How to be Politically Active

by Joey Derrico

After the election in November, many Americans are asking how they can become more politically active in their community. The good news is that there is an abundance of ways to become active in politics at the local, state, and even national level. Whether it be an issue in the local neighborhood or the White House, use this beginning guide for how to become involved in political activism. Below are three simple steps you can take to become a more politically active and aware citizen.

1. Pick an issue you’re passionate about and pursue it

Whether it be poverty, wealth inequality or women’s rights, select an issue of significance to you and work towards addressing that specific problem. For example, if you are passionate about climate change, you may begin to carpool with friends and plant a few extra trees in your yard.

2. Attend city council meetings

Attending city council meetings will inform you of issues that are occurring at the local level. Topics such as allocating land for a park or development, equipment transactions, and community events are all things that are commonly discussed at council meetings. Councilors will typically designate part of the meeting to receive questions from the audience, so your concerns may be heard by the local lawmakers.

3. Join a campaign and/or volunteer at your party’s county headquarters

If you align with a political candidate who represents your views, then consider becoming involved with their campaign. Going one step further, if there is an entire political party that aligns with your views, consider volunteering for their headquarters in your county. Normal activities for these two positions include canvassing for voter registration, making calls to supporters, or distributing political pamphlets to constituents.

While implementing all these tactics may not bring the immediate change you’re looking for, it will make your voice heard and that is what drives change.

Winter Formal: A night to remember

By: Sara Wolf

Students of BHS had the opportunity to attend a dance other than prom or homecoming this year, for the first time in 5 years. JROTC held Winter Formal on Saturday, February 4 in the school’s auxiliary gym. Students came in and danced from 7 to 10 with the usual wristbands, but also the unusual new occurrence of Mrs. Schwieterman as DJ and pizza being served. Like any school event, students left with every positive, negative, bored or amazed opinion under the sun, but the dance was able to raise much needed funds for JROTC and met all goals and expectations according to those who put it together.

Senior Chloe Merkle took on the responsibility of putting the girls-ask-boys dance together after the idea of the dance was thrown around by seniors last year. With help from others in JROTC such as Kate Broderick, Nico Taylor, Sarah Rovinsky and Ivy Bennett, the rumored dance became a reality. Work for the event began six months ago when the school year started. A date with minimal conflicts had to be set and approval for every detail of the dance needed to be in place. Merkle recalls organizing details of the dance being the most frustrating and difficult part at times. “I didn’t expect for all the changes that Sargent and Mr. Baker made when the dance started getting close,” she explained. “It was just more things we had to think about.” Merkle and others worked over the months to set plans for the DJ, photographer, food situation and pricing. While working everything out, they hoped for 200 students to attend the dance, and saw over 450 students attend on the night of the dance. “I definitely didn’t expect winter formal to be so great, so exciting,” said Merkle. “Even though it was a pain in the butt occasionally, I would definitely do it again.” JROTC plans to hold a school-wide dance again next year.

Students who attended responded in many different ways. Freshman Addie Hahn said that she had fun but would have liked more winter-themed decorations. Freshman Kayla Stephensen liked it more than homecoming because song requests were actually played, but like many other students she said too many slow songs were played. Freshman Kayla Paul suggested that snacks should be served instead of all of the pizza, since many people ate dinner before the dance. “Worst dance by far,” responded an anonymous sophomore to a survey on the dance. “I think it was poorly put on, too much light, weird music, just overall bad dance,” they wrote. Emma Young, another sophomore, had a more positive experience. She said her favorite moment was “when Cotton-Eyed Joe played, everyone started swinging each other around on one arm and country-dancing; a perfect representation of Bellbrook.” Junior Keion Driscoll and Senior Kira Barklay both said they appreciated another opportunity to attend a school dance. “It was nice to have another dance since I was sick and unable to go to homecoming,” said Barklay. “I thought it was well put together and that the music was better than prom last year,” she added. Senior Jessica Hyatt agreed that the dance was more fun than past dances. When asked what he thought about the dance, what he would have changed, and what his favorite moment was, Senior Nathan Cordonnier said, “I liked the pizza, more pizza,” and, “There was so much pizza, I took four boxes home.”

Bellbrook honors winter sport seniors and college signing

By: Sara Wolf

Senior Night took place at the varsity boys’ home basketball game against Preble Shawnee on Tuesday, February 14. Parents escorted their class of 2017 seniors as senior bios were read pre-game. Previous head coach Perry Caldwell was recognized for his 14 years of coaching after the first quarter of the game with a golden eagle statue. Coach Caldwell’s teams were SWBL champions 8 times, 7 of which were consecutive years. Caldwell was applauded and cheered for by all in the gymnasium, which included the roar of the student section chanting, “Perry Caldwell.” Then at halftime, 5 seniors signed to colleges for commitment in their athletic abilities.

Senior cheerleaders Natalie Stein, Madi Weaver, and Shelby Young were recognized first. Natalie Stein is a 15 varsity letter athlete who plans on attending Miami University in the fall. Madi Weaver has cheered Varsity basketball and competition cheer all four years of her high school career. She is deciding between acceptances to Ohio State, Alabama and West Virginia. Shelby Young has been cheering throughout high school and is planning to study business at the University of Cincinnati in the fall.

Among the boys’ basketball seniors were Nathan Cordonnier, Brandon Kowal, Sean Ulrich and Chandler Wren. Nathan Cordonnier was a football team captain this year and hopes to attend UC or OSU. Brandon Kowal hopes to attend UC to study electrical engineering. Sean Ulrich is one of the team captains who plans to attend UC as well. Chandler Wren is playing football at the University of Findlay in the fall. Wrestling senior Sean Caris was also recognized. He has been a part of marching and pep band for all four years of high school. He will attend Wright State then OSU to pursue a degree in veterinary sciences.

Five seniors then signed at halftime, first being Stephanie Dorn to Ohio Northern University to play basketball. Dorn has been a prominent leader on the girls’ team the past two years and was awarded the SWBL Sportsmanship award last year. She is planning to double major in civil engineering and engineering education at ONU.

Next to sign was Raif Foster, who earned 2 varsity letters in golf at BHS. Foster went to districts in 2015, was selected for first team SWBL, had the varsity team’s lowest average, and was team captain all in 2016. He is undecided in his major but will play golf at Madonna University.

Madison Pelfrey earned 4 varsity letters in cross country, and 3 varsity letters in dive and track & field, and 1 varsity letter in competition cheerleading. Girls’ cross country won SWBL twice and went to districts and regionals each year of her career, while just recently placing 6th in state in their 2016 season. Madison was selected for first team SWBL all 4 years. She is committed to run cross country at Morehead University while majoring in nursing.

Alivia Tavernier earned 1 varsity letter for soccer in her high school career, and is committed to play at Ohio Dominican University while she majors in biology.

Chandler Wren earned 3 varsity letters in football and 1 varsity letter in basketball and track & field. Individually, Wren was a football team captain and was selected for first team SWBL in 2016. He has committed to play football at the University of Findlay and will major in business finance.

Unfortunately, senior night ended in a 63-49 loss for the Eagles, but the game was played with heart from beginning to finish. The starters included Sean Ulrich, Nathan Cordonnier, Chandler Wren, Donnie Crouch, and Brandon Kowal, who earned his first points all season and sent Bellbrook fans into erupting cheer. Cordonnier and junior Jack Campbell lead Bellbrook with 14 points each.

The Eagles played their last regular season game on February 21, finishing the season with a record of 6 wins and 16 losses. They play Dunbar in their first tournament game on Friday, February 24, at Trent Arena at 7 pm.

(A)typical High School: Riverdale Reboots the Archie Universe

by Kasen Stephensen

CW’s reboot of the classic Archie universe is both entrancing and peculiar, much like high school gossip.  

Archie Comics was established 78 years ago and its universe has been represented in numerous cartoons, video games, and movies.  Its archetypal characters have been manipulated throughout the years to reflect the social norms and customs of the era.  Consequently, this adaptation provides an addicting commentary on pop culture.

Riverdale follows secret love, a mysterious murder, and complicated relationships, all in the familiar prison of angst and hormones: high school.  The original, naive personas in the Archie universe have also passed through modern expectations and have transformed into worldly teenagers.

Archie is a now a heavily-muscled stud who has a summer fling with the youthful teacher Miss Grundy.  Betty takes Adderall to focus on her school studies and Veronica is a snooty rich girl who kissed Betty after a cheer routine.

This show isn’t without its flaws.  The actors and actresses look much older, however, and it is difficult to pretend the sculpted twenty-year-olds are crude high school sophomores.  Archie’s red hair and eyebrows look laughably fake. Despite some small imperfections, Riverdale is still infinitely more entertaining than real high school.

UN Honors Russian Ambassador

by Jack Long

On 20 February 2017, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin died a few hours before his 65th birthday. Fellow UN Ambassadors spoke of him as a charismatic, caring, yet strong diplomat that deeply cared for the progress of his country and humanitarian issues.

Churkin, though, has garnered criticism with his support for al-Assad’s government forces in Syria, as well as his refusal to address the Crimean peninsula on the UN Security Council.

But for Russians, Churkin is seen as the embodiment of the New Russia. Strong, independent, as well as a world-player Churkin was an exemplification of this New Russia and the hopes of the Russian people in the 21st century.

Athlete of the Week: Justin Boreman

By: Carter Caldwell

As the winter season draws to a close and the state tournaments begin to start, senior Justin Boreman’s qualification for the 2017 Ohio High School Diving Championship is making quite the splash, in part due to Boreman’s attendance of the Ohio High School Cross Country Championship earlier this school year.  Boreman qualified individually for cross country with a time of 16:46.74, earning him 20th place and an automatic advancement to the state meet, where he finished 101st with a time of 16:33.00, a personal record.  

In diving, Boreman again qualified individually with a score of 258.8, earning him the spot of 23rd qualifier.  The diving meet took place at 2:00 pm on February 22, 2017, at C. T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.  When asked about how he felt when he first found out he would be advancing to state in cross country, Boreman said he was surprised to realize that qualifying was not as impossible as it first seemed.  He also credits cross country coach Mike Baumer as the reason he worked to get to the state meet in diving, too, as Baumer encouraged him to reach for his goals and work hard on the way.  

Despite not making it to a state meet prior to his senior year, Boreman said he was not nervous at the cross country meet, as it was very similar to other meets throughout the season.  However, he did admit that he is “a little bit more nervous” because of the other divers and the fact that there will be more people watching than usual, but he is happy that he qualified and his goal is “just to enjoy the experience.”

After the diving championships, Boreman will be a part of the track team, where he will run primarily distance events.  He says that he would train hard to go to the Ohio High School Track Championship later this year, but he feels like track will be the most difficult of his sports to qualify in.  After track is over, Boreman will be attending the University of Cincinatti, where he will study aerospace engineering.  Although he won’t be a part of any teams there, Boreman does plan on joining a running club.  

Boreman’s favorite memory from high school sports are the team dinners in dive and cross country, because he enjoys spending time with friends, “especially while eating food.”  When asked if he had any advice for underclass athletes, Boreman says the best advice he can give is to get to know your teammates, because after the excitement of the race is over, your teammates will always be there to pace you and help you to improve, which he believes is the best way to become a better athlete and enjoy being part of the team.

Adele Beats the Queen and Other Grammy Surprises

By Kayla Stephensen

At the Grammy’s this year, Adele won 5 awards, 4 of which she beat Beyoncé. Adele idolizes Beyoncé but rather ironically beat her in Album of the Year, which Beyoncé has been nominated four times for and never won. Many wonder what the judges were looking for if not Lemonade. Although it did win Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video, it stands that Lemonade was popular but perhaps not good enough.

During Adele’s performance of “Fastlove,” she stopped midway and requested to start over, claiming to not be happy with the sound. She apologized profusely and used a dash of colorful language explaining that she can’t mess this up for George Michael, the author.

Another interesting–slightly more comical–moment occurred when 21 Pilots ditched their pants to go receive their award for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance. One of the performers told the story watching the Grammy’s before they were making any money for their music and promised each other if they ever won an award, they would receive it just as they were then. Sitting together on the couch, they were both pants-less. Using this as a great lesson, he told the audience, specifically those in the same place as they had been, to not lose hope because it could be them next year. As freshman Leah Davis said, “I was surprised when they did pants-ed themselves but thought it was nice what they said.”

Another freshman Hannah Bridges recalls, “I was impressed Chance the Rapper was rapping to a Christian song. He’s a religious rapper and was thankful to God that he got nominated. He wasn’t afraid to show his belief in God.” Chance the Rapper is one who really blew everyone away for his first performance this year. He won Best New Artist, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance.