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nvironmental issues are now being addressed by a St. Louis Park commission. Junior Alex Sundvall and senior Caitlin Glennon are student representatives. Chairman Tim Brausen said the goal is to involve the community. “We’re going to provide a mechanism for the citizens of St. Louis Park to raise ideas they have for protecting our environment,” Brausen said.

oys’ football faced off against Apple Valley Tuesday in the section final. For a recap of the game and the football season, visit the sports section on slpecho.com. The team entered the game with a 0-9 record. Results were not available as of press time Monday night.

ith names such as Outlaw, Bombshell and Misfit, the options at Eat Street’s Glam Doll Donut Shop are anything but ordinary. The store opened in Minneapolis last February, providing a vintage retreat for customers to fulfill their donut cravings. The shop has a wide variety, offering 22 different types of donuts with artistic flare, as well as 17 drink options. Visitors should prepare for a truly intense conflict; how to choose just one.

ov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday that the Metropolitan Council vote on Light Rail will be delayed 60-90 days until the Council makes its final decision. According to Laura Baenen, communications manager for the Southwest Light Rail Transit, the announcement was delayed because the Met Council wanted more time for administrators to review the project details. “(Met Council) Chair Haigh agreed to give the Corridor Management Committee more time so we could present a number of options with a lot of details,” Baenen said. According to Safety in the Park co-chair Jami LaPray, the Corridor Management Committee named the shallow tunnel route the best option for Light Rail construction. LaPray said she thinks students should get involved by writing opinionated letters. “It shows that students in the community are also concerned,” LaPray said. Freshman Hannah Selvig said she would be personally affected by the possible freight reroutes, and hopes the shallow tunnel proposal is approved.

n an attempt to make sports conferences more evenly matched and ensure schools competing are demographically similar, West Metro principals appealed Benilde-St. Margaret’s placement in the conference. The Minnesota State High School League met Oct. 21 for an appeal hearing to decide if Benilde is a suitable choice for the West Metro conference. The final decision is expected by Oct. 31, according to athletic director Andy Ewald. West Metro high school principals disagreed with Benilde’s placement in the conference after the reconstruction process, and filed an appeal to the league Sept. 26. Girls’ soccer assistant coach Brad Bru-

“I think that any plan that wouldn’t disrupt my house or the school is the better plan,” Selvig said. While St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs was unavailable for comment, he expressed in a letter addressed to Gov. Dayton his disappointment with the delay of the Met Council Vote, which, according to the letter, reopens the possibility of the freight rail reroute. “At a minimum, St. Louis Park leaders and its legislators should have had a place at that meeting before an announcement was made,” said Jacobs in the letter. “The decision to reevaluate options for rerouting freight traffic in St. Louis Park appears misguided. Study after study has concluded that there is not a viable option in St. Louis Park to reroute trains.” Some students favor the reroute even with increased freight traffic. Senior Imara Hixon said she thinks the Light Rail will be convenient for students. “For the kids who don’t live in St. Louis Park, it’s beneficial to take a train to school,” Hixon said. “It seems like an easier alternative than taking city buses.” LaPray said she and the rest of the Safety in the Park members are frustrated the decision has been put off yet again. “It’s just not right that they keep leading us on,” LaPray said. “It’s honestly disappointing.”

baker said he thinks Benilde’s different values make it unfit for the conference. “I think they as a private school operate with different philosophical guiding,” he said. “A private school has to recruit (athletes), and Benilde aggresively recruits.” Ewald said the principals decided to appeal because they thought Benilde was a bad fit for the conference. “The motivation to appeal is the same as when we denied their application,” Ewald said. “We don’t feel like they are a good fit, and we think they belong in another conference.” Freshman Jack Lynch said he would be disappointed if the league removed Benilde from the West Metro conference, since he enjoys having a strong competitor. “It’s nice having a rival in our conference, someone we can compare ourselves to every year,” Lynch said.


hen senior Andy Haroldson casts his first ballot as a legal adult, he will vote on issues of local importance in the upcoming School Board election. “It’s important for the city’s schools,” Haroldson said. “The School Board represents the direction the schools will be going in the future.” There are five candidates seeking election to three four-year positions on the School Board. Incumbent Ken Morrison is seeking election to a two-year position to finish his current term, for which he was selected after

hen St. Louis Park voters go to the polls Nov. 5 they will be voting for more than just School Board members. A proposed tax increase of 4 percent to go toward St. Louis Park schools will also be on the ballot. The money raised by the tax will be put toward school buildings, staffing and technology. The tax consists of three proposals: a technology levy, a bond referendum levy and an operating levy. A levy is a capital tax put on property by the government. The levy is based on the property value of taxpayers in the city. According to School Board member Bruce Richardson, if the new tax is not approved by voters, they would have to petition the state for the extra funding needed. “However this would be a lengthy pro-

cess and we don’t expect any of our plans to fail,” Richardson said. According to Superintendent Rob Metz, the levy proposals are possible because of new legislature. “The legislature changed some laws this year and this enabled us to ask for this (tax),” Metz said. “The levy will enable us to keep our programming and keep class sizes as low as possible.” Although the tax is designed to help students succeed in school, it is not unanimously embraced by all students. Sophomore Marco Salazar said he thinks the tax should not be imposed on all citizens, since not all of them have children enrolled in the school system. “I don’t think it’s fair that families without kids have to pay for better schools,” Salazar said. However, junior Hannah Holmquist said she would be in favor of the tax if she were a taxpayer. “As long as I knew where the money was going, I wouldn’t mind,” she said.

a former member, Pam Rykken, resigned. Incumbent Bruce Richardson said the School Board members help create a learning environment for students by directing policies for the district. “What we’re there for as a Board is to make sure our mission is accomplished,” Richardson said. “First we give students a safe and caring place to learn, then give students rigorous academics.” Candidate Jim Beneke said the School Board’s involvement in the community made him want to run for election in order to participate in the process. “The public school system is essential for a society that wants equity,” Beneke said. “St. Louis Park has one of the more successful public school systems. Continuously in the school system, there is a lot of support from volunteers in the community and

espite attempts to spice up Sadie’s, this year’s Halloween theme has caused disputes among the student body. Some religious students believe Halloween and the act of dressing up are blasphemous and therefore should not be themes for a school-sponsored dance. Junior Muna Berhe said dressing up in a costume is out of the question. “I take religion seriously, so dressing up on Halloween is against our culture,” she said. “It shows a lot of skin and you’re dressing up as something you’re not.” Freshman Carter Schmelzle said he thinks the theme should not be a big issue, and suggested a solution. “If the religion they choose forbids them from dressing up then they have to deal with that,” he said. “They can still go, they just don’t have to dress up.” According to DECA adviser Sophia Ross, the theme was never intended to leave anyone out. “We’re not celebrating what Halloween is about and you don’t have to dress up,” she said. Ross also said even if students cannot participate in the theme, they should still attend the dance. “We would never want to leave anyone out, that’s not the purpose of a school dance,” she said. According to senior Aisha Mire, even though students are welcome to attend without wearing a costume, some would still feel excluded. “It would be nice if they had two different themes for people who don’t celebrate the holiday,” she said. “There should be

within the schools there are a lot of good leaders.” Anyone age 18 or older who lives in St. Louis Park may vote in the School Board elections, which will be Nov. 5. Voters can register at the polling place on election day and can find their polling place at the secretary of state’s website. Freshman Saamiya Amini said she thinks students will be interested in the results of the elections. “The School Board makes decisions for them, so students should have a voice in that,” Amini said. Sophomore Luke Cichoski said he thinks students who can will participate in the election process. “A lot of students want to be here and they want their opinions heard about what they want to happen in school,” he said.

something they can wear without standing out.” Along with the religious controversy, there is concern regarding whether costumes will be appropriate for a school dance. Students will be expected to abide by the student handbook’s dress code guidelines. Assistant principal Scott Meyers said if a costume is deemed to be inappropriate, the student will not be let in. “If it’s considered revealing it’s not going to be allowed at the dance,” he said. “Students should plan accordingly to make sure their costumes will be appropriate.” Students can check if their costumes would be admitted to the dance in the student office anytime prior to the dance.


espite data indicating electronic cigarette use in teens more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, the smokeless devices remain largely unregulated and little researched, according to an online Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published last month. Electronic cigarettes, more commonly referred to as e-cigarettes or e-cigs, have drawn both praise and scorn from health professionals in a debate over whether the battery-powered vaporizers help young users quit or expose them to addiction. The devices work by vaporizing liquid nicotine and other additives when the user inhales. Because the vapor does not contain many carcinogens found in regular cigarettes, proponents of the devices often cite decreased health risks. Dr. Kelvin Choi, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who published a 2012 study about e-cigarettes, said he thinks such marketing is misleading to young people. “The fact that it is being marketed as a ‘clean cigarette’ makes teenagers think they may be safe to use,” Choi said. “For some teenagers, who have avoided cigarettes for health risks, this is the reason they begin using e-cigarettes.” Tobacco companies also have drawn significant criticism for heavily marketing their products to teenagers and young adults, though Minnesota banned sale to minors. One of the nation’s leading e-cigarette manufacturers, Sottera, has al-

ready settled a lawsuit through agreeing to end false health claims and minor-focused marketing strategies. Sen. Scott Dibble, who represents Southwest Minneapolis and chairs the Transportation and Public Safety Committee, said he strongly opposes such marketing to adolescents. “It’s despicable for e-cigarette companies to market to young people,” Dibble said. “Their goal is to get young people into the habit of getting addicted to nicotine and make the transition to lifelong cigarette addiction.” Junior John Chatman said he agrees with Choi, arguing the perceived reduced health hazards of e-cigarettes serve as dangerous enticement for teenagers to start using the devices. “People think they’re healthier,” Chatman said. “But either way you’re inhaling toxic chemicals and your lungs will be screaming for air.” Because e-cigarettes don’t involve smoke, they enjoy exemption from smoking bans, allowing use in bars, sports stadiums and wherever else they are not specifically banned. Still, Dibble said legislators need more information on the health hazards of e-cigarettes before they make a decision on whether or not to extend the state’s public smoking ban to encompass the devices. “We need to pause and do some more research to make sure we aren’t allowing harmful products in areas where (similar products) aren’t allowed,” Dibble said. Junior Dominic Palmer said he is opposed to banning ecigarettes, drawing distinctions between them and other tobacco products. “They use vapor, not smoke,” Palmer said. “Plus, they actually smell nice, not like cigarette (smoke).” Choi said he urges young people to stay away from electronic cigarettes, regardless of their potential benefits. “We still don’t know if electronic cigarettes are safe products,” Choi said. “And no tobacco product is a safe product.”


id I sit next to you on an airplane once?” I almost fell off my bike, floored that a woman recognized me while driving down the street. This had never happened to me before, though based on the number of people I have met, I feel like it should happen all the time. I am that person who talks to you from taxi to touch down, the one who tells their life story with the expectation of hearing yours in return. I prefer to move past meaningless small talk as quickly as possible and really get to know someone personally. Through sharing stories about myself in return for stories about the traveler sitting next to me, we mutually grow to trust and open up to one another. I have sat with carpenters, businesspeople, grad students and more, and I have come to appreciate that each individual shows me exactly what I see when I look out an airplane window: a glimpse at what is really below the surface. Learning all about someone isn’t limited to airplanes for me; I love learning people’s names, favorite songs and foods, funniest moments and more. Airplanes are one place where I like to bond with another person, but getting to know people while shopping at the supermarket, walking to class or at a restaurant is just as impactful. When I form a connection with the people around me, I feel more comfortable with them. I believe that by getting to know people around you better and becoming more comfortable with them, you will come to appreciate your own uniqueness as well. Talking about yourself and consciously reflecting on meaningful things you have done makes you think about why you are special. Sharing stories and memories with others reminds me of my qualities I am proud of. By talking to others about what makes them special, I recognize all the things that make me one-of-akind. The most important part of using storytelling as a mode of opening up to others is refraining from lying. By being dishonest with others when talking about yourself, you are in turn being dishonest with yourself. The process of sharing stories can be meaningful, but it is worthless if the stories are not true to begin with. For me, factual stories are far more compelling than fictitious ones anyway. I realize there is no way of knowing if the person I’m sharing my stories with is being truthful themselves, but I prefer to trust they are being honest. Telling the truth works best for me. Honestly.

I have been a huge world war history buff for as long as I can remember. I wanted to do something hands on with it and what better way than actually going out and reenacting it? One day I was reading this newspaper and there was an article about a father and son who do German (war) reenacting together and at the bottom of the page it had a link to the national reenactment website.

The teaching aspect of it. That’s why I like the unit I am in. There are two types of reenactors. There are people who go out and do it for the battles. There are also reenactors who go out and teach people about the war and the history of it and that’s more what we do. We do engineer-

wenty students are gathered in a C3 classroom on a Thursday at 3:20 pm. Carley Kregness, a social studies teacher volunteering her room for the meeting, tries to get things started. “People who know what they’re doing, stand up,” calls out Kregness. Five boys all stand up and go to the front of the room. They introduce themselves as the club’s veterans. Junior Elliot Schwartz starts to explain the rules of the game and the procedures of play. A large black box is placed on the desk at the front of the classroom. As the veterans continue to discuss the club, Kregness brings in a new box and pulls out pads, wires and lights. Let the games begin. Quiz Bowl competes at the state and local levels in trivia competitions with questions ranging from classical opera to calculus. The club meets Thursdays

ing units where we teach people about the engineering aspect of the war.

There is a season. It is not official, but it lasts from early spring to late summer. The latest they generally go is into early autumn. For example, I got back from Rockford, Ill., which has the largest World War II reenactment in the whole United States. This year there were 1,200 reenactors out there, representing 10 or 12 different nations.

Money for college. That’s the biggest reason. Outside of the National Guard there is pretty much no way I was going to be able to pay. I’m sure I would find a way,

after school. At its first meeting, the club saw 15 new members, roughly three times as many as they had last year. This year, Quiz Bowl also has a new coach, Carmen Garland, who also teaches social studies. Garland said she has a significant history with Park’s team and as a participant in the activity. “I was the coach for five years about 10 years ago,” Garland said. “I had done it in high school and was a new teacher. When the club was looking for a coach, I volunteered.” Garland said she thinks the rise in numbers of the club is because of student-to-student interaction. “Lots of new kids came the first week primarily because of word of mouth,” Garland said. “The members have a lot of fun and they talk it up to their friends.” Senior Maya Raz is a new member of the club and said she is excited about the learning aspect the club has to offer. “It should help me broaden my horizons of knowledge,” Raz said.“I’ll be able to learn things about subjects I’m not familiar with, which I’m excited about.”

but the National Guard would be easier. I’m sure my military history part of me had some involvement with it, but the money sounds really nice. There is also the part about community and country because the National Guard helps out with all sorts of community stuff.

There is that little niggling in the back of your head that “yeah, I might get deployed,” but that’s just what is going to happen. If it happens it happens. I’m not the kid who played “Call of Duty” and was like, “that’s so cool. I want to join the army and go kill people.” If I get deployed, I get deployed. If not, that’s also brilliant. If I were given a choice, I would rather not get deployed. You learn to live with that fear though.


he Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) has been a safe place for students to go for the 10 years of its existence. The club is open to any members, regardless of their sexuality, and address issues surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community and students’ personal connections to it. The GSA was recently invited to North Hennepin Community College’s National Coming Out Day event Oct. 11. The keynote speaker at the event was state senator Scott Dibble. Dibble is an activist for same-sex marriage and gay rights in Minnesota and author of the bill passed in May, which allows same-sex marriage. Kyle Sweeney, adviser of the club, was very supportive of the invitation. “We could celebrate Coming Out Day here,” Sweeney said. “But we got invited

to this event and it’s nice to be with college students and a community that is supportive and to meet Scott Dibble, who has been an activist for LGBTQ rights.” Scott Dibble has been a Minnesota State Senator for 11 years. He is the senator for the majority of Southwest Minneapolis and was a leader in the fight against the suggested amendment against same sex marriage. Dibble spoke about the importance of freedom and courage at the event. “Government has a responsibility to protect us but we have to take matters into our own hands,” Dibble said. “National Coming Out Day is important because it gives people courage to do that.” Senior member Nekita Newstrom, who has attended the meetings since her sophomore year and is openly out, said she appreciates GSA because it lets her know there are students in school who have common interests with her. “It lets me know there are people out there that care about LGBTQ issues just like I do,” Newstrom said. “It is nice to know that other people are really supportive of the people who identify as LGBTQ.” Meetings take place Thursday mornings and are filled with food and discussion according to Newstrom. “We eat bagels, talk about personal ties, watch videos of coming out experiences and talk about current issues,” Newstrom said. One of the issues Newstrom was referring to is the proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota’s state Constitution. The proposed Constitutional Amendment was voted on this past election

and did not pass. Newstrom said the club members were ecstatic when they found out. “Everyone was smiling, laughing, having a good time,” she said. “We were happy to know that overall as a state we are supportive.” Dibble said overcoming obstacles in same-sex rights takes courage. “The only reason we are able to achieve anti-discrimination laws is because people were able to come out with authenticity,” Dibble said. “When you create a celebration around the idea of something that is considered a risk it shows that it is not just you, that there are other people taking risks and it gives people courage.”

he appointment of a new adviser and leadership council members, marks a new start for the Muslim Student Association (MSA) club. MSA adviser Jesslyn Bolt and senior council leader Khadija Charif appointed new leadership council members based off of an application essay. The new leadership council consists of juniors Ashraf Mohamed, Sagal Abdi, Shugri Bashir and seniors Iman Osman, Mohamed Abdi, Khadra Bashir and Mohamed Mohamed.

Dibble said it makes him happy to know GSA clubs exist across the country. “It means that kids who feel distanced or are trying to find who they are know that being gay isn’t bad and they have a support system,” Dibble said. “When I grew up I had to figure it out all by myself through many years of pain.” Sweeney said she thinks the event impacted the students who attended in a very positive way. “They got to have fun in a safe place to celebrate who they are and be themselves,” Sweeney said. “Everyone loved it and got to interact with Scott Dibble, they got an opportunity most young people don’t get.”

fter years of consistent performance from veteran mathletes, the Math Team looks to revamp this year with a slightly altered message. Math teacher and coach Kristin Johnson said the team is trying to appeal to more recruits this year as they rebuild from a loss of seniors in recent years. “The last couple years have been rebuilding, so we are really trying to get back to the success that we have had in the past,” Johnson said. The Math Team will cater not only to students who enjoy math classes during the school day, but also those who are looking for a boost on their resume as they look toward their future. Additionally, she said this could be an important point as they look for new recruits. “Among other things, Math Team is very influential on a kid’s college resume, as it shows it shows interest in academic extracurriculars,” Johnson said.


oo old to trick or treat, too young to legally drink. Some teens have outgrown childhood Halloween traditions and now turn to binge drinking instead. With Halloween quickly approaching, some students may encounter more opportunities for parties involving alcohol, according to Debbie Lickteig, an emergency room nurse at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. Lickteig, said the number of alcohol related patients seen in the ER increases by 50 percent around Halloween. “We see a lot of cases of what we call alcohol overdosing. On average about five patients a night on a weekend,” she said. “(On Halloween), I would say we see about 10 a day, double the patients.” Junior Colin Monicatti said he thinks teen alcohol consumption increases on Halloween, because of an increase in partying. “Halloween is one of the biggest times a year to throw a party, so binge drinking is a given,” he said. “It seems like most of the people I


know have more than just one or two beers.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) view underage drinking as a major national health concern. According to the CDC, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States and statistics show drinking rates are steadily increasing. A study by the University of Michigan published September 2013 found more than one in 10 high school seniors have participated in extreme binge drinking in the last two weeks. Extreme binge drinking is defined as having 10 or more drinks in one sitting, a trend that is becoming more popular among high school students, according to the study. The study also showed 5 percent of high school seniors report indulging in more than 15 drinks in one sitting, enough to result in alcohol poisoning. Senior Naris Uzzell said he believes underage drinking is a problem among teens in the community, although he doesn’t feel students need an occasion such as Halloween to drink. “People drink every weekend because of the easy access to alco-

hol,” he said. “No one needs an excuse.” Regardless of how students like Uzzell view binge drinking, Lickteig said Halloween is a concern for those in the medical field. Binge drinking causes long-term health problems including brain and liver damage, not to mention injuries and death caused by careless drunken mishaps. “Short term, you have changes in your level of consciousness, you have the inability to protect yourself, impaired driving and decision making,” Lickteig said. “All of that is the immediate stuff. A lot of the kids get combative. The long-term effect is respiratory stuff, you can stop breathing without dying. It’s called respiratory depression.” Every year, more than 189,000 alcohol-related ER visits by patients under the age of 18 occur, and alcohol is responsible for the premature deaths of more than 4,700 people under 21 years of age, according to the CDC. Dr. Gregg Savitt, a pediatrician at Partners in Pediatrics, said binge drinking causes severe damage to brain development. “Your brain is still developing into young adulthood,” Savitt said. “Binge drinking can cause memory impairments, persistent changes in

the brain that lead to difficulty with muscle coordination, confusion learning and memory problems. It can cause scarring of the liver as well as hepatitis, which is liver inflammation.” Savitt said he believes these consequences are more prevalent in teens than adults since teens don’t often comprehend the amount of alcohol they intake. “Teens tend to underestimate the amount they drink,” Savitt said. “When they do self-reporting studies the average is around nine drinks in the teenage and young adult group. But again, I think this reflects under-reporting by participants in these studies and under-reflects how much they really drink.” Lickteig said since minors are not served at bars, they don’t drink alcohol in precise amounts. Instead of having a few drinks, teens will share a bottle of hard alcohol between a couple friends, making it difficult to keep track of intake. “Most patients don’t know how many drinks they’ve had,” Lickteig said. “If they are able to talk, which usually isn’t the case, generally a large amount of liquor. They get a bottle of liquor and split it between three or so people and it ends up being about a cup and a half of liquor.”


ven though I have vaulted thousands of times, I still get extremely nervous before meets. My palms get sweaty, tears stream down my face and I shake with terror, wondering if I’ll make it to the other side. Gymnastics requires both mental and physical strength. Flipping over a 4-inch beam or sprinting toward a stationary object and somehow making it to the other side can be a daunting task. Many practices are filled with frustration and tears when I cannot complete a skill. I quickly learned this frustration is detrimental to my success. At one meet last year I was warming up my tumbling when all of a sudden, my brain went blank and I second-guessed myself in mid-air. Next thing I knew, I fell hard on my back and awkwardly landed on my wrist. For the rest of the season, waves of fear and anxiety rushed over me at even the thought of doing that tumbling pass. Many people overthink even the smallest actions, especially when it comes to schoolwork and extracurricular activities. When this happens, it can affect your performance and you will likely get a negative result. This was proven to me in my last home meet when my coach asked me to compete on the uneven bars. Bars is my weakest event, and the minute I got up on the bars during warm-ups, I panicked and could not stop crying. Although I was physically capable of doing a bar routine, my hands peeled off the bar during mid-swing because my nerves got the best of me. Many athletes get nervous before a big meet or game. Sometimes it can be detrimental to a performance. It’s important to stay calm and think positively. Getting worked up is not going to help you and it will probably give an unfavorable result. My gymnastics career has been filled with many ups and downs over the course of 11 years. Despite being such a tough sport both physically and mentally, its nature is very gratifying. Finally succeeding in a skill you’ve been trying to perfect for months is very rewarding. Although I’ve made several mistakes, I have used them as a learning experience on what I can do better next time and have stayed positive throughout all of it.

ince 1995, the one standard among all St. Louis Park varsity games has been the voice of the announcer, Howard Luloff. Luloff has announced sporting events at St. Louis Park for 18 years. He started announcing girls’ volleyball matches in 1995, soccer games in 1996. Since then, he has only missed two soccer games, a streak spanning 17 years. However, his career as an announcer started long before that. Luloff said he started announcing during high school games at Bloomington Jefferson before receiving his broadcasting degree at

rom infomercials on TV promoting the latest dieting product to ads featuring men with rock-hard abs or pencil thin women, the media can influence how many teenagers think about body image, according to Dr. Marla Eisenberg from the University of Minnesota. According to a study conducted in November 2012 by doctors Eisenberg, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer and Melanie Wall from the University of Minnesota, more than 40 percent of all teenagers exercise regularly with the sole intent of gaining muscle mass. 35 percent of teenagers use protein powders and 6 percent use steroids. “There are so many pictures in the media now of ripped men and really toned women,” Eisenberg said. “This sets up an ideal for what people should look like, and many will use unhealthy tactics to try to achieve this image.” While some of these muscle-enhancing behaviors can have beneficial outcomes, Eisenberg said there are

the Austin Area Vocational Technical Institute. “I did the sophomore basketball games at Bloomington Jefferson, but my announcing career didn’t really get going until about 1995 when it all started with the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) 12 and under baseball tournament, and it got me hooked,” Luloff said. Luloff can be seen pacing the sidelines before a game, practicing the pronunciation of the player’s names. He said he feels it is important because some parents in the stands do not want to hear their child’s name mispronounced. “I usually show up 45 minutes to an hour before the game to get the pronunciations checked,” Luloff said. Luloff said he came up with a good method for articulating the player’s names correctly 17 years ago during a soccer game.

others that can be cause for concern among adolescents. Jessica Gust, head of the strength and conditioning program, said she agrees unrealistic social expectations on body image for teenagers exist. This is one aspect she works to teach participants about, along with establishing healthy fitness habits. “Changes don’t happen overnight and building muscle and strength require a long-term commitment to healthy habits including exercise, nutrition, sleep and other personal life decisions,” Gust said. With the increase in muscle-enhancing behaviors and exercising, students have different reasonings to improve their fitness. Senior Quinn Livdahl said he thinks someone’s commitment to working out should not be from outside influences, but should be a personal choice. “I think your decision to exercise should come from within, not because of outside pressure,” he said. “The ultimate goal should be to be as healthy as you can be, not necessarily as buff or as skinny as you can be.”

“In 1996 I made a separate sheet of paper with the pronunciations for the Minneapolis Roosevelt roster. I kept the sheet of paper to remind myself how important pronunciation is.” Freshman Emma Gruye said she admires Luloff’s devotion to his job. “I think it is great he has that amount of dedication,” Gruye said. While Luloff said he believes correct pronunciation is key, he said his favorite part of his job is informing fans what is happening. “They don’t pay $6 to hear me, they want to know what’s going on,” Luloff said. Luloff said he enjoys announcing because it combines his love for sports and broadcasting. “I’ve always enjoyed handling the public address announcing. It keeps me involved with athletics and it brings my broadcasting degree to good use,” Luloff said.


he win against Cooper advanced Park to playoffs where the team lost against Wayzata 2-0. Sophomore midfielder Max Kent said it was a devastating loss. “I was torn. I’ve developed a good relationship with everyone and it’s sad to lose to a team we know we could have beat,” Kent said. Despite the disappointing section result against Wayzata to end the season, Kent said it was personally one of the most memorable seasons. “Even though we didn’t win playoffs, the satisfaction of being a good team is what made it the best season of soccer I’ve ever played in my life,” Kent said. Coach William Chato Alvarado said having many returning players resulted in a better season. “Having 14 returning players helped. The team came back with a lot more

lthough the girls’ season ended in the second round section game with a 6-0 loss to Minnetonka Oct. 12, the team will lose only five seniors to graduation, setting the stage for the coming years. The team finished the regular season with a conference record of 3-3-1 and an overall record of 8-6-1. Sophomore Claire McNary said she is proud of how the season turned out, even after losing 11 of last year’s players to graduation. “It went really well considering how many seniors we lost last year and how young our team was,” McNary said. “Hopefully we continue to get stronger as a team and im-

prove so we can keep moving forward,” she said. The loss of the seniors was counteracted with the addition of seven freshmen, which was a big focus of the preseason. Freshman Sam Baer said her first season on varsity was exciting and taught her a lot about the sport in general. “It was a lot of fun to play with the upperclassmen, and it was a good experience getting to know the people on the team,” she said. Head coach Benjy Kent said he is proud of the way the girls played, as well as their team chemistry. “I was pleased with how the girls came together,” he said. “The seniors did a great job of leading and helping the younger girls.”

confidence and experience,” Alvarado said. “Looking back compared to last year we played better soccer. We played with more skill instead of just kicking the ball right up front,” he said. Overall the team record was 12-2-2. Eager to make a run deep into the playoffs this year, boys’ soccer made a big first step by defeating Cooper in the opening sections match 6-0. Junior forward John Kinney started the scoring six minutes into the game, and Park continued to put great pressure on Cooper throughout the first half lead to 3-0. During the second half Park doubled its lead. Ten minutes into the second half senior Alonso Ruiz was illegally tackled in the penalty box, drawing a penalty kick situation. Ruiz scored calmly into the bottom right corner of the net. To finish off the game senior Artis Curiskis and Kinney both made their second goals closing out the game 6-0.

Freshman Natalie Lorentz Girls’ tennis

I started when I was 7, and ever since then I have been playing competitively. I liked the fact that it was a sport all by yourself and that you got to make the decisions.

I have group practices two to three times a week, and then I have private lessons and usually just match play. During the lesson, we do point play, and we do conditioning. We play out different point scenarios and learn different tactics.

There are so many things. I like traveling to different states to compete. I like that I get to meet a lot of new people too. I have made a lot of connections, and I still get to talk to them. I also like the competitiveness of the sport.

Kent also said the coaching staff is continuing to work with the girls to further improve, even though the season is over. “We’re hoping to do some

fter finishing its regular season meets, the girls’ swimming team clinched the conference championship, sharing it with two other schools, Benilde St. Margaret’s and Robbinsdale Cooper. It ended the season with a record 6-2. Swim coach Joe Yaeger said the conference results were out of the ordinary. “It is pretty uncommon to have a three-way tie, especially in swimming,” Yaeger said. Although they shared the conference title, junior Emmi Zheng said the championship is still something to be proud of. “I’m really happy with our team’s placement in the confer-

evaluation and talk to girls about what they can do better,” he said. “A lot of them need to learn to play faster and at a higher pace.”

ence,” Zheng said. “It would have been great to have the conference title to ourselves, but I know that everyone tried their hardest, so I’m not disappointed.” The team is currently looking forward to its next challenge, the upcoming section meet. This will be the girls’ swim team’s first year competing in AA section instead of A section. This change will mean the girls’ swim team will compete at a higher level of competition and must achieve a lower cut time compared to A sections that must be met in order to qualify for the state swim meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Yaeger said the change from A to AA section is a welcomed challenge for the team. “It will make the girls have to swim harder, nothing will be handed to them,” Yaeger said. “It’s a good thing to swim against the best.”

Usually I don’t talk at all and listen to music. I struggle with nerves a lot, and so I try not to overthink the match or anything like that. Once I get there, I’ll usually stretch or jump rope. I just don’t like to be around anyone.

You are out there all on your own. You learn to make quick decisions. You definitely need to stay positive. If you start being negative toward yourself, everything will go downhill for you.

The biggest title I won was during this past summer, in July. I went to Dallas, Texas for Regional, which is a national tournament. I was the only girl from Minnesota, and pretty much the entire tournament was Texas people. I ended up winning the whole tournament, and when I walked out everyone just stared at me like, “Who is this girl?” It was kind of funny, but it was such an amazing experience, and I am very thankful.

Probably my mental state. It has improved since I was little, but I still tend to talk myself down. If there is a girl I have not beaten, I will tell myself I can not beat her. I need to overcome that and boost my self confidence. I need to believe in myself.


St. Louis Park Senior High School 6425 West 33rd Street St. Louis Park, MN 55426 Ari Weinstein Brenna Cook Josh Scal Claire

Steffenhagen

Gabe Bichinho & Emma

Weisner

Cole Bacig & Carter

Green Wickland

Khadija Charif & Conner Lucas Kempf

Kaplan

Noah Betz-Richman Carolyn Guddal & Ivy Josh Anderson Suh Koller Artis Curiskis Sten Johnson

Isaac Greenwood Ladan Abdi, Maddy Bremner, Sean Cork, Ori Etzion, Shoshi Fischman, Malik Grays, Noa Grossman, David Hope, Brita Hunegs, Peter Johnson, Zoe Kedrowski, John Kinney, Madisen Lynch, Emily Melbye, Josh Mesick, Noa Raasch, Noah Robiner, Alonso Ruiz, Natalie Sanford, Sara Tifft, Natalie Vig, Daniel Vlodaver, Amira Warren-Yearby, Erin Wells Jonah Resnick Joann Karetov Quad/Graphics Lori Keekley

The Echo is the official student-produced newspaper of St. Louis Park Senior High School. It is published tri-weekly for the school’s students, staff and community. The Echo will not be reviewed by school administrators prior to distribution, and the adviser will not act as a censor. Content represents views of the student staff and not school officials. The Echo will work to avoid bias and/ or favoritism. We will strive to make our coverage and content meaningful and interesting to all our readers. We will make every effort to avoid printing libel, obscenities, innuendo and material that threatens to disrupt the learning process or is an invasion of privacy. We will avoid electronic manipulation that alters the truth of a photograph. Staff editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board arrived at by discussion and will not be bylined. Bylined articles are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo staff or administration as a whole. The Echo welcomes reader input. Letters to the editor and suggestions may be emailed to slpecho@gmail.com or submitted in room C275. Letters must be signed and should be no longer than 250 words. Emailed letters must be verified prior to publication. We will not necessarily publish all letters received and reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous letters wherein the Echo does not know the identity of the writer will not be printed. Advertisements will be sought from local businesses. We maintain the right to reject any ads we believe to be false, misleading, inappropriate or harmful. The Echo does not necessarily endorse the products or services offered in these advertisements.

NSPA All-American and Hall of Fame member; NSPA 2007, 2011, 2013 Pacemaker Finalist, 2010 National Pacemaker Award Recipient; JEM All-State; CSPA Gold Medalist; 2012 CSPA Silver Crown, 2013 CSPA Gold Crown.

any adults frequently caution teenagers against the dangers of driving while drunk, but fail to address the core issue of teenage alcoholism. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, the number of teenagers who drink and drive dropped by 54 percent between 1991 and 2011, because of zero tolerance laws and parental intervention. However, over the years, many have pushed the issue of drunken driving to the point where this core issue of alcoholism among teenagers has fallen out of focus. In 1997, when the Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) national organization broadened its focus by changing its name to Students Against Destructive Decisions, students were given an opportunity to seriously address the issue of alcohol among students. However, students and adults have almost entirely disregarded the issue at Park, leaving the once popular SADD chapter disbanded this year because of a lack in interest. Reviving this issue and Park’s SADD club is crucial especially considering recent statistics. For example according to the 2012 Monitoring the Future study, 42 percent of high school seniors and 28 percent of sophomores have binge drunk in the past month. At Park, there are posters hung up in many classrooms cautioning drug use, specifically marijuana, and the same should be done in regard to the issue of teenage drinking and teenage binge drinking.

recent classroom method pushes students to learn the curriculum outside of class. Many teachers utilize videos and other online or electronic systems to expand their lectures, but a flipped classroom relies on videos and online activities to teach. In “active learning” or “flipped learning,” teachers and professors record their condensed lectures though a program called “Echo360” on a podcast or video, which students are able to listen to at home on their own time. This allows students to learn by themselves, at their own pace, and to relisten to parts they are not understanding as many times as necessary. During class, the teachers can review their lectures and engage students in progressive activities and touch on more detailed parts without worrying about time constraints. Originally, this form of video learning was for students who couldn’t make it to class or for students to catch up on lessons or ideas without missing class, but now serves as a main teaching method. A professor at University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacology used flipped learning as an experiment in the 2012-

Putting up posters like this needs to come not only from the administration, but also from the students. While many teenagers are rebelling against authority, high school students tend to be more influenced by others that they can relate to. That is why, in order for this initiative to work, students need to take charge without pressure from the administration and call on their friends to join them.

2013 school year, and his class’ results showed increased success. Because of active learning, his students averaged 2.7 percent higher on their final exam, 93 percent said they believed flipped learning taught their content more effectively and efficiently, and 85 percent said they prefer flipped classroom system to conventional teaching. The active learning system proves beneficial to both the teacher and the student. It applies technology and provides easy access to knowledge to students through always available podcasts. It also gives the teacher a full hour to review important points. Students can use the videos and podcasts throughout the year. The videos are useful for studying and can be rewatched as many times as needed. A student can relisten to part of a lecture if the student had trouble with it the first time. Active learning is not as prominent in high schools as it should be. Online lectures help with homework and studying for tests, and allows class time free for other activities and review. Teachers will no longer have to worry about losing class time because of fire drills, state testing, and other mandatory activities. Flipped learning gives the student more responsibility as well. If students do not do their homework, they will be lost during review. Using active learning would make class time more effective, lectures more meaningful and would increase focused learning during class periods.

The Oriole Code, which was painted in the C1 hallway, needs to be not just a talking point, but a guide for implementing real change in the community. In order to induce a successful change in policy and outlook, students need to implement the Oriole code and be the upstanders in the community by looking out for one another and raising awareness to this important issue.

To strength and conditioning. Sorry school, but I have the right to bare arms. To Halloween drinking. Alcohol poisoning makes everything scarier.

To Sadie’s dress code. For once the dancing won’t be the scariest thing there. E.M., A.C., J. K.


igh fever, cough, diarrhea and vomiting. All of these are symptoms of influenza, a very serious illness, which can be prevented by getting a flu shot. It is very important to get a flu shot every year in order to be protected from illness. Last year in Minnesota, flu season began in October, making now the best time to get immunized. An annual influenza vaccine is the best way to reduce the likelihood of contracting the illness and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less infection can spread throughout that community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone above the age of six months receive a flu shot. However, only 45 percent

of the U.S. population aged six months and older received the flu vaccine between 2012 and 2013. Although some insist the flu can be transmitted from the shot itself, this is untrue according to medical research by the CDC. It is impossible to get the virus from the vaccine because the flu shot is an inactivated dose of the flu virus, and therefore not infectious. While it is possible to experience minor symptoms like soreness and low fever, these small inconveniences are a much better alternative to contracting influenza. Even if infection with influenza is not of great concern, the vaccine is necessary to protect others by preventing the spread of influenza. For a small prick and possible minimal side effects, infection with influenza can be prevented, as well as its spread to others. The pros greatly outweigh the cons, so man up, go out and get a flu shot.

ith the number of deaths and outbreaks of the flu declining since 2009, the flu shot has become unnecessary. The additive ingredients in flu shots are harmful and can cause serious problems that are worse than getting the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the flu often mutates and the vaccine has limited prevention against certain strains of the flu virus. There are three types of flu viruses, type A, B, and C. Each year the vaccine protects against certain subtypes found in different regions, since each region doesn’t have every subtype. If the subtype does not match the vaccine, the body builds no immunity against that subtype, leaving the body defenseless. Millions of Americans are di-

rected by doctors to get the flu shot every year. According to the CDC, flu subtypes have shown that the body’s immunity to the flu virus declines over time. Therefore, it isn’t logical to get vaccinations for the flu each year when the body should be able to defend itself against the disease. Just as the ingredients in food products often cause concern, the ingredients in vaccines contain questionable material. The CDC states the influenza vaccine contains harmful ingredients like thimerosal, which have been linked to brain cell damage and memory loss. Another ingredient is formaldehyde, which can cause problems like headaches. According to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published in ABC News, stress is often a common factor to many colds and flus. Being cautious with hygiene and mental health; washing hands, not sharing food, and having a healthy diet are all easy and natural contributions to prevent the flu.

he goal of most high school sports teams is to promote hard work in athletics and provide a fun environment to voice school spirit. Adding Benilde-St. Margaret’s would achieve neither of these goals. Benilde joined the upcoming Metro West Conference which includes Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington Kennedy, Chaska, Chanhassen, Cooper and Park Sept. 10. These schools came together when their previous different conferences ended to form a new one. These schools have appealed the addition of Benilde to the conference. These schools share roughly the same student size and demographics, making them ideal competitors in sports. Each of the seven schools are public high schools with comparable demographics in areas like free or reduced lunch, or student body size, both of which are indicators of student characteristics. Compared to the other schools in the soon-to-be conference, Benilde is unsuited in a variety of ways. It has a smaller class size and a stronger athletics department than the public schools of the rest of the conference. Benilde has demonstrated its ability to easily defeat other teams in the current conference by reaching the state championship with 19 teams across 10 sports within the past decade. This mismatch in skill is also discouraging for school sport fans, many of whom celebrate and cherish big games such as Homecoming, and hope for competitive rivalries. Adding the sports powerhouse Benilde can hurt schools attempting to raise spirit for an upcoming game if the results are already expected. Benilde belongs in a tougher, more skilled league such as the Lake Conference, where they can play against more skilled opponents. Students should voice their opinions to their Minnesota State High School League regional secretary about why they feel their own team should have a chance at winning during the season.


St. Louis Park Senior High School 6425 West 33rd Street St. Louis Park, MN 55426 Ari Weinstein Brenna Cook Josh Scal Claire

Steffenhagen

Gabe Bichinho & Emma

Weisner

Cole Bacig & Carter

Green Wickland

Khadija Charif & Conner Lucas Kempf

Kaplan

Noah Betz-Richman Carolyn Guddal & Ivy Josh Anderson Suh Koller Artis Curiskis Sten Johnson

Isaac Greenwood Ladan Abdi, Maddy Bremner, Sean Cork, Ori Etzion, Shoshi Fischman, Malik Grays, Noa Grossman, David Hope, Brita Hunegs, Peter Johnson, Zoe Kedrowski, John Kinney, Madisen Lynch, Emily Melbye, Josh Mesick, Noa Raasch, Noah Robiner, Alonso Ruiz, Natalie Sanford, Sara Tifft, Natalie Vig, Daniel Vlodaver, Amira Warren-Yearby, Erin Wells Jonah Resnick Joann Karetov Quad/Graphics Lori Keekley

The Echo is the official student-produced newspaper of St. Louis Park Senior High School. It is published tri-weekly for the school’s students, staff and community. The Echo will not be reviewed by school administrators prior to distribution, and the adviser will not act as a censor. Content represents views of the student staff and not school officials. The Echo will work to avoid bias and/ or favoritism. We will strive to make our coverage and content meaningful and interesting to all our readers. We will make every effort to avoid printing libel, obscenities, innuendo and material that threatens to disrupt the learning process or is an invasion of privacy. We will avoid electronic manipulation that alters the truth of a photograph. Staff editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board arrived at by discussion and will not be bylined. Bylined articles are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo staff or administration as a whole. The Echo welcomes reader input. Letters to the editor and suggestions may be emailed to slpecho@gmail.com or submitted in room C275. Letters must be signed and should be no longer than 250 words. Emailed letters must be verified prior to publication. We will not necessarily publish all letters received and reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous letters wherein the Echo does not know the identity of the writer will not be printed. Advertisements will be sought from local businesses. We maintain the right to reject any ads we believe to be false, misleading, inappropriate or harmful. The Echo does not necessarily endorse the products or services offered in these advertisements.

NSPA All-American and Hall of Fame member; NSPA 2007, 2011, 2013 Pacemaker Finalist, 2010 National Pacemaker Award Recipient; JEM All-State; CSPA Gold Medalist; 2012 CSPA Silver Crown, 2013 CSPA Gold Crown.

any adults frequently caution teenagers against the dangers of driving while drunk, but fail to address the core issue of teenage alcoholism. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, the number of teenagers who drink and drive dropped by 54 percent between 1991 and 2011, because of zero tolerance laws and parental intervention. However, over the years, many have pushed the issue of drunken driving to the point where this core issue of alcoholism among teenagers has fallen out of focus. In 1997, when the Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) national organization broadened its focus by changing its name to Students Against Destructive Decisions, students were given an opportunity to seriously address the issue of alcohol among students. However, students and adults have almost entirely disregarded the issue at Park, leaving the once popular SADD chapter disbanded this year because of a lack in interest. Reviving this issue and Park’s SADD club is crucial especially considering recent statistics. For example according to the 2012 Monitoring the Future study, 42 percent of high school seniors and 28 percent of sophomores have binge drunk in the past month. At Park, there are posters hung up in many classrooms cautioning drug use, specifically marijuana, and the same should be done in regard to the issue of teenage drinking and teenage binge drinking.

recent classroom method pushes students to learn the curriculum outside of class. Many teachers utilize videos and other online or electronic systems to expand their lectures, but a flipped classroom relies on videos and online activities to teach. In “active learning” or “flipped learning,” teachers and professors record their condensed lectures though a program called “Echo360” on a podcast or video, which students are able to listen to at home on their own time. This allows students to learn by themselves, at their own pace, and to relisten to parts they are not understanding as many times as necessary. During class, the teachers can review their lectures and engage students in progressive activities and touch on more detailed parts without worrying about time constraints. Originally, this form of video learning was for students who couldn’t make it to class or for students to catch up on lessons or ideas without missing class, but now serves as a main teaching method. A professor at University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacology used flipped learning as an experiment in the 2012-

Putting up posters like this needs to come not only from the administration, but also from the students. While many teenagers are rebelling against authority, high school students tend to be more influenced by others that they can relate to. That is why, in order for this initiative to work, students need to take charge without pressure from the administration and call on their friends to join them.

2013 school year, and his class’ results showed increased success. Because of active learning, his students averaged 2.7 percent higher on their final exam, 93 percent said they believed flipped learning taught their content more effectively and efficiently, and 85 percent said they prefer flipped classroom system to conventional teaching. The active learning system proves beneficial to both the teacher and the student. It applies technology and provides easy access to knowledge to students through always available podcasts. It also gives the teacher a full hour to review important points. Students can use the videos and podcasts throughout the year. The videos are useful for studying and can be rewatched as many times as needed. A student can relisten to part of a lecture if the student had trouble with it the first time. Active learning is not as prominent in high schools as it should be. Online lectures help with homework and studying for tests, and allows class time free for other activities and review. Teachers will no longer have to worry about losing class time because of fire drills, state testing, and other mandatory activities. Flipped learning gives the student more responsibility as well. If students do not do their homework, they will be lost during review. Using active learning would make class time more effective, lectures more meaningful and would increase focused learning during class periods.

The Oriole Code, which was painted in the C1 hallway, needs to be not just a talking point, but a guide for implementing real change in the community. In order to induce a successful change in policy and outlook, students need to implement the Oriole code and be the upstanders in the community by looking out for one another and raising awareness to this important issue.

To strength and conditioning. Sorry school, but I have the right to bare arms. To Halloween drinking. Alcohol poisoning makes everything scarier.

To Sadie’s dress code. For once the dancing won’t be the scariest thing there. E.M., A.C., J. K.


igh fever, cough, diarrhea and vomiting. All of these are symptoms of influenza, a very serious illness, which can be prevented by getting a flu shot. It is very important to get a flu shot every year in order to be protected from illness. Last year in Minnesota, flu season began in October, making now the best time to get immunized. An annual influenza vaccine is the best way to reduce the likelihood of contracting the illness and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less infection can spread throughout that community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone above the age of six months receive a flu shot. However, only 45 percent

of the U.S. population aged six months and older received the flu vaccine between 2012 and 2013. Although some insist the flu can be transmitted from the shot itself, this is untrue according to medical research by the CDC. It is impossible to get the virus from the vaccine because the flu shot is an inactivated dose of the flu virus, and therefore not infectious. While it is possible to experience minor symptoms like soreness and low fever, these small inconveniences are a much better alternative to contracting influenza. Even if infection with influenza is not of great concern, the vaccine is necessary to protect others by preventing the spread of influenza. For a small prick and possible minimal side effects, infection with influenza can be prevented, as well as its spread to others. The pros greatly outweigh the cons, so man up, go out and get a flu shot.

ith the number of deaths and outbreaks of the flu declining since 2009, the flu shot has become unnecessary. The additive ingredients in flu shots are harmful and can cause serious problems that are worse than getting the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the flu often mutates and the vaccine has limited prevention against certain strains of the flu virus. There are three types of flu viruses, type A, B, and C. Each year the vaccine protects against certain subtypes found in different regions, since each region doesn’t have every subtype. If the subtype does not match the vaccine, the body builds no immunity against that subtype, leaving the body defenseless. Millions of Americans are di-

rected by doctors to get the flu shot every year. According to the CDC, flu subtypes have shown that the body’s immunity to the flu virus declines over time. Therefore, it isn’t logical to get vaccinations for the flu each year when the body should be able to defend itself against the disease. Just as the ingredients in food products often cause concern, the ingredients in vaccines contain questionable material. The CDC states the influenza vaccine contains harmful ingredients like thimerosal, which have been linked to brain cell damage and memory loss. Another ingredient is formaldehyde, which can cause problems like headaches. According to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published in ABC News, stress is often a common factor to many colds and flus. Being cautious with hygiene and mental health; washing hands, not sharing food, and having a healthy diet are all easy and natural contributions to prevent the flu.

he goal of most high school sports teams is to promote hard work in athletics and provide a fun environment to voice school spirit. Adding Benilde-St. Margaret’s would achieve neither of these goals. Benilde joined the upcoming Metro West Conference which includes Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington Kennedy, Chaska, Chanhassen, Cooper and Park Sept. 10. These schools came together when their previous different conferences ended to form a new one. These schools have appealed the addition of Benilde to the conference. These schools share roughly the same student size and demographics, making them ideal competitors in sports. Each of the seven schools are public high schools with comparable demographics in areas like free or reduced lunch, or student body size, both of which are indicators of student characteristics. Compared to the other schools in the soon-to-be conference, Benilde is unsuited in a variety of ways. It has a smaller class size and a stronger athletics department than the public schools of the rest of the conference. Benilde has demonstrated its ability to easily defeat other teams in the current conference by reaching the state championship with 19 teams across 10 sports within the past decade. This mismatch in skill is also discouraging for school sport fans, many of whom celebrate and cherish big games such as Homecoming, and hope for competitive rivalries. Adding the sports powerhouse Benilde can hurt schools attempting to raise spirit for an upcoming game if the results are already expected. Benilde belongs in a tougher, more skilled league such as the Lake Conference, where they can play against more skilled opponents. Students should voice their opinions to their Minnesota State High School League regional secretary about why they feel their own team should have a chance at winning during the season.

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