Page 1

Volume VII, Issue 2, Winter Edition

Sexual Assault Expected? | pg 20

December 2018




Holiday Activities | 4

A Tale of Two Seniors: Part II | 24

Managing Editors Jaylee Davis Miller Reid

Infinity Mirrors | 5

18 Under 18: Winter | 26

No Can Do | 6

Underwater & Undercover | 30

Production Editor Matthew Raeside

From the Editor’s Desk | 7

La Sinfonia di Varuni Napoli | 32

Editors-in Chief Olivia Martin Ethan Mullen

Walk With Love | 34

Associate Editors Tiana Momon Shea Fleming Columnist Annie Sager Feature Writers Maggie Belenky Omari Foote Grace Kelly Katie Little Maddie Poch Staff Writers Mikey Bennett Zak Kerr Isabelle Skid Contributing Writers Berkley Bell Richard Johnston Advisor Danielle Elms

NEWS | 8 News Briefs | 8


Sports Briefs | 9

Let’s Talk | 36

2018 Midterm Election: Explained | 10

Why He’s Right. | 37

Celebrities Get Political | 12

Yes/No | 38

FEATURES | 14 Concussed: Crash of the Cerebrum | 14 Standardized Testing: A Thing of the Past? | 18 Sexual Assault Expected? | 20





o begin, we would like to thank The Express for following up on the Importance of Us editorial that was published in our last issue. At the C&G, it is our job to uncover the truth, especially when others are unwilling. In our society, chaos comes when we are ignorant to the truth, and it is the job of journalists to bring order. In our winter issue, our reporters asked hard to answer questions and looked into stories that have too long been swept under the rug. Such stories include Sexual Assault Expected? (page 20) and Concussed: Crash of the Cerebrum (page 14). On a lighter note, our winter issue also included stories of those pertinent to our community, including Abby Pilkenton (page 24), Luca Varuni (page 32), and Staff Writer Zak Kerr’s experience welcoming Bishop Curry to our campus (page 34). As the first semester of the school year comes to a close, the C&G is here to spread holiday cheer. Check out our Lifestyle section for ideas of how to spend your holiday break, whether you want to explore Atlanta’s attractions (page 4) or just enjoy a staycation (page 7). We hope you enjoy our winter issue! Happy holidays!

Ethan Mullen Olivia Martin Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief

The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events and opinions that are relevant to the Holy Innocents’ community, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, parents, administrators, and prospective families. C&G aspires to publish complete and accurate coverage through journalistically responsible, ethically reported and edited content that values diversity of perspectives.

EDITORIAL POLICY The C&G is a student-run, quarterly magazine published by the Crimson and Gold journalism staff at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School of Atlanta. All opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the entire staff or those of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. The magazine is written and designed as part of the journalism curriculum, and contributing writers can be included. The C&G values inclusivity and would appreciate any feedback or contribution. The staff strives to publish a diverse set of writing and perspectives while maintaining a standard of excellence. Please contact for more information. The advisor and the editors have the ultimate say on content and have permission to edit contributions for grammar and taste. The staff will only publish legally protected material and keeps the privacy of individuals included in mind.

CORRECTIONS Our Fall issue mistakenly spelled Alex Newberg as “Alex Newburg” in the 18 Under 18 story on page 24.


Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School 805 Mt. Vernon HWY Atlanta, GA 30327 *Omari Foote not pictured




ooking for something fun and fresh this holiday season? Until Dec. 24, Santa’s Fantastical offers a festive, illuminated, family-friendly treat.




or a traditional holiday feel this winter, visit Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The exhibit runs nightly until January 6th, including a multitude of spectacular light displays.

The primary draws of this wonderland are its Instagram-able backdrops and jolly attractions. Featuring four sets decorated according to various themes down the center of the building, Santa’s Fantastical colorfully presents the balloon-filled Unicorn Dreams [1], the optical illusion Peppermint Palace, the blast-fromthe-past Retro Christmas, and the robotic Futuristic Christmas as the perfect settings for festive photos.

light tunnel that leads to a chilly ice cavern and eventually, the Laser Trees showroom. Illuminating sections of the room, lights from above form the shapes of multiple Christmas trees in a continuous light show complete with a Christmas soundtrack. Before reaching the central space once more, the path culminates in the sparkly Infinity Ornaments Room [2] lined with crystalline mirrors. Santa’s Fantastical also boasts a stage for merry dance performances, Santa’s Chateau, the home of (free) visits to Santa; Sketch-Tastic, a coloring space; Ice Alive, a fun slide; and Tacky Yard, an absurdly decorated set.

One section of the space features a vibrant path, beginning with a


The eighth annual show brings back old favorites as well as introducing new, glittering additions. Nature’s Wonders, a colorful light show in the treetop canopy walk, is set to classic festive music. Frosty blue lights decorate the Ice Goddess [3], a massive plant sculpture in the form of a goddess, above a glistening, fountain-filled pool. After this stunning scene, the suitably named Tunnel of Light leads to the curving, warm-toned Walk of Flames. The Twinkling Terrace and surrounding areas provide a place to relax and take in the fantastic lights with refreshment stands and a s’mores station. Standing in front of the Orchestral Orbs, a fluid light show set to curated music, is a breathtaking Christmas tree completely made of light. If you need a break from the outdoors, feel free to wander into the Radiant Rainforest, which converts the tropical setting into one of mystery and light.



MILLER REID, managing editor




ou’ve seen it on Snapchat and you’ve seen it on Instagram, but have you seen it with your own eyes? Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Museum Tour is a must-see exhibit, being called one of 2017-2018’s essential art experiences. Luckily, Atlanta’s highly prestigious art museum, The High Museum of Art, is featuring this exhibit.

and the art continuing into infinity. There are two “peep-in” stops [4, 7] as well. Instead of immersing the whole body into the art you poke your head or eyes into a small infinite art display. At the end of Kusama’s exhibit is a special room. It is interactive, where each person can add a few Polka-dot stickers to a white room cover in vibrant spots [6].

Infinity Mirrors is truly an immersive experience as you step into one of five small cube rooms and the door closes behind you. Mirrors cover every inch of the walls, floor, and ceiling, but each room features different and unique art. From red Polkadot soft sculptures [5] to glowing pumpkins, Kusama includes it all. All you can see in the cube is yourself

Of course, a large part of the attraction is the amazing pictures that can be taken. Each room is a perfect photographable moment. Whether you are just shooting the art or taking a selfie in the mirrors, any picture is sure to turn out special. There is even a hashtag, #InfiniteKusama, because so many people love to take Instagramable snaps at this exhibit.

It was the most fun and unique art experience I’ve ever had. I can guarantee this exhibit is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. If you are looking to see this exhibit for yourself, here is the information you need to know about tickets. All of the advance sale tickets have been sold out for a while, but it’s not too late to still go. Every day, until Feb. 17, The High is selling 100 walk-up tickets first come first serve starting an hour before the museum opens.

KATIE LITTLE, feature writer








Current seniors Bennett Baugus (bass) and Gracie Stovall (lead vocals and keys) perform “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac at 2018 prom with their No Can Do bandmates. Photo via Bennett Baugus



a typical setlist:

The band that can do it

f you hear the distant thump of music on campus, it’s likely to be one of two things: teacher Bill Dickey’s weekly Friday hootenanny, or No Can Do performing for a school event. In both instances, if you follow the sound of the music, you would find members of the band in the mix. Meet No Can Do. The band name origin story is cloudy—depending on which band member you ask, you might get a different perspective on it.

the songs the band plays best and most, provided by drummer Wyatt Griffith

percussion, and Madeleine Rojas on guitar, No Can Do performs at events both on and off campus. Recently, they performed at Apple Cider Days at the Donaldson Bannister Farm, as well as at HIES lunch as part of the homecoming week celebrations. Notably, the band also surprised the crowd by performing “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac at prom last school year and won the Girlfriendssponsored Battle of the Bands this past May. Their performance of an original song in chapel on November 29th earned a standing ovation.

Give Me a Sign (Show Me the Way) — No Can Do Ramble On — Led Zeppelin Barracuda — Heart Creep — Radiohead

“The origin of our name is one that no one quite remembers. It was once Bee Season, but as our band changed, so did the name. If you ask anyone in the band they will give you a different answer,” Gracie Stovall, who plays the keys and sings, said. “Bennett Baugus says, ‘I came up with it on my trip to the West Isles. In a daze I heard a voice whispering the three words to me.’ I just go with what he says.”

Mostly playing rock songs, the band takes its inspiration from many of the “greats.”

Black Smoke Rising — Greta Van Fleet

“Our inspirations come from talented artists and bands such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and the Grateful Dead,” Stovall said. “We also find inspiration in the beautiful sounds of the world around us: the songs of nature.”

Have You Ever Seen the Rain? — Creedence Clearwater Revival

Currently consisting of Stovall, Baugus on bass, Blake Dobbs on guitar, Wyatt Griffith on drums/

Maybe No Can Do can go down as one of the best student bands in HIES history.


A popular student band’s accomplishments and origins. OLIVIA MARTIN, co-editor-in-chief

ETHAN MULLEN, co-editor-in-chief


From The

Netflix series you can binge watch in a weekend.








A happy pick-me-up

hat makes a person good or bad? What happens after we die? Is the afterlife permanent? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Does your opinion on Blake Bortles affect your position in the afterlife?

The Good Place tries to answer these questions and more as Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell) is mistakenly sent to the Good Place, a secular utopialike neighborhood that resembles heaven. This is the ethical dilemma that The Good Place explores: she clearly doesn’t belong in the Good Place, but she doesn’t feel she belongs in the Bad Place either. Instead, with the help of Chidi Anagonye, an ethical professor and her “soulmate”, she decides to learn what it takes to be a good person in the world. This dramatic comedy humorously leads its audience through many twists and turns. Eleanor’s cheery personality makes the audience root for her, despite the not-so-nice things she did on earth. Furthermore, her relationship with Chidi, although dysfunctional, provides amusing insight into the what makes a person good or bad. This bingeable series walks the line between drama and comedy, resulting in an enjoyable journey. The show’s premise allows its characters to fuel the somewhat uncomfortable heaven/hell conversation into a commentary about our actions and their effects on others.

Members of The Good Place, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, and D’arcy Carden sit on a panel at Comic Con San Diego. Source/Wikimedia commons

The truth can be hard to find.

n 2015, the Netflix documentary told the world the story of Steven Avery, a man once wrongfully accused who claims the justice system has failed him again. His theory? Like with his wrongful sexual assault case in 1985, local police manipulated the evidencve to fit a false narrative. But with DNA evidence, a witness testimony, and a confession from his nephew, he was sentenced to life behind bars, and still, a future of freedom looks unlikely.

Genuinely 90’s, yet a Standout ast year, we were drawn into the gripping yet fictional drama surrounding the phallic graffiti spray-painted onto teacher’s cars in the faculty parking lot. This year, Peter and Sam, hosts and “creators” of the mockumentary series led us to St. Bernadine, a private school where a hilariously ridiculous yet deeply disturbing incident occurred: the “turd burglar” poured laxatives in the school cafeteria lemonade dispenser. You can probably guess the violent end to this disgusting “Brownout”.

Season One followed the story of Avery and nephew Brendan Dassey through the investigation, case, and verdict. Now, Season Two follows the post-conviction efforts of both Dassey and Avery, with Dassey’s team arguing he falsely confessed and Avery’s new attorney Kathleen Zellner offering new testimony, evidence, and suspects in an effort to free him from prison.

Both seasons follow the same relative format: Peter and Sam arrive on the scene in an effort to prove the innocence of the convicted. In doing so, they pursue other explanations, get interviews, and often get mixed up in personal drama. In a crime that’s undeniably fake, the world of the series gives American Vandal an emotional depth.

Though the truth remains contested, it’s clear that Avery and Dassey have a long road ahead of them to proving their innocence. If they are correct, that they are being wrongfully accused, then Making a Murderer serves as an example of the failures in our justice system. Informative, dramatic, and insightful, this series provides a blend of sorrow and hope in a case that have affected the victim, the accused, and their families.

With shows like Making a Murderer becoming popular, American Vandal makes light of the crimefilled world around us. But while the Brownout was full of crap, this series is full of surprising drama and complexity. Don’t let the silliness fool you, this series remains filled with drama. Because American Vandal isn’t the laugh-out-loud comedy that has become commonplace in television, a series with a similar effect is hard to find.



What’s going on in the HIES Community SCHEDULE CHANGE MILLER REID, managing editor


ith speculation of an imminent change circulating throughout the Upper School, many students have at least heard reference of the future changes to the HIES schedule. Not only focusing on the Upper School, “the administration is looking at [adjusting the schedule] across all divisions,” said HIES Director of Fine Arts and member of the new-schedule planning committee Heidi Domescik . A major factor



IES Upper School students were met with a colorful surprise in the first few weeks of the 2018-2019 school year: the housing system. Consisting of the green Heta house, the blue Iota house, the purple Epsilon house, and the yellow Sigma house, the system assigned various advisories and faculty members into groups loosely drawing inspiration from the Hogwarts housing system in the Harry Potter universe. The system is not a new idea as “it had been on the radar



ith show times falling near Halloween, HIES musical director Maria Karres-Williams selected The Addams Family to haunt the theater this season. The selection showcased both new middle and upper school students and seasoned stars. Karres-Williams said, “We had a number of upper school students new to the theatre program and new to Holy Innocents’. It was wonderful adding them into our group.” Senior Ethan Mullen, in his eighth production at HIES, starred as Gomez, the conflicted head of the notoriously spooky Addams family. When

in the decision for a change is a desire to increase interaction between school divisions. “Right now, when you have the school on really four different schedules, the opportunity to bring divisions together… gets very difficult to schedule… we want to see if we can find some commonalities and create more opportunities for that,” she said. While the schedule will be changing in the future, the alterations from the current program will not be too drastic. “So I know that there’s kind of panic in the Upper School right now that we’re going to have eight classes a day and math twice in one day, and for… probably at least two years as something people wanted to do, because [the Upper School students] weren’t ‘spirited’ enough,” said HIES Student Council President Kent Malcolm. With the prospect of an incoming principal, many applicants “said they wanted things that were full of spirit and school spirit...and we said ‘ok, well this is obviously something valuable.’ So, it was just more initiative to kick it off,” he said. Originally, there were eight houses proposed, but eventually the members of Student Council decided that four would be much more manageable, leading

that’s just not that’s not the case... We know what the student body likes about the current schedule but there are bigger reasons that we’re re-looking [sic] at allocating time,” Domescik said. In the current schedule, there is the opportunity for students to have lots of free time, with some only on campus for half of the day, however, “we were looking to preserve some of that study hall time that… our old schedule did not allow for,” she said. With the plans to update the schedule not taking place until the next calendar year, there will be new schedule testing weeks planned next semester. to the current system. While the system is only in its initial stages, there are grand plans for the program: “if we expanded across divisions to –maybe– middle school, it would help for [students] to build friendships… and have all-school competitions… then it’s something that means a lot to [students], and just another thing that makes the day exciting,” Malcolm said. In the near future and at the end of the year, Student Council plans to prepare “some sort of prize that the winning house gets. And, we’re looking toward a big house competition second semester,” he said.

Gomez learns his daughter Wednesday, played by senior Emma Leonard, loves the disappointingly benign Lucas Beineke, played by freshman Luke Tunnell, he is forced to keep a secret from his wife Morticia, played by junior Alexa Marcontell. When the Beinekes and the Addams family meet over dinner, the characters clash in one of the funniest productions HIES has performed.

that it worked perfectly for him. He never slipped out of the accent... even when he was singing.”

The cast and crew’s commitment to extra hours of rehearsal was evident in seamless set changes and appropriate accents. Mullen’s accent was especially notable, and extra time spent perfecting his speech outside of rehearsal made his performance topnotch. Karres-Williams was impressed with Mullen’s hard work: “He has such incredible attention to detail

The combined efforts of both the cast and the crew resulted in an entertaining performance. Sophomore Arin Francis, who acted as Grandma, said, “I think what made Addams so great was the energy of it. Everyone in the show was in love with the story, and we all had such a wonderful time playing our characters that every scene was incredible.”

Another stellar performance came from junior Grace Rowell, who took on the role of Uncle Fester in her first show for HIES. Karres-Williams said she was hesitant to ask an actress she didn’t know very well to take on the role, but Rowell “just nailed it.”



Fall Recap and Winter Preview

MADDIE POCH, feature writer


A strong showing of seven sophomores led the varsity volleyball squad through an exciting season this fall. After winning the Area Championship with a flawless 8-0 record, the team’s strength continued through the postseason. The girls advanced to the Elite Eight, where Mount Paran’s squad proved to be a difficult opponent. Key players this season included senior Ashley Mathison, who was named Area Player of the Year, and sophomores Maddie Whitaker and Ellen Goetz, who earned All-Region honors. Taylor Noland finished up her eighth season as the head volleyball coach, and the team has reached the postseason each season with Noland as a coach.

The football team had a gritty regular season, and the Varsity emerged with five wins and five losses to continue to the playoffs. The team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in Savannah, where they lost to Calvary Day over Thanksgiving Break. Stars of the team included junior Michael Cox, who rewrote the record books this fall by gaining the most yards and scoring the most touchdowns this season. Defensively, senior Graham Collins and junior Hunter Hawk were essential players. Coach Todd Winter’s team was the largest in school history, and six seniors were featured on the team: Collins, Richard Johnston, Will Harrell, Will Schoen, Alden Gyening, and Will Ventulett.


With a larger roster, the softball team’s chemistry led them to the Sweet Sixteen this fall. Freshmen Blakely Friedman, new to HIES, and Megan O’Connor were among younger members who aided the Varsity squad, and sophomore Charlsie Birkel earned All-Region First Team as an infielder. Senior Brannan Cobb was recognized as All-Region First Team Pitcher for her efforts at the mound, and seniors Hollis Gotlieb, Elizabeth Dickson, and Caitlyn Murphy also finished up their last softball season this fall. Coach Miki Howard alongside new coaches Libbie Brock and Jonathan Worrell led the fourteen girls through a successful season that leaves much hope for next year.

Both the girls’ and the boys’ cross country teams made history with unprecedented depth this fall. As a first for HIES, both the girls’ and boys’ Varsity and JV teams won the Region Championship in Fayetteville. At the State Championship, the girls and the boys both earned spots on the podium, the boys finishing third and the girls grabbing fourth. Senior Jackie Addy and sophomore Hayden Puett had impressive performances throughout the season as All-Region honors, and Addy was the Individual State Champ. Sophomores William Welden and James Watson led the boys throughout the season, and both earned All-Region honors.



With both girls’ and boys’ teams boasting an impressive record last season, there is much excitement surrounding HIES’ basketball teams. The girls advanced to the state finals last year while the boys made it to the Final Four. Key returning players for the girls are junior Jada Farell and sophomores Jillian Hollingshead and Rachel Suttle, an All-Region performer last season. Garrison Powell, Freshman of the Year last season, will lead the boys this season alongside sophomore Justin Wilson and seniors Chad McPhearson and Alex Hyatt, who will return as defensive stars. Girls’ coach Nicole Dixon and boys’ coach Adrian Collins have high hopes for the upcoming season.

The Aquabears are hopeful for another successful season in the water. Abby Pilkenton will be key in repeating last season’s podium finish at state, as the junior took two titles and anchored the medley relay for a second-place finish. Seniors, including sprinter Jasper Pilkenton, will keep the team competitive with their individual performances and roles in relays. Divers include sophomore Spencer Pearson, who qualified for state in his first meet of the 2018-2019 season, and junior Ryan Harvey. With over 45 swimmers and divers on the roster, Carmen Kissack, the team’s new head coach, is looking forward to making some waves this season.




Though many members of the wrestling squad are young, they have great potential for this season. Juniors Tyler White and Michael Cox both qualified for state last year and are expected to be key players in the 2018-2019 season after finishing up successful football seasons. In their opening meet, nine of the 11 wrestlers advanced to medal rounds, and freshmen Art Martinez and Jake Swink both earned gold medals. There are 19 total wrestlers on the team this season, and head coach Stacey Davis is looking forward to working with this year’s larger roster.


2018 Midterm Election: EXPLAINED

ETHAN MULLEN, co-editor-in-chief

voter turnout


Percent who voted in the 2014 midterm election:

Percent of Eligible Voters Who Voted By Year According to NPR and the United States Election Project


Percent who voted in 2018 midterm election: 60%

2018 midterms showed a spike in voter turnout.












congress swing


Percent who voted in the 2016 presidential election:


In Georgia, voted in the 2018 midterm election, 21 points above its 1982-2014 average.


60.1% 21


Net Seats Lost or Gained by President’s Party According to the American Presidency Project, Gallup Poll, and the Associated Press


Trump’s approval rating in late October 2018


The number of seats needed to keep control of the House


The number of seats needed to keep control of the Senate



Donald Trump 2018



Barack Obama 2014



Barack Obama 2010



George Bush 2006



George Bush 2002



Percent who say they voted for the DEMOCRATIC or REPUBLICAN candidate in the election for the House of Representatives

class of ‘19


NEWS 11 50 members of the HIES Class of 2019 were 18 years old by November 6 2018. Here’s what they said about the 2018 midterm election, according to a survey of 24 seniors.

According to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool and Pew Research

SEX Men Women





86% said they voted

8% 8% 8%

RACE 44%









White Black

voted for only Democrats voted for mostly Democrats voted for a mix of candidates



voted for mostly Republicans


voted for only Republicans










How they describe the direction of this country:


EDUCATION College Non-college

59% 39%

39% 61%

were motivated to vote by a particular candidate



promising divided stronger wary balanced unknown ‘aight





voted early








Jane Fonda

A crowd of several thousand protesters took over the University of Maryland mall, protesting the Vietnam War. Actress Jane Fonda was a vocal anti-war activist during the war, sparking controversy with her famous “Hanoi Jane” pictures in 1972. She claimed that the army promotes violence. Fonda received attention, mostly negative, for her statements. Many still do not forgive Fonda for voicing her opinions on the war.



Marlon Brando The situation of Wounded Knee, where a team of 200 Oglala Lakota activists had occupied a tiny South Dakota town and were under siege by U.S. military forces, caused acting legend Marlon Brando to express his support for the American Indian Movement. His most controversial statement was sending a member of the Apache Tribe to refuse his Oscar for The Godfather, in protest of the entertainment industry’s harsh treatment of Native Americans.


Audrey Hepburn

Not only was Audrey Hepburn known as a movie star, but she was also known as a political advocate for children’s healthcare. After visiting UNICEF emergency operations, she talked about the projects to the media in the United States, Canada and Europe over several weeks, giving as many as 15 interviews a day. It set a precedent for her commitment to the organization.

Opinion, Maggie Belenky


elebrities. Everybody knows them, and some people love them. Politics. They are a huge part of our lives and culture.

Certain celebrities use their platforms to advocate for political candidates and causes, a situation that has continuously sparked controversy. Arguments against celebrity influence state that celebrities should stay out of politics, and for the most part, celebrities do stick to the status quo, not getting involved and frankly not risking their brands. The question of whether celebrities should insert their views into political discourse resurfaced recently when Taylor Swift expressed her opinion on the midterm elections. “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect

and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” Swift said in an Instagram post, before encouraging her fans to register to vote and to find the candidate whose values most matched their own.  According to the New York Times, “166,000 people across the United States submitted new registrations on between Sunday and noon on Tuesday” in the 48 hours following Swift’s post. We often underestimate the influence that celebrities can have. Some have a large platform with a variety of people of different genders, races, religions, political parties, ages, and more, so they are able to reach a diverse community.



A look into celebrity activists through the years

Maggie Belenky, feature writer

Meryl Streep Meryl Streep used her Golden Globe win as a chance to focus attention on President Donald Trump. In her speech, she criticized Trump for appearing to mock a disabled New York Times reporter and explained that free press should be defended. Notable conservatives denounced her decision to bring politics into the show, but the audience erupted into applause, along with many who were watching.

2000 America Ferrera

Amy Schumer On October 4th, hundreds of people showed up at the Senate Capitol to protest the appointment of the new Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who had been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Schumer, along with 300 hundred others were arrested for protesting. They argued that men who hurt women should no longer hold positions of power or be placed in those powerful positions.


On January 21, 2017, America Ferrera spoke at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. about the importance of resisting the Trump Administration. After Trump was elected, Ferrera decided to start her own organization, Harness, which gathers leaders from a diverse number of communities to pursue change and carry out conversations on political issues to make sure people in all parts of the country are heard.

Some people say it is not a celebrity’s job to be political, but instead entertainers should act or sing and, well, entertain us. But, even celebrities don’t give up their First Amendment right to the freedom of speech. Like any other Americans, they can say what they want and express their views. We often don’t think of them as regular people and forget that they have rights, just like any other citizens. If celebrities have a cause that they believe in, then by all means, they should speak out about it. Their influence can lead to direct change, like in the case of Swift.


Taylor Swift A month before the 2018 Midterm Elections, musician Taylor Swift posted a message on Instagram urging her 112 million followers to register to vote. Furthermore, she endorsed a Democratic candidate for senate, Phil Bredesen, a popular former governor and Nashville mayor. According to, 65,000 people registered to vote in the 24 hours following Swift’s post.

By just posting on Instagram, Swift was able to make an actual change, even though Phil Bredesen, the candidate she endorsed, did not win. If a celebrity truly cares about an issue, he or she should speak out about it just like any other American and let their influence try to produce the change they want to see.



An investigative look into the management, or lack thereof, of adolescent concussions. GRACE KELLY, feature writer




t’s a Tuesday afternoon in September. The sun is shining bright at HIES, without a cloud in the sky to provide shade from the Georgia heat. The volleyball and softball teams have just begun their drills, the cross-country runners are boarding the bus to run off-campus at the Chattahoochee River, and the football team is practicing at South Campus. Absent from the football practice is linebacker Andrew Savula, who sustained a concussion during a Junior Varsity (JV) game on Sept. 21. “I hit the back of my head in a football game, falling on the ground,” Savula said. “I thought I just got hit pretty hard, and then my parents were suspicious of symptoms, so they made me go see Katelynn.” Katelynn Moore, HIES Head Athletic Trainer, works with physicians and athletes to evaluate and aid in the treatment of sports injuries. “And Katelynn said I had a concussion,” Savula said. Savula’s concussion affected his performance both inside the classroom and on the field. “It made it hard to concentrate,” he said. “Like for the first two weeks after, I couldn’t think as clearly, it took me a lot longer to do homework; I could only stare at the computer for so long before I would get a headache and have to stop. I just felt like I was a little slowed down for a while.” There is no cure for a concussion, but after taking all necessary precautions, Savula’s symptoms began to fade. “But that got better as time went on. And now I’m fine,” Savula said. Savula’s story is not unique — last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that one in five teenagers reported a concussion. As a result of proper management, Savula has made a full recovery; however, not every teenager is as lucky. If left untreated or mismanaged, young athletes can develop Second Impact Syndrome: a phenomenon that occurs when someone sustains a second traumatic brain injury before fully recovering from a previous one. Concussions have been a topical piece of athletic discussion since scientists speculated a link between concussions and degenerative brain disease in the early 2000s. This spotlight was further brightened by the influence of media and popular culture. In 2015, Will Smith starred in the film “Concussion” as a pathologist who discovers chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease associated with multiple concussions. In 2017, former National Football League (NFL) tight end Aaron Hernandez was suffering from CTE at the time of his death by suicide. However, the general public’s infatuation with the NFL has left an entire generation unaccounted for — that is, the teenager and adolescent athletes. “You know there’s a risk with any sport,” Moore said. ”You can get a concussion from not playing sports. It’s just that if [a concussion] happens, you’re taking the appropriate steps to heal and get better properly and not race back.” With the ubiquity of adolescent concussions, the question remains: are concussions being managed correctly?

To Bruise or Not to Bruise


concussion, as defined by pediatric neurologist Dr. Frank Berenson, is “a traumatic brain injury that occurs when a force is applied to the head.” Furthermore, a concussion is a “metabolic derangement.”

16 FEATURES In a metabolic injury, “there is a disruption of normal cellular function,” said Berenson. “Cellular metabolism is impaired, cellular function is impaired, until there’s a return of normal neuro function, which takes time.”

“If there was a tool to definitively say if someone has a concussion versus not, that’d be great,” Moore said. “But the science just isn’t there.” The concussion, therefore, is the ultimate invisible injury.

Whereas a neurologist like Dr. Berenson evaluates and manages the symptoms following a concussion, a developmental neuropsychologist like Dr. Marla Shapiro performs acute post-injury evaluations, school and workplace management care plans, training and oversight to sports teams, and coordination of schoolbased supports. “What happens when the brain rattles around is it literally stretches the cells and the connecting fibers such that they let go of their fuel. It creates an energy crisis in the brain. Blood flow even slows down a little bit,” said Shapiro. A concussion causes a chemical imbalance in the brain. Potassium ions leave the cells and calcium ions enter. The entrance of calcium causes the brain’s blood vessels to compress and blood flow slows down. The brain becomes weak and vulnerable, needing much more energy than usual to normally function again, hence the term “energy crisis.” Historically, medical professionals have compared a concussion to a bruise on the brain; however, there is a vast difference between a bruise and a metabolic injury. “There is no bruising to the brain with a concussion,” Berenson said. “That would be a contusion, which is a completely separate entity.” The invalid comparison of a concussion to a bruise does more harm than help as it blurs the effects and impacts that a concussion may have on the human brain. “One of my biggest frustrations is that a lot of doctors and some athletic trainers will refer to it as like you’re getting your brain bruised, which to me is one of the worst things you can say because it totally doesn’t help people understand what’s going on physically,” said Shapiro. The brain is a jelly-like substance that sits in the skull. While it is protected by the skull bones and three layers of tissues called meninges, if someone sustains a hard hit, the brain can move around inside the skull — this is called a concussion. Both a concussion and a bruise can be caused by a hit from an external force, but the similarities end there. “The vast majority of patients who have concussions have no evidence for brain injury on routine neuroimaging studies, including routine CT or MRI of the brain,” Berenson said.

Athletic Trainers, Orthopedists, Neurologists, Oh My!


he sports medicine branch of medical healthcare specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injuries, the majority being bone, muscle, or tendon related injuries. Sports medicine specialists include orthopedists, athletic trainers, and physical therapists who work closely with athletes. Due to the large presence of sports medicine specialists in athletic environments and the occurrence of many sports-related concussions, orthopedists and athletic trainers have predominantly been the ones to diagnose and treat concussions in athletes. “Sports medicine people, which would be orthopods, have been historically involved in concussion management because they’re highly involved in the sports arena, so they’re usually the team doctors,” Berenson said. “The sports docs are typically orthopedists because many of the injuries [suffered by athletes] are musculoskeletal injuries or bone injuries, and because of that, historically they are the ones that have traditionally been the first line managers of concussion.” Are orthopedists medical doctors? Yes. But are orthopedists brain specialists? No. “I think those of us who are cognitive specialists or neurology specialists like Dr. Shapiro or myself would think that perhaps a brain disorder would be better managed by somebody who has training in brain diseases,” said Berenson. On a high school campus, athletic trainers are considered to be the main resources in concussion management. But is this expectation too great? “Athletic trainers are great sports medicine people, there is no question,” Shapiro said. “But they’re not brain experts.” An athletic trainer is not required to have the same training as a medical doctor, so it is unreasonable to expect an athletic trainer to diagnose and treat a concussion as accurately as a medical doctor would. If it seems foolish to visit a neurologist for a broken arm, why are so many people visiting an orthopedist for a brain injury?

A Tale of two tests

It is possible for someone who has suffered a concussion to also have brain bruising; the two are not mutually exclusive.


The absence of injury on imaging studies, such as CT or MRI, can make a concussion difficult to diagnose. The criteria for diagnosis is symptomatic and observational. According to 2014 research published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, many high school athletes choose to hide their symptoms, most likely for fear of missing important practice or game time.

At HIES, every Middle and Upper School athlete takes the ImPACT test at the beginning of their season.

Other than an honest line of communication between an athlete and their healthcare providers, there is no perfect way to see if someone has a concussion. There is no blood test, or imaging study, or conclusive data set that can determine the existence of a concussion.

he ImPACT Test is a baseline and post-injury test that can evaluate symptoms of a concussion. The test is first taken when the subject is healthy and uninjured to measure a baseline, and then again when the subject is suspected to have a concussion to measure the severity of the symptoms. Many athletic teams and schools use ImPACT, including HIES.

The test has been revolutionary to many concussion protocols across the United States, but according to neurologists, it is overused, placing too much emphasis on a singular test. “It’s not a diagnostic tool and it’s frequently used as a diagnostic tool, which was

FEATURES 17 never the indication or never the reason for having ImPACT testing,” Berenson said.

“Athletic trainers are doing what every other athletic trainer has been told they’re supposed to do, but it’s not as useful as they may think,” Shapiro said.

In fact, the ImPACT test was created to aid healthcare providers in the evaluation of a concussion, not the diagnosis of one. Designed to measure cognitive functioning, the purpose of the ImPACT test is to make the treatment of a concussion easier by evaluating its severity. Despite recent advances in modern technology, a computer software cannot replace a medical professional.

Furthermore, many athletes consciously choose to manipulate their ImPACT score results, so that in the instance they may sustain a concussion, their absence from athletics will be short-lived.

“Many programs for many, many people depend purely on an ImPACT score and that’s inappropriate,” Berenson said. “I’ve got some patients whose ImPACT scores are still bad and they’re perfectly fine and I’ve got other patients whose ImPACT scores are normal and the patients aren’t fine. So one doesn’t mean the other.” The use of the word “test” in ImPACT Test is also misleading, because it is not possible for someone to pass or fail the test. “It was never meant to be a pass/fail test,” said Berenson. “That’s a poor interpretation of what the study is meant for. There’s really too much reliance on ImPACT testing for clearance to play or from keeping people from returning to play. It’s used inappropriately.” Shapiro agreed. “There’s no such thing as passing or failing [the ImPACT test],” she said. Recent concussion research, such as the 5th International Consensus Statement on Concussion In Sport, states that widespread baseline testing (like the ImPACT test) “was not felt to be required as a mandatory aspect of every assessment.” Also, post-injury testing “should optimally be performed by a trained and accredited neuropsychologist,” and “neuropsychologists are in the best position to interpret NP tests.” However, at HIES, athletic trainers administer neuropsychological (NP) tests and orthopedists interpret them. Shapiro, who attended the consensus statement conference, said, “Athletic trainers are really, really good at measuring physical symptoms of the injury, but I wouldn’t want an athletic trainer to do cognitive testing. And that’s a position they’re often in.” Furthermore, the statement confirms that neuropsychological (NP) testing should not be used alone: “It must be emphasised, however, that NP assessment should not be the sole basis of management decisions.” For many schools, a “passing grade” on the ImPACT test is the basis for clearance to play. Moreover, the environment in which the ImPACT test is administered is often not appropriate for accurate results. “If you’re conducting the test itself in a large auditorium with a bunch of kids where there’s a lot of noise, a lot of disruption, your results probably aren’t going to be valid,” said Berenson. “The testing scenario is often not right. There’s a lot of issues with how the testing is administered and how people take the test.” “Most of the athletes who come to me with ImPACT, it’s pretty useless because of how they’re often administered,” said Shapiro. For many athletes, their baseline test scores are not reflective of their normal brain functioning because of the flaws in the administration of widespread baseline testing. If a school used ImPACT testing as their main protocol, and the scores were inaccurate, many athletes may have a more severe concussion than they think.

“A lot of people are motivated not to do well on their screening ImPACT,” Berenson said. “They set the bar low so that if they do get a concussion, they don’t get jerked out of play because they already artificially lowered their testing results.” The pressure of the college recruitment process on an athlete adds another motive to purposefully falsify results. “If you’re a high-level athlete, and you’re looking at a scholarship, the last thing you want to do is get jerked out of the season for four or six games your junior year of high school when you’re trying to get scholarships,” said Dr. Berenson.

The Identified Patient


very few years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveys teenagers in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In 2017, 43 percent of respondents reported using a computer for more than three hours per day for activities unrelated to school. Furthermore, four out of five mental health and suicide variables are trending “in wrong direction,” meaning they are inclining over time. From 2007-2017, the mental health of American teenagers is progressively worsening. “Teenagers are more stressed, they’re high-strung, they’re working harder, and harder, and harder,” Shapiro said. “In that context comes a concussion. Is that why teenagers are taking longer to recover?” In psychology, there is a term referred to as the identified patient. When families begin family therapy, there is one family member who assumes the burden of the familial troubles. All of the dysfunctions in the family are projected onto one person, known as the identified patient. “Sometimes, I will refer to concussions as the identified patient of our culture,” Shapiro said. “Meaning, there’s a lot that we do wrong in achieving work-life balance or lack thereof. We stay up late. We go until we drop. It’s ‘suck it up and play.’ There’s an increase in burnout and overuse injury. There’s real concern with all kids spinning faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. Concussions are representative of that. All the things that make concussions harder to manage make it harder to manage an adolescent in high school’s life in general.” The ‘concussion crisis’ is not a crisis at all. The issue with concussions is not the injury itself, but the events subsequently following the injury that cause difficulties. “Take the average sleep-deprived, wound-too-tight, Buckhead private school student, and give them a concussion,” Shapiro said. “And then, tell them to go stay at home, sit in a dark room, take away their phone, and don’t do tests. What do you think is going to happen?” All too often, the outcome is less than ideal. But, according to Shapiro, it does not have to be. “Get that student to an expert in managing the brain and behavior, help them to take control of their recovery and to do it right, and you can get a very different outcome with a healthy, faster recovery.”

...a th the



The Official Guide to Going Test Optional

ISABELLE SKID, staff writer


he University of Chicago, Wake Forest University, Texas A & M, and Brandeis University are just four renowned schools of over 900 colleges and universities that have announced that they will no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores. Despite the prevalence of standardized testing, students and educators question what these scores actually prove. Overall, studies have shown that those who score higher on the SAT and ACT are slightly more likely to achieve higher grades in college and higher incomes after college. However, it is clear that test preparation can raise scores significantly, and resources, such as tutoring and prep courses, are not accessible to all.

having an average test score and a high overall GPA shows long-term success.

In recent years, a large handful of colleges and universities, including some that are very wellregarded, have decided to go “test-optional,” meaning that they don’t require students to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications.

Bates College was one of the first of the schools to not require the submission of just SAT scores in 1984. Then, in 1990, their board voted to make the submission of all standardized test scores, including SAT, ACT, and AP exam scores some students get throughout high school, optional for their applicants. As the Bates College admissions staff said, “Testing is not necessary for predicting good performance; the academic ratings are highly accurate for both submitters and non-submitters in predicting GPA.” Bates College conducted a 20-year milestone study, released to the public in 2005, in order to release the results to the public about how becoming test optional is beneficial.In their 2005 statement, Bates College admissions office released that “Bates has almost doubled its applicant pool since making testing optional; about a third of each class at Bates enters without submitting testing in the admissions process.”

Are standardized test scores true indicators of students’ overall intellectual abilities? These schools do not think so. The underlying principle behind the surge of colleges and universities becoming “test optional” is that the cumulative scores of long-term performance (shown through high school grade point average (GPA)) prove and determine one’s success more accurately than the score of one single test. A high test score and a mediocre GPA is a red flag to schools, as it is evident that the student may not be reaching their full potential. On the other hand,

After all, how can a single test, even taken multiple times, determine a student’s level of knowledge, aptitude, and work ethic?

“Numbers rarely tell the whole story.” - Wake Forest University

After Bates College, more schools caught on to this policy. Wake Forest University’s test optional policy went into effect with the class that entered in the Fall of 2009. In a statement from its admissions department, the university explained: “It’s not that we think standardized tests are evil. We just think that the measure of your intelligence and potential requires a deeper dive. It’s about life experience, aspiration, work ethic, engagement and all of what makes you who you are. That’s why we believe so strongly in the interview process. Numbers rarely tell the whole story.” As a result of the test-optional policy, the ethnic diversity of the incoming class of 2013 rose by 90 percent from the year before. When the students affected by this policy graduated, Wake Forest noted, “There has been no difference in academic achievement at Wake Forest between those who submitted scores and those who declined to do so.” Academic performance is not discarded just because a school no longer requires the submission of test scores upon application. Carlene Klaas, the Associate Dean at Depaul University says, “If you decide to apply to a test-flexible or test-optional school, keep in mind that the rest of your application will now carry more weight. Your grades, the rigor of the courses you’ve taken, and the extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in will be examined more closely if you don’t submit test scores.” It is well-known that the SAT and ACT scores are better predictors of one’s demographics rather than their long term education, knowledge, and intellect

thing of e past?


Going Test Optional Benefits Which of the Following?... A The Students and Applicants B Colleges and Universities c Both A and B D None of the Above

level throughout high school, being that those who usually do better on the standardized tests come from upper-class households with well-educated parents who are willing to pay for extensive tutoring and prep work for the SAT and ACT tests. In an article written by Inside Higher Ed, Akil Bello, the director of equity and access for the Princeton Review said, “When a college announces a test-optional policy, it also conveys to students that the college is aware of and sensitive to issues that impact low-income and underrepresented students and this awareness can signal to applicants an aware and inviting institutional culture”. Standardized tests fail to measure the potential of many minority and low-income students, leaving them at a disadvantage in being considered for admission, while the concept of applying test optional creates a more even-keel playing group among all of the applicants. Additionally, becoming test-optional does not impact the applicants seeking merit aid, an added bonus to worthy applicants in search of a grant. Brittany Hickman, a senior at HIES, chose to apply test optional at St. John’s University as a way of receiving a specialized grant. During an interview, Hickman mentioned, “St. John’s University [a private Catholic University in New York] has a package list if you’re applying without test scores. If I applied with my test scores, I would get a worse package deal than if I applied without. ” At Saint John’s University, students who apply test-optional are still considered for all merit awards, except for the Presidential Award. In Hickman’s case, she is looking into the specific field

of biomedical sciences within the university and would not be considered for the grant she is seeking if she were to submit her scores. As the test-optional submission alternative is appearing to be mainly beneficial for the applicants, how could the schools possibly gain value to this new concept as well? Simply put, schools can reject more and accept less, due to the increasing rise in applications. This is an advantage for the colleges and universities because they appear to be more selective in their choice of students, lowering their acceptance rate when compared with other non-test optional schools. In a test-optional setting, only students who score well on the SAT and ACT tend to submit their scores. When the school then calculates their average SAT score, it ends up artificially inflating it. Becoming a “test optional” college or university serves to benefit the admission offices statistics as they don’t need to factor in the lower SAT and ACT scores into their admitting average since most kids that have lower scores chose to opt out of submitting them. This lobs off the lower scoring applicants from the college’s average SAT/ACT score statistics, a plus for both the school and the student. For colleges looking for the middle ground, being“test flexible” is the perfect compromise . While it is not fully test optional, the schools also do not require the students applying to submit their SAT and ACT scores. Usually, the students need to write an additional paper or submit an already graded class portfolio or essay instead of submitting their scores.

For example, New York University, with one of the most flexible testing policies, requires its applicants to submit one of the following: SAT or ACT scores, an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, three SAT Subject Test scores, three AP Exam scores, three IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate, or other international examination. The concept of “test flexibility” usually comes about in specific fields within schools. For example, some theatre program applicants have the option of submitting their scores or not, making the programs test optional, even if the whole school itself is not test optional. Additionally, scores are dropped or ignored for most student athletes when they are given athletic scholarships, as many of them do not have a high enough overall GPA and SAT or ACT scores to be admitted otherwise. Rarely does a month pass by without a few wellknown colleges or universities making headlines by announcing that they will no longer require applicants to submit their standardized test scores. As Wake Forest’s open-minded online statement says, “It’s simple. If you think your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, feel free to submit them. If you feel they are not, don’t. You won’t be penalized. Again, numbers cannot tell the whole story, but they have provided hard evidence to support what our instincts originally told us: Making test scores optional would not compromise the academic quality of our institution, but it would make our university more diverse and intellectually stimulating.”

JAYLEE DAVIS, managing editor



he college process. Finally, after deadlines, taking standardized tests, securing applications, attending campus tours, completing interviews, and compiling teacher recommendations, high school seniors hopefully land the ideal place to continue their education. With their minds full of aspirations and dreams for the next four years, sexual assault is the last thought that crosses a college freshman’s mind. Despite not usually being a prominent concern for a freshman, sexual assault on college campuses does not discriminate between prestigious, elite ivy-leagues and infamously rowdy, party schools, the rural schools and the city schools, east coast or west coast schools, private and public schools.



ccording to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), a leading institution that provides research and resources for victims of sexual assault, about a quarter of women report being forced into sex on college campuses – often within the first weeks of their first semester. Contrary to popular assumption, women are not the only population targeted by sexual assault on college campuses, as an additional 15 percent of men experience sexual assault. Gender is not the only risk factor, and regardless of your lifestyle or gender, anyone can be a victim. “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 watershed film by directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, sheds light on aspects of the sexual assault crisis on university campuses, especially colleges’ turning a blind eye to sexual assault and their reluctance to address accusations of sexual assault against athletes and fraternities. In an unforgettable moment of the film, female students relayed the startling moniker of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity: Sexual Assault Expected. “The fact of the matter is that students are no longer safe, even within the realms of the university, and little is being done to provoke change,” Lela Johnson

wrote in “Just Say No?” a biting criticism of the university negligence on the issue of campus sexual assault, published in the Winter 2014 edition of the C&G. In her 2014 feminist treatise, “Men Explain Things To Me,” Rebecca Solnit wrote in the same thread, “There are no good reasons (and many bad ones) why colleges spend more time telling women how to survive predators than telling the other half of their students not to be predators.” Four years later, do Johnson’s and Solnit’s claims still ring true? With nearly a quarter of students reporting incidents of sexual assault on college campuses, can the college experience for millions across the U.S. still be summarized as “sexual assault expected?” And what initiatives are being implemented on local college campuses like the University of Georgia (UGA) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) not only to prevent the rate of sexual assault, but also to validate and assist victims?



esearching sexual assault is difficult for countless reasons, but mainly because of one surprisingly complicated question: What is sexual assault? There is no unanimously accepted definition for what is and is not included within the realm of sexual assault. Even the most reputable organizations (e.g., NSVRC) and studies on the issue disagree among themselves on the key components in the inextricable puzzle. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the self-acclaimed largest anti-sexual violence coalition in the United States. RAINN has provided one of the many umbrella definitions for “sexual assault.” Designating sexual assault as “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim,” the definition encompasses most events of rape, attempted rape, sexual harassment, and forced sex.

When examining these numbers, it is worth noting that they are only representative of reported sexual assaults, especially since NSVRC statistics show that 90 percent of victims decline to report their sexual assault to their university. As demonstrated by the biased reporting rates among the genders, there are identifiable factors that increase the likelihood of sexual assault. “Factors associated with increased risk for sexual assault included nonheterosexual identity, difficulty paying for basic necessities, fraternity/sorority membership, participation in more casual sexual encounters (“hook ups”) vs. exclusive/monogamous or no sexual relationships, binge drinking, and experiencing sexual assault before college,” reports the study. Another component of the survey investigates the frequency of three main categories in which sexual assault is executed or perpetration methods. “Across all types of sexual assault and gender groups, incapacitation due to drug or alcohol use and/or other factors was the perpetration method reported most frequently (>50%); physical force (particularly for completed penetration in women) and verbal coercion were also commonly reported,” the study finds.



The “Sexual Assault Incidents Among College Undergraduates: Prevalence and Factors Associated with Risk,” a 2017 study examining a “population-based random sample” of undergraduate students attending the Columbia University and Barnard College in New York, is the most extensive sexual assault climate study to date. According to the study, 22 percent of college undergraduates have reported being sexually assaulted at least once since enrollment. Of that 22 percent, most were gender non-conforming persons (38 percent), women (28 percent), and men who report sexual assault (at 12.5 percent).


One thing is certain: sexual assault happens. And it happens often.




Within this definition of sexual assault come harder-to-ask and harder-toanswer questions: What qualifies as consent? What qualifies as force? What about the role of alcohol and drugs? What about the role of age? Ambiguities in terminology and disparities in the scope of studies related to sexual assault lead to conflicting survey results.

% 12.5 21.5%



o help prevent the sexual assault epidemic sweeping the nation, Title IX and the Clery Act mandates all colleges to provide a sexual assault prevention program. For most colleges, including UGA and Georgia Tech, this is delivered in the form of the Sexual Assault Prevention Program for Undergraduates by EVERFI, an educational software company. The two-stage program focuses on education and awareness about sex and healthy relationships.


“Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates enables first-year students to recognize sexual assault and harassment behavior, identify healthy and unhealthy relationship practices, and equips students with essential skills to navigate consent-based conversations and engage in bystander intervention safely,” EVERFI said in a promotional statement. There is debate about the program’s efficacy, however, and a growing concern that more is needed to combat this national epidemic — a concern to which university officials and student advocates alike have responded with on-campus initiatives geared towards awareness and support.

Gender Non-Conforming Men



*Statistics and risk factors from the “Sexual Assault Incidents Among College Undergraduates: Prevalence and Factors Associated with Risk” study.




lake Morain, well-recognized for his time at HIES as the President of the class of 2018, is now a freshman at Georgia Tech pursuing a degree in Communications. Morain currently splits his time three ways: school, cross-country, and Greek life with his fraternity Sigma Chi. Sigma Chi, a “pretty popular” fraternity according to Morain, boasts its size and deep roots in collegiate history. Its purpose? “The cultivation, maintenance, and accomplishment of the ideals of friendship, justice, and learning,” according to the website of the Beta Phi chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity at Georgia Tech. Although fraternities are notorious for brazen parties featuring excessive and easily accessible booze, two factors that are linked to an increased likeliness of sexual assault, Morain said his personal experience does not reflect this cliché. The “parties” his fraternity hosts are more like fundraising events for the fraternity’s philanthropic missions rather than what usually comes to mind when you think of a typical frat party. “A lot of the money, like our dues that [we] pay to be in the chapter, that money will go towards, like, a few bigger parties each year, but then, in the spring, we have an event called Derby Days … a week-long event where there are parties, but it’s all for philanthropy,” Morain said. Morain acknowledges that there are other fraternities involved with partying that breeds an atmosphere that could incite sexual assault, but he denies that this environment exists in his fraternity. “There are definitely some of those on college campuses and on Georgia Tech even though it’s not known as a party school. There are definitely some fraternities like that, but [not mine],” he said. Along with the Sexual Assault Prevention Program for Undergraduates, several organizations at Georgia Tech have the objective of preventing sexual assault, most prominently the VOICE Advocate program, which Morain mentions by name.



atie Arnold is a junior at UGA majoring in Marketing with a digital approach. Arnold has delighted in her college experience at UGA, especially as an active member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Arnold seems to be less optimistic about the effectiveness of prevention efforts as she recounts going through the Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates program and additional programming for her initiation into Kappa Alpha. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it was effective in preventing [sexual assault], but it is good in spreading more education about it … I think some people were unaware of things. But if someone has intent to [commit sexual assault], that [educational programming] is not going to be a preventative measure,” Arnold said. However, she does not deny the power of education, especially in helping define the often nebulous borders of consent. “I think education is important for people to [understand] that it is still not consent if you’re dating or if you’ve hooked up in the past, just to put the word of mouth out there so that people understand it better... But I think you have to pair that with some kind of punishment system,” Arnold said. University-sanctioned punishment is also a tricky equation. The students that report sexual assault find it easier not to report to their universities, but to instead seek off-campus law enforcement directly. Even then, they only report extreme cases of violent and traumatic rape. The unconscious distinction between rape and sexual assault (although sexual assault includes rape) is evidence of this bias. “I think it’s mostly rapes that get reported versus sexual assault because we have a stipulation that sexual assault wasn’t as bad. I know a lot of people that have been sexually assaulted but like didn’t do anything because like ‘I wasn’t raped,’ you know?” Arnold said.


VOICE, founded in 2002 by the Department of Justice, designed to confront sexual violence, “provides support to victims and survivors of sexual violence and those supporting survivors as well as educates the campus community about healthy relationships and sexual violence,” according to its website.


Regarding the VOICE program, Morain said, “Their posters [are] all over. I can name like three specific places where they are in my residence hall alone. … It’s kind of pervasive on campus just so people know, and they know what to do in a certain situation.”

However, there is an alternative path for victims seeking help at UGA – a path that leads to the offices of Caron Hope, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Advocate, and Tayler Simon, RSVP Education Coordinator. Together, they produce a synergetic force for the benefit of sexual assault victims at UGA.

Another program at Georgia Tech exists for the same reason as VOICE, although more specialized, called Journey in Healing — a support group for female-identified victims of assault. Dr. Drew Adelman, the leader of Journey in Healing, and VOICE advocates declined to respond in an interview because of confidentiality responsibilities. Because of organizations like VOICE and Journey in Healing, Morain believes in Georgia Tech’s ability to address the issue.

“I oversee our RSVP program,” Hope said, “My primary responsibility is advocacy. We have a 24-hour hotline that students can access and we provide in-person accompaniment. We can accompany students to the emergency room, to the police if they want to report what happened. We can set up and accompany first aid exams. We provide emotional support, crisis intervention, connect with counselling or medical resources as needed. And then, we can also provide academic accommodations.”

“I think Georgia Tech does a lot for its students in general, whether it be signing up for classes, career fairs, [or] just overall well-being. I feel very supported there, and, therefore, ... in a situation where something very serious like sexual assault were to happen, I feel like the school [would] definitely [be] on my side,” Morain said.

t UGA, there are two main routes by which a person can report sexual assault: filing a violation of the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (similar to the Sexual Misconduct Policy at Georgia Tech) or filing a criminal report with university police.

Simon, on the other hand, works on the campus-front to create a sexual assaultfree environment though outreach, discussion, and events around consent, sex, and relationships.


A law tied against perpetrators of sexual assault.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”


A standard used in civil cases determining “the proof need only show that the facts are more likely to be than not so.”


A standard used in civil cases determining “that proof which results in reasonable certainty of the truth.”

order for an office like ours to work, we need confidentiality. No one is going to come talk to me if they know I have to turn right around and tell the university what they just told me,” Hope said. The only exemptions to the confidentiality agreement would be a situation that posed immediate threat to the entire campus population, like “a serial rapist,” said Hope. There is more university oversight on disseminating information, only to ensure that RSVP messaging is accurate and in agreement with other branches of the university. Myths that discourage 90 percent of victims from ever seeking help are the greatest obstacle to RSVP’s mission. Fallacies like “all police officers are going to re-victimize me,” as Hope said, or the “the university will not be on my side,” as Arnold said, are often are the barrier between the victims and the resources they need to overcome trauma. Hope and Simon’s principal roles are to break this barrier.



great deal of progress has been achieved on the university-level assisting victims emotionally, as demonstrated by the increasing number of programs like VOICE and RSVP, but as for the legal component of seeking justice against perpetrators of sexual assault, there is still a long way to go.

“I go around campus and I talk to different classes, different organizations, residence halls and do presentations around healthy relationships and interpersonal violence,” Simon said. Hope and Simon, although sharing a different spectrum of responsibility in RSVP, are rooted in the same career-long dedication to serving victims of sexual victims. With a background in behavioral health studies, a Master’s in counseling, and a counseling license with a specialization in trauma, Hope has experience working in both a mental health facility and a women’s residential facility. The common theme underlying all of her professional work, Hope explains, is trauma. She is incredibly grateful to help on the “front-end” as the more protective as opposed to reactive, position of RSVP advocate. Rather than dealing with victims who have suffered repetitive, untreated trauma, Hope has the opportunity to help victims recover from fresh experience, healing the fresh wounds to avoid permanent scarring. Simon’s motivation originates from her volunteering with Darkness To Light, a non-profit organization geared towards ending child sexual abuse. Similar to Hope, she earned her Master’s in a similar field and participated in education and outreach during an internship at a local rape crisis center. The RSVP office developed out of a longstanding program for sexual assault prevention, “years and years before I got here,” as Hope said. In 2011, the Obama Administration refocused on sexual assault as response to the influx of high profile cases at the time, Hope recalls. Federal funding was issued, charging universities to respond and to prevent sexual assault. For UGA, “Part of that was not only programming we already had here, but advocacy [was also added] if students need somewhere to go, if they need support,” Hope said. Confidentiality is a priority for the RSVP program and their main grounds of sovereignty from the university. “Advocacy services … are allowed a great deal of independence from the university because the university understands that in

Betsy DeVos, the current United States Secretary of Education, recently issued policy with relaxed guidelines regarding universities’ obligation to respond compared to those imposed by the former Obama Administration, painting a bleak future for the legal rights of sexual assault victims. Instead of the “preponderance of evidence” standard set by the Obama administration, colleges now have the option to choose a standard of “clear and convincing” evidence needed to convict a perpetrator of sexual assault. A preponderance of evidence is a legal standard in which proof needs to to show that the facts are more likely to be than not so, while clear and convincing evidence standard that the proof needs to result in absolute certainty that a crime was committed. Along with rolling back regulations for universities, the policy introduces the right for perpetrators to cross-examine their accusers – a measure that has been proven to dissuade victims from speaking out and making victims more vulnerable. Supporters of the new policy, however, say it will protect students from being wrongly accused. On the education side, new studies by the Columbia University’s Sexual Health Initiative to Forster Transformation (SHIFT) demonstrate that the way sexual education is administered to high school students, especially with emphasis on consent, contribute to safer college campuses in the long-run. The best educational system to prepare students for the college environment includes in-depth training in refusal methods coupled with instruction in expressing and establishing consent clearly within a contraceptive and and abstinence-based curriculum. As John Santelli, lead author of the study and pediatrician Population and Family Health at Columbia Mailman School, said, “It’s time for a life-course approach to sexual assault prevention, which means teaching young people - before they get to college - about healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships, how to say no to unwanted sex, and how to say yes to wanted sexual relationships.”

NEXT STE a tale


The second installment of “A Tale of Two Seniors” explores both Katie Leonard’s and Bennett Baugus’s journey through college and university admissions—and how they look for different qualities in schools.

She says the college process is "bittersweet".


ommon senior-in-high-school lore holds that students step foot on a campus and meet their college soul mate, the school that is perfect for them. Current HIES senior Katie Leonard did not have that experience.

you leave high school, you’re leaving where you lived,” Leonard said. “It’s not only where you went to school. So, in a college, I knew I wanted to find somewhere I wouldn’t be uncomfortable.”

“After a few visits, I never had that moment when you step on campus and you know you want to go there,” she said. “It never happened to me, which I kind of freaked out about because everyone said it would.”

Besides the general feel for the schools that she got through her tours and research, Leonard is also taking into account the programs she looks forward to majoring and taking classes in. For her, this means English—and, specifically creative writing.

Leonard does not really have one overall preferred school. She has three: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and Davidson College. Though these schools are different in terms of size and location, she thinks of them very similarly. “So for UVA, UNC, and Davidson...honestly if I was plopped down in the middle of those campuses I may not know where I was,” she said. “They were all so similar. I could really see myself at those three [campuses] especially.” All three schools, in Leonard’s opinion, are centered in great college towns. This is important to her—after all, the college she goes to and its surroundings will be her home for the next few years of her life.

When she toured schools, Leonard made sure to ask the questions she could not necessarily find on the website. For example, one important factor for her to check in about was class size. In addition to applying to the three previously-listed schools, Leonard sent in applications on October 15th to University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology. Her deadlines for UNC and UVA have also passed—the only application she has left is her Davidson one, which is due in January. Leonard’s list of schools to apply to reflects her three desires/concerns: where she will be living, programs that apply to her career and major goals, and class sizes that will allow her to form impactful relationships with her professors.

“After all the visits and research, I got home and I was thinking about that when

Katie Leonard’s application process by the numbers

Traveled 508 miles to visit the University of Virginia

Applied to 5 total colleges

Visited college counselor an estimated 18 times

Took standardized tests 4 times



e of two seniors part II* OLIVIA MARTIN, co-editor-in-chief

He says the college process is "stressful".


o Bennett Baugus, the most important factor to keep in mind during the college search is the strength of programs of interest. After all, college is just another step towards completing education and going into the working world. Following this logic, Baugus has chosen to apply to schools based on their programs. Appalachian State University, nestled in the mountains in Boone, North Carolina, is his top choice right now. Through his high school education, Baugus has been interested in politics and government—and taking AP Government and Politics right now has helped solidify this interest. “I want to major in poli sci,” he said. “I’ve been catering all of my college choices around that, and, and App State has a really, really good program for it.” His other big qualifiers? Climate, and so therefore location. “Weather was a big thing for me... I guess it deserves some attention because if you’re going to go somewhere, you want to be somewhere where there’s nice weather,” he said.

To him, one important item to keep in mind is that college is a place to be educated, and going on tours really solidified that idea. While in Colorado with his mother and a friend touring University of Colorado-Boulder and Colorado State University, he observed similarities between college campuses and the types of places he is used to: high schools. Specifically at CSU, he said, “it just kind of seemed to me like a massive high school campus, which is interesting because you don’t really think about that, but that’s what I experienced.” So far, Baugus has applied to a few schools, but for others, he is waiting until later application deadlines so that he can provide his first semester grades. Being thoughtful about his applications is important to him. “Anyone can get a college app done in a night if they drink a Red Bull and really bear down on it,” he said. “But the issue is if you’re looking at a college that you really want to go to... it’s not just the process of getting it done quickly, it’s the process of getting it done and then knowing that you know every single word that you wrote is going to be taken into account when it’s being read.”

Some colleges that he has included on his list because they will have nice weather include University of Tampa and the University of California schools.

Bennett Baugus’s application process by the numbers

Traveled 1,420 miles to visit the University of Colorado-Boulder

Applied to 4 colleges so far (as of November 28)

Visited college counselor an estimated 15 times

Took standardized tests (the ACT) 3 times


18 UNDER 18


We’ve all heard or felt the effects of negative peer pressure. But what about positive peer pressure? In 18 Under 18, The C&G wants to showcase amazing students that have found their passions, talents, and hobbies at a young age. Instead of merely shouting out these accomplishments, this continued feature serves as a call to action for the HIES community. It’s easy to read about other kids our age across the globe making a difference or pursuing a dream and think nothing of it. We excuse our own desire to do the same because it’s too late, it’s too hard, I’m too young. However, when we read about our peers that sit next to us in class or pass us in the hallways we feel an invisible push to reach outside of our limits and discover new things about ourselves. These kids have already pushed their limits, so let us all join them and find our own limits in order to break them.

KATIE LITTLE, feature writer TIANA MOMON, associate editor





or a year, Mary Claire Smith has counted down the days until she can hop on a plane to pursue her passion of helping others in need of medical care. “I fell in love with medicine, especially in...developing countries,” she said.

Smith discovered her passion by going on her first medical mission trip two years ago in Haiti. She was working with a team of doctors and nurses to run a free clinic, where she had the opportunity to observe several surgeries, including a three hour long surgery in a hot room with no air conditioning. “None of the orthopedic stuff or the surgical stuff really freaked me out,” Smith said. “In fact, I was just super intrigued and interested in the whole entire thing.” While it was her first time seeing a surgery performed, it was not her first encounter in the medical field. “I used to scroll through my photos on our (home) laptop, and I’d see just like pictures of open hips and knees and you know, generally, they’d be really gross,” she said. “But now I’m just kind of used to it. I’ve had that ingrained in me at a very early age.” Smith’s father, a doctor, introduced her to the medical world. He first took Smith to Haiti when she was 16 and then to Honduras a year later. “I thought it was perfect because I could practice my Spanish and still learn more about medicine,” she said. This time, she got to do more than observe. “I got to assist in some surgeries there, scrub in, and really be hands on.” After these trips, Smith knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. Smith said, “It’s the most satisfying and rewarding thing in the world.”




f you’ve been looking for a disc jockey to host a party, HIES has the man for you: DJ Neo. Neo Becerra-Ramirez first began deejaying when his friend showed him a deejaying app on his iPad. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s cool’ and I really got into it,” Becerra-Ramirez said. “So, then I started practicing and practicing. I started getting better and better.” About two years ago, Becerra-Ramirez decided to deejay for others, not just in his home for his own ears. As of right now, Becerra-Ramirez mostly does private parties, charity events, and sometimes events for the school. “I’m trying to do prom or homecoming,” Neo said. But his aspirations don’t end here. “I hope I can Deejay for festivals.” Besides getting a crowd excited, Becerra-Ramirez’s favorite part about deejaying is mixing music. “My favorite that I created is probably deep house because it’s very simple,” he said. “Few beats, few snares, you get all that and it’s a song.” Even though school keeps Becerra-Ramirez busy, he still dedicates time to continue his passion. “It takes time (to create music) but if you put your full 100 percent into it, it will show up,” he said As Becerra-Ramirez continued to dive deeper into deejaying he realized that his passion “is making people happy by deejaying. I think it’s a source of enjoying the moment,” he said. He likes that not only he can enjoy doing something that makes him happy, but he likes “having fun with people…so other people can enjoy it too.”




our years ago, in seventh grade, Amanda Hausmann took a class called Digital Design at her old school in California, Oaks Christian. “We just learned how to use Photoshop, and I thought I was like really fun,” Hausmann said.

She always had a passion for drawing, and this class introduced her to applying that passion in a new fun way. “It allows me to express my creativity,” she said. “It’s unique. It’s completely different from most other hobbies that I do.” Hausmann then continued her love for digital design outside of class. “Basically, what I do is I just draw little designs on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. Then I convert them into Photoshop, and I just sort of elaborate on them and draw on them,” she said. Recently, Hausmann took her passion to a new level and created a business by popular demand. “I would just post some of my drawings [on Instagram] and people would comment on them like ‘hey can you make me something’, ‘hey can you make this logo for me’. So, I was like ‘okay, you know I could actually do something with this.” She began to use her digital art to help others achieve the vision that they wanted for logos. “I think it’s really fun to just design things for other people to help them,” Hausmann said. “I just love doing it.”




ne hundred hours over a period of six months. That’s how much time it took Lexi Baker to write a research paper ready for publishing.

Lexi Baker began to write research papers, specifically historical ones, outside of school in ninth grade because she liked to learn new interesting information. It makes her feel inspired, creative, and excited. Recently, Baker submitted one of her research papers to the Concord Review, and it was selected to be published. “It was about Daniel O’Connell and how he was really the first human rights activist,” Baker said. “He inspired people like Frederick Douglas and Gandhi later on.” Though most kids wouldn’t enjoy dedicating hours upon hours of research, writing, and editing, Baker thought it was enjoyable. “I found a lot of it from books from different libraries that I ordered,” Baker said. “You can also find a lot on the library’s research links.” Baker always commits to thoroughly researching her topic in order to write the best paper. “I really liked just learning more information about this person who wasn’t really well known, but he helped so many people gain freedom,” Baker said. “So, it’s cool to know about that.” During Baker’s trip to Ireland two summers ago, she visited Daniel O’Connell’s former residence, piquing her interest in O’Connell. “He was a human rights activist,” Baker said. “So it seemed like really cool to write about.”





anilla Buttercream, Frasier Fir, North Pole, and Autumn are some of Owen Malcolm’s famous candle scents. During Malcolm’s eighth grade year, he started a candle business called Light the Fire. “Basically, I didn’t want to get a job over the summer,” he said. “I wanted to start a business instead.” However, Malcolm’s initial desire for some extra cash changed as he realized he wanted to do something more. “I had the idea that I also wanted to help out Young Life and have my business do something meaningful,” he said. “So that’s why I have a portion of my proceeds going back to Young Life…because it means a lot to me. It just makes me feel good about what I’m doing. And it’s almost like when you give someone a gift, it makes you feel better than you actually receiving a gift.” Young Life is a Christian organization that caters to adolescents. His love for Young Life stemmed from his mother.“My mom was a young life leader before I was born. She got me interested in young life at a pretty young age,” Malcolm said. His mother has also been one of the biggest supporters of his business. There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning of Malcolm’s candle business journey from scents to packaging, but he persevered because it was enjoyable to him. “It feels accomplishing,” he said. “It doesn’t take too long for it to go from just a jar and wax (before it melts) to … one real product.”



yes focusing on the obstacle ahead, she lifts the reins and flies over. Smiling, she finishes her designated riding course with a great score. Sitting in the leather saddle on her horse Peaches, Georgia Wardner feels relaxed and free. The sixth grader has been partaking in equestrian since the age of 9. With a small smile on her face she reminisces, “I have always wanted to ride horses and after waiting I finally got a trainer. Once I did my first lesson I loved it and I have been riding ever since.” Practicing three to four times a week along with a competition each weekend, when Wardner is not at school or doing homework, she is most likely at the equestrian stables. “I jump, and I’m a short sharp rider which means I do smaller jumps with a shorter amount of time on the course,” she said. While equestrian might be seen as a unique endeavor, she feels encouraged to continue. “I get inspiration from girls at my school and my trainer,” she said. “They inspire me to want to keep doing equestrian.” Wardner admits that though she loves equestrian at times, it can be challenging balancing school and riding. “Sometimes if I have a lot of homework I will have to miss practice, but [my family] makes sure that it’s not too much.” The occasional stress of the sport and school, however, is overpowered by the immense fun and great experience Wardner has at every practice. “Riding makes me feel strong and happy,” she states. “I love going down to the barn to get to know the horses and hang out with my friends.”


Underwater undercover

MADDIE POCH, feature writer

One of the most elite athletes at HIES is as accomplished as she is humble. Abby Pilkenton poses for a photo after her first place 200-free finish at the GHSA 2018 Swimming and Diving State Championships. Next to her are Brookstone’s Hannah Mattson (right), the state runner-up, and Wesleyan’s Hannah Wasmuth (left), the third place finisher. Gary Poch/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER



wimming is the “funnest sport”. Despite the glaring grammatical error, USA Swimming adopted this slogan in an effort to increase participation in competitive swimming.

Ten-year-old Abby Pilkenton would have wholeheartedly agreed with this statement. Her experience at her first swim meet for Dynamo, the pentathlon in 2012, could only corroborate this idea. Pilkenton fondly recalls being enticed with a bucket full of candy after each race, and the youngest swimmers were paired with older athletes for guidance and comfort throughout each event. “You get a buddy who’s in the Senior Group,” Pilkenton said. “It was funny because I later became friends with my buddy because she was a senior my freshman year.” In the pentathlon, Pilkenton swam five events: 50 yards, or two lengths, of each of swimming’s four strokes, which are butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle, and 100 yards of an individual medley, or IM, which includes one length of each stroke. Even from this first meet for her club team, Pilkenton showed remarkable potential in what is considered one of swimming’s more difficult strokes, the butterfly.

Early mornings and long nights have paid off with immense improvements for Pilkenton since she began high school. As a sophomore competing in the 2018 Swimming and Diving State Championships, Pilkenton placed first in the 200-free and tied for first in the 100-free. By scoring over 46 points individually and anchoring two relays, Pilkenton made a thirdplace finish possible for the girls’ team. With her time in the 200-free, Pilkenton automatically achieved an All-American time standard, and she was among only a hundred high school swimmers in the nation who earned that honor for that event. Pilkenton was also nominated as the Breakout Performer of the Year for the 2017-2018 season for her dedication to making improvements. Andy Morrison, Head Coach of the Upper School Swim Team for the 2017-2018 season, noted that these results were built upon intense training coupled with careful planning. “For our meets, if we asked her to do anything, she’d be more than willing to do it,” Morrison said. “When

for guidance and support. “She’s a very humble, quiet leader,” Upper School Swimming and Diving Head Coach Carmen Kissack said. “She leads by example.” Pilkenton is never one to boast, and her modesty leads people to underestimate the extent of her accomplishments. Her unassuming self-concept, however, is a key element in her mindset for training. “If she wasn’t humble, I don’t think she would work as hard as she does,” senior Jasper Pilkenton said of his sister’s work ethic. As a member of Swim Across America’s Junior Advisory Board, Pilkenton is also called to be a leader in fundraising for Team HIES. Her involvement with the program began in middle school after swim lessons with Megan Melgaard, Swim Across America’s National Event Director. Since 2016, Pilkenton has swum the open water 5K annually and led Team HIES to raise money for cancer research at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Abby By the Numbers

“The first state cut I got was the 50fly, I think at that meet,” Pilkenton said. As Pilkenton has continued her swimming career, her expertise has not been limited to any distance or stroke.

20 3 8 28

hours of practice per week

Practices per week

“Now I’m just kind of all over the place,” Pilkenton said, “I’m more of a freestyler, but I still do fly events.” Races as long as 1,650 yards — 66 laps in a pool — are no challenge for Pilkenton, and her stamina enables her to remain competitive as others tire. The 400 IM, one of swimming’s most grueling races, is another of her strengths, and her mastery of all of the strokes is a rare feat in the sport. Pilkenton’s ability to perform well across a broad spectrum of events stems from her incredible work ethic and commitment to swimming. Each week, she attends eight practices, two of those beginning at 5:15 a.m. before school starts. Every weekday, Pilkenton attends practices lasting last three hours and that typically include a conditioning component outside of the water, known as “dryland.”

Dryland Training Sessions per week

miles in a week of heavy training

it came time for state, she thought ‘I could probably win here and here, my best shots are here and here,’ so she always does the research.” Pilkenton’s mindset makes these accomplishments possible, and coaches for club and high school teams alike note that her upbeat attitude is contagious, influencing the swimmers around her to perform at higher standards. “Abby brings a great attitude and consistent effort each and every day,” Dynamo Head Coach Ian Murray said. “She is willing to challenge herself and be coached hard.” Swimming has also given Pilkenton an opportunity to show her skills as a leader. With her experience at meets, swimmers new to the sport can rely on her

Though Pilkenton’s past successes are sufficient to make her one of the most accomplished athletes in HIES’ history, the junior has even higher hopes for the future. Pilkenton has already qualified for Junior Nationals in December, but she also aspires to compete in meets with even more competitive requirements. “I would like to go to Summer Nationals this summer,” Pilkenton said. “That’s probably my biggest goal right now.”

The 2019 Summer Championships will take place in Palo Alto, California from July 31 to August 4, and Pilkenton will have to drop just over two seconds in the 200-free to punch her ticket there. Throughout Pilkenton’s elite performances, the swimmer is reminded of her first taste of the sport as Dynamo’s annual pentathlon rolls around each October. Now, the athlete acts as a guide for swimmers new to the sport, as she was six years prior. “This year I was a buddy for three eight-year-olds,” said Pilkenton. “I love being a buddy because I see them on the deck every day for practice and they always say hi.”


La Sinfonia di

Varun The Answer to A ZAK KERR, staff writer

Imagine. As you walk through the door, you’re greeted by the heat from the two roaring Stefano Ferrara ovens, designed by third-generation Italian oven craftsmen. The rich smell of fresh and truly authentic Italian ingredients ranging from the best Burrata in town to the most pristine, delightfully red tomatoes is striking. As you approach the beautiful marble counter, a classic Italian film plays in the background accompanied by the rich lyrics to a classic Dean Martin song. The smells and the altogether atmosphere of the restaurant make you feel as though you’re in the very heart of Naples. At the counter, you’re greeted by friendly staff who remember your name, your order and work to develop a relationship with you and all guests. This is Varuni Napoli. Here, there are no typical chefs. Instead, there are artisans of pizza and oven masters that work in unison to create the perfect sinfonia (symphony) of pizza mastery producing edible works of art. Once you’ve ordered from the selection of Antipasti, immensely flavourful pies and grabbed a bottle of San Pellegrino or maybe even a fine Italian wine, one can’t help but get caught up in the smells, sounds, and sights of the restaurant. Now, who is the mastermind behind this little gem situated in two locations alongside Atlanta’s Beltline? His name is Luca Varuni.

Varuni was born in Naples, Italy where he grew up with views of the breathtaking beaches of Naples and wondrous narrow streets packed with many unique intricacies. Leaving behind the beauty and warmth of Naples, Varuni moved to the United States where he adapted to the new culture. “I moved to the United States when I was 19 and the first place I lived, in the United States, was Philadelphia,” Varuni said. “My family had a restaurant in both cities (New York and Philadelphia) at the time and I was pretty much helping my uncles run the business. That helped me greatly because it introduced me to the food world. The way business was run, here in America, was way different from what I was doing in Naples, Italy. So working here was a great experience.” After spending nine years in Philly, Varuni moved to Atlanta to escape the frigid temperatures of the north and to marry his wife. Upon his arrival, after partnering at another Atlanta pizzeria, the first Varuni Napoli located at 1540 Monroe Dr NE was conceived. “I noticed that Atlanta had no pizza identity,” stated Varuni. “That was something that motivated me. So, from there, I decided to move to Atlanta and start my own pizzeria. That was what moved me to start Varuni Napoli.” In November of 2014, Varuni expanded his bustling pizzeria to the opposite end of the Beltline, at Krog Street Market. Varuni was immediately attracted to Krog for more than one reason. The first and foremost being the open market floor-plan, similar to that of the open-markets throughout Italy. “When Krog Street Market first opened, I was fascinated by the space because it reminded me a lot of Italy and the open market European style,” Varuni said. The second reason for this expansion was the strategic geographic location


niAtlanta’s Napoli: Pizza Identity of Krog Street Market as it’s located on the opposite end of Atlanta’s Beltline Project, a 22-mile long trail that connects over 40 in-town neighbourhoods. “Everyone wants to spend time on the Beltline and around that area,” Varuni said. “There were a bunch of unique individuals getting together and presenting food in a different way in Atlanta which was already happening in a bigger market such as San Francisco, New York, and I wanted to be a part of that. So, that was the reason why I decided to go with Krog.” Today, both Varuni Napoli restaurants have received regular media attention and serve as a popular gathering and dining place for families, couples, and individuals from all around Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. It is well known that this form of success is something that is very hard to attain in the restaurant business. When asked what the most challenging experience he has encountered so far, Varuni expressed the importance of relationships with fellow staff and guest. “To be honest with you, the restaurant business is very challenging!” Varuni said. “There are long hours and you have to deal with people from both sides of the business like the guest and employees. I love to be surrounded by people, so it’s not really something that bothers me because I love spending time with my co-workers and I look forward to opportunities to create new recipes with them. Aside from the gratifying pizzas, such as the Bastardo, a mildly spicy red pie with beautiful red tomatoes grown in the soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius and pristine mozzarella made from the milk of a water buffalo, it is the relationship with the guest and the authentic Italian nature of the restaurant that makes Varuni Napoli worth dining at on a regular basis. “But really working the floor ... and saying ‘ciao’ to my guest, and I have a beautiful relationship with my guest, is something that I am very fortunate to have.”

Consistency is critical. According to Varuni, consistency is another key to the success of the Varuni Napoli brand. There are never variations in the overwhelming flavour of items on the menu and no matter the day or time, the restaurant staff always ensure the energy of the restaurant remains resolute. Instead, there is only consistency. “What makes us different from other pizza places, what sets us apart, is the daily consistency with quality and the love that we put into our food,” Varuni said. “There is no day that our pizza masters don’t put the same amount of respect and quality into the product, we really take pizza seriously! We don’t skim anything.” Luca Varuni most definitely is passionate in his trade as he has demonstrated a strong passion for bringing a little slice of Naples, Italy to Atlanta, Georgia with great success. As stated by Varuni himself, we can be expecting a third new gateway to Naples opening sometime in the near future. “Yes. I am always looking for opportunity, he enthusiastically stated. “Likely for us, we have been scouted by various development people, offering new spots for us...I am really proud about the culture and experience we provide to our guest every time they come in. So, there is always a space for a new opportunity. So right now, yes, I am scouting for a new possible spot for our brand.” This is La Sinfonia di Varuni Napoli (The Symphony of Varuni Napoli). Atlanta now has authentic pizza identity thanks to the Luca Varuni and all who work to make Varuni Napoli the most authentic pizzeria in the city.


WALK WITH LOVE My walk with the Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church ZAK KERR, staff writer



n a cloudy, rainy, and cold morning in Atlanta, the faculty, staff, and students of HIES were all eagerly awaiting a special guest. A guest whose visit had been planned one and a half years in advance. As the clock inched closer to 9:15 a.m., I myself began to wonder: Would this special guest arrive surrounded by a motorcade? Perhaps even a bulletproof SUV? Would there be special diplomatic flags on his car? While I pondered the arrival of this individual, I was interrupted by the excited, nervous, and eager voice of Father Bailey.

Within a mere millisecond, Bishop Curry responded with an informed and encyclopedic-like response, detailing the reach of the Episcopal Church far beyond the borders of the United States. “The Episcopal Church is actually located in 17 countries of which the United States is one and so we have Episcopal churches, a small number, but Episcopal churches in Europe and in continental U.S as well as the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, throughout South and Latin America,” Curry responded. “It’s really an international church. And so to be able to be a part of that and to provide some pastoral and spiritual leadership. That’s a real blessing and it’s an honor that I love doing.”

“Let’s roll y’all! He’s here!” Bailey said. As I peered out the window of the lobby, I saw a single silver Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and, initially, thought nothing of it. Had Father Bailey become so stressed he imagined the arrival of our guest? As the SUV pulled into one of the parking spots, we rushed over, stumbling on our dress shoes and high heels, to greet the passenger seated in the front seat. As the door opened, a familiar voice resonated throughout the parking lot. I began to stare in a state of amazement as the Presiding Bishop of North America and Primate of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Curry, emerged from the passenger seat of the car. Despite the Atlanta traffic and the gloomy weather, Bishop Curry had a smile so tremendous and genuine; it made all in my group smile back.

Two minutes later, we were approaching the entrance to the gym. As we walked through the double doors, the heat from inside caught me by surprise. While the heater roared, the nature of our conversation shifted to a graver and more serious subject matter.

Not only did Bishop Curry ultimately provide a solution, but also made his solution a patriotic one. “Now, if we believe that, if that’s the value on which we live our lives then that will change our politics. That will change how we live together. That is a complete game changer. And I believe that’s where we must start off for students and also for this whole Country.” Curry continued, “Then we will be able to have a political debate that doesn’t lead to hate. Then we will be able to have differences of opinion that don’t mean differences in our humanity. And then, the vision of America as E Pluribus Unum (for many, one people) becomes a real possibility.” In other words, if we are to harness the power of love again, it would be the second time humanity discovered fire. Initially unaware of our presence, we walked past many focused fellow students and faculty preparing the gym for convocation. As we had reached the end of the hall, people began to notice our VIP guest was in the building and, naturally, they started crowding. I scrambled to think of another question to conclude the interview. In one last breath, I finally asked, “What has been the most profound spiritual moment of your life?”

“Listening to my grandmother, who was a daughter

of sharecroppers, granddaughter of slaves, telling me to always live your life for the Lord. — The Most Reverend Michael Curry

After greetings and introductions had been given, our walk to the gym began. While my conversation with Bishop Curry lasted under five minutes, his ability to answer my questions in such a powerful and profound manner left a lasting impact on me. His answers, during our conversation, have since guided me towards a deeper sense of respect for Chapel and why we come together every Thursday to love God, our classmates, colleagues, and ourselves. As we walked past the entrance to the Riley Building, I decided to put down my formalized list of questions and, instead, simply converse. After some chatter about the terrible Atlanta weather was exchanged, I began our conversation. “What exactly does it mean to serve as the Bishop of North America?” I asked.

Since this visit was occurring the day after the November 7 California shooting, and one day before the 2018 midterm elections, I decided to ask for recommendation on how the student body should navigate today’s safety concerns. While answering, the Bishops voice transitioned to a deeper and more earnest tone that echoed his concern. Similar to the sermon he delivered at the Royal Wedding in mid May of 2018, the Bishop talked a lot about the divine essence of the most powerful force in existence, unselfish and sacrificial love. “I would start off with the values that we hold and our values come from the teachings of Jesus,” he said. One of the core teachings of Jesus, in Matthew 22, is where he says you are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Love is not a sentimental thing, that’s not what Jesus was talking about. The love he’s talking about is unselfish, sacrificial, and living that really seeks the good and the well-being of others.”

With that question, the Bishop came to a halt, and the room fell silent. As a few seconds elapsed, the Bishop smiled, looked off into the distance as though in a memory.

“This is some serious stuff! You know?” he comically stated. “When I was a child, listening to my grandmother, who was a daughter of sharecroppers, granddaughter of slaves, telling me to always live your life for the Lord. That probably directed my life as much, if not more, than anything else. And it may be why I’m Presiding Bishop now. Because of my grandmother.” I felt honored to have the opportunity to talk to Bishop Curry. His profound, yet, humble persona is an influence we desperately need more of in today’s world. We must always remember that our humanity is derived from our ability to unselfishly and, sometimes, sacrificially love. Whether that love present itself in the form of holding the door for a stranger or donating a kidney, we must never lose sight of it. No matter how heated a political debate becomes or how advanced our technology develops, we must always hold near and dear, even cherish, love as the most central of our ideals.



L et’s talk


or me, holidays during childhood remind me of sudden realizations: candy canes are shaped like canes, Santa is watching you at all times, Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birthday, there are other religions, Christmas is Christ-mas when you break it up, etc... The ignorance surrounding Christmas until the ages four to six amazes me. When “they” finally tell you all these things, you wonder how you didn’t realize it before. Now, I’m eighteen, and the moments of wonder have yet to stop. We celebrate the journey of the Wise Men a while after Christmas, but I can hardly imagine Mary and Joseph kept their baby in a manger long enough to have the iconic nativity scene. The dates we know do not add up, and as I often questioned how Santa made it across the world in one night, I often ponder how, in regards to the Bible. I cannot tell you the time I’ve spent, just sitting there, thinking about how a virgin could have a baby. If it’s immaculate conception, then the child should be a clone of its mother — otherwise, it would need male DNA in order to have that Y chromosome… after that, my brain begins to fry and I simply refer to a “Jane the Virgin” type scenario. Most people didn’t even think about what Jesus Christ would have realistically looked like until recently. I mean, think about it! He’s depicted as blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned … On what Earth would a Middle-Eastern man from over 2,000 years ago that lived a mostly inconspicuous life as a carpenter

until the age of thirty look like that? It’s funny, in a non-humorous, dark sort of way, that people sometimes promote a religion dedicated to Jesus and his teachings by expressing prejudice towards the man’s ethnic groups. I wonder if these people are even aware of that.

There are factual, historical, ands scientific things in this world that are disregarded in the face of religion, but both can be believed at the same time. You don’t have to pick one when neither disproves the other. Take the origin stories in the New Testament and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs did exist; we have their fossils, and paleontologists and archaeologists don’t make their money simply pretending to find them. Besides, God only knows how long each day, according to Genesis, actually was. The existence of dinosaurs does not contradict that story of creation. I feel as though the buried history paired with religion can often be tossed aside, even when it’s as logical as “Hey, Jesus wouldn’t look like that, given his ethnicity.” I believe that the archeology needs to hold our attention when new discoveries are made. They are important; they are objective. We should be more like archaeologists. In 2014, archaeologists found something truly unexpected in the center of what was once the City of David, now a former parking lot. An ancient Greek citadel, with evidence dating back more than two millennia in the time known to be the midst of a rebellion, led by Judah Maccabee, to take back Jerusalem from the Greeks. History tells us of a fortress within the city, Arcas, that was able to keep Greek presence in Jerusalem for another two decades following the liberation of the temple. Perhaps you should be notified about the annual commemoration for said liberation: Hanukkah. No one can definitively say that this is the remnants of Arcas, but so far, it exists and the evidence says it could be. Then arose the conflict that’s both confused and divided scholars for more than a century. In regards to the fate of Arcas following its defeat, who was right: Flavius Josephus or the author of Maccabee 1? Josephus’ claim that Arcas’ defeat was followed by three years of deconstruction to ensure that a Greek citadel no longer towered the temple stands inversely to the Maccabee 1 author’s insistence that the fortifications were actually strengthened.

Archaeologists investigated and soon found that the area surrounding the citadel was turned into a residential area, along with more evidence supporting the fortress’s identity. There was no sign of abrupt dismantlement or any hill-killing (sorry Josephus). Nope, the evidence indicates that the succeeding Jewish Kingdom cut into the glacis during construction at one point, but mostly the fortress was slowly eaten away at by Hasmonean and Roman builders reusing the stone for other structures. That’s the smart way to destroy a Greek citadel, taking advantage of the already cut-stone. We had our records from historians as to what the possible fates of the fortress could be — strengthened and renovated or near immediately demolished — and they were both contradicted. The question of “which one is right” is narrow-minded; it gives the impression that what’s “right” is limited to only one of the options provided. For example, when I was little, there were two options for candy canes: candy to eat or ornaments to decorate Christmas trees. If you ask which is the “right” function, then you limit it when perhaps the hidden truth of the candy cane is that you can turn it into a sword. Never assume to know what is and what isn’t; there is only what is and our interpretation of it. What if the world ended and aliens came to check out the remnants of our civilizations? They would find a series of what they believed to be places of worship (for the sake of my tale, they are churches) and at the altar, they would find a symbol called “the cross”. Upon further investigation, they realize that the former inhabitants were worshiping a gruesome mode of execution; oh, such sadism! No, there’s the cross above an altar and at one point it was an execution device. That’s all the aliens know for certain; their interpretations of that are separate. When the aliens finally figure out the meaning humans attached to the cross, they’ll have their own moment of wonder. There’s a duality to everything and in those moments when we recognize it, it suddenly becomes clear that we’re all just as ignorant as we were around four or six years old. Around this time of year, as my thoughts are brought to religion, they are also directed towards archeology. When my brain begins to go off on yet another tangent, I grip what I know to be real and add it to the pile of puzzle pieces in the back of my head. It’s fun when they connect.

ANNIE SAGER, columnist artwork, ANNIE SAGER



Why He’s Right.


ine words. By themselves, they carry a great message: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” However, coupled with a dramatic close-up, and aired on the Jumbotron in Times Square as an advertisement for Nike, these nine words sparked controversy regardless of their positive message.

and came to a compromise. This is ideal behavior for the progression of all issues in America. If we can reach across partisan lines more often, we would be making leaps and bounds of progress towards prosperity for everyone.

The close-up behind this controversy featured the face of none other than Colin Kaepernick. The reason this Nike ad incited drama was as his protest was noticed on August 26, 2016 when an image of the 49ers’ sideline during the national anthem went viral, putting his protest against police brutality and other unjust challenges people of color face in the limelight.

Boyer explains his support of Kaepernick’s protest later in the piece, “the men who have followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps say they are not protesting the anthem itself, they are demonstrating during the anthem. It’s an important distinction to understand. Personally, I do not endorse Kaepernick’s method of protest but I absolutely support his right to do so. That is an unpopular place to stand these days, in the radical middle, defending someone you somewhat disagree with.”

Rather than buying into the gossipy controversy brewed by the media, we as a nation need solve the issue at hand: discrimination and unjust treatment of our fellow Americans.

Boyer is the best example of what we should all make out of Kaepernick’s protest; not as a protest of the national anthem, but for what is really being protested: police brutality in America.

It was noted that Kaepernick was sitting, something not previously reported on during the last two weeks of preseason play. During a press conference two days later, Kaepernick explained his motives, “It wasn’t something that I really planned as far as it blowing up. It was something that I personally decided – I just can’t stand what this represents right now. It’s not right. And the fact that it has blow up like this, I think it’s a good thing. It brings awareness.”

But why, exactly, is kneeling better? Kneeling has been symbolic throughout history and in other areas of our pop culture. We kneel in our churches, wedding proposals, athletic events, etc. The common denominator between these events is that we are kneeling in order to show respect. What makes Kaepernick’s actions any different? Absolutely nothing. By changing his matter of protest after his discussion with Boyer, Kaepernick showed that he deeply cared about respecting those who have fought for the flag, and could continue his protest while still respecting the flag.

Contrary to what skeptics believe, media attention was not Kaepernick’s motive. When asked about his views of the flag and the people who fought for it, he responded, “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody.” At the core of his action, the only disrespect shown in his protest is police brutality enacting terror on people of color at an alarming frequency, not representing the America our troops fought for. However, it was the masses that misinterpreted his protest as an attack against the military. Nate Boyer, a retired NFL long snapper and military veteran, displays the example of empathy we should all strive for. In a NBC News piece written by Boyer, he states that a few hours before the 49ers played the San Diego Chargers, they had a lengthy conversation on the matter. Boyer wanted Kaepernick to stand during the anthem; however, Kaepernick pledged to sit through the anthem, and they were able to find middle ground in the form of Kaepernick kneeling. Instead of dismissing his stance, Boyer heard Kaepernick’s reasoning

Eric Reid, another player for the 49ers, wrote in a New York Times piece: “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.” When we see our flags flown at half-mast we don’t stop and say, “that’s disrespectful as it doesn’t represent the glory our troops fought for.” Reid is right. We instantly recognize that something bad has happened because the flag is flying at half-mast. This protest is no different, except “something bad” is a continuous force that will not just go away and eventually fade from memory, because case after case, police brutality is still thriving against non-threatening citizens. Conversation is the ultimate tool to fix any issue, and if we begin to promote more open discussion, we will start to see a better future for everyone in our country. And when everyone prospers, the country will only continue to grow and expand greatness. A closed mindset is only closing doors in our future, no matter your political alignment. Conversation is not just repeating your opinion either or raising your voice. Conversation is a unique tool we have as humans that we should exercise for the betterment of our lives.

MIKEY BENNETT, staff writer

YES SHEA FLEMING, associate editor



In 2012, Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for samesex couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins. In 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals sided with the couple, finding Phillips unjust for denying them service. This year, Phillips appealed the case to the Supreme Court, winning 7-to-2 on behalf of religious objection, sparking a nationwide discussion.



RICHARD JOHNSTON, contributing writer


f a gay couple approaches a Christian baker asking to bake a cake for their wedding, should the baker be forced to bake it? What about if a Democratic baker was asked to bake a cake of Donald Trump? Or if an Atlanta Falcons fan was asked to bake a “28-3” New England Patriots cake? Which baker should be punished for denying service, and which baker shouldn’t? These questions may seem tough, but the answer is simple: businesses should have total power in deciding on what product they make and who they do business with. Whether the owner’s refusal is based on personal prejudices, a client’s poor manners, or offensive or obscene material in the requested product, it does not matter. This may seem crazy and extreme, but it’s important to first understand the basic nature of the free market we live in. Every transaction between a buyer and seller is rooted in consent and the exchange of items. Typically, the exchange is money for some good or service, but at the core it’s just a consensual exchange of two different things. In a consensual exchange, there are hundreds of factors that can go into deciding whether or not to do something. Naturally, the values of the store owner would be a considerable factor. With this new understanding established, the reasoning behind the baker’s choices to refuse service in the hypotheticals above makes more sense. The Falcon’s fans humiliation in Super Bowl 51, the Democratic baker’s disdain for Donald Trump, or the Christian baker’s religious values all may supersede


Up to this point, we’ve only examined the side of the seller. Well, in a free market built off of consensual exchanges, the buyer must also consent. If the young child running a lemonade stand on the corner of the street bore a swastika on his chest, it’s safe to say not many people would be buying from him. And if Walmart actually did decide to halt all sales with a minority group, they’d lose a lot more business than just the said minority group as large amounts of people would end up boycotting their prejudiced practices. Not only would they lose a huge chunk of their clientele, but also direct their business to competitors like Amazon or Target. These consequences are not by the heavy hand of government, but by the very nature of the free market. Simply put, it’s not profitable for companies to be racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, etc. For companies willing to serve anyone that approaches them, the ceiling for success is far higher than those that are not. The market for racism and bigotry is small, and the desire for profit is enough of a corrective force to cut out said evils. Business owners in America know this. If they wish to conduct their business with bigoted values, then they should be allowed to do so. The free market will decide their fate.


BERKLEY BELL, contributing writer


hould businesses be permitted to refuse service to customers based on religious practices or personal preference? Certainly not. Denying service to anyone is discriminatory and citing religion as a reason to do so is unconstitutional. In a world where businesses refuse service to people for arbitrary reasons, American freedoms are violated and endangered. Jack Phillips’ actions put freedom of religion and the free market on the line.


their desire to make money off the cake. Obviously, this may seem dangerous. What if Walmart suddenly decided to stop doing business with all Hispanics? Southerners? Irishmen?

Phillips cited freedom of religion as a reason not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, and the Supreme Court agreed, ruling “the baker’s refusal was based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,” but Phillips’ only held to his Christian beliefs when a gay couple asked for a cake. The Bible tells its readers that divorce and remarriage are both sins. Would Phillips deny a divorced customer service? Would he deny a straight couple on their second marriage service? Religious piety shouldn’t be selective. In the United States of America, we are gifted with religious freedom. This is an important freedom, and we must protect it, for if we misuse this freedom, it dissipates. When our freedoms are given an incorrect meaning in a social context, they are vastly misinterpreted. When people like Phillips misuse freedom of religion, and are supported by the Supreme Court, freedoms lose their meanings.

53.76% SAY NO* Some may note that Americans have another freedom: the free market. They will ask, shouldn’t businesses have the freedom to sell what they want to whomever they want, fostering our country’s booming economy in a beneficial way? But this is not how the economy in America thrives. Our economy caters to all. Companies that are successful become this way by finding ways to market to all. By refusing service to the Mullins’, Phillips threw away all business from Colorado’s progressive-minded citizens, which was about half the state. This fiscal error demonstrates the kind of businessman that doesn’t contribute much to America’s free market. Denying service to someone because of who they are is discriminatory, and discrimination is illegal. When the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ favor, our governing body actively discriminated against a minority group of people. Apart from being morally wrong and illegal, this broken system forces people to live in fear. It forces people to live in fear of not only having to choose a different wedding cake vendor, but also their identity and lifestyle being stolen. And this is perhaps the most painful facet of this case; that under a system of discrimination, Americans, residing in “the land of the free,” are living in fear.

*According to a survey of 94 HIES students

Profile for The C&G

The C&G | Volume VII | Issue 2 | Winter Edition  

The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate, and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events, and opinions that are relevant to the Holy In...

The C&G | Volume VII | Issue 2 | Winter Edition  

The C&G staff aims to be honest, accurate, and accountable as they convey news, ideas, events, and opinions that are relevant to the Holy In...