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
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.
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.
Ms. Alexandra Anderson
Student Justice Committee (SJC) is one of CVU’s newest clubs, and plans to make a triumphant return in 2018. Unified under a message of inclusion and activism, they strive to bring productive debate, education, and awareness of national issues to environments such as CVU, emphasizing how they connect back on a local level.
Established in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the two founders of SJC, Sydney Hicks, 17, and Asha Hickok, 16, were deeply affected by the news. They were moved to organize a walkout in protest of gun violence. “We were all really fed up and wanted change,” Hicks said, tired of watching as tragedies took place. Hickok added, “we talked to some students and they thought it would be a really cool idea.” Other notable achievements by SJC include a trip down to Washington DC to participate in the “March For Our Lives” event last March. “Bringing a bus full of CVU students was really special, there was a lot of passion,” Hicks commented. That success and overall experience was the true inspiration for the committee. “It was a starting point, that’s when we realized this club might just work.”
Mr. Jacob H. Bouffard
Just like every other high school, at Champlain Valley Union, the yearbook is a big deal for all departing seniors. It is a way to look back at the “good ole days” in the future when feeling nostalgic. While the majority of students only buy a yearbook their senior year, there are a few who purchase the memories every year.
Instead of making a book for the seniors that shows their high school careers, the book sums up the year by showing all of the sports teams from the year (spring sports from the prior school year) and the drama departments musicals of the year. Basically everything that happened of significance in the year is put in this big book. There are also a few other things added in to award or take notice of a few students. This includes senior superlatives like who is most likely to fall asleep in class or be late to graduation.
At CVU, a club is in charge of choosing and making what goes into the yearbook. There used to be a class with an English credit, but that was terminated several years ago. The club is lead by Debbie Seaton and Carol Fox with eight other students from all four graduating classes. This small group of kids work together to design a book that is pleasing for all students and goes along with the current trends. In the past, covers have included themes like Minecraft or other popular topics.
Editor Clara Schultz says, “I enjoyed going around CVU and taking pictures of people I know, and some that I didn’t know. I didn’t realize how many people I didn’t know until I actually had to go out and find some.” With a community so large, it’s hard to remember every person. The yearbook gives the opportunity for you to, in several years, look back at those you didn’t know that well.
As of Wednesday morning there are only 36 yearbooks left for sale. The books cost $65.00 and checks are made out to Jostens. Be sure to purchase next year’s book on time if you plan on getting one.
Mr. Alex Kent
Not every school has something for everybody. Teenagers around the U.S. go through high school wishig their school had a certain club of one of their interests, or that there were more opportunities for relaxed environment athletics, yet do not start a club.
Many students enjoy activity outside of school that their school does not offer. Being part of a club or playing a sport affiliated with the school forces everyone to meet new people with common interests, not to mention how much fun it can be.