Orange County and the Homeless Crisis
Chelsea Shack & Cas Kesig - Staff Writers
The most recent count of homeless people in Orange County states that there are 4,500 individuals currently living without shelter. A survey done interviewing 250 homeless people in Orange County reports that 40% of survey respondents experience a lack of access to a job, and 36% experience a lack of housing. 28% of respondents are homeless because of assault, physical abuse, and the like. 90% are naturalized US citizens. 70% have lived in in Orange County for more than ten years of their life. Homelessness is a social condition, not a social type.
In early 2018, hundreds of homeless were forced to dismantle their encampment along the Santa Ana riverbed. They were temporarily relocated to motels and shelters, and were prevented from returning to the riverbed by local law enforcement. Orange County has been navigating the issue of its homeless population for years, and come 2020, Orange County projects that it will build 2,700 temporary housing units in hopes of relieving the population on the streets; a step in the right direction, considering the OC’s history of criminalizing the homeless.
Though our participation in the homeless crisis may be covert, OCSA is complicit. The institution itself is a fixture in Santa Ana, bolstering its identity as an arts district, participating in local government, and hosting events such as the Brand Innovators panel earlier this year. Our diverse student body imports those from all corners of the county, and, as students, we funnel money into Santa Ana businesses, we increase foot traffic through Downtown, occupy a square block of buildings, and attend Santa Ana events like the monthly Art Walk.
To what do we owe the devastating homeless epidemic in Orange County, and specifically in Santa Ana? The University of California Irvine has been conducting a study in partnership with Orange County United Way, Jamboree, and the Hospital Association of Southern California. Colin Bernatzky, one of the surveyors, spoke about their findings at Wise Place, a Santa Ana facility that provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for homeless women. The overwhelming majority of homelessness is caused by structural antecedents: being unable to secure affordable housing and/or sustainable wages. Another majority lies in personal biographic limitation like being a victim of domestic abuse, being recently discharged from an institution, or having mental and/or physical issues stemming from a childhood home.
Orange County, in short, is a hotbed of wealth and privilege, constantly receiving new residents and businesses, and in turn, increasing the cost of living significantly. Between 2000 and 2014, the median rent for a one bedroom apartment rose 24%. Bernatzky’s study also found that 70% of those surveyed have lived in the OC for ten years or longer, which implies that this economic growth is a root cause of homelessness in the county. Similar trends are occurring in Santa Ana as businesses owned by out of town, middle-class proprietors swarm Downtown and cause rent increases. Businesses which have had a storefront on 4th street for decades are now grappling with gentrification, and occasionally being run out of business.
In conversation with a few newer businesses about Santa Ana’s growing homeless population, there was little altruism. At Shop Unlisted, a pin and patch boutique, their associate dubbed Santa Ana “a new, rebuilding area.”
“It’s the ones that have mental health issues that are kicking and screaming,” she continued. “I don’t believe in kicking them out, I just want them to have a safe place to go.” This business, along with those like the Stussy Archive and 4th Street Marketplace, are rebuilding the city without fortifying it, and often exacerbating issues such as homelessness. An associate of Stussy Archive expressed thankfulness for the fact that the police routinely arrest homeless people, describing them as “bums.”
The sentiments of Shop Unlisted are echoed across the county, and while it is kind, it lacks initiative. Though an estimated $299 million was spent by governmental and non-governmental entities to alleviate homelessness in 2014/2015, this funding is misdirected. Bernatzky noted that housing the chronically homeless, instead of maintaining facilities such as health care and food services, would reduce this cost by an estimated $42 million. At its core, this issue addresses the power dynamic between the haves and the have-nots in Orange County, specifically the South County municipalities refusing to take on the crisis when they most heavily contribute to it via affluence-- meaning, their expansiveness, their wealth, and their entitlement suffocates the underprivileged.
The issue returns to OCSA when the homeless themselves enter our campus. In their everyday lives, they are often hassled or harassed-- 17% of homeless women report physical assault, and 32% regularly experience verbal assault. Among ourselves, we tend to demonize the homeless, preventing possible rapport and contributing to an anti-homeless culture that limits the humanization of the homeless in the public eye. As OCSA students, we are privy to these sentiments simply by attending school in Santa Ana, the city with the highest homeless population in the county. Because we are one of the only cities in the county with benefit programs, newly homeless come to us for aid, at the same time that other cities in the county send their homeless residents into Santa Ana. That said, most of us are unaware of the privilege of attending school in Santa Ana and then being able to leave every evening.
The most important tool in allyship is support, and to work within your privilege. It is equally important to give platform to homeless voices, be vocal within your city and within the county about homeless rights, and support non-governmental organizations that benefit the homeless. Wise Place is located just blocks from OCSA, and is always in need of volunteers. In addition, supporting smaller local businesses that have served the community for decades does not contribute to rent raises in Santa Ana-- and supporting them supports the long-term residents of the city who may be at risk of poverty. Sparing change for the homeless or buying them food is always helpful and appreciated. The concept of kindness relies on “kindness” not being a noun, but a verb.
OCSA’s Tower = Dante’s Inferno
Louis Tonkovich - Staff Writer
Here at OCSA, students sometimes forget what a privilege it is to attend a school as unique as this one. Not only is OCSA among the nations most esteemed art academies, but over it’s 30 years, OCSA has created an environment of acceptance and community. It has a commitment towards celebrating diversity, and seeing each student for who they are. Yes, OCSA is truly a special place.
Of course, there is another reason why OCSA is unique, and it’s the fact that the Humanities Tower building is literally Dante’s Inferno. While most students haven’t realized that the same building they spend most of the school day in also happens to be the physical manifestation of the Nine Circles of Hell, after skimming the first few pages of The Divine Comedy, your dedicated reporter has reached this objective and factual conclusion.
When Dante Alighieri wrote his epic The Divine Comedy in 1320 A.D, who would have guessed that his vivid description of Hell would aptly describe in detail a seemingly innocuous building in downtown Santa Ana?
Everything written by the Italian poet in an attempt to visualize eternal damnation, from “a hemisphere of darkness” to “the dolesome shore which all the woe of the universe insacks” seem to describe our home away from home, the Humanities Tower. I mean, if I started talking about an “infernal hurricane that never rests” or “the land of tears ” and so on, would you honestly be able to tell if I was talking about the Tower or about the fabled realm of everlasting suffering known as Dante’s Inferno?
It must come as a shock to faculty and students that this normal campus building, we have all become accustomed to, is also exactly what Dante described when he wrote of the Circles of Hell. But surely, some authority must be aware of this enormous coincidence. If indeed it is just a coincidence…
I decided to speak truth to power. When I asked Grand Overlord Michael Ciesek what he thought of my groundbreaking discovery, he looked up at me from his copy of The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, and turned the Marilyn Manson down so he could hear me.
After hearing my theory, he laughed and said “Don’t you know there are NINE concentric circles of Hell according to The Divine Comedy, and only seven floors of the Tower?” In response, I asked him if he had ever been to the basement. “That’s only eight,” he said. Then I asked him if he had ever been to the 8th floor, that little landing at the top of the stairs. “No,” he said “because I’m not a lonely emo kid.” But he agreed that the Tower technically does have nine floors. This was just the confirmation I needed to give this story more credibility.
The implications of this discovery are huge. For instance, if the Tower is Hell incarnate, are we, the students, its toiling servants? Did we all die at some point in our previous lives, and only think we are overworked, stressed out art students?
Also, it is unclear to us at Evolution how exactly each floor of the Tower corresponds with each circle of Hell, but have no doubt; they absolutely do. This is what we know; the 2nd floor is definitely the circle of Gluttony, because of the malicious way the cafeteria encourages us to actually consume food. It’s also been concluded that the Basement is the Circle of Violence, because it would be the easiest place to commit a crime. And you know that weird enclave at the very top of the stairs above the seventh floor? That’s Limbo. It remains to be determined which floor is the ninth circle, Treachery, the one reserved for the worst of the worst, but spoiler alert, it’s most likely whichever floor you’re on.
And if this is truly the Underworld of Biblical and literary myth, where is the Prince of Darkness? Where is Lucifer? Who, to put it bluntly, is Satan? These questions do not have obvious answers, although it would be wise to point out here that when you rearrange the letters in the name Matthew Morrison, it spells “I AM THE ANTICHRIST, FATHER OF LIES, THE DECEIVER, BEELZEBUB.” But this is purely speculation.
Politics at OCSA? That’s Funny.
By Sebastian Yrrazaval
A few days ago, I walked into the DMS men’s bathroom to pee, where I saw, scribbled in pen next to the urinal valve: “republicans r ocsas invisible population”. I blew air out of my nose (you know, in that slight chuckle kind of way) and rolled my eyes like I had just seen a mediocre meme. I didn’t think about it much after until I came to a realization: that ridiculous note was the most politically charged thing I had seen around OCSA since the Parkland shooting memorial, excluding the Invisible Population article last month. It really got me thinking as to why our school seems to have gone silent when it comes to the controversial topics we face today. Of course there are still discussions in classes and arguments at lunch, but especially after talking to some of my classmates, there seems to be a sense of removal - or perhaps fear of politics that many students hold. I can understand why some students feel this way. JSA, OCSA’s politics club, known for its heated arguments and passionate members, seems to be largely quarantined, and not always welcoming to people not yet informed about our multifaceted political landscape. Additionally, the members of the club are majority male, in contrast to OCSA’s majority female demographic, which I know has alienated some friends interested in joining. On top of this, the Parkland shooting memorial sparked plenty of bitterness and tension
that understandably, people want to avoid. So why be involved in politics if it is such a mess? Well, most importantly, because you can. You may not be worried about having good healthcare. You may have a roof to sleep under and a bed to sleep on. You may not have to worry about getting food on the table, or getting an education, or trying to provide for your family.
But there is always an issue that you can latch on to, that you can become passionate about, learn and teach about. “Anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water,” said Mahatma Gandhi. It may not affect you directly, or maybe it doesn’t affect you at all. But if you think that advocating for whatever it is you believe in will make the world a better place, power to you. Being able to avoid politics is a privilege, and although those distant headlines about U.S. drone strikes or immigration may seem like a different world than the one you live in, it’s not. Most juniors and seniors will be eligible to vote in the next election, and you can pre-register to vote at 16. But voting is only one aspect. Go to a rally or protest, read up on some political theory, expose yourself to new ideas, get in a futile debate in the YouTube comments of a Fox News video. Honestly, as long as you are doing something it’s worth it. Be respectful of what people say, and know what you are talking about before you say something. Sometimes politics isn’t about everyone getting along. It is okay to differ in opinion with people, it is simply something that everyone has to experience.
The sheltered life I see many OCSA students living won’t contribute anything to the world where
we are going to live the rest of our lives. It is our responsibility as students and young people to be actively involved in the issues that matter. It’s much more than a football (dodgeball?) game where you have to pick a side and blindly fight tooth and nail. I might not agree with the scribbled note on the urinal wall, but it’s better than burying our heads in the sand and pretending the world around us is just for the adults to deal with.
New Generation of JSU
Amanda Mendoza - Staff Writer
We’ve seen the headlines. Terrifying Anti-Semitic events have plagued the nation, and to be specific- throughout the Orange County community. While these cruel actions have impacted us and have hit close to home, it’s also crucial to think about the selfless people striving to make a difference in the world around us.
The Jewish Student Union is an organization on campus that actively spreads awareness and activism. We spoke with two prominent members of JSU, Joey Sable (MT ‘19) and Victoria Dozer (CW ’20) regarding what the club advocates and how they battle anti-semitism and discrimination.
The Jewish population at OCSA is a tight-knit community. Joey Sable states, “most of us has known each other from elementary school, synagogues, and youth groups” This close bond they held for years have encouraged them to stand together as a team and take action toward hate speech. “we are planning on holding a presentation with Rabbi Peter Levi or the Anti-Defamation League about how to combat hate speech… this event isn’t just for Jews, but for any marginalized and discriminated group.”
Victoria Dozer is another highly active member, and is an advocate for awareness of the Jewish community at OCSA. Like Joey, she agrees that JSU is extremely active on campus. “The Jewish community is super active around OCSA, putting on meetings for students and bringing in Jewish speakers to teach about anti semitism. The Jewish community at OCSA also got out the word about wearing blue and showing general support after anti semitic events.”
The Jewish community at our school is alive and thriving at JSU, but how can the study body and the school as a whole be more inclusive of the Jewish community?
Joey thinks that OCSA should consider looking at the holidays we celebrate on campus. “Hanukkah is never recognized by Leadership or by administration through Winter Wonderland and additional holiday festivities… Overall, OCSA needs to be more inclusive and open to having black/hispanic/jewish/lgbt students”
Victoria noticed there are still causes for concern. She expresses, “we have issues with things like ‘vandalism’- where people find swastikas written on walls in bathrooms or around campus… it is removed, rather than discussed… There are some times when OCSA would rather not support outspoken students… preferring not to discuss things that might make us feel uncomfortable… That said, I do think that OCSA admin and students are much more inclusive than many other schools.”
So if you’re interested in spreading awareness of the Jewish community, learning more about Jewish culture, or fighting against intolerance, head to JSU! Meetings are held in Mrs. Allcorn’s room (A6) on Wednesdays!
OP/ED: Closing of Gender Neutral Bathrooms
Chelsea Shack - Staff Writer
I'm going to be blunt. I can't pee at school anymore. The gender-neutral bathrooms, which are the only ones I'm comfortable using, have been closed for around a month as of writing this. It has forced me into an uncomfortable position: either I use a gendered bathroom where I feel unsafe as a trans woman, or I don't use the restroom at all.
When I first discovered they were closed, I didn't know why. I was confused. Were they permanently closing the gender-neutrals? Then the signs went up: “Bathroom closed for vandalism.”
It was understandable at first, vandalism is against the rules-- might as well take a day or two to repaint the bathrooms, but the signs just stayed up. Days became weeks became nearly two months and it started to seem like this wasn't renovation anymore-- it was a punishment.
But who are admin attempting to punish? The trans kids who just want to feel safe at school? Vandalism happens in the gendered bathrooms, why haven't they haven't shut those down? Legally, they can’t. There needs to be access to bathrooms for both binary genders, and, recently, a gender-neutral bathroom as well. Under the California Restrooms Equal Access Act, passed in 2015, citizens in any public space, including schools, need to have a marked gender-neutral bathroom. OCSA cannot close the gendered bathrooms for vandalism, but they also can’t close the gender-neutrals, so why have they? Is the privacy and safety of trans kids not high on the school’s list of priorities? Inadvertently, I'm sure, the gender neutral shut down felt like an attack on us trans kids. It still feels like the administration is punishing us for something we didn't do. So I guess I'll be waiting legs crossed until I can pee again.
OCSA Students “Get Loud!”
Claire Jones - Staff Writer/Section Editor
On Saturday, March 16th, students, parents and donators gathered into the Irvine Hotel Ballroom to celebrate OCSA’s biggest fundraising event of the year-- Gala.
This year’s theme, “Let’s Get Loud,” had hopes to celebrate Latin culture through music and dance. Brightly-colored costumes and familiar songs, including “¡Yo Quiero Bailar!,” “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and even a flashy musical theatre tribute to Lin Manuel Miranda and Leonard Bernstein, lit up the stage.
“You can never know what to expect when you’re getting involved in such a big show. It’s definitely a process. We started preparing in late December,” said James Bergren, a Montage member and junior in Commercial Music.
Student performers put in months of work to prepare for one of their biggest shows of the year. That effort was showcased on the stage, with smooth transitions between numbers and constant costume changes.
“The vocalists, dancers, and musicians are all separate, but during the last couple rehearsals, we started coming together. It was really cool to see it all come together, especially being in the band since we didn’t get to see anything else until we got there,” said Heather Sizlo, a Commercial Music senior.
It was also the first year that Ballet Folklórico and Ballroom dance were involved in the huge production. Due to the essence of the theme, they were able to showcase Latin culture through dance and were a staple part of the show.
“The other conservatories made us feel very welcome, and they were also very excited. It was amazing to be working with since we don’t usually get to because our dance is so specific,” said Iran Gomez, a junior in Ballet Folklórico.
Not only was the night filled with jaw dropping performances, but generous donors filled the tables in the audience. Many extravagant auction items, including an escape to Los Cabos and a lavish weekend at Pelican Hill were auctioned off to those in the audience. Artwork was displayed in the lobby for attendees to bid on. Together, OCSA was able to raise an incredible $1.7 million through the Silent, Live, and Fund-A-Dream auctions.
Due to the cultural theme, some took offense to the event and controversy began to surrounded the event prior to the show day. A few students created a petition to change the theme and outlined their issues with the event.
“The main thing that bugged us was that it was a latin theme and we have two latin conservatories that were underrepresented,” said Anais Benavides, a junior in the Production and Design conservatory. While some students believe that not all their issues were completely addressed due to the show’s time frame, their main wish was that more Latin inclusion had been implemented since the beginning of the planning process. “I believe that bringing the culture consultant in was a step in the right direction. Since all of this came out so close to Gala, there wasn’t a lot that they could do. I feel they could’ve done more, but for the time crunch, they tried,” said Benavides.
Gala has become a night to remember for both the performers and the audience members. Although there was controversy surrounding the essence of the theme, OCSA hoped for it to come together in a respectable way. While they may steer clear of any cultural themes in the years to come, Gala will still continue to be one of OCSA’s most glamorous (and expensive) nights.
Anya Ernst - Staff Writer/Production Aid
Hey OCSA, spring has sprung! It’s time to trade in the sweaters and scarves for sandals and skirts! So lather on your SPF cause it’s time to enjoy the sunny weather on a picnic with your pals and embrace the nature around you. This issue’s lookbook focuses on fruity springtime trends to keep you current and cute this season. Playing with prints is an easy way to make a simple outfit stand out, Emilia Angotti (CW ‘20) is seen in a lavender and peach plaid over-the-shoulder top paired with a frilly and lacy white skirt.
This look is all about embracing the beauty and femininity of spring! Spring trends this year are all about sunshine shades, blushy, floral colors which are flattering for this time of year. Angotti is also seen in an all white lace dress. Flowy fabric, seen in this fit, is perfect for keeping you cool and looks great layered with a colored vintage sweater or jean jacket for those windy April evenings. A dress like this is begging to be accessorised! We suggest pairing dainty jewelry like a silver or gold necklace and small dangly earrings. Mary-janes or sandals pair beautifully with the look and can be interchanged seamlessly to match your plans for the day. Erin Kim (CM ‘20) is seen in red and white gingham high-waisted shorts and a yellow baby tee!
“Color blocking” as seen on Kim is a great way to introduce bright colors to any look. This youthful and flirty ensemble is perfect for an afternoon walk or a day at the beach. Pair with your favorite sunnies and a mini-backpack for an outfit that will make you want to go on a springtime adventure! Kim is also seen in a white cotton cami and tan capris. Capris are great for spring weather and will keep you comfy and trendy all day long. This sporty look will make you wish it could be this nice outside all year!
Anya Ernst - Staff Writer and Marketing Manager
On the morning of February 14th 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida became one of the hundreds of High Schools across the nation that have been involved in a mass shooting. But what was different from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting (better known as the “Parkland Shooting”) was the response from the victims and their community. Just days after the shooting, a group of students from Parkland announced the “March for Our Lives” and the “Never Again” campaigns. Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzales, Alex Wind, Sara Chadwick, and David Hogg were among the students at the forefront of the campaign. On March 24th of 2018 thousands of supporters participated on the March on Washington, as well as other affiliated marches organized in other cities around the country. The movement gained global recognition with hundreds of articles being written and interviews with the students on prime time late night programs. The students demanded an updated set of national gun legislation including universal background checks and a close on the “gun show loophole” (which enables individuals to buy guns in cash with no questions asked, most of the time being sold to people with criminal history or who are underage) and, some suggesting to ban the selling of assault rifles all together, in order to put an end to gun violence in America. These students had not only gained global attention but were getting through to NRA officials and politicians. The March For Our Lives students began going on tour speaking at universities and town halls. Soon the campaign became a nationwide movement. March For Our Lives chapters began popping up across the country. In the Winter of 2019, OCSA even got its own official chapter. OCSA’s chapter president Arielle Dettmer (CMD ‘20) and organizer of OCSA’s walk out spoke to me about the March For Our Lives Movement's goals and the progress they have made thus far. “I initially got involved through the National School Walkout” Dettmer said. However, it wasn’t until August that Dettmer officially became apart of March For Our Lives. Dettmer described getting involved as “pretty easy” after reaching out to California’s director who put her in touch with her hometown of Corona’s chapter. “The general goal for March For Our Lives is to reform gun laws. But for OCSA specifically, we want to, of course, continue March For Our Lives’ goals but also to provide an inclusive environment for anyone of any political affiliation or belief can come and attend our meetings.” The discussions in meetings are respectful and direct. Compared to other OCSA political clubs, March For Our Lives remains
Unbiased. “For me, I think everybody should be able to feel safe in their own environment and the only way that we can to come to some consensus is if everybody shows up to the table... So my goal for this year is to have people come and speak on the issue no matter what they believe.” At March For Our Lives Meetings Dettmer talks about letter writing campaigns and the importance of calling senators to enact change. Students from all over California gather in “Lobbying Teams” to meet with government officials and advocate for gun reform. While no major nation gun reform legislation has been passed in the past year, over 69 state reform legislation has been passed, including the H.R. 8 bill which mandates bipartisan background checks prior to any individual purchasing a gun. The H.R. 8 bill was passed in 2019 and has already become a crucial part of ensuring more restrictions on the purchase of firearms. As of March this year, there have been 65 mass shooting in America in 2019 alone. Luckily with the help of the Never Again and March For Our Lives movement, students across America
have been fighting for stricter gun reform. If these movements have shown us anything, it’s that the younger generation is capable of making change and ensuring a safer nation for the rest of us to live in. For more information go to www.marchforourlives.com. To join the movement you can join the OCSA or Santa Ana chapter of March For Our Lives.
The Tides Are Rising, So Are We
Louis Tonkovich - Staff Writer
On March 15th, students across the nation walked out of school or otherwise protested to demand immediate action taken against climate change.
Called into action by militant Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, the Youth Climate Strike first swept across European countries like Sweden and Denmark before gaining popular support in the United States. Compared to the current attitude our government has towards climate change, European governments may seem enlightened and conscious. But even the action they have taken is not enough, and the United States certainly needs to confront its history of denying the severity and urgency of the situation.
As events and walkouts were planned across the nation, several were set to happen in Orange County. The closest, just down the street from OCSA, was organized and attended by OCSA students. Carrying signs with slogans like “There is no Planet B” and “Abolish ICE not Ice Caps,” the twenty or so students marched down Santa Ana Boulevard to Sasscer Park.
There, a few speeches were delivered to a small but enthusiastic crowd. Mr Chong, OCSA Environmental Science teacher, was one of the speakers. Even though the nearby climate strikes in Irvine and Laguna Beach were much larger than the modest turnout in Santa Ana, it is significant that the event was made possible by OCSA students, and that the people who did attend were mostly from our school. The demonstration lasted for about an hour and a half, during which everyone who attended shared their reasons for protesting, and stressed how making our government listen to the younger generation is an imperative.
The Youth Climate Strike does not intend this to be an isolated event. They have made plans for frequent protests, so that this issue doesn’t lose any traction or publicity as time goes by. Hopefully, as these protests keep happening, more and more students will participate. As far as the Santa Ana strike goes, organizers hope to find a more visible location for demonstrating, and to attract more of the student body at OCSA and other nearby schools.
The Youth Climate Strike has gained support in the United States thanks to the Sunrise Movement, an American-based climate justice group. One of their main goals is electing representatives who care about the future of the planet, and who express their commitment through more than just words.
These leaders may not be the ones you would expect. Dismissed by center left liberals like US Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Sunrise Movement has found an ally with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman from New York. Ocasio-Cortez is at the head of a new vanguard of self-described democratic socialists in Congress.
More established Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi have a history of compromise and inaction when it comes to real climate reform. The kind of progress the Youth Climate Strike is demanding won’t come from gradual policy change and a failure to hold responsible the corporations directly responsible for the climate crisis.
Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, has prioritized climate justice. Her proposed Green New Deal strives to make the United States completely clean energy by 2030. The fact that the name evokes Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s is no coincidence, as Ocasio-Cortez believes the same type of immediate reform is needed today.
The Green New Deal is different from past government programs because it will not continue to protect institutions and companies that directly profit from and defend fossil fuels. One of its actions will be cutting military budget, because much of that money is used to protect U.S. oil interests around the world. The Green New Deal is uncompromising when it comes to reversing the damage that coal and oil giants have caused.
Responsibility for global warming, for plastic permeating our oceans, for smog and light pollution blacking out the stars, is not the fault of the individual. Our ice caps are not melting because you took a twenty minute shower, and they won’t stop melting if you buy an electric car.
Climate change is the result of two hundred years of harmful exploitation of our earth. Those who are responsible, who have always been responsible, are the corporations who have decided for the rest of us that social and economic “progress” means releasing dangerous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. For too long our governments, who are funded by these same businesses, have successfully delayed the conversation about the disastrous consequences climate change will have.
The United Nations predicts that the we have twelve years before the almost apocalyptic consequences of climate change become an inescapable, inevitable future. Our leaders won’t listen to us unless we make some noise. The Youth Climate Strike is an opportunity to do so.
Sage Skaar - Staff Writer/Section Editor
Unleash your inner white girl and have a weekend adventure trampling wildflowers in Lake Elsinore! Don your best Doc Martens and snag some great insta pics at golden hour. Go ahead and ignore all the signs that say it’s illegal to pick the poppies- we all know the nature reserve’s rules apply to everybody but you.
When: April and May (peak season)
Celebrate spring by taking your friends whale watching in Newport or Dana Point this April, the only month to spot both gray whales and blue whales off the coast of California! Make reservations ahead of time and make sure to bring your camera.
When: April 13th
Artists, environmentalists, and fans of the outdoors will all delight in the San Clemente Gardenfest, whose highlights include a plant sale, garden flea market, a floral design contest, educational demonstrations on sustainable butterfly gardening and water conservation, as well as the San Clemente Art Association's Garden and Flower Show painting competition.
UCI Spring Festival
When: Saturday, April 20th, 2019
At the UCI spring festival, local families AND admitted seniors will have loads of fun with an open house, campus tours, and a family carnival with games and food. Saturday, April 20th.
Annual Easter Hunt and Family Fun Day
When: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Presented by the City of Huntington Beach and Huntington Beach Kiwanis Club, the Easter Hunt and Family Fun Day offers a fun-filled day perfect for those with big families and younger siblings! Stop by to enjoy an egg hunt, game booths, Easter Bunny photo-ops, live music, and community displays from the city of Huntington Beach. A pancake breakfast and hot lunch will be served to visitors by the Huntington Beach Kiwanis Club.
La Habra Citrus Fair
When: May 3rd-5th
The La Habra Citrus Fair runs from May 3rd to 5th and features carnival games, rides, a livestock show and animal auction, square dancing, a vintage car show, a robotics demonstration, and so much more! The fair is kicked off with a bubble parade and guarantees a weekend of old-fashioned festival fun.
When: May 17-19th
A celebration of comics and cartoons, NCS Fest is sure to appeal to fans of superheroes and animated TV shows of all kinds! The two day event promises a variety of workshops, exhibits, signing sessions, merch, and Q&A panels with a lineup of renowned artists, writers, and creators.
Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
When: May 24th-27th
The Garden Grove strawberry festival promises to be the most exciting of all, with a parade full of marching bands, classic cars, and strawberry-themed floats; a 5k run through the historic district, charity booths, a talent competition, food trucks, carnival rides, game booths, live music, and strawberry shortcake for all!
Beaumont Cherry Festival
When: May 31-June 3
The city of Beaumont’s annual cherry celebration turns 100 this year with a weekend of fun and festivities including a parade, carnival rides, vendor booths, games, live entertainment, and cherry-themed festival delicacies!
June 8-10 and 15-17
Hosted at a historic, 2400 acre lavender farm in the San Gorgonio Pass, the 14th annual Lavender Festival guarantees all kinds of family fun, including horse-and-buggy tours of the largest organic lavender farm in SoCal. Watch demonstrations of making lavender products, taste lavender-flavored dishes and enjoy live music.
Abby Johnson - Staff Writer
Most people can recognize the famous OCSA security guard who directs traffic every morning, wears Mickey Mouse gloves on Friday’s, who always has a tennis ball in hand. However, most people do not know much about our adored security guard, George. Majority of OCSA do not know where he comes from, what he does outside of OCSA-- who the really is. George grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and later moved to California. He has lived here for about three quarters of his life, referring to himself as a “long beach boy”.
Before OCSA, George was an inventory control manager, and buyer for a food distribution company. He was in charge of making sure that 5-6 million dollars were accounted for, as well as buying products for large companies. However, after a tragic accident at his former workplace, George decided to look for a new job. George noticed a security sign at OCSA, and decided to apply. He has now been a security guard for OCSA for 6 years now, starting with the night shift. After a year, he began during the day shifts. He is now the psych supervisor, meaning he is in charge of all of the security guards.
When at work, George always has a tennis ball in hand. When asked about it, he described it as a conversation piece. Students always come up to him and ask why he has it, which enables him to start a conversation with someone new. He completely enjoys his job. In his opinion, other schools can’t compare to OCSA for so many reasons. He thinks the shows here are absolutely amazing, and tries to see as many as he can. He loves to be outside and interact with students and staff, commenting, “Everyone here is great. It’s almost like a second family to me.” Graduation is bittersweet-- it’s hard when the seniors leave, as it’s like part of his family is leaving. It brings a tear to his eye every year.
Outside of school, George drives for Uber, a job he started more recently. He enjoys it. He likes driving and he gets to meet interesting and nice people. When he’s not working, he spends as much time as possible with his family. His son, Sean, attends OCSA, and rides to and from school everyday with George. When talking about his family, George smiled, saying, “Sean is my world”.
Some of George’s favorites include seafood, Italian food, the color green, and playing pool. If he could do anything in the world, he would sail anywhere, with no destination, and stop wherever he felt wanted. When asked to describe himself, he chose the words: caring, understanding, thoughtful, funny “sometimes”, and welcoming. George is very grateful for his job, family, and his life. He is thankful to be able get out of bed every morning and stand up straight. As long as he can do that, he can do anything. His biggest advice is “To slow down and take some time for yourself. Always be respectful. Life is good, relax, and just enjoy your life.”
Thoughts on Teenage Drama Series
Amy Basile - Staff Writer
Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, Gossip Girl oh my! Rumor has it these shows are about people like you and me. But therein lies the question, are teen dramas really for teens? Despite including teenage characters and high school themes, do they actually represent us in the media at all?
Fifty percent of students, after taking a survey, say that they don’t. Sophomore Cassandra Kesig (CW) said when asked about the marketing towards teenagers, “I feel like they're marketed specifically to harm teens. Lots of shows benefit from the glamorization, and depend on their viewers romanticizing their shows.”
The core of the issue is how often we’re represented by adult actors playing the roles of developing children and how this can change how we perceive people our own age. Senior Cecilia Balagot (MT) said, “It bothers me as a teen actress who auditions for shows with teens where they end up casting adults anyway.”
The Broadly Vice online magazine collected the data and found the average age gap between actors and their characters from eleven different teen drama shows, some still running and others not. While three years is an understandable difference, shows such as Riverdale have an average of an eight year discrepancy between themselves and their characters, which is frankly unbelievable.
The characters that we’re supposed to relate to as being our age are constantly being put in highly provocative and inappropriate situations that are, of course, dictated by a writer’s room full of mature adults. “It can be disheartening to be so misrepresented in the media-- you're very much prone to comparing your own life to that of the characters.” Kesig said.
“Serious issues are being romanticized.” Sophomore Gabrielle Goodman (FTV) said and she is right. Plotlines such as predatory behavior and relationships, suicide, and teenagers shown abusing alcohol and drugs tend to always be central conflict in these shows and they are very rarely handled with care. This is the benefits of casting adults to play children, you can get away with sensitive and honestly disgusting stories by having the people portraying them be of a justifiable age.
No one blinked twice when Pretty Little Liar’s Aria Montgomery and Riverdale’s Archie Andrews developed highly unprofessional, sexual relationships with their teachers and neither of these issues were executed with the necessary seriousness.
Another student anonymously said, “I think they sexualize young girls. So to justify it, they have grown women playing teenagers, but make them act juvenile. It's pretty creepy, and I'm not talking necessarily accurate portrayals of teenagers finding their sexuality, or being sexually active. I mean overtly sexualizing things girls do for male audiences.”
Bryson Taylor (MT) said, “Teen sexuality is extremely exaggerated on these shows. You'll see teens constantly having sex and constantly in and out of relationships, when that's not realistic. Teens then think that they need to be hypersexual, when in reality that isn't normal.” And Senior Ruby Singer (CW) agreed that teen dramas “add to the casual sexualization of actual minors and pressurised teens to want to have sex [and] find attachment in those older than them.”
It’s important that teenagers can see themselves in characters, it’s also important that growing up we can see that teenagers are still just kids and don’t have to have everything figured out from the moment they enter freshmen year.
Teen dramas put a lot of unknown pressure on students to conform to standard ideas of teenage life that is dictated to us by adults and the media. “Sometimes teen dramas make me feel like I am not living the fun, carefree life I should be living, especially when sexuality and romance come up.” said senior Isabel Nguyen (CW).
Man On The Street: Which Teacher Would You Prank and How?
Since Mr. Brennan, previous OCSA tennis instructor, is no longer at OCSA, we wanted to keep the student body posted on what this charismatic fan favorite is up to with his newfound freetime!
Despite him no longer being employed at the school, he has stayed active in the OCSA community as he attended Gala and still plans on supporting our school via attending productions and shows that are put on. He also took a short trip to Chicago, Illinois and has been spotted regularly in his hometown of Laguna Beach frequenting several beaches and cafes along the shoreline.
In Memoriam: Lukas Swidzinski
Maddy Ernst - Staff Writer
This month, we mourn the passing of Lukas Swidzinski, a teacher in the Piano and Classical Voice conservatories. He will be missed by all of the students that he touched in his work, and remembered for his deep love and passion for music.