the Pebble Spring 2019

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the Pebble spring 2019

table of contents Departments 5 By the Numbers 6 Talk of the School 10 Ask an Alum 12 Advice 14 Selfie 32 Interactive Feature 16 MPH’s Food Loving Community

and Community Loving Food

issue 5 Editorial Collective Taylor Germain Simon Hoke Ryan Kinane Sydney Spector Tommy Wildhack Jiayi Nicole Zhang Teacher Fred Montas, Jr.

By Taylor Germain Special Section on Politics In the Mix By Simon Hoke

Dilemmas of Affirmative Action

In Katko #MeToo The Trouble Country with Facts

By Grace By Malachy By Sydney By Charlie Zhang Reagan Spector Mann The Pebble is the student news magazine of Manlius Pebble Hill School. The mission of the Pebble is to create compelling and accurate content for the MPH community. It publishes during the school year.

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spring 2019 spring 2019 spring 2019

spring 2019 spring 2019 spring 2019 Photo by Liv Bigtree

spring 2019 spring 2019 spring 2019 Cover Art: Ashton Stone Cover Design and Layout: Rachel Comfort ‘18

spring 2019 spring 2019 spring 2019 Manlius Pebble Hill School 5300 Jamesville Road Syracuse, NY 13214-2499 Phone: (315) 446-2452

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by the numbers Photo by Liv Bigtree

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by the numbers

14,000 106

books located in the library available items at the Campus Shop


tables in the cafeteria


clubs that the school has to offer


students that played at least one sport in the 2017-18 school year spring 2019 | 5

talk of the school

Continuity and Change in MPH Athletics

Breeding success for decades By Ryan Kinane


t’s late autumn, and the sports teams are playing their games and matches. The Girls Modified Soccer Team is playing on the Upper Field, the Tennis team is playing on the tennis court, and the Boys Varsity Soccer team is playing on the Lower Field. A busy day for sports, but this is normal. The Manlius Pebble Hill School, in total, has won thirty-five Sectional Championships, as well as five New York State Regional Championships. The Sectional Championships have come from the Boys and Girls Soccer teams, the Boys and Girls Tennis teams, Boys Varsity Golf, and the Boys and Girls Ski teams. This record of success may be overlooked now, but at one point, it didn’t even exist. When Coach Don Ridall became the Head Coach of the Boys Soccer Team at Manlius Pebble Hill in 1975, the soccer program had never won a game. Coach Ridall wanted to change that. “What I was trying to do was just establish a solid program, one that was respected both on and off the field,” Ridall said. The Boys soccer program has since won 4 Sectional Championships, 2 State Championships and was the Runner-Up in the 2003 State Championship. These championships did not come easily to Coach Ridall and his teams. “What people need to remember is, it took us, me, however you want to phrase it, twenty-five years before we got that first State Championship,” Ridall said. “It wasn’t handed to us on a silver platter. It was something the kids really worked hard at and all of the coaches worked hard at. Not just me.” Overall, Coach Ridall has 576 career wins in his 43rd season as the Head Coach at MPH.

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The girl’s soccer team has also had consistent success as a program. Coach Pat Bentley Hoke, the Head Coach of the girls soccer team, started coaching here in 1993. “It was a big adjustment because I was only a year out of playing pretty competitive college soccer [and] working with the program here, which, at the time, was kind of struggling. The Girls’ team was not doing so well,” said Bentley Hoke. The Girls Soccer Program won a Sectional Championship in 2007 and also won Regionals that same year. Coach Bentley Hoke went on to say, “Winning that sectional game was absolutely phenomenal. The regional game, I’ll never forget… That was so much fun. That whole season was just fantastic. That team was so, so good.” However, Manlius Pebble Hill’s success on the soccer field isn’t the only sport that they

“What I was trying to do was just establish a solid program, one that was respected both on and off the field.” have been strong at in recent memory. Up until about 2013, the Boys Varsity Golf team wasn’t very competitive with other schools. They have always played at Tecumseh Golf Club, which is about 2 miles away from Manlius Pebble Hill, and is in the South-East part of the City of Syracuse. The golf program started in 1972, and there has fielded a team ever since. Coach Will O’Malley started teaching and coaching here in 1996. He is currently

talk of the school

the Boys Modified Soccer Coach, and he has been since he started teaching here. Since 2013, the golf team has won five Section III Championships, and numerous league titles under Coach O’Malley.“This was a special time for the golf program and a complete shock to almost everyone.” said O’Malley. The golf program has been a very strong force on the golf course since 2013, and Coach O’Malley hopes that this momentum will continue. “I think success breeds more success.” Before the Manlius School and the Pebble Hill School had merged, the 1963 Manlius Red Knights Football Team was one of the best teams that the school has ever seen. They were ranked UPI’s National #1 PrepSchool Team, meaning that they were the

best prep-school team in the country. The ‘63 Red Knights team, as well as the ‘44-’46 Manlius Big Red Football teams, are in the MPH Hall of Fame (Located in the hallway outside of the gym.) Although MPH doesn’t have a football team anymore, due to the small numbers, (it takes around 25-30 kids to produce a football team from year to year) the golf, tennis and soccer programs have become very strong in recent years. The past programs for different sports were strong too, when the two schools (The Pebble Hill School and Manlius Military School) hadn’t merged yet. “It has been a momentum that has continued and carried itself.” - Coach Bentley Hoke

Photo courtesy of MPH

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Photo by Jiayi Nicole Zhang


Hanging with Mr. Rudd From the City Council’s chambers to the economics classroom

Photo byHannah Warren

By Tommy Wildhack

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im Rudd is a busy man. An economics teacher, a JV basketball coach, and a city councilman. Rudd, a Syracuse native who graduated from Henninger and Syracuse University, wants to make a positive impact on his city. “I love Syracuse, and I believe that the government has an important role to make Syracuse better. I think I can make Syracuse better,” said Rudd. Rudd went to graduate school at Syracuse University for public administration at the Maxwell School because of his interest in government. Growing up, Rudd saw Democrats advocating for the community, so he felt the right choice was to join the Democratic Party. In 2015 he ran for Onondaga County Legislature, which was his first time running for office. Rudd did not win, but he ran for Syracuse Common Council in 2017 and won an at-large seat. The Common Council, which is the legislative branch of the Syracuse city government, consists of four at-large councilors and five district councilors. Rudd sees the Common Council as the best fit for him to accomplish his goal of making Syracuse better. “I’m really interested in government and finances in government and I think teaching economics and City Council are good and have synergy together. And I would do other things for government, but I’m happy to work on the City Council,” said Rudd. “I think the people on the Council have the relationships and the positions to make changes that will make Syracuse better.” Rudd and the other at-large councilors are elected to four-year terms and are responsible for the whole city, while district councilors are responsible for their districts. The council meets every two weeks in two one hour sessions, one for voting, and one for studying, which is a time for asking questions. The Common Council’s responsibilities include overseeing the whole city government, the water going to houses, trash collection, fixing potholes, choosing where bike lanes go, and funding transit. Rudd said

police and fire departments are by far the two biggest things the council covers. As an economics teacher, Rudd likes to vote on things from a financial standpoint, to make sure the Council is making smart investments. Nevertheless, Rudd asks many questions to make sure he understands everything about an issue. “I like to vote with economic concepts, like would rational people find this helpful. And is it realistic and given the staff we have can we achieve what we are doing. I do a lot of basic math to know if we can do it for this amount of money, so I ask a lot of questions, I don’t feel I have a fixed methodology with the way markets and money work.” Many of Rudd’s goals while in office are related to economics. “I would love for the city to sell certain assets and make other investments in different neighborhoods that could help stabilize the property tax base. I would like for innovative solutions around schools so maybe getting certain sections of the schools of the city to be served by suburban schools to help stabilize the tax base. I’d like to make smart investments whether that’s buying our street light infrastructure so that we can make investments in next generation WiFi, technology stuff.” Although the Council is the legislative branch of the Syracuse city government, Rudd made it clear the City Council has more responsibilities than to write laws. Rudd finds holding people accountable is an important responsibility, to make sure everyone is doing their job and doing it well. Rudd acknowledged that there are laws that are not enforced, and there are plenty of laws that could be made and would not be enforced as well. Some of the things he finds important is to work with people to make sure the budget is appropriate, and spend the money coming in the right way, particular people who work with the mayor. Rudd has a dedication to make his community a better place.

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Pursuing Her Passion Ashley Rath’s career as a chef originated in eighth grade history class By Taylor Germain

Education: MPH from preschool. Graduated in 2006. University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she received a Master of Arts.

Career: Chef

How did your education prepare you for your profession? Even though I’ve got a college education, since graduating, I’ve only cooked. I wrote my dissertation to graduate from St. Andrews on the relationship between food and conflict. I was studying international relations, and I’ve also always been into food. The first memory I have of being into cooking from a worldly perspective, because I didn’t think I wanted to be chef but understand how people cook, was in Mr. Mangram’s class in eighth grade, and I ended up cooking a Moroccan feast, basically. Mr. Mangram was always very supportive of learning about cultures, or history through different avenues. So I think that was definitely the background for getting into being a chef. How did you start working as a chef? In college, I studied international relations and I hosted dinner parties. We established a fine food and dining society at St. Andrews. It was good, and I wrote the dissertation on it. I got a job in New Delhi from my dissertation, and it won an award for my graduating class. And so I thought I was

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going to go to New Delhi, and I thought I was going to stick with my degree, which I was very passionate about. But I got kicked out of the UK because by the second year, the student visa expires and they were like, “Please, go home.” And then I was waiting to get my visa to New Delhi, and I didn’t want to go back to Syracuse. So, I ended up in New York City. I had always wanted to cook, so I talked to my parents about going to the Culinary Institute of America. My parents and I discussed maybe it would be better to give the other thing in New Delhi a try because I could still do it afterwards if I wanted to cook. So, as I was waiting for the visa for New Delhi to come through, I started cooking, and then I never stopped. What was your break in the cooking world? I worked at the Waverly Inn for a year and a half, and the sous chef there wanted to take me to a restaurant he was opening, which is where I met a very close friend of mine who gave me the name of a chef who was opening up this very avant garde restaurant, Atera, that was going for a Michelin star. I ended up helping them. I worked with chef Matt

ask an alum

Lightner, and I remember I had to trail. So “trail” is basically like a job interview, but you cook and work for the whole day without getting paid. This isn’t legal anymore, but I trailed there five times. So, you’re like there, helping, cooking. That was my break. Atera ended up within its first eight months getting two Michelin stars. It was the basis of teaching me how to work that fine dining system. From Atera, I ended up leaving and going to Gramercy Tavern, which is where I worked for Mike Anthony. I went on his cookbook tour, and I ended up going to Vetri in Philadelphia, Canlis in Seattle, Le Pigeon in Portland, Alinea in Chicago. I had to pack and prep the dinners. It was a huge opportunity for me. How did you wind up at The Grill? I helped a friend open up a biscuit shop in the East Village for a little bit because I wanted to figure out what I wanted to do next. And then I got a job with Major Food Groups. I ended up opening three restaurants with them, they were very successful and through that time period I ended up getting a bunch of interviews and stuff done about me. The biggest one was The Grill. We took over the old Four Seasons space in the Seagram Building. It was a big deal because the old Four Seasons was the changing force in American dining in the sense of how people viewed seasonality, and

also how people viewed fine dining. It also gave birth to the power lunch, which was a thing because powerful people went to the old Four Seasons to broker deals. So, taking it over was a big deal, and it went really well, which was pretty cool, too. What are you most proud of? That’s a hard question. I think I am most proud of defying the odds that you can still be a very intellectual person and still do something that people still think is a craft. One of my best cooks doesn’t even have a high school education, and being able to give so much leeway to someone who wants to go to school but can’t work full time feels good. That’s kind of what I’m proud of the most. And also I’m proud that I can just do it in New York City. In one of my jobs, I got paid $5 an hour. It’s only been eight and a half years for me, so being able to end up with the “Bon Appetit” article and a few other things, that tells me if I really put your head down and really go, I can do whatever you want. What was it like being featured in Bon Appetit? The most satisfying thing to me is cooking in a structured system and just getting it done. I wasn’t enthusiastic that I was getting recognition at the time, because all I really care about is getting the job done.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Rath

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Everyone Needs This Advice Unless you can remember everyone’s name By Daniel Baverman

Q: Dear erudite, gifted, and omniscient advisor, I recently had an extremely awkward interaction with a distant acquaintance who knew me, but I had absolutely no recollection of their name. How can I properly handle this situation?


retty much everyone knows that there are few guarantees in life. Being born and dying are seen by most as the only ones, but there’s one more that is far too often overlooked: forgetting a person’s name even though they know yours. Properly handling this tricky situation is a life-skill that must be mastered at all costs. Now, some of your “family” or “friends” might tell you that when this dangerous situation occurs, you should just be honest, say sorry, and tell the other person that you’ve forgotten their name. Get those “family” or “friends” out of your life as soon as possible! They’re fake, selfish liars who only want the best for themselves. You might be think that ending all contact with some of your family or friends because of their horrible advice is a little rash, but it’s the only reasonable and logical response to someone who is trying to

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severely damage your social skills and your life as a whole. Let me explain. In the case that you forget someone’s name, admitting your mishap is the worst mistake possible. The person whose name you forgot will never forgive you, and they’ll tell everyone they know that you’re a horrible person (which is obviously not true since you’re reading this). Therefore, when such a monster has the audacity to advise you to be honest and tell people when you’ve forgotten their name, they’re only trying to damage your social skills and reputation so that it’s easier for them to stand out. It’s important not to surround yourself with harmful people who are only attempting to make your life miserable in order to try and make theirs better. This is why the sole logical response option to anyone who lies to you about how to handle forgetting someone’s name is to

Artwork by Lyla O’Hara


immediately sever all ties with that person. Once you’ve gotten the negative and baleful influences out of your life, you can focus on the proper way to handle the tumultuous interaction where you forget someone’s name even though they know yours. The two courses of action that I will present to you here are foolproof, tested, and proven methods for getting you out of this sticky situation. Option A, my personal favorite, is to get on the ground as soon as they start to speak. Once on the ground, start to do backwards somersaults away from the person. Doing the backwards somersaults accomplishes a few necessary steps in just one compact and easy movement. First, you will distance yourself from the person. On top of this, the person will also stop talking, which is also needed. Almost the instant that you start to do the backwards somersaults, the person’s mouth

will drop, dumbfounded and mesmerized by the beauty and grace of your backwards somersaults. I know this from experience. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to do a backwards somersault at a proficient level. This is why there is also Option B: Get on your side and roll away from the person as soon as they start speaking. Sure, it’s a little less efficient and elegant, but Option B will also get the job done. In the dangerous instance that you forget someone’s name even though they remember yours, mastery of any one of these refined and perfected methods will save you from imminent social destruction. You’re welcome, Daniel Braverman

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Dancing with a Star From China to Syracuse By Jiayi Nicole Zhang

Photo courtesy of Nicole Zhang


aking dance class with Mrs. Koziara is one of the things I enjoy the most in MPH. I started dance when I was 4 years old. At the very beginning, I was attracted by the fancy costumes on the stage, then decided to learn dance because of those dresses. Yes, the pretty dresses were my motivation to learn dance in my whole childhood, dreaming about dress up and performing on stage. That was the starting point of 12 years dancing. I was born and raised in a city named Zhengzhou in China, one of the cities has thousands years of history. I spent most of my free time after school to practice Latin dance when I was in the elementary school. Latin dance was not popular in my city area, it was super hard to find a actual latin dance teacher. Thanks to my parents’ support, they found a wonderful Latin dance teacher. I started my dance journey by learning the

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basics of Latin dance. Cha-Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive, and Samba are named as Latin Dance. After this foundation was built, I stepped into the dance studio, which became the place where I spent the most time after school every single day. In my first year of dance, I spent at least 2 hours in the dance studio learning the basics steps of Cha-Cha. It was fun to learn the dance as a 4-year-old girl, especially for a girl who loved fairytale stories. Princess always dance in pretty dresses.When I dance in my costumes, . I felt like a princess dancing out of a fairytale story. I joined a larger class in my second year and made a lot of friends. Classes became harder than the first year, and I started to learn Jive and Rumba. Ms. Guo said “Chacha, Rumba, and Jive are the foundation of the Latin Dance, we won’t learn Samba until


Photo by Jack Hogan

those three dances become a part of you.� It was boring to just practice the old dances over and over, and I almost gave up on Latin dance at that time. Even though I wanted to give it up, every time I was unhappy I still went the dance studio to release pressure from my schoolwork. I was confident whenever I was dancing, and I realized that dance has already became a part of me, my best friend when I am alone. After 5 years practice, I began to study Paso Doble and Samba. When I actually learned the five years Latin dances, my dance shoes changed from 1.5 inches high to 3 inches high, from a beginner to a real dancer. Soon, I started to participate in dance festivals. My dance partners and I won awards in festivals in Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. We were invited to the China Central Television for a special live TV show on the International Children’s Day. Most

schools gave kids a day off to let them enjoy the day with their parents, and different television stations would have special shows to celebrate this day. That was one of my dreams when I started dancing, and I to actually achieve this dream felt nervous but excited. The live show made me frustrated, but if I am over considered, the dance wouldn’t be good. I tried to calm down myself as much as possible, I performed great on the stage eventually. When I attended to the middle school, I was qualified to take primary teacher certificate test in Asia-Pacific nations. After 3 months intense training, I had my first and only teacher certificate over the past 12 years. This was like a award to me for the 8 years dancing, from a girl with nothing became a real dancer.

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For the Love of Food MPH’s food culture stands apart By Taylor Germain t the late upper school lunch, students However as Newton’s third law of motion scramble between the buffet and states that with every action there is an equal salad bar for seconds before sitting at and opposite reaction, the school has an opthe dining hall’s round tables with a group posite reaction to the dining hall community of friends. It’s been almost four hours since as it becomes increasingly empty. they ate last. While scarfing down their food, Community they complain about homework, talk about Each Friday, the international students the weekend’s activities, and anticipate the provide an example of how food can bring upcoming calculus test. Even after finishtogether a community. As the spicy smell of ing their meals, they continue to converse until a peer on clean-up duty tells them they authentic Chinese food wafts through the Phoenix student center on Fridays, several have to clean their own table if they do not international students order food and eat leave. MPH is unique in the way it values food more than just means to survive, but an together. At a table by a wall, a group of international students speak to each other important aspect of the community. Simply in Chinese, laughing and spreading out the stated, while most communities eat to live, various dishes across the table. Once a week MPH lives to eat. they share the dishes all together, everybody Students, faculty, and staff at MPH agree that food is an opportunity to bring us all to- eating from a collective of different foods. Ordering food for the taste of home is just gether, like a family at the dinner table. The community that food creates here at MPH is another aspect that makes MPH unique and so important that we have rules in the Palla- demonstrates the importance of food to the dium protecting it: “Students are expected to students. However, the separation into “micro communities,” as Upper School Head Mr. share in the camaraderie of the meal, eating together, talking with others at the table and John Stegeman calls them, can lead to some fracturing in the culture as a whole. then helping to clean and reset the tables Iris Fan ‘19, who often enjoys the ordered after lunch.” Dean of Students Mr. Alexanfood, says that it can be both a positive and dre Leclercq said, “Everything we share in negative for the community as a whole. The common brings us closer to each other, and food brings food is one of many of the those things.” internationPerhaps the al students community together one is one of the day a week reasons we to eat auvalue food so thentic food much here that reminds at MPH. As them of home. a school, we However, she love to eat points out: “I because we do think that eat together sometimes it and enjoy the is not a good togetherness thing because food creates.


Photo by Lyla O’Hara

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by having a sense of the Chinese community, we lose connections between the Chinese and Americans.” Inside the dining hall, faculty eat at the round tables in the dining hall as well during the same lunch periods as students. While this sets an example for the community, the dining hall has become increasingly empty in recent years. Students take their lunch in to-go boxes for club meetings, to sit outside on nice days, and to sit in the Phoenix center to eat ordered food. This year more students are leaving for clubs, to go outside, lunch outside school, or simply eating in other areas around school. Mr. Stegeman says, “One of the things that is important to community is that people share experience in time and space. Like to have a real face to face interaction is a meaningful community and cultural experience. And one of the few places that happens is during lunch.” To preserve the sense of community, the rules at MPH require food to stay in specific areas throughout campus. Eating in the hallways can be a mess and always eating in the Phoenix takes away from the togetherness of the dining hall. Although students are able to leave the dining hall, unlike some other schools, students have to be responsible for it. The school insists that students only leave for club meetings and keep the school clean. Mr. Leclercq said, “Responsibility is in our mission statement, and that’s why we believe in giving students freedoms that come with a responsibility to do the right thing. Rather than forbid, or do away with snack, we allow students to have access to them because we know that food is important, and then we ask that students be responsible about it.” Beyond the dining hall, food continues to bring MPH together. Mrs. Kristin Bernazzani, the club advisor for Gay Straight Alliance, views food as a positive aspect to their meetings, which take place Day 5 during lunch. Even pre-packaged food from the outside gets students very excited and promotes the club. Mrs. Bernazzani believes outside food can enhance a meeting: “At our first meeting yesterday, one of the leaders of the group brought juice pouches and Oreos, and you would’ve thought it was gold.” Sharing food

fosters a bond that enhances the safe space the club provides. Choice and Availability The school’s love for food is so prominent even visitors notice when school is not in session. Grace Zhang ‘19 noticed this connection even before she became an MPH student in 2017. During the 2016 MPH MUN conference, she noticed the campus shop, which

was closed for the day but displayed the list of the food offered and their prices. “That was something that caught my eye, even before I wanted to come to MPH,” Zhang said. Every day, MPH has so much food available to students at almost anytime. From snack every morning, to lunch in the dining hall, and the open campus shop after school, students have access to food at nearly any point during the school day. Peri Cannavo ‘20 said, “I think food is very readily available. You can go get fruit and cereal at basically anytime, and there’s the campus shop if you want to buy something and there’s lots of food at lunch.” Students eat snacks in Phoenix, drink coffee in the lounge, and bring food in for advisory. Walking through the halls of MPH, it is pretty easy to spot someone eating at any given point in time. In this respect, most other schools are not like MPH. There is always food available, and as a school, students enjoy eating it. Food is not simply something we use to sustain ourselves but also to enjoy. Some might say that that the wide availability of food contributes to the fracturing of the community. As students are able to get food whenever students they would like, they no longer see food as a

Photo by Jiaya Nicole Zhang

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community experience. fruits, all the veggies. I don’t see many of you MPH, similar to many aspects of its that don’t take a fruit or don’t take a veggie. culture, is unique in the way it treats food. And we don’t tell you that you have to; you Throughout the school, there is a belief that guys just do that. That’s an MPH thing,” said if a bag of Cheez-Its and a computer were Lowe. left alone at MPH, the bag of Cheez-Its The students often influence one another to would be gone in minutes while the comput- in a positive way to make decisions about the er would remain there for days. About this food they eat. If an older student is snacking belief Mr. Leclercq said,, “I typically inquire on some fruit, a younger student may see about missing electronics. They never disap- them and follow their example. This isn’t to pear; we are always able to find them. Food say that MPH students are always healthy perhaps is another story. Food does tend to eaters. The campus shop offers mainly snack disappear. So I think it’s true, it’s an MPH food, from chips to candy and popsicles. thing.” Years ago, around 2007, the campus shop The dining hall exemplifies the imporfood used to be regulated by the school, and tance of both choice and availability of food only healthier options could be sold. The to MPH students. The school uses a buffet health teacher at the time, Ms. Kathy Kelsystem, which allows the ly, campaigned for community to pick how healthier food in the much and what they eat. “Students, faculty, and staff at campus shop. Mrs. In many public schools, MPH agree that food is an oppor- Joy Strickland says, they are given a plate of took initiative tunity to bring us all together.” “She food, with set portions because she saw the of food where there are detriments of sugary, very few options present. The buffet system low-value foods for the nutrition of her kids at MPH allows for a variety of food, and and I think it definitely affects their perforthe freedom to choose which food and how mance. I think it was great, I just know it much to take. Students can all take as much was a constant battle with the campus shop, of or as little as they would like, including because they want to sell and you’re not seconds. Therefore, it is up to the students ro going to sell veggie straws versus Doritos.” make responsible decisions about the food Since then, the campus shop has been able they eat. to sell snacks freely, with some unhealthy options. Liv Markwood 20’ says “I think that Health MPH makes it pretty easy to get healthy While MPH students love food, they also food, but being our age not everyone always care about what they put into their bodies. wants healthy food, and I feel like MPH When asked what makes MPH’s food habits should have more free snack foods.” so unique, the director of the dining hall, The food at MPH has such an important Christine Lowe, said: “MPH is so unique in presence in the school. It helps build the everything you guys do here, and you guys community, from dining hall lunches to club not only care about your environment, your meetings. Perhaps the community is one of food, your friends, your family, but what you the reasons we value food so much here at put in your body, too.” MPH. As a school, we love to eat because MPH students enjoy eating and do not just we eat together and enjoy the togetherness view it as a task to survive. In that case, they food creates. How we eat demonstrates a lot care about what they eat and eat cleanly. about the culture here at MPH and how the With the buffet system, students are not school lives to eat. As Mrs. Bernazzani says, required to take any food; however, they still “We definitely like our food here, there’s no choose to make healthy choices. Christine doubt about it.” Lowe has noticed the MPH community’s food habits. “You guys like to eat clean, you like to eat off that salad bar, you eat all the

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Artwork by Lyla O’Hara

Photo by Jack Hogan

special section on politics

special section on politics

Photo by Liv Bigtree

In the Mix The political lives of MPH students

By Simon Hoke


ver the summer of 2018, Gavin Cardamone ‘20 had a phone call interview for a position he had been thinking about since the previous school year. The interview was for an internship in Anthony Brindisi’s campaign for a seat in Congress, which he has since won. Cardamone emphasized that he valued his time on the campaign and feels it helped him to find his identity about the events occurring around him. “I got to meet a lot of different types of people and see many different socio-economic levels,” said Cardamone about his motivation for joining the campaign. “I think it gave me much greater perspective,” he said. Gavin is just one example out of the many MPH students who are involved in our community and in politics at a time when the political climate in our country is more polarized than most students can remember. Whether or not many of the issues being discussed by the media directly impact everyone, many students feel like they’re a part of the tumultuous American political atmosphere. “At [my previous school], for at least the people that I’ve talked to, which is a lot of them, they don’t pay attention or just

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don’t really care. Not every student [at MPH] seems to be fully invested, but they all at least have some sort of awareness of politics,” said Charlie Mann ‘19. Charlie is a leader of the Model United Nations team and is a member of various community-related clubs at MPH. He believes that there is a difference between MPH students and students of other schools in their political awareness. It may be unfair to compare MPH students and students of other schools because of the difference in their structures and sizes, but one thing is for sure: MPH students care about what’s happening around them. Through numerous political and community-minded clubs and organizations— including Z club, Green Avengers, Model United Nations, and Refugee Outreach Club, among others—MPH students exercise their right to express their views, and, maybe even more importantly for high school students, learn how to develop these views. Many MPH classes teach kids how to have an opinion and how to voice it, but according to Grace Zhang ‘19, their opinions go beyond the classroom. “I feel like particularly at MPH, most students are independent enough to think for themselves in that they develop

special section on politics

their opinions not through just what they hear in class but what they hear from everyone around them,” Zhang said. In interviews, several MPH students shared this idea: that to be legitimately politically aware, they not only have to learn about issues in class, but they must also seek out opportunities to educate themselves through extracurricular activities. Refugee Outreach Club is an example of students making their voices heard in the real world. It gives kids a chance to see what life is like for less fortunate people, and allows them to witness how our city’s policies and our country’s policies impact these people. “When I went to drop off the clothes from the [Refugee Outreach Club clothing drive], I saw the facilities and I experienced how little government funding they actually get,” said Charlie Mann, one of the leaders of the club. He agrees that experiences such as this are vital in order to form opinions on a larger scale. In 201X, Taylor Germain ‘19, Maddy Mafrici ‘19, Bianca Melendez-Martineau ‘18, and Rebecca Church traveled to New York City with Zonta International, Z Club’s parent organization. They met other members of Zonta and engaged with them in discussions about empowering women. Nichole Moles, Z Club co-chairperson at MPH, said, “The benefits of being part of such an organization are that it helps us to learn about the lives of other ZClub students in other countries and how they are promoting advocacy and service to others in their school and local communities.” The club plays a great role in shaping the perspective of MPH students involved in it. Maddy Mafrici agrees. “Z Club has given me access to a plethora of outlets for information and experience which have [provided] me a greater awareness of the world outside my personal bubble,” Mafrici said. MPH students are involved on more than

just the local level, as well. A few seniors were old enough to vote in the most recent November midterm elections. “I decided to vote because I thought that some good could come from it. After all, it isn’t that bad of a way to get out what you want out of the government,” said Kolby Roberts 19’. “Sometimes, it can go a long way and result in change; sometimes it can result in nothing. I figured it was worth the ten minutes it took to vote.” Many of the students agreed that MPH, for the most part, has a positive, constructive atmosphere in discussions about political issues. Students think that their teachers at MPH refrain from pushing their views on students, and if the class is having a political discussion, the teacher and the students are able to engage in respectful dialogue. Grace Zhang feels this quality is essential at MPH. “In sophomore year at [my previous school], I had a really politically driven AP Euro teacher, and he did a lot to trash Trump, and I think, because I didn’t have a clear idea, I went along with what he was saying,” she said. This is not true at MPH. Zhang believes that she really started to develop her own political views once she came to MPH in her junior year because the school’s environment encouraged students to think for themselves. With the recent government shutdowns, investigations and partisan animosity, an understanding of these issues is essential. MPH is unique in this regard. Sarah Chhablani, history teacher and Model United Nations coach at school summarizes the attitude of the MPH community toward issues that are often difficult to discuss: “MPH has made me feel safe to hold whatever view I wanted. I think that safe spaces like that are critical. Civil discourse is critical for a democracy’s success and I am appreciative of MPH creating such a safe space for students and faculty alike.”

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special section on politics

Dilemmas of Affirmative Action Can we ever get this policy right? By Grace Zhang


rom the time I started taking NYS tests and Regents exams, my parents warned me not to put my race and ethnicity down on the information sheet. “They’re going to see your scores, then they’re going to see that you’re Asian, and they’re going to belittle your accomplishments.” Of course, it’s not just my parents who perpetuate this idea of Asians being intelligent. I’ve heard it from friends, from family, from my doctor. All of them hold some expectation of me being smart, sometimes to the point where I feel like I’m a one-dimensional student. Even though intelligence is never a bad thing to possess, I’m “smart because I’m Asian,” rather than my efforts. For a while, I thought nothing of it: who was going to go back and dig up my ethnicity from an eighth grade Earth Science test? But this past summer, as I was filling out my Common App for college, I paused. I chose not to disclose my race. Affirmative Action (AA), an outcome of the Civil Rights Movement, is intended to provide equal education and employment opportunities to minority races and make up for past injustices. While I believe AA is pertinent to ensuring students have equal opportunities and are exposed to diverse perspectives in college, the recent Harvard lawsuit on racial bias against Asian Americans has left me uneasy. Being portrayed as the “model minority,” the image of Asians climbing the social ladder through hard work and without protest, has effectively silenced Asian populations from speaking out. My parents came to America with little besides their bachelor’s degrees and a letter of acceptance to Michigan Technological University for graduate

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work. My dad now possesses two master’s degrees and one Ph.D, and is a regional manager of the Asian branches of Indium Corporation with several patents to his name. My mom’s postgraduate research was one of the top-cited science articles of 2005 and is currently being developed further at RPI. They are classic examples finding success in the system. With stories like theirs, it’s easy to weave narratives that blame other minorities for not doing the same. This, in turn, breeds discomfort between Asians and other minorities. The idea that Asians can be dismissed because of their talents would have raised riots in other groups. But this recent case has left most of the country silent. This sort of systematic divide that splits us from them is what allows the discreet racism occuring from Affirmative Action to be as big an issue as it is. In a highly race-conscious decision process such as Harvard’s, biases such as ones on Asians being smart, or studious, or even boring come back into play. Admissions officers and interviewers compare the applicants to their peers—and fellow Asian applicants, for the most part, tend towards being exceptional students with high honors. In other applicant pools, hard-working and being smart are factors that help students stand out. But for me and other Asians, the traits are a mandatory baseline of wanting to get into a high-achieving school. You need so much more. According to Vox, “A Department of Education investigator charged with looking into claims of discrimination surrounding the lawsuit reportedly said that admission officers at elite schools often used stereotypical terms about Asian-American applicants: ‘Oh, typical Asian student. Wants to be a doctor. Nothing special here.’” To be sure, Affirmative Action has made leaps and bounds in creating a more equitable America. At the time of its creation, African Americans made up only 5% of the total undergraduate population in America. Since AA’s implementation, the percentage of white students on campus dropped from above 90% to near 50%. Campus experiences nowadays see numerous people from various walks of life that prepares attending students for an increasingly diverse society.

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But Harvard’s interpretation of AA has left several of my Asian friends feeling uneasy. In conversations with them, a general consensus emerged: though we are pained by the truths that have come out in this trial, we have to hold our tongues because we’ll be heavily criticized by peers for thinking that being portrayed as smart and hardworking can be bad. This lawsuit has gone largely undiscussed among progressive writers and leaders: even in finding news articles for writing this piece, I noticed the author of almost every article was an Asian American. This lack of support from progressives, combined with the “model minority” role and the resulting loss of the right to complain, gets at the core of our discomfort. We don’t want to be against a system that has given students opportunities to attend colleges they otherwise might not have, but that system is one that’s against us. The lawsuit

leveraged against Harvard has left America in a limbo where no one wants to be against Affirmative Action, but no one also wants to acknowledge Harvard’s harmful biases. From my point of view, colleges don’t have to pick one or the other; they can be both fair and equal. Moving forward, more colleges should acknowledge that racial biases exist in the admissions process, and work to lower the weight race plays into the decision. Though race can help shape a person’s character, there’s so much more they are defined by. Race-conscious decisions shouldn’t have the reputation of continually tipping scales in favor of one group over another. Diversifying the incoming class is important, and admissions officers can help shape the incoming class by paying more heed to the things people can choose—their pastimes, classes, interests—rather than the race they were born with.

Harvard Law Suit Fast Facts Who: Students for Fair Admissions vs Harvard University What: Harvard is accused of discrimination against Asian-Americans, being too race-conscious in a way that makes Asians have to reach a higher bar than others to get in. Why: There has always been a consensus among the Asian community that selective schools are biased against Asian-Americans, and Harvard was simply one of the most eye-catching because of its academic reputation. For many, the lawsuit against Harvard, and Affirmative Action in general, has been a long time coming. Findings: Harvard’s policy for sending interest letters states that for Asian-American males in rural states, a score of 1370 on the PSAT in necessary to get emails/a letter. White males in the same states need a 1310. Duke University economist Peter Arcidiacono finds Asian Americans were far more likely than blacks or Hispanics to receive a low personality score from admissions officers. Though unrelated to the affirmative action case, the lawsuit has also made allegations that low-income and students from rural states have better admissions chances than Asian Americans.

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special section on politics

In Katko Country

There is such a thing as a moderate Republican By Malachy Reagan


elcome to Katko’s America.

To Kasich’s America. To McCain’s America. Most of all, welcome to the Moderate Republicans’ America. It’s a new America. An America full of freedom, fiscal responsibility, low taxes, legal immigrants, and gay marriages. A globalized America with improved infrastructure and green energy. The only significant flaw with this America is that it is not a reality. But why can’t it be? We live in the greatest nation in the world. A country of doers and of patriots; of brilliant minds and brave souls. But, we seem to have strayed from valuing the people with these attributes. But when? And how did we become a divided, angry country of complainers and whiners? The answer to those questions is hard to get to, so let’s start with me. I am what many would consider a Republican. Whether I am a RINO, a “Republican in Name Only,” or a true Conservative, probably depends on who you ask. My father and brother consider me to be rather liberal, while my mother sees me as quite conservative. I consider myself to be socially liberal, while I also find I gravitate toward Conservative economic ideals. But there are so

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many problems with the Republican Party, and possibly even more with the Democratic Party. That’s why I don’t feel at home in either party, and why I believe the two party system has long overstayed its welcome. Despite not belonging to a party, I often tell people I identify more as a Republican. Far too often, this leads them to reflexively paint a picture of me as a racist, bigot, or misogynist. Because of this common reaction, being a moderate Republican in today’s world is defined by shame: not shame in what you stand for, but shame for what you are perceived to be. Really, it’s shame in what you are a part of. Attending a school known for its extensive liberalism exacerbates this sentiment of shame. My moderate Republican peers and I often feel as if we must hold our opinions to ourselves, not because they’re wrong, or because they’re radical, but because they are judged for being opinions that may be shared with sometimes questionable men. Nowadays, it feels as if Democrats fail to accept anything Republicans do. Donald Trump is not a good man, and he has made more than enough questionable decisions and statements to last a lifetime. But we can’t shy away from the fact that he has done successful things in office. The stock market is booming, unemployment is at the lowest rate it has been in decades, and North Korea and ISIS have been all but tamed. According to the Federal Reserve, the economy grew 4.1% in the second quarter, which is the most

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extensive growth in four years. These are highly impactful matters that have, in turn, made Trump one of the most consequential presidents in recent memory. Republicans are attacked because it is the party that accommodates some older, racist, and misogynistic men, such as Steve King, who many of us can’t stand. But that doesn’t mean we’re all like that, nor does it mean our party is a “basket full of deplorables.” We are a party full of men and, well, unfortunately few women, who have great ideas, advanced agendas, and compassionate agendas. That’s why I believe the two party system has overstayed its welcome. How can one party accommodate men like John McCain and Jeff Flake, all while also catering to the beliefs of people such as Ted Cruz and Steve Bannon? And it’s the same in the Democratic party. How does that party pull the attention of people like Anthony Brindisi and even Beto O’Rourke, while also appealing to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? People’s ideologies within these parties are more different than the ideologies of moderates on either side. It just doesn’t make sense. So, how did we get to this point? This point where the two party system doesn’t work anymore, and America’s politics are more polarized than many nations of similar

stature? Many would say it began largely with Trump, but he’s the symptom, not the cause. There has been an action and a reaction. The Republicans felt as if Obama largely did nothing for the country, and the primary thing he did do, which was the creation of the Affordable Care Act, was not beneficial. The Democrats lost a large amount of voters among white blue-collar workers. And, instead of trying to win them back, they pushed further left, a reaction to the rightward shift of the Republican party. The Democrats have, instead of trying to win back those voters, proceeded to call them xenophobes, Islamophobes, rapists, misogynists, and deplorables. As each party moves away from the center, alienating the base of its voters, it is the perfect time for change. The Democrats fail to realize that by shifting more and more toward socialism, specifically with the support of elected officials such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they may be winning more votes in Democratic strongholds such as New England, New York, and California, but they will continue to lose the states that are evenly divided, like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan. These states are the battleground states, and very often prove critical in garnering the necessary electoral college votes to win. Republicans, on the other hand, must find a way to rebrand themselves and distance the party from white supremacy. In fact, Republicans must join the fight against white supremacists. Democrats have to be more willing to accept that the majority of Republicans are not white supremacists, and that the party’s political problems run much further and deeper than most of its supporters. We have much to improve on. And it’s no one party’s fault.

Photo by Liv Bigtree

spring 2019 | 27

special section on politics

#MeToo — It’s Personal and Political By Sydney Spector


party in the suburbs. There is alcohol and heavy drinking. Some teens are having fun. Then, two young men drag a teenaged girl into a bedroom. She’s pushed onto the bed while one gets on top of her. He touches her forcefully. She tries to yell for help, but he puts his hand over her mouth. All the while, the other young man watches on. It’s hard for her to breathe, and she fears the young man is accidentally going to kill her. After the assault, she tells herself that what happened to her was her fault, and that because he didn’t rape her, she should get over it and move on with her life. But she can’t, and that night in 1982 will haunt her for the rest of her life. According to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, in her testimony before the Senate on the 27th September 2018, Supreme Court Justice (then-nominee) Brett Kavanaugh attacked her in this manner at a high school house party in the summer of 1982. Blasey Ford was 15 and going into her sophomore year of high school, while Kavanaugh had just finished his junior year of high school. Now, over forty years later, Kavanaugh got off scot-free and coaching basketball, while Blasey-Ford and her family have moved multiple times because of death threats. In the era of #MeToo, and as the world watches, people in power are being held accountable for such assaults, not just by accusers, but also by the public and large corporations. Harvey Weinstein’s companies, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, have produced hundreds of films, several of which won Academy Awards. Nevertheless, people have seen this movie industry titan fall and in February of 2018, The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy. United States Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) resigned from his position after a photo posted by

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radio personality Leeann Tweeden, via Twitter, showed him groping her on a flight back from Afghanistan in 2007. After Tweeden came forward, seven other women accused Franken of various improprieties. After a lengthy and publicized trial, USA Gymnastics Team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison for sexually abusing many members of the team, with United States Women’s Gymnastics Team Member and Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman speaking out against him. Now, Les Moonves was ousted from his job as CBS CEO was denied a $120 million severance package in the wake of multiple women accusing the ex-CEO of sexual assault. After watching first hand what happened to these men, many people are left wondering why now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not face similar consequences. I think there are many reasons. One, with the 2018 Midterm elections and the House of Representatives swinging Democrat, his appointment was a bid by the Republican Majority in both the House and the Senate to put a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, ensuring their power on the nation’s highest court for generations to come. Two, Kavanaugh had the support of one crucial person, President Donald Trump. This, in turn, gained Kavanaugh the support of top Republican Senators such as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). Almost all Republican senators followed suit. n my personal opinion, with the nation’s polarised views politics, the Republican Party putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court was to create the outward appearance to the public that they were strong and able to govern the country. Sexual assault isn’t something that has

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sprung up in the last few months; the hashtag “MeToo” is meant to bring awareness to this very common event. Statistics from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) reveal the following: 1-in-6 American Women will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes Women ages 16-19 are four times as likely to be the victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault But if these numbers seem low, it’s because they probably are. Sexual assaults and rapes

them from coming forward. Another factor that keeps people from reporting is the fear of not being believed. The fact is, however, as the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline reveals, only 2-8% of claims are fabricated or false. Although the #MeToo movement makes talking about sexual violence more common and more accepted, there is still a long way to go. The long history of cover-ups of sexual misconduct of powerful men has left a scar that will take a long time to heal. This leaves people wondering, what’s next? How do we,

go under-reported because of many factors. The stigma of sexual assault leads survivors to make excuses for the violence claiming everything from “I was in a relationship” to “I had been drinking that night” or “I was wearing a short skirt.” Victim blaming by the police and often the survivor’s own family members keeps many from reporting. This kind of blame convinces survivors that what happened to them was their fault, and keeps

as a society, move forward? We should hold the people accused of sexual assault accountable and have open dialogues with men and women about consent and what constitutes sexual violence against a person. Though these conversations will be hard, gruelling, and uncomfortable, these uncomfortable conversations are vital for stopping sexual assault.

Artwork by Ashton Stone

spring 2019 | 29

special section on politics

The Trouble with Facts Is it normal to be this annoyed all the time?

By Charlie Mann


am beyond annoyed with politics right now. And, as a student who is going to be studying policy and political science in college, I am annoyed that I am annoyed at politics. I am not, however, alone in my annoyances. Most young people whom I have talked to, regardless of political affiliation, are frustrated that basic facts are not so basic anymore. Thankfully, political annoyance is a common illness afflicting most young people. An illness that must be managed and hopefully cured. Facts should be facts. We should be negotiating policies and political views, not what is true and what is not. Climate change, for instance, is not a scientific theory as much as it is a scientific fact. One recent evening, I was with my friends, and it was the time of the night where deep conversations occur, and we had a very thoughtful conversation about climate change. It was January and pouring rain. In no way shape or form was this weather typical for winter in Central New York. The theme that came out of our conversation was one of frustration, a frustration that facts had taken on political biases. (We also talked about how aliens definitely exist, but that doesn’t relate to climate change.) Along with the “debate over climate change,” there are plenty of other debates surrounding what to believe. What frustrates me as a young person is that nothing productive is being done by the people who we elect to be responsible for our country. So

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much time is being spent debating whether issues are actually issues that no time is being spent debating what to actually do about those issues. Another source of my frustration as a young person and especially as a Democrat is the manipulation and bias of the media. My favorite example comes from the very beginning of Trump’s presidency: the aerial photos of the inauguration. It should not take an anti-Trump belief set to see that his crowd was smaller than Obama’s, but somehow it does. For reasons I can’t figure out, the unpopularly elected US President elected without popular support is renowned by his followers as the most popular President. Now, I am not going to criticize their support for Trump because people’s circumstances shape their beliefs, but I am going to criticize their use of evidence. The empirical data from the US National Parks Department shows that Obama’s crowd was larger than Trump’s. Yet it still should not even necessitate official statements from the government to see that Trump’s crowd did not even compare to Obama’s. As a human being, ignoring my Democratic inclination, it is concerning to me that Republicans are negotiating explicit and proven facts. Never in history, especially not in my short lifetime, have truth and objective fact decayed so unreasonably. For this reason, it is not an exaggeration to say that we are living in a historic time. But if you would like to debate the historic nature of this time period, then go ahead; more ridiculous arguments have been made by more ridiculous people.

Photo by Jiayi Nicole Zhang

Photo by Hannah Warren

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