Friday, December 11, 2015

Ohio pet stores accused of mistreating animals

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

Buying a puppy is like adding a new member to the family. So when that adorable, $1,000 dog dies within weeks, it’s a huge emotional and financial loss.

Petland and other pet stores have been under scrutiny lately for selling sick puppies, many near death. It all began two years ago when Ohio legislators passed a law meant to ensure that puppies bred in the state were raised in appropriate conditions. An investigation by the Cincinnati Enquirer revealed, however, that wording was stripped, causing the law to apply only to puppy mills, not pet stores. This allows for pet stores to get away with selling seemingly healthy dogs, that are actually very sick.

Junior Reilly Bogan said she used to frequently visit Petland, until she realized most of the puppies seemed ill.

“I used to go there a lot to look at dogs, but they always looked so sick and their eyes were always red,” Bogan said. “My mom wouldn’t let us get a dog from there because she didn’t think they were healthy enough and they were way too expensive.”

Petland isn’t the only pet store in Ohio facing such allegations, but significantly more complaints have been filed against it than competing pet stores. According to Mason veterinarian Ruthann Carr, the problem with pet stores is that a customer doesn’t get to know the history of the dog.

“You don’t know what environment a puppy came from,” Carr said. “In general, no matter how good a store is, it’s just those kind of unknowns that lead to issues.”

Ohio legislation needs to revise its laws regarding the treatment of dogs being sold, according to Carr.

“It is pretty disappointing that they couldn’t have put something further in the bill to raise the standards of pet stores,” Carr said. “They need to add something regarding the source of puppies that come into stores as well.”

Freshman Nicole Kaldas said she’s getting a dog soon, but she’s cautious of making sure it’s healthy. She said she is looking into the dog’s history before purchasing.

“I wouldn’t buy a dog from Petland because a lot of their dogs are sick and when people take them to a veterinarian, there are a lot of things wrong with them, but Petland won’t refund them,” Kaldas said. “That’s what happened with my other dog because the breeder said she was perfectly healthy, but was actually really sick.”

An article published by the Cincinnati Enquirer in November 2015 said that several customers have accused Petland of providing puppies with medication to mask an illness, such as a cough suppressant to disguise pneumonia. For 2014 Sycamore graduate Angela Phillips, her puppy purchase ended in peril. Phillips said she spent over $1,300 on a Dachshund from Petland that died within two days.

“I took her to the vet and I thought it was just going to be a regular appointment, but then they found out she had multiple things wrong with her,” Phillips said. “She had pneumonia, parasites, fluid in her stomach, and she had an eye infection on top of it. When I took her back to Petland, they literally took her out of my hands, put her in a cage and she died right as we were in the store.”

Petland wasn’t initially going to refund her, Phillips said, even though she followed the store’s protocol for having a sick dog.

“It became a huge scene because they didn’t want to give me my refund even though I had taken her to the vet within the first 48 hours,” Phillips said. “We were almost at the point of having to get a lawyer involved because they said they were not giving back anything but half the money.”

Phillips said she doesn’t want her situation to happen to other people.

“I don’t want any other family to go through the same thing,” Phillips said. “Especially if they have little kids. I know when a dog dies, to the little child, it’s like the end of the world. I don’t think Petland stands by their word. I don’t think pet stores should be able to sell dogs just because so many of them are so sick. I think it’s awful.”

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

No Longer a Bystander

Occasionally, on Twitter and Instagram, I'll see a post that alerts me--a melancholy caption or a tweet that screams "I'm lost". Or I'll notice somebody is acting differently than they they normally do. A little alarm goes off in my head that says this person needs help.

But oftentimes I'll just ignore it. I'll let that alarm beep on, until it slowly fades as I resume my daily activities. I'll choose to believe that the person is actually fine. Or that I don't know them well enough, so I'd make things weird by attempting to talk to them.

And that person may be fine. They could just be having a rough day, as we all do.

Or it could be a cry for help. Their signal that they need somebody to talk to.

Suicide has been on my mind lately. Recently, a member of an organization I'm very passionate about, OASC, made the decision to take his own life. While I can't say I knew him personally, or had even met him before, it still broke my heart to hear. A life lost way too early.

It's not always obvious that a person is suffering and experiencing pain, that's why it's so important to be cognizant of what's going on around you. If you see any signs that a person may be depressed or suicidal, it's imperative to attempt to help them. Or put them in contact with somebody who can.

I don't want to be a bystander anymore. From now on, if I see something wrong, I'm going to step in. If I think somebody needs help, I'm going to talk to them.

Whatever the case, I vow to reach out to that person. To acknowledge their good qualities. To let them know that they can make it through the school day. To just remind them that somebody cares.

I encourage you to do the same.

And remember,
You're not annoying for checking on a person.
You're not weird for wanting to help.
You're not nosy for asking about their life.
You just care.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Potential threat results in attendance drop

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer
October 20 was not a designated skip day, yet 20 percent of the student body still didn’t show up.
After a threatening note was left anonymously in a Mason High School classroom, administration felt the need to alert parents on the matter. Principal David Hyatt said, when it comes to addressing threats, the definitive information regarding the incident won’t be revealed, as it’s safer for students, but the community is still given the necessary ground knowledge.
“With any investigation, we don’t get into the specific details,” Hyatt said. “It’s not that we’re trying to hide anything, we just don’t get into what we do in an investigation. We sent an email to parents about the note to keep people informed and educated on what’s going on. We feel our staff, our families, and our community have the right to know where we’re at and what we’re doing.”
A thorough investigation was conducted to ensure the safety of students and staff at school on October 20, Hyatt said.
“We reached out to a number of people,” Hyatt said. “The last thing we want is to walk into this building and not have the assurance that everyone is completely safe. After talking to the Mason Police Department, the chief of police, central office, superintendents, we came together and made the decision that it was a concern, but we were 100 percent positive it was safe.”
On the date the note alluded to, Hyatt said that the appropriate measures were taken.
“Our staff was very vigilant, as they always are,” Hyatt said. “It’s pretty well know that Mason Police Department had a larger presence during that school day. There was an additional police officer cruising the parking lot. We also had three plain clothed officers in the hallways because they’re trained to identify things that look suspicious or concerning. Since that day was specifically pointed out, we felt that we should have additional support.”
There was a significant increase in absences on October 20. Hyatt said he understands why parents allowed their children to stay home that day, which is why all the absences were excused.
“It’s certainly a parent’s right to judge if they feel comfortable having their child go to school,” Hyatt said. “We obviously want every student here, but there are other things in life that we have to respect. The bottom line is that we’re gonna go back and pick up where we left off.”
According to Fox19, five separate schools across the Tri-State were targeted with bomb threats on October 7. Hyatt said these events were unrelated to the incident that happened at Mason.
“I don’t think there was any correlation,” Hyatt said. “Those were verbal threats and ours was just a concern based on a note found.”
According to assistant principal Dan Distel, safety threats have seemed to be more prevalent recently.
“It feels like this is more on our front burner of concerns when it comes to threats in the region,” Distel said. “Although, building safety is always our number one priority, some of those trends do make it feel like it’s more of a fad or if there are copy cats.”
Distel said some of the blame for increased threats can be attributed to social media usage, but it’s mostly unknown as to why they’re being seen more frequently.
“We saw a little bit of students making threats on social media last year,” Distel said. “I think kids understand more the consequences that can come out of irresponsible social media usage. In this day and age, with how quick communication can happen, people definitely say things through social media that they immediately regret.”
Hyatt said it was coincidental that this incident occurred during ‘Say Something Week’—an initiative established after Sandy Hook. The basis of the week is to encourage any person who finds something that doesn’t seem right or is concerning, to alert an administrator or law enforcement officer.
“Our best measure of safety is our students, staff, and community talking and letting us know if they hear or see things,” Hyatt said. “We’re fortunate that we have people who take that very seriously. This (incident) was identified through a staff member who felt the need to say something and I commend that person. I only hope that students feel the same need to report things because ultimately, that’s what keeps us safe.”
See the Full Story:


Juliana Discher I Staff Writer
Photo by Lance Moody
Finding your place in life--a battle that Theophilus North and most high school students face.
Theophilus North is a play adapted from a 1973 autobiographical novel by Thornton Wilder. Main director Allen Young said the underlying themes in it are very applicable to high school students.
“It ties in really well with where kids are at this point in their lives,” Young said. “Theophilus North is supposed to be a writer, but he doesn’t want that. He wants to live life, not just observe it.”
Sophomore and lead actor Matt Berman said it tells the tale of a man struggling to find himself.
“I play Theophilus North, and he is a teacher in New Jersey who quits his job,” Berman said. “He buys a really old car and gets as far as about Newport, Rhode Island and starts having adventures there.”
Senior student director and actor Anthony Rought said the play has come a long way.
“I’ve had to attend every rehearsal and seeing how it’s come together from the very beginning to how performances are laid out is really cool,” Rought said. “”The progress is amazing.”
Berman said his favorite scene as Theophilus involves some kooky antics.
“Collin Aldrich, another sophomore, and I do a scene entirely in French,” Berman said. “It’s a bit nerve wracking because neither of us knew French, so we had to learn. It’s very big in the acting and very fun.”
Rought said he has high expectations for the performances this coming weekend.
“I expect us to sell out because we sold out on opening night,” Rought said. “Last weekend was amazing. During our matinee, the Cappies group came in, which is the high school review group, and they really enjoyed the play.”
Theophilus North has a lot to offer emotionally for viewers, Rought said, which is why people should come see it.
“Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults,” Rought said. “I think people should come see this play because it’s really well written, and the themes in it are very pointed and relatable. The themes are: isolation, societal pressures, getting help when it is not asked for, and going off and finding your own adventure.”
Theophilus North is two hours of entertainment worth seeing, Young said.
“When you go, there are a couple things you’re going to take away,” Young said. “It’s very funny and witty. The characters are intriguing and interesting, and you can get wrapped up in them. Everyone who comes out is going to really enjoy their evening.”
See the Full Story:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Center of Discussion

In the past two editions of The Chronicle, my stories have caused a bit of a stir amongst the students of Mason High School.

Meninist Story

In the September edition, our first release of the year, I wrote a story explaining the different viewpoints on the "Meninist" account on Twitter. This was a story I wanted to pursue since last school year. I'm pleased I finally got the chance to explore the topic.

Writing the story was thought-provoking. As an open-minded individual, I love to discover different viewpoints. I'm also a big fan of raw passion. Interviewing a self proclaimed "meninist" versus a feminist was fascinating. Both were very mature and articulate with their opinions.

The reactions that followed distribution day were completely unexpected. I knew that the topic was somewhat controversial, but I didn't foresee the social media outcry that ensued.

Some readers felt that The Chronicle had purposefully "pushed back the feminist opinions" from the cover to a later page because we "didn't care about them". To clarify this misconception, a newspaper is laid out by story subject. News is in the front, then feature, then sports. Given the nature of my story as a feature, it was on a later page.

As a journalist, it is an obligation to make sure opinion is eradicated from a story. While this can sometimes be difficult, having an open mind and initially neutral stance are crucial.

I wasn't upset over some of the negative attention the story received; most of it was directed at the story subject and not what I actually wrote. In fact, I enjoyed the attention. The more people that converse about it, the more people that read The Chronicle. Isn't that what you want as a journalist?

I felt proud about having my first cover story. One of the goals I made before this school year was to get a story on the cover, so achieving this in the first edition exceeded my expectations.

Overall, I was pleased with how the story came together.

Urinal Dividers Story

My story this edition was centered around Mason's lack of urinal dividers in the men's restrooms. 

I'm extremely grateful my newspaper adviser, Mr. Conner, directed me towards this gem of a topic. Females don't typically consider what the bathroom experience is like for males. He opened my eyes to a subject foreign to me and many other girls.

I took pleasure in breaking the taboo of 'bathroom talk'. 

The reaction to this story was generally positive. Many people found it humorous, while still maintaining a serious tone. I didn't want to make this a fluffy, just for laughs story. My inclusion of studies and statistics helped to bring it to an intelligent, mature level.

The follow up story on a girl's perspective helped show another side as well.

I'm interested to see if my story has any effect on the implementation of urinal dividers to Mason in the future. While the likelihood is low due to the high cost, it would be remarkable to see a change like this occur. If our poll on The CSPN shows a significant desire for dividers, they could eventually become a reality between every urinal at MHS.

My favorite thing about journalism is learning new things, talking to new people, and gaining new perspectives. These last two stories have helped to quench my journalistic thirst. I'm ready to tackle bigger story subjects in the future. 

Girls weigh in on lack of dividers in men's restroom, appreciate privacy

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer
Girls, “urine” luck. Plastic stalls make for a peaceful restroom situation.
According to sophomore McKayla Peebles, the girl’s restroom is a private sanctuary compared to the boy’s restroom.
“I feel like the bathrooms are very private,” Peebles said. “I’ve never been violated or felt any extreme level of discomfort at Mason. Guys probably feel uncomfortable without the urinal dividers because they’re self conscious about somebody making fun of them, even though they don’t really need to be.”
If there were no stalls separating the toilets, Peebles said this would be a serious issue for girls. 
“I wouldn’t go to the bathroom at the high school,” Peebles said. “I would just wait until nobody else was in there. I would be really scared.” 
According to a 2014 article by The Atlantic, “Until the 1800's, there was little expectation of privacy while using the bathroom. Economic prosperity and religious notions of modesty made the desire for a private space in which to do one’s business more widespread." Nowadays, most developed countries have private bathrooms.
Senior Ellie Morrissey said she feels sympathy for the boys’ lack of urinal dividers.
“I don’t think the privacy level is a problem in the girl’s bathrooms,” Morrissey said. “Apparently in the guy’s bathroom it is. I had no idea that it was like that for guys and I just feel bad. I’m sure they deal with it, but it’s still an inconvenience.”
Peebles and Morrissey both said the bathroom experience is better alone.
“I prefer to go the bathroom with nobody in there,” Peebles said. “If there is somebody else in there, I just wait until they leave.”
AP Psychology teacher Angie Johnston said the lack of urinal dividers makes her appreciate her privacy even more.
“I’m thankful for this reason that I’m a female and have my own private area to go to the bathroom,” Johnston said. “While it’s a natural body process we all do, it’s human nature to desire privacy when going to the bathroom.”

See the Full Story: 


Julian Discher I Staff Writer
Together men stand, divided men urinate.
There are unspoken rules of the restroom that most males understand and follow; eyes forward, no chit-chat, the middle urinal is no man’s land. At Mason High School, the lack of urinal dividers—metal or plastic sheets placed on the walls between urinals—have prompted males to act a certain way. In a 2014 article, The Atlantic analyzed the dynamics of men’s restrooms and said, “The public collides uncomfortably with the private in the bathroom as it does nowhere else, and the unique behaviors we perform stem from a complex psychological stew of shame, self-awareness, and gender roles.”
According to senior Jeremy Fogel, with no dividers, there is a specific method for which urinals are open to use.
“I’m more of a stall guy,” Fogel said. “Usually if there are three urinals and two people are on the outside, you just wait and don’t go.”
Fogel said Mason’s lack of urinal dividers is the cause of tension and awkwardness in the restroom.
“I’m more of a stall guy,” Fogel said. “Most restaurants and movie theaters have dividers. Mason just likes to keep it open. They provide a lot more privacy.”
Advanced Placement Psychology teacher Angie Johnston said that a 1976 study on men’s bathroom behavior reveals the trends behind urination patterns. In the experiment, scientists measured how long it took a man to urinate under different circumstances.
“The researchers found that if someone else was in a public restroom when the man came in, it would take approximately four seconds to start the urination process,” Johnston said. “If there was a urinal between the two guys, then it took around six seconds. If they were right by each other, it took about eight seconds for him to actually start. The psychology behind the experiment is that the guy is distracted by focusing on what the other individual is thinking of them, and it delays the body’s natural process.”
According to a 2008 study conducted by the Journal of Health Psychology, men list genital size among their top body concerns, along with height and weight. This adds more complexity to an already uncomfortable public situation.
The projected cost for adding urinal dividers in every restroom at Mason High School would be around $350 per divider for purchasing and installation. Assuming two dividers per bathroom and 15 bathrooms, the cost to outfit the school is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. According to Assistant Superintendent of Operations Michael Brannon, the addition of urinal dividers could be a possibility in the future if explicit need is shown.
“As a district, we consider any need that helps people feel comfortable and helps people advance their school day and education,” Brannon said. “It’s a possibility for urinal dividers to be purchased in the future. If there is a need for them and if people expressed it, we would consider putting them in.”
Fogel said Mason’s male restrooms would be further improved with the implementation of urinal dividers.
“It would expedite the bathroom process because more people could go at once,” Fogel said. “Almost every other public place has urinal dividers for a reason, so why shouldn’t Mason have them?”
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Feminism debate rages, fueled by 'Meninist' Twitter account

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

“Meninism” and feminism: two concepts that sound similar, but each conjures up a starkly different set of opinions.

The “Meninist” account on Twitter has flourished in popularity over the past year. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, it was originally started by men making jokes, but has become a channel to express the difficulties of being a man in the 21st century. The main account currently has over 1,000,000 followers with numerous replica accounts.

Self-proclaimed “meninist” and junior, Elijah Kelly, said there is a misconception with what being a “meninist” truly means.

“The ‘meninist’ account basically attacks feminism, not feminism that promotes gender equality, but the radical, modern-day feminists that want to end Father’s Day,” Kelly said. “Feminism nowadays is an idea that promotes gender equality with words, but then does the exact opposite with actions.”

When he saw a viral hashtag on Twitter that promoted the ending of Father’s Day, Kelly said he began to resonate with “meninism”.

“There was a viral hashtag going around that said ‘#StopFathersDay’ and when women start that up, it’s ridiculous,” Kelly said. “There are women where if a guy holds a door open, they will tell them to close it, and that’s just crossing the line.”

Kelly, who owns a “#Meninist” t-shirt said he is passionate about the core belief of “meninism”, not the controversial tweets posted by the account.

“When most people see the t-shirt they automatically assume I am against women,” Kelly said. “It’s not a sexist account, but it is about taking a stand for men against the radical feminists’ attacks. The Twitter account with the sexist tweet—I just read that as a joke. I don’t support sexism. I am for gender equality, but against the radical feminists.”

According to government teacher Maria Mueller, there is somewhat of a negative connotation attached to the word feminism, which dates back to the 1970s.

“Feminism is an advocacy for the equality of women,” Mueller said. “I think that the term has been a bit demonized...I don’t think it has anything to do with being ‘anti-male’. I think it’s simply about challenging the status quo, which of course has always been: men rule, and women do what they are told.”

Mueller said she feels the “meninist” account is more of a joke, and not a legitimate attempt to better the condition of men.

“I don’t imagine anyone would take anything on there seriously,” Mueller said. “I don’t think there is much value because they aren’t generating meaningful conversation. It’s not a forum for any real kind of discussion of equality; it’s just a lot people trying to be funny or sassy.”

According to junior Catherine Carey, she avoids the “meninist” account at all cost.

“It’s just a troll,” Carey said. “It started out against feminism, but I think now it knows it gets people going and gets people angry. It just keeps doing and doing it because it’s getting the attention it wants.”
As a supporter of equal rights for all, Carey said she finds the account disrespectful.

“I get mad that they will degrade anybody,” Carey said. “They offend people like it’s not a problem. They attack anybody who is not a white male. It just brings people down. ”

Even though men will point out that the account is a parody, Carey said it doesn’t make what they post acceptable.

“Guys might think it’s just a joke, and I am all for a joke, but when you are deliberately hurting somebody—what’s the point?” Carey said. “If you’re not going to say something to somebody’s face, then why do it online or through an anonymous account?”

According to Carey, if the “meninist” account was really trying to make a difference to improve the condition of men, then they should be going about it differently.

“If you’re a feminist, you’re a feminist no matter what gender you are,” Carey said. “If you are a true feminist or ‘meninist’ then you would be fighting for men’s rights... You wouldn’t be fighting just because a girl put you in the ‘friend zone’. You would be fighting for all people’s rights equally.”

View the Full Story: 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Journalistic Drive

This is big.

Those were the words I uttered when Mr. Conner announced that there was talk of adding a journalism elective to Mason Middle School.

We had already spoken as a staff earlier in the year about revamping the middle school's newspaper--Mason in the Middle. We intend on helping them publishing two print editions this year and having them sell ads to raise revenue.

I remember last year, my first time as a staff writer for The Chronicle, having the first edition come out. I held the crisp, inky paper in my hand and read my name and my story. It was not only a proud moment, but a thrilling one. It gave me the journalistic drive that I carry to this day.

So the idea that middle school students will get that same tingling thrill I possess, is special to me.

The earlier that we expose journalism to these students, the more likely they are to latch on and find passion in the field. The Chronicle has gotten some of our own writers from Mason in the Middle: Eric Miller, Arnav Damodhar, and Asia Porter. These writers came into the high school knowing the basics of story writing and photography.

I care a lot about the Chronicle. I care that the CSPN stays updated, that '#TweetToTheEditor' goes well, and that stories are given my best effort. That means I also care about the future of The Chronicle. Even though I graduate in 2017, I want the Chronicle to remain a respected and dignified news outlet at Mason High School.

A journalism elective could not be a better use of the middle school's money and time. We will surely reap the rewards. The seventh grader who falls in love with journalism could be the next Chronicle editor-in-chief, or even the next New York Times editor-in-chief.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Boys water polo wins three of four matches in Mason Invitational

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bubble Bash 5k

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Column: Growing Pains

Juliana Discher

I checked my Timehop app the other day and there was an acne ridden, brace-faced, peace sign bearing girl grinning up at me. Instantly, I was transported back to seventh grade. (Why I ever chose to post this picture on Facebook in the first place is beyond me.)

I’ll be blunt: middle school was a rough time for me.

But I don’t think anyone can willingly look back and say that middle school was their prime. It’s
two years of awkwardness, uncertainty, and attempting to find your place. Math review sheets and social studies tests would stress me out. Write-ups sent a shiver down my spine. The bus was a genuine zoo. High schoolers seemed so old...and hairy.

The people who did think that middle school was their prime, probably ended up flipping burgers for a living. Or perhaps they grew up to only relive their middle school glory days. As a minimum, I bet many never progressed past their 8th grade mental state.

While we have all survived and moved on, I think we should treat the memories of middle school like the popularity of Silly Bandz; let them slowly disappear.

Young girls' soccer team swipes 2-1 victory from St. Ursula in opening game

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Get involved: Freshman Spirit Party introduces Class of 2019 to opportunities at MHS

Video by Juliana Discher

Get involved.

It’s the most common advice for incoming freshmen, but as the class of 2019 arrives at Mason High School, the number of new faces can cause uncertainty.

According to motivational speaker Chris Bowers, finding a niche can be simple, especially with the seemingly endless list of opportunities at MHS.

“The key is just to show up,” Bowers said. “Life is about showing up. Don’t let your insecurities that make you think people don’t want you around keep you from showing up.”

Incoming freshman Hiranya Atreya said the idea of getting involved is important.

“I want to get involved with Science Olympiad, French Honors Society, and the bowling team,” Atreya said. “I like the fact that we get to engage with different people and try to make new friends and be more social, but at the same time, (we) learn a lot.”

And with clubs and activities of all dimensions, students can do just that. For students with an interest in sports, MHS offers broomball, fencing, water polo, etc. For those with a creative side, film club, yearbook, art club, etc. are also available. Math team, Speech and Debate, Science Fair, etc. are offered for anyone who wants to take a more academic approach.

Upperclassmen associated with the SIBS (Students Involving and Befriending Students) program aim to make all students, especially freshmen like Atreya, feel welcome and open to engaging in activities at the high school. Each freshman homeroom is assigned a few SIBS who guide them through the year.

According to junior Ellie Harpen, the best part of being a SIB is seeing the students open up.
“My favorite part is when you get to see them (freshmen) when they’re having fun, being more comfortable with the high school and not so nervous,” Harpen said.

One major way that the school helps induct freshmen is with the Freshman Spirit Party, a pep rally that the SIBS lead. This year, the party took place on August 6; during the event, students were given the opportunity to see the school, meet with their homerooms and participate in peer-bonding activities.

The SIBS are instrumental to the event’s success, Bowers said.

“(SIBS) add the cool to the program,” Bowers said. “They give the fresh play on things. I was just a guy telling the freshmen to get excited, but they may not believe that. But when you have your peer group and older students going, ‘No, you’re going to like this,’ then it gives us the benefit of the doubt and people start to have fun.”

Photo Credit: Ariel Jones
Photo Credits: Ariel Jones
Photo Credits: Ariel Jones

Sunday, July 26, 2015

OU, Oh Yeah

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism became my home for three and a half days.

The Chronicle newspaper staff had the privilege of attending Ohio University's High School Journalism Workshop from July 15-18. In previous years, our staff attended Indiana University's Journalism Camp, but this year we decided to mix things up a little.

One aspect of the camp that I found interesting was broadcast journalism. The Chronicle is separate from MBC, Mason Broadcasting Crew, so I don't have much experience with video journalism. I liked getting the opportunity to make my own story package.

The key note speaker of the camp was Mary Beth Tinker. Tinker is a free speech activist who is well known for her involvement in the Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines. During the Vietnam War, Tinker and her some of her schoolmates wore black armbands to protest the fighting. She was suspended, and since then has become a defendant of the First Amendment. I loved getting the opportunity to speak with her one on one.

Barbara Perenic, Columbus Dispatch photographer, gave us some pointers on how to enhance our photography abilities. My greatest takeaways were that shots need to be clean and close, never be afraid to move around and climb on things to get better angles, and probability is your friend.

Overall, my favorite part of the workshop was bonding with The Chronicle staff. I bettered my relationships with those I knew prior and got to know the newbies. I had a fun couple of days and look forward to the impending school year.
Mary Beth Tinker
Chron Selfie
My partners for the story package assignment;
 Jade Colon and Destiny Gooslin
Rufus the Bobcat
Matt knew his First Amendment rights
My mentor, Josh

From the Instagram of the FiveFootPhotog--Barbara Perenic

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Despite racial imbalance, Ohio University is deemed "welcoming"

By Jade Colon, Juliana Discher and Destiny Gooslin

Ohio University is a predominantly white college, but Tiffany Bey, a junior from Cincinnati, feels as if the school is accepting of cultural and racial differences.

“I think Athens, as a whole, is diverse,” Bey said. “There are a lot of people from different backgrounds.”

Despite the presence of diversity, racism and prejudice aren’t completely eradicated on campus, she said.

“I’ve experienced some racial situations,” said Bey, who’s African American. “That’s everywhere though — not just here. There is just that small handful of people that don’t accept us. The institution as a whole has been welcoming.”

But racism isn’t the only “ism” that students here face. Sexism and openness to sexual orientation are two other issues to consider on campus. Sarah Tucker Jenkins, program coordinator for the Women’s Center, creates events to promote acceptance of people of all backgrounds.

“Last year I created a menstruation party to focus on getting rid of some of the stigma surrounding menstruation,” Jenkins said. “I did a series for ‘Love your Body’ day.”

Given OU’s party reputation and high presence of alcohol in the campus community, Jenkins said women’s safety is a concern.

“Drinking doesn’t cause rape, but it exacerbates the complications around the reasons behind why rape happens,” she said. “A lot of people use (drinking alcohol) as an excuse. We have a lot of issues with women not being respected bodily — street harassment.”

Jenkins said Ohio University wants to be a welcoming campus.

“We have a strong basis of diversity education that we can build upon,” she said. “Just because there is a Women’s Center doesn’t mean you need to not worry about sexism. We’re a resource that they need to be utilizing so they can fight that fight.”

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Monday, July 13, 2015

25 Lessons I've Learned from OASC Summer Workshop

For the past three summers, I've attended OASC Summer Workshop at Wright State University. I discovered OASC, the Ohio Association of Student Councils, through my high school's student government. Without a doubt, I can say that this organization has molded me into the leader and person I am today. Here are some lessons I learned last week when I attended Senior High II from July 5-9. The wisdom I gain from this camp combined with the group of absolutely amazing people who attend are the reasons why I workshop. #whyiworkshop

1. Team work makes the dream work.
2. Take time to self-reflect.
3. A goal will never be achieved without measurable objectives.
4. Don't get caught up in the routine of life.
5. Be open to feedback and suggestions.
6. The best leaders lead by example.
7. Take time to process after an event. Figure out what went well and what needs to be improved upon for next time.
8.  Stay hydrated.
9. Sometimes as a leader, it’s necessary to step back and let someone else take charge.
10. Be more observant.
11. Brevity is a necessity.  Be concise and effective with your words.
12. Sometimes you need to give people a nudge in the right direction.
13. “The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish them.” –Different Seasons by Stephen King
14. Make sure you're listening, not just hearing.
15. Smile.
16. When delegating a task, be specific.
17. Remove killer phrases from your vocabulary like “We've tried that before” or “We don't have time” and replace them with igniter phrases like “You're on the right track” or “I have faith in you”.
18. Give out genuine compliments like candy.
19. Don’t underestimate the power of nonverbal communication.
20. Never bottle up your feelings.
21. “Communication is a skill that you learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” –Brian Tracy
22. An effective way of communicating your emotions is by saying, “When you ______________ I feel ____________ because _____________.
23. Be someone’s shoulder to cry on.
24. Sometimes the silent ones have the most to say.
25. “Tomorrow is a new day. You will find your own way. You’ll be stronger with each day that you cry. Then you’ll learn to fly.” –‘Learn to Fly’ by Shannon Noll 

Friday, July 3, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: Bicentennial Pool Party

Juliana Discher I Staff Writer

On July 1, Mason residents gathered at the Lou Eves Municipal Pool for a party celebrating the city's bicentennial.

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