’t deserve white’s Given that the majority of her grades, or by white stuElla the upper school population dents, who tried to justify Watkins ’22 cannot relate to being rathe use of racial slurs. cially outnumbered, Apaca“I remember getting a nis said listening and empathizing lot of comments from other people in with that point of view is crucial. my class saying that I was only getZenmarah Duruisseau ’22 said the ting my good grades because both pressure of being a racial minority at the teacher and I were Black, even the school complicates her daily life. though I was working really hard “It’s obvious I’m different,” Du- and helping a lot of people in my ruisseau said. “There’s nothing wrong class,” Odoom said. “Other people with that, but it gets to you after a joke about getting an ‘N-word pass’ while. I feel like I have to change, and because they’re tan.” I find myself code-switching when I Many female students of color said come to school. I switch my voice, I that they have observed and dealt switch how I talk and it’s stressful.” with prejudice and microaggressions Ella Watkins ’22 said being a in the form of stereotyping. Kennedy Black woman at a PWI makes for an Hill ’22, Duruisseau and Apacanis especially difficult social experience described situations in which they because she feels she must prove her- were characterized as the “loud and self in order to fit in. Watkins said angry Black woman” or told that she felt pressure to demonstrate her “Black kids don’t have dads.” While intelligence to justify her enrollment at the Middle School, Duruisseau at the school, while Black males, who heard students utter blatantly disget more attention, do not necessarily criminatory remarks, such as “she have to do the same. Duruisseau said can’t be president because she’s Black she also shares that struggle. and a woman.”

Ash Wright ’22, who has attend- statement include requiring Diversied PWIs since she was in elementa- ty, Equity and Inclusion training for ry school, said that racist actions or faculty, hiring a counselor designated comments have become normal to to support students of color and reher because of the frequency with designing history and English courswhich they are used around her. es to include more Black history and “I’m more desensitized to racial- culture. ly charged comments or microagOdoom acknowledged that the gressions just because I’m so used to school is taking steps to combat rachearing them,” Wright said. “Some- ism and accredited the administratimes if I do hear them, I don’t really tion with becoming more supportive register the comment. It makes me of the Black community. She said the uncomfortable, but then I just tell school’s plan is a “good start and it’s myself it’s whatever.” encouraging to see such a strong iniWhile Wright often subconscious- tiative-.” However, she said she thinks ly disregards offensive remarks, she the implementation of a new system said that Black Leadof accountability for ership, Awareness students is necessary and Culture Club to foster a truly anAll of the (B.L.A.C.C.) proschool. community needs to hear ti-racist vides her with a safe “Holding people place to confront the and educate themselves accountable is a big racism she faces on on Black culture and the deal just because campus and connect know of people Black experience. It’s their Iwho with other Black stustill go to HW dents. Through lis- duty to be an ally.” who have said the tening to stories and and have —Kennedy Hill ’22 N-word participating in conmade racist comversations, Watkins, ments,” Odoom Duruisseau, Wright and Hill said said. “It’s hard for me to look at what the club unifies and informs students the school is doing as sincere if they’re about current events pertaining to not also holding people accountable. African Americans in and out of the There should be a system created school community. However, Hill that’s somewhat similar to the Honor and Wright stressed that the lack of Board or having specific faculty who non-racial minority members keeps deal with incidents of racism.” the affinity group from making a Duruisseau said members of the larger impact on the greater popula- community should support each othtion. er and refrain from tearing others “B.L.A.C.C. is the only source down. She added that all students, of culture for African Americans faculty and staff should be caring on campus,” Hill said. “It’s almost and respectful of everyone regardless entirely composed of Black people, of their race, sexual orientation and but we’re not the ones who need to socio-economic status. be taught about this because we live “You never know what someone it everyday. All of the community is going through,” Duruisseau said. needs to hear and educate themselves “Everyone has their own individual on Black culture and the Black expe- struggles, and we need to understand rience. It’s their duty to be an ally.” that and not use it against each other. In the wake of the 2020 Black Everyone is different, and we need to Lives Matter movement, the school respect that. If you can’t, you need to affirmed its statement to combat check yourself first and acknowledge systemic racism. The contents of the you’re wrong.”


Arts &Entertainment The Chronicle • Aug. 26, 2020

Students share how they use art as a creative outlet in order to fight racial injustice during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Caitlin Muñoz

may benefit from their isolation by focusing on creating art As weeks in isolation stretc- at home and using their talents hed to months, Skylar Liu ’21, to bridge the social gap between normally a prolific painter, fo- themselves and their peers. In light of both the pandeund herself struggling to find inspiration. Nevertheless, Liu mic and the current movement said art has always helped her for racial equality, Thompson find solace, and for that reason, said students have found ways she pushed herself to focus on to tackle internal and external conflicts in their communities tactile art forms. After the resurgence of the through self-expression. Liu said she appreciates that Black Lives Matter movement in June, she learned that she co- students have utilized art as a form of activiuld sell her work sm within the online to contricommunity. bute to a greater Art is very “Art has been cause, all while much a language, so used as a tool to building conneinfluence or to ctions with her I think it’s a great way advocate [for] peers. to communicate and social issues for Visual arts advocate for causes.” centuries, so it teacher Conor has Thompson said —Skylar Liu ’21 definitely the ability to that while the Student Painter tackle today’s past few montissues, too,” Liu hs have proven a challenge for many, students said. “I think both documentacan shed a positive light on the- tion and more abstracted art are ir social distancing experiences important for spreading awareby utilizing their creativity as an ness and advocating for movements like Black Lives Matter. outlet for expression. “From the start of lockdown Art might be personal for the last spring, I emphasized that art artist, but their struggles are ofcan be a salve in troubled times ten a reflection of society’s cuand that the parameters of loc- rrent issues. I’ve definitely seen kdown create unique opportu- an increase in artwork that is nities for creativity,” Thompson meant to be a work of activism said. “I am an optimist, as na- or a protest, and I think a lot ive as it sounds in 2020, and I of art created during this time, have observed the silver linings whether the artist is conscious of [COVID-19] for my art stu- of it or not, will be reflective on dents. Students have more pri- issues of race, isolation and survacy to create artwork, they can vival or will depict feelings of learn to use the limitations of uncertainty and loneliness. Art working from home to be reso- is very much a language, so I urceful and they have an alter- think it’s a great way to communative mode of communication nicate and advocate for causes.” Ash Wright ’22 said she uses to express hard feelings about social media platforms to iniliving through these times.” Thompson said that students tiate change by advocating and

raising money for organizatiThompson discussed the ons supporting the Black Lives pride he experienced upon leMatter movement. arning about students who are “One way that I’ve been utilizing their artistic abilities using art as a catalyst for change to raise awareness and advocate is through Student Art Activi- for the Black Lives Matter mosts, an account started by some vement. students at Harvard-Westlake, “I was so impressed when my where we all create and donate students proactively developed both our own art and that of ot- a program to raise awareness her artists around the U.S., cre- and funds for social justice cauating this platform where we use ses,” Thompson said. “Student our talents for change,” Wright Art Activists became a platform said. “Another way I have seen for engendering real change. art used for change is Art can be both a solipeople who are good tary act of contemplaat digital art or graption and a powerful hic design creating tool for community infographics online, engagement, and thewhich is another really se times have revealed helpful way to share [to me] both aspects information in a more for Harvard-Westlake succinct manner.” students.” Liu said that now Visual Arts Deparwhite’s more than ever, the tment Head Gustavo Ash media should work Godoy said that desWright ’22 toward diversifying art pite the challenges the and making it more accessible pandemic poses to the school to the public. community, students continue “Now that many museums to remind him of the signifiand galleries are closed to the cant role art plays in one’s social public, social media and the consciousness. internet are important to sha“I often say that being an ring art and making it accessi- artist is a luxury in our society, ble,” Liu said. “In addition to but [it is] also a responsibility to showcasing artwork that aims be taken seriously, [as well as] a to tackle themes of racism and dynamic political act,” Godoy injustice, I think it is really im- said. “Art that is activated in portant for galleries and muse- the way that Student Art Actiums to highlight works done by vists have done can be meaninpeople of color. I have seen this gful for what the artist is saying sort of activist art spread to In- within each piece and also for stagram and other social media the effect the act of creating can apps, which encourages people have as a form of protest. Art to continue partaking in the can become precious, and for Black Lives Matter movement.” all of these artists to donate the Visual arts faculty members work in this way is such a behave expressed their support of autiful and generous gesture. It new student platforms that have would be so easy to remain siworked to catalyze change wit- lent, and our students chose to hin the school community. be voices for justice.”

Illustrations by Sydney Fener and Chloe Schaeffer

C2 Arts and Entertainment

The Chronicle

Aug. 26, 2020

Due to COVID-19, students and an entertainment industry professional share how they find new ways to showcase their artwork. By Keira Jameson

duction of his show in ways he could have never predicted. Producer and songwrit“Working at home has been er Gabe Yaron ’22 sat down a challenge, nothing compared at his piano to play and sing to what most people are facing, along to his pop song “No but a challenge,” Mankiewicz Obligation.” Throughout said. “There’s no crew, so for quarantine, he has been con- me, it’s doing my own wardstantly making new music and robe, hair, makeup, lighting, collaborating with other cre- camera work, recording, downators, including his brother Ari loading then uploading back to Yaron ’18. However, he said Atlanta. But I can tell you, my that producing music remote- appreciation for what the crew ly has posed new challenges. does has grown exponentially. “I’ve had much And I was almore time to ready apprewrite, which is ciative. You’re I’ve had great, but collabreminded much more time to oration is obvithat this is a write which is great, ously much more collaborative but collaboration is difficult,” Yaron b u s i n e s s .” obviously much more said. “Most of Though difficult.” my writing sesmany prosions are now —Gabe Yaron ‘22 ductions have on Zoom, which been pushed is much less back to next smooth than being in person.” year, some films are taking a Like Yaron, individuals in different route and will be rethe entertainment industry are leased on streaming sites such as itching to make a comeback as Netflix and HBO Max. Many soon as the pandemic comes people have resorted to spendto a close. During these past ing lots of time at home; acmonths of quarantine, the in- cording to Forbes, Netflix has dustry has been forced to adapt over 60 million subscribers in from its traditional methods of the United States, compared to engagement to an almost en- 128 million total households, tirely digital playing field. This making it one of the largest period of uncertainty is gen- streaming sites in the country. erating rapid change and has Some forms of entertainplaced pressure on the indus- ment have been affected disprotry to find new ways to adapt portionately, and few are as sucto an uncomfortable situation. cessful as streaming companies The movie and television accessible from anywhere, such business is beginning to cre- as Netflix and Hulu. Broadway, ate content again after months sports games, the music busiof dust-gathering on set. Ac- ness and concerts are no longer cording to Entertainment able to have fans attend in perWeekly, countless studios son. Channels like ESPN and were forced to either post- Sports Net have recently been pone, halt or even cancel pro- able to broadcast live sports and ductions due to COVID-19. have also come up with unique Host of Turner Classic Mov- ways to keep their fans involved ies Ben Mankiewicz said that during games, such as displayhe is adjusting to hosting at ing faces in the crowd virtually home, which and through cardboard cutouts. he said has However, Broadway shows are a f f e c t e d on hiatus until further notice, the pro- mainly because of the theaters’

inability to house an audience. “[Quarantine] has actualSome Broadway stars, includ- ly made me more productive,” ing “Hamilton” cast members Ferrell said. “I have more time and Disney Broadway show ac- and [fewer] excuses for not gotors, have taken to Zoom and ing and writing stuff. But since talk shows to continue hosting I’m writing more often, I start their performances. The music running out of ideas because industry has been facing sim- there’s not much going on.” ilar problems due to the lack Westflix ’21 director Tara of a live audience; artists such Neil ’21 said the club struggled as Harry Styles and Ke$ha with the pandemic at the end will be unable to perform in of last school year, as Westflix person until it is safe to do so. club leaders were forced to Since live concerts have been change and even cancel many postponed, artists are now re- thoughtfully planned events. leasing music during “Westflix ’20 was, quarantine. Accordfortunately, able to ing to the Los Angeles finish shooting their Times, Taylor Swift’s promotional vidalbum “Folklore” eos before the start gained massive popof quarantine, so we ularity within days of were able to showits release, making it case those,” Neil said. white’s one of the best selling “Unfortunately, the Magnus albums of 2020. Othactual festival that Ferrell ’22 er artists continue to usually takes place at tease new music, so it is unlikely the Arclight Hollywood sadSwift will be the last of large art- ly could not happen in perists to use this time to their ad- son, so we had a virtual award vantage. Cory Porter ’22 is fol- show and conversation with lowing Swift on her journey and all the filmmakers instead.” listened to her newest album Westflix faculty adviser Reb within minutes of its release. Limerick said the club had “I think [‘Folklore’] gave to make major adjustments [Swift] the chance to experiment due to COVID-19, but in the with her storytelling and lyrical end, members were able to talent in a way that maybe she make the best of the situation. wasn’t able to do before because “Westflix originally planned of the typical press cycles of for March 20 at the Arclight previous albums,” Porter said. Hollywood, but for obvi“This resulted into the more ous reasons, [because] of the sonically understated but lyri- COVID-19 pandemic, we had cally dense album, ‘Folklore.’” to postpone and reconfigure Similar to artists like Swift, the festival,” Limerick said. members of the school com- “Our team was able to pull off munity have also been creat- a successful, celebratory and ing during their time in quar- intimate online event using a antine, putting together art, combination of Zoom, Vimeo songs and even some albums. and [the] HW website. Our Musician Magnus Ferrell ’22 virtual Westflix Festival was has been creating while seques- hosted on June 12 and 13 and tered but sees his situation in was a beautiful way for young, a positive light when it comes accomplished filmmakers and to writing music. He said he media artists from across Calcontinues to brainstorm and ifornia to connect, be recogrecord songs because he has nized and receive personalized more time but finds it harder to feedback from industry prothink of topics to write about. fessionals such as Spike Jonze.”

Illustrations by Keira Jameson and Chloe Schaeffer

Aug. 26, 2020

A&E C3

With vintage fashion on the rise among members of the younger generation, students discuss thrift shopping in stores and online. By Mimi Landes

her own clothes on Depop, earning thousands of dollars through her As Kate Hassett ’22 scrolled sale. Though she struggled at first through Depop, she became in- to conduct business transactions, Li trigued by the bright colors, faded said she learned how to successfully denim fabrics and ’80s patterns she sell clothes by being helpful and fair with her customers. discovered. “After I made my first sale, I reHassett attempted to navigate through the myriad of overpriced alized I had a lot of stuff sitting in accounts, leading her to the real my closet that I didn’t really need treasures hidden within the more anymore and would be better off in another home,” niche profiles on Li said. “I think the app. Hassett is I’m doing well among many stuIt felt great for on Depop bedents who use Deme to be out again cause I’ve posted pop to buy and sell about it a bunch clothing. and experience a on social media “I think it’s really bit of [something] and because I try popular because it to list new things is a cleaner and easnormal.” every week, so I ier way to go thrift—Max Thompson ’23 keep items coming,” Hassett said. ing. I also think I “It functions like have pretty good Instagram, so it connects with younger generations and customer service, so people think makes it easier for younger people I’m reliable and trustworthy.” Despite the app’s success, there to use.” According to FOX Business, is controversy surrounding how Depop spokesperson Rebecca Levy environmentally and economically said 90% of Depop’s more than ethical Depop is. Certain accounts 15 million active users around the buy clothes at thrift stores such as world are under the age of 26. Has- Goodwill for low prices and raise sett said she believes that the acces- them on Depop in order to optisibility and affordability of thrift mize profit. Li said she believes individuals shopping increased the popularity of vintage fashion among younger who sell “thrifted” clothes for ungenerations. Fashionistas are now reasonable prices can cause thrift even able to thrift online, as Depop stores to raise their own fees. Beallows shoppers to easily buy and cause of the increased competition sell the second-hand vintage items with apps like Depop, people who they no longer want to wear. Depop rely primarily on thrift stores to buy users consist primarily of teenagers their clothes struggle more with and young adults who use the app finding affordable options. Hassett as a creative outlet to make money said she recognizes the unethical isby selling their clothes. At the same sues surrounding the app. “On Depop, almost everything time, buyers are able to add unique is overpriced on big accounts, so I pieces to their closets. Sofia Li ’22 has sold many of like to go to smaller accounts to find

clothes,” Hassett said. “[Small ac- been forced to make adjustments to counts] are usually just trying to get his thrifting habits. stuff out of their closet, while bigger “I usually get a lot of my clothes accounts try to make a big profit. at thrift shops, so this year my famOn my Depop, I always list things ily and I took extra precautions reasonably because not everyone has when we went out to get some new a thick wallet.” clothes,” Thompson said. “[We According to the Student Envi- wore] lots of gloves, hand sanitizer ronmental Resource Center at the and masks, as we can’t ever be enUniversity of California, Berkeley, tirely sure of how safe the managethrifting items and purchasing on ment is being. It felt great for me Depop are more sustainto be out again and expeable ways of shopping. rience a bit of [something] The study shows that normal.” nine out of 10 Gen-Z’ers Thompson said he bebelieve companies are acgan thrift shopping as a countable for addressing way to spend time with environmental issues, his family and now becausing the popularity of lieves that there are many thrift shopping to rise. benefits that come with The findings also inshopping at second-hand white’s dicate that though not stores. Kate all people intentionally “[Thrifting] is really Hassett ’22 help the environment by environmentally friendly wearing second-hand clothes, the compared to shopping at fast fashlow prices of thrift stores have con- ion brands, and it is cheaper and tributed to the increase in vintage easier for me to afford,” Thompson fashion. said. “I can get cool stuff for a fracIn addition to Depop, Hassett tion of the price.” said she enjoys shopping at thrift Performing arts teacher and thestores because it’s socially responsi- ater department costume designer ble. Lisa Peters said she believes that as “I think it is great to go to places time goes on, the trends we find like Goodwill and Salvation Army popular now will become retro to because those are nonprofits that later generations. help the [underserved] communi“As I see it, vintage fashion has ty not only with reasonably priced been trendy for a very long time and clothing but also [with] jobs,” Has- will likely always be popular,” Peters sett said. “I like vintage fashion be- said. “Every new trend is influenced cause I hate wearing the same thing by silhouettes from the past that feel as someone else, and it’s like a nee- new to those who weren’t around dle in a haystack to find the same for their last appearance. What’s shirt or pair of jeans when thrift- current today will be vintage toing. Thrifting helps me express my morrow. And, trust me, one day in one-of-a-kind personality through the future, high school students will clothes.” be wearing styles that feel strangely Due to the global pandemic, reminiscent of what you’re wearing Max Thompson ’23 said he has right now.”

illustrations by chloe schaeffer and sydney fener

C4 Arts and Entertainment

Aug. 26, 2020

The Chronicle

Students return to arts online By Sydney Fener

department has been working hard to make the transition to In order to adapt to the dif- online learning this fall as smooth ficulties that remote learning pos- as possible. es, performing arts teacher Mi“My colleagues in the dechele Spears said the department partment have been doing curannounced changes to the regular riculum work all summer to fall play in an official school-wide prepare for the shift to the new email last week. The musical will block schedule, and now they likely be held in the spring, and are adapting that work to the the play will distance learning be hosted in format,” Thompthe fall, upper son said. “I am I’m hopeful for school dean creating more inthis coming year, but Sharon Cuseo structional vidI have been given no said in a virtual eos and gatherinformation about it. town hall for seing more digital I really wonder what’s niors Aug. 6. reference materiFor those als to account for going to happen.” within the arts that.” —CC Mesa ’22 department, The visual the challenges arts department presented by the pandemic have announced plans such as creating required innovative solutions art supply packages so that stuin order to successfully start the dents can work on their projects school year from home, visual from home. arts teacher Conor Thompson “We learn a valuable lesson said. in all of this, which is that art can Thompson said that the art be created anywhere, any time,

with limited access to materials,” Thompson said. “I always tell my students that you can make a beautiful [collection] of drawings with just a ballpoint pen and lined paper.” Despite the current plans, many students said they wonder how this year will transpire in their arts courses. Jazz Band member and actor CC Mesa ’22 said she felt confused by the lack of information she was given about her classes. “I have no idea what’s going to happen in Jazz Band or in acting,” Mesa said. “I’m assuming that we’re going to do acting as we did it in the last quarter of the school year, which was very nice and organized.” Mesa echoed this sentiment when asked about the play and musical and said that the faculty within the arts department have not given information to the students yet regarding either performance. She expressed concern about the limited commu-


nication with students but said she remains optimistic due to the successes of online classes last year. “I’m hopeful for this coming year because the end of last year wasn’t so bad, but I have been given no information about it,” Mesa said. Other art students commented on the lack of communication from the department, including photography student Idalis McZeal ’23. “So far [there’s been] nothing,” McZeal said. “I personally haven’t received information.”

Actor and singer Alon Moradi ’21 said that he was also worried about how the arts programs will be impacted this year. “To be perfectly honest, the plans of how the teachers are going to adapt for the performing arts has not been very transparent to students,” Moradi said. “I think to some of us and my other friends that are in the program, it was a little bit unsettling to see that performing arts is one of the hardest-hit programs, and there was no one on the COVID task force that had anything to do with the department.”

Chronicle staff members share their favorite summer songs, from pop, to rap, to rock, to indie. For each tune, members also share why they love these songs and how they remind them of summer.

Tongue Tied - Grouplove “I love ‘Tongue Tied.’ It banged when it first came out, has banged since and will bang forever.” — Kyle Reims ’21

Rather Be - Clean Bandit “If I ever had to dance in the rain, I’d do it to this song.” — Ethan Lachman ’21

Ribs - Lorde “‘Ribs’ is one of those emotional songs that you play late at night.” — Sandra Koretz ’22

Come and Go - Juice Wrld “This is a great song about the passage of time and how we grow. I think the song has really spoken to me about my own existence.” — Charlie Wang ’21

August - Taylor Swift “As a diehard Swiftie, I think that ‘folklore’ is Taylor’s most lyrically strong album and ‘August’ has such a perfect summer sound.” — Chloe Schaeffer ’21

Walking in the Rain - Funkmammoth “Super chill song, I can literally feel summer in the lyrics.” — Celine Park ’21

Under the Sun - DIIV “It’s almost nostalgic and kind of old-fashioned, and I feel like it would be perfect for a movie soundtrack. It’s both relaxing and upbeat.” — Sarah Mittleman ’22

Californiacation - Red Hot Chili Peppers “I feel like this is a song I would play in the car on the way to the beach.” — Caitlin Muñoz ’22

Watermelon Sugar - Harry Styles “Who doesn’t love Harry Styles?” — Mimi Landes ’22

Midnight Memories - One Direction “They just had their 10-year reunion and their music has been on repeat. Best boy band ever.” — Keira Jameson ’22

Rain On Me - Lady Gaga/Ariana Grande “I really like the way Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s voices sounded together and it’s a bop.” — Amelia Scharff ’22

Horchata - Vampire Weekend “This is a chill but fun song that makes me think of cool drinks with good friends on hot days.” — Sydney Fener ’22

Sports The Chronicle • Aug. 26, 2020

Students reflect on racism within the athletic community amid change in the national sports world. By Kyle Reims and Maxine Zuriff

enough to combat issues stemming from racism in sports. Although the potential for As the spotlight continues to racism is there, Black varsity lashine on issues of racism around crosse player and Salisbury Unithe country, sports are no ex- versity commit Simba Makawa ception. Racism in athletics is a ’21 said he feels a sense of inclumajor problem, deeply affecting sion and brotherhood with his athletes and attracting strong white teammates. “My experience as a Black opinions from fans, according to NCAA Mind, Body and Sports: athlete hasn’t been extremely difHarassment and Discrimination. ferent than a white student athlete’s because teammates don’t Across the country, students look at skin color,” Makawa said. of color frequently experience the “They look at the effort and the opposite of what sports are meant things you do on the to be: an equalizing field. Race is never the force that creates camaissue when it’s with raderie, builds commuyour boys.” nity and rewards good Black volleyperformances. Instead, ball player Josephine many Black student Amakye ’21 also said athletes face prejudice she has had a posiand unfair treatment. tive experience in the In a poll of 144 stuschool’s athletic prowhite’s dents, 71% said they grams. Simba have heard about racMakawa ’21 “I feel like sports ism on a school sports are the one place where team. 10 percent said they have nothing else matters,” Amakye witnessed or experienced racism said. “I feel like everyone involved understands that sports on the field or court firsthand. Wide receiver Jason Thomp- and having something to play for son ’22 said he feels the racial is bigger than our differences.” That feeling of team camarasplits on the football team mirror that of the larger school commu- derie is one of the aspects of athnity, as the squad had nine Black letics many students appreciate students out of 54 total athletes and enjoy, Makawa said. This is not to say color-blindness exists last year. “We go to a school where in the world of sports. Makawa Black students are the minority, said he knows he sticks out, and I think it’s reflected in our though not in a completely negative way. team,” Thompson said. “Being Black in a mostly In the same poll, 73% of stuwhite sport, I kind of stand out dents said they do not think a little,” Makawa said. “It’s noththe athletics adminis- ing bad, it’s just how it is, but tration has done with [college]

coaches, I sometimes get noticed over other people because they want to build more diverse programs. So when they see an African American with the skillset I have, I kind of stick out.” Over the last few years, colleges have been working to build more diverse sports teams. According to The New York Times, in 2019, the President of Amherst College, Biddy Martin, said that “the institution would embark on a mission to prove that its sports rosters could be reshaped to include underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic groups.” Makawa said these kinds of decisions could help Black students like him. “I know I stand out because of my ability, my name and my skin color, but at the end of the day, sports are sports, and if I wasn’t good, I wouldn’t get noticed at all,” Makawa said. “It’s just like a hook, essentially. To make a comparison, it’s kind of similar to kids applying to a college where one kid might be a legacy, so they stick out more.” Track and field runner Zen Duruisseau ’21 recently joined the school’s athletic program and said she noticed zero judgement toward her because of the color of her skin. “From my experience, everyone made sure we all were included, and during that time, we looked out for each other,” Duruisseau said. “I personally have not had any bad experiences.” Racism is prevalent toward Black athl e t e s and is an

ongoing issue being dealt with at all athletic levels. Many athletes like Paul George, Dwyane Wade and others started using their platform to share information on violent treatment and unequal opportunities against the Black community. George, a Los Angeles Clippers forward, devoted a press conference to call attention to the murder of Breonna Taylor. Wade, a former NBA player, called for justice against Taylor’s killers by wearing a shirt displaying the Kentucky Attorney General’s number during an interview on NBA on TNT. In the NBA, players are currently wearing jerseys with messages like “Black Lives Matter” and “How Many More.” Although many athletes on campus feel accepted by the sports community, some around the world still struggle because of racism. That is not to say that it is a nonissue for the school; 10% of students polled said they have seen or been a victim of racism on sports teams.The Black Lives Matter Movement has created awareness worldwide, but issues of racism in sports are yet to be addressed. Still, Makawa said his experiences with race in the sports community have been positive and that his teammates and mentors have supported him. “All of my coaches have been super, extremely intolerant of [racism],” Makawa said. “The culture has changed for the better through the students at HW, where nobody tolerates that.”


D2 Sports


Aug. 26, 2020

The Chronicle Recruiting

Tennis player commits to University of Chicago Pat Otero ’21 announced his commitment to continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Chicago via Instagram on Aug. 15. He will be suiting up to play on the UChicago Men’s Tennis team. Otero, a four star recruit, was listed in the top 25 in California tennis rankings and in the top 150 in the national rankings, according to “I chose [UChicago] because I felt like I wanted to be a part of the community they have there,” Otero said. “The whole school is filled with students motivated to grow personally and intellectually. They also have lots of research and a strong tennis team to go with it.” -Danny Johnson

Wolf to join Cornell University gymnastics Gymnast Maddie Wolf ’21 announced her commitment to Cornell University via social media Aug. 3. Wolf started competing in gymnastics when she was ten and now trains 21 hours a week at Paramount Elite Gymnastics. “While all the schools I was looking at had incredible academics, Cornell’s social life drew me in and made me feel at home,” Wolf said.

-Ryan Razmjoo

Field Hockey star to compete in Ivy League Girls field hockey midfielder Fiene Oerlemans ’22 committed to Harvard University this past July. Oerlemans helped the field hockey team go 18-0 overall last year, winning its third straight championship against Newport Harbor High School. Oerlemans also qualified for the USA National Team, earning the chance to participate in the USA National Futures Championship. Oerlemans said she is excited to continue her playing career at Harvard. “I’m extremely grateful for my teammates and coaches that have pushed me throughout the years and supported me throughout the process,” Oerlemans said. “It has been such a long journey and I’m so excited to continue. I’m thrilled to go through the admissions process and potentially be a part of their team.”

illustration by alexa druyanoff

Pandemic impacts college recruitment By Amelia Scharff

When Williams College commit Gabby Odoom ’21 got the notification that her spring track and field season was cancelled, fear rushed through her body. She wouldn't be able to compete and would lose the opportunity to impress college coaches and scouts. For track and field athletes, junior year running times are vital to college coaches because many athletes near the peaks of their high school careers, Odoom said. Without these times, she noted that her options for recruitment were likely limited. As coaches began to focus their recruiting efforts on athletes in other states that had not shut down, Odoom said it became clear she needed to rush her recruitment process. “I definitely began to realize in the early months of summer that I needed to commit before school began," Odoom said. "As more and more class of 2020 graduates decided to take gap years and fill up 2021 recruiting slots, I became increasingly nervous. Luckily, I had figured out where I wanted to commit in late July, so I just had to work quickly to make it official.”

Committing to a university for athletics requires a multitude of steps as-is: the many club tournaments athletes play in the hope that a college coach will take an interest in them, the constant communication recruits must have with coaches and campus visits. COVID-19 cancellations coupled with the extended NCAA Division I dead period through Sept. 30 could drastically impact recruitment. Athletes like Odoom may feel the need to commit to college earlier or feel frustrated due to the lack of viewing opportunities. However, many players are trying to adjust to the present circumstances in an effort to be seen by coaches. Whether athletes are emailing their film or posting on social media to show potential recruiters their progression, thanks to the NCAA shutting down in-person recruiting, the entire process has gone virtual. Although wide receiver Jason Thompson ’22 lost the opportunity in the spring to be seen by coaches, he said he has adjusted to the circumstances by using social media to gain more visibility. “Recruitment went completely digital and being present on social media and allowing coaches to see

Athletics department issues fall plans for school training By Ben Jacoby

Five-star recruit takes her talents to Palo Alto

-Ryan Razmjoo

“These visits usually are a big factor when it comes to deciding which school is the best fit for a player.” For five-star Stanford University basketball commit Kiki Iriafen ’21, her choice to play for the Cardinals wasn’t influenced by the pandemic, as she committed earlier than she originally expected to. “I was hoping to take some official visits during the summer and the fall, but that was no longer an option,” Iriafen said. “In the basketball world, at least, I think some people are committing very early because they are worried about losing their scholarship, but […] I was confident in my decision and didn’t feel any pressure to commit early.” Many NCAA Division I sports are postponed until the end of 2020 or changed to fit COVID-19 guidelines, according to ncaa. com. With a potential deccrease in college athletics, the effects on the number of athletes and scholarships is unknown. Gettings said he has no idea what the future holds. “I am still reaching out to coaches and sending out film, ” Gettings said. “But this is a very uncertain time, and no one is exactly sure of what to do or what will happen.”

Fall Plans

-Justin Goldstein

Forward Kiki Iriafen ’21 announced her commitment to Stanford University on Aug. 7 via social media. In her junior season, Iriafen averaged 23.5 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. She also led her team to a CIF-SS Division I championship win against Troy High School. Iriafen joins a program that finished the 2020 season ranked number seven in the nation, according to the AP Top 25 poll. “My decision was mainly based on my life without basketball,” Iriafen said. “I thought about where I wanted to be if basketball were no longer an option for me, so I chose Stanford.”

how you’ve progressed since last season was more important than ever, especially when you’re trying to gain scholarships,” Thompson said. Like other athletes, power forward Trumann Gettings ’21 said he lost valuable opportunities to play in recruiting tournaments over the summer. Without visibility during the club season, he said he could not show his progress to new schools. “I have been talking to coaches and sending out film, but a lot of college coaches aren't offering anyone without seeing them play live,” Gettings said. The biggest issue athletes face, however, is the lack of official visits to universities, Harvard University commit Fiene Oerlemans ’22 said. Unlike most other athletes, Oerlemans was far ahead of the recruiting game because of the number of camps she had attended prior to the pandemic. Even though she was not seen by recruiters this summer, she said committing was not an issue for her, as coaches had already watched her play in the past. “The major change COVID-19 has caused for me and committing is not being able to go on campus visits this upcoming fall,” Oerlemans said.


SPORTS RE-ZOOM: Students wait near Ted Slavin Field in these chosen spots on the track before getting checked in for a day of practice.

The school will restart phase one of after school athletic activity after gaining approval from both the state and county health departments. Starting in early July, athletics began on campus, but after a change in local health guidelines, all sports were required to stop. Though athletics were suspended at the end of July, they are now allowed to restart with the permission of the health department. Athletic Director Terry Barnum said he and his team feel prepared to resume inperson activities. “We successfully had practices for two weeks; however, due to a change in the local health guidelines, we had to shut [our facilities] down,” Barnum said. “Now, those guidelines have been lifted, and we are now okay to restart athletic activities following our strict safety guidelines.”

In a virtual town hall Aug. 20, the school athletic department introduced its plan to safely restart athletic activities. Head of Communications and Strategic Initiatives Ari Engelberg said there will be rigorous safety regulations in place when students arrive for practice. “Masks will be required at all times with exception being specific permission given from coaches, social distancing will be enforced at all times and all activities will take place outdoors,” Engelberg said. “We will also require everyone to complete a health screening questionnaire the morning before practice to ensure everybody is safe.” Varsity boys basketball player Cameron Thrower ’22 said he is eager to rejoin his teammates. “When I heard the news, I was excited beccause I get to see the guys again, and I also get a chance to meet my new teammates," Thrower said.

Aug. 26, 2020

Sports D3


Fall Sports

Augustus named new Girls Golf Program Head The athletics department welcomed randen Augustus as the new Girls Golf Program Head. He is currently a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association and manages golf courses for the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Park’s Golf Division. Former Program Head Marge Chamberlain left the program after last year’s fall season to focus more on her career in investments. Under Chamberlain’s leadership, the team had an overall record of 38-6, including three consecutive Mission League titles in the last six years. Last year, the team finished with a record of 6-1. ETHAN LACHMAN/CHRONICLE

SIX FEET APART: During the two-week period when some teams were allowed to practice on campus, the school worked to keep student-athletes and coaches safe by implementing many different social distancing measures, including putting stickers on the bleachers six feet apart and hosting all practices outside.

Off-season practice pushed back to fall By Justin Goldstein

Once athletics shut down because of COVID-19, outside hitter Skyler Gerhardt ’22 adapted to play a completely different version of her sport. Instead of spending her time on the hardwood, Gerhardt has turned to beach volleyball in order to practice as much as she can during these turbulent times. “Over quarantine, all the players on the volleyball team have done weekly group Zoom workouts, and I personally have been working with a private coach three times a week in the gym to stay fit,” Gerhardt said. “A lot of girls on our team, myself included, have also turned to beach volleyball training and [other] workouts, which has definitely been challenging and fun.” Because of the ongoing pandemic, many student-athletes have not been given the opportunity to prepare over the summer. Fall athletes like wide receiver Alex Mogollon ’22 are especially dependent on summer preparation. He said he feels the loss, especially in regards to “hell week,” a football team tradition where the team sleeps together in the gym for seven days straight. The experience is specifically designated for team bonding. “It’s been difficult not being able to practice as much, but we’re looking forward to beginning again maybe later this year,” Mogollon said. “As far as hell week, ADVERTISEMENT

it’s been super tough knowing that we might not have it this year. It’s such a great bonding experience as well as a way to build our team chemistry, which is super important because on the field we need to be able to trust each other in order to win.” Additionally, wide receiver Mark Cho ’22 said that football, in particular, was greatly affected by the loss of summer preparation. “I think football is unique because the sport itself is pretty aggressive, and players can tend to be injured quite easily,” Cho said. “All the work we normally do over the summer is to ensure our players stay healthy for the season, but due to the pandemic, I am not sure how we can have a season without the many hours of repetitions necessary to make our team function. The possibility of not having a season is definitely weighing on all of us and making it more difficult to maintain focus as a team.” Girls volleyball, another sport that normally occurs during the fall, also had to adjust its summer training because of COVID-19. The volleyball team normally travels to Hawaii during August to compete in the Ann Kang Invitational tournament. However, due to the postponed season, the trip was canceled. Left side hitter Izzy Hyman ’22 said not being able to compete in Hawaii has affected the team’s ability to build chemistry. “I’m really disappointed that we didn’t get to go to Hawaii this year because last year it was such

fun and really good bonding for our team,” Hyman said. “We all made such good memories together on that trip.” Alongside cross country, water polo and basketball, football had the unique opportunity to train on campus for two weeks during the month of July, before California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a mandate shutting down school and extracurricular activities like athletics. Mogollon said he felt grateful for the short period of time that the team was able to practice. “It was really different, but I was glad that we still had the opportunity to actually work out in the weight room,” Mogollon said. “Before that, we had been working out from home, and it was really boring, so being back in the weight room as a team felt really good.” Mogollon said the team had many restrictions placed upon them to ensure player safety when they did their workouts. “We would each have our own rack to work out at, which kept us distanced from each other,” Mogollon said. “We would have to each go up, one at a time, to get weights and had to stay away from each other. We ended each lift by spraying everything down with disinfectant and then cleaning it all. We also were temperature checked each day, and we wore masks during the whole workout. It was definitely very different but much better than our Zoom work-

outs that were taking place for most of the quarantine.” With the ongoing pandemic, there is a possibility that sports competitions might not be held in the 2020-2021 school year. President Rick Commons detailed how sports could potentially return. This new hybrid approach to athletics is dependent upon an in-person return to campus. In an email sent by Athletic Director Terry Barnum on Aug. 17, the school updated their plan for athletics. Phase one for this new hybrid program will begin Aug. 24. All sports scheduled for the winter season that play outside will be able to begin practicing. Soccer player Milo Kidd ’22 said he remains hopeful for an opportunity to play this year. “For the upcoming season, I am not sure what is going to happen, but I remain optimistic that I will be able to play with my peers and that this year’s seniors will be able to showcase themselves and have a successful season,” Kidd said. “Ultimately, I feel terrible for our seniors who have worked so hard throughout the years to potentially be robbed of their final opportunity to play in a Wolverines uniform.” Despite the changes, Gerhardt said she has stayed optimistic throughout the summer. “We have been trying to stay positive with all the uncertainties,” Gerhardt said. “[We] are obviously just really hoping we get a season this year.”

—Charlie Seymour

Kiki Iriafen ’21 accepts 2020 Wooden Award Stanford University commit Kiki Iriafen ’21 was named the CIF-SS Division I Girls John R. Wooden Award High School Player of the Year in late July. The Wooden Award is given to the most valuable player in every CIF-SS division for both the girls and boys basketball teams. It was named after former University of California, Los Angeles basketball coach John Wooden led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships during a 12-year period, including seven NCAA championships in a row. Iriafen led the girls basketball team to many victories throughout its 25-9 season. She scored a combined 58 points in the CIF Division I semifinal and championship game, both of which the Wolverines won. —Claire Conner

Two water polo players titled Iron Wolverines Water Polo players George Avakian ’20 and Abby Wiesenthal ’20 were named the Iron Wolverines of the 2019-2020 season. Created to honor one male and one female athlete for their commitment, leadership and love of the weight room. Avakian holds the school squat record at 415 pounds. He will continue playing water polo at the University of California, Berkeley. Wiesenthal holds records in the 200-pound back squat, 275-pound hex bar deadlift and more. She will continue her water polo career at Pomona College. —Charlie Seymour

The Chronicle

D4 Sports

Aug. 26, 2020




cannot remember a time when I did not play a sport. My parents told me that my day care teacher gave me my first indoor adjustable basketball rim on my first birthday. The day care was run by a wonderful, tall and loving woman who had played basketball for the Chinese National Women’s team. I could adjust the rim to be as high as six feet. My younger brother and I dunked on it, and we played H-O-R-S-E and games up to 100 for many years, until we finally wore it out. As a child, I was either studying or playing different sports. My mom signed me up for soccer at the age of two, and I entered my first swim meet in kindergarten. I'm proud to say that I finished…barely. By the age of four, I played basketball, football and baseball at Pan Pacific Park, my mom enrolled me in Kumon and I started learning Mandarin. I took drawing and Chinese calligraphy classes during that same period and was lucky enough to get a couple of my drawings published in the Los Angeles Times. By the age of five, I competed in Taekwondo tournaments and earned my certification to golf at our local public course. My first year of playing organized basketball was uneventful. The rim was only eight feet high, but the basketball was so heavy. At the age of four, I couldn’t muscle the ball up to the rim consistently, so I didn’t score that first year. The best part for me back then was the cool uniforms and the post-game snacks. I played park basketball until I was nine, and I always enjoyed it. I recall one indoor park league game in particular. It was our championship game. Our reg-


ular coach was out for some reason. One of the player’s fathers stood in for him, and he was not familiar with our team or me, so he kept telling me to play under the basket and to let his son bring up the ball. We were losing big time at the half, and I had all of two points. I guess my unhappiness showed because he singled me out and sarcastically asked me what position I wanted to play. I was young and didn’t pick up on his sarcasm. I answered honestly that I was a guard. He loudly instructed the team to “let Adam play guard.” I realize now that I was supposed to flame out quickly, learn my lesson and go back under the basket, humiliated. Well, I scored 36 points in the second half on an assortment of threes and drives to the basket. We came back to win by one. That was a truly satisfying game. Flag football and baseball were also fun. I was the quarterback on the football team and played shortstop and third base in baseball. Throwing a football and a baseball always felt natural to me. I had some epic football games back then. In a perfect world, I would have played all three sports all the way through high school. For the longest time, I was the youngest but also the tallest kid on my grade-based sports teams. By the time I was seven, I was recruited to be on my first travel basketball team. My parents resisted. They thought that park ball was fine and less time consuming, but I wanted more. By fourth grade, I was traveling to different states to compete with my Amatur Athletic Union (AAU) team. By 13, I could dunk. My freshman year playing basketball for the school was a blur. The high point was entering my first varsity playoff

game against Heritage Christian High School, where I went four for four from the field, including three threes. Sophomore and junior year culminated in our winning consecutive Mission League Championships and making Open Division in CIF and State for the first time in school history. It was very exciting to be a part of those teams and those record-breaking feats. As a rising senior, my thoughts are the same as every student here: Will normalcy return for our senior year? If so, when? Will we return to campus and see our friends and teachers? What will become of our respective sports seasons and our senior prom? Will we walk at graduation together? This pandemic has wreaked havoc on everyone and in every way. For us rising seniors, it puts everything in jeopardy—our lives, our loved ones, our futures. In California, the pandemic completely shut down basketball only days after our last CIF playoff game against Sierra Canyon. The AAU season ended before it could even start. Many, including myself, were hoping to travel to various states to compete at events and show college coaches how much we had progressed since last summer. Still, I am blessed. Despite COVID-19, seven high academic Division III schools have offered me a spot on their rosters, and many Ivy League schools and military academies continue to show high interest in me. Like everyone else in our class, I do not know what tomorrow brings. All I can do is stay ready and be as prepared as possible.

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