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Tower The Masters School

49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 10522

VOLUME 74, NUMBER 5

Special Report: Keeping Campus Safe emmA luis AlexAndrA Bentzien Henry WilliAms george Weed micHAel fitzgerAld

Since the Parkland shooting, students nationwide no longer ask the question: “Can it happen here?” They know that it can. In an era of fear and danger, how will Masters administrators ensure that our campus is kept safe?

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FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2018

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STUDENTS SAT ON THE Strayer Gymnasuim floor on Feb. 27 after Morning Meeting was moved from the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. The move was caused by the revelation that the theater has been over capacity, a violation of fire code regulations. Morning Meeting is expected to remain in Strayer Gymnasium until there are alterations made to the theater.

School in mourning over Morning Meeting move AlexAndrA Bentzien Features Editor emmA luis News Editor The blue cushioned seats are a familiar sight to each member of the Upper School at Masters. Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning, teachers and students squeeze into every single seat in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre for Masters’ sacred all school gathering: Morning Meeting. However, the Claudia Boettcher Theatre will no longer be home to Morning Meeting until further notice, due to safety hazards. According to Head of School Laura Danforth, the theater can only seat

around 500 people in order to comply with fire codes. However, the number of members of the Upper School who regularly attend Morning Meeting is over 600 people. The loose chairs in the front of the theatre, as well as the benches in the back of the theater are not compliant with fire safety codes, and until there are changes made to these issues, Morning Meeting will have to take place elsewhere. “I told Mr. Ives that I can’t get up on stage the day after the [Marjory Stoneman High School] shooting and tell the students that safety is my number one priority, knowing that in the theater we are 100 people over,” Danforth said. On Tuesday Feb. 27, Morning Meeting was held in Strayer Gymnasium, and will remain there until the fire department gives the green light.

“Hopefully by the time we get back from March break, we will be back in the theater. I just hope that it’s not for the rest of the year, but if it has to be, it has to be,” Danforth said. According to Head of Upper School Matt Ives, the decision to relocate Morning Meeting “peripherally had to do with the Parkland shooting,” though the administration had been thinking about the capacity dilemma during the prior months. The problem of space arose approximately five years ago when the student body unexpectedly grew by about 30 students. The stage was cut back in order to add chairs in the front to seat the growing student body, with the idea that faculty standing at the sides or in the doorway would accommodate the entire community. However, because of this growth,

Morning Meeting no longer complies with the fire and safety codes. Should the number of fixed seats in the theater increase from 448 to its maximum amount of 500, only the student body, which is budgeted for 490 - 500 students, would be able to participate in an all-school Morning Meeting at any given time. Teachers would have to rotate in and out of the theater in the future, participating in Morning Meeting directly, or viewing it on monitors which would be placed in the lobby or in the faculty lounge. Morning Meeting will most likely take place in Strayer Gym until the end of the year, as the 24 new chairs to replace the loose chairs at the front of the theater will take between 12 and 16 weeks to manufacture, according to Ives.

“We’re not looking for chairs that are premade. If we could’ve gotten the chairs in two weeks, we would’ve stuck with the existing system until spring break,” Ives said. Ives addressed the Upper School to announce the news at Morning Meeting on Monday, Feb. 26. “For me, it’s really important to figure out an option where everyone can be together,” Ives said, pacing the stage of the theater. “It’s something that’s really unique to the school. It’s rare that a school has this. My main concern about moving over to Strayer, even just temporarily, is losing that culture and losing that sense of specialness in what happens here at Morning Meeting,” Ives said.

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Upper School mainstay Matt Ives resumes past role as history teacher Managing Editor Henry WilliAms Editor-in-Chief After five years of working as Head of the Upper School for the Masters community, Matthew Ives is excited to transition back into the classroom. Going forward, in addition to his Masters Thesis class, Ives will rejoin the History and Religion Department to teach freshman and sophomore history classes. A spot had opened up as history teacher Robert Fish is going on to develop a global studies initiative at Masters. Ives explained his reasoning: “I

had been thinking about how much longer I wanted to do this job, I just could not see it being what I do until I retire. After having a conversation with [Head of School Laura] Danforth and hearing about this opportunity, I did not want to go anywhere else, I just wanted to get back into the classroom.” After five years as Upper School Head, Ives is excited to get back to teaching. “I’ve spent a lot of time looking at all types of classes and being so impressed. My first thought has always been ‘Wow, I wish I could try that,’ and now I can implement them in my classes,” Ives said. Ives is also enthusiastic to return to his roots as a history teacher. “I love history, so being able to get back to something that I really truly

love is what’s most exciting for me,” he said. “It’s going to be weird not being Upper School Head and still being here. I got used to being in the middle of problems and solving them, so it’s going to be hard for me not to be involved in everything. I guess the mental shift will be my hardest struggle,” Ives said. History and Religion Department Chair Skeffington Young also weighed in. “We are excited to have him back. He is and was a wonderful teacher and will be a great asset to the department.” Before taking over as Head, Ives taught World History I, AP European History and Masters Thesis. Ives emphasized the importance of finding a solid replacement for Head

of Upper School. “Having someone new with fresh eyes is going to be really nice,” he said. The school has just put out word that the position is open, and, according to Ives, résumés will surge in over the course of the next few weeks. After the search for strong candidates, steered by Danforth and a faculty committee, administration hopes to involve students in choosing the new Head through several lunches and introductions throughout the remainder of the year. MATT IVES, PICTURED HERE, is stepping down from his current position as Head of the Upper School to resume teaching in the History Department full time. Ives currently teaches Freshman Seminar and Masters Thesis.

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FENCING CONCLUDED THEIR SEASON on a high note as boys’ foil finished in first place, with an undefeated record, and girls’ saber finished second. See page 11 for more on fencing.

SENIOR ANDERSON LIN BECAME co-chair of the school. Lin was chosen in a special election held after after former co-chair Ahnaf Taha’s removal.

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BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL WON their third-ever NYSAIS championship on Feb. 26. See page 12 for more coverage on basketball, including the results of the girls varsity game.


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NEWS

Gender-split elections no more Sophia BrouSSet Copy Editor A proposal has been passed in Executive Committee removing gender stipulations from leadership positions. The change was proposed by Executive Committee secretary and senior Phoenix Jackson with sophomores Sarah Faber and Michelle Wei. In practice, this would permit two co-chairs or class presidents of any gender. All candidates would deliver their election speeches on the same day rather than being split into separate days. This bill allows officials to be elected because they are the most qualified rather than being elected solely because they were the only individual of their gender to run. It will also accommodate to the needs of non-binary individuals, or individuals who identify with genders that differ from those assigned at birth and differ from traditional binary gender titles such as male and female. “While we focus a lot on diversity at Masters and we have a lot of different initiatives, I don’t think we focus enough on gender issues, not in terms of sexism but in terms of the gender spectrum,” Faber said, “I think this bill is a first step in a lot of steps at Masters to change the dialogue and our attitudes toward

non-binary people.” “Honestly I think it’s something that was overdue. It was already happening within leadership positions,” Co-Chair June Kitahara said, citing the three female and one male senior MISH co-chairs. “Even during co-Chair re-elections, females were allcwed to run to fill in the position. I think it will address an issue that we have at Masters which is ignoring people who are not in the gender binary. Initially, the proposal also covered executive requirements but that was eventually split into a separate proposal passed in conjunction with the non-gendered election proposal. “When we first brought it to Executive Committee, it didn’t work because it was so much packed into one bill so we had to form a subcommittee and we split the ideas into two bills,” Faber said, “That really helped us focus on both of our goals that we wanted accomplish.” The executive requirements proposal requires those running for Executive Committee positions to have attended a certain amount of meetings. Candidates for day and boarding student representatives and for freshman class president only have to attend on Executive Committee meeting. Candidates for class presidents of the sophomore, junior and senior grade and for co-chair have to

attend at least three Executive Committee meetings. “I think it will help with girls in leadership. I know there are already are a lot of girls in leadership but a lot of times a bunch of really smart and really qualified girls run but then one guy can just sign up and be elected because of the one guy one girl rule.” Faber said. The proposal does not apply to any positions other than those of Executive Committee but Kitahara does not think that will always be the case. “I think it could apply to MISH elections in the future,” Kitahara who was a MISH representative her freshman year said. “One thing that we found was that people who got the position weren’t really passionate about it. So I think it’s important to show that you’re actually going to put in the work. With the executive requirements, we’ll really be electing the people who deserve the position and those who are putting in the work.” “I think a huge concern when we were first addressing the proposal was that we’ll see more people of one gender,” Kitahara said, “This proposal is quite flexible so if that does become an issue then hopefully the preceding co-chairs will find a way to balance that out because we do want to see equality within the leadership positions.”

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A NEW PROPOSAL WAS passed in Executive Committee to de-gender elections. Proposed by senior Phoenix Jackson and sophomores Sarah Faber and Michelle Wei, the proposal would allow the two co-chairs to be students of any gender.

TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

Grad speaker drops out, new vote held michael Fitzgerald Editor-in-Chief After an initial round of voting, the senior class selected Erik Weihenmayer to be their commencement speaker in June. Weihenmayer is an author, activist and athlete, and is most prominently known for climbing Mount Everest despite being blind. However, Weihenmayer’s recent cancellation has opened the door for a new

candidate nomination process. The second round of nominations features a completely different group than the class had originally voted on. The seven newly nominated candidates are musician Jonathan Batiste, Dr. Paula Chu, actor Robert DeNiro, film director Martin Scorsese, and actresses Olivia Wilde, Gina Rodriguez and Octavia Spencer. The senior class is currently awaiting the results of the second round of voting.

Al Ghiotti, 1951-2018 david okS Opinion Editor Albert Ghiotti, Masters’ Director of Maintenance and Engineering, passed away on February 22 after a two-year battle with cancer. Ghiotti was born in Newburgh, New York to Amelia DellaMarco Ghiotti and the late Albert E. Ghiotti, a laborer and veteran of World War II, on July 17, 1951. A graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, Ghiotti, like his father, was a lifelong Black Rock Fish & Game Club member. A lifelong resident of Newburgh, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, often going on trips to do so with his father and brother. He was an enthusiastic bowler and a member of several bowling leagues. Ghotti joined Masters in 2012 as a Plant Maintenance Engineer and was promoted to Director of Maintenance and Engineering in 2016.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ISSAC CASS

AL GHIOTTI, DIRECTOR OF maintanence and engineering, passed away after a two year battle with cancer, earlier this year. He is survived by his mother, his daughters, his brother, his fiance, and several nieces and nephews. A mass was held on February 26 at Brooks Funeral Home and a burial will be held on March 2 in Cedar Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society.

New research shows risks of JUULing are still up in the air henry WilliamS Editor-in-Chief JUULs — portable, rechargeable e-cigarettes, and the subject of Tower’s last special report — are quickly becoming a phenomenon among teenagers, but a full accounting of their risks, proliferation and societal impact is only just beginning. Recent research reveals both a massive upward trend in use and a widespread belief among young people that e-cigarettes have minimal or no harmful effects. New data from the National Academy of Sciences, however, posits that nicotine aerosol vaping could have much more significant health effects than previously thought. According to a team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of traditional cigarettes declined 1.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, while sales of e-cigarettes jumped 14.4 percent that same year. Sales of e-cigarettes also climbed as much as 150 percent between 2012 and 2013. A 2014 study from the University of Michigan’s ‘Monitoring the Future’

research group revealed that e-cigarette use has surpassed tobacco use among young people. Each year for the past 40, the group has surveyed upwards of 50,000 students in schools across America to monitor drug trends. Among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, e-cigarettes are more than twice as common as regular cigarette use. Richard Miech, Professor of Social Research at the University of Michigan, indicated in a press release that “Part of the reason that e-cigarettes are so popular among youth is that they have a very low perceived health risk.” The group’s study reports on 15 percent of 8th graders consider e-cigarettes to be harmful, while 62 percent believe tobacco cigarettes to pose great health risks. One risk associated with e-cigarettes is the development of a dependence on nicotine. E-cigarette brands like JUUL consistently market themselves as a safer and better alternative to cigarettes for current smokers. For teenagers who start with JUULing, however, evidence seems to show a knock-on effect whereby e-cigarettes can be the point of introduction to cigarette smoking, with all

its health problems. In another 2014 study of cancer patients who smoke, those using e-cigarettes were more nicotine dependent and equally or less likely to have quit smoking traditional cigarettes than non-users. The findings have raised doubts about the potential benefits of e-cigs for helping cancer patients in particular give up smoking. Researchers associated with the National Academy of Sciences recently released data from a study showing that the nicotine inhaled from e-cigarettes can be converted into DNA-damaging chemicals in mice. Like the chemicals created in humans by tobacco smoke, these compounds may damage DNA in the heart, lungs and bladder, dampening the body’s genetic repair mechanisms. This research, however, is very early-stage, and much more is necessary to see whether these effects will actually increase the risk of cancer longterm. Results like these take years to come in due to the slow progression of these types of cancer. Additionally, the novelty of e-cigarettes has slowed the pace and scope of research. Many researchers are critical of the study, however. Peter Hajek, director

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A STUDENT PACES THE hallway with their JUUL in hand. Recent studies have shown concerns with the use of e-cigarettes in adolescents, yet no proper conclusion has been made. of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London told The Guardian that “This is one in a long line of false alarms which may be putting people off the switch from smoking to vaping which would undoubtedly be of great benefit to them.” Though the study indicates the presence of potentially dangerous compounds, it does not draw a causal link to cancer according to Hajek. Other critics argue that the study’s

injection of human-size doses of nicotine into mice provoked damage that might not be seen in larger mammals. Despite the early stage research, the biggest point of concern for public health advocates is the use of e-cigarettes by adolescents. Potential genetic repair damage could be far more pronounced in developing bodies and almost no research has been done into the risks to proper growth and development.

Snow day decisions fall upon Danforth and team JacoB Strier Copy Editor Many factors play into a snow day decision. Weather patterns and the physical state of the roads are taken into account. The final call for a snow day or delay is made whenever winter weather conditions are deemed a risk to student travel and safety, with the final decision being made by Head of School Laura Danforth. According to Director of Student Activities and Transportation Coordinator Ed Gormley, the weather decision team is comprised of administrators from both the upper and middle school, including Middle School Head Tasha Elsbach,

as well as Head of Grounds Craig Dunne, and other faculty members who work together to advise Danforth in her decision-making. “We will meet the night before, at 8 or 9 p.m.” Gormley said. “If we are not positive, we meet again at 5:15 a.m. We want to make the call before 6 a.m., as buses are on the move by then,” he added. As an independent school, Gormley pointed out that Masters is not subject to the same New York State requirements which are imposed on nearby public schools. Masters is not mandated by the state government to hold school for a certain number of days, so it does not have a cap on possible snow days. “It does not matter how many snow days we have already had, if we think it is unsafe we will call it,” Gormley

said. “We cannot cut into vacations because we are a boarding school and people have already booked their flights,” Gormey said. However, the school does need to ensure that it covers its own curriculum requirements, and in years past the school has considered weekend classes or optional extra classes to make up for lost school time, according to Gormley. Such plans are only considered in years which have a large number of snow days, and thus throughout this current school year these plans have not been necessary. Students hold many perceptions and preconceived ideas about how snow days are called. “A lot of students believe that when Dobbs Ferry closes, we close automatically. That is not true anymore,” Gormley

said. Though their decision is taken into consideration by the team, the call of a snow day is also largely influenced by a report (usually via phone) from Dunne on the safety conditions of the school grounds, with the primary focus being student safety both on roads and on campus. Danforth described a closing of Dobbs Ferry as a “strong factor” in deciding upon a Masters snow day, noting that she personally communicates with the Dobbs Ferry superintendent on the topic. Compared to other schools Danforth has worked at including Fieldston in the Bronx, Masters closes for snow more often due to its geographically widespread student body. Unlike other schools where Danforth has worked, including Fieldson where the majority of

students came from New York City, Masters’ students hail from various locales as far away as Garrison in Putnam County as well as northern New Jersey and Connecticut. Long student commutes and varying weather conditions between regions contribute strongly to decisions on snow days. Both Gormley and Danforth stressed the importance of student safety as a top priority. “Students actually have the right to say, I do not think it is safe to travel. Students cannot be penalized for that,” Gormley said. Gormley expressed that snow day or not, if a student deems it unsafe to go to school because of the weather, they will not face disciplinary issues.


TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

NEWS

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Junior Games move out after 37 years at Masters Vincent AlbAn Photo Editor One of the longest standing traditions of the MISH (Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping) program at Masters, the Junior Games, has been called off this year. According to Dena Torino, the faculty advisor of MISH, the Southeast Consortium, the partner foundation that sends approximately 100 children with developmental disabilities to Masters to participate in the games, no longer has the time or resources to participate this year. According to Torino, the main reason that Southeast Consortium cancelled their partnership in the event was due to the fact that they did not have enough participants. Last year, the Junior Games had a record number of Masters student participants as well as participants from Southeast Consortium. Torino reached out to Special Olympics as an alternative partner, the organization that Masters originally collaborated with forthe Junior Games years before the Southeast Consortium, but the organization turned down the request to partner this year. Torino said, “I reached out to Special Olympics and they said that they do not do Junior Games type events anymore. I offered our school and our volunteers for another project that they might be working on this spring, they said they appreciated it, but they did not need a partner right now, but that they would look into what their options were. I have not heard back from them, that was a couple weeks ago.”

The Junior Games, originally scheduled for March 3, tomorrow, is postponed until next year. The MISH Junior Games co-presidents, seniors Derick Lee and June Kitahara, along with vice presidents Jackson Stanich and Charlotte Benson have been working hard to find a new partner for the event for the 2018-2019 school year. Lee, who is hoping to participate as president for his last Junior Games at Masters, said, “Our assignment has been to look for a partner organization to foster a relationship with this year to collaborate with next school year.” On Feb. 9, the day that Torino told the Junior Games presidents that Junior Games would be cancelled, Lee reached out to The Arc of Westchester, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving opportunities to children with developmental disabilities, similar to the Southeast Consortium. They turned down Lee’s offer since there was too little time before the event. According to Torino, Southeast Consortium contacted her on Sep. 29 explaining that they would not be able to partner with MISH this year for the Junior Games. Lee said, “If I had been given enough time in advance of the Junior Games, there would have been a higher chance of The Arc of Westchester agreeing to partner with Masters since they would have had enough time to consider and prepare.” Lee is hopeful that for years in the future, MISH will be able to find a partner to continue hosting the Junior Games. Up until Tuesday, Feb. 27, there had not been a schoolwide announcement saying that the Junior Games had been

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CLASS OF 2017 ALUMNS Chloe Davis and John Epley play with an attendee of last year’s Junior Games. This year, for the first time in 37 years, the Games will not be held at Masters. The new management of the Southeast Consortium decided to terminate the Games. cancelled for the school year. In a recent Instagram video uploaded instagram page, the Junior Games was highlighted as one of reasons why students at Masters are powers for good in the world. The video was uploaded after the Junior Games were cancelled, though the entire student and faculty body had not yet been informed at the time of the uploading of the video. Campbell Ives, one of the four MISH co-chairs this year, said: “I was so disappointed to hear that the Junior Games would not hap-

Morning Meeting moves to Strayer Gym Continued from page 1 Senior Owen Gifford-Smith was scheduled to give his senior speech on Friday March 2, and was only alerted of the relocation of Morning Meeting with the rest of the peers. “There’s more to a theater than just a stage and seats. Being in the gym is absolutely not the same. It’s just not the same,” Gifford-Smith said. His original Senior Speech, including a slideshow of cute pictures of golden retrievers, had to have been re-written due to the

lack of presentation technology in Strayer Gym. His speech had already been drafted four times, and submitted for approval three weeks early. “One of the great things about the [Claudia Boettcher Theatre] is that you can see me well, you can hear me well, and it’s well lit, which is why our first choice for morning meeting is to have it here. Our second choice is to have it in Strayer, where it will be a challenge to do things like Musical Monday,” Ives said in his speech.

Strayer Gym was not created with the purpose of giving projected presentations and hosting musical performances, and will not be able to accommodate Musical Mondays, projections including videos or slideshows. “They never informed us until now. It’s so inconvenient. Now we can’t show the videos that we wanted to show. We don’t know what to do.” Karen Li, creator of the Mighty Minute, a short Masters Publicity video series, said.

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MASTERS’ MORNING MEETING, HELD every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, moved from its normal location in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre to Strayer Gym on Feb. 27. for the entire Upper School Community, due to safety concerns. The move has been met with mixed feedback so far.

pen this year, the day had always been such an enriching experience for me throughout high school and I was sad to see us break from a long standing tradition. But after reflecting I realized that if the Southeast Consortium chose not to collaborate with us this year, then that is something our community should respect, just because it was a fun day doesn’t mean that it was what those children needed, in other words, I’m not sure it left them with any long-term support. I am sure that there are oth-

er ways our community can work with the Southeast Consortium in less self-serving and more meaningful ways.” Torino said, “I think it is important to highlight that this could be a really exciting time to reach out to the community and to learn what kind of services and events they are looking for and to create something new and exciting.”

Tarrytown shooter apprehended in NYC Joseph Goldstein Contributing Writer On Tuesday at 7:16 a.m., a Tarrytown resident shot and killed a woman in an act of domestic violence. The woman —who remains unidentified— was rushed to the Westchester Medical Center where she died from gunshot wounds. Following the shooting, the suspect fled the scene and left his gun in a nearby trash can. Perhaps in an attempt to depart the state, the man went to Port Authority Bus Terminal where he was apprehended by police officers in the station. As the shooter escaped from a Sleepy Hollow Gardens apartment complex, he left behind a trail of schools forced into lockin. Among these schools were those in Tarrytown, Irvington, Ardsley, Hastings-on-Hudson and Elmsford public schools. These schools did not allow anyone to

enter or exist the school campuses. In addition, Mamaroneck public schools had an early release after the assailant was spotted in Larchmont Acres. Students in the schools were stuck in their classrooms for at least three hours as they waited for the signal that their lockdowns were over. Police activity increased around the schools and many schools required students to show identification in order to enter while under lockdown. After Dobbs Ferry police assessed the threat, Masters was advised to carry on normal activity. However, Head of School Laura Danforth sent out an email directing students not to leave campus in a car or on foot until “this case is resolved.” Police cars were seen outside of Masters Hall and security officers were on heightened alert throughout the day. The suspect’s arrest should calm the turmoil that took place on Tuesday night and return the affected schools to a normal schedule.

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OpiniOn

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TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

EDITORIAL

Closing the AP gap M

asters has a problem. As discussed in “AP class composition reveals startling racial inequity” (Feb. 2), there is a serious gap between Masters’ pro-diversity language and the disturbing lack of diversity in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Only 23.8 percent of black students and 41.7 percent of Latinos students in the junior and senior grades are in at least one AP class, while 72.3 percent of white and Asian students are in least one such class. While the data involves a limited sample size and only covers this year, the disparity is such that two departments, History & Religion and Language, have no black students in their AP classes out of 52 AP students in History & Religion and 17 in Language. Clearly, something is wrong. APs are by no means the be-all and endall of classes, but most advanced class in the junior and senior grades are APs. No matter the value of APs—and there are many arguments to be made that APs are not worthwhile—the fact that they are so homogeneously white is gravely concerning. A lack of diversity robs classrooms of unique perspectives and deprives black and Latino students of educational opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, APs are known to be attractive to college admissions officers: without those classes, students might be at a disadvantage during the college admissions selection process. Masters is by no means alone. National and state data reveal a troubling pattern: black and Latino students consistently

lag behind white and Asian students in AP participation. According to the Department of Education’s statistics, black and Latino students make up 37 percent of high school students but only 27 percent of students in AP classes. A number of potential causes have been identified at the national level. Part of the problem is that black and Latino students are applying for APs at lower rates. According to a national study, of those deemed likely to pass an AP exam in mathematics, only 30 percent of black and Latino students signed up compared to 40 percent of white students and 60 percent of Asians. This may be due to self-selection bias, a social phenomenon in which individuals select themselves into a group. Of course, because no study of the causes of the disparity at Masters has been conducted, the factors at play here at Dobbs remain unclear.

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evertheless, Masters has a duty, as an institution that advertises itself as keen on diversity, to ensure that its advanced courses truly are diverse. Obviously the school is not actively discouraging students from applying to APs. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to improve its policies on diversity in such courses. In order to solve the AP diversity problem, Masters should look to how other schools have addressed the problem. Lincoln High School in California identified racial gaps in AP participation and responded by identifying students who felt under-challenged or felt that they

weren’t welcome in APs. It then actively recruited promising students into APs through group and one-on-one meetings. Federal Way Public Schools in Washington state responded to an AP gap by offering “open access” to APs—doing away with the application process entirely and letting students who wish to take an AP course do so—and then automatically registering students for APs if they did well enough on certain exams. Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) in California mandates that every student take AP World History in their sophomore year. Doing this, LACES administrators have found, challenges students’ notion that APs are unnaturally difficult and significantly lessens the racial gap. Schools across the country have already blazed a path for getting more black and Latino students into APs: Masters just has to follow it.

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o one solution remains abundantly clear, and an issue as complex as diversity in advanced courses must be the topic of thorough research and consultation before any policies are implemented. Therefore, we call on the administration to create a commission of students, faculty and administrators to meet with stakeholders, research what works and present a workable plan on how to improve diversity in APs. The ethos of inclusive learning and diverse community on which Masters prides itself demands no less.

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Letter to the editor: reform grading now Dear Tower, Is it me or is there something up with the grading system at Masters? Whether or not teachers like it, students share and compare their grades with one another. There is nothing worse than finding out that my less-than-optimal test grade would have been curved or dropped in another class. This leads to a tremendous amount of grade disparity within departments and even sections of classes. It can make already-anxious students feel worse knowing that, if only if they had a different teacher, the grade on top of their latest test would be better or worse. While each teacher is known to have a different policy, this can have long-lasting effects on one’s educational career. It is my opinion that that the educational departments at Masters need to in-

dependently assess their grading policies in order to create grading opportunities for all students. By creating a common policy, we can create uniformity in grades and, hopefully, improve students’ understanding of the system. Masters’ grading system transcends the classroom and has an impact when Masters students apply to college. What is the reason we grade like this? Would it be too much to ask for a standard grading system that is understood both inside Masters and beyond? I hope that this will be taken to heart and real change will be made because, after all, we take pride in being different, but our grading system shouldn’t be where we make that mark. Emma Goodman ‘19

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Letter to the editor: survey ignored racial reality Dear Tower,

LILY WANG/TOWER

MASTERS’ NEW GRADING SYSTEM has provoked a variety of responses. Some students welcome the change; others have misgivings.

While I applaud the writer of “AP class composition reveals startling racial inequity” (Feb. 2) for writing such an important and informative article, there was one detail that deeply bothered me. As I was looking at the race options for its “Diversity in AP Courses” graphic, one in particular caught my eye: “Indian/ Middle Eastern students.” When did these two become grouped into one? Indian is an ethnicity—not a race. It is part of the Asian race. The U.S. Census groups Middle Eastern into the white race, but soon, the 2020 Census will be including Middle Eastern and North African Descent as a race. This clearly differentiates the two. The Tower article was based on a survey about diversity in AP courses which was distributed to juniors and seniors. The survey did not include any option for “Indian/Middle Eastern.” So where did this new “race” appear from? As I questioned the writer of the article, he stated that he thought he

was using the categories from the U.S. Census. However, the only categories included in the most recent Census are white, black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. A significant mistake, such as this one, should not have been overlooked so easily. Though this may feel like a minor headache to some, it is a major one to me. I would have liked to see the proper Census categories used in the article, to avoid any confusion or conflict. If this mistake continues to be made, it will perpetuate the American conception that Middle Easterners and Indians are the same people. There have been one too many incidents where a Sikh Indian (wearing a turban) is mistaken for a Arab (wearing a taqiyah) and vice versa. As someone who is of both Indian and Middle Eastern descent, I can undoubtedly say these two ethnicities should not be meshed together into one mistaken race. Amita Khurana ‘19

For more information, follow Tower on the following platforms: Website: Tower.MastersNY.org Facebook: MastersTower Twitter: @MastersTower Instagram: @MastersTower

distributioN process

Tower is hand-delivered on the day of publication to the Upper School. 650 copies are printed and distributed to students, faculty and staff. In addition, a copy is sent to each of our advertisers.

scholastic press aFFiliatioNs, letters aNd editorial policy Tower is the winner of the Pacemaker Award for Overall Excellence and a CSPA Gold Award, an award-winning member of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), Journalism Education Association (JEA) and Quill and Scroll. We encourage Letters to the Editor, which can be submitted to TowerEditors@MastersNY.org. Published approximately six times a year, Tower, the student newspaper of The Masters School, is a public forum, with its Editorial Board making all decisions concerning content. Commentaries and opinion columns are the opinions of the authors and not of Tower, its Editorial Board or its advisers. Furthermore, the opinions conveyed are not those of The Masters School, faculty or staff. Unsigned editorials express views of the majority of the Editorial Board.


TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

OP-ED

5

Impeach Clarence Thomas incident, he allegedly observed a can of Coke on his desk and asked, “Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?” Hill’s testimony redefined the national conversation surrounding workplace sexual harassment. Yet it didn’t halt his Senate confirmation. Thomas was quick to unequivocally deny the allegations. Thomas stated under oath that “any allegations that I engaged in any conduct involving sexual activity, pornographic movies, attempted to date her, any allegations, I deny. It is not true.” It was a classic “he said, she said” situation, and Republican senators were able to dismiss her testimony as the product of the machinations of “slick lawyers,” in the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch. Despite the power of Hill’s testimony, Thomas was confirmed to the Court. He’s now been on the bench for more than 26 years. Yet the case that Thomas lied under oath during the hearings in denying Hill’s accusation is now clearer than ever. An article in New York magazine, “The Case for Impeaching Clarence Thomas,” made this argument recently.

Multiple women have come forward with stories showing that Sarah FaBer Thomas repeatedly engaged in beSocial Media Manager havior identital to what Thomas denied. Nancy Montweiler, a journalist DaviD okS covering the EEOC, said that Thomas described pornographic movies Opinion Editor and made inappropriate sexual comments to her. Decades before the misdeeds of An EEOC employee, Angela Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken and Wright, said that he “made comKevin Spacey hit the front pages of ments about my anatomy” and newspapers and were the subject of “asked me what size my boobs were.” primetime exposés, there was Anita Wright’s claims were corroborated Hill—a young federal employee who, by Rose Jourdain, another Thomas in 1991, revealed to the Senate that employee. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Lillian McEwen, a woman who Thomas had repeatedly sexually hawas dating Thomas before his nomirassed her. nation to the Court, said that he had According to Hill’s testimony, told her about making sexual comwhile she was serving as an assisments to women at work. “He was tant to him while he was Chair of always actively watching the women the Equal Employment Opportuhe worked with to see if they could nity Commission (EEOC), Thomas’ be potential partners. It was a hobby misconduct was grave. He told her of his,” she said. about disturbing sexual matters and Sukari Hardnett, Thomas’ special about pornographic films. He talkassistant at the EEOC, told Senate ed in graphic detail about his sexuJudiciary Committee staff that, “if al prowess and asked her about the you were young, black, female and size of her breasts. In one famous reasonably attractive, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female.” Moira Smith, an Alaska attorney, said that Thomas groped her at a dinner party in 1999, after joining the Court. Weigh the evidence: the word of one man, or the word of many women? One wonderful contribution of the #MeToo era has been the ethos of “believe the women.” This is no longer “he said, she said”: it’s “he’s said, she said, she said and she said,” and so on. We should believe the women and look at the preponderance of evidence. Thomas, given the women’s statements, was almost certainly lying under oath. Making false statements under penalty of perjury is a federal crime for which four federal judges have been impeached and removed from the bench since 1988. STEVE PETTEWAY/UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT Thomas deserves the same. The SenSUPREME COURT JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS has been repeatedly accused of ate should impeach and remove him sexual harassment. His case has attracted renewed attention since the rise of the from the Court immediately. #MeToo movement in late 2017, with some calling for his impeachment.

Stereotypes disregard Latin diversity Sophia BrouSSet Copy Editor “I mean, you’re Latina, but you’re not really Latina.” A friend said these words to me after asking what my “real” race is. As frustrating as this was to hear, I knew exactly what she meant. In her distorted view, “real Latinas” have caramel skin, wide hips and dark eyes. I, on the other hand, was pale and thin with light eyes. She is not alone in her thinking. There is a common misunderstanding that when referring to Latinos, one is referencing a race, but this is incorrect. “Latino” is an umbrella term referring to people of Latin American origin. It differs from Hispanic identity, which covers people from Spanish-speaking nations, including Spain and most of Latin America (not including Brazil). Latino identity covers people from all nations from Latin America. Latin America covers North America (south of the United States), Central America, South America and the Caribbean. When talking about “real Latinos,” people are typically referring to mestizos, or mixed race people of both indigenous and European

descent. However, Latinos cover much more than that. Over 39 percent of Latinos are of majority European or Levantine descent (in other words, white). Peru and Brazil have a high concentration of Latinos of East Asian (particularly Chinese, Japanese and Filipino) descent. There is also a large Afro-Latino population, Latinos of African descent. Around 2 percent of the Latin American population identified as Afro-Latino, though it is expected that many report as “white” due to racial prejudices. In order to understand this diversity within Latin America, one must understand its background. Just like the United States, Latin America has a complex history of European colonization, i m m i gration, African slavery and native identities. Latin American countries were the sites of unrestrained Spanish colonization and a slave trade more

drastic than that of the United States. In fact, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, over 90 percent of the slaves transported to the Americas from Africa were sent to Latin America. This has resulted in a fusion of many different racial identities within Latin America. Despite the fact that my entire family was born and lives in Peru, there is still an assumption that because of the color of my skin, I am not a “real Latina.” It is true that, I, as a white Latina, have a level of privilege that comes both with the color of my skin and the spelling of my name. I am not presumed to be a “drug dealer,” or a “rapist,” and I can walk down the street without fearing being told to go back to my own country. But this does not strip me of my Latino heritage. My light-skinned mother and father are just as Latino as their high school friends of mestizo origin. The hundreds of thousands of Latinos of Asian and African origin are just as Latino as those of mestizo origin. It is not the place of non-Latinos to tell me what my “real” ethnicity is. I am a lightskinned girl of Spanish, French, Italian and Indigenous descent, but this by no means stops me from being my ethnicity of birth. I am, first and foremost, Latina.

HERALDRY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

LILY WANG/TOWER

MANY BELIEVE THAT LATINOS fit one profile, one background and one skin color. Yet Latin identity is complex and varied, and cannot be simplified in that way: Latinos come from all walks of life and have roots in every corner of the globe.

School teaches Health class too late eriC DowD Sports Editor On Feb. 23, Masters opened its doors for a showing of the controversial musical Spring Awakening in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. Scores of freshman and sophomores flocked to the play, which covered topics such as masturbation, sexuality, rape, abortion and suicide. The issue is that freshmen have to wait two years to learn about these topics in the classroom. That shouldn’t be the case. The Health class at Masters is offered far too late in the students’ education. Students should be taught about topics relating to health at an earlier age in order to be better able to navigate high school. Health is a mandatory, one-semester minor taken by juniors. The class covers sex education, student sleep schedules, CPR, first aid response and nutrition, along with other opportunities that students delve deeper into. But by the time they learn it, they’ve been exposed to situations similar to those they discuss. “By junior year, many if not all things, that are discussed in health have began to be apparent in the lives of student. What’s the point of being educated in drugs and sex if you have already begun to partake in these behaviors? If we continue to have health so late, dangerous situations will only increase,” junior Jesse

Wexler said. Students would benefit much more from learning about proper sleeping schedules, sex education and other topics covered in Health in their freshman year of high school. I propose that we replace Freshman Seminar with Health, so students don’t have to wait until they are 17 years old to learn about sex, nutrition and other important topics. I spent the majority of Freshman Seminar either playing the game “2048,” completing mandatory surveys or meditating. Replacing that with Health would help younger students become more aware of important topics at an earlier age and would also allow juniors to take electives of their choice or enjoy two frees. As senior Anderson Lin, co-chair of the Upper School, said, “By sophomore or junior year, people are already having sex and doing drugs, so it’s necessary for an earlier education.” Fortunately, the Masters administration has already made progress. Health teacher Ryan Wagner said, “I do agree that something needs to be done earlier, and we have been working on changing that. Students are starting to get taught about these topics in freshman seminar now. You can’t just snap your fingers and change the whole system, so what we’re doing is we’re looking to switch that education a little bit earlier on.” Though the switch isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s a change that the student body is eager to see.

Tower 1965: old senior privileges An excerpt of an article appearing in Tower in Nov. 1965: “In order to clear up any confusion as to the nature of the famed Senior privileges, here is a list of those rights which are allowed to Seniors exclusively: 1. Picking flowers. 2. Wearing pins, etc., on the ends of their ties. ... 6. Walking through the door from Masters Hall to the Ter-

race, (the door opposite the Senior Room). 7. Studying on the balcony of the library. 8. Leaving for week-ends after 6th period on Fridays. ... 10. Taking an over-night by combining two day-leaves. 11. Going on a college weekend. 12. Swinging on the swing down near the circle. 13. Going on ‘Educationals’.”

THE INTERNATIONALIST

Polish “Holocaust law” whitewashes a bloody history CaSey Li On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Polish parliament passed a controversial bill that criminalizes the term “Polish death camps” and similar expressions that imply Poland was responsible for and involved in Nazi concentration camps or is complicit in the persecution of Jews and other minority groups. The bill, proposed by the ruling party, Law and Justice, would impose three years in prison or a fine for an individual using such terms. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement declaring that “the legislation’s main aim is to fight all forms of denying and distorting the truth about the Holocaust as well as belittling the responsibility of its actual perpetrators,” implying that Poland was wrongfully accused and held responsible for crimes it did not commit. In 1939, Poland was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany. Concentration camps, like the infamous Auschwitz and Treblinka, were built following the establishment of Nazi control and were operated by Germans. While the Polish government was in exile throughout the war and the people made no organized state effort to deport Jews, Nazis recruited local Polish volunteers to collect Jews for the camps. After the war, anti-Semitic persecution continued. In 1941, in the town of Jedwabne, 400 Jews

were set on fire in a barn by their neighbors; however, in 2016, the minister of education dismissed this massacre, saying its veracity was a matter of “opinion.” On Jan. 28, the Polish president, who is in full support of the bill, compared Poles and Jews to two families in one house, both of whom were victimized by Nazis. “Could one, in good conscience, say that the second family is guilty for the murder of the first?” The passage of this bill comes as no surprise. Between 2008 and 2015, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued 913 statements criticizing the term. In Nov. 2017, a nationalist march was held in Warsaw with protesters carrying signs that read “Clean Blood” and “White Europe,” echoing fascist voices from the 1940s. The bill raises concerns as to how history is preserved and presented to the public. Manipulation of terminology and facts will have a tremendous impact on how younger generations perceive the past and the present. Every aspect of the past must be documented and preserved, whether it sheds a positive or negative light on a country. While the term “Polish death camp” may be a misnomer, it is indisputable that anti-Semitism is prominent and that the Polish government supports it. Poland must not distort history in its own favor or hamper civilians’ right to speak their truth.

Poland must not distort history in its own favor or hamper civilians’ right to speak their truth.


6

SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

Keeping Campus Safe A speciAl report by emmA luis, AlexAndrA bentzien, Henry WilliAms, GeorGe Weed And micHAel FitzGerAld News Editor, Features Editor and the Editors-in-Chief

For tHe rest oF tHe coverAGe From tHis speciAl report, visit toWer.mAstersny.orG “Masters responds to parkland shooting” by david oks & drew schott; “roManticizing killers” by elijah eMery & sophia brousset; “preventing another parkland” by sarah Faber; “shootings and the aMerican psyche” by jacob strier

Students walk out in solidarity with efforts to end gun violence in America.

7

Vetting campus access and lockdown drills According to Dan Pereira, Director of Technology and Safety Services, Masters has to live with the reality of being open to the outside world. “You can’t just put borders and walls up. I think having an open campus is a reality of where we are,” said Pereira. Head of School Laura Danforth echoes this idea, stressing the importance of maintaining a strong connection with the surrounding community. “We could put a metal gate around campus, but I don’t want to do that,” said Danforth. Visitors to Masters Hall are monitored differently from students. Each new visitor to campus must sign in at the main entrance, where they receive an ID that expires in 24 hours. They are then escorted around campus either by a designated member of the community, in the case of tours, or by

security or maintenance. Outside groups who use campus facilities like the Fonseca Center are vetted and approved by the administration before being granted access to a certain space, and presence. “All security will do is handle the parking issues and walk around the building as things go on to make sure everybody is in place and that nobody is doing anything they’re not supposed to,” Director of Security Panton Adams said. Because of Masters’ status as a private institution, despite it being zoned as a park, no security measures need be approved by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department. Only updated emergency plans and building plans need to be sent, so that if local law enforcement needs to get involved in a situation, they

know what to expect. One security measure which members of the community are exposed to is the lockdown drill. The current procedure for a lockdown drill is that, after the announcement is made, for everyone on campus to seek shelter: indoors, this means hiding in a classroom, locking the door and barring it with a table or chair to ensure maximum security; outside, if community members are in plain sight, they will move to hide behind a bush or a tree. Security staff will enter the building and make sure all the doors are locked; during a drill, only an actual key will open the door from the outside. If a situation occurred in which an intruder did enter campus, the same procedure for a lockdown drill would be followed. The security guards have radi-

os and cell phones to communicate with senior members of the campus community, during drills, and at all other times as well. So far, Adams noted he had not seen any issues with the current lockdown procedure, and no one has recommended any suggestions for the security staff to make adjustments. Security cameras also help monitor campus, operating constantly and monitored on the security staff’s computers on a 24/7 basis. The staff look at different groups at different times to observe a variety of activity within the campus community. However, cameras only survey building entrances and parking lots. Both Adams and Pereira stressed that installing more cameras and establishing a greater level of card access would improve current security measures.

Stepping up security While neither Pereira nor Adams was at liberty to disclose what specific changes to campus security would be developed, changes could start occuring within the next few weeks and months. Pereira noted that no changes made would be major enough to negatively affect the daily lives of the student body and the residential community. “How you get in and out of buildings would not really affect your everyday life, maybe a change in routine at times. I don’t see security getting in the way of school life,” he said. Pereira noted that reevaluating the current safety comes with “a lot of interesting challenges” due to the open campus status. Right now, the security and IT departments are focusing on improving response systems, and are in discussions with different security personnel, companies and the Dobbs Ferry Police Department to ensure quick and adequate access to security resources. Both Adams and Pereira plan to have more lockdown drills, both planned and unplanned, more frequently, even though Masters already practices more than the minimum requirement each year. Adams added that increased lighting in certain areas of campus and

VINCENT ALBAN/TOWER

Masters as an open campus The edges of the Masters campus blend seamlessly into the town of Dobbs Ferry. This allows student access to countless restaurants, shops and places to spend time, and the close proximity between campus and town makes Masters a part of the local scene. Masters also offers an open door to members of the Dobbs community. With multiple entrances, and no main gate separating the campus from the street, Masters is an integral part of the surrounding area, going as far as to invite outside groups to use the Fonseca Center and Greene Field. However, in light of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting and the national conversation about gun violence, the issue of school security has hovered in the minds of many. The fact that Masters is an open campus, simply walk onto campus, has become a serious point of concern. Masters is zoned as a park instead of as a private institution. In the town of Dobbs Ferry, this means the campus must remain “open”: residents of the town and beyond are permitted to use Masters’ outdoor facilities, including Greene Field and the track. “As someone who lives right next to the track, I love seeing Dobbs Ferry folks using our facilities. We don’t pay taxes as a non-profit, and neither does Mercy College, so there’s a lot of money that Dobbs Ferry could be getting from us, but doesn’t,” Head of School Laura Danforth said. With a campus area of almost 100 acres, Masters is one of the largest institutional landowners in Dobbs Ferry. Given that the school does not pay taxes to the town, it gives back in other ways. Among these are extending its resources to the public, and maintaining a strong connection, often called a town-gown relationship. Whenever new infrastructure, in particular athletic venues, are built certain concessions have been traditionally made to the town so

raising the number of security staff on the nightshift from two to three would improve safety during the evening. “There’s virtually no way to prevent something like this happening – threats can come from anywhere. Our best course of action is to focus on what to do when something happens,” Pereira said. Pereira said someone in his position should get more specialized training as protocols are updated by local law enforcement; this training includes attending law enforcement seminars and staying up-to-date on new developments in the realm of safety and security in school. “I hope to influence the administration by bringing in the best information that I possibly can,” Pereira said. “We want to make sure we’ve done everything we possibly can to make our students and faculty safe.” Pereira recognized campus security rising to a “major concern” at the moment. In an Upper School assembly the day after the Parkland shooting, Head of School Laura Danforth stated that the security of everyone on campus is her “#1 priority.”

5

facilities as well. Director of Security Panton Adams has felt the echo of the national issue of school security at Masters. Adams said he believes Masters will eventually become a closed campus, how the changes will develop. “I think there is a problem with there being an open campus. If it were a closed campus we would have a more narrow processing of who comes to campus. No one is processed unless they come close to a building and ask for entry. It is safer to have a closed campus,” Adams said.

4

PICTURED ON THE RIGHT is the Masters campus and many of the facilities that are made available to residents of Dobbs Ferry.

#5-Clarke Field : While outside sports teams rarely use Clarke field, it is a common place for locals to walk.

Keeping the keys to the castle 3

#4-Tennis Courts : Masters’ tennis courts are frequented by outside individuals and local tennis teams. #3-Fonseca Center: The F.C. is one of Masters’ most used buildings. Many afterschool youth sports programs, teams, and individuals practice and train indoors.

2

#2-Evans Field: Evans is used most frequently by girls’ softball teams, but is also open for public use during all seasons #1-Greene Family Field: Masters’ turf field is used by multiple outside sports teams in addition to many Dobbs Ferry residents.

1

The first version of the key card at Masters was implemented in 2002. A small gray disk, called a key fob, granted access to certain buildings on campus and could be attached to a key ring. Photo identification cards replaced the fobs in 2007 and were only distributed to certain administration and faculty members. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the year after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, key cards were given to all students as well. While most view key cards solely as a way to gain access to buildings on campus, they are also meant to be useful tools for identification. Director of Technology and Safety Services Dan Pereira stated that the effectiveness of key cards would be increased if people consistently wore them so as to be more easily identified at all times. Key cards are viewed as more secure than regular keys by both Pereira and Director of

Security Panton Adams. The difference between key cards and keys is that when keys are lost, they can be easily distributed and copied, but while key cards are misplaced or lost, they can be deactivated electronically immediately. Pereira is also investigating smartphone apps which would work in coordination with key cards in the future. In the case that someone does not have their key card, they can request access to a building through the intercom system. Though in most cases only a bell has to be rung in order to be granted admission, security will sometimes ask questions as to a person’s identity and intent. “Masters seems to have good people around so we never have to turn away anyone,” Adams said. “I think we do a really good job of vetting people–visitors, guests–who will be able to get in and out of our buildings,” Pereira said.

VINCENT ALBAN/TOWER

A Masters security officer patrols campus. Masters has at least two of these officers on school grounds at all time, with as many as four during peak hours of the day.

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGE WEED/TOWER


6

SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

TOWER/MARCH 2, 2018

Keeping Campus Safe A speciAl report by emmA luis, AlexAndrA bentzien, Henry WilliAms, GeorGe Weed And micHAel FitzGerAld News Editor, Features Editor and the Editors-in-Chief

For tHe rest oF tHe coverAGe From tHis speciAl report, visit toWer.mAstersny.orG “Masters responds to parkland shooting” by david oks & drew schott; “roManticizing killers” by elijah eMery & sophia brousset; “preventing another parkland” by sarah Faber; “shootings and the aMerican psyche” by jacob strier

Students walk out in solidarity with efforts to end gun violence in America.

7

Vetting campus access and lockdown drills According to Dan Pereira, Director of Technology and Safety Services, Masters has to live with the reality of being open to the outside world. “You can’t just put borders and walls up. I think having an open campus is a reality of where we are,” said Pereira. Head of School Laura Danforth echoes this idea, stressing the importance of maintaining a strong connection with the surrounding community. “We could put a metal gate around campus, but I don’t want to do that,” said Danforth. Visitors to Masters Hall are monitored differently from students. Each new visitor to campus must sign in at the main entrance, where they receive an ID that expires in 24 hours. They are then escorted around campus either by a designated member of the community, in the case of tours, or by

security or maintenance. Outside groups who use campus facilities like the Fonseca Center are vetted and approved by the administration before being granted access to a certain space, and presence. “All security will do is handle the parking issues and walk around the building as things go on to make sure everybody is in place and that nobody is doing anything they’re not supposed to,” Director of Security Panton Adams said. Because of Masters’ status as a private institution, despite it being zoned as a park, no security measures need be approved by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department. Only updated emergency plans and building plans need to be sent, so that if local law enforcement needs to get involved in a situation, they

know what to expect. One security measure which members of the community are exposed to is the lockdown drill. The current procedure for a lockdown drill is that, after the announcement is made, for everyone on campus to seek shelter: indoors, this means hiding in a classroom, locking the door and barring it with a table or chair to ensure maximum security; outside, if community members are in plain sight, they will move to hide behind a bush or a tree. Security staff will enter the building and make sure all the doors are locked; during a drill, only an actual key will open the door from the outside. If a situation occurred in which an intruder did enter campus, the same procedure for a lockdown drill would be followed. The security guards have radi-

os and cell phones to communicate with senior members of the campus community, during drills, and at all other times as well. So far, Adams noted he had not seen any issues with the current lockdown procedure, and no one has recommended any suggestions for the security staff to make adjustments. Security cameras also help monitor campus, operating constantly and monitored on the security staff’s computers on a 24/7 basis. The staff look at different groups at different times to observe a variety of activity within the campus community. However, cameras only survey building entrances and parking lots. Both Adams and Pereira stressed that installing more cameras and establishing a greater level of card access would improve current security measures.

Stepping up security While neither Pereira nor Adams was at liberty to disclose what specific changes to campus security would be developed, changes could start occuring within the next few weeks and months. Pereira noted that no changes made would be major enough to negatively affect the daily lives of the student body and the residential community. “How you get in and out of buildings would not really affect your everyday life, maybe a change in routine at times. I don’t see security getting in the way of school life,” he said. Pereira noted that reevaluating the current safety comes with “a lot of interesting challenges” due to the open campus status. Right now, the security and IT departments are focusing on improving response systems, and are in discussions with different security personnel, companies and the Dobbs Ferry Police Department to ensure quick and adequate access to security resources. Both Adams and Pereira plan to have more lockdown drills, both planned and unplanned, more frequently, even though Masters already practices more than the minimum requirement each year. Adams added that increased lighting in certain areas of campus and

VINCENT ALBAN/TOWER

Masters as an open campus The edges of the Masters campus blend seamlessly into the town of Dobbs Ferry. This allows student access to countless restaurants, shops and places to spend time, and the close proximity between campus and town makes Masters a part of the local scene. Masters also offers an open door to members of the Dobbs community. With multiple entrances, and no main gate separating the campus from the street, Masters is an integral part of the surrounding area, going as far as to invite outside groups to use the Fonseca Center and Greene Field. However, in light of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting and the national conversation about gun violence, the issue of school security has hovered in the minds of many. The fact that Masters is an open campus, simply walk onto campus, has become a serious point of concern. Masters is zoned as a park instead of as a private institution. In the town of Dobbs Ferry, this means the campus must remain “open”: residents of the town and beyond are permitted to use Masters’ outdoor facilities, including Greene Field and the track. “As someone who lives right next to the track, I love seeing Dobbs Ferry folks using our facilities. We don’t pay taxes as a non-profit, and neither does Mercy College, so there’s a lot of money that Dobbs Ferry could be getting from us, but doesn’t,” Head of School Laura Danforth said. With a campus area of almost 100 acres, Masters is one of the largest institutional landowners in Dobbs Ferry. Given that the school does not pay taxes to the town, it gives back in other ways. Among these are extending its resources to the public, and maintaining a strong connection, often called a town-gown relationship. Whenever new infrastructure, in particular athletic venues, are built certain concessions have been traditionally made to the town so

raising the number of security staff on the nightshift from two to three would improve safety during the evening. “There’s virtually no way to prevent something like this happening – threats can come from anywhere. Our best course of action is to focus on what to do when something happens,” Pereira said. Pereira said someone in his position should get more specialized training as protocols are updated by local law enforcement; this training includes attending law enforcement seminars and staying up-to-date on new developments in the realm of safety and security in school. “I hope to influence the administration by bringing in the best information that I possibly can,” Pereira said. “We want to make sure we’ve done everything we possibly can to make our students and faculty safe.” Pereira recognized campus security rising to a “major concern” at the moment. In an Upper School assembly the day after the Parkland shooting, Head of School Laura Danforth stated that the security of everyone on campus is her “#1 priority.”

5

facilities as well. Director of Security Panton Adams has felt the echo of the national issue of school security at Masters. Adams said he believes Masters will eventually become a closed campus, how the changes will develop. “I think there is a problem with there being an open campus. If it were a closed campus we would have a more narrow processing of who comes to campus. No one is processed unless they come close to a building and ask for entry. It is safer to have a closed campus,” Adams said.

4

PICTURED ON THE RIGHT is the Masters campus and many of the facilities that are made available to residents of Dobbs Ferry.

#5-Clarke Field : While outside sports teams rarely use Clarke field, it is a common place for locals to walk.

Keeping the keys to the castle 3

#4-Tennis Courts : Masters’ tennis courts are frequented by outside individuals and local tennis teams. #3-Fonseca Center: The F.C. is one of Masters’ most used buildings. Many afterschool youth sports programs, teams, and individuals practice and train indoors.

2

#2-Evans Field: Evans is used most frequently by girls’ softball teams, but is also open for public use during all seasons #1-Greene Family Field: Masters’ turf field is used by multiple outside sports teams in addition to many Dobbs Ferry residents.

1

The first version of the key card at Masters was implemented in 2002. A small gray disk, called a key fob, granted access to certain buildings on campus and could be attached to a key ring. Photo identification cards replaced the fobs in 2007 and were only distributed to certain administration and faculty members. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the year after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, key cards were given to all students as well. While most view key cards solely as a way to gain access to buildings on campus, they are also meant to be useful tools for identification. Director of Technology and Safety Services Dan Pereira stated that the effectiveness of key cards would be increased if people consistently wore them so as to be more easily identified at all times. Key cards are viewed as more secure than regular keys by both Pereira and Director of

Security Panton Adams. The difference between key cards and keys is that when keys are lost, they can be easily distributed and copied, but while key cards are misplaced or lost, they can be deactivated electronically immediately. Pereira is also investigating smartphone apps which would work in coordination with key cards in the future. In the case that someone does not have their key card, they can request access to a building through the intercom system. Though in most cases only a bell has to be rung in order to be granted admission, security will sometimes ask questions as to a person’s identity and intent. “Masters seems to have good people around so we never have to turn away anyone,” Adams said. “I think we do a really good job of vetting people–visitors, guests–who will be able to get in and out of our buildings,” Pereira said.

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A Masters security officer patrols campus. Masters has at least two of these officers on school grounds at all time, with as many as four during peak hours of the day.

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGE WEED/TOWER


Features & arts

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Students perform to raise funds for abuse victims Drew Schott Features Editor

Each year, Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping (MISH), the school’s community service organization, looks to coordinate fundraisers to raise awareness for a critical cause. This school year, MISH representatives hoped to create insight regarding sexual violence and women’s rights through the fundraising event on Feb. 27, Performing for Hope. Performing for Hope was a multi-faceted fundraising event for Hope’s Door, an organization located in Pleasantville, NY that specializes in the rehabilitation of victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The organization also spreads awareness about the issues of abuse. The fundraiser, spearheaded by senior MISH co-chair Jake Masters, focused on the themes of feminism and women’s empowerment. At the fundraiser, paintings and photos by female and male students were displayed in the Fonseca Center Photo Gallery and offered for sale to attendees. All of the money from the sales went to Hope’s Door, which at the performance’s conclusion, totalled nearly $3,000. During the fundraiser, performances by only female students, faculty and performance groups, such as Dohters, explored these themes through poetry, speeches, and music. Numerous students displayed individual pieces, such as junior Elliott Feder, who performed her self-written song called “Let Me Go” and sophomore Zia Foxhall, who presented her poem called “Penumbra”. Members of clubs such as Students Against Destructive Decisions and Outspoken participated in helping

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Jake Masters, Elliott Feder, Ariella Rusoff, Hope’s Door Director of Residential Services May Krukiel, Soukay Mbaye and Zia Foxhall. Each of these individuals participated in Performing for Hope, a fundraiser to raise money for Hope’s Door, an organization that seeks to combat sexual and domestic abuse. organize of the show and took part in performances. As February is Healthy Relationships Month, Jake Masters wished to have the fundraiser in order to have a platform to help show what healthy relationships are and to raise consciousness about sexual and domestic abuse. “Healthy relationships take many different forms. Currently, there are many different types of relationships that have their own specific issues. And so, this fundraiser looks to tackle the issues that are linked to those relationships,” Jake Masters said. Senior Miranda Luiz, who was one of the student coordinators for the

Debate and MUN commence spring co-curricular offerings emma LuiS News Editor The average Wednesday or Thursday night for a Model United Nations (MUN) and Debate student respectively, consists of co-curriculars, a quick dinner, squeezing in homework, heading to their meeting from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and finally commuting home or trekking up to the dorms. However, starting this spring, these weekly meetings for both groups can now count as a co-curricular option, allowing students who attend the meeting to not have to attend a regularly scheduled co-curricular for that day. Brendon Barrios, MUN and Debate advisor, along with History and Religions Department member, lead the change by submitting a proposal form for a co-curricular option. “I’m not really sure why it hasn’t happened until now, but this has been something I’ve been working on for two years,” Barrios said. “MUN and Debate require a lot of commitment. These kids invest a lot of time and energy, and aren’t rewarded,” Barrios added. ”I wanted to find a way to reward them, and also give [them] a break.” With the addition of a co-curricular option, the 90+ students involved in Debate and MUN will be able to gain extra time in their already packed days. “Masters students are encouraged to be so involved, and that often means sacrificing other things,” said senior and MUN co-president, Olivia Johnke.“[The addition] allows students to have that extra time when most people are at co-curriculars to do their work, or do anything they need to do, so that MUN or Debate doesn’t hinder your ability to complete assignments later,”

Johnke added. While the addition of a co-curricular option is a change, both MUN and Debate will take place at the regularly scheduled times as usual. “Debate won’t really have a major structural change in terms of the way that we run meetings, but it’s a very intense activity that requires a lot of [preparation] and having it as a co-curricular is another great option for people to get more work done on Debate night.” said junior and Debate co-captain, Nick Moore. While Debate and MUN are clubs, students opting for the co-curricular option must attend the meetings, as they will be treated as a co-curricular in terms of attendance. “We’ve always kept attendance for internal purposes, now we just have to report it,” Barrios said. The change also does not excuse students from fulfilling their physical education requirement, as students will still have to partake in an athletic co-curricular two other days in the week, apply for a P.E. option, or participate in a sport. Students are also required to fulfill the four-day requirement for freshmen and sophomores and three-days for juniors and seniors. However, some students would prefer to take full advantage of the co-curriculars offered. “I’m not going to use it. I’d rather do something else after school on Wednesdays, like open-art,” sophomore MUN member Marina Shishkina said. “I fully intend to use it in the fall of next year, because I will have so much more time to do my homework before going to a meeting. When we start to do tournaments, it will be key to have that extra time.” Moore said.

event, sang “I Can’t Keep Quiet” with Dohters, which is a song by The Faithful Choir that was sung during the 2017 Women’s March. She also gave a presentation that involved her reciting a self-written poem within a video called “Talking with Papa”. Luiz saw the fundraiser as important because it not only allowed students to express their views on the issues of domestic and sexual abuse, but also enabled them to inspire positive change relating to the issues. Working with Hope’s Door for the first time, MISH wishes to establish a long-term relationship with the orga-

nization in order to allow the Masters community to help them through community service and spreading awareness. Aiding the organization is important because according to a report by the CDC, one in five women have been a victim of sexual violence during their lifetime, compared to one in six men. Additionally, in recent months, sexual assault allegations have rocked America, catalyzing the #MeToo movement, which helped bring to light acts of sexual harassment by public figures such as former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

Since organizations such as Hope’s Door aid victims of crimes such as sexual assault, MISH looks forward to the proceeds from the fundraiser that will allow the organization to support more victims who show up at their center. MISH advisor Dena Torino said, “By creating a long-term relationship with Hope’s Door through the fundraiser, we will be able to aid the organization in its endeavours. Specifically, the performance was able to compel not only the people at the fundraiser, but the entire Masters community, in becoming aware about the issues of domestic and sexual abuse.”


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Students tackle controversial themes in Spring Awakening Michael Fitzgerald Editor-in-Chief george Weed Editor-in-Chief When Spring Awakening was first performed as a German play in 1906, the salacious ideas and taboo topics put its writer, Frank Wedekind, in jail for six months, and had the performance banned in multiple countries. In 2006, exactly 100 years later, that same organic and uncensored story was converted into a musical, and this past Friday, that musical came to Masters at the Claudia Boettcher Theatre. Spring Awakening is a story of sex, desire and self-discovery in its most raw and unaltered form, and the discomfort that many audience members experience is part of what makes it so unique in the musical theater world, and also what makes it so highly criticized. Though the story is over a century old, the ideas that it explores are so basic to human nature that the story remains relevant even in the modern era. Spring Awakening is set in late-19th-century Germany at a time when society shunned all talk of sex, lust and rebellion, in the name of purity and abstinence. The story follows several teenag-

ers as they discover their own bodies, and explores each character’s reaction to those changes. Wendla Bergmann, played by senior Laine Philipps, is a curious young 14 year old who, despite asking and searching profusely, finds no answers to the questions of maturity and sexuality. Philipps commented, “I think that the reason that it’s so important for kids our age to experience the show is that the story is about us. Wendela is only 14 years old and she ends up getting pregnant.” In order to tackle such an emotionally charged plot, all 54 members of the cast held Harkness discussions before production began to discuss what they wished for the story to say and what the lyrics to the songs truly meant. According to Philipps, before each scene was staged, the cast would read it through and attempt to unpack each of the plot’s many layers to understand character’s true motives as well as the subtext to the plot. The show’s message was especially timely given the recent school shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. After the tragedy occurred, controversy arose within the cast about the fact that a gun appeared on stage as a part of the performance. The cast debated removing the gun altogether, though ul-

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A MUSICAL FOCUSING ON sexual discovery in the late 1800’s Germany, Spring Awakening, was performed by Masters students on Feb. 23 and 24. Lead actors in the show included Buster Scheuer, Dylan Douglas, Laine Phillips, and Nick Mason. To see 364 more photos from the performance, go to Tower’s Facebook photo album at https://www.facebook.com/MastersTower. timately decided to keep it in the scene, believing that it highlighted today’s society. Junior Ramsey Frank, who played Herr Stiefel in the play, said, “Obviously there are

parallels between Spring Awakening and recent events. Spring Awakening tells the story of kids thrown into a world that is not safe for them.” Frank came up with the

idea to dedicate their performance to the victims of the shooting, as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is also performing Spring Awakening this year. Senior Nick Mason, who played Melchoir Gabor, hopes that the musical leads to people being less afraid to open up about difficulties in their lives. Mason said, “Following the musical, I hope more people are inspired to speak up about things that are going on with them. The show deals with important issues like abuse and suicide, and I hope that we can begin a dialogue to help people who struggle with these issues.” This moment was bittersweet for many seniors who have just given their final performance at Masters, including senior Dylan Douglas, who played Moritz Stiefel. Douglas, who has acted alongside Philipps for the past eight years, originally questioned the play’s composition, stating, “I’ve contemplated a lot, whether the guy who wrote this show was actually the genius that he is known for or if he just says, ‘Okay you masturbate on stage, you kill yourself on stage and if they don’t like it, we’ll say it’s art.’ I’ve debated that with myself, but I have come to the conclusion that it actually is a genius work of art.”

Great Gig chooses social justice collection over single album Morgan Brettschneider Sports Editor Great Gig in the Sky, an annual production that focuses on the performance of an album, has been a Masters’ tradition since 2012, beginning with the Pink Floyd album, “Dark Side of the Moon”. In September 2017, the Department of Performing Arts (DOPA) selected “Lemonade” by Beyonce as this year’s album. The department decided that an album featuring a group or lead singer of color would be fitting. However, the chair of DOPA, Jennifer Carnevale, Assistant Dean of Students, Jeff Carnevale, and music teacher Gilles Pugatch decided a few months ago to scratch the idea, turning Great Gig into a multi-artist event. Breaking from tradition, they decided to focus on a compilation of artists that create music relating to social justice and empowerment. In a statement sent to the Masters community on Oct. 25, Pugatch and Jennifer Carnevale said that they originally selected the album “Lemonade” because it embodied the ideas of empowerment and awareness about current social issues. Yet, they decided that alternative social justice compilations would be more valuable and showcase many more voices with an assortment of songs throughout the decades. Masters’ alumnus Hunter LaMar, arranger of the mu-

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SENIOR EAMON PEARSON AND Noah Rosner ‘17 performed in last year’s Great Gig, which featured Green Day’s “American Idiot”. Beyonce’s “Lemonade”, which would have been the first album by a person of color and a woman to be performed at Great Gig, was initially chosen for this year’s performances. However, it was changed to a collection of social justice songs. sic for “Lemonade” and current Great Gig theme said, “From my understanding concerns with lyrical content were raised as well as DOPA’s desire to only have person of color soloists.” “We wanted to be sure to be as inclusive as possible and choosing one album felt like we were kind of thin-slicing things again, and be down to something that spoke to a few people or a small

group of people,” Carnevale said. LaMar also spoke about concerns regarding the inclusivity of “Lemonade”. It was thought that the album was more relatable to soloists of color more than it did to others, which might have excluded other communities at Masters. “I believe in an effort towards inclusivity, the Masters Music Department was interested in giving students of color a platform at

Masters,” LaMar said. “From what I understand there was some pushback from the administration and some students who felt that wouldn’t be fair,” LaMar added. This is the first time that the Great Gig performance will not focus only on one album. “I don’t think we would do it this way again because the project was designed to be a full album. That was

the original conception and I think that was a good one,” Carnevale said. “Something that is so special about Great Gig is the fact that the album is performed from beginning to end, something that even artists in concert rarely do,” she added. However, the change to a general concept instead of a full album has created a unique aspect to the concert. “I think what is really exciting about the performance this year is that it is a collection of songs that deal with social justice,” Jeff Carnevale said. This year, performers were put on songs based on their connection to them. There is much excitement about the upcoming concert, according to LaMar. “I think you can expect an incredible concert celebrating the many diverse communities that Masters serves as a host to,” he said. LaMar added, “this is a concert where we play songs like Jimi Hendrix’s version of the “Star Spangled Banner”, intended to protest the violence that the American Flag carries with it and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, celebrating our queer community.” Jennifer Carnevale said that, “the concert has also provided a platform to celebrate diversity while also helping bring attention to current injustices throughout the U.S.” She added, “this theme, this time is exactly what we needed. We just couldn’t have predicted it,” Jennifer Carnevale said.

TEDx presentations create platform for originality JacoB strier Copy Editor The eager eyes of the audience, a memorized speech, and 10 minutes to make a difference: a TED speech provides a platform to make one’s voice heard. One Masters TEDx speaker from last year, Jonas Kolker, has now garnered over 100 thousand views on YouTube. After a successful TEDx event last year (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, while the x for an independently-organized event), in which 10 students participated and spoke on a variety of topics, the school has selected 12 new speakers for the upcoming event on May 18. Student speakers will spend the next few months engaged in a tough preparation process as they hone their speaking skills and develop their ideas. With last year’s TEDx event serving as a guide for this year’s, the program has several alumni speakers at their disposal to help with this year’s process and to mentor students. “The most important change is the fact that we are able to draw upon the expertise of those

students that participated last year,” History Department member and event co-coordinator Lisa Berrol said. These students, who spoke on a range of topics including girls’ education, anxiety and mental health, will work closely with the newest group of TEDx speakers throughout the next few months. TEDx events require licensing and approval from TED, which Masters has applied for. “We cannot guarantee that TED will approve of our application,” Berrol said. In the event that TED does not approve Masters’ application as it was approved last year, the school will hold a similar event without the TEDx trademark. According to the TED website, “TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world.” Berrol mentioned, “TEDx does not allow for a theme. In order to be approved, we have to guarantee that we are not running a theme-based program.” This open-ended program allows for a variety of different topics to be discussed and different subjects presented to the audience. The application process was at the discretion of co-coordinators Berrol and

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADRIANA HAUSER

AFTER LAST YEAR’S SUCCESSFUL presentations by the students above, TEDx The Masters School will continue for its second year. history teacher Brendon Barrios. tance based on their proposed topic More students applied to speak and audition, and were selected in than were chosen, and more than order to create a balanced and dihalf of applicants were turned away, verse group of speakers who will according to Barrios. Student ap- cover new or unique topics, Barrios plicants were considered for accep- noted. “We didn’t want any compari-

sons, we want to avoid too much topic repetition,” Barrios said. The preparation process is rigorous; students will dedicate a significant amount of time outside of school to preparing. “We encourage students to meet with lots of different mentors,” Berrol said. “Students are going to be studying other TED events so that they can start developing a critical eye,” she continued. The speech can be difficult to memorize, and Barrios said that he and Berrol were contemplating how to deal with a scenario in which a student blanked on their speech. “We thought about placing someone behind the screen to help speakers, following along with a hard copy, but we decided against it,” Barrios said. “We want to put on a show even more thought provoking than the year before,” Barrios said. Topics for the upcoming event include the importance of creativity and living in the moment. Last year’s speakers noted the importance of sharing their own topics. “My video’s success was definitely unexpected. But I think it’s a testament to how common and how under-discussed anxiety can be,” Kolker said.


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Swim team carries Spirit Week hype into final meet Mitchell Fink Contributing Writer On Saturday both the boys and girls swim team traveled to Hopkins School in New Haven, Conn., and came back with lots of success. The team was wrapping up its season by competing in the Fairchester League (FAA) Championships, ending a long season of over ten meets and countless days of practice. That practice paid off as the team finished on a high note, with almost everybody accomplishing their personal best time in the championships. At the championship meet alone, Masters swimmers achieved a staggering ten team records, and junior Marcus Diaz received a silver medal for his time in the 100-meter freestyle. In total, the boys team came third, and the girls came fifth out of the nine teams at the tournament. Considering that this is only the third year of Masters swim, these results show massive growth throughout Masters’ young swimming history. Freshman swimmer Kai Cowin was quick to point out that the team’s strong leaders were a major factor in the Panthers’ strong performance.Cowin said, “I would like to really thank our team captains for supporting us along the way. I don’t think without them we could have made it that far.” Fellow freshman swimmer Nick

Albani agreed that leadership and coaching were key to the teams suwccess. Albani said, “The coaching was great. This was my first year swimming, and I definitely improved over the year and I’ve seen all of my teammates improve, and I just think there was really good coaching.” In addition, Cowin and Albani both stressed that those long hours of practice throughout the winter really did make an effect on the season, and especially the championships. Cowin said, “I think that tapering and practicing truly made it [a successful meet].” What Cowin is referring to by tapering is a technique used by Masters to enhance meet readiness, and as Albani explained it, “We taper for about a week and a half. The first half you go as hard as you can and swim until you can’t swim. And then for the last three days it’s much less reps so you’re going for speed instead of distance so your body is conditioned and for championships you’re rested but still have that prior week of pushing you.” This execution and immaculate preparation are what it takes to be a successful swim team. As more and more successful seasons go by, and swim gains more buy-in from the team and more popularity from the Masters community, swim has the chance to take last Saturday’s impressive performance and take the team into it’s very bright future.

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SENIOR CHARLOTTE PETERSON COMPETES in the senior swim meet in the 200 meter individual medley. As captain, Peterson led the team to break many records at the Bud Erich Championship Meet.

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JUNIOR MARCUS DIAZ LEADS the heat in the 100 meter freestyle sprint. Diaz went on to place second overall at the Bud Erich Championship Meet.

SENIOR DAN CIENAVA CHEERS on the swim team at the spirit week Pack the Pool event, led by DAA. Masters students dressed up for “a day at the beach” for the first day of spirit week. DAA provided floaties, snorkels, and a concession stand.


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New and improved fencing team slays the ISFL Drew Schott Features Editor On Feb. 24, Masters’ fencing teams concluded their seasons at the Independent School Fencing League (ISFL) Championships at the Hackley School. At the championship, boys’ foil finished first in league play with a 14-0 record, while obtaining second place at the tournament. Additionally, girls’ foil and girls epee clinched second in league play with 13-3 records. Furthermore, boys’ epee finished fourth in league play with a 10-4 record, boys’ sabre finished fifth with a 4-8 record and girls’ sabre finished fifth with a 7-7 record. At the Championships, boys’ foil fencer and member of the Serbian national team, Petar Janicijevic,

secured a 36-0 season, placing first in the boys’ foil division. Additionally, this season, he won gold in foil at the ISFL’s Jan. 27 individual tournament at the Horace Mann School. Furthermore, Daniel Berov, who won silver in epee at the individual tournament, clinched first place in the boys’ epee division after the championships with a 28-2 record. For the girls team, girls’ foil captain Neha Garg clinched fourth in the girls’ foil division with a 31-7 record at the Championships. Additionally, co-captain Sophie Lai finished fifth in the girls’ sabre division with a 15-13 record. Reflecting on the season, Janicijevic, a 2017-2018 varsity boys foil’ starter, praised the team’s work ethic and desire for improvement. “This year, the teams were more in shape and trained harder. This

allowed the teams to work in close groups, which added up to eventual success,” he said. Janicijevic also added that as a senior, he had a larger role in advising the fencers during practice and occasionally, in competition. “I wanted my teammates to fence strong, have courage and not be afraid to perform, and they did that. My teammates and I love this sport and that is expressed by our determination,” he said. The girls’ team began the season strong as senior Amanda Chen tied for third place in girls’ epee and sophomore Sophia Viscarello earned 5th place for girls’ sabre at the individual tournament. Eventually, the girls team finished with an overall record of 33-13, which includes the records of the foil, epee, and sabre team- gaining four more wins than their 2016-2017

record of 29-13. For the season, girls’ foil captain Neha Garg hoped for all weapons to place highly in the final tournament and in league play this year. When the season concluded, Garg was impressed by the team’s performance this season, especially because most of the team’s fencers, especially on the sabre squad, were new to the team. “Despite a lot of fencers from last year graduating, great, new athletes on the team have allowed us to achieve our goals. Additionally, our team is strong this year, which has not only allowed us to mentor each other, but also succeed in matches and tournaments,” Garg said. Returning for his second season, head coach Carlos Fernandez Ugalde led the boys’ and girls’ fencing squads. Ugalde, a former coach of Spain’s national Olympic

fencing team and Argentina’s national team, viewed this year as a large change in Masters’ fencing program because all six teams had new fencers as well as balanced talent. Additionally, Ugalde mentioned that despite losing fencers who graduated, the team did not have trouble in finding new fencers to take their place. Ugalde said, “As a head coach, my job, along with coaching, should always be thinking about the future of the program. For the teams’ future, it is necessary that the program is united and together.” The boys and girls fencing team, despite tough competition in the ISFL, ended the season on a high note, representative of their successful season.

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JUNIOR ARJAHN COX PREPARING to face an opponnent during a match. With many new players, the fencing team still obtained much success.

SENIOR PETAR JANICIJEVIC SCORES a touch against an opponent. Janicijevic ended his last season at Masters undefeated with a 36-0 individual record.

Squash team finishes second in the nation

An Olympics filled with controversy

Drew Schott Features Editor Over the weekend of Feb. 9, the boys’ varsity squash team travelled to the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia to compete in the Division III U.S. High School Team Championships. After winning their first three matches, all by scores of 4-3, against the Groton School, New Haven A, and Poly Prep, the team lost a 4-3 tiebreaker in the finals to the Potomac School. This year, the team consisted of sophomore Taha Dinana, junior Youssef Aly, sophomore Nouran Youssef, sophomore Garrett Wenberg, freshman Reed Gilmore, senior John Kinsley, and junior Noel Gorodetsky. For the second straight year, sophomore and girls squash player Youssef was included on the roster. As of this year, she is the top-ranked Under-17 player for girls squash in the United States. Additionally, Dinana is ranked third in the Under-15 division for boys squash in Egypt. Now in their third season, the boys’ varsity program is led by coaches Sahar Anwar and Ahmed El Mehelmi. Despite winning the Division III National Championships last

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year, the team was seeded 13 out of 16 because many of its athletes on last year’s championship team, such as John Epley, graduated. Regardless of these departures, the team still succeeded, thanks to younger players with increased skill and competitiveness moving up to the varsity level. Additionally, the team’s run to the championship game for the second straight year has allowed the program to become recognized on the national stage. Aly said, “At the tournament last year when we won, people were unsure if we could do it again. But because we got second place this year in the same tournament, our name is now out there as a good squash school.” At the tournament, Youssef, Aly, and Dinana went undefeated in their matches, while Wenberg obtained a 3-1 record. Despite the loss, the team’s players felt that the championships were profound experiences because the tough matches allowed the athletes to improve, and compete against some of the best players in the country. “Regardless of our loss, I wouldn’t trade the experience of the championships for anything,” Gilmore said.

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THE BOYS VARSITY SQUASH team ended their season with a second place finish at nationals. From this, the team gained national exposure

elijah emery News Editor The Pyeongchang Olympics are in full swing and Olympic fever has once again captured the world! The Olympics, which commenced with an opening ceremony on Feb 9, was watched live by around 35,000 spectators in the Olympic stadium, despite the 21 degree weather, and by millions more via satellite and online around the world. The opening was historic due to the cooperation in full view between communist, totalitarian North Korea and the democratic, capitalist south. This cooperation is sharply contrasted to the first time that South Korea hosted the Seoul Games in 1988 which were originally supposed to be held jointly by the North and the South, as the Pyeongchang Olympics were. Instead, the 1987 negotiations between North Korea and South Korea collapsed, and when the Olympics were held in the summer of 1988, it was against the backdrop of a tragic act of terrorism in which two North Korean spies blew up a Korean Air jet traveling from Baghdad to Seoul, killing all 115 people on board, most of them South Korean nationals.

However, for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, an agreement as to how the Olympics would occur held, as the North and South marched under a united Korea blue and white flag and even fielded a women’s ice hockey team together. Additionally, these Olympics marked the first time a member of the Kim family, the infamous and brutal regime that rules North Korea, has visited their southern neighbor since the 1950-1953 Korean War as Kim Yo Jong assisted in the opening of the games with the leader of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-In. Besides political history, sporting history was of course made. Mirai Nagasu became the first woman to successfully land a triple axel at the games, helping team USA win bronze in the team skating event. This golden moment for the American team is a rare gem in these Olympics, which have, for Team USA , been largely marked by a subpar performance.The team won 23 medals. The Norwegian delegation won first place, with a total of 39 medals. While many Masters students did not have time to watch the Olympics, some Masters students were extremely excited about them. Senior Dylan Douglas is one (perhaps the only one) of those

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students. “I love the Olympics. I’m not about the sports, but I love the community,” Douglas said. “People around the world can sit at their TVs and they can root for a country—and it doesn’t have to be their country—but they can root and they can just cheer, and it’s a lovely time. It’s like the United Nations without the bad diplomacy.” The Olympics isn’t all about peace and success. The Russian doping scandal continues. Dr. John Boyer of the science department highlighted the effects of the scandal on this year’s Olympics. “For me the most different thing is the confusion surrounding the Russian team, which supposedly is suffering some kind of a punishment,” Boyer said. As punishment for their 2014 dopings the Russian delegation is banned from competing as team Russia, and instead must compete under the five ringed Olympic flag. However, curler Alexander Krushelnytsky was discovered to have ingested performance enhancing stimulants that were banned in 2016, and was forced to forfeit his bronze medal. Bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva was also found to have used banned substances.

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AS THE 2018 OLYMPIC games come to a close, there were many incredible performances, both team and individual, to look back on. The United States won 23 medals, though Norway led all countries with 39 medals.


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Boys’ varsity basketball clinches state championship Electrifying 74-71 victory over Knox amid cheers from strong student and faculty support Morgan Brettschneider Sports Editor

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VINCENT ALBAN/TOWER

ABOVE: ISAIAH THOMPSON DRIVES to the basket; LEFT: Abdoul Bah, Dylan Canell and Oladayo Thomas cheer on the sidelines as the team takes the win; RIGHT: Head Coach Matthew Kammrath gathers the team to strategize during a time out.

his year, the Boys Varsity Basketball team has had an amazing season, which included winning the NYSAIS state championships. In the first round of playoff games, the team faced the Portledge School on Feb. 22 and was victorious,winning 7348. “ It was a team effort and we played great defense. We did a good job stopping their best player from scoring his usual 30 points and only let him score 20”, junior Rashid Woods who scored 16 points during the game said. Masters defeated the Berkeley Carroll School, 68-55 in the semi-finals this past Saturday. Junior Nick Rivera Torres scored 24 points, while sophomore Sebastian Pacheco had 15 points and freshman Isaiah Thompson finished with 13. The boys headed to championship game at Holy Child against the number one seeded Knox School. During the NYSAIS game, the crowd was electric. With fan buses transporting students to and from the game, many Masters’ students were present at the game. Purple beads were constantly seen and roars from the crowd were continuous as the game continued. The Masters’ team constantly trailed the number one seeded Knox team. At halftime the boys trailed 39-32. A similar deficit continued up to the last 5 minutes with the Knox School still leading 59-52. However, the tide started to turn when Masters took the lead for the first time in the game during the fourth quarter when Nick Torres Rivera ’19 made 2 free throws. The score was then 64-63 Masters. The momentum continued to build with

a basket by Kachikwu Ugochukwu ‘19. A rebound by Sebastian Pacheco ‘20 and a free throw further strengthened the boys’ lead 67-63. The varsity team was able to almost seal a victory with a 3-point shot by Isaiah Thompson ‘21 and a drive to the hoop by Torres-Rivera and a foul making the score 72-65 with one minute and 30 seconds left in the game. As the clock continued to run out, baskets by Torres-Rivera and Pacheco further seal a victory. With 6.6 seconds left Knox made a fast break basket as time ran out with a score of 74-71 Masters. Masters was able to walk away with a championship win. The last time the Masters’ Boys Varsity Team won the state championship game in this division was in 2013. After trailing for a majority of the game, the boys certainly stepped up and were able to clinch a win. “Being down by a lot and to be able to pull out a win out the end against a very good team felt very fulfilling, Sebastian Pacheco ‘20 said. In total, Rivera Torres scored 35 points, Sebastian Pacheco 15, Kachikwu Ugochukwu also scored 15 and Rashid Woods and Isaiah Thompson both scoring 5 points. With the help of the whole team, the boys team finally achieved a championship win. “I was so proud about how we came back because for a while it looked like the game was going in the wrong direction and then we had this momentum and were able to close it out,” said Mathew Kammrath the boys’ varsity basketball team head coach. “They really believed in themselves and that’s the pride of a coach. They came together when it counted most.”

Girls basketball caps off thrilling season eric dowd Sports Editor

O

ver the course of the last two years, the girls varsity basketball team has evolved from a team that didn’t qualify for playoffs to a serious championship contender. The team entered the offseason with an impressive 20-5 record, accompanied by an 11-game win streak. A team made up of just eight players, the girls team is relatively young, with only two seniors, Ramatoulaye Sy and Federica Domeneghetti graduating this year. Junior Kendra CooperSmith said, “In the beginning of the season, since it was a young team and a new team, it was difficult for us to not only play together but to have cohesion as a whole. As the season went on and as we got to know each other, our familiarity was reflected in our game and I am extremely proud of the work that we put in and how we grew as a team.” The team first faced Sacred Heart in the quarter finals, finishing with a blowout 70-14 victory. The score after the first quarter alone was 24-0, Masters. Sy finished one of her last games for masters on a high note, scoring a team high 19 points. The team continued their season through the playoffs, facing Horace Mann at home on Saturday, Feb. 24 in the semi-finals. Supported by a strong home crowd, the girls overcame Horace Mann 65-53. Underclassmen contributed greatly to the stat sheet, with sophomore Gwenn Sabato leading

the team with 20 points and freshman Brooke Tartarian finishing with 13. After her electrifying performance, Sabato said, “I felt amazing and unstoppable. My energy was higher than ever, and I was so happy because as a team we accomplished our goal from the start of the season to make it to the state championships”. On Monday, Feb. 26, the girls varsity basketball team played in the NYSAIS championship. The team faced off against The Dalton School in the NYSAIS final, competing at a neutral count at The School of The Holy Child. In a back and forth matchup between Masters and Dalton, Masters gained an early lead, finishing the half up 25-23 after a late run from Dalton. Unfortunately, Dalton carried its momentum into the second half, and despite a great game Masters fell short, 34-49. The game featured an extremely strong fan prescense for an away game, with Masters students turning out in droves to see the basketball double-header. Placing runner up in the championship may seem discouraging, but for the girls team, this is just the start. Tartatian said, “Even though we lost, we had a historic season and we worked so hard to get this far. Next year we’re going to come back even more motivated than before, and come home with the trophy.” If a team with only two graduating seniors can produce a second place NYSAIS finish, then the future looks bright. VINCENT ALBAN/TOWER

ABOVE: RAMATOULAY SY AND Noemia Massingue team up in the final minutes of the game; LEFT: Junior Emily Brieant plays strong defense against Dalton opponent; RIGHT: Team debriefs during a timeout with coach Nick Volchok.

Tower Issue #5 2017-2018  

Originally published March 2nd, 2018.

Tower Issue #5 2017-2018  

Originally published March 2nd, 2018.

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