Jesuit Chronicle

Requirements for mandatory Zoom meetings draw mixed reactions from student body

Teachers+have+increasingly+made+use+of+mandatory+Zoom+sessions+based+on+feedback+from+the+administration.

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Teachers have increasingly made use of mandatory Zoom sessions based on feedback from the administration.

Citing a desire for more face time with students, the administration implemented a requirement beginning May 5 that each class must schedule a mandatory, graded Zoom session at least once per week. Teachers have two time slots available in the week to schedule meetings with each period. All time slots occur within the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with three blocks per day: 10:00-11:00 a.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m., and 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Zoom class meetings can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour, with the average meeting, according to students interviewed, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Since most Jesuit students are required to take six or seven classes per day, Zoom meetings can now be anticipated to occupy three to four hours of students’ weekly coursework, a significant increase in time spent in live class meetings compared to previous Zoom policies. 

Prior to the policy shift, teachers had relatively wide latitude in whether to make Zoom meetings mandatory or optional, with many choosing an optional weekly Zoom meeting in an effort to avoid burdening or overscheduling students. Some teachers opted to avoid Zoom meetings altogether. 

Principal Paul Hogan says that the extended lack of face time—and the resulting disconnect between teachers and classmates—between Mar. 13 and late April for some classes prompted the administration to implement more stringent class meeting requirements.

“Students have not seen their classmates, nor been able to hear the teacher explain the material nor ask questions,” Mr. Hogan said. “We are a face-to-face community. We believe that in-person teaching is crucial to deeper understanding and building the kinds of relationships that lead to real communication.”

While a more regimented Zoom schedule and requirements for mandatory Zoom meetings virtually ensures that students will receive more direct interaction with their classmates and teachers, some students fear that the lack of flexibility associated with synchronous Zoom meetings will make completing coursework more difficult. 

In particular, students with jobs and pressing financial obligations to their families that have been amplified by the economic fallout of the pandemic may not have the freedom to simply reduce hours or abruptly shift their schedules to accommodate Zoom meetings. 

“Since I work, I’m constantly trying to find ways to either work around my schedule last minute or make up Zoom meetings for credit, which adds on homework at the end of my day,” senior Kaylee Jeong said. “I don’t rely on my job, but I can imagine students who actually need to work to support their family during a huge financial crisis are far more stressed out. It’s unfair to assume that during a time where so many families are financially unstable, students can just go about their day like normal.”

Though the students dependent on jobs in order to supplement their family’s income may comprise a small minority at Jesuit, an intensive schedule of Zoom meetings nevertheless presumes a level of financial privilege and scheduling flexibility that already vulnerable students lack. And despite the fact that such students can work around mandatory Zoom meetings by contacting teachers, constantly soliciting accommodations and make-up opportunities magnifies stress, says Jeong.

Students without stable Internet access face a similar hurdle. In order to excuse themselves from or to secure access to Zoom meetings, they must contact IT for accommodations, an additional burden that increases daily obligations.

Senior Nina Velu also expresses concern that teachers often don’t provide enough notice for when Zoom meetings are scheduled, as having two potential time slots for each period per week creates uncertainty around when classes meet. Velu emphasizes that after spending the past six weeks crafting her own schedule, the abrupt transition towards synchronous Zoom meetings has been confusing and disruptive. 

“I usually sleep in until 12, and that was what I got used to during digital learning days for a long time,” Velu said. “When a class schedules a meeting for 10 a.m., I can wake up, but it’s hard because usually teachers send out notifications maybe ten minutes before the meeting starts, and they don’t make any reminders super clear in our weekly schedule. It’s been disorienting.”

The administration says that it derived the mandatory Zoom meeting policy from comments offered by parents, teachers, and students. According to a schoolwide survey conducted by the administration, 28.9% of the 291 respondents placed their daily workload between 4 and 5 hours, while at least 81.2% of respondents said they completed their coursework in under 7 hours on average. Since the majority of respondents dedicated significantly less time to school-related activities than they would during normal operations, the administration felt comfortable replacing traditional homework with once-weekly Zoom meetings. 

“The typical JHS student would spend 10+ hours either at school or on homework in ‘normal’ times,” Mr. Hogan said. “I do not want to minimize the large amount of work students are now doing… But having 6 or 7 classes per week, which averages 1.4 classes per day, in an environment where students do not have a commute, should still allow students to get their work done and still get exercise and have time with their families.”

Sophomore Elina Deshpande appreciates all-class Zoom meetings as a way to reduce the tedium that accompanies endless homework assignments. “Zoom meetings are really refreshing to break up your routine and to see all the people that you truly miss the most,” she said.

However, thus far, Deshpande notices that some teachers use their allotted Zoom times as an aimless check-in rather than as a space for lectures or class discussions, which she feels is a waste of time. 

Jeong suggests that if teachers want to use Zoom simply to maintain contact with students and secure personal interaction, they can instead require some sort of check-in that can occur either over Zoom or email, allowing students to continue working under flexible conditions. 

“I think Zoom meetings are a good idea, but making them mandatory wasn’t,” Jeong said. “If the purpose is to encourage closeness between a student and teacher, I think being asked to just keep in touch with a teacher in some way works fine.”

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Shawna Muckle, Chief Editor

Shawna Muckle, 17, is a senior at Jesuit High School. She has been a member of the Chronicle staff for three years in various capacities, and she is currently...

COVID-19 cancels and postpones Spring at Jesuit

Graduation+is+postponed+due+to+the+coronavirus+with+uncertainity+on+what+will+happen+in+the+future+to+celebrate+the+graduates.

Graduation is postponed due to the coronavirus with uncertainity on what will happen in the future to celebrate the graduates.

Spring at Jesuit is usually filled with activities and events, but due to COVID-19, all in-person events have been cancelled or postponed. 

Some of the most important events of the school year are now in question, including Graduation, while Prom is already cancelled. 

“The biggest event that we needed to cancel was prom,” ASB teacher Dr. Exley said. “Students were pretty upset that their prom was canceled, but seemed to understand the canceling of the event based on us not having school and a need to practice social distancing. We are working on different events and activities for graduation weekend along with administration as a way to celebrate the class of 2020. We also will continue with weekly challenges to get students engaged and involved.”

Many seniors do not know what the future will hold to celebrate them, but Principal Hogan hopes to stay optimistic with students and families about an in-person graduation. 

“On May 1, we hosted the first-ever Twilight Parade/college-decision day celebration,” Mr. Hogan said. “We will be hosting a series of events on May 29-31.We are getting ready to announce that we HOPE to hold an in-person Commencement on Cronin Field on July 11. Not fully confirmed yet. If we are allowed to do that by the Governor, we will likely also have a Baccalaureate of some kind (maybe livestreamed) that morning.”

Although Principal Hogan hopes for a July 11th date for a commencement celebration, Governor Kate Brown has extended large gatherings of more than 25 people through September. 

This could all change if the state progresses to a vaccine or a reliable treatment for COVID-19 earlier than September, according to Governor Kate Brown. 

As for now though, it looks like until a further push for treatments and vaccines come to Oregon, big gatherings in the summer will be restricted. 

Junior Mackenzie Convey will be missing her first prom, and reflects on how she was feeling when she heard the news. 

“I was very upset and sad, because I thought in the beginning of quarantine that there still could have been a prom and we could go back to school,” Convey said. “Now I’m still sad, but I know I’ll still have a senior prom and that this is not my last dance.”

With uncertainty for the future, the student government class is doing its best to  connect Jesuit while in quarantine. 

“We have been trying to keep the Jesuit Community active through our instagram account and keeping the Jesuit Community informed of different activities that are happening even though we are not at school,” Dr. Exley. Said. “During the first week of Digital Learning, we started posting two challenges a week on the Jesuit instagram. We also created the Jesuit Senior instagram where Seniors can post about their plans for next year and created cards to be sent to teachers thanking them for their work during Teacher Appreciation Week on behalf of the Jesuit Student Body.”

Junior Damon Grim was in student government this year and was recently elected in the ASB cabinet for his senior year. He has been participating in the student government Zoom classes and helping to plan future events.

Once things are lifted, you will see many more things being planned to celebrate the seniors and juniors,” Grim said. 

Student government’s main goal, while school remains cancelled, is to connect the Jesuit community and remind Jesuit students of the strong community.

“Right now, our main ‘project’ or focus has been on the Jesuit Community and trying to remind students that we are all in this together,” Dr. Exley said. “We have also begun to discuss different service opportunities that we can do to help the larger community as we all deal with Covid-19. [I want] student government to be a place that helps remind Jesuit Students of our strong community and our many different connections to each other.”

Also as most student’s events and activities continue to be either postponed or cancelled, Principal Hogan shares how students are helping people struggling due to COVID-19 and the importance of volunteering. 

“We had a sandwich drive for Blanchet House and Storm McGraw and our Drama Dept have been making masks and gowns,” Mr. Hogan said. “Students like Manavi Thakur have created their own service/fundraising drives.” 

About the Writer
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Annie Landgraf, Managing Editor & Social Media Director






Annie Landgraf is a managing editor for journalism. She was born in Lake Oswego, Oregon and went to Lake Oswego schools her whole life before...

Society After Quarantine

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With stay at home orders still in place, how society will function after quarantine is difficult to predict. 

Throughout the past month, COVID-19 has altered lives around the globe. Through consistently staying home, many have developed entirely new routines and ways of maintaining a sense of normalcy. 

Assimilating back into “normal” society will be a challenging process, as the definition of what is considered “normal” may be altered drastically. Whether it be hygienic precautions or a heightened reliance on technology, COVID-19 will alter numerous customs and practices of everyday life, creating a “new normal.”

One impactful change is the use of masks to limit the spread of germs. With masks being mandatory in many well-known stores, such as Costco, as well as the new, current norm of wearing masks in public, wearing masks is predicted to be an “everyday accessory of American life” (Los Angeles Times).

“I think you will see more people wearing masks in public, and it is likely that more people will stay home when they are sick or wear masks when they don’t feel well,” says Mrs. Kuenz, Associate Director of Ecological Justice & Global Networking. “We all now have a heightened awareness of how our germs can impact others and with something that is highly contagious, my hope is that people will be more responsible and do a better job of staying home when they do not actually need to go out.”

Mrs. Kuenz also voices her hopes that COVID-19 will influence many to make more conscious decisions to think about the impact of our actions, such as buying products that support local businesses and becoming more resourceful to lead a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

“My hope is that more people are aware of where products are coming from and keeping local businesses afloat,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “Ordering things from big chains or Amazon, while it might be easier to get those products, it hurts those local businesses. On the flip side, it could be where people are so hungry to go out shopping that all of a sudden there is a huge up-tick in shopping. So it’s about balance, and it’s hard to know what is going to happen.”

In addition to a change in consumer trends, school systems and workplaces might alter their way of continuing education and practices through a heightened online presence or change in routine, catering to health precautions by avoiding large gatherings. 

“It is really hard to envision what schools and workplaces will look like in the fall.  I think that there will be more options for meeting/learning remotely,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “I imagine that if telecommuting has worked well for an employer and employee, that there will be more such options in the future. There are aspects of business that can function more efficiently in a remote environment.”

One of the largest changes to everyday life may be the heightened awareness surrounding the spread of germs, specifically through hand-contact. Due to COVID-19, the importance of hand-washing has been emphasized immensely, which hopefully will continue in post-quarantine society. 

“Definitely people will be more conscious with washing hands,” junior Jamie Turner said. “There’s hopefully going to be a lot more education in school about it, and I also think we are going to have to put many more health systems in place to deal with stuff like this in case it happens again. I think we are overall going to be more health conscious so that we don’t repeat our past mistakes.” 

Assimilating back into society will be a slow process, and restraining from jumping back in will be difficult, especially for those who are extremely social and eager to see friends and family they have been separated from. 

“Whenever I’ll go out with friends I’ll feel guilty and stressed about it,” Turner said. “Especially because my parents are doctors. I also feel like if we do have school and sports, there might not be any audience at sports games, and I’m not sure if we’ll have assemblies. As much as people want to go back to normal, I think it’s going to take so much time.”

While schools may be looking into strictly online learning, bringing students back into classrooms could be an option. However, according to NPR, classroom settings will likely look much different than what many are used to. 

For example, along with heightened precautions surrounding health and hygiene, classroom sizes may be 12 students or fewer, creating an entirely new schedule and calendar to accommodate all students (NPR). For Jesuit specifically, lunch and classroom schedules could drastically change, as half as many students would be able to convene together in order to maintain a healthy distance. 

Due to these schedule changes, remote/online learning may need to continue in some capacity to efficiently continue lessons. In addition, assemblies, sports games, and parent-teacher conferences may discontinue, as gathering in large groups will most likely be prohibited. 

While quarantine has altered many aspects of everyday life, the excess time has allowed for a boost in new hobbies (such as quidditch) and time spent with family members. 

“I sincerely hope that more people choose to emphasize and make time for crafts, hobbies, family game night, walks together and so on,” Mrs. Kuenz said. “I think that we will all cherish time with friends in a new way. Many of my students have also commented on how much they have appreciated being able to complete work in their own time. I wonder if it has given many of us an opportunity to re-prioritize our lives and the space to really understand how we as individuals work and think the best.”

 

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Scout Jacobs, Managing Editor







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

Covid-19’s impact on the environment

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The Covid-19 pandemic is having interesting impacts on the environment.

With Covid-19 putting a halt to business and “normal” life, emission rates around the world have decreased substantially. As climate change is one of the major issues young activists have tackled in recent years, the current pandemic is giving people a glimpse of what a less carbon driven world could entail. 

“The air feels cleaner, and the skies are much clearer,” senior Ella Howe said. 

The immediate halting of unessential businesses and transportation has led to a sharp decline in pollution, and some cities have cleaner air than they have had in years. Levels of pollution in New York City have dropped nearly 50%, and carbon emissions in China have decreased by 25%. Within the United States, domestic air travel has dropped 40% and international travel has reportedly dropped 96% (cnn.com). 

While we are seeing these relative decreases, climate change activists should be aware that this may not be considered a huge win. Environmental Science and Biology teacher Ms. Mahoney is not sure this period will have any positive effects on the future of our environment. 

We may actually see an extra bump in high temperature increase this year due to the lack of particulate matter in the air,” Mahoney said. “The particulate matter in the air normally blocks some of the sun’s rays from striking the Earth and getting trapped, but now the cleaner air is lacking some of its capacity to block out sunlight.”

Though there has been a decrease in emissions and air pollution, there has been a surge in waste. Oregon as well as other states including Maine and New Hampshire and many major cities have delayed their bans on plastic bags and instead directed retailers to prevent the use of reusable bags. (usatoday.com). 

“I think right now single-use products are unavoidable,” senior Helen Rocker said. “Everyone is so scared of touching things and getting sick that these products are again becoming the go-to.” 

While the global pandemic offers a much needed temporary “break” for the environment, the long-term effects of this are still uncertain. Could policy makers grow an appreciation for this clean space, or will production and economic drive dominante the new world? People also may take advantage of what they currently can not, and air travel could increase carbon emissions. 

It is my hope that people with power outside the government, because so many of our laws have actually concentrated power not in the government but in these individuals and corporations, recognize that for them to maintain their own power and wealth in the long term we must meet our energy needs in a dramatically different way and soon,” Mahoney said. “They are the ones with the ability to force rapid change.”

The environmental impacts that Covid-19 has created are similar to that of the 2008 economic recession. This economic crash led to a reduction in industrial activity and in turn an overall decrease of emissions by 1.3%. However in accordance with the economic recovery following this crisis, emissions reached an all time high. (bbc.com). 

People are not the only life-form that has been noticing a change in our planet. Animals all around the world are taking advantage of cleaner water, air, and less inhabited areas. Endangered turtles in Thailand are nesting in greater numbers than they have seen in two decades, and whales are swimming closer to shore than ever in the Mediterranean and Canadian waters (abcnews.go.com). 

“I was driving and there was a deer just walking along the side of the road,” Howe said. 

The future impacts of this pandemic are also dependent on the length of its duration. With things beginning to re-open, the “break” the earth is experiencing could soon be over.

It is my hope that people, once we return to work and school and a pattern of life that more resembles what we are familiar with, make different choices in how we live and what is truly important,” Mahoney said. “Fast food, fast fashion, frequent rapid travel, globalized production chains, and always wanting more stuff cheaply and beyond what we need, maybe this part of the human world doesn’t get to survive Covid-19.”

 

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Virginia Larner, Chief Editor

Virginia Larner is a senior at Jesuit. She has been on the journalism staff for the last three years, and the editorial board for the last two. Each year...

Fake news and its effects on the COVID-19 pandemic

BBC
This tweet displaying a fake message was posted by a person who hacked into The Associated Press's twitter account.

Fake news. The deliberate spread of false information, plaguing our media everyday. 

Fake news may seem trivial being easy to look up and debunk, but its ability to fool millions of people proves otherwise. 

Just before the quarantine began, my dad and sister drove up to her college to retrieve her belongings. The drive takes 12 hours there and back, so they decided to stay overnight and drive back the next morning. 

Back at home, my mom received a message from her boss at work about a national two-week lockdown, effective in the next 48 hours. The message stated it was from a “friend from the military”, and had spread like a wildfire on Facebook. 

Worried my dad and sister wouldn’t be allowed to drive home the next day, my mom quickly forwarded the message to them. She suggested it could be fake news, but they should check it out just in case.

At the college, my dad overheard a campus security officer discussing that exact same lockdown warning. Deciding to not risk it, my dad and sister drive through the night all the way back home.

Turns out, that warning was false, and their driving 12 hours in one day could’ve been easily split into two. The message, posted on Facebook, was instigated by a troll in America but amplified by Chinese operatives utilizing techniques by Russian hackers (NYTIMES). In just 48 hours, the message spread across the nation and affected thousands of lives.

Fake news can spread anywhere: newspapers, advertisements, social media, and much more. The biggest contributing factor to the transmission of false information is social media. 

Social platforms give people the liberty to post anything without fact checks or examination of sources. Media users don’t tend to immediately search everything they see, so whatever grabs their attention takes a surprising hold on their beliefs. Junior Anh-Thi Pham explains how we are much more disposed to believe disinformation if it confirms our wants or beliefs. 

“If [the news] is too good to be true, we’ll be more susceptible to believe it, as it affects us positively. With social media, it makes it easier to believe false information,” Pham stated.

While fake news posts  can affect any viewer, the impact varies. For instance, research shows that the elderly are over three times more prone to believing fabricated information than people ages 18-29 (niemanlab). This might be due to older people’s lack of constant exposure to social media and its questionable news sources. 

“Teens are constantly bombarded by fake news on social media,” junior Sahana Inteti said. “[They] have been taught and programmed to sort news into fake and real. [Elderly people] are not used to the large amounts of fake news circulating social media.”

Despite fake news commonly affecting a certain age group, teenagers are not invincible when it comes to believing lies.

“I have come across fake news, [and although] the way it was formatted made me question its credibility, I did believe it at first. This made me more skeptical and hesitant to believe everything I see online,” sophomore Bridget Albers said.

Fake news like this message can not only influence one’s life into acting upon false pretenses, but also undermine the credibility of real news sources. Because of the constant battle between what is real and what is fake, people have begun to align a real news source’s credibility with that of fake news. This influx of false information causes many to not believe anything they see, damaging the reputation of real news sources, such as the New York Times and CNN.

What further perpetuates the doubting of real news companies’ verity are hackers who use the news source’s front as a way of spreading disinformation attached to their name. For example, a hacker broke into The Associated Press’ Twitter account and posted a breaking news headline about an explosion in the White House injuring Obama. Despite the company’s quick apology and explanation that they were hacked into, the tweet had already instantaneously been liked, retweeted, and forwarded thousands of times.  

The enormous spread of disinformation grips the country especially in times of turmoil, such as in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. People are pining for any good news about the virus, real or fake, while also being scared into submission of believing bad news. 

Messages like the one my family received are still circulating online, in all different shapes and sizes. Fake news has the powerful effect of persuading people into believing what they want, which can cause serious ramifications in the credibility or dubiousness of a source. 

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Rosa Madden, Staff Writer







Rosa Madden, a junior at Jesuit High School, is taking her first year of journalism this year. She’s excited to write articles for the paper...

How quarantine impacts mental health

How+quarantine+impacts+mental+health

 

People need people. This is a phrase that has been carried through centuries and surely still rings true today. 

 

It has been proven that people who experience loneliness and disconnection are more likely to develop signs of anxiety and/or depression. In a New York Times article highlighting the importance of human connection, personal health columnist Jane E Brody wrote “People who are chronically lacking in social contact are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation” (www.nytimes.com).

 

The isolation imposed due to quarantine has left people feeling that they have no control over the situation; they feel cut off from the world. Though many are surrounded by family members during this time, the sense of isolation and cabin fever can be powerful. That being said, humans’ mental health, especially teenagers, cannot be impacted well due to quarantine and isolation. 

 

In what can be thought of “normal times,” statistics show that  20 percent of teens experience signs of depression and 25 percent experience signs of anxiety before they reach adulthood. With numbers that have increased rapidly, research everywhere says there is no single cause for what teens are experiencing. Although some indicators include bullying, high expectations, substance abuse, or lack of confidence. Teenagers already have so much stress that fills their lives with sports, grades, and expectations, and generally social interaction is a good release. 

 

Due to quarantine, these social interactions have been cut down to the bare minimum with limited outlets and opportunities to find a safe haven. 

 

“I still talk to my friends over FaceTime and Snapchat and other things like that,” an anonymous student said. “But it’s not the same as communicating with someone in person. Honestly, I feel like I need genuine human interaction or it really just doesn’t count. Over the phone is just so impersonal.”

 

While talking over the phone is fulfilling for some students, for others it simply is not enough. Without true human contact, many students have had trouble maintaining good mental health while keeping social distances. 

 

“For a while school was a place that I dreaded going because I felt so lonely,” an anonymous student confessed. “However as time went on it became the only place where I really wanted to be. Having to stay cooped up in my house has been bringing back that lonely feeling that I used to feel at school.”

 

School has been a place, for some students, that brings a great deal of stress into their lives. However, without the added social interactions that come with being a student, many yearn to go back. 

 

There is not a singular solution that can benefit every teen who has experienced depression and anxiety, however, there are many things that can be done to help during these unprecedented times. 

 

First, it is important to establish a routine. Having a structured plan can minimize the feeling of being out of control or the feeling of directionlessness. Planning out activities to keep busy will put the mind at ease; it is important to stay active. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can be triggers for depression.

 

“Maintain a regular schedule, including wake and sleep times,” Jesuit  counselor Michelle Strear said. “Schedule in time to socialize, to be active/exercise, and other things you enjoy.”

 

Second, it is important to communicate with others. Though it may not be the same communicating over a screen versus in person, it is important that you try and maintain those relationships for two main reasons. First of all it gives you some form of human contact that you need, because after all people really do need people. And second, quarantine will not last forever and you will need those friendships once social distancing is lifted.

 

It is also important that you communicate how you are feeling and resist keeping your feelings bottled up. Talk to your friends, parents, siblings, school counselors, or one of the many teen hotlines for those feeling depressed or anxious.

 

Finally, remember the reason that we are complying with quarantine. It is not a punishment, but a precaution to avoid spreading a virus that has caused thousands of deaths. Keep yourself informed but not overwhelmed. Many people can feel stressed if they feel they do not have access to information about their surroundings. Make sure you know enough to be satisfied but not stressed. 

 

 Remember that by complying to quarantine you are saving lives and it will be over soon. Stay true to yourself and never lose sight of your future ahead. 

 

“It was really hard at first, being by myself everyday,”an anonymous student said. “But it’s gotten a lot easier now that I have become more optimistic. I know that this will clear up someday so I might as well try some new things and enjoy some ‘me time’ until that day comes!”

 

Trevor Hotline for LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386 | thetrevorproject.org

Suicide Prevention (United States): 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Youth Hotline: 1-877-968-8491 | oregonyouthline.org or text “teen2teen” to 839863 

About the Writer
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Gwynne Olson, Staff Writer and Social Media Specialist

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...

Racial discrimination amid COVID-19 pandemic

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When speaking on the government’s plan of action facing the beginnings of the Coronavirus epidemic, President Trump referred to the virus as the “Chinese virus,” striking pushback and outcry from many. With criticisms from Americans, news outlets, and even WHO officials, many argued the President’s words were damaging to Chinese American communities and only further encouraged xenophobia (CNBC).

When responding to a comment asking if his wording of the virus was offensive, President Trump responded, “It’s not racist at all” (CNBC). However, not long after did the President choose to stop using “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19.

The virus did indeed begin in China. However, does this give a pass for the possible discriminatory and xenophobic implications of calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan” and/or “Chinese” virus?

“I think some people are placing blame on Chinese people for the virus because it is an easy fix,” said senior Marissa Dea-Mattson. 

“In a time like this, with a lot of turmoil, people want to place blame and attack others… Yes, it did orginate in China, but it affects all groups of people, regardless of sex, ethnicty, and age.”

The hardships that have occurred due to the outbreak, such as job insecurity, cancellations and more, leaves plenty of desire for blame to be placed.

 Many Chinese and other Asian restaurants suffered business losses before COVID-19 shutdowns in the US, and internet memes saying things like “some idiot in China who ate bat soup…” are prime examples of the discriminatory attitude many have taken towards Chinese and other Asian people.

“The leader of our country and others are playing into the idea that [COVID-19] is the fault of one group of people,” Diversity Director Melissa Lowery said.

“That blame is not accurate or factual. It’s a feeling, and an opinion.”

“We usually don’t call other viruses by where they originated,” said sophomore Ché Lowery

“It’s an excuse to be racist. Asian people are already victims of racial discrimination, and this puts even more of a target on their back.” 

Blame and labeling the virus as “Chinese” creates an unneeded space for racial discrimination and xenophobia that only creates divides and tensions in a time where unity is needed the most. Being wary of the biases presented can help begin to squash discriminatory attitudes and lessen its effect on the Asians community in the future.

However, Asian Americans aren’t the only racial minority group being affected by COVID-19.

“Some communities which are disproportionately being affected by coronavirus are communities of color, especially Black Americans, because of health equity and lack of access to quality healthcare,” said senior Sudeeksha Yadav.

“And, US territories like Puerto Rico are experiencing colonialism-like symptoms of no aid from the US government and tourists continuing to vacation and spread disease to native residents.”

The presence of discrimination and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 in communities of color calls for attention and remedies from American citizens. In a time of uncertainty and anguish, the dehumanization of certain groups due to race and other bias is uncalled for and needs to end. The only way to truly begin to lessen the emotional toils COVID-19 is taking on people around the world is to practice empathy and unitization with all of the people of the world, regardless of race. 

“If someone blames China or other Asians for originating COVID-19,  I would tell them that yes, it did start in China, but it has been affecting everyone from all over the world,” said Dea-Mattson.

“Because we are dealing with so many globalized cases, it is wrong to be targeting people based on their outward appearance.  Placing stigma on people will not stop this illness but rather cause hatred and violence.”

 

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Jayla Lowery, Staff Writer

Jayla Lowery is a current senior at Jesuit High School. She enjoys biking, reading, swimming, music, daydreaming, watching movies, and writing mediocre...

Tutoring program connects students during quarantine

Tutoring+program+connects+students+during+quarantine

Junior Brian Xu founded “Students Tutor Students,” a free, online tutoring service to high school students in the Portland area. 

The service matches up student tutors and tutees based on subject and availability. Currently, the program is in the development stage, as Xu is compiling a list of student tutors/tutees who would work well together. 

“Interested tutors and people who are being tutored can sign up to help through a form that we have created. Overall, it’s an opportunity for people across the city to connect and educate each other in the midst of this crisis,” Xu said. 

Xu, along with junior Devansh Khunteta, are working to create a website for the program, as well as social media platforms. 

“Our long term future plans are lofty, but we believe that they’ll be achievable. We envision phasing the service onto an app so that people can create tutor and tutee accounts and be matched through the app, kind of like tinder, but for tutoring,” Xu said. “It will really help make it easier for a lot of people to have everything ready and accessible in the palm of their hand.”

Khunteta is  the technical director for Students Tutor Students, in charge of creating the forms for both tutors and tutees, as well as creating and maintaining the website. 

“Although at Jesuit we are given the resources to have programs such as NHS, not all students at other schools are given this same opportunity to have face to face interaction with tutors and teachers through mediums like Zoom,” Khunteta said. “However, by implementing a program such as Students Tutor Students, students from all different schools will be able to work together to grow academically. As a healthy byproduct, this program will also give students the opportunity to meet new people that they otherwise may not have met during quarantine.”

Khunteta and Xu both founded the chapter of “Junior State of America” at Jesuit, indicating their interest and involvement in politics. Through these experiences and focus on politics, Xu has grown to “naturally gain an awareness” on global issues, as well as issues in the Jesuit community. 

“When this crisis hit, and schooling turned online, my mind was on those who would be most adversely affected,” Xu said. “Teachers would be overwhelmed quickly as they become less accessible than before without face to face contact, and getting personal help in school for a lot of students would become even more difficult than it already is. After surveying my friends and seeing that many were like me and wanted to help out during these difficult times, I realized that this was a perfect opportunity for those students who want to get involved in their communities to help their peers through online tutoring.”

With Xu’s personal prior experience in tutoring, as well as organizational skills and passion for politics, Xu created a way to grow one-on-one interactions, such as tutoring, to a larger-scale movement, striving to help students across Portland maintain connections and an adequate education. 

“One of my biggest beliefs is that education is a great equalizer: that if everyone has access to adequate education, then everyone will have the power to take their lives into their own hands and achieve what they want to achieve,” Xu said. “The importance of education is undeniable in my eyes.”

About the Writer
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Scout Jacobs, Managing Editor







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

COVID-19 changes the course for college admission

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College News

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COVID-19 changes the course for college admission 


Dozens of colleges and universities are altering their admission process amidst the coronavirus.

Major changes include the onset of test optional admission, adjustments in confirmation deadlines, enhancement of virtual access to campus tours, information presentations, and video/text chat with admission representatives.

These changes were made after  the government’s stay-at-home policy due to  COVID-19.

These new alterations to college admission will most likely affect upperclassmen. For seniors, it will affect their final decision on where to attend college.

“I anticipate the change in confirmation deadlines (June 1 rather than May 1 for example) are likely to only impact the class of ’20,” college counselor Mr. Johnson said. “Broadly, campus visits are cancelled, and some college orientationevents have gone virtual.  I believe that COVID-19 may prompt students and families to rethink their final college decision, perhaps desiring to be closer to home, anticipating changes in what college will look like in fall 2020.”

Senior Hannah Stream is going to Colorado University at Boulder. She was one of the few lucky people to already visit her college and make a decision.

“I was lucky I went early enough that I still got my in-person visit, but most schools have been sending constant emails that they can only do virtual campus tours and from what I’ve heard, it’s just not the same,” Stream said. “This is when people were going to go on college visits to have that reassurance that they were making the right choice for the next four years, and not being able to walk around and talk to people face to face makes it that more difficult to make an already major decision.”

As seniors figure out what college and finalize their decisions, juniors deal with early admission issues due to the coronavirus.

“[Juniors are dealing with] test optional planning, no campus visits, reduction in summer experience (work, service, internship, etc.) opportunities,” Mr. Johnson said. “The most impactful is the onset of test optional admission.”

Going test optional due to COVID-19 has been notable as the biggest change in college admission. Many well-known colleges have made the change, including but not limited to: University of Oregon, Oregon State University, All UC schools, Portland State University, TCU, Tulane, and many more.

“The onset of test optional could be more long lasting,” Mr. Johnson said. “Some colleges are just going test optional for one year and then reevaluating, others are going test optional for three years and then reevaluating, and others are going test optional after significant deliberation, well before the COVID-19 outbreak.  While the motivation to go test optional varies – lack of testing opportunities primarily – many colleges are going test optional for the long term because they believe that standardized testing is not the best predictor of success in college. There are also many equity issues surrounding standardized testing such as test prep, socioeconomic factors, etc.”

With many colleges already going test optional and predictably more on the way, a new attitude on going test optional begs the question: Is it even worth it to take the SAT/ ACT?

“Due to the fact that not all colleges will be going test optional, and that the test optional status may be temporary in some cases, I would generally suggest that students should take the SAT and/or ACT in the case that it is required by their prospective colleges,” Mr. Johnson said. “It is a good idea for students to talk with their college advisor regarding test selection, and test optional decisions.”

Many juniors feel the pressure of having to study and take the SAT/ACT as dates get rescheduled and are for colleges becoming test optional.

“I feel like I am at a disadvantage taking the SAT/ACT right now because if I take it in the summer that means that I would have not been in school for three months,” junior Hunter Redding said. “There is already so much going on and I’m also having to navigate online school, so my focus for the SAT/ACT is not as strong as it was.”

As upperclassmen experience different struggles with college due to the coronavirus. Mr. Johnson provides advice for college and what people can still do at home.

“Utilize the many virtual tour and presentation options that have been developed by college admission offices,” Mr. Johnson said. “Juniors and seniors are encouraged to review the Canvas college planning courses – which include a Module titled “College Planning Info in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). There is also a page focusing on “How to “Visit” a College During Campus Closure.”  The Visit page includes some great suggestions on how to learn more about a college…at a distance.”

About the Writer
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Annie Landgraf, Managing Editor & Social Media Director






Annie Landgraf is a managing editor for journalism. She was born in Lake Oswego, Oregon and went to Lake Oswego schools her whole life before...

Quarantine cuts hours, eliminates jobs

The+Coronavirus+pandemic+has+eliminated+a+significant+amount+of+jobs+all+across+the+nation.

The Coronavirus pandemic has eliminated a significant amount of jobs all across the nation.

While we sit around during this time of isolation, bored and wanting to be with our friends, this Coronavirus pandemic creates more than just an inconvenience from the quarantine mandate.

All around the nation, companies and businesses are shutting down, cutting hours, and releasing employees. 

Junior Emily Clauson has experienced first hand experience with a job loss. Clauson works at Claeys Catering, which attends to events such as weddings, funerals, and parties all throughout the months. 

“Ever since we had to practice social distancing, all of the [events] got completely canceled, leaving me and my coworkers without any jobs. [Since] Claeys is a small business, they can’t afford to give us any type of pay over the break,” Clauson explained.  

Many businesses run into the same predicament as Claeys: unable to pay workers Because of the revenue shortage, stores and companies have had to cut employee hours, if not laying them off completely. 

In New York, Marriott International began furloughing tens of thousands of employees worldwide. Stores such as coffee shops, restaurants, and gyms have begun laying off workers outright (nytimes). According to The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive research group, the coronavirus outbreak could displace around three million jobs in New York by summer (nytimes).

Freshman Gitanjali Valiyaveetil explains how the coronavirus has made her and her family more careful to monitor their expenditure.  

“[We are] more careful when using things and more aware and conservative with our consumption. [Also,] if we need a specific item from the store, it hasn’t always been in stock when my parents have gone shopping,” Valiyaveetil said. 

However, many families are experiencing more than just caution surrounding their expenses. People working low-wage jobs face the most uncertainty with their financial situation. Although employees are urged to stay home should they exhibit cold-like symptoms, staying home for one day can leave drastic effects surrounding food on the table and a warm house. 

Fran Marion, a single mom making $11.50 an hour at McDonald’s in Missouri, describes her experiences with sickness and working.

“I’ve definitely had to come in when I’m sick before. Missing a day’s income is the difference between a roof over your head next month, or keeping the lights on” (abcnews). 

Many people like Marion are stuck in the impossible predicament of either staying home and suffering the consequences, or going to work and possibly infecting others just to survive. 

During this time of turmoil, it’s imperative to digitally reach out to people who are vulnerable and may have a job insecurity. A small gesture of kindness can go a long way, especially since physical communication has been severed. Junior Alex Casias describes how he values reaching out to people in this tumultuous time. 

“It’s important to appreciate the small things in life, like talking to friends, celebrating birthdays, and just being there for each other. [It] can make all the difference to people.”

 

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Rosa Madden, Staff Writer







Rosa Madden, a junior at Jesuit High School, is taking her first year of journalism this year. She’s excited to write articles for the paper...

Class of 2020 faces elevated uncertainty in the college selection process

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While the class of 2020 battles the unknown in their college selection process, colleges also struggle with uncertain finances and enrollment.

The Class of 2020 is entering the final stretch of the college discernment process as the majority of schools maintain their May 1 enrollment deadlines. Many students are facing the unique, pandemic-driven reality that visiting campuses, some of which are thousands of miles away, will be impossible before decision day. 

Alongside many missed “lasts” of our high school careers, some of the pivotal “firsts” of seniors’ college experience, including scholarship competitions, admitted student meet-ups, and post-admission campus visits, have been either cancelled or postponed. Many colleges and universities, conscious of the difference that seeing a school makes in students’ decision processes, have expanded digital content and interactive experiences for prospective students through virtual tours, lectures, and informational Zoom meetings.

While comprehensive virtual content is a must-have for prospective freshmen still weighing their options or preparing to attend a school they’ve never visited, it doesn’t perfectly replicate the experience of seeing a school live, says senior Danny Murphy

“Being [on campus] physically, it’s really easy to get a read on the campus, and just know if it’s going to be a good place where you’re going to be happy spending four years of your life,” Murphy said. “I think on paper a college can look great, but actually going and physically being there is really different and plays a big role in making a decision. Not visiting just adds another element of uncertainty that I would rather not have.” 

Senior Serena Trika also observes that not all virtual content is made equally. While many schools provide imagery of buildings on campus, some don’t offer visual access to the inside of their facilities or their classrooms. 

“Past campus visits made me like the school more because I get to see all of the facilities and opportunities that they have,” Trika said. “Virtual tours don’t really show you inside every building, especially the ones I might primarily be in, so it’s hard to get an idea of where I will be everyday and what classrooms look like exactly.”

Right now, inadequate virtual exposure to campus life is a problem for students everywhere and for universities everywhere, creating a major incentive for institutions to enhance at light speed what were once relatively paltry digital resources for admitted students. Being able to schedule visits to campuses in the roughly four to six weeks after acceptance, however, has always been reserved for the financially privileged, whose families can afford time off from work, hotel expenses, and last-minute plane tickets. In that vein, the coronavirus’s role in pushing schools to better simulate academic and student life online is perhaps a welcome first step towards equity and access for low-to-moderate income  admits.

Several schools have also gone so far as to extend the traditional May 1 deadline for students to pay their enrollment deposits to June 1 and beyond. Some common colleges for Jesuit students that have delayed their enrollment deadlines by a month include Gonzaga University, Oregon State University (as well as its Cascades campus), Seattle University, and University of Portland. 

Most schools across the country, however, are maintaining their May 1 enrollment deadline, citing a desire to plan effectively for their incoming class at a time when yield rates, or the percentage of accepted students who ultimately choose to attend, are in flux.

“Most colleges are sticking with the May 1 deadline not to be pernicious, but to help with their own planning,” college counselor Mr. Johnson said. “The earlier that they know what kind of class they have coming in, the more productive they can be to plan for what fall of 2020 is going to look like in terms of enrollment, orientation, waitlist activity, that kind of thing. From the student perspective, with colleges having varying deadlines, it does give them a bit more time to seek reconsideration for financial aid, for example, which is not a quick process.”

Given the increasingly disastrous predicted outcome of prematurely lifting social distancing guidelines, shifting enrollment deadlines is unlikely to enable students to visit campuses in May. According to a model designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, if governors choose to lift statewide shelter-in-place orders 30 days after ordering them, or in roughly mid-to-late April, the U.S. will likely see a deadly resurgence of the pandemic in mid-summer. Irrespective of whether states remain in lockdown by May, it’s unlikely that travel restrictions will be lifted or college campuses will be open for tours and visits.

Ultimately, the lack of alternatives for campus visits means the Class of 2020 will have to make college decisions based on more distant assumptions and information sources. With a critical aspect of the discernment process rendered inaccessible, seniors will also need more flexibility and willingness to adapt if they discover after arriving on campus next fall—or later—that the school they chose isn’t quite what they envisioned. 

“The class of 2020 will need to be a little more hearty in terms of making do,” Mr. Johnson said. “They may arrive at a campus that doesn’t meet all of their needs simply because they weren’t able to discern in the way that they would have liked, but I think that our students are stalwart enough to be able to see that through. Seek the services that are available at their future college, reach out, build relationships, meet faculty, and really give it the best shot that they can.”

Colleges and universities, too, are facing various elements of uncertainty, some of them perilous, when it comes to building their incoming class. Geographic distance may now be a much bigger consideration for seniors and their families, particularly for students that previously planned to enroll at colleges in the epicenter of the outbreak, such as New York City universities, says Mr. Johnson. In order to build a geographically diverse class, universities may need to incentivize student enrollment from distant regions of the country with increased financial aid packages.

While colleges wrestle with concerns about under-enrollment and a loss of diversity, they also may be contending with grim financial realities. In the 2008 global financial crisis, the endowments of both Harvard and Yale University, two of the most financially sound collegiate institutions in the country, shrunk by approximately 30%. It’s difficult to imagine that any school will exit this combined economic and public health crisis with a better financial situation than it had coming in. 

What this means is that while many students now weigh affordability more heavily due to the economic fallout of the epidemic, schools may be less able to dole out generous need-based and merit-based financial aid. According to the Washington Post, this may result in over-enrollment among in-state students at public universities, while private and out-of state enrollment shrinks. 

Even ongoing scholarship competitions have been heavily downsized in the past few weeks. Schools such as Loyola University Chicago, Syracuse University, and Duke University cancelled major on-campus finalist events. 

“I was supposed to have an interview for a big scholarship that just got canceled completely,” Murphy said. “I think that an interview would have helped my chances of getting the scholarship, so that wasn’t happy at all.”

Despite financial uncertainty, Mr. Johnson assures students that schools will most likely not revoke the current awards they have issued, and some institutions may be willing to engage with merit scholarship reconsideration in spite of financial contraction to increase yield rates.

“I have not seen colleges pulling back from existing commitments they have made via certain need-based aid or certain merit scholarship programs,” Mr. Johnson said. “Will discount rates increase at colleges for the class of 2020 in order to fill their class? I think it just depends on how healthy the institution is. All of higher education is at a pivotal point where there are colleges that are financially healthy and sound and will sustain themselves through this, and there will be other colleges that will be challenged financially.”

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Shawna Muckle, Chief Editor

Shawna Muckle, 17, is a senior at Jesuit High School. She has been a member of the Chronicle staff for three years in various capacities, and she is currently...

Significant changes to school transportation next year

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Jesuit High School

A depiction of plans for the Cronin lot to better serve walkers and bikers.

Unanimous agreement by the Jesuit administration is prompting a major change regarding parking privileges for junior and senior students next year. With efforts by the school to reduce carbon emissions and create a greener campus, some students who plan on driving a car and parking in the Jesuit parking lots will need to reconsider transportation to and from school depending on where they live, effective as of the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The radial distance from the school to a student’s household will be calculated at the beginning of the year on registration day. Essentially, the breakdown is as follows and applies to those wishing to park in the Cronin, Valley, or tennis court parking spaces:

Students who live within a one to two mile radius of the school will be denied parking space and will be encouraged to walk or bike to school each day. Plan accordingly for all variants of weather.

Students who live within a two to four mile radius of the school will be denied parking too, but will be offered an optional shuttle service by the school to reduce larger distances for students to have to walk or bike to school.

Only juniors and seniors who live beyond a radius of four or more miles from Jesuit will be given parking permits. Due to the school’s future plans within Valley Plaza, spaces in the Cronin lot and the tennis court lot will only be available with the intent to empty out the Valley parking lot.

Jesuit consistently strives to create a more environmentally friendly campus. With this new policy being enforced, the school is expecting a reduction in carbon emissions with fewer cars on the roads and in the parking lots.

“[We need to] reduce our carbon footprint, the emissions, and require [students] to carpool, walk, or ride a bike,” said Chief Security Officer Ms. Kent.

Moreover, the Society of Jesus has recently released what is called the Universal Apostolic Preferences. One of the preferences requires the need to collaborate in the care of the common home. Thus, Jesuit has responded through the implementation of this policy to help create a greener earth and will be updating features around campus to better serve the needs of those who bike to school.

One bike rack already exists outside the main doors of the school. More will be placed near the Cronin lot and around the flagpole to sustain an expected expanding number of bikes being used next year.

“We’re going to put in those green bike lanes in our parking lots,” said Ms. Kent.

Faculty will be given stipends to serve as crossing guards to improve safety for bikers.

The changes will benefit the Jesuit campus overall and some students are planning out their transportation methods for next year.

“I live fairly close to the campus,” said junior Nada Stewdant. “This really throws off how I was expecting to get to school next year, but I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with biking to school.”

Additionally, there are still some side effects for those who live outside that four mile radius and will drive to school. Students who drive smaller cars or hybrids, as opposed to large SUV’s, will be granted better parking spots within the lots, which already have fairly tight parking.

But it’s too bad none of these extensive changes will actually happen next year. Happy April Fools.

While Jesuit might not be implementing such drastic and sudden updates, the school will continue to provide for a greener campus and earth. For example, there has been discussion over smaller, yet impactful changes such as the installation of charging stations for electric cars in the Cronin parking lot.

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