Jesuit Chronicle

High School Political Involvement- 2020 Election

Protesters+outside+the+White+House+calling+for+change+

Ted Eytan

Protesters outside the White House calling for change

“Around 239.2 million Americans were eligible to vote in 2020, according to the U.S. Elections Project. NBC News’ projected 159.8 million ballots cast in 2020 would constitute about a 66.8% voter turnout rate among eligible citizens — the highest since 1900”(Miao).

The near conclusion of the 2020 presidential election has already reached a record high number of ballots turned in due to the efforts of many Americans who are striving for change. For Jesuit High School, the 2020 election is the first election all grade levels have witnessed during their high school years. Furthermore, with many upperclassmen becoming closer to the voting age, the gravity of the election and the effects it has on our youth have become a growing interest. 

“This election, in particular, has really piqued my interest because of how much is at stake – from our handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to the respect of human rights,”Model United Nations leader Elina Deshpande said. “Additionally, our country is incredibly divided, each candidate is going to have a different effect on that polarization, and watching this presidential race play out has been gripping for sure”.

Over the past few weeks, President elect Joe Biden and Donald Trump have been in a deadlock over states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona causing states like Georgia to recount their ballots which have spanned over numerous days. The astounding closeness of the election has captured the interests of many American citizens as Fox News Channel’s 2020 viewership set a new record high number of viewers with more than 14 million viewers. While the importance of the country’s future and unity is important, other students have been interested in the election’s social influence.

“This election is more impactful than any other recent elections because I want to know how our country will deal with the ongoing pandemic and the systemic racism in our justice system and law enforcement,” Junior Stefan Lacatusu said.

Just last school year, Jesuit students created a petition calling for Jesuit’s administration to be more vocal against systemic racism. Lacatusu is one of many high schoolers whose election interests have risen due to the recent call for social justice in our country. 

“I am interested in this year’s election because there are a lot of growing issues and problems in our country, and it’ll be intriguing to see how both candidates would go about solving them,”Junior Ethan Krause said.

There seems to be a growing involvement in political awareness within students, as their interest in the election correlates to the imminent issues in America. Over the past year, Jesuit students have become very familiar with the Black Lives Matter protests and the call for Criminal justice reform which have both been a point of contention throughout the election. Along with the general election interest some students are also advocating the importance of voting. 

“ I think it is really important for younger people to vote because people complain about the society we live in and we have the power to change the world we live in and we need to use that power,” senior Josh Martin said.

Martin’s perspective highlights that  many Americans who are not satisfied with the direction of this country are demanding change, but the first step for real change is to get more citizens to vote.

“Even one vote can influence anything from local measures to who controls judicial processes at the highest level, all of which has an affect on our lives. And especially with our generation, we have the ability to bring new ideas, experiences and policies to the table to vote for change and fight for what is right in the future,” Deshpande said.

With Jesuit High School becoming fully remote throughout the fall and winter, The 2020 Election has become one of the largest watched events in recent months. The recent stay at home order has prompted these students into becoming more politically aware of the policies and ideas each candidate brings to the table and also the importance of country-wide voting. Furthermore, it is vital to be aware of politics now and how our vote can make a difference as most students are only a few years away from having the ability to vote, and becoming more knowledgeable can help us make smart, more well-informed decisions in the future.

About the Contributor
Photo of Kavish Siddhartha
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...

Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization: A Step Forward

Oregon+passes+measure+110%2C+becoming+the+first+US+state+to+decriminalize+drug+possession.

Oregon Public Broadcast

Oregon passes measure 110, becoming the first US state to decriminalize drug possession.

In the 2020 election, Oregonians voted to pass Measure 110, the Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative. In the process, Oregon became the first US state to decriminalize drug possession, taking a step forward in supporting victims of drug addiction. 

Measure 110 decriminalizes the personal possession of illegal drugs, meaning no arrest, prison sentence, or criminal record for first-time violators. Instead, drug offenders must pay a $100 fine, or complete a health assessment within 45 days of the violation. 

Oregon has been known for its progressive stance on drug legislation. Back in 1973, Oregon became the first US state to decriminalize possession of marijuana. The drug was later approved solely for medical purposes in 1998. Following the lead of Washington and Colorado, Oregonians later voted to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana in 2014. 

People should note that Oregon’s drug decriminalization is not synonymous with drug legalization; drugs are still illegal substances. However, minor drug possession violations will no longer be criminally prosecuted. Individuals who manufacture or distribute drugs still face strict criminal penalties and possible felony charges.  

With drug decriminalization, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimates an almost 90 percent drop in drug-related convictions. Such a drastic decline in arrests will cause major state savings from fees associated with arrests, the legal system, and incarceration. The savings will be used to support the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund, supporting addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers. 

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission also reported findings that drug decriminalization would significantly reduce ethnic and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. For example, the overrepresentation of Black Oregonians with drug charges would fall by nearly 95 percent. Hispanic and Indigenous communities will face a similar reduction in overrepresentation in drug violations. 

Oregon’s Measure 110 will treat minor drug possession similar to civil violations, such as traffic offenses. Through this process, the state aims to support victims of drug addiction with treatment and rehab instead of hurting them with arrests and prisons. 

About the Writer
Photo of Reet Chatterjee
Reet Chatterjee, Staff Writer

A senior at Jesuit High School, Reet Chatterjee strives to better humanity with his writing. His writing focuses include social justice, politics, reform,...

Results of 2020 Jesuit Mock Election

Jesuit+held+its+2020+Presidential+Mock+election+on+Tuesday%2C+November+3rd.+

Advisor

Jesuit held its 2020 Presidential Mock election on Tuesday, November 3rd.

On Tuesday, November 3rd, 631 Jesuit students participated in the 2020 mock election, representing approximately half of the student body. Voting was tied to Jesuitmail.org email accounts to ensure students are enrolled at Jesuit High School. Students were only allowed to vote once and weren’t required to answer any/all of the questions.

Polls were open from 8am-3pm.

This election was meant to symbolize a possible outcome of tonight’s presidential election, where voters will cast their ballots via mail or in-person until 8 pm tonight in most states.

Jesuit Chronicle conducted the Mock Election.

The junior class was the most involved, with 195 students voting, followed by the freshmen class (164), the senior class (146) and the sophomore class (126).

Of the 631 students, 621 offered their political party. 53% identified as Democrats and 16.3% identified as Republican, with 27.4% stating that they had no party preference. 3.4% stated other.

 

Mock Vote Results: Biden wins in a landslide

Former+Vice+President+Joe+Biden%27s+kickoff+rally+for+his+2020+Presidential+campaign.+Link+to+original+image%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AJoe_Biden_kickoff_rally_May_2019.jpg+

Michael Stokes

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s kickoff rally for his 2020 Presidential campaign. Link to original image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Biden_kickoff_rally_May_2019.jpg

In Jesuit’s mock election, Biden and Harris won in a landslide victory with a whopping 77.6% of the vote, while Trump and Pence received 22.4% of voter support.

Juniors had the highest voter turnout, making up 30.9% of voters.

Sophomores had the lowest amount of voter turnout with 20% of the vote.

Biden, who identifies as liberal, has more popular views in Oregon, a state which has voted for the Democratic Party in every election since 1988.

President Trump, who identifies as conservative, is favored to win red states

  

Mock Election results: Merkley wins easily

Senator+Jeff+Merkley+%28D-OR%29+gives+his+account+of+the+humanitarian+crises+throughout+Africa%2C+as+well+as+what+the+United+States+could+do+to+address+the+issues.++Photo+source%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fusipeace%2F43299984782+

US Institute of Peace

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) gives his account of the humanitarian crises throughout Africa, as well as what the United States could do to address the issues. Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usipeace/43299984782

Senator Jeff Merkley, the Democratic nominee for the Oregon Senate, won in a landslide against Republican Nominee Jo Rae Perkins. 77.5% of Jesuit students voted for Merkley while the remainder 22.5% of students voted for Perkins. 

The results for the Oregon senate are almost a perfect reflection of the student votes for president; Joe Biden received 77.6% of the student vote while Donald Trump received the remainder 22.4%. This margin suggests that voters stayed within party boundaries for both the presidential and congressional elections. 

Senator Merkley has served as the United States Senator for Oregon since his first election in 2008. He is renowned for his progressive ideals and is the only US Senator to have endorsed Bernie Sanders. In addition, he makes a commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, supporting climate justice, and providing equal opportunities

Jo Rae Perkins has run for US Senate in 2014 and the US House of Representatives in 2016 and 2018, yet each endeavor has been unsuccessful. Perkins, a devout Christian, promotes a primarily conservative agenda. She supports pro-life policy, abolishing the affordable care act, and replacing income taxes with a sales tax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does Voter Suppression Impact Americans?

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Mike Segar/Reuters

As the 2020 Presidential Election between candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump grows closer, it seems as though every day there’s a new story about how voter suppression could impact the results of the election.

Throughout the last decade, states across the country have implemented voter restrictions that intentionally suppress voters of certain marginalized groups. There are various types of voter suppression: 

  • Voter I.D laws, which require voters to present a government-issued I.D. to vote and leave no meaningful fallback options for those with no I.D.
  • Polling location closures, when voters are not notified or aware that their local polling place was closed or relocated.
  • Voter purges, an often-flawed process of cleaning up voter rolls when someone becomes deceased or moves by deleting names from registration lists (Brennancenter.org)
  • Voter registration restrictions, such as strict photo identification requirements and early voting cutbacks.

One of the most well-known instances of voter suppression was in 2017, when Georgia enacted an “exact name” law that required voters’ names on their registration documents to exactly match the names on their forms of I.D.

“I have an apostrophe in my name, but in some computer systems it doesn’t take the apostrophe…So if I were to have my registration with an apostrophe but my driver’s license without an apostrophe, that could mean I’m disenfranchised,” junior Michael O’Rourke said. “I’m overhearing that for people in the Asian community with hyphenated names, this can be a much bigger problem [for them] than for someone with a name like John Smith.”

Voter suppression efforts in the U.S. have a history of targeting members of racial minorities. Following the election of first Black President, Barack Obama, twenty states implemented new restrictions on the right to vote, as well as closing polling places in predominantly Black and Latinx communities (publicintegrity.org).

 “[Voter suppression] consistently seems to be directed more towards minorities,” junior Astrid Foster said.

A recent order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, stating that Texas counties may collect mail-in ballots at one location per county, caught the attention of the media. Some argue that this mandate disproportionately restricts lower-income voters, older voters, voters of color and voters with disabilities (Texas Tribune). 

“The counties in Texas vary from rural, sparsely populated counties to cities like Houston with millions of [residents] and giving both counties one dropbox is a huge disparity, and just unfair for the people to have to bypass millions of other voters to get their early vote in,” said Michael O’ Rourke.

Other instances of voter suppression have appeared in the weeks leading up to the election, including a cut cable causing the entire Virginia voter registration system to go down on the last day to register to vote (WUSA9), fraudulent ballot boxes placed by government officials around the state of California (New York Times) and nearly 100,000 invalid absentee ballots, with wrong names or addresses, sent to New York voters (New York Times).

Both Republicans and Democrats emphasize that the full participation of its citizens is imperative to the success of a democracy (Americanprogress.org), but with so many Americans subject to voter suppression, this can be difficult to achieve.

“I personally believe that we can’t have a successful democracy unless every person’s vote is taken into consideration, and if everyone is not given the opportunity to express their voice, then it’s not really a democracy,” Astrid Foster said.

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...

Trump vs. Biden: The Most Important Election in American History?

Make+sure+to+cast+your+ballot+this+year%21+%28Source%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fpixabay.com%2Fillustrations%2Felection-2020-vote-bunting-usa-5102700%2F%29

AnnaliseArt

Make sure to cast your ballot this year! (Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/election-2020-vote-bunting-usa-5102700/)

With the crazy year of 2020 coming to a close, it’s only fitting that the presidential election between Vice President Biden and President Trump is shaping up to be one for the ages.

As election day nears, Americans can only wonder: Is this the most important election in history?

Jesuit history teacher Paul Klausenburger thinks although this is an important election, there have been ones far more pivotal.

“I think that to say that this is the most important election in American history is hyperbolic,” Klausenburger said. “I think that you can point to others that had greater significance than this. You can certainly point to 1860 if you want to find an election that…had more on the line.”

In addition to the 1860 election, Klausenburger pointed to various other elections as well that carried more importance.

“You can look at the election of 1932 when you had twenty five percent plus of the work force unemployed,” Klausenburger said. “You can look at the election of 1940, when we were on the verge of entering the second world war. You can go back to 1800 and talk about the big question people had then [which] was would there be a peaceful transfer of power between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.”

Although Klausenburger believes it’s not the most important election, it could be a healthy democratic election due to more people voting this year than ever.

“I don’t know exactly what will happen on election day but certainly the projections are that it’s going to be a high voter turnout which I think is very good for our democracy,” Klausenburger stated.

On November 3rd, the candidates each have one more opportunity to overcome their biggest hurdles. But with two very different candidates, they both have different obstacles. So what exactly is the biggest hurdle each candidate has to cover in order to reach the White House?

Junior Alexandra Reynaud believes that the biggest obstacle for the former Vice President is to energize people to go out and vote for him.

“I think for Biden it’s energizing people and     making people who are maybe disenfranchised by a political state…and mobilizing those people,” Reynaud said. “Or I guess drawing support from people who are less moderate.”

Junior Ethan McBride believes that the President needs to do more and talk less.

“He says what he does but sometimes what he says he’s doing he isn’t doing,” McBride said. “He’s gotta do more right now in terms of getting relief and just projecting a more calm but more confident manner about the COVID recovery.”

As for their views on what the opposing candidate needs to do, Reynaud says Trump “is very polarizing, and that’s his biggest issue he needs to overcome,” while McBride says Biden “[is not] campaigning nearly as much as he should.”

Klausenburger stated that the absence of a major 3rd party ticket this year could affect the outcome of the election.

“One thing that’s radically different from sixteen is we don’t really have any viable 3rd party candidates,” Klausenburger said. “Jill Stein, for example, likely took votes from Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump.”

Although election day is on Tuesday, Klausenburger believes that America won’t find out who their next president is on that day.

“It’s very likely we will not know the results of the election on election day,” Klausenburger stated. “I would be surprised actually if we knew the results. It does really come down to Pennsylvania…and unfortunately they can’t start processing mail in votes in Pennsylvania until election night.”

 

About the Writer
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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,...

Female Politicians: Battling Double Standards as well as an Opponent

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Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

It’s been a groundbreaking couple of years for women in politics, with more gender diversity in government than ever before. According to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, the year 2018 showed the largest increase in female representation among state governments (BBC). 

As the 2020 Presidential Election grows closer every day, voters have a chance to elect the first female vice president of the U.S: Kamala Harris. But is Kamala Harris up against something more than her opponents? Many have argued that women in politics, much like women in every field of study, are subject to an implicit bias that has long impacted our expectations of what a leader can be. 

An implicit bias is at work when someone tends to hold a preference towards a certain group of people, holds a specific attitude, or associates stereotypes to a group without conscious knowledge of their actions (Perception Institute).

Women in politics are often the subject of offensive, misogynistic remarks, as they are attacked by both the public and their political opponent. Last March, a hostile interaction between Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , D-N.Y. made headlines when Yoho was heard insulting Ocasio-Cortez, going as far to call her “crazy”, “disgusting” and a “f—ing b-tch” (MSNBC).

Although these jarring words may seem shocking at first, there is a long history of men flinging insults at their women colleagues regarding their appearance, their ambition, their opinions or other subjective factors. As women are constantly criticized for these characteristics, their accomplishments and merits are overshadowed and appear less important.

Derogatory language towards women in politics has provided a long history of unfair coverage, double standards, and bias that has limited women, women of color in particular, from positions of power and authority. The same cannot be said for male politicians.

 In a research conducted by TIMES UP, a movement against sexual harassment and was founded in response to the #MeToo movement, the Vice Presidential coverage was analyzed between Kamala Harris, her opponent Mike Pence, and 2016 Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine. The data showed that the white male candidates’ qualifications remained unquestioned, while Harris was constantly criticized for her likability, her ambition, and other opinionated commentary (NowThisNews).

It’s time to treat women in politics with the same respect and dignity that they deserve, and that their male counterparts receive. As Americans continue the fight towards equality, it’s time to stop reporting on what a female politician is wearing, and start focusing on what qualifies her as a great leader for the American people.

About the Writer
Photo of Chase Kerman
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...

I Asked Teenagers How They Feel About the American Flag. It Got Interesting.

The+American+flag%2C+a+traditional+symbol+of+unity+has+shifted+to+one+of+controversy.

Amy Shamblen

The American flag, a traditional symbol of unity has shifted to one of controversy.

In our country today, the American flag holds a different story depending on who you talk to: some are proudly waving the flag at parades while others are burning the flag at protests. A symbol of unity has morphed into one of controversy, leaving Americans to question what the flag really means to them. 

To address this questioning, the National Public Radio asked 1,800 adults how they feel about the American flag. As expected, opinions varied greatly, but most Americans agreed that the country lacks a sense of national unity. To get a glimpse of the youth perspective, I interviewed six high school seniors about what the flag means to them. 

Max Lavey has seen the flag as a symbol of American freedom and liberty from a very young age. He recalls being indoctrinated to take his hat and glasses off and proudly place his right hand over his heart to pay respect to the flag. Moreover, Lavey saw its true significance when seeing soldiers drape a flag over the casket of his grandfather—a Korean War veteran. 

“I think that was an extremely life-changing moment when it came to how much I respect [the American flag,]” Lavey said. 

Emma Quach sees a different perspective. Quach believes the flag itself is not the issue, but rather people displaying excessive patriotism which can lead to a sense of supremacy. 

“I don’t think the flag itself has direct connotations to anything in terms of bigotry,” Quach said. “However, I do think that the people who are parading it around right now do seem to hold those ideals.”   

On the other hand, Noah Lyman, whose heritage stems from Hawaii, sees the flag as a symbol of American imperialism. Specifically, Lyman cites the illegal annexation of Hawaii, during which the American flag was draped over Iolani Palace (the royal residence for the rulers of the Hawaiian Kingdom). Lyman argues that the flag has historically been used—and continues to be used—as a sign of dominion over indigenous peoples. 

“I would say that the American flag is used as a symbol of dominance,” Lyman said. “Hanging today in front of Iolani Palace, the American flag flies above the Hawaiian flag, which just shows who’s dominant.”

Anna Dellit contends that the flag has become so controversial because it is now a rebuttal to social activism. For example, Dellit noted the societal backlash to Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the flag and national anthem. She believes people and the media focused too much on respecting the flag, rather than addressing Kaepernick’s message of ending police brutality towards African Americans.  

From another perspective, Damon Grim was initially outraged and offended by Kaepernick’s protest. Grim is still unsure about Kaepernick’s actions, but he admits that they have raised his awareness of social injustices such as police brutality. While they disagree about Kaepernick’s actions, Grim agrees with Dellit that the flag has been used in politics to create dissonance amongst citizens. 

“What has happened in our country is that because we’re so polarized, everything has become a political symbol,” Grim said. “And sadly, our flag has become a political symbol.”

Alternatively, Ziggy Berkoff believes the flag will never represent unity in such a diverse America. 

“To me, it’s hard because when the flag means something different to every single person you talk to, it can’t really represent us all in the same way,” Berkoff said. “America is such a big country and we can’t represent everyone with one visual representation. 

The dissonance surrounding the flag is yet another example of how America is more divided than ever before. To work for progress, Emma Quach stresses the importance of meaningful dialogue, specifically with people of differing perspectives. 

“I definitely think we need more discussion among people of different opinions,” Quach said. “Especially, with social media now, we can completely isolate ourselves in a bubble of people who have the same ideas that we do.”

Quach refers to the current era of social media news, during which news is personalized to individual social media users. However, people can become trapped in a “bubble” of one-sided news that fits their own narrative, as algorithms tailor social media feeds to a user’s interests. A recent study from the Pew Research Center showed that Americans are aware of the issues surrounding the intersection of social media and news, yet there is no clear solution in sight.    

While all six interviewees hold different opinions regarding the flag, they echo Quach’s call for more listening and less arguing.

About the Writer
Photo of Reet Chatterjee
Reet Chatterjee, Staff Writer

A senior at Jesuit High School, Reet Chatterjee strives to better humanity with his writing. His writing focuses include social justice, politics, reform,...

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
Photo of Kavish Siddhartha
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...

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
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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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