Just recently, Shanghai American School Pudong held its Student Council class elections. After listening to speeches from candidates both new and old, students lined up outside of the cafeteria to cast their votes. I sat down with the stars of the recent elections, this year’s class presidents, to get to know them a little better.
Jessica Wu, Freshman Class President
Jessica was born in New Jersey. She moved to Shanghai with her family just after she finished elementary school, and she has been going to SAS Pudong ever since.
She joined STUCO because she cared about our school and she wanted to do more, both for her grade and for the rest of the student body. As class president, she holds herself to high standards. In her own words, she represents the class, and she means to do her job well. She wants to be an important link between the student council itself and the rest of the student body. If you have something important you want to say, Jessica is all-ears.
This year, Jessica is looking forward to the student council doing a better job of advocating students’ rights. They’re going to tackle a wide variety of issues, such as the recent fitness room membership requirement and the demand for textbooks to be available in the flex hall. She says the freshman class is going to take a hard look at room temperature standardization first.
Sarah Cho, Sophomore Class President
Sarah has lived in Asia her whole life. She was born in Korea, but she moved to Bangkok when she was young. It wasn’t long before her family relocated to Shanghai, where she’s lived for the past eight years. She first got involved with student council at YCIS, and when she transferred to SAS, she quickly found a place among the Eagle Ambassadors. Sarah says that leadership is something that comes naturally to her, and that she couldn’t have been more excited when she was elected into SAS’s STUCO in her freshman year. She’s hoping that this year can be another great success for both her and our school.
As class president, Sarah feels responsible to address student complaints and concerns. She is the tenth grade advocate at STUCO meetings, and she will be working hard to address the needs of her classmates.
Now that the Prom Committee can take over many of STUCO’s old responsibilities, Sarah is eager to tackle more controversial issues. During the first semester of the 2015 school year, she and her colleagues will be working to publicise student rights school-wide. According to Sarah, STUCO has found that many students, especially underclassmen, are unaware of their rights and responsibilities. They have plans in the works to combat this problem.
Outside of STUCO, Sarah is working hard at furthering her academic success. During her hours of leisure, she likes to read, take walks, and listen to music.
Ruby Zhou, Junior Class President
Ruby was born in Shanghai, but she grew up in Vancouver. In the seventh grade, her family returned to Shanghai, and she’s been an Eagle ever since. This is Ruby’s first year as a STUCO representative, and she joined because she wants to get involved. Now that STUCO is more than an event planning committee, she’s eager to make a positive difference in our school.
This year, she wants students to know that STUCO is here to advocate for them. Ruby makes it clear that if anyone has a problem or a concern, a STUCO representative is ready to listen. Communication facilitation is the name of the game.
Ruby believes that our upperclassmen are responsible enough to exercise in the fitness room without supervision. STUCO is working to grant students access to the fitness room throughout the day. Also, Ruby believes that the new printing system is critically flawed. She and many of her peers have just recently ran into problems with the printers, and she hopes STUCO can resolve them.
Outside of STUCO, Ruby loves music. She plays both the piano and the flute, and she’d rather be listening to music than doing anything else: anything else that is, besides talking to her friends. Ruby considers herself an open and honest person. If you have a problem, she says that you can talk to her.
Curtis Xuan, Senior Class President
Curtis wasn’t born in Shanghai, but he’s got the next best thing. His family moved her when he was only two months old. Shanghai is more his home than anywhere else.
Since he’s lived here so long, he’s made a lot of friends, and Curtis says that’s why he got involved in STUCO. He feels that his connections within the school make him the ideal class president.
This year, he’s trying to solve issues one at a time, starting with things that his fellow seniors care about most. His ideals are in line with the rest of STUCO, so we can expect a smooth and productive year.
During his free time, Curtis plays table tennis. If you ever want to talk to Curtis, you can bet on finding him right outside of the main high school gym, by the kiosk. Besides that, Curtis also likes to game and spend quality time with his friends.
by Jason Konold ’16, Images by Christabella Tan ’19.
By Grace Ang
Hot chocolate, leaves like leaping flames, crisp air and snuggly sweaters. That’s what I think off when I look outside my window. As winter creeps into Shanghai, people are discarding their flip-flops for UGGS, and tossing their tank tops for V neck-sweaters. For a while we had lace-up leather sneakers, cropped sweaters and ankle length maxis in fall. But now we’ve transitioned into the season of thick,royal coats,This week, students at SAS have commented on their winter shopping experiences and favorite classic winter pieces.
For most, winter has hidden the inner fashionista. It is as Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Students are trading in their flamboyant summer pieces for “conveniently fashionable” pieces for the winter.
“My staple item for the Winter are boots!” Angella Qian, a senior, exclaimed, while gesturing to her slightly worn out, twin-face sheepskin Brown UGGS boots speckled with unraveling tiny, brown threads.
Qian also went on to state her favorite winter accessory: The Infinity Scarf.
“They’re cozy and fashionable at the same time,” she said smiling from ear to ear.
Kris Li also shared her favorite winter article to stay warm during the winter. “I would always go with a Shawlneck or a cozy sweater,” she remarked, shrugging.
Lillian Xue, says one of her favorite winter shopping locations is a local Chinese store called “Tang Tang,,” which has an online outlet on Taobao as well as a physical one in the vendor’s home. “
Adding to the long list of exotic places to buy winter clothes, Yewon Shin mentioned her best winter shopping experience in Seoul, Garosu Gill, a beautiful promenade adorned with rows of golden gingko trees. Due to its wide array of chic open studios, cafes, restaurants and fashion shops, it is popular choice among citizens and foreign tourists alike.
“A lot of celebrities go there- I’ve actually seen Kim C and other celebrities’ vans before.”
By Prashanth Ramakrishna
Talks about college travel through the main high school corridor of SAS. Everyone from near-graduating seniors, to the newly arrived freshmen are talking, and starting last week, grade 11 counselors have begun meeting with juniors to discuss colleges. The sound of exasperation and annoyance could be heard in every 11th grade homeroom. Everything we’ve done over the past 16 years of our lives, all-leading up to one pinnacle point in our lives, right before exams.
Upon questioning ten random 11 graders, six of the ten students have already begun looking at colleges, and of those six students, four have spent their previous summer touring several colleges. Although many would say that the fact that their counselors are giving them advice about what to look for in a college when looking for a ‘good fit’, there are those who don’t see it the same way.
“It’s hardly helped so far, I already knew most of what they told me,” Says Konstantinos Chatziparaskevas, “It was interesting, and informational but not too helpful.”
Chatziparaskevas has started looking for colleges over the summer by visiting around 10 different colleges in the UK, and continues to look for a college in Europe.
While some people find the meetings pointless, and even annoying, there are others who believe that despite nearing exams, and stress levels shooting sky-high, discussing their future isn’t such a bad thing right now. In a call with Lucas Arndt, the soccer enthusiast and IBD student says that he’s started looking at colleges, however he hasn’t done a lot just yet.
“Yeah, I mean I visited a few colleges over the summer and I try to visit the colleges that go to our school.”
Lucas goes on to say that he believes talking to the counselors has “put in perspective the different types of colleges as well as their lifestyles and tuition rate”, and like most families, Lucas believes that his parents will support whatever choice he makes when applying.
Every year, right before winter break, and right before the end of the year, colleges become the talk of the town. There must be some reason to all this madness, some logic to this chaos. But for now, we’ll resort to listening to our counselors no matter how fun, or how mind numbing it’ll get.
Junior Sidd Chandra is what most would consider a committed Mo Bro, or participant in Movember. On November first of the past three years, Chandra has joined a global community of men in supporting men’s health. In solidarity with that community, Chandra has taken a month-long pledge to abstain from shaving. Three weeks into Movember, Chandra’s facial hair is starting to take over, growing into a full-fledged beard.
“There are a lot of awareness efforts around female cancer issues like breast cancer for example, but a lot of people don’t necessarily know about many of the men’s health issues like prostate cancer or testicular cancer. Movember is a way for guys all around the world to stand together and create much needed awareness and discussion about men’s health issues,” said Sid as he scratched his beard.
Movember has become an international phenomenon, growing from a thirty-man initiative in Australia during 2004 to a movement of millions. The originators of Movember, following its launch to popularity, founded the Movember Foundation to coordinate the movement. According to the Movember Foundation, Movember
“challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs.” To date, Mo Bros around the world have raised $559 million and funded over 800 men’s health programs in 21 countries. Last year the Movember Foundation raised $22.3 million. Quantitatively, Movember has had a significant impact on awareness of men’s health issues. 75% of Mo Bros claim to have been more aware of the health risks they face after part in Movember, while 62% say they went to see a medical professional, and 50% reportedly told someone they should take action to improve their health.
According to Chandra, Movember has caught on with a lot of students across all grades. Michael Nicol, a senior with formidable mutton chops, said, “I participate in Movember because I think particular attention needs to be called to men’s cancer, but a lot of people just participate in No-Shave-November, which supports the cancer discussion in general.” Nicol went on to say that many people confuse No-Shave-November with Movember, two very different events. No-Shave-November asks people not to remove any hair in support of the many cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment, while Movember focuses specifically on men’s health issues.
Sidd and Michael are just two members of a growing Shanghai Mo Bro community. Jacques, the manager at the popular French restaurant, La Creperie, located in the French Concession has been sporting a classic handlebar for about two weeks now. He has also printed new place cards for each table, advertising Movember and encouraging diners to join. According to Jacques, “I am a man, or at least I hope so, and I could have any one of these health complications in a second. It’s important for me to educate myself about these sorts of things, but also for me to support men everywhere who are going through a health complication.”
Written by Prashanth
Waking up at six in the morning, the typical high school upperclassman will have logged about seven hours of sleep after a long day of work and study. Half awake, half asleep, he or she will trudge to the bus, claim their seat, and sink in to relax for just a bit more before starting –
“The dolphin is the coolest fish that can beat up a elephant!” The scream of a rowdy child jars the bus.
While most passengers on the bus system do not encounter children in elementary or middle school who display an extreme level of disregard for others, high school students are almost guaranteed to have some sort of contact with less than ideal kids.
“Kids are very disrespectful,” says Mike, a high school senior, “but recently the kids on my bus have gotten better.”
Michael, a high school senior, describes his general bus experiences as fine. However, he remarks that the kids on his bus frequently leave their trash on the bus and are not very respectful. Shaun, a high school senior, also describes the bus system overall as effective, saying it “gets me home, gets me to school.” He also mentions that the elementary and middle school students on his bus are also very disrespectful.
The bus system does have measures in place to address this issue. Bus monitors, stationed on every bus, are responsible for ensuring the safety of students on the bus. In addition to supervising each students’ individual bus safety, bus monitors also provide extra attention to the younger passengers. From cleaning up after students to keeping the younger passengers in check, the bus monitors are some of the unsung heroes in the typical school day.
However, some of these bus monitors may not be as effective as they could be. The fact that small kids on the bus end up disturbing others as regularly as they do is partially due to the lack of power or authority that the bus monitors have.
“Bus monitors do their job,” says Shaun, a high school senior, “but the kids don’t listen.”
While it could be simple to hold the kids responsible for their disruptive behavior on the bus, there are other influential factors that are just as culpable. Among the potential sources of are the other students on the bus, such as other middle school students and high school students. Surely, the stray words of a high school student could easily make their way into a nearby elementary school student’s vocabulary.
James, a high school senior, says otherwise. “Well, I don’t really like how little kids swear a lot and high schoolers get blamed for it, well it has some merit to it,” says James. “But like for my bus for example, the little kids on it are super foul mouthed and we have only 3 or 4 high schoolers and none of us cuss.”
Given the circumstances caused by elementary school students sharing the school bus with high school and middle school students, the problems caused by this combination of age groups could be addressed by having separate buses for different grade levels. However, these matters are not nearly serious enough to be dealt with in such a way.
“I’m not complaining,” says James. “This is the most efficient way to transport students, economically and environmentally. I mean why should we prepare three busses that all go to the same spot at the same time just to separate students by grades?”
Written by: Hailey Shin
Group of students used duct tape, scissors, knife and printed paper to make their very own iDevice stickers. They cut out a girl with an umbrella, a deer with big antler, and a diamond. They stuck ithem on their iPhone, MacBook and anywhere they want the stickers to be.
This fun activity was arranged by the WeDesign Club, one of the art clubs in Shanghai American School, during the third day activity day. The club designs various school supplies to make our school look fancier.
The club designs banners, posters and also prom tickets, too. They do their own designing and sometimes design according to the orders from other people. To do these kind of jobs, the club uses various type of designing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Also, the club members use tablet, a electronic device with a pad and a pen, that allows the users to draw or write directly in the computer. This device allows the club members to develop designs faster and easier.
“The club has very flexible schedule and doesn’t take much of my time.” said Katrina Cherk, a sophomore member of the club. Unlike other clubs in SAS, The WeDesign club don’t have fixed a meeting day. When there is a meeting, president of the club, or anyone in the club will notify other members with meeting time and location.
There are two categories of people in this world- People that love the limelight and people who don’t. For those who detest attention, sweaty palms, shaky voices, dilated pupils and a serious case of the-cat’s-got your tongue- are sometimes, they need to die of embarrassment on stage. But others who soar in the limelight revel in the audience’s affection. People in this category are found in one place: in SAS’s Forensics afterschool cohort.
After school Tuesdays, 3- 4:30 are “sacred” times for the Forensics team who aim to develop their public speaking skills. Touted as the club who stormed through last year’s China cup, leaving with their chins up high with the silver medal in their hands, Forensics has been SAS’s pride since it was first established.
Time in Forensics meetings is always spent wisely. Although the club runs year round, the club only expects attendance in the second semester, in which forensic members get ready for their linguistic matches. This allows prospective members to participate in other extra curricular activities as well as seasonal sports.
This win-win situation however is not offered to newcomers who are expected to attend meetings in Semester 1 because they have yet to understand rules and the format of the six categories Forensics offer: Impromptu, Extemporaneous speaking, Original oratory, Oral interpretation, Solo acting and Debate.
Two of the six categories: sole acting and oral interpretation, which involves choosing a poem or extract from a text and presenting it with vocal gymnastics, requires a lot of time and effort. Members who choose these two events spend their afternoons searching for the perfect piece to present.
Last year in 2013, Forensics took 20 of their strongest members to China cup and 10 to APAC. The result? Edgar and former student JX stood on the pedestal to receive 2ndplace in Debate, while Austin Cheng and Harry Grey also received victory in their respective categories. Amanda Lee, the president of the club, who made it into the finals the former year, also repeated history.
This year, Forensics is gunning for more. Although the year has just begun and things have just started heating up in meetings- with effective impromptu warm-ups followed by practice debates, oratorical oratories and more, Forensics has already welcomed with open arms 30 newcomers into the team.
Amanda has also expressed concern for the direction the club is heading. “I think Forensics is not taken too seriously right now.” “Unlike MUN”, she says, that has one sole purpose, “to debate”; Forensics has an array of purposes. “It is a lot about your ability to stand up in front of an audience and speak your mind.,” she continued. “I think its such an important skill and Forensics is about honing your skills”. Although she didn’t specify her visions for the club, she informed The Pudong Press that she would be striving to correct the club members’ attitude in the following years.
By: Grace Ang