The ultimate truth is that kids don’t want to go to school just to sit inside in a dark classroom all day. Most American schools follow the same model where the day is split into blocks of class, with a small break for lunch, and bells telling students when it’s time to move on. This is an incredibly outdated system left over from the Industrial Revolution when rapidly growing factories needed a way to control the large amount of workers moving through their facilities. Most class schedules are designed without regard to the multifaceted needs of a student today.
Students need a schedule and a space to learn that helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. A large part of this is getting outside and moving around. An experiment by the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at the Nippon Medical School found that students who were sent into the forest for two nights (know as forest bathing or “Shinrinyoku” in Japan) had lower levels of cortisol (a stress marking hormone) than those who spent two nights in the city. The constant buffer of our dark classrooms is stressing students much more than needed.
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.
RISE (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.”
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.
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.
HINESBURG, VT— On Sunday, October, 28, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series with a 5-1 blowout match against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the team’s first win since 2013. While some of the students at Champlain Valley Union High School— located 220 miles from Boston— are thrilled with the outcome, others are quite upset and some couldn’t care less. Nevertheless, this World Series win is a big deal at CVU.
Ian Parent, a senior at CVU and a player on the varsity baseball team, said enthusiastically, “I am a huge Red Sox fan! I’m just so excited for the city of Boston because let’s be honest, we don’t win enough.” He elaborated by talking about some of his favorite players on the team, “Alex Cora is the greatest manager of all time, especially as a rookie and David Price came in clutch.” In the series, David Price, 33, only allowed 3 runs in the entire series and pitched 3 of the 5 games. It was truly a spectacular series for Price who, in terms of sports, is quite old.
The Red Sox Victory Parade, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Another life-long Red Sox fan, Brendan Tivnan, stated, “My parents grew up in the Boston area and therefore have been fans their whole lives, so have I. I love watching [the Red Sox] and all of its players. They are a great young team with a lot of great young players. Also, I am glad that they beat the Astros and the Yankees because I hate both of those teams!”
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.
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!
Imagine moving to a foreign country all alone for nine months and not being able to speak in your first language. Why did over one million students in the US decide to take this risk, and what are the potential benefits? Frans Lindberg, an exchange student at CVU, explained his reason for why he made the decision to come to the US. “It is a family tradition, both my older brother and sister went abroad for a year.” He said that playing for the soccer team in particular was a great experience that made his year.
Jan Bedard, the Regional Coordinator for Education First (EF) exchange student agency, explained how the process begins. “It all starts with having a potential American family express interest in hosting, which is pretty rare. Once I have determined that they are likely a suitable family and genuinely interested, I make contact with the school to be sure that they have a space for the student and are willing to work with me and my organization. All four of my kids graduated from CVU and I have been supervising EF students at CVU since 1993. We hosted before that, so CVU is pretty easy. Other schools may not have any spaces left or not want exchange students.”
Not only is CVU an easy school for the agency to work with, but the students find it to be a great place to live and learn as well. Lindberg said, “The teachers are great and if I have a question in class I do not hesitate to ask. The language barrier was small at the beginning of the year and has got increasingly smaller as my time at CVU goes by.” CVU is great for exchange students, and exchange students are great for CVU. They provide a different perspective on the world and help other students at CVU see themselves from a global point of view.
Hinesburg VT– Although Grad Challenge has changed from a research process to a reflective one, some students say the stress and anxiety for them has not changed, even though they may see the purpose of Grad Challenge.
CVU senior, Liam Freeman says, “Grad Challenge has being going well. I have met all the deadlines so far, since I am passionate about my topic: Fly Fishing.”
CVU senior, Clark Schmitt noticed some overlap of having both RISE and Grad Challenge in the same year. “The RISE program allows people the same opportunity as Grad Challenge. It would be cool if they incorporated the two together, so students could work with seniors on their Grad Challenge.”
The CVU Boys’ Soccer Team started their season undefeated, winning against Burr and Burton, Rice, and Rutland, and tying with Essex earlier this month.
The Redhawks kicked things off with a trip down to Burr and Burton where they came out with a 6-0 victory. The Hawks struck early with a three-goal first half with goals from Jonah Roberts, Jack Sinopoli, and Nate Sampson. James Schmidt scored with only 25 seconds into the second half, and Jonah Roberts added a second penalty kick while Sam Johnson scored later in the game to put CVU up 6-0.
Photo by Cole Otley
After the incredible victory against Burr and Burton, the Redhawks faced off with the Green Knights from Rice Memorial High School in the Jay Brady Kickoff Classic on September 8th. There weren’t any goals made in the first half of the game, both teams going into the second half tied at 0-0. However, the Hawks soon delivered by netting three goals. Cullen Swett converted a penalty, Chase Mitchell gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead, and Sam Johnson once again scored late to send the Redhawks to a 3-0 win.
The voices and stories of women have consistently been silenced or ignored throughout history. Whether simply declaring them untrue, or claiming malicious intent, we have had to learn to keep our stories quiet for fear of retribution, discreditment, or continued and worsened assault.
Recently, when Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony captured the nation’s interest, there was a part of me that blossomed, a feeling of pride that expanded through my chest. Finally, there was progress. Finally, a woman would be given a platform to speak out against those who oppressed her. Quickly, that feeling dissipated, shriveling up and disintegrating just as it had bloomed. It was made clear that this was anything but that, more formalility than morality, simply letting her speak so that everybody else would shut up.
I wasn’t surprised. Time and time again, disappointment masquerading as progress has graced the national stage. After the Access Hollywood tapes about Trump were released, people yelled, and then moved on, then forgot, and he soon took on the title of President. People boycotted airports, only to watch as systematic xenophobia and racism still quietly wove itself through the core values of our administration. After countless school shootings, mass shootings, and massacres, the NRA still stood staunchly with the second amendment, while simultaneously declaring “fake news,” and ignoring the first.
Dr. Ford swearing in before the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony
Since 2016, contradictions blared from every news outlet, stood bold faced on headlines, and slipped over harsh tongues in heated conversation. With the confirmation of Kavanaugh, it has never been more apparent. A man confirmed to overturn Roe v. Wade, an allowance for women to finally take control of their heavily regulated bodies, has been accused of multiple accounts of sexual assault. The worst part, however, is the apparent disregard for this fact.
Bageshree Blasius, CVU AP Government and Politics teacher at CVU commented, “I think women in general are not seen as powerful in politics…[they are] not taken as seriously.” The message sent is abundantly clear; the lives and stories of women in this country are valued less than the credibility of men in power.
I am sixteen years old. That makes me one year older than Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she experienced the trauma-inducing event that stalked her every move for the past thirty six years. Though thirty five years younger, though living in a new age, though safe in my small town, parts of her testimony ring bells of familiarity within me.
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.
Screen capture by Cole Otley
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.”
The library most certainly offers different spaces for people to learn, and students can take their pick on where they will be most productive. “The library gives students a place to collaborate,” says student body president Bennett Cheer. “That’s why I keep coming back.” There are a lot of qualities about the library that make it the preferred study area for a lot of students. “It’s quiet, calm, clean, and a good place to come get work done,” said CVU student Nikos Carroll. Nikos is among the hundreds of students that come into the library every day of the school week in order to do homework, study, and collaborate in a place that satisfies each need.
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.
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.”
Imagine leaving school for one period, travelling to Lake Iroquois and going on a peaceful adventure with canoes in the outdoors. That’s what CVU science teacher Dave Trevithick invisions in the near future for his students here at Champlain Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont. “Students need more connections with the outdoors,” says Dave, “We have water access but don’t use it.”
According to Trevithick, the most useful way to use this water access would be through canoes. Having canoes will establish a great learning experience for students. They can spend their time outdoors instead of sitting in class for an hour and a half, allowing them to learn more about the environment. “Kids aren’t getting outside enough,” says Trevithick. According to a study done by the Outdoors Foundation, “almost half — 49.0% — of the US population ages 6 and over participated in an outdoor activity at least once in 2017. This continues three years of slight growth in outdoor participation.” The report also says that, “adults who were introduced to the outdoors as children were more likely to participate in outdoor activities during adulthood than those who were not exposed to the outdoors as children.” The report asserts that kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors, and the numbers only grow slightly.
Hinesburg, VT — The condition of the Hinesburg rural roads, specifically Magee Hill Rd, Pond Brook Rd, and Palmer Rd, have Hinesburg residents angered.
Over the course of the 2018 summer, the roads have been crumbling. The town of Hinesburg rarely maintains the roads; there are potholes and washboards everywhere, and the right side has completely turned into a ditch, making the road very narrow and dangerous. Some residents are angry, and they want to be heard.
Palmer Rd. Courtesy of Jasmine Leavitt
CVU sophomore, Palmer Rd Resident, Jade Leavitt says, “These roads are not safe to drive on because when two people are driving on it you could easily get in an accident due to the road being so narrow.” She presents a solution for this issue, stating, “The town should maintain the road as often as needed, and fill in the potholes to make the road less dangerous.”
Charlotte, VT — On July 5, 2018, Charlotte, VT witnessed the grand opening of a new restaurant/market: Philo Ridge Farm and Market. For the longest time, Charlotte (a quaint town with less than 4,000 residents) has been dominated by The Old Brick Store, its only restaurant prior to July 5th.
However, with the addition of Philo Ridge Market, Charlotte is changing drastically as residents from across the area are coming to enjoy its food.
Photo of Philo Ridge courtesy of Neagley and Chase Construction Company.
Embraced with open arms, Francine Stephens, one of Philo Ridge’s owners said, “The welcome from our community of Charlotte has been beautiful and amazing, and we are thrilled to become a part of the fabric of this community.”
As many people know, however, including Stephens, running a business in a small town can be quite difficult. She responded to this concern with nothing but optimism. “We are working hard to listen to and respect the desires of our community as they are the very thing that can make or break us.” Moreover, on their website, they provide customers with a way to directly contact the owners, via phone or email; they also allow the public to subscribe to the market’s email to receive news and updates about new additions.
CUPERTINO, CA — On Tuesday, September 12, the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR were announced at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The XS starts at $999.00, the XS Max at $1099, and the XR at $749, according to Apple.
Image Courtesy of Flickr.com
Each new phone boasts a new range of specs. According to the company, the XS carries a 5.8” display, the XS Max a 6.5” display (the largest on any iPhone yet), and the XR a 6.1” display. Every phone is water resistant, with the XS and XS Max resistant to a depth of 2m, and the XR resistant to a depth of 1m. Each phone also has wireless charging capabilities, Face ID, a 7MP TrueDepth selfie camera, and a Liquid Retina LCD screen. Apple says that the screen is “the most advanced LCD in the industry.” Like the iPhone X, none of these phones have home buttons.
Different memory capabilities are available as well with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB options for the XS and XS Max, and 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB options for the XR. A variety of colors and finishes are also available. The XS and the XS Max come in gold, space gray, and silver, while the XR comes in red, yellow, white, coral, black, and blue, as seen on the Apple website. The new phones will be available in stores starting Friday, September 21st.
Art has long been a tool of revolutions — think of Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag or the marching songs of the Civil Rights Movement. Now, the environmental movement is sweeping our nation and it’s doing so in style.
Prior to the Youth Rally in Montpelier last year, students from all around the state decorated tiles cut from repurposed cardboard boxes. Sarah Fadem, a college student working for the environmental organization, Our Climate, organized the project. She asked participants to design their tiles based on the prompt: “What does climate change mean to you?” At the rally, all of the tiles were pulled together to form a giant maple leaf, a classic symbol of Vermont. However, the most intriguing part of this project wasn’t the scale of the finished product or even the use of recycled materials; it was how it captured a multitude of individual voices to push forward one common cause.
To get an artist’s perspective on how environmentalism and art intersect, I turned to CVU’s Emma Ramirez-Richer, an AP Art student and a leader of the EnACT club.
CVC: How do you see art and environmentalism intersecting?
Ramirez-Richer: “I’ve seen a lot of yard art and other large scale sculptures being made of recycled materials. I think that here in Vermont, people don’t want to let ‘junk’ go to waste and try to make something new, enjoyable, and funky. There is also a lot of beautiful photography and landscape paintings. Not just here, but around the world. This type of art really intrigues me. I love seeing natural features of the earth from around the world. Another type of art I think is surprisingly powerful is graphic design and logos when used on stickers and shirts [such as the EnACT carpool stickers designed by Ramirez-Richer]. This kind of art can become widespread and trendy, especially in Vermont!”
CVC: Why do you think that art is so effective as a persuasive tool?
Ramirez-Richer: “The sheer size of it is powerful. Size is kind of the universal world for power. There was power, importance, and tons of support behind the Youth Rally. The intricate designs within the large maple leaf [of last year’s Youth Rally tile art project] represent that individuals have their own take on the large issue.”
CVC: As an artist, do you feel more motivated when there is a movement behind what you are creating? Are there times when having such a serious focus feels intimidating?
Ramirez-Richer: “Yes! It’s absolutely intimidating to create art that is purposeful. It’s hard to incorporate subtle messages into art. It’s very easy to make art with a very ‘in your face’ message, if that makes any sense. I’m not a huge fan of shoving a message, especially a more negative one, onto someone. However, it is rewarding when my viewers feel the emotion I want them to feel.”
“Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of this place.” This is the mission that the CVU community strives toward. But what happens when we step into the community outside of CVU? Do these rules still apply? Do we remember who we are? Do we remember where we come from?
When CVU students step into the community not too far outside of CVU such as Jiffy Mart, Paisley Hippo, or Papa Nicks we need to be aware of how we represent our school, the greater community and family. We are CVU. We want to show the community we are respectful and that we care about those around us. We need to think about how our actions may affect others.
Image courtesy of Jiffy Mart Stores
Imagine you’re working behind a cash register and a large group of teenagers come into your place of work. In a larger group, they are loud, they throw money down on the counter towards you, and they don’t say “thank you.” Quite disrespectful, right? Is this really what we want to show the community about who we are as CVU? All of these disrespectful actions happen right here in the town of Hinesburg.
Local businesses see how, when in large groups, students end up disrupting the community and engage in rude behaviours. Briana Dattilio, a 25 year old cashier at Jiffy Mart, says, “When they get into large groups, that is when they begin to be rude and hold up the line by talking and not respecting others who are in line by cutting them to be with their friends.” She goes on to explain that she automatically notices the actions of the CVU students and is often annoyed by the way CVU students make Jiffy Mart employees and other patrons feel.
Snapchat users around the world are deleting and cutting back on use of the popular app due to the recent update [10.25.2.0] that occurred on February 9th, 2018.
With over 1.2 million e-signatures on Change.com, the Snap users of the world are pushing for a reverse to the update. Nic Rumsey, a Snapchat user from the UK and the petition creator, says, “There is a general level of annoyance among users and many have decided to use a VPN app, or are using other risky apps or steps, to go back to the old Snapchat, as that is how annoying this new update has become.”
Image from WikiCommons, showing Snapchat’s global reach
“The format makes it impossible to find what you’re looking for,” says Daniella Shaw, another Snapchat user from the UK. With over 187 million daily users, the new Snapchat update is projected to go into full effect by the end of this quarter, March 31st.
According to CNN, more than 40 million users have received the update since its release. “Some analysts believe Snapchat’s update could turn off the app’s key user base of teens and young adults in their 20s,” says Kaya Yurieff, a CNN reporter and Snapchat user.
Even Kylie Jenner isn’t the biggest fan of the update. Since her tweet on Thursday announcing she wouldn’t be using the app anymore, Snapchat’s stock has lost $1.3 billion.
Finn Wheeler, a user since 2012 says, “I’m sure that all of the distress will go away within the next month or so, once we get used to [the update], but for now it’s a pain in the butt.”
As always, the distress caused by the update will dwindle as users adjust to the new features of Snapchat, but until then users will have to use (or choose not to use) what they have.
In 2013, CVU installed sorting stations in the cafeteria to separate trash, recycling, and compost. They were designed by students in EnACT (Environmental Action Club). Although all of the students currently at CVU have been using the stations since they started here, problems with sorting remain.
Grace Hemmelgarn and Tess Cloutier, the EnACT members leading the project to improve the stations and educate people about proper use, had some insights about why students have trouble knowing where to put their garbage. According to Hemmelgarn, “common mistakes include chip bags, brown salad boats, [and] wax paper.” Many of the items that confuse students come from food packaged by the cafeteria. For example, the salad containers are made from plant-based plastic, which is compostable. Since they look like typical plastic containers, however, they are often found in the recycling bin. Similarly, wax paper, which also belongs in the compost, often ends up in the trash. When a ‘batch’ of recycling or compost has an item that does not belong, the whole container is thrown away. In this way, more material ends up in landfills instead of where it belongs.
Really, how hard can it be, people?
Since the installation of the sorting stations, EnACT has done several projects directed to improve sorting accuracy. EnACT members have conducted several “trash audits”, where students sorted waste pulled from the landfill and recycling bins to figure out commonly misplaced items. Posters were put up around the school with pictures of these items and their proper places in the stations.
In today’s political climate, it can be difficult choosing who and what to believe. Even more difficult is standing up for your own personal convictions in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and powerful. As a 14-17 year old in Vermont, it may seem like there is little to do or to be done due to the voting age. With passion, however, there is always work to be done, especially if you have an affinity for a governmental profession. CVU’s Engage Day is an amazing opportunity to let students get involved in what they’re spirited about, and make connections within the community.
For many students, including myself, social activism is important, seeing as the environment we’ve been forced into is one of ceaseless media coverage, dividing politicians, and up until recently, the silencing of the youth. One of CVU’s workshops titled Social Activism, sparked the interest of both me and many of my friends. No matter what political party you identify with (if any), it’s easy to see that we’re in a time of division and strong opinions, but knowing how youcan make a difference in your community is without a doubt empowering to you and those around you.
Image courtesy of Alyssa Gorton
The workshop was, without a doubt, run extremely well. That was mostly due to the charisma and kind nature of the selectboard candidate Rebecca (Becca) White, who composed the workshop and interacted with those in the group in a way that was genuine and educational. One of the first things we did as a group was discuss issues that were important to us and put them up on the whiteboard to get a general feel of the room.
Most people in this room came prepared with a variety of questions to ask about how to get involved in their community. While there are already many ways to get involved at CVU through school clubs and opportunities, some students would either like to seek a more individual approach to activism, or just go above and beyond with their community involvement.
A club new to the CVU scene, Student Justice Committee (SJC), was made with the intention to allow and commit students to seek out and change that which they deem unjust, unfair, or inane. The founders, Sydney Hicks and Asha Hickok, who also helped organize our walkout, stated that their intentions lie within “further pursuing actions based around activism, and inviting students to discuss politics in an open and safe environment,”which is a prime example of the student leadership culture founded within the walls of CVU.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like if you didn’t have a home? If you didn’t have a family or a place to sleep? If you didn’t have the device you are reading this on at this very moment? Many people around the world are deprived of these simple opportunities that we take for granted. However, sometimes it is enlightening to forgo these privileges and live without them, so that we can be more empathetic to those who actually don’t have them.
The Spectrum Sleep Out was a great way to experience this in an organized manner. Spectrum is an organization that works to prevent homelessness for young adults and youth in Vermont. They have had multiple sleepouts, with some for adults, like in Burlington. This year was the first year that CVU participated in the Spectrum Sleep Out as a school.
Mia Brumstead was a leader in organizing this event at CVU. This occurred on Thursday, April 5th, at the CVU grounds from eight at night to eight in the morning. The Spectrum Sleep Out was an event where roughly 40 kids and teachers slept with tents or without tents in the 20 degree weather overnight. The purpose of the sleep out was to raise awareness and to fundraise for Spectrum, with the end goal of eventually preventing homelessness around the country.
Mia Brumsted, a CVU sophomore, gave me some information on how she organized this event. “In the beginning of the year Mark Reidman, who’s the executive director of Spectrum came to CVU… We just started talking about how CVU has never done one before and I think that really struck me… so I thought it’s only fitting that we do one at CVU because of how inclusive our community is.”
When asked about her favorite part of the night she said, “when Mark came and brought Kathleen, who was at one point in her life homeless… but her life was completely turned around because of Spectrum, and I think listening to her talk to everyone at the Sleep Out was very meaningful and super informative.” For me, the largest takeaway from the night was also hearing Kathleen’s first hand experience. Mia then added, “I hope that even after I leave CVU that this will be a tradition… and I hope that as a community we can be more aware of the homeless community and the problems they face every day.”
Hinesburg, VT— On Monday, January 22nd, CVU students saw a change in their cafeteria with the arrangements of booths, tables, and waste bins after they continuously left behind trash, food, and recycling on tables and between the walls and booths.
Prior to the new arrangement, the custodians were spending too much time picking up after students to make sure that the cafeteria was cleaned up and ready to go for the next day.
According to Marilyn Mashia, one of the CVU custodians, “People were stuffing trash and food between the walls, leaving trays on the floor, [and] just leaving a complete mess.”
Image by Sofia Datilio
This change allows for the campus supervisors, Tim Albertson, Jamie Hayes, and Seth Emerson, to spread out more within the cafeteria to ensure students are picking up after themselves.
BURLINGTON,VT- Burlington High School raised the Black Lives Matter flag on Monday, February 19, 2018. Burlington High School is the second high school in Vermont to raise the Black Lives Matter flag, with Montpelier High School being the first to raise the flag. CVU has yet to raise the Black Lives Matter flag.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement. This movement campaigns against violence and racism towards black people. In 2014, the American Dialect Society chose #BlackLivesMatter as their word of the year, and the Black Lives Matter campaign began spreading as a popular campaign.
Montpelier High School was the first of the Vermont high schools to raise the flag on Thursday, February 1, 2018, attracting national attention. Now the word is spreading and students at both Burlington and Montpelier HIgh School hope that other high schools will follow their lead.
According to the Burlington Free Press, many students at Burlington High School are hoping that this statement their high school is making by raising the flag, will help spur a national movement.
That seems to be the motto of our nation’s older generation. Millennials are viewed to be lazy, entitled, and narcissistic. People believe our nation’s youth are to blame for many of our nation’s problems, like the high unemployment rate, for example. That being said, so many studies on this seemingly ‘useless’ and ‘narcissistic’ generation highlight some of the benefits of our entitled generation, as well as the negatives. While a millennial’s sense of entitlement can make them act selfishly, it also allows them to be ambitious and tech-savvy.
A millennial’s sense of entitlement can cause them to act selfishly, leading to multiple behaviors. According to Forbes Magazine, millennials act selfishly by breaking the rules and demanding higher pay. These qualities in an employee can cause friction in the workplace. Millennial workers may develop poor relationships with their superiors as they believe they are above the system, thus not subject to its rules and guidelines.
Maybe we need to ask ourselves, is those who are in the system or the system itself that needs to change?
With a millennial’s sense of entitlement comes an ambitious attitude towards their profession. According to Forbes magazine, “Entitled people feel a stronger drive for achievement; after all, if you feel like you deserve to be the top salesperson in your organization, you’re going to work harder to make that title a reality.” Entitlement works both ways. While it can seem to make millennials irritating and bothersome, it does give them the drive they need to progress in the workplace. Unlike previous generations, millennials don’t settle for where they are in their profession or life; they constantly work to improve themselves to be the best they can be.
When they think of emissions, most people think of cars and trucks and things that go. But our diet can have a huge effect on our carbon footprint. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Watch Institute. Essentially, the meat-lovers pizza you order might cost you more carbon than your ride home after.
What can we do? I discussed environmental food choices with CVU student Ali Drew, who decided to cut all animal products out of her diet after watching a speech by vegan activist Gary Yourofsky. The main points addressed by Yourofsky included the environmental impacts and the ethics of consuming meat and other animal products. (His speech can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5hGQDLprA8&vl=en.) Drew says that it was difficult trying to replace foods, but she realized that it would be easier to find new vegan foods. A diet without animal products also reduces the amount of processed foods consumed, another benefit for environmentalists trying to change their habits.
HINESBURG, VT — The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida left the entire country in a state of shock and dismay. School shootings seem to have become more and more frequent since Columbine in 1999, and little has been done to prevent them. On the 14th of March, schools nationwide held walkouts to bring awareness to these atrocities and to push for change. The US Congress’ inability to institute new laws to protect school children have left many frustrated and demanding change.
Because of a Nor’easter that shut down schools across Vermont, CVU Principal Adam Bunting moved the planned student action to Friday, March 16th. An estimated 600 students and faculty gathered at the entrance to the school.
While there were many people who both supported and opposed the walkout, Principal Adam Bunting decided to allow it. “We did it first obviously to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, two, to encourage student advocacy, whether it’s one way or another.”
Champlain Valley Union High School hosted representatives from Burlington Technical Center and the Center for Technology, Essex on Thursday, February 8th to provide a brief overview of each program the schools offer. Both CTE and BTC provide technical programs based on challenging the comprehension of students 16 years and older, according to Vermont Adult Career and Technical Education Association.
Schools such as CVU, South Burlington High School, Colchester High School, and Essex High School allow students grades 10+ to apply for a program of their choice at either CTE or BTC to further their education in a specific field.
According to Marie Eddy, one of CVU’s guidance counselor, CTE provides students with programs such as Automotive Technology, Building Technology and Systems, Childhood Education/ Human Services, Computer Animations & Web Design, Computer Systems Technology, Cosmetology, Dental Assisting, Design & Creative Media, Engineering & Architectural Design, Health Informatics, Natural Resources-Forestry and Mechanical, and Professional Foods.
Image courtesy of Big Heavy World
Can’t find what you’re looking for at CTE? BTC provides Auto Body Repair, Automotive Science & Tech, Aviation & Aerospace Tech, Computer Systems & Emerging Technologies, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Design & Illustration, Digital Media Lab, Human Services, Medical & Sports Sciences, Programming & Computer Science, and Welding/ Metal Fabrication programs. Between the two centers, everyone is bound to find a program that they’ll enjoy!