Paw Print October 2013
Model UN night an enormous success By Mattison Johnston Staff Writer
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the German government had had just one more chance to overthrow Hitler? Do you find yourself laughing at the word “Djibouti”? Do you enjoy heated debates about global controversies with other informed young people? Then Model United Nations may be the club for you. Last Friday night, Payton welcomed Kenneth W. Dam to speak at Model UN Night, who served as both the Deputy Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of Treasury to the United States under presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, respectively. Mr. Dam spoke to students, parents, and faculty involved with Payton’s own Model United Nations. His speech detailed the importance of being an internationally informed student and the impact it has had on his own life. A brief question and answer session covered career opportunities, how Model UN can benefit in the long-term, and Dam’s own past experience as a high-ranking government official. Model UN Night is a fundraiser that Model UN hosts each year to help relieve students of the cost of conferences. But what is a Model UN conference? At a conference, students from all over the world gather, dress up in American business attire, get assigned a country to represent, and spend the following days in open debate about international conflicts, just like the real United Nations. Students may find themselves in the World Health Organization, the Security Council, or even a historical committee, where a student may be assigned the role of a past government figure in a time of historical importance. Conferences are riddled with exciting happenings such as mock terrorist attacks, featuring U of C students armed with Nerf guns, sudden global emergencies that require 3:00 a.m. surprise meetings, and a dance that concludes the conferences, where kids forget their country’s alliances and make new friends. This year, Model UN raised over $2,000 for future conferences. Model UN looks forward to putting this money towards helping students afford conferences and expanding the resources of the club.
Volume 14, Issue 2
The APG welcomes new members By Mia Rynearson Staff Writer The APG (Alternate Political Groups) is a club dedicated to exploring current and historical political ideas not necessarily represented in the mainstream media. The APG was created by Anna Christianson ‘14 and Rebecca Stover ‘14 during the 2012-2013 school year and is sponsored by Mr.Baldwin. Taking place during enrichment, APG activities include en-
gaging in debates, talking about current events, making political artwork, and letter writing to local political leaders. Last year the APG hosted Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground (a protest movement against the U.S. involvement in Vietnam). He came to Payton to speak to members of the club about war, protest, and his philosophy on education. In addition,the
club has published a zine, a short informational magazine, filled with a collection of blurbs and political cartoons created by club members. This year the APG plans to get more input from the student body and put together more zines with a range of different artwork and commentary. With more events and activities on the horizon, the APG is open-
ing its doors to students interested in sharing their creative and political thoughts. Co-chancellor Anna Christianson said, “we created the APG in order to provide people with a wider framework with which to view politics besides just the traditional Democratic and Republican ideology”. The club convenes every other Tuesday in room 320 and encourages new people to sign up.
What’s the deal with PE? By Julia Huebner Staff Writer
In a small school like Payton, word travels quickly. One of the hottest topics being discussed is a new policy that would require all students to take four years of physical education. Here is what you, as a rising sophomore, junior, or senior, need to know: It is Illinois state law that all high school students take four years of physical education. CPS created a waiver to exclude their students from this policy, but in 2011 the CPS board refused to sign the waiver. Their hesitation was not without reason. First, one in four CPS students is obese. Second, Illinois has the eighth highest STI rate (with Chicago contributing to three-quarters of the cases). “It’s a travesty … we’re doing our kids no favors,” Ms. Arlene Bertoni, the Payton Athletic Director and Physical Education Department Chair, explained in an interview with the Paw Print. The waiver expires at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, and rising juniors and seniors will not be grandfathered into the system. “Everybody will be taking PE next year,” Mr. Tim Devine, Payton’s principal, asserted. Freshmen will still be required to take physical education and health class and sophomores must take physical education and driver’s education. However, there is a possible exemption for 11th and 12th grad-
ers. If a student demonstrates “ongoing participation” in interscholastic IHSA sports, they will be exempt from daily physical education class. “For most suburban schools, ‘ongoing participation’ is two sports … it’s definitely not going to be one sport,” Bertoni explained. This policy may or may not be mirrored by the Chicago Public Schools. About 25% of the Payton student body are two or three sport interscholastic athletes, and could take advantage of this exemption. CPS will release a manual with concrete details, (which sports are covered in the exemption, participation at a Varsity level versus a Junior Varsity level, longer versus shorter seasons) in January. Unfortunately, students who participate in an “outside” sport, because it is not affiliated with the school, could not benefit from this exemption. Most faculty and staff view these changes as an opportunity. Research shows that even a small amount of physical activity each day can improve concentration in class and relieve stress. Also, new physical education classes would include a wider range of interests and activities other than Physical Education I and II. Devine and Bertoni would like to see a dance class, fitness class, and/or yoga classes be of-
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Rebecca Sudworth ‘15 (right) and Ola Borysiewicz ‘16 (left) both finish the 200-yard individual freestyle in a swim meet against the University of Chicago Laboratory School on October 29. Photo by Julia Huebner fered to students. However, Devine acknowledges the “overarching issues” of this policy. Both students and teachers are concerned that upperclassmen would lose an academic class because of the new policy. The policy, as it currently appears, would allow one student to graduate with more academic credits than another, potentially skewing the college application process. Devine is in contact with local colleges, investigating Payton’s competitor’s policy on physical education, examining Payton’s daily schedule for extra “gym time,” and continuing discussions with the CPS Board to
ensure that Payton students benefit from this policy. Also, there is the glaring issue of a lack of physical space for more PE classes in the two-year interim before Payton’s $17 million addition is finished. “The next two years are going to be very difficult … we’ll have to be very creative,” Bertoni said. Unfortunately, details are purely speculative until CPS publishes exact requirements. “We will know officially in January,” Devine said. In the meantime, Payton teachers and administrators will continue to advocate for the best interests of students.
See Inside Teacher babies ..... p. 2 Halloween pictures ..... p. 3 Sports season previews ..... p. 4 Sweater weather inside ..... p. 6 Walter White debate ..... p. 7