Tiger Times Volume 52 Issue 1

Page 1

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Tiger Times September

Volume 52

Issue 1

3 6 8 ttonl.org

Remotivating and adapting for productive learning BY: Sarah Ju

Social media: From activism to slacktivism BY: Sunny Lee

South Korean schools respond to MOE guidelines BY: Erin J Choi

“Sometimes you need to get knocked down to understand what your fight is.� - Chadwick Boseman -

In 2020, struggle is all around us. Within the span of a few months, we have witnessed partisan struggle in an election year, protestors fight against institutional racism, educators grapple with virtual teaching, and much more. Chadwick Boseman had his own struggles. He struggled against colon cancer while filming multiple Oscar-worthy films and struggled to elevate black role models in an industry dominated by non-black imagery. In the coming weeks, we encourage you to also reflect on your struggle. As you open the covers of Tiger Times and read about athletes protesting systemic racism or students taking social media by storm, read through the lens of empathy: from cancer to black empowerment, everyone struggles, everyone is choosing their battles, everyone fights their own good fight.

2 Editorial

When newspapers have existential crises by

Brian Ham & Eric Hwang editors-in-chief

What responsibility does a lowly reporter, a single man or woman armed with little more than pen and paper, owe to society? Election years have always been opportunities for the media to reflect on their obligations, particularly in regards to its immense influence on society, and 2020 is no exception. Even in the age of social media, news media plays a key role in determining how to portray a complex political landscape filled with clashing perspectives in a series of articles and broadcasts. As such, not only do newspapers have a perceived duty to be bastions of truth that cut through lies and answer society’s most pressing questions, but they must also reevaluate whether their responsibilities extend to unifying a population during a time that metaphorically tears the country apart. Will each subsequent article promote civil discourse or polarization that only widens the rift? Is it even the job of the media to heal divided communities at all? In congruence with this mood of reflection, the new editors of Tiger Times have taken this opportunity to re-evaluate the responsibilities of our newspaper in the local community. Whether we like it or not, Tiger Times is the written personification of student voice. One does not pick up an issue of our paper simply to catch up on the latest movies or coup d’etats in South America; rather, our student journalism is unique because of its ability to showcase the world through the eyes of a high school student simultaneously juggling school and global events. Without student publications, schools run the risk of having their history be represented simply by a myriad of statistics and photo albums, losing qualitative nuance and perspective. Only a Tiger Times archive can reveal how SIS students reacted towards Val-O-Grams in 2009 or the introduction of CPM into the math department’s curriculum. In essence, Tiger Times is given importance because of its student-focused hyper-locality, not despite it. In accordance with this understanding, what you see between these covers is a refocused Tiger Times: one that sheds light on the untold but significant stories of life at SIS. Four articles this year are student columns that deviate from the neutral tone of a hard news reporter and provide student perspectives on topics stretching across time periods and genres. We have internally placed a renewed emphasis on school news and plan on using the paper as a voice for student-led change. Whether it is vicariously experiencing the brilliancy of “Dear Evan Hansen” through the eyes of our student column writers or examining the intersection between identities among SIS students, we hope these stories will take you on a distinct journey that will not be found on the front pages of the New York Times or CNN, a journey that is exclusive to SIS just as our paper is unique to our school. Of course, change does not occur overnight—it happens one issue at a time. By next May, when we are standing on the steps of graduation, we hope to have published a paper that pieces together shards of student life, ultimately depicting the complete picture of what it felt like to be a Korean international high school student growing up in the midst of a pandemic, monumental election, and whatever awaits us in the next ten months. Tiger Times will not be influencing national elections any time soon, but that was never our primary intention in the first place. What we do hope to accomplish is to have left behind a legacy of positive, student-driven change and forever preserve this fragment of SIS history.

Let yourself be heard. If you have any responses to articles published in the Tiger Times or original contributions, please send them to tigertimes@gmail.com


Kamala Harris: Biden’s right choice


he nomination of Kamala Harris as the running mate of Joe Biden and the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic Party was historic. She is the first woman of color to be chosen for a presidential ticket. Accepting the vice presidential candidate nomination, Harris delivered a heartfelt speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, discussing her upbringing and the hardships that women of color face. Biden’s vice president pick received unprecedented attention from the public, largely due to Harris’s unique social and ethnic backgrounds. In addition, should Biden be elected as the next president, there is a chance that Harris will succeed him in representing the future of the Democratic Party, given that at age 77, Biden will be the oldest president to take office. These are the implications behind the nomination of Harris as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate. Hence, the question must be asked: did Joe Biden make the right choice of selecting Kamala Harris? Definitely, and here is why. Harris allows Biden and the Democratic Party to reach different demographic groups to whom Biden simply cannot relate. Harris, who is of African American and Indian descent, associates with two distinct minority groups in the US. In addition, as a female candidate, Harris represents not only women in general, but in particular women of color, a group of staunchly loyal constituents of the Democratic Party who have not received proper representation in the

past. Although Biden does attract steady support from the white working class and African Americans, Harris adds an entirely new dimension of demographic representation for the Biden campaign. Furthermore, in regards to age groups, Harris, at age 55, is a relatable figure for the younger generation. Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are two of the oldest presidential candidates in history, and Biden has especially struggled in attracting and building enthusiasm amongst younger voters because his campaign revolves around the idea of returning to the tranquil past rather than pursuing a bold future. Hence, Harris’s ability to captivate a younger generation of voters compensates for a critical shortcoming of the Biden campaign. Moreover, Biden needed a “safe choice” for his vice presidential candidate; Harris provided just that. For his greatest chance of success in the presidential election, Biden must place the focus of the election on Donald Trump and make the election a referendum on Trump’s first term in office. To this end, the Biden campaign has sought to prove that Trump is unequivocally unfit for the job, rather than actively promoting the merits of Joe Biden as president. Thus, an important consideration for the vice presidential candidate was whether or not the candidate could act as a liability for Biden, in which the focus of the election could shift to him rather than Trump. Looking at the other candidates Biden was considering, Susan Rice and Keisha Bottoms were top contenders.

However, Susan Rice, the former national security advisor under President Obama, has been involved in numerous scandals including spreading misinformation on Benghazi and accruing accusations of utilizing classified documents to gain an advantage against the Trump campaign in 2016. Keisha Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta, lacks high-level governmental experience and could rouse concerns on her competency. On the other hand, Harris has ample experience as both the attorney general and senator of California and lacks any obvious flaws that the Trump campaign could exploit. While some critics have condemned Harris’s criminal justice record, contending that she facilitated the mass incarcerations of minorities during her time as attorney general of California, Harris has successfully defended her stance by citing the numerous criminal justice reforms she made as California’s senator. All things considered, Kamala Harris is certainly a well-considered choice for the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate. The 2020 presidential election will have long-lasting implications for society and the future of the Democratic Party. Recognizing the stakes of the election, the Biden campaign has carefully and strategically executed their course of action. The Kamala Harris pick was another shrewd move that could become vital to yielding Joe Biden and the Democratic Party a checkmate. BY: Jordan Kim Sophomore, Reporter

Necessary steps toward the prevention of COVID-19 Recognized as one of the most successful nations in fending off the further spread of COVID-19, South Korea deemed the worst of the pandemic to have passed. Such mistaken beliefs resulted in a third wave of COVID-19 cases: following a protest at Gwanghwamun square on Aug. 15, the infection rate is increasing by the day. Already, the Ministry of Education has required all schools to remain virtual until Sept.18. Public facilities including cafes and karaoke rooms have been shut down. This situation is referred to as “social distancing level 2.5,” only half a step away from level 3. Level 3 entails multiple rules that individuals must follow, such as the restriction of assembly of over 10 people and closure of all public spaces. Currently, disputes on whether social distancing levels should be raised to stage 3 run rampant across the nation. Some believe that the government is acting with unnecessary haste. This group primarily consists of small businesses owners that are prone to closure at level 3. These owners have expressed the fear of an indefinite stage 3 policy possibly causing their businesses bankruptcy. Some such as the owners of internet cafes—the first of the public facilities to be banned—have already suffered, being unable to sustain a living without regular opening hours. If the government were to move to level 3, repercussions would affect the entire nation. Economic downsides have already been observed in the US and other countries with lockdown policies. According to the New York Times, the US’ GDP faced a 5% decline, displaying the economic damages social distancing level 3 may bring to South Korea. However, it is important to note that Korea is currently in the grips of a mass pandemic. With COVID-19 death rates increasing, social distancing level 3 is an

absolute necessity. According to KBS, the virus currently spreading in South Korea is around 2.3 to 9.6 times more infectious than previous strains. Additionally, many prostetors and churchgoers are hiding from the government and are refusing to be tested. It is inconceivable where these attendees are; one might be right next to them without even knowing it. Thus, it is impossible to have individuals roam around in public surrounded by potential patients without adding hundreds to the infected list by the day. Rather than prioritizing economic matters, nations must focus on saving the most amount of human lives possible. A government’s primary role is to protect their citizens: although they may be unable to do so monetarily, the lives of citizens should always supersede financial matters. As such, it is unreasonable to object to raising the social distancing stage to level 3. Some may argue that level 2.5 is enough with the country already in semi-lockdown mode and decreasing

infection rates. However, in reality, since all bars and clubs are out of service, individuals spend time at convenience store tables and open areas in the Han River. These seemingly safe alternatives further contribute to the spread of the disease. Yet, the implementation of social distancing level 3 would only allow three individuals in public spaces, helping curb and contain the virus. Raising the stage to level 3 will not only ensure the protection of human lives, but will also help underscore the gravity of this pandemic, especially to those who refuse to take social distancing precautions. While South Korea’s economy may suffer, level 3 is essential in containing the skyrocketing infections. The nation can worry about the economy after managing active cases. After all, human lives are not exchangeable with economic stimulation. BY: Emily Sung Junior, Reporter

Tiger Times September 2020


Tiger Times Staff

Tiger Times Tiger Times exercises the right to report on and editorialize all topics, events or issues, including those unpopular or controversial, insofar as they affect or interest the school, community, nation, and world. We refrain from publishing material that advertises illegal products or services, is obscene, libelous, or invades privacy. We refrain from publishing material that creates a clear and present danger or the immediate material and substantial physical disruption of the school.

Volume 52 Issue 1 September Seoul, South Korea TTONL.org a free publication of

Seoul International School

Paper Editors-In-Chief Brian Ham Eric Hwang Website Editors-in-Chief Christopher Shin Joanne Yang

Paper Managing Editor Jiwon Lee Website Managing Editor Jenny Seo Production Editors Emily Oh Eddie Hahm

Layout Artists Ashley Kim Clara Lim Rosa Suh Rachel Yoon Copy Editors Irene Kim Sarah Ju Emily Sung Skylar Peck Hugo Lee

Reporters Jasmine Jeong Bona Suh Hannah Kim Sunny Lee Minjae Chun Jennifer Kwon Erin J. Choi Jordan Kim Katherine Suk Katie Kim Isabelle Lee

Jack Lee Aimee Choi Alice Lee Woojune Kim Jennifer You Adviser Ms. Wendy Grant

Viewpoint Feature: With the change to a virtual learning setting, it is of utmost importance to consider how to best manage students’ motivation levels that affect all aspects of student learning. How should our learning systems be modified on a technical scale to ensure the best quality of education for both students and teachers? Are students making enough change within themselves to acommodate for the implications of virtual platforms?

Remotivating and adapting for productive learning “I just had to wake up from my nap,” is a sentence I have groggily uttered one too many times following our short office hours break within the small walls of my apartment no. 1105. “I can totally tell you were sleeping,” my friends would reply. This new school year, many of us seem to be taking office hours and activity period as nap times to catch up on lost sleep, which truly goes to show how much times have changed since we have taken on the virtual platform for our education. Our world has been turned upside down, and a continuous trend of deteriorating student motivation is noticeable within the virtual school community, resulting in the question: is there need for further adaptation to these new circumstances? SIS has done an admirable job accommodating the suddenly imposed conditions following the COVID-19 outbreak, and there are several comprehensive ways by which the school regulates and progresses learning online. Homework assignments are checked through submissions on Google Classroom, in-class activities have been moved to online documents, and group work takes place in breakout rooms. In terms of learning class material, it could be argued that in actuality, not much has changed. The only differences are that now, students all learn from the comfort of their bedrooms with the company of beloved household pets, and they must view teachers and peers through a screen composed of pixels. However, despite having modified our curriculum to a virtual setting, some problems with student learning are still apparent, such as insufficient testing mechanisms to account for academic integrity or the inability to adequately measure the level of understanding of class material. While it may seem like there are various disconnected issues that have arisen from online classes, such as cheating and declining participation in class, these seemingly unconnected problems stem from the same

source: a decline in student motivation. As for the question of cheating, it is students’ lack of motivation to complete tasks with academic integrity, and as for participation in class discussion and group activities, it is students’ lack of motivation to learn. In order to address the obstacles created by online learning, SIS should direct its attention toward a holistic solution that increases student motivation in addition to continuing to tackle each issue individually and technically. The overarching question of the lack of educational drive with the move to an online setting must be acknowledged when considering the school’s actions for the future. These troubles are not singular; they are linked together under the fact that students’ completion of e-learning during a time of disarray are much less motivated than they would be if this were a more normal time. Therefore, it is necessary to address the technicalities of smaller problems as well as the underlying cause, which is the decline in motivation. Although disappointing, we must discuss that the chance of student cheating indisputably increases in an online environment. One clear reason could be that because access to an electronic device is mandatory in order to be present in class, students already have much easier access to information at their fingertips through the use of a search engine. Therefore, as for tackling the smaller issue of specific details and policies that should be considered, better testing measures may be worth examining to adjust to these changes. For instance, some classes have been ensuring students are not permitted the use of other electronic devices or outside assistance by monitoring the audio and location of their hands during a summative assessment. In order to ensure the academic success of students, there should be protective systems such as these set in place for all classrooms, not merely a selective few.

Another issue evident with the concept of virtual learning is the severe lack of participation on the students’ end unless actively prompted by teachers, which critically obstructs teachers’ abilities to determine students’ whereabouts in their learning process. Many students often find themselves disengaged with the class as they have their cameras and microphones turned off. Not being able to connect with other people makes it substantially easier to hide behind a screen and utilize allotted class time as a resting period rather than as a chance to complete valuable work. Therefore, it is crucial for teachers within the classroom who are not already doing so to actually be able to see students and facilitate connections between the members of the classroom, prompting them to learn with an open and engaged mind. However, this is not to pin the full duty of combating the issue of cheating or unengaged students on the school staff. In fact, many instances of cheating on assessments can be attributed to the fact that learning inevitably becomes much more difficult without the physical presence of faculty and peers driving the process. Without this guidance, many students are caught looking for an easy way out due to their decrease in academic ambition. While preventative measures should be implemented for cheaters as mentioned prior, the students also have a duty within themselves to focus on bettering their mentalities, allowing them to feel free from the need to cheat in order to attain a satisfactory grade and learning experience. This means that students themselves would alleviate some of the pressure on their own shoulders by adopting a different attitude about the importance of grades. Learning to grow their psyche would ultimately give students more breathing room and time to learn in a way that is advantageous considering the mental burden they are laden with during this time of international turmoil.

In order to combat the lack of student motivation stemming from virtual learning, the values of learning itself need to be rethought. The sole motivator for many students in completing class tasks is a grade and the overall future prospect of college. However, to inspire students to learn for the sake of learning, the necessity of valuing learning must be emphasized without it being a means to achieve good grades. While it is up to students to accept this way of thinking for themselves, teachers and administrative staff alike can strive to take possible steps in helping students find their way. For example, the school can resolve to place more weight on education in and of itself by explicitly stressing the significance of formative assessments on developing school and life skills, holding post-mortems after assessments so students can better comprehend the material without solely looking at assessments as opportunities for grades, and attempting to indulge the class with more interactive learning rather than sitting in long lectures. Teachers can also set students with low motivation levels back on track by creating more specific timelines students can follow for test preparation for larger projects so that they are not afflicted with the task of juggling all of their coursework alongside the struggle that comes with this unprecedented situation. While most teachers do make such efforts, these methods should be established in all courses. After all, teachers and students alike are both members of the SIS community who should be working together to better the learning experience, whether it be within actual school walls or in apartment no. 1105. The next time we tell our friends to wake us up from our office hours power nap, it will hopefully be with a clear conscience and peace of mind. BY: Sarah Ju Junior, Reporter



Hybrid teaching poses unique challenges

News Briefs

The HSSC sophomore council smiles for the new school year!


Photo by Alice Lee

SIS makes renovations to school facilities Many changes have been made to SIS facilities and systems over the long quarantine break. Facilities such as Tiger Gym 1 and the soccer field underwent major renovations during the past seven months:Tiger Gym 1 was repainted with darker lines and tiger drawings on the floor, and the soccer field turf was replaced with a better and cleaner one. The school adopted new systems due to COVID-19 during the break as well. For instance, students were required to submit an orange pass checking health precautions at the front entrance of the high school building or in front of the student’s assigned school bus. Another development the school implemented was the mandated temperature check in front of the main gate when a student enters the school on his or her designated “off-campus” day. “The renovations in TG1 significantly brightened its atmosphere,” said Yubin Han (11), varsity volleyball player. “The vivid orange and black lines and the tiger drawings make the gym specific to SIS—they contribute to my school pride and spirit. I think I am going to feel more pumped and motivated in future games when I play on this court.”

Deadlines for colleges are extended After Mr. Schneider left the office, deadlines for college applications in SIS have slightly shifted. There were no official announcements made regarding this modification, but seniors were informed that the regular application deadline will most likely be extended. “I think the extended deadline is going to be a merit for us,” said Celine Choi (12), member of the National Honor Society. “We technically have more time to organize our materials, edit our essays, and meet with our counselor. From this modification, I think many seniors are going to get a chance to improve on their applications.”

HSSC announces new members and changes to its system On Aug. 28, the HSSC officially announced its 19 newly elected members. For the past several years, the Senior Council consisted of five class representatives and five executive officers. This year, however, the executive positions were removed from the Council in order to form equal leadership roles and opportunities. “The student council has done a lot of the same things in very similar ways over the years and, while there have been some changes, consistency has been the name of the game,” said Nathan Warkentin, HSSC advisor. “This time around, however, COVID-19 is forcing us to rethink the things that we do in order to make them more relevant in the days of distance learning. This is absolutely our number one priority right now, and we are off to a good start; even in our first meeting, a number of very promising ideas were proposed.” BY: Katherine Suk Junior, Reporter

fter several months of online school and summer vacation, SIS finally decided to open on Aug. 12. With a hybrid online/offline system, students were required to follow various social distancing policies such as wearing masks. However, due to the second wave of COVID-19 cases in South Korea, schools were shut down and full online classes started once again. While everyone is going through a difficult time during the pandemic, the hard work of teachers are often overlooked. Not many students seem to realize the difficulty of having to change the entire plans for class in a single day and teaching with an unfamiliar platform. “It was hard not seeing my students in person and not being able to rehearse altogether,” said Julia Kim, Strings teacher. “My students felt the same way about not being able to interact. Online learning has limited options for hands-on instruction and nothing can replace a face-to-face lesson. Strings, being an ensemble class, it is difficult not being able to listen to each other while performing your part. The biggest change was making the curriculum work for online learning, leading to learning new programs and technology. In the end, I feel the pandemic has been a

huge learning curve for everyone.” Any joy or fulfillment of a role that teachers feel is left out due to social distancing. Entering an empty school building early in the morning and sitting in an empty classroom for hours can take an emotional toll on teachers. The hybrid system made teachers change projects and labs so that certain activities could be done online and others in person. However, with the sudden shift to online learning, even those modified plans were cancelled. Especially for classes that require synchronization and teamwork, such as band or PE, teachers do not have many options left for them. “In science, we have labs, so it is difficult to prepare for labs to be done virtually because the students do not have the equipment at home,” said Peter Alden, science teacher, who is searching for better teaching methods for online learning. “The other issue is with the tests and the quizzes. How do you keep everyone honest? There is only so much that you can monitor online, so you put a lot of trust in the students. It’s really hard to gauge how the students feel sometimes with online, you just can not pick up on the nuances as easily. Some students do really well with online learning, while

other students get distracted easily.” These challenges affect students as well. Students rely on their teachers to help them perform well and receive good grades, which is why the burden on teachers becomes even heavier. However, teachers are losing control over certain students as the online learning prolongs, such as with maintaining academic integrity and class behavior. With teachers themselves no longer sure of how to teach students anymore, questions like how would the students properly understand what they are being taught begin to rise. “As much as I think we are affected by distance learning, I believe that the teachers are affected too, in a negative way,” said June Jung (10), a high school student taking online classes. “Some teachers have difficulty using technology as a source of everyday communication with their students. They also have to be wary of anyone who seems like they are not paying attention. It is probably as stressful for them as it is to us. Distance learning is new to all of the teachers and it is painstaking having to change everything.” BY: Hannah Kim Sophomore, Reporter

School implements cafeteria and cafe changes With the beginning of a new school year, SIS has established multiple changes in the cafeteria and cafe. Notably, when eating at the cafeteria, students are now required to bring their school ID cards for payment. In addition to ID card payment in the cafeteria, the school has also raised lunch prices to provide a higher quality of meals for students. In terms of changes for the school cafe, students are allowed to order and pick up their drinks, but cannot stay inside to eat or drink. The school has issued this change to prevent any close interactions between many groups of students in the time of the pandemic. “From a school-wide perspective, the cafeteria ID card system is really good because now students are carrying their ID cards everywhere,” said Gray Macklin, high school vice principal. “Now you can scan the card and it covers the lunch bill, which seems to be a better way of billing easily. The location of the card reader is also conveniently located so that it does not require too much supervision in the cafeteria or long lines. It is a positive change since students are making good usage of their ID cards.” The new school ID system requires students to bring their own student IDs to lunch, a replacement to the semesterly payment method previously used. Before getting lunch, students need to scan their ID cards. If the student did not bring their card, they have to write down their name and student ID to get lunch. This new and organized process of lunch payment has made it more convenient for both the school and students since lunch money refunds are not required amid the COVID19 pandemic. “This student and school ID card system for payment still feels new to me, but I believe that it is a very organized system that the school created this year,” said Yoonha Chun (12), a user of this new lunch system. “I also think that raised prices for lunch is another way that our school is trying to provide the best for students since raised prices would mean a better quality of the lunch that we eat.” In regards to the school cafe, new policies have been established to ensure the safety for all students and staff. Due to the pandemic, it is essential that large groups

of people are not packed in one location. As a result, the school has implemented changes that students and staff who are utilizing the cafe are allowed to order their drinks to go instead of staying inside the cafe to drink or eat. “I am positive that changes made to the policies in the school cafe will help prevent any problems at school during the time of the pandemic,” said Jessica Ju (12), a senior

at SIS. “Changes to the cafe are fair for both students and staff because they can still order food and drinks. In addition to changes to the cafe, cafeteria changes regarding raised lunch prices would also benefit us students as well.” BY: Irene Kim Senior, Copy Editor

Tiger Times September 2020


New year brings big changes to the counseling office

For many students this year, returning to school has been a flurry of new changes. Starting from changes in daily routines to eating behind plastic dividers, school policies have changed according to the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of students. Amidst many school changes, the high school counseling office has welcomed three new counselors: Morgan Davis, Ashlee Davis, and Kelcey Edwards. In addition to Carly Santos, the counseling office now has two more high school counselors—Mr. Davis and Ms. Davis—and our new college counselor, Ms. Edwards, has replaced Mr. Schneider. “I am very excited to be at this school despite having to be online,” said Ms. Davis, high school counselor. “I felt very welcomed and generally very excited to meet the students. It is my first time working at an international high school, but I have worked in schools for 14 years as a teacher and counselor, and I think one of the things I was most happy about was that kids are kids no matter where they are. Everyone seemed to have the same stresses, joy, sadness, and anxiety, and that is comforting to know that because I am confident that I can support the students here. I think we counselors just want students to know that we are here to support them and that they can come by or call or email anytime!” The past counseling experiences at SIS have involved students in communicating through individual conferences, interacting with other students during small counseling sessions, and discussing college resumes. Counselors have constantly guided and encouraged students to speak up about their troubles in academic achievements; concerns in terms of career social or emotional development; and skills for healthy relationships with family, friends, and partners. However, due to the changes in school policies caused by the pandemic and virtual learning, closeknit interactions with counselors have been difficult to proceed. “In the past, I have not had the chance to interact closely with the counselors because I did not fully understand that they were here for us and ready to help us anytime,” said Eunice Rhee (10), a student with past

counseling experience. “Despite moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have already received many emails from our counselors this year, who are making sure to create a comfortable atmosphere for us. Since we have new counselors that can concentrate more on smaller groups, I am excited to get a chance to become closer to them. I had very few interactions in my past years, so this year, I would like to approach them without any difficulty.” In response to the shift to online learning, the counselors are planning to conduct student interviews and individual conferences to connect with and find out more about the

student body, as well as to introduce themselves to the students over the course of the following weeks. Hoping to support students the best they can, the new counselors are excited to meet with many students and discuss future goals in academics and social life during the online learning sessions. “I hope that each of us is working hard to achieve our potential, showing positive support for each other, and being compassionate to ourselves and others during this stressful time,” said Mr. Davis, high school counselor. “So much of being an adolescent is about the need for social connection and forming relationships with peers. Currently, that is

incredibly difficult as we are all interacting with each other virtually. In being new to SIS, it is difficult not to be able to see students in person and meeting them all for the first time online. Trust me when I say that the reason people choose this profession is that they enjoy being around young people and helping you to reach your goals. This is a difficult time for many people and I believe through compassion and determination, we can get through this together!” BY: Alice Lee Sophomore, Reporter

Gen Z: The most powerful generation through the eyes of...


eneration Z (Gen Z) is defined as the generation of people who were born between the early 2000s and the early 2010s, and it generally refers to the current teenagers of this generation. At first glance, they appear to be a group of deranged lunatics who are unafraid of death—their fearlessness is almost equivalent to that of Kamikaze suicide bombers. To name a few of their hobbies: they ate tide pods for fun, absolutely spammed the Instagram comment section of a serial killer with confessions of their love for him, and threw back tear gas canisters with their bare hands and tennis rackets during Black Lives Matter protests. Yet, on the inside, they are not as strong as the facade that they put up against those who commit wrong. In fact, members of Gen Z describe themselves as a group of depressed teenagers. All day long, they stare at their phones while listening to sad songs through the earphones that never leave their ears, and they choose to lock themselves inside of their rooms just

to avoid human interaction with their families. In response to such behavior, their parents criticize them for being lazy and unproductive. But little do their parents know what they are actually doing on their phones. Their “addiction” to social media is not what is preventing them from getting good grades, nor is it the primary factor for why they are depressed; members of Gen Z use social media as a weapon to fight for social justice and equality. It is a tool that they use to educate themselves, raise awareness of environmental crises, and support imperative movements. They are united by social media and together, with the tenacious conviction to uphold their moral values, they fight. They are not afraid of the government, and they crave the taste of social change. Therefore, when Gen Z witnesses social inequality, they will do everything in their power to eradicate it. Moreover, they have all the qualities that can make them be successful. They are compassionate and can empathize

with those who have been harmed unfairly. They are not afraid of powerful entities, including the government and the older generations, and are willing to break the conventional standards for social equality. They are more than willing to channel their pent-up anger and frustration solely to a morally good cause. The BLM movement is one of those causes for which Gen Z is willing to fight. Gen Z’s fervent reaction to the murder of George Floyd is clearly evident when compared to the 2014 case where Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, spoke the same words as Floyd—“I can’t breathe”—before being put in a chokehold by New York City police. Although the 2014 case garnered some media attention, it did not create the great social uprising the murder of Floyd did. Especially as the BLM movement in 2020, mainly propelled by Gen Z, achieved justice for Floyd by forcing the government to charge the police officers who murdered him with third-degree manslaughter, indicating

the power Gen Z truly has. As members of Gen Z, students at SIS also possess all the rebellious qualities that other members of Gen Z have. However, unlike other members of Gen Z across the world, SIS students do not have the opportunity to unleash their inner rebellious side. They are always constrained by an unbreakable cage built from tiger parenting, peer pressure, endless academic competition, and the Confucian culture that stifles much of their freedom. Everyone is fighting their individual battles, and they deserve to be recognized for their perseverance and strength. Adults and older generations perceive Gen Z as vulnerable, uneducated children. However, by examining the colossal impact they have already had on society, who knows what they are capable of in the future?

BY: Jasmine Jeong Sophomore, Reporter


in social m

from ACTIVISM to SLACKTIVISM Social media often brings light to social movements that would otherwise be buried amongst other news. As social movements become well-known, many celebrities are given the opportunity to speak about important matters, but at the same time, influencers feel pressured by the public to display their concern for the issue. While famous figures speaking on certain social movements raises widespread awareness, it also leads to distortion or omission of the true purposes behind the movements. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was initiated to halt police brutality and violence stemming from racism against African-Americans. The movement quickly spread through social media, gaining global attention and support. Influencers were praised for their active participation in the BLM movement, encouraging many of their peers to similarly chime in, ostensibly to receive similar positive attention or avoid criticism for their lack of participation. Similarly, many students also seized this opportunity and actively spoke up about BLM. Other students, feeling peer pressure, hopped on the social bandwagon to feel a sense of belonging and to avoid becoming an outlier. An article in the “Journal of Youth Studies” highlighted the nature of belongingness of the youth by claiming “heightened susceptibility to peer-pressure, and experimentation with worldviews, could make social incentives to participate in protest activities particularly strong among younger people.” Inevitably, as more and more people began to post support for the movement as part of this social chain reaction, many began posting without fully understanding the movement’s significance. This trend of people supporting a social cause without much commitment—which has been identified in all sorts of social justice movements ranging from the Me Too Movement to BLM movement —has been named by activist leaders as “slacktivism” and “performative activism.” Slacktivism is a practice of supporting social movements online, through social media, without investing much effort and time. For instance, one often cited example of performative activism is the actions of controversial YouTuber Jake Paul. Back in June, Paul was accused of vandalism and looting at a local mall. Over the next few days, he was spotted protesting for the BLM movement. He later told the media that he did not want to be the center of attention and that people should focus on the BLM movement, not the accusations surrounding him. However, Paul’s past history of racist comments has led

some to assert that he used his participation and activism in the BLM movement to cover up for his actions and gain a more positive reputation. Critics of Paul and slacktivism argue that performative activism can slow the progression of social movements by misleadingly causing movements to appear extremely productive when in reality, little tangible change has been accomplished. Soon, the temporary popularity of the social movement dwindles and the public assumes the problem is fully amended. Not only are slacktivism-driven movements considered ineffective, but slacktivism is also perceived to dilute the initial purpose and aim of social movements. Critics of slacktivism thus state that protesting against injustice needs to be an active process rather than limited to the passive act of typing a few words, liking posts, and sharing viral posts. Others however, reject the criticism of slacktivism. These proponents argue that if the purpose of social activism is to raise awareness and influence opinions around the globe, performative activism or slacktivism perfectly satisfies the requirements of a social movement. There is no better way to get as many people as possible involved in expanding the scope of activism and enlarging the scale of an audience, no matter their level of active commitment. “I think it does a good job of raising awareness and spreading the word,” says Jessica Terbrueggen, English teacher at SIS. “However, people need to be careful about what they are posting. People should not simply joke about social movements but rather should contribute to it by providing people with useful, factual information. With thoughtful and conscientious intentions, people should be able to evince their advocacy.” As social media is increasingly becoming the central method to deliver and receive information, the number of online movements is increasing in parallel. While slacktivism will remain as long as online movements remain, the question of whether social media will destroy the aims of social movements or help them build a stronger supporter base and ultimately achieve their goals remains in the hands of people who encounter new social movements through social media. Fostering social media as an environment full of factual, helpful information can be done by prioritizing personal interests before the opinions of others. BY Sunny




from PLATFORM to WEAPON In the wake of current social movements, social media has played a significant role in expanding awareness regarding societal issues to a broader audience. Instagram threads and Twitter hashtags promoting activism and providing access to informative websites have reached more people than ever before, especially younger generations. Thus, people have been encouraged to take action by signing petitions on Change.org or donating to other activist organizations. Although social media has undoubtedly widened the reach of modern social movements, it has equally been a platform for those who are against such movements to express their criticisms, often in an offensive manner. Extremist groups with controversial doctrines that range from racist to sexist have infiltrated social media. For instance, the alt-right—consisting of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists—has perpetuated racist, misogynistic, and homophobic ideologies in the form of “lighthearted jokes.” Primarily using platforms such as 4chan, Reddit, and Twitter, many alt-right protesters have been able to interact with each other and assemble for rallies. A specific example of “alt-right humor” is an internet character by the name of Pepe the Frog. Although the green cartoon frog was not originally created with racist undertones, the alt-right, by editing anti-semitic captions onto images of Pepe speaking, has altered the character into a symbol of white supremacy. Misogynists have also used social media to target women who have stepped forward to speak about their experiences with sexual assault through the #MeToo movement. Due to the lack of regulation in comment sections, leaving jokes about rape or abuse can be completed with just a few clicks. It is also noteworthy that accounts do not face penalties for making such jokes unless they are reported. One common comment that misogynists leave is “you were asking for it,” which implies that the victim was acting in a provocative manner that encouraged the rapist or abuser. According to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, 84 percent of women active online believe that the internet is not a safe place. The lack of recognition of hostile rape jokes has greatly contributed to this statistic. The situation has become increasingly troublesome as some studies have indicated that men are desensitized to the problematic nature of rape jokes. Nalyn Sriwattanakomen, who researched the effects of sexist humor and rape jokes on behavior toward women, reported that only a third of participants found the gender stereotype, rape, or racial jokes she presented personally offensive or offensive to others. According to Sriwattanakomen’s analysis, the results suggest that exposure to sexist humor leads men who have sexist

tendencies to behave in a discriminatory manner toward women and feel less ashamed for doing so. With social media allowing people to sit behind a screen without facing the consequences of their actions, it makes the tasks of misogynists more convenient. Furthermore, there has been a recent spike in interest surrounding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement after social media exposed the degree of police brutality that black people face in the US. The BLM movement originally began on July 13, 2013, in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a white vigilante who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American. The movement exploded in 2020 when footage of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck went viral. The death of George Floyd enraged many people and fueled protests all over the US. However, the recent spark in the BLM movement has also kindled the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement on social media, which is dedicated to combating BLM by silencing black voices and attempting to invalidate their stories of discrimination. Not only have there been heated arguments between the members of the two movements on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, but there have also been physical altercations at BLM protests. An additional campaign led by conservative Americans meant to counteract the BLM movement emerged on Twitter and Facebook. Operation Not Forgotten was dedicated to spreading false information about 39 children involved in a trafficking case in Georgia so that subjects such as the COVID-19 pandemic and BLM would not dominate news headlines. Operation Not Forgotten was widely successful in its goal of using a tragic story to sway media attention away from current social movements. However, after a fact check, sources discovered that the details of the story had been severely fabricated. Although disagreements surrounding social movements cannot be prevented, multiple instances have proven that social media helps harbor animosity. Across multiple platforms, social media has created a culture in which it is acceptable for people to express their viewpoints without facing confrontation. It has become a haven for extremists who make inappropriate comments about serious issues and a battleground for those with opposing beliefs. By being both a medium for communication and an outlet for negative opinions, social media is a double-edged sword that is roughly cutting society into pieces with its sharpened blades. BY Katie






News Briefs

California wildfires

The California wildfire season, usually peaking during the dry fall months, has returned. Starting in mid-August, wildfires across the state have burned more than 1.25 million acres of land, an area more than six times the size of New York City. The situation was declared a state of emergency on Aug. 18, and rescue operations and evacuations are currently underway. Despite the severity of the situation, steady donations and mild weather have opened up the prospect of the fire being put under control in vital areas within a few weeks. “While reading about the wildfires in California, I saw that many firefighters were working 24-hour shifts,” said Evelyn Hur (12), executive member of Green Club. “I feel as though these firefighters should be getting more recognition; because the wildfires are not local realities to many of us, such efforts are often overlooked.”

127 years ago, today. On September 19, 1893, New Zealand became the first country to grant all women the right to vote. No one knows the true beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, but it is recorded that the first suffrage organization was formed in 1869. After 24 years of a lonely fight, women all around the world finally felt a sense of hope after New Zealand’s revolutionary action of granting universal suffrage. Fast forward to 2020, where the right to vote is guaranteed for the majority of the women in the world. Many women are working in the same jobs as men, female politicians are becoming ubiquitous, and single women are becoming a symbol of independence and power. In fact, according to Forbes, since December of 2019, “women hold more jobs than men, occupying 50.04% of positions.” Compared to 127 years ago, today, our world has gone through a major shift in the area of gender equality. Our world seems like a better place for women to live in and it has shown a constant positive progression. However, even though the issue of

gender inequality got better compared to when New Zealand first granted women’s right to vote, it does not mean the issue is completely resolved. As the status of women’s rights has improved, new problems have risen to the surface, including sexual harassment, domestic violence, and increasing rate of rape, illegal pornography, sex crimes in politics, and many more. One major example of a sex crime that occurred in South Korea recently is the “Nth room.” With the pseudonym “doc,” 24-year-old Cho Joo-bin threatened underage girls to send obscene pornographic images and videos to a private group chat in an app called Telegram. The group chat consisted of men in a diverse age range, even including teenagers. This incident sparked the Korean #MeToo movement once again, and Korean women came together to protect the victims. Not only did they initiate public protests, but they also created a petition to reveal the personal information of the “doc” so that he gets

First rising to international prominence in 2018, Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-un, has now possibly been promoted to heir to the Supreme Leader position. This revelation follows Kim Jong-un’s weeks-long disappearance earlier this year, which gave rise to speculation of Kim Jong-un’s deteriorating health and the possibility of Kim Yo-jong taking over the leading government position. “North Korea has been on the news for various reasons in the past few months, starting from the bombing of the joint liaison office to the failed nuclear talks with President Trump,” said Hugh Kang (12), MUN member. “While we have yet to understand what these recent developments mean for both South Korea and the international community, what does seem certain is that the Kim dynasty is far from ending in the country.”

Venezuela COVID-19 crisis

BY: Jiwon Lee Senior, Paper Managing Editor

BY: Katherine Suk Junior, Reporter

South Korean schools respond to MOE guidelines

Kim Jong Un’s sister likely promoted to North Korea’s second-in-command

For more than half a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled economies, travel, and medical facilities worldwide. However, as one of the latest-hit countries, Venezuela is just now entering the peak of its COVID-19 outbreak. Now challenged with facing the virus on top of its financial instability, authoritarian government, and dilapidated healthcare system, citizens have expressed their fear of being unable to receive adequate treatment should they contract the virus. “The initial reason for Venezuela’s current economic crisis was the US sanctions placed on its imports and exports,” said Morgan Miller, social studies teacher. “For a country whose economy relies heavily on oil exports, this was detrimental to their financial circumstances. As a result, the nation was unable to import many of the necessary equipment to make their healthcare system work. Given its financial state and unstable healthcare system, it is evident that the country’s government does not have the capacity to fix the impending crisis. Therefore, the country’s best option would probably be to negotiate with the US to lift some of the economic embargoes.”

publicly shamed. The petition got over 2 million signatures, which indicated the public’s abundant support. Now, women started to fight for the abuse of their own guaranteed human rights as well as for other women’s guaranteed rights. We have come a long way in the last 127 years, but there are still many areas for improvement. Women are granted rights they previously did not have, but the rights are constantly being abused. Women now have a powerful position in society, but they are still vulnerable to horrendous sex crimes. The status of gender equality is constantly changing throughout history—back then it was about earning the basic rights, but now it is about protecting the basic rights. It is our role to stay aware of such changes made in history and act accordingly. In the year 2147, 127 years from today, what will women be fighting for?

Eight months into the pandemic, South Korea proceeds to endure a rollercoaster of outbreaks, beginning from a sudden surge of cases to a sharp decline, and now back to exponential growth. In order to contain the immense spike that has resurfaced, the government has enforced restrictive operations on restaurants, franchise chains, and public areas. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has taken initiative by strengthening protocols, with both public and private schools responding in their own manners. “It would be nice to go to school in person and make more memories, especially with my friends as it is our last year here.” said Angelica Eun (12), a senior at SIS. “But going virtual made me realize that the rotational white and orange day schedule, and other necessary adjustments, shows how SIS is willing to prior-

itize the safety of our students and stick to the guidelines, which I think is most important of all.” Depending on the severity of cases in various regions, the education department has prompted distinct approaches. Although they are yet to emerge amongst private schools, Korean public schools have reported a few cases in which students and teachers have tested positive for the coronavirus, shutting down a score of schools. After mulling multiple delays, public schools resumed attending physical classes on May 20, whilst private schools have chosen to reopen on their original start dates. Imposed classroom capacity regulation for all schools is a given, with only one-third of the total school being able to attend at once. The MOE has continued to discuss and drive forward hygiene routines, but has left schools with flexible options to adopt

alternating schedules that would manage the number of students participating in hybrid online-offline classes. School authorities have mandated masks, daily temperature checks, and use of plastic barriers to ensure distance between personnel, and students have come to slowly familiarize themselves with this alien system. “Because we are an IB school and the IB is a two-year program, the juniors are given just as much priority, so we have both juniors and seniors going on a rotation,” said Lynn Lee (12), a senior at Seoul Foreign School. “I personally like the system, because we get two days at school to consolidate our learning, and then two days at home to have extra working time on our extended essays and internal assessments, which will become big parts of our final IB grade if the May exams get cancelled.” At the present, with the state of the pandemic worsening once again, the MOE has instructed all schools to resort back to remote learning, with the exception of seniors, who are to attend school in order to maximize study opportunities for the national university entrance exam, still to be held on Dec. 3. The shutdown of public schools in particular has raised concern regarding the effects of inactive public education which would widen the gap between students who have and do not have access to private study institutes. As for private schools, some international schools have adhered and incorporated the policies in a fashion that is pertinent to the American or English system, by either integrating levels, or inviting juniors to alternate with seniors to attend school.­ “I think we’ve responded to the MOE’s guidelines in a very conservative fashion, meaning that we read the rules and we follow them as they’re written.” said Gray Macklin, high school vice principal. “I think the biggest challenge we had to face is that the MOE is basing their guidelines on the Korean system which is very different from the American system. I think we adjusted very well to policies that were not made to consider how it would affect international schools as we decided to do a 50-50 system, mixing the ninth and tenth grades, and the 11 and 12 who share mixed classes together.”

BY: Erin J. Choi Sophomore, Reporter

Tiger Times September 2020

2020 presidential elections draw near On Nov. 3, the US presidential election will determine the 46th leader of the country: Republican candidate Donald Trump with his running mate Mike Pence, or Democrat candidate Joe Biden with his running mate Kamala Harris. While it may seem like another ordinary competition between the Republican and Democratic parties, the 2020 election is influenced by many unprecedented events. Not only is it the second time in history that an impeached president will run for a second term, but there have also been considerable suspicions of foreign interference in the election since 2016. Accusations against President Trump for denouncing voting-by-mail and responding poorly to the COVID-

19 pandemic have further brought controversy to the nation. With the unity of American citizens at stake, the election will be a crucial point in determining the stability of the country’s future. “In consideration of ensuring the US’s domestic tranquility, economic prosperity, global standing, not just in the next four years but beyond, this is perhaps the most important election in a generation,” said James Kowalski, AP US History teacher. “The role of the president is not to single-handedly solve the problems that we currently face. Rather, it is to first firmly establish the goals that must be met, and then to coordinate and empower the agencies who possess the relevant expertise to solve those problems.

It is not to avoid responsibility and sow division and mistrust.” Trump has been both garnering and losing support from citizens with his reaction-provoking history of decisions. One was the administration’s approval of reopening the US economy, schools, and businesses as soon as possible, opposing the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that cautioned the spread of COVID-19. This shift from preventive measures has elicited both praise for prioritizing the nation’s economy and condemnation for risking vulnerable lives. Trump’s impeachment process in January also raised major questions regarding his viability as a leader of the country, given the accusations of obstruc-

tion of Congress and abuses of power made against him. While many consequently denounce his re-election, Trump supporters have accused the legislative body of falsifying Trump’s actions. Mostly Democratic critics of Trump have thus resolved to settle with Biden for the sake of achieving a majority vote that could defeat Trump, regardless of their actual stance on Biden’s policies. Division and hesitancy among the US are evidently deepening, and neither party can imagine the other winning this election. “There seems to be much greater tension in this year’s election,” said Yuzine Yi (10), avid follower of political affairs. “I personally think Trump’s re-election process could be more difficult


compared to the last election, despite the popularity that he has gained in the past. Ever since [the spread of ] COVID-19, there were many issues that brought him notorious attention. I believe these will continue to have a big effect on his campaign, although it is too soon to assume any results now.” The stark contrast between the two parties’ appeal was amplified in mid-August, when parties expressed their primary concerns in the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Wisconsin and North Carolina, respectively. In the DNC, Biden and Harris stressed the incompetence of incumbent President Trump in addressing the pandemic and the dire inequalities plaguing the nation. Meanwhile, Trump and Pence warned the audience of the Democrats’ dangerous desire to overthrow the fundamental values of the US, appealing to women and ethnic minorities to suggest that Trump is more suited to properly address the issue of social inequality. Regardless of their message, members of each convention displayed strong unity among themselves, once again reflecting the weight and implications of this year’s election. “Bearing in mind the recent circumstances, it was really a new experience for the DNC and RNC,” said Sean Kim (11), MUN club member. “Both equally adapted to an online environment, albeit in different methods, and utilized appeals to religion, race, and current events. In that way, I think the conventions had an equally strong appeal. As society moves more towards an online environment due to COVID-19, I think future conventions, debates, and processes will progress positively because they will be more accessible and have diverse speakers.” BY: Aimee Choi Sophomore, Reporter

USPS faces crisis amid COVID-19


ince the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling to receive financial aid and continue to play its part in the US’s delivery services. The USPS, while transporting packages and mail, also delivers medication and aims to reach the most remote parts of the country. Many small enterprises, which greatly rely on the USPS to sustain their business, have felt the impact of the stagnating efforts after the pandemic. With the virus, the usual amount of work done by employees of the postal service has exponentially decreased, subjecting the USPS to a position in dire need of support. It is apparent that without assistance from the government, the institution will have no choice but to be discontinued. Denying the USPS essential aid would have major repercussions on a large

range of Americans that rely on it every day, raising important concerns for the future of the USPS. “When I used to sell used objects online, shipping the product was the easiest way to have it delivered,” said Mina Lee, former resident of the United States and used bag seller. “If the customer was across the country, I could easily go down to the neighborhood post office and mail it to them. It is a convenient alternative for both the person getting the product and the seller. Now that the USPS might close, I don’t know how anyone could do that.” USPS is not only disadvantaging the people who depend on it for its services. According to the USPS, out of the 630,000 Americans that it employs, there are 100,000 military members and veterans working in the organization. Many of these workers are more at risk to the virus and can

no longer work overtime. Reductions in employment are forcing a group of men and women that the nation does not support enough to give up opportunities to make money. In addition to the lack of productivity of the agency and decreases in available jobs, there has been a surplus of packages from the online shopping that many consumers started to use as an alternative to going out. This means that while there is still more work to be done, there are not enough workers to effectively manage the workload. As a final result, the influx of money needed to fund the USPS is continually growing. The main reason why the USPS is struggling to this extent can be attributed to the fact that it is an independent agency; it is not funded by the government or by taxpayers, but rather from the revenue it collects from mail and

sales. However, most Americans do not understand the extent of the role which the USPS plays in our society. “The US Postal Service is much more instrumental to the proper functioning of the American republic than some might think,” said James Kowalski, AP US History teacher. “Not just so people could receive catalogs and birthday cards, but so that an open exchange of information between the people would remain unimpeded… Fast forward to today, and we can see this power rather vibrantly in conveying the voting wishes of the citizenry. If that power becomes unduly restricted, it can constitute malfeasance.” The USPS is no modern institution. Its origins date back to the creation of the US constitution, where the government is granted permission to create the post office to its liking. Benjamin

Franklin was the first postmaster general in 1775, making it his goal to make the post office a reliable service that could effectively deliver mail to all corners of the country. Valuing this meaningful history, many workers have been protesting for more funding from private donors and the government to protect the USPS. “I know some people who use the USPS for the source of their medication,” said Jane Park (11), US resident. “The USPS is very important to our nation and I know that the decisions revolving USPS will affect Americans in the near future. All I can hope is that it won’t affect my community too much. ”

BY: Rachel Yoon Sophomore, Reporter

10 SPORTS/LIFESTYLE Controversies on TikTok’s potential ban On July 29, President Donald Trump sparked much controversy after administering an executive order to ban TikTok, a popular video-sharing networking service run by the Chinese parent company ByteDance. He ambiguously justified the ban by arguing Chinese social media apps “threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” In retaliation, TikTok announced that it will take legal action against Trump’s executive order. “I’m a really big fan of many of the creators on TikTok, especially from the US,” said Yoonseo Kim (10), a frequent TikTok user. “It set so many trends across the world and I think it would be upsetting to many people if it shut down. I hope TikTok finds a way to avoid being shut down.” TikTok may still potentially avoid the ban. According to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, although TikTok is prohibited from any transaction with ByteDance, it has 45 days to avoid the ban by finalizing a deal for a US company to take over TikTok’s US operations. Microsoft and Walmart are currently the frontrunners in this potential deal, which is estimated at around $10 million and $30 million. Nevertheless,

TikTok is still planning to take legal action against the executive order. Some speculate that TikTok’s legal action may be justified because the executive order may be determined unconstitutional as the order does not adequately give the company a chance to respond. It is unclear whether Trump has the power to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok, and many have questioned how the ban could potentially violate First Amendment rights. “I think TikTok is extremely popular because it’s a platform where people can express themselves and interact with others, especially because it has such a large outreach,” said Sarah Yim (10), “So if it gets banned, I think the public will definitely have a big reaction.” The executive order will have a huge implication for many people. There are over 80 million US users on TikTok and many are responsible for creating internet sensations that bring attention to the United States. The ban would imply that TikTok stars such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae would lose their colossal platform. Furthermore, the ban could also affect the employees of TikTok. For instance, TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer resigned due to

pressure from Trump’s executive order. Moreover, many people are concerned about the effect the ban can have on the economy. TikTok is estimated to bring in around $500 million in revenue per year and the elimination of such a platform may result in major losses for

retail companies. “I think that the short-term effects of the ban will eventually pass because people always adapt to new environments. Plus, there’s a lot of other social media platforms,” said Matthew Mazzola, a social media user, “But

Sports leagues show support for BLM

On Aug. 26, the Milwaukee Bucks made the unprecedented decision to boycott their playoff matchup in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake. The National Basketball Association (NBA) promptly postponed the rest of its games that day, and was quickly joined by Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), which also canceled games. Though this was unexpected, professional sports leagues have been advocating the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for months. NBA players had already been wearing

shirts bearing social justice messages since the season restarted, and MLB players all knelt to the national anthem on Opening Day. Even outside of the US, soccer player David Alaba wore a BLM shirt following his Champions League Final victory. “Although you may think that social movements are not directly related to sports, it’s a way for the information to get out there,” said Ricky Green, varsity tennis coach. “For example, after the Premier League came back from the lockdown, all of the players took a knee before the game started and a lot of the teams had ‘Black

Lives Matter’ written on their shirts. What was interesting as well was that in every single game that I watched, not only did they do it but the commentator also mentioned the fact of why they were doing it. I think that was really important to keep it in the forefront of everybody’s minds.” Many athletes had already been participating in street protests since March and expressing outrage on social media. However, frustration ran high after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a violent incident where Blake was shot in the back seven times. Some NBA players lamented the lack

of direct action that could be taken from their bubble. Others did not want to take attention away from the protests. These concerns threatened to put a stop to the NBA season, but players ultimately agreed that continuing to play gave them a bigger platform to express themselves. Team owners also promised to do more to combat social justice, leading players to return to the courts. Other sports leagues have not had as much conflict over their seasons, mainly because athletes have not made such pronounced efforts to highlight BLM. “Athletes' participation in

the long-term impacts are more of a political issue, and I think it would most likely impact international relations.” BY: Jennifer Kwon Sophomore, Reporter

these movements will have a great influence on society,” said William Kim (10), varsity tennis player. “Athletes’ participation educates fans on Black Lives Matter and their efforts and voices also highlight the seriousness of the issue. I think boycotting is a method of an athlete's expression of their argument, so they should continue doing it. I would also speak for the rights of the minority if I were in their position.” The struggle against injustice experienced by black people can be traced back to former athlete Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in 2016. In the past, Kaepernick’s demonstrations cost him his football career, but the political atmosphere has changed drastically since then. Today, not only can players openly support BLM without fearing repercussions from team owners, but they can also extend their influence to subjects beyond BLM. Already, NBA players are turning their focus to encouraging people to vote in the US presidential election. Through recent protests, athletes have shown yet again that they can play a pivotal role in social movements. “I feel proud knowing that the players I watch are part of something larger,” said Yoonseo Kim (10), varsity volleyball player. “Athletes can definitely influence a ton of people, so I respect all the things they’re doing. Everyone that watches sports knows about BLM now. If they keep it up, they’ll probably get the change they want.” BY: Woojune Kim Sophomore, Reporter

Tiger Times September 2020

Upcoming generation of game consoles excites the public The announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) has sparked excitement among millions of gamers around the world. Both corporations have not yet officially stated the release date for this new generation of game consoles, but they are expected to launch them by the holidays of 2020. Microsoft revealed that the Xbox Series X is bound to be their fastest and most powerful console ever, while Sony stated that the public can expect the PlayStation 5 to feature innovative graphical capabilities along with fast processing speed. “As someone who enjoys playing video games, I am looking forward to this brand new generation of game consoles,” said Riley Kim (12). “I have played games on the older series of PlayStation before, so I am especially excited about PlayStation 5 because I saw that the upcoming console is going to have graphics and game quality at a whole new level, along with special games that are only going to be supported by the PS5.” Along with innovative graphics reaching 4K and faster operation speed, the unique features of the game consoles has caught

the attention of the audience. The Xbox Series X has emphasized that the system is designed to enable cross generation play, allowing users to freely alternate between other and past game consoles and generations, depending on which one they feel suits them the most. Sony confirmed that PlayStation 5 will not only have a well-built game console, but will also have a controller that is designed to give users a realistic feeling while playing any game, such as a feeling of actually driving or shooting through haptic feedback that allows users to feel a broader extent of motions. In addition, there would be a microphone built in the controller, where users can talk and communicate with others during the game without headphones. “I think that the designs and features are especially exciting for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5,” said Edward Ahn (12). “I believe designs are the most important part for game consoles because the more realistic the game feels to gamers, the more captivating they are. I am looking forward to PS5’s controller that they have been talking a lot regarding the motions

that we would be able to feel while playing any type of game.” This upcoming generation of game consoles is expected to be on a whole new level. Microsoft and Sony are continuing to release more information regarding the speed, power, and designs and visuals for the public, although the price and release dates are not completely set. With the emphasis on such innovative elements of the consoles, the public is looking forward to what new and impressive gaming experience they are going to deliver. “I am looking forward to the PlayStation 5 as a PlayStation user,” said Matthew Mazzola, art teacher. “I am waiting to see how fast the hard drive is going to be because that is going to be one of the biggest features for PS5. I think that people are also wanting to see how the online store for PlayStation 5 is going to look because they are going to create different online stores from the prior generations. I am not an Xbox user, but I do know that the Xbox Series X is supposed to have lots of other great features as well.” BY: Irene Kim Senior, Copy Editor


Exploring the success of the NBA bubble


ack in March, the National Basketball Association (NBA) temporarily suspended its games following the positive COVID-19 testing results of players, but is now seeking to fill the cabin fever of their anticipating fans with a comeback. The NBA has brought to the table an exclusive proposal of the NBA bubble, which is an enclosed and isolated environment located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex designed to ensure health and safety throughout the playoffs. “When I first heard about the NBA season coming back in game, I was excited to know that I could at least virtually see the playoffs,” said Seungkyu Han (10), a major basketball fanatic. “I was very skeptical about the bubble because I didn’t think it would be very effective, and it seemed like a great challenge. But the games seem to be running very smoothly, and it definitely changed my opinion. I hope that the bubble will continue to prevent the spread of the virus so I can enjoy watching the rest of the season.” The NBA has only invited the players and staff personnel of 22 teams to quarantine themselves in the bubble infrastructure, while fans are prohibited from entering. However, after the first round of playoffs, four family members per player will be granted stay in the bubble. Prior to the resumption on July 30, all players underwent the process of rigid quarantine and testing for more than two weeks, even refraining from team practice until inside the bubble. Amenity use at the resort is granted, but if any members of the bubble roam around disapproved areas, they are to isolate themselves for an extended duration of 10 days. Although the zone initially raised doubt and was perceived as a great risk, unlike other sports leagues with players flouting safety protocols, strict regulations within the bubble have produced zero positive cases so far, proving the

project to be viable. “Compared to other sports leagues, the NBA has been much more successful with their reopenings,” said Eddie Choe (12), varsity basketball player. “I think the main reason why this was possible is because everyone in the bubble has already been tested negative for the past few weeks, and the NBA requires many safety rules. I think that other sport leagues could learn a thing or two from the NBA bubble and the new system it follows.” The success of the NBA bubble stems from the stringent routine and series of procedures adopted by the league. Such requirements range from mandatory masks, to daily COVID testing, to smaller measures including requests to limit unnecessary contact during play. Furthermore, with smaller rosters compared to most other sports leagues, the NBA is able to minimize the risks of players violating imposed rules. On the contrary, bigger leagues like the MLB include hundreds of players, coaches, and staff members, meaning increased chances of faster infection rates and less control over enforcing rules on each individual. Not to mention, minor leagues or college unions have less financial flexibility and resources to conduct frequent testing. “I think the bubble goes to almost the Wuhan story, when the virus first erupted and they completely shut down the whole city,” said Tim Munro, boys varsity basketball coach. “As soon as they did that, stuff started to dwindle down, the spread slowed down, and less people were getting infected. That is what the bubble has done, they have taken people, making sure they have no access to the virus, limiting who and what can come in, and have had zero cases so far, showing how successful it can be.” BY: Erin J. Choi Sophomore, Reporter

That Theater Nerd

"Dear Evan Hansen" : a reminder that you are not alone "Dear Evan Hansen" is a very . . . atypical musical. When I first heard of it, I questioned if the plot—because of how hectic it sounded—would make any sense. With music written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a script by Steven Levenson, the musical follows the tale of a high school student with social anxiety named Evan Hansen. A chain of events leads Evan to fabricate a close friendship with Connor Murphy, a student who took his own life, in order to “provide Connor’s family with closure for his death.” The musical addresses very dark themes, such as anxiety, suicide, depression, and loneliness. At the beginning of Act One, Evan's social anxiety causes him to distance himself from the rest of the world. He

has difficulty making friends, spends most of his time studying trees, and attends therapy. Evan’s mother, Heidi, does not know what to do for her son and struggles to repair her and Evan’s broken relationship. Evan goes to school with Connor, who has a lot of built-up anger; when Evan unintentionally offends Connor on the first day of senior year, Connor aggressively pushes him. When they bump into each other again, Evan is printing a letter to himself, which is a therapeutic activity he does. Connor apologizes to Evan but revokes his apology after being put off by the fact that Evan excessively cares about Zoe, Connor's sister. The day after, due to his depression, Connor takes his own life. Connor's parents find Evan's letter to himself, and they mis-

take it for Connor's last words. Evan, unable to muster enough courage to tell them the truth, falls down a rabbit hole and creates a false friendship between him and Connor. The highly specific and niche plot is counterbalanced by a soundtrack containing highly relatable and approachable songs. In the song "Waving Through a Window," Evan depicts the common feeling of being an outsider who is never noticed. "Requiem" is a tragically sung trio that expresses the pain of losing someone you care for dearly. However, among the soundtrack's many melancholy songs, there is "You Are Not Alone," a lung bursting choral number that emphasizes that there is light at the end of every dark tunnel and that no matter

how hard life's struggles are, you are never fighting alone. Since its premiere on July 10, 2015, at the Arena Stage, “Dear Evan Hansen” has won six Tony Awards. Following Ben Platt’s departure from the Broadway production, Jordan Fisher— best known for portraying the handsome John Ambrose in the popular Netflix sequel “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”— has taken over the role of Evan. Nevertheless, COVID-19 caused Broadway to shut down on March 12, and all musicals have been at a standstill. This has not prevented “Dear Evan Hansen” from extending its presence on social media and in the film industry. For instance, the song “Sincerely, Me” has become the sound of a viral TikTok trend. In addition, the Internet Movie

Database (IMDb) has officially announced that a movie for the musical is in the pre-production stage. According to IMDb, Ben Platt will be returning to the role of Evan alongside stars such as Amandla Stenberg and Kaitlyn Dever. All in all, “Dear Evan Hansen” is a musical for anyone above the age of 13 because it covers a wide range of mature issues. The musical contains a perfect balance of humor and gravity that leaves a bittersweet taste on your tongue and a warm feeling in your heart. Not only is the plot of this musical not overly dramatic, but the soundtrack also contains songs with relatable and encouraging messages. BY: Katie Kim Sophomore, Reporter



Intersecting Identities Aimee Choi & Rachel Yoon

Feminism x Transgender: Is exclusionary feminism true feminism?


he feminist movement in South Korea has been garnering support in recent years, leading to the long-overdue questioning of established patriarchal standards and restrictive gender norms in the country. However, with this new era of progressivism has come a group of Korean feminists that have been selective in their advocacy. Widely termed as Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs), these feminists have taken issue with including trans women, who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. The invalidation and ostracization of trans women, backed by the claim that “trans women are not real women,” have led to the question of whether or not TERFs are counterproductive to the general feminist movement. TERFs caught the media’s attention back in February, when a trans woman was admitted to Sookmyung Women’s University. This admission made the school the first women-only institute in the country to admit a transgender person, causing the majority of students to react with outrage and confusion at the unprecedented event. Despite the acceptance and support given by some students, the overwhelming disapproval, threats, and harassment led to the trans woman withdrawing from the university. This trans-exclusionary sentiment was reinforced in June, as TERFs showed their support for renowned author JK Rowling, who emphasized the necessity of a clear, biological distinction between women and men. She represented the common beliefs of TERFs that the lifelong struggles of people born as females would be invalidated and rendered unimportant if those born as males could “become” women without having to deal with sexism and misogyny from birth. In response, some Korean women expressed their agreement through social media by using the hashtag, #i_ stand_with_jk_rowling. The unfolding of these discussions among TERFs has vilified trans women for trivializing the hardships women undergo from childhood and highlighted the intrinsic impossibility of a biological man to “become” a woman. While this belief may resonate as true to feminism to some extent, it rather threatens the legitimacy and progress of the feminist movement. One of the major goals of the feminist movement is to empower and diversify women’s gender expression, yet TERFs directly contradict this goal by denying the legitimacy of non-conforming gender identities. The isolation of the two identities—women and transgender— also raises several questions. Is it not ironic and counter-intuitive for a social movement striving for equality to promote discrimination? If not, what motives justify the exclusion? And by following the logic that trans women have not faced the same obstacles as biological women, where do transgender men—those born as women who transitioned into men—belong? Although non-conforming gender and sexual identities face discrimination anywhere, transphobia runs especially rampant in South Korea, where societal values tend to be more conservative compared to other countries. While the surge of feminism is a monumental factor that defies oppressive and misogynistic ideologies, it seems more than necessary to focus on including those of nonbinary genders and non-heteronormative sexualities as well—otherwise, the movement would fail to be truly intersectional. After all, both feminism and transgenderism were founded on the same basis: actively challenging gender norms and creating a more free atmosphere for self-expression.



Emily Sung & Sarah Ju

Black Lives Matter protests…

… … are currently bringing light to the systemic racial disparities in the United States, especially with the issue of police brutality. Sparked by the police-incited murder of African American George Floyd, global protests for BLM began to escalate in May demanding justice for not only Floyd, but the hundreds of black lives taken to police brutality. However, conflict started to form as protests became violent. This raises the question: are BLM protests really necessary and/or effective in making a tangible change? ...have sometimes led to violent unrest: The violence brought about by the Black Lives Matter movement has done more harm than bring about change. Some individuals have taken advantage of the protests, abusing them as opportunities to loot businesses and take away the livelihoods of workers rather than using them to facilitate change. When these violent riots take place, it is only a demonstration of how many people fail to take the movement seriously, merely exploiting the chaos of these situations to fuel their greed. Not only that, but because the BLM movement was established for the purpose of denouncing police brutality against black minorities, it only makes sense to refrain from fighting fire with fire. In the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the success of the fight for black rights was rooted in Martin Luther King Jr.’s policy of nonviolent protests. The consistent shows of violence only detract from the true meaning of the movement as more heads turn only to demean the harm protestors do to the cities they take place in and the businesses they ransack instead of raising awareness for the evaluation of real policies and systemic failures.

...are essential to having minorities’ voices heard: For years, peaceful racial protests have taken place but black voices have yet to be heard. Not only do instances of individual racism and hate crimes against minorities continue to be prevalent issues in the US, but systemic racism is also deeply entrenched in American society, demonstrated in pre-established systems including employment, taxes, and police brutality. However, recent movements involving physical gatherings and collective efforts for social and legislative change, have enkindled motivation from citizens to reform the nation’s widespread racial inequality. The ongoing protests have been successful in instigating Mineappolis lawmakers to dismantle its police department, repealing the 50-A legislation to hold the police accountable for their actions, and raising awareness through media outlets about the severity of institutional racism. Many successful revolts in history have involved violence and bloodshed, and the government, feeling threatened, were pressured to give in. The current situations that face us today have proven that physical protests are effective in leaving the often indifferent government with no choice but to comply with a cause.

...are hazardous considering the state of COVID-19: Certainly, the desire to protest for change is understandable considering the vast racial disparities present in the sociopolitical climate of the United States, and it is commendable that these demonstrations are effective in arousing public sentiment on such issues and fighting for legislative change. However, the protests must stay grounded in our present reality, including that of the coronavirus outbreak. With the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases and the ignorance of an immeasurable number of people causing the virus to spread more easily than ever before, it is difficult to say that BLM protests, in which countless people gather in close proximity, do any good for maintaining public health and safety. At these protests, people often assemble in crowded areas without masks or any precautionary sanitation measures, leading to an increase in cases of infection. It is a shame to spur the development of one problem while trying to fight for the destruction of another. Therefore, despite the need for reform against racism, a more urgent issue to be combated is the development of a global pandemic, which surely must not be ignored when making choices for the good of American citizens.

...have been mostly peaceful: Opposition to the Black Lives Matter protests is largely credited to the violence involved. However, actual positive efforts from activists that do not cause any harm are continuing to be brushed under the rug. We must consider the fact that media outlets often pick and choose what to portray in the news. Reporters have mostly chosen to cover instances of extreme violence, ignoring the myriad of peaceful protests across the country that actually directed attention to the main purpose of the movement. In fact, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), 93% of all BLM protests were found to be peaceful. Additionally, many critics of the protests blamed protestors for the violent actions of those uninvolved with the movement who chose to take advantage of the public disarray and use it to sabotage and loot businesses and stores. As the media and opposers to the movement continue to paint the protests as the cause of more damage than good, we must note the benefits the BLM movement has provoked and the importance of protests in inspiring change. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

photo of the

month Staring intensively into her screen, Alyssa Lee (9) pays close attention to her online classes.

Photo by Alice Lee

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