Opinions

Opinions on anything from politics to culture to school and beyond can be found here.

Franny Flu: Why is everyone getting sick?

by Selah Dorn (’25) | November 18, 2022 My religion class normally has around twenty-five kids. Yet these past couple of weeks, barely half of them were here at the same time. This holds true not just for my classes; everyone is getting sick. Many have blamed it on the homecoming dance and the “Halloweekend”…

A red wave… more like a red ripple

by Nikhil Dewitt (’24) | November 18, 2022 Over the past few weeks, news channels began emphasizing the red wave that would occur on election day. Republicans would take back the House and Senate, and Joe Biden would essentially be a lame-duck president. Shockingly, that red wave never materialized; the Senate has retained a Democratic…

Affirming or denying: Supreme Court’s affirmative action cases

by Anika Bastin (’23) | November 18, 2022 The Supreme Court has become an increasingly controversial body in the last couple of years. The current Court demonstrated its boldness in its recent case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that upended the nearly fifty-year-old precedent of the landmark Roe v. Wade. The next major issue…

On the Frontlines: how social media decided a Philippine election

by Alexander Chang (’23) | November 21, 2022 On May 9th, 2022, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM) won a landslide victory in the 2022 Philippine presidential election, securing roughly fifty-nine percent of the votes. However, the success of his candidacy only speaks to the ever-increasing illiberalism of the political leadership in the Philippines.  The Marcos…

Post-pandemic life: Gen-Z concert culture

by Jasmine Salgado (’26) | November 18, 2022 A year and a half of pandemic-related anxiety and isolation has left society hungry for forms of entertainment that used to be commonplace in a pre-COVID world, such as concerts. As COVID-19 no longer dominates every aspect of day-to-day life, the younger generation is now being exposed…

BeReal: authenticity on social media

by Semira Arora (’25) | November 18, 2022 In the past six months, the app BeReal has achieved virality and become one of the most popular apps for Gen Z. Alexis Barreyat and Kevin Perreau founded BeReal in December 2019 with the goal to be the “anti-social media”: a platform where users post an unedited…

Hectic Halloween: Moving the festivities to Saturdays

by Hadley Fay (’26) | October 7, 2022 Ghouls, ghosts, and pumpkins galore. Staying up late. Laughing with friends while devouring buckets full of candy. Halloween is inarguably one of the best nights of the year, but usually it lands on a night when school looms the next day. But what if it didn’t? There…

The unsustainability of TikTok trend cycles

by Anika Bastin (’23) | October 7, 2022 Social media has been omnipresent since the Internet itself emerged. Starting with more casual forms of communication, like MySpace, social media has now grown into a massive industry dominated by corporate superpowers like Facebook and Snapchat. In 2016, TikTok completely disrupted the market. With its quick, flashy…

Trend Z: the dark sides of dark academia

by Semira Arora (’25) | October 7, 2022 The romanticization of education is certainly not a new niche within media. Entertainment gave us Dead Poets Society as early as 1989 and more recently, Hermione from Harry Potter and other icons to emulate. This notion of aestheticizing studying and learning stems from an internet trend called…

On the Frontlines: LGBTQ+ Erasure in Uganda

by Alexander Chang (’23) | October 7, 2022 On August 7, 2022, Ugandan officials shut down the Sexual Minorities Uganda Group (SMUG), claiming that the group had failed to register with the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations. This decision comes at a concerning time, as government crackdowns have led to the ban of over a…

Why we need accountability after Mar-a-Lago

by Nikhil Dewitt (’24) | October 7, 2022 In the midst of the chaotic transition of power between Donald Trump and Joe Biden after the deadly insurrection on January 6, many Americans looked to Biden’s inauguration as a return to normalcy. However, few paid much attention to Trump as he boarded his plane to return…

Media coverage of Ukraine-Russia conflict highlights double standard

By Rohan Sinha (’23) | April 8, 2022 When Russian forces began their invasion of Ukraine in late February, the international community hastened to demonstrate solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The day after Russia began its invasion, Paris’s Eiffel Tower was lit with Ukraine’s national colors. Protesters around the world, from Buenos Aires to Istanbul,…

Unprecedented: closing reflections from the Class of 2022

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | April 8, 2022 Dear Class of 2022, A word I’d use to describe our grade’s experience as a collective is unprecedented. Yes, unprecedented is making a comeback. While we have not received our High School Musical or Clueless experience, there are still small pockets of joy we can look back…

The case for a four-day work week

by Tanvi Rao (’22) | April 8, 2022 During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of companies adopted a “four-day work week” that allowed their employees to have a more productive and flexible work experience. The success that came with this new system prompted organizations and lawmakers across the globe to push for the four-day week…

The Policy Proposition: saving America’s only universal healthcare program

by Alexander Chang (’23) | April 8, 2022 President Richard Nixon signed the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program into law on July 1, 1973 to cover some ten thousand patients who lacked access to proper dialysis treatment. Fifty years later, more than five hundred thousand Americans out of an estimated thirty-seven million Americans currently suffering…

The Policy Proposition: reforming political partisanship

by Alexander Chang (’23) | March 21, 2022 In an age of fervently partisan politics, polarization has made its way into all aspects of American life. Today’s hyperfixation on the latest partisan battle, however, hinders us from taking a step back and evaluating a core pillar of democracy: the judicial branch. The primary source of…

The divisive nature of Olympics doping scandals

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | March 21, 2022 The Winter Olympics may have ended over three weeks ago, but the uncertainty surrounding the ethics of the event’s banned substances and doping policies lingers. This controversy reignites every four years, with a new slew of Olympians and top athletes under fire for using banned substances. The…

Will any sanctions sway Russia toward peace?

by Kasper Halevy (’24) | March 21, 2022 As the Russian military continues its relentless assault on Ukrainian civilians, the West has also been deploying myriad responses aimed at crippling the Russian economy. Russia’s access to SWIFT financial services (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) has been blocked. Assets are currently suspended worldwide, and the…

Returning to “normalcy”: masking as the mandates lift?

by Kylie Chen (’24) | March 21, 2022 Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the debate over mask-wearing has been heavily politicized, and unfortunately so. Instead of focusing on mask-wearing as a way of promoting public health, many Americans saw (and still see) mask-wearing as a threat to personal freedom—a viewpoint that has been…

The Policy Proposition: putting charter schools to the test

by Alexander Chang (’23) | February 14th, 2022 Charter schools have come a long way since City Academy, the first publicly funded, privately run institution in the United States, opened its doors in 1992. Just three decades later, more than 7500 charter schools across the country provide instruction for nearly three and a half million…

Look on the bright side: becoming an optimist

by Lauren Kelly (’25) | February 14, 2022 The difference between optimists and pessimists lies in how they cope with difficulty. Glass half full or half empty? After a setback, is there potential for growth or only chance of failure? Luckily, optimism is a trait that can easily be learned. Dr. Arpana Iyer, an American…

What affirmative action means for BIPOC scholars in the 21st century

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | February 14th, 2022 “She only got into Saint Francis because she was Latina” were the hurtful words I heard from a white classmate during my middle school graduation. It didn’t hit me until years later that in the spheres of education, work, and beyond, some people brush past accomplishments or…

eSAT: a new era of standardized testing?

by Thanisha Kapur (’25) | February 14th, 2022 The latter half of high school is often associated with one word: stress. But on top of the overwhelming number of AP and honors courses that upperclassmen take, there is one major test they not only dread but spend hours upon hours studying for. It’s the SAT—a…

Who’s to blame for the crisis at the EU-Belarus border?

by Rohan Sinha (’23) | February 14, 2022 Last July, a crisis emerged at the border between Belarus and the European Union (EU), when thousands of migrants, many from the Middle East, sought to arrive in the EU by crossing from Belarus into three EU member states—Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. Polish border guards used tear…

The Policy Proposition: the gritty reality behind America’s opioid crisis

By Alexander Chang (’23) | November 19, 2021 Last October, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin, faced a public lawsuit and settled for eight billion dollars. OxyContin played a key role in the ongoing opioid crisis and will face complete dissolution within upcoming months. While the sun may be setting on…

Personality, equity, and comfort: thoughts on the Lancer dress code

By Katherine Winton (’25), Anusha Jain (’25), and Da Hee Yang (’23) | November 19, 2021 The Saint Francis dress code is the focal point of countless campus debates among teachers and students alike. Everyone has a unique ideal dress code, so inevitably, there are always discrepancies in opinion. Some students feel that it is…

How Texas’ abortion law opens the door to extensive citizen enforcement

By Eliana Shin (’22) and Aanya Mittu (’25) | November 19, 2021 In May, Texas passed a law ending access to abortions after six weeks into pregnancy. This restrictive ban shocked many people from its first appearance, given its discrepancy with Supreme Court precedent. The 1973 case of Roe v. Wade ruled that pregnant women…

Avoid cultural appropriation, pursue cultural appreciation

by Aanya Mittu (’25) | November 19, 2021 From Halloween costumes to “authentic” food, cultural appropriation pervades every aspect of people’s lives. Adopting certain elements of other cultures, even with the best of intentions, can be harmful when these elements are distorted or lost through appropriation. It is also important to recognize that dominant cultures…

The Met Gala: fundraiser or celebrity fashion show?

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | October 11, 2021 Camp: Notes on Fashion. China: Through The Looking Glass. Man and the Horse. All of these are past themes from New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual benefit gala, popularly known as “the Met.” Established in 1948, the Met Gala was a private, invitation-only dinner at…

The Policy Proposition: our failure to provide for the elderly

by Alexander Chang (’23) | October 11, 2021 Two million Americans currently reside in long-term care facilities, and that number is set to skyrocket as our population ages. Yet our current support systems for the elderly have failed to protect them from harm. The pandemic has only exacerbated these shortcomings with long-term care facilities making…

The sensationalization of media: news or entertainment?

by Matthew Tran (’23) | October 11, 2021 We are witnessing the creation of a modern precedent in journalism: entertainment programming marketed as cable news. Flashy headlines flood social media, increasing readership yet driving integrity into the ground. The prophetic 1976 motion picture Network revolves around a ratings-hungry television network that capitalizes on the outrageous…

Fast fashion, slow down

by Semira Arora (’25) | October 11, 2021 From matching tie-dye sets to cropped cardigans, fashion trends come and go. While some may impulsively buy this season’s trend, it is important to think about what happens behind the scenes for every item one “adds to cart.” Why are countless clothing items thrown out at the…

Assessing the benefits of the return to in-person school

by Tanvi Rao (’22)| May 10, 2021 As spring break began, the Lancer community received exciting news. With the recent change in CDC guidelines, Saint Francis would be able to welcome its students back on campus for all four days of the school week. Teachers and students alike were elated that they would soon be…

Game Changers: accountability, not justice

by Anika Jain (’22) | May 10, 2021 On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Last year on Memorial Day, Floyd’s death incited worldwide protests for police reform, police abolition, equity,…

Major’s misdemeanors: a minor mishap

by Kasper Halevy (’24) | May 10, 2021 The “indoguration” party celebrating Major’s journey from a pup shelter to the White House marked a milestone for rescue dogs. Since the First Dogs of the United States, Champ (12) and Major (3), moved into the White House on January 24, Major has been displaying some aggressive…

It’s time to “cancel” cancel culture

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | May 10, 2021 Trisha Paytas. James Charles. Azealia Banks. What do these people have in common? They have all been “canceled” multiple times. To “cancel” someone is to withdraw support for or boycott celebrities and companies after they have done something controversial or derogatory. Cancel culture can generally be found…

Making amends: the American fascination with the Second Amendment

by Alexander Chang (’23) | May 10, 2021 As the country slowly returns to normalcy, many aspects of American life have been welcomed back with open arms after their rather abrupt hiatus. However, a reality of our everyday lives has reared its ugly head once more: rampant gun violence. From the Indianapolis FedEx shooting on…

Game Changers: Western imperialism strikes again

by Anika Jain (’22) | March 29, 2021 On the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 quarantine, the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed again to approve the relinquishment of intellectual property rights for the COVID vaccine. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, also known as the TRIPS Agreement, is an international legal agreement between…

America is no stranger to anti-Asian discrimination

by Eliana Shin (’22)| March 29, 2021 “Elderly man pushed to the ground.” “Local business robbed and vandalized.” “Woman left in critical condition after the attack.” I read countless headlines just like these in the last two months alone, all describing acts targeting Asian-Americans. The recent mass shooting in Atlanta killed eight people, six of…

Lancers reflect on a year of quarantine

by Tanvi Rao (’22)| March 29, 2021 Wednesday, March 11, 2020. A schoolwide email goes out to the students of Saint Francis, announcing that the entire campus will be closed until March 30 in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. I recall reading the message while crouched over some chemistry homework, stressed about an upcoming…

Mourning the loss of morning collabs: ways to move forward

by Elsa Ying (’23)| March 29, 2021 On February 18th, after months of planning and coordination, the Saint Francis student body returned to campus for a full day of instruction. While students and faculty alike rejoiced at this semblance of normality, an unfortunate casualty in these new developments was the loss of morning collaborations. Collaboration,…

Why our nation is so behind on COVID-19

by Jewel Merriman (’22) | March 29, 2021 On January 21, 2020, the CDC confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States. On January 21, 2021, exactly one year later, there were 190,138 new COVID cases reported in the nation. In March 2021, as we reach the one-year anniversary of quarantine, there have been…

Sleep is not for the weak: tips to improve your sleep

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | March 29, 2021 Okay, let’s face it. We’ve all had those rushed moments—having to stay up until past midnight to finish an assignment. And then we say we’ll sleep in on Saturday to make up for the lost hours. When that happens, we wake up on Saturday with a raging…

COVID-19 and college admissions: how fair is the system?

by Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) | March 1, 2021 In the midst of a global health crisis and social unrest, securing that acceptance letter into your dream school may be tougher than ever before. It is becoming easier to apply to college, but consequently, harder to gain admission. Take Harvard, for example. It saw a 57%…

“The Hill We Climb”: Amanda Gorman’s rise to the top

by Amélia Ávila (’24) | March 1, 2021 “You can do anything you put your mind to.” I’d heard that phrase many times but had always been skeptical until Inauguration Day, when I learned about Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate. Gorman recited her new poem, “The Hill We Climb,” with emotion and…

2020-2021 first semester review: what went well and what didn’t

by Brinly Richards (’22) | March 1, 2021 This past first semester was a wild new experience for Saint Francis students, parents, and teachers alike. Many aspects of the learning experience were different due to COVID-19, but we all worked together to navigate a semester online.  Numerous students loved the flexibility of our weekly schedule…

Game Changers: a review of President Biden’s first month in office

by Anika Jain (’22) | March 1, 2021 Last January, President Joe Biden was officially inaugurated. This presidential election has been incontrovertibly momentous with historical anomalies such as the riots on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and President Trump’s second impeachment trial in mid-February. Not only has political polarization intensified between Democrats and Republicans,…

How to reverse Trump’s effects on political polarization

by Alexander Chang (’23) | March 1, 2021 Four years of the Trump Administration have flown by without a hitch. That is, of course, excluding the inconclusive border wall, futile trade war, economic crisis, and pandemic among other things, but nevertheless, it went by as smoothly as sandpaper. However, the political and economic consequences of…

Settling the debate: paper books or eBooks?

By Tanvi Rao (’22) | March 1, 2021 Nothing is better than a good book in your hands. The feel of the soft, velvet pages against your fingertips, the delicate paper smell that tickles your nose, the world it transports you to from the ordinariness of reality—all this wonder is encased in a bundle of…

Game Changers: Prop 16 and the benefits of reinstating affirmative action

by Anika Jain (’22) | November 16, 2020 This year, there was a large dispute over racial justice on the California ballot. California currently stands as one of only eight states that have banned affirmative action, a practice which refers to policies benefiting minority populations that were previously discriminated against in legislation. The purpose of…

The “United” States: a nation fighting against itself

by Eliana Shin (’22) | November 16, 2020 With the 2020 presidential election over, we’re seeing a trend on the rise. Political polarization is twisting partisanship into an ugly rift between fellow Americans.  Of course, there are the inevitable disagreements as to what is best for the country, or what should be prioritized in government.…

Congrats! It’s a… gender-neutral baby!

by Hannah Valencia (’22) | November 16, 2020 As I scrolled through my TikTok feed, a video from creator Melissa (@theartofmothering) appeared, her soft voice echoing radical ideas of gender neutrality. Her account focuses on gender-neutral parenting, and in this particular video, she explains how her son prefers swimming in a pink one-piece bathing suit.…

The rise of Among Us

by Tanvi Rao (’22) | November 16, 2020 Among Us, the “modern-day mafia simulator,” has taken the world by storm. Originally released in 2018, this online multiplayer game seems to have become popular almost overnight. One of the many reasons for its sudden fame may be its engaging and interactive online environment, allowing those in…

Not all votes are created equal: the Electoral College’s built-in bias

by Jewel Merriman (’22) | November 16, 2020 One person should equal one vote. Sounds simple, right? Especially since an inherent feature of democracy is to reflect the will of the masses. However, our president is determined by the electoral college, which is an outdated system that heavily favors one party and gives individuals more…

Do celebrity political endorsements matter?

by Zane Patel (’24) | November 16, 2020 Politicians passionately garner celebrity endorsements throughout their campaigns. In turn, society values them. But as valued as they seem to be, do they really sway voters’ decisions? And do Americans really think that the opinion of a celebrity should influence their vote? In this age of political…

Game Changers: RBG’s legacy and what her death means for America

by Anika Jain | October 5, 2020 This summer has been extremely eventful, from the pandemic to the horrific acts of racial violence to the fires engulfing the West Coast. But the cherry on top of this quasi-apocalypse is undoubtedly the death of the Notorious RBG—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We lost Justice Ginsburg…

Why is the U.S. the leading nation in COVID cases?

by Tanvi Rao | October 5, 2020 COVID-19 has raged through the United States since March, spreading like a wildfire and infecting an astounding 7,000,000 people and counting. Since there is no definitive timeline for when we can expect a cure, many states have implemented important policies to ensure the safety of the public. For…

The world on fire: thanks, climate change

by Amélia Ávila | October 5, 2020 About 35 deaths and counting. Air quality indices easily in the two hundreds. Thousands of structures destroyed. Hundreds of thousands evacuated. Millions of acres burned down. No end in sight. Undoubtedly, you all have been following news about the dangerous, devastating wildfires burning all over the West Coast.…

What a 1600 means in 2020: SAT cancellations

by Hannah Valencia | October 5, 2020 My SAT book sat in the corner of my room, gathering dust on its glossy paperback cover. The voice of my mother echoed in my head, as her constant reminders and concerns about the SAT had been engraved in my mind. In truth, I was intimidated and terrified…

Cutting the hashtag from #BLM

by Eliana Shin | October 5, 2020 Flashback to early June: summer is officially here, I turn sixteen, and the Black Lives Matter Movement is reignited following the death of George Floyd. I open Instagram and scroll through black square after black square. Confused, I closed the app and returned a couple hours later to…

Virtual learning: what’s hot and what’s not

by Melissa Paz-Flores | October 5, 2020 Long gone are the days when we would wake up at 6 A.M., roll out of bed, rush to get ready for school, and leave the house before 7:30. Now, we can wake up on our own time, eat at our own convenience, and have a bit more…

Trump’s failure with the coronavirus outbreak.

by Will Li | April 6, 2020 The spread of the coronavirus has undoubtedly dramatically altered this country. Although America’s current executive branch seems to be trying to combat the disease, it is evident that it has been horribly mishandling the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has repeatedly demonstrated inconsistency and promoted misleading communication regarding…