My life changed the moment I stepped across the border in Nogales, Arizona. I knew I would return from the Kino Border Initiative trip with a better understanding of migrant issues, but I never could have anticipated how I would encounter God during my time there.
When students thank their teachers, the response is often "no thanks are necessary." The fact that it is not necessary is precisely why students and parents should express their gratitude for the work that teachers do for students.
Last week, I saw the article about the Jr. Billiken mascot taking a tour of St Louis and the USA over the summer. It brought back memories of a similar, yet less creative Jr. Bill mascot heist in the summer of 1974.
Overcoming Covid-19 has been the singular focus of the SLUH community since March of 2020. We have endured strenuous Zoom calls, uncomfortable masks, and painstaking sanitation for an entire school year. Our collective goal is to bring an end to this pandemic, and the easiest way to accomplish this is vaccinating the entire SLUH community.
Editor’s Note: Features Editor Sam Tarter hopes to be a teacher one day, so as a “Thank You” to all the inspiration the teachers of SLUH have given him, he wrote this reflection piece to share with the SLUH faculty.
SLUH is amazing, but at its core, it's the teachers that make it so special for me.
Four years ago, the Editor in Chief of Prep News 81, Samuel J. Chechik ’17, wrote a final reflection on his time with the newspaper. I have felt a connection to Chechik for some time. He too was someone who had a fierce love for the tradition of this great institution and the history it represents. It is the same love that every editor feels. It’s what keeps one going during the late Thursday nights, in the midst of AP exams or, in the unique case of this year, a global pandemic. Even though the pandemic stole four papers that we otherwise would have made, forced two papers to be produced virtually, and caused us to be distanced for the entirety of the year, in a twisted way, it has made the Prep News even stronger.
I recently came across Jack Figge’s opinion piece published on Dec 1, 2020: “Pornography is a teenage male epidemic; let’s do something about it.” I would like to commend Jack for writing a much-needed piece. In my three years with the Prep News, I had always hoped to write a piece like Jack’s. I sometimes tell myself I was too busy or the issue wasn’t that important to me. In reality I was ashamed because I was a habitual pornography user. I would like to supplement Jack’s piece with my own journey with pornography and giving encouragement and advice to current St. Louis U. High students, faculty, administrators, and parents. It is my assumption, and I believe a valid assumption, that many, if not most, SLUH community members have an experience similar to mine.
We, the undersigned LGBTQ+ alumni of St. Louis University High School, would like to extend our appreciation to Jacob Sprock for the thorough reporting and thoughtful commentary he has provided throughout the Ongoing Conversations Series. While our experiences as LGBTQ+ students at SLUH vary widely, of course, we share Mr. Sprock’s affection for the school while recognizing the challenges that students continue to face—made particularly evident by the insight and observations of those who shared their stories within these pages.
Over the past couple of weeks, I keep hearing a common complaint from my own classmates, from seniors, freshmen, and sophomores. It is not that Junior Ring and graduation are outside, it is not that masks still have to be worn, it is not about exams or the stress of fourth quarter school, it is that we can’t have dances this year even though I and many others believe they can be held within a safe environment.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s hard to put into words the mixed bag of feelings I carry with me now as I write what will be the concluding article in the Ongoing Conversations Series. What a journey it’s been. To recap, following a brief introduction to the series in December, we covered harmful language, representation in curriculum, mental health, and solutions to these problems, focusing the scope on their effects on the LGBTQ+ community at SLUH.
In my admittedly limited time alive so far, I’ve noticed two things when it comes to activism: 1) there will always be something that needs to be improved upon (basically a general fact of life) and 2) it’s much easier to complain about issues than it is to do anything about them. So far in these articles, I’ve been talking about the LGBTQ+ community and the difficulties they face at SLUH without offering much help as to fixing those issues, so in this penultimate article of what I’m calling the “Ongoing Conversations Series,” I’d like to address some of the things I and people I’ve talked to have concluded could be helpful on the path to greater acceptance.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of articles addressing the difficulties of life at SLUH for members of the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to raise awareness of their daily struggles and start a conversation on ways that we as individuals and as a school can change our habits to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals. The writer interviewed over a dozen alumni and is pulling from those interviews for each of the articles. This article focuses on the mental health of LGBTQ+ students at SLUH.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of articles addressing the difficulties of life at SLUH for members of the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to raise awareness of their daily struggles and start a conversation on ways that we as individuals and as a school can change our habits to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals. The writer interviewed over a dozen alumni and is pulling from those interviews for each of the articles. This article focuses on the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in classrooms.
On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Instagram users worldwide posted pictures of nothing but a black screen on their page to show support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, a push for racial justice in America. Millions took part in this, and I am ashamed to admit that I did not. Since early July, my inaction in that piece of history has bothered me a lot.
Last week, time ran out for the Grande Project. Come the end of this week, certain seniors' week-long extensions will (hopefully) have given them enough time to put the finishing touches on their papers, podcasts, or videos and allowed them to submit their final project to Canvas.
What makes SLUH, SLUH? For some it’s the academic excellence, for some it may be the inclusive atmosphere they feel, while for others it may be the brotherhood they experience. For me though, it is the Catholic faith. This week is Catholic Schools week, and I have spent time reflecting on my experience at SLUH and how it has helped me grow in my Catholic faith.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of articles addressing the difficulties of life at SLUH for members of the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to raise awareness of their daily struggles and start a conversation on ways that we as individuals and as a school can change our habits to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals. This article focuses on the use of speech to isolate and/or belittle the LGBTQ+ community.
For as long as I can remember, exams at SLUH have been a critical part of the curriculum— administered every quarter with two to five days dedicated entirely to reviewing the material the exam would cover and shoring up subjects that proved to have been a struggle in the past several weeks. Exams are even more prevalent at SLUH—we are one of the only schools to give quarterly exams as opposed to strictly semester ones.
When I learned about the Grande project, I was both disappointed and excited. I was saddened by the loss of this 50-year-old tradition—something that I was looking forward to since freshman year—but I also recognized the great potential of the project. Campus Ministry has led the Senior Project in a new direction. What had been more centered around service has now become focused on advocacy and social justice. This new Senior Project has excited me, and I am very happy with my project.
The saying, “tradition never graduates,” is one that rings true through the school. Most editors associate the saying mainly with the boisterous voice of theology teacher Dick Wehner, who has appeared in the paper at least twice during our tenure expressing that exact phrase. But even though the Prep News is one of those traditions, the Prep News is only 85 years old. The last pandemic happened over 100 years ago. Simply put, there was no playbook, and, because of that, we were left on our own to sail the troubled waters of this global crisis.
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