The Urban legend
volume 17, Issue 1
Student Buy-In and Fare's Future at Urban by Olivia Meehan staff writer
Selecting Urban’s new food provider was a long process. Diane Walters, Urban’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “a couple people we interviewed came close, but they all had certain caveats. Fare was the company that was the closest to what we were actually looking for.” Before Urban, Fare Resources worked on food design and operations in private businesses. The team’s vision for Urban was to “create a company around their values: sustainable sourcing, paying people well, and trying to create an internal culture around food in a school” Gavin Crynes, Fare’s Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer explained. Walters noted that all the potential providers were about the same price, but Fare was “offering something that’s substantially different from what we have heard from any other providers.” Rachel Sillcocks, Executive Chef at Fare, clarified Fare’s sourcing philosophy; “I wanted to use the same sorts of products that I have used at restaurants I have worked at in the past [such as Nopa, Piccino and Range], and be able to integrate that into a menu that you guys would really want to eat.” As a result, all fish that Fare serves is wild, all meat is pasture raised, and finished on grass, or non GMO grain. 95 percent of the food they serve is organic, with the remaining 5 percent being farms that cannot afford
50 YEARS OF URBAN, NOW WHAT? to be certified but still maintain the same level of care in their growing practices. Furthermore, ninety percent of all produce and meat is sourced within a 250-mile radius of the school, and changes seasonally. Crynes added, “we are not just buying the roast beef, we are making roast beef. We are not buying mayonnaise; we are making the mayonnaise from scratch.” Another pillar of Fare’s philosophy is paying their workers a substantial living wage. “All of our hourly labor make between $20 to $25 an hour,” Crynes explained, “and all receive 100 percent (health) coverage from Fare, and then an additional 25 percent coverage for any of their dependents.” This amount is significantly more than the San Francisco minimum wage, which is $13 an hour. Due to the meticulous sourcing of Fare’s food, and high salaries, Fare is not profiting at the moment. Crynes remarked “we are stubborn to a fault when it comes to the sourcing of the food. Changing sourcing and paying less to our workers would increase profit, but with the way we are running our company this is not an option.”
continued on pages 6 and 7
Urban students react to new Salkind Center by Colin Heath staff writer
After 15 months of constuction, the Mark Salkind center, Urban’s largest physical expansion in its history, is complete. The building was designed by the architecture firm Pfau Long. According to the firm, the building adds 25,850 square feet of usable space (an expansion of over 50%) in the form of a new gym, additional classrooms, offices, and a rooftop field. The North Campus Expansion also coincides with the expansion of the student body to its largest ever population, 417 students. With these changes comes a new architectural emphasis. “Through many discussions with the school … the largest piece of philosophy that shows through is having this openness within the building, openness to both the exterior as well as the openness to the Gym, and the connection
continued on pages 6 and 7
MORE OF what's inside... The Complexities of Choosing A Meal: page 5 Trump Versus Clinton: page 8 Meet the Frosh: page 12 Top left photograph taken from http://www.urbanat50.org/, top right photograph taken by Olivia Meehan.
An Abreviated Introduction to 2016 Propositions by Cole Palmer staff writer
In the heat of a contentious presidential election, it is easy to overlook local politics. However, it is essential not to grow apathetic toward civic engagement. The 2016 California ballot is full of propositions that could greatly impact our community, the state, and possibly the country. The Legend encourages Urban community members of all ages to stay informed on these issues and all adults to vote. Below is a summary of some of the most important propositions on the ballot this year; read up and go vote!
Prop 53: Proposition 53 is a vote to require voter approval for all government projects necessitating the sale of over $2 billion in revenue bonds. If the bill is passed, it will require that a statewide vote be held before the state government can issue more than $2 billion in bonds for major infrastruc-
ture projects. Proponents of the bill say it improves government accountability, prevents wasteful spending, and promotes democracy. Opponents of the bill say it could result in too much state control over the approval of local infrastructure projects.
Prop 56: Proposition 56 is a vote to increase taxes on tobacco products sold in California. If the bill is passed, it would raise the state taxes on a pack of cigarettes from $0.87 to $2.87. It would also raise taxes on tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, dip, etc. The new tax would increase state revenues by $1-1.4 billion annually, a number that is predicted to decline over the next couple years as smoking rates decrease, especially considering the recent raise on the smoking age. This money would
Prop 62: Proposition 62 is a vote on repealing the death penalty and increasing victim restitution. If the bill is passed, the death penalty would be forbidden in California. All current and future death sentences would be supplanted by life sentences without the possibility of parole. The bill would also increase the wage garnishing of life inmates to fund more victim restitution payments. Prop 62 would lead to about $150 million per year in budgetary savings. If
Prop 64: Proposition 64 is a vote on the state legalization and regulation of cannabis for adults age 21 and over. If the bill is passed, “adults 21 years of age or older could legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes, with certain restrictions.” The bill would reduce criminal enforcement costs by tens of millions of dollars annually and lead to over $1 billion in tax revenues annually from recreational marijuana sales. Marijuana will remain federally prohibited. If the bill
be spent on “health care for low-income Californians.” Proponents of the bill say that tobacco related health issues cost taxpayers $3.5 billion annually and that this new tax is necessary to offset that cost; there is also the added benefit of discouraging smoking. Opponents of the bill argue that only 13% of the revenues would really go toward smoking prevention and that the rest would go to healthcare companies they consider “special interests”.
the bill is not passed, the death penalty would remain in place. Proponents of the bill argue that it saves taxpayers $150 million a year, stops executions of possibly innocent people, increases victim restitution, and ends what many consider a human rights abuse. Opponents of the bill say that it deprives victims of justice and lets deplorables off the hook for their abhorrent crimes.
is not passed, marijuana will remain a medical only product in California. Proponents of the bill argue that it ends the “failed” war on drugs, reduces enforcement costs, improves civil liberties, leads to greater tax revenue, and improves safety through increased regulation. Opponents of the bill argue that it doesn’t include regulations for marijuana DUIs, legalizes recreational marijuana advertising, and decreases public health and safety overall.
Prop 54: Proposition 54 is a vote to require a 72 hour waiting period from the time a bill is introduced on the statehouse floor before it can be voted on, during which time it needs to be available online. Prop 54 also would require that all statehouse proceedings be streamed on the internet for voters to access. If the bill is passed, the state would invest a one time cost of $1-2 million, and thereafter $1 million per year, to video and upload happenings
Prop 57: Proposition 57 is a vote to consider early parole for tens of thousands of nonviolent felons, introduce new rewards for good behavior in prison, and require youths be tried as juveniles before they are tried as adults. If the bill is passed, many nonviolent felons would be considered for parole early and new considerations for good behavior would also lead to more early releases. This would decrease the burden on the state’s prison system and result in savings of “tens of millions of dollars annually.” If the bill is not passed, the current criminal justice system will
Prop 63: Proposition 63 is a vote on whether to establish a new court procedure for confiscating firearms from felons and requiring a background check for purchasing ammunition. If the bill is passed, ammunition buyers would have to pass a federal background check, large-capacity magazines (10 or more rounds) would be banned, and a greater range of convictions would prevent perpetrators from owning firearms. The bill would set up a new court process for confiscating firearms from felons.
Prop 67: Proposition 67 is a vote on whether to end the use of disposable plastic bags in California. If the bill is passed, the state will prohibit grocers and other vendors from giving customers single use plastic bags. Stores will continue to be able to use recyclable paper bags. There will be little fiscal impact, with slight increased enforcement and administrative costs, but savings
in the legislature. The costs of the program would not require new taxes but would rather come from the state’s general fund. Proponents of the bill says it improves government transparency and prevents moneyed interests from quickly and surreptitiously running bills through the legislature. Opponents of the bill say that it is expensive, unnecessary, and could slow the legislative process to the benefit of special interests.
remain unchanged. Proponents of the bill say it only releases nonviolent offenders, reduces prison overcrowding, eases strain on the state budget, focuses on rehabilitation instead of punishment, and gives important rights to youths. Opponents of the bill say that it will release violent felons (including rapists and murderers), takes away justice from victims of crime, and amends the state constitution.
The bill would likely cost tens of millions of dollars annually in enforcement costs. If the bill is not passed, current firearms regulations would remain in place. Proponents of the bill argue that it would improve public safety by keeping firearms and ammunition out of the hands of those who would cause harm. Opponents of the bill say it decreases public safety, infringes on civil liberties, and has a negative fiscal impact.
in waste management and environmental costs. If the bill is not passed, single use plastic bags will continue to be provided for a fee. Proponents of the bill argue that the bags are a massive environmental hazard and need to be eliminated. Opponents of the bill say it will force consumers to pay a ten cent fee on the recyclable bags that would replace the plastic ones.
Celebrating 100 years of Open Space Ian Shapiro staff writer
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a program envisioned by Teddy Roosevelt and carried out by later presidents. Although many areas were designated as national parks by President Roosevelt, they were not consolidated and managed until Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act on August 25th 1916. According to author Wallace Stegner, the National Parks are “America’s best idea”. The decision to set aside America’s most valuable and beautiful land for the enjoyment of all was, and is, a controversial idea, with many conservatives in Congress pushing for a statelevel takeover of many national parks. However the signage of the Park Service Organic act was symbolic of a new, progressive era for the United States. The act was also a marker of the end of the frontier era, with wide open space being transferred to the government and the enjoyment of
Urban students in Joshua Tree National Park, 2014. Photo by Jonathan Howland
the people, not to the will of explorers and frontiersmen and women. Despite the Park Service’s age, 307 million visitors flock to the parks each year. 2016 was a record breaking year, outpacing last year’s attendance
by 3 million visitors as of August. Many people have controversially called for restricted admission in the form of quotas to the major parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon, to alleviate overcrowding at the most pop-
ular parks. However, this comes at the expense of the parks’ original purpose: universally enjoyable outdoor space.
Reflecting on Summer Olympics 2016 by Katie Jonckheer staff writer
The summer Olympics take the media by storm for two hectic weeks every four years. Although the excitement has died down on American televisions, the host city continues to confront the impacts of the events. For Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the games brought pride and creativity, but also violence, economic instability, and political unrest. The Olympics brought the political unrest in the country to light. Current mayor, Eduardo Paes, was booed on the night of the Olympic closing ceremony. The controversy about Paes was mostly due to the allegation that he was directing a disproportionate amount of Olympic funds towards the wealthy Barra da Tijuca region on the western side of Rio de Janeiro. This is especially controversial because Brazil has lately fallen plague to a multitude of corruption scandals which have, in the eyes of many, weakened Brazil’s reputation as a developing power on the world stage. Former president Dilma Rousseff was suspended from office in early May and was formally impeached on August 31st of this year. According to the BBC, the controversy surrounding her leadership was based on her handling of the economy: “Brazil's economic woes started in 2011, when China began to decelerate and Brazilian commodities began losing value in international markets … The president and her team treated the decline as temporary and set in motion expensive stimulus
measures … But China's slower pace became the new normal, and all the measures taken by Brazil's government soon became unsustainable.” The impeachment of the president only adds to the chaotic political environment that was present before, during, and unwaveringly after these games. Political unrest was not the only controversy at the games. Some pejorative headlines in the coverage of the games were: “It became a nightmare: Violence, corruption and economic woes in Rio show the Olympic model is broken”, and “Brazil: Rio’s Olympic legacy shattered with no let-up in killings by police”. Violence in Rio is an ongoing issue: according to Amnesty International, “police in the city killed 35 people in April 2016, 40 in May and 49 in June – an average of more than one every single day”. The same website opines, “Brazil has lost the most important medal at play during Rio 2016: the chance to become a champion on human rights”; they define themselves as “a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally” and fight for human rights. Moreover, despite any publicity or opportunity for economic gain the games brought, “The government’s budget deficit this year, like last, is expected to equal about 10 percent of economic output, up from about 3 percent in 2013”, according to Fortune. Conversely, however, Rio’s handball
Olympic rings. Drawing by Blake Case.
arena, the Future Arena, was created with the concept of “temporary architecture”. According to a City Lab article about the fate of the arena, it will be “... repurposed into four staterun schools in the nearby neighborhoods of Jacarepagua and Barra, and Sao Cristovao on the eastern coast. Each school will hold 500 students.” Other stadiums, such as the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, have been left in their host cities and have required excessive maintenance and upkeep in the past, therefore this was
a point of consideration when building this Olympic stadium. The schools proposed have not yet been built. Perhaps, for Rio and in the future, the Olympics will become not only a celebration of the world’s greatest athletes, but a celebration of the power of a group of people coming together to improve Rio through education.
Features October 2016
Are Your Laptop Habits Affecting Your Health? by Emma Draisin staff writer
Illustration by Blake Case It’s 11pm on a Thursday night. The blue glow of the screen reflects off my sun-deprived skin. I sit hunched over my keyboard, furiously typing away at my English essay. My neck goes stiff. My toes fall asleep. My eyes glaze over. Every weeknight, Urban students are in the exact same predicament, slaving away at their computers. Yet what is the consequence of this seemingly innocent daily activity? From Computer Vision Syndrome to insomnia, the hours Urban students spend online are taking their toll. Eyesight is one of the most obvious concerns regarding extensive computer use. One issue is the act of staring at a small area for an extended period of time. According to a survey out to the Urban community, 14 percent of students and teachers who completed the survey reported experiencing Computer Vision Syndrome, which is strain on eyes caused by staring at a screen. These symptoms include eyestrain,
headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). AOA reports that “Vision problems experienced by computer operators are generally only temporary and will decline after stopping computer work at the end of the day … If nothing is done to address the cause of the problems, they will continue to recur and perhaps worsen with future computer use.” (American Optometric Association, 1997). SPMC Psychiatrist Mary Burke MD says, “There's a lot of eye strain, and people complaining of visual problems because of the high intensity of gazing at these fairly small objects in middle range.” The other primary concern regarding the eyes and computer use is the exposure to blue light. As published by the American Board of Opticianry in 2015, “Biologically, blue light contributes to feelings of alertness and well-being” when introduced in the small natural quantities from the sun’s rays. However, over-exposure to blue light, which is caused by the prevalence of electronic devices, leads to poor visual acuity, increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, and negative consequences to health (Pesca, American Board of Opticianry, 2015). Dr. Laurel Schultz, a San Francisco Pediatrician, says, “Screens have been shown to interfere with our ability to fall asleep at our normal sleep times. And of course not getting enough sleep
has always been an issue with teens, and [screen time] is just compounding the problem. Lack of sleep has been associated with a myriad of health problems and can negatively impact learning and memory formation.” Musculoskeletal problems, such as back and neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome go along with extensive computer use. “Mid-thoracic back pain… I am seeing more of this in otherwise healthy young people. Also I see lots of people walking around with their necks straining forward” said Dr. Schultz. As for Carpal tunnel, Schultz said, “Surprisingly I see very little of this [in young patients.] I see it most in the parents.” Burke connects these symptoms not simply to being on the computer, but to the stillness that goes along with it: “When people are on computers, they tend to get kind of hypnotized and sit very still. They don't notice when they are getting uncomfortable.” In the previously mentioned survey, 36 percent of Urban students and teachers reported back pain or other musculoskeletal issues related to computer use. The neurological and mental health effect of the laptop is another huge concern. Schultz said, “I think that the laptop/internet can be one big ADHD producing device.” In fact, the percentage of those seeking treatment for ADHD has risen significantly in the past 15 years, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report (MMRW). Urban’s technology department head, Stacie Muñoz, said that “Because we are so inundated with notifications on our computer . . . It puts us in this mindset of constantly expecting something to be happening . . . I feel like it's really messing with our ability to just sit down and focus on the task at hand.” There are several ways to limit the damaging effect of screen time. “Make bedtime a priority over downtime with non-homework related internet content,” Schultz suggested to decrease the effect of blue light on your sleep cycle. If you need to look at the computer, follow the 20-20-20 rule: “every 20 minutes look at something in the distance (at least 20 feet away) for 20 seconds or more” to prevent eye strain. Set a timer, or use a chrome extension like EyeCare to remind you. On avoiding blue light, Burke said, “Getting a blue light filter for your computer, or even if you can stand it, wearing amber colored glasses can help.” Taking a break from screen time is crucial: “even if you are super focused for those 25 minutes, you should take a break,” Muñoz says. Turning off notifications on your laptop may help with focus. So Urban students, do not fret. While we do spend hours toiling at the keyboards, implementing these simple techniques will help soothe our headaches, ease our eyes, and to give our backs a well-earned break.
Bay Area Rising Water Level Is Cause For Concern
Photo of Mission Creek, WikiCommons, Payton Chung, September 8, 2007
by August Ackley staff writer
It’s counterintuitive that during a time of global warming and drought in California, the Pacific Ocean is rising. www.urbanlegendnews.org
Sea level rise is hugely exhibited in many regions of the Pacific, such as Hawaii. When Urban students were asked about their knowledge on sea level, 94 percent of students identified it
as an important issue, although 88 percent of students did not consider themselves well-informed on the issue. So what is sea level rise? There are two main causes of sea level rise, both
relating to global warming. The first is due to thermal expansion, or the warming of the oceans. As water heats up, it expands. Secondly, the decrease in ice-based land due to increased melting please recycle
Features October 2016
Continued from page 4 of glaciers also adds to the rising seas. According to Wired Magazine, “More than 20,000 people from [The Marshall Islands] moved to an unremarkable corner of Arkansas.” There are many other people like the Marshallese who are currently battling the rising levels, such as the Biloxi-ChitimachaChoctaw, a Native American tribe living in coastal Louisiana. In a study done by Northern Arizona University, it was found that Isle de
Jean Charles shrunk from “some 15,000 acres to a strip of about a quarter-mile wide by a half-mile long.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts that “almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-populationdensity coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms.” The SF Curbed published an article on the areas of the city that will eventually
be hit the hardest. One large issue is the possibility of Mission Creek flooding: “ ... with a little bay rise added, it becomes an avenue for floods that could swamp a significant chunk of the waterfront during storms and high tides.” As climate change raises sea levels, The San Francisco Bay Area’s risk of flooding increases. The SF Chronicle published a project called “Rising Reality”, in which John King, an urban design critic outlines these challenges.
The Complexities of Choosing A Meal
by Katherine Weltzien staff writer
Can food be nutritious, sustainable, and cost-effective? “I certainly think it’s doable ... I think one of the barriers might be thinking that it’s not doable,” said Dietitian Erica Eilenburg. “I think there might be some sacrifices made, not everyone is in the boat where they can go to Whole Foods and buy all their food from there and buy whatever they want.” This fall, along with the new building, Urban acquired a new food service. Fare Resources has been endeavoring to balance nutrition, sustainability, and affordability within the school lunch program. “I think if you ultimately sit down and you eat food that’s grown well you’re going to taste a difference. And you’re going to want to pay more money for it because it tastes so much better,” said Rachel Sillcocks, head chef of Fare’s Urban kitchen. When asked about the expense of the new food, Ben Lee (’17) said, “I am definitely willing to pay a premium for food that is sustainable and local, and especially so for high-quality produce and meats.” Skyler Baker (’18) felt differently, “I’m not willing to pay more than I think is reasonable. For example, I think that Fare Resources’ $9 salads are … charging us a ridiculous amount, to the point where it’s not even accessible to get healthy food.” Though the conflict between cost
and quality plays out on a micro scale at Urban,the lack of affordable, nutritious food is also a huge national issue. “42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children,” according to a factsheet published by Feeding America. The branding used by many food companies only adds to the complexity of choosing a meal. For example, Pepsi is currently facing a lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) due to the advertising of their Naked Juices. “PepsiCo’s ‘the goodness inside’ ingredient key misrepresents that drinking Naked products is akin to consuming, whole, the fruits and vegetables pictured on the label, when it is not, and that the vitamins in Naked products come from its fruits and vegetables when, in fact, many are added by the manufacturer,” reads the lawsuit, as filed by the CPSI. The combination of misleading branding and societal influences make healthy eating seem far more complicated, and expensive, than it needs to be. “Now everyone’s not eating this because this one article came out that said it’s not recommended … without people really knowing the truth, or the research, or what recommendations would be from a dietitian. It’s more of a societal and cultural influence, and that’s what people follow,” said Eilenburg. To make an affordable, balanced diet
In a portion of the project dedicated the response of the city, King estimates that “$35 billion worth of public property in San Francisco is at risk if sealevel rise by 2100 reaches 66 inches.” 66 inches may not seem like a lot, but in actuality, it could “affect 1,160 San Francisco buildings”, SF Curb estimated. The rise in sea level throughout the world may seem arbitrary right now, but the list of affected areas will get longer as time goes by.
Produce at Haight Street Market. Photos by Blake Case, October 4, 2016
easier, Eilenburg said to “buy a bunch of carrots on Sunday when you go to the grocery store ... and put them in snack bags so you have them for the whole week.” She suggested doing the same for nuts, “or something that you can portion out and take with you.” She emphasized that, “at its simplest, eating nutritious food is just a matter of building meals around whole foods in the basic food groups.” Jade Barnblatt (’18) said, “I also focus on having a balanced meal, like having carbs, having vegetables, having protein, and sugar, but not that much.
I just really try to have a balance.” Regarding the future of America’s food culture, Wyatt Sandberg, head chef at Gus’s Community Market, said, “We're already seeing positive changes occurring with the resurgence in small farming. Food policy is changing, the amount of access to food education is incredible, and even school lunch programs all across the nation are being updated and improved. I believe we need to do as much as possible to support these changes to bring our food system back to a balance.”
Urban students react to new Salkind Center continued from page 1
by Colin Heath staff writer
of the Gym to the common spaces as well as the classrooms”, said Kami Kinkaid, a member of the design team of the new building. In spite of the changes, the architects attempted to integrate some features ubiquitous to the old Urban in the new. “Having small spaces or study niches … you guys make space wherever you can, and we didn’t wanna lose that quality when making a new space with a different approach,” said Kinkaid. “Old” Urban also played a role in influencing the design of the building. “[The inspiration for the new building was] how your students use your existing campus, and having a space right next to the Panhandle, and how those two pieces intertwine,” said Kinkaid. In spite of the fact that the building adds significantly to Urban’s overall square-footage, space was the biggest design challenge. “Trying to prioritize getting you [the school] as much space as possible. There are limitations of what that is and what that can be,” said Kinkaid. Students interviewed for this article had mixed impressions of the building itself. “I think it’s very architecturally and visually appealing,” said Lily Niehaus (‘18) of the new building. “I really like the Page Street entrance, how nice the concrete, plants, and reflective glass are.” However not everyone at Urban was pleased with the final product.“It let me down,” said Lucas Lepinard (‘17). Lepinard’s primary complaint was, “I thought it was going to be a lot cooler, and it’s just a gym, and not as much of a student center as I expected … The whole student area is bad, and it’s Urban FARE cook prepares lunch for the student body.
all spread out and super small, and there’s not enough tables,” he said. Another important consideration of the new building is what it will change culturally about Urban. Although far less tangible than physical aspects of the new building, its opening not only expands Urban physically but could also affect the zeitgeist of Urban. “What stands out to me is that everything is centered around the gym … which is cool, because I think it will bring more spirit to Urban, during basketball and volleyball games,” said Niehaus of the cultural changes. Students also speculated about how the addition of the new building will or will not change the school’s social centers of gravity. “I think that the juniors and seniors definitely gravitate more towards the old building because that’s where we’re used to hanging out, but I think it will affect where the Freshmen and Sophomores hangout in the future,” said Niehaus. Others raised doubts about the new building’s ability to meaningfully change where Urban students spend their free time at school. “Most people are gonna stay in the Old Building … people might study there, but it [the new building] doesn’t provide enough of a reason for people to go over and stay,” said Lepinard. Architectural and behavioral analysis aside, only time will tell whether or not the opening of the new building is the beginning of a new era of Urban.
Editorial As Urban enters the 2016-17 academic year, the school might be unrecognizable to a graduate from just a few years ago. New and changed sports teams, investment in STEM programs, a larger student body, a new building, dramatically higher tuition, and what many consider to be a completely new school culture and typical student are all things members of the Urban community have noticed changing around them in recent years. With all these rapid developments, it is important for us to take stock of where we stand and decide how we, as a community, either embrace or resist the changes happening around us. Founded in 1966, Urban states its goals to be to “ignite a passion for learning” and “instill a consciousness of social justice, an ethic of citizenship and a commitment to service” in its student body. On the surface, Urban has changed a lot since then, gaining more students, faculty, and real estate. However, for most of its short history, Urban has remained largely culturally static and homogeneous. This is now changing right before our eyes, and the staff of The Legend believes that we should embrace the change with optimism while not losing sight of where we came from. Urban has long been known for its commitment to social justice and the arts, as is evidenced by our strong service and visual/ performing arts programs. The
(Taken from http:// urbanat50.org/) old photo of Urban students hanging out at school.
school culture has historically been integrated with this commitment, with the average Urban student being invested in many different types of activism and creative endeavors. While this is certainly still true for many Urban students, to us, Urban is starting to feel a lot more like other independent schools in the Bay Area such as Lick-Wilmerding or University. This can be attributed to several factors, the most obvious being the new building. Not to mention the fact that the entire Salkind Center is oriented around the gym, adding more symbolic weight to athletics at the school. Another factor is the school’s recent investment in more STEM programs. The new UrbanX lab, new classes like Industrial Design, and more faculty hires demonstrate the school’s newfound commitment to the sciences, elevating them in importance close to the arts. Furthermore, Urban’s tuition for this school year is up to $42,500, a stunningly high figure that, we would argue, erodes the school’s progressive persona. Considering that, it wouldn’t be a leap to conclude that the school is in the midst of a rebranding, as evidenced by the pricey redesign of the school’s logo. These dramatic shifts in the school’s dynamic have also changed
the type of student Urban attracts, as well as made the school more selective with enrollment. With all these changes, we feel that Urban is slowly losing its counter-culture reputation and cornering off more students who are interested in athletics or the sciences as well as artists and activists. This is changing Urban, culturally, to a much more diverse atmosphere intellectually, culturally, and philosophically. The staff of The Legend asserts that this is fundamentally a good change. We should embrace this shift and make the most of it, but that does not mean losing where we came from. At The
Legend, we don’t believe Urban’s traditional values and changing culture are inherently in conflict, but rather quite compatible. Greater diversity, whether ideological, cultural, or intellectual, can do nothing but benefit us. Indeed, we are likely witnessing not a departure from our old values, but an affirmation of the Urban identity: the school is finally coming into its own.
New basketball hoop at the Salkind Center.
Old photo of an Urban student tipping off in a basketball game.
continued from page 1
Student Buy-In and Fare's Future at Urban by Olivia Meehan
According to Crynes, the cost of ingredients for an average sandwich at Fare is about 40% of the total cost charged. In a normal restaurant, Crynes explained that the cost of ingredients is 25%, resulting in a sandwich at Urban costing $10.50. However, he noted that “that sort of price within a school doesn’t seem right.” Hence the company is being subsidized by the school at a rate described by Walters as constantly “evolving and really a function of the sales.” This money is a planned part of the school’s budget. “We build [a budget] in a way so that we nearly break even, but we always have a very small cushion,” Walters continued. “Usually it’s about 1% of the total revenue that we have in case things change through the year … This might be an example
where some of it will go to Fare.” In regards to the future of this partnership, Crynes said that, “t this point, I almost certainly know that (especially in the first year) there will have to be an amount of monetary support from Urban to make this model work. Hopefully in the future, we will have a tested model and engaged population such that … subsidizing could decrease significantly.” “Urban is the first real project for Fare Resources” Sillcocks commented. “The values of the company are solid, but the evolution process of inputting those values into a program like Urban involves a lot of conversation and trial and error. It involves talking to the students, ... then going back and revising. How do we educate you about things that
The Urban Legend From the Urban Legend 2016 Application: The Urban Legend is a vehicle of student freedom of expression and a public forum for The Urban School community. It is a forum for reporting school, community and global news and for the exposition of student-generated news coverage, commentary and wit. Journalism students strive as a team to find, create and publish excellent student work in a timely manner and to provide their peers and the school community with fresh, pertinent news and diverse perspectives on a variety of events and topics. The Urban Legend seeks writers of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, and sexual orientations. The Legend is published in print and online several times a year. Find us at www.urbanlegendnews.org. Adviser and Journalism Teacher: Raina Mast Fundamentals of Journalism Teacher: Sarah Levin
may seem a little bit costly, but that we are really enthusiastic about?” In a survey sent out to the student body, 38% of the 100 students polled stated that they did not feel educated about how Fare sources their food, and a further 27% said that they did not care. To address this, Sillcocks said that the Fare team seeks to share more information by holding forums, sending out emails, and putting up posters to address the true cost of food. “There is a very powerful dialogue to be had around the price of food,” Sillcocks said, “which is why it is so exciting to be here. We knew we would have to start at a low price point because you can go to Haight Street Market and buy a sandwich double the size for the same price; but there is a reason for that.”
Editors-in-Chief of Newspaper: Zoe Meneghetti and Ian Shapiro
Crynes explained that making Fare’s business model work is not easy. “If you want a program that does the sourcing we are doing and pays people well, that also (caters to a school that) has an open campus, it's really challenging to make it off your own revenue,” Crynes said. “Participation (from the students) is the biggest thing,” he emphasized. “We need to have a level of participation that will justify the cost of ingredients.” f a company with the high standards and morals of Fare succeeds, it is a revolutionary breakthrough for school catering in San Francisco.
Page Editors and Managers:
News Editor: Katherine Weltzein Opinions Editor: Cole Palmer Arts and Culture Editor and Instagram Manager: Katie Jonckheer Editor-in-Chief of Layout and Design: Features Editor: Emma Draisin Sports Editor: Catherine Silvestri Olivia DiNapoli Caboose Editor: August Ackley Asssistant Editor of Design and Head Photographer: Olivia Meehan New Staff Writers Editor-in-Chief of Online News: Colin Special Assignments: Editors-in-Chief of Magazine: Olivia Mitchel and Catherine Silvestri
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Content Strategist- Viven Manning Head of Copyediting- Sophia Vahanvaty Head of Fact-checking-Ana Gorski Head of Infographics - Kian Nassre Head Illustrator- Blake Case Ethics Maven- Jack Cogen Circulation Manager- Tikloh Bruno Public Relations- Alyssa Romo Awards Coordinator- Lily Daniel Magazine Paginator- Lola McAllister
TRUMPVERSUS CLINTON Letter from the Editors: The Urban Legend selected two students to write endorsements of the two major parties' presidential candidates. These pieces were written by guest writers independent of this publication and their views do not necessarily reflect those of the Urban Legend. The mission of The Legend is to be a "vehicle of student freedom of expression and a public forum for the Urban School community", and allowing guest writers to express their views helps us better achieve our mission. We applaud Skylar and Latté for taking a risk in sharing their views, no matter how unpopular, with the entire community because these articles will hopefully create productive political dialogue. -Ian Shapiro and Zoe Meneghetti
Why I support Donald Trump by Latté Hutchinson guest writer
Why do I support Trump? First Trump is a very controversial candidate this election. He can say some demeaning things, and is easy to hate. However, I agree with many of his ideas. First, he does not bow down to so-called ‘political correctness’, defined as “the avoidance, often...taken to extremes, of forms of expression that are perceived to exclude… or insult...people,” according to Google. Disregarding the conventions of political correctness keeps dialogue open and does not censor topics of discussion just because one might feel offended or insulted. It is not productive to go around the world having only comfortable conversations. Secondly, I agree with his views on illegal immigration. According to the Department of Homeland Security office of Immigration Statistics, over 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. Census data on undocumented immigrants also reveals that 13.6 percent have committed other crimes during their tenure in the United States, including murder and kidnapping. The department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) estimates that there are more than 1.2 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records at large in the U.S. Trump has reasonable plans to fix our broken immigration system, such as putting up a wall to stop people from coming into the country illegally, similar to Israel’s border wall along the Green Line and Spain’s Melilla border fence. Even “Mañana”, one of Mexico’s largest newspapers, argues that a wall on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala is a necessity for border security. Additionally, Mr. Trump’s wife Melania had to go through the citizenship process herself, and I believe that this will make Trump want to make the legal citizenship process more accessible. Moreover, Trump’s idea of temporarily banning immigration from countries that are hotbeds of Islamic radicalism is a strategic way to battle www.urbanlegendnews.org
the ever-present threat of terrorism. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has explicitly advised “against all or all but essential travel,” to the city of Kabul, regions of Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, as well as other Middle Eastern countries due to the high threat of terrorism. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Morocco more than 80% of the respective Muslim populations favor making Sharia Law their official law. Impermanently withholding immigration from high-risk countries will ensure the safety of our own country because we will be able to take the time to more thoroughly perform security checks and develop better systems for vetting immigrants. Banning immigration to the US based on someone’s religion is clearly unconstitutional, however, if that person is immigrating from a high-risk country, they should be carefully checked and investigated. There have been too many innocent lives lost to Radical Islam, like in the attacks in Orlando and New York earlier this year. Trump wants to uphold our National security, and that I can get behind. Furthermore, I think that Trump will do a great job helping minorities due to the fact that conservative values call for equal opportunity and the freedom to better one’s life. Today, there are many laws that ensure equality of opportunity for all Americans regardless of their identities. People need to take personal responsibility for their own lives and take advantage of the opportunities given to them, and Trump will uphold that value of individual responsibility, which I have come to firmly favor due to my middle school experience. I went to a public middle school in West Oakland. Teachers were there to teach, supplies were there to use, and facilities were there for occupation. Yet, some of my classmates decided to throw away the potential within them. It frustrated me that they did not take charge of their edu-
cation. I listened, did my work, and graduated. I worked hard. Yet, despite my effort, most of my former classmates associated my success with my being half white, yet race had nothing to do with anyone’s level of academic performance. Those classmates exhibited no personal responsibility at school. Similarly, Trump isn’t scared to hold people accountable for their own failures. He and I believe in the power of the individual and understand that it is one’s own duty to make something out of oneself. The belief of the individual is an aspect of the foundation Trump builds his platform and policies upon. Everyone is given an equal opportunity to succeed, it is the path one chooses to walk that dictates if they will reach their goal or not. Though agreeing with some of Trump’s tactics is rare at Urban, I think it is important to stand up for what I believe in despite the social consequences. “If you want to be a real human being - a real woman, a real man - you cannot tolerate things which put you to indignation, to outrage. You must stand up. I always say to people, 'Look around; look at what makes you unhappy, what makes you furious, and then engage yourself in some action,’” says Stephane Hessel. I’m willing to be one of the few conservative voices at Urban because there are few others eager to be.
Why I'm with Her by Skylar Baker guest writer
Although I am not old enough to vote, I have and will continue to give my full support to Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 Presidential Election. When talking about why Clinton would be a good president, one will hear phrases like "she's the most qualified," or "she has the best plan." While these are good reasons, they lack the nuance that demonstrates why Clinton is the best presidential candidate for the United States. Since her first presidential campaign in 2008, I've viewed Clinton as someone who exemplifies the very things my family has raised me to value: female empowerment, generosity, open-mindedness, and moderation. Clinton has spent her career improving the lives of those who have been disenfranchised because of their gender, race, or other marginalized identities. From giving kids of lowincome families health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program to travelling to Beijing to speak at the UN’s World Conference on Women to advocate for women’s rights, Clinton has a proven track record of standing up for those who need it most. In the current election, Clinton has unapologetically made it clear that she gives her full support to the LGBT community as well as other groups she had un-
fortunately failed to give previously. As a vocal Hillary supporter, possibly the most frequent argument in opposition to her I hear is that she is untrustworthy. Many of her opponents and everyday detractors tend to bring up the attack on the American Embassy in Libya which occurred during her term as Secretary of State, in addition to her use of a personal email server as reason for why she is untrustworthy. However, Clinton has gone under the scrutiny of a Congressional Hearing for both of these, and neither time was she convicted nor found guilty of any crime or unlawful action. Most recently, Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns and has said that he is unable due to an audit by the IRS. The IRS declared this statement untrue. Clinton produced her tax returns without question; this alone demonstrates her higher level of trustworthiness. The most prominent factor that separates her from Donald Trump is her centrism, which has two advantages. Firstly, it makes her a stronger bipartisan candidate because she will not lean too far to either side of the political spectrum on many important issues, such as foreign and economic policy. In government, nothing can get passed without bipartisan cooperation; party tribalism has lead to the blocking of many liberal policies in the past. This can be seen in the recent congressional vote on gun control. A seemingly bipartisan bill that would prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms was blocked due to senators voting almost exclusively within party lines. Furthermore, my own views are neither strongly liberal nor conservative but they are in line with Hillary Clinton’s, and I trust that she allow our country to progress by working with the currently very divided congress. Her domestic policies have been developed with the intention of improving the lives of everyday Americans. From increasing the minimum wage to $12 dollars to supporting initiatives to create jobs, Clinton is a strong advocate for the people. Her foreign policy is rooted in these values. She will prioritize our country's safety, and vows to strengthen our relationship and support of regions such as Europe, East Asia, and Israel. I believe that having strong ties with these regions is critical for America’s well being as it promotes fair trade, economic growth and regional stability. For these reasons, Hillary Clinton is not only the candidate most representative of my values, but also the most intelligent and prepared.
Opinions October 2016
Preserving academic freedom within safe spaces
Discomfort is a universal experience: a state of emotional pain that leaves one unsettled, insecure and hurt. Unpleasant as it may be, I believe it’s necessary to face discomfort in order to develop both intellectually and socially. Everyday discomfort often arises unexpectedly, however, in an academic setting, it can sometimes be anticipated. This raises ethical questions that have lately provoked a contentious national dialogue, particularly on college campuses. To what extent should students be exposed to discomfort in the classroom? Is it appropriate or beneficial for students to be shielded from contentious material? Attempting to answer these questions without first addressing the inherent ambiguity behind key terms has proven an exercise in futility. Some of the most troubling and frequently misunderstood phrases in this debate include trigger warnings and safe spaces. Urban’s safe spaces typically manifest as environments in which all viewpoints are welcome and students are at liberty to stumble in their speech without fear of judgement. In contrast, a recent letter welcoming incoming freshmen to the University of Chicago denounces a different type of intellectual safe space, where students can “retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” The University’s concern is based on a perceived link between safe spaces and censorship. In his speech, Free Speech on Campus, Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago Law School explained, in this “era of political correctness... colleges and universities, afraid to offend their students, too often surrender academic freedom to charges of offense.” If outside Urban’s walls safe spaces are indeed used to avoid any discomfort that may arise due to differences, it is appropriate for the University of Chicago to do away with such a practice. Professor Stone sites evidence from a recent survey that “65 percent of all college students now say that it is unsafe for them to express unpopular views.” It is clear that many voices are not being heard. Safe spaces, though, should not necessarily be abolished, but rather reimagined to invite freeplease recycle
dom of speech and expression. Perhaps even more complex is the ethical dispute over trigger warnings. Greg Monfils (History and English Teacher) and Dan Matz (History Teacher) both view trigger warnings as an exercise of good sense on a teacher’s part. While certain subject matter such as rape or suicide may be more clearly associated with trauma or discomfort, a teacher cannot possibly be aware of all the various sensitivities students may have developed from their personal experiences. Nonetheless, Matz said, “I think I have a responsibility to at least try to anticipate those things (that may provoke an emotional response).” Similarly, when asked about the role of students in notifying teachers of their personal sensitivities, Monfils responded, “If I'm given no warning, it's still my responsibility to anticipate what might be traumatic for some.” At a place like Urban, this system generally works. The teachers are well aware of the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and values represented in the classroom and are prepared to respond to all types of reactions to material. Additionally, Urban teaches its students to engage in mature and intelligent discussions, even those that involve potentially disturbing subject matter. “At a school with more (dogmatic) teachers,” said Matz, “I’m not sure that kind of dialogue exists.” In a different type of academic environment, a trigger warning might be utilized as a means of protecting students. But isn’t there a difference between sheltering a student from trauma and retracting an invitation to a speaker on the basis of objections to his or her views, as has lately been a trend at colleges across the country? In his speech at the Howard University Commencement Ceremony on May 7, 2016, President Obama discouraged this practice, saying, “Don’t do that-no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths.” It may be the case that Urban and other high schools need to err on the side of caution regarding potentially disturbing speech. “We have a greater responsibility to protect students if only because they come in so young,” said Monfils. Even in a college setting, trigger warnings are sometimes very im-
portant in making sure all are prepared for difficult conversations and all voices are heard. “Sometimes knowing and having an opportunity to talk about and prepare for the content can be sufficient to help a student stay in the room,” said Matz. At the same time, however, there needs to be a balance between protecting young stu-
by Olivia Mitchel staff writer
dents and preparing them for a world where concern about other people’s sensibilities isn’t necessarily the norm.
Who are you helping? Imagine an Instagram picture of an Urban student surrounded by a bunch of small children in a third world country, the caption reads: “So thankful for this trip, these kids changed my life”. These service trips to exotic impoverished areas around the globe, also known as “voluntourism”, have become a popular way for the affluent of America to spend their summers: they give up the ocean view under a cabana to help out an underprivileged community. According to an article published in the New York Times, these trips and their supposed transformative properties have become so commonplace in high schoolers’ lives that “the running joke in admissions is the mission trip to Costa Rica to save the rainforest” said Ángel Pérez, Trinity College admissions officer. People in affluent communities want to help other people while experiencing another culture There is a Western ‘messiah complex’ which, according to Psychology Dictionary, is a belief that you are destined to save others. According to the independent consultant TRAM (Tourism Research and Marketing), in 2008, roughly 1.6 million people from the US spent between $1.7 billion and $2.6 billion on voluntourism activities. Voluntourism is not always just about wanting to help a community in need. For some, it’s about padding a college application, hoping to help themselves stand out in the sea of qualified applicants. I am not here to judge the motives of the trips, but rather to ask about the impact. Why should a group of high schoolers with little or no experience with physical labor be building a school? If your goals are truly altruistic, why not pay local laborers to do the work you would do? There are two actions you can take in relation to these
by Diego Lopez staff writer
service trips. Firstly, you can stop going on them or choose to go on cultural exchange programs instead. Secondly, you can research the organization you are volunteering with to ensure that they are really dedicated to helping the community in long run, not just giving you something to do during your summer. “Go and do cultural exchanges versus service trips”, said Director of Service Learning, Amy Argenal, “you can do a homestay… and if they are working on something, be able to partner and contribute.” These cultural exchanges are very similar to the popular voluntourism trips but these focus on learning about a new culture and are not a façade of helping out another nation's poor while in reality, having less altruistic goals. These trips still benefit impoverished areas because you would be staying with a family in a village and spending money - but instead of it going to an outside organization - it all goes to the place you stay. Cultural exchanges are very good at facilitating real connections with the community you visit. Jade Barnblatt(‘18), who went on a voluntourism trip to Fiji said she went,“because it was a homestay ... that was probably one of the biggest factors for me, because staying in someone’s house is super Americanized.” Barnblatt became close friends with one of the boys who she stated with and “whenever he goes to Nadi ... where there is electricity he will Facebook message me.” These cultural exchanges give everything that a service trip promises without the questionable “service”.
A look into the Urban School runner's mindset by Ana Gorski staff writer
“I swear to god I’ve run longer than 3.1 miles.” “Oh no is that a cramp?!” "What if I just stopped?" Sound familiar? Chances are that you are on the Urban Cross Country team. Running competitively requires being both physically and mentally fit. “Physical is a more important development than mental [while racing], but as you progress physically you have to start developing mental stamina. To tell yourself ‘yes I can do this’ and when you find yourself lagging, to be able to push on faster at that point--that’s mental,” said Bill Cirocco, the Urban Cross Country coach. Mental toughness is a term used in sports that describes the athlete’s mental capacity to continue working despite external conditions. James Loehr, a sports psychologist who created one of the first descriptions of mental toughness, proposed seven dimensions of mental toughness: “self-confidence, attention control, minimizing negative energy, increasing positive energy, maintaining motivation levels, attitude control, and visual and imagery control.” Many Urban Cross Country runners have attributed their success to their ability to stay mentally fit and positive throughout the race. Having an unshakeable belief in ability is critical in performing that some
elite runners practice cultivating a positive belief in their ability in their free time. Methods such as visualization and meditation curb anxiety and prepare runners for races. “I recommend athletes practice meditation and visualization skills on a daily basis by setting aside 1015 minutes each day. I ask that my athletes focus on positive images because negative images can create anxiety and tension that could hinder their performances. Positive images help to relax the mind and body, which can lead to enhanced performance,” said Dr. Kristin Keim, who has a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Clinical Sport/Performance Psychology. “Almost all of it [running] for me
How is that guy passing me?
is mental because you have to push yourself to the limit. Everybody’s bodies, although they are not all the same, theoretically can all do the same amount of work. It’s just if you can tell yourself that you can do it or not,” said Simone Alunan (‘20), who is in her first year of high school cross country. “Running is something that has helped me realize the benefits of pushing myself and really going literally the extra mile. That’s actually motivated me to push through when it’s really hard because I know what the feeling is like at the end. Knowing that feeling and being able to consistently have that feeling after races because I’ve had more as of this year has really helped me in the moment during races to really I am going to drop out.... I am going to drop out... NO NO NO I CAN’T THOUGH
You're almost there!
Urban girls Varsity Cross Country team at meet Oct. 20, 2016. Photo by Will Hoppin. Text in the bubbles are thoughts that anonymous members of the cross country team said run thourgh their head while running.
Turnout remains low for certain Urban School sports teams Fan turnout at Urban sporting events varies greatly depending on the sport. According to Athletic Director Joe Skiffer, teams like boys’ tennis, girls’ softball, and swimming typically have a low fan turnout. However, some Urban teams have recently won several tournaments and broken school records. In the 2015-2016 school year, boys’ varsity soccer won the Western Bay Counties League and the North Coast Section tournament, boys’ varsity basketball won BCL West and were NCS tournament semi-finalists, and boys’ lacrosse made it to the NCS tournament. Girls’ teams have also achieved recent successes, with girls’ varsity cross country making it to NCS and coming in 12th place at the state meet, girls’ varsity soccer winning BCL West and making it to the NCS tournament, and girls’ varsity basketball winning the BCL tournament. As more emphasis is placed on Urban sports through the construc-
tion of the Salkind Center and the emphasis on our teams’ recent successes during the admissions process, one might reasonably assume that more students attend Urban sporting events. While students have turned out in droves for Friday night soccer games, it is rare that even a single student fan shows up to a boys’ tennis match or a girls’ softball game. “The typical turnout is either just a few parents of the kids, and occasionally someone from Yearbook will come and take photos. That’s about the extent of the fanbase,” said Izak Sheinfield-Kandel (‘17), a player for The Urban School’s tennis team. Sheinfield-Kandel attributed the low turnout to a combination of factors. “First, the matches aren’t on campus, so people have to walk twenty minutes to go to them. The sport itself is not very entertaining at the level that we play it at. You can have a high school soccer match, a high school basketball game be enIllustration by Olivia Meehan, Asssistant Visuals Editor.
just push a little harder even though it may seem impossible,” said Lily Niehaus (‘18), a returning runner from last season and leading scorer for the girls varsity team. Although cross country is a demanding sport, running is a practice that many people find hard to do without. The repetitive motion of feet pounding against earth, a steady breath, and a clear mind are what keep runners loving the sport. Jonathan Howland, Dean of Faculty and English teacher at the Urban School, ran competitively from ages 35 to 45, and runs anywhere from two and a half to 14 miles everyday. Last year, he ran 350 days in a row and then stopped counting. “I think running has helped me be more supple, appreciative, openlunged and open-hearted. The hurt, strain, and challenge I've experienced running has led me to build a practice of yoga and 'opening.' The breath I need and appreciate while running, and the meditative space of the steady heartbeat has led me to take up (modest) meditation in seated/quiet form. Movement is awakening, for me, on every level – the mind, the heart, the feet, the cells,” said Howland in an email to the Urban Legend.
tertaining just because of competition and the sports themselves, but tennis, unless it’s being played at a high level, is really hard to watch,” he said. “A lot of our fan participation is parents, and occasionally teachers, but very rarely is it students,” said Stephan Ciulla (‘17), who had a similar experience playing baseball at Urban. Like Sheinfield-Kandel, Ciulla attributed the low turn to similar reasons. “One [of the reasons students do not come] is game time and the other is location. Location can vary, there aren’t a lot of fields near Urban, and those that are by Urban are difficult to get to after school. Our games are typically around 3:30, and we have to leave early from school, and it makes it difficult for students to come out to games,” said Ciulla. Exposure was also an issue some athletes pointed to. “There’s not a set place for people to sit down and cheer. I also think people aren’t as into tennis as they are into soccer because it’s not as advertised,” said Daniela Mortazavi (‘18), an Urban tennis player. Student-athletes were not very concerned about the low attendance, however. “It would effect me if there was literally no
by Colin Heath staff writer
one cheering, but because there’s people from other schools and our own team that cheer for us, it’s fine,” said Sophie Klein (‘18), a cross country runner. In the past, Student Committee and Urban Athletics Club have organized a taco truck at the boys and girls varsity doubleheader basketball game and passed out treats at Friday night soccer games. Sheinfield-Kandel mentioned that giving out food and promoting the event is a way to increase interest. “It wouldn’t be drastic, but I think if they offered a bunch of donuts or promoted it as a school event [more students would come]. University has big red Fridays, and they get people to come,” he said. Similarly, Ciulla believes that making traditions that involve the students will make the difference. “Other schools have something like a game at Oracle Arena, where you get a lot of people excited about certain sports...If we were able to have more formal venues for games there would be a higher level of excitement from the student body,” he said. Both students asserted that until Urban is able to build a culture that emphasizes sports more, the turnout will remain low. please recycle
San Francisco 49ers make headlines for off field controversy amidst defeat Upcoming sports events:
by Ian Shapiro staff writer
It was not a good off-season for the San Francisco 49ers. CG technology, a Las Vegas based betting and wagering technology firm, bets that the Niners will lose all 16 of their games by at least two points. This was a huge disappointment to fans who saw the Niners win the NFC title just four years ago. After a rough first season without longtime coach Jim Harbaugh, where the Niners went a pitiful 5-11, the franchise reorganized itself. The program hired former Philadelphia Eagles and University of Oregon coach, Chip Kelly, and fired coach Jim Tomsula who was widely blamed for the team’s woes. In 2015, the 49ers finished last in their division and were ranked 29th out of 32 in the ESPN end of season power rankings. However, the controversy for the 49ers lies not in their 2015 season disaster or bleak 2016 season, but rather in their off-field antics. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made national headlines in August when he chose to not stand for the national anthem in a preseason game in protest for unjustified police killings of African Americans in the United States. Kaepernick's protest spread within the National Football League and other professional and high school level sports, prompting demonstrations from players such as 49ers safety Eric Reid and multiple members of the Philadelphia Eagles.
In San Francisco, the entire Mission High School football team kneeled during the national anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick in an interview with the NFL network. His protest has sparked controversy and debate across the United States, including Urban’s hallways. In an online survey sent out on September 14th 2016 by the Urban Legend, 71 percent of the students surveyed supported Kaepernick's protest. On September 7th, 2016, the school hosted a forum on Kaepernick and the national anthem in the Saint Ignatius room, and a teacher and student panel featuring teachers Greg Monfils and Charisse Wu, and athletic director Joe Skiffer.
“I support [Kaepernick] to an extent,” explained Christopher Williams, the Outreach Coordinator for the admissions department. “I believe he is exercising his right, whatever that means … Colin Kaepernick is using his status to make a point and to solidify his stance, and the NFL is one of the easiest places to do this. The cameras show people standing, and his protest will be evident.” Outside of Urban, the support for Kaepernick is not as strong. According to a nationwide YouGov poll, 57 percent of Americans disapproved of the protest. An even higher number of whites–69 percent of them– disapproved of the protest. However, not all the off-field controversy lies within Kaepernick’s protest: tight end Bruce Miller was released by the 49ers on September 5th, 2016 after being arrested on seven different counts of felony assault, including assault with a deadly weapon at a hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. Longtime 49er and outside linebacker Aldon Smith was released in 2015 and picked up by the Raiders after his fifth arrest and third DUI in three years. So far this season, the 49ers are 1-4, with a victory over the Rams, with losses against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Panthers and Cowboys. Despite the low expectations, Niners fans remain faithful, and continue to sell out every game in Santa Clara.
Tuesday, 10/18: Volleyball vs University (Home) JV @ 4:45pm Varsity @ 6pm Soccer vs Bay (Home) JV @ 4pm Tennis vs Bay JV @ 3:30pm (Away) Varsity @ 3:30pm (Home) Wednesday, 10/19: Soccer vs Lick-Wilmerding JV @ 5:30pm (Away) Thursday, 10/20: Tennis vs Lick-Wilmerding JV @ 3:30 (Home) [look at Urban Athletics on website for more dates and events]
Illustrations by Blake Case
Increased interest in Urban volleyball creates Frosh-Soph team
by Zoe Meneghetti staff writer
Members of Urban's varsity volleyball team practice in the new Salkind Center Gymnasium Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Photo by Alyssa Romo
This year, there has been the biggest increase of girls volleyball players since Athletic Director and Boys Varsity Basketball coach Joe Skiffer has been at Urban. With 38 students showing up to tryouts, the Urban School was able to field not only full varsity and junior varsity teams, but also create a new freshman-sophomore team. The creation of the “frosh-soph” team is expected to add competitiveness to Urban’s volleyball program, one that has flailed in the past. Since the first day of tryouts on August 15, Urban Athletic Director Joe Skiffer knew that the creation of a freshman-sophomore team was manageable. With a whopping 129 freshman this year, 36 students more than the class of 2017, more student-athletes was to be expected. “With more girls in the program, I think it will add more competitiveness, which is healthy” said Skiffer. “I’m excited about the future of the program. It’s great to have so many kids involved,” said Assistant Head of Athletics and Varsity volleyball coach, Kali Hayes. The new frosh-soph team practices as much as JV and varsity, which is five days a week; excluding game days. The demanding game and practice schedule contributes to the competitive atmosphere of the team. “Despite being a frosh-soph team, our coaches make the point that playing time is not equal,” said player Somerset Miles Dwyer (‘20).
According to Miles Dwyer, playing time is determined by “both physical and mental attendance, and skill level.” Perhaps this competitive atmosphere speaks to the undefeated record that the team has held thus far in the season. However, the frosh-soph team is not all work and no play. Though technically a freshman-sophomore team, the team is built with 12 freshman. “I really enjoy it [the frosh-soph team]... It has been a great way to meet new people,” said Asante Spenter (‘20). “I’m very glad they [Urban] made a frosh team. There are more options for people to try new things,” said team member Remy Noveshen (‘20). With the growing number of Urban students, positive reaction from the new frosh-soph team, and cuts that happen in almost every Urban sport, one may wonder if Urban will start creating more teams for each sport. According to Skiffer, for any sport that plays and practices on the Urban campus, Urban will most likely create a new team. This could apply for fencing and girls basketball, as the boys basketball program already fields three teams. Because of the growing number of Urban students, and cuts that happen in almost every Urban sport, positive reactions from the new frosh-soph team may lead to more Blues teams in Urban’s future.
Hacks of haight
by Olivia DiNapoli
As I enter my fourth year at Urban, I notice those who are just beginning. During my years, I have become a seasoned Haight street hacker, and I wish to pass on my knowledge. Enjoy! 1. Calling into “Hippie Thai” and ordering at the beginning of lunch allows you to skip the line and spend less time waiting around for food. More time for lunch time clubs and forums! 2. The corner store on Masonic and Haight sells a variety of popsicles for $1 or less. Perfect for sunny afternoon break in the garden. 3. When you buy your first Gus' sandwich, ask your cashier for a sandwich card and make sure to always keep it in your wallet. 4. There’s a mediation room in the back of “The Love of Ganesha”, a store between Clayton and Ashbury, free to use. 5. Stop into one of the thrift stores on Haight St. and buy a cheap scarf on a cold day!
by Catherine Silvestri
Meet the Frosh
Name: Thibault Jamey Middle School: San Francisco School Favorite thing about Urban so far: Freedom Fun fact about him: Rides horses Spirit animal: Elk
Name: Yudi Feng School: San Francisco Friends School Why did you come to Urban: Community Fun fact about her: Lived in China for a year Favorite food: Peaches Spirit animal: Sloth
Name: Trip Gorman Middle school: Stuart Hall School for Boys Fun fact about him: used to live in London If he could wear one color for the rest of his life: khaki Spirit animal: hedgehog
Name: Laura Winoker Middle school: Live Oak School Favorite thing about Urban so far: the art What is your spirit animal: Fat Amy If she could wear one color for the rest of her life: denim
Name: Ford Leary Middle school: Live Oak School Why he came to Urban: best community Favorite food: carne asada burrito Spirit animal: A hawk
Name: Robert Ciulla Middle school: San Francisco Friends School Favorite thing so far about Urban: Math class Fun fact about him: Learned to ride a bike at 3 years old
Name: Ben Nguyen Middle School: Bessie Carmichael Elementary School Fun fact about him: he was born in Vietnam Spirit animal: chinchilla
Name: Megan Yang Middle School: Marin Montessori School Favorite thing about Urban so far: Restaurants on Haight Fun fact about her: Listens to vinyl Spirit animal: Flying squirrel
Name: Nathan Storey Middle School: Town School for Boys Fun fact about him: plays basketball Favorite food: sushi Favorite thing so far about Urban: The Salkind Center