Jesuit Chronicle

Vacationing plans change due to Covid-19

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As Covid-19 cases increase, students are altering their traditional vacation plans during the holiday season.

    As the holidays swiftly approach, the season for students to visit their family and spend time with those they love is very near. However, travel proves especially difficult and risky due to the increasing number Covid-19 cases. Cases are skyrocketing, with an average of 952 cases per day in Oregon alone, an increase of 83% from the past two weeks (The New York Times). 

    Students have been forced to reschedule their vacations, but some are willing to take the risk to spend time with family. While some students may be pushing their vacations back, others are taking advantage of the extra week off of school.

    “The plans changed because I was supposed to go to Palm Desert last spring, but it changed to this Thanksgiving,” senior Annie Landgraf said. “My mom really values family time, and this may be the only opportunity we can all get together.”
    In addition to the change in travel schedules, activities and destinations within vacations may be limited due to Covid-19 restrictions in other countries and territories. Senior Emma Cordova plans to travel to Quito, Ecuador and spend a month with her family.

    “ Whenever we talked about going on a trip to Ecuador we talked about touring around,” Cordova said. “So I’m going to Quito, which is the capital, but in normal circumstances I would’ve gone to Riobamba to see where [my dad] grew up…rather than just knowing that one area. But because of Covid I’m not going to do that…But I’m pretty much staying in that suburb and staying in that general vicinity rather than taking a train around on the weekends.”

    Furthermore, students are taking extra precautionary measures if they do decide to travel to decrease chances of contracting the virus. This includes quarantining before or after they travel, taking tests to ensure  safety, and more.

    “We’re getting tested before we leave and upon arrival which follows the guidelines of the state of Hawaii,” senior Damon Grim said. “We are also quarantining for 72 hours before departure, and we will be getting tested upon return to Oregon.”

    Although quarantining is the responsible option, students may simply be limiting their time with others and increasing social distancing practices before departing for vacation. Cordova chose to take this route, as well as multiple tests before and after her vacation. 

    “I’ve been still hanging out with my friends, but in reality that’s been like two or three people throughout the past few weeks…So I’m not quarantining like I was during lockdown, but I’m also trying not to hang out with people I haven’t really hung out with a ton.”

    While vacation will serve as a time of rest for students, those traveling during school days will need to find a balance between school, fun , rest, family time, and other obligations. This can prove especially difficult, as those traveling farther will be faced with a time-zone barrier, depending on the destination.

    “Hawaii’s only two hours behind so I’ll probably do [school] unless I don’t feel like it – I haven’t totally decided yet,” Grim said. “I might go most days but probably not all. Honestly I need to enjoy vacation too, so I probably will take some time off, but that long Thanksgiving break is definitely helpful. It’s pretty easy to do school though because it’s online, and you can do it from anywhere.”

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







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

Everything You Need To Know About Jesuit’s 2020 Christmas Food Drive

Image+courtesy+of++KATU+News%2C+annotation+courtesy+of+Avni+Sharma.

Image courtesy of KATU News, annotation courtesy of Avni Sharma.

It’s nearing that time of year. 

The season of hot cocoa, Santa Claus themed greeting cards, and the “Home Alone” Series. With only a few weeks left until December, the 12 month wait for jingle bells and candy canes is almost over. But to Jesuit students, nothing screams Christmas more than the annual Food Drive. 

In the past, the annual Food Drive has been an opportunity for students to gather and organize the cans, boxes, and cases of non-perishable food in a joyous and welcoming environment. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” blasts on the speakers as students shuffle around the cafeteria, laughing as they sort food with their friends. 

“I remember everyone would carry bags of cans and have this mass exodus from their classes,” junior Charlene de La Paz said. “It was really fun.” 

It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas and relax after a long semester, while also helping those in need. Even now with COVID-19 limiting certain school related events, students look forward to participating in the 2020 Food Drive. 

“I’m excited that we can continue the tradition at Jesuit in a way that will keep everyone safe and healthy,” Director of Arrupe Center for Justice Andrea Casey said. “This year, we are still committed to those goals.” 

So yes, the Food Drive is still happening. That being said, the format will be significantly different from previous years. According to Ms. Casey, Jesuit plans to focus their efforts in three areas:

  1. Purchasing grocery gift cards through Jesuit’s website or Venmo. Jesuit’s partners have requested to not give food boxes this year, but to give gift cards and raise money instead. Jesuit’s goal is to raise at least 250 $50 gift cards.  
  2. Dropping non-perishable food off at campus. Students will be given a specific day to make your donation, to be as safe and socially distanced as possible. The food donated will go to St. Andrew and St. Cecelia Catholic Church Pantries. By the end of the Food Drive, the pantries should be stocked for many months to come. 
  3. Sponsoring specific families with grocery gift cards and presents. Students will be able to make a group with friends or family to sponsor a family. The group will be responsible for calling the family to find out what gifts their sponsored family would like, and will purchase the desired gifts along with wrapping supplies. Each person in the group will contribute $25 per person. It is important that the gift should not be wrapped, since the parents will wrap the presents themselves. Delivery will happen on Dec. 17th, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Other significant changes have also been made. Instead of having a single day to compile and deliver food, the 2020 Food Drive will happen throughout Dec. 2nd-17th. 

Though the Food Drive seems very different this year, Jesuit strives to help families battling with food insecurity while giving an opportunity for students to come together and bond in the name of Christmas. 

“Jesuit is handling the food drive very well this year,” junior Keya Pandya said. “Although it cannot be the same as it was in previous years, Jesuit is doing a great job of keeping the occasion joyous and exciting.”

About the Writer
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Avni Sharma, Staff Writer

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

Opinion: Too much screen time hinders mental health and students’ ability to learn

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pxfuel.com

A girl stares at her screen in the dark, straining her eyes as she types.

From 8 a.m. to roughly 3 p.m.—almost 7 hours—students stare mindlessly at a screen while teachers attempt desperately to connect with them through bluelight pixels, instructing and making jokes in hopes of distracting kids from the mundanity of learning from home.

For the first few weeks of school, I listened to students give feedback to teachers on how they were faring during digital learning. The responses were not varied; most students confided that their eyes and heads hurt after looking at their iPad all day.

Even teachers were struggling to adjust. One of my own teachers shared that she began having migraines during class, and was requested by her doctor not to look at screens in a dark room, which causes her to strain her eyes.

A recent poll on jesuitnews.com.com showed that in a group of 132 people, 39 percent of voters spend between eight and 10 hours a day looking at a screen, including their phone. Even more shocking, 33 percent of voters spend more than 10 hours a day on a screen. Twenty percent of voters spend between five and seven hours onscreen, and only eight percent spend two to four hours onscreen.

According to May Recreation, too much screen time can have adverse effects on students’ academic performance.

“Too much screen time can impair brain structure and function,” the May Recreation team said. “Because children’s brains undergo so much change during their formative years, this excess screen time can be even more damaging. Academic success, social skills, even career success can all be negatively affected by excessive screen time.”

Additionally, Harvard University said “the growing human brain is constantly building neural connections while pruning away less-used ones, and digital media use plays an active role in that process. Much of what happens on screen provides “impoverished” stimulation of the developing brain compared to reality. Children need a diverse menu of online and offline experiences, including the chance to let their minds wander.”

Last school year, I wrote an article about living a week without using my phone. In the article, there was a brief overview of each day. The days shared a similar theme: I had more time to do other things because of decreased phone use.

Cutting down the time one spends on their phone will benefit academic performance, as well as better sleep and less mood swings, to which teenagers are already prone. However, even if one were to give up their phone entirely, there is still the obvious question of how to cut down on screen use when it is required for school.

School screen time, whether it be for actual classes or just for homework, is approaching eight hours. Half of my teachers are now going asynchronous on Mondays, and Tuesday through Friday, many of my teachers are not filling up the entire 80-minute class period, as they recognize most students are unable to focus for that long. For teachers that like to fill the almost-hour-and-a-half of class, it is still quite a bit of screen time for teens.

Advocating for more asynchronous classes is one option, though kids lose time to connect with classmates, and they will still need to complete the required classwork online.

Taking into account Harvard University’s research that students need a “diverse menu of online and offline experiences,” one idea would be to listen to a recording of the teacher’s voice with a few activities for them to complete.

In certain classes, such as environmental science, english, and art electives, a screen is not typically needed for activities.

For classes that would need a screen for research and further learning, such as history, core science, and math classes, short, 15-minute activities could be intermixed with 10-minute breaks, so students can rest their eyes, reducing their chance of contracting migraines.

There are ways in which teachers can adjust their curriculum to fit the needs of their students. There are also ways students can advocate for less screen time, as most teachers are open to suggestions and care about their students’ health.

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

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

Crusader Comics: Giving Thanks

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Steele

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine.

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine. (Steele Clevenger)
About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

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

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,...

Mental health challenges among students during quarantine

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Steele Clevenger

Charlie Crusader says hello to his geese friends over Zoom.

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Mental health decreases amongst high school students during quarantine

By Steele Clevenger


Editor and Creative DIrector

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has hindered people—with no exception for age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or location in the world—from day to day interaction with one another. For students at Jesuit High School, they are spending some of the most formative years of their lives cooped up in their homes, missing out on the social connection required for the mental well-being of teenagers.

“Kids are struggling a lot more not being able to hang out with their friends, not being able to be on campus, not being able to go outside the house. It didn’t have as much to do with school. It more so had to do with the social aspect [of their day],” said Jesuit High School counselor Jason Barry.

Additionally, Barry noticed that social distancing is difficult, since teens are at an emotionally-driven stage in their lives.

Said Barry, “Teenagers struggle with [social distancing] because their first instinct is to hug and to touch. Look how many kids are shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, in the hallways or at Mass. They want physical contact with their friends. When you put five kids next to each other and tell them “don’t touch,” it’s hard.”

Teenagers aren’t the only ones having a hard time adjusting to the all-virtual school setting. For health teacher and Mental Health Awareness Club moderator Liz Kaempf, “For the first week, I went into school because I thought it would make the kids feel more like they were at school, but it just made me sad because I missed the students.”

Kaempf pointed out that while it is difficult for her to have relationships with the students, it is even more difficult for the students to have relationships with one another.

“The hardest part is not being able to interact in person with students and with colleagues. The kids give me energy, but I miss that face-to-face interaction with them because they get me excited for the day. Now, trying to develop relationships with students that you are just meeting for the first time on a screen is super hard,” said Kaempf.

Amidst the decrease in mental health, one Jesuit student not only noticed the disconnection and loneliness the Jesuit community is facing, but created a solution to ease those feelings.

Junior Jenny Duan, leader and creator of Jesuit’s Mental Health Awareness Club, recognized anxiety and stress amongst her peers, and has come up with effective ways to correspond with club members and focus on improving their mental well-being.

Duan said, “We try to facilitate conversations in our club and through social media. The other part of our club is focused on self-care. We play games together, we do short meditations, and we provide ideas for practicing self-care at home.”

What are some ways students can improve their mental health right now? Duan suggests focusing on what is most meaningful.

“Take a larger outlook on things. It’s easy to focus on a test or something, but we need to remember there’s more to life than that,” said Duan.

Kaempf encourages students to set a schedule.“Establish some type of normalcy in your day. Get outside, even if you just sit outside. Reach out to people. I challenged some of my students to text some of their friends and meet for a Zoom lunch,” said Kaempf.

Both Barry and Kaempf suggest ways to physically distance safely. They propose teenagers get outside and meet up with friends while wearing masks and remaining six feet apart.

“We want kids to be interacting. We had a lot of kids playing video games where you put on a headset and talk to your friends.” Barry said. “Some kids talk back and forth through social media—anything that we can encourage kids to do in a safe social distancing manner.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

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

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