Former WEA officer speaks about abusive relationships

Women’s Empowerment Ambassadors (WEA) hosted a meeting at lunch on Thursday, March 15 with a former club officer, Tingyee Chang.

Chang is a junior at the University of Southern California and is currently studying public policy. She chose to discuss this topic, she said, because of a roommate who had recently gotten out of an emotionally abusive relationship. Her shock and anger in response to what happened caused her to share her roommate’s story with everyone she knew, Chang said.

Women’s Empowerment Ambassadors members listened to a former officer explain the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive behaviors in a relationship.

“When I shared this story with people, I noticed that a lot of people had expressed that they shared similar experiences. Either they had realized the relationship was abusive and left or they had realized after they left the relationship,” Chang said. “The proportion of people who shared similar experiences was overwhelming and I knew I had to do something.”

WEA´s method of bringing awareness to certain topics inspired her to share the story of her roommate there, she said.

“This was the place that I had gotten my start as a young feminist and just simply as a young person and I thought that many students could benefit from this topic,” Chang said.

Her presentation included the story of her roommate and what the differences between a healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationship are. Chang continuously stressed the importance of communication, consent and power within any relationship, be it platonic or romantic.

Her presentation also included a short activity at the end where two pairs were given a slip of paper with a certain relationship behavior and had to identify whether it was healthy, unhealthy or abusive behavior.

In terms of why this topic is so important, especially amongst young people, Chang discussed the lack of education and conversation surrounding this topic.

“One thing that I always notice is that many people are not aware of what sexual assault or rape looks like and so they come out of these sexual experiences feeling bad about themselves, only to learn later on that that was rape or that was sexual assault,” Chang said. “If we can spread awareness about what the rules and parameters are, then we can prevent this behavior early on.”

WEA has constantly strived to educate and encourage discussion with their members when choosing their topics, Elena Kamas said. Officers Dan Cohen and Elena Kamas explained how they chose their discussion topics and what the club’s goal is.

“There are things that we know that we need to talk about as a feminist organization,” Cohen said. “Things that are happening in the media, big debates right now, things happening in legislation. But we also place an emphasis on things that have a viable application right now. We try to focus on things that are happening daily, and what we can do about it.”

Cohen participated in the activity and shared his thoughts about the presentation as a whole and what he got from it.

“I don’t think that half the world’s population is a monster and yet I do think that the entire world’s population is capable of doing really bad things and we have to be aware of that,” Cohen said. “Today we like to say that there are the good guys and the bad guys. In relationships, however, there is that funky gray area. Anyone is capable of being a perpetrator and we need to bring awareness to that.”

Kamas shared her feelings about why WEA is a special platform for topics of discussion.

“One thing that I always admired about WEA even before I was an officer is that they were never afraid to talk about anything,” Kamas said. “If a topic was deemed important, that we will bring awareness to it … With WEA, people are really supporting each other, they are caring for each other, and they’re listening to each other. Education and understanding is our main priority and the fact that we made that our foundation makes us different from other clubs.”

Movie night makes debut

The class of 2021 and 2020 class officers hosted the school’s first ever Movie Night on March 9.

“We wanted to boost school spirit before Battle of the Classes (BOTC) and create a fun event that wasn’t a dance because we already have so many dances,” sophomore secretary Sophia Chen said.

The event welcomed students from all grade levels and entry was free.

“The turnout for Sadies has slowly been declining,” Chen said. “Last year, when we were freshman and tried to throw Sadies, we only profited like $100 to $150 per class. The profit was really low and we put a lot of time into planning, like booking the DJ, contacting businesses for food and fencing.” 

To host Movie Night, the freshman and sophomore class officers coordinated with Assistant Principal Brian Dong, Athletic Trainer Daniel Yusim and other administrators, freshman social manager Rohan Zamvar said.

As part of the planning process, class officers contacted local businesses such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Starbucks, Pasta Market, The Counter and Tpumps for food donations, Chen said.

In addition to using social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, freshman and sophomore class officers wrote in chalk all over campus to advertise Movie Night, Zamvar said.

“I think it was really fun, honestly,” freshman Jaime Milne said. “It’s really great having people together watching silly movies. I really liked [movie night] because a lot more people are going to be into it other than just standing around without dancing.”

Choir performance inspired by Vivaldi

On Feb. 1, choir and band joined together to skillfully perform Antonio Vivaldi’s hymn “Gloria.”

“Every year we perform a ‘Major Work,’” choir teacher Jeff Morton said. “The ‘Gloria’ is over a half of an hour long and has 12 movements, some soft and beautiful, others loud and powerful.”

I found the performance to be wonderful. I’m not classically trained in singing and have little knowledge on the expectations required for “Gloria,” so my opinion isn’t that of an expert. But as an observer, the choir sounded lovely and the orchestra was amazing.

I did not notice any off-key singers or poorly tuned instruments throughout the entire show. The violinists showed particular skill, mastering their parts and consistently being on point.

The composer behind this famous piece is Antonio Vivaldi, an 18th century composer who is well known as one of the most renowned figures in European classical music.

Despite Vivaldi’s interest in music, he sought religious training and was ordained a priest in 1703. However, Vivaldi may have joined priesthood not out of religious devotion, but because of the free schooling and access to music it provided.

“[During the Baroque period] almost all music was somehow financially made possible because of the Catholic church,” Morton said.

According to, by the age of 25, Vivaldi became master of violin at Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.

According to, the Ospedale housed the love children of noblemen and their various mistresses. As a result, it received large donations from “anonymous” fathers.

I don’t recall if the Gloria was sung by the orphanage youth. The orphanage was all girls, so at least some other forces would be needed to sing the male parts,” Morton said.

Like many of Vivaldi’s other pieces, the “Gloria” is a religious text.

The first line ‘Glory to God in the Highest’ set the tone as a praise and thanks giving song,” Morton said. “Other lines include prayer for peace on earth and lifting out our sins and trials to that which is greater than us.”

Choir receives perfect score at CMEA


n March 10 HHS Choir performed at the California State Music Association (CMEA) festival hosted at Saratoga High School. The group achieved the highest possible scoring of unanimous superior.

The judges unanimously decided that Homestead choir is superior.

A unanimous superior is when all three of the judges give the performance a perfect score, Senior Ivy Janes said. Getting the highest scoring possible was a step up from previous performances, she said.

Last year, the chamber choir scored a superior, Janes said. For a superior, only two of the three judges grade the performance as superior.

“I wasn’t really that nervous… it was a nice space to perform and I think we did really well,” Freshman Verrue Vummidi said. However, confidence was not what led them to the perfect score.

“We practiced for weeks before the CMEA happened, it was just constant practice of the songs,” said Vummidi.  

“[Getting he unanimous superior] felt really good, it restored my faith in the choir,” said Vummidi.

Choir is going to another CMEA event in May this year, Janes said.

The Impatient Patient: The Paralympics’ dim spotlight

U.S. and South Korean ice hockey teams battle it out. Photo courtesy of The Atlantic.

The buzz from the 2018 Winter Olympics may be dying down, but the hype for the Paralympics is just igniting — but barely. Since 1976, the year of the first winter Paralympic games, winter Paralympians have won 278 medals, more than the 197 medals earned by Olympians.

Despite this, there is a longstanding disparity between Paralympians and Olympians worldwide in terms of coverage received and money earned for winning medals, among others. This is not an issue exclusive to the U.S., but one that happens worldwide.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement that will extend to 2032 with goals to not only bring about more awareness to the Paralympics, but also to ensure their longevity.

While this agreement is promising, it is hard to ignore the Olympic-sized gap between the two major sporting events. According to an article in the New York Times, the number of American reporters at the Paralympics dropped from 57 to 33 reporters. NBC alone sent 89 reporters to the 2018 Olympics, according to their website.

Of the 801 reporters worldwide covering the Paralympics, American reporters comprise of roughly four percent. Meanwhile, American athletes make up 43 percent of all Paralympic athletes competing, according to the official Team USA website. That constitutes, roughly, to seven athletes per reporter — extremely uneven coverage.

American Paralympians have been making great strides at the Olympics, currently owning the largest number of medals. It is a shame that we cannot be bothered to provide equal coverage to such athletes. We have athletes overcoming tremendous feats, yet their stories, much less their accomplishments, are given a very dim spotlight to be showcased in.

The same lack of coverage was apparent in the 2016 Paralympics as well. According to an article on The Conversation, 52 reporters (excluding NBC) were sent to the Paralympics compared to the 400 sent to the Olympics.

So what is causing the Paralympic coverage drought? According to this study published in 2003, journalists did not cover the event because they felt as though readers were simply not interested, and it was not worth the actual the cost of coverage. Another reason was the sentiment that the Paralympics did not rival the Olympics in that it was not a “real competition.”

Journalists may think that the Paralympics may not be an area of interest for the general public, and perhaps they are right. But, you cannot light a flame without a spark. How can the general public even get interested in the Paralympics when there is no coverage readily available?

While this study was published 15 years ago, the amount of coverage remains consistent — consistently low. The “para-” in “Paralympics” comes from the Greek preposition meaning “to be beside with.”

It was given to illustrate that both the Olympics and Paralympics were to exist together, with one not being placed on a higher pedestal than other. The origins of the Paralympic name has its heart in the right place, but until the same respect that is given to the Olympics is awarded to the Paralympics, the Paralympic name remains untrue.

An article on the South China Morning Post proposes an intriguing question — why are the accomplishments of an able-bodied person far more celebrated than the accomplishments of someone with a disability?

The fact of the matter is that the Paralympics were not created as a kind gesture for people with disabilities to compete in a pseudo-major sporting event, and as such, its athletes should not be seen as secondary.

New off-campus club addresses diversity in books

J unior Jane Andrews has recently started a new club off-campus called DiversiTea. The club was created to address how books today should be more diverse.

DiversiTea is a book club that meets in the Cupertino public library and is open for all to join. It is not affiliated with the school, Andrews said.

DiversiTea aims to foster discussion about diverse books.

At the first meeting, they had tea and snacks while reading and discussing what they read. So far, they have read “Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan. They plan on reading “Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli and watching the corresponding “Love Simon” movie, junior Isabel Serrato, a member of the club, said.

The club mainly focuses on reading diverse books, discussing exactly what makes that book diverse and how they feel about it, Andrews said.

“[A diverse book] is a book that is written about characters that stray away from the norm in some way. The norm that we established for ourselves being a neurotypical, heterosexual, cis white male,” Andrews said.

Librarian Amity Bateman said she is excited about the creation of DiversiTea and further discussion of the topic.

“There are a lot of great young adult books coming out written by … people coming from a lot of different backgrounds,” Bateman said. “And that hasn’t been the case in the past. Even when there were diverse characters, they were often written by straight white people who were kind of imagining an experience and not pulling off of authentic experiences.”

The club sees diversity in books as significant because society is diverse and everyone should be represented, Andrews said.

“I think that if we only read books about people like us, we think that is everyone’s experience. If we never ever see people like us represented in literature, and this is important in entertainment too … then we think that our experience is obscure and that it’s so not mainstream that it’s not even worthy of being represented,” Bateman said.

However, DiversiTea also sees diverse books as a way to expand one’s perspective on things.

“If you’re in a friend group of all similar people, you only know what you know. But then you read a book that expands your worldview. It’s important to know what’s out there. Whether it’s a diverse book in a racial diversity way or LGBTQ+ stuff, it just allows you to understand more people,” Serrato said.

Additionally, Bateman said she feels that books should share how a community actually is in real life. Stories should unfold where these differences are just differences between personal backgrounds and not the problem, Bateman said

In the end, DiversiTea believes that characters should be portrayed as they are in real life. If they are based off of stereotypes, then they are not diverse, Andrews said.

“We talk about, ‘hey this book had a black character. Was the black character portrayed well, was this offensive, was this stereotypical?’ And that’s something that needs to be evaluated,” Andrews said.

Khanna hosts youth focused town hall on gun control

Parkland student, Golden State Warriors coach spoke alongside Khanna

Newark Memorial High School hosted Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) town hall meeting on March 12 to give teenagers a platform to speak about gun control.  Khanna was accompanied by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Matt Deisch, a student activist from Parkland.

The event began at 3:45 p.m., with a line around the building beginning an hour before. High school students were allowed immediate entry inside the school gym, while adults waited outside. Inside, the gym was set up with chairs and cameras from various news outlets.

Mission San Jose High School student Sonia Tasser said she attended the meeting because gun control is something she’s very passionate about.

“To have the feeling that you’re not safe at school is something that should never happen,” Tasser said.

The meeting began with opening remarks from Khanna, followed by speeches from Kerr and Deisch. Then the floor was opened for students to ask questions to Khanna, Kerr or Desich, with press questions after. Congressman Mike Thompson, who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, closed the meeting with final remarks.

The entire meeting emphasized the importance of youth involvement.

“Your title doesn’t matter,” Khanna said. “What matters is your authenticity and passion.”

Kerr compared today’s movement for gun control to the civil rights movement and Vietnam war protests, both of which were led by students.

“For the first time it feels like something is happening,” Kerr said.

Other subjects addressed included bipartisanship, arming teachers and the Second Amendment.

When Deisch spoke, he focused on means of action for students to take. After sharing his experience with the Parkland shooting, he asserted the need for youth to demand actions from leaders.

“Register to vote, take this to the ballots, so we can have leaders that care about us and not their wallets,” Deisch said.

Deisch also mentioned the march against gun violence on March 24. There are 3.5 million people registered to march so far, he said.

When Congressman Thompson concluded the meeting, he cited multiple organizations, such as Brady Campaign, Giffords Campaign, Everytown USA and, to get educated from and involved with.

Deisch said using resources to receive more information is important, and to keep learning more about the cause.

“They don’t want us to talk about it, they want us to forget … I promise you we won’t,” Deisch said.

(SATIRE) Students graffiti bathrooms in hopes of forcing repairs


o motivate HHS administration to repaint the — notably faded — green of the restroom walls on campus, students have turned to the ageless protest-method of high schoolers: vandalism.

Across campus, restroom patrons have dotted the walls of their stalls with everything from artwork to inspirational quotes to insults to comments on the quality of the bathrooms. The haze of graffiti has forced administration to repaint the stalls to cover up the vulgarity.

Although this has caused controversy, not to mention a wash of detentions, the vandalism is opening a necessary conversation about the quality of on-campus facilities.

Rampant graffiti has helped promote new paint jobs and led to the replacement of broken stall doors.

Enticed by the new forest-green shade of many of the restroom stalls, the on-campus initiative Student Anarchy for Better Bathrooms (SABB) has begun discussing plans to expand to stealing sinks and breaking down stall doors.

“In some of the bathrooms, none of the faucets even work anyway,” SABB representative John Loo said. “The doors don’t lock either, so it’s not like we are making things any worse with these vandalisms.”

By all accounts, Loo and SABB compatrients may have the right idea. On-campus bathrooms have long existed in a state of semi-functional limbo. Since “when you gotta, go you gotta go,” Students weigh down latchless stall doors with everything from backpacks, to nearby friends, to the force of gravity and several carefully worded prayers.

The walls of non-repainted stalls reveal an unappealing history of inexplicable stains, white scratches and scrubbed-out graffiti. More to the point, most bathroom hand-dryers, though otherwise technical marvels, have sat inactive for months, when not for years.

Admittedly, the less-than-ideal state of the bathrooms is likely more an issue of communication than of simply administration failing to fix existing problems. There is no clear “complaint” box for when bathrooms are in need of repairs; students lack a clear medium to communicate their commode conundrums.

More to the point, the student bathrooms are only used by students. Since staff do not use student restrooms, staff is not aware of student restroom problems. While SABB’s methods are, admittedly, extreme, they provide a communication method that is both resoundingly clear and readily available to students.

So far, they have also proven effective. Across campus, several stalls have already been repainted to cover up the aggressive coat of graffiti covering them. The few that have not been are so heavily coated with graffiti that they look black anyway.

As a result, student morale has improved tremendously and lines for SABB treated stalls are out the (still lockless) stall door.

Model UN competes in large conference at Berkeley

20  members of the HHS Model United Nations club attended a competitive conference March 2-4 at UC Berkeley. Berkeley MUN is one of the largest conferences the club attends annually.

There are over 2,500 people that attend the conference, which includes high school students, international students and middle schoolers, club officer and junior Michael Wallerius said. 

MUN club spent the weekend competing at large Berkeley conference.

“What Model UN does is it mimics the UN, so the way procedure works in the UN is the same way procedure worked [at BMUN],” officer and junior Dan Cohen said.

For BMUN, the participants had to write a 10-page research paper on their country, Wallerius said. The paper had to include background information, current policies, what the  members plan on doing, or arguing, during the conference and why they plan on doing it.

Cohen and partner Wallerius did very well at BMUN representing Iraq, club Vice President Kary Wang said. They “gaveled,” which is the MUN equivalent of getting first place.

“I think it is important to get feedback from the people running [MUN conferences],” Wallerius said. “One of the reasons we were able to win best delegate was because we took feedback from the chairs after each session.”

The main difficulty with conferences like BMUN is the size, which can lead to less participation by members of MUN, junior and club member Mira Khosla said.

“There were a little less than 200 students in the lecture hall with me. This meant that everything was a little more chaotic and that the students in charge had to put in a lot more effort to keep things running smoothly,” Khosla said.

Contrasting Khosla’s view of the conference, some members believe the size is more exciting because of all of the different opinions and the large debates, Cohen said.

Overall, Wang said, HHS MUN members performed very well.

“I am very proud of the amount of preparation, intellectual discussion, public speaking skills, and more that each of our delegates displayed,” Wang said.

The Garlick Press: Greener student driving

The student parking lot is always packed in the morning, with different types of vehicles: trucks, Mini Coopers and family SUVs. For families who are planning on getting a new car for their driving student, an electric car for simple commutes sounds ideal. One problem, however, is where to charge.

Charging stations will allow students and staff with electric vehicles to plug in during school hours.

That issue is going to be solved in a year. After construction for the new F building finishes, charging stations for both students and admin will be installed near the student parking lot.

Tara Grande, FUHSD facilities coordinator, is working on a joint project with Charge! Program to implement the new charging station plan.

“At Homestead, [where] we are looking to put [charging stations] is actually between the student lot and the access road,” Grande said.

In this way, the charging stations can be used by both administration, students and for the public after school hours.

Making charging stations available for students will benefit the campus by allowing families with electric vehicles to utilize the opportunity for a green and cost-effective commute. A newer option for charging stations will also allow prospective students to consider buying an electric vehicle as their first car.

Some college campuses have already taken this opportunity and put electric chargers into effect. Pomona College has 55 plug-in stations available for 1,500 students, installing it’s first six charging stations in 2011 according to a case study conducted by the EPA. Each station cost $6,000, and drivers pay $1.25 and admin get a discounted price at $0.15 per kWh.

Mountain View and Los Altos are also installing charging stations on their campus, according to Mercury News. Admin will be able to charge their electric vehicles at 240 volts for just a small fee. This strategy ultimately helps teachers with long commutes and who wish to use their electric cars to get to work.

Having an electricity-powered car can be more cost-effective than a classic gasoline-fueled vehicle. The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project administered by CSE for the California Air Resources Board has raised incentives for lower-income households while capping eligibility for higher-income consumers, encouraging a solution to the divide created by financial differences.

When it comes to the cost-benefit analysis in terms of pollution, going electric is an excellent option to reduce greenhouse emissions.

According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the emissions produced by an electric vehicle are less than the emissions of an average compact conventional vehicle, no matter the location of where the vehicle is used.

Our campus is green, and should also not just be green because of our colors. These new charging stations will benefit the staff and students and will encourage a greener commute.

The HHS charging stations will be implemented after the construction of the new F building, and soon, individuals with electric vehicles will have a place to plug in.

If you are looking for green options, resources such as DriveClean can help individuals find a valuable and affordable electric car that will benefit your family.

District Red Cross clubs create common goals

Each school in the Fremont Union High School District has a Red Cross Club unique to its campus. Illustration by Andrea Boyn.

There are over 100 Red Cross centers stationed all over California, not to mention the Red Cross clubs run by high school students spread out over California’s 330 districts. With so many locations and vast availability of volunteers, the importance of a common goal increases.

According to the official Red Cross website, their network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: disaster relief, supporting America’s military families, lifesaving blood, health and safety services and international services.

This network of like-minded individuals provides a strong outreach to the citizens of California, especially students. Within FUHSD, Red Cross club is one of the most well-known clubs on the LHS, FHS and HHS campuses. With the increasing commonality of Red Cross clubs in Bay Area schools, groups from different campuses have created a system of resources that can be used to their advantage.

One event that joins local club presidents together is the monthly Silicon Valley Chapter Liaison meetings. These meetings not only bring together Red Cross clubs from the FUHSD, but from outside the district as well.

“We often are able to bring up and discuss ideas for new events, which we can implement into our clubs,” LHS Red Cross President Aarushi Agrawal said. “We also are able to host join blood drives and other meetings, which also allows for greater attendance and correspondence between clubs.”

Frequently-held events include disaster and refugee simulations and radio training. Other events include the “Pillowcase” project, where students teach kindergarteners about disaster preparedness, and the “Sound the Alarm” project, where students help fix and install fire alarms around the neighborhood.  

HHS Red Cross President Reet Mishra and FHS Red Cross advisor Mary Crawford provided updates on what each respective school was currently working on, as well as their plans for the rest of the school year.

“Currently, we are in our Health & Safety Unit, so we are offering [free] CPR/First-Aid classes for members that volunteered over 10 hours this year, and a fee for those who haven’t,” Mishra said. “This is in accordance with our chapter, so students from all over the district will be there.”

Meanwhile students at FHS are taking action to help those in need across the nation by working towards providing relief for the hurricane that occured in St. Thomas, a city in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the future, Crawford reports that FHS Red Cross plans to continue the progress made this year by contributing to the community through certifying more members.

As for upcoming HHS events, Mishra informs that students can expect to see a 5k Charity Fun Run in the near future, that will raise money for the wildfires that ravaged California last fall.

“We are still in the logistics stage, but hope to do it around late April, early May,” Mishra said.

The communication between factions has made for cohesive programs that act in accordance to neighboring schools. Despite coming from different schools, areas and social backgrounds, through Red Cross club, FUHSD students join together to provide compassionate care to those in need.