Asbestos: Can CVU Breathe Safely? (yes!)

Mr. Bennett Townley

As reported in the Bennington Banner, a school in Shaftsbury, Vermont almost got a delayed start in August 2017 due to the discovery of asbestos in pipes during a renovation of the heating ventilation and air conditioning system or HVAC for short.

If a school in Shaftsbury, Vermont had asbestos, could there still be any asbestos remaining at the CVU High School in Hinesburg, Vermont?

According to Kurt Proulx, A Certified Asbestos Trainer from 1993-2000 and Property Service Manager for Champlain Valley School District, asbestos is a type of mineral that has a wide range of uses.  The most common usage of asbestos is in fire retardants and insulations. Asbestos was discovered thousands of years ago by the Romans. The Romans wove asbestos fibers into tablecloths, so they were easy to clean and would not burn. After a meal, the dinner host would simply set the tablecloth on fire to burn off crumbs!  It wasn’t until the late 1800s until asbestos was being used widely in buildings, ships, and other structures.

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“Pipes with Asbestos Joints” – Courtesy of Kurt Proulx.

Proulx has three massive four-inch thick three-ring binders titled, “Asbestos Management Procedures in Champlain Valley Union High School”.  

Proulx made a point that there are no current issues with asbestos in the CVU Building.  

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CVU Gathers Garments for Clothing Swap

Ms. Rayona Silverman

On Thursday, November 29, 2018, CVU hosted its first successful free clothing swap during school hours in the mini gym. The purpose of the swap was to allow others to share used clothing and gain access to clothes they may need, as well as encourage the reuse of resources. Who wouldn’t want to walk out of a room with free, gently used or brand new clothes, normally retailing at a high price when bought new? Not many would pass up on that offer.

“It was a big hit for faculty and kids,” said Dana Poulsen, Wellness Teacher in the Snelling Core at CVU. “It did what we wanted it to do, reached everyone and not just those who need it. In terms of the clothing quality, there was a wide range, from very expensive well-named clothes, such as Patagonia, to nursing scrubs, [and] formal attire to casual leggings.” Students and faculty were able to locate clothes they needed for free. By not charging money for the clothes, everyone was able to have access to the articles of clothing laid out across the tables.

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Image from Teen Vogue

Poulsen initially proposed the idea to Robin Lauzon, the Fairbanks and Chittenden House Director at CVU, who then put the idea to a group who figured out the details and gathered up donations for the swap.

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Vaping: a total Drag at CVU

Ms. Rayona Silverman

 HINESBURG VT– Over the past year, there has been a drastic rise in the number of students who are vaping on school grounds, as a result of the new phenomenon known as the ‘Juul.’

 Taking hits on the bus, taking drags in the bathrooms; these are now common phrases used around CVU when referencing where vaping occurs. Unlike smoking cigarettes, vaping flavors range from neutral to bubble gum, cremes, and cucumber. As a result, teens are intrigued.

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Image from Partnership for a Drug-free America

“When people see others doing something, they are naturally curious. There is this internal pressure with wanting to fit in within social groups,” said Tim Trevithick, Student’s Assistance Program Counselor at CVU. “This trend has come on extremely fast and hits all of the social groups. I don’t see the trend dying down anytime soon at the moment.”

Trevithick mentioned that it is difficult to gather specific data on just how many high school students are currently vaping or have vaped in the past. “Current data does not represent correctly what is happening now, as it is such a fast trend.” Trevithick voiced his concern regarding long term effects, mentioning the lack of studies that have been done and the lengthy time period that is required to gather evidence.

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Nellie Dawson’s Road to CVU

Mr. Isaiah Lawlor

Nellie Dawson is a new geometry and trigonometry teacher in the math department at CVU. To get to know her more, let’s start with how Nellie, a young woman from Western Massachusetts, knew she wanted to spend her life here in Vermont even before the beginning of her junior year of high school. An avid skier, she came to Vermont on a college tour with her older brother. Luckily for UVM, Nellie chose to attend (even though her brother did not), thus beginning Nellie’s pursuit of a teaching career here in Vermont.

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Image courtesy of Carol Fox

After graduating with her teaching degree in mathematics from UVM, Nellie got a job at Lamoille Valley High School. For two years, Nellie gained experience in teaching, finding that there is a large disconnect between proficient math students who enjoy mathematics and those who see math as a waste of time. “They’re stuck in the same class,” said Nellie,  who later admitted that one of a teacher’s great challenges is to be able to connect with different types of students and their various learning styles.

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The Kevin Reill Memorial Basketball Tournament: A Reill Good Time

Mr. Caleb Martin

The annual Kevin Reill Memorial Basketball Tournament was held this year on Friday, December 14th at CVU, with teams from across the state participating in the tournament to help them jump into their season with strong competition.

Teams from CVU, Burr and Burton Academy, North Country Union High School, and Lyndon Institute vied to take home a win. Four games were played for both the girls’ and the boys’ teams. CVU won both of the tournaments over Burr and Burton in the finals.

Beloved Athletic Director, Kevin Reill

The Kevin Reill Memorial Basketball Tournament is more than a way for teams to prepare for the season. It is about commemorating Reill and the work that he did for CVU and youth sports statewide. Reill was the Athletics Director at CVU for 28 years before passing away in 2014.

The tournament is a way to remember Reill and what he stood for as a person. Dan Shepardson, a longtime friend and colleague, states that “Kevin was an advocate for co-curricular, and in charge of increasing the quality of them.” Reill is remembered for his dedication to the needs of kids. He also strongly supported all students to be involved in co-curriculars at all levels from varsity to intramural.

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CVU Students Participate in Cultivating Global Kindness

Ms. Haley Vespa

Since 2008, the CVU art community has participated in the Memory Project, giving back to the world in just one small step through small acts of kindness.

According to the organization’s website, the Memory Project is a charitable non-profit that encourages teachers, students, and solo artists to participate in creating portraits for youth all across the world who have faced significant challenges such as abuse, violence, war, poverty, neglect,  and loss of family. “Our participants create these portraits to help children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well-being, and to provide a special childhood memory in the future.”

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The portraits that participants create for children in traumatic life situations are meant to encourage self-worth, as well as let them know others see them and their struggles.

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The Laramie Project sets out to “Erase Hate”

Ms. Greta Powers

On October 6th, 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. Six days later, he passed away due to head injuries, and the story shook the country for a big reason: not only did people find the murder itself horrific, but horrific turned to devastating when people learned Shepard was killed because he was gay. Twenty years later, the story continues to leave a mark, as it’s hard to forget what happened in the small town of Laramie. This year for the spring play, CVU decided to put on The Laramie Project, a show that depicts the aftermath of the death of Matthew Shepard.

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Matthew Shepard. Image from the BBC

The play was created by The Tectonic Theater Project, and the script is verbatim theatre: it’s crafted from actual interviews, journal entries, and news reports from after Shepard’s death. The authenticity of the script of the play puts audience members right into the story, thus making it more moving.

The cast is comprised of an ensemble, and each member plays multiple characters, which along with the structure of the script, creative blocking, and use of projections, provide a unique representation of the event. Candy Padula, director of the play, states, “I was alive when this incident happened and I remember the world wide reaction to the beating and murder of this young University of Wyoming Student, Matthew Shepard, because he was gay.  The reaction was enormous.” The Laramie Project allows for both those who remember and those who don’t remember the event to feel its message and importance through the stage.

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Vermont Nurses Negotiate Better Pay

Ms. Amber Robert

Courtesy of Valley News

Courtesy of Valley News

BURLINGTON, VT — After long months of negotiations, the University of Vermont Medical Center and the UVMMC Nurse’s Union reached a tentative contract agreement on Thursday, September 20th, 2018.

Earlier this year, many of the UVMMC nurses went on a two day strike. The union wanted a 24% increase over three years, but the hospital only offered a 13% increase (according to WCAX). The medical center and the Nurse’s Union have settled on a 16% wage increase over three years.

One UVMMC ICU nurse, Rachel Robert, commented on the working conditions vs. salaries. “For over a year now we’re constantly being called in for overtime and extra hours because there aren’t enough nurses staffed for the unit. We are constantly cycling through staff, which creates safety issues for the patients. It is very sad to see nurses that have been here for 20+ years leaving because they aren’t earning enough to retire on schedule.”

The average nursing salary in Vermont is $65,000 according to the Nurse Salary Guide. This salary is frustrating when compared to surrounding states. Massachusetts’ average nursing salary is $85,000. New York is $83,000. New Hampshire is $70,000. And that’s just in the North East. States such as California have an average nursing salary of over $100,000.

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Amnesty International Advocates Locally, Sees Success Globally

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

Amnesty is one of CVUs most established clubs, working in tandem with the international organization Amnesty International, whose central mission is to combat human rights violations globally. From events such as Write for Rights, where students write letters to foreign or domestic leaders about injustice, and the annual Eastern Regional Conference in Boston, Amnesty gives students a platform to create genuine change.

Katherine Riley, CVU Amnesty Advisor for the past 19 years, is a passionate advocate for Amnesty and its goals. “The mission as a whole is to bring to light social injustices, human rights abuses around the world,” she explained. She is emphatic about the necessity of high schoolers involvement in global issues, stating, “at the highschool level there’s an opportunity to raise awareness about injustice and also bring to light the reality for students that their actions can make a difference.” Due to its connection to the larger organization, the goals of the individual branch can be realized by joint forces globally, giving students the satisfaction of inciting real and genuine change.

Image Courtesy of Amnesty International

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CVU Looks to Hire New School Resource Officer

Mr. Sean Garey

In recent years gun violence in schools has become too common. Parents, teachers, lawmakers, and students are all demanding change. They all want safer schools. One of the methods being used to achieve this goal is a School Resource Officer (SRO).

After recent tragedies in schools across America, there has been talk of CVU hiring an SRO. An SRO is a career law enforcement officer with sworn authority. They are deployed by an employing police department or agency in a community-oriented policing assignment, to work in collaboration with one or more schools. According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, only “42 percent of public schools reported that they had at least one [School Resource Officer] present at least one day a week.” Some people ask if it is necessary for CVU to have an SRO. “NASRO recommends that every school have at least one carefully selected, specially trained school resource officer.”

Adam Bunting, principal of CVU, said the main role of an SRO in CVU would first be, “[To] build connections with students. The second would be to serve on student support teams.” An SRO will be just another connection students can have in school. The SRO will also be able to help students with problems outside of school.

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Stress: Turn and Face the Strain

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

 Life is full of stressors, ranging from more traumatic sources of stress such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness, to everyday stressors such as missing a bus or arguing with your significant other.

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Image from Blue Diamond Gallery

 American Psychological Association’s annual stress report sheds light on the stress that the people around us are feeling. The report lists Generation Z, roughly anyone born after 2000, as the second most stressed generation. Teen stress is often underestimated by adults, as most teens don’t have to manage the responsibilities of adults, such as paying rent or supporting a family. Studies, like this stress report, however, help to prove that teen stress is higher than it has ever been.

It’s no secret that many CVU students are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis, all at varying levels. “Stress is a natural fight or flight response that people need,” school nurse Megan Trevithick says. “If school wasn’t stressful we wouldn’t be motivated. It’s all good practice”.

While this is true, there are many cases in which the stress of school can impact a student’s ability to learn. “If you’re emotional then you shut down. You’re not processing and absorbing information. You get stressed because you don’t understand what is going on. It becomes a cycle,” Trevithick continues. This negative cycle seems to be a reality for many CVU students.

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RISE Looks to Elevate Learning in June

 Mr. Caleb Martin

Hinesburg VT — For two weeks at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, CVU students will not be having traditional classes. Instead, they will be participating in a program called “RISE,” which consists of teacher-run activities that students may not have access to inside or outside of their regular classes.

Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 9.49.57 AMRISE (Reflective Interest-based Student Experiences) is a newly implemented program at CVU as of 2018. Carly Rivard, the personal learning coordinator at CVU, claims that RISE is very much needed, “Based on the research [taken over the past two years] that Peter [Langela] and Abbie [Bowker] conducted as part of their Rowland Foundation work, as well as the current understanding of what jobs and careers will look like for current students, it is clear that students need a set of skills that are not always practiced regularly in the more conventional school system. Students also need more time to take low stake risks that allow them to discover and develop interests, core values, and [their own] purpose. RISE is one way to provide more opportunities for students to use their voice to achieve their own personal goals.

The data collected by the Rowland Foundation found that, according to Langella, the majority of CVU students do not feel that they possess the freedom to choose what they study in class. CVU faculty saw this information and used it as a catalyst to fill the void left in many of its students academic aspirations. Langella shared how he thinks RISE can be helpful to students. “Students can use RISE to explore a topic of interest that you are curious about, or you can use it to further your understanding of a topic you already have experience in.”

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Target Misses the Mark

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

Vermont is a state that is known for it’s beautiful scenery, endless outdoor adventures, and locally produced farm products. It is without a doubt a gorgeous place to live, and one that many residents are proud to call their home. However, our green mountain state has always lacked the commercial society that has grown considerably throughout the world. Many people feel suffocated by the small town feel and enjoy the journey to the next state over for a shopping mall with enough stores to satisfy even the casual shopper. It is for this reason that the new Target that opened in the University Mall on October 21st, 2018 was such a huge deal.

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Target is known for its versatility and universality. It has things to interest anyone from the pre-teen and the young mother to even the great grandfather. The buzz had started even before a date was set for opening, but shockingly following the autumn grand opening, many locals were underwhelmed.

We waited a long time for Target to come to Vermont,” said “Kacey” on Facebook, “but so far I’m disappointed. There seems to be a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything.  And I do not understand at all why you would take up so much space of this small store with food!! There is a Hannaford, Trader Joe’s and Healthy Living surrounding Target.” It is true that the University Mall nearly shares a parking lot with Hannaford and if you prefer more niche items, Healthy Living and Trader Joe’s have you covered. It seems highly unnecessary to include a grocery section in this already cramped Target.

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Behind The (Green)screen: A Look into CVU Student Council News

Ms. Elena Crites

Every-other Tuesday at 10:00 am, CVU Student Body Co-President and Student Council News Anchor, Nicole Eaton, is hard at work. Along with notorious CVU AV expert Gary Lambert, Nicole produces bi-weekly news segments in order to inform the student body on the goings-on of the CVU community.

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Nicole Eaton rocking the SCN anchor spot (and cross-promoting CVU Basketball)

 This is Nicole’s first year anchoring, and she was selected not only due to her Student Council position but also because of her strong interest in broadcasting and her experiences within the field. She says that while filming this year’s welcome video, she talked with Gary regarding her college plans to study communications as well as her experiences during an internship she had with FOX 44 and ABC Local 22.

The CVU anchor position was still yet to be filled, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. “ I [love anchoring the SCN], just because this summer, when I was watching the anchors for the FOX 44 and ABC Local 22, it was really inspiring, and I didn’t really get a chance to actually practice the skills that I was seeing them use… [Now] I’m using [those] skills and it’s fun that people get to see me and that I get to see myself do something that I want to do in the future.” For Nicole, anchoring is not only an enjoyable extra-curricular activity, but also a great addition to the resume of a future communications major.

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This Feature About Censorship Has Not Been Censored.

Ms. Alexandra Anderson 

The United States has been sculpted by the press. The truth cuts through the clouds of illusions and misconceptions, and provides the necessary clarity in the midst of national and global confusion. School publications are incubators for these writers, teaching skills, ethics and providing first-hand experience. However, a debate has been sparked between administrators and journalists: does a school administration have the right to censor student reporters.

Justin Chapman, the Advisor for the Champlain Valley Chronicle, is strongly opposed to the practice of censorship. He has often preached the necessity for freedom of press, emphasising its relevance inside and out of CVU. “We have to pursue the truth,” he said, emphatic and passionate, “[censorship] is somebody imposing their values on somebody else.” He cites issues such as libraries banning books, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) imposing “Hayes Code,” a series of provisions that banned sensitive material from it’s screenplays. “You have to allow for the discussion rather than stifle it,” he asserted.

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Chapman has been associated with the paper since the early 2000’s, and has commented on the environment of respect here at CVU for its student journalists. “[Journalists] have a lot of freedom and support,” he commented, emphasising the largely civil relationship between CVU’s administration and the press.

The principal of CVU, Adam Bunting, has accentuated the necessity for freedom of press, citing it as both a school and national concern. “Journalism and the press are one of the key processes in a democratic system, [we need] truth opposed to sensationalism,” he insisted.

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Making a Difference by Munching: Cafe for a Cause

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith

Yummy! Nothing tastes sweeter than being able to make a difference in a furry friend’s life… Except for doing it while eating a delicious waffle from the CVU Cafe! Every year, Leo LaForce and the CVU Student Council team up to set up Cafe for a Cause, where the profits of all purchases at the cafeteria for one day go to a certain charity. There is also a raffle managed by Student Council and this year there was a donation table as well. This year, the charity was the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

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Photo by Elyse Martin-Smith

Cafe for a Cause has been an annual CVU tradition since 2004 or 2005. Leo LaForce, head of the CVU Cafe, has worked very hard to make this a successful event at CVU to give back. “I’ve worked in restaurants my entire life, which is always for profit… so there has really never been an opportunity,” says LaForce. His idea for this contrasts his past work, so he turned to his core values to gain inspiration for this event. “I’ve always felt people should give to the community, or give back in some way”

One thing that makes this event possible is the support of the community, which became apparent when LaForce approached the Chief Operating Officer for the CVSD district, proposing the idea. “He said ‘go for it!’” LaForce recalls. The Cafe relies on donations to make this possible, which makes community involvement even more valuable.

 This year, the Humane Society was chosen by Leo LaForce as this year’s lucky charity. Some years, like last year, it is selected by the CVU Student Council. Last year, the profit was actually split between the Richmond and Hinesburg Food Shelters. However, this year, the Chittenden Humane Society was the sole organization receiving profits. The mission statement of the Humane Society is “to foster compassionate treatment of animals and prevent animal suffering; to strengthen the human-animal bond; and to further the cause of responsible animal ownership through education and public awareness,” according to their website.  I mean, who doesn’t love helping animals find a forever home or helping provide them with proper healthcare?

LaForce felt this was a really great fit for this year’s donations. “It’s not just helping animals; it’s helping people! Everyone knows how important a pet is to them.” It is also very local, which some people may not know. The Chittenden Humane Society, although the same organization, is not directly affiliated with the National Humane Society in the realm of donations. “They have to raise money for what they do for their own individual charity,” Leo comments, highlighting the importance of helping the local strands of the larger organization.

 Cafe for a Cause can help make a significant difference for whatever charity is chosen that year since it raises a lot of necessary funds. According to Leo LaForce, “We raised $347 through Raffle sales and $7,403 through Cafe sales to total $7,750 dollars.” Considering the current student enrollment, there was a good turnout. “Out of 1308 students we served 357 breakfast meals (27%) and 774 lunch meals (almost 60%)” and “out of 300 adults we served 38 breakfast meals (almost 13%) and 75 Lunch meals (25%),” Leo LaForce mentioned in a school-wide email. These numbers are impressive in comparison to some recent years, and it can significantly help the Humane Society.

Putting on such a large event requires the support of many people and groups. Student Council helped to put together the morning waffle bar for Cafe for a Cause and assembled a large raffle. The raffle included prizes ranging from a FitBit to a french press, all due to generous donations from many businesses. Jessica Ke really lead this project and expertly organized the student aspect of this event. Her efforts were greatly appreciated this year in helping it run smoothly.

Although this event was a success, there is always room for improvement. Andre LaChance has consistently assisted with organizing students, as well as the critique of the event so that it can run more smoothly next year. This is extremely helpful in many ways. Compared to last year, there was a significantly higher profit this year, showing that things are already improving. Also, many a variety of new local businesses donated products to the raffle, creating new bonds within the community.

Overall, Cafe for a Cause was very successful this year, and a great idea that has been well refined at CVU. Simply by eating some delicious tortellini or enjoying a cup of coffee, the lives of precious pets are improved. Just in time for “giving season” and CVU’s Attitude for Gratitude Week, this event furthers the idea of giving and gratitude. Leo LaForce said his “favorite part is seeing the amount of support from the CVU community, the amount of students that come in, the amount of adults that come through, and the amount of joy they seem to be taking in that event.” He was very grateful for everyone who helped out with this event. He was also able to spread the kindness.

LaForce said that another one of the most rewarding parts of this is “the joy we see them experience and seeing what it can do.” With this in mind, take this as inspiration to spread a generous and gracious mentality like this event does. Finally, remember to look out for Cafe for a Cause at CVU in future years!

Interested in the cause? Visit the Chittenden Humane Society webpage at the link below!

https://www.chittendenhumane.org/

 

Good Morning, Sunshine! Nordic Morning Workouts with Coach King

Ms. Talia Loiter

Morning Workouts with Coach King

Every Monday morning in the CVU fitness center, King Miln can be found leading a group of students in a strength workout. He decided along with fellow Nordic Ski coach, Sarah Strack, to make use of the extra hour on late start days at CVU for strength training.

 One skier, Celia Cote, 15, from Williston, says she wants to improve her core and upper body strength since “those are important for skiing and I don’t always work on that during [the off season].” Another skier, Geneva Cote, agrees that she needs more upper body and core strength because she “doesn’t really work on them on [her] own” and they are “really important for Nordic.” Miln says that 50% of the skate ski motion is upper body because you need your arms to push just as much as you need legs.

Miln says that the workout is tailored specifically for Nordic Skiers. “[These workouts] build less injuries, more endurance, and more speed for the ski season.” He says that the coaches work together to pull different types of exercises from NENSA, the New England Nordic Ski Association, and the US Ski Team, to create a circuit of moves that help skiers build muscles that are most important for the sport. “We’re trying to do more upper body, because that’s where [the team] is weakest in, guys and girls.”

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Video Feature: Library Upgrades

Mr. Cole Otley

For the Library, Change is Constant and Connections are Consistent

The CVU library is a place students come to study, socialize, and collaborate with one another. “[It] is a place where people can connect,” said Peter Langella, a CVU librarian. “Students can connect with the school, with other classmates, and with themselves.” Though it may not seem like it at first to many, there is a lot more that goes into keeping the library such a great place. The CVU library is constantly adapting in order to fulfill the needs of the entire student body.

Over the past couple of years, the changes to the library have been noticeable. Whether it be the new rooms in the back or the new tables in the front, the library continues to keep people guessing with refreshing new layouts. “The changing environment of the library makes the learning environment better,” Langella says. “I’ve read some studies that claim people’s brains function better in different environments, and it’s different for every person.”

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Racial Alliance Committee Forms to Raise Consciousness

Ms. Greta Powers

There’s a new club at CVU with the goal of addressing racism. It’s called Racial Alliance Committee, and is led by CVU’s Akuch Dau, Page Thibault, Katelyn Wong, and Prince Yodishembo.

The committee started holding official meetings a few weeks ago, and its main purpose is to raise awareness and educate others about race. Thibault says, “RAC is all about bringing race to the consciousness of CVU, because I think race goes unspoken about and it’s unaddressed in our curriculum as well as our CVU culture.”

Thibault’s purpose for the club is what initially sparked her intent for co-founding the committee. She states that last school year she felt very impassioned about recognizing Black History Month at CVU. She got some momentum with Adam Bunting and Rahn Fleming regarding education about race, and with that momentum she got students from Montpelier High School to come to CVU and give an assembly.

At that time there was an attempt at starting a Racial Alliance Committee at CVU, but according to Thibault, it didn’t work out so well due to a lack of leadership. This year, however, Thibault was determined to keep the ball rolling, and started up RAC for a fresh start.

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One of the RAC posters around CVU

Katelyn Wong joined the original group, who also provided a clear purpose for RAC. She expressed her feelings on how in today’s current political climate a lot of unacceptable things are happening  that shouldn’t be allowed. “Our mission or movement is to talk about those things with people and to start the conversation because I think that when something is uncomfortable people laugh it off and [say] ‘Oh it doesn’t happen’. I think it’s OK to be uncomfortable with these things because they’re really hard.”

Thibault also addresses the importance of RAC in connection to the majority of white students at CVU. “CVU is a great social justice community but I think that race is often left out of the conversation. You could point that to [being] such a white school, such a white state, but I think regardless it’s really important to bring it up.” Thibault also emphasizes the importance of the club creating a safe space for those of color and anyone wanting to express their feelings about race.

 

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Gender Equity Club gets New Advisor

Ms. Amber Robert

HINESBURG, VT — The Department of Labor states, “The proportion of women with college degrees in the labor force has almost quadrupled since 1970. More than 40 percent of women in the labor force had college degrees in 2016, compared with 11 percent in 1970.” On Wednesday, September 19th, Kathleen Gibbs announced her new role as advisor for the CVU Gender Equity Club.

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Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Gibbs shares, “As a mother of a fifteen year old daughter, I clearly have a personal investment in this issue. I want her to have every opportunity in school, in life to grow into a confident, happy, self-reliant individual.

Ms. Gibbs, herself, has taken advantage of her opportunities. She went to the University of Vermont for a degree in English. In her junior year of college, she attended the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Gender equity is generally perceived as being a “women’s issue.” However, Ms. Gibbs has a goal to focus on the issues facing men such as, “How do young men learn to be good fathers?  What is it like to be a young man growing up in the ME TOO era? How is education failing boys today?” Gibbs hopes that male students will want to educate themselves about the issues facing women today.

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CVU students, like Kristin Arles have similar goals to Ms. Gibbs, “My goal for the club this year is to educate CVU on how gender inequalities are still a pressing issue worldwide, not just something of the past, and how deep-rooted these issues are.” In addition, Arles hopes to “lessen the tension in the air surrounding topics such as feminism.”

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Early Decision: A Faustian Bargain?

Ms. Elena Crites

The deadline is coming.  The pressure is on. As if college itself isn’t daunting enough, how about early decision? Early decision is a binding college choice. This means that if you are accepted, you’re going. With early decision, students have to apply significantly earlier than the non-binding regular decision, as well as decide exactly which college they want to go to. Early decision requires quite a lot of certainty, and requires students to meet early application deadlines, but the rewards can be significant. It’s like signing a blood oath. But it’s worth it.

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Early decision usually requires applicants to submit their application by November 1, as opposed to regular decision deadlines that usually fall somewhere from December-February. There are three possible responses to an early decision application. Accepted, deferred, or denied. When an applicant is deferred, this means that the school they applied to liked their application, but before admitting the student, they’d like to see how the applicant compares to students applying regular decision. In the case that an applicant is either deferred or denied, this early response allows them time to complete and update a new application to submit to other schools during the regular decision process. For those who are accepted, they have a set college plan months before their peers, giving them some time for some much-needed rest.

Early decision has also proven itself to be a pretty elitist process. For students who are accepted early to a college and bound by their decision, they are unable to compare financial aid between multiple colleges. This ends up preventing quite a lot of students from partaking in the ED process. Naomi Williams, Chittenden Guidance Counselor, says that “while [early decision] is a great option for many students, it is a huge decision that students typically make with their families.  Since applying ED is a binding agreement and [applicants] will not be able to compare financial aid offers from multiple colleges, it is important that these factors are considered.” Most schools will allow a student to back out of the binding contract if they truly don’t receive enough financial aid, but this still leads to a missed opportunity for the student to apply ED to another school that may have provided them with enough support.

So what’s the big whoop?

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Young Voters May Turn Political Tides

Ms. Talia Loiter

During the 2016 presidential election, CNN reported that only 1/2 of the young people in the US voted. They estimated that 13 million of the 18-29 year olds who voted, chose Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and only 9 million voted for Trump. That means that a large majority of the younger population voted Democratic, or simply voted against the Republican Candidate, Donald Trump. For millennials (aged 18-34), most general elections also tend to sway towards majority liberal with 49% voting Clinton and only 28% Trump, as reported by CIRCLE (The Center For Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).

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So what will happen when more young people start to come of age? Today, 68% of  young voters identify as independent or liberal, according to the Pew Research Center, and even more are turning 18 just in time for the next presidential election in November of 2020.

The independent group has the ability to swing elections during close calls. RealClear Politics,  a Chicago-based political news and polling data aggregator, asserts that the party that wins independents will likely win the House majority. Capturing these non-affiliated voters (neither Democratic or Republican) is often essential to winning a swing district (which may have enough electoral college votes to push the election over the edge).

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Female Superhero Films Take Flight

Ms. Elena Crites

Over the past decade, big screen adaptations of favorite comic book characters have dominated the theaters. The rising popularity of superhero films has left many viewers entertained and many production companies with pockets full of cash. Hollywood has become more and more invested in various superhero franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose first movie, Iron Man, came out in 2008. So why was it that Wonder Woman, the first successful superhero movie featuring a woman hero, came out just last year?

Other than 2017’s Wonder Woman, it seems that every film made by industry leaders Marvel and DC Comics that have featured a female hero, such as Catwoman (2004), Elektra (2005), or even Supergirl (1984) were underwhelming. Not only did they tank in the box office with totals of $82.1 million, $56.7 million, and $15.3 million respectively, but they also received terrible reviews with scores of 9%, 10%, and 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. “…My belief was always that they didn’t work, not because they were female-led stories,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in an interview with Entertainment Weekly for the upcoming film Captain Marvel, “They didn’t work because they were not particularly good movies.”

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“Leaf Peepers” Jaunt to Vermont for Fall Foliage

Mr. Zachary Hark

Hinesburg, VT — Fall time in the Green Mountains is a special time. Spectators from all across the world are drawn to Vermont to catch the vibrant colors of fall.

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Image courtesy of Zachary Hark

This year’s foliage is even better than people believed. The Weather Channel came out with an article on October 4th, 2018 by Linda Lam, a Weather Channel meteorologist, about a weather pattern that caused warmth in the east and snow in the west. Lam said, “these weather changes have impacted fall foliage.”

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