Clashing opinions on Clan game

Normally, when people think of mobile games they might think Candy Crush, Trivia Crack and Fortnite. However, an older mobile game has made an appearance at CHS: Clash of Clans, an online, multiplayer game for iPhone and Android devices. The game, also known as COC, incorporates strategy with a heavy reliance on other players.

Clash of Clans was initially launched seven years ago in 2012 by Supercell. Based on Google trends data, the game saw its last spike in popularity in December of 2015 before its decline in activity leading up to 2019. The resurgence of the game at Carrboro has led to a number students re-downloading the game from the App Store and hopping back in right where they left off.

“It’s kind of in itself a meme, and people recognize that…but I would say that for me, it’s been amazing to see how middle school, seventh and eighth grade, we played it, and now in twelvth grade picking it up again,” said Hank Hultman, a senior and regular player of Clash of Clans.

One of the most unique features of the game is the multiplayer system that is referred to as “clans.” Clans are essentially a community of people within the game. In order to join a clan, you must be accepted by the clan’s leaders. The clan is an important aspect of the game because it allows people to share resources such as troops, and members can even go to war together against other clans to receive resources and perks.

“It’s a great game,” said Noah Ross, senior. “It’s another way for us to connect outside of school.”

Currently at CHS, there are a number of clans that are made up almost entirely of students. Of the few clans at CHS, the largest one is called “Little G’s,” and is ranked as the 540,444 best clan in the world. Currently, Little G’s has the maximum amount of players, but if a spot were to open up, all you would need to do is talk to one of the clan Elders, such as senior Spenser Barry.

Barry is not only an Elder of the clan, but also the leader of the entire clan.

“It’s a popular game for two reasons: upgrading your base is fun to do. It’s progressive if you put in the time; you get a reward out of it. Secondly, the social aspect: lots of people at Carrboro play the game, and it’s a fun thing to connect over,” said Barry about the game’s newfound popularity.

Barry made it clear that the game is not about being glued to your phone screen; there are actually as many real world aspects of the game as there is virtual time.

“Most people in the clan go to Carrboro, everyone’s pretty active, I talk to my friends about it in real life a lot,” Barry added.

Although Barry plays COC often, he isn’t optimistic about the game’s survivability in future years.

“I don’t expect it to last for too long. Like all fun things in life, the more you do it, the less interesting it is,” he said.

Hultman, however, disagrees. For him, the value of the game is so important that he doesn’t see it going anywhere.

“For the seniors, it’s nostalgic, and it really is a community, which is one of the most fun and appealing aspects. It’s a place you can talk to your friends; it’s a support group,” Hultman said.

For Chis Egersdoerfer, another senior player in “Little G’s,” the game is all about the connections.

“The most important thing for me is talking to your friends and even people you don’t talk as much to,” Egersdoerfer mentioned.

Although the CHS Clash of Clans base is strong and increasing, there are some people who aren’t as crazy about the game, and see it in more of a negative light.

“I think that it’s taking up a lot of people’s time,” said Nick Datto, senior.

On the other side of the Clash of Clans debate, many believe that the game isn’t all it’s been built up to be. Some see it as too childish, too exclusive or too time-consuming.

“It’s very addicting,” said Sam Macy, senior. “I played it in seventh grade, and it was all I could think about.”

As modern technology becomes more prevalent, especially among teenagers, some think that “screen-time,” or the amount of time spent on electronics each day, is getting out of hand.

Some, like Datto, also believe that the game wastes time better spent with friends or family in person.

As CHS rebuilds its Clan, players may need to think about how much time they actually spend on the game.

But many players still believe, like Hultman or Barry, that the value of the resurgence of the game really is about the joy players get out of their clans, not just the time put in it. Who knows how long this trend will last, and what the next big game will become.

Teachers march for increased wages

Teachers march on Raleigh to demand better pay and defend their rights. Photo by Elsie Baker

On May 1, while students were enjoying their day off, many teachers from NC marched in downtown Raleigh for better pay and more funding for public schools.

The march was planned by the NCAE (North Carolina Association of Educators). As the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees, the NCAE represents active, retired and student teachers. The NCAE has planned many marches in the past, the latest one being in May of 2018, which brought an estimated 19,000 educators to downtown Raleigh.

The specific demands of this year’s march included additional funding, which would allow schools to be staffed with psychologists, social workers, nurses and librarians; restoration of extra pay for advanced degrees; an increase in minimum wage for all school personnel to 15 dollars an hour; a 5 percent cost-of-living raise for school employees and retirees; expansion of Medicaid to improve the healthcare of students and their families and for future teachers that may be hired after 2021, the restoration of retiree health benefits.

Jamie Schendt, CHS social studies teacher, is one of many teachers in the CHCCS district who participated in both this year’s and last year’s march. He believes that these marches show students and parents that teachers stay informed and pay attention to the legislature, as well that when teachers feel a need for change, they will act and push for that change in the best way they can.

“I’m not here to say that the marches are what leads to changes in the laws, but I think it at least is showing just how unified the voice of teachers can be in NC,” stated Schendt.

Schendt pointed out how the march could open school employees up to potential criticism. One of the biggest points of criticism concerns pay raises. Critics may point out that there have been three or four consecutive pay raises from the state, yet there was a span over five or six year’s previous to those where pay was frozen.

Critics may also point out that students lose instructional time, especially this year, with all the inclement weather we had. On the other hand, those who participated in the march were willing to give up class time because they felt it necessary to do so. People may or may not be in agreement with losing class time for teachers to make what could be considered a political statement.

Regardless of the march’s positive or negative effects, participants made their voices heard regarding the education system, despite teachers often being expected to remain politically neutral in public spaces.

“To say that teachers aren’t or shouldn’t be political I think is a bit of an unfair hole to put us in or a box to put us in,” Schendt said. “…Everything about our job is political. We don’t get to choose a lot of the things that affect us.”

The Chapel Hill Service Award

In a segregation-ridden community, the Chapel Hill school system was split into two separate schools: Chapel Hill High School and Lincoln High School. Now, over half a century later, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District has four separate high schools, in which students of all colors, creeds and backgrounds are enrolled.

Jock Lauterer, Carolyn Daniels, Dave Mason, Richard Ellington and Dr. John Allcott are all graduates of either Chapel Hill or Lincoln High from the sixties. Together, they have worked to create an award for two deserving local graduating high school students.

Many of these award founders experienced segregation during their childhood in Chapel Hill. Dave Mason even participated in the Chapel Hill Nine, a Civil Rights Era sit-in administered by nine men from Chapel Hill’s all-black Lincoln High School.

The award these leaders have established reflect the unjust times of segregation and how much our community has changed since then. There is an award that was given out to two students; A white student and an African-American student win the award based on demonstrating civic engagement in improving multiculturalism in our community.

Jock Lauterer, one of the creators of this award, commented on how the formation of this award came about.

“Dr. John Allcott came into some money and wanted to do something meaningful with it,” said Lauterer.

He gave some background information of what it was like for him and the other creators growing up.

“We grew up in a Chapel Hill that was very segregated in the early 60’s,” said Lauterer.

He also mentioned what this award might look like in the future.

“The long term goal is to make this award an annual award and ideally for more people, but we just want to get started and get this going,” said Lauterer.

Each of the creators of this award are a part of the Joint Alumni Association. Lauterer spoke on what the Joint Alumni Association is all about.

“The Joint Alumni Association has the purpose of building new bridges and forging new relationships and encouraging your generation to think about the values of multiculturalism and to reward a kid from each cohort who we think deserves the cash award,” said Lauterer.

Dave Mason, a Lincoln High alumni from the sixties who helped establish the Lincoln H.S./Chapel Hill H.S. Joint Alumni Service award, gave insight into being part of the Chapel Hill Nine.

“I had an opportunity to participate in the very first sit-in in Chapel Hill; I was one of nine individuals and I can tell you that things have changed significantly… I feel like things have changed significantly but the matters of social change, social justice, and equity are still issues in 2019,” said Mason.

Subsequently, Mason reiterated what the award is all about and what they are looking for in the people who apply.

“We are looking for students who have the compassion to inspire change and the passion to sustain it,” said Mason.

Richard Ellington, another creator of the award, briefly established what his situation was growing up in Chapel Hill.

“I was a Chapel Hill High student and was in the class of ‘63 during the segregation period,” said Ellington.

He shared what the separation was like between Chapel Hill High and Lincoln High School.  “We were a mile apart in distance but a world apart in experience,” said Ellington.

Ellington is still frustrated about parts of our society, and how this award helps to mitigate some of the inequality in our area.

“One of the things that has bothered me so much about growing up in the segregation era and the aftermath, for so long we have wanted to do away with the separation, and now it seems like people want to resegregate and separate in society…We want to have people reach out to their neighbors and peers and be a part of the community and there’s an equality that we are pursuing,” said Ellington.

Dr. John Allcott, the primary benefactor and creator of this service award and CHHS graduate, described the separation between the two schools.

“There were separate ball games, separate leagues, separate bands,” said Allcott.

Finally, he related what this service award is all about and how it can benefit and progress society.

“I hope for a society with opportunity and we hope that with this award that we can teach about equity and the possibility that we can all find our way,” said Allcott.

This award is a fantastic way to improve multiculturalism and equality in society, and this is just the beginning of this award and its impact. In future years, this award could encourage a greater opportunity for multiculturalism and civil engagement to flourish in the Chapel Hill area.

Student Government Elections: Popularity Contests?

The Carrboro High School student government elections have passed, and students have elected the candidates for the 2019-2020 school year. Now that the elections are finished, it’s important to consider the factors at play that get candidates elected: do their platforms have the biggest influence, are they good at campaigning, or does their level of popularity make them more likely to get elected?

Ryan Severance, the student government association (SGA) advisor, thinks that popularity has a strong influence on the elections, although he hopes the school will focus more on candidates platforms, rather than their social standings.

“One thing that we’ve been trying to encourage SGA to do and the future candidates to do was reach out to some of those student groups that don’t normally get talked to,” Severance said.

The SGA has been making more of an effort to reach out to those student groups, specifically students of color and ESL students. These efforts, Severance hopes, will make popularity less of an influence. However, he acknowledges that there isn’t a way for popularity to not be a factor in student government elections.

“I would love to say that people are voting more on what the [candidate] can do and not just because of popularity, because I think sometimes when we vote strictly off of popularity we don’t always get the best results,” Severance said.

Isabel Simmons, CHS junior, who will be SGA’s president next year, thinks that popularity influencing the election is two-pronged.

“On one hand, you want the person that’s representing you to be someone that you know and someone that you trust because otherwise you don’t feel comfortable going up to them and voicing your problems or your concerns. On the other hand, and this comes back to this other idea of popularity [where we are electing] a certain type of person, absolutely that’s a problem,” she said.

She pointed out that there are two different kinds of popularity: being well known or being a certain type of person.

Simmons suggested that many SGA students might be elected because of their identity, such as being a white student from Southern Village, acknowledging that she falls into that category. In the coming school year, she wants to work with the freshman class to make sure that more people from diverse backgrounds are represented. She also hopes to show that student government is for everyone, that there isn’t a mold you have to fit into.

Taylor Gwynne, CHS junior, feels like popularity is a big factor in SGA elections, with people feeling obligated to vote for their friends, specifically for the vice-president position. She thinks that, historically, SGA has been very exclusive and popularity-based, something she thinks needs to change.

“I think it would be interesting to run an election without faces, giving everyone a chance to post their platform and people vote solely off of a written platform and bio about the person. The problem is that this isn’t how real elections are run and students need to learn how to evaluate a candidate and cast their vote like they would when they turn 18,” Gwynne said.

Now that the elections have passed, it may not seem relevant to talk about student government anymore. However, it’s important to recognize how popularity can and does influence CHS and to be aware of it, whether you approve of it or not.

Anonymous candidate runs for SGA president

Anonymous candidate Hacky Sack posted this to their Instagram page to announce their presidential run.

As May approaches and the school year begins to wind down, students all around CHS prepare for a very crucial time of year: student government association (SGA) elections. This year, among the students clamoring for senator, treasurer and presidential positions, was a unique candidate: a hacky sack.

Hacky-Sack, an anonymous online presence communicating to the masses primarily through Instagram, is a potential presidential candidate, or at the least, is trying to be.

“My goal with this movement was to create a character that transcended social status and a character who made progress based on things like clever posts and responding to comments…I want people to vote based on who they think has the most merit,” said Hacky Sack in an email interview. During the interview, the owner of the account chose to stay anonymous.

Hacky Sack first announced their intentions to run with an Instagram post on April 19 and quickly garnered student support, encouraging that, “the revolution is now!”

“My platform is to remove all school rules that conflict with the interest of hacky sacks. This includes the ban on hacky sacking. I also want to create a hacky sack team and replace the school mascot with a hacky sack,” said Hacky Sack.

In an Instagram poll by the JagWire, 56 percent of students said they would write in or vote for Hacky Sack. But with elections Friday, April 26, and inanimate objects banned from the ballot, many students are wondering what Hacky Sack’s true goals are.

“It is very clear to everyone, I hope, that the page is satire. The purpose of satire in my opinion is 5% to convey a message and 95% to make people laugh…I am running to make people laugh, give people something to remember, and to try to create a universal figure,” responded Hacky Sack.

Although the “movement” is mostly a farce, Hacky Sack noted they became inspired because of an issue they found with CHS student government elections.

“What I have a problem with is the culture that surrounds SGA elections. Students treat SGA elections like they are required to vote for their friends regardless of how much work they’ve put into the campaign,” said Hacky Sack. “I keep myself anonymous because I above all else want to know that I gathered support not just because my friends felt obligated to support me but because people respect and are entertained by what I am doing.”

Results for the election will be tallied after voting finishes Friday. While Hacky Sack may not make the final cut, their message has still pervaded the school, engendering debate over the process of SGA elections, and whether they are influenced by popularity, rather than qualification. “I’ve talked extensively with the SGA members and organizers in the last two days and they are, in my opinion, doing a good job. I’m poking fun at the culture around SGA…My overall message is that I just want to remind everyone that you might want to help your friend but at the end of the day you should vote based on merit,” said Hacky Sack.

Overbeck commits to UNC volleyball

Sophomore Carson Overbeck will be playing for UNC’s volleyball team starting 2021.

On April 11, Carson Overbeck, sophomore, announced her verbal commitment to UNC volleyball. Overbeck has been an integral part of the CHS varsity volleyball team since her freshman year. Overbeck additionally plays as a libero or defensive specialist for Triangle Volleyball Club. Now, Overbeck is excited to continue the next phase of her volleyball career at UNC.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to go to UNC. It’s been a dream of mine. When the opportunity came, I was really excited and knew that it was where I wanted to go,” said Overbeck.

Overbeck thinks that UNC has a very accepting and friendly culture and can’t wait to be a part of it.

“Everything is always so exciting. I love the coaches. All the players love the school and the team. All of the student athletes are really happy at UNC. I really wanted to be a part of that,” said Overbeck.

Volleyball has been an important factor in Overbeck’s life because of the fun of playing and the friends she gets to play with.

“I’ve always been really passionate about volleyball. I love the sport. I used to play soccer too, but I felt like I liked volleyball better, and I liked going to practice. I enjoy playing it with my friends,” said Overbeck.

Volleyball is not only a source of happiness in Overbeck’s life but also something that pushes her to work hard and do her best.

“For volleyball, I’m willing to go to practice, get better and put in the extra time,” said Overbeck.

Overbeck has worked hard not only in her sport but also in the classroom to get this opportunity. Overbeck thinks that time management has been crucial for her achieving balance between her volleyball and school work.

“Time management is very important. With practice every week, you need to stay ahead of your school assignments and put in the extra time,” said Overbeck.

Steve Scanga, CHS varsity volleyball coach, is excited about Overbeck’s commitment and looks forward to seeing her progress as a CHS and a UNC volleyball player.
“It is wonderful to hear that Carson has committed to UNC. She is an excellent athlete with great focus and drive, and I am certain that she will be a fine addition to the UNC program. I am looking forward to her playing with the Jaguars for two more years before she moves on to
the next level,” said Scanga in an email interview.

CHS competes at SkillsUSA

Senior Juan Ramirez won 4th place for his design

Formed 54 years ago, SkillsUSA is an organization that offers opportunities to CTE students across the nation. With state competitions as well as a national competition, students are able to improve their skills and engage with other talented individuals in many different areas.

From fantasy makeup to cabinet making, skillsUSA offers it all; there is a competition for everyone, and many talented students to test one’s skills against. Even if someone doesn’t end up with a medal, they can still grow from the experience of competing against people who are as capable or more capable than they; a huge part of improvement is the ability to compare one’s work of ability to that of others, and adapt accordingly.

Last weekend, thirty-odd Carrboro High Schools students set off to SkillsUSA NC, ready to compete against other North Carolinians in contests such as advertising design, technical drafting and video design.

There were issues with the bus, which ended up leaving the school an hour late, and the hotel the students were meant to stay at was overbooked; despite these setbacks, all hands were on deck, and all students were able to participate in their competitions.

Once on site, some students had to attend orientations, some set up displays for their design work and some were busy filming in and outside of the hotel. The experience for students in different competitions varies greatly, and all participants are expected to attend and complete what they need to without help–this enforces the idea of responsibility, since students must be fairly independent (though a buddy system is in place to ensure safety).

After two days of hard work, fourteen different Carrboro High School students placed top five, three of those being first-place; the categories students placed in were adobe video design, adobe visual design, advertising design, digital cinema, extemporaneous poster, poster and T-shirt design. Congrats to CHS SkillsUSA!

The origins of Prom

From left to right: Juniors Kaya Hencke, Ella Speer, and Brynn Holt-Ling sell tickets at lunch. Photo by Chelsea Ramsey

As juniors and seniors look for dresses, tuxes and maybe even a date for the the annual, school-sanctioned and widely famous prom, one might wonder, where did this tradition come from?

Firstly, let’s address the name. Prom is short for promenade and can be easily defined as  a formal parade of guests. But the idea of this century’s kind of prom originates back to 19th century American universities. There, they held co-ed banquets honoring that year’s graduating class, according to Time Magazine.

Time also suggests that the banquets kept getting pushed to younger and younger students, until the 1940s where it took its hold on American high schools. In the 1950s, schools began to allow proms to be held in hotels and country clubs due to the thriving postwar economy.

Back then it was a parade of the graduating class, but what does it mean to us now? Because the event stems back generations, the reasons that we have prom have changed greatly over the years. Parker Zinn, Carrboro junior and Junior Class Council President, believes that prom is a opportunity for students.

“Prom gives students the opportunity to spend a magical night with their peers outside of the classroom and really treat themselves to the experience of a lifetime,” said Zinn, in an interview via email.

While prom is a world-wide phenomenon, and has universal traditions, Carrboro also has its own traditions.

Ella Speer, junior and Class Council’s Multi-Media Manager, shares her take on one beloved Carrboro prom tradition.

“I would say that the promposals are one of the most exciting aspects of Carrboro’s pre-prom anticipation,” said Speer, also via email.

So why have we kept these traditions alive? Zinn elaborated on the significance of the occasion.

“We believe that prom is a vital part of the high school experience because of its unique nature. All students have the opportunity to come together and celebrate each other at a formal dance, spending the night worry-free and having a blast,” said Zinn.

To promote this idea of coming together and celebrating each other, Carrboro’s Junior Class Council says that they cannot do without inclusivity.

One way they worked on inclusivity was making sure everyone could afford prom by making sure everyone could access formal wear, and offering a discounted ticket prices for those in need (see Ms. Crider in the CIC for discounted tickets and formal wear).

“This year, we hope to diversify prom and make it more inclusive to all. We have discounted ticket prices for students unable to afford regular ticket prices, additionally advertised Cinderella’s Closet and other dresswear businesses for discounted or free dresswear, and we have spoken with students around CHS to discuss ways we may make prom more inclusive and enjoyable for all,” said Speer.

Cinderella’s Closet is a charity that compiles gently used and donated formal wear for those who need it. The charity will be held the day of prom, April 13, at the Christ United Methodist Church in Southern Village. You can go there to find dresses, shoes, jewelry and other prom essentials, or you can donate any used prom items for others to try on.

Carrboro’s Junior Class Council worked extremely hard on this year’s prom and can’t wait to see attendees on April 13, at Governor’s Club from 8pm -11pm.

Carrboro “Springs Forward”

This spring, we set the clocks forward an hour, losing an hour of sleep for some. Photo courtesy Federico Respini via Unsplash.

Daylight Savings Time brings mixed responses from students and teachers. “Spring Forward” brings an especially large amount of controversy. In Spring Forward, clocks move forward one hour, and people disagree on whether the extra hour of sunlight is worth the confusion and loss of sleep.

According to National Geographic, Daylight Savings Time started in Germany with the goal of saving coal energy in World War I. In 1918, the United States also decided to start the biannual time change. Although many sources suggest that Daylight Savings no longer saves energy, the U.S.—except for Arizona and Hawaii—still springs forward today.

Starting Sunday, March 10, Standard Time changed to Daylight Savings Time, and people throughout Carrboro and the U.S. have had to adjust.

A major problem with Spring Forward is the negative impact on sleep. The sudden change in time conflicts with people’s natural circadian rhythms, which take a few days to adapt. The week after Spring Forward, many students say they feel tired and have trouble going to sleep early enough.

Students and teachers often find the sudden change hard to adjust to.

“I think it’s more disruptive than it is beneficial,” said CHS science teacher Robin Bulleri.

For many Americans, this sleep disruption can have dangerous consequences. CNN reported that Spring Forward correlates with an 8 percent increase in strokes, a 10 percent increase in heart attacks and an unusually high number of injuries and car accidents in the few days after the time change.

However, after a few days, people’s circadian rhythms adjust to the change, and this increase in risk falls again. At this point, many students enjoy the additional hour of sunlight at the end of the day.

“I love having more sunlight in the afternoon because I can sit outside and do my homework, and it doesn’t get dark during track practice,” said Elly Hensley, senior.

Many students agree that later sunsets make them less tired while doing their homework and playing sports in the evening. In the long-term, this extra evening sunlight makes them appreciative of Daylight Savings Time.

“It improves my overall mood so much,” said Hensley.

After a few days of adjustment, most of CHS is starting to get back to a regular sleep schedule. Students and teachers can look forward to even sunnier evenings as we approach summer.

New at CHS: Registration Night

Incoming freshmen and parents line the gym during an icebreaker for Registration Night. Photo courtesy Lucy Carroll

On Monday, March 4, Carrboro High School held its first annual registration night from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Registration night allows for any student to come to school and explore different class options for the next year, speak one-on-one with their teachers and let parents interact with teachers.

“The purpose of tonight is to give grade level information for students who will be attending Carrboro High School next year, particularly for students who are rising ninth graders who have never been to Carrboro before” said Ashley Freuler, eleventh grade counselor.

All throughout the school, activities and meetings took place. The commons of the school were filled with posters and signs promoting elective courses for new students to take a look at. The school library and some of the classrooms contained teachers talking to parents and students alike about their upcoming school year.

The school was mainly filled with rising freshman coming to Carrboro High School, exploring the hallways they will soon be walking for the next four years.

In the gym, a huge icebreaker activity took place for freshman students, where staff, students and parents could get to know each other. Two lines were set up running along the perimeter of the gym, and as the two lines moved in opposite directions. Those attending were told to answer questions like “What are you looking forward to?” or “What is your biggest fear about high school?”

“[The icebreaker] was trying to help normalize the experience, parent to parent, of this transition. Most people that came, this is their first child in high school, and it kind of freaks people out sometimes, and so I think it was to minimize that stress, to help people know that there are other people feeling similar things,” said Michael Horton, Carrboro social studies teacher.

A presentation was then given to inform students and family about class information for the upcoming year.

“For freshman academy, they had a specific talk introducing students to information focusing on registration, on courses and sort of general information about Carrboro High School,” said Freuler.

Carrboro’s hope for the night was to give students the information needed to make the best decisions for next year’s class, as well as to become more comfortable with the school and staff in preparation for next year.

We’re hoping that students will feel more comfortable already having been to Carrboro, that they’ll start to feel connected to Carrboro before they even step foot in the door on their first day of ninth grade,” said Freuler.

“You know, before you know it, it will be summer. It will be that time to start back up again, so if we can get as much of it done beforehand, it makes it easier for us to work in it throughout the summer,” said Ken Lathan, twelfth grade guidance counselor.