CHS divided: Debate club does it again

On January 11, the CHS debate club, led by Jonah Perrin, senior, held its fourth debate since the creation of the club this fall.

This week’s debate topic was on immigration policies and the issue of building a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants. According to Chris Beichner, Social studies teacher and debate club advisor, over 70 people showed up to the debate.

Students ranging from all grades, ages, races and political beliefs attended the debate to either share their opinions or listen to those of others. Anti-immigration perspectives tended to support the building of a border wall, increasing border security and reducing the number of illegal immigrants in America. Pro-immigration students maintained that immigrants benefit the economy and add to society. They proposed funneling money into an improved immigration system rather than a border wall.

While managed by both Perrin and Beichner, the debate did at times take a hostile turn, owing to the controversial nature of the subject. Some students felt it was sometimes one-sided and difficult to prevent people from interrupting each other.

“I definitely thought it was one-sided at times; we need more Republican voices. We should be nicer to each other as well, no more personal attacks,” said Roman Perone, junior.

Other students were disappointed with how the debate turned out. Ezster Rimanyi, also a junior, believes there should be more understanding of different perspectives and actual debate for the sake of debating.

“I feel like in a bunch of debates there is a lack of opposition with really good points. We never have the ‘I can see;’ we feel like we have to just be part of one party or side. I would like to let go of emotion…If I’m on the republican side, I should be able to say, ‘I can see’. We never have that, and that’s what I kind of miss,” said Rimanyi.

Beichner, who supervises the debates (which take place in his room), has a different perspective disregarding parties or political affiliations. He felt positively about the turnout of students and their ability to debate.

“The topics are controversial, but for the most part students have been respectful. Mostly, I’ve been amazed by well-spoken people are off-the-cuff. [You’re] just 16 or 17 years old, and it’s pretty impressive to me,” said Beichner.

Further debates will be held in Beichner’s room, E216, pending the decision of new topics. Contact Perrin for information about the debate club, or if you have ideas for a debate topic.

Photo by Olivia Weigle

Klakovich Likes to Compost

Worms, mulch, soil, food scraps, decomposition. To Stefan Klakovich, CHS environmental science teacher, composting is a way of life.

Composting, or the decomposition of organic materials, isn’t a new concept to Carrboro. Many middle and elementary schools in the district already have composting systems set in place during lunch, with parent volunteers organizing it.

“Why can’t we compost at Carrboro? We should be experimenting with composting at this school. Composting is an underutilized solution, and it solves so many problems,” said Klakovich.

According to Klakovich, who is an avid composter both in the classroom and at home, Carrboro High is not putting enough emphasis on composting. He believes that teaching people about composting is a crucial step to reducing the waste CHS sends to the landfill.

“Here, there is no excuse not to do it. It’s the future. We want to get to zero waste, and composting brings us half the way there,” said Klakovich.

A CHS student last year, after completing an informal study of the waste in the bathrooms, found that the majority of it consisted of compostable paper towels.

This year, students like junior Eva Nobel have taken steps to make composting more of a priority.

“I hope that more people understand the benefits of compost and the importance of it. If everyone really composted then
we could really reduce waste. It’s not just composting either, but sustainability in general,” said Nobel.

Recently, Nobel created the composting club at Carrboro. She runs it with fellow junior Lyra Hitchcock-Davis, and has big plans for the upcoming year.

“We just started and we’re trying to improve the composting system at school. We’re planning on composting the paper towels in the bathroom and mixing them with yard trimmings so they decompose properly. We’re also going to work with other schools to exchange programs,” said Nobel.

Both Klakovich and Nobel are determined to make a difference at CHS, through composting or other green measures.

“We have to try and make it a sense of pride,” said Klakovich. “CHS should stand for Compost, Honor and Support.”

Photo by Levi Hencke

Al’s to host fundraiser for Puerto Rico

Al’s Burger Shack, a restaurant on Franklin Street, will be hosting a fundraiser to help Puerto Rico this Sunday, October 8th. Al’s will be serving classic Puerto Rican dishes all day, such as tostones (fried plantains), smoked chicken and roasted pork with mojo sauce and black beans and rice.

All of the proceeds will be donated to an organization, called United for Puerto Rico, started by the First Lady of Puerto Rico. Many well known corporations, such as Burger King, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and AT&T help to sponsor this organization. Our local fundraiser will provide help to those who have been devastated by the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María.

Photo courtesy Al’s Burger Shack

Puerto Rico, in the weeks since the hurricanes struck, is still recovering from the lasting damage. According to CNBC, many residents are still without shelter, water, or other basic necessities. As reported by USA Today, Hurricane María also impacted the island’s electrical grids, economy, and the health system.

On October 4, USA Today reported that the Red Cross had collected only $9 million dollars in donations for Puerto Rico, compared to $350 million for Texas relief efforts.

Other nearby businesses are also participating in the Al’s fundraiser, including Beer Study, Belltree Speakeasy and Baxters. They will be serving specials whose proceeds will go to the cause. Live music from bands such as the Grateful Dads, Pete Joyner Quartet, and Liquid Pleasure will be performed outdoors as well.

The event itself is free, but there will be plenty of opportunities to donate at each location.


What is Coffee?

Diamond Blue, a junior at CHS, is currently leading a project called Coffee, a documentary showing how it feels to be a minority in today’s school system.

Blue became inspired after the death of Trayvon Martin to immerse herself more in activism.

The idea came to her freshman year, and since then Blue has been working to make this documentary tangible.

Two of Blue’s closest friends, juniors Ella Atwater and Zac Johnson, are helping her to make this project possible. Their goal is to expose the injustice of the American school system towards minorities.

“A lot of people from the outside are unaware of how sugar-coated the school system is,” said Atwater.

The documentary will consist of a series of interviews. Blue plans to travel around North Carolina to different schools to get multiple perspectives.

During her interviews, she tries to form real connections and ask personal questions, in order to make the accounts more direct and firsthand, rather than formatted and practiced.

With her documentary, Blue is trying to express the different attitudes that students harbor about the school system and injus- tice in general.

“I’m trying to convey so many different things. I’ve come to the realization that it’s hard to just focus on one thing. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that there are so many things that I need to showcase. When we go home, we all have different experiences,” said Blue.

Blue will also be taking time over the summer to travel with her crew around the U.S., visiting different colleges and high schools. She has created a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses.

According to Blue and Atwater, many people are helping out, including students from Duke and UNC who have been instrumental in both the interviews and the filmmaking process.

Mr. Cone, a social studies teacher at CHS, has also been credited by Blue with opening doors for her to connect with important people that will help to launch this project.

Mrs. Hilliard, Katie Moorhead, and Brett Stegall are other CHS faculty members who have contributed to the making of the documentary.

This venture is a very personal one for Blue. She is passionately working to make it a success. While her timeline is tentative, she hopes to have a concrete film by the end of this year.

Blue has garnered a lot of support, with some of the only backlash being about including her good friend, Zac Johnson, a white male, in the process. But to Blue, this negativity is only ignorant, stupid, and not worth her time.

“People are just sort of taking it as if I’m only doing [the documentary] for college. With no information on it at all, people started accusing me of preaching on how to be racially aware as if I didn’t have any experience,” said Johnson, a junior at East Chapel Hill High.

Overall, Blue is very excited to move forward with her documentary, and has big plans for the future. She has decided to start publicizing the documentary as soon as she can.

Blue and her group believe that this documentary is important for people of all ages, races, genders, etc. to see.

“Everyone. This is for everyone, because there’s something we all can do to fix this [injustice],” said Blue.

The most important thing is that we as people try to make sure that everyone has equal opportunities. In our school district, it’s not like that,” said Blue.

CHS Students Strive for Consensuality

This April, the CHS Women’s Rights Advocacy Club (WRA) will present the second annual presentations on rape culture and consent. The club intends to raise awareness about consent, especially for teenagers who may regard the topic with less severity and less information.

The presentations, which former co-presidents Jocelyn Buckley and Allie Walter created last year, provide information about rape and the importance of consent that goes beyond typical knowledge. The WRA will show the presentations again this year to both teachers and students.

The discussions focus mainly on the gray areas of consent. According to a 2015 Washington Post poll, there is still confusion surrounding the topic; the college-aged popualtion is roughly split on whether nodding or removing clothes signifies consent. They outline NC laws about consent in hopes that students will fully understand the legal limitations. Students don’t always have a clear idea of what constitutes consent. Many would also argue that in the digital age particularly, there is an emphasis on hookups and electronic relationships that can create uncertainty when it comes to boundaries.

Information taken from a 2015 Washington Post poll of college students.

The presentations for teachers will also focus on how to deal with the subject of rape or sexual assault in the classroom, as some students can be personally affected by the topic. The goal is to show teachers how to approach the topic of rape, and also how to react to students who may come to them to talk about their own experiences with sexual assault.

Sophomore Nina Neiswender is the president of the WRA. She views these presentations as an important step in educating consenuality and related issues.

“I think that [these presentations] are important because sometimes there are questions that people don’t know how to ask, or people are afraid to ask, and information can get easily skewed based on where it’s coming from,” said Neiswender.

According to her, the club members will specifically inform the students about sexual assault and how to navigate relationships safely and consensually.

“The purpose is to really make sure that everyone has a full understanding of the laws and what they can do to prevent sexual assault, and to make sure everyone is being responsible,” said Neiswender.

The club will show the presentations before prom, in late April, and during lunch in the auditorium. WRA club members encourage people to attend, citing the importance of spreading awareness about these serious issues. If you’re interested in what the club is doing and want to know more, club meetings are held Monday during lunch in Ms. Olsen’s room, or E118. Anyone is invited to join Carrboro’s WRA club.

Opinion: The price of success

You probably don’t associate your high school volleyball team with the wage gap in America. But high school sports, as well as club sports teams, have more to do with the wage gap than you think.

From Little League to the NBA to even the Olympics, sports create a sense of friendly competition and passion among players. However, not everyone gets the same opportunity to pursue that passion. Playing a sport, especially for a club team, is a privilege that some can’t afford.

According to the Capital Area Soccer League’s mission statement, their goal is, “To provide positive, high quality soccer opportunities at all levels of play for youth and their families and to serve as a valuable community partner.”

However, club sports teams are expensive and elite. Parents hope to refine their children’s skills, and make them the best they can be at their sport. Whether it’s CASL, TUSA, CHAVC or NCLA, clubs charge thousands of dollars to parents yearly. For example, one year in Chapel Hill Area Volleyball Club can range from $708-$3,836, depending on the team you’re on.

Many parents choose to start their kids in club teams at a young age – as early as three or four years old. Meanwhile, for children whose parents can’t afford the elite teams, they have to wait for school sports that allow them to play the sport they love, without additional costs.

Once teenagers enter high school, sports become an even bigger deal. With the right amount of talent, you could get a scholarship to a dream college and even continue to play professionally. The level of ability needed to play professionally can be given to you through club training. Club teams are able cultivate skill and guarantee a superior level of training, which also guarantees a better chance to gain scholarships.

These skills can be earned, but there are also those who don’t have the opportunity to develop the abilities because of factors such as money or geographical access.

No one should be refused the possibility to do what they love. The small differences between those who can and can’t pay have bigger consequences. According to CNN, white families typically earn more per year than minorities. This means that those who are paid more annually are also able to pay for extracurriculars and privileges like club teams. Those who have the club experience are more likely to get scholarships for their achievements and play professionally. This possibly lessens the diversity in the athletic community.

This racial gap stems from something greater than just club versus school teams. It’s possible that this separation is actually a result of the wage gap in America. People of color, women, and other minorities are usually paid less, resulting in little wage gaps all across our country. A man of color typically earns 65-75% of a white man’s hourly wage, according to a recent report by Time Magazine. One small can become the difference between those who can pay for a club sport and those who can’t. Not only is there already discrimination in the athletic world, but there is also under-representation of different races in different sports. In the U.S., the land of opportunities, this seems more than a little unfair.

In order for these club teams to comply with mission statements such as CASL’s, these high quality sports opportunities should be offered to all. Scholarships based on need or talent could be offered to different kids who have a passion for sports. Meanwhile, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, and non-discriminatory wages could target the racial wage gap on a larger scale.

Cleanup on aisle C-town

It’s 12:18. You’re rushing to the commons to be first in line to use the microwave, or to get your favorite high table for you and your friends. The commons begins to fill, and with it comes the inevitable trash, crumbs and spills associated with lunch.

While we as students try our best to clean up after ourselves, most of the time we rely on the custodial staff to help us out. Even though custodians like Clifton Copeland and Thweet Maung spend their days keeping our school clean, a lot of their hard work is taken for granted.

Thweet Maung is one of the head custodians at Carrboro High. Maung has worked here since February of 2009. His favorite part of his job is his daily routine.

“My favorite part is pulling up the flag in the morning, and walking around the building, opening up the building. I like everything,” said Maung.

Next month will mark Maung’s eighth year working at CHS. This is his first job since moving to the U.S.

Before coming to America, Maung worked as a professional photographer, shooting things like weddings and graduations. He said that one day he would like to continue with photography.

Maung’s favorite color is blue, and his food of choice is Thai, because of the various use of spices.

Clifton Copeland III is also one of the head custodians at Carrboro. Mr. Copeland has worked in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system for about 16 years. However, he has only worked at Carrboro for the past two years. Previously, Copeland worked at McDougle Middle School and Seawell Elementary. But, according to him, CHS is the best school at which he’s worked.

“Carrboro is my favorite; [there’s a] different environment,” said Copeland. “Everything is cool. Everybody is cool.”

Copeland isn’t just skilled as a janitor, however. He has myriad interesting jobs under his belt, including working as a pizza maker, a custodian at a women’s college in Connecticut, in a dishroom, and in the emergency rooms at a hospital.

Additionally, Mr. Copeland is a church deacon, and loves to eat Chinese food with his wife. His favorite color is blue. With years of experience in various places, Mr. Copeland has many interesting stories to tell.

His favorite part of working at CHS? Helping clean the school for the students. “I like to see everybody recognizing that the place is clean,” said Copeland. “I appreciate the place being clean, for the students.”

Behind the scenes of college signings

Earlier this quarter, three senior athletes signed a sheet of paper and committed to the next four years of their lives. Miah Araba, Laura Sparling, and Natasha Turner aren’t the first to commit to a college for sports, and they won’t be the last.

Every year, student athletes have many things to consider when choosing a college. They need to evaluate a school’s environment and academic programs to ensure they will be comfortable and challenged, just like any other student. They also need to figure out what school will fit their sport and the level of ambition they’ll be bringing for the next four years of college.

In Carrboro’s senior class, there are many student athletes continuing their sport past high school. The JagWire spoke to several athletes who gave us their perspective on what it takes to be recruited to participate in college level sports.

Although a student athlete may not sign until senior year, the committing process starts early. For Araba, Sparling, and Turner, it started around sophomore year. Most students verbally commit to a school around this time, and won’t sign until a year or two later.

These students aren’t only focusing on a prospective college’s athletic program, however. “I wanted to make sure that I was going to a school that was [also] academically rigorous, and if I couldn’t get recruited to a school that was like that I would go to a school for education and not soccer,” said Araba.

While the idea of college security may seem ideal, it has its drawbacks too, with the pressure of deciding on colleges two years early, as well as not having the excitement of being accepted to a variety of schools.

“The recruiting process itself is stressful because you don’t know what’s going to happen; if schools are going to like you or not,” said Sparling.

For Grace Maggiore and Christine Alcox, their commitment for volleyball was similar but still complex. Both Maggiore and Alcox were exposed to college coaches through their club teams. According to Alcox, “Since we play club, we get a lot of exposure that way, (…) if you want to play in college, it’s best to play club, because no one watches high school games anymore.”

Another way the two reached out to colleges was through email. Both Maggiore and Alcox started sending out emails to colleges around sophomore year. While the coaches can’t talk to students directly until junior or senior year, there are ways around that rule. College coaches can use club coaches as a messenger between themselves and the players. Also, coaches can reply over email, but not in person until much later in the process.

“You can call [the coaches], but they can’t call you,” said Maggiore, summing it up.

The last step of recruitment is the actual commitment and application. For Quinton Adams, committing for track, there was an almost three-week process that included sending in videos of himself running, monitoring his diet and weighing himself daily, in addition to the Common Application and his personal information. Depending on the college and the sport, the commitment process could be very low-stress and simple as it was for Taylor Day, or difficult like it was for Adams.

One thing that both Quinton Adams and Taylor Day, who is committing for wrestling, did to further their recruitment was to go to college camps. These college camps allowed Adams and Day to be exposed to different campuses and coaches while furthering their training.

Finally, there are scholarships. Being recruited by a college means they’re willing to offer you some sort of scholarship in exchange for your commitment to their college.

“You could [get] academic, half, or full [scholarships],” said Adams, who is currently in the process of obtaining a half scholarship, which means that the university will fund two years of his college education.

For student-athletes considering recruitment, the most important step is to not be afraid to reach out to various colleges and coaches. It’s also important to get started early, and work your hardest during the process.

Watch your words

Many people try their best to be politically correct and inoffensive, but sometimes it’s the little things that escape us and can accidentally hurt someone. I get it. Remembering that what you say has a different effect on everyone is hard. Small jabs or comments can affect someone we didn’t even think was listening. And even here where we’d like to think that everyone is open and respectful, there are still instances where a stray judgement can cause upset.

Something that I have personally experienced here at CHS, a place where I would like to feel safe, is the abundance of rape jokes meant to impress friends.

But making an offhand joke about rape or assault is anything but impressive, or funny for that matter. The sad truth is that you don’t know who around you has personally been affected by rape or assault of any kind. A crude remark could reopen the wounds of someone who doesn’t want to rehash traumatic memories.

It is never okay to make fun of serious issues like domestic violence, sexual assault or objectifying someone’s body for the amusement of others, just as it is not okay to joke about someone’s socioeconomic status, race, sexuality or religion.

Microaggressions are a common problem that go unacknowledged. For example, telling someone they speak well because they are a stereotypically inarticulate race. Microaggressions are unintentional, which is all the more reason to think about how the undertone of what you’re about to say could accidentally hurt someone.

There are countless ways to say something that could offend someone, but it can go beyond that. You don’t know what someone has been through, and that creates a fine line between being offensive and unintentionally offending someone because of a crass joke or quick assumption.

Being mindful of your words can be simpler than it seems. If thinking before you speak is difficult for you, one thing you can do is to just be considerate of others around you. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t ever change what you say. You might regret it later, apologize for it or even change your opinion on what you said, but you can’t go back to the original moment when you first uttered the cutting remarks.

Not everyone is going to be the epitome of kindness all the time, but we can put forth a little extra effort to make sure we’re being considerate and respectful. So before you make an assumption about someone or something you know nothing about, stop. Think about who this could seriously affect, and try being a little more mindful.


Carrboro Students Represent at D.C. Marches

Saturday morning, January 21, 2017, I woke up in anticipation of what was about to happen. This wasn’t a day like any other; to me it was the beginning of making history. As I pulled on my pink hat and “Nasty Woman” t-shirt, there was a palpable excitement in the air that made me both anxious and determined. In less than three hours, I would be standing with hundreds of thousands of women, protesting for equality everywhere. All of this a mere ten minutes away from the White House. But there was nothing that could have fully prepared me for what I was about to experience at the Women’s March on Washington.

It’s hard to believe that the Women’s March, which brought more than half a million people to D.C. in protest, started with a Hawaiian grandmother asking friends to march in protest of gender inequality, as well as other issues, on Inauguration Day. Soon enough, one post became many, and a march became the march that garnered worldwide support.

The march featured speakers such as Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, America Ferrera, Cecile Richards and Tammy Duckworth. They promoted the unity of women in the face of all differences. The rally, which was supposed to end at 1pm, ran long due to the number of speakers. By 3pm, there were over 500,000 marchers in D.C.

CHS Freshmen Fiona Galinsky and Kaya Hencke marched at the Washington rally. Both were very excited about what the march could accomplish.

“I’m going because it’s important to show that we need as many people there as possible to make an impact. This needs to be marched for. This needs to be recognized. It’s important to stand up for these issues,” Galinsky said before the march.

Despite warnings of potential violence, the march proceeded safely and without disruption. In the late afternoon, the protesters began to march down the Mall, chanting and hoisting creatively powerful signs above the sea of pink hats. Many signs contained messages of hope, but others were more defiant. There were many common phrases such as “Love trumps hate” and “Proud to be a Nasty Woman”. There were more unique signs as well, that said things like “Don’t grab my civil rights,” “Speak truth to power,” and “Hope not Grope.”

D.C. marchers hold up signs in support of gender equality. Photo by Chelsea Ramsey

According to Taylor Gosk, a Carrboro senior who also protested at the D.C. march, she felt that the march promoted nothing but inclusion and unity. “A lot people beforehand were warning me about the safety, but it was just the safest place ever,” said Gosk after the march. “Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, [and] there was a sense of passion. I just didn’t think it would be that inspirational.”

Closer to home was the Raleigh march, which many Carrboro students attended as well. Two students, Emily Joashi and Angelique Streamo-Pinard, went together. They described the atmosphere of the march as energetic and positive.

“It made me realize that if you all think the same thing, all have one similar view, you can come together with each other to achieve a goal. Since we were all there under a common thing, we were able to do it together,” said Joashi.

For many students, this isn’t the end of their protesting. Some, like Gosk, are planning on marching or volunteering for other causes near to their hearts. As Streamo-Pinard said, “Let your voice be heard.”