Jesuit Chronicle

Petitioning for Credit: answers to a (fairly) new question


Tristan Robbins

Picture of the student handbook and planner

As the new semester begins, old absences and tardies are wiped clean off of each student’s slate. Two years ago the absence limit for having to petition for credit was 20 absences, but has since been changed to 10. 

“Most of the process is laid out in the Student Handbook (section 4.6 on page 17),” said Mr. Powers, one of three Vice Principals of Academic and Student Life.

The Handbook states, “[After 10 absences] students should expect to be required to petition for credit and/or be graded on a [Pass/Fail] scale”. 

But what the handbook does not state is that first, the student’s vice principal contacts their teachers, requiring the student to have a face-to-face conversation with each teacher who they have accumulated 10 absences with. 

“It is not set in stone that the student has to petition for credit. They can speak with their teachers and create a plan to complete missing or outdated work, which keeps a level of accountability”, Mr. Powers explained. “In most cases, for students who are missing over 10 days, it is typically not a health issue, but it usually [involves a] competitive activity and they travel a lot”.

If a student has a situation where they have physical or mental health issues and has also racked up 20 or more absences, they have the option to medically withdraw from a class.

“At the end of this first semester I personally emailed teachers about five students, and maybe one of the teachers felt it was important for that student to go through the process, “ Mr. Powers stated.

About the Contributor

    The Jesuit Student Handbook and Planner

    The Legend of Santa Clarke


    Courtesy Colin Rubenstein

    Santa Clarke addressing the student body


    For the past five years, Santa Clarke has been a major component of the Jesuit Christmas celebration. But a very small group of people actually know who he is and what his origins are. Students were asked what they think about the origins of Santa Clarke.

    “[I believe that]Santa Clarke manifested himself.  He transcends all things secular and rules all things divine.  He is the eternal breath of Christmas and shall continue to be as he patrols the chilly winter skies in his sleigh.  No one man truly understands the power that Santa Clarke possesses, for no one man can truly comprehend it.  To harness such power would mean the end of all things, which is the sole reason why Santa Clarke has never chosen a successor.  He needs no successor, and he has no predecessor.  He is time and power, personified by America’s mass consumerism and vivaciously aggressive attitude towards Christmas.  In other words, you’d better watch out…”

    -senior Jonathan Ulrich.

    “I imagine that Santa Clarke arrived a long time ago from deep underground and shows up again every Christmas season to do two things, spread cheer and acknowledge 8th grade shadows”

    -senior River Flamoe.

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    Santa Clarke was first asked to appear at the 2014 Food Drive Assembly by Jesuit’s very own Campus Minister, Don Clarke, who shares a last name with the famed holiday hero. Santa Clarke is contacted every year around the beginning of December by Mr. Clarke to come to Jesuit once again to jump-start the Christmas spirit. 

    He doesn’t arrive to Jesuit in costume though–he had a custom suit provided by the Campus Ministry office to wear during the Food Drive and the corresponding assembly.

    In a statement given by Santa Clarke, he says that he has lots of fun every year playing the role at Jesuit. In the first year of his appearance the hashtag #santaclarke was created in his honor.

    Within more recent years, more activity has presented itself to Santa Clarke, with him being invited to play the part of Santa in Jesuit’s 2017 play, Elf Jr., starring juniors Krish Adyta and Alannah Connolly. 

    When asked on his feelings of the pressure of becoming Santa Clarke, he answered that he, “has started to feel more nervous now that more and more high school students are starting to question his reality”.

    He originally found it tough when he was asked to sit and listen to smaller children. But he found that the children look to him with such honesty and joy in their eyes when they tell him what their wishes are for Christmas presents.

    Although he is not the one and true Santa Clause, Santa Clarke finds it profound that the children tell him what presents they want, and he does his best to deliver the word of each child’s wishes to the true Santa in the North Pole.

    He shared exclusive information with the Jesuit Chronicle about the most asked for Christmas presents in which he stated, “collectible bracelets, iPhone X’s, unicorns, and way cool headphones and of course, Taylor Swift Albums”.

    Santa Clarke has brought holiday cheer to Jesuit High School for the past 5 years and will continue his involvement for the many years to come, so long as students keep up their holiday spirits.

    About the Contributor

    Andrew Yang and the Democrats

    Over the course of 2019, presidential candidate Andrew Yang has seemingly sprung out of nowhere into the political spotlight. But what makes him so popular?

    “Andrew Yang’s experience in tech and entrepreneurship sets him apart from anyone else trying to find their way to the Oval Office in 2020.” Senior Ethan Kerman thinks, ”He brings unique ideas to the table and changes our perception on what is possible. Most importantly, his Universal Basic Income policy, and Value Added Tax are extremely popular among his supporters”.

    A Universal Basic Income is a periodic payment to each citizen of a country, and in Yang’s case, he proposed that each citizen would receive $1000 per month. He says that this payment will lead to a “trickle up economy”, where the middle class uses their widespread ability to stimulate the economy.

    A Value Added Tax counters the actions of large tech companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, who take a large portion of their consumer’s data and sell it to the highest bidder. Yang’s advocates for this tax because it allows the government to tax that data, closing the loophole these companies use to take advantage of their patrons.

    Yang’s ideas and opinions have sparked much delight from the millennial generation, who have taken the Internet by storm with “Yang Gang” memes and support pages.

    But how are the other Democratic candidates appealing to broader audiences? 

    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren offered her plan for a “Ultra-Millionaire Tax”, which is a tax on people with a net worth upwards of $50 million, an abolition of the death penalty, and among many others, an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. She has gained support from lower-middle class voters.

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has long stood with his policies of Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, and his most controversial item, tuition-free public college education. Sanders has support from all over the age and race spectrum, with significant followings from younger black voters.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden stands with plans to expand student debt-relief programs, to stop the use of tariffs to pressure countries because of the effect it has on the American economy, and a promotion of researching new, clean methods of nuclear energy production. Biden’s primary voter base resides in the older population.

    As of the writing of this article, the next democratic debates are Nov. 20 and Dec. 19, 2019, with six more to be scheduled for the first half of 2020.

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    Meet the Other Candidates

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-1a6aebc542d2c6faef1e46120fcafc4d' }}

    Former Vice President of

    the U.S.

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    Senator from Massachusetts

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-8516b6db10a62be5ded602963cb3a14c' }}

    Senator from Vermont

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-3d580e9cd80a691d56c1254268c36ad6' }}

    Senator from New Jersey

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-4e3e3dd449489de399ea7342d0d42e59' }}

    Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-081d58167d0bb6280f60a0d93a13daa6' }}

    Senator from California

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-79ca8731de2111f2698c3e731690ae6d' }}

    Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Obama era)

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    Senator from Minnesota

    Tune in to Studying


    Virginia Larner

    Senior Jaiden McClellan studying hard after school while listening to music

    As students get back into their rhythms, they are starting to rediscover their study techniques. A common manner of study is to listen to music while they work on homework or study. But is this method actually viable?

    A study done by neuroscience professor William Klemm, Ph.D., on the “Mozart Effect” produced examples that, “music people considered pleasurable increased the release of dopamine (the “feel good” neurotransmitter) in the brain. Dopamine promotes learning to approach rewards, while a deficiency of dopamine promotes learning of punishments” (Psychology Today).

    Studies like these show that students who systematically listen to music as part of their study regimen tend to recall their study materials better. This is because they associate those materials with the success of a good test grade or a reward of sorts.

    Students may take that information and plead with their teachers that they need to listen to music as they are unable to study quietly. But that decision is all up to their teachers, who ultimately have the power to decide whether music is a distraction or a tool in their classrooms.

    “I think it’s a double edged sword, because for some students, it’s a good opportunity to help them focus,” math teacher Mr. Doebler said. “But for other students, I think it’s a distraction. I think it’s very individualized in that regard to students willing to drown out distractions and focus is great, but if they just use it as another tool to kind of distract themselves, it turns out not to be so helpful.”

    When teachers around campus prohibit their students to listen to music in their classes, students turn to the library to listen to their music and study while in a quiet environment.

    “It’s easier to work in a library,” senior Kyle Kneefel said. “Listening to music in the library definitely helps me. I put my earbuds in, and I feel like I get more work done. Not only am I less likely to be distracted by talking to others, it kind of lets me hone in on my work.”

    At times like break and lunch, the library becomes a center of chaos for students to speak with each other at whatever volume they please, so having music as a way out of that chaos helps students get their work done.

    {{ brizy_dc_image_alt uid='wp-ef0252f60bd4423d79a2cd200fb51af0' }}

    Courtesy of Virginia Larner

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    Tristan Robbins