Jesuit Chronicle

Trunk Or Treat!: Halloween Drive Through

Graphic Design by Senior Ellen Haney

Graphic Design by Senior Ellen Haney

This Halloween, student government is helping Jesuit students get into the spooky spirit with the first ever Trunk Or Treat!: Halloween Drive Through event. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 31st with separate time slots for each grade level, and take place in the Cronin parking lot on campus. Freshmen and Edison students can participate from 11-12 p.m., Sophomores and Edison students from 12-1 p.m., Juniors from 1-2 p.m., and Seniors can arrive anytime from 2-3 p.m. 

At this event, students will have a chance to drive through festive Halloween decorations and get some candy from student government members along with a few teachers. Students will also have an option to donate to the Blanchet House Winterpack Kits Drive as they drive past a designated donation station. At the end of the drive, students will have a socially distanced photo opportunity.

Members of student government will be visiting campus in small cohorts this week to begin preparing for the event, setting up decorations in the Cronin lot as well as bagging up candy to safely deliver to students.

 Because large gatherings and many Halloween festivities are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student government has organized this event to hopefully help bring a sense of community to the students during this holiday. 

About the Writer
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Chase Kerman, Junior Executive Editor

Chase Kerman, a Junior at Jesuit High School, is excited to explore Journalism and grow as a writer in her first year taking the class. At Jesuit, Chase...

Jesuit Chronicle mock Presidential Election Nov. 3rd

Be+sure+to+vote+in+the+Jesuit+Chronicle+Mock+Election+on+November+3rd

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Be sure to vote in the Jesuit Chronicle Mock Election on November 3rd

Jesuit Chronicle will conduct a mock election on November 3rd for students and faculty at Jesuit High School, Portland. The ballot will be focused on the Presidential Election, US Senate Seat from Oregon, and Portland Mayor.

Students and faculty will receive a Google Form “ballot” tied to their jmail account the morning of November 3rd. Voting will be open from 8am to 3pm.

Results will be announced at 6pm on jesuitnews.com.

Don’t forget to pre-register to vote if you’re under 18.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksZMzujVLoU

 

High School Political Involvement

Protesters+staging+a+die-in+on+Portland%2C+Oregon%27s+Burnside+Bridge+on+June+2%2C+2020.+https%3A%2F%2Fcreativecommons.org%2Flicenses%2Fby-sa%2F4.0%2Fdeed.en%0ANo+changes+were+made+to+the+following+photo.

Henryodell

Protesters staging a die-in on Portland, Oregon’s Burnside Bridge on June 2, 2020. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en No changes were made to the following photo.

Starting in May 2020, demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd have been held in the city of Portland, Oregon. Continuing until September, hundreds and even thousands of Oregon residents gathered to protest against the systemic racism and police brutality black Americans have endured in this country. 

These protests were the start of a difficult conversation Jesuit needed to have about systemic racism. Motivated by the injustices in our country, several Jesuit seniors last year took their stories of discrimination to social media to address the imminent problems occurring at Jesuit High School. These students indicated that the school has a lot of work to do to obtain equality and that discrimination is still an issue students of color face.

“ The students that took to social media this summer really ignited the flame for our institution to look in the mirror and acknowledge our own complicity in systemic racism,” said Diversity and Inclusion director Melissa Lowery.

  The first step for change to happen anywhere is acknowledging the harm that was caused. After receiving student outcry from petitions wanting the Jesuit Administration to openly support Black Lives Matter and receiving numerous personal messages, Jesuit High School sent out a school wide email ensuring students that Jesuit is proud of them for finding their voices. Brady McClellan even suggested whether he and other students of color earned a chance to attend Jesuit for the right reasons.

“ Students of color feel that they deserve to be at Jesuit but are only there because they promote the identity that Jesuit isn’t racist and that the statistics they fill are more important than the skills and intellect they offer,” junior Brady McClellan said. 

Another reason that some students feel excluded is because of the lack of support shown for minority cultures.

“ Jesuit must recognize and support other cultures and their traditions more openly,” said junior Rishabh Sharma.

Students have written letters and spoken directly to the administration because they enjoy Jesuit, and they want other students to have a different experience than themselves. 

“ The students this summer who were brave enough to share their own experiences is exactly what we preach and talk about. So for us to have our students come back to us and for many of them to say this with love is the first step for improving our school,” said Mrs. Lowery.

Many Jesuit students have led the charge to change by attending the Black Lives Matter protests. It’s crucial for students to be involved and engaged during these historical times because high school students should be aware of the racism people of color endure. Racism was built into this country through schooling and the criminal justice system, so it’s important to recognize how these systems are being challenged right now. 

Another aspect as to why many students have absorbed and have had time to understand these complex issues are due to Covid-19. Being in quarantine has given students opportunities to understand the extent of racism and how it affects the entire community. Quarantine was also an opportunity for many students and supporters to realize their call to action and that the time to stand against racism is now. 

“ Being proactive and advocating and protesting for justice is a very Jesuit thing to do, and this is what makes men and women for and with others, it’s our students taking action,” said Ms. Lowery. 

As a school community working to become more culturally aware and anti-racist, Jesuit is making attempts to be open to growth. Shifting a culture is a tough task, but this initiative won’t succeed if it is simply a diversity office issue; it is pivotal that all students come together to make a difference.

“ The Jesuit Administration has been working for months in close collaboration with the DEI office to ensure that everyone feels heard, valued, and respected,” said Mrs. Lowery.

Paul Hogan sent out an email clarifying his stance that there is discrimination in our school, and that we need to make it our mission to end it. 

President Hogan wrote in the email, “We can and will do better. We can expand our curriculum to include more voices, and we can and must educate all of our students, starting with incoming freshmen, about the ways in which your words and actions can either build up or tear down your brothers and sisters”.

The school also holds the school’s annual Multicultural Week, in which students of all minorities get a chance to present their religious and ethnic customs. Although many students enjoy and cherish the opportunity to display a part of themselves, Rishabh Sharma hopes Jesuit will do more instead of having students lead the week.

“I feel that the administration should try to increase their cultural knowledge and partake in events of other cultures,” Sharma said.

Additional students’ opinions suggest that there are more beneficial ways for students to learn about opposing cultures. 

“It would be beneficial to find people of color in certain industries or in the media who would want to speak to their personal experiences,” McClellan said.

Finding people of color in different job industries would certainly be an impactful way to demonstrate different cultures and provide representation for minority groups. In addition, listening is a very effective way to learn about what other minority groups do and what other challenges they have overcome.

Throughout the entirety of the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for justice, Jesuit has been very committed in listening to others. The Jesuit Administration has listened to the heart wrenching stories of students and is proud of their own for advocating for themselves. The only way to solve these problems is to realize this situation involves the entire community, and that everyone’s voice matters. Although students have voiced their opinions about how Jesuit needs to change to benefit students of all backgrounds, there is no denying that students and faculty are working towards making Jesuit High School a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

About the Writer
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Kavish Siddhartha, Staff Writer

Kavish Siddhartha is a staff writer for the Jesuit Chronicle. Kavish is a junior at Jesuit High School and has been interested in journalism since a young...

Freshman Day Retreat in Person

Freshman+Gather+on+Cronin+Field+to+Participate+in+Day+Retreat.+Photo+Curtsey+Gwynne+Olson

Freshman Gather on Cronin Field to Participate in Day Retreat. Photo Curtsey Gwynne Olson

On October 19, the freshman class participated in the Freshman Day Retreat in person. The retreat took place over three separate sessions where students, organized by their home room teacher, arrived at various times throughout the day. Because of COVID restrictions, the retreat could not take place in the Smith Gym like it typically would but instead on Cronin Field. 

 

Months of planning were put into making the Freshman Day Retreat. Campus Minister Don Clarke along with the assistance of English teacher Konrad Reinhardt planned, altered, and insured the retreat followed CDC guidelines frequently. 

 

Retreats at Jesuit are always student led. Those who have experienced the retreat before are too pass their wisdom on to those students who have not. For this retreat, seniors were the student leads. 

 

“It works better when it is student led,” Mr. Reinhardt said. “Especially a senior to a freshman because you are their finish line. You are what they want to be when they are done with their four years here.”

 

On the day of the retreat, students arrived one group at a time where they checked in at their specific gate, had their temperature taken, given hand sanitizer, and finally instructed to sit in their assigned area. This was the first time the freshman had been on campus at the same time and, for some, the first time ever seeing their classmates outside of a screen. 

 

“I knew a couple of people coming into Jesuit but my home room was full of unfamiliar faces,” freshman Avery Fritz said. “It was super cool to be able to actually be able to interact with my classmates even though we could not be super close. It just made me excited for when I will get to go back to school”. 

 

The retreat held as many of the same activities as possible from the following years, though many were not within the COVID-19 restrictions. Students learned new songs, participated in Bible trivia, listened to choir singing, and of course, participated in the infamous Rock Paper Scissors tournament. 

 

“I still remember the Rock Paper Scissors tournament from my freshman year,” senior lead KJ Tinsley said. “It was such a fun way to bring us together as a class and I could tell it was doing the same thing with this class, no matter how different it was”.

 

The final part of the retreat was student talks and interaction. Each small group consisted of two senior leads along with a home room class of freshman. The small group started off with a couple ice breakers such as “what is your favorite comfort food,” following with senior talks. The first talk given surrounded friendships, specifically detailing friendships during quarantine. Students were then given questions of interpretation to discuss with a classmate and eventually share with the group. Freshman got to know new classmates while getting advice from their two senior leads. 

 

“As much as I loved the Rock Paper Scissors tournament, my favorite part of the retreat was definitely the senior talks,” Fritz said. “It was cool to hear about their lives when they were freshmen, it made high school seem a whole lot less scary”. 

 

This retreat could not have been done without Mr. Reinhardt and especially Mr. Clarke. Over the last weeks, Mr. Clarke has been fine tuning this retreat so everyone who wanted to participate would be able too. 

 

“Overall I think the retreat was a success,” Mr. Reinhardt said. “ I texted a couple of the freshman parents just saying ‘how did they come home?’ And they said they came home with smiles on their faces”.

About the Writer
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Gwynne Olson, Executive Editor-at-Large and Social Media Executive

Gwynne Olson is a junior staff writer for the Jesuit Chronicle. Gwynne is the youngest of two. Brooke, her older sister, is a recent graduate from the...

Take Part in Jesuit’s 21 Day Racial Awareness Challenge

Take+Part+in+Jesuit%E2%80%99s+21+Day+Racial+Awareness+Challenge

Beginning November 2nd, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office will challenge the Jesuit community to engage in a 21 day event in an effort to become a more culturally aware and Anti-racist community.

The Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge will give students the opportunity to understand the realities of racial injustice endured by people of color throughout the nation. This challenge will provide a unique look into the lives of individuals facing racial injustice, and will help participants explore racial equity in light of the Jesuit faith and Ignatian Spirituality.

Participants will receive daily emails with a challenge beginning November 2nd and ending November 22nd. Sign up by October 30th by clicking this link.

About the Writer
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Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

JCTV News Week 1 Mia Cullivan

JCTV+News+Week+1+Mia+Cullivan

Jesuit NW News Week 1

Jesuit+NW+News+Week+1

Crowded in a Virtual Classroom, Yet Feeling Alone: The Necessity of In-Person School for Freshmen

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Avni Sharma

Students, especially those new to the high school, may be feeling overloaded both academically and emotionally.

After seven months of quarantine, online learning has become the new norm. To upperclassmen, the feeling of drowsily walking to class in the morning, catching the sweet aroma of cinnamon rolls on Wednesdays, and hearing the loud chatter at lunch seems nothing but a distant, nostalgic memory. For freshmen, however, the chances of sharing the same experiences and sentiments this year seem unlikely –  And the negative effects of online schooling are becoming clear. 

Even in normal circumstances, the transition from middle to high school can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Fulfilling deadlines, getting used to new expectations, maintaining extracurriculars, and the thought of nearing adulthood are all arduous tasks that overwhelm students on any grade level. 

As freshmen, students gently ease into the new environment, but quickly familiarize themselves with the hectic lifestyle and academic rhythm of high school. The aid given by a teacher, counselor, or other staff through physical classes helps a student adapt faster. With the restriction of a remote-learning environment, freshmen are struggling to academically compensate for the lack of in-person instruction. 

“It feels like it’s harder to ask questions and understand new concepts,” freshman Sonali Kumar says. 

Academics isn’t the only aspect of school in jeopardy. 

Building relationships online can be a daunting prospect for many. It’s especially difficult for introverted students, who already face difficulty making friends.  

“Half the time I don’t even know the people in my class well enough besides hearing them answer questions,” an anonymous freshman states, “I can’t even think about asking for contact info or saying “hey, wanna do this?” because it feels awkward, too—How  would you ask them for things like that?”

Usually, this is where Jesuit Ambassadors often step in to play the “big-brother role”, by organizing freshman-focused activities such as dances, games, and retreats to help build relationships and encourage friendships. But with the absence of these crucial in-person events, simply conversing online may not be enough to establish a significant bond between students.

During stressful times, upperclassmen often reminisce and reflect on important memories with their friends at Jesuit as a means of motivation and hope for the future. 

“I remember seeing my friends after school everyday,” senior Gwynne Olson recalls, “I can’t wait to come back and maintain the friendships I took three years to make.” 

But how can people even make those important memories? According to Micah Murray, an associate professor of biology at the University of Lausanne, the “multi-sensory events – those which engage sight and hearing – enhance memories and create more vivid memories.” 

Without associating senses (auditory, olfactory, visual, etc.) to one’s experiences, the development of a memory is compromised. In other words, one has to be physically present in order to have the memory stick and become meaningful. That’s why students bond over food in the cafeteria, in after-school sports activities, and in classrooms.

It also explains why people crave human-to-human contact in isolation, because they no longer have access to hearing, seeing, physically touching things, which helps them connect with others on a deeper level. Because of this, the Class of 2024 could potentially have one of the most underdeveloped relationships with each other than any other previous graduating class at Jesuit. 

Jesuit’s prudent efforts to provide in-person socializing opportunities are praiseworthy, including the upcoming Freshman Day Retreat on October 19th. Students are looking forward to meeting fellow freshmen and becoming acquainted with the school’s environment. Even a small success from this early effort could ultimately prove hugely promising toward a fuller and richer school experience for all.

About the Contributor
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Avni Sharma, Staff Writer

Avni Sharma is a current sophomore at Jesuit High School. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, from music reviews to current politics. Though...

Are Students Wearing Masks and Social Distancing When Socializing?

Are+Students+Wearing+Masks+and+Social+Distancing+When+Socializing%3F

While the pandemic steadily continues, student views of precautionary measures regarding the Covid-19 Virus have potentially altered. 

    During the month of April, 3 months after the first announced case of Covid-19 in the United States in January, the CDC officially recommended the use of masks in order to prevent the spread of the virus (Vox News). By the month of July, masks were made mandatory to wear in public in multiple states throughout the US (CNet). 

    Throughout the first few months of quarantine, feelings of unease and fear spread, as the US still had limited information regarding the virus. 

    “In the beginning I was really scared. I would check the cases [and] I wouldn’t go outside…Now, it’s a little more relaxed,” senior Afua Pinamang-Boampong said. “I’ll go to the grocery store with my mom, I’ll hang out with friends as long as I have the right gear on and social distance; I’m not that worried.”   

    Currently, regulations regarding precautionary measures have been more lenient, with the use of masks simply recommended by the CDC when in public (CDC). While more lenient, regulations are still implemented in order to insure safety, causing students to think of more creative ways to stay connected.

    “I’ve facetimed a thousand times more than I ever have in my entire life,” Pinamang-Boampong said. “I’ve gone on picnics with friends, and we sit on different blankets. I’ve become more innovative in the way I hang out with people. So finding things we can do distanced and being safe.”

    With quarantine continuing to be the safest precautionary measure, the lack of traditional socializing may be linked to students’ deteriorating mental health, as connections could be severed between friends.

    “I would think most students are like most of the population.  They are in favor of masks and social distancing until it becomes inconvenient for them,” health teacher Mr. Skipper said. “As students feel more isolated, I feel they are more likely to break the protocols.  I know it has been a struggle in my own house to balance being socially responsible and the mental health of my kids.  I would assume this is a struggle among lots of families.”

    A survey taken on the Jesuit News website displayed that 3 out of 5 students sometimes wear masks outside, while 2 out of 5 students always wear masks outside (jesuitnews.com). 

    “I worry not just about students, but everyone’s view about the protocols,” Skipper said. “The longer this goes on, the less fear we seem to have. With less fear, people will be less likely to follow the protocol.”

The frequency of precautionary measures taken by students varies, as some students have begun to hang out with small, close-knit groups of select friends outside of their family.

    “It’s changed because my parents [now] allow me to have ‘bubbles’ with friends,” junior Kurt Woodruff said. “So I have a selected group of no more than 10 people that I hang out with so we are still constricted, so it’s kind of sad because I’m not going to parties or hanging out with random people.”

    Although unable to hang out with many people, students have found that restrictions have revealed true friendships and the value of making an effort to stay connected to one another. 

    “Friendships feel deeper in a way because you actually have to reach out to people, and you can see who are your real friends and who’s maybe not…There’s so many friends at school that you say hi to but you wouldn’t hang out outside of school,” Woodruff said. “I kind of missed seeing them, but at the same time all of the people who have reached out to me, we now hang out and FaceTime and that means a lot because I get to know them better.”

About the Writer
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Scout Jacobs, Associate Editor-in-Chief







Scout Jacobs is a managing editor for the Jesuit Chronicles at Jesuit High School. As a senior in high school, this is her third year doing...

CCA Walks for Joy

Senior+Roxana+Abtin+Enjoying+the+CCA+Walks+For+Joy+with+her+Dog.+Photo+Curtsey+Roxana+Abtin

Senior Roxana Abtin Enjoying the CCA Walks For Joy with her Dog. Photo Curtsey Roxana Abtin

Jesuit and the Children’s Cancer Association have been partners for 22 years. It all started at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital 27 years ago when two young girls named Melissa Zimel ‘01 and Alexandra Ellis shared a room. Sadly, only one of the two girls survived their battle with cancer; Alexandra passed away at the young age of five. Her mother, Regina, was inspired to start a charity in her memory to help young cancer patients live a more joyful life through friendship, joy and music. This was the beginning of the Alexandra Ellis Memorial Children’s Cancer Association(AEMCCA). 

 

When Melissa entered Jesuit High School in 1997 as a freshman, she knocked on Academic Vice Principal Paul Hogan’s door and told him about the wondrous things the AEMCCA  had done for her and other children, hoping Mr. Hogan could instigate Jesuit support for the organization. He did. The school, along with the leadership of Melissa, organized the first Fat Daddy Ball rock concerts at the Crystal Ballroom, in support of what was soon  the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA). 

 

Four years later, Jesuit decided that throwing rock concerts so close to graduation was a bit much for students, so they participated in the first ever Walk for Joy. The Walk for Joy is a fundraiser in which the six Portland Catholic schools, Jesuit, Central Catholic, De La Salle North Catholic, Valley Catholic, La Salle, and Saint Mary’s Academy, walk together to raise money, show support, and spread awareness for CCA. While the CCA Walk currently operates smoothly, the first walks were not as glamorous. 

 

The first Jesuit-only walk was a 19-mile trek, which was difficult for many participants. For the next ten years the walk became the last six miles of the Portland Marathon route.  

 

The latest version of the  Walk for Joy began when four sophomores, Ruby Gray ‘17, Tim Haarmaan ‘17, Carli Wood ‘17, and McCall Phillips ‘17 came to Principal Paul Hogan’s office in hopes of expanding the walk to incorporate rival school Central Catholic. The walk served as a branch to bring the schools together outside of athletic and academic rivalries while raising money to support CCA.

 

As the Walk continued over the years, it evolved. Instead of just two schools participating, all six of the Catholic schools walked together in 2017 and congregated for a Mass at Sellwood Park.

 

The Walk for Joy became a huge success over the years, raising money and creating new relationships between schools.

 

Sadly, due to Covid-19 and social distancing restrictions, the Walk for Joy was forced to become all-virtual. Meetings started in late May to discuss planning the Walk and how it could carry on in the age of COVID.

 

The final plan was for a student-led Coffeehouse to take place completely virtual on the night of September 26th, and the following morning of the 27th would be Mass hosted by Central Catholic, with all six schools attending. Immediately following the mass, students and their families were encouraged to go outside and do their own, now called “Walks for Joy,” while dressed in purple and sharing their photos via social media. 

 

The excitement surrounding the Walks for Joy spread during the second week of school. Each school created a “hype” video to be played during a virtual assembly to excite students and introduce a more serious message from CCA founder, Regina Elis.  In addition, on Monday, September 14, Jesuit held its annual brown bag meeting over zoom led by senior student lead Gwynne Olson. The meeting was a success, teaching almost 100 students how to create fundraising pages, and reach out to donors. 

 

Within two weeks, not only did Jesuit reach the goal of 10,000 dollars, but surpassed it by over 5,000 dollars. So far, the schools raised almost 50,000 dollars. 

 

The Coffeehouse included performances by the students of all six schools. The Jesuit emcees of the night were senior Alannah Connolly and senior Mackenzie Jamies and student performers included senior Gregor McKelligon, and junior Denyse Gallardo. Supporting the musicians were technicians senior Grace Sopko and senior Luke Motschenbacher. Overall, the students were a hit, but they were not the only music performers invited to play that night. After the event, the world renowned Lumineers performed some of their hit songs. 

 

The next morning students woke up early for 10 a.m. Mass. With speakers from all six of the schools, a beautiful service was produced. The Mass was presided by Fr. David Shaw from Central Catholic and Fr. Pat Couture from Jesuit, with student reflections by junior Mary Lou Lux from Valley Catholic, Gwynne Olson from Jesuit, and junior Emma Watson from Central Catholic. The service was concluded with a reflection from Regina Ellis. 

 

Following Mass, students were encouraged to go out and walk with their families. Though the walk was significantly different from past walks, it was still greatly embraced by many students. 

 

“I loved the CCA Walk for Joy the previous years I participated because I got to walk with my classmates,” senior Roxana Abtin explained. “However, this year I really enjoyed being able to walk with my family.”

 

Looking back, the weekend was a complete success. Students were as involved this year as they have been in the previous years and had an amazing time. This weekend seemed impossible when planning began in April but ended up being amazing thanks to everyone who pitched in. 

 

“CCA, like a lot of charities, is hurting in the age of COVID-19 because they do most of their fundraising at events.” Principal Hogan said. “ My view was that things went astonishingly well. We could very well have just said,’Yeah, you know what, this is not going to work this year. We can’t gather everyone in the Saint Mary’s gym.how are we going to have a Mass?’ In the end, I’m super grateful that students did not give up on it and I am so proud of our Catholic school student leaders!”

 

About the Writer
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Gwynne Olson, Executive Editor-at-Large and Social Media Executive

Gwynne Olson is a junior staff writer for the Jesuit Chronicle. Gwynne is the youngest of two. Brooke, her older sister, is a recent graduate from the...

Encounter-less Seniors

March+Co-ed+Encounter+students+enjoying+the+Mackenzie+River%E2%80%99s+company.+Courtesy+of+Don+Clarke.
Senior Emily O’Connor and fellow October Women’s Encounter students. Courtesy of Emily O’Connor.
March Co-ed Encounter students enjoying the Mackenzie River’s company. Courtesy of Don Clarke.

The Encounter is a memorable weekend that deeply resonates with most students, however 75 seniors were not able to experience Jesuit’s junior Encounter due to the Coronavirus. Both the April Women’s Encounter and April Co-Ed Encounter were canceled last spring in hopes of rescheduling in the fall. 

“The encounter is such a central part of the Jesuit experience and I’ve heard so many people say it’s their favorite Jesuit memory,” senior Emily O’Connor, a participant in the 2019 October Women’s Encounter said. “I’ve seen people come back from their encounter with so much love and positivity that spreads to the rest of the community. My encounter made me feel so loved and everyone deserves the chance to have that experience.” 

If the remaining seniors are able to experience their encounter, certain things may be restricted due to Covid-19, such as hugging or sitting in close proximity. 

“I don’t feel like the encounter would be the same because we would have to social distance and not be able to hug and bond,” senior Roxana Abtin said. “I also think that a lot of people might feel uncomfortable hugging because of the social distancing we’ve had to do the past 6 months. In my perspective, sometimes hugging feels weird and different than it did before Covid-19 began.” 

Mr. Don Clarke, head of campus ministry and Jesuit retreats, was asked what restrictions would be set in place if the Corona Virus was still relatively prevalent. 

“When an Encounter is announced, it will be accompanied by a set of safety and hygienic restrictions that will be enforced. Anyone going on an Encounter this year will probably tell you that they knew what the expectations are for their weekend in light of Covid 19 guidelines.”

Current juniors are yet to experience their encounters, which would have been scheduled for this year. Seniors and juniors may possibly have to experience their encounters together due to timeliness. 

“Trust is a necessary part of the small group discussions and I think that already having gone on previous retreats with our senior classmates has built the foundation of trust that is required and that wouldn’t be the same with a small group mixed with juniors,” O’Connor said. “Also, our class has lost a lot of time together because of Covid-19 so I think that having the encounter experience and the chance to create new relationships and strengthen existing ones with our own classmates is super important.”

These concerns have also been brought to the attention of campus ministry.

“It is important to me to listen to what seniors are asking and each time I have met with them, they have asked that they be in a small group with just seniors. We will do everything we can to make that happen but it is in no way guaranteed,” Mr. Don Clarke said. 

Mr. Clarke has been working relentlessly to provide an encounter for the 75 seniors.   

“We have been working with St. Benedict Lodge this summer and following the state guidelines as well as the CDC guidelines to see how we can get students to the retreat site and back and safely let them attend an Encounter.” Mr. Clarke said. “We have changed the schedule to eliminate the events where social distancing could not be kept and we have developed a two day Encounter. Once we get an OK, we will set up a schedule for this year.” 

Alongside 75 seniors who have not experienced their junior encounter, the entire junior class is patiently waiting as well. 

“Depending on class size, we have had Encounters of up to 55 juniors. This year we are proposing Encounters of 32 juniors,” Mr. Clarke said. 

About the Writer
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Lucy Menendez, Staff Writer

Lucy Menendez is a senior at Jesuit High School and first time journalism student. Lucy plays basketball at Jesuit and is involved in multiple clubs. Her...

As Oregon Battles Coronavirus, Kate Brown Says No School Until Infection Rates Drop

Pictured above is Oregon Governor Kate Brown (flickr.com), who ultimately decides whether or not Oregon High Schools can return to in-person learning. (Oregon Department of Transportation)

Last month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown stated that unless infection rates drop, students won’t be seeing the classroom anytime soon(Willamette Week).

The news came at a press conference when Brown announced that, at Oregon’s current rate of infection, it would take over 200 days to get back to school, although more recent data shows that daily case rates have risen more than 30% since September 11 (Willamette Week/OregonLive).

The Governor’s requirements for returning to in-person learning are a less than five percent positive test rate statewide and an infection rate of fewer than 10 per 100,000 Oregonians in each county over the course of a week (Oregon.gov). Jesuit principal Paul Hogan weighed in on this issue.

“I trust that Governor Brown is making the best decisions she can with the information that she’s getting,” Hogan said. “The 10/100,000 is a very strict measure compared to other states. At the same time, we’ve had families in our community that have experienced COVID and even one is too many.”

Principal Hogan also said that he believes the campus is safe enough to bring back small groups of students for in-person instruction.

“I do think we can begin to bring groups of students back safely, as other states have done,” Hogan said.

Junior Rishabh Sharma stated that Governor Brown’s shutdowns and mask mandates have prevented a lot of Oregonians from contracting the virus.

“From what I’ve seen and heard on the news, I think she’s done a pretty good job of trying to handle COVID,” Sharma said. “She closed everything down, and after a little bit she allowed some stuff to reopen but still restricted other stuff, and she has been strict requiring masks in public places.”

Although Sharma supports Brown’s efforts, not everyone in the Jesuit community thinks the same. Junior Matteo Campbell says her handling of the virus has not been satisfactory.

“Some of the stuff she’s done has not been extremely positive in my opinion,” Campbell said. “Closing schools way back was a very poor decision.”

As a result of Sharma and Campbell’s different takes on the Governor’s handling of the virus, their views of when to return to campus vary widely as well. Campbell believes that we should return to school as soon as possible.

“If people are so concerned with masks, why can’t we just go to school with masks on?” Campbell said. “People who want to go back to school on the hybrid schedule can go…and the people who don’t want to go back to school…can stay home and watch [Zoom].”

Sharma, on the other hand, believes that vaccination is when schools should open.

“I don’t think we can have full school until there’s a vaccine,” Sharma said. “In Oregon… [in-person] school should not be a possibility right now.”

But when might a return to campus happen? Principal Hogan gave us much needed hope, saying that hybrid school could come next semester.

“I think it’s going to take us through the fall to see if rates stabilize while people start to go inside,” Hogan said. “I’m hesitant to speculate, but hopefully we can enter a hybrid phase before the end of the semester.”

About the Writer
Photo of Anton Baricevic
Anton Baricevic, Managing Executive Editor

Anton Baricevic is a proud editor for the Jesuit Chronicle. As a member of the class of 2022, Anton decided to take Journalism because his sister Mia,...

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