September 2020 Issue

Page 1



the student newspaper of St. Paul Academy and Summit School 1712 Randolph Ave St. Paul, MN 55105 Volume 47. Issue 1. September 29, 2020

Brutality sparks calls for change

Students take to the streets in support of Black Lives Matter EVE SAMPSELL-JONES THE RUBICON

The past few months have been a time of unprecedented levels of activism, outrage, and change. Beginning with the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis on May 25, protests, riots, and social media activism skyrocketed. There’s undeniably a new climate now, as the Black Lives Matter movement has changed the way people view police brutality. “At the time I was hoping to see more and more people using their voices to bring awareness and attention to the cause,” sophomore Cayenne Ramirez said of the protest she attended. Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin (who was aided by four other officers) outside of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, and his death was filmed by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier. Frazier posted the video to Facebook, and it quickly went viral, sparking outrage nationwide. The protests spread ferociously and quickly, and old cases of police brutality towards people of color were brought to light alongside Floyd’s, like those of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain. The Black Lives Matter movement was back in the mainstream. “I chose to go to the protest because I knew there needed to be a change, and I wanted to be a part of that,” 9th grader Jane Higgins said. “I was hoping that justice was made for George Floyd and for anyone else who [has] suffered from police brutality,” junior Milo Zelle said. “For me the protest was an opportunity to engage on the ground with ideas that I had long espoused.” The Twin Cities found themselves at the heart of a movement that soon went global. A memorial was erected at 38th

St. and Chicago Ave., the location where George Floyd died. Minneapolis and St. Paul were in the news, and some violence and destruction occurred as a result of the protests that originated in the Twin Cities but spread much further.



PHOTOS: Nikolas Liepins MEMORIAL. At the intersection of 38th St. and Chicago Ave., outside of Cup Foods, there is a memorial for Floyd and other victims of police brutality. Hundreds have visited to pay their respects and mourn together.

Jane Higgins “[The protests in the Twin Cities] are a chance for concrete political action and to show support for the people who our city has time and time again persecuted,” senior Addie Morrisette said. “I was hoping that the protests would bring not only awareness that BIPOC are continually unjustly incarcerated and killed at the hands of our police force, but also that the community stands with them.” “I was glad to participate in the protests because I support equality for all. Using my privilege to get word across and support the Black community is significant to make change; all communities need to come together,” junior Sarina Charpentier said. Social media activism played a huge role in this summer’s general climate, with movements like the controversial #BlackOutTuesday rising in popularity. On #BlackOutTuesday, about a week after the murder of Floyd, many people posted a black square to their Instagram. There was a lot of concern about this, as hashtag-

“It was quite surreal to see places I recognized enveloped by protest,” junior Milo Zelle said.

1-3 ... News

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Sarina Charpentier Junior Sarina Charpentier attended a student sit in at the capitol.

ging the black posts #BlackLivesMatter would flood the hashtag with squares instead of information or people trying to raise awareness. The square was seen as a performative action, because activities like donating or signing petitions would do much more good than the black squares. “Social media activism has made some significant differences in this movement. It allowed people to spread news.

continued on pg. 2

Black Lives Matter art can be found on the outsides of various buildings throughout the Twin Cities.




This summer, demand for diverting MPDs funds increased. But what does it mean to defund a city’s police force?

Outdoor sculpture park in Shafer, featuring giant sculptures, provides safe, unique art experience year-round.

Check in with the fall teams to see what’s changing in the age of COVID-19 and how they are adapting.


The National Guard surrounded the state capitol during the weeks of protests.

4 ... Editorial

10-11 ... Feature 12-13 ... A&E

A&E pg. 12

5-6 ... Opinions

7 ... Health

8-9 ... In-Depth

14-15 ... Sports

16 ... Good Question

SPORTS pg. 14-15 @TheRuciconSPA




continued from pg. 1 educational resources,” Morrisette said. “However, it has also made space for some performative activism that simply takes up space.” “Any activism is better than none, and [social media] is easily accessible… sometimes posting isn’t always enough and making sure you’re doing everything in your power is the best thing you can do rather than just a weekly post,” Ramirez said. Zelle has a different viewpoint on the use of social media for activism. “In all tactless honesty, social media activism is profoundly useless. Calling it activism is incorrect.” he said. “The same posts make the rounds and everyone posts them, sharing them with followers who already agree.” Despite the decrease in protests nationwide, people are still fighting to create change, and some changes have been made already. The four officers involved in Floyd’s murder have been arrested and been given different charges, and cities like Minneapolis and New York are taking steps to defund and disband their police departments. Major institutions have been held accountable for racism, leading to editors at newspapers like the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer stepping down. Still, some goals have yet to be met, such as the proper conviction of the officers who killed Breonna Taylor, one of which got charged with a lesser crime. “I want to see more people speaking up and being actively anti-racist rather than hiding behind their neutrality because I see neutrality and silence as allowing racism to occur,” Ramirez said. However, the protests that have already happened hold so much power for those who attended. “All of the [protests] I went to were completely peaceful, yet so powerful, and sometimes I would get goosebumps from realizing the sheer number of people raising their fists in unity,” Higgins said. “Much awareness was brought to the issue of systematic racism, [but] so much more needs to happen including bigger things like defunding or reforming the police system, but also smaller things like breaking down the racial prejudice we face everyday in America.” “The protests had this great sense of unity and kindness. There were people handing out water and snacks when it was hot. There was dancing and poetry and silence,” Morrisette said. “My outlook has shifted from one of real hopelessness and disappointment to one of hope.”

Safety protocols adopted for in-person learning HAZEL WALTENBAUGH THE RUBICON

The Magnus Health App, one of the new safety measures for this school year, was added to students’ morning routine to help track and contain COVID-19 outbreaks and symptoms. Upper School students return to campus today to start hybrid learning. This will be the first official day students are on campus for in-person learning since the start of spring break on Mar. 13. The Magnus Health app is a new technology platform being used to screen for and follow COVID-19 symptoms. “We are currently using the app to have parents, as well as faculty and staff, sign a commitment to community health and complete a daily COVID screen that reports any known exposures to COVID-19 as well as any potential COVID related symptoms,” Director of Data Integration Sue Scott said. When parents open the app, the first thing that shows up is their student’s profile. They are then directed to a screen with multiple icons, the last one being the COVID-19 check-in. After clicking on the clipboard icon, the app asks 13 questions about recent COVID-19 contact and possible health symptoms. If the student shows no

symptoms, the app will display a “Go,” allowing the student to attend school in person. If a student feels sick, has tested positive for COVID-19, or gets a “Stop” on the health app, they are required to stay home and partake in distance learning. Families are required to fill out the daily check-in form prior to 7:30 a.m. on school days, whether they chose to do in-person learning or not. “I don’t really like having to take my temperature every morning,” 9th grader Naomi Kempcke said. She explained that it’s hard to remember to fill out the app every morning, especially before 7:30 a.m. Still, “We are asking parents to complete the COVID-19 assessment for their students every school day in an effort to identify students for whom it would not be safe to attend school,” Scott said. SPA chose to The Magnus App over other platforms because of how it integrates with Veracross. Eventually, the app should sync up with Veracross so it will be quicker to use and access. Other new safety protocols have been implemented alongside the Magnus Health App. Everyone is required to wear a mask on campus and maintain a six-foot distance from other

Harkness tables have been replaced by individual desks spread around the room with 6 feet spacing from chair to chair.


people whenever possible. A new clean-in/clean-out policy has been added to classrooms and public spaces as students move around campus, as well as a new campus departure rule at 3 p.m. Chairs and tables in the dining room have been placed to maintain distancing; plexiglass has been added to form personal eating spaces. All hallways are marked with one-way direction signs to minimize hallway traffic. There will be no assembly gatherings in The Huss Center, but in-

THE RUBICON PHOTOS: Eloise Duncan Hallways are marked in one way directions to minimize student traffic. stead, things like senior speeches and announcements will be watched over a live stream in advisories. Other in-person schedule changes include class starting at 8 a.m., 45 minute advisory periods every day, no tutorials or free X-periods, and a virtual detention system. As protocols update in response to being on campus, they can be found on the US Pandemic Supplementary Student Handbook, or on the Return to School: Fall 2020 page at

OWLs, TAs connect teachers at home to classes

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Eloise Duncan OWL systems in every room connect those continuing with school from home to those on campus. LIZZIE KRISTAL THE RUBICON

While the accommodations of working and learning from home are necessary to ensure everyone’s safety, it presents questions for the community about how SPA will remain just that: a community. With hybrid learning starting today, the community will divide itself into those who work from home and those who are present on campus. One of the biggest adjustments students may have to

make in this process is learning in the building from a teacher who is teaching from home. Teaching assistants will support learning in each of these classrooms to bridge the gap between students and teachers. “The TA is someone who will be physically present in the classroom or in the advisory who will be the assistant. They are in relationship with and in support of the teacher knowing what’s needed,” US Principal Max Delgado said. Teachers will still be in full control of curriculum, assign-

ments, and grading but might struggle with the more physical aspects of class since they are not in the room to manage the space. The TAs, who are often hired as aspiring teachers, will ensure students are equipped to take their class by keeping class flowing smoothly, answering questions, and troubleshooting technical difficulties. All requests from teachers for a personal accommodation go to the Director of Human Resources, Courtney Barker. She and Head of School Bryn Roberts review each request and find the best way to accommodate faculty needs surrounding safety, health, and family circumstances. “We have made an extraordinary effort to accommodate requests,” Barker said, “as well as done a significant amount of work throughout both campuses to make being in our Randolph and Goodrich buildings as low-risk as possible for both teachers and students.” Families were notified which teachers will be teaching from home in September. Sophomore Hannah Brass will

be in a class taught by a teacher working remotely with a TA in the room. “My experience will be pretty similar to distance learning, just because there will be someone teaching us but they won’t be in the classroom,” Brass said. “The TA will be like having a sub, but the same one every class day… it will be sad not to see the teacher in person, but at the same time, I think it will be nice to have another community member.” It will be an adjustment for teachers and students, but the system put in place will do its best to fill the gaps between learning platforms. Delgado said that “As the external world gets more complicated, internally, you have to get down to basics a little bit. I think the basic fundamental principle of SPA is that the belief that when you have a teacher and a student in connection with each other, that’s where the magic happens.”



Upcoming presidential election raises debate over country’s future JULIA BARON THE RUBICON

“Tense,” 9th grader Clara Ann Bagnoli said when asked for a word to describe the current political climate. With a global pandemic, wildfires, and protests enveloping the country, that word is symbolic of what many people feel heading towards election day Nov. 3. Numerous national polls have Biden taking a lead. FiveThirtyEight measured Biden at 6.6 points ahead of Trump, polling in at 50.4%, with Trump trailing at 43.2% as of Sept. 23. Although this may seem like a solid lead, according to NBC, this is nearly identical to the 6 point margin Clinton led Trump by in early Oct. 2016. With both major party candidates campaigning hard across the country, it is likely that poll numbers will continue to change. Although only a small portion of the student body will be eligible to vote Nov. 3, the election and what is at stake is at the forefront of some minds: “The stakes are much higher than previous years because there is a lot on the line like COVID, climate change, Planned Parenthood and Title X, and action for dismantling racist institutions being some big ones,” senior Sara Browne said. “Our country is at crossroads right now, and this election will side us with the right side of history or the past,” Bagnoli said. For a range of reasons, from the economy to international relations, senior Isaac Carlson, who will be eligible to vote in the election believes his vote is

crucial: “With the exception of 1860, this is the most important election in our nation’s history,” Carlson said. “We must, at all costs, resurrect the health and economy of our nation. We must, once and for all, after centuries of injustice, fulfill our nation’s promise that all are created equal. We must restore our sense of national unity and patriotism before its absence tears us apart. We must defeat Russia, China, North Korea, and our enemies in the Middle East to reimpose our status as the leader of the free world and the guardian of liberty for all nations... We cannot afford to falter on any of these issues.”


Isaac Carlson

Although a wide variety of issues are at stake in the presidential election, as well as Senate, House, and state elections, Pew Research Center reports that the top five issues to voters in the 2020 election are the economy, healthcare, Supreme Court appointments, COVID-19 and violent crime. The economy remains one of the forefront issues of Trump’s campaign. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to job losses and demand







50.4% BIDEN

51.2% BIDEN

INFORMATION: FiveThirtyEight as of Sept. 23 INFOGRAPHIC: Eloise Duncan and Lizzie Kristal 2020 ELECTION. With the presidential election on Nov. 3, polls show Joe Biden taking a lead over Donald Trump both nationally and in Minnesota. shortages, Trump has maintained a strong approval rating on it, with FOX News reporting Sept. 14 that 53% of registered voters approve of Trump’s job on handling the economy. Carlson agrees that Trump had a stronghold on the economy before the pandemic. “Prior to his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump commanded the greatest economy in U.S. history,” Carlson said. Senior Patrick Hooley, who is also eligible to vote, said, “Of all the issues that are up for grabs this year, the most important one for me is environmental regulation because I believe that the climate is the most pressing issue right now.” Sophomore Clara Gaïtas Sur agrees: “The well being of our planet is at stake, as well as the future spread of the coronavirus. Both of these issues are go-

ing to have a significant impact on this generation as well as future generations.” Although Carlson said he is concerned with a variety of issues for the 2020 election he agrees that climate policy must be a leading issue. “We must do all in our power to atone for our destruction of the environment before it destroys us,” Carlson said. In Minnesota, Biden maintains a strong lead over Trump, with 51.2% to Trump’s 42.1%, according to FiveThirtyEight. Even with this lead, speculators are wondering whether Minnesota could vote for a Republican Presidential candidate for the first time since Nixon’s victory in 1972. FiveThirtyEight even published an article Aug. 31 headlined “Why Minnesota Could Be The Next Midwestern State To Go Red,” pointing to Min-

nesota’s incline in Republican voters in the last few election cycles. This shift was glaringly evident in 2016, with WCCO reporting that Trump only lost to Clinton by 1.5%, winning 79 out of 87 counties, which seems to signify a potential of Minnesota becoming a swing state in 2020. Trump is attempting to capitalize on this shift, campaigning hard in Minnesota with visits to Bemidji Sept. 25 and Duluth this Wednesday. His senior campaign manager Jason Miller said, “we’re going all-in in Minnesota. We think it’s a state we can win,” according to The Hill. Mail in voting started Sept. 25 and Minnesotans who will not vote in person have been encouraged to vote early to ensure their ballot is received in time to be counted.

Elections delayed by pandemic enhanced by virtual campaigns NOA GROSS


SCREENSHOT: Elections Assembly Livestream Junior Will Sedo speaks to students in a livestream Sept. 25. “I think it’s important that when our student body can’t be together in person we still find ways to connect,” he said. Sedo ran unopposed for secretary of Student Technology Committee.

Students in grades 9-12 elected peers to represent the student body’s voice in Student Activities Committee, Upper School Council, Committee for Community Conduct, and Student Technology Committee Sept. 25. Students vying for spots as class representatives or elected officials engaged with their peers through videos broadcast in assembly and class meetings. From there, the student body is responsible for fostering civic engagement and electing students whose hopes for the coming school year align with the community. Though the format and space in which these elections take place departs from years past, they are of the same, or arguably, greater importance, given the multiple challenges this year poses.


Junior Will Sedo, who had been the acting sophomore representative for STC, commented on the importance of elected groups: “I think it’s important that when our student body can’t be together in person we still find ways to connect and we still find ways to foster that sense of community…and I think student groups can really help promote that. They can offer opportunities for students to feel like they’re more a part of the community and that’s really essential.” As for STC’s goals for the year: “there’s really a great op-

portunity to integrate a lot more technology into our classrooms,” Sedo said. “I think we’re gonna be working hard this year to help students use their technology to its fullest.” Although the school year has just begun, acting elected officials wasted no time implementing changed to help. From STC’s contributions to the creation of a student technology resource Google Classroom to USC’s focus on the mentor-mentee program to ensure a smooth transition for incoming 9th graders, elected groups are working to provide the best experience for their fellow students. Senior Nikolas Liepins, elected co-president of USC, said that “We’re trying to help in all of our different arenas, so to speak, and bring the community together.” The fact that students may feel separated from their

peers and the school in general during these times is not lost on anyone. Students can look forward to airline safety video-esque parodies for safety and health tips, (modified) speaker day, this week’s Homecoming and everything else student councils plan to make the year memorable. For more information visit USC’s website or follow SAC on Instagram @spasac for timely updates and the latest information. No matter the format or platform, student elected officials are happy to listen and help in whatever means they can to ensure the best possible experience for all students. “Any issues that you are finding distance learning or anything you want to talk about in general with the school year... let us know; we’re here to help,” Liepins said. Election results are posted at RubicOnline.



Understand climate change in context EDITORIAL


Media often addresses 2020 as an all-around awful year: wildfires in Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and more wildfires along western North America. While it’s devastating these events have all happened within a year, none of these issues began this year. People caused them and are allowing them to continue and grow worse. Don’t let 2020 become a scapegoat for racial injustice and natural disasters. There are many resources, specifically for climate change, on how to fight its continuation. The wildfires in California and other Western states aren’t just bad luck. Climate change increases droughts and dryness due to rising temperatures in the poles. NASA found that this decrease in the difference of temperature between the poles and equator creates fewer overall storms but leaves the ones still existing to have a much greater intensity. This makes rainfall come in huge amounts less frequently, increasing the intensity of flood and drought seasons. Wildfires are becoming more likely all across the world, not just western North America. A study found that fire suppression has increased flammable fuel wood. Indigenous peoples practiced controlled fires to minimize wildfire damage, but this stopped when Europeans came to their land. Now that these practices are no longer at play, the destruction has become massive. Climate change doesn’t just affect wildfires; it also impacts hurricanes and many other natural disasters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that 2020 is a record-breaking hurricane year.

While the climate crisis affects everyone somehow, its impacts are disproportionately stronger for indigenous populations, communities of color, and lower income communities. Many indigenous peoples have an especially strong connection to the environment, meaning their habits and lifestyles are completely shifted by these changes. Communities of color and lower income communities are also more likely to suffer from extreme weather conditions due to spending a large proportion of their income on basic necessities like food, water, and energy, all of which grow more expensive during a climate crisis.

CLIMATE CHANGE WON’T GO AWAY WHEN 2020 ENDS. THIS YEAR ISN’T THE CAUSE OF THESE DISASTERS, HUMANS ARE. A study at the University of California found that cities and major companies also often build factories that release air pollutants in areas with more people of color, massively decreasing the air quality. Additionally, they found that the majority of jobs that are most affected by a climate crisis, such as agriculture and tourism, are held by low-income people of color. These groups are disproportionately impacted, and on top of that, receive less assistance from the government and have less influence over its policies about climate change. According to a 2016 Center for Ameri-

can Progress analysis, 9.5 million American adults, mostly people of color, lacked voting rights. With less representation and attention given to these communities, climate change’s impact only grows worse. When advocating for policy change for the environment, it’s often ignored that these communities suffer more than white and wealthy ones. When thinking of how disastrous 2020 has been, don’t let the environmental issues from this year be portrayed as isolated events. They are directly correlated with climate change and the increasing need to pay attention to it. Climate change doesn’t stop at the end of 2020; its effects will carry over into 2021 and beyond. Realizing the increasing rate of wildfires is evidence of climate change’s long-term presence isn’t just a necessary step in tackling climate change, but it’s also to discontinue any other excuses for natural disasters. The environmental crisis can be seen everywhere, so start seeing it within the larger context of climate change rather than just 2020. There’s so many causes for justice to pay attention to right now, so be sure to make the climate one of them. Attend environmental walkouts, volunteer for climate organizations led by youth, like Zero

Hour and Earth Guardians, and advocate for funds during these crises. Get inspired by other teen activists who have made platforms for themselves to educate and involve Generation Z. 14 year-old Alexandria Villaseñor skips school every Friday to individually protest outside of the United Nations complex. 16 year-old Isra Hirsi, daughter of Minnesota U.S. representative Ilhan Omar, co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike and is helping organize a debate to educate of-age voters on the presidential candidate’s views on climate change. 19 year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is the director of Earth Guardians, has addressed the U.N. general assembly, and received the 2013 Community Service Award from Barack Obama. There are many other individuals and organizations in the youth community to learn from. Climate change won’t go away when 2020 ends. This year isn’t the cause of these disasters, humans are and have the ability to turn it around. No matter how small, find a way to fight for the environment and

CARTOON: Noa Gross GEN Z. Teenagers are taking on climate change in order to ensure a future for themselves and the planet.

its disproportionate effects on low-income, indigenous populations, and communities of color. There are so many resources to get education and to get involved with, so find a way to make a personal impact for our climate.


Lucy Benson Evelyn Lillemoe Maren Ostrem Julia Baron Eloise Duncan, Catherine Hooley Jenny Ries, Colin Will Eve Sampsell-Jones Maddy Fisher Adrienne Gaylord Lizzie Kristal John Becker, Hazel Waltenbaugh Salah Abdulkarim Noa Gross


Elizabeth Trevathan Henry Burkhardt Elle Chen Lucia Granja Lara Cayci Annika Rock, Will Schavee Lynn Reynolds Liv Larsen, Zekiah Juliusson Tana Ososki, Alexandra Caldwell Thomas Reinhart, Tommy Verhey Bobby Verhey Ivy Raya Jonas Bray Mimi Huelster

CONTRIBUTORS Nikolas Liepins, Political Correspondent Gavin Kimmel / Grace Krasny, Podcast Eve Sampsell-Jones, Health Blog Noor Christava, Photojournalist ADVISER


Megan Erickson

5 Yes, this is a return to school, but some never left OPINIONS



While students may feel like they are already drowning in sea of schoolwork, it is important to remember that while students got a three month break, teachers, administrators, and facilities stayed on the clock. There are many questions floating around the right now about what the future of the school year will be and it feels like nobody has solid answers. While waiting for what’s next, it’s important to acknowledge those in the community who prioritized a safe return. The faculty and staff have been tasked with the hard job of outlining various plans so students can still make the most out of this unusual year. While the summer felt entirely too short to students, it was hardly a break for teachers, many of whom served on committees, attended faculty meetings, and prepared for schedule change after schedule change. That meant altering curriculums, preparing materials for at-home use, learning new

technology platforms, and staring at screens for just as long, or even longer, than students. Faculty has also been hard at work preparing the campus for safe in-person learning. This includes a student rotation schedule for hybrid learning, clean-in/clean-out sanitizing procedures, altering classroom layouts into socially distanced spaces, and overall changing typical operations throughout the campus. Pandemic-related issues have radically increased teachers’ workloads, and that comes with no extra benefits for them — similar to how one might take time out of their day to do the dishes (without being asked) and then their family comes home without even noticing. That’s why it’s also important to recognize that, while our tech staff usually works in the summer, the additional research into and implementation of OWLs, re-networking or wiring student spaces, developing teacher training, and providing tech support to students



contract businesses hired


fan filter units installed


individual desks purchased


bipolar ionization units


square feet of plexiglass

INFOGRAPHIC: Maren Ostrem In addition to implementing new protocols, Director of Operations Mark Dickinson shared statistics about the install equipment to keep the community safe. and teachers in and out of the those who help students sucbuilding. ceed. Facilities worked with conSAY THANK YOU. A good tracors to update the filtration way to show appreciation tosystem in the building, add di- wards teachers and staff is simviders where they were needed, ply by thanking them for their make sure spaces were cleared hard work. so work could happen on top STAY ENGAGED IN CLASS. of their regular summer work- Another way to show gratitude load, too. is by making everyone’s lives a Everyone deserves to feel ap- little easier. This means workpreciated, especially in stressful ing with your teachers as they times like these, and it’s im- figure out new technology, letportant to express gratitude to ting them know when they’re

on mute, and paying attention in class. FOLLOW PROTOCOLS. It might be easier to run up the stairs the wrong way or decide to sneak to Caribou during a free period, but remember the guidelines are in place for a reason. APPROACH THE RETURN TO SCHOOL WITH GRACE. Remember that things will change. Things will go wrong. Many students and families are still waiting for answers to their questions, but many things are subject to change between now and when the global pandemic is finally over. While there is no avoiding or speeding up the effects of COVID-19, students can choose to make the most out of this time. Demonstrating recognition and acknowledgment won’t eliminate the extra burden on faculty and staff, but it can, and will, make them feel like the work they are doing is being valued and appreciated.

Seniors set the tone for new normal JULIA BARON THE RUBICON

With senior speeches, junior retreat, pumpkin carving, sports seasons, and homecoming all interrupted, adjusted, or all-out canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors are frustrated and in anxious anticipation over further disappointments that their senior year will most likely yield. It is easy to morph into a selfpity mindset over the losses that senior year has brought, and the many more that will most likely come. This, however, is not the mindset that the senior class should take on as leaders of the high school, a source of positivity and school spirit, and as an example of how to act during a global pandemic. Although nothing about the start of the 2020 school year has felt normal or routine, what can stay the same is the leadership that the senior class offers to the rest of the school. In normal years, this would

come in the form of spectatorship at games and performances, positive use of senior privileges, and good examples set in common spaces. At least currently, none of these are possible, but that doesn’t mean that senior leadership is any less vital to the St. Paul Academy community. This year, even in different mediums, senior leadership is potentially even more crucial, as it will dictate the culture that SPA is built on during the pandemic and the chances of a return to in-person learning and activities. Not only should the senior class take on the role of positive leaders when we return to the classroom, but it can be done even at a distance. This looks like arriving at online classes on time and with a positive attitude, maintaining relationships in a healthy manner, supporting fellow classmates, and, most importantly, demonstrating to underclassmen an exhibition of responsible COVID-19 protocol.

Although much of senior year is different than it was imagined to be, if students act responsibly, a return to the classroom, and some sense of normalcy, is likely. This will only be possible if all members of the SPA community act in a manner that will not allow for a community outbreak. This starts with the leadership of seniors. If they demonstrate to underclassmen that it is acceptable to throw parties, attend non-socially-distanced gatherings, refuse to wear masks, and openly disobey protocols put in place for the safety of ourselves and our community members, then any opportunity for a somewhat typical senior year is out the window. In addition to responsible pandemic behavior, seniors can also demonstrate ways to make this year as special as possible. It’s completely acceptable to grieve the losses senior year has brought, but there are many ways to keep traditions alive or adopt new ones adjusted

ILLUSTRATION: Adrienne Gaylord The entire community is influenced by how the senior class responds to the COVID-19 protocols. to stay in line with COVID-19 protocol. In lieu of carving pumpkins with the kindergartners, a long-awaited and anticipated tradition, have an outdoor socially distant carving party with some friends. Instead of study halls and free periods, call your friends when you’re completing homework and put yourselves on mute. It will keep everyone focused, as you can see your friends doing their work too. Instead of team

sleepovers, find fun team bonding alternatives, like scavenger hunts, tie-dyes, or outdoor team dinners. When attending sports games is not possible, watch lives streams of those events. Instead of a regular homecoming or winter dance, plan a virtual or outdoor one. Although none of these alternatives compare to the tradition senior year, they will help to build community values centered around a new normal.

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NSPA All-American, Pacemaker (Online) and Finalist (Print) CSPA Gold Medalist (Hybrid), Silver Crown Award (Hybrid), SNO Distinguished Site JEM All State Gold



Diversifying news sources empowers global thinking NOA GROSS


The United States-focused news bubble in which many St. Paul Academy students currently find themselves is impeding necessary discourse and activism on global events. The U.S., its people, and its government are currently facing challenges that will define its history, its response to the pandemic and social revolution in regards to systemic inequality are pressing and relevant issues for all. But it is vital to not lose sight of the very real and important events occurring globally. To be clear, when reading global news, it will not always be “feel-good” articles. Nevertheless, students should not shy away from the reality and real pain global citizens and governments are facing because they already have “too much” domestically. While it is understandable that reading more sobering news feels like an unneeded burden with the current domestic state of affairs, ignoring it is ignoring real cries for help. Some important international news stories include the Beirut explosion and the Uighur ethnic groups’ inhumane treatment in China. These two events are among the many that are rocking

READING AT LEAST ONE GLOBALLY REACHING OR NON-UNITED STATES FOCUSED NEWS ARTICLE A DAY IS A GOOD PLACE TO START. countries in an already unstable state due to COVID-19. That being said, expanding one’s news bubble does not solely entail more sad and distressing news. Examples such as the eradication of wild polio in the African continent to peace treaties in the Middle East are a few examples in the wide range of amazing events that have gotten little to no airtime within the SPA community. By consuming more global news, students have the chance to hear and read stories that break up the slew of sad stories and provide real hope for the future. In addition, by educating themselves with global news sources, students can fix misconceptions and stereotypes that are often present when consuming U.S. media content. In focusing on specific countries, the narrative shifts and

thus allows a broader perspective and analysis of a country’s actions and achievements. Too often in domestic media, outdated stereotypes are used as a powerful tool to deliver an often inaccurate message with a number of studies asserting the potential impact of consuming only U.S. media content. Having stated all the facts, by no means does this article attempt to undermine the activism work students are doing within the United States, but by focusing solely on domestic issues, students stunt aid and support flowing into other countries. Yet the SPA community can’t even discuss steps for activism when many students are unaware of global disastrous events. When discussing pressing news, conversations usually begin at the U.S. response to the pandemic, then flow to systemic racism, and maybe reach topics related to the election. To reiterate, none of those are of a lesser value or importance than global events, but as students learn and prepare to “change the world,” that world shouldn’t be composed of solely the U.S. Though matters within the U.S. may feel more pressing at times, students should remember that the U.S. does not function in isolation, the world is more in-

ILLUSTRATION: Noa Gross The United States-focused news bubble in which many St. Paul Academy students currently find themselves is impeding necessary discourse and activism on global events. terconnected and interdependent than ever, and students should diversify their news intake accordingly. Small steps are important and beneficial when making the change to become globally aware. Reading at least one globally reaching or nonU.S. focused news article a day is a good place to start. Expanding the topic of conversations when engaged in discourse on current events is another easy way to gain more access and opinions on global happen-

ings. The last and most important suggestion is expanding activism (through social media or in-person) to include political and social problems in other countries. No matter how small, it is important for many of our community members to take the first steps in expanding their global awareness beyond the borders of the United States. Although it may feel overwhelming at times, the long-term benefits of becoming a truly engaged global citizen far outweigh any discomfort.

Córrego das Almas and said they would momentarily stop sourcing from Cedro II. According to the Fair World Project Organization, Starbucks was asked for two decades to end slave labor at their farms and commit to fair trade like many other coffee shops and coffee shop chains have been able to uphold. Instead of committing to fair trade, Starbucks created their own ethically sourced requirements, its C.A.F.E. Practices.

There is a severe issue with child and slave labor in countries such as Brazil and Guatemala. In 2018, 1,154 workers were rescued from slave conditions in Brazil. Reuters reported that the main issue is the lack of resources. With little funding for labor inspections, a lack of inspectors, and major companies like Starbucks not willing to play a role in ending forced labor, it’s become increasingly harder to stop farms from using slave labor. For Starbucks to stop making money off children and people who are forced to work in grueling conditions, they need to learn from repercussions like losing profit and customers. For consumers, taking action is easy: just don’t buy from Starbucks. Starbucks isn’t the only place with good tasting coffee. Numerous small neighborhood coffee shops are entirely fair trade and make incredible coffee. Caribou Coffee is the first major coffeehouse in the U.S. to source 100% of its coffee from Rainforest Alliance farms. This organization is actively improving the communities of the workers on their farms. So the next time you buy coffee, think about what goes into your cup. Is Starbucks really worth it?

What’s in your Starbucks cup? Most likely unpaid child labor THE RUBICON PHOTO: Maren Ostrem

Child labor conditions in Guatemala: - $6.38/hour INFORMATION: Dispatches

- 8 hours/day -6 days/week

According to the Fair World Project Organization, Starbucks was asked for two decades to end slave labor at their farms and commit to fair trade like many other coffee shops and coffee shop chains have been able to uphold. ELIZABETH TREVATHAN


On March 1, Starbucks released a message from Michelle Burns, senior vice president for global coffee and tea, stating that on the next day, a UK news show entitled Dispatches would air a program on child labor on coffee farms in Guatemala, calling out Starbucks. The message states, in bold, “zero tolerance for child labor anywhere in our supply chain.” Except, Dispatches wasn’t the first to make claims about child labor and slavery usage within Starbucks. Similar claims have

circled for about a decade. Starbucks usually makes the same argument that they haven’t purchased from the said farm in recent harvest, yet their profits don’t decrease. According to Starbucks’s published message, they confirmed that no coffee had been purchased from the farms identified in the program during the most recent harvest. They pledged to increase the frequency of third-party audits on their Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (C.A.F.E.) verified farms, to send an Emergency Relief Fund to Starbucks’s

farmers in Guatemala, to invest in social service resources in Guatemala, and to manage community and childcare centers. While all those things are important, they neglect to address why child labor claims keep being made against them. It’s time that Starbucks’s profits decrease. In February, SCS Global Services met with Starbucks at farms identified by Dispatches. There, Starbucks reported that most child laborers were used on previous occasions at the farm where children joined their parents on breaks from school and aided in harvesting. Did Starbucks admit to child labor and chop it up as kids helping their parents at work? Dispatches reported that the children found through their investigation were as young as eight years old and working eight hours a day, six days a week. The children usually made around £5 a day, $6.38 in USD. Mongabay, non-profit conservation and environmental science news source, reported two instances of Brazilian labor inspectors finding slave labor in Starbucks’ C.A.F.E certified plantations. The first instance occurred in Aug. of 2018 at the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, and the second occurred in July of 2018 at the Cedro II farm. Starbucks claimed they hadn’t purchased beans from

THEY NEGLECT TO ADDRESS WHY CHILD LABOR CLAIMS KEEP BEING MADE AGAINST THEM. IT’S TIME THAT STARBUCKS’ PROFITS DECREASE. In 2009, Starbucks reported on selling its first fair trade lattes in the UK. While they’ve managed to sell a few fair trade products over the years, their company was never centered on fair trade practices. While you may find a bag of whole beans with the fair trade certification, and a few drinks that have been marketed as such, the large majority of what you order at the counter, is not.



ILLUSTRATION: Adrienne Gaylord WORK-LIFE BALANCE. US counselors Emily Barbee and Susanna Short encourage students to schedule time to relax. “The most important aspect in a schedule from my perspective is that there are clearly delineated times when you are off the clock,” Short said.

Scheduling for self care

Creating a calendar reduces stress, boosts mental health CATHERINE HOOLEY THE RUBICON

Going back to school over a computer can be super difficult for students. One particular challenge that has come up is staying organized and productive at home. One strategy students have been trying out is creating a schedule for themselves, so they stay on top of things. It seems to be an effective strategy for students, but what are the real benefits and how can it be done? Planning out work and creating a schedule can be done in many ways. A schedule can be written or online and it can be daily or weekly. “I wake up at 7:30 every morning and I schedule my classes but also whenever I have free time. I can do my homework between classes, so it doesn’t conflict with any sports I might have that day,” 9th grader Natalie Vogenthaler said. She recommends other students make a schedule for themselves because it has helped her and has kept her on top of her work.

Right now, having a written schedule can be especially helpful to anyone who is stuck at home. Students and faculty are on computers and technology all day, so it is easy to have a schedule get lost in all the other work. Additionally, our brains are not meant to be on screens all day so having a written plan as a break is beneficial. Technology can be damaging to a human’s eyes, too, so it is good to get up and have a break from the computer. “I have mine written down in a notebook so that I have it built into my brain. I feel like having my schedule written out is so much more helpful because then I don’t get as distracted,” said Vogenthaler. When there is a written todo list, it can be beneficial because there are things to check off and there is a clear stop to the academic day. Scientifically, consistency and regularity in daily life are helpful to humans. Schedules will keep the day more structured and there will be fewer decisions to make on the go. According to Harvard, having a


Hobbs Lillygreen schedule can give you more control of your emotions and save you from much emotional distress. According to school counselors, schedules can improve students’ mental health and leave more time for students to improve physical health because there is more built-in time to do things like exercise. Having a daily schedule could improve grades, too. Having a routine in place helps a lot with time management, which many people struggle with. If there is a plan for the

day, it will be easier to find a routine and procrastinate less, leaving more time to focus on school work. “I work much more efficiently when I can see how my time will be spread throughout the day. It is easier to work harder when I have specific time slots,” said sophomore Hobbs Lillygreen. Making a schedule and forming a daily routine can also help set reminders to eat and get outside and exercise. Things that can get lost in the busyness of everyday life. However, according to Princeton, you should not over schedule your day. If you schedule every second of the day, it can increase stress and procrastination because it seems like an endless list, so there should be a balance. “The most important aspect in a schedule from my perspective is that there are clearly delineated times when you are off the clock. You’re done with your workday, you’re done with your school day and you’re back to regular life,” Upper School Counselor Susanna

Short said. This is especially important right now because if students are in the same room all day, it is easy for life to become school work, which is not healthy. “Schedule time with family...Schedule time to pursue hobbies and interests. The key is to have balance in your daily routine,” Upper School Counselor Emily Barbee recommended. It is recommended that all students build a schedule for themselves in whatever way works best for them. Barbee advises students who may need help with time management or setting up a schedule to talk to Emily King, The Center for Learning and Teaching Administrative Assistant. The mental health benefits of scheduling can both help students stay on track as well as help reduce their stress. By taking a moment to create a schedule, it only takes a short amount of time to make a big difference in a student’s academic experience.







In the months following the murder of George Floyd in May, reforming and defunding the police has elevated to a national debate. The Black Lives Matter movement and its supporters call for a change in the police system, and understanding how that system evolved in the U.S. is crucial to the debate. The first organized, publicly funded police force in the U.S. started in 1838 in Boston with the goal of protecting business and the transport of goods from the Boston Port according to In the south, slave patrols were the starting point of police forces, according to the National Law Enforcement Museum blog. Their duties included chasing and returning runaway enslaved people and stopping and preventing slave revolts. After slavery was abolished subsequent to the Civil War, local police officers enforced Jim Crow laws, stripping freed slaves of equal rights and access to politics. “If [the police system] was a racist system back then, meant to uphold slavery, then

I don’t think, obviously, m has changed now. If there never any point in hi where there was a strong poseful attempt to reform police system, then I don why any of that racism w have gone away,” senior Schubert said. Junior Kishori Patel ag “Knowing that current p systems stem from sou slave patrols, police bru against the Black comm ty in the U.S. hasn’t rec sprung up in the past co years, this is a pattern tha shown throughout the hi of our country.” Schubert has noticed the past few months brought to light issues sh not think about before: murder of George Floyd the movements and the lution that has happened summer was a wake up c won’t pretend like it w about just how really messed up the whole syste Just because it doesn’t affe doesn’t mean that I shou work to change it,” she sai Junior Nan Besse ha served the difference in outlook on police, comp

Students conte EVELYN LILLEMOE



If police abolition happened, what’s next? What would Minneapolis, and the U.S., look like without police? For many, the question of safety arises. Junior Jamuna Corsaro hasn’t had many encounters with the police, but she doesn’t feel that they prioritize her safety. “I don’t see [the police] as a positive influence at all... if I saw the police, I wouldn’t trust them to make me feel safe,” she said. Police play a big role in 9-1-1 calls, as they respond to almost every emergency. Many argue that police are not trained for many of the situations they respond to. Senior Gavin Kimmel believes that there are other people better suited to deal with many situations that the police are called to. “I think the biggest thing that I’m hoping for, in my mind, is getting counselors and people who are better trained into the 9-1-1 system,” Kimmel said, “So if you were in dan-

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ger, you would dial 9-1-1 then maybe there wou extensions… [for examp you were looking for a m health counselor, you press three, or if you were ing for someone to deal w drug situation, you could five. And if you are in a v situation in which polic needed, then the police come in.” Some of the altern suggested by MPD 150, a initiative to abolish the neapolis Police Depart include social workers, d tic violence advocates, assault advocates, and m

MPD #DEFUNDMPD. Collection of students’ signs from protests this summer that brought the discussion of police abolition to the center of conversation for Minnesotans and policy makers.

by the numbers




police funding stretches back through history

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of voters said Minneapolis should divert funding from the police department to social services. the admiration many young kids feel towards cops and what they think they are there for to what she has learned about the injustices within the system. “As I’ve gotten older and learned more about my identity and my place in the U.S., my perception of the police has changed drastically. When I was in kindergarten, there would be those “career” days or whatever you called them...and there would always be someone, usually a white man, come in and talk about their job as a police officer catching the ‘bad guys.’ So the ideas of idolizing the police began when I was younger; it’s seen as a lawful and an almost-heroic job for younger kids.

“But as I began to educate myself more and learn about the horrific racial prejudices behind countless laws, court cases, etc. I began to question what this idea of ‘law’ or ‘justice’ really meant and how my opinions about the police have changed,” Besse said. Although people are becoming more aware of the desire to reform the police over the past few months, it is not a new idea. In the 1920s, according to the MPD 150 review of the Minneapolis Police Department titled “Enough is Enough,” “members of the Black community, notably the Minneapolis NAACP, mobilized to demand reform of the Minneapolis Police Department. The calls

for police accountability were largely ignored, and racism in MPD continued to be a major problem.” However, the Minneapolis Police Department budget continues to increase each year. The Minneapolis Police Department budget for 2020 is $193.3 million, a 4.5% increase from the 2019 budget of $184.9 million, according to the City of Minneapolis Budget. The proposed 2020 budget for the St. Paul Police Department is around $123 million, according to the St. Paul website. Despite the push to majorly reform the police system, the idea of the police providing protection of the communities they work in may be a positive side to the change, and one that could continue in whatever form the system may take on in

the future, if reform happens. After nine Minneapolis City Council members stood up at a rally in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis in June, the issue of Defunding the Police lost momentum. Mayor Jacob Frey declined to support the movement and was booed by advocates of a restructuring at the time. This week, Frey said, “I think the initial announcement created a certain level of confusion from residents at a time when the city really needed that stability,” according to The New York Times. While there was hope an amendment to the city charter would be on the Nov. 3 ballot,

the issue did not make it there. In an Aug. 15 poll published in The Star Tribune, while the majority of residents do believe the city should redirect some funding from the police department to social services, such as mental health, drug treatment or violence prevention programs, they do not support reducing the size of the police force.


emplate how a city sans police might look


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CCO/MPR poll conducted Aug. 15

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health professionals. These people likely have more in depth training in their specific field and they do not have a gun, which can escalate a situation. Senior Mia Schubert sees calls related to mental health as instances when police are not needed. She believes that “A lot of the shootings and violence against minority groups were due to wellness checks, and police came to those wellness checks and were violent. I feel like if we can bring mental health resources to public schooling, and try and tackle the problem a little bit closer

to when people are younger, and I guess in lower income areas, then we’re less likely to need those wellness checks in the first place. Mental health shouldn’t be a crime, and I definitely think that social workers should come to crime scenes. You know, even if someone did something wrong, they probably still have trauma. It doesn’t matter. They need help.” Part of the argument to defund the police is that the money could be redirected into communities, specifically low income neighborhoods and marginalized communities. The logistics of where exactly the money would go has been debated but education, housing, and access to mental health resources are some of the most common suggestions. This summer prompted communities to step up and organize to help one another. Neighborhood watch programs and citizen patrols protected businesses and residences for damage. Funding through services like GoFundMe, Venmo, and


officers are employed by the MPD according to the New York Times

Cash App for businesses whose buildings were damaged or destroyed in the fires prompted broad financial support from individuals. Places to donate food and resources for protesters as well as those affected by the protests popped up all over the Twin Cities. People opened their homes as a place of refuge from tear gassing and rubber bullets being shot by police. In the mornings after protests, hundreds of people showed up to clean up what they could. Action taken for a community, by said community, is one

of the main goals in defunding the police, especially considering many police officers do not live where they work. According to MPD 150, over 90% of Minneapolis Police officers are not from Minneapolis. “Police officers sometimes live 15 minutes away, in a predominantly white suburb, from where they work,” Kimmel said. “So just the way that police officers are disconnected from the communities they are supposed to be protecting is a problem, because how do you protect the community if you don’t know the community?”

The future of defunding the police remains uncertain. Activists are sure that it must happen eventually and are committed to the cause for the long haul. Others hold firm in their belief in the police. While the Minneapolis city council members did pledge to defund MPD some have taken back their sentiments after the charter commission didn’t put the police on the ballot. Regardless of what is in the foreseeable future, this seems to be only the beginning for a nationwide dialogue on policing.



of Minneapolis general fund is spent on police according to MPD 150


of MPD officers live outside of Minneapolis according to MPD 150



From racial justice to discrimination in extracurriculars

Student activism fuels real change COLIN WILL


The summer time is often seen as an opportunity for rest and relaxation for students. Sleeping in, spending time with friends, enjoying the nice weather. However, many students did the opposite, taking the summer as their chance to make a real impact on the world they’re living in.

FIGHTING POLICE BRUTALITY The death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police in May sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality. Across the country, more and more activists, including many students, took to the streets to bring attention to the country’s issues and demand change. Among them was junior Isaiah Eby, who saw George Floyd’s death as a call to action. “After George Floyd, it wasn’t really something free for me to even consider. It was just, this is the right thing to do,” he said.



Isaiah’s older sister Isis Eby joined him and his younger sister, Addy Eby, to organize a march in July protesting the 2019 killing of Elijah McClain, who died from asphyxiation in police custody in a similar manner to George Floyd. During the protest, Eby took a megaphone and delivered a speech to the gathered crowd, which he later shared on Instagram. In the speech, he called on his fellow activists to keep up the fight and never stop speaking against systemic racism. “I had a lot of people there to help me through and to be supportive, but it was scary, but once I did it, I was really glad that I did in knowing that people were actually listening,” Isaiah said about the experience. Participating in protests makes him feel seen when he so often feels overlooked. “It’s empowering. Especially being black with so many white people there… Knowing that there are people out there

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Isaiah Eby PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Adrienne Gaylord PROTEST FOR CHANGE. Isaiah Eby, alongside sister Addy Eby, marches at a protest against police brutality on July 19, 2020. The protest was organized by his sister Isis Eby to commemorate Elijah McClain, who was killed by police in 2019. “She coordinated everything: location, security guards, food, first aid, the route of the speakers, artists, she did it all,” said Isaiah. who do care, they do support you and see the struggles that you deal with in your life. It really is just a good feeling,” he said. Eby believes that as a student at St. Paul Academy, it is his responsibility to use his privilege and Instagram following to spread his message as far as possible. “I spoke at a protest, I posted it on my Instagram, and I knew that it would be received by people who would listen, and might not be listening to other people… I knew that I had an audience, and so it was my job to bring to that audience the issues that I cared about and that were so important,” he said. More than anything, Eby hopes that the gathered voices of himself and others will make a noticeable difference in the way those in power act. He wants to see “people in positions of power really showing that they care and [that] they’re willing to take concrete steps to show that they care, and not just performative actions,” he said. Eby plans to continue his activism through college and beyond. He doesn’t know exactly where his path will lead, but he knows that social justice will be involved. He’s not finished quite yet.

DEBATE FOR ALL In organized high school debate, topics often revolve around social issues, but usually on a national or international scale. Junior Spencer Burris-Brown noticed problems within the debate community itself and decided to do something about it. A member of SPA’s debate team, Burris-Brown is also an activist with an organization called Beyond Resolved, which works to foster equity and inclusion in the debate community. Though the organization primarily focuses on gender and income inequality, over the summer Burris-Brown spearheaded an initiative to combat ableism at tournaments. “I think there are a lot of factors working against people with speech impediments or tics or disabilities,” Burris-Brown said. “We’re trying to do judge bias training at tournaments so that debaters with disabilities face less discrimination under the database.” Burris-Brown first noticed debate’s discrimination issues in the post-debate evaluations provided by judges to debaters. “Judges have really no concept of what they should and shouldn’t be commenting on, like they’ll comment on girls’ clothes or hair or accessories, and they’ll comment on the way that people talk, and the

way that people express themselves. And it just creates a toxic, exclusive environment that feels kind of bad to be a part of… I’ve always wanted to do something about it,” he said. Part of the problem, according to Burris-Brown, is speaker points, points awarded in the Public Forum style of debate that go to individual speakers, rather than teams. “Speaker points shouldn’t be based on how little somebody stumbles during a speech, but rather the actual content of that speech, and the strategic decisions made in it. Because otherwise, that leaves a lot of room open for discrimination,” Burris-Brown said. He is itching to take his solutions past the drawing board and into practice. “Right now I feel like it’s a lot of talking to talk, because right now we’re just brainstorming all of the issues that we’ve noticed, and I want to start taking that and figuring out solutions to them and actually getting them implemented,” he said. Whether or not his campaign for bias training and more objective judging is successful, Burris-Brown plans to continue his activism through college. Debate, too, will go on, continuing to stimulate young minds and encourage them to think about their own beliefs and biases.

THINKING ABOUT GOING TO A PROTEST? HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING Water and snacks. If you’re going to be outside and walking for long periods of times, you’ll need fuel. Mask and hand sanitizer. Don’t forget that there is still a pandemic going on. The protest will likely be crowded, so safety is crucial. Comfortable shoes. These are self explanatory. If you’re going to be walking long distances, supportive shoes are important. First aid supplies. Even if a protest is planned to be peaceful, that could change in an instant. Basic first aid supplies are useful in the case of any violence or accidents.




New to the Upper School, ninth graders adapt

Join a club: Committing to a club for the year is a great way to connect with peers over a shared interest.

First day of high school at a new school. The ultimate teen-drama nightmare. And, what’s that, distance learning? Plot twist. Each grade comes at adapting to distance learning from a different angle. For seniors, it’s leadership, modeling flexibility, and employing perspective on the situation. For sophomores and juniors, it’s maintaining momentum. Upperclassmen are coming to terms with school looking differently than they are used to. But for 9th graders, who are coming in with little to no experience with the Upper School, this year was always going to be about adapting to a new environment and way of doing school. And for 9th graders coming to Saint Paul Academy from other middle schools, many of whom have yet to establish a social network at SPA, the risk of feeling isolated and disoriented can be even greater. 9th grader Malachi Gross, who came to SPA this year

Participate in Homecoming dress up days: Though it is not the usual excitement of homecoming week having the majority of students dress up can promote a sense of community. Try out for a new sport: Most sports are still going on. Becoming a part of a team makes it easy to meet new people.



from Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School said, “I assumed that it’d be a challenge coming to a new school, but surprisingly it’s been going really well.”


In Gross’ experience, making friends has gone well, even with school going on in an online format. “My old school was really small, much smaller than SPA, so you didn’t really choose your friends, it’s more like whoever’s there. At SPA, there’s a bunch of people you can meet, which has been really nice, because meeting different people that aren’t just peo-

Pandemic adds new layer to student job difficultly MAREN OSTREM


Masks, plastic shields, hand sanitizer. Many businesses are taking extra precautions due to the pandemic, still while attempting to function semi normally. Students have had to adapt to strange working conditions, especially when it comes to interacting with costumers. Senior Sara Browne started working at Hope Breakfast Bar and The Gnome Craft Pub in June. Hope Breakfast Bar and The Gnome are both still open, but have had to adapt to protocols to keep their customers and employees safe. “Everyone wears masks… all our tables are six feet apart… we also have plastic dividers between everything,” Browne said. The restaurants are also enforcing a time limit on reservations. Junior Jayden Jones works at Buffalo Wild Wings as a cook and is dealing with similar safety measures. “I had to take a COVID test when I interviewed. I have to take one every two to three weeks.”

[ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEW] He compares life in Taiwan to life in Minnesota

While Browne feels relatively safe at work, she still takes extra precautions. “We have a bunch of hand sanitizer and I use that pretty religiously… When I come home from work I wipe down my phone.” Although mask wearing is relatively easy to enforce amongst employees, social distancing is more difficult, especially in close quarters. “We try our best. It’s relatively effective, but you know it’s not perfect, and it’s probably never going to be perfect,” Jones said. High school workers not only have to deal with new rules and safety precautions, but with frustrated customers. “I’m very surprised at how many adults just don’t wear their masks right and don’t follow the protocols… It’s hard when they’re yelling at me about it, and I can’t really do anything, and I just have to explain, ‘well, it’s our policy for the pandemic’,” Browne said. The stress of the pandemic protocols mixed with difficult customers can make for a very difficult day at work. Browne

distance learning. “I really like the stuff that we’re learning. I like… that you get to connect with the teacher more because the class size is smaller, and you get to participate in discussions more,” Hardy said. “I don’t think [distance learning has] actually impacted my work that much, except for maybe in science, because you can’t really do the labs at home, and I wouldn’t say it’s affected how I meet my teachers that much, but I don’t know what it would be like normally.” Gross has benefited from the addition of asynchronous class time, in particular. “Even though I thought all this time on a screen would be really bad, it’s turned out really well, because it gives time off screen or time to do homework and meet with teachers, which is important,” he said. Though it may not be the movie they were expecting to star in, these new 9th graders are adapting to the circumstances and figuring out how to play the role in which they have been cast.

Mentor program adjusts to pandemic MADDY FISHER THE RUBICON

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Sara Browne Sara Browne works at The Gnome Craft Pub as a host. expressed a desire for customers to be patient and recognize that everyone’s on the same team. “I would just want people to understand that it’s a lot going on, and it was a very fast turnaround to adjusting to all these new things. And I would just ask people to just be kind and be patient.” Jones summed up both of their thoughts, “Everyone’s doing the best they can. Especially the 16-year-old who’s trying to get their job done and get paid.”




ple I’ve known for 8 or 9 years of my life. It’s been a good experience,” he said. For 9th grader Carys Hardy, who previously attended Seward Montessori, connecting socially over Google Meets has been more challenging. “It’s really hard to make connections and get to know people over video calls, and I really wish that we were actually in school,” she said. However, joining the cross country team, which has been doing socially-distanced in-person practices, has provided an entry point into the community for her. “It’s been really nice, because everybody is really nice and supportive, and I would definitely say that’s a way to get to know some people before we actually go back to school, and so it’s just sort of a nice way to ease into being a part of the community. And it’s also just really fun. It’s a nice break from doing homework,” she said. Both Gross and Hardy have had overall positive experiences with the academic side of

New to SPA this year, sophomore Calvin He shares about his previous international schooling experience and some things he’s looking forward to in coming back to Minnesota and starting fresh at a new school. Q: Where did you go to

This year’s mentorship program, like many other school traditions, has undergone renovations. Most years, when meetings are set up between ninth-graders and their respective student mentors, they are conducted in-person, and occur at regular dates. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented the organizers of the program with a unique set of obstacles. Senior Aman Rahman, member of Upper School Council, is entering her second year as a mentor, and the contrast between this year and the last is already clear. In a regular year, the mentorship program would include games and other activities to help the ninth-graders connect with their mentors. However, being conducted over Google Meet, the distance created by screens makes such connections far more difficult For Rahman, this is one

school before coming to SPA? A: I went to Taipei American School. It’s an International School in Taipei City in Taiwan. And, yeah, it has an American curriculum and everything. It’s not that different from the US, a private school like SPA, or any other private school you’d seen in the US. Q: Why did you decide to at-

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Aman Rahman Aman Rahman, mentor and USC member, works at her at home work station. of the greatest challenges the program has encountered. “It’s a lot more awkward online,” Rahman said. “You definitely have to make more of an effort, especially when meeting new people.” In order to combat these difficulties, USC has been searching for ways to make the meetings more engaging. “We decided to try to have some sort of bigger group meeting online to help make it more fun,” Rahman said. “Our first initial meeting was a quick half hour get to know your mentor and your mentees.” read the full story at

RUBICON online tend SPA? A: I don’t know where we heard of SPA, but I remember in middle school I toured it and it really caught my parents’ eye and they really liked what the school had to offer. read the full story at

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Franconia Sculpture Park offers safe, outdoor venture ELOISE DUNCAN THE RUBICON

Looking to see some unique art safely during the pandemic? Franconia Sculpture Park is a perfect opportunity. Created in 1996, the 43 acre outdoor sculpture park resides in the picturesque St. Croix River Valley, about 50 minutes away from the upper school campus. It is a nonprofit arts organization and features more than 120 sculptures. Each year, around 40 artists are awarded fellowships and internships that allow them to create and display a largescale sculpture. “So many outdoor activities during the pandemic found new audiences and

extended focus. Many galleries and museums remained closed - places like Franconia and The Walker found increases of visitors to their outdoor sculpture parks. In addition, I sense the interest in the content or visual narrative of artwork builds new interest and art awareness,” US Art Department Chair Daryn Lowman said. It takes about one hour to admire all of the sculptures, shoot some pictures, and learn more about the art. There is a wide assortment of unique pieces, making it possible

THE RUBICON PHOTOS: Eloise Duncan UNIQUE ANGLE. Senior Ruby Hoeschen snaps a picture in the window of an art installment. for anyone to find something than what I am used to working have a meaningful experience that piques their interest. In with, and it was fun exploring with art–we are open, we are one corner, giant blue silks different ways to create images free, we see you, we hear you, twirl in the wind. Across the of objects that were so unique and we are here for you. We park, a collection of large mir- and interesting. It provided believe in justice for George rors scatter the landscape, cre- many photo opportunities, Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahating endless reflections within both for portraits and for cool maud Arbery, Tony McDade, each other. In another section, pictures of the sculptures. I’m and so many others lost to poa rundown house hangs by excited to incorporate some lice violence. At Franconia we strings from a metal structure. of these sculptures into my fu- celebrate the work of our black, Senior Ruby Hoeschen trav- ture work in senior art seminar brown and indigenous sisters eled there to take photos for and possibly in my portfolio,” and brothers and honor the Honors Art Seminar. Hoeschen said. work of LGBTQIA+ artists, not “I liked taking photos at the Along with being a popular only in June for Pride Month sculpture park because it was stop for viewing art and taking but always and forever.” a very different subject matter pictures, the organization supFranconia Sculpture Park ports social justice initiatives is free to the public, and open and celebrates the diversity from 8a.m. to 8p.m. 365 days a in the world. Throughout the year. The arts and farmers marpark, benches with the names ket, scheduled the first Sunday of Black victims of police bru- of every month May-Oct. from tality can be found. On their 10a.m. to 2p.m., will happen website it is stated: “Franconia for the last time in 2020 on is a space where anyone can Sunday Oct. 4. The sculpture titled “Dazzle” by Chris Manzione is covered in geometric shapes to warp 3D perception from every angle.

Lorenz-Meyer crochets for a cause MADDY FISHER THE RUBICON

For senior Hannah Lorenz-Meyer, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic was an opportunity to pursue a new hobby: crocheting. Crocheting is a process that involves a curved hook to interlock loops of a material such as yarn to create textiles. Though the origin of this particular needlework technique is unknown, crocheting, most popular in the 1900s, has recently seen a revival as interest in DIY crafts reemerged. The time provided by the state-wide stay at home order and Lorenz-Meyer’s ensuing boredom encouraged her to try this popular activity. “I tried it a couple of times before, but it never really worked out,” Lorenz-Meyer said. “I just had a lot more opportunities to do it this time.” For Lorenz-Meyer, the work involved is relaxing: a productive activity she can do while watching television. As she grew more comfortable with the process, she found an op-

portunity to give to her community. “I was making a lot for myself and I wanted to see if other people were interested in it too,” Lorenz-Meyer said. “And I wanted to do something to get donations for different organizations, and a way to fundraise or something. To do something good.”


this business, Lorenz-Meyer has turned her new hobby into an opportunity to help people in need. However, she has encountered some challenges: “It’s kind of difficult to start something like this,” Lorenz-Meyer said. “It’s hard to get customers—I haven’t had that many sales yet.” In addition to these concerns, the time it takes to crochet and manage her business has become a problem.

“I’ve had to put it on hold since school started,” she said. Nevertheless, Lorenz-Meyer remains optimistic and encourages others to try something similar. “I’d say if you really like doing something, just go for it,” she said. “It’s nice to do something for a good cause.” Find Lorenz-Meyer’s creations on Instagram at or on Depop at @hlm0508.

This motivation, coupled with the time provided by quarantine, allowed her to start a business—Lorenz-Meyer has begun to sell her crochet work online using applications like Instagram and Depop. Whenever someone buys her work, mainly consisting of shirts and bags, she donates the profit to a charity of their choice. Through

PHOTOS: Lorenz-Meyer’s crocheted shirts pop with color and creativity.

Movies continue to misrepresent Black culture JENNY RIES


When consuming media, it is always important to think critically about not only what is overtly stated, but also about subtext and indirect messages being conveyed. This becomes even more vital in the context of dismantling institutional racism in entertainment media. Movies and television have become a conversation-starter about the history and present of anti-Black racism in the United States, which makes it all the more important for audiences to think critically about what is being conveyed to them in portrayals of Black life on screen.

Read the full story at

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Hollywood misses the mark Chemical Hearts lacks realistic plot MAREN OSTREM


Based on the young adult novel Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland, Chemical Hearts is an angsty teen movie, devoid of realistic portrayals of the high school experience. Released on Aug. 21 on Amazon Prime, it is free for Amazon Prime Video subscribers. The film follows 17-year-old Henry Page (Austin Abrams) as he begins his senior year. Henry is an aspiring writer who is shooting for the Editor-in-Chief position on the student newspaper staff. Although he comes from a privileged life and loves to write, he feels like nothing interesting has happened to him so he doesn’t have anything to write about. On the first day of school, Henry meets Grace Town (Lili Reinhart), who has been offered the Editor-in-Chief role alongside Henry. Grace is a new student, who walks with a cane and is slow to warm up to people. Grace was in a car accident that killed her boyfriend and left her disabled. She is initially wary of Henry’s attempts to get to know her, and there is a brief but highly uncomfortable phase of slight stalking on

Henry’s part before they start to spend more time together. As they get to know each other, Henry realizes the extent of Grace’s grief and tries to help her heal. The acting in Chemical Hearts is one of its few redeeming qualities. Reinhart gives an emotional and convincing performance as Grace, easily conveying the complicated nature of grief and the teenage experience. Abrams is given less emotion to convey than Reinhart, but still gives a strong performance. Sadie Jones, Bruce Altman, and Meg Gibson are genuine as Henry’s parents and sister. Kara Young and C.J Hoff are charming and funny as Henry’s best friends, La and Muz. The few emotionally moving scenes are powered by Reinhart’s and Abrams’ performances rather than the unrealistic dialogue. One of the first lines of the movie is “You are never more alive than when you are a teenager.” This line is only the beginning of the abundant bemoaning of teenage life that continues throughout the movie. It becomes a bit tedious at certain points although the characters make some good points on occasion.


What’s on your fall playlist? EVELYN LILLEMOE


PHOTO: Chemical Hearts Instagram The acting of the main characters portrayed emotion and grief in a moving way. The plot of Chemical Hearts is not bad at face value. The problem is with the main character. The story being told through Henry’s point of view is a huge drawback. Henry’s main personality trait is wanting to be more interesting, leaving him with almost no intriguing personality. The story would be much more engaging told through Grace’s perspective, or if Henry was given a bit more character development that wasn’t centered around other people. The unrealistic nature of the movie is enough to draw viewers out of the moment. When Grace leads Henry to

an abandoned cotton mill that contains a pond filled with koi fish, the immediate thought is “How did those koi get there?” rather than focusing on the potentially profound scene that takes place. Although the movie may have had potential, it missed the mark with the pretentious dialogue, unrealistic plot points, and distracting over dramatic teenage angst.

PARISA GHAVAMI Rhythm of the Night by DeBarge


GRAY WHITAKER Way It Goes by Hippo Campus

Mulan visually stuns but fails elsewhere

PHOTO: Mulan’s visual effects show outstanding notion to China’s environment. COLIN WILL


A remake of the 1998 animated musical, the would-be summer blockbuster, Mulan, fails to cover up its many shortcomings with breathtaking visuals. It attempts to be a more mature, culturally accurate, and action-packed version of the animated original. Instead, audiences got a visually appealing and exciting, yet shallow, final product. The story begins with the protagonist, the self-assured Hua Mulan (Yifei Liu), struggling to find peace with her sidelined role as a woman in

the Ancient Chinese patriarchy while hiding her superpowers, which only men are allowed to have. Meanwhile, the Rouran horde, led by Böri Khan (Jason Scott Lee), make plans to invade China. When the Emperor (Jet Li) decrees that one man from each family must join the battle against the Rourans, Mulan enlists in her ailing father’s place, eager to prove her that her worth goes beyond her beauty. She must master her confusing superpowers and come to peace with her place in the world if she is to defeat the Northern Invaders and save the Middle Kingdom. Mulan’s filmmakers were handed the difficult task of balancing the movie’s three aspects: a live-action remake of the animated Mulan (1998); a thrilling action fantasy; and a film rendition of the Chinese folktale The Ballad of Mulan, in a time where cultural sensitivity – and appealing to Chinese markets – is more important than ever. The only way the film shines is as an action movie. The $200 million that went into its production is evident in its massively detailed sets, impressive 3D models, and copious visual effects. Although they had plenty of money to spend on exquisite backdrops, the filmmakers didn’t underestimate the potential of China’s

natural beauty to set the scene, showcasing the country’s biodiversity and signature rock formations as often as possible.

ANY ILLUSION OF A GOOD-FAITH EFFORT TO RESPECT ASIAN CULTURES IS SPOILED BY THE FILM’S FANTASY ELEMENTS. Comparing Mulan to its predecessors paints it in a less favorable light. Clear attempts were made to adhere more closely to the Chinese legend: there are no goofy dragons, lucky crickets or spontaneous musical numbers (though some of the 1998 film’s music appeared instrumentally). Nor are there inappropriate relationships with commanding officers, out-of-place Huns or ahistorical hair-cutting scenes. But despite these omissions, any illusion of a good-faith effort to respect Asian cultures is spoiled by the film’s fantasy elements. The Rouran warrior Xianniang (Gong Li) is called a “witch” throughout the film, despite no comparable concept existing in the Asian Steppe cultures. Mulan and Xianniang wield Chi or Qi, the Chinese

word for someone’s life-force, which is appropriated to describe a magical power granting the user enhanced combat ability and reflexes. These inaccuracies aren’t just a slap in the face to the legend, but they’re a slap in the face to the whole point of Mulan’s story. One of the earliest scenes in the film makes reference to the final line of The Ballad of Mulan – “When a pair of rabbits run side by side/Who can distinguish male from female?” The Ballad is one of the few Chinese folk stories without supernatural elements for a reason. Mulan may be a woman, but fighting side by side, she is just as much a warrior as her male comrades. It is her bravery and cunning that distinguishes her, not her supernatural powers. If the heroine of the animated Mulan had needed superpowers for her efforts to matter, well, it wouldn’t have been much of a feminist story at all. Mulan is available to stream now for Disney+ subscribers for $30.00. It will be made available to everyone with a $6.99/month subscription to Disney+ on December 4.


STELLA MCKOY Cardigan by Taylor Swift

MILLICENT BENSON Exhale by Sabrina Carpenter

HENRY CHOI Rollercoaster by The Bleachers



Fall teams adapt to new challenges SPARKS find their pace in the lanes LUCY BENSON


The pool deck looks a little different this year for SPARKS Swim and Dive. Tape covers it, indicating proper social distancing between the athletes and masks are worn at all times when not in the water. “We practice six days a week for two hours; this season has been fine training wise but very strange with everything going on,” sophomore Lela Tilney-Kaemmer said. Junior Marie Schumacher shared that despite the strangeness, they’re glad to be there. “Everyone on the team values the opportunity to practice during a pandemic,” Schumacher said. “We’re all working hard to follow safety protocols and make sure swim [is] able to continue.” Tape and masks are not the only changes the team is seeing this year; they now train in groups. “The team is divid-

ed into three practice groups, with two practices held per day, while previously there was just one practice per day and JV and Varsity practiced together,” Schumacher said. “It’s weird because I don’t get to see anyone from JV so I don’t even know some people on my swim team,” Tilney-Kaemmer said. “I feel bad because I walk by them and don’t know their names.” Even in this, Schumacher and Tilney-Kaemmer are able to find silver linings. “It is sad that the team is split into so many groups, but we’ve been able to get closer to the people in our practice groups and lanes,” Schumacher said. “The thing about COVID is at least we’re all going through it together so I don’t feel left out at all,” Tilney-Kaemmer said. The dividing of the team doesn’t seem to affect the SPARKS sense of community.

IBID PHOTO: Karla Garcia FREESTYLE. SPARKS swim team now wear masks when they’re not in the pool. “Everyone on the team values the opportunity to practice during a pandemic,” junior Marie Schumacher said. “We all motivate each other, and I think the general vibe on the swim team is really positive,” Schumacher said. Tilney-Kaemmer echoed this statement. “My favorite thing about the team by far is the people, they make me get up and come to

practice when I don’t want to,” she said. “I’ve gotten so close with people from both Highland and SPA and I wouldn’t change that for anything.” This is Schumacher’s third year on the team and despite all the precautions, she’s glad to be there.

“The season has been going really well,” she said. “It has been great to see people in-person, and even though this season is different, I’m really grateful to be on the team.” The team’s next meet is Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. vs. Como Park at Highland Park Senior HS.

Girls soccer relies on traditions to maintain team culture SALAH ABDULKARIM THE RUBICON

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Kurt Waltenbaugh Junior Mia Hofmann races up the filed with a Breck defender right on her back.

While the varsity soccer team has its ups and downs this season, they’re relying on team culture to succeed. With nearly half as many games as last year, they are working hard to continue to build team culture and practice hard to win as many games as they can during this season. Their record at press time was 1-3-1 but they are certain they will prevail. Senior co-captain Izzy Medrano said, “Given we have a lot fewer games and opportunities to improve, I think it’s important that we take each game seriously and make the most out of the short season

we have and focus on building our team’s community because having a strong relationship with your teammates goes a long way.” 9th grader Aurelia Meza talked more about some struggles GVS has to endure. “We don’t have very many girls, we only have 13 varsity players. I just wish we had more players, we don’t have any subs so we get really tired by the second half,” she said. After the annual GVS trip to Duluth was canceled due to concerns about the pandemic, the team has found creative ways to bond and build team culture in a safe manner. “We’ve had a team dinner where we just had pizza in

someone’s backyard and sat six feet apart while wearing masks, it was really fun. At times we get to practices a bit early and sit around and talk. It’s been tough but I think we’ve made the best of the situation, and I still think our team dynamic is really good all things considered,” Medrano said. Meza has had an overall positive experience as a new member of the team. “Everyone’s really nice and very welcoming, it helps me get to know people because I’m new to this school,” Meza said. The team’s next game is Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m. against Providence Academy at home.

Boys soccer stays focused on few games SALAH ABDULKARIM THE RUBICON

With two wins, a tie and a loss, the varsity soccer team is getting off to a hot start. Despite the current situation with COVID-19 leading to a decreased number of games and additional safety precautions needed for training, the team has not been discouraged. “With COVID and the restrictions, our season’s a lot shorter than we were hoping for. At this point, we’re not sure if we’re going to have playoffs or not. So the only thing that we have a chance of winning is the conference…I’m hopeful that we win the conference...

and that we have playoffs,” explained co-captain Milo Waltenbaugh. While sports can be physically challenging under normal circumstances, this year athletes are also required to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines at practice. “We have to wear masks now when we train, which actually ended up impacting the team more than we expected. It’s difficult to be physically active and worry about social distancing at the same time,” Waltenbaugh said. Junior Mac Brown added that “It’s definitely a bit harder to play with masks but we all

know it’s really important so we don’t catch or spread anything. I’d say that even though we have less games and COVID changed a lot we’ve sort of learned to take games and practices more seriously.” While it’s uncertain if playoffs will happen, Brown is hopeful that it will: “We have no idea if play-offs are going to happen, but if it does, I think we’ve got a good shot of making it pretty far,” Brown said. The team’s next home game is Oct. 2 at 4:30 p.m. against Mounds Park Academy.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: Kurt Waltenbaugh Captain Milo Waltenbaugh shields off his defender with his left hand to remain in control of the ball.





Cross Country runs with new rules ADRIENNE GAYLORD THE RUBICON




Violet Benson

As the autumn sun slowly sets over the track, Spartan runners sprint across the field, each apart by six feet. This is evidence of the adjustments the cross country teams are making as they find themselves running with a few new rules. “We’ve had to wear masks at practice when we’re not running. We have to do a lot more spacing out while we’re running. Usually, we try to run in tight packs, but we’ve had to be more mindful about that, and then our season’s been shortened and our meets are a lot smaller,” girls captain Isabel Toghramadjian said. The first thing the runners have to do when they show up for practice is stand in line to have their temperature taken and fill out health paperwork. Another big change for the team has been all of the new members. “That’s the most exciting thing; there’s a lot of new faces,” coach Wendy Surprise said. Yet even with all of these new additions the team remains close knit and welcoming. This year is 9th grader Connor Overgaard’s first season on the team. As soon as he got

THE RUBICON PHOTO: Adrienne Gaylord The Cross country teams completes an active warm up before practice, with runner following social distance guidelines. into his first practice he said he could tell he was joining a team that was, “really close together.” The team’s attitude has kept all of its members positive through the challenges presented by the COVID-19. “I think we’re all kind of struggling with the distancing, but I think we’ve kind of figured it out; how to still stay together and still connect positively,” Overgaard said. “I just like to see them continue to improve and get some mental momentum,” Surprise said. Spartan Cross Country hasn’t let any of the challenges of this year slow them down.

“It’s kind of hard, but the team is really great, and the team is like a family. We all love each other so much, so since we’re with such great people it’s been easier,” 9th grader Violet Benson said. Cross country is one of many teams that have had to adapt. to new challenges; even socially distanced, the SPA cross country teams stick together. Their next meet is Oct. 6 at Battle Creek Regional Park, time TBD.

Girls tennis focuses on inclusion and ambition SALAH ABDULKARIM THE RUBICON

Eager to win as many matches as possible this season, varsity tennis has become highly ambitious. By focusing on team dynamics and working hard they hope for a stronger season. The team is off to a great start with a 6-1 record, demolishing their competition. “We’re trying to make the best of the situation. Hopefully we can grow as a team, not have a lot of games canceled and just try to have a good attitude about it,” senior co-captain Maya Choi said. While health restrictions have made it slightly more difficult, the team has been working to include all members of the team no matter how small the gesture may be.

Football and volleyball season back on for fall


Maya Choi

“Even if we’re just going to grab water, we’ll take some underclassmen with us, just to make them feel welcome and try to make sure we’re including everyone,” Choi said. The team’s next home match is Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. against Breck.

Captain Kate Hick serves the ball into play.

PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: Kate Hick Sophomore Anna Nowakowski hits the ball back to her opponents in a doubles match. At press time, girls tennis had a record of 6 :1. Their next home match in Oct 1 at 4 p.m. versus Breck. Junior Maggie Fields focuses on hitting the ball.



PHOTO: @smbwolfpack on Instagram SMB Wolfpack completes a pass in the Fall 2019 season.

Following an emergency meeting Sept. 21, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has permitted the play of both the football and volleyball seasons this fall. This meeting was prompted by an outbreak of criticism concerning the MSHSL’s original decision of delaying both sports until spring 2021.

When asked how they feel about their seasons resuming in the fall, junior Judah Thomas and sophomore Solvej Eversoll were conflicted. “I’m really excited to start playing again, but I feel like we just don’t have much time,” Thomas said, “teams in other places who made the decision to play this fall have already been competing for a month, almost two now.” Eversoll was also concerned about the timing of the

volleyball season, but for other reasons; “right now it interferes with the club season, because depending on how strict the MSHSL is… you have to choose between club and school, which I think would break up a lot of teams.” read the full story at

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How are politicians encouraging young adults to vote? EVE SAMPSELL-JONES THE RUBICON

“Your generation is the future of politics.” “Gen Z gives me hope.” “Young people are going to be the ones to fix this country.”


POLITICIANS KNOW THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO VOTE. THEY ALSO KNOW THAT THE VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESS IS A SERIES OF HURDLES. Those statements have a lot to unpack in them, but it’s safe to say that Generation Z (born 1995-2010) is politically active, even if many Gen Z-ers can’t vote yet. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 2018 midterms, 35.6% of people between the ages of 18-29 voted: a large jump from the 19.9% in 2014. Many believe young voters will be integral to the 2020 election, as millennials and older Gen Z-ers comprise 37% of the eligible voter population. So how are politicians and political groups encouraging young voters to get out the vote? Since young people are so politically active, politicians make their platforms clear on social media.

INFOGRAPHIC: Salah Abdulkarim NEWS VIEWS. Most students at SPA read political news either daily or 3-4 times a week. A small percentage (10.3%) of students surveyed never read political news. A quick scroll through Biden’s Instagram (@joebiden) reveals beliefs that support the Violence Against Women Act, economic equality, and racial equity. Trump’s (@realdonaldtrump) includes supporting the Israeli government, as well as a shout out to a banner that reads that his supporters “love God, guns, family, freedom, and your neighbor.” Another thing politicians have started doing to garner support from young voters is


Information collected from a Google Form sent to Upper School students with 77 responses.

showing how different celebrities support their policies. Biden recently made a video with Cardi B in which they discussed racial equality and more supportive government systems. In the past, Trump has publicized his long-lasting friendship with Kanye West, spanning from old controversy to more recent drama around West’s own presidential bid. Politicians know that young people want to vote. They also know that the voter registra-

tion process is a series of hurdles: it’s messy and there are tons of rules and a lot of stuff one needs to figure out, on top of the fact that young adults probably have school or work keeping them busy. So, how do politicians combat this? They make the voting process easy and pave the way for young voters. A few clicks on Joe Biden’s website will reveal a page with a link to voter registration and a hot line for questions, and Donald Trump’s has a regis-


tration page, too, and the first thing one sees when clicking on his site is a button to request an absentee ballot. While politicians are doing their best to reach younger audiences, time will tell if young voters actually do the voting.


Sila Liljedahl

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