The Life of a Student-Athlete

“Tired, fried and sore” are the words student athlete Matthew Wotulo uses to describe his day at school after a big game. Student Athletes all across New York City all have similar experiences as both students and as athletes. Many have lesser quality in class work in comparison to students who don’t participate in a sports team. With a more demanding school system and large workloads balancing of academics, sports and family/social life can all seem very hard, and almost impossible.  

If you are a varsity athlete being both a student and athlete is no easy task. AAS student Bryan Vilchis, who is on the boys cross country team in the school (long distance running), states “By the time I get home from practice I’m tired and usually don’t even do my homework. It’s even hard to keep my brain working throughout the rest of the day to focus on something like homework.” he says. Students also rarely have time to spend with their family and friends. “I can’t even spend time with my family, there isn’t enough time and with all the work provided, I get home at 7 o’clock.” Sacrificing time with your loved ones is definitely something you have to deal with when joining a team. However, it’s not all that bad all the time. Many student-athletes have the opportunity to make new friends and bond with people on the team that they play on. “I met some of my best friends on the volleyball teams that I joined.” Says Matthew Wotulo.

A large number of student athletes find it hard to find time for themselves, usually it’s just school and their sport. A majority of those say it makes it hard to work on their studies in school. Statistics show that it actually improves their work quality on average compared to the student that isn’t on a sports team, interestingly. According to a research study led by the Los Angeles Unified School District, it is a good thing as on the average, student athletes were present in school about three weeks more per year than non-athletes and boasted higher grade point averages by as much as 0.55 to 0.74 points. This is due to the fact that these students are doing what they love and it motivates them to do well in school. They must also be present and have good attendance in order to play. Although this may be true, their brains are still tired and drained. Student athlete Matthew Wotulo says, “Even though volleyball motivates me to do better in school, I still feel tired, drained and dead throughout the school day. At the end of the day though, it’s all about time management.” If students manage their time correctly sports can boost their schooling as it promotes motivation.

Whatever your priorities may be and however you decide to manage your time will determine your experience as a student athlete. “Sometimes kids don’t get to play because of their grades, but that’s their responsibility.” says Ms. LaBarbera the Academy of American Studies coach. Before joining a sports team the student must first ask, is the sport worth working harder for, or not.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Make sure to leave a like and if you want to read more of my content, smash that subscribe button. Each like helps me on my journey to become the ultimate warrior. Also, if you would like to follow me at my other social media accounts, they are down below in the description. Follow my Ig for daily fitness tips at @saleemzeideia and my snap is the same. Remember, be a lion among sheep.


Written by Saleem Zeideia


If You See Something, Say Something


Photo Courtesy: Bryan Vilchis

New York recently underwent a wave of suspicion and vigilance which was attributed to the rise of the “If you see something say something.” campaign which first emerged after the events of September 11, 2001. This rise in safeguard has recently sprung up once again following the series of bombings that took place on September 17th in Chelsea. Two explosions caused panic to erupt in the district and a third explosion was meant to follow until local law enforcement authorities found and deactivated the device. These events have not been the only contribution to the rise of the “If you see something say something” campaign. Autumn’s recent “clown epidemic” has been dully noted. Between the months of September and October the sudden spike in a trend of dressing up as a clown and scaring individuals had raised further suspicions and turmoil.

In light of these events the last couple of months New Yorkers have been open in expressing their feelings about the sudden rise of suspicious activity. Tara Davis from Queens stated “ I don’t think people should just go on about their daily lives, we had an attack of terrorism committed in our city and I think it should be a wake up call for people to start noticing suspicious actions.” Fredrick Rockweld from Brooklyn shared his views on the reasons people are now “seeing something” and “saying something” and claimed it was because of Harry Bains. Bains was a bartender working late at night at the bar he runs when he noticed suspect Ahmed Khan sleeping in the doorway of his establishment. Khan had been on all the major News outlets that day for being the prime suspect in the Chelsea explosions and was still being sought after. Bains immediately phoned the police and is now deemed a local hero.

Rockweld stated: “ I do believe Mr. Bains has contributed to the rise in suspicion that New York now has been having lately. He literally saw something and said something about it and I think because of that people are now starting to realize that everyday citizens of New York can help each other this way. People are being more observant of their everyday lives and we’re now always looking out for each other.” (

However the flood of New York’s suspicion can’t just be credited to the events that took place in Chelsea. It can be attributed to a nationwide swarm of unnerving “clown sightings”. Much like leaving packages unnervingly by the sidewalk, clown sightings have contributed to discomfort in the local community of New York City. TIME magazine recently published a piece about a so called “creepy clown” subway incident. A man in oversized clown attired boarded a train and would not let people exit the train by blocking exits. A 16 year old boy was pushed by the clown and was immediately chased by the clown who wielded a kitchen knife. The investigation concluded with the NYPD releasing video footage of the alleged clown moments before the incident took place ( Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800- 577-TIPS (8477). The “clown epidemic” ( that swept the nation has not left New York out as this is only one of many clown sightings in the great state. Most sightings are reported immediately to officials and local law enforcement encourage people to speak up about any and all sightings. The “If you see something, say something” campaign has applied to this onslaught of clown sightings further encouraging the everyday New Yorkers to speak up. Afsana Ali from the Academy Gazette states “I’ve had it with these imbeciles dressing up like clowns. High school boys act enough like clowns already we don’t need anymore people terrorizing our youth and everyday environment.”

The discomfort is not only apparent in teenagers to speak up against this wave of red noses and face paint. Chantelle Lawrence from the Bronx stated: “If I see anything even remotely resembling a clown I’m reporting it to the police. The city of New York has to be one of the most busiest places in the world, we don’t need people with no jobs and face paint obstructing train traffic for the people trying to get to their job.” Chantelle expressed her feelings regarding the validity of the nation calling this a “clown epidemic”. She responded with “Heavens no, we have real epidemics in the world the mainstream media doesn’t choose to cover, yet they feel the need to give these immature people attention just because they’re walking around attempting to terrorize our city”.

The “If you see something, say something campaign” has given the people of New York something to fall back on against the rise of suspicious activity. New Yorkers have worked together behind this slogan against the turmoil of potentially dangerous occurrences. Discomfort will always be in the air because no one is always safe. However, the people of New York have the ability to make it better. By simply applying the “If you see something, say something” campaign to their everyday lives, the community can make the city more secure. People would feel less anxious on trains, street corners and in their neighborhoods. This shouldn’t be an issue for a resilient city like New York and if citizens continue to watch each other’s back against the of rise suspicious activity, they can make New York a safer environment for the people they hold dear and themselves.

Written by Bryan Vilchis

Jaywalking in NYC



Photo Courtesy:

The light is shining a blaring red, but there seem to be no cars nearing the intersection. A pedestrian decides to rush across, hurrying to their final destination. Beep Beep an annoyed driver honks their horn. If you’re a New Yorker you have definitely experienced this. In the city that never sleeps, people are constantly jaywalking. Jaywalking is when an individual crosses the street without regard for approaching traffic. In New York people are always rushing, whether is is to work or home, and feel that waiting that one minute is a nuisance.

New Yorkers are not only proud jaywalkers, but also lawbreakers. Jaywalking in NYC is a common practice that New Yorkers commit every day and therefore they technically break the law on a daily basis. According to Title 34, Section 4-04 Subsection (b) of the New York City Administrative Code: “No pedestrian shall enter or cross a roadway at any point where signs, fences, barriers, or other devices are erected to prohibit or restrict such crossing or entry and no pedestrian shall cross any roadway at an intersection except within a crosswalk.” Jaywalking is clearly illegal in NYC and can result in an individual getting a fine and in extreme cases, jail time (Pix11 News).                             

Jaywalking is hazardous and is a major contributor to street danger. Annually, New York sees approximately 4,000 people injured and 250 killed by car accidents (Vision Zero). Though not every injury is due to jaywalking, jaywalking does add on to the numbers. Many accidents could be prevented if pedestrians took more of an initiative to be aware of their surroundings and abide by the law.

It must be noted that many New Yorkers are not even aware of the jaywalking law or simply disagree with it. When asking a New York pedestrian, Lisette Espinal, about the jaywalking law she seemed surprised and asked “There’s a law against jaywalking?” Generally, jaywalking laws are not enforced. This is because it is such a routine action that people do not even see as it wrong. Millions of New Yorkers jaywalk and therefore it may be unrealistic for police officers to enforce the law. They cannot hand out tickets and handcuffs to every individual in the city and the few times they do it is seen as unfair since a neighboring pedestrian does not get punished for the same crime. Though it is uncommon to see this law enforced, improvements by the NYPD have been initiated.

However, New Yorkers need to watch out as the NYPD is stepping up their game. In 2014, Mayor Bill De Blasio pledged to minimize pedestrians deaths. As a result, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, in January and February of 2014 had given out 452 jaywalking tickets, in comparison to only 531 tickets for all of 2013 (NY Post). Police officers are not holding back as much as they used to. Some New Yorkers think this a great way to lower the pedestrian death rate. Jamie Nicolo, a high school student from the Academy of American Studies, admits that she is guilty of jaywalking, but believes the law should be enforced. She said “I first hand got to experience the brutality of jaywalking. Two years ago, my brother’s friend passed away crossing a busy intersection carelessly at Queens Boulevard and was hit by a car. If she only walked a few seconds faster or slower, or even peeked over at the lights she could have still been here today. The Boulevard of Death took the life of a precious sixteen year old.” However, some people, like Lisette Espinal, find it to be “ridiculous.” According to Ms.Espinal, “there is no efficient way to enforce a law as such. I mean, realistically speaking, people in the city are always going to jaywalk and police officers can’t possibly chase everyone around to hand them a ticket. The only way they could maybe give out tickets fairly is by having an officer standing at every cross way which would be a waste of resources. The NYPD should focus on real crimes, not little petty ones like this.” Either way, the next time you plan on crossing the street with a blaring red light you might want to think twice.

Jaywalking is like breathing to many New Yorkers and though the law may be more strongly enforced, it is doubtful that pedestrians will totally give up this habit. It becomes a question of what is more important: enforcing pedestrian safety or enforcing other laws?

Written by Anna Syska

The Invasion of Privacy

Many people don’t realize the damage they inflict on a person by publicly exposing or sharing photos/videos etc. of someone who believed they were alone. Some people who are exposed feel dehumanized and never seem to recover. Different people cope with the situation in a variety of ways; some feel so ashamed that suicide seems to be the better getaway for them. Others deal with the situation head on and have the strength to face their victimizers. Individuals like Erin Andrews and Tyler Clementi are perfect examples of people who have encountered this issue which is an increasing concern.

Erin Andrews is a public figure. She is an American sportscaster and television personality. Andrews was filmed in her hotel room while she was changing by Michael Barrett who also stalked her previous to this incident. He would watch her on television and then eventually stalked her to the room next door in a Nashville hotel. Erin Andrews filed a lawsuit and dealt with her situation on the spot and fought to be heard. She also fought for this man to face consequences for his actions. “Erin Andrews has been awarded $55 million,  Andrews had asked for $75 million in her lawsuit over the 2008 incident, claiming ongoing emotional distress from the episode and the video’s continued existence online” ( Erin Andrews is a great example of an individual who was victimized and fought back against her victimizer. Not all people have her strength. 

Tyler Clementi attended Rutgers University and was exposed publicly on the internet in September 2010. Tyler was targeted for being different. His sexual preference was exposed when he wasn’t ready to share it with others. “That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet, and three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide” ( Tyler Clementi wasn’t as strong as Erin Andrews and ended up committing suicide. Since hearing this story many people have read about the impact he left. One outcome for many people was the realization that taking such drastic measures can take a huge toll on families and friends.

Not much is being done to address these situations. A lot of people are scared to speak up and tell people if someone is hurting them. There also aren’t any laws regarding posting someone’s personal business online. Most teens don’t think about the consequences of their actions and don’t think about how their actions affect others. This is a growing problem that is really not okay and should be controlled. There is a national suicide prevention lifeline that is willing to listen to any problems that one is facing, simply call 1 (800) 273-8255.

Written by Jenisa Castillo


Photo Courtesy of Andy Ryan/Stone/Getty Images

Blue Candy Bags

Schools all over New York City have given students the opportunity to sell candy. At the Academy of American Studies, about 100 students have blue candy bags to sell as a way of raising money to pay for their graduation requirements, souvenirs, trips, and many other costly luxuries. Does this benefit the students and the school? Is it detrimental to their future and health? Can we sell healthier products?

In high school, many individuals depend on vending machines or the school lunch to provide them with their basic calorie needs. While schools have been trying to improve their school food, environment studies have shown that 71% of middle schools and 89% of high schools have vending machines that sell mostly junk food to their students (NHLBI). These are high in calories, have very little nutritional value, and individuals that rely on them don’t usually get full which may lead to overeating.

According to the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors & Suppliers (AFRDS), analysts have proposed and discussed whether programs or non-profit organizations should be created to orient parents and teachers of a stabilizer between nutrition and fitness so that they can make healthy lifestyle decisions or if junk food in schools should be eliminated entirely. Elif, a member of student government at the Academy of American Studies, believes “It should definitely not be eliminated because many students cannot afford to pay for school needs so they use candy bags to make up for that.” she stated in a recent interview. Selling candy in schools provides a contribution for the student body’s educational experience because the schools fund can only provide for so much. Khiabet, also a member of student government, believes that schools should sell candy as a way to fundraise, she stated “I like that students sell candy especially because I am one of them, and I believe that we all get hungry, just seeing the candy bag and getting something to eat satisfies us”. When asked about whether it promotes obesity or not she responded “I think it depends on what you buy and how often, some students buy it every now and then, others buy it constantly so it depends on you”. This brings up the question: will the school be able to function the same way without these types of fundraisers?

Although Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity raised a lot of awareness and cheerful hoorays, others questioned whether it will result in “lost revenue for the schools” ( Eliminating junk food from a school’s environment could be detrimental not only to their future, but the students as well. Where will the money come from? How will students in clubs and sports teams buy the equipment they need? The simple solution lies in the problem. If the schools slowly decreased the amount of processed food sold and provided some healthier options, it might not create such a huge impact on their financial stability and the students would see a positive change. According to Selina, an Academy high school student, selling protein bars like Nature Valley and KIND, mixed nuts, seeds, raisins, dry fruit, and dark chocolate, will better the student’s health. But selling food is not the only way to raise money, another high school student, Bryant, proposed that “during classes students could sell school supplies like pens, pencils, post-it notes, folders, and paper”. When asked about whether or not this will succeed he stated “I believe that the Academy of American Studies will do better when it comes to student obesity if healthier products are sold that can benefit the students in their school environment”. These are all healthy alternatives to better every kid’s future. The Coordinator of Student Affairs and the Student Government Advisor, Mr. Randle, stated “I think selling healthy snacks are a great idea. We have tried to sell granola bars in the past. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very successful.” Perhaps we shouldn’t be questioning the school’s actions towards selling unhealthy snacks…we should question our own actions. The reason why it’s being sold is due to the popularity of purchases. If enough students care about promoting change, anything can be achieved.

Written by Rosa Jimenez

The Truth Behind Train Delays

Do you ever find yourself taking the train and all of a sudden it stops between the stations? We have all heard the sounds of frustration coming from our fellow New Yorkers when we hear “There is train traffic ahead of us, we apologize for the inconvenience.” This might be valid on some occasions, but there might be more to the delays than the MTA employees are letting on. There are often signal problems, sick passengers, switch problems, and train malfunctions that are the real reasons why trains are constantly delayed.

Signal problems are common because the subways are not as advanced as they are supposed to be. According to an article produced by “The Village Voice,” there hasn’t been a lot of money that has been donated to the subway system, and although “…the MTA has spent more than $100 billion on improvements,” “…the agency remains in “catch-up” mode.” When the train conductor states over the loudspeaker that there are troubles with the signals, he means that red sensors pick up that there is a train in front of theirs, indicating train traffic. The problem with the sensors is that they pick up all metal objects, not just trains. This causes delays because the conductor must take the time to figure out whether or not a train, or a small object such as aluminum foil, is blocking theirs. An article from “AM New York” explains that conductors can move the train with a red signal, but must receive “…permission from The Rail Control Center, and move at a sluggish pace.”

Passengers often cause train delays without meaning to.  There are over 3,000 sick passengers that have prompted delays each month. A “New York Magazine” article suggests that travelers can get off the train at the following stop, but “…often an emergency brake is pulled, forcing the train to an immediate stop and sending ripples of delays down the subway line.” When the emergency cord is pulled, the brakes are stopped and it could take the MTA staff up to 15 minutes to restart the train. This causes delays not only for the passengers on that train, but the trains behind it. Individuals who take the train should never pull the emergency brake, unless “…someone gets caught between the train’s closing doors, or between subway cars,” according to an article from the New York Times. If there is violence or a fire in a train car, alert MTA employees, do not pull the emergency cord because it will delay passengers from receiving help because the train is stopped underground.

There are also malfunctions that occur, but they don’t happen as often as the other reasons for delays. There can be broken switches, which are necessary to operate the doors on the trains. An article from the New York Daily News stated that there have been power outages at Grand Central Terminal. During power outages, signals stop working, and when track fires occur, trains run less frequently and take different routes. The doors on trains can open onto the tracks instead of at the platform. These are all rare, but can cause delays that can interfere with a person’s commute.

It is frustrating when trains are delayed, but it is a part of the system that is constantly being worked on. Signal problems occur the most, but sick passengers are unpredictable, as well as rare malfunctions. The next time your train is delayed, don’t be too quick to blame the MTA.

Written by Rachel Manheim

Picture Credits to C2E2


Should There Be Changes to the School Lunch?

All public school students experience lunch in the cafeteria.  Although lunch is meant to be a healthy and delicious meal, recent reports suggest that that is not always the case.  High schoolers are actually throwing out their lunches and are turning to the junk food offered in the vending machines.  If there are new and improved lunches in public schools, then it is confusing as to why students are choosing to dispose of them.  It is important to educate ourselves about the food we eat in public schools because it can affect our physical and mental health.

Some students are still buying junk from the vending machines even though there are a variety of choices for lunch.  There are “health risks,” according to a “Mother Jones” article that claims that chemicals can be hiding in packaged lunches.  Schools need to be sure that what they are serving to students is safe to eat.  However, it is true that schools have improved lunches.  According to an online article from “”Health Research Funding,” schools “…are offering the foods that meet the nutritional standards that every student must possess.”  Melissa Malloy, the School Foods Service Manager for Academy of American Studies, Newcomers High School and three other schools, has the task of coordinating the transport of lunches and creating the menu for each day.  She agrees that “…public school lunches have come a long way,” and that the lunches are approved by a dietician before being sent out to schools.

One senior at Academy of American Studies, Nikole Versoza, has been eating the school lunch since her freshmen year.  She feels that there are foods that she “…can’t really choose from, such as pizza, which is served every day.”  Versoza believes that there has to be a variety of options for students who eat hot lunch because eating the same, unhealthy meals can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.  One in three kids are overweight or obese in this country, and part of this is due to the lack of healthy options in lunches nationwide.  Those who do not like the lunch, often choose snacks, which are not healthy or filling alternatives.  Versoza included that she would “…rather bring something from her house instead of the food choices sometimes.”

Although there are usually three options for lunch, some students believe that there could be additions to it.  Cece Humphrey, also a senior at AAS, said that she would often buy goldfish if she is not full from her lunch.  Spending money on school lunch and trips to the vending machine add up at the end of the year to hundreds of dollars.  When asked if there should be changes to the lunch, Humphrey immediately shouts that “there should be more fruit than just apples.”  She revealed that “people with braces cannot eat them and there is no other choice for fruits.”

There are effects of eating unhealthy food that are essential to know about.  A “Livestrong” article suggests that “proper nutrition is tied to better academic performance.”  Students have class after lunch and those who don’t eat can lose focus and begin to fall behind.  A student from the Academy of American Studies fainted because they chose not to eat lunch at all. Eating healthy is significant to a healthy body and mind.

The school lunch has positives and negatives, but it is even more important to always eat lunch.  Choosing not to eat lunch at all or only eating snacks can negatively impact students physically and mentally.  It can affect sleeping patterns, performance in school, attention spans, and cause constant headaches.  Some students think that there should be more fruits and vegetables added to the salad bar and counters.  If you are dissatisfied with the current school lunch, take action and contact the School Foods Service Manager.

Written by Rachel Manheim

Photo Credits to Rachel Manheim

Obstacle for Ex-offenders in the College Applications

For several decades, private and four year colleges in the U.S. except CUNY have made it mandatory for applicants to provide their history of crimes. Due to this requirement, ex-offenders are struggling to reflect on their past mistakes and take hold of the opportunities to do better. Robert Lewis, in his article High Hurdle to College for Ex-offenders, states that as part of the college application process for SUNY, nearly all ex-offenders are called in for interviews and questioning regarding their former criminal behavior. He states that by this stage, hardly any of the applicants receive positive reviews on their assessment or immediate confirmation on their enrollment. According to The Sentencing Project, the rate of incarceration in the U.S. is currently the highest in the world. However, SUNY police commissioner Bruce McBride justifies the criminal history specification with security concerns and the probability of recidivism during a student’s attendance.

Former New York City police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, stated in his interviews and published book, Jailer to Jailed, that the U.S. needs to make prison reforms due to the growing rate of incarceration. He criticized the prison system for being “tough on crime” because minor crimes can result in lengthened prison sentences. As more people are convicted of crimes, there is an immediate effect on the number of ex-offenders. The increase in criminal charges creates an obstacle for ex-convicts when they try to find a job, college admission, or anything which requires filling out applications. According to Robert Lewis, although there are numerous applicants with a criminal history who have been denied acceptance to college, over half of them drop out during the application process. They lose hope and confidence in themselves. In March 2015, state data showed that 35,000 individuals were released on parole in New York however, approximately only 500 had access to educational programs including college.

In an interview for the The Obstacle Course, Adrien Cadwallader recalled his experience with college officials from New Paltz as they questioned him about his past, especially his run-in with the law. Cadwallader, a 33 year old ex-offender whose criminal record consisted of 20 arrests spoke about how discouraged he felt in the process of applying to college. While in prison, Cadwallader caught up with his studies and hoped to gain a degree after his release, which would help him start over with a positive mindset. Therefore, determined, he went to the college evaluation and sent in letters from his psychologist and parole officer. After answering all the inquiries about his criminal record, he was eventually rejected by New Paltz and he gave up on college. “I felt like I was being set up to fail,” Cadwallader stated in the article by The Marshall Project.

Based on the article, Ban the Box by Michelle Rodriguez, currently 19 states in the U.S. including, Ohio, New York, and Oregon have “banned the box” for employment, which means one does not have to make any comments regarding their criminal history. Rodriguez clarifies that although an applicant’s background can be investigated after they’re hired, the legislation ensures that everyone is presented with a fair chance in the initial application process. These laws have inspired people to achieve the same for college admissions. A few schools have already removed any questions regarding criminal history such as St. John’s University as stated by Ariel Kaminer in the New York Times. More “ban the box” campaigns are being held throughout the nation. Further organizations such as the Center for Community Alternatives are advocating these ideas and publishing their research in order to eliminate assumptions of recidivism, which is a relapse of criminal behavior.

Deputy commissioner for SUNY, Paul Berger, expressed that awareness of the applicant’s criminal history is vital to campus’ safety. He further explains that it’s not their intention to discriminate against the applicants, instead they simply want to determine whether one is eligible for their college by extending the evaluation process. They also have to take into consideration that accepting ex-offenders may result in negative responses from students taking classes on that campus. “I think it’s okay for colleges to look into an applicant’s background. The college administrators have a responsibility to learn about them prior to accepting them. It helps them prepare for any situations relevant to the student which might occur in the future,” Tashi Sherpa, a junior in high school stated. Another student, a senior in high school preparing for college, Diana Rodriguez said “ I believe that criminal records should be asked about for the safety of the students at schools. This will show the true character of a person while making it possible for colleges to prevent accidents from occurring. It will inevitably affect the ex-offenders applying because it shows their irresponsibility in certain aspects and cause prejudiced thoughts against them.” Although Rodriguez revealed that this procedure may produce a negative impression of the applicants, particularly ex-offenders, the priority is to maintain a safe environment for learning.

Most applicants have always been obligated to inform colleges of their criminal history which influences their decision to either give up or to overcome the obstacles. As Robert Lewis claimed, everyday more ex-offenders are being rejected admission which reduces their chance of finding a decent job. College security officers like Paul Berger argue that the right to acquire the criminal history of applicants is necessary and helpful in determining an applicant’s eligibility.

Written by Tsering Dolkar

Photo Credits to Eiocoalition

The Model U.N. Club prepares for the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference in 2016

Each year, the Model U.N. club attends a high school International Model United Nations Conference, and this year, the club will be representing Belgium. At the conference, students will be discussing certain topics that affect the world today and creating solutions on how to solve these maters. This conference allows students to experience firsthand on what it is like to be working as part of the United Nations and they will learn how to combat world issues with different nations as well. The club, which is conducted by Ms. Condon, continues to prepare for the conference that will be held in May 2016, to not only represent Belgium, but also the Academy of American Studies.

Written by Esther Park

Photo Credits to Sarah Malonda

Crisis on College Campus

Growing up is something many people experience in college. But for some, it can be traumatic. Unfortunately, it’s not rare for someone to experience sexual assault. There have been sexual assault reports from all across the country. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, sexual assault is, “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim,” which includes oral sex and unwanted sexual touching. Perpetrators may use psychological manipulation or threats to force themselves onto the victim. Sometimes, the perpetrator can be family or close to family. According to RAINN, 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known or close to the victim. This is often also known as acquaintance rape or date rape. Otherwise it is often a stranger.

According to the Campus Sexual Violence Resource List, an estimated 20-25% of women are sexually abused throughout their four years of college, with 9 out of 10 knowing their perpetrator. “35% of attempted rapes, and 22.9% of threatened rapes happened during a date” (RAINN). Also, a woman living in a sorority house is three times more at risk of getting sexually assaulted than a woman living in the dorm rooms. This is because of sorority and fraternity interaction.

It is important that this information be released to up and coming college freshmen. When interviewing Paola Tejeda, an Academy senior, about how she would handle this situation, she said she would fight as hard as she could to avoid any harm to herself. “If I were to be sexually assaulted, whether I was raped or not, I would never keep it to myself. I would immediately go to the police or campus security.” Tejeda also joked, saying, “If a guy were to try anything, I would emotionally scar him into never doing it to anyone ever again. He’d never live it down. I’d warn other girls, too.” The West Virginia University Student Center of Health has an entire page of tips for preventing sexual assault. While at a party, stick with your friends and avoid sharing or accepting drinks from strangers. Hold on to your drink at all times or get a new one if you’ve lost sight of your drink for even one second. When it comes to dating, avoid secluded places, know your limits and trust your instincts. If you feel something’s off, you have the right to leave. Keep in mind that date rape isn’t always avoidable. Signs to look out for in your relationship include extreme jealousy and intimidation. Always be aware of the kind of person you are dating. If he has a history of violence, this should be a concern.

As Academy seniors leave home to start college in the fall, it is important to know the sad truth about rape on college campuses in order to keep this from being their reality. Since it is reported more often these days, there will hopefully be more security and a greater understanding of issues surrounding rape in college and how to avoid it.

Written by Maria Alvarado

Photo Credits to Rampage