Tag Archives: clubs

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What is the GSA?

By Louis Curschmann

CVU– The GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) is a club for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. Lots of schools, from middle schools to colleges, have GSAs, although sometimes they’re called different names. GSA gives opportunities for the LGBTQ comunity to feel free and to be able to socialize without getting made fun of or judged. The GSA also sets up events to celebrate LGBTQ community pride in Vermont and beyond.

The GSA here at CVU gives a place for people to be open about their sexuality and/or gender. It helps them feel comfortable as a community; if a person is struggling with being judged or picked on, the community picks them up higher than they were before they were down.

The GSA gives opportunities for LGBTQ youth to show their pride. On October 18, 2021, Burlington High School hosted a drag pageant as a half time show in a football game where people could dress in drag and show their pride to a crowd. Every June at CVU High School, there’s also a pride parade where community members can eat food, hear some speeches, get covered in stickers/face paint and more.

The GSA also supports other state or national LGBTQ communities that have more restrictions than the community here at CVU. For example, in 2021 they wrote letters in protest to the government about their strict non gay-friendly laws. They also have video meetings with other GSAs to show support and talk about the problems they are having there and how other GSAs could help with those issues. They also write letters to support other GSAs that don’t have the same freedom in the school as we do here at CVU.

CVU Goats

C3 Enact Club profile

Meline Palkovic

At CVU, the clubs that take place during C3 offer many opportunities for students to have fun, learn, rest or just go outside and breathe fresh air.                                                                                                         

In the EnACT Club led by Katie Antos-Ketchum, students learn about environmental issues but also go outside to see the animals in order to become aware of and connect with nature.


All original photos by Meline Palkovic

Social Justice Has Been a Pandemic Priority at CVU

Myleigh Kilbon

HINESBURG, VT– At the end of my sophomore year, I had a very basic grasp on the concept of social justice, but not enough to talk about it to a group of teachers, who (I assumed) were experts on the topic. So when I was approached by the advisor of the Social Justice Alliance (SJA) to help with inservice presentations before school started, it was fair to say I was a little hesitant. I went to meetings, I did research, I talked with current SJA members, and I learned. I went into these presentations expecting the teachers to correct everything I said, but they listened. This was the day I realized I had the power to make a difference, to make a real change.

From the day we are born, we live in this world of “right” and “wrong”. As we grow, we develop our own innate sense of what it is to be fair and what it is to be unfair. Justice is something that we, as a society, strive for. At CVU, we have worked to put into place systems that ensure that: our students are part of a community where each student has a right to equality; they feel they are a part of a supportive learning environment; systemic change is implemented to uplift marginalized groups; and all students voices are not only heard, but valued.

Just over a year ago, a group of juniors at CVU decided that it was finally time for a concrete change. All of the Social Justice clubs at CVU were in a place where they were respected but not listened to unless it was convenient. CVU’s Environmental Action (EnAct) Club, Bring Change to Mind (mental health) Club, Racial Alliance Committee (RAC), Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Students Awareness Change and Training (ACT) for sexual violence, and our Unified Advocacy Club (UAC), came together February of 2020 to form an alliance of social justice related organizations in order to push our agendas and make CVU a more inclusive community.

Our collection of clubs has worked to achieve our goals of students rights, education, and equality. Our broad objectives for this inclusion were;

  • Maintain safety, well being, and comfort, 
  • Create a comfortable environment so that students can report incidents in confidence that the administration will listen.
  • Prevent threats of discrimination, alienation, or persecution
  • Construct a place of understanding.
  • Ensure that every member of the CVU community is equal.
  • Maintain core values of freedom, peace, and justice
  • Create a holistically supportive learning environment
  • Reform curriculum and increase student education regarding race, identity, sexual violence, bullying, non-neurotypical peers, and general sensitivity.
  • Expand education and training for faculty, staff and administrators to ensure problems are dealt with compassionately.
  • Develop citizens that contribute positively to their environment and value inclusion.

The sheer number of concrete actions that we have accomplished this year alone has surpassed the actions of all of our individual clubs combined over the past several years. We have worked in the areas of policy to: collaborate with house directors and administration to review existing disciplinary policies and implementation, created pamphlets and resources for students outlining new policy implementation, the implementation of surveys, accessible reporting options, and more. We have worked in the areas of education to: create a race and ethnic studies, and gender studies course, create a social justice credit, and refine existing curriculum to include social justice issues. We have done faculty presentations, student forums, and teacher forums to spread our message. We have created a website and a podcast (The Round Table) as well as creating a more accessible reporting form for students who face injustices.

The Social Justice Alliance has taken this year as an opportunity to work to guarantee all students at CVU have equal rights, status, opportunities, and treatment. The idea of social justice can be a bit daunting at first, I know from experience. But knowing that talking about these issues can make our world even a little bit of a better place, why not take the risk?

Reach out to the CVU Social Justice Alliance for more information about social justice and what social justice looks like in our community.

Social Justice Alliance Website

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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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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Student Justice Committee Returns After Successful First Year

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.SJC

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.”

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Thanks to Fox & Seaton (& Co.) Another Yearbook is in the Books

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.

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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.


Floor Hockey Club, On the Rise

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.


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