Raven Report 2022-2023 Issue Cycle 5

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Senior Features: Pages 6-17

Relationships (PG 6,7)

Spotlights (PG 16,17)


06 - Taking senior relationships step by step by Hope Callaghan

08 - Sequoia’s swaggiest seniors by Rylan Butt

09 - Graduates drink for the first time by Amara Bakshi

10 - Senior role models by Caroline Sieling and Sarina Sanghvi

12 - Athetes of the future by Markus Mukherjee and Donovan Kervick

13 - The risk of losing clubs by David Raymond and Thomas Jett

14 - Seniors step into the spotlight by Lucia Kitching

16 - Senior spotlights by Amara Bakshi, Nora Kovscek & Alex Parker-Rogers


RAVEN REPORT | JUNE 2023 3 FEATURES Festival season by Abigail Aguayo - 15 Financial crisis in the tech department by Sasha Efimchik - 18 The right to rule: sequoia students take the lead by Celeste Carpinelli - 19 The dangers of deepfakes by Ethan Butt - 20 Snapchat AI: friend or foe by Minou Ono - 21 Security breach: TikTok ban by Adam Trinklein - 22 Forest fairy field trip by Indira Olazabal and Nahomi Delgado - 23 Unfufilled dreams / Sueños incumplidos by Haylee Huynh - 24 REVIEWS & ENTERTAINMENT 26 - Pacifica to Pescadero: the peninsula’s finest beaches by Mateo Mangolini 28 - More than books by Christine Chang 30 - Evil dead rise: a must watch for evil dead fans by Matthew Ceasar 31 - Comic corner by the Comic Making Club RAVEN REPORT // 22-23 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Hope Callaghan Rylan Butt FEATURE EDITORS Mateo Mangolini Haylee Huynh OPINION EDITOR Zoraya King COPY EDITOR Allison Wang SPORTS EDITOR David Raymond MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Stan Hamelin Amara Bakashi A&E EDITOR Vivian Krevor GRAPHICS EDITOR Abby Aguayo NEWS EDITOR Alex Parker-Rogers STAFF REPORTERS Ethan Butt Mathew Caesar Christine Chang Alex Cottrell Sasha Efimchik Anjali Govoni Thomas Jett Donovan Kervick Lucia Kitching Wqilliam Lampe Nicholas Lawrence Collin Liou Markus Mukherjee Oscar Nolf Minou Ono Sarina Sanghvi Caroline Sieling Adam Trinklein Pedro Vail ADVISOR Diana Nguyen Printing and web posting funded by Rylan Butt Hope Callaghan


Dear Alex Parker Rogers,

I am writing in reference to your recent article “Modern Bullying.”In our current social climate at our school, I feel that the behaviors you described truly do go unnoticed in many regards. The statements you made about how neurotypical students are especially targeted, and the fashion in which this goes on, felt like a very accurate representation of what goes on daily in many of our classrooms. It can be incredibly frustrating to witness this behavior as an ally of these individuals. Although all people may not feel the same level of comfort around this, it may be the responsibility of the “bystander” to do something about it. And who knows, you may even gain a little self-confidence. Thank you for writing the article. Even if this does not make the paper, I hope you know that this article made a difference.


Dear Rylan Butt,

I am writing in reference to the recent article in the Raven Report. In the 22-23 February issue of Raven Report, you published an article about the environment and culture amongst IB Diploma students. I found it very interesting because I never really thought about shadow tracing affecting their behavior. I myself have been a victim of racism and elitism from students in the IB Diploma but I never took into consideration that part of it may be their lack of exposure to diversity. However, looking at your reasoning, it makes sense why some of them act the way they do.


ABOUT THE RAVEN REPORT IS A Sequoia High School student publication produced in the journalism class through the efforts and decisions of the staff and the publication’s editors and adviser. The Raven Report is a public forum for students, staff, parents and community members.


THE RAVEN REPORT strives to provide Sequoia High School with informative, engaging and relevant news. The staff will exercise integrity and adaptability while promoting justice and transparency through professional reporting about the school, the community and the world.

THE RAVEN REPORT staff welcomes signed letters to the editor so that readers might share in the opportunities of the scholastic free press in open forum. The written views of students, parents or community members must be responsible, in good taste and free from libel, slander or obscenity.

Letters may be edited for grammar or content if necessary; furthermore, editors will not guarantee that letters will be published.


Keep up with us on Instagram ! Keep up with us on Instagram !

Follow us at @ravenreport and keep up with what we post! The Sequoia dance program had their showcase in Carrington hall with over 600 tickets sold! this time to go to the beach. Sequoia track and field boys inschoolbreakrecord 1600 and 4x100 relay. Sequoia held Prom at San Fransico City hall with a theme of “Old Hollywood”
drama had their anual showcase
Photo Credits of @RavenReport

Taking senior relationships step by step

As graduation comes closer, seniors are starting to make plans for their future whether it’s working, a gap year, moving away and much more, but being in a highschool relationship makes things even more complicated.

Romance blooms in all grades at Sequoia, between the freshmen we deem cringe and immature, to the seniors that are probably just as bad. I hear people my age now talking about the annoying underclassmen couples on campus and although I do understand the hatred of public displays of affection (PDA), it also makes me smile to see younger people making memories and learning things about themselves and others.

Being a senior is mostly a balancing act, juggling nostalgia and preparing to leave home. It’s hard to accept that the first 18 years were a free trial before adulthood but being in a highschool relationship on the edge of longdistance makes it feel much more real. The wide variety of choices Sequoia students face when making post-highschool plans makes every person’s path different. Between moving away and staying close to home, long-term student couples are aware of the looming changes.

I know that I, like a lot of other seniors in semi-long term relationships, was very anxious about balancing college admissions and my boyfriend as a junior. I was convinced that we would keep things entirely separate to avoid bias and temptation to go to the same college. However, as the college application process started, it was an impossible topic to dodge.

“When I was a junior, I was like, ‘we’re not going to tell each other where we’re getting into colleges’ because I wanted

each of us to make like an individual decision without considering the other one,” senior Rose Hamilton said.

Hamilton’s relationship with Josh Lim has not prevented the couple from spreading their wings towards different cities for college. Although she had made it a goal to keep things separate, it made more sense to talk it through and the partners used each other for support as they made big decisions for next year.

“[As a] senior we’re just like, ‘I got in here’ and we’re going into different colleges, but we kept that in mind. So you’re, like, aware of each other’s choices and own personal plans,” Hamilton said.

Now that we have arrived at senior year and the lifestyle decisions have been finalized, couples are left to decide what comes next. For some, the decision is easy.

“Because I’ve known them for a while, I feel like it’s not even that big of a difference or big deal if it’s like a little bit longer, but drive to get to the same area. So I feel like it’s generally just worth it and it’s going to be okay with me,” senior Stephen Prado said.

some are making plans for their future life,” Hamilton said. “So I think it really depends on the relationship.”

Long distance has a bad reputation but staying close can also shake a relationship as things change from the scheduled, predictable highschool routine to the new paths. These new choices might invite change, pushing couples in different directions, or they may reveal the strength of the partnership.

“I’d say keep your options open. If you’ve really liked the person [it’s] definitely useful to have someone always there for you, especially since you’re entering a brand new environment,” Lim said.

No matter the personal decision you make as a couple, people will have questions. I had a lot of questions as a junior about what it was like to make “grown-up” decisions about staying together but it feels a lot less overwhelming as a senior because there is only so much that you can overthink and plan.

say keep your options open. definitely if you’ve really liked the person that’s definitely useful to have like someone always there for you [...]”

“Definitely a lot of people have been asking ‘what are you going to do next year?’ ‘What’s the relationship?’ and stuff like that. And I say, ‘we’re just gonna see how it goes to grow out’,” Hamilton said. “I think people kind of act a certain way when you’re a senior like they keep asking ‘what are you doing after high school?’

No one can see the future but talking through possible next steps and brainstorming a plan is the only way to get ahead of the big changes coming.

“I know some people are definitely not going to continue after high school and

People [have] expectations of you either to break up or to continue dating and so it’s just kind of interesting to see how people view a relationship.”

There is no wrong choice. The beauty of leaving highschool and its stability is that there are now infinite opportunities to live however, wherever and with whomever you want.

Josh Lim, senior
People [have] expectations you to break up or to continue dating and so it’s just kind of interesting to see how people view a relationship.”
Rose Hamilton, senior

Sequoia’s swaggiest seniors

Mackenzie Jackson (right), who won the senior superlative for best dressed, first got into fashion in her sophomore year over quarantine.

“I think quarantine gave me like, a lot of time to really develop my own sense of style,” Jackson said.

Like many people, Jackson took the internet and online platforms to find looks she liked.

“I use Pinterest a lot to develop what I like and just pick pieces that seemed like me and just put it all together,” Jackson said.

For Jackson, someone dressing nice doesn’t necessarily mean they have nice or expensive clothes but rather that it looks good on them and they are confident with what they wear.

“Everything goes together nice, the colors look good together, and just fits their personality,” Jackson said.

The other winner of the best dressed senior superlative winner, Belal Ismail (left), has been into fashion ever since he was little. For Ismail, fashion is all about feeling good and confident while looking good.

“You just feel good when you look good, so why not have confidence every day when you can look like that,” Ismail said.

Fashion also serves as a way for Ismail to connect with other people.

“You get to just talk to people about fashion and it just builds community,” Ismail said.

Just like the other seniors featured, Reese Hsu first got into fashion due to his boredom over quarantine.

“Well [there was] nothing else to do so might as well just upgrade upgrade my physical appearance,” Hsu said.

Hsu proves that name-brand or bright colored clothing aren’t necessary to have a good outfit, leaning towards more earthy tones and baggy clothes found in thrift stores to achieve a more vintage look.

“It doesn’t have to fit perfectly and anything that I can make work, I’ll make work,” Hsu said.

Aside from Pinterest and online platforms, Hsu gets his inspiration for outfits from other people he sees when playing music in San Francisco.

“There’s a lot of like people around [the city] that are inspiring just to see in person and musicians especially are people that I that I draw inspiration from,” Hsu said.

Jeffry Suruy’s interest in fashion also started over the distance learning era.

“I remember I was looking back at photos for freshman year, and I was wearing like, tight khaki pants. I thought that was like super cool at the time and it really wasn’t and at that point, I was like alright, I have to start changing up my style,” Suruy said.

Recently, Suruy has been into the baggy clothes trend, opting for looser fitting clothes and jeans when he shops. He finds most of his clothes at local thrift stores like Savers.

When asked about his fashion inspiration, he says he gets his outfits from Belal Ismail.

Jeffry Suruy Reese Hsu Mackenzie Jackson & Belal Ismail

For many Sequoia students, college is the first taste of freedom students have experienced in their life. Alcohol consumption is seen as an integral and inevitable part of the college experience, despite its potential risks. As universities, colleges and communities comprehend the effects of excessive drinking, some are exploring the factors that contribute to this behavior and ways to address it.

“There’s about 100 freshmen that live in my building. I have noticed that a lot of them have never really drank before college so it was a big deal for a lot of people. Coming from a country where you have to be 21 to drink and suddenly the age is lowered and having alcohol is super accessible,” Sequoia alum and New York University (NYU) London Madeline Carpinelli said.

Although underage drinking on college campuses has become a highlight and an unavoidable part of independence, there are risks that come with excessive drinking and disregard for limits. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) defines binge drinking as, “a pattern of excessive drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08%—or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter—or more.”

Drinking in this way at a young age can pose serious health and safety problems, and a higher probability of car crashes, driving under the influence (DUI) arrests, sexual assaults, and injuries later on in life. Long term effects of frequent binge drinking can lead to damage of the liver and other organs.

“I think in that way, a lot of people drink and drink, and drink just to get drunk,” Carpinelli said.

As the academic year starts to progress and anxiety sets in, students may turn to alcohol and partying as an avoidance technique to not have to think about schoolwork or the stress that comes with it. Student expectations and social pressure to meet new people are high towards the beginning of the school year.

According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, “The high-risk period of binge drinking for college students is during the first six weeks of their freshman year. Many of these students

fall into peer pressure and begin drinking soon after the first day of classes. Alcohol use is commonly viewed as the “college experience” that students desire. They want to fit in and make new friends, so they keep drinking without thinking about the potential consequences involved.”

Factors like setting and school traditions also have an effect on drinking habits throughout the entire campus. Colleges and universities with high priority and status on sports and Greek life will tend to drink more than other schools and organizations. In terms of living arrangements, students who are a part of sororities and fraternities have the highest level of alcohol consumption, juxtaposed to students living with family.

“If you’re involved in Greek life, drinking is a lot more common, especially during initiations or hazing. Living arrangements might also affect drinking habits because there are some buildings that have people that like partying and are hosting more dorm parties so that can definitely affect you,” senior Sofia Sandoval said.

Other social situations like peer pressure affect the drinking habits of college students. Peer pressure refers to the influence or opinions of members of one’s group. When someone makes decisions based on acceptance from friends or others, those choices may have been guided by peer pressure.

Offers and accessibility of alcohol can range from civil conversations and gestures to intense provoking or commands to drink. For most college freshmen, fitting into social norms is heavily dependent on how you “manage the party scene.” The perception by the college experience enhanced my media like movies and songs can provide an unrealistic expectation into how new students should act. This accompanied by the influence of other people, like friends, may lead to an abuse of alcohol.

“It has a lot to do with conforming, which oftentimes has to do with social identity theory, and like wanting to belong to part of

a group. It’s human nature to want to belong, whether that be a group of two or 50 and people often conform to fit in with a group. I think the drinking probably is part of that,” IB Psychology teacher Erin Cespedes said.

Some think mandatory classes and lessons should be set in place for future college students to be more educated about the risks and consequences that come along with excessive college drinking.

“Colleges could create a mandatory class for freshmen that you take your first quarter that just talks about the risks of alcohol and how they can be prevented,” Cespedes said.

Although, students may not want to pay much attention to and just fly right through it. Because of this, there is no way to solidify that every student is adequately prepared for college and the risks associated with drinking.

“Before I came to [NYU], I did have to do an hour long online training where they tell you about the risks of alcohol. I feel like most people definitely just skip through it. But, I think that if you really didn’t know that much about drinking, those resources are definitely available,” Carpinelli said.

While maybe far away from home, families can provide support to college students by educating them on the safety of drinking responsibly.

“Encouraging loved ones to be aware of the risks, so if colleges aren’t going to force kids to take a class about it, parents could help educate their teenagers about the risks of binge drinking. Again, just encouraging them to find people who will support them in college, even if they’re choosing to not participate,” Cespedes said.

Drinking in college is going to happen, but make sure to be educated about what might and will happen if something goes south. Stay safe Sequoia.

“At the end of the day, most of the students at college are adults so they will take responsibility for their own actions and they will decide whether to be responsible or not,” Sandoval said.


Senior role models

With four years of secondary school experience under their belt, seniors have acted as role models for underclassmen and helped them navigate through their first years of high school.

As the school year comes to a close, seniors are reflecting on their time at Sequoia and incoming freshmen are preparing for a new chapter in their lives.

“I feel, as a senior, it’s a little bit of my role to guide [underclassmen] into making the right choices,” senior Collin Bastis said.

Sports like football can be a brand new environment to many freshmen when starting high school. Senior’s gained experience offers underclassmen a guide to look up to. With senior Ryan Benson’s four years of football experience, he recognizes the importance of these upperclassmen and underclassmen relationships.

“I feel as though I have been a role model at Sequoia due to the fact that the football program is very connected with the Varsity and Junior Varsity so the younger kids are always looking up to the older older players. I’m [also] definitely a role model to my

With Ryan’s younger brother, Dylan following in his brother’s footsteps and starting football for the first time his freshman

“He influenced what position I play and

helped me with what he thought I would be good at,” freshman Dylan Benson said.

Gaining support from people who have already gone through the experiences of highschool can be helpful to underclassmen who do not know what to expect. They can remove a lot of the nerves and anxiety about the unfamiliarity of entering a new environment.

“I have a different level of respect for [seniors] because they’ve been here for the longest [amount of time], they have more experience and probably know more about [Sequoia than we do],” freshman Juliana Vattoune said.

Although under and upperclassmen are not often placed in classes with one another, electives offer opportunities for all grades to come together. Sophia Vattuone is a senior who is in orchestra and has helped her freshman sister, Juliana, transition into the class from her former middle school program.

“My [freshman] sister and I have orchestra class together so introducing her to that class, especially since it’s very different from the middle school class, it was really helpful for her to introduce her to the teacher and all the stuff that we do in class and concerts. The underclassmen have been really looked up to the seniors and juniors especially [with] what to do for concerts and practice,” senior Sophia Vattoune said.

Sophia has years of knowledge about what truly matters in high school, with the knowledge of how things should be done she is in a great position to offer advice

to underclassmen, like her sister. Juliana remembers how her sister’s encouragement has helped her break out of her comfort zone during a time of uncertainty.

“There was a field trip for my ethnic studies classes and I was kind of debating about whether I should do it. I was thinking that maybe this is going to be a waste of my time and my [senior] sister was really encouraging me to do it because it’s another experience outside of school. And so then, I took her word, and I went, and it was actually pretty fun,” Juliana said.

With field trips, football games, rallies, school dances and more, Sequoia has many events and school experiences for students to attend. Some people debate whether these events are worth participating in. They question whether they are actually memorable and valuable experiences and a waste of time. Towards the end of highschool, some students regret not participating in the unique aspects of high school.

Photos by Caroline Sieling, Art by Sarina Sanghvi Juliana Vattoune, freshman

“Join clubs, 100%... definitely join clubs, [you’ll] get to see and talk to other people,” -AJ

“Having a basic planner or somewhere you can keep track of all your assignments is important because there’s always so many little things to do.” -Asha

“Getting to class on time or early , and turning in your homework always helps [build relationships with your teachers].“ -Reza

“Build a very close group at the beginning of high school, because it’s really important to have a good friend group… Obviously people will come and go but having that one support group is really beneficial”

“Get involved with anything you’re interested in. Join ing an academy that you think will help you along the line and after high school or even joining a club that [aligns with your passions] is important Finding leadership roles is also beneficial.”

“Doing sports helps a lot with making friends and meeting new people. Also, going to sports games or school events can help you make a lot of memories and have fun since it’s such a big part of the high school experience” -Valeria

“Don’t slack off to the point that you’re just disregarding any sort of academic behavior and what you should be doing as a student. Pay attention to the teachers,” -Colin Bastis


Athletes of the future

With the school year ending, seniors are deciding what their next steps are going to be.

Many students are off to college and want to continue their athletics there. Getting the chance to be a college athlete can be very difficult and requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Robert Poules, the Varsity American Football coach at Sequoia, helps future athletes get recruited.

“I always recommend that they run through a short checklist. Do you want to be a big fish [successful athlete] in a small pond [school with small sports programs]? Or a small fish [athlete] in a big pond [school with large sports programs? They’re gonna have a very different experience,” Poules said.

Poules also reccomends that athletes strengthen their skills in mutliple sports.

“The best athletes are usually multi-sport athletes. I know for example, [in] baseball they [recruiters] get super frustrated because the kids specialize and when they see them, they know that there’s nothing they can do to make that kid better realistically,” said Poules.

This year, quite a few Sequoia students have committed to colleges for athletics, like senior Aniyah Hall who is going to play volleyball in college. Hall advises students playing sports to take advantage of the opportunities they get and try to use all available resources.

“Luckily for me, most of my coaches have coached at D1 schools and have lots of connections to other college coaches,” Hall said. “Start sending emails as soon as possible. The earlier you start sending emails and films, the more exposure you’re giving yourself.”

Hall advises people in the recruitment process don’t limit their options just because

the program isn’t the level they’d hoped.

“Trust me, there are D2 that are programs better than some D1s. Be open to considering all three divisions [programs]. If playing time is a really big thing for you, maybe consider a smaller D1 because playing time is never guaranteed,” Hall said. “Don’t let anyone try to discourage you because, at the end of the day, it’s your future.” “If college coaches are showing interest, make sure you do research on them. Also, look into the program they recently coached at, and even try to reach out to some of the players on the team to ask about their coaching style,” Hall said.

Being an athlete and trying to achieve success always comes with some challenges, whether it’s injuries, not getting the opportunity you hoped for or losing motivation.

“You have to make sure you’re actually enjoying your sport and having fun. I burnt myself out very quickly because I was constantly training every single day, along with playing another sport,” Hall said. “It caused me to become mentally and physically exhausted. The biggest thing is just understanding when you need to give yourself a break.”

Senior Evangeline Chu is going to Yale University for Gymnastics. She emphasizes that club sports have a different application process than school sports.

“The application process is different for non-school sports just because, at least for gymnastics,” Chu said. “It tends to happen much earlier, so you can apply and hear back from the university sometimes earlier than school sports.”

Throughout highschool, Chu had to balance school and athletics. She notes how important management is for becoming a better student and athlete.

“Some obstacles that made the path more difficult were just the amount of time we had to spend practicing [around 5 hours every day of the week] and not managing my time well to get all my work done,” Chu said. For most seniors, choosing a college is a very difficult process. While some students focus on academics in college, Students who also want to continue their athletic career have to factor that into their decision process. Chu sheds some light on how she chose her college and her advice for others in the same boat.

“I chose Yale because it is not only one of the most prestigious universities in the country, but it also had everything I was looking for in a school,” Chu said. “From the encouraging environment to the beautiful campus, I loved everything about it. Also, I love the coaches and the girls on the team, and I’m so excited to get to know them more.”

Chu’s advice on recruitment comes from a lot of experience as she comments on persistance and confidence.

“Be persistent when reaching out to college coaches to be recruited, and don’t feel down if things are not going exactly as you had planned,” Chu said.

Photo taken from Chu’s instagram Photo taken from Hall’s Instagram
I love the coaches and the girls on the team, and I’m so excited to get to know them more.”
Evangeline Chu, senior athlete
Don’t let anyone try to discourage you because, at the end of the day, it’s your future.”
Aniyah Hall, senior athlete

The risk of losing clubs

The perilous future of Sequoia clubs after the graduating senior class leaves.

The senior class is comprised of a very driven group of students. These students are leaders in sports, classes, the community and clubs on campus. So what will the school do once this class inevitably graduates?

Nicholas and Christopher Kwok are two seniors with leadership positions in clubs such as Science Olympiad, March for Our Lives, Business Club and Model United Nations (MUN).

Balancing the workload of a rigorous course load and club leadership can prove to be challenging. With many club leaders forced to balance school, club responsibilities and extracurriculars. With all of these tasks there simply isn’t enough time in a day to do it all.

All of this work can add up, “We’re spending two hours on each club [per week],” Nicholas Kwok said. “It becomes a mess, we just stay up very late doing stuff.”

This workload consists of many different parts. Some of the responsibilities include planning meetings, signing up for club activities, managing finances and more.

With this level of workload it’s a daunting task for club members to take over leadership positions. This puts clubs at risk of crumbling when the current leadership graduates due to lack of experienced leadership, or no one taking control over the club at all.

“I’m concerned about the Fruit Troops club,” Helena Landels, Debate and Fruit Troops club president said, “It’s mostly seniors so there’s concern there.”

However some clubs are optimistic about

their future and are prepared to pass down leadership roles.

“We just had Debate club elections for next year,” Landels said, “I’m very confident in the debate leadership.”

Clubs have a multitude of different ways to deal with passing down leadership after the current leaders graduate, one way is simply having younger members to pass down leadership to.

“In the past [the club members] were mostly our friends, but we knew it would be our final year running the club,” Nicholas Kwok said. “So we were really specific in our recruitment in targeting underclassmen.”

club will continue at the same level or at all by just having positions filled.

“There’s a possibility that the new (Science Olympiad) leadership may not know how to run it well,” Kwok said.

Some clubs such as Science Olympiad have very specific needs which makes it hard to easily implement new leadership.

The gap in participation can be explained due to the changing learning environment in recent years.

“I don’t know what it is, but after COVID people aren’t as invested in clubs as they used to be,” Landels said.

The consequence of this gap of students not joining clubs in the pandemic is a gap with participation being scarce in the junior and sophomore classes. This partially explains why the senior class has so many leadership roles at Sequoia.

“We don’t see sophomores and juniors in our clubs so much because during the pandemic, it was hard to convince them to join and provide their lunch period to our club,” Christopher Kwok said.

This plan seems to have worked for some clubs to fill in the gap that will be left by graduating seniors. The young core of new leaders should be able to allow clubs to continue to thrive.

“All of our clubs have leadership positions in place, except for March For Our Lives,” Christopher Kwok said.

Just filling positions may not be enough, having positions filled does not mean that a

However this downturn in clubs seems to be easing as the pandemic wanes as well.

“We have a thriving freshman class in all of our clubs now,” Christopher Kwok said.

Hopefully despite this gap in participation in the junior and sophomore classes the future classes will help these clubs continue.

“Hopefully clubs continue to grow, but also it’s uncertain,” Nicholas Kwok said.

I don’t know what it is, but after COVID people aren’t as invested in clubs as they used to be.”
Helena Landels, senior
Photos credits of, Marry Baggins, Science Olympiad, Vector Stock and David Raymond

Seniors step into the spotlight

in musicals for ten-plus years, including three with Sequoia Drama, plans to attend the University of Southern California (USC) with a minor in performing arts.

As well as taking classes in the performing arts department, Maire plans to major in political science.

“I love [musical theater] a lot, but it’s not the most reliable career. So that would be the only reason why I’d kind of go in a different direction. But I want to definitely continue stuff with music outside, even if it’s in a little way,” Maire said.

Joshua Thacker, active in the choir and theater programs with having written and musically directed the musical “Right to Rule,” plans to complete the musical theater program at Chico State.

“It’s definitely not going to be the most lucrative job but it’s my passion. It’s what I enjoy doing,” Thacker said.

actually stay.”

Since the process of obtaining a job in this career is challenging, Woodman offers advice to students, whether they plan on achieving this goal in or outside of college.

Her two main tips are to be proactive about learning music by honing your skills both technical and musicality-wise, and being a responsible person and good team member.

Although the competitiveness of the career is overwhelming, both teachers emphasize that if you put enough drive and dedication into your work, it is possible to achieve your goals.

“To me, success is not always having the most amount of talent. And it’s something that I’ve had to kind of just see and observe and learn,” Jefferson said. “Sometimes it’s having the drive and focus that gets you up and wanting to continue to audition, to continue to improve, to continue to stretch yourself.”

Students who have participated in music programs outside or through Sequoia have plans of continuing their music after high school.

Senior Violeta Sanchez, hopes to continue composition and piano playing at school.

Music can be a massively important part of someone’s life. It is also an emotional escape, one of the main reasons so many choose to keep it a part of their life after high school.

“It’s just a way I can escape from reality,” Sanchez said. “I like to think of it as like halfway between a fantasy world and a real world, and it’s kind of like them combining together. Music allows me to express myself in ways that words cannot.”

Music teachers Jane Woodman and Othello Jefferson both note students that have pursued music in several different ways, such as conducting, studying at a conservatory, joining musical groups or songwriting.

Senior Kayla Maire, who has participated

“I think probably the two biggest things people think about is money and stability, in terms of just making sure that you can survive if you’re doing only music, and combined with that is the competition,” Woodman said. “In terms of so many people vying for the big break, the discovery, the consistent jobs that are going to pay enough to not only just get your one little moment of fame but the job that can

Photo by Lucia Kitching
with a minor in performing arts
Violeta Sanchez Villanueva Cañada College and freelance composing Kayla Maire USC
Joshua Thacker Chico State musical theater program
“Sometimes [success] is having the drive and focus that gets you up and wanting to continue to improve...”
- Othello Jefferson

Music festivals over the years have grew in popularity. Many people every year wish to attend any sort of music festival for the line up of artists, music and overall to have a fun time while listening to your favorite music with friends and family. However, are music festivals actually what they seem to be on social media? Are they actually worth the expensive price tag?

“From my experience of working and attending Coachella these past 2 years, I do believe that the festival is as grand as people perceive it to be on social media” Marco Prado, Sequoia graduate and fromer worker at Coachella. “ However, I would say that the crowds have been usually less energetic and more laid back compared to other music festivals I have attended”

The reality of some of these music festivals is that they are too expensive to attend and the average income person is not able to afford a 400 dollar or more ticket. An outlet that many people take is finding a position to work at these music festivals that way they get free admission. Not to mention they also get some side money.

“The main reason as to why I wanted to work at these festivals is due to the fact that I probably wouldn’t attend these festivals due to their high prices so by working as a vendor gives me the opportunity of obtaining free admission while also being able to make some extra income.” Prado said

As much as these festivals are expensive, some might consider it a well worth it experience for around 400 dollars, as you do not know what to expect when you go to these festivals.

Outside Lands in August of 2022 was an experience I will never forget. From the amazing lineup of artist to the electric energy they bring, it was well worth every penny I had saved by babysitting and working to attend. A one day ticket is about 200 dollars. With beautiful scenery of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, you immediately feel the energy from the crowds at every corner of the park as soon as you enter the festival grounds. Everyone is dancing and singing with a nice cool drink in their hand while with their family and friends. Although I only attended one out of the three days of the festival, I would highly recommend attending at least one day of Outside Lands Music festival in San Francisco.

Bottle Rock located in Napa is a music festival that is rather warmer and calm then other festivals that I have attended. With a more diverse line up of artists, Bottle Rock is a good festival to attend when you want to expand your music taste and discover new artist. I know when I attend this festival, I found artist that are now an essential part of my everyday music playlist. Some of these artists include Lilly and one of my now all time favorite artists Jean Dawson.To expand, Bottle Rock is a very warm and very much reminds me of the summer season. Although the festivals is more mature as I only saw adults there, you just get mixed in with the crowds and are going to have a good time.

Summer is almost here and some of these music festivals are right around the corner. This summer I recommend to take advantage of the California sun and try to attend at least one of these festivals, Im almost sure you will not regret it.

“I would describe the environment of these festivals as a sort of oasis that allow people to socially gather through music, art, food, and other activities. Personally, my favorite festival I’ve attended was Coachella 2022 as it I was able to see many artists performing and had a great experience working as well” Prado said.

Graphic Photos by Abigail Aguayo and Marco Prado

Allie caldwell


What advice do you have for incoming Sequoia students?

“My advice for Sequoia students would be to put yourself out there as much as you can. Even if you’re nervous about it, just go for it. If it’s something scary, just do it. I think some of my favorite memories are making people laugh by making fun of myself at school or dressing up crazy for a spirit day. Put yourself out there and meet as many people as you can because it goes by so quickly. Talk to people that you don’t know because it’s such a special four years.”

When you look back on these years, what will you remember most?

“I think the camaraderie of people [is what I will remember the most]. We have good people at Sequoia. I’ve made a lot of good friends in high school. I’ll also remember going to football games and joking around with my friends. I’ve loved hanging out with people in class; most of my favorite memories are just being in class.”

How are you involved at Sequoia?

“I’ve been in ASB for all four years, and last year, I got to be the spirit commissioner. I was in charge of the rallies, which was a big task and very stressful, but it was really fun to get everyone’s input and plan behind the scenes. My senior superlative was most spirited, which I think is pretty cool. Decorating the school and trying to get people hyped for events were probably some of my favorite things

How are you involved at Sequoia?

“I am this year’s senior class president and I’m also in ASB. I am dance team captain and have been a member of Advanced Dance for the last four years. I’m involved a lot and I enjoy it all. I just love being a leader and I love being in leadership. And I really love being with other girls that I can just love and support in dance team and hang out with. They’re so funny and we all have the greatest time ever.”

Kylia Stout

What advice do you have for incoming Sequoia students?

“My advice is that being a kind person gets you so far here. Just being a good person and having strong morals so you can stick up for people or get comfortable doing that is so important as a person, but especially at Sequoia. There are many amazing and kind people that if you just say hi to, you can make so many friends and have a great support system.”

When you look back on these years, what will you remember most?

“I’m sure I’ll remember how kind everyone is; I’ve always felt accepted here. I’ve been coming here since the beginning of time because my mom has worked here for so long. I’ve genuinely grown up here, and I think it’s really shaped who I am as someone who can stick up for people and try to represent people as much as possible. That’s my goal, especially with ASB. I want to make sure everyone feels represented because I feel so safe here, and I want to make sure that everyone else does too.”



Adam Frederick

What advice do you have for incoming Sequoia students?

How are you involved at Sequoia?

“I’m in the DAA, which was fun because you get to interact with a lot of Adobe programs in our multimedia classes. It’s kind of like an introduction to stuff if you want to work in the entertainment industry because you’re gonna be using a lot of Adobe products. I did swim last year and water polo in my freshman year. I’m also in the Comic-Making Club and the Crochet Club.”

“Get out and talk to people, whether that be in class, in sports, or whatever, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at who you’ll meet and bond with. Another piece of advice I have would be to always try and play a sport. Even if you don’t consider yourself the athletic type, there is a sport for everyone and it makes your time spent at Sequoia so much better.”

What are your plans for after high school?

“My plans are to attend Cal Poly Pomona. I’ll be majoring in psychology. If you are a graduating senior, and you don’t get into your top school, or maybe your friends are all going away for college while you’re staying here, or maybe you don’t know a single other kid going to your new school, don’t worry.Your experience at your new school, I’m sure, will be a unique and fun time.”

Isabella Fraumeni

What are your plans for after high school?

I’m going to be going to Art Center, which I applied to with whatever was closest to an animation major. I want to go into an animation career, but specifically storyboarding that falls under the animation umbrella, usually in 2d animation cause they don’t really do 2d animation anymore.

What advice do you have for incoming Sequoia students?

“I started to notice my art classes kill my creative drive, but you got to start practicing your improvement., as soon as you can start getting technical skills. So figure drawing, and studying and colors and all that stuff. There are infinite resources online and you can just look up videos, but it really helps and it really prepares you especially if you want to get into a competitive art school. And the sooner prepared you are the better and you’ll thank yourself.”

How are you involved at Sequoia?

“I participate in sports when I can. I think building a community with your team and with the different clubs you join is super important and rewarding as you can meet tons of new people and stay connected with other school activities too. I was involved in Crochet club and ski club, although that club disappeared after the pandemic. As for sports, I played boys tennis for 3 years and Track and Field my senior year. I also find that supporting or even visiting the events of sports, clubs, or groups that you’re not a part of is a good way I stayed involved.”

REPORT | JUNE 2023 17

Financial crisis in the tech department

High school theater productions are a beloved tradition, bringing together students, families, and the community for unforgettable performances.

Behind the scenes, however, there is a group of unsung heroes who make these shows possible – the tech department. From lighting and sound design to prop and costume creation, the tech team is responsible for all the technical aspects of the productions that help bring the stories on stage to life. Not only does tech contribute to the success of the shows, but the program also provides a welcoming environment for students to learn new skills and pursue their passions, all while earning volunteer hours. Unfortunately, the tech department at Sequoia is facing a financial crisis due to the decline in funding and rental income since the pandemic. This crisis could threaten the viability of the tech program, which would be a great loss for the school and the drama department.

“[People] end up seeing the final [...] show but [they don’t realize] it’s hundreds of people working hundreds of hours before you even see the final product,” Crystal Amaya, Carrington Hall’s tech manager, said.

There are a lot of things that need to be done behind the scenes for productions as successful as Sequoia’s “Beauty and the Beast” or “Trap.” The tech team takes care of lighting design, sound design, prop design, set design, and costume design.

Vin Fox, a senior on tech crew, found her passion for clothing design through working on dresses for “Beauty and the Beast”.

“[Crystal] talked to me. [She said] ‘You clearly have ideas, you clearly at least vaguely know what you’re talking about, why don’t you put together some sketches or something. Just show them your ideas and see what happens.’ ” Fox said.

Fox later shared her ideas with the parent volunteers running the show and she was put in charge of creating Belle’s dresses, an endeavor that convinced her that she wanted to pursue costume design as a career.

“That was the biggest project that I had ever taken on. I did it because of tech and that convinced me that that was what I wanted to do in life,” Fox said.

The tech program at Sequoia has not only provided students like Vin Fox with opportunities to pursue their passions but

has also fostered a sense of community among its members, as expressed by Christian de la Cruz, another senior on the tech team.

“I [am] super stoked to be a part of that community,” de la Cruz said about the program. “It feels like you’re connected with everybody the second you walk in there.”

Unfortunately, the future of the tech program is in limbo. “Before COVID we had a long standing, consistent renter, a church that used Carrington because they didn’t have a brick and mortar [building]. [...] There was always money coming in. That went away,” Gary Gooch said.

Amaya is responsible for running the technology required for the smooth operation of Carrington Hall. Amaya’s job at the head of the technology team is crucial to ensuring the smooth running of theater productions. In recent years she has been facing a challenging situation due to budget cuts, with her paid hours being limited, without curtailing her workload. Sequoia administration is asking her to limit her work hours to 20 hours per week, while historically she and others in her position have worked up to 40 hours to get the same job done.

“If you limit someone’s hours, but expect them to do this, this, and this, then maybe they can get it done, but it’s going to be done in a very crappy way,” Amaya said.

While the tech program at Sequoia is facing a financial crisis, there is hope on the horizon. Parent volunteers and donations have played a crucial role in supporting the tech team and keeping the program afloat. Additionally, the rentals that declined rapidly during the pandemic are slowly picking up. “It’s starting to climb up, but it’s not [where it needs to be yet],” Gooch said.

With these sources of support, the tech program can continue to provide a warm and supportive environment for students to learn new skills, earn volunteer hours, and pursue their passions while also contributing to the success of the theater productions.


The right to rule: students take the lead

This spring, the Sequoia Drama club is putting on a student run and original musical called The Right To Rule. The production is a passion project of the Drama club members and is completely student made from the choreography to the story and its songs. Sequoia’s Drama Club hasn’t always had such advanced student-run productions, and in fact The Right To Rule brings a lot of new stuff to the stage.

“This is like the first full musical in a long time I believe. I don’t know if there’s ever been a full musical done with drama club in the past few years. There have been smaller scaleplays, usually one act and also one [night] show productions so this is going to be the biggest one in a long time,” Tabitha Oliver, a junior and The Right To Rule co-director said.

The Right To Rule is the first Drama Club production to be a full musical in a long time and it came to be after Joshua Thacker, Senior, won the Drama Club’s hearts and votes on the original story he submitted.

The production now has a cast of 18 students, Drama teacher Talia. Cain is present at the after-school rehearsals, and a variety of students behind the scenes choreographing, directing, lighting, costuming and more.

Thacker has made all the music in the medieval show, as well as written the plot and script, featuring the Avondale king and his advisors’ quarrel over what to do when the fierce kingdom of Roltvia is bound to attack.

Sequoia has a few ways of becoming a part of these productions, the Drama elective’s large class productions, the tech crew, and the Drama Club with it’s student-run productions and rehearsals after school. Sequoia’s plays and musicals have always had a large focus on the students. Students are the actors, collaborators, and artists who unanimously bring the words on the script they are given into a live performance.

“I think that there’s people from tons of backgrounds who have different personalities and different ways of going about life. And I think that that’s like something that would be nice for new people or other people to explore because there’s a lot more than what meets the eye to the theater” Oliver said. The theater community is becoming more diverse with queer and BIPOC students, which makes the productions have more perspectives. “I would say that the stigma behind Drama and Theatre is something that needs to be changed because I think it really drives people away from a community that they could find where

they’ll feel comfortable and welcomed and loved. And that’s something that everybody should be able to experience” Oliver said.

But if you want to join a Drama club production, and you’re not sure how you’ll fit into the cast, how possible is it to find a role that you’re interested in?

“I’ve done practically every sport there is [...] I enjoy art, I enjoy singing, I used to be in an orchestra. So I really enjoy doing tons of things. Drama helped me grow in leadership skills and [...] interact with skills in general, and helped me be able to kind of grow out of my shell and meet new people and do things that I thought I couldn’t do,” Oliver said.

Since drama productions have so many arts connected to them to make a full production, people whose interests may not fit into the typical Sequoia electives can find an opportunity to express themselves in Drama. Prop-building, lighting, choreographing, costuming and more are all behind the scenes aspects of Drama that make the production alive.

“Theater is basically my life and it’s going to be my life for a long time now. And just the community that Cain has helped build in the classes, club and the productions is amazing. If you can’t be in the classes, you can be in the club.You can’t be in the club? You can still help out in the productions,” Thacker said.

The theater community isn’t just who signed up for the Drama elective, it’s a collective of people who have found a connection with Drama and found a way to express their hobbies.

Actors running scene 5 & Becca Rosenberg
I saw that the drama club is doing [an] original production. I was like, what if I wrote something? What if I wrote a musical, actually... I think that would be fun.”
Joshua Thacker, senior

The dangers of Deepfakes

Biden, Trump and Obama are now on TikTok and Instagram streaming their Discord calls while playing video games. At least that’s what the creators want you to think. These presidential Discord calls are just a few examples of the seemingly harmless Deepfake, essentially videos that use artificial intelligence technology to mimic the voices of people such as famous celebrities and make them say whatever the creator wants. In this case, the voices of Biden, Trump and Obama on call while playing video games.

“I personally think they’re funny especially in an ironic sort of sense, like having a Republican say the most democratic thing or having a homophobe saying gay rights and I love gay people,” sophomore Habib Parduhn said.

If you didn’t know you were watching a deepfake video, it would have taken a while for you to figure out that it was fake because of how realistic the AI makes each individual sound.

“Most people find it entertaining because it [looks like] famous people that are doing

funny things when in reality they’re fake,” freshman Brennan Sherman said.

Deepfakes without a doubt have taken the internet by storm as some of the most entertaining forms of content. Currently, these videos mostly stand as harmless clips to make people laugh. However with the deepfake technology rapidly developing, it is headed down a negative path.

Recently, the world has been experiencing viral deepfakes of powerful individuals like Vladimir Putin declaring peace on the Ukraine war or President Zelensky ordering the soldiers of Ukraine to lay down their weapons and surrender.

“Politics is where the consequences are more severe. You can have [someone] like the head of state or president being deepfaked and that can lead to heavy consequences and impact,” social studies teacher Carlos Villa said.

People eventually found out that the videos weren’t the real Putin and Zelesnky, but for a while many fell victim to believing in the videos. They were so realistic to the point where president Zelensky himself had to post a video on his verified account addressing the deepfake.

“It’s scary to think you can make someone important in the world like [politicians] say something that is controversial,” Sherman said. Although deepfakes are doing more harm than good, this doesn’t necessarily mean that deepfakes should be banned. They brought a whole new level of entertainment to social media and banning them removes the opportunity to make more.

“I’m kind of against total banning. I think it’s

a matter of introducing tools, like educating how to recognize them,” Villa said.

This doesn’t mean that people should still be mimicking famous individuals, especially serious ones like politicians.

“I personally think that trying to control it is difficult. From the government standpoint, they don’t even know how these things work,” computer science teacher Martha Leveque said.

How would the government ban Deepfakes if they don’t even know how they are supposed to work? Some regulation should be put in such as a way to distinguish deepfakes from normal videos and analyze them before being posted onto YouTube or TikTok.

“I’d love regulation [...] I would prefer that companies themselves figure something out to regulate it,” Leveque said.

I think AI is hard to regulate when you don’t know what it is and what’s happening.”
Carlos Villa, social studies teacher
no (46.2%) yes (53.8%)
Sequoia Students Who Have Seen Deep
fakes on Social Media
Joe Biden photo from the White House & AI photo from Tech News Daily. Edited by Ethan Butt

Snapchat AI : friend or foe

Snapchat AI chatbot will potentially negatively impact young people and their social lives. Snapchat is an app used by hundreds of millions of people, many of whom are teenagers. Recently, Snapchat launched a chatbot similar to Open AI’s popular ChatGPT. Only Snapchat+ subscribers can get rid of the chatbot. Most users are stuck with it at the top of their chat page. Its presence on this app will replace social interactions between people at an age where social interactions are crucial to development. Since MyAI’s launch in April, many students have experimented with the AI bot.

“I talked to it once when it first came up on my phone and now I don’t talk to it anymore because it’s scary,” sophomore Abby Arnold said.

This idea that the snapchat AI is “scary” comes from the fact that it’s programmed to be human-like, unlike some other AI models.

“You ask [the Snapchat AI] questions, and it doesn’t actually give you answers and it just says, ‘Hi, how’s your day going? And it’s f-ing

“At first I thought it was really weird, [but now] I use it to help me with my homework, and I asked it for ideas for English,” junior Sophia Tabarez said.

Although Tabarez finds it useful, she also thinks that this increased accessibility to AI tools will have a negative impact on students.

“I think it’ll make students a little bit more dependent on AI. I’ve already seen it,” Tabarez said.

This dependency on AI might seem innocent when you think of homework help,

Students are not the only ones who think this could have negative effects on students’ social lives.

“The idea of having an AI chat with you almost like a friend concerns me in terms of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, those types of feelings that teenagers, especially, experience,” computer science teacher Martha Leveque said.

but when young people become socially dependent on AI, it could have severe consequences. I sometimes find myself opening the app to talk to friends and then getting distracted and talking to the bot instead.

“I think that it’s a little bit problematic because I know that there’s a lot of young people who use Snapchat and I think that it could be isolating and prevent social interactions between younger people, because they’ll be talking to AI all day and not their friends,” sophomore Callie West said.

Chatbots and AI don’t just have negative impacts. The technology behind these chatbots is very advanced and impressive. It has the power to make our lives easier, but only if it’s used responsibly.

“I do believe that the AI search bar and things like that are going to be the future of Googling something. You could just ask an AI and they will be able to tell you that information in a much more efficient way,” Leveque said.

weird [...] It’s literally terrifying,” Arnold said.

On the other hand, some students don’t find it as scary and think it’s helpful.

“I actually really like it because you can look up whatever you want,” sophomore Alexis Boyle said.

Along with being used as a search engine, AI can be used for academic help.

The longterm effects of chatbots are not fully known yet, but some teachers and parents are concerned about how this will affect young people’s social lives.

“I think it’ll make it more difficult than it already is for people to have in-person conversations because they’re going to be so used to having them online,” West said.

I think this is an amazing advancement in the tech world, and if AI is used in a responsible way, it can be a great tool. However, as a society, we need to set boundries on how much we use AI. Social interaction between humans is the core of our humanity and when we let AI interfere with that, we threaten our very being.

“AI is going to be in our lives for the rest of our lives most likely. Learn as much as you can about it and how it works. And then be really careful,” Leveque said.

AI is going to be in our lives for the rest of our lives most likely. Learn as much as you can about it and how it works.”
Martha Leveque, computer science teacher Sequoia Snapchat Users Who Have Spoken to My AI Screenshot of My AI on Snapchat
yes (83.8%) no (16.2%) users (67.6%) non-users (32.4%)
Sequoia Students Who Use Snapchat

The TikTok Ban

such a thing,” physics teacher Jack West said. Some students felt like people were making a bigger deal out of bans. One explained that he thought concerns were exaggerated and not realistic.

“I honestly have no clue, I feel like it’s likely hyperbolized,” senior Raul Moreno Negrete said.

Others expressed views that it was a threat to freedom of speech. If it is possible for the government to silence an entire social platform, that removes the ability for millions of people to communicate and share ideas.

“I think that’s literally censorship, everyone deserves free speech,” junior Lou Jamotte said.

Immediately afterwards, Lou admitted to not knowing the full picture of the bans.

surrounded government devices specifically. According to the New York Times article, Why Countries Are Trying to Ban TikTok,

“More than two dozen states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices.” It is unclear how these bans will be enforced. Critics explain that people would be able to easily bypass bans by using virtual private networks (VPNs) to change their location. Many legislators and Americans wonder what will happen to devices that already have TikTok downloaded.

TikTok among many other social media apps has been the subject of privacy concerns since it has become popularized.This issue has been recently exacerbated by fears from the United States government that China could be given access to TikTok user data through ByteDance. ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok and is based in China. Lawmakers worry that the Chinese government could use sensitive data to spy on the United States.

Additionally, the Chinese government could influence the algorithm of TikTok, potentially spreading propaganda. The New York Times published an article by David McCabe saying, “The Montana House of Representatives on Friday [April 12th] approved a total ban on TikTok.” Some lawmakers think this a drastic step to address fears, while others think a national ban is the only solution .

Sequoia students who use TikTok recognized the dangers of the app but most had little to say about the security concerns relating to China.

“I know that a lot of people are using TikTok in class under the desk and it’s not the greatest thing because people aren’t really focusing on their academics,” senior Brian Cove said.

When asked specifically about the suggested TikTok ban, some Sequoia students couldn’t comment due to lack of knowledge on the issue.

“I don’t have the authority to comment on

“No I didn’t. Did [Montana] really?” Jamotte said when asked if they were aware of the ban. Many Sequoia students don’t follow the news regularly, or use news sources with less of an emphasis on politics and economics. This contributes to being unaware of some worldwide events. Other students were similarly uneducated on the bans.

“I was not aware of it until [now],” Cove said.

Montana’s statewide ban, as well as more specific bans across the country, has brought data security into question. Fears surround the idea that ByteDance could be sharing sensitive data with the Chinese government. If China has information about user location etc, military locations and sites could be pinpointed by tracking the movements of military officials for example. Hence, the majority of anti-TikTok legislation has

During national hearings in March, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, appeared in front of congress to assuage the United States government’s fears. Proposals were made by congress to force ByteDance to divest ownership of TikTok by spinning out a subsidiary company in charge of handling American affairs. A few legislators found the focus on TikTok ironic when American social media companies have been caught abusing user data in ways much worse than TikTok has been shown to do.

“Almost all of the other social media platforms already steal your information so I don’t think fears that TikTok would give data to China are warranted,” Calderon said.

What has been shown by these hearings and threats to ban TikTok is how little legislature is in place to protect users from all social media. The spotlight might currently be on TikTok, but the way to achieve substantial change will be by addressing the problem of data security as a whole through robust, enforceable, legislation.

“The reason for a bill would be more for the US to control social media,” Calderon said.

John Calderon using TikTok
no (55%) yes (45%) yes (22%) no (78%)
Photo by Adam Trinklein Sequoia students who use TikTok. Sequoia students who think TikTok should be banned.


Sierra Club Inner City Outings organized a camping trip for the ELD students on April 1st and 2nd in Portola State Park. It was free and a good experience. There were only 15 places, and they filled up fast. We arrived at Portola State park on April 1st at 8 o’clock and we left on April 2nd at 3 o’clock. During the camping, we hiked, and we cooked chili. We set up our tents. We made a bonfire. We sang in the night, and we shared scary stories around the bonfire. We saw the tallest trees in the world, and the forest had a beautiful view. Also, we saw a species of animals that only lives in this environment. Portola State Park looked like a fairy forest. Maritza is one of the ELD students that participated in the camping trip. She thinks that “It was a good experience and she loved to spend time with everyone on the trip and live in community helping each other.”

Going camping was a beautiful experience, and It was free so all the students were able to go camping and enjoyed it.Thank you to Gloria Chen, the leader from Inspiring Connections Outdoor, to Ms. Wenzel, Mr. Ortiz and all the other volunteers that made this trip possible. They gave a beautiful experience to the ELD students.

Photo by Mr. Ortiz Photo by Mr. Ortiz Photo by ELD Students

Unfulfilled dreams

A letter comes in the mail. Enclosed in a thick, white envelope with a collegiate logo printed at the top, the words reveal that you were accepted into your top choice university. You run from the mailbox to your house and tell your parents about how you got in, and how excited you are, and how you weren’t expecting to make it this far.

Then, your parents are forced to tell you that you’re undocumented, and that you don’t have a Social Security number to apply for financial aid or get a job, and that there is no way for you to pay for tuition.

never to reveal their documentation status or legal status, or they feel scared to say anything. So we try to create a safe space, try to create support, [and] make everyone realize they’re not alone.”

To combine the goals of financial support and forming an inclusive community, Dream Club has two major events in the fall and spring semester. Through planning these events and seeing their impact, club members feel a sense of fulfillment in their work.

“I really like seeing how we plan out the events and [...] how many people actually show up and take the time out of their day to really learn about undocumented people and learn about the way that they themselves can support our community,” Abel Chavez, junior and Dream Club student leader, said.

I’ve had conversations with people that don’t really know about [...] any of the basic knowledge of being undocumented and what they face. It’s been really nice to go to Dream Club and to have people that understand those struggles.”

The club is open for everyone to collaborate and learn from each other, leading to a more welcoming and understanding Sequoia community for those who make the effort.

to Dream Club and to have people that understand those struggles.”

In order to improve Sequoia’s current predicament, Chavez and Kimberly Gopar, junior and Dream Club student leader, suggest that immigration, documentation and citizenship should be discussed more around campus.

“Right now it’s not really talked about unless you’re in this club. I don’t hear multiple people talking about it unless [they] have firsthand experience of coming here or being an exchange student or being an [English Language Development] student,” she said.

“A way that we can get people to talk about this is just having more teachers discuss the idea of immigration,” Chavez explained. “There’s lots of students here who actually don’t know they’re immigrants, and think that they’re actual US citizens because their parents don’t want to tell them. [...] So I think it’s good for students to know about [immigration] and to know more about themselves.”

Dream Club acknowledges the improvements to be made, and above all wants to instill pride and empower students on campus.

This is the story of many undocumented students in America, and the original reason Dream Club Advisor Jane Slater established the club in 2008.

“Before the California Dream Act and DACA they weren’t able to work, really, and they weren’t able to get any scholarships at all, or any financial aid from the government,” Slater said. “And that just seemed so unfair that these kids had worked so hard and learned a second language and then [had] been accepted into four year schools, and still had to work their way, slowly, through community college and a four year school.”

To supplement the additional resources that have been implemented after it’s creation, Dream Club continues to provide financial assistance and grants for undocumented students at Sequoia, but they focus on emotional safety for students as well.

“We as a club [try] to create a safe space for students,” Slater said. “Many students are told

“My hope is to better understand the idea of what a dreamer is. And though I don’t experience the same hardship, I want to understand to the most that I can what the experience of an undocumented person is in America,” junior and Dream Club member Xander Love said.

Although there is a tight-knit, supportive space within Dream Club members, there is still progress to be made in regards to Sequoia as a student body and institution.

“I don’t necessarily feel supported, but I don’t feel any type of hatred as well. I just feel like it’s kind of ignored and people are oblivious to it,” Denise Carillo, senior and Dream Club student leader, said. “I’ve had conversations with people that don’t really know about ISIS stomping at your door or any of the basic knowledge of being undocumented and what they face. It’s been really nice to go

“Yes, it is a struggle to be undocumented or mixed status, but it’s also taught a lot of values to me personally,” Carillo said. “And I know lots of other people have been able to learn a lot and feel more in touch with their culture. So it’s not necessarily just a bad thing.”

“ 24
Denise Carrillo, senior

Una carta viene en el correo. Adjunto en un sobre grueso y blanco con un logotipo universitario impreso en la parte superior, las palabras revelan que fue aceptado en su universidad preferida.

Usted corre desde el buzón de correo a su casa y le dice a sus padres cómo entró, lo entusiasmado que está y cómo no esperaba llegar hasta aquí.

Luego, sus padres se ven obligados a decirle que usted es indocumentado, y que no tiene un número de Seguro Social para solicitar ayuda financiera o conseguir un trabajo, y que no hay manera de pagar la matrícula.

Esta es la historia de muchos estudiantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos, y fue la razón original por la que la asesora de Dream Club, Jane Slater, estableció el club en 2008.

“Antes de la California

Dream Act y la DACA no podían trabajar, en realidad, y no podían obtener ninguna beca ni ninguna ayuda financiera del gobierno”, dijo Slater. “Y eso parecía tan injusto que estos estudiantes habían trabajado tan duro y aprendido una segunda lengua y luego [habían] sido aceptados en universidades de cuatro años, y aún tenían que trabajar a su manera, lentamente, a través del colegio comunitario y después una universidad de cuatro años”.

Para complementar los recursos adicionales que se han implementado después de su creación, Dream Club continúa proporcionando asistencia financiera y subvenciones para estudiantes indocumentados en Sequoia, pero también se enfocan en la seguridad emocional para los estudiantes.

“Nosotros como club [tratamos] de crear un espacio seguro para los estudiantes”, dijo Slater. “A muchos estudiantes se les dice que nunca revelen su estado de documentación o estado legal, o tengan temor de decir algo. Así que intentamos crear un espacio seguro, tratamos de crear apoyo, [y] hacemos que todos se den cuenta de que no

están solos”.

Sueño s incumplid o s

Para combinar las metas de apoyo financiero y formar una comunidad inclusiva, Dream Club tiene dos eventos importantes en el semestre de otoño y primavera. Al planificar estos eventos y ver su impacto, los miembros del club sienten satisfacción en su trabajo.

“Realmente me gusta ver cómo planeamos los eventos y [...] cuántas personas realmente vienen y se toman el tiempo de su día para aprender acerca de la gente indocumentada y aprender sobre la manera en que ellos mismos pueden apoyar a nuestra comunidad”, Abel Chávez, estudiante del 11mo grado y líder estudiantil del Dream Club, dijo.

El club está abierto para que todos colaboren y aprendan unos de otros, nos lleva a una comunidad Sequoia más acogedora y comprensiva para aquellos que hacen el esfuerzo.

gente que entienda esas luchas”.

Para mejorar la situación actual de Sequoia, Chávez y Kimberly Gopar, líder estudiantil junior y Dream Club, sugieren que los tópicos de la inmigración, la documentación y la ciudadanía deben ser discutidas más alrededor del campus.

He tenido conversaciones con personas que no saben los conocimientos básicos de ser indocumentados y a qué se enfrentan. Ha sido muy agradable ir al Dream Club y tener gente que entienda esas luchas.”

“Mi esperanza es entender mejor la idea de lo que es un soñador. Y aunque no experimente las mismas dificultades, quiero entender lo más que puedo cuál es la experiencia de una persona indocumentada en los Estados Unidos”, Xander Love, estudiante del 11mo grado y miembro del Dream Club, dijo.

Aunque hay un espacio muy unido y de apoyo dentro de los miembros del Dream Club, todavía hay progreso por hacer con respecto a Sequoia como cuerpo estudiantil e institución.

“No me siento necesariamente apoyado, pero tampoco siento ningún tipo de odio. Siento que es ignorado y la gente no tiene conocimiento de ello”, Denise Carrillo, estudiante del 12mo grado y líder estudiantil del Dream Club, dijo. “He tenido conversaciones con personas que no saben realmente qué ISIS puede tocar tu puerta o cualquiera de los conocimientos básicos de ser indocumentados y a qué se enfrentan. Ha sido muy agradable ir al Dream Club y tener

“En este momento, no se habla mucho a menos que estés en este club. No escucho a varias personas hablar de ello a menos que [tengan] experiencia de primera mano de venir aquí o de ser un estudiante de intercambio o de [Desarrollo del Idioma Inglés]”, ella dijo.

“Una manera de que podamos hacer que la gente hable sobre esto es simplemente tener más maestros que hablen sobre la idea de la inmigración”, explicó Chávez. “Hay muchos estudiantes aquí que en realidad no saben que son inmigrantes, y piensan que son ciudadanos estadounidenses reales porque sus padres no quieren decírselo. [...] Por lo tanto, creo que es bueno que los estudiantes conozcan [la inmigración] y que sepan más sobre sí mismos”.

El Dream Club reconoce las mejoras que se deben hacer y, sobre todo, quiere inculcar orgullo y empoderar a los estudiantes indocumentados en Sequoia.

“Sí, es una lucha para ser un estado indocumentado o mixto, pero también me enseñan muchos valores personalmente”, dijo Carrillo. “Y sé que muchas otras personas han podido aprender mucho y sentirse más en contacto con su cultura. Así que no es necesariamente algo malo”.


Pacifica to Pescadero

Three of the Peninsula’s finest beaches

The arrival of summer in the peninsula means the arrival of drastic changes in the weather. Coats and sweaters make way for shorts as we all try to escape the natural oven that is the San Francisco Bay Area. What better way to beat the heat than to head to the beach?

[As I’ve mentioned in my previous review about hiking trails in the area,]

One fact of my family is that my parents are truly picky when it comes to beaches. Since they’re used to the crystal clear waters of the U.S. virgin islands, where my mother’s side is from, I didn’t get a chance to see the beauty of California’s coastline until my friends and I were able to drive, and make the commute without parent assistance. Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity to enjoy the water, whether it be near the dense rainforest of Santa Cruz or the chaparral of Pescadero. our peninsula’s natural geography uniquely situates us to enjoy 60 miles of pacific coastline, stretching from Pacifica in the north all the way south to Santa Cruz. Across this stretch of coast, everything from wind-swept limestone cliffs to rocky coves to rolling sand dunes can be observed and experienced

I’ve found three of my favorites.

On my tour, I found that the stretch of coast between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay was rather miserable for those not interested in surfing or fishing. Pacifica, just south of Daly City, is well known for its cloudy skies, cold weather, and excellent beaches for surfing, but it is rather lacking in the sunshine department. While the sheer limestone cliffs winding down the coast had their own sort of stoic beauty, it was not until I made a stop at Surfer’s beach that I began to see the sun on the Pacific Coast. Just north of Half Moon Bay proper, Surfer’s beach offers convenience, variety and beauty right off of Highway 1.

Parking is a rather simple affair, with many side-streets and lots available to situate anything from a Mini Cooper to a Toyota Tacoma. My first impression was how pristine the beach was considering its proximity to nearby residential and commercial centers, with a notable absence of trash and seaweed. The waters here aren’t as violent as those further north, but it should be noted that there is considerable variation in the tides. The beach itself is wide, but not very long, with a small cliff only 75 feet or so from the water.

At high tide, the water directly touches this cliff in some parts, so I’d recommend stopping somewhere else if you’re not intending to get at least a little wet. There are plenty of elevated (and dry!) nooks and crannies, however, so storing towels and bags and the like is not an issue. You’ll likely encounter other beachgoers and hikers here, especially those walking their dogs,but I didn’t find the area to be crowded by any stretch of the imagination. This beach is the closest to civilization, for better or for worse, with delicious restaurants like the Half Moon Bay Brewing company a 5-10 minute drive up the road and other modern amenities in case you happen to forget supplies at home.

As an admirer of the flora and fauna of this peninsula, one major drawback I noticed was that this beach was largely devoid of any wildlife aside from the odd seagull. The beach itself is really only sand, and The cliff leading up to it only has short grass. That was a little disappointing for me, but for those who simply want a place to swim and relax this feature is far from an issue. This beach feels most like a “starter beach” in a way: It’s accessible, largely uncrowded, close to major commercial centers and open to a variety of activities.

Travelling further down the coast, eucalyptus forests and mountains made way for rolling hills and grasslands, as the sun began to peak through the clouds. Here, between the sun and the sea, I came across Pomponio and San Gregorio state beach.

These two connected beaches are my favorites in this review, but some of their features may be unappealing. To start, these beaches are far more isolated than Surfer’s beach, with the closest settlement being San Gregorio, a small farming community with a massive population of 214. My phone lost service when I entered the parking lot due to the lack of nearby signal towers. These beaches are considerably less crowded than Surfer’s beach, with only two dozen or so other people during my weekend visit.I personally liked this atmosphere- once you’re on the beach, there’s no noise besides the roar of the ocean and other beachgoers enjoying their day. It’s a major drawback of you’re more comfortable having more modern amenities within reach, however.

The other major turn-off for me is that these beaches are recent additions to California’s beach pass system, requiring a small fee to enter or a ridiculously expensive beach pass (costing around $150 a year). While I’m okay with paying $8 for a special occasion, I find it a little ludicrous to pay that amount consistently to have a good time. Nevertheless, these beaches are something special, in spite of the price of admission and the distance from centers of commerce.

This area’s main draw for me is its geography (especially when talking about Pomponio Beach). The beach itself is both


very wide and long, with a grassy outcropping forming a sort of bowl around the sand. Hills and cliffs flank the parking lot and beach to the left and right, with a gentle stream going right out to the sea. What’s immediately noticeable is that the surf is a bit more rough, but there’s also considerably less wind than at Surfer’s beach. Most beachgoers stay inside the sand bowl, and even with that concentration of people the beach is still open enough that you won’t feel crowded. Sand Dollars also dot this beach, in addition to drift wood and the occasional patch of seaweed. Head past the large limestone cliff to the left of the parking lot, however, and you’ll see why this beach ranks among my favorites in the peninsula. At both high and low tide you can skirt around the cliff, but only at low tide can you do so without having to wade through water up to your calves . If you venture past the limestone columns, you’ll find a seemingly endless strip of virtually uninhabited beach and limestone caves to explore.

The isolation on this beach is a treat, as it means you and your beach buddies have these smooth sands all to yourselves. Be aware of the presence of Mole Crabs, however. These small crustaceans burrow in the wet sand, and at low tide you can see their tiny carapaces peak just above the surface. When walking

barefoot on the beach, you can at times feel your foot graze these creatures, as it attempts to scuttle away. They’re very docile and are not harmful to humans, but if the feeling of walking on wriggling crabs is uncomfortable, this side of Pomponio state beach is not for you.

My final stop on my tour was all the way south near the agricultural town of Pescadero. Past rolling hills and the occasional herd of cattle, you’ll find Pescadero State beach. Of all the beaches I’ve seen on this tour, this one has the most varied and interesting geography. Right next to Highway 1, this beach requires no payment for entry, and has a dedicated area for parking like Pomponio and San Gregorio. What is unlike Pomponio, however, is that this beach is a bit more compact, at least in the areas near the parking lot. The area also saw similar foot traffic to Pomponio, but it felt more crowded due to the reduced space. The area has a mix of sandy beaches and black stone coves, with a small, rocky outcropping a hundred or so feet from the main beach. The coves are fun (yet slippery) to walk on, but if you prefer to take it slow there is plenty of flat ground to lay down towels and umbrellas.

coves, such as sea anemones and mussels, and

while visiting you’ll probably find people fishing for small fish. The abundance of sea life, while fascinating, also has some downsides for those wishing to simply relax.

When visiting Surfer’s beach and Pomponio/San Gregorio, I never noticed the pungent, fishy smell common to areas frequented by fish, sea lions, and stray clusters of seaweed and kelp. On this beach, however, that smell is certainly noticeable, especially when the wind is blowing toward land. I personally wasn’t bothered by this; if anything, the smell grounded me in the beach environment and was simply another part of nature. Those more sensitive to the less glamorous parts of nature, however, may find it sickening or uncomfortable when trying to unwind. Nevertheless, this beach brings a lot to the table considering its smaller size.

While I chose to focus on these three beaches, that doesn’t mean they’re the be all end all of what the Peninsula has to offer. Ignoring the wealth of beaches in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, in between each of my stops were plenty of coves, beaches and cliffs all offering their own unique experience. Make the most of this coming summer, and head out to the water.

Sand Castles: 17.5 percent

Swimming: 15.8 percent

Beach Volleyball: 12.3 percent

Photos by Mateo Mangolini

More than books

How libraries are adapting to a modern audience

Due to the convenience of the internet and apps such as Libby that allow readers to check out books outline, many physical libraries have seen a dwindling number of patrons. E-books and Netflix series have replaced trips to the library for a heavy tome, especially among young people.

“I think there’s less demand for libraries because people have such easy access to find information, so they don’t need to go to a library and find an encyclopedia. There’s just not much of a use for that anymore,” junior Ella Satterwhite said.

A few decades ago, the only way to find information was to sit in the library, flipping through the pages of a thick book, yet now the world’s information is ours at the click of a button. However, there are consequences to such easy online access.

“There is something about holding the book, there’s something about interacting with it. I have sets of books where two kids could check out the same book and share it together… And being able to put them on display. Some of the most popular books now in my library are graphic novels. And I think that those are very good to read on paper. You can just

dive into the pictures in a way that you can’t if you read them on an e-reader,” Central Middle School librarian Katie Hultgren said. “There’s been some research done that you actually retain more when you read on the page as opposed to reading an e-reader.”

Those around Sequoia have also reaped benefits from the existence of libraries, despite the rise of internet research and e-books.

“I love going to the library.There’s a feeling of all these minds and thoughts and stories around you… I feel like Ms. Snow has done such a good job with the Media Center where it has that feeling, and it’s still very modern,” English teacher Karyn Arle said. “I still feel most high school students prefer the physical book, from what I’ve observed, over the ebook, because we always offer the ebook, but most students tend to like to read the physical book.”

It’s true that even with the rise of social media, students still enjoy physical books.

“I like being able to hold them and physically see how much I have left. Also, reading is a nice break from

There is something about holding the book, there’s something about interacting with it.”
Katie Hultgren, Central Middle School librarian
Books in the Media Center’s AAPI Heritage Month display. Photos by Christine Chang

screen time,” freshman Nadine Wells said.

In addition to the enjoyment of reading a physical book, the flood of online information can be a lot to handle, and deciding which sources are credible and which aren’t can be a challenge. Many don’t realize the library can be a place to access credible information more easily. Librarians are familiar with good sources and can be a good resource to help students navigate the flood of information online. Additionally, using library books instead of online resources has other benefits. Books on the library shelf have been vetted, approved, and reviewed.

“There’s a quality to it. It’s not like you could just put something on the shelf without a lot of thought going into it,” Hultgren said.

Despite the many benefits of libraries in the community, many still struggle to keep up with the internet when it comes to convenience and comfort.

“I spend limited time in the San Carlos library because there’s a lot of adults there. It’s not somewhere I would go to do homework. It’s also out of the way. I’m just gonna do work at my house,” Satterwhite said.

There are some benefits, however, to having information online. Physical books can never be as up-to-date as the internet, so when researching timely topics, Google can be a perfect tool.

Audiobooks can also be helpful for many students, especially those who struggle to read. For some,

working to sound out the words can interrupt the flow of the story. Audiobooks are popular because they can keep the story flowing or simply allow the listener to multitask.

“I prefer digital [books] because sometimes you can have them be audiobooks, that’s just what works for me best,” sophomore Hade Curup said in a survey.

However, many teachers are pushing for physical copies of books instead of purely online research, especially in younger grade levels. Hultgren noted that, in recent years, teachers are encouraging students to check out one physical, print resource for a paper rather than allowing students to find their all their information on the internet.

Fortunately, the Sequoia Media Center has also made efforts to appeal to a modern teenage audience, one that strives for convenience. By housing different workspaces such as a fireside room and computer lab, the Media Center hosts resources for all types of students. As is becoming more common in today’s libraries, it is much more than just a place to read books. This is fortunate for members of Sequoia who feel overwhelmed by schoolwork and simply need a place to relax.

“I really like the workspaces. I like that you can go into the Fireside Room... I think we’re very fortunate with the resources we have in there in terms of the computer lab and lots of furniture,” Satterwhte said.

To our nation’s hardworking librarians

You share words with the world, and as we close out National Library Week, I want to share two words with you: Thank you.

In my childhood, I struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia... Through support, advice, and mentorship from specialists, educators, and librarians too numerous to list, I didn’t just fall in love with words… my life started revolving around them. Because people — people like you — took the time to care about me, to show me the power of words and the power of books, I was able to find my footing in business, service, and eventually, elected office. I am in your debt.

I know from my own challenges with dyslexia that when we help people read, we help them succeed. You do that every day. The value of a librarian is inestimable — you go beyond books, and even beyond knowledge. You open the doors to possibility. To opportunity, imagination, and the pursuit of freedom. I’ve experienced it firsthand. ...

In gratitude, Gavin Newsom Governor of California Apr. 2023 “Love letter to libraries”

The Media Center’s LGBTQ+ section

“Evil Dead Rise”: A Must-Watch For “Evil Dead” Fans

As I sat in the theater hearing gasps from the audience during the cold open of Lee Cronin’s “Evil Dead Rise,” I immediately knew I’d be getting exactly what I wanted from the new “Evil Dead” film. The cold open was a near perfect tone setter: immediately establishing the brutal demonic possession which the series is known for. But the most memorable part of the opening was the killer title card, showing a deadite rising out of a lake, with the film’s title following. Right away, I was hooked.

“Evil Dead Rise” is the fifth installment in the “Evil Dead” series, and the first new film from the franchise in ten years.The film places the series’s staple demonic conflict into a claustrophobic apartment complex, opposing the usual forest setting. What creates an even greater change from the norm, however, is the cast of characters being a family as opposed to a group of friends. As a big fan of not only the series but the original trilogy’s filmmaker, I found his new spin on the franchise creates a refreshing look at the world of Evil Dead. Despite this novelty, the film still pays respect to the originals’ style with just as much bone-

believe he’d go through the multistep process needed to unleash the demon. Once Ellie is possessed, becoming a deadite, the rest of the family are forced to defend themselves against the unkillable demonic presence. The family dynamics are the largest emotional pull of the movie, as the children are forced to defend themselves against their demon-possessed deadite mother.

The theme of motherhood is prevalent in the film, with the catalyst for Beth’s return being her finding out she’s pregnant. Her fears of motherhood are realized as she is in charge of taking care of Ellie’s children while their mother tries to kill and possess them. Her relationship with the kids, particularly the youngest girl Kassie, grows stronger throughout the film as Beth becomes more and more of an action hero. It’s hard not to feel a sense of excitement as Beth prepares to fight the demon’s final form with nothing but a chainsaw.

What made the original “The Evil Dead” and its two sequels iconic was Sam Raimi’s sense of style. This film pays respect to that style from the very beginning, with the camera flying through and around the film’s settings. Many shots utilize creative framing,

stunned through simple stabbing, which can start to give the impression you’re watching the same things happen time and time again.

There was also a small cast of side characters that felt as though they only existed to be fodder for gross kills. While some sequences with them are fun, many were introduced with only one or two scenes before dying. Most of them felt like they only served to have more dead bodies.

Despite this repetition, the film never loses its horror. The setting of a claustrophobic and near-vacant complex floor creates a hopeless and stressful atmosphere throughout the film. There’s a stressful tone from the very introduction of the family, who are on their last legs before the building is to be shut down, with no plans for where they’ll live after.

The biggest source of terror, however, is the scenery-chewing performance from Alyssa Sutherland as Ellie. Her deadite portrayal is both over the top but also grounded enough for the threat to always feel real. Whenever she is around other characters, particularly children, the tension rises massively. Sutherland steals the show as one of the most memorable horror villain performances I’ve seen in recent memory.

The Opening of “Evil Dead Rise,” Warner Bros. Pictures